FEAR | The Puzzle Maker

A quick update on story progress and saying goodbye to an old friend.

We recently moved across town.  We outgrew our old house many years ago as we started our family.  The two bedroom one bath got very cramped for a family of four.  So, after many years of saving, we bought a house.  

There was one bittersweet aspect to leaving our first home, and that was leaving my writing room behind.  Here is the blog showing my step-dad, my brother and I building the room.  I had to say goodbye to my old friend.  I spent many long hours in there.  It is where I learned to tackle story in the long-form, where I wrote my first two full length novels.  My writing routine is still the same, writing every night once the family turns in, the scenery is just a bit different.  As my grandmother aptly put it the other day, "All things must die." That is truth coming from 80 years of wisdom right there.

In other news, I sat the novel I was working on, FEAR, aside because an idea I really liked fell into my lap a few nights ago as I was working.  The words just showed up.  I was walking back to my computer after grabbing a drink from the refrigerator and the first few lines jumped in my head.  I opened a new document and jotted down the first chapter.  Before I knew it I had 10,000 words.  I certainly plan on finishing FEAR, I've got it all mapped out, but this new story has kept the gears in my brain churning hot.

The new novel is currently titled The Puzzle Maker.  Here is a sample for you, dear reader.


            They came to me in flashes.  I could feel them building at the edge of my periphery like the tingling of some phantom limb, there but not really there.  My eyes were open in the dark, pupils dilated to absorb what light they could, but my body was not awake.  I was stuck on the teeter-totter ridge of asleep and awake, that stasis of sleep paralysis which leaves one to question later if it was a dream; if it any of it really happened at all.

            They would pulse; a slow rising and falling of light, of intensity building.  Then they were there center stage, right in front of me.  My pupils shrinking to needle points, my eyelids beckoning me to let them close, but I had to see them. 

            Because they happened to me for a reason, I was sure of it.  They were connected.  Some thin line of purpose linked them all together.  A tie I have been unable to decipher, to understand.

            So I lie still in the early morning hours as they come, burning at the edges of my vision before they burst into my sight and take me with them.   As they come the second hand on my watch stands still.  Everything waiting at attention until I return and let time fall as it were, at ease. 

            They are stories.  And they are not mine. 

            I am the puzzle maker, collecting the stories and piecing them together.  There is no map and I have no guide, only clues.

            Because they happen to me for a reason.  They are trying to tell me something. 


Thanks for reading.

Stay alive,

-M.P. Callender