Here are the first two chapters, a little delayed because even though I live in a tropical area now, my bronchitis still thinks it needs to visit me each year. (Maybe Arizona will be the only place where I don’t cough up a lung?)
SALEM–Safety Assured leaving East of Medicetti picks up immediately where Book 4 leaves off, with Perrin and Mahrree trusting random people who show up in the middle of the night, and Peto thinking his parents are desperate, cowardly, and meek for going along with their plan.
Naturally, the teenager knows he’s going to save the day.
But we all know this isn’t that kind of book series.
The plot is starting to ramp up here, getting to the good/scary/cringey parts where you realize you’ve been running straight toward a wall and it’s not about to move . . .
When I wrote, and now read, these chapters I fluctuated between wishing I were so brave, and wincing because I knew what was coming. As a teacher, I point out “dramatic irony” to my students: when the audience knows something the characters don’t. It creates tension for the audience, but I hadn’t realized how much anxiety it could create for the writer!
A few times I had yelled at the laptop, “Don’t do it! You don’t know what’s coming!”
Then I thought, “Well, if it doesn’t happen, the plot goes nowhere. It HAS to happen. Write it!”
And then I thought, “Maybe it’s time to call a therapist. I’m yelling at my laptop far too often.”
And then I threw in some “reverse dramatic irony” (yeah, it’s a thing because I say it is) where my characters know something the audience doesn’t, so I feel it balances it out. (I never did call a therapist. I rather enjoy my psychosis.)
“Mal noticed it frequently took Administrators some time to realize that taxes—their income—actually came from real, everyday people. As senseless and bothersome as they usually were, the government really did need its citizenry.”
There will come a time when all will be corrected. But before that we’ve got a lot of insanity to wade through first. We’ll make it.
It’ll be ok . . . eventually.
“I can handle anything temporarily. And it’s all temporary.”
Sorry, I kind of neglected to update here, as you can tell.
My favorite lines from all these chapters are one that grow more true every day:
“Remember this moment when you first realized that the government can’t properly take care of people. In fact, that’s never been their responsibility. They’re supposed to keep our borders safe so that we can live as we wish. It’s our responsibility—yours and mine and Zenos’s and everyone else’s—to take care of each other.”
I’m sorry–I sometimes forget to post here that I’ve finished recording.
After I spend up to an hour for each chapter in my closet, sometimes even yelling at my clothes (a few of my pants are showing signs of being traumatized), then up to another hour editing each chapter to erase my mistakes (hopefully I don’t miss any–someday I need to make a bloopers video so you can hear me apologizing to my future editing self for my inability to say the word “bafflingly”), then upload each one to Youtube, I forget that I have one more step: to put them here as well!