In the following excerpt (from Chapter 9 of Ticket to Ride), having earlier described Morgan Blake, my male protagonist, as something of a philosopher and intellectual, I wanted to show a completely different side of him; the side connected to the ocean and the natural world. It’s important to me that he have this connection because a “life of the mind,” as it’s known in intellectual circles, must be balanced with a connection to the natural world. Otherwise we are all mind and no heart.
After Chapter 9, Morgan slips into a solitary life of the mind and spends the rest of the book in search of his heart. I hope you will enjoy this bit and I welcome any commentary you might have.
The Ticket to Ride Giveaway question of the week is:
At what bus stop did Paul McCartney and John Lennon meet for band practice in the early days of the Beatles? The person with the winning answer (posted on my blog as a comment) will receive a free book.
[From Chapter 9 of Ticket to Ride]
By the time an approaching squall had moved as close as the outer reefs Morgan had caught several waves and then decided that it was best to go in before the storm hit. Beyond the outer reefs the ocean had become a choppy white froth. However, close to shore there was a lull in the, until now, consistent sets of waves. Morgan waited patiently, feeling warm, clean, and clear. Then came another set of waves. He paddled over the first two and caught the third, knowing it would be the best of the set. It rose about two feet overhead as he dropped in. He stalled at the bottom, shifting his weight to the rear of his surfboard, and slipped slowly into the curl. He then stepped slightly forward and found perfect trim on the bending face of the wave. It folded over his head as he crouched, and he could hear the internal echo, sounding like the gushing of the primordial soup. From the beach it looked as if he had disappeared, and for a moment, the ocean seemed to embrace him.
It began to rain as he walked up the beach, past the old bunker, and toward town. By the time he reached the main street he could taste the salt as it dripped from his hair and down his face. The streets were wet and empty. Darkness was coming quickly as the declining sun had been smothered by the squall. I’ll check on Psalm he thought and when he reached the store he walked around to the back, stashed his surfboard underneath some week-old palm fronds, and as he turned toward the white house he noticed that the door to Psalm’s room was wide open.
The light of a candle flickered against the door and Morgan felt himself grow tense as he walked slowly toward it. Stopkeepmoving. Crossing the threshold he felt the tension grow stronger, resting on his chest, as if he was walking between two fence-posts on a moonless night, expecting to be caught by barbed wire. He entered the room. The air was infused with the pungent smell of raw sweat– Fearsweat, and when he turned to his right…