Tagged: dakota

Manuscript Mondays – Lunch Date.

I’m backtracking a bit. Deal.

* * *

Marie hurried through the double doors and nearly walked straight into Dakota, who quickly grabbed her shoulders to prevent a straight-on collision. They stared at each other briefly in surprise before Dakota broke into a wide smile.

“Couldn’t get enough of me?” he asked jokingly. “I’ve never had a stalker, but it’s pretty flattering of you.”

Marie was thrown off guard, and blinked.

“No, this is my office building,” she explained, jerking her thumb back towards the Everline skyscraper. He looked up at it instinctively, following her motion.

“And of course I’d be stalking you, who else would I stalk?” she added coyly, a beat too late.

He shot her a sideways glance.

“Out for lunch?” he asked innocently.

She nodded.

“Care to join me?” he added.

“That was the plan,” she shot back. He chuckled and started walking again, Marie tagging along.

“Where do you work?” she asked, to fill the silence.

“You know the old library down on King street?” he asked. Marie didn’t, but nodded anyway. “I work the special editions section, you know, all the really old or rare stuff. Cataloguing mostly, but some research stuff. It’s pretty fun.”

“So what are you doing in this part of town? King street’s nowhere close to here.”

“Oh, running some errands,” Dakota said vaguely.

He stopped in front out of a small restaurant with Vera Jon’s painted above the door in a pink that stood out from the garrish green door frame.

“How’s this?” he asked, looking down at her for a reaction.

“Here?” she blurted out incredulously.

“Why not?”

She shrugged. Because I’ve never heard of this place? Because no one important probably ever comes here? Because hippies smell weird?

Dakota led her into the small restaurant, which had a bunch of small wooden tables packed between its crumbly brick walls. The chairs and tableware were mismatched and brightly colored, and several surrealist charcoal drawings hung on the otherwise unadorned brick walls. It had the air of a coffee shop, complete with several college students poring over piles of books and a shy couple out on their first or second date.

The perky hostess, who wore a brightly colored scarf wrapped around her weave and had different colored fingernails, led them to a back table between a student reading Shakespeare and a group of middle aged women clearly on lunch break. She handed them each an organic looking menu with Vera Jon written brazenly across the front, told them her name was Shay, and left them to her own devices.

They flicked open the menus and read in silence for a while. The restaurant was advertised as a ‘sandWhich’ shop, and the menu featured 3 or 4 pages of creative options. All could be eaten on gluten-free bread or as a wrap, and all could be halved and eaten with either a soup or a salad. The most expensive was 10 dollars and had lamb, avocado, basil, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and pear slices between its two slices of challah.

“Ham and turkey on multigrain with cranberries, sliced apples, mayo, and cheddar cheese,” Dakota mused.

“Bacon and marmalade on pumpernickel?”

“Grilled cheese on country white with pesto, pine nuts, sundried tomatos, bacon, and garlic paste.”

Marie giggled.

“That sounds simultaneously terrible and amazing,” she said, looking at Dakota over the top of her menu.

“Most of these sound simultaneously terrible and amazing,” he replied. Marie nodded.

“But in a good way.”

“In a good way.”

Manuscript Mondays – Café.

Marie hurried through the double doors and nearly walked straight into Dakota, who quickly grabbed her shoulders to prevent a straight-on collision. They stared at each other briefly in surprise before Dakota broke into a wide smile.

“Couldn’t get enough of me?” he asked jokingly. “I’ve never had a stalker, but it’s pretty flattering of you.”

Marie was thrown off guard, and blinked.

“No, this is my office building,” she explained, jerking her thumb back towards the Everline skyscraper. He looked up at it instinctively, following her motion.

“And of course I’d be stalking you, who else would I stalk?” she added coyly, a beat too late.

He shot her a sideways glance.

“Out for lunch?” he asked innocently.

She nodded.

“Care to join me?” he added.

“That was the plan,” she shot back. He chuckled and started walking again, Marie tagging along.

“Where do you work?” she asked, to fill the silence.

“You know the old library down on King Street?” he asked. Marie didn’t, but nodded anyway. “I work the special editions section, you know, all the really old or rare stuff. Cataloguing mostly, but some research stuff. It’s pretty fun.”

“So what are you doing in this part of town? King Street’s nowhere close to here.”

“I started a small publishing company a little while ago, and the office is just down the street from you.”

“That’s ambitious of you.”

Dakota shrugged.

“I suppose. I just wish I had more publicity. Business is slow.”

He stopped in front out of a small restaurant with Vera Jon’s painted above the door in a pink that stood out from the garrish green door frame.

“How’s this?” he asked, looking down at her for a reaction.

“Here?” she blurted out incredulously.

“Why not?”

She shrugged, swallowing the words Because no one else will be in here and smiling.

Dakota led her into the small restaurant, which had a bunch of small wooden tables packed between it’s crumbly brick walls. The chairs and tableware were mismatched and brightly colored, and several surrealist charcoal drawings hung on the otherwise unadorned brick walls. It had the air of a coffee shop, complete with several college students poring over piles of books and a shy couple out on their first or second date.

The perky hostess, who wore a brightly colored scarf wrapped around her hair and had different colored fingernails, led them to a back table between a student reading Shakespeare and a group of middle aged women clearly on lunch break. She handed them each an organic looking menu with Vera Jon written brazenly across the front, told them her name was Shay, and left them to her own devices.

They flicked open the menus and read in silence for a while. The restaurant was advertised as a ‘Sand – Which’ shop, and the menu featured 3 or 4 pages of creative options. All could be eaten on gluten-free bread or as a wrap, and all could be halved and eaten with either a soup or a salad. The most expensive was 16 dollars and had lamb, avocado, basil, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and pear slices between its two slices of challah.

“Ham and turkey on multigrain with cranberries, sliced apples, mayo, and cheddar cheese,” Dakota mused.

“Bacon and marmalade on pumpernickel?”

“Grilled cheese on country white with pesto, pine nuts, sundried tomatos, bacon, and garlic paste.”

Marie giggled.

“That sounds simultaneously terrible and amazing,” she said, looking at Dakota over the top of her menu.

“Most of these sound simultaneously terrible and amazing,” he replied. Marie nodded.

“But in a good way.”

“In a good way.”

 

Manuscript Mondays – Rowing.

Here’s a really random scene about Dakota rowing? I don’t know. Go with it.

***

Dakota opened the door of his car and got out. The early morning air was thick with dew and fog, so thick he could taste the heaviness in it. He ignored it, breathing deeply. The rain that was predicted for later would clear out the air.

The misty light made everything look somewhat hazy, but the color of the grass and the leaves on the trees was a spectacular lush green, even though the tree trunks had receded into grey masses that had barely any weight or substance. It was as if the greenery had sucked up all the surrounding density so that while everything else was a hazy nothingness, the greenery was almost overwhelmingly thick.

The boathouse itself was transformed into an almost ethereal form, looming mistily from behind several large and bushy maple trees. The faded, peeling white paint and the aging wood behind it blended into a soft grey. The gutter, which by day was a useless rusted thing hanging to the building’s columns by a single screw, had become an interesting object, alive with dripping dew in the persistent wet. It sparkled somewhat dimly as Dakota walked by it, catching rays of light that had somehow made it past the thick cloud cover.

As he unlocked the boathouse and pushed back the heavy wooden door – the slide it was attached to was rusty and complained noisily about the intrusion – he couldn’t help the sudden rush of excitement he always felt about going out on the water. He was especially fond of rowing alone. Dakota had loved the bustle of his boathouse back home when he was on the team in high school. That boathouse had been far newer and more state of the art than this one, which was really a decrepit old house that had had its garage emptied out for boats. Coming here felt more like a sacred and private ritual than an experience to be shared with teammates. Sure, he knew other rowers here, and had gone out a few times in a double with a guy friend from work, but he preferred having the place to himself.

Dakota signed out a single and picked out oars, carefully laying them down on the dock within reach, but out of the way. He went back to the boathouse and took a deep breathe before hoisting the boat he had picked up and over his head and walking it carefully down to the dock. He flipped it and put it gently into the water with one practiced motion and secured his oars, before quickly running back to the house and locking the door back up. That was the most nerve-wracking part of rowing alone; there was no one to hold the boat for him while he locked up.

It only took him a few strokes to bring himself up to a good pace, body moving fluidly, oars slipping seamlessly in and out of the water, flicking horizontally at the end of a stroke and hovering just over the surface as he moved forward to take another stroke. The single moved forward without jerking, the clean wake a sign of good rhythm. Every few strokes he cast a glance over his shoulder, watching his point.

Within five minutes the inlet widened into the lake and Dakota set a course along the west shoreline, keeping in within sight so he didn’t get lost in the fog. It hovered over the lake in dense clouds, and as he rowed through them, it became harder to see long distances. On the horizon, the water blended with the sky seamlessly, the shoreline impossible to see through the haze. Dakota felt like he was rowing amongst the clouds.

Manuscript Mondays- Marie.

Okay internet. So if you read my last Manuscript Mondays post, you know that this whole writing a book thing isn’t really going so well. 50 pages by March 15th is starting to look less and less like a realistic goal. However, I’m not exactly one for realism.

I had a coffee break with my writing mentor A last Wednesday and he assured me that my work was not as bad as I think that it is. He is essentially the Supreme Ruler of Making Me Calm Down About My Writing Related Insecurities. We workshopped for about an hour about plot, and he told me I have something decent to work from, which made me feel much better about everything. Side note- last week was apparently my mental crisis breakdown week. Sorry, readers (not sorry).

So let’s get into the nitty gritty of it, then, and we’ll se where we end up.

Our main character, Marie Everard, is a bit of a (I wanted to use a more PG term but I can’t think of one so I’m just gonna go with it) bitch. The plot revolves around her rise to fame and her ultimate downfall. Marie is, at heart, someone who has never gotten past the concept of popularity that was so important to her in high school and throughout college, and she seeks to be the center of attention at every turn, no matter the cost. During the course of the book, she commits three awful acts (no spoilers!) to try to solidify her status in society, and these acts, in turn, backfire on her and almost cost her her friends, her job, and her life.

Marie has two best friends, Alex and Kate, who have been there at her side since middle school. They are beginning to try to move on past Marie’s deluded conceptions of society, but are having trouble untangling themselves from their roles in Marie’s life.

Also central to the story are Ryder and Dakota, who are antitheses to each other and appear in the story in almost direct contrast to each other. Ryder is the famous person that Marie wants to be. He’s handsome, charming, and always within snapping distance of the paparazzi, but underneath that shiny visage is a twisted, dark and abusive person. He is always slipping between these two different personalities. Dakota, however, is a reclusive librarian and publisher, intellectual, self made, and always honest. Marie mistakes him for someone else and is initially turned off by his quiet nature, which is, in her eyes, bizarre.

So that’s my checkin for this week, I guess. I’m still not sure if March 15th is going to happen, but if it’s not, I’ll know by next Monday for sure.