In my last post, I introduced the Aurelius siblings, and today I thought I’d say some more about the actual book they inhabit.
The Other Half of Everything is set partially in our world in a vaguely modern time… I haven’t decided the exact location. But there is also a good deal of hopping over to fantasy worlds, which I’m very much looking forward to. In spite of what may sound like somewhat dark story-arcs for Teague and his siblings, I actually intend for the book to be fairly whimsical and humorous.
Although the Aurelius siblings are the ones who I’ve introduced, the main character of The Other Half of Everything is Meridian, who is very different than I am, and is going to be very interesting to write. I’m currently thinking of writing the book in first-person from Meridian’s point of view (which would make this my first book that wasn’t in third-person) but I haven’t decided yet. I think of the book as being primarily Meridian and Teague’s story.
Here’s a little (okay, long-ish) blurb-like bit about the story, and then, to get a further peek into it, some snippets, yay!
I also have a PINTEREST BOARD for it.
All Meridian Brownley wanted was a job to help pay for college. Instead, she found an unwanted adventure when she became the housekeeper of the top floor of the enormous old house she had lived in all her life.
Everything she found there was unexpected (except the dust). Mr. Stottleshaw was not at all the white-haired old man who everyone along the street had not seen go down to his mailbox in thirteen years and was vaguely suspected of being a magician (which was nonsense). There was nothing very glamorous or mysterious or magical at all about the upper floor, although there was certainly an unusual amount of papers, and even larger quantities of frustration to be had.
Meridian avoided writers like the plague, which was unfortunate, as that was what Mr. Stottleshaw turned out to be — although that did not even seem to be his name. He was in fact Teague Aurelius, a young and extremely absentminded writer, who sometimes got lost in his stacks of books and papers, forest of sticky-notes, and armada of looking-glasses. He had very odd relatives who would drop in at the most inopportune times, and a bad habit of forgetting to eat unless Meridian cooked for him. And an even worse habit of disappearing for days.
Until one time, he took Meridian with him.
“Aren’t you going to answer that?” I asked him on the fourth ring.
I paused, somewhat shaken at his flatness of tone. “But… if someone’s trying to get a hold of you…” I began.
He didn’t even look up, but interjected absently, “If they really want me to pay attention they can email, or text. Or write a letter,” he added as an afterthought.
I never wrote or typed anything if I could say it instead, and found it annoying when people insisted on texting and especially not answering their phones. “What if they want to talk to you?”
“Then they can come to the door,” he said, unperturbed and still not looking up. “I answer that. Most of the time.”
Eventually, after the phone had rung repeatedly at intervals and been ignored by Teague every time, I lost my patience and answered it, looking directly at him so he would get the hint. “Hello? Teague’s residence—how many he not help you?”
I felt like I had cleaned a dozen already and was not looking forward to the nightmare of who-knew how many more.
“So that I won’t forget I exist,” Teague said.
I eyed his face, waiting for him to smile at his own joke. And then I realized he was being serious.
“Well… What are you writing?” I tried.
“Novels, naturally,” he said, in a way that seemed to imply that there was positively nothing else in the world that could be written.
I noticed that he had used a plural. “How many?” I asked.
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” he said unconcernedly. “As many as want to be written, plus several that don’t.”
“Thank you again.”
“I am not complimenting you.”
Teague smiled his absentminded smile—I was beginning to wonder if he had any other kind—and answered calmly, “Maybe you don’t think you are, but you may be wrong. When two people think opposite things about something and one person says something derogatory about the other… it can amount to a compliment. Compliments are slippery things.”
His logic was equally slippery, and, I thought, inaccurate, but I could not figure it out enough to argue. I shook my head and gave up. “I will never understand you.”
Teague’s vague smile widened as he walked dreamily to the next room, saying, “And that is the highest compliment of all.”