WIPpet Wednesday: Cannonball (The Journal Pt. 2)

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Happy Hump Day!

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP (Work in Progress). The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. For example, today I have 8 paragraphs, for the month of August (can you tell that I’m tired?)

Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

My current WIP is titled Together We Will Live Forever (extremely tentative). Olivia is a neuroscience grad student and an aspiring artist. Matt works at the art gallery and lives with his daughter, Zelda.

Office desk table

This scene follows shortly after last week‘s: While babysitting Zelda, Olivia finds Matt’s journal in his closet. Because he is a private person, and Olivia doesn’t know how to ask him about his past, she convinces herself to take a peek. Matt catches her redhanded. They argue and say some hurtful stuff. This is the last bit of their argument:

There is that point in the middle of the argument when you have to make a decision. You are a cannonball shooting into the sky, and the smart thing to do is to quit while you’re ahead, concede victory, apologize. And it’s hard because when you’re a cannonball trying to turn yourself around in mid-air, you got to defy the laws of physics to slow yourself down.

But you don’t do that, because it’s damn hard to defy physics. You want to keep going, because of all that pent-up energy, all that momentum, all that hurt that you want to fling back at the other person. Even when you know that if you keep going, it’s going to crash and decimate everything you’ve ever built.

Olivia knows that she should shut her trap and walk out of the room, she knows she needs to take the words and stuff them back into her big fat mouth, because heck, it’s probably not even half true anyway.

But those words, they slide so easy off her tongue.

You see, when you are a cannonball, you don’t stop.

“You know your problem, Matt?” She says. “You don’t trust people. How can you have meaningful relationships with anyone-”

No,” He says. It’s the first time that his voice rises. The silence that follows can cut string.

“I just don’t trust you.” He says.

*Mike drop*

OK guys, confession time: This scene is kinda/semi inspired by true experience. Back in the high school days, I had a secret blog that my friend stumbled upon. To give her credit, my blog WAS a public blog, it’s just that no one was reading it, so I thought that it was “secret” and treated it like a diary. (Lesson learned there.) Anyway, when I found out that she read it, I flipped out on her, she moved to a different lunch table, and we didn’t talk that summer.

To give this story a happy-ish ending: It was super awkward at first but we did go back to being friends. We never talked about that blog again.

Have you ever stumbled upon someone else’s journal or diary? What would you do if you did?

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10 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Cannonball (The Journal Pt. 2)

  1. AM says:

    Oh, wow. Yeah, that’s so very real. First, I like that she messed up this way and dug through his private stuff. Second, I think his reaction to it is completely realistic. I’m weary of the “doesn’t trust anyone” trope, and having it twisted to reflect “doesn’t trust a specific person” is a lot more realistic. It doesn’t sound like she’s done anything to truly earn his trust. I like how she’s trying to cover for her mess-up by making an accusation toward him. Short version, this is a terrific snippet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fallon says:

    Oh, ouch. Yeah, that’s going to hurt. I like the comparison to a cannonball(especially “And it’s hard because when you’re a cannonball trying to turn yourself around in mid-air, you got to defy the laws of physics to slow yourself down.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. debbiemcgowan says:

    Wow, I love this. No, I wouldn’t read someone’s journal because people (family) read my diary when I was a teenager and I’ve never recovered, so I know exactly where Matt is coming from here. The cannonball analogy is brilliant! I love all of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jlgfellers says:

    Reading something so private without permission is such a trust violation. But the cannonball metaphor you used… wow! I absolutely loved it. I’m not generally one who likes fiction written in present tense, but this… wow again!

    Liked by 1 person

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