14 February 2022

new novel excerpt: song on the corner

Cormoran Lodge on Lake Kivu, Rwanda
A new chapter from my novel in progress has been published in Coastal Shelf as a novel excerpt. It's another piece that follows the expatriate doctors in Rwanda. 

Dr. Gregg Marcus has seniority at the Teaching Hospital since he's been in Kigali longer than any of the other American docs. But he's not himself lately and has stepped down from leadership as Chief of Staff. He is haunted by memories of home in Idaho. 

Should he leave Rwanda? What would become of his work at the Teaching Hospital? What becomes of a home once no one is left to live in it? 

--- (excerpt)

And don’t look at the sun. Bryce repeated the rules. It’s like 300 billion-billion mega- watts. Gregg was twelve. They’d cut class to watch the partial eclipse, and Bryce “borrowed” a welding shield from his shop class at the high school. They held the dark glass to the sky and took turns peering at the sun. The round, black shadow of the moon slid in from one side to scoop out the light, and the sun became a gold bowl that tipped up one side and rolled down the other.

No cheating. It’ll fry your retinas in an instant, Bryce said.

The danger made Gregg’s blood rush in his ears. It felt naughty or holy to stand on the edge of the canal behind the junior high school and feel the weight of the planet up through the soles of his feet.

You’ve never seen anything, until you’ve seen the sun through the rings of Saturn,
he quoted his favorite Saturday Afternoon Creature Feature.
Bryce laughed but not in a mean way. Whoa there, Melting Man. You’d sooner fall down a ladder and wake up dead than melt like a toasted cheese sandwich.

Gregg was no longer scared, and he never thought his brother wouldn’t always be there for him.

Read the whole story at Coastal Shelf: Song on the Corner

"And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars."

    ~ Shakespeare, from Romeo and Juliet 

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