Novel Excerpt--Ourselves and Others

OaOgraphic Good news! I've recently finished Part I of my work in progress, Ourselves and Others. Woohoo! As you can probably imagine, it feels pretty awesome to reach a milestone like that, even though I'm only about 1/3 of the way through. I'm riding on this great, energetic sense of accomplishment right now and it's really helping me write. There's definite motivation to keep on pushing through and finish this thing. Since it's been such a good thing for me, I thought I would celebrate by posting a quick excerpt for my followers to read. Check it out.

To read the description of Ourselves and Others, visit the "Novels" page of my website.



“Time to wake up. I need to ask you some questions.”

I prop myself up on one elbow, rubbing sleep from squinting eyes. There's a thin nurse in my room—one I haven't seen before with rich, dark skin and a black bob. Flipping on a lamp, she smiles at me—just a quick smile, but a nice one all the same. “What time is it?” I ask her as she pulls the desk chair to my bedside.

“Seven.” She sits down and scratches letters on a clipboard. “How’d you sleep?”

The real answer is “not long enough,” but through a mouth dry like cotton, I simply mumble, “Fine.”

“Any nightmares?” the nurse asks.

“Nope,” I yawn.

“How’s your depression on a scale of one to ten?”

“I don’t know… Maybe a one? Two?”

Surprised, she looks up from her clipboard and says, “Really? Great. Glad to hear it. Now… Um…” She pauses to find her place. “Oh. During the night did you have any suicidal thoughts or consider harming yourself in any way?”

Shaking my head, I answer, “No, I didn’t.”

“And this morning so far? Any suicidal thoughts?”


Resolutely she lays her clipboard on her lap, leans back with crossed arms and gives me a good, hard look. She seems to be trying to figure me out—like I’m an equation whose numbers don’t quite add up. Finally she says, “If you don’t mind me asking, Miss Juniper… What exactly are you doing here?”

Shrugging, I quip back, “Tell you what: if you find out, let me know.”

The nurse laughs. It’s a soft yellow sound that crinkles the corners of her eyes and shakes her earrings. They swing back and forth for several seconds after the laugh stops, catching lamplight and tiny reflections of her coffee-colored skin. “I’ll do that,” she says. “You go ahead and get dressed, then head to the dispensary for your pills. Breakfast is in fifteen minutes.”

“Thanks,” I say as she stands and walks across the room. I don’t know if it’s the laugh or the fact that she hasn’t looked at me like I’m a liar yet, but I can’t help it; I like her. Before she can exit, I call, “Hey, what’s your name?”

The question surprises her. She stares at me like no one has ever asked for her name before. Maybe they haven’t. Maybe she’s been working too long amongst people who can’t even remember their own names or who are too trapped inside themselves to think of anyone else.  Up ‘til now she might have been just another part of the body of St. Clair’s, one of many limbs in scrubs. She smiles, her eyes crinkling again. “Denise. You need anything, I’ll be here ‘til two.”


That's it for now! I hope you enjoyed it!