Critique me!

Okay, I’ve started the sequel for the umpteenth time. I’m going to post the first couple of pages here, just to see what folks think.

Some challenges to writing a “sequel”: You have to remind those who read the first book and explain to any potential new readers what is going on without boring those who read the first book, all while capturing enough interest to compel further reading. ACK! It’s hard. Which is why I’ve had many false starts and abandoned beginnings.

Hell, who am I kidding? I’m the queen of abandoned writings. LOL.

Without further ado, the first page or two of the still unnamed sequel to Dreams and Hypotheticals.


Emma looked around the cinder block bedroom of her top story apartment. It wasn’t a great place to live, but it would have to do. It was certainly close to campus. Closer than Cash Hall, the dorm her mother had called the “Ted Bundy Suite” when she and Celia had gone to summer music camp back in their high school days. Hopefully, there would be less roommate drama than she had experienced in the sublease she rented over the summer. So far, the worst thing about Nellie was her collection of stuffed cats. Some of them weren’t bad, but the ones in floral dresses with sunbonnets triggered bad memories of childhood trips to Hee Haw Village.

Emma thought back to moving day just the year before. How different, and yet the same it all seemed. The Tallahassee heat and humidity were unchanging. The sense of new adventures to come was still there, though perhaps not as intense in her sophomore year.

There were still so many questions in the air.

When she entered her freshman year at Florida State University, there was that impending sense that the precognitive dreams she had been having were leading up to something. But when the dreams were realized, life had become no less cryptic. Why even have precognitive dreams about someone if your brain doesn’t allow you to make the connection between dream person and real life person until you are in over your head? When she met Robert, she had known there was something about him that put her on edge.

It still seemed so odd that the dream in question happened the night she met Owen, when she was attending summer music camp, back in her high school days. The threads were too tangled to make sense.

Over the past summer, she had had too much time on her hands. Time to write pages of a book she wasn’t sure she would ever finish, time to realize that she was uncertain of her major in music, time to listen to Rachmaninoff and Brahms and pretend she was trying to forget Robert.

Somehow, she couldn’t. It didn’t help that Owen would talk about Robert every time they met. And the odd, trance-like behavior had continued over the summer. It had started in the spring – Owen would go silent, then he would start talking in a voice that was just different. All of that could be written off as Owen being Owen – he was always an odd one. Except that when it had started last spring, he had somehow known things he

Was it just coincidence? Owen touching her in the exact same spot Robert had, with just the same amount of pressure… Owen talking about police lights the night that Robert was in Atlanta almost getting arrested… Weird things that she could and would have written off, had the entire affair with Robert not been so bizarre to begin with.

They met in Robert’s dorm room, the fall of their freshman year. James had goaded Emma into asking Robert her “hypothetical question.”

“This is a hypothetical question, not an offer, would you sleep with me?”

“It would depend on how many beers I had.”

It was not the worst answer she had ever received. Emma had been asking the question for over a year before that night, and had never felt the inexplicable reaction she felt to Robert’s response.

She tried to write him off that night, only to keep running into him in the coming weeks, and, despite any intentions she had to the contrary, feeling somehow drawn to him.

It had ended in the spring, and in such a way that Emma should have moved on by now.

Except for Owen and his prodding. Owen, and the fact that she still somehow struggled to let go.

I’m thinking in circles. I need to figure out, once and for all, if it was real or some product of my over active imagination.

She had a plan. She just needed a few days worth of classes to arm herself with the necessary information to perform the test.

Unpacking a few personal items, Emma placed a stuffed animal of her own next to the cat Nellie called “Road Kill.” Nutsy, a stuffed vulture from Disney’s Robin Hood, gazed at the squashed looking animal. Much better, she thought.

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