Sneak Peak: Work-in-Progress of Draft 1 of “The Book of M”

So I had this idea, however unfounded it may be, that the “readership” of this blog (readership in “square quotes” because I know looking at my site statistics that using the word stretches its meaning somewhat) might have some passing interest in what I’m writing – what I’m actually working on. To that fanciful end, I’m going to, occasionally and as time allows, select and share a snippet of the oh-so-very-rough-draft of the code-titled “The Book of M” (I use that code-title because even though I do have an actual working title for the book, it’s not one I’m sold on, so the real title is more than a little TBD).

I expect to dance around the book a bit: by turns sharing more recent work from the book’s second half, on which I’m actively working, and from the book’s first half, most of which I wrote over the past seven years in spurts and starts.

Today’s snippet happens to come from the near the end of the first act (out of an unknown number of total “acts”). So, without further ado, I give you: “The Book of M”:


The center of the bridge was dominated by a large round wooden wheel attached to a chest-height metal column. Captain Valente held to the wheel’s extended spokes with a firm, steady grip. Nearby was another metal pedestal topped with a strange lever hinged to a semi-circle marked with words that felt unfamiliar to Isa.

But her eyes were drawn to the tall, wide, upward-sloping windows that formed the walls at the tip and front half of the wedge.

She was deaf to the chatter of the captain and crewman as she stepped unthinking toward those windows, her mouth agape, and staring out over the endless rolling dunes of yellow-white sands below and up into the cloudless blue skies beyond. To the east and north, short of the horizon, was a range of tree-lined hills.

“It’s…” She could not find words.

“It’s freedom,” Sidalto said.

She glanced at the captain. He gave her a flashing, toothy smile. He nodded toward the expansive view. “Up here, the world is for the taking.”

The Book of M, Scene 22: Above Desert Sands, by Stephen A. Watkins