All six of us have works in progress no one has read, except for a select few and certainly our mothers. You've been reading our posts for three years now, so we figure you must be getting familiar with our voices. How about our fictional voices?
Here's how the contest works: On our regular post days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for the next two weeks, we'll be posting a short excerpt from a work in progress, anonymously. That's right, your job is to guess which one of us wrote the passage, just from the sound of our voices. Give us your guess in the comments section. If you guess correctly, your name will be added to the prize drawing.
And what is the wonderful prize? Katy's husband, George, is a gifted sculptor. He has donated a $50 gift certificate toward one of his sculptures. You can see his work here. We can't promise the sculpture will be at your house for Christmas. That would have required much more forethought than six artist types could muster, but we can promise that you'll love George's work. Second and third places will win a hard copy of our cookbook, Novel Tips on Rice: What to Cook When You'd Rather be Writing.
Here are the rules:
1. One guess per post day. (You may play all six days. That's six chances to win a sculpture!)
2. Guesses will be accepted until 9:00 PM Pacific Time the day of the post.
3. Each correct guess wins you one chance in the drawing.
4. The winner will be announced on December 17, 2011.
Here is the second excerpt:
I carry the wrapped child in front of me, in the crook of my aching arm, his head above his curled feet, as if he were alive. As if he had ever been born, or named, or drew breath, or saw his dying mother’s eyes. As if she had ever seen his.
This is night work, and the mule beside me stumbles in the uneven, now unseen streets that only reveal shadow and character in the light of a doorway, here and there. All around our feet are what people throw away after a spectacle – torn banners, scraps of food, dropped, lost mementos.
Behind me on the creaking wagon are the remains, what I gather after the spectacle: torn things, fallen, saved, remembered.
When I first began this job, I could do it in the daylight. It was a curiosity to those who saw me, a woman who wore the robes of aristocracy and did the work of a ghoul. Most of those who knew me would not meet my eyes, or if they did, it was with a mixture of disgust and wonder. And later, some of them, with triumph; from behind secure windows, around impassable gates.
The first time I gained permission to bring the bodies back from the killing places, Cordelia began to strategize how to borrow a cart and donkey. Many of our friends still lived and had animals then, and she still had a bit of her father’s money left.
“We’ll need a big wagon,” she calculated, counting without knowing it on her crooked knuckles, imagining that the aftereffects of imperial entertainment would necessitate strong beasts of burden, perhaps several trips with several wagons.
She wasn’t thinking straight, I should have seen that. There is little left when wild lions are finished with a human being.
I lined the wagon with pieces of old goat-hair tents. People bring me the ripped flaps, snagged beckets, unsalvageable vestibules. When my needle cannot resurrect them, they leave the raveling remnants with me.
It's time to guess which of us wrote this passage in the comments section. Good luck!