Book #7-Wormwood, Nevada

Wormwood, Nevada will be my second published book, through St. Martin's Press, hopefully sometime next year. It's about a young married couple who move to a central Nevada town called Wormwood. On the night of their arrival, a meteorite lands in the center of town and things get increasingly surreal after that.

I'm really excited about this one. It's basically what I did my entire year living in Boise. I churned out over 700 pages to end up with a 230 page novel. The whole project, with several working interruptions, spanned about two years, not counting the work I still need to do with my editor.

From Wormwood, Nevada:


Everybody laughed. Tyler grabbed his beer with his left hand, and his silver wedding band clinked against the glass. Clyde’s head spun as if he’d been slapped and his bleary eyes widened.
“You’re married.”
“Yep,” Tyler said. “Six years this past June.”
“How’s that going so far? Things still, you know, peaceable?”
“We’re doing alright,” Tyler said. “Hopefully this move will be good for us.”
“Here, here,” Merritt said. They all raised a glass and drank.
“So how did you two meet? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Sure,” Tyler said. “It was at a Cornhuskers’ game.”
“Cornhuskers?”
“The football team,” Merritt said. “The college football team. Shit, Clyde, how much have you had to drink?”
“Not enough,” Clyde said. “Go on, Tyler. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“It was the Homecoming Game. We were playing Texas and I was in the pep band. We won the game on a last second, thirty-five yard pass play. Memorial Stadium went crazy. It was like an 80,000-person stampede down to the field, a blur of red and white all around me. I lost my trumpet, but I didn’t care. The crowd swept me along and we flowed toward the end zone where the team had scored.

“I ended up almost below the goal post. A bunch of frat boys had already climbed the post and were doing their best to bring it down. The cheerleaders were there, too, cheering the frat boys on. The male cheerleaders began flipping the female cheerleaders into the air like potato chips flung into the mouth of a happy god, the happy god of Cornhusker football. Everyone was chanting, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” but I couldn’t take my eyes off the flying cheerleaders. The way the sunlight turned their hair golden as they flew into the air was so beautiful, it freaking broke your heart.”

Tyler paused and took a drink of beer.

“I don’t know how it happened, maybe the crowd got too packed, or the guy cheerleaders got sloppy, but one of the cheerleaders was thrown off-balance and I was the only one who noticed. I dove forward and caught her before she hit the ground. The cheerleader smiled and kissed my cheek, and, right there with the crowd cheering and clapping me on the back, I kissed her on the mouth, hard, and then we brought that goalpost to the ground. That was my wife. That was Anna.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just saw your pic! You're cute!

Blogagaard said...

oh god.

Blogagaard said...

blush

Jon Athmann said...

Super stoked about Wormwood!

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