Gathering a bundle of lilies and jasmine, Reno plucked their petals and piled them in his palm. He slunk toward the edge of the bed and waded his legs in the pool. No matter how much water poured into it, the pool didn’t overflow. The water itself didn’t bear any sensation to his body. It was neither warm or cold. Reno dumped the petals into the pool. Floating on top of the surface, they swirled as Reno lowered himself into the pool. He took several breaths before totally submerging himself in the glistening teal pool. The coil of thorns loosened its grip and relaxed itself as it slid down his forearm. The thorns expelled their reserves of blood into the water, streaks of diluted crimson entwined and compacted into ruby colored seeds. The waning light of the setting sun poured into the pool and clashed against the seeds. Reno reached for them and cradled them in his hands.
‘Conception’ is the first volume of Sci-Fi/Romance/Space Opera saga A Space Between Worlds, by J.D. Woodson. I won’t try to explain what it is myself, because the author has already done a far better job:
About A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception:
Songstress Shanti’s final performance is no different than any other. Gazing into the mirror, the Songstress laments her faceless curse. To hide her unsightliness, she dons a beautiful mask. She knows she doesn’t belong in the darkness. Her desire is to live in a world of eternal light, to be seen for who she truly is.
An enigmatic man who calls himself Avidia beckons Shanti, claiming to know how to conceive the world of light sleeping inside of her, and escape her current world of darkness, Cauraaha. Avidia poses the question that will be the key to her desire, as well as an unresolved pain:
“What is your first memory?”
Reno, a gentle florist, has his own stigma, a translucent coil of thorns wrapped around his arm, draining him of life at the utterance of the word “Promise”. Hidden away in his heart is the knowledge of a past he doesn’t wish to face, one that connects to Shanti, Avidia, and her curse.
A dual narrative of introspection and self-discovery, A Space Between Worlds eloquently questions the truths of life and death, timeless bonds, and regret through lyrical imagination, philosophy, surrealism, and a journey through the unconscious mind.
You have to admit it sounds intriguing, even if it isn’t what you usually read. I recommend it not just for fans of the genre, but also for writers who are just starting out – Woodson’s experimental use of plot and language can give you plenty of ideas. As always, you can decide what would work for you, what you would change, what you would avoid. No two writers are exactly alike, and that is as it should be.But who is J.D.Woodson?
J.D. Woodson was born Chicago, Illinois in 1992. He grew up in Palos Park, a quiet suburb southwest of Chicago. During his early years, J.D. gained a fondness towards poetry and continued to writing it through primary school and high school, winning small awards for his work. He would attend Columbia College Chicago with intent to major in poetry, however he shifted his focus and major to Fiction Writing due to his love for storytelling. After his sophomore year, he would take a leave of absence to study outside of the workshop method he was taught and gained experience as a ghostwriter which his projects spanned from fiction to non-fiction. To read more about J.D., you can visit him on his website.
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I’ll leave you with a second excerpt for the novel. You can see plenty more, including reviews and interviews, by clicking around the links above.
Your eyes see right through me; my voice is your haunting. I am without a body; you cannot embrace me. Once I dismiss myself, I will be rid of your amused and spiteful gazes.
Shanti’s fingertips scaled down the harp’s string meticulously. A host of stars were extinguished. Without their light, the faces of the audience were rendered unclear. Her fingers galloped up the strings swiftly. The dead stars rekindled with brilliance. Shafts of starlight glittered around the opera hall and exposed the patron’s likenesses vividly. There was one whose shone brighter than the stars. Shanti’s movement ceased. A pair of glassy eyes shined like the dawning sun, calling to her.
Shanti synched her breathing with the string’s vibration, scaling up and down The sky was set ablaze, but quickly faded to black. Focused and steady, the first string was plucked and a masterful cord ensued. A star, deep in the darkness, resonated and was pulled down to the earth. The Songstress’ voice was raised.
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