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  • Writer's pictureJason Haskins

Catching a glimpse of latest work in progress, Through the End of Time

Highway in Nevada with snow-covered fields and a blue sky with sun shining through a cluster of clouds

Placing pen to paper and fingers to keyboard is taking center stage in 2024.

While there has been free time assigned to movies (Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó and The Last Repair Shop, both Oscar-nominated documentary short films), television (True Detective: Night Country and Fleishman is in Trouble), and reading (Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge and Hollywood Black by Donald Bogle), focus has been maintained in other areas. (For full lists of what I've been watching and reading, follow me on Letterboxd and Goodreads.)

Alley Repertory Theater is busy prepping with their final show of their 2023-24 season, Boulevard of Bold Dreams by LaDarrion Williams. I have been grateful to again providing dramaturgy work for this show. This dynamic story is about the night Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for her performance in Gone with the Wind. McDaniel was the first Black artist to win an Academy Award. I have loved researching the history of Black Hollywood and this is definitely a play not to be missed.

Watching college basketball is a main staple of my calendar. Both men's and women's programs for the Boise State Broncos are doing well and I've been writing about both over on The Journey of Now blog.

I entered the year intent on finishing drafts of three bigger writing projects. A new full-length play that has now reached the halfway point of draft number one. A new youth adult novella, set in the same world as Of Snow Forts and Santa, with the same characters.

And the third is a novel, Through the End of Time, mentioned in the hallowed pages of this website once before. Today, an excerpt of which will appear below.

Through the End of Time

One sinner's journey to save existence... and beyond.

The idea for this novel stretches back almost 25 years. Words and sentences were scrawled out in earnest in college classes, lost in my imagination instead of paying attention to lectures (oops). Ideas would pop now and then, years would pass, pages would be written, and then pushed again into a binder.

This routine played out far too often, choosing to be patient and let the ideas come to me rather than force them into frustration. Research was needed, too, as the story expanded and it was only within the last two years in which I found consistency in writing this project.

Dust. Stalling. Time passes (or, if you're Al Stewart, Time Passages).

Photo of Newsweek magazine November 1999 and handwritten notes on white paper

In December of 2023, I managed to finally finish part one of this book. Roughly 50 days into 2024, I have written four chapters and picked up steam in this last week. Unlike my previous books and self-publication, I will likely be looking for representation and traditional publishers for this book, at least in the beginning. That being said, let's tease this out a little with the first page of the book.

*Warning: Some strong language

Night crawlers are interesting, little creatures. Pink, slimy bodies navigate through wet soil. These disgusting organisms – guardians of the underworld – live in dirt most of their short, pitiful lives. Then, one day, thanks to a glorious godsend from above, rain pours down. The torrential onslaught destroys their homes. Many are left stretching in vain to reach their former homes, only to be left inches short of their haven. A sun beats down, drying their bodies to a crisp. In the end, these worms have experienced a deliberate, often pain-free life.

You know what, though? Worms are content. These things, these solitary beings, are happy with their tiny insignificant lives. Is this a fact? Truth be told, I have no way of emotionally knowing how worms feel but I swear to fucking God these damned night crawlers enjoy life. No worries in the free world, short as their adventures are.

I am a night crawler by nature; a creature who desires muck over sunlight. Worms and I, we are one in the same. I, too, live a life in dirt. That’s the affectionate name I have given my living quarters, anyhow. Broken windows, a barely working toilet, and a three-week expired loaf of bread comprise the entirety of my existence. I do have running water from the sink, although the last time I checked, the liquid was a brown color, resembling something you’d find in a septic tank rather than the sparkling glory of a natural spring. It’s as if someone built my faucet’s pipes and purposefully tapped them directly into the sewage system. The bread, too, was the same color as my water. Neither of these detriments bothered me anymore. A man gets use to these riches after a while. What bothers me most is the bread was purchased from a supermarket chain and at a cost of over six dollars. Talk about a rip-off. I don’t shop there much. A gift to myself, at the time. Normally, I take myself downtown and buy my bread for 99 cents.

Alone, sitting in the corner of my single room paradise on this dark night, my body shivers. Wind howls outside with loud ferocity, whipping bent blinds against the sill. The window is broken and won’t shut, allowing wind to send a chill into my lovely abode. My weight is down to 140 pounds. When you factor in my six-foot-three frame you can correctly assume I get cold even on the warmest of days. These last few months, when staring into the mirror, I resemble the Crypt Keeper. You know, that creepy skeleton who hosted Tales from the Crypt? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the drugs messing with the synapses of my brain causing me to think this.

Thanks for stopping by. Be bold. Be kind.

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