★ Read the first 15 pages of Hardy by Ngozi ★

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B325WSqAabYfb2ZmR2lPeTJQalk/view

Warning: language, sex, violence, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, homophobic language, causal misogyny, boys-being-boys, liberal use of hockey slang, only 15 pages, finished.

Like I mentioned earlier on this blog, Hardy marked the beginning of my fascination with the world of hockey. It took 3 months and 9.5 drafts to write, along with a mound of interviews, hours of documentaries, and late nights in the library with hockey literature—autobiographies, ethnographies, whatever I could get my grubby bender hands on. When it was done and submitted to my professor for a grade, I was left with the knowledge of hockey and a sketch of a small blonde boy looking afraid of being on the ice.

I’m only posting the first 15 pages of Hardy because (1) I still want to revise it uurrggggh and (2) who knows? I might sell it one day.

In these short 15 pages, you’ll notice a billion similarities between Hardy and Check,Please! The House is very much the predecessor of The Haus. Malkov’s voice sounds suspiciously like a certain B. Knight’s. It takes place at a school called Samwell, though the hockey team of Hardy and the hockey team of Check, Please! are really only alike in name. One team is wildly homophobic, and the other is…non-threatening.

But, to me, in comparing Hardy and Check,Please!, it is most interesting to look at the protagonists Chris Einhardt and Eric Bittle. They are diametric opposites and I have no idea how Bitty developed from (or in rebellion to?) Hardy. Eric Bittle is a small, compassionate, talkative southern belle who has a high emotional IQ, and will fix you a slice of pie while asking you about your day. Chris Einhardt is very tall and very quiet and very dumb. He speaks with his fists and has two lobes in his meat-brain—one for hockey and one for less important things. But without Hardy, there would be no Bitty…and no Ransom and Holster…and no Shitty and Lardo…or Jack Zimmermann or anything else.

So it all kind of started with Hardy.

And it still hasn’t ended. I swear…I just need….a solid month, that’s all I swear…to tweak Vera’s character. And to make Joe a little meaner. And to make Hardy’s family situation better contribute to the plot…and oh god my typo problem…and I could probably rewrite all the hockey scenes…I think I finally got the hang of icing….

Happy Holidays!
Ngozi

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