Saturday, July 24, 2021

WeWriWa: A New Project Begins . . .

A new WIP was born while away last week at Lake Michigan with three author friends. In our rented house, without any distractions (excepted for a planned day trip to Lake Michigan and one of its very fine breweries/restaurants), I’d expected to be elbow deep into the story by the time we packed up to return to our daily lives. Here’s me hanging my head with only a Prologue and the first two pages to show for it. And then, a weeklong visit from my grandguy. No way I’ll feel guilty about sitting in a theatre with Vin Diesel and the F&F gang, going to the zoo to feed mosquitoes, spending a day in Lansing’s quaint Old Towne shopping and dining, or even watching Supernatural reruns for the __th time with him. But now, no more excuses. It’s back to work time with this first look at the second book in my as yet unnamed romantic suspense series.

They sprinted along the edge of the road, three young girls with hands laced over their heads against a long overdue downpour. Their laughter mingled with the sound of raindrops pelting dirt as hard as concrete. Bookbags flopped against their backs in time with racing footsteps.

They didn’t hear the vehicle’s approach over the rumbling thunder until it was almost upon them. Startled, the three leapt as one into the dry grasses on the shoulder as a cargo van rattled past, muffler growling like the heavens above. It slowed to a stop just ahead of where they stood frozen as startled fawns. Backup lights flashed on as the vehicle slowly rolled backwards until abreast of them.

When the side window rolled down, a strange man leaned out, the expression on his pale face one of concern.

“Are you girls okay?” he yelled above the storm’s mounting fury. “Didn’t mean to give you a fright.”

Looking forward to your comments to get me excited about this new project! And to seeing what you’ve been up to!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

WeWriWa: Read to Me! . . . AN UNTARNISHED HERO

When I was a preschooler, I was always eager to have my mom read to me. And when she did, a magical story would unfold. That pre-lights out ritual taught me an important lesson: Words and imagination create a doorway to another world, one you can visit any time you open a book.

I was reminded of that lesson while struggling to get through a final edit of my W-I-P. When going over the document, I found that all I was doing was making changes, making it different but not better. With the keyboard in front of me, I couldn’t keep myself from playing with the words on the page. Eager to get on to a new project, I came up with an idea while the family was away for the afternoon. Instead of reading what was on the page, I let my computer read the words to me. I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, and let the story unfold while listening. Eureka!! I was finally able to turn off that internal editor and discovered that my work was done. I’d finished the story I wanted others to read. Here’s a snippet . . .

“You are the only woman I will ever love, Willamina Redbone. That’ll be true ‘til the day I die.”

His abrupt confession wiped the playfulness from her mood. For a long moment, she studied his expression, seeking some chink in his sincerity. Finding none, she swallowed hard then gripped his face between her palms to challenge, “Prove it to me, Jim,” and hauled him down to her lips.

Their kiss expressed everything recent conversations hadn’t touched upon: The tortured longing, the aching loneliness, the desperation of need and lust and fear easing down to pure, heart-stripping devotion. Pausing only when they grabbed for breath, they leaned brow to brow, eyes closed.

“Need more convincing?” he whispered, voice low and gruff.

“Yes, I do, for as long as you can keep the conversation going.”

His eyes opened, stare locking on hers. “Even if it takes ‘til daybreak?”

“Even if.”

“Well then,” he drawled, “I’d best get started.”

About that new project . . .

I am so excited to be escaping for a 5-day keyboard retreat with three writer friends a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ve rented a two-story house with a patio and grill and lots of separate writing spaces. Of course, our Michigan weather has decided to turn cold and wet but that will keep us working instead of lingering at the lake. And if those clouds break, meandering along the shoreline, listening to the waves, is a wonderful balm to the imagination. Hopefully, I’ll have new words to share in the near future! As well as pictures.

Sorry to have missed the last few weekends. I’ve been out of town and out of time. But now I’m ready to settle in and get work done. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

IWSG: When They Pry my Cold Dead Fingers from the Keys!

Our Insecure Writers Support Group’s optional question for July is thought provoking: “What would make you quit writing?”

All of the road blocks that come to mind, I’ve already run into during my 30+ years as a published author (not to mention those that came before that first contract). To name a few of those Things That Want to Make You Quit:
  • Rejections – Check.
  • Stalled projects – Check.
  • Lose agent – Double check.
  • Line you write for closes – Multiple checks.
  • Genre you write for tanks – Multiple checks, which is why I’ve written in so many of them.
  • New baby – Check. Book 3 due same day as son two, and both were early!
  • Young kids at home – Double check. I wrote while they napped or were playing outside within earshot. Mom’s with kids can hear through walls!
  • Lose editor – Check.
  • Return to the work force (after 15 years of mom duty) – Check. Got up at 4:30 a.m. to get my pages in before the drive to my law offices where working the desk gave me plenty of new ideas!
  • Divorce (after 24 years), sale of house and move into apartment – Check. Stressful but still doable.
  • Surgery – Check. Carpal tunnel and two knee replacements.
  • Lack of motivation – Check. Rx of sleep in, take a day or two off for whining, reading, binge watching, and relaxation then schedule a back to work date. Ideas swarming by then.
  • Well of ideas runs dry – Naw! Never happen. All I have to do is look in my old idea file and I have enough storylines, series ideas, and character sketches to last two lifetimes.
  • Technology – Check. My first books were written long hand then typed on a manual typewriter using correction ribbon! Eight books were saved on 5¼ “ disks! To reissue my first 20+ books, I’d have to have them professionally scanned. This old dog hates learning new tricks . . . but I do them.
  • Self-publishing – Check. Thank goodness for my virtual assistant who handles conversions and my critique partner who is a phenomenal cover artist! I do love doing the promo!
  • Lack of advances – Check. Going from five figure advances and multibook contracts to self-publishing really hit the savings account hard but it didn’t seem to make a difference to those stories that needed telling.
I’ve come to terms with all of the above and they don’t deter me from sitting down at the keyboard. The one thing that I have a hard time getting past that takes some of the joy out of what I do has four letters – F-R-E-E. Working hard to produce the best possible product only to have the market flooded with an endless supply of horribly written, unedited dreck may someday be this writer’s final straw. When readers sniff at paying $0.99 for a book that should have sold for $6.99+ and say why pay when they can get books for free? . . . sigh! That’s a hard one to swallow. Readers who don’t value a professionally written book might be that bridge too far.

Here’s hoping a discerning audience will never become a thing of the past!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the July 7th posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, June 13, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Matter of Timing . . . An Untarnished Hero

Some heroes are forged by sheer determination. Jimmy Redbone is one of them in my Texas-set WIP, An Untarnished Hero. As a U.S. Marshal, he’s faced down crushing odds without a blink and he’s not about to let something as trivial as an injury keep him from protecting his wife and their future together in this week’s WWW excerpt.

It wasn’t fact, it was instinct that brought him here to the ranch and into the saddle. He was a hunter who understood his prey. Darkness and discomfort wouldn’t prevent his enemy from scouting this unforgiving terrain in search of a vantage point for both revenge and reward. Angel Soto wouldn’t place either thing in the hands of another. Neither would he. It was personal for Soto, not professional. For Jimmy, it was both.

He’d been a minute too late in the barn, a second too slow in that alley. Here, he was just days or even hours ahead of the one man who could strip everything from him. And by God, he’d be prepared and on time for that reunion.

Yep, still editing. Must get back to the basics of BICHOK (Butt in Chair, Hands on Keys)! I’m even more motivated now that a storyline for the next hero in this romantic suspense series has snuck up on me during revisions with a built-in opportunity to link back to one of my older historical series. Zayn Bass needs his own chance to make a name for himself in his family of legends.

Another thing that’s distracted me from the business at hand is exciting international news. Ireland has opened for vaccinated visitors! After three postponements since 2019, I’m like . . . flying high!

This girl has her packing list and passport ready to go!

But for now, my plan is to travel from this desktop to the one on the other side of my office where those revisions wait on my laptop. What are your plans, fellow Warriors?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Fool’s Errand? . . . An Untarnished Hero

With the need to assure her safety more important than the injuries he’s hiding from her, Marshal Jimmy Redbone pushes the limits of his endurance to protect the woman he loves . . . no matter what the cost in today’s excerpt from my Texas-set romantic suspense. A fool’s errand or a hero’s obligation?

What damned fool thought a twilight ride in unfamiliar country would be a good idea with his perforated innards barely held together?

Oh, yeah, that damned fool was him.

About forty-five minutes into his scouting trip, the recklessness of his move was unavoidable. And nearly unbearable. The ride from their neighbor Roscoe Barrett’s had been on mostly flat surfaces, not up and over rocky hills that had him lurching in the saddle, teeth gritted to hold back curses and groans. But Jimmy knew he wouldn’t rest until he’d surveyed the perimeter for anything amiss. Not that he wouldn’t miss anything smaller than a city bus among the scrub-studded ridges and seemingly bottomless gorges. At least July had enough sense to pick his way cautiously to keep from breaking his own legs, never mind his foolish rider’s neck.

But the need to punish and protect overcame physical obstacles.

I’ve finally started my final edit, with the hope of having it completed before the end of the month so I can attend a weeklong Rest & Writing escape where I plan to start the next book in the series. I’ve already been on the patio for a brief coffee and cats moment, so now it’s down to keyboarding business, since it’s already creeping up on 90-degrees before 10:00 AM. In Michigan, that’s too hot to even think of going outside because of the humidity that comes with it. The only things that thrive out there today are my cactus gardens. They’re taunting, “Bring on the Heat!”

With the rise in temperature comes indoor binge watching. I’ve already devoured Mare of Easttown, City on a Hill, Pennyworth, A Handmaid’s Tale, The Son, and Halston, and am anxiously awaiting the return of Lupin (a fantastic French import!)and Bosch along with the premier of Loki. I’m mentally writing off sedentary time spent as a expense . . . my excuse and I’m sticking to it! What have you been binging? And more importantly, what have you been writing, fellow Warriors?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.