December 2020

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

WeWriWa: Just Stay Gone . . . RomSusp W.I.P.

Happy almost holiday!! With our lights up and our pantry groaning, I’m feeling the joy of the season. Something I’m currently denying my hero and heroine in my new project. What a Scrooge I am!! Here’s the rest of that opening scene that I’ve been sharing from my West Texas-set contemporary suspense.

Stepping into the welcoming shade of the low building where familiar scents and sounds soothed like the stroke of gentle hand, Willa took a big breath. Blinking back the burn in her eyes, she removed July’s tack, secured a lead rope, and began a leisurely grooming. July stood contentedly as she slipped her hand beneath the strap of the rubber curry comb and began circular motions down long neck and sides to loosen trail dirt, following that path first with the short, brisk strokes of a stiff brush then using one with softer bristles in a follow up to remove any remaining dust. He whickered contentedly as she ran fingers then a wide-toothed comb through his mane and tail to work out any knots, and finally, her emotions calmed.

As she ran her hand down the back of each of his four legs, he obediently lifted his feet. She scraped each hoof from heel to toe to remove any debris, seeing to the handsome animal’s needs as lovingly as she once would have its rider’s after a long day tending to the Great State of Texas. Once, but not now. She leaned against warm hide, finding comfort she could no longer seek from the man inside the house that had never been their home.

“Damn you, Jim.” The curse dragged up from her now jerking throat, the sound as raw as the ache in her chest as she added, “Why didn’t you just stay gone?”

Just when you think there’s no coming back from something . . . hope’s there to tease you. Kinda like those last few warm, sunny days before the winter ick settles in. Here’s hoping my hero and heroine will find a little warmth to sustain them (I’m kind of confident they will!).

How bad was 2020? This was our evening sky on Thursday night! Remind you of any particular movie? 

We had a murmuration of between 500 to 700 blackbirds completely swarming all around our neighborhood for at least an hour. The trees and sky were full of them, cawing and circling in swooping patterns. The cats were freaking and quite honestly, I was kind of nervous stepping outside to take pictures. Hurry up, 2021! I don’t want to say the sky is falling, but . . .

Here’s wishing you all the happiest of holidays, however you celebrate them, and wishing the rest of my family were here.

Happy 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.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

WeWriWa: Separation Anxiety . . . RomSusp WIP

Absence can make the heart grow fonder. But when weeks become months and more months without word, that separation can lead to anxiety . . . and worse things, like insecurity. When Willamina stayed in West Texas after her father’s funeral to handle the family’s horse breeding ranch while her U.S. Marshal husband, Jimmy Redbone returned to his job in San Antonio, she didn’t think there’d be trouble until separation stretched out into silence. When he shows up out of the blue expecting a welcome, she’s run out of patience and excuses. Here’s the final line from last week’s excerpt to pull you into today’s peek at my modern-day western romance: “Do I need a reason to come home to you, Willamina?”

That question, issued in a low, almost caressing drawl, kindled her fraying temper, a match strike to dry scrub. “Apparently you do since you haven’t thought up any other excuse to make the trip for going on six months.”

He squared up in the saddle. “Been working, Will. You know that.” Weathered features tightened as he added more softly, “And you know why.”

Yes, she did, and that gut-twisting knowledge took some of the starch from her temper. Turning her attention from him, she gripped July’s bridle, smiling at the affectionate butt of his head. Her neutral tone gave nothing away as she spoke without looking up. “Step on down and wash off the miles while I see to this ole boy.”
(. . . and the rest of the scene . . .) 

“You don’t have to do that.”

Those words rubbed the bristle of hair up on the back of her neck all over again. She all but bit off his head with her fierce, “I’ve got no reason to let this animal stand wet and hungry since he’s never been anything but faithful.”

The trail-worn lawman had nothing to say to that.

His failure to argue pierced a too long lonely heart as she wondered if the opposite had been true in his case.

Dayum, girl! You sure know how to make a fella feel right at home!

At least, I’m feeling comfortable heading into Chapter Sixteen at 45K and am really enjoying the ride these characters have been taking me on – without a full synopsis to blaze the trail! I hope they know where they’re going!

After days of dragging out decorations, I’m finally feeling the holiday spirit (must be the sugar high from the Mackinaw Island fudge I ordered for the family!). As you might know, being OCD I’m an avid collector of anything that catches my ADD attention. For more than 20 years, I’ve been buying an annual Christmas nutcracker to add to my burgeoning collection. I didn’t think I’d find one to commemorate 2020 until I came across THIS perfect guy! 

He’s the embodiment of my journey through these Stay-at-Home months in Michigan (I may have gotten some gray since my last trip for hair color, but I’ve got a long way to go to catch up to him – especially with that full beard!).

I’m off to see what you’ve been doing . . .

Happy fast approaching Holidays and Happy 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.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

WeWriWa: Not Just a Visit . . . A New W.I.P.!

Geez, I’ve been gone for so long I feel like a visitor! Well . . . life happens. and even when we can’t really DO much of anything, time just slips by too quickly . . . especially when you’re starting a new book. But I’m finally back with my Warrior buddies to post another snippet from my contemporary romantic suspense. You might recall from the opening scene last shared (hangs head) about month ago, U.S. Marshal Jimmy Redbone has finally shown up at the front steps of his wife Willamina’s ranch after no contact for six weeks. He’s still living and working in San Antonio while she’s moved to the family horse ranch out in the wilds of West Texas after her father’s death. Their relationship is . . . complicated since it started out with her as the witness he was protecting. She’s spoiling for a fight when he finally rides up to the door.

When the animal was reined in, Willa set her shotgun aside, gestured for Django to stay, and took the front steps down to parched earth. The horse’s wicker of greeting invited a rub of the damp velvet nose and a cooed, “Hey there, handsome fella,” before she looked up at his rider to demand in a not so friendly voice, “He carry you all the way from San Antonio?”

Lightening blue eyes targeted her from beneath the tipped brim of his dusty hat. A slow, wide smile flashed bright against dark, days old scruff surrounding a strong jaw and the soft mouth she remembered too well. The husky timbre of his voice set everything inside her shivering when he replied, “Woulda if I’d asked him, but I trailered him as far as Roscoe’s. Knew he wouldn’t want to miss a chance to stretch his legs and come home for a spell.”

Just a visit, not a destination. The whisper of longing disintegrated as she snapped, “What’s your business here, Jimmy, cuz pleasure isn’t happening?”

His solar flare smile faded slightly. “Do I need a reason to come home to you, Willamina?”

Ooo. Not such a warm welcome so far. But they’ve got more than just their relationship to worry about since the man her testimony put in prison just got released on a technicality. The plot thickens . . .

I don’t know about you, but it’s seems like my calendar has never been so full with all the TV binge watching and Zoom meetings with my critique and writers groups. I’ve had to actually wear makeup! I’ve discovered that virtual holidays may be a necessity but are just not all that much fun. Sigh. After not putting up Halloween decorations or cooking the Thanksgiving meal, I’m wondering if Christmas can revive my lack of enthusiasm. I did just hang the live wreath on the door. Maybe I’ll just take a peek at all those red and green tubs stored in the basement as soon as I finish visiting your blogs . . . Is that Christmas music I hear? If only it could be as magical as last year. 

Hope you all are managing to scrounge up enthusiasm on the computer screen. I’ve been busy plotting as I go (a first for me!) on this new project and am moving happily into Chapter Twelve. Looking forward to sharing more with you and to catching up on what you’ve been doing!

Glad to be back, Fellow Warriors! Write On!!

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, December 02, 2020

IWSG: Shine On!

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for December is a timely one, considering the daylight hours are getting shorter and the sunlight more scarce: “Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?”

I’m, at heart, a tropical people. I need my shot of Vitamin D therapy to get the ole brain pan moving. I’m up and at ‘em the minute the first rays of light hit the sky and close up shop when the sun goes down (which is around 5:00 PM, lately!). So, for me, since my writing time is early morning, my creativity is at peak performance during the longer days of summer. That daylight recharges my creative battery (along with several cups of coffee!) so I can be at the keyboard before 5:00 AM during spring and summer but still buried under the covers and cats at 7:00 during the winter hours. I do my best plotting out on the deck soaking up UVs (properly SPF screened, of course!). Something about basking in the sun, surrounded by growing things in bloom relaxes worries and lets imagination roam free. Ahhhhhh! 

Since I’m chapters deep in a new book (a romantic suspense for a change of pace from paranormals), I need that extra kick during these drab going into winter days where gray is the new blue. It’s time to get out that SAD desktop mood lamp/light therapy box to feed the melatonin and serotonin to keep the seasonal blahs away. Writer friends toted them last year, so I caved in my office hibernation cave and found . . . it really works!

So fire up those lumens and let me get back to work . . . right after I make the rounds to discover your productive secrets!

Happy Holidays and Happy Writing!!

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 December 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG