June 2021

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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 06, 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.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

#IWSG: Letting that Draft Breathe

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for June is a breath of fresh air:

June 2 question - For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

In a perfect world, letting the first draft breathe like a fine wine would be a given. But the only thing that comes into play for me regarding timing is how MUCH of it I have available. I’ve always been a pretty clean first draft writer. I’m lucky to have fantastic BETA readers amongst my critique group who’ll provide a read thru before I go to final, and their allowed timing affects mine. But the biggest influence (and curse!) has always been the time line I give myself now that I’m self-pubbing. I have a (sometimes bad) habit of picking a release date and counting backwards to allow for first draft, clean up, BETA reads, and final. In a perfect world, all would run smoothly. But there’s always that unforeseen snag . . . the bane of a writer’s existence . . . that’s out of your control.

When I started writing, decades ago, the first books I wrote for Zebra went from typewriter first draft to final publisher edit to publication, so right from the start, I had hard and fast editing rules: First draft – 3 months, one week to marinate before on to read thru/first edit – two weeks, then to editor. Second drafts were for clean up and minor expansion, not major rewrites. There just wasn’t time. It wasn’t until I started self-pubbing that I had the luxury of letting words “rest.” I’d always tell myself to give it a month, or at least two weeks. But I never had the discipline to stay away that long. Ahhh, that siren’s call of my characters . . .

The BIG exception was the final book of 15 in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shapeshifter series. With ten years between Book 1 and Book 15, there were a ton of things to be knitted together to keep the whole from unraveling. I had to put together a list of plot dangles then create an elaborate timeline in which to link them all - an effort that took longer than writing the first draft! For the first time, I had to push a release date back, and in retrospect, I wish I’d taken another few weeks.

Of course the number of books written gives you a better handle on your own process, so you can cinch up that editing belt if you need to. That belt was pretty darn tight when I returned to the work force fifteen years after being a stay-at-home mom, but now my time is my own as a retiree, and is my own worst enemy as I putz along with my current Texas-set romantic suspense. Those first draft edits are sitting across the room but instead of compelling me, I’m finding it all too easy to put on headphones to binge watch Netflix. I’m blaming isolation brain. But really, there’s no excuse. Now that I’ve admitted that to everyone, it’s play computer off, work laptop on. Time to gitter done!

Right after I see what you’ve been up to . . .

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 June 2nd posting of the IWSG will be J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG