The kids had a pretty good first week of school. The boy only had three days(the preschool was closed Friday for an inservice). The girl’s teacher sent home a note on Friday that she’s a very nice reader. My thought: I could have told you that. 🙂 Last year, she could already read above her grade level. Tomorrow’s the start of September, which can be a bit of a roller coaster month for us. I’ll post more about that on Wednesday. For right now, I’m going to focus on what I’ve gotten done the last month. First, this week’s progress:
Flames of Retribution – At least 10k words – 11156!
Healing the Heart – I’m getting close to where I plan to start rewriting for the end, so I may not make a lot of progress. I’m going to plan to get through Chapter 25. – made it through Ch 25. Hoping to get through the last 5 this week.
East of Abilene – finish replotting – done
Green Hills & Smoky Fields – brainstorm(this is a historical that I wrote years ago. But, I want to start basically from scratch)– have 3/4 of the main characters brainstormed.
Law of Choice – 5 pages – yes! Some things that were mentioned as back story in The Choice are happening now.
Flames of Justice – 5 pages – yes, just barely. Seeing a different side of Reese here.
Knit: Finish Turtle Love Bib – yes
Flames of Retribution – 40k words – 45149! This one may be at least as long as Flames of Redemption since I still haven’t quite hit the midpoint. Unless my pacing is completely off.
Flames of Redemption – Polish & send to betas – done!
- Healing the Heart(Gilbert, CO #2 – Duty to Protect was #1) – Revisions – Round 1 – still working on this. Hoping to have it done by Friday.
Doren’s Story(Kurztown #2) – Outline – done. don’t know when I’ll get to writing it though.
Law of Choice(Kurztown #.5) – write 30 pages- On page 35.
Rick & Leann – finish – yes! I’ve been posting it for my Friday Fiction
Listen: Dreams of Gods & Monsters – yes. Also listened to: Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Timebound & currently more than halfway through Under the Never Sky.
Read 10 books(including Pushing the Limits in this, so I’m already 1 down) – hahaha. Only 10? More like 32. Some of these were novellas(or maybe shorter). I finished 6 yesterday, 3 of which were full length novels. I didn’t really do much else.
Read: Write Your Novel From the Middle(James Scott Bell) – yes and have been using some of the ideas in my plotting.
Knitting: Finish 3 projects(Berry Baby Hat, Leafy Newborn Beanie, & Turtle Love Bib) – done
Crochet: Finish 2 projects(Orbital Dishcloth & Ship’s Helm Dishcloth) – done
I’m thinking of switching back to a time goal. With a word count goal, I find myself stopping as soon as I reach it. Sure, sometimes with a time goal, I don’t get quite as many words. But, a lot of times I get even more. I’m thinking of working for 2 hours on my main project(Flames of Retribution for right now), and an hour each on the other ones. That will give me 6 hours a day. Of course, I’m still going to have goals I’m working toward since having both seems to help keep me on track. So, for September:
- Flames of Retribution – finish first draft
- Healing the Heart – finish round 1 revisions and start round 2(unless I get The Choice back from CP or Flames of Redemption from beta)
- Green Hills & Smoky Fields(this will probably not be the final title) – finish outlining
- Law of Choice – 25 pages
- Flames of Justice – 25 pages
- Listen: Under the Never Sky & Left Drowning(Jessica Park)
- Read: 15 books(and then start on the Kindle Unlimited/free books)
- Read: 1 craft/research book(to be decided)
- Knitting: 3 projects(Bee-utiful Dishcloth, Pumpkin Hat, & Petal Dishcloth)
- Crochet: 2 projects(Autumn Slouch Hat & Baby Baseball Cap)
And for this week, my goals are:
- Flames of Retribution – 10k words
- Healing the Heart – Finish round 1 revisions
- Green Hills & Smoky Fields – finish brainstorming
- Law of Choice – 5 pages
- Flames of Justice – 5 pages
- Read: Fortune’s Risk(Jamie Grey), Athena’s Ashes(Jamie Grey), Four(Veronica Roth), & Get Me(Jillian Dodd)
- Knit: Bee-utiful Dishcloth
Time for another installment of Rick & Leann’s story. If you’ve missed any, you can catch up here.
Rick tapped his fingers on the edge of the table. He had worried when the other waitress brought his salad out to the table. Thought maybe something had happened to Leann. In two minutes? Not likely. Then, she had brought their food out. Her smile had been strained, but it was still there.
He hadn’t minded Todd’s silence while they ate. It was a rare thing, but he had other things on his mind than keeping conversation going. For once, those things had nothing to do with a case. They were all firmly entrenched with a dark-haired, gray-eyed waitress who he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about for months.
Maybe he should just ask her out.
Yeah, right. She probably had someone else in her life. What would she want with a single father who was still mourning his dead wife? He shook off that thought as he saw her weaving through the tables. That smile was back, but it looked forced. His stomach clenched at why she seemed so off today. Usually the smiles and jokes came easily. Something had happened though. He wanted to know what it was. To fix it for her. If only he could get her to tell him. What had she said earlier? It doesn’t have anything to do with you. It had been a non-answer to a question of his own. And answer enough in its own right. There was something going on and no, she wouldn’t tell him.
He’d gotten answers out of more uncooperative witnesses than her.
“Todd, why don’t you use the restroom before we head out?”
The boy sucked up the rest of his drink then slid out of the booth. He crossed paths with Leann on his way to the other side of the dining room, and she patted the top of his head. He looked up at her and grinned. Rick closed his eyes at the sight, torn between happiness and guilt. Tessa would understand. She wouldn’t still want him to be grieving after all this time.
He opened his eyes again to watch her approach the table, her own eyes wary. He wanted to tell her she didn’t have anything to worry about. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. Something made him think she wouldn’t believe that for a second. That somebody had hurt her. Maybe still was. He kept his eyes on her as she moved closer. He’d never seen any signs of physical abuse on her. Some men were excellent at hiding it. And not all pain was on the surface. He was well aware of that.
She reached the table and laid a small black folder on the table. “Todd said you two were heading out.”
He nodded. “It’s getting late, and we still have to drive home.”
His head felt like it was on a spring, it kept nodding so much. “Canon City.”
She sputtered for a moment. “That’s, uh, a good drive for dinner.”
A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I’d say it’s worth it.” Before he could weigh his words or really even think about them at all, he said, “I’d like to see you again, Leann.”
He thought she’d flush but instead her face drained of all color. He saw her throat move as she swallowed. Then, she seemed to recover, but he still saw the panic in her eyes. Like a wild animal that was being hunted into a corner. Even her smile was wobbly. “I’ll be working again tomorrow night if you want to waste your gas and time to come all the way here for dinner.”
“I wouldn’t consider that a waste of time or gas.” He reached out to take her hand. “But, I meant away from here.”
She shook her head quickly. “I can’t. I can’t date you.”
“Why not?” He glanced down at the hand he held in his. No ring on her finger. He couldn’t remember seeing her wear one.
“I just can’t,” she said, pulling her hand away. “My life isn’t simple, Rick. Not in the least. I can’t just drop everything for a date.”
“You think mine is? I have work too. And a son. A son who still misses his mother, and I’m not sure how to help him.” He cast a glance towards the restrooms, hoping that son wasn’t coming back yet. “Especially when he’s getting good at pretending everything’s fine.”
Her face had paled even more, if that was even possible. “I know what it is to not know how to help a child when they’re hurt. And I’m sorry. But, I still can’t date you, Rick.” She took a step back from the table. “I have to get back to work.”
He watched her scurry back to the kitchen. That was the best word for it. Then, he rubbed his hands over his face. He’d really screwed that up, hadn’t he? Next time he came, she’d probably request him to be seated somewhere else. Then, he paused. She knew what it was like. That’s what she’d said. Something twisted inside him. She had a kid too. She must. That only made him more intent on helping her with whatever she was facing.
Both of my kids started back to school yesterday. The boy is going to a preschool program in town. It’s not through the school, but the building is right across from the elementary school. They even provide breakfast and lunch. He had a good first day. They send home a little note every day with what they did and even what they ate. True to form, he ate all of his breakfast and lunch, and even had seconds of a few things. The girl didn’t tell me too much about her day, except that one of her friends from last year is in her class, a little boy that she usually ate lunch with last year. They were both excited to go back today(so was I since for the hour they were awake, they were constantly fighting).
For today’s WiPPet, I’m sharing the beginning of the next scene, which switches into Mark’s POV. This is the first 9 paragraphs(2+7).
Mark thought his head was going to explode. He’d expected he’d probably see Caitie around again. At some point. But, not like this. Never like this. She was a goddamn cop? This was almost more than he could take. He turned on her when they were outside. “What the hell, Caitie?”
“You know that’s the third time you’ve said that tonight, Mark. Are you having memory problems?”
“No, I’m not fucking having memory problems. I remember every word that’s passed between us. Never once did you say you were a fucking cop.”
“I didn’t think you were all that concerned about my occupation the other night. I’m not a different person just because I’m wearing this uniform.”
Maybe he had been hit in the head. He felt like his brain was scrambled. He couldn’t even grab on to any words. He could feel the anger reach up and grab him by the throat. “You-God, Caitie. How can you put yourself into a position like this?” Okay, he could find words. Not the right ones, but they were words.
“Like what, Mark? I’m not putting myself into any kind of position.” She took a step closer to him. “I’m a cop. That’s my job.”
“And it’s a job that could get you fucking killed,” he cried. Then, he cringed. He hadn’t meant to lose it. And he realized it wasn’t just anger he felt. There was fear buried in there too. He saw Erin laughing as she’d swung up into the truck. Then, the blast when the IED had gone off. And then Caitie’s face above him the other night. He couldn’t deal with this. Not again. “Not fucking again,” he muttered.
“What’s the matter?” He kept his eyes closed, but he could feel her hand press against his chest. “Mark, will you look at me?”
He couldn’t though. He was afraid everything would shatter if he opened his eyes. “Damn it, Mark.” Some of the calm she’d shown started to slip. “I’m not the only one with a dangerous job. You run into burning buildings. Don’t you think anyone ever worries you won’t come back out?”
I haven’t been sticking with my working 6 hours a day plan. Instead I set up goals and work until I reach them. It hasn’t taken me even 5 hours a day to do that. I think I may end up raising those goals next week(other than the side projects. I’ll be keeping those at 1 page a day)
- Flames of Retribution – At least 10k words – I’ve written 6070 so far this week. Should be able to hit this goal by Friday.
- Healing the Heart – get through Chapter 25. – I finished Ch 24 and 1/3 scenes of Ch 25.
East of Abilene – finish replotting
- Green Hills & Smoky Fields – brainstorm(this is a historical that I wrote years ago. But, I want to start basically from scratch) – brainstorming characters right now. have had a few different ideas on where to take the story. Thinking it won’t look a whole lot like the original, which is probably a good thing since I wrote that when I was about 15/16. These characters have stuck in my head though.
- Law of Choice – 5 pages – 3/5 pages. about 725 words once I typed everything up(and probably added/changed some words)
- Flames of Justice – 5 pages – 3/5 pages. about 785 words
Knit: Finish Turtle Love Bib – finished this yesterday
- So far this week, I’ve finished reading: The Knight(Monica McCarty), Three Little Words(Lauren Hawkeye), Beauty and the Best Man(Maureen Child), and Weekend with the Tycoon(Kaira Rouda). Also finished listening to Timebound(Rysa Walker) and started Under the Never Sky(Veronica Rossi)
It’s been a really good start to the week.
This hasn’t been one of my best weeks. Not my worst either though. Just felt very unfocused. When I only get 7 words written in 1/2 an hour, I know something is off. I ended up just reading most of Friday afternoon and pretty much all of Saturday except for when we were next door for niece’s 6th birthday. Then, we went to the park in town today after church since husband had a meeting, and while the kids were playing, I got an idea for an upcoming scene in ‘Retribution’. Hopefully whatever was causing this snag, will be gone. Tomorrow the boy has orientation/meet-the-teacher for preschool, so I probably won’t get too much done. It goes until 1:30, but I don’t think we have to stay the whole time. Then, they both start school on Tuesday. I’m actually thinking of just using Tuesday as a “veg on the couch watching Netflix’ day. Think the day to relax by myself might be needed. But, we’ll see how I feel come Tuesday.
- Flames of Retribution – Draft 3 hrs/day: At least another 10k – I did the 3 hours, but only managed over 8600 words. I think part of my struggle with it this week is that one of the side characters is telling me something but I’m not sure how/if/when to reveal it.
- Healing the Heart – Revise 2 hrs/day: Through Chapter 25 – Only made it though Chapter 23. I’d like to finish this round of revisions this week, but I’m thinking that might not happen.
- Scars and All – Plot 1 hr/day: Finish plotting – Like I said Wednesday, I got this done. I was trying to do some worldbuilding/plotting for a fantasy idea I had. But, it’s just not coming together for me. On Friday I decided to set that aside and replot the western I wrote earlier this year(East of Abilene). Fantasy might still be just a little too far outside my comfort zone.
- Law of Choice – Write 1 hr/day: 10 pages – I’m just onto page 30 on this. So only 2 pages or so this week. Hopefully will do better this week.
- Flames of Justice – 1 hr/day: 5 pages – I’m at 1 page on this. Not even close to the goal. Hoping to do better this week.
- Knit: Turtle Love Bib – not finished, but the main part of the bib is almost done(probably will be today) then I just need to shape the shoulders/neck and do the ties.
- Also, I read: The Fallen(Keri Lake), Fanning the Flames(Victoria Dahl), Hopeless(Colleen Hoover), Crossing(Stacey Wallace Benefiel), With This Curse(Amanda Dewees), Whiskey Sour(Liliana Hart), A Little Combustible Chemistry(Violet Duke), & On a Night Like This(Barbara Freethy). I’ve been working my way through my free downloads and Kindle Unlimited.
I’m not going to list out my time goals for each project, just what I hope to accomplish. I am still going to try to stick to that schedule though.
- Flames of Retribution – At least 10k words
- Healing the Heart – I’m getting close to where I plan to start rewriting for the end, so I may not make a lot of progress. I’m going to plan to get through Chapter 25.
- East of Abilene – finish replotting
- Green Hills & Smoky Fields – brainstorm(this is a historical that I wrote years ago. But, I want to start basically from scratch)
- Law of Choice – 5 pages
- Flames of Justice – 5 pages
- Knit: Finish Turtle Love Bib
Today you get the third scene from Rick & Leann’s story. You can read the first two here.
Leann stepped into the kitchen and had to take a moment to compose herself. Why did even being around that man do this to her? It had been almost two years since she divorced Kenneth. And no man had made her want to go back on her promise to put Lisa first. She didn’t date. She didn’t even flirt. Not until the first time Rick had come into the restaurant.
And he had a son. So, he had to know how she felt about that. She’d never seen a woman. Just that one time, that first time, when they’d met another couple and Todd had gone with them. She’d figured them for the boy’s grandparents though.
She shook away those thoughts. It was none of her business. They weren’t hers. She had more to worry about now. Like whether or not Kenneth would “forget” to bring Lisa back at the appointed time again. He didn’t keep her long enough for Leann to do anything about it. Just long enough to send her spiraling into panic. Then, he showed up like nothing was wrong. She wanted to strangle him.
Rick’s salad was ready, but she didn’t think she could handle being so close to him. Not yet. Not when she was still so unsettled. “Lizzie, can you take this salad out to table 5?” She wouldn’t be able to keep avoiding him, but she needed a few more moments to steady herself.
“Leann.” Amber called her from the doorway of her office.
Leann cringed. She hoped passing off the salad to the other waitress wouldn’t get her in trouble. She’d just needed a minute. With a deep breath, she headed toward the office. “What is it?”
Amber just stepped back and let her enter the office then shut the door. This was bad. Amber never shut her door. Leann swallowed past the fear. She couldn’t lose this job. It was the only thing keeping her and Lisa in their apartment. She had another job, but it didn’t bring in enough money. She swallowed past the fear constricting her throat, ready to say anything to keep from being fired.
Amber spoke before she could even open her mouth. “Is that man bothering you? If he is, I can have Lizzie switch sections with you for tonight and let him know he’s not welcome back here again.”
She should be relieved, so why did this feel so similar to panic? “That’s not necessary. He’s not bothering me.” Why did her voice sound so frantic?
“We’re family here, Leann. I take care of my family.”
She shook her head. “Really, Amber, it’s fine. He’s not harassing me or anything.”
“Then why are you passing off his food to Lizzie? She has tables to see to as well.”
Leann let out a breath. “He just-”she blew out another breath. “He unsettles me. He sees too much. I just needed a moment to balance myself again. I won’t pass off my duties again though. I promise.”
The smile playing at Amber’s lips surprised her. What did the woman find so amusing? “Maybe you need someone who sees too much of you. I think it’s been too long.”
Leann shook her head. “The divorce hasn’t even been final for two years.”
“And how long before that since Kenneth actually saw you? You forget I knew you before.”
Leann sighed. She did forget. Amber was a very distant cousin of her mother’s. So distant they considered themselves more friends than relatives. And she was closer to Leann’s age than her mother’s. “You’re right. It’s been a long time.” Her gaze shifted to the door, and she swallowed. “You think that’s all this is? Just that he’s the first one who’s paid attention to me since Kenneth?”
“I think you’re going to have to figure out what it is. Now, go on and get back to work. Maybe you should let him see the real you.”
She wiggled her eyebrows and made Leann laugh. “I have a seven-year old, Amber. The last thing he wants to see is the real me.”
“What does that have to do with anything? He has a boy. I’m sure he’s seen what a mother looks like.”
That was just one more reason she should stay away. “And where is she? There has to be a reason we never see her.”
“Maybe you should ask him when you go ask him out.”
Leann nearly choked at that and shook her head. “No. No way. I can’t do that, Amber.”
“You two have been dancing around each other for weeks now. One of you will have to take the next step.”
“Why do either of us? Flirting isn’t a relationship. It’s better to stick to the first.”
“Isn’t that what I said? There’s nothing wrong with safe. I have a daughter to think about.”
“Doesn’t mean you can’t think about yourself as well. Now, go on. Get back to work. I’m not paying you to talk to me all night.”
Leann laughed and turned for the door. She did feel lighter after talking to the woman. She just hoped that feeling would stay throughout the night. It wouldn’t, but she could wish for it. Just like she wished being with Rick would be as easy as Amber assumed. She knew it could never be easy. Kenneth wouldn’t let it be.
One more week until school starts here. Yes, I’m counting down. It’s felt like a very long summer. My every day = fight, whining, fits. I’m ready to get a break, especially since the boy’s naps have been unpredictable with his sister home. She’ll be in first grade this year, and he’s going to a preschool in town. Our school has a pre-k program as well, but he has to wait another year before he can go there. But, he’ll be 4 in a couple weeks and could really use the social time. And it gives me several hours of peace and quiet to get some writing done.
This week’s numbers are lower than they have been. The girl had her 7 year check-up on Monday, so we were gone most of the morning. She’s still a peanut(even though she’s one of the oldest in her class, she’s always been one of the smallest), but healthy. Today may not have much more time. We’ve been fixing up our entry way/utility room. The floor had been getting soft, so husband replaced that. As well as a few spots in the wall. Yesterday I sanded the spots he had patched up. Today I need to paint the walls. Still hope to get everything done though. We’ll see. Also cutting down on my hours of writing. Going from 8 hours to 6. I may change that again depending on how the days go when the kids start school.
It’s Wednesday, so that means WiPPet time. Today I have 10(8+2+0) paragraphs from Chapter 3 of Flames of Retribution. This happens the same night as last week’s snippet.
She headed over to the group of men, her gaze landing on the man down again. That didn’t look good. He wasn’t moving. She swung her gaze over the rest of them. Looked like minor injuries for the rest, although one was rubbing at his throat.
“We’ll answer your questions, Officer. But my partner here needs to be seen. He may have taken a blow to the head.” Caitie turned her gaze to the man who had spoken. She’d seen him before. She sorted through her memory and finally landed on it. Adrian’s wedding. He’d been there with Mark. Then, she heard that growl.
“Told you I’m fine, Nolan. Will you fucking let me get up already? Austin’s the one needs to be seen.”
Her throat went dry. She’d recognize that voice. She brought her gaze to him and nearly gasped. He must have taken a blow, the side of his face was bruised. Nolan just kept his hand on his shoulder. “You’re going to stay there. You could barely stand.”
“My fucking leg. And the fucker probably bruised my ribs. Not my head.”
Caitie took a step forward. “Need some help here, Ham?”
“Just for these dumb smoke eaters to tell me what happened.”
She met Nolan’s gaze first and saw the smile spread across his face. “Fairy. What the hell are you doing here?”
Mark’s head jerked up at that. She saw him wince at the movement, but his gaze didn’t leave hers. There was pain in his eyes, but anger came in to cover it. “Caitie? What the hell?”
Then, his gaze moved down. Her skin tingled, as it roved over her chest to her badge, down to her waist, then back up, taking in her uniform. She held herself still, but she saw the muscle in his jaw twitch. “What the hell?” He said again.
Now, on to my RoW80 progress.
- Flames of Retribution – Draft 3 hrs/day: At least another 10k – Did the 3 hours Monday and Tuesday(2 hours so far today) and less than 5k. Hopefully my focus will return for the second half of the week.
- Healing the Heart – Revise 2 hrs/day: Through Chapter 25 – Didn’t work the 2 hours at all but have decided to take this down to 1. Have added over 900 words to Chapter 16 though.
- Scars and All – Plot 1 hr/day: Finish plotting – I did finish plotting this yesterday. Now, I’ll be moving on to fleshing out a possible fantasy idea.
- Law of Choice – Write 1 hr/day: 10 pages – Haven’t done much on this. Didn’t get to it on Monday. Yesterday I just typed up the words I wrote on Friday. I took this goal down to 1/2 hour.
- Flames of Justice – 1 hr/day: 5 pages – Didn’t do much on this either. Didn’t get to it on Monday either. Yesterday I started typing up the back stories I had written. Also going down to 1/2 hr on this.
- Knit: Turtle Love Bib – I have this started.
My new writing schedule has been going pretty good, despite the internet issues earlier in the week. Friday was actually the only day I didn’t get my 8 hours in. And that’s because I spent almost 4 hours out trying to weed the garden. I’d been doing good keeping the rows cleared, but I let it grow up between them, which made it difficult to get into the rows of veggies. So, I cleared that out and found that I do actually have some cucumbers starting. The garden hasn’t done all that well this year. I was able to get one small zucchini and and not much more than a handful of green beans on Friday. And all our pea plants seem to have died. Hopefully next year, it will do better. I figured my arms would hurt from pulling all those weeds, but no, it’s my legs.
Anyway, since I only got a little more than 4 hours in on Friday, I decided to do the rest on Saturday. So I did still get everything done. And wrote over 19500 words.
Flames of Retribution – 3 hrs/day – done. My word counts did take a dip this week, but it’s still going well. I’m just over 25k on this.
Flames of Redemption – 2 hrs/day & find readers – done & kind of done. I have it sent to one reader, but wouldn’t mind one or two more. If you’re interested, let me know.
Doren’s Story(currently titled Scars and All) – 1 hr/day & finish character work – character work is done & starting on plotting out the story.
Law of Choice – 1 hr/day – shooting for another 10 pages – Up to page 28 in the notebook. I wrote 1815 words, not counting what I wrote in the notebook Saturday but haven’t typed up yet.
Flames of Justice – 1/2 hr/day – hoping to finish back stories at least – back stories done. Plotting done. And have about half a page written in the notebook.
Rick & Leann – 1/2 hr a day & finish – DONE!! Wrote the last words on this yesterday. It’s over 12k now. I, uh, may need to revisit the definition of ‘short story’. lol.
Read: Beyond Control(Kit Rocha) & Past My Defenses(Wendy Sparrow) – Finished both of these early in the week. Also read: Break You(Jennifer Snyder) – enjoyed, My Sister’s Demon(Julie Glover) – this was good, and Unstoppable(S.R Johannes) – loved the final book in this series. Also read The Impossible Wish(Christine Nolfi) – loved this one too. More than halfway through listening to Mockingjay
Crochet: Ship’s Helm Dishcloth– done And started the last knitting project I had planned for this month.
Next week’s goals:
- Flames of Retribution – Draft 3 hrs/day: At least another 10k
- Healing the Heart – Revise 2 hrs/day: Through Chapter 25
- Scars and All – Plot 1 hr/day: Finish plotting
- Law of Choice – Write 1 hr/day: 10 pages
- Flames of Justice – 1 hr/day: 5 pages
- Knit: Turtle Love Bib
No reading goal this week since I’ve read all 10 books on my list for the month. I’ll still be reading of course, and probably finish Mockingjay. I’ll probably start out behind schedule since the girl has her 7 year check-up on Monday.