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Archive for September, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Bounce Through the Break

RoW80 is on break this week. Of course, this means little for me. I’m still working through things much the way I did during the round. Working on a different project each day. Today I finished back stories for a novella in my Gilbert, CO series. So, instead of sharing something from today’s project for WiPPet Wednesday, I’m sharing part of what I wrote yesterday for the beginning of Some Fools Never Learn(Hunter Family #2). 7 paragraphs(9+3+0-1+5= 16=1+6) from Chapter 1. This is the first we see of Emilia, though Tate hasn’t met her yet. 🙂

That had him laughing again. “Maybe you should leave the baseball metaphors alone, Emi. It doesn’t fit the facade you like to show everyone else.”
“Hey, I know baseball. Well, I know they wear tight pants, hit a ball, and run around those little white things.”
She could imagine him bent over with laughter as the sound boomed through the phone. “And, of course, the tight pants are the most important aspect.”
“Well, I didn’t hear you disagreeing with me, Oliver.”
He let out another snort of laughter. “No, I can’t disagree with that. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only reason to watch baseball.”
She smiled as she put her makeup away in the small cabinet beside her bathroom mirror. “Speaking of Dad,” she said.
“I didn’t think we were,” Oliver broke in, all the laughter dropping out of his voice.

She actually had mentioned their dad a little earlier, but Oliver thought that had passed.

I had thought about sharing part from Stained Blood, which I’m editing currently, but it’s full of spoilers for Stained by Ashes, so I’m holding off on that.

  • Write 12k words across writing projects (would be more but 1 is still in plotting stage) – counting all today’s plotting(typed up all the back stories even though some of those words had been written before) I’m at over 10k so far. I wrote 3147 on Guarding the Heart, 4010 on Some Fools Never Learn(some of those were old words as well- rewritten from one of May’s Story a Day pieces), and 3196 on back stories today. I’ll be working on By the Gun tomorrow and Let It Begin on Friday
  • Stained Blood – 1st round revisions.  If time: read through Through 6/15 chapters. Haven’t gotten to today’s chapters yet, but I should be able to stay on track.
  • Into the Sun: Finish proofreading & submit – I did finish the proofreading last Sunday. May do another quick read through before I submit it
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – finish – I did finish this.
  • Read: Bone Gap, Between (Megan Whitmer), Dust of the Dead Sea (Angela Kulig) – I really enjoyed Bone Gap and Between. Didn’t finish Dust of the Dead Sea. I read the first book in the series a few years ago, but I couldn’t get interested in this one. I started reading Six of Crows(Leigh Bardugo) last night. Only 16% into it, but I’m loving it. Trying to get everything done, so I can get back to reading it.
  • ROW80 sponsor post – I have it outlined. Hoping to get it drafted today, though.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – making more progress on this, too.
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Teaser Tuesday: Bad News

Another snippet from Stained Snow this week. Still waiting to get this back from my beta reader. But, I’m still hoping to get it out by the end of the year.

“Sir.”
Commander Harkins looked up from his meal to see the officer running across the mess tent toward him, a slip of paper in his hands. “What is it, Sergeant?”
“This telegraph came in from Lander.” His gaze skipped around the room before coming back to the commander. “Is Mr. Jensen still here?”
The commander shook his head. “No, he left about thirty minutes ago,” he said after pulling out his pocket watch to check the time. “What is it?”
“Bad news for him,” he said handing over the paper.
The commander scanned over it, his face paling. “Damn.” This wasn’t something a man should go riding blind into. He’d been so eager to leave and now there wasn’t much for him to return to.
“Send a couple men out. See if they can catch up with him. The way he’s probably riding, it’s unlikely. Have them turn back if they don’t find him by midday though. He should know, but it’s not up to us to track him all that way.”
“Yes, sir.” The man snapped a salute then turned away.
Commander Harkins picked up his fork again, but he suddenly had no appetite left for his eggs. He stood up and left the mess behind. “Poor bastard,” he muttered, looking off in the direction William had ridden.
He should have let him go the night before.

Monday Mumblings

New series on the blog here.  I may still share some blog posts on Mondays,  but it’s mostly going to be random thoughts or what’s going on outside of my writing.

Yesterday before we left for yet another birthday party, the kids were outside playing. And the boy decided to climb a tree.  Last time he tried this, he actually got stuck in it. But,  he is certainly a little monkey. He’s been a climber since before he could even walk. So this doesn’t surprise me much.

While his sister was at the birthday party(was for one of her school friends), we went for lunch at Arby’s,  then walked over to Toys R Us (or Toys for us, as he calls it). We really just had to walk around the building and across the parking lot. And we walked around there for about an hour and he still ended up getting one of the first things he saw.  Then we walked across another parking lot to the mall.  Got both of them new pairs of jeans then went to the small bookstore there and I got 2 more books(after getting 5 at a library book sale on Saturday).  One of those is actually the third in a series that I’ve only read #1, but I do have #2 on my Kindle. The boy ended up talking to the cashiers while I was still looking at books, and they gave him some free stuff. Did some more walking around,  saw the dogs and some cats at the pet store (will never get our animals from there,  but we look anyway). Checked out the stuffed animals at Build a Bar,  then went and got some ice cream. Then of course grocery shopping. And we got the kids’ Halloween costumes.  This year were going to have a ninja turtle & a rainbow sprite(last year was Elsa and Olaf from Frozen).

It’s been a rather social weekend (was town’s homecoming,  so football game, parade,  and homecoming fest then Sunday). Looking forward to staying home this week and recovering from being around all the people.

Sunday Summary: WeWriWa – ‘Just a House’

Time for another installment of Weekend Writing Warriors,  the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m moving along here in Into the Sun. This is a few scenes pay what I’ve been sharing.  10 sentences.

   I stood across the street from the house I’d grown up in, but I saw it from new eyes now. I used to dread coming home from school, like I walked straight toward my personal torture chamber. Everything about it had felt dark.
Now, I looked and didn’t see any of that. It was just a house. Only four walls and a roof. The house itself was painted a light blue, white shutters around the windows. The front porch drooped slightly. Henry had talked the last couple years about ripping it out and putting in a new one.
He never had, and he’d made that my fault somehow.

So,  why is Trace back at that house?  What is he going to do?  Hang around,  and I just might tell you.  😉

This weekend was our town’s Homecoming.  We took the kids to the football game Friday night.  Started to leave after the 3rd quarter when we were losing 26-0. Husband ended up talking to someone on our way out for the last quarter,  during which the other team scored another touchdown.  So, yeah, that was bad.  Saturday was the homecoming parade.  Kids got a bunch of candy,  we had lunch  (pulled pork – yum) at our church then the kids jumped in the bounce house for a while.  Then we went to the library book sale.  5 books for $1.28 (what I had left in my wallet) MiL bought the kids some books, too (11 between them).

the girl has another birthday party to go to today.  I’m looking forward to the week to stay to recoup from all the betting around people.

This round of Row80 is over,  but I’m still taking my goals. I will be for next week too,  because that’s just how I work.

  • Guarding the Heart(BC Security #1) – add 9000 words – I was really close on this.  8948 words.  I’d wanted to get it above 54k,  and I did manage that.  So it’s a semi win
  • By the Gun (western standalone) – 6000 words – not so close on this one. 3552 words.  It’s been a slow start on this one.
  • Stained Blood (Stained #3) – revision note cards. If time: 1st revisions – got the note cards finished on Thursday.  Only got through 1 chapter of revisions. Not because there was a lot to do,  but I lost motivation.  Going to find it so I can get these done.
  • Into the Sun – finish proofreading & submit – got through a little more proofreading yesterday. Hoping to do more today.
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – I’m 95% through this.
  • Read: Wings (Aprilynne Pike), Heartless (L.S Engler ), On the Fence(Kasie West), & Openly Straight (Bill Konigsberg) – finished these.  Loved On the Fence and Openly Straight.  Reading Bone Gap (Laura Ruby) now.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – still making progress.  Still not even halfway finished with it.

Making good progress even if I haven’t crossed a lot off the list. Hoping for even more next week

  • Write 12k words across writing projects (would be more but 1 is still in plotting stage)
  • Stained Blood – 1st round revisions.  If time: read through
  • into the Sun: Finish proofreading & submit
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – finish
  • Read: Bone Gap, Between (Megan Whitmer), Dust off the Dead Sea (Angela Kulig)
  • ROW80 sponsor post
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket

Fiction Friday: Ongoing Projects

I’ve recently started a new writing schedule that will allow me to work on several different projects at a time. And still get my editing done. I have 10 different series at least planned. But, only 4 of those are currently in progress. So, I’ve put those, along with my list of standalones into my calendars for the rest of this year and next year. Working on a different one each day. I only have the series titles in the calendar(though I put the book title for the current month) since I don’t know exactly when I’ll finish it.

Anyway, these are the projects I’ve currently got on my schedule*:

Guarding the Heart(BC Security #1)

This was actually my NaNo ’11 novel. Last year I re-outlined it. And started it over from scratch. I started writing it last February, and it’s been pretty much stop and go from there. Hoping I can finally get it finished before this year is over.

He’d promised to protect her life, he didn’t realize it could cost him his heart.

After a failed assignment, retired Marine Casey Brannigan, needs to bring his personal security company back from the brink of shutting down. It would mean another failed career for him, but worse consequences for his partner and employees. When he gets a call from Senator Blaine, he doesn’t want to take the job, but knows he has no other options. Casey battles with his client, or rather his daughter, and hates that he keeps backing down. But, when it comes to her life, he doesn’t care what it costs to protect it. Even if it means his own life, or his heart.

Some Fools Never Learn(Hunter Family #2)

This is a spin-off from my Flames series. I’m including both of these, as well as another spin-off I’m planning all as one series. There will only be 4 books in this series(Jace’s story: Burning Bright, this one, then Kelan’s: Ready When You Are, & Jess’s story – no title yet, but all the others come from song titles, so I’ll probably continue that theme). I haven’t actually started writing this one yet, but it’s on the schedule for next Tuesday.

Tate Hunter is focusing all his attention on his job, and trying to ignore the mess of his personal life. Until he runs into Emilia Stiel at the community center where he’s working. An artist, she’s about as different from him, and his first wife, as possible. Still, she knocks him off balance and intrigues him. Just as they take off, though, his ex-wife returns, sending him around another loop of his personal rollercoaster. Can he get things back on track, or is he only meant for this crazy ride?

Bryan & Leo(Gilbert, CO 4.something)

This is a novella that will take place somewhere after Chasing the Ghost. I’m just not sure if it will come before or after Freeing His Heart. You’ll meet Bryan & Leo in Chasing the Ghost. But, I wanted to tell more of their story. It will be bookended by scenes in the present, but the majority of it will take place when they first meet. I’m still working on their back stories, so no plot summary for this one.

Let It Begin(Kurztown 2.5)

This novella is set about a month after the epilogue in Scars and All(which is on July 4th). It’s the story of Natalie(Brian’s mom) and Patrick(Brian’s boss). I already have about 17k written, and it will probably be at least 30k, maybe a little longer.

Patrick DiSalvo loved Natalie Graves with everything a teenage boy had, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from choosing someone else. Thirty years and two marriages later, he still loves her. Natalie has survived an abusive marriage, but she still doesn’t feel she’s left it behind. She’s finally standing on her own and Patrick is still waiting there for her. But, when someone from his past returns, do they still have a chance together?

By the Gun

This is the standalone western I’m currently working on. It’s actually a story I started working on several years ago. I never actually finished it back then. But, I’ve re-outlined(maybe I should just say outlined, because I don’t think I did even that the last time) and have started it from scratch.

Luke Tierney hung up his life of gunfighter to raise a family, but now its his son who may have to take it back up.

Alejandro Tierney is helping his father move some cattle when he learns something disturbing about the past. When they get back to the ranch, though, they find something even more disturbing. This sends Alejandro on a journey of recovery and reckoning Will this journey destroy him or bring him to an understanding of his father’s choices?

*plot summaries are all rough ideas I came up with during outlining process. Final summary is likely to be different.

Flames A-Z: Takoda Family

If you haven’t noticed, families are a big thing in this series. Really all my stories, but in the Flames series(and spin0ffs), they are particularly interwoven. There are all kind of different families, too. The Rileys are a large, Irish-Catholic, very close-knit family. The Brookes are a much smaller unit, but just as close. The Davis family is not very close at all. The Young family is mostly estranged from each other(other than Mark and Maura, though things look better with their father by the end of Flames of Restoration).

We meet the Takodas in Flames of Renewal(book 2). This family is a little different. When we meet them, it’s just Teresa, her teenage son Christopher, and her granddaughter, Avery. This is very much a case of me not being very nice to my characters in their back story.

Joseph Takoda was a high school teacher in Pittsburgh, Pa. He worked at an inner city school, volunteered at a youth center, tried to help kids in his neighborhood basically any way he could. He met Teresa Caridi at the local library where she worked. She was pretty impressed with what she saw:

“I met Joseph when I was twenty-four when I finally came back to Pennsylvania and had a job at a library in Pittsburgh. Worked on teaching some adults to read. And we had a special program for the kids in that neighborhood. Joseph came in one night while I worked with this group of kids.” Her hand shook slightly. “I’m sure you don’t want to hear our whole love story.”
“It’s okay, Teresa,” he said, reaching over and taking her hand. “You know mine and Sarah’s. I want to know everything about you I missed the last thirty years.”
“He knew those kids’ names. Each and every one of them. That’s the first thing I noticed about him. He got right down on their level and actually talked to them. I found out later he taught at one of the high schools and also volunteered at a youth center. He knew all these kids or older siblings.”
“He sounds like he was a good man.”
“He was. One of the best. We dated for two years. Then, he asked me to marry him.” She laughed and took another sip of her wine. “He didn’t really propose, I guess. He asked if I’d like to marry him. The next day we went and picked out a ring together. We married in front of a judge a month later. That may be the only thing I’ve ever done that really upset my parents. They got over it though. They really liked him too.”
James wasn’t sure what to say. “I think I might have liked to meet him.”

Teresa is from Crystal Glen. She lived there until her best friend, Sarah Brooke, died in a fire along with Sarah’s son. She did some traveling before settling in Pittsburgh. She had a nice life, for the most part, with Joseph and their two kids until her husband was killed on his way to the youth center to volunteer his time tutoring kids.

Their oldest child, Samantha, was born a few years into the marriage. She was always a handful for them, but it wasn’t until her early teen years that it became more than just some behavior issues. She took off after her father was killed and didn’t come home again.

She moved over to him to see what pictures he looked at. At least it was one of the few they had where Samantha actually smiled. “Our last family vacation before…before Joseph was killed. Chris was just eight. Sam was almost fifteen.”
“She was a beautiful girl,” he said, looking down at the other picture. “You can see the fire in her eyes.”
“She burned so hot. And then nothing. Then, those flames would leap up again. We woke almost every morning wondering what version of her we’d see that day. So smart, but it was like we lived on a rollercoaster.”
He set the pictures back down and turned to her, putting his arms around her. “I’m sorry, Teresa. It had to be hard to lose her.”
“Like I said, we’d already lost her. We tried to get her help. She saw a therapist. We got her into a program when we found drugs in her room. God.”
He ran a hand up and down her back. “I didn’t know things then,” she continued. “Didn’t realize she was self-medicating. Didn’t think there was anything wrong, she just had an intense personality. I should have done more. Then, Joseph was dead, and I-I couldn’t cope. Everything fell apart. And I couldn’t-”

Chris was born after Samantha had started school. Not close in age or really in personality, either. Christopher was the laidback child, and later, the one who always wanted to please.

Teresa nodded and turned to the teenage boy leaning against the wall. “Chris.”
He smiled, and she couldn’t believe how much he looked like his father. It sent a pang of grief through her heart even after more than six years.
“We’ll be fine, Mom. Go on to your class. If she has an attack, we’ll call you. I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s been calming down better.”
“I know, Chris. I just worry. Okay, I’m going now. I’ll see you in a few hours. What do you want for dinner, pizza or burgers?”
He laughed. “Pizza’s fine, Mom, but we really should get groceries soon. We’ve been in the house a month. We can’t just subsist on take-out and drive throughs.”
It was her turn to laugh. “Chris, you’re a teenager. You’re supposed to want to live on that stuff.”
He shrugged a shoulder. “What can I say? I’m a weird one.”
She couldn’t help it, she threw her arms around him. “I’m thankful for you every day, you know that, right?”
“Go on, Mom.”
He acted like he didn’t care, but she could see the flush rise to his face. “All right, I’m going. I’ll see you later.”

Avery is Samantha’s daughter. Teresa didn’t know her, although Samantha had sent her a picture just after she was born. Not until she was almost six years old, and Teresa learned that her daughter was dead. Avery had a rough beginning to life, has a tendency to panic, especially when things don’t follow routine, and barely even talks when Teresa first gets her.

She shook her head. “If I would have paid more attention, she wouldn’t have run away barely a month after he died. I tried to find her, but I couldn’t. A year later, I got a letter from her with a picture of Avery. I hired a private investigator, but I couldn’t pay him for long. There were a couple calls over the years, but I never saw her again. I should have done more. That little girl shouldn’t have had to spend the first five years of her life living on the streets.”

Writing Wednesday: Nearing the End

So the round doesn’t actually end until tomorrow,  but I have my routine/schedule I like to stick to,  so I’ll be doing my round wrap-up today.

I mentioned on Sunday that I’m changing up how I’m doing things yet again.  Bouncing between projects.  This means you might be getting something different from me on a weekly basis for Wippet Wednesday. Also,  depending on whether I start my post in the morning or afternoon,  you’ll either get something from what I’m drafting or what I’m revising. This week I’m working on Guarding the Heart and By the Gun.  Today’sa Guarding the Heat day though so you get 14 paragraphs (9+2+3) from the scene I was working on this morning.  A lot has happened since the last bit I posted,  but you can probably catch that from what’s here. Alex is Casey’s partner,  and Sarah is his wife.

“Shut it off,” Casey snapped and wrapped his arms tighter around Emelyn. She was shaking. The TV switched off, and he heard Alex’s steps as he left the room. He pulled Emelyn so she was practically sitting on his lap, his arms banded around her. If he couldn’t feel it against his neck, he’d worry he constricted her breath.
Tears splashed on his neck, but he didn’t loosen his hold on her. He had to focus so he didn’t squeeze her even tighter. All he could think was that if they’d stayed, it could have been Emelyn being wheeled out of that house in a bag. That thought nearly shattered him.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, wanting her tears to stop. “Em, please-”
Her fist struck his collarbone, numbing one arm so it dropped away from her. “It’s your fault. This is your fault,” she yelled. “We could have brought her with us. She’d still be alive. You were supposed to protect us, and you didn’t do it. You just left her there to be killed.”
He’d thought Melissa could have been behind the break-in. He knew her death didn’t completely absolve her of that suspicion either. She could have just been a loose end, a pawn, to get off the board. He wasn’t going to mention that, though. Not right now.
“I didn’t think she was in danger,” he said instead. “I was hired to keep you safe, and that’s what I did. You were the target. I thought-”
“You thought wrong,” she shouted at him, twisting so she could beat both fists against his chest. “You were wrong and now she’s dead. My best friend. She’d dead. How could you do this?”
His throat burned, but he had to push down his own emotions right now. “I’m so sorry, Emelyn. If I would have known this would happen…” He couldn’t tell her that, couldn’t lie. He wasn’t sure he would have done anything different. His only concern that night had been making sure she was safe. He’d done that. But, at what expense?
“It might not be connected.” He was grasping at straws, and he knew it. It was very unlikely that two crimes had been committed at the same location in so short a time.
He was almost sure of it. Melissa had been some pawn in a game she didn’t know she was playing. And whoever had been moving her around the board was snipping loose ends.
Emelyn still sobbed against him. “You should have saved her. You were there to protect us. I’m not the only important one.”
You are to me. The words were so close to coming out, and he was nearly shocked enough to let them spill. He couldn’t do that, though.
Her fists still hit against his chest, but he didn’t release her. Then, Sarah was there pulling her away. Emelyn turned into the other woman, her head against her shoulder, even as the sobs continued to wrack her body. Each sob ripped right through his own chest. Even as Sarah led Emelyn down the hallway toward the guest bedrooms. It hadn’t even been an hour since they’d been in one of them together. Since he’d been inside her.
Christ.

Will Emelyn keep blaming him?  Will he blame himself?  Where will they go from here? You may get another snippet another day.

  • Guarding the Heart(BC Security #1) – add 9000 words – Making good progress on this.  Only wrote about 2200 on Monday,  but managed 3927 words today.  6200 for the week so far.  So on track.
  • By the Gun (western standalone) – 6000 words – I managed 2032 on this yesterday.  Got the first chapter written. 
  • Stained Blood (Stained #3) – revision note cards. If time: 1st revisions – almost finished with the revision cards.  Only have 7 more to do.
  • Into the Sun – finish proofreading & submit – silk working through this.  Hopefully will finish this weekend
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 80% through this.
  • Read: The Falconer(Elizabeth May), Wings (Aprilynne Pike), Heartless (L.S Engler ), On the Fence(Kasie West), & Openly Straight (Bill Konigsberg) – loved The Falconer,  but that ending…just killed me. Can’t wait for the next book.  I felt kind of meh about Wings,  it wasn’t bad just didn’t really pull me in.  42% through Heartless. 
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – hoping to be at least halfway finished with this – Making slow progress on this, too.

Round 3 Goals:

Plotting:

  • Ready When You Are(Kelan’s Story) – finish outline. Shouldn’t take long as all I have to do is put scenes into Scrivener and do the G,M,C,D. – got this done early in the round then set it aside
  • Jessica’s Story(Hunter Family #4) – Outline – didn’t get to this one.

Writing:

  • Guarding the Heart – 1st draft – not there yet. At 51443 words
  • Some Fools Never Learn – 20k words – didn’t do this one either. I will be picking it up next week though

Editing:

  • First Choice, Second Chance(formerly The Choice) – beta edits & proofread – yes
  • Law of Choice – 2nd round revisions & polish for CP – yes
  • Demons Rising – 2 revision rounds(lot of rewriting on this one, so that may be pushing it) – yes

Publish:

  • First Choice, Second Chance – Got this out last month
  • Stained Snow – if I can…will be late in the round, though -nope

Reading:

  • Listen/read – 49 books – 71/49. 17 of those were audiobooks.
  • 3 craft/research books – working on the third one.  Read Super Structure (James Scott Bell) & Goal, Motivation,  Conflict(Debra Dixon)

Crafting:

  • Knit: 3 projects – Dino cap, Hive Dishcloth,  about 1/4 of the way through Cuddly Chevron Blanket
  • Crochet: 3 projects – Amazing Grace Blissful Beanie, Spring Training Cap

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