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Sunday Summary: Rally Time

This weekend was the regional rally for the motorcycle club my husband and I belong to. There are stations all over the country, and even a couple outside it(in Germany and Italy, I think). This rally is for our region, though. I saw people all the way from Wisconsin and Indiana. It was held at Seven Springs, a ski resort south of Pittsburgh, Pa. We dropped the kids off with my stepdad at a campground Friday afternoon, grabbed dinner, then headed down. It was a good two hours or so from where we dropped off the kids. So, I got a good bit of reading done. 😉 Once we finally found where everyone was, we ate some pizza and chatted for a while. Then, we headed to our hotel(most people stayed at the resort, but we found a hotel nearby that was like half the cost).

Looking out toward the Flight 93 crash site.

Saturday morning, we headed out on a ride to the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville. It was a beautiful ride, though a lot of twists and turns. And when we got there…it’s hard to explain. Even with people talking around us, there was a silence to the area. It was definitely sobering. I can still remember walking into my World Cultures class 11th grade and wondering why we were watching a movie, only to realize it was the news.

Wall of names at the memorial

After that, about half the group we’d ridden with decided to go to the Quecreek Mine rescue site(In 2002, nine miners were trapped there for 4 days).

We got some lunch then took a leisurely ride back to the resort, where we still had about 3 hours before dinner. We met up with a friend and walked to the ice cream shop in the resort(which we hadn’t known was there until then). Two scoops of strawberry shortcake ice cream. Mmmmm. They had a barbeque dinner for us. Chicken and ribs, potatoes, corn on the cob, salads and fruit, and lots of desserts to choose from. It was pretty good. We headed back to our hotel around 9. I had a headache from all the noise there(lots of people) and having my contacts in for about 14 hours.

We’ll be heading home once we check out of the hotel this morning. It’s been a good weekend. But, it will be good to get back to my stuff and my routine. 🙂

Plotting:

  • Primary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields: Book 1 – Story Toolkit – finished the third character arc worksheet  8c/18
  • Secondary: Plan out weekly Story a Day offeringsPlotted 20/20 so far. On target.

Writing:

  • Primary: Write 45000 words on 5 main projects(one almost complete) – 22098/45000 words Off target
    • Still Burning – 2693 words
      • As Brann had said in their early morning meeting today, this was more than simple vandalism.
    • Whatever It Takes – 844 words
      • Maybe he was just biding his time, leading them all into complacency. “I don’t want to go back to that.” She couldn’t help cycling his words through her head. “I swear it to you.” Of course, he could be lying to his mother as well. But, there’d been something in his voice, something that made the words seem genuine.
    • High on Loving You – 1233 words
      • Anna swallowed back all the things she wanted to say about Bill. Candace might be upset with him, but he was still her father. So, she doubted her criticism would be well-received. “You can stay here,” she assured her sister. “As long as you want. If you want to move here for good, I know someone who can help you find your own place.”
    • By the Gun – 178 words
      • “Then, you’re gonna die. And if you’re not out of this town in the next fifteen minutes, I’ll take care of it for him.”
  • Secondary: Write 10000 words on 10 side projects – 5121/10000 words A little off target
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 74 words
    • Roman – 197 words
    • Dougal & Shae – 113 words
    • Jacob & Matthew – 57 words
    • Mike & Fadil– 27 words
    • Hawk – 41 words
    • Sean & Braeden – 26 words
    • Melanie & Garren – 130 words
  • Stretch: Write 50 pages on Jonas & Isaac project – 23/50 pages Off target

Editing:

  • Primary: Edit Stained Blood as I get chapters back – got Chapter 2 back Tuesday night. Copied comments to Scrivener for 3/3 scenes.
  • Secondary: Edit Flames of Renewal when I get it back
  • Stretch: Edit Preggers short story – Polished 9/49 items

Reading:

  • Primary: Read 30 books – 18/30 Fell Off Target
    • Of Dreams and Rust(Sarah Fine) – Started this Monday(9/4) morning. At 14%. Not sure if it’s because it’s been so long since I read the first book or what, but I find myself not really caring. So setting this aside until I finish the other books on this month’s list(or at least for the week). Then, I may try to pick it back up.
    • If I Should Die(Allison Brennan) – Started this Friday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Love Is Murder(Allison Brennan) – Read this Sunday afternoon. This was a novella in the back of If I Should Die. I’m counting it as 2 books, since this was another 100 pages(it’s my list, I can cheat if I want. 😉 ) Enjoyed this one too.
    • Ash & the Prince(Katie Doyle) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Monday morning. This is one I’ve had in my ‘free’ collection for quite some time. Didn’t really get into it, but it was short, so I kept reading.
    • Red Blooded(Caitlin Sinead) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday afternoon. Enjoyed this one.
    • Mature Content(Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Monday night. Oh, I loved this so much!!!!!
    • Star Cruise: Outbreak(Veronica Scott) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday night. Enjoyed it.
    • Don’t Let Go(Jaci Burton) – Started this Wednesday morning. Finished it Thursday night. Enjoyed it.
    • When Skies Have Fallen(Debbie McGowan) – Started this Friday morning. At 77%
  • Secondary: Listen to 6 books – 4/6 Close to target
    • Beautiful Broken Rules(Kimberly Lauren) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Wednesday morning. I liked this one okay until near the end, where the main male character got really possessive and just rather an asshole, even though he’d broken up with the protagonist. Not planning to continue the series.
    • In Bed with the Devil(Lorraine Heath) – Started this Wednesday afternoon. Finished this Friday morning. Really enjoyed it.
  • Stretch: Read 1 craft/research book – I did read a little more of The Story of the Irish Race for GH & SF.

Social Media:

  • Primary: Post weekly Writing Wednesday, Fiction Friday, SOCS, WeWriWa, & Sunday Summary posts –  On target
  • Secondary: Write & Post 25 Story a Day pieces – 19/25 written. 16/25 posted On target
    • Changing History
    • Birth – takes place after the end of Jonas & Isaac’s story
    • Dazzling Sunset – a bit with Ian and Aidan, from my short story, Hang On.
    • Looking Up – a bit of a “meet cute” for 2 new characters.
    • Moving Forward – a bit of ‘after ever after’ for Jonas & Isaac(though it comes before ‘Birth’.
    • Not Twins – continuation to my Preggers story, not posted
    • Motive – More Jonas & Isaac, combined with Stream of Consciousness Saturday
    • Breaking Rules – A quick 100 words of dialogue without quotation marks(prompt was to break some rules).
    • Konner & Derek – Wrote this by hand then dictated to my phone(both methods I don’t typically use).
    • Rapunzel, Rapunzel – a bit of a gender-bent modernized version of Rapunzel, featuring Konner & Derek.
    • A Good Sign – more with Konner & Derek, something that happens off page in Jonas & Isaac’s story.
    • Like This Forever – more of Jonas & Isaac’s story, a bit emotional
    • Slanting Sunlight – continuation of Looking Up
    • Never Believe – a bit with Isaac shortly after him and Jonas break up.
    • End of the Party – more with Jonas & Isaac
    • The Monster – A really short one(125 words)
    • The News – more with Jonas & Isaac, this would be after the end of their story.
    • Protect You – Continuation of The Monster. Another attempted drabble(that went over 100 words again).
    • Aiding and Abetting – Happens either during Whatever It Takes or sometime after. Jared breaks a law, but with good reason(at least to his thinking).
  • Stretch: Post to Patreon 4x – 2/4 – posted a monthly writing update & posted Chapter 2 of Patrick & Sarah’s story. On target
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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Hot/Cold

“Hot.”

Jonas opened his eyes and looked into the hall from where he hung from the pull-up bar in his doorway. A grin crossed his face as Isaac strode a little closer. He dropped back to the ground and staggered.

He forgot he had to be more careful about how he landed these days. “You okay?” Isaac asked, moving toward him.

Jonas nodded and took a tentative step on his artificial leg. It worked just fine. “What are you doing here?” Jonas asked his…he wasn’t sure what they were at the moment.

“Came to see you. Your mom said you were back here. Working out again.”

“Not much else for me to do, is there?” He hated the bitterness that came out with that, but he couldn’t seem to help it. If he could just find something to do with himself during the long days, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

“That’s actually one reason I came by.”

Jonas grinned as he leaned forward to press a kiss to his lips. “But, my mom’s home,” Jonas murmured.

Isaac laughed and put a hand to the back of Jonas’ neck. “Not what I meant.”

“Your hand is cold,” he said with a shiver.

“I shoveled your mom’s sidewalk for her. It snowed quite a bit last night.”

Was it any wonder Jonas was falling for him all over again? How could he not when the man was so caring to the people in his life? He pulled Isaac in for another kiss. Even when his hands slid against Jonas’ sides, and he shivered, he didn’t break away. “Cold,” he murmured.

“I could warm you up, but your mom’s home.”

Jonas laughed. “Damn, Isaac, that’s just cold.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Writing this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday from a hotel room. But, that didn’t mean Jonas & Isaac were going to leave me alone. 😉 today’s prompt was “hot/cold.” Use one, use both, bonus points if you start your post with one and end with the other. Yeah, these two weren’t going to leave me alone for that.

WeWriWa: “Enhance and Refine”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m actually not home this weekend. We’re at a motorcycle rally for the club we ride with. So, I’m writing this up Friday morning and getting it ready to go early. So, I also may be later commenting and responding. But, for now I’m getting back to Hawk and his tale.

“I was ten. It was shortly after my mom died and before he met his second wife. He’d gotten a discharge from the military, since he was the only one to raise me.” My mouth twisted at that. That wasn’t even a good word for it, but what really was? “I don’t know when he started taking these jobs, but I’d overhear his conversations when someone hired him.” More twisting of words, since it would be better put that I eavesdropped on said conversations.

It hadn’t been the Corps that had taught me most of my surveillance techniques. It had been a survival skill in my childhood. The Corps had just helped me enhance and refine those techniques.

What exactly did Hawk see? What kind of man is his father? Where will this tale lead?

And I added Chapter 6 of Staring at the Sun on Wattpad Friday if you’ve been reading along with that.

Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 6

I’m dropping by with the next chapter of Staring at the Sun for you. We’re getting ready to head out for the weekend, so a really quick post today. Getting right into it, the beginning of Chapter 6:

Cassie found Icarus over by his bike early in the morning. “Grady, I need to talk to you.”

His hair fell into his eyes, but he didn’t look up. “What is it? Is everything okay?”

No. Everything wasn’t okay. It wouldn’t be until this whole thing with Henry was done and over. They hadn’t spoken the night before, Grady had said they would once this was over, but she had to say this before he left. “Promise me,” she finally managed. “You’ve never broken one promise you’ve made to me.”

Icarus looked up from his bike and right into Cassie’s eyes. “What do you want me to promise? I’ve already told you I’ll come back. I’ll protect Trace. I don’t know what more you want.”

Everything. She still hadn’t found the way to tell him that. She couldn’t blame him for not knowing, could she? She shook her head. “You didn’t promise. You said you’d do your best, but that’s not a real promise. I need to hear you say the words, Grady.”

Something in his face shifted at her use of his real name. She rarely heard anyone around here use it. Except for her. He stepped around his motorcycle and came right up to her. “What words are you asking for? Because I’ve tried to give you several of them, and you won’t take them.”

Shame flushed through her because he was right. She was asking him for something she kept refusing to give him. She wasn’t sure she could do it. She’d never stopped loving him, not even during all those years of living with Henry. She’d let her own fear push that love deep into a corner, but it had never gone away. Now, she feared to bring it back out. Afraid he’d be the one to turn away from it this time. Even though he hadn’t given any indication he’d ever do that.

“Promise you won’t be the one to face Henry. Not you or Trace.”

His jaw tightened. She saw the muscles in his jaw flexing and knew she’d asked him for one thing he didn’t think he could give her. “Cassie, he’s threatened you. Threatened Trace. You’re both mine. I swore I wouldn’t let him do anything to hurt you. If I don’t go-”

“I know, but you don’t have to be the one to face him. Any of the others can do it, and you can back them up.”

“It’s not any of their families being threatened.”

“You keep telling me you’re all family. If something happened to Barbie or to Raven, wouldn’t you be defending your family? Why is this different?”

He didn’t answer, but his face remained tight. Bull called out to him. He glanced over his shoulder, and she looked that way, too. Almost time for them to go. Damn it. “Grady, please. Promise me.”

If you want to know if he agrees to this promise, you can read the rest of the chapter here. I’ll be back next week with more.

Story a Day September: Day 19 – “Aiding and Abetting”

Working with the final set of prompts for the month. Today I used “One character’s boss is doing something illegal”. I actually had two ideas sparked for this prompt. So, this is just one of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jayla stepped into the back room. She hadn’t been able to find Jared anywhere else in the clinic. Even Kellie hadn’t known where he was. But, this was really the last place to look.
She heard voices before she’d even made it all the way into the room. “I’m so sorry, Doc.”
“Don’t even think about it, Durant. I told you after Damon died, that you could come to me for anything.”
“But, I don’t wanna get you in trouble, too. I should just turn myself in.”
“No,” Jared said harshly. “I didn’t just dig this bullet out of your shoulder for you to go throw your life away. Those men got what they deserved, but not everyone will see it that way. What you need to do is get out of town.”
Jayla stayed where she was near the door, barely able to believe what she was hearing. She knew Jared didn’t have respect for more than a handful of cops. But, she’d never known him to advocate blatantly breaking the law. She wasn’t sure what to do.
“Those antibiotics will help prevent infection. Use the pain pills as you need them. Please don’t sell them, Durant.”
A heavy silence fell then. “I haven’t done that since right after Damon was killed. You helped me then, too. I don’t understand why.”
“Because your brother was a friend at one time. Here’s some money for a bus ticket. Now, you really should go.”
Jayla heard the back door open and close and finally made her feet move. Jared was washing blood from his hands when she finally spotted him. “Your bleeding heart’s going to get you in trouble one of these days,” she said.
He barely jumped. Had he known she was there the whole time? Or was he that controlled even after so many years of being off the streets? “He saved a girl from three men,” Jared said without looking back at her. “Not quite sixteen. And one of those men had connections to city government. Nothing would have happened to him. Durant made sure justice was served.”
“Not everyone would have your same view of justice. Some would call it aiding and abetting.”
His nose wrinkled at that. She nearly laughed at the expression. “He didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done in the same situation. Now, what did you need?”
She’d almost forgotten why she’d come looking for him. “You’ve got a patient who will only see you,” she said. “No one was sure where you were, though.”
He nodded. “I’ll take care of it.” He headed past her. “And Jayla?”
“Yes?”
“None of this leaves this room. You didn’t see me treating him or giving him medicine. If he’s caught and it comes back on anyone, it will be me alone.”
Jayla didn’t like it, or the sense of unease his words brought. But, she nodded. Jared really was determined to save them all. No matter what the cost to himself. Sometimes she was afraid that cost would be too high.

Story a Day: Day 18 – “Protect You”

Another short one today. Was shooting for 100 words, but went a bit over again. This is a continuation of Day 16’s story, “The Monster“.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Here!” I grabbed her and pulled her down behind the wall, sheltering her. I could feel her shaking. “It’s going to be okay. I won’t let anything hurt you. I promise.”
“They were right behind us. They’ll catch us.”
I crouched in front of her. “Not if you do as I tell you. I was brought here to protect you. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. Okay?”
After a moment, she nodded. I took her hand again. They were closing in. “On three, we’ll run again. Trust me, okay?”
She nodded. I counted to three. I kept her tucked against me as we fled from the monsters masquerading as parents.

Story a Day: Day 17 – “The News”

Today I used the “Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet” prompt and wrote a bit more about Jonas and Isaac. Though, this will take place after the end of their actual story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Don’t get up,” Jonas said, putting his cup down on the coffee table. “I’ll get it.”
“This is my house,” Carlota Rodriguez said. “There’s no reason for you to be answering my door.”
Beside him, Isaac grinned. “He just likes being able to get up off the couch without crutches. And maybe the chance to show off his new leg.”
Jonas shoved his shoulder, but he did get up. He was still adjusting to the leg, but it was nice to be able to get up and around without those damn crutches all the time. He made his way toward the front door of the Rodriguez’s house. He’d been here plenty of times with Santiago. But, this was the first time since his best friend had died.
Hard to believe it had been a year already.
He opened the door and stared in surprise at the face he’d only seen on a computer screen before. “Trudy?”
“Jonas?” she asked then laughed. “If you’re here, then Santi must be home. Where’s he hiding at? He hasn’t answered any of the messages I’ve sent recently, and he’s never available on video chat anymore.”
The smile fell away from Jonas’ face. Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet. How could she not have heard? “Trudy,” he started to say.
Behind him, he heard Isaac call his name. “Mrs. Rodriguez wants to know why you’re not letting her guest in.”
“Who’s that?” Trudy asked.
“My boyfriend,” he told her. “Isaac. Trudy, I have to tell you-”
“Boyfriend?” she demanded. “You’d bring a boyfriend to Santi’s house? You know he’s still in love with you. No matter what you both say.”
Jonas swallowed hard. “No, he isn’t.”
“That’s bullshit, Jonas. I may have only seen the two of you through a screen, but even I could feel the chemistry.”
He shook his head, but she was pushing past him. “Trudy, wait,” he said. “You have to know-”
“Santiago Rodriguez,” she called out. “I come back after ten years, and you can’t even greet me yourself. Where are you?”
“Dead,” Jonas choked out the word. “He’s dead, Trudy.”
She spun around and for a moment looked like she was going to laugh. Like she thought he was telling some bad joke. But, she must have seen it in his face because her own went slack. “No,” she said. “He’s just been avoiding me.”
“He hasn’t,” Jonas told her. “A little over a year ago our helicopter was shot down. He died. I was the only one to make it out intact. Well,” he amended, “not completely intact.” He lifted his pant leg and showed her the metal rod that now stood in place of his lower leg.
Isaac came around the corner then. “See? I knew you’d be showing it off.”
Jonas put his arm around Isaac’s shoulders, taking some comfort just from his presence. He knew Isaac hadn’t been sure about coming out here with him, but he was glad he had. “Trudy, this is my boyfriend, Isaac. Isaac, this is an old friend of Santiago’s, Trudy. She’s been traveling the world since they graduated.”
Isaac held his hand out. “I’ve heard a lot of stories of the famous Santiago. Maybe you can tell me if they’re actually true.”
She didn’t laugh or shake his hand. “The Isaac?” she asked, looking back at Jonas. “The one who broke your heart into a million pieces.”
“When we were eighteen,” Jonas said. “We both grew up. And I never quite stopped loving him. Santiago knew that.”
Trudy shook her head then pushed past them. “Carlota,” Jonas heard her greet Santiago’s mom. “Please tell me he’s lying.” He couldn’t hear Mrs. Rodriguez’s murmured response, but he did hear Trudy’s sobs. “Why?” she asked. “Why didn’t you contact me?”
“I didn’t know how, dearest girl. You didn’t leave your information with us before you took off.”
“He had me on his video chat contacts. You could have-”
“I don’t know how any of that stuff works. Santiago always had to set up my recordings on the TV for me when he was home. And fix the clock on the microwave when it went off.”
“Why’d you let him bring him here. Santi would-”
“Be so happy that Jonas found love again. He wouldn’t hold it against either of them. He wasn’t like that. You know it, Trudy. And give him a chance. I think you’d like him.”
Jonas turned into Isaac. “I told you Mrs. Rodriguez would like you.”
Isaac snorted. “Fine. You were right. Don’t let it go to your head.” He leaned in to kiss Jonas. “We should go back in there. If she’s going to hate me, might as well face it.”
“It’s not hate,” he said softly. “But, Santiago was basically her family when they were growing up. Finding out like this would be a shock.”
Isaac slipped his arm through Jonas’ as they headed back to the living room. “Broke your heart into a million pieces, huh? I hope we’ve stitched most of them back into place.”
Jonas leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “All of them.”

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