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Stream of Consciousness Saturday – ‘liqu’

Austin was sure his knees would liquefy when he met Jess’ eyes across the space. She hadn’t gone inside, had she? Had she had to see the same things he had?

God, he really hoped not.

But, she took her mask off, and he could see the horror in her eyes. Yeah, she’d seen it, too.

He started toward her, but she turned away from him. Of course, she did. She was always turning and walking away from him. But, he didn’t take his gaze off her until she’d made it to the fire truck.

He turned away and nearly ran into another man. Jess’ father. Great. But, he didn’t see anything but compassion in his eyes. “She thought Tate might be inside when the call came through,” Carrick Hunter told him. “The crew was supposed to be finishing up this job today. And he always likes to get to a job before everyone else. The relief her big brother is fine and wasn’t inside–he’s the one who called it in, though– is nearly as overwhelming as that fear had been. I hope you’ll forgive her for handling it the best she can.”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” Austin said, but his throat felt raw. And he knew it wasn’t from all the times he’d walked into that fire. “She doesn’t have to stop and talk to me or let me be reassured she’s fine. There’s nothing between us anymore. She’s made that clear.”

Her father shook his head. “The both of you. So damn foolish. I hope you figure it out before it’s too late.”


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “liqu” either as the beginning of a word or as part of a word. This fits just about right in with where I currently am in Still Burning. They’ll figure things out and probably soonish. 🙂

Writing Wednesday: No Internet

It’s been an odd week for me. Mostly because since I woke up Monday morning, we’ve had no internet. Kept hoping it would come back on. Even reset the modem a couple times. Nothing. Tuesday, I ended up using my phone as a hotspot just so I could get on and do a few things. But, our cell signal out here isn’t that great and I really didn’t want to use up all our data in one day(we’ve got a good bit rolled over, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but still). *Turning it on again long enough to post this* And I broke down and called Verizon. Went through their troubleshooting list, nothing worked. So they’re sending someone out here this morning to hopefully fix the problem. *fingers crossed* I’ll have my internet back today.

For now, since it is Wednesday, it’s time for another WiPPet!! Today I’m working on Still Burning, so I’ll share more from that today. I have 8 paragraphs(2+6 for the day) from the last scene I wrote. Jess & Austin have had this off & on relationship(more friends with benefits situation than actually dating) for a while, and he wants it to be more on. They tried dating, but she just keeps pushing him away, and he really wants to know why.

Austin knew he probably shouldn’t have said that. Especially not that last part. He shouldn’t let her see how much this was tearing him apart. Give her an entry point to hurt him even more.
He shook himself at that thought. She was not a fire, spreading through his walls. Moving along any crack she could find in his defenses. She was a woman. One he liked very much.
It didn’t matter what else she did, he still wanted her.
It was probably toxic to live like this, letting her in only to have her push him out again. Over and over, until he was sure he was going to break apart. But, he couldn’t seem to give her up anyway.
“I’m not trying to hurt you,” she finally said, her voice low. “That’s why I told you this wasn’t going to work. Because it’s the last thing I want to do.”
“Then, why do you keep walking away?”
“Because I’m not right for you. How many ways do I have to show you before you actually believe it?”
“A million,” he said, knowing the words came out harsh, even though it wasn’t the way he’d meant them. But, it felt like his throat had closed around them. “Because it’s not true. Jess, it isn’t true. You are the only one I want. How can you not be right for me?”

You can check out the other WiPPets here.

And now, for my progress so far this week:


  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 9915/10000 words, 2257 this week
    • No, it was definitely better to pull away now. He’d have to make her see this was for the best. Somehow.
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 7727/10000 words,
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 7427/10000 words,
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 9053/10000 words,
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 10092/10000 words, 1640 this week
    • Rosalyn sighed and shook her head then started up toward the house. “What?” Carlos yelled after her. “What does that mean?” *Ahh, siblings. 😉
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 9526/10000 words, 1725 this week
    • Jacob & Matthew – 175 words – The boy frowned at that. As if he was thinking it over. Then, he asked, “Are you going to go away again?” *Matthew didn’t expect to be sentimental over the little brother he barely knows. And my goal on this one is met for the month.
    • Mike & Fadil – 271 words – Mike couldn’t help it, he laughed too. Then, he ran a hand over his hair. “I am sorry. I did not mean to be a bear.” *that’s not quite how Fadil would describe you, Mike. 😉


  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 32/32.
  • Hang On – Polish & Submit – 50/50 polished. Submitted.
  • Staring at the Sun – Read Through, Revise, Polish, & Post to Wattpad – Read through Chapter 10/10.


  • Listen: 5 books – 6/5, 1  this week
    • The Delphi Effect(Rysa Walker) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. Finished this Sunday morning. Really enjoyed it, but the next book doesn’t come out until October! Patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to books. 😉
    • A Merciful Death(Kendra Elliot) – Started this Sunday morning. On Chapter 24/42
  • Read: 30 books – 25/30, 3 this week
    • The Three Brooches(Katherine Lowry Logan) – Started this Saturday morning. At 42%
    • The Shadow Hour(Melissa Grey) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished it Sunday night. Really enjoyed this. And the final book in the trilogy came out like 2 weeks ago! Good timing(even though I won’t get it yet, b/c the kindle version is $10.99!)
    • The Magpie Lord(K.J. Charles) – Read this Monday. Really enjoyed it.
    • The Viper(Monica McCarty) – Started this Monday evening. Finished this Tuesday night. Really enjoyed it.

Writing Wednesday: Early Start

2 weeks ago, I had trouble getting up when my alarm went off. This week it looks like I might have the opposite problem. Monday morning I woke up at 2 a.m. Usually when that happens, I can go back to sleep. Nope. Wide awake. So I was at my computer by about 3. Had my Story a Day finished right around 4 and got caught up on replying to blog comments and checking out other blogs by 5(well, most of them, some carried over until later), when I started brainstorming the next story in my Kurztown series, High On Your Love(title inspired by Florida Georgia Line’s song H.O.L.Y because there was a line in it that I thought fit Morgan and Anna really well). N(the boy) had a “writer’s gallery” at the school Monday morning. There were a bunch of table set up in the gym and each of the kids had a binder of their writing from the year. It went from the beginning of the  year, where it was mostly scribbles, to the end where you can actually read most of it).

Tuesday I actually slept until 4, so that’s something at least. And it was a more lowkey day. I did make some good progress on my goals. This new routine seems to be working. So far anyway. Wednesday was a normal wake-up time again. Not sure what my internal alarm clock thought it was up to Monday, but it seems to be going back to normal.

And now, it’s Wednesday!! I mentioned on Sunday that I was changing things up again. Characters are clamoring for me to pay attention to them. So, I’ve decided to work on a different main project each day. Today’s was Heart of Christmas, but I don’t have much for that yet. Yesterday I started Still Burning, which I’ve finished a scene for and pasted one of my Stream of Consciousness pieces in as part of the next scene. For today I have 6 paragraphs(2+4 for the day) from Still Burning.

He walked through the house and opened the door that led to the back porch. His father was manning the grill, smiling at something Austin’s little sister was telling him, using quite a few hand gestures as she spoke. He smiled a little, knowing she hated being referred to that way. But, she wasn’t quite twelve yet, so as far as he was concerned, it fit. And she’d always be his little sister anyway.
Jai glanced over at him and grinned, his white teeth flashing against his brown skin. “Austin,” he said. “You made it.”
“I said I’d be here, didn’t I?” He didn’t know why he got defensive by Jai’s greeting. The man had never made him feel like he didn’t belong. Even though he was the only one of them who wasn’t his biological offspring.
But, Jai was the only father he’d ever known.
Jai continued smiling, though it seemed to dim slightly. Damn it. He hadn’t meant to do that. He didn’t even know what was wrong with him lately.
Yes, you do. He really wished he could shut that voice off. It didn’t matter. This was about time with his family. He didn’t need to let anything else intrude right now.

If you check out the snippet in my writing section below, you might get an idea of what that problem is. 😉


  • Still Burning finish Story Toolkit, Outline
  • Jayla & Carisa(Gilbert, Co #7) brainstorm, character back stories, plot summaryget through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters – This is going onto the backburner for the moment. I’ll pick it back up once I finish Not Meant to Be.
  • High on Your Love(Kurztown #6)brainstorm, character back stories, plot summary, Story Toolkit, Outline. This is Morgan(Kendall’s brother) & Anna’s story. I’m not currently sure if it’s going to be a Christmas novella(since that is when it takes place) or a full-length novel. Guess that will depend on what the characters have to tell me. I got the mind maps done, and Morgan’s back story started.


  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 19204 words/21 scenes finished this month,
  • Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Write 70000 words/61 scenes – 1397 words/1 scene finished
    • He wondered if discussing the volunteers from the town’s other department counted toward the moratorium on fire talk. Or would that be sorted under girl problems? He shook his head. “No, it’s nothing.”
  • Side ProjectsAdd 4400 words between all projects – 8209/4400 words, 1584 words this week
    • Roman – 386 words – Carlos blinked then, and Roman saw it. Exactly what his boss had suggested. Pain and grief buried under the layer of anger. And it was a thin layer now that he looked closely. He wasn’t sure how Carlos would hold up if it was ripped away.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 509 words – He wouldn’t have expected to be so sad about that. He had not even been home in five years. It should not make him want to mourn. And yet he did. His brother had moved his young family to the city, and they had a place there, and he was learning a new trade. It had to be enough. He wanted to invite them to come here, but what had he to offer them? Not even his own land.
    • Preggers – 323 words – But, it was. And that woman in there had started to reawaken it. That thought brought another sob. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Darren.” She’d loved her husband and missed him so much. So how could she be having these feelings for someone else after only a few months? It wasn’t right.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 366 words – Barrett snorted softly as the woman headed away after he declined anything besides coffee. “What she wanted to offer you had nothing to do with food, my friend.”“As you should know, Barrett,” he said with barely a glance up at him. “Maybe you should go and tell her you have an appetite.” *This is pretty close to the beginning of Stained Blood. Soon, Barrett will only have an appetite for one woman, but he hasn’t met her yet. 😉


  • Flames of Renewal – CP Edits
  • In the Moonlight – Transfer from OneNote(on my Surface) to Scrivener(on my laptop) – 27 chapters(there’s actually 32, counting the epilogue, but I’d already started it before) – 19/27 chapters typed up.
  • Stained Blood – Adding this in as I’m starting to get chapters back from beta: Compile comments – 0/26 chapters. I’ve transferred 71/79 comments to the scrivener doc for Chapter 1. Well, not all those. I’m not copying the “this is great” type comments, though I love reading them. 🙂 And I love that Kingsoft Writer numbers them so I can keep track. I’ll get back to this during my next editing hour.
  • Snow White Twist – Beta edits, rename, & submitcompiled notes from 1 beta reader to the main document(so I can put them all in one place when I get them back from other reader) for 6/8 chapters(1st 2 chapters done last month). Have a potential title for it as well. Still simmering on that, though.
  • Dance with the Devilread through, make revisions, & polish – Applied 81/81 comments(not counting areas I highlighted, though those will be fixed as I go through, too). Polished 2/10 chapters.
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 58/58 chapters. Will be emailing author later today(at least that’s the plan).


  • Story a Day – Write 31 stories – 24/31 stories written, 3 this week
    • Diner – Anna’s getting the diner kitchen ready for the day and gets a surprise visitor.
    • The List – Morgan tells his ex exactly what his problems with her are.
    • Hidden Message – Caelen writes a letter to Alaina with a hidden message, trying to explain why he acted the way he did(which I haven’t written that part, so I only have a vague idea of what he did).


  • Listen: 5 books – 6/5 for the month, 1 this week
    •  Conspiracy(Lindsay Buroker) – this is book 4 in her Emperor’s Edge series.
    • The Immortal Irishman(Timothy Egan) – I don’t read or listen to much non-fiction. But this one was the daily deal back on St. Patrick’s day and it combines two of my interests, Irish history and the Civil War.
  • Read: 31 books – 24.5/31, 3.5 this week
    • Hometown Heartbreaker(Maisey Yates) – Finished this Sunday afternoon. Enjoyed it. I’m only counting it as half, since it was included in the back of another novel
    • Up in Flames(Sidney Bristol) – Finished this Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it. The next 2 books in the series are written by a different author, then this one wrote the fourth, so we’ll see how that goes.
    • Death at Peony House(Krista Walsh) – I started this Sunday afternoon. At 30%. This was still in my Unlimited folder, though I think the series is out of KU now. So this will be my “extra” book for now. Really enjoying it(so good incentive to finish my other books for the week and get back to it).
    • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover(Sara MacLean) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • Before that Night(Violet Duke) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Liked it.
    • Reckoning(Myndi Shafer) – Started this Wednesday morning. At 3%


  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat – Finished 2 decrease rounds

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 6 – “He’s Gone”

It’s Stream of Conscious Saturday and also Day 6 of the Story a Day challenge, so I’m combining the two(will probably do that each Saturday this month). The prompt for SoCS is to use the prefix “inter” in some way. For Story a Day it is to explore a character’s emotional wound. As I have been using SOCS to explore the characters of the novel I’m currently plotting, so today we have a bit with Austin, though this will be from way before the story starts.


Austin looked down the length of the table. There were almost a dozen other boys sitting there with him. Not that any of them were interacting with him. Why would they be, though, when they all had their fathers sitting across from them? He picked up one of the pre-cut pieces of wood and ran his thumb along it. The roughness of it against his skin distracted him from the burn behind his eyes.

He looked across the table at the empty chair sitting there. Uncle Scott had said he’d be here. He’d known his father wouldn’t be. He wouldn’t recognize him if he did show up. But, Uncle Scott always kept his promises. So why wasn’t he here now?

He held the piece of wood in his hand again. It was only a little darker than his own skin, closer to his mom’s. With a sigh, he set it down and reached for another piece so he could glue them together like the instructions said.

“Austin,” the group leader said from beside him, “do you want to try to call your father again. Maybe he’s just running late.”

“I can’t,” Austin said, not looking up at the man. He’d always been nice to Austin, but he didn’t want to start crying now. The other boys wouldn’t let him forget it. “He’s gone.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you’d lost him.”

Austin didn’t know what the sound was that came out of his mouth. It wasn’t really a laugh. “I didn’t lose him. He never wanted me.”

The doors at the front of the social hall opened, and he looked over at the sound of rushing feet. “I’m sorry, Austin,” the man said. His mom’s friend, Jai. Except Austin had seen them kissing the last time he’d been over at the house. He might only be seven, almost eight thank you very much, but he wasn’t stupid. “Your uncle called from the hospital to let your mom know he wouldn’t be able to make it. So, I came over.”

That had the pieces drop from his hands. “Is he hurt?” Austin asked. “Did he get hurt in a fire?”

Jai shook his head as he pulled out the chair across from Austin and sat down. “No, but one of the other firefighters was. You know he wanted to be here.”

Austin didn’t though. He’d been whiny the last time Uncle Scott had been at the house. Maybe that was why he hadn’t come. But, Jai said it was because one of the guys Uncle Scott worked with was hurt. But, he needed to be better or Jai might leave him and his mom, too.

“Where do we start with this?” Jai asked.

Austin pulled the instructions over and pointed to the first step. “We have to glue those two pieces together.”

Jai smiled at him, and it had a funny feeling spread through his chest. He didn’t know what it was, so he focused on what they were making instead. If he didn’t screw this up maybe Jai would stick around.


I just want to give that little boy a hug. And 18 years later, he’s still dealing with those abandonment issues, although Jai does stick around.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Yard”

Jess walked into her parents’ back yard and looked around. It seemed everyone else was already here. All her brothers were scattered around, their significant others not far from them. Nolan’s two younger stepkids were running around, the oldest sitting near her mother and talking to Jess’ second oldest brother, Kelan.

And she was here all alone. Nothing unusual about that. She’d never thought she’d feel lonely around her family, but that’s exactly how she felt lately. And she was tired of it. She wasn’t going to let herself feel this way anymore. That’s all there was to it.

“Hey, Jess.”

She spun around to see Austin Melnik walking toward her. She barely held back a groan. Just what she didn’t need right now when she’d just made the decision to stop feeling things. Apparently her parents had invited more than family. As more people spilled into the yard, she thought they might have invited both fire departments for the day. Which was pretty much the same thing as family to them.

But, she could barely take her eyes off of Austin. And the pink bundle he carried. How long had he been here if he’d already got his hands on her baby niece. Her mouth went dry at the sight of how comfortable he was with her. “Melnik,” she greeted him, trying to keep her voice neutral.

But, his eyes narrowed, then his lips quirked up. As if he knew exactly what she was doing. Hell, he probably did. It wouldn’t be the first time he called her out on her bullshit. Damn those lips. Even now she wanted to kiss them.

So, she turned away and headed into the middle of her family. They would keep her safe from doing something stupid. Like falling for someone who deserved a lot better than her.


This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “yard”. I’m still plotting out Still Burning. This will probably take place before it starts or close to the beginning. Jess has quite a bit to work through.

Stream of Consciousness: “Moo”

“Moo” Jess laughed and put the little stuffed cow back on the shelf. Yeah, she couldn’t see her brother appreciating that gift. She’d have to keep looking.

“So, which of the coming babies are you shopping for today?”

Jess turned at the voice behind her. Austin stood a few paces away, holding a small firetruck in his hand. It was a good question. Two of her brothers’ wives were having babies this summer. “Jace and Kammi’s,” she answered. “They’re up first after all.”

Austin laughed at that. She loved the way he looked when he laughed. It made her want to step closer and soak in some of the joy. If only she wasn’t afraid she would blemish it.

“Maybe I should be looking in art supplies. You think Jace would appreciate that?”

Austin laughed again. “I think you have some time before the baby would follow in your brother’s footsteps. Maybe something a little more age appropriate would be better.”

“You got any ideas? I don’t have a clue here.”

Even better than a laugh, she got a warm smile from him. Even though she knew she didn’t deserve it at all. Not as many times as she’d pushed and pulled him around. She didn’t know why he didn’t hate her by now. She thought maybe he didn’t have that emotion in him.

“Come with me,” he told her. “I think I know the perfect gift.”


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to “Base your post on the word “moo” or a word that rhymes with it. Bonus points if you actually use the word “moo” in your post.” This week, I started working on plotting out Still Burning, which is Jess & Austin’s story. So, today you get some of them. And I’d say Jess is unaware of how deep some of Austin’s feelings go.

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