Home of a mother, wife, writer

Posts tagged ‘JusJoJan’

JusJoJan: Day 11 – Effortless

Welcome to day 11 of Just Jot It January. Today’s theme is effortless.

Not a lot comes effortlessly to me, really. Well, breathing is pretty effortless. Probably shouldn’t take that for granted.

Although school did for the most part. Except math. Math was not good at all. Tests were usually easy for me, though. And yet I always found myself worrying about them. I was one of those that never really studied. I did the work, read through the books, but I never did extensive studying. And I still made it on the honor roll most grading periods.

Now if we would have had to give an oral report, that would have been a completely different situation. I get in front of people and freeze. Or as the case was in public speaking in both high school and college, I just read straight off my notes. There’s a reason I didn’t get good grades in that class.

Then, of course, there was the speech I gave(in the college class) on ways to donate to cancer research and why you should. Talked about my childhood friend who had died when we were about 8 from cancer. At the end of the speech, my professor asked how my friend was doing now. I almost walked right out. That was almost a dozen years ago, and is still one of my most clear memories from college.

And this had veered of my initial thoughts, so I guess that’s all for today’s jottings.

SOCS/JusJoJan – Day 9: Title

Welcome back to Day 9 of Just Jot It January and also my second Stream of Consciousness(why can I never spell this right the first time?) Saturday. I’ve actually been doing pretty good. I missed the first day and last Wednesday because I was posting my RoW80 update & WiPPet Wednesday snippet. I probably could have linked back on that one since I jotted stuff down, but…I didn’t.

Anyway, maybe it’s because yesterday’s post was about one of my firefighter characters, this is the title that popped into my head when I read the prompt for this week’s SOCS. So a probably quick story starring my two former Marines/firefighters.

“Backdraft Conditions”

Mark pulled the mask down over his face before settling his helmet over his head. Beside him, Nolan performed the same actions, almost as if they were in sync with each other. The building in front of them was already fully involved, and he could see the aerial truck putting the ladder to one of the higher windows.

He headed forward, with Nolan still right beside him and through the door that had already been forced open. The heat blasted over him, even through his protective gear. If it wasn’t for that, there’d be no way he’d be able to walk in here.

“Hallway to the left,” Nolan said.

Mark wasn’t even sure how he could see that. The smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see more than the vague outline of walls and furniture. But, he moved to the left anyway. He’d learned a long time ago that Nolan very rarely steered him wrong. Sure enough, there was a hallway leading to more doors.

The smoke cleared a bit down here, so he could even make out some of the numbers on the doors. “How many of these are occupied?”

“Manager said most of them. They’re almost to full capacity this weekend. Some conference or something.”

“How many got out?”

“No idea,” Nolan replied, the tone in his voice sending prickles of worry down Mark’s spine.

The small hotel had twenty rooms, ten on each floor. It looked like almost all ten were down this hallway. The other wing must have the dining room and bar. They’d need to clear all the rooms. The fire had started late in the night, but he’d think the shrieking of the fire alarm would have woken everyone up. But, he’d known people who could sleep through even that.

They each took one side of the hallway, opening doors and calling out to anyone who might still be inside. It seemed everyone had cleared out from the first floor at least. His feet stilled as he came to the third door in the hallway, though.

Dark yellow smoke puffed out from under the door then seemed to be drawn back into the room. The signs of a potential backdraft situation had been drilled into him in the fire academy, but this was the first time he’d actually seen it for himself.

“Nolan,” he called across the hallway without taking his eyes from the door. Someone could be in that room. But, if he opened the door, it would introduce oxygen into the room and likely ignite. It could be enough to take out both him and his partner.

“What-?” Nolan started to ask was finished with a quick, “Oh shit.” Then, he must have gotten on the radio because he said, “We need venting on the first floor, left wing on the back side. Third room in from the lobby.” He felt Nolan move up beside him then. “Don’t open the door until they get it vented.”

Nolan had been with the fire department about two years longer than he had, so he trusted what the other man said. Still, he asked, “What if there’s someone in there?” If they could have got a victim out but were too late because they waited, he wasn’t sure if could carry that burden. Let alone the others that weighed him down so often.

“You open that door, and we could all be goners.” Nolan didn’t move from his side, though. He never had.

Then a voice, their lieutenant’s voice, came back over the radio. “It’s done, Hunter. Get in there.”

Nolan helped Mark force the door open, and they both stepped through. He scanned the room quickly, noticed smoke coming from behind the wall, seeping in alone the ceiling and floor. Then, his gaze caught on the lump on the floor. It looked like the occupant had tried to get out but had lost consciousness. Mark hurried over to him and saw the slight rise and fall of his chest. “Still alive.”

“Get him out,” Nolan said. “I’ll finish checking the rooms.”

Mark glanced at him. They were supposed to stay together. Two in, two out. But, sometimes that wasn’t the way it happened. “I better not have to come back in to rescue your ass.”

He couldn’t see much more than Nolan’s eyes through the mask, but he could imagine his friend grinning at that crack. It wouldn’t be the first time they’d used a sort of morbid humor to cover fears. They’d served in the Corps together for four years. There’d been a lot of that.

Mark slung the victim over his shoulder, the easiest and quickest way to get him out and headed back down the hallway. Once he’d been transferred to an ambulance and the care of a paramedic, Mark turned back toward the building. Nolan hadn’t come out yet. His PASS device hadn’t activated, though, which meant he was still moving in there somewhere. Had he found another victim? Did he need help?

He would have called for assistance if that was the case. Still, he was ready to head back into the building to find him when his best friend’s voice came through the lieutenant’s radio. “Left wing’s clear. Coming out.”

Mark let out a breath and took his helmet then mask off. For a moment, he’d feared he’d have to stand on the Hunter’s doorstep and tell them it was his fault one of their sons was gone. It wouldn’t have been the first loss of life he’d felt the weight of. But, he wasn’t sure he’d survive this one.

It didn’t matter now. They’d gotten the job done and were both heading home. There wasn’t much more he could ask for.

JusJoJan: Day 8 – Honorable

Welcome to Day 8 of Just Jot It January. I’ve been mulling over today’s prompt of ‘honorable’ for most of the day, really. Almost thought about not posting anything.

But, I got to thinking. These are the characters I write, for the most part. People who do the right thing, or at least try to. They usually at least have honorable intentions. I realized that a majority of my characters are cops, firefighters, or military(mostly former). Not all of them by any means, but probably a large handful of them. My Flames series does surround a whole group of firefighters.

Now, even though they might be honorable, that doesn’t mean they always make the most honorable decisions. Like Mark Young, in Flames of Retribution, which I’m revising now. He joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. Spent nearly 8 years serving. But, he didn’t always make the right decisions.

He remembered the feel of Caitie’s fingers tracing his tattoos. The way she’d murmured “Semper Fidelis” as she drew the words over his bicep. Did she know what those words meant? He remembered explaining it to another woman in what seemed like another lifetime.
“It means always faithful. It’s our motto as Marines. But, it also means I’ll come back to you, Deena. I’ll always come back to you.”
He came back, but she hadn’t wanted him anymore when he told her what he’d done. He ran a hand over his face. He’d screwed that up. He couldn’t put any of the blame anywhere else. She hadn’t been able to forgive him or live with what he’d done. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to push that out of his head. How many times had Nolan told him it wasn’t his fault. Yes, he’d screwed up, he’d been an asshole. But, that didn’t mean she should have-. No, he needed to stop thinking about it. He needed to finish his workout then jump in the shower. He didn’t work today, but he didn’t think he could stay in the house either. Not with all these thoughts haunting him.

I never said I wrote perfect characters.

JusJoJan: Day 5 – 2016

We’re only 5 days into 2016, so I’m not sure how much I can really say for today’s Just Jot It post.

I was thinking about sharing a teaser for my upcoming release today. I still don’t have a solid release date for it. Shooting for March or April hopefully. I did get together a cover for it, at least. I have 2 more stories in the series, and I’m hoping to release them in pretty quick succession, probably 1 a month. They’re only going to be available on Amazon, so they’ll be up for Kindle Unlimited. My other series are on all vendors, but they’re on-going ones. These ones will likely just be the three books, so they’re more contained, so I’m going to try it with them.

And 2016 is also the year when we add to our family. No, we’re not having any more human children. Not sure my sanity could survive that. But, we did add a new furbaby to our household. We just brought him home today.

riding home

riding home

Still currently nameless, though I do have a list to choose from. Now, to just pick one.

And as for that snippet:

“Last time I saw him he tried to kill me. Why would you put something like this past him?”
The sheriff pushed his hat back on his head. “That was a misunderstanding, William. He was angry because he thought you tried to steal his girl.”
“It was no misunderstanding. That’s the lie Ma prefers to believe. Thomas is always angry. I don’t think he knows anything else.”
“Knowin’ that, you should have more sense than trying to go after him without more proof. I can’t haul him in because you say so. I’d have to find him first.”
William clenched his jaw, his fist tightening at his side. “He’s capable of this. He wants me to know he’s around. What if it’s Anna he comes after next? He’s tried to take her from me since I met her.”
“He wouldn’t dare do that. He has to know you’d never stop hunting him down if he hurt her.”

Monday Mumbles: Late

I’m late to getting around to posting today. Dinner’s almost ready so I’ll probably be getting around to posting this even later. Most of the time,  I just wouldn’t bother posting by this time, but I want to try to post every day if I can.

Part of why I’m so late is the fact I slept late. Late is relative, of course. For me, it means falling back asleep after waking up at 3. Then turning off my alarm at 4 and going back to sleep again. And waking up again around 5:45 and thinking,  ” crap,  kids are going to be up any minute. ” I still wanted to get my writing done for the morning though. So, I did that while they got dressed for school and had breakfast. Managed over 800 words before I had to take kids down to get on the bus.

I also got the first chapter of a manuscript back from my beta reader last night, so I decided to do those edits this morning after kids left for school. I’m planning to work on those as I get them back. After that, I started a read through of the third novel in my Flames series. That was taking a while, even though I only planned to get through the first 25% today, so I started doing one other thing on my to do list after reading a chapter. Did still manage to meet my goal for the day.

And among all that, we finished rearranging or room to make space for the new puppy’s crate. That is finally done at least. Good thing since it looks like we might be able to bring him home earlier than we thought.

Check out the other participants for Just Jot It January here. Maybe they weren’t late getting to their post.

WeWriWa: “Phoebe”

Welcome to the first installment Weekend Writing Warriors of 2016. Last month, I started sharing from Come Back Down, the sequel to Into the Sun. I’m hoping to make a whole series of these novellas. Today’s snippet takes place shortly after last week’s.

   ”Phoebe.”
I heard the voice, but I didn’t respond to it. I wasn’t even sure he was talking to me at first. That used to be the only name I went by. But, now, and for the last five years, it was only when I went into town that I ever heard it. Everyone else called me Birdie.
But, Trace was turning to look at the guy behind us. He knew my real name, even though he never used it, either.

Who is this guy and what could he want? Why doesn’t anyone call her by her real name? I’ll share the next 8 sentences next week, and you just might find out.

I’m joining another blog challenge. Why not, right? I’m already doing RoW80(new round starts Monday), planning to do the A-Z challenge again in April. and after uncovering some old poetry notebooks, I’m thinking about participating in the OctPoWriMo this year as well. What can I say? I have a thing about challenges.

So, now I’m joining Just Jot It January. I may not post every day, but I’m hoping to at least most. I missed yesterday’s since I didn’t see it until this morning. I may include it with another post for that day(if that’s a problem, someone let me know please).

Today’s post always coincides with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday, which I’ve thought of joining before but never have. Today’s prompt is pause/paws, which works out well.

We’re getting a new dog. It’s something we’ve talked about for a while. We had to put my old dog, Shadow, down a few years ago. She was probably about thirteen years old. I don’t know for sure. I got her from a local humane society in 2000. They said she was about 2.5 years old then. She was mine from the minute my mom and stepdad brought her home. Followed me around everywhere. Which is how she got her name, not just because she was black.

She was a bit neurotic. Terrified of storms. She stuck even closer to me then. Always had to be right next to me. Even when we lived in an apartment and had two floors. Even though going up and down wasn’t easy on her aging joints. She really was my shadow. And she wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t there. We’re also pretty sure she was abused. Terrified of most men. And empty 2-liter pop bottles. You couldn’t even walk past her with one without her cowering away.

We still had her when we got our next dog, Lady. Another black dog, a lab this time(Shadow was a chow mix). They tolerated each other. Shadow was probably eleven at that time.

We’ve been a one dog family for the last several years. But, Lady is totally my husband’s dog. She mostly ignores me…unless I have food. But, she’s very protective of our son.

So, we’ve talked about getting another dog. Not sure how Lady is going to handle that. But, we took her to meet the new puppy, and she behaved a lot better than we’d expected. So, hopefully when he’s at our house, she’ll do all right, too. It may take some adjusting, though.

We aren’t exactly sure what the new puppy is. His mother is a staffordshire terrier. They got her from the same humane society I’d gotten Shadow from, and she was apparently pregnant when they got her. So, we don’t have a clue what the father is. The puppies have a bit of a lab look to them, though.

We’re getting the runt of the litter. He’s black(I’m noticing a trend here) with white down his chest and on his front paws. I was able to hold him in one hand the other day. We can’t pick him up for another two weeks, though.

So, now I need to come up with a name for him. Thought about something that goes along with Lady, like Duke, Earl or Baron(so it would be the lord and lady). I also have a thing for Irish names, so I looked through those. One stuck out: Kerwyn, which means small, dark one. Which fits on a couple levels. Who knows, I may think of something else in the next 2 weeks. And, of course, Shadow wasn’t named until we’d had her for about a week. So, maybe he’ll find a way of telling us his name.wp-1451671066497.jpg

shortly after we got her, running toward me.

shortly after we got her, running toward me.

with our lab mix, Lady

with our lab mix, Lady

Tag Cloud