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Posts tagged ‘Not Meant to Be’

Story a Day: Day 25 – “Save Herself”

Denise knew she was going about this all wrong. Toby said he’d take care of it. Jared told her to have faith. Even Melanie thought she should stay out of it.

No one thought she could take care of herself. Even her brother, who had always been on her side, told her it would be better to leave this alone. Like she hadn’t been basically taking care of herself since she was eight years old. Jared may have helped with that, but he hadn’t always been there.

Now, she was being reduced to a helpless bystander in her own life again. To a victim, who needed someone to sweep in and save her. As a kid, she’d let that happen over and over again. Jared, Toby, even the few foster parents who had actually cared.

No, she wasn’t going to do that. She was going to take care of this and prove to them all she wasn’t helpless anymore, that she could save herself.

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That was harder than I thought it would be. Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a “prose sonnet”, a story told in 14 sentences. There were a few examples given, and I decided to go with 3 groups of 4 sentences followed by a 2 sentence ending. This fits right in to where I’m at in Not Meant to Be, though I don’t know if I’ll use this, though maybe pieces of it.

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Writing Wednesday: Scattered

This week started out pretty good. I got all my writing done by lunchtime on Monday and even got a 1 mile+ walk in during that time(and my legs felt about dead after having to climb back up the hill to our house). I’m hoping to get 2-3 walks in a week for right now. Of course the kids only have about 3.5 weeks of school left and then I’ll have to figure out what to do. We may be able to walk down to the free beach at the lake, but I have to clock the mileage still(I don’t think it’s much more than a mile). I may do that on my next walk.

Tuesday I had a serious lack of focus. Not sure why. I just felt completely scattered. I did still manage to almost everything done before the kids got home from school. Only had to finish typing chapter 18 of In the Moonlight(it’s a longer one) up into scrivener and type up Jayla’s back story(wrote it by hand first). I still managed to finish them by dinnertime. Today I’m still feeling scattered, but instead of trying to force my mind to focus, I’m going with it. I have all my projects open and am bouncing between them. I’ve already managed to get my side projects done(those are usually the last I work on for the day).

And now, it’s WiPPet Wednesday!! So, it’s time for another snippet.  Still working on Not Meant to Be. While still with Denise, Toby got a call from Isaac that Jonas was attacked while in the park and he’s in the hospital. So, we’re there with him now and all the thoughts going on in his head. Tereza is Toby’s half-sister, their mom abandoned her when she was a few years old, and the two of them have just recently figured out their connection(that happened in Carlos’ story). Edward married Toby’s mom when Toby was about fourteen and adopted Toby. He was killed during a mugging about ten years before this, and Toby was one of the officers that responded to the call.  For today, I have 13 paragraphs(5+1+7).

Toby backed away from the counter, but he couldn’t sit. What if it was worse than Isaac had thought? What if his brother was bleeding out right now and there was nothing they could do to save him? He almost thought he felt a hand on his shoulder. It felt like Edward’s. But, he knew that wasn’t possible. Still, he heard Edward’s voice in his head. “This isn’t your fault, Tobias. Not everything bad that happens is your fault. Be strong for your mama.”
The same words Edward had said to him that day while they waited for the ambulance to get there. “I tried,” he whispered. “I’ve tried to be everything you wanted me to be.”
“Toby?”
He spun around at the soft voice, surprised to see Tereza there. “What are you doing here?”
She glanced around then seemed to relax when she saw it was just him. He wished she knew how much that hurt. His mom was trying, but Tereza didn’t seem to want to give her a chance. “Denise called and told me what happened. Well, what she knew anyway. She wanted to be here but said you told her to stay put.”
He glanced away, his hands balling into fists at his sides. “She’s better off away from me. I can’t put her in danger.”
“Idiot,” Tereza said, shoving against his shoulder. “I told her I’d call you one, but I’ll do it for myself too. You really think she wants to be kept at a distance from you?”
“It’s what’s best,” he said. “She deserves better than me.”
Tereza pressed her fingers into his shoulder but didn’t bother pushing this time. “I’d call you an idiot again, but I don’t think that’s a strong enough word for you. Why do you think there’s a better man out there than you? Besides Carlos, of course.”
Toby snorted at that. “Isn’t that obvious? I’m not much better than a screw-up. I made so many bad decisions. If it wasn’t for Edward, I would have gone right back to it. And then I couldn’t even save him. I can’t protect Denise. I couldn’t even keep my brother safe. He’s in there now probably because of me. What good am I?”
“Mijo,” his mother’s broken voice came from the doorway. Tereza stiffened, but she didn’t back away. “Tobias. Do not speak of yourself that way.”
“Mama, this is my fault. He said it was a message for me. If not for me, Jonas would be perfectly fine right now. If I was a better man, the man Edward wanted me to be, I’d be able to keep Denise safe and stop thinking about taking her to bed.”
His face warmed at admitting that, but his mother only smiled, brushing some hair back from his face. “Edward wanted everything for you. He saw the good man behind all the bitterness and anger and hurt. He helped bring that man out of you. He would not be disappointed in the man in front of me. The only thing that would hurt him is you taking so much on yourself. The mistakes of your past aren’t any worse than mine,” she said with a quick glance toward Tereza. “He was so proud of you, mijo. He wouldn’t want this.”

Plotting

  • Still Burning finish Story Toolkit, Outline
  • Jayla & Carisa(Gilbert, Co #7) brainstormcharacter back stories, plot summaryget through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters – finished GMCs & Jayla’s back story(754 words). Started Carisa’s(who happens to be Carlos’ baby sister) back story.

Writing

  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 13686 words/16 scenes finished this month, 2603 words/3 scenes this week
  • Side Projects – Add 4400 words between all projects – 6083/4400 words, 1086 words this week
    • Preggers – 194 words – It didn’t work. She couldn’t stop the memories of Darren that almost played like old videos through her head. The times he’d sat next to her when she’d been so homesick, even with him there. How he’d known she got more comfort from that than a hug. Marika had somehow seemed to sense that as well. Or she just hadn’t thought they knew each other well enough for more than that.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 130 words – “There ye go, lad,” he said, patting the horse’s neck. “Ye’ll be feeling better soon.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 109 words – His boss stepped out of one of the other stalls and nodded at Patrick. “You’ve been working hard lately, Bailey. If the plowing’s all done, why don’t you take off tomorrow? I’m sure there’s something waiting for you in town.”
    • Jacob & Matthew – 102 words – Jacob shook his head, though, smiling a little bit to himself. He had only played a couple hands of cards before making his way up to the room Matthew had rented, hoping no one would connect the two of them going into the same room. “Pa was expecting me back in town today. And I wouldn’t want to miss the wedding. Those friends of Adam’s show yet?”
    • Midas’ Daughter – 143 words – She nearly screamed as she spun around. Then, put a hand over her chest when she saw Flip. His face was fuzzed with that reddish-blond hair that fell slightly into his eyes. She had the urge to run her palm over the scruff, but she quickly squashed it. Not that he’d appreciate it. He’d made that clear years ago. “Don’t tell me you don’t do the same,” she said. “I’ve heard you.” *You might be surprised by what he wants, Calla. 😉
    • Dougal & Shae – 191 words – “What the bloody hell does that have to do with anything?” Dougal didn’t know where Donovan was heading with this. Or what any of it had to do with him.
    • Hawk – 217 words – Still I’d take it while I could get it. Just like I’d take Devil for as long as he still wanted me.*Oh, don’t worry, Hawk, I’m sure that’s going to be for a good long time.

Editing

  • 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) – 13/27 chapters typed up.
  • 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 4/8 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)
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 32/58,

Blogging

  • Story a Day – Write 31 stories – 16/31 stories written, 3 this week

Reading

  • Listen: 5 books – 5/5 for the month, 1 this week
    • Ten Thousand Skies Above You(Claudia Gray) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday evening. Really liked it. But that ending. Oof. I’ll just say there’s lots to make right in book 3, or I’m going to be really disappointed.
    • Conspiracy(Lindsay Buroker) – this is book 4 in her Emperor’s Edge series.
  • Read: 31 books – 17/31, 4 this week
    • All Fired Up(Elle Kennedy & Vivian Arend) – Started this Sunday night(5/7). It was in my ‘free’ collection, so will be my ‘read after everything for the week is done’ book(I choose from my free & unlimited collections for this). Finished it this past Sunday night(5/14). Enjoyed it. Added the next book in the series to my wish list.
    • Missed Connections(Tamara Mataya) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • One Night Charmer/Hometown Heartbreaker(Maisey Yates) – I started One Night Charmer Monday morning. There’s also a novella included in the back of the book. Finished ONC Monday night and enjoyed it, but didn’t get to Hometown Heartbreaker.
    • Nightsong(A.M. Leibowitz) – started this Tuesday evening. Finished it Tuesday night. Stayed up an hour later than usual because I just didn’t want to stop reading. I loved it so much.

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat – finally got more yarn for this on Sunday. Finished 2 decrease rounds

Writing Wednesday: Late Start

I got a late start to Monday. Woke up at 6 when husband’s phone rang. He was supposed to be to work at 6. Oops. So, the kids were already getting up for the morning by that point. The boy didn’t want to get dressed. I told him he had to anyway. “You’re such a, such a, such a, so mean” I guess I’m so mean, he couldn’t come up with a name for it. He might be an early riser, but he’s not a very happy morning person.

I got back from getting them on the bus and can’t find my mouse. It had been sitting on the arm of the couch the night before. Not there. Didn’t fall into the side of the couch. Not on the floor right beside it. Looked around for about 5 minutes before I finally found it behind the little rocker next to the couch(my guess: the cat knocked it off while jumping up or down from back of couch). Then, I go to write my Story a Day piece and see that the post I wrote on Sunday no longer appears to be on my blog. Instead it was showing an older draft of it in my draft folder. I was able to find what I’d posted in the revisions of that, not sure why it kicked back to the older version. But, I got it restored and posted again.

But, yeah, it was a day. And I usually look forward to Mondays. but, I di manage to catch up and have everything except my reading goal done by dinnertime.

Tuesday I was awake around 3:30 and at my computer around 4:15. A lot more like normal. Wednesday I slept until 5:30. So not too much done before kids got up this morning. I’m usually a lot more consistent in my waking up than this.

But, anyway, to get on with things: It’s Wednesday!! Which means WiPPet Time. *makes up a WiPPet Dance* Trust me, be glad you can’t see that. 😉 I have 7 paragraphs(5+10-1-7). You might remember from snippets of Shed Some Light(Carlos & Tereza’s story) that Adriane was Carlos’ little sister. Who was killed about 20 years before this. And Toby had some history with her, too.

“What are you going to do with me?” he asked, his voice coming out rough. “Since you’ve got me where you want me.”
“Explore,” she said on an exhale. “I’ve always wanted to explore you.”
She slid her fingers over to his side, where she could see ink scrawled from his hip to the bottom of his ribs. She shifted so she could read what it said. The first words were in Spanish and with the script she couldn’t quite make it out. But the words below it had her fingers stilling for a moment. Adriane and Edward. She glanced back up at him. “These are the people you’ve lost.”
“Yeah,” he choked out.
She traced the first name again. “You really loved her, didn’t you?”
“As much as a thirteen-year-old punk can love someone.”
She rose over him again and pressed the tips of two fingers to his lips. “Don’t talk about yourself like that. You weren’t any worse than Jared or Carlos. Yet they aren’t the ones denying themselves love or anything else.” Love? Really, Denise? You are going to send the man running again if you talk like that.

Plotting

  • Still Burning – finish Story Toolkit, Outline – finished Act 3 beat sheet, Act 4 beat sheet 8/13 sections of Story Toolkit done
  • Jayla’s Story(Gilbert, Co #7) get through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters

Writing

  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 9138 words/11 scenes finished this month, 4462 words/5 scenes this week
  • Side Projects – Add 4400 words between all projects – 2684/4400 words, 691 words this week
    • Midas’ Daughter – 134 words – This was an unusual indulgence. To be able to move around without anyone having an eye on her. She moved straight to Ariadne’s stall. “Hey, girl,” she said as the horse huffed softly. “I know it’s early. But, I’ve missed you.”
    • Roman – 128 words – Roman would have argued away the inciting a riot charge, but Toby said he deserved it. Roman didn’t understand why. Yes, he’d done wrong, but there was more haunting him than carrying a gun he shouldn’t have and following his fellow gang members into this fight.
    • Mike & Fadil – 322 words – “You do that, Mike,” his boss said, and he was pretty sure there was laughter in the man’s voice. Mike decided to ignore that and went back out to face Fadil.
    • Dougal & Shae – 107 words – “What do you know? Not my sister. I do know her. She’s been thinking of you, whether she’ll ever admit it or not.” *Oh, Donovan, you meddler.

Editing

  • 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) – 7/27 chapters typed up.
  • 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 2/8 chapters(1st 2 chapters done last month). Have a potential title for it as well. Still simmering on that, though.
  • Dance with the Devil – read through & make revisionsI’ve read through 10/10 chapters.
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 20/58,

Blogging

  • Story a Day – Write 31 stories – 9/31 stories written, 2 this week

Reading

  • Listen: 5 books2/5 for the month, 1 this week
    • A Thousand Pieces of You(Claudia Gray) – Started this at the end of April. It’s my second time listening to it. I finally got the second book in the series, and it had been a while since I listened to this one, so decided on a re-listen before I start the next one.
    • Behind the Lies(Robin Perini) – Started this Monday. Finished it Wednesday morning. Really enjoyed it.
  • Read: 31 books – 8/31, 2 this week
    • Signs of Attraction(Laura Brown) – Started this Saturday afternoon. Finished it Sunday evening. Really enjoyed it.
    • All Fired Up(Elle Kennedy & Vivian Arend) – Started this Sunday night. It was in my ‘free’ collection, so will be my ‘read after everything for the week is done’ book(I choose from my free & unlimited collections for this). I’m at 17%.
    • Managed(Kristen Callihan) – started this Monday afternoon. At 61%
    • Timekeeper(Tara Sim) – started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday night. Loved it.

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat

Writing Wednesday: Pulling Ahead

This has been quite a week already. In a good way. My word count may not be too high since Monday I only had to finish a scene for Not Meant to Be, and I didn’t count my words for the Story a Day piece(maybe I should, but I didn’t). But, by the time I went to bed Monday night, I already had about half of Tuesday’s goals checked off, including most of the chores.

Lilacs are out(please ignore the dirty windows, it was raining out, so I couldn’t get a good picture)

On Sunday I’d finally finished moving the rest of the wood from the yard out to our wood pile. Good thing too, because it poured down rain almost all of Monday. So, I wouldn’t have gotten any of it done then.

I do not know when my name became so popular, but I’m seeing it in so many books lately.

Tuesday I looked around the living room, trying to decide if there was any surface I could use as a makeshift standing desk. Rather than sitting pretty much all day(other than when I’m doing chores or taking the dog for a walk–which it’s been raining all week and that hasn’t happened). I’m sure I’ll be plugging it back into the TV and sitting at some points during the day, either if my knee starts bothering me and probably I’ll start out there first thing in the morning. But, at least when the kids are home/awake, this set-up should work to get some more writing in. I just had to shut the touchpad off on my laptop so I’m not accidentally hitting it and moving the cursor while I’m typing. And the ‘d’ key doesn’t like to work(which is only 1 reason I’d been using the wireless keyboard and plugging it into the tv- and a different monitor when it was on my desk).

My new work area(all my yarn is inside the cabinet).

Now, for WiPPet Wednesday!!! I finished Playing with Fire last week. So, this week I’m back to working on Not Meant to Be. I hadn’t written anything on this since February, so I had to spend some time going back and reading through what I had. This is an earlier scene with Toby at his mom’s for dinner. He’s about 33, but his younger brother(and sister, but she’s not really in this scene) are only 16. Their father died about 10 years earlier, and he’s rather protective of them. I have 11 paragraphs(2+0+17-5-3)

Toby leaned back in his chair and stared across the table at the boy. He had his head turned toward Jonas, and they seemed deep into an intense conversation about…hell, Toby wasn’t even sure. But, he hadn’t often seen his brother light up so much.
The other kid seemed to be about the same age, with dark brown hair. Not the near black that his and his siblings were, but something with shades of gold through it. He blew a breath out. He didn’t know why he was being so fanciful. It was brown. His eyes, behind the glasses he kept pushing up on his nose, were somewhere between brown and gold. He seemed nice and had been perfectly polite throughout dinner. Jonas definitely could do worse.
Still, a part of Toby wanted to run a check on the kid. He wouldn’t abuse his power, or Jonas’ trust, like that, though. No matter how strong the urge was. “So, Isaac,” he said, bringing the boys’ attention to him.
“Toby,” Jonas said, “don’t. Just don’t.”
“What?” he asked innocently. “I’m not allowed to speak to my brother’s new friend?”
He saw the boy grab Jonas’ hand and squeeze, the wide bracelets around his wrists clank together. His nails were short but painted a soft blue. “It’s okay, Jo,” he said, smirking back across the table. “I think I can handle an interrogation. Especially on a full stomach. The enchiladas were delicious, Mrs. Pedera.”
Toby just barely held back a laugh. The kid was pretty charming. His mother smiled at the boys. “Thank you. I’ll clean up while you two chat. Tobias, you can help me.”
Ah, crap. That usually meant he was in trouble.
But, he stood up from the table and followed his mom into the kitchen, carrying a stack of plates with silverware thrown on top of them. he managed to set them on the counter before his mother turned to him. “You need to leave your brother’s friend alone,” she told him.
“What?” he asked, trying to look innocent. “What did I do? I was only going to ask him a couple questions.”
“He is not one of your criminals, Tobias. He’s a sweet sixteen-year-old boy who doesn’t have it all that easy at home. That’s why he spends so much time in that park where Jonas met him. He is always welcome in this house. I don’t want you to make him feel otherwise.”

Plotting

  • Still Burning – finish Story Toolkit, Outline – finished Subplot sheet & event brainstorming sheets. 3/13 sections of Story Toolkit done
  • Jayla’s Story(Gilbert, Co #7) – get through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters

Writing

  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 1799 words/3 scenes finished this month, 1799 words/3 scenes finished for this week
  • Side Projects – Add 4400 words between all projects – 658/4400 words, 658 words this week
    • Patrick & Sarah – 154 words – He brought his attention back to the path of the horses. His boss would be none too happy with a crooked row. Not that the man typically even raised his voice. Not for anything less than an atrocious misdeed. And anyone committing one of those, found himself set instantly off the farm.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 119 words – The lad glared at Tavin as he slid his gloves off but didn’t make any attempt to get down from the saddle. “You cannot tell me what to do. You work for me.” *Tavin does not seem to be making friends. Though this little shit doesn’t deserve to be friends with him 😉
    • Mason & Lila – 251 words – “He’ll come around,” she said softly. Then added, “Eventually.”Yeah. Eventually. Like probably the day after Mason’s funeral. But, Mason didn’t say that to Lila. He didn’t like to feel like he was pulling her between him and her father. He knew he’d always come out the loser there.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 134 words – But, she wasn’t a business interest. She was his daughter. Why couldn’t he seem to understand that?

Editing

  • 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) – 2/27 chapters typed up. 2 this week.
  • Snow White Twist – Beta edits, rename, & submit
  • Dance with the Devil – read through & make revisions
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 6/58, 6 this week

Blogging

Reading

  • Listen: 5 books – 0/5 for the month, 0 this week
    • A Thousand Pieces of You(Claudia Gray) – Started this Friday morning. It’s my second time listening to it. I finally got the second book in the series, and it had been a while since I listened to this one, so decided on a re-listen before I start the next one.
    • The Curse of the Pharaohs(Elizabeth Peters) – Started this Monday morning. On Chapter 7/17
  • Read: 31 books – 2/31, 3 this week
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I finished it Sunday night. Definitely eager to see what happens next in the series. I finished this in April, so I’m not counting it to my monthly goal, though I will for the week.
    • The Faerie Key(Denise D. Young) – Read this Monday afternoon. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it.
    • Beyond Pain(Kit Rocha) – Started this Monday evening. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Over the Edge(Suzanne Brockman) – Started this Tuesday evening. On page 59/395.

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Shield

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is to use a word starting with ‘sh’. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked on yesterday’s project, so I’m using this to work my way through the scene I couldn’t focus on then.

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She stared out the window, and he finally relaxed his hands on the steering wheel. No point in getting upset. He knew how she felt and why. And couldn’t even blame her too much for it.

“I care,” he told her. “I’ve always cared.”

“I wasn’t talking about you, Toby,” she said without glancing over at him.

“No, but you said cops have never cared about this neighborhood.” Or you. But, he didn’t bother voicing what she hadn’t, either. “I’m a cop, and I’ve always cared.”

“You’re different.”

He knew this conversation wouldn’t go anywhere else, not in this direction at least. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you, Denise,” he promised.

She snorted, and he finally glanced over at her before returning his gaze to the road. He couldn’t believe the humor on her face after everything that had happened. “You probably think you’re the first one to tell me that.”

No, he didn’t. He knew just how protective her brother was, so it didn’t surprise him at all he would have told her the same way. “Jared has taken it on himself practically since I was born to be my shield,” she said. “The last thing I need is for someone else to take up that position. I know why he felt he needed to do that, but not you. I’m all grown up now, Toby. I don’t need a protector.”

He pulled into the lot in front of the station and looked pointedly at her side, where the bandage now covered her wound. “I beg to differ,” he said. “As long as this man has his sights set on you, that’s just what you need.”

Toby wanted to be a lot more than her shield, but if that’s all he could get, all he deserved after all the wrong he’d done in his life, he’d gladly take up the position.

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There will probably be more to this scene, but that’s it for now. And if you’d like to read Jared’s story, it just released yesterday!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: In Loving Memory

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is to use “mem” as part of a word. As yesterday was Veteran’s day, I decided to use one of my veteran characters. It was just a matter of which one. I have a whole series that surrounds a group of former Marines, after all. But today  it’s one of my other characters who spoke up.

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Toby walked slowly down the path. He didn’t have to look around. he knew the exact route to where he was going. He’d been there enough times over the last several years. He didn’t expect anyone else to be here. His mom and siblings didn’t usually come out on this day. Maybe because their service in the Army was one thing he and Edward had shared was why this day felt important to come out here, too.

He veered off the path, counted his steps and turned to face his stepfather’s grave. He brushed a couple dead leaves off the top of the headstone as he crouched down in front of it. Ten years. Sometimes, he still found it hard to believe it had been ten years since he’d died. He’d survived two tours of duty in war zones, but it had been some punk on the street that had ended his life.

“We still miss you, Edward,” he said. “Jonas and Celia are good kids. You’d be so proud of them. I still remember how you said all the time you were proud of me. I didn’t get it. I did so much wrong, screwed up so much, and you were still proud.”

He’d never even known who his real father was. But, that hadn’t mattered once Edward came into their life.

“He was a good man.”

Toby glanced up at the familiar deep voice and stared at Michael McRoy, his captain at the police department. he wasn’t sure what to say to him right now. He hated anyone to see him in a weak moment, and that’s just how he felt right now. But, the other man just crouched down beside him.

“I didn’t know him as well as Brendan or Jerry, but we served together, too. And you’re right, he was proud of you. He didn’t hold the choices you made as a kid against you. Why should he? You turned your life around.”

“Because of him. He saved me.”

“You saved yourself, Toby. He might have helped set you on that path, but don’t forget that you’re the one who stayed on it.”

The memory of Edward saying something very similar once hit him hard. Michael squeezed his shoulder as he pushed back to his feet. “he’s not the only one who’s always been proud of you,” Michael said.

Toby turned and saw Denise walking toward him. Michael was right. Toby hadn’t always been proud of the person he was, it hadn’t always been a good one, but Denise had always believed in him. And he knew that was something he could always put his faith in.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Novel”

This week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt from the wonderful Linda G Hill is “novel”. This shouldn’t be too hard for a writer to talk about, right? I thought about working it into some fiction, but maybe I’ll do something different. It is National Novel Writing Month, after all. And, yes, I’m participating. I always have since I started back in 2010. I had a 3 year old and 2 month old at the time, didn’t even hear about it until a few days into the month. And I’d hardly been writing anything at that time. I think I felt I couldn’t be a Mom and a writer at the same time. Which, looking back, is a little ridiculous. I actually think I’m a better mom now that I’ve taken writing back(seriously, it’s not pretty when I don’t write for a while). Anyway, that first year I totally failed. I just jumped on a vague idea I had. Since then I’ve always plotted out my ideas.

This year I’m actually working on 5 different projects. Yeah, it’s cheating I suppose, but this seems to be how I work best. When I try to focus on only one at a time, all the other ideas suddenly think its their turn. So instead I’m writing 500 words a day on each. By the end of the month, this should get me at least 55,000 words, since I don’t work on the weekends unless I have to do some catching up. Anyway, this year’s projects are:

Defending the Heart

This is book 3 in my BC Security series. I actually first wrote book 1 for NaNo ’11. Then, I re-plotted and completely rewrote it. I always knew book 3 would be Piers’ story. Then, in book 1 Xavier popped up. I hadn’t been expecting him, or the fact that he and Piers had history and very possibly a future.

Crash and Burn

This is a novella in my Flames series. That series revolves around a fire department. The female main character is a paramedic who works with the department, and the male main character is a previous character’s older brother. This takes place at the same time as Closing Time(which I recently finished), and I wonder if it will ignore my decree of it being a novella as much as that one did.

Not Meant to Be

This is a series I actually started about probably 14 years ago now. The first book was written then at least. I completely rewrote it in 2012 and published it in 2014. I’m getting ready to release book 2 next month. This is book 6, but Toby has popped up in almost every single novel so far(except book 2 I think). It’s about time he got his happy ending 🙂

Stay a Little Longer

This is book 5 in my Kurztown series. I started this as a standalone set in a small town. It was just going to be a simple contemporary romance. A challenge for me because those tend to turn more into romantic suspense for me. I never thought it would be a series. And then Brian says he wants to tell the story of how he and Ashley got together(book 1 was told in 2 timelines, and they got together between those times), then sweet, soft-spoken, scarred Doren said he had a story to tell too, and look at that, now I have a series. Terrall was actually the antagonist in that one(there is bad history between him and Doren). I didn’t think he’d ever get a story, that I wouldn’t want to try to redeem someone who had taken a life by driving drunk. But…Redeem may not even be the right word for what will happen, but he is trying to makes amends. And something he said in Doren’s story will come back to bite him 😉

In the Moonlight

I feel like I’ve been working on this one forever(according to my spreadsheet, I started it at the beginning of May). It’s the only one of these that isn’t part of a series. This actually started as a flash fiction piece several years ago. It’s not even close to what that was, except there’s still a ghost involved. I’m really loving these girls, though.

So, that’s what I’m working on right now.

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