Home of a mother, wife, writer

Posts tagged ‘Still Burning’

Writing Wednesday: Holiday Beginning

Sunday we mostly sat around, had a pretty laidback day. I did get some writing done on a project I started in a notebook last July. Not something I plan to publish, just playing around. And I also wrote a short story of Jonas and Isaac’s(you may remember them from a snippet or two of Not Meant to Be) first kiss. But, that was all the writing I did.

Monday we had the pest control guy back out. He was here about a week and a half earlier because we’ve been having problems with mice(they chewed through half a loaf of bread, several hot dog buns and some other things). Monday was a scheduled “check-up” and he had to refill most of the bait stations. We haven’t heard as much activity(usually we can hear them scurrying around in the walls and cupboards but don’t usually see them), so it seems to be doing the trick. After he left, we went up to Erie and took the kids to see Despicable Me 3. It was good, and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. And then we had friends over for a fire Monday night.

Tuesday we had a pretty laidback day. We cooked on the grill and did some things around the house, and ended up going for ice cream after dinner. Now, time to get back to the regular routine.

And since today is Wednesday, it’s time for WiPPet Wednesday!! This week I have 13 paragraphs(5+7+1 bonus for the holiday) from Still Burning. Last week, Austin & Jess mentioned her dad. So, I figured this week, I’d share a snippet that actually featured him. He’ll probably feature a good bit in this since she does work for him. And they do have a pretty close family. This is pretty much right after Austin has left.

“Jess,” her father bellowed just as she reached the ladder.
She hunched her shoulders. Great. Not like it was her fault Austin had stopped by. She hadn’t even talked to him for more than five minutes probably. They took longer water breaks than that every couple hours.
She tried to push aside her worries as she strode over to him. “What’s up, Pops?” she asked when she reached the steps to the job trailer.
He scowled down at her from the top of the steps. But, she saw a twinkle in his eyes. “Was that Austin who stopped by?”
“Sure was. He just got out of work. Is it a problem? I sent him on his way quick enough.”
That extinguished the twinkle. “I’m not worried about that, Jess. People stop by, it’s not something you can control. And he’s a nice boy.”
A nice boy. Right. Opposite of her in every way. “Then, what’s the problem?”
“I didn’t say there was one.”
“Except you bellowed for me.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “I do not bellow, that’s Tate you’re thinking of.”
“And where do you think he gets it from?”
“Smart ass,” he muttered, but he was still chuckling.
“It’s why you love me.”

Pretty sure that’s not the only reason, Jess, even if you don’t see it.

And my progress during this first full week of July:

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 2129/10000 words, 1860 this week
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 2373/10000 words, 1973 this week
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 1606/10000 words, 1340 this week
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 1572/10000 words, 1353 this week
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 1502/10000 words, 1232 this week
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 873/10000 words, 873 this week

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the MoonlightRead Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 2/32
  • Hang OnPolish & Submit

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 1/5
    • Bitterblue(Kristin Cashore) – Started this last Monday morning. Finished it Wednesday morning. Loved it.
    • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue(Mackenzi Lee) – downloaded this Wednesday morning. Didn’t actually start it yet, though.
  • Read: 30 books – 4/30, 2 this week
    • How to Date Dead Guys(Ann M. Noser) – Started this Saturday night. Got to 34% but really didn’t care about any of it. So decided to set it aside.
    • Speak No Evil(Allison Brennan) – Started this Sunday afternoon. Finished this Monday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • Knit Tight(Annabeth Albert) – Started this Monday night. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Taking him On(Debbie McGowan) – Started this Tuesday evening. At 26%

Writing Wednesday: Social Exhaustion

I had a busy weekend; motorcycle ride on Saturday, a fire with friends Saturday night, church Sunday morning(visiting pastor was my husband’s uncle. Didn’t know that until we got there, though), then a meeting for the motorcycle club we ride with in the afternoon. It was at one of the member’s houses so it felt rather informal. Still, it was a lot of social interaction for me in two days. I was pretty exhausted by Sunday night. This weekend probably won’t be much better. I know we have at least one picnic to go to and fireworks Saturday night. And my routine will be thrown off next week with the holiday on Tuesday. Oh well, even if I fall off track, I’ll get back on.

Monday we had quite a storm. I thought it was just raining really hard. Then, I looked outside and saw hail coming down. Oh goody. It wasn’t anything too bad, though. It was small and didn’t seem to do damage to anything. It looked like it would rain most of Tuesday but never actually did, other than a little sprinkle.

But, now it’s Wednesday, which means it’s WiPPet Time. *dances in chair* *drinks more coffee to wake up some* Ok, I’m done with that. I’m back to working on Still Burning today. We’ve met Austin and Jess. So, now, I guess it’s time to share a snippet of them together. No, not like that. I don’t share those scenes on my blog. At least nothing explicit. 😀 *blushes* hehe. (Note: I really do blush easily even if I’m not embarrassed by something). Anyway, I have 10(2+8 for the day) paragraphs here. Austin left work at the fire station and stopped by the site where Jess is working. Someone said something about Jess that bothered Austin, so of course he wanted to jump to her defense, but she wouldn’t appreciate that.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “Everyone knows I’m a cold bitch anyway. What are you doing here, Austin?”
His fists didn’t loosen. “How can you say it doesn’t matter? He shouldn’t talk to you like that. You aren’t cold, Jess, and you aren’t a bitch. Doesn’t your dad care they treat you like that? And what’s up with that ‘Huntress’ shit?”
She narrowed her eyes, and he finally ran down. “First,” she said, “it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t. Don’t tell me that any females at the station don’t take some ribbing. I know they do. And, yes, I am a bitch. Don’t take that from me.”
He couldn’t help the way his lips twitched up at that. “Maybe on the surface,” he admitted. “But, I’ve seen underneath that.” He almost thought he caught a slight pinking of her skin, but that was probably wishful thinking. Jess didn’t blush. He’d never been able to make her.
“And continuing on with your points,” she said, nearly making him laugh. “Dad does care. He just fired someone for catcalling a woman walking past a site. What do you think he’d do if he thought one of the guys was harassing me?”
“Murder them,” Austin murmured, and this time it was Jess who laughed.
“I don’t know that it would go quite that far, but you see my point. “They already think I’m only working here because I’m the boss’s daughter. Don’t need any more fuel to their assumptions I get special treatment. Which is exactly what they’d think, and that I can’t handle myself, if I ran to Daddy every time someone said something even slightly offensive.”
Austin wanted to punch every guy here who thought that. Hell, she was probably more capable than all of them combined. “That guy called you Huntress. What’s that about?”
She rolled her eyes at that one. “It’s stupid. They’ve made a play on our last name for each of us. I get to be Huntress since I’m the only female.” The last word came out a little harder than the rest, or at least that’s how it seemed to him. But then she was asking, “What are you doing here anyway? I’m pretty sure it’s not to get played with.”
“No,” he said, cutting the word off a little sharper than he’d meant to. “You seem to have put this toy back in the toy box.” She winced and took a step back. Damn it. He hadn’t meant his anger to come out like that. He hadn’t even realized he was so angry about it. Maybe it had been that guy’s boy toy comment that had done it, though. Maybe that really was all he was to her.

Oh, Austin, that’s not all you are. Jess just has a tough time explaining exactly how she feels.

Plotting:

  • High on Your Love Back stories, Plot summaries, Story Toolkit, Outline Act 1 – Through Timeline. Section 18/18. Outlined through Chapter 6(end of Act 1). Once I get through writing those scenes, I’ll outline the next Act. Maybe that will keep me from getting too far off the outline if I can adjust it more easily as I finish each Act.
  • Jayla & CarisaPlot summaries, Story Toolkit, Outline – Through Romance Arc worksheet. Section 9/18

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas(BC Security #3.5) Add 8000 words – 9996/8000 words, 1930 words this week
    • She’d briefly considered dumping all the pictures in the trash bin and wrecking the board she’d already started attaching some of them to. He’d actually thought she only liked him out of pity. After that kiss the other day, how could he think that? Or did he put that off to pity, too? Could he seriously be that dense?
  • Still Burning(Hunter Family #4)Add 10000 words – 10430/10000 words, 207 words this week
  • Not Meant to Be(Gilbert, Co #6) – finish 1st draft 
  • By the Gun – Add 8000 words – 6217/8000 words,
  • Side ProjectsAdd 9000 words between them – 14187/9000 words, 943 words this week
    • Jared’s Stepfather – 218 words – The door creaked open, and Jared turned his head. Carlos stood in the doorway, the worry fading from his eyes as he met Jared’s gaze. “You’re awake then, brother. Your hermanita will be glad to hear that.”
    • Roman – 240 words – Roman let out a long breath, but caught Cristine’s eye and the shake of her head. Right. He couldn’t push on this. She wouldn’t believe just him showing her. He’d have to prove it another way.
    • Hawk – 282 words – I shook my head. “I haven’t seen him since just before I turned seventeen. I lived with Mr. Bentley from then to the time I left for Basic Training.” I could feel the curiosity coming from most of the people at the table. All except Wraith and Damon. They already knew the story. I hoped now wouldn’t be the time I’d have to repeat it.
    • Jacob & Matthew – “And if they do?” Jacob asked.  “I am only grooming the stage’s horses and talking to my old friend who just showed up back in town. I see nothing wrong with it.” He wanted to do a lot more than that, but Matthew was right. Neither of them could afford to get caught.

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – beta edits – edited Chapter 1/26(counting the epilogue as a chapter of its own).
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits – still waiting, but I should have this soon.
  • In the Moonlight – Pre-revisions & 1st Revisions – This is done until I start the read through in July.
  • One Touch(formerly Snow White Twist)Beta edits, Polish, & Submit – 10/10 chapters revised. 50/50 polished.
  • Dance with the Devil – Polish 6 chapters  – Polished 6/6 chapters
  • Mason & Lila Polish & Post to Patreon – 50/50 polished. Posted it on Tuesday.

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 4/5, 1 this week
    • The Mummy Case(Elizabeth Peters) – Finished this Monday morning. Really enjoyed it.
    • Bitterblue(Kristin Cashore) – Started this Monday morning. Chapter 15/46
  • Read: 30 books – 28/30, 2 this week
    • Hiding Behind the Couch – Box Set One(Debbie McGowan) – Read through Beginnings, Ruminations, Hiding Behind the Couch, & No Time Like the Present.  Finished The Harder They Fall Sunday morning. Started Crying in the Rain Sunday morning. About 3/5 through it. Finished 5/7
    • Kiss Me, Kill Me(Allison Brennan) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • Once Upon a Rose(Laura Florand) – Started this Tuesday morning. finished it Tuesday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • Out of Control(Suzanne Brockmann) – Started this Tuesday night. On page 28/458

Writing Wednesday: Ahead of Myself

On Sunday, we had my niece’s birthday party. Got groceries, came home and put air conditioners in the window. And thank goodness for that. Apparently even 75F in the house is even too hot for me(I used to let it get to 80 before I’d turn the air conditioner on. My tolerance for heat seems to keep getting less and less).

Monday I had my goals for the day finished around lunch time. Part of that is because I only had two plotting goals for my writing time, 1 of which I got to Sunday night), also the book I was going to read I ended up setting aside because I just didn’t care, it wasn’t drawing me in. So, I had most of Tuesday’s goals done by the time I went to bed Monday night. The same was true for Tuesday(in fact I’m writing this up Tuesday evening). in fact, I had all my writing goals and everything else except picking up the yard(too hot outside) and getting dinner ready for Wednesday done before I went to bed Tuesday.

I was looking through the things the kids brought home from school, including some of the boy’s writing. And found this little “book” he wrote, “The Lost Puppy”(or Pupe as he spelled it). Here’s 2 pages from it:

But, it’s Wednesday now(ok, it will be by the time this posts), which means WiPPet Wednesday!!!! This week, I have 5 paragraphs from Still Burning. This is from the first chapter, and they’re at a picnic at Jess’ parents’ house. The baby is her twin brother’s new daughter. And you may recognize some familiar names. 😉

“I rescued her from the rookie,” Mark said as they reached the table. It should look strange, that bundle wrapped in a pink blanket nestled in his tattooed arms. But, it didn’t, not even with him holding the bottle of milk in one hand.
Nolan laughed. “You make it sound so altruistic. And when are you going to stop calling Austin a rookie? He’s been with the department more than two years.”
Mark shrugged one shoulder. “Ah, he’s still a baby. And he is a rookie on the squad. Same with Brooke,” he said, raising his voice slightly.
Jeremiah Brooke jerked his head toward them then grinned when we realized Mark was ribbing him. His boyfriend, Silas, came up beside him along with their girlfriend, Corrin. She didn’t get that. She couldn’t even keep one man in her life, let alone balance two of them.
She wasn’t romantic enough. She’d been told that enough times. Fuck romance. She liked sex plenty, but once someone started getting all lovey-dovey she was done.

Writing a romance about someone who doesn’t care for romance, this could be interesting. Especially since I don’t want it to turn into a “she was just waiting for the right person” situation.

Now on to my progress for the week so far.

Plotting:

  • High on Your LoveBack stories, Plot summaries, Story Toolkit, Outline
  • Jayla & CarisaPlot summaries, Story Toolkit, Outline – Wrote up plot summaries Sunday night and typed them Monday. Started the Story Toolkit. Got through Initial Concept & started on World Building

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas(BC Security #3.5) – Add 8000 words – 4122/8000 words, 2425 words this week
    • As he walked out, Alaina turned her gaze to her brother. “You know, sometimes I forget I love you and really start to hate you.” Then, she pushed away from the table as well and followed Caelen. *looks like someone’s overprotectiveness just backfired on him.
  • Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Add 10000 words – 6190/10000 words, 1761 words this week
    • Austin watched as the volunteer department’s engine pulled away. “I just wish I knew why she hated me.” The words spilled out before he could catch them.
  • Not Meant to Be(Gilbert, Co #6) – finish 1st draft 
  • By the Gun – Add 8000 words – 2014/8000 words
  • Side Projects – Add 9000 words between them – 7990/9000 words, 2524 words this week
    • Sean & Braeden – 216 words – Braeden dropped his gaze almost instantly, which sent a rock tumbling into Sean’s stomach. That was probably his own fault. He shouldn’t have let Braeden’s reaction to that stupid kiss send him running. But, how could he see him every day with Braeden had made his feelings clear? *Oh, I don’t think they’re all that clear, Sean. 😉
    • Hawk – 275 words – “It’s my father,” I said, after swallowing the huge lump in my throat. “Yesterday he tried to kill me.”
    • Mike & Fadil – 1009(about 750 of these were copied from a piece I wrote during May). “I know. I’m not saying you should regret anything, Mike. I’m just saying you should stop looking back. You have a daughter, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a future.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 324 words – That changed things, at least as far as Patrick was concerned. It would have been one thing to him if Sarah had wanted the man here. But, he would not let someone get away with abusing her.
    • Roman – 202 words – And that had totally not been what he’d expected. He’d thought Carlos would be more worried about himself, not some young girl he’d been using. So, maybe it wasn’t what he’d thought. Maybe he’d made assumptions he shouldn’t have. He was going to have to figure that out.
    • Dougal & Shae – 258 words – But, as she took a few more steps down, she saw that she’d been wrong. He was here. Her gaze shot back to Donovan. And his smirk turned to a full-out grin. That damn, dirty bastard. *Oh, yeah, Shae is not happy with her brother & this little set-up.
    • Preggers – 240 words – Lyndi snickered when the waitress had left. “Damn, she’s gotten good since the last time I was in here. Her older sister made passive-aggression an art form. I wasn’t sure Missy had the knack for it, though.”

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – beta edits – edited Chapter 1/26(counting the epilogue as a chapter of its own).
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits – still waiting
  • In the Moonlight – Pre-revisions & 1st Revisions – finished 4 scenes(added 2623 words). Decided to leave chapters how I have them for now(switching to a new chapter when POV switches between Yasmin & Nola – which  means some are a bit longer than others). I’ll see how the pace seems when I do my read through, which I think will be in July.
  • One Touch(formerly Snow White Twist)Beta edits, Polish, & Submit – contacted 2nd beta reader Sunday night. Hoping to have it back from her soon.
  • Dance with the Devil – Polish 6 chapters  – Polished 4/6 chapters

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 2/5
    • Blood and Betrayal(Lindsay Buroker) – Started this Friday morning. On Chapter 20/25. I’ll probably finish it today or tomorrow.
  • Read: 30 books – 15/30, 2 this week
    • Hellbent(Cynthia/Sara Rayne) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday evening. Really enjoyed it.
    • Hiding Behind the Couch – Box Set One(Debbie McGowan) – Started this Sunday night but didn’t get too far yet.
    • Delivered Fast(Annabeth Albert) – Started this Monday evening. Finished it Tuesday morning. Liked it. Was about to give up on these books, due to same reasons as an earlier rant(basically in the six books of hers I’ve read – from 2 different series- the word bisexual hasn’t even been used. And it’s been bothering me). But I read a review of the next book and apparently one of the characters(who was a side character in this one) is bi, so I’ll give it a little longer and see how that one is(and it was only .99 so I bought it all ready).
    • This Savage Song(Victoria Schwab) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. At 12%

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. 😉

Plotting

  • 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.

Writing

  • 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. 😉

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) – 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).

Blogging

  • 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).

Reading

  • 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%

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat – Finished 2 decrease rounds

Story a Day: Day 7 – “So Mean”

Yesterday’s prompt was to explore a character’s emotional wound, so I went back to when Austin was about 7. Today’s is to take someone you’ve fallen out of touch with and think of a question you’d want to ask them and fictionalize it. So, I’m switching to Jess, the other main character in Still Burning. Her and Austin have a bit of a push & pull relationship through some of the other Flames novels(basically he pushes for just a little more, and she pulls away. And then they start all over again). This is when Jess is about 13.

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

“Are you sure you’re even a girl?”

Jess looked across the lunch table at Ashley, who she’d always considered a friend. Maybe even her best friend. She certainly wasn’t good at making them. Not nearly as good as her brother, Jace. “That’s what they tell me,” she said.  She wasn’t going to admit the question made her want to cry. What did that even mean, though?

“You don’t act like one,” Ashley went on. “You don’t ever dress like one. You’ve never had a boyfriend. I don’t think you’ve ever even had a crush on one. What’s wrong with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Jess snapped, even though the piece of pizza she’d just swallowed felt like lumpy paste in her throat. “Why do you always have to be so mean.”

“I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. I don’t know why you’re getting mad at me.”

Jess wasn’t even sure how to put words to what she was feeling. But, Ashley did this all the time. Pick at her until she lost her temper, then expect Jess to apologize. She wasn’t going to do it this time. She pushed back from the table and took her tray up to dump the rest of her lunch. She wasn’t hungry anymore anyway.

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

Short one today. This exact thing didn’t happen to me, though something similar with a “friend” and that friendship Jess describes at the end is basically how it went with us. And this was pretty much the end of thinking she was a friend. Though, there are times I’d like to go back and ask her why she always treated me that way.

 

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.

Tag Cloud