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Fiction Friday: Midas’ Daughter – “After Dinner”

Last week, we got to see more of Calla’s interaction with her father. Today we get just a hint of what might be to come after that.

Calla headed into the dining room after washing the alcohol from her hands. She’d nicked herself at least once with the broken glass, but thankfully it hadn’t bled too much. Although maybe seeing her hands bandaged would get her father to realize what he was doing.
And that he wasn’t only hurting himself.
But, when she stepped into the dining room, it was empty. Where was her father? She thought he would have come right here from his office. Apparently that wasn’t the case, though. And it didn’t sound like he was berating any of the kitchen staff. She’d definitely be able to hear if he was.
She sighed and crossed the room, pushing into the kitchen. Nita turned from the stove. “Calla, dear, what are you doing? Your father-”
“Is probably shut in his room. I just finished cleaning his office.”
“Calla, that isn’t for you to do.” It was the same thing her father had said, but this time there was softness in the words.
“I know. But, none of you should have to deal with the aftereffects of his rages, either.”
“We are paid for it. You aren’t. Instead you feel you need to pay for what he does.”
She shook her head. That wasn’t it. But, she had never been able to put into words just what it was. Before she could try once more, there was a knock on the jamb of the kitchen door. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Murray, the butler, smiling past her to Nita. If her father knew they’d had something going on as long as she could remember, he’d lose it. He didn’t like anyone having loyalties to anyone but him.
One, if not both of them, would be fired. And her life would probably be even more miserable.
“What is it, Murray?” she asked the butler, smiling sweetly. “Does my father need me?”
The smile dimmed slightly, and she imagined it was the mention of her father. She thought that if it wasn’t for Nita, Murray would have given up his position long ago. Frankly, she wasn’t quite sure why any of the employees stayed on and tolerated her father’s behavior. She didn’t have much choice if she didn’t want to live on the streets. Maybe they feared the same thing.
And she thought her father liked it that way.
“No, Miss Calla,” Murray said, nodding at her. “He just informed me he’ll be taking his meal in his room tonight. I shall take it up once it’s ready.”
“Told you,” Calla said, turning back to Nita. “Sulking.” There were shadows in her eyes, though, and she wondered what the older woman knew.
“I’ll let you know when it’s ready,” she told Murray softly.
He nodded and stepped back out of the kitchen. Even though Calla was pretty sure he wanted to come forward and at least kiss the woman. He wouldn’t do that while they were on duty, though. Wouldn’t take the risk. He probably knew how much Father depended on him, but he’d say he could always get a new cook. Murray wouldn’t put Nita at risk like that.
“He is just sulking, right?” Calla asked.
Nita’s mouth thinned, and she turned back to the stove. “Scheming more like it,” she muttered.
A chill went over her. Though it wasn’t like he didn’t scheme every day. Why should this one be any different?

What could her father be scheming about? How will it affect Calla? Hold on and you might just find out.

 

RoW80 2017 Round 1 Wrap-Up

Today is the official end of the first round of RoW80 for this year. So, even though I did a check-in post yesterday, I have my wrap up of the round’s goals today. I’ll have my monthly wrap-up and goals for the next round and month up next Sunday(4/2). But, for now, here’s how I did for the round:

#Row80 Round 1:

Plotting:

  • Loving the Devil – Outline – set this one aside. The idea wasn’t really forming well into a plot.
  • Playing With Fire(Flames #6/The Rileys #1) – Outline – this is done. It’ll be my main writing project in April.
  • Heart of Christmas(BC Security novella) – I’m working on the story toolkit for this one.
  • High on Your Love(Kurztown #6) – Didn’t get to this one.

Writing:

  • In the Moonlight – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 14964 words to finish it.
  • Crash and Burn – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 16098 words to finish it.
  • Defending the Heart – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 38768 words to finish it.
  • Stay a Little Longer – add 39000 words – 38500/39000 words. Only 500 short. Tomorrow’s words will get me there.
  • Not Meant to Be – add 12000 words – only managed 3683/12000. I changed how I was doing things, so this one got set aside. I think I’ll be getting back to it in May on the new schedule.
  • Loving the Devil – start drafting – no. This one’s shelved at least for now.
  • Playing with Fire – start drafting – I did start this. 6617 words. I’ll get back to it in April.
  • Heart of Christmas – start drafting – No. I don’t have this planned until August now.

Revising:

  • Stained Blood – Rewrite – Good progress on this. 7864 words added. I have 4 more scenes to add & 19 more to edit through.
  • Demons Rising – Revise – Still nothing on this
  • Flames of Renewal – Send to CP & do edits if I get it back before the end of the round – sent it to CP, but haven’t got it back yet.
  • Snow White Twist – Fill in Details – this is done & I did the read through. Ready to start revisions, which I’m hoping to have done by the end of the month.

Side Projects:

  • Midas’ Daughter – Get to 13000 words – 10441/13000 words
  • Dance with the Devil – finish 1st draft – done!
  • Patrick & Sarah – get to 5400 words – 5413/5400 words
  • Tavin & Haiwee – get to 4675 words – 4627/4675 words
  • Roman – get to 5800 words – 6350/5800 words
  • Dougal & Shae – get to 4000 words – 4163/4000 words

I also started a few other side projects, and have 2 more I plan to start this week. In all, I’ve added 17,262 words between all side projects.

Blogging:

  • Row80 – keep up to date with own posts & others – did pretty well with this.
  • Just Jot it January – 30 posts(since I already skipped day 1) – 28/30. Pretty close. I did all except for day 1 and a couple of the One-line Wednesday prompts.

Reading:

  • Listen: 12 books – 24/12. I’d met this goal back in January.
  • Read: 90 books – 77/90 books.

Crafting:

  • Knit: 3 projects – 3/3 projects
  • Crochet: 3 projects – 2/3 projects. Close to finishing the third, though.
  • Loom: 3 projects – 1/3 projects

Overall, it was a pretty good round. Looking forward to the next one.

Writing Wednesday: Still Smoking

I definitely think I like my new way of getting things done. I’m working on my writing goals for the first half of each hour. And during the second half, I’ll work through the other things on my list. And once I’m done with my writing goals, I’ll concentrate on the other t0-do items. Yesterday, doing this, the only thing I didn’t get done was my reading. So, I think I’m going to continue with it for now. At least until it isn’t working for me anymore.

Stepmother-in-law brought this back for us from her recent trip to Iceland.

The kids had Monday off from school(they also had last Friday off). So we decided to all get our eyes checked out. I’ve had to wear glasses since I was about twelve. Husband wears them on occasion, but doesn’t need them all the time. Last year we got the kids’ checked and the girl was a little far-sighted, but they said that often corrects as they grow. And this year hers was pretty much perfect. So was the boy’s. Mine haven’t changed enough to matter. And I just got new ones last year, so I wasn’t worried about it. Husband got news ones, though.

The reason we decided to do this now was because we still had a lot in his HSA through work. Which rolls over at the end of the month, and only so much of it will roll over. Well, he went to use it after our appointments, and it was declined. Looking into it, they’d deactivated all the cards because they’re moving to another company. Well, they weren’t supposed to deactivate them until next week. It would have been really nice to know beforehand. We ended up having to pay out of pocket, and the company is going to reimburse us. But, yeah, it kind of defeats the purpose of the health savings account when you can’t even use it.

Anyway, rant over, and it’s WiPPet Wednesday again! Woohoo!! I’m still working on Stay a Little Longer this morning. So, you get another snippet from that. Some context: They’re still at Jess’s daughter’s birthday party, and Terrall and Mike are talking. They share some similar history, but from different perspectives. Mike’s mother was killed in a drunk driving accident. His father was the one driving. Terrall was involved in a different one. Which is what they’re talking about here. There’s 7 paragraphs(3+2+2) here.

He shook his head. “I hardly drink anymore. An occasional beer, but I won’t get behind the wheel if I’ve had more than that.”
“Figured that. From what I heard from family and neighbors, Dad still drinks. Heavily. And doesn’t always wait for someone to come pick him up. That makes a big difference between him and you.”
A small figure came rushing into the kitchen before Terrall could respond to that. “Daddy, I want more fruit, but the tray’s gone.”
He laughed and lifted her to his side. “I was just refilling it, Alexa,” he said. “This is your mommy’s friend, Terrall,” he said, nodding toward him.
She turned to look at him, seemed to be studying him. Even though she had her father’s darker skin—a lighter shade, though—and his dark hair and eyes, he could see Jess in her, too. “Are you a friend like Fadil is Daddy’s friend?” she asked.
Mike snorted but left Terrall to answer the question himself. Great. “I’d like to be,” he said. “But, that’ll be up to your mama to decide.”
“Smart answer,” Mike said as he set his daughter down and picked up the tray.

Kids can certainly be perceptive. 🙂

Now on to my progress so far this week. This is also the end of Round 1 of RoW80. This post is already pretty long, though, so I’ll have my wrap-up for that tomorrow.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 4/22 sections of Story Toolkit(some of these sections I’ll have to do at least 2 sheets for because of multiple characters, but I’ll put them all in one section). 3317 words so far this month. 440 words this week.
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 32983 words/45000, 33/38 scenes for the month. 3327 words/4 scenes this week.
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 3863/5000 words so far this month. 514 words this week. have read through 9/9 in Snow White Twist. and I already have one reader lined up for this. If any else would be interested in reading a f/f retelling of Snow White(about 21000 words), let me know. I should have it revised and ready by the end of the month. I’ll be adding 2 more stories to my list, one of which just popped into my head one day and then I saw this article this morning, which is kind of similar to the idea(only my characters will meet when they’re already pregnant).
    • Midas’ Daughter – 101 words – Flip had hoped Mr. Midas might one day forget his threats. But, the glares he periodically sent him and the little hints he’d drop, told him that was still not the case. It probably never would be.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 174 words – Just a terror, Sarah had said. Nothing more than a bad nightmare. He glanced back toward the bedroom the two boys shared. He couldn’t say why, but he was sure there was a lot more to it than that.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 85 words – Haiwee shot more words at her cousin, and this time Tavin did catch his own name in there. Then, something else as she gestured back to him.  *I probably would have written more, but I got sidetracked researching. I did find a search engine for the Shoshoni language, though.
    • Roman – 154 words – “Don’t be silly,” she said, and her voice was still soft, still gentle. “We are a family. No matter how we add to it, you and I will always be a family, Roman.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 6/10 new scenes finished this month. 15/40 scenes edited. 4835 words added this month. 1375 words added this week.
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 5/24 for the month.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 27 posts – Edited 8/27(almost forgot about the theme reveal post) posts. And my theme reveal went live on Monday. A, B, C, D, E, F, & G are scheduled. So, I’ve got through Week 2 ready. I’ll just have to add links back to the previous post before they go live(hopefully I’ll remember).

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 4/8 for the month, 1 this week
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – Finished this Sunday after posting my check-in. Enjoyed it, but the ending broke my romantic heart. I did see there’s going to be at least 1 more book(I’d thought it was a trilogy, but I guess not).
    • Fire(Kristin Cashore) – On Chapter 3(audible has these chapters split up weird. There are more than one in what it says is a chapter. So I’m just doing what’s on top of the screen on my phone). It’s interesting, but I’m almost 3 hours in and it doesn’t feel like a lot’s really happened. I’ll give it at least a little longer.
  • Read: 31 books – 20/31 for the month, 3 this week.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Finished this on Sunday.
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments. I’m on Chapter 38/166(If I counted right. The chapters are labeled with POV characters’ names instead of numbers).
    • The Beltane Kiss(Denise D Young) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday morning.
    • A Geek Girls Guide to Arsenic(Julie Anne Lindsey) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday morning. Loved it. Not sure I’ve ever felt such kinship to a character as I do Mia(particularly the social awkwardness).
    • Under Pressure(Lori Foster) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On page 167/381.
    • The Defiant Hero(Suzanne Brockmann) – This is today’s book. Just starting it.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – Finished this Tuesday morning. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 40/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section. 11/11 for crown decreases.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat – Have 18/28 rounds crocheted for hat.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – realized the slouchy hat uses a loom I don’t have, so I’m cutting it off the list.

Sunday Summary: On Fire

That title doesn’t only describe my writing progress this week. Yesterday morning we met some friends for breakfast. We’d been planning to go to Erie and get groceries and some other things. When we were in the parking lot ready to go home, the fire radio in our truck went off, calling the department my husband volunteers with to assist another local one(which is actually the one that handles where we live, but he was a member of the one in town well before we moved here and has stayed). Anyway, the address was for right behind our house. So, he dropped us at the end of the driveway and continued down to the fire. He was there for about five hours and said it was a total loss, but everyone got out okay.

Smoke from our porch

Taken walking up our driveway.

We did end up going to get groceries, just a lot later and closer than we’d planned.

The boy decided only playing with legos isn’t creative enough for him. he had to mix and match them together with his bumblebee transformer car.

As I said above, my writing progress has been on fire this week as well.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 1496 words on Alaina’s back story, 649 on Caelen’s back story.  13 paragraphs(hand-written)732 words on Brock’s back story. Short summary(1 sentence) written. Medium summary(1 paragraph) writtenLong summary(3 paragraphs) written. 3150 words so far this month
    • Alaina wants a future with Caelen but with someone interfering in their lives, this Christmas might be all they get. *rough, 1 sentence summary
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 29656 words/45000, 29/38 scenes for the month. 9293 words/11 scenes this week. I wrote 5k on this just Tuesday morning. The words were definitely flowing.
    • Her chest felt like it ripped open as he turned and left. She wanted to call him back, wanted to apologize, whatever it took to keep another person from walking away from her. But, no, this was the right thing. The only thing she could do. She had to do whatever she could to be here for her kids.
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 3349/5000 words so far this month. 1014 this week. 63/63 comments applied to Patrick & Sarah & posted to Patreon. And sent chapter 2 to beta.  51/51 comments applied to Tavin & Haiwee, have read through 9/9 in Snow White Twist. and I already have one reader lined up for this. If any else would be interested in reading a f/f retelling of Snow White(about 21000 words), let me know. I should have it revised and ready by the end of the month. And I got ideas for 2 more stories. If you read Wednesday’s Wippet selection, you’ll probably know what one of them is. The other just popped into my head while waiting for the kids’ bus one day and won’t leave me alone now.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 235 words – “Yes, sir,” Flip said even as he felt like his insides were shredded. He’d wanted to see Calla again, but he could not be the reason his father’s world was destroyed even more. He’d have to stay away.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 123 words – “It was just a dream,” Sarah told the younger boy. “You know your brother would not do that. He is not a demon. It was just part of your dream.” *sure, Sarah, keep telling yourself that.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 146 words – But, that did not answer his question. And the man spit more words out, but Haiwee only stood straighter. Tavin wished he knew what they said and could join in the conversation. If only to save Haiwee from some of the hatred Tavin could see on the man’s face.
    • Roman – 120 words – She shivered. He was so glad he could still make her do that, even after all this time. Even after what they’d just found out. That day they’d wed, he’d promised her love, a home, family. He’d given her as much of the first two as he could. But, the last…he’d failed there.
    • Dougal & Shae – 161 words – Shae walked into her older brother’s house and instantly felt a weight drop from her shoulder. She was amazed how it could do that. Even more than walking into her own–well, her parents’ really–home. Her sister-in-law, Chrissa, turned from the sink. Her eyes looked tired, and Shae saw dark circles under them.
    • Mason & Lila – 122 words – He smiled even though it hurt his face, and his heart a bit. “You’re going to get your big break as soon as we turn eighteen and leave me in the dust for Nashville, aren’t you?” *Actually it’s gonna happen before that. Sorry, Mason.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 79 words – But, if it ever came out into the open, they would be done for.
    • Hang On – 30 words – “I got distracted. It’s not a big deal.” Except I’d been getting distracted a lot lately. Mostly because of thinking about him. But, I wasn’t going to tell him that.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 4/10 new scenes finished this month. 6/40 scenes edited. 3460 words added this month. 1902 this week.
    • “You aren’t…you’re not going to tell anyone. Are you?” His voice quivered as if he feared the answer to that.
      “What would I tell them, Jacob?” he asked. “I don’t know a damn thing.”
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 5/24 for the month. 666 words on E post. 894 words on F post. 708 words on G post. 2105 words this week. I’m going to draft a week’s worth then go back and edit them. Hopefully that way they’ll all be ready at least a week in advance.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 27 posts – Edited 5/27(almost forgot about the theme reveal post) posts. A, B, C, & D are ready to go, other than adding link back to previous one), will schedule once my Theme reveal goes live.

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 3/8 for the month, 0 since last check-in
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – On Chapter 28. I only have about an hour left to listen to.
  • Read: 31 books – 16/31 for the month, 6 this week.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Reading this when I finish the rest of the books on my weekly list. On page: 181/314(not counting all the end notes & index)
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments. I’m on Chapter 12/166(If I counted right. The chapters are labeled with POV characters’ names instead of numbers).
    • The Ranger(Monica McCarty) – Read this on Monday. Really enjoyed it.
    • Wanderlust(Roni Loren) – I started this one after setting several others aside(ones my MIL had given to me, and they just didn’t grab me). I’ve actually read it before when it was part of an anthology, but I’ll always re-read a Roni Loren book. I finished reading it last night. It was a pretty quick one, but just as good as I remember(though there was one detail I believe was changed).
    • First and First(Santino Hassell) – Finished this one Wednesday night. Loved it.
    • Fast Connection(Santino Hassell & Megan Erickson) – I loved this one, too.
    • Against the Edge(Kat Martin) – started this Thursday night. Enjoyed it.
    • Ever After(Kete Serine) – started this Saturday afternoon. Finished it Saturday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • The Beltane Kiss(Denise D Young) – Started this Saturday night. At 33%

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – started this on Monday. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 36/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section. Almost finished round 37 but ran out of yarn. I got more yarn yesterday, so I’ll be able to finish it.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat – started this one Wednesday afternoon. Have 17/28 rounds crocheted for hat.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – I finished the scarf on Sunday.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Man”

This was actually a perfect Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “man”, for the dialogue that popped into my head the other day between a few characters. This will come near the end of Heart of Christmas, which I’ve been plotting.

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

“Why would you want to do that?” Caelen asked Alaina. “What if I turn out like him?”

“Why would you? That man isn’t even your father.”

The words were soft, gentle, but he still flinched away from them. Just as he always had from the man himself. “Maybe not, but he’s the one that raised me. I don’t even know who my real father is because he had no interest in me. Just like my mother. Just like everyone in my life.”

Alaina opened her mouth as if to argue, but a voice behind them said, “That’s not true, little brother, and you know it.” Braeden stepped into the room, carrying something under one arm. “Not all the way true, at least. Not everyone has walked from you. I never did.”

The heat of shame flushed through him, leaving his face stained red, he was sure. “I’m sorry, Brae. I know, but-”

“But nothing. And you were too young to know everything going on in this house before she walked. I saw what he did when she told him she was pregnant with you. She left then and only came back then because the man she was with, your father, was being deployed, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to make it on her own. And Da was cruel to her, Cae. Every moment of every day. I’m surprised she managed to stick it out for five years.”

He saw Alaina’s brother, Declan, lift his head at the other side of the room at the mention of the man being deployed. But, Caelen couldn’t think about that. There was too much emotion rushing through him.

“She could have at least taken us with her.”

Braeden shook his head. “He never would have let me go, and she didn’t know if she could take care of herself, let alone either or the both of us.”

“How can you just forgive her?” He wasn’t sure he ever could. “She left us at his mercy. He beat you, too.” Usually because Braeden stepped in the way when he’d wanted to hurt Caelen.

“I’ve spoken to her. The day after I turned eighteen, in fact. He couldn’t do anything to me then.”

Caelen could only stare at him. Why hadn’t he known his brother had gone to the woman who had abandoned them? He was about to ask but Braeden continued before he could get a word out.

“She wasn’t in a good place, Cae. She’d been living with your father, but he’d been killed in action a little more than a year before that. She still wasn’t in a place to take care of any one but herself. I told her what life had been like for us, and I know she felt terrible, but she couldn’t face it. I did what I could to make him leave you alone because she couldn’t, Caelen.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“Because I didn’t want it to hurt you anymore. And you never showed any signs of being ready to forgive her for getting out of  a cocked up situation.”

“Why now then?”

“I visited her for Christmas. She gave me this for you. Even if you don’t want to speak with her, she wanted you to have something from him.”

Declan had made his way over to stand behind Alaina. Caelen flicked open the latch on the box Braeden set on the table. On the top sat a photo. He reached for it, ran his thumb over the woman, one he hadn’t seen in nearly two decades. He couldn’t bring himself to look at the man.

“Can I see that?” Declan asked.

“I don’t even know who he is. Having his picture won’t help.” But, he handed it over.

“I do,” Declan said softly. “I thought there was something familiar about you.”

Caelen’s head jerked up, and he stared at Declan. “What do you mean?”

Declan tapped the photo. “Caelen Mulroney. My father served with him. He wasn’t happy when Da decided to leave the army and move us to Texas to be with Mom and Alaina, but they stayed in touch. And we came back here for his funeral. I remember Da speaking to her. She’d started living with him about the time we left.”

“I remember,” Alaina said. “I was so angry they let you miss a week of school, but I still had to go.”

Declan’s mouth ticked up at that, and he handed the picture back. Caelen couldn’t look away from it. There was so much he wanted to know, and yet he was afraid to find out. Alaina seemed to sense his mixed-up feelings. She brushed a kiss over his cheek. “We’ll leave you alone to look at this.”

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

That turned out longer than I expected. And I’m sure there’ll be more to this when I put it with the rest of the story that’s still to be written.

Writing Wednesday: Rolling Through the Snow

Ok, not literally. That would be really cold. But, it’s been snowing here pretty steadily since the other night. Not as bad as some places, but we’ve definitely gotten a good amount. Not enough for them to even delay school, though.

And I’ve made a lot of progress on my writing goals for the week. As in, I’ve checked everything on my weekly goals list off. So, I’ll be working on my A-Z posts for the rest of the week during my writing time.

And before I get to more on that, it’s WiPPet Wednesday!! I thought I’d be sharing from one of my side projects, if that’s what I had open when I got to working on this post, but since everything is done, I’ll share some more from Stay a Little Longer. I have 15 paragraphs today(simple math this time). Mike is Jess’ daughter’s father, and their at his house for the daughter’s birthday.

Twenty minutes later she was pulling into his driveway. And saw Terrall’s car already parked there. Her stomach twisted a little. He was early. She was hoping to get there in time to introduce him. She looked up and saw the two dark-skinned men standing on the porch together, looking out at her.
She took a deep breath then stepped out of the car, going around to get Clay out of his seat. Paul was already standing at the front of the car, the gift he’d made and wrapped himself in his hands. “Why’s he here?” he asked, looking at Terrall.
“He’s my friend, Paul,” she said, wishing they could be even more than that. “I invited him.”
Her son didn’t say anything else, but he seemed wary as he approached the porch. Mike ruffled the boy’s hair, and Paul ducked away even as he laughed. Then, her ex took Clay from her arms and quickly flipped him upside down. Her son giggled, and Jess couldn’t help but smile. She loved hearing that sound. He might not talk much, but he was a happy child. That meant she had to be doing something right, didn’t it?
She glanced at Terrall then back to Mike. “I’ll get the rest of the things out of the car. Be right back.”
By the time she’d opened the trunk, Terrall was standing next to her. “Do you need help with anything?” he asked.
She looked up at him, feeling the smile spread even as razor-tipped wings fluttered in her stomach. She couldn’t remember any one else ever making her feel like this. “You can tell me why you’re here so early,” she said.
“You told me the party started at one, but you’d be here earlier to set up. I figured I’d lend a hand if I could.”
It was a sweet thing to do. She hadn’t asked him to do it. She handed him the cake box. “You can take this into the kitchen.” She grabbed the box of favor bags and started to lift it. But, he nudged her aside and set the cake on top of it, lifting both boxes at once.
Jess sighed. “I can lift a little box, Terrall.”
He leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to her lips. She moaned and leaned into him. His tongue grazed her lips then he jerked back, as if he’d forgotten himself for a moment. And his eyes were dark when she met them. He just smiled at her then started toward the house. She sighed again and grabbed the pinata she’d purchased the other day. At least he was letting her carry that.
“So, I met Mike,” he said as they walked up the sidewalk. “Seems like a nice guy.”
“He is,” Jess said. “Like I told you, we’re still friends even though we didn’t work out. Neither of us see Alex as a rope that needs to be tugged between us.” Unlike the way Frank seemed to think of Paul.
“Met his…partner, too.”
A corner of her mouth ticked up at his hesitation. “Boyfriend is the term they use,” she told him. “And it’s fine. I knew when Mike and I first got together that he was bi. It never bothered me. And Fadil has been good for him. I wish them all the happiness in the world.”

So, I almost want to write Mike and Fadil’s story now. Every time mike shows up in this one, I like him more and more. Not sure I’ll ever get to that one, though it may end up being a short story or novella.

Now, as promised, my progress for the week.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 1496 words on Alaina’s back story, 649 on Caelen’s back story. 2145 words so far this month
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 28269 words/45000, 27/38 scenes for the month. 7906 words/9 scenes this week. I wrote 5k on this just Tuesday morning. The words were definitely flowing.
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 3349/5000 words so far this month. 1014 since last check-in. 63/63 comments applied to Patrick & Sarah & posted to Patreon. And sent chapter 2 to beta.  51/51 comments applied to Tavin & Haiwee, have read through 5/9 in Snow White Twist.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 2/10 new scenes finished this month, started on the 3rd. 3/40 scenes edited. 2580 words added this month. 1022 since last check-in
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 2/24 for the month. 160 words on E post. 0 since last check-in. I’ll be working on these this afternoon and the rest of the week, though.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 26 posts

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 3/8 for the month, 0 since last check-in
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – just started this one Wednesday morning. On Chapter 23.
  • Read: 31 books – 13/31 for the month, 2 since last check-in. I set aside several that my MIL gave me. They just didn’t pull me in.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Reading this when I finish the rest of the books on my weekly list. On page: 181/314(not counting all the end notes & index)
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments. I’m on Chapter 7/166(If I counted right. The chapters are labeled with POV characters’ names instead of numbers).
    • The Ranger(Monica McCarty) – Read this on Monday. Really enjoyed it.
    • Wanderlust(Roni Loren) – I started this one after setting several others aside(ones my MIL had given to me, and they just didn’t grab me). I’ve actually read it before when it was part of an anthology, but I’ll always re-read a Roni Loren book. I finished reading it last night. It was a pretty quick one, but just as good as I remember(though there was one detail I believe was changed).
    • First and First(Santino Hassell) – Just started this morning. At 2%.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – started this on Monday. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 36/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section. Almost finished round 37 but ran out of yarn.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat – will be starting this today probably.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – I finished the scarf on Sunday.

Sunday Summary: Lost Hour

Gotta love the time change for Daylight Savings Time. Or not. Totally not. Although “springing forward” means my kids might actually almost sleep in. 😉 Actually, they’re both still up before 7, which yesterday would have been before 6. So, not much on the sleeping in thing.

I had a pretty good week, progress-wise. Met all my writing goals, got all my reading done, started a new short story I plan to submit for this year’s World Unknown Review(it’s the second one I’ve started toward that, hopefully this one fares better). Today our church is doing a 1st responder’s appreciation thing so we’ll be going to that. Then, we’re going down to meet my family for lunch for my grandpa’s birthday. So, that will be a big chunk of my Sunday. Hoping I can still get stuff done around it.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 1496 words on Alaina’s back story for this month, 1069 since last Sunday and finished it. Will be starting Caelen’s back story this week
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 20363 words/45000, 18/42 scenes for the month. 13790 words/12 scenes since Sunday
    • Still, Jess had made promises to herself. That she was done with men. That she wouldn’t bring another into her kids’ lives. That she had to put them first. The last was the only one that truly mattered, though. And she was so tired. Tired of acting like she was doing more than keeping her mouth and nose above water. Tired of doing it all on her own. Tired of sleeping alone. Just tired.
      So she didn’t listen to Terrall’s warning. This didn’t have to mean anything more than two lonely people coming together. “I’m not asking you for forever,” she said, sliding her hands up his stomach under his shirt. “My boys are at my parents’ tonight, and Alex is still at her dad’s. And I don’t want to be alone.”
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 2335/5000 words so far this month. 1225 words since Sunday. 56/63 comments applied to Patrick & Sarah. 26/51 comments applied to Tavin & Haiwee, have read through 5/9 in Snow White Twist(2 this week)
    • Midas’ Daughter – 161 words – “You even think about hitting me, boy, and you will find yourself out of a job, a roof, a family, faster than you can blink.”
      He did just that—blink—as he stared up at his boss. “I-I’m sorry, sir,” he finally managed to stammer. “I didn’t know it was you. You startled me.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 87-ish words – Her face was still drawn in hard lines, but he thought her eyes had softened with…confusion, maybe. Just how had people been treating her in the years since her husband had died? But, something about these two pulled at him. He couldn’t explain it.Patrick had fought in the war, too, and had seen too many men fall. Men who had left widows and possibly even orphans. He’d never worried about helping any of them before.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – -12 words – Tavin couldn’t help but smile over at her. He could hear the affection and pride in her voice when she spoke of her brother. In his mind, that meant he had to be a good guy.  *some of the few new words I wrote(32, then I cut 44)
    • Roman – 143 words – “I’m sorry,” he said, even though she hadn’t even spoken yet. He started unbuttoning his shirt as he walked across the room. “I didn’t realize it had gotten so late. I got caught up in my work.” He dropped the shirt in the hamper then started to remove his slacks. “I didn’t think you’d wait up for me.”
    • Dougal & Shae – 111 words – Maybe his dad could help him figure out what to do about the woman he couldn’t get out of his head.
    • Mason & Lila – 120 words – “Need a quick tutoring session?” Brian asked.Mason banged his head against the locker. “Maybe if I thought that was actually going to do any good. I swear he knows the problems that give me the most trouble and makes sure they’re all that’s on quizzes and tests.” *oh, poor Mason. And all he did was want to date the man’s daughter.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 186 words – Matthew leaned back into Jacob’s touch. “I always said I wouldn’t go back there. After Ma died, nothing was right. Then, he married her, and they had [xx], and it was like I stopped existing. The few times I’ve visited, we have done nothing but fight. What reason do I have for returning to that?”
    • Hang On – 153 words – “I said I was coming,” I told him as I finally yanked the door open. The man on the porch shook his head, nearly white-blond hair falling into his face. “No. I certainly would remember if you’d given me that much information. You said hang on, but I can’t do that in public.” *Haven’t even named this character yet, but I like his sense of humor.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 2/10 new scenes finished this month. 2/40 scenes edited. 1558 words added this month. 1100 since Sunday
    • The truth was he was a coward. A damn yellow-bellied coyote. Seeing her made him want so much. And he wasn’t sure he deserved any of it.
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 2/24 for the month. 508 words on D post, 361 since last check-in. Finished D. 160 words on E post. I may not finish drafting all of these this month, but hopefully will at least have a good start.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 26 posts

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 3/8 for the month, 2 since last Sunday
    • In Her Sights(Robin Perini) – enjoyed this one.
    • Need You for Keeps(Marina Adair) – finished this one last night. Really enjoyed it(and listened to the end as a break from the emotional rollercoaster I was reading).
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – just started this one Wednesday morning. On Chapter 15.
  • Read: 31 books – 11/31 for the month, 9 since last Sunday
    • Hope Burns(Jaci Burton) – enjoyed this one, though the resolution seemed a little too, I don’t know, rushed I guess.
    • Gone to Die(Stacy Green) – I had some issues with this one. Some of it felt out of character. And I just went “of course, the sadistic killer was raised by her killer truck driver father. Because truck drivers are always criminals.” That portrayal bothers me. My husband was driving truck when I met him, and I just…ugh, it irritates me.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Reading this when I finish the rest of the books on my weekly list. On page: 23/314(not counting all the end notes & index)
    • Lucky Break(Carly Phillips) – I liked this one okay. Probably wouldn’t have finished the trilogy, though, if I hadn’t had all three books. Still, it was a light read.
    • History is All You Left Me(Adam Silvera) – Finished this Wednesday afternoon. Just, so, so good.  This had me crying within 50 pages. And a couple pages later, I was laughing again. I actually had to take a break and listen to the end of a romance. This was breaking my heart so bad. There are some downsides to being such an emotional reader.
    • Suffer Love(Ashley Herring Blake) – On page 12/344. Started this while waiting for the kids’ bus Wednesday afternoon, though it was kind of windy to read a physical book outside. Finished it Wednesday night. It was a nice, fairly light and quick read. Really enjoyed it. And needed it after the emotional roller coaster of the last book.
    • Burning Bright(various) – this was a collection of love stories set around Hanukkah. I couldn’t get into the first three, but read the last one(by an author I’ve read before) and enjoyed that one.
    • Against the Odds(Kat Martin) – started this one Thursday morning. Finished it Friday. Have an issue with a side character. Saying she has to force her daughter(5 years old, I think) into wearing dresses and playing with “girl” things. No, no, no. Just don’t. I’m hoping that attitude will be challenged in the book. And it’s not like it’s an older book. It was published in 2013. Update on the mini rant: She did finally realize she was being stupid about this, at least. And other than that issue, I mostly enjoyed the book.
    • Red Zone(Mari Carr) – Started this one Friday night. Finished it yesterday. Really enjoyed it.
    • Dangerous(R.G. Alexander) – read this one yesterday. enjoyed it, too.
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – started this on Monday. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 16/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – I finished the scarf on Sunday.

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