Six Sentence Sunday

Another one from Deception:

Kate opened her eyes to find Luke lying on the other bed, his head propped on one hand, staring at her.

For a moment, in her sleep-addled mind, time seemed to stand still, then rush backward toward happier, more carefree times. To a place where life had been about as perfect as she could have imagined.

What happened to the man she’d fallen in love with? The guy who’d laughed and loved with her? The man she had known would have never killed someone, then run, stealing a car in the process.

Nook | Kindle

Sweet Saturday Sample

Its been awhile since I’ve taken part in this. Hope you didn’t miss me too much :-)

“So tell me about Jay Lang.”

Okay, maybe one more night would make a difference. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “You went through my wallet.”

“Well, yeah.” She rolled her eyes. “Who are you?” This last was whispered and the tremor in Kate’s voice made his heart do a funny ka-boom.

He settled back in the bed, rearranging the sheets across his legs and lap, trying to figure out what to say, where to start unraveling all the lies. He still couldn’t believe they’d been together for nearly a year while he lived a double life. The guilt, at first, had been incredible, but as time had gone by, it got easier and easier. It’d been for her own good. For her protection. He’d had to keep reminding himself of that.

So, who was he? To be honest, he wished he knew. It depended on what day you asked. He could be anything the organization wanted him to be. In fact, it had been his ability to blend in, to become anonymous, that had gained the notice of Suzanne Carmichael. Who was he? No one good, that was for sure. “I’m Lucas Barone.”

“So who’s Jay Lang?”

“My cover.”

A long pause followed in which Luke debated telling Kate everything, regardless of the consequences or the oaths he’d taken to Uncle Sam. The only thing that stopped him was, once again, his concern for her safety. The less she knew the better.

“What have you gotten yourself into?” she asked and he vaguely recalled she’d asked him that before but he’d been in too much pain to answer.

“I don’t know. But I plan to find out. That’s why I need to get out of here.” Already he could feel his energy waning, the exhaustion pulling him under. It took considerable effort to keep his eyes open and it felt like his body weighed a thousand pounds as it pressed into the softness of the bed. Sleep called to him and he was powerless to stop it.
He cursed his weakness even as he succumbed to it.

Nook | Kindle

 

Break the Ties That Bind You

One of my critique partners, Sheri Fredericks, posted this on her Facebook page and immediately it spoke to me. Look at those horses. Look how happy they are to finally be free. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all do that? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to break the ties that bind us? To stop riding the merry-go-round we seem to be stuck on? To run free?

Unruly Characters

My heroine isn’t cooperating. I pictured her a bit timid at the beginning of the story only to rediscover her feisty side as she progresses through the book, but yesterday she told me something different. “No way am I going to be timid. Not anymore.” Right now she’s irreverent, spontaneous, funny. Nothing at all like I’d planned.

My hero, who I’ve struggled with from the beginning, is showing me a tender side that I hadn’t expected to see until later in the story.

Before I started writing fiction I assumed writers came up with their characters then shaped and molded them to fit the story. Not so much. I’ve been writing for almost a dozen years and my characters still amaze me. Instead of shaping and molding them, they demand that the story line is shaped and molded around them.

Yes, they talk to me. And, yes, I’ve learned to listen to them. More often than not they’re right and I’m wrong.

Does it sound like I’m delusional? Sometimes I think so too.

This writing thing, it’s weird. People talk to you, talk to each other, argue with you, argue with each other. All before one word is written.

To struggle with them, to try to wrestle them into doing something that goes against their personality, is like trying to tell my new dog not to dig holes in the yard.

Even though it’s frustrating, even though I want to pull my hair out and scream, this is exactly what I love about writing–discovering new people and how they interact with the world around them.

So what do you do when your characters won’t cooperate?

 

 

Deadline Hell

I’ve heard authors refer to “deadline hell” before but never thought too much about it.  That is, until I had my first, real deadline.

When I was in school, I was always that student who finished projects way ahead of schedule. I never pulled an all-nighter, I never stressed too much about a paper or project due. I worked on it a little bit at a time until it was finished.

I figured I’d do the same with the outline of book #2 that was due to my editor at Random House last week. After all, I had a loose outline in my head already and the characters were completely fleshed out. All I needed was a little bit of research on a few points and I would write it. My outline was written weeks ahead of time. Boy, was I proud of myself. In fact, I was so far ahead of my own schedule I even started writing the book and got to chapter six.

Then things fell apart.

Something went wrong and I couldn’t figure out what. It took me two weeks and the deadline was looming, rising over me like all those  monsters in your worst childhood nightmares. Panic started to set in. What the heck was wrong with my story? Finally a week before it was due, it hit me. I didn’t like my hero. At all. He was boring and he did nothing for the heroine. She didn’t even like him!

I had to scrap the entire outline and start from scratch–two days before it was due. The problem was, when I finally figured my hero out, his history didn’t fit with him anymore. It was like a domino effect–I change one thing and everything else is affected.

The day of the deadline arrived and not one word is written, but I knew what I wanted to write! Luckily I have the greatest agent ever who emailed me and offered to read the synopsis. I sent it off to her, she made some comments, I worked late into that night making the changes –afraid I was going to pull my first all-nighter ever–and slid that outline in to my editor just a teeny bit over the deadline.

Deadline Hell. I lived it and survived it but never want to do that again. Whew (wiping sweat from my brow).

The good thing is that I have an awesome book to write with vibrant characters who have a long journey ahead of them.

So tell me, are you one of those who work better under pressure or do you like to get things done ahead of the deadline?

The Kitchen Remodel from Hell

People have been asking so I thought I’d post more pictures. Not that there has been any development. We’re  in day… Well, I’m not sure what day we’re in. Infinity? It seems like it. We’re waiting for 2 cabinets that needed replaced because they weren’t the right size and for the granite to be cut.

The new cabinets with my old, pink (yes, pink) counter top so we can at least have a counter for the time being

 

My living room filled with boxes from my kitchen. If we can't find something we wander around the living room looking in boxes. Fun times.

 

My puppy dogs. Just because they're cute. Cory is on the left and is 9 mos old. Winston is on the right and is 12 years old.