Monthly Archives: November 2014

Finding The Curse- Excerpt


I started working on the next revision, jumping right into it rather than going through the whole reading through it thing. Here’s a little piece of it.

Charissa’s red patent leather Prada slipped, her knee struck the top step, and the box she carried tumbled onto the scuffed wooden floor, spilling office supplies everywhere. She dropped on the side of her hip on the third floor landing, and clutched her knee as she cursed out loud. She was going to sue Nate Howell, her landlord, completely bleed him dry, for letting the elevator break down again.
She lifted her hand and glanced down at her knee. A line of red welled up almost instantly. “Great,” she said to the empty, ugly beige hallway. “Now I’m bleeding.” She looked to the right, and saw that John Sinclair, a lawyer who shared the third floor with her in the small building, still had his lights on, and she checked her watch. 7:30. One might think he’d heard the noise in the hallway, even through the closed door, and maybe would come to see what was going on out here. And then, he might help her up, and ask her if she was all right, while peering down at her with those soft brown eyes. And maybe she’d need to clutch at him to steady herself, and he would lean ever closer and….
The door remained closed despite her dropping everything on the floor, her cry out in pain, and her swearing.
She sighed and picked up her boxes of thumb tacks, staples, and tape and threw them into the box with a little more force than required, and hauled herself up off the floor with a yet another dramatic sigh. With another yearning glance at the light on in John’s office, she turned toward her office door on the opposite end of the hallway. She smiled to see the new etched glass door that had been installed last week. It was so pretty, with soft wavy lines; she wanted to pat it like a kitten. She limped towards the door, holding the box in both hands, and realized that she’d placed her keys in her left coat pocket again. She shifted the box awkwardly to her right hand to try to fish the keys out and her cell phone began to ring.
With another swear under her breath, she dropped the box on the floor. Her office hours were over. She’d just had the dinner from hell with her oldest brother Greg and his on again/off again fiancée and her mother, and she just wanted to drop off this stuff and be gone.
“Hello?” she answered, when she didn’t recognize the number, against her better judgment. “This is Charissa Logan, P.I.” She made a valiant effort to sound professional despite her irritation and the pain in her knee. A client was a client. She resolved to get another cell phone for work only calls, now that her business was beginning to take off.
“Hello?” a female voice answered. “My name is Regina Riley. I need your help.”
Great. “Would you mind holding for a moment?” Charissa placed the call on hold before the woman could respond, and shoved the key into the lock. It jammed, multiplying her aggravation with the entire world at the moment. She grasped the handle and jiggled the key as she wiggled the lock. The key turned abruptly and the door flew open, hitting the wall. She gasped, but it appeared her pretty door was undamaged for the moment. She couldn’t say the same for the wall behind, which had punched a dent in the drywall. She shrugged it off for the moment, picked up her office supplies again, tossed the whole shebang onto the visitor chair, and plopped her butt into her ergonomic office chair. After a quick inspection of the blood slowly rolling down her leg, she picked up the phone again.
Call locksmith, she wrote on the desk calendar, then answered the call. “Thank you for holding. How might I be of service to you this evening?” She politely inquired.
“It’s about time,” the woman huffed, then gave a long-suffering sigh. Charissa rolled her eyes, well familiar with that sound as it had emanated from her ex-husband frequently in the last two years of their marriage. “As I said, my name is Regina Riley…” she continued on and Charissa robotically jotted down details of the woman, but focused more on the manicure she’d had done yesterday. Shiny, red paint that screamed HARLOT to the world. Not that she was a harlot, per se. But maybe she would meet up with Taylor, her current fling, later this evening and….
“…if he takes my babies, I’m going to…”
That caught her attention. “I’m sorry, what?” She scanned the sloppy notes she’d just taken.
“Aren’t you paying attention? What kind of private investigator are you? I said my husband is planning to take my babies!”
Envisioning Clomid-induced septuplets being kidnapped by their father made Charissa angry on the woman’s behalf, despite her haranguing attitude. “How many babies are we talking about here?”
Charissa paused for a moment. Octuplets? Hmm. The poor woman. Could they just do a four-four split? Who needed eight children? “So. You have eight babies.”
“Cats.” This didn’t compute for a second.
“My cats are my babies, Mrs. Logan.”
She started taking notes again. “What about children?”
“My children are grown and moved out. Haven’t you been listening?”
Apparently not. She’d been ogling her fingernails and planning a tryst with her lover. And she’d completely lost control of the conversation.
The woman continued. “My husband is planning to hurt my babies!”
The catch in the woman’s voice made Charissa wince in a combination of irritation and guilt. “What is he planning to do to them?”
“He’s going to kidnap them and drown them. He told me. You need to stop him!”
Charissa doodled a cat on the border of her calendar. She had a cat, a singular precious white Persian named Serena. She was family when her own family made her crazy. But she couldn’t imagine eight meowing, fighting, pestering cats that kept her awake all night. She’d want to drown them too. Since she hadn’t had the foresight to allow this call to go to voicemail, she tried to wrap it up. “What exactly do you want me to do about this, Mrs…” Oops. She glanced back at her notes quickly. “Riley.”
That long-suffering sigh again.
Charissa wanted to kick Bob, her ex-husband, in the head just hearing the sound, and resolved to wrap this up quickly. “Mrs. Riley, I don’t perform protective services for cats. Perhaps your divorce lawyer can help you?”
A long pause followed. Charrisa had just enough time to wonder if the woman had hung up on her, when she finally answered. “I see.” Her tone burned like acid in Charissa’s ears. She utilized her preferred method of managing a client who’d gone off the handle like this, and hung up on her. She sighed, a long-suffering sigh, and clunked her head down on the cream colored marble-topped desk, wincing at the cold stone against her forehead. Some days she just couldn’t handle the attitude. She looked at the yellow legal pad onto which she’d jotted the details of Regina Riley, wrote CRAZY CAT LADY on the top and filed it neatly in the cabinet under C. She would know where to find it. Other files were named HOMELESS MAN #3 and ROCKET SCIENTIST, among many others. Some even had normal names on them. Those were all in pale green folders with dark blue writing. Those were the serious, steady clients, the ones that paid the bills on top of the alimony her ex forked over every two weeks on top of paying her rent in her beautifully appointed little office here. The kinds of clients that enabled her to buy the red patent leather Prada pumps on her feet right now, or the Oriental on the floor. Oh, wait. The rug she’d acquired in the divorce after he’d kicked her out of the home she’d helped design.


Writing a Novel Rough Draft


I have to say, it’s my favorite part of writing. Getting that idea down, coming up with any number of crazy and random occurrences, probably none of which will ever happen in real life.

This year’s Nano was easy for me. I don’t know if that’s good, or bad, or boring, or just that the story is predictable, or that the stars aligned in such a way as to direct my path to the ending in a concise manner.

The story ended up being a sequel of sorts to the one I wrote 2 years ago, and now I have plans to become what I have mocked in the not so distant past, and write one more. There’s a character with unfinished business, and I can’t leave her there, family vanished, robbed of all self-confidence, alone in the world to find who she is meant to be.

I don’t know yet who she’s meant to be, but the writing I’ve done in the past has given me insight into her past, and it’s an unusual past indeed.

Next project? Finish that second draft of the first book, and then move onto the problems I’ve had with it. I should be able to do that in a couple weeks, if I keep up the pace I’ve needed the past month. One more draft after that, I think, and then the real editing can begin.

If I’m ever going to get published, I need to actually finish a project. It’s my dream, and this year’s Nano has revitalized that dream in me. Here’s to momentum!

My Brain Hurts


Sorry I haven’t been posting. I’m in the midst of NaNoWriMo and doing fabulously if I do say so myself. I have two days and 2500ish words to go. It appears to be the second in a series, and needs a ton of work done on it. I think I’ve written even a little every day for the past month except for maybe two, and I’m hoping to keep the momentum going beyond November 30!

I should be posting on here more, and I had a good interview yesterday for a job with better hours, I got to spend a week with my college girl, and things are going great. I feel like I’m creating drama sometimes out of boredom, so I’m going to try to be more aware of when I’m doing that. Out loud at least.

I’ll post an excerpt of my story after a portion undergoes a revision or two. Then, I’m going to finish my second draft of my first one, and fix all the errors and the issues with the timeline and setting I’ve been having.

Off to finish strong this year, 50000 in a month is a lot, but I love the momentum and the camaraderie and the almost literal stretching of my imagination that hasn’t been worked too hard in awhile.

See you all in December!

Commercials have bowed to the political correctness gods.


Let me preface this by saying that my TV comes via Netflix for the most part, and the only two shows I watch right now that are current are The Big Bang Theory and Once Upon A Time.

I didn’t really need an insurance commercial to celebrate homosexuality in front of me by seeing two dudes kissing. Yay! We’re all different! Yay! We’re all great!

It’s a sin. So is murder, jealousy, lust, greed. Commercials have forever warped our sense of greed and lust, and now this. Most people are envious of what other people have that we can’t afford.

Look. If you want to be gay, be gay. Just don’t rub my face in it, because it’s not going to make me switch insurance companies.

God doesn’t like it, so I’m not going to like it. That being said, I have done many things in my life that I’m not proud of, so I’m not going to judge people in that lifestyle either. I have days where practically every thought in my head gives the opposite of glory to God.

You can hate me for not supporting gay people if you like. I just don’t want it shoved in my face at commercial break. I know those commercials are meant to break down our defenses and make it become commonplace for same gender couples to appear. I can even applaud that on some level. I went through 5-10 grade with people calling me a lesbian and hating me like crazy. I had friends ditch me because they were afraid that they would be called a lesbian too. I was bullied and hated for something that I wasn’t even a part of, so I can understand how much that hurts. I get on that level how it would be nice to be able to be whatever you want without repercussion.

But there is. It’s in the Bible. If we as a nation turn from God, God’s going to turn from us. Just read the Old Testament. Israel continually turned from God, so he punished them. You think God won’t punish us? Israel turned back to God, and he helped them.

Murder is running rampant in this country. I remember reading a New York Times article a year or so ago. 24 hours without a murder in New York City! Whoo hoo! Theft is commonplace. People fake injuries (or maybe just exaggerate them a bit) to get on disability. Even so-called “Christians” gossip and slander each other, have extra-marital sex, abortions, get drunk frequently. Don’t even get me started on race relations. When we are all judged by our actions and not on the color of our skin, then rascism will end.

It’s never going to end.

I guess the real question is, are we as a nation going to turn back to God? Or is this the beginning of the end? If this is truly the end of days (and I’m not wholly convinced that it is), then things are going to get a lot worse. Will I, as a Christian, and as a US citizen, be able to freely express my opinions like this in a year? In 5 years? 10? We’ll see.

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, our friends, our enemies even, treating them kindly, patiently, with compassion. We are to bring everyone that we can to the salvation of Jesus. How is hating gay people bringing them to God? How is loving the sin of it bringing us, as a nation closer to God? There’s a fine line there somewhere. I go to a Baptist church. They seem to hate gay people. I say, “Bring them in and let them hear about God!” My opinion is not popular, but I express it whenever I can.

Salvation is simple, but living the walk is difficult, impossible sometimes, but it becomes possible with the love of Jesus and the blood he shed. If you accept the gift. Everyone can come to the healing power of Jesus, no matter how broken you are. No matter what you’ve done.

As for the commercials, that’s what DVR is for, to fast forward through them.

Clearing my mind


So many thoughts that run through my head this morning. My child has to be here at this time on that day. The money for the fundraisers are due. Do I have enough in my bank account for the checks I wrote? Will they clear before Friday? Will I ever get the Pandora snowflake that I want? I don’t think we’ll lose our house, but maybe the bank will turn on us like a feral dog and rip it from us.

These are the kind of thoughts that make me crazy, make me worry, and tear me out of the present. This is why I’m trying to find joy in every moment. And this morning isn’t especially joyous because of my worries.

My stuff didn’t sell on ebay like I thought it might. I can’t focus on my writing (although I’m not behind yet, my word count is ahead of schedule). The dog pooed on the floor. Harry Potter is not great writing (the story is remarkable and fabulous, but the writing is so-so). I’m never going to get published. I’m going to be stuck in my job until I die. If not the one I currently have, one just like it.

My joy in this moment? God is great, we’re healthy in our home, I live in a free country, I have electricity and the internet to proclaim whatever I want. I have two hours to kill before I have to go to work, and I have a woman in my story who is having the weirdest day ever. None of the things she anticipates comes to pass. She’s a worrier too, I guess. Huh. Wonder where she got that from. Although I have to give her credit, she is meeting her worries head on, not allowing fear or procrastination to hold her back.

I try to be like that, when I can. Most worries are just day to day problems that you have to wait to subside on their own or wait for the day to arrive. I write things on my calendar. Worrying about money is not going to make more money materialize out of thin air. No. You have to wait for payday. Is there a point to worrying about payday? Only if one has missed work in the past two weeks, I suppose, and there isn’t enough money to make ends meet until the following week. Or, one has the option to have a second job, although I don’t think I’m at that point just yet.

I was hoping to sell some stuff on ebay to bring in a little extra cash, but since the auction ends in 20 minutes and there’s no bids, I need to rethink that option, I suppose. I wanted to save up for a ipad, and then go to a normal, non-smart phone to save money. Not urgent. None of my worries are urgent. But I feel like if I don’t gnaw on them constantly, I’m going to forget something important. And that’s not true. I ruined some of my best moments this summer by letting stress get to me even while I was having fun. I can’t just “let it all go” when I want.

But I’m working on it. I want to kick these thoughts in the balls and put them down screaming. And then laugh at them. Hey, that’s one way to find joy in your stress.