Winding down

I’ve come to accept that it’s unlikely I’ll make 50K this year in NaNoWriMo.  I’m currently at around 27,000 words give or take a hundred or so.  There are five days (not counting today) left.  I have to sleep at least six hours a night plus I work full time today and tomorrow.  You do the math.  While it would be more fun, it would be rude to write at the table during Thanksgiving dinner dontcha think?  Then Friday we go up to meet my husband’s biological father for the first time.  I don’t think I can count on being able to write while we’re there.  Besides, I’d rather go wine tasting.

But you know what?  I’m okay with not making it all the way.  Charlie’s story is further along than it ever was before and I am determined to finish it.  She deserves to finally see the light.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with it when the story is complete.  I may self-publish; I may not.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Below is the final excerpt of what I’ve written so far.  Thanks for sharing the ride with me peeps.  🙂

                From inside his parked rental car, Carlo Dante watched the people leaving the Rhodes’ house.  The broad who had seen him standing over Joey’s body got in the driver’s side of the sweet Malibu convertible while the blond man sat in the passenger seat.  As they drove off the older couple watched the car’s taillights disappear.  The man put his arm around the woman and they walked to a late model Buick.  Another couple left the house and followed the walk to the street talking, heads close together.  At the street though they split apart and got into separate cars. 

                Drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, Carlo watched the house for awhile longer.  No one else exited and he figured the Sheriff was in for the night.  It didn’t appear that they’d identified him.  Maybe he was worried about nothing, he thought.  He couldn’t help wondering if he’d left behind some clue in his rush to get away once the Maxwell woman had stumbled in.  And what on earth had possessed him to speak to her?  Had he gone soft in prison? 

                Shaking his head, he started the engine, put the car in gear and headed back to the Seaside Inn.  As Dante pulled into the motel’s parking lot he was running through a list of things he needed to do before he could leave for the airport.  Being distracted he almost missed the man slipping into the side door of the motel.  If the outside light hadn’t been in just the right place he probably would have missed him entirely in any case.  But the exterior spotlight was focused on the door, presumably to make it easier for returning guests.  And standing directly in the beam of light was Anthony Minnelli, tapping his cardkey on the security panel to open the door.  Carlo kept his head and told himself it couldn’t be.  Tony’s still inside, he thought.  But was he? 

                “Goddammit,” he groaned.  “Now I’m going to have to change my flight again!”

                Carlo backtracked to the front of the motel and found a parking space near the main entrance.  No sense in tempting fate by using the same door Tony did.  Once he’d locked himself in his own room he pulled out his cell and dialed a number.

                After several rings someone growled, “This better be very important.”

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Hey peeps, check out my pal C.S.’ free books! I’ve been looking forward to Wild Concept but now I can’t decide between that and Arson.

Entertaining Stories

I rummaged through the basement at the writing cabin until I found my soapbox. I texted Lisa* as I climbed upstairs, “Almost ready?”

“I’m all set. Iris** is on the easel so she can flip my cards. I’ll be down in a moment.”

I placed the soapbox in the main lobby, just right of the easel.

Iris walked toward me along the top rail of her easel. “Do you think this is going work?”

“Giveaways always work in varying degrees. Lisa’s first one went absolutely crazy. Maybe it’ll jar some sales for your book, The Cock of the South.” I walked behind Lisa’s desk and tested the spotlight. Everything was ready, so I dimmed the overhead lights.

Lisa entered, wrapped in a bathrobe. She sat in one of the other chairs and put on her white stilettos. She dropped off her robe and stepped onto the soapbox. She wore a…

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Give Yourself Permission

Allison Williams’ message was so welcome. I am a writer. I AM A WRITER! I hope those of you who have the time to check this out enjoy and appreciate it as much as i did. I imagine some of you already get this, if so, consider it a good reminder.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

indexThe Savoy hotel ballroom is very blue and white and gilt. It’s full of mostly-older music industry types, the kind of people whose program bios feature casual snapshots of themselves with Beatles. I’m here as a plus-one, my best friend runs the organization that stages the British Grammy-equivalent. Over the fancy luncheon, risotto with fennel (yum!) and quince sauerkraut (just as not-good as it sounds), there is a lot of chatting, a lot of Oh you’re from the States, what do you do?

Um…

I used to say ‘trapeze artist’ because I was, and that was easy (you’re already starting that conversation in your head, right?). Now, I’ve published essays and won prizes, had my byline in the New York Times and here on Brevity’s blog. But compared to my friend and his book deal and my other friend and his three-book deal, I feel like one of the stepsisters…

View original post 610 more words

Time for another excerpt

Thirteen thousand six hundred fifty nine words!  Here’s another excerpt for your perusal and comment if you feel so moved.

At his desk, the Sheriff pored over the notes he’d complied on the murder investigation. It made no sense. What was a complete stranger doing in Charlie’s office? It was obvious, at least to Jeff, that Joseph Minnelli was anything but a tourist. His clothing alone gave that away. Who would believe the guy in the designer suit was here to visit the arboretum or the naval museum?

Jeff heard the bell ring as the outside door opened into the reception area. He listened as Mandy pushed back her desk chair and crossed to the taller counter which spanned the width of the room except for the swinging gate at one end. It was remarkably like the gates you might see in an old courtroom where the witnesses would push through on their way to take the stand. In fact, it had been recovered form the old courthouse before it was torn down several years previously. Jeff liked the connection between the old and the new.

In the outer office he heard Mandy ask how she could help the visitor and then he heard Luke’s voice. Even if he hadn’t heard Luke was in town he’d have recognized that voice. It had echoed in enough of his teenage nightmares, he recalled with a touch of the old self-disgust. Jeff started to stand intending to… what exactly? Staying in his chair, he rubbed his hand over his face. Am I really going to go punch him in the face because he was with Carolyn before me?   God, am I losing it or what? He dropped his head into his hands for a moment and there was a tap on his door.

“Jeff?” Mandy slipped into his office, closing the door behind her. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just having a little argument with myself,” he smiled. “What’s Luke want?”

“He has information on the murder victim he thinks you might find helpful.”

“Oh really?” Jeff smiled. “Well send him in then. Is there any coffee left in that pot?”

“Well yeah, but it’s from three hours ago.”

“Perfect.”

“What? I can make a fresh pot…”

“Sure, make a fresh pot but bring Luke a cup of the old pot first please.” His eyes fairly twinkled with the anticipation of watching Luke take a polite sip. Who said he was a goody two shoes!

Jeff stood up, might as well take every advantage he could. Being a few inches taller than Luke might seem like a small thing but it made him feel better. He squared the pile of paper on his desk and looked up to watch Luke enter. Luke tried on a grin, holding out his hand.

“Jeff, nice to see you though I wish it was under better circumstances.”

“We can agree on that,” Jeff nodded. He indicated the visitor’s chair with a tilt of his head and took his own seat. Mandy came in and set a chipped china mug on the corner of Jeff’s desk near Luke.

“Thank you,” Luke smiled pleasantly at her. Picking up the mug he took a healthy drink and manfully tried not to let it show on his face that the coffee was awful.

Jeff raised his brows. “Everything okay Luke?” He watched as Luke forced himself to swallow the sludge. He had to hand it to the guy, the smile faltered just a tad but it stayed in place. Jeff relented in spite of himself.

“Fine,” Luke got out. “Coffee’s a bit stronger than I’m used to.”

“Ah, well we can fix that.” Turning to Mandy, Jeff smiled. “Will you start a fresh pot please?”

Mandy, bless her, got it. She gave him back a smile and nodded. “Sure thing Sheriff.” Mandy exited the office, drawing the door closed behind her.

Returning his attention to Luke, Jeff pulled over a notebook and pen. “Mandy said you had some information about Joseph Minnelli?”

“Yeah. First, he goes or he went by Joey. He was the second son of Alfredo Minnelli. Minnelli was a crime boss in New Jersey a few decades back.”

“Do you have any idea what Joey was doing in Manning?”

Luke hesitated and Jeff studied him. “What is it Tyler?”

“I think he was looking for Charlie’s father,” Luke’s shoulders slumped for a moment, as if all the air had gone out of him.

“Charlie’s father? Who has been gone for over 30 years?”

Luke nodded. “I know it sounds crazy. Actually I’m in town looking for Jack too. Or at least some sign of where he might be.”

Jeff tossed down the pen and leaned back in his chair. “So 30 plus years later you, and presumably Joey Minnelli come looking for a man who walked out on his family. Luke, what’s wrong with this picture?”

“Look, I realize how it sounds. I can fill you in on the background if you’ll give me a few minutes.”

Spreading his hands wide, Jeff met his eyes. “I’m all yours; I can’t wait to hear this.”

And the beat goes on

Yesterday I was supposed to have a root canal. The halcion did its job fine and I arrived at the dentist feeling almost no anxiety! Point to sedation dentistry woo hoo!

Then the other shoe dropped and a root canal became oral surgery to extract a tooth that turned out to be unsavable after all. So this is how you’re going to fight eh November? Well you can suck it! I’m still not giving up damn it. So there!

Speaking of NaNo, I reported earlier that I had technical difficulties. Here for your enjoyment, is a snapshot of JD’s temporary, duct-tape and WD40-free fix.

image

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming. NaNo on!

Technical difficulties updated

So last night we lost power due to a severe wind storm.  This morning (4:30 in the freakin’ AM!) when I got up we still didn’t have any power.  I had to get up anyway even though there was no heat.  Wah!

I left early hoping to stop for coffee on the way to the train station, but everything between our house and train was out.  Do you know how eerie it is to see 7-11 and Denny’s dark?

So I stood on the platform amid the portable generators and lights and stamped my feet and danced in place to the music playing on my phone.  And I survived.  I also counted my blessings that the trains were still running.

The electric company predicts it will be Friday night before we have power.  Did I say wah??  What I meant was WAHHHHH!

On the flip side I broke 11K words!  I’m almost to 12,000!  Go mee!  Go mee!

And then I did this:

cover draft 11-12-14

 

Due to technical difficulties

My video card died.

Now you know and I know this is not an earth-shattering tragedy.  Unless of course you’re trying like mad to reach 50,000 words in NaNo and you need to see what you’re typing damn it!

In that case all bets are off … yesterday was a Zero Word Day* peeps … ZERO!  As in goose egg, nada, nil, zilch, zippo.

It wasn’t only the video card; that came later.  But now it IS all about the blasted video card.

So JD to the rescue!  We have two desktop computers, both built by JD more years ago than I’d care to try remembering.  They’re beginning to show their age but since he just built a media computer, funds aren’t there to replace the video card immediately.  JD had a solution:  pull out our not-as-ancient Acer netbook, hook up my ergo keyboard and trackball and wah-la!  I haven’t had a chance yet to try it out and tonight doesn’t look good for it either (it’s my birthday and I’ll go out to dinner if I want!) but maybe I can get an early start in the morning.

I HAVE however, added some words today in between real work.  While it won’t be a Zero Word Day, it certainly won’t be anything to write home about.

*Stolen from my good friend rjkeith at accessoriesnotincluded.