Taking A Break

I got a lot of writing, editing, reading, and blogging done this past summer. It was great! With no work and no school to tie me down, I was able to focus on what I hope to be a career someday (soon… in the near future… hopefully…).

I had plans to finish my rewrite of George Florence by July 31. That didn’t happen because the rewrite came out a lot longer than the original first draft. So I changed the deadline to August 31.

I still didn’t finish writing it.

I was writing it the other day and found two plot-holes. You know, because this is the second time I’m writing it so why would I have discovered a giant hole in the plot the first time around? Even after I’ve outlined it twice and everything.

I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. One problem is an easy fix; it’s just math (blech). The other problem might take a while. I know I need to go back and add in a few more things in order for everything to make sense and come full circle.

With that being said, I’ve decided to take a break from writing the novel.

I edited the first 20 or so pages of the story to the best of my ability (I keep a list of editing notes as I write to remember for the revision process). Now I’m going to send that to my writers group.

After a couple of months of them looking at the first half of the novel I’ll probably start writing it again. We meet once a month so I’ll probably start writing it again come January. So by that time they’ll have read roughly 100 pages (I’m including January’s meet).

I’ll pick up the writing again to bring in the new year because by then I should have figured out a way to end the novel and make everything full circle. Plus, I can incorporate any suggestions I get from my group.

Of course if I figure it out before January, then I’m not going to wait until January. I just want to give myself some time.

Does that sound like a good plan? I hope so.

In the meantime, I don’t want to stop writing completely.

There are a few contests I would love to try and a few literary magazines I would love to submit to. I have a couple short stories under my belt and a few more ideas for short stories. I’ll be working on those for the time being.

I will also be working on other novels… or novellas, however they turn out.

WattpadI recently joined Wattpad and have a few ideas to put on there. I have yet to write them so it might take a while before these stories are posted, but I’m working on it.

Feel free to follow me on there so you can get updates! I’ll most likely give updates on here, too. Let me know if you have an account on Wattpad. I’ll follow you… I need friends on there.

I want to get more of my original writing out there to share with you guys other than the Short Story Sunday and Time To Write features. Those are usually silly, quick things I write. Some turn out better than others. So I want to show you guys that I can actually come up with a plot and make it work.

I’ll probably post it once the whole story is written so I can update regularly.

I’ll let you know when the first story is up, which might be a little while.

In the meantime… Wish me luck!

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Short Story Sunday #73

SSS Dancing and Dating

            “I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.” Marie shrugged her shoulders. She took off her jacket and tossed it onto her bed. She sat down to take off her dancing shoe and stared up at me expecting a snarky reply.

I sighed laying down across the foot of her bed. I didn’t know what else to say to her. She wasn’t being very supportive, but she was right at the same time.

“If you really wanted to be something more with Dave, then you would have been. Instead, you decided to sit down at the bar the entire time.” Marie tossed her shoes into the closet and then began to get undressed.

“Just because I didn’t feel like dancing tonight doesn’t mean I don’t want to be something more with Dave.” I sat up in the bed glaring at her.

“Well, you made it seem like that. If you didn’t feel up to dancing then why did you go tonight?” Marie wondered slipping her nightgown over her head.

“I went because you really wanted me to go. You wanted to be a wing-woman for you in case Alex was there… remember?” I scoffed. “Dave just happened to be there, too. How was I going to know? He just showed up. I wasn’t in the mood to dance. I can’t help the way I feel.”

“You could have given him one dance. I mean, how long is the average song? Three minutes or so? You would have survived that.” Marie disappeared into the bathroom, but left the door open.

I walked over to the door and leaned in the doorway. I watched Marie lean inches away from the mirror as she rubbed the make-up off her face.

“This is all your fault, you know. I wouldn’t have gone tonight if you didn’t make me.” I muttered.

“No one made you, honey. You decided to come because you wanted to check Alex out. In your words, you wanted to make sure that he would be a good fit for me.” Marie countered.

“Right,” I agreed trying to think of a way to use that as an advantage, “so I was too busy watching you and Alex. How could I dance with Dave if I was watching you and Alex?”

Marie took the facecloth off her face and stared at me through the mirror. “Are you kidding me? You need to stop making up excuses. You blew it with Dave, let it go.”

“I didn’t blow it with him… he could still call me, you never know.” I sighed.

“Or you could call him.” Marie smirked at me.

I rolled my eyes. “Why do you always have to twist everything around? If I don’t call him, then we’re going to have this conversation all over again and I’m really going to blow it.”

“So call him.” Marie shrugged.

“But…”

“You can use my cell phone.”

“I have my own.” I glared at her.

“Perfect. He’ll recognize the number. Even better.” Marie shooed me away with a wave of her arm and looked at herself in the mirror again.

I left the bathroom not wanting to argue with her anymore. I entered her bedroom and sat down on the foot of her bed. My purse sat next to me and we stared at each other for a few moments. Finally, I opened it and took out my cell phone.

I had a missed called from Dave. I grunted. Did I really blow it? Was he calling to tell me that I was an idiot and he didn’t want to speak to me again?

I turned on the voicemail:

Hey, it’s Dave. I was just calling to make sure you were alright. You seemed kind of down tonight… or maybe you weren’t feeling well or something. Maybe I’m just being dumb. I don’t know.

            Anyway, I was just making you were okay and if you feel like talking, I’m here. Uh… maybe we should get together sometime? I don’t know. You can call me back if you want… or not. Up to you. Okay, I’m going to go now. Bye.

            …It’s Dave, by the way. Bye.

            I smiled listening to the message. I knew I didn’t blow it with him. I deleted the message and then dialed his number. I listened to the ringing anticipating the sound of his voice.

Time to Write: Try, Try Again

Last week’s prompt was a sentence starter, “The next big app…”

Here’s mine:

The next big app was a life saver. All you had to do was plug in everything about yourself as time went on and the app did the work for you.

“When you first buy the app,” I explained to my friend, “it asks for a lot of information about you. Physical appearance, emotions in certain situations, education, etc. It’s a little personal, but the more information you give, the better the app works for you.”

My friend blinked at me. She glanced down at her phone with a raised eyebrow tilting her head to the side. “Well, that’s a little odd. I think the app should buy me dinner first.”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s not like that, Stacey. The longer you use it, the better it gets to know you. For example, you can plug in the food you eat during the day. After a week or so, if you’re hungry, you can just ask what you should eat. The app will tell you.”

Stacey looked up at me with her upper lip curled in disgust. “Why in the world would I need an app to tell me what to eat?”

“It was just an example.”

“It’s stupid.”

“Stacey, you’re the only person I know who doesn’t have this app.” I grunted in exasperation. “People practically live off of this app.”

Stacey shook her head. She exited out of the app store and turned the screen off on her phone placing it in her back pocket. “I don’t need an app to tell me how to live my life, thank you very much.”

I sighed turning the other way. She didn’t know what she was missing. The app was constantly getting bigger, better, and more popular. Before we knew it, the app would most likely be running the world. How cool would that be?

I mean, it’s an app so it wouldn’t be biased against anyone or anything because it has no feelings. It would lie like more politicians did. It would be great for everyone. I didn’t know how Stacey was going to be able to get along in a world where she was the only one not using the app.

Stacey turned on the TV and the news came on breaking me out of my thoughts. I turned to the TV to watch.

“Want to watch a movie?” she asked. She always asked that when she wanted to change the subject.

I opened my mouth to respond when I realized what was going on the news. “Turn it up!” I patted her arm and pointed to the TV screen with my other hand.

Stacey obeyed upon seeing the headlines on the news.

“Today, a man turned himself into the police after killing his best friend. He expressed that he was guilty and felt horrible for taking his friend’s life.” the newscaster explained.

She looked over at her co-host sighing. “Apparently, this new app everyone is raving about told him to do it.”

Stacey and I glanced at each other with our mouths wide open in shock. I swallowed a lump in my throat and deleted the app.

Now onto this week’d prompt…

TTW Try Try Again

Sometimes we succeed the first time. Sometimes we fail and then have to try a few times before we succeed.

Write about a character who tries something new in his or her life. Will they fail? Succeed? How many times will they have to try in order to succeed?

It can be something as complicated as getting into college or as simple as learning to ride a bike.

If you choose to participate, post your work in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Next Friday, before revealing the next prompt, I’ll post my version of the prompt along with anyone else who participates with a link back to their blog.

Happy writing!

Six On The Sixth #5: Mom

Six on Sixth Mom

Chauffeur

Driving to activities and friends’ houses.

Teacher

Helping with homework late at night.

Therapist

Listening to problems and giving advice.

Nurse

Kissing every physical and emotional bruise.

Friend

Supporting me in everything I do.

Mother

That’s why my mom is best.

Short Story Sunday #52

Anonymous Tip Excerpt

I entered the kitchen, hoping to keep quiet enough so I wouldn’t wake Lilah in the other room. To be honest, I was surprised she was even still asleep at this time. Most of the time she would wake me as early as six in the morning just because she was bored and wanted someone to hang out with.

I turned on the kitchen light and took out a pan from a drawer under the oven. I thought of waiting to make breakfast for when Lilah woke up, but I was hungry and she was able to fend for herself when it came to cooking. I took out the eggs and butter from the refrigerator and placed them on the counter next to the sink. Then I rolled up my sleeves and turned on the water to wash my hands.

“ACK!” I shouted in surprise.

I immediately turned off the faucet and looked down at the giant wet spot covering most of the front of the shirt. Breathing heavily from shock, I looked at the faucet to make sure nothing was wrong with it.

That’s when I saw it: a rubber band tied around the squirt nozzle.

I grinded my teeth together and shook my head. I willed myself not to get frustrated; that’s exactly what she was going to expect from me.

“Good morning!” Lilah greeted in a sing-song voice. She entered the kitchen without bothering to look at me, but she had a wide grin on her face. She opened the refrigerator and put her head in.

“Let me guess,” I leaned against the sink glaring at her. “You’ve been awake this entire time and have been waiting for me to come into the kitchen to soak myself.”

Lilah stood up straighter and grinned looking me up and down. “Are you wet? I didn’t even notice.”

“Lilah,” I growled.

“Oh, you already took out the eggs and butter. Perfect.” Lilah muttered closing the refrigerator. She walked past me, still smiling, but not looking at me.

“I hate you.” I muttered as she walked by.

“Hate is such a strong word, George.” Lilah looked me in the eye right after putting a glob of butter on the pan. “Besides, it’s April Fool’s Day. You didn’t expect me to carry on like it’s a normal day, did you?”

She turned on the stove and watched the butter melt before she proceeded to crack a few eggs into a bowl.

I sighed watching her. No, I guess I couldn’t expect Lilah to treat a day dedicated to pranking people go by wasted.

Lilah Williams was my colleague for my private investigation business. She came walking unexpectedly into my house a few months ago giving me my first freelance case. When that case turned into a homicide and we figured out the real cause of death of her father, Lilah ended up staying a lot longer than intended. She even decided to move in with me.

It wasn’t bad having Lilah live with me. It was nice to have the company and she was a big help with my agency. She advertised a lot for my business through her blog, which was extremely popular on the Internet. If only her blog would start getting me regular cases, then we’d be all set.

“You want scrambled, right?” Lilah broke the silence. She had just finished mixing the eggs in the bowl and was pouring it onto the melted butter in the pan.

“I guess so.” I shrugged. She had already turned the eggs scrambled anyway.

“Good, because I forgot to ask before I started making these.” Lilah snickered.

“You were too busy laughing at my pain.” I said melodramatically.

“Oh, please. You got a little wet. You didn’t melt, did you?” Lilah looked over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow.

“I guess not,” I muttered and stood up straight once more. “I am going to get changed before breakfast, though.”

“Well, hurry up. It’s almost ready and eggs cool fast.” Lilah sprinkled some salt and pepper over the yellow puddle in the pan.

Once I finished getting dressed for the second time that morning, I went back to the kitchen and wrinkled my nose. Lilah sat at the kitchen table sipping on a cup of coffee, the scent taking up the entire kitchen.

I sat down at the table across from her and ate my eggs as quickly as I could.

“Slow down,” Lilah scolded. I noticed she had already finished eating her eggs.

“You know you’re not allowed to make coffee while I’m in the house.” I muffled with a mouth full of food.

“That’s never stopped me before. That’s a stupid rule, George. It’s a smell, get over it.” Lilah tipped her head back and gulped down the rest of her beverage. She placed the mug on the table and sighed with satisfaction.

“We should go for a walk this morning.” Lilah announced.

I finished eating my eggs and leaned back in my chair eyeing her.

“It’s supposed to get up to about 65 to 70 degrees today. Spring is officially here!” she cheered knowing she needed to convince me more.

“You are more than welcome to go for a walk, Lilah. In fact, I think it’s a great idea. Then I can have the house to myself for a little bit.” I bared my teeth in a smile.

“Don’t be such an old man.” Lilah smirked. “It’ll be fun. It’ll be good for us.”

“We walk enough.” I complained. “And I didn’t use to be an old man… you made me this way the moment you first knocked on my door.”

Lilah stared at me with a serious expression.

I sighed, “Fine, we can go for a walk. This isn’t going to turn into a daily thing though, is it?”

“It can,” Lilah perked up, “I think that would be a great idea! Walking is excellent exercise.”

I rested my head on the table pushing my empty plate to the middle.

Lilah grabbed my plate and put it in the sink for me. I sat up slowly watching her with a close eye. I expected her to rinse the dishes and then place them in dishwasher; she couldn’t stand any mess and dirty dishes in the sink was a huge pet peeve of hers.

I had to wonder, did she remember…?

“AHH!” Lilah shrieked the moment she turned on the faucet.

I grinned so wide my face began to hurt.

Lilah turned around with her arms held out as though she herself was contaminated. A huge wet spot stained her blouse. She narrowed her eyes at me. “Don’t you say a word.”

I began to laugh. “Karma!”