“Anytime is good for me. Just let me know.”
Andrea nodded her head writing something down on her notepad. Then she backed out of her boss’s office and closed the door behind her. She sighed shaking her head when she knew he couldn’t hear or see her anymore. She sat back down at her desk and took some Asprin out of the top drawer.
“Is he being annoying again today?” Andrea’s friend appeared and sat down on top of her desk.
“No, just vague,” Andrea sighed.
“What does he want this time?” her friend wondered.
“He wants me to set up a meeting with some big guy at another big company, Lily. Then he told me to set up the meeting for whatever time works for me.” Andrea rolled her eyes.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Lily raised a suspicious eyebrow.
“I assume that was his way of telling me that I need to be here for the meeting.” Andrea groaned and buried her face on her desk.
“Why? What’s the meeting about?” Lily wondered.
“I have no idea. He didn’t tell me. He just told me who to set it up with and everything else was up to me. So I have to call that guy right now.” Andrea lifted his head up and picked up the phone.
“Good luck,” Lily muttered and walked away.
“Yes, I’d like to make an appointment on behalf of Mr. Charles Fink.” Andrea spoke with the secretary. She nodded her head jotting down some dates and times on her notepad. The woman on the other line kept talking so Andrea soon began to doodle. Then she paused with wide eyes.
“Oh… okay, that works out perfectly. Thank you.” Andrea hung up the phone and froze.
“I can tell by the look on your face that it’s nothing good.” Lily walked over from her desk and back up to Andrea again.
“That meeting is with a lawyer.” Andrea stared at Lily. “He’s trying to divorce his wife.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “If anything, she should be divorcing him on account he’s always bringing his work home with him. Now he’s bringing his home life to work with him? Sheesh…”
“And I have to be there for that meeting. Why? I’m just his secretary.” Andrea shrugged her shoulders.
“Because you’re my best supporter right now; I really appreciate it.” Mr. Fink came out of his office and winked at Andrea before walking away.
Lily snorted. “What a…”
“Don’t even go there.” Andrea muttered.
“Let’s go for a walk.” She said taking her son by the hand. The four-year-old looked up at his mother with a frown. He glanced down at his action figures as she dragged him over to the front door.
“It’s a beautiful spring day, Nathan. Your toys will still be here when we get back.” His mother explained in a smooth tone.
“Okay,” Nathan sighed.
They stepped out the front door and headed down the driveway to walk around the block. Most of their neighbors were out and about; mowing the lawn, grilling, or simply sitting on their porch soaking up the sun.
Nathan brought his hands up to his ears.
“What’s wrong?” his mother asked.
“Too loud!” he shouted.
His mother smirked. “Mr. Davis is just mowing his lawn. The sound is getting softer now.” She observed as they walked further away. “What can you hear now?”
Nathan hesitated at first, but finally brought his hands away from his ears. He stopped walking so he could focus on listening.
“Birds!” he shouted with a smile. He pointed to a tree in the neighbor’s yard where two robins worked together building a nest. “And… a car?”
His mother looked behind them and pushed Nathan closer to the side of the road as a car drove by them. She smiled at him and nodded. Nathan beamed.
They walked further down the road before Nathan stopped again.
“Look at the flowers!” he pointed to another neighbor’s garden.
His mother nodded impressed. “Yes, the garden is growing nicely, isn’t it?”
“There’s blue and purple and red and yellow!” Nathan exclaimed.
“There sure are a lot of beautiful flowers.” She smiled at him.
Before they knew it, their house was coming into view. Nathan frowned and began to drag his feet along the side of the road. His mother stopped and looked at him.
“We’re almost home.”
“That we are.” She agreed.
“But what if we missed something on our walk?” Nathan stared at his mother with big, sad eyes.
She chuckled. “Well, Nathan we can always go around again.”
Nathan’s face lit up with joy. Then he began to drag his mother around the block.
My alarm went off at 4:30 in the morning. Instinctively, I turned it off and rolled over in my bed. I closed my eyes for what seemed like a minute, but when I opened them again a half hour had gone by.
Upon realizing I should get up and start the day, I staggered out of bed with a blanket tangled around my leg. I hopped on one foot across the floor trying to get the blanket off. Finally when I unwrapped it, I tossed it back onto my bed. Should I bother making it? Nah.
I stood in front of my dresser and got changed into the outfit I picked out for myself the night before. I brushed my hair, unplugged my phone from the charger, and exited my bedroom. I went downstairs into the kitchen.
Everyone else was still asleep, as they usually were—even the cat was passed out on the couch. I snickered knowing that wasn’t going to last long.
I turned on the coffee maker and turned around. The cat was suddenly sitting on the floor behind me. I smiled happy to get back into my routine this morning, even though I was about a half hour later than usual.
The cat meowed as he walked closer to me. I picked him up and placed him on my hip stroking the back of his head. We swayed from side to side as I waited for the coffee maker to heat up.
I pushed the button to brew causing the cat to jump at the sudden spitting sound. It scared him every morning. Yet, he stayed in my arms and watched me as I one-handedly poured cream into my coffee, put it back in the refrigerator, and brought him and the coffee mug back upstairs.
I entered my den putting the coffee down on my desk. Then I placed the cat down on the couch on the other side of the room where he curled right back up and fell asleep.
I sat down at my desk turning on my computer. As I waited for it to boot up, I took a sip of my coffee watching the cat breath steadily as he drifted into a quick deep sleep.
Every morning was the same. He would wait for me to come make my coffee and then get a free ride upstairs only to sleep on a different couch. We were in a rut, but it was calm and relaxing for both of us.
I looked away from the cat when my computer screen came on. Then I began to work.
Diane turned the page of her latest novel with wide eyes and her lips moving quickly, but with no sound. Her eyes darted across the page from left to the right eagerly wanting to turn the page again. She slouched down in her lounge chair, propping her feet up on the chair next to her.
Her husband, Josh, sat on the opposite side of the table with his laptop in front of him. He eyed Diane trying not to laugh.
“You’re making funny faces again.” He observed.
“Shush!” Diane said sharply. Her eyes did not leave the page and only paused for a split second to the turn the page once more.
A breeze blew by and Diane slapped her hand on the table to keep her bookmark from flying away as she continued to read.
Josh closed his laptop and leaned his elbows on it. He smirked at his wife. “I take it I picked out a good book to give you for your birthday?”
“Shush!” she said more harshly.
Josh rubbed his lips together trying to hold in his laughter.
A robin swooped down from their roof and landed on top of the umbrella that shielded them and most of the deck. Josh stood up from the table and looked up at the bird. He smiled. Spring was officially here.
“Diane, look! It’s a robin and she’s looking pretty plump.”
Josh lifted an eyebrow at his wife. He hadn’t seen her get this excited over a book in a long time.
Finally, he walked off the back deck and reached the hose.
“Diane, I’m not afraid to use this. I’ve done it before.” Josh smirked. Whenever Diane was in the middle of the good book, it was difficult for Josh to get her attention. He sprayed a mist over her one time and it freaked her out so whenever he got the hose, Diane would immediately look up at him.
This time, she blatantly ignored him.
“One, two…” Josh counted in whispers as he slowly turned on the water. “Three…”
He put the nozzle on mist on the hose and sprayed Daine laughing. The robin flew away in frenzy, but Diane didn’t bat an eyelash. She only turned to the next page in her book.
Josh chuckled to himself thinking that he would be funny. He set the nozzle on an actual spray to get Diane wet enough, but not soaked—he kept in mind his laptop was right there.
“One, two…” Josh counted once more.
Diane slammed her book closed and grinned widely at her husband. “I finished!”
The hose turned on and Diane squealed.
Daniel put his car in park and leaned back in the driver’s seat. He gazed out the window across the quiet street and bit his bottom lip. Should he leave? He thought about it. It wasn’t right for him to be there, but he was being pulled there by a greater force.
He reached forward and took the keys out of the ignition. He would sit there and pretend that he belonged there just like everyone else.
Daniel twisted his neck to the left and right. There was no one else around yet. He glanced at his wrist watch and groaned. He was fifteen minutes too early. Why couldn’t he have been that early before? Why couldn’t he be that early all the time? Then there was a chance he wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.
He made drumming sounds by patting his hands on his thighs and bopped his head from one side to the other side. He started whistling a fancy tune he came up with right on the spot before stopping abruptly with his lips still pursed together. His shoulders slumped and he cleared his throat almost as if he was embarrassed someone was watching.
What time was it again? He looked at his watch. Oh… ten more minutes.
Daniel looked around his car and scrunched up his face in disgust. He hadn’t realized what a mess his car was until now. He wasn’t about to get out and start cleaning, though. He would have to wait until he got home because he didn’t have anything left to do now.
He was going to finally have time to clean his car because work was one less thing he needed to worry about. Sure, he wouldn’t be getting a paycheck each week, but at least he could spend those work hours working on home projects that he’s always wanted to get done. Everyone was always telling him to look on the bright side of things… the counted, didn’t it?
Using his right hand, Daniel brushed off a few papers and food crumbs from the passenger seat. No one was getting in his car, but if people walked by he wanted them to see a clean car at first glance. So, on the floor it went.
He then noticed a brown paper bag sitting beside him. He picked it up and grunted at its weight. Without opening it, Daniel knew what was inside. He shook the bag and listened as liquid swished around on the inside.
He shook his head putting the bag back down on the seat. He wasn’t supposed to have that in his car. He must have missed that one when he was cleaning out his stash. He looked out the window trying to get his mind off of it. He was going to have to remember to pour it down the drain when he got home.
Other cars were beginning to park around him now. The rush was coming and time was running out. Daniel sat up straight in his seat and turned the car back on. He wanted to be able to make a quick getaway just in case. He hoped no one saw him; that no one would recognize him.
A bell rang and Daniel stiffened. Children began to pour out of the school building and his eyes frantically searched for his two daughters. As he scanned his surroundings, he came across a tall woman standing outside her car. She smiled and waved to two young girls, who were quite happy to see her. One ran and jumped into her arms as the older one lagged behind carrying both backpacks.
Daniel smiled at the sight.
The two girls and their mother got into the car. With the crossing guard’s thumbs-up, the minivan pulled off from the curb and drove away.
Daniel frowned once the van was out of sight. He hadn’t seen his daughters or his ex-wife since the court date. He didn’t know when he was going to get the chance to see them again.
Without thinking, Daniel took a swig of the paper bag next to him and then drove out of the school zone.
“We’re going to a wedding, not a funeral! Look happy.” She told me as she put on mascara, her face inches away from the mirrior.
I sat on her bed watching her waiting for my turn in front of the mirror. I was happy. But did she remember the way she spoke to me minutes ago?
“Don’t wear your hair like that. Those shoes don’t look well with that dress. You’re going to put on make-up, right?”
Sure, I was happy to go to the wedding. It was just hard to be happy sitting in the same room as her.
Last Thursday, May 14, was the third anniversary–or birthday as I like to call it–of my blog and how long I’ve been on WordPress. I find that to be a huge accomplishment!
When I first started this blog I didn’t see myself still blogging three years later. I started this blog because I knew it was a great way to be recognized as a writer. Well, three years later and I’m still not published, but I’ve still come a long way.
My writing has improved greatly (as far as I can tell) and so has my blog. I’ve been blogging on a daily basis, have regular features, have a steady followship (I just made that word up!), I have my own domain name, and my blog actually means something to not just me, but to my readers as well.
My blog isn’t about promoting my writing. Sure, the recognition is still nice for when I do get published, but my blog has become more than that; it’s about my readers.
All of you guys have given me such wonderful advice regarding writing and blogging. I’ve made so many WordPress friends over the past few years. I’m not going to link to anyone because I’m afraid I’ll forget someone, but you should know who you are!
My blog has evolved immensely over the years and it’s because of all my readers. I don’t know if I would still be blogging if it weren’t for you guys reading, liking, and commenting on my posts. The WordPress community is certainly a great one; especially the writers.
With being said, I have a month-long feature coming up in June that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I hope you guys look forward to that and enjoy it because I’m having a good time coming up with the posts for it.
I didn’t mean for this post to sound like an acceptance speech and I didn’t mean for it to come off as corny or too sappy. Sorry about that, but all of you guys do mean a lot to mean me. So… I guess in addition to the heads-up about my June feature, I’ll give you another heads-up.
Since we love you all so much, Kris and I have been working on something special. That won’t be coming until the middle of August. It’s something private between us and our WordPress buddies–and it’s writing related. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter until August is here and we’re ready to announce it. So I hope you all look forward to that as well!
So, happy third birthday to my blog! Let’s hope there are many more years to come.
She was carried along by the crowd. She tried to reach her arms through people and also tried to see over their heads, but she was too small. She called out his name a few times, but the crowd was so loud in yelling and stampeding through the streets, that no one could hear her; she couldn’t even hear herself.
Amanda, when she could no longer see Jeff, turned around and started walking among the crowd. She didn’t know where they were going, but she thought that it would be easier to walk with the crowd than against. Maybe she could find a small gap that she could fit through and make it to the sidewalk. Then she could backtrack and try to find Jeff again.
She hoped Jeff was thinking the same thing and was trying to find his way back to her.
Amanda picked up her feet and was marching through the streets. She felt so small with the entire crowd surrounding her that if she walked as she normally did, she knew for sure that she would fall and get trampled.
Finally, she found a small opening and tried to walk through it when someone grabbed her arm. She was startled and tried to wriggle free, but she couldn’t get out of the grip.
“Stop, it’s me! Jeff!”
Amanda turned around and noticed Jeff right behind her holding onto her arm. She let out a sigh of relief.
“What are you walking with the crowd for?” Jeff demanded glaring at her.
“I was trying to get away, but I wasn’t strong enough to walk the opposite way. I was trying to make my way to the sidewalk.” Amanda explained.
“Hold onto my arm and do not let go. Follow me.” Jeff was still holding onto Amanda’s arm and she was holding onto his other arm.
He led the way diagonally. They were walking with the crowd, but there were making their way to the sidewalk where no one seemed to be around. Amanda was thankful that the stampede was protesting in the street and not the sidewalk. She thought that was odd, but she wasn’t going to say anything about it.
Finally, she and Jeff made it safely to the sidewalk. Holding onto her tighter, Jeff turned around and started running in the opposite direction of the crowd.
“Where are going to go?” Amanda called trying to keep up with him. Her legs were a lot shorter than his to the point that he was practically dragging her down the sidewalk.
“We’re going home to get some supplies and then we’re leaving the city.” Jeff answered, but he didn’t turn his head to look at her. He was too focused on where he was going.
“What is going on, anyway? Why are all these people so angry?” Amanda wondered.
“We’ll talk about that later in private!” Jeff shouted over the crowd. “We don’t want anyone overhearing our conversation. No more talking until we find the car.”
Amanda nodded her head even though Jeff wasn’t looking at her. With Jeff holding onto her hand and leading her, she watched the crowd trample by them going in the opposite direction. No one seemed to notice that other people were running the opposite way. None of the protesters seemed to care that they were scaring the lives out of some people.
Amanda had woken up that morning to crashes and bangs. When she peeked out the window she noticed that parts of the city were destroyed and on fire. She didn’t understand what was going on. She didn’t understand why the protestors were rioting. She went outside to look for her husband Jeff when she was accidentally swept away by the crowd.
Apparently Jeff was trying to pack the car and get their things together in an attempt to leave the city. That was why Amanda couldn’t find him in the morning and now that the crowd carried her so far away, she ended up delaying their escape.
However, she wasn’t sure what they were escaping from. She didn’t want to leave the city. She didn’t want to leave her home. It was the first house and her husband bought together when they first got married. They were going to start a family together soon. If they left the city, they would have nowhere to go. They would be homeless.
They made it back to the house and Jeff let go of Amanda’s arm. He barked some orders to her and Amanda immediately obeyed without asking any questions.
Together, the two of them ran into their house and grabbed as many belongings as they could. They didn’t bother to pack anything in suitcases; they just threw everything into the minivan and tossed the suitcases in after. They would sort through it all later.
“Is there anything else you need to get?” Jeff asked starting up the van.
Amanda looked back at the house. She and Jeff grabbed all their clothes, all the food they could carry, their stash of money, and any other essentials they needed. They were even able to throw in some things that had sentimental value.
“The house,” Amanda replied without thinking.
“I know… maybe when this is all over we can come back with hopes that it’s not burned to the ground or broken into. I wish we could pack everything we have, including the furniture and the house itself. But we just can’t. Amanda, is there anything else you need to get? We need to leave… immediately.” Jeff explained looking sad.
Amanda shook her head and hopped into the front seat of the car. As she buckled her seatbelt, Jeff revved the engine and sped off. Amanda watched her house shrink in the distance through the side mirror and allowed a few tears to come down her cheek.
“What was going on?” she whispered to Jeff.
“They’re bringing the war here.” Jeff had a tear rolling down his cheek as well.
Summary (from Goodreads):
There will be three, kin of your kin . . .
The wild cats have flourished in their new home on the banks of the lake for several seasons, and the Clans are growing strong and healthy with new kits. The time has come for three kits of ThunderClan to become apprentices.
Hollypaw, Jaypaw, and Lionpaw spring from a strong legacy: children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, two of the noblest ThunderClan warriors, and grandchildren of the great leader Firestar himself. All three young cats possess unusual power and talent and seem certain to provide strength to the Clan for the next generation.
But there are dark secrets around the three, and a mysterious prophecy hints at trouble to come. An undercurrent of rage is rising against those who are not Clanborn, and the warrior code is in danger of being washed away by a river of blood. All the young cats’ strength will be needed if the Clans are to survive.
. . . who hold the power of the stars in their paws.
If anyone has read the Warriors series then you will know that this is in fact the first book of the third series. In other words, this is the 13th book.
Firestar was the main character who started this series for all of us, so this series focuses on his grandchildren: Lionpaw, Hollypaw, and Jaypaw.
The book follows their struggle as they try to find a place within their clan. Lionpaw wants to be a warrior, but Hollypaw would rather be a medicine cat while Jaypaw wants to be a warrior as well. However, destiny says otherwise.
Due to Jaypaw’s blindness, it’s hard for everyone else to believe that he’ll make a strong warrior. However, Jaypaw is able to “see” through scent and touch. It’s not until Jaypaw dreams of StarClan, their ancestors, that he realizes he’s not blind in his dreams and he was walks into other cats’ dreams. That alone proves Jaypaw is the rightful medicine cat.
This book follows mostly Jaypaw as he learns to deal with his blindness and how he can effectively serve his Clan and learn how to “see” everything.
The Sight by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.
“You drift around the camp like a little dark cloud looking for someone to rain on.” –Erin Hunter, The Sight
Summary (from Goodreads):
The three children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, grandchildren of the great leader Firestar, have thrived in their apprenticeships: Lionpaw’s strength and energy serve him well as a warrior in training, Hollypaw hones her understanding of the warrior code, and Jaypaw explores his mysterious powers and connection to StarClan as the medicine cat apprentice.
With more experience comes both power and danger: Lionpaw makes a friendship–and a discovery–that must be kept hidden; Jaypaw learns a secret that could benefit ThunderClan by damaging others; and Hollypaw knows something that could avert a battle, if she could convince the rest of her Clan.
The three are torn apart as each discovers darkness: in themselves, in the Clans, and in the past. And, as conflict begins over what it means to be a warrior, rising tensions threaten to overflow, washing away the peace that has existed for many moons.
The second book in the third series follows mostly Hollypaw and Lionpaw now. Lionpaw betrays his Clan by sneaking out at night to meet a WindClan apprentice, Heatherpaw.
They’re friends, not harming anyone. However, staying up all night takes a toll on Lionpaw when he is unable to train properly due to lack of sleep. His clanmates are getting suspicious and Hollypaw already knows and isn’t too happy with him.
Meanwhile, to help with his training, Lionpaw receives lessons from Tigerstar and Hawkfrost, his deceased kin. They will him to the dark side, but Lionpaw has yet to see that.
Heatherpaw discovers underground tunnels where she and Lionpaw can meet in peace. It isn’t until much later that Jaypaw discovers some ancestors are in those underground tunnels because they died in there.
Hollypaw tries to keep the peace between all the Clans; especially when three WindClan kits go missing. WindClan automatically assumes the worst believing one of the Clans has kidnapped them. Hollypaw is determined to find the kits before a battle breaks out.
Hollypaw, Jaypaw, Lionpaw, and Heatherpaw, with the help of another WindClan apprentice, Breezepaw, track the kits down in the underground tunnel before the rain floods it.
Warriors: Dark River by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 4 stars.
“I am no warrior, but I am a ThunderClan cat. I stay in the nursery rather than hunt and fight because that is what I do best. I care for our young as though they were my own. This is my gift to the Clan, but I do it in my own chosen name.” –Erin Hunter, Dark River
Sue Grafton writes mystery. J.K. Rowling writes fantasy. What do you write?
When you’re just starting out as a writer, there are so many questions to ask and so many decisions to make. Who’s your audience? Is my writing any good? Who in the world would want to buy my stories?
My personal favorite is, what genre should I write in?
This can certainly be a tough one since there are so many different genres out there: fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and so much more. Then there are the sub-genres to worry about.
So, how can you find your genre to write about and share with the world? There are two options.
1. Write in a few different genres you enjoy reading.
I wrote five manuscripts before I decided on which genre was right for me. Two were fantasy, two were young adult drama. Plus, I write my fair share of short stories in multiple genres as well as children’s books, middle grade, and I even tried my hand at script writing and poetry.
Once I started writing my mystery series, I fell head over heels in love. I wanted to continue writing it all the time. The characters keep the story moving, the plot make sense, and I have many more ideas to come for this particular series. I was writing for eight years before I discovered this.
2. Read every genre.
The best thing a writer can do in order to improve their writing–without actually writing–is to read. Do you have a particular genre you enjoy reading all the time? Or do you try to read every book published?
Make sure you read in many different genres. Chances are you’ll find a favorite and come up with story ideas for that genre.
Write in an out-of-your-comfort-zone genre. For example, if you mainly write fantasy, give romance a try.
A few months ago I posted the Lucky Seven Challenge that I found through another blog. I was going to make that a regular thing on my blog since I had so many works in progress, but decided not to.
The first time I did this challenge, I did it for George Florence 2 because that was what I was currently working on. Now I realize that I never did it for the first novel.
The lovely Gwendolyn suggested I do this challenge again. I thought I would do it from George Florence since it’s in the editing stages so it’s technically still a work in progress.
The point is this:
1. On your current WIP, scroll to page seven.
2. Count seven sentences down.
3. Then share the following seven sentences after that.
The first time I did this the challenge was to count down seven lines and then share the next seven lines. I think sharing sentences makes much more sense because, if I recall correctly, I added extra because the seven lines ended in the middle of a sentence.
Anyway… here’s seven sentences from the seventh page of George Florence:
“Call me George.”
“You got to know my father. I didn’t.” Lilah ignored my comment looking me in the eyes once more. Now I noticed she had the same emerald eyes like her father, as well.
“I didn’t come to you because I want to know more about being a detective in case my writing career doesn’t work out—which will work out, by the way—I came here to get to know my father a little bit more.” Lilah announced.
Hm… I think that a decent teaser, don’t you?
Now I have the option of tagging people to do this challenge, but I don’t think I will. I do hope some of you do the challenge, though. I think it’s fun and I would love to see what comes from your works in progress!
About a week ago, I posted my May Goals. I’ve been checking back on that post every so often as its helping me stay on task with my reading, writing, and blogging.
I reread the post the other day and realized that some plans have already changed. I know, I know… we’re not even halfway through the month yet.
Everything is pretty much the same except I decided not to type up the next draft of George Florence 2.
After meeting with my writing group a few weeks ago (which is explained further in my Problems with Protagonists post) I decided that the first book need my undivided attention and all the love it can get because I have a lot of decisions to make with that book.
1. Should I change the POV?
2. Should I make Lilah the protagonist instead of George?
Those aren’t simple changes such as deleting a scene or changing a character’s name or appearance. Changing the main character and the POV will ultimately change the entire dynamic of the novel–of the entire series.
So, I’m going to put the second book aside for the time being and focus my attention on the first book. My writers group has one more meeting before we break for the summer so I’ll spend my summer focusing on that novel. That way in September when I meet with my group again it’ll be like I’m giving them an entirely different novel.
With that said, my other writing goals for May remain the same. I’ve been writing one Short Story Sunday a day, I’ve been slowly working on critiques for my next meeting with my writers group, I’m getting my children’s book ready to be queried, Kris and I started working on a writing-related project, and I’m keeping my eyes open for magazines and contests and submit to.
20 days left in May… I hope I make it!