Tagged – A Glimpse into “A New House”

My friend, Diana Beebe tagged me (and a few others) in a blog post about what other writer friends are currently working on. For myself, I have a couple of mansucripts going at any given time, which allows me the chance to work on a little bit here and there – where ever the inspriation flows.

Reminder

So in consideration for this “tag”, you are supposed to go to page 7 or 77 of your current manuscript. Scroll down to line seven and post seven lines from there…exactly as they are. Okay, my first instict is to put something more “polished” on here, but I think the intent of this exercise is to provide the fun and new, so here is an excerpt from a work that I had actually placed aside until recently, called, A New House. (The name is subject to change.)

Turning her head to see where the noise had come from, she locked eyes with a man, a very handsome man she admitted to herself, who was standing at the end of her driveway with an amused expression on his face as he watched her struggle to lift one of the boxes filled with books. He was tall, though she couldn’t be sure how tall, given the way that she was bent over the trunk, but she would guess a little over six four, and he appeared to be really fit with his black collared shirt and tan slacks.

He had eyes the color of a sweet looking caramel macchiato, which had her considering her still brewing coffee, and a smile that was confident in it’s ability to set you at ease. Thinking back, she was sure that she probably could have lightened this load of books if she had just listened to her mother when she recommended that she go through her collection and get rid of the ones that she was never going to read again and maybe that would have saved her from this moment of embarrassment.

She was ridiculously stuck over a bunch of books in her trunk, her ever expanding ass hanging in the air, and her hair constantly falling over her face since she forgot to pull it back into a ponytail this morning. Lessons learned. Instead of letting the moment get to her though, she attempted an air of authority and perhaps a degree of mirth when she replied, “Can I help you?”

The man took a moment with this, it appeared that he was weighing his next words carefully given the frown lines that began to show on his forehead, which was wonderfully tan like the rest of his face giving the impression that he spent a great deal of time outdoors. “Actually I was going to offer to help you.” His voice was rough like he was holding back a chuckle at her expense. She narrowed her eyes at him showing that she was on to him. He just smiled and waited for her to make the next move.

And the last part of the tag says that I have tell you five things about my protagonist, Rachel:

1.  Rachel prefers to handle things her way.

2.  She is embracing a new change in her life to try to gain some control.

3.  She doesn’t believe in ghosts.

4.  She has some drama in her family.

5.  She doesn’t trust strange men.

 

So, that is the glimpse into my old but new manuscript, A New House.  I really hoped you enjoyed it and learning a little bit about Rachel.  For all my friends out there, consider yourself “TAGGED” for this! *evil laughs*

What about you?  What kind of projects have you got going on right now?  I have a friend who is currently redoing the floors in her house and is thinking about redoing the bathrooms as well.  This seems to be the season for repairs.

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Dream Date Night

Thinking long and hard…what’s the best date you’ve ever been on?  Are you married?  How long have you been married?  Do you still have date night now that you are married?

I shot this on St. Thomas...talk about a "date night."

I shot this on St. Thomas…talk about a “date night.”

My family and I just recently got back from a Family Retreat at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, where we had a Chaplain talk to us about our marriage and things like that.  One of the books that he recommended (and you all know how much I LOVE books :)), was called, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman.  Have you read this book?  I think the one on the link that I listed is a bigger book than the one that I have but the lesson is the same…everyone has a different way that they express love, so even though you might be wondering what is going on with your spouse and why are they frustrating you so much…there is a method to the madness. *smiles*

For example, in my case, when I think about how I show my husband that I love him (not that way people get your mind out of the gutter *laughs*), is by conversation.  I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at this, but it’s true.  I try to set aside time to listen to my husband and spending quality time together.  (Not when both of us are on the coach watching TV and checking Facebook – and one of you just thought, “How does she see me?”)  What I mean is sitting down and having a real conversation with my husband.

Do you remember when you first started dating your significant other?  Do you remember how special and wonderful it was just to get the chance to spend time with them talking?  Well, that’s what I mean when I say that I try to set aside time for us to talk.  And it’s not easy.  With both of us working, I know that sometimes the last thing that I want to do at the end of the day is anything other than getting dinner going and crashing on the living room sofa, and maybe catch an episode of The Good Wife.

So, with quality time in mind, I downloaded a list of questions that we could ask ourselves..something like a writing prompt for conversations asking questions like, “What’s your favorite memory of us?” or “What was the first music album you owned?”

****** Wait a minute…first music album…I have to share*****

Real quick, I wanted to share (knowing full well that I open myself up to public mockery), the first album that I owned was the soundtrack to the movie, The Adams Family Values.

Photo Courtesy of IMDB.com

Photo Courtesy of IMDB.com

I don’t know if you remember this movie or the music from it, but just in case, here’s a link:

–Let the laughing commence…

*****Okay, back to topic*******

So, basically, my husband and I are going back and forth talking like we did when we first met and it was great!  Really.  (I still see some of you rolling your eyes.)  I’m finishing that book, but was wondering along this same line…have any of you had an experience like this?  Have you read a book that changed your marriage?  What kind of book (aside from Women Are From Mars) would you suggest?

How about inexpensive date night suggestions?  How do you make it work?

Generating Ideas

It’s cold and quiet. The smell of alchol is strong as they must have just cleaned the exam room in between patients. I am sitting on the table, awkwardly swinging my legs like a little girl on a swing set, eyes scanning the room, wishing they at least had a poster on the wall so I could imagine myself anywhere else.

I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, but the next thing I know, I see this entire short story in my head. It was there, like a path clearly marked in the woods, just waiting for me to wander down.

Hosp 

I must have been speaking the story out loud, since when the doctor came into the room, she gave me a very odd look before starting my exam.

 Hosp1

Who hasn’t been there before, right? Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but I’m sure that every writer friend that I have out there can tell me at least one funny “for instance” of when a story idea came to them.  I know that many people will say that you can’t always rely on a good muse.  Because like any person, your muse is a fickle thing and is not always so reliable.  But man, what on earth could have prompted mine to take my mind down that road when I’m sitting on an exam table at the hospital?

I guess I could be thankful that this is the route my mind took instead of anything else.  (Because my mind can take some crazy turns, for sure.)

And I have to say, for someone who was raised in the romance genre, I get some dark story ideas that float around.  I’m not sure where all that comes from, but it’s what pops into my thought process when I start going.  Isn’t that weird?

Friends – do you have a story like this where you are doing one thing and then something completely different pops into your mind?  What’s the weirdest (yes, I’m using that word) time that has every happened to you?  Do you believe in writing prompts?  What’s the best writing prompt that you ever had?

 

I’m Distracted

So, I’ve read in many places that a good idea if you want to achieve a goal is to write that goal down, whether on a scrap piece of paper, on the edge of buisness card, or on the blackboard, but write it down in place that you can see it everyday.  I like this idea, but to expound on that, I’ve also heard that it might be even better to have some kind of mission statement to better explains what your goals are.  Do any of you do this?

 List

I’ve been giving a lot of thoughts to my “long range” plan lately.  When I was in the Air Force, I was a scheduler, maintenance scheduler, and I got used to having plans, both long range and short range.  (Basically, I was responsible for tracking and scheduling maintenance on all weapons, aircraft, and engines.) But what makes me laugh is that even when I have these plans at work (day job), I have not applied this to my “home/professional” life. 

Calendar

I’m really good at excuses.  I am pretty good at procrastinating.  (It’s a little funny when I use laundry as avoidance for my work in progress – even if we ALWAYS have laundry!)  In fact, here’s a list of my favorite things to do when I should be doing something else:

1. Social Media (Yes, Facebook and Twitter are my first two, especially since I have them on my phone now and can see them anywhere!)

2.  Reading (I count this because even though I could justify it and say it’s good for an author to read, I still read more than I probably should right now.)

3. TV – It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but sure I’ll kick back with an episode of Dr. Quinn when I’m folding laundry.  Who doesn’t? *smiles*

4. Household chores – The funny one because I’m not a real fan of any kind of cleaning, but sometimes I will gladly dust than get back to my revisions.

5.  Daydreaming – I think looking out the window or daydreaming should be counted as time towards writing – SQUIREL! – but being honest I would admit not ALL my daydreaming time is focused on my writing.

What about you?  Are you easily distracted?  What are your distractions?