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New Book Idea and Ch. 4

I love cats, obviously. I do have them tattooed onto my body after all. So it shouldn’t be surprising that, as a witch, I work more closely with feline deities (especially Egyptian) than any other. When I work with deities at all.

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I’ve been gathering information on the feline deities of Egypt for quite some time, and the amount of information in my notes is getting to be alarming. So I thought I may as well make a book out of it. I’d like to have each chapter dedicated to one deity, informing on their particular name(s), what went into their worship, their relations to other deities, nicknames they were given, city centers of worship, what they were appealed to for by the priests and priestesses, and modern ways to incorporate them into ritual. I also want to display a family tree with all the Egyptian deities in the very beginning of the book. I feel like there should be some kind of epilogue, but I’m not sure what I would include there. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts, feel free to comment.

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And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that The Cabin My Grandmother Left Me is being put on the back burner, I will continue to work on that diligently. Definitely more than I have been recently. I’m almost done with chapter 4 though, and here is a lovely excerpt to give you all a taste:

I always thought it was a romantic story. When my grandparents were newlyweds and looking for a place to settle down, their car broke down in Darien, Georgia. They had to call a taxi to pick them up and bring them to a hotel, it was a whole fiasco. But. But, they were so impressed with the service at the hotel, it helped turn their entire night around. The next day while the car was getting fixed, they strolled arm-in-arm through town, read the signs, went to a museum, visited a couple shops. When my grandmother said, “I don’t think I want to leave this place.” My grandfather surprised her by saying “Well then why don’t we stay.” And that was that. They rented an apartment, had their things brought down, walked around different parts of town almost every day. They would sit by the ocean and have lunch some days, and others they would go for a boat ride on the river. Grandmother pointed out a small island and said, “Wouldn’t it be grand to live on an island like that someday? Just the two of us?” My grandfather just nodded his head, but the idea took root.
After he started working in construction and got a feel for it, he started his own construction business. The economy took a downturn for a while, but he muddled through and emerged slightly worse for wear from it, unlike the company he used to work for. They went out of business. He felt a bit bad for that, but that meant he didn’t have much competition in the area. He was soon making quite a bit of money, because everyone not only had to go to him, but they wanted to. He had fair prices, he was an honorable man with a great crew. He made many friends in the area, and soon everything aligned for the moment he’d been waiting for. He bought the island his wife had pointed out over 5 years ago without telling her and started construction. She had no idea what was going on. He raided her little box with ideas for the house and brought her dream to life.
On their 7th anniversary he told her he had a surprise for her, so she had to put on a blindfold. He led her to the car, drove to a little dock, helped her into a boat he built with his own two hands, and rowed them to the island. He told her to take off the blindfold when they got close and she could see the entire thing. She was speechless and tears rolled down her cheeks. She had no idea he’d remembered the day she pointed that place out. But it was the cabin of her dreams, the home she had envisioned for herself since she was a little girl. He docked the boat and helped her out, led her to the house, and opened the door. “Take a look around, tell me how you like it.” She started in the kitchen, lightly touching every surface as if it were a dream and might disappear. She worked her way into the dining room, with a window viewing the river around them, and the town just across the river. She always said she thought it looked like a postcard picture. This room led to the living room, a bathroom, and a staircase leading to the second level. He and his crew had built two bedrooms, a second bathroom, and a combination office and storage room. She walked through all of it. And recognized almost every bit of architectural design, every cloth pattern for bedspreads and curtains, and almost every knicknack and item throughout the house.
“John Wayne O’Connor, you went through my personal box!” She feigned indignation at the thought of him rifling through her things, but she was so pleased and so overwhelmed with everything he had done for her.
“I absolutely did darlin’, and you can get mad at me for that later, but for now…do you like the house?”
“Do I like it? That’s a silly question.” She paused for a second, letting him squirm with the suspense. “No. I don’t like it. I love it!”
The way she tells it, she threw herself into his arms and peppered him with kisses all over his face. The way mama tells it, that was the night she was conceived.
My grandparents moved again, this time permanently to the island. My grandmother started her garden, loved cooking in the kitchen, and went down to the dock or the beach to fish most days. She was happy as a clam in water. Grandaddy sold his business for a fair price, invested some of the money, and used most of the rest of it for their retirement. They lived many years on that island together, raising my mom, their baby girl Ruby.
Sadly, I never met my grandaddy, he died before I was born. It was devastating to grandmama, and it hit mom pretty hard too. Mom moved back in for a while, had me but never told either me or grandmama who the father was. After a while, she left too, but she still continued to visit and bring me. That cabin was like my second home, a playground and a castle to a kid with an imagination like me.
It’s only fitting that I come back now when I most need a little magic and home healing in my life.

I hope you all enjoyed that! Stay tuned for next week, I may include a portion of edited chapter one. Maybe. Please let me know if there’s something you want me to write about next week or if you have any comments or thoughts on my newest book idea. As always, I give credit to the photographers who took those pictures, because I sure didn’t. Until next week, I bid you adieu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncertainty with a Dash of Writing

I’ll be honest, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done this week. Not for lack of trying though, more because I’ve been too much in my head. There are some people close to me who don’t really believe in me, that I’ll succeed, and often advise me to pursue other interests or go for a more practical field. I’ve been feeling some insecurity and uncertainty. Not just because of the haters of course, but because I don’t know if I’m “good enough.” Whatever that means.

This is something I don’t talk about very much. My first semester at university (after I got my AA at a local college), I tried to appease the people that matter to me and go for a degree in Resort and Hospitality Management, a subcategory of business. Something practical. Easy to get a job after college. Good pay and benefits eventually.

I hated it.

Every day was worse and worse, I had no passion or joy. My family doesn’t even know how bad it got. I stopped reading for enjoyment, I didn’t go out, I had a hard time motivating myself to get out of bed in the mornings, sometimes I actually couldn’t. Like it was physically impossible. I’d go two or three days without eating, not to intentionally starve myself, but because I had no appetite at all.

Most people talk about the freshman 15, gaining weight during your first year of university. I lost weight. Quite a bit of it. It was hard to hide from the people I care about. Sometimes I would accidentally go overboard with the layers and illusion and they’d think that I had gained weight. I even started seeing a therapist (which was very helpful in a lot of ways).

That’s when I decided to switch my major. Making people proud of me isn’t worth the sacrifice to my mental, emotional, or physical health. It wasn’t just the classes that were affecting me, there were other things as well. I was burned out from taking on too much for too long, I quit doing things I enjoyed, and I was in a new place. I didn’t really have many friends.

I turned this all around though, I changed my diet along with my major. I met a girl around the same age as me, very smart, and we became great buddies. This summer I also took a much-needed break. I didn’t work too much, I didn’t take any summer classes, and I took the time for important things. Reconnecting with some out-of-town friends, spending time with family, spending time with myself, resting, relaxing, reading especially. It’s been very good for me. I feel really refreshed and ready to take on the upcoming semester with enthusiasm and confidence.

The reason I say all of this is because I still feel uncertain or insecure at times. Writing is not the easiest profession. I knew that going into it. And it doesn’t make it easier when I know that some people very close to me have no confidence in my ability to succeed. In spite of that, I got through a lot of emotional tough spots, and not just the two school terms of depression (and I really do not exaggerate with that, I’m not just throwing that word around. It was, luckily, a temporary thing). I got through it. It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of work, and I ended up putting some strain on my family relationships, but I did try their way. It just didn’t work. I have to do right by me.

And it also helped me figure out what I’m made of. If I can get through that kind of struggle, then I can face a little uncertainty and a bit of insecurity. My writing may not be the greatest thing ever, but I give my 100% on content, then go back and revise the details and grammar. I make it better and better. Because it is my passion. And I refuse to let anything, including myself, get in the way of that again. Until next week my lovelies, I bid you adieu!

 

P.S.: Next week I will FOR SURE include an excerpt from chapter four.

 

 

The Beginning of Editing and Chapter 4

This week has been quite the fun filled adventure, I haven’t even had the chance to finish any books that I’m currently in the process of reading. There’s Wild Swans by Jung Chang, which I’m not even halfway through yet. It’s a lovely story about three generations of women living in China during a tumultuous 20th-century period. The grandmother became the concubine of a warlord, the mother was a Communist, and the daughter is the one sharing her family’s history. It’s a very good read.

I’m also continuing to read my collection of Jane Austen novels, and I am STILL on Mansfield Park. It isn’t my favorite Austen novel so far, which is probably why I haven’t finished it yet. I mean, I devoured Pride and Prejudice. But it’s still decent.

Also still in progress is that poetry book I mentioned a few posts back, A Woman’s Journey Through Poems. It’s beautiful and I enjoy it so much that I’m purposefully reading it slowly. It’s something that I want to savor. Plus, poetry really is meant to be read aloud. And I don’t like reading aloud when people are around. I get all embarrassed and self-conscious. So that may or may not be a contributing factor to the speed with which I read the poetry book.

In terms of my own writing, I’ve started on Chapter 4. I’m several paragraphs into it, although not as many as I would like. I did, however, get to my 10,000-word mark, which is one of the “milestones” I set for myself. So that is a point of pride, a moment of celebration. I also got started on the editing process, I’m about halfway through Chapter 1 again. But it’s just a first edit, there will probably be at least two more edits after the initial edit.

I’m what you might call a perfectionist, if you couldn’t tell.

Now, I have some new “milestones,” a few new goals I’ve set for myself. By the end of this week, I want to have the first edit done for ch. 1 and part of ch. 2, I want to finish the rough draft of ch. 4. And my next longer-term goal is to get to 20,000 words. I should probably set a time limit on that 20,000-word goal, but I haven’t. I do know that I want to meet that goal before two months have passed, ideally before one month has passed.

I also have a goal to finish this book my friend just gave me. It’s called My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, it’s been on my TBR list, but has never made it to my TBR pile until now. I really do have the greatest friends.

In other news, one of my holidays is coming up just around the corner (meaning tomorrow). It’s called Lughnasadh, or Lammas (which is much easier to pronounce), and it is what’s known as one of the 8 festivals of the year. It’s the first of three harvest festivals, this one being dedicated mostly to grain. So I plan on baking a couple loaves of bread tomorrow and gifting one to the nature spirits around my home. I may even go a little crazy and add some saffron this year. Very exciting stuff.

Until next week my friends, I bid you adieu!

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Injury Update and Chapter 3 Completion

Some of you may remember last week that I hurt myself because I’m kinda clumsy (meaning very clumsy), and I think I should let you all know that I’m okay and healing up. Still not 100% just yet, but I can walk without the cane, so progress.

Now to the nitty gritty of the post, rough drafts and editing. I think my plan of getting three chapters out before starting the editing process was a really good one, and I have to thank my friend Jess for giving me the idea. It really has helped me with my writing flow, it has me in the writing mode, and it allows me ideas to just keep coming. While this method works for me, it may not work for everyone, but I really think it’s important to get a flow going with your story before you start editing it. Now, I do believe we’re ready to get to the editing tips.

We all sort of know what editing is, what it entails, but there is definitely a lot of good advice out there that really gets to the specifics of the matter. So here you go, all you editing writers out there.

  1. Do not be afraid! I know some of us get a little insecure when we go back and look at what we wrote, and trust me, it can be pretty terrible. But that’s why it’s called a rough draft, it can be very rough. So don’t be afraid of your terrible writing, you can always make it better and turn it into something beautiful and wonderful.
  2. Grammar is not the only important thing to focus on. Yes, it is important, but a sentence can be filled with many commas and contain many ideas while still being grammatically correct. But this can also confuse readers. So it’s important to shorten some sentences and minimize use of commas (which is a really big thing for me. If you couldn’t tell, I love my commas).
  3. Get rid of redundancies and minimize use of adverbs (those -ly words). Adverbs often weaken your writing because they aren’t as descriptive as they could be, as descriptive as you WANT them to be. So replace those adverbs with stronger verbs. And some examples of redundancy would be “advanced planning”, “currently” (at least when you’re using the present tense or referring to something that everyone knows is happening at that time), etc. There are great articles with examples on redundancy, so I’m not going to get too into it here.
  4. Some people say that passive voice is weaker compared to active voice. and it can be, but I’m really not going to tell you to favor one or the other. I actually like passive voice, but the general consensus is that it’s “bad”, so who am I to disagree with the experts?
  5. There is nothing wrong with using contractions in your writing, especially when blogging or writing fiction (just examples, contractions are good with other things as well), so USE CONTRACTIONS. They make the flow of the work seem more natural, it’s how people generally talk. Now when it comes to adding a sort of desired effect, eliminating a contraction can provide good contrast to make it stand out for that effect you want. But generally speaking, contractions are A-Okay.
  6. When writing, I notice that I use “very” or “really” a lot as descriptors, but they don’t exactly describe much. So it’s always wise to replace these with stronger verbs and descriptors. Inserting a “very” or a “really” every now and again is fine, because people use these words often, but when you’re reading and actually noticing it, it tends to become annoying and not very helpful in conveying what you want to say or show.
  7. I usually add a lot of details when I go back through my writing, so if you find yourself short of that word count you aspire to, or if you find that the scene you’re trying to set is a bit lackluster, add details. But if you find that you have too many details, don’t be afraid to eliminate them. Too much detail can get boring for readers, it can seem pointless, and it can make the writing drag. It’s all about finding that good balance.
  8. Many writers have their certain traits, words they tend to use, punctuation they tend to favor. I know I do! I use a lot of commas, I often find myself using many of the same words (even though I have a huge vocabulary from reading ALL THE TIME), and I sometimes lapse into passive voice. There’s nothing wrong with having   a pattern, or liking certain ways of writing, but it’s important to diversify a tad. Switch things up. When you go back and look at what you’ve written and notice anything odd, like one too many commas (or ten), get rid of them.
  9. Watch out for switching tenses or voices. Sometimes it can be necessary for adding a certain effect to your writing, but more often than not it just confuses or jars readers. Try for consistency.
  10. Last but not least, don’t sound like an overeducated snob if your work doesn’t require snobbery. Simple can sometimes be best. There are certain words that are just…stuffy and make readers think you’re an arrogant prick, or a jerk for making them reach for the dictionary. Many people try too hard to sound smart, I’ve done it myself, but this can just confuse readers. And I think the one thing I’ve reiterated multiple times throughout this post is that you do not want to confuse your readers.

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That’s it for my editing tips folks. If you want something more in depth for grammar specifics, redundancy examples, or examples or the tenses and voices, there are plenty of videos, articles, and blogs out there. Not to mention all of the other sources and the like. Now, as promised, I will present to you lovelies an excerpt from the end of Chapter 3. I hope y’all enjoy it!

 

After getting ready, doing some light makeup, and putting on some comfortable flats for driving, I feel ready to go. I start folding things neatly and placing them gently into my bag, orderly and organized, then I get an idea and smile. I pull out the things I just put into the bag, unfold them, and throw them into my bag without planning where they go. I know this is inefficient, I know it will cause wrinkles in my clothes, but I also know that it’s fun and that it would drive Quince crazy. It feels like a small act of rebellion, like I’m not the creature he’s trained me to be. And with that smile still on my face, I emerge from the room and go into the kitchen.
“Hey, Sherry, you almost ready?” I shout in the direction of her room.
“Give me a sec, girlie. I’m preparing for a trip, ya know? What is the weather like where we’re going? Where exactly are we going?”
“Lots of questions. Okay, we’ll still be in Georgia. It’s only a few hours away, near a town called Darien. Except the house is on an island on Darien River, so we’ll need a boat to take us there. The weather there is mostly the same, just a tad more humid because of the water. Does that satisfy you?”
“Well…yes. It really does. Go throw your stuff in your car. I should be done pretty soon.”
“Alright, I’ll be right back.” I grab the keys off the table and march to the car, toss my bags into the back seat, and make my way back inside. I take a seat in the kitchen and take a look around. All of the seats around the table, and the table itself is real wood with carved leafy and floral designs. It is easy to assume she got these in a thrift store, maybe a couple because no two chairs are the same, yet they still somehow match.
The seat cushions have outdoor designs on them, one with a sunlit forest, the other could easily be described as the portrait of a bird in fabric form, another with a majestic mountain and crystalline lake scene, and the last has a fox mid-stride. There are a couple wooden cabinets, with a clear viewing area up top, and solid wood doors on the bottom. The bottom storage area is used for plates and other excess items, but the top houses knickknacks and assorted cute kitchen items, such as a tuxedo looking bird toothpick dispenser, and a colorful green and white glass chicken napkin holder.
Her fridge is covered with magnets of birds and butterflies, cats and the states of our nation. She has a trash can, even though she composts most of her waste, and her stovetop has covers that go over the burners. The only thing that can’t be described as slightly old fashioned, but comforting and delightful, would be her modern tile flooring that somehow ties together the entire kitchen.
“Alright!” I hear a certain Sherry sing-song as she saunters into the room.
“You ready there missy?” I look at all her baggage, and with the amount of suitcases and assorted bags, you’d think she was going away for a month, not a few days.
“Yeah, I think so. I should have everything I need.” She smiles at me in slight distress as her bags start falling off her shoulder and off the top of her suitcase.
“Here, let me help you.” I grab a few of her bags and we make our way back outside and load up her car. With the slam of the door, we’re ready to be off. One last run through of the house to confirm we have everything, lock everything up, and load ourselves into our two cars. For the first time in a very long time, I feel hope bubbling up through me, filling me with the joy of freedom.

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Right, so I’ve written quite a long post for this week. Gonna keep the goodbye short and simple. Bye my lovelies! Talk to you next week.

Writing and Other Injuries

First off, when I say “other injuries” I don’t mean to imply that writing could be considered an injury. Although the process sometimes does cause mental injuries, like insecurity, anxiety, etc. What I am referring to is my constant habit of hurting myself in the dumbest possible ways. I am the kind of person that walks into doors and walls, bruises myself on kitchen tables, and falls going up the stairs, not down.

This time, I was helping my nana at her school, we were walking to her car, and she was parked in the car loop area. Now the sidewalk is barely an inch or two higher than the road itself, it’s an itty bitty ledge. With all the stuff I was carrying, I didn’t see that I needed to step down, so my ankle twisted a bit (not a full on twisted ankle though, it’s fine) and down I went. My other leg is a tad slice and diced from the road, my left ankle area is especially bad. And while I was loudly exclaiming expletives and flushing out the area with water, my only thought was this,

“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

This made me laugh so hard, because, ya know those commercials? I mean, the situation itself wasn’t exactly funny, and obviously the idea of injured older people who’ve fallen down and need help isn’t funny either, the irony of it all made me laugh. Plus, I tend to laugh when I’m in a good bit of pain. Like when my younger cousin accidentally head butted me and split my lip when I was tickling her.

Something about the whole situation was funny. Like…tripping on such an itty bitty ledge and cutting my leg up that badly, or middle school flashbacks to the time I twisted both of my ankles at the same time, only this time it was just one ankle, and it didn’t fully twist, or the hilarity of injuring the leg that is ALREADY injured (I have a bad knee).

Anyway, it isn’t that bad. I didn’t break anything, and it should heal nicely. Nana helped me out, she used peroxide, a healing cream of some sort, bandaged me up, and gave me an ice pack. My very own nurse. Except she isn’t really a nurse…she did do a really good job patching me up though.

Why am I telling all of you this? Besides getting a good laugh at my antics, it’s the main reason I didn’t post yesterday. Sorry about that! I try to be consistent, but sometimes life happens and you end up on your butt with a messed up leg. So, I am posting today to apprise you of my weekly goings on.

Before I injured my leg, I was visiting again at my mom’s. We watched Gilmore Girls together, and I ate some crackers, my little sister stole two of them. I have dubbed her the snack thief.

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Before that, nana, the siblings, and I were up in South Carolina visiting some relatives. We stayed with my Aunt Elmer, she is one of my most favorite people ever. I love her. She really is the best. Seriously. I love her house too, it has so many cool knickknacks, and just really good energy there. I love the land the house is on, there are so many colorful plants, as well as useful ones like pepper plants and tomato plants. She has a back yard screened in porch, but she spends most of her time in the garage with the door open, smoking cigarettes, and waiting for people to visit her. There’s always someone, my uncle Richard and his family, my aunt Debbie with her family, Judy and Larry, etc. Let me tell you, this woman is well loved and seldom left alone alone.

We stayed with her for a couple days, had a fish fry on Saturday and invited a bunch of people over. Uncle Richard lamented over the lack of frying oil and sent Judy and Larry to the store. Lizbeth came too (and sat on one of my books and bent the pages. I’m not mad. Not one bit. Maybe just slightly resentful. My poor book!!!). She was fun though, I like her. The food was great too, nana and some others made up all the fixins. Hush puppies made with beer and bacon, fried fish, corn on the cob, watermelon, baked beans, and tomatoes and cucumbers cut up fresh from Larry’s garden. It was a delightful time.

Other than all that, I’ve been busy reading, as usual. I’m making my way through all of Jane Austen’s novels. I’ve already re-read Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, I am on Mansfield Park now (never read it, or any of the other Jane Austen books excepting the other two). I am really liking Mansfield Park, it’s better than Sense and Sensibility to me, but Pride and Prejudice still remains my favorite of them all. We’ll see how that changes as time goes on.

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I’ve also been reading a poetry collection that has compiled all sorts of poems about love, breakups, life, death, beauty, etc. in a woman’s life. It’s very good! Some are beautiful, others side-splittingly hilarious, and others are somber and serious. It’s a good mix, and really combines all of the aspects of life, focusing on women, of course. But I think it’s something a man might enjoy reading, as well. The title of the book is She Walks in Beauty and it was compiled by Caroline Kennedy.

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It is a beautiful book, full of wonderful poetry, and sectioned off in appropriate categories. Each category begins with a little introduction by the author. I really enjoy it, and it’s something I’m forcing myself to go through slowly so I can really appreciate each poem. I also try to read it alone so I can read it aloud, poetry really is meant to be heard, not just seen and read. It sort of…rolls off the tongue, there is almost always some sort of pattern or rhythm to it, like a song. But I also don’t like reading aloud around other people.

It’s a book I highly recommend, I also recommend Jane Austen’s novels. Now, other than reading, and hurting myself, AND visiting family, I have gotten some writing done. I am about halfway/over halfway through the chapter 3 rough draft, and I’ve started the editing process on Chapter One. No excerpts this week, I’m afraid, but! next week I should have a little snippet of something for you. Until then, goodbye my lovelies!

Chapter 3 Progress, Time to Get Back to the Real World

So vacation has come to an end, I am in Nevada no more. While it is always a bit bittersweet to end a wonderful vacation, it’s nice to get back to the real world. My mom and two siblings have just moved to Florida from Tennessee, so it was nice to come back and have them here. I’ve been staying with them for the past few days.

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We have been put put golfing (I won. Sort of. Well mom won. But I got second place. Not that I’m keeping track or anything. But after the defeat in bowling, sorta winning at mini golfing is quite nice), baking cookies, watching movies, and joking around with each other and having lots of laughs. After golfing we went out and had pizza. It’s been a great time so far. And later on, my brother is roping me into playing a game with him, Naruto something or other. I don’t mind though, it should be fun.

Now on to the discussion of writing. Well, I haven’t gotten much of it done in the last week, what with vacation and spending time with family I don’t usually get to see often, but I have started on chapter three as promised. Now, there’s a lot going on with Rebekka, Quince, and Cherise. We all know by now that something unspeakable has happened, spurring Bekka to leave Quince and go to Sherry’s place. Now, I haven’t told you why. And I won’t because I like to keep the element of surprise. But I will tell you that things do get worse before they get better.

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With that said, I think it’s time for a small taste of what happens in chapter three. Enjoy my lovelies!

Chapter 3
Sunlight filters through the blinds and lands gently on my face, and I wake feeling refreshed for the first time in years. I allow myself a luxurious stretch and rub my eyes before throwing the covers off of myself. I glance at my phone and anxiety pricks at me like a knife, disturbing my first day of freedom. So I ignore it and decide to get some breakfast and coffee first. Whatever’s on there can wait.
Walking out of the room, the scent of bacon and toast washes over me. I follow it around the corner and see a busy Cherise humming and dancing around the kitchen. She cracks four eggs, one after the other, over the sizzling pan on the stove with a flourish. She spins a couple times and sees me stifling a smile.
“Good morning sleepyhead!” She exclaims with the amount of perkiness shown exclusively by those odd morning people. I have never been a morning person, but I have gotten used to waking up early thanks to the shit who used to be my husband. Well…he’s still technically my husband, but only in name, not in my mind.
“Good morning, Sherry.” I giggle at her antics, she still dances her morning ballet, breakfast being her first performance of the day.
“Want some coffee?” She’s already pouring it before I even give her an answer.
“Looks like you already know the answer to that.” I grab the creamer from the fridge, pour in a liberal amount, and add sugar.
“Would you like some coffee with that cream and sugar?” She laughs jovially at my silly morning coffee ritual.
“Hey, don’t mock the coffee.” I try my best to give her a stern look, but we both dissolve into giggles. I sit down at the table and devour the feast before me. I take longer with the coffee, savoring it long after the food on my plate is gone. I’m taking the last sip when there’s a knock on the door. We both look at each other, I can feel my adrenaline spiking a bit. Maybe I should have checked my phone…it could be him. I hope it’s not him. The knock sounds again, more insistently this time, and we both glance at each other before heading to the door.

 

I know this excerpt is a tad shorter than what I usually include here, buuuutttttt I don’t want to spoil the surprise as to who is at the door. I’m not telling, no siree bob. You’ll have to guess. Is it Quince, like Bekka thinks? Or maybe Bekka’s mom? Where has she been in all this, after all? Maybe there are other family members of Bekka’s involved? Or maybe it’s none of those options and I’m just trying to mislead you. Mwahahaha. Either way, I don’t think I’ll reveal who it is/was here on the blog. Only my future beta readers will know until I finish this thing and get it published, which will probably take quite a while.

So, this post is rather short compared to my usual, but I will definitely make up for it next week. My goal for this week is to finish Chapter 3 this week, start going back to edit, and maybe begin the draft of chapter four. We’ll see. Until next week my lovelies!

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Chapter 2 and The San Diego Fiasco

On this week’s episode of Kristen’s Life, we see a couple struggle to get to San Diego, California, deal with rental car issues, and start staying at a new place for the next week. With vacation’s end just around the corner, what will they do next???? And with all this vacation stuff, how does Kristen find time to write?? We may never know…

Or I’ll just tell you. Yeah. I think I’ll go with that.

So, earlier this week I did finish the rough draft of chapter two. Release the balloons and confetti, I finally did it!! It’s really no surprise, honestly, it isn’t like Tyler and I do things every day. There are a couple days where we just lounge around and enjoy the rest that comes with a proper vacation. So I usually write on those days. I also managed to start off chapter three. Which means I’ve almost gotten to the beginning of the revision phase, where I can alter and add detail to what I’ve written thus far. There’s a nice surprise in chapter three, one that I will not divulge. I will include an excerpt from the end of chapter two though, at the end of this post.

Until then, here’s went on this week:

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So Tyler and I left Pahrump, it was all very sad. I mean, the place is gorgeous. You saw the pictures. But. But! Our second reservation is at the Worldmark on Tropicana in Las Vegas proper, and it is just as beautiful. I haven’t taken any pictures of the place yet, the one above is from San Diego. We’ll get to that. So we’ve been staying at the Worldmark for a couple days now, and we have gotten a lot done. We went to the Orleans the other night to see a movie, and with our movie tickets we got a free game of bowling (did have to pay for the shoes, but that’s okay).

Tyler smoked me at bowling, I did pretty terribly. Honestly. I got a score of 0 for my first two turns. Two whole turns, four tries, and I hit not a single pin. Saying that I am rusty at bowling would be quite the understatement. But it was loads of fun, and I got a cool pair of socks (purple with black stars on them) out of the endeavor. So that’s a plus. What movie did we see though, you ask? Well…..

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Don’t judge, we are children at heart after all. And it was actually a very good movie, I think it may be my favorite out of the entire franchise. It’s full of comedic moments, but also touching and emotional moments. Of course, there are times when it gets just plain silly, but even that is oddly endearing. Now, I’m not gonna give away any spoilers or anything, buttttttt………..the minions go to jail. Hah. Spoiler. I tricked you. Anyway, now for the main event. San Diego.

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For those of you who don’t know, San Diego is over a four-hour drive from Las Vegas, and Tyler and I unwisely left at 11 am. But we didn’t get there at 3 pm. Oh no. We had to stop for gas, of course, got a drink and everything, and then finally hit the road. Now we make it about 200 miles when….a semi truck kicks up a rock, which smacks our windshield, and cracks it. Now, the crack doesn’t start off big, it’s about the size of a quarter, and it’s only on the surface. We aren’t happy about it, of course, especially since it means we might have to pay for it. But it isn’t that noticeable from the outside (had to stop for gas a second time). So, we continue driving, thinking everything will be fine. But then….the crack starts spreading. Just two of the lines from the crack, one goes up and stops, but the other goes down. And down. And then over. It starts making a bit of a U-shape.

So now we HAVE to stop, Tyler calls his insurance, luckily we’re covered for this. But we also have to contact enterprise and switch out vehicles. It’s Sunday. The closest enterprise that is actually open is at none other than the San Diego airport, another 120 miles or so away. So we have to get back on the bumpy road (California. What the hell. You tax EVERYTHING. How are your roads still so terrible??? I thought Florida roads were bad. They’re a cake walk compared to Cali.) and drive for the last 120 miles to the airport. The crack spreads a couple times, but still stays on my side of the windshield.

Long story short, enterprise is great about switching out our vehicles. We get a claim going, they take the car, we get a really nice truck in its place. I have to give props to the agent that helped us. I don’t remember what her name was, but she was the manager of the branch, and she really helped us out.

We finally park in downtown San Diego and start walking around. It’s 6 o’clock, and Tyler and I are starving after hours of driving and frustration. So we go around, look at a few different restaurants, and stop at this place called Don Chido.

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This place has a really simple menu, but lots of options, there is indoor and outdoor seating, and the place is a lot larger than it looks. You can also smell the food from outside, which is what drew me to the place. And my goodness, I was NOT disappointed.

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Tyler and I both got the three taco platter, different options though. And it came with rice and beans. Everything was made fresh, from scratch, and it tasted a little like heaven. After that, we walked around a bit, stopped in a candy store, I bought a pusheen plushie (really cute, as well as fluffy and soft) and Tyler bought some chocolate covered Oreos and chocolate covered pecans.

We left after a short trip to the harbor to see the retired USS Midway, drove another four and a half hours, and got home at 1:30 in the morning. Passed out for several hours. And here we are. It’s today, and I am currently writing this week’s post. There is some stuff I left out, but I’ll include it in next week’s post. I am gonna give you what you have been so patiently waiting for now, and end this week’s episode of Kristen’s Life, haha. Enjoy.

 

End of Chapter 2 Rough Draft

“Thanks for giving me a place to stay. I’m sorry for messing things up earlier today, we were having such a great time.”
“Oh girl, don’t apologize for that. I’m just glad you left him finally. You should press charges though or something, make him pay for what he did.”
“No, I can’t do that. I just want to put it behind me and move on with my life.”
“Does that mean you won’t go back to him?” I can see the hope in her eyes, even though she’s trying to act nonchalant.
“Of course not, there is no way in hell I’d go back to him after this. I even have a rough idea of a plan.”
“You do?”
“Yes, a ‘what do I do next’ sort of thing. When I was younger, my grandmother and I were very close, I visited her all the time at her cabin. Grandpa had passed before I could form memories of him, but there are some pictures somewhere showing him holding me as a baby. Anyway, he built her that cabin when they got engaged, a place for them to spend their lives together. It was my granny’s dream house. So, when she passed too, she left the cabin to me.”
“So you’re heading to her, your, cabin?”
“Exactly.” I say matter-of-factly. The adrenaline has worn off at this point, and my eyes are starting to shut against my will.
“Okay, good plan. Now…go to bed.”
“What?”
“Girl, you are passing out as we speak. You can tell me more of your plan in the morning. Right now, you’re safe and welcome to stay as long as you want. I’ll even go with you to the cabin for a few days.”
“You will?”
“Yes, now sleep.” I smile at this glorious woman who has become my best and only real friend in the world. She is seriously a blessing.
“Okay. Is the guest room set up and everything?”
“Yup, down the hall, second door on the left.” She heads off down a different hall, to her room. She’s tired too, of course. Who wouldn’t be after being woken up at this hour?
I give her a small wave as I head to her spare room, ease the door open, and flick on the light. The decor in here is just as mismatched as it is in the living room but oddly beautiful and comforting. I’m convinced her entire house is designed to welcome people in and tell them this is their home too. I throw my duffel bag onto the floor and take out my phone charger. I want to call my mom, tell her what happened, but she’s asleep right now I’m sure. I’ll have to wait til the morning. After plugging my phone in and setting it on the nightstand, I slide underneath the floral sheet and lilac colored comforter. Off goes the light, and I am carried away from my troubles on the waves of sleep.

End of excerpt. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, as well as this excerpt. Feel free to leave feedback and constructive criticism. Until next week, Adios folks.