Saturday, October 13, 2012

October is a Glorious Month!

The trees are absolutely fabulous this year!  October seems to distill every good thought and feeling into an elixir that it pumps back into the air, making the leaves more brilliant and the sky more blue.  And that's my homage to Ray Bradbury.

I'm working on a short story in amongst finishing the novel.  Here's a short snippet of that---a little late for Friday, but better late than never.

First draft, please don't quote or repost without permission.  Thanks!



               The moon hovered, just above the left tower of Dragonkeep, just in the right spot.  Tia shifted her weight  as she sat on the stone wall that surrounded the church, waiting for the dragon to make his nightly flight.  The moon seemed to balance on the tower’s zenith, then broke away to ride the night sky, free and solitary.
                Tia frowned.  She waited until the moon had risen another handspan before she climbed down from the wall, a sense of foreboding descending on her.  Every night for the past ten years, she had sat upon the wall and watched the dragon rise with the moon.  Even at moon-dark, she could see his shape, a darker black against the night sky, hear the snap of his wings.  He had never failed her.  Until tonight.
                She slid back to her pallet at the rectory, disturbed.   The other acolytes slumbered on, used to her coming and going.  Only Alli stirred when Tia lay down, and whispered sleepily, “You’re back early tonight.”
                Tia grunted in reply, and turned her back to Alli.  Eventually, she heard the other girl’s breathing deepen and slow as she fell asleep again.  An icy dread clutched at Tia’s throat.  Something was wrong with the dragon.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wake Me Up When September Ends....

Not quite summer, not quite fall.  September is a transition time, an in-between time, a month of endings and beginnings, perhaps.  It also has the reputation for dread in some parts of the country, hence the song, Wake Me Up When September Ends.

Here we are at the end of September, and it's been an odd month, in keeping with it's reputation.  I banged up the bumper of my car on the garage door, ending my perfect record of entering and exiting our small garage without incident, and the suite where my office is located has been taken over by a new dept.  The sooner I can move, the better.  It's the end of an era as far as my job--I'm now pretty much on my own in my office, but a new beginning as well, hopefully in a new location before the end of the year.

I'm also wending my way toward the end of the contemporary romance novel I'm writing.  It's been an interesting experience, since I tend to write science fiction and fantasy--about as far from contemporary romance, with no magic and no science, as you can get.  As I said, an interesting experience, and I don't know if I will be repeating it or not.

Here's a snippet of the novel.  First draft, please don't quote or repost.  Thanks!

“The chickens are housed at the back of the barn where they have access to a run,” Eve told Adam.  “But in this weather, I’m sure they’ll be roosting by now.”

They approached a wooden narrow door in a partition built in the rear of the barn.  Before Eve could open the door, Adam stopped her.

“Listen,” he said.  “They’re chuckling to each other.”

Eve stopped and listened for a moment.  The small, contented sounds the chickens made did sound a little like chuckles if one employed enough imagination.  She handed the chicken feed to Adam and opened the door.

Immediately, the small sounds of the chickens escalated, and several of the chickens flew off their roost, clucking urgently, and landed in a flurry of feathers to waddle in the direction of the humans. 

Eve slid inside the door and Adam handed her the pan of feed, then attempted to slide inside as well.  Even moving sideways, his chest and back were scraped by either side of the narrow opening.  Eve threw chicken feed in swathes at the oncoming chickens, whose attention immediately diverted to the feed, pecking at the ground in excited little groups, some struggling for supremacy over their perceived rivals.

“Greedy beggars, aren’t they?” Adam observed.

Smiling with mischief, Eve slung some feed to land on Adam’s boots.

“Hey!” he said in alarm as several chickens swooped to peck at his boots.  “You did that on purpose!”   He sounded surprised rather than accusatory, which wrung a laugh from her.

Eve finished throwing out the feed, then checked to make sure the chickens had water.  She handed the empty pan to Adam and stepped outside the door.  The chickens paced grandly toward Adam, looking up hopefully.

                “Wait, Livingston!” Adam said in a mock terrified voice.  “Don’t leave me behind in the darkest interior of Africa!  I might get eaten by these cannibal chickens!”

                Laughing, Eve reached back inside and took the pan from him.  Adam hurriedly tried to go through the opening and stopped halfway.

                “I think I’m stuck,” he said.

                “Uh, oh,” Eve said.  “The chickens will eat well for months.”

                “Very funny.  Now what do we do?”

                Eve set the pan down and surveyed his predicament for a moment.  “Try to go back in.”

                Grimacing, Adam jerked and pulled his way back into the chicken coop.

                “Now, turn sideways and give me your hand and I’ll help pull you out,” Eve said.

                Adam turned sideways and gave her his nearest hand.  Surprised at the warm tingle she felt, Eve resorted to briskness.

                “Ok, come on out, slowly and carefully.”

                He slid out of the chicken coop, wincing a little as his chest and back got scraped yet again.  He stood for a moment, staring down at her, his hand still in hers, the look in his eyes making Eve both excited and uncomfortable at the same time.
                “We’d better close the door,” Eve whispered.  “The chickens will get out.”

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sad news about K.D. Wentworth...

I just heard the news about K.D. Wentworth.  I met and talked with K.D. many times, and this news came as quite a shock. I didn't even know she had cancer.   I'll never forget her encouragement to me on my writing.  That was K.D.  She always tried to encourage other writers, and her influence will be felt long after her passing.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I haven't posted in awhile.  Since I'm messing around on the internet, I seized the opportunity to do so.  I've been busy writing--I'm about halfway through an inspirational romance.  Here's a piece of it.   My hero's in a bit of a spot.

Rough draft--please don't quote or repost.  Thanks!


The road stretched out before him, lined by fence posts that stuck out of the snow like sentries standing at attention as he passed.  He had encountered no other vehicles in the five miles he’d already come.  Adam realized that the term “country road” used by the patrolman hardly described the isolation. 
A mile or so further on, he passed a farmhouse, set well back from the road, and the tracks he had been following turned in at the driveway.  Lights gleamed from the windows, penetrating the snow-engendered gloom, and a string of glowing Christmas lights hanging from the eaves gave Adam a wistful feeling.  He’d lay odds that Christmas was going on inside that house.  A real Christmas.  He hadn’t seen what he considered a real Christmas in a long time.  Of course, Tiffany would have been glad to spend Christmas with him.  As a matter of fact, she would have been insistent on it, he thought wryly. He felt fairly confident that high-fashioned, high-powered Tiffany wouldn’t know what a real Christmas was if it bit her.  Not a home-cooked meal surrounded by family.  Adam thought Christmas to her would probably mean some party with friends where she could show off her latest outfit and give and receive expensive gifts.
Movement caught the corner of his eye.  Instinctively, Adam slammed on his brakes.  He caught a flashing glimpse of brown fur and antlers before his Mustang slid off the road and hit an embankment. The deer he had almost hit scrambled up the opposite embankment and jumped the fence, disappearing into the driving snow.  He sat for a moment, stunned.  What was a deer doing out in the middle of a snowstorm?  Didn’t they hole up somewhere during the day?
The Mustang’s engine still ran.  He pressed on the accelerator, and the back wheels spun in the snow.  He moved a couple of feet along the ditch, but the car could find no purchase to pull itself out.  Muttering under his breath, Adam opened the car door and stepped out into the snow.  The wind immediately took his breath, and the snow, far deeper than his shoes, clutched at his unprotected ankles with icy fingers.  The wind found every gap in his clothing, piercing like little knives.  He waded the snow, moving around the car, looking for some way to get it out of the ditch.  A quick check in the trunk revealed exactly zero help.  He registered a resolve never to leave home again without sand or cat litter, and definitely packing overshoes when the forecast called for snow.
Adam slammed the trunk lid and slid back into the car.  He fumbled for his cell phone, fingers shaking with the cold, and dialed information.  Nothing but silence met his ear.  He brought the phone away from his ear and looked at the screen.  The words “no service” caused him to stare in disbelief.
“Really?” he said to the universe at large.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Off With the Old....Or Boy Meets Girl

See that picture in my header?  It's my backyard.  Looks wintry, doesn't it?  It's an old picture.  Here it is, January 6, and we haven't had any snow that stuck around for more than a couple of hours.  Weird.

Now that Wintersland is behind me as far as writing the first draft, I'm starting something new.  I'll spend March editing Wintersland into something readable, but in the mean time, it's on to the next novel, tentatively titled Blood Heir.  That's subject to change; it's kinda blah.

Below is a piece from my new work, in which Boy Meets Girl.  Kind of.  They already know each other, but they're about to get a lot closer.

Snippet from Chapter One, please don't quote or repost, rough draft only.

Allia turned her head to survey the weapons man.  He stared at her in return, dark eyes appraising and slightly bitter, his expression more dour than usual.  The burn scar that crossed his right cheek from the bridge of his nose to the corner of his mouth drew her gaze.  Everin turned his head so that his scar disappeared into shadow.

"What service would you require of me, my liege?" Everin asked.  His voice, harsh and penetrating, like the distant cry of a bird of prey, caused a muscle to clench along Allia's jawline.

"Everin, you know what will happen when I die.  My wife will try to turn her out with nothing.  She has never been reconciled to the fact that Trini is not the sole heir, nor made secret that she both hates and fears the Elder blood that flows in Allia's veins."

Allia gave Everin a defiant look at mention of her heritage.  If he so much as twitched...

"Her blood is of no concern to me," Everin said in an indifferent voice.  "I come from Hialin.  The Elders are not looked on with fear there."

"I thought so,"  Dalin said with satisfaction.  "That is why I ask you to stay and stand by Allia's side when I am gone, and bring as many of the guards and servants as you can trust to stand with her as well.  Half of what I own is hers by blood and by law, and I know the daughter of my heart will not fail those that look to her, nor squander her responsibilities."

Her father's last four words contained a world of bitterness.  Allia knew he referred to her stepmother, Ondi, who considered her husband and his House a botttomless source of funds to spend as she would.

Some of the tenseness in her body relaxed.  At least he had not asked that she wed Everin, or anyone else, as she had expected him to do.

"It would be better were you to wed," her father said, echoing her thoughts.  "But I would not so burden two people who do not wish it.  I have had a bellyful of arranged marriages.  So, what say you, Everin?"

"I will do as you ask," Everin said, his face an unreadable mask.

Her father's gaze swung to Allia.

"I will accept his help," she said simply.

"It is well," Dalin said, and sagged against the headboard as if every bit of strength had left his body.