Friday, February 17, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-February 17, 2017

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I've been busy this week.  Though I was making progress on my WIP, I found myself growing frustrated with it. Something doesn't feel right about how things are progressing.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Anyway, I decided to set it aside for now and work on another project for the time being. Hopefully when I return to it, I'll be able to look at it with fresh eyes.

So now I'll tell you about the project I'm currently working on. I've resurrected the story I wrote for April A-Z 2013, and I'm getting ready to self-publish it.  I've designed a cover, and I'm about halfway through edits.  I've also been publishing it in sections on Wattpad as I go.  Here's the cover.

The weather here has been amazing for February, and we're expecting it to get even better over the weekend.  I'll probably take the kids out for a walk at some point, and I'm sure the park may happen as well.  Unless it's too muddy, of course.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WEP: February 2017

It's time once again for Write Edit Publish.  Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee make this wonderful event possible.

I decided to go for a little relationship drama this time. Enjoy!

The Paper

I stood over my great grandmother’s antique roll top desk, slack-jawed and stunned.  The paper shook in my trembling hand.  How long had it been hiding in the back of the drawer, waiting for me to discover it?

The sound of approaching footsteps couldn’t shake me from my stupor.

“Sweetie, have you seen my brown dress shoes?” James asked as he walked into the room.

I heard his words, but they scarcely registered.  I was too focused on this wrinkled, yellowed sheet of paper.  It had been lurking in the drawer for years, a constant part of my life without me realizing it.  Its presence remained unexplained, but I had every intention of getting an explanation now.

I held it up as I turned to face my husband.  “What’s this?”

His initial expression of confusion faded into something altogether different.  The color drained from his face.  He couldn’t deny his recognition.  Several tense moments passed before he broke the silence between us.  “It’s a paternity test.”

I stood, waiting for him to elaborate.  He didn’t.  “I know that!  I can read.  Why is it here in the first place?  Why does this even exist?”  My voice rose dramatically in pitch and volume.  Here I was, thinking we didn’t keep any big secrets from each other.  I’d obviously been wrong, and that realization left me standing on shaky ground.

His shoulders sagged.  He collapsed into his burgundy recliner and covered his face with his hands.  “My ex Marlene got pregnant, and she started telling people I was the father.  This was right before we got married.”

My mind was spinning.  I leaned against the wall and slid down it until I hit the floor.  I couldn’t even trust my own legs to hold me.  “This was while we were together, though.”  Not that I needed to ask.  The answer was obvious enough.

James held his hands up, as if that could bridge the gap between us.  “Rachael, listen to me, please.  She was lying.  You can see the results on that paper.  I’m not the father.  She was telling everyone that I was, but I knew I couldn’t be.  I hadn’t slept with her since before we got together, but I was afraid she’d try something.  You know how jealous she was of us.”

I took a deep breath, willing my racing heart to slow to a normal rhythm.  Marlene had indeed been particularly nasty when James and I first started dating.  Normally I would have done my best to avoid her, but her family lived across the street from James’ family.  That’s how they’d come to know each other in the first place.  If it had only been the occasional snide comments, I could have handled it, but the four slashed tires I’d ended up with crossed a line for me.  I had no proof it was her, but I had no doubts about it, either.  “Okay.  If that’s the case, why did you take the test, and why didn’t you tell me about any of this?”

James ran his hands through his black hair.  It looked like he was on the verge of tearing great chunks of it from his scalp.  “My dad suggested I take the test so I had the proof.  She couldn’t do anything if I had the test to back me up.  I held on to that paper in case I needed it.  I . . . I wanted to be honest with you, but I didn’t want to risk losing you.  That’s why she brought me into it in the first place.  She wanted to mess us up.  I was scared.”

Too much.  This was all too much.  Maybe he was telling the truth.  Maybe he wasn’t.  How was I supposed to know?  “I guess you expect me to believe you,” I said quietly.

James dropped out of the chair and crawled across the worn beige carpet to sit beside me.  He started to reach out, but seemed to think better of it and pulled back again.  “I swear.  I’m telling you the truth.  There were so many times I wanted to tell you, but the more time passed, the harder it got to say anything.  How was I supposed to bring it up?  What could I have possibly said to make everything okay?”

I shook my head.  I felt dizzy, and my stomach was churning.  “You hid it from me.  For almost ten years!  Why should I believe anything you say?”

His eyes were shining, and I knew he was on the verge of tears.  I’d never seen such fierce desperation in him before.  “Sweetheart, you know me.”

“I thought I did,” I said bitterly.  I couldn’t help questioning everything.  What else could he be hiding?

“This happened years ago.  We’ve been through so much since then.  It shouldn’t . . . it shouldn’t matter anymore.”

I sighed as the ache in my chest threatened to choke me.  I wanted that to be true.  I really did, but secrets are subversive.  When they come out, they can crack the most solid of foundations.  I looked at my husband, who looked as agonized as I felt, and for one awful moment, I wished I’d never opened that drawer.

Word Count: 875

Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-February 10, 2017

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

Healthwise, I'm doing much better this week.  I felt awful all of last week, but my ear and sinus infections have cleared up and I'm functioning on a normal level again.  I'm definitely grateful for that!

I submitted a short story to a magazine this week.  That's two submissions so far this year.  I have no clue how either one will work out, but no matter what happens, this counts as an accomplishment.

I'm feeling pretty excited about writing in general right now. My goals may be challenging, but I'm looking forward to tackling them.  Wish me luck!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-February 3, 2017

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I spent a portion of this week sick.  I've had a cold for more than a week, but on Tuesday, I suddenly started feeling much worse.  By the time I went to bed, I was running a fever of 102. Yikes!  Needless to say, I felt awful.  I went to the doctor, and I seems some opportunistic bacteria decided to attack my ears and sinuses.  Taking care of three kids while ill is one heck of a challenge.  Now I know how my mom must have felt when I was little and she had to still take care of me even when she didn't feel well.  The good news is that I'm starting to feel better.  For that I am grateful.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'd ordered something, and that something just came in.  It's technically a Valentine's Day gift from my husband, but he wanted me to take part in picking it out so I'd have what I wanted.

I'm very happy with how it turned out.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-February 2017

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Alex J. Cavanaugh started this group so writers could have a place to share their insecurities and offer support.  His co-hosts for this month are Misha Gericke, L.K. Hill, Juneta Key, Christy, and Joylene Nowell Butler.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I'm sick today, so I'll keep this brief.

February 1st Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I don't read passively.  I find myself reading for clues that might tell me where the story is going.  I consider the narrative choices the author has made.  Why did the author choose a certain word?  Why did the author choose this POV? How would the story be different if another POV were used? The process of asking these questions helps me with my own writing.

How has being a writer changed the way you read?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-January 27, 2017

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I'm excited because I'm almost done with a short story that I plan on submitting.  It's a science fiction story, which I'm more than familiar with writing.  However, it's also a middle grade story.  I've done adult and YA fiction.  Never middle grade.  Unless, of course, you count the stories I wrote when I fit into that age range myself, and those stories were nowhere near publishable.  We'll eventually see whether I've done a good job with this writing challenge or not.

My husband has family coming into town this weekend, so we're going to be doing a lot of visiting.  I'm sure Zoe is going to be popular.

Zoe had her 2 month checkup this week (where has the time gone?), and the doctor was impressed by how healthy she is and how well she's growing.  I'm definitely grateful for that.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-January 20, 2016

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I went and did something silly this week.  I managed to smash my finger, and it's been swollen and painful ever since. I never went to the doctor, so I'm not sure if I broke it or sprained it. The good news is that, while the injured finger is on my right hand, I've still somehow managed to keep writing.  It's made the process a bit slower, but I'm doing it nonetheless.

We had an ice storm this week, so our yard has been turned into a skating rink.  The boys were happy about this because they got two days off of school as a result.  I'm happy because, over the last couple of days, the ice has been slowly melting off.  I'm hoping most of it will be gone before long.

Even with the crazy stuff that happened this week, I got to order something nice that I've been wanting.  I'll post pictures when it comes in.  Yes, I'm keeping it secret because I enjoy creating suspense when I can.  What can I say?  I'm a writer for a reason.

What would you like to celebrate?