WIPpet Wednesday: “A ghost situation.”

For today’s WIPpet, I’m sharing a bit of my current WIP, “Haunted Kisses.” For those of you who aren’t familiar, WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of author K.L. Schwengel. It’s an opportunity for writers to share their work. Click here to support other WIPpeteers!

This week’s math is simple. Here are 19 sentences for Nov. 19. Tara is breaking the news to her BFF, Violet, that she has a roommate who’s a member of the dearly departed persuasion. Enjoy!

It wasn’t until they were seated at the table, a steaming hot cheese pizza between them, that Violet’s eyes narrowed. “You still worried about Bradley?”

Tara played with the piece of crust remaining on her paper plate. “No. Bradley is ancient history. More than ancient. He’s Mesozoic.”

“Do you not like your new boss? Word around town is he’s one of Patience Point’s most eligible bachelors.” Violet gave her a wicked grin so enthusiastic Tara couldn’t help but join her.

“No. It’s just…” She leaned forward, brushing her blond hair behind her shoulder. “A ghost situation.”

Violet let her breath out in a whoosh. “Twenty-four hours in town and you’re already seeing the dead. That’s a record, even for you.”

“Tell me about it.”

Tara felt positively sick about it, but Violet’s enthusiasm didn’t wane.

***

ROW80 midweek check-in…

Writing                                                                          

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Not a whole lot of progress to report. Created a beat sheet for “Haunted Kisses.”

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Currently reading Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat.”

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature

Sunday ROW80 check-in

Cold, wintry weather arrived this week, and it’s only going to get colder, so I’ll be making lots of soup and chili and drinking many cups of tea in the week ahead. I found a recipe for turkey chili and another one for chicken gnocchi soup that I plan on trying. What are your favorite cold-weather recipes? I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to try—especially for my slow-cooker.

I’m also pleased that I’m ahead of the game with my holiday shopping. Usually I wait until after Thanksgiving, but my family did our gift-exchange drawing early this year, and I happened to find a few things I knew some of my family members would love. I also found some cute Christmas cards (they feature owls!).

Hands down my favorite part of the holidays is buying, wrapping, and giving presents. I love finding the perfect gifts for family and friends. Well, that and the cookies. I also love the cookies. What about you? Have you started shopping for the holidays yet? What’s your favorite part of the holiday season?

ROW80 check-in…

Writing

ROW80Logocopy1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Added changes and corrections to second draft of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic” and sent it to my critique partners. Did character background for hero in “Haunted Kisses.” Finished two scenes and started another in “Haunted Kisses.” Now that I’m reading Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat,” I’m going to do a beat sheet for this WIP before I go any further. I think it will definitely help.

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Currently reading Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat.”

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met!

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met!

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Met for all days except Tuesday, but I commented on several blogs on Friday, so it all balanced out. Let’s call this goal met for the week.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature

WIPpet Wednesday: “Goblins be damned.”

It’s time again for WIPpet Wednesday, the brain child of K.L. Schwengel. Click here to join in or to see other writers’ WIPpets.

This will be the last excerpt from “Good Old-Fashioned Magic” for a while as I’ve just sent it off to my critique partners.

Here’s this week’s math: 1+1+12=14. Some background: Maddy and Michael are on the run from Knabb, the goblin master, and his horde of goblins. Maddy’s fire magic is down, so they’re defenseless. And now, Maddy has just fallen down a ravine and injured her ankle, and Michael has climbed in after her. Things are looking pretty grim.

Here are 14 sentences from “Good Old-Fashioned Magic”:

He rested his cheek on her head. “Whatever happens, remember this: I’ve been falling hard for you since the first time I saw you. Goblins be damned. I’m crazy about you, and I want you to know that.” He took her face in his hands as he kissed her again, slightly deeper.

“Me too.” She mentally kicked herself. He’d just run a goblin master through with a fireplace poker and followed her into a ravine. Now wasn’t the time to hold back. “Ever since our first date.”

“Before then,” he insisted, so stubbornly he forced a smile out of her.

The full moon shined down on them, and despite the cold, warmth surged through her. She kissed him, this time slow and deep. Even in the chilly darkness, she could feel the dim light of the stars bearing down on them.

***

Lastly, a midweek ROW80 check-in:

Writing

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Added changes and corrections to second draft of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic” and sent it to my critique partners. Planning to spend the rest of the week doing character background for “Haunted Kisses.” I also have some plot stuff I have to figure out before I move forward, so hopefully I can sort that out this week and put some serious words on the page next week.

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Started reading Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat.”

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal, though I missed last Sunday’s check-in due to a migraine. Ugh.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Met for Monday, not for Tuesday.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

How are your goals, writing or otherwise, coming along?

denise signature

WIPpet Wednesday: Meet the goblin master

I just finished doing a read-through of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic,” so this week’s excerpt is from that story. This is the scene in which Maddy and Michael meet the goblin master, the right-hand man of the warlock who’s spent decades hunting down Maddy and her ancestors and tormenting them for sport. (Maddy’s a witch by the way.) Since today is Nov. 5, my math is 1+1+5=7. Here are seven paragraphs from “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.”

Michael was expecting more goblins, or some orc-looking creature, stinking and swinging an ax and growling like a feral beast. What stepped off the back porch and through the now-decimated doorframe surprised him, to say the least.

It was a man, with the swagger of a lumberjack and one brown eye, one green. His black hair was cut short, and a scar slashed across his face, twisting one corner of his mouth. He was dressed as if he was on his way to the Renaissance Faire, right down to his thudding black boots. But he’d just broken down a solid hardwood door, so Michael guessed he wasn’t stopping by for a pint of ale.

Maddy withdrew her hand. She looked as confused as Michael felt. That couldn’t be a good sign. “Who the hell are you?” Maddy demanded.

The man’s face contorted into a half-grin. There was something off about this guy, though Michael couldn’t pinpoint what. “Knabb. You must be the little witch, Maddy MacRae.” He mimed doffing his nonexistent cap. “Pleased to meet the firecracker that blew my goblins to smithereens,” he said, his voice deep and full of gravel.

This was the goblin master? Michael hadn’t been picturing someone so—human.

Michael glanced around the room, looking for something—anything—to defend himself and Maddy with. The fireplace poker was within reach. Maybe if Maddy distracted the goblin master, Michael could catch him by surprise. Then, they could make a run for it, like Maddy had suggested. He tried to meet her eyes, but her gaze was locked on Knabb. She cocked her head as she studied him.

“Nice glamour,” she remarked, as if making small talk, but with a little bite in her words. “Did MacLir make it for you? I hear it’s his specialty.”

***

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K.L. Schwengel. Click here to read other writers’ WIPpets.

ROW80 midweek check-in:

A slight change in plans (again). I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment, so I’ve been bouncing around on projects lately. Instead of having project-specific goals, my first writing goal will just be to make measurable progress on one of WIPs.

Writing

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Completed a read-through of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.” Ready to enter necessary changes and corrections and then send it off to my critique partners.

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. No progress on this goal so far this week.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature

Sunday ROW80 check-in

For my husband and me, Sundays are days of leisure mixed with a little bit of housekeeping. It’s laundry day, a day for vacuuming and dusting, but it’s also a day for long walks and scenic drives, for baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, or for lazy afternoons curled up with a cup of tea and a good book. Today was a perfect example. We watched “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part one” this morning and went for a drive to take in the autumn leaves, which are falling quickly. But there are still chores to be done and blog posts to write. I like the balance we’ve struck on Sundays, between work and play.

What about you? How are your Sundays spent?

ROW80 check-in:

ROW80LogocopyWriting goals:

1.) Work on a first draft of my YA steampunk novel “The Clockwork in the Stars.” Wrote 3,532 words on this project and on a novella, “Haunted Kisses.”

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Finished reading “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Target met.

2.) Blog twice a week. Target met.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Target met.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature

My first ever WIPpet Wednesday

I’ve decided to participate in WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by author K.L. Schwengel, as a way of putting my work out there and getting some feedback—and in some small way saying to the world, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a writer.” :)

Today’s the 29th, so here are 29 sentences from my novella “Haunted Kisses.” Some background: Tara Bennet has accepted a position as manager/bookkeeper for a bookstore in Patience Point, Mass. Unfortunately, Tara is also a medium—and her new apartment is home to a ghost. This is their first meeting:

The best way to deal with ghosts was to ignore them, pretend that you’re just a normal person who can’t see or communicate with the dead. Of course, a person becomes a ghost for a reason: unfinished business. Sometimes a ghost has something to tell a loved one. Sometimes they don’t know they’re dead. Whatever the case, they’re hanging around until they get things sorted out.

There were other people like Tara who used their abilities for showmanship. A few genuinely wanted to help those who’d passed on. But Tara had learned the hard way that most people have a hard enough time dealing with the death of a loved one. And most people don’t believe in ghosts, so walking up to someone and telling them you’ve met their dead brother or wife or best friend generally goes really, really badly.

So, for as long as she could, Tara would just have to pretend this spirit didn’t exist.

The scent of perfume grew stronger, and a figure emerged from the hallway. Clad in a velour track suit, with bracelets jangling on her wrists, her white hair a mass of curls drawn into a loose bun, the woman hovered a foot over the ground, moving with a waltz-like grace.

She stopped and looked Tara up and down. Tara swallowed and tried to focus on the painting above the sofa, a sailboat on a calm ocean.

“Oh, deary, you’ll do just fine.”

Sail boats. Sea gulls. Crashing ocean waves. Tara looped these things in her mind, and when that didn’t work, she walked over to the window and thrust it open, desperate for a cool breeze—and for any action that could distract her from the old woman floating about the living room.

On the plus side, her new roommate didn’t seem hostile the way some spirits were. On the other hand, Tara knew that sooner or later, the old woman—Jake’s grandmother, the late Mrs. Dawson, no doubt—would figure out that Tara could see her.

Tara stared out at the traffic below, watching a man in a large SUV attempt to parallel park. Across the street, a woman herded two rambunctious children into a frozen yogurt shop. Ghost or no ghost, Patience Point was a nice enough place.

The old woman joined her at the window and clapped her hands together. “You’re the one, my dear. I can feel it.”

The one. Oh no.

Lastly, a midweek ROW80 check-in:

Writing goals:

1.) Work on a first draft of my YA steampunk novel “The Clockwork in the Stars.” No progress to report. Wrote 2,154 words on a novella, “Haunted Kisses.”

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. Finished reading “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature

Sunday ROW80 check-in

There isn’t much to report, so I’ll keep this a short post. Today hubby and I carved a jack-o-lantern. It’s pretty basic, but here it is:

pumpkin 2 fall 2014

I’m trying to slowly increase my weekly word count. I’ve been hovering around 5-6K, and I’d like that to be more like 8-10K. Any advice on how to do this? I’m thinking of adding in another writing sprint each day, maybe in the morning. If I can show up at the page earlier and write first thing, along with my morning coffee, that might get me to about 2K each day. It would also give me a chance to write before all the other things that fill my days start crowding my brain. Thoughts?

ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals:

1.) Work on the first draft of my YA steampunk novel “The Clockwork in the Stars.” Wrote 5,628 words.

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. Continued reading “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Met for every day except Thursday.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Goal met.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

denise signature