Buy Murder on the Last Frontier–Charlotte Brody Mystery #1
Buy Borrowing Death–Charlotte Brody Mystery #2
Buy Murder on Location–Charlotte Brody Mystery #3
Buy Caught in Amber!
Buy Deep Deception!
Category Archives: fun
Hey, all! My fabu author friend Jody Wallace has a couple of books out that are on sale PLUS a giveaway of books and goodies! And she asks me some questions about my worst nightmares!!!!
But first! The books!!!
TANGIBLE and DISCIPLE are urban fantasies out with Samhain Publishing.
In the world of the Dreamwalkers, some dreams are so vivid they create monsters. The Somnium exists to destroy those monsters, keep them out of the public eye–and control the dreamers whose imaginations are nightmares manifest. But something has awakened in the dreamsphere. Something that’s beyond anyone’s worst nightmare.
Dreams don’t come true, but nightmares do.
When Zeke Garrett is reactivated to mentor the next dreamer that pops up on the Somnium’s radar, he’s sure it’s a mistake. The covert organization is still struggling to conceal the fallout from his last assignment, a fatal catastrophe.
From the first blast of her pepper spray, he realizes this neonati, whose nightmares manifest vampires straight from the pages of pop-culture, is more than he bargained for—a potential dreamwalker. But before her training can begin, he has to convince the stubborn, mouthy woman she’s not dreaming.
Maggie Mackey hasn’t slept well in a month, but that doesn’t explain how the monsters from her nightmares suddenly seem so real. Or why, when a team of intimidating, sword-wielding toughs rescue her, their leader captures her mouth in a swift, knee-weakening kiss.
Once he tears himself away, Zeke’s mental forehead smacking begins. Their embrace has confirmed they have a rare tangible bond, a phenomenon which fooled him once before. Somehow he must tutor the woman of his dreams without getting attached. Otherwise her nightmares could become his own.
Warning: Title contains lots of cussing, pop culture references and monsters with nasty, big, pointy teeth.
Conquer your inner demons…before they break free.
When student dreamwalker Maggie Mackey was first discovered by Zeke Garrett, now her mentor, their sexual attraction blazed off the charts, as did their tangible dreamspace bond.
Three months later, their relationship is as stalled out as Maggie’s training. Zeke isn’t sure what’s to blame. His clumsy mentoring, Maggie’s stubbornness, or something more sinister.
When the pair is summoned to a restricted outpost for troubled and sick dreamwalkers to investigate the deaths of several patients, a nightmare from Zeke’s past resurfaces to further complicate Maggie’s training. In fact, there’s a better-than-good chance she’ll be yanked away from him and reassigned to a curator. Disciples sent to curators are rarely heard from again.
To survive the secretive inner workings of their organization and the deadly new force emerging inside the sphere, Maggie and Zeke must confront their inner demons as well as their feelings for each other. Because in the world of the dreamwalkers, inner demons never remain politely inside one’s tortured soul. They prefer to manifest…and eat people.
Warning: Book contains sex, cursing, more cursing, T-Rexes, dire peril and explosives.
They sound amazing, don’t they??? So go get yours!
Digital versions of TANGIBLE (normally $3.49, on sale for $0.99)and DISCIPLE (normally $5.99, on sale for $1.99) will be on sale from January 18 – February 5 at online retailers. Jody will be giving away 3 trade paperbacks of DISCIPLE (#2) via Goodreads from January 22 – February 5.
Jody will also be giving away some crocheted earrings and some of her other books to newsletter subscribers. Signup for the newsletter here.
Just for Funnsies (did I spell that right?):
So. Jody is a BIG fan of interviewing people. She posed some question regarding dreams and things. Here are my answers.
Jody: The premise of the Dreamwalkers series is that certain human brains are so vivid that their nightmares can come to life and eat people. The heroes and heroines (so far) are the folks who fight these monsters and hide their existence from the rest of the world. Oftentimes these nightmares take the shape of popular culture creations, but sometimes there are classics.
What are the scariest movies, TV and books you can think of?
Cathy: I used to watch movies like “Halloween” and ones based on Stephen King novels, as long as they weren’t bloodbaths. The implied horror of “Silence of the Lambs” got to me, particularly the scene where Clarice is looking at the picture of what Hanibal did to the nurse. The utter shock on her face sets the imagination reeling better than any view of the picture by the audience could ever achieve. My kid enjoys those “Haunting” shows. I’m fine if there’s a ghost just messing around, but if the entity is a demon or something, I get a little wigged out. Also, anything with an evil doll is a no-go for me.
Jody: What monsters do you think your brain would create or has created in your books? (Caveat: real world human monsters don’t tend to get created, just things like vampires and mega spiders, and the size of the monster tends to be between 3-12 feet. If your nightmare is more of an “event”, like falling or appearing in public naked, I bet there’s a monster that represents that kind of horror!)
Cathy: Most of my nightmares involve being chased by…something. I never really see it, but if I managed to have it manifest I’d say it would be very spider-like. Probably a zombie spider. With an evil clown (is that redundant?) sidekick.
Jody: What kind of dreamwalker hero or heroine do you think would be required to dispatch your nightmares? (Romance optional!)
Cathy: Someone with a flamethrower. I never seem to have one handy in my dreams.
Jody: Bonus question: What pop culture monsters do you think the dreamwalkers have the most trouble killing?
Cathy: I’m leaving this last question up for any commentors. What do you say, folks? Which pop culture monster would give the dreamwalkers a run for their money?
While you consider, go buy Jody’s books and sign up for her newsletter and giveaways!
Jody Wallace grew up in the South in a very rural area. She went to school a long time and ended up with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general, all around pain in the butt. She resides in Tennessee with one husband, two children, one grandma, six cats, and a lot of junk.
Jody also runs MeanKitty.
Love Spanks 2015 is here!
It went fast, but what a ride! The stories have been read! The comments have been made and are being tabulated by a very sophisticated and advanced system of algorithms and….something. I have no idea. All I know is that Love Spanks 2015 is officially over as far as commenting. Now we wait a bit to see who won what!
All the stories are down because we are having an anthology put together. More on that at a later date. So if you missed any of the fab offerings, they’ll be available in one volume at a ridiculously low price 🙂
If you have any questions about Love Spanks 2015, head over to Ana’s and she’ll gladly help you out 🙂
Thanks again for reading and commenting and being your awesome selves! I was touched by all your kind words and encouragement about the setting and characters in Gold Rush. I’m seriously considering more with Pen and Rowena. I have a few things on my plate right now, but their story may be too compelling to ignore for long 🙂
You may have noticed that my Sci Spanks 2014 post Jen & Maddy is no longer up. That’s because
is here! The ebook anthology containing 15 of the 17 stories/authors featured in last month’s Sci Spanks event are in one volume. My story, Jen & Maddy is among them. And for only $0.99 you REALLY can’t go wrong here : )
There’s something for everyone, if you like a little naughty or a little more ; ) I had a lot of fun creating my story and loved reading the others. Here’s the Goodreads description.
So my writer friend Jodie Griffin asked if I’d participate in a quick little blog chain thingie. You know how it goes, post something then
beg ask your other author friends to do the same.
And here are my answers : )
1) What am I working on?
Currently, I have one manuscript out on submission, an Alaska historical mystery, and two speculative fiction works in progress. One is a lesbian historical paranormal romance and the other is a post-apocalyptic set in Alaska.
The Alaska historical is a bit out of my norm, as I usually write some sort of speculative fiction. This is pretty much a cozy mystery. No woo-woo. And no romance at the forefront, though the start of one is there.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to think we all bring something unique to our writing. In my case, maybe it’s the setting for the Alaska stories. The historical paranormal features demon hunters and a taboo relationship. I kind of have a thing for heroines, especially, who thumb their noses at convention and authority : )
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write stories that make me go “Hmmm….I wonder how that might work?” I also like to write about characters who grab my attention. They aren’t always the over-the-top, kick-ass heroes and heroines, but they have interesting stories. And there always seems to be some degree of attraction between the main character and someone they interact with. I especially like it when there’s a bit of an adversarial relationship between them that the couple can overcome.
4) How does my writing process work?
Once I mull an idea and get a mental start to the story, or a few scenes brewing, I jot down a rough synopsis of what I have. It’s by no means a real synopsis, and there is nothing locked in as far as events. I just like to have a general path to follow as I write.
Unless I come up with a fun opening scene right off the bat (as was the case for Rulebreaker, IMHO : ), I tend to take some time getting a story started. I want that first introduction of the characters and the world to grab the reader and not let go. Often, I’ll write the first scenes, sometimes the first chapters, in a notebook. Pen and paper aren’t nearly as intimidating as a blank Word document with its cursor blinking “Well? Well? Well?”
I also tend to cross out lines, make other notes, put arrows in to remind myself to move dialogue or description. Even though it can be tweaked later, I need to have a good handle on things before I can move on.
That said, now and again I do write mid-story scenes out of order if an idea hits me. I save them in a file and pop them in later.
I’m not the speediest of writers and tend to get distracted, a bad combination. I’ve been working on discipline, writing on a schedule I can deal with and still get other things done. It’s not easy, but I have friends and critique partners who are pretty good at keeping me honest.
Thanks for dropping by! : )
I love researching new stories. I love gathering information that adds layers to the worlds I’m building and fleshes out the characters I’m creating. Ninety-plus percent of what a writer learns in the course of research probably doesn’t need to be in the story (Note: I read a suspense/thriller novel a few years ago where the author spent pages-PAGES!-explaining the DNA comparison technique used by the local PD. End result: Protagonist learns the dead person is related to the suspect. Technique used had NOTHING to add to the plot or result.) But we like having it in our heads as we write.
Now and again, research is a way to avoid actually writing the story. Yes, there IS such thing as too much. Or at least spending too much time on it. Background info and facts for the story is one thing. Procrastination is quite another. Yeah, I’m guilty of that too.
Recently, I had a different sort of research-related issue occur. A few month ago, I had woken up with what amounted to a back cover copy of a book as clear in my head as any storyline I’d imagined. It sounded great! Something fun! Something different! I was raring to go on it.
The story, a post-apocalyptic tale set in a location near my town, would require some background info on the site as well as some historical research. I wanted to learn what folks prior to the current level of tech did as far as food, industry etc. because my characters would be living in a somewhat “throw-back” society. With that in mind, I borrowed books from the library, bought local history books, scoured the Internet for info. I absolutely fell in love with Alaska and Canada in that time period.
I started writing the post-apoc story. I loved the characters. Loved the setting. A bit of the denouement was fuzzy at the moment, but it wouldn’t be the first time I wrote a book without having it completely sussed out in my head. With some fits and starts, I managed to get over forty pages hammered out.
Then…then I spoke to a local man. My husband, oldest daughter and I were wandering through an old cemetery site that almost no one in town knew existed. It’s located between two homes, and as we searched (only two standing headstones) one of the neighbors was outside cutting wood. We got to talking to Marv, and he told us some interesting bits about the cemetery (like how in the 70s some group decided to help clean up by picking up bits of wood strewn about. Unfortunately, a lot of that strewn wood turned out to be wooden placques that had names and dates) and local history. “Yeah,” he said, “There’s a baby buried here somewhere. Its mother was a prostitute found dead by the railroad tressle back in the day. She’s not buried here though.”
And this is where my WIP train went off the tracks. Suddenly, my research into pre-tech age society became fodder for a historical murder.
As a result, I did MORE research, and I’m looking forward to chatting with the museum curator about the local “sporting women” who plied their trade here. The post-apocalyptic story is on the back burner, but not forgotten. My husband suggested doing a three book related series involving the area and murder. If I can come up with a present or near-present day tale, I might just do that.
But it’s time to put all that amazing information to work and get words on the page. If you need me, I’ll be in early 20th century Alaska with the good time girls and US marshals. Twenty-three skidoo!
Hi, all! I wanted to share a short piece set after Rulebreaker featuring Zia and Liv. It’s a holiday story originally posted on Jessica Subject’s blog last year. Bit of a warning, there is some girl lovin’, so if you’re underage or just not into it, don’t read.
Otherwise, I hope you like the piece. Happy New Year!
Zia drew in a long, slow breath, letting the warm salt and floral tinged air of Pacifica fill her lungs, and released it with a contented sigh. The cooling pad beneath her provided the perfect barrier between the hot, lavender sand while countering the heat of the sun’s rays baking her from above. Optimum comfort was promised and delivered. Somewhere in the distance, she heard shouts and laughter of others, but no one close enough to bother her mid day repose.
She’d never allowed herself time to relax like this back on Nevarro. It was always work work work, stress stress stress. But since coming to the resort planet two months ago, she’d slowly let go of the natural drive that had seen her become VP of Research and Development for one of the top mining companies on Nevarro before she’d reached her thirty-fifth standard year.
Correction: Former Vice President.
Being on Pacifica was the result of her forced departure from Exeter Mining, but she was so very lucky to be here. And even luckier to be here with the woman she loved. Those last few months on Nevarro had been strenuous, and had nearly killed both her and Liv. They were safe now, taking a short holiday while they figured out where to go next.
Eyes closed, her breathing and heart rate synchronized with the lulling sound of the surf against the soft sand. Zia forced herself not to dwell on the worries of what they’d do to make their living after the visit to Pacifica was over. They’d figure it out soon enough. Right now, she just wanted to soak in the sun while she waited for Liv to join her.
“Happy Founder’s Day.”
Reluctant to rouse from her doze, but responding to the familiar voice, Zia opened one eye just wide enough to see Liv standing over her. Liv’s short dark hair flittered in the sea breeze, haloing her head. Like Zia, she wore a snug one piece outfit. The strapless garment showed off Liv’s lithe body, and Zia smiled in appreciation. “We’re not on Nevarro anymore, hon. They don’t celebrate Founder’s Day here.”
Every day was a celebration on the resort planet. How could it not be in a world marketed specifically for its just-hot-enough beaches, placid oceans, and low, rolling hills?
“I know.” Liv held out a red and silver box slightly larger than her fist. “Here.”
Zia rose to lean on her elbows. She’d assumed that leaving Nevarro meant they wouldn’t celebrate. Apparently she’d been wrong. “Sweetness, I didn’t think we’d be observing the day. I didn’t get you anything—”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She shook the box. “Just open it.”
Zia sat up and crossed her legs as she gave Liv a reproachful look. They often exchanged gifts—flowers or small tokens—without the expectation of reciprocation, but Founder’s Day was a major holiday on Nevarro, with parades and parties scheduled across the planet. Not that she’d participated in many. Work had always come first, and the few times she had someone to share the festivities with, she’d felt a certain amount of resentment if she had projects pending.
But things were different now. She was different now. And it was all because of Liv.
Smiling, Zia took the box and gave it an experimental shake. Neither heavy nor rattling, whatever it was thumped against the sides. Slowly, she ran her finger under the edge of the paper.
Liv bounced on the balls of her feet, sinking deeper into the sand. “You’re doing that on purpose.”
“What?” Zia asked, widening her eyes in mock innocence. Liv was not the most patient person; in some things, anyway. She finished loosening the paper and set it on the pad. Lifting the top off the box, she stared down at the circle of white fur inside. “Is it alive?”
“No, silly.” Liv huffed dramatically and reached in. With a flick of her wrists, she held a furry disc in each hand connected by a springy, flat band wrapped in the same material.
“Put them on.”
The grin on her face made her look like a kid, and Zia couldn’t help but smile back despite her confusion. “It’s over 34 degrees. Not exactly ear muff weather.”
A sly glint lit Liv’s brown eyes. “Put them on and come with me.”
What was she up to? Zia set the furry head gear over her ears, muffling the sound of the ocean waves. Liv extended a hand to help her up. When Zia was on her feet, she kissed Liv’s cheek. “They’re great, but—”
Liv covered Zia’s mouth with her own, eliciting a moan of desire from Zia as heat flashed from her breasts to her groin. God, she loved kissing this woman. Before Zia could deepen the kiss, Liv broke away and started toward the cottage they shared, tugging Zia along by the hand. “Come on.”
Feeling a little silly mincing across the scorching sand while wearing ear muffs, Zia wondered what Liv had in store. The breeze off the ocean tossed her long hair over her shoulders, but the ear muffs kept it out of her face. Another change since being with Liv; she used to wear her hair up and controlled.
The sweet scent of the false hibiscus blooming beside the cottage drifted on the air as they walked to the rear door. Like the other dwellings further along the beach, the white-washed exterior reflected the sun’s heat while the blue roof tiles collected and converted its energy for use.
Liv stopped on the slate porch of the rear entrance and let go of Zia’s hand. Instead of opening the door, she reached behind the carved stone bench beside it. She turned around, a long, puffy coat the color of putty in each hand.
Zia took a coat from her, one eyebrow cocked in a silent question.
“Humor me,” Liv said. She shrugged into the other coat, closed it up to her throat, and withdrew her own ear muffs from the deep pocket. “And hurry up before I melt in this thing.”
Zia donned the garment as Liv reached behind the bench again. The coat came down to Zia’s shins. It was already getting too hot, and she was grateful for the cool stone beneath her feet.
“These too.” Liv handed Zia a pair of fur-lined boots.
She brushed the sand off her feet and did as she was told. The boots felt awkward and alien after weeks of running barefoot on the sand or with the thinnest of sandals when propriety demanded shoes.
Liv put on her own pair, a grin still splitting her face. “All right. Now, close your eyes.”
Zia complied. She had an idea what Liv had done, considering the cold weather gear she currently wore on a beach planet, but didn’t want to spoil it. Part of a gift was the giver’s anticipation. Goodness knows she was just as delighted to give Liv some trinket as Liv was to receive it. She felt Liv’s fingers entwine with her own and gently squeezed them. Liv squeezed back.
The door clicked open. A burst of icy air hit Zia’s face and she instinctively sucked in a breath. Beneath the coat, her body gave a reactionary shiver, even though it was well protected. Her sudden inhalation brought with it a distinct metallic hint to the air. Just like Nevarro’s. How had Liv dropped the temp in the short time Zia had been out of the house? How had she managed the very taste of the air? The enviro controls must be pushed to their limits.
“Don’t open your eyes,” Liv admonished.
She ushered Zia in and the door closed behind them. In her mind’s eye, Zia saw the layout of their little cottage by the sea. They’d entered the enclosed porch with a long, low couch she and Liv often used during their evening meal so they could watch the peach and purple sunsets. From the outside, the one-way windows appeared to be solid walls, giving them complete privacy while enjoying the view. And each other.
Through the arched doorway and to the left was the kitchen where Liv sometimes cooked their meals, but more often than not they had the Compu-Chef whip up something.
Liv led her to the right, into the small living room. After a day in the luscious heat of Pacifica, Zia’s cheeks felt frozen even though it was probably only ten degrees C. A trace of some tantalizing scent came to her. Cinnamon? Hard to say with her nose as cold as it was.
“Over this way.” They approached the place where a low table sat between two chairs and a short couch. Instinctively, Zia swerved away from what would be the corner of the table.
“Now sit,” Liv said, taking her shoulders and easing her down to the couch.
Trusting her lover, though still not quite sure what to expect, she sat on the edge of the seat. Liv moved away and busied herself in front of Zia. Though she listened hard, she couldn’t determine what Liv was doing. A few taps, a muted beep. The urge to peek nearly overwhelmed her, but she didn’t want to ruin Liv’s surprise. Whatever she had planned was important to her, and that meant it was important to Zia. After a moment, Zia felt a wave of warmth cut through the cold.
“Open your eyes.”
Zia opened them and gasped in delight, the cold all but forgotten. The entire living room was lit with strings of tiny white lights. The table had been moved aside, and on the bare floor in front of her was a roaring fire encircled by smooth stones. The hologram looked and felt so real, Zia’s nose warmed. Liv stood near the table. On the honey-colored surface waited a platter of pastries, a basket of huskberries, and a colorful coffee pot with two matching mugs.
“I couldn’t find a Founder’s Day flag here,” Liv said, her breath coming out in a silvery puff, “and getting one shipped over was more credits than I could justify.”
“It’s amazing.” Zia’s voice caught around the lump in her throat as a surge of love squeezed her chest. “I can’t believe you did all of this.”
Liv shrugged, but the smile on her beautiful face told Zia she was pleased with Zia’s reaction. “I programmed the Chef with a recipe I found for the pastries. They’re pretty close. And the cocoa is good. Had to fight to override the temp setting. Seems the Chef couldn’t quite understand why I wanted such a hot drink here.”
Zia laughed. Leave it to Liv to argue with a kitchen appliance.
Liv’s grin faded a little as she continued. “What happened on Nevarro probably isn’t stuff either one of us wants to remember.” She knelt in front of Zia and grasped her hands. Cool skin warmed quickly when their palms came together. “But it’s where we met, and I never want to forget that. By leaving like we did, we never had the chance to share one of my favorite holidays.”
She released Zia’s hands and rose to pour cocoa—the Nevarro Founding Father’s preferred beverage and a tradition of the holiday—into each of the mugs. Passing one to Zia, Liv sat beside her. The mug radiated enough heat to warm her hands while the delectable scent of chocolate made her mouth water.
She sipped the rich beverage and smiled. Careful of the hot drinks, Zia kissed Liv’s cheek. “I will never forget this. Thank you.”
Liv took the mug from her and set both back on the table. “There’s one more thing.”
She rose, taking Zia’s hand again, and led her toward the bedroom.
Zia’s smile broadened. This was definitely going to be one of her better Founder’s Days.
Liv glanced at her as she pushed the door open and moved aside. Zia stepped into the room and her mouth dropped open. Flames flickered from dozens of white candles that filled every flat surface except the white fur-covered bed. The scent of wax and cinnamon tinged the icy air.
“How?” Was all Zia could manage.
“I’ve be getting things together for the past two weeks,” she said. “It’s not easy keeping surprises hidden from you.” Liv took Zia’s hand and led her to the bed. She ran her fingers under the closure of the coat and pushed the garment off Zia’s shoulders. The chill air on her chest made her shiver. “I took advantage of your time down at the beach. Now I’m going to take advantage of you.”
Eyeing the promise of the fur on the bed, Zia’s nipples tightened from the cold and from the anticipation of what was to come. She covered Liv’s mouth with her own as she opened Liv’s coat and ran her hands up her lover’s arms to her shoulders and neck. She threaded her fingers through Liv’s hair and deepened the kiss. Liv’s arms came around Zia’s waist, one hand at the small of her back, pulling their bodies together, and the other working the closure of her beach frock.
“Hurry,” Zia said as she lowered her hands to Liv’s clothing and did the same. “I’m freezing.”
They peeled each other out of their clothes and kicked off the fur-lined boots. Despite the cold, Zia stopped for a moment to stare at Liv. The Pacifica sun had darkened her skin to a golden brown that glowed in the candlelight. Cold and arousal made her nipples pebble, and Zia couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to caress Liv’s breast.
Liv sucked in a breath and moved closer, her hands skimming along Zia’s sides and up to her chest as their mouths came together. Tongues twined and heat blossomed throughout Zia’s body. Liv’s scent filled her, increasing Zia’s need to have her.
One hand at Zia’s breast and the other at her waist, Liv eased her around and guided her backward toward the bed. Zia’s legs hit the side. As she lowered herself, still kissing Liv, she reached out and flipped back the fur blanket. They broke the kiss only long enough to get into bed, but kept one hand on each other as they moved, neither willing to lose contact with soft, hot skin even for a moment. Zia realized they both still wore their ear muffs, but didn’t care.
Liv covered Zia’s body with her own, her weight and they way they fit together giving Zia a sense of contentment she’d relished for the last two months. Breast to breast, stomach to stomach, thighs pressing between legs, she couldn’t think of any other place she’d rather be than in the chilled room with the woman she loved.
Liv pulled the fur around the two of them, creating a cocoon of warmth. Only their heads were exposed, and Zia delighted in the contrast of the nip in the air while her body heated beneath Liv’s as they kissed. After several breathless moments, Liv lifted herself away, her gaze wandering over Zia’s face from brow to eyes to lips.
Zia cocked her head. “What? What are you thinking?”
Their gazes met and Liv smiled. Zia’s insides melted. “I’m thinking,” Liv said, “how I’m very grateful Carmine Nevarro discovered keracite on that cold rock, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. I love you.”
Zia ran her fingers through Liv’s hair and drew her back down for a kiss. “Love you too. Happy Founder’s Day.”
The writing life! Being wined and dined by publishers and agents. International book tours and humungous royalty checks. Stellar reviews and loyal fans.
Yeah. Right. Read on…
A Day in the Life of Diane Dooley
0600: I wake to golden sunlight streaming through the window. It’s going to be another perfect day! Wearing my favorite pink twin-set, my grandmother’s pearls and a scant misting of Chanel #5, I drift downstairs to my book-lines study, where the butler brings me herbal tea and buttered toast points. I start writing my latest romance novel, the words falling to the manuscript like raindrops to roses…
0630: Wake from the lovely dream to find a dog’s butt in my face and my husband’s snoring in my ears. Grope around in the dark until I find yesterday’s clothes, then rub deodorant on my smelly bits. Spend the next hours corralling children, dogs and husband, finally collapsing in exhausted heap until coffee ready.
0830: Open manuscript, read last few paragraphs. Realize I have written the Great American Romance Novel. What should I wear to the awards ceremony? Write the most wonderful words of all: The End. Send manuscript to agent, knowing that it was too perfect to edit.
0930: Wake from the lovely dream to find a different dog butt in my face. Inhale coffee. Open manuscript, read last few paragraphs. Sob with frustration, then spend an hour on Facebook and Twitter, pretending to be a real writer. Drink half a bottle of inspiration, then write a three chapter sex scene in which the heroine unfortunately dies of erotic asphyxiation. Delete it, reminding myself that I am a romance writer and a very nice person. Remind self again. Drink more inspiration.
12Noon: Pass out on couch with my butt in the dogs’ faces.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, another writer is stirring…
A Day in the Life of Cathy Pegau
0600: Husband’s alarm goes off, kicking me out of a dream about hot pool boys and honey. OMG! I’m paralyzed! No, just the cat across my legs. Eject the furry boulder, Dog immediately jumps up on bed, huffs and falls asleep. Dog’s got the right idea.
0615: Alarm goes off. Slap snooze. Slap drooly dog face away from mine.
0633: Double ditto (what’s with 9 minute snoozing? I never understood that.) Roll out of bed to make sure kids are up (they are). Bless husband for making coffee. Squint out into darkness. *Shiver* Global warming my ass…..
0800: Kids and husband out to school and work. Time to hit the manuscript. Open email, Twitter and Facebook…just to check.
1200: Manuscript not open and I’m still in my pajamas, but I now know what all my imaginary writer friends had for lunch, did at work and will be doing this evening. Also, a personal best on Spider Solitaire. Go me! OK, let’s get serious.
1230: Open manuscript. Read last few pages. Hmmm…..This needs some work. Oh! Time for lunch!
Diane Dooley’s Day Continues…
1230: Put final touches on the Oscar acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay, then go out with actual, real-life, flesh-and-blood people called “friends.” Find jeans and a swimsuit that fit perfectly and make me look fabulous.
1245: Wake up with dog’s tongue in my ear. Roll off the couch; find some spaghetti in my cleavage. Eat it and call it lunch.
1300: Open manuscript, then spend two and a half hours looking for inspiration on YouTube. Also complete all chores while loudly singing the entire ‘Bat Out of Hell” album.
1630: Kids arrive home from school. Spend next several hours cooking, cleaning and doing 4th and 6th grade English, Math, History and Science homework, along with art projects that include building dioramas of books I’ve never read. Use physical force to get boys in shower, then to bed.
2130: Look for inspiration in fridge, but it’s all gone except for a lone bottle of Angostura bitters. Fix drink with it. Open manuscript and start to type. The Angostura is working!
2200: Husband arrives home, seeking food, shelter and good company. Ignore him. Continue to write romance novel in which everyone is damaged and dies at the end. Fingers working hard to keep up with words flowing from brain. I love writing!
0200: Take phonecall from Daniel Day-Lewis, who wants to have one of my books adapted for screenplay so he can play one of my characters. He was born to play the role, apparently. He would also very much like to meet me. Am eventually persuaded.
0400: Awake with my face on the keyboard, which is covered in a vile-smelling, sticky substance which could not possible be my own drool. Final line in manuscript is: h4O[[NKLN,K [P9-O=-O9M=ORTZST=O-U. Save document, then drag my carcass to bed, considering it a day of successful writing. Kick dogs out of my sleeping spot. Collapse. Sleep without dreams.
Cathy Pegau’s Day Continues…
1330: Wake from carb-induced coma nap. Why is MTV’s Hip Hop Countdown blaring from the television? Button pants and sit at table. This manuscript will ROCK as soon as I can get past chapter three. Is the hero/heroine “cute meet” too cute? I think punching a guy in the junk spilling coffee on a guy makes a lasting impression. Leave it in. Plow on, making notes to flesh out scenes later.
1445: There! Made it to the end of chapter three! Wait. What the…? I’d already written chapter three? Really? Son of a…. *sigh*
1545: Furious activity as kids arrive home from school, dogs jump about, cats streak out from under thunderous paws of death. Call the dogs in. Tell kids to shut BOTH doors. Wonder what that damn piteous wailing is. Fetch indoor cat from outside. Ask kids how their day was. Half listen while I consider a plot point that can make or break this story. Wait. What was that about meeting with the principal tomorrow???
1730: Look up from sixth version of opening paragraph of chapter four to see kids staring at me, hollow-eyed. Dinner? Didn’t I feed them yesterday? Husband is settled in his favorite chair (when did he get here????) shaking his head. I suggest pizza.
1900: Favorite show about to come on. But it’s a rerun, so I can miss it and get back to writing. Oh, but it’s a REALLY good episode! Sit on couch with manuscript open. I’ll work during commercial breaks. Get one and a half sentences down.
2000: Ditto with second favorite show in line-up. Rewrite sentence. Twice. Add two more. Yay! Progress!
2100: Laptop battery dying. Plug it in. Crack knuckles. Get to it!
0030: Dog snoring at my feet. Everyone’s been in bed for a couple of hours, but things are moving along. Just need to get the gist of this scene down….
0245: Husband taps me on the shoulder, startling me and nearly knocking me off the chair. “You’re working in the morning. Come to bed.” Look at screen. No new words. Save what I have, shut down computer, and hope to squeeze in a little writing between classes tomorrow.
So there you have it, folks. Think twice before you take up the writing life!
* * * * *
Diane Dooley writes romance, science fiction and horror; short stories, novellas and novels . You can catch up with her on her blog, Facebook or Twitter. She also blogs regularly at Contact: Infinite Futures and is a contributor to The Galaxy Express.
Agent Z offered to be my bestie then kidnapped me! Then offered me up. Go take a look at The Galaxy Express post.
Help me, Blogger Buddies! You’re my only hope!
My husband and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage on February 29th. That’s five anniversaries. Well, five REAL anniversaries. On “off” years, we have an arrangement. His anniversary is on February 28th and mine is on March 1st. I give him a card or wish him happy anniversary then he remembers to do the same the following day.
Getting hitched on Leap Year Day was planned for that simple reason, to remind him of the date. I figured he could manage the right date every four years. So far, so good. And on those off years, I don’t concern myself it he’s had to travel or forgets or doesn’t get me anything. I don’t usually get him anything either. It’s been a great 20 years with my husband, and I know how much he loves and cares for me by the things he does for our family, not by the stuff that accumulates in our home.
Thank you, honey, for being a great husband and dad.
In honor of our anniversary, I’m having an Alaska goodies giveaway. Local tee shirt, a tote bag, some other AK stuff. How do you win? In the comments below, tell me about your best/worst anniversary or wedding memory. You can also complete the line “You know you’re an Alaskan when…” Here are some samples:
You know you’re an Alaskan when…..
…..your “signature” lip color is Carmex.
…..you keep your snow shovel out year ‘round.
…..you’ve only seen 4th of July fireworks when you were down in the Lower 48. (But who wants to leave AK in July??? It’s the best time of year to be here!)
So give me your stories and/or your Alaskan comments. I’ll do a random drawing on Sunday, March 4, and yes, I will ship internationally : )
Let’s see what ya got!
ETA: Winner has been chosen! LE, you get some sort of AK stuff! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for commenting, everyone! I totally enjoyed your stories and “You know you’re an Alaskan” quips : )
More food and fun from the lovely and talented Maria Zannini! From now through December 22, almost every day will be chock full o’ holiday goodness you can do yourself! Great food to share! Great craft ideas you can keep or give as gifts!
I’ll be over at Maria’s on the 19th with my favorite salmon recipe and a giveaway. See you there!