2020 Vision


Hello, dearies.

Preparing to write a decade in review post, I’ve been looking over some of my past blog posts. I started this blog on June 16, 2012. 2012! So, it’s not quite ten years old, yet…but getting up there. These past few years, I haven’t put as much energy into this blog as I used to. It has become more of a place for readers to stop and get some additional info about the Reborn series and ongoing projects, rather than a blog I update regularly. Still, eight years ago, I started The Urge to Write to get back into something I loved: writing.

Thinking about the head space I was in when I started this blog eight years ago compared to the one I’m in now, I have to laugh at myself. I was only in my early 20s, worrying that I hadn’t done/accomplished anything. Worried that I’d picked the wrong thing in graduate school and having (justified or not) a quarter life crisis. I didn’t really understand then that life, careers, dreams…they’re all a marathon, not a sprint.

I started off the decade graduating from college with a chemistry degree. And, although my education and other experiences as an undergrad were certainly valuable, I knew I didn’t want to work as a chemist in a lab forever. We were also in the midst of a huge recession, so I decided to stay in school and work on a master’s degree in a field I hoped would open more doors. Soon after graduating, my college sweetheart and I also broke up, which was very hard on me (in retrospect, both of us). But, while working on my master’s, I found a research adviser I really enjoyed working with and decided to stay and do a PhD in the same department.

Then, came the first plot twist of the 2010s: my adviser accepted a faculty position at a different university. Which was absolutely the best decision for her, as her new department would be a much better fit for her research niche. So, no hard feelings there. She even offered that I come with her, but I would have had to apply to that department’s program, and, although I enjoyed the research I was doing, I didn’t want my degree in that concentration. (My master’s and PhD are in environmental health.) I was still finishing required coursework and hadn’t picked a dissertation topic yet, so it’s not like I had to start completely over or anything. But I did feel a bit adrift. Almost no one else in our department did the type of work I’d been doing (a lot of them were doing more toxicology-related work in wet labs, and I was doing epidemiology/stats), and a lot of people didn’t have funding.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I started this blog. Thankfully, a few faculty members did take me under their wing, and I found a great group/adviser to work with. It wasn’t always perfect, but, especially looking back, it was exactly the place I needed to be. And, knowing people who had *much* worse things happen to them in grad school, I’m able to contextualize it now.

Still, at the time I had this persistent worry that I had “picked the wrong the thing” and that somehow my entire life/career was now committed to this one “wrong thing”. Because what happened, to, you know, following your dreams? Your passion? I’ve always loved books, loved to write. “Shouldn’t I be doing that, then?” entitled twenty-something me would ponder. (Because, as I also now recognize, following your dreams is a privilege a lot of people don’t have. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it or make a change in your life when something isn’t what you want – if you have the means, you absolutely should! But just to recognize it.)

Thus, Reborn was…born. It went through a few title changes before it became Reborn. I posted the original draft to this blog. I since deleted it after I self-published it, so I can’t verify this, but I’m sure it was bad. Really bad. It was written in Mountain Dew Code Red-fueled bursts of creativity after work and on the weekends, usually late at night, because I somehow used to function on an insane and unhealthy sleep schedule. Later, I revised it, paying more attention to, you know, actual story structure, character arcs, and fleshing out the mythology/world. The first edition was published in November of 2013. This November, Reborn will be seven years old!

It is too easy for me to look back and say, why the heck couldn’t I have finished the last book *before* 2020 hit? But, self-publishing the final book (about Siobhan, at least) is my next goal. I’m not going to look back with regret. Because you know what? In these past seven years, I wrote three books and two novellas in the Reborn series. To those who don’t like writing or writers who haven’t published yet, that might seem like a lot. To writers that are more prolific, that might seem like nothing. But for me, it was a huge accomplishment.

For better or worse, I have a hard time feeling satisfied, at least as far as work or career-related things go. (Maybe this is, overall, not a good thing, although it can be a good motivator in a lot of ways…) But in these, my five book babies, I’m giving myself a huge pat on the back. I love this world, these characters, and I don’t regret the sleepless nights/procrastinating other obligations/periods of time of being basically a hermit that allowed me to share them with all of you.

But life is, of course, more than these types of accomplishments. We are more than our jobs, our careers, even our dreams. I’m not saying that these aren’t or can’t be good things – only that one thing doesn’t define who we are. And if it does, maybe it shouldn’t. I didn’t “pick the wrong thing” in grad school. Maybe some people do, but in hindsight, I don’t think I did. I think I’m a scientist who also likes to write. And when I look back at graduate school, I don’t (always) think about the slog that comes before you defend your dissertation (and, yes, it can feel like a slog). I think about the dear colleagues and friends I made a long the way – I still collaborate and am friends with many of them.

In the latter half of this decade, I moved to New England, then back to Pittsburgh for several years, then, quite recently, back to New England. Time flies, time motivates us, and time also heals. Time changes and shapes us. If we’re lucky, we can still find a way back to the people we care about, no matter how much time or how many miles separate us. Time healed all wounds from that break up at the beginning of the decade. Gradually, we became friends again; we opened our hearts again. And (plot twist?) in August of 2019, we got married. 🙂

I don’t know what the next decade will bring. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, highs and lows. I could talk about career goals, writing goals, family goals – and, yes, I have all of those. But, through it all, I want to find joy and gratitude in the small things, the everyday things. I frequently fall into the trap of “I’ll be happy when…” “Things will be different/better when…” My only new year’s resolution is to work toward these things while finding happiness in what I have now, not in far-off, unpredictable future land. I think the best any of us can do, in large or small ways, is to try to leave the world a better place than how we found it.

Okay, that last thought is from A Court of Wings and Ruin, which I just finished last night. (Some things don’t change, like my love for a good YA fantasy.) But I liked it, and it’s also true.

So, here’s to 2020! To love, laughter, dancing like no one is watching and all the cliches. Reading all the books, doing all the things. Probably somewhere in there we should stop climate change. Okay, I’m done – for now. 😉

Friday Featured Author: Renee Miller


This week’s Friday Featured Author is Renee Miller! Check out her books The Legend of Jackson Murphy and In the Bones on Amazon, and stay tuned for a teaser from The Legend of Jackson Murphy at the end of the interview!

Blog: Dangling on the Edge of (In)Sanitybio pic

Website: On Fiction Writing

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

RM: Honestly, I started it because I was advised to do so as part of my “platform” when I decided to try to publish my writing. Now, I don’t think I’d give it up. It’s too much fun having my own corner of the Internet to just be “me.” Even if it’s a tiny corner.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

RM: I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t making up a story of some kind. From the time I could spell, I scribbled stories. Now they make a little more sense.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

RM: I’m inspired by a lot of things. I guess it’s mostly people, since most of my stories are character driven. Sadly, it’s not usually the people who should inspire me. I’m inspired by people whose actions I can’t figure out.

ebook coverSL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?

RM: It depends on what I’m writing. I listen to practically every genre of music. It depends on the lyrics or the melody. If something strikes the right note inside me, I’ll write to that song or genre for the duration of a book.

SL: Which of your own stories is your favorite?

RM: That’s like asking me which of my kids I love most. 😉 However, I will say that THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY was the most fun to write. But I really do love them all. Well, except for the first couple. I try not to think about them.

SL: Who is your favorite author?

RM: My favorite author changes constantly. I love George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, John Irving, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Moore, and Chuck Palahniuk. I also love some less “famous” authors, like Maria Zannini, Chris Rothe, Lauren B. Davis and Les Edgerton. I don’t think the latter get the recognition they deserve. So…that didn’t answer the question at all. I have too many favorites.

SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

RM: Writing shouldn’t be easy. If it is, then you’re probably doing it wrong. And also, if you want to write, you’ll write. It doesn’t matter if you never publish. You’ll write because you love to. It’s that simple.

SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?

RM: Eric Northman. (Sookie Stackhouse series) Friends with benefits, preferably.

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)

RM: I already write for pleasure, and while I certainly wouldn’t turn down best-seller status, I’d be happy with the books earning enough that all of my time could be devoted to them. My day job is writing articles, so I have half of what I want already.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

RM: Terrible Minds http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/(I sometimes disagree with Chuck Wendig—although it’s rare—but he’s honest, smart and funny. Can’t go wrong there.)

Katrina Monroe http://authorkatrinamonroe.wordpress.com/(Kat is refreshingly blunt and bold.)

Maria Zannini http://mariazannini.blogspot.ca/(Maria is an author I admire both as a writer and a human being. I’m rarely bored by her blog posts.)

Record of a Baffled Spirit http://baffledspirit.blogspot.ca/ (Mike Keyton teaches me something every time I visit his blog and his writing voice is just so damn easy to fall into.)

Darke Conteur http://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/(Another author I admire, Darke likes to change things up, offering a mixed bag of writing tips, general commentary, amusing bits and pieces, and fiction. Plus, she’s Canadian, so what’s not to love?)

To name just a few. I follow a lot of blogs, but according to my feed reader, these are the most frequent stops for me.

SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?

RM: Batman. But seriously, this is going to sound cliché and nauseating, but I’m everything I wanted to be. I’m the mother to fantastic kids, doing what I’ve always wanted to do for a living, and I have the most amazing friends and family ever. Really, I’m very lucky.

SL: That’s awesome. 🙂 Anything else you care to divulge. 😉

RM: Like secrets? Sometimes instead of writing, I watch Netflix. Everyone here thinks I’m working, but I’m not. In my defense, though, sometimes ideas and characters need to marinate a while. If I read, I get lost in someone else’s world. When I watch movies or television, my brain is free to wander. I come up with my best stuff when I’m “not writing”.

***

So there they sat him and Jenny, two miserable people in a happy little kitchen. Why wasn’t she trying to be nice to him? If she wanted him on Jack promo coverthis cruise so bad, why not suck up a little to seal the deal? Yeah, something smelled wrong.

She looked up, as though feeling his gaze on her as he stared over his paper. “What?” she asked.

“Nothing. Just thinking,”

“Stop it, you’re creeping me out.”

Jack hid a grin behind the sports page and his mind revisited the idea of tampering with her car. Cutting the brake lines was too cliché. He mulled the idea over, shifting his gaze as Jenny stood to get more coffee. She smoked, usually only in her car. Jack enjoyed forcing her to hide it. Perhaps he could do something with the gas line. The thought of blowing Jenny up had a nice ring to it.

Jenny stared from the counter.

He grinned. “What?”

“Are you okay?”

“Fine. Why?”

“You’re acting…odd.”

“Sorry, it’s just nice to have a peaceful morning with my wife. I like not fighting.” Oh, yeah. He was brilliant.

Jenny’s face reddened. She sipped her coffee before joining him at the table. “See? I told you we could make things work. But stop staring, you’re making me nervous.”

“Sorry.”

Jack went back to his paper and Jenny flipped the page of her magazine, shaking her head. Really, if they could get along like this for longer than a minute, he’d have reconsidered the whole thing. Sadly, they couldn’t. His acting skills were the only barrier to another fight.

Late the night before, listening to her soft snore across the bed while he pondered possible murder scenarios, it crossed Jack’s mind that he should see a therapist. His thoughts couldn’t be healthy. But crazy or not, Jack didn’t want anyone to talk him out of the plan. Jenny had to die.

His brain ached from the cruise’s ticking clock as he struggled to solve his dilemma. Christ, he’d never make a serial killer, too many things to think about. Too many possibilities. Staring at his empty coffee cup, his headache subsided. I’m thinking too small. Every report on the news about the ones that got caught, involved tampering with cars or some stupid, amateur shit like that. Jack could do better. He had to do better. Something that had never done before.

Then, as Jenny delicately dug a booger from her nose—sniffing most unattractively—the solution hit him like a runaway truck barreling through his front door.

Bees.

***

Thanks again to Ms. Miller for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews here!

Friday Featured Author: Sara E. Santana


Sara profile pictureAs I announced last week, I’ve started a new weekly feature: the Friday Featured Author. I’ve seen my blogger friends run similar features on their blogs (so if some of these questions look familiar to you, I may have borrowed some of them…) and decided it would be a great way to introduce my followers to some amazing people.

This week I’m super excited to bring you blogger and contemporary YA author Sara E. Santana, author of Another Chance for Summer and A Little Less Than Famous. You can find her at any of the links below, and check out an excerpt from her work-in-progress, revealed here for the first time!

Blog: WhatANerdGirlSays.com

Co-Blog: iFandomsCollide.com

You can also find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Goodreads, Facebook

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

SES: I love writing and I love talking about books. I read more books than anyone I know and I constantly want to talk to them and I startedSara Another Chance for Summer Book Cover noticing that my friends’ and boyfriend’s eyes starting to glaze over when I talked about books. I also had met my friend Jackie, who runs Seeking Bazinga, and I loved her blog and I thought “well, I could do that!” and I started my blog soon after that.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

SES: I think I always kind of had a wild imagination. I have five younger siblings and I was always making up stories. I think I really realized that I was nine years old and I wrote a story in about a half hour for some assignment. I remember my teacher being alternately impressed that I accomplished and skeptical because I had accomplished. She showed all the teachers that were in the same building as us and I remember thinking, maybe I could be good at writing, because obviously sports were not working in my favor haha.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

SES: My life inspires it a lot, or the people in my life. I see things that happen and I take a twist. I also daydream a LOT, and my curiosity on things is ALL over the place and I’ll wonder to myself, does this make a great story, could someone be as interested in this story as me? I also get inspired by various different authors that I read.

SL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?

SES: Depends on the book. When I wrote A Little Less than Famous, I was listening to so much NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, I think my family was starting to get embarrassed. When I write my blog, I usually have Netflix going on in the background or just my ipod on shuffle. Right now, I’m working on my third novel and I’m listen to a mix of Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Grizzly Bear, Tame Impala, Imagine Dragons and the Cab.

Sara and Cassandra Clare
Sara and The Mortal Instruments’ author Cassandra Clare

SL: Who is your favorite author?

SES: Oh I have so many: J.K Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Morgan Matson, Rick Riordan, Libba Bray, and so many more.

SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SES: I have met so many authors and I have asked them for advice every single time. I like hearing the different advice that comes from authors but you do tend to hear the same things over and over again, which shows how important they are. One thing that sticks out in my mind is to write write write, and to just FINISH something. I’ve also heard so many times that its okay to have a crappy first draft, its okay to write crap because you can work with that and make it better.

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)

SES: I want to be comfortable. I want my JOB, my CAREER, to be a writer. I want to publish novels and hopefully keep up with my blog. I Sara A Little Less than Famous Book Coverdon’t necessarily have to be a best-seller with my books being adapted for the big screen. I just want to be successful enough that it can be my every day job because all I want to do alllllll day is write.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

SES: Some of my fave blogs are: Seeking Bazinga, The Urge to Write, The Nerdy Girlie, The Perpetual Page Turner, City of Shadowhunters, FanGirlFeeels and Novel Reality.

SL: Tell me about your work-in-progress:

SES: I am currently working on a new novel, which follows the story of Evie Brennan, who lives in a baseball obsessed town. She lives for the game of baseball until something changes when she’s eighteen. Fast forward a few years, and she’s still in baseball town, playing assistant to Alex Young, a struggling but VERY hot shortshop. Evie has the potential to start a relationship with Alex, but her past continually gets in her way. Enjoy this small snippet that I haven’t released anywhere else!

***

I walked into the ballroom at the Worthington Hotel, Macon’s pride and joy, and immediately knew it was going to be a long night. Lucy spotted me as soon as I walked in and zeroed in on me as if I were a target and her the speeding arrow. A smile was spread across her face but her eyes spoke it all; she was on a mission and I would be a fool to resist her. I smiled back at her, amazed at how differently we had become, even in just looks, in the past few years.

“There are so many people I want you to meet,” she gushed, slipping her arm in mine and practically dragging me to the other side of the room. “The rookies this year? So delicious. You need to meet Simon Kennedy.”

“Simon Kennedy is nineteen years old,” I hissed at her, between my teeth, trying to keep my smile plastered on my face. I spotted Simon already and even though he was cute and a nice addition to the team, I wasn’t interested and I didn’t want to hurt any feelings either. I was looking for a personal assistant’s job, and I didn’t want to piss off anyone that could be a potential employer. I was tired of being my sister’s assistant.

“How do you even know who he is?” she asked, her eyes wide, hands planted on her hips as if she were still sixteen years old and not a twenty-two year old mom and wife of a famous baseball player.

***

Thanks again to Ms. Santana for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews  with H. N. Sieverding and Shehanne Moore!

New! Friday Featured Author: Shehanne Moore


First off, I hope everyone here in the U. S. had a lovely Fourth of July, and Happy Friday to all of you! I’m very excited to bring you this new weekly feature I’ve christened the Friday Featured Author. I’ve seen my blogger friends run similar features on their blogs (so if some of these questions look familiar to you, I may have borrowed some of them…) and decided it would be a great way to introduce my followers to some amazing people.

This week I’m super excited to bring you historical romance writer Shehanne Moore, author of The Unraveling of Lady Fury (which you can find on Amazon here). You can find her at any of the links below, and stay tuned for a teaser from Lady Fury at the end of the interview!

Blogs: Furious Unravelings, Where Worlds Collide, Shehanne Moore

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,

***

SL: What inspired you to start your blog?

s.mooreSM: That having Social Media was 30 percent of Etopia Press’s decision to sign an author and I had just been signed. That was a pretty big inspiration. A sharp learning curve too. But authors do need social media these days if they want to sell and it’s been fantastic getting to know so many people.

SL: When did you first start writing stories?

SM: At the age of seven. I designed this lovely cover for my book, The Hoare House Mystery. Of course I had no idea of places of ill-repute. This was a perfectly respectable house.  Very useful for firelighters too—the paper it was written on anyway, as was a lot of other paper I wrote on. I was always writing. When I was about sixteen my friends started reading some of my—what were probably long historical novellas—and they liked them, which was very encouraging. I still have these stories. I managed to save them from the flames.  But what was nice even then was it gave me an idea of what worked, what didn’t, what kind of characters tended to be the biggest draw.

SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?

SM: You mean what hottie? Seriously, I’m often attracted to places. I tend to start the story because of  flashed idea but after that places are important to me. Often when I am visiting somewhere I can’t help imagining the kind of people who would have lived there, that the place is speaking to me in some way. My forthcoming book is inspired by Glencoe one of the most beautiful places in Scotland and the scene of a massacre in 1692. It has such rugged beauty.

Lady FurySL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SM: Firstly be prepared for a hard journey. The rejection rate, even for people with a book out there, is enough to make you never put pen to paper. Behind every ‘overnight’ success story lurks years of fixing your teeth up to get the next kicking. But it is possible to get there, so secondly, study your market, study what publishers are looking for. I am not talking here about the next big thing. No-one can predict that. I am talking basics, for example, if the publisher says the word length is 75 thousand. That’s it.  Don’t go sending them your twice that tome just because you spent five years labouring and crafting every one of these words.  You will be in for a disappointment. I get into rows here about whether writing can be taught. Certainly you have to study the type of writing, the type of prose you are using for the type of book. You wouldn’t write a genre romance without a HEA, no matter how enticing, how different that may seem, not to mention, you’ve read some publisher’s blurb where they say they are looking for something new, something different. It’s not that kind of different they want.  Do you know what Goal, Motivation Conflict is? A lot of talented aspiring writers fall down on that one, painting beautifully crafted word pictures, going nowhere. Do you know about head-hopping?  That’s the kind of honing of the craft you need to do.  But my biggest piece of advice is never ever give up. To succeed you need to believe in yourself.

SL: Tell me about your current work-in-progress and what your plans are for it.

SM: I’m writing another historical romance, this one set in England in 1809 which I see as part of a series.  I have finished it but am just trying to make sure it is entirely in Etopia’s House Style. My editor may have already requested it off the pitch, I have been told that Etopia still reject 7 out of 10 manuscripts that have passed that first test, been pulled from the slush pile or are recommended by your assigned editor.  So I don’t assume anything. My editor still has to like it enough to send it up the line with a recommendation.

SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?

SM: Lol. Rhett Butler. Scarlett was bad to him!

SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

SM: Probably to be able to keep having ideas, keep writing, keep selling. In some ways, getting that first book out is hard but knowing the one after and the one after are in the bag, so to speak, is what counts.

SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?

SM: Ottoman Dandy (this is actually a very unusual fashion blog), Lady or Not, a brilliantly funny blog, so is A Day in the Life of Shareen A., while Catherine Cavendish is always interesting.

But I also love those of certain authors who give a lot back to other bloggers and authors, Susan Arden, Noelle Clark, Charley Descoteaux and Antonia Van Zandt.  While I accept that branding is all important, I don’t personally want clobbered with it.  So, for me, a turn off is an author or blogger who just wants to shout themselves. You see… I admire this generous thing you are doing here! It is something to thank you for.

SL: Why, thank you and your welcome, I’m happy to have you on here! 😛

SL: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SM: Lying on a beach sipping marguerites…….not!

SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?

SM: I have never wanted to be anything else. There you go.

***

Fury sat down and dipped the quill into the ink. She detected the faintest trace of nerves. It must be the fact Thomas lay in the cellar. Why else would a man, so great, so stalwart, so worldly as Captain Flint be nervous of her?

“Well, yes,” she said, listening to the pleasing scratch of the nib on the soft paper. “Babies are not always made in a night. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, being you. It will take time.”

“All the more reason then to just get going. After all this time, sweetheart, you don’t know how eager I am.”

He strode across the tiled floor and the ink trailed a long dark path across the paper as he dragged her to her feet. Had it blobbed it might have been something to worry about. But she was very set on this. And calm. As calm as one could be having this man in her bedroom, knowing what was coming next out of dire necessity, her husband in a box in the cellar and her cast off, potential lovers on their way out the door.

“No, James.” She held a hand up between their lips. “There will be no kissing.”

“No kissing? Why in hell not?”

It displaced her calm to see him grin. She would have preferred that he was indignant. Especially as he was a man who thought he could settle all his arguments—with women anyway—with a kiss. But she kept her face cold, blank.

“Because.” In some ways she was cold. Cold with rage.

“Aw, come on Fury, didn’t you like my kissing? Hmm?” His breath, hot and male, brushed her fingertips. He wrapped his arms around her, splaying his hands across her back, so her hand might as well not have been there for all the protection it was.

But she was calm. Didn’t she have to get into bed with him after all? So, even the impulse to squirm was one she would squash. When she thought of all he had done to her, she would give him nothing. Not even the knowledge she found his proximity so unsettling that she sought to pull away.

“Your kissing was fine, in its way, I suppose. But kissing is a sign of affection.”

“How do you make that out?”

She knew exactly why he scratched his head. Their love-making had been torrid. It had been sensual. It had been shaming. And it had been absent of any affection. Certainly on his part. So, why on earth would a kiss be a sign of anything? To him anyway. She was the damn fool who had thought it had. Who even now was forced to concede the pleasure it would be to take her hand across his face to assist his understanding of her feelings. The impertinence of the damn man, the stinging ignorance.

“It just is.” She eased the distance between them a whisper. “So there will be none. Not now. Not at all.”

“All right then. Saves time. It means—”

“Rule two.” She saw his eyes freeze as he readied himself to yank off his shirt. She persisted anyway. Why not? In many ways she walked a tightrope here. If she paused it might be to her detriment. “You will be fully dressed at all times.”

“What? How the hell am I meant to—”

“James, I am sure you will manage. You managed plenty before. But I do not desire to look at your body before, during, or after. Nor in any shape or form wandering about this house in just your breeches. Is that understood?”

He dropped his hands from his shirt and glared, so he must have. “You wanted to look at it plenty before. In fact, it makes my head spin, just how often you—”

True. But that was then. “Rule three.” Clasping her fingers around the cool edge of the dressing table to create another inch of distance, she continued.

“Rule three? You mean there’s more?”

“I will not touch you in any place, intimate or otherwise. I will lie. You will perform.”

***

Thanks again to Ms. Moore for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Come back next week for my interview with another one of my favorite people, Sara over at WhatANerdGirlSays. In the meantime, you can check out my interview from a while back with H. N. Sieverding, author and blogger over at Inside the Mind of a Fantasy Writer.

Once Upon a Time…Six Writers Tell a Story


Sara gave me and five other bloggers the same prompt -and six very different stories resulted! You can check them out here. Mine is a bit of flash fiction…I like challenging myself to cram as much description and action as I can into 100 words or less.