An Experiment

I’m really starting to feel my summer.

I’ve already worked about half of my summer hours, and the rest need to be saved for the week before school resumes. I’ve completed my big Calendar Math project for one of our Autistic Kiddos to use this summer and I feel pretty free. We still have a move coming up, and thankfully we only half unpacked when we moved in here in November. There are a couple of possible summer trips, but dates are still up in the air until we have a closing date. I have some time on my hands and it’s not even June yet!

 

I’ve been thinking about my story The Pilot. You already knew that. Here is my experiment for the summer. I’m going to write three books. One will be released on July 1st, one on August 1st, and one on September 1st. They’ll fall in the 45-55,000 word count and be in the Reverse Harem genre. It’s an experiment because I’ve never written in that genre and because I’m working off a cheat sheet on how to write one which I’ve never done before. Word is, the reverse harem is a hot spot in reading nowadays and there is money to be made. I’ve read a couple, which I wouldn’t recommend, yawn, and I think I can do this, maybe pretty well!

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I just spent ninety minutes looking through my funnies page on Pinterest for this picture.  Oh yeah, I’ll be fine!

A book a month is, well, a tough gig. I haven’t actively written on a daily basis for a couple of years. Nothing like a baptism by fire. I’m going to start with my Butcher from The Pilot and do a sort of post-apocalyptic, reverse harem story. I’m blogging here as a way to make myself accountable and so I don’t spend too much time, you know…

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Though I certainly plan to get my fair share of it before the end of Freedom err the end of August, I mean.

 

Remember Me

I thought about posting yesterday, for Memorial Day. Growing up, we never celebrated. If that is the correct word for it. Owning a tree farm and nursery, and living above the 5,000 foot elevation mark, Memorial Day heralded open season on gardening in our area. The only military man I knew about was my dad’s older brother who flew something like 21(?) successful bombing missions over Germany in WWII. I never heard that story until dad was well into his seventies, and I’d finally refused to be bent over a pot of dirt flinging handfuls of fertilizer for the entire long weekend. But before I declared my free will, I spent my Memorial Mondays waiting on customers, hauling trees, explaining how to plant, watering greenhouses, and moving pipes in the lower fields.

This year, this year was so different.

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I found myself thinking about those I knew who’d served in the military and (all of mine)  who returned home as safely as is possible. It was one of the first things I learned about my younger brother, his military service. I listened to him talk about it and realized, quite suddenly, that it was a very close call. That I just as easily could have been reading his obituary, having never known about him until too late.

That is something I’ve done quite a lot this year, been too late.

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I absolutely know there isn’t anything I could have done differently. They were lost to me long before I had the tools to find them. Illogically, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

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So, this Memorial Day has been a long one. All the complicated feelings that surround the recent deaths of the parents I grew up with, and my niece only eighteen months ago. Add to that a woman I never met, an older sister whose loss I feel so keenly, I cannot explain it. Then her, the woman who gave birth to me. The story is unfolding to be as tangled and tragic as could be imagined. And him, I grew up having been told he didn’t want me. I now know there isn’t anyway I can believe that piece of information. Nowhere reliable for it to have come from. Yet another white lie told to make a situation acceptable. Perhaps even a belief, not told with malice or intent, but to comfort.

Having written it, the list seems small, but feels crushing. Once again I didn’t go anywhere on Memorial Day. However, this year my mind and heart were in California, Arkansas, Idaho, and Utah laying flowers, fingers tracing names, heart trying to hold it all together.

Truth be told, next year I might pick up a shovel and bucket of fertilizer, plant me a few fucking trees.

The Pilot

 

 

I’ve been looking at a story I started a year or so ago, wondering if it’s still inside me.

I truly love the characters.

Valora – 30 something, capable to a fault, annoyingly self-sacrificing,

Brendan – 30 something, a renaissance man, he can do anything Val can’t.

Pilot – Crash landed in the Vermont forest on his way to Canada.

Rachel –  A beautiful prostitute.

The story kind of crashed and burned when I introduced The Butcher, he was, just a butcher, coming around to kill a cow for them to eat. The he and Val decamped to a cabin for the night. I thought she was in love with Brendan but would ultimately fall for the Pilot! What the hell!

Been there....
What was Val thinking? She totally threw my game. Do you know how many times I’ve heard, read, been told that romance heroines never have sex with anyone expect the happily ever after guy? Amazingly, readers will forgive the happily ever after guy for having sex with another woman but the heroine better not even think about it!
The theory is, as soon as she cheats, readers quit reading.

Crest when he hacks into websites and other things. He thinks everything is funny and is crazy like so he gets the nickname, mad hatter

 So, I sat at home today with a miserable head cold, debating about whether or not to get rid of The Butcher. I like him. He’s got beautiful rippling muscles, soulful brown eyes, and enough tattoos to keep Val’s tongue busy into the foreseeable future. What does the Pilot have? He’s tall, dark, blue-eyed, English accent. I think there’s more to him than meets the eye. He might be more than he appears. But, tattoo’s, rippling muscles, manly butchering skills, stamina, I don’t know if I can jut let that go.
You probably think that I start writing a book after I’ve written an outline, a synopsis, character studies, et al. Actually, what happens is a character wanders through my mind and catches my eye.  Then, I wonder what their story is. I proceed to follow them around till I get the story. I’d be a good writer and do it the other way, but, well, snooping is so much more fun! Not to mention it keeps my crazy mind occupied when there is somewhere else I want to be.
so true of me this summer