MJ Monday: Manuscript

At long last, I finished the first draft of BESIEGED BY THE MOON. The story challenged me as a writer.

I shared some of my troubles with the writing here, but I think you’ll find the story was worth the wait. I’ll have a publication date soon.

MJ Monday-Manuscript: Character Backstory

A member of my local RWA chapter has started virtual write-ins several nights a week and on weekends. For some reason, this has jump started work on the manuscript.

I wrote a flash-back scene a couple of months ago. I love the scene. I think I did a great job on it. However, one of my critique partners doesn’t think I need it, that I can thread the outcome of the scene through the story. This scene shows the motivation behind the decisions one of the characters makes.

But did I write it because I as the author need it or because the story needed the info in a chunk?

If I do end up cutting the scene, I’ll send it to my newsletter subscribers as extra content.

There’s always an upside.

MJ Monday: Manuscript

As I type this blog, New York State is still “paused,” although that is scheduled to begin easing in some parts of the state at any moment.

I shared my day job situation in an earlier blog post.  One of the things I deal with every day at the day job is despair. Some of the accounts I handle are scared they won’t survive the Pause.

My husband comes home every night and turns on the news to hear the latest on the Pause and global reactions to the pandemic. More despair.

I am in despair overload. I cannot face the despair of my characters as they struggle to overcome adversity in the story, even though none of it is real.

I reached out to my editor and my publisher and explained the situation to them. They, being the wonderful people they are, completely understand.

I hope that you, my readers, will understand, too.

This doesn’t mean Besieged by the Moon has been abandoned. It means I want it to be the best book it can be, and right now, my brain isn’t in a place where I can make that happen.

MJ Monday-Manuscript Excerpt

Besieged by the Moon (tentative release date July 8, 2020)

The cool night air felt light, as opposed to the heavy, humidity-laden summer nights of Phoebe’s home. Nothing weighed her down, not even the awkwardness of her mating with Parker.

“Are you okay to walk?” Parker asked, as if she hadn’t already walked to the diner.

“It’s not the walking that has me dawdling,” she admitted. “Your friend’s mate gives off a lot of negativity. I’m not in the mood to deal with attitude.”

“Well, you and Ethan were giving off some strange vibes,” Parker reminded her.

“You thought they were strange?” Phoebe’s voice rose half an octave. “Try being on our ends.”

“I still don’t understand it.”

Phoebe studied the overhead sky. Too much ambient light in town dimmed the stars, even though she viewed them through the shimmer of tears filming her eyes. “He reminded me of . . . someone. I don’t want to talk about it.”

They walked in silence, their footfalls scuffing on the uneven sidewalks. Most of the houses they passed were dark. Here a backyard light was on; there the pale bluish glow of late-night TV illuminated a window. A string of early Christmas lights twinkled on the eaves of another dwelling. Dog droppings scented the air.

They rounded onto the block on which Ethan’s house sat. Phoebe noted there was only one other house on the block, and it seemed to glitter in the feeble beams of the corner streetlamp.

Help me. Please.

Parker’s head jerked up. “Did you hear that?”

Phoebe nodded. She tilted her head to get a better sense of the direction from which the plea came.

Please. Somebody.

“Over there.” She pointed to the sparkly house across the street from Ethan’s.

“Helga,” Parker muttered, and sprinted toward the house.

Phoebe followed.

“Helga?” he called out. “It’s Parker Rowe, a friend of Ethan’s. Are you okay?

“I fell,” came the weak reply.

He tried the doorknob. Locked. “I’m going to have to break down your door,” he said.

“Wait,” Phoebe said. Wasn’t it just like a male to be destructive when a little finesse would do?

She didn’t have her tools on her, so it took about sixty seconds to disengage the lock rather than the fifteen it should have taken, but nothing was destroyed in the process.

The look Parker gave her as she opened the door, was quick but disturbing. He rushed past her to the occupant, who was sprawled in the middle of the living room floor. “What happened?”

Phoebe followed, nose prickling at familiar scent of burnt sage clinging to the air.

“The batteries in my TV remote are dead, and I haven’t had a chance to get to the store,” an old woman whined, as Parker knelt next to her. “I was going to turn on the TV and fell. I hate getting old.”

Office Update

I’m making slow but steady progress in my quest to redo my office.  I’m cleaning out stuff that should have been cleaned out ages–even decades–ago.

Example. I had over twenty years worth of old Romance Writers Report magazines that I mean to go through, tear out articles I wanted or wanted to save because I’d finaled in a contest or something. That project was at least four years old with no progress. There were also six years worth of RWA national conference handouts in spiral notebooks. I had these stacked in the hall outside my office.

It took a couple of weeks, but I tossed it all.

I have plans for that space in the hall, so I needed to start clearing.

Step 1: done.

I