Friday, June 22, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 22, 1018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

We're going on a trip today!  We're heading to central Illinois to attend my sister in law's baby shower.  Her baby girl is due later this summer, and everyone's pretty excited about that.  The drive out there should take several hours, and with three kids in the car, it should be an interesting trip.  I'll need plenty of coffee to sustain me.

My writing progress, while it will undoubtedly suffer slightly with the busy weekend we have in store, is still worth celebrating.  Are the words spilling easily onto the page?  No.  The work may be somewhat slow, but it is continuing.  The ending of this book is starting to take shape, and I know I'll get there in the end.  I just can't let myself give up.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WEP: Unraveled Yarn

It's time for more Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thanks to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this possible.

The theme for this month is Unraveled Yarn.  There were a lot of possibilities with this one, and I expect there will be a lot of fascinating entries as always.  Here's mine, and I hope you enjoy it!

A Life Unraveled

My life has unraveled around me, and it’s your fault.  I can see the threads that once wove together the tapestry of me, but they don’t make sense anymore.  A favorite book that is collecting dust on a shelf.  The faded pink canvas shoes that I wore for at least a year too long.  The afghan I once started knitting to remind me of my grandmother, only a quarter done and tucked away under the bed to rot.  I can’t for the life of me pick up those loose threads and recreate my former self.
Why?  Why did you reach into my heart and dig your hooks into it when you didn’t want me to lay a similar claim on you?  Why did you erupt with jealousy, the flames practically dancing in your eyes, when anyone else paid me the least little bit of attention?  Why did I allow myself to believe that meant you loved me, and why did I not question how upset you got when I expressed concern that you were still spending time with other girls?
I feel dumb now.  Everyone I know, friends and family alike, tried to warn me. 
“He’ll change who you are,” my sister Leah said.
“You walk on eggshells around him.  Fear doesn’t equal love,” my mom told me.
“I’m tempted to kill him myself,” Dad mumbled when he thought no one was listening.
I should have listened to them.  You knew that, didn’t you?  You knew exactly what you were doing to me.  You convinced me that I didn’t need to go back to school, and you persuaded me to say no to my friends every time they wanted to have a night out.  Your reasons made a warped kind of sense at the time.  “We can’t afford for you to spend the money right now.”  “You’re supposed to want to spend time with me.”  “Your friends just want to stare at guys, and I don’t feel comfortable with you being a part of that.”  “You can’t trust other men, okay?  Who knows what they might do to you if you put yourself out there?”
I lost track of my old life.  Bit by bit, pieces of that existence fell away.  Days turned to years, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen or spoken to either of my parents.  My friends stopped trying to reach out to me.  And I found some relief in that at times.  It was hard coming up with excuses for the bruises my clothes wouldn’t cover.
Were there times I considered leaving you?  Sure there were.  Little snippets of the kinds of fantasies I had as a little girl would infest my brain from time to time.  Perhaps the details were different.  Instead of dreaming of being a princess living in a castle, I envisioned living in a nice home without having to worry about setting off someone else’s vile temper.  I reminded myself that I once wanted to travel the world and take photos.  I longed to try food from every country.  I toyed with the idea of writing a book or taking up painting or trying my hand at rock climbing.  My life could have been anything, but instead I let myself wither here with you.
I wish I could pick myself back up and try again.  I’d make different choices.  I’d try to put myself first.  I’d reweave myself to create something new and bold.  Beautiful.  If only I could.
But for the life of me I can’t do any of it, because I have no life.  In the most literal sense, my life is over.  It ended the night you took a baseball bat to my head during a heated argument.  You should be in prison, but my bones are buried in a shallow grave that has yet to be discovered.  So here you are, still living in the house we shared together, and no one has noticed anything changed.  Why should they when I never set foot outside the house?  When I never called anyone anymore?
It’s cruel, really.  I haunt this place, and it haunts me in return.  In life I could not escape it, and in death it is much the same.  I get to see how little you miss me.  My absence means nothing to you, and I wish I tear your flesh away from your bones.  I wish I could unwind you and leave you in ruin the way you did to me.  But I can’t.  All I can do is linger and recall all that came apart within these walls.
It’s all your fault, and you don’t care.

Word Count: 775

And that's it!  Be sure to visit the other participants and leave them some wonderful comments.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June, 15, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Today marks 13 years since my husband first asked me out.  It's kind of crazy that it's already been this long.

Awhile back I kind of got hung up on finishing the first draft of my WIP.  The ending has been giving me some trouble.  After several attempts at getting things going again, I finally made some good progress on it this week, and if all goes well, I think I should be able to finish this draft soon.  Fingers crossed.

A week from today, we're leaving for a brief trip to Illinois to visit family.  It'll probably be a fun trip, though spending several hours in a car with three kids should be an interesting experience.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 8, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Our dryer broke, which is frustrating since we only bought it a few months ago.  The bright side is that we're heading into summer, so I've been hanging clothes outside to dry.  The kids have been doing their best to help with this, so that's been nice.  The clothesline will hold us over until we get the dryer situation remedied.

We're looking into buying a house sometime in the near future.  It's a long and daunting process, but I'm also kind of excited.  The kids are excited too.  Well, the boys are anyway.  Zoe doesn't seem to care either way.

There's another T-ball game tonight, and that means I'll be chasing Zoe around again.  I can't deny it's been a good source of exercise.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: June 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has gathered another group of fantastic co-hosts: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

The optional question for this month is: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

This is an easy one for me to answer, because I'm struggling to come up with a title for my novel as we speak.  I have plenty of methods for coming up with character names.  There are random name generators for smaller characters that don't feature heavily in the story.  There are baby name websites that I like to peruse when coming up with names for my main characters.

Choosing a title is a different matter altogether.  People expect a lot from a title.  It's supposed to speak to the nature of the story you're telling.  The title needs to catch the eye of potential readers and pique curiosity.  I want the title of this novel to have a good ring to it while accomplishing all these things.

So I'm stuck.  The book is mostly done (I got a bit hung up on some of the logistics of the ending, but I'm hoping the revision stage will help me tidy these things up), but I'm no nearer to having a title for it than when I began.  Is that unusual?  Am I being too hard on myself?  Should I allow the title to come to me organically, or are there methods I could use to generate one that will work?  This definitely represents an insecurity for me, so any advice would be greatly appreciated?

Do you struggle with titles, or is it character names that trip you up?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 1, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

The boys had their last day of school yesterday.  They're both excited for the summer.  Hopefully we get to go places and do some new and interesting things as a family over the next couple of months.

My boys also have their first T-ball game tonight.  I'll probably spend most of the game chasing Zoe around rather than sitting down and watching it, but hey, I should get some good exercise out of it.

My husband and I have our anniversary tomorrow.  We've now been married for 11 years.  We don't have any special plans to celebrate as of yet, but I'm sure we'll be able to find something fun to do.

I'm also celebrating the fact that I'm coming out of a writing rut I found myself in.  I managed to get a lot of work done yesterday, and I'm hoping I can keep up the momentum.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-May 25, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'm posting super late today.  I'll be honest and say I just plain forgot to.  I wish I had a better excuse for that, but I don't.

It's been a weird and stressful week, so rather than rehash all that (don't worry, we're all okay, it's just been a bit crazy), I thought I'd take the time to help promote someone else's work.  A good book is always worth celebrating, right?

By C. Lee McKenzie

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018
Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand. 


What would you like to celebrate?