Ain’t No Garden…

IMG_5937 (1)It’s Wordcount Podcast time again. I did mention that I was submitting a story for the Hallowe’en episode. Ghost stories are not my natural writing sweet spot, though I love a reading or hearing good, spooky story.

I’m going to just leave this string of tweets here, from contributor Chris Smith, and you can find the podcast at R.B. Wood’s website, or subscribe to it via iTunes.

I struggled with starting my story for the podcast, until three days prior to the deadline, when I took my lunch break walk through the Codman Estate in Lincoln, MA. The formal garden has mostly gone to sleep for the winter, and there was something quietly sinister about the shadowy garden and its inhabitants under the dull sky that inspired a story. Poor Marley.

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A Gilded Promise for the Wordcount 50th

WCP_LogoI am The Worst. I started this post nearly a month ago, and only remembered that I never posted it when I finished drafting this episode’s story.

R. B. Wood’s Word Count Podcast turned 50 last month!

The fiftieth episode aired on its fifth anniversary, and my story A Gilded Promise (which is a teaser from the Thornton world) was included. The Word Count is great fun, and while I’m not consistent in submitting to Richard’s prompts, he is consistent is producing a fine collection of stories for your enjoyment.

Listening details can be found here, and watch this space. On Friday, I’m submitting a story to the Hallowe’en episode.


Sneaky Peeks

You know that feeling that you’ve run out of things to share?

No? Just me, then?

I’ve got some irons in the writerly fire, but they’re still pretty far from Kindles and bookshelves. I want to share, to invite you all in for a peek at the process, but it gets trickier the longer I’m in this to figure out if I should share early draft work, or just keep it all close until it’s ready go. Performance anxiety, I suppose.

Anyway, my friend Renee at Elsetime & Otherwhen has done that thing where she tagged people to share a specific bit of random draft-in-progress, and because she is Renee, I shall comply. And as penance, because I won’t be tagging anyone else (lazy, lazy, me)…

Bonus! Below are seven lines (give or take – my Scrivener files aren’t set up in pages or lines) from the seventh pages of both my current drafts.

…from Sweet Pease:

[Anneliese] blinked. “Is that a new Reed Sharpe novel? I don’t read him, but my h— my ex-husband did. Your books are more my type. I read The Orchard Gate when I was in the hospital after Chloe was born, and the nurses recommended a therapist because I was always crying. I finally gave them my copy to convince them.”

Ewan poured milk into his coffee, his eyes flicking nervously from the billows of dairy to Anneliese’s blue eyes as she spoke.

“And I’m babbling. I’m so sorry,” she finished with a small laugh.

The little girl — Chloe — clutched a strip of toast and peered into his face from across the table. “Did you bring the blue ox baby?”

He smiled in spite of himself. She was a beautiful child, and funny, especially since she didn’t know it yet. “No, Chloe. Babe stayed in New York for the semester.”

…and from Back Cove:

[Jessica’s] bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar was draining her savings at an alarming rate, but Jessica had needed a place to land after New Mexico and she was certain Cort wouldn’t be inviting her back after the Beverly Hills party and the incident with the Maserati in his swimming pool.

She stopped at the concierge’s desk on her way through the lobby. Peering out from under a pair of huge sunglasses and a faded Portland Seadogs cap, she pitched her voice deliberately high. “Any messages?”

The concierge caught her eye knowingly and produced two envelopes. “This arrived today, Miss Granger.”

I can make no hard promises about release dates, but I am eternally optimistic for early 2016 for at least one of them. While you’re waiting, though, don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Damselfly Inn!

“My Mom Writes Inappropriate Books.”

It’s late April in New England, the kind of Saturday afternoon that makes you glad to be alive. Felix has a friend over, and they are out in the backyard pummeling one another with Nerf foam swords and sending the kickball over the fence into the neighbors’ yard. As first grade boys are wont to do.

Damselfly Inn has been out for ten days or so, and I’m working on emails and other book promoting things at my computer when the boys crash inside looking for snacks. I set them up at the kitchen table with Goldfish crackers and apple cider, and keep working. My writing desk is right there, so I can supervise and occasionally join in the conversation.

“Mama,” says Felix, “can you get the ball from the neighbors’ yard?”

“In a minute. I need to finish up this email, then I can walk around and get it. Is it in the side one or the back one?” (We are surrounded on three sides by other homes, and to get to them, you have to go around by the busy street because of fences.)

“The back one.”

“What are you doing?” asks Felix’s friend.

“Writing emails about my new book,” I say. “Just some business stuff.”

“My mom writes inappropriate books,” says my son. His friend’s eyes go wide.

“Well, Felix, that’s not exactly true.” I can just imagine how this turns into playground telephone, and suddenly I am the porn writing parent at PTO events.

“Yes, it is.” He is gearing up to make a case. I can see it in his posture. “I tried to read it one time when you were working and you told me it wasn’t for kids. It’s inappropriate.”

His friend is still bug-eyed.

“Okay, yes. Most of my books are not for kids to read. But they are perfectly appropriate for grown-ups, which is who they are intended for.”

He shakes his head at me in resignation, pushes his chair out and says to his friend, “Inappropriate. Are you done? Let’s go back outside.”

What else, besides going around the fence to retrieve the lost kickball, is a romance-writing mom to do?