Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Reason for the Season

We are less than a week away from Christmas and there are two types of people floating around: those who ready and excited for Christmas and those who just aren't.  For some reason, I am in the second group.  Does that make me a Grinch?



Maybe or could it be that this beautiful holiday has become so commercial and that people have forgotten the real reason why we celebrate this day?  I think with all the pressure of making sure we get the right gifts for everyone and avoiding going into debt doing so, we have forgotten to remember how this all started.  I know that I am the worst person to be writing to this, but like I said before, maybe I am one of the ones who have forgotten as well.  This holiday has been all about the material gifts, Santa Claus, Frosty and other children stories.




Not that this is all bad....

But does it have to be this way?  This time of year should be a time that everyone should look forward to.  Family, friends, love, food and all the rest of it.  Some people would say that we just need to go back to the basics and for once I would have to agree.  Instead of focusing on what we don't have this season, let focus on what we do have.  Yes, maybe your family drives you to the brink of insanity, but even if they won't admit it, they love you and vice versa.  Yes, your job may be frustrating and even unbearable at times, but there are those days that make it all worth it.  In this economy, you should be grateful.  If you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and three meals a day, then you should be grateful because not everyone is this world, or country for that matter, has that.

So to shake this "Grinchy" feeling, maybe I should take the first step by taking a step back and remember why we celebrate this day.  Although, I will say this: despite the crazed people that you see in those stores and all, people are a touch nicer this time of year than any other time.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

For now, I say Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad

Joyeux Noel

(For a little trip down memory lane:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chaos

I've never been a fan of the total chaos of the holidays, but I guess I really have no choice in the matter.  Christmas is a week from tomorrow and I haven't got a lick of shopping done.  That would be completely my fault, but I just haven't been focused on that.  It probably doesn't help that I am not a total fan of shopping either.  My main focus has been on my book when I'm not exhausted from working.  Even that sometimes feels like a chore.  Does that mean that I'm not completely into it?  I wonder if its the fact that I have work and family stuff still on my mind when I'm trying to work on my book.

In the new year (so weird to say already), I would love to take off one weekend, turn off my phones and just write until I can't anymore.  Selfish?  Maybe.  Then again, who said that I shouldn't be allowed to selfish every once and a while.  That's how a person stays sane in the midst of everything going on around them, right?  


Anyway, please know that I have not forgotten about posting chapters.  The next one that I was going to post was way too long and I'm really hating it.  I'm not sure if its the characters in the scene, what is being said or what, but I just don't like it.  As usual, the beginning and the end is fine, but the middle is what's driving me crazy.  *sigh* 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There's a lot to be thankful for...

I was out with my coworkers for breakfast this morning and while they were talking, I got to thinking about how much I have to be thankful for.  When I think about the rough patches that I ran into this year, I know it could have been a lot worse and try not to complain. 

  •  I changed jobs (Same office, different division) during a time when thousands upon thousands are out of work.
  • I went on four trips (twice to Washington DC, Orlando and Miami, Florida and Cedar Point for my birthday) either by myself to visit one of my friends or with my family during a time when people are pinching pennies and saving for next year.
  • My family and I are all healthy
  • I am in my fifth year of living on my own
  • Between my family and a great group of friends, I am never without.
  • I turned 25 this year...isn't that enough to be thankful for?
  • I finished my book in May, which was accepted by a publisher in June.  Although, this is extremely exciting, I turned this company down and would like self publish my book in the next year.  
This year has, all in all, been a great year for me and I can honestly say that I have a ton to be thankful for.  Tomorrow, I plan to enjoy my time with my family, especially since we never know how much time we have left with them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Step Down....

I finished reading over my book earlier this evening and wow! There is a ton of work that needs to be done.  It seems that when I was rewriting some of the scenes earlier this summer, I wasn't as thorough about it and forgot to take out a few things that weren't needed. Shame on me!  It looks like I have my work cut out for me.  It's not like I don't have any extra time on my hands. ;o)

Good night...or good morning! 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back To Work

What started out as a month long break from my book turned into nearly four months and running.  Yesterday, I went to church with my family and my dad's older brother asked me how my book was coming along and I was slightly stunned by this.  Partially from the fact that he actually remembered it and that I had not worked on it for so long.  He told me that he had told a few of his friends about it and they would actually buy a copy of it when it was done! Seriously?!

What a great thing to hear when I was already trying to push myself to get back to work.

Anyways, last night after my family went home to work on their new rental house, I sat down and went to work reading over what I had written and rewritten.  Maybe my extended time off was for the best.  I noticed mistakes that I didn't catch over the summer that were kind of embarrassing.  I was only able to finish reading half of it, but its kind of nice to go back and read it with a fresh pair of eyes.  No one said writing a book would be easy.

Back to Work! :o)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Untitled

I have never been really great about sharing my thoughts with those closest to me for fear that it wasn't what was expected of me or perfect.  Instead I locked them up in my head or notebooks that were for only me to see.  I have found that this hasn't been the most effective way of dealing with things.  This blog has become like a very small window, if that's what you would like to call it, to what I'm thinking.  Although it hasn't been the most consistent, its about as consistent that anyone could expect from a consistently inconsistent person like me.  It's more than I would be willing to say to anyone face to face.

Tonight, I was going through a few things that I had written about my book.  (Yes, the same one that I'm pretty sure you all have thought that I have forgotten, but have not.  I promise!  It's still a work in progress.)  I wrote this after I finished my book and although it seems to have a few spoilers, it says a lot about what it took for me to get it on paper to the typed version.

August 21, 2009

Six and half years, a dozen notebooks and 3 written drafts later, I finally finished my book earlier today.  The closer I got to that point, the nervous I became.  I'm not sure if its the fact that this was something that I could always come back to or what, but when I wrote that last sentence that all went out the window.  I was finally done getting my thoughts on paper, slowing bringing each of the characters to life.  When the characters moods changed, so did mine.  I never really understood that until I really got into this.  I was asked how much of me was in the main character and I didn't realize how alike and different we were until I started flipping though the book.  I didn't want her to be too much like me, but I wanted to make her human, someone that anyone could relate to.  It was the same thing with the other characters.  There were times that I hated the two main characters, on separate occasions of course, but at the end, they couldn't have been anymore perfect.  They were both people that if they were real, I would have loved to meet.  In a way, I felt the same way about the villain, William Carson.  As much mayhem he caused, anyone could tell that when he was committed, there was no turning back.  Also, that he loved Devyn with all of his heart.  This was completely evident in the end.  This was one of the harder parts to write because this was the scene where she finally gets her answers before saying good bye to a man who had been such a big part in her life.  A part of me wanted her to walk away during the dinner scene, but it would seem too "big-screenish" and I really didn't want that.  I wanted her to be civil and calm.  She could fall apart at the end.  While I was rewriting this, I realized that a good chunk of what I wrote was unnecessary and could make any reader lose focus, something that I don't want.  The scenes that seemed the shortest in written form were the ones that I expanded on, since these were "more crucial" to the story than the drawn out scenes that were pretty much useless.

Now that I'm finally done, I can now say that I finally finished my book.  Am I proud of my work this far? Of course I am!  That's the only reason why I wrote this in the first place.  So to me, congratulations!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

I was getting ready to call it a night when it hit me where I got my asshole characters from.  Anyone who really knows anything about me knows that I worked at McDonalds for three years before I came back to Lansing to work for the State of Michigan.  There, I worked with many kinds of people that I sometimes wish that I had never met.... a couple of them are still friends of mine to this day.

During this time, I worked with 2 guys named Steve and Jason (their names have been changed, but you get the idea).  Steve was a true asshole through and through.  He believed that women were less than nothing and were only put on this earth to serve men.  Evidently, he had an issue with the current work situation since most of the managers at the time women, so he didn't last long.  Let's just say that he wasn't fond of me. 

Jason, who I had been on talking terms with for a good portion of the time he worked at McDonalds, was a little different.  He was pretty hostile, while, at various times, was very dependent on others around him.  Getting to the point, he tended to have more of an issue with the women at this place of business.  Me included.  Unfortunately for him, I wasn't afraid of him and didn't back down when we got into heated arguments.  For Jason, it was his stubbornness, inability to admit when he was wrong and disrespectful nature that got him in a great deal of trouble.

What I'm getting at is that Jason is Terry's character in my book and Steve is Brian, the real troublemaker. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Month and Some Hiatus

Last month, after butchering my last draft of my book, I decided that it was time for a mini break from working on my book.  It was definitely harder than I thought it would be.  There were times that I would be home thinking that I needed to be working on a few chapters while things were quiet or if I was wide awake after taking a very unnecessary long nap after working.  I would even opened it up while I was at work while I was waiting on one document before I could call it a day after everyone else left to avoid being royally pissed off that I was still there.  In the back of my mind, I knew this was going against the promise that I made to myself to take a break, so I quickly closed it.


During this time, I felt like I had abandoned my "child" when it needed me.  Maybe that was the whole point of the break though. 

So, now that my mini hiatus is over, the plan is to read through it before I do any cutting and rewriting.  It's good to be back though.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Is all this worth it?!

A friend of mine and I went to see the Julia Childs movie tonight and without realizing it, the movie gave my some hope and the courage to keep working on my book and even this blog. It was kinda nice to know that she had some of the same frustrations of wanting to make her book perfect and finding a publisher who would publish her cookbook. The young woman in the movie, Julie, taught me another lesson, despite her ridiculous melt downs and the fact that she was an alcoholic in the making. Some thought she wouldn't cook her way through Childs' book since she never finished anything that she started and had other responsibilities. Boy, did she shock them all in the end. What kept her going the whole time were the people around her telling her that she could do it and a blog that she wrote. For a while, she thought no one was reading her blog, except her closest friends and family. Also, I should mention that they both worked for government agencies. Kinda sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?

When I started my book over five years ago, I was told that I shouldn't waste my time on something that may not be worth reading or that I wasn't even going to finish it, much less let anyone of significance read it. To keep me focused once the book was originally finished, I thought a blog would help as I journey through the world of edits and the search for a publishing company that will publish my work, but have gotten to the point where I don't think people even want to read what I have to say. Enough to the point that I have asked myself if this damn thing is even worth my time.

After seeing this movie, I almost felt relieved to know that the thoughts that I go through on a daily basis is what everyone who wants something so badly feels. So maybe I'm not doing so bad and an 11:55pm movie was needed to remind me to keep the faith and keep on going against all odds. That this road will get a little rocky and when I fall, get back up and keep on keeping on.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thinking Out Loud...

After my last post, I was searching for a quote and found a few that I thought was totally appropriate for anyone who writes fiction.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

There is so much truth in this since there were so many characters floating around in my head when I was writing and their personalities may not be anything close to yours. Sometimes even their language became mine. There were times when I would take a break from writing and wonder where the hell all of that came from! Two male chauvinists, a character who has lost both of her parents to violent deaths to a serial killer (enough said!)....where did they come from?

Now I can tell my mother that I'm not really crazy and here is the proof!

Fresh Perspective

After more than five years of working on this project, changing who tells the story and just tearing it apart before rewriting it completely, I am finally satisfied with my work. Shocking, I know. So, for now, I am taking a month long break from it and in that time, I am letting a couple people read it that I hope will be honest and give constructive criticism, even if it REALLY sucks. Although I won't be working on it, I will still be posting chapters and as always, I would love to hear what anyone who still reads this thinks about it. :o)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who would play them in real life?

So, I'm sure that you all know by now that I am a nerd and have been reading about writing a book. I mean, there are a lot of benefits to this. One of the things that caught my eye was one of the activities at the end of a chapter. It asked if someone were to turn your book into a movie, what actors and actresses would play the characters?

For the past couple weeks, I have really thought about this and have to say that this was one of the hardest activities yet. There are four characters who more or less run the story and five more who are considered "supporting cast" and are necessary to keep the story on track. There are a few more that fill in the holes and are almost as important as the "supporting cast". Of all these, I have only been able to identify four people that I could see (and hear) playing my characters and let me tell you, it's very frustrating and cool at the same time.

I think William Carson may have been the easiest person. Again, I'm not sure why that is, but I am not complaining. The hardest person to "cast" is Devyn Williams, the main character. In my head, she is the one who, on the outside, can hold her own because she feels that she has to, but has a past that she needs answers for. I wonder if it's because when I created her character, I may have given her too much of my stubborn personality or a tough side that I wish I had. Not quite sure though.


Thoughts? Leave 'em in the comments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HHHHEEEELLLLLOOOO!!

I promise that I haven't forgotten about this! The last couple weeks, I have either been on vacation or just plain lazy, so this past Sunday, I turned off my TV and temporarily hid my internet adaptor from myself and went to work. After going through and deleting chunks of what I had written, I finally finished this round of editing and I think it looks a lot better than I thought it would. I will say this though, deleting almost 20 pages in the last two months was almost painful since I had put so much time into writing it down in the first place. Anyway, here are a couple more chapters. Let me know what you think! :o)


Chapter 6

Devyn went back to her desk to gather her belongings and head home. Terry and Brian Miller watched her walk out to her car and drive away as they sat in the lobby talking.

“So, is that the new recruit?” Brian asked his friend.

“They say that she's the pick of the litter, but I still think she’s different,” Terry said taking a sip of his Coke, wishing it were a beer.

“What makes her any different than the rest?”

“I don’t know, she just seems a little smarter, stronger even, than the others we‘ve dealt with. Its like she sees something that other people don’t,” Terry tried to explain.

“If you’re getting emotional, Terry, I swear I will cut you off and finish what we started by myself!” Brian threatened.

“I just said that there was something different about her that we didn’t see in the others.” Terry shook his head and said, “I can’t believe that you would say something like that. We’re talking about two point five million dollars, Brian. Do you really think I would give that up?”

“I hope not, but sometimes, I have to reassure myself that you wouldn’t bail out on me. Don’t forget that we have to meet our man in front of the museum at seven tonight and don’t be late,” Brian told him.

“I wish you would quit saying that. I’ve only been late once.”

“Oh yeah, and for the time being, clean up your act until we find another woman for him, okay?”

“A’right. I need get out of here, but I will see you later,” Terry said as he got up and left the building.

As Brian watched him leave, he said, “We are in trouble. I can just feel it,” before going back to work for a while longer. At seven forty five, he called it quits and went home himself.


Chapter 7

Pierce walked into Trey Hemmington’s office and sat down. “Nelson, what’s the occasion?”


“Nothing, I just wanted to see how everything was going down here. This morning, Marks came to my office and complained to me about Williams. Did everything go okay today or do I have to sign those termination papers for Terry? You already know I wouldn’t have a problem doing that.”

“I didn’t hear anything, so I take it that everything went okay. The medical examiner sent a few things to the lab this morning and had only good things to say about Detective Williams,” Trey told his boss.

“Did Terry and Devyn find anything new this morning when they went to see the body?”

“John said that Devyn is the only one who came to see the body and yes, they did find something. I was just about to the lab and see what it was. Why don’t you come with me, you know, for old time’s sakes?”

Nelson shrugged his shoulders and said, “Why not? I haven’t been down there in a while.” The two men went downstairs to the lab to see what Devyn and the medical examiner had found. Bent over the table, a young Hispanic woman was looking at something that she had received only hours before.

“Hey, Renee, what's new?” Trey asked, getting the woman’s attention.

Removing her safety glasses, Renee looked up to see who her new visitors were. Trey was a regular guest in the lab, but Nelson Pierce, well, he was another story. The only time anyone saw him down there was if someone was in trouble. Other than that, if anyone wanted to see him, they had to go to him. “Pierce, sir, what a surprise to see you. Down here you have turned into somewhat of a myth.”

“Well, I guess it has been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Yes sir, it has.”

“Renee, John said he and the new detective sent over a few things here. Can we see them?” Trey asked her.

“Yeah and put these on,” she replied handing them a box of latex gloves and grabbed the bag that contained the staples and note that was found. “The staples were a lot closer together this time, which means that he is either nearing the end of his spree or just taunting us,” she explained to them.

“What about the note?” Nelson asked her.

“Well, that’s what confused me because it’s like he knew who was going to look at the body and knew, or maybe knows, them personally.”

“Its funny that you say that because when the new detective told me about the note, I asked her if it meant anything. Like you said, Renee, it’s like he’s talking to someone on the force. Maybe they know something that we don’t, something that might have overlooked before. Maybe it’s something about his past that--”

“That maybe she would know about, but has probably forgotten?” Nelson suggested.

“It doesn’t even have to be her, but yes, that’s what I was thinking,” Trey said.

“Let me see if I’ve got this right. You’re saying that someone in the department might have knowledge about this case and may have forgotten what it is?” she asked.

They shook their heads yes.

“Come on, you guys, that sounds crazy to me.”

“What did she say when you asked her if the note meant anything to her?” Nelson asked Trey.

“She didn’t know, but it seem like Carson is talking to her considering he never left anything like this until now. That’s what puzzles me,” Trey answered.

“But if today is her first day, how would he have known who she was?” Renee asked the two men.

“How’d you know that today was her first day?” Nelson asked her.

“Because she is the only thing that people have been talking about today,” another voice in the room said. Standing behind Trey and Nelson was a tall, light skinned black man.

“Detective Jackson, we haven’t seen much of you lately. How’s it going?” Trey asked him.

“Good. I guess I’ve been keeping myself busy during the last couple weeks. Hey Renee,” Jackson said. Miles Jackson was a Chicago native and had joined the force the day after he graduated from the Academy seven years ago. Starting as a traffic cop, he worked his way up the chain, hoping that all of the work he was doing was somehow making a difference in the city that he knew and loved.

“Hey Miles,” Renee replied.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll just come back in the morning,” Miles said, turning to leave.

“No, please stay and chat with us. We need another opinion. You’ve worked on the Carson case, haven’t you?” Trey asked.

“Yes sir, I have,” Miles answered, leaning in the doorway.

“Well, the tenth body was found last night and when M.E. took the staples off of the woman’s lips this morning, he and the new detective found this stuck in her throat,” Renee said, handing him a pair of gloves before giving him the note.

“What’s weird about that is that it’s like he’s talking to someone,” Trey continued.

“Someone like Devyn Williams?” he guessed.

“That’s what they think,” Renee said.

“Does she know about this?” Miles asked reading the note again.

“Of course she does. She is the one who pulled it out of Ms. Wheats’ throat,” Trey said.

“Who?”

“The woman Carson murdered last night.”

“Oh okay. What I meant was does she know that you think that she might know something about this? I mean, there’s a good chance that Carson might know her from somewhere and she doesn’t remember or know that he was even there,” Miles suggested.

“Or maybe he went by a different name,” Renee added.

“That could be a possibility and no, she doesn't,” Nelson said. “Jackson, thanks for your input on this. Everyone, it has been great, but I think its time for me to head home before the missus sends out a search party.” Nelson got up and left the others wondering if it was time for them to start heading home as well. The clock on the wall said it was almost eight thirty.

“I better head home too, before Marie starts trying to hunt me down,” Trey said before leaving.

“Have a good night.”

“That was anything but ordinary. Wouldn’t you agree?” Renee asked, leaning back in her chair.

“Oh yeah. What's even crazier is that they paired this Detective Williams up with Terry, knowing that he hates working with women.”

“That’s what I was thought when I heard that this morning. I guess it’s better than her working with Brian.”

Miles rolled his eyes when she mentioned Brian’s name because he and Brian worked on a case together and after two days they started arguing, which ended up as a fist fight. Brian walked away with a broken nose, a few bruise knuckles on one hand and two sprained fingers on the other. Miles, on the other hand, had a bruise on his arm and a few bruised knuckles. Pierce lectured him about fighting, but suspended Brian for two and half weeks without pay. This was before he met and became friends with Terry, who didn’t seem to care that Miles had fought and gotten his friend suspended.

With a hand on his arm, Renee asked if he was okay.

“Yeah. Just a flashback, I guess. Hey, I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said getting up from his chair and walking out of the room to the elevator. Ten minutes later, he was on his way home to the west side of town.


Chapter 8

Instead of going home as she had planned after work, Devyn went to her dad’s house, which she had kept up after he was murdered over six years ago. She sat on the porch steps for awhile before going inside, where nothing had changed because she didn’t want things to change.

Everything was left the way it had been the night he was murdered. This included the bloodstain by the television set in the living room. She could still see him lying there in a pool of his own blood with the TV still on. She could even remember that he was watching the reruns of the Dead Zone, which had been one of his favorite shows. She sat down on the leather couch where they had often spent hours together talking about everything whenever she was home from the Academy. This is where he was sitting with her godfather, Clayton Ford, when she left that night to go to the movies with her friends. She sat there for about thirty more minutes before leaving.

On her way home, she drove past the house where her godfather used to live and a smile found its way onto her lips, since she had spent a great deal of her childhood at that house. When she wasn’t at home with her parents, she was at Clayton’s house. When she reached her apartment complex, Devyn parked her car in the garage and went inside. Stopping only to grab her mail, she took the stairs to her third floor apartment and threw her bag and purse in the recliner and the mail on the coffee table, while kicking off her shoes. She was starving, but the fridge and cabinets were empty, which meant that she was going to have to eat out for dinner.

After changing her clothes, she grabbed her keys and headed to the nearest Quiznos. After eating, she went to the supermarket to get some groceries, something she didn’t mind doing. When she got home and put away the groceries, she turned on the TV to see the newest episode of The Real World on MTV. Around eleven thirty, she went to bed knowing that tomorrow was going to be a long day.

That night, she had the strangest dream ever. She dreamed that she fell into a hole and never hit the bottom. She just kept falling and no matter what she did, she could not wake up. Devyn finally woke up when the alarm went off at five thirty and her clothes and bed were soaked with sweat. Shaking it off, she turned off the alarm clock and got up to take a shower.


On the other side of town, William Carson was shaking off the exact same dream. He tried to go back to sleep, but found that to be near impossible, so he got up and took a shower. On his nightstand, there was a picture of the child that he never had. Everyday since that night, he wanted so badly to see her, but if she ever knew the truth, she would never forgive him. He didn’t think she would ever come back until three days before Thelma’s death. Nor did he think that she would be working on his case. When Terry told him who they had paired him up with, William didn’t know what to say.

Sighing loudly, he went to the kitchen and made himself some cheesy scrambled eggs and pancakes with bacon. Last night, before he met the two men, he thought he had seen a familiar face drive by, but something in the back of his mind told him that it was too good to be true, so he quickly dismissed the idea. His thoughts turned to his latest challenge, which was his next victim. Brian had insisted that he change his method of killing his victims, but William refused.

“It’s my way or no way,” he had told the men last night.

“But they're starting to catch up with you,” Brian had said.

“And? Look, I hired you to find me a new person each month and nothing more, nothing less. So unless you don’t want the money that I give you every month, I would shut up if I were you. Are we clear, boys?” William saw the look that the two men, who were thirty years his junior, exchanged.

“Very clear,” Brian replied and Terry, the follower, nodded in agreement.

William cleaned up after himself and got ready for the day ahead of him.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Love to Travel, But Hate to Arrive

Albert Einstein said this, but I'm not sure if I agree completely. I love seeing the sites along the way and once I arrive, discovering what the place is known for and the hidden treasures. For the next week, I am going to be in Orlando, Florida with the family and since we have been here several times before, the goal of this trip is check out the neighboring cities. Checking out Miami, the Keys and a few other places is the plan for now.

Right now, I'm in Lake City, Florida and the whole way here, I was really wishing that I could whip out my computer and work on my book, but I couldn't. In honor of the July 4th holiday and the fact that I can't guarantee when I will be able to post next, here is another chapter. Please leave your comments...thanks!


Chapter 5

On her way back to the precinct, Devyn stopped at the Starbucks for cafĂ© mocha. When she got back to the precinct, she went to her desk to make a few additions to her notes and finished her drink before meeting Nelson Pierce. Before she got up, she had to ask one of the guys where Pierce’s office was and was told that it was on the fifth floor, to just ask his secretary to talk to him. She thanked the man and took the elevator upstairs.

It didn’t take long to find out who Janet was because as Devyn turned the corner, the two women ran right into each other. “Oh my God! I am so sorry,” Janet said in surprise.

“Do you know where I can find Janet?” Devyn asked her.

“That would be me and you must be Devyn Williams,” Janet replied.

“Yes, I am.”

“You have become quite popular around here since they paired you up with Terry Marks.”

“What is his problem?” Devyn asked the secretary.

“Would you like to answer that or should I?” a strong male voice said behind them.

The two women turned around to see a gray haired, white man standing in the doorway. Janet said that she would, but she had a lot of work to do before she went home at five and hurried away.

“Well then, you must be Devyn,” the man said to her.

“Yes, sir.”

“Nelson Pierce. Please follow me,” he said turning and walking back into his spacious office, which had to be about two and a half times larger than Trey’s downstairs. After they both sat down, Pierce folded his hands on his desk in front of him and said, “To answer your question about Detective Terry Marks, who you already know is not too thrilled to be working with you. Despite the fact that he is a huge pain in the ass- excuse my language - he is one of the better detectives in the department.”

“So, what’s his problem? I mean, I’ve barely said two words to the man and he already hates me,” Devyn asked. She wanted to know what she was walking into before she got too involved.

“He and his friend, Detective Brian Miller, both think that women should not share the same jobs as men. Because of this belief and how bluntly they have voiced their opinion, at least eight women have either quit or requested a transfer to another department or city. Both men have spent nights in jail, have had their badges taken away for months at a time and are on the verge of being kicked off the force completely.”

“So you’re saying that they are going try to get me to punk out and leave like those other women?”

Nelson nodded. “Well yes, if you want to put it that way.”

“I don’t think so, sir. That is not going to happen. What I don’t understand is why you paired me with him in the first place if you knew good and well that he was going to react like this!” This was something that Nelson had never heard from any of Terry’s previous partners.

“Because after looking over your records, we all figured that you could handle yourself and were tough enough to deal with someone like him. If, and I mean if, things don’t work out with Terry, I will reassign him to another case while you stay on the Carson case with another partner. Is that a deal?” he asked.

“As long as they are nothing like Terry, yes,” Devyn agreed.

“Detective Williams, there is no one else like Terry and Brian in this precinct, so don’t worry. The real reason why I wanted to see you was to introduce myself and see if you have any questions for me,” he said leaning back in his chair. “Any questions?”

She shook her head no. “I think you have told me all that I need to know.”

“Well then, I will let you go on your way and I will see you around, detective,” he said as he stood up and walked Devyn to the door.

By the time she got back to her desk, Theresa had already arrived and was sitting in front of her desk. “Hi Theresa, let’s go into one of the empty interrogation rooms and talk, okay?”

The younger woman just nodded and followed Devyn. They were soon joined by Terry.

“Theresa, honey, this is Terry Marks and he is also working on this case. That way we can find out who killed your mother,” Devyn explained and it looked as if an invisible weight had been lifted from her shoulders and the younger woman finally relaxed a little bit. “Can you tell us what happened last night?”

Theresa nodded and began her story. “The night before last, she called me after I got out of class, like she always does, and asked me to come by last night to have dinner with her and her new boyfriend, who I had never met. My mother had been talking about him for the past two, three weeks, saying how nice he was and how he was the first man since she divorced Dad four years ago, who had treated her like a queen. Well, I went out to dinner with them the last night to meet her new flame and he seemed like a nice guy and everything, but something didn’t seem right about him.

“After he dropped us off at Mom’s house, I told her this and what struck me as odd was that she agreed with me! She told me that she didn’t trust him all of a sudden, but figured that it was just nerves or something.” She took a deep breath before she continued. “She told me not to worry about it, so I went to my friends house down the street and told Mom that I would be home later, not to wait up for me.”

“What time was this?” Devyn asked the young woman.

“Just after ten thirty and I came home this morning. When I walked in, the living room was trashed. I mean, everything that usually was put in its place was all over the floor and when I went into the living room, I saw Mom lying there on the floor. Her stapled her mouth shut and her hands and feet were tied together.” Tears were streaming down her face by now and she was making a fruitless effort in making them stop. “Why would someone do this to her? All she wanted was to be happy.” Theresa buried her face in her hands and cried. Devyn walked over to her and put her arms around the young woman and let her cry.

Terry, fed up with all this emotional bullshit, got up and walked out of the room. When Trey, who was on the other side of the glass, saw this, he followed him.

“What was that?” he asked the detective.

Terry looked shocked when he saw Trey come out of the adjacent room. “What was what?”

“Why aren't you in there, Marks?” he asked. “This is your case too.”

“As you probably already know, I am not needed in there. It seems that Detective Williams has the whole thing under control and all I was doing was wasting precious oxygen,” Terry told him.

Trey rolled his eyes and told him, “Terry, you are about this close,” bringing his thumb and index finger within a few millimeters of each other, “to getting kicked off the force. Pierce already has your termination papers drawn up and ready to be signed.”

“You’re just waiting for me to screw up, aren't you?”

“You have a record of always doing something stupid even when we don’t expect it.” Knowing that the interview wasn't over and that it was a matter of time before Devyn came out wondering what was going on, he told Terry, “I’ll finish the interview with her and you watch from the other room where I was,” he said to Terry before joining the new detective in the interrogation room.

When Theresa saw that Terry hadn’t come back into the room, she released a sigh of relief and told Devyn, “Something isn’t right with you partner.” Devyn and Trey looked at each other before looking in Terry’s direction.

“Theresa, what was your mom’s friend’s name that the two of you went to dinner with the other night?” Devyn asked.

“Um, Evans, Walter Evans.”

“Can you describe him to us?”

She looked at Devyn as if she were the only person in the room and said, “He was a tall, black man that carried himself very well. He seemed to have very expensive tastes considering his suit and shoes were name brand and the restaurant that he took us to was one of the most expensive ones in town. He bought her this bracelet not long after they met,” Theresa said, holding up her wrist, which held a very expensive diamond bracelet.

“Trey, can you leave for a minute? There’s something I need to tell her,” Devyn asked her boss.

He nodded and said, “Okay,” before leaving the room.

Before he went too far, she told him to take Terry with him. When she sat back down across from Theresa, she took a deep breath. “You know, when I was about your age, I lost my dad the same way you lost your mom.”

Theresa’s eyes widened and said, “What? Are you saying that the same person who killed your dad killed my mom?”

“There’s a good chance that could be true since they died the same way. The only difference is that my dad’s mouth was taped shut, not stapled. When he was murdered, I had gone out with a few friends and when I came home, he was dead,” Devyn told her.

Theresa wiped her eyes with a Kleenex and asked, “Did they ever find out who killed him?”

“No. Eight weeks after his death, they closed the case saying that there was no evidence,” Devyn replied, shaking off the memory.

“Do you believe that?”

“No.”

“After a certain time, are you going to just close the case like they did to your dad’s case?” the young woman asked.

“Not if I have anything to do with it. It almost seems like this case is a continuation of my dad’s case six years later.”

She smiled and said, “Mom would have loved you.”

Devyn returned the smile and said, “If there isn’t anything else, then that’s everything. Thanks for all of your help, Theresa.”

“Are you just saying that because you have to or do you mean it?”

“I really mean it. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me or trust me, but I really want to help you. Here’s my number if you need or remember anything, okay?” Devyn reassured her.

“Thank you so much, Devyn, for all of your help. I really appreciate it,” Theresa said before walking out of the room. Devyn sat on the table for another fifteen, twenty minutes before leaving herself.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd

For those who have known me a while, you know about my love for numbers and that how much of a nerd I am. While I say this, I am usually not one to dwell on things like "a month ago today..." since I guess I've never been one of those people. This time, though, I'm going to break my own rule.

A month ago today, I started this blog to put my "writing journey" on paper and give the people who know me a peek into the world that I wouldn't have normally shared. Since then, I have introduced you to some of the characters who have become a part of my life over the past several years and posted a few chapters to see what you thought. Also, in this time, I have also shared the frustrations of self-editing, serious rewrites and how this process was enough to toss out all the work that I had put into this book and call it quits. (This is usually until I go back and reread the end, which reminds me of why I started this in the first place.)

Also, in the last month, I have finally gathered enough courage to submit my manuscript to a couple publishing companies to see if it was even something that would be considered and received a response from Dorrance Publishing last week, which I am going to turn down for a few reasons. Despite this, it's good to know that I may have a chance to share my story with people outside of my circle. In the meantime, I will continue working and doing research on the publishing companies that are out there accepting manuscripts from new writers.

So in honor of the one month thing, I am posting yet another chapter for your enjoyment. As always, leave your comments! :o)


Chapter 4

On her way to the morgue, she stopped at Wendy's for lunch. Even though the lobby was starting to fill up, she opted to eat inside anyway. She sat down with her food in the corner and read over her notes as she ate until a little after twelve. There was no real rush since the morgue was about five minutes away.

Devyn signed in at the morgue and was taken to the room when Ms. Wheats was in. When she walked in, a wave of nausea hit her instantly, causing her to lean against the wall for support until it passed and the room stopped spinning. Taking a deep breath, she walked up to the table where they had laid the body and lifted the sheet off of the woman’s face and saw that her mouth was still stapled shut. She uncovered more of the body and thought she was going to throw up when she saw the woman’s chest. It looked as if he had dissected her and left her to die.

The door opened behind her and a white man in his mid thirties walked in. He extended his hand to her and introduced himself. “John Walker and you must be Detective Devyn Williams.”

“Yes, I am and it’s nice to meet you.”

“You must be new here,” he said, donning a pair of gloves and a lab coat, motioning her to do the same.

“I guess you can say that. I just transferred here from Seattle,” she replied.

“Where are you from, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“I was born and raised right here in Chicago and then after the academy, I worked in Seattle for four and half years.”

“And why would you want to come back here?”

“Because its home,” she replied as she watched him set up.

“That sounds like a good enough reason to me.” He looked down at the dead body and asked,

“So, Thelma, what happened to you?” Slowly, but carefully, Walker removed the staples from her lips, which were still caked with blood. “Thelma, don’t be shy, you can tell me,” Walker said, still talking to the dead woman on the table. He looked up to see the look on Devyn’s face. “Hey, if you dealt with only dead people, you would be just like me,” he said laughing.

Devyn raised her eyebrow and asked, “So what killed her?”

“I would have to say by looking at the rope burns on her wrists and ankles, she was tied down and then cut open. What killed her and the other nine victims was that the main blood artery leading to the heart was severed and when that’s done, not much can be done to help them after that point.”

“Hmm.” This triggered a memory from her past, when her father was murdered. “This was how the other bodies were found, right?” she asked him, although she had already looked over the other photos earlier that morning.

“Yes, it is and if he’s trying to prove a point, he seems to be getting louder,” Walker said with a small penlight in one hand after cocking Ms. Wheats’ head at an angle.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because every mouth Carson staples shut, the closer the staples get and this time, there is something lodged in her throat.”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know. It looks like something rolled up,” he said, shining the light in the dead woman’s throat. He handed Devyn the tweezers and asked if she would do the honors. While he held the light over her head, Devyn carefully pulled a piece of paper that had been stuck in the woman’s throat and unrolled it. It said:

You know who I am.
Now come find me.

No matter how many times John Walker and Devyn read the note, they were still confused, since no one knew who he was. The note was put in an evidence bag as Devyn wrote down a few notes in a pocket notebook. She would spend another hour going over the body with the medical examiner.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Treat for You!

Since my awesome news last week, I guess I got really lazy and forgot to post. So, I have decided to post 2 new chapters for your enjoyment...Sorry, they are so short. Let me know what you think! :o)


Chapter 2

Meanwhile, Terry Marks walked into Nelson Pierce’s office. Nelson Pierce was the chief of police, the man to go to when you wanted or needed something done. He had been with the force for going on thirty four years and still had quite a bit of fight left in him. Terry had barely opened his mouth and the gray haired man could already feel his blood pressure rising. Not something that he needed this early in the morning. “Pierce, sir, did you hear about the stunt Hemmington pulled this morning?”

“About pairing you up with Devyn Williams? It’s not like she’s a rookie or anything. Terry, this better not end up like your last partner,” Nelson started.

Terry mumbled something under his breath

“What was that?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“It must have been something important or else you wouldn’t have said it out loud,” Pierce said calmly. “Is it worth getting in trouble for, Terry?”

Terry shook his head no.

“Then what did you say?”

“I said ‘This is bull--” he started before he was cut off.

“Do you really want to finish that, Detective?” Pierce asked, leaning back in his plush leather chair.

“If you didn’t want me to repeat it, then why did you ask?”

“Because I didn’t hear you! You’re in enough trouble as it is. You do know that if you screw up one more time, you are gone, right?” He asked raising his voice, something he didn’t do very often, only when someone wasn’t listening to him. That someone was usually Terry. “Do I make myself clear?”

Terry rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders.

“That was not an answer, detective! Answer me like you’ve got some sense or hand over your badge and gun right now!”

“Yes, sir,” he replied with some hesitation.

“Good, now get out of here and stay out of trouble.” After saying that, Nelson put his glasses on and turned his attention to the stack of papers in front of him. Terry left his office quite upset, but he didn’t care. He wanted to get rid of him anyway. Besides, Nelson wasn’t here to please Terry.

Chapter 3

When Devyn walked into the house through the front door, the house was almost empty with the exception of a couple people from CSU and a young woman crying in the front room. It was a quarter to nine and still no sign of Terry. Not that she was complaining or anything. Not in the mood to wait for him, she walked up to one of the CSU techs and asked, “Where exactly was she murdered?”

“In the living room, which is right around the corner there,” the tech replied, pointing her in the right direction.

She walked into the living room, which looked like a tornado had come through. This room looked like it was normally kept clean, books and magazines were thrown all over the floor, and chairs and a coffee table were overturned. All of this meant that Thelma Wheats was, by all means, a fighter to the end.

Terry walked into the house twenty minutes late, purposely. He was still mad about what happened earlier this morning and on top of that, just didn’t want to be here at all. Before he came, he talked to Detective Brian Miller, his college roommate and former partner before Miller got in trouble with the department. Brian shared Terry’s belief that women shouldn’t have the same jobs as men and both of them had gotten into plenty of trouble because of this many times before and nearly lost their jobs. They had acted out their beliefs and several women had quit or requested to be transferred to another department or precinct entirely because of them in the past three years, but still they weren’t satisfied.

James Cooper, one of the techs, walked up to Terry and asked who the newbie was. “They say she’s my new partner,” he told the man as he glared at Devyn who was standing across the room. She was talking to the young woman who had been crying ever since she came into the house and it turned out to be Thelma’s daughter, Theresa, who had called 911.

“Would you mind coming to the station later on this afternoon to answer a few more questions?”

The young woman nodded. She had stopped crying after Devyn started talking to her and calmed her down. There seemed to be a connection between the two women, but neither of them was sure what that was. Theresa was escorted home and from what she was told by one of the other officers, there would be someone by her side at all times. She and Devyn agreed that they would talk again at three thirty at the precinct before someone took her home.

Devyn went back to the living room and looked at some of the fingerprints that had been lifted from one of the tables, but it didn’t tell them anything new. Still, they bagged the evidence and moved to another area of the room. She and Terry stayed until eleven o'clock without saying one word to one another. There was no point if they couldn’t get a long.


Note: I wanted to post more, but it wouldn't let me. :o(

Monday, June 22, 2009

My First Acceptance Letter!

Earlier this evening, I received a letter in the mail. It was from one of the publishers that I submitted the first final draft of my book to a couple weeks ago. I really thought that it was a letter telling me that my work wasn't what they were looking for and good luck with it. Not the case this time. Instead, it was a letter saying that the editorial staff had reviewed my book and that they were pleased to inform me that they thought my work would make a positive addition to their list of titles! It's been four hours since I read that letter and I'm still somewhere between shocked that it was even considered and excited that this is even a possibility.

Okay, back to reality. There are some pros and cons to this. This particular company is a subsidy publisher, which means that they don't invest their money in the book....I would. Plus, its not cheap and it depends on the length of my book when its all done. There are a few good things about this company though. (Come on now....did you really think that I would waste my time on a company that didn't have any positives?!) They do work for the money that you spend by doing the editing, publishing, promoting and shipping as well as other stuff. Only scary part is that I would have to do book signings...eeks!

According to the research that I've done in the past few weeks, I have found that now a days the traditional publishers, they invest their own money...not you, aren't accepting work from new writers whose work hasn't been published. So it's recommended that new writers should either self-publish or go through subsidy companies, sell a certain amount and resubmit their work to a bigger company. Self-publishing is more expensive and I would have to do all of the work myself, like marketing. So subsidy publishing would be a "better" way to go.

So for now, I'm going to keep working on my book and keep submitting my work. If it's meant to be, then I will have this company publish my work, but I'm not going to settle. All in all, it helps to know that my work has potential. Definitely a great way to end the day! :o)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chapter 1

Who knew that the beginning and the end would be the easiest parts to write? Going through and fixing a few words here and deleting a chunk there, there were a few moments when I really considered tossing the computer out of the window and be done with it, but there would be no fun in that. Well, maybe a little! :o)

After getting over my last bout of frustration, I decided that it was time to introduce you to a few more characters (including one that made me sick from the start) and post a new chapter. As always, please comment and know that this is still a work in progress.


Chapter 1
Six Years Later
Waking up from the same dream for the fifth night since she moved back to Chicago two weeks ago, Devyn shook it off and got out of bed. Before standing up, she looked at the picture of her and her parents in Paris shortly before they divorced almost ten years ago. Saying a short prayer, she got ready for her first day at the Chicago Police Department as a homicide detective.


By six thirty, she was on her way to work with no expectations whatsoever. She had almost forgotten how bad the traffic was since she moved to Seattle, but hadn’t missed it one bit. She finally parked her Ford Escape in front of the precinct at ten after seven. She walked in and asked the man at the front desk what floor the homicide division was located and was told that it was on the fourth floor.

When she finally reached her floor, she started to go into the Captains office, but when she heard the voices inside she stopped.
___________________________________________________________________
“I am not working with her, Trey!” a voice yelled. “There has got to be someone she can work with ‘cause I’m not!”

“Terry, you’re going to work with whomever I tell you to work with and it’s not like I’m telling you to work with some rookie. According to her records, she was trained here and sent to Seattle for four and half years ago before requesting to be transferred back here. So what’s your problem?” Trey asked the younger man.

“Trey, I don’t care about her record. You already know how I feel about working with women and then you pull some shit like this! Why?” Terry asked.

“Because maybe you’ll learn something, but even that seems damn near impossible,” he said. “If there is a problem, I will have your badge and gun taken away temporarily or even permanently. It all depends on how I feel that day. Are we clear?”

“Whatever.”

There was a knock on Trey’s door and when he said come in, a young black woman came in. “I was just told that I could find Trey Hemmington in here.”

“That would be me and you are?” Trey asked the woman as he stood up behind his desk.

“Devyn Williams, sir,” she said. The other man in the room stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

“Well, please sit down, Miss Williams,” he said, sitting down himself. “Oh, and that guy who just left is Terry Marks and will be your partner.”

“It doesn’t look like he is in favor of your decision.”

“He’s not, but I am not here to please him.” Changing the subject, he asked, “What did you think of Seattle? I mean it’s probably nothing like Chicago.”

“It was calm and took me a few months to get used to since I was used to the busy lifestyle here,” she told him.

“Is that why you wanted to be transferred here?”

“Yes and no. I wanted to come back to my hometown. You see, I was born and raised right here in Chicago before I went to the police academy.”

“For personal reasons?”

“I guess you could say that.”

Nodding his head, Trey handed her a file folder and said, “Here is the case that you will be working on.”

Devyn recognized the name on the folder right away because it had been all over the news for the past ten months. “Is this the same William Carson who killed, what, eight, nine people within the past ten months?”

“Yeah, but it’s no longer nine. Last night, Thelma Wheats, who just divorced her husband after 23 years and lived by herself, was murdered at her home. Her daughter, according to the reports, was visiting her mother and is the one who called 911 this morning. So far, that’s all we know until you and Terry go to the scene in a few minutes.” Trey handed her the address to Ms. Wheats home and after showing her around, showed her to her desk.

Before going back to his office, Trey handed her a card and said, “If there are any problems with Terry, call me.”

“Okay.” She put away some of her stuff and opened up the folder to see what she was dealing with before checking out the crime scene. The file consisted of crime scene photos and the information about information on each victim with a half page of what they knew about Carson. She thought that because no one had seen him; he left no witnesses. She looked up to see Terry glaring at her from across the room.

What is his problem? Devyn wondered as she looked at the pictures of the other victims. Carson carefully stapled each of his victims mouths closed and tied their feet and wrists together. After that was done, Carson must have sliced them open and…and then what? She didn’t know what killed each of them besides the fact that they all bled to death. What had Carson done that the paramedics couldn’t control until the victims reached the hospital where the doctors could treat their wounds?

Devyn pulled out a notebook out of the top drawer of her desk and wrote down that Carson might have some knowledge in medicine, is a perfectionist, and has nothing to lose, but his freedom. She wondered why each of the murders was exactly a month apart. Were they randomly picked or did the victims know Carson before the night they were murdered?

“Hey, you! Hemmington wants us to go to the Wheats woman’s house,” a voice said. She looked up to see Terry glaring down at her.

She rolled her eyes at him and said, “Yeah, I know. He told me while I was in his office and--”
Before she could finish her sentence, he abruptly turned and walked away.

“Asshole!” she whispered under her breath and looked at her watch. She grabbed her jacket and headed to the newest crime scene.


TGIF! :o)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rewriting realizations and thoughts

The other night, I decided to move up the chain of events after....well, let's just say the flow was kinda messed up. In my head, (not that this is a good place to be sometimes) I knew what had to be changed and to make sure that I didn't miss anything, I even wrote down the details. It all sounded great on notebook paper. It even sounded fine when I put in the new opening and made the first few changes. It was the end of the second week and beginning of the third that I realized what I had done or what I was going to have to do.

Changing the date on a piece of paper or a regular document..simple. Not so much with this. I am now going to have to go back and rewrite some scenes, which isn't entirely a bad thing. Again, maybe its the critic in me, saying, "You would think by now, you would have figured all this out." If so, whatever. I was really hoping to post a new scene in the next couple days. If all goes well, it might just happen.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Note to Self: Keep that Notebook in Your Purse!

While I was out today, an idea for the opening chapter hit me. It was almost strange, if not frightening, because I wasn't me for some time, but my main character. I could hear the sounds she was hearing, smelling the smells and the fear....well, I think you get the point. I think I freaked a couple people out when I went to the information desk to ask for a piece of paper so I wouldn't forget my fabulous idea. (I'm not quite sure why I walked out of my apartment today without my notebook.) Eh, they'll be fine!

Now, once I got home from hanging out with a friend of mine, I put the final touches on the opening chapter. So, since you have all been waiting oh, so patiently, here it is.


Devyn Williams, a young black woman currently attending the nearby police academy, walked into her dad's house and immediately felt that something was off. Putting her purse down on the table in the foyer, she walked toward the living room where she heard the TV playing. Her dad was probably just watching a rerun of the Dead Zone, she thought to herself as she turned the corner and walked into the room. She noticed that there was slight metallic smell as she entered the room and got stronger with each step she took. That voice in her head telling her that something was wrong was only getting louder.

She expected to see her dad, Darnell, and godfather, Clayton Ford, sitting on the couch, like she left them a few hours before. Instead, she saw no one in the room. When she walked around to the couch to turn the TV off, that's when she saw it. Her dad was lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. His mouth was duct taped shut and his normally warm brown eyes were dilated and glazed over. Her hands flew to her mouth and she fell to her knees in shock. Her dad was dead, stolen from her.

After what seemed like eternity, she ran to the other room to call 911, Clayton and her mother. Since the room was now a crime scene, she sat on the front stairs to wait. Clayton showed up just as the police and other emergency arrived. As soon as he ran into the house, Devyn ran into his arms and finally cried. He had been a huge part of the family and helped raise her.

“What happened?” he asked the young woman.

Between sobs, she replied, “I don't know. I just found him like this.”

Before he could say anything, a police office walked over to ask some questions. As she told the officer what she knew and how she found her dad lying there, she watched a couple morgue workers put her dad in a body bag. When it was being pushed past them, Devyn asked them to stop for just a moment. Unzipping the bag to see her dad one more time before they took him away, she started crying again. His skin was so cold and his lips were purple.

Clayton pulled her away, saying, “You don't need to see him that way. Your dad wouldn't want you to.”

She just nodded and let the morgue workers push the body out of the house. Her mother, Lane, finally showed up as they were loading it into the van and ran to her daughter. The officer from earlier reintroduced himself and asked the three of them where they were all coming from and how they knew the deceased. At that word, Devyn lost it. The attempts by Clayton and Lane were fruitless and she finally had to be sedated before being taken to the hospital herself.
______________________________________________________________

The weeks leading up to Darnell's funeral were tough for Devyn. Between being questioned by the police if she knew anyone who would want to her hurt her father, supporting her mother, who was still in love with him despite the divorce, and the thought of burying him, she wasn't sure if it would be possible to even continue at the Academy. Seeing this, Clayton took on the responsibility of burying his old friend.

Two weeks after they buried her dad, Clayton told Devyn that his job was offering him a spot in their New York City office and he was going to take it. “I think this will help me focus on something other than your dad's death.”

“But what about me? You said that you would always be there when I needed you,” she said with tears in her eyes. “You can't leave.”

Wiping the tears from her eyes, he said, “I will always be here for you, no matter where I am.”

A week later, he was gone. Less than two years later, her mother was killed in a double hit and run while she was on a business trip in Milwaukee. The day of her funeral, Clayton never showed up, but sent a bouquet of twelve red roses and one white rose in the middle with a note attached in his place. The note said:

Don't give up. I'm still here!
Uncle Clayton
Devyn had never felt more alone.

The only thing that I ask is that you remember two things:
  1. This is still kind of rough and nothing is set in stone.
  2. Please comment. I would like some feedback on this and every part that I post.

Thanks! :o)

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Touch of News

So, last night I told you about how I submitted my work to a couple publishing companies just see if they would even read my work. I had a few minutes between projects at work, so I decided to check my email and in there was an email from one of them saying they had received my manuscript (sounds a little more important...ha!) and were going to get back to me in the next 2-4 weeks. I'm trying not to get excited about this, especially since my writing is still quite rough. Still though, I took my first step and put my work out there! That's the exciting part.

NBA Finals, Life and Research....

Okay, anyone who has access to the Internet, a TV or newspaper has heard of the whole LeBron James fiasco with him walking off the court after losing to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. I, personally, have never been a fan of his and this incident didn't make him look any better in my eyes. Anyway, I thought the NBA Finals game 1 would have been more interesting, but as always, I was wrong. Disappointed? Yes, but I really do think Howard and the Magic can still give Kobe and the Lakers a run for their money.

Being the oldest, I thought there could be nothing that could shock or amaze me until this past Wednesday night. If you don't already know, I watched my sister graduate from high school the other day and for a couple hours, I felt like a proud parent. Thank God I'm not one, though! I don't think she would have made it this far in life! (That's beside the point!) As I watched her walk across the stage, I could only think of her as a toddler during her first birthday party, months after biting into a glass ornament like an apple. She was sitting in a high chair with cake smeared all over her face and clothes and a pan of leftover cake in front of her. 17 years later, seeing this same girl walk across the stage to get a diploma made me so proud. Even to see some of her friends graduate was a little crazy. Then, of course, there was that one kid who decided to do a back flip when his name was called....It wouldn't be a graduation without the extra show!

To the real reason we're all here. Instead of going through my semi-finished book and reading the self-editing book that I bought, I opted to do more research on editing/ publishing companies. YIKES! No wonder most people either opt not to have their work published or publish their work themselves. Between the costs and the odds of them actually getting their work even considered by a publisher, which are slimmer than a semi decent player getting into the NBA during this years draft, is kind of depressing. In my search, I found several sites that said on the home page that they were no longer accepting any manuscripts, especially if it is from a new author! Hmm, I guess that's useful information.

Not everything was a failure, I promise. Just playing around to see if I would get a response from even the smaller publishing companies and see if they would even consider reading my work, I submitted either a very, very small chunk of it to one of them and the most recent version to another. Since this was done electronically, I am supposed to hear something in the next couple weeks. It should be interesting.

In the next few days, after I either rewrite the opening chapter (again!) or tweak it to my liking, I hope to post it for you to read.....Eeks!

Be safe over the weekend! :o)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Frustrations of self-editing

So I have been done with the second draft of my book for less than a week now and have since bought a book (Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell) that gives great advice about self-editing and how it's the best way to go. I'm pretty much in agreement with this author, since there are companies out there who charge an arm and a leg to do it for you and can do more harm than good. (Okay, I totally just strayed from my point...sorry!) So far, I'm think that this is great, since, for the most part, I'm on the right track. Here is the problem: I only said "for the most part". The other parts that I am off on, I am WAY off on. In less than two pages of reading, I wrote down over a page and half of notes where things will have to be changed. During this same chapter, it made me really start thinking of whether to cut at least one character out or not. This is, also, on top of a second version of my opening chapter that I just wrote Monday night/ Tuesday morning.... Oh boy! (This will come later.)

I'm trying to figure out if it's the critic in my mind coming out saying, "Why are you even putting yourself through this?" or if the author of this writers "Bible" is telling the honest to God truth and is really trying to make my (in this case) work better. When I started this book years ago, I knew how the process worked, but actually going through it is something totally different.

To those reading, if you haven't already noticed, you will be reading the random thoughts that I have while going through this process. Maybe in the end, my frustrations will all be worth it.