My newest novel, Time Without, has been out about a week now. I’m so excited!
There’s nothing like the thrill of a freshly published novel. So invigorating!
There was one troubling hiccup, though.
One of my daughters wanted to be supportive (thank you, sweetie!), so she bought a copy of Time Without on Amazon, even though she knew I’d give her one.
When it arrived she showed me what she had been sent. The book was tattered, torn, and dirty. The box it came in appeared to be in great shape, so it wasn’t a packaging issue. But in no way did the new book she paid for look new.
She was so disappointed! And so was I.
I could replace her book easily enough, but cringed at the thought of some unsuspecting reader out there receiving a similarly beat up copy. Ugh!
I may not have control over everything about my books, but I know it reflects on me nonetheless. So I want to state for the record:
I am not, repeat NOT, a dirty, tattered, and torn book type of person.
So whoever played hockey with Time Without and then packaged it up and shipped it to my daughter, get a new hobby. Anyone who purchases a new book should get a crisp, clean copy, not one that is battered and bruised. End of story.
The mission: Adapt one of my screenplays into a novel.
The method: Convince my brain that it’s not a screenplay, but an outline. I always outline my stories.
The result: Success! A rough draft ready for rewrites.
INT. CHILD’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
A THREE-YEAR-OLD TORI sleeps peacefully with an angelic smile. A mist forms, whisks over her forehead, and blows hair across her face. She wiggles her nose.
The mist blows her hair toward her ear. She scratches her ear and sticks her thumb in her mouth while flashes of red light dance on her face. In the distance is the CRACKLE of FLAMES.
The mist whips a strand of hair straight up toward the ceiling. She slaps at her head and turns over. CRACKLE of FLAMES gets louder and red flickers of light more steady. A thin haze of smoke surrounds three-year-old Tori, masking the mist.
Three-year-old Tori’s hair whips wildly. She opens her eyes, sits up, looks around with fear in her eyes.
Smoke pours in through the open door. It SLAMS SHUT.
In an upstairs bedroom of the oldest house on the block an angel slept. Not the type of angel that hangs out in the clouds and flies around with wings, this angel had too much dirt on her feet to fly and thought clouds were pillows for airplanes. But the smile on her face was certainly angelic, and her grandmother almost always called her a little angel.
The angel’s name was Tori, and she was three years old.
As she slept peacefully in her bed, dreaming the dreams of the innocent, a mist formed over her and whisked across her forehead. Several strands of hair blew across her face, tickling her and causing her to wriggle her nose. But she slept on.
The mist, which seemed to have a mind, next blew Tori’s hair in such a way that the ends danced across her ear. The hair ballet tickled enough to make her scratch her ear, but then she simply stuck her thumb in her mouth and sighed.
Flashes of red light danced on her face as in the distance the crackle of flames could be heard.
The mist now whipped a strand of hair straight toward the ceiling. Tori, still asleep, slapped at her own head and turned her face to the pillow.
The crackle of flames filled the room, as did a thin haze of smoke. The mist was no longer visible and the entire room glowed red.
Tori’s hair suddenly began to whip about wildly. Finally awakened, the child sat up and rubbed her eyes. As she looked around her eyes widened in fear. Her room looked alien, not at all like the room she had gone to sleep in. What had happened?
“Mommy?” the terrified child whimpered.
Smoke began to pour through her open door. It slammed shut.
“Mommy!” Tori screamed in fear.
About a month ago I came up with a new story idea.
I planned to write it into a screenplay, and I was rather excited because the leads were sisters. I spent days plotting and planning and talking ideas over with family members.
I almost had the entire plot worked out, including several twists, when my personal life exploded and all my routines were thrown out the window.
Don’t get me wrong, it was the good kind of explosion. But it did have the unintended consequence of knocking most of the plot right out of my head.
Because I did something I almost never do. I didn’t write it down. I kept telling myself that the precious little plot was safely locked away in my head and I could, at any time, write the whole thing out.
Only, now that I’ve got time to write it down, I’ve forgotten most of those little twists that I’d spent so much brain power working out.
So much for knowing better!
I love to make lists. They’re the best way I know to keep from missing any of the details.
I should have taken twenty minutes and created an outline, that oh-so-handy list of story points.
Shame on me!
Happy anniversary, my sweet hubby! I can’t believe we’ve been married 32 years. Thirty-two! That’s just crazy!
It’s a good thing all those years ago both of us recognized what a good match we are. I shudder to think we might have gone our separate ways.
But then again, maybe we had help. There was that crazy lady who stopped us in the street on our first date to predict our marriage. I was ready to nod politely and walk away, but you talked to her and assured her she was correct.
And one year later, when we got married, she was correct.
I’m not sure if we match so well because we’re alike enough that we can usually find common ground.
Or because we’re different enough that we constantly challenge each other to be better.
Life with you is both adventurous and stable, which shouldn’t be possible but somehow is.
I love you even more than you know. You are my hero, my soul mate, and my best friend.
I just found Time Without on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
At this point it’s only available for pre-order, since it won’t really be out until July. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
I just got word that Time Without is good to go!
Which means review copies will go out to reviewers. It won’t go on sale to the general public until mid-July.
But it also means I can let everyone see the cover, so here goes!
In case the back cover text is too small to read:
Vanessa is a strong, independent woman. Or she was, until she awoke in a world strangely changed. And when her husband and father of her children is in trouble, Vanessa realizes it is up to her to figure out what went so wrong in the world.
Vanessa’s journey takes her to the Department of Temporal Adjustment, the department tasked with handling all time travel, where she and her spunky kids go on a hilarious adventure through time—all while traveling incognito.
I awoke this morning with Forrest Gump and the whole box of chocolates philosophy floating around in my head. It wouldn’t leave me alone, until I realized I looked at the world in a slightly different way. Not as a box of chocolates, but as a road trip.
Life is like a road trip.
At the beginning you don’t quite know what to expect. So you do the only thing you can. You get in the car and drive.
Sometimes detours take you so far out of your way you think you are hopelessly lost. Sometimes you hit a patch of road that is so full of ruts and potholes that you get a headache from hitting the roof. But there are other times the wind on your face and the beauty that surrounds you makes you so happy you can’t help but sing at the top of your lungs.
No matter what happens you keep going.
And if you get a toothache while you’re on one of those long stretches where there’s nowhere to pull over, you do what you must. You keep your hands on the wheel and keep moving.
The scenery is ever changing, and who knows what wonder that next bend might bring. Forward is the way to go.
Sometimes nature says, “Enjoy!”
This week, decorating won.
But I don’t regret it. A home should reflect the personalities of the people who live there, and the house we bought a year and a half ago did not.
Little by little we are making the changes that make our house match us. We’ve already replaced the floors and remodeled the kitchen, but we still have more to do.
I’m not really a big fan of the blah colored walls. That’ll be a project for a future time.
This last week we replaced our old living room furniture and built barn doors leading into the family room. It totally transformed the room!
I like it.
I’ve decided to make posters for the rest of my screenplays. Here’s the one for Haunt for Hire.
It’s a dramedy about a family who discover they have a connection with ghosts, and decide to use that connection.
They find out that even ghosts can be haunted.