Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lost Inspiration, ROW 80, and WIPpet Wednesday...

Lately, when inspiration hits me, it always seems to hit me when I'm driving. And always on that portion of the road where I know a lot of cops or CHP officers seem to hang out, so I can't reach for my phone, turn on voice to text or whatever it's called, and let my iphone jot it down. Even though that would be perfectly acceptable to do since it's not texting and driving, I still worry that an officer will ping me for it. Generally I'm able to hold on to the idea, or the snippet until I can get to work and jot it down, but yesterday my brain failed me and the idea was lost as soon as I pulled in the parking lot.

Which is sad, because it was a gorgeous bit of imagery. It wasn't going to take place until much later in the Descendant's series, but still... I'm currently listening to Ben Howard's album Every Kingdom in the hopes I can get that scene to come back.

Where do you find that inspiration always visits you?

Anywho, on to the ROW80 progress report!

I was unable to write this weekend and on Monday due to illness. The cough from my cold made an unwelcome reappearance Friday night, and between that and helping my friend get ready for her reception, by the time Sunday evening rolled around I was completely sore and exhausted. I spent most of Monday curled up on the couch - which was nice because the boys came and curled up with me and I was able to catch up on my reading (I hadn't touched my Nook since early June).

I was able to get some writing done yesterday though. I plugged away on chapter seven of TUO some more, and whenever I hit a roadblock on that, I jumped over to one of the fanfics or the Descendants and worked on those. 

I also finally got my etsy store opened! You can check them out by either clicking on the links on the sidebar or at the top of the blog. Currently I only have two items available, but I plan to have more up by the end of the week. 

And now for WIPpet Wednesday (I really need to come up with a graphic for this...) Since today is the 31st, I'm going to share 35 paragraphs from Chapter 1 of the Descendants (1+3=4, 4+31=35). It seems like a lot, but most of it is dialogue. This scene takes place 13 to 14 years after the prologue that I shared here and here. Vivian is 23 and getting ready to go on a trip to Europe with her best friend. However, the day before she leaves she is stuck at her father's garage trying to teach her father's best friend's son, Matthew, how to keep the books while she's gone.

There were many things Vivian wanted to do before leaving for Europe. She had wanted to go and dip her toes in Lake Tahoe one last time and watch the sun set over it. She wanted to go down to Virginia city and eat a pulled pork sandwich from the barbecue there. Play a slot in one of the casinos on the Nevada side of the city. She also had some last minute packing to do, friends to say goodbye to, among other things.

Instead, she found herself sitting in front of a computer at her Dad’s garage and trying to explain, for the third time, how to use their book keeping program. To be fair, her student didn’t seem all that thrilled to be here either; Matthew chewed on the end of a pen while he leaned back in his chair, his eyes closed as if he were sleeping. Earlier he had been more focused on looking at her ass or chest, or the work happening outside the office door in the garage proper, where her dad was working on an old chevy, than paying any attention to what she was trying to show him.

Vivian sighed. Perhaps he was more of a hands on learner. She kicked the bottom of his chair as she stood. “C’mon - it’s your turn.”

His hand snapped out and grabbed her wrist before his blue eyes even opened.

“Where are you going?” He asked as he yawned.

“To get myself a cup of coffee.”

“Oh, are we done?”

“Nope,” Vivian jerked her head at the desk and the paperwork sitting there. “You have to enter all that. Receipts first.”

Matthew released her and rubbed his hands over his face. “Right.” He scooted forward to peer at the computer screen - maybe he had been paying attention after all - and Vivian watched as the little scar in his right eyebrow deepened as he frowned. “We should’ve started on this earlier.”

“Yes, we should have, but somebody was never here.” He was very rarely here, now that she thought about it. Sometimes he’d stick around for a couple of weeks, but then there were other times when they only saw him maybe once or twice a month. If he had been anyone else, her dad would have fired him long ago, but since Matthew was his partner’s son, he tended to be more lenient.

Matthew grunted, bringing her back to the present. “I was needed elsewhere.”

“Doing what?” She asked, even though she knew it was pointless. Michael never told anyone anything about where he had been or where he had gone, though sometimes he did bring back souvenirs for his young cousin, Andrew.


“Right.” Vivian snorted.

“So, what are you planning on seeing over there?”

“Hm?” Vivian stared at his broad back in surprise for a moment. Was Matthew actually asking her a question? Specifically a question that did not involve the garage? Usually he just ignored her presence unless he needed to know where her dad was or when a part might be coming in.

“Sights. What sights are you going to be visiting?”

“Oh, um. The usual I guess. Stonehenge, Harrods, Westminster Abbey... We don’t really have an itinerary or anything set up. We’re just going to fly by the seat of our pants, y’know?”

“No wonder Adam’s so nervous.”

“What?” She had known that her dad was unhappy that his oldest child was leaving the nest - what parent wouldn’t be unhappy about that? - but to learn that he was nervous was a shock. She was 23 years old... didn’t he have any faith in her?

“You and that girl, running around Europe without any plans. My old man is betting that you’ll be calling home in a week because you’re either lost or out of money.”

“Because we’ve run out of money?” Vivian squawked. “He should talk - I’m the one that handles the books-”

“Not because of you,” He interrupted her tirade. “Because of that girl.”

“Her name is Audra, and she’s fully capable of taking care of herself as well-”

“Really? She...” He opened his mouth to say something else, but then closed it and shook his head instead. “Nevermind.”

“What?” Vivian asked, her curiosity piqued.


“No, no, you were going to say something else.”

He sighed. “I was just going to say, that she doesn’t have the greatest track record in my book. Every time you’ve gotten into trouble, it’s been because of her.” His expression suddenly softened, and he smiled a little. “In fact, the first time I met you, I thought you would be the troublemaker - not her.”

“Oh.” It was surprising how that smile changed his looks from grumpy ex-soldier to boy next door. It was also surprising how incredibly attractive he became when he smiled. She blushed, and then immediately frowned to herself. She did not want to think of him like that at all. Especially after what had happened at that Christmas party a few years ago.

“So” He cleared his throat. “Why are you guys going over there anyways? Why not Cancun or the Bahamas?”

“Because of things.” Vivian replied dryly, smiling to herself when he shot a glare in her direction. Now he knew what it felt like. “Sorry - I couldn’t resist.”

This trip was actually a graduation celebration that Audra, her best friend, had been planning for years. She had initially wanted her boyfriend to go, but then they had broken up and Audra had asked if Vivian might be interested in going. If she couldn’t go with the love of her life, she said, she might as well go with her best friend.

Vivian had turned down the offer at first, but then her boyfriend, Josh, had started bringing up the future whenever they were together. He thought he was being sly about it; if they went out, he would stop in front of jewelry stores and point out the different rings, trying to gauge her interest in them. During dinner or if they were watching TV he would casually ask what sort of house she might want to live in someday, how many kids she could imagine them having together, and so on and so forth. Vivian had never really thought about the future much, but it had suddenly occurred to her that she wasn’t ready to get married and have a house and a family without seeing what the world had to offer. So, when Audra had asked again, Vivian had lept at the chance.

Matthew glanced over his shoulder at her. “Look, just be careful over there, all right? It’s not like when you guys drove down to San Francisco for the weekend, and you got lost and had your wallets stolen. There’s going to be a continent and a whole ocean in between you guys and us, so we can’t come running to your rescue if something goes wrong.”

Be sure to check out here for more WIPpet Wednesday posts, and go here to find out more about ROW 80 and see more progress updates. 


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, it's not as drama filled as last week's selection - but hey! At least it's not a cliff hanger again :D

  2. Hope you're feeling better.

    1. I am, thank you.

      I originally got sick at the beginning of the month, and that stupid cough just would not go away. With the help of some antibiotics, it seems to have finally been beaten into submission.

  3. I love this. And I so want to know what Mr. Ex-Soldier/Boy Next Door is up to. Very interesting.

    I used to carry a small tape recorder along when I drove anywhere by myself because I always found my muse had come along for the ride. The other place inspiration hits is in the shower. Yup. Need to figure out how to trap those ideas before they slide down the drain.

    1. Thank you! I was a bit worried that it might be a bit boring after the prologue, but I really do love their dialogue.

      I don't really get ideas in the shower but I do get them sometimes right before I'm trying to fall asleep. I do have a journal by the bed for those situations... I'm just too lazy to use it lol.

  4. Sounds like, for all his flaws, Matthew does think about the people around him.

    And "things"....

    Hmm, what sort of things....

    Stonehenge isn't half as fun as Avebury was. (If you're interested in my England touring, you can check out the series. Otherwise... Maybe get them to stay in some hostels in the Midlands? Lots to see without London prices and almost better for setting up problems for you characters....

    1. Matthew definitely does care - especially about Vivian. Unfortunately he's stuck in a really tough situation, but that doesn't become clear until later in the series.

      I've really been enjoying the photos you share on your blog. My husband and I visited Scotland and Ireland for our Honeymoon, and seeing those pictures make me miss the British Isles even more! Avebury would be an interesting place to visit, and I had hoped we would be able to when we went there, but the hurricane that delayed our flight really put a kink in our plans.

      Thanks for the advice about the hostels! Unfortunately I won't be able to use it... I would say more, but yet again I'm afraid of giving too much away ;P

  5. I'm going to Europe on my own at the end of this year and I think my mother has half-convinced herself that I'm not going to come back alive (I'm 24, so quite close to Vivian). So I totally get the "What? Come on, I can look after myself!" feeling

    Matthew sounded really irritating at the beginning, but then he grew on me throughout the excerpt. I love that he was doing "things" - I've been known to be doing the same. ;)

    1. I think it's a parent thing. I'm thirty and married to an amazing man - and my Mom still worries about me whenever we go on trips. And I'm sure when I have kids I'll worry about them too.

  6. Inspiration hits me at the most random times. I'm struggling with character development though.

    1. Personally my characters tend to develop as the story goes along. They love to reveal things I didn't know about them when I'm writing sometimes :P

  7. I get inspired when I am drifting off to sleep. Occasionally, that leads to insomnia. Thinking back on you excerpt I can almost hear the wild life voice over dude going, "And the mating dance has begun." ;)

    1. I used to suffer from insomnia pretty badly thanks to stress from my last job. To amuse myself while I was trying to get to sleep, I would often think about my different stories - which, of course, did not help the insomnia at all!

      Your comment about the mating dance made me giggle madly when I read it. It's not too far off from the truth ;)