Friday, July 22, 2016

When writing is a puzzle

I don't post often about my writing process, because I don't consider it very interesting. Every now and then, something comes up during the creation of a manuscript that just baffles me, though.

So...I sent Chapters Seven and Eight of Inner City Blues to my beta readers, and they pointed out that the timeline of the story had gone off the rails and was confusing. 



The format I use is to devote the first half of each chapter to the hero's point of view and the second half of each chapter to the heroine's POV. The problem I ran into is that I wanted to show their thoughts on the same situations, but doing it that way ends up feeling as though I'm repeating myself.

By the time I got their critiques back, I was already working on Chapter Nine, and by then it was three chapters into screwed up timeline! I don't want to continue writing until I fix the issue. So today is dedicated to trying to fix this mess. 


I tried going back to Chapter Seven and moving things around on-screen, but that DID NOT work! Scrolling back and forth was making me nuts, and I came to the conclusion that I needed to print out a hard copy of all three chapters in order to have it all in front of me. What I believe I need to do is spread everything out and mark up the paragraphs/sections that should be moved in order to make the timeline flow correctly.



The problem with working this way is that it's much like doing a jigsaw puzzle. 


                                                    

Tomorrow I'm babysitting, and no work will be accomplished. We're taking the baby grandson to see the Angry Birds movie and wherever he wants to go for lunch. This task needs to be accomplished today. Pray for me, I'm going in... 

                                                   

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sample Sunday

On June 21st I shared the opening of Inner City Blues. Here's another unedited excerpt from Chapter One...

* * * * * * * * 

Two days later, the family gathered at his parents’ house for their annual July Fourth breakfast. Before they needed to start setting up the tables and chairs under the tent their mother rented every year for the barbecue, the brothers met in the kitchen early to share a rare cup of coffee and conversation.
“How long are you staying?” Jesse asked, directing his question to Marc and Greg who’d arrived with their families the night before.
“Well, Gianne is out of school for the summer, so we’re taking the week off. When we leave here, we’re going down to Miami for a couple of days,” Marc replied. “Lance is handling the studio while I’m gone, so I can take my time.”
“Lucky you. Between the practice and the clinic, I haven’t had a week off in ages.”
Nick wore a confused frown. “And Cyd doesn’t get upset?”
“You know, Cyd. She doesn’t complain about much.”
“Neither does Cher, but she’s made it plain that we need our time away together. We haven’t been away for a whole week, but she makes sure we take weekend trips.”
“You have to get it in,” Vic agreed. “Mona and I both are crazy busy now since she’s started her business, but we make it a point to get away with and without the boys. And you have three kids. Cyd needs a break sometime, man.”
Jesse nodded his agreement but said, “Do you know Cyd told me she never had a vacation until we started seeing each other? She said to her a vacation was just days she didn’t have to go to work. Her first real vacations were when I took her down to Miami for the weekend when we were dating and when went to Vegas for Marc and Gianne’s wedding.”
“All the more reason to show her what it’s supposed to be like,” Greg chimed in. “And you two need to go someplace where you can get loose and get loud, if you know what I mean.”
Jesse gave him the side eye. “We always know what you mean.” They all laughed, but their smiles faded as their father entered the kitchen waving a newspaper in the air and wearing an expression like a storm brewing over an angry sea.
“Jesse, do you want to tell me what the hell this is all about?” He threw the folded paper into Jesse’s lap.
He swallowed hard, gave Vic a fleeting glance and then gazed down at the article his father had so helpfully circled with a bold marker. The headline read, Dozens of arrests at Hollowell Parkway protests. He cleared his throat and answered. “I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.”
“Why the hell not? Your name is in that list. What were you thinking? First it was Gregory; now you. What is wrong with you boys?”
Greg snatched the paper from his lap and the brothers huddled around him to read it.
“First of all, we’re not boys. Second, it’s only considered news because of the recognizable people who participated. I’m the least well-known of the bunch.”
“But you’re a prominent physician in this city, son, and people talk.”
“That’s fine with me. I don’t mind them talking about me for something like this.”
“So you’re proud of getting locked up?  
Jesse raised his chin. “Yes, sir, I am. Darren Givens was killed in cold blood. The police involved all got off. If we don’t stand against police brutality, it will just accelerate.”
“It’s bad enough you were Twittering about it. You have a career and reputation to protect!” The elder man bellowed.
“It’s tweeting, Daddy, “Jesse replied equally as loud. “You were very proud of yourself for participating in demonstrations back in the day. Wasn’t it you who used to tell us if we didn’t stand for something, we’d fall for anything? Why is it different for me?”
“It was different back then. Nowadays everything you say and do is plastered all over the Internet. Do you think your patients want a jailbird for a doctor?”
“For God’s sake, Daddy! Nobody cares. If they do, they can find another doctor! You don’t understand how out of touch we are.”
 “Who?” His father asked.
“All of us. Our major concerns are which private school we’re going to send our kids to, or whether we’re going to put in a pool or tennis court in the backyard.”
“You think that’s something we should be ashamed of? We all worked hard to earn that right. Nothing was handed to us.”
“I know that, Daddy, but look at us. We’re here getting ready for a holiday banquet, and haven’t given a single thought to the people in our community who are literally trying to figure out how they’re going to feed their kids today?”
“Are you saying we don’t care because we aren’t sitting around agonizing over their plight? I resent you getting so high and mighty. All of us donate our time and money to a variety of causes that benefit our people.”
Their argument came to a screeching halt when they saw his mother standing in the kitchen doorway with her hands on her hips looking as though she were about to explode. “It’s Christmas morning. I can’t believe you two are acting this way!” Her flashing gaze bounced from his face to his father’s. “If you continue carrying on, you can both find somewhere else to eat. Now get out of my kitchen so the girls and I can cook!”
“We’re not done talking about this,” his father groused as the male procession moved into the family room.
 

Coming to Kindle, Nook and Createspace in late Fall 2016

Sample Sunday

On June 21st I shared the opening of Inner City Blues. Here's another unedited excerpt from Chapter One...

* * * * * * * * 

Two days later, the family gathered at his parents’ house for their annual July Fourth breakfast. Before they needed to start setting up the tables and chairs under the tent their mother rented every year for the barbecue, the brothers met in the kitchen early to share a rare cup of coffee and conversation.
“How long are you staying?” Jesse asked, directing his question to Marc and Greg who’d arrived with their families the night before.
“Well, Gianne is out of school until the first of the year, so we’re taking the week off. When we leave here, we’re going down to Miami for a couple of days,” Marc replied. “Lance is handling the studio while I’m gone, so I can take my time.”
“Lucky you. Between the practice and the clinic, I haven’t had a week off in ages.”
Nick wore a confused frown. “And Cyd doesn’t get upset?”
“You know, Cyd. She doesn’t complain about much.”
“Neither does Cher, but she’s made it plain that we need our time away together. We haven’t been away for a whole week, but she makes sure we take weekend trips.”
“You have to get it in,” Vic agreed. “Mona and I both are crazy busy now since she’s started her business, but we make it a point to get away with and without the boys. And you have three kids. Cyd needs a break sometime, man.”
Jesse nodded his agreement but said, “Do you know Cyd told me she never had a vacation until we started seeing each other? She said to her a vacation was just days she didn’t have to go to work. Her first real vacations were when I took her down to Miami for the weekend when we were dating and when went to Vegas for Marc and Gianne’s wedding.”
“All the more reason to show her what it’s supposed to be like,” Greg chimed in. “And you two need to go someplace where you can get loose and get loud, if you know what I mean.”
Jesse gave him the side eye. “We always know what you mean.” They all laughed, but their smiles faded as their father entered the kitchen waving a newspaper in the air and wearing an expression like a storm brewing over an angry sea.
“Jesse, do you want to tell me what the hell this is all about?” He threw the folded paper into Jesse’s lap.
He swallowed hard, gave Vic a fleeting glance and then gazed down at the article his father had so helpfully circled with a bold marker. The headline read, Dozens of arrests at Hollowell Parkway protests. He cleared his throat and answered. “I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.”
“Why the hell not? Your name is in that list. What were you thinking? First it was Gregory; now you. What is wrong with you boys?”
Greg snatched the paper from his lap and the brothers huddled around him to read it.
“First of all, we’re not boys. Second, it’s only considered news because of the recognizable people who participated. I’m the least well-known of the bunch.”
“But you’re a prominent physician in this city, son, and people talk.”
“That’s fine with me. I don’t mind them talking about me for something like this.”
“So you’re proud of getting locked up?  
Jesse raised his chin. “Yes, sir, I am. Darren Givens was killed in cold blood. The police involved all got off. If we don’t stand against police brutality, it will just accelerate.”
“It’s bad enough you were Twittering about it. You have a career and reputation to protect!” The elder man bellowed.
“It’s tweeting, Daddy, “Jesse replied equally as loud. “You were very proud of yourself for participating in demonstrations back in the day. Wasn’t it you who used to tell us if we didn’t stand for something, we’d fall for anything? Why is it different for me?”
“It was different back then. Nowadays everything you say and do is plastered all over the Internet. Do you think your patients want a jailbird for a doctor?”
“For God’s sake, Daddy! Nobody cares. If they do, they can find another doctor! You don’t understand how out of touch we are.”
 “Who?” His father asked.
“All of us. Our major concerns are which private school we’re going to send our kids to, or whether we’re going to put in a pool or tennis court in the backyard.”
“You think that’s something we should be ashamed of? We all worked hard to earn that right. Nothing was handed to us.”
“I know that, Daddy, but look at us. We’re here getting ready for a holiday banquet, and haven’t given a single thought to the people in our community who are literally trying to figure out how they’re going to feed their kids today?”
“Are you saying we don’t care because we aren’t sitting around agonizing over their plight? I resent you getting so high and mighty. All of us donate our time and money to a variety of causes that benefit our people.”
Their argument came to a screeching halt when they saw his mother standing in the kitchen doorway with her hands on her hips looking as though she were about to explode. “It’s Christmas morning. I can’t believe you two are acting this way!” Her flashing gaze bounced from his face to his father’s. “If you continue carrying on, you can both find somewhere else to eat. Now get out of my kitchen so the girls and I can cook!”
“We’re not done talking about this,” his father groused as the male procession moved into the family room.
 

Coming to Kindle, Nook and Createspace in late Fall 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cover reveal!

I just hit the halfway mark on Inner City Blues, and I figured I'd acknowledge that accomplishment by revealing the cover! It was created by Cover Me Book Covers, and I think it relays the feeling of the story.


Here's the blurb: Successful surgeon, husband and father of three, Dr. Jesse Stafford, lives in an exclusive enclave in Atlanta. He volunteers his time at a neighborhood free clinic in one of the roughest parts of Atlanta where his wife, Cydney's family still lives. When an unarmed thirteen-year-old boy is shot and killed by the police in this neighborhood, Jesse finds himself in an ethical dilemma and at odds with some family members. His involvement puts everything he’s achieved on the line.

So, what do you think of the cover?


Coming late Fall 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Anniversary Sale!!!!

Today marks my sixth year as a published author!   #Sale



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday

Since I'm almost halfway into Inner City Blues, the final book in my Stafford Brothers series, it's time to start sharing teasers. This is an unedited excerpt from the first chapter. I don't know why the line spacing is screwed up, because I copied and pasted from Word...

* * * * * *
Chapter One
Jesse Stafford sat on a bench in a communal holding cell in the Atlanta City Detention Center waiting for his brother to bail him out.  He’d been arrested for participating in what began as a peaceful demonstration in the neighborhood where his wife, Cydney had grown up and where he volunteered at the free medical clinic.
For the past three hours, he and the others went through the painfully slow booking process and waited to make their phone calls. Calling Vic at close to midnight was the last thing he wanted to do, but he had no choice. Vic would be able to put up the money for his bail, and, unlike like Nick and Charles, he didn’t have sleeping toddlers who might be disturbed by the phone ringing late at night. Thankfully, doctors were used to being interrupted in the middle of the night. His older brother said he would be there as soon as he got dressed. Jesse asked him to call Cydney and let her know where he was and that he was okay. Of all the things to happen to him just days before the entire family got together for Christmas at his parents’ house. He shook his head and uttered a pitiful laugh.


Tonight had been the largest demonstration since Darren Givens; an unarmed thirteen-year-old boy had been shot by police on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway back in June. Ironically, the street was named for a famed civil rights attorney who’d lived near the area and was better known by its former name, Bankhead Highway. The Bankhead area was one of the poorest areas of Atlanta. Even with some recent improvements to the vicinity, it still left a lot to be desired.
                                         
For weeks after the shooting, the infamous street teemed with chanting, sign-carrying activists. Television trucks with their satellite dishes reaching into the chilly air like sunflowers were a constant presence. Anger flared among residents sending young people into the streets. Hollowell Parkway had burned for two nights. Once the police and National Guard restored order, demonstrators from all over the country representing the Black Lives Matter movement came to show their support to the boy’s family. Eventually, their presence vanished, and the media turned their attention to more recent events. Well, until today, when the verdict was announced that the officers involved in the shooting had been exonerated. Now the heavy armored police vehicles and officers armed with high-powered rifles had returned to maintain the large numbers of demonstrators in the streets.

Jesse still didn’t know what had sparked the clash between some of the demonstrators and the police, but shouting and shoving erupted among the crowd. The next thing he knew, he was being handcuffed and herded into a police transport vehicle along with two dozen others. 
COMING LATE FALL 2016 to Kindle, Nook and paperback

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Release Showcase!

My sisterscribes are on fire! Today I am overjoyed to share Ey Wade's two new releases: Ribbons & Belle and Ismet's Honor.

Ey considers herself to be a caged in frustrated author of thought provoking, mind bending books in several genres. She is the mother of three adult daughters that were previously home-schooled and the drooling ‘Lovey' to a little boy. Ey was born in Texas and reared as an Army brat. There is the constant need to speak, writing and telling stories is the way she choose to socialize.

The inspiration to writing Ribbons and Belle came from the controversy of abortions and the vitriol in which the women are attacked. People tend to over look the fact there may be medical reasons. Ismet’s Honor was born after a beta reader finished Ribbons & Belle and wished there was a story about Sunny. I decided to make it more about the father and what his wishes may have entailed and how abortions also affect the father’s to be.

You can find Ey at one of her many online homes:

Amazon Central Author Page: http://bit.ly/EyWade-Amz

Ribbons & Belle


Gorgeous, dedicated fertility counselor Tyson Ribbons, has admired and loved embryologist, Anabelle “Belle” Lee for along time. When she comes in for counseling he fights everything within him not to deter her from her plans.

Doesn’t stop his heart from wishing it could be him fulfilling her desire.

Anabelle Lee, mourning her inability to have a child of her own-suffered through two miscarriages, a heartbreaking late-term abortion, and a soul crushing divorce. As an embryologist, she has protected the potential life of many frozen specimens, and lived envious of the women choosing InVitro fertilization as their form of reproduction.

After a bit of encouragement from her best friend, and counseling from the very perfect Dr. Ribbons, Anabelle takes steps to fulfill her desire to become a mother.

Problem is, the announcement brings more of a shock than a gift.

Here's an excerpt:
“So, are you saying your plans will never include a man? A man who has no intentions of being a participant in an affair for friends benefiting off a burning desire? You have no time for a man who has a wish to have a lasting relationship”

“Honesty, I hadn’t figured a literal man in the picture at all. My mind is to do what I need to do to be happy and fulfill my goals.”

“A literal man? What does that mean? What are your goals? What do you have planned in your life that you are so sure I, a literal man, couldn’t be a part of?”

Belle stood, smoothed her shirt and tugged at the waistband of her pants- trying to gather her words before opening her mouth. Eventually, giving up. Crossing the room to the closet, she pulled out the Christmas gift bag.

From it she placed a couple of the fertility magazines in front of Tyson and stood back to observe his reaction. The look on his face transformed from burning curiosity into lip pursing illumination.

“Oh. I have this one in my office.” Leaning forward, he tapped the cover of one magazine before shifting back to his previous position. Arms, crossed over his body gave emphasis to the movement of his chest, and the stretched material of his shirt. Tyson sucked in a deep breath before letting it out slowly and clearing his throat. His glance never leaving her face. 

“How soon do you plan on going through with the procedure?”

“As soon as possible. I would simply love to have a baby by Christmas.” Belle smiled softly. Unaware of how wistful she looked.

“At this moment, you remind me of a child wishing on a star for a toy she covets. You know this isn’t a game, right? This baby you want would be a living being. Not something you can return when it doesn’t meet your expectations.”

Belle’s smile vanished at the censor in his tone. Belle’s smile vanished at the censor in his tone. What the hell? I know he’s not about to try and lecture me. As if I need his advice. Humph, as if he knows me like that. Who does he think he is? Hands on her hips, she looked down at him leaning back with his body pressed into the material of her couch. That body making her all hot and bothered, like he belonged there. Searing his body from head to toe with a slit eyed glare, she stifled the urge to kick the underside of his shoe and order him out of her house.

“What are you trying to say, Tyson?”

“Hold on, wait a minute...” Tyson, stood. Hands held out in front of him as if he thought he had to protect himself from harm, a chuckle escaping.  “Damp down the fire. I’m just observing your reaction and emotions. Counseling in this area is my thing, remember?”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Well this is no different than what I would ask any potential parent. Do you really want to be a parent? A single parent, even?”

“Yes. I want to be a parent.”

Noticing the tears forming in her eyes, Tyson moved closer, pulling Belle into his arms and close to his chest.

“You know, you don’t have to use the lab method. I promise you, it would be much more fun trying the old fashioned way. I’m just saying,” He laughed and held her tighter when she struggled to pull out of his embrace. “You have me here. Happy and willing at anytime. And if you want, anywhere.”

“Tyson, stop laughing at me.” Belle pushed a little harder and found herself free to move around the room. Happy yet bereft at being deprived of his warmth. ‘This is a serious matter for me.”

“Oh, believe me, I know it is. Once a woman has gone through the trouble of collecting magazines, and you seem to have a ton,” he tapped the decorative bag with the toe of his shoes. “The thought of being a parent, going through the procedure is a foregone conclusion. Yet, still I wonder.”

Ismet’s Honor:

                                                           

Sunny Verdi Reyes, has always wanted the “good-life.” Husband, home, lot’s of children. After cheering on her best friend and fellow embryologist Belle, through her successful quest for her dream, she wanted those things even more.

Unfortunately, Sunny broke the heart of her fantasy years earlier and it would take more than wishful thinking to get him back.

At 17, unable to voice his opinion against an unwanted abortion, Ismet Honorable O’Neal ran from the girl who killed his dream of the perfect life and the white picket fence.
Now he spends his time aiding other men in being the voice in the lives of their children.

Years later, he returns and Sunny is waiting.


She’s going to need more than the love in her eyes to repair the fences.

And now an excerpt:

“So, you're into studying women, Ismet? Know a lot of them? Are you into any certain one?”
“Still blunt and as curious as ever aren't you, Belle?” Ismet laughed. Sitting and filling his plate from several dishes, passing each to Sunny so she could do the same. “Of course I've known a few. I don't have a steady or I wouldn't have come here alone, but to answer the obvious- I'm not searching for one.” His gaze landed briefly on Sunny's face before he stuffed a fork filled with food into his mouth.

“Humph, well if you know like I know, life is short. If you're still out there searching at your age, you're more than likely looking in the wrong direction. Sometimes, what you're searching for is right next to ...what?” Belle squealed and ducked at the not trying to be subtle, roll thrown in her direction. The swift, timely reaction of her husband's catch, saving her from getting hit square in the face. “Sunny, did you purposely throw bread at me?” The fork she pointed at Sunny jerked up and down.

“Of course I did.” The tight eyed look Sunny cast in Ismet's direction, a cross between irritation and a dare, froze his expression in mid laughter, for all of a millisecond, before he continued laughing heartily. With the swift turn of her head, she flicked her hair. The ends swung and hit him in the face. “Me, kicking you under the table didn't make you shut your mouth.”

“That's because you were kicking me.” Tyson laughed. Reaching over and placing the roll back on her plate. “You got a good aim though.”

“I'm so sorry Tyson. But then again, I blame you. You should've tapped your wife or something. Put some check in her tongue.”

Tyson's smile was huge and the wink he shared with Ismet, flowed with a conspiring air.

“I tried. Shortened the length of my finger with all of the poking I was doing.” He held up his pinkie finger. “Didn't make a bit of difference.”

When the laughter subsided, Ismet-  pointing his finger at Belle, responded to her statement.

“Actually Belle, I think you could be on to something. Tyson shared a bit of your story when we were in the nursery, earlier. It was excellent, congratulations all around. Two beautiful daughters and love to boot. I never imagine such luck in my life.

Truthfully, I'm not going to try. I had my suburban dream as a kid.” He turned his head towards Sunny. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes, their history plainly seen, no explanations necessary. “And we all know what a nightmare that turned into.”

Both books are available on Kindle – Ribbons & Belle  Ismet’s Honor

Coming soon in paperback on CreateSpace.com