Sunday, December 8, 2019

It's a Stretch

There are times in life when you can get complacent. You eat the same thing for breakfast every day, drive the same route to work, eat lunch at the same time. And on and on and on.

Writers can get into the same rhythm and routine.  I tend to bounce between my two main characters, Jamie and Chene, when it comes to my stories. So they all have elements of mystery. Jamie’s also include a mixture of romance, to shake things up a bit and perhaps attract a different audience.

When I was facilitating workshops for a local writer’s group, I recalled a comment from a creative writing professor years ago, that encouraged us to stretch. Get outside your comfort zone and write something different.  Along the way, you might just surprise yourself.  So that was a component I encouraged the others to try. Shake things up. Write a short poem. Do a scene that’s heavy with description of the surroundings to set the stage. Write two pages with nothing but dialogue between three or four characters. 

Lately, I’ve had the urge to go in a new direction. So that’s had my attention. It’s not uncommon for me to have ideas for a couple of stories at the same time. Depending on my mood, I will work on one or the other as time permits. But a friend made a suggestion about a paranormal story.  This is new territory for me. It’s definitely got my interest.   A stretch in a new direction may be just what I needed to stir things up.

Time will tell.

Going in a new direction got me thinking about “Vanishing Act”, the second book in the Jamie Richmond series.  In the story, Jamie’s best friend Linda is introduced. In the midst of a cold and snowy winter, Linda becomes the target of a stalker.

Here’s an excerpt from the story.

Malone was going to kill me.

There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. He was going to kill me.

I knew it in my heart, in my soul—right down to the marrow of my bones. From the top of my wavy red locks to the bright, red polish on my toenails, I knew without a doubt that it was a sure thing.

    Malone was going to kill me.

    But first, I had to get out alive.

    He’d warned me time and again to mind my own business. Why didn’t I listen to reason? How could it be that less than four months after I narrowly escaped certain death at the hands of a psychotic bikini-bar waitress, I found myself in another situation where my chances of survival were slim? Only this time, it was not just my life on the line. I had somebody else counting on me.

    Now it was up to me. I needed to figure out a way to get us out of here, fast, because right now, time was rapidly running out on me. Make that us. There was no way I was leaving alone, but there sure as hell was no way I wanted to stick around. Right now, all I really wanted was to be back in my cozy little home, curled up on the plush sofa I affectionately call “The Jewish Aunt,” waiting for Malone to come home from work. But I knew that was not going to happen.

    We were trapped. And waiting on the other side of that wall was someone who would rather see us sliced open on a coroner’s slab than walking out the door. And to help them make that wish come true, they were setting the wall on fire.

    Malone may have to wait in line to kill me. 

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A shift this week with Downchild Blues Band


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