Chuck’s First Surveillance

This story introduces Chuck, an…associate of Ethan who you may remember from previous stories. He’s going to be a re-occurring character if I can get some writing/editing done on his story. This is just a snapshot. 


Ethan did not look like a janitor.  That is what Chuck was thinking as they rode the elevator up to the top floor of the office building.  Ethan was dressed like a janitor, but he stood too straight and looked too confident. Chuck was dressed in the same grey uniform, and felt as if anyone they passed would know immediately that he was a fake when he couldn’t manage to roll the mop bucket down the hall without sloshing water everywhere.

They didn’t talk on the way up or as they walked through the halls.  Chuck’s shoes squeaked on the floors.  Ethan, who appeared to have the same shoes, walked silently.  They passed one office worker and Chuck felt like panicking, but Ethan just nodded to him and continued on. Ethan stepped into a conference room, closed the door, and turned off the light.  When he opened the dented handyman’s toolbox he’d been carrying, a large gun loomed on the top.  Ethan took it out and set it on the table.  Under it was a large camera, a pair of binoculars and a few other things Chuck couldn’t distinguish in the dark.  Continue reading

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O Words, Words, wherefore art thou Words?

blank pageDo you think Shakespeare ever had writer’s block? If he did, then that’s at least one thing we have in common. This last month has been a blank when it comes to writing my novel, the sequel to The Darkest Hour.

Admittedly, this sequel (which I can’t think of a name for yet) has been harder to write than the original, in part because it’s written from a male point of view. The Darkest Hour is written from Princess Rory’s point of view. With Rory’s story, I could be her. I was in her head and feeling what she was feeling. Often when men write female characters, I want to gag at the stereotypical or very unnatural way they portray them. I think women writers are just as guilty of messing up their male characters, hence my nervousness at choosing to write from a man’s point of view. (It’s Raymond who narrates this sequel, in case you were wondering.)

But despite the difficulty in finding Raymond’s voice and keeping it somewhere in the realm of realistic, I had created a story that was fun and exciting (and needed a lot of editing, because it’s a first draft) until last month when I finally reached the pivotal scene in the story. This is the scene that I first imagined before any words had been written. It is the scene the main character has been heading towards the whole time. It’s been in my head in a very dramatic and heart wrenching way for months, possibly years. So, when I got to this scene and put my hands to the keyboard, all of the sudden, nothing was there. Continue reading

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My Dog for a Morning

dogMy love of all things furry began when my family got a dog. I was three years old. Her name was Heidi and I loved her instantly. After the first night Heidi spent at our house, my mother went to check on me, but I wasn’t in bed. I was lying on top of the golden colored dog. Heidi did not spend long with my family. She was old when we got her, and one of my first memories was of some tall, faceless person taking her leash to lead her to her death, as my tiny heart broke.

Later we had a couple cats that took another piece of my heart when they, too, left this mortal existence. As an adult, I have two cats, but the desire for more fuzziness in my life is never completely abated. Surprisingly, running has introduced me to more than one furry friend.

I always hope to find animal friends on the streets, to the point that sometimes I foolishly assume animals will be my friend when they most definitely are not. (Raccoons are not your friend!) Continue reading

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Interview with Claire Bartlett

I recently found the website and Twitter hashtag #51writers which is a group of writers dedicated to writing strong female characters. There are so many great writers in this 51writers community and I recently had the opportunity to interview one of them. Keep reading to learn more about Claire Bartlett and her YA novels. Continue reading

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Don’t Forget Abby

Okay, so life has been crazy lately and I’ve had to cut back on my writing time for sanity’s sake, so today you get a pretty short post. This is a teaser for a story idea I have that is tied into the greater universe of my favorite character, Elizabeth DiMaggio. But it’s not about Liz, it’s about a roommate she has while in college. I have started writing it, but haven’t found the time to finish the story (novella length?) but hope to at some point. After reading the teaser, would you want to learn more about Abby’s story?


Abby’s first roommate is confident and ambitious with a tight circle of friends, a scholarship, and family rooting for her to succeed. Her second roommate is a movie star. Literally. She has an Oscar, for crying out loud. And then there’s Abby. With her thick AND short legs, Abby couldn’t have passed as a movie star on a single day of her life. If she has to read one more book about a poor protagonist that is too skinny or has hair that is too blond, she is seriously going to go on a book burning binge! (Roommate two is both too skinny and too blond, by-the-way.) Not only does she NOT have a life plan (roommate one) or a boyfriend (roommate two) she can’t even decide on a major and no boy has ever (literally, EVER) given her a second glance.

The worst part? Roommate one and two are perfect friends, always including their socially inept roommate (Abby’s words, they would never say something mean about her) in all their plans, keeping her company when she doesn’t have anyone else, and letting her cry on their (cashmere-clad!) shoulders. Why can’t she just have like, 1% of their perfectness? Would that really be too much to ask.

But Abby’s world is changing. (How can it not with a movie star roommate, really?) The question is whether Abby will recognize the changes and have the courage to jump in with two feet, or will she let them flow around her, stuck in the same old life she’s always had. She’s about to learn, that if you want a different life you have to make it yourself.

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Feeling the Earth

There is a place along the lonely road of Interstate 15 in the desert heat of southern Utah that I fell in love with as a child. I think I’m just about the only one who loved it. My mother certainly didn’t. My grandparents who owned the place didn’t seem particularly thrilled with the hassel of dealing with renters, mice, maintenance and more. Perhaps it was because I was still young enough to not see the mosquitoes and rodents and dirt that I could love it like no one else.


My grandparents’ home in Leeds, Utah was not fancy. The upstairs was rented. The basement where we stayed had concrete floors and sparse furnishings. One could always count on finding large bugs hiding in uncomfortable places. There was nothing in Leeds. My Grandma would drive us twenty minutes south to get dinner at Shoney’s where I’d always get the soup and salad bar and end up disappointed that it was actually just soup and salad. Continue reading

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Feeding the Wolves

WARNING: Guilty Pleasure Writing ahead. My favorite character, Elizabeth DiMaggio, is a movie star. She handles it like a pro. Her brother, Nate could do without the constant hounding from the press, but when you are a DiMaggio, it’s just something you have to put up with. 

“Miss DiMaggio, who designed that dress?” “Liz what did you do for your birthday?” “What is your favorite drink, Liz, now that you are old enough to drink?”  “Why did you choose not to attend Stanford, Miss DiMaggio?” “Miss DiMaggio, are the rumors true that you are dating Liam Hemsworth?”

Liz had stepped out of the restaurant with Nate, only 5 seconds before, but already they were being swarmed. Nate had done his job of alerting the paparazzi to their location well. Not a single question was addressed to him, which was just the way he liked it.

“Liz, what did you drink tonight? “Are the rumors true that you have dropped out of college to pursue a music career like your mother?” “Is it true that you recently put together a committee on running for senate?” Continue reading

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