My Personal Challenge – Fated (The Rewrite)

authoressGetting back to writing is harder than I ever imagined. After several weeks of plotting and creating an initial outline, I tried to re-write the first chapter last Saturday. Well, I’m still working on it.

But I’m determined to get it done. I think one my biggest problems right now is trying to write the story I want to write and silencing that inner critic because she has major issues.

While it is important to think about plot holes, character consistency and grammar rules, my critic also likes to throw in random thoughts like – “Who’s actually gonna read this?” “Is anybody gonna like this?” “Doesn’t this suck?”

My answers lately have been – “No one”, “No one”, and “Yes”. So I have rewritten the first chapter each day for the last seven days. And I remain in the place where I started.

Ughh!!!!

My remedy for the time being is: Do it anyway. Maybe, this piece won’t ever be published but I will finish by the end of the year and to help me along – stay tuned for unedited chapters each week.

Here’s the synopsis for Fated (working title)

Marc Rossi is a small town detective working on the biggest case in the not only the town’s history but his career. A prominent business man is found with a single gunshot wound to his head in his office. To complicate matters – the business man is not only a member of the latest wave of post-Katrina transplants to settle into the town but a member of the growing number of immigrants into the South Louisiana region. Language barriers and general prejudice hamper the investigation as well as Marc’s growing attraction to Laurence Tomas, the victim’s former girlfriend.

Can he find a killer and love at the same time?

Hope you’ll join me on Monday for that first chapter!

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

I had great hopes for this summer. I was going to polish the rest of the Rose Gold Collection. I was going to complete the follow-up novella to Scent of a Woman. I was going to finish a Christmas novella.

Then life happened.

After six months, I was unable to find a full time job and my savings had taken a serious depletion.

Writing and publishing is now a dream while I deal with the real world.

I’ve moved in with my in-laws a state over from where I began my writer’s journey.

magic pen (series C)And my kids are undergoing a journey of their own. If you are a parent then you’ll understand that their struggle is paramount to your own. So when my daughter looked up her new school online and saw 0.3% of the enrollment who classified themselves as one or more races, she was concerned. Which led to my younger daughter being concerned which led to me being concerned.

I’m an African-American woman in her forties married to a White man. I’m used to being one of the only few in a crowd whether it is one of his family’s functions or one for work, so I no longer think in those terms.

But for a child who identifies herself as biracial, who does she gravitate towards? In our former hometown, it was easy. It was like we were a minority population of those who were interracial couples – White/Asian, Black/Latina, Black/ White, White/ Latina/o and the list goes on. But here on the North Shore (about thirty minutes outside of New Orleans), we don’t even qualify as a minority. It’s more of an anomaly.

So over the next few weeks, I’ll let you know how we are doing. Especially the kiddos. And I’m going to write again.

I promise!

~Val

The Virgin Heroine?

When I began college eons ago, I became friends with a group of ladies and gents that I still hang out with. At the time we met, we were all virgins. Every single nerdy one of us.

By the time we graduated, only two virgins remained. Unlike the rest of us waiting for our moment to bloom in the eyes of the opposite sex, they had made a conscious decision to not have sex before marriage.

darceystraighthairSo here’s where my life experience affects my enjoyment of smexy reading material. The Virgin Heroine who is old enough to legally buy alcohol.

In order for me to buy into this woman’s story, I need the reason she’s a virgin. I don’t even care what is – self-esteem issues, daddy issues, religious view point, whatever! Secondly if she’s now going to have sex with this guy then I need to why as well. And sorry it can’t be lust at first sight.

This is a lifestyle choice we’re talking about. Like being a vegetarian, you don’t look at one burger and say to hell with this. This is years of hearing – “Say, girl, you wanna come back to my place?” And the answer being – “No thanks.”

Of all the heroine romantic archetypes, I think the virgin is trickiest one to write for contemporary writers. I applaud those who have done it well and keep me seeking out their stories. And I’m asking for support as I put the finishing touches on my own virgin heroine’s story. Look for it over the Christmas holidays!

Happy Reading!

Typed The End…Part 2

Cocktail partyAllergies have slowed the work down this week and I didn’t accomplish as much on my second week, but I did accomplish some things. Here’s the wrap up:

The first thing, that I’ve done is to create a writing schedule that will take me to the end of the year. Along with that came a promise to myself that I was going to complete it. Here’s schedule and where I am:

  1. Anthology Submission to Hot Ink Press for an upcoming project called Naughty Bedtime Stories – Received an email that it was received and is under review.
  2. Holiday Short Story – The second draft is going very slowly. I’m trying a new technique and while I think it will produce a better work, it’s taking a lot longer.
  3. Second Shifter Novella – The first draft stalled on Wednesday and I haven’t gotten back to it. Must work on this this weekend.

I also know that I have to get back out there and start connecting with readers and other writers, so I have a few blog hops coming up and some writers lined up to visit the blog very soon.

Happy Reading!

November 2013 Update

I’m deep in the heart of NaNoWriMo 2013 and 5000 words off pace. No matter all my careful planning, LIFE struck.

Work – The company I’ve worked for for the past seven years was bought out officially in October. This past week, the first wave of layoffs occurred. Six hundred employees were told they no longer had a job. And none of them were given the reported 7.2 million dollars that our former CEO received. So it was hard to write this week.

Home – Spanish tests, low math scores and science fair projects. I’ve been super busy with my girls. And my son is a maniac often waking me up at three in the morning to announce that he has to go potty. He doesn’t want my help or anything, he just wants me to know. Of course, I can’t go back to sleep after that. At least the hubs is satisfied with the football season. Geaux Saints!

In the midst of it all, I managed to complete 25,000 words and I’m halfway done with A Loving Affair. Have I shown you the inspiration for Lenore.

Here she is!

(How sexy is forty?)

Mature Black Woman on a Boardwalk (2)

 

Back to writing, I have 25,000 more words to finish in less than 15 days!

Hump Day Hook – Christmas 2014

It’s time for the Hump Day Hook! A group of authors sharing a small bit of their WIPs or already released works. Click the icon to discover your next great read!

humpdayhook

This RAW snippet comes from a WIP novella, I hope to complete by Christmas submission time in 2014 so by the end of June or late July 2014….August 2014 if I limit my publishing options. In this exchange, Ada Haynes is checking into a bed and breakfast in her ex-husband’s home town of Willow Springs, GA during the Christmas holiday.

photo_66781_20111209“Well, I used to visit this area with my ex-husband and we always ate there.”

At the word, husband, Mr. Ballard cocked his head to the side at a sharp angle that swung his hair into his suddenly nquisitive eyes. “Is that right?”

Willow Spring was a small town tucked high in the mountains of Georgia. A local husband most likely meant that she’d been married into one of the few residing African-American families. She hadn’t.

Ada let his mind tick over the possibilities, unable to contain the width of the smile straining her against her cheeks. She’d always enjoyed the shock of someone finding out that she’d been married to a member of one of the town’s founding families, Tolbert McCrae. “And the lights in the square, do they still have those?”

Happy hopping and wish me luck! The next stop is Elin Gregory.