Category Archives: Work-in-Progress Wednesday

I suck at this…

Banse and I moved. In April. I still don’t have my desktop, or even a desk. I’m building a desk with bits and pieces from Ikea. Eventually. I have an empty bedroom (two actually), so one will be a guest room while the other is my writing hole. This picture will give you an idea, except I’m not so good on the dimensions. 


I already decided to swap room sides, so reverse that “l” and put the longbpiece on the side by my fingers. And, I decided shelving on the wall will be easier than free standing. Sturdier too, I hope. 

Anyway, I’m still working on the contemporary series. I’m developing my own little small town and my characters. I’m definitely leaning more sweet than steamy, by the way. But, without that space, time is snatched in pieces. Annoying. 

So, that’s an update. Still chugging along. At the laundromat right now with my bullet Journal and notepad. 

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How is it Wednesday already?

Over on my newest hangout, Mari’s Muses on Facebook, it’s Work in Progress Wednesday. But I’m really dragging out the planning stage of my writing. I must create both those same people who will live in that small community which is so important to the cozy mystery, plus that small community itself.

I have waffled with settling my cozies here in Springfield but truly I think we are looking at a smaller community just outside of town.  At the very least, I know that my sleuth is an inn keeper. Yes, I know. Surely it’s been done. To death, even.

And yet, still I will try to make it my own, to make it unique.

As the setting and the plot foment in my mind, I am putting myself to good use and doing a bit of reading. OK, a lot of reading. Hopefully, that soon translates to more reviews.

Now, I’m coming down with a cold, and I feel right nasty. You have a good night.

Chapter One – Where did it go?

So, it’s Wednesday – the day I’m supposed to update you on the goings-on in my current work-in-progress. Only, there’s not been much progress on which to report.

I’m trying to layout Chapter One right now – there are 5 things I need to cover in the first chapter –

  • disclose the crime
  • plant some clues and/or red herrings right away
  • introduce the sleuth, and reveal just enough of her background to understand her world
  • ground the reader in the time and place
  • begin with a dramatic event (whose? The victim? The sleuth? decisions)

So clearly,  I can absolutely disclose the crime at the start of chapter two, perhaps the very, very end of chapter one. Because let’s admit it – that’s a tall order for chapter one, isn’t it?

Also, in what order do I wish to plot these?

So, that’s literally what I’m staring at right now…

Where did my productivity go?

I mean, seriously. I started this whole Bullet Journal thing because it’s supposed to help. And it does help me focus on what needs done. I’m just not doing everything. Because with or without this damned thing, I’m still a slacker.

And I have to stop. I mean, who cares if I note that I’m going to do these 5 things if I don’t actually do them? Well, I do. With school coming up, I need to be back in productivity overdrive.

Did I mention yet that I cannot wait to start my fall classes? I’ll be taking two tax classes. EXCITED!!!

Yes. Seriously.

So, it’s Wednesday, and that means it’s Work-in-Progress. Over on Jude Knight’s website, she’s talking about servants. Specifically, the servants of her characters. Jude is a wonderful historical romance author – and I’ll be hosting an event for her 16 July. Let me know if you’re interested in attending. I can probably link the Facebook Event on here.

But see, I switched my focus from historical romance to a cozy mystery set right here in Springfield, Illinois during the early 20th Century. We open in 1918, although the series will veer into the 1920’s. Turns out, my fair city has a rich history of gangs and bootlegging.

So, while my main character comes from a wealthy family, she is peacefully estranged from them, and has no servants. Oh, she’s well enough off – and receives a stipend from her father – and she owns her own book shop. She does, after all, have to be able to travel and investigate the murders. Plus, as I was writing her, she revealed that she owned this shop and did not talk to her family. Running from a tragic event, of course.

But if we don’t have servants, what do we have? Well, mob bosses have hired muscle, naturally. And they don’t play an important part in my book, but the exist. I mean, I’ve written the confession (no tells, sorry) but not much more than that, so perhaps they do play an important part.

Anyway. Here’s a hint at what’s to come. (Naturally, I’ve already changed a bit of this, so I feel fine sharing!) And please remember this is 100% raw, unedited nonsense scribbles!

I briefly admired the Pullman attached to the end of the train, but it was nothing to get too excited about. Daddy had one, and mama always tried to get me to use it for my buying trips. I preferred the anonymity of a public car.

Two more men in that public car. I found the last public car almost completely empty. Two large men sat at the rear, largely ignoring each other. Each read the morning paper. Rather, they pretended to.

Hired muscle, each of them – likely for the owner of the Pullman. I recognized the air of self-importance about them almost immediately.

Lefty stared at me over the fold of his paper, careful to avert his eyes when I dared meet his gaze. Righty had no such subtlety. He put the paper down and stood. With a grace not usually seen in one so bulky, he moved to where I stood.

I was unable to suppress the smile that spread across my face. Lefty remained unknown, but I had known Righty most of my life.

“Newton Jones. What a pleasure.” It would not be. Newton only worked for one family since leaving our small town up north.

“My apologies miss, but this car is full.”

I detected the moment recognition set in. The tough guy act shattered, and he flashed a quick smile. “Surely it’s been too long, Miss H – ”

“The car is empty, Newton.” I gestured widely – we had yet to be joined by another person, and the ticket girl had indicated this car was fully available.

“It’s for your own good, miss.”

Of course it was. But I was tired of being told what was good for me. In the end, I won – but only because the train started moving, and there was nothing to be done. I was stuck in the car closest to my uncle’s biggest rival – the man who most hated me and my family.

So there you have it. The first official excerpt from my newest piece. It’s rough, but it’s fun. I hope you enjoy!

Tell me, what are you working on this week?

 

Hazel Marie Rossini

So, it’s Wednesday. That’s code for “Work-in-progress Wednesday”, aka What I’m Working on Now…

Truth me told, not much. It’s like I’m still reeling from school, and I’ve no idea what’s going on or where I’m going.

I have a character, as the blog title would suggest. Born 21 February, 1897, she is the fictional depiction of my maternal grandmother , who was also born in 1897. Because I am from a 2nd marriage, my grandmother was almost 80 when I was born, and I didn’t know her too well. By the time I came around, she was old and frail – and she had just lost a husband and already buried her daughter. I don’t want to say she was bitter, but that’s what I remember.

And now that my father is gone, I feel as though there is no connection there any longer – there is no one with whom I can discuss my grandparents. (Which is not true as I have an older half-brother and half-sister who could totes fill me in, were we close.)

But this is still something that bothers me.

So what does any nominally sane person do? Why, they fictionalize their Grandmother, of course. So, there you have it.

Now, characters have backgrounds, and Hazel is still revealing herself, although she is totes going to settle down with an Alfred at some point. I do know she’s hiding something BIG when she comes to town because she calls herself Ellis Bell, but she has not yet revealed the specifics.

Have I mentioned yet where my series will take place? Here. Right here in Springfield, Illinois. I am going to have so much fun digging into the history of my hometown 🙂 Let me be frank  – I am not sure where/how to start researching so TIPS ARE APPRECIATED. But, I suppose the first thing to do is save up the $80 and invest in a library card… I get a half day at work every other Friday in June, July, and August. Guess that’s what I’ll be doing with my time until my husband is off work 🙂

So, that’s what I am working on. I don’t have anything to share about it, though. No words, at least.

What I can also share is that I am still digging my Bullet Journal. I’m 3 weeks and 3 layouts in, and I think I’ve been too fancy pancy about it. I create with words, not doodles and fancy lettering. So when I start August, I am going back to a more minimal approach. As I become more comfortable, I will share pics.

Have I told you what the Bullet Journal is? Well, let me just share these links instead. They give you the best rundown.

Here is the original site. This is Kara, and she might be a genius. Shh. I didn’t tell you that. There are a ton of other sites. Most of them are full of beautiful lettering and doodles and color and… all the things I am not. And it’s spawned a bit of bullet journal envy in me, which is immature and petty, and just so… beneath me. So, I sat my ass down today (I mean, I was at work, so…) and listed why I want the bullet journal:

  1. productivity *
  2. efficiency *
  3. timely assignment completion for school
  4. budget free time
  5. writing goals

* These are also my buzzwords for the year at work. I’m doing pretty good, I think. I hope. oh, now I’m concerned.

Anyway…

I then asked, what do I want to track?

  1. blog posts – when, what, etc… I mean, I am FAILING you guys, and I need to be more productive.
  2. writing goals – will I track chapters or words, though? Not sure yet.
  3. weight loss
  4. habit tracker (this is amazing and helfpul) – here is Kara again, this time guest posting on Bulletjournal.com.
  5. savings goals
  6. daily water consumption
  7. gratitude
  8. No Spend months (although this could just be part of the habit tracker, come to think of it…)
  9. goals – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc…
  10. class assignments
  11. positive quotes (because I’m trying to be more positive and not such a Negative Nancy)
  12. Bills – I have them on a monthly calendar right now.

So, I’m in love with this because I get to customize it 100% to what I want. And it requires some inner reflection – what works, what doesn’t. What should I keep, what can I do differently.

And frankly, I highly recommend it.

Oh, and I’m now on Instagram. @LauraMichaela_Author. So far, it’s BulletJournal and nature photos. #sorrynotsorry

Also! I had this question – do we, as authors, owe it to ourselves to read the stuff that is getting totally slammed in reviews? Is that part of being a better writer – the reading of the bad to see what NOT to do? I would love your opinions…

What are Wednesday’s for??

I’m trying to gain some control in my life. That second quarter of school really threw me for a loop. I’m taking the summer off, and in the next three months, I intend to make some changes, both personal and professional. 

To start, I’m training myself to get to bed at a decent time (no, clearly not tonight). That will, in turn, lead me to getting up earlier so that I can hit the gym in the morning. It’s when my husband goes, and I’d rather go with him than without. 

We skipped the gym tonight, and headed to the park. Since concrete actually bothers my feet, I headed for the trails. So peaceful. 


I’ll have to share from the memorial gardens next. That’s my ‘spot’. 

Professionally, I am hoping to be part of an anthology this fall. 😳😳😳😳

And, I’m trying to develop enough short stories to publish on my Channillo page, so I can earn some actual money. I need money. I’m a broke college student, you know. 

I’m also putting aside the romance, except got the short stories, to concentrate on something closer to home: a cozy mystery series set here in Springfield during Prohibition. We have quite a history, and I need to stop ignoring it! 

To that end, I went to the state library (love living in the capitol!!) and bought a copy of a 1916 street map. For a dollar. One dollar. 2×3, probs. Yes, for reals. 


I’m having fun with this. Squee! 

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday, and I’m about to watch a couple lecture videos, so I’ll keep this short.

On many blogs, it is Work-in-Progress Wednesday, where we share not only our works but invite readers to share theirs.

I’ve shared this bit on two blogs, Jude Knight and Bryn Donovan – both wonderful writers, whom you should definitely check out. I definitely recommend Bryn’s blog if you struggle finishing a book. 😉

So, here’s the bit I’ve shared. I already want to change it, so I will later this week.

(everything after “I am.” is completely off-the-cuff made up as I posted this on Jude’s blog. Agonizing!)

“You are leaving.” It was not a question.

Their gazes met across the length of the room. Rupert’s large frame filled the doorway leading to her bedchamber, and she took a step back, bumping into the small table by the balcony doors. Briefly, she wondered if he could see the evidence of her earlier tears. It was a thought most quickly dismissed; newly engaged women often shed tears of joy, so it was of no matter.

She owed him an explanation, and opened her mouth to give him one, but found herself saying only, “I am.”

He scowled, but did not protest, and her shoulders fell. She leaned against the window, letting the cold seep into her burning skin. She owed him an explanation, and yet, could not speak. She closed her eyes, blocking out

She owed him everything, but could offer nothing in return.

“Fithian takes you to London, then?” Again, it was not a question. Likely, Lord Fithian had already apprised the others of their plans.

“Only briefly, to obtain a special license.” Perhaps he did not know the plans.

“And your father?”

Her eyes flew to his face, and there she saw her own pain echoed. His hands clenched at his sides, and a bead of sweat trickled down the side of his face.
She stepped forward, to close the distance between them, but he stopped her by throwing up one hand.

“Do not,” he said through clenched teeth.

(And I’m not sure where I’ll go from there. I’m still trying to rein myself in and stop writing all willy-nilly through the book so I can get the first 5 chapters done for a beta read.)