Saturday Snippet: Progress on Sea Dreams & Exciting News

On Saturdays, you can check out a snippet from my latest writing efforts.  All snippets are copyrighted.  These excerpts from my writing are first draft, unedited words, and may not appear in the final work.

This snippet comes from Chapter One of Sea Deceptions Book Three, “Sea Treasures.” As you know, I’m publishing Book One, “Sea Dreams,” just as soon as I finish the first draft of “Sea Treasures.”

Something about the salt water here reminded her of the ocean—a sense of depth belied by the fact that she could see floating lane markers when she turned and looked down. This is definitely a swimming pool, so why does it feel like I’m deep in the ocean? Her twisting motion disturbed the hand in hers. The salty scent of water comforted her, and she lazily stretched. A soft slap hit the water and tiny droplets scattered over her body, snapping her further alert. Her arm felt sore…bruised, and she wasn’t sure why. The hand holding hers tightened, and that sensation, too, felt familiar. Then why did she suddenly feel so forlorn?

“Maryn, are you awake?”

Maryn… Hearing her name brought back her awareness of self instead of all these disjointed memories of the past. She needed to be concerned with where she was and how she arrived here, not with high school swim competitions.

More than the words she heard, the sound of that voice triggered so much more remembrance. Long-buried memories—of anger, lies, and betrayal—flooded her at the sound of that rasping whisper, and she wrenched her hand away, pressing it to her head and trying desperately to will away the crashing thoughts.

A cry of pain—not hers—accompanied her movement, but Maryn couldn’t focus on it as confusing images flickered through her mind. She saw flashes of dark hair and a dark complexion, and her heart throbbed with agonizing recognition. Was this the face of one she’d lost? Was it someone she loved? Or was it someone who hurt her?

Maryn’s a bit confused. Have you ever woken up not knowing where you are?

Exciting News!!!

A short story of mine titled “A Step Through Time” has been accepted to an anthology, “Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove.” Atthis Arts will be publishing this collection in May, 2019.

I am so honored to have my work chosen for this special collection. Through the editing process, I’ve gotten a sneak peek at some of the stories that are included, and you are in for a real treat.

The premise of the anthology is that the entire story must take place in five minutes, and the story must also occur somewhere on the premises of Hotel Stormcove.

Pre-order your copy of “Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove” here.

Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove

Ruminating on 2018

As the year comes to a close, it invites reflection. What did I accomplish? What do I regret? How did I grow?

Ruminating on 2018

Accomplishments and Growth

In comparison to 2017, I can honestly say that I’ve been in a much better mental place. I still miss my dad–and I always will–but time and new experiences have offered their salve.

  • Writing, both journaling and the three novels I’ve been readying for release,
  • Drawing, whether little doodles or letter art or sitting down with my sketchpad,
  • Language learning, because Duolingo is awesome (Spanish and Hindi for now)
  • Reading, especially to the munchkins but also some great series I’ve discovered,
  • Gratitude practice, which I can’t recommend highly enough, and
  • Exercising, from HIIT to yoga, barre to Zumba,

These activities have all helped changed my perspective, keep me busy, and bring different kinds of joy. An analogy that really resonated with me was that grief or loss is like a bubble of a fixed size in the ever-expanding bowl of our life experience. As additional bubbles fill the bowl, the loss bubble doesn’t get smaller, but its proportion in comparison to our life experiences starts to shrink. I think we also get used to the new normal of not being able to share the new experiences of life with our lost loved one. Regardless, it still sucks and the strangest moments remind me of my dad, but I don’t want to dissolve into a puddle of helpless tears at every juncture.

The kids are also more independent and conversant, so it’s fun to see the thoughts coming out of their heads and to play games with them that I genuinely enjoy too. Their personalities are so different, and their capacity to learn and to help and to love brings such satisfaction to my lifelong wish to be a mother. Whether cooking with T or folding laundry with D, we find ways to work together productively and teach each other life skills. T’s love for science, D’s for cuddles, and both of theirs for having someone lavish attention on them warms my heart.

Growth as a writer? Not that you’ll notice since I haven’t released anything, but my writing provides better description and pacing than before. I’m conscious of active word choices and I’ve developed a draft-edit-complete method that really works for me. It helped me speed through Book 2 and is going to help me wrap up Book 3 at pace.

Regrets for 2018?

Can one have regrets without having regrets? Because while there are things I would like to have finished (ahem, release Sea Dreams), I do know that the delay will benefit the book’s quality. Finding time to finish the first draft of Book 3, Sea Treasures, has been a struggle despite having taken time off for medical stuff.

After surgery in mid-November to remove what turned out to be a benign liver cyst, it took rather longer than I anticipated to get back on my feet. Work stuff took priority, and then we had family travel plans thereafter. I’ve really tried to be present for the time I spend with the family, to make the best memories I can, so I can’t regret that choice. All of these activities translated to limited writing time in the last quarter of the year, inevitably delaying the release of Book 1.

The delays in the writing also paid off: I found more beta readers who were willing to share their feedback, and the slow pace of my draft have resulted in some quality writing that should (hopefully) require less editing time. I’ve also updated some things in Book 1 to make more sense and add consistency to the series.

Looking Forward

I’ll be discussing resolutions for 2019 in my next post, but obviously the first three books of Sea Deception will be released in 2019.

Previous Posts

2017 2016