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Showing posts from 2009

Pounding the Pavement

This was a writing prompt for a small writer's group I belong to. Each week, we meet and have a short selection to share. This was mine for June 4, 2008.

I've never really actually pounded the pavement, except with my butt. What can I say? I'm clumsy. If it's possible to hurt myself, I will.

I don't know what my first experience with pavement pounding was, but several incidents certainly stand out in my mind in rather spectacular ways. I seem to have a proclivity for injuring my feet the most, though my shins and knees refuse to be left out of the action.

When I was four, my family lived in married student housing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while my father attended Harvard. There were lots of children running around barefoot and we played outside all spring and summer. One of the boys was given a red wagon for his birthday and we were all getting rides. I was determined not to be left out and claimed my place in the front while two others piled in behind…

Fragrance LIngers

Mara Cross is a successful architect who never felt she had time for love. On vacation on a tropical island, love finds her in a most unusual way.

The beach filled gradually, but nothing bothered Mara who was used to the noises of the city. Her apartment was in a loft unit downtown. It had once been a warehouse, back in the Prohibition Era. The historical society prevented its destruction and her architectural firm redesigned it into apartments for young, upwardly mobile executives. She'd liked the results so well, she bought the top floor for herself.

"Miss?" It was Julio. He was bending over her looking slightly concerned. "It's been nearly an hour since you fell asleep. If you don't turn over soon, you're going to be burned on one side and blank on the other."

Grinning at him, Mara obediently rolled over and ordered another drink. Julio brought it gladly, smiling happily as she added a handsome tip to the bill.

"I go off duty in an hou…

Car Trouble - part 2

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I like dialog. One might go so far as to say I'm a conversation junkie. I like verbal exchanges, word play, innuendos, double entendre and yes, even puns. I particularly like conversations where the two main characters get to know one another.

I did a few "first meetings" not long ago, and I decided to revisit that and post a few more. This is the first part of a novel called "Car Trouble" - as yet unfinished.

The disconcerting thing about this novel is that I had car trouble myself in the exact spot that Kent has car trouble in the first chapter. Only that didn't inspire this tale, because that happened weeks after I started this story. In fact, I was driving home from a meeting planning to work on it when my tire blew.

My rescuer wasn't a hunky male, he looked more like Rodney Dangerfield, but he was friendly and efficient, getting me back on the road safe and sound.

I got out, dragging my meager possessions with me. There was more in the car, but …

Gone But Not Forgotten - Part 17

Screaming, weeping, Matilda followed the other three to the ladder, falling over obstacles in the dark, tripping on her own feet, hysterical with grief. She knew she had to get the rest of the team out, but she could hardly breathe. Panic took hold of her as another tremor, longer, deeper and more urgent shook the ground under their feet.

The other members stood by the ladder, uncertain what to do. "Up the ladder, reverse numbers!"

She had enough where-with-all to know she had to be last. Jane went first and the rest followed, hesitating over the gaps in their ranks, noticing and mourning those missing.

There was one person left, the largest man in the group. Mike delayed before going up. "You first, Matilda."

She shook her head. "By the numbers, Mike."

He forced a grin. "Yes, ma'am."

He put one foot on the ladder and the shaft began to crumble. He leapt back, knocking her aside as the soft, black dust fell over them. She had a moment of…

NaNoWriMo is in Full Swing. Are You In?

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo again and loving it. The first part of the novel came fast and furious, but the muse is now being stubborn. I have had to cut and restart a couple times. I know technically that's not something they encourage, but I knew I wouldn't ever finish if I didn't redirect and fix it. It's going more in the right direction now -WHEW! Below is an excerpt of my story, a crime/ romance blend.

The original idea came from something that actually happened to me. The character of Teague has my perspective & point of view in the incident that sparked this story. Of course, I've added to and embellished, but the basic thread here is real. I don't know what the bikers were doing, if it was a strange and oddly convenient coincidence, but it's something that stuck with me.

Teague McMurtry has recently left the Army. At 24, he's seen more blood and death than most men his age. Quite by accident, he gets involved in something strange, myst…

Pat Bertram is my Guest Blogger!

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Most how-to books on writing suggest getting the first draft down as quickly as possible so that the passion shines through. This is good advice, and I would follow it if stories came easy to me, but they never do. I worried about this (for five minutes or so), wondering if my novels would feel dry and unemotional because I approach them as a puzzle, but the only difference between my way of writing and the so-called right way is that I do my thinking as I write rather than as I rewrite.
Is one way better than another? I don’t know, but if we accomplish what we set out to do, both the logical writers and the passionate ones can end up with interesting stories that will evoke emotions in our readers. In my case, during rewrites I get rid of much of the dryness that comes from the puzzle approach. In your case, perhaps, you lose some of that freewheeling passion when you organize what you have written into a more cohesive story.

We all have to find the best way to write. I am not condonin…

Tangled Web covers

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By leaving a comment below, vote for your favorite cover. Random drawing will be held for a free, signed copy when the book is published!

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Gone But Not Forgotten - Part 14

Room assignments came next. Couples were housed on the first three floors, singles paired up and were on floors four through eight.

"Take a key and move on," the attendant here said. "One key per person."

Before leaving the building, they received directions to their building and then put their stasuits. These were checked and rechecked at the door. Corrections were made as needed, none too politely.

"We start Monday, Tilda," Bobby sounded apprehensive.

"Bobby, I hate this place," Matilda shuddered, clinging to his arm.

"So do I, honey. It will be all right, we won't be here all that long."

They found their room without any difficulty. James and his girlfriend, Stella, were next door. After unpacking their scant belongings in the cheerless, tile and metal room, they went to the cafeteria in the basement. Each dorm had its own to minimize exposure to the outdoors. The food wasn't too bad, at least it wasn't gray.

Gone But Not Forgotten - Part 11

Matilda woke on a morning six weeks later and realized not only was it her seventeenth birthday, but it was her last day on Saltulle. Her family was headed for a mining colony on Solaris in the Zapata system. She was being sent to a mining colony on Parisium and Bobby was going with her.

After three years, if she worked hard enough, she would be eligible for transfer to officer's training. That program alone took an additional three years and the most she could hope for was Commander on a mining vessel. If she were extremely lucky, eventually she would be given a Captaincy, but she doubted it. In the entire three centuries of its existence, there had been three female captains in the Mining Guild.

She dressed quickly, anxious to spend time with her family. Solaris was a long way from Parisium and she did not foresee any chance for visits. She had Bobby, that would have to suffice.

When she got to the kitchen, there was a flurry of activity. A banner across the doorway said, &…

Gone But Not Forgotten - part 7

Matilda has discovered that there might be Trimagnite on Saltulle. She is sensitive to the elusive, toxic, liquid ore. Wil & her father have asked her to show Wil where she was when she had her encounter. Matilda has made another discovery too, she realizes that she's falling in love with "Uncle Wil".

Matilda dressed carefully but with an eye to practicality. First, comfortable jeans which fit her very well, emphasizing her slender hips and firm thighs. Her shirt was a long sleeved, plaid cotton worn over a white tank top. Gloves and helmet were standard issue. No one left them or their goggles and filter masks behind. Thick soled boots completed her outfit. It wasn’t fancy, but it was the best she could do.

Brigette tapped on her door and poked her head in. “Uncle Wil says, are you ready?”

“Be right there.” A dab of her favorite perfume behind each ear and she was ready.

Wil was waiting outside on a bright red floater cycle. He grinned widely, as if he hadn’…

Gone But Not Forgotten - Part 5

“I’ll wake you when I come to bed,” Ed winked at her luridly.

“Very likely you will, Edmund, but don’t expect much!” She threw a dishtowel she had been taking to the wash at him and walked off, muttering all the way to her room.

“So, Tilda, tell me specifically what you felt on your way to the camp.” Her father seemed calm, but excitement seethed under the surface.

She described the sensation as accurately as she could. Wil sat quietly, smoking thoughtfully, listening with an intensity she had never seen.

“Do you remember where you were?”

“Yes, it struck me as odd, so I glanced at my position.”

“When you crossed it later, did it happen again?”

“No, just once. Why?”

Wil looked slightly discouraged. “Still moving,” he told Ed. “But it gives us something to go on. You ever thought of mining Trimagnite? You’d be good at it, as a natural sensitive.”

“No daughter of mine will ever be a Trimmie,” Ed said with finality.

“Trimmies are seriously spooky, Uncle Wil.” She shuddered reflexively.

“No …

Gone But Not Forgotten

This is a spin-off of my sci-fi series, "The Lone Wolf" coming soon from Second Wind Publishing. I took two of the main characters and expanded upon their backgrounds and how they were interconnected.

Wil VanLipsig, the Lone Wolf, is a mercenary, assassin, ex-Marine who was genetically enhanced at the age of 26. Since then, he hasn't aged a day. Matilda DuLac is the eldest daughter of Wil's closest friend. Though he's much older, Wil finds himself falling in love with the beautiful, self-confident teenager. For part 2: http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com/

Tortured winds ripped through the mining camp which clung to the inhospitable cliffs and crags of Saltulle. Synonymous with Purgatory in miner’s vocabulary, Saltulle excelled in two things: providing the Mining Guild with ores and gems unavailable almost anywhere else and turning out the most experienced miners in the galaxy.

The hurricane force winds drove the blinding rain in horizontal sheets, stinging expo…

Check it out!

There is a contest at Bitten by Books and an interview with a gorgeous cover model. Check it out! http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=11150

Wend Ely is my Guest Blogger Today!

Check out Wendy's interview with her character, Jesse Lincoln!

Among the Shine Clan - Part 11

They made love so many times, they lost count. Each time was different and better. They experimented, discovering everything they could about one another. They knew their time together was short and they were determined to use it to the fullest. Finally, exhausted, they fell asleep, not waking until noon the next day.

Jasper was pounding on Deacon's door. Despite the privacy light, he was determined to wake his brother. Deacon answered naked and angry.

"What?"

"Have you forgotten that you're expected somewhere in half an hour?"

"Shit!" Deacon grabbed a clean uniform out of the closet.

Flinging on his clothing, he realized Fiddlestix had nothing to wear but her filthy uniform. His clothes were miles too big. He tossed a robe at her, telling her to be patient.

"I'll find you something. Betsy and you are about the same size." He went down the hall and banged on Betsy's door.

After a short explanation, a sharp slap and a brief apo…

Among the Shine Clan - Part 8

Deacon led Fiddlestix away from the others, turning off his communicator. Figuring he wanted a chat between leaders, she did so as well.

"You're a hell of a warrior, Hannah-Belle," he whispered.

He took her in his arms and kissed her. Shocked at first, she pushed away from him, but he held her tightly. After a moment, she realized that she didn't want to push away. She clung to him almost desperately. Warming to his touch, she matched his intensity. Most men would have been intimidated and pulled away. Deacon held her gently, but securely. Their kiss lasted less than two minutes, but left them both breathless.

"I really didn't mean for that to happen," Deacon backed shyly away a few steps.

"Me either," she admitted awkwardly.

"It was damn good though," he chuckled.

"Oh, yeah!"

"Hannah, when this is over...."

She put her hand on his lips, stopping him. "When this is over, Deacon, I'll go back to work.&quo…

Weekly Quote from Among the Shine Clan - Part 4

This is part of a continuing short story I wrote a couple of years ago. The companion story, "Fiddlestix" was given an Honorary Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. "Among the Shine Clan", though written later, is first chronologically. This story is not appropriate for readers under 14.

Fiddlestix' men looked terrified. They saw an enormous, angry man looming across a narrow, flimsy table in a room deep underground with no sure way out. What was Gunny doing? Why was she baiting him like that? Shouldn't she be negotiating? Playing nice? Maybe doing whatever a woman did to a man to make him more compliant? So far, she'd done everything except shoot him. If it was possible to verbally castrate a man, she was working on it.

Kaz, who was a short, wiry built man, swallowed with difficulty, his hands shaking. Harmony, who wasn't used to feeling small, was. They didn't dare speak. Neither man wanted to draw attention t…

Quote of the Week - Among the Shine Clan - part 2

(Continued from Word Press Blog http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com)

Using hand signals, she brought her people in to tight formation and sped up. She was with Kaz in less than two minutes. Looking at the screen, she saw he was telling the truth. There should be a readout of all the squad members, but the bars for the point team were blank. Not flat lined, just blank. Not even their names appeared by the bar.

"Shit! Sound off!" She growled into her headset.

For the next thirty seconds, her soldiers stated their names. She came up another three short. That made, with the point team, seven.

"What the hell?"

She was angry now. Something was happening she had no control over and didn't understand. Was it Shine Clan or the cyber unit? They weren't finding bodies, so maybe they were still alive. She didn't like it, but she didn't have to like a situation to get the job done.

"Sound off every five minutes,"she ordered.

Walking slowly, cautious…

Oscar Friedman's Freakish Occurence - Part 7

Oscar's at it again! Part 7 is now up!

Weekly Quote - from "The Lone Wolf"

"The Lone Wolf" is set in the distant future when space travel is as common as a drive to the grocery store is for us. The Mining Guild has been in exisitence for 300 years and controls much of the galactic resources. Marc & Matilda serve on a small mining vessel in deep space. Aolani is the Mining Guild's home base.This excerpt is from chapter 3. Wil is an old acquaintence of Marc's. To find out more about him, read some of my earlier posts both here and on Facebook as well as my Word Press blog (link below).

The morning alarm buzzer sounded, jarring Matilda awake. Marc was already up. His propensity for early rising and his ability to function very little of sleep often rankled. At least he wasn't giving her his morning pep talk like he sometimes did. She took her sonic shower and dressed slowly. No need to rush, they were in their mazing-run. Marc initiated it right after Wil's departure.

Marc still wouldn't tell her about that conflict. At first, he…

Quote of the Week from "Bad Day"

I like the initial meeting of male & female leads in my stories. Sometimes the meetings are happy, funny, embarrassing or downright awful. The following is from "Bad Day", a work in progress. Reva Kelly is a wedding planner. One day, nothing is going right at all. Coming back from lunch, her shoe breaks, hurling her to the ground, breaking her leg. While at the hospital, her assistant & friend, Jane, waits with her in the ER cubicle. Her boss, Mr. Perrine, sends his "personal physician" (his nephew) to check on her.

There was some fumbling with the curtain and a young doctor poked his head in with a grin. "Am I in the right place? I'm looking for Reva Kelly?"

I waved, smirking sardonically. "You've found what's left of me," I grinned shyly.

He eyed me in a more than professional fashion, lingering on my broken ankle. Then his gaze drifted back up to my eyes, focusing there. "Red hair," he murmured.

"And gre…