I’m finally breathing… with about five thousand words or less left to write on my current WIP, I can see the end and it’s full of light!
The other day I was telling Husband that as I’ve gotten closer to The End on this book, I think I’ve discovered that pandemic writing is much harder than I ever realized. So much of what I, as a writer, depend on to prime the creative well has been unavailable to me through all of the writing of this first book in the Langes of River’s Edge series. People-watching and eavesdropping in restaurants and airports, writing trips, get-togethers with friends and family, wandering through museums and bookstores… the list is long and demoralizing.
But on the other hand, not having those experiences has forced me to dig deep into my own past, my childhood, my remembered experiences, and my ability to fictionalize just about anything I see or hear. I suppose it’s been the ultimate writing exercise. I’m so grateful to have a terrific writing buddy in Liz, and wonderful crit partners in Cheryl, Sandy, and Mel, and fabulous betas in Moe and Harlene. I think with this one, they’ve had their work cut out for them and no doubt, they can see the struggle I’ve had making sure that the Lange brothers are not mere copies of the Flaherty boys, but rather a very different family. The Langes are closer to the family I grew up in–another thing that made writing them a little harder.
I haven’t given you a snippet in a while, so here you go–a little setup: Rye has just met Kitt, and he’s stopped by the firehouse where his older brother Becker is assistant chief, hoping for some information about the hot Irish lass he’s just stopped for driving on the wrong side of the road. Here’s fun quick scene between Ryker Lange and his older brother Becker in the new book, tentatively titled: The Valentine Wager:
Beck stopped polishing and crossed his arms over his chest, the rag dangling from his right hand. “Okay, clearly you’re headed somewhere with this, so talk.”
“I’m not headed anywhere,” Ryker denied. “She’s very pretty, that’s all. And she has an Irish accent. Man, it was cute.”
Beck gazed at him for a moment, then sighed. “No, Rye. Don’t.”
“Do not go after her.” He returned to his task. “She’s the Flaherty’s cousin. You mess with her and you’ll have all four of them on you like ducks on a June bug, as mom would say.”
“I’m not going to mess with her. What does that even mean anyway?” Ryker shoved his hands into his jacket pockets and shifted uncomfortably against the cold metal support. “I just thought I’d ask her out. Maybe meet for a cup of coffee. She can accept or not.”
“I thought you were dating that new front desk clerk at the Cotton Mill. What’s her name?”
“You know her name is Tracy. You had dinner with us a couple of weeks ago. I just thought you might know something about the cousin since you’re friends with Bren and Tierney.” Ryker had had exactly four dates with Tracy Knox, the last one of which might have ended up in her bed if he hadn’t been called out on a run. He dropped his head back against the pole, remembering her smooth skin and rather gifted kisses. She probably would’ve been an enthusiastic lover. But once again, he would have been left longing to get away and wondering if she attached more significance to the experience than he did. She was fun, but they’d met more equally physically than on any other level. The relationship, such as it was, left him restless and frankly, a little bored. He was glad he had ended it before he got too entangled.
“I haven’t seen Bren in about a month—he’s been out of the country. Just got back.” Becker stooped next to the rear bumper. “How long has this cousin been here?”
“Just a couple of weeks, she said.”
“Well, that’s probably why I don’t know anything about her”—he straightened—“and even if I did, I wouldn’t share it with you because you are a dirty dog when it comes to women, Rye.” He said it with a teasing grin and a head shake, but still, it stung.
Gratitude for this week: I am so close to the The End; we have a new president-elect!! Thanks to Son and Husband, we got to have our first fire in the fireplace in our new home; the elections are over; fall is in the air.
Stay safe and stay well, mes amies, and most of all, stay grateful!