I don’t want to be political here–frankly, I’m tired of being political anywhere. 2020 was an exhausting year in so many ways, but especially politically. However, I will say this. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are a breath of fresh air in a world that had begun to stink to high heaven. I have hope that I will get to be with my friends again, go out to eat again, feel safe in the grocery store again, hell, feel safe in the world again. I’m desperate for vacations–the lake, writing trips with Liz, a wine-tasting trip with Husband, and a writer’s retreat with my fellow Tule authors in 2022. I can’t wait to meet them!
This year is my hunker down and write year. I have a contract to finish two more River’s Edge books before August and I’d love to re-do the covers on the Women of Willow Bay books and put them out again with a holiday novella highlighting Liam and Carrie’s piano prodigy son, Jack. I don’t know if I can accomplish all that and still do my full-time editing gigs, but I’m going to try. Mostly, as vaccines happen and the world becomes safer, I’m going to get out into it and enjoy being among people again.
Here’s a little snippet from that Women of Willow Bay holiday novella I’ve had in a folder on my desktop for five years. What do you think? Can it be a novella?
Jack Reilly tapped his fingers on the steering wheel of his Jeep and glared at the brake lights in front of him. Thanksgiving was still five days away and this was Traverse City, not Chicago or New York. The trip from Willow Bay to Traverse City that should have been less than an hour had already taken an hour and half. Surely this wasn’t holiday traffic—something must be happening up ahead—an accident or a stalled vehicle.
He glanced at his watch. Rehearsal started in five minutes and he was still a good fifteen minutes away from the auditorium. He could see the turn less than a quarter mile away, but he was dead stopped. Since he wasn’t moving, he yanked his phone out of the cup holder in the console, breaking his own rule about checking texts while he was in the car. Dammit, two from his dad—one wondering where the hell he was, the other a You okay? worried note. He tapped the screen and texted Liam, Traffic, on my way.
The traffic moved along past the cause of the delay. Ironically, an overturned poultry farm truck had scattered frozen turkeys across the southbound lane of the road and into the median. Jack eased around emergency workers scrambling to pick up the mess. His phone chimed with a text as he pulled into a parking space behind the auditorium—Tessa making sure he’d gotten to the venue on time. He grinned. Funny considering she was the reason he was running late—her and her irresistible back of the neck and firm round behind. He thumbed a quick response as he hurried to the back door, allowing his smile to include the production assistant who opened it to his brisk knock.
“Better get in there, kid.” Cyrus Foster gave him a wink. “Your dad’s already run through the first ten minutes of the show. You’re up after the dancing Santas and they’re onstage.”
“Thanks, Cy.” The two bumped fists as Jack made his way through the equipment backstage to the wings.
Maestro Liam Reilly, Jack’s father, stood on the podium directing a rousing version of “You Better Watch Out,” while twenty dancers in white beards and Santa hats tap danced arm in arm in a circle. When Liam turned to bring up the tympani, he caught sight of Jack and nodded brusquely as the stage manager’s intern handed Jack a sheaf of papers. Jack couldn’t tell how irritated Liam was because the Maestro—he always thought of his father as “the Maestro” when they were onstage together—was immediately drawn back to the work at hand.
So, not sure it’s headed anywhere really, only about 3800 words in, but I really love Jack and his story has been in the back of my head for ages. I’d love to be able to get it out. We’ll see, eh?
Have a good week, mes amies. Stay well, stay safe, and most of all…stay grateful!