First, the mysterious bag of tricks…


Writing is an adventure, as I never know where my characters are going to take me while we search for their happily ever after.

I often start my journey feeling like The Fool, in a Tarot reading. I’ve got my story idea tied up in a little knapsack hanging from a stick. I’ve got the concept of the path this story will be taking laid out neatly before me, the distant horizon my main goal.

But what happens from that first step of writing Chapter One, to completing the journey at The End is where the adventure unfolds, weaves, and winds itself into a book.

I am both a plotter  and a pantser. All my good intentions are neatly outlined and ready to be followed. I color coordinate each scene by the character’s POV, I have notes at the beginning of each chapter reminding myself what is going to happen.

And then the characters take over. They usually tap on the inside of my skull in the middle of the night asking if I’ve got a minute to discuss something. I often tell them no, turn over, and attempt sleep. But the tapping gets louder (somewhat like a raven perched upon a bust rapping at someone’s chamber door) until I cannot ignore them any longer. They pick out character flaws that aren’t in keeping with how they envision themselves. They voice discontent with the way a scene turned out. They give me ideas on what personality quirks they’d like to embrace.

Usually they are polite and respectful. But sometimes they can get ornery.

In my recent WIP, BOOK 3 of the Earth and Sky Series, LOST IN YOUR RHYTHM, Liza felt she was too shy and intimidated. She wanted to know karate, and be uninhibited when it came to verbalizing her needs in bed.

She also was very upset that her mother was drinking too much merlot and said it made her mom look like she had a dependency and that wasn’t who her mother was. Yes, this was a real conversation at about 3 a.m. one morning.

So I gave Liza an education in the martial arts, had her take a drunken man who was hitting on her down in a bar on her first date with Jack (her love interest), and changed the magnum of merlot her mother drank at dinner to two glasses.

She let me sleep after that.

While these sort of experiences make writing exciting and new to me. My husband is the one who truly lives a life of adventure. He’s gotten used to the idea of me blurting out (mid-dinner, shopping, sitting on our front porch) tidbits of information about my characters, what recently may have happened with them, or a trauma they are facing. One time I woke up in the middle of the night and yelled out, “Brooke’s dead! I have to bring her back to life! I can’t let her die!”

So when it comes to adventure, all I have to do is plot out a book, pack my knapsack, and resign myself to being a Fool who loves to travel down paths unknown in search of that perfect happily ever after.



Dan couldn’t get to Jayde fast enough. After reading Jayde’s home address in the group text, Dan knew what he had to do. And it couldn’t wait another moment. Gotta love Brooke, for all her meddling. Tricky Brooke, Jayde had said. She was right. Thank you, tricky Brooke.

His bike rumbled down the dark country roads as he stayed alert looking for deer and other critters that might be out strolling the highway. He replayed the night, the awkward looks, his connection to Daphne, how much she reminded him . . . of him.

As he rolled into town, the streets empty and most of the houses darkened, he listened to the GPS directions piped into his helmet until finally he slowed to a stop in front of Jayde’s house. No lights shone in any of the windows, yet he held onto the hope that maybe she was still awake. At this point, he didn’t care. He needed to hear her voice tell him what it took him this long to figure out. What Brooke had been hinting at all along.

He killed the motor, threw his leg over the bike, and as he strode up the walkway he slipped his helmet off, cradling it under his arm. Climbing the porch steps, he called out her name, his balled fist rapping quickly on the door. Finally, through small rectangular panes lining either side of the front entrance, he saw a light come on as Jayde appeared. After peeking out at him through the curtained narrow side window, the door creaked open enough for Jayde’s face to peer out.

“Dan?” she asked, her sleepy voice echoing confusion and alarm. “What are you doing here?”

“Are you alone?” He peeked past her shoulder.

“It’s pretty late. What are you doing here?” She put an arm out against the door jam, and her attempt to look tough was lost as she stood before him in a pale gray and teal night shirt, her hair damp and loose from a recent shower. She was freaking beautiful.

“I . . . I . . .” he stammered, hardly able to form the thought, let alone speak it. What am I doing here? He dropped his helmet to the porch and grabbed her by her shoulders, kissing her hard and deep, needing to taste her one last time in case this all exploded in his face. She jerked away and as she went to slam the door, his boot stopped her. “Don’t. Please. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have. Jayde?”

“You have to leave,” she whispered.

His voice cracked. “Why? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Tell you what?” Her chest rose and fell, and her voice trembled as she spoke.

“That I’m their father,” he said, his voice cracking under the weight of his conclusion that Daphne and Dylan were his children.



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Posted on August 17, 2022, in book, fiction, guest author, romance, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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