I’m alive, at least I think I am.
When I wrote last week’s post, I knew I was fighting something. I figured it was just allergies. They’ve been especially bad this year. Besides, I had work to do. A book to finish and editing job I’m almost finished with. I didn’t have time to baby myself with a day or two off. What I didn’t expect was that by the weekend, what was ailing me would lay me low. You see, I wasn’t paying attention to what my body said. Heck, I wasn’t even listening to the muse who was telling me something was wrong.
The result was three days spent basically in bed. One of them I basically lost to sleep once the fever from Hell broke. That meant no work got done for basically four days. No writing. No editing. No nothing. Once the fever broke, I could at least read. The first day was reading fluff. By the second day, I was able to graduate back to science fiction and some good mysteries. Let me put it this way. In the last few days, I have read more than half a dozen books and started as many more.
So, when yesterday rolled around, I felt good enough to work. I had research to do, so looked forward to getting on the internet to deal with some of it. Except…..no internet. No phone. No television. In short, no nothing. It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with the details but if you haven’t figured it out by now, I have little patience for incompetence or bad customer service. After spending more than an hour on the phone with my service provider finding out what was going on, the blood pressure was up and the ability to think without cursing Nicki-style (some of you will know what I mean) had gone out the door.
That meant any detail oriented work — aka editing — was out the door as well. The distractions of having to deal with workmen, forcing them to explain what the issue was and not let them get away with the “she’s a woman, she won’t understand” attitude kept me from the mindset needed to edit. Add in an 84 year old mother who didn’t understand what was going on and having to explain it to her and, well, yesterday was a perfect storm.
A perfect storm for Myrtle the Muse to attack and attack hard.
I’d seen the signs. I’d even commented to a couple of friends the day before that I had a story idea trying to attack but I was ignoring it. After all, I’m in the middle of a book and have two more on the schedule to complete ASAP. The last thing I needed was a book to hit hard right now. Nope, I wasn’t going to let it happen.
Famous last words. One day, I’m going to learn that attitude is nothing more than a challenge to Myrtle. She is the most evil of muses.
So, here I sat yesterday, no internet unless I used my smartphone as a mobile hotspot and tethered the laptop to it (which I did for short bursts). Each time, I watched my data disappear and kept doing the math in my head. Even with my rollover minutes, would I have enough to last the month? Then, when Mom asked if she could tether in so she could play one of her “casino” games, I had to put my foot down. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen — mainly because she plays all day and I could really see my data spilling out the bottom of my phone, never to be seen again.
Then I realized that I had been working. Hmmm, when had Myrtle taken over my hands? More importantly, what was Myrtle doing?
And did I really want to know?
Barely daring to look at what was on my screen, I started reading. Nope, never heard the book before. Nope, nope, nope. I didn’t recognize the characters. Crap, what was Myrtle the Muse up to?
I blame Pat Patterson. I really do. After reading Slay Bells Ring, he told me he wanted another book using those characters and setting. I sort of played with the idea but, as I noted above, I had other projects on the burner. If something came from his suggestion, it would be later. Next year at the earliest.
Except Myrtle had other ideas. The more I read of what I’d been writing, the more I realized it was set in the same small town and some of the same cast of characters were there in supporting roles. But there was a difference. Where Julianna Grissom might have felt like her grandfather was reaching out from beyond the grave to manipulate her life, there was no real supernatural aspect to the story. At least not overtly. She didn’t need that on top of her mother who was, let’s face it, the least grown up of the entire family.
This new book, however, oh boy is there magic and who knows what else in it and poor Drew, Julianna’s brother, is right in the middle of it. Oh, there’s a mystery as well and some romance but it is the magic that has me wondering what in the world Myrtle the Muse was drinking when she took control of my hands yesterday.
What I have figured out is that this book is the bridge between Slay Bells Ring and Skeletons in the Closet. The former is very definitely and romantic suspense. It hints at supernatural but in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. Skeletons, which has insisted on being set in the same town, is most definitely filled with supernatural. The local witch has cursed the main character’s mother to have all the family’s dearly departed return to the old homestead. Mama has the tools to break the curse — if she thinks about it. Which she doesn’t. Lexie, the main character, discovers she is like her father’s side of the family, which means she is anything but “normal”. It seems that when someone from Mossy Creek says you are from the other side of the tracks, it has nothing to do with your financial status but everything to do with your family’s otherness. And poor Lexie is simply doing her best not to be hit by the bus her mother hopes for, not because Mama wants her dead but because Mama wants her to marry the ER doctor who will save her life, taking not only Lexie but Mama (whether Lexie agrees or not) far from Mossy Creek.
This new book spans the two. Drew Grissom is from the normal side of town. Like everyone else, he is aware of the special talents, if you want to call them that, of some of the town members. He just prefers to act as if they don’t exist. Katie O’Donnell comes from the other side of town and, like Julianna, had left Mossy Creek as soon as she was able. She’s back now to find out what’s happened to a member of her family. That pulls Drew, one of the local cops, into the mix. Add in a protective big sister who isn’t afraid to use her powers to find their mother or keep Drew from hurting Katie and, well . . . .
Myrtle is scaring me. This is so not what I usually do. But she is determined. So determined, in fact, that I put out more than 10k words in an outline yesterday. At least she is satisfied with just outlining the story right now. Of course, I’m also afraid this is just the prelude to her demanding the book be written — NOW!
So, please, keep your fingers crossed she lets me finish the next few books first. But if I start gibbering even more unintelligibly than usual, you will know what happened. Myrtle has taken over not only my fingers but my brain as well.
Help me. Please.
Welcome to a day in the life of a nad genius. We never know when or where inspiration will strike or what direction it will take.