Monday, April 30, 2012

Baking For Love - Chapter One, Act One

She felt him stir, stiffen and then slowly get out of bed not wanting to wake her. But for the past month, she’d awaken before him without making him aware of it.  He was sensitive to her moods so she made sure to lie still and keep her breathing even. 

The shower was on full blast.  There would be no steamed or fogged mirrors – there hadn’t been in months.  Frigid water pounded his head and shoulders, the freezing rivulets helping him regain self-control.  Violent shivers wracked his body, not from the cold but from the hunger.
She kicked the covers off taking a deep breath and blowing it loudly through pursed lips.  Clumps of wavy brown hair stood on end from the static of the bed sheets.  And although she had been awake for at least ten minutes, her hazel eyes refused to focus.  Her contacts were in the bathroom - the last place she should be at the moment.  It’d be better to get out of bed and go make breakfast.  The room reeked of her scent, but it would test his control if he saw her there once he came out.
On auto pilot, she busied herself making eggs, bacon, toast and coffee, which was mostly for her.  Breakfast was a light meal for him and lately he barely sipped his coffee before he practically ran out of the apartment.   The sounds of movement filtered in from the bedroom as he dressed.  Getting the newspaper she removed the sections she preferred to read, folding the paper neatly so it appeared as if it hadn’t been touched and placed it on the breakfast nook.
Steady footsteps approached the kitchen and she looked up holding her breath, not moving a muscle.  Despite the well dressed man that stood before her in his pin striped Brioni suit, she was fully aware that she was alone with a predator.  As always he was meticulously dressed but today he wore creams and grays which was a deviation of the usual dark  colors he preferred.  His short cropped blond hair managed to be both an example of executive excellence and playboy aristocracy.
He reached for the coffee and the paper barely making eye contact – the fringe of blond lashes cloaking his sharp blue eyes. “Good morning”

The air felt electrically charged and she knew he was shielding “Good morning” she breathed out and sipped her coffee keeping her movements slow and small in order to avoid provoking his instinctive responses.

Barely wetting his lips, he put the cup down, glanced at his watch and headed for the door. “Have to go.  See you tonight.”

She barely managed a feeble “See you later” before the door closed.  Appetite gone and nerves reduced to jelly she didn’t know what to do.  Sure, in the beginning everything was great.  He was suave, charming and handsome – romantic even.  But now things had changed and she was powerless to do anything about it.
Her friends had warned her about having an interspecies relationship but she wouldn’t listen.  She loved Sean but did he love her or was she just food that he was resisting to eat? She knew the answer – she is food because she’s human and at the bottom of the food chain.  And now he was acting like a man on a diet – a diet he was having trouble keeping, which meant trouble for her.
How could a relationship with an incubus possibly work out?  And how long would it be before he finally ate her, sucking the life out of her the way one would suck the jelly out of a jelly donut?

Getting ready for work was arduous, when what she really wanted to do was crawl back into bed and sleep or cry or both.  But she was stronger than that, and before she knew it she was waiting for the elevator.  The day’s agenda played through her head, which had become a form of therapeutic exercise.  Focusing on work was better than focusing on her personal life; at least it helped her stay sane.  A familiar voice pulled her out of her thoughts and she looked into clear golden eyes – Carl’s eyes.

“Hello” the corners of his eyes crinkling up as he smiled

“Hello” she couldn’t help sniffing and hoped she was inconspicuous.  Carl always smelled of sugar and cinnamon and she wondered if he rolled around in it.
“Penny for your thoughts” bright teeth showed through his smile – no fangs though – Carl had manners.  He was one of several living vampires that resided in her building and was nicer than most.  The others tended to keep to themselves and never socialized with humans unless they were on the menu.
“Did you bake today?”
“As a matter-of-fact I did. I baked donuts.  Do you like donuts?” he asked knowing that she did but feigning ignorance - his voice dropping half an octave and oozing sensuality.  He had baked them especially for her.  The kind she liked with the custard filling.
“I do actually like donuts but not jelly donuts.” The thought of which made her innards recoil.
“Then I guess it’s my good luck that I didn’t bake jelly donuts.  I made Bavarian cream donuts.  Do you like Bavarian cream?” the elevator doors opened at the lobby but their eyes were locked, Carl held the door open but didn't let go of her gaze.
Breathless and lost in the amber of his lion eyes she could only manage a hoarse whisper “Bavarian donuts are my favorite.”
“I’m glad to hear it.  I’ll be sure to reserve a few for you.” He released her gaze and Arianna stepped out of the elevator feeling a bit distracted over their encounter. A glance over her shoulder confirmed her suspicion – Carl stood in the elevator leaning against the open door, his eyes followed her as she walked.  She turned away quickly and left the building, her heart skipping a couple of beats.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Lately my blog has been neglected because my attention was directed elsewhere.  The first thing I had to deal with was the issue of an electrical shortage in my kitchen.  I wasn’t sure if the electrical problem affected the entire house, but thankfully it was confined to only the kitchen.  Now that the matter has been resolved and my pockets have gained another hole, I can relate to you what is currently troubling me.
You see, during the winter I gained a new roommate.  A squirrel decided that my home is quite suitable for her to nest in.  She climbed atop my porch and squeezed herself in between the roof and the asphalt shingles.  Instead of a smooth row of shingles, now I have a lifted section that resembles a hump.  Every morning when I leave for work, I turn back and glance at my house.  I love my house.  It wasn’t easy to buy her on my own and with the financial crisis it hasn’t been easy to keep her.  So, I’m very happy to have her.
Here I am looking back at my house and there. She. Is!  She was perched on top of the porch, probably on her way to work too (foraging for nuts and such, which is probably harder work than what I do).  I stopped in my tracks and so did she.  But she gave me this “Oh, no you didn’t just come out of my house!” look.  and I in turn shouted at her:  “How dare you move in to my house!”  That’s right, I actually yelled at a squirrel outside in the street. 

The face-off began and I think that she believes she stared me down, but you see it takes me an hour and a half to get to work every day.  If I miss the bus, I’ll be very late.  So I left and rushed to work trying to make up for lost time.  Since then I haven’t seen her, but I’ve heard her scratching on the walls.  I suspect that her nest is deep inside the porch on the other side of my bedroom wall.  And who knows how much damage she’s caused?  I don’t even know if she has babies in there.
Considering the number of holes in my pockets, I don’t have the capital to make repairs at the moment.  Every time I think of the dreaded squirrel, $$$ signs float before my eyes – $$$ signs that I don’t have.  First, I have to evict her, repair the damage and ensure she doesn’t return next winter to do it again.  All I think about (at least when I'm at home) is her.  Since she’s occupying so much time in my mind, I’ve decided to name her.  I’ve combed through the baby name sites and no name I saw captured what she’s doing to me.  But I didn’t give up and continued my search until finally I found it.  The name:  Xiuhcoatl.   The meaning: Weapon of Destruction.  Perfect.
I wonder if Xiuhcoatl is trying to find a way to evict me – now that would be funny.  But I tell you this, that Bi – I mean rodent – is going down!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Outlining My Novel

As I mentioned before, I’m not a plotter.  The thought of outlining causes an eerie sensation to crawl up my spine.  To me outlining is like school work. Not the fun - dissecting frogs and exploding volcanoes in science lab - but more like where the teacher drones on and on in a monotone voice that puts me to sleep.  My brain gets all fuzzy and a drowsy feeling overcomes me, effectively shutting down the creative process.  However, I’m trying to approach my writing  in a different way in the hopes of strengthening the writing muscles. 

Since, I don’t know the first thing about outlining a fiction novel, I’ve been scouring the Internet for tips.  There are various ways to go about outlining.  And at this point I’ve read so many different ways to do it, that I’m cross-eyed.  The lower than average gray matter that is my brain has gone on strike, apparently from information overload.  The end result being that I’ve absorbed nothing but I’ve bookmarked a couple of sites for future reference.

After that I was like - “This sucks! What do I do next?”  And then it hit me – “What if I searched on YouTube?” Which I did and I’m sure other people would’ve thought of it sooner, but I’m slow.  Anyway,  there’s a five part video series with Dan Wells, author of “I Am Not a Serial Killer”.  I liked the way he explained story structure - a seven point system not created by him.    In this video he uses examples from Batman Begins, Harry Potter and The Fellowship of the Ring.

As he explains, the seven point system goes as follows:

The Seven Point System
  1.  Hook
  2. Plot Turn 1
  3. Pinch 1
  4. Midpoint
  5. Pinch 2
  6. Plot Turn 2
  7. Resolution
Here's part one of Dan Wells on Story Structure:

Now I can refer to these videos whenever I feel stuck.  And his book has been added to my TBR list.