What I’m Doing…and Jack Handey Day

I noticed that I blabber on and on about writing and publishing and how I’m soooo busy, but I never actually show any writing. Well, part of that is I don’t like posting too much online until it’s finished and all that. But I’ll show you a couple of the finished, or close to finished projects I’ve got kicking around, just so you know I’m not pulling your chain about this writer thing. Or it might backfire and you’ll read it and think, “Uh, yeah. Don’t quit your dayjob.” Too late.

So, I’m going to share with you a couple of excerpts from some of my favorite projects. These are either already making the rounds as I harrass and stalk various agents and publishers or they’re nearly ready to launch an attack.

Dirty Truths: Mainstream  A story about a girl, a much older biker, and love. In this scene Kristina is going against everything she’s been taught about right and wrong and following her heart instead. Okay, it’s possible lust has a little to do with this scene, but Wade is one of those guys who makes your teeth sweat and Kristina is only human.

Kristina leaned over and traced a finger over the python tattoo that coiled around his right arm and he shook his head.

“You’re asking for trouble, little girl.” Wade pointed at her and cleared the cash off the desk.

“You know where I might find it?”

He paused, his eyes darkening and then turned away to lock the wad of bills in the safe. “Come on. I’ll take you home.”

Wade stood and Kristina gave an exaggerated sigh before slipping off the desk and following him to the door.

“You’re boring.”

“I am?” he asked.

She leaned against the bar while he locked the door. “Yes, you are. I thought you were wild, dangerous and all that stuff, but you’re not. You’re just like my dad.”

Kristina held her breath as he walked toward her, stopping just inches from where she leaned. He frowned, trailing a finger up her arm and she smiled, catching the twitch of his lips. “I definitely don’t want to be your father. Who would you like me to be?”

“You,” she whispered.

“Me? Hmm, there’s a problem with that though.”

Kristina’s gaze locked with his as he leaned close, placing his hands on her hips and pulling her away from the bar. “What’s that?”

“If I act like me, you’ll run away.”

“I’m not running now.”

“I’m not me right now.”

The Legend Of Jackson Murphy: Dark Humor/Caper: A story about a man who just can’t seem to catch a break. His wife is out to get him, his best friend, his girlfriend…so he decides to make his own break. Too bad fate has a weird sense of humor. In this scene Jack makes a call to his girlfriend.

Punching Whitney’s number into my cell phone, I’m getting hard just thinking about what she’ll do for me. Her voice, husky and kind of low answers and I can’t help the grin that spreads across my face.

“Hey there, señorita. Are you lonesome for your cowboy?”

Whitney doesn’t miss a beat. “It’s so lonesome I’ve had to let the burro in the house to keep me warm, señor. I feared the banditos had caught you on the roadside and left you beaten and bloody and then I’d be alone forever. I worry so about those bad men.”

“I took care of the banditos chica, now I can come home to you and love you all night long.”

Whitney likes role-playing and Spanish maiden and her rodeo cowboy is a favorite. I especially like the way she rides bareback in this game.

“What about the señora? She is looking for you, no?”

“Don’t worry about her little lady, she’s taken care of. I can come to you tomorrow if the burro has moved along by then.”

“I think the burro is lonesome for the wide open space anyway. He bites and he kicks in his sleep. Sometimes he passes a wind that makes my eyes water like a fountain. He will be gone before you arrive.”

I laugh. “I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

“Don’t forget your spurs, cowboy.”

I Do: Mainstream This is more literary than what I typically write and it’s a story that I’m very fond of. I Do is about a mother and her daughter trapped in a cycle of abuse. The difference in this novel from others out there is that in this story the issue isn’t black and white, but shades of grey. An abuser isn’t always a bad or evil person and a victim isn’t always weak. In this scene Dana wakes up on the floor, after her husband beats her into unconsciousness.
At the landing, Dana turned toward the bathroom, pausing at the door to the girls’ room. Hayley was in her bed, wrapped tight in her blanket, a little hole where her nose was so she could breathe. According to Hayley, the blanket kept the badness out, Dana wished it were that simple.

A sob caught in her throat and she turned away. She wouldn’t change her mind. She opened the bathroom cabinet, blinking at the bright light, and searched its contents. There had to be something, or she could take some of everything.

Amy’s Ritalin sat on the middle shelf. Dana emptied the bottle into her hand, it shook, and several fell down the sink drain. She quickly put the rest in her mouth, gagging on the bitter taste. Grabbing the cough medicine she used for the kids, she washed the tablets down with it. They burned in her throat, and she drank until they were all washed away.

After closing the cabinet, Dana stared at the woman in the mirror. Her face pale, eyes so sad, Dana ached for that woman. She wished she would disappear, but she remained there, accusingly staring back. “What have I done?”

Suddenly Dana knew she’d made a mistake. She didn’t want to die. The woman frowned. Dana hated that woman, hated how she ruined everything. Screaming, Dana hit her. Her face cracked. Overwhelmed with rage, fear, and regret, Dana hit the woman repeatedly, until her hand ached and blood covered the sink and the floor.

“Dana?” Ronny called from the hall.

Now he’d be angry with her too. She was stupid, pathetic.

The door opened. Ronny swore and ran to her. He picked her up and examined her hands. “Dana, what have you done?”

Rowan: Mainstream/Historical: This is the story of a girl of mixed race in nineteenth century Louisiana. Her father, Lucien Dumas, is a rich and very powerful white man who is determined to exact revenge on the woman who he feels ruined his life; Rowan’s mother Jolene. How does he plan to get revenge? Rowan. Too bad he doesn’t pause consider that Rowan is also a Dumas and a formidable opponent. In this scene, Rowan is in hiding from her father, who forced her into prostitution. She’s in a camp of slaves, who like her are trying to escape their lives by disappearing deep into the swamps. Reo, she discovers, is another child fathered by Lucien, although he’s lived as a slave for much of his young life.

“Witches aren’t bad people Reo, not all of them.”

Oui, but des two aren’t right. Something about dem makes me feel funny. When I feel funny about someone, it’s a bad thing.”

“Do you feel funny about me?” Rowan asked. Reo searched her face, his large brown eyes serious, stern.

“No, I feel sorry for you.”

“Why? There’s not reason to feel sorry for me.”

“Your heart is black with hate for dat white man. He don’t deserve dat much of your soul. You should forget about him and move on. He will be your ruin.”

“No, I will be his.”

“So you say,” Reo gathered up his sticks and turned from her once more. “I think you enjoy de blackness, it fills something empty inside of you.”

“You’re a child, what do you know of emptiness and hate?”

“We share de same father, don’t you forget dat. I know enough about hate, I was born with it deep in my heart. I choose to let it go.”

“Don’t you want him to pay for what he did to your Mother?”

“Oh if I see him in dis swamp, all by his lonesome, he will never make it out.” Reo puffed his chest as though to prove his point. Rowan had to look down so he didn’t see her amusement at his efforts to appear grown. “But I do not live my life thinking about it. I got too much else to think about just surviving.”

“Well, maybe it’s still too fresh for me, I want him dead. As soon as possible.”

“Claire says hate like dat will eat you up inside, and she’s right.” Reo gathered up the sticks he’d cut and walked away, forcing Rowan to jog to follow him.

“So, what does Claire say about the women?” she nearly fell over him, he stopped so abruptly.

“Claire be blinded by her pity, dat’s de only thing I can fault her on. Her heart be too big for common sense sometimes. De women used to belong to dat Lucien, but dey run away. Dey whores, evil ones.”

“Maybe they had no choice.”

“You think so? Dat may be why they try to get next to every man here, cause dey have no choice. Seem okay to me.”

“You can’t help what you are Reo, maybe that’s all they’ve known.”

“Everyone has a choice to be something different. You choose to be who you are, just like I choose not to be no one’s slave, same as you.”

That’s what I’m working on. Of course, there are a few others, but they aren’t in any condition to be sharing with anyone. Rewriting, it’s a beautiful thing.

I should also mention that over on my Facebook page it’s Jack Handey day. Who is Jack Handey? Really? Oh my, here are a few Jack Handey quotes. Read them, giggle and then write your own and share it with us. It’s fun, I promise.

Fear can sometimes be a useful emotion. For instance, let’s say you’re an astronaught on the moon and you fear that your partner has been turned into Dracula. The next time he goes out for the moon pieces, wham!, you just slam the door behind him and blast off. He might call you on the radio and say he’s not Dracula, but you just say, “Think again, bat man.” Jack Handey

If you get invited to your first orgy, don’t just show up nude. That’s a common mistake. You have to let nudity “happen.”  Jack Handey

‎”If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you’re in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don’t know what to tell you.” Jack Handey

‎”I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn’t say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. Then, at the very end, there’s a page you can lick and it tastes like Kool-Aid.” Jack Handey
Go ahead, Google him. You know you want to. Genius I tell you.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Doing…and Jack Handey Day

  1. Although I love them all, I have to say that Dirty Truths was one of the most fun to write and contains probably some of my 'best' characters. Thanks for reading, Rita.

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