Robin Winter, the author of Night Must Wait, Future Past and Watch the Shadows, invited me to be part of the blog tour for Works In Progress.
The work-in-progress blog tour rules:
Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your own current work-in-progress. Some writers give more than the first sentences.
Nominate some other writers to do the same.
So here’s Robin Winter, who's newest novel Watch the Shadows drops this month, a thriller/science fiction yarn set in the university town of Isla Vista, California. She is the author who tagged me for this Works in Progress blog tour.
Robin penned and illustrated her first manuscript ‘Chickens and their Diseases’, in second grade. Her novel Night Must Wait, was published in October of 2012 by Imajin Books. The novel pits four powerful women friends in deadly conflict with each other against the backdrop of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960’s. Her second novel, Future Past is in Louise Marley’s words, a “big, dystopian, far future story dense with scientific detail, and both tragic and triumphant”. This science fiction novel was published by Eternal Press, May 2013.
My thriller/mystery work in progress has the working title Hit Me. Maggie, the daughter of a prominent family is incarcerated in a Psychiatric Facility. Her court-ordered therapist, Isabelle, is charged with helping Maggie control her impulses so she can assimilate into society and reunite with her fractured, secretive family, but it's not working.
When the police came for me, I didn’t argue. As soon as their tires crunched the gravel I knew they’d come, no sirens. Best to let them right in. Sometimes crying Uncle is the only crying worth doing. More so than prison, a Psychiatric Facility (for the criminally insane was implied), or the unpleasant detox, I’m horrified to find myself in therapy.
“Jesus Christ, in my day you just poured yourself a scotch and got on with it,” my mother used to say. “Can’t anyone man up anymore?” After forty some years married to my father, you’d think she’d know the answer to that particular question.
“Isabelle told us you’re doing well, considering how difficult,” he coughed, the words sticking in his larynx like a hairball. “Considering you’re sober, done with that part of the...rehabilitation.” My father preferred not to think about the detox process. The sweating, shaking, hallucinations, vomiting, begging, padded room situation didn’t square with his idea of a restorative hospital stay.
“Sober?” My mother said like she’d never heard the word before. “Doesn’t that apply to alcoholics? Heroin is-”
“She’s clean, Elizabeth,” my father rushed to my defense. “That’s what matters.”
A skin burning rage ran red up my mother’s neck. She half stood, “All that matters? Is that your idea of a-”
“Elizabeth, stop.” He put a hand on her forearm. “Of course it’s not all, but it’s a start.”
“How’s your mute prisoner doing?” Jonathan said.
I scooted around in my chair, no spot made me feel quite right enough. “She’s not a prisoner. She’s a patient in a private psychiatric facility.”
Jonathan peeped over the top of his rimless glasses, “Pardon me. I’ll rephrase. How’s your prisoner from a rich family doing?
”That’s an odd question.”
He smoothed out the page in his notepad that he’d devoted to notes about me. “Not at all. You mentioned her ongoing resistance to therapy at our last session. I got the impression it was a stressor for you. One of our goals is to limit those stressors, right?”
“She spoke,” I said, ignoring the meat of his question.
I nominate Sally who helps guide a whole bunch of authors including me, at Damnation Books and Eternal Press, through the publishing and marketing process:
Sally Franklin Christie has spent her life achieving incredibly average goals. Her challenges have led her to organize for social change, civil rights and helping people navigate in a world filled with physical barriers and discrimination. She photographs and paints landscapes, when she isn’t at the computer researching, networking and writing. Special interests include Missing Children and Adults, Astronomy, Character Traits and Criminal Thinking.
A home-schooling mother of children born eleven years apart has added to her liberal arts education. She’s had plenty of time to practice and refine the art and craft of writing coupled with opportunities to learn the marketing aspects of writing. She interned for a spell at WOW-WomenonWriting.com and currently has a position as a moderator at The Writers Chatroom. Various published articles appear in places like Pangia Magazine, Creations Magazine and other almost forgotten places. She writes one novel a year as a NaNoWriMo Participant and keeps a more serious project simmering year round.
Published Novels include If I Should Die and Milk Carton People available at Eternal Press and e-retailers everywhere.
There's a reason why the saying is, "out of the mouths of babes," and not "out of the mouths of 40 year-olds." The young view the world with a clarity that eludes anyone past puberty. As we grow older, our ability to see most situations as either black or white gets clouded with at least 50 Shades of Grey. Children have no such filters. Good manners and political correctness don't cloud their judgment or still their tongues.
If you want to get your life right, ask a kid. They will set you on the straight and narrow toot suite (The Wonder).
Our four-year-old granddaughter Amelie said, "Sometimes boys marry boys and girls marry girls." The "now you don't have to worry about this anymore and feel free to mind your own business," was implied.
When our granddaughter Madison was five she handed in her test paper blank because, as she told her teacher, "I did this ten times yesterday. You already know I know how to do it." (A Dog's Life)
Even our two-year-old grandson dishes out Obi-Wan worthy wisdom in daily soundbites. If you ask him something - anything - he says NO at least 50% of the time.
I'll let you chew on that one.
Then there's Adelia - the sage. As some of you know, Adelia is our seven-year-old granddaughter who suffers from an ataxic cerebral palsy like disease. She is unable to walk more than a couple of nerve-wracking, dangerously unstable steps without the aid of a walker, but gets around best via wheelchair. Yet, somehow her spirit thrives in inverse proportion to her physical decline (The High Cost of Living, Don't Cry Mom, Sho You Right).
Not long ago, on a rainy day in the middle of the street, she told me the secret to a life well lived. In a handful of words, she re-wrote the book on success.
"Count to three, Mimi," she said.
"I want to race my brother."
Race? It had taken us ten, painful minutes to walk/carry/lurch from her front door to the curb, two-year-old Che Jr. trailing us. A vice grip on my hand the only prop between her face and a concrete disaster.
"Adelia, racing's not a great idea," I said.
"Yeah, come on, count. Let go." She pulled out of my grasp, almost losing her balance.
Like an idiot, I let her boss me (in my weak defense, I let all my grandkids boss me). "Okay...one, two, three..."
Che Jr. took off as fast as his fat toddler legs would go. Adelia took half a shaky step forward and fell, hard. On the asphalt. It was ugly.
After I checked for serious wounds and wiped tears (mostly mine) Adelia struggled upward. I helped her stand. She pushed her hair out of her face and nudged me aside.
"Okay, Mimi. Count."
What the hell? Hadn't we just gone through this?
"Adelia," I said, a little exasperated, a lot scared. "You're gonna fall again."
"I know," she said. "But, I want to run."