Monday, April 30, 2007

Don't Let the Parade Pass You By

I didn't go to a parade, it came to me. The Mesquite Championship Rodeo parade kicks off the rodeo season and always comes by the corner where the store is. This is how I spent the first few minutes of my shift, then I got a customer. But not before I got a picture of a cowboy.

And a stagecoach with the grandmarshall - some senator or something.

And of course, a band.

There were actually several bands, but I didn't get to see all of them. One customer who stayed an entire half-hour. Walked several blocks from where she had to park just to get to the bookstore. What dedication. What a way to rain on my parade.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Your Drivers License

A mother is driving her 7 year-old daughter to her friend's house for a play date when the little girl asks "Mommy," how old are you?"
"Honey, you are not supposed to ask a lady her age," the mother replies sweetly. "It's not polite."
"OK", the little girl says, "How much do you weigh?"
"Now really," the mother says, a bit less sweetly. "Those are personal questions and are really none of your business."
Undaunted, the little girl asks, "Why did you and Daddy get a divorce?"
"That's enough questions, young lady, honestly!" mom says as her daughter is getting out of the car.
The exasperated mother drives away as the two friends begin to play.
"My Mom won't tell me anything about her," the little girl says to her friend.
"Well," says the friend, "all you need to do is look at her drivers license. It's like a report card, it has everything on it."
Later that night the little girl says to her mother, "I know how old you are, you are 32."
The mother is surprised and asks, "How did you find that out?"
"I also know that you weigh 140 pounds."
The mother is past surprised and shocked now. "How in heaven's name did you find that out?"
"And," the little girl says triumphantly, "I know why you and daddy got a divorce."
Now mom's getting mad. She says, "Oh really? And just why is that, young lady?"
"Because you got an F in sex."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Garden Snakes are Dangerous

Garden Grass Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis)can be dangerous. Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.
Here's why.
A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream. The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance. The attendants rushed in, wouldn't listen to his protests and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out. About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of thestretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital. The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor man. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa. The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her. The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches. The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that he had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat. By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake. The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife. The little snake again crawled out from under the sofa. One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke it started a fire in the drapes. The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car. Meanwhile, the burning drapes were seen by the neighbors who calledthe fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire truck ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out). Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world. A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

That's when he shot her.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Spam Whisperer

Descendant (I’m descended from Spam?)
I like you (I’ll try not to let it go to my head.)
Correct this if its wrong. (It’s wrong)
Thank you for your time. (Anytime you want me to tell you you’re wrong, just ask.)
Afterthought pail (I’ve heard of the porcelain god …)
When will this finish? (When Marty says it is.)
Just keep in touch. (We do this every Friday, remember?)
Sorry I did forgot. (That’s okay, you’ve got other things to think about, like grammar.)
Your neighbors lost their alarm clock. (This again?)
Let’s go check it out. (You go, I’ve got some digging in the backyard to do.)
Can we help? (Nope, I’m just wasting time.)
Make sure you cover your tracks. (Don’t worry, they never look back there.)
Sergeant Preston is on the case. (Oh no – I’m shaking in my sandals.)
He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two kids. (I thought he lived in the Yukon?)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Project - After

Once more, here's before:

Here's after:



We're still going to remove the mirror and I have some prints to go up there. Then there's the WWII memorial which will go in the study. I also have a bookcase that matches the entertainment center and video cabinet (excuse the wire - only way the picture on the TV will come in half-way decent is to raise the cord).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Waaah Wednesday

Is it Wednesday already? It seems like last week at this time it was Wednesday. I want to make it Friday. I think that’s the way it should be – Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Let’s skip Wednesday and Thursday. Who needs them anyway? Not me. Although Wednesday is my day off. So maybe we’ll keep Wednesday and do away with Thursday instead. What do you think? Wait, I get paid on Thursdays, so we have to keep them. Tuesday? Uh uh. American Idol is on Tuesdays, can’t miss that. Monday is another day off, so is Friday. *sigh* Oh well, guess we’ll keep things as they are, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

My favorite day is Sunday because I can sleep in a little. What about you?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Talk

I was having a problem with the WIP, sort of that point where you go “is this really any good?” So I had a long talk with Marty on Saturday and I’m feeling a little better about it now. I’m going to try to re-write the prologue from Nathan’s point of view instead of Travis’. It’s going to be difficult to do it without giving away too much of the story – the “is he Everett or not” part of it. But I’ve been thinking about it, and I have an idea of how I’m going to do it.

In other news, I’m thinking about only posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a while – starting next week. It’s becoming more and more difficult to try to find things to blog about. And my blogging stinks. Sorry. I wish I could get around more like I used to, but part of it is the depression. I’m going to talk with my “meds” people and see about switching anti-depressants because this doesn’t seem to be working very well. I haven’t been able to do most of the things that I enjoy – like reading and writing and blogging, oh my! And that’s not good.

Hope y’all have a good Tuesday.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Project 2

Today we tackled the living room. Bebo helped me move things out of there, but I have to say that Susie was the biggest help (and I think Bebo would agree). Who knew Samoans were so strong. We could never have moved that desk without her. And it took her less time to get the tack boards up than it did for me to do the hall alone. She's a quick worker. We got the carpet up and out (with the help of the boys next door) and the room is beginning to take shape. I have no picture of it yet because everything isn't done yet, but I will. Unlike the Study, which has never been finished, this is the first room people will see when they come in the house. It is the room that I will be "living" in, so I'll get it done. Just no more tonight - maybe not tomorrow, I'm so tired. Anyway, here are some pictures, plus more ghost orbs in the one with Bebo.


More below.

My Project 2 During

Heeeeeere's Susie.

See the orbs above Bebo's head? That's Susie bending over. And yes, I did do some work too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Things You'd Love to Say (But Don't Dare)

- I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
- How about never? Is never good for you?
- I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
- I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.
- I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
- I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
- I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
- It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
- I can see your point, but I still think you're full of cow poop.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Dying Irish Nun

The wise old Mother Superior from county Tipperary was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey they had received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. When she walked back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop. "Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "please give us some wisdom before you die." She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said, "Don't sell that cow."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Spam, it Does a Body Good

But end corruption (Excuse me? Leave my butt out of it.)
Define stream (A body of running water [as in a river or brook] flowing on the earth; also: any body of flowing fluid [as water or gas])
I decide whichever azalea (I don’t think so, it’s my blog gardenia)
I am Cherryville (Next time a virgin sacrifice is needed, we’ll know where to go.)
Penis size does matter 40 (It would if you had a size 40 penis)
Are you okay with this? (A size 40 penis? Wow, I, uh, I’m at a loss for words.)
Where bigger? (Nowhere that I know of. Definitely not in Cherryville)
Get a visit from the big dick fairy. (He doesn’t need one)
We know each other? (No, I’ve never met the big dick fairy.)
Really unbelievable. (Not really when you consider I’m a woman.)
Man, listen to me, give yourself 3 inches longer. (Size 40 penis spam, don’t listen to him.)
Take a trip to Las Vegas on us! (I’d rather take a plane)
Did it help? (I got there faster.)
Snook Season will be closed as I stated April 15th, but will re-open in May. (First off, what’s a snook; secondly, what do you use to hunt it?)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sighing over Thursday

So, we’ve made it through to Thursday, whoohoo! I did some writing (845 words) on Wednesday, some reading. I’m reading a couple of books right now: Sasha White’s Lush and Loreth Anne White’s Rules of Re-Engagement – I guess it’s a day for white reading. LOL

Jason Evans is having another short fiction contest called “The Endless Hour” over at his blog – I enjoy reading these stories, so even if you don’t want to enter, go over and read the entries anyway. You’ll find some of the finest pieces of short fiction there.

That’s it. It’s Thursday, what did you expect?

Oh, and what are you reading?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Just Another Wednesday

Here it is, Wednesday – hump day and I’m at a loss for what to blog about. We’re experiencing more storms this evening, but that’s Spring in Texas – tornado alley. We just batten down the hatches and ride it out.

The thumb? I pulled up more carpet and was prying the tack boards up with a screwdriver. Evidently I was squeezing it just a little too tightly and popped a blood vessel in my thumb. That stings. It’s much better today, so long as I don’t mess with it.

Contrary to popular belief, the cats did not take over the computer while I was incapacitated – it was closed up and they haven’t figured out how to open it yet. LOL

This weekend Bebo and I will be moving furniture in preparation for pulling up the rest of the carpet. If someone (and you know who you are) would like to drop by on Sunday and help, it would be greatly appreciated. We’d be able to get the mirror down then too – but it’s gonna take at least three people.

That’s it – that’s my Wednesday blog. Just boring stuff around here. No writing, probably won’t have time until Friday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Hurt My Thumb

I hurt my thumb working on the house, no biggie, just a giant bruise. But typing is difficult for some reason, so I'm leaving you with this today. I stole it from Brandy, who stole it from Michelle.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Love Story

I love the exhilaration when a story is flowing, and that’s what happened to me Sunday. I’d been having trouble with the character of Maddie, my heroine. I couldn’t get inside her head. After spending that afternoon with Bebo, bouncing around ideas, I finally put together a “10 things about Maddie” page, and that really helped. I came back home and wrote 708 words. Not a lot, but more than I’ve done in a week. And it felt good. So good that I put together similar pages for Nathan, Travis and Clare. I’m in love with this book again.

So, my fellow writers, are you in love with your current project?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Raine

You've been a great friend, and the cats have decided to sing a song in your honor. I'm sure you'll recognize it.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day,
and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it
Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all You're gonna make it after all
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

As I’m sitting here preparing Saturday’s post, storms are barreling towards the DFW Metroplex. Tornado watches/warnings etc. are going off everywhere. Ground lightning abounds. At the moment it’s about to hit the Motor Speedway, where people are camped in RV’s – targets in a storm of fury. And yet, I’m more excited than alarmed. I love storms – although I will admit to just a niggling of worry as the talk of rotation heats up. But it’s still a thunderstorm, and I love thunderstorms. I’m hoping that the thunder shakes the windows – the louder the boomers, the better. What would I do if a tornado hits? Nothing. There really isn’t anything for me to do. We don’t have basements here, and let’s face it – a closet isn’t actually going to help if a twister hits the house. Still, I wait in nervous anticipation for the light show, like a child at a Fourth of July picnic. My father raised me to love storms. Many times we’d sit on the porch, oooohing and ahhhing over every burst of lightning, every clap of thunder. I’d sit snuggled up against him, feeling so safe in my daddy’s arms. He also instilled in me a healthy respect for storms, I’m no idiot. I don’t drive in them unless I have to, I don’t stand under trees or in open fields. But I do watch with glee, my body jumping at each burst as the adrenaline courses through my body, much as it does during horror movies or roller coaster rides.

How do you feel about storms?

Update: Sirens and hail and rain, oh my. I’m typing this as the storm is hitting. The sky suddenly went black, like a blanket thrown over us. Winds are strong, most tornadic weather is a little north of us. Thunder isn’t as loud as I’d like, but we have pea-sized hail hitting the metal patio cover. The sirens have been going off and on for the last half-hour. I’m not on the PC; I’m on the unplugged laptop on battery power. I like to keep an eye on the on-line Doppler radars – watch the action as it happens, so to speak. We are under a tornado warning. A tornado did hit Ft. Worth/Arlington area (Cece [Amie]/Dennie and Sandy’s area). So, where would I go if it hits? Kansas.

Update: Well, I’ve been told that a tornado may have touched down only a few miles north of me. The thunder hasn’t been as bad as I would have liked, more a whimper than a boomer – thunder-wise. There have been 3, maybe 4 tornado touchdowns. They showed pictures of eighteen wheelers blown over on the highway over near Ft. Worth. This was some storm – cold front coming through has touched it off. Today’s temp was 72, tomorrow’s high will be mid-50s. The tornado watch has expired for me, so only thunderstorms left for the night. I am a little worried about my elderly aunt in the next county over (Rockwall Co.), she’s the widow of my uncle who died in January. She’s on the 3rd floor of a retirement complex. I’m thinking the facility would have moved them all downstairs. But the system that brought the tornadoes is heading straight for her. This is the part of storms that I don’t like.

So, this was my Friday night – how was yours?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Spam by Any Other Name

Do you deserve more? (Absolutely)
Get a date for tonight. (Hugh Jackman is coming to town?)
Your wish will be completed with out help. (Where’s the catch)
She will love you more than any man. (On second thought, if that's the catch, I'll pass on Hugh for tonight.)
Miss you. (Me too. NOT)
Won’t forget last night. (Damn, I gotta adjust my medication.)
Finally, I found it! (Put it in the back with the others.)
Drinking at work? (How else do you think I get through it?)
Who else wants to grab this Internet Business-in-a-box? (Um, Jack?)
Realize total and absolute power. (I already do.)
Private: re-order. (Major: bummer)
Ever wondered how people really made money on-line? (No)
Her excusable butt. (Whose?)
Which is similar. (to what?)
His guinea. (Whoa, that’s a good one)

Melissa - you can reach me at baileystewart at baileystewart dot net

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Project

I've decided that the best way to work on this house is one project at a time. At midnight Tuesday night, this is the one I began. It only took a hammer, screwdriver, needlenose pliers, cussing and one bandaid to finish. Oh, and all day Wednesday. Much, much better. I'll be pulling up the carpet one section at a time. This time, the hall. Those tack boards with the little nails that are alongside the walls was the hardest part. I wish I'd taken the picture before I'd pulled up the carpet.

Here it is - the finished hallway.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bubba Blogs

Since I can’t think of things to blog about, I’ve turned over the blog today to Bubba the Red-Necked Kitty. Blogsters – here’s Bubba.

Mommie feels kind of sad because it was one year ago today that we lost my little brother Devlin. I kinda miss the little fella myself. So I’m supposed to put in here a little of what mommie calls lividity ..


… levity into the joint. (I can do this myself mommie).

I never said you couldn’t.

Quit looking over my shoulder.

I’m not looking over your shoulder, I’m um, looking at my reflection in the computer screen.

I only see Hugh Jackman.

So do I.


I’m leaving, I’m leaving.

Finally. Now, as I was saying … hey Aidan, what are you doing?

Eating tuna.

Don’t get that on the keyboard, mommie will have a cow.

Neat, beef!

You’re such a moron.


Butt licker.

You have a problem with that?

Um, dog lover.

Momma’s boy.

Hey, this is supposed to be my blog post.

So write the thing, I’m not stopping you.

Quit looking at me.

Not a problem, I’m trying to eat anyway.

Haven’t you written that post yet?

I give up.

Wuss puss

Tuna breath

Out, both of you. I’m sorry folks, maybe there’ll be a better post tomorrow. Excuse me now, I have to break up a cat fight. Bubba, get off Aidan's face!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just a Ramblin

It’s Tuesday and I have nothing to blog about. That’s not supposed to happen until Thursday. Is Tuesday going to become the new Thursday? That wouldn’t be so bad, because then it would be Monday, Tuesday, Friday and THE WEEKEND! So I guess since I have nothing to blog about, you’re going to get one of those rambling posts of mine with no rhyme, reason or focus – I know you love them, come on, admit it. I’m sorry Toni, I didn’t quite catch that? Christa, quit moaning. We had snow on Saturday. Yes, you heard me, snow. A blizzard in fact, but the ground was too warm for it to stick – it had been in the 80s only a few days before. It is very, very rare to have snow in April. Susan, please, contain your excitement. Hey, I could have cut and pasted another silly joke, but here I am actually trying to talk to you, my blogsters, my subjects. I didn’t work on the book today – well, I didn’t write today, but I did think about it and that counts. I’m trying to work out a problem that y’all created with your choice as the opening scene for Nathan, but I’ll get it. Its okay Brandy, I’ll just think of it as a challenge.

Hey, did I tell you that I’m finally official – I’m now a member of RWA, I think. At least I received an email invoice with a number next to my name, so forgive me if I’m a little confused. I’ll know for sure when that welcome bundle arrives. I know Jeanne, Bailey confused – it boggles the mind.

That’s it. That’s my blog post. You try it – a wonderful post 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Go ahead, I dare you.

Tomorrow, Bubba blogs.

Monday, April 09, 2007


First, I wrote over 500 words Sunday - not much, but better than nothing. You people have put me in a quandry. I had no scenes linking those two excerpts, so now I'm busy filling. Hmmmm. Meanwhile, here's what the The Devil You Know storyboard looks like.

You can also tell because of Bubba (who is not a small cat) how big it is. I not only use pictures of actors/actresses, but also images to describe my character. For instance, on "Nathan's" side is a photo of a man in a chair smoking a pipe. Actors are good because then you can find pictures that often "go" with your story, like George Clooney running from the exploding car in the movie "Peacemaker". Now, Nathan was in the car, not running from it, but it still fits. I have a lot more "image" pictures on Maddie's side (played by Kimberlin Brown) because finding pictures of her I like was hard to do, but I have enough. I also have houseplans of the various homes, plus a store, etc. I do this to keep myself from going the wrong way - you know, turning left to the bedrooms instead of to the right. Obviously, I'm not finished with it yet. I've changed the secondary character of Travis, so will have to fix that on the board and the cover (which I showed here). A cover, if you don't remember, is what is used for traveling, small enough to fit into a laptop case, for example.

More below.

Maddie, Nathan, Travis and Clare

I thought I'd introduce you to the two couples of The Devil You Know.

Nathan Phillips and Madison "Maddie" Delmont

Travis McNeil and Clarice "Clare" Delmont

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm a Drama Nerd

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Drama Nerd

You sure do love the spotlight and probably have a very out-going and loud personality. Or not. That's just a stereotype, of course. Participation in the theatre is something to be very proud of. Whether you have a great voice for musicals, or astounding skills for dramas/comedies; keep up the good work. We need more entertainment these days that isn't television and video games (not that these things are bad, necessarily.)

Literature Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Hey, I just learned how to do this - give me a break. Out-going and loud? Huh, me? And drama and not literature - although literature was close.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Spam and I

Always on time. (It’s Friday, spam’s always on time)
What’s up? (Oh, gearing up for some housework.)
Clean every room in your house with just one kit. (Good, I’ll put Bubba to work)
Can you do that? (Sure, he already loves to do laundry)
Things should go well. (I think he might have a problem with the vacuum)
First name okay. (Thank you, just what I needed – approval from Spam)
Amie (Leave Ames out of this)
A whoever Michele. (I’m not Michele, and leave her out of it too.)
Penis Enlargement Patch can exceed all of your expectations. (I don’t know, I have some high expectations.)
Tell me now! (Well, I expect Hugh Jackman someday)
Crazy stuff. (My love for Hugh is not crazy. Okay, maybe a little)
Realize total and absolute power. (I already do – I’m the queen of spam)
No way, this is my turn! (You can’t be queen.)
Override (Uh uh, you can’t override me.)
Do mullan yourself sincerely. (I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t like the sound of it.)
When or where, tell me. (On the moors at dawn)
When will this finish? (Oh, I think we’re almost done.)
Medicuations thuat you neeeeeeeed water help. (Honey, I don’t think I’m the one that needs the medications. But you go ahead, I’m busy fighting an override.)

A little inside thing - this would have been Devlin's second birthday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nathan, part 2

Yesterday you read the original intro to Nathan - here's the new one. So, which do you like better? Remember, this is raw. Arthritis in my fingers keep me from writing notes in long-hand, so these are essentially my notes.

Nathan stepped out of the alley and onto the walk, tightening the duster around him as the winds from the cooling spring rain whipped around him. Oblivious to the puddles dotting the sidewalk, he walked to the next curb and into the alley opposite the bank of shops. Across the street, the storefronts were dark, closed on a rainy Sunday afternoon. A couple walked by, hands clasped as they strolled, window shopping as they made their way further downtown. Glancing up, he noted that the loft apartment above the store seemed still, no lights on to pierce the afternoons gray skies. No cars were parked in the area reserved for tenants of the converted living areas above the stores. No one home. What would I do if she’d been here? Walk up and knock on her door. Say ‘hey Madison, you don’t know me, but then maybe you do’? Madison Delmont. He didn’t know what she looked like, didn’t remember her face. Travis hadn’t wanted to show him a picture, wanted Nathan to see Maddie in person first, maybe shock him into remembering. But he didn’t need to see her to know that he would remember her. He found his way here by himself, walked the streets of Dallas without hesitation, unerringly drawn to this block, to her business and loft above.
He’d see her soon though. This afternoon he would be heading out to McNeil’s ranch outside of the little town of Serenity. From there the real journey would begin. He’d meet Maddie; see if he recognized her face, her smell, her smile, her life. See if he fit in there anywhere, if she was the answer to the puzzle in his mind.
Leo had wanted to do it another way. Look at pictures, listen to tapes and watch videos … read tarot cards. His lips lifted in a slight smile. Leo hadn’t wanted to expose him to others just yet. Contaminate was more like it. Leo didn’t trust him, shouldn’t if what they thought was true. But Travis wasn’t willing to give in to doubts.
Leaning against the building, he watched the street, eyes hidden behind dark glasses. His lithe body propped against the concrete wall, black duster flapping in the breeze, he continued to stare up at the loft across from him. A drop of moisture hit his cheek and he reached up to wipe it away, only to find the area dry. Odd, I could have sworn … he stopped when it happed again. Relaxing, he began to breathe deeply, letting the gap in the doors of his mind widen. It was dusk the last time he had stood in this spot. A cold steady sprinkle left watermarks on the black coat he had worn. Nathan looked down at his gloved hands, no longer empty, but holding a sleek black gun, a silencer attached to its end. It felt right, smooth and solid in his grip. His hand tightened on the gun as he lowered it closer to his body. Glancing up at the second floor across from him, he saw a woman’s silhouette through the blinds, pacing back and forth in the lamp light, her shadow never wavering from in front of the row of windows. Moving away from the wall, he stepped into the street, eyes still focused ahead. At the blare of a car’s horn, he jumped back onto the curb where the shadows once again swallowed him. Nathan shook his head and brought empty, bare hands up to his face, wet now not from imaginary rain drops, but sweat. He was trembling, his whole body racked with shudders. Where had that come from, his mind stumbled for a few minutes, then blanked as the doors closed firmly.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The Devil You Know is a story of a man struggling to find out who he is through the fog of amnesia. Is he Everett Rush, a traitor to his country, an Agency assassin, or something much worse. As far as Maddie and Travis are concerned, he’s Everett – because sometimes it’s better the devil you know, than the one you don’t.

When I first wrote this book I fell in love with the character of Travis, which isn’t good when that’s not the hero, Nathan Phillips. The problem was how to get into the head of a man who had no memory. Nathan turned out to be too somber, too full of angst. I decided that maybe he still had a sense of humor. Yeah, that would work.

Below is the original scene in which you meet Nathan. Your first impression. I’m going to use it as a flashback later, btw. But anyway, you’ll see what I mean tomorrow when I post the new introduction of Nathan. Remember, this is raw and unedited.

The swish of the door woke him. Keeping his eyes closed, he listened as the nurse busied herself about the room. Breathing slow and steady, he waited until she had left before opening his eyes. The tiled white ceiling, the same one he had stared at for close to a year, came into focus. The hospital was quiet in the pre-dawn light, so quiet as to be almost deafening. He lay still for a moment, gathering himself for the coming day. The dreams from the night before stayed with him, clinging to his mind like wispy cobwebs; cornstalks, a large house with many halls and doors, everything turned into mazes. Stretching, he winced as pain shot through his left leg. Running his hand across his face, he rubbed out the last of the cobwebs, ignoring the ridges that lined his cheeks. He never felt so alone as he did upon waking, when memories reached out but eluded his grasp. No matter how disorienting the mornings were, however, it was the black of night that terrified him. Sometimes he dreamed of the accident, the pain so intense to be almost real. Those dreams woke him in cold sweats, his heart pumping wildly beneath his chest. But those night visitors weren’t the nightmares that robbed him of sleep, for the accident was real, and real things could be grabbed and dealt with. It was the seemingly benign, the places, flashes of people’s faces, not clear enough to hold on to, to trust as memories, instead of imprints of someone else’s life. These were the true demons of the night.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Story

Like rumbling storm in the distance, the voices are starting to gather force, breaking through this lethargy that has encased my brain these last few months. Yes, the story is beginning to speak to me, conversations drifting through my mind, situations flashing before me; I’m finding myself beginning to drift into day dreams full of suspense, heroes, heroines, side-kicks, love, drama, a little comedy. Yes, a little. This isn’t Operation Eden, but rather an old love titled The Devil You Know, a romantic suspense that it almost 70% finished anyway. That is, if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve started re-writing it. But it doesn’t matter, it’s calling to me anyway and I’m going to answer it. Wish me luck.

For you writers: Do you have an old story that you’ve gone back to and finished; or are thinking about going back to pick up again?

Readers: Is there a story that you began to read only to not like it, but then for some reason picked it up years later and loved it?

The winner of the copy of Smart and Sexy is Jennifer Y. Email me with your address and I'll get this out soon. Congratulations!

Oh, and just for the heck of it, here's a very, very raw excerpt from the prologue. Travis Montgomery has come across a car on fire, a car that belongs to his partner Everett Rush, a man that may be a traitor. And it's real raw here - unedited.

As flames began to lick at his face Travis reached for his hat to beat them back down. The man moaned as screams erupted from the back seat. Travis, torn between the two men, tossed the hat aside, and concentrated his efforts on the deadweight at his fingertips. The black smoke blocked his view of the man’s face, but Travis could see spots of orange and yellow peeking out from behind the thick clouds. His lungs burned from the lack of oxygen, spasms of coughing causing him to loosen his hold and back out of the car for a few cleansing breaths. Tears ran down his face from smoke stung eyes as he darted back into the front seat. With adrenaline pumping, he managed to pull the unconscious form half way across the car, and then had to back off anew as flames flicked across him.
“Dammit to hell” he screamed in frustration and then quickly dived back in again. This time he was able to get both hands around the burning form and, with one giant lurch, pulled the figure out of the car. Dragging his load over to the roadside, Travis rolled the man over, hands beating the fire which continued to burn the victim’s clothes. Sirens rang out from the distance as onlookers gathered. Checking the still smoldering man, Travis was relieved to feel a pulse. Standing up, he turned back towards the car and the other trapped man. Just then, the flames reached the gas tank and the vehicle rocked on its chassis. The fire had won.

Travis stood in the cold drafty alley and rang the buzzer above the intercom again.
“Hello,” came the breathless reply.
“Maddie? It’s Travis.” He pulled the jacket’s collar up around his ears.
“McNeil? What ... come on up.” A clicking sound unlocked the door and Travis stepped into the small foyer. Before him was the stairs to her loft, to his left the door to her store. I don’t want to be here. Letting out a slow breath, he climbed the stairs, pausing at her open door.
“Hey Trav, nice surprise.”
She looked beautiful standing there, her hair all tousled from sleep, the red robe tied snugly around her slim waist. He really hated what he had to do, but knew it would come easier from him.
“Mad, I’m sorry, it’s about Everett.”
Madison’s face paled and she clutched at the lapel of her robe, gathering it against her throat. “He’s been hurt, hasn’t he?” she whispered.
“He’s dead, Mad.” Travis hadn’t meant it to be so blunt, but couldn’t think of any other way to put it.
Madison stared at him blankly for a few moments and then her legs seem to give out. Travis grabbed her before she hit the floor, her body a dead weight in his arms.