Recharged and looking forward

I haven’t been updating as frequently as I should. I’m sorry about that. It’s just that I haven’t had much going on as of late. I didn’t feel like repeating myself. My posts were becoming redundant. I felt that taking some time away was the right thing to do.

So now I’m back, feeling recharged, and raring to go. My vacation was relaxing, though too short. I’m back at work now, and even there I’m wondering if there’s a change in my future. I wish I could elaborate, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s just a general sense that change is on the horizon. Maybe it’s a move up, a lateral more, or me deciding to move on, but something is coming.

On that note, I’ve been thinking a bit about my own future. I’ve talked some about how money has never been my prime motivator. It still isn’t, but I’m coming to a point in my life where I need a relatively massive influx of money. I’ll be 39 next month. I want a house, a car, in short, I want my life back on track.

Career-wise, I feel as though I have stalled. I’m comfortable in that I know what I’m doing, and I know my co-workers and feel comfortable around them. Comfort is not enough. I look at my work-in-progress, and I realize that what I want to do is write and maybe make enough to fund my life. I don’t believe I’ll become wealthy, but I would like to make enough to perhaps go back to college.

Retail is a game of numbers, and I don’t have that desire. Again, money is not a motivator. I don’t have a head for business, and though I’m good at what I do, there’s also a lot of things that I fail at, namely customer and co-worker interaction, playing the office-political game, and just doing what I’m told vs. what I think needs to be done. I forget that I’m not free to do my own thing. My manager, as agent of the company I work for, dictates what I do. I hate that.

I’m not clear on what I should do, only that I should do something new. There’s a part of me that yearns for an adventure, a new direction in my life. I have no one in my life, no anchor, nothing to hold me back. There are experiences I want to have. I just need to be bold enough to find them.

Which has always been problematic for me. I’m not what you might consider a go-getter. I’m content, for the most part, to remain at home and chill. I don’t usually need a lot of excitement. I’m best when I have few distractions. I hate being overwhelmed by the world at large. It’s the great paradox of my existence.

I hope to have this figured out soon. I’m ready for a change. I’m also ready to buckle down and get back to writing.

Redirecting my focus

I just wrote and posted my last book review. They have been an experience to do, but now I feel that the time is right to move away from that and start to focus more on my own writing. I don’t plan to drop it all together, but I have no immediate plans to continue doing so as I have been, taking  requests and scheduling them out months in advance. For now, I’ll only review a book if I want to. Simple as that.

As for my WIP, I’m not as far along as I would like to be. I’ve spent the whole past week feeling rather crappy. Turns out the cold I had was really strep throat, and I’m having a heck of a time getting over it, even with the antibiotics. At least I’m seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I can breath again and hopefully I’ll have my voice back to normal in the next couple of days.

So for now, I’m keeping my goal of being done with my rewrites by the end of the month, though I’m starting to feel that’s overly-optimistic, especially considering the week I’ve spent moaning in bed, refusing to do any significant work. Forget that. I want to be done and get someone working on proofreading my book. I really want to have this out this year.

Excerpt from Jasmine

I’m working on doing some rewrites, and I came across this part. I really liked it and I wanted to share this excerpt with you guys. Enjoy!

~Joe~


“That totally wouldn’t happen,” Jacob argued.

“Why not?” Jasmine snapped back, annoyed by Jacob’s unwillingness to budge.

“A guy is not going to let a girl wax him, give him a pedicure, and none of that other nonsense,” he explained. “I know I wouldn’t.

Jasmine leaned back shaking her head in disbelief before taking a sip of her tea. They were discussing the movie they had just watched while they waited for their plates to be cleared. When they left the movie theater, they felt a little hungry so they decided to grab a quick bite before ending their date. Jasmine picked the movie, a romantic comedy which Jacob argued against its credibility.

“So,” Jasmine countered shrewdly, “suppose I wanted to give you a mani-pedi. Are you telling me you wouldn’t let me? Not even if I asked you nicely?” She ended her question with bad attempt at a pout which elicited a laugh from her date. “What’s so funny?”

“I’m just saying…”

“You’re saying what?”

“Pedi-mani’s…”

“It’s mani-pedi’s,” she corrected.

“…are not a thing men really think about,” he continued as if he hadn’t been interrupted.

“How about two girls at once? Is that realistic?”

“No, but it would be fantastic,” Jacob replied with a dreamy expression before noticing Jasmine’s incredulous look. “But no, it’s not realistic. It’s just a fantasy.”

“Isn’t it more likely that a girl could talk a guy into getting manicure.”

“You’re probably right,” he conceded sarcastically. “That’s a lot more likely.”

“Damn right I’m right,” Jasmine said with a self-satisfied smirk. “But honestly, you wouldn’t let me do your nails? They could use a little work you know.”

“If I were to say yes, could we change the subject?” He asked wearily. She nodded enthusiastically. With a sigh, he nodded his assent. “Fine. I might let you do my hands, but that’s it.”

“Good enough for me.”

“When are you planning on torturing me?”

“I never said I was going to do it. I just want you to let me do it.” Jasmine grinned happily.

Jacob groaned, chuckling under his breath. “You’re impossible.”

“I am not. And for that,” she said, plucking the check from their server, “I’m going to pay for dinner.”

“I think I like this punishment. Remind me to misbehave more often.” Jasmine rolled her eyes and once she received the receipt, they walked slowly back to the truck. “I had a good time,” Jacob said softly.

“Me, too,” she agreed. “It’s kinda nice to have someone to hang with.” Jacob raised his eyebrows at her statement, causing Jasmine to blush and try to backpedal. “I mean, not that we’re a couple, I’m just saying.”

“I know what you’re saying. I agree with you. I’m happy that we’re able to hang out together.”

“It’s been a long time, for me,” she admitted, her voice almost lost in the breeze. She stopped walking when they got the the truck. She leaned back on the truck, propped her foot on the tire, and glanced heavenward for a moment. “It’s been too long.”

“Yeah,” he answered simply, resting his elbows on the bed rails. For several minutes no one said anything. The only sounds that could be heard were from the vehicles driving by on the highway, and the occasional voice of some passerby. Jasmine began to shake when the wind picked up. Without a word Jacob took her into his arms, and she didn’t resist. She fell into his embrace, and she felt as though she belonged there.

“I fit perfectly,” she laughed shyly.

“Yeah you do,” he agreed. Jacob hesitated for a second, then when Jasmine looked up, he took his chance. He bent slightly forward and kissed her. Only a small peck at first to gauge her response. She moved her head back in surprise for a second, before moving in to kiss him back. This time they kissed a little longer.

“I like you, Jacob,” she confessed. “I know I shouldn’t say anything yet. It’s too soon. I’m sorry.” She broke away, feeling embarrassed that she allowed herself to admit something like that so soon.

“I like you, too,” he responded, seriously. “You don’t need to feel sorry.”

Jasmine turned around to face him, but kept her head down. “I’m just scared. Last time I got hurt, pretty bad, and I haven’t gotten to a place where I can trust a guy, or anyone for that matter, again. Letting you in is forcing me to choose between trust and fear, and it’s scary.”

“I know it’s scary, but it’s also fun. It’s been a while for me, too. All I know is that whatever this is between us, I’m liking it and I don’t want it to end.”

“Me either,” she agreed.

“Okay,” he said understandingly. “Look, I’m not going to force the issue. We’ve only gone out for a few dates, so why are we having the conversation now? Let’s relax and see what happens. No point in moving too quickly.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “I wish I would have waited to open up.”

“No, I’m glad you did. I just wish I had the courage to bring it up first. But now it’s out in the open, and we both like each other, so we’re good. Let’s just see where we go from here.”

Writing Project: Giada

It’s Saturday night, and once again I’m at home, twiddling my thumbs, wishing I had something to do. That’s not quite true. I have something to do, I’m just not doing it. What I mean to say is that I wish I had somewhere to go. No matter. I need to sit myself down to do some serious writing.

I’ve started another project, which in all honesty is an extension of another, my first and still unpublished book, Son of the Father. The new book is called Giada, after a character I’m pulling from my first book, and expanding upon.

As originally conceived, Giada worked as an escort, which really was a cheap shot at my ex. I wanted to get back at her, so I made her character a prostitute, and to make it even better, I killed her. Unfortunately for me, by the time I did so, I fell in love with my own creation. I have bad taste in women, even fictional one that I create.

The Giada character worked well, she was funny, mischievous, and a great foil for my main character, a priest by the name of Israel Mendoza. The problem was that she didn’t fit the story I was telling. I introduced her in a serious of flashbacks, using her to tell some of Israel’s back story. It took away from the story I wanted to tell, of a bishop finding out he has a grown up son, and having to deal with the fall out from the news, both emotionally and privately, and publicly, as the face of a U.S. Roman Catholic Diocese.

I had to cut her out, but I didn’t want to lose her, and I didn’t want to completely cut out her role in Israel’s life. Instead, I chose to write the back story as a separate piece, to set up the next novel, which will be a rewritten version of Son of the Father, with more emphasis on the son and not a dead prostitute.

Now that I decided to do that, I found that it’s not easy to tell an offshoot story, in this case a prequel, although if published, it will come as the first book of a series. It’s difficult to expand a role that only fit into three chapters of the original incarnation of the story. I’m having to create new characters, as well as creating a new expanded story line.

I’m only at 5000 words at the moment. I need to set a daily word goal, say 2K, and work to meet or exceed that goal. That’s an easy 14k a week goal. I have ample time to write, I just haven’t maximized my time. So that puts my at 45K words by the end of the month, which should put me about halfway through the book.

I need to be done by the end of February, when I will hopefully turn my attention back to the book I wanted to publish last September, Unseen Obsession. I need to come up with a better title than that. I hate that title. I hope to publish that by the summer. All I need is to edit, rewrite, edit some more, find someone to make me a book cover because I’m useless when it comes to visuals, and then edit some more. I’m not panicking. Okay, I am.

I know what needs to be done, I just need to do it. So good night. I have more writing to do tonight.