Boo

Arms full of boxes, Martin emerged from the basement. Charlie took his eyes off the game long enough to ask, “What are you doing?”

“Could use some help here,” Martin said, kicking the basement door closed behind him.

“With what?” Charlie didn’t move, didn’t so much as take his feet off the coffee table. It was Sunday, the game was on.

“When’s halftime?” Martin dumped the boxes near the front door.

“Why?” There’d been a time when the break between quarters meant quick and dirty groping on the couch, but they’d been a lot younger back then.

“I need a hand with the coffin.”

“Not mine.”

Martin glanced at the TV, at the game clock. “Call me when it’s halftime.”

Charlie turned back to the game undisturbed by the noise Martin made getting the boxes out the front door. The clock ran down on the field, but he didn’t call Martin. He’d never had any intention of calling Martin. Charlie walked into the kitchen and cracked open a beer.

The front door opened. “Halftime,” Martin said, slipping his phone with its Google informant away, and heading for the basement.

“Ah, crap.” Charlie grumbled on his way down to the basement and on his way up. “Every year, every freaking year. Why can’t you just stick a skeleton on the door like normal people? Plonk a pumpkin on the front stoop? No, it’s got to be a grand production.”

Martin wasn’t bothered by the whining, it’s not like he hadn’t heard it all before. Plus, part of his job as Charlie’s partner was to give the man something to complain about. Worked out nicely. “Watch the walls,” he cautioned, as they maneuvered the coffin through the hallway and out the door. “Here,” he said, walking backwards, guiding Charlie into the temporary graveyard he’d set up. “Yeah, that’s good. Thanks, babe.”

“Yeah.” Charlie turned back to the house, left Martin to fiddle with spider webs and ghouls. He didn’t get it; they didn’t even have that many kids in the neighbourhood anymore.

Hours later, after the game, after dinner, after Charlie turned out the lights and made sure the front door was locked, he opened the bedroom door on a pitch-dark room. “Martin?” He hit the light switch, but nothing happened. “Shit. Martin? The power’s out. Where—?”

 A body at his back, an arm locked around his chest, a hand tugging at his belt buckle.

“Boo,” Martin’s voice ghosted at his ear.

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Good Intentions

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Good intentions might, or might not, pave the road to hell, but they don’t take you one metre down the path to a happier number on the scale.

Not when your jog around the track at the park ends up at the local Dairy Queen and your fifteen minute stint on the rowing machine has you pawing through the freezer for the that ice cream sandwich you swore you weren’t going to eat.

If only all it took to fit into your thin clothes were good intentions, but I hear it takes something called discipline.

Something I don’t have 🙂

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Write What You Know

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After months of using Covid-19 as an excuse to procrastinate, I finally forced myself to sit down and start working on the last book in my Blood Bond Trilogy. Thanks to the previous books, I already have an MC. I know what he looks like, how he dresses, where he works, what he drinks, and who his love interest will be, but…how to start?

Write what you know, right?

I trolled through my memories, more years of memories than I’d like to admit, and came up with a scene, something that happened eons ago. A tourist on my first trip to Ireland, I was checking out a small display case in some church basement and I heard a man talking behind me. His voice, his accent, truly charming. Naturally, I turned around, and the real world being what it is, the man was nowhere near as attractive as his voice.

Perfect. There’s my attention-grabbing first paragraph. Enticing accent, alluring voice—hail the love interest.

But…

I haven’t been to Ireland in decades. I can barely remember the accent now and I have no idea what expressions or slang they’re using in Dublin these days.

Write what you know?

I don’t know how this character speaks. There’s no way I can write dialogue for him, not without spending weeks researching speech patterns in Irish novels.

I’m in awe of authors who can create dialogue for characters of a differing ethnicity, nationality, or time line than their own. I have no idea how they do it. How exactly does a blacksmith in the eighteenth century speak, or an alien in the twenty-fourth?

Back to the drawing board. Ditch the accent and rewrite the first page, so far, the only page.

Write what you know?

What I know is, I never should have started writing this trilogy 🙂

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Excuse me, but…

To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you know you’re old when—

1. You’ve never heard of half the shows nominated at the Emmys.

2. You sit down to put your shoes on.

3. You think TikTok is a new clock.

4. You remember when Amazon only sold books.

5. You’re phone takes you aside, and says, “Look, we’re really sorry. We know you’re one of the dinosaurs who still buys music on Google Play, but we’re switching over to YouTube music.” And you say, “YouTube has music?”

Excuse me, but—I’m old.

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