By Laura Drake
We love seeing what our readers are up to – so here’s your chance! This month, I’m thinking about middles, since I’m near the middle of my WIP, and worrying about sagging (and for once, it’s not about my butt).
So here’s your assignment:
Go to your WIP (or one of your other books,) turn to the middle (no cheating) and share a paragraph or so in the comments (no more than 200 words, and only one, please.)
Here are ours…
Laura (from my latest, Her Road Home):
The front door slammed open, admitting a woman who, at first glance, looked like a high society matron. A soft pink sleeveless silk shell was tucked into expensively tailored buff linen slacks. Her well-cut hair, with perfect subtle tones of blonde screamed exclusive hairdresser. Her face suggested good breeding, with high cheekbones and a refined nose. She was tanning-bed brown and society thin.
And drunk. Not the falling down variety, or even the speech slurring version, but Sam knew the subtle signs. Her linen slacks were rumpled, and a watermark stain darkened the silk blouse. Her hair pressed flat on one side, and her makeup was smeared. All these could be attributable to the late hour, but Sam knew better.
Sharla (from “Felling A Timberman”):
Noelle stopped dead in the doorway, shocked.
A ledger lay open at the foot of the bed and wads of paper were scattered like jettisoned snowballs all over the floor. An ink-stained sheet covered Vidar’s lap, and his blankets lay in a snarled heap on the floor. Worse, the water pitcher on his nightstand had tipped over, soaking the blankets.
“It’s about time,” he grumbled. “Where did you hide my britches?
A weeks worth of pent up irritation drove into the room. “Listen, Timber Beast, I –” She stumbled and watched helplessly as the tray sailed out of her windmilling hands. Dishes crashed as she belly flopped onto the damp heap blankets beside his bed.
Gulping a breath of air, she pushed to her feet. “Y-e–u!” Syrupy porridge oozed between her fingers.
A bark of laughter followed by chortles and snorts erupted from the miscreant lounging in bed.
Noelle turned on him, raising a sticky fist. “You, ungrateful sidewinder! Don’t you dare laugh at me!” She eyed the mess she’d have to clean up. Too bad the ornery coyote laughing his fool head off had escaped unscathed.
Jenny (from her WIP, A Sister In Need):
Agatha couldn’t help it. She crossed herself. Vigorously. “Child, were you hurt?”
“Christ Jesus. No, I wasn’t hurt.” He brayed with laughter. “You know, my Aunt Genevieve’s a nun and she crosses just like you. They give all you penguins crossing lessons or what? Every time one of us gets drunk and starts cussing – and since we’re Irish, that’s like all the damn time – Aunt Genny practically knocks herself sideways crossing.”
Seeing the sheen of tears in Maureen’s eyes, she crossed herself again for good measure, bowing her head and watching the gunman through her eyelashes.
When his laughter cut off midstream, and he ground his Glock into Maureen’s neck, Agatha’s resolve began to tremble. Their hostage-taker was either on some sort of substance or he wasn’t quite sane. Neither scenario was going to be good for Mo.
Desperate to keep him talking, she asked, “Does your Aunt Genny wear a habit?”
“She wore a black habit last I remember, with the white thingie around her neck. And a really killer cross. Heavy. It used to whack us when she’d bend over to pick us up.”
Fae (from Contracting Joy, the second in the Keep Sphere novels):
The lights winked off, then the auxiliary power lit them again. Tanner made for the tube access at a dead run and jumped in. He’d checked the long range scan just minutes before, but it was possible that another ship had jumped in close beside them. Too close, unless its crew meant to. And the only reason a ship would jump so close to another was if they were . . .
Heart pounding, he hurtled himself out of the tube at the bridge opening and made for his station. Before he settled in the chair, he tapped his screen to get confirmation of his fears. Swarms of single and two-man ships nipped at the hull of the Cargo Runner. Without a doubt, they were being attacked by pirates, and there wasn’t a damned thing as tactician he could do.
Orly (from her WIP, The Day The Merry-Go-Round Stopped):
I picture the old Hank with the paper-thin skin on his hands that accentuates every vein and the eyes that water slightly when he’s thinking about something. The Hank who talks to me about the colors he used on the carousel and how he decided where to place each animal. The Hank who asks who I am every couple of sentences. The Hank who squeezes my hand when he knows I need comfort and tells me to let go of the guilt because guilt is a useless emotion.
I picture the young Hank with the strong, wide hands and ready grin and the eyes that sparkle with the fun-to-come. The Hank who talks to Meera about dancing and running in the waves. The Hank who squeezes my hand searching for comfort that he did the right thing in letting me go and asks me to be happy to release his guilt.
Now it’s your turn! We can’t wait to see your work down in the comments section.