Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Some Assembly Required

Today's #WIP Wednesday takes us back to IKEA purgatory with the lovable Benji and the grumpy
IKEA Smaland! I'm too much of a germ-a-phobe to let my own
kids play there, but it sure does look fun. (If you don't mind a case
 of dysentery from the ball pit.) 
Photo credit.
Patrick. Lex and I are moving along at a nice clip on Some Assembly Required, though to be honest we're going to have to pick up the pace if we have any hope of meeting our deadline. (Yikes.)

I think we're about halfway done. Lex, who if you didn't know writes epics, would probably disagree. Hopefully we'll meet somewhere in the middle. *g*

This is the last week of school for Thing 1 and Thing 2, so I'm hoping for a burst of inspiration to help me crank out a few chapters before all hell breaks loose around here. Fingers crossed!

Some Assembly Required
aka the IKEA purgatory meet-cute you didn't know you needed until now

The sharp-salty tang of tears wasn't exactly out of place in IKEA. Benji had learned that sometimes even the toughest men cry, and it seemed like those times were especially likely to occur the longer they were inside IKEA, following around harried partners with over-filled carts. He wasn't going to generalize. While most of them seemed to be straight, he'd seen more than a few bears reduced to manfully sobbing in housewares. 
But this was different. This wasn't the lone tear of a man (or woman, let's be honest, there were plenty of them too) pushed past the brink of boredom and frustration. It wasn't the happy tears of a giggling co-ed who'd found just the right fuchsia faux fur rug for the dorm room, OMG! The tears he could taste on his tongue were of a frightened child, and they drew him in like a beacon. 
Karin had told him she'd never seen anything like it. No one who'd come before him had ever been able to interact with the living the way Benji did—not through the usual means that Patrick used when he was trying to influence someone, but actual interaction.
So far it had only worked with kids under six, which was perfect because kids under six and Benji were like peas in a pod. 
“What is it, Lassie? Did Timmy fall down the well again?” Patrick asked when Benji's head lifted and he took a deep breath. Upstairs. Close enough to the cafe that the scent of meatballs and lingonberry made it hard to pinpoint, but that hardly mattered. That in and of itself was enough of a clue to tell Benji exactly where the kid was. 
“It wasn't funny the first time you said it and it hasn't been funny the last ten, either,” Benji muttered.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Incoming Credits intro

Thanks for stopping by for another edition of #WIP Wednesday! *g* I'm finally caught up on my chapters for Some Assembly Required, so I had a chance blow the proverbial dust off a manuscript that's been on the back burner for months--Incoming Credits. It's my very first YA novel, so the learning curve is rather large and daunting. It's also my inaugural attempt at writing first person, which is turning out to be harder than I'd imagined. Getting Zeke's voice down has been a labor of love, but one that's well worth it.

Incoming Credits

Most of the classes at Winthrop Prep were really engaging. I mean, I wouldn't go to a boarding school full of stuck-up rich kids if it wasn't worth it. Of course, there were always exceptions. Unfortunately the class I was in right now was one of them. 
Not that economics itself was boring—the math part of it was cool. But God, the teacher. He was only a few years older than us and he had no control over the class. He was a Winthrop graduate, and a lot of the kids actually knew him because his younger brother was in my class. 
Most of the teachers at Winthrop had masters degrees or even PhDs, but not Mr. Rhodes. From what I'd heard, he'd barely graduated with his bachelors, and I hadn't seen anything from him in class that made me believe otherwise. We all knew the board of trustees only hired him because he'd taken the rugby team to state three of his four years on the team. Apparently he was some sort of sports savant, because he sure as hell was dumber than a box of rocks in every other area. He'd assigned me North Korea when we'd done our IMF world outlook projects because he thought I could bring “a lot of good insight.” 
Which was great and all, if you ignored the fact that I was Filipino, and only half at that. I was born in Connecticut. If he'd wanted me to expound on the economics of growing up in Bridgeport I'd have been his guy. Not that it mattered to him. I was just a conveniently brown scholarship kid who he knew wouldn't complain to daddy about having a crappy country assigned to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Back to IKEA!

This last week has been a hectic, horrible rollercoaster, and it played havoc with my writing schedule. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter know that my 5 year old was hospitalized over the weekend--her second hospitalization in two weeks. 

She's home now and recovering well, but there's nothing quite so scary as rushing your child who's unable to breathe to the emergency room, and then having the doctors unable to easily solve the problem. :/

But like I said, she's home now, and even back at school today. That means I'm back to work, both the EDJ (which isn't evil at all, actually) and writing. Yay! Today's WIP Wednesday is a snippet from chapter 5 of Some Assembly Required, the IKEA meet-cute afterlife book Lex Chase and I are writing.

 Some Assembly Required  
Benji went limp, letting himself sink deeper into the ball pit. He didn't want to see Patrick. He didn't particularly want to see this Agnes woman either, but needs must. He'd rather the devil he didn't know rather than the one he did in this instance. 
Though Patrick had been adamant that this wasn't hell. Were there devils in purgatory? Probably. And Patrick with his sinful good looks and screw-everything attitude was definitely a prime candidate to be one. He stayed under a few more minutes until a bejeweled and wrinkled hand thrust down into the balls. 
“Patrick's gone, it's time to come out,” Agnes said. Benji put his hand in hers, wincing at her surprisingly tight grip as she pulled him up. 
He gasped when his head broke the surface, the open air tasting sweet and light on his tongue after the heavy, fetid air from the bottom of the pit. There wasn't any accompanying relief in his lungs, though. He took another cautious breath, alarm spiking through him when he realized his chest wasn't moving. 
“We don't need to breathe. Most of us do, just because it's familiar. But that's a corporeal need, son, and we're most certainly not corporeal anymore.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WIP Wednesday: More of the Zen Den!

I'm supposed to be working on my latest chapter of Some Assembly Required, but yoga happened instead. Shh, don't tell Lex.

We pick up with Kincaid and Owen, the guys we met in last week's snippet. Yoga teacher Owen has just asked Kincaid about previous yoga experience. Enjoy! *g*

The Zen Den 

Once," Kincaid said with a slight grimace. "My roommate was into it in college and she dragged me to a class. All I remember is it being ridiculously hot and not understanding most of what the instructor said for the whole hour and a half.”  
Owen snickered. “Sounds like Bikram. They heat the room to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit to help practitioners sweat out their toxins.”  
“I felt like I was trying to sweat out my spleen.” 
“So no hot yoga for you. Got it. Do you remember any of the positions? Were there any you particularly liked?”  
“It was about ten years ago, so not really. The only pose I remember was Linnie doing something on her belly with her feet arched up to almost touch her head. I didn't even try that one. It seemed like there was a high risk of accidental castration.”  
Owen barked out a laugh. “Probably pūrnaśalabhāsana.”  
“Bless you?”  
“So you're funny as well as handsome and athletic, Mr. Sorens?” Owen teased, and Kincaid preened internally at the compliments. “In English it's called full locust pose, but I always find the Sanskrit words more fun to say.”  
Before Kincaid could respond, Owen held his hand up and shook his head. “Don't worry. I don't break out into Sanskrit until at least the fifth class.”
Kincaid was sure he still looked horrified, if the way Owen laughed was any indication.  
“Kidding. I always call out poses in English, and I'm right there modeling the pose for the class. For you, I'd recommend private lessons to start with so we can work one-on-one and make sure you have the poses down so you don't aggravate your stress fracture. That will be more expensive than the group classes, though.” 
Kincaid wasn't exactly flush with money, but his ankle was a priority. Besides, he hadn't taken a vacation in two years and he been picking up overtime on the weekends now that he wasn't able to be out running. Plus he found he really wanted to work with Owen, not just because he found the man attractive but because he actually felt comfortable with him. “I can make it work.”

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