Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

It’s snowing! It’s only flurries. Well maybe not flurries, more like mixed in with the rain, but nonetheless, it is snowing and I am so not ready for snow!

If we go by my an old wives tale, or maybe an old farmer’s tale, my grandmother told me, then we will see snow, flurries count, fifty times this season. Today is the 12th, and the winter solstice is 38 days away – 12+38=50. Although the prediction has been fairly accurate in the past, within a few occurrences, I really pray it does not come to pass this year. Who the heck needs to see snow fifty times in one season?

Yesterday was a productive day even though I did not quite hit my 18K mark. I had an awful lot of words to catch up on, but I’m hoping in the next day or so I will be at the correct mark for the month. The story is coming along nicely – you’ll be getting the next chapter in a few hours. It’s finished, but I want to give my blog post a few hours to circulate before I put up a new post.

I did change the name from Rathlin Island to Tallymore Island. By making the place fictional, it gives me a whole lot more leeway. When and if my characters travel to Ballycastle or to any other larger city, the information (streets, landmarks, etc,) will be accurate. I am a few chapters ahead of what I’ll be posting today, and I’m really excited because Kieren will be meeting Caleb, the lead male character, for the first time. Do you like the name Caleb or is the “K” sound too much with the female lead being Kieren? If so, I am open for suggestions. (Christopher, Douglas, Milton, Patrick and Thomas are already taken.)

Its small details like this a writer debates over, or in my case frets over, while writing a story. Avoiding similar sounding names becomes a real challenge when doing a series. The Bradford Series literally requires a spreadsheet of who’s who – you can’t have the villain’s name in book four sound like one of the main character’s names in book two. If you’ve read either A Second Chance or Taking Chances, you’ll know there are a lot of characters in my stories, so you will understand my need for an elaborate spreadsheet to keep them all straight.

In Corporate Blues I must have changed the name of Madison’s son at least half a dozen times before I settled on Scott. A couple of weeks ago I was doing a preliminary edit and I came across the name Jack in one of the earlier chapters and I couldn’t recall who Jack was, then I remembered it was Scott’s original name. I had forgotten to change his name in one place.

Okay, on to the challenges, then off to Ireland. I hope you have a wonderful day and happy writing!


Your Last Challenge:


Write a story containing the following three words: Gate, Strange & Butter.


“Hey Nick, could you come here for a second?”

Nick placed the box he had been carrying on a shelf, walked over to Krista, slid his arms around her waist and nuzzled her neck, “Plans on christening this part of the house?”

She swatted her husband’s arm, “Behave. The movers will be here with the furniture soon.” She turned in his arms and kissed him. “Maybe later, but that’s not why I called you over.”

“You sure I can’t do something to persuade you?”

Krista held firm, “Later.” She pointed to the wall, “Do you remember seeing this when we bought the house?”

Nick followed Krista’s gaze and was surprised to see a stone archway, barred with a wrought iron gate, set into the far back wall. He released her, walked over to the gate and gave it a tug, “It’s stuck.”

“Is it locked?”

“No, there’s no lock on the door, I think it’s just rusted. I doubt it’s been opened in years.”

Krista peered into the darkness beyond the gate, “What do you think is back there?”

“The bones of a hundred tortured men. Their souls doomed to roam the Earth until they are given a proper burial.”

Krista swatted his arm again, “Will you stop, I’m serious.”

Nick laughed, “Well there’s only one way to find out. You go try and find some flashlights and I’ll see what I can find to loosen up these hinges.”

It took Krista a while to find the boxes marked “Kitchen” and then several more minutes to locate the one containing the flashlight, so by the time she returned to the basement, Nick was already working on getting the gate opened.

“What are you putting on the hinges?” She wrinkled her nose at the greasy globs covering Nick’s hands and the gate’s hinges.



 “My choices were rather limited. Don’t laugh, it seems to be working.”


Out of time. I had planned for Nick and Krista to uncover an old wine cellar.


Your Next Challenge is:


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.