Nano 2015 #20

Oof. It was such a good day in so many ways. Legos, hot tub, long walk with the dog. But one of those days as well where every time I thought to myself I could carve out ten minutes right now to write, opened scrivner, and typed three words my kiddo declared he needed mommy. Whack my forehead into a brick wall. So it’s later than I like to be trying to compose words that make sense as I try to squeeze in a day’s word count. shrug. oh well. Tomorrow is another write in day. A day even better where I get to leave my kiddo behind with the hubby and ride off into the sunset with my laptop for a few hours. If previous weekends have been any guide I should squeak out a few thousand words tomorrow.sweepitundertherug

On the plus side, on Nano today I saw this little link that said, “You are 60% more likely to finish if you have a cover for your book.” So while kiddo was doing his subtraction, I had a quick google and found this.  Very naughty, very amusing, very much the way I would like my book to be described. LOL

Words today: 960

Time Spent writing: 45 minutes mostly in one minute increments. LOL

Total Words: 30,147

Estimated Completion Date: Dec 4th. Well at least I’ll be done by the TGIO party?

Words per day to finish on time 1805. Seems doable.

Of course 1667 seemed doable too and that has proved elusive. My current average daily word count is 1507. Oops.

Nano 2015 #19

Today I am channeling Churchill. If you’re going through hell, keep going. Yes, I know he didn’t actually say this but it’s damn good and Churchill was a master of pithy imaginative sayings. So let’s chalk another one up to him and call it good job.

Got two new Nanos at the morning write in. It was so exciting. Got to meet another SnoValley member that I didn’t know. Got to talk to new people about what they are writing and how it is going for them. I tried to block out the woman who is already at 41K. LOL.

Words Today: 2399

Time Spent: about an hour and a half at the write in and maybe 20-30 minutes more while the kiddo was in parkour.

Total Words: 29187

Estimated Completion Date: Dec 3


Wednesday morning I decided to call the detective first thing. I hadn’t heard from him since he left my house so abruptly Monday night. Maybe it was time to cook for him again. I dialed his office at seven thirty and then again at eight. He answered on the second ring.
“My name is amicus curaie.” I tried to make my voice mysterious.
“You’re a friend of the court?” I could hear Spence trying not to laugh.
“More like a friend to the investigation.” I adjusted.
“Tess, next time you want to make an anonymous call, don’t do it from your cell phone with your caller ID unblocked.”
“Oh, damn.”
“Oh, damn, indeed. I thought we agreed you were going to stop poking into other people’s business.”
“We did but-”
“No buts. This is a dangerous game you are playing. I wouldn’t want to see anything happen to you.”
“Thank you and I know.”
“Alright then . Have a good day and keep out of this investigation.”
“Did you know the country club is missing a ton of money from their account and the Arlene Paulson is refusing to give them Harold’s paperwork as the treasurer of the country club?” I blurted, desperate to keep him on the phone.
I slowed down. “The country club is missing a lot of money. The board asked Arlene Paulson for the paperwork Harold kept as treasurer and she wouldn’t give it up.”
“How did you come by this information?”
“I read Magda’s emails while I was there yesterday dropping off dinner.”
“Tess! You have got to stay out of this.” His voice was angry and there was a little something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
“I can’t help it. Opportunities keep presenting themselves to me.”
“So Magda’s laptop just fell into your lap and begged to be read?”
I laughed. “Come on.”
“Tess, where were you last Wednesday night from six o’clock on wards?” Spence’s voice was all hard business now.
“At home. Why?”
“Were you alone?”
The penny dropped. “Are you asking me for an alibi?”
“I am. Were you alone?”
“Yes. I was alone the next morning too when I found the body.”
“I know it’s frustrating but it’s procedure.”
“I don’t understand how you can think I am a suspect.”
“You found the body. You keep inserting yourself into the investigation. You live in a rich area with little visible means of support. Money is missing. For all I know you cook for your victims, drug them, kill them, and rob them.”
He was so matter of fact, so cold. I hung up the phone. I was a suspect in a murder investigation. And a serial murder investigation at that. There was only one thing to be done in a situation like this. I booted up my laptop and started writing a new chapter.



Nano 2015 # 18

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting everyday this Nano. Last year I felt committed to that daily schedule. On days where words were elusive I found myself making 500 word posts defending my lack of progress on my Nano Novel. I decided to skip that insanity this year. If I don’t write, I don’t post. And I ain’t feeling guilty about it either.

I seem to be suffering from middle of the month slump. I am just not feeling it this year. Maybe it’s just that my main character has yet to make me feel compelled by her plight. I felt for Molly last year. I liked her, I liked her a lot. Tess, she’s maybe too close to me for me to embrace completely.

Ok That got a little more serious that I meant it to. But I just realized, this time last year my kiddo was still in school. I had almost four hours to myself each weekday. This year not only do I not have that time but instead I am teaching him, and creating curriculum, and sourcing materials, and crying into my ice tea. I need a vacation from Nano. Can I come back and finish my other 25K in December? LOL

Words Written Today: 1779

Time Spent: 3 hours

Total Words: 26788

Estimated Completion Date: Dec 4th


He needed to talk to Tom.
Claiming his motorcycle from the lot he drove the long way out to their favorite lakeside diner. It was practically empty after ten on a week day. He ordered a cup of coffee and then stepped to the back by the restrooms noting with a wry smile the sign that said “men’s room to the left, because woman are always right.” He stepped around the corner to use what had to be the last working pay phone in the state. “It’s me. The usual place.”
“The usual order.” Tom hung up.
Spence returned to his table and doctored his coffee with the real cream the diner served. It was an odd combination of dive diner and local fresh cuisine. The food was real food, not frozen container truck imported plastic.
Tiffy wandered over, “Not used to seeing you on a weekend day honey.”
Spence smiled. “Sometimes you just need a good food.”
Tiffy grinned, “I hear that. What can I get you?”
“Corned beef hash and eggs, over easy, and make it two.”
“Tom coming in then?”
Spence nodded.
“It’s been an age since I’ve seen him.” Tiff stated with just a hint of question.
“He was rather occupied lately.”
“Ahh, a woman.” Tiffy shook her head. “He never brought her here, she can’t have been much good for him.”
Spence couldn’t help but laugh out loud, “You have no idea how right you are doll.”
“Get you the paper to read while you wait?”
“Thanks. Appreciate it.”
Spence sipped his coffee and stared out the window trying not to think too much about Tess as a murder. Tiffy slipped the paper onto the edge of his table and kept on walking without disturbing his thought process. Spence slid a mindless hand over to to take the folded package and cracked it open to scan the front page. Blaring across the entire front was an article by Stephanie Lewis on the latest in the Dismember Killer case, Harold Paulson. She identified him by name, it had been enough days that information was common knowledge. She was reporting the death as a drowning still. On one hand Spence liked that she wasn’t getting any inside information. On the other hand, it was strengthening the case against Tom being the leak. Stephanie Lewis lingered in her reporting on the more salacious aspects on the murder. What the hell had Tom seen in her? Blond hair, long legs. Spence shook his head. He needed to be on alert to avoid finding himself in a similar predicament.
Tiffy delivered their meals complete with the thick homemade bread and fresh jam that accompanied every breakfast. Spence picked up his fork as was on the verge of pricking his eggs to allow the yolks to soak into the corned beef, when Tom slid into the booth across from him. “I see your manners are in top form.”
“Letting this food get cold would be a crime against humanity. Poor manners be damned.” Spence quipped.
“Missed you man.”
They were silent for a moment as Tiffy delivered a cup and filled it with coffee for Tom and topped off Spence. Then a few more minutes went by as they tucked in.
Finally with a sigh, Spence slid his plate slightly back and picked up his knife to spread jam on his toast. “I’ve got issues.”
“Tell me something new. I’ve known that for years.” Tom snarked at Spence with affection.

Character Sketch: Tom Southby

Detective Spenctomsouthbye Thomas’ partner and best friend. Currently on administrative leave pending an investigation into  information that was leaked to his reporter girlfriend. He knows the investigation will go against him. The process is putting a strain on their friendship.

Nano 2015 #16

If I get any more tired I may actually fall asleep at my laptop. It has been a seriously long month. I hadn’t realized how much more effort it would be to help out the MLs this year. Making six Nano events a week is a pull. I don’t know how the real MLs in my region do it.

Words today: 1385

Time: impossible to estimate

Total words: 25009

Estimated completed: dec 2


and what is with the new format on wordpress?

nano 2015 #14

Good afternoon! I know it’s super early to be posting this but I just got home from a write in, so I won;t be writing this afternoon (husband and child need time) and I have plans to go out tonight, so likely nothing further will get added today.

Despite being beyond tired from last night’s event and my husband’s pager going off twice in the night (I hate on call as much as he does), I got some words written today. Some of them even make sense. LOL.

Words Written Today: 2196

Time Spent: 2 hours give or take a chat or two

Total Words: 23624

Estimated Completion Date : November 30th.

Did you notice I’m back on track? Yeah, Team Me! Ok so I a the only one writing this novel but everyone who lets me pester them with questions, shows up to write ins to encourage me, and lends me such interesting character traits to modify for my own uses is part of team me. If I forgot you in the above list, ask yourself if you are actually participating in my life. LOL


I let a tear roll out of my eye and down my cheek. “Oh god. And now I’m leaking like a whiny girl.”
“Sometimes leaking like a whiny girl is good for the soul.” Quinn placed a hand on mine and gave me a gentle squeeze.
“I had Spence, Detective Thomas over for dinner last night.”
“Tess, you bad, bad girl. I thought you liked him the way you talked about him after the, well the mess at the club. How did it go?”
“Not good. I mean I think it was going well at first. We kind of had a little argument about me trying to get information about the investigation and how I should really just stay out of it which lead to us kissing.”
“How was it?”
“Amazing. But then he got a call from the medical examiner and just left, so abruptly.”
“Oh.” Quinn drew out the word to express so much more than a simple letter sound.
“I know. And on top of all that I think my clients are avoiding me. Like somehow I’m tainted with Harold Paulson’s dead body.”
“Oh.” Now the sound conveyed horror. “That’s so not ok. Why do you think that?”
“It’s Tuesday, no one has had me in to make breakfast yet this week and I have no bookings for later this week and I’m only cooking two drop off for this afternoon. That’s maybe a third my normal volume.”
“Oh dear.”
“I know.”
“Well that does give you more time to write and maybe by the time Nano is over they will have solved the murder and you won’t be under a cloud.”
I nodded my head from side to side considering what she was saying. “I might not ever get out from under this though. What if they don’t find the killer? Or worse, what if they do and people still don’t want food from a woman who found and touched a dead body?”
Quinn said nothing for a moment. After a long drought from her morning nectar she took a deep breath and said very carefully, “Maybe this is a sign that’s its time for you to move on from this holding pattern you’ve been operating in for years.”
“This is not a holding pattern, this is my life, Quinn.” I was angry now as I rarely was with her.

Nano 2015 #13

Ooof. Just got home from “Nanorama November Night Fever”, our Disco themed costume dinner party write in. Yes that was a lot of words but hey this is Nano month, the more words the better.

It was a good night. We played fun games and it turns out I know the titles of way more Disco tunes that I should given when I was born. LOL. I won a Disco duckling which I got to add to my epic duck collection.

But it’s late and I desperately need to go wash all this glitter eye liner off my face, so I will cut right to the chase.

Words: 2943 ( I really wanted 3K but alas)

Time: 5-10 PM minus dinner, games, and chatting.

Total: 21, 428

Estimated completion: Dec 1 – improving again.

Excerpt: (In case it might amuse you-the basis for this conversation was actually one I had with my husband, so chew on that. LOL)

I set my bag down and dialed Quinn on my cell phone.
“Hey sweetheart. How are you? How’s your word count?”
“Fine. Fine. But I have a problem.”
“My main character had blackmailed the detective into coming to her place for dinner and I don’t know what she should wear.”
Quinn started laughing. “That’s quite the problem. Does it really matter at this point? Just put something in there for now as a place holder and you can worry over it later, after Nano.”
Crap, this was not going well. “I don’t know if I can do that. I’m not sure that’s my process.”
Quinn laughed heartily. “You already have a process? This is your first Nano.”
“Just give me some damn suggestions.” I got a little short in my tone.
“I’m sorry honey. I didn’t mean to upset you. You can’t wrong with jeans and a tee shirt.”
“Isn’t that a little casual.”
“A pair of good fitting jeans and a clingy tee shirt is sexy while still being approachable.”
“Really? I never thought of it that way.”
“Oh, absolutely.”

Nano 2015 # 11

I left the house so early this morning considering I was nicely dressed with make up and my kiddo. We had tickets to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Seattle. First play for my kiddo. He loved every minute of it. Could not stop clapping. Count not stop telling me how great it was, could we do it again. Love this stuff with kiddo.

Then we did lunch with friends and a trip to the playground in front of the emp and then a play date at a friends house. I got home at 4 sooo tired. But I had 25 minutes to nap before the sitter got there. Yeah. So sitter no showed and when I texted her, yeah, she forgot to cancel. Slaps forehead- my own, no child abuse here. So too late to make other arrangements. And while I sometimes bring kiddo to write in, never during Nano. Word count is sacred. LOL

Have you ever tried to write at home while your kiddo, your dog, and your hubby want your attention? laughing. My cell phone also wouldn’t stop going off. My SIL and several friends who hadn’t texted in weeks decided tonight was the night to blow my phone up. laughing and a few tears.

Words written: 964 (so not helping my deficit)

Time spent: an hour I think, maybe, in bits.

Total Words: 17012

Estimated Completion: Dec 3. Totally going the wrong way here.


“I maintain we have no proof Harold was embezzling club money and it would be disrespectful to trouble his widow at this time.” Roger sounded a might tetchy. If I were one of the other members of the board, I might start to wonder if Roger and Harold were partners. Maybe Roger killed Harold to use him as a scapegoat.
*”We have to do something about this Roger. We can’t just keep our heads buried in the sand and pretend everything is fine. We have to provide an accounting to the members before the end of the year party. We have five weeks to get this all straightened out.” Magda’s tone was becoming strident.
“Fine.” Roger clanked his coffee cup back into the saucer. “Fine. You go talk to widow. You tell her you think her husband was embezzling.”
Matt’s voice intruded again. “There is no need to say anything like that. In fact it would legally dangerous to make such a comment without evidence. Magda and I can simply provide our condolences and ask for the paperwork.”
“Matt, you’re not even on the board.” Roger snarked.
I couldn’t make out a response. I was dying to know what Matt was saying or maybe just implying via facial expression. Eventually Solidad spoke up, “I agree we should ask for the paperwork, kindly, gently. I will go with Magda if you want it to be a board member only trip Roger.”
“I’m not going.” Roger replied.
“Then Magda and I will.” Solidad continued.
I didn’t catch Roger’s reply because a chair scraped back on the floor. I ran on tip toe to the kitchen proper where I managed to be putting food in Tupperware when Magda came in.
“Tess, thank you for the meal. You can leave the mess for Emily, she’ll clean up in the morning.”
I nodded. “I’ll just get everything in to soak so it’s less work on her.”
Magda smiled and patted my arm. I could hear the others moving back into the front room for after dinner drinks. God, how much alcohol did one meal need? I stepped over to the laptop, saved my file to the cloud and closed Magda’s email. I shut the laptop down and returned it to it’s shelf before Magda or Matt came back and noticed it missing.

Nano 2015 #10

Good day. Nothing much more to be said. Just good. Walked the dog, built legos with the kiddo, got the oil changed in my car, homeschooled the kiddo, ran some errands, vacuumed the house, did some laundry. Good day.

Then I went to the write in. If I had remembered I needed gas in my car it might have all gone more smoothly but with a little but of ado I finally got there. Once again, just me and one ML, talking way too much. Although sheeintroduced me to George Moore. Have you read any of his stuff? Wow. “It does not matter how badly you paint, so long as you don’t paint badly like other people.” Substitute the word write for paint and that could be the theme of Nano. LOL. And why is it the library always closes just as I am on an epic roll?

Words Today: 2447

Time Spent Writing: Er, 2.5 hours at write in but I’d take an hour off that for chat.

Total Words: 16048

Estimated Completion Date: Dec 2. Still improving.


As I took my place at the counter I was surprised to see email up on the screen. Magda must have an auto start on her email, when I alt-tabbed I brought that up by accident.
I didn’t want to read her mail but one subject line caught my eye.
“Re: Now that the bastard’s dead…”
Wow, was that about Harold Paulson? My hand click on the mouse before I even had time to think about what I was doing.
“Six on Saturday words just fine for us.”
The original message was included below that.
“Now that the bastard is dead, what are we going to do about the missing money? We need to meet and talk about this in private before the rescheduled monthly board meeting. My house. Saturday. How’s six work for you? -Magda”

The message had been sent Thursday night. According to the time stamp it was right around when Magda called me to book this. So Magda knew Thursday the dead man was Harold Paulson. Did Magda have something to do with his death? Or was he the only board member she couldn’t get a hold of Thursday to cancel the meeting and so she assumed? I liked Magda, well as much as one could like a complete self absorbed snooty narcissist, I didn’t really want to think she might be a murderer.

I was reinvigorated for my ease dropping. They were going to discuss Harold tonight, they met for that purpose. I just needed to listen long enough. I crept over to the door and waited. Blah, Blah, Blah Martinique was getting to touristy. Blah, Blah, Blah Mrs. Oswald was sleeping with her yoga instructor. I could have told them that months ago. Wonder if they knew about Mr. Oswald and his personal trainer. Blah, Blah, blah the Smyths were swingers. Ickaroo. I didn’t know that. Then again I rarely cooked for them. Finally the light went on for me to clear dinner. I counted to ten before heading into the dining room.

No character Sketch: You know Tess and everyone else is well, lame.

Nano 2015 # 9

Slow day and it started so well. One of those mornings where everything just turns out fortuitously.  Like I couldn’t find my black sweatshirt with the hood so I took an extra three or four minutes looking for it. Once I found it, it started to rain. But I was still at the house so I could put on a rain coat before I went out. If I had found the sweatshirt right away I would been gone already before it started to rain. Hey, sometimes you have to embrace the simple things, like not getting drenched while walking the dog.

Anyway, none of my characters wanted to work today. They all insisted on going back to bed with a book, lazy bastards. I ground out my words in dribs and drabs at the coop and then once kiddo went to bed. It ain’t pretty but it’s written. Who was it who said you can edit bad words into good ones later but it’s hard to edit a blank page? Totally there today.

Words written today: 2386

Time spent: 2.5 hours at the coop and an hour tonight.

Total Words: 13601

Estimated Completion Date: Dec 4. – Getting better.


Friday morning Spence managed to finish his WOD and take an entire shower, shave, and brush his teeth before heading into the office. Friday at nine the entire Dismember Killer task force, all three of them now that Tom was on leave, met to discuss where they were at, what likely options they could pursue next, and how to deal with the pressure from the media to make an arrest when they didn’t even have any possible suspects. He decided to pop by Krispy Kreme (can I use this?) on the way into the office. Yeah, the whole cops and donuts thing was way over blown and cliche but everyone made an exception for Krispy Kreme. He dropped the dozen box on the center of the table and went back out to get a cup of coffee from the machine in what constituted a break room. He had to wait while the pot finished brewing but that was preferably to coffee left over from the night shift. Detective Scott Barnes was at the table in the middle of selecting a donut when Spence returned.
“Morning.” Spence greeted him.
Barnes provided only a head nod in response. But since Barnes rarely said anything until after his third cup of coffee, Spence didn’t take it personally.
At twelve minutes after nine, Detective Melanie Witlow rush through the door. “Sorry, I’m sorry. Lars is out of town and I got stuck in traffic while dropping Junior off at my mothers.”
Spence nodded. Barnes took a second coffee cup out of a paper bag at his feet and set it in front of Witlow. She smiled her thanks before helping herself to a raspberry filled donut. She took a bite and groaning said, “Was this you Spence? You’re a god among men.”
Spence smiled and nodded a chuckled.
“He’s just trying to make up for the fact that his partner screwed us.” Barnes growled.
Ahhh, here it was. This was indeed the reason Spence picked up donuts. Not that he was trying to make up for anything but he hoped with their mouths full of the best donuts known to man, they might be a little sweeter in their words.
“Did Tom really blab all that information to Stephanie Lewis?” Witlow was direct.
Spence shrugged. “I don’t really know what’s going on. Tom isn’t allowed to talk about it during the investigation.”
“All these years, we’ve all debated what it might take to bring down T2, turns out it’s one bleach blond bitch with a big mouth.”
Barnes snorted. “Say that three times fast.”

Character Sketch:


Witlow and Barnes: Partners for three years, since Witlow became a detective, they rarely need to actually communicate. Witlow does most of the talking for the pair of them. She can interpret his grunts and facial expressions into real words. They’re good solid detectives who grind it out day after day because they believe in what they do. They believe in the positive effect they can have on the world. Barnes is ex-military with three ex-wives. Witlow is a small town local girl on her first husband and child.