paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
Chapter 1 is up and running, and now I'm on to chapter 2. I still think I can revise it rather than start it over. Chapter 3, not so sure about, not yet. Anyway, I developed my murder mystery plotline more today and came up with a feasible and actually kind of disturbing direction to take it. It brings things to a new level of urgency and suspense, so I'm trying to develop that idea some more and see what comes of it. This is holding my attention pretty good now.

My favorite part of writing fiction is undoubtedly the dialogue. I can usually produce good dialogue that is faithful to the canon voices. So for fun, I'm posting just a snippet of chapter 2 that I'm particularly pleased with. And then I am getting back to work. I've got some time and space on my hands tonight, and a good amount of caffeine. Productivity looks favorable.
*                 *             *              *                *             *              *             *               *    

By the time he had parted ways with Graham and reached the main entrance, he found Mickey had been there long enough to have given up on waiting for him in the fire lane and parked. More precisely, he observed her sitting on the flagstone ledge bordering the outdoor reflection pool with one leg crossed ankle over thigh and her long skirt hanging in pleated folds all around her. She was twisted sideways to face the pool and its collection of fountains as she placidly tossed in a coin near the end point of one arc of spouting water. Management might discourage the practice, but it would take a direct order to keep the young woman from exercising her right to engage in the harmless superstition of wish-making on small U.S. coinage in corporate fountains. Austin had no intention of wasting good-will on any such order. The dimming late afternoon sun highlighted the more golden tones in her shoulder-length curls and bathed her face in a soft glow, a rather picturesque effect. He paused long enough to commit the scene to memory before striding up to her and giving her shoulder a quick double-tap.
She startled and looked up at him, smiling. “You’re late,” she declared, sounding triumphant.

“What did you wish for?”

She lowered her leg and stretched the both of them together before launching herself to her feet. “Italian for dinner tonight.”

He stared at her. Often, he had to stare a moment before he spoke, because so often her responses were so impossibly simple or unexpected or outlandish, he found himself feeling like he must be missing something. “Why appeal to the magic fountain? Why not just say, ‘Austin, let’s get Italian?’”

She giggled and moved past him, keys in hand, heading toward the parking lot. “Alright then; Austin, let’s get Italian.”

“Hold up,” he ordered, taking hold of her under her arm before she got too far. “I need to go somewhere first.” He let go and charged ahead purposefully, opposite the lot, assuming she’d follow along and not really considering otherwise.

She trotted along and caught up to him quick enough. “Where?”

“Back nine,” he quipped. Her face only registered confusion, so he relented and elaborated. “The topiary garden out back; I need to see someone.”

new fic

Jun. 16th, 2017 09:07 pm
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I had such a good head of steam going up until now, 11k words in this new one, and I was liking it...until...
I don't know what knocked me down, but I have no one old enough and willing to be a sounding board while I work through this, so I'm turning to the old on-line journal to talk to myself. Sometimes that works.

Everything was going great until I was almost done with chapter 3, where Mickey has the new Serendip position, and I realized I don't know anything about the corporate secretary pool vs. executive assistant, vs. administrative assistant. Give me an ER at 3 a.m. or a retirement center or a plasma donation center and I can write a scene that pops, but what I'm doing now is flat and fails to convince me it's authentic. If I can't even convince myself, I am incapable of enjoying that particular item I've written.

But I so don't want to give up. Here's the good about it (aside from being the first genuine fiction effort I've made in 3 years): The "what if" element is intriguing: What would happen if Austin up and quit Serendip? Where would that leave Mickey? Serendip employs her, not Austin. So would she be absorbed back into the general secretarial pool, or what are the chances another executive would be needing a personal secretary at that exact time? And what, then, is the nature of Mickey and Austin's relationship? Was it just a professional based phenomenon, Mickey at the service of Austin by virtue of her paycheck, with some personal gratification (excitement) and maybe some genuine friendship to sweeten the pot? Or is there a deeper connection that transcends the paycheck?

Secondly, there is the murder mystery aspect, with the scientific twist. I'm working on a premise that involves a synthetic virus infused into a plant, then crossbred several times over until a particular mutation occurs with the foreign dna that causes havoc. The original instigator is a sort of semi-innocent bystander, but there's a real villain who wants to possess this technology and mass produce it for personal gain. I have Austin, trying to solve the initial murder of the semi-innocent bystander, getting sucked into a bigger situation with the villain where he is simultaneously helping his scheme and trying to subvert it.

To connect the two plotlines, I have Mickey being forced to choose for whom she works: Serendip for a career, pay, and benefits, or Austin for good-will and great uncertainty. He promises adventure. Maybe the sky is the limit, but nothing with him is guaranteed.

Okay, now re-reading what I've written here, I have a clearer idea of my goals and objectives. That was helpful. I can also see a little better where I want to position Mickey. So I do not want her working for a particular boss, but for a supervising secretary of an entire division pool. That would guarantee her new job would be exceedingly boring and unchallenging compared to what she's been used to.

The problem here is I think if Mickey had a truly lucrative, stable position that made good use of her talents, I don't know that she'd be willing to chuck it to go follow Austin. The way I've written this up to now, Austin has not been too considerate. He betrayed her, and he's got to see that and come to grips with the part of himself that acts on pure intellect without the input from feelings, particularly empathy. Is he capable of being empathetic? To what degree is he capable, and will it be sufficient for Mickey to gamble on choosing him and a new geography vs staying with what she knows?

OK, what if I have Mickey being offered either a downgrade in position or a severance package? That would take me back to chapter one and significantly change her direction. Ummm, yeah...yes, I'm liking this idea better. OK, that removes my quandary about chapter 3 and the dumb scenario that falls flat. I know all about being between jobs. I've had severance before and God knows I've been on job hunts. I can write that. Of course, now I have to go back and figure out what Austin assumed Mickey would do when she was suddenly out a job. Was he planning to cut ties. No. Absolutely not. He knew she'd have severance, and he planned to "come to the rescue" before the severance ran out. He just didn't bother to explain it to Mickey.

I'll keep on thinking on this. I'm glad I thought of this account. This was way more productive than I thought it would be. OK, time to call the kids in and get everyone to bed. I'll revise and push forward tomorrow.
paulak_rumin8: (cake face)
I've been trying, again, to get cracking on a writing project. It has been several months. I had a couple of false starts since January. Then, just last week, I caught a whiff of inspiration and pounded out a 3000-word one-shot for ff.net. I think it's the finest piece I've produced so far. It's unique. I wrote it from the point of view of a lounge-singer/bank robber with mob connections, a live-in girlfriend, and a 5-year-old son. It takes place within a week of when the man ditched his family and didn't see his son again for 25 years.

Believe it or not, it's a canon-faithful backstory to Mark McCormick from Hardcastle and McCormick. Next time I might actually include the title characters in my story.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
I just posted chapter 10. I think it's the most evil cliffhanger I've ever offered. Makes me smile. I really enjoyed writing this story. It actually came a little easier than the last one I did. I might have enough nerve worked up to see about writing original fiction. I've said so before, I know. I'm still trying to talk myself into it, I think.

Writing is my second greatest joy right now. Tops is my children. They are such blessings. Tonight, my eldest 2 are away on a camping trip with scouts. So I have the four aged 3 to 8 having a sleepover in the den. It's adorable. And little guy, Leo, went to bed without a single fuss. I'm just so grateful.

I'm going to post a writing sample to end this. I have one particular scene from chapter 10 that I think stands out. That'll do.



Alonzo guided her back down the hall to the kitchen and motioned for her to sit in the same chair she had used earlier. Vinnie was standing nearby, holding a telephone base in one hand and inspecting a watch in the other.

“All right, Secretary. We have a phone call to make.” Vinnie joined them at the table and set a paper in front of Mickey. “You will read exactly what is written here, and then I will hang up. Don’t answer any questions. Don’t offer any information. Understand?”

She nodded. “Yes.” Her voice was a mere whisper. She cleared her throat. “Yes,” she said again.

Vinnie dialed the phone with the eraser end of a pencil, while Alonzo held the receiver to her ear. It rang only once and was immediately answered.

“Mickey?”

She thought she had been holding up well, feeling numb, if not absolutely calm. But at the sound of Austin’s voice and the alarm implicit behind it, tears sprang to her eyes. But Vinnie was staring at her, a deadly serious look on his face, and she didn’t want him to hang up. She tried to launch right into her message. “Austin! I have—“

“Tell me somebody pulled a gun on you, at least. Tell me you didn’t just hop into the car with them.”

She exhaled, making a sound that was equal parts laugh and sob. “I’m sorry, Austin.”

“Didn’t I tell you to stay home? Isn’t that the one thing I kept telling you while you were arguing with me?”

“I know…”

“You didn’t do what I told you to.”

“You’re right. You’re always right.”

“When this is over, I want you to make that your personal mantra. Repeat it to yourself every time you start to question my judgment.”

Vinnie’s expression grew darker. “Get on with it.”

“Austin, I really need to give you this message.”

“Go ahead.”

“Do you have the drug they want?”

“Yep.”

“All of it?”

“Yep.”

She read off the paper. “Get on Route 60, go East as fast as you can. You will receive another phone call in twenty minutes.” That was it. The message was complete. Her eyes began to fill again.

As though he was standing right beside her, seeing what she saw and knowing what she knew, Austin’s hastily added last words fell on her ears, low and composed. “Try and relax, Mickey. Just do whatever they tell you. I’m coming.”

Vinnie disconnected as Mickey answered. “I know you are.”
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
I've been busy with this. I'm working on chapter 10, and it's challenging, pretty exciting, and fun. It's mostly a challenge because I keep shifting perspectives, from Mickey to Austin and back. They're in two different places at the moment, but coming close to intersecting. It's really a fun chapter, as the author of it. I'm going to end today's post with a little piece of it, just because I'm so eager to share the thing.

I do believe I'm going to try my hand at original fiction next time. I've said before, and I stand by this: every bad day makes a great story. Man, I've got more stories at my disposal lately. I've got to channel all this for good and put it to work for me. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of wasted drama.

I'm really going to make an effort to finish up the current project this week. It's probably within about 3500 words from the end. I'm definitely past the mid-story slump, where I'm in danger of abandoning the project. It's the home stretch now.


Chapter 10

They fell silent again, and Mickey’s mind was racing, trying to come up with something to say to him. It was supposed to be a good thing to do in a hostage situation, to keep your captor talking, build a relationship with him, make it personal. She bit her lip and thought about relationships. “So, how long have you known Lydia, Alonzo?” Calling the captor by his name was a good idea, too. Austin would be proud of her, keeping her head together like this.

“Don’t talk to me about her. She’s none of your business.”

“Oh. Okay.” So much for that idea. Mickey tried again. “I’ve known Austin since I started working for him last March. He gets me in trouble, too, but you know what? I’m not sorry.” I’m really not, she thought, surprised at the truth of her words even as she was speaking them off the top of her head. “I’m glad I work for him, and I’m glad I get tangled up in the things he does. I don’t even know what I’d be doing anymore if I didn’t have him to follow around. He’s the most fascinating, most noble person I’ve ever known.” She laughed to herself. “I guess sometimes you men are worth the trouble you cause.”

Alonzo stared at her thoughtfully. He was quiet for a moment, and then his eyes narrowed. “Do you love him?”

She colored. “Um… do I…?”

“Austin James. Do you love him?”

She looked down, angry with herself for being flustered over the question when she had bigger problems to worry about. She didn’t know how to answer him. She wasn’t quite sure of the answer herself. Stammering, she finally blurted, “I work for him.”
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
Okay, first of all, I am back to writing, and chapter 7 will come to completion just dandy as soon as I have the time to write it. I'm not too worried at this point. Secondly, I have a little sketch I tossed out this evening, just for fun. It's not really a spoiler, since it's simple, self-indulgent fluff that probably won't ever be part of the current story, but it might fit as sort of an "afterward." I enjoy my little afterward sketches.

I didn't intend to share this one, but it gives me warm fuzzies, so who am I to deny the opportunity to others? Ah, dear, Morning Paula is going to be very cross with Night Paula come 5 a.m. Oh well.



Probe Fluff

“I told you I couldn’t stay because I knew you wouldn’t want me to. And I left.” If she had hoped he would ask no further questions about it, she was disappointed. He wasn’t quite ready to let it go. Not yet.

“And what did I say?”

“You said I have a great attention span.” It wasn’t a lie. She discreetly failed to mention the whole of it, how he’d prefaced the declaration with, “You know what I like best about you, Mickey?”

“’Great attention span.’ Those are the words I used?”

“You may have used the word, ‘phenomenal.’” She smiled sheepishly, but he hardly noticed. He looked away, a troubled expression building on his face.

“That’s awkward,” he muttered under his breath.

“I thought it was a really nice thing to say.” But even as she spoke, he was turning and walking away, ready to bury himself in the bowels of his workshop, no doubt. Something inside of her balked at the idea of ending the conversation here. Something was coming to a head, and this time she was in no mood to prevent it.

“Hey!” she cried, stopping him short. She advanced toward him a few steps.“Don’t go.” She waited until he turned around and faced her again. His expression was neutral, guarded. One hand buried itself in his pocket and the other remained clenched at his side. Mickey crossed her arms, leveled an intent stare at him. “Do you mean it?” she demanded. “Do you really think my attention span is phenomenal?”

He licked his lips, hesitated much longer than the question warranted. Then he answered, in a voice so low she could hardly hear him. “Yes.”

“Good,” she blurted, arms still crossed.

He looked startled, almost offended. “Good?” He let out a humorless laugh and shook his head.

“Because I love you, too.”

The jaded smile dropped from his face in an instant. His mouth hung loose, blue eyes piercingly attentive. But he didn’t speak. Maybe he couldn’t.

She plundered on. The floodgates were opened, and words fell out of her mouth like a springtime rain. “I don’t know when or how, but I do. And I didn’t like Belinda any better than you liked Tristan; same reason. And don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about! I wanted to dump her drink on her a couple of times, just so she’d cool it.” His confusion had faded, to be replaced by slow, growing amusement illuminating his eyes and playing at the corners of his mouth. And still, he said nothing.

“And I know you keep saying the universe is all you need, but I don’t believe that anymore, and I don’t think you do either. I think you’re just too afraid to admit it, because that would mean you’d have to depend on somebody to stick around, when you even call yourself ‘slightly schizophrenic’ and ‘maladjusted.’ What rational person is going to put up with that?

“But you’re neither of those things, Austin James. You’re brilliant and sometimes you’re crazy. But I think you’re phenomenal, too, and I love you.”

She ran out of words, and in the lingering quiet that followed, she wondered whether she should have stopped after ‘good.’ He still stood some feet in front of her, intimidatingly silent. His eyes left hers and seemed to study a point on the floor for an interminable moment. At last, he lifted them to hers again, still wearing a mildly perplexed expression on his face.

“There is nothing rational about you, is there, Michelle Castle?”

She smiled at him, though her eyes smarted. “Nothing.”

He stepped forward, close enough to hold. He gently clasped her arms above her elbows, and settled an ironic smile on her face. “Lucky for me.”

Hiatus

May. 7th, 2014 12:02 am
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
Reasons I am taking a writing hiatus:

1. It's all Annabeth's fault. I'm watching The Hardy Boys right now.

2. Man, projects like this are a lot of work, and it's a lot of work to maintain the energy necessary to keep on track.

3. As usual, I do have other obligations to attend to.

4. My 2012 fic continues to reap in the hits, while my current project languishes. Drives me nuts, I tell you. Drives me absolutely nuts.

5. Where the hell am I going with this story line, anyway? I can't remember. At this point, I'll have to reread what I've written to figure out what I was doing. That's a lot of reading.

6. I don't like my own writing quite that well.

7. Must do something about this growing sleep debt. I'm starting to lose focus on more than just the writing.

8. I've already lost weight I never intended to lose with my preoccupation with writing. Maybe I should just put it aside and actually eat a meal once in a while.

9. Cabin fever. I am sick to death of being cooped up in the house, trying to finish out the year of homeschooling and keep laundry at bay. Must do something physically engaging.

10. Perhaps I just need a short break and a new perspective. With any luck, I'll change my mind by the weekend.
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
Why, why, why, why, why did I think it was a good idea to invite over the whole family to our house for a Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party for a 1-year-old? My house is not tidy, and only a little bit clean...scratch that, it's not clean. I have more incontinence issues happening at home than I encounter at the retirement facility where I work. I have no sense of smell, but I am quite sure the house reeks of urine, cat, and grease smoke. The weather's been crappy and husband still hasn't mowed once this season. The kids dug a three-foot deep hole in the backyard.

On the bright side, I finished chapter 6 tonight and got it posted. Also, I'm in a psychological place where I'm simply not dwelling on all the angst, and I'm just content to be. In fact, I think I will treat myself to a little DVD viewing and go on to bed. Nothing to be accomplished tonight by fretting.
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I did it, I did it, I did it! Chapter 5 is done. I had a great couple of days of writing inspiration, and today in particular I made a terrific break-through. I came up with a great piece of drama to inject life and a fair amount of anxiety into the end of the chapter, and it came together better than I had hoped. So now, with that behind me, I can move on and accomplish the next phase of the project. There are a couple of scenes existing solely in my head right now that I just can't wait to put down in print.

Now, off to post chapter 5. :D
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
Drat you, chapter 5! I can't say how much I hate the middle of the story. It's right about then I start losing my momentum and stall out. Chapter 5 is coming; I have about 2300 words of it, provided I don't decide to scrap it and start over. It's just coming so slow. I wish I needed just 5 or 6 hours of sleep to function optimally. That would be great. As it is, I am tired. I have the next scene all plotted out mentally and I'd love to take the time to at least get a first draft down, but I think I'm going to have to stop. I'm such an idiot, when you think about it. This is a terrible time of the year to start up such a large-scale project. Glutton for punishment is what I am. Just couldn't wait for the end of the school year. I'm a little afraid of how this chapter will turn out because it is accomplishing what it needs to, but I don't think it's as much fun as the previous chapters.

Writing Austin with his pinball machine attention shifts and constant motion is difficult. And the more I study the episodes for Mickey's character and mannerisms, the more I recognize the subtle differences in each writer's interpretation of her. For instance, in the pilot and Plan 10, Mickey is a little more cranky with Austin's quirks, and stands up to his bluster tit for tat. But in Black Cats, she assumes more of a hero-worship attitude. In Quit It and to a lesser degree, in Black Cats, she seems to entertain a rather romanticized vision of Austin, and in MAPe Over You and Now You See It, she conveys a protective and almost territorial vibe. There's no particular character arc happening--granted, we're talking about a very small sample of episodes to analyze--but simply differences among the episode writers' particular visions.

Now this is funny. Half an hour ago I was too tired to write another section of a chapter, but that didn't stop me from giving an exposition on the program at my blog.

Soooo Close

Apr. 7th, 2014 11:20 pm
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
Last night I finally took the trouble to insert new ink cartridges into my printer, and I printed chapter 4 today and took it to work. Amazing how much more writing I can get done in a day if I just have a working printer. I did all sorts of editing and writing in the margins during my downtime, and by tonight, I got a heck of a lot accomplished. I'm probably one more day away from posting the next chapter, assuming I'm able to finish the current scene tomorrow.

I just introduced a new character tonight, and I'm liking him! I also did some more work on the "end tag" today, and it is so freaking sweet I just want to see it. I wish I could draw, because there is one still that I would love to see brought to life in a sketch. Alas, my brother and my sister are wonderful artists. I write. God chose to withhold drawing from my talent package.

Last night I was up until 1:30 writing. I composed a poem for Facebook at the end of it:

"I have to get to bed," I said; "When I've lost the urge to write, I might."

Pretty much sums it up for me right now. Good-bye sleep, until we meet again!

Stalling

Apr. 5th, 2014 04:48 pm
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
I've reached a roadblock in the story here at chapter 4. It's frustrating on many levels. I have the end figured out, including a terrific tag. I'm almost tempted to start writing the end while I have the urge and then go back and connect it to the rest later. Actually, that's not a bad idea. I might do just that.

The problem with chapter 4 is I haven't figured out which direction I want to go next. The possibilities are numerous, and not one is striking me as more likely than another. I'm a little afraid of introducing too many new characters and making the whole thing too hard to follow. I'm also afraid of dipping to deep into drama and sacrificing the lightness that was characteristic of the program.

I'm going to post a small part of chapter 4, that by no means encompasses the whole of what that chapter is about, but I'm in two minds about this. I was hoping to post the next chapter by the beginning of the week, but I don't know. If what I have still stands, I'm about halfway done right now. It may take a bit longer to shape this up. Now I'm going to stop rambling and get back to work.

(Incidentally, I got some great new ear buds, and I have all the cares in the world drowned out by the Von Karajan-directed version of Mozart's Requiem. Beautiful beyond words.)



Mickey smiled demurely. “Are you going to call her?”

“I have to. You heard her; she wants pictures.”

Mickey bit off a French fry and smiled broadly. “How about for a second date?”

“Absolutely not,” Austin replied. He picked up his fork and prodded apart his potato with it.

“Why not?!”

“She’s an adrenaline junkie.” He paused to take a good-sized bite. After he swallowed, he went on. “Her attention span is minutes. She’s a raw food enthusiast. She doesn’t know Handel from Copland, and she lives in Santa Monica.”

Mickey leaned back and addressed the rafters. “Good grief, Austin, wasn’t there anything you liked about her?”

“She did have an interesting odor.”

“Odor? If that’s the only thing you approve of, I guess she shouldn’t get her hopes up.” She grimaced at him and took a bite of her burger. “How come it doesn’t bother you, being alone all the time?”

“I’m not alone,” he protested, pointing at her with his fork. “I told you, I have—“

“—the entire universe,” Mickey finished in unison with him. “But don’t you ever want more than that?”

He stared at her, fork frozen in mid-air, frowned. “You know that makes no sense.”

“I’m serious! What about human companionship? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to come home to, someone who gets your sense of humor and listens to your theories?”

He broke into an indulgent smile and took another bite of potato. “Mickey, I promise you, everything in the world I need to be happy is right here under this roof.” He cast his eyes up and around the expanse of the building and ended up back at Mickey. His deep blue eyes were alight with his convictions, and they captured hers and held them.

She knew what he meant to say. She knew he did not mean what, for a terribly awkward moment, she heard him say. But that simple knowing was not enough to beat down the blush that rose on her face. She tore her gaze away from his, studied the diamond pattern on her plate, and stuffed her mouth with a handful of fries.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
It's a late night for me. I have 3100 words of chapter 3 written, which puts me at about 2/3 to 3/4 done. I absolutely love the first couple of pages of this chapter, but I don't dare share anything from that since there are certainly spoilers involved. It was great fun writing it, though. The dialogue makes me laugh, with all the double entendre going on. I'd love to say I'll be writing all day tomorrow, being my day off, but nope. I can't. I have other obligations, so my little project will just have to wait a while. That's okay. A lot in life is about balance. I'm working on that.

My plot is getting a little messier as I'm planning ahead. Typical of me, Ms. Big-Picture, it seemed pretty straightforward until it was time to plug in all the details. I'm trying very hard to avoid 2 things: plot holes and predictability. I'm also riding that line between satisfying drama and melodrama. I'm aiming for moderate nail-biting and hard-hitting moments of squee. I'm avoiding eye-rolling and hopefully, yawning. I just might have to spend some quality time with my videos again, in lieu of actually writing, to re-center myself.

I can't adequately express how delighted I am to have a project to delve into again. Work is fine, but kind of a bore right now. Home is good, but it has its share of stress and tedium. This is a medium I feel so comfortable in. I just love to have a creative outlet to funnel a lot of nervous energy into. I'll miss it when it's done.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
So, I spent my entire Saturday working on chapter 2, even in the face of charges of neglect from my children (but Mom, don't you want to spend time with us?), and it is done! It's not ready to post. I need an overnight to let it sit and then edit it tomorrow for consistency and accuracy, but the initial draft at least is complete. I am so excited about the direction this story is going. I have an idea where I mean to take it, but the details aren't there, so it's almost as suspenseful for me as it is for whoever reads it.

What I am going to do tonight is post a tiny snippet of it because I was particularly happy with how I wrote Austin here. Tomorrow...I'm spending some make-up time with the family...but THEN...I'm posting that chapter.


He was moving toward Mickey and her date as quickly as the hostess was leading them toward their table, and like a collision course realized too late to dodge, they all arrived at the window-side table at the same time. Tristan barely had time to utter a startled protest before Austin hooked his arm around Mickey’s at the elbow and spun her in the opposite direction.

“Excuse us,” he quipped, before turning to Mickey. “A word?”

“Who the hell are you?”

The cacophony of patrons’ voices, the piped crooning of Sinatra from overhead speakers, the clatter of dishes and flatware were nothing compared to the pounding of Mickey’s heart as Austin rose to his commandeering finest. Standing nearly nose to nose with her date, he glared, unblinking and unapologetic. “I’m Austin James, and this is my personal assistant.” He deftly caught up a basket of dinner rolls off a passing tray and thumped it on the table in front of Tristan. “Keep your hands busy with this for a minute.”
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
Chapter 2 is going well. I am entertaining myself. I am keeping myself up too late. I am ignoring symptoms of stomach flu. All in all, I think productive writing is good for my mental health, if not physical health.

The next section of chapter 2 is giving me some trouble, only because I'm stalling on beginning it. Tonight I spent several hours rewriting and reworking what I had of chapter 2, and it is much more to my liking. I'm hoping I can get the whole thing done and post it by the weekend.

So far, comments have been few, but I would expect as much. I'm writing because I love to write, and because I think I have a great story to tell. Maybe I'll have to wait a while for an audience. I believe my children will want to read it. They've been showing more interest than anyone in my non-cyber life.

I went to the dentist today, which is a more painful experience the older I get. My gums are sagging in places. It must be expected, though, that a host of body parts on a forty-something lady are apt to sag. Might as well put up with it. Anyway, I spent my dentist time musing over Probe and replaying the last 15 minutes of Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype Over You in my head. Again, productive writing is good for my mental health.

In other happy news, my dad decided he needed a new car for his birthday so he sold me his old one for half of what the dealership would have given him. Sweet. It's kind of funny, because I look at that car and think it doesn't look like a car I would drive, but that is nothing even resembling a complaint. It's a Chrysler 300 with more power than I've handled in a car...ever, I'm pretty sure. I might have to pull out the old user's manual and learn more about this thing.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
As of tonight, I have the first 7 pages done of chapter 1. I have had a couple of good periods of reflection and subsequent writing, and the scenes have been unfolding very nicely. It's a pretty good sign when I amuse myself. I'm on to the second part of chapter 1. I was considering how to break up chapters, and I've settled on a lesser number of longer chapters, subdivided into two or three smaller parts. Blah, blah. The mechanics of writing are less than entertaining, so I'll move on.

Tonight I roused my poor 12-year-old out of bed to check in one of the kitchen cabinets. I thought I saw bugs while I was putting away dishes. I actually thought I saw a number of cockroaches, but I was wrong. Oldest son rolled his eyes at me with good reason; my "bugs" were cute little fish on a clear-colored dinner plate which I couldn't see on top of the ordinary ceramic plates in the dim lighting. Son told me I'm probably tired and ought to go to bed. He is a very sensible and officious young man, isn't he?

I am so looking forward to writing more of my Probe fic! I wish it wasn't so late and I wasn't so tired. Generally, my best work doesn't come out of this kind of mental fog, so I'll probably just wrap up what I'm doing here, maybe play a round of Mahjong, and call it a night. I'm trying to keep focused on just the immediate scene I'm writing, instead of jumping ahead. It's hard for a big-picture person like me to concentrate on the details sufficiently. Today I brainstormed in the shower a new twist in the next scene which should make for some fun writing, as well as the end tag. No kidding, the plot hasn't thickened yet and I've already figured out the end tag.

As per the norm with me, my interest in TV has sunk to dismal lows. I assumed yesterday's Mentalist would be another rerun, but then I forgot to even check to be sure. I've hardly sat down in the family room, let alone watch the TV. Writing commandeers my creative energy and keeps TV at bay, and then there's the children. Lately, the boys have been into board games and card games. Probably the crappy weather. Anyway, I've been playing a lot of Monopoly, Taboo, and Blackjack these days.

Take Two

Feb. 26th, 2014 11:55 pm
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I began my Probe writing project, stopped, began again. Waited. Reread. Gahh! It sucks. It's wrong, WRONG! Put it aside. Waited some more. Groused. Contemplated. Picked it up again. Wrote some more...and here we are. Take two.


“I need to run an errand.” He watched her hands, both clenching the steering wheel, and her eyes, fixed on him with an unspoken demand. He blinked. “Don’t worry. It’s on the way.” She continued to stare at him imploringly. “Drive!” he urged, and he proceeded to rummage through the glove compartment for a cassette tape.

They had crossed through and northward out of the city, and had heard all of the first two movements of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony before either of them spoke again.

“Turn here.”

Mickey signaled right and took the indicated exit off the interstate, but not without a skeptical raising of her eyebrows. “Austin, where are we going?”

His eyes gleamed and he smiled as he noted the worry lines deepening on her brow. “It’s just a quick side trip, I promise. I have to check on some geological data at a particular place, at a particular time. Now! I have a theory…” He trailed off, as he was so wont to do when theory became suddenly much more interesting to him than a day planner or a conversation.

“What kind of theory?”

“You really want me to tell you?”

“No.”

He smiled again and glanced ahead briefly. “Turn right again just past that sign.”

She did as he requested. Her job, ultimately, was to assist Austin, even if he seemed at times to work against himself. Sometimes she felt as though a bigger part of her job was just pulling Austin out of his own head every once in a while. “You know, I didn’t go to the trouble of arranging this interview today for my benefit.” She paused, waited. He didn’t answer. “This is your pet project you wanted to put out there, remember? I’m trying to help you.” She heard his sigh, barely audible, but clear evidence of his growing exasperation. That could only be called progress. In Mickey’s mind, any reaction was better than none. “I even came in extra, on my day off. Is this your way of saying you’ve decided not to be interviewed after all?”

With that, she hit critical mass. “No!” he protested, scowling. “I said I’ll do it; I’ll do it.”

“But we’re going to be late.”

Austin let out a huff, and his clipped inflection gave more indication of his mood than his words. “On a scale of one to ten, ten being most, how badly do you think our interviewer wants to talk to me?”

Mickey rolled her eyes.

“What?”

“Never mind, I know where you’re going with this. You’re probably right.”

His trademark smirk curled the corners of his mouth. “Probably?”

“She probably won’t leave just because we’re a few minutes late,” Mickey conceded, with an emphasis on ‘probably.’

“Ha! She wouldn’t leave if we were an hour late, maybe more.” Seeing the worry lines deepening across his secretary’s forehead, he quickly added, “Not that we will be.” He looked ahead out the window. “There!” he said sharply, and pointed. “See that turn off? That’s where we’re going.”
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
So much to write, but so little time. Seems to be my mantra lately. I've been skirting around my writing project, mainly settling myself in the planning process, setting up a structure, but not actually writing much. It reminds me of when I bought my laptop and then couldn't bring myself to take it out of its box for three weeks. If I could choose my personality tendencies, I'd be INFJ and get some things accomplished. Alas, I have no more power over my personality than I do over the texture and fullness of my hair, so I'm firmly INFP.

Anyway, whilst planning this evening, I landed on something interesting. In the episode of Probe called "Now You See It...", Mickey was reading off some tax receipts of Austin's and came across one for long stem roses "Every day for three weeks...Mailing address: Mattie Lou Teague." Mattie Lou Teague Crow was a locally acclaimed author in Alabama who lived from 1903 to 1999. I do believe she was Ashley Crow's paternal grandmother. Neat, huh?

I did accomplish a bit of writing over the weekend. It was a conversation between the two main characters, to be part of chapter 1. I'm not thrilled with it and will likely rewrite it, but I was pleased just to have the hour or so to write while the kids were still awake and I wasn't sleepy. Granted, I did most of my writing while holding a sleeping 5-year-old curled up in my lap. I also did some journaling.

The weekend was awesome. I found a pretty cool Myers-Briggs test on the internet and several interested children wanting to take it, so that was fun. I also got them to watch "Computer Logic" and at least the 10-year-old stuck around to watch "Untouched by Human Hands" also. I've got some great kids.

So this completes my writing efforts of the day. I figure if nothing else, I did some online journaling. Can't stay up too late as I'm working again in the morning. I have the goal of writing at least 15 minutes daily, just to get the habit up and running again. Maybe it will be not a minute more than 15. It's a start.
paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I haven't posted pieces of a writing project in a long time, and the settings here on Dreamwidth have changed. I guess I'll just have to get reacquainted. Anyway, I spent some more time on my newest project, and I have a piece of Chapter 2 down. It's hard to get enough time scraped together, uninterrupted, to do any writing at all. I've been too tired to commit to any focused thinking once the kids are in bed, and I don't have the self-discipline to get myself up any earlier than I already have to just to write. So, put simply, this project may take a while to complete. On the plus side, I did some great thinking in the shower this morning and worked out an intriguing plot that I think will hold water. So without further ado, here is my introduction to the as-yet-untitled new Probe fic:



Tristan Tollman had in no way been misrepresented to Mickey. He was every bit as entertaining, as adventurous, and as attractive as she had been promised. Deep brown eyes with a mischievous glint over a lopsided smile and topped with a shock of lush brown locks curling over his collar and ears gave him a youthfulness belying his thirty-four years.

He was exactly Mickey’s type.

She didn’t mean to do it, but she stole the barest glance at her watch while her date had his head safely turned away, summoning another round of drinks from their server. Mickey's tawny ringlets of bangs lifted off her brow as she dealt them an impatient huff. It was just 9:30 on a balmy Saturday evening in August, and already she was prowling her imagination for an excuse to call it a night.

Why? She had every reason to celebrate the end of a grueling week with a little lightweight fun. Tristan was just the fix. Listen to him now, detailing his last trip to Catalina, of windsurfing endlessly from mid-morning, all day, until the last crimson tendrils of twilight succumbed to inky dusk. This was a man accustomed to the nightlife of the beach scene. He knew frozen margaritas concocted with fresh key lime and the best Baja-brewed tequila, the throbbing of steel drums until the party collapsed to sleep near dawn at somebody’s beach house, lulled by the crashing surf outside.

But Mickey’s mind was elsewhere, and the cause of it rested squarely on Austin James.
paulak_rumin8: (Austin and Mickey)
Tonight, when the midnight hour was reached, I made my first attempt at ending the foot-dragging and penned my first words of the next project. So far I have 70 words, which will likely be cleared and restarted again anyway, but it's something. I don't mind a few false starts on the way to something worth keeping.

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