On beaches and boats

Ahhh, spring break. That specter of carefree relaxation, sunlight and nothing to do. Well, I don’t know about you, but there’s never nothing to do, especially when my muse is around.

The family spent last week on the beautiful Gulf coast in Mexico Beach, FL. The Gulf is close enough that we always drive down, and Friday was so different. With four adults and two kids, assorted bags, sand castle toys, a kayak and a paddle board there was nothing to do but caravan down.

I spent the six hours in the company of my partner’s best friend. It was the first time we’d spent any significant time in each other’s company and I must say it was quite enjoyable to get to know her. As we approached the coast, having exhausted many many subjects, I started relaying a story idea I had. We hit the coast, turned left and headed east. My idea had been for a longish short story, or perhaps a short novella. But as we drove into the very setting of the idea it leapt to life.

My characters revealed themselves in all their light and shadows, and with my passenger hanging on my words, I spun the world into being.

I now have a full-on book in the offing, and it’s taking shape in an entirely new way. I’m a pantser, so the experience of actually writing a synopsis, character write-ups, doing location research beforehand…all of it is extraordinary and new!

MacKenzie O’Dell, is the black sheep of her family. She refused to join her father’s company and instead spent sixteen years a wanderer. She learned trades and traveled the country, content to live in the wind.

She’s come home because her beloved aunt is in the hospital. She doesn’t plan to stay, but there are events that will both tempt her and dare her to try to live in the land that always claimed her soul. The sea, the salt air, the live oaks with their dresses of spanish moss, the sand…all remind her she’s been homesick all her life.

You can’t go home again, but maybe, just maybe, she can have a home at last.

On other project fronts, things are also moving. The Courier is currently with my writing group for critique, and I’m looking forward to getting their feedback. I know that I can’t get the distance I need from the story, and I’m eager to get things polished and fleshed out so the book can move forward.

The Last Feather, my phoenix novel, is still in progress. With it’s thousand year timeline it requires intensive research, so while it’s slow going at the moment, I anticipate getting into the nitty gritty of adding to the word count in the near future. I’ve not been doing much in the way of short stories, but I plan to get back to doing some writing prompts if only to shake things loose every now and again.

So…now that I’ve said I’m doing all of that….I’d best get to it!

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