#WIPpet Wednesday #AmWriting 2/21/18 A Face in the Mirror

Yes, I’ve been tinkering with the cover of Cleaning House again. The changes are minor this time… the title font, spirit smoke, and the edge color are the biggest ones, but I like them.  Cleaning House is set for an August 1st release with Mountain Gap Books.

This past week has been, um, interesting to say the least. I’ve tried to keep busy, but things keep getting in my way.  Here’s a list whether you want it or not.

  1. I’m finding a plethora of little errors in Cleaning House that are driving me absolutely insane. On a good note, I have discovered the read-aloud feature in the newest version of Word, and that’s been a spectacular help indeed.
  2. Someone *ducks her head* forgot one of her medications the other day and got a jarring reminder of why she needs it. I take an anti-convulsant because my body’s electrical system doesn’t always work like it should, so guess what happens when I don’t take it… yeah.  I scared the crap out of my spouse. Sorry, honey. It was an accident. Thankfully, we deciphered the problem before I went into a seizure. Good grief, I hate shaking like that. If you don’t know what Myoclonus is, look it up. Almost everyone gets myoclonic jerks as they’re falling asleep, but I can get them all day and extremely hard, knock-you-off-your-feet,  last for several minutes, excruciatingly painful ones at that. The medicine I didn’t take that day makes them tolerable, but… wow, the ones I get now without the medication are much stronger than they used to be. I don’t want to make that mistake again.
  3. I’m fighting off a hellacious case of imposter syndrome right before the release of my newest novel in Surrogate Series. The timing couldn’t be worse, but I’m fighting it as best I can. Dealing with someone online who has an even bigger case than I currently do has set things in perspective. That said, I have more going for me than I did this time last year, one of them being an upcoming review on a larger LGBTQIA Sci-Fi site. *crosses her fingers* We’ll see how I fare.

We’re actually going out tomorrow, so we’ll see how well I’ve recovered from the medication debacle. And here are a couple of good notes from this past week.

  1. I’ve started the sequel to Cleaning House. Right now it’s titled Keeping House, but everything is subject to change.
  2. I’ve finished the playlist for Cleaning House. Yes, I made a music playlist to accompany the novel, one song per chapter. It’s a fun activity, but I’m enough of a realist to know it will generally be ignored. Like most everything I make, I created it for my own entertainment.  (the list is to your right) However, if you do look at the list, you’ll find it’s quite an interesting mix, just like Appalachia.

Enough of my rambling. This WIPpet* comes again from Cleaning House. Last week, I let you in on a local delicacy, Pal’s Cheddar Rounds. This week, things are not so tasty. Cent’s breakfast has made her sick so she and Aubrey have stopped at McDonald’s where she, um, loses it all over the parking lot. She’s in the bathroom at the start of this WIPpet but soon realizes she’s not alone.

Here’s my WIPpet math. 2/21/2018 – I’m taking the 20 for twenty short, dialog-ish paragraphs from Cleaning House.

     Cent knelt over the toilet, making sure nothing else was coming up before she stood, exiting the stall and standing over the sink to wash her hands. She rinsed her face and checked herself in the mirror, startling when she saw an old woman with long, frizzy, white hair standing behind her.

     “They know you’re here.” The old woman shook her head until her hair covered her face.

     “Who?” When Cent spun around to confront the woman, she wasn’t there. “What the…” She tore from the bathroom, running straight into Aubrey. “Where’d she go?”

     “Where’d who go?” He caught Cent by the arm when she tried to pass him.

     “The old woman!” Cent pushed him aside and rushed across the restaurant, turning the corner to stand in front of the counter. “Where’d she go?”

     “Who’re you talking about?” Aubrey spun her around. “No one came out of the bathroom before you.”

     “Are you sure?” Cent searched the nearly empty restaurant then glanced behind the counter, but she saw no one resembling the woman she’d encountered. “I must have jet lag or something.” She dug into her pants’ pocket to find her money. “Large drink.”

     “Anything else?” The red-headed girl behind the counter batted her eyes at Aubrey.

     Always him. Never me. “You want something?” She glanced over her shoulder to see him rubbing his chin.

     “No, I’m good.” He stepped closer to her. “A one-hour difference don’t make for jetlag.”

     “I know.” She turned back to the counter. “That’s all then.” She waited for her change and cup, filling the latter with a little ice and lots of Diet Coke from the fountain.

     “You ain’t getting off so easy.” Aubrey nudged her from behind. “Tell me what you saw.”

     “A woman.” Cent placed a lid over her cup and grabbed a straw. “In the mirror. She spoke to me.”

     “Really?” He followed her back to the Camry, standing by the driver’s side, watching her intently. “What’d she say?”

     “They know I’m here.” Cent shivered as she sipped her drink. “But I have no idea who they are.”

     “Aunt Tess might.” He opened the doors and waited for Cent to settle in the passenger seat. “Hand me your old cup.”

     “Gladly.” Peachy anything was off her list, but Cheddar Rounds… I’ll try them again soon without the drink.

     “You’re a mess, you know it?” He dropped into the driver’s seat and shoved the key into the ignition.

     “I wasn’t until I got here.”

     “So you say. Let’s get you home.” Aubrey exited the parking lot directly onto Highway 107, the last marked two-lane road before they reached the homestead.

And, while I have you, I’m hosting a giveaway to celebrate the upcoming March 1st release of Surrogate: Hunted.  I’d love to see more entries, so click the image below and follow the simple directions to enter for a chance at winning an ebook copy in the format of your choice (mobi, pdf, or epub format).

Read more #WIPpet Wednesday posts from Cleaning House HERE.

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.



    • I wouldn’t say that Aubrey’s taking it in stride, but he’s certainly grace under pressure in this scene. He’s probably seen enough weird stuff of his own as of late, but he hasnt’ let Cent in on it… yet.


  1. I love Aubrey. Poor Cent, though! I had a running joke that I couldn’t write a story without someone puking. I think I’ve managed it successfully about a third of the time now, LOL.

    Fingers crossed for you that you get good reviews of your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think stomach issues, especially in a time of distress, are part of the human condition. But, if that’s what stood out to you here, I might have done something wrong.

      And thanks for the crossed fingers. We’ll see.


      • No, it only stood out to me specifically because of my history of what I’ve written. There’s nothing wrong with the snippet at all. I’m confident in saying it’s a me-thing, not a story-thing. I meant to say something more about Aubrey, but I got distracted and forgot to go back to it.

        The more I see of him, the more I like him. He’s so chill here, which I definitely would not be. Or…well, I’d probably have decided Cent was either feverish or into some weird stuff. He’s not doing either of those, at least not out loud.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Forgive me, I’m quickly deciding I’m in a mood today for some unidentifiable reason. *shrugs* LIke I told Fallon. Aubrey’s calm by nature, but he’s also hiding a few things that he’s not ready to discuss. Those unfold a bit later in the novel.


      • No worries. I was just telling Deb that I’m so off this week that I’ve been leaving half-finished comments all over the place.

        I can’t wait to find out what secrets Aubrey’s keeping.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Panic! I really haven’t listened to Death of a Bachelor enough – I don’t think I’ve heard The Good, The Bad and The Dirty before. I love book playlists. 🙂

    Love this snippet too…and this story is mighty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not huge into Panic! But I do like a couple of songs. And I love book playlists too. They’re fun, and I think they let you see a little more into an author’s head than you otherwise would.

      And, thank you. I wrote this story fast than any before… which is kinda scary. Glad to know it’s going over well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.