#CleaningHouseNovel #WIPpet Wednesday 6/20/18 A Familiar Haint

One of the best parts of writing, IMO, is sharing your work with others, but it’s also the most terrifying. What if they don’t like it? What if… welp, you’re not going to please everyone all the time, that’s for certain, and there are those who make a sport out of shooting authors down in flames. It’s a game, a dance, and I’m about to do it again with the release of my seventh, you heard right, seventh novel.

So how do I handle criticism? I listen to the constructive and try to ignore the rest, which isn’t always easy. Even the most successful authors have their critics… and their haters. To each their own. Whatever you want to call it, if you go into the game knowing you’re going to be slapped around a bit, things get much easier. Problem is…you generally don’t get to slap back. It’s considered disrespectful coming from the author’s end unless the criticism is totally, and I do mean, totally, warranted. My being ritualistic in how I handle criticism has certainly helped me contain my angst or anger or both. I’ll explain what I mean by ritualistic in another post but suffice to say that it’s very cathartic for me.

On to other things. It’s WIPpet Wednesday*, and I’m sharing from Cleaning House, which will soon lose its WIP (work-in-progress) status.

My WIPpet math for 6/20/18 goes as follows: 6-2 = 4, as in four paragraphs from Cleaning House, which is scheduled for an August 1st release.

The Setup: Cent’s just discovered a new magical talent when someone unexpected drops by to say hello.

     “You’re back,” whispered a voice, and a cold breeze passed Cent, gathering in a far corner as a translucent elderly woman wearing a long white dress and an untied bonnet.

     “Birdie?” Cent squinted at the corner.

     “Yessirree.” Birdie pulled her bonnet from her head, revealing a skeletal face holding a pair of sapphire eyes in their sockets. “You can use my wardrobe again if you’re wantin’.” She began to fade until only her eyes remained. “Just scrub it up good afore you do, exceptin’ for that bottom drawer. It’s mine, so let it be.”

     “Yes’m. Thanks.” Cent stared into the corner after Birdie had left. For someone quiet, she sure said a lot this time.

Have you ever lived with a haint (ghost)? I have, and he was a kind, if not a bit mischevious soul… until we put his favorite rocker in the closet to protect it when we were preparing to move. Then he got angry. He stomped up and down the stairs at all hours, our normally minimal shadow issue became a 24-7 affair, and I started having nightmares where he screamed at me concerning the chair’s whereabouts. A couple nights of that and I told my sons to get the chair out of the closet. He (the ghost) went back to his usual self, which included turning on random lights whenever he felt the inkling to do so (including the overhead lights at 3 AM).

We now know why the landlord insisted that the chair (a beautiful old rocker) stayed in the house.

I have a few other personal ghost tales too, but that one stands above the others, both in its re-telling and the fact so many of us were involved. My spouse, myself, our two sons, the former tenants (both science teachers), my mother (a Ph.D.)… we shared similar experiences and we’re all logical, educated people who couldn’t come up with any explanation aside from an intelligent haunting.  There’s a probably a short story in there, and I might write it later, but it’s good to tell, written or not.

Want to read more from Cleaning House? You can do so 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.


  1. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know if I would deal particularly well cohabiting with a ghost. Other people’s stories are usually enough to unnerve me and even noises or events that can be explained away are enough to put me on edge.

    Birdie seems quite sweet, though, I could probably live with someone like her. I would definitely leave the bottom drawer alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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