Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas Baby

Current Listen:  Breath of Heaven, courtesy of Amy Grant

Tonight as I sat by the fire, basking in the glow of my Christmas Tree, a thread of thought passed through my mind. What would Marli and Jordan's first Christmas have been like? I never wrote a scene involving Christmas because my book ends with the Thanksgiving holiday. So I asked Marli to tell me about their Christmas. She told me she convinced Jordan to come to Ohio and spend the holiday with her and her father. It was only fair. She'd spent Thanksgiving with his family. With that said, here is how Marli's first Christmas with Jordan began....

My alarm went off, but I was already awake. Dawn was barely pinking the sky, giving the icicles dropping from my roof an iridescent glimmer. It had snowed yesterday and this morning, tiny crystal droplets clung to the branches. It was a scene worthy of a Christmas morning.

 I bundled inside my terry robe, tiptoed past Rick’s bedroom door and scurried down the stairs to my Christmas present, asleep in Daniel’s old room. Jordan.

The bedroom was dark, being buried from the sun and tucked beneath a snow laden bush. I stood by the bed, listening to the deep raspy breaths matching the bare chest rising and falling above the edge of the quilt. His lashes fanned across his cheeks and wavy strands of caramel colored hair edged his head in the crinkles of the pillow. The hand raised above his head twitched a couple of times and his full lips opened and closed with a deep breath.

 “It’s really creepy having you stare at me while I sleep,” Jordan softly spoke without so much as an eyelash fluttering.

My hand slapped my heart back to beating from being stopped with fright. I swallowed hard, pretending to be unfazed. “How long have you been watching me?”

“I heard the pitter patter of your little feet on the stairs.” He lifted the quilt. “Climb in here my Christmas Elf. I’ve got a present for you,” he beckoned in a seductive lilt.

“I’m not sure I’m ready for that present,” I halfway lied.

Jordan’s eyebrow cocked and a corner of his mouth pulled into a sexy, lopsided grin. I shrugged out of my robe and slipped between the warm sheets into his embrace. My ear on his chest counted heartbeats racing to catch my own.

 “I’ll bet I could persuade you. Maybe even give you a candy cane, too?” he teased.

Jordan’s hello kiss told my willpower “goodbye.” By the time I was able to come up for air, I was already molded to his every curve.

“When you kiss me like that, you don’t need to even speak. Your wish is my command.”

“Too bad I’m such a gentleman. I’m also fond of certain body parts and have a strong desire to see my next birthday, so you need to get my favorite little tush back upstairs before Rick finds you.”

I giggled against his lips. “Yeah, I’d hate to see anything happen to my favorite body.”

Another heady kiss ended too quickly, but just in the nick of time.

“I better go,” I whispered. Reluctantly, I moved from beneath my hunky boyfriend’s body, but before I could exit my warm place, Jordan caught my shoulders.

“Wait. I told you I had a present for you. Close your eyes.”

“Hmm, the last time you told me to close my eyes, my life changed.”

"I promise nothing dramatic.”

Jordan pushed my hair to the side and a cold weight pressed below the hollow in my throat. “Okay, you can open them.”

My eyes dropped to what my fingers were holding. A teardrop sapphire surrounded by what I was certain were diamonds, was suspended from a gleaming silver chain. “Jordan?”

“Merry Christmas, baby.”

“It’s beautiful. Thank you.” No longer caring what my father might think, I wrapped myself around Jordan and pushed him back into the pillows. “I love you, Jordan Mason.”

“I love you more,” he whispered over my mouth. “Now go. I’ll get dressed and come help with breakfast.”

One my way to the door, I tossed a pair of reindeer covered flannel pajamas, tied with a red ribbon at Jordan. “Sorry, but there’s no ‘getting dressed’. Davis house rules. Pajamas all day on Christmas.”

“You’re joking, right? Reindeer?”

I paused in the doorway and smiled, “I thought the ‘horns’ were appropriate.”

Well, I hope you enjoyed the holiday glimpse. Too bad blogs are short. Blueberry pancakes were on the breakfast menu as well as a fiesty snowball fight later, still in pajamas. Hmm, wonder how they warmed up? I've got a pretty good idea. With that steamy little thought to dream about, I'm off to bed. Hope your holidays are shaping up and you're further along in your shopping than I am!
Later fans. Thanks for stopping by. Joelene
Tonight's thought: Don't get caught up in all the hustle and bustle that you forget the "reason for the season." Give from your heart this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Tonight's listen:  No More Cloudy Days, courtesy of "The Eagles"

November 30th came to close with the sound of thousands whizzing over the finish line with seconds to go before midnight, all rushing for the "claim to fame" of being able to write a book in a month of 50,000 or more words. Not an easy task!

You barrel out of the starting gates Week 1 with enthusiasm, unbridled energy and able to live on 2 hours sleep.

Then Week 2 hits. It's like the first week of January when the holidays are over and tax season looms. The wind is suddenly gone out of your sails and the edges of the story you've carefully laid the ground work on, start to fray. For some, its the week of "writers block" where hard as you try, nothing creative is coming forth. But you must write. (Taking a day off from writing on NaNoWrimo is hell to catch up on later. Trust me. I know.) So you plug away, maybe writing "aardvark" eighteen hundred times just to fill your daily word count quota, but you write something!

Week 3 knocks at the door and you gasp! One more week! And this particular week for we ladies raising our magic wands, or I should say "spoons" (thank you Loretta), proves even more challenging. There's "fowl play." Thanksgiving sneaks around the corner, along with several companions, most of which you only cook once, maybe twice  year. Not only are you responsible for creating the "memorable holiday," you still have your 1,800 words to type by midnight, as well. Personally, I don't remember tasting the turkey until the day after.

Week 4 just busts through the door, unannounced, and a panic attack ensues. Your word count is not where it should be. When you check your stats online, the diagonal bar is stretching far above your daily word count, visibly shaking you to realize that according to your "production output," reaching your 50,000 word requirement will fall way past November 30th's deadline.
Family ties are severed at this point. People approaching you carry long sticks and linger near exits for quick retreat. You're on the border of shapeshifting into some paranormal beast at this point, crazed and obsessed with meeting your 50,000 word count. You'll respond to your new nickname (hint: starts with a "B") faster than your own name.

Two days before the cut off date, I was looking at 43,000 on my word count. I think the sun rose and set, and I vaguely remember a migraine plaguing me, but I'm not clear if I ate anything besides my weight in chocolate, or drank anything that did not have thousands of milligrams of caffeine. On my lunch hour on "D" day, I took my laptop and memory stick holding my masterpiece, and sequestered myself in the public library where I wouldn't be disturbed, tucking into the 'Periodicals' section.

Let me take a moment to comment here. Old men do not bathe. It's a scientific fact, and they hang out in the 'Periodical' section of the library for entertainment. Holding my breath and typing a very intense scene of my story, I crossed the 50,000 word mark. I continued to sneak a word in here an there until around 6:00 pm. I opened my account, and downloaded what I had finished. I wanted to be safe, not part of the mad rush at 11:59 trying to crash the servers on the NaNoWrimo website by downloading my story.

"Riley's Pond" (formerly known as "Avoiding My Brother's Shadow"), while not quite completed, came in on NaNoWrimo at 52,075 words. When I shut down my computer at precisely midnight, my word count was 54,049, and I was in love with my new story. Still have a couple of chapters before penning "the end," but I patted myself on the back for a job well done. It's raw, full of colorful language, unsavory scenes, but has a happy ending. Kind of like "life."

Congratulations to my fellow "NaNoWrimos." Whether or not you reached the 50,000 word goal, you took on the challenge and trained yourself to be a disciplined writer. What a wonderful experience. What an amazing year so far!

Did I fail to mention that the week I was plucking feathers, I also submitted a partial of my manuscript to two agents, with a query letter and synopsis? A feat worth mentioning.

Goodbye November. You'll go down in my history as one of the "great ones." I'm putting on my new "stretchy pants" (thank you M&M's) and taking on the daunting task of making fixing my leaning Christmas Tree. However, if I tilt my head just a tiny bit, it's straight!

Happy writing my author comrades, and happy reading my friends. Now....let the holidays begin.

Thanks for visiting.  "Harley Brooks" (Joelene's evil twin)

Today's thought:  Never say "I can't," or you won't. Never say "I might," or you won't. Say "I can do anything," and you will.