Best Laid Plans #ThursdayThoughts

Hey y’all. It’s time for this week’s Thursday Thoughts.

Like many of today’s writers, I also hold a full-time job. I leave the house around 6:30 each weekday morning and get home around 4:30 unless I have errands to run.

My husband works on Saturdays, and I try to use that day as my primary time to write. I had big plans this past weekend. I woke up early, grabbed a quick shower, saw the hubs off to work, and sat down at my writing desk. I was productive during the first part of the morning and finished the first draft of a short story.

By that time, I was ready for breakfast, so I stopped long enough to eat, then took my laptop and settled on the sofa for what I hoped would be an equally productive writing schedule. However…

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” John Steinbeck

Mid-morning, I got a text from a friend who asked if I could help someone with an urgent matter. I readily agreed and contacted the person. Several emails and a few hours later, I was able to solve her problem by early afternoon.

In the meantime, I lost my momentum for writing. I was able to brainstorm on a few short stories. Writing in the evening was out. My husband and I had plans to go out to dinner with a group from our church who meet each month. I always enjoy these events but when we arrived at the restaurant, I kept thinking how I’d rather be home writing.

Then, a friend came up to me and said, “I love your new book. Both Nathan and I are reading it. He lets me have it a little while each day.” She has been an encouragement to me and is instrumental in spreading the word about my writing.

Another couple attended. The man is a retired police detective who answered some questions I had about investigations and has offered his assistance with future books.

Next, another woman, after we played the game “truth or lie” said to me, “I thought you might say, ‘I’m Joan, and I’m a published author.’”

Someone else inquired about my book sales. Another friend and her husband attended. She has encouraged me to consider speaking engagements to help promote my books.

Yes, I lost writing time on Saturday, but what I gained was far greater. I was able to help someone with a problem attain a satisfying solution. I learned to appreciate even more the support and encouragement of friends. I met new people and enjoyed the time of fellowship.

I’ll have other opportunities to write. I may not have those times with friends who care for and support my efforts.

Seals and Crofts once recorded a song titled, “We May Never Pass This Way Again.” I’ll leave you with the video.

Back in the Groove and the Week in Review

Changes are inevitable. Some are expected, others are sudden. Just as we have four seasons, there are seasons in life. My husband works evening shift during the school year and that means I have to adjust to him not being here. Most of the time, I don’t have a problem but this time I did. I enjoyed this summer – probably more than I have in the past few years. We did a lot of fun things together and even though he’s a TV watcher, I was able to tune it out and do some writing in the evenings.

So, can I confess to being a little melancholy? Even the cats had to adjust. Tucker, our oldest cat, was beside himself at bedtime because my husband wasn’t here. It took a few days, but I’m into the new routine and so are the kitties.

The photo? Not even one of my own, but the vinyl record seemed to fit the title of this post. Since I started a draft post two weeks ago, I already had some links embedded. I decided to leave them, so consider it a bonus to get extra links. 🙂

And speaking of which, here we go:

From Story Empire:

From Other Author Sites:

The Year That Wasn’t… The Year That Was

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

I had high hopes for this year. After publishing my first novel, a novella, and contributing to three anthologies in 2016, this year could only get better. Right?

Wrong! I thought I would finish the first draft of my novel, Unknown Reasons, by March at the latest. Then came April, May, June. The clock kept ticking and it wasn’t until late September before I wrote the last page.

Then came edits, rewrites, proofreading, and December. At a time when I thought I would be almost finished with book three of my Driscoll Lake Series, book two wasn’t ready for publications.

Short stories? I wrote three in 2016, so I was sure I could top that. Wrong again. I wrote one.

Blogging? Something else I planned to do on a regular schedule. Instead? Nada. Well, almost nada.

On a personal note, 2017 wasn’t the best year. I had some health issues (nothing that can’t be corrected by knee surgery which will probably happen in a few months.) In August, tragedy struck our family when my husband’s youngest nephew died in a car crash. In November, we had to euthanize our fourteen-year-old dog, Maggie.

But I refuse to end this year on a negative tone. There were also many good things that happened.

In January, I joined five other authors on a site called Story Empire. Although we write different genres, we all share a love for fiction and for helping other writers. It’s been a great year for us as the site has seen a lot of growth and participation. And we have some new things planned for 2018, so be sure to visit our blog on Monday for the new announcement.

I also began working with AIW Press and I’m happy to announce they are publishing my newest novel. Unknown Reasons will hit the shelves (well, the cyber shelves) within the next few days.

Also, Unseen Motives, has undergone a cover change and will be republished soon through AIW. Look for a sneak preview of the new cover soon.

Speaking of AIW, we published Quantum Wanderlust, a collection of time-travel stories in September. My short story, Gold Wings, is included in the anthology. If the concept of time travel interests you, pick up your free copy by clicking here.

The writing muse visited me a couple of days ago, so I have begun writing Driscoll Lake book three, Unclear Purposes. I’m also toying with some ideas for short stories and a stand-alone novel.

As far as blogging, I really want to do that on a more consistent basis. I’ve opened my site for guest authors, so look for some new faces and some familiar faces next year.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your support over this year and wish you all a Happy New Year!

Just Friends

This is the continuation of a short fiction series. To read the other parts, click on the links.

“Why did you leave, Cassie?”

His words echoed in my head. I left because of you. Because of her. There was nothing left for me there. Nothing but pain and heartache.

But I can’t say those things. I needed a snappy comeback. A cursory comment that wouldn’t let him know my true feelings. Somehow the words wouldn’t come.

“Cassie? Did you hear me? Why did you leave?”

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Jarred from my thoughts, I turned to him and said, “Sometimes we need a change. My grandparents were getting older, and they needed someone to run this ranch. Maybe I just wanted to get away from the day-to-day routine.”

“I would think raising horses would be more of a daily routine than being a cop. At least we never knew what each day would bring.”

“Maybe that’s what I wanted to get away from. I needed stability. I needed to feel like I bel—” I stopped before I said something to embarrass myself.

“I grew up here. Guess in the back of my mind I always knew I’d come back one day.”

“And I remember someone once saying they wanted to get away from the drudgery of living on a ranch. Isn’t that why you went to the police academy?”

“What’s this? Twenty questions? Like I said earlier, people change. Maybe it just took me a while to figure out what I wanted in life. And it’s a good thing I did come home. Now that Gran and Gramps have passed on, this place is my responsibility.”

“Guess you have a point.” He walked across the room and put his hands on my shoulders. “I know I wasn’t there for you, but I am sorry for your loss.”

“It’s not like I told anyone. You couldn’t have known.”

“I’d like to think we are friends. At least we once were. Friends are always there for one another. In good times and bad.”

Friends. That’s what he thought of us. Just friends. Superficial feelings at best. I hated to admit that after he showed up, I begin to believe once again if we couldn’t have something more than friendship. Maybe an old spark could be rekindled. Guess I was wrong. So why was he here?

No way will I put myself through torture. I need to know why he showed up on my doorstep. Whatever his reasons, I can take it. But no more dancing around. I took a deep breath.

“I have a question for you. Why are you here?”

Inspired by the daily word prompt, Superficial







I haven’t done any short fiction lately but this is a continuation of a series of short pieces inspired by the WordPress daily prompts. The other intallments are:

And now for today’s story.

Sure, my feelings for him were dormant. Were being the keyword. Now, as he came close, long suppressed desires came to the surface. Two years had done nothing to change that. I had only been fooling myself.

“Nice morning,” he said.

“It is.”

StockSnap / Pixabay

“Are you always up this early? I seem to remember the girl who couldn’t function until after nine in the morning and only then if she’d had a couple of cups of coffee in her system.”

I shrugged. “People change.”

He glanced around, not making eye contact with me. “Yeah, they do. Sometimes you learn that you never really knew them at all.”

I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Was he talking about me or someone else? “Look, I still need to do a couple of things here. Why don’t you grab a shower? I’ll be inside shortly, and I’ll make breakfast.”


I watched him walk away. People do change. There was something different about him. He wasn’t the self-assured, almost cocky, person I had known. What happened to him? Where was Erica? He wasn’t wearing a ring, and he hadn’t once mentioned her name.

And why couldn’t I control my feelings? The last thing I needed was to allow him back into my life in any capacity. I wasn’t even sure I could still be friends with him. Not that he had done anything to damage that relationship. That is nothing except marrying her.

But even though I tried to fight it, I was drawn to him. The more I tried to pull away, the more he pulled me back.

After finishing the rest of my chores, I went back to the house to start breakfast. I could hear the shower running, but after a few minutes, the door of the guest bathroom opened.

Busy with preparing breakfast, I didn’t hear him walk into the kitchen, but I sensed his presence. I turned to see him leaning against the door frame, his hair was still damp from the shower, wearing jeans that fit in all the right places and a black t-shirt that showed his muscles. He must be working out in the gym a lot.

His blue eyes had turned to an almost smoky hue, his voice low and husky. “Why did you leave, Cassie?”

Inspired by the daily word prompt, elastic.