September 30, 2019

Your update link: Mad World – Chapter Thirty-Seven.

In Case You Missed It: Untitled Flash Fiction Series, Part 1.

So, last night, I decided to write a flash fiction. It’s a nugget of an idea I’ve had rolling around in my brain for a few weeks since I started rereading the JD Robb In Death series and wondered what it would be like Liz really had to face Jason’s job. My brain pulls some weird inspirations sometimes. It’s not titled, but I hope to get back into writing flash fiction more often.

I’m also happy to report that I’ve made a choice regarding Fool Me Twice. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to get done the full 37 chapters by October 31 because it took me about three weeks to get into the swing of things at school. Like I said, when I constructed the production schedule, I hadn’t been hired as a long-term sub.

I’d always planned to split FMT into two books (like Bittersweet) but I did the math and realized that all of the plots and characters I wanted to cover in 37 chapters meant I’d end up with a book about 185k words long — about twice the size of a traditional novel. I usually get to about 150k before I start feeling uncomfortable. (MW is about 145k and The Best Thing is 154k). Anything over that is just…way too long and it generally means my plot isn’t tight enough.

So I’ll be splitting FMT into a trilogy like Mad World, and Book 1 will be 19 chapters. This is great news for you guys because it means I can still finish FMT on schedule for Oct 31, you guys still get a new story in February, and then I can keep my schedule moving along.  I have to tweak a few things but to be honest, once I decided to do that, I realized how perfectly Chapter 19 had been plotted to be the end of the book.  I’m already done seven chapters, so I can totally finish the last twelve chapters in a month now that my schedule is sorted and I’ve set up a writing space at home that really works for me.

In other news, I’m closer to nailing down a full plot for Mad World 3. I have the umbrella story (Carly’s kidnapping, the serial rapist, and now something new) but it needs to be integrated properly. I’ve enjoyed writing the larger GH universe in MW and you guys seem to like it too. Hopefully, you’ll have Book 3 by this time next fall.

Lots of busy stuff happening at CG! I’ll see you guys later this week with the next chapter. I’m curious as to what you guys think about the new turn Chapter 37 takes.

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Flash Fiction: 25 Minutes or Less

Alternate Universe. Written in 25ish minutes.  It has no title because I am bereft of inspiration. Maybe one day.

From the minute Jason Morgan walked through the doors of the Queen of Angels church after a year of being away from Port Charles, he could tell that something was seriously wrong.

Even more wrong than the reason he’d ended his global travels and hurried back to his hometown after an upset phone from one of the men who had stepped up as Sonny Corinthos’ right hand man in the organization after Jason had decided he’d devoted enough of his life to violence and mayhem. He’d needed to get out. Desperately.

There had been a shooting at the penthouse where Sonny lived with his wife, Brenda, and tragically, his boss’s beloved wife had died. Sonny was inconsolable, no one could find their doctor to take care of him, and worse—no one could understand how Anthony Moreno’s men had managed to penetrate their security and made it to the top floor of the apartment building.

But when he returned to Port Charles, just in time for the memorial, he saw immediately the rot that had set in since he’d left. There was no security on the church, and the men that sat with Sonny up front weren’t looking around—weren’t aware of their surroundings.

Jason slipped into the back pew where Johnny O’Brien sat, leaning back with his arms folded. “Any word?”

Johnny shook his head, silently as the priest at the front of the church continued to drone on. Most of the congregation had tuned out of the long Latin mass that Sonny had insisted on. “Some sort of breach in the security room. The cameras were off in the entire building. And Sonny got rid of the parking garage guards, so—” He jerked a shoulder. “The doc is still missing in action, and that’s weird, Jase. He never would have taken off like this. Not with Brenda—”

Johnny exhaled slowly. “He took care of her after the miscarriage six months ago, you know? And I just can’t seem him not even—”

“Wait, he’s missing completely?” Jason hissed under his breath. “How—he works at the hospital—”

“He hasn’t shown up for a shift since the shooting. Some of the guys think maybe he did this—but nah, no way—” Johnny rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know. I was finishing up the Puerto Ric run when it happened. By the time I got back, no one wanted to talk about it. Sonny isn’t even demanding that many answers about the security breach.”

“He could just be…” Jason trailed off. He exchanged a look with the other man as they both remembered Sonny’s breakdowns. He’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years earlier, but had refused to go on any medicine. Had refused that sign of weakness. Brenda had always been good at keeping him even and balanced, but— “I shouldn’t have left,” he said roughly.

“You had your reasons,” Johnny murmured. “I know how much Michael meant to you—” He broke off, leaned past Jason as someone new lingered in the door way. “Oh. Did you know she was coming?”

Jason followed his friend’s gaze and saw the petite young brunette standing there, hesitantly, her eyes searching. When she saw them in the back pew, she bit her lip and approached them. Johnny immediately slid down, and Jason followed, keeping himself very still and maintaing at least six inches between himself and Elizabeth Webber, Steven Webber’s favorite sister and…

“Thanks,” Elizabeth said, flashing a white smile at them, her eyes darting around the church, her fingers trembling as they were clutched around the strap of her black clutch. “I, um, I haven’t heard from Steven—and the news—I just—I was worried. So I flew in from Boston—” She stopped, looking at her hand where his eyes had also gone. At the slim golden band and diamond ring on her fourth finger.

“I’m sorry—” Elizabeth started to yank it off, but Jason stopped her, covered her hand with his. “I’m sorry,” she repeated, dully.

“You don’t have to be sorry,” Jason said. “Elizabeth—” He grimaced, then turned to Johnny. “O’Brien, go find somewhere else to sit. Now.”

When Johnny had slunk away, Elizabeth drew in her bottom lip, her teeth sinking in. “You haven’t seen Steven have you? He said you were away, but you’re back now—”

“I just got in this morning. And, no, I haven’t talked to Steven in months.” And if Steven Webber wasn’t in touch with his sister, then—

“I’m scared,” Elizabeth admitted, as she stared forward, down the long aisle of the church, down the thirty or forty pews that lay between them and the altar with the white coffin decorated with flowers. “I really can’t lose someone else I love.” She glanced at him, and for a moment—they were united as the parents they’d been a year earlier when their son had died. Then she looked away, her lips pressed tightly together.

He’d woken from the accident with a blank memory and pretty woman claiming to be his wife and the mother of his child. He’d pushed her away, but Michael was different. He’d fallen in love with his son. Until the day they’d lost him, and any chance of rebuilding a life with her had slipped away.

It had been Jason’s fault their son was dead.

And, maybe, indirectly, it would be his fault Steven Webber was missing.

September 26, 2019

Your update link: Mad World – Chapter 36.

I’m really glad the posting schedule worked out this way so that 36 was the last one over the weekend. It represents the end of part one and it’s the last one set in July 2003. Next week, we’re jumping into September.  I’m starting to final coalesce around another umbrella story for Book 3. I just have to figure out how to make the pieces fit together.

Fool Me Twice is starting to come along a bit more — I’m still fine-tuning my schedule, and most days I can write during my eight period prep because I go in an hour earlier and get a lot done during my lunch to give me the full 40 minutes. I’ve written about three scenes this week and hope to pick up the pace next week. I’m nearly done with one of my subplots, and then I’m going to tackle one of the major plots. Then I’ll move my way back and piece together the rest of the story. I think that’ll probably work. I’ll keep you guys posted.

September 23, 2019

Your Update Link: Mad World – Chapter Thirty-Five

Hey! Sorry this update post is so late! The chapter was up at 7, but I got distracted at work and haven’t had a chance to deal with it until now. This week’s chapters are the halfway point in this book — when we come back on Monday, the story picks up in September. I’m reallllly excited to be getting to this part of the story. I’ve moved a lot of pieces around, set up a lot of things and I feel like the last 14 chapters are just jam-packed with a lot of emotion and action. This chapter also has one of my favorite scenes — the ending scene with Ned and Lois. Hope you like it!

September 19, 2019

Your update link: Mad World – Chapter 34

Late again with this update post, even though the chapter went up at 7 AM. Apologies — I was trying to get to work before 7 and almost made it. But then my Wawa coffee cup somehow….imploded in my hand as I was walking towards my classroom. I had to get the floor cleaned up and get new copies of my HR’s class voting forms. (Because of course, why not). I really hope that’s not a sign of how the day is going to go, but since I still have to see my ninth period students, it probably is.


September 16, 2019

Your Update Link: Mad World – Chapter 33

I don’t have a lot to report outside of the update. Writing for Fool Me Twice is moving steady, but very slowly. That should change this week. I say that a lot, heh, but seriously — we’re in the third week of school which means my curriculum is moving along, the students and I are mostly in a routine, and I’m going to be taking my other laptop to work.

I had been taking the older laptop, but it started having issues on Friday. Plus, it has a different screen resolution than my new one which made it a giant pain to go from screen to screen with writing. Bringing this one means I can actually get a scene or two done on my lunch. It’s actually a win-win situation. I’m even buying a second adapter to keep at work to make transporting it back and forth every day easier.

I had always planned for Fool Me Twice to be posted starting in February, so if it takes a bit longer than two months to get the first draft done, it just cuts into my three months of revision time. That’s why I pushed the production schedule so far out to begin. I wrote an update over at Dear Isobel talking about writing and why this story has been hard to get going.

September 12, 2019

Again — I forgot to write this update post that actually emails you guys on time, but I’m only ten minutes late so that’s not so bad.

Update link: Mad World – Chapter 32

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their lovely feedback to the last few chapters. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I got stuck back in late May/early June and it was during this period of the story. These first 12-13 chapters of Book 2 were the hardest to write because I had to write Brooke’s trauma, and honestly, I was undecided right up until Chapter 29 whether or not I was going to go through with the turn her story took. But not doing it would have changed the trajectory of the rest of the book, so in that respect, I’m glad I went through with it.

I’ve seen some feedback regarding my story beat about the processing of rape kits. Some readers were wondering if that was a story clue to the bad guy, and it’s actually not. As I’ve said before, I did a LOT of a reading before I sat down to write this story. I read a lot of rape survivor testimony, researched rape statutes, and what were some of the most common investigation obstacles. Over and over again, the backlog in processing rape kits lept out at me. All around this country, even today, it is not standard practice in many jurisdictions to automatically run a rape kit. So just imagine what it was like in 2003, before Me, Too, a movement that also very much inspired my writing in this project.

A great site to look at this in more detail is End the Backlog, which also has some options if you want to help stop this terrible injustice.

Thanks again for the amazing feedback and for joining me on this emotional journey. We have 18 chapters left to go, and I’m really excited for you to see where this story goes.