A Writer’s Problems

I’m not complaining. Really. I’m just looking at my never-ending to-do list and wondering if I’m the only person who never has enough time or motivation to clear the to-do list. Sometimes the motivation is there, but the time is not, or vice versa. And sometimes you just need a break. Or something on the to-do list requires input or participation from another person and you can’t check it off without that assist.

One of my hang-ups right now is that I don’t have a critique group currently. Over the summer, that looked like it might be changing, but that group has fizzled before it even got started, which was disappointing. I miss my old group, but one of those two ladies went back to school for a master’s degree, and the other has been away from writing for a while with a business venture. And it’s always nerve-wracking when you start working with someone new, especially if it isn’t someone you already know and trust to give you good, usable feedback.

So for now, something I had planned for October is on hold, which is frustrating.

Yes, I’m still looking at my goal list for the year. Some of the things I haven’t gotten to are related to not having that critique group feedback. Others just had to be pushed back because some of the things I have gotten done required more time than I’d figured on.

While I get back to that list, I have a short story snippet to share with you from Hunting Medusa.

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He stood waiting when she yanked the door open, his arms crossed over the clean white T-shirt stretched across his chest. “Do I need to cuff you to me again?”

“Absolutely not.” She folded her own arms, wishing she’d had time to change her clothes, too. The ones she’d slept in still had blood smears from when she’d stabbed him last night. Her gaze strayed to his arm, narrowing when she realized there were no bandages left, nor any marks from her dagger. She looked up, irritated by the hint of a smug smile crinkling the corners of his eyes. “What?”

“I’m a fast healer.” He caught her wrist. “Let’s go. Are you hungry?”

She opened her mouth to say no, then stopped. She had knives in the kitchen. Hell, a fork would work as a weapon. “Yes, starving,” she said instead.

He shot her a quick glance as they went down the stairs, but didn’t say anything.

Andi worked to keep a smile from her lips until she got into the kitchen and saw her wooden knife block was nowhere in sight. Okay, no cooking knives. He had warned her he’d put away any potential weapons. She inhaled slowly. That was okay. A paring knife could also be used to do physical damage. If she had to, she could gouge out his eye with a spoon.

She tried not to think about that one too much. Instead, she turned to the refrigerator and tugged the door open. Scrambled eggs would require at least a fork.

Except she didn’t have any eggs in the house.

Dammit.

Toast. Toast needed butter, and butter required a knife.

She pulled the cinnamon raisin bread off the second shelf, grabbed the tub of butter, and shut the door.

Kallan stood watching her, still looking faintly amused.

Well, they’d see who was smiling in a few minutes.

She started the toaster and leaned against the counter, her irritation growing as he simply stood there, watching her in silence. As if he knew something she didn’t. And she had the terrible feeling he might.

When her toast popped up, she pulled open the drawer that held her silverware. But the usual rattle of flatware was much quieter than usual. Not even a spoon lay in the t ray, the sections for the knives and forks empty too.

She shot him a glare. “How am I going to butter my toast?”

“I could do it for you, but then you’d know where the silverware is. I guess you’re having dry toast this morning.” His smile widened.

She punched at him before she realized she meant to, but he caught her fist in his. The swinging handcuff crashed into his wrist, though, making him wince faintly.

“That wasn’t very nice,” he said, using his free hand to reattach the dangling cuff to his own wrist. “I guess you want to be my sidekick again.”

“Bastard.” She slapped her free hand at him and found herself pressed close to him, both her arms behind her.

“Andrea, we have to work together for a little while, and that will prove difficult if you insist on assaulting me.”

She forced a short laugh, trying to ignore the way he felt against her, as if last night were repeating. “Right. Because you killing me isn’t going to put a damper on our relationship at all, right?”

His eyes darkened with anger. “Maybe I need to find a gag, too.” His fingers bit into her wrist.

Andi felt a tendril of fear slither down her spine.

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If you haven’t read this one yet and want to, clicking the title above will take you to your favorite online bookseller to grab a copy.

So. What do you do when your to-do list has items that require input or assistance from another person and you can’t get it? I have some things I do when I need help to finish something, but the critique group has been a hard stopping point recently, and it doesn’t look like that will change soon. Maybe what I really need are some coping tips to keep the frustration at bay. Ha!

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