( Deadline – Depositphotos )
I love deadlines. I love having a finite end date for a project. But I have to confess: if it is a self-imposed deadline, I suck.
I used to be a lot better at reaching those–when I was running my husband’s office and working from home, I had writing goals and deadlines for myself every month of the year, and I always made those, and never at the last minute, always with plenty of time.
If I have a work deadline, or, when I sold Hunting Medusa, those are not my deadlines, so I have to meet them.
The past couple of years, though, my self-assigned deadlines have been pretty terrible failures, and I’m not sure why. I still want to make my goals, but because they’re not line-in-the-sand, absolutely necessary to make because someone else is waiting for what I’m working on, I have a really hard time reaching the finish line, and it’s disappointing. I have adjusted my goal-setting for my writing, knowing that I have to think about other commitments that currently pay the bills, but that hasn’t seemed to help.
I wanted to have this novella for the Common Elements Romance Project finished and out in the world before the holidays. The story is finished, but I can’t stop tweaking and revising–every time I look at it, I want to make something else different and better. I could probably do that for the rest of the year. But I’ll feel worse and worse about it, knowing I should be done and way past that on my goals list. So this week is it. The end. Then I am sending it to be formatted. When I have a release date, I’ll announce it first on my Facebook page, and then shout it from the rooftops everywhere else.
So while I go have dinner with my guys before getting back to my last last round of tweaking on this manuscript, I have a little story snippet for you, from Protecting Medusa, second in my Medusa’s Daughters trilogy (also on my self-imposed goal list for this year).
Philomena parked beside her mother’s house. She’d arrived first, and she needed to get dinner on in a hurry. Once Jason got home, she’d be too distracted to focus on cooking.
She went in the back door, balancing a grocery bag while she reset the alarm system, then hit the light switch with her elbow as she continued into the kitchen.
She took her mother’s cast iron skillet from its hook over the counter and put it on the stove, turning the heat to high and dropping in some ground beef before she shed her coat. As the meat began to sizzle, she put away the rest of the groceries.
She rolled up her sleeves and dug a spatula out of the utensil drawer, but stopped when she heard a creak from upstairs. She waited, then shook her head. It was an old farmhouse. It made noise sometimes.
She stirred the beef in the pan, adding chopped onions she’d picked up at the store–not out of laziness but because she’d known she needed to move quickly after three days away and with an excitable six-year-old on his way home.
The sound came again. She set the spatula on the spoon rest and turned the flame under her pan down to low, then tugged up the hem of her long skirt to pull her dagger from its leather sheath on her thigh.
A loud thud reached her ears, and her heart beat a little faster.
Dear Gods, someone was in the house.
She crept up the back steps, keeping to the edges where she knew her weight wouldn’t make the stairs creak, the smooth handle of her long knife comforting in her sweat-damp hand.
More thumping, accompanied by running water.
She frowned when she got to the top of the steps, wincing as something hit the porcelain bathtub, followed by muffled cursing.
She stuck her head around the corner, but the partially-closed bathroom door at the other end of the hall blocked her view. All she could see were shadows.
Two people? In her mother’s bathroom? She wished she’d grabbed the phone on her way up so she could call the police. No, she should’ve called before she came upstairs. Too late now.
More thumping and a crash.
Her jaw clenched, and she stepped into the hallway, her pulse pounding in her ears.
“I’ve called the police,” she lied, moving slowly along the hall. Frigid air drifted toward her. Either the bathroom window was open, or something was seriously wrong with the furnace vents on the second floor. She frowned, holding tighter to her knife.
A dark blur went out the window, and her eyes widened. It was quite a drop to the ground, even with all the snow mounded below from the big storms so far this winter.
When a naked man with a gun went to look out the window, she froze in the middle of the hall, her dagger shoulder high.
She swallowed, and then he turned around. Her lungs stopped working.
“Hello, Philomena. Have I ever told you how much I love a woman who can handle a blade?” He caught the edge of the door and pulled it wide open.
She’d know that voice anywhere, and that face, even if she’d only seen him in photos. Ryder Ware, Jason’s father.
And wow, was she seeing him in person.
Here’s hoping for a successful, productive week for us all!
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