Happy New Year, everyone! I don’t know about you, but 2020 seemed like the longest year ever. I’m looking ahead to the new year, as I think most others are. New years are always full of possibility, aren’t they? This time, it feels even more so to me.
It took me a while to work out my 2021 writing goals, trying to make them achievable, but not too easy. I think I’ve settled on a good list, but I guess I’ll find out as we get further into the year. That said, I think I have a better chance at making these goals, though, because I’m starting the year this year with my accountability group, which has been really helpful the past four months. Having that support and being accountable to people who know my goals and know me helps me so much.
Before I get to my writing work for today, I have a little snippet of story for you today, from the second Medusa story, Protecting Medusa.
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, 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 she put away the rest of the groceries, the meat began to sizzle.
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 noises.
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 large, 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.
Now I’m off to start working on family dinner. One of my boys had to work on New Year’s Day, so we postponed our New Year’s dinner till today. Mother Nature isn’t playing nice this morning, but I think we’ll be okay this afternoon. Then I have some writing to do after that.
How are you spending the first week of 2021? Working on your goals? Still working out your goals?