Blue goo drips down the brainstorming wall like a slime creature suffering from
That could work. I peer closer. I’m pretty sure that will work. Still following the pattern on the wall, I reach back for another idea.
No bucket. Damn. I know I left it …
“Looking for this, love?”
I swing around so fast I lose my balance and catch myself against the wall. My hand slips across the mosaic of ideas. I flail, scrabbling against the slick wall.
My Muse catches my arm and hauls me upright before I hit the floor, his other hand occupied by my idea bucket. “Still clumsy, I see.”
Steady now, I move to wipe my hands, until I see the mess. Like finger paints, only brighter and a bit more slickery. “Geez. It’s about frickin’ time. Glad you found your way back.” Seriously. I’m glad he found his way back. Grumpy was starting to get on my nerves. For the past two weeks.
He hands me a towel he pulls from his back pocket. The texture is odd, like velour but scratchier. It does the trick, though. While I clean my hands off, I notice his five o’clock shadow has an extra 12 hours on it. He’s wearing a Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt from Surfer’s Paradise, wherever that is, sleeves shoved to his elbows. His wearing-them-well jeans and flip-flops complete the ensemble. Then I notice his blond hair is lighter on top, and his skin has acquired a bronze tint.
“Queensland,” he supplies, even though I know I didn’t ask out loud. “And yes, I did enjoy some sun. It’s summer there, you know.” He scratches at the stubble on his face while he checks out the brainstorming wall. “Progress, I see.”
I finish cleaning off my hands and dangle the towel–now looking like a rainbow vomited on it–toward him. “Some.”
He sets the bucket on the floor and snaps the towel at it like a shower room gotcha. The colors shoot from the towel into the bucket, each hue reclaiming its ball shape as it hits the target.
Damn, he’s good.
“Grumpy said you made NaNo. Congratulations, love.”
“No thanks to that killjoy. You know, he’s worse than you are. I am sooo glad you’re back.” Then I plant hands on my hips. “Don’t do that again.”
His blue eyes sparkle. “You progressed on your WIP and you won NaNo. And you worked some things out.”
I poke his distractingly-solid chest. “No excuse. Isn’t there a rule against wagering time with your writer in a poker game?”
He just grins.
Damn distracting. “Anyway, you heard the news, right?”
He tucks the towel back into his pocket. “Which news? The news where you’ll be starting your term as VP with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime? Do you have your panel ready for the January meeting? How about the workshop about using Word and track changes?”
I roll my eyes. “No. Well, yes, but no.”
He raises an eyebrow. “The news where you’re getting more visibility at the Writer’s Institute in April? Two presentations, a panel, and two half-hour sessions with other writers. Plus selling your book. You are going to be a busy woman that weekend.”
“Well, yes, but that’s not what I’m thinking about.”
“You should be. You know it’s a great opportunity to get your name out there.”
“I know, I know. It’s on my list. I have to work on my presentations.” Sheesh.
“You got your cover?”
*Grumble* “Not yet. I have seen a draft of the final. Don’t get me started on that.” It’s out of my control. Besides, my agent is looped in on that. She knows what’s going on.
“You’re at the three-month mark.”
“I know. I can’t do anything about it.” Except grumble. “Okay. Here it is. I’ve got an offer for the audiobook version of Murder in Plane Sight.”
A smile brightens his face. He wraps his arms around me and gives me a huge bear hug, forcing my face into his shirt. Mmmm, smells like the sea and coconut.
“Congratulations, love!” He releases me. “Well done.”
“I have to give my agent credit. She’s awesome!”
“So, when the book comes out, you’ll have Book 2 ready to go.” It wasn’t a question.
Figures. “I’ve got promo stuff to work on. And I have to revamp my website. And get a newsletter going.”
“Book 2,” he says again, this time adding a scolding finger. “At least you found the plot issues during NaNo.” He rubs his hands together. “Now, about this wall. Needs something over there.”
It’s the last weekend without kids before Christmas break. My plan: writing. Lots of writing.
How about you?