Yesterday I was playing around on this blog, tweaking the header and changing the tagline…and realized that I haven’t posted “thoughts from the interior” in awhile.
I enjoy doing the Monday memes here, and book reviews show up quite often. But when you have twelve blogs, as I do (yes, I know, a bit obsessive!), sometimes one or more of the blogs are “neglected.”
Since I discovered the tab for collage options on PicMonkey, I’ve had a lot of fun creating blog headers. I have a stockpile now, and yesterday I tweaked this one by adding a bookish title on the coffee cup in the middle.
In developing our brand at our blog(s), we sometimes have to dig deep to find out what we’re trying to convey.
So now that you have the background for why I’m pondering my interior thoughts today, I’d like to segue into a WIP I’ve been working on for awhile. And yes, it is just about ready to come out and play.
I started Interior Designs as a short story a few years ago. Martha, the MC, was the antagonist to Amber Cushing (the protagonist) in Embrace the Whirlwind, which was published in 2007. Afterwards, I thought about Martha and how she got a bad rap in that story. I asked myself: what if? What if Martha had her own story, an interior world we could explore. Incidentally, she is an interior designer, so when I crafted the story of Martha’s interior journey, I thought it would be a fun play on her career, as well as on her exploration.
When NaNoWriMo came in November of 2010, I decided to craft the first 50,000 words of a novel. I ended up with 52,000+ words…and a good feeling about where I wanted to take this story.
Now the novel has 93,000+ words…and I’ve been doing final tweaks. I have sent it to three Beta readers, each with different perspectives.
Here is a brief excerpt from the opening chapters:
Later that evening, after I’d tucked Meadow into bed, and once I’d made sure everything was in order downstairs, I curled up in my bed with a book. I glanced around surreptitiously, as if to reassure myself that my world was intact—as much as it could be, anyway. Over there was my favorite spot, the window seat, reminiscent of the one I used to adore as a child in my parents’ home. Mine now was more luxurious, with its bevy of needlepoint pillows tucked decoratively along the pale rose-colored cushioned seat. The windows looked out onto the backyard, another one of my favorite places.
My bed, with its pink and white floral Laura Ashley spread, shams, and assorted coordinating pillows felt like a queen’s throne.
So why did it seem as though the fairytale had ended? Just because the prince had dashed off on his white charger to rescue another damsel didn’t mean that I was the wicked queen in this piece. And maybe Hal wasn’t really a prince after all.
Which made me think of Zach again…I hadn’t called him back, but I’d tucked the pink message slip into my datebook.
My thoughts veered backwards in time to the moments, in the seemingly distant past, when I’d first realized that Hal was betraying me. A mysterious e-mail message from that horrible girl Miranda Templeton had triggered the downward spiral for me. My behavior had been less than stellar back then, and months later, when I’d realized how I had created that whole nefarious dark side, it was too late. I couldn’t turn back the clock, but I could certainly change how I reacted nowadays. I had to set a better example for my daughter.
Sighing, I tossed the book aside. Traipsing down memory lane seemed to be the order of tonight’s business. I could feel the pain all over again, even though I’d vowed to put it all behind me. Actually, when I compared my marriage to Hal to the newer relationship with Zach—even though that hadn’t actually been a real relationship, but more of a liaison—I realized once again that Hal and I had lost our connection a long time ago.
What had happened between him and Amber had almost been inevitable.
So why did I still feel the sting of betrayal? I wasn’t exactly suffering here. In the months before our divorce had actually happened, I had been busily squirreling away funds in separate accounts, just in case. And when we’d actually sat down to divide up the assets, Hal, in his eagerness to sever our ties so he could move on, had been very generous.
I would not be suffering like other abandoned wives, trying to make ends meet. I had retained the beautiful family home, a vacation home at Shaver Lake, some stocks, and a substantial trust for Meadow. So my feelings were really more about my wounded ego.
I likened the feeling to the one I’d grabbed onto earlier—that image of my parents in their own little world, cocooned, while I sat somewhere on the outside. Left out, excluded.
Was that a normal feeling? Or was I behaving badly again?
Frustrated, I picked up the book and tried to read.