Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writers Distractions by Jude Pittman

The things we find to do when we know we should be writing that next chapter.

Okay, I confess I’m one of the worst when it comes to getting myself distracted. As many of you know, I’m a publisher as well as an author, so it seems there are always things to be taken care of.  Now I’m not talking about the “ordinary course of the day stuff that needs to be done”. Nope what I’m referring to is those “one of these days” projects you filed away under “things I’ll investigate when I have time.”  When you’re looking for distractions because you haven’t figured out where that next chapter is going and you know once you sit down to write it your muse is probably going to take over and it’ll be hours and hours before you come up for air.  Those are the kind of distractions I’m talking about here.

The kind that in true “distractor” style, you pull out of your hat and turn away from the blank page in front of you.  One of the first things I think of are facts that need to be checked out on Google or Wikipedia, or – best time waster of all time – I have an urgent need to check out Facebook and see what other people have to say about my topic.  See the pattern.

It’s easy to tell when I’m working on a new novel.  Usually when it’s my turn to Blog I’ll get an email from Jamie about a week ahead of time, reminding me that I’ve got a blog date coming up.  Of course, I’ll make a mental note of that – which I’ll promptly forget – and a couple of days later I’ll get another note from Jamie, this one saying, are you going to have anything for this month or do you want me to use some filler?  Okay, now she’s got my attention (as she knew she would) and I have to go digging for a topic. After a bunch of searching through stuff I have – just to see if I really have to write something new or I can get away with something already written – which usually I can’t because I’ve already everything in previous last minute blog posts.  In desperation I’ll finally apply the seat of my pants to my chair and write a blog.  Probably on whatever it was I was fooling around reading on  Google or Wikipedia, or Facebook if it isn’t liable.

Not this week though.  No Sirree Bob (which was one of my favorite Uncle’s favorite sayings). I’m writing a new book, the latest in my Kelly McWinter series (pictured above) – delighted to share – love sharing the cover – it’s that writing part that always sends me searching for distractions.  Jamie is going to be delighted. She’s getting this Blog a full week before she even gets to remind me. But then again, Jamie is also one of my advance readers on my book.  She’s probably expecting the blog post since she’s well aware of my penchant for distractions and what I’ll probably get from her in return is, “have you finished your 5,000 words for this week yet?”

Actually, I’m rather proud of this week’s work (what there is of it so far). My husband John, who’s Metis and comes up with some fascinating bits of trivia just when I’m in need of something, gave me this one after I’d been muttering around about how I wanted to write an intimate scene between my main characters but I didn’t want it to be an explicit scene. I wanted to leave it to my reader’s imaginations.  That’s when he piped up with “what about using a magic feather”?

Okay, even I couldn’t get distracted off of that one.  Here as a special advance preview, for those of you who I hope will be reading the first book in my new Kelly McWinter series, A Murder State of Mind, California, Deadly Lights, is what came out of the feather remark.

A Murder State of Mind, California
Deadly Lights


Jude Pittman

In the travel magazine Kelly read on the plane, the writer described Beverly Hills as a “mix of cosmopolitan sophistication and star-studded excitement”. From what he could see as they whisked along Wilshire Boulevard and turned onto Rodeo Drive, Kelly figured it lived up to its name. Gillian’s nose stayed glued to the window from the time they left the airport until they pulled into what the driver called the porte cochère, the drive between the two wings of the hotel.

When Kelly and Gillian got out of the limo they were met by a doorman – in top hat and tails no less. “Definitely posh,” Kelly whispered in Gillian’s ear.

The lobby beat description. Flowers, sculpted glass, a chandelier with more lights than the Hideaway lit up for a Saturday night shindig. Kelly had to admit the word elegance fit this place like a glove. 
“Can you believe this?” Gillian, eyes round as giant marbles, squeezed his arm.”

“Kinda takes your breath away.” They stood under the chandelier, caught in the magic of lights reflecting on the marble beneath their feet.

“Mr. McWinter.” A bellman magically appeared at their side and stood discreetly waiting for them to close their mouths.

“Everything is prepared for your arrival.” He smiled at both of them and spoke to Kelly. 

“If you and Mrs. McWinter would like to follow me, I’ll see you to your suite.”

They followed him across the lobby, gawking all the way. The elevator whisked them to the twelfth floor where they stepped out into a hallway lined with portraits of movie star greats from days gone by. 

“Ms. Davis mentioned that you’d want to be connected to the pool and spa,” the Bellman stopped in front of one of the doors at the end of the hall. “I hope you’ll like this corner Beverly Suite. As you can see, it has two balconies with a nice view from either.”

Their escort checked the rooms, made sure all their luggage had been delivered and reminded them to call if they needed anything.

“Nice. Did he say nice?” Gillian whispered when the door closed behind him.

“I guess in his world looking directly out on shoppers strolling along world famous Rodeo Drive is just nice.”

“You can talk out loud you know. I expect this room is insulated for sound.” Kelly laughed and Gillian poked him in the ribs. “Okay wise guy. And just how many times have you looked out your window at women flicking their chinchillas over their shoulders.”

“Yep, they do beat anything I’ve ever seen. It must be 80 degrees out there, and everywhere I look there’s a cougar with a rat around her neck stalking a billionaire.”
“Kelly McWinter, you stop mocking. Did you see the bar we passed? The place was probably packed with movie stars and millionaires.”

Kelly grabbed Gillian around the waist, backed up to the bed and rolled with her onto the ultra-soft mattress of their King sized bed. “I’m a lot more interested in what I’ve got right here in my own room than what they’ve got down there in the bar. Not arguing, just saying it’s a lot more likely there’s cougars and tourists looking for stars and millionaires.”

Gillian gave up and flopped back in his arms. “Did I hear that major domo say we had champagne and strawberries in the sitting room?”

“You stay right here.” Kelly gave her a quick kiss and headed out to get the goodies.

Back in the bedroom, Gillian stripped out of her traveling clothes, gave her hair a quick brush, and slipped beneath the satiny sheets.

* * *

Several hours later, after some very intense lovemaking, followed by a long and leisurely nap, Kelly woke up with Gillian snuggled in his arms.

“Wow.” He whispered into her ear. “If anyone had told me a woman could do that with strawberries and champagne I’d have called them a liar.”

Gillian opened her eyes and giggled. “Never mind that, what I want to know is where in the devil you got that feather?”

“You liked that did you? One of these days I’ll have to introduce you to Deputy Randy Buffalo. He’s a Comanche Indian, traces his line all the way back to Chief Buffalo Hump. We worked a case together while I was still on the force. He was tracking a suspect from Amarillo and I was tracking one from Fort Worth and damned if they didn’t come together in El Paso. We took them down on a Friday night and had to hang around waiting for a judge until Monday morning. I don’t remember a lot about that weekend, but I do recall a bet on who could swallow the first worm. I won the bet and Randy gave me the magic feather. He told me not to use the feather until I found a woman I wanted forever. I put it away in my stuff and never thought about it again. Then the other night, when I was looking for a set of turquoise cufflinks I bought in El Paso, I came across the feather. It seemed like this might be a good time to try out Randy’s magic, so I brought it along.”

Gillian wrapped one of her legs around Kelly’s waist and grinned. “I bet that Comanche friend of yours is a married man with half a dozen kids by now. At least he is if he kept one of those feathers for himself.”

To be continued after I finish…………….Distractions……………..

Jude Pittman