Today is the last day of August. The book is not finished. In fact, it's only about one third of the way complete because I needed to go back and fix a few things near the beginning, and well, then rewrite everything after that point.
Earlier in the summer, I was shooting for September. September on Cape Cod is when the natives actually get to enjoy the beaches and sidewalks without the crowds. Yes, the water is still warm and the skies are still blue and it's actually nicer than August.... no wait, I'm not supposed to give away that secret! Well, anyway... looking at my September calendar of getting child #2 off to college - my publishing plans may not stay on track.
Life gets in the way.
Now the question is whether to put the book out in the fall, or for Christmas, or wait until next spring/summer? Hmmmm. Maybe I need to actually finish writing before making that kind of decision. I know what I want to write. It's a matter of finding the time for BICHOK: Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. Well, this keyboard and not my day-job keyboard sitting next to it on my desk. That one gets far too much use.
I need a better plan. I need a better way to allocate my time. I'm hoping once child #2 is out of the house, I'll have more room to think. And write. Funny how an 18 year old can occupy almost as much brain space as a toddler. Different issues, of course, and without the diapers. No less worries.
In the meantime, I have a SHOCKING REVELATION to share with my mermaid fans. It's not anything I planned, I can assure you - the characters did this on their own, and I'm still hoping it's only a temporary thing.... I wrote my first break up scene earlier this summer.... Read on for a sneak peek - it's a tease, I know, but I need to share....
Kae blinked, overwhelmed by the anger and hate she saw on Shea’s handsome face. The hard line of his jaw looked like it was carved from the same marble as the library table. The green eyes she loved so much were hard glittering rocks, devoid of any warmth or laughter. Devoid of caring or love.
She pushed back from the table, trying to add distance between them as she considered his question and the anger behind it. Before she formulated an answer, he barreled on, his tone clipped and harsh. “You need to stop visiting the dungeons. You need to stop visiting him. I forbid it.”
Her insides froze. He’d never spoken this way, not to her. Ordering her around, treating her as less than an equal. Treating her like a servant.
Like the servant she was.
She swallowed the lump in her throat. “As you wish, my Prince.”
His features immediately softened and he reached for her hand, his whisper more of a low growl that rippled along her bare arms. “Kae, that’s not what I meant and you know it. I’m not ordering you because I’m your prince. I’m asking you to listen to me because you’re my girlfriend and I… care about you. The guy is bad news. He’s manipulating you with his evil magick.”
“Not all magick is bad,” she countered, suddenly unable to meet his eyes. Panic fluttered in her belly like a swarm of angry bees. If he thought magick was truly evil, what would he think when he found out about hers? She’d been keeping this secret for far too long already. About her new abilities. About the changes Hailey experienced. All caused by magick. All caused by Zan.
“What has the sorcerer been telling you, Kae? I’m gonna bet he’s filling your head with fairytales and nonsense. Don’t ever forget he’s Demyan’s henchman, a mere lowly servant. He does what Demyan tells him to do.”
His words cut deep. The way he said “servant” felt like a physical slap. She took a deep breath and slid her hand from under his. “I guess I also need to remember that you are the master, my Prince. I was also born a mere lowly servant to your royal family, and perhaps would do best to remember my place.”
He recoiled from the table, his eyes wide with shock. He forgot to keep his voice down, drawing attention from the librarians. “That’s not what I meant at all! You know I don’t think that way! How can you even say stuff like that?”
A blue-haired librarian appeared beside the table in an instant. “I must ask the two of you to keep your voices down or leave the library at once. This is a place of study, not for argument.” The mermaid stared daggers at Kae before turning her glare on Shea. Recognition lit her face which immediately turned red with embarrassment. “Oh my Prince, I did not realize it was you. I apologize for the interruption.” She bowed deeply before swimming away as quickly as she’d arrived.
Kae flung her hands in the air. “See what I mean? You. Are. A. Prince. You can’t help it, it’s who you are. Me? I’m nobody special. Royal blood means everything around here.”
“Kae, I don’t think…”
Tears filled her eyes. “No, that’s the problem. You don’t think. But I should know better. I’m the one who was raised in the castle, I’m the one who should know the rules when it comes to royals.”
Shea stared at her, confusion on his face and his jaw hanging slightly open. “Where is this coming from? After everything we’ve been through over the last few months, why now? I thought you and I were, you know, good.”
Her eyes closed tight, squeezing the extra water out into the current. “If things were good, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You wouldn’t be ordering me not to talk with my friend. And the entire University wouldn’t be taking bets on when you’ll find a new girlfriend. Not if, Shea. When.” She opened her eyes and stared deeply into his. “You are the heir to the throne. When it comes time for you to marry, you have to marry a princess. Everyone seems to know this except you.”
He ran both hands through his hair again and again, sending it every which way, a now familiar gesture she knew meant he was deep in thought. It tugged at her heartstrings to see him distraught, but this time she knew she was right. Her father had said it months ago, but she’d been too wrapped up in the moment to listen to his words. Too wrapped up in Shea’s kisses and hugs to realize what an impossible dream she lived. Especially now, with Zan’s magick coursing through her veins. Once Shea found out about the magick, his whole attitude would change. He would never look at her the same, and she didn’t want to wait around for that day to arrive. Better to put distance between them now.
Time to wake up. Time to get out while her heart was still – somewhat – intact.
Kae took another deep breath. “We will always be friends, my Prince. And I will always cherish the memories of our time together. But this?” She gestured back and forth across the table. “This will never work. It’s better to realize that and end it.”
Shea cleared his throat, his eyes glistening with unshed tears. “So you’re breaking up with me? Because of him?”
“No, Shea.” She took one of his strong, calloused hands in both of hers and squeezed, holding tight as if she might disappear without the connection. “We’re breaking up because we must. I will never care for anyone else the way I feel about you. And I will always be your friend.”
His laughter sounded hollow. “Friend? Now I know how Julius Caesar must have felt when Brutus stabbed him in the back. And here I thought we were more like a modern Romeo and Juliet.”
“I’ve read Shakespeare, you know. They didn’t have a happy ending either,” Kae said, her smile wry as she rubbed her thumb along his palm. She would miss this intimacy, this casual banter. But in the end, her father was right. Falling in love with a prince was only for fairytales.
* * * * *
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