Today’s prompt gives you a For Sale sign as the inspiration.
Here is my response – For Sale Signs
The two houses faced each other dissimilar in architecture and coloured siding but both sporting for sale signs. At first glance, it could be thought a coincidence that both households were moving but the facades held a hidden turmoil. Heartbreak was sealed within.
As with all beginnings, it had started in all innocence and the future repercussions unimagined. An invitation to a barbecue from the new neighbours as a way to introduce themselves to the neighbourhood was quickly accepted. Frank knew Jocelyn would be quick to investigate the new homeowners furniture and decor, she just loved being nosy. With a bottle in hand and a small bouquet of flowers, they rung the doorbell and waited. A call from the back yard summoned them to walk around the house. Jocelyn let out a sigh. Frank knew she was just dying to see inside.
“Well hello neighbours. My name is Adele and when he emerges from the kitchen you can meet my husband, Jeremy.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Adele, this is my wife Jocelyn, and I’m Frank. We bought wine and these are for you.”
As Adele looked into Frank’s eyes and took the flowers, he felt a tingle in his hand and his heart beat a little faster. She was exquisite. His gaze was broken when a hand landed on his shoulder.
“Hello, I’m Jeremy, glad you could come over.”
“Thank you for inviting us, Jeremy. I know I’ve just arrived but may I use your bathroom?”
Frank glanced at Jocelyn, exasperated at her guile. He watched as they both entered the kitchen door then looked back at Adele. She was watching him intently, a slight flush to her cheeks. And that is how it began. An affair that consumed the two of them for the rest of the summer.
Jeremy’s frequent business trips initially allowed Frank to visit Adele without suspicion. Jocelyn was too self absorbed to notice at first until one night she happened to run across to tell Frank a pipe had burst and found him and Adele in an embrace. Jocelyn’s screaming and ranting continued for days and nights. She threatened, cajoled and pleaded all in a vain attempt to make Frank love her again. Adele remained hidden in her home after Jeremy had accosted Frank in the driveway and punched him so hard it had broken his nose. The police were called and Jeremy left with them. Frank obviously did not press charges under the circumstances. Jeremy arrived a day later and with two suitcases thrown into the trunk squealed his tires as he left.
Frank left at his usual time then backtracked when he saw Jocelyn leave for her dental appointment. Parking in his own driveway, he walked across the road and gently tapped on Adele’s front door. Her beautiful face appeared at the window. The door opened slowly and Frank walked in. They talked for hours, expressing their love and planning their escape.
Now the for sale signs face each other across the road the only symbols of the true meaning of their existence.
Please join in and write your own story or poem inspired by a For Sale sign. Leave it in the comments below.
A little bit of both. When I’m really into a chapter and it’s practically writing itself, I get pumped and full of energy. When I’m having trouble with a chapter or scene that isn’t coming easily to me, I end up at the computer working on it for hours. That is exhausting.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Sometimes a little too much narrative. I can go overboard with detailed descriptions. I end up taking a lot out when I edit.
What are your writing strengths?
I’m a good storyteller and I’m good with dialogue. Dialogue can make or break a story. It moves the story along and shows how the characters relate to one another.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I’d get too confused.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve been in a few writing groups and have formed friendships with several authors. I was the founder and facilitator of a group of women writers for 9 years. I currently belong to a group of men and women writers at a local library. We all help each other. I have a writing buddy who also writes romance books. We critique each other’s work on a regular basis. This is a great motivator. I highly recommend it to other writers, especially aspiring ones.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I write my books to stand alone. I am working on a series called Tucker’s Landing. LOVING DANIEL and LASTING IMPRESSIONS have many of the same characters and they both take place mainly in Tucker’s Landing, but each book can stand alone.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Probably when I started writing for newspapers. I did travel and feature stories for a while. It always amazed me when people came up to me and asked questions about a story of mine they’d read and wanted to know more about what I thought.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At least two half-finished and a couple more only in the early idea stages.
What does literary success look like to you?
My favorite authors: Nora Roberts, Anita Shreve, Barbara Delinksy, Debbie Macomber. That’s success. To me personally, it’s getting my stories and books out there and having them read. If I can do that, I’ve achieved success.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I rarely do much research before beginning a book. I do my research as I’m writing it. Certain things that I need to know come up in the process. That’s when I look things up. Research is not a part of writing I like doing, but it has to be done. You have to be accurate.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
It varies, depending on what else is going on in my life. I try to do a couple of hours a day. When I’m deep into a chapter, I can spend several hours on it.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I often drive myself crazy trying to come up with the “perfect” name for a character. In LOVING DANIEL, I wanted to use my grandmother’s family name of McRae. I researched names to go with it and used Aidan because I liked it. When I was looking for a name for my hero in LASTING IMPRESSIONS, I told my ten-year-old granddaughter I needed a name for a male character. (She likes to write.) She thought about it for only a minute or two and said, “Dylan.” Just like that. Kids don’t hesitate. Dylan Granger was born.
What was your hardest scene to write?
My first love scene. I wanted it to be hot, but not too hot and I didn’t want it to be explicit. I brought it to my writing group for critiquing and was too embarrassed to read it out loud myself. I had to have someone else read it.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I liked writing essays and personal stories and found I had a knack for writing nostalgia. I loved doing that, but always wanted to write fiction. Now that I have more time, I’m into the fiction writing and loving it. I balance them by writing whatever I’m in the mood for or whatever my muse tells me.
How long have you been writing?
For as long as I can remember, which is a long time. I used to make up stories when I was a child. I wrote a short piece with a couple of other kids in the fifth grade that was published in a yearbook. I think that was my first published piece. I still have the yearbook.
What inspires you?
A lot of things. I never know where it’s going to come from. Even the smallest of every day events and happenings can create a spark for a story or a scene. Observing people often inspires a character. Listening to conversations in restaurants, at the hairdresser or in line at the supermarket.
How do you find or make time to write?
It’s much easier to find time for writing now that I’m retired. I do a lot of my writing in the morning. If a chapter is working for me and I’m on a roll, I just ignore everything else and write for hours.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Book Two of my Tucker’s Landing Series, Lasting Impressions. I’m hoping to have it out in late February or early March of 2018.
What do your plans for future projects include?
Definitely another romance novel. Most likely, book three of the Tucker’s Landing Series, Worth Waiting For. It was supposed to be book two, but it wasn’t working for me at the time so I made Lasting Impressions the next one. I’d like to write another Carousel Kisses book of nostalgia. It’s one of the half-finished books I mentioned. Maybe putting together a book of short stories. I’m also working on a presentation on self-publishing that I’d like to do at local bookstores or libraries or writing groups.
Lina Rehal is a self-published author who writes nostalgia, memoirs, slice of life stories and contemporary romance. Her first book, Carousel Kisses, is a collection of nostalgic stories, personal essays and poems about growing up in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.
She combines her passion for fiction and love of storytelling in her contemporary romance novels. Her two seasoned romance books, October In New York and Loving Daniel, Book One of her Tucker’s Landing Series, are available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats.
There is an added bonus to writing fiction – we delve into places, careers, hobbies, technology and scientific areas that we would otherwise not come into contact with. To enable us to write with confidence and ensure that the story holds true to reality (to some extent – sci-fi and fantasy are exceptions of course). We cannot write blindly about something totally foreign to us and expect our readership not to call us up on its inconsistencies or discrepancies. As with most authors and writers, our internet search results could be viewed with suspicion, or abject horror in some cases! Thorough research, however, should not be solely gathered from the internet (it isn’t always 100% accurate, shocking I know!). It is best to also utilize library resources, interview people, or even travel to locations, if at all possible. These are all fundamentally more rewarding and can give us more indepth information and insights. Some of which gives us a more realistic viewpoint on the subject and vital details to give our narrative authenticity.
In my novel, The Twesome Loop, the basic theme was reincarnation. This is a subject I researched and read about for many years during my nursing career (long story I shall not go into now). Because of that personal knowledge, I was able to reflect how souls meet again and again and also what it feels like to become another version of yourself. Here’s a previous post to explain that last part – https://mandyevebarnett.com/2014/01/20/reincarnation-fact-or-fiction/)
My current work in progress, Willow Tree Tears, centers around barrel racing, something I have seen only once. So obviously, I needed to study the way the courses have developed over time, the type of horses used and what the women who race are like. After finishing my first draft I was particularly upset to see a TV preview for Rodeo Girls – a so called reality show. The truth is, after contacting a couple of professional barrelracing organizations, the show is far from the truth and has been Hollywoodised! In fact, the women I discussed this with were extremely angry with the portrayal of rodeo women on the show. This tempered my fears some what that my novel was inaccurate, as my heroine is a down to earth young woman, with great determination and love of the ranching life.
What ‘new’ discovers have you found when researching your novels?
Grueling – definition : strenuous; exhausting; very tiring; arduously severe
With only three more posts until the end of my year long ‘post a blog a day’, I have mixed feelings. The regime has become second nature, although at times I did struggle. Now I am wondering how to utilize the ‘free’ time not posting every day will give me.
My first task is to decide on the frequency of my posts for 2014 and then what subjects, themes or topics I will cover on those particular days.
Obviously, I have some ideas bouncing around inside my head but still need to finalize them.
If you have enjoyed a particular post or posts, I would welcome your comments and suggestions (within reason – I will not be posting every day in 2014!) What, I hear you cry (or maybe not!) I have several projects, I want to bring to fruition in 2014 and blogging every day would seriously interfere with those plans.
To give you an idea what those projects are:
To publish two novels as e-books that have been languishing in my laptop files. Life in Slake Patch & The Twesome Loop.
To publish in e-book form and on a print on demand site, my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue.
To edit, revise and refine my NaNoWriMo novel, Willow Tree Tears.
My biggest project is to boost my freelance business – any offers are more than welcome!
These projects are in addition to my role as secretary of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and the planning of our annual conference in March. As well as creating a prompt on the website every Saturday and attending sharing meetings, board meetings, workshops and book events. All of this has to be squeezed into the time I am not working the day job.
Please consider attending our conference if you are within driving distance of Sherwood park, Alberta, Canada or fly in and stay at one of the many hotels in the area. We would love to meet you.