We're a day early, but I want to wish those who celebrate a happy Thanksgiving.
I think as a society; we forget the meaning behind holidays. Thanksgiving is pretty much as literal as you get, since the Pilgrims wouldn't have survived the harsh winter were it not for the help of Native Americans (who still got screwed over in the end). People have come to see this as a holiday for food and the preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To me, it's about giving thanks. To be grateful for the good things in life.
Things I'm grateful for:
My family --- I almost lost my husband and daughter this year. Both got sick in different ways and almost died, so I can't reiterate how thankful I am to still have them in my life.
A roof over my head --- Maybe this one is obvious, but with prices skyrocketed, and inflation making living impossible, I've had to move into a converted third car garage. It's not paradise, but it's a place to sleep without being on the street while my kids have the main section of the house. Real families take care of each other.
My writing opportunities --- I wanted at least three positives in this, and I do think a big win this year was the opportunities I was fortunate enough to be given. Since 2021, I've been traditionally published for The Social Media Bride, entered Wattpad's Paid Stories for Zombie Soap, created bonus content for My Bad Boy Doctor on Wattpad (don't judge me. People like what they like, and I wrote this as a satirical romance with no shame), and Zombie Soap has been curated for YONDER, your next-generation reading app from the creators of WEBTOON and Wattpad.
I went into serious writing back in 2018, but didn't start seeing success until closer to 2020. Once SMB was picked up for publication, I began a five year plan, at which I'm about halfway through. I am hoping by sometime next year to supplement my income through writing, but I would like to advise those reading that this process takes time. Overnight success is often an exception, and like anything, writing requires you to pay your dues.
In other news, I sadly was unable to attend Wattcon due to my husband being admitted to the ER in another city two hours away. That's okay though; I have my best friend on the mend, and that's all that matters. I can attend another convention another year.
My manuscript for Queen of Water has been turned in for copyedits, and all that's left is to plan the sequel, Six of Air, and get to rewriting it. For now, I'd like to leave you all with an excerpt from Chapter Seven:
Bahari nodded as if he’d expected this response before checking his watch. “For the purpose of this recording, I’m pausing this interview at 6:23 PM.” Pressing his hands to the table, he stood and walked to the tripod, touching a setting. The red recording dot disappeared, and he crossed the small room to the door, opening it. “Ms. Sinclair, have a seat with Detective Boyd. I need to find a female who can administer a drug test and DNA swab for Ava. That is, if you still consent.”
Not giving Meredith a chance to respond, Ava sprang to her feet and approached Bahari. “I’ll do it. I have nothing to hide.”
Inclining her head in confirmation, Meredith followed the two out, where Detective Boyd waited outside. Ava went with Bahari down the hall while Boyd led her to his desk. His eyes drooped as if he hadn’t slept in two days. With the investigation on his hands, he probably hadn’t. Offering her a smile, he asked, “Can I get you something to drink? I can’t promise the coffee is any good, but we have bottled water.”
Boyd disappeared, leaving Meredith to sink into the plastic chair. Fidgeting with her purse straps, her leg bounced in rapid movement. She was ready to go home and put this all behind her. If these men were smart, they’d clear Ava without any more questions. The only thing Meredith could fathom as an explanation for the additional questions was the tarot deck, though she didn’t understand what that had to do with anything. By the way the detectives treated them, Meredith was almost certain they didn’t believe in Ava’s guilt, so why was she here?
Soft footsteps interrupted her thoughts, and Detective Boyd handed her a chilled water bottle. Once she took it, he sank into the squeaky chair. “I’m sorry for all this trouble. Once Ava finishes with Bahari, you two are free to leave.”
Sure, until they dragged her in for another round of questioning. The police were doing their job—Meredith knew this, but it was hard to feel protected when Ava seemed to be the only girl on the team singled out.
Silence hung between them, and Boyd cleared his throat. “Tell me about yourself. Where are you from?”
Unscrewing the cap, Meredith scoffed and took a sip. “Is this an actual question because you’re interested, or are you fishing for more information?”
Boyd released a soft chuckle—tired and amused. For the first time since she’d met him, his eyes almost twinkled in amusement. “A bit of both, I suppose.”
At least he was honest. Regarding him with half a smile, Meredith replied, “All right, but you first.”
The corner of his mouth twitched, and he shifted in his chair, which squealed in protest. “Fair enough. I was born and raised in LA. Came out here when I was fourteen and been here ever since. Your turn.”
Meredith giggled, glancing at his desk for the first time. Memorabilia she didn’t recognize lined the surface. She had no idea what was going on with the blue police box with the light on top. The red hat with the words ‘FEZZES ARE COOL’ emblazoned across the front might has well have been Greek to her, and she wasn’t sure what to think of the bizarre plastic cylinder doohickie that resembled a teched out dildo. She decided she didn’t want to know while wondering why there wasn’t more Star Wars paraphernalia since he’d defended its honor when she’d implied light sabers were useless. The only hint of the franchise was a Baby Yoda and Darth Vader figurine off to the side.
“I thought you were a Star Wars fan,” she remarked, tilting her head as her mind went back to the other objects, not wondering why there was a sex toy on the desk.
Following her gaze, Isaac smirked. “Oh, I do. Jay—my partner and I—have a massive collection at home. This is my Doctor Who memorabilia. And you’re changing the subject.”
Doctor who? What? “Okay, but why is there a…a…” Her face burned as she struggled to hold back such an inappropriate question.
Isaac cleared his throat, prompting her to meet his eyes as he smirked. Gesturing his hands, he said, “A…?”
Staring at her purse, she released a dainty cough and whispered, “A dildo. On the desk.”
Boyd’s laughter reverberated off the walls, echoing until Meredith was certain the entire station heard him. Moisture filled his eyes as he doubled over, holding his stomach and wheezing. “Oh, God, you actually thought—” Another fit of giggles overcame him, making her face blaze in mortification.
Pounding his chest, he coughed again before managing, “That’s a sonic screwdriver. The Doctor uses it with almost every reincarnation.”
Meredith would have to take his word for it.
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Thank you all for reading, and have a good & safe holiday!