( Hot Chocolate – Depositphotos)

Another week, another non-snowstorm. We got off to a good start with the snow in November, but Mother Nature has been slacking since then, at least in my neck of the woods. I shouldn’t complain, I guess, but it’s winter, and you know I like winter to be, well, wintry. I was ready to indulge in some adult hot chocolate tonight and watch the snow, but the forecasters botched the forecast once again. Instead of 5-8 inches of snow (Friday morning’s forecast), we’re currently getting a mix of snow, sleet and rain, which will turn to all rain in a couple of hours, before the temperatures plummet and freeze everything tomorrow. The good news is I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow, except here into my office to write.

So it is good I’m feeling inspired tonight. I spent a large chunk of the afternoon at a friend’s bookstore with another friend who was doing a booksigning, and a friend who used to be one of my romance regulars when I started working at Waldenbooks, many years ago. We talked books and writing and authors and everything else under the sun for several hours, and it was lovely. We also decided we need to get back to our monthly writing sessions–we use to meet a a friend’s house one night a month for supper and writing. It was a lot of fun, and we were pretty productive, but the friend who hosted has moved away, and we haven’t done it in about a year. But we’re going to start up again, which makes me happy for several reasons. Meeting with like-minded friends is another motivator when it comes to writing. Yes, we’ll do some chatting, and we’ll still have dinner, but we’ll also be productive, which is a really good thing. We used to track our word count when we met, though I don’t know that we’ll do that in our new incarnation. We’ll figure it out. But this is another way for us to be accountable to ourselves for our writing goals and productivity. And hey, more words on the page is a very good thing. I’m looking forward to this.

I’m also excited because we are going to paint my office. When we bought our house almost 18 years ago, we moved our office furniture right in and didn’t paint. (We actually didn’t paint anywhere in the house until after we’d moved in.) But with desks for both me and my husband in the room, there was nowhere for us to shift furniture to do anything in this room, so we didn’t. But my hubby has moved his desk and office for his business into the basement, leaving this room on the main living level to me. Right now, the room is half empty, so the plan is to primer and paint the open half, then move my things over and do the rest. I even settled on a very pretty color this afternoon while with my friends, so I am feeling more inspired for this project. The paint won’t be the only thing different in the room either. I’ve been wanting a double-monitor set-up on my desk (I’ve gotten spoiled at my day-job with two monitors to work on), and my desk right now isn’t meant to accommodate two monitors, so I am looking at desks, or at least another table that I can set up so I have an L-shaped workspace where I can set up my second monitor. And if we wind up doing the latter, I’ll be able to keep the hutch on my current desk, which is good, because it is well-used, filled with reference books, and pretty things for me to look at while I’m at my desk.

So while I’m feeling inspired, I’m hoping for a lot of new words on pages tomorrow. I’m finishing the laundry tonight so I can spend tomorrow writing. I didn’t get any of that done last weekend, because we were moving furniture into the basement.  So the to-do list for Sunday is short: wash dishes, roast vegetables, and write.

Before I go switch more laundry around, I have a quick story snippet to share with you from my third shifter story.

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“Tell me about the dream,” he said when she was completely boneless in his embrace.

She shifted, suddenly not so relaxed. “I’m sure it was just because of that woman being taken earlier,” she said after a few seconds.

Boris tightened his arm around her. “Tell me.”

She shook her head. “It was just a dream.”

“What happened?” He slid his hand down to the little bulge of their baby and covered it.

Vivi went still at the movement.

“Vivi.”

She inhaled slowly. “It’s stupid.”

“Tell me anyway.” He rubbed his hand over her belly. Too early to feel the baby moving, but he imagined the baby still inside, kicking and shifting anyway.

“I was driving somewhere, no place I recognized, and the baby was in the backseat. It was bright and sunny, and then suddenly it wasn’t. It was raining and dark, and another car forced us off the road. We crashed.” He heard her swallow. “And we were surrounded by strangers. Shifters. They dragged me out of the car.” Each word had her muscles tensing more and more.

He waited, but she didn’t continue. “Sweetheart?” He kissed the top of her ear. “What happened next?”

“You were there, too, and got the baby out of the car.”

He frowned.

“You were angry, and you told them to take me.” She whispered it in a rush.

He shut his eyes.

“You said they could have me.”

“Oh, sweetheart.” He tightened his hold on her. “I told you I won’t let anything happen to you or the baby. I meant that.”

She shuddered. “I know. It was just a dream.”

He realized they were no longer bonded, and he rolled her to her back, then to face him. “Nothing is going to happen, and I certainly wouldn’t let anyone take you.” He brushed a kiss on her mouth and tasted tears. “Come here.” He wrapped his arms tight around her, pressing one knee between hers, and she slid her leg over his. “I promise, Vivi.”

She ducked her chin lower and hid her face against his collarbone. “It was just a dream.”

One that bothered her more than she’d admit, he realized. He wondered who had abandoned her. Maybe now wasn’t the time to ask, though. He settled her so close he could have been buried inside her again, smoothing one hand over her hair, down her spine, over and over, until the tension gradually seeped out of her again. Until she settled back into sleep.

Boris stared into the dark for a long time, questions chasing each other in circles. Who had abandoned her? Why had she dreamed he’d tell rogues to take her?

Finally, scowling, he forced his mind to settle, to focus on breathing evenly, to enjoy the feel of the warm woman in his arms.

They had plenty of time for old hurts and secrets.

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So, who else is feeling inspired this week?  What are you going to do about it?

 

 

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