Predicting a story ending

Don’cha just hate when TV. series ends with a cliffhanger. But that’s how the producers keep you coming back to watch the next season.

Same with books, the writer hooks you in with a page-turner, toss in some twist and finally when you think you have it figured out they throw in something unexpected.

Truthfully I hate reading a book or watching a movie or TV show and predict what’s about to happen.

It makes for a boring story. Same story different characters.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen or read something that WOWED me.

I have to admit thought that I watched the new hit show Secret and Lies-Cordele Confidential. It kept me hooked through the whole season but I knew from the first episode that it was little Abby that killed Tom. It was after all, predictable. Abby played a minor part that gave out big clues whilst bringing in other characters to throw off the story and keep you guesting at who done it. The show was great and I’d watch another season. With that said, I’ve been jotting notes for the next book in what I thought was the end of a story. My readers told me otherwise. After The Eye of Lies, released in October 2014, I’ve received numerous requests for more. My reaction was “more of what?”

My readers loved the twist and on the edge story that kept most of them from putting the book down. The ending of the book was unpredictable. The story was unpredictable and the characters, well, they fell in love with them.

I had not intended on writing another book to go with the first but per the request I’ve sat down and looked back on my notes to see where I could wavier from some leads and create another story. I surprised myself, saw that even a few of my minor characters could create action, and become major contributors to a storyline. Making the story, well, not so predictable.

(Rubbing my hands together scheming up another twisted mystery of thrills.)

Oh, and after watching a show last night with my daughter I was told I could not watch T.V with her anymore because I ruin it by predicting the ending, (sigh) she says I am always right. Lol

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Walking in the shoes of judgment

We all do it. We judge others by their looks, color, smell, height, weight, disability and such. It’s a nature of humans and as much as we try not to it happens in some way or another. It can be cruel or funny, like when you see the tall skinny guy wearing stripped pants that barely cover his knees yet he’s also wearing sandals with black socks. Okay fashion police please. It could be his style and he’s out spoken for his looks, that’s okay he’s the one wearing it and likes the looks he gets. For others maybe it’s the only thing they can afford at the thrift store or hand me downs from one who cared to put clothes on a less fortunate person.

As I was reading comments on a post from another social network I started to think about when I write stories. I do a lot of people watching for research. The expressions of faces, clothing, styles, emotions. Everything about the human interactions of others. I love to think about what another person life must be like by the way they walk and carry themselves.

The other day I was watching my grandkids play at a indoor bounce house. I sat by the door and watched parents, grandparents and kids come through the door. An older lady caught my attention. She was as round as she was tall. Her arms were full of tote bags, snacks, back pack, and a diaper bag. A little girl walked up and handed her dolly to her. The woman’s face  showed love towards the girl but at the same time was like, “how am I supposed to hold that too.” She raised her arm and the girl placed it under her pit then ran off. The woman looked around and dropped everything at the nearest table. In the larger bag she pulled out a canister that was maybe 12 inches high. Attached was a long clear tube. Seconds later a man walked up pushing a child wheel chair. In it was a thin frail boy. The woman placed the tubing under his nose and behind his ears. The man picked the boy up in his arms as the woman placed the canister in a strap and buckled it over the mans’ shoulder.

The boy, excited, threw his head back and giggled. I had to tear up and smile myself, he was so happy. The man walked over to a smaller bounce house for toddlers and placed the boy just inside the opening, Kids were jumping around as the house bopped. The boy laid on his back as the man stood just outside with the tank. I think every adult around stopped what they were doing and cried at the joy the boy was getting out of bouncing.

But as we all know happy things come to an end. One mother walked up to the man and must of said something to upset him. He reached in and took the boy out. He kissed his forehead and headed back to the table, placing him back into the stroller. The older woman must have known what was said, she smiled at the man and they sat quietly for a few minutes staring blankly through the crowd of giggles, screams of happiness and joy of other children.

It made me sad.

I noticed the one tote bag and tried to read all the words. SUPPORT SAVI is what I saw. Curious I googled it. The disease is called STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI). It’s an autoinflammatory disease, involving an immune-system malfunction that causes prolonged inflammation that in turn can damage the body. It can cause death in children.

As I finished reading the article I saw another woman walk up to the man and lean down to the boy. She picked up his hand and started talking to him. The boy rocked back and forth and smiled. Then I heard her ask why the man took him out of the bounce house and if he’d bring him back because he was having so much fun. Not to be nosey mind you but they were talking over the noise of the place. The man pointed to the woman who came up to him and said she asked if he take the boy out while her son was playing in it because she didn’t want to be responsible for any injuries on his ‘disabled child’. They must get those words a lot since neither one reacted to it, instead abided by the request.

This other woman shook her head and said, “No, he has just as much right to be here as her son, please bring him back, if she doesn’t like it her son is capable of enjoying other bounces. The man said it was okay he was fine watching. The woman insisted, stood up and motioned for some of the other parents to come over. I saw several follow and even the one that asked them to leave.

A discussion started about the boy and the woman said she didn’t know his situation and just by his ‘looks’ it scared her and didn’t want blame.

Judgment is the unknown in a world that is so black and white these days.

The grandmother, as I learned, said her daughter works six days a week trying to support her son and daughter. He doesn’t get to enjoy many things in life that other children take advantage of so coming to the bounce house when they can afford it was special to him. They understood her concerns and told her it made them happy just to see what joy he can have in his final days with them.

Well those words silenced everyone, I swear I think the whole place got quiet and I realized I wasn’t the only one who over heard the conversation. Eyes locked on the boy, a younger man asked if he could take him down the huge slide as his own son stood by his side. The grandparents looked at one another and shook their heads yes.

By the time I left there a group of strangers had become friends. And this group of friends had a better understanding of children with needs. And the best part was a lesson of not to judge others by their looks or the shoes on their feet without wearing them first.

My own granddaughter has *Angelman syndrome so I can relate to those grandparents.

*http://www.angelman.org/understanding-as/

 

Death before birth

Before I wrote the Eye of Lies I had to create a main character for the story. I was asked by my instructor to first write the obituary of the character. Now how do you do that before you even know what you’re writing about? It was actually easier then I had thought. I created the person (female) and wrote about her life as I would have thought my female MC would be. From birth to death. I pulled apart her life, added the good things, job, school favorite foods, places, parents, and siblings. Where she lived and so on. By the time I was done I had the making of her profile and the beginning of a “friendship” she had become my favorite character. I created her life and it was a journey.  So as I revised the story, once I wrote it, I changed her name.

She became a character of inspiration and strength.  As people read the story they related very well to her and liked her as much as I did. Who knew you could create such an awesome character by burying them before they are even born. Lol

Fifth of Tuesday ~the Black Eyed Child

For Maria Gillsby the fifth Tuesday of the fifth month of the fifth year went unsaid to what would happen in the fifth hour of the new day.

Maria, sure that her shift would have the same curse as it did in the previous four years, settled in at the nurses’ station. The two day nurses filled her in on the empty rooms, no babies had been born in the hospital in nearly a month. Maria positive the night would change the emptiness.

“Are you okay Hon, you look a little nervous, you feel alright?” One of the nurses asked.

“I’m fine, just tired. “ Maria replied.

The two nurses were new to the hospital; one fresh out of nursing school, Maria didn’t want to alarm them of the curse, one herself learned after working alone for the first time while delivering a baby. It wasn’t her curse or the one of the hospitals, but the devil himself, waiting for the birth of his son.

As she watched the clock tick slowly towards the hours, she prayed for each hour to be silent and wished her night away. Her shift, which started at seven, would end at seven in the morning. Her replacement, a retired pediatric nurse who was pleasant and friendly. She had hoped to have someone to talk to during the night but with cutbacks, the small hospital couldn’t afford to pay for two nurses on night shift in a hospital that barely survived the desolate area.

The surrounding town, once bustling businesses, began to fail after a freak hailstorm hit in 2010. Homes pelted with baseball-sized balls of ice, cars damaged, businesses destroyed. Families lost loved ones. Emergency persons were unable to get to those trapped in cars and buildings. For 24 hours, the hazed greenish sky rained large balls of hail down on the trifling town. News reporters broad casted from a distance as they watched the town diminished into a pile of rubble. Many people thought it was the end of the world. A town of prided religious beliefs buried beneath several feet of balled ice.

It was the stoning of the devil himself.

After retrieving another cup of coffee and pacing the vacant maternity floor, Maria returned to the desk and flipped through some old charts. No reports of pregnancies, miscarriages or other events documented. Closing the metal clipboard, she sat back in the chair and caught a glimpse of headlights turning into the dark parking lot. Her eyes shifted to the clock. 3:05 AM. She shook her head in fear and sat still. A call from downstairs would announce if needed in the ER for assistance. A few minutes went by and nothing, no call.

“This is dumb, I’m waiting for nothing, and it’s not possible to happen again. I’m just driving myself crazy.” She said aloud.

She stood up and went to the first room across the hall. Dark and quiet she turned on the T.V. An old black and white movie played on a local channel. A comedy starring one of her childhood favorites. Settling into the chair she took a piece of gum from her pocket, her crave for a smoke was biting at a long ago habit. Relaxing she lost track of the clock, its tick of minutes lessened when she heard the whoosh of the elevator door open. She sprang to her feet and clicked off the TV, her heart thumbing the beats of the now still clock.

“Good mornin’ missy, how you on this fine night?” It was Gerald the night janitor.

“Hi, Gerald. I’m fine, you?”

“Glorious missy, just glorious.” Maria smiled as the wheels of his cart squealed past her. She pulled the stale gum from her mouth and dropped it in the wastebasket next to the desk. The only trash other than the empty paper coffee cups. She pulled the plastic bag from the can and handed it to Gerald, he handed her a fresh bag and said.

“Thanks missy.”

“Gerald?”

“Yes’em?”

“Gerald, how long have you worked here?”

He stood back on one foot, his left hand pressed to his lower back, his right rested on his chin, he looked up, one eye closed.

“Let’s see, been here fer, thirty-eight years this May. Yes‘em started workin’ here to help pay fer my daughter.”

“Thirty-eight years that’s a long time. Besides the storm of 2010 have you ever heard of or witnessed anything strange at the hospital?”

With a frown of concern, he replied. “No, no ma’am can’t says I had. It’s been quiet though, more than normal. You okay missy?”

“I’m fine Gerald. You’re right though it’s been quiet, too quiet.”

“Yes’em. Bye missy.”

“Bye, good to see you.” He nodded as he walked passed her and pressed the button to the elevator. The sound of the doors opened as Maria took her seat behind the desk again. She pulled out a deck of cards from the drawer when she heard another man’s voice.

“Excuse me is this labor and delivery?”

“Yes’em.”

“Thank you, thank you very much.”

Maria stood and peeked around the corner of the wall that separated the nurses’ station from the narrow hall. A man stepped out of the elevator, holding the door with his foot he leaned forward and pulled a wheelchair from within the cube.

She turned and looked at the clock. 4:17 AM. When she turned back, a pregnant woman sat in the chair in front of her, her husband a smile on his face said.

“She couldn’t wait til daylight, go figure huh.”

Stuttering for words Maria asked. “How far along are you? Are you sure it’s labor?”

“This is my fifth pregnancy I’m sure it’s labor and if I’m right it won’t take long to push.”

“Your fifth?”

“Yes ma’am, we have four boys at home.”

“Oh, my. Well let’s get you settled and see what’s going on shall we.”

Maria took the handles to the wheelchair and turned the woman towards an empty room. She instructed her to undress and laid out a gown. Asking the husband to step out while she examined his wife, Maria’s eyes darted to the clock.

“I’ll just be a minute; your husband needs to fill out the paper work.”

She stepped through the doorway and reached for a clipboard with a layer of papers.

“If you don’t mind I need you to fill out the necessary papers, in case I need to admit your wife.”

“We filled them out downstairs; they said they tried to call you. Sorry my wife insisted we come up here to have the baby. They said down stairs no one was here but then another nurse said you might have been in the restroom.”

“Another nurse? Was there a doctor downstairs?”

“No, they said they can’t call him in during the night for childbirth, unless there is a problem.”

“A problem? Yes, of course, what could go wrong?”

She bit down on her lip and went back into the room. The woman had changed and was blowing deep breathes out.

“How far apart are your contractions? Did your water break yet?”

“5 minutes. Yes about two hours ago.”

Time. 4:23 AM.

Maria pulled on a pair of latex gloves, snapping the wristband. Lowering the mechanical bed, she laid the head down and told the woman to relax. The woman bellowed out air as she hummed guilt of pain.

“It’s going to be our fifth son, you know. My husband is so excited to have another boy…”

“A boy? You know for sure it’s a boy?”

“Heee, heee, hee….hoooooo. Yes.”

Sweat beaded on Maria’s forehead as she wrung her hands together. A silent prayer of help from the almighty she vowed to be a better person if he’d save this woman from the clutches of the evil that will come forth. She pushed the woman’s legs apart and pulled her gown up over her belly. Swollen, the roundness of pregnancy painted a picture of beauty on the woman’s skin. Stretch marks, old and new, gave her skin the traveled marks of love.

“I’m going to feel your stomach first then examine you…down there.”

Time: 4:25 AM

She gently pressed her hands into the woman’s stomach, and then pressed the stethoscope to her lower abdomen, listening to the heartbeat, strong and good she let out a sigh of relief as she watched the grimace face of the woman. Maria asked if she lived nearby.

“We only…heee, heee heee…moved here few months ago. Heee, heee, hooo.”

Time 4:28 AM

“I’m going to examine you now just relax.”

“Trisha.”

“Excuse me?”

“My name is Trisha.”

“Nice to meet you Trisha. My name is Maria.”

Maria squeezed some oil on her fingers and brought them close to Trisha’s vagina, that’s when she saw a wet patch of hair; the baby had crowned and was coming out.

“Okay Trisha looks like this baby is coming right now. Don’t push or anything I need to grab a few things. We’re going to have to deliver this baby quickly though. All right? Quickly.”

“Is there a problem? What’s wrong?”

Maria raced out of the room and called down stairs for help, pointing to the husband to go into the room she grabbed the cart with all the supplies she’d need. Requesting the husband help, she tossed him a paper gown and instructed him to wash up to his elbows.

“What’s wrong, you’re scaring me.” Trisha moaned.

“Nothing Trisha, your baby’s head is almost out we need to deliver, now. You’re going to have to push hard okay, can you do that?”

Time 4:32 AM

Maria laid out instruments that would help in case the baby needed assistances. Scissors with their sharp edge glistened against the bright light.

“Take a deep breath and push. Push Trisha with all you got.” Trisha inhaled and pushed, exhaling until her head fell back.

“Again, come on you can push this baby out. It’s your son push.”

Trisha’s eyes’ meet her husbands, fearing the baby might be stuck he encouraged her to push. Taking deep breathes together she screamed as she pushed harder and harder.

“It’s not coming, it’s stuck. Do something.”

“He’ll come, push again. Come on you have to do this.” Maria poured mineral oil over the top of the baby’s’ head, pulling the skin from around Trisha’s vagina to help the baby through the opening.

Time 4:49 AM

“You’re not trying hard enough, now push.” Maria yelled.

“She’s doing the best she can, can’t you see she’s in pain and tired.”

“You don’t understand if this baby isn’t born before 5 AM…all hell will break loose. Push.” Maria gritted her teeth and snipped the skin below the baby’s head. An episiotomy she didn’t want to perform. Trisha stopped pushing and lay back in the bed.

“What did you say? Why before five? Where’s the other nurse why hasn’t anybody come to help?”

“You can’t stop you have to push this baby out…or you’ll die.”

“What?”

“It’s Tuesday, May 5th 2015. The fifth month of the year, the fifth year of 2010, don’t you get it? The fifth son? Don’t you know?”

“Know what?”

“Push damn it, push.”

Trisha took a long deep breath and pushed. Her hands wrapped around the bed rails shook as her knuckles turned white. The baby’s head slowly slid into Maria’s hand, she turned its face upward, suctioning its mouth before demanding another hard push. Trisha bore down as hard as she could. The baby’s body coiled into Maria’s hand.

A sigh of relief Maria whispered. “Oh my God you did it, you did it.”

Time 4:56 AM

The baby let out a loud cry as Maria laid it on the bed to clamp the cord.

“A girl? It’s a girl. Your baby is a girl.” She laughed and looked at the father. He smiled and frowned at the response as if unaware to what she had said. Maria turned to look at the mother, now leaning forward to catch a peek at the newest bundle when she tilted her head back and let out another scream.

“What? What is it?”

“Hee, hee…”

“My son, that’s my son.” The father pointed to the head emerging from between Trisha’s legs.

“No, no, no. Twin? Are you kidding me? You didn’t say anything about twins.”

Time 4:58

“No!”

Maria handed the father his crying daughter and shoved her hand to the baby’s head, pushing him back inside.

“What are you doing, you’re going to kill him.” The father laid the baby girl on his wife’s chest and grabbed Maria’s hand. Struggling she pushed him back. Her strength came from fear.

“If you allow him to be born, your wife will die.” The husband looked to his wife, their eyes engaged, the cry of the baby girl stopped, and her body motionless. Maria had to make the decision to save one life or kill another.

She shoved her hand harder up into Trisha’s body and grabbed the fathers head, pulling his hair downwards she yelled at him to breath for his daughter. Trisha screamed with mercy for Maria to stop. Her body wrench up tight she let her head fall forward.

“Please God help me, help my babies.” She cried.

“Yes, pray, pray louder because that’s all you’re going to have for the next minute.” Maria watched the second hand on the clock flicker between the minutes in a teasing fashion of slow motion.

Time 4:59 AM

The father breathed small breathes into his newborns mouth as her chest rose and fell. No movement.

A force against Maria’s hand made her brace her feet in a harder stance.

“You’re not taking another mother, you hear me! He’s not your son.” She yelled.

Trisha tired, wanted to give up. In pain, she reached for her husband and whispered to take care of their children, to let them know how much she loved them.

“Don’t you give up, you hear me don’t give up. That’s what he wants. He only needed you as a host to his son. You have to be strong for that baby girl. Your other children, yourself. Don’t give up on me Trisha. One more minute you can hold on one more minute.” Maria commanded.

Time 5:00 AM

The pressure from holding the baby weakened her arm, it shook, but she held onto the baby’s head until the last second of the minute when she was thrown across the room. A deep growl came from between Trisha’s legs. Her husband without thought plunged his hand against the head of the baby pushing it back in. Trisha screamed in pain just as her body went limp. Maria stood up; pulling the gloves from her hands, she helped hold the baby in while they both watched the clock strike 5:01 AM.

Gently releasing the pressure on the baby, his head slid through, she suctioned and nose and mouth and pulled him out. His cry a blessing, Maria smiled at the father as she picked him up and placed him next to his sister. The baby girl gasped and let out an ear-piecing screech, blinking her tiny black eyes.

The bondage of a writer’s life

    It’s the high and lows of a writer’s drug. Memorized by the seduction of the lusty pulls of characters. Their demanding efforts to control your every thought. You wake up during the night only to realize someone is missing, seduced or worse murdered. They don’t let you rest until you write what they want to say. Confessions, doubts, secrets, and lies. They argue about their accused sinister acts. Then they make love, caressing your movements, combing their hands through your hair, warming parts of your body that have gone untouched for weeks because your time is consumed by their nagging wants. Gentling brushing your lips with their fingertips, you try hard to ignore the passion they crave. All the while, the chills rake down your back. You become paranoid, the watchful eyes over your shoulders, they tug at your hair, individual hairs of teasing like spiders in a web.

“Write about me. Say this. Do that. I want to be the hero. My name, say my name. It was me I killed them. Bathe me in the blood of their hopeless lives. I won’t tell.”

It’s a warped world. It’s a game of mind-blowing adventure of make believe. The ghost hunt from within a writer, never to leave the soul. We bond with the characters that we create. We live in their shoes, many at one time. We hurt when they hurt; we feel the pain, the anger, and the pangs of intimate hunger.

Is it a curse or some sort of mental state that a writer must suffer through day and night? How does a writer distinguish between all the people within their head without going insane?

Heaven, Purgatory and Hell

Purgatory design

No matter what, the sun will rise and another day goes forth. There are times we are stuck in purgatory between Heaven and Hell, with decisions, choices, and life in general. It’s hard to think about tomorrow when the past can’t move forward.

Routine as the days may become we have to decide if purgatory is a place, we want to be. Do we stand still and let the past swallow our feet like the sand under a wave? Or, do we step forward and look into the sunset and make the choice of tomorrow? A new day, a better day. We don’t have to drag the past into the future. Every minute of every day is a choice to breathe, a choice to live and make changes to our lives. It’s a new beginning to the end.

It doesn’t take money, it doesn’t take friends or family or a new job. It takes the decision to move forward on your own, in your own way and mind.

The most successful people are the ones that make the change that matter the most to themselves. YOU.

It’s all in the Words of Inspiration

     Very touched. When you write a story, you have no idea what kind of impact it will have on another person’s life. When I wrote my the book The Eye of Lies,  I not only wrote about the destruction of one girls life, but I wrote the inspiration of strength. Faith, and willingness to overcome the wicked of evils. To build a better life from abuse.

Self-worth is more powerful than anything else is in the world. The book has only been out for a few months and I’ve gotten great feedback from people who had been in the shoes of my character. They let the hurt in their life keep them at their lows until they read about a girl who didn’t. It makes me so proud knowing that I, who only thought I wrote a story, inspired other people through the words of a book, to become stronger and grab that strength to grow. Life is about choices, sometimes the choices are made for you and no matter how hard you try to change them, you are controlled by others. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s up to you.

 

The Five Senses of Murder and the fly on the wall

When I write a story and set the scene for the reader, I put five elements into the description. The five senses, it’s what I was taught and I feel that it works really well, giving the reader a sense of being in the story.

Besides writing with emotions, I want them to smell, hear, taste, feel, and see what I do. What my characters do.

In my book The Eye of Lies, one of the best feedbacks I have received is that the readers all said they felt like they were there, connected to the characters, and felt as if they were in the same place. Even one reader said she could smell the cigarette smoke and taste the bitterness of the stale aroma.

Here’s an example of using the five senses; As Julie walked into the living room, she noticed the particles of dust fluttering through the sunbeam from the open curtain (sight). The scamper of a tiny mouse startled her (hearing), the air thick (feel), and the scent of rotted flesh gagged her reflex (smell and taste). Swallowing hard she turned to leave the room.

It depends on the story to the detail of what I’d  want to add. I could have added the cigarette burned chair (sight, smell, texture) or the urine-stained rug or blood splattered decayed walls. I’ve used my daughter as my ‘tester’ for descriptions that I might question myself about. And there has been times when she said, “Nope just not feeling it.” So I’ll redo until she can place herself in the scene.

The same with character development. As an illustrator, I have to have the visual of somebody else’s vision, so this works well when I talk about a character. I want the same ‘feel’ for my reader but at the same time let them use their own imagination to what a character might be like.

From page 57 of The Eye of Lies—

Doctor Scott Helms, a distinguished professional therapist in his sixties, with perfectly styled salt, and peppered hair had the same southern charm as Latisha.

He leaned forward; his broad shoulders cast a large shadow against the wall behind him, his gaze fixed upon me. I looked past him, focused on his shadow, large and gray it rose above the filing cabinets, a small picture frame sat empty.  The office was quiet, cold, and bare, only a few documents hung in plain frames. The black leather couch sat opposite of the small window; its heavy drapes blocked out the world.

His office wasn’t glamorous. It didn’t reflect his rich taste in suits and shoes.  His glasses perfectly balanced on the tip of his nose. His eyes, sweet chocolate, a glimmer of shine showed his kindness. The fresh scent of his after-shave was like an aphrodisiac; it pulled me in, and warmed my skin.

He sat across from me and listened to every word. His pen clutched tightly in his hand, and a pad of paper balanced across his knee, he was a tall man with a straight posture, and his wingback chair molded to his physique. (I put in his size, style of clothing and hair but no skin tone or facial features. His office was cold, quiet, and bare, giving a feel of emptiness and unsettling. Leather usually has a smell. His description gives the senses that he’s a well-dressed, kind person but his office not so much which then brings a twist to the story and makes you wonder, why would this man who looks and dresses wealthy have such an office so cold, bare and empty?

I become that fly on the wall when telling the story of murder and mystery.