Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chapter SIX!!

Oh, wow. Let's celebrate. I crossed the 10K word mark today. YAY!!

This chapter still needs tons of work. It's pretty close to my rough draft. You'll notice that a lot of it is Michael and Leesie talking back and forth. This is how I scribble scenes. They talk and I write it down. That part is easy. The hard part is going back and adding just the right stage directions, emotional responses and facial expressions to bring the scene to life. I'm too burnt out to do that today--so you're getting the rough draft typed up. I'll revise it for tomorrow so you can see the difference between what I scribble down for myself--to tell myself the story--and what I think my readers need to see the story unfold in the movie in their minds.

If you interested in writing scenes with great dialogue--or just want to investigate what works for me a little more, check out "Dialogue 101" on my website's liv2writ blog.

I'll see you tomorrow with the revision.



Dive Buddy:            Leesie
Date:  04/29
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

            It’s past midnight when I get back to the hotel. New day. Yesterday seemed like a lifetime. Leesie’s home phone is busy when I try to call. If her dad has a cell, I don’t know the number. Leesie never had one back home. Too broke. Crap reception in a wheat field.
            I try again in ten minutes. Busy. Fall asleep before the next ten minutes are up.
            I wake up a couple hours later. Don’t know where I am at first. Figure it out. Pick up the phone. Try again. It’s still not too late back there. Eleven. Big deal. He’ll be up.
            “Hello?” It’s him.
            “Please, sir. Don’t hang up.”
            “No. No. Of course not. Don’t be afraid, Michael. Just bring her home. That’s all we care about. She’s hurt.”
            “She’s getting the best care on earth.”
            “Where are you?”
            “She won’t let me tell anyone yet.”
            “That’s okay. Bring her back to us. We don’t blame you.”
            “I beg her to let me every day. But she won’t listen. She’s—ashamed.”
            “Tell her we love her. Is she close? Can I talk to her?”
            “No. She thinks you’ll be angry with her.”
            “I know. I’ll tell her, though.”
            “Has she said anything more about the accident?”
            “No. Just that it’s all her fault. She thinks her mom hates her. And your God, too.”
            “Tell her that’s a wicked lie. No matter what. We love her.”
            “And, sir. I want you to know. I’m keeping that promise I made at Thanksgiving. I won’t touch her—not until we’re married.”
            “You’re getting married? When?”
            End of summer? Tomorrow? What do I tell him? “Someday.”
            “Bring her home first.”
            “If I can, I will.”
            “Take care of her, son. We miss our girl.”
            Him calling me “son” chokes me up like it always did. “She’s sorry. Tell her mom, too. She’s sorry.”

            I sleep past nine in the morning. Feel half-way human again. Talking to Leesie’s dad grounded me. We’re going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay. I got to tell Leesie—get her grounded, too. I book it down to the rehab-place, but when I get there, Leesie’s room is full of nurses and a tall, black man wearing a white doctor’s coat.
            “What were you thinking,” he speaks with a muted Caymanian accent, “traveling all this way injured as you are?” His rich voice fills the room like a preacher’s.
            Leesie holds up her purple hand with my ring tight on her swollen fingers. “We’re supposed to be on our honeymoon. I crashed two days before our wedding. The hospital said I was good to travel.” Leesie lying? Weird.
            “Well, they were crazy to let you leave.” He flips through the release papers I turned over yesterday when I checked Leesie in here. “How long is this honeymoon supposed to last? You’ll get no beach time for weeks.”
            “All summer.” I walk in and shake the guy’s hand. “I’m a dive instructor. Looking for work.”
            “Have you got Cayman papers?”
            “Working on it.”
            He knows I’m lying. “Have you been here before?”
            I nod. “It’s my favorite place in the world to dive.” At least Little Cayman is. Got to get Leesie over there.
            The doctor turns back to Leesie. “Let’s see what we have here.”
            He starts with her head, examines her cut. “Nicely done.” He glances back at the clipboard. “Concussion?” He flashes a penlight in Leesie’s eyes. “Good dilation. Does your head pound?”
            “Not right now.”
            “When your pain meds wear off?”
            He raps under her knee with the side of his hand. It jumps like it’s supposed to. “Good. The pain should subside in a few more days. No permanent nerve damage.”
            “That’s good?” Leesie looks over at me and smiles slightly.
            “Yes.” He snips off the bandages to examine her nose. It looks awful to me. Black, blue, purple, green. The colors twist together and scream pain. He touches her nose. “The packs your surgeon placed in the nostrils are well-positioned.” He runs his finger over the bump high up on her nose. “You’ll end up with a bit of a bump here. But we’ll keep the nose straight. You can opt for cosmetic surgery once all this is healed up.”
            “I can have any nose I want?”
            No way. She’s going to stick with the nose I fell in love with. He keeps touching it and Leesie gets paler and paler. The colors seems to ooze and twist moving, crawling. The room gets really hot. My heads grows fuzzy, and I can’t breathe. I think I sway.
            The nurse Leesie calls Sugar takes my elbow. “Let’s get us some fresh air why don’t we.”
            “No, I’m fine.”
            “Do you want to faint in front of her?”
            She guides me out Leesie’s sliding door and deposits me on a bench in the garden. “A few deep breaths and you’ll feel better.” She disappears.
            I cycle through my free dive breathing, inhale the flowers around me. Smile when I detect my mom’s favorite scent, gardenias. I’m glad she’s close. I could use her help about now. I wander around, find the bush and break off a few branches of dark green leaves and small white fragrant flowers.
            When I make it back to Leesie’s room, she’s got a new pink bandage on her nose and she’s all alone.
            “You are a wimp.”
            “If you saw your nose, you’d faint, too.”
            “Pretty gory?”
            “The goriest.” I stick my bouquet in her half-empty water cup.
            “Do you want to see my ribs? He left them undone.”
            “Are they gory, too?”
            She nods. “The bruising is ugly, but the doctor is most worried I’ll get pneumonia.”
            “Uh-huh.” She’s supposed to breath deep so the air sacks in her lungs don’t stick together.
            “I told them I learned everything I know about heavy breathing from you.”
            “You didn’t.”
            “No.” She manages a crooked smile. “But it’s true.”
            I bite my lip. “I was just out there doing free dive cycles.”
            “That’s what I told them. You’re now my coach.”
            “He thinks it’s a good idea to keep me trussed up like this for anther week so the collarbone can set. After that I’ll just need the sling.”
            “What about your hand? Did we keep it elevated enough?”
            “He said that’s just for the swelling. We’re past that crisis now. I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
            Her fingers still look puffy to me.
            “I have to wear these new boots night and day for the next three weeks so my ankles heal strong.”
            “Did he hurt you—poking and prodding?”
            She shakes her head. “Heavy dose of morphine this morning. They’ve got me back on it. He said I’ll need it around the clock for at least another week. Then we can taper off.”
            “No more skipping your pills?”
            She nods—so obedient today.
            “When do you get your cast off you hand?”
            “Another five weeks—maybe longer. They are going to X-ray it tomorrow and put on a new waterproof one to match my nose.”
            “Yes.” She scowls at my tone and sticks out her tongue. “And then we can go to the beach.”
            I smile. “Cool.” The smile fades as I remember what I came to tell her. “I got a hold of your dad.”
            She closes her eyes and turns her face to the wall.
            I move close to her bed and hover over her. “They aren’t mad. Don’t blame you.” I pick up her hand and stroke her bruised fingers. “You can go home.” I lean over and whisper in her ear. “You rest here another couple weeks, get really strong, and then let’s fly home.”
            “I can’t. He doesn’t know.”
            “He does, Leese. He says God doesn’t think you’re guilty. He says they love you.”
            “They’ll hate me.”
            “Let me call him and tell him I’m bringing you home. They need some hope right now, Leesie. You got to go home.”
            “What happened, Leese? This isn’t you. Why—”
            “Don’t ask me. Ever again. If you love me—”
            Her voice turns ominous. She turns terror-filled eyes towards me.
            I back off. “Look.” I pick up the flowers. “I brought you something to inhale deeply.”
            “Gosh, you’re psychic.” she bends her head toward the branches and tries to smell the gardenias. “Sorry. I can’t smell anything. I’ve got stuff shoved up my nose holding the bones in place.
            “No problem. Let’s get to work on those free dive cycles.”
            She frowns. “Or I can inhale you.”
            I help her to her post-op surgically booted feet, guide her out to my bench, hold on her on my lap and coach her through cycles one to three. She’s not ready to pack yet. Then we make out in the sunshine.
            “Kissing you is the only thing that feels right.”
            “That’s just the morphine talking.”
            “Then let’s enjoy it.” She sucks my tongue into her mouth and keeps it.
            “Freak, Leese. That so not allowed.”
            “But we’re officially engaged.”
            “No—on our honeymoon. You little liar.”
            “You backed me up.”
            “What else could I do?”
            “Let me have your tongue back.”
            “Not until you can follow it up with more action.”
            “Party pooper.”
            “That totally frustrates you?”
            “I’ll have to remember that.”
            “I won’t let you forget.”


  1. Oooh, I love it! Even if it is mostly just dialogue, it's awesome! I love Leese's Dad! I'm also loving the examination, and that there still seems to be a long way to go before Leese can forgive herself. I am so loving this story!

  2. Leesie's dad is one of my favorite characters, too. I'm basing him on conversations with my mom about her dad. My own father took off when I was in fourth grade. (More like Beth's dad in SING ME TO SLEEP.) So I created the perfect Mormon dad for my readers. (And me, too.) Some of my writer friends who critiqued early drafts of TAKEN BY STORM thought he was too good to be realistic. So I started looking around at Mormon dads I know. There's a lot of them out there like this.

    My husband is a completely different style. Lively and funny. And my son is the coolest dad I've ever seen. How many two-year olds do you know who can wipe out an entire room of adults with "the force?" Yes, light saber fights are big around our house.

    But Leesie's dad is a tribute to my grandfather.

  3. I love the storyline so far! It's amazing how Michael and Leesie have completely switched spots in this book. Im obsessed! :)

  4. I may not comment on every post, but I just want you to know I check your blog about 10 times a day to see if you've posted a new chapter. Should I seek professional help for addiction? LOL Loving this.

  5. How about a nice big support group? That would be great!

  6. For some reason, I just LOVE this scene. love this more than any other I have to say. The prose is lilting and gorgeous. And the doctor and Leesie's dad all come across as genuinely kind people. Kind yet real.

  7. I grew up in Utah and i can see my friends dad's in leesie's he is the perfect Mormon dad! ( but i will admit if i wasn't from Utah i would think he was to good to be true as well )

    p.s. there should be a support group that meets on the days there aren't new posts then we can all be anxious together. :)