Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chapter 8!!!

I scribbled my head off today. Here's all of Chapter 8. Very, very rough. I think I might have to squish 7 and 8 together so enough happens. But this is where we are for now.

Thanks for all the great names. I still haven't chosen the diver guy names. There were so many good ones. I need to decide where the guys are from. It's Cayman--a British Commonwealth country--so we'll probably have Aussies, Brits, and at least one charming Canadian in honor of my Canadian hubby. If that inspires more country specific names, please post them.

And I appreciate the discussion we've been having over the last post. I'm mulling it all--still in the mood to push forward, but your suggestions will be so much help when I revise.

Don't ever be shy to give your opinions. I'm sad when you don't speak up. And as much as I like to hear that you love everything, I can really use the more critical comments. I won't be offended. Critiques are worth every word in gold. This is hot from my pen. It needs lots of work.  I might go overboard or get lazy. Or miss something gigantic. They spur me on as I create new scenes, too.

You'll see when I burn out on new stuff and go back to fix up what I've written how much your comments helped. I think I'll post revisions chunks of chapters at a time on pages rather than put them in the daily rough and ready posts.

And I'm planning a fantastic contest, to make this blog truly a blog, that will reward you with an entry every time you post. How's that for incentive?

So here's today's fresh output. Have at it, fellow travelers. That's what I expect.

This will be followed by a longer dive log from Michael where we meet the rest of their new room-mates. It might go at the end of this chapter or start off the next one. Leesie's poem is really long, so Michael needs equal time.



Dive Buddy: Leesie
Date:  05/09
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

            I stop in Leesie’s room on my way to pick up my bags from the airport. Claude finally sent them. I got his email last night. He’s been busy. Shorthanded. I’m not easy to replace.
            The plane they were on landed at 6 AM. The airport’s on our route to our new digs in East End, but I don’t want Leesie to have to tough it out waiting if there’s problems at customs.
            Sugar’s serving Leesie breakfast. Tea and toast. Guess her stomach’s not up to her usual fruity smoothie. Shoot. She usually let me finish it off. Tea. Yuck. She can’t even drink it. One of her rules. Freak, you can’t even get a decent can of Coke on the entire BYU campus. She said caffeinated pop is a gray area. It’s not officially part of the rule—commandment. Lots of Mormons drink it, but my Leesie was a purist.
            She starts to say something to Sugar. Stops herself. Picks up the spoon and stirs the cup.
            “Leese.” I nod to Sugar as she leaves. “Don’t drink that.”
            She takes a spoonful, sips. “Damn. It’s hot.”
            I take the spoon from her. “What are you doing?”
            “Sugar said it would settle my stomach.” Her tongue makes “bleck” motions. “How do you drink this stuff? Even with honey it’s nasty.”
            “What’s wrong with your stomach?”
            “Just a bit queasy. I’m fine.”
            I fill her in—promise I’ll be back soon. “Are you excited?”
            She plasters a fake smile on her face. “Of course.” She drops ice from her water pitcher into her tea.
            “What’s wrong?” I need her to be pumped about this.
            “Nothing.” She concentrates on stirring the cup. “Can you hold this up for me? I’m afraid I’m going to spill it.”
            “No. I told you. You’re not breaking the rules with me around.”
            “Who made you my judge?”
             “You did.” I take the cup into her bathroom and dump it down the sink.
            “I was supposed to drink that.”
            “Don’t be like this, Leesie. It freaks me out.”
            “Do you even care what freaks me out?” She’s shouting by the end of the sentence.
            “Of course I do. That’s all I care about.”
            “You and Alex,” she shouts, “that freaks me out.”
            “What?” That came out of no where. Alex?
            “Don’t send me home. I’ll be good. I won’t drink tea.”
            “Why would I send you home?”
            “You’ve got her now?”
            “That hurts, Leesie. Really hurts. How can you even begin to think that?”
            “Is she pretty?”
            “Is she stacked?”
            “She’s all muscle. You’re stacked compared to her.”
            “Doe she have long hair?”
            “I couldn’t tell you. I think it’s short. I didn’t notice.”
            “Really. Are you going to be okay now? No more crazy ideas about Alex?”
            “Why are we moving in there?”
            “Because I got a job and,”—[beat]—“I think you could use a friend.”
            “I’m sorry. I’m nervous.”
            “Eat your toast.”
            She pushes the table away. “Come here.”
            I don’t feel like it at all, but I sit on her bed and kiss her. “Better?” I whisper.
            She nods her head and kisses me again.
            “Trust me.”
            “I’m trying.”

POEM #7?, ??

The clothes I wore here are clean,
folded on a chair. Sugar coaches
me getting the bra on by
myself. I wince and she sees it.
“You missing the morphine?”
I grit my teeth and pick up my jeans.
She puts her hand on mine, gives me
a package from her and the girls.
“Too hot here for denim.”
I unwrap the gift. I’m getting
dang good with my broken hand.
Can do almost anything if I enlist
my teeth. I shimmy into a short,
soft T-shirt dress that hits me
mid-thigh. Yellow as the sunshine.
The top striped turquoise to match
the jeweled water. No zippers,
no buttons, no snaps.
I hug her and cry.
“Hush now, we’ll see you on
Wednesday to take out those
stitches. Don’t forget your
physio.” She watches me
get my sling back on by myself,
hands me a cute yellow baseball hat
to match the dress. She winks.
“Make him take you shopping.”
I lift my eyebrows. “Good idea.”

I wait in the garden, breathing
in gardenias and wondering if
his mom knows my brother yet.

Michael arrives, red-faced and muttering
about customs tearing his bags apart
hunting for drugs. “You should have
shaved.” I’m jealous that the hair
on his face is already longer than
the itchy emergent growth
that shadows my head.
“I like your hat.” He helps me to my
feet, hands me the crutch. “And the dress
is way hot.” He strokes the few inches of bare
thigh exposed between cast and hem.
His fingers send pulses up my legs.
I lift my skirt higher and will
his hand to follow. He shakes
his head, the fingers retreat.
“Let’s go.”

We drive along Seven-Mile Beach,
through the honking, packed
downtown core onto a wild
highway that hugs the coast.
All the way the water’s too turquoise
to be real. Looks painted, fake—until
a wave rolls up and crashes
into the coral coast, spurting
white spray high in the air
through funnels that amplify
the power. I want to stop and watch,
but Michael’s late. He’s working
this afternoon.

We pull into the resort parking lot.
Doesn’t look like much after Seven-Mile
swank. Rectangular buildings built
to deflect storms. Three stories.
Colored a dark echo of the water.
He grabs my bags. “Most of my
stuff is gear. I’ve got a locker down
by the dock.” He totes my duffel bags
up all three flights of stairs
and bursts in through a door at the top.
I’m dizzy and hurting by the time
I catch up.

“Hey, Leese. This is Alex.”
He disappears into a room.
An over-tanned girl
with uber-short hair
gives me a hug.
“Welcome to the hovel.”
I feel the muscles in her
arms. She wears a rash
guard over a bikini.
Her legs are solid muscle—
like a skinny weight lifter.
She lets me go.
“You’re late,” she yells
at Michael like a boss.
“Our boat leaves in fifteen minutes.”

I find Michael in my new room.
It’s dominated by a giant
king-sized bed.
Alex hollers on her way
out the door, “They’re bringing
our new beds in an hour.
Can you let the guys in?”

Alex and her last roomie shared?
That makes me kind of nervous.
What did Michael leave out?
“Is she gay?” I need to know.
What if I said the wrong thing?
Michael shakes his head. “Broken-
hearted. Her boyfriend took off.”
“One of the defectors?”
He nods. “Y says she’s been sleeping
on the floor. Can’t stand
to get back in that bed.”
“And the other girl was here, too?”
“She was with Z.”
“Poor Alex.”
“Yeah. You’ll be good for her.”
He kisses me good-bye.
“Unpack. You get half
the closet and these drawers.”
He disappears.

I must rest, regroup, recover.
I lie on the forbidden bed,
close my eyes, drift
on the pain that radiates
out from my collarbone,
dwarfing every other malady.

The buzzer ringing and a loud
hammering knock shaking the door
startle me awake.
I can’t find my crutch, hobble
fast as I can to open it.
Two guys. Two mattresses.
“Where do you want these?”
I lead them to the room.
They shift bedding off the big
mattress and pick it up.
I retreat into the kitchen
to get out of their way.

A major ripped guy comes out of
the other bedroom just wearing boxers.
“What the eff’s going on?”
I manage to squeak,
“Just moving in,” around
my surpise.
He looks at me like I’m
circus freak meat.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Leesie.” Lame. Lame, Lame.
He heads into the bathroom—
doesn’t close the door.
I decide it’s time to enjoy
the view from the balcony.

The moving guys wave
good-bye, finished fast.
I’m chicken to go
back in. I’m alone
in this apartment
with a total stranger.
But Michael knows him.
Maybe? Trusts him.
Who knows?

It would serve Michael right
if this rude guy attacks me.
He stuck me here with the creep.
I hobble back in the apartment.
No sign of the guy.
His door’s closed again.
I trip over cots, towels, blankets,
and a pulled out hide-a-bed
hurrying to make it back to my room.
Pull the door tight. Lock it.
Go in the bathroom.
Lock that door, too.
Slip my right hand free
to splash water on my
burning neck, wishing
Michael was here
to take me floating again.

I finally face my afternoon’s labors,
unzip my first duffel bag
scared of what I’ll find inside—
muddy damp refuse from
the side of the mountain.
No. The clothes are fresh laundered,
folded sloppy-sweet like a guy did it.
Jeans and sweatshirts. Useless here.
Two pairs of capris, my old swimsuit,
ugly work-out shorts, socks, panties,
a couple of embarrassing worn out
double A bras that have always been
too big. Lots of T-shirts.

As I put the T’s in the second drawer down,
I notice one that’s not mine.
Navy. Guy cut. BYU logo across the front.
I see it on Phil the day before we left.

Drop it.


Breathe fast.


I kneel down,
stare at it,
willing it to move.

It doesn’t


  1. At that it's a cliffhanger who leaves the reader ;O /haha/.

  2. So you think I should end the chapter here? I agree. It certainly needs a page turn before Michael rescues her again.

  3. I think the chapter is perfect how it end, is like the reader (AKA Me) is craving for MORE /haha/.

  4. Yes, definately a page turner ending! It may be just the thing to get Michael focused on helping Leesie to heal!

    I must admit that I was begining to get a little worried. Between Leesie needing to physically, emotionally & spiritually heal from the accident, and now her insecurities with Alex (although completely understandable considering all that's happened), I was afraid that there would be too many things tearing them apart rather than bringing them together.

    On Michael's side, although I do see he loves her, it seems as though he's just going through the motions. (I know I'm not explaining myself well.) He's caring for & providing for Leesie but he's so excited about being able to dive again that it sort of seems like Leesie is just "tagging along". It almost feels like they're begining to loose their "connection", especially with some of the small comments he's made.

    Dont' get me wrong, I love this story! I just really want things to work out for the two of them! They're a great couple! They just have a lot of hurdles to face! Hopefully, they realize they can't do it alone. However, I know this book will come through wonderfully! I just need to be patient! :)

    Thank you for providing your readers a chance to read along with you as you write.

  5. Wow, that is incredible! I absolutely love this chapter! Just brilliant! So good to see Leesie freaking out, if you know what I mean. I can't believe both Michael and Alex rushed off without introducing her to to that guy, even if they were late. So rude! Can't wait to see what happens next, lol.

  6. I think I understand what “Anonymous” try to say; In Unbroken Connection Michael and Leesie connection was so deep and strong and here they are practically in the middle of a storm because of the situation and the repercussions. I’m craving for special moments between them, like the small things that make life so wonderful. I’m ready to see Leesie healing process but not the physical one the spiritual one that is the one who I care the most because we already now that her wounds are healing. About Michael I think for his age, the way he used to think he is doing a great job. Like he mentioned in Unbroken Connection it’s not a easy task to take care of Leesie because is not only her body what is broken but what is worse is that he is dealing with a girl that her word turn down and she feels that her soul is been broken in pieces.

  7. Ohh, also, can I ask, why aren't Mormons a fan of caffeine? I hadn't heard of that before. Just curious :)

  8. Jo:

    I'm not 100 % sure but I think is because of The revelation, called the Word of Wisdom.

  9. Michelle's right. The Word of Wisdom is the "rule" or revelation that Joseph Smith received way back in the 1800s that gave the Latter Day Saints a dietary/health law. It involves not drinking alcohol, using tobacco, and not drinking "hot drinks." It also talks about healthy eating--consuming grains and herbs and using meat sparingly.

    Hot drinks have been defined by church leaders as coffee and tea. Herb tea, cocoa, and grain drinks like Postum are fine. When I was growing up, drinking a can of Coke was a big no no. But that was more cultural than official. The Brethren came out with a statement saying caffeinated drinks probably aren't good for you, but they aren't officially part of the Word of Wisdom. I don't drink them, but I know a lot of good Mormons who do. It's a personal thing. The use of meat is like that, too. Illegal drugs and misusing prescription drugs is an important thing we teach kids today when we talk about the Word of Wisdom.

    After being at BYU a few weeks, Michael would know this. He's clueless about Leesie's dress code and other issues. Leesie's purposely trying to break the rules. And he wants to stop her--even if it's just a cup of tea.

  10. Wow, that is so fascinating! I so love that I'm learning as well as being entertained by reading your novels. I find the Mormon faith so interesting!

    Perhaps it would be quite a bit to add in, but would it be worth having some sort of explanation about Leesie not drinking tea included, possibly? Just for other readers who are unaware, like me, perhaps? Just a suggestion! :)

  11. I think that's a good idea. If it comes from Michael, I can keep it short and not preachy.

  12. I agree with Michelle completly. I am also craving for special moments between Michael and Leesie, and am also ready for her to start healing spiritually as well. I feel like they are starting to lose their connection a little too. NO! :) We need Michael to start feeling something the little things, "tiny" things, he was feeling at the end of Unbroken Connection. And also at the begining of this book, when something stopped him from going into her room that night...

  13. I sat down to type up the juicy dive log I wrote for Michael today and saw your post, Chaleese. I think you'll like where it goes.

  14. "I wait in the garden, breathing
    in gardenias and wondering if
    his mom knows my brother yet." -- This hit home. And everything else about this post leaves me breathless.

  15. I think you are right on track actually. They have old and new hurdles, but they are still together. That is the big thing for me. She is rebelling but God has already tried to speak peace to her heart.
    I have seen glimpses of their special moments, but you can't just make everything simple for them. That is writer's rule number 1, right? :D

    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!