Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy NaNoWiMo Day!

I made it! I made it! What a day. I hope everyone had a great Halloween Weekend. And I want to send positive vibes out there to all those National Novel Writing Month scribblers. I'd love to be trying that out this year, but alas, CAYMAN SUMMER calls. Maybe I'll join the fray next November. There's something empowering about cranking out a novel along with thousands and thousands of fellow scribblers. I think it would be hard to write 50K without revising. My rough drafts are so skin and bone. If I wrote 50K like that, the final novel would end up 80 or 90,000 words.

Here's more skin and bone for you to chew on. This is kind of half-revised. The first half is okay, but the last half needs more than just dialogue. You'll get a feel for where I'm going, though.

We're going to meet a new character tomorrow. Today Michael tells Leesie about her. So far she's just named X. Start thinking about names for her, okay? I always need help with names. I keep a list of suggestions teens give me when I visit their schools. You'll be able to get a better feel for her when we actually get to see her tomorrow. I learned a lot more about her today when I was writing that--so I'll have to share that with you tomorrow. And then we'll have a naming party. Six hunky dive guides need names, too. Any suggestions?

Oh, and before I go, I've got a cool contest to tell you about. Linda Weaver Clarke hosted me for an interview on her blog today. This week she's running a contest to give away a signed hard-cover copy of SING ME TO SLEEP! I know you want it! And if you've already read it, just think of what a great Christmas present it would be. The contest is open to residents of US and Canada and runs from today to November 8th. Please, tell your friends, too.


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

            “Hey, babe.” I close the door to her room and take up my station standing beside her bed. “Ba-abe. I’m back.” She made me go diving. Saturday, too. She knows I’m dying to get out there in the sun and saltwater—knows I wouldn’t leave her for a second unless she insisted. I feel guilty about that first trip I took. Guilty for diving the North Coast on Saturday. But, today, I don’t feel guilty at all.
            Leesie’s been docile—sleeps a lot in the day. Nights are hell. But in the day she makes me go to my hotel to get some decent sleep. Then Saturday she started in on diving. “You need to get out of here. I don’t want you to get sick of me.”
            At first I was hurt she thought I could ever get sick of her. But I didn’t resist long. I mean—it’s diving. Sorry. Hate me. I probably deserve it.
            She seemed happier Saturday when I got back. Slept better that night. Sunday I freaked her out by asking if she’d like me to try to find her a Mormon church to go to. Sugar said she could leave for a couple hours—no problem.  Leesie wouldn’t talk to me the whole rest of the day. Had nightmares again that night. At least that’s what Sugar told me. Leesie wouldn’t let me stay.
            So when she was docile and sweet again on Monday, I wasn’t going to argue when she brought up me going diving.
            “I’ll take you over to the beach again when I get back.” I plastered a grin on my face.
            She didn’t smile back. That rarely happens. Her face just looked less sad for a moment. “I’d love that.”
            I left her sleeping soundly, and when I phoned from my hotel early the next morning, Sugar said she stayed that way all night. I didn’t feel too bad hopping into the burnt orange RAV4 I rented last Friday and practiced driving on the left-hand side of the road like they do here in Cayman all the way around to the East End.
            And now, zero guilt. I’m glad I went.
“Leese.” I press my lips on her forehead. Her scalp is stubbly—like kissing sandpaper, so I don’t do that today.
Her eyes open. “Hey.” She purses her lips together until I kiss them. “Scratch my head, okay?” She closes her eyes.
I don’t know if it really itches—she’s still pretty numbed up. If she’s drugged enough not to feel her broken collarbone or her ribs smart when she inhales deeply, would she be able to feel an itchy head? I think she just likes me touching it. I scratch her head, lightly. She presses into my fingers.
I avoid the gash. She’s supposed to get the stitches out tomorrow. “I have news.”
Here eyes tighten—ready for a blow. “Did you talk to Stan? Are they going to charge me with vehicular manslaughter? Reckless endangerment?”
I move from scratching to rubbing her head. It feels freaky, but I keep stroking it. “Bad guess. Relax. It’s good news. Us news.”
Her eyes open wide. “We’re going to get married this afternoon instead of going to the beach?”
“Better guess.” I laugh. She never gives up. “But not that good.”
She doesn’t respond.
I draw my hand away from her head and sit down on her bed. “I found a job, and it comes with a place to stay.”
Her face falls. “How far away will you be?”
“The room next door.”
“No, babe. I got a job with our—my—favorite dive guys out at the East End. Two of their dive masters just took off. They are way shorthanded and can get an emergency work VISA pushed through for me. They are a great bunch of guys. You’re going to love them.”
“How far away from here is it?”
“Don’t worry. I’ll drive you back down for physio and check-ups.”
“Where am I going?”
“They are going to try switching you to less industrial-strength pain meds on Thursday. If that goes well, you don’t have to stay here anymore.”
“It will go well.”
“How do you feel about leaving?”
“You’ve got a place for the two of us?”
“Yeah. Well—not just us. There’s not a lot of decent apartments near the resort, and the place isn’t exactly booked up these days, so they rent out one of their condos to all the foreign dive masters and instructors. There’s like eight of them crammed into one two-bedroom condo. Or there was. And there will be again when we move in.”
“I’m moving in with seven guys?”
“No. X needs a roommate.”
“Who is X?”
“The girl running things on the boat today.”
“Not another old girlfriend.”
“Nope. She’s new here. She’s cool. She told me about the job—set the whole thing up for us.”
“I bet she did.” Her face clouds over.
I thought we were beyond jealousy by now. I pick up her broken hand in it’s shiny pink cast. “I talked about you—my fiancĂ©—the whole freaking time.”
A rare smile appears on her face long enough for me to kiss it. “You, my coddled princess, get to share the master ensuite with X, and I’m stuck on a cot in the living room with three other guys.”
“So I’m just moving in with six guys?”
“They are cool, Leese. I met them today.”
“My mom would—” She stops, blinks her eyes to keep back tears that threaten. “Okay.” Her voice wavers but her eyes stay strong on mine. “If that’s what you want to do.”
“I know it’s not ideal—kind of a zoo.”
“It’ll be fun.”
“X is great. She’s got advanced rescue and some EMT training. She said she’d be happy to help you if you need it.”
“I should be able to take care of myself.”
“Cool.” I seal the deal with a kiss on her forehead.
She pulls her eyebrows down, accusing. “Aren’t we going to the beach?”


  1. LOVE. IT. That is all. But.. IS Michael getting tired of her, though? Or is saltwater therapy just that awesome that he feels 0 guilt? OHH this is all so exciting!
    Um, names.. For X, I'm totally going out on a limb here since we kinda don't know very much about her, how does Leah sound? Leah sounding similar to Leesie. Or Thea as a polar opposite to Leesie. Or random names like Alexandra "Alex," like one of the guys or Mina or Jane if she's seemingly plain/simplistic on the surface, but is far different from that, really, or Jenna as a friendly, day to day name, or Kiesha as a kina exotic name..? I doubt my brainstorming helped, but I had fun! :P

    And yess I LOVE this assignment! Hot guy names hrm. Well, since we have one archangel, Michael, how about the other one? - Gabriel. We also have totally generic, monosyllabic hot-guy names like Jake, Luke and Matt. For a more brooding instructor, Adrian could work. For a fun, simple minded instructor, Cam could work. For a serious, mature one, Nathaniel (not Nate) could work. For the super competitive instructor, Scott oculd work. For the sweet, nice instructor, Brock could work. And for the baaad one, Lucifer, just to round off the archangels bit. Lol, I'm kidding. Maybe Marco could work for him.
    I realize I got carried away with this. :D This probably didn't help, but I hope it made you laugh!

  2. Nice names!! :)

    I don't know if these are quite what you're looking for in the name of X, personality-wise, but these are my recommendations, for whatever they're worth.

    X name, my recommendation, is Kristen, Margie, Kayla, Brooke, Paige, Ava, Isabella, Stella

    For the guys, I recommend: Josh, Daniel, Ethan, Jake, Sean, Cooper, Cole, Jeremiah, Xavier

  3. I love reading this everyday! Here are some names I've been thinking of...:)

    Names for X, Bree, Lexi, Dani, Brenna.

    Names for the hot guys, Lucas, Tristen, Cam, Ashton, Kai, Parker.

  4. YAY! Great names. I'm trying out Alex today. She's kind of wiry, muscled, one of the guys. Has to haul scuba tanks around al lthe time.

    And all these great guy names. It'll be tough to choose just five. I lied. Michael's name six and he's already got a name. Oh, but then there's the two guides that took off. A guy and a girl. I'll have to use some of these for them, too.

  5. I'm a little late and catching up. I'm liking the development, and the leap in time! I'm loving all the names, so I won't suggest any more. Time to read the next post...

  6. I'm a little late too, but for guys names i love Derek, Alec, Seth, Jeremy, Griff, Jared, Gage, Dune and Finn. For girls names I like Lara, Rhae, Schuyler, Lyra, Kota, Lena, Mina, Chiara, Maia, Pipper, Spencer, Kyrie and Quinn......WOW I think I got a litte carried away too!

    Angela your story is coming along beautifully. I absolutely love that you are including us in your writing process, you are truely an inspiration for aspiring writers. Also, I love the way Leesie and Michael have flipped roles. Brilliant!
    I was also wondering what compelled you to write the book using poems, chatspot, and dive logs only? It's unlike anything I've ever read and I love it!

  7. YAY, more names! Get carried away all you want.

    You can read all about how I arrived at STORM's format in STORM'S STORY on my website.

    Here's the link to the exact post that discusses it.

    If you want the whole drawn out tale of TAKEN BY STORM's birth, start here and read all the posts.

  8. Haha, reading with the X was funny, but things are heating up. I like this change.
    And I'm guessing you already have a name, so I'm not gonna suggest one. Moving on to the next chapter...

  9. I like Jeremy, Allan, Derek, Lucas, Cam.