Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I think this finishes Chapter 10!

Here's Michael's dive log. Thanks for the great response to the contest. I've always been really bad at selling stuff so that part of being an author is hard for me, but I'm wonderful at giving things away. Just think of the prizes as editorial pay. You've all been a fantastic PR team. And you're turning into a top-notch editorial board.

I woke up at 5 AM with a conversation that takes place in a scene way later in the book playing in my head. I didn't want to lose that so I scribbled that instead of this next scene. No way can I post that. Massive spoiler. But I think I'll scan those rough drafts because its one of the scenes that comes out on the page all talking. That's not so bad when it's going to be from Michael's POV. But this has to come from Leesie. That means I've got to make five rough pages of dialogue into a poem. Aargh. That all can wait it's turn now that I've pinned it down on paper so it doesn't get lost.

I think trying to make long scenes into poetry is the hardest part about writing in the collage format. I'm not sure if I'll ever do it again. It was such a rush to write SING ME TO SLEEP all from Beth's viewpoint. All my other works in progress are single viewpoint. I think that's the strongest, most intense way to tell a story. But it wouldn't work for Michael and Leesie. Maybe I'll discover another couple like them who both demand to be heard. Actually, I kind of hope I do.

So I'm late with this next scene. Michael's reaction ended up different from what we discussed. He always surprises me.


Dive Buddy:           
Date:  05/10
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

            After our dive Sunday morning, I’m the last one up to the apartment. Even Leesie goes up ahead when I get stuck filling some Nitrox orders. When I et up there, it’s a pretty cozy scene. Leesie made mac and cheese for everybody.
            The guys—even snooty Gabriel—are wolfing it back.
            “How did you make this?” Alex scoops up a giant spoonful of golden yellow macaroni. “We were out of milk.” She shoves the spoon in her mouth and closes her eyes like the stuff is ambrosia.
            Leesie scoops more mac and cheese out of the pot in a new bowl. “I found some margarine behind that giant bottle of ketchup. I just used that. My grandma always made it with just butter. That’s even better.”
            Cooper’s face lights up. “Ketchup. That’s just what it needs.”
            Alex laughs. “Now you know who owns the ketchup.”
            “Did you hogs save any for the guy doing all your work?”
            Leesie hands me the steaming bowl she just dished. “Of course.”
            “Thanks, babe.” All the chairs are full, so I boost myself onto the counter closest to Leesie. “What did you do with yourself this morning?”
            She holds up pruned fingers. Her cast is soggy around the edges. “The dishes.”
            I swallow my first mouthful of buttery mac. “That took all morning?”
            She looks around at the gleaming kitchen. “Did you see the place when you left?”
            I take another bite so I don’t have to answer.
            “I need to get some rubber gloves.” She shakes water out of her cast. “Especially,” she talks loud enough for all the guys to hear, “before I tackle that bathroom. What did you guys do in there?”
            Ethan points to Brock across the table. “He’s got lousy aim.”
            “No way, brother. That’s you.”
            Cooper raises his hand. “I plead the fifth.”
            Seth looks up from his bowl. “You’re not an American. You can’t plead the fifth.” I was on the boat with him today. He was all right. Not fun like the Commonwealth trio, but he knows his stuff.
            Gabriel looks down is long, straight nose, his nostrils flair. “Disgusting.” He flashes his full-on play-boy pearly whites at Leesie. “You should not go near that room. I don’t.”
            “That’s right, eh.” Cooper squirts more ketchup in his bowl. “He showers in the buff down on the dock.”
            Leesie dishes herself a small bowl of mac and hobbles over to the table.
Alex scoots over so she can share her chair. “Don’t clean it for them.” She sticks her tongue out at all her male roomies. “They don’t deserve it.”
Leesie perches on the edge of Alex’s chair. “But it reeks.” She sets her bowl down.
“Keep the door closed.” She scrapes the last of the cheese sauce from her bowl.
Brock pushes himself back from the table. “No way we’d suffocate.”
“Here’s the deal.” Leesie puts down her spoon and glances around the table, gathering all their attention. “I’ll clean it if you’ll close the door when you’re using it.”
Ethan laughs and looks toward me. “Ye’ve seen a wee more manliness than you’re used to, have you?”
“Just close the damn door, okay?” I slide off the counter and cross to the table. “She doesn’t want to hear you guys on the john.”
Ethan backs off, still laughing.  
Leesie catches my eye. Calm down. It’s cool.
Yeah, right, babe.
She gets up to clear the dirty bowls. Cooper and Brock rush to help. She flashes her smile. My smile. At them. “So the big question is—what’s for dinner?”
Brock takes a dirty bowl from her. “We usually go out.”
Alex stares into her empty bowl. “But there’s no place close.” She picks the bowl up and licks it clean.
“I can cook if there’s food.” Leesie gazes out the window to the water that most of us will be diving in again soon. “It gives me something to do until I get this crap off me.” She stares down at her blue cast boots.
Alex hugs her. She’s big on hugs. “Bonus. I’ve got the afternoon off. Let’s drive down to Georgetown and get groceries.”
“It’s Sunday.” She actually says it. Good sign.
Alex shrugs. “The big stores are open at least until 4:00.”
Leesie stares right at me. “Okay.”
“I don’t think so.” I glare back at her and she gets the message. No tea. No shopping on Sunday. I’m not that dumb, babe. “Better wait until tomorrow. The doctors said to take it easy.”
She can’t argue that in front of everybody. I don’t give her a chance. “Alex, I’ll take your afternoon dives tomorrow so you can go out together.”
Alex smiles and says, “Deal.”
Leesie won’t talk to me. I don’t care if she’s mad.
Everybody clears out. Alex walks down to the corner store with a shopping list for tonight.
I don’t have to dive. Sunday’s are slower. Tomorrow I was on for morning and night. Now I’ve got afternoon. Better go nitrox all day. Wouldn’t want to end up bent just when I’m starting a new job.
I sit down on my cot and pick up the laptop. It’s warm from being left on all day. “This is nice. Just us.”
Leesie’s sulking over by the sink. “Can you help with the dishes?”
“Just a second.” I need to check my email. I might have a note from Stan. He promised to let me know if the police are going to lay charges. I flip open the top. The screen dilates on to a ChatSpot wall.
And a post from Jaron is front and center. I should have thought of that. Told her friends about the accident. I glance up at Leesie. She would have killed me. I read the post again.
Come home. I love you.
The guy’s got some nerve posting that. I scroll up through all the posts on her wall. They all say it. Every post makes me feel worse and worse for taking her away. I didn’t steal her. I’m not the bad guy. My fingers are on the keys typing.
Leesie bangs a pot down on the counter. “Are you going to help or what?”
I nix the post, nix the site, jump to clear the rest of the table. “I’ll wash.”
“You bet you will.”
I take the dish cloth from her and reach into the hot sudsy water, pick up a bowl, scrub it and scrub it until she takes the bowl from me. She knows something up. I don’t look at her, keep my eyes on the sink.
She saw that wall. She read those posts. Especially the one from Jaron. Does she regret choosing me? Look where we’ve ended up. This isn’t the greatest. I can’t believe she opened up ChatSpot. I guess she has to when she talks to Kim. I should ask her. Maybe she wants to go home. I saw your wall, babe. Do you want to talk about it? That’s it. All I have to say. I saw your wall. I don’t want to push her. Upset her. Right. Truth is. I don’t want to take her home. I don’t want to lose standing beside her scrubbing dirty bowls.
I had her a overly clean one. “We’ve got all afternoon. Do you want to do something.”
She shifts from one sprained ankle to the other. “I’m kind of tired.”
“How about a drive down to the blow holes?”
“Where you wouldn’t stop yesterday?”
“We can sit in the sun and watch the waves crash into them.”
“Sounds pretty lazy.”
“Yeah. I could use a break, too. And we need to get out of here.”
Her eyes drift to the bedroom. “Not really.”
“Are you kidding?” I throw the dishcloth in the sink. “This place really does reek.”
She dries off the last bowl and snaps the dish towel in my face. “Good thing I’m an expert at cleaning up after pigs.”



  1. I love reading male POVs, but I can't even begin to fathom writing from a male perspective. It's amazing when female authors pull off strong male character voices, and Michael is totally alive to me. Great job! Hopefully one day I can pull off writing from a male POV, too :)

  2. Wow, he's not mad, he's feeling guilty and a little selfish! Oooh, I love him! Even better than the big explosion I was thinking would come later on. I love it!

    (Just so you know - I commented on Leesie's Wall before reading this, which is hwy comments differ, lol.)

  3. omg it just gets better and better! can't wait to read the rest =)

  4. Yay for Michael for keeping Leesie on the right track! His reaction at feeling selfish for not wanting to take Leesie home doesn't surprise me -- in fact, I was kind of surprised earlier in the book when he talked to her dad and said how he begged her every day to let him take her home. This is more how I picture him -- wanting to savor the time away with her and being in no big hurry to take her home.

  5. Michael has changed so much to me...I love it. He's feeling guilty and selfish, but also upset that people thought he was the reason she was gone...but he still doesn't want to take her home. I love him.

    I really loved when Leesie said she can't go shopping on Sunday. And Michael's reaction to it was great. She is still in there somewhere...

  6. Yeah. He knows that taking her home is the RIGHT thing to do. He feels responsible to her parents. He may still explode over Jaron. If I can get Leesie to push him enough. (And you know I can!)

  7. Ooh I'd look forward to Leesie pushing Michael far enough about Jaron. Very much. There's just something wonderful about a jealous Michael. :D
    I like this reaction better than the other 2 options for sure. What a perfect choice! And it even makes so much sense. Michael's become so selfless regarding Leesie that it seems so natural that he'd feel guilty over hiding her away, even if it is at her request. But he still revels in the time he has with her. Beautiful. And I agree with Gayle! Nothing's ever been simple for these two.
    And could someone help me jog my memory? I vaguely remember something about Sundays but have forgotten the details. Why can't Leesie go shopping on a Sunday again?

  8. Sana, Good question. Mormons consider Sunday the holy day of the week and set it aside for worship, rest, service, family, and quieter activities. It's our Sabbath. Most Mormons feel shopping, going to movies, working, and participating in sporting events and things like that profane the Sabbath day. Michael knows that from when he stayed in Provo in UNBROKEN CONNECTION. Leesie went to church and he shopped.

  9. I have a question, Angela: Where can I find Michael? I want him. And I love him more and more with every book. He is perhaps the best male example of character development I've read in a long time.
    Really like how this scene works out, how Leesie's trying to engage herself doing little things..love the diver dudes.

  10. I like that he feels guilty and NOT mad at seeing the wall. I also like that he wants to keep her to himself for now no matter how guilty. They have tried the self sacrificing for the other and it only made the other and themselves miserable.