7-7-7 Game!

Yeah! Playing the 7-7-7 game, where you go to p. 7 or 77 of your current manuscript, count down 7 lines, then copy the next 7 to your status. Here are my 7 lines from
p. 77 of “The Baby Symphony,” and coincidentally, one of my favorite scenes! Yay!     “Emilia, I’ll buy Bibi another door, but don’t make me break this one down.”
     I believe him. “I’d rather not take it to that level.” I say, acknowledging that I hear him. On quavering legs I force my weight over to the door and grasp the lock with sweaty fingertips. I am almost hit by the door as Devin bursts in and scoops me up in his arms.
… His smell makes me delirious as I am so desperate for it.
“I love you,” he whispers, pressing his face into me.
“But I don’t deserve it. I’m so sorry, Devin.” I bite my lower lip.

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When a Burden Comes a’ Calling

When a Burden Comes a’ Calling

     I sit here tonight very pensive under my covers with my laptop at my knees. I interviewed another friend tonight for my WIP, “The Baby Symphony.” I had not had the privilege of hearing her amazing story until tonight. I am 50,000 words into my manuscript and feel the overpowering sense that this book has so much more to say. Her journey to have a baby was one paved in tears, sadness, lost faith, and hopelessness, until one day… her life would finally be complete. I sat there at her cousin’s 7th birthday party, activity buzzing all around us, but I was immune to it. I was utterly fixated on her words, her eyes, her story. I watched her two young daughters zipping around the pizza place, and I was completely enamored. I will spend the rest of the night and probably into the morning with my WIP, with a deep burden, to do justice to these precious women’s stories, their very fingerprints in every part of this writing journey.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

 

     Much thanks to Kay Rogal for tagging me to be a part of this blog hop! How it works: An author answers a set of questions about their current work-in-progress and posts it on their blog along with the names and links to the blogs of 4-5 authors they’re tagging. Then, the following Wednesday, those authors post their answers to the questions along with the 4-5 authors they are tagging and so on.

Here is my latest work in progress: “The Baby Symphony” and a little about the prequel, “The Marriage Symphony”…

 

What is the working title of your next book?

“The Baby Symphony” and “The Marriage Symphony”

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I have many people who I deeply care about who have struggled with conceiving or carrying children. My heart would ache for them. I couldn’t even begin to imagine feeling their pain. All I could relate it to was the fact that I had my babies, but the idea of ever not having them could kill me. As a writer, I wondered how I could convey their stories. With these friends’ permission, I began to interview them and began writing a love story about a couple who fought for their marriage amid the devastation of losing their beloved children to miscarriages.  

 

What genres does your book fall under?

Contemporary Romance – Marriage-Pregnancy

 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Eeeks! When I write this book, I always have Ryan Gosling as the lawyer hottie husband and my all-time favorite romance gal, Rachel McAdams as Emilia. I just can’t seem to get past those two together in “The Notebook.” They were just amazing together and it would be a dream come true, beyond bucket list, to see these two together in my story…!!!  *Wipes away a tear*

 

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

With labored pasts, finally married Emilia and Devin are ready to start a family, but when their dream of having a baby fails them, can they hold strong after everything else they’ve been through?

 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Still unsure!!

 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
3 months

 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

 

I love Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks so I’d love to say they inspire my writing.

 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 

My friends’ stories of struggle as well as all-healing love.

 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

 

Devin is a lawyer, Emilia a violinist in the symphony. Her love of music is integrated into the piece. Emilia befriends her pregnant teenage neighbor and takes her under her wing. Emilia has no one but Devin and he has no one but her, and they become a family with this girl and her widowed mother. It’s a beautiful story of friendships and family and learning to be happy even on a hard road of misfortune. Oh! And there’s a Christmas surprise! Oh! Did I mention there’s also a newly written prequel: “The Marriage Symphony?” Looking forward to 2013!

* * *

Here are the fabulous authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!

 

Angela Scavone http://angelascavone.com/

Tmonique Stephens http://tmoniquestephens.com/

Aliza Mann http://alizamannauthor.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

The Baby Symphony: The Moments that Change Us

     People have moments that impact their lives every single day. Whether it’s a feeling of happiness, of feeling blessed, of paying that last car payment, getting that A on your final, getting that “YES!” from a publisher or agent. But these moments aren’t always so beautiful. We’ve witnessed the passing of those we love, maybe we’ve held someone’s hand as their diagnosis was given to them, maybe we’ve helped a friend through divorce. These moments, the good and the bad, change us, they dwell in us. They’re inescapable, and they’re real.

 

     I’ve had plenty of these moments myself, of course, moments that have driven me into new direction in life, some wonderful, some deeply sad. With permission, I’d like to share with you today, a glimpse of a journey of a dear friend of mine. I won’t name her, but I have her blessing. We’ll all her “Angel,” because that’s what I feel she is. I had the sad experience of being with her one day on a moment of impact.

 

     My friend, Angel, has struggled with becoming pregnant. And once she’s pregnant, she struggles against her body, to keep that baby inside of her. Her body dispels the very thing it wants, it needs, the very thing her heart sings out for. This has happened each and every time. And while for most of the time, I see her after and hold her hand and support her through it, there was a time when I was with her when her baby left us.

 

     Being there for her moment of heartache will stay with me always. Though she’s not yet a mother with children she can physically present to the world, she is a mother. I have watched her grieve over her lost children. I watched her grieve that day as well. And sadly, she is not alone. There are so many beautiful women out there who have experienced this loss, this difficulty.

 

     My latest book, “The Baby Symphony,” is a look into the life of Emilia Hyatt, a woman begging to become a mother, but finds a tragedy each time. But slowly, ever so slowly, with her husband by her side, she finds healing, hope, and even a renewed love for him and the many other blessings her life.

 

     While Emilia is not real, her character carries my heart for every woman out there who faces this. Some I know, and many I don’t know, but because of my sweet friend, my heart knows you, and I honor you all with this book. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are loved. Thank you to all the kind women who have shared their stories with me. Emilia is a piece of each of you.

 

Excerpt:

 

“Some say that hope is a seed that can only flourish if watered with faith.”

 – Author Unknown

 

     The darkness of our bedroom swallows us. There is no sun today. Appropriately hidden away, withholding its brightness, its joy, we’re left to the merciless clouds that hide it away. The rain taps at our window as if asking permission to come in. Perhaps it wants to wash away our sorrow, but I don’t think so.

     Shoes left unworn litter the entrance to our closet and our blankets are disheveled from days of lingering in this bed. I’m no longer subdued by loss of blood and medication, and I’m fully aware of the tragic circumstance that brings Devin and me back to this place, to this darkness, where we shut out the world and grieve. My eyes sting from the endless tears and the inability to close. The red veins in the whites are swollen grooves, like ridges of mountains. I sigh. This is Gymnopedie. Specifically, Gymnopedie No. 1. The fluidity of the harp, the beautiful moan and whine of the strings in their upper register, the answering winds. It’s all I can think of playing in my head in harmony with the crackle of the rain on our patio pavement and putter tapping at our window. The weeping strings cry with me and for me when I can’t find a tear left. And then like the rain outside, the tears renew with no present end. I feel Devin’s foot rub against my calf. A sign of life. He reaches out to spoon me closer to him. When his hand finds my wrist, he stops abruptly. I feel him peel away from me and hear him shuffling in the nightstand drawer. In seconds, I feel a steady hand carefully inserting cool metal. With a flick, my hospital bracelet falls to the floor. He puts his blade back in his nightstand drawer and cradles me to him.

     I was carrying twins but only for a brief time. Once the first one left, the other, I’m sure, took it as a sign that my womb was no good.  Not for one baby, much less two. They must’ve been our kids. Smart like Devin. In and out of sleep, new nightmares visit me. I am cradling, nursing, dressing, bathing, loving two whole babies. The pleasure is painful. So painful, that even in sleep, I expect to wake and find a sword stuck firmly through my heart.

     After Devin and I escaped the prison of the darkened confines of grief in our bedroom, I decided to begin sleeping on the tan sectional in our den. Tonight marks the third night. I tell Devin it’s because it’s easier to get in and out of with the pain and all.  The time displayed as glowing green numbers on the cable box toy with me. I’m wide awake, and the numbers have hardly changed for the last hour that I’ve watched. I sit up for a moment, debating, fighting the pull of my sanctuary in our bedroom. Devin.

     My confounded husband, leaving me to grieve, wonders what he did wrong. He questions me with those blue eyes. They beg me for answers. Silent tears blame me, I’m sure. He did nothing wrong. He’s done nothing but right since the moment he saved my life. It feels like so long ago. I devour the memory, hoping a ray of happiness can block out the gloom that seems permanently permeating on me.

     It’s the fifth-day anniversary, down to the hour, that I lost our children. The white shutters, blue in the moonlight are open and I can see the stars. I feel like they are visiting me, my precious ones that have listened to my wishes for so long. I’d pluck them out of the sky, one at a time if I could. It would give me some happy activity here again in this witching hour that haunts me. I’d wish for a baby. Again. And not a dead one, either.  I don’t even need two, just one will do.

      I hear soft unsure footsteps. They stop at the mouth of the den. One of our dining chairs creaks. I debate playing possum, sleeping through his visit. But I can’t. Even with my eyes closed I can see his sorrowful face, just like on that poisonous night. Before I can stay myself, the rebellious word escapes.  “Devin.” I’m surprised by my own voice. It’s a stranger, disobedient. I think it’s my heart calling out to him, the one thing that is truly and rightfully his. He fought for it, after all, and he won, winning over the trust and love of a then wounded and hesitant young girl a decade ago.

     He is quickly standing over me, looming, lost. He eagerly accepts the hands I reach out to him, bringing him to sit by me. Our fingers intertwine, just like they used to. It was their dance. The silence is deafening, awkward, but there isn’t much to say.

 

 

 

 

How I Write from a Perspective I Know Nothing About

         How do you write from a perspective you don’t know? Well obviously, my first response would be to research compulsively, and of course, talk to people close to the experience you’re after. But when that’s all said and done, what is it that actually carries you over the finish line? I say it’s your very own experience.

     “But I thought this blog was about how to write when you’re in the position of not knowing the perspective you are writing from.”

     Well, my friend, you find a way to relate it!

     When I began writing The Baby Symphony, an array of emotions swept through me: The joy of motherhood, how it felt learning I was pregnant, hearing my son’s heartbeat, holding him in my arms for the first time, hearing his cry… But then another emotion crept into the picture… guilt. How could I represent a character struggling through miscarriages and tears of failed motherhood when I was so joyous? How could I do her justice? How could I get the very emotion I sought after down on paper?

     While I was already blessed to be a stepmother, when my husband and I decided we wanted to have an “ours” baby, I stopped taking my birth control pills instantly. Month one… negative… month two… negative. Month three… POSITIVE! And with that second little line that appeared, my life changed! And while I cried and kicked a can around or sat in a corner with my arms folded and a scowl on my face everytime I got a negative, I only briefly empathized with the woman in my shoes who had probably faced several months or even years of heartbreak after failing to become pregnant or to carry her children full-term.

     When I realized how quickly, in fact, that I did get pregnant, well, that’s where the guilt came in. Again I asked, how could I write from the perspective of a grieving woman, when I was blessed not only with my first child, but two years later twins and getting the opportunity to already be a stepmom to boot?

      Well, that’s when the power of my motherhood emotion came in. I imagined my life without these beautiful children, these children who are the very reason I wake up and live each day. While the happiness of being a mother is so immense that words (as much as I love them), would never do justice, only the thought of not being a mother to my children was equally great, the pain of even imagining it so unfathomable.

     When I grasped this unspeakable feeling, I ran with it. I poured the strength of these very emotions into giving birth to another soul. Her name is Emilia.

     While I only started to look for a home for my current manuscript, I hope to share Emilia’s journey with you very soon. She is beautiful, loving, kind, and strong. And while she is a character who came from my mind, she actually came from my very heart. When my manuscript was complete, I was sad to say good-bye to her, but the lessons she taught me are unforgettable. It’s no wonder why I had to give her a happy-ending.

     I dedicate this book to those I love dearly, to those whose friendships I hold sacred, you beautiful women, who are dealing with this very struggle. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. Thank you for opening your heart to me. Your trials have devastated me, and your triumphs have overjoyed me.

     That said, here is a glimpse of my new book, The Baby Symphony. I hope you enjoy it! I’d love to hear your feedback!

 

     If the miscarriages don’t kill Emilia Hyatt, a broken-heart will… but through her trials in family planning with her soul mate, she’ll learn that life can be bliss, even when your hopes and dreams miss the mark.

     Once upon a Christmas with a baby growing inside of her and her hot lawyer husband, Devin, by her side, Emilia, a successful musician, felt that everything in life was attainable and anything was possible.

     A simple girl who habitually tags classical symphony pieces to the strongest of her life moments, Emilia loves a cold Dr. Pepper, her violin, and especially her husband. And while she suffered at the hands of her own mother, she now finds herself ready to become one, but she’s forced to watch her dreams grow further and further from her grasp with three miscarriages only a few years apart.

     The bitter loss that continues to test the strength of her marriage, and friendships forged with the unlikeliest of characters, all take Emilia’s life into a direction that might just be exactly where she needs to go.

     My character-driven story, The Baby Symphony, is a realistic and sensual contemporary romance taking us into the life of Emilia Hyatt, as she journeys through great loss, grief, surprising friendships, and the saving power of love, as she fumbles through the intensity of emotions in trying to start a family.