72,275 Words: A Still, Small Voice, the Last Chapter Written

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DThursday morning I wrote the final chapter of A Still, Small Voice, the second Phil Brennan novel.

In one way, it didn’t end as I expected. The people in the room surprised me.

What Phil does, though: I’d seen that coming for a while.

In a few weeks, you’ll see it, too.

Death-Defying Heart-Stopping Leap of Faith. With Blood.

After I thought this post all the way through by explaining it to Best Beloved I discovered that the scene I was thinking of doesn’t exist in the movie. But it must have happened, so I’m going to write as if it did. Let’s all suspend disbelief for a few , eh?

Who’s seen Kate and Leopold? Ah, excellent. If you haven’t, and you’re a hopeless romantic, go watch it. (If, on the other hand, you often find yourself using words like “derivative” and “predictable” after suffering through a romantic movie, please, don’t; or if you do, don’t talk to the rest of us about it, eh? Good.)

Short synopsis of some core concepts: Kate’s friend Stuart has discovered holes in time. He accidentally brings Leopold back from the 19th century. Kate and Leopold fall in love (you didn’t see that coming, did you?) and after Stuart sends Leopold back in time, they realize Kate must follow him.

Thing is, to do so, she must leap off the Brooklyn Bridge at precisely the right time and fall through a portal which will appear below her feet. … more … “Death-Defying Heart-Stopping Leap of Faith. With Blood.”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 50)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1

They didn’t call me a cab, but they didn’t shove me down on the pavement either. I did the former for myself and skipped the latter.

I could have walked. It was a beautiful day. Warm, enough breeze to make the warm comforting instead of oppressive. Sky was blue enough, considering the size of the city and the buildings in it.

I’d had enough of the Mills/Mulligan/Breville/whatever family. There was one person I knew I could talk to without explaining or arguing or thinking too hard. Though I didn’t have anything urgent to say, my need to be with someone unoppressive was reason enough for the cab.

… more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 50)”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 40)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1

We piled into Millie’s car and drove to Sam’s apartment, just a few blocks from the Mills Building. I felt like a school of fish, swarming from the office to Millie’s to Sam’s to who knew where.

Fish do that when there’s a shark chasing them.

It didn’t seem necessary to be secretive about going up to the apartment. Either Gertrude was watching us or she wasn’t, and I didn’t have a brilliant way to avoid being spied on by someone who meant it. I couldn’t even keep her from coming into my apartment and cutting me open.

The apartment was dark. … more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 40)”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 30)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1

She was a dozen yards from the car before I stopped gasping like a fish and got out.

I waited until I’d caught up so I didn’t have to yell. That, and I didn’t have the breath to speak. Or the words.

“What on earth are you talking about? How am I supposed to do that? You said she wouldn’t want to know? You’re not making any sense.”

I guess those were the words.

“It’s not logical, it’s emotional.”

“Okay, I get that. What about the rest? How am I supposed to let her know this without her resenting that it’s not coming from you, without her not flying off the handle and punching Everard Mills in the nose?”

… more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 30)”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 20)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1

“Are you going somewhere?” I didn’t understand why she’d stood.

“To talk to Sam. She’s behind this and I want to know why.”

Millie stood. “You don’t know that, Darcy. Gertrude could still be involved.”

“Millie’s right. I believe that you see Sam’s hand in this. But that doesn’t rule out Gertrude pulling the strings. Besides, you told me Gertrude was behind us meeting at the library, behind your boss pushing his buttons. She’s involved.”

… more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 20)”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 10)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1

I took a step back. A half a step. The typing rooms are small.

“Gilbert Breville?”

That threw her. The waterworks shut off.

“How do you know that? We don’t have the same last name. How could you know that?”

She was making me nervous. It came out in my voice.

“Apparently it’s a running gag. You’re the second sister to claim him today. First was a tall blonde. Nothing like you at all.”

… more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 10)”

A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 1)

It was one of those days when breakfast wanted to be cheap whiskey straight from the bottle.

They came less often lately, but they came. Five years isn’t long enough. Maybe there is no long enough.

Since I sleep above my office I can hear when someone opens the door and goes in. The window rattles and the door jams a little so there’s a short sharp shriek when it opens, and again when it closes, glass rattling the whole time. One potential client glared at it and left without a word.

There’s nothing written on the door, fancy “Private Investigator” signs or things like that. Officially, I’m neither: private, nor an investigator.

… more … “A Long, Hard Look (Chapter 1)”

My Biggest Fan

BestBeloved01Some days, I just need a cheerleader to tell me I can do anything.

Some days, I need to be told I’m heading the wrong direction.

Some days, I need someone to let me cry over nothing.

Some days, I need to know that my failure wasn’t so bad.

Some days, I need someone to laugh at my jokes.

Some days, I need someone to laugh at me, so I don’t take myself too seriously.

Most days, I need ’em all.

And every day, I get exactly what I need.

December 26th was our 10th anniversary. Here’s to 10 million more.

BestBeloved03BestBeloved02

Chasing Attention is a Bad Thing (but It’s So Hard Not to Do)

series of photos by René te Witt http://www.sxc.hu/profile/renetewittTwo weeks ago I wrote a post at my Someday Box blog which I’m inordinately proud of. My fans responded by making it the busiest day I’ve ever had at any blog in 11 years. By a factor of 3 — yes, one post tripled my best day ever.

And now, the following days of normal traffic look puny and sad.

When kids say something surprising and get a laugh, they do it again.

… more … “Chasing Attention is a Bad Thing (but It’s So Hard Not to Do)”