NaNoWriMo my way, chapter 27 of The Voice In The Forest, and a bonus!

hello november

Hi Everybody!

Some of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo. You also know, I always participate in NaNo. 

Yeah, I’m not one hundred percent sure why I sign up for this challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November when I regularly beat that in normal months. 

And, I’m not sure why I find it to be so much more fun when someone is challenging me to do something. 

Not to mention the fact that I will be making Thanksgiving as I usually do and that takes a couple days out of my writing time this month.

BUT, I freaking love this silly little challenge.

Really, it isn’t little. It’s huge and a ton of people participate.

Now, the reason this is so beneficial to some people is that they don’t know how to get out of their own way enough to actually get the words on paper. NaNo is for them a reason to turn off their inner editor and second guesser.

I don’t have this particular problem.

A long time ago I accepted that writing is rewriting and my process is messy. You can’t rewrite or edit the words you don’t have. 

So now, I have a lot of words. All the time. I’m annoying. (ask my editor)

But, I will be updating you here on my NaNo progress through this month. 

I wanted to do a YouTube chronicle of my NaNoing. But I have been ill, not the panorama, and I have run out of time. 

Whoo, this life thing. It sure messes with the plans.

Viva la Pantsing! The plans never work out anyway.

So, join me in NaNo! Or, think of this month as a chance to look past your own worst critic, yourself, in anything you want to do.

don’t forget

Don’t forget, Heart of Cinders is out now!

This one is for the stabby girls.…

And Heart of Shattered Glass comes out in January and is up for preorder now.…

Before The Fire is out now for only you,…

Nano update

So, what am I working on for NaNo, exactly. 

Well, for those of you who are here for the SFF books, I am finishing up another book in the Cinders In Midnight Glass series.

AND, for those of you here for the Hallmarkian queer romances, I am also finishing another Comfort Food Romance.

Yes. I’m doing two.

And yes. I plan to hit 100,000 words this month…. ShhI know.

Just, let me embrace my particular crazy. I only really go so far deep into my over productive coping mechanisms once a year. This is that once.

crossroad inn update

You all know I did bonus episodes for the Vella serial for Halloween

–Because witches–

well, we are back to our regularly scheduled release of one episode per week on Monday on the Patreon and Amazon’s Vella serial platform.

Crossroad Inn can be found here:

and here:…

the return of our story

I’m going to start including this little explainer at the intro to the chapter every time now, just os you know.

We are writing a book, a ghost story, here in the newsletter, one chapter at a time. Occasionally I don’t have one because so much else is going on, but usually.

These chapters are in the super rough. Like cut with a rusty chainsaw and full of knots rough.

I don’t check for typos, this is a first draft, so just embrace the mess they are!

Should you ever want to go back and read past chapters, you can on the blog on my website. You can see the POV changes that we’ve made and how I’m likely to change the character names. But this story will get finished here, rewritten, and then edited, and I will put this story out too.

I hope you enjoy the story!

the voice in the forest

Chapter 27

“You’re out here laughing at what?” Mom screeched. 

“I…I…” Shit. There was nothing in my brain, no words to explain this away and cover for myself. Instead chills ran over my arms and down my legs, and my hands shook while images from the hospital ran over and over again behind my eyes like I was a broken movie.

“Just stop, I don’t care. You need to come inside right now and answer for this.” Her voice was a lash and she whirled around before stomping back inside.

What did I need to answer for?

Did they know I could see someone who they would say wasn’t real again?

Had they discovered that I stole all the books from Petra? Did Jameson set me up?

I stood on legs that felt as brittle as the old, dry stalks of the weeds that fell from my hands as I dusted them off on my pants.

Making my way inside, my chest was tight and the cold from outside seemed to follow me down the hall.

Just outside the door to the dining room, Mother was screaming incomprehensible nonsense at Trenton while Jameson and Petra sulked against the opposite wall and looked on.

“Finally,” Mom screamed, turning on me with daggers in her eyes. “Well?”

I shook my head, unable to come close to understanding what she wanted from me.

“Arabella,” Trenton said, the weary calm of his voice almost as grating as her wild noise because the juxtaposition was enough to make me dizzy, “The plumbers have informed us that the pipe that broke came from your bathroom.”

“So…” I mumbled, trying to grasp the point still but any words that could possibly explain it were still lost in the maelstrom of fear in my head.

“So!” Mother threw her hands in the air, coming close enough to smacking me in the face that I felt the passing of air buffet against my eyelashes. “So, she says.”

“Your mother wants to know how you broke the pipe,” Trenton said.

I pulled my head back and all the shaking in my hands disappeared.

“How would I have broken the pipe in a very old home while I was outside?” I asked.

None of them needed to know that I was in the house and knew what was going on. They didn’t see me on my way out. This was not only the best defense, but it was the truth that I had nothing to do with it. Well, beyond the fact that Montgomery broke it to try and protect me.

“What were you doing outside?” Petra asked, wrinkling her nose up as she looked closer at my hands.

“Gardening,” I said, holding my gloved hands up.

“But you must have done this,” Mother yelled, stepping closer to me and staring into my eyes, her mouth a thin line.

“There’s no reason for me to do this, and I wouldn’t know how to even begin.” All of that was true too. This was supposed to be my house one day, would I really have deliberately destroyed part of it?

“You ruin everything,” Mother hissed, low so only I heard her, “I should have left you in that damn place.”

“Left me…” My voice was barely even there, more an exhalation of words as my heart dropped into my stomach and I wanted to vomit as much as I wanted to hide.

“Come,” Trenton said, touching a finger to Mom’s arm and keeping it on her even after she jerked away, “We need to meet with the designers and plumbers. She didn’t know anything about it. It’s just the house.”

Mom tilted her head back and looked down her nose at me before she turned and headed to her litany of meetings.

Petra sighed and rolled her eyes, grabbing Jameson by the hand an dragging him away too.

All of them, after accusing me, and playing the spectator to my own trauma, just left me in the hallway to handle it all alone.

“Why don’t we get you to your room and relax,” Montgomery said, placing a supportive hand on the small of my back as he came to my side and looked on me with kindness and concern all over his face.

No, I wasn’t alone. Not anymore.

He may not have been visible to them, but he was more visible and knowable to me than any of them usually were. And especially right now.

I nodded, and let him keep his hand on my back, reminding me that I wasn’t alone this time with this, the entire way back to my room.

Once we were on the other side of the door, I climbed back into the bed, not bothering to even take off my gloves and pulled the blanket up high on my neck.

Some day, I was going to be able to repay Montgomery for supporting me by solving this for him and sending him on to whatever came after we died. But I was damn happy I didn’t know how to do that yet.

I needed him. Until I knew how to handle my mother, this house, and this new life where I didn’t believe them when they called me crazy, all I could do was hold on and lean on him.

How was I going to let him go when I needed him so much?
Ta da!

I hope you find some more stories you’ll love and enjoyed the chapter.

As always, happy reading!

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