Sunday, December 9, 2018

Resetting The Needle

My nephew recently made the big decision to move from one coast to the other in an attempt to get a better-paying job. As with any major move, be it across the country or from one profession to another, there will be bumps along the way. In his case, he's had to fly back to the west coast to drive his car here by himself, since the car transport company was a bust.

His dilemma got me to thinking about my own moves this past year. Yes, there were some snags with the physical move from Ohio to North Carolina, but the bigger move was the closing of Crimson Romance, who held eleven of my titles. While I waited for the rights to those titles to be reverted back to me, it's given me time to reflect on my career and which direction to take it–to reset the needle, as it were.

I've got plans for 2019 that will reveal what I've been working on while I have settled into my new home. While you're waiting, I'll share with you a scene from my WIP. This young lady came out of the shadows of my mind and wandered into the scene with our brooding hero. She's not his lady love, but she reminds him of her. Let me know what you think of Lady Philippa.

“What is wrong with the gent yer father chose?” If she had a good reason for wanting to head to another country, Angus could offer his help. 
She held up her hand and began ticking off the reasons there. “First, he’s ancient. More than twice my age. Second, he’s quite ugly and wrinkled. Third, he’s already had three wives, all of whom died suspiciously. I have no wish to be Number Four.” 
“How did his wives perish?” 
“Word is, he beat them every time they produced a child who was not a son. He now has eight daughters, who all need dowries to marry, and he’s gambled his fortune away.” Philippa shuddered. “He needs the money my father will bestow on him for taking me off his hands.” 
Angus rolled his shoulders. And made his decision. “What kin I do to help ye?” 
Even in the dark, he could see the sparkle in her eyes. “My plan is to dress as a boy and stow away on one of the ships. I can cut my hair and bind my breasts, but I need some clothes, befitting my new role. And then, I’ll need some help getting on board.” 
In a flash, he saw Lily, dressed as a boy with her hair cut short. But Lily didn’t want to masquerade as a boy and Philippa did. “I’ll git ye some clothes and help you git on board. Jest tell me where to meet ya.” 
She laid her hand on his arm. “Midnight, at Billingsgate Dock, on Lower Thames Street. Do you know where it is?” 
“I’ll find me way.” 
Philippa stretched up on her toes and grazed his cheek with a kiss. “And you can call me Pip. That’s going to be my new name.”
He grinned. “Alright, Pip me lad. Midnight, it is. We both have things to do.” 
She glanced at the entrance to the ballroom. “We’ve been out here far too long and my father will be wondering where I’ve gone to. I’ll head back inside first.” She shifted her gaze to him. “Please don’t let me down.” 
“I canna. I gave me word. Go on with ya, Pip.” 

She strode to the doorway with a strong stride, never glancing back. Angus followed her movement. She could probably pass as a boy for a while. Long enough, anyway, to be off on her new adventure. He ran a hand over his cheek, where she had kissed him. What the hell had he gotten himself into? Could he serve jail time for his actions as an accomplice? What would his uncle say if he found out? His thoughts flicked back to Lily. Here he was, helping one woman get into boy’s clothing. And every thought he had of Lily was how to get her out of hers. 

Remember, this is a work in progress. I may cut her out completely from the story before I'm done. It all depends on your comments. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

What To Wear?

Tonight I'm heading to my first-ever function at the country club in my community. I've never thought of myself as a part of the country club set, so I've been puzzling for days over what to wear this evening. Fashion etiquette has evolved, or in some cases, disappeared, making it impossible to know what is appropriate attire for a country club Christmas party.

When I was young, fashion was simple. You wore dresses to church and school. When you came home from either, you immediately had to change out of them and into play clothes. Often on Sundays, we'd go from church to my mom's sister's house, so Mom packed play clothes for us to wear during these visits. How times have changed.

I'm writing books set in the Regency era right now, and the fashion dictates are strictly adhered to, if you are lucky enough to be a member of the Ton. Often, a great portion of your day was spent changing from one appropriate gown to another, with help from a full staff who took care of your clothing. Thank goodness, how times have changed.

My brother was in town recently and we stopped into a men's clothing store in Pinehurst. While he was trying on very expensive jackets, I chatted with the salesman, who told me that even though I work from home, I still needed to dress as if I were at an office. I countered his argument by saying I write romance so it's only appropriate that I show up for work in my pajamas. He got a sly grin on his face, and said no, I should show up for work in the finest lingerie. The man did have a point.

So, while I ponder what to wear this evening, I ask you: What are you wearing?