Tough Education

Happy WIPpet Wednesday!

The end of the semester is here—exams are stressing out my students! I don’t envy them. Graduate school nearly broke me—academic hazing is what I called it. However, I am so extremely grateful for my education. The experience inspired me to write a book. So, that makes all the endless, sleepless nights of studying worth it.

For all the exam takers, you'll get through this.

For all the exam takers out there, you’ll get through this.

The Hall Speaks #fallsemester is my début novel and the sequel is my WIPpet. There are several story lines, but today I’m going to share an excerpt from Sage’s. He wears the RA position like a BOSS, making policy enforcement look cool. But the RA job has forced him into a dangerous situation. He gets a tough education—one that has nothing to do with school. I shared about him here.

For the math: May 14, 2014, just 5 sentences for the month.

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#Sage

Early Monday morning before the sun got up, Sage took off for the campus gym. He ran across the lawn as if the water called him. The distinct smell of chlorine hit him as he entered the humid, warm locker room. He went for first locker he saw and opened it, tossing in his blue bag. Alone, with only the steady humming sound of the heater, his thoughts racing just as fast.

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Thanks for reading, and comments much appreciated! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  Be sure to check out other WIPpets because they are fabulous! 🙂  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading All! Stay beautiful. 

Gif credit: tumblr_inline_n4ttocoVMh1r25fcq.gif

Keeping Secrets from Friends

Beautiful Day

Beautiful Day

Today I’ll be brief. Writing, my job, and being a mom is catching up with my hands. Like most of us, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on my cell phone and laptop. And I don’t own a dishwasher so that means I am the dishwasher. Anyway–all this to say, my right hand and wrist are starting to feel tired, like carpel tunnel weak. But no complaints from me! I’m glad to have food to dirty my dishes and fortunate enough to write a story I love. So I’ll just have to incorporate  activities that don’t involve using my hands as much. Since the day is GORGEOUS I think a walk by the lake is long over due. 🙂

Before I do that, I wanted to share. I came across a journal my RAs gave me years ago with quotes and encouraging words. Finding little gems like this as I’m packing to move makes me happy. With the rush of life it’s important to take a moment to reflect, appreciate, and smile. I get the feeling that this RA knew I needed to hear these quotes. I still do.

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Hope these encourage you too!

Onto my WIP, the sequel to The Hall Speaks #fallsemester which, if all goes as planned, will be available in September. If this is your first time stopping by, I write about college life. My first novel is a NA contemporary drama about resident assistants (RAs). In another WIP Wednesday, I shared an excerpt featuring RAs Ethan and Carly. They have a past but are friends, so Carly believes. But Ethan has a secret that would cause irrevocable damage to their friendship. This except is from Ethan’s POV. 🙂

Math: April 23, 2014 comes out to 23 lines or so from blog post 14.

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Keeping Secrets From Friends

#Ethan

“Hey, man,” Ethan greeted the tall, long-haired guy. Their big hands clasped together like cymbals, sending a sharp echo through the lobby.

Ethan could feel his smile spreading across his face. He felt relieved to have friends that weren’t doing the Res-Life thing. And Finn didn’t live on campus which made it even better. He pulled Finn into a hug, arching his back so that Finn’s feet lifted off the tile.

“Guess, I’ll leave you two alone…enjoy the bromance,” Carly teased, wheeling away toward the hallway.

Finn’s eyes followed Carly, paying special attention to her wheelchair. Then he stared at Ethan.

“I know—don’t,” Ethan mumbled, rubbing his shoulder, thinking back to that night.

“I’m not. But you and,” he made a gesture with his hand, pointing to the hallway Carly left down, “…working together. How do you—?” he asked, squinting.

Ethan looked down at his Nike’s, avoiding the question.

“You’re not going to tell her, huh?” Finn didn’t wait for a response. “I don’t blame you,” he finished, catching sight of a girl walking by.

Ethan’s jaw tightened a cue for ‘shut up’ already. He wished a delete button existed. He’d use it, slamming his fist on every detail of that night—the night Kyle crashed into Patrick’s SUV. Ending Patrick’s life and leaving Carly…crippled.

He shook his head, hating that he thought of her that way. Even more he hated knowing  that he could have protected her–protected them both.

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Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  Be sure to check out other WIPpets, I’ll be doing my rounds later today. I’ve missed all the stories and excerpt shared during this time.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading All! Stay beautiful. 🙂

Hot Pink Stain–WIPpet

Have you ever met someone who has a bad attitude for no reason? Like, you ask a simple question and they snap back with a rude comment. It’s hard not to take it personally. And showing compassion for the person displaying this behavior–forget about it–not happening!  Because I know for me in those situations, I don’t exactly get this feeling:

1301088653-andy_parks_and_rec.gifhappy

Well, I’ve learned that there is always a reason–not that it’s justifiable–why people are mean. I’m convinced that 90% of road-rage has nothing to do with driving. Sometimes people go through horrible things and live with residual anger.  If any of you have ever seen Anger Management you know exactly what I’m talking about. Or one of my favorites, that moment in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Clark just goes mad-cow disease on his boss.

The way many people feel when life just gets crazy

The way many people feel when life just gets crazy

Unfortunately for my character, Kessa Daniels, her situation has no laughter involved. She’s carrying a dark burden. A burden that was forced, one that she never imagined carrying.  But she holds it with an attitude because it’s the only way to deal with the pain. Some folks smile the pain away, while others push everyone away.

In my first novel, The Hall Speaks #fallsemester, Kessa is introduced during RA training. She is playing the role of a cutter during the scenario and is so believable the other RAs get emotional watching. This happens during that scene:

But for Kessa, conjuring up tears was as easy as brushing her teeth.

She had more to cry about then any of them could ever know. 

My WIP scene is connected to this one, and it’s from RA Marcus Johnson’s POV. They are ‘just friends’ and he’s finally getting Kessa to trust him. Marcus asked Kessa to attend a divine nine fraternity banquet with him.

The math: April 2, 2014 so I’m giving you 22 lines (14+2+2+4) from blog post 8 (4th month multiplied by 2).

#Marcus

“Never mind, Marcus, I’ll get it myself,” she demanded, snatching the cup from his hand.

“Look–I’m sorry.”

Her expression softened. No one could be mad at Marcus for long. His dimples appeared when he talked. He accepted people and they accepted him right back.

Kessa gave him a quick smile. “It’s ok, I’m sorry too.”

“Hey, let me introduce you to one of the pillars in KSG…” Marcus shifted to the side, revealing the dark-skinned guy behind him. “This is Drake,” he introduced, patting his high set shoulders.

The most peculiar smile shaped Drake’s slender face as he studied Kessa’s form. Marcus frowned slightly because Drake stared at Kessa like he knew her in that way. He glanced at Kessa and felt even more lost.

She stood there, still as a tree in the eye of a storm. Her dark brown eyes focused on Drake, watering from a new emotion. Her fingers twitched. Before Marcus could mutter another word, she flung her drink in Drakes’ face. The red liquid dripped down his neck, staining his white collared shirt hot pink.

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Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  Be sure to check out other WIPpets, I’ll be doing my rounds tomorrow. And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and let’s all keep writing!

Photo/Gif Credit: www.tucsonweekly.comgiphy.com245 × 235

 

WIPpet–Pressure and Authority

The last two weeks I opted to pass on posting my WIPpet because I needed to spend time marketing my debut novel. I’m still in the early stages of getting the word out to readers. There are so many things to do, people to connect with, readers to meet, that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

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I’m not very good at asking for help. And it’s not because I’m too proud to ask, but being in a helping profession, I’m in relationships where I’m the ‘helper’. At work, students don’t ask me if I need help with anything.  They come to me for direction, coaching, and guidance, not the other way around. I rarely get asked about my personal life. And I totally get that. I would have felt super weird asking my teacher about anything outside of the subject they taught. I mean, asking a simple, “what do you like to do for fun?” could turn into a strange TMI kinda talk. Most students would rather pass.

A good amount of my students don’t even know I’ve written a book. They know I write, but a novelist…well, probably not. I’m afraid if I start sharing about my books they’ll feel pressured to buy them. I’ve been in a position of authority since college and am mindful of students’ perception of me. For them, perception is reality and suggestions from an authority figure become commands. So, I’m careful how and what I communicate. Besides, it’s super tacky for educators to sell anything to their students—it’s just a conflict of interest.

Regardless of my all-day job, I need to work on my marketing strategy. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m behind, that I’m learning, that I have no idea how this is done. I’m not afraid to admit I need help.  Here’s my progress report.

  1. Sent personalized messages to my close friends about my novel
  2. Created a Tumblr to reach possible target audience (RAs) chlolecorin.tumblr.com
  3. I’m finally Tweeting! Yay! @chloecorin
  4. Requested a Goodreads author page  yesterday
  5. Made a list of book bloggers (I’ve contacted 2 and received great reviews)

What has been the most helpful approach to promoting your novel? Which book bloggers did you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

On to my WIPpet which is an example of someone taking advantage of their authority. If you’ve read my first novel, you know that Dean Petty is harsh with everyone. She’s the villain with a twist in her story I hope will shock readers. In this scene, she’s meeting with Carly an RA that’s recovering from an accident.

Here’s the math: February 26, 2014. Here are seven sentences (14/2) from page 26 (today) of The Hall Speaks #springsemester

#Carly

Leaning back in her chair, Dean Petty kept her eyes steady on Carly. “Fine–and nothing less will be expected of you!” Petty, pointing her finger, “Don’t think for one minute that just because you’re sitting down–permanently, that you can slack off on your duties.”

Carly’s mouth tightened as her eyes stung. “I know…” she mumbled, knowing the Dean’s words would leave a scar.  Carly wanted to run out of there, to make a point. With her right hand she squeezed her thigh, wishing her legs would work again.

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That’s all for now!

Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and let’s all keep writing!:)

Photo Credit: storiesfromthera.tumblr.com

WIPpet Wednesday–Cardboard Box

The Life of an RA

The Life of an RA

This time sure does come around quickly! Well, here’s another excerpt from the sequel for The Hall Speaks. If you’ve read the first novel, you know that Sage gets into a bit of trouble when he confronts residents about some illegal activity. His storyline was inspired by the constant struggle that RAs have with residents that hate them for doing their job. I’ve had RAs threatened, tires slashed, assaulted,  all because they had to document a student that was drinking underage or something along those lines.  I’ve even had students give me the evil-eye after a judicial hearing, but I learned not to take it personally. For my character Sage, he’s not given much of a choice because the guys that are after him have made it very personal.

The Math: February 5th, 2014, so I’m taking this excerpt from the 5th blog entry and dividing 14 by 2 which gives me 7 sentences to share. I’ll throw in an extra one for fun!

The Scene: Sage is getting back from class and stopping by the front desk in Corbin Hall. There’s a surprise waiting for him.

“Thanks,” stated Sage, studying the small box. Not bothering to look through the papers, as usual; they were just organizational flyers for him to post on his floor. He laid the loose papers down on the counter. He held the thin cardboard box in both hands; it was just a little bigger than the width of his palm. He looked at it from all sides, trying to find any markings that would indicate who it came from. But there was nothing. Unable to wait, Sage slipped his finger underneath the flap, opening the box. He felt as if the ground went lopsided as soon as he made out what he was looking at. 

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Thanks always for reading! If you’d like to participate in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and writing!:)

The Call –WIPpet Wednesday

Is it too late? Today has been crazy-busy, student appointments back-to-back. I’m actually just getting home from a campus event, which was a great success! So back to my WIPpet, THS #springsemester, this section is from Owen’s POV. He and Sage (both RAs)  are confronting a transfer student that’s bringing a bit of mystery (or baggage) to Corbin Hall.

The math 2+9=11 (the 11th blog entry), and 14/1=14  (14 lines or so), all of this equal

January 29, 2014

Corbin Hall

Corbin Hall

# Owen

She turned around and smiled at Owen and Sage like they were old friends. “Hey guys! Want some coffee…I’m sure duty’s a killer.” Getting up from her pink chair, she stepped toward a little coffee maker.

Sage lifted his hand, his fingers blocking his nostrils as if something stunk. “Ah, no…we won’t be long.”

Gavin interjected, “Yeah, sorry to bother you, but I got a call from your mother and she seemed kinda worried. You should give her a call…”

Reilly’s face tightened, gritting her teeth like they were the only thing to prevent her from yelling. “What did you tell her?” she said enunciating every word, staring at nothing.

Owen’s brows lifted, seriously wondering if he’d have to perform an exorcism. A simple night of duty was forming on his mental bucket list. For a moment, he couldn’t remember why he wanted be a res-lifer forever. He glanced at Sage whose expression stayed the same, calm and indifferent.

We didn’t tell her anything, technically we’re not allowed to,” explained Owen slowly, watching her reaction.

Reilly’s chest was visibly moving up and down. A few seconds later, her breathing steadied and her eyes shot to Owen. “She’s going to call again. I’ll have to figure this out, but the games are over,” she mumbled.

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Thanks always for reading! If you’d like to participate in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and writing!

WIPpet Wednesday–my first!

A sequel to The Hall Speaks already? Well..I’m a rebel, not really. But I had this planned out before I even wrote the first novel. Anyone that’s worked in Reslife knows that fall semester is very, very different from spring term.  And I wanted to capture all that and the growth that occurs among the students.

Anyway, since I haven’t found a critique group since I moved, I thought it’d be nice to take part in WIPpet W. I need the accountability and I really enjoying hearing from other authors!:) How it works is the excerpt has to be related to the date. So, here this is my first sample WIPpet, 22 lines on page 14 from THS#springsemester, which equals 1-22-14.  Like the first novel, this one follows the lives of a Reslife staff, and there are four main story lines. This is one of them.

Scene: Landon is having a difficult conversation with someone who means a lot to him.

His lips stayed in a tight line as he stared at the floor. He knew what he needed to say and that he’d cower if he looked at her. “Lizzie,” he sighed, “you shouldn’t have brought Rebecca here, not under the assumption that she could be my date.”

Her eyebrows came together. “Why not…Landon, you two always got along great, I thought you’d be  – ,“ explained Lizzie, but he interrupted before she could finish.

“I’m not available.” Lizzie looked even more confused as she waited for a plausible explanation. “I’m in love with–.” He paused, knowing from Lizzie’s tortured expression she already knew. He lifted his chin, tightening his jaw, unapologetic.

“Landon, you can’t be serious,” she said slowly, the words difficult for her to get out. She closed her eyes like she couldn’t look at him anymore. “Are you sleeping with her?” she asked, squeezing her temple as if she had a headache.

Landon frowned, appalled. “No, of course not. I wouldn’t do that – never under these circumstances,” he said with conviction.

Lizzie began pacing in the small living room. “So what does this mean? Are you considering resigning? Landon that’s ludicrous!” Her voice started to rise, “You’ve worked so hard – gaining the respect of everyone…and to do this…” She stopped, putting both hands on her hips.

“I am resigning and don’t try to convince me otherwise. I’m not telling you this so you that you can talk me out of it.” Blinking, he glanced at the ceiling, not wanting the emotion in his eyes to run down his face.  “You need to know this because I don’t need you setting me up on dates. I’m sorry for lying to you…”

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Thanks always for reading! If you’d like to participate in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! This is such a great idea.:)