Beginning the Ending

The calendar says we’re well into fall, but California likes to resist the call of winter and the end of the year with one last heatwave to remind us of summer and make us wish it wasn’t dusk as we drive home from work. But even the Sunshine State gives in eventually and we exchange flip-flops for closed toes.

I walked into Bru on Sunday while the air was cold enough to send goosebumps racing up my arms. A light sweater and bare legs were no match for the overnight drop in temperature from a blistering 103 to a nearly frigid 56.

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The wait staff who makes sure my tea is hot and reminds me to eat, glanced over in surprise. It was earlier than usual. I smiled and told them today was the day I was going to finish my second draft of “Elemental Escape”. Reassurance that the coffee shop doesn’t close until six were added to the pot of Earl Grey and warmed berry scone.

I planted myself in my spot and opened my laptop. Six hours later, I stretched and stood, ignoring the pain in my hips and back from sitting too long in a wooden chair. It was done.

I sent “Elemental Escape” to five trusted beta readers and opened a new project because November 1 means NaNoWriMo and if there’s one thing I know about my writing process it’s that I need an inordinate amount of perceived pressure to keep me moving and drag me away from the stack of novels begging to be read.

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“Elemental Escape” was my NaNo project last year and, barring any major overhaul suggestions by my betas, should be released early next year. Which means it’s time to begin the end.

When I wrote “Elemental Awakening” there was a secondary character who sauntered into my head with his rumbled auburn hair and untucked plaid shirts. He leaned back at his desk, swiveling in his chair while he stared at the ceiling. He was old but looked so very young and when he removed the clear lensed glasses he wore as a mask, exhaustion shadowed his eyes.

He’s had a rough go of it, but he’s been patient. Now, though, it’s time to tell his story.

Unless…

Except…

What if this trilogy was a quartet?

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