Tucking my hair back, I squinted at the parchment, trying to form the strange angular letters as smoothly as I could. The ink glistened wetly, but it wasn’t red ink, it was blood—my blood—which might account for the slight tremble in my hand as I copied the awkward-looking name scripted in characters that weren’t English. Beside me was a pile of rejects. If I didn’t get it perfect this time, I’d be bleeding yet again. God help me. I was doing a black curse. In a demon’s kitchen. On the weekend. How in hell had I gotten here?
I got the all clear from my editor, and the first few pages, (not chapters, sorry) of Black Magic Sanction are up at the website at the books pages. Enjoy!
I’m chugging along with the last two chapters of book ten, and it’s finishing well, following the path I thought it would with a few surprises. It’s the last chapter, which I will probably get dialog done today, that will be the most surprising. This is the one chapter that I don’t plot out until I’m ready to write it. Because the chapter before is where the crime is solved, the puzzle finished, or the deed finally done, the last chapter is where I take the last bits that have been dangling, and somehow put it all together in a comfy, cozy, coda. Pizza parties, solstice bonfires, baby showers, family cookouts, and coming home from vacation to find the house stale and quiet are some of my favorite “last chapters.” Parties, especially, are good ways to get sundry characters who seldome share page space in one spot.
Besides pulling together characters for one last time (to assure the reader that they are okay) I have to touch on the threads I’ve left dangling so the reader knows I haven’t forgotten them and will pick them up later. It helps the reader find closure when the story clearly isn’t done. Emotions, too, must be considered, which made the ending for FDM very hard for me to write. I like happy endings, and eating cake and crying was the best of a bad situation.
I’m glad to say that I’m back to my happy endings, but Rachel is sort of beat up in this one. Growing up is hard to do. (snerk)