Hi, everybody! I’ve missed you so much!

For anyone new to the blog: on the first Wednesday of every month, I share an excerpt of a work in progress and invite you to do the same. 500 words or less, please, and no sexually explicit content, though some coarse language is fine. Please don’t critique or offer suggestions for improvement on others’ work, since we’re sharing such rough drafts, but words of encouragement are much appreciated.

I hit my deadline for the novel that’s coming out this fall, and it’s in my editor’s hands. I’ve worked with her on two past books and she’s fantastic, so I expect to have a ton of great notes from her in a couple weeks’ time. This excerpt is the opening couple of pages from that manuscript.



Of all the things Paige loved about the little cabin, the view of the sunrise was probably her favorite. She stepped outside the back door onto the small stone patio to watch. The sun wasn’t quite up yet, but almost. The pond reflected the gold of the horizon. Above the dark silhouettes of the trees, still hanging onto their leaves for now, small pink and purple clouds flocked the lightening blue sky.

The cabin, at the end of a dead-end street far to the west of Denver, had mountain views to bot the east and the west. It was a thirty-minute drive or more to the downtown elementary school where Paige taught, but in the morning quiet, it felt like she was a million miles away. She took in a deep breath, let it out, and began her usual morning ritual.

“I’m thankful for this day,” she said aloud and closed her eyes. “I’m thankful for my mom and dad.” They were usually right at the top of her list. “I’m thankful for my job, and for the kids. And for my health. And for this beautiful world, and this beautiful season.” Fall had always been her favorite.

That made her think of something else. “I’m thankful that my car is fixed.” It several years and a lot of miles on it, and she’d just gotten it back from the shop. She hadn’t planned on that expense, but at least it was running fine again. “I’m thankful for my creative inspiration. And so thankful for this beautiful, sweet home.”

Sometimes, she also expressed gratitude for good things that hadn’t happened yet, but that she believed—or at least hoped—would come into her life. She considered saying thank you that someone was going to want to publish her children’s stories…but she couldn’t bring herself to do it again. For so long, she’d hoped for that, and at this point it made her sad to dwell on it.

“I’m thankful for this day,” she concluded. Yes, she’d already said it once, but it was worth repeating. It was Monday, her favorite.

She looked at her watch. The cupcakes in the oven needed to bake fifteen more minutes. She might as well go ahead and at least make a start on her gardening project. Her brand-new spade, a big bag of garden soil, and smaller bags of bulbs waited on the patio. Until recently, a big pine tree had shaded that part of the yard, but it had fallen over in a winter ice storm. She’d been sorry to lose it, but it did leave a perfect spot for gardening. She’d plant pink, purple, orange, and yellow ones, all mixed together. They’d reflect the colors of the sunrise. She smiled at the thought.




If Paige’s morning ritual sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve written about doing it before! My characters aren’t usually all that much like me (the heroine of my last novel. The Phoenix Codex, was almost nothing like me), but in this book, the optimistic Paige and the overworked Dylan are like two different sides of my personality.

Please share your own excerpt below…or just tell us how your writing is going, or about your writing plans! If you’re just reading and not commenting, it’s still good to have you here. Have a great month!