Saturday, August 7, 2010

Revisiting Surviving With Love and Dealing with my Muse

A recent revival of interest in my first published novel, Surviving With Love, encouraged me to revisit the story.  I re-read several of my favorite chapters and there are actually passages and scenes I do not remember writing.  Does that sound odd? Perhaps other authors understand what I mean.
The characters, in conspiracy with my MUSE, merely used me as a tool, a means to put their thoughts and actions into my computer and ultimately into publication. 

I hope they never find a way to leave me out of the loop.

Lately, while concentrating on short stories, editing, and publishing with friends and fellow authors, I feel the need coming back to write, the desire to create, the compulsion to spend hours bent over the keyboard and finish a full-length novel. My Muse and certain characters are batting ideas and thoughts around in the back of my brain. I feel sometimes if I don't let them escape onto the computer, they will make my head explode. UGH, what a mess that would be. No telling what all I have packed away up there. LOL

To avoid any clean-up (I hate cleaning when I could be writing) I will give in and allow myself to be used by my MUSE and these characters. The title of the book is Finding Treasure, a bit of a different paranormal romance with an old journal, a psychic with a talent for finding lost objects, a very special man who wants to protect her, and several interesting supporting characters. I hope my MUSE and the characters do a good job and will give me time to type in the details.

Soooo, if I act weird or distant in the next few weeks, please understand. I am not myself...I have been taken over by my MUSE and the characters of the moment.

Back to Surviving With Love - Many readers tell me their favorite scenes are Stacey and Cord's first meeting or the scene with the bear (which sparked the idea for the wonderful cover by Laura Shinn), or even the scene crossing the stream where he scoops her into his arms. 
But this is one of my seldom shared favorites that Stacey and Cord seemed to write themselves. I hope you enjoy!

"This is important, Stacey. I need you to listen closely.” He spoke quietly and firmly but kept the cold, military tone she hated out of his voice. “For a while, I think it would be best to go back the way we’ve come. I’m going to walk you back upriver to where the game trail came down to the water. Then I’m going to come back here and get the boys. If you hear shots, or I haven’t reached you by dawn, you have to take off. It will mean something has gone wrong and you will have to get help in here. Don’t waste any time and don’t come to see what happened, just go. Understand?” Using his sweatshirt sleeve, Cord picked up the hot metal cup, mixed in a packet of coffee then passed it to her. He stared at her, waiting for an answer to his question.

After sipping and passing him the cup, she insisted, “I can make it to the game trail by myself. That way you’ll be less tired when you go after the boys. I think you’re right about going back the way we came. With their injured man it will be hard for them to climb back up the slope and across those ridges. We should be able to stay well ahead of them if they pursue us. What about your pack? Couldn’t you move faster and easier if I take it with me?” she suggested.

Cord broke a candy bar in half and handed her a piece along with the coffee cup as he considered what she said. “I think it would be too much weight for you. I can stash it down near the river and get it on our way out. Besides, if there’s trouble, I might need some of the supplies in it.”

“I’m stronger than I look. I can make you a small pack you can stick in your shirt in case of an emergency. I really wish you would let me wait down here by the river and be on hand if you need help or someone gets hurt,” Stacey argued.

“Tell you what. We’ll put almost everything in your pack and only leave emergency supplies in mine. That will keep it light enough so it won’t slow me down. But you have to leave as soon as we finish transferring the stuff. You need to get back to the trail without having to push too hard. I want you fresh in case we have to move fast when I get there with the boys or if you have to go for help. Okay?” Cord wasn’t used to compromise and this was the best he could offer under the circumstances.

Stacey watched as he put the lid on the tin of fuel and rinsed their single cup while she thought over his terms. “Okay, if you’re sure that’s the way you want it. I don’t want anything, not even me, to keep your mind off those boys when you start this.” Stacey smiled at him and began helping him move some of his gear into her backpack.

They divided the water equally between the canteens, but left them less than half full. They could add water after they had the boys safely out and right now every extra ounce mattered.

Cord kept his ammunition, one blanket, first aid kit, and a small coil of rope, three power bars, and a flashlight in his pack. He carefully checked his gun and secured it in the holster clipped at the small of his back.

“I hope you don’t have to use that,” Stacey whispered as the reality of how dangerous this could get sank in.

“I hope not, too,” Cord agreed. “Are you ready? There’s still time for me to go with you, if you’ve changed your mind.”

“I’m not afraid of the dark, Cord. I just hate to leave you.” Stacey got up and tied the blanket she sat on to her pack. “I should go.” Turning back to Cord she wasn’t quite sure what else to say.

“I’ll wait an hour then start working my way toward their camp. That should get you over half-way to the game trail, even with the extra weight you’re carrying.”

“Cord; will you do me a favor?” She took a step closer to him and he stood up.

“What is it, Stacey? You really need to leave.”

“Kiss me before I go, please,” she whispered, gazing deeply into his eyes.

“This isn’t a good idea,” he groaned, but he couldn’t resist pulling her into his arms and touching his lips to hers.  She melted into him, winding her arms around his neck and he kissed her as if he would never let her go. Cord was extremely tempted to lay her down and make love to her before she left him. What difference would an hour make? Then he could send her away.

Stacey obviously felt the same way as she passionately returned his kisses and caressed the nape of his neck as he stroked her back and hips.

His fingers were on her shirt buttons when he came to himself enough to fight off the temptation. He had a job to do and no business taking advantage of her heightened emotions. Many times before, he had dealt with the adrenaline rush and the urge to prove you were alive through sex in dangerous situations. It was part of the survival instinct that helped species exist in hostile territories. But he couldn’t do that to Stacey. He also had a strange feeling he wouldn’t be able to send her away if he made her his right now. Finally, he withdrew with a few, soft, nibbling kisses.
Surviving With Love is available at:





  1. Oh my God, that's happened to me before, especially when I nod off in front of the keyboard and off goes my hand typing away.

    The next day I'm either appalled or elated by what I read. :)


  2. Oh my God, that's happened to me before, especially when I nod off in front of the keyboard and off goes my hand typing away.

    The next day I'm either appalled or elated by what I read. :)


  3. Yummy excerpt, Rebecca. I enjoyed the interaction between Cord and Stacey.

    Hope that muse of yours gives you a wonderful story after hounding you like it Write like the wind. :)

  4. Hi Janice,
    I am sooo relieved to find I'm not the only one who does that. LOL
    Sometimes I think my writing is better when I just give in and let my characters have their way.
    I know they are a lot more sensual that way. LOL

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. And thanks for the positive thoughts.
    I seriously need to get at least one full-length finished this year. Looks like it will be Finding Treasure.

  6. Rebecca, I totally know what you mean about revisiting a story and finding a scene or section that you're like, "When did that get in there?" But I'm especially proud when it's an amazingly written bit of inspiration, LOL.

    You must absolutely keep writing. I know that you have your plate full, but continue to keep the juices (and fingers) flowing. An audience awaits.

  7. REBECCA--I started reading the excerpt and I made myself stop. I don't want to know what happens because I'm not to that part yet! It was hard to stop, though, because your writing is such that nothing slows down the reader. It's a gift, Rebecca--not everyone can do this--do you have any idea what I'm saying?
    About the muse--I'm reading last edits on a novel and honestly, I get caught up in my own story, and last night I came to a particularly touching part and stared at the entire page--did I write that? I know exactly what you're talking about--it's so odd, isn't it? Celia

  8. Hi Evie,
    Thanks so much for the encouragement and I'm really glad I'm not so odd after all. LOL The first time it ever happened to me, I thought I was losing my mind. Our brains really do work in some weird ways sometimes.

  9. Hi Celia,
    Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment. So glad you are enjoying the book. No matter what I write, I think Cord and Stacey will always be my favorite characters. Something about them just clicked from the first words on the back of the envelope where they were born.

  10. Rebecca, glad your muse has struck!

  11. Great blurbs and excerpts here. Wishing you many sales
    Love and blessings


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