Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Deleted Scenes - Puget Sound Bound

During the book creation process, much of the first draft is revised, moved, or deleted. The following was my original introduction to Scott and Lynn in ‘Forever After,’ the third Detective Scott McGregor mystery. It was deleted during the draft’s revision.

Wednesday afternoon, August 5
Fresno Police Detective Scott McGregor looked forward to attending his friends’ wedding in the Puget Sound, even though it meant he and his girlfriend were members of the wedding party.

He chuckled. How did that happen? Being a groomsman was suggested so skillfully, I was honored to be asked. His girlfriend, Lynn Carter, worked with children, and he suspected she had used her child management skills to persuade him to agree.

The abrupt ringing of his desk phone interrupted his musing. “Detective McGregor.” He listened a few moments, grunted in agreement, and replaced the handset. He picked up his well-worn notebook and headed to the next meeting.

* * *

Lynn Carter, Speech-Language Pathologist, hummed in happy anticipation as she walked through the hallway of the Sierra Children’s Hospital in Fresno. Three hours until my summer vacation begins. She restricted her happy dance to an extra wiggle or two as she headed toward her final meeting.

Plans were in place for therapy sessions with the children currently in her care. The speech clinic would cover her caseload while she was gone, and the other SLPs could assess and treat new patients.

For the first time, the children would not weigh heavily on her mind during her time off.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Shameless Shilling

My brother snapped a photo of me enjoying a murder mystery last week while we were cruising the South Pacific.

The road to paradise (i.e., French Polynesia) is paved with good intentions. Early one morning, I sat on the ship’s observation deck to edit my work-in-progress. I began analyzing each scene, writing down its goal, motivation, and conflict. But the ship’s rocking was most pronounced on the top level, and I became queasy. Good enough reason to stop working and fully enjoy the vacation.

During the five-day National Geographic expedition, we explored islands, atolls, and lagoons. One of the highlights was swimming in the grotto, a freshwater-filled cave on Makatea, a raised coral atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago. Other favorite memories include snorkeling in the lagoons and viewing colorful fish, sharks, Moray eels, and an octopus from a glass bottom boat.