Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bonus Week Writing Prompt

April is one of the months in 2013 with an extra Tuesday, so it is time for us to stretch our creative muscles with another writing prompt.

The first line of our story is: If I hadn't looked out the window at that exact moment and watched it happen with my own eyes, I would never have believed it.

We were allowed to change the POV from 1st person to 3rd person if we prefer.

Here are the results --

If I hadn't looked out the window at that exact moment and watched it happen with my own eyes, I would never have believed it. They were coming for me.

Their grey-tinged faces were expressionless as they mindlessly shuffled across the street and onto our front lawn. They were being led by a tall blond, the quarterback of our high school football team...my boyfriend, Brandon. He ignored his bangs as they fell down into his eyes and I longed to push them back like I had a million times before. He needed a haircut, but it was never going to happen. Cost Cutters didn't give haircuts to zombies. The remains of his last meal were spread down the front of his football jersey, I think it was Mr. McJohnson, our calculus teacher.

I'm still not sure how this happened, why the world as I knew it turned upside-down, but that's the way it is and I've got to accept it and deal as best as I can. I walked to the door and put my hand on the knob.

"Don't even think about it, Vanessa," Sheila yelled, knocking me away from the door with a flying tackle. "I haven't done a very good job keeping you safe, but that ends now! You're getting out of here over my dead body."

I looked at my sister, remembering that in all the years we'd shared a room, she'd never made her bed, or the time she took my cellphone and sent nasty texts to all my friends, how she ratted me out when I got in late last Saturday night and when she put Nair in my shampoo bottle. Then I reached over and ate her face.

I shuffled over, opened the door and joined the rest of my 2nd period history class. Brandon took my hand in his and we went next door to have the neighbors for lunch. Sheila should know that nothing can stop two zombies when they truly love each other.

If I hadn't looked out the window at that exact moment and watched it happen with my own eyes, I would never have believed it. One second she was standing there and the next a house dropped from the sky. The impact of the thundering crash knocked me to the ground, but as quiet settled, I rushed to my door, nearly tripping over my feet. I peeked out to see my neighbors doing the same. I couldn't quite grasp what had just happened until I stepped outside with the others and crept closer to this mysterious house. Protruding from beneath the foundation was a pair of motionless legs, their feet encased in those sparkling red slippers. Shocked gasps echoed around me but elation made my heart soar. Ding dong! The wicked witch is dead!

If I hadn't looked out the window at that exact moment and watched it happen with my own eyes, I would never have believed it.

Mr. Bolger, my next door neighbor, was a drag queen! I watched him prance back and forth in his living room as he sang and danced to some song I couldn't hear, his sparkly painted face animated, one arm reaching gracefully for the sky as he belted out his tune.

He wore a silver sequined mini dress, and wowsa...what legs the guy had! They went on for days. His feet were encased in matching silver, six-inch spike heels, and I felt a rush of jealousy over how easily he strutted across the floor in those things. I struggled in a pair of three-inch wedges, for cripe's sake.

He tossed his head back as he finished the song, and I watched in fascination as he smiled and took a bow, as if performing for a captive audience. When he straightened, my heart leapt to my throat--he was looking directly at me! My pulse sped out of control as I stood staring, frozen in place as if by physical force. His eyes mirrored my own, growing big as silver dollars.

Suddenly, he rushed forward and snapped his drapes shut. Holy crap, I thought, stumbling backward until my legs hit the bed. How am I supposed to face him today when I hand in my homework? Mr. Bolger is my history teacher!

If Andi hadn't looked out the window at that exact moment and watched it happen with her own eyes, she never would have believed it. Angel, her black lab, was sneaking across her neighbor's yard in broad daylight like a poorly trained ninja, headed toward the open kitchen window and the freshly baked pie cooling on the sill.

Andi hadn't met the new guy next door, but judging by the display of baked goods, Mrs. Donnelly had. Men and women alike fell in love with the sweet eighty-two year old lady after just one whiff of her culinary creations.

Before Andi could distract Angel from trouble, the dog jumped up against the side of the house and nabbed the edge of the pie plate with her teeth. "Oh, crackerjack," Andi muttered. Her pup buried her muzzle into the thick apple filling and happily grunted her way through the unexpected treat.

While Andi debated the best way to retrieve her wayward pet and make restitution for the pilfered pie, a  grumpy face glared out the now empty window at the scene. This didn't seem like the best time to welcome him to the neighborhood.

Well, that takes care of our contributions. So, how about you? Anybody feeling creative this week and want to give it a try? Have fun!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Could it be...Spring? - Donna

It seems as if everyone has been waiting forever for the arrival of Spring here in Northeast Wisconsin. Oh, the actual First Day Of Spring came and went...followed by snow, sleet, ice storms...sigh.

I had just about given up hope, but today, the last of the snow on our property melted--Hallelujah!!! I walked around the house and was thrilled to see my chives popping up (time to make a cheeseball!), as well as several of our perennial flowers finally making an appearance. It won't be long before the trees are full of leaves, the daffodils are blooming, and my husband is fighting to get our ancient tiller started.

And my puppy...well, she's a 90 lb. black lab/Shepherd mix, but she's still my little Sassypants...is as happy as a pig in...mud. *grin* She knows once the weather warms she'll be spending a lot more time outside. Not that the bunnies are very happy about that. She's already caught three this year (one managed to wiggle free and race under the porch to freedom). Since I don't want to have to find anymore half-eaten bunnies, I now hold Sassy's collar for a few seconds when I open the door, just to give the plump little buggers a fighting chance.

Sorry, I digress. What else was I going to mention? Oh, my seedlings! Because it's been unseasonably cold, my poor little tomato & pepper plants have been growing at a snail's pace (though the cabbage plants don't seem to mind the cold *shrug*). But once the sun burst through the clouds, I could practically see them doing a happy dance. I can't wait to get out there and start planting my gardens. I have big plans this year. So here's to hoping the bad weather is behind us, and there's nothing but Spring showers and May flowers ahead. :-)

If you look closely, you can see the rabbit killer skulking in the last picture, just waiting for Bugs to make an appearance.

Thanks for letting me bore you to tears with my late night ramblings!

~ Donna

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Don't Understand ~ Stacey

I don't have much to say today. I'm on deadline to finish my current book, so I simply want to offer up prayers for the people in Boston who lost their lives and were injured in the senseless attacks on the innocent. I am also praying for the family members of all who lost a loved one, or are sitting at the beside of someone in the hospital due to this tragedy and others like it that are committed every day, all around our world.

I don't understand why these attacks happen, and you know, I'm not sure I want to ever truly understand the why. I don't ever want to harbor such darkness and evil in my heart that I could understand taking the lives of fellow human beings in such a cruel and cowardly way.

Someday the people who commit these atrocities against others will have to face God for what they've done, though in the moment, finding comfort in that is not always easy.

Hug your loved ones and make the best of the day before you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Transitions - Jamie

I'm starting to face facts, my kids are growing up. My oldest turned 18 a few weeks ago and will be graduating in just a few more. He is deep in the process of preparing for college, and is loving every minute of it. His future is looking so full and exciting, and I am just a bit envious of all the things ahead of him.

He has been to New Orleans several times in the last few years with the youth group from our church and fell in love with the city. For his graduation gift, we did a family trip to his favorite city. I'm not real big on hot weather, so we went over spring break.

The temps were a bit on the cool side, but perfect for me. And much warmer than at home (and no snow!) We had a wonderful time exploring his favorite things about NOLA, and seeing some new things. 

The history in the cemeteries is amazing.

Wonderful museums to explore.

Love the grandeur of the plantation houses.
Seeing the swamps was a must.

And the food - oh my word, the food!

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Blackberry Mint Julep -
to make the plantation experience



Shrimp Creole, Gumbo, Red Beans
and Jumbalaya


It was a fantastic trip, but it made me a little sad, making me wonder if it would be the last vacation the four of us would take together. I hope not, but if it was, we all came home with memories that will last us a lifetime and will help me through the difficult transition as one of my birds leaves the nest.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More hang-ups than Imelda Marcos' closet - Delia

I'm not a huge fan of kids or pets.  I like the ones I've got in my life, but I certainly don't go searching out any new ones.  That's why you'll never see kids or animals as pivotal characters in any of my books.  Call me lazy, but I just don't want the added responsibility in my characters lives, because their responsibilities become my responsibilities.

Part of the problem is that I get hung up on little details.  I once started a romance about a widow with two little girls and a dog.  It didn't take long for me to abandon it.  My heroine went to work, then I got to wondering who watched the girls when they got home from school?  Did she have an outside pen for the dog?  If not, who left it out to pee when she was gone during the day?  If she wanted a romantic evening with the hero, who the heck was she going to get to babysit the kids?  If they're making out on the sofa, how are they going to deal with the dog sitting there watching them?  Because for some warped reason, all dogs do that.  All this was way more responsibility than I wanted to deal with, so I abandoned the story in mid-clinch and let the characters work it out amongst themselves.

I have the same problem with other people's books as well. When someone gets held captive, locked in a room, tied to a chair, I immediately worry about what they're going to do if they have to go to the bathroom. If I was held captive, locked in a room or tied to a chair, I KNOW I'd immediately have to pee.  Heck, I can barely make a one hour car ride without having to scope out a Shell Station somewhere, there's no way in the world I'd make it through an abduction without wetting my pants.

Because I get so obsessed with the minutia, I have a tendency to miss plot holes big enough for the whole Brangelina family to fall through. While I'm hung up on the fact that when the couple gets caught in the rain they throw their rain soaked clothes right into the dryer (Really?  You're going to toss your wet, used underwear into the dryer without washing them out first???) someone else will mention that there's no way the dog could have gnawed through the rope holding the hero captive because it was mentioned in the first chapter that Fido had to have all his teeth removed due to a tragic Milkbone accident.  I tend to miss stuff like that, the forest for the trees kind of thing, ya know?

Am I the only one who gets so caught up with stupid details that I sometimes lose the thread of the story, or are you guilty of detail OCD as well?