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1232950_28690356Title: Contortion

Series: Arcanium

Word Count: 75,015/90,000

Summary: After having toured with Arcanium for over twenty years, Valorie is considering leaving Arcanium. Her long-time relationship with Bell, the one in charge of the demonic circus, has been invalidated by a lack of deeper love, if not a lack of passion. Her interim lover, another demon, keeps straying with the circus’ mermaid. Valorie’s feeling neglected and unwanted for anything more than her ability to twist herself into knots.

When the heavily cursed fire-eater John shows willingness to do anything for Arcanium and its inhabitants to make up for the crimes he committed against them, Valorie takes the opportunity to exorcize her frustration.

She finds the mutually beneficial arrangement surprisingly satisfying…until her fiancé from twenty years ago stumbles across the circus and discovers where the woman meant to be his wife disappeared to.


I’ve got two scenes to write that will hopefully comprise the final two chapters. It’s my hope that I can finish tomorrow, Saturday at the latest.

I feel that, at best, this climax scene I’m working on right now is sloppy. I’ll definitely have to clean it up in edits. It doesn’t help that I’m juggling so many characters. I never like doing that in a story. It ends up feeling like a circus and not in the Arcanium way.

I’m still not sure about this book. Is it good? Is it exciting? Is it something that people will be interested in reading? Is it just predictable to me because I’ve had most of the story locked down since summer? There are parts of the story that were a surprise to me…during the plotting process. Does it lose its spontaneity with the readers too, or just with me? Is it just not as exciting for me because no one’s having sex with demons, but the average reader would be perfectly okay with that? I’m having trouble answering those basic questions, but I may just be in that stage of the writing. You know that stage. It sucks.

Also, I’m ready to be done – I’m behind in my head as well as in my schedules, and I’m ready to do my December things. I’m ready to bake Christmas goodies like crazy, plan for the madness of the new year, and outline Call for Blood, since I’m still not sure how that’s going to go. I’m missing motivations. I’m ready to start preparing for Bloodbound edits.

The good thing about this last quarter was that I got to delve even deeper into Valorie’s complexities, particularly related to her past when compared to her present. Plot is sometimes a struggle for me to get down on paper in the right words, but I think characterization is one of my fortes. I’m a character-study kind of girl, and I think empathizing with villains has made me better at writing non-villains, because I’m more willing to write in characteristics that I don’t like and don’t have to like. Just a thought. The plot problems are more descriptive in nature – choreography has always been a challenge.

In case you were wondering, I did cross 125k words written in November, from both Fever & Fray and Contortion, four minutes before midnight at the end of November. Over 50k words for both stories, so no matter how you turn it, I won the month. :) I took a couple days off after that to breathe, which is why I’m only just getting to 75k on Contortion.

If things work out, I should be able to start Call for Blood next Thursday. That’s my goal. I might start a little early on Sunday and save baking for the weekdays, but I think I’ll take that time to work on other projects before taking on the next novel. I hope Call for Blood is as generously shorter for me as Contortion has been. :) I really want to finish it before December’s end. I want to be free and clear of writing in the new year for a few months. Just editing and working. Editing I can do in the mornings. Writing, not so much. Editing, I can have a beer or wine. Writing, not so much. I have a feeling a glass of alcohol or two might be needed in the new year. Stressful but potentially exciting things happening in my non-writing life. We’ll have to see. I may have news to share by then.