It’s called a kitchen remodel.
If I could go back to April and tell myself what I know now so I would avoid this additional stress. So I’d never start this project.
We hired a designer thinking that would help. And while it has, it’s still stressful. Very stressful.
First, our budget is completely blown. At this point, we are literally double what we’d planned. And construction hasn’t yet started. Yes, I did some research ahead of time. You know me. I even made a detailed list of what I thought needed doing and the cost of each. I thought I was estimating high. I was so wrong. So very wrong.
Second, they lost six of our cabinets. SIX. How do you lose six cabinets?!? It appears as if an entire pallet walked out of the warehouse. They are still searching for it. We’re considering putting up wanted ads.
Third, I was wrong about the start date. I thought we were setting it after the cabinets arrived… Which led to a frantic rush to get the rest of the materials purchased.
None of which are coming in on time.
Why yes, I am a little stressed.
But I’m still writing.
I am not very good at listening.
So, as I told you here, my paid editor didn’t like the villain in my current romance novel. She thought the bad guy needed more than just a sense of greed and entitlement.
So, I added another character that was supposed to be the star-crossed villain, doing evil things out of love. I revamped the original villain to be more sympathetic. I did everything the editor said I should.
And it didn’t work.
Because now I like the characters, and the new “villain” developed their own character in the process. Becoming a person that wouldn’t actually commit murder.
*throws hands up*
I know. I hate it when characters stop listening to their author-god and go do their own thing.
But see, here’s the thing. People do bad stuff all the time. People are motivated by greed, and fear, and lust. Not everyone is altruistic.
I’m not even sure everyone is a hero in their own story.
Yeah, I know us writers are fed this a great deal. But I’m not sure it’s true.
Not everyone thinks they’re blameless. Some people know what they’re doing is wrong and do it anyway.
I want this thing, so I’m going to take it. Yeah, it’s wrong. So what? Yeah, it may hurt someone, but I’m going to take what I want.
Don’t believe me?
How many con artists are scamming people out of their money and justifying it to themselves on some higher moral ground? Because there’s totally heroic reasons to call a grandmother pretending to be her granddaughter in a horrible car accident and beg for money in the form of non-traceable gift cards so the hospital will admit her. *that was sarcasm*
Or calling parents and telling them their child was kidnapped and demanding ransom money or they’re be killed.
So, maybe the villain in this story really is just in it for money. Maybe they’re willing to steal an old man’s retirement savings by pretending to be the love his life. Or maybe they’re willing to kill a scrupulous duke to keep gold flowing.
It’s my story. And while this villain may have had a traumatic childhood on the streets of Aerius, that’s not the story.
I don’t care why he values money over someone’s life. He does. And a flip through the news will show he’s not alone.
I have been blogging for just over two years now. I have taken classes and read books on what authors should blog about, but much of the advice is contradictory.
So, my question to anyone reading this blog is what would you like to see more or less of?
- Would you like more on writing processes?
- Are you interested in reading about any research I am working on?
- Would you like to see more short stories?
- Would you like more frequent progress updates?
- More book reviews for what I’ve been reading?
- Perhaps you’d like to learn a bit more about characters or see some of their back or side stories?
- Something else?
And no, there will be nothing involving spiders (you know who you are!).
Mostly, this blog is supposed to be a way to connect, and I figure what better way to connect than giving you more of what you want.
To Catch a Dragon
Ndrek sat behind the bar and studied his mid-afternoon customers. Some had started drinking early, others had rented a room for the night and were just starting their day. Nothing terribly interesting among the entire lot.
Perhaps it was a good time to start work on the new spell he’d discovered.
As he slid off his stool, the door to the bar opened and the man that entered stooped to get under the door frame. Sir Leopold’s shoulders matched his height, and the gold dragon on his breastplate seemed to glow in the dim light.
The archetype for the Knights of Valor.
Now was more definitely not a good time to work on the spell.
Sir Leopold grimaced and lifted his boot off the sticky floor.
“To what do I owe this…” Ndrek paused. “Honor?”
The Knight leaned against the bar, his back to the wall as his faded blue eyes surveyed the tap room. “Don’t believe for a minute you’ve settled down as a barkeeper.”
“That is not what brought a High-Knight to my humble establishment. Perhaps you came for a Fire and Brimstone? My establishment is said to make the very best.”
Leopold stared at the pristine glasses behind the counter. “At least those are clean.”
“Too much cleanliness would scare away my best customers.”
Leopold’s eyes narrowed. “Not what I came to see you about, though I probably should.”
“Your presence is not conducive to my business. What has brought you here so you can be on your way?”
The Knight ignored the jab, reached into his cloak, and withdrew a sheaf of papers imprinted with the wax seal of the dragon church.
Ndrek sucked in a breath as he studied the sealed documents. “You have an army of Knights blessed by Dracor Himself. Why would you have need of me?”
“We’ve been issuing more of them lately. Not enough Knights to oversee all of Tamryn and the eastern provinces.”
“Then you need more Knights.”
“That’s up to Dracor,” Leopold said.
Ndrek bit back his quip about fickle gods. Knights were notoriously touchy about such things.
“Figure you’re getting bored about now. This’ll keep you busy and out of trouble. Pay’s not bad either.”
Ndrek grinned and took the papers, but he frowned as he read them. “This is a goose chase, as you Tamarians say. Dragons have been extinct since before men walked these lands.”
“Locals of Kelleran don’t agree with that assessment.”
“A dragon.” Ndrek rocked back on his heels as he tried to wrap his brain around the idea. “Are you sure?”
“Nope, but that’s where you come in.”
“Would not the followers of the Dragon God Dracor wish to be first on the scene?”
“Already sent a contingent of Knights.”
“They did not return?”
“Of course they returned. They didn’t see any dragons, and they didn’t find any proof that there’d ever been any.”
“Then why send me?”
“Found a few things that made some folks worry there might’ve been a dragon. Knights couldn’t tell if it was real or a hoax.”
“Would not the Knights know this best?”
“Dracor might take the form of a dragon, but dragons are magical beasts. Or they were.”
“No wizard was with the team you sent?”
Sir Leopold shook his head.
“So you think I will be able to tell for sure.”
“That’s the reasoning, anyway.”
Ndrek stared at the bundle of papers, including the generous payout. Far more interesting than tending bar.
Sir Leopold pushed off the bar. “I’ll send Knight Kailis over. She was on the original expedition. And Priestess Vaiya.”
“Was she on the original expedition as well?’
“No, but I figure if you find a dragon, you’ll want the healing skills of Priestess of Thalia on your side.”
Ndrek frowned. “You think there might actually be a dragon.”
“Doesn’t much matter what I think. It’s what you find that counts. I’ll send Knight Kailis over in the morning.”
The High-Knight nodded to him and left the bar, leaving Ndrek with the writ in his hands.
If Sir Leopold thought it was a goose chase, he wouldn’t be sending Ndrek, a Knight, and a Priestess of Thalia to investigate.
Sir Leopold also hadn’t become a High-Knight by being wrong.