Before we get to the uninteresting stuff, let’s get the uninteresting stuff out of the way, shall we?
I recently opened up my PO box for signing, which means if you go up there ^^^ to the link that says, “signed books” there will be instructions on how to mail your books to me and have them signed and shipped back.
Talk about a lot of books! It’s a great “problem” to have. In fact, I’ve now started dedicating an entire day out of each week to just sign and ship back all the books I’ve been getting. And so far, with the help of my awesome boss who does the majority of the organizing for me, we’ve only ran into a couple of issues. I really want to keep this option open, so make sure if you’re sending me your books, you don’t forget to tell me who you are and who to send them back to. Some of you have had books shipped directly from Amazon, but are forgetting to make a comment on the order with your address and who you are. I now have about ten books sitting in my office that have been shipped to me and I have no way of knowing where or who they are supposed to go back to.
When I was a little girl, I was convinced I was psychic. I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore, but I certainly have fun still pretending. I’ll make a random guess if those are the intentions for these books, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be wrong.
So, if you shipped me books more than two weeks ago directly from Amazon and you still haven’t received your return signed books, please email me your Amazon order # so that I can see if it matches up with one of the mysterious ones. firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, now on to the uninteresting stuff. I’m addicted to the Vine app. It’s seven second videos you make on your iphone and post to vine and twitter and such. It’s pointless. This isn’t good. If any of you have an iPhone, you must go download this free app and follow me because when this writing gig falls through, I might just become a director of seven second films. :) My terribly unique vine user name is Colleen Hoover, in case you want to check out the incredibly riveting videos of me pointing at things and talking in overly-exaggerated voices.
In other news, I’ve discovered that writing books is not so different from raising children. I have three boys and each of them are complete opposites, if we’re looking at a triangle shaped opposite scale. They couldn’t be more different from one another, and in turn, I have to raise each of them differently. What works for one doesn’t work for the other, unfortunately. It would be nice if “blanket parenting” worked and we could just mimic what we did with #1 on #3 and so on. Instead, we have to tell #2 he can’t have thirds while we force #1 to eat more food and we beg #3 to calm down and try to sit still while we’re begging #4 to put down the video controls and get up and move around.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I think what I’m trying to say is that, while individual children can’t all be raised the same way, nor can each individual book be written the same way. It’s taken me five…six? Six books to figure that out. I’ve been staring at this computer for two weeks now with only five words to my manuscript for “Maybe Someday” I’m having a hell of a time figuring out how to start the book, even though I know exactly what happens.
With SLAMMED, I just started with the first sentence and kept writing until I got to The End. I don’t even remember writing Point of Retreat, sort of how I don’t remember giving birth to #2.
With Hopeless, I kept having to take month-long breaks until I figured out more of the plot line before moving forward. With Maybe Someday, I finally had a breakthrough tonight. I figured I would download Scrivener and just divide the book into scenes and write the scenes I was ready to write and leave the rest for when I get it figured out. I’d say it worked out pretty well, as I have about 5,000 words written from today alone. But the problem with that is, I’m scared that once I figure out how to start the book, that it’ll change completely. But oh well, I’ll just put those 5,000 words into my shit file.
Yes, I really do have a shit file. It’s a folder in Microsoft Word where I have a bunch of deleted scenes from previous books and when I pull a scene out of a book, I toss it in my virtual shit file folder. In fact, I probably have a deleted scene I could post here. Let me go check.
Please enjoy the music while you wait.
La la di di da di la la la la la da di di di di da da la di da.
I hate elevator music. I found a shit scene. You might not want to read it, because it’s a very rough draft, and it’s a rather depressing and short scene, which is more than likely why I pulled it. But it’s from Layken’s point of view and I can’t even remember which of the three books I pulled this from. Regardless of all the warnings about how it’s being pulled out of a SHIT FILE, here it is for your…errr….enjoyment?
“Where are you going?” I ask, pulling on Will’s hand as he rises out of his chair. We’re both next to my mother’s hospital bed. She’s been asleep for several hours now. Or unconscious. I prefer to think she’s just sleeping, though.
“Going for a walk,” he says quietly, smiling down at me. “You want me to bring you a coffee?”
I nod. For the past few days, it’s been the same routine over and over…Will tries to pull me away from her bed to take a walk or get fresh air, but I refuse to leave. He’s finally stopped encouraging it, because he knows I’m too scared to leave her side. I don’t want her to be in here alone when it happens, so it’s going on three days that I haven’t left the room…not even long enough to shower. We’ve done this dance so many times; I’m just ready for it to end. For her sake.
Will leaves the room and I scoot my chair closer to her bed, then brush the hair away from her face and watch her for a while. I’m crying uncontrollably and I don’t even remember when it started. Was I crying when Will walked out? Did I just start crying when I admitted that I’m ready for this to end? I’m so used to the tears; they’re second nature now. I don’t notice anymore when they start to fall and I don’t notice when they stop.
The last time my mother spoke was two days ago. I was helping her with a drink of water when she squeezed my hand and whispered, “Thank you, Lake.” The way her eyes were focused so intensely on mine—I knew she wasn’t thanking me for the water. She was thanking me for everything else. For doing my best to make the last year of her life the best it could possibly be. All I could do was nod and watch as she closed her eyes, slipping back into sleep.
I would have said more if I would have known it was the last time she would hear me. I reach over and grab her hand and notice she’s cold again, so I pull the covers up over her body. She’s been so cold the last few days; I have to keep the air turned off to keep her comfortable.
The door opens and I expect to see Will walking back into the room with coffee, but instead it’s the nurse. She looks at me sympathetically, then glances at the machines behind my mother’s bed. She walks over and reaches behind me, flips a switch, then walks around to the other side of the bed. She takes my mother’s wrist between her fingers and pauses for several seconds. When she releases my mother’s arm, she lays it down on the bed beside her and covers it up with the blanket.
It takes another few seconds before everything registers. My pulse quickens and I turn to the machines that were just switched off, then immediately look back to my mother. Her features appear slightly more relaxed now, but it’s a difference so subtle that I didn’t even realize it happened.
I had no idea she was gone.
“I’m sorry,” the nurse says. “I’ll be back shortly with the doctor.” She closes the door behind her and leaves me alone.
Alone, because I’m the only one here now.
Somewhere between this moment and five minutes ago, my mother left and I didn’t even notice. There weren’t any last words, no struggles for a last breath, no signs that I needed to hurry and say my goodbyes. How did I not notice the second it happened?
I stand up and rush out of the room, straight down the hallway. I need Will. I have no idea where he went and I need him with me the second it sinks in. I need his arms around me the second it hits me that both of them are gone now—that I have to tell Kel we’re all alone.
I run to the elevators and frantically press the button over and over until the doors open. Once I’m inside, I press the button for the lobby in hopes that I’ll find Will there. I can feel the panic beginning to seep in. My breath is coming in frantic spasms now and I place my palms on my chest, trying to stop the sobs that are making their way to the surface.
My shoulders are shaking as painful, silent cries begin to pour out. I sink to the floor of the elevator and attempt to catch my breath, but I can’t stop crying and gasping long enough to intake more air. My body is shaking and I realize I’m on the verge—if not in the middle of—a serious panic attack.
The elevator comes to a halt and the doors open. Will is standing in the lobby holding two cups of coffee when he sees me crouched on the floor of the elevator, desperately trying to hold on to sanity. He shoves the coffee into the hands of a man standing next to him, then he immediately rushes to me. He kneels on the floor and takes me in his arms.
“Breathe, Lake. Breathe,” he whispers, pulling my gaze to his.
I try calming the fear that’s taking over every part of me. I grab fistfuls of his shirt, just to have something to hold on to.
“Look at me,” he says.
I didn’t realize I wasn’t looking at him anymore, so I focus on his eyes again and try to follow the exaggerated breaths he’s inhaling and exhaling. He continues to whisper calming words to me for several minutes until I eventually begin to hold still. His eyes are focused firmly on mine and he still has a firm grip on my face. When the air begins to find its way back into my lungs and the sobs settle in my throat, I nod, letting him know he’s helping.
His expression changes from focused to concerned… but then shifts again as his features are consumed with his own heartache. He closes his eyes and kisses me on the forehead, then pulls me onto his lap. He wraps his arms tightly around me while I keep my head buried against his neck. The elevator makes it’s way from stop to stop, people entering and exiting on each level. The entire time, we sit on the floor of the elevator together…and we cry.