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Monday, March 30, 2015

Had- nifty little word

My writing journey part 2. Adverbs aren't my only weakness in writing. In abundance I use the word had. Had is a handy word that can usually be taken out or replaced with another, stronger verb.

Had is a nifty little word that fits into so many situations. Such as...  

I had 6 jelly beans and Nelly had 12. We combined our jelly beans and had a total of 18. I ate 6 of Nelly's jelly beans and she has 6. Together we have the same amount of jelly beans each and neither of us has more.

Those "hads" and forms of had can be removed.  Here I go again.

I forced my hand into a bag of jelly beans and pulled out 6. Nelly followed my lead and grabbed 12. We put our jelly beans together and counted 18 total. I ate 6 of Nelly's jelly beans and left her with 6, a combined total of 12. Now our jelly beans number are equal.

Which one sounds better?

Here is an excerpt from City by the Bay before fixing my "hads" and adverbs.

After a few hours on the Boardwalk I had officially worn everyone out and we retired to a beach house! Nothing Fetch did surprised me, but I was curious how he had secured a house on the beach here.

The look in my eyes must have given away my thoughts. “My landlord owns it. He lets me stay here whenever,” Fetch said very nonchalantly.

“It’s beautiful, really.”

He unlocked the front doors which opened up into a large, more like massively huge, house. I had lived in a hotel, but had never stepped foot into a single family home this size. I knew my eyes gave my emotions away. Fetch looked at me with his grin and silver bullet eyes, then he picked me up like a baby doll and carried me up the spiral staircase. 

He threw me down on the soft padded bed, and laid his body lightly over mine, dropping angel kisses over my chest and abdomen until his mouth finally settled on mine. 

After our bed excursion, while laying on my back, Fetch traced an invisible line from my chest to belly button, “You have the most perfect abs.” 

“You think, I walk everywhere.” Turning to lay on my belly, he continued tracing his finger across my flesh, up my spine and down my spine, across the small of my back and up again.

“I’ve never met anyone as physically perfect as you.” He rested his head on my back, tufts of his long dark hair lay limply across my back. Within minutes he was lightly sleeping and my thoughts wandered. 

Fetch and I weren’t a “thing”. At least we had never spoken on relationship terms. We saw each other once or twice a week, hung out, enjoyed each other and, like me, he enjoyed cooking. Sometimes we cooked together, but he was highly competitive and I couldn’t resist a chance to one-up him at something, so we usually made a contest out of cooking, using Kacy’s customers as judges. It turned out we were evenly matched on cooking skills.

Fetch’s apartment was a typical bachelor pad - a mess. His clothes lay haphazardly across his couch, chairs, floor. His TV was the size of a movie screen, and he wouldn’t allow anyone but him to touch his prized remote. He had a stack of ‘girlie magazines’ in a pile beside his bed. During my first visit I had noticed the swimsuit calendar, the one I modeled in, at the top of his pile. When he stepped into the kitchen I quickly grabbed the calendar and stuffed it into my oversized purse. Paranoid maybe, careful definitely. As an artist, he had an eye for detail, and he would notice me, as Justine, in a heartbeat.


His studio was a nook, the only part of his apartment he kept organized. Paintings, and sketches covered every inch. In the last few months I had become the subject of much of his art. He filled an entire sketchpad of me sleeping, turning, stretching. Flipping through the pad, the scenes played as a movie. Lost in my thoughts, I too had fallen asleep, awaking when the warm spot on my back suddenly turned cold from Fetch lifting his head. I opened my eyes to his silver bullets caressing every centimeter and curve of my body.

How many times did you count the word "had". I counted 10. And 14 adverbs.

After a few hours on the Boardwalk I wore everyone out and we retired to the beach house! Nothing Fetch did surprised me, but I was curious how he secured a house on the beach in Santa Cruz.

The look in my eyes gave away my thoughts. “My landlord owns it. He lets me stay here whenever.”

“It’s amazing.”

He unlocked the front doors which opened into a large -  massive house. In Paris I lived in a hotel, but never stepped foot into a single family home this size. I knew my eyes gave my emotions away. Fetch looked at me with his grin and silver bullet eyes, then he picked me up like a baby doll and carried me up the spiral staircase. 

He threw me onto the soft padded bed, and laid his body over mine, dropping angel kisses over my chest and abdomen until his lips settled on mine. 

After our bed excursion, while laying on my back, Fetch traced an invisible line from my chest to belly button. “Your abs are perfect.” 

“You think, I walk everywhere.” I turned over to lay on my back, he continued tracing his finger across my flesh, the length of my spine, across the small of my back and up again.

“I’ve never met anyone as perfect as you.” He rested his head on my back, tufts of his long dark hair lay limply across it. Within minutes he fell asleep and my thoughts wandered. 

Fetch and I weren’t a “thing”. At least the term relationship never came up in discussion. We saw each other once or twice a week, hung out, enjoyed each other and cooking. Sometimes we cooked together, he was competitive and I couldn’t resist the chances to one-up him at something, so we devised cooking contests, using Kacy’s customers as judges. It turned out our skills were equal.

Fetch’s apartment was a typical bachelor pad - a mess. His clothes lay in haphazard piles across his couch, chairs, and floor. His TV was the size of a movie screen, and he wouldn’t allow anyone but him to touch his prized remote. A stack of ‘girlie magazines’ formed a mountain beside his bed. My first visit I noticed the swimsuit calendar, the one I modeled in, at the top of the mountain. He stepped into the kitchen, I snatched the calendar and stuffed it into my oversized purse. Paranoid maybe, careful definitely. As an artist, he had an eye for detail, and would notice me, as Justine, in a heartbeat.

His studio was a nook, the only part of his apartment he kept organized. Paintings, and sketches covered every inch. In the last few months I became the subject of his art. He filled an entire sketchpad of me sleeping, turning, and stretching. I flipped through the pad and the scenes played as a movie. 


Lost in my thoughts, I fell asleep, awaking when the warm spot on my back turned cold from Fetch lifting his head. I opened my eyes to his silver bullets caressing every centimeter and curve of my body.

After trimming and revising 1 had and 3 adverbs. Not bad.

What are your weaknesses in writing?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

I was given a copy of this book for an honest review. Honestly, I enjoyed it. The idea behind the plot is simple yet intriguing. Below is my review.



Take Me Tomorrow is an exciting, quick dystopian read. The setting reminded me something of Hunger Games, in our world but different. A huge massacre changed society, the drug tomo center stage. The end result the government set up new stricter laws. Travelling is difficult to do, children can’t be out after a certain time in the late evening, and if child is caught with tomo in their system they are sent away. Tomo is a drug that causes its users to see the future. The side effects are its users appear older. It wears their bodies down.

Sophie is 16 years old and lives with her father who works for the government but is covertly a rebel. She meets “bad boy” Noah and learns of the ensuing war against tomo. Sophia is forced to make choices to protect her friends and family. She and her gang of teen rebel friends use their wits and courage to take a stand. The new war is only beginning. The end of Take Me Tomorrow begs for a sequel.

Shannon A. Thompson puts a unique twist on the battle of right and wrong. Each page of the novel is packed with explosive teen action as they forge onward. The characters full and vibrant are sure to be loved and hated. 


A YA read sure to be loved by many!

Find Shannon A. Thompson here:
Blog: http://shannonathompson.com/

Amazon- Take Me Tomorrow
Amazon.uk