Friday, November 20, 2015

Year End Summary

Year Total: 1,140,082 words
Increase Over Year Prior: 143,007
Novel Total: 11
Increase Over Year Prior: -2
Longest Novel: Exile's End (210,007 words, 400+ pages)
Shortest Novel: Glimpsed (60,003 words, 100+ pages)
Summary of the Year: Well, it seems like five years have gone by in the last eleven months, to think that I wrote Exile's End — much less wrote books with chapters — a mere eleven months ago is crazy, it feels like years have passed in between, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been fun.
First off, I began the year with a serious bang writing what is my longest novel ever — by some 90,000 words over the runner up — and a novel which I do not intend to surpass by word count by any other books than its sequels, and probably its revision. And then I made a decision, probably influenced by the fact that I wrote a 60,000 word novel right off of that 210,000 word epic, and that is that I'm not going to write any more 60,000 word novels, there's not enough words.
I do still feel Glimpsed was a good story, but I felt that I had to skip over some parts that would've really helped build the story more, thus it was my only 60,000 word novel of the year, and when I come around to revising it it'll gain some 30,000 words. I admittedly felt the same way with Challenging too — although that may've stemmed from the fact that I was trying to follow two distinct story lines; so I'm thinking either the book will double in length or I'll axe Nicholas and Jennifer, but that'll be decided when I revisit that project.
I wrote a lot of fun stories this year, and it was a whole lot of fun, however, I am excited for next year too — so excited I have about eight of my eleven books for next year already planned out — and I'm really looking forward to the first book of the year, although I won't mind the month off either.
I'm sure you all have noticed that I actually wrote two books less this year than I did last year, and I do think that eleven books a year will be pretty much the usual for me, and the word count will not continue to grow either, if I surpass this next year would be impressive, and not necessarily impossible, but I personally doubt that it's going to happen unless writing 120,000 word novels becomes the norm for me.
Now, before I sign off for another year, I do have one more piece of news to share — which I have a feeling might be expected: once again I am a . . .
It isn't a surprise, being as my novel was 40,000 words longer than most NaNo participants work to achieve in November, but it's still fun to hang out, participate, and watch my word count advance along the chart (I'm a stats fan, I must admit).
So, I hope you all enjoyed keeping up with me this year, and I hope you'll be back again next year for another fresh new roster of books, including a second draft of my first ever official NaNoWriMo November project, which was massively overhauled, and what I believe is a fourth or fifth draft — I've lost count — of the first-ever book I attempted to write (it was terrible, far too many untied plot threads) back some seven years ago which topped out at a mere 16,000 words.
Merry Christmas to everyone — even those who celebrate in January, being as I won't get around to it then — and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers, look for the next post on January 1.

R.A. Millet

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Challenging: Day 15

Word Total: 90,003

Year to Date: 1,140,082

Summary of Events:
Reid was visited by Gabrielle and the kids, who came bearing Christmas gifts which he opened while they were there — including a gift from the church that contained nothing religious whatsoever. Nicholas enjoyed Christmas Eve morning with Daniella, Dylan, and Anastasia the interior decorator — who had since moved in with him — quite immensely. After spending the day with one of the church families, Gabrielle went to the Christmas Eve service and watched Jeremiah in the play, along with listening to some wonderful music; after the service she ended up running into Reid's former boss, Mr. Lindley, who profusely apologized, taking the blame for Reid's imprisonment on himself.

Excerpt of the Day:
""Oh, Mr. Lindley, that's very nice of you, but it's alright, we'll be fine," Gabrielle said.
"I have to do this, I owe it to you," Mr. Lindley said.
"I don't hold Reid's imprisonment against you," Gabrielle said. "I never even thought to hold you at fault, I was more upset at Michael because he lied, and I'm sad that Reid lost control like he did."
"He lost control because I fired him," Mr. Lindley said.
"Mr. Lindley, I forgive you — not that I really held anything against you in the first place," Gabrielle said insistently.
Mr. Lindley stopped and sighed. "I appreciate that," he said. "But still, I need to make it up to you."
"And how are you going to do that?" Gabrielle asked.
"I'm going to pay you Reid's salary, monthly, as usual, for as long as he's imprisoned," Mr. Lindley replied.
"But I'm not working for you Mr. Lindley," Gabrielle protested.
"I know," Mr. Lindley said. "And I know with your little one on the way you wouldn't be able to, but you don't need to either."
"I can't just let you pay me for my existence," Gabrielle insisted.
"I'm going to do it," Mr. Lindley said firmly. "And as soon as I'm allowed once Reid's paroled, or once he's released if it has to be, I'm hiring him back into his old position for the same pay."
"Well, thank you Mr. Lindley," Gabrielle said. "But as soon as I can I'm going to come work for you, I can't just let you pay me for my existence."
"Fine," Mr. Lindley said. "And here."
Gabrielle accepted the card-shaped envelope from Mr. Lindley.
"I have all of my employees' addresses in my records for Christmas card sending purposes, I'll send you the cheques as soon as they're cut, whether you come work for me or not," Mr. Lindley said. "Although I'm not taking you on until at least four months after you've had your baby, then you can work in the store."
Gabrielle nodded. "Thank you Mr. Lindley, Merry Christmas, and don't forget that I have forgiven you."
"Merry Christmas to you too Gabrielle," Mr. Lindley said. "Drive safe."
Gabrielle nodded and continued out to the foyer. She bundled the kids into their coats an put on her own. They went outside into the mildly cool Christmas Eve night to walk to the car and climbed inside.
Starting it as soon as she got in, Gabrielle sat and let it warm up before she started driving. While she waited she opened the card Mr. Lindley had given her. When she opened it she found a cheque with a number so large her eyes went wide.
Mr. Lindley's penned note after the printed greeting in the card told her it was Reid's salary from when he'd been fired until the present, along with his Christmas bonus. Tears sprang to Gabrielle's eyes."

The year end summary will be posted on November 20.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Challenging: Day 14

Word Count: 84,016

Summary of Events:
Nicholas hired an interior decorator to come over and decorate the house for Christmas — although she was so attractive the decorating was put aside for other activities. Gabrielle went with Pastor Ken to visit Michael — who'd been awake for a couple of weeks — and he became convinced Gabrielle was an angel and wanted to marry her, which led to some issues. Jennifer was called by Nicholas because he was upset at what the society column had said about him; they argued and she ended up getting so upset that she went out to the winery to get the kids, but was unsuccessful in doing so.

Excerpt of the Day:
""You want her to marry you?" Pastor Ken asked.
Gabrielle startled and looked between the two men again.
"Well, I'm sorry Michael, but that doesn't quite work," Pastor Ken said.
Michael looked up at Pastor Ken like he was on the verge of heartbreak.
"Gabrielle is married to someone else," Pastor Ken said; he then turned and looked at Gabrielle, lifting his left hand.
Gabrielle reached her left hand forward and showed Michael the simple white gold wedding band and the white gold engagement ring set with a large created opal and six created white sapphires that encircled her ring finger.
Michael reached up with his right hand and touched the opal with his forefinger, then slid his thumb between her ring and pinkie fingers, taking hold of the rings on the other side, and slid them off.
"No!" Gabrielle cried softly, startling forward a bit as Michael closed his hand around her rings, a determined expression on his face.
He pulled his right arm back along the bed, then snapped his forearm back when Pastor Ken tried to take hold of his hand and get the rings out. His hand disappeared under the pillow.
"Michael, please, give Gabrielle her rings back," Pastor Ken said. "You can't take them away. And taking them away doesn't end her marriage anyways, she has to sign papers."
Michael shook his head at Pastor Ken's request and then slid his hand out from under the pillow without the rings and took up the book.
"No, that won't work Michael, and besides, Gabrielle wants to stay married to her husband, she loves him very much," Pastor Ken said.
Michael shook his head and pointed at his chest with his forefinger so firmly Gabrielle could hear his finger making impact with his breastbone.
"No Michael," Gabrielle said. "I love Reid, and I will not leave him. I am sure you are a very nice man, but I am already married, and I am not going to leave Reid.
Michael's gaze quickly snapped over to her. He looked quite upset now and Gabrielle wanted to leave, but yet she also quite desperately wanted her rings back too. Michael opened his mouth and moved his jaw as if he was speaking, but no words came out.
A croak came out, then several more croaks before finally he formed words — although they sounded rough, halting, dry, and awkward — "Ga-bri-elle m, m, m-arry m-e."
"No," Gabrielle said.
"Me! Me!" Michael cried, raising his chest like it took all of his effort to throw the words out of his throat.
"No," Gabrielle replied, shaking her head again; she was trying to be as kind and gentle as possible, but she doubted it was going to help now that Michael was riled.
"Marry me!" Michael cried, sounding a little like he was trying to imitate a donkey at the same time.
Gabrielle shook her head, then glanced over at Pastor Ken. He met her gaze, nodded, and turned to go find a doctor."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Challenging: Day 13

Word Count: 78,020

Summary of Events:
Gabrielle went to Pastor Ken's church on Sunday and ended up getting invited to lunch, while Jeremiah was invited to attend Sunday School as well. Jennifer met with the local society columnist and told her all about Nicholas' affairs and how their marriage was falling apart. Reid was visited by Pastor Ken, who generally just tried to get to know him, not that Reid was sure what to do with the visit. Gabrielle went to the doctor and got news that threw a wrench into any plans she may've had, and she went to go tell Reid first.

Excerpt of the Day:
""You've been crying," Reid said, concern even edging his voice.
Gabrielle nodded.
"Are the kids alright?" Reid asked.
"Yes," Gabrielle replied, nodding.
"What's the matter?" Reid asked.
Gabrielle settled her hand cover the small child — and everything else contained under the skin of her abdomen — "I'm expecting again."
Reid's mouth slowly closed, the concern remained on his face while his eyes took on a mixture of concern and guilt. After a few moments he looked away and stayed that way for a long time before bringing his gaze back up to her face — passing it over her abdomen on the way.
"Sell the truck," he said.
"What? But why?" Gabrielle asked.
"You'll need the money," Reid replied. "Sell the truck."
"But then what are you supposed to drive when you're released?" Gabrielle asked.
"Don't worry about that," Reid replied.
"You're going to be released Reid, eventually," Gabrielle said.
"I'm not discounting that," Reid said, getting to his feet and putting his hands gently, yet firmly, on Gabrielle's shoulders."However, by the time I get out the tires will be flat and the engine's probably going to be seized — or at least in some nasty shape — and the work to fix it will be as much as a new truck. Let someone else drive it. We'll worry about what I'm going to drive when we get there. Right now I can't drive, the truck does you no good, so sell it."
"But the car won't work either," Gabrielle said. "It's not big enough, and Jeremiah isn't old enough to sit in the front seat."
"Then use the money from selling the truck to get a van," Reid said. "And sell the truck because it'll get you more money."
"But how do I do that?" Gabrielle asked.
"Ask your pastor friend or somebody, maybe they'll even buy it from you," Reid replied.
"How did you know about Pastor Ken?" Gabrielle asked.
"He came to see me," Reid replied.
"Oh," Gabrielle said; she wasn't sure what else to say, being as Reid had stiffened and looked mentally shut down. Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Reid and held onto him tightly.
Reid relaxed and returned the embrace. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"I want you there when the baby comes," Gabrielle said.
"When'll that be?" Reid asked.
"May, I think," Gabrielle replied.
"The trial will have started by then," Reid said.
"I don't care if there's a bunch of cops," Gabrielle said. "I want you there."
"I want to be there," Reid said. "I want to be out of here. I'd do anything to get out of here."
"Don't try and dig your way out or anything like that," Gabrielle said, releasing her embrace and pushing back on Reid's so she could look him in the face. "Be on your best behaviour. The better you behave the more lenient they'll be and hopefully the quicker you'll be out of here even on parole — the less conjugal visits required too."
"I don't think I could dig out of here, I'm not a gangster with friends," Reid said, a ghost of a smile teasing the corner of his mouth and lighting his eyes."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Challenging: Day 12

Word Count: 72,011

Summary of Events:
Gabrielle and Pastor Renneberg finished their conversation when they realized that it was nearly six o' clock. Jennifer had a breakdown when the judge announced that Nicholas got custody of the children for the weekdays and she only got them daytime on the weekends, but then she got an idea of how to get people turned in her favour. Nicholas went to the foster home to get Daniella and Dylan, who were elated to see him. Reid and Mr. Williams suffered the torture of a few more 'witnesses' brought by the prosecution before Mr. Williams got the judge to make them stop because they were completely unproductive; Reid was then brought to the stand to testify and be questioned by Mr. Williams.

Excerpt of the Day:
""What sort of botheration did he engage in?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Mostly mocking and deriding me and telling me I was going to fail in my efforts at getting out of debt," Reid replied. "He didn't physically do anything to me."
"And how did he cause you to lose your job?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Well, I'd told our boss about his . . . botheration, and so our boss went to talk to him, and he told our boss that I was gloating about how I was so much smarter than everybody else by getting out of debt," Reid replied. "Our boss has a very strong stance on workplace conduct and does not tolerate lying at all, and so — despite the fact that our boss liked my work ethic and had been pleased with me throughout my seven years there — I was fired because he was under the impression that I'd lied to him about who was being the bother."
"And you were not happy," Mr. Williams said.
"No," Reid replied. "To say I was furious was probably the biggest understatement you could ever make."
"Did you entertain any malicious thoughts toward the victim?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "I thought terrible things about him, and how I would like to hurt him, if not even actually kill him."
Mr. Sandahl leapt up from his seat, but the judge glared at him and he quickly sat back down again.
"Did you do any plotting on how you would kill him?" Mr. Williams asked.
"No," Reid replied. "I just thought that I would kill him next time I saw him because I was so mad at him."
"The night in question was the first time you'd seen him since then?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "I'd wanted to find a way to get a lie detector test done to prove to our boss that I had told the truth and the victim had lied, but I never got around to it."
"Why did you not get around to it?" Mr. Williams asked.
"I think mostly because I was mad, and kind of sulking," Reid replied.
"Did you think that you had killed him on the night in question?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "I thought I'd killed him."
"And you had wanted to kill him?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "I'm glad I didn't, though."
"And why is that?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Because I wasn't thinking," Reid replied. "I was just mad, and I wasn't thinking right, and then it all just happened, and if I would've killed him I don't think we'd even be having this hearing right now, I couldn't have lived with myself if I would've actually killed him."
"All of your actions after seeing him on the night in question were fuelled by your emotions?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "And it's plainly obvious to everyone how good of an idea that is."
"You regret what you did?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Yes," Reid replied. "I would do anything to go back and stop myself.""

Friday, November 13, 2015

Challenging: Day 11

Word Count: 66,008

Summary of Events:
Nicholas waited around at the courthouse for the beginning of the custody hearing; his lawyer was worried because Jennifer wasn't there yet, but he wasn't worried because it was still early. Jennifer was woken by a call from her lawyer ten minutes before the hearing was to start and hurried to get there, although she got pulled over and given a speeding ticket for her efforts; in the end she was thirty five minutes late. Reid was brought up to sit through the first day of his preliminary hearing which he only survived through because of Mr. Williams' relaxation. Pastor Renneberg came over to talk with Gabrielle and they decided to soak up some of the early autumn sun while they talked.

Excerpt of the Day:
""This is a really nice place you have here, I must say," Pastor Renneberg said.
"Thank you," Gabrielle said. "I really like it, and I'm glad that it's almost fully ours; unfortunately it won't be ours as soon as we'd thought."
Pastor Renneberg nodded. "That is definitely disappointing, but not always do things go according to our plans; only according to the plans of God."
"So you think God planned this?" Gabrielle asked.
"Yes," Pastor Renneberg replied. "I can't say that I know why, but I sincerely hope that whatever it is will bring Him glory."
Gabrielle nodded. It was hard to think that God could possibly have planned such a thing, being as it seemed so unplanned, but she honestly felt somewhat comforted by the thought that God had it all under control.
"Did you have a specific reason why you wanted to visit me?" Gabrielle asked.
"Somewhat," Pastor Renneberg replied. "Being as the hearing involving your husband has begun I thought maybe we should talk some more; especially with a lot of the newspaper comments I've been reading."
"I haven't been reading the newspaper or listening to the news," Gabrielle said. "I don't want to hear what they're saying or I'm going to cry."
Pastor Renneberg nodded.
"What have they been saying?" Gabrielle asked.
Pastor Renneberg smiled. "Well, it sounds like the prosecuting lawyer is convinced that they've succeeded in stopping a budding serial killer before he could get going."
Gabrielle put her hand over her mouth. Serial killer? No! Not Reid.
"However, the defense lawyer is certain that the truth will come out despite all of the sensationalism and grandiosity of the prosecution," Pastor Renneberg said. "He's quite calm and relaxed; but then again, Edwin's always been that way."
"You know him?" Gabrielle asked, startled.
"Yes, I do, actually," Pastor Renneberg replied. "He's the grandfather of my associate pastor."
"Oh," Gabrielle said. "Does he attend your church?"
"Yes, he does," Pastor Renneberg replied.
"I guessed he was a Christian because he told me when he'd visited me that he'd pray for me," Gabrielle said. "I never would've guessed that he was connected to you."
"It's because of him that I started visiting Mr. Pasula in the hospital," Pastor Renneberg said.
"Is Michael doing better?" Gabrielle asked.
"Yes, they think he's getting close to waking up, actually," Pastor Renneberg said. "It's looking good for Mr. Pasula, and I would say also for your husband."
"What do you mean?" Gabrielle asked.
"If Mr. Pasula wakes up then we don't have to worry about your husband's charges being upgraded to murder," Pastor Renneberg said. "If they remain assault charges then he gets out, but murderers don't get out for much longer. Your husband will be able to spend more time with your children while they're young like this, instead of being some stranger to them when they're adults."
Gabrielle nodded, smiling at Ivy as she peeked her head out one of the playhouse windows, her face radiant with the joy that, honestly, came from oblivion to the problems and heartbreaks of life."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Challenging: Day 10

Word Count: 60,020

Summary of Events:
Nicholas — glad to be living in his own house again — got up and headed to an appointment with his lawyer to discuss their plan of action for the custody hearings. At about a quarter to eleven in the morning Jennifer finally convinced herself to get up and out of bed, had a salad for breakfast, and left her dad's house just because she didn't want to think about how badly her life was sucking. Gabrielle was reading the newspaper and was inspired by the community church directory in the paper to call one of the other pastors for a second opinion. Pastor Ken Renneberg, whom she called, arranged to visit her once the funeral he was officiating was over. Gabrielle explained everything to him and he started giving her some information that really interested her and made her feel better, however their visit was cut short by the fact that she needed to go get Jeremiah from school.

Excerpt of the Day:
""I am disappointed at what he's done, but he recognizes that he's done it, he feels bad, and I doubt he would ever intend to do such a thing again," Gabrielle said. "And I think he would do whatever he could to keep himself from doing something like that again."
Pastor Renneberg nodded and flipped in his Bible. "Additionally, if you look in the New Testament, specifically in Jesus' teachings, He says that the only reason God gave them the ability to divorce was because they demanded it of Him. They wanted to have the right to divorce and so He gave it to them. This is affirmed by what is said in Genesis, right at the end of chapter two — written by the hand of Moses just the same as Deuteronomy was — in verse twenty four: 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'"
Gabrielle nodded, quite pleased to see Pastor Renneberg using his Bible too.
"Now, as you know you're not literally one flesh, but in the consummation of your marriage — which can be proven by anyone due to the presence of children — you know each other to depths beyond what you know any other person," Pastor Renneberg said. "In fact, marriage — like many things that God has made — is a likeness, albeit imperfect, of what God's relationship with mankind is, with the man representing God and the woman representing mankind — or at least the church specifically."
"And God doesn't leave us because we've sinned," Gabrielle said. "Pastor Scott gave that as an additional reason why I should leave."
"Exactly," Pastor Renneberg agreed. "Reading through the Bible gives solid, irrefutable proof and testimony of the great lengths God went to for the sake of giving us the ability to return to His presence. The fact that we even exist right now is proof that God will not — and has not — given up on us because we've sinned. He had the power when Adam and Eve sinned to throw everything He'd made in the proverbial garbage can and do it all again, but He didn't, instead He orchestrated a massive multi-millennial plan of such daring, complex audacity we couldn't possibly imagine to give us the right to be in His presence — a right we shouldn't even have."
Gabrielle nodded, maybe she was making up for missing Sunday service anyways, this was rapturously interesting.
"And we, as Christians, are called to be like Jesus, who is fully God," Pastor Renneberg continued. "Therefore, if God went to such great lengths to show us His love when He didn't have to, then we should do similar — being as we can't by any means do exactly the same, nor are we as perfect as He is anyways.""

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Challenging: Day 9

Word Count: 54,010

Summary of Events:
Gabrielle tried to go through the Bible and find scriptures that proved her point against Pastor Scott's, but she didn't really know where to go to find that sort of information. Jennifer was surprised by Nicholas showing up and moving his clothes back in, and then presenting his lawyer and effectively ordering her to leave; thankfully her lawyer had been notified and come along to give her counsel on the matter. Gabrielle and the kids were taken by Mr. Williams to visit Reid, which was an incredibly emotional experience.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Gabrielle looked at Reid. Tears were streaming down his cheeks again. She slid her hands gently around his neck, cradling his skull in her fingers, and raised herself onto her tiptoes.
Reid snapped instantly into position and wrapped his lips around hers. Such passion as she felt from him she hadn't felt since their wedding. Waiting for their wedding had about killed him, and she'd never encountered him as hungry in all of their years as he'd been then — except for now; it was like he was a starved beast feeding off of her lips.
She could tell as he held her tightly that if there would've been a private room nearby with a bed in it he would've taken her there and they wouldn't have come out for hours. Tears leaked from her eyes at the thought of depriving him of what he needed.
Finally Reid loosened his hold on her and she slowly peeled her lips off of his. His cheeks were just as tearstained as she was sure her own were. A sob escaped her lips and a flash of hurt crossed his face.
"I'm sorry Reid," Gabrielle whispered. "I'm sorry that you have to suffer so much. If it weren't for everyone else thinking it ridiculous — if not unwholesome — I would move in here with you and try to ease the pain somehow."
"You would?" Reid whispered.
Gabrielle nodded. "You need it."
"You must be an angel," Reid said.
"I already told you seven years ago, I'm not an angel," Gabrielle said, smiling.
A ghost of a smile came more into Reid's eyes than onto his mouth. "And I still refuse to believe it. And if you keep things up all you're going to do is convince me more that the contrary is true of what you wish to convince me."
"But I should stop hogging you and let the kids get some visiting in before we get kicked out, or turn this into a conjugal visit," Gabrielle said.
Reid gazed at her, hunger seeming to fill his eyes with more life than she'd seen since she'd stepped in the room. "I want it to be a conjugal visit."
"I don't know what would happen if we'd tried to do that," Gabrielle said, sliding reluctantly out of Reid's arms and going over to get Ivy from Mr. Williams' arms. She smiled apologetically, but Mr. Williams shook his head, understanding on his face. He'd practised law for years, he'd probably seen this more than once before."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Challenging: Day 8

Word Count: 48,020

Summary of Events:
Gabrielle went and had a meeting with Pastor Scott, who advocated for her to divorce Reid with a rather confusing argument. Reid was visited by Mr. Williams again and told of plans for a visit to be arranged — although it wouldn't likely be a conjugal one. Nicholas met with a highly attractive female lawyer about getting visitation rights to his children — along with the right to live on his property again — and then also flirted with her. Jennifer tried to make supper and failed once, then had to deal with Dylan having an accident and Daniella making a comment about how Nicholas liked the kids better than Jennifer did, which really got her upset — at least her second attempt at supper worked out better.

Excerpt of the Day:
""Then why did you read me a passage from the law?" Gabrielle asked. "If the law is fulfilled then why should I keep it?"
Pastor Scott closed his eyes, sighed, and opened them again. "Just because they're fulfilled doesn't mean that they aren't good advice, and besides, it is mentioned in the Bible without it explicitly being said that it is wrong. Divorce is allowed in certain situations."
"It is said that if the husband found his wife displeasing because of indecency," Gabrielle said. "Reid has not been indecent."
Pastor Scott rolled back to his desk and took up his cell phone. "Indecent is taken to mean partial or full on nudity, either that or being particularly suggestive, however . . ." he scrolled on his phone. "According to the dictionary indecent means something that does not conform with the generally accepted standards of behaviour or propriety; obscene. And obscene . . . is offensive to moral principles; repugnant. And repugnant is extremely distasteful; unacceptable. In other words, if you follow the trail, what your husband did can be counted as indecent. What he did is morally and legally unacceptable, thereby it is repugnant and morally offensive, obscene; it does not conform with the Biblically and societally accepted standards of behaviour or propriety. Additionally, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that unfaithfulness can be grounds for divorce, and your husband has been unfaithful to you by doing this indecent thing. He has abandoned you to raise your children alone, and to financially suffer. You cannot let him get away with it."
"Does the Bible — if not Jesus Himself — not also say: 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'?" Gabrielle challenged.
"Yes, the Bible does say that," Pastor Scott replied.
"Now, Reid has done something rather unkind to me — unintentionally as far as I'm concerned — which does give me every right to do the same back to him and give him payback for being so hurtful," Gabrielle said. "However, if I hurt him back then I would be giving any other man I might marry the right to hurt me similarly. If I don't want other people to hurt me, then why should I go around hurting other people? Others is a very broad category, it doesn't necessarily just include my husband, my family, or my friends, it includes everyone who lives on earth. So then if I hurt one person, everyone else the right to hurt me, however, if I choose instead to be nice to someone, no one else has any right to hurt me, nor do I believe they would have the motivation to hurt me so much as they would if I were to behave hurtfully."
Pastor Scott sighed. "You obviously seem intent to argue with me Mrs. Kiszczak; if you wanted my wise counsel you wouldn't be so argumentative. Therefore, I think you should go back home now and come back to me when you're willing to take my advice.""

Monday, November 09, 2015

Challenging: Day 7

Word Count: 42,014

Summary of Events:
Mr. Williams came over to visit Gabrielle; he assured her that her children would stay with her — provided she got herself a regular income — and that he would do what he could to get Gabrielle and the kids to see Reid soon. After he left Gabrielle called her mom for financial help and her mom told her to pack up and leave now. Nicholas, having been released on bail, got Megin to drive him to the winery to pick up his SUV; he stopped to have a quick visit with the kids that Jennifer rudely interrupted. After he left Daniella and Dylan tried to chase after him and told Jennifer that she didn't love them, but Nicholas did; Jennifer took them to their rooms and then tried to work, but the fact that her children didn't think she loved them upset her so much she had a tantrum instead.

Excerpt of the Day:
"After a few more minutes of talking she ended the call and kept scrolling through the listings and making notes. Nicholas cleared his throat and she froze. Slowly she turned her head around and looked at him. Fury instantly snapped onto her face.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded through her teeth.
"Collecting my SUV," Nicholas replied.
"There's a side door to the garage," Jennifer snapped. "You don't need to just waltz into the house."
"I rang the doorbell," Nicholas said. "You never answered."
"No you didn't, I didn't hear anything," Jennifer snapped.
"Well maybe the doorbell's broken," Nicholas said. "You should have it fixed."
"I doubt you're going to be coming to collect your SUV any more," Jennifer snapped.
"That is true," Nicholas agreed. "But still, that's no good reason to let the house fall into disrepair."
Jennifer nodded succinctly, but said nothing. "Go get your SUV and leave."
Nicholas nodded and headed down the hallway toward the house entry to the garage; he heard the kids playing in their playroom and stopped. Going over to the door, he peeked inside.
They were sitting on the floor looking up at the TV watching one of the latest animated feature films. He made his way into the room and sat down on the couch behind them. Dylan turned and looked over his shoulder, his face lit up.
"Daddy!" he cried.
Daniella turned and then also uttered the elated cry, hurrying into his arms. Nicholas gathered them up into his lap, trying to keep emotion from welling up in him, and embraced them tightly.
"I've missed you guys," Nicholas whispered.
"Why are you always gone?" Daniella asked.
"Because Mommy's mad at me," Nicholas replied.
"Why?" Dylan asked.
"Because she doesn't like me anymore," Nicholas replied. "And I don't know why she doesn't like me anymore."
"That's why you always fight?" Daniella asked.
"Yes," Nicholas replied.
"Why did you take Dylan yesterday?" Daniella asked.
"Because I wanted to see him," Nicholas replied.
"Why didn't you take me too?" Daniella asked.
"Because I couldn't see you and Grandpa wouldn't let me in," Nicholas replied.
"Why not?" Daniella asked.
"Because he's mad at me, just like Mommy is," Nicholas replied.
"You are getting your SUV and getting out of here!" Jennifer screamed. "Get away from my children! Get out! Get out! Get out!"
Nicholas clutched his children against him and looked over his shoulder at Jennifer; she was behind the couch glaring at him savagely. She looked tight and set to explode at any given moment.
"They're my children, just as much as they are yours, am I not entitled to see them?" Nicholas asked.
"No!" Jennifer screamed. "They are my children and I will not have them in the presence of such a wretched, hideous, ugly, vile snake!"
Jennifer stalked around the couch and tore his children from his arms.
"Get out!" she screamed above the children's shrieking wails.
Nicholas surged to his feet and seized Jennifer's shoulder roughly. "Just you wait woman, I've had enough of you stomping on me, and this is the last of it I'm going to take.""

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Challenging: Day 6

Word Count: 36,011

Summary of Events:
Jennifer went to see a lawyer about getting a restraining order, legal separation, and divorce papers drawn up before going to the ladies' Bible study she ran and found everyone had gotten the preparations done for her. Nicholas went to his father and stepmother-in-law's to see if they'd tell him where Daniella and Dylan were and discovered that they were at his father-in-law's — he managed to make off with Dylan. Gabrielle picked up Jeremiah from school and ended up hearing some hurtful comments about Reid from fellow mothers; at home Jeremiah asked her about the comments before she was called by Reid's lawyer who arranged a meeting. Having received negative reports no matter where they looked for Dylan, the cops told Jennifer to go home, which she did reluctantly . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Opening the garage door, she gasped at the sight of a vehicle parked in the garage; and even more so when she recognized the vehicle as Nicholas' Lexus. She fumbled for her phone and dialled 911.
"The missing child, Dylan Boivin, I've found him, I'm positive I've found him!" Jennifer said as soon as the dispatcher came on. "He's at the Lakeside Dawn Vineyards and Winery!"
Without giving the dispatcher any time to ask her anything more, Jennifer hung up, shut off her car, got out, and ran into the house. Everything was darker in the house, the residual sunlight from the sunset wasn't enough to illuminate anything — not that it helped that the back of the house, which she wasn't close to, was west-facing.
She raced down the hallway and around to the stairhead. Hurriedly she ran up the stairs and threw open Dylan's bedroom door. She dropped to her knees in relief at the sight of her son sound asleep in his bed.
"Oh Dylan," she whispered as tears streamed down her cheeks. She couldn't believe it. She was so relieved. "Oh my baby."
At the sound of sirens wailing signalling the arrival of the police Jennifer got up and whirled around to meet them, freezing stiff at the sight of Nicholas in the doorway. His expression was blank; so blank it was eerie.
"Why did you have to do this?" Jennifer demanded.
"I ask the same question," Nicholas replied flatly.
"I didn't do anything!" Jennifer snapped.
"You put out an Amber Alert for him," Nicholas said. "You got everyone into an unnecessary panic. I am his father, he is my son, why should I be hunted down like a fugitive? I have every right to spend time with my son."
"You kidnapped him!" Jennifer screamed.
"You gave me no choice," Nicholas replied.
"You're the one who was fooling around with my sister!" Jennifer screamed.
"You wouldn't love me," Nicholas replied. "It all comes back to you."
"I don't know what kind of problem you had!" Jennifer screamed. "Everything was perfectly fine until all of the sudden you got this hare-brained idea that I didn't love you anymore! Now that hare-brained idea is true and you're trying to pretend it isn't! Are you opposite-man or something!?"
Flashlight-brandishing cops thundered up the stairs and seized hold of Nicholas. He didn't fight them. They started hauling him down the stairs and Jennifer stepped aside for a cop to come in and confirm that Dylan was there.
Jennifer stepped forward and looked down the stairs at him. She gazed down at Nicholas proudly, although the tears that started streaming down his face made it hard for her to keep up her resolve. It was his own fault, he was the one who'd gone and decided to be contrary all the time, not that she had the faintest idea why."

Friday, November 06, 2015

Challenging: Day 5

Word Count: 30,019

Summary of Events:
The police came and arrested Reid on charges of aggravated assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm that left Gabrielle reeling. Nicholas managed to convince Megin to spend more time with him again. Jennifer publicly revealed to the entire church Nicholas' unfaithfulness during the sharing time in the Sunday morning service. Nicholas and Jennifer gave statements to the church board and diaconate in an emergency post-service meeting; while they deliberated his sister said he was no longer welcome at her house, then he was told that he was removed from the trustee board, his membership was revoked, and he was banned from the church. Reid had a meeting with his assigned defence lawyer whom he gave his testimony to.

Excerpt of the Day:
"At the sight of motion in his upper peripheral vision, Reid looked up. A man who looked surprisingly youthful and fit for the obviously grey colour of his hair sat down across from him. He was dressed sharply in a charcoal grey suit with a forest green vest and a tie of forest and emerald green.
"Good morning Mr. Kiszczak," the lawyer said. "I am Edwin Williams of Jorgensen, Williams, and Hinkey. I have been appointed to represent you."
Reid dipped his chin in a subtle nod, but said nothing.
"Do you have any questions you would like answered before you decide how you would like to plead?" Mr. Williams asked.
"What do the police say happened?" Reid asked.
"They say that you were at the establishment first, and then Mr. Pasula entered, you became agitated and removed him from the building. You drove him to the location where he was found, took a piece from the jack in your truck and beat Mr. Pasula with inches of his life, and left," Mr. Williams replied.
"What condition is Michael in?" Reid asked.
"He is in critical condition," Mr. Williams replied. "He is in a coma and has suffered a concussion, along with surprisingly minor fracturing of his skull and significant brain damage. If he regains consciousness his brain function will be handicapped. To what extent is yet unknown, but it is speculated to be noticeable, if not significant."
"It's not even certain that he'll live?" Reid asked.
"No," Mr. Williams replied. "However, there is optimism, his condition has been improving as time has passed. He has survived this long, yet he is still in a coma; the longer that he remains in a coma, the more likely that he might still end up succumbing."
Reid nodded and looked at the table between them. He was impressed that Michael was still alive. He was positive he hadn't felt a pulse when he'd checked, unless it'd just been excessively weak. He wasn't going to ask.
"What is your plea?" Mr. Williams asked.
"Guilty on all counts," Reid replied."

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Challenging: Day 4

Word Count: 24,008

Summary of Events:
Jennifer packed up Nicholas' things into garbage bags and threw them outside as Nicholas showed up and they had a heated discussion. Reid woke up, pretty sure he'd had a bad dream, but felt unsettled when he heard a news report that sounded eerily similar to his dream. Nicholas reluctantly went to his oldest sister's house and she willingly took him in and sympathized with him. Gabrielle asked Reid what was bothering him and began to feel unsettled by it as well. Reid listened to another news report that revealed more information about the news item that had been similar to his dream that was even more similar. Jennifer then went to her dad's house to pick up Daniella and Dylan and found her dad and stepmom were rather upset.

Excerpt of the Day:
""Now, Jennifer, if you wouldn't mind giving me an explanation as to why the police delivered your children here," he said.
I wanted to be sure that Nicholas wouldn't get them," Jennifer replied.
Intrigue and concern popped onto her father's face. "And why?"
"Because I refuse to let my children be in the presence of such an unwholesome man," Jennifer replied.
"And how is he unwholesome?" her father asked.
"Because he's being unfaithful to me," Jennifer replied.
"How so?" he asked.
"He's been laying with other women on business trips," Jennifer replied. "And now he came home and started an affair with mom and Brian's daughter. I ended up catching them in a hotel together. It was rather fortuitous that it happened."
Her father nodded.
"I've kicked him out of the house now, so I do believe it would be safe for the kids to come back with me," Jennifer said.
"Have you spoken with a lawyer?" he asked.
"No, not since I found Nicholas and Megin together," Jennifer replied.
"I would then be of the mind that it would be wiser for the children to remain here," he said.
"You and Suzanne don't mind?" Jennifer asked nervously. "I'm sorry it was kind of sudden how it all happened, but being as Megin was involved I didn't really want the kids with mom, so I thought it would be safer for them to come here."
Her father nodded. "We don't mind, we just wouldn't mind more notice next time."
"I promise that I'll keep you posted on all of the developments," Jennifer said.
"You are planning on pursuing a divorce?" he asked.
"Absolutely," Jennifer replied. "If he's going to be that sort of a . . . a . . . I don't know, I'm not going to stay with him any longer. I refuse to allow my children to have any association with such a terrible man. I don't want my children to become like him at all."
Her father nodded.
"I can't believe he would do such a thing," Jennifer said, feeling tears in her eyes and sobs in her throat. "It just, I don't know what to do. I hate him. What did I do that all of the sudden I wasn't good enough for him? Why did he have to do this to me?"
"What does he say?" her father asked.
"He says that apparently I wasn't loving him," Jennifer snapped.
"How so?" her father asked.
"I don't know," Jennifer replied. "But apparently saying that I love him isn't enough; then why was he saying that he loved me? He kept saying it. Even the time he called and had another woman in his room, he still told me he loved me. Why did he lie to me?"
"You won't have counselling?" her father asked.
"No, there's no sense in fixing this," Jennifer said. "He's even loony enough to think that we should try and fix it. He's the one who broke it and he wants to fix it? He's absolutely crazy. I refuse to let him get away with this. He can't get away with being unfaithful to me.""

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Challenging: Day 3

Word Count: 18,008

Summary of Events:
Gabrielle went out to meet Reid when he came home surprisingly early and found out he was fired, and right mad about it; with difficulty she managed to soothe him. Nicholas made advances to Megin again, but she was reluctant due to the mess they'd caused last time, and so they agreed to find a new location. After worship practise Jennifer went to her mother's place to get Daniella and Dylan, who profusely complained at the departure, prompting Jennifer to pull into a parking lot to smarten them up; she discovered Nicholas' SUV in the parking lot, went in the hotel, and found him and Megin together; she and Nicholas then got into an argument before cops summoned by the hotel staff came in to break it up. Reid was out having a drink when Michael arrived; overwhelmed by anger, Reid hauled Michael out to his truck . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Despite the strength of the temptation to floor it, Reid managed to restrain himself and drive at the posted speed limits as he wound his way toward the outskirts of Kelowna in search of a good hiding place.
"You don't seem to take a little innocent razzing well," Michael said. "I mean, it's all in fun, right?"
"No," Reid replied flatly.
"And why not?" Michael asked. "I mean, so you're a little crazy, is that a big deal?"
"I am not crazy, and I will not be told I'm crazy, nor will I be fired for lying by lies," Reid snapped. "You wouldn't have lost your job if you would've told the truth, you would only have been reprimanded for being the bully you are."
"I'm not a bully," Michael replied.
"Then why wouldn't you shut up about what I choose to do with my life?" Reid demanded. "It's not like it affects you."
"Because it's impossible," Michael replied.
"So you think," Reid muttered. "Or maybe you're just jealous of me being so smart."
"Jealous?" Michael laughed. "Why would I be jealous of some uninspired simpleton like you? You're not even going to be able to get out of debt! It's all just a pipe dream."
"Only if you're going to keep ruining my life," Reid growled as he roughly came to a stop. "But I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen."
"By dumping me in the middle of the Okanagan Valley?" Michael asked. "Yeah right, I'm born and bred here as much as you are."
"You think you're going to see tomorrow morning," Reid muttered to himself as he got out of his truck. Striding around, he opened the passenger door and hauled Michael out.
"What did you say?" Michael asked.
Reid reached behind the passenger seat and flipped up the back seat. He found something cool and hard. He didn't know what it was, nor did he care. It would work, and that was all that mattered.
"What are you doing with that?" Michael asked, his eyes going wide.
"Getting rid of you," Reid replied lowly.
"No! No! You can't do that! I have a wedding to plan! I have my whole life ahead of me!" Michael cried.
"You forfeited that," Reid growled.
"Alright! Fine! I'll admit it! I am jealous! I don't want you to succeed! It's bad enough you've got the hottest woman in all of Canada as your wife! I want to be able to gloat to you about something!" Michael cried.
Reid shook his head and swung the rod in his hand at Michael's head. Michael went limp and looked stunned. Reid swung the rod again, letting go of Michael. Michael vomited onto the grass and looked completely dazed.
Wrapping both hands around the rod, Reid swung it at Michael's head repeatedly until Michael dropped to the ground, and then on until he started to bleed. Reid then dropped the rod and stared at Michael. Kneeling down, he checked the pulse. There was none. Nodding with satisfaction, he got back into his truck and left."

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Challenging: Day 2

Word Count: 12,008

Summary of Events:
Jennifer went to visit a lawyer who dismissed her concerns about Nicholas cheating as Nicholas having turned the volume back on the TV at the end of the call. Gabrielle talked with Reid some more and suggested he talk to his boss about his bothersome coworker. Nicholas lied to Jennifer that he was going to be out for the day so that he'd have the opportunity to seduce her half-sister. Reid talked with his boss about his bothersome coworker and left with the assurance his coworker would be reprimanded and the botheration would stop. Jennifer arrived home to find Daniella and Dylan 'baking' unattended in their pyjamas and absolutely lost it — including shoving Nicholas into a filling bathtub. Reid arrived at work and was summoned unexpectedly into his boss' office, where he was told the results of his boss' conversation with his bothersome coworker . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Reid couldn't say anything. He wanted to explode in rage and burst into sobs at the same time. He couldn't believe it. It wasn't true. How could Mr. Lindley believe Michael?
"I don't tolerate lying," Mr. Lindley said. "I can't trust someone if they lie to me, and so, because of that, I regret to inform you that you're fired."
Reid stared at him for several moments before recovering himself. "You can't do this!"
"I can, and I have to," Mr. Lindley replied. "You lied to me once, and I can't trust that you won't do it again."
"I didn't lie to you! I swear!" Reid protested, getting to his feet. "Michael's lying to you! I don't boast! And if I did boast I wouldn't boast about my finances! I'd boast about my wife!"
Mr. Lindley looked relatively unmoved, and yet hurt. He believed that Mr. Lindley liked him, and the fact that Mr. Lindley was struggling to do this was solid evidence in that direction. The problem was, Reid wasn't able to use it to swing Mr. Lindley in his direction.
"What do I have to do to prove to you that Michael lied?" Reid asked, gripping Mr. Lindley's desk.
"You can't do anything," Mr. Lindley replied, looking over his glasses rims. "It's plainly obvious to me who lied and who told the truth. I'm disappointed that you lied to me, and I'm not going to let you do it to me again. Please, go home."
Reid stared at Mr. Lindley, dumbstruck. Mr. Lindley didn't move. Reid dropped his shoulders. He'd been fired. He couldn't believe it. Finally he turned and left the office, then trudged out the side door and over to his truck.
Climbing inside, the heartbreak of the firing was washed away by a wave of rage. He swore several times, cursing Michael. He couldn't believe Michael would be that vicious toward him as to outright deceive Mr. Lindley and get him fired.
He looked toward where a truck was departing for the orchards to start picking. He gripped the steering wheel and wrung his hands around it, imagining that it was Michael's neck and he was choking all of the life out of him.
Michael had better watch out, next time he saw that bastard, that silver tongued liar, that . . . refuse, he was dead. If he ever saw Michael again Michael was going to be breathing his last, guaranteed.
Forcefully Reid turned the key in the ignition and backed out of the stall. He had never hated a man more than he hated Michael. He didn't even hate Greg as much as he hated Michael. As far as he was concerned Michael was the epitome of all evil, and Greg was his chief henchman."

Monday, November 02, 2015

Challenging: Day 1

Word Count:  6,021

Summary of Events:
Reid came home from work drained and Gabrielle offered to reenergize him. Jennifer arrived home from work late and heard a voice that aroused her suspicion on a message Nicholas left her that she decided to investigate. Reid and Gabrielle got up, had breakfast, and talked so long that Reid ended up being late for work. Nicholas arrived home from Seattle and found to his relief that Jennifer wasn't home, but he was sorely tempted by her half-sister who babysat for them; she didn't stick around to give him satisfaction, though.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Reid stirred everything together and started eating while Gabrielle readied her oatmeal as well. She looked beautiful no matter what she did. Why couldn't there be a day off in the middle of the week to tide him over until the weekend?
"Is there anything I can do to help you?" Gabrielle asked.
"What do you mean?" Reid asked, looking up at her, puzzled.
"You seem like you're so weighed-down whenever you come home from work," Gabrielle said. "Like all your energy has been sapped; you don't even have the strength to interact with the boys like you used to."
Reid swallowed his oatmeal and stared at the bowl. He slowly raised his head and looked at her. She was gazing at him with eager anticipation, waiting for him to tell her how she could help him.
Looking down at his oatmeal again, Reid stirred it and took another bite. He didn't know what she could do to help him, short of petitioning his superiors to promote him or move him somewhere where he wouldn't have any interaction with Michael.
When he looked up at Gabrielle again he could see concern in her eyes, and worry was obviously expressed across her face. He was causing her enough trouble and worry without saying anything more.
"No," he finally replied. "There isn't really anything you can do."
"But is there even just a little something?" Gabrielle asked.
"No," Reid replied, keeping his gaze on his oatmeal.
"Oh, but Reid, I can't just sit around and watch you suffer," Gabrielle protested. "I need to do something to help you."
"You can't always fix it all," Reid said, looking up at her.
"I know," Gabrielle replied. "But I can help, can't I?"
"Not necessarily," Reid replied.
Tears glittered in Gabrielle's eyes, sitting on the threshold, waiting to fall.
"You're worrying enough Gabrielle," Reid said. "I don't want you to wear yourself out."
"But you're wearing yourself out," Gabrielle protested, her voice choked with sadness and a tear sliding down her cheek.
"Yeah, I know," Reid replied. "I'm banging my head against a wall, trying to get through it to some impossible dream that I don't seem to be allowed to have."
"It isn't impossible," Gabrielle said.
"Then why aren't we there yet?" Reid asked. "With the money I'm making we should be doing better than this, and we aren't. We're still here, still . . . stuck, like we can't go forwards."
"But we are so close, we're almost there," Gabrielle said. "Just until April, and then we have nothing holding us back. Can't you see the light at the end of the tunnel?"
"No," Reid replied. "I can't."
Gabrielle took a napkin and gently dabbed the tears from her eyes. Reid hated making her cry, but she seemed rather easy to do it to, especially lately. Reid got up from the table and took his dirty dishes to the sink."