Monday, May 31, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday, everybody. Today we celebrate the memory of all those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. I hope you’ve had a great weekend and are enjoying the day.

I’d also like to celebrate a very special award. Christine over at Christine’s Journey gifted me with this last week. We can never have too much support on any of our journeys, and if I’ve been that to anyone, I am deeply honored. So many of you have become much needed support on mine, so I’d like to pass this award along to some of you right now.

Tara over at Feel of Something New
Courtney over at Southern Princess
Nymeria over at Nym’s Corner
Lola over at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Donna Hole
VR Barkowski

I can’t possibly mention all of you who’ve been there for me, so please know that I appreciate you all for all that you do. And again, please celebrate yourselves and this wonderful holiday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TGIF! and an award

I don’t know about you, but I am ever so grateful that this week is over. It’s been a forever kind of week, the kind that’s hot and brutal, makes everyone beyond cranky, and seems like it will never end. I’m so thankful for the three day weekend it seems a little pathetic.

To start the weekend right, I want to share an award that were given to me a while ago. Tessa over at Tessa’s Blurb gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award. My thanks to her, and if you get a chance go over and sign up for her Blogfest of Death.

And I’d like to pass this on to some of the most beautiful bloggers I know. Seriously, go visit them and bask in the gloriousness.

Betty over at Bossy Betty
Lois over at Lotus Rising
Aubrie over at Flutey Words
Shelley at Stories in the Ordinary
Lola over at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Theresa at Substitute Teacher’s Saga

That's all for me now. Have a great Friday and a great weekend. I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy together

I’m going to share something with you. For all the years that I have been writing, I’ve never before belonged to a crit group. I’ve had beta readers for years, people I trust to help me make my writing better. And for a long time, that was enough. But I’ve been lucky enough recently to find a home with an online crit group. When I was asked to join, I was just so blown away.

And more than a tad bit worried. I’d never done formal critiques before, am not an English major, and, well, doubted my ability to bring anything worthwhile to the table. And I really didn’t know what to expect or how things worked. I’m happy to say my group members have been incredible. And I’ve learned a lot already just from my time with time.

Write it Sideways has a great post here about the joys and benefits of an online crit group. Check it out and tell me: Do you belong to a crit group? On line or in person? How did you find your group? Is it everything you hoped/wanted it to be?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soul searching

Poet and critic Rainer Maria Rilke once said: “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself: ‘Must I write?’”

This is one of my favorite quotes about writing. What great quotes about writing (or just great quotes in general) stick with/inspire you?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is it hot in here?

I have to admit that when I looked at this post/title I thought to myself how could you not love this? I mean, writing like sex? How cool is that? And then I read it and realized I really did love it. What a great way of looking at writing and the process and there are how-to tips included. What could be better than that?

So tell me: Is this what writing feels like for you? Have you tried any of the how-to tips? Do they work for you or do you have better suggestions you’d like to share?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. It’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

I’ll go first. This weekend I read not one, but two novels a friend of mine had given me to read months ago. Granted, they were novels about WWII Poland and Poland during the Napoleonic era, but they were novels all the same. I don’t read nearly enough. I mean, I read all kinds of student work and professional stuff, but I rarely get to spend time just reading for pleasure. I’ve decided I’m going to do that a lot this summer. Starting with hush, hush, the signed copy I won from the lovely Shannon in her contest so long ago.

Anyway, what about you? What’s making you happy and/or going well in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Happy Friday. My brain is fried and I don’t think I’ve had a coherent thought in days. That’s a bad thing for anyone, but for a writer it’s catastrophic. Writers are story tellers and story tellers are creative. What happens when the creativity dries up and there’s no inspiration to be found?

Write to Done has a great post on how to have ideas. Check out their seven steps to creativity and tell me: How do you inspire creativity?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm supposed to do what?

I’m not there yet, and I may never be there, but at some point I dream of getting to the query stage of my writer’s journey. Heaven knows we’ve all heard a lot about platforms and building them and why they’re necessary. And we’ve all seen the posts about all of this.

Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency has an interesting post about this, including the value of blogs in building a writer’s platform, as well as other really good ideas about how and why we need to do this. The flip side is posted by Rebecca over at Criminal Minds. Go check them out and while you’re doing that I’ll be checking out my Facebook and Twitter accounts again, trying to figure out how to make them useful and not just a time suck. Or maybe I’ll see if I can find a blogfest to sign up for.

And then maybe I’ll go to the library.

How about you? Building your platform? How are you doing it? Or are you ignoring it all and hoping it just goes away?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Decisions, decisions, decisions

We all know the pain, frustration, and fear of failure from our own particular writing sins. I can freely admit that I think my biggest writing weakness is plot and story structure. I’ve struggled and worked on these and still am not happy with myself. And in my current WIP, I’m beyond worried that the choices I’ve made doom the novel and like a beached whale, the cumulative effect of those choices and my weaknesses as a writer will crush the story under its own weight.

Write It Sideways has an interesting post on six fiction writing weaknesses and their quick fixes.

Does anyone else feel like this? What do you consider to be your own writing weaknesses? What do you do/have you done to help fix them?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What were you thinking?

Rejection is a part of life, possibly more for writers than some others. It's part and parcel of the process. But for everyone currently being overwhelmed by revisions and queries and critiques and anything else that carries the sting/possible sting of rejection, Jill Corcoran has an interesting post on famous authors and their famous/rude rejections.

How do you handle rejection/the fear of rejection?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. It’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

Today I want to celebrate the impending end of the year. Three weeks of class (15 classes), and three days of Finals and I am finished. I have to get all of my stuff boxed up/put away, but my classes are right on schedule to cover what we need to, (and four chapters ahead of most everyone else) so I am going to take a moment to celebrate. Given the huge suck of a year that it’s been, I have to have something, right?

Anyway, what about you? What’s happy and/or good going on in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

TGIF! and a Tag

A while ago Raquel Byrnes, Lilah Pierce, and Anne over at Piedmont Writer tagged me with the 5 questions/answers meme. For a "Tag" you answer 5 questions 5 times to share a bit about yourself. So here goes!

Question 1 - Where were you five years ago?
1. Same town, same house.
2. Helping my daughter begin her freshman year at U of M.
3. Helping my youngest begin his freshman year in high school.
4. Doing a lot of writing.
5. Hoping that writing might actually get to the point of being published.

Question 2 - Where would you like to be in five years?
1. In a different house.
2. On a book tour.
3. Watching all of my kids settled into the life of their choice.
4. Working on my Ph.D.
5. Traveling to all the places around the world I’ve always wanted to visit.

Question 3 - What is on your to-do list today?
1. Make it through the last day of the week in my classroom.
2. Finalize the Pacing Guide for my Human Rights and Genocide course.
3. Work on critting at least one chapter for my crit group.
4. Think about a theme for my blog posts next week.
5. Pack and leave for a quick trip to Chicago to pick up my oldest.

Question 4 - What snacks do you enjoy?
1. Potato chips.
2. Any kind of chocolate.
3. Strawberry shortcake.
4. Hot fudge sundae.
5. Rice pudding.

Question 5 - What five things would you do if you were a billionare?
1. Pay all of my bills.
2. Establish trust funds for my kids and their children.
3. Buy each of my kids a house.
4. Start a foundation that grants scholarships to underprivileged kids going to college.
5. Donate to causes/institutions doing work to benefit women and children.

The rules are that I get to pass the Tag along to 5 Bloggers I admire....

Aubrie at Flutey Words
Tara at Feel of Something New
Bossy Betty
Crystal at write because you must
B. Miller

And that's all folks. I'm out. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I’ve done a fair number of blogfests lately, and I have to admit that I’m beginning to wonder. I thought for sure after this last one I was pretty much blogfested out. But, no. I found not one, not two, but three other upcoming blogfests I’ll probably enter. Seriously, I might be addicted. And that’s not counting the short story contest I still plan on entering if I can get myself together.

Now I like blogfests and contests because they force me to write. Maybe not write in my WIP, but write something. And that’s taking more than a little bit of effort lately. Plot Whisperer has a great post here about your relationship with your writing.

Do you participate in blogfests? Think they are good for you and your skills? Or not? And how’s your relationship with your writing?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog fests, blog fests everywhere

It’s apparently time once again for me to indulge myself and revisit my experiment with second person. The Alliterative Allomorph is hosting the Internal Conflict Blog Fest, and this seems to be what called to me. Don’t forget to check out the other entries for some great midweek reading.

You know it’s your fault. You know it when you look at her. When you watch her, knowing that she doesn’t know you’re there.

You remember kissing her, promising her things that you couldn’t possibly ever give her.

Life. Love. Hope. Happiness.

A promise that everything would be all right.

You lied.

You remember kissing her, the familiar tingle of electricity shooting from the tips of your hair straight down your spine to curl your toes.


You remember holding her on your lap, pressed tightly to you, arms and legs and lips tangled. Feeling her under your hand as her body collapsed against yours.

It’s been five years.

Life went on.

You remember promising her love, kissing her with all the passion, hope, truth you still had left to offer her to seal your covenant, putting your mother’s ring on her finger.

Love endured.

She is yours and you are hers. Finally. Always. It’s as simple and as honest as that.

But there are ghosts here. Her. You. Your unborn child who lingers in the walls, whispers in the silence and the shadows, echoes in the heartbeat you listen to every night.

You step into your room. Not quietly like you used to, when she used to hear you. You don’t have to be quiet anymore.

She doesn’t hear you.

You wonder what she thinks. What she sees when she searches that blank void with dead eyes.

Can she see him? There in the cobweb of memory? Your eyes, her hair, your wits, her skills?

Everything that isn’t. Wasn’t. Wouldn’t ever be.

You see untold stories, a fairy tale with a happily ever after, and laughter.

You remember laughter. With her.

You don’t think she does.

You come to stand behind her, rest your hands on her shoulders and she shifts away, tries to hide something.

You know what it is. A possibility. Taken a life time ago. The image black and white and grainy. A small thing, really. No bigger than your thumbprint.

Something beautiful you both still remember.

You take the picture from her gently; lay it reverently on the table next to her brush.

You turn her in your arms, skim your fingertips lightly down her arms, and entwine your hands.

She’d loved you, given you your future, and a happiness you’d only dreamed of.

You let your fingers move to circle her waist, brushing lightly against satin skin as you lift the hem of her shirt. She puts her arms up obediently and you slide it off, toss it into the corner.

You’ll get it tomorrow.

You broke her. You’d tried to fix her, but she was never the same. She’s your dead girl walking.

But you’d grinned your half-assed grin at her, pressed your lips to her scars, and watched her paint on her porcelain smile, shroud her bruised eyes.

And then you broke her some more.

It’s what you did.

What you couldn’t fix, you broke. And every day with you, you watched her die a little more, killing yourself.

Tears like rain, flowing like wine, like the sky bleeding.

Your fingertips slide down the silky trail of her spine, under the waistband of her pants and around. You undo the fastener and zipper as you gently kiss her mouth, rest your forehead against hers, and breathe the same air.

You slide the pants over her hips to pool on the floor at her feet; take her hands again as she steps out of them. Long, pale legs and still graceful, she stands before you. You still think she is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.

The more you wanted to fix her, the more you broke her.

It’s what you were good at.

She’s the only thing you’ve ever been afraid of losing. You’re here. She’s here. You’ll go down with your ship.

You sit her down in the chair and begin your nightly ritual.

You breathe deep as you run the brush through the waterfall of ebony that cascades down her back. You’ve always loved running your fingers through that river of silk, the scent and feel of it.

She hasn’t brushed her own hair in five years.

It’s all kinds of wrong, on all kinds of levels. But it’s everything you always wanted. Everything you’d ever dreamed.

Your perfect circle.

You want to live with her. Want to give her what she needs. You want her to know that.

Touch. Warmth. Strength. Connection.

You’ll never let anything ever come between you again.

You put the brush down, pull her up close and wrap her in your arms. She nuzzles at your chest. It’s almost like she’s searching for your heart, where it should be but isn’t.

She’d taken that the first time you’d laid eyes on her.

Beautiful. It’s what she is. What she’s always been. What she always will be to you.

You lead her to bed, lay yourself down beside her. She nestles in your arms, scoots herself back. You spoon yourself around her, hand tangled in her hair, her back to your chest, your legs tangled in hers.

“We’re gonna be okay.”


It’s not a lie, just a necessary untruth. She believes you because she trusts you fully.


You whisper a kiss into her hair and close your eyes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Standing on formality

I have a confession to make. I have no real, formal training in writing aside from high school English classes and the required Comp class in college. I’m not an English or Creative Writing major and my degrees are not in the Humanities.

I’ve always written on and off, but didn’t begin to write fiction regularly until about ten years ago. And my friends, both of whom have English degrees, did beta and critique. And I’ve been wondering off and on if/how that affects me as a writer. I mean, I'm not always very technical in my analysis and craft. Does that make me a fraud?

So, I’m thinking of taking a writing class. And I wanted to know: How did you come to writing? Through a program, degree, or classes? Some other way? If you took them, in college or on your own, did you find classes on writing helpful? Or did you find books on writing equally or more helpful?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. It’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

Today I want to celebrate my weekend. I may have spent most of my waking hours this weekend in a car crisscrossing four states a couple of times and done nothing at all productive, but for the first time in a long time all four of my kids were home at the same time. Yeah, their friends were all here as usual, but I found I was strangely nostalgic for that.

Mother’s Day was nice with dinner and cards and presents. And yes, I did get chocolate.

I hope you all had a great weekend and that all the moms out there had a wonderful day.

And yes, I'd like to celebrate and thank all my new followers. If you've recently started following and I haven't returned the honor, it's because your profile doesn't show up and I can't find you. Drop me a comment and I'll be happy to follow you, too.

Now what about you? What’s happy and/or good going on in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Friday, May 7, 2010

TGIF! and a Blogfest

Today after school I'm headed back to Chicago for a quick weekend trip. But I'm leaving you with a little something. Andrew over at The WriteRunner is hosting a Bad Girl Blogfest. So here's my entry. I'll see you all on Monday, and I hope you have a great weekend.

She’s been here a week, stalking her prey, before she finally decides on the killing ground. She knows the when, the how, and now the where.

She also knows the why; she just doesn’t care.


She’s trailed him four times now, marked his route. He’s always in early and out late; straight shot, no stops. And he always uses the stairs to enter and exit the skyway that connects the parking garage with the high-rise tower that houses his small, low-level government office.


At this point of convergence, she times it perfectly.

She knows the lower levels are empty, and smiles up at the shriveled little man hurrying down as she climbs.

The landing is narrow where they meet, and she nods as he angles slightly to give her room to pass. She steps and pivots as her right hand pulls up her pistol and fires into the back of the little man’s head from a distance of less than six inches.

The suppressor is more than worth its cost. There isn’t a sound except the snick of the trigger as the man’s thin hair puffs out in a sudden splash of pale pink and crimson.

The body crumples and begins to fall. She follows it down, fires a second shot into the head as legs and arms splay on the ground.


Stepping over and away from the body, she heads back down the stairs and out into the quiet of a dark, empty street.

In less than an hour the sun will rise and she will be gone.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In the beginning

Among the myriad other issues and problems I’m currently wrestling with, I’m having serious problems with deciding where and when to start my WIP. I’ve got a number or possible starting points, but I cannot for the life of me make any of them work for me in the long run. Anyway, Pub Rants had a really great post about this here that you should check out.

How do you know you’ve got the right beginning? Do you use back story? Think it’s a good thing? How much description is too much? How do you know?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One Hundred Posts and the Primal Scream Blogfest

On New Year’s Day I began this blog as part of a resolution. Today I am posting my one hundredth post. I’d like to thank all of you who have welcomed me and made this possible.

And what better way to celebrate the big one hundred than with a blogfest entry? This one is for Raquel Byrnes’ Primal Scream Blogfest.

They met no resistance as the swarm of black copters entered hostile air space. Following a tight vector, they moved fast and low over the breakers between a littered, white sand beach and the sunlit blue vista of ocean and sky.

Curled into his seat, long legs pulled up close against his chest, O’Neill felt the anxious anticipation that seemed to have become a part of him simmer just beneath his skin. Felt that edginess and tension spark between the others like an electrical current arcing within the confines of the ship.

The pilot’s voice sounded in his ear. “Two minutes.”

He pushed to his feet and watched the squad do their weapons check. Fifty pounds of gear and ammo. Grenades and grenade launchers. Shaped explosive charges. M-16s all around.

“Hang on.” The warning came harsh over the comms as the pilot wrestled with the controls and the helicopter bucked hard in the turbulence of a sky that was on fire.

O’Neill braced and watched Afram and Diallo go through their silent personal rituals of preparation and last minute mental checklists.

The ship slowed just as he finished his own brief final run through.

Hit the ground. Find the hatch. Blow the hatch. Cover their asses.

Pulling on his gloves, he flexed his fingers, triple checked his weapon, and rehearsed his choreographed moves.

Hit the ventilation ducts. Cover their asses.

“One minute.”

Find the elevator. Hit the down button. Cover their asses.

He stood and moved carefully with the rest of the team to stand next to the door as the ship moved down over the city and approached their target site.

Search the tiers. Cover their asses.

He braced again against the sudden change in pitch as the helicopter hovered over the brown storm of swirling dust kicked up by the rotating blades.

Find Zoë. Cover her ass.

Under his flack jacket, his heart pounded in his chest and over the sound of the rotor and engines, his pulse roared in his ears.

Out the way you came in.

“Fifty seconds.”

Don’t fuck this up.

Everything sharpened into vivid relief. Looking around, he saw Afram tap his helmet with two fingers. O’Neill reached up and lowered his faceplate as the copter hovered and silently began counting down.

Going to get Zoë. Gonna bring her home.

Then they were through the worst of it and pilot flared the ship, settled it gracefully, and screamed his final instructions over the comms as the hatch dropped open.

“Go. Go. Go.”

O’Neill followed Diallo out the door, in position, weapon ready. He barely registered the hazy heat shimmering like a wave, the trails of smoke that hung in the heavy air, or the plumes of ash rising in the burning orange distance as he scanned for targets and threats.

Afram took point, moving quickly toward the ventilation shaft. Reaching the hatch that led inside, he put a shaped charge in place before retreating a safe distance. When it blew, they followed the blast, diving inside.

Ninety seconds later, moving in formation, they had worked their way to a grille. Afram braced and kicked it out. Diallo tossed a high velocity shaped charge down the hole. The blast came almost immediately and then they were moving forward, dropping down through the hole and firing on guards as they landed in the main control center.

Weapons fire lit up the room as O’Neill rolled to cover under a console, counted, then came up to spray continuous fire in his target window.

“Elevator,” Diallo hissed over the comms when it was over.

Afram stood and pointed to the far wall. Stepping over bodies, the tall male commando led the way to the door and hit the call control as they flattened themselves against the wall and waited.

It was empty when the doors opened and the ride down wasn’t long.

Coming out, Afram was back on point and they were moving in formation down the tunnel, scanning for resistance in their target windows. Fifteen seconds later, an explosion and shots from a side tunnel indicated they had finally found it.

Gun fire jumped across the junction. As he hunkered down against the wall, a second explosion came from O’Neill’s left.


He rolled across the junction, popped up to lay down suppression fire as Afram and Diallo took up position and began firing at their targets. Two explosions in quick succession had his ears ringing, but even so he could still hear the sound of someone screaming instructions.

He looked across at Afram, who nodded and snugged his rifle to his shoulder and began laying down cover fire that lit its way down the tunnel as O’Neill pulled a grenade.

Squeeze. Throw. Dive.

The shock of the wave sent him into the wall and O’Neill heard more missiles go off as he rolled again and took out one guard in his target window. Shots to his right alerted him to a missed target. He popped up from cover and squeezed off five shots. In his peripheral vision he saw Diallo off to his right, taking out another guard while scanning for other threats.

The next explosion, when it came, deafened them all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How do you read?

Like most of you, I like to read. A lot. And I have very fond memories of doing just that as a child and growing up. Reading all kinds of things in all kinds of places from curled up in bed or on a couch to reading in diners and coffee shops.

I read all kinds of things now. Newspaper and professional articles, student work, lesson plans, blogs of all kinds, and tons and tons of online articles in the name of research for either my writer or teacher personas.

I’m currently reading historical fiction about Germany and Russia’s invasion of Poland that kick starts WWII. I like the book a lot, but it points up to me again how very little reading I do anymore for pleasure. And how much being a writer influences the way I read.

Criminal Minds has two really interesting posts here (don’t read the second half of the post about Goldman-Sachs if that’s not your thing) and here.

So tell me. What are you reading now? More or less than before? Does being a writer influence how/what you read? Your enjoyment of it?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Celebrate Monday and Giveaway Winners

Here we are again at Monday and it’s time to celebrate ourselves. Tell us something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

Today I want to celebrate the winners in my 150 followers contest. There were a ton of entries and my husband did the honors of picking the winners. So here they are.

The winner of the first prize of a $20 gift card is VR Barkowski. The two winners of the $15 gift cards are Justine Dell and Summer from …and this time, concentrate.

Congratulations to all three of you. Click on my email in the sidebar if you would please, and shoot me an email with your email address and your choice of gift card, and I’ll get that out to you as soon as I can.

So that takes care of that. What about you? What’s happy and/or good going on in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Lines Blogfest

These are the last lines of a roughly 7000 word short story where I played with switching POVs. It's my entry in Lilah's Last Lines Blogfest. Go here to check out the other entries and have a happy weekend.

You stretch and shift and reach for her in the dark. Your eyes snap open; the sheets are cool beneath your hand. Pushing up on an elbow, you listen hard in the silence.

You leverage yourself upright, swing your legs around. Your feet hit the floor and you push off the bed; long strides march you across the room to the crib.

It’s empty.

Glacial cold crawls out of your gut, climbs up and into in your chest; makes it hard to breathe.

Two silenced clicks split the stillness, and you’re moving before the muted sound of two quick thumps in succession, snagging the Berretta as you edge out of the room and into the hallway.

You almost trip over the first body and your hands come up, palms out as the pistol swings to target you.

“Where’s the baby?” Raw words tear at your throat, explode in the silence.

“Down the hall.” Her voice is low and harsh; a fierce whisper as she drops her weapon, reaches over to check for a pulse on the other body.

You stand in the dark and the silence and look at the woman you love.

And you hope.

“We have to go.”

She looks up at you through the tops of bright, brittle eyes set deep in the shadows of her perfect, pale face.

Biting down on her lip as she flows to her feet and stands, she doesn’t say a word as she pushes past you into the bedroom.


You shrug the flight bag higher on your shoulder as you bounce on the balls of your feet, sharp eyes scanning the length of the dim hallway.

In less than an hour the first red-orange brush strokes of the sun will be rising over the foothills, waking the city, and you want to be gone.

The door snicks open beside you and she slips out, baby on her hip, shadowed figure behind her.

She steps to your side and the old woman’s eyes slide over you as gnarled fingers come up to cup her face.

“Be safe.”

She smiles and turns, shifts the baby more comfortably on her hip as she walks down the hall.

The door snicks closed behind you as you follow, catch up to her.

You slide your arm over her shoulders and she doesn’t pull away.