One Last Wish

In celebration of the holidays – and a way for me to put off studying for finals for just a little while longer – I’ve decided to give you all a sneak peak at my manuscript for One Last Wish.

I have a lot of plans for this book, one of which is for it to be a full length novel. This means, it’ll be at least twice as long as Shadows and Lost Voice were.

This sneak peak is unedited. Raw. Written and given to you like ripping a piece of my mind out and splattering it on a sheet of paper without cleaning it up. Risky, but thrilling. This is the very opening to the book. Be honest, tear it apart, force me to make it better. But over all of it, enjoy.

I feel the plate slip from my hand but when it falls to the floor, scattering shattered glass across the linoleum, no sound emerges. There is only the sound, rather primitive, that rumbles at the back of my throat. My vision clouds, distorting the images before me and I clasp my trembling hands together in a hopeless effort to steady them. All eyes are on me, watching for when I finally crumble like the wilted flower I am; fragile and prepared to break at the slightest touch. The room freezes around me and I almost think time has stopped. But time is infinite. It can neither end nor begin. It keeps ticking, each second bringing you closer to a minute. But this minute seemed to never end. Tick tock. Tick tock. Sixty seconds in a minute, but this minute dragged on, an infinite number of seconds accompanying it.

“What did you say?” I ask, bending to pick up the shattered glass. An added distraction to help avoid the repeated sentence. Nana catches my arm with a hand and I stiffen. My back straight and my eyes ahead, I try to hear Officer Reed Parker’s scripted apology once more, but his voice is muffled. Have I suddenly gone deaf? I look to Nana, then once more at Reed. I focus on his lips and try to read them. I’ve always been good at that.

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” He sighs, his hands grip his hat tightly at his waist. What loss? I look to Nana again and see the tears slip over the wrinkles lining her eyes. Should I be crying? What did I lose?

And then it hits me. My heart stops. My breath catches. I can’t breath. I can’t move. I panic. Look to Nana who’s trying to calm herself to help me. I look to Reed. He stands before me, eyes drifting towards the floor. Unmoving. I clasp a hand to my throat, fighting to get the air into my lungs. But I can’t. I feel faint. I’m going to pass out. I hear the blood rushing to my head. I feel my heartbeat in my chest once more. Fast. Hard. Loud.

I think of her. Six years old. Lost. Murdered. And for what? What purpose did killing a child have in this world? Why would someone do this to my little girl? I need to know why. I need to know who. I need to calm down so I can ask Reed the questions that are burning at the back of my mind. Time is infinite. But time has stopped.

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College Rant

Get a degree. Further your career. Make good money. Give up four crucial years of your life. Go to college. It’ll be fun they said.

They lied.

The thing is, this whole college thing isn’t fun. Or easy. Or cheap. You see, I’m in my third year of college and I’m behind on my major. Correction. I’m not even a part of my major yet. When I graduated high school I was absolutely certain I wanted to be a doctor. A OBGYN to be exact. But things change. People change their minds every day. I can barely decide what I want for dinner tonight. After my first year of college, I started working at the hospital as a CNA, a certification I got my senior year of high school.

And you know something? I loved it. Still do. So much that I decided to change my major to nursing. But here’s the problem. My GPA wasn’t up to the 3.0 it needed to be. As a pre-med major, my 2.1 GPA was considered decent. Hell, even my current 2.57 GPA is considered great. But not if I want to change majors. Nope, I need a 3.0 to have a chance at switching. I’m hoping this semester will finally get me to that 3.0. Otherwise I’m screwed.

I go to school full time to get as much financial aid as possible. I work full time (and sometimes overtime) to be able to pay the rest of my tuition my financial aid doesn’t cover. Limiting myself on either school or work will not go over well for me. But that’s another story for another time.

School’s hard. My philosophy class requires a seven page essay following a hundred pages of extensive reading every week. This isn’t the only assignment assigned each week, but it is the most time consuming. At the end of doing this course work, working my 36+ hours of overnights at the hospital, attending class, and sneaking in sleep here and there to keep me going, what time is left for my other course work? This, in turn, poses a risk to my GPA. If I can’t spend time on my other classes, will my grades fail?

Yes, I admit I’m procrastinating right now by writing this blog post, but if you truly think about it, my writing is suffering. I haven’t written a blog post in almost a month, and it had been longer before that one. My word count for One Last Wish has been stuck at 4000 words for almost two months and I usually write at least 2,000 a day. That means the book should be close to half way finished  if not more!

Let me conclude with this statement: I am 20 years old and my social life consists mainly of my coworkers at work, roommate, her boyfriend, and seeing my boyfriend on weekends. College runs my life. It’s not fun. It’s not easy. But hopefully, one day I’ll look back, years from now, and be able to say it was worth it.

Good Catch! – or not?

Four years ago I would say I didn’t know how to watch after a child.

Four years ago the mere thought of emesis (better known as throw-up or vomit) would make me gag. But even still, at fifteen years old I made the agreement to become a godmother and at sixteen I had a godson.

Today on our long drive to visit my dad at work (only an hour, but to both a four and one year-old, it seems like forever), Carter suddenly made a strange face. I knew that face. The one where you’re trying to focus on anything but the strange feeling in your tummy. The one that turns pale and the lips tighten to contain anything that may want to come out. I’d seen that face before – hell, I’ve even made it.

I hit the brakes as I pulled into the breakdown lane, threw the car into park, tapped on the hazard lights, whipped off my seat belt and jumped out of the car. By the time I’d gotten to him, he was holding his hand under his chin covered in bile.

“I threwed up, Cole,” he said and then made the face again.

As a CNA, the first instinct was to catch it. And I did just that – with two bare hands.

I’ve now learned the most essential things to carry in a car when travelling with children (which I had):

  1. A bottle of water
  2. napkins
  3. wipes

He felt better, which was good, and after cleaning him, my car, and myself (while consoling a crying one year old because of a mixture of thinking it was time to get out of her car seat and upset her brother was sick) we enjoyed our visit with my dad.

But I have a whole new respect for my parents. There was definitely a time or two (hundred?) growing up that my parents did the same for me. Dealing with a child who gets motion sickness even going ten minutes down the road had to be tough. But they stuck it out and I thank them for that. (and wholly apologize)

7-7-7 Challenge

I was tagged to do the 7-7-7 challenge by Holly Harker (check out her post here)

The challenge is to open your current work in progress to the seventh page, drop down to the seventh line and then post the next seven lines.

My current work in progress is called One Last Wish. I’m actually quite excited about this book and I hope you are too. Leading up to the scene I’m about to show you, Brooke has just left the bar where she’s met the bartender, Sean, her future love interest, for the first time. It’s the day her daughter would have turned seven if she hadn’t been declared dead two months earlier after being missing for some time.

Brooke has had an eerie feeling someone has been watching her ever since her daughter went missing and she may not be wrong. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Outside, the cool breeze brushes my tangled hair behind me and I hastily pull the brown curls into a messy bun on top of my head. I take in the fresh air and listen to the hum of the town. The bar sits roughly two miles from my apartment and I start my steady stride, hoping Nana will be fast asleep by the time I walk through the door.

I can still feel the eyes following me like a tracker; digging in to expose the wounded soul I’ve become. I quicken my pace, the air biting at my cheeks. I’m panting, almost tripping over my feet as I run down the road. I take a peek behind me and slow my pace to a walk when I don’t see anyone.

Oh, Brooke. Maybe your feeling is right, maybe it’s wrong.

I’m not sure who to tag, so I’m going to challenge anyone who reads this post and wants to do it. Tag me in it if you do, I want to see it!

Updates

Hey guys,

I wanted to formerly apologize for not posting regularly. Between work and writing TWO books (I’ll get to that in a moment), interviews and my birthday coming up in under two weeks, I’ve just been slacking. I’m sorry.

So onto the news!

I have a blog tour coming up. It’s supposed to be this weekend, but it may have to be pushed back a little bit due to needing more blogs to sign up. I’ll give out more information as it comes to me from my marketer.

Next, I have three author interviews coming up in the next few weeks. I’ve already answered the questions for one, and I will post a link where you can find it as soon as it’s posted. I have another scheduled for August 1st and this interview will be with Chris VanderReyden and will be on video! I’ve interviewed with him in the past and I had a blast, so there’s a lot in store for you all with this interview! The last interview will be with Kelly Smith, another whom I’ve interviewed with in the past, and will also be a video.

Also, I want to start making video posts to make things more personal for you all rather than having to sit back and read my boring blog posts (unless you enjoy them, and for that you are more than welcome to continue reading!) But I want you all to get to know me better rather than just another writing sitting at a blank computer screen hoping words will flow out of her fingertips onto the page. So if there’s anything you want me to post about whether it’s video or just in writing, please do let me know!

As for the books. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m currently working on two books. The first is a children’s book that I’m writing. I’m taking a writing class and our subject is children’s literature. My first draft is due on August 3rd, and I can’t wait to share the final product with you! The second book will be a full length novel. That means it will be roughly the size of Lost Voice and Shadows put together. I’m still working out the plot line and have a few scenes written here and there, but I’m hoping for this one to come out sometime next year!

Lastly, if you haven’t already, follow me on my social media sites where you can keep up to date with my everyday life. I love to get connected!

Twitter: @nbelanger6
Instagram: @nbelanger6
G+: plus.google.com/+nicolelorrettebelanger
Facebook: Facebook.com/authornicolebelanger
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/users/nbelanger6OFFICIAL

The Teenage Years Are Ending

It’s recently come to my attention that I’ve been massively slacking on my blog posts. It’s also come to my attention that in less than one month I’ll no longer be a teenager. That’s right, on August 4 I will finally turn the big 2-0. That’s in about twenty-three days. But who’s counting?

As most of you already know, I started working at my first job when I was fourteen, graduated high school at seventeen and moved into my own apartment when I was eighteen (just after I got my first “big girl” job as a CNA at the hospital). If that doesn’t scream adult, I don’t know what does.

But even so, I feel like I’m not an adult. I’ll always be a kid at heart, but I’ve suddenly realized even though I have the excuse that I’m still a teenager for the next twenty-three days, what will be my excuse twenty-four days from now? Do I really have to admit that I’m a – GASP – grown-up?

I guess there’s a bright side to all of this: in three-hundred-eighty-eight days I will legally be able to drink alcohol.