Christie recently weathered Hurricane Sandy and she’s here to tell us some of her experiences.
The Anatomy of an Author Without Power
So recently, I found myself in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. My characters, family and I live in NJ. We lost power for four days along with a tree, a portion of my fence and a trellis – nothing compared to what so many others had.
I found my characters knocking on my brain demanding that I write. But how could I? Obviously in this day and age I do all my writing on a computer. Now I did have my iPad but we were also without Internet, and I house all my writing online in Google Drive. I tried to tell them but they refused to listen. They stamped their feet and annoyed me until I had to find a way to get their story moving again. Now if I had a nice manual typewriter down the basement or in the attic, I would have gladly jumped on and typed the story out (I could later OCR the copy back into my computer). But alas, I was at a loss for that steam-punk-like machine as well. It seemed pen and paper was all I had to offer them, knowing I would have to type it all back in later. Something I was not looking forward to doing. But they were relentless and incessant in their demands.
And so I wrote with pen in hand, ink on paper, and I have to tell you, I’d forgotten how writing could make your hand and wrist sore, especially now that I was so out of practice. I complained to them but they only told me that good work, hard work, does not come without blood, sweat, tears and a sore hand. So I wrote more. And then I wrote some more, until a notebook had been half filled. This seemed to quiet my natives for a bit. Until … new characters started to knock on my brain.
They wanted their story told, the story of being stuck in a hurricane without power. I laughed at them and told them they were copycats, but they only laughed back at me; then proceeded to tell me how much free material I was getting. They told me research didn’t come cheap and sometimes a good author needed to experience the story before writing it. And I understood what they meant. My present situation was lending to an amazing storm scene as well as dealing with the aftermath. So again I told the new characters about my computer. I asked them if jotting down a few ideas would be enough for them. They giggled and said “No! You know you don’t write that way, so why are you even suggesting it? Now sit down, get your pen and write!” Sometimes characters can be a bit annoying like that.
So I listened, like the good little author I am, and began to write their story. Did I mention all of this happened while I was in the dark? That’s right. I wrote all this via candlelight, ink and paper. It brought me a sense of what it must have been like for many of the classic authors. I had a new appreciation for them. And my characters said, “Your welcome, Christie, because sometimes you have to go back to the basics. It will make you a better writer.”
And they were right. Without my computer, or even a light bulb, my creativity flowed without interruption. Well, my kids still called for my attention, but nothing else did. No Twitter. No Facebook. No email. No thesaurus or dictionary. And it showed in my writing. So I thanked my characters for forcing me to continue to work and making me realize that I had been missing out on some of the joy of writing because technology got in the way. I guess I should have known. I still enjoy holding a real book in my hand to read. It’s so much more intimate. Oh did I mention I read too? Simpler times. And so now one of my new storm provisions shall always include a pen, paper and candle. Hell, I might try writing that way just for fun!
Can a childhood pact affect the lives of three adults?
Love and betrayal surrounds the lives of lifelong friends Lanie Rhodes, Grant Bennett, and Dane Voight. Years ago, they made a pact to remain together as friends forever. The boys also made another secret pact that same day—to never vie for Lanie’s love.
Grant and Lanie have secretly been pining for one another since they were children.
Now grown up, they finally admit their feelings for each other and what ensues is a twisted tale of deception as Dane does everything he can to stop them.
The story weaves around this uneven love triangle. What will happen to the pact? Will friendships be destroyed? Will lovers emerge?
“You go first,” I said.
“All right. I missed you so much these past six months,” he offered.
“I already know that; that doesn’t count.”
“But I don’t think you know the extent or how.”
“Okay . . . how then?”
“I don’t ever want you to be away again.”
“Grant, work will always cause one of us to travel for extended—” and he put a finger over my lips. I suddenly felt the urge to wrap my tongue around it.
“No, Lanie. I don’t ever want you to be away from me; never again. I missed you terribly.”
“Um, terribly?” God I was so lame. I stared into his eyes. The heat between us became intense. It was almost like electricity was crackling between us.
“Lanie, do I have to spell this out for you?”
“Yes, please. Spelling, definition, and then use it in a sentence.”
And then he just kissed me. It was a soft, gentle kiss that sent a shock wave from my lips right to my girliest of girl parts. When he pulled away, not very far away, he just stared into my eyes with something that was not looking at me like a sister. What was he searching for?
“Could you please spell that again?” I murmured. He relaxed and laughed softly and kissed me again, this time allowing his tongue to brush across my bottom lip. I was melting.
It took everything not to pounce on him and do all the naughty things that were suddenly running through my head right there on my porch.
“Use it in a sentence, please.” I whispered with my eyes still closed, my head still tilted.
“Of course.” And he crushed his lips to mine, pulling my body against his. I was lost in him. His tongue began swirling with mine and my head began swirling, too. We remained in this sentence, which was slowly approaching a paragraph. I didn’t care, I would have been happy kissing a novella with him.
When our lips finally parted, I wasn’t sure what to do next. “Would you like to come in?” I sounded like a complete idiot.
“Lanie, I’m not sure this is right or wrong. I just know it’s what I want. But I want to go very slowly. I don’t ever want to hurt you or ruin things between us. Maybe not tonight. Promise you understand.”
I raised my right hand and stated, “I promise I understand.”
And then his lips were on mine again. I reached up and curled my fingers into his hair and drank him in. I wanted to pull him inside to see where this would go, but I had promised. So I released him.
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About the Author:
Christie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.
After the death of her father, Christie searched for something to fill her desire to make a mark in this world. Her love of the arts and creativity allowed her to search for a new medium, which she found with a pen instead of a brush. Being an avid reader her whole life, and with her family cheering her on, she decided to take her shot, and began writing.
Fascinated by the supernatural and sharks, Christie studies both avidly. You’ll be sure to find something spooky lurking somewhere in her stories. Her greatest joy is sitting on a beach with her family while surf fishing, flying kites or building sandcastles with her girls.