Today I completed the much needed spelling / grammar check of Moonlight, my adult romance novel. Believe you and me, there was plenty to adjust. I have given Moonlight a bit of space since finishing, so I could focus on Volume 2 of Craving Beauty. Also, it’s pretty standard protocol when revising / drafting your novel to give it a week or two of distance before tackling the tough stuff. But I felt it time to begin small, like check for simple things like spelling and obvious grammar mistakes. Next I’ll go through the entire manuscript and hash out what exactly I have in my hands. I have honestly never done a proper drafting process, so this book is to be my big experiment. Planning on the whole works here, from printing off a double-spaced copy to mark up in red, figure out what structure I have and what needs fixing, all that jazz. Wish me luck!
– And here is a snippet of Moonlight for your viewing pleasure –
The train station was the opposite direction from where my former traveling companion had lit off. I picked up my pace, eager to get going. My ticket really was for tomorrow, but it should not be a problem to change. The sooner I got back to Petersburg the better. I had been on the road for over six months this last stretch and was ready to tuck my wanderlust away.
I have been all over since I finished my master’s degree at university, from Romania to Prague. Thanks to Papa’s old family money and by living cheaply on the road, I had no real financial worries. There was always my father’s house in Petersburg to come home to, even if it was empty as a tomb most days. As much as my mother’s gypsy blood bade me wander, my father’s Russian side craved the motherland.
I learned to hate my mother over the years, even as I feared becoming her. However, I could admit now, after scouring every caravan and carnival I came across, that this trek across Europe was more about finding her than me. I dreamed about confronting her sometimes, blaming her for all my troubles.
We know better, don’t we Zvezda? No one forced you to do anything you did not want to do.
I ignored the rumbling in my stomach and the light drizzle of morning rain as I neared the train station. I was caught somewhere in a maze of cottage-like businesses. On a good day, I would have let my feet step where they may and explored each one of these places. My most interesting treasures came from shops like these. For a moment, I considered avoiding all the places Alec, Sven, whoever might be today, so I could enjoy myself for a change.
That is when my phone started buzzing through my jeans pocket. I cursed as I tried to find a safe alleyway to set down my burden and pull the slim plastic out of my backside. I stared in open-mouthed shock when I saw the name on the caller I.D.
Peter Pavlov, my older by ten years half-brother and former guardian. I used to call him every day when I first came back to Russia from the States. Peter and I grew up there until Papa moved us over when I was eight. After the first year, my daily calls trickled to monthly. The last call was months ago. I had not been a good sister in a long time.
“Peter?” I answered, a little out of breath.
“Hey baby girl,” he answered in his rough, Westernized accent. Hard as he tried, Peter would always sound Russian. “Where you at today? Last, I heard you were in Nuremberg. Enjoying Germany?
“Sure, the city was nice, the men not so nice. I ran into many horny American soldiers while I was there. They beat the crap out of my German boyfriend. I might have had something to do with it.” I grinned as I recalled that snowy night and the way my boyfriend’s fists went flying when I flirted with a boy from Kentucky. The fight bled outside the bar and onto the frozen streets.
Peter chuckled with half his usual gusto. “You always know how to pick them, don’t you?”
“That’s me, Zvezda Danica Pavlova, breaker of hearts and bones.” I snorted and after a pause, added, “I’m actually in Prague at the moment, ‘bout to grab a ticket for Petersburg. I’ve had enough of Europe and Eurotrash.”
“Good. I’m sure the motherland misses you.”
“Oh sure, she misses her favorite wayward child. So, what’s up Petey? The kids okay?” I bit at my thumbnail. I was not winning any awards for Best Aunt of the Year. Besides the rare phone calls, I had Skyped them maybe twice in the last year. The silence that followed my question made me nervous.
He sighed. “Dani, I wish I could tell you this in person…”
“What.” The word came out more like a demand than a question.
“Dani, I’ve been dragging so much lately, the guys actually convinced me to take a day off to go to the doctor. Well, they did a lot of tests and I got the results today.”
“What do you mean results?”
to be continued…
comment below if you want more Moonlight!