Friday, February 27, 2015

Teaser Time: Excerpt from "The Melody"

Good morning!  With about a month to go before my second book "The Melody" is published, I thought it would a good time to give everyone a teaser.  Enjoy!  (The following work is copyright 2015 by H.A. Larson and is the sole property of H.A. Larson author.)

"Jessie opened the front door with a sense of déjà vu.  She turned to look at her mother, her face softer this time.  “Just when are you in the mood mom?”
Lisa softened on hearing Jessie call her 'mom,' just like Tom had cringed when she had called him 'dad' instead of her usual 'daddy.'  Jessie hadn’t referred to her as anything except 'mother' in the last five years.  “I don’t know,” she answered her daughter honestly.
“Bye mom,” Jessie said softly as she turned to walk down the front steps towards Matt’s waiting car.
“Bye Jessie,” Lisa responded in kind before adding, “Be careful.”
“I will,” Jessie answered without looking back.  Now it’s was Lisa’s turn for déjà vu.  Again, she watched through the window as her daughter drove off with the mystery boy.  When they were out of sight, she turned to go back to what she had been doing previously.
Standing on the stairway staring at her was her middle child, Joey.  “Fighting with Jessie like usual?” he asked her.
She sighed and told him, “No Joey, we weren’t fighting.”
            “What would you call it then?”
            “We were having a disagreement.”
            “That’s just another way of saying you were fighting.”
            “Ok, I give up.  You’re right Joey.  You’re always right aren’t you?”
            “Are you going to argue with me too?”
            “Don’t start!” Lisa scolded him.
            “Whatever,” he answered while holding her gaze.
            “You’re just like your sister,” she chided him.
            “Ever think maybe you’re the one with the problem?” he boldly asked her.
            Flabbergasted by his biting words, all she could do was stand there with her mouth open.  Knowing he hit a nerve, he turned and walked back upstairs to the solitude of his bedroom. 
            “Like father, like son,” she muttered under her breath.  Both Tom and Joey spent most of their time hiding out in their preferred spaces.  Even Jake, who was almost ready to drive alone, was spending more and more time in his room and away from the common areas.  It just contributed to the feelings of being alone that she had experienced for many years.
            She hadn’t always felt alone.  She used to have Christie.
Growing up, she had always had plenty of friends, but none that she considered a best friend.  That all changed during the summer between third and fourth grades, when Christie Anderson had moved into the vacant house next door. 
It used to be the home of the Meyer family whose children were long gone when Lisa’s family moved into the sleepy ranch to their left.  Mr. Meyer passed away at age seventy-nine, and Mrs. Meyer followed five years later.  Their old two-story Victorian sat empty for a year until the Andersons bought it.
They were from Pennsylvania originally, but had moved to Clayton when Christie’s dad, Mike, had accepted a promotion from Central Railroad.  Central Railroad’s corporate office was in Clayton, and the railroad itself had contributed to the growth of Clayton.  It was the reason Clayton hadn’t withered into a ghost town by now.
Christie was the same age as Lisa, and they had hit it off right away.  Christie really understood Lisa, Lisa really understood Christie, and they loved all the same things.  By the end of the summer they were best friends.  They grew up together in their neighboring houses on the quaint and quiet street of Choke Cherry Lane.  They had many slumber parties, and went on vacations with each other’s families.  They had shared all their hopes, all their dreams, and, like best friends do, they had also kept each other’s secrets. 
Then the summer after they graduated high school, right after Lisa found out she was pregnant, Christie disappeared.  Lisa was devastated by the inexplicable loss of her closest, dearest friend that, to this day, she never really had another friend period.  She didn’t want another friend, she wanted Christie back, but she knew in her heart that Christie was probably long dead.
She had never been the same since that summer, and she realized the truth: that she was angry and bitter because of it.  This led her to be the aloof, icy person she was today.  She thought of how much different she would probably be now if her friend were still alive.  She hung her head in sadness as a lone tear fell from her eyes and landed on the floor.  It was the first time she had cried in years, so she let the salty water flow down her face as she got down to sit cross-legged on the floor. 
Alone in the corner, forever alone while her family kept their usual distance, her body heaved with sobs that were a long overdue.  Off in the distance, the sky darkened.  A lone shot of thunder cracked through the sky, rumbled throughout the house, and masked the sounds of heartache."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hoping for a Productive Day!

Good morning friends and fans!

It's been a really busy few weeks!  I know I've said that before, but my outside job has been taking up a good chunk of my time.  After my seasonal job ended, I picked up a part-time position at a new business that was planning for a mid-February opening.  Of course, knowing how construction issues go, they haven't been able to open as scheduled, but we're near the end, and as a result, we've been putting in many many hours getting everything clean and staged.  My whole body hurts today from all the physical labor, which I admit I'm just not used to, and so I'm happy to have the next couple of days off to get much-needed things done around here & give my body a rest.

Today, I definitely need to put in some extra time getting some writing done while I babyshit the maintenence man, hired by my landlord, to put new doors on the house.  I also have to make a run to the bank, the store, and get a haircut for my son.

Things are going well, albeit slower than anticipated, on my forthcoming book "The Melody."  I have decided to publish a new book every quarter, so I have until the end of March to get this one out before I start on my next book, which I have already titled "The Station."  In between those, I have a book of darker poetry coming out, so be looking for that sometime in April.

I'm all relaxed at home now, I've made myself a delicious vegan breakfast scramble (another downfall to working so much is eating crap food), and a nice cup of tea.  I've got most of my social media stuff done for the day, so after I eat I'm going to tackle another chapter.  Have a wonderful day!


H.A. Larson

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pondering and Other Thoughts

Good morning!

I hope you're doing great today.  Like usual, I've been busy with various things, and like most creative people I'm disorganized for the most part.

My kids are now on intersession following parent/teacher conferences.  I had my daughter's yesterday, and today I have my son's.  My son had told me that his conferences were tomorrow, but upon checking the school's website this morning I discovered that it is actually today so I had to shuffle my job around.

I accepted a part-time job back in January so I would have more time at home to focus on my writing, and so I could have more flexibility where my kids are concerned.  My sweet daughter more than likely has ADD and it is affecting her ability to focus at home and at school.  I have an appointment set up for this coming Tuesday to get assessed by a children's behavioral health specialist.  While I'm slightly relieved, I'm a bit anxious.  It's just the mother in me I suppose, the feeling that I have failed her in some way pushes itself to the forefront of my mind.

When my son was in kindergarten, it became obvious that his speech and writing were developmentally behind his peers, and I can remember sitting in a meeting with his teacher and the school's speech specialist.  That day, I felt the same as I felt last night at my daughter's conference.  That feeling of having failed my child mixed with a sense of hopelessness.  I realistically know that neither of these situations is within my control, but it's still hard to deal with anyway.  I'm going to remain hopeful and optimistic, because after all, taking speech therapy at school for a few years was one of the best things that ever happened for my son, and he's done nothing but excel from there.  I just want what's best for my daughter, and I have faith that she will come out on top.

On a lighter note, my second book is coming along nicely, and I'm pleased with where it is going.  As for my first book "Cold", I have had some good, honest reviews from some other authors.  Here are some excerpts:

"Cold is a beautifully written story with a highly engaging narration from beginning to the end. The setting and the relaxed style of dialogues gave the story a strong sense of reality, which I really enjoyed. Though I felt the story was a bit dragging at first, I was taken by Larson’s flawless writing style."

"Cold by H.A. Larson was a joy to read. The novel was extremely well written with great flow and interesting characters. I enjoyed Michael and Jules’ individual struggles with their mother’s death and how they each handled it in their own way. All the characters were vividly drawn with unique voices and distinctive characteristics. The action moved at an appropriate pace as Larson unfolded her tale of ghostly revenge. The scenes with the ghosts were well done and gave me chills."

"Well written, this somewhat 'cosy' ghost story, is filled with believable characters, all of which I felt some degree of sympathy for, even the bad guy."