Tag Archives: family drama

Boats and Such, by Mae Clair #StoryEmpire

It’s my pleasure to welcome Mae Clair back to Entertaining Stories. She’s parked her bookmobile outside the writing cabin and has some fun things to tell us about.


Hi, friends! I’m jazzed to be visiting with Craig during the Story Empire Roadshow blog tour. If you’re just now connecting, there are posts at all SE author blogs today, with tour prizes scattered throughout. Be sure to check the full slate of events HERE to view the latest happenings.

And don’t forget to follow along. Grand prizes are up for grabs when the tour is complete (mine is a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card), but there are oodles of goodies along the way. The more you follow and comment, the more your chances to win. I’ve even got a surprise in store for today. J

Now, we know this is a Roadshow, but I’m going to turn it into a Boat Show for a short time. Why boats?

I’ve got my mystery/romance novel Eclipse Lake, discounted to .99 cents through April. Notice the word “lake” in the title? You can’t have a lake without boats! Everything from jon boats to a speed boat makes an appearance in this story focused around an unsolved murder.

Although I rarely go boating any more, I spent a good half of my life around boats, starting with a 17’ Crestliner Tri hull. After that, my husband and I moved onto a 21’ pontoon. That boat stayed in the family for decades. We took it bay fishing, river fishing, and even out into the ocean when it was exceptionally calm. I’ve been caught in numerous storms, marooned because of weather a time or two, and been caught in the fog. I think the only place we didn’t take that boat was on a lake. Right now we have a small jon boat designated for lake fishing, but it hasn’t been out in years. Fishing, crabbing, clamming—they’re memories I look back on with fondness.

A few of my characters in Eclipse Lake get to experience boating, mostly the teens. Writing those passages, it was easy to turn back the clock and remember what it was like to soar across the bay or idle off a shaded riverbank. To this day the odor of motor oil mixed with bay water is one I enjoy (yeah, weird, I know, but they say scent is the strongest trigger for memories).

What about you? Do you enjoy boating? What about fishing?

While you’re considering, here’s a short excerpt from Eclipse Lake:


“You want to go to a picnic?” Dane was surprised his son was talking to him, more that Jesse seemed marginally excited by the idea. Little had sparked his interest since their plane touched down in Pennsylvania.

“Yeah. Keith says it’s not a bad time. He goes every year.” Jesse was camped out in a chair in front of the TV with a plate balanced on his lap. He divided his attention between a ham sandwich with chips, and a cheesy B science-fiction movie overrun by mutant tarantulas.
Standing at the snack bar in the kitchen, Dane had a clear view into the living room. “Is the girl going?”

“Her name’s Paige.”

“Is Paige going?”

“Yeah.” Jesse munched a handful of chips, still looking at the TV where a man in a business suit was being ripped apart in a tug-of-war between two gargantuan spiders. “Why?”

“I’d like to meet her.”

No comment on that. Apparently his kid’s communication skills only extended so far when competing with food and bad sci-fi.

Dane shook his head and returned his attention to a number of pending files and reports he’d unpacked from his briefcase. Earlier, Jesse had dumped his keys on the snack bar—probably hoping to be free of the BMW—along with a handful of change, some crumpled fives and tens, and a wadded-up receipt. Knowing the receipt would be from Clyde’s marina, Dane moved to place it in his briefcase for safekeeping.

“Jess.” His eyes fell on the dollar amount. “You rented a speed boat?”

“We wanted to cruise around.” Another handful of chips. Another unfortunate townsperson being turned into arachnid appetizers. “What’s the big deal? It’s not like you don’t have the money.”

Tired of competing with screams from the TV, Dane walked into the room, found the remote and shut off the television. “The big deal is called responsibility.”

“Hey, I was watching that.”

“Too bad.” Dane raised the receipt. “Part of this is coming out of your allowance.”
Jesse rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”

Again with the attitude. After the disaster he’d made with Ellie, Dane wasn’t in the mood for Jesse’s sulking. When had his kid become such a hardcase? Trying to hold his temper in check, he walked back to the kitchen. “I don’t think the picnic is a good idea.”

That struck a nerve.

“Why?” Jesse bolted from his chair and trailed behind him.

Because I’m sick of everyone’s shit. Because it’ll just end in disaster once someone realizes who I am.
He ground his teeth, trying to hold things in perspective. His sole reason for returning to Onyx had been to bring Jonah and Jesse together. He’d made certain his son had financial stability in life, but wanted him to have emotional stability too. So far, all he’d done was fail.


And here’s the blurb:

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Eclipse Lake is a full-length novel of mystery, sweet romance and family drama.
Presently on sale!

Purchase a copy from Amazon • .99 Cents until April 7

Thanks for visiting with me today. Don’t forget to see what the other SE authors have going on during the Story Empire Roadshow. Leave a comment to be eligible for my grand prize drawing for a $10.00 Amazon gift card (the more you follow my tour and comment, the more your chances to win).

For today’s tour stop, I’ll also draw one randomly selected name for an ebook win. Winner’s choice of Solstice Island, Food for Poe, Myth and Magic or A Thousand Yesteryears.

Connect with Mae Clair
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Filed under Writing

Life throws curves.

It really isn't all that easy being a writer. For me, this requires being left alone for lengths of time to get words on the page. I can usually futz about characters and plot during my commute. I've written before about commuting with Lorelei, the Muse. This is beneficial, because there are no other distractions, like WordPress, email, Twitter. I have a routine these days. I get up early on my days off, and write about all the things that came together during my commute hours. It isn't perfect, but it works.

My life changed radically over the weekend. Our 27 year old son moved back in last night. This isn't completely unexpected. He's been living unhappily with a girl for years now, and threatens to move back home regularly. He hasn't worked in years, and I do mean years. He claims back problems, but that's pretty hard to prove medically.

I don't know that I care one way or the other about proof. The fact is that he is here now, and I have my suspicions it will be a permanent change.

My wife and daughter had a major blowout last night. I only got to hear half of it, because it was over the phone. It's one every parent has on occasion. The child is a pig, and expects the parents to clean up after her. It's usually covered up with, “I'll do it later,” or some other fiction. It's not a life changing problem, but it is tension I prefer not to have.

As a result, my daughter stayed with a friend last night. She came home and slammed a door about 6:00 AM. This was my alarm clock for the day. She left for work at 8:00 or so.

Today is a national holiday in the US. I am supposed to be alone to work on my projects. But I'm not alone, and may never be alone again. To an introvert like me, this is poison.

There are some loopholes. My daughter did go to work. My son will spend 90% of his time in his bedroom. There will probably be some loud television, or music to contend with. Perhaps I can relocate to my own bedroom, or the back porch when the weather improves. I could even go to the storage lot and write in the camper.

I shouldn't have to, but that's reality.

My wife and I were pretty happy about being empty nesters. It looks like our happiness was short lived. We'll have to try finding happiness in some other way. We've always done date night, but it will be more important now.

I tried my best to work through all of this. I was even moderately successful. The Yak Guy Project has another 2200 words, and I got to a huge plot point in his adventure. I'd rather have added 10,000 words, but I'll take what I can get.

I also managed to add 1200 words to side project. This one is a science fiction short story. I have no planned word count for it. It will finish wherever it finishes.

I've come to the realization that finishing motivates me. Short form fiction satisfies me almost like a cookie as a child's reward. When I read a novella, I feel good to have finished something. When I write a micro-fiction, it feels good to finish. I read several books of short stories last year, and every story was like a little reward.

Speaking of treats, I dealt with the other story that really needed italics. I rewarded myself by washing out my Stipula Gladiator fountain pen. (Hail Cobby) It has an italics nib, and I filled it with a nice blue black ink. I've been using it to make notes on paper about characters, possible names, word counts, and more. I didn't need to, but it makes me happy.

Finishing could be why having a short side project is working for me. With the turmoil under my roof, the scales may tip toward more short form stuff. It isn't what I want, but it is a possibility. Right now, I'm not giving up on my 2016 business plan. I still hope to have The Playground out near the end of winter. I would like to get Yak Guy out before snow flies next year.

I managed part of an editing pass on The Playground last night. This was before everything landed. This story involves three alternating stories that weave together to tell a bigger one. One of the editing projects involves reading each story by itself to see if the continuity works. I've finished two, and am part way through the last one. This is the character that carries the burden of the speculative element to the story.

Once I get cover art, I'll ask for beta readers. I have an artist, but we haven't even tried to discuss it yet. I have him working on a Lisa project right now.

So, I accomplished a few things. I might have accomplished more, but that's not certain. I don't like my current situation, but I'm kind of stuck with it. It's still early today, and I might get more of that editing pass finished.

I have a busy week ahead of me at the paycheck job, and maybe that's just what I need right now. Fighting metaphorical fires requires me to turn off the part of my brain that dwells on crap. My imagination is usually worse than the reality, and maybe by next weekend the situation won't look so nasty.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing