Title: Sum of the Whole
Author: Brenda Murphy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 19
Genre: Contemporary, Contemporary, BDSM, age gap, interracial, businesswoman
Jaya Pomroy falls desperately in love with Sarah while vacationing at an exclusive BDSM pleasure house. Unwilling to become Jaya’s possession, yearning for independence, Sarah refuses to leave with her and they part after a bitter fight.
Six years later they meet again. Fighting to leave her past behind, but unable to resist her attraction for Jaya, Sarah agrees to try again. Jaya has to cope with new rules and new roles. When a former client threatens to expose Sarah, Jaya risks everything to protect her.
Can their love survive in the real world filled with vengeful ex-lovers and deadly secrets?
The Freedom of a Storyboard Outline
Outline? I can hear some of you making bad sounds and see you rolling your eyes. This is not a debate about outlines. Some folks write very well without them. Some people scratch a few notes to themselves on the back of a cocktail napkin and call it a day. Others make outlines that are pages long and detailed.
Things to keep in mind before you run shrieking from the room shouting that you swore you would never outline again after Mrs. Ramrod’s sixth grade essay class.
- Outlines do not have to be set in stone (unless that’s how you roll).
- Outlines are guidelines/maps to where you want to go with your story.
- Outlines are your friend, particularly if you have attention issues.
- Outlines are not straight jackets for your creativity.
- Outlines can be used for any multiple step project, not just writing.
Creating and using outlines serves five purposes.
- It guides your writing so you don’t end up wandering around trying to find the point of your story.
- If you get lost while writing a long piece, or have to take a break from a story because life happens (job, sick kids, snow days, etc.), you can come back to the outline and figure out why you went in a direction you did and where you wanted to go with your story.
- If you have to write a synopsis, you can come back to your outline for structure.
- Project outlines help in planning next steps, and allow you to plan your writing time so that you don’t miss deadlines.
- Outlines help you to focus, allowing you to make the best use of your writing time.
For those of us with attention issues, the very thought of outlining makes most of us freak out, remembering how defeated we have been by outlines before. Why? Because we do not think in straight lines. We think in circles, tangents, and broad soaring what-ifs. We struggle with ordering things. Because all of our thoughts happen at the same time, and it all seems like the first scene. This does not lend itself to writing conventional outlines, all neat and tidy with everything labeled with numbers and subheadings. So what to do if we want to take advantage of the benefits of outlines? Do I sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pen, trying to force myself into straight lines and boxes?
Nope. I use poster size paper and a fist full of markers to make lists of scenes that will tell the story. I transfer the scene titles to 3×5 cards and then lay them out on the floor of my office and re-arrange them until the order flows.
I then use the cards and enter an organized scene list into Scrivner.
Is it labor intensive? Maybe, but by using this method I wrote my last novel, start to submission in four months. I never got stuck writing it because I had a map to keep me on course. If you are struggling with structure and seem to get bogged down writing your novel, try this, it is worth the cost of a pack of 3×5 cards if it helps you get your story written.
Sum of the Whole
Brenda Murphy © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Jaya scrolled through the messages on her phone, rereading the instructions from the owner of the house. Her palms were sweaty in spite of the air conditioning. She shifted her hips, trying to find a comfortable spot on the broad leather seats.
“Do you wish to stop, Mistress? It’ll be at least an hour before we reach the house.” The driver’s husky voice matched her stocky build and ruddy face. Jaya appraised the thick hands wrapped around the wheel and the way the chauffeur’s livery draped her broad shoulders and considered it. The woman made eye contact with Jaya in the rearview mirror, one eyebrow raised and lips in a closed-mouth smile. Jaya imagined saying, “Yes, let us stop somewhere and I’ll flog you until we’re both satisfied,” but the instructions from Rowan House were explicit and interactions with the staff were not permitted outside the house.
“No.” Jaya kept her voice soft and let her gaze rest on the woman’s face in the mirror. “I’m tired of people staring at me.”
“You’re a sight, Ma’am, if you don’t mind me saying so.”
“You’d think they’d never seen a woman in a suit before.” Jaya left out the word “dark-skinned.”
“It’s your height, Ma’am. And you’re fetching in that suit. I imagine out of it as well.”
Jaya looked down. She had not flirted like this in years and it was wonderful, even if she knew it was not going to lead to anything more.
“Do you always flirt with your guests?” She relaxed her shoulders and sat back in the seat.
“Only the ones I find—” The driver looked at Jaya in the mirror. “Stunning.” She turned on the radio and went back to piloting the long, black town car through roundabouts as they left Armadale. As they traveled farther from the city, she was occupied dodging rough spots and the occasional mud-splattered sheep wandering along the edge of the single-track road.
Jaya sank into the soft leather seats, grateful for the distraction of the driver’s banter and the tinted windows, dark enough to hide her face from anyone who might try to catch a glimpse of the car’s passengers. On the ferry to Skye, she had caught more than one mother reminding her children not to stare. The curious faces of the children were better than the hard looks she got from the men on the ship. Half of them looked like they wanted to fuck her; the other half looked like they wanted to kill her. Some probably wanted to do both.
She had not anticipated how angry she would feel under the gaze of the other passengers. She had almost wished one of the rude men would start something so she could finish it. She had worn this suit to her father’s funeral, to her brother’s dismay. An orphan again at thirty-five. The high from the banter with the driver wore off and she slumped in her seat. She sifted through her memories of the last two years. Her father’s illness and slow death, her brother’s anger, and Deidre’s departure blended into an oppressing melancholy. What the hell was I thinking? Why am I looking for comfort here?
She could have chosen another venue for her adventure, but Jaya wanted to experience this house. The house Deidre spoke of as her home. She lied to herself, telling herself she chose this house because it was highly recommended as a discreet, old-school establishment dedicated to unique and personalized experiences.
Deidre. The woman of sorrows. Never was a woman more truly named. Jaya scrolled through the photos of Deidre on her phone. Brutal memories of their life together filled the emptiness of the ride. As they traveled farther into the country, the battery on her phone quietly expired. Jaya tucked it into her bag and let the rocking of the car soothe her as they drove past rough stone walls and rocky pastures.
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Brenda Murphy writes both short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been published in various collections—most recently, “Whole Again” in First: Sensual Stories of New Beginnings (Ladylit Publishing, 2015).
When she is not writing or teaching cooking classes, she’s attempting to train an unrepentant parrot, much to her Ohioan family’s delight. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, writingwhiledistracted.com. She shares recipes and celebrates food on her blog, quinbykitchensideshow.com.
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