Finishing up Bill’s story!
Book 2 – House on Fire – Bill’s job is on the line, he’s lost his best friend (and erstwhile dom) to another man, his trailer burns to the ground with everything he owns in it, and his father is murdered.
Through it all, Finn’s trying to palm him off on a new guy, Quade Taylor, but Q’s a criminal defense attorney and exactly the kind of rich asshole Bill hates.
Of all those things, the only thing Bill can deal with is the murder. And he’s determined to bring whoever killed his old man to justice. Carl Fraser made his life a living hell, but Bill’s not a fan of crime.
As long as he’s still nominally a cop, Palladian is his patch to protect. Bill isn’t part of the investigation, but he has to figure out what happened to his old man–and why. The clock is ticking. Everyone Bill talks to finds themselves in the murderer’s sights. How long before the police look closely at Bill and that hot, rich criminal defense attorney is the only thing standing between Bill and his fellow cops–many of whom are old acquaintances with doubts about him, now…
Book 1 – Home the Hard Way — Dare Buckley has come home, or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.
Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.
In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets — his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.
Word count: 94,100; page count: 374
Week Two –
The kitchen. The good news? I have the ladies coming again, Deb and Sharon, and they will force me to keep only one of everything, I hope. I have a bit of a sickness for kitchen things and clothing. And the ladies are about to find out exactly how deep that runs and exactly how brilliant I am about storing things. There isn’t a square inch of space in my kitchen that is unused. So that means the amount of things I’m able to store (before things start piling up on counters) is immense.
That’s one of those good news/bad news stories, though. It allows me to forget what I own, or lose it, which forces me to buy a second one if I can’t find it. I know this is a first world problem. That’s why I’m determined to set a lot of things free today. I’m determined to donate anything useful and either recycle or upcycle or responsibly discard anything that isn’t.
It’s a brave new world, chez ZAM. Possibly, the start of a brave new way of looking at life.
If you’re playing the home game, go declutter something and tell me about it in the comments! It’s never easy to admit that things have gotten out of hand is it? In my case, they’ve gotten out of hand sporadically, and will probably get out of hand again.
The only way out is through!
I’ve been to all of the GRL retreats, and I love each and every one of the people I see there every year. There is no better group of people. My Tribe. No better reason to get together and spend some time sharing hugs and space and stories.
But I’m experiencing some health issues (probably related to the concussion I had in May) and my husband is having some medical issues–related to mobility–and there’s just no telling what’s ahead for us right now. He and I are scheduled to be in Florida together in November for two weeks, so something on my schedule had to give.
It is my sincerest, deepest hope that everyone has a wonderful time. We sure need the community, huh? Now more than ever!
My heart will be with you and I will miss all your faces until next year when I can try again! In the meantime, I wish you all the very, very best!
All my love,
And today, I’m weeping.
I could not imagine doing this. Not by myself. It’s too much stuff, some of it has sentimental value. Things hold memories and some are painful to look at.
This lot in the photograph are things we never got around to going through after the fire. There were thousands of neatly labeled TLC boxes–filled with things collected in a grid pattern like evidence at a crime scene–it’s useful, but kind of crazy– especially tough when you’re dealing with people who don’t do housework like us. Mea culpa. So in one box, you’ll see a label that says, “living room – single shoe, file folder with resumes, pens, startup disc for Oregon Trail.”
It’s all a bit of a time capsule from 2012 (SPOILER ALERT– Obama won that one legitimately and with WAY more votes than the other guy. Just sayin’.)
Things have the power to trigger emotions, good or bad, as we all know. And last year was hard. A close personal friend fought cancer right before my eyes. More spoilers–Miss Beverly is a badass and she won!
But it started me thinking. What I carry should be lighter, in case I have to change direction on a dime. It should be utterly precious to me, if I’m going to carry it at all, and it should be so beautiful, it pleases me to just think about it. I can’t tell you how few “things” in my life fit that criteria. People, yeah. But things? Nope. I have attachments to things. But there’s nothing I’d go into a burning building for. I guess that’s a good test.
When my anxiety gets out of control, it’s usually because I’ve ignored something that’s bothering me. As anxiety builds up, stress in other areas of my life gets out of control. Maybe, just maybe, I should heed the words my heart seems to be whispering…
BE NIMBLE – Perhaps now more than ever we should all be nimble, in case our income should dry up, or our health change and healthcare gets more expensive than we planned.
BE HUMBLE – I NEEDED TO hire help. I called up Orange County’s Cluttercleaners.com, and Sharon and Deb came over. They helped me bust my way through that nonsense with relentless, cheerful, prodding, “lets move on!” And they were respectful. It’s harder for some people in my family to let things go than others. They were very tuned in to our moods and were extremely responsive.
I asked all my kids to help, and what felt like a monumental, incomprehensible mess turned out to be kind of fun. And we’re done. One day. Amazeballs. My kids are fricking heroes. They worked so hard, and so tirelessly, and were so uncomplaining, WHO WERE THEY???
I kept asking them things that might trip them up. “Remember when we went to China when you were little?” We never did.
I’ll be honest, when Sharon said we’d do it in a day, I laughed.
And then we did!
And it was just the beginning. Next weekend, we’re heading into the office, also known as The Heart Of Darkness…
BE GRATEFUL – Our methods have been “unsound” for years. Paperwork, clutter, swag, and books? everywhere, partly because we are unwise in the extreme and partly because we’ve had abundance, and we’ve been able to take “the temperature” of our finances without having to do serious examinations except at tax time.
Imma tell you now–it’s gonna be a clusterf*ck of epic proportions when we do, and we’ll probably be disappointed in ourselves. BUT…
When we’re done, we’re going to know what we own. And what we owe. And how we can do better to help ourselves, other people, and the planet going forward.
BE MINDFUL. My life since the fire has been a blur. I never made the house mine, after. We got new furniture, but we didn’t put pictures up. or Rugs. I no longer cared about putting my stamp on my space–that’s probably a post for another day. Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t just let go of everything–reflexively–because that fire came with the awful realization how quickly everything could be taken away.
Your turn to follow along!
Go declutter something and tell me all about it in the comments! You know I feel your pain! But LOOK! LOOK AT THE TIDY! Feast your eyes on the swept!
BE READY TO LAUGH – Oh, and yeah. Our Christmas lights? I’m playing chicken with the twins and my husband on those. We’re halfway into YEAR TWO on those lights. They think it drives me crazy because it makes us look like what we look like… LOSERS! But here’s the thing, that’s nowhere geographically near any hill I’m prepared to die on. Those lights had just better work come Christmastime or it’s those guys who’ll be up on the ladder in the dark, switching them out, not me!