What’s Next?

Done with revising now on to formatting. Finally downloaded Smashwords Style Guide as PDF file on my flashdrive. Had to copy it to shared folders and upload in Adobe Reader. WOW! It’s 117 pages long, full of information and instructions.
I found out you can’t use more than four consecutive paragraph returns in manuscript. So once again I went through 519 pages addressing this problem. Took hours:)
Ebooks use hyperlinks to navigate rather than page numbers. There’s a lot to do to accomplish this task. I think Sunday I’ll recruit my daughters help for a mothers day gift. The guide says to set aside three uninterrupted hours to format book. Some of it is confusing yet other parts self explanatory. I’ve got my fingers crossed:). Here’s Chapter 8 of ‘Within These Walls’….

Happy Reading!

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A Little Mixed Up

Well….I made my third physical copy of manuscript today. My first two are rough drafts. I’ve been revising on the computer witout seeing it in print. The reason being, it costs $55 to have it copied and bound. 519 pages at .10 per page. Now I’m writing out of my final revised copy. The page numbers are different due to changes I have made.
Chapter six was on pages 53 through 63, in this copy chapter seven starts on page 56. So if there is any confusion that explains it. Now we should be on track 🙂

Today I typed long and short descriptions. Everything is on flash drive except for the TOC.
I wrote down all of the chapter numbers including first few words of each beginning sentence. I’m not quite sure if this is correct but I know eBooks don’t have page numbers and not sure how readers navigate book. I’ve got a lot to learn!
Anyway I’ve been busy working on publishing ‘Within These Walls’. I haven’t written a word on the sequel ‘The Evil Within’ for about three weeks! I miss it and plan to squeeze in some writing between this blog, Facebook, twitter and publishing.
I also take care of an 89 year old woman downstairs. Needless to say there is not enough time in the day. I do a lot of my work writing, in the middle of the night.
Chapter 7 is lengthy. Better get started 🙂

Happy reading!

‘Within These Walls-Pages 53-63

CHAPTER 6

The family settled in for the 67 mile trip to Winter Park, Co. Mason was heading west on I-70.
Cameron had on his headphones for his I Pod Touch. He liked rap much to his fathers dismay. Peyton had never really listened to it, she probably wouldn’t approve. He especially loved Drake, Eminem, J.Z., Little X…..the list went on. Skyler was working on an advanced word search. She had been doing them since she learned how to spell. She was quite good.
Mason had his Eagles CD playing and Peyton was quietly singing along. Of her many talents, singing didn’t happen to be one of them. This annoyed Mason but he was in too good of a mood to let it bother him and he was enjoying being on the road.
They were nearing the foothills and it was beautiful! Mason would take the Empire exit onto highway 40, up over Berthoud pass and into Winter Park. The roads would be clear this time of year and the Viking Inn shouldn’t be too booked.
An hour later, the family pulled up to the lodge. It was a rustic European styled structure, erected in 1972. They all got out stretched their legs and took in the mountain air, the smell of Pine, Spruce and sappy pinecones.
They checked in, unloaded their luggage, let Ellie roam around a little and then put the dog inside with some water and food. Fresh mountain air stimulated the appetite, they hadn’t eaten since breakfast. They loaded back into the car and drove the six miles to The Crooked Creek Saloon, the best burger place in the state.
After they were seated and had ordered, Peyton said,
“I’m so happy and lucky to have this precious time to spend with you guys,”she smiled and added, “Let’s make this the best vacation and strengthen our bond with eacother. ”
Skyler and Cameron rolled their eyes in unison. Mom could be so corny. Peyton just ignored their rude gesture. The four of them ordered gourmet hamburgers, they still served Peyton’s favorite. It was a large portabella mushroom, spinach and provalone cheese , no meat. It tasted even better than she remembered.
When they were done, Mason paid with a credit card and left an ample tip. The brood piled in once more and returned to their suite. The lodge consisted of 23 rooms and Peyton had reserved the largest one. It smelled of old polished wood, pine trees and the comfortable scent of a recently used fireplace.
The small apartment like suite had all of the amenities. Full kitchen with blender, coffee pot, dishwasher, cobblestone floors, two bathrooms, a main floor and a loft with two queen sized beds plus a steepled ceiling. The master bedroom had a king sized bedstead and a wall length oak dresser with nine large drawers. The couch also pulled out into a double bed.
There were several large windows with a gorgeous view. It was rustic, old, sqeaky and charming. There was a wooden hanging staircase and the heater ran across the floorboards. It had a hot tub, satellite TV and a balcony overlooking the towns main street. To Peyton it was crude but the others laughed and thought it was great. Oh… And the place was reportedly haunted. The kids thoght that was awsome!
Tomorrow they would explore. Take the ski lift up the mountain and hike down. Window shop and truly shop. Peyton wanted different clothes for her son and she wanted to find a bookstore. She loved reading in her spare time. A luxury she had not been afforded for a long time. She liked Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, Sandra Brown and unbelievably, hot steamy romance novels. The rest of the day they just relaxed, played with Ellie, watched satellite, napped and snacked.
Peyton googled town information to get some ideas of what they could do to occupy their time. She would buy some board games as well. Everyone enoyed those. Life, Scrabble, Battleship, Sorry, Monopoly and the newer trivia games.
Peyton went to grab her reading glasses for the TV schedule and discovered Cameron’s medicine. She had totally spaced it out! She felt guilty and like less than the perfect mom. She needed to dispense those now. Cameron took them without any difficulty or back talk. Dr. Deering must have explained it all to him the other day. Later that evening Mason and Peyton went to the grocery store, they needed to stock up. They returned with all kinds of food and goodies. The kids put stuff away while inspecting what they had purchased. After an easy dinner of fajitas(food tastes so good in the mountains), Mason expertly started a fire and they made ‘some mores’. After Mason cleaned up, with the help of the dishwasher, laughing to himself about Peyton’s ‘crude’ comment.
They all got into pajamas and watched more TV. It had been a relaxing calm day. Against Peyton’s better judgment, Mason told a ghost story by fire light. It worked and scared Skyler and Cameron both.
With that fresh on their minds it was late and time to turn in for the night. Kids love scaring themselves.
It had been an uneventful day, hopefully not too boring for Skyler and Cameron. Peyton had loved every blessed second of it. Now well rested she promised herself to make tomorrow a more fun filled day.
The kids were to sleep in the loft and their parents would take the room with the king sized bed. Peyton went in before Mason. He checked to make sure the fire had died down and checked the thermostat. It was all the way down and he set it on 72 degrees. He had an inkling that the temperature would get chilly at night, even in the summer months.
He was still hungry so he proceeded into the kitchenette. He flipped on the light switch trying to be quiet, everyone was in bed probably close to sleep. Mason grabbed all of the makings for a ham sandwich and started to put it together just the way he liked it. He softly walked back into the living room, parked himself on the couch, began devouring the hero and gulping down the glass of ice-cold milk. It tasted amazing.
Done, and finally full, he climbed the hanging staircase, peeked at the snoozing kids and went to join Peyton.
She was quietly laying there looking deep in reverie. He seemed to startle her out of her contemplation.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“I was just trying to remember the last time we made love, it’s been awhile Mason.”
He got naked(the way he always slept) and climbed into the crisp sheets and took her into his arms.
“I’m all for it!”he chuckled.
“Tickle my back?”
She rolled over and he started to gently run his nails softly up and down her beautiful, unmarred and baby soft back.
She got goose bumps,
“That feels so good honey. ”
This was always foreplay for them and he started getting excited.
When she turned back over he mounted her. They moved in practiced unison and eventually they were both sated. He clambered off briskly and she laid her head on his shoulder. Afterwards she always felt somewhat empty. It invariably seemed to her that they had just had sex instead of making love. This left her worried and wondering about her husband.
Peyton rose with the sun. She normally got up early and she guessed being on vacation was no different.
She carefully slid out of the knobby bed with a slight backache. She didn’t want to wake Mason…at least let him sleep in.
She got into her Philadelphia Eagles button boot slippers, Garde robe and headed out to make coffee. Usually Mason’s task but she didn’t want to wait.
She thought she’d start breakfast as well. Eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and English muffins.
The succulant aroma wafted throgh the suite and roused the sleepy heads. She had set the table with cheap stoneware, put the food in servig dishes and hollered that breakfast was ready.
They all joined her in an array of wakefullness.
After eating and thanking their mom, the kids grudgingly cleaned the kitchen. Although she was a fair cook…she left a wreck from preparing the meal.
Peyton was in a fantastic mood and it was infectious. The kids were teasing eachother while they were doing the dishes and Mason cheerily took Ellie out. She was such a good dog. It was monumental that brother and sister were getting along.
Peyton had not felt this good since she couldn’t remember when.
The four of them were lined up at the ski lift. This was going to be fun! Ride it half the way to the top and hike down. They could all use the exercise, sun and fresh air. It was a good thing they got an early start it was going to be a scorcher later on. Peyton was appalled at the fact the lodge had no air conditioning. Next vacation they were at least going to have air!
The ride up was beautiful. The trees, the clear blue sky and the scenery. The walk down had been tiring but exhilarating.
It was time for lunch and they had top rate restaurants in town. Peyton approved of this. The three nights and four days went by in a blurr. They had soaked in the surroundings, played, ate and most important of all…enjoyed their vacation immensely.
It was time to pack up, load up and head back over the pass towards home.
The ride home was full of fulfillment at the retelling of their trip. Peyton was so happy! She did not want to go home and put an end to a lovely time.

‘Within These Walls’-Pages 46-52

Peyton woke up at five am. She was in the spare room and temporarily disoriented. She looked at the bedside clock and calculated twelve hours of sleep. Then she remembered. Mac being there, insisting she lay down.
Wow she must have been debilitated to sleep that long without waking once.
Let’s see…today was Friday and she expected another hectic day. She felt a pang of guilt for not going over to David’s or picking up Cameron’s prescriptions last night.
They had to get ready and pack for their excursion as well.
She wondered to herself if Mason had calmed down, was still furious or was even up yet. Only one way to find out. She forced her tense muscles to get out of this luxurious bed, she felt like she’d been hit by a truck. It’s somewhat scary how stress effects your body!
Peyton gradually got up the stairs and into her and her husbands room. He was still asleep , or faking it to avoid any confrontation. Performing the ritual of showering, dressing, applying makeup and doing her hair would get things back on track. That done…she felt clean, refreshed and exhilarated.
Mason had gotten up, showered and gone downstairs while she was getting ready. Was he making his usual pot of coffee or was it the silent treatment? Mason looked up from his spreadsheet,
“Good morning Peyton. I’ve never seen you sleep like that, you look great this morning. ”
“Thanks, your not so bad yourself. You ready for Winter Park?”
“Not packed yet but stoked to go. I think this is just what we all need. Cameron is going to be all right isn’t he?”
“David said he’ll have a rough time but I’m praying that meds and therapy will do the trick. ”
She was trying to keep the conversation light. Light for such a heavy subject, anyway.
“What time do you think we should leave today? Our reservation is for two. ”
“Oh…about twelve thirty or so. I’m really looking forward to the drive. Haven’t gone anywhere in a long time, except for my business trips ”
“Thanks for the coffee .Mason , excellent as usual.”
“Uh huh. ”
Peyton decided to wake the kids up early. They would be busy today too. Cameron was groggy but excited…Skyler was just grumpy. That girl was not a morning person. Peyton had to laugh, it felt good!
Peyton wanted to wait until eight to call David with an apology, also that is when the pharmacy would open.
She opted right now for packing. It was hard planning for the mountains. She liked to dress up but the two didn’t coincide. She went to the back of her closet to pull out her old Travelpro luggage. Opened them on the unmade bed,(Mason) started adding what she thought she would want and need. She kept changing her mind and repacking. Oh well…what she had, would have to do.
Mason came up, threw some things together with expediency, he had a knack of making things look simple. Peyton traveled back down the stairs to start some breakfast. She was going to whip up a good, wholesome, filling meal.
Skyler got done bathing, packing and went to help the squirt. All he had to pack was black, black and blacker. She was going to talk to her mom about getting him some “regular” clothes, he desperately needed them. He hated shopping but maybe in the mountains, in the little shops it wouldn’t be so bad.
After a good breakfast Mason cleaned up and Peyton left to do what she needed to do.
First she picked up the worrisome medication. They were Abilify, Lexapro and Vistaril. She did not know much about psyche meds but she would ask David about them and a hudred other questions. Peyton hated to interrupt him again but Andrea made it seem perfectly natural.
“Good morning Peyton, how’s my girl this morning? You look one hell of a lot better than you did yesterday. Mackenzie called me, told me you weren’t coming over and that you had practically passed out from exhaustion.”
“I feel a lot better,”Peyton replied, “There’s so much I don’t understand and need to know. The two of them discussed in detail, Cameron’s disabilities and as much as he knew about the pharmaceuticals. Vistaril was for the anxiety, tried and true. The lexapro was for the depression. The Abilify was a newer drug and was for the bipolar and delusions.
“Delusions, David? He’s delusional?”
“That is what makes it Schizoaffective Disorder rather than manic depression. Cameron said he was hearing and seeing things that he knew weren’t true.”
“My poor baby David. Why do you think he never said anything?”
“He reported to me that you didn’t talk in any kind of depth and he was terrified of not being believed. Mostly by Mason, not you honey.”
Peyton and Dr. Deering further discussed his treatment plan.
“Of course you will need a good psychiatrist and therapist. I see a conflict of interest here. I probably shouldn’t have done what I have, but that’s unimportant. I’ll help in setting up proper professionals for Cameron.”
“Thank you David, you’ve been more than gracious and I truly respect your opinions and diagnosis.”
“He’ll be fine my dear. Just get him started on the medication regimen as soon as possible. It takes sometimes two to four weeks for them to begin to help.”
“I promise I will and again thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
David smiled warmly as he led Pey to the outer office; he gave her a light kiss on the cheek.
Peyton drove home thinking. She was slightly relieved after the long discussion with her colleague but she was haunted by what he told her about the delusions.
Does that mean Cameron is crazy? This is one sure thing she will keep from Mason. He would not believe, understand, or tolerate such talk! She would have to take this to the grave with her.
Peyton pulled up in front, parked, went in and everyone was ready to go. They would be taking her SUV and they needed to load it up. The girls would leave that to the guys. They cleaned out all the trash and junk, so they had room for their feet.
They were all loaded in and finally ready to take off on their vacation. Mason swung the vehicle into the gas station, filled up,(Peyton always had less than a quarter tank) topped off the windshield wiper fluid, checked the oil and hopped on the highway.

‘Within These Walls’-Pages 32-38

Peyton walked in to David’s front office. He was her oldest and dearest friend, kind of like a father to her. Andrea looked up from her work and a warm welcoming smile crossed her face.
“To what do we owe this pleasure Dr. Hudson?”
“Hello Andrea, I’m afraid this isn’t a social call. Is Dr. Deering in?”
“He most certainly is for you. ”
She picked up the receiver and let David know she was there.
“Go right on in Dr. Hudson,”she responded, “He’ll be glad to see you. ”

“David, so nice of you to see me on such short notice. I’ve got no time to waste. ”
Peyton described the events of the prior day and then plopped down in the chair opposite the psychiatrist. He looked thoughtful for a short time, cleared his throat and addressed her in a very serious manner.
“I’m shocked and truly sorry to hear this,hon. You must be in terrible shape. Would you like Andrea to get you something dear?”
“No thanks David, I’m already slightly relieved just spilling my guts. ”
He chuckled and then turned quite serious again.
“I’ll need to see Cameron right away. I will ask Andrea to interrupt my afternoon schedule. Can you bring him in that soon?”
“You just tell me the time and I will have him here.”
“How’s 1:30? It will give me a chance to do a little research and prepare to see the little guy.”
“That’s perfect and thanks David.”
“May I suggest that you schedule some time off and plan a four day weekend. Cameron needs you now more than ever. Go somewhere fun, it will do you all some good.”
Peyton drove home considerably solaced.

CHAPTER 4

When Peyton pulled in front of the house, the carpet cleaner was gone. Skyler’s red 2010 Volkswagen Jetta was already there.
“Damn it all,”she muttered to herself. Mason was waiting for her return and opened the door for her. She walked in and saw that Skyler was sitting with her brother. She seemed amazingly calm. Mason must have worked his magic on her.
“Oh mom, I’m glad you’re home!” Skyler ran up to her mother and threw herself into her arms.
“Cameron hurt himself pretty bad, huh? I just knew there was something wrong with him!”
Peyton gave her a warning look. The poor kid was already worried about what his only sister thought of him.
Peyton asked them all to sit down so that they could have a family meeting. Too little, too late. She explained that Cameron was to see Dr. Deering at 1:30 and that they were going to leave tomorrow for the mountains. The Viking Inn in Winter Park was one of their favorite places to go, although they hadn’t been there in a couple of years. They all agreed to the tentative plan and even seemed excited.
Peyton asked Cameron to go down and shower to get ready for his appointment. He jumped off the couch with his spirits higher than they’d been in quite sometime. That made her guilt raise its ugly head.
On the way to the hospital, Cameron seemed withdrawn and nervous.
“It will be all right sweetie, Dr. Deering has known you since you were a baby. He’s really very nice and easy to talk to. You ready for this honey?”
“Yah,”he mumbled.
Peyton sat in the waiting room for what seemed like an interminable amount of time. She couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in there but she trusted David inexplicably.
Finally, they emerged from the office and Cameron looked utterly exhausted. David gave her a reassuring wink. He took her aside and told her to call him when they got home. She agreed and thanked him profusely.
It was a quiet ride home despite her efforts to lighten up the situation. As soon as they walked into the house, Cameron went downstairs and closed his door. This caused her concern and she decided it was the perfect opportunity to call the good doctor.

“In my considerable professional opinion your son suffers from a variety of mental disorders. Now I’m not trying to scare you but I need to be completely up front about this. ”
“What’s wrong with him?”peyton pleaded.
“I’ve diagnosed Cameron with Schizoaffective Disorder, plus Anxiety Disorder and Agoraphobia. Now….I know that sounds overwhelming but broken down, it’s not as bad as it seems. It’s highly treatable with the right medications and although he has a tough road ahead of him, he can lead a fairly normal life. ”
Peyton was silent.
“I’ve also taken the liberty of sending in prescriptions electronically to the Walgreens right down the street from your house. The sooner we get started on this the better.”
He paused for some kind of reaction from Peyton. She was understandably at a loss for words.
“Peyton? Are you there?”
David could hear her tears over the phone. Poor woman.
She finally found her voice and had a million questions for him. Dr. Deering felt terrible and suggested they talk in person from here on out. She reluctantly agreed and asked if could come over to his house that night. It had been a long time since Peyton had seen Camille , his wife.
“That sounds perfect Peyton and try not to over worry. We don’t want you getting sick.”

‘Within These Walls’-Pages 27-31

She went into the kitchen, got out a china cup, put a tea bag in it and started the kettle. Mason sleepily padded in and they both quietly sat at the dining table. They started to speak at the same time and nervously laughed.
“I’m not exactly sure what is going on here but it’s got me pretty damn upset,”his voice breaking,”I mean, why in the hell would Cameron do something like this?…We’re not home enough! He just sits in his room and plays with that God-awful machine. Do we even know what kind of games he’s into?”
Peyton calmly replied, “I feel like it’s our fault too, honey. We’re both so wrapped up in our jobs and ourselves. Skyler is never here. The poor kid must be so lonely!”she started sobbing,”You and I hardly ever talk to eachother. A kiss here or there; how was your day; what’s for dinner…” she was bawling now, her shoulders heaving.
Mason went to his grieving wife and held her tight. The piercing whistle of the tea pot startled them both. She hurriedly turned off the gas and moved it to the adjacent burner. She wiped her eyes and blew her nose.
“I’m talking to David this morning. Cameron needs some kind of therapy. Maybe David would do the honors rather than assign it to staff. ”
“This whole thing is such a fucking nightmare!”he moaned. Peyton forgave him his language under the circumstances.
“Let’s forget the tea and try to get some sleep. I need to hold you,”she suggested.
“Ok, it sounds like a plan.” He took her by the hand and held it all the way up the stairs into their room.
“I love you Mason.”
“You too.”

Peyton woke to Cameron’s soft mourning. The sun was coming through the new Gum Tree curtains. She went as quickly as she could to console him.
“I’m sorry mom, I really am!”…
She said to him, “It’s gunna be all right sweetie. I’m going in later to talk to Dr. Deering. He’s the best Cameron and he’ll know what we should do. Just promise me you’ll never do this again. Dad and I are going to start spending more tie with you. I’m so, so sorry honey!”
“Dad will stay with you while I’m gone and Skyler should be home in a little bit. ”
“Oh no,”wailed Cameron…”she’s going to think I’m so stupid mom!”
Peyton warned him, “She loves you with all of her heart but she probably will freak out. Skyler’s a good girl, a great sister but she’s not comfortable with things like this. Do you want a little something for breakfast? I don’t even know when the last time was that you ate. ”
“Maybe a Pop Tart and some orange juice…I am kinda hungry mom. Thanks. ”
Peyton stood, stretched her keyed up muscles and continued into the kitchen. Pop Tarts, she mused, he was still such a little boy. She prepared his ‘breakfast’ and served him on a Chinette paper plate. No use reminding him of the broken platter.

Mason came downstairs dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and socks.
“I called Kevin and he told me to take off the time I needed. I have comp hours coming and he can find coverage for me. How’s our boy?”
“He’s doing as well as can be expected. He didn’t balk at the mention of seeing Dr. Deering. He’s more worried about Skyler,”she made an attempt at laughing.

The doorbell interrupted their conversation. Peyton had forgotten that the carpet cleaning technician was coming this morning. She disarmed the alarm and invited the guy in. Peyton introduced her husband. The man said his name was Aaron Logan. She described the room down the stairs to be cleaned and he let himself back out to get his equipment. They exchanged a look of apprehension. Oh well, better to have the job done right and before Skyler had a chance to see the dried blood.
Peyton needed to shower and dress to go to the hospital. She left those two sitting on the couch watching The Price Is Right. They looked so different…you wouldn’t guess they were father and son.
Peyton wanted to get this over with and get back before her daughter arrived home.