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Not as much accomplished today, but hopefully I’m on the road to recovery!

  • 1081 words in new NSR scene.
  • Long-winded “synopsis” of last half of the book to May for her opinion on “coincidence” or “believable.”  Tentatively, we think this all works, but boy oh boy is it complicated.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to backtrack to fix a time discrepancy!
  • 7Crows: Thought some more the heroine’s goals, fears, and masks, and I think she’s as solid as I can make her.  Did some brainstorming/clustering on her. 
  • 7Crows:  I also started jotting down key phrases and ideas for scenes as they came to me, very loose and brainstorm-ish too.  I have 21 “titles” in no particular order that may or may not end up as official sections.  e.g. Gathering Crows; At the Queen’s Right Hand; God Save the Queen; As the Crow Flies; Wings on Fire.  No, I have no idea what all these mean, exactly.  I just know they’re cool, intriguing, and mean something.  Next goal is to figure out what.

Snippet:  This is from the new section this morning where all the threads begin to converge–and tangle up into that big honking mess.  I like Quinn a lot, though.  Yeah, I know I say that about all my characters, but he’s really turning into an interesting character who’s NEW to this draft.  I’m glad I found him.  He’s on the phone with an old “buddy” from college, with his friend Iago of the Mexican Garza cartel and Dr. Tennant, professor of anthropology, SMU, Dallas, present.  They’re all getting ready to brainstorm what the heck is killing a path across Texas when Quinn’s phone rings.

At the sound of the smooth, good-old boy voice he recognized from college, Quinn suddenly regretted answering the phone.  “Davis!  Last I heard you were working for the Governor’s Office.”

“That’s exactly why I’m calling.  Governor Wyman has a very delicate request.”

“Look, I want to be totally honest with you,” as much as it pains me, he didn’t say out loud.  “I’m not exactly on good terms with the FBI right now.”

“What, you?”  Davis laughed.  “Everything-by-the-book Salazar?  I don’t believe it.”

Quinn fisted his right hand.  God help him, he’d love to punch the jerk just once on that perfect aristocratic nose and watch him wail and splutter like a little girl.  “Let’s just say I’m laying low right now.  If you have a special request from the Governor, I recommend you call SAIC Trudale.”

“Actually, I need you.  I was going to ask for a very specific favor because of our prior…”

Competition?  Silent hatred?

“Friendship.”  Davis paused, as if he, too, was remembering their on-and-off again camaraderie through the years at SMU.  They were both driven to succeed and from opposite sides of the track.  One of them, though, was more than willing to get his lily-white hands dirty if it meant he’d climb the ladder all the faster.  “I’m not making an official request.”

“I see.”  Quinn rubbed his eyes.  The last thing he needed in the middle of this bizarre serial killer case was to babysit some pet project for the Governor.  She had the reputation of a rabid pit bull once she set her mind–and teeth–on something.  As long as it’s not my ass she sinks her teeth into.  “What’s the problem?”

“Governor Wyman’s granddaughter is in trouble, but she wants it entirely kept out of the news and off the system.”

Of course she does.  Quinn barely repressed a long, heavy sigh.  If he were a betting man, he’d place a twenty that the spoiled little granddaughter had been arrested for drunk driving or something equally careless and foolhardy.  “What’s the charge?”

“Excuse me?  Oh, no, it’s not like that.  She’s not in trouble with the law.  At least, not in the States.  She went to Guatemala to help her father on an archeological dig earlier this week, and then sent an SOS text message to the Governor’s Office less than fifteen minutes ago.”

Quinn raised his gaze to his friend’s.  His heart beat heavy, slow, as though he could count to a million in between each thud.  “What’s her name?”

“Dr. Jaid Merritt.”

Quinn turned his attention to Dr. Tennant.  “Does the name Dr. Merritt mean anything to you?”

His old professor’s eyes lit up and he nodded frantically.  “She’s arguably the youngest and brightest epigrapher today and has translated hundreds if not thousands of Maya glyphs.  Tara asked me about some of those same translations this morning.”


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