Goldfinch on thistle

The process of writing is a disjointed jumble for me. It’s not so much that I plan the moments of time my characters pass through, as their fictional lives happen upon those moments. Remembering the thoughts and then getting them into the manuscript is the challenge. And then those little bits and pieces build into something more.

Early in the first chapter of SINK RATE, Sam passes through the transition from peace and quiet to controlled chaos, if there is such a state. Along the way he shares things that not only make him just a little more real but fill in those spaces of his life still to come.

From my crime/detective novel, SINK RATE, due out next month:

This time when the cell phone rang, Sam was even less ready for it. He’d made the twisting descent down the north side of the ridge and gotten a good head of steam up on the hard road. He slowed at the intersection where a worn out building that once was a service station now stood weathered and peeling. The Pathfinder slid in the gravel coming into the lot and Sam got it stopped before he ran over the concrete island now empty of gas pumps and sprouting a healthy stand of thistle. The image of a goldfinch flashed in Sam’s head when he saw the weeds. He’d watched the goldfinches feed on thistle in his back yard when he was a kid. He remembered his dad complaining about the weeds spreading, but his mom stood firm. No, she liked watching the little yellow and black rockets dart around and she didn’t care about how hard it was to get rid of thistle once it took hold. He grabbed the phone from the truck seat and looked at the unfamiliar number. Before he answered, he was back on the blacktop heading north and west. He was going out of his way to take Molly home, but he figured this to be a long day and he didn’t want to be worrying about her. The victims were dead, only the living can afford to be impatient.

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