|daschorsch via Pixabay|
This semester, I am once again seeking to establish a better work-life balance, this time with a focus on my writing. Toward that end, I've declared Tuesday afternoons "Take Back Tuesdays," wherein I put my writing first on the list and then dig into other responsibilities. As the semester powers forward, bringing with it an ever-growing virtual pile of paper and projects to grade, I know the amount of time I allot each Tuesday afternoon is likely to shrink but, for now, I can easily carve out an hour or two.
Last Tuesday, I wanted to use some of the time to pull out my idea files and see what popped up. In the process, I came across some outtakes from the MAC (Marita, Angel, Charli) series -- a couple that didn't make it into any of the books -- and I thought it might be fun to share them here. If you've read the books, you know how the story ends, and you can also see where the story might have gone another way...but didn't.
Monday morning, Marita was on her way out of Conference Room C when she practically ran over Gregory.
He took a step back as she stopped abruptly, losing her grip on one of her bags. “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”
“I thought so. Here. Let me help.” Gregory picked up the bag that had tumbled to the ground. “Geez, what do you have in here?”
“Work stuff. My machine, supplies….”
“It’s heavier than my briefcase.”
“Welcome to my world.”
He slipped the bag over his shoulder. “You’re grumpy this morning.”
“Sorry. My kitchen turned into wedding central this weekend. RSVP cards, favor bags, cake samples….”
“That last one sounds good. You should have called me.”
“No time. Let’s just say it was not a social gathering.”
“Bets is turning into Bridezilla?”
“Not exactly. She’s just stressed out. Go figure.”
“I wondered how she thought she could pull a wedding together in three weeks. Some of my friends have taken three years to plan theirs.”
“Are you at all concerned that she’s rushing into this?”
Marita looked at him, not even trying to hide her annoyance. “No. Why would you even ask that? You’ve known her for, what, fifteen minutes?”
Gregory held up both hands in surrender. “I’m sorry! Occupational hazard.”
Marita set her bag down on a bench outside the courtroom. “No. I’m sorry. It was a long weekend, followed by a very long, difficult morning.” She sat down beside her stuff. “I think maybe it’s catching up to me.”
Gregory set down the bag he was carrying and moved Marita’s other bag to the floor so he could sit beside her on the bench. “Okay. But, listen. At the risk of stressing you out further, I got the strangest message on my voice mail this morning — from someone named Angel Alessio? Said you sent her my way? Want to clue me in?”