Writer In Motion: Week 4 Final Draft

Time has just been going so fast. It has already been four weeks since I met Quinn and Alex for the first time and started to figure out their story. What I do know is even after WIM is over, I want to continue to explore them possibly in the context of my superhero project or as characters in my Happily Ever After Inc. series.

Last week, I was matched with Carly Hayward with Book Light Editorial. I can’t even begin to thank her enough for her amazing and helpful comments. I feel like she really helped me bring Alex, Quinn, and their cute meeting to life. Like my CPs from last week, she really helped me see the things that were getting lost in the print for me. I feel like she really understood my story and her edits were completely on point. I would love to work with her again!


The Right Wrong Path

It was supposed to be an hour-long hike—keyword supposed to. Quinn had managed to stray off the well-marked path and climb a completely non-beginner friendly hill. That was what her quads were screaming at her, at least. Lifting her phone, she checked for a signal. No luck. It had the same lack of bars as when she had tried two charlie horses ago. At least it wasn’t summer. She paused to rest her legs for a second and get a picture of the sun through the blanket of trees. It would make a good post on Instagram when she found her way back to the correct path, or at the very least, it would make one hell of a last one.


Quinn came out of the thick blanket of trees. It opened into a field of grass that someone kept neat. The sun beating down did little to cut the chill in the air. She made it to the summit—the wrong summit, but the top nonetheless. There was a small field of flowers tucked away from the world below, which surrounded a small house. There were no windows that Quinn could see, but there was a door. Curiosity getting the better of her, she crossed through the flowers to get a closer look. The walls were grey like concrete and had a carved wood door. As she put a hand on the door to knock, it caved in.


Surprised by both the door opening and the floor’s softness that broke her fall, Quinn lifted her head to brush away a mop of hair and saw worn black leather shoes. Shoes that were attached to legs.


“Do you always wander around strange houses on top of hills, or am I special?” The owner of those shoes sounded amused to find a grown woman on their floor.


“Only on days I’m supposed to be hiking, it seems,” Quinn said, taking an offered hand. Their palm was rough, reminding her of sandpaper.


“I’d ask if you had a name, but I’m not convinced you aren’t a fairy here to steal mine,” Blue eyes danced with mirth. Their mocking nature sent heat up Quinn’s spine.


“I’m not a fairy.” She scoffed. “I’m human, but barely before coffee. And it’s Quinn.”


“Well, Quinn, what are you doing on my mountain?”


“I was hiking to Rosewood Peak from Eastwick Point, but I think I took the wrong path.” They looked at her with amusement, which Quinn did not find funny.


“The wrong path is an understatement. If you had been any more wrong, you would have ended up in a different state. Come sit down while I get a sweater and take you back down the better way.” They motioned to a well made wooden table. The inside was much bigger than she would have guessed from what she had seen outside. The lack of windows gave a dark, almost fantasy-like atmosphere with a lit hearth and candles casting soft light as the door was shut. It was comfortably warm despite the crisp fall air on the other side of the door.


“Can I ask you a question?” Quinn said, sitting on the log bench watching the homeowner as they moved to a carved coat rack.


“Is it my name?” The smile was back, making her heart do a barrel roll in her chest. Quinn would not have been in such a good mood had someone fallen in her doorway.


“Yes, but also, what is with the Merlin set up? Why don’t you have windows?” Quinn motioned around the one-roomed dwelling. She didn’t see any electricity or plumbing at all.


“If I want to see outside, all I have to do is open the door. And it’s Alex.” It was a start, at least. “Place keeps plenty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I find that the things you really need are always right in front of you.” Alex pulled on a dark-colored sweater looking right at her. From how rugged everything else was, Quinn would not have been shocked to find out they had knitted it themself.


Alex was the perfect guide to get Quinn back. They knew the woods surrounding their hilly home and could point out things Quinn hadn’t seen on the way up. She hadn’t even noticed that the trees leaned toward the peak or that rocks created natural stepping stone paths. The company of someone was nicer than trying to stop and take pictures for Instagram every five steps. That had been the whole reason she had strayed off the easy hike path completely unprepared. Only she could have gone so far off course that her legs would be reminding her of the error any time she tried to make the mistake of moving for at least a week.


“So hiking doesn’t seem to be your everyday sport,” Alex said, looking sideways to Quinn. “Do you usually get into this much trouble?” That made Quinn laugh.


“Kind of? I have a habit of getting into crazy situations.”


“You can’t just say something like that and not give me an example.”


“Okay, so this stays between us,” She shot a sideways glance at Alex, who held up a mock scout’s honor salute in agreement, “but freshman year, I had to take a bio lab. I get partnered with this guy who was really squeamish about the idea of dissecting a frog. I didn’t think it was a big deal, so I agreed to do the cutting. Apparently, I misjudged how hard I was pressing down on it and tipped the tray backward. My partner screamed like a little girl, and in goes the dead frog.” Quinn shuddered, not from the wind this time but from the mental image of that day. “I wasn’t allowed to touch a scalpel or a tray again for the rest of the semester.”


“Yuck! Poor guy” Alex wrinkled their nose. “Guess that traumatized him a little.”


“Never spoke to him again. He switched partners.” She wrapped her arms around herself a little tighter.


“You really do get yourself into some interesting situations, Quinn.” Alex said, peeling the sweater off and holding it out to her. She smiled, warmth spreading from her chest.


“Thank you.” The sweater felt soft and surprisingly light. It was like Alex was hugging her, and she didn’t want it to stop. “So I told you a crazy story of mine. What is your story? Why are you out here?”


“In the woods?” Alex paused, offering her a hand to step over a tree branch.


“Yes. Why do you live in the middle of nowhere.” The hand she had thought of as rough sandpaper now felt secure and strong.


“Never felt like I belonged, honestly. Out here, no one judges me for using my hands in whatever way I see fit. Animals are much better companions than a lot of people I’ve met. You are probably the first exception I’ve had in a long time, Quinn.” Alex said. Quinn looked down at the hands that were still linked together.


“You know, I have to admit, of all the crazy things I’ve ever done, this has to be the new number one. Even higher than attack frogs. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t tripped into your floor,” Quinn said, trying to laugh at her embarrassing first impression.


“I don’t know. Probably kept going until you ended up in Tennessee or ran into a bear. One of the two” Alex flashed their grin at her. Oh, that smile made her so happy she met Alex even if it had taken a bit of an adventure to meet them.


“So do I send a smoke signal or try to get lost to see you again?”


“Might not have a phone, but I promise if you meet me back here on Saturday, I’ll be waiting. Possibly with food.” Alex said, brushing their hand back through their hair.


“That sounds like a plan.”


As Quinn walked away, she knew that she was looking forward to Saturday. She would be climbing that mountain very often to see Alex, the hidden cabin, and getting lost in eyes as blue as the sky.


Writer In Motion Week 3: Critique Partner Edit

We are already on Week 3!

Time is just flying for me and I am loving each new week. This week we were paired with two Critique Partners to help us with our edits. Getting a different set of eyes on the story really helped me start to narrow down my cute little story. I feel like it is really coming along. I want to thank both of my amazing Critique Partners for helping me with this round of edits. In the effort to try to stay below the word count, I had started ideas that didn’t make it to page or I had edited out in Week 2 but I didn’t see them. Fresh eyes really do help you find the little things that you gloss over without meaning to.

Check out their stories here:

Maria’s Story

Ellie’s Story


It was supposed to be an hour-long hike—keyword supposed to. Quinn had managed to stray off the well-marked path and climb a completely non-beginner friendly hill. That was what her quads were screaming at her. Lifting her phone, she checked for a signal. No luck. It had the same lack of bars as when she had tried two charlie horses ago. At least it wasn’t summer. She paused to rest her legs for a second and get a picture of the sun through the blanket of trees. It would make a good post on Instagram when she found her way back to the correct path or at the very least, it would make one hell of a last one.

Quinn came out of the thick blanket of trees. It opened into a field of grass that someone clearly kept neat. Judging by the mountains in the background and lack of higher ground, she had made it to the summit—the wrong summit but the top nonetheless. There was a small field of flowers tucked away from the world below, which surrounded a small house. There were no windows that Quinn could see, but there was a door. Curiosity getting the better of her, she crossed through the flowers to get a closer look. The walls were grey, and had a knotted wood door. She placed her hand on the biggest one to balance herself as she looked for a peep hole. The door caved in, sending her forward off-balance.

Surprised by both the door opening and the floor’s softness that broke her fall, Quinn lifted her head to brush away a mop of hair and saw worn black leather shoes. Shoes that were attached to legs.

“Do you always wander around strange houses on top of hills, or am I special?” The owner of those shoes sounded amused to find a grown woman on their floor.

“Only on days I’m supposed to be hiking, it seems,” Quinn said, pushing herself up. The stranger offered a hand which she gratefully took. Their palm was rough, reminding her of sandpaper.

“I’d ask if you had a name, but I’m not convinced you aren’t a fairy here to steal mine,” the stranger said.

“I’m not a fairy!” She scoffed. “I’m human, but barely before coffee. And it’s Quinn.”

“Well, Quinn, what are you doing on my mountain?”

“I was hiking to Rosewood Peak, but I think I took the wrong path.” They looked at her with amusement, which Quinn did not find funny.

“The wrong path is an understatement. If you had been any more wrong, you would have ended up in a different state. Come sit down while I get a sweater.” They motioned to a well made wooden table. The inside was much bigger than she would have guessed from what she had seen outside.

“Can I ask you a question?” Quinn said, sitting at the log bench watching the homeowner as they moved to a carved coat rack.

“Is it my name?” The smile was back. Quinn would not have been in such a good mood had someone fallen in her doorway.

“Yes, but also, why does this house have no windows?” The grey walls were lit by candles. Quinn didn’t see any electricity at all inside.

“If I want to see outside, all I have to do is open the door. And it’s Alex.” It was a start, at least. “Place keeps plenty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I find that the things you really need are always right in front of you.” Alex pulled on a lightweight sweater. From how rugged everything else was, Quinn would not have been shocked to find out they had knitted it themself.

Together, Quinn and Alex left the grey shelter with no windows and started walking back down past the lavender and white wildflowers and out of the mushroom created fairy ring protected from the woods and technology. Quinn realized just how out of the way she had really taken herself. Alex was the perfect guide. They knew the woods surrounding their hilly home and could point out things Quinn hadn’t seen on the way up. She hadn’t even noticed that the trees leaned toward the peak or that rocks created natural stepping stone paths. The company of someone was nicer than trying to stop and take pictures for Instagram every five steps. The last had been the whole reason she had strayed off the easy hike path. It had been a hard and painful lesson to learn. Her legs would probably feel like they were falling off for at least a week.

“Well, here we go. The path should be marked from here.” Alex said.

” You know, I have to admit, this was probably one of the best accidents I’ve ever had. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t tripped into your floor,” Quinn said, trying to laugh at her embarrassing first impression.

“I don’t know. Probably kept going until you ended up in Tennessee or ran into a bear. One of the two” Alex flashed their grin at her. Quinn felt utterly comfortable. She was happy she met Alex even if it had taken a bit of an adventure to meet them.

“Nah,” She smiled. “Then I wouldn’t have met you. So do I send a smoke signal or try to get lost to see you again?”

“Might not have a phone, but I promise if you meet me back here on Saturday, I’ll be waiting. Possibly with food.” Alex said, brushing their hand back through their hair.

“That sounds like a plan, Alex.”

Writer In Motion- Week 2 Self-Edit Draft


Last week, I posted the rough draft of my story for Writer In Motion. Each week participants edit and polish the stories on our blogs to show how the process looks for us.

This week, I self-edited my entry, and it was an adventure.I changed some words and sentences, fixed a lot of grammer mistakes, and over all tried to work on the story I wanted to tell.

I decided to join Writer In Motion because I wanted to take my writing seriously. I didn’t realize how quickly I would start to understand how my process worked or didn’t work. So far, these are the things I have learned about myself:

You see, I am a pantser. No matter how I plot or outline, the characters take over and tell the story they want. This is great for exploration and first drafts, but it has been my kryptonite when it comes to editing.

I am also pretty wordy. Being restricted to <1000 words is a difficult challenge to try and convey a good arc. I am still figuring out just how much information to keep and where to slash details. I’m relaly looking forward to next weeks Critique Partners for this reason.

This is also my first time writing a nonbinary character. When I tried to describe Alex in my head, there really was no overt masculine or feminine traits that came to mind. Quinn, in contrast, presented very feminine in my mind. I tried to be very mindful of this and Alex’s pronouns of they/them. I am not completely sold on the name and might change it to Ode. But for this pass through, I chose to keep the name Alex.

With all of this, I am still very much in love with what story is starting to develop from the prompt and can’t wait to see how it develops.


It was supposed to be an hour-long hike—keyword supposed to. Somehow, and Quinn had no idea how she had managed to not only stray off the well-marked path but had also managed to climb a completely non-beginner friendly hill. Or at least that was what her quads were screaming at her. Lifting her phone, she checked for a signal. No luck. It had the same lack of bars as she had as when she had tried two charlie horses ago. At least it wasn’t summer, and at least she saw the light through the trees.

Quinn came out of the thick blanket of trees. It opened into a field of grass that someone clearly kept neat. Judging by the mountains in the background and lack of more hill to climb, she had made it to the summit—the wrong summit but the top none the less. The top had a small field of flowers tucked away from the world below, which surrounded a small house of some kind. There were no windows that Quinn could see, but there was a door. Curiosity getting the better of her, she crossed through the flowers to get a closer look. The walls were grey, and the door appeared wooden with knots, almost forming long lines about a few inches long. The door swung open underneath her hand, sending her forward off-balance.
The floor was worn wood, which given the owner lived in the middle of a forest-covered mountain, made sense. Surprised by both the door opening and the floor’s softness that broke her fall, Quinn lifted her head to brush away a mop of hair and spotted shoes. Shoes that were attached to legs.

“Do you always wander around strange houses on top of hills, or am I special?” The owner of those shoes sounded amused to find a grown woman on their floor, admiring the polish job.

“Only on days I’m supposed to be hiking with friends, it seems,” Quinn said, pushing herself up. The stranger offered a hand which she gratefully took.

“I’d ask if you had a name, but I’m not convinced you aren’t a pretty but sweaty fairy” The stranger said, dusting off Quinn with a hand mindful not to brush any delicate areas.

“I’m not a fairy!” She scoffed. “I’m hardly human before coffee. And it’s Quinn.”

“Well, Quinn, what are you doing on my mountain?” They still did not give a name. This didn’t bother Quinn since she was trespassing.

“I was hiking to Rosewood Peak, but I think I took the wrong path.” They looked at her with amusement, which Quinn did not find funny.

“The wrong path is an understatement. If you had been any more wrong, you would have ended up in a different state. Come sit down while I get a jacket.” They motioned to a well made wooden table. The inside was much bigger than she would have guessed from what she was seen outside.

“Can I ask you a question?” Quinn said, sitting at the log bench watching the homeowner as they moved to a wood carved coat rack.

“Is it my name?” The smile was back. Quinn was positive; she would not have been in such a good mood had someone fallen in her doorway.

“Yes, but also, why does this house have no windows?” It was true. The inside of the grey walls was lit by candles. In fact, Quinn didn’t see any electricity at all inside.

“I like living off the grid. If I want to see outside, all I have to do is open the door really, so I don’t see the point in windows anymore. And it’s Alex.” It was a start, at least. “Place keeps plenty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I find that the things you really need are always right in front of you.” Alex pulled on a lightweight sweater. From how rugged everything else was, Quinn would not have been shocked to find out they had knitted it themself.

Together, Quinn and Alex left the grey shelter with no windows and started walking back down past the pretty flowers and out of the fairy ring protected from the woods and technology. Quinn realized just how out of the way she had really taken herself. Alex was the perfect guide. They knew the woods surrounding their hilly home and could point out things Quinn had never stopped to realize in her panic to find her friends. The trees leaned toward the top. Significant grey rock patterns created natural stepping stones. The company of someone was nicer than trying to stop and take pictures for Instagram every five steps. The last had been the whole reason she had strayed off the easy hike path. It had been a hard and painful, at least painful to her thighs, lesson to learn.

“Well, here we go. The path should be marked from here.” Alex said once they had gotten back down to nearly the summit. Quinn had to admit, it was probably one of the best experiences out in nature she had ever had.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t tripped into your floor,” Quinn said, trying to laugh at her embarrassing first impression.

“I don’t know. Probably kept going until the next hill hoping someone built a house on that one?” Alex flashed their grin at her. Quinn felt utterly comfortable. Despite the long, thankfully, not hot day, she was happy she met Alex.

“Nah,” She smiled. “Then I wouldn’t have met you. So do I send a smoke signal or try to get lost to see you again?”

“Might not have a phone, but I promise if you meet me back here on Saturday, I’ll be waiting. Possibly with food.” Alex said, brushing their hand back through their hair.

“That sounds like a plan, Alex.”