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SPRING FEVER

By Debbie Kaufman

No matter how many times I count, “responsibility” is still not a four-letter-word. But, the more I develop Spring Fever, the more it seems like it should be!

I admit it. I have a slightly irresponsible urge right now. I want to go somewhere, do something, or, more to the point, do nothing.

But, I’m surrounded by the siren call of Responsibility – the five-year-old who just woke up, the fourteen-year-old who hasn’t woken up, and the husband who is about to be up. Oh, and the blog post that needs to be up!

Me, I’d rather pack a bag, put the top down on the car, and head out for parts unknown to have an adventure.

But that awful nag, Responsibility, reminds me that I can’t.

She – yes, I’m convinced Responsibility is a woman – reminds me that I have obligations.

She reminds me that others depend on me.

So, how do I balance Responsibility with the need for a little Spring Fling?

Reading.

Books are my answer to Spring Fever. A fever that rages no matter what my current responsibility level is at any given moment.

Yesterday, I downloaded MS Reader, an application that I didn’t realize was free. Then, because of a post over on Stephanie Bond’s blog, I downloaded about 18 free books, courtesy of Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary.

If you haven’t taken advantage of Harlequin’s offer, please do. And head on over to Stephanie Bond’s blog and hit the link to download one of hers, too!

Spring versus Responsibility. I guess they can both win. As long as I have books.

And speaking of Responsibility, a fourteen-letter word by the way, it’s Thursday, and I’m supposed to share a snippet of my work. In this brief glimpse, Beth, my heroine, has just started cooking breakfast for Micah, her unexpected guest and former fiancee, while he is in the shower. Up to this point, she has successfully hidden him from her family, friends, and an unknown killer while he recuperates from a bullet wound.

Beth gathered Micah’s clothes from outside the bathroom door and tossed them in the washer. The day was only beginning and she was already tired. Her emotional drain needed a plug and she wasn’t sure where to find one.

Once the bed was made, she headed down the hall to the kitchen to start some breakfast. The knock on the front door startled her, causing her head to hit the cabinet door. One hand on her head and frying pan in the other, she straightened up and let out an expletive that would have made her mother blush. The sound of a key in the lock set off her own personal alarm bells. Her mother. Her mother was the only other one with a key to the cabin.

“Beth? Are my clothes dry yet?” Micah walked into the room, still damp from his shower.

Shit. Any other time the sight of that gorgeous, masculine body insufficiently wrapped in a towel would have been great. As it was, all Beth could do was hold her aching head and brace for impact as the front door opened.
I hope you enjoyed that quick glimpse. Now, I’m off to fix breakfast, get the kids to school, and do all that Responsibility requires of me today. Only, I’m going to do it with the top down on the car and a book nearby for a quick escape!

Marilyn Baron - April 16, 2009 - 4:46 am

Great post. I especially liked the line about go somewhere, do something or do nothing. That feeling of restlessness that is probably a reaction to responsibility.

I enjoyed the glimpse of your novel, especially the line about the emotional drain needing a plug.

I think we’d all have Spring Fever (if it would ever warm up)and books are a great antidote.

Marilyn Baron

Sally Kilpatrick - April 16, 2009 - 4:49 am

Debbie,

I’m with Marilyn–the emotional drain that needs a plug is a great unique line. I also liked the tension you created with the mother opening the front door as the half-naked man stands in the living room. Very nicely done.

As for spring fever, I can’t decide if I want to shirk responsibility and head to a baseball game or just start driving and not stop until I hit some gorgeous part of Florida. Ah, I suppose a book will have to do.

Great Post!
Sally

Anna Steffl - April 16, 2009 - 5:01 am

Add me as a third paying homage to the great line of the emotional drain needing a plug. It’s super on so many levels.

Responsibility. Ack. I hate always having to be responsible, but then, I’d hate myself if I wasn’t. A no-win situation.

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 5:14 am

Morning Marilyn, Sally, and Anna! Thanks for the compliment. Anna, I suspect we all agree with you about the no-win situation.

I think I’ll be both responsible and irresponsible today. That means I’m going to blow off one responsibility to concentrate on another. Today, I’m going to work a while on my WIP! Woo Hoo! Spring!

dusty takle - April 16, 2009 - 6:16 am

I’m all for riding with the top down. If only I had a top to put down. I did, however, manage to accomplish a house project yesterday that I’ve put off for 3 years. How’s that for responsibility?

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 6:36 am

Way to go Dusty! Me, I’m starting to feel a nap coming on…. :)

CiCi Barnes - April 16, 2009 - 7:21 am

Don’t you just despise that woman, Responsibility, sometime? It’s even hard to type.

At some point, you just have to say “enough” and shirk the lady for some ‘me’ time. It’s the only way you can do as she demands.

Luckily, I have a pile of ‘to reads’ I can reach for, I have car I can put the top down on, and I have my shirking place ready and waiting for me in May. I’m headed for Destin to eat without cooking it, drink without caring if I get a buzz, read without worrying about the loads of clothes that need washing, drying, folding, put away, and write without having to answer the phone.

I’m going to be responsible for just me for a few days. I’ve found if I want to have a healthy relationship with Responsibility, I first have to be responsible for my own well-being.

So do we all. Take a day, ladies, or an hour. You’re going to need it. And you darn well deserve it.

Thanks for reminding us, Debbie.

CiCi

Anonymous - April 16, 2009 - 8:37 am

Wow, even though we have totally different careers, I am JUST LIKE YOU! I love you momma, and I appreciate more than you will ever know that you have always answered the call of responsibility! I am also grateful that you have passed down your “escape” in the form of being an avid reader.

I love the new snippet from the book, cannot wait to read all of it! I’m so proud of you!

Caroline

CiCi Barnes - April 16, 2009 - 11:08 am

Awwww, Caroline, that is so sweet of you to come on and praise your mama like that.

You had good raising. Good job, Debbie.

CiCi

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 11:20 am

Thanks Cici and thanks Caroline!

Nicki Salcedo - April 16, 2009 - 1:37 pm

Thanks for the link to books and your writing sample!

Tami Brothers - April 16, 2009 - 1:39 pm

Oh my gosh, Debbie!!! Can I be your critique partner?? I want to read the rest of that story!!! You had better either be working on it or have it finished!!! I’m not kidding here!!! (see all the exclamation marks!!!)

Seriously, I loved your post, but that blurb is very cool. I love it and I honestly can’t wait to read more. Keep at this one, if only so I get a chance to see what happens next!!!

Tami

Betsey - April 16, 2009 - 1:53 pm

Yeah, girl, you keep leaving us hanging. I want more, too. Again, I’m offering up my non-biased, unprofessional, but thoroughly encouraging editing/proofreading/just wanting to read your book skills.

Susan May - April 16, 2009 - 1:58 pm

Nice job and great info. I’m looking forward to reading the book also.

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 2:10 pm

Okay, okay Betsey! You and Tami can be my beta readers!

Nicki, enjoy the link to the books.
PS: I will have your book for you on Saturday.

Hey Susan: So glad to hear Nick’s good hospital report!

Carol Burnside - April 16, 2009 - 4:24 pm

Enjoyed the excerpt. Way to up the tension!

Today was gorgeous here for a change and I indulged my wanderlust and went for a long walk around the neighborhood.

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 4:30 pm

Hey Carol! Good for you. I just got back from Zumba (Latin dance exercise) class. Endorphins are my friend. I drove around a bit today and admired all the azaleas and dogwoods. At least I did until my granddaughter said, “Can we stop driving?”

Ana Aragón - April 16, 2009 - 6:10 pm

Great post, and great excerpt, Debbie!

I am the worst when it comes to responsibility…comes with the territory when you’re the eldest with four younger siblings, and a mom who was embarrassed to speak English.

I take responsibility for everything…even when others don’t want me to!

Love, love, love the snippet! Can’t wait to read it!

Ana

Debbie Kaufman - April 16, 2009 - 6:25 pm

Hey Anna,
Thanks for stopping by. I understand. I had to learn to stop apologizing all the time as if things were all my responsibility!

Sandy Elzie - April 17, 2009 - 4:30 pm

Debbie,

Why was I off-line on your blog day??!!!!!! I would have loved to add my 2-cents worth about how well I think you’ve done on writing your story. Your writing has sky-rocketed because you’ve sought input from a lot of different sources, taken a class under some great teachers, and you’ve applied yourself.

You’re proving yourself worthy of the success I know is right around the corner for you.

Your very proud critique-partner, Sandy

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