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Posted on March 30, 2015

Fresh off of how good it felt to write a book for grown-ups with We Three Meet, I'm splitting time between two projects. As I continue work on Angus Farseek for my middle grade readers, I will be penning another book as D. Spangler. Decisive Magic will be about making choices, both the ability and inability to do so. It will feature some crazy supernatural plot motivation, but at its core delve into how childhood memories affect a budding romance in a person's adult years. It's about forging second chances in a world ready to discard things that are secondhand. I can't wait for you to see how I incorporate a choose-your-own-adventure framework with commentary on our dependence on tech.

Below is the first chapter in all its rough glory:

Decisive Magic

Chapter 1

His life was like the caulk along the edge of the windowsill, dried out, cracked and flaking. Nothing was additive. The past thirty-odd-years had been about deducting, reducing his sense of self. He was less and less each day.

Lucas Reynolds stared out the window, tracking the rivulets of rain as they meandered down the outside of the pane. He knew he was wallowing. He knew self-pity was a transaction that ended in zero, depleting and caustic.

He just couldn't help himself.

Another blow had been dealt to him today. The large yellow envelope that had arrived by courier only minutes earlier held the divorce papers Margo insisted he sign yesterday. She was so anxious to start a new life, practically falling all over herself to be newly christened as single and available once more.

Unlike him. He was still reeling from their dizzying courtship of seven months, their whirlwind wedding, and the unavoidable frantic separation not quite four months after the crisp ceremony.

He spun his wedding ring around on his finger, unable to take it off at any point in the last hundred days.

Divorce signified defeat, something he couldn't understand why Margo was so eager to face. Why wasn't she willing to fight for their marriage like he was? Not that he had shown her any such resolve since she had announced their separation. His fight to save their relationship played out completely in his head.

Safe within the confines of his mind, he could pitch the just-right argument to salvage their connection, mend their matrimony. He had recited everything that needed to be said to spare their dissolution as a couple, but never out loud. Always, when they encountered each other since he had willingly left under her request, he had said little, hoarding his pitch-perfect solutions for the reality he imagined in his head. If he said the words, he feared they still wouldn't bring her back. Holding onto them, kept the possibility of their reconciliation alive. Not at all a healthy way to deal with their circumstances, but one he clung fast to even now.

He smacked his hand against the window, causing a puff of caulk dust to erupt from the leftmost end of the sill. He watched the fine particles quickly settle onto the thrice-painted ledge.

A bad pun seeped into his thoughts. Life ain't what it's caulked up to be.

He tore himself away from gazing out the window at the dreary weather. He tossed a magazine atop the envelope, unsuccessful in making it disappear from sight.

Don't make me come over there and put the pen in your hand. Her last words to him before handing over all their correspondence to those with law degrees and billable hours echoed in his headspace.

He needed time. Signing the papers now wasn't going to happen. Later, but not much later. Margo wouldn't allow their relationship to be drawn out. She was about quick solutions, racing ever forward to the next goal.

Lucas, however, wasn't so sure that was the right tact to take. There was something to be said for nurturing the past, escaping into history to avoid the insecurity of the future.

He closed his eyes and loaded up a childhood memory to aid in his avoidance. Something from a more innocent time. Probably a summertime escapade would fit the bill. He sighed and could almost smell the fresh scent of newly-mowed grass as he transported himself away from being branded an adult.


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