Writing: nudging words into sentences, then sentences into paragraphs that sound pleasing to the ear. An excruciating process that takes massive amounts of time.
For years, my husband and I worked in Seattle and lived aboard an elegant, old, wood motor yacht. We spent our free time cruising to other harbors, eating, drinking, and playing with other boaters.
But whenever I had a few minutes alone, I wrote.
Every spring, our yacht club flocked to Tacoma to participate in the Daffodil Marine Festival. This weekend event culminated in a parade of boats decked out with thousands of daffodils, brightly colored flags, and all hands sporting white pants and navy blazers.
One year, while everyone else roamed up and down the dock drinking margaritas and meeting old friends, I sat in a corner of the saloon and struggled with my assignment for a creative writing class. And hoped I didn’t look too antisocial.
The day before the parade was crammed with activities, including a Jeopardy trivia game. Each club selected a token to represent their group. My husband was ours. I was still typing, putting words together, ripping them out, and starting over, so several of the women carted him off to the local thrift store to find a suitable outfit.
He came back dressed in an iridescent purple strapless dress, a hot pink feather boa, and white roller skates with huge pink pom-poms. I have to say, he looked stunning. Someone whipped out a black lipstick, carefully applied it to his lips, and he was ready.
As I recall, our club didn’t score all that well, but my husband was a big hit. He practically floated around on his roller skates, flicking his pink boa from side to side, and pirouetting with élan and grace.
Since then, I have rewritten the assignment I was working on too many times to count, but it finally became part of Murder Unrehearsed, my debut novel, which made it to press last August.
You’d think that after all that time, my characters wouldn’t be able to surprise me. But in the final draft, one of them, hottie lawman Matt McCrae, did. He insisted on getting up early, mixing a batch of dough for baguettes, and baking his special chocolate sandwich cookies while the bread dough was proofing.
So, I put on an apron, got reacquainted with my mother’s aunt’s sugar cookie recipe, and made several variations. Although the chocolate cookies filled with chocolate ganache are Matt’s favorite, the lemon version with lemon buttercream is a close second. Their delicate, buttery flavor married with the sprightly taste of fresh lemon is perfect for spring. I’m baking some now.
In the end, his love of baking didn’t make it into the book, but the recipes are posted on my website. I hope you enjoy them.
When aspiring young actress Heather Shelton jumps in the car with her dog, Bear, and flees to her family’s mountain cabin to escape an untidy romance, all she wants is peace and time to study for auditions. What she gets is murder. The only witness of a savage killing – and squarely in the crosshairs of a ruthless assassin – she is injured and left for dead.
Heather knows handsome men are bad news, but hottie lawman Matt McCrae’s smile gets her every time, until he leaves her hanging out as bait to trap the killer. McCrae promises to protect her, but fails, and she faces killer alone, with only Bear to help.
and via my website: www.roxannedunn.com
Roxanne Dunn has studied writing in Paris and Seattle, and writes the galley column for Pacific Yachting magazine. Murder Unrehearsed is her debut novel.
She is a retired physical therapist, a foodie, a fanatic about good chocolate, and a private pilot. She lived aboard an old wood motor yacht for seventeen years, and in her dreams, is a pianist of renown, an acceptable water color artist, and a globe-trotting yogini.