Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Mia's Choice

July 28, 2013


It's been a great writing week…for organizational stuff. LOL I've spent almost every day working on taglines, plotting story ideas, adding to characterization charts, and fixing small details in several thisclosetobeing finished manuscripts.

I feel so productive!!

Tonight's post is from one of those almost there stories. Mia's Choice is stretching into a something close to a novel, but I think it'll remain a novella. Especially after I get through the final round and ruthlessly edit unnecessary stuff. J

Here's the tagline:

Mia Sinclair finally got her doctorate and embarks on a work trade assignment to a new space station. But when she runs smack into Hal Manning, and her past, she has to face her demons, which isn't easy because she promised she'd never be under any man's control again.

And a sneaky peek…

Hal Manning sat behind his desk and heaved a sigh. Dealing with a mix of military and civilian crew gave him the worst headache. He wondered, not for the first time, whose bright idea it had been to combine the two and send them out into deep space to construct a new outpost.
Probably someone with a pay grade much higher than his.
He pulled out the log reports and sifted through the pile of complaints. Could the commandos do their drills somewhere else? Could the science geeks conduct experiments that made the ship reek of indescribable aromas in the hold instead of on the same level as living quarters? And could they both just stay out of each other's way?
Maybe he should lock everyone in the cargo hold and let them duke it out.
Better yet, barricade him in and let the inmates run the asylum.
Yeah, wouldn't happen.
Hal worked steadily for the next hour on the logs, writing orders, confirming information and filing memos. The name on the last report caught his attention.
Mia Sinclair.
Check that. Doctor Mia Sinclair. The woman took every opportunity to remind him and his crew of the fact. She had zero appreciation for the common use of last names as a greeting or acknowledgement of presence.
So very different from the girl he used to know.
When she boarded the Queen Amalie he'd been stunned stupid. Sinclair happened to be her married name so it hadn't pinged for him on the manifest.
Hal sat back and let the memories roll through his mind. They'd grown up together. Dated. Fallen in love. They'd had a chance once…a long time ago. But Mia cut it short. Carved him out of her life and sent him packing.
Okay, not entirely true. More like she'd boxed up and checked out.
He'd known her as Mia Furlough. Way back when they'd been wet behind the ears and barely out of primary school. She'd been vibrant, lively, and fun. He'd fallen for her completely and without reservation.
Thought it had been the same for her. But he'd been so very wrong. She didn't come close to being the person he'd thought she'd been. Not after her grandfather died.
Mia went from free spirit to gilded bird in a matter of weeks. She cut herself off from everyone, stopped hanging out with the kids after classes and refused to see Hal or return his phone calls.
A couple of months later, she disappeared. Moved away. Didn't come back. He finally heard she'd left for a position in the prestigious Academy of Science on Mars. Her father pulled some strings to get her in. Or so Hal had been told.
The hometown connection kept him sporadically up to date on Mia. She'd graduated with her degree later than expected due to her marriage to a top scientist. She'd cared for both ailing parents until their deaths three years ago. The nasty divorce that followed apparently set the social and scientific communities on their ears.
He'd been bowled over when she boarded his vessel as the science liaison, newly assigned to Space Station Alpha.
Hal shook his head, clearing the memories, and leafed through Mia's report. About halfway through, he sat up straight in his chair and re-read the last two paragraphs. The ship had what wrong with its water supply? Three weeks into their journey and a major cock up like this?
A bunch of scientific terms he'd probably need a translator for muddied up the page. The part he didn't need a degree to read simply stated one of the reserve water containment tanks had been contaminated and could not be used. How in the hell had that happened?
Could she be wrong?
Hal doubted it. Doctor Sinclair had meticulous down to an art form. She filed her reports on time. Showed up for the daily briefings precisely five minutes before they started and from what scuttlebutt he heard about her, ran a tight ship in the lab.
He sighed. He'd have to talk to her about the contamination. He considered the subject too important for him to delegate. The fact he found himself avoiding her whenever possible didn't sit well with him anyway.
Combing his hair back from his face, he rose, gathered the report and exited quarters.
Might as well get the good doctor in for a visit and get it over with. He was pretty sure he knew where she'd be. Holed up in her quarters or working in the lab. She rarely went anywhere else. He'd find a junior officer and have them escort Mia down from the lab deck.
Wouldn't she just love that?
Heh. Nope. Mia is not going to be thrilled she has to meet Hal in his quarters, but she'll deal. J

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

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