Archive for August 30th, 2010


I wish I could say that I’m writing about me in this entry, that I’ve finally turned into a dangerous and thus more interesting woman.  But nope, it’s Layla who has gone over to the dark side.

beck use

As you know I’m editing The Compass Master.  Mostly the task calls for weighing every word and sentence, checking for consistency in my (ridiculously) complicated thriller plot, and other good stuff.  As you also know, I decided a few months ago to share my nasty injury with Layla.  She too will know what it’s like to have a collapsed lung and fractured ribs:  once in her past and again after a fight scene.

It’s the first injury that happened to her right after college that makes her turn to the (semi-) dark side.  While the physical injuries heal, it’s the circumstances of how she was hurt and the subsequent legal wrangling that strips away any innocence she still had and makes her cynical and vengeful.  By the time we catch up with her in the present day, she is definitely a woman who knows how to take care of herself.

b&w knife

This may sound disturbing, but I loved writing Layla’s new dialogue in which she casually admits to stabbing thugs who have attacked her while she’s on a job.  She doesn’t kill them but instead only cuts them enough so that she can get safely away.  No big deal to her.  What if she ever has to kill someone in self-defense or for another extreme reason?  She has a premonition that this will come true someday, and it doesn’t bother her.

Because I toughened up Layla I could get rid of some original passages that were making me cringe.  Why did I write such formula descriptions in the first place?  Maybe I wrongly assumed that a couple of my female friends/readers would only relate to a softer, gentler female lead.  Well, I underestimated my friends’ tastes and my own abilities.  Layla has gone from bad to dangerous and I like her much more that way.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Here’s a quickie update on my lock picking efforts.

1)  It’s embarrassing that in my last entry I mentioned that I would attempt to pick the lock on my bathroom door.  What a joke.  Turns out all I had to do was put in the torque in preparation of picking it and the lock popped right out.  I could’ve opened that baby in two seconds with a bobby pin.

locked door

2)  I had trouble picking the lock on the doorknob of my front door and also the one on my outside kitchen door.  You’d think that those simple push-in-the-little-round-button locks would be a cinch.  Well, maybe they are but I haven’t yet learned the trick.  On the other hand…

3)  I picked open the deadbolt (that’s right folks, the DEADBOLT) lock on my kitchen door in 30 seconds flat.  Which means…

I’M FINALLY DOING SOME REAL LOCK PICKING!  And don’t that make me feel real hot.  On the other hand…

THE DEADBOLT LOCK ON MY DOOR CAN BE PICKED OPEN IN THIRTY SECONDS BY A RANK AMATEUR!

Granted, it’s only a single deadbolt and not a double, but suddenly I don’t feel very secure in my own home.  It’s my own fault.