In between doing laundry (it’s amazing how many dog blankets I have to wash after a Nationals), answering the telephone, playing ponies with Jadelynn (there was no school today for Good Friday), and working on the edits for The Devil’s Own Desperado, I became very aware of a plot bunny hopping around inside of my head.
Now, I was very happy to see this little plot bunny, because it means my Muse has decided to make an entrance. She has been on sabbatical for almost two years now. She’s sent a baby sister for some of the creative work in the form of short stories, working the show leads (which actually is an incredible creative outlet), and other smaller creative projects, but SHE has not been around. I recognized this plot bunny, fuzzy ears and all, as a full grown plot bunny.
This little bunny hopped around inside of my head while I was sorting dog blankets, whispering names and scenes to me. While I was playing ponies, more scenes began filling in the landscape. With every twitch of its nose, every flick of its tail, every jerk of its long ears, more and more began to fill in. I’ve got a hero—complete with full name: Leigh Caden Rockland. The ever generous Muse even let me see him, to get a good look at him. He’s tall, a long drink of water. Think John Wayne, about age 30. (Frankly, in my humble opinion, they don’t make ‘em like the Duke anymore.) Sandy blonde hair, cobalt blue eyes, light on his feet, a man of few words…maybe my Muse likes John Wayne as much as I do. There’s two shes in this one: the girl he left five years before and the girl he grows to love now. The girl he left before is a blonde-haired, dark-eyed haunting beauty who hates Leigh so much she’ll do anything to ruin him…and I think, unfortunately for him, I do mean anything. She’s Katherine Hathaway. She’s pure poison, sugar-coated to be sure, but poison, none the less. The girl he grows to love now is Delia McCord: dark-headed, blue-eyed and the opposite of Katherine. Delia is the grand-neice—by marriage—of Ethan McCord and she is Ethan’s only known living relative. She’s come to Federal to inherit her uncle’s ranch, the Diamond Bar M. Ethan, however, was not a very good man while he was alive, and he’s got a few kids wandering the scenery, kids who know they’re Ethan’s and who want a piece of the Diamond Bar M.
And, now, the voices won’t shut up. Those scenes are being populated with dialogue, action, emotions. There’s a land speculator in here, somewhere. The Muse hasn’t told me yet how he figures into all of this, but I know—sooner or later—She will let me know how he plays into the story line. I’m not seeing any gunfights at this stage of the process, but I’m willing to bet that Leigh can handle a gun pretty well, considering that it seems he’s been cast in the Duke’s image, if there are any gunfights.
Leigh comes back to Federal, a letter from Ethan in his pocket, and he’s supposed to go to work on the Diamond Bar M as foreman. Ethan’s dead when Leigh arrives in Federal, shot in the back. (I know I really have to have a long talk with Harrison Taylor, because the crime rate in his county seems a little high…) I think this is where the land speculator is going to come into the story, but don’t quote me on that because She hasn’t told me yet.
Delia is on the same train as Leigh. And, they both meet Katherine within minutes of arriving in Federal. Katherine’s instant response to Leigh is to slap him across the face, tell him he’s about as low as a snake’s belly, and she has every intention of running the Diamond Bar M into the ground and then buy it out from under Delia.
Yeah, like I said…the voices won’t shut up.