Tag Archives: Book

An Editorial Intermission – The Old Mill


(This is an editorial break in the series The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey 2 (Part1).  The Table of Contents is here)

I have to pause the story for a moment.  As you know, this is a rough draft, and at the beginning I posted as I wrote, sometimes posting within minutes of writing the last word.  Of course there were times that I realized that I needed to go back and edit.  I did change a few little things in the posted chapters, but I’ll wait for the next draft for most of the changes.  In the mean time, I found that I need to talk a little bit about Gill and Lyndsey so you can understand some of what happens as we go on.  Over the course of their conversations they talked about their jobs (or at least they are going to have these conversations when I do the next big off-line edit of earlier chapters).  Here is a just a quick description of what you missed (because I’m adding it to earlier chapters offline and it isn’t part of what you read):

Gill is a first level manager/supervisor for a team of software developers at a mid-size software firm, LMDF (don’t ask me what it stands for 😉).  The seven developers under him each have between one and four projects, depending on size and complexity.  There is a pool of around 35 coders/programmers that work on the projects.  There are four others at Gill’s level.  His manager, Kunhal, is coming up on retirement and Gill has been shadowing him and will most likely take his place.  Three of his developers are local (Nashua), the other two are at a remote location in Brattleboro, VT.  The other two work remotely.  The actual coders are all over the world, though many are based out of the Nashua or Brattleboro offices.  Most of his time is spent doing administrative work, but he works with each team (seven developers) once a week using teleconferencing (videoconferencing) technology.  He also likes to sit in on a SCRUM meeting with each development team at least every other week. Continue reading

Lyndsey 2 (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Mill Building

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 1 of a two part chapter.)

— —

I took my eyes off of the road for a second to glance at Lyndsey.  Her face was slightly illuminated in the dark by the dashboard lights.  A surge of emotion ripped through my body, feelings I hadn’t felt since the early days of my relationship with Becky, almost 15 years in the past.  My right hand slipped off of the steering wheel and onto Lyndsey’s thigh.  I could see the smile out of the corner of my eye.  She put her own right hand on mine and caressed it while threading her left arm under my arm and putting her left hand onto my thigh.  Her left hand lightly squeezed my thigh in rhythm to the music.

“Oh, this used to be one of Jess’ favorites,” she said as a new song came on the radio.  She hummed along for a minute.  “Thinking of Jess.  I was met her for breakfast this morning and she was the old Jess.  I always wonder why sometimes she is so, well, present, and other times it’s like, well…”

“It’s like someone pretending to be Jess,” I said.

“Exactly!  It’s like someone going through the motions of being Jess so that nobody would know that it isn’t her.”

“I have a theory about that.”

“Ha!  I knew it.  Does it have something to do with Martha or the Goode mansion?”

“Uhm, yes.” Continue reading

Sean (Part 2) – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter.  Part 1)

— —

A hand fell heavily on my shoulder.

“Hey Gill, having trouble finding them?”  It was Bill’s voice.

I was looking into an empty black space, no people were visible, no woman and no children.  I turned to look at Bill.  There was only him there, no other men.

“Uhm yeah, Bill.  Coming in from the bright outside my eyes just didn’t want to adjust.  I’m still a bit blinded.”

“Here they are.”

Several garden rakes, a hoe, a spade and a yard rake were leaning against the wall just inside of the entrance to the main building.

“Oh, I must have walk right past them.  No wonder I didn’t see them.  I was looking over there.”  I pointed past were the woman and children had been, into the dark far corner of the building.

“Here, I’ll grab a couple,” he said.  “You take the rest.  Let’s go, the air in here is unhealthy.” Continue reading

Sean (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Old Mill on two Rivers

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Bill Wallace.  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 1 of a two part chapter)

— —

Bill pulled into my driveway at almost exactly 8:30. I was out of the door before his truck came to a stop.  I climbed in and set my travel mug next to his.

He almost immediately started talking about a neighbor of his that I didn’t know very well.  It was typical small town gossip and complaints.  He had barely gotten out of my drive before I picked up my mug and sipped my coffee, just nodding at the appropriate places and saying, “A-huh,” when needed.  I only half noticed that we were headed up to Amesbury Center until we turned to take the road that avoids the main village.

“We’re going to the Goode Mansion, aren’t we?” I asked.

Bill smiled.  “Ay-yup.”

I had wondered why he asked me to come with him; now I knew. Continue reading

Bill Wallace (The Old Mill)


(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Jessica (2) (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

“Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace, for having me over for dinner,” I said as we sat down to eat.

“What, are my mom and dad here?” Mr. Wallace said.  He glanced around, as if his elderly parents were hiding someplace in his house.  Then he looked sternly at me.  “How long have I known you, Gill?  Maybe 20 years?  I’m Bill and this is Nancy, OK?  20 years.  That’s a long time.  Yeah, I remember back then, Jess talking about you…”


“…all of the time and Nancy and I wondering who you were.  Finally, Jess introduced us.  It was good to meet you.  I really thought you guys would get married…”


“…and was surprised when her talk about you changed.  Back then I wouldn’t have minded you as a son in law…”


“…and it certainly would have been better than what we ended up with.”


“Of course, here it is, 20 years later and I might just get you as a son and law yet.  And I’d be proud to call….”


“OK, OK, I’ll quit embarrassing our guest and our daughter.”  I looked over at Lyndsey.  She was blushing brighter than I was, but she winked at me when she saw my look.  I knew she was reminding me that she had warned me.  “I don’t understand what’s wrong, anyway.  Guys like plain talk, don’t we Gill?” Continue reading

My Little Advert :) (Seasons of Imagination)

It’s a been a while since I’ve done a post about my short story collection Season of Imagination.  I know, I know, people really don’t go for books of short story written by unknown authors.  But, sometimes it’s nice to read fiction and know you don’t have to commit days to it.  Here is a bit about it, for those who don’t know:

Trent P. McDonald’s Seasons of Imagination contains an eclectic mix of stories covering many places, times and even different genre, yet they all hold one thing in common, they are all about people.

Be they silly, serious or speculative, all of the stories are about us.  What makes us tick?  Why do we say the things we do?  Why do we react as we do?

So whether it seems the stories are exploring outer or inner space, in reality they’re always exploring the human space.

Here is an invitation to open the page and come with me to explore the

Seasons of Imagination Continue reading

Jessica (2) (Part 2)

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Jessica (2) (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note 2 – I split this chapter in half to make for shorter reading.  This is the second half.)

After Jessica left, I had a quick dinner and then took a walk.  Walking always helps me think things through and clear my mind.  After that conversation with Jessica, I certainly needed to clear my mind.  I had been avoiding School Street since the first time I ran into Mrs. Adams and so, as usual, I stayed out of the residential section and walked into the village.  Main Street is always empty after 5 PM, so i had the village to myself.

“Hello Gill.”

I turned around.  Izle was coming up behind me.

“How are you doing this evening?” I asked.

“Fine.  Are you OK?  I saw you go in the mill with that woman.  Let me look at you.”

Izle squinted and slowly scanned me from head to toe.  I had changed into jeans and a sweatshirt, but I could only think of Jessica’s once over when I first saw her that afternoon.  Yet Izle was not flirting or being sexual at all.  There was something else.  It was like she was trying to see inside of me.

“Look at me,” she said.  Her voice was forceful, unlike I’d ever heard it before.

I looked and her eyes grew big as she stared into mine.  I had never noticed it, but her eyes were odd, almost purple in color, and had a strange fire.  I turned away after a few seconds.

“Good, you’re OK.  I was worried.” Continue reading

First Chapter of The Fireborn


Yesterday I had a post about first chapters.  At the end I said I would put up the first chapter of the first book I wrote, The Fireborn.  Read it and let me know if you didn’t like/wouldn’t read the book even at gunpoint/think it’s terrible, or, hopefully, that you liked it and want more!  Warning – this is very long.  Remember, it’s the first chapter of a book, not a short story (Oh, and I left in the section header):

Part I

Then the Irish kindled a fire under the cauldron of renovation, and they cast the dead bodies into the cauldron until it was full, and the next day they came forth fighting-men as good as before, except that they were not able to speak. –  Anonymous Medieval Welsh, Branwen the daughter of Llyr, Second of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (The Mabinogion)


Elliot Everett-Jones stepped out of his ancient Jaguar and headed towards the cluster of tents across the makeshift car park.  He was thinking that they were more temporary structures than tents per se, when the door of the largest one opened and a man walked out.  Elliot stopped in his tracks and let out an involuntary little gasp.  For half of a second he almost believed his father had come back to life, but then recognized his brother, William.  It surprised Elliot that he had never noticed how much William had become the spitting image of the late Dr. Everett-Jones, though he had to admit that William had changed in the year since he had last seen him.  Elliot waited, letting his brother come to him.  As he watched, Elliot realized that William had also inherited their father’s mannerisms and walked with the same steady stride.

William gave a short “Hullo” as he reached his younger brother.  Taking Elliot’s outstretched hand and slapping his shoulder, William smiled broadly and said, “Great to see you, Elliot!  Glad you can still drive on the proper side of the road after all of those years in America.  You made good time.  Did your rusty old Jag even touch the ground?  Everything coming towards you have a bit of a blue tint and everything behind shifted to the red, huh?”

Elliot returned his brother’s large grin and held his hand in both of his own.  “If I’d known what a nasty, barren plain you were dragging me to, I wouldn’t have hurried.  What a desolate hole you have here!” Continue reading

Upcoming – The First Chapter

My Book

The first chapter of a book is the most important chapter.  If you don’t catch the reader right away, there is no second chance, they are gone, even if the rest of the book is the greatest book that has ever been written.  A lot rides on that opening statement.  Unfortunately, sometimes we can be intimidated by how much weight there is on it.

When I started writing The Fireborn, I wrote a few chapters in the middle and then continued by doing a quick outline to connect them.  I wasn’t planning on actually writing at the time, I wanted to plan and outline, but I had these ideas and I had to put them on “paper” just as they were in my head so I wouldn’t lose them.   The problem was, as I tried to outline the blanks between the chapters,  I did it by writing new chapters.  Sigh.  So I finally gave up, and decided to start from the beginning.

Since I knew the importance of the first chapter, I decided to write a placeholder.  That freed me up and I just started writing at the beginning and didn’t stop (except to insert the aforementioned previously written chapters) until I wrote “The End” two and half months later. Continue reading