Excerpt from Sharnita with the Long Nails

OK, so that’s a working title. I wanted something to go with Brit with the Pink Hair (book one), which I’m not 100% sold on yet either. We shall see. Naming things is hard.

Camp NaNoWriMo last month went better than usual! I hit my goal of 25,000 words for the month of April.

Camp NaNoWriMo Stats

I’ll absolutely be participating again in July to either finish up book one or two, or start writing book three. Obviously, no decisions have been made yet. It’ll all depend on whether I make any progress between now and then. Maybe I’ll give JuNoWriMo a shot too?

My goal is to be ready to publish book one by the end of the year. If I say that here, hopefully that’ll make it official.

Anyway, to the words! This is the moment Mike and Sharnita finally meet.

Merry paused from polishing the surface of the bar and grunted in Sharnita’s direction. “Coulda used you last night. Your best friend Karoline was really backed up. Where were you anyway?”

“It was my grandma. She wasn’t doing well, and my sister and brother and I—”

Merry held up the rag to interrupt. “Nevermind, I didn’t need all those details. I get it. Family stuff, blah, blah, blah.”

“Yeah, sounds like you have me all figured out.” She managed to hide the sarcasm and said it as cheerfully as possible. Merry was harmless if not crotchety. “Is Karoline in tonight?” Sharnita surveyed the bar area for the wavy blond hair and pleasant smile of her friend, but her eyes only fell on the band warming up and a tall man with his arms crossed stage left.

“Out sick. Must’ve been overworked from doing a double for you yesterday.”

Sharnita felt bad that she hadn’t thought to text Karoline. Her mind was on what her grandmother said, and whether her siblings were happy at home or not.

The tall man pointed to the stage and shouted something to one of the band members setting up. He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes, and then shoved them back onto his face and barked out additional orders.

“Who is that guy? I haven’t seen him with the band before. Did they get a tour manager or something?”

Merry laughed, which caught Sharnita off guard. The sound was so unusual and unexpected, she didn’t know what to make of it. It sounded like a cough, and Sharnita was sure that if Merry had been drinking, it would’ve all come out her nose.

“What’s so funny? I don’t know everyone here yet. He looks important though.”

Merry had thrown the dirty rag over her face to cover her laugh, and when she realized what she had done, she sputtered and wiped her mouth with her sleeve. “It’s funny because you don’t recognize your own boss.”

Realization crashed into Sharnita in waves. Hearing a single-syllable, no-nonsense name like Mike, somehow she had expected some big football-player-looking tough guy. Some sort of an athlete or former athlete in college who now had a beer gut. This guy was not that. He was not any of that. He was all legs, legs that were so long Sharnita wondered how he found pants to fit them. Legs that made him look like a cartoon character.

The reason his legs were top of mind is that he was coming her way, and she wondered how he balanced on those stilts. He rustled both hands into his wavy black hair, and when he took them out, it looked exactly the same as before. Messing it up did nothing to improve upon or dishevel his coif. It just was, and no futzing would change that. He crinkled his nose to scoot his glasses up higher on his face and spotted Sharnita staring. She snapped her mouth shut and stuck out her hand.

“Hi, Mike. It’s great to finally meet you. I’m Sharnita, one of the new bartenders.”

“Hi, Sharnita.” He glanced at Merry and then back to Sharnita. “I don’t remember hiring you.”