Ashley Barnes, RN

Just Say Maybe, the first part

Click the link above to read the beginning of Just Say Maybe

25atthelip 4contrast- Final Draft

First I would like to say thank you for all of you who ventured to this humble blog in the last two weeks. My previous post was about giving credit to those who influenced Twenty-Five at the Lip. There is a giant meter reading on the twentieth of January showing 146 views, most of which went to Giving Credit. In total there were 242 total views from the 19th to the 21st.

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the past few weeks, that is when I’m not shoveling my family out of our Hoth-like Rhode Island town. I am gearing up for the paperback release of Twenty-Five at the Lip, a release that you all have been waiting so very patiently for. Twenty-Five has undergone a lot of versions and while I am glad to say that it is nowhere near its first draft, there were a lot of characters that I had to remove all together, or simply shorten their roles in the story. Not least of these is Ashley Barnes, the ER nurse from Union Hospital.

In the original manuscript Ashley had a much larger role, but her influence was reduced significantly as the story changed to allow for better flow. I could have left her in there, but the story would have suffered. As a result, Ashley found herself cut from much of the text, a beautiful, sweet, and caring character that I hated to diminish.

I don’t write sequels, so to answer the question that a lot of my readers have asked, No there is not going to be a Twenty-Five at the Lip sequel. I have nothing planned in novel form at least. That said, I love my characters like they were my own children and I love to see them at work, doing their thing and being who they are. I love to use them in short stories, giving them cameo appearances so that they never truly go away. This is where Ashley will get some new life and a spotlight of her own.

Twenty-Five at the Lip is about EMS and regrettably I really underscored the nursing element in that novel for the good of the story. While working as a paramedic I spent countless hours working in emergency departments along side nurses in a rather unconventional EMS role as an ED tech. In was in this capacity that I learned much more about emergency medicine that I ever did on an ambulance, and I also developed a fond respect for ER nurses.

One of my favorite ER nurses once told a rather drunk, belligerent, and abusive patient “I am here to save your ass, not kiss it.” ER nurses are some of the finest human beings I have ever had to good fortune to know and call my friends. Like many medical professionals, there are a few who aren’t worth the ink that is printed on their tickets, but the ones who show their worth are the ones who don’t blink or flinch in the face of the most horrific imagery any of us have ever known. They carry a sense of humor about them regarding life and their jobs that only Police, Fire, and EMS can truly grasp. This is why I love ER nurses and why I wanted at least one in my character bank. As it turns out, I have several thanks to writing Twenty-Five at the Lip.

Why does someone become a nurse? Too often it can be a monetary issue, and I can respect that on a lot of levels. As much as nursing is a viable career option which enables one to make a very decent living, nursing is something that comes from inside you. It comes from a place that you have nourished since you were young, a sense of obligation and a need to help you fellow-man in such a way that you give so much of yourself without regard for thanks or appreciation. That is the kind of person that Ashley Barnes is, and why she is so important to this ever-branching story.

What makes Ashley want to be a nurse? Everyone has a story, and this one is Ashley’s. It’s a rough first draft and only the beginning of what will amount to about 30,000 words, but it’s one of my more recent projects and so far it’s gotten a LOT of praise. If you like 90s alt-rock you’re going to love this.



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