Posted in Excerpts, Novels

Deleted Scene from “Some Days Are Diamonds”

The Oklahoma! Rehearsal

This scene was removed from Chapter 4, while Elle, Davy, and John were having their emergency rehearsal for Oklahoma! I took it out because the scene felt too long, and a little redundant, but you get a nice little glimpse of Elle’s indecision.

They walked through the scenes, Anthony and Tommy playing their way through the songs in an interesting acoustic rendition of the show. Elle didn’t bother to put much into emoting yet, focusing instead on her blocking, and Davy’s opposite her. It was an awkward, disjointed display, jumping from scene to scene. Haley came out in half costume to run her scenes with Elle, and to help practice the change during Elle’s solo. 

The duet with Davy was pretty weird without an audience. They sang it in the empty dining room, winding their way between the tables to meet in the center of the house. Elle marked her blocking, both of them mumbling their way through the lyrics while Davy herded her around the tables to the right places at the right times. The whole thing was so emotionless and professional, she didn’t even register that they were singing a love song.

Working with him wasn’t that bad, she realized. He was gentle, professional, and focused. He didn’t seem to be thinking about what they’d talked about earlier, and Elle only found herself thinking about it whenever she looked at John.

Strange, she realized. She should be thinking about her date with Davy while looking at Davy. 

Actually, she shouldn’t be thinking about it at all. 

Logan and Haley filled in wherever else they could— and seeing Logan pretend to be Aunt Eller was a damn riot, so clumsy and overdone that Elle lost it halfway through running lines with him.

“Keep going,” she sputtered, waving at him from the front porch of the house set piece. “I’m fine!” She ended up laughing her way through one of the more serious scenes with him, then left the stage sputtering. “Twirl, dress, hoop-dee-doo, lights down. I know.”

Haley helped her pull on her party dress just off stage. “How do you feel, sweet pea?”

“Juiced,” Elle told her, holding her wig out of the way while Haley zipped. “I’ve been marking everything, but my body wants me to just do it.”

“Well, you’re about to run— what, eleven lifts?” Haley gave Elle’s shoulder the double-tap they’d both picked up from the resident costuming lady to let her know she was zipped. Elle faced her with a frown.

“There aren’t—” She paused, running through the choreography in her head. She had choreographed this number, and the first number of act two, and the big Kansas City dance. There was a lot of partner work in Farmer and the Cowman, and the dream ballet had a whole kick line section, but— “Oh my god, you’re right.” There were close to eleven lifts just for Laurey alone. “I’d never even thought about it.”

“Well, they weren’t lifting you.” Haley shrugged. “None of you weigh much of anything. I’m sure they don’t mind. Plus,” she winked, “They’re both pretty strong.”

Elle rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah.” With that, she strolled back onstage, dance shoes in hand. “Hey, Greg? Can we run those lifts before we run the whole scene?”

“Sure thing, Elle. Davy? John?”

“Afraid I’m gonna drop you?” Davy stepped up beside her with that faint, boyish smile of his, and Elle laughed. 

“No, nothing like that.” Fluttering her eyelashes, she said, “I’m sure you’re strong enough to carry me around.”

“Not that hard when each of us outweighs three of you combined,” John muttered from the wings.

Elle stuck her tongue out at him. “At least I know how to do a lift— and don’t tell Sarah or Bridget I said that.” She faced Davy again and grimaced. “I don’t know how to waltz, though. That could be a challenge.”

“We’ll figure it out,” Davy said. He put a hand on her shoulder and gave her a gentle, sweet smile. 

Ah. Yeah, Elle could get behind dating Davy, if he was going to be this sweet. She might— gasp— actually enjoy dating him.

By the time she and Davy finished running the lifts— and, essentially, half the actual choreography— Greg was shaking his head in the pit. Elle’s heart sank at the sight of him. “Do you… want us to run the lifts again?” She hedged, wringing her hands in front of her. Davy had been gentle and sure with each new lift, each transition. Things had been going so smoothly, it felt like she’d been in the show the whole run, just doing a brush up. 

When Greg finally looked up, he glared at her, though it was surprisingly without heat. “Why can’t you just audition for shows, so that I don’t have to pull you during emergencies?”

Elle’s shoulders dropped, and she huffed something between a relieved sigh and a laugh. “Greg, you’re gonna give me heart palpitations. Ask me about my life’s choices when we’re not cramming for a musical.”

“I’m just saying, my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to twist your arm to be on stage.” 

Elle snorted. “No, it wouldn’t. Think of the paperwork. Think of the AEA.”

You are worth the equity headache,” Greg told her, jabbing an accusational finger at her. “John, come on out.”

Sweet, Elle thought to herself, ducking her head to hide her touched smile. As she faced John, nerves set off in her belly like someone had trapped a frantic bird inside it. Strange— she hadn’t felt a lick of anxiety for Davy’s half of this. 

Ridiculous, she told herself firmly, and pasted on a smile. “Ready to manhandle me?”

John snorted. “Isn’t that usually Logan’s job?”

Elle tried to stifle her wry smile, with mixed results. “It’s how he shows he cares.”

“By poking people with his long, skinny fingers—”

I can hear you, you big lug,” came Logan’s voice from backstage. Elle covered her face to hide her laughter, just in time for Greg to start the musicians up again. 

She should have known that John would be patient and careful with her. He rarely touched her at home, sometimes barely looked at her, but ever since she’d moved in, he’d been somewhat present in her routine. Handing her coffee in the morning, taking the dishes from her after dinner and insisting that he’d clean since she cooked. This was just a more physical extension of that, with him talking her thorough what he was doing along with the music, marking it, running the lifts so that she knew how to prep and when. He even warned her when he was going to grab her from behind during one of the sequences. 

“I think you’re good,” Greg said, once they talked their way through the end of the first act. “Take a break while I fill in the rest of the cast, and then we’ll go through act two.”

Elle nodded, her heart pounding with adrenaline. “Ten-four.” She turned toward John with a smile, brushing the curls of her wig over her shoulder. “Thanks for talking me through that. It’s different being in it, than it is to watch.”

“Sure,” he said, shrugging. “I wouldn’t want you to feel unsafe. It only gets worse from here.”

“Oof.” He was right— the whole Jud/Laurey dynamic was a tense, sometimes downright frightening one. “We’ll get through it. I trust you.” She smiled up at him, and caught the flicker of something in his eyes, before he smiled back. 

“I’ll be right back,” he said, and, with a quick pat on Elle’s shoulder, strolled off the stage and out toward the dressing rooms.

“Don’t get lost,” She called after him, receiving a dry laugh in response. She glanced down at the pit, fully intent on chatting with Tommy and Anthony, when someone caught her elbow. 

“Hey,” Davy said quietly, “can we talk about act two right quick?” It was pretty clear from his hesitation, and from the tight line of his shoulders, that he’d finally stumbled over the same realization she’d had earlier. This is fine, Elle reminded herself. It could be— practice, maybe, for whatever might happen on, or after, their date next week. This was, in a roundabout sort of way, perfectly normal for a potential couple. It might even help her settle her nerves, a little. “Sure.”

Posted in Excerpts, Novels

Some Days Are Diamonds- Excerpt

Something was off, when Elle got back to her apartment that night. She could sense the tension the second she opened the front door. It was like a friction in the air, charged up and ready to— to— to do something. Something big. 

Her stomach dropped. 

It took Elle at least thirty seconds to convince herself to step through the door and close it behind her. All the lights in the front room were on. Boxes were stacked neatly by the door, taped shut and labeled kitchen, living room, and—


Oh, no.

Elle— she really should have seen this coming, shouldn’t she? 

“Gina?” There was no response, which— fair. Elle wouldn’t want to be around for this either, if she had the option. “Gina?” She tried again, poking her head into the master suite with a polite double-knock on the half-open door. Gina’s cat, Bast, raised her head from her perch on Gina’s unmade bed, and— honestly, it was a wonder anyone could live in the amount of trash littering the entire floor, and the dirty clothing, and just… everything else going on in there. Which was a lot.

Still no answer. Elle swallowed and backtracked, looking around for some sort of sign of life, of something to explain what was going on. There was nothing to go on, here, except the empty solarium that had previously held all of her sewing stuff, where only her sewing table and its chair stood now, and the notably empty kitchen. Elle couldn’t decide if she was relieved or not by the fact that all of her stuff had clearly been packed away— and, she noted, a few things that hadn’t been hers, though that wasn’t really an inconvenience.

Nevertheless. Nothing to go on out here. Resigned, Elle opened her own bedroom door. 

Her heart sank down to join her stomach at her feet. 

Flat boxes lay in a haphazard stack on her neatly made bed. On top of them was a sheet of paper, on which Elle could make out Gina’s impossible, cramped handwriting. 


I’ve decided to keep the apartment. I have a new roommate lined up. She gets here in a few days. I want to clean this room before she gets here. Please be out with your stuff by Thursday. I’ll be in Michigan until then. Everything of yours from our shared spaces has been wrapped and packed for you, and there should be enough boxes here for the rest of your stuff.

It was too difficult for me to find a place to live within my price range on such short notice. Seeing as you’re financially better off than me, and have parents who will actually send you money, I’m sure you’ll have better luck. I hope you understand.

Good luck,


P.s. Please feed the cat while I’m gone. You can leave the keys with the front office when you’re all moved out.

It took… an embarrassing amount of time, really, for Elle to read through the note. Her hand was shaking so violently that she could barely track the words. Halfway through, she ended up having to stop and rub her eyes, telling herself firmly that crying could wait, she just had to think, to plot out all the things she had to do— wash all of her clothing, pack it up. Wrap and pack all of her nicknacks and pictures, box up her books, her linens, her bathroom—

The first sob came as a surprise. The second, less so. Before she could stop it, Elle found herself openly weeping, standing in the middle of her bedroom with fat, hot tears rolling down her face. 

There was too much to sort through at once. Too much to do. And there, underneath all of the panic and shock, was a horrible, boiling anger, welling up in her chest until she could barely breathe. All because Gina decided it was too hard to find a new place. 

“Okay,” she muttered to herself, forcing herself to breathe. Her nose was so stuffed up it was nearly impossible. “Okay. I can…” She could do this. She could keep it together long enough to get her shit together before Gina got back from Michigan. Today was Sunday. She had to be out by Thursday. She had three whole days to get her stuff together and get out.

Get out.

God, where would she even go? And on such short notice? Her Mom lived up in Pennsylvania, she hadn’t seen her dad in person since her college graduation and didn’t intend to, her brother… She loved him to pieces, but she didn’t want to live with him and his weird, chain smoking roommates. Honestly, she could probably sleep in the tech booth, or the costume room in the back of the theater. Not like anyone would expect to find her anywhere else, she basically already lived there…

John’s words sprang into her mind so suddenly and vividly, she actually gasped, the sound shaky and loud in the empty apartment. 

You let me or Logan know if anything changes.

Her phone all but lived in her left pocket, which was probably not healthy, but at a time like this, she found she didn’t really care. Her hands were still shaking, making it twice as hard to unlock her phone and pull up Logan’s name in her contacts. Except no, Logan had a date tonight. It was bad enough she was about to ask if she could mooch a place to live off of him, let alone interrupting whatever the two of them were in the middle of to do so. Besides, it had been John’s offer. Technically.

She switched to John’s contact info, and before she could worry her way out of it, she pressed call.

The sheer stupidity of her life’s choices hit her before it even rang. She couldn’t— she couldn’t just move in, in three days, with her best friend and his roommate. God, what would they think? Her roommate was kicking her out. They’d probably ask why. Logan already basically knew. They’d realize she was a garbage roommate. They’d ask her to leave. They wouldn’t even let her move in. They’d laugh in her face. They’d realize who she really was as a person, and they’d hate her for it—

John picked up on the second ring, just as Elle felt herself tip from shock and anger into crippling panic. “Elle? Are you okay?”

“I’m—” She’d been planning to say fine, but her voice sounded so hysterical to her own ears that she stopped herself before the lie could even come out. She sucked in another sharp breath as her throat began to close up.

In the background, she could hear more masculine voices; first Logan’s, with a noticeably alarmed pitch, saying her name, and beyond his, the gentler, more confused voice of his boyfriend, Tyler, saying something indecipherable. John’s voice went muffled as he shushed them.

God, this was ridiculous. She should have just gotten a hotel until she could find an apartment of her own, instead of expecting her friends to—


Elle sucked in a shuddering breath. She didn’t really have many options, right now. Throat tight, she swallowed, and then choked out the only words she could come up with. 

“Is that offer still on the table?”