Uncategorized

Frozen Plot Bunnies

I’m sitting here with a scarf on my head.  No, really.  It’s balls numbing cold (or at least, that’s what I think would happen.  As I don’t have a set of my own, I can’t be entirely certain) and honestly, that impedes my creative process.  For the simple fact that freezing fingers don’t make for good typing.  And also, I’m pretty sure it slows down the neurons in the creative center in my brain.

Don’t worry.  I’ve turned the heat up.  But while I’m waiting for things to start working properly again, I’m painstakingly typing this while periodically shoving my hands in my pockets and waiting for them to thaw a bit so that they continue to work.

But see, here’s the thing: even when the fingers don’t work because they are too cold and my brain is sluggishly trying to process…it still works.  And slowly imagines just exactly what would happen to two guys were they in a situation where it was freezing cold, the power went out, and they had to find a way to pass the time…while attempting to stay warm.  And then, I write it down and file it away to use in my next WIP.  And here’s a hint: it’s not what you’re thinking right now.

When you’re a writer, anything and everything can  inspire a plot bunny.

Uncategorized

10 Days

Yesterday, at roughly a quarter after one EST, I finished writing the novel I had started 10 days prior.

Not only did I make the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words, but surpassed it by a few, and finished the first draft entirely.  Now it’s sitting, waiting patiently for me to be ready to edit and polish it.  And I know there much work to be done yet.  It needs a lot of help, I’m certain.  Since I went with a different method of writing than I have in the past–namely I wrote the whole sucker without going back and reading what I had just written–I have no idea if there are consistency issues.  I know there are scenes that need to be expanded and more detail given.  I know there are scenes that I’ll want to change entirely or delete completely.  The word count will change, decrease and grow, accordingly.  But I can’t even look at it right now, because I’m still too close to it.  Can’t see the forest for the trees, you know?

It’s written in the third person, with alternating POVs between the characters.  I’m a fan of writing both in the first person, and in the third.  As you may have noticed, the flash fics have all been first person.  To be honest, everything always starts in the first person in my head.  And then as the story starts to build, I see if I see scenes from both character’s perspective or just from one.  I, personally, am not a fan of books that switch POVs and they are both written in the first person.  I find them hard to read.  Though I have read some books that do it well, it’s not my favorite type.  So if I find that I have scenes from both character’s perspective, it gets relegated to the third person.  It’s all about what works for my story as a whole.

Both of my upcoming releases, Worth It (out on December 1st as part of the Dreamspinner Press Advent Anthology Heartwarming) and Hero Worship (included in the Dr. Feelgood Anthology with an expected release date in February 2014) are written first person.  They are both short stories, though.  Postcards (working title) is much longer, and had more time for the story to develop.  I think that’s why it ended up being in the third person.  The story needed to present things from both characters POV.

At any rate, the entire tale is on the page.  I now have the bones to work with and hopefully make into a good story.  And I did it in 10 days.  Imagine how much more I could get written if I didn’t have to go to the day job? 🙂

Flash Fic Friday

Flash Fic Friday

I walked into the house and stopped dead.  All around me, the living room had been transformed into a winter wonderland.  There were garlands hung around the doorways, twinkling lights draped everywhere, and bunches of mistletoe hung from the ceiling at regular intervals.  It looked beautiful and perfect for Christmas.

The only thing was, it was the middle of July.

“What the hell?” I muttered, looking around wide eyed.  I pulled my messenger bag off my shoulder and dropped it onto the couch.  Turning in a slow circle, I took it all in again.  And then filled my lungs, “Jamie!”

My roommate came running into the room, his smile wide but his eyes showed his nerves.  When he’d answered the ad I’d placed in the newspaper a year ago, I would never have thought he was crazy.  I needed help making the mortgage payments, he was desperate to get out of living with four roommates in a two bedroom apartment.  We spent a couple of weeks hanging out and getting to know each other before we decided that the roommate situation would work out.

“Yes?”

I flung my arms out and gestured to the room.  I’m certain the disbelief was all over my face.

“What?” he asked, his tone mockingly innocent.

“Come on, Jamie!  You want to tell me why you went Christmas Crazy in the middle of the summer?” I took a step toward him and his eyes lit up.

“Stop!” he shouted and I froze where I was, suddenly nervous that I was about to step on something lethal.  But his grin just grew as he pointed up.  I was right under a sprig of mistletoe.  He stepped in closer until we were in touching distance.

“You have to kiss me now.  It’s the mistletoe law,” he said softly, his voice dropping.

“I–what–huh?”

He nodded emphatically.  “It is.  I’m sure of it.  If you’re under the mistletoe, you have to kiss whoever is under it with you.”  He closed the distance between us with a very deliberate step.

And suddenly, everything made sense.  The way he’d been acting the last couple of weeks, the things he had said.  The way he sat a little closer to me on the couch when we were watching TV or how he suddenly sat next to me when we shared  a meal instead of across the table.   Every time I had caught him staring at me only to have him drop his gaze and blush.  How had I not put the pieces together?  Here I’d been thinking that I was alone in the way my feelings were growing and changing for him.  And he’d been feeling the same exact things.  Slowly, I reached out and cupped his face.  I was suddenly grateful that I’d been running late this morning and didn’t have time to shave.  I’d lost count of many times had he told me he thought I looked good with stubble.

I guided him in until we were touching from chest to knees.  His breathing sped up.  Every time he breathed in, our chests pressed together.  He was just a few inches shorter than I was and I appreciated that even more now.  The distance was enough that I had the leverage, but not so much that kissing would be difficult.  With deliberate slowness, I lowered my head until our lips were just about to touch and froze there.

“Adam,” he whimpered when I didn’t take it further.  He pushed up onto his toes, trying to press our lips together.  I held his face still and backed up a scant inch so that he couldn’t reach his goal.

“Next time you want my attention, you ask for it.  Okay?”

“Yes,” he agreed quickly.  “I promise.”

I smiled.  “It looks really good in here though,” I praised.  Then I closed the distance between our mouths and kissed him.

Uncategorized

To Series or Not To Series

Let me preface this by saying that I love series.  I mean, really love series.  When there are multiple books with the same MCs and we get to see them repeatedly on their adventures and watch them grow and change.  What I might love even more is when we meet secondary characters along the way who then in turn get their own stories.  That way, we get to see the couples we’ve met previously as secondary characters and get to see that they are still going strong, but we also get to get new and different stories that take place in the same “world” and get to see characters that we’ve already met find their own happy ever afters.

I have a tendency to think in series.  I don’t know why I even pretend that anything is going to be a one-off.  Because even when I write something with the intent of it being a single title, it always changes.  Probably because I love to read them so much.  It inevitably happens.  Always.  The side characters start clamoring for their own stories to be told.

Monday night, before I dragged my ass to bed for the night, I made it to 25K words.  I left it hanging at that point because sleep was imperative.  As I was drifting off to sleep, my mind was writing the scene that I would write last night.  A new character was introduced and I started figuring out where he fit in.  How he was connected to my MCs and what his role would be.  By the time I fell asleep, I was happy with where it was going and I knew by the time I got home from work yesterday I’d be ready to write it.  But when I woke up yesterday morning, a curious thing happened.  I knew the new character.  I knew how he fit in with my MCs and what his role would be.  But he started talking…letting me know that he’d be open to his own tale.  Once I got this one finished, of course.

Honestly, I have no idea why I was surprised.  But I was.  For a few minutes there, I was completely shocked.  And then I very politely but firmly told New Guy to can it.  Because as much as I would love to hear his story, I am currently focused on something else.  My brain is firmly entrenched with Nick and Owen.  So he needed to take a back seat…as least as far as his own romance was concerned.  But I was happy to hear anything he had to say about Owen.  He obliged and is currently sitting in the back corner of my brain, ready to jump in whenever I need him.

I’m not going to say anything definitive right at this moment.  But thus far, things to be going smoothly.  And I might just jump right into another story as soon as I finish this one.  We’ll see.  But Joe?  He’s got a big mouth.  And he’s loud.  And kindhearted and helpful.  And he just wants to find someone who will love him with no agenda.

What do you think?  Are you a fan of series?  Or would you rather read something completely separate every time?

Uncategorized

Productive

I’ve taken up the NaNoWriMo challenge and the muse has been with me.  In three days, I’ve written 16,500 words.  This might not seem like a big deal to you but to me?  Huge.  I’ve never written so many words in such a short time.  I feel very accomplished.

I’m doing things a little bit differently from my norm this time around.  Normally, when I write, I spend a lot of time going back reading over what I’ve written.  I’m constantly editing as I go along; changing sentences, moving scenes, contemplating word choices.  But this time?  I’m not worrying about what I’ve written…at least not like that.  Of course I care about it for continuity sake but I’m just writing the story as it is in my head.  I’ll go back and edit and worry about all those things after I’m done.  I’ll do the polishing after I’ve gotten the whole story on the page, not during the process like I usually do.

I think it’s helping.  Because I’ve gotten more written in the last three days than I ever have at one time before.  See the little progress bar on the left?  It estimates I’m 33% done with the story, if the end result is actually going to end up being 50,000 words.  That’s the goal.  But right now?  There still so much story left to tell that it might even be longer.   But I’m not even worrying about that so much.  Yes, the goal is 50, 000 and I intend to make that.  But I’m telling the story as it’s meant to be told and if that means I get 30,000 words or 80,000 words, then that’s what it is.

Nick and Owen’s story will be what it is meant to be.  I’m giving it shape, but really, I’m just along for the ride.

But can I just say this?  It feels incredibly good to be writing, to be making progress.  I’ve been…in a slump in regards to that lately.  I haven’t managed to get much on the page since I finished Hero Worship, the bulk of the writing for which I did during the summer, and Just polished in August.  Submitted in September.  Accepted in October.  It’s been a bit of a whirl wind, with Worth It and Hero Worship.  And everything that I’ve thought of and written down since and seemed like crap.  So those stories weren’t meant to be told.  At least, that’s what I tel myself.  But this one?  Yeah, it wants to be written.  Who knows what will happen when I’m finally done.  But it wants to be told and that has me feeling pretty good.  I’m going to ride that high for as long and as far as I can.

Flash Fic Friday

Flash Fic Friday

There was frosting everywhere—in my hair, on my skin and clothes, all over the counter, the mixer, the backsplash.  It was on every conceivable surface except for the cake.  I stared in dismay at the disaster that was our kitchen.  This was what I got for trying to actually cook.

It was his birthday, as well as our 5th anniversary, and all I had wanted was to make a nice dinner and a cake to celebrate.  He did all the cooking because I was completely inept.  But I thought even I could handle cake from a box and frozen lasagna.

I had been wrong.

I’d left the pan in the oven too long and now the lasagna was a bit burnt around the edge.  Salvageable but not the most tasty of dinners.   An open window had taken care of the worst of the burnt smell.  And I had managed to get the cake baked, even if it was lopsided, and cooling on a wire rack.  It was after I’d pulled the smoking lasagna from the oven that I realized I had forgotten to buy frosting.  A panicked call to my mother and she gave me a recipe for butter cream frosting.  Easy enough: butter, confectioner’s sugar (which I was surprised to find we actually had) and a little milk.   It was just mixing the ingredients in a bowl.  How hard could that be?

I learned quickly that stand mixers had speed settings for a reason.  Once everything was churning slowly in the bowl and nearly mixed, I thought it would be a good idea to speed up the process.  Whipping the dial to high had been a bad, bad mistake.

And now, he would be home soon, I had frosting everywhere, the cake wasn’t decorated, and the table wasn’t set.  I’d had this plan and now everything was ruined.  Panic started to creep up my throat but a glance at the clock assured me that I had enough time to get dinner on the table and get cleaned up before he got home from work.  He’d never be the wiser if I could keep him out of the kitchen.  A deep breath, and I set to work.  Remembering to leave the mixer on low, I added more butter and sugar until I thought I might have enough to cover the cake.  A few minutes later it was done, and I was glopping the stuff on top of the chocolate confection, spreading it a bit haphazardly.  If he asked, I’d say it was supposed to be funky and artistic.  I’d blame Pinterest, he’d believe me.

The slamming of the front door sounded a second before I heard him call out, “Babe?  I’m home.”

I gave a very unmanly-like eep and raced into the hallway, blocking his view of the kitchen.  He was sorting through the mail.  “You’re early.”

“Yeah, I decided to…” he trailed off as he looked up.  A smirk crossed his lips. “What the hell happened to you?  Did you get into a food fight?”

Crap!  I’d forgotten I was a hot mess.  I gulped as I blushed furiously.  “I was trying to cook dinner.  You know, to celebrate.  But it was a total fail.  The lasagna got a little burned and the frosting exploded.  I think the cake is edible but it’s lopsided and—“

The feral look in his eye made me stop talking.  I swallowed hard as he prowled closer.  He didn’t stop until he was right up in my personal space.  His hands clamped down on my hips and he arched his neck forward until he could lick a long stripe up my cheek.  I shivered.

“Tastes good,” he murmured, his voice low and sultry.

“That’s—that’s good.  I tried to—ughn.”  This time he was licking the frosting off the edge of my jaw.  Arousal shot through me and that fast, I was hard.

“How about,” he began, his lips right at my ear, “we get you cleaned up?  You’ll probably need my help.  Who knows where all this frosting ended up?  I should probably inspect you very carefully, to be sure we get it all.”

I grabbed his hand and dragged him up the stairs.  Dinner could totally wait.