No Flash Fic

No flash fic up today because last night I was finishing up the final first draft of the short story. I forgot to update my word count over there but it comes in just under the 12k limit. When I was done, I just didn’t have the mojo left to write the flash fic.

If you tune in tomorrow, though, there just might be a Saturday edition…:)

Subliminal

You know, I read a lot. I mean a lot! And it turns out, this is actually a really good thing for my writing. Because I’ve absorbed all the lessons that make for writing a good story and I don’t even realize it.

Reader: I like how your character showed growth from point a to point b!

Me: *blinks* Thanks! I’m glad you saw that.
*thinking* Did I write it that way on purpose?

It’s an interesting thing. The truth of it is, yes, sometimes it’s on purpose. But sometimes, I’m not thinking of it in terms like that. I’m just writing the story as I see it in my head. And character growth, well, that’s a natural progression in any story. Even if it’s only a little. Even if it’s only in one area of their lives. Growth happens as people experience new things, go through different situations, meet new people.

So yeah, sometimes I’m just writing a story. And all the little things I’ve absorbed from the copious amount of books that I’ve read over the years are helping me to shape it. I know what I like to see when I read a story. And my mind subconsciously puts that stuff in when crafting a tale.

I can justifiably say that reading is necessary to improving my craft. Each new story is another lesson in how to write. Certainly makes it easier to deal with the strain on my wallet 🙂

Flash Fic Friday

Some more Alex and Matt…joined by the indomitable Carrie. **Mildly NSFW**

“No.  Fuck no!”

“What do you mean no?” Carrie asked, a little incredulously.

Matt just smirked. “Yeah, he said the same thing to me when we were talking about me moving in here.  We all know how well that turned out.  Isn’t that right, Alex?”

I stared at my best friend and my fiance like they were on drugs.  I was pretty sure they had both snorted coke when I’d been out of the room.  Because they couldn’t be serious.  Apparently, from the looks on their faces, they were.

“I’m not releasing fucking doves.  You’re both out of your goddamn mind if you think–”

I stopped short when I saw the twinkle in Matt’s eye.  His face was a mask of seriousness, but the little sparkle in his green eyes was enough to give him away.  I squinted and all but growled, “You little shit.”

He burst out laughing, and Carrie quickly joined him.  They’d been playing me.  I really should have known.  They thought they were fucking hysterical when the ganged up on me–which was happening with a lot more frequency the more time they spent together.  Lately, that had been a lot, since Carrie was actively helping to plan the wedding.

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about all the trappings of the ceremony.  I wanted to marry the man I loved and it didn’t matter how it happened.  Matt had said he didn’t care either, but deep down, I knew he did.  So I let him have the reins to plan the kind of day that he wanted.  Normally, Matt’s taste was impeccable so I had no doubt that I’d appreciate any choices he made.  Of course, I hadn’t really thought through throwing Carrie into the mix.

“Come on, Lex,” Carrie said, her voice cajoling, when she so the look on my face.  “We were just playing around.”

Matt instantly looked contrite and slid from his chair to land in my lap.  He wound his arms around my neck and kissed me, not caring that I was frowning.  “I’m sorry, baby,” he whispered, his lips against mine.  “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

I sighed and melted, pulling him close and squeezing him tight.  He tucked his head down into the crook of my neck with a content sigh of his own.  And then after a beat, he very purposely wiggled his ass so that he ground against my cock.  I gave him a glare because Carrie was sitting right there and had an unholy gleam of interest in her eye, but Matt didn’t seem to care.  He was deliberately trying to seduce me.  But I didn’t want him doing that just to make up for the fact that they’d played a joke on me.

I pulled back far enough to say so but the look in his green eyes was enough to make me catch my breath.  He wanted to ravage me and I was suddenly all for letting him.  Matt licked his lips and my gaze dropped to watch his tongue.  His lips quirked up in a small, smug smile.

“Sorry, Carrie,” Matt said.  “You need to go.”

“But why?” she whined petulantly.  “We haven’t made any real decisions!  We’ve just been goofing off for the last hour.  Your wedding is only three months away and–”

“You need to go,” Matt interrupted, not taking his eyes off of me, “Because I’m going to drag your best friend into our bedroom and fuck him into the mattress.”

I hissed in a breath.  I loved it when he got commanding.  If he was in a real possessive mood, I wouldn’t escape the bedroom without several deep, bruising bites.  Just the thought of it made me shiver.  I was hard already, just from his words and his weight in my lap.  He wiggled expertly, making sure I knew he felt me.  I barely stifled a moan.

“Wait a minute,” Carrie said, her tone thoughtful.  “You do the fucking?  Cause, seriously, if I had to guess, I would have said the other way around.”

“Dammit, Carrie,” I ground out, my ears turning red.  I didn’t know which bothered me more; the fact that she’d said that out loud or that she’s been thinking about it at all.

“Oh, Alex fucks me plenty,” Matt said conversationally, still keeping his eyes on me.  He readjusted his position until he was straddling my thighs, then pushed his hard length into my stomach.  “But tonight?  I’m totally doing him.”

I wouldn’t call the sound that escaped my throat a whimper exactly.  But it really revved my engine when Matt talked like that.  My hands moved of their own volition, grabbing his ass and pulling his body tight to mine.  God I loved his ass.  Matt’s grin turned cocky as he tipped my head back and kissed me hard.

“At least wait till I’m gone!” Carrie squeaked.  A minute later, the front door slammed.

I pulled out of the kiss, trying to catch my breath.  Matt knew exactly how to get me worked up.  I was ready to let him devour me, but first there was something I needed to know.  I caught his wandering hands in mine.  He pouted but looked me square in the eye.

“Why is it you always pounce when you’re making wedding plans?”

His pupils were blown with lust and he growled.  “You’re gonna be mine.  Forever.”

“Yeah,” I agreed with a shiver.  “I am.”

“Wanna make you mine right now.”

I had to grin, because, really, I loved it when he got like this.  I’d always wanted to belong to someone.  And even though I’d had moments of worries and doubt since Matt and I had gotten together, the one thing I knew with absolute certainty was that I loved this man with everything I had.  When I nudged him, he stood quickly and practically yanked me out of the chair, and then dragged me across the house to our bedroom.

He wanted to show me I was his?  That was fine with me.

The Moment

That moment when the ideas become words on the page?  Yeah, I love that moment.  Sometimes, it takes quite a bit of work to get there.  But when it all comes together, that’s a moment of happy satisfaction.

I don’t know if it’s any good at this point.  It doesn’t matter if it is or not.  Just getting it to all work together, for my imagination and ideas to actually work together on the page, to be coherent…that’s what I’m celebrating right now.

An ever increasing word count.  That fire in my blood that drives me to write to the exclusion of all else.  It’s been missing, it’s been a chore, but it’s back in full force and I’m loving that feeling.  For a little bit there, writing felt like something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do.

But I’ve had that moment where it’s all coming together.  So, now I can rejoice in the voices instead of dreading when they start talking.  It’s a really good feeling.

Dreamspinner Sale and Some Other Stuff

Did you see?  Everything at Dreamspinner is on sale.  Everything!  25% off!  That’s a good deal.  Until February 19th, this is your chance to pick up any titles you’ve been looking at but haven’t purchased yet.  Lots of good stuff going on there.  Go on and check it out!  I’m proud to be counted among the Dreamspinner authors–I’m in the company of some truly amazing storytellers.  Really, it’s worth a look if you haven’t already.

You know, I still think of myself as primarily a reader first.  And as such, I follow a lot of authors–their blogs, twitter, what have you.  I like to know when my favorite authors are releasing new things.  I like to see how they are coming along with their WIPs.  It’s not an easy thing, writing, and anyone who tells you it is hasn’t done it.  I’m sure that’s not really surprising, it take a lot of work, a lot of imagination.  There is a lot of frustration and heartbreak.  But there are also a lot of rewards.  When even one person tells me “hey, I liked your story” it means the world to me.  Knowing I was able to entertain someone for a few minutes, that they found the story satisfactory, warms my heart.  Thank you to everyone who has read something I’ve written.  And for those of you out there that take a minute to let an author know they you enjoyed their work, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Even if it wasn’t me, I know that authors truly appreciate that.

But I’m going to be bluntly honest here: I also get jealous.  It’s not an emotion I’m proud of, but every once in a while, for a few brief seconds, that jealousy rears it’s ugly head.  As I follow those authors and I see their word counts climb, for a few awful seconds, I wonder why they are accomplishing things that I can’t.  And then I remember that, most often, their situations are different than mine.  Whether it’s that they have more time, or better plot lines, or even just a supportive person at home to push them forward, they have the time and opportunity to get more words on the page.  So after those few seconds of bitter jealousy pass, I’m extraordinarily happy for them.  That they are accomplishing the goals they set out and they are working towards releasing another title that I, and countless others, are going to enjoy reading.  And that is a very good thing.

And I’m reminded that I need to make time to get my words on the page.  I can’t just wait for the opportunity.  Yes, for me, the stars need to align a little bit for me to be able to grow my word count.  But there are things I need to do to nudge those stars along.  I haven’t been doing enough of that lately, but I’m in the process of changing that.  So, there in the side bar is the new word meter for my current WIP.  Because accountablity is one of the stars that I personally need to shove into alignment.

But while I’m doing that, I’m also taking advantage of the Dreamspinner sale! 😀

Flash Fic Friday

**Have you read Hero Worship?  It’s on sale at Dreamspinner press…and until the 19th of February everything is on sale!  25% off!  Check out the Dr. Feelgood Anthology and all of the other amazing titles.  In the meantime, here’s a short featuring Alex and Matt…and their first Valentime’s Day together**

If asked, Alex would say we’d only been together for four months.  If he was in a particularly grumpy mood, he’d get technical and say three and a half.  And even though it had only been that long since we’d admitted our feeling for each other, the truth of it was that our relationship began the day I moved into his house.  Alex had thought it would only be a platonic arrangement.  I had known differently from the start.

I had absolutely no doubt that Alex loved me completely.  And I knew he knew I loved him back just as much.  It was taking some time to shift Alex’s perspective so that he could fully trust in what we were building together.  He’d spent so long thinking of me as a kid with a case of hero worship that it was hard for him to see me as a grown man with a solid job.  That despite my age, I was ready to settle down.  He was my forever and I was going to prove it to him.

Valentine’s Day was largely a commercial holiday and I was certain that Alex hadn’t given it much thought.  But I’d been planning for this since almost the beginning.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s—all those holidays didn’t mean as much.  Though we’d spent each one as a newly appointed couple, we’d also spent plenty of them together in the past.  This was our first Valentine’s Day together, though, and I wanted to make it special.

When Alex got home at seven-thirty in the morning, he was doing the zombie shuffle.  He’d worked back-to-back night shifts for the last two weeks.  Normally, he wouldn’t have been scheduled for so many in a row, but one of the other paramedics in the company had been injured and Alex had picked up most of the slack.  He was one of the few that didn’t have kids at home; only a partner tired of sleeping alone.  But as of today, he’d be free of nights for a while. And he actually had today, tomorrow, and Sunday off before he went back to days.

He didn’t even seem to notice me sitting at my desk in the corner of the living room as he shambled by.  But that could have been because he had his shirt half off and obscuring his face at the time.  I smiled softly.  He was beyond exhausted and I knew he needed sleep.  I quietly turned back to my work.  I’d arranged it so I was working from home for the day and I had to put in a few hours of concentrated work before I could log off.  As the website manager for a big medical complex, it was my responsibility to make sure everything was running smoothly.  Ever since they had added online appointment booking three weeks ago, though, it seemed like there were always bugs that needed working out of the program.

By three, I was finally finished and I quickly shut down my computer.  I walked down the hall on silent feet and poked my head into the bedroom.  Alex was still sleeping soundly, his big body stretched out on cotton sheets, the blanket twisted hopelessly around his middle.  If I wasn’t in bed with him, he slept restlessly.  Only when he had me to cling to was he ever still in sleep.  I couldn’t help the smile that stretched my lips.  He was a beautiful man and, sometimes, just looking at him made my heart ache.  I contemplated joining him for just a few seconds.  My smile turned rueful and I shook my head.  Quietly, I retreated the way I came.  I wanted him to keep sleeping.  I had plans for him later.

I had an hour, tops, before he rose from his slumber.  He’d be ravenous when he woke.  I wanted dinner on the table by the time he ambled into the kitchen looking for nourishment.  I learned the art of moving silently in our eight months—seven and a half—of living together.  It had been a necessity for Alex’s peace of mind.  Shift work was hard on a person, and I had wanted to do everything I could to make it easier for him.

Moving with exaggerated, careful movements, I set the table.  Dark red table cloth, silver candlesticks that had been my grandmother’s, the vase of roses I’d hidden in the back hall—everything placed just so until I was pleased.  I stood back to admire it for a long moment, smiling.  Then I glanced at the clock and swallowed down a hint of panic.  It had taken me longer than I’d anticipated to get everything on the table exactly how I wanted it and now I’d have to rush to cook dinner.  Fortunately, I was making Alex’s favorite dinner—linguine in clam sauce—and it was easy enough to prepare.  I minced the garlic and chopped the onions while water for the pasta boiled.  The pasta was just about done and the garlic, onions and clams were just about ready to go over the top of the linguine when I heard Alex’s cell phone ring from the bedroom.

Crap.  I wouldn’t have time to change.

“Fuck, Carrie,” I heard Alex say from down the hall.  “I got him a card.  Isn’t that enough?”

I snorted back a laugh.  Yeah, it was enough.  It was exactly the kind of thing the love of my life would do.

“Are you in my house cooking?” Alex said, presumably to Carrie—his best friend and my sister-in-law.  There was a beat of silence.  “I gotta go.  Don’t call back.”

I was just plating the meal when I felt, more than heard, Alex enter the kitchen. I didn’t turn around right away, fussing with the way everything looked one last time.

“Matt?” Alex asked tentatively from the doorway.  I took a deep breath, crossed to the sink to place the now empty pan inside, smiled widely, and turned.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, love,” I said softly.

He just squinted at me.  “What are you doing home so early?”

I couldn’t stop the chuckle and I didn’t even try.  Shaking my head, my grin grew.  “I worked from home today.  You didn’t even notice when you got in.”

Alex hung his head, “I’m sorry.”

I moved fast, crossing the floor quickly so I could get my hands on him. Cupping his face in my hands, I lifted his head until I could see directly into those brown eyes I loved so much.  “No, no need to be sorry.  You were exhausted and you needed your sleep.  It’s all good.  Hungry?  I made your favorite.”

“I can smell that,” he said, the beginnings of a smile working it’s way across his delectable mouth.  He leaned forward and dipped his head enough so he could press his lips to mine.  “Thank you for this.  It looks awesome.  The table, the food… Everything looks great.”

I pecked his lips again as an acknowledgement of his praise, then led him to the table, pulling out his chair for him.  He gave me a skeptical smile as he sat.  Normally, we sat facing each other across our small table, but today I’d placed us side-by-side.  I had purposefully seated him in the left most seat so that he could still use his dominant hand to eat and his right could wander into my lap.  If he was so inclined, that is.

We were quiet as we ate—Alex wasn’t big on conversation when he was shoveling food into his hungry stomach—but we exchanged soft touches and lingering smiles.  When Alex finished his last bite and sat back with a satisfied sigh, I stood quickly, clearing the plates from the table.

“I have dessert too,” I said.  Alex grinned.  I went to the back hall to retrieve the chocolate raspberry cheesecake I’d made the night before.  It wasn’t heated back there and it served well as cool storage.  I hadn’t wanted to put it in the refrigerator in case he’d gone looking for a snack before falling into bed for the day.  While I was in there, I pulled his present from where I had hidden it behind some canned goods and shoved it in my pocket.

A few minutes later, we were seated again, each with our own slice of cheesecake.  The way Alex was eating had made me lose interest in my own dessert.  He licked his fork after every bite, his pink tongue snaking out and wrapping around the tines to make sure he didn’t miss a single speck.  And the noises he was making?  They would not have been out of place in a porno.  Blood rushed to my cock and my gaze was determinedly fixed on his face as it contorted into pleasure.  I swallowed hard.  If I didn’t give him his present now, I’d be dragging him off to bed.  The instant the last bite disappeared, I shoved away from the table and dropped to my knees at his side, pulling the black velvet box from my pocket as I did so.

“The fuck?” he asked quietly.

“I love you,” I said in response.

His face turned a little wary but there was no hesitation when he said, “I love you too.”

“I want you to be mine forever.”

Alex’s expression softened and he reached out with one big hand to cup my cheek. “I already am.”

I had to swallow hard and my hands were shaking, but I opened the box showing him what was inside as I rushed out the words.  “Marry me?”

“Fuck,” he said with a groan, his lids slamming shut. I just laughed.  I hadn’t expected anything less from him.

“It doesn’t have to be some big ceremony.  It doesn’t even have to be a ceremony at all. Just wear my ring and we’ll file for domestic partnership papers.  I don’t care.  I just want to be tied to you in every way possible.

Alex was silent for a long moment before his eyes opened and he looked at me.  “You think Carrie would ever forgive me if I didn’t give her a chance to be best woman at my wedding?”  He shook his head and gave a little laugh.  Then he reached out with his other hand so he was holding my face.  Quietly, he said, “I was going to ask you, you know.  When I was sure you were ready.”

“I’m ready,” I assured him quickly.  I knew he was worried about my age and thought I wasn’t ready to settle down.  But I was.  I so was.  I thought he was, too, but he hadn’t yet answered me, not really, and the nerves I hadn’t felt at all up to this moment started creeping in.  The longer he remained silent, the worse they got.  Until I finally held the box up a little higher, bringing it back into his field of vision. “Alex?”

“Yeah, I’ll marry you.  Absolutely I’ll marry you.  I’m going to marry the hell out of you.”

My grin took over my entire face.  My hands were still shaking as I lifted the wide platinum band from the box and slipped it over his ring finger.  He waited patiently until I was done before he grabbed me and used his superior strength to haul me into his lap.  The box fell to the floor, but I didn’t care.  When he stood with me in his arms, we bumped against the table and I though I heard a plate clatter to the floor.  But he was kissing me, carrying me to the bedroom and it didn’t matter.  He was mine, and I was his.  And we were going to be that way forever.  Nothing could make me happier.

I’d known from the moment I’d first laid eyes on him four and half years ago that he was going to be mine.  And now he was.

Happy Valentine’s Day indeed.

Dr. Feelgood Anthology

Ooooh!  Look!  It’s out!  On the shelves!  Release day!  Yay!

I’m honored to be in the company of some incredibly talented authors.  My story is just one of many.  But the whole thing is great.  I’m not going to lie,

DrFeelgood_postcard_front_DSP

I’m enjoying it immensely from a reader standpoint.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You can buy it here.  (Or in paperback here.)

There’s something about men in the medical profession…or pretending to be…that really turns my key.  Enjoy!