Flash Fic Friday

With heavy steps, I climbed the two flights of stairs that led to my apartment.  We’d been fighting before I left on Wednesday to drive the five hours back to my childhood home to spend the holiday with my family.  We’d barely talked since.  I’d wanted him to come with me, had reassured him up and down that my family would love to have him, but he refused to come.  His own family had turned their back on him the moment they found out he was gay.  And despite my family being supportive of me, of knowing who I was and loving me just as hard as always, he didn’t want any part of my family or the holiday.

I wouldn’t have gotten so upset if he’d been logical.  We’d only been together six months, and living together for barely six weeks.  I understood that even though he was committed to me, to making us work and thrive, that he was gun shy where family came in.  If he’d left it at that, I’d have been disappointed but understanding.  But my boy had a temper, and when I’d pushed too far in a last ditch effort to get him to come along, he’d snapped.  The comments about my family faking their acceptance were hurtful, but even then, I’d at least understood where he was coming from.  When he said he’d never spend a holiday with my family, and that he wouldn’t even be celebrating any holiday at all, I’d lost my own cool.  He knew how I felt about holidays, and how much I loved Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular.  I’d stormed out, leaving him steaming, and driven away.

I’d spent the last two days missing him like crazy.

We’d texted a little, talking about nonsense things,  but neither one of us had called.  Neither one of us apologized either.  I didn’t know what I was walking into.  But I knew I didn’t want to give him up.  We were amazing together, and an argument even as big as this one, didn’t diminish that.  He’d texted his love, and I’d returned the sentiment.  I had to have faith in what we were building, and that we’d work through this now that we’d both had time to calm down.  I’d left early this morning, earlier than I normally would have, just so I could get back to him and try.

I took a deep breath before I pushed the key into the lock, turning the deadbolt on the steel reinforced door, and pushing it open with my shoulder.

“Babe?” I called out, dropping my duffle in the entryway and toeing off my sneakers.  I kept hold of the bag with the leftovers.  My mother had thoughtfully packed them, and I knew he’d devour them once he saw what was inside.  “I have good food and kisses for you.”

I tried for playful even though he’d hadn’t responded.  I knew he was home.  His car was in the parking lot.  I’d looked. I shrugged out of my coat and hung it and my scarf in the tiny hall closet, then took another deep breath before I turned the corner into our apartment proper.

I stopped dead at the sight before me.  He was standing in the middle of the living room surrounded by the big plastic bins in which I carefully stored the Christmas decorations every year. He’d shoved the couch down the wall and set the tree up in the corner.  I had a fake one because I was allergic to the real thing, but it worked out well because I could have it up longer.  He even had the lights untangled and laying on the end of the couch, ready to wrap around the tree.  My breath caught as I took it all in, and I started to tear up as I found his gaze again.

“I’m sorry,” he blurted, blushing hard.  He blew out a breath, and I knew from his expression just how sincere he was.  “For what I said and for how I acted.  I was wrong and I’m sorry and I want to spend all the holidays with you and your family.”

I took three steps to the left so that I could set my bag on the counter that separated the living room from the kitchen.  And then I launched myself at him, hugging him tightly, breathing him in.  The last couple of days had sucked, and I really thought he’d been serious about not celebrating holidays.  But here he was, ready to decorate for Christmas with me, knowing it was my tradition to do it the day after Thanksgiving and really get into the spirit of the season.

I pulled back and grinned, then took his face in my hands and kissed him hard.  It turned out I had even more to be thankful of than I thought.

Cover Goodness

Okay so remember how just yesterday I was telling you I couldn’t wait to show you the cover for Love at Roades End? It’s like the cover art gods were listening, because not a few hours later, it arrived in my inbox!  It’s beautiful, and I love it.  And the very amazing, incredibly talented, wholly wonderful LC Chase was the one who made it!  Yay!

I thought I knew what I wanted on the cover of this adorable short story which just makes my heart happy.  And LC tried to give it to me.  But she also gave me this cover, the one I chose, and when I saw it, I just couldn’t stop looking at it.  Its all about the feeling, and this cover?  It gets it right.

The story isn’t out until February but in the meantime, feast your eyes on this!

LoveAtRoadesEndFS

And the blurb, to whet your appetite!

Sean Newvine is looking forward to his weekend at Roades End Inn so he can review his stay for inclusion on his travel website.  What he never expects is for the owner, Hunter Roades, to capture his attention from the very start.

The only problem is Hunter thinks Sean’s been sent by his brother on a blind date so that Hunter doesn’t have to spend Valentine’s Day alone.  Once the awkward misunderstanding is resolved, Sean is charmed by Hunter’s formality and hospitality.  And when they have a chance to talk, sparks really fly.

A passion-filled night has them both wanting more, but Hunter pulls away knowing Sean doesn’t live in town and the distance might be more than they can overcome. Sean and Hunter must figure out if they can make it work for longer than one night, of if their chance at love will end at Roades End Inn before it can begin.  

The Interruption

Okay, so you may have noticed I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks.  Truth is, life just happened.  Like every other person on the planet, I need to deal with life as it comes.  And the fact is, the things that have been going on in mine, in particular the day job, have sapped me emotionally.  That coupled with no desire to write (I think, from a wee bit of burn out), and I went quiet.  I didn’t have anything to say, so I didn’t say anything.  I focused on some other areas in my life, have been knitting like crazy…and watching movies and reading books.  Doing all the things that I push aside when I’m in full-on author mode.  So it’s been good, and I’ve been happy.  Quiet, but happy. (at least when I’m not at the day job, that is)

And I haven’t even been worried that there has been no story in my head.  Which is a new and novel experience for me.  Not only not having something going on in my head, but not being worried about it.  I worry about everything, it’s who I am, and so to be all “I don’t care” about not having a story playing in my brain was kind of nice.  I joked and teased that I was giving up writing for good, so I didn’t have that pressure in my life, but we all knew that I wasn’t serious…even when I claimed to be.  A writer’s got to write, and I am that.

But over the last couple of days, things have shifted in my head.  Slowly and surely, a new character has emerged.  He’s beautiful and a bit broken.  He’s got a big heart and some scars.  And he wants to find his forever man.  Just this morning, I may have gotten a glimpse of who that man is.

I’m not rushing into anything.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take the rest of the year off, and I still might do that.  But knowing me, as the story coalesces, I might start putting things on the page.

I think the interruption may be coming to an end.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on edits for Love at Roades End, which comes out in February (and I CAN NOT wait to show you the cover on that!) and will soon start edits on Something Like Peace. So there’s still stuff in the pipeline, and things to look forward to.  I’ll share more details as they become available, so watch this space for news!  And!  Flash fics will start again this week, and go about continuing on as they have been.  I’m slowly getting back in the saddle..and remembering how comfortable it is for me to be there.

I Got Nothin’

I don’t have anything to talk about because I haven’t been writing.  Haven’t been because I have zero desire to.  Usually the characters yammer away at me, constantly poke at me, demand I write.  That is not happening right now.  Not with the story I’ve barely begun or with anyone new trying to push their way in.

It’s a little unsettling.  A little weird.  It’s certainly not normal for my brain (not that anything about my brain can be considered normal).  What’s weirder still is that I feel okay with it.  It’s not upsetting me to any great degree.  Normally I’d be all bent out of shape and whinging on because nothing I was trying to write was working.  But yeah.  that’s not the case here.

I’ve said I was giving up the writing.  I’ve pretended I was serious about it.  Those who know me best don’t believe a word of it.  They are right, of course.  And I could rationalize about six different reason as to why the writing isn’t happening right now.  Three of them are even legitimate.

So, anyway, right now the writing isn’t happening, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it, or push at it, for at least another couple of weeks.  I’m sure by then I’ll start panicking if I haven’t been inspired. But right now?  I’m okay letting it sit.

Flash Fic Friday

**Since I was at the vet with one of my furbabies last night (he’s going to be fine, as you can see) I was inspired for today’s flash fic.  Enjoy!**

Simon was a huddled, quivering mass of fur.  He kept his body hunched over and his ears were plastered back against his skull.  He let me pet him, but he didn’t purr or rub into my hands like he normally did.  He was shedding like it was his job, too.  But I knew that was stress.  And the disdainful look in his eye was probably not me anthropomorphizing his supposed emotions either.

In Simon’s estimation, I was a very bad daddy for bringing him to the vet in the first place.

My cat was the love of my life though, and when he suddenly starting peeing on the area rug in the front room instead of the litter box, I was instantly concerned.  I thought, at first, that he was marking his territory.  A stray cat had been coming up to the window and hissing at my boy, and though Simon was giving back as good as he was getting, there wasn’t much he could do through the window.  But with the stray having moved on and Simon still doing his business on the rug, I’d called the vet and made an appointment.

Our regular vet was cutting back his hours, so we would be seeing the new guy.  If he ever came into the room.  The vet tech had been a sweet and understanding woman, but she’d walked out to get the vet almost fifteen minutes ago and Simon and I were still waiting.  Irritation was really starting to get the better of me when finally, the door opened.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

Dr. Chrisman was probably my age, with a shock of dark hair and warm brown eyes.  He gave me a huge grin, followed swiftly by a bashful head dip.  The white lab coat did nothing to hide his fit and toned physique, and I didn’t even try to stop my blatant staring.  His gaze swept me from head to toe, and then he turned his attention to my cat still huddled on the table.

“So, Mr. Simon, you’re not feeling too well huh?” Dr. Chrisman murmured, keeping his voice low and soothing.  He looked in Simon’s mouth and then his ears.  “Tell me what’s been going on?”

It took me a moment to realize the beautiful vet was talking to me and not the cat.  Quickly and quietly, I relayed the issue as I had with the vet tech before.  The whole time, Dr. Chrisman kept murmuring and examining my cat, until finally he lifted Simon’s tail.  A moment later, he let the cat go, and Simon slunk closer to the end of the table so he could be near me.

“The good news is,” Dr. Chrisman said, walking to the counter and starting to write in the chart.  “—is that it’s just impacted anal glands.  We can take care of that tonight, and then give him a shot of antibiotics and steroids, and he’ll be a much happier kitty.”

The relief poured through my veins.  I’d had myself worked up for days, waiting for the appointment, convinced it was diabetes or renal failure or a massive tumor. “That’s it?”

Dr. Chrisman smiled.  “That’s it.  We’ll take care of it in no time.  I’m a master at anal glands.”

I choked on air and started coughing.  The vet looked concerned, and then when he realized what he said, he turned a gorgeous shade of red.  He dropped his gaze to my cat, scratched Simon’s ears, and then mumbled, “That came out wrong.  But we’ll get your cat fixed up.”

It didn’t take long for the vet and the tech to take care of Simon.  When my boy struggled to get away from whatever they were doing, my heart went out to him but I didn’t interfere.  I was assured by the once again smiling doctor that the incredibly strong odor was a good thing, and when he was finished, he washed his hands and leaned against the counter.

“I want to see him back in four weeks, just to check.  I think he’s going to be fine, but we’ll take a quick peek.”  The doctor kept talking, telling me about things I should watch for as Simon got older. I nodded along, relieved my boy was going to be okay.  But my attention was more fixed on his luscious mouth.  And then, because I did not miss the way the doctor kept checking me out and his intent, interested gaze as he talked, I took a deep breath and put on my best smile.

“And are there any rules about going out to dinner with your patient’s owner?”

Dr. Chrisman’s pleased expression let me know I’d made the right move.  “No.  No rules.  It’s definitely okay for that to happen.”

I grinned back, pleased.  I took a step closer, absently rubbing Simon’s ears.  “Good.  I’d hate to have to wait an entire month before seeing you again.”

The huge grin he gave me made having a sick cat almost worth it.

No to NaNo

I learned a couple of years ago that I could, in deference of everything else but work, write 50k words in ten days. That was exciting. I also learned that I absolutely cannot work that way and if the finished project needs a complete rewrite, then for me, there’s no point it writing it the first time. 

It works for others but not for me. 

I need to edit and tweak as I go. I need to fix things and delete entire paragraphs/scenes/chapters. I can’t just write and keep going no matter what because I write myself into corners I can’t get out of. So it’s not an approach that I like, and it causes me anxiety when I think about it. 

I’m not doing NaNo this year. But I see a lot of people who are. Rock on, authors. May the muse be with you. I’ll be writing with you. Just not the same way.