Friday, October 31, 2014

untitled snippet

I only wrote about 300 words of this little snippet.  I had it all planned out in my head, but this is all there is.  Still, as a short little thing, it works very well.


    "We should get married."  James rubbed the tips of his fingers against the back of Errol's neck where the skin was smooth and warm.  They were curled around each other, still in bed, with the comforter rumpled against them.  Sunlight streamed in through the make-shift curtains that weren't quite the correct size or shape, but right that moment, James loved the way one of the errant streams of sunlight slowly inched it's way across Errol's thigh.

    "Mmm," Errol murmured, shifting slightly.  His eyes were closed and his breathing regular, but he hadn't been actually sleeping.  "Okay."

    The answer took a moment to sink in.  "Okay?" James repeated.  He'd been asking Errol for the past three years to marry him.  He'd fallen in love with Errol almost immediately and, by their first month anniversary, James knew he'd never want to spend his life with anyone else.  It was Errol who held back, concerned about so many different things.  It hadn't stopped James from asking, or suggesting, or bringing it up as a topic in the most gentle of manners.  He'd wanted it to be clear that whenever Errol felt ready, that James was more than willing to make the commitment.  "Did you just say okay?" Clarification was of the utmost importance. 

    Errol opened his eyes a very small fraction of an inch.  "I did.  I do.  Let's get married."

    James stared, letting time slide by for a long, thoughtful moment before finally working the words out of his mouth. "Why? Why now, finally?"

    Errol yawned and stretched sleepily.  His mouth was very close to James' knee and it was a scant distance to stretch before he was peppering James' shin with a cascade of feathered, fluttering kisses.  When he stopped, it was only to blow one last kiss at James.  "Because I love you, you big dope.  And today is perfect."

    "I love you too," James responded.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

steep learning curves and The Littlest Razzle-Dazzle

I needed a break from writing today, so I went and fussed with wattpad.  I'm using my free story The Littlest Razzle-Dazzle to learn how to upload to that site. 

I will need to think about formatting and also covers.  I had a nice cover--a photo I took myself of some lovely leashes in a pet shop, some of them saying 'Who Rescued Who?' (yes, I know, whom, but....), but I could not figure out how to mesh the photo and get the text.  Something to fuss again with some other day.  I've run out of time and need to focus on something else.

Here's the link:

writing space and time

Today is the last day for quite a while that I'll have several hours of time and space to focus on writing and the business of writing.  There's always so much more to do than I have time for.  Being a part-time author is all about choosing what will be the most important activity to concentrate on.

No edits yet received for "Never Waste a Good Left Turn", so I'm free in the writing arena to focus on what I need to.

I have a short gift story that I need to write, already started.  And I have ideas for short and long stories.  The latest shift in reading habits to a definite preference for long stories (who can blame them? find a world you like, and stay in it as long as possible!) doesn't work to my strengths -- since I do better crafting shorter stories. I can see I will be working on those long-story chops!

So, I've gotten through the back up of e-mails waiting (120+ dealt with) and after I've checked in with you all, dear friends and readers, I will finally have reached the point where I can procrastinate no longer.  Writing will happen!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

someone needs to answer for this 5:15am baloney

Apparently this week my body has decided that 5:15 is the cat's meow.  It doesn't matter what time I go to sleep or how tired I feel, at 5:15, that's it.  I'm awake, and it is time to do stuff.

I generally have nothing to complain about.  If I'm comfy, I can fall asleep pretty easily and I know so many people struggle with insomnia. (I don't stay awake at night to deal with my anxieties, I fall comfortably asleep at night and just grind away my teeth quietly.)

So, the coffee is made, a few odds and ends are tidied up, and I suppose I will look upon this as a gift, and try to get some writing done with the unexpected gift of time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Free Fiction: The Littlest Razzle-Dazzle

It has been a very busy and topsy-turvey week here in the Ellis Household, but I had worked on this free read a while ago, and thought that even though I need to plunge back into the current tumult, I would post this up.  It is set just before Halloween, so it is a timely little tale.

Title:  The Littlest Razzle-Dazzle

Blurb: Roscoe's heart is broken, but that only means he is ready to meet his new best friend.

Genre: M/M romance, general fiction

Length: ~1600 words


Roscoe Robinson was a big man with sure hands. In high school, he'd played center on the football team.  He'd snapped the football between his legs to the receiving arms of his quarterback and then, like a brick wall, he'd blocked opponents from gaining territory into the area of protection.  During his career, he'd protected his quarterback with determined ferocity, foresight based on reading the defensive positioning, and gut instincts. He'd been so sure of it all.

Now he wasn't sure of anything, and all he had left was the determined ferocity.

Being three months into recovery from the worst heartbreak he'd ever experienced, he woke every day to the repeated mantra that it would get better.  Someday his heart would heal. He told himself this every day, sometimes every hour, even though it felt like a lie.  Then, he got himself up and kept himself going.

After four years of what he'd thought of as domestic bliss, Roscoe had come home to find his boyfriend waiting in the kitchen.  Shawn had a small satchel next to his feet, which was all that remained of the things he'd brought with him into the relationship.  Behind him, the counter was already bare of various appliances.  A hurried, bewildered scan of the living room showed Shawn's coffee table to be missing, as well as his DVD collection, and his favorite recliner. He'd even spirited away Flash, the little brown and white gerbil they'd raised together. With lowered eyes, Shawn admitted he wasn't happy, he had bigger dreams he wanted to follow, and that he was embarking on that newest adventure now.  Roscoe wasn't a part of that future.

It had been a devastating surprise.  Roscoe's vaunted foresight had failed, his knowledge of Shawn had obviously been deficient, and his gut instincts were stunned and useless. 

The next day and for many days afterward, Roscoe dragged himself to work. He treated his patients professionally and their bodies healed under his practiced touch, but the camaraderie he'd shared before seemed distant to him now.  Healing the body felt like a perfunctory task and he lent his steady hands to the application of it, but all the friendly chit-chat had fled his tongue. 

When grandmothers shuffled in with knee and hip problems, he strengthened their muscles but could only listen with envious shards in his heart as they spoke of their lovely families. When young athletes hobbled in, one limb in need of repair, and related how someone supported them through thick and thin, Roscoe wrapped his own heart as well as their joints with bandages. 

Now, he was facing down his older sister, and even though he weighed a hundred pounds more and stood five inches taller, she stared him down. 

"What you need is a new best friend."  She shook a finger at him.  "And I found you the perfect one."

Roscoe tried to imagine who Andrea could possible mean.  "But I have a best friend.  That's not what I lost."

"Hush," she ordered.  "Come with me."  She marched Roscoe out to her car and drove him across town to the rescue shelter.  "My friend Kyra works here.  She called me and told me about a dog here that's perfect for you.  Already house trained and everything.  Sweet as can be."

Roscoe followed her into the building.  It smelled like many animals lived there, but with the additional scent of antiseptic and mint, as if the staff cleaned and cleaned until they might someday eradicate the telltale scent.  He didn't want a dog.  The last thing he wanted was to fuss with a new pet.  He missed Flash a little, but that wasn't the hole in his life.  Replacing a pet wouldn't fix his broken heart. But moving a mountain would be easier than going against Andrea, so he humored her. 

"Kyra!" Andrea hugged her friend, and Roscoe recognized her. Kyra had been a cheerleader when Roscoe had played football.  "I brought Roscoe.  Can we see the dog?"

Kyra gave them a big smile.  "You're going to love Bianca.  Give me a minute to get her from the kennel.  Wait right here.  We can take her for a walk outside so you can get to know her."  She shoved a large book across the counter.  "Oh, better sign in here, just to make it official."  Kyra vanished into the back and Andrea bent to fill the ledger with information.

Roscoe wandered.  The reception area had the counter where Kyra had been, but it also had four large windows that revealed observation areas for clusters of animals.  The lower ones held some dogs enjoying a larger space to wait out the day.  Chew toys were scattered on the floor and a soft cushion was strategically placed in one corner.  Large water bowls were full, but the food bowls were empty. Both dogs were curled up, sleeping, and didn't even open an eye when Roscoe peered in on them.

The upper viewing areas held cats.  One held the fluffiest, whitish cat Roscoe had ever seen.  It had eyes bluer than sapphires and it blinked languidly at him.  The other window held a mama cat and several kittens.  As he watched, the kittens played an impromptu game with each other, swatting and leaping.  They tumbled sideways and over their heads more often than anything else and Roscoe couldn't tear his eyes away.

One kitten in particular held his attention more than the others and Roscoe watched the little fellow swat his littermates with determined ferocity. The kitten didn't give up even when it was two against one.  He feinted in one direction and swiped with his paw in another. The two other kittens leapt away and looked to be reconsidering their options.  Roscoe chuckled. He tapped the glass and the little kitten zeroed in on him for a moment. "You've got some razzle-dazzle there," Roscoe told him.  The kitten bounced away for more action with his playmates.

"Here we are!  Roscoe, this is Bianca."

He tore his attention away from the kittens and turned to see Kyra holding the leash to a gorgeous, lithe husky mix.  She had brown eyes and black and white markings.  She sat primly on the floor next to Kyra's feet and thumped her tail when Roscoe looked at her. Even though she was beautiful, he knew she wasn't the one for him.  His broken heart had already made its choice.

"She's pretty," he said.  Bianca closed her eyes as he rubbed the top of her head and scratched behind her ears.

"I hate to rush you, but if you like her, you'd better adopt her today.  She has another family that just signed on to her waiting list.  I put your name down for her so you could meet her first," Kyra said.

Roscoe was glad to hear it. If he had the time, money, and space, he'd want to bring home all the animals. "I'm glad she's got a family that wants her," he said. "Actually, I think I found a kitten."

"What?" Andrea asked. Her eyebrows knitted down.  Big sister wanted an explanation.

"A kitten?" Kyra looked confused.  "I thought you wanted to adopt a dog."

"This one."  Roscoe pointed to the window.  "The all black one."

Kyra and Andrea peered into the window.  At their feet, Bianca sat down and looked up at Roscoe with an expression that he could have sworn was a smile.

"I'm so sorry, but you can't," Kyra said. "We aren't allowed to adopt out black cats until after Halloween. People adopt them for the holiday and then abandon them, so we have a rule."

Roscoe looked down at her.  "Exceptions can always be made."

Kyra narrowed her eyes and then sighed. "Give me a minute to put Bianca back and talk to my supervisor."

"What do you know about cats?' Andrea asked once Kyra was gone. "We never had cats when we were growing up.  Just dogs."

"I'll learn." 

"Well, you do need something to keep you busy.  I guess a kitten would do it."

Roscoe didn't want to stop watching the kitten play.  It hadn't yet grown into its long limbs.  It pounced at its mates and everyone went down in a flurry of waving paws.  The access door in the back opened up and Kyra reached in to nab the little guy.  A minute later she brought him out front.

"Let's meet him in this room."  Kyra opened a door to a small room, barren except for a table and two chairs.  She closed the door and carefully handed the kitten over, disengaging its claws from her shirt where it clung. "His name is Midnight."

Midnight weighed almost nothing in Roscoe's hands.  In fact, if he wasn't a bundle of wiggling energy, he would have fit in just one of Roscoe's palms.  His fur was silky soft and underneath were solid muscles.  His tiny paws pushed at Roscoe's fingers as he tried to climb his way up.  Roscoe rubbed the very tip of his index finger on the top of Midnight's head and after a moment, Midnight closed his amber eyes and started to purr. The sound filled the room.

"His purr is bigger than he is," Andrea said.

Kyra laughed.  "He likes you." 

"I like him."  It had been so long since Roscoe had trusted his gut that it felt odd, but he knew this was important, and so very right. "But I think his name should be Razzle, not Midnight."

"Razzle.  That's a cute name," Kyra said. "There's a whole lot of paperwork to fill out, and an adoption fee.  But my supervisor says you can have him as long as you agree to a post-Halloween check.  They want to make sure he's safe."

"He will be," Roscoe said. He pulled the kitten in against his chest and Razzle resettled his head there, pressed warmly.  His purring vibrated slightly and Roscoe felt something ease deep in his chest.  His hands were steady and his heart was sure.  Razzle was coming home with him. It wasn't a cure, but it was a start.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

eking it out

At this time of year, it is always a game to see how many more days I can go without turning on the heat. I use a little space heater just for the toughest hours I'm home. I start to wear hats indoors and put extra blankets on the bed. It is a little bit of a game, but it does has roots in practicality. Turning on Big Heat means starting to spend Big Heat Money. My efforts are just for the purpose of stretching my budget, and my heart goes out to everyone out there who is having far more trouble making ends meet. Much love to you all.

On happier news, for those in mind of a bargain. Torquere says the code BOO will get you 20% off at & :D Sale ends 10/31!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sleet in the mountains!

I was up in the mountains today and it hovered right on the line, sometimes raining and sometimes sleeting. It was very cold and I had to put on a hat and gloves. When I drove back to town, it got warmer as I drove down. It is always a bit amazing how different weather systems can be when you go up and down in altitude.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


My short story "Never Waste a Good Left Turn" has been accepted for the Random Acts of Kindness Anthology coming out by Dreamspinner Press. I am *so* excited. I actually made "yes, yes, yes" noises when I read the e-mail.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the beautiful valleyside

I thought fall was way past peak, but today I saw a gorgeous sight. Along the slope side of the valley for some (mini) mountains, were all the trees -- still turned golden yellow and red and vibrant orange, and fairly glowing in the late afternoon light. The tops of the hills were dark green and the protected 'inside' was all aglow with color. It was beautiful!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the nice day blew away

Yesterday was amazingly nice and then as the sun set, a brisk wind blew in. I expected rain but it hasn't yet, it is only threatening. It is still windy and somewhat warm out, but it continues to have that Halloween edge to it, like there's something bad coming just behind the warm, sunny day. It makes me shiver.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

uh-oh, breaking stuff already

I dropped a bowl and it smashed up a glass and a plate today. Had to throw out a whole bunch of food just to be safe and ended up spending 30 minutes cleaning up. Kept finding little bits of glass everywhere. I don't usually have such clumsy moments. I hope this is not a portent for the rest of the day. :(

Monday, October 13, 2014

oh, so that's what writing feels like

I've had a topsy-turvey schedule lately, so very little writing has been done (very little=none), but today I had a small amount of time where I had nothing else to do but write. I got a little over 500 words done and it felt pretty sweet. :-)

I'm working on some free reads for this fall. My dream of working on something a little longer is on hold for another week. Come late October and November, even though I'm not going to do NaNo, I do hope to do some concentrated writing. I love the short story format and I do well at it, but I would so love to have something longer to submit.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

leaf blowing day!

Today must have been Leaf Blowing Day because as I rode my bike around, everyone had out their leaf blowers and were corralling the leaves into tighter and tighter circles. All in all, a very noisy day!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grim Reaper on the front steps

As I rounded a corner today on my bike ride, I noticed a figure sitting on the steps of a house. He was dressed all in black with a hood over his head. I couldn't see his face. for a solid three seconds, with Halloween so close, I seriously thought the Grim Reaper was sitting on those steps, watching me pedal by. Then I realized it was just a man in dark sweatpants with a dark sweatshirt and a hood pulled over his face. I waved. He waved back. Yesterday, he'd been doing yard work. Maybe the Grim Reaper lives there, but if he does, he keeps a nice lawn.

Friday, October 10, 2014

long thoughts on long brike rides

I've been riding my bike this week for exercise and I find that often it is the best way for my brain to start to think about story ideas. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating because the scenery is lovely and I want to pay attention. The trees are turning colors, a portion of the ride is near water and there are birds to watch, and yet, my thoughts turn inward. Two days in a row, my brain has sparked and idea and I've mulled it over while I've pedaled away the miles. Now I just need to write those ideas into actual stories! One was for a long romance and the other for a short first-time romance (probably a free read!). But I do ruminate so much that when I return home, I've missed out on the view.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

stickiest stuff ever!!

I somehow managed to spill coffee creamer while taking it out of the fridge and it went all over the fridge, the floor, and me. After 3 wipe-downs, it is still sticky! What do they make this stuff out of?!?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the end of summer swimming

I went for a long bike ride yesterday on a bike path and toured through a park. This caught my eye. The water is cold and the end of summer means no more swimming.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

another unknown flower, tho' not a weed for sure

Wow, I didn't expect to find out the previous flower, so let me be greedy and try again. I saw this one next to a walkway, so it was most definitely planted. It was so pretty and seemed as if it was blooming just at the peak moment.

Monday, October 6, 2014

unknown flower-weed, you are lovely

I haven't any idea what the name of this flower is. It seems to be a weed that grows hither and yon as it pleases. It's a lovely yellow color, though, and the petals are pretty.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

location, location, location

Just to follow up on my previous post about my current writing mental status. I'm visiting family for the weekend, and it just isn't a very conducive place for writing. There's too much coming and going, and not enough 'comfy' spots to curl up and write undisturbed.

I find this is true for several of the places I regularly frequent (friends and family's homes). I do okay in coffee shops and the like, if I can find a place to sequester myself away and feel unobtrusive, and if there's not a lot of things left undone.

Even at home, I need to have a handle on my errands and chores. If there are things to tidy up, I find I need to get all of that organized before I can curl up and write. It is a bit maddening. I think it has to do with the concept of tidy-mind/tidy-space and also feeling grounded and safe for writing. Writing is such a flaying process sometimes that to do it, the writer needs to start from a very safe space.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

in the gloom of a rainy day

I really won't be getting much done this weekend. It's sort of a gloomy, rainy day and I feel very much out of sorts lately.

I need to finish the edits on the little free October story I am working on, but not right now, maybe a little later. And I really want to start working on writing a longer story. Last month I wrote two short stories for submissions (still waiting, my fingers are crossed) and with that flurry of activity, I had thought to work on something longer. I didn't want to wait for November and national writing month to get something started but I am finding it a difficult transition to actually sit down.

I believe it has to do with location. Location, location, location. I'm going to take a nap, and perhaps expand on this idea in a later post. Wish me sweet dreams!

Friday, October 3, 2014

enormous marigolds and a busy bee

I got back an edit on a story and, oh-boy, do I need to do some work. *sigh* I suppose that's why you send the story out. You can't see the forest for the trees. Or in this case, the bee and the flower!

more fall foliage

The reds were brilliant this year and although we're past peak, there are still some gorgeous colors and full trees hanging on. Stay calm, winds, and leave the leaves up. ;)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

when seasons collide!

When seasons collide, you get pumpkins next to watermelons. One last hooray for summer and hello spooky, pumpkin autumn. A little bit of the best of each season.
In writing efforts, I did a solid edit on that October-ish nibble story I mentioned before. It should be ready to share soon!