Monday, August 29, 2016

a delicate balance

Writing takes a lot of time. I love writing, and enjoy doing it, but doing it involves taking a lot of time out from other activities. This is always a delicate balance.

I want to have enough time to actively assist my family and friends, and there are definitely demands on my efforts.

But I also want to have time to write and be creative.

Lately, things have definitely been balancing/tipping toward the family and friends arena, but it won't stay that way for the long term. The balance will come back. In the meantime, my head is still full of ideas and thoughts, I'm just tucking them away for use a little later.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

taking Friday off

I hope to be back next week with a free ficlet, but I may be going to an every-other week submission for it. The ficlets have been great to challenge me, but they do take up time and effort that I might be spending on a longer story that I'm working on. I am generally contemplating if I'm focusing on the right sort of thing, or if I should be concentrating more on my longer works. (When I say longer works, I mean that someday I hope to write longer than a short story -- an actual novella or novel would be so cool.)

Many thanks to the readers sticking with me, I hope the ficlets have been entertaining. :) I will be keeping them up, just not as often. I think I'd like to take a few more weeks off here and there, especially since high summer is finally cooling down and it looks like fall is going to be fantastic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas - Final Days

I wanted to take a moment to let readers know that my story with Torquere: Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas, is going to be available for about a month and a half longer, and then it will be gone.

Here's the link to the story for purchase:

And, I had written two short extras that went along with the story. They make more sense if read after the main, original story, but they are still fun.

It was interesting to write about shifters, and particularly to write about dog-shifters. I love dogs, so I enjoyed thinking about how they would see the world and their mannerisms.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Free Fiction: Dream Big

"What do you think?" Aaron nudged Garrett with his foot. They were sitting side by side on the sofa with their feet up on the coffee table. Aaron had their son, Jute, on his lap. Jute was all of four years old and equal parts feisty and sweet. At the moment, since he was asleep, he was exhibiting sweet. An hour ago, he'd been running in circles around their home, screaming at the top of his lungs that he loved trucks.

"Think what?" Garrett asked. He bumped Aaron's foot back.

"For Jute. Swimming, right? The butterfly. Maybe an IM. Freestyle sprinter." Aaron brushed Jute's bangs out of his eyes. They'd been watching the Olympics and seeing so many athletes dream big and achieve bigger made him starry-eyed. It was easy to dream about all the things the future might hold. "He loves the water. And you see how he runs around here. He's going to be fast."

Garrett leaned back farther into his seat, snuggling more deeply next to his husband. "Are we going to play this game again?"

"I don't know what you mean." Aaron sniffed slightly, lifting his chin.

"Where you suggest every sport in the entire Olympic playbook, and I tell you he's going to be too busy getting his PhD. He's too smart to fall into that kind of braggadocio."

"Water polo, then," Aaron said.

"He's already reading. He knows all his colors. He can count to thirty." Garrett poked Aaron in the side with a finger. "Maybe a double doctorate. An MD and a PhD. He'll do research, but he'll also have patients." Garrett looked unfocused as he gazed into the future only he could see. "Accolades. Honorifics. Probably a tv show."

"If he doesn't want to be in the water, maybe he'll be a track star. He practically ran a marathon tonight after dinner," Aaron said. "What's sexier? Pole vault or long jump? I don't think I want him to be a thrower. They look angry all the time. Hurdles would be good. Hurdlers look intense, but they don't look like they want to smash your face in."

"Throwers look angry because the only time you ever see them is when they're throwing, or directly before. I bet if you went home with them, they're like soft, baby kittens with their families." Garrett made a tsking noise with his tongue. "There's no money in track and field unless you're a super star sprinter. If Jute is going to get scholarships to universities where he can get his degrees, we need to teach him more popular sports. Basketball. Baseball. Foot-"

"No football," Aaron said sternly. "Don't even say that word. You know how I feel about that sport. People get really hurt. Concussions that never really go away, and the more they look into it, the worse it is."

"Yeah, I know. But think of the glory." Garrett returned to his unfocused dreaming.

Aaron shuddered and rubbed Jute's back in the small space between his shoulder blades. Jute's adorable face was slack with sleep and he looked small and fragile. Aaron did not approve of football. He'd played it, and he'd seen what damage it did. He loved the game. There was nothing like it. Well, maybe not nothing. "Rugby?" he offered. "What do you think? It's rough and tumble. Maybe a little less awful."

"Same poison, different drink," Garrett said. "But, it does look like a lot of fun. Not a lot of scholarship money in it, though. Maybe we should think about teaching him a musical instrument. Something rare so everyone will want him. But nothing embarrassing. He should play the trombone or the French horn. Not the tuba."

"What if there's money in playing the tuba?" Aaron asked. "It's got a bad rap, so nobody plays it, which means everyone is desperate for tuba players.

"He'll get compressed discs. It's too heavy."

Aaron ran his hand through Jute's hair again. "Maybe we should just start being really frugal and save as much as we can. That way he can go anywhere he wants and doesn't owe anyone anything."

Garrett leaned over and kissed Aaron on the cheek. "You make the best plans."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

getting exhausted, backseat competing

Off to bed early this evening so I have to say goodnight to the Olympics early. If there's any way willpower and urging from my living room can make it to Rio, I've been sending all sorts of energy to Rio.

The cameras keep turning on the crowds, especially the parents of the athletes, and I think we're all feeling a little bit like them. I see the families twitching, leaning, tight shouldered, inching sideways, backways and forward, balancing, and breathing for the athletes. It is impossible to not cheer everyone on to their best.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

all the sports

Ficlet coming up this Friday. I've been glued to my tv, and checking out the news, since now I am well and truly absorbed into all the Olympic drama and gusto.

So, of course, I let my imagination wander a little bit afield to see how I could incorporate sports into a ficlet. The amazing thing is how much hard work is put into being an athlete by all the participants. And we're only seeing a fraction of people who've gotten lucky and been good enough to make it. There are so many other people who are dreaming and striving out there.

I just think of all the lonely times that these athletes must be getting up at dark-o-thirty to get to the gym one extra time before work, because I can only ever hope to have a sliver of that sort of dedication to anything. It's not just that the athletes are physically amazing, but that they have been amazing day in and day out to train, to make themselves that way.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


I almost forgot the Olympics started yesterday! I love watching the competitions -- although it is hard to watch because I always want everyone to win. I just like it when everyone does their best. But the Olympics are all about rewarding those who are at the top of their sport. Still, I like the stories.

I did take a break from writing to watch some of the beach volleyball, sculling, and swimming heats. It is so intense.

And I had a very good day of writing. Almost 3k words. Yay me!

digging deep in the basement

It has been a particularly hot and humid summer, and while it was cooling off at night, lately it has stopped doing this. Not a lot of air conditioning out this way, so today I am spending most of my day in the basement. It is much cooler down here. It also feels damp, but up top it is humid, so I think it is just a trick. I've got my laptop on my lap (naturally), and coffee at hand (which is empty, so I will have to sojourn to the upper levels to replenish).

I'm going to pop around and do some social media, and remind everyone I'm still here, still writing, and still living medium-sized. (I so badly want to write living large, but honestly, I don't. I have a modest, quiet life. Today's big outing was to the farmer's market. I bought honeycomb, yogurt, and tomatoes. There will probably be pasta primavera for dinner.)

And I'm going to do some writing. I've got a story I'm working on, draft name Pyre Snakes, which won't remain I'm pretty sure, and I'm enjoying the character building and the plotting right now.

Off to coffee-up!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Free Fic: Claret Decadence


"Now, this is nice." Max whistled as he entered the room.

"It's very red." Lucas nodded. "I don't remember this from the website."

"They didn't have photos of every room." Max turned a circle in the room. "Even the borders along the ceiling are red."

"It's only for a week, anyway." Lucas thumbed his way through the books piled on a side table. "And someone left a used glass here."

"The previous guests, I'm sure." Max picked up the glass. It was a gorgeous stemmed thing, with swirls in the glass, looking like a chalice for drinking wine. It instantly set him to craving something lush. He looked to Lucas, and reached out to catch the hand of his fiancé and pull him into a kiss. "You wait right here. I'm going to pour us a glass of wine and come back here."

"We haven't unpacked yet, or even seen the rest of the house."

"Don't care. Wait here, and you won't regret it." Max whisked the glass off to the kitchen. He set it on the counter and discovered, as he'd hoped, more clean ones of the same kind in a cupboard. They'd bought several bottles of wine with them from home, when they'd packed for this vacation and house rental. A quick dash back to the car netted him a bottle. There wasn't enough time to open it and let it air properly, but Max didn't care. He popped the cork, poured the wine, and brought the glasses back to the room.

Lucas sprawled on the grey couch, his head propped up with pillows, and one lanky leg over the back of the couch and one dangling off the edge. He'd been skimming through one of the books. "Poetry," he said, when he saw Max standing over him. "And not good poetry either. Industrial stuff. About machines and smog."

Max set the two glasses of wine on the mantle, where the light from the window bounced through them to the mirror and back again to smudge red-colored reflections on the ceiling and the floor. "Don't care," he said. He pushed his fingers past the waistband on Lucas' trousers, the backs of his fingers rubbing against soft skin. "You look good in this room." He pressed his face into the crook of Lucas' neck. "You smell even better."

He meant both compliments. Lucas was dark-haired and dark-eyed, with an olive-tone to his skin, that just made him fit absolutely perfectly into the red jewel tones of the room. Max wanted to have him, there on the couch, or on the thin blood-red rug on the floor, or in the window alcove with the sunlight streaming in on the pine floorboards and the decorated sides of the windows glowing in mulberry hues all around them.

"You are unbelievable," Max said, "You make me feel incredible." They were a jumble of arms and legs together, balanced precariously on a thin couch. He shifted up to kiss the skin beneath Lucas' jaw line and the pressure popped the two pillows into the air. The book of poems thudded to the floor.

"Yeah?" Lucas said, his voice a rasp of sound. "And that's why I'm going to marry you. Because you make me feel amazing, too."

Later, tired and happy, they curled around each other on the floor. Max looked up and saw the untouched glasses of wine on the mantel. He chuckled and pointed. "The thought of drinking wine in here with you, and ravishing you--I couldn't even wait to drink the wine. I went right to the ravishing."

"Remind me to paint the bedroom red when we get back home," Lucas said. "I like what it does to you."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

some colors are more inspirational

The last of my series of room-colored ficlets will post on Friday, and it was my favorite of the rooms because I love the colors. The other rooms were better challenges, and they helped me to grow from the exercise of writing against what is easiest for me, but this deep red room was the most fun to write about.

I could have written several versions of this room. Part of me wanted to write vampire stories, ghost stories, throwback detective mystery stories, Gothic stories. Because that's where you find rooms imbued with this ruby color. But, I also wanted to keep with the same tone as the other ficlets. Those weren't supernatural thrillers. They were about ordinary moments and contemporary people.

But I did indulge a little. For sure, this one is going to be on the romance side of things.