Headphones was an experiment, a story written in "snapshots", a serial, a comic in word form-- call it what you will. It ran for one year plus one day-- January 1st of 2015 to January 1st of 2016. It was the story of a group of friends who took in a damaged girl and helped her find herself. But on the way, she helped them fill the holes in their own lives. I've pulled it now with the hopes of rewriting it into a book. Each day was matched with a music video and each month's mixes are still here. So if you've stumbled in, enjoy the music, and hopefully I'll be able to post updates occasionally!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mid March Update

     I've not updated for a while, but to be honest, I haven't felt overly productive lately. I finished the editing on Embers and Flame and got a good start on the second installment of Headphones, plus adding a few words here and there to Cut Shot. But there was a major upheaval in M/M Romance Twitterland last week that put me into a deep state of mourning that made me question whether or not I wanted to continue. But I've put too much of my heart, not to mention time, into my writing to throw my hands up and be done. So, this is what I'm going to do:

     Over the next few weeks, I'm going to pop around from project to project. I've found that while doing the Headphones rewrites I feel like I'm losing my ability to come up with new content. Now probably that's not true. But imagining the characters, bringing them to life, is what I like to do. Originally I was going to complete the first draft of the Headphones series before moving to other things. I'm not enjoying it. So, I'm going to give my first family some dedicated time each week, but I'm not going to ignore the rest. We are going on vacation for the first half of April, so I'm going to work on getting myself organized before then, and once I'm home, I'll be fresh and ready to hit it hard--and maybe by then things will be settled down and I'll be able to focus again. Cut Shot was originally planned for the June Camp NaNo. I'm going to set my goal at 50K. A bit high for a summer month, but if I can get anywhere close, I'll be happy.

     I also realize that I need to limit my time on social media. The first step is removing negative people from my feed. It's probably not that easy, but it feels like a good place to start. I've already started and will continue to do so as long as needed. I've come to believe some people simply enjoy the drama.

     So I may not be updating often, but I'll pop in when I can. Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Edition-Mid February Blues

This week I got some feedback on Embers and Flame and did some editing accordingly. Now, to get some more feedback from some more beta readers. Please feel free to let me know if you are interested in giving it a read. Anyway, I did a little work on Headphones, played with some ideas on a couple of other stories I've got percolating, and basically let the events of the last few days bog me down. Does writing rants on Facebook count towards my weekly goals? I don't know, but Grammarly says I wrote more words than I can account for on Google Docs, so at least there has been an offering of words!

How about for this week's excerpt I share the first page of the first (very rough) draft of Cut Shot? I'm thinking it's going to be my CampNaNo project:

Jebediah could feel the man’s gaze as if it was a physical thing. There was weight to it, a lowering of air pressure, a buzz behind his ears. He bent over the pool table and studied the balls, doing his best to not turn and stare back. If he was bent over more than he normally would when lining up a shot, curious if he would get a reaction, there was no one else to notice. Old Frank and Jim Tag were sitting at the other end of the bar, flirting with Margo. The bartender was thirty years younger than the two, but she laughed at their jokes, doing her best to up her tip. Hell, for all he knew, she might even have been honesty amused. He didn’t know her as well as he knew the two older men. They’d been friends of his dad's and regulars at the Shortstop since before he’d been legally old enough to drink and would probably still be there long after he was gone from this podunk town.
But his attention only wavered for a moment as he sank the 2 ball and then moved from the north end of the table to pick up the 5, his back no longer to the stranger. He wasn’t the kind of man that Jeb would normally accord a second look. He definitely had a type--tall, skinny, light headed--and this man was none of those things. The piercing gaze was enough to raise goose bumps on his forearms, making him past uncomfortable and his palms grew moist with sweat, to the point that he miscued the shot, sending the ball in a weak spin.
Shit. That was nothing short of embarrassing, especially after the guy pushed off from the stool that he was leaning on more than sitting, and placed a couple of quarters on the table. “Mind a game?” he asked, his voice smooth and a bit posh. His accent wasn’t local, but despite Jeb’s extensive traveling, he couldn’t quite place it. At least not after only three words. He didn’t say anything, just gave the man a sharp nod of his head and turned his attention back to the table. He only had the 5 and the 8 balls left, and with a nonchalance that he didn’t feel, he drove them both to their pockets and stood up, finally giving the man his full attention.
“Rack ‘em, then,” Jeb said. He leaned on his cue stick where it sat wide-ended on the floor, letting it hold his weight as he studied the too-clean-cut-to-be-hanging-out-in-a-dank-bar gentleman. A couple inches taller than his own unimpressive 5’7”, dark hair cut professionally short, movements confident but not cocky. And his hands, at least from where Jeb stood, looked soft and manicured. Someone who sat at a desk all day, if he were to guess. Maybe some slumming billionaire, here to sweep him off his feet. He almost snorted a laugh at his inner joke before giving a nod to shake the nonsense out of his head. He must have been past bored to pick up that book his sister had left at the house. Half-way through he’d given up, wondering what all the hype was about.
“What are we playing?” the man asked.
Okay, that was four more words and it confirmed he wasn’t from the Mid-west. Upper New York, maybe? “8 ball slop?” Jeb asked, curious if the man was familiar with the term.
“That’s fine,” he said as he walked around the table towards Jeb. “It’s been years since I’ve played, I'm sure I'm rusty. By the way, name’s Ian,” he said as he held out his hand.
“Jeb,” he replied. The handshake was firm, and just as Jeb had suspected, Ian’s hands were callous free. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

There Just Isn't Enough Time!

           I wrote my synopsis and blurb for Embers and Flame:

Charles “Cherry” Andrews is trying to prove to himself that he can have a life on his own. His ex left him the couch, the bed, and the camping equipment. Replacing the city and hospital sounds with crickets and birdsong at his favorite campground feels like the perfect vacation, but instead of finding peace, he’s simply bored.
Ben Torres set out on a motorcycle tour of the country as a way to find his own peace after the death of his mother, but a bad baffle curtails his plans within hours of leaving home. Luckily for him, the guy in the next camp spot happily shares his fishing equipment as well as offering to play taxi.
An unplanned kiss on their last day together leads to an afternoon of discovery that turns into a summer romance that begins to feel like a long distance relationship. Everything would be wonderful if they could spend the rest of their life in a small tent next to a lake, but when Cherry’s concerned ex-boyfriend and Ben’s teen son become part of the equation, they fear that two-hundred miles may be too far. 

 And I wrote the opening page for Cut Shot, but I still think I'm going back to Headphones for awhile. I think I would like to try outlining Cut Shot because I've never done that with any of my books. (I do tend to pantser them!) But there are several different ways this one can go, and I want to work out which way I'm going before I get very far into the story. Plus, there's some research I need to do. So, yeah, I think I'll save this as my CampNano project. (Why do I even make plans? I never stick to them!) 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Quick Update

I finished my editing rounds of Embers and Flame, now to write the synopsis and query and send it out. I'm really divided right now about if I really want to do that, or just settle on self-publishing and skip putting myself through the querying angst. I have so many projects bubbling around in my head and I'm not sure what I want to start on next. Logically, I started the Headphones rewrite and I should dedicate myself to finishing it, but I see that taking at least four months, and I really want to start on Cut Shot, Jeb and Ian's story. I may try to work on both at the same time--at least get Cut Shot started, and then focus on it as my CampNano project. Anyway, that's where I am at the moment, so time to take a deep breath and move forward!

Monday, January 22, 2018

I've Been Sick, But I'm Carrying On!

     January has been a disaster. I've been sick since day one, and I just can't seem to shake it. Headcold that morphed into the stomach bug, and now I'm running a fever. February can't get here soon enough!
     I finished the Headphones: In From the Cold rewrite Tuesday, so I was only a couple of days past my goal. It clocked in a little over 70K, making it 10K longer than my minimum goal, so I'm really happy about that. And it's also probably why I went past my goal date. The plan now is to finish the edits on Embers and Flame, write the query and synopsis, submit it around, and then return to Headphones. There are two more books to write, after all! And, in the meantime, I'm working on outlining Jeb (from Blind Ante) and Ian's story.

Excerpt from Embers and Flame, Chapter 15
Ben led me to a shadowed alcove at the side of the building and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me in for a kiss. He was drunk enough for it to be a little sloppy, lacking his usual intensity. He trailed his tongue across my jaw and nibbled into my neck, sucking at the skin over my pulse point. I moaned as he bit and laved his tongue over the spot, over and over. I gave him a push. “Stop. You’re going to leave a mark.”
“That’s the idea. I want everyone to know you’re mine.” But he stopped and let me put an inch of distance between us.
I didn’t mean to say it aloud, but the words pushed their way out of my throat, nonetheless. “What are you doing with me? Why am I here?”  
“What?” Ben’s incredulous look was clear enough under the dim streetlight. “Why would you ask that?”
“You can have your pick. Any of the women in there. They fawn all over you. So, why me? What do I have to offer?” Okay, I’d never realized that liquor made my inner monologue less inner, and instead, more nakedly on display. But I couldn’t stop myself. All my doubts, all my fears, rushed out; a wave of insecurity that I didn’t even realize I’d been hoarding. “I’m nothing special. Hair that won’t lay down, freckles everywhere, colorless eyes. No special talents. I’m not interesting. I’m a codfish.” Ben was speechless as I spewed it all out. “Hell, one woman in there told me I must give really good head. As if that’s the only reason you’d be with me. Is that it, do I give good head?” I paused to draw a breath, but Ben stopped me with another kiss.
“Well, you do. Give good head, I mean,” he whispered against my mouth and his lips twitched up and curled as he pushed his hips against mine. But then he pulled away and captured my face between his hands. “I’m with you because you make me happy. In a way I haven’t been for a very long time. Maybe never. Your hair is thick and wild, your freckles are delicious, and your eyes reflect every emotion that runs through your head. Sometimes they’re silver like the underside of maple leaves; sometimes they’re dark like the sky before a storm. When we’re at the campground, they reflect the green of the grass and trees. And your eyelashes. God, I love how they’re red but tipped with white. You’re beautiful.”
He pulled me against him again and laid his head on my shoulder. The high-pitched whistle of a train came from far away, thin and shrill while crickets sang to the moon. I was afraid to break the peace between us and I drew in a lungful of the cooling midnight air. Ben’s voice was soft but clear, even though he was facing away from me. “I’m nothing but a grease monkey while you actually do something important. You keep people alive. What can you find interesting about me?”
My heart almost broke at his tone and I held him tighter. “Oh, babe, we’re drunk, aren’t we? You’re everything I’ve ever wanted. You’re everything I’ll ever want.”