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!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Pondering

    As a parent we aren't supposed to pick a favorite-- I wonder if that holds true for authors.We create people, nourish them, give them life. They're a part of us. And still, I find I have favorites. Headphones was my first character, a persona I created for myself when I was in high school. At her inception, she represented my pain and fears of the future, all the teen angst that goes with preparing for adulthood. I used music as a buffer to the world, therefore, so did she.
    Mick came to me one night in a dream, very real, completely fully formed. They told me they belonged together, and I had my first couple.
    Then came Jay and Scoey. They will always be my special babies because they were the first same-sex couple I ever wrote. I didn't set out to do that, but a story idea popped in my head one day as I was stocking shelves at the store, and I knew after that I preferred writing m/m over f/m. I don't know why, really, I just do.
    And yet, there is James and Val. They spoke to me, told me their story, held my heart. I'm not saying they were easy to write--it sometimes still felt like I was pulling the story out one sentence at a time. But it was there, somehow, just waiting to come out. I love how Val is sweet and broken, and he doesn't even know it. And the way James is stoic and lonely and just wants someone to share his life with.
    I'm not saying I don't love my other characters; the rest of Headphones' friends, Barry and Morgan, Cherry and Ben, but somehow, just not as intently.

Maybe Like Cracks in the Sidewalk will always be my favorite-- a little nsfw from Chapter 19:

Some guy had his hand cupping the bulge of Val’s jeans and his face buried in his neck. Val’s eyes were blissed out; I didn’t know if it was from drugs or alcohol or from what the guy was doing to him. But he struggled to focus when he saw me standing to the side. With a huge smile, he shoved the guy away, not looking ashamed or guilty, but instead he looked like he’d been waiting for me, as if he and the guy had been having a casual conversation, not rubbing up against each other.
The man growled and pressed back up against Val and the confused look that crossed his face would have been comical if I weren’t so mad. Val gave him another shove and this time I stepped up as he did so. Val shuffled sideways, seeking my protection, but the rage I felt was dangerous and I wasn’t even sure who the anger was directed at--Val or his groper. I growled as I grabbed my lover’s arm and pulled him to me. I must have been broadcasting loud and clear, because I found the two of us alone.
I didn’t give Val time to say anything; instead, I shoved him against the wall, knocking his head so hard he seemed dazed for a moment. One-handed, I fumbled with his button and zipper, opening his jeans enough to slide my fingers into the tight confines. He was half erect and I pulled and adjusted until his cock was pointed up at us, the deep-rose of the head peeking out of the waistband of his Levi’s. He groaned as I squeezed his length. I wasn’t able to do more because there wasn’t any room in those tight pants to move my hand. Instead, I let the tips of my first two fingers dip down over his balls and I pushed and I rubbed. I wasn’t gentle.
He picked up on my mood and his groans turned silent as he struggled against me, but my other hand tangled into the hair at his temple, twisting painfully as I held him there. His lips were parted as he tried to breath and I attacked, tipping my head enough to seal my mouth over his, grinding my teeth against his. I bulldozed my tongue into his mouth, plundering his wet heat. He quit struggling and responded, sucking on the muscle as if it were my cock in his mouth instead of my tongue. Val’s hands fluttered around, unsure where to land. He was beginning to understand, I think, and he didn’t try to embrace me. As his eyes began to roll, he clenched the material of my shirt as if he were holding on for his life.
I was mad. I was sickened. Not only by the way he’d responded to that other guy, but to the way he was responding now. He was painfully hard, and I continued to squeeze. But he moaned and panted and thrust his hips forward, begging for more. The music pounded, people were weaving around us, and I wasn’t even aware of them. It was just the two of us, our own small island of anger and arousal. I felt the power then: the power I had over him. I could stop, withdrawal my hand and my tongue, and leave him there, hard and hurting. Right at that moment, I could do with him whatever I wanted. I could pull his pants down the rest of the way and blow him with everyone watching. I could turn him around and fuck him against the wall. And he would’ve let me. I had all the power.
The thought was humbling and it somehow brought forward even more aggression I didn’t know I harbored inside. My fingers tightened, both in his hair and in his jeans. I got no warning from him, no sounds, no stillness, nothing except the feel of his balls as they drew up tight under my fingers and he was gushing in spurts, most of it in thin ropes that slimed our shirts, but some slipped down around my fingers. I felt his body shiver and I released my hold on his hair and withdrew my hand. I fixed his clothes and pulled him back against me. He trembled still with the aftershocks, and maybe something more. The light was dim, but he’d grown silent and was staring at me, his eyes sharp and wet and I was afraid he was going to cry. I wrapped him in my arms and he laid his head on my shoulder. I could feel his rapid heartbeat and labored breathing against my chest. His body was boneless while he came down and I kissed his hair and whispered soft things into his ear, I don’t even know what, as I petted him.
Val finally straightened and looked at me, uncertain and maybe a little afraid. Not afraid of me, but maybe of my mood, I think. And I was, too. “Is this all you ever want from me?” he asked, sounding wasted and pathetic.
“Wants and needs are two different things,” I said. And I thought, “But since you’ll never give me what I need, I guess I’ll simply take what I want.” I didn’t say that part out loud. Instead, I asked, “Do you want to go home, now?

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