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, November 29, 2017

A Taste of Chapter 9

Chapter 9--

Things are rarely what they appear to be, and there is something about February; gloomy, overcast days that get longer but at such a snail's pace as to be barely noticeable.  Nerves fray and misunderstanding become commonplace. That’s true even among the intermingled group from The House and Blue Mick. If any of them were mind readers, it might have been more clear. But instead, everyone kept their thoughts zipped inside, tight and hidden.
But there was one for whom the inner turmoil was deafening. It pummelled Elinor as she sat quietly with Lenny, holding tightly onto his hand. The bar was full and the college kids were rowdy, bored with the weather and with their studies. Jay scurried as he mixed drinks, doing his best to keep up. He smiled with relief when Scoey first slid behind the bar to help. But his eyebrows drew together and his lips tightened as the hours passed. He was confused, that much was clear, but it wasn’t until Scoey casually ran his hand down Jay’s arm that she understood why he was increasing uncomfortable and distracted.
She focused on Scoey. Ah, it was Crissy. He did it every time she was at the bar and when she was between songs and had a moment to look up and watch the two. The more she watched, the more he would bend down and whisper in Jay’s ear or rest his hand on his shoulder. Scoey was completely unaware of the odd looks his co-worker was sneaking his way. He winked and nodded his head towards the stage and Jay’s eyes widened in comprehension. And possibly disappointment.
“Ass!” Bets whipped out, drawing Elinor’s attention back to their table. Her eyes were lasered on Richard as he leaned against the bar, laughing with a young woman that was standing so close they were almost touching. “If scatterbrained co-eds are what he wants, he’s welcome to them.”
What Bets didn’t see, but it was plain to Elinor, was the man’s unease, the way he was trying to back away but was trapped by customers on the other side of him, waiting for their drinks. He inched away from her with a toothy smile frozen on his face until he finally managed to pull away enough to slide around to help Jay and Scoey. His mouth relaxed and the smile he gave the next customer was genuine.
Mark’s side glance towards Honey was troubled and Elinor caught his low voice as he spoke to Lenny. “She’s been quiet all evening. I shouldn’t ask her to come when Tinkrbel’s playing.” The animosity between the two women went back to their college years and Elinor had to agree. But she also suspected that the reason Honey’s glass was still half full and her hands were folded over her stomach had nothing to do with Elise and more to do with the two Midol she’d swallowed earlier.
Elinor caught Elise watching their table, and her glare narrowed on how close Mark and Honey were sitting. Her bitch-face wasn’t much different from her everyday visage, but there was a subtle tightening around her mouth every time her eyes passed over the blonde. It was a surprise that she could still open her mouth wide enough to bellow out the garbled lyrics. Mark’s night was going to be rocky, once the band was done with their set.
Crissy faltered as she watched the front of the room instead of concentrating on her drum set. Elinor wasn’t a mind reader, but occasionally she got fragments of thoughts, and she choked on her drink when she caught, “God, I’ll bet that lumberjack tops.” And the images she projected of the two men together was so strong that Elinor blushed.
Mick patted her back as she coughed. “Crissy’s screwing up,” he observed out loud. “Bet Elise bites off her head later. Tinkrbel has a good sound, but with Elise’s personality, they’ll never get anywhere.” The comment was so purely true that Elinor caught herself laughing, which came out as little more than a pained bark as she still fought for her breath.
Lenny squeezed her hand and leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Is it one of those nights?”
She shook her head yes and managed to croak out, “They all have busy thoughts tonight. Don’t let go.” His touch always quieted her mind.
Headphones’ chortle got her attention and then a full up belly laugh when she caught Elinor’s eye that would have dislodged her headphones if she hadn’t grabbed them. She suspected the girl had a bit of the gift herself, and when she mouthed ‘Fuckin’ nutters!’ across the table, it was as good as any confirmation.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Quandary

   

   Ever since I finished Headphones at the end of 2015 I've thought I would like to revise it into book form--most probably as a 3 book series. At its core, Headphones is a study in relationships, with five very different couples working their way to a happy ending. I have debated endlessly with myself whether I should leave it as is, with the stories intertwined, or if I should attempt to deconstruct it and focus each book on a different couple. If a publishing house was the only way for it to ever see the light of day, I would consider it a must. But I have the option of self-publishing, so there is some leeway available.
     As much as I tried to break the story apart, I couldn't do it and keep the plotted story-line. Quite honestly, the reader needs to know something about Honey and Mark, Bets and Richard, and Elinor and Lenny, to understand why Headphones does what she does, and even why Scoey does what he does. I just don't feel like any of the relationships can stand alone.
     The problem is, it's a story with a dozen characters and I fear that the reader may be confused or simply bored before they have a chance to sink their teeth into the conflicts. I'm at the 20K mark which gets me through January (which was basically the introduction in the original version) and a few days into February. So basically, what I'm looking for is beta readers to read through this little bit and give me some feedback. PM me (Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook) or leave a comment here if you would be willing to give me a little bit of your time. Thanks!

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaNoWriMo Challenge 2017 Has Begun

     I wasn't sure, even on the morning of November 1 if I was going to do the challenge this year. But I told myself "just start and see where it goes." I'm having a difficult time sticking with it, but even on my worst day, I did 700+ words, so even if I don't make the 50K goal, I'll have a good chunk of the book written by the end of the month. If I'm happy with the first one, hopefully, the other two will fall into place. I ended at 8110 last night, which means I'm a little short of my goal of 8333. I probably would have made it except I had a horrid headache that cut into everything I had planned for the day.

     I'm happy with it, though. I have found, oddly, that I've put more of Mark in the first chapter than I did in the original. When I first started writing Headphones in high school, he was meant to be the main character partnered with Jessie, but I somehow lost that when I was writing the serial. Not sure what'll happen this time around, but hopefully I will get into his POV a little more in this version. So here we go with week two!

excerpt:

Voices from the foyer pulled him (Mark) out of his reflections and he glanced at the clock. Almost midnight. Surely they could pick this up tomorrow. Or better yet, take tomorrow off and pick it up Monday--at the office. Without asking the others, Mark shuffled papers, gathering them and shoving them into their corresponding folders. The women shrugged at each and followed his lead. No one said anything until Lenny walked in to lean against the island that dominated the middle of the room.
“Elinor with you?” Honey asked.
“No, why?”
“Oh. I just thought you were talking to someone when you came in.”
Lenny grinned. “A Priest, a Rabbi and a half-starved kid walked into the bar tonight.”
After a good 20 second pause, Mark prompted Lenny with “And?”
“And, what?”
“What’s the punchline?”
“No joke. A Priest and a Rabbi were in the bar tonight. Then a half-starved kid came in. She looks like she’s been living off the street.”
“And you are telling us this because…?”
“She’s in the living room, bunked out on the couch. I got her one of Elinor’s nightgowns. I figure we could get her settled in one of the third floor bedrooms tomorrow. Oh, and we’ll have to do something about clothes. All she has is what she’s wearing.”
Mark, taking a deep breath, and knowing he was going to regret asking, asked anyway. “Why did you bring her here?”
“Had to do something with her.”
“Yes, but we’re not a home for wayward strays.”
“She belongs here.”
“And I suppose your ESP told you that.”
Lenny shook his head in exasperation. Why they insisted in perpetuating that old joke, he could never understand. He was just good at reading people, that was all. And occasionally he knew who was on the other side of the door, or who the phone was for before it rang. He was just intuitive. He didn’t care what anyone said. Not even Elinor. While it was true her great-grandmother had immigrated in the early 1900s from Hungary with her family when she was only a girl, it didn’t make her an expert. Even if she had her own gifts. And seemed to have a talent at reading the Tarot cards she’d inherited from her grandmother. And yeah, she’d taken care of the ghost that had terrorized the little basement bathroom, but that had nothing to do with him.   
“No, listen. She got up on stage with Mick and just started playing with him. She’s amazing and he wants her in the band.”
“Oh, well, okay. If that’s what Mick wants.” He didn’t even try to hide his sarcasm.