Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flash Bang

Last Thursday, I had lunch with several good friends, one of whom was Lynn, a fellow writer. While we were chatting, she mentioned that an editor friend of hers had mentioned that she was sorely lacking in submissions for an anthology call and that if Lynn had any other pieces to submit, or writer friends who had pieces to submit, for her to please consider it.

It wasn't my usual thing, being hetero and contemporary with a military theme, but the length requirement was pretty short (less than 4500 words) and I'd just finished the first draft of the other WIP and needed something to redirect my brain a little so I can go back to it with a fresh eye. So I had her send me the link and I checked the requirements and let it stew in my brain overnight.

The next morning was the first day I'd had at the Day Job in a good while where I had any kind of time to breathe, so I sat down to write up a Flash Fic that Lynn had given me the prompts for a while back. And since I'd been mulling over this hetero/contemporary/military theme for a while, that was the direction my brain went when I threw Lynn's prompt words into the mix. I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote.

When I looked up, I had over 800 words and I still wasn't at a stopping point. And I still hadn't posted the fic. So I backed up, made a few changes to tie it off at about 500 words for the flash post, and posted it. And then I kept writing. And writing. And writing.

By the time I went to bed that night, I'd dropped 3000 words and brought it to enough of a conclusion to call it a rough draft. I slept on it, and when I got up the next day, decided that the touch of melodrama I'd added was a little too much melodrama, and that a 3000 word story really didn't need that much drama. It was like putting six tablespoons of ginger into a pumpkin pie (long story, but trust me: way too much). As long as I was going to write against my usual type, I might as well go way against type and make it something light and fluffy and sweet.

So I backed out the melodrama and re-wrote that bit of the scene and by the time I was done, it was 3300 words and I had a beta draft.

I sent it to Lynn Saturday night for the "fastest possible" review, since her editor friend wanted stories fastnowplease. Lynn read it Saturday night and then again Sunday morning and sent me two bits of advice (one word-repetition that jumped out at her as jarring, and an anatomical impossibility, or at least unlikelihood). I fixed those, did one last quick read-through, then re-formatted everything the way the submission call wanted it (I can not write in a double-spaced document) and submitted it.


Three days from hearing about the submission call to submitting the story. Definitely the fastest turn-around I've ever done. It's definitely not my usual kind of story, being a contemporary and sorely lacking in angst, and part of me feels like its sweet and fluffy tone makes it too generic to make the cut for the anthology. But, well, it's probably not a submission call I would have answered if Lynn hadn't told me her editor friend was pressed, and it did do its (to me) primary job of clearing the previous story out of my head so I can come back to it fresh. At worst, Lynn's friend now has a light, fluffy piece to kick to the curb if some better stories come in. At best, it can serve as a sorbet course in the anthology, to put some distance between pieces with more emotional weight.

It would, I have to admit, be really, really cool to see my name in actual print.

I'll let y'all know if anything comes of it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Damn Real Life, Anyway

Last Wednesday, Lynn posted some words for my Flash Fiction Friday challenge, and then Real Life and the Day Job intervened, and things were far too crazy for me to scare up even a 150-word ficlet with them.

Well, I rationalized, I'll use them for my Wednesday post this week!

Except that Real Life and the Day Job were still being stupidcrazy and crazystupid (I've got the convergence of an audit for one project and the rudest customer with the tightest deadline I've ever had the misfortune to encounter on another, and my staff is having personal issues that are being reflected in performance and... like that) so I didn't get to a post on Wednesday, either.

BAD writer. No cookie!

So I'm going to do Lynn's words here now, and abjectly beg your pardon for all the silence around here, lately.

Lynn's words were: Cummerbund, blackberry (fruit or device), deluge, lush

Storybit (possibly part of a submission, if I can finish it in time) after the break!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Step Forward...

I got some stellar writing done Monday evening. I'd spent all weekend pondering how best to get my characters out of a mire that they'd accidentally wandered into -- it seemed like solid ground at the time, but by the time I'd ground to a halt Thursday night, I'd had to accept the fact that they were off course and that I didn't know how to get them back where I wanted them. They were getting together, as planned, but it wasn't a wholesome relationship; it was one that belonged to anger and resentment.

And while I'm okay with either or both of them feeling those things -- they are only human, and both have made some mistakes in dealing with the other -- I'm not okay with the pivotal sex scene being one that had revenge as its fulcrum. (Am I mixing my metaphors so badly that I can't be followed? I'm running short on sleep this morning, so I really can't tell.)

Anyway, Monday night, I thought, well, what if I try this meeting again, possibly leaning more toward suspicion than open hostility.

That required backing up by some 2000 words, but once I got going, it came out very smooth, and I knocked out a solid 1400 words before I hit my wall again. And unlike the previous wall of "this feels wrong", that was merely a wall of "I think I'm too tired to get through the next scene."

So the WIP continues apace, ebbing and flowing. Currently at a bit of a word-count ebb, but a definite quality flow. So to speak.

Yeah, when I'm this tired, I should probably avoid metaphors entirely, shouldn't I?

At any rate -- yay, progress!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


After several weeks (and weekends!) of Day Job interference, I finally took most of two days off to recuperate, and I spent both mornings sitting at Panera writing. And I wrote some on Monday night, too. I learned that I'm only good for about three hours of writing before I need to take a good long break, which is good information to have.

And in those two days, I busted out nearly 4000 words. It felt great. I left the characters teetering on an edge, and it'll probably be a few days before I get back to them, but that should give me some time to headwork the big argument scene that's looming. And once we get past that, it'll just be a sex scene and then an epilogue for denouement, and it'll be ready to rest and polish! I could have this chippy ready to submit by the end of the month!

Since I'm feeling so happy about it, how about a little taste or two? (Do keep in mind that this is unpolished, unedited writing, and may change significantly before submission, never mind publication.)

And as always, if you leave me a few prompt words in the comments, I'll post flashfic on Friday!



"Hi! I'm Jesse!"

The pronouncement had come from Craig's right, issued from the full lips of a perky blonde twink wearing eyeliner, a shirt so tight it might have been painted on, and -- God help him -- a pink feather boa. The twink was grinning at him, his wide blue eyes lingering on Craig's sculpted arms. "You're new."

Craig snorted. "Know every queer in town, do you?"

"All of 'em that come here," Jesse answered easily. "So are you new to town, or new to the scene?" God help him, the boy actually had a slight affected lisp. He was a walking stereotype.

"Town," Craig admitted. "Here on business for a few weeks."

"Sweet," the twink said, running his fingers through his carefully-groomed dirty-blonde hair.

Craig turned pointedly back to the bar and his beer.

Jesse didn't get the message. He turned toward Craig and leaned against the bar, his lithe body bending in ways that Craig was pretty sure a spine was not meant to allow, one hand petting that ridiculous boa. Those big blue eyes looked down Craig's body, then flickered up to his face. "So, wanna go in the back? You look like a man who could use a blow job."

Craig rolled his eyes. He didn't consider himself particularly picky, but he'd encountered this type before: self-absorbed, vain, and pushy, he was likely a prima donna and a drama queen, obsessed with sex but to focused on his own pleasure to actually be any good at it, and too empty-headed to have any redeeming qualities outside the bedroom. This flashy, pushy, shallow boy was everything Craig was definitely not interested in. "Are you even legal?"


(This next one is a rather heavy R, so I'm putting it behind the jump break. NSFW!)