That's supposed to be an annual checkup, and I've been good about it since my first one at age 16, but it sort of fell through the cracks in the last couple of years. But I figured if I was going to be thinking about dating again, I should make sure my parts were still in good working order, and that my IUD was still in place and all. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say-no-more.
It's been a fun week for me, with regard to writing. My story, "Squrk Squee", that I'd submitted to a collection of ultra-shorts, was rejected, but the editor asked if she couldn't hold on to it for use in another anthology she was pitching about sex on the job. It's still an ultra-short, though; I don't know if she's going to want me to flesh it out for the new antho, or what. We'll see, I guess. But it was nice to know that it was pushed out for considerations of space and prior commitments, not because she didn't like it.
Then on Thursday, I got a box with my author's print copy of Masks Off! That was exciting -- it's the first time I've actually seen my name in print! I spent pretty much the whole day Friday fondling the book, re-reading the back cover and then flipping to the start of my story to see my name there.
And Sunday night, I decided I'd see if I could get anything done on one of the several submission calls I've got in my "maybe" folder. I'd started a story a while back for Torquere's "Ink" call, but the story had gotten bogged down in its own details before it even reached the 1000-word mark; it was all telling rather than showing, and I was having trouble figuring out how to resurrect it. So instead, I decided to just start it over.
Before I went to bed that night, I was at 1200 words. Monday night, despite starting late because I had the kids, I wrote another 1400 words. And last night, I did another 1200. All that's left to do is the sex scene and the denouement. And a very quick edit, because it's due to Submissions by Saturday.
Want a taste? Of course you do...
The knock on his door was staccato and brief, the kind of knock that heralds only bad news. Still, Dope did not expect to open the door and find himself staring straight into the muzzle of a .45.
Dope had stared down more than a few barrels in his life -- he'd come up hard, and things had only served to make him harder over the last years -- but it wasn't the kind of thing a man ever got used to. At best, he learned to hide the reaction, the way his stomach flopped and his balls curled up tight and his throat suddenly went dry. Dope's reaction was pretty good by now. His jaw clenched and he rocked back on his heels, but he managed to avoid actually taking a step.
One thing he'd learned, last time he'd been in the joint, had been that it was a mistake to look at the killing end of a weapon pointed at you. You had to look at the man holding it. Look him in the eyes. Sometimes, if you were a big, mean-looking sonuvabitch, like Dope was, if you looked hard enough, it would make them back down. And if not... Well, it always showed in their eyes first, anyway, before they attacked.
Dope didn't figure any warning would be fast enough to matter, when the weapon was a gun instead of a prison shiv, but he looked up anyway, let his gaze follow that cold steel barrel to the hand holding it, along the arm, up the neck to the face. The face had a lot of scars, especially on the left side, which was so pitted and seamed as to be grotesque. But it was the eyes Dope looked for, eyes that were chocolate brown under the narrowed lids, cold as ice, pitiless as a crack whore on her last fix, and... familiar.