Saturday, April 25, 2015

Windshield Incident Pt. 4 Published

It's here on Smashwords.

The part of the year when work swallows me is coming to a close, so I'm looking forward to finishing some of the abundant unfinished stories. The "Power Plays" story has a bunch more to it—I think I just like writing about idiots—and "Will" and "Olive Juice" are almost complete. Then it will be time, yea verily and forsooth, to dust off some of the brain breakers. When Andy's neighbor meets his parents…I managed to make it super boring the first couple of tries. But, godammit, that's got to get done because I promised someone a free copy once upon a time.

In the meantime, enjoy the end of Grant and Ryder's tale. Feel free to leave comments here; I miiiiiiiiiight have been drunk while I was proofreading it. Allegedly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Will 2

The explanation for this section is here. There's some clunkiness ahead that need to be addressed…unless you can't tell where it is.

As much as I wanted to pretend like things are all cool, the next day school was just weird. I felt like everyone just knew, somehow, that Will had kissed me yesterday. He could have texted me sorry, but he didn't, and so even though I knew I shouldn't think this way a small part of me doubted that he was sorry at all. Maybe he was gay and just felt like he couldn't tell anyone. Or maybe it had been so long since hed gotten some that everything just kind of spilled out when I stepped forward to close the door after him. There was a spiky cloud over my head. What if Cassie told in spite of her promise? It would get around so fast. I'd never been bullied, but I could imagine that it would suck. Or maybe the gay kids here didn't have to deal with that since no one really cared. Maybe I should corner one of them and ask, just in case.

Will didn't look at me the whole day. He laughed when I made a joke and he talked to Josh plenty, but not even once did his black cartoon eyes lift to meet mine. It made me feel super guilty for some reason, like me freaking out at home had somehow passed through the ether to reach Will, and he knew and felt even worse than I did and was punishing himself for kissing me. It's not like we had been in a fight. I knew how to come back from those, but how could we possibly get past the goodbye peck at my door yesterday? So, I fell back on old habits and invited Will over after school.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Excerpt from "Couldn't"

After "Shouldn't" (Friday) and "Wouldn't" (Saturday) comes the Sunday wrap-up. My goal is to keep Richard's voice consistent even as he gets more comfortable with having Cody around.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Do you love me?” Cody asks.

Ah, yes. He’s a teenager. I prop myself up on my elbow. “In what sense?”

He glances off to the side. “Like…you know.”

Making my voice as gentle as possible, I reply, “Cody, just because our bodies fit each other doesn’t mean our minds or our hearts do. Of course I care about you, and I want you to be happy, but…”

“You don’t love me,” Cody finishes sourly.

How do I put this so that this man-boy can understand? “You’re looking in the wrong place,” I say. “If your parents are hurting your feelings, you can’t use sex to fix that. When this happens again, which is likely given your history of bullheadedness, are you going to start fixating on another authority figure? Sex doesn’t ‘fix’ anything. It’s our bodies’ expression of a chemical reaction that tells our reproductive systems—”

“That’s not what I meant,” Cody interrupts. “Just…I know you could tell I liked you.”

I bonk him on the head. “Yeah, you drew pictures of us fucking on your homework. That’s not subtle.”

He smiles reluctantly. “Before that. I thought you could tell.”

I have to choose my words very carefully. “It’s always easier not to wonder.”

That must have been the right answer—who knows how Cody interprets it—because his gaze lifts to meet mine. “I didn’t know if you’d let me in,” he confesses.

Rolling my eyes, I retort, “I couldn’t leave you out in that weather, no matter how much you harrassed me.”

Cody grins and rolls to match my posture. “You knew what would happen, though,” he says slyly.

Some might argue that I did. How, though, would I have ever reckoned that I would be watching the clock with a heavy heart? “Don’t assume that human kindness is an invitation for anal sex, moron,” I snap, and make as though to leave the warm confines of my sheets. Cody reaches for my waist; I’m not surprised when he draws me to fit inside the curve of his body.

I remind him, “No more. As it is I’ll be sore for days.”

He pulls my chin toward him for a kiss. “You can teach me instead,” he offers as though it’s a stellar bargain. “Expand my horizons, Mr. Hale.”

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Windshield Incident Pt. 4 Sneak Peek

One of my favorite elements of The Windshield Incident has been Grant's everyman-ness. He doesn't automatically get jokes, or pick up on body language, or figure out the motivations of others. He's not terribly introspective or intelligent, as opposed to characters like Tucker Jones (who spends most of his day inside his own head) or even Aaron of Watching Him Back. My challenge for this latest installment was to let Grant grow up a little without losing the basic elements of who he is: friendly yet socially awkward, a long-term planner, easily caught off guard, and the type of guy to blend into the background.


Sarah and I were at a coffee shop in Springfield when I saw him. “Oh my god,” I said before I could stop myself.

Sarah turned to follow my line of sight. “What? What?”

Clearing my head with a shake, I tried to shrug it off. “No, I’m just surprised. The junkyard dog of my high school is in line.”

She laughed, showing off her pretty white teeth. “Which one is he?”

“Guess.”

His hair was shorter now, more clean cut, but he had the kind of scruff that was either a bitch to maintain or he literally hadn’t shaved in two days. A pair of aviator sunglasses hung from the neck of his shirt, pulling it down just enough to show a smattering of fur on his chest. The leather jacket wasn’t the exact one he had worn in high school, but it probably smelled the same.

“The big guy with the Tigers shirt,” Sarah suggested. I glanced at the linebacker-gone-to-seed type she indicated.

“Nope. Don’t think bully, think anathema.”

She nodded her head at the front of the line. “Ordering now, neck tattoos, looks like he'd surprise you with a golden shower.”

That earned a chuckle. “Okay, the kind of anathema who still gets laid a whole, whole lot. Like an unreal amount. Boatloads.”

“Oh! Then him.” Sarah subtly pointed to Ryder Vance.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Very First Part of the Short Story Currently Known as Prom Night

It has been over a decade since I spent any time around high school girls, so I have no idea if this is an accurate representation of how they think or act. Whatever.

“Oh my god, seriously?” Kenzie squeals, piercing the refectory buzz. When you attend a fancy schmancy private school, you don’t call it a cafeteria. Flipping her smooth brown hair over her shoulder Kenzie leans in close. “He asked you?”

I give her a look. “Please. You know it doesn’t mean anything. We’re practically siblings.”

“But it’s senior effing prom,” she counters emphatically. “Josh could go with anyone, and he picked you.”

I know there’s more coming, but so is Josh and the rest of the upper echelon. “Shut up,” I say as a preventative measure.

“His childhood friend.” She clasps her hands over her heart.

“Shut up.”

“The love that has been right beside him all along.”

“Shut.” I kick at Kenzie under the table. “Up.”

“Hi!” she says brightly as Josh reaches our table.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Will

The first story I started in this universe currently holds the title of "Prom Night," which is about a girl who tries to help her neighbor come out of the closet. The small city, private school setting provided the teacher for "Shouldn't." A tertiary character mentioned in "Prom Night" became one of the main characters in a short extra called "Olive Juice." Then I thought, Wouldn't it be nice to tell the story from the other guy's perspective? So "Shouldn't" is getting a sequel called, "Wouldn't" (I'm very creative) and "Olive Juice" has a prequel from Declan's point of view. Here's the part where the action kicks off.

We both realize what he just did at the same time. I think I frown, I don't know, but Will's eyes get huge. I never realized how black his eyes were until his face turned into a cartoon. Just two black circles on his face surrounded by shaggy black hair. It would have been funny at any other time. He looked like he was about to apologize, and then he ran, literally ran, to his car. He almost backed into our mailbox, he was in such a hurry to leave.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

On My Mind Grapes

Some of the most common comments* on my stories include the phrase "please continue!" I'm not intending to brag or complain; most of what I post on this blog or Literotica are parts of a whole. There's nothing wrong with people picking up on that. It's kind of a "I always thought of Dumbledore as gay," situation; there's always more backstory and epilogue than actually appears on the page. Or there isn't. The cranky writer and his hot neighbor were never supposed to be more than a one-off, which is maybe why I've been rewriting the last chapter for the past year. It never sounds right, because they were never supposed to fall in love. But usually my imagination provides far more information than anyone would actually care to read. The hardest part of writing for me is editing down everything that I wrote to make for a good story.

In fact, that's why I started this blog. My writing process benefits from being able to get the snippets out of my brain and onto a page. It's a rare tale that I write in chronological order. Most of them don't even have outlines. Some start with a what-if.