Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Update-1/30/14

Wow! Another week has gone by already. I have been very busy this week. In addition to writing, I am starting to plan some of the details of my 2015 wedding. I don't really know why I felt a sudden urge to work on it, but I figured it would be a good thing to do it before I don't want to have anything to do with weddings again. (My writing muse and my natural tomboyish nature are not a good combination with planning a wedding. I give it a week before they kill the wedding fairy and I ignore the whole wedding thing for another three months.) So that's my personal life.

On the writing side of things, When Friendship Becomes More is now officially UNDER CONTRACT!!!!! The short story will be published as part of an anthology that will be released by DSP in either April or May. All proceeds of this anthology will be going to a really great cause, so stay tuned for more details.

Speaking of charity anthologies, I have finished the second draft of A Mysterious Savior. This short story will be submitted for consideration to be included in a charity anthology for Project Fierce, a shelter for LGBT youth in Chicago. The anthology will be published by Less than Three Press in July. My short story needs a little bit more work and then I'm hoping to submit it next week.

I'm still plugging along at the first Elpis book. I didn't get as much writing done as I wanted in the last few days, but I had to take time out for my short stories. I'm hoping to finish the third chapter tonight and hopefully I will be able to spend more time on it next week.

Still waiting on news about MWMGML and Death-Meet Love and Happiness.

I think that's about it for now. Remember to check back on Monday for the next installment of The Saga of Steve and Joey. It's going to be a very important part this week. (*hint, hint*) Until then...


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Saga of Steve and Joey-Part 8

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you're all ready for the next installment of The Saga of Steve and Joey. This part is set almost four years after the last part. I hope you all enjoy it!

Part 8
I sit at my desk, staring at the picture on the screen. I don’t know how I got to this site. Sure, I’d been thinking about this for awhile. After all, Steve and I have been together for four years now. It’s only natural. Right?
“Hey, wanna get lunch?”
I jump as Lucas’s voice comes up behind me. Lucas and I had become best friends in the four years since he set me up with Steve. In addition to having lunch every day at work, we often go out at night for double dates with our partners.
However, the bond we share isn’t deep enough as I scramble to close the page I was looking at.
“Whoa, whoa. What was that?”
I sigh, knowing I’m not going to be able to hide anything from him. Especially not when he’s already seen the screen.
“Was that a site with engagement rings?!”
“Will you keep your voice down,” I hiss in horror as Lucas’s voice echoes though the whole office. Thankfully, it’s after noon so the office is mostly empty.
“No! Were those engagement rings,” he asks in an very clear, very intense voice.
“Yes, okay, yes. But I’m not doing anything.”
“But you’re thinking about it?”
“I don’t know. Maybe?”
Lucas grabs a nearby desk chair and pulls it up to me, close enough that our knees are touching.
“Ok, spill.”
“I don’t know, Lucas. I mean, we’ve been together for four years and we’re really happy. But I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”
“Have you talked to Steve about this?”
“No. And I don’t want you to either.”
“Hey, I’m not about to get involved in your personal business. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on in that head of yours.”
I sigh as I lean forward in the chair to stare at the ground. “I love him, Luc. If the last four years have thought me anything it’s that I don’t want to lose him. His last year of med school I almost lost it. He was spending so much time away and I never got to see him. Now that he’s a resident, things are a little better, but I still have to value all of the time we have together because he works so much. Things will be better when he’s done next year, but all of the time apart has taught me that I can’t be without him.”
“Isn’t living together enough?”
I think back to the house we bought together three months ago and smile. “I mean, it’s great. I love being able to come home and know that eventually he’ll be home too. I guess lately I’ve just been thinking about more.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that. So are you going to ask him?”
“I don’t know. I’m still thinking about it. Do you think I should?”
“I think you should do whatever is right for you. But I do know that you and Steve love each other. So it’ll all work out.”
A smile comes to my face. “Yeah,” I say, just a hint of dreaminess in my voice.
“But for now, I think it’s time for lunch.”
“Okay,” I say, standing up. I quickly bookmark the page with the engagement rings and grab my coat. I may not be ready to propose today, but one day. One day I will make him mine forever.

And there’s Part 8. Be sure to check back next week when Steve gets the surprise of his life;) See you all then!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Update-1/23/14

Another Thursday is upon us, which means it's time for my weekly update. First things first, I am much better than I was last week, so I was a lot more productive this week.

My big accomplishment for this week was starting a brand-new short story called A Mysterious Savior. This story is for inclusion in a charity anthology to benefit Project Fierce, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth in Chicago. The first draft is done and I will be editing it next week.

I have also worked a lot of the Elpis series this week. I have been struggling with what to do with Atty. I knew I wanted him in a wheelchair, but I had a hard time figuring out why he should be in a wheelchair. Initially, I thought it should be paraplegia, but then he would be too ill to go to Elpis Academy, a boarding school ten states away from his parents. So I decided for a dual amputation of both legs. It wasn't the easiest decision, but it's one that I'm happy with. Now I can proceed with the story. I'm still at the beginning, so I'll be working on this for a while, but I think this could be a great series.

Still waiting on word on MWMGML, Death-Meet Love and Happiness and When Friendship Becomes More all of which are under consideration.

I think that's everything going on right now. The Saga of Steve and Joey is still going on, so check back on Monday for the next post. And don't forget to check back next Thursday for another update. Until then-


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Saga of Steve and Joey-Part 7

Happy Monday everyone! And welcome to another edition of The Saga of Steve and Joey. This part picks up where Part 6 left off last week. If you're behind, you can find all of the parts under the Free Read section, which can be found on the right sidebar. And now, one with the story. Enjoy!

Part 7
I pull my car into the driveway next to the small two-story house. It’s a cute little house with light blue paneling and a porch that’s just the right size for a few chairs. The grass is perfectly trimmed and the few flowerbeds right in front of the porch are weed-free with a few colorful flowers sprouting out of the dirt.
Cutting the engine, I get out of the car and shut the door. I don’t waste any time, trotting up the brick path up the wooden step to the porch. Ringing the doorbell, I wait impatiently as he comes to the door. I think for a second that he might not be home, but even as I think it, I figure it wouldn’t be true. Joey isn’t working today and he doesn’t exactly have an active social life.
As expected, I hear footsteps coming down the stairs, causing a smile to come to my lips. The door opens seconds later.
“Hey,” I say simply, the smile on my face wider than before.
“Hey,” Joey responds, his voice and face betraying how confused he is to see me. “What’s going on?”
I open the screen door separating us and take a step closer, pressing our lips together as soon as I’m able. Joey lets out a soft sigh, letting me know I’m more than welcome.
“What are you doing here,” Joey asks once our kiss breaks. “I thought you had to work.”
“I got out early,” I say with a smirk.
“Since when do med students get out early?”
“Since other med students pick up our slack. Besides, are you so unhappy to see me?”
“Of course not. I’m glad you’re here. In fact, you should come in the rest of the way.”
Wrapping an arm around Joey’s shoulders, I walk farther into the small foyer, shutting the door behind me.
“I was watching a movie upstairs. Wanna come on up?”
Joey steps out of my half embrace and grasps my hand, leading me up the stairs. We walk into his master bedroom, the red carpet soft under my feet. I can see his king-sized bed in a state of total disarray, blankets crumbled in tangled heaps. Joey leads me right to the bed and jumps in, placing his tablet on the nightstand.
But I hesitate.
“What’s wrong?”
I give him a small smile. “I might fall asleep on you.”
“I don’t mind. I understand. I just want to cuddle up with you.”
“Well, when you put it like that.” Kicking off my shoes, I crawl into bed, wrapping the blankets around me.
“So, really. Why are you here? Not that I’m not happy to see you. I’m just confused.”
I sigh. “I missed you. I was at work thinking about our relationship and my friend Keri realized it. I was talking to her and I realized how special what we have is. How special you are. And it made me want to come see you.”
Joey smiles. “You know, I was just having the same conversation with Lucas the other day.”
“Wait. You talked to Lucas without me?”
Joey chuckles. “Don’t sound so offended. I’ve had lots of conversations with Lucas without you.”
“But not about us.”
“No, but it was harmless. And talking to him made me say what I’ve been feeling for awhile.”
“Which is?”
“That what we have is special. And I think I may love you.”
I feel a ripple of shock run through me at his whispered words, but it doesn’t stop a warm feeling from rising up within me.
“I love you too.”
We exchange another kiss and then another. And another. But even through the haze of my growing arousal, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am. I have someone who loves me. And that’s enough.

Well, there you have Part 7. I hope you enjoyed it. Next week, we’re jumping ahead in their relationship to when Steve is a resident and Joey is thinking about taking their relationship to the next level. See you then!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Update-1/16/14

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday!

So the reason I update everyone on Thursdays is because I have off from work on Wednesdays and Thursdays, making those days my big writing days. However, on Tuesday this week, I came down with a horrible cold, of which I'm still feeling the effects. And as everyone knows, it's very hard to get motivated when you're sick. So not a lot got done this week, but here's the update anyway.

The one thing I accomplished this week: Death-Love and Happiness has been submitted for consideration. Keep your fingers crossed.

I did work a little bit more on Who I Really Am, but I didn't get the first draft done like I wanted. Hopefully, next week.

I also outlined a new short story that I'm doing for a charity anthology. It's tentatively called A Mysterious Savior. I'm hoping to get a piece of that started by next week.

All my other stories are exactly where they were last week. I may have some news to share next week, so stay tuned.

Have a good rest of the week everyone!


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Saga of Steve and Joey-Part 6

Hello everyone and Happy Monday. Here is the brand-new installment of The Saga of Steve and Joey. I hope that you enjoy it!
Part 6
I stand at the nurses’ station filling out the last of my paperwork on my latest discharge. It’s almost time for shift change and I’m looking forward to going home and sleeping for the next day or two. And maybe, I’d even get the chance to talk to Joey. That thought puts a smile on my face.
“What’s up with you?”
Turning, I see Keri standing there with a raised eyebrow and definite smirk. Keri is in the same year of medical school as me and has been one of the few friends I made during my time working at the hospital. She’s tall for a woman at five foot nine with a slender feminine form. She has bright red hair, which somehow compliments her fiery personality. She would have been the perfect woman for me, if I wasn’t gay. But since I am, we’re just good friends.
“What do you mean,” I ask, truly confused as to what she’s talking about.
“That smile. No one should be so happy after not sleeping for more than twenty-four hours.”
I concede her point. “I guess that’s true. But when you think about sleep, it gives you reason to smile.”
“I don’t think that’s it. That’s not the look of someone who’s thinking about bed.”
“So what do you think it is,” I ask, willing to play her game.
“I think it’s a man.”
I give her a warning look before I quickly turn around to make sure no one heard that. Thankfully, no one did. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of my orientation. I’m not. I have no reservations about telling my friends or family. But there’s something about telling the casual people I bump into at work that makes me nervous. Maybe it’s because I need these people to like me if I have any hope of staying on as a resident and some people are still homophobic assholes.
“Geez, Keri. Do you have to shout it from the rooftops?”
“Oh, chill out. No one heard. So is it?”
“Yes, okay. Yes,” I say, truly annoyed by the way this conversation is going.
“I knew it. So what’s his name?”
“Nice, nice. Is he hot?”
I’m going to reply in the affirmative, but the question makes me think about his beautiful face and perfect frame and I never open my mouth to speak. All that fills my mind’s eye is how amazing my man is.
“Hey,” Keri says, snapping her fingers in front of my face. “Snap out of it.”
“Sorry,” I say, blushing red in embarrassment.
But Keri doesn’t seem put off. She just laughs. “Don’t be. You seem happy and that’s awesome.”
“I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. He just makes me feel so special. And I’ve never met anyone who can make me forget all of the bullshit going on in my life.”
“He sounds special.”
“He is.”
“Go to him.”
“That’s the last of your paperwork, right? Your shift is almost over and I can cover you until it ends. So go to him. Spend some time with him.”
My jaw drops open. “You would do that for me.”
“Sure. Everyone deserves a little time off to spend with the one they love. One day you can return the favor. Now go.”
Without thinking, I reach over and grab Keri in a huge hug.  I whisper a quick, but heartfelt thanks in her ear. She just nods.
I quickly fill her in on all my current cases and within a half an hour I’m walking out to my car. Suddenly, I don’t feel all that tired as I think about going to see Joey. A little love really does go a long way.

And so ends Part 6. I hope you all enjoyed it. Next week, we will continue where we left off and see what happens when Steve goes to Joey’s after leaving work early. See you all then! (And don't forget to check back on Thursday for an update on my writing.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Update-1/9/14

Hello everyone!
     Welcome to my brand-new Thursday Update. Every Thursday I will be posting updates on what's been going on in my writing life. So here's what's been going on:
      I have started a new short story for a charity anthology. Due to the short timeline, that has been taking up most of my time. Today, I finished the second draft and am hoping to send it in over the weekend. It is called When Friendship Becomes More and focuses on a group of college kids and what happens when two of them act on the growing love between them. The deadline for the anthology is a week from Monday so this project will probably move quite quickly. Stay tuned for more information on that.
     Death-Meet Love and Happiness is also moving along quite nicely. I have finished the second draft and should only need one more before sending it in. I'm working on the synopsis now and I am hoping to send it in next week.
    I have also started working on a brand-new series called the Elpis series. The YA series is a contemporary series, focusing on children with disabilities in a boarding school. I have the first book outlined and the prologue written, but I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I will probably be going back to it next week, so we'll see how I feel about it then.
    I have started to look for other publishers for the Xibalta series. I haven't sent anything in yet, nor am I sure I am going to. At this point, I want to see what's going on with my other stories before moving on this one. After all, I can't have too many projects going at once.
     MWMGML is still being considered. Stay tuned.

Well, I think that's everything. Don't forget to check back on Monday for the next chapter in my free read serial The Saga of Steve and Joey. See you then.


Monday, January 6, 2014

The Saga of Steve and Joey-Part 5

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday. But now things are back to normal as we kick off 2014. So here is Part 5 of The Saga of Steve and Joey. If anyone can't remember where we left off, all of the previous parts are linked under the Free Read page, which can be found on the right sidebar. Enjoy!

I turn the page of my newspaper as I use my fork to spear some more lettuce in my salad. It’s not very exciting reading, as Monday editions are usually quite light, but there’s always something cool about seeing your work in print.
I’m just finishing up an article about the latest tax hikes that my colleague Shelly wrote when a shadow falls over the paper. I look up to see Lucas standing over me with a huge grin on his face and a hoagie in his hand.
“Uh…hi,” I say awkwardly in the face of such a stupid expression.
“Hi,” he replies back with a sly undertone. “May I join you?”
I gesture towards the empty chair on the other side of the table and he immediately takes the hint and sits down. I should’ve been a little confused as to why he was so excited to eat lunch with me. Sure, we had dined together a few times, but it was always in a group setting, not one-on-one. So this should have surprised me. But it doesn’t. I know exactly why he’s here.
“So…” Lucas says, stretching out the word in the hopes that I take the hint.
“Yes.” I may know why he’s here, but there’s no reason for me not to mess with him for a little bit.
But he isn’t going to play my game. “Don’t play coy, Joey. How are things going with you and Steve?”
“Shouldn’t you be asking him that? He’s your best friend.”
“Yeah. But he doesn’t tell me things. Believe me, I’ve asked.”
“So if he won’t tell you, why should I?”
Lucas sighs and he pops the lid on his take-out meal and starts to pick at his sandwich. “I guess you shouldn’t. I just…look. I worry about him okay. He’s been a different person ever since he started med school. Before he was this carefree, happy guy. But ever since he started to get into the meat of his work, he’s just been tired and borderline depressed. I know he really wants to be a doctor and I’m sure one day it will be worth it, but for, right now, I’m worried about him. That’s the whole reason I set the two of you up in the first place. In the hopes that maybe he would lighten up a little. And it worked. He’s been a lot happier since the two of you went out. I’m just scared that the bottom will fall out and he’ll be even more depressed than before. He won’t tell me anything, so I’m asking you. I don’t need details. I don’t even want them. I just want to make sure that you guys are solid enough that he doesn’t slide backwards.”
I sigh. Any irritation I felt earlier fades as I hear the concern Lucas has for his friend. I suppose I would feel the same if I were in his position. It’s not easy to be left in the dark over something like this.
“Things are going pretty good,” I say after a short pause. I still don’t want to expose the intimate details of our fledging relationship, but I would like to put Lucas’s fears to rest. “I mean, we’ve only gone out a few times, but when we have it’s been really nice. I think we have good chemistry.”
“And his work schedule.”
“Well, it’s not always the easiest thing. I didn’t know it was possible to work so many hours and yet stay sane. But we try to talk a couple times in a week and get a date in every other week.”
“It’s been a little over a month since you guys first met, right?”
“Yeah. We’re taking things a little slow because of his work obligations, but I think it’s going well.”
Lucas lets out a sigh of relief. “Good. I’m sorry if I was prying. I just wanted to make sure. It started out slow, but now he seems so much happier and I don’t want that to be taken away from him.”
“Me neither,” I whisper in complete honesty.
I didn’t mean for that to slip out or for Lucas to hear it, but the small smile he gives me is all I needed to know that it’s okay.
“Awesome. Although, you know if you hurt him, I will have to kill you.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
We exchange smiles before going back to our lunches. I may have known Lucas for while, but now it feels like we’ve crossed some invisible line. Maybe now we can be more than coworkers and start being real friends. I don’t have many of those, so that would be nice. In any case, I think I may have just passed the best friend test. And that is reason to celebrate.

Well, there is Part 5. Tune in next week to see how Steve is holding up with his progressing relationship with Joey. Have a good week everyone!


Okay, so now I'm starting to feel bad. I have really been neglecting my blog. so to everyone who has been wondering where I am, I promise you I am still alive. Crazy busy, but alive. Real life has taken over my world in a big way. Because I work in costumer service, I had to work a ton of overtime during the holiday season. Add that to family obligations and there just haven't been enough hours in the day. I'm also working on a short story with a very close deadline, so that is taking up what free time I have left. (Stay tuned for more on that.) Now that life is finally starting to settle down, I am hoping to get back to a regular schedule. My hope is to keep posting free reads every Monday, with writing/life updates on Thursdays. We'll see how long that schedule holds up, but I am going to try. If anyone out there needs more up-to-the-second information, feel free to check me out on Twitter or Facebook. All of the links are in the Contact Me page, which can be found on the right sidebar. Thanks everyone and have a great week!