So far, the start of 2016 had been wonderful for me, despite the cold I’ve been fighting for the past few days and the fact that my truck decided that it was going to die before the end of the month when I can afford to fix it. I suppose knowing that it was in need of repairs helped it not be some major blow when it wouldn’t move, or maybe it’s just that the older I get the easier it is for me to just shrug, say ‘shit happens’ and move on. I need the exercise anyway and there’s no place I can’t walk to in my town that I can’t reach in less than a half hour.
My job at the local newspaper has been going well; it’s been thirteen years since I did any sort of real journalism work and it feels really good to be interviewing people again and pulling together stories. Having to meet specific story lengths is already helping me develop better editing skills, something I have always struggled with, and it’s also teaching me to be more careful with my word coaches, targeting specific words to cut out due to overuses or simply being unnecessary.
I signed up to take part in my first big writing conference. I will be attending the Readers and Writers Unite Conference in Huston Aug 5-7th and am so excited to be taking part in this new event. If anything it will help me get over my shyness around people, I hope.
The other pieces of big news I have so far are that Guitars 2 was completed and submitted to Wayward Ink, it has been accepted for publication (Big Happy Dance!) I also submitted by M/M/M biker romance Burning Luck to beta readers and will begin the editing process as soon as this cold decides to pass. Response thus far has been positive with the usual need for polishing and clarification that all drafts ultimately have. I love the fact that my betas as so willing to point out the flaws, they know just how much I value their brutal honesty, especially at this stage in a books development. Hearing what I need to improve on does not hurt my feelings, but having someone decline to tell me in the hopes of sparing my feelings would. Writing is my craft, and I work very hard to improve each and every story.
Speaking of stories, today I wish to share an excerpt from Desolation Angel, which is currently awaiting its second round of edits. I do not have a release date yet, but as soon as I do I’ll happily announce it here and on Facebook. It will be my third release with Wayward Ink who has been wonderful to me and my work.
Dare without the guitar in his hands was a complex contradiction of motion and stillness, laughter and long heavy silences and it thrilled him that Dare seemed to enjoy having those silences filled with the sound of Sionn’s voice whispering fables and lore. Only problem was, Dare never stayed put once the ‘dreams’ were over, never remained in Sionn’s embrace to hear more than what it took to bring him back to the ‘real world’. Each time, he’d lean close, pressing in tight, his back to Sionn’s front, tilt his head towards one of the hands Sionn had fisted in his hair, and arch into Sionn’s touch for just a moment, then jerk away as if the touch burned, leaving the room as quickly as he could get away, retreating to read in his room, or play those damned games with Mark.
Sionn has lost count of how many times he’d thought about chucking that damned Playstation out the window, or at the very least ‘accidently’ spilling about a gallon of water all over it. He never did, because really, what would be the point? Dare would just turn his free time back to the comics or one of many movies from the piles of DVDs on the rack. With a groan, Sionn smacked his head against the back of the chair a couple times, wondering if maybe Tommy was right and he really needed to just stop torturing himself with thoughts of him and Dare as more than friends.
Yeah right, like stopping was gonna work. As soon as Dare stepped into the music room, Sionn found himself unable to look away. Dare’s jeans were riding low, with rips down one of the thighs and across both knees. His black t-shirt fit loose on his too skinny form, the result of too much dreaming and too many mistakenly missed meals. All that long hair was pulled back today, in a ponytail that reached well past the middle of his back, and his green eyes were sparkling with laughter, until they caught sight of Sionn and turned away. Dare grabbed his guitar and settled into a corner with the drum kit and a video chair between him and Sionn, blocking Sionn’s view of him as he made sure the guitar was in tune.
Mark glared at Sionn but said nothing, but then he hadn’t said much to Sionn since the blow up in the kitchen earlier in the week. Sionn tried to hold his gaze, tried to match the glare he was being given, but in the end, he was the one who turned away. Sionn heard Mark snort as he pulled out his sticks and for a moment, Sionn wanted nothing more than to get in his face and pick a fight, just so he could unload some of what he was feeling in a way he wouldn’t have to put into words. He was still thinking about starting something when Tommy stepped through the door, eating Oreos from the package and trying to keep Paul from taking them away. “Man you shoulda ate, the spaghetti was good.”
“I was nae hungry”
Paul huffed and tried to snatch a cookie. “Was your loss man, the way this one’s been goin’ on about this session, we’re gonna be practicing for a while.”
Paul just shrugged and moved past him, popping half an Oreo in his mouth as he headed for the drums. “Suit yourself.”
A tension seemed to fall over the room as they all picked up their instruments, plugging things in and setting levels, warming up a little before they got to work on the first song. All that tension seemed to drain away though, when Dare launched into the first of the three new songs, deliberately choosing the hardest, heaviest one to kick off with, assailing them with hard, driving rifts and dragging them into a battleground of cords. Sionn felt his anger and annoyance melting as he worked his way through the music, letting the energy of it sweep the bitterness away.
Until he looked over and saw that Dare had moved, that he was standing in front of Mark, who was pounding away on those drums while Dare wrung cries from his guitar. The rest of the band had noticed to, and slowly stopped playing, listening to the pair alternately duel and come together, drifting back and forth between war and harmony.
“Bloody hell,” Sionn growled softly, awe and jealousy once again warring inside him, wavering between a longing to watch Dare all night and the urge to yank him away, drag him from the room, and beg him to wage that war of music with him and him alone. In the end he simply did what the rest of them did, he stood back and listened to the way the song was supposed to flow, and when he felt he had it, he joined in and followed along.