Monday, December 05, 2016

Where haven't I been? A post-November update, snippet and freebie

I haven't posted in almost a month, which is madness, but then, my work schedule has been full to busting. Between teaching for the Open University (three assignments to grade within a month) and preparing ten separate publications (one of them an anthology) for November/December releases, I've stopped only to sleep...and to win NaNoWriMo by the skin of my teeth.

And I wrote a Christmas novella, which is out next week (15th December) - more on that next time. For now, you can find out more and/or (preferably and) preorder it via the links on this page:


 

So...all of that means I've missed the Wednesday WIPpets and the Rainbow Snippets for ages. It's about sharing, and I didn't have time to fulfil my part in that, but I'm hoping to get back on track over the next few weeks.

Well, I'm hoping to finish writing Reunions and do some reading for pleasure, actually.

I also have a few editor reviews to catch up on (as in, all the publications I've worked on since September - sixteen of them! :o).

For now, here's a snippet from Reunions. This is from one of the many scenes I wrote during November in a mad frenzy that means I'm reading back now with barely any recollection of writing the words in the first place. Funny things, brains.

The scene: Adele and Dan's house on Christmas morning. Shu is four; Robbie is three months old - and if you're a series follower, and you're wondering when Robbie arrived, have a peek at Those Jeffries Boys.

In fact, here's a one-week offer of a free download of Those Jeffries Boys (expires 12th December 2016):

Just because I can. :) After all, what point is there to writing if you don't get to read? And if you feel bad about not paying for it, please give that money to someone who needs it, or buy someone a hot drink or a pair of gloves, or whatever. I'll leave it up to you.

Anyway, here's that snippet I mentioned a bit back:
Adele switched her phone to her other hand and covered her ear to block the shrieks of excitement from Shu. She had to raise her voice to be heard. “So it looks like we’re stuck with it in the house until spring.” At the other end of the line, Shaunna was finding the whole situation hilarious. “You might well laugh,” Adele grumbled. “You haven’t got a gigantic playhouse taking up half your living room.” Another wild shriek from Shu; Adele covered her eyes and turned her back on them. “Oh my god! He’s left Robbie to come down the slide on his own.”

“Just how big is this thing?” Shaunna asked.

Massive!” Adele said, more despondent than bragging, and she wasn’t exaggerating. Including the stilts, the cabin-style playhouse was seven feet tall, with a balcony that was three feet off the ground, complete with a slide, miniature deck chairs, little square windows, curtains, cushions… Dan even planned to fit it with central heating. A playhouse with central heating. The man was insane!

Thanks for reading. :)
Deb x

Monday, November 07, 2016

Blog Tour - Walking by Faith - A.M. Leibowitz - Review, Excerpt, Interview

Title: Walking by Faith
Author: A.M. Leibowitz
Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Length: 261 pages

Goodreads

Categories/tags: LGBT literature, Christian fiction, bisexual, genderqueer, romance, contemporary, disability

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Publisher

Synopsis:
For Becket “Cat” Rowland, falling in love has never been easy. The summer he meets Micah Forbes, the intensity of his feelings brings back all the memories of eight years earlier.

Following a brutal attack that left him nearly dead, Cat is a mess inside and out. To cope with the trauma and with his view of himself that he’s nothing but an empty shell, he’s taken three vows: simplicity, chastity, and silence. His once colorful, trendy, and often feminine wardrobe has been replaced with jeans and t-shirts, and he’s sworn off men. He locks himself away from the world, using the memorized prayers of his childhood as his only speech.

Cat is lost to himself and everyone around him until another hospitalization introduces him to nurse David Simms. David takes Cat’s silence in stride, caring for him without pushing and slowly building Cat’s trust.

Outside the hospital, Cat discovers he has more in common with David than he knew, and they begin to build a friendship. As it slowly grows into love, David reveals his own need for someone to take him as he is. Cat begins to let go of his vows one by one, only holding onto the silence.

Despite how far he’s come, Cat’s increasingly severe panic attacks threaten to undo everything David has helped him build. Cat’s only hope is to break the final vow and tell the truth about the night of his attack. When David fails to keep a promise he made to be there for him, Cat has to stand on his own and prove to himself he’s strong enough to survive.

Prequel to Passing on Faith.

Review:
Walking by Faith is the prequel to Passing on Faith but published after Passing on Faith, although this isn't really a sequential series, and the books do NOT need to be read in any particular order. I did read Passing on Faith first, but I plan to read them the other way around someday, when I've forgotten the stories (I'm not entirely convinced I will ever forget them).

Where Passing on Faith tells Micah's story (in which Cat Rowland is a prominent feature), Walking by Faith is about Cat, and A.M. Leibowitz has done something rather clever here (aside from the eloquent vocabulary and exceptional knowledge of medicine and religion that underpins the narrative, that is). When I was reading Passing on Faith, I kept thinking 'I really want to know Cat's story', as Micah is constantly in the foreground (right where he likes to be, I'd wager). Walking by Faith delivers in that regard. Yet, had I read this book first, I'd have been rewarded with snippets of Micah - the future beyond Cat's formative years - and I'd have been thinking 'I really want to know Micah's story'.

In short, whichever way you read these books, there are teasers for the one you didn't read first, which is...cunning, and fun.

I use the term 'fun' loosely. Walking by Faith is Cat's story, and it's a harrowing one. Note: this is not a 'romance' in the narrow sense to which we have become accustomed; there are love stories that unfold in both books, but they are part of a whole, and this is less fairy tale, more gritty reality. It's impossible to explain what I mean by that without spoilers, but readers should be prepared for some heartbreaking moments.

In this respect, I'm glad I read Passing on Faith first; it helped me to prepare for what was ahead.

The blurb makes mention of the 'brutal attack' that left Cat nearly dead, as well as David's role in helping Cat along the road to recovery, of both body and soul. Their friendship/love is complex, and it develops organically. It's a relationship that requires some ingenious communication workarounds and a whole lot of patience (on David's part). However, it is not the mainstay of the novel. There's certainly enough there for those who enjoy a love story, but it is only part of Cat's journey through self-imposed purgatory.

Cat is queer, and in his 'natural' state, he's a colourful, lively character whose clothes - a kind of gender mix 'n' match - and make-up reflect his personality and identity. The impact of the attack is vividly manifested through his attempt to cast out the 'pretty' and 'queer' aspects of his self-identity; one of the most poignant scenes in the novel is Cat's fight to resist the lip gloss his sister LR gives to him.

From Cat through to the guy in the piercing place, the characterisation is consistently outstanding. This, for me, is the key to a good story. I'm not interested in action-packed plots or adventure, although those are fine, so long as the characters are solid. I need to 'see' the character in my mind - not their physical qualities so much as their conscious presence. If an author gets this right - which A.M. Leibowitz does - the reading experience is intense, the proverbial emotional roller coaster. All of the characters in Walking by Faith are authentic. Some are...really not nice, yet at the same time, I found myself affording them the benefit of the doubt I afford people in real life who act despicably. Well, all except one, and if in book three, that one gets their comeuppance, I won't shed any tears. That said, having read a few of this author's stories, I know they have a knack for redeeming the seemingly irredeemable.

All in all, Walking by Faith is not an easy read. It deals with some difficult issues, specifically: the consequences of a violent attack, the challenges of handling long-term medical conditions and the effect these both have not only on the individual, but on their family and friends, their relationships - their life. Yet, for all of that heavy stuff, there's humour, love and intimacy, and plenty of good times.

This is definitely one to keep on the shelf to read again.


About the Author:
A.M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.

Social Media:
Blog | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Tumblr | Google | Pinterest

Tour Stops:
Charley Descoteaux – November 1
Caraway Carter – November 2
Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos – November 3
Fallon Brown Writes – November 4
Nephy’s World – November 4
De-blog – November 7
Louise Lyons author – November 7
Dawn Sister – November 8
Governing Ana – November 9
PenPaperPad – November 10
Mann’s Ramblings – November 11

Excerpt:
Bryce had made him feel dirty.

Why do you have to be so gay?

Landon had made him feel dirty.

You’re very pretty.

Cat stifled a tiny, wounded noise, letting go of his nipples and raising his eyes to look at his face. His hair had grown so it brushed his shoulders. He’d always liked it longer, though not enough to tie it back. When he was with Bryce, he’d had it chin-length. A memory surfaced of being in Bryce’s bed. Bryce had loved Cat’s hair, at least until he started pulling away and claiming Cat was too girlie.

With a snarl, Cat pushed the memory aside. It was his fault for always wanting what he shouldn’t, and now he was going to make it right. He turned to the sink and grabbed a pair of scissors LR kept in the vanity drawer for trimming her bangs. Standing in front of the mirror again, he lifted handfuls of hair and cut them off, not caring how jagged he made the locks. He cut and cut, clumps of red-gold landing on the tiles at his feet.

Not pretty. Not pretty. Not pretty.

Dry, angry heat burned behind his eyes in his cheeks as he shredded his hair, and a sob caught in his throat. When he couldn’t cut any more, he let the scissors clatter to the floor. He dropped down too, leaning against the vanity with his knees drawn up. He felt so lost, no longer sure who he was.

He almost missed the knock on the door. “Kitty Cat? You okay in there?”

Cat wrapped his arms around his knees when LR opened the door a crack and peeked in. She looked from Cat to the piles of hair on the floor, and her face turned from worry to shock back to worry.

“Oh, Kitty,” she said. “Oh.”

LR stepped in and closed the door again. She sat down with him, not even complaining that he was stark naked when she folded him into her arms. She rocked him, stroking what was left of his hair and waiting for him to stop shaking.

Interview:
What inspired you to write this story?
People kept telling me how much they loved Cat in Passing on Faith, so I wanted to tell his story. But I didn’t want to simply re-tread his romance with Micah from his perspective. This was sparked by a quote in PoF where Cat’s sister says he’s in “shut-down mode” and won’t talk to her. I wondered why not.

Is there a character you feel especially connected to? Why?
To Cat, of course, although he is really only one aspect of my inner self. His questions and mental dialog about his gender mirror my own. But I also feel linked to Cat’s mom, as a parent myself.

What was the hardest part of writing this?
Getting the emotions just right. It is really hard to show the kind of gender dysphoria both Cat and I experience, and I also sometimes find it hard to pour feelings out on the page—as though I’m revealing too much of myself in them.

Tell us a little about any upcoming projects.
I’m working on several things: The next part of my Notes from Boston series; a young adult coming of age novel; and the last part of Cat and Micah’s story, Keeping the Faith. I’m always busy working on something.

What led you to write in your genre?
A cross between stumbling on slash fan fiction and my desire to write snark about my state’s public education system. It was all downhill from there.

What misconceptions do people have about your genre?
That it’s straight women writing for straight women. That is true in some circles. But some of us are specifically LGBTQ+ people writing for an LGBTQ+ audience. I don’t mind if straight women enjoy my books, but it’s important to me that it’s clear my work is intended for other rainbow folks.

What do you wish people understood about your genre?
That would take a whole blog post. Mainly I want people to understand that LGBTQ+ voices should take center stage in books where LGBTQ+ people are the stars.

Word Sprints!
  1. What’s your favorite season? Summer

  2. What’s the best part of the day? Late morning

  3. What superpower do you wish you had? Invisibility. Wait…I’m bi, so I have that. *wink* (LOL)

Thank you, A.M. Leibowitz, for stopping by with another wonderful story.
*Still rooting for a miracle.* ;)

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bookkeeping (punny) - Hiding Behind The Couch #amwriting

I posted my author 'review' for Those Jeffries Boys on Goodreads yesterday. The book came out back in May this year, but it was only when I posted the review that I discovered a couple of readers of HBTC had missed it. Sorry about that!

So, I thought I'd write a quick update on the Hiding Behind The Couch series – as a whole, and where I'm up to with writing. All of the titles (except Reunions) are links to the Beaten Track listings, where you will find the links to order from your favoured vendor.

Most recent additions:
The Wag and The Scoundrel – 22/09/16
Those Jeffries Boys – 26/05/16
Chain of Secrets – 14/02/16

Upcoming releases:
Class-A – 01/12/16
Reunions – TBC

That's where I'm up to with writing. Reunions is about half written, maybe. It's currently around 106,000 words (I have no end goal on word count – when it's done, it's done), but it's a bit all over the place. This year has been a tough one for finding blocks of time to write, which is what I need when I'm working on one of the 'seasons' or I lose the threads and have to read back to pick them up again.

You can read a lengthy teaser from Reunions in last week's blog post.

All titles (most recent releases first):
The Wag and The Scoundrel 22/09/16
Those Jeffries Boys – 26/05/16
Chain of Secrets – 14/02/16
Hiding Out – 18/05/15
Breakfast at Cordelia’s Aquarium – 05/04/15
Two by Two – 31/03/15
Ruminations – 14/02/15
Red Hot Christmas – 15/12/14
A Midnight Clear – 01/12/14
Crying in the Rain – 11/11/14
Breaking Waves – 01/06/14
In The Stars Part II – 01/06/14
In The Stars Part I – 01/01/14
First Christmas – 01/12/13
The Harder They Fall – 14/06/13
Beginnings – 31/05/13
No Time Like The Present – 15/11/12
Hiding Behind The Couch – 01/07/12

All titles (reading order):
Beginnings
Ruminations
Class-A
Hiding Behind The Couch (Season 1)
No Time Like The Present (season 2)
The Harder They Fall (Season 3)
Crying in the Rain
First Christmas
In The Stars Part I (Season 4)
Breaking Waves
Chain of Secrets
In The Stars Part II (Season 5)
A Midnight Clear
Red Hot Christmas
Two by Two (Season 6)
Hiding Out
Those Jeffries Boys
The Wag and The Scoundrel (Gray Fister 1)
Breakfast at Cordelia’s Aquarium
Reunions (Season 7)

Box Set One (ebook) is also available, which consists of:
Beginnings
Ruminations
Hiding Behind The Couch (Season 1)
No Time Like The Present (season 2)
The Harder They Fall (Season 3)
Crying in the Rain
First Christmas

Thanks for reading. :)
Deb x

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - Reunions - liquid fire - #amwriting

What is WIPpet Wednesday?

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

* * * * *

It's a long one, but I wanted to post the full scene. I wrote this part of Reunions a while back, but I've missed Josh and Shaunna, so I thought I'd post something about them. Plus, the maths works:

(2016+10)/27=75 sentences

In this scene, it's Christmas Eve, and Shaunna is on Josh-sitting duty whilst George (his husband) is attending a neurology appointment.

Here's the WIPpet:
It was a prime viewing spot; from his location, at one end of Shaunna and Andy’s kitchen table, Josh could see all the way to the bottom of the garden, although his focal point was far closer than that.

“Didn’t you put up the fences at your old place?” he asked Shaunna but with his gaze still fixed on Andy.

“Yep,” Shaunna said, also watching Andy, who presently stopped working, pulled off the thick woolly pullover he was wearing and used it to mop his sweaty brow. Throwing the pullover to one side, he picked up the next fence panel. His jeans slipped down, his t-shirt rose up, his back muscles tensed, and Shaunna and Josh gave a mutual, dreamy sigh.

“According to him, I’m not allowed to do it in my condition.”

Josh nodded thoughtfully, on the outside a calm, contemplative veneer, underneath it a swirling blur of ponderings about how George was doing with Rab McAvoy, if Libby was coping, whether they’d got enough food for all their Christmas guests, if Sean had remembered to mark the third-year essays before he left for— “What condition? Are you pregnant again?”

“Not a chance.”

“He’s being sexist?” Josh’s hair bristled, and he narrowed his eyes.

Shaunna glanced his way and laughed. “I’m too hot for fence-fixing, apparently. I’ll distract the neighbours.”

“Oh!” Josh blushed. “What are your neighbours like?”

“This side—” Shaunna tilted her head to the left “—is Mrs. Lane. She’s lovely, but a major nosey parker. She knows everything about everyone. That side—” Shaunna thumbed to her right “—is the Cousins family. Jo and Mark and their three kids. They’re OK…mostly.”

“Why only mostly?”

“They have…” Now Shaunna blushed. “You know how our house is joined to theirs?”

“Hm?”

“Their bedroom is on the other side of the wall to ours.”

“Oh. Erm, well…music?”

Shaunna grinned. “Yeah, that does drown them out. It’s more…if we can hear them, then…”

“Oh! I meant were they playing loud music, but you mean you can hearing them doing…it?”

“Yep. And they aren’t that noisy. It’s the bed banging on the wall, and—” Shaunna noticed how pink Josh was and burst out laughing. “Sorry. But you did ask.”

“Ah. Hm. Yes, I did. Why don’t you ask Jason where he got the soundproofing for the studio?”

“I would, but it might weird him out.”

“Why?”

“Because he’s my daughter’s best friend.”

“She knows you have sex.” Josh rolled his eyes. “Obviously. She wouldn’t exist if you didn’t.”

Shaunna gave him a funny look.

“What?”

“Nothing.” She’d seen Josh in this kind of mood a few times now. It was so different to his usual quiet seriousness that sometimes she didn’t know what to say. Now being one of those times. And he was starting to fidget. She reached up and unclipped her hair. “Here. This’ll keep you busy for a while.”

Josh was already on his feet. Moving to stand behind her, he lifted Shaunna’s long wavy locks and ran them between his fingers, smoothing out any knots before he separated her hair into two sections and began plaiting.

“Have you ever considered a career as a hairdresser?” she asked.

“Not even once. Do you think I’d be good at it?”

“You’ve got the listening skills, and a…fascination with hair.”

“Obsession. Yes. But only with your hair.” Josh sighed in contentment, and Shaunna chuckled. She knew what was coming before he said it. “Liquid fire.”
Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Losing my Religion

I've just watched/listened to Pentatonix singing 'Hallelujah', almost to spite the constant posts on social networks that kept declaring it would give me chills.

Well, that backfired gloriously.

I used to be a Christian. A real, actual practising Christian. I went to Sunday school and church every Sunday of my own free will from the age of three or four - I don't recall how old exactly; my memory doesn't stretch back that far.

I loved Sunday school so much, even though I now know that when Mrs. Joss and her grown-up daughter Katrina (who might have only been fifteen, but that was grown up to me) told me 'that's excellent, Debbie' in relation to my paintings, they were lying through their teeth. Still, I guess it's not a sin to lie if it preserves a child's self-esteem, but the fact is, I can't paint now, never mind when I was three, or four, or at any age since.

The Josses held Sunday school Christmas parties at their house, which was exciting, as I didn't get out much, partly because I was asocial and unpopular, partly because of my upbringing.

Imagine that in 2016: Sunday school leaders hosting kids' parties in their houses.

Whilst I loved Sunday school, for the learning, the activities, and the encouragement, my love of the church was of a very different kind. I remember our vicar - who had always been known as 'Father'...something, he had glasses and dark hair - being replaced by the 'Reverend' RJ Brunswick. Regardless of his formidable presence - we lived between the vicarage and the church, and he used to waft past in his black robes like some kind of malevolent dark mist - the people of the parish called him Father anyway. He was, in actuality, very nice, if not a little stern - certainly not the kind of laid-back vicar we were used to.

The church was Anglo-Catholic - or 'high' Church of England - with a sung Mass, although it was sung in English. I loved that, too - the minor keys, the power of the organ reverberating into the rafters, the unity of a hundred voices singing the Gloria, the Credo, the incredible dynamics that we had all learned and perfected -

pp ...he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, mf and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, ff and ascended into heaven, pp and sitteth on the right hand of the Father...


- standing for the procession and recession, kneeling to pray, singing hymns at the top of my voice, examining my surroundings in extraordinary detail during the sermon - the stations of the cross, the painting of Jesus on the cross behind the high altar, the stained glass windows, the carvings in the pulpit, pews and font. Every single last thing about being in the church, joining in Mass, was  awe-inspiring to me.

This, in spite of my dad, who was 'lapsed' Orange Order, telling me I attended a redneck church. It was said tongue-in-cheek, even though it was a time of immense political upheaval in the North of Ireland, and we felt the ricochets in the North of England even before the action geographically shifted our way.

A lot of children lose interest in the church when they reach their teens. Now, this may be a distinctly English phenomenon, or a distinctly Deb phenomenon, but my parents didn't go to church with me, and there was no parental pressure to continue. And I believed. I believed in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: the Holy Trinity. I'd felt its presence, its power.

I did try other churches - all Christian - during my early teens. I attended an independent methodist church and affiliated youth club for a while. I even attended a Roman Catholic church a few times because it had the only Brownie pack with vacancies, and I attended a different methodist church for Girl Guides, but I returned to my church every time, and on the last occasion, it was to join the Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade.

I was confirmed by the Bishop of Liverpool, which allowed me to move up the ranks in the Brigade. After I moved from the North-West to London, I was promoted to warrant officer, and...

This is where I skip the bit about breaking commandments, because all of the above is really no more than a factual preamble, and my moral downfall had no effect on my faith nor the opportunity to continue practising it.

So many times I felt...uplifted - what Christians will tell me is the power of the Holy Spirit entering my soul. Simply being inside the church, with the incense and the echoes and the organ and the everything had a profound effect on me, emotionally, physiologically, spiritually.

Later, I went to university and studied social science, and still I held on to my conviction that I was a Christian, even though I heard the restrained contempt for my ignorance in my lecturer's 'OK. Fair enough.' By then, I'd also been thrown out of the parish church worship group for writing a stage show that condoned homosexuality. The vicar's ultimatum was that we (Nige and me) rewrite it so it was in keeping with the Scriptures or we were out. I argued with him for two hours, because all he had was that Old Testament Sodom and Gomorrah stuff. He didn't mention Paul's letters, and neither did I, because I was winning, apart from the being kicked out part.

The new vicar came to see us a few years later and made a vague attempt to lure us back into the fold, but I'd got the message. Our kind were not welcome in the Church, and so be it. I could keep my Christian faith and still despise/pity/forgive the people who bent God's word and Jesus' teaching to their will. I could still be a Christian...

Until I wasn't.

I don't know when it happened. It wasn't a sudden switch - Christian one minute, atheist the next. Sometime between graduating and the vicar's visit, my faith dissolved. Here and now, I can go as far as believing Jesus existed but as a revolutionary, not the son of God, and I can even accept there being the potential, in a universe of infinite possibilities, for this whole shebang to be intelligent design.

I am an atheist, and I do find it difficult to respect other people's beliefs, although usually when they use them to persecute 'sinners' and incite hatred, because nowhere in any translation of the New Testament was that the kind of man Jesus was. Or perhaps I'm recalling through a rose-tinted looking glass. It's a while since I read the bible.

Mostly, I don't miss my faith. I don't feel bitter or miserable or smugly terrified that when we die that's it. Nor do I necessarily believe in life after death, or not life as we know it (Jim). I rather like Carl Sagan's contention that we are all starstuff. We came from the stars, and we return to them. There's my heaven, out there in the universe.

What I do miss is that overwhelming tingle-shiver-wow. I sense echoes of it from time to time when I read a brilliant line in a story, or hear a musician blessed with natural musicality. I get a sense of it from other people and their everyday miracles, although my need to keep my emotions in check (I don't do crying...in public) mutes the impact.

There's no denying that Christian songs are the ones that most often evoke this response in me. I mock it, but Graham Kendrick's 'Shine Jesus Shine' has the tingle factor, as does O Holy Night in pretty much any form (except Mariah Carey). My favourite is the version by BarlowGirl.

On the other hand, I get a different sort of buzz from MelodySheep's Symphony of Science remixes. It is these that have inspired me to want to learn, and maybe one day get my head around physics. It's still a strong reaction, but it's more...cognitive, less 'spiritual'.


Symphony of Science - We Are All Connected


And then there was Pentatonix singing the 'Hallelujah'. Tingle-shiver-wow, and out.


Pentatonix - Hallelujah


Thanks for reading,
Deb x

St. Luke's Church - photograph © Copyright Alex McGregor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - Of The Bauble - #amwriting

This week, I've been working on two WIPs: Reunions and Of The Bauble. I'd written the opening to Of The Bauble back in 2014, but I ran out of time to work on it, but I found some - inspired by Bec from Bike Book Reviews' call for Christmas MM romances, although...this isn't quite an MM romance. It IS a romance, and it does have a bisexual male main character (young adult), but...well, I'll leave it at that for now or there won't be any surprises later!

What is WIPpet Wednesday?

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

Wednesday 12th October, 2016 (it still is somewhere...)
12x10+20+16=156 words

I hopped over to read A.M. Leibowitz's WIPpet post for this week, which is themed on 'coming out' in celebration of National Coming Out Day (11th October), and I thought...what a great idea! (Thanks, A.M.)

Of The Bauble is a festive short story. It begins with nineteen-year-old Kieran O'Sullivan taking a trip up to the attic to fetch the Christmas decorations and making an interesting discovery. This is the start of the scene after Kieran's adventure in the attic.

Here's the WIPpet:
She was a bit funny about some things, my mum. Like, for instance when she asked if Michelle Perkins was my girlfriend, and I told her I thought maybe I liked boys. She was cool with that. And later, when I told her I couldn't decide whether I liked boys or girls, she said, "You don't have to choose, sweetheart. You can like both."

So she was awesome with the big stuff on the one hand; on the other, she could be rigidly traditional about what I saw as the little things that didn't matter, like always wearing clean pyjamas, never putting ketchup on a Sunday roast, and eating fish on Good Friday, even though we weren't religious in any way at all. Then there were those traditional ‘just the family' occasions when the three of us spent time together, and friends were not welcome...like decorating the Christmas tree. Which was what we were doing tonight.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - Reunions - Swings and Ice Cream #amwriting

This week, I've added a few thousand words to Reunions, but it's in a helluva mess. It's going to need a fair bit of reworking; for now I'm going to keep writing and tweaking where I know what's meant to happen, and...hope for the best.

What is WIPpet Wednesday?

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

It's 5th October; 5+10=15 sentences, plus a bonus sentence to finish off, from Reunions, which is season seven of Hiding Behind The Couch - the story of nine friends from high school, who are now all around the age of forty.

The characters in the excerpt below are Krissi - the daughter of two of the series' main characters - and Jay, her BFFE, both aged twenty-five.

Here's the WIPpet:
It was clear from some distance away the playground was deserted, not surprising this soon after Christmas, when all the kids were probably still enjoying the novelty of their presents. Beyond the playground was a skate park where every so often, a head bobbed into view above the half pipe to the accompanying scrape and whirr of wheels.

"There'll be no ice cream van today," Jay asserted.

"Why?" Krissi asked.

"The weather's abysmal."

"Doesn't usually stop Mr. Whippy."

"If he's any sense, he's tucked up warm in bed with Mrs. Whippy."

Krissi gave Jay a sideways glance and walked ahead through the park gate.

"What?" he asked.

"Assuming there is a Mrs. Whippy, wouldn't they melt? And anyway, it might be another Mr. Whippy."

"And a whole troop of little Whippies," Jay said drolly. "Can you imagine bathtime in the Whippy house? A scrub down and a hair wash and then Dad tips you upside down and dunks your head in the blue-raspberry sherbet."

Krissi laughed, but it was little more than a compensatory chuckle so Jay's joke didn't fall flat. For the time being, Jay said no more; she'd go on the defensive if he asked what was wrong, and in any case, swings and ice cream fixed everything.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x