Rainbow Snippet for 6-9-2018

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Looks like I’ll be posting from Book Five of the Academy of the Accord for a while. It’s a fantasy series that I have been (and will be) working on for forever.

A bit of background on the characters in this snippet for those new to the series.

Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors, captains at the Academy, and lovers.

Draethlen is 10 years old, and is a new cadet at the academy. Marsden (the commander of the garrison at the academy) rescued him from an orphanage where he was sexually abused by the headmaster.

(This book is my current edition of editing hell, so… squint.)

Skipping ahead some from last week. Kordelm and Wellhym have given Draethlen a sword lesson and a demonstration in hand-to-hand combat that ended with the two of them in a wrestling match) and they are now heading for the bathhouse. Draethlen is frightened about undressing.

Wordlessly, Draethlen nodded and slowly unbuckled his sword belt, adding it to the shelves with the other weapons; as he sat down to take off his boots it was all he could do not to shake. 

“Drae, listen to me.” He looked up to find Wellhym kneeling in front him so that their eyes were level. “Marsden is going to kill me for telling you this, but he filled us in a bit on what happened to you, on what the Headmaster made you do.”

Draethlen felt waves of shame break over him and he looked down.

“No, Drae, look at me.”

Startled by the unexpected tone of command in Wellhym’s voice, Draethlen looked up.

“What he did to you was wrong. But it was his wrong, not yours. Do you understand that?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Glamorous Life of a Writer

It’s been… a week.

I worked Monday, was off Tuesday (and was surprisingly productive).

I was supposed to work on Wednesday but woke up about 7:30 in the morning with a pulse of 165, bilateral jaw pain, and a heavy feeling in my chest. It went away and since I’d only been in bed for about four hours I went back to sleep. (I’ve had these symptoms before so wasn’t too worried.)

So a couple hours later the dogs (who think that I am the only two legged member of the household who can properly open a door) got me up to let them out. I still wasn’t feeling right, but, stubborn person that I am, I ignored it for a while and got ready for work.

But since I was still feeling light-headed and “off” I left early and detoured to the Emergency Room, thinking they’d pat me on the head and tell me I’m fine and come back when it’s actually happening next time.

Nope.

They plopped my ass into a wheelchair (never mind that I drove myself there, apparently I was now unable to walk) and then into a bed where I was hooked up to an EKG and then a monitor, and then was sent for a chest x-ray.

After much stabbing (blood draw, two tries for an IV), and a CT scan, it was determined that all the cardiac tests were normal, it looks like I’m getting my third round of bronchitis for the year (this is getting really old!), and there were no blood clots in my lungs.

Diagnosis?

Probably SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). Not life-threatening, not heart-damaging, so they sent me home with orders to follow up with my primary care physician in three to five days and to not do anything too strenuous.

Anyhow…

I came home, changed clothes, and began a serious hunt for my thumb drive that I could have sworn was on my computer hutch.

It wasn’t.

It also wasn’t downstairs with the stuff I dump from my pockets when I get home from work. (Never ask a nurse what’s in her pockets.)

(This is the thumb drive that has the latest version of edits of Book Five. Losing it would probably make me cry. A lot.)

I had a sickening feeling that it might have fallen into the garbage bag by my computer hutch so I got a second bag and began transferring garbage from one bag to the other.

Ah, the glamorous life of a writer!

I found it, though.

Anyhow, I was still feeling “not right” the next morning so called off again. (My boss said the whole department is falling apart this week.)

Symptoms eased up in the afternoon so, since I don’t consider painting to be an overly strenuous activity, I painted the second side of a lattice board panel and three 1×6 plank (8, 10, and 12 feet).

This morning I cut the grass, got the planks and panel nailed up, and planted a yellow rose bush that’s been on my back porch for a month. Oh, and did laundry.

Writing-wise I haven’t done too much (other than a panicked search through garbage for my thumb drive). I have done some work on pulling notes from the manuscript and pasting them into the outline doc so I can work on the outline for Camp next month. I’ll be saving it onto my rescued thumb drive before I go to work tonight. (I created my project and opened a cabin, too, so other than the outline I’m all ready to go.)

And how was your week?

 

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Wednesday Words #180(6/6/2018)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

yarn
pride
a book

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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June Goals On Track

So far my month is off to a great start as far as goals are concerned. (Yes, I know it’s only the fourth. Little wins are important!)

I managed to do both blog hops this weekend, and I have posts scheduled for one of them for the rest of the month. (My next day off is Tuesday so I’ll set up and schedule the other snippet posts then.) I have the Wednesday Words posts scheduled too.

And I decided on my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’ll be trying to finish the first draft of Hedge House, an urban fantasy (paranormal?) novel I’ve been working on (or not working on as the case may be) for a while now.

I just finished reading through it (and will be posting snippets on Sundays for the foreseeable future) and I’m pretty sure that I can wrap up the story next month. I need an outline, though.

Rather, I need a new outline.

See, I had an outline. I had a really nice outline with lots of details and…

And any chance of getting back to it lies somewhere between “nonexistent” and “a snowball’s chance in hell.”

So I’ll be working on some sort of outline that picks up from where the story currently leaves off. Not that I expect it will be followed (I still can’t quite figure out where the old one got derailed. I mean, everything in the previous outline happened, just not quite where and when planned.) but just so I have some idea of where I’m going.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 3, 2018

I’m ba-ack! I’ve been not participating for a while as I got used to a new job that has me working night shifts now and then. I think I have a handle on it now and can get back to blog hopping. I hope so – I’ve missed everyone!

Anyhow, I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. I think finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

 

Cara Hawthorne stared at the letter in her hands. She knew the address was right; for the last twenty years she had sent a gift and a thank you note every Christmas and every birthday. Her mother had not permitted more contact than that, and even after she had moved out on her own she hadn’t taken any steps to reach out to her paternal grandmother, had barely thought of her except at Christmas and birthdays.

But for the last several weeks she had dreamed of her, of a woman she hadn’t seen since she was seven years old. 

She sighed, uncertain. A letter seemed so impersonal. She had her phone number, but was hesitant to call it. What did you say to someone you hadn’t spoken to in two decades? And how did you explain that you were calling because of a series of dreams without sounding like you’d lost your mind?

Before she could change her mind she slid the letter into the mailbox and got back in her car. She was going to be late for work and senior partner of the law firm was already unhappy with her – the dreams had been disturbing her sleep and interfering with her job.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

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Rainbow Snippet for 6-2-2018

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

 

I’m back! It’s been a couple months but I think I have the new work schedule sorted out now and will be able to keep up with blog hops. I hope so, anyhow, because I’ve missed all of you.

I’m not sure what I’ll be posting from – it may change each week depending on my mood, but this week it’s from Book Five of the Academy of the Accord (fantasy) series that I have been (and will be) working on for forever.

A bit of background on the characters in this snippet.

Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors, captains at the Academy, and lovers.

Marsden is the commander of the garrison there, and a father figure to the two of them since he practically raised them.

Draethlen is 10 years old, and is a new cadet at the academy. Marsden rescued him from an orphanage where he was sexually abused by the headmaster.

Marsden has just finished telling Kordelm and Wellhym about how he came to find Draethlen and what had happened to him.

(This book is my current edition of editing hell, so… squint.)

 

“Right now,” Marsden continued, “we need to focus on helping Draethlen. I don’t think the boy has ever known a lick of kindness in his entire life. I know he doesn’t trust anyone, at least not men. And that’s where you two come in.”

“Us?” Kordelm looked at Marsden, startled. “But we’re what he fears.”

“No,” Wellhym said before Marsden could speak. “We are what his tormentors fear.”  Both of them turned to look at him.  “I’ve been where he is,” Wellhym said softly.  “Not the rape or physical abuse, but the bullying and the name calling.”  He found himself studying his boots.  “I – I grew up in a small farming community.  I was… different… and different is never good.”

He looked up when he felt a hand on his shoulder: Kordelm had moved silently to stand beside him. Their eyes locked for a moment, then he smiled, and turned to Marsden, who was smiling at the two of them.

“I was right – you two are exactly what he needs.”

 

 

 

 

 

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June 2018 Goals

It’s the first day of a new month, and you know what that means: time to announce My Writing Goals for the Month. (Otherwise known as “The Day I Provide Much Laughter To Those Who Know Me.”)

So, anyhow, my goals for this month are actually pretty doable.

I think.

  1. Finish entering changes from the first round paper edits of Book Five of The Academy of the Accord. (I was supposed to be way further ahead in the series than this by now.)
  2. Participate in both Rainbow Snippets and Sunday Snippets blog hops. (I’ve missed them!)
  3. Keep up with Monday and Friday blog posts.
  4. Figure out what I’m doing for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. (I should edit, or work on a current project, but I have plot bunnies…)

Now, if you all would just nag me and keep me on track…

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River City

I want to be J. Scott Coatsworth when I grow up.

Seriously.

The dude runs something like three Face Book groups, three web pages, and three newsletters. I don’t know how he has time to breathe let alone sleep, but he also manages to do some awesome writing.  (Personally, I think he has a Time Turner.)

Anyhow, I’m happy to be part of his launch party for his newest book: River City.

A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.

Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.

Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.

Excerpt:

Matteo stared out the restaurant window into the darkness of Folsom Boulevard. It was getting dark earlier as summer edged into fall. Streetlights flickered on as cars drifted by, looking for parking or making the trip out of Midtown toward home.

The sign on the window read “Ragazzi” (the boys), lettered in a beautiful golden script just two months old. Investing in this little restaurant his uncle had left to them when he’d passed away had been their ticket out of Italy. But now with each passing day, as seats sat empty and tomatoes, pasta, and garlic went uneaten, the worry was gnawing ever deeper into Matteo’s gut.

Behind him in the open, modernized kitchen, Diego was busy cooking—his mother’s lasagne, some fresh fish from San Francisco, and some of the newer Italian dishes they’d brought with them from Bologna. The smells of boiling sauce and fresh-cooked pasta that emanated from the kitchen were entrancing.

They’d sent the rest of the staff —Max and Justin—home for the evening. The three customers who had shown up so far didn’t justify the cost of keeping their waiter and busboy on hand.

Matteo stopped at the couple’s table in front of the other window. “Buona seram,” he said, smiling his brightest Italian smile.

“Hi,” the man said, smiling back at him. He was a gentleman in about his mid-fifties, wearing a golf shirt and floppy hat. “Kinda quiet tonight, huh?”

“It always gets busier later,” Matteo lied smoothly. “Pleasure to have you here. Can I get you anything else?”

“A little more wine, please?” the woman said, holding out her glass so the charm bracelet on her wrist jangled.

“Of course.” He bowed and ducked into the kitchen.

He gave Diego a quick peck on the cheek.

His husband and chef waved him off with a snort. ” Più tardi. Sto preparando la cena.”

“I can see that. Dinner for a hundred, is it? It’s dead out there again tonight.”

Diego shot him a dirty look.

Matteo retrieved the bottle of wine from the case and returned to fill up his guests’ glasses. “What brings you in tonight?”  Maybe they saw our ad.…

“Just walking by and we were hungry. I miss the old place though.… What was it called, honey?”

Her husband scratched his chin. “Little Italy, I think?”

“That’s it! It was the cutest place. Checkered tablecloths, those great Italian bottles with the melted wax… so Italian.”

Matteo groaned inside. “So glad you came in,” was all he said with another smile

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carmelina ducked into her bathroom one last time, checking her frizzy red hair. It was all over the place, as usual. There was only so much you could do with yourself once you passed fifty, and it was, after all, the first time she’d left the house for fun since Arthur had passed away.

Not that tonight was going to be fun. She was joining the Merry Widows Club—three women who had also lost their significant others. Loylene had invited her, and she hadn’t had the heart to say no.

Loylene was a sweetheart, but she was totally caught up in Tupperware and counting calories. Carmelina had never counted calories in her life—she had her gorgeous Italian hips to prove it.

Marjorie was a bit of a bitch. Carmelina had often wondered if the woman’s husband had died just to get away from her nagging.

She barely knew Violet, who was, as her name suggested, a wallflower who never spoke above a peep.

She kissed Arthur’s photo on the mantel on her way out, the one where he was scowling because they’d been late to dinner for their twentieth anniversary. And true to form, she was late now, due to be at the little restaurant at five p.m.—in just five minutes.

Still, she was sure she had enough time to check her lipstick one last time.

 * * * * *

 It was a quarter to six when she finally arrived at the One Speed, the little pizza place the Club had chosen. Despite the fact that she lived just a couple miles away in River Park, it had taken her almost half an hour to get there due to a road project on H Street. And parking had been horrific. If only she’d left earlier.

“Hi girls,” she said, sliding smoothly into the open seat.

The other women had black veils on, something she found a bit morbid. Sure, she had lost Arthur less than three months before, after thirty wonderful years together. But she had given up on wearing black after the first week, and these women had been bereaved for more than a year.

Marjorie gave her a sour look. “You forgot your veil. And you’re an hour late.”

“Forty-five minutes,” she shot back, picking up the menu. “And I guess I left mine at the dry cleaners.”

Loylene flashed her a perky smile. “Oh, that’s all right,” she said, opening up her large, woven pastel-peach purse. “I brought an extra, just in case.” She handed over a veil that had seen better days—creased and wrinkled and caked with little bits of something.

“Thank you, darlin’, but I won’t put you out. I’ll bring my own next time.” She set it aside.

Violet nodded and said something unintelligible.

“What was that?” Carmelina was starving. She ached to move past the pleasantries and get her meal ordered.

“She said she’s happy you’re here.” Marjorie’s severe tone left no doubt as to how she felt about the matter.

“Shall we order?” Carmelina said, trying to move things along. “The minestrone soup looks good. I’ll bet all they have to do is ladle that into a bowl.…”

“The ritual first.” Marjorie’s tone brooked no argument.

“The what?” Carmelina asked.

“The ritual,” Loylene said, pulling a small green Tupperware container out of her voluminous purse. She popped open the lid, displaying a bunch of small, folded pieces of white paper, and set it in on the table. “Each of us takes one of these, reads it, and then describes what her husband or…” She glanced at Violet. “…spouse liked.”

Carmelina rolled her eyes. “Does it take long?” Her stomach rumbled.

“I’ll go first,” Marjorie said, ignoring her. She took a piece of paper and read aloud. “Clothing.” She stared off into space for a long moment. Carmelina was starting to worry about her when her eyes suddenly refocused and she smiled mistily. “Tube socks. Martin loved his tube socks.”

“Very good,” Loylene said, putting the box in front of Violet, who picked a piece of paper, and read it quietly.

“Burnt toast,” she said softly with no further explanation.

Carmelina’s stomach rumbled.

“Okay,” Loylene said with a frown. She drew her own paper. “Ah, TV Show. Um… that’s a hard one. He watched so many. Davis lived in front of the television.”

“Hoarders?” Carmelina suggested helpfully. She’d been to Loylene’s house.

“Ice Road Truckers,” Loylene said triumphantly. “Your turn.”

Carmelina obediently took a piece of paper, and then stared at it blankly. Printed on the paper was “favorite kink.” She looked up. All three women were staring at her expectantly. “The 49ers. Favorite sports team,” she lied and shoved the paper back in the box.

Violet’s phone buzzed. “Sorry, I’ve got to take this. It’s Sylvie.” She took the phone outside.

“Sylvie?” Carmelina asked.

Loylene nodded. “Her wife. Violet’s an honorary member. Sylvie’s not actually dead, just working.”

Carmelina shook her head. This had been a bad idea. “Can we just order? I haven’t had a bite to eat since breakfast.” She waved at their waiter.

“First we share the objects we brought that belonged to our spouses,” Marjorie said, pulling out an old pair of athletic socks with red stripes from her purse.

“Oh hell no.” Carmelina pushed away from the table and threw down her menu, ignoring Loylene’s shocked expression. “I’m sorry, Loylene, but grieving at home is better than this.” She stormed out of the restaurant with just the right amount of righteous indignation, or so she would tell herself later.

As she walked back to her car, something stuck to her shoe.

It was a green sheet of paper. She turned it over. “Italian Cooking School—Come Learn From The Best.” It was for a restaurant called “Ragazzi,” and the classes started on Sunday. She looked at the address. It was right across the street.

How had she never noticed it before?

She stuffed the flier into her purse and drove home, where gelato awaited her.

 

Giveaway:

One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

 

Author Name: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Kelley York
Publisher: Other Worlds Ink.
Release Date: Wednesday, May 30 2018
Format: ebook, paperback
Story Type: Novel
Word Count: 115k
Genres: gay fiction, queer fiction, magical realism, contemporary
Characters: gay, bi, trans, straight
Keywords/Categories: gay, bisexual, transgender, trans, gay fiction, queer fiction, magical realism

Buy Links:

QueeRomance Ink (all buy links)

Amazon

Amazon Paperback

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Goodreads 

Author Bio:

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento, with two pink flamingos by the front porch.

He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website

Author Facebook (Author Page)

Author Twitter 

Author Goodreads

Author QueeRomance Ink

Author Amazon

 

 

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Wednesday Words #179(5/30/2018)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

“Gawd, I hate this weather!”

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Wednesday Words #178(5/23/2018)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a duck
someone is late
a change of plans

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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