Friday Flash Fics + 1, or, Late As Usual

I know, I know. It’s Saturday, not Friday. Sue me.

(Actually, please don’t sue me. Anyway, moving on.)

A pre-PS plug: My friend ‘Nathan’s YA novel, Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks, is available for preorder, but lucky me, I’m reading it right now and I think you should totally get it.

Go on, I’ll wait.

Done? Right. Moving on. The photo below is the prompt for last week’s Friday Flash Fic, but I can’t do anything on time. The photo for this week? I’ll probably write something in response to that one next week.

That’s me, perpetually a little behind.

Anyway, I looked at this one and thought, is he coming or going? Going, I decided. And someone doesn’t want him to go. That someone also happens to be a Star Trek fan, so if you get the references herein, I’m pleased.

It’s more than a bit sentimental, but yeah, sue me. (Don’t sue me.) Enjoy, and live long and prosper.

Departure Lounge

Peter set down his suitcase and waited for his ride. It was just before sunset, and the meadow was bathed in a golden-hour glow, that special quality of air that seemed purpose built to make beautiful things even more beautiful. And the meadow was beautiful: lush grass dotted with bobbleheaded yellow flowers swaying gently, and ringed with towering conifers. Peaceful. Quiet, except for the occasional birdsong from the trees, the swishing of breeze over blades of grass.

He was going to miss Earth so much.

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A story: Scorned, from The Lavender Menace

Oh, this one was so much fun to write. I love writing bad guys as much as actors love playing villains, I think. I mean, admit it: Who do you think had more fun playing their character on Dynasty, Linda Evans or Joan Collins? Exactly. So, gay supervillains? Bonus!

The best part of this, though, was probably the editing process. Tom Cardamone really had great feedback that helped me improve the story and make it darker and “a little more Arkham,” as he put it. After I finished this, I considered revisiting the characters later, maybe a reunion of sorts between Marcus and the good doctor.

I’m still wondering who would come out on top in that confrontation….

(If you like the story, subscribe to my newsletter to read more like it.)

“Scorned” appeared in The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy! published by Northwest Press. You can get a copy here. And check out the follow-up, Absolute Power: Tales of Queer Villainy!

“You’re new.”

Marcus Harris had never seen the woman standing in the visitor’s vestibule adjacent to his cell, but her white coat, worn over a charcoal business suit, blared “psychologist.” She wore glasses and kept her curly blonde hair shoulder length. Sitting in the plastic chair reserved for visitors (who never came), she crossed her legs and settled a clipboard over her knees. When she smiled at him, it was completely unconvincing.

“I’m Dr. Emily Wheeling,” she said. “The warden asked me to come see you this morning and ask you a few questions.”

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A story: “At the End of the Leash”

Cover of Fool for Love: New Gay FictionYou never forget your first, right? This story was the first one I ever published. It still holds a special place in my heart, but when I looked at it now, it struck me that I didn’t realize at the time how long it was. Over 8,000 words? Seems excessive to me now. I’m a more concise writer, I think.

This story originally appeared in the anthology Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction edited by R.D. Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert and published by Cleis Press. A lot of the authors in here have become friends of mine, as have the editors.

This story may have established a pattern for a lot of my future stories, in that they too revolve around love and somehow manage to work dogs into the equation.

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Next week, a story

(TL/DR, sign up for my email newsletter and next week you’ll get a short story from me. I promise not to be spammy or sell your name. People who do that have a special place in hell where they’re forced to be roommates with Ann Coulter and Kellyanne Conway. And Chris Christie lives next door. Ew, right?)

This week I officially rejoined the ranks of the full-time workforce. I won’t bore you with the details about that (and they really are boring). However, it gives me an opportunity to talk about consistency, time management, changes to my weekly email (which haven’t been all that weekly of late), and the value we place (or don’t place, rather) on fiction.

I’m not the sort of writer who thinks “you have to write every day without fail and it has to be  X number of words or you’re a complete failure why do you even call yourself a writer just give it up already.”

Photo of an old fashioned typewriter by Sergey Zolkin.
Note, this is not my typewriter. Do I wish it was? You betcha.

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Upcoming story in Foglifter

foglifterIf you follow me on the Twitter or the Facebook or the Instagram, you might have heard about this already, but I figured it was worth mentioning again here. I’ve got a story coming out in Issue Two of Foglifter Journal. It’s a relatively new litmag published in San Francisco and dedicated to writing by queer writers. My story, “Shepherd,” is a little queer and a little strange, and features (surprise, surprise!) a dog. I’ll share a snippet of it a little closer to publication date, but in the meantime, go check out the magazine.

And hey, check out the list of contributors for Issue Two. Look who I’m just below: Jewelle Gomez! I read that and thought, “OMG, I’m going to be in the same magazine as Jewelle Gomez? Am I worthy?” Not only that, but five (FIVE) writers I met when I was a Lambda fellow. It’s gonna be like old home week in print!