June 30, 2017

I wanted to get a flash fiction done tonight, but I’ve been tired all week. Split shifts at work, dog sitting, and a low-grade sinus infection. Still, I’m committing to writing as often as I can so I decided to set my timer for 30 minutes and write.

I actually kind of like what I ended up with — I wrote it in about 21 minutes, and it’s inspired by the Catherine Gayle Thursday release, Power Play. If you love contemporary romance, you should be reading Catherine Gayle.

In other news, it’s been confirmed that Steve Burton is returning to General Hospital. I haven’t watched regularly in about a year or so, but if he’s staying long term and isn’t just a hallucination as rumored, it might just be the kick I need for my writing. To see Steve and Becky together again…*sigh* I liked Billy and I enjoyed watching his version of Jason up until the point Jason Morgan got his memories back. Billy made a good amnesia!Jason but he’s just not Jason Morgan for me, so I tuned out.

We’ll see what happens.

For now, here’s your first Micro Fiction: Spontaneous Combustion. I plan to come back tomorrow with a Flash Fiction, either continuing my Scottish romance or the mystery thriller thing I wrote last week. We’ll see what the muse wants to write.

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Micro Fiction

At the time, it had seemed like the most genius plan either of them had ever considered.

Of course, twelve hours earlier, they had been drunk in a pricey resort bar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and had been lucky remember their own names—which had come in handy when the heavily accented officiant had asked for their names.

Somehow, when coming up with the grand plan of marrying a complete stranger, they had not even exchanged the most basic of courtesies.

They’d exchanged a great deal of other things to be sure after the ceremony had concluded, but now…as Elizabeth Webber groggily came to, she realized that while she remembered that she had exchanged vows with the gorgeous man next to her—

She couldn’t quite remember the name he’d said to the officiant.

She sat up, the silky cerulean sheets falling her to waist, her hair tumbling around her shoulders in a tangle that likely resembled a rat’s next and looked at him again. This time, he was looking back, his eyes the same deep blue as the Gulf of Mexico that lay beyond the window of their hotel suite.

“So,” Elizabeth said with a half smile. “That happened.”

He grinned and put a hand under his head. “Yeah. That happened.” He raised his eyebrows. “Jason Morgan.”

“Hmm?”

“You were looking at me like you didn’t know me.” His eyes slid down her torso, and she flushed, reaching for the sheet.

“I remembered you…just not your name so much.” She tilted her head. “That didn’t seem nearly as important last night as…other things.”

“Hmmm…” He sat up, the sheets pooling at his waist. “Is this where we decide it was a giant mistake and go our separate ways?” The words came easy and effortlessly—even carelessly, but there was something in his eyes that said just the opposite.

“We probably should,” Elizabeth said slowly, “but you know…” She sighed and laid back, looking at whitewashed ceiling. “It doesn’t feel like that’s the right idea.”

“You don’t—” He turned on his side to look at her. “I can still help you get a new passport and a ticket home.”

She should say yes. Chalk this entire trip up to a learning experience on why you shouldn’t trust anyone with your love or your passport. She didn’t know this man outside of the bedroom, but for some reason, despite everything she had ever known, she thought he might be the rare unicorn—a man who meant what he said. She could ask him for a divorce or some sort of annulment and he would probably still make phone calls to the embassy for her.

But go home to what?

And let him go home alone?

“What about what you said last night?” Elizabeth asked after a moment. “Didn’t you want to stick it your ex and your brother? Show them you didn’t need them at all?”

Jason laid back on his own pillow. “It seems colder now than it did then,” he admitted. “I liked the idea of going home with you, showing that I had already forgotten her. But would it be fair to use you like that?” He shook his head. “You deserve better than that.”

“Well, you deserve better than finding your fiance in bed with your brother the week before the wedding.” Elizabeth sat back up and pressed her lips together. “Look, I’m not looking for a fairy tale or forever after, you know? I just…I don’t have anything much to go home in San Diego. There’s no job. I’ve always been crap and making and keeping friends. You made a good case last night. I could get a chance to take a breather, figure out the next step. You could piss off your ex. And well,…” She trailed her fingers down the lean muscles of his torso, slipping her fingers under the sheet resting low at his waist. “We could have fun for a while.”

He studied her for a moment. “Just fun?”

“What else is there?” she returned with an easy smile.

“Friends,” Jason replied, catching her fingers in his grasp and rubbing his fingers over the cheap, gold band on her finger. “You’re right about not guaranteeing fairy tales or forever, but I think I’d like to be friends with my wife.”

Friends. The word felt foreign on her lips but she managed to keep the smile on her face. “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try anything once.”

He tugged her down to him. “Of course, there’s still four days left before we have to check out.”

“Whatever will we do with all that time?” Elizabeth grinned as he rolled her to her back and leaned to kiss her.

June 23, 2017

So I was at the bookstore today and came across a book of 100 prompts for romance authors. I figured, what the hell. So I bought it.

My plan is to pick a prompt and write as many flash fictions as it takes to get to the end of a story. So hopefully, I’ll be back again next week. I wrote this in 40 minutes, but did not go back to really edit or do anything with it. I have no idea where it’s going or it’s going to make sense, but this is part of my practice to stop letting shit get in my head and just write. So I wrote.

Flash Fiction #10: The Wrong Place

 

Edit: Apologies — the link didn’t post at first, which is really gonna suck for people subscribing to this 😛

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Workshop

Prompt: Your heroine captures something on film that makes people want to kill her.

This is unedited, so excuse the typos.


Elizabeth Webber wrinkled her nose and looked at her film editor. “Can you replay that last fifteen seconds?” The beleaguered Dillon Quartermaine clicked a few buttons and the footage of the park the previous day began to roll again. When it had ended, he looked at her. “Wanna go another six times or can we go to print?”

“I guess.” Elizabeth sat back in her chair and touched her pen to her lip. “I just feel like I’m missing something—”

“You’re doing a minute thirty bit on the annual police barbecue.” Dillon played with a few more buttons, adding titles and shaving an extra half second off the back end. “It’s not really Pulitzer Prize material.”

“You don’t win Pulitzers for television.”

“Okay, well, whatever you win for TV.” Dillon slid the tape out and handed it to her. “I’m sorry to break it to you, but you know this might even get relegated to the D-block.”

“Yeah.” She sighed. “It’s not really what I wanted to do. I wanted to investigate, break stories that matter—”

“You wanted to be Woodward or Bernstein or those guys from the Globe who broke the priest story. You want to do something that people are gonna make Oscar movies about.” Dillon shrugged. “Welcome to the club. No money in that kind of journalism any more. Believe me.” He sighed, wistfully. “I wanted to make documentaries, but it’s like impossible to get funding—”

“This just isn’t how I pictured my life is all,” Elizabeth grumbled. She took out her phone and flipped through the missed notifications and checked her text messages. “My friend at the council’s office said they’re going to try to hold that vote tonight.”

“Yeah? They’re really gonna try to impeach the mayor?” Dillon whistled. “There’s a story. You got a connection to that, maybe—”

“I tell Ned and he’ll just give the story to Carly. Again.” She pursed her lips and eyed him. “You still handy with a camera?”

“What, you wanna show up at the mayor’s office to see his reaction?” He considered it. “It’s not the worst idea in the world—”

“No, I want to go to City Hall and be on scene when the vote goes down. If we’re already there with a camera—”

“More likely Ned will let us at least get the first on camera. He’ll remember you’re alive.” Dillon rose to his feet. “What the hell. I’m not doing anything else interesting tonight.”


The street was quiet as Elizabeth pulled her battered Ford into an empty parking space in the City Hall lot. There were only a few other cars—and it didn’t look like any one was holding a top secret super important vote.

“Maybe Em was wrong,” she murmured as she got out of her car.

“Maybe we’re just super early. “ Dillon hoisted the station camera over his shoulder. “You want to shoot an intro just to have it ready?”

“No, but maybe get some background footage—we can play up how secret and hush hush the vote is. Or we can just film in the dark,” she muttered, pulling her denim more tightly around her.

Obediently, Dillon started to pan the parking lot for about thirty seconds. He frowned. “Hey—what’s that over there?”

Elizabeth came around the side of the car to follow his gaze. On the far side of the parking lot, a man had stepped out of his car, followed by another man. She couldn’t hear what they were saying, but they were furiously arguing. “Film it,” she ordered. “Maybe it’s a council member—”

Later, she would try to describe the sound she heard later—firecrackers. A sharp crack.

But she would never be able to really put into the words the sound the gun made as it flashed. One of the men crumpled to the ground.

“Oh, shit!” Dillon cried out, frantically zooming in. “Oh, shit, that’s—”

“Get in the car, get in the car—” Elizabeth yanked the passenger side door open and shoved him towards it. Dillon’s exclamation had carried—and the shooter had turned towards them.

Had started to run towards them.

Elizabeth stumbled and nearly dropped her keys as she threw herself in her car.

“We have to go,” Dillon said, voice shaking. “Go. Please go. Go.”

“I’m going, I’m going—” She threw the car into drive and squealed out of the parking lot.

“Holy shit, holy shit,” Dillon whimpered. “We just—did you see who that was?”

“It was too dark and they were far away—but you zoomed in, Dillon—” She glanced at him as she turned a corner. She headed for the highway—not thinking about a destination, just wanting to put as much distance between herself and the lunatic with the gun.

“The mayor—” Dillon swallowed. “Julian Jerome just shot Justus Ward.”

Her stomach dropped. “Well, shooting the Speaker of the City Council is one way to avoid impeachment.” Elizabeth swallowed “Do you—do you think he knows who we are—” She looked at the camera in his lap—with the station’s logo—WKPC—emblazoned across it. The light had been shining.

“Well, it was dark,” Dillon managed. “But um…” He looked at her. “I know Julian. I mean, he knows me. I mean, it’s—I dated his niece for a while. A-and the light was kind of—” He waved his hand. “All over us both.”

“Shit. Shit.” Her options were limited. They could go to the police but—ha—

“There’s no way this doesn’t go bad for us,” Dillon said. “The department is in Julian’s pocket. This tape will disappear and you know they’re saying he’s got connections, and he sure as hell doesn’t mind killing people—”

“And if we take it to Ned, we put him in danger.” Elizabeth winced. “Shit. I know who I have to call.”

Dillon frowned. “Who?”

“My ex-husband,” she muttered. “Damn it.” She’d sworn the day she walked out she’d never say another word to him. Damn it.

“How he’s going to help?”

“He works for the FBI,” Elizabeth sighed. “Damn it,” she swore again as she fished in her pocket for her phone. “Siri,” she said, her teeth clenched. “Call Jason Morgan.”

“Calling Jason Morgan…”

 

June 6, 2017

I’ve been struggling with writing for the last year or so — I don’t think anyone would be surprised that the amount of actual writing I’ve done since early 2016 has been negligible. I went back to graduate school — a more demanding program than my last go around. My health has been rough, my family obligations have increased (despite not having kids of my own somehow). And I’ve just lost the creative juice. I’ve said this before, but it’s become clear to me over the last month that it’s not just the creative mojo I’ve lost, but the actual love of writing.

I don’t know what to do about that. I have the urge to write until I open up the screen. I’ll get through a few scenes (there is actual progress that’s been made with Bittersweet), but I haven’t had that breakthrough moment. When I was writing A Few Words Too Many in early 2014, I wrote that entire story in about a month. It just poured out of me. I stayed up late, I wrote several chapters a day. I wrote every day — it was a struggle to stop writing to do every day things like my actual graduate work and go out with friends. The Best Thing and All We Are came in more fits and starts, but there were days like that for both of those stories, and of course the first two seasons of Damaged–once I figured out what I was doing with that story, it just flowed in about six months.

I’ve lost that somewhere. And it breaks my heart. I don’t know where it went. I still think about unfinished works every day, I plan it in my head. I write entire scenes while I’m supposed to be driving or working. And then I sit down to actually create what I’ve been seeing, and it just falls apart on the page. Maybe I’m being too hard on my self, maybe I literally just have to force myself to write. I don’t know. I’m not giving up.

I sat down this morning to work on Damaged, Season 3, and I’m ripping it apart for the fourth time.  I’ve been having trouble with it because there are some stories in there I’m not excited about and that hasn’t helped. I’m going to spend most of today on it — apart from getting ready a short shift at work. I’m going to keep writing. I can’t promise what or when I’ll be posting new content again.

But I’ll keep trying. I have this memory of the day I wrote If I Don’t Try With You in about three hours–it has to be honestly the best three hour period of my writing career. And that just poured out of me. I think it shows in how good it is (I’m not being modest–I actually cried while writing it, I love that story so much.) I know I’m capable of this kind of writing. I just have to find it again.

I love you guys for sticking around — as always, I am here. I’ll keep trying if you’ll keep waiting.