Friday Five with @meganslayer #writing #writingprompt #shortstory

Want to join in on the Friday Five fun, then find the other posts here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/miscellaneous-musings/friday-five-writing-prompt-challenge-for-april-23-2021/

This week’s words are: increase, retire, dairy, hiccup, verdict. I’ve got them below and Willie’s back. #whereismolly

Willie dug the tin from the earth. He swore he felt his blood pressure increase as he swiped the dirt away. He’d said he’d retire. Said he’d be done by now. Then Molly…

He held the tin, but dropped to his knees. “Molly?” He opened the tin and the contents of his stomach lurched. Damn. He wished he hadn’t had dairy before coming out on this search. He hated the taste of milk the second time around.

His flashlight flickered and rain trickled down his face. He held the tin in one hand and the flashlight in the other. “Work, damn you.” He whacked the flashlight on his thigh, hoping the dwindling light was a mere hiccup and not the end of the battery life.

The light faded and dowsed, leaving him in the dark of the rainy night. He shoved the defunct flashlight into his jacket pocket and focused on the tin. He wiped the dirt from the lid and picked at the edge. The tin would give him answers. It had to–not that it could talk. He worked the tin open, then fumbled in his other pocket for his phone. There was a flashlight on the device. He’d probably ruin the phone in the rain, but he needed the light.

“And the verdict is…” he mumbled. He swiped until he turned on the flashlight and looked in the tin. “Molly, don’t do this to me now.” He stared at the piece of paper. Not the answer he wanted. Damn.

Friday Five with @meganslayer #writing #shortstory #spooky #writingprompt

I’m a little late to the party this week. Life got in the way, but that happens. Want to join in? Then go to long and short reviews and do just that! http://www.longandshortreviews.com/miscellaneous-musings/friday-five-writing-prompt-challenge-for-april-16-2021/

This weeks’ words are: long, tin, party, witch, earthquake. Here we go!

Willie hated the dark. Always had. Bad things happened in the dark. Maybe it stemmed from his childhood trauma with the earthquake. The house shifted and moved in the middle of the night. When he woke, he realized he teetered on his bed, which would’ve ended up in the basement–had he moved the wrong way. Ever since, he hated long, dark nights and the uncertainty of being in the dark.

At least there weren’t any earthquakes expected tonight. But damn. This search party of one wasn’t his best idea. He should’ve asked for help, but Molly needed him–earthquake, dark night, or not.

It wasn’t exactly warm, either. Colder than a witch’s elbow, his grandmother would say. But his grandmother hadn’t met Molly.

Where was she?

He spotted something shiny, then kicked at the object. The tin. Holy hell. He’d found her.

“Molly?” He opened the tin and held his breath. If she wanted to see him, then she’d show. If not, he’d be screwed.

A figure appeared in the distance. He exhaled and dropped the dying flashlight.

“Molly.”

Friday Five with @meganslayer #writingprompt #writing #fridayfive

Find the other Friday Five right here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/miscellaneous-musings/friday-five-writing-prompt-challenge-for-april-9-2021/

Here are this week’s words: Hell, railroad, chief, abridge, past. Let’s see how this goes!

The road to hell had to be not a road, but a railroad. Willie swore up and down the scariest way to get to hell had to be a railroad in the dark. It never ended and always led not only to the future, but the past. He’d never be able to forget the mistakes he’d made as a teen, but why forget when those mistakes taught him lessons? He continued along the darkened railway line with his flashlight as his only source of illumination. This was how scary movies started. A man alone in the railroad tracks in the dark. How much longer until the batteries in his flashlight gave out? He had no idea. But he was sure if he kept looking, he could abridge the search for Molly. His chief purpose was to find her. He couldn’t go home until he did.

“Molly?”

Friday Five with @meganslayer #writing #prompt #gay #gayromance #fridayfive

This week’s words are: Index, opposed, mark, suggest, depend. If you want to take part, then check out the other posts here and join in! http://www.longandshortreviews.com/ Here goes nothing with the end of Sid and Mac’s story.

Sid scrolled through the menu on his phone and tapped one of items listed with his index finger. “Did you want me to suggest something or just order for both of us?” He still couldn’t believe he’d met up with Mac for dinner. Maybe the get together wasn’t much to Mac, but it was everything to Sid. He wanted this chance to hang out outside of the school setting.

Mac settled beside him on the sofa. “I’m not opposed to you ordering for the both of us.” He angled on the cushion to face Sid. “I’ll eat pretty much anything.”

“Are you sure?” He pointed to the pizza toppings. “What about mushrooms, onions, green peppers and pepperoni?” He wanted this evening to be perfect.

“It’s fine.” Mac took the phone from him. “I don’t care what we eat. All that matters is you and me being here tonight.”

Sid stared into Mac’s eyes. “I have a question for you, but I’m afraid to ask.”

“I’ll do my best to answer, but it depends on what you ask me.” Mac grinned. “Go for it.”

“I…” He forgot for a moment what he wanted to say. He had Mac there in his apartment, close enough to touch and kiss, yet he’d lost his nerve. Shoot. If he didn’t speak up now, he’d never do it. “You like me?”

“Is that a question or statement?” Mac laced his fingers with Sid’s. “If it’s a statement, then it’s true. If it’s a question, then yes, I do. You’ve made a mark on my heart. I like you very much and I’m glad we’re here tonight.”

“Mac?” He could’ve sworn he heard Mac say he liked him.

“Stop thinking so hard and come here.” Mac tugged him close and kissed him.

Sid’s synapses misfired and he closed his eyes. The moment he’d waited, longed and prayed for had arrived. Mac’s kiss was better than he’d imagined. He’d gotten his wish.

Mac stayed close, but broke the kiss first. “Does that answer your question better?”

“It does.” He barely recognized his voice, being so low. “I like you, too.”

“Then there we go.” Mac curled his fingers under Sid’s chin. “Here’s to the first day of the rest of our lives–together.”

“Here, here.” Sid brushed his nose along Mac’s and sighed. He’d gotten what he wanted. Despite the requirements for the staff meeting dinner, problems with his lack of mechanical skills and the rest of the problems, he’d forged a connection with Mac. He couldn’t wait to see where their relationship would go and have his happy ever after.

Friday Five with @meganslayer #serialstory #prompts #writing

Find the other Friday Five here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/miscellaneous-musings/friday-five-writing-prompt-challenge-for-march-12-2021/

I got a little behind this week, so it took me a bit to get back to Sid and Mac. But, I did. Here’s the next installment of their story. Sid is so nervous. Hopefully things start working out for him. As for now, the words are Sit, portion, fiber, inflate, beef. Enjoy!

Sid stared at the menu for the teachers’ meeting. He hadn’t expected having someone cater the event would cause the prices to inflate so much. It shouldn’t be so expensive to have roast beef sandwiches and salads for the meeting. Twenty dollars per portion seemed rather expensive, especially since the most plentiful thing on the menu was bread. At least the salad provided some fiber to balance the meal.

Mac joined him in the lounge. “I hear you’re working on the menu.”

“I was.” Sid rubbed his forehead. “I don’t know how to make this work. I was told to use this catering service, but the prices are outrageous.”

“Mind if I sit and look at it?” Mac pulled the chair out next to him. “Have you tried this company yet?”

“What do you mean?” He liked having Mac so close. After the night he’d helped Sid put the shelf up, he’d been able to talk to Mac more. He liked his company and clear-eyed view on things. He also rather appreciated the scent of his cologne, too. Heat sizzled in his veins. If Mac happened to brush his arm, Sid might combust.

“Well, you can usually do taste tests ahead of time. If this group won’t let you, even with small portions, then that’s a red flag. If the powers that be told you to use this one, too, then that’s one as well.” Mac looked over the flier and website on Sid’s tablet. “I get why they wanted you to use this one.” He snorted. “It’s the superintendent’s wife’s company. You’d think we’d get a price break.”

“I had no idea.” The tips of his ears turned red. “I guess I’m mucking this up, too.”

“Nah.” Mac grinned. “They know you’re still new at this. I’ve been at the school for four years. This is your first and since you’ve volunteered to help, they’ll pile you with extra work.”

“Yeah.” He folded his hands on his lap. “They know they’ve got a sucker, eh?”

“Someone has to handle these details and they don’t want to, so it’s up to you.” Mac elbowed him. “But you’ve got me, so we’ll figure this out and make it awesome. They’ll see you’ve made it awesome and appreciate you. I know I do.”

Sid pressed his lips together to keep from gawking. Mac appreciated him? He’d touched him, too. Holy cow. He so needed to wind up his courage and ask Mac out. Soon.

“Ready to tackle this menu and catering issue?” Mac asked.

“Sure.” They’d hit it out of the park and maybe he’d get a date out of this, too. One could only hope.

Friday Five with @meganslayer #writing #prompt #storystarter

You can find the rest of the Friday Five posts right here: http://longandshortreviews.com/

This week’s words are X-ray, fire, style, fate, wire. Here we go.

He should’ve known the hand of fate would swat at him, cat-like that evening. He should’ve known that wire wouldn’t be something simple or unattached. But he’d grabbed it–just his style. He saw the wire, thought it was a vine and pulled. Was it unattached? No. The stupid wire HAD to be part of the cable lines and tangled up with other wires. What did he know about wires? What did he know about electricity? Or projectile objects… The wire moved, the sparks shot out of the empty socket, then the rake flew in the explosion and all of the sudden, his lights went out.

He sat on the gurney and groaned. Not only had the house caught fire from him yanking that wire, but now he needed an X-ray. He’d managed to impale himself with the heavy tines of the garden rake. The cable wire had been tangled up with a fallen electrical wire and now he had no house, a bloodied leg and no insurance.

Go figure.

Friday Five with @meganslayer #writing #writingprompt #shortstory #LGBTQ

You can find the other short pieces to the prompt here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/ Join in! It’s a lot of fun! Here’s my contribution:

Aaron stared at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t sure if the costume would be good enough. He wanted to look perfect for the event and details mattered. How best could he articulate his affection for Steve unless he wore this ridiculous costume? Didn’t everyone wear a bright red heart suit when going to propose to his boyfriend of five years–his favorite person in the entire world?

He stepped out of the bedroom and strode across the living room to the back porch. When he crossed the threshold to the back patio, he stumbled. Darn his nerves.

“What are you doing?” Steve tipped his head. “Aaron? What are you wearing?”

“I wanted to ask you something.” Aaron fortified his nerves. “It’s…I need to tell you something.”

“What?” Steve sank onto the half-wall ringing the patio. “You’re confusing me. It’s not Valentine’s Day. What’s going on?”

“I…” Damn it. “Will you marry me?”

“Aaron?”

He dropped to one knee and offered the ring. “Will you marry me?”

“You’re serious?” Steve’s eyes lit up. “You are.”

His hands shook. “What do you think?” God. This was the hardest thing he’d ever done. “Steve?”

Steve’s eyes misted over and he grinned, then held out his left hand. “I will happily marry you.”

Aaron slid the ring on his boyfriend’s finger. At least he hadn’t stumbled over asking the question. He stood and embraced Steve. The proposal hadn’t gone the way he’d expected, but he hadn’t been turned down.

Score one for the home team.

How My Family Survives My Writing – #evernighties @meganslayer #writing

Find the other #evernighties posts by searching the hashtag on social media.

I’ve been thinking about this prompt for a while. How does my family survive my writing. It’s an interesting thing to ponder. Surviving. I never thought what they have to do is surviving. But maybe it is.

I’m a quirky writer. I like to be left alone. I want noise when I write, but I need to be left alone. That tends to mean I have a television or the laptop making noise while I write. I can write at my desk, but I also write while sitting on the couch. I don’t think I force the family out when I write, but I do know they scatter when they know I’m under deadline. But I don’t force them to go. The tot spends his time making his movies and DH watches the shows he’s recorded and hasn’t had time to watch.

Is that surviving? I don’t know. They do enable my love of notebooks. DH enabled my love of pens and bought a beautiful fountain pen for me. I love it.

They respect that I write and encourage me, but you’d have to ask them if they feel it’s surviving. I’d like to think they’d say it’s not, that it’s existing, but you’d have to ask them.

While you’re here, check out my latest Evernight Publishing story, Soft Steel!

Soft Steel by Megan Slayer

Celestial Mates, Book 6

Contemporary Paranormal, Fantasy LGBTQ Romance

M/M, Anal Sex, Cross Dressing

Novella (21,000 words)

From Evernight Publishing

Cover Art by Jay Aheer

Celestial Mates, 6

Valermo Dax wants to be loved. He doesn’t fit into societal molds and he’s fine with that. If he can find a guy who adores him as-is, even better. Stripping isn’t getting him noticed by the kind of guys he wants to date—until Corey walks into the club.

Corey Blumenthal knows who he wants to see at the club—Val. Ever since they shared a biology class four years ago, he’s crushed on the sexy man sporting glitter and those sky-high heels. He finally winds up the courage to take Val home, but things don’t go as planned. A curse, shouted in anger, turns their world upside down.

Can these two men find the strength, courage, and love they always knew they had in order to save each other? Or will the curse change them forever?

Be Warned: m/m sex

 Available at Evernight Publishing: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/soft-steel-by-megan-slayer/

And wherever ebooks are sold:

https://books2read.com/u/3npQ8B

https://bit.ly/33ELi6W

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/986340?ref=draft2digital

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/soft-steel

#evernighties #iamwriting #rituals @meganslayer @evernightpub #writing

Find the other #evernighties posts by searching the #evernighties hashtag on social media!

I think I’ve touched on this before, but this week I’m blogging about my writing rituals. I can honestly say I don’t have many. I really don’t.

I’m the weirdo who likes to take a notebook everywhere because I never know when the story might speak to me. Is it a ritual? I don’t know. I call it being prepared. I used to have to keep a pen, any pen, with me to write said ideas down. Now it’s a sharpie. I don’t know why. It just is.

One thing, this might not be a ritual, but that I tend to do and seems more frequent right now, is that I have to write the story in a notebook longhand with a sharpie. It was with a pen, but I guess that’s a ritual. The story has to go down, first draft, in a notebook. I was asked why and the answer is simple. I can’t corrupt a notebook, it can’t be hacked and I can’t accidentally delete it unless I throw it away.

This isn’t a ritual per se, but one thing that tends to happen when I’m writing is that my dog, a rescue with attachment issues, must sleep in what we call her Peggy Pocket. She has to curl up between my knees, like she’s in a pocket. As long as she’s safe in her pocket, she’s good. So when I’m writing, that’s where she is.

Do you have any writing quirks? Rituals? Let me know!

While you’re here, try my Evernight book, Soft Marble!

Soft Marble

Celestial Mates, Book 1

Contemporary, Paranormal

M/M, Anal Sex

Short Story

Evernight Publishing

One touch from his lover and this marble will come to life.

Kratos, God of power and strength, has been imprisoned in pure white marble for more than two centuries. His lover can break the spell—if only his lover would find him.

 Andy Green knows his ancient artifacts. He spends his days restoring works of art. When the sculpture of Kratos enters his studio, he can’t hide his attraction. Will he be able to free the god or will forces beyond his control destroy everything he’s earned?

Available from Evernight Publishing!

From Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/soft-marble-by-megan-slayer/

From Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079KV1C88/

Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B079KV1C88/

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWZ2EG

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/soft-marble/id1346823042?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soft-marble-megan-slayer/1120029697?ean=2940155125525

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/soft-marble-1

Writing and Knowing with @meganslayer #writing #craft #pitfalls #potholes #iamwriting #meganslayer

ctr-authordish-logo_blue

What is something you wish you’d known when you first started writing, is an interesting question. It can pertain to my craft or career.

I’d like to hit a point or two on both. There a lot of things I wish I knew when I started in this crazy business. Some things seem rather simple and like everyone should know. The thing is, not everyone knows those simple things.

One craft thing I wish I knew when I started writing was finding a beta reader. This probably seems simple. Duh, have someone else read it before you send it. But I didn’t know that. I *assumed* authors wrote something, sent it to an editor and poof! They were published. Yes, I knew the editors did work on the MS, don’t get me wrong. But I had no idea there should be beta readers in the mix. I also didn’t know you have to be SUPER touchy about who beta reads for you. I don’t mean finding someone who will tell you the story is great. That won’t help you at all. I mean, finding someone you can trust. See, that trust thing, another thing I didn’t know right off, is something you need. If you can’t be sure that person won’t be truthful and not steal your work, then you probably shouldn’t be working with them.

On the career front… I have a couple thoughts here. One is never ever engage, especially to the negative, with reviewers. Now, I’ll admit, I do engage with some reviewers. Why? I’ve met them in person or they’re fun people. That’s no biggie. I don’t expect reviews from them, and if I get them, fine. What I’m talking about is the negative stuff. There will always be people who don’t like your work. You can write the greatest novel out there, but someone will hate it. That’s life. What I learned very early in my career is don’t engage. Seriously. Don’t. Why? You might think, if I’m nice and talk it out with them, they might change their mind. That’s probably not going to happen because they aren’t reviewing YOU. They’re reviewing YOUR BOOK. Second, brow beating them because they said your book wasn’t fabulous only makes you look bad. Reviews are there for criticism—constructive or otherwise. If you don’t want to look at negative reviews or they aren’t constructive (Like saying your work is crap and you should never write again), then don’t. I didn’t know that was a thing. I thought authors should clamor for any and all reviews. You can, but you don’t have to.

Another career thing I came to understand and wish I’d known to start with is this is a crazy business and connections are vital. But it’s also a SLOW business. It’s not quite as slow now that self-publishing is in vogue, but if you’re with a publisher, don’t expect the book to come out tomorrow. It won’t. It takes time for edits, cover art, final edits… It’s not all fast. Oh, and promotion is mostly on you. I wish I’d have known that. I might have done financing a little differently. But again, that’s on my end. I should’ve known. Right?

Those are some things I wish I knew when I set out in this business. I don’t regret making the leap to becoming a published author. I love what I do. But it might have been nice to know where the potholes were before I hit them and wrecked a few tires.