Life’s been… okay, I’ve been adjusting to a whole slew of changes in routine and the like. I’ve been writing, and am working on the next piece of Say What You Want. Or rather, the last piece. I think this one is going to be fairly long — at least as long as the first piece, which was roughly 9k words. 

I’ve been averaging NaNo word-count levels this month — I have about 47k written so far, total, of various things I’ve written this month. It’s nice to feel this productive again, especially since I’ve been helping out the local high school and dealing with my son being in pre-school, not to mention running all over the place to get appointments done and new living arrangements, etc. 

Sales have been better. 🙂 I’m hoping that things continue this way, because while it’s not a lot, still, every little bit counts. I don’t ever expect to become famous, but I want to make enough money to live off of, one day. I think this weekend I’ll spend time polishing up some of my other short stories and find anthologies to put them in. I do intend to one day traditionally publish The Tomorrow Trilogy, and any publishing credit is better than none. Also, getting a few stories out for rotation at a time may help in bringing in more cash, as well. 

All in all, things have been good, I’m averaging around 1600-1700 words a day, and am developing a routine and hours that I need to protect from the rest of the household. Here’s to hoping I can finish the next part of Say What You Want this weekend — I want to get it up for publishing by Monday. And once it’s up, I’ll work on Seize the Day, chapter 6. Annnnd after that, I’ll organize which short stories I want to edit first. I already made notes a few weeks ago on each piece, just never got around to actually doing the editing.

If you can’t tell, I am very much a “multiple projects at once,” type of writer. I can’t focus on any one for very long. Which means while I finish multiple projects all around the same time, it takes me a while to get there. I can focus on one chapter at a time, though, and rough outlines when I’m not discovery writing things help a whole lot in that regard. If it’s under 40k, I don’t need to plan, just need to go with the flow. With Say What You Want and Vicky & Mordecai, when I finish their first run-throughs, I intend to repackage them as a whole, edit them, add in scenes, etc, as a sort of practice for the revision process of others books. 

It’s nice having a plan. 🙂 I just hope it all comes together for me. Without any further rambling from me, though, a snippet from the next part of Say What You Want

Jess sat on the couch, his video game controller held loosely in his hands. He stared at the television screen, a slight frown on his face. It didn’t matter how many times he died, he kept pushing his character forward. He mistimed jumps and attacks on the enemy to the point where the deadly missteps felt as though they were on purpose as opposed to on accident. Despite the frustration building in the back of his throat, he kept playing.

The whole time, his eyes would drift to his phone. A phone that hadn’t so much as buzzed since the night before. No messages, no emails, no nothing from Dustin. Just that one thirty second phone call.

Shawn came and got me. “Of course he did,” Jess muttered to himself, his frown deepening as his man died yet again. Growling, Jess tossed the controller away from him, putting his face in his hands. Tears leaked from his eyes, but he just wiped them away. ***

He tried to forget the pitying looks his parents had given him the night before. The words of reassurance, that this was unlike Dustin to just skip out on something that important to Jess. Except Dustin had, and had spent the night with one of the richest men in the country, gathering new bruises and claw marks as they made love over and over.

As much as Jess didn’t want to think about it, it was all he could think about. Shawn on top of Dustin, bending him over a desk, slamming in and out of him. The desperate pleas for release escaping Dustin’s throat, along with several other, almost inhuman noises. There had been nights where the memory excited Jess, but tonight, it they made his stomach twist and turn. Made it climb into his throat, causing him to swallow it back down in order to keep it in place.

The apartment door opened, slow and deliberate. Dustin stepped beyond it, his head hung low and one arm crossed over his chest. Dustin rubbed his arm before meeting Jess’s eyes. “Sorry,” he murmured.

Jess looked away from Dustin, tossing his controller down on the couch before placing his head in his hands. He ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head. “Dude, I told you we were going to see my family last night,” he began, feeling a slight pressure building in his chest.

“I know, I just –”

“Dustin, you didn’t forget,” Jess said, feeling his eyes filled with tears. “I know you, dude. You didn’t forget. You just — decided Shawn was more important, that’s all.”

“I didn’t –” Dustin cut himself off and shoved his hands in his pockets. His hair hung in front of his face. Sighing, Dustin said, “He’s not more important than you.”

“Then why didn’t you come to my parents’ house last night?” Jess asked, feeling an unfamiliar heat rising in his body. He pushed himself off the couch and walked towards the kitchen, body on autopilot as his mind reeled with various things to say, each one angrier and more hurtful than the last. He chewed his tongue and walked over to the sink, grabbing the first dirty plate he could find and scrubbing it.

“He said he wasn’t gonna have any free-time for a while. Was only going to let him fuck me at work and then leave to come home,” Dustin said, following Jess into their unfortunately spotless kitchen.

Jess began placing scrubbed plates and bowls into the dishwasher, even rearranging it as he went along. His hands shook, and his lip quivered, but he forced himself to breathe in deeply and will his tears away. “He had sex with you at your job?” he managed, his voice thankfully even. “Isn’t that kinda dangerous, dude?”

“He owns the company, remember?” Dustin pointed out. Jess saw him shrug out of the corner of his eye. “He sent everyone else home and fucked me in the manager’s office.”

“But you didn’t come home,” Jess said, turning to Dustin for a moment. He narrowed his eyes at him, his lip quivering despite his best efforts to keep it still. Jess pursed his lips together, frowning as Dustin just avoided his eyes yet again. “Why didn’t you come home after, Dustin?”

Dustin opened his mouth as if to speak, then closed it again and shook his head. “He — he wouldn’t let me come unless I went home with him,” he said, sounding as unimpressed with his reasoning as Jess felt.

Jess snorted, resisting the urge to roll his eyes as he turned his attention back to his suddenly empty sink. He closed up the dishwasher, making note to start it later when there were more dishes inside it and moved on to cleaning the counter. He scrubbed the stove as best as he could, feeling the pressure rising in his chest. “‘Course he did. That why you spend the night there, too?” Jess stopped what he was doing, throwing the wipe in the trash and rinsing his fingers off in the sink.

Dustin’s face turned red and he turned his head away from Jess yet again. He scuffed his feet along the tile floor, chewing on his bottom lip. “I’m sorry, Jess,” he whispered, his own voice cracking with emotion. “Don’t know what came over me. It won’t happen again.”

“Damn right it won’t happen again,” Jess growled. He felt a tiny bit of the pressure in his chest shift, growing less pressing. “I don’t want you to see Shawn again, okay? I know you really like him, and I’m sorry, because I know it’s just sex and all but — you weren’t there for me, and I needed you there, and –” He cut himself off, rubbing his eyes. “Just — Shawn’s a good guy and all, but I don’t know if we can really make this whole arrangement work after all, and I’m sorry.”

Tears rolled down Jess’s face as he walked out of the kitchen and headed towards their office. “Just — leave me alone for a little bit, okay?” Jess said, his shoulders shaking and fists balling at his sides.

“O-okay, dude,” Dustin replied, his voice sounding so small and fragile. Jess didn’t dare look behind him, not as he opened the door to their office and walked inside it, sitting down in front of his computer. He buried his face in his hands, sobbing into them as his shoulders shook despite how much anger and frustration tried to hold his shoulders in place.

He just wanted for the rest of the day to be over.