So we’re talking fears. Fear and anxieties. But not the spider kind. It’s what we fear or get anxious over with respect to writing. So this is going to be a super short blog, because the answer is … EVERYTHING!!!!
Okay, maybe not everything but it often feels like that. But let’s look at the obvious ones.
That my books will or do suck. I’m sure most authors worry over this at some point. But that doesn’t seem to be at all comforting. It’s like a constant battle between reading your work and thinking… wow, did I actually write that? It’s pretty good. And… EVERYTHING SUCKS. I suck. The plot sucks. The characters suck (or maybe they didn’t suck and that’s the problem 🙂 Did you get that pun, lol. Though, I hope that worrying means I care. As long as it doesn’t come to this…
2. That I’ll get a few chapters into it and just have nothing. No more plot, no more anything. And I have more than a couple of half started books to prove this is a real issue. Now, I try to tell myself I WILL go back and finish them, but it’s definitely the cause of some sleepless nights.
3. That my characters aren’t likeable. I quite enjoy writing the adorable asshole hero, but it’s a fine line between being likeable and readers thinking he’s a douche.
4. That when I write suspense/thriller my characters will either be too stupid to live, or I’ll mess up on the plot and it won’t be at all suspenseful.
There are lots more, but… it’s mostly along the same lines. I fear I’ll never build a readership. That I won’t ever feel as if I’ve made it. But I’m trying to just keep moving forward. Now go visit the other two ladies and see what their lists are.
Okay, so obviously it’s no surprise who chose this. I unapologetically love Nickelback. I know some of the other ladies might not love me for picking another song by these guys, but… what can I say. Anyway, I love this song because it’s very inspirational for me. It’s on my running track and always gives me that extra push when I’m reaching my limit. If you haven’t heard it, and are brave enough to give it a listen, the video’s below. I decided to continue with Seth and kent. Their latest snippet was March Photo Fiction. Otherwise, here’s the story…
“Foster party, you’re up next.”
Seth stopped fidgeting with his tie as he watched the older man smile, then slip back into the other room. Laughter filled the sliver of space before it cut off as the door snapped shut, dulling the sounds into nothing more than mumbled voices. He swallowed against the flutter of nervous energy through his chest, making it suddenly hard to breathe. The unnaturally bright waiting area dimmed until a loud blast of music broke through his haze.
He jumped, glancing at Kent. His partner stood off to one side, a clipboard in one hand, pen in the other. Kent shook his head, placing the items on the counter against the wall before retrieving his cell. He answered, his voice so hushed Seth couldn’t make out what the man was saying. Kent furrowed his brow, giving Seth the ‘one minute’ sign before secluding himself to the far end of the room.
Seth groaned inwardly then paced to the window on the opposite wall. Sunlight brightened the patch of lawn beyond the glass, casting long shadows across the sidewalk and street. A strip of orange coloured the sky in the distance, as the orb dipped toward the west.
The door behind Seth sprang open amid a round of laughter and a shower of confetti. A man and a woman dashed into the room, hands clasped together, jubilant smiles curving their lips. The guy pulled the girl to a stop, dipping her down for a long, slow kiss before leading her out.
Seth swallowed again, noting the bitter taste of fear on his tongue. What was he doing? Did he really think he and Kent had a chance? That they’d beat the odds and find a way to keep this…thing…between them from turning into dust and ash? That their jobs wouldn’t bleed out every ounce of joy from their lives until even love wasn’t enough to banish the shadows that followed them like a ever-present cloud? And if that wasn’t enough, Seth had to live each day knowing it could be his last. Or worse…Kent’s.
Panic chilled his skin, settling like a rock in his gut. This was crazy. He was crazy. What had possibly possessed him to ever think this was a good idea? Especially when they didn’t know a single hunter, yet, who’d gotten their happily ever after. Who had managed to make any kind of relationship work. True, they knew full well what they were getting themselves into, and had managed to forge ahead these past few months, but this…this meant so much more. This made it real. Made what he felt for Kent real.
Seth glanced at the man in question. Christ, just watching him standing there, talking, shouldn’t make Seth’s legs feel weak or his damn heart race. Shouldn’t make him smile in spite of the fear still churning his stomach. And it sure as hell shouldn’t make him want to close the distance between them and take the other man’s mouth in his. Feel Kent surrender into the kiss, his tongue sweeping across Seth’s. There was always a moment of anticipation before Kent’s taste filled his senses, and Seth swore he’d gladly drown in the man’s scent. That he’d give up a hundred years living safely on the sidelines if it meant just one more day with the jerk.
God, I’m such a fucking pussy.
He needed to grow a set. He fought demons and won. Surely he could manage to keep a few promises to the one person who meant more to him than any one else. Who he’d die for a thousand times over.
A hand touched his shoulder, and he spun, grabbing the other man by the collar. He blinked a few times before he realized it was the old guy who’d taken down their names.
Seth cringed, taking a moment to smooth the man’s jacket. “Sorry about that, I’m just a bit…”
“Nervous?” The older man laughed. “Par for the course, my boy. Few that come through those doors aren’t. I just wanted to know if you’d picked a song.”
“For when you walk through? Everyone picks a song.”
Seth swallowed again, doing his best not to choke. “Right.” He took the sheet the man handed him, trying to remember the name to a song they both like. Fuck, the name to any song. He glanced at Kent, then scribbled the title across the blank page. “This one.”
The man furrowed his brow. “That’s not one we usually get. It’s…”
“Perfect.” Seth smiled as Kent shoved his cell in his pocket then locked his gaze on him. “It’s absolutely perfect.”
“If you insist…”
Seth chuckled as the guy walked back through the doors, mumbling to himself.
Kent arched a brow as he joined him, glancing at the door as it shuddered closed. “Do I want to know what that was all about?”
Seth stared at him, mesmerized by the way his mouth moved when he talked. The collection of fine lines around his eyes and across the bridge of his nose. The guy was fucking breath-taking…and he was Seth’s.
Kent frowned, giving him a slap in the shoulder. “Dude! Should I be worried about that look on your face?” He scrubbed a hand back through his hair. “Shit! You’re not getting cold feet, are you? Because you said you were ready. You said you wanted this.”
“Me? Wuss out? Please. I’m the brawn in this relationship, remember?” He leaned in, brushing his mouth over Kent’s. “Besides, everybody needs to take a leap of faith. And I can’t think of anyone I’d rather jump for than you.”
Kent narrowed his eyes, giving Seth the once over. “You drank tequila, didn’t you? You always get so damn dramatic when you drink Patrón.”
“Maybe I’ve discovered something far stronger than alcohol.”
Kent’s expression softened. “Are you going to be this sappy the entire trip? Because we have a possible ghoul sighting. Not that I said we’d do anything about it considering what we’re about to do, but…the honeymoon can only last so long.”
Seth sighed, feeling the fear fade into the warm sensation in his chest. “Who needs a honeymoon when I’m already happy with the way things are. I’ll make you a deal…” He pushed into Kent’s chest, making the man grab his shoulders so he didn’t fall. “We say the vows, then go hunt us a ghoul. And then…” Seth whistled. “Then I get to use those silver cuffs for something far more interesting.”
Kent studied him, looking as if he could see right through Seth before breaking into a wide smile. “Deal.” He grabbed Seth when he went to move back. “Now, what was all that scribbling about?”
They glanced over at the man standing in the doorway.
He nodded. “It’s time.”
Kent arched a brow. “You sure? Because the last thing I want is to screw this up. I love you. That’s enough.”
“The hell it is. You like vows. And certificates and belonging. And I’m discovering I like that, too. So shut your pie hole and walk with me down that aisle.”
Kent laughed, stopping when the music started up. “Seriously, Seth?”
“I know. It’s perfect. So what are we waiting for…”
“To Lizzy and Darryl. Enjoy your last few days of bachelorhood because before this long weekend is up, you’ll be chained together by the bonds of marriage.”
Bailey Harrington groaned inwardly at her uncle’s toast, downing the entire glass of champagne in one, long pull as everyone cheered her sister’s impending wedding. She stopped one of the waiters as he dodged past her, grabbing another flute off the tray before giving him a sweet smile. The man arched a brow, looking as if he was considering taking the glass back, before shrugging then continuing through the crowd.
That’s right. Keep on moving.
How anyone was going to get through this event without a blood alcohol level of ninety proof was a mystery to her. Especially when they were all essentially trapped in the overly priced venue for the weekend. Her heart skipped at the thought.
Three. More. Days—of this.
Of obscene happiness and people gushing over how great they couple looked together. Of how lucky her sister was to have found a guy like Darryl. Smart. Kind. Grounded.
Bailey sighed, taking another long drink. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy for her sister—she was. Immensely. Lizzy deserved to be happy. To be blissfully ignorant to everyone and everything around her. She was the bride. The centre of attention. Her entire job was to smile.
Bailey just didn’t understand what her sister saw in her future husband. Not that he was a bad guy. Chartered accountant. Respectable member of the local country club. Accomplished sailer—he was everything her parents had every hoped their daughters would find in a spouse. But he was just so damn…safe. It didn’t help that Bailey was basically the exact opposite of everyone else here. The proverbial black sheep of the family. Not that she cared. She’d known from the first time her dad had let her ride in the company helicopter that she’d been born to fly.
Of course, choosing to join the Coast Guard hadn’t been what her father had envisioned. He’d happily encouraged her to follow her dreams when he’d believed she’d be working for him. Taking over as his company’s corporate pilot. That support had stopped when she’d signed up. Harrington’s didn’t serve, plain and simple. They were supposed to be above that. They drove the economy, not machines, and definitely not into dangerous situations.
Tension wove through her shoulders, sending a dull ache through her back. If she was this stressed out after only a few hours, how the hell was she going to survive the weekend? Survive the sideways glances and hushed conversations that stopped whenever she got close. There was no doubt in her mind that every guest mulling about the old mansion was measuring her up. And it didn’t take a genius to know they all found her lacking.
Bailey finished off the drink, scanning the crowd for the next round, when a glass appeared in front of her. She frowned, glancing to her left, only to inhale sharply. Stunning blue eyes gazed back at her, a bemused smile capturing his lips.
He quirked one eyebrow, holding the glass out to her. “I’m pretty sure the staff has been told to cut you off before you drink through tomorrow’s bottles, as well.”
Bailey smirked, accepting the drink before purposely downing half of it. “Alex.”
He chuckled. “Hello, Bailey.”
She forced herself to swallow past the thick feeling in her throat. How had she missed that Alex Fontain was on the guest list? She tipped the glass toward him. “Thanks, by the way.”
“You might want to slow down.”
“Not if my parents want to avoid bloodshed.” She glared at Alex’s frown. “Please, they have enough alcohol stockpiled away to throw a dozen parties. I’m merely helping them get rid of some of it.”
“Is that what this is? Because it looks more like you drowning your feelings in bubbly.”
She cocked her brow, taking a step back as she crossed her arms, careful not to spill her drink. “Do I want to know what you’re doing here? Or did Hell really freeze over because I’m pretty damn sure that was the only way you were ever returning.”
“Freak blizzard. And for the record, I was twenty-three at the time. I’d like to think I’ve matured in the ten years I’ve been gone.”
She shrugged, gulping down the last of the liquor. “Shame. You might have been the one silver lining in this entire weekend. The only other person brave enough to ditch some of these parties and find something fun to do.”
“Always the adrenaline junkie. Glad some things never change.”
“You obviously did.”
And in all the right ways.
Bailey bit her bottom lip before the words sprang free. The last thing she needed was for the arrogant ass to see that, even after a decade, he could still make her feel breathless with nothing more than a smile or the sound of his gravely voice. But damn, of all the scenarios she’d run over in her head, bumping into Alex Fontain hadn’t even made the list. Not when he’d stormed out of her father’s office shouting that he’d rather die than spend another minute helping her father’s overly privileged clients beat the system. From what she’d heard, Alex had joined the military and finally made his way into JAG.
Which explained the muscles pressing against his shirt and the army-regulation haircut. All of which only made the man look even sexier than he had been ten years ago. Any hint of boyhood long gone.
Alex smiled, a flash of white amidst pink lips. “I’ll take that to be a good thing.”
“Guess that’s yet to be determined.” She glanced at the happy couple as the moved onto the dance floor. “So did Lizzy invite you just to spite my dad?”
“She swears it wasn’t but…”
“That’s definitely her style. Though, I’m surprised you actually came.”
“I wasn’t going to but then she called me.” He kicked at the floor. “I can cross-examine generals but your sister puts on the waterworks and I can’t say no.”
“You fell for the tears? Christ, Alex, are you five?”
“Sue me for being compassionate.”
“I believe the word you’re looking for is gullible.” She grinned at his glare. “You do realize you’re stuck here, right? Until they open those gates on Monday.”
Alex let his gaze drift the length of her before he finally focused on her face. “Guess that means we might have a chance to try something foolish, after all.” He leaned in, his spicy breath ruffling the hairs around her neck. “We could start by ditching this dinner party. Full moon’s rising. Bet it would look like diamonds on the water.”
Bailey moistened her lips. “Think you could acquire a bottle of something strong and two glasses?”
He winked at her. “I’m a Marine, sweetheart. I’ll do one better and get us some food to go with it. Wait here.”
Bailey watched him strike off, the sudden fluttering in her stomach catching her by surprise. She looked around, smiling. Three more days of this, might not be quite the epic tragedy she’d first thought. Of course, she hadn’t made any regrets just yet.
And that’s it for me. Go check out the other ladies…
We’re into March. And there’s still snow on the ground. I know I’m Canadian, but damn…we don’t usually get it out on the west coast this time of year. Apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.
Anyway, it’s time for another flash fiction. I’m going to revisit Seth and Kent, my hunting partners turned lovers. If you want to read their other adventures, you can check out January 2016, June, and January 2017. Otherwise, jump right on in.
19861754 – old times farmhouse – interior of an old country house with fireplace, kitchen cupboard, ancient mantles and straw broom
“Call me crazy, Kent, but I thought when you said you were taking me somewhere nice for our six-month anniversary, we’d actually go somewhere…”
Kent glanced at Seth over his shoulder as he landed just inside the window, glass crunching beneath his feet. “Less creepy?”
“With actual windows would have been enough.” Seth jumped in beside him, frowning. “Hate to be a buzzkill, but…the lights are still on. And there’s a fire burning in the hearth. Are you sure this is the right address?”
“Thinking the broken window, scattering of salt and the fact a chair is wedged beneath the handle of the room’s only door suggests it is. But hey, I could be wrong.”
Seth punched him in the shoulder. “Jackass.” He took a few steps away, spinning to scan the surroundings. “So why break the window instead of just moving the chair and running out the door?”
Kent sighed, resisting the urge to shiver as a cold swirl of air prickled his skin with goosebumps. “I don’t think the owner left willingly. Anna said the woman who called her was screaming before the line went dead.”
“Fantastic.” He walked toward the fire, stopping before lowering to one knee.
Kent moved over to his partner, doing his best to ignore the way Seth’s jeans rode low on his ass, accentuating the firm muscles Kent knew hid behind the faded denim. God, what he wanted to do to that ass. Seth was right. This wasn’t how Kent had planned on surprising the other man. He’d actually called ahead to an out-of-the-way roadside dinner, where he and Seth had first met a couple of years ago. Had them reserve that same booth. With all the traveling they did, he’d wanted to do something nostalgic for their celebration. Show his buddy he didn’t take their relationship for granted. That Seth was as important as all the ghosts and demons they hunted. Of course, he’d bought the silver band burning a hole in his pocket on a whim, a month ago, waiting for the perfect time to make his move—half considering that tonight might finally be the break he’d been looking for. Then his damn cell had rung and they’d had to detour to a rustic version of the Amityville house.
He nudged Seth’s shoulder. “You gonna share with the class or are you keeping all the crayons for yourself?”
Seth rolled his eyes before holding up his finger. “Pretty fucking sure this is ectoplasm.”
“Ya think? And by the looks of the scratches over on that far wall, it’s definitely not Casper.”
Kent darted over to the other side of the room, running his fingertips along the grooves. “Ya know. If I were a betting man, I’d say there’s more than one unhappy spirit haunting this place.” He glanced up at Seth when the man moved in beside him. “Two distinct patterns in the wood.”
“Misery does love company.” Seth groaned when something crashed to the floor in an adjoining room. “That didn’t sound at all alarming.”
“Rock, paper scissors to see who opens the door and who tosses the salt?”
Seth gave him a gut-wrenching smile when Kent stood. “It’s our anniversary. I’ll open the door. Consider it my present, seeing as I probably won’t get a chance to give you your other one.”
“You got me a present?”
Seth punched him again. “You think you’re the only one who can be romantic? Please. I had your plans beat without breaking a sweat.”
“Really?” Kent loaded up some salt rounds, nodding to his buddy as they slowly inched toward the door. “You don’t even know where we were going.”
Seth chuckled, checking his supplies as they stopped when another crash echoed beyond the closed door, followed by a loud scratching sound. “We’re just a few miles outside Cache Creek. Ten to one you were taking me back to that crappy little dinner where we first met. Bet my ass you reserved the same grungy booth, too. After a greasy meal, you probably booked us a room in that same motel. The one with the seventies style shag carpet. But you’d ensure there was beer chilling in a cooler. Probably ketchup chips that you got your buddy up north to send because we can’t buy them here.” He elbowed Kent. “Am I close?”
“You are such a jerk.” Kent sighed. “And fucking spot on. How the hell did you know all that?”
“Easy. I know you. And I knew you’d want to do something…special. Because we don’t get much time for that. For us.” He shrugged. “If it’s any consolation, I appreciate the effort.”
He reached for the handle, arching his brow. “Ready?”
Kent grabbed his wrist, halting him. “Just one thing. What had you planned that beat all of that?”
Seth grinned. “I’d planned on saying, ‘yes.’ On three.”
And that’s it for me. A bit shorter because it’s nearly three AM. Hey, I had other stuff to do. I hope you enjoyed the boys, now head off and see what the others have to offer.
Hey all. It’s another top 10 post. This time around it’s things I avoid. Thinking I’ll need more than 10 spots, eh.
10 – Horror movies.
I love movies as much as the next person but I’m over wasting my time watching a group of stupid people do EVERYTHING wrong. Now, if it’s a thriller with scary moments or a paranormal, that’s different. I love those. I’m taking the traditional, old fashioned, nasty ones. Thanks but Nightmare on Elm Street still creeps me the hell out.
9 – Sad movies
I’m sorry, but the last thing I need is to go to a movie, spend the 10 bucks it costs to get in then cry. Life is sad enough at times and I really don’t need to watch in it dolby sound. So no… I don’t watch Nicolas Sparks movies or war movies, for the most part, lol.
8 – Shopping
I really don’t like shopping. I’m definitely not the kind of person who loves to wander a mall, looking at everything. Nope, I’m an in and out person. That might explain why I only have a few pairs of shoes, most of which are for either running or working out.
7 – Grocery shopping.
No, this isn’t the same. Which is why it’s a bit higher on the scale. But it’s still something I avoid just as much. I’ll actually send a kid if at all possible rather than go myself. Not even sure why.
6 – Cleaning
I know. We all do it, but… I do avoid it whenever possible. Dirt’s good for the immune system, right? RIGHT?
5 – Laundry
No one is surprised. No one. Other than workout gear, yeah… I’ve recently paid the teenage girl to do it for me. It’s money well spent.
4 – Negative People/Thoughts
This might sound a bit harsh but…if there’s something I’ve learned over the years it’s that time is short. And wasting it on negative thoughts or people who have this as their default setting take more of your soul with every moment. So I don’t whenever possible.
3 – Going to the Doctor
Okay I will go when it’s absolutely necessary but I avoid going for most things. Tape. Glue…you know how it goes. Even my kids know when to ask and when to bring me the tape or sterie strips.
2 – Anything with more than 4 legs.
This needs no explanation. And all creatures that fall into this category should be, I’ll say avoided, but you all know what I mean.
1 – CLOWNS
And if this isn’t the number one thing you avoid… WHY NOT? Seriously… what is worse that a clown? The answer… NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL.