Friday, October 30, 2015

A WIP Draws Near Completion - Regrets

Since early September, I have been working on a reboot of my Timmons Chronicles series. It started out as a prequel to the existing books, and was titled 'Regrets.' The idea was to show the characters from 'Theater Boy' and 'The Timmons Incident' before Robert/Bobby was pushed back in time. In other words, I wanted to show why he was so driven to change things.

The process of writing it has been difficult, because of my inability to find a permanent home. I've had to do almost all the writing for it at work, between calls. I even did some of it in Notepad, which didn't translate very well when I switched to Google's Doc. Let's say when I finished it and started editing it, I changed a lot of apostrophes and quotation marks to the curvy type.

All of my writing for the Timmons Chronicles before then had sort of been aimed at Young Adults, and rightfully so, since the characters then were aged 13-14 or so. But for the new writings not only are the characters adults at the beginning, but it turns out were driven to have sex together. So my dilemma then was: How much sex to put in and how much detail should I get into.

Let me explain what I mean by detail. When the story first starts out these two are so completely opposite that given ordinary circumstances, they'd never get together. But forces beyond their control are driving them together. And one of those forces is sexual desire.

The first time it happens, the sex is spontaneous and brief, but for Dottie Brown, the first act opens up a whole new world for her. For her sex is more than just the pleasurable part and making babies, though there is that. A lot of that. For her, sex is a way of driving away the dark dreams she's been having. It chases away her demons. Therefore, she wants it as much as she can if only for that purpose. But it goes beyond even that, because sex with Robert Simmons allows her to see into his mind clearer than ever before.

And he's got one hell of a mind, if I do say so myself. So why go into the detail which really becomes erotica? I need you to see how the sex affects Dottie, both physically and mentally. It opens up so much for her and I want you to be right with her, writhing in ecstasy as much as she does.

So once I decided to write some of the sex scenes as erotica, it came down to how much sex to write. I could simply have written 'They made love by the moonlight,' a few times, but sex is an important part of this story because it's part of what drives them together.

And then the children start to come, and then they become important to the story. This really is a story about family, after all, something that was missing in 'Theater Boy' and 'The Timmons Incident.'

When I started writing it, I thought it would end in the tragedy that would drive them apart. But as I got deeper into the story, I decided the ending for this book would be relatively happy. I also decided to change the name of the series to 'The Simmons Chronicles,' because I have plans to continue that timeline after the events of the second book, where I really lay it on. I've tentatively titled it 'Darkness.' Dark enough for you?

Anyway the first draft of the first book is complete, and I'm really just filling in a few gaps and proofing it at this point. I have a tentative cover for it:

I'm still trying to figure out if that's the best. What I want to know from you, gentle readers, is would you pick up a book with that kind of cover?

Well, guess what? I'm gong to make the entire draft of the book available for a short time. Please click on this link to access it. I might remove access after a while, so hurry!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why I try hard not to live in a Shelter

Recently, I fought hard to not have to live in the shelter system again. I asked friends and family for help. Some of them asked why I would try that hard, even living in $100/day motel rooms just to avoid living in the shelter. Here are some of the reasons:

Why I try hard not to live in a Shelter

It's not just because of the crowded nature of shelters
Waiting for a bed
or the fact that there might not be enough room from night to night
or that beds are less than 2 feet apart
or that you will likely get your stuff stolen at least once in your shelter stay (4 times so far)
or that staff has seen it all and can appear uncaring
or that the food is designed to fill bellies but not to provide full nutrition
or that you have to put up with the unwashed
or that some of the people are drunk or high
or that some of the people choose to fight
or that I get searched every time I enter a shelter
or that I have to take a shower with 6-7 other men at a time
or that I have to see those men walk around naked
or that I have to squeeze in between those men to get to my locker
or that there are 10 inches of locker space before the next one
or that men snore at all hours
or that some lights are on in the dorm, if you're unlucky enough to be close to them, you can't sleep
or that you have to get up at 5am
or that have to wait in line to get fed
or that you have to wait to get your bed
or that you have to be in the shelter by a certain time to get a bed
or that some people like to talk while you want to sleep
or that men cough all through the night
or that diseases spread more easily in the closed confines of a shelter
or that once you're in, you can't leave until the morning
or that in some shelters you have to listen to a sermon
or that sometimes they make you dress in their clothes, that are either like burlap bags or prison-issue clothes
or that sometimes you can see the men's butts hanging out of their shelter-issued clothes
or that you lose control of your life when you enter the shelter
or that you lose dignity on entering the shelter.

I try to stay out of the shelter for all those reasons. Unfortunately, I failed in my attempt to stay out of the shelter, so I have to suffer through all of this.

Edit: One more note before I end this particular rant: Imagine doing this for a day, then imagine that day stretching out to another day, then a week, a month, and yes, even years. Welcome to my world. I hope my current time in the shelter won't stretch that far, but every day takes a physical and mental toll. Imagine how relieved I was to get out the last time. It will be double that this time.