Wednesday Work in Progress: First Time

I stared into her face as I pulled at her nipples again, drawing them further away from her body this time and pinched harder and when she moaned again I couldn’t help myself. I stripped my shirt off, my jeans, my trunks, and stroked myself once. Just once. Anything else and I knew I’d come as quick as she did. I couldn’t work out how DL was still going, still fucking her. I took my hand off my cock, slick with the precome leaking almost constantly now, and pushed two of my fingers into her mouth as I pinched and pulled at her nipples with the other. She didn’t bother licking, just pushed her head forward to take my fingers deep into her mouth, sucking them. I moaned and pulled my fingers free to kiss her fiercely, pulling at her hair and biting her lips.

(it was harder than I expected to pull a section of this one out – lots more emotional context than usual for me, and I’m not practised at writing threesomes so it feels terribly clunky in places)

Balancing the broken parts

I compartmentalise. A lot. A vestige from childhood – little girls learn early and often that intelligence gets you nowhere if you exhibit it; have it by all means, but never ever show it. A vestige of trauma – disassociation, the protective shell of lies one weaves when one pretends everything is okay, and still and forevermore the knowledge that it does change how people see me and treat me and think of me. A vestige of being an outsider, no matter where I am, I guess is what it comes down to.

Which means a startling amount of loneliness, I’ve realised. So few people know me across the board, know this side of me and know the real me and all those messy, broken little parts, and love me for them or in spite of them or alongside them. And I cling to those people like a vine.

Acceptance is the headiest of drugs.

God, I fucking miss it too, when it’s gone. The answer, as always, is to be more honest and open with people but with the absence comes pain too. So the balance comes; who to be open with, who to shy away from, and how to deal when friendships lay dead at your feet.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that dreams, and their symbols, contain something more than narrative heft, but that narrative heft comes from somewhere. I write to make sense of a world that is sometimes too big, too harsh, too hard to understand, and dreams sometimes come from that same space where I can find peace in the scrawl of ink, the shapes of pixels.And so that dream I had, feels weighty. I dreamed last night, of another friend, and an immaculate scrapbook detailing her rape. The flowers and the vintage polka dots and the cute, well-rounded swirls of her handwriting, with words I’d hoped to never have to read (but know I do, over and over, because if I can’t bear witness to another, it makes that loneliness worse). Those memories of being tainted, being less than, being rejected and pushed away for something you had no control over.

And now, choosing to do this, to write what I write while I am also the person I am? That every time I tell somebody what I do, I wonder how they will react. Are they going to assume it means I want to hear about their dicks, or their sex lives? Will they assume I am doing it for my own gratification? (…not always) Are they going to intrude upon my boundaries? So I just…don’t, usually. I don’t ever want to deal with those things (again) and I don’t want to watch relationships fail, because I tried. If they know about the trauma, are they going to use that against me? It makes sense to me – obviously – but others seem to struggle.

So, it’s another part of me I don’t talk about. I’m published, with amazing authors, but I don’t talk about it. Except to a select few.

I don’t talk about my past. Except to a select few.

I don’t talk about a lot of things, even as I make a whole lot of conversational noise. Except to a select few.

And so I cling to all my broken, shattered parts, and I cling to the people who fit alongside those parts like they were always meant to be there, and try to cling to some sort of faith that things will be okay. With battered ripped nails and bleeding fingers I cling, but at least the faith is there right?

Behind The Oak and the Ale

The moment I started writing this piece, I knew I wanted to write a fairly atypical viking. Strong, burly, brutal, that’s the image that comes to mind but the thing that had always drawn me to stories about that era were the skalds, the warrior poets. That still didn’t fit either. What I wanted was a viking who couldn’t fill the role anymore. Who was looking for his own anchor, his own rock and lodestone. I wanted the kind of viking who doesn’t get much play in media, in spite of our fascination with violence.

And thus my hero was born; Teothir, or One-Leg. Crippled, bitter with it, but I gave him that slightly fatalistic optimism I always associate with the best kinds of warriors. I made him big, sensitive, and trying desperately to cling to a life that has abandoned him. I have a whole back story in my head for this guy, I just adore him.

My heroine though, Aridhe, she was tougher. I have a tendency to write healers, in my historicals, but it just didn’t fit with her. She was too spiky, too broken on her own as well. I didn’t want to write a shield-maiden, I didn’t want to write a slave, I wanted a heroine who had her own power and was clinging to it with teeth and nails and determination. It went through a lot of iterations for that fact alone, trying to work out what she does, why she does it. She’s got a whole backstory too.

I hadn’t meant for her to be so traumatised, though, but when I finished the story, I realised I had written something where two broken people come together to heal each other. A lot more romantic than most of my work (although that recent WIP is contemporary AND romantic, go me) but I do have that tendency with my historicals. A bit darker too, possibly darker than I intended I think, but I don’t really regret it.

New Release coming soon!

Conquests, edited by the always amazing Delilah Devlin, featuring my story The Oak and the Ale is set to drop really soon.

A businesswoman trying to secure trade routes for her family instead finds love with a crippled warrior.

More snippets and excerpts and behind the scenes info to come, keep an eye on the site for posts from all the other fantastic authors involved. Suffice to say this was one of my favourite heroes to write, one of my favourite heroines, and while it took some finessing in places, I think it ended up right where I wanted it to be.

Wednesday Work in Progress: cafune

I touched him, constantly, without conscious thought. At the lights I would stroke my fingers over the shining gold strands of hair crowning his knuckles. Or the short, almost velcro like, fuzz at the back of his head. If we were close together I would find myself with my hands on him. The line of his ear, finding his collarbones by touch alone, the soft flesh on the underside of his arm. But nothing compared to running my fingers through that patch of hair low on his belly leading down to the thickly furred patch between his thighs.

Untitled, unfinished, no idea where it’s going.