Wednesday, July 22

The best laid plans....

So here I am again.

Another huge gap between posts.

Another "honest, I meant to do better than this."
 
At this point all of my reasons feel like excuses even though at least a few of them *are* reasons.
 
And would you believe, I'd honestly planned to post from RainbowCon, which happened last weekend in Tampa, FL?
 
I had great intentions.
 
But I'm learning things about intentions and expectations (the ones I place on myself more so than the ones placed on us by the World). The more I "intend" to do, the less I actually get done. When I'm simply working at my own pace, relaxing, but making an effort, Stuff seems to happen.
 
I came home from Rainbow feeling...not exactly energized (introvert here; I had fun and loved meeting people, but being "on" like that is a little draining, even if I'm loving it in the moment), but...eager. Eager to get my butt back into gear and get these books finished. Eager to reconnect with you guys. Eager to say "hey, I'm alive, really!"
 
Eager to say "Thank You" for still being here.
 
I know the only reason these books aren't finished is because I haven't finished them. It's really just that simple. I know I sometimes let myself get distracted. Facebook. The Sims (3). TV. Books. And Life has been a bit nut-ball. But those are excuses. I also know that I let myself get caught up in fear. The fear that I'll never make a living at this. Well, hello, unless I actually get writing, I won't. Duh, huh? But it's easy to feel like you missed the boat on publishing, on romance, on anything.
 
On everything.
 
But you know what? There will always be another boat. The industry is ever-changing and the model that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. The rules of the game are being written and re-written and I may never be playing the most current version, but I'm eager to keep going, not because I think I'm going to make "a living" at this, but because this--writing, telling stories--makes me happy. I truly hope reading my stories makes other people happy too, but at the end of the day, artists do what we do because there's a passion driving us forward, forcing us to create. Getting bogged down in sales and marketing and what other people are doing is the surest way to kill the passion.
 
It's time to take it back. To stop worrying and just write.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 21

LGBTQ Push Back Fundraiser

Yes, I'm really back (see my post from a couple of days ago for sheepish apology).

One of the things that I've allowed to get to me the last few months has been all the shit going down around the country concerning this idea that the freedom to practice "your" religion (you know, "your" as in a general sense, not you, Kind Person reading my blog) somehow means "you" (ditto) get to tell other people how they can live their lives.

The best analogy I ever read on this issue goes something like this:

A woman goes into a posh restaurant, sits down, and orders a salad, skip the dressing, just a wedge of lemon, please. A few moments later, another woman comes in and sits in the table across from her. The woman orders only a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Salad lady stews in her ire as both her plate of lettuce and the other woman's cake are brought out at the same time. She takes a bite. The other woman tucks in as well.

No longer able to contain her rage, the salad lady stands up and yanks the plate of cake away from the other woman--a complete and total stranger, by the way--and cries out:

"You can't eat that in front of me! I'm on a diet! I HAVE to lose fifty pounds!" She levels an evil glare at the woman she's "saved" from the cake. "Do you have any idea how many calories there are in this? You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking about cake! Sitting here, gleefully killing yourself with all those calories--why you're not only hurting yourself, but you're hurting everyone! Do you really want little children thinking it's okay to eat cake for lunch? What's with you and your cake-agenda, anyway? Why can't we dieters be allowed to sit here and eat our salads in peace? Somebody get me the manager! Cake should be taken off the menu so that those of us who can't eat cake don't have watch anyone eating cake!"

It might seem silly and even a little bit trivial, but really, how much more different is it to say "I think same sex marriage is wrong, therefor no one can marry someone of the same gender?"

But it's happening.

And some days, it's easy to get wrapped up in all the ugly and forget the beautiful. Those are days the Muses don't sing. Those are the days when minutes turn into hours of browsing through Facebook and reading articles on one injustice after another--the days when I wonder if I really want grandchildren or maybe my daughter is right to not want kids of her own, because with the way things are going, I don't know if it's right to bring anyone else into it. Seriously. What is this country going to look like in ten or twenty or forty years?

Anyone else read Handmaid's Tale? I've never really been the doom and gloom type, but lately, it's getting harder and harder to keep a positive outlook.

But then something good happens to pull me up out of my funk. Sometimes it's big, but usually it's small. It's something as simple as hearing someone say "Hey, that thing, yeah, it sucked, but here's something we can do about it!" Those people, those simple little actions remind me how vital it is to keep fighting. To never, EVER give up. Because giving up is exactly what those other guys are counting on. They want us to crawl back into the closet, to sit down, shut up, and accept what they think our role should be.

The answer is "no."

And really, I know they're saying and doing the things they're saying and doing because they're scared. Their secure little white-picket-fence-world is changing and they don't know how to adapt to those changes.

I'm sorry that's so scary, but the time has come to change. To stand up.

To push back.

A number of truly awesome LGBTQ authors have banded together to offer up prizes for anyone willing to chip in a few dollars to LGBTQ charity. For more information, click on the link below!







Friday, April 17

Hello?

*pokes head out*  

Anybody still here?

*sheepish look*

Yeah. It's been too long. 
I mean way too long.
I mean much longer than my previous vanishing acts.

Part of that is the longer I stayed away, the harder it was to come back, so there was this viscous circle thing going on in my head as I decided, "okay, I'll come back for THIS" and this passed and then "okay, Spring Equinox is a good time" and well, that was was last month.

And now I just looked and saw how many awesome comments there were on posts that I never even looked at.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

I hope a few of you are still here. I promise to work really, really hard and do better. I'll even put out a news letter before I head out of town, early next month.

Okay, so here's the (more or less) excuse-free skinny:
For reasons I don't fully understand, Winter gets to me. I know. That seasonal thing, right? I'm sure that's part of it. But this year I didn't feel so much depressed as overwhelmed. It was just...life. 

And death. And I know, that was way back in January, because I blogged about it. But sometimes the mourning process is weird. 

There's been some additional *stuff* as well, most of which doesn't even begin to bear going into at right this very moment, but the short version is that I let it get to me more than I should have. Some of it is personal stuff, some is political world stuff. 

And let's be honest. I'm the queen of procrastination!  

So here's the short version of what's going on NOW:

I'm at about the 80K point of the billionth revision of Dillon and Andi. The first half or so of that is in the hands of a beta reader. 

Because I needed a bit of a break (and because I was up to submit to my critique group and didn't want one more opinion on Dillon and Andi), I started something new. I just tipped past the 30K mark last night. 

I'm hoping to have that finished AND he completed manuscript for Dillon and Andi in two beta readers' hands before I head out of town for the huge Family Reunion** over Mothers' Day weekend. And my newsletter out. 

**Family Reunion is not so secret code for big Gardnerian Shindig      ;-)
Not only won't have Internet access, but I'm running the kitchen (with my 
awesome husband) and cooking for a little over  30  people.  Which really 
isn't as impressive as it sounds. Hubby routinely cooks 2000 meals per day,
all to order, at his job. 

I also solemnly promise to go back to regular blogging. I definitely have some things to say.  :)  

Wow. I guess that really wasn't so painful. Okay, time to hit the big orange button and get back to work! 


Tuesday, February 17

Just in time for Mardi Gras!


Forget the p...pnz.....k....pynk..... great big fat donuts, how about a non-fat, steamy short story instead? I have a brand new story out from Rule 34 Books called The Wrong Bird. (Available on Amazon and Smashwords).


Seth is a straight, straight-laced college freshman who attends a Mardi Gras masquerade party and meets the wrong bird...but maybe a peacock is exactly what he needs...





Short Excerpt:

Seth Tyler surveyed the dimly lit living room, as the thumping beat of some techno song he’d never heard before reverberated through the floorboards. His gaze flickered from one pretentious, over-the-top costume to another. In one corner a steampunk version of the Mad Hatter and Alice chatted with Jack and Sally from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. In another, a couple wearing matching gold lame togas were making out, hot and heavy. A female version of Jack Sparrow sauntered out of the kitchen, nearly knocking over some guy in a long coat—Seth had no idea what he was supposed to be, but he was cute.
Not that Seth was into guys or anything.
Seth’s costume wasn’t subtle either, but as far as he could tell he was the only masquerade-goer wearing all white. Stretch velvet pants clung to his legs, while the wide sleeves of the poet shirt he’d borrowed from his sister Haley swished around his arms. A white leather vest he’d borrowed from his cousin Leanne kept his slim figure from being overwhelmed by the ruffles and lace. Haley and Leanne had come up with the idea of him wearing all white because he was so pale, but Seth had to admit he liked the way he looked. The finishing touch had been his idea: a white leather mask with a long clear acrylic horn that he’d bought at the Renaissance Festival last year.
Because what better way to score a few “maidens” than by coming as a unicorn?
He surveyed the room a second time, then made his way over to the hors d’oeuvres table where an array of finger foods were laid out. Haley had said her sorority was going all out for this year’s Mardi Gras masquerade party, which was a yearly tradition for the Alpha Chi.
So far, it was living up to everything Seth expected. He snagged a plastic wine flute of champagne and filled a little plastic plate with shrimp, mini-quiches, and caviar-topped crackers.
“Hungry?” said a low, sultry voice behind him.
Heat tinted Seth’s cheeks; there was a lot of food piled onto his plate. “I, um…er—” the half-formed excuse died on his lips when he turned and saw the woman standing behind him. She was tall. Statuesque. That was one of those words Haley used. She was an English major. Seth had never applied it to anyone in real life before, but it fit the tall red-head who stood there, a grin playing at the corners of her mouth.
She quirked an eyebrow at him. “Well?”
“I…yeah.” What else could he say? “Great costume.” God, could he have come up with anything more lame to describe the gorgeous blue corset and peacock feather skirt she was wearing? There were more feathers in her hair and her mask had a little bird-beak over the nose.
But she smiled. “Yours too.  Although I hope you don’t expect to find too many virgins around here.” 
He tried to laugh. Haley was around here somewhere. But he wasn’t like Mom and Dad; he wasn’t delusional. He just didn’t want to know about his sister’s sex life. “So ah, I’m Seth.” Lame. Lame, lame, lame.
She held out her hand. “Jean.”
Seth just barely stopped short of making a bigger fool of himself by suggesting that with a name like that, she should have come dressed as one of the X-Men. Instead he took the hand she offered and kissed it, because stuff like that always looked cool in movies.
The gesture earned him another smile. “Should I even ask if you’re old enough to be drinking that?” Jean inquired.
He shrugged. He was nineteen. But college was all about getting drunk and laid, right? “I just started here last fall,” he answered, without actually answering. “What about you?”
“Senior.”
“Excited to be almost done?”
“If I were done, I might be. I’m going start right into my Master’s program next fall.”
“What’s your major?”
“Social work.”
“Wow, hot and smart.” Heat flushed his cheeks. “I mean…well, you are hot,” he confessed.
She chuckled. “And you’re sweet.”
Great. Sweet was not what he was going for. He excused himself before he made it any worse.

The female Jack Sparrow was named Ellie; she was a sophomore. She was cute and funny and probably a lot more accessible than Jean, but no matter how hard he tried Seth couldn’t get the peacock off his mind. So with his courage bolstered by a second glass of champagne and a couple of Jell-O shots, he made his way over to where Jean was talking to a woman who looked like the spirit of the Mardi Gras itself, dressed in purple, green, and gold lamé, and decked in beaded necklaces that she was handing out like candy. She draped several over Seth’s head before he even said hello.
“Hello again,” Jean greeted him with smile. She was sipping something pink and fizzy out of a plastic cocktail glass.
“Hi,” Seth replied. Okay, now what? “What’s that?” he asked, nodding at her glass.
Jean smirked. “A pink fuck.”


*****

I want to say a super huge thank you to the staff of Rule 34 Books, especially my friend Dora for the awesome job they did on this--and especially to Dora for the prompt of "5000 words of party-themed smut"  :D 

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Monday, February 9

oops...


Oops... I got so caught up with...well, everything, that I totally forgot about the blog hop!


I need to collect my thoughts a little better before trying to come up with something...I'm writing my little fingers off trying to finish up a submission and...well... life! 

But thanks SO much for stopping by and if you've been with me for a while, thank you for hanging in there! 

Tuesday, January 20

Happy birthday....

As many of you may know, thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, my birthday was last Saturday. I went to a funeral. That's not actually quite as depressing as it sounds. It was sad, but with friends old and new, I was able to celebrate the life of one of the kindest, big-hearted, wonderful old curmudgeons I've ever known. He will always be in my heart, and in the hearts of so many other people whose lives he touched.

The first time I got back on FB after getting the call
that Kirk was gone, I saw this--this is SO him.  :)
It's an odd thing; we didn't see one another frequently. He was a bigger home body than me, and that, my friends is scary, but he was always there. Having him not there is...hard. It's hard on other people. On his partner, his friends (the ones who saw him more frequently than me.) It's hard on his four-footed children who don't have the capacity to understand why he's not there anymore. 

His passing has reminded me how important it is to tell the people we love that we love them (something I was able to say to Kirk, and for which I am grateful--grateful not only that I had the opportunity, but that I had the good sense to take it, something I haven't always done in the past). 

Although the last few weeks have taken a toll on my creativity (he happened to be ill with basically the same thing my character Dillon's former partner died of), I'm feeling the Muses start to move again and hope to spend the rest of the month finishing up Dillon and Andi. Thankfully, I have an awesome, understanding publisher. 

I'm also starting in on a new non-fiction project. Or rather, an old non-fiction project. Although it's completely unrelated to anything here, but I'm hoping some of you might be interested anyway. Last year at ConVocation (a large pan-Pagan conference here in SE Michigan), I taught a class that went over very well. Essentially, this is my take on the runes--and I'm hoping that a) I have something useful to add to the volume of knowledge we already have on the runes and that b) I'll be able to raise enough money to allow me to indulge in other creative ventures over the summer (as well as continuing to write steamy hot m/m romance, of course!)

I plan to keep on track with my New Year's "resolution" to write Derrik and Palo's story this year as well as at least two more. I'm planning to turn Dillon and Andi in on Feb. 15; they're nearly done, but I want some time to go back and hammer out a few last details before submitting it. (And of course I have that short story coming out in Feb, too!)


Monday, January 12

Tentacles and Chain


Super HUGE thanks to my friends who looked at the computer and sorted out the issues (at least for a temporary fix; a permanent will require a a system wipe and restore.)  But a word of caution as to the cause. A virus.
Sort of.
It's not the sort of issue you would ever expect--or at least it wasn't one I did.
See, apparently it all started with the free trial version of the McAfee anti-virus software; software I never even used (I have a different anti-virus program, I happen to like better.) 
But apparently, when I removed McAfee--or tried to--something in its programming code said "oh no you don't!" and it became this *thing* that could (and did) cause all kinds of problems, like freezing my system and even deleting files (there have been some missing files; I thought I was loosing my mind for a while, because I knew I'd saved!) 
A little research has yielded the simple answer that: it's happened before, it will happen again, the company says we can suck it if we don't like it. 
I have no advice on how to avoid the problem, since McAfee is installed as free trials on most computers, but I wanted to pass the word. As far as I'm concerned, that shit is toxic....

However, without further ado, the end of T&C (the last two chapters) 

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you've enjoyed! I *will* be seeing about getting this available as a free ebook...but given the computer issues, bear with me a little. It might take a month!







Chapter Twenty-Five

Trellen closed his eyes. He wouldn’t fight. He’d given his word. He would submit to the darkness.
Please forgive me. Please take me back. I made a mistake. I thought I wanted to be free when all I really wanted was you. Please. I belong to you. Only you. Always you. 
Strong tentacles encircled him, cradling his broken body. “Shhh, easy my sweet, I’ve got you.”
Trellen smiled into the darkness. “Master.”
“Don’t speak.”
He curled against the phantom body, the strength of a male that wasn’t there. Just in my imagination. My dreams. But even phantoms could be a comfort when the dream felt this real. “I’m sorry I left. Please say you’ll forgive me.”
“Shhh, there will be time enough for that later.”
Later. There wouldn’t be a later. Unless the dream continues after death. He smiled again and his heart swelled with joy. Perhaps death was merely a sleep from which he would never awaken. How marvelous it would be to stay like this forever, cradled in his embrace.
Contented—happy—Trellen let the darkness of sleep overtake him.

Light, soft and golden.
It pierced Trellen’s eyelids as surely as the spear had pierced his tail. He stirred. He didn’t want to wake up. But there was no pain, so surely he must still be asleep.
Or dead.
But if he was dead, would he be able to form thoughts?
So a dream then. And he always dreamed of his Master. Trellen called out for him.
“Here, sweet.”
He opened his eyes, surprised to find the light still there. He never dreamed of light, only darkness. The soft touch of a hand on his shoulder drew his attention and he turned his head. There, surrounded by dozens of golden glow orbs sat…. Master? But who else could it be?
The skin above his tentacles lightened from black to pale blue-gray. He had strong, broad shoulders, just like Trellen had always imagined, and long fine hair. It wasn’t black like his tentacles though, but rather the same red-orange color as the setting sun. And his face…Trellen’s chest surged with strange emotions. Master’s eyes were large and such dark a shade of blue, they looked nearly black. His nose was long and fine, his cheekbones delicate—beautiful—and his lips were full and soft. How could this incredible creature be the monster of his childhood nightmares?
“Trellen?” His voice—Master’s voice—was filled concern.
 Trellen smiled. “Is this what death is for everyone?”
“No sweet. You’re not dead.”
“I must be. How else could I be here?” He knew the chamber. Even if he’d never seen it before, he knew where every shell was placed, where every trinket lay. He was home.
Master chuckled, a soft familiar rumble. He brushed a few strands of hair out of Trellen’s face. “It was close. You’ve lost a lot of blood. If I hadn’t found you….” He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. You’re safe. You’re here.”
Trellen nodded. But the heaviness was beginning to weigh in on him once more as darkness clouded his vision.
No!
He wasn’t ready to leave, not yet. Not ever. But please not yet. He needed just a little longer. “I’m sorry,” he rasped. “I made a mistake. I just…I never should have left.” What if death was some strange transitory thing, like the open sea, ever changing? Perhaps the next time he woke it would be somewhere else and he would never see his Master again. “Please forgive me.”
Strong tentacles encircled him and Trellen stilled. “Shhh. Rest. We’ll speak of it later.”
“What if there is no later?”
“Then I forgive you.” And he leaned in and pressed a soft, sweet kiss to Trellen’s mouth.
Trellen opened for him and let sleep come.

He woke again, drowning in pain. The chamber about him was bathed in soft golden light, as it had been in the dream….
The dream.
Master.
But that was impossible. Despair bubbled up to replace physical pain with something far more acute as then the memory of the last two weeks came rushing back. His pathetic little island. His decision to return.
Getting lost.
The Men.          
The spear.
My tail. Kaia, no, please.
Trellen struggled to sit up because he needed to see how bad it was, but he found he could barely move. The harder he tried, the more it hurt.
“Lie still.”
He started at the sound of a familiar voice. Master.
“How?” He craned his neck, unable to believe…. But there he was, and just as beautiful as in the dream, all but for the lines of worry etched deeply across his forehead. “You’re not a monster,” Trellen blurted out.
Master laughed, but the sound lacked its usual warmth. “How very kind of you to say.”
“But…?” Why did you hide your face from me if you’re not a monster?
Master ignored the half voiced question moved to sit on the edge of the bed. “How are you feeling?”
“I can’t move my tail.” And that terrified him more than waking up blind and in the dark in that tiny cell Master had first put him in. He tried to sit up again, but it was useless. “Please—”
“Shhh. Be still,” Master repeated, stroking his cheek with a cool hand “You’re all right. You’re safe.”
“How did you find me?”
Master gave a wan smile. “The scent of your blood in the water. I’d been nearly ready to give up ever finding you.” His tone was thick with emotion. Pain? Grief? Trellen had no idea, but it hurt his heart to hear it. He reached up and Master took his hand. He caressed Trellen’s fingers. “I truly thought…but it doesn’t matter. You should eat.” He used a tentacle to bring a large shell piled high with muscles and shrimp to within Trellen’s reach. 
Trellen shook his head. He was hungry, but, “My tail.  Please. The spear went straight through it and—” And he could feel pain but nothing else.
“It will heal, I promise, but you must lie still or you’ll damage yourself further.”
Trellen looked up at him. If this was a trick, another trap…. “Please.” Please don’t lie to me. “I need to see it. I….” I need to know it’s still there. He’d heard before of “ghost pain,” of someone losing an arm but still feeling its presence. “Please?”
“I’ll help you sit.” 




Chapter Twenty-Six

Trellen braced himself—but his tail was still there. He let out the breath he was barely aware he’d been holding and sagged against Master’s incredible strength. He hadn’t been able to move because his tail was bound up with strange leaves. “What…what are those?”
“We call the plant mysonara. It grows on the island I took you to before.”
“Land plants? How…?”
“They will help you heal. That is all that matters.”
Trellen gave a shaky nod, but couldn’t make himself believe it would really be all right. “Why did you come for me?”
“Because I…. Because I treasure you above all other things, my sweet. Here.” He handed Trellen a piece of meat from the shell. “This is toola. You liked it.”
Without thinking, Trellen leaned in and took the morsel into his mouth. It was the sweet, tender muscle Master had brought him many times, but that he’d never had before coming here. “What is it?”
“A tuberous creature that lives far below even this depth.”
He nodded and ate another piece, this time picking it up for himself. Then he ate some sea urchin, and then a couple of sagren leaves. Trellen hadn’t even realized how hungry he was until now, but before he knew it, the shell was empty and his body began to feel heavy again, weary.
Master took the shell and flashed a knowing smile. He brushed his hand over Trellen’s hair. “You should sleep.”
“You…you said you forgave me…?” He turned it into a question because he couldn’t be sure Master had forgiven him in reality or if it had only been part of a dream.
Master smiled—but it didn’t reach his eyes and that made knives dig into Trellen’s gut. “And I have, my sweet.” Why did he seem so sad?
“Then will you lie with me? Please?”
His smile warmed. “If you wish me to.”
“More than anything.”
Some of the sadness faded from his gaze and he eased himself into the bed next to Trellen. When Master rolled onto his side and gathered Trellen into his arms, encircling his tail gently with his tentacles, Trellen smiled. He snuggled in close. At last, he was safe.
He was home.
Master stroked his hair. “I truly thought I had lost you,” he confided softly. “And I do forgive you, but will you tell me why you left?”
Trellen opened his eyes once more and met his Master’s gaze. “I….Before, you asked me what I was afraid of but I wouldn’t tell you.” He swallowed past a lump in his throat and ignored the tightening of his gut. “I feared never being able to swim in the Blue waters again. I was afraid to tell you because…because I was afraid you would use it against me. I didn’t want you to have that kind of advantage over me.”
“Do you truly mistrust me so much?”
“Not anymore.” He laid his head against his Master’s chest and listened to the soft, steady beating of his heart. “I kept telling myself you were a monster and you kept proving me wrong, but I didn’t know how to accept the truth that was right in front of me. I do need the Blue. I need the sun. Only I need this, too.” And he didn’t know how to make that work.
Not that it matters. By coming back, by begging his forgiveness, I’m accepting the role of slave once more. He would do whatever his Master told him to do and pray that when Master said he forgave Trellen, he really meant it. Pray he won’t use my escape against me.
Master was quiet for a long while, stroking Trellen’s hair while he held him close. Finally, he spoke. “If I promised that you could go to the Blue anytime you desired, that you could see the sun whenever you wanted, would you promise not to leave me again?”
Trellen looked up, startled. “Why would you trust me after I left you the way I did?”
“Because you have never lied to me, my sweet.”
“I fled.”
“You promised only to submit to my will. My pleasures. You kept that promise admirably. Honorably. So if you promise me now that you will never leave me like that again, I will believe you and happily let you go to the Blue any time you wish.”
Trellen bit his lip. “Would…would you come to the Blue with me?” he asked. Master had said the sea called to his soul, too. Is it too much to hope that I can have both him and the Blue? “Nothing made me happier than when you took me to that island. I’d like to swim with you. Sit in the sun with you.”
Master slid his tentacles around Trellen’s body slowly, sensually, almost as if he was trying to re-acquaint himself with every curve and muscle, with every inch of skin. When he spoke again, his voice was barely a whisper. “Anything you need, whatever you want, all you ever have to do is tell me, and if it is within my power, I will give it to you, Trellen. If you are able to believe my word, you have it.”
There was something foreboding in his tone, something sad, but with sleep weighing heavily on him, Trellen had a hard time wrapping his mind around what it could be. Did…Master couldn’t fear he would ask for his freedom—could he? Trellen shook his head. It didn’t matter. He would never ask for that. “I believe you. You haven’t lied to me either. Except for this,” he added with a little smile.
Master frowned. “This?”
“You said I would not see your face until I told you what I feared. You lied.”
A ghost of a smile played at the corners of his mouth. “I hope you will forgive me if I thought that under the circumstances, light might be welcome.”
“It is.” But before he could sleep, there was still something he needed to know. I only hope I don’t regret asking. “What will happen to me when you’ve tired of me?”
Master’s smile vanished and deep lines creased his brow once more. “Tired of you?”
“The…the games we play can only entertain you for so long. When I become boring, will you cast me out into the Blue to find another Master?” Because he knew he needed this. He needed to be owned, cared for. Treasured. He needed both the pleasure and the pain his Master gave him.
“What makes you think I will tire of you?”
“Won’t you?”
“No. And the thought of you with another burns my heart, Trellen. My sweet Pretty.” He pressed a fervid kiss to Trellen’s lips and Trellen opened to him at once. The familiar invasion was welcome—relished. Master broke the kiss all too soon. He cupped Trellen’s face in both hands and held him so they were looking one another squarely in the eye. “You said before that you were mine. Only mine. Always mine. If that is still true, then I promise you, I will never cast you aside or let you go.” His tone held a fierceness that Trellen had never heard before. It made his heart swell up so much, he thought it might explode right out of his chest.
He cupped his hands over top of his Master’s. “I’m yours. Only yours. Always yours.”
“Good. Now sleep.” And he wrapped his arms snugly around Trellen’s shoulders and held him tight.
Trellen closed his eyes, but he found there was still one more question burning in his mind.  “Will you tell me your name?” he asked softly without looking up. “Your real name?”
He chuckled; it was a soft, sweet rumble in Trellen’s ear. “Of course, my sweet. It is Nghara.”
Nghara.
It was a good name.
He pressed a kiss to Nghara’s chest, and was content at last to allow slumber to claim him, secure in the knowledge that when he woke up, he would be right where he belonged: Home

Saturday, January 10

Tentacles and Chain--we have a technical problem

Okay guys, here' the skivvy: if you've been following the tale of my computer woes on Facebook, you know that Word is f*cking up my machine (causing freezes.)

*NONE* of my copies of Tentacles and Chain are accessible. Six hard restarts later, I'm throwing in the towel. (Every time I try to open up *any* of the copies of T&C, Word freezes up my entire machine making my only option a hard restart. I even tried uploading it to Dropbox and downloading it from there, only to have everything freeze up when I tried to open the downloaded copy.)

The good news is that I do have a physical copy, so I can and will re-type the last chapter--the previous chapters are all archived here (thank the gods). But that's not going to happen today. Hopefully by next weekend. (Today, I'm thinking a book and nice cup of tea. Preferably spiked.)

Several really awesome computer people have given me a number of great ideas to try--unfortunately, I lack the computer skills to open up my laptop and try them and I seriously don't have the money to take it in (even though the machine is less than 2 years old, Best Buy, is...hmmmm....less than helpful? That's where we got it. They want $200 to back up the data and another $300 to buy a "repair plan" which is the only way they'll be able to fix it--and no, the fact that it's practically brand new doesn't help. Computers are "out of date" within the first year, they tell me. Sorry, this girl can't afford a new laptop every 12 months.) I'm told, by my awesome computer-y friends that is really a great machine and if what they think is the problem really is the problem, it's just one of those stupid hardware issues that can happen to any computer (loose ram thingy), but at the moment, I'm a little frustrated. It's a $700 computer; I expected better.  

At any rate, today it's tea and reading, tomorrow it's dinner with friends, next week, I'll try to type in the last chapter of T&C and have it up as soon as it's done.

Thanks for reading and I promise not to take too long on the last chapter.