Posts Tagged ‘the bones of our fathers’

I’m off to my compulsory Welsh class shortly – aka dosbarth Cymraeg gorfodol – but first I’m going to allow myself a bit of a squee. The Bones of Our Fathers [contemp m/m] is finally finished bar the annoying whizz through to insert missing commas and work out why Scrivener has exported it with all my italics as underscores instead. It’s a shade under 80k words and will probably be 80k when I’ve looked it over and added the inevitable “OMG they never mentioned that again” bits.

And because that is nearly done, I thought I’d mention some of the other things in the pipeline.

Calon Lan – only with the proper little ^ over the A – is with Manifold Press and will be published later this year. I think maybe August 1st but making no promises. This is the historical Great War m/m story told from the point of view of the sister of one of the protagonists.

Manifold Press has a call out for submissions for a WW2 themed anthology called Call to Arms. I’ve got a story almost ready to go to submission for that.

I’m a couple of thousand words into Eleventh Hour #2 – I’ve missed Miles and Briers – but I still have no title. I sort of fancy Midnight Departure because that happens. I think it will be shorter than EH#1 but who knows.

Close Shave – sequel to Bones is around 35k words and I have bits and pieces and plans and plots for at least 4 more books and a couple of short stories.

A Fierce Reaping [hist m/m set in post-Roman Britannia] is still at 65k words and needs 30k of those editing out and another 70k adding to tell the whole thing. Not sure what to do with that one. I’ve also got plots and plans and resources for The Hounds of the North [hist m/m 1st century Rome and Britannia] and The Shepherd’s Hut [hist m/m WW2 set near Eastbourne].

Now I just need to get my head down and write.

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Actually no. I’ve already got 3 on the go and need another like a hole in the head. So I’m revisiting books I put aside when I started the ‘getting Eleventh Hour ready to release into the wild’ process.

I’m poking Calon Lan – not much further to go with it which is always when I start second guessing myself and deciding that the end isn’t strong enough. But I’m also reading stuff I wrote last November and haven’t really looked at since. I’ve only tried a little bit of contemporary romance – and that was shifters – so this was new ground to me. But it was fun to write people who could be fairly confident and not have to hide. Also I’m being hugely self indulgent and writing about things that I really like.

Here Mal, museum curator, welcomes Rob, a JCB driver, who has come to the museum to drop off a bunch of flints he has found, though Mal knows, and Rob knows Mal knows, that’s just an excuse.

Mal reached a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last night, didn’t it? It was good fun.”
“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt – the bit Mal could see read “-oun-arm-lu” leaving him to imagine the rest – and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. There was a man, he thought, who knew exactly what he wanted and was fairly confident of getting it.
And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought. mal's mug
The kettle hissed, the water purred into the mugs soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.
“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.
“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”
Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.
“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”
Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Book one about Mal and Rob is called The Bones of our Fathers and is almost done, just needs anothr scene or two and a really severe edit. Book Two – Close Shave – is about 30% done. I should stop messing about with blogs and get on with it, shouldn’t I?

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I’m so excited *chair dances* and I just can’t hide it!

This month I have written more than in the past 2 years put together. Now I just need to consistently do a bit each day.

Anyhow – excerpt – this is the bit where I hit 50k:

Mal looked at Gary’s collarbones, which were level with his eyes, and tried to get his head round the idea that this immense, intimidating, inarticulate and very straight man was trying to facilitate his gay best friend’s love life. It was one of the sweetest things he’d ever seen.

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Almost there

I’m feeling quietly chuffed. 48534 words for Nanowrimo!

I never thought I’d manage that. The story is almost finished too in the sense that I’ve got it’s skeleton laid out, I just need to add some muscle and connective tissue and some glandular oomph – all the usual stuff including the bits where I’ve typed [add sex scene here].

Anyhow, here’s an excerpt. Everyone else has had the flu, now it’s Mal’s turn:

Twenty minutes later he was regretting ever moaning about wanting his Mum. Betty was no substitute for the soft handed angel of his daydreams. Brusquely she reorganised his room, opening the window to let an excruciating blast of cold air waft through the place because, she said, “smells like something died in here”, plumping pillows with sharp angry punches and banging a bottle of Lucozade down on his beside table with enough force to make it impossible to open unless he wanted his ceiling to be dripping.
“Um, Betty, it’s not that I don’t appreciate you coming but you don’t seem to be very happy.”
“Of course I’m not happy.” Betty put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “First off you went to Sharon to whine about being ill. Just because she’s all cuddly and mumsy and shit doesn’t mean that I’m not perfectly capable of giving you comfort, capische? Secondly, I’ve had to rush over here in my lunch hour in the rain because Elspeth is giving us both a hard time and Sharon doesn’t really want to be left on her own in the museum with her. Fuck sake, she’s a grown up, she could just tell Elspeth to piss off like I do but no she’s scared of losing her job and doesn’t seem to think that you’ve got our backs even when lolling there on your bed of pain, which I think you have really in your own wussy way, and – and – where was I? Yeah thirdly what have you done to Rob you wanker?”
“What do you mean, what have I done to Rob?” Mal had been expecting Rob to be mentioned but had assumed something a bit more specific. “I haven’t done anything to Rob. I haven’t seen him?”
“You haven’t?” Betty’s eyebrows rose. “Uhuh, so why did he tell me you and he were going out Monday night, and why has he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp ever since while you’ve been wandering around in a daze snapping left right and centre. And now, boo hoo, you’ve taken to your bed.”
“I’m fucking ill.” Mal hadn’t meant for his voice to rise but it did and his voice caught and he dissolved in a bout of painful coughing. Betty reached for the still too lively Lucozade, swore and fetched him a glass of water instead.
“There you go, though I don’t know why I bother. You were the best thing that’s happened to Rob, you know. Jeez, he’s had some rough years but … well, I guess it might be for the best.”
“Shall we agree not to interfere in each other’s love lives?” Mal suggested once he could speak again. “Otherwise I could make some comments about how friendly you seem to be getting with Gary.”
“Hey, lay off Gary,” Betty raised a warning finger. “Gary might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, though I reckon he might surprise us all yet, but he is good at one particular thing and that’s making me happy. Who do you make happy, Mal? Give that some thought, all right. Shit is that the time?”

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I haven’t much else to talk about at the moment. I’ll be back in work on Monday, pretending I want to be there, so for now I’m making the most of my writing time.

I’ve just broken the 35k mark

*bounces carefully in chair*

and here’s an excerpt. Our hero has been to the barber shop and gets more than just a haircut:

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I’ve realised now that I’m writing a series. Not something I expected but I have this notebook called Ideas and I bung every little inkling of a story that I get in there with notes for a title, characters, places, occupations and how they all fit together.

Last week I realised just how many of them are set in or around a small Welsh borders town and satellite villages – they say you should write what you know – and I also realised that it wouldn’t take much effort to fit them together. If Mal and Rob in The Bones of Our Fathers need a solicitor, why not let Leo the solicitor from Northern Light serve their needs? If Leo needs a haircut why not let Terry from Untitled but there’s a Poodle do it. If someone is stupid enough to pick a fight with Terry over his poodle, he’s probably a bully and may well pick on poor lonely little Dai Beynon from Untitled Paranormally Murdery Thing and have his arse handed to him by the silent but incredibly dangerous David Ashton from The Language of Flowers. It could be fun to populate this small country town But I’d best get this one done first.

28359 so far today 🙂 and here’s an excerpt:


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25294 words!! Whoohoo, over 25k! That’s more in the past 2 weeks than I’ve written in the whole of 2015 so far.

I’m about halfway through the story too and have written the first Big Misunderstanding™, a trope I really don’t much like but in this case it’s more of an ethical disagreement than done to make the relationship more iffy.

Anyhow, here’s a sample, all unshod, uncurried and straight off the moor:

It was trowel work, quick and satisfying and he was soon able to see the slabs in their entirety. They were a lot wider than he had thought they would be and he realised he’d be unlikely to be able to move them alone. Luckily Sion and Rob were still close to hand and each man fitted a hand into the overlap of the lid with the supporting stone and stood ready to lift on Mal’s work. He held up a length of two by one.

“Just lift the first one a couple of inches,” he asked, “so I can slip this in to support the lid. I want to get a couple of pictures. If we can document the whole process it could be good publicity for the site.” And for the museum, went without saying.

“Ready, Rob?” Sion grinned at Mal. “On three then – one, two, three.”

The stone lifted smoothly just a little soil tumbling into the void below, and Mal slotted the piece of wood in about a foot. “Lovely,” he said and took a penlight from his pocket. “Want the first look boys?”

“Hell yeah,” Rob said and Sion grinned at him and shouldered into the space between him and Mal.

Mal turned on the little torch and directed the beam into the gap. He smiled to hear two indrawn breaths. It was such a thrill to be the first to see something that had been hidden in the ground for centuries. he remembered his first time well. The dry earth under his knees, sun on his back, the grit on his tongue as a breeze laden with the scent of thyme and seaweed blew dust across the rocky Aegean peninsula. Then he had moved some more dust and and been looking into the face of a man long dead, just bones but broad browed and strong jawed. Moved, Mal had murmured, “Hello brother.”

It was a long moment before Rob or Sion stirred.

“Oh wow,” Rob whispered, his voice a little shaky. “Hello you. Pleased to meetcha.”

“Mal.” Sion looked across at him, eyes wide. “You got to see this.”

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