Christmas Noir

*insert wailing and gnashing of teeth*
A ms in progress has gone missing, my Very Special Christmas story, crossed unnaturally with Detective Noir. Apparently it didn’t make the lifeboat when I changed computers. Well. I know what is to be done about that.

I felt my way to a tiny table in the dive, put my beer and laptop on the table and, once the one had started my motors, started the motor on the other.

The file was missing.
I knew how it had gone down.  Everyone did just what they were supposed to.  The IT rat, the hardware, it all worked just like it was supposed to.  But the file was gone, just the same, because it wasn’t a part of the what was important to the Fat Wallets in the corner offices.  Now there was nothing but me, sitting in the coils of stale cigarette smoke and looking like a sap, and a computer with nothing good to show me.
I knew what that meant, and I knew what to do about it.
I limped back to the bar.  The same slack-jawed tender was there.  It wasn’t his fault, but I had to fight down the urge to feed him his flannel shirt and maybe some teeth as garnish.
“Whiskey.  One shot, neat, water back and keep the sound muted.  Get me?”
“Bad day?”
I gave him a look I usually reserve for street punks and people who talk during trailers at movies.  “That question is part of what needs to be muted.  Get me?”
The look had slipped a couple gears, or maybe the bartender was tougher than he looked.  He stopped talking, though, and poured my shot.  He threw a splash more into the glass.  Maybe the look wasn’t slipping.  I tipped him heavy, to let him know I’d seen the splash.

Continue reading “Christmas Noir”

Romance and My Mouth; the Taste of Fulfillment

Rose City Romance Writers, of whom I am a member, met yesterday, and I was in attendance.  This was my second meeting.

My initial goal in joining RCRW was twofold; to do something that, monthly, would remind me that I have mentioned from time to time that I want to write professionally, and to get Lisa off my back follow Lisa’s suggestion because it was good and wise and I agreed with it.  In fact, Lisa was right, and I’ve considered this at some length.

Which, for a change, I won’t recount here.  It has to do with, where you put your time and your money, there, too, will go your life, for if you don’t follow the metrics of your life you suggest by implication that you have squandered them.  Fair enough, and borne out by my experience; since last meeting I’ve been moving back toward the writing.  Good.

At the meetings there is opportunity to declare goals.  To do this, one writes down a measurable goal and throws the script, with a dollar, into the pot.  Next meeting the goals will be assessed; those successfully met will be entered as tickets in a drawing, and the money from all the goals is won by one of those who met theirs.

The chance to win is as nothing to me; I have little belief in luck, for all that I have the scintillating, tripped-on-winning-lottery-ticket sort.  The opportunity to fail means something, though.  ”Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes” — that’s about right, and if the stakes aren’t mortal, at least there are stakes.  I like having stakes, however slim, in games I play.  And there’s the stuff I mentioned about money, above.  Thus, this meeting, I entered three goals:

  • I will write each Sunday (and perhaps other days, but at least then) between now and next meeting
  • I will complete my (first draft of) Christmas short story by next meeting
  • I will write a flash fiction (probably with Lisa) and submit it professionally by next meeting

My money was tendered, and I am laid bare to the potential of a soul-rending failure; my goals unmet, my declaration of accomplishment shown to be so much air, and three dollars gone from my pocket — or success, wild success, such as has never been known by man nor god.

Well then.  Off to the mills for me.  I’ve coffee at elbow, detective-story jazz on Pandora, and my chores largely done for the day.  I believe it’s time for the Toughest Christmas Elf to get roughed up by some shady characters.

ETA:  Wrote.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

50 minutes

Word wars with Lisa and the War Room at the same time; 900 words that I didn’t have before, and moving along well in my short story.  I’m having a very easy time writing a detective; I’ll have to try another one of these when this one is done.

One without a Christmas elf as the detective.  That part is throwing me a bit.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Christmas is a-comin’

Writing for the first time in, I believe, ever.  My darlin’ told me she’d build breakfast if, in return, I sat down with my cup of coffee and tapped out words.  How could I refuse an offer like that?  Besides, I was fresh from the RCRW meeting, and was suitably inspired with “huh, people write stories.  I remember liking that.”

I immediately began to slump at the notion of slogging away at Self Sacrifice some more.  Dutydutyduty called, and I wanted to let it go to voicemail.  Writing wasn’t a joy, wasn’t fun, wasn’t anything but heavy and gray and unlusterful.  Clearly it was time to contact the Muse and order up a fresh batch of joie de’ecrit.

So this morning I’m working up Hardboiled Christmas Candy (working title), a cross between The Maltese Falcon and Rudolph The Rednosed-Reindeer.  How can I not have fun with that?

scurries off for more fun with that

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry