Anyway... I used Kage's name to see if that was a title that got attention. Did it work?
This blog: What should I write about? IDK. I've been blah--not good. I haven't written much--not good. I had a headache all day yesterday--not good. And I have no idea what to blog about--not good.
One good note is that I got the e-mail conformation that The Cost of Loving is finally in the editing stage. YAY!!! (I wonder if that means it might come out sooner than August? IDK. Can I cross my fingers on that one?) But knowing that an editor has it and is reading it and will gat the first draft/run through to me soon is very exciting. And maybe in reading TCOL over and over for these edits I will get inspired to write book 3. I lost my mojo. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I think I put too much pressure on myself to make it awesome. You know I think I suck, right? Well, I don't want Darian's story to suck. I want it to be stunning. I want it to rip a readers heart out. (HAHA, much like WLINE has done for many.) So yeah, too much self-induced pressure.
I am stepping away. I am regrouping. I am trying to clear my mind. It will get written, and written soon. Promise. It is just very hard. (LOL... I think I can hear my cell phone ringing up stairs, but I don't feel like going to get it.)
Also, I wrote a blog for Kage Alan. Has anyone ever read his blogs> I have. Very interesting and insightful at times, and other times they are heartbreaking. I will be contributing to his series called "The Face of Gay." I'll let you know when it is up, probably in May. Sharita Lira wrote the last blog on the face of gay. Check out her post.
Other than these thoughts I am basically living my life... Boring as that might be. I WANT to be a successful writer, but often I wonder at how hard that is. What a challenge! I have to admit that I don't like to "play the game" as probably necessary. I want to write what I want, not necessarily what is popular. To do that, I need my fans more than ever. I was asked recently whether my writing would change and if I'd lose "Wade's flare"--as if I have a flare, haha. My answer was, no. I might write another more popular title as I did with Jock, but only if the story comes to mind. I don't want to produce what other author's produce just to get you to read my stuff. Not my goal. Well, it IS my goal to be read, but not because it is the same old stories you are familiar with reading that make you feel good. I admit that I like writing controversial things, and I DO like making readers: cry, laugh out loud, throw things, get angry, yell at the characters, and sob uncontrollably. I WANT to push emotion to its limits whether it is good emotions or negative ones. Anger is good, because it sticks with you. In my opinion, if I make you mad then you may not forget my book so easily. Right?
Anyway... I promised an excerpt from TCOL. Here it is. (Chapter 1 & the prologue are on my website.) ... (NOTE: Jamie's funeral was Sept. 24, 2010)
October 2, 2010
Throughout that first week, their nights were spent in much the same routine. Darian would be asleep when Matt got home. Matt would wake him up; they’d make love, fall asleep, and make love in the morning. Matt would find Darian in bed again when he got home. Matt didn’t think all that much about it. It felt comfortable. Natural. He’d slept well for days because of it. He pushed aside his wavering feelings of moving-in-together paranoia and decided it was easier to enjoy each moment for what it was. On some level, it had become almost mechanical. Matt didn’t have to think about it; the days simply rolled into each other.
That is, until Matt walked through the apartment door Saturday night, and his easy-going sleep-sex-work-sex routine shattered.
For the first time in days, as he entered the apartment, he flipped open his phone on the way to deposit his keys on the breakfast bar. Without thinking, he pushed speed-dial four, and gasped in horror as Jamie’s voice sounded on the other end. Dropping his phone as if he had been stung, Matt covered his face and sat on the couch.
“Shit,” he gasped.
Jamie was gone! Matt could not believe how quickly that fact had become distanced from his everyday life. He dialed that number by instinct. He walked into the apartment and dialed Jamie the same as he’d done a thousand times before. Why? Because he was happy. Matt was elated to be coming home to Darian, and he wanted to share the news with Jamie.
Shit! How fucking messed up is that?
Matt felt sick with guilt. Cold sweat broke out along his brow.
He leaned forward and snagged his phone off the floor, and then he sat back again. He opened his pics app and scrolled through the few pictures that were stored there. Most of them were of Jamie doing something stupid—Jamie doing a lay-up with a basketball, Jamie crossing his eyes, Jamie sticking out his tongue, Jamie mooning Matt.
Jamie’s bare ass made him chuckle. Looking at these pictures reminded Matt of the good times they shared; and yet, seeing Jamie’s goofy smile after hearing his voice punched a hole in Matt’s stable charade. Jamie’s absence was more profound than ever.
The next picture was of Darian sitting on his couch, drawing.
Matt snapped the phone shut. He couldn’t take it. Too much change in too little time.
“Why is this happening?” Matt muttered helplessly, holding back his tears. He knew some of the answers but it wasn’t enough. Matt wanted to understand where this all fit together in the greater scheme of things, in God’s plan. He knew he wasn’t the strongest Christian, but he did believe in God’s sovereignty, and his faith was precious to him. There had to be a reason for so much pain! “Why God?” he asked. “Please help me to understand.”
Matt had never really thought about it before. Until this week, life seemed pretty easy—except for that whole part where he hid his sexuality from his family and friends for most of his life—Matt couldn’t really complain. He had a great family; he loved his job; he had an awesome best friend; and now he had the best boyfriend in the world! Only… the “boyfriend” part came in after….
Matt hung his head. He’d been a fool to think he could jump back into “life” the way it was. Everything changed last week. His perfect life dissolved and somehow he needed to deal with it and accept it, but he didn’t know where to start. Matt was afraid.
His solution by default was avoidance.
Matt hadn’t talked to his mom in days, something extremely rare. He was paranoid at work like never before because at any moment one of the guys could confront him with something they “heard” about him. Even talking to Jason was strained as if Jason knew but wouldn’t say.
Matt felt guilty for not coming clean at the beginning of the week, but the moment passed and he just couldn’t bring himself to broach the subject again. And the whole “boyfriend” part was a joke! They didn’t do anything but have sex. Matt couldn’t remember the last time Darian said anything outside grunts and moaning. It wasn’t a relationship no matter how much Matt wanted it to be.
Thinking about Jamie was painful. His best friend was gone. The worst part—contemplating the depth of deception Jamie had carried out for years. It boggled his mind! Jamie excluded Matt from the most meaningful parts of his life and knowing that made Matt angry and even more lonely.
His life sucked!
Matt needed Jamie more than ever. So much was going on; he desperately needed his best friend’s insight, but all he had left were his journals. Those fucking journals! Ink on a page, insignificant and hollow. Yet Matt yearned to read Jamie’s words, experience his feelings, and hear his voice in that way you do when you read a letter that someone wrote. It was how Jamie phrased things and assembled his thoughts. Every time Matt read the journals, it was as if he could hear Jamie’s voice like he was in the room! Matt wanted to read them now, but he couldn’t risk it. They were in the back of his closet in an old backpack where he hoped Darian would not be curious enough to venture.
At least I hope he doesn’t!
After Darian spent a few nights at his place, Matt knew it would be dangerous to leave the journals in his shirt drawer. He should get rid of them, but he couldn’t. Besides being a piece of Jamie, they were also his only piece of evidence that Joan Smithers was a complete lunatic.
Most of this is her fucking fault!
Matt clenched his fist but stopped his punch inches from connecting with the wall. Punching the wall might wake up Darian. He couldn’t do that and avoid explaining why he punched the wall to begin with.
“Joan,” he hissed in hatred. Matt remembered reading about all the horrible things she did to Jamie, but last Sunday when he had the chance to out her, he kept the truth to himself. Something inside would not let Matt place the full reality of Jamie’s suicide solely on his mother’s words. It seemed so very “un-Christian-like” to do that. He wanted his speech to reflect his thoughts clearly: Hatred and intolerance were the main cause of Jamie’s suicide. Why couldn’t he just say that Joan was the one who pushed the button?
Matt knew he’d have to tell someone soon. Joan could not be allowed to abuse her other children in the same fashion. He suspected there was something wrong with her. He and Jamie spoke of it several times. Maybe he could go to Jamie’s dad, Dan Miller? Maybe he should show Dan the journals?
Matt leaned his forehead against the wall. His mind was overloaded. And Jamie’s physical absence was wearing on him. Matt placed his palms against the wall on either side of his face as if he was attempting to hug something.
“Jamie,” he said quietly. “What do I do?” Jamie wasn’t going to answer. His words of wisdom had vanished. Matt must sift through his feelings on his own, but the idea of dealing with everything by himself left him restless and anxious. He didn’t know how!
Soon he would have to talk to people. His mom and dad heard his speech at church. He’d have to confront them, and more than likely have a religious debate over homosexuality—he wasn’t looking forward to that one. He had to talk to Jason. And most of all, he needed to discuss his feelings with Darian.
Whatever those feelings might be.
He felt something real for Darian, but where the caring part ended and the pure lustful desire that overtook his senses began, was anyone’s guess. Having sex with Jamie’s ex was not solving anything. They hardly spoke. And although Matt really enjoyed the sex, it was apparent in this moment as he hugged the wall and agonized over the nightmare his life had become, that they needed more. Matt’s conflicting emotions over losing Jamie and being with Darian twisted his guts into balloon animals from hell—little headless dogs, and legless giraffes chasing each other in the confines of his bowels.
Matt closed his eyes and shook his head, “I’m such a retard.” He never knew where the random imagery came from but it happened to him all the time. He turned around and walked over to the kitchen. He placed his keys on the counter and looked into the living room—continuing to reflect on the past week.
“What made me think everything was hunky-dory? I’m not okay. And Darian’s not okay—he’s sullen and withdrawn. Fuck!” Matt was so frustrated. He grabbed the pack of cigarettes that sat on the counter and took one out. He had the butt between his lips about to light it when he reconsidered. “Darian…,” Matt whispered, glancing toward the bedroom. “You quit for Jamie. I can quit for you.” Matt tossed the unlit cigarette in the trash. He held the pack in front of him a few minutes considering what he was about to do. Jamie hated his smoking, but he’d continued the habit for years. But for Darian… It wasn’t as tough a decision as he thought it would be. “I’m done.”
Again, he considered Darian. “What is going on with you?”
The apartment looked exactly as it had when he left that morning. Every morning. Matt knew Darian showered because the towel in the bathroom was usually damp. Darian must have gone out because his car was parked in a different spot a few times. Darian had to have gone to work because there were AE tags in the trash and a neatly folded pile of new clothes on one of the bar stools.
Matt stepped over to the pile and touched it.
Darian had worn Matt’s shirts a few mornings, and it was funny to see them billowing around his thin frame. Darian undoubtedly wore a small and Matt wore an extra large. “So,” Matt thought, touching the shirt lying on top. “You bought new clothes in lieu of going home to get yours?” Talking to himself was a trait Matt got from his mom; he couldn’t help doing it.
He turned toward the bedroom again. “And you’re sleeping a lot.” Sleeping most of the day and having sex half the night. If Matt knew anything from watching daytime television, it was that sleeping all the time spelled depression. Even more reason to talk to Darian. But when?
Tomorrow was church. Maybe after?
Matt walked down the hall and entered his aunt’s room. He knew if he went into Darian they would end up having sex—they always did. After hearing Jamie’s voice on his voicemail, Matt couldn’t think about sex. It felt like betrayal.
His mind was racing.
This is supposed to be about comfort, not sex!
To Matt, sex was comforting, but to Darian? Matt wasn’t so sure. Darian said he wanted Matt to make the pain go away. Perhaps Darian was using sex as a drug? Matt would have to bring that up as well.
For now, he’d sleep and try to have a conversation in the morning.
FYI... TCOL can be read as a stand-alone. If you have not read When Love is Not Enough because the subject matter is too much, The Cost of Loving can be read out of order because I think the characters can be followed. I tryed very hard to recap as necessary, and fill in the blanks. BUT, it is better if you read it in order.