Nell Iris


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Writing update

Mondays mean writing updates, and here’s what I did last week:

I proofread Unconditionally, or at least I tried. Proofreading something I’ve written and already read a gazillion times was really hard, and I had to really concentrate to read the actual words, not what my brain knew it was supposed to say. But I found some errors, and was kind of happy when I did. Better I find them now, than after it’s published.

I finished Find His Way Home, sent it to my betas and one of them were faster than lightning reading it, and returned it to me the next day. So I said Stop, don’t read to my other beta, edited the story like a fiend, and sent it revised to her on Friday. And on Sunday morning when I woke up she was finished. I might have to send flowers to both of them, as a thank you for being so great!

I edited almost an entire chapter of The Locked Room. I would have done more, but I had more pressing deadlines, so I’ll continue this week.

And on Friday after I sent FHWH to my second beta, I thought to myself: I’m going to give myself a couple days off now, and then promptly sat down and started a new WIP. So much for vacation! 🙂 It’s untitled so far, but it begins with one of the MCs (Leon) hiding in a stall in the men’s room, and someone—unbidden—sticks his you-know-what through a glory hole. (No, it’s not MC2 🙂 ) Sort of like a real life dick-pic. It was also very interesting researching glory-hole-etiquette (yes, there is such a thing!). After I was done I said to my husband If you love me, don’t ever check my Google search history. He promised not to 😀

All in all, I’ve had yet another productive week. And considering that we have an old friend visiting from Sweden, I’m extra happy with the fact I’ve managed to write so much. Go me! 🙂


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#RainbowSnippets

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Last week I joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. According to their description, “it’s a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction—a WIP or a finished work of even 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).”

My snippet this week is from my short story Unconditionally. When we left Luca last week, he was upset because his mother had called him a freak on his wedding day. This is from the same scene, but not directly after.

He stared at himself in the mirror, watched as tears trickled down his face but made no attempt to brush them away. The indecision made his heart ache, and a distraught sob escaped him.

Before he could think, he walked over to the door, opened it, and started running.

He ran through the hallway, down the stairs, and out on the street. He hesitated a second outside the entrance. Then he turned right and ran, the beautiful veil sparkling and billowing behind him.

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I’m getting super excited for the release. Less than two weeks to go!!

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to stop by and say Hi! I love new friends!


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Grumpy writer

After being up late writing, my lazy Saturday morning sleep-in was rudely interrupted by the upstairs neighbors. They were…I really don’t know what they were doing, but it sounded like they were playing basketball…with a bowling ball.

I stumbled out of bed and realized I couldn’t even make myself a conciliatory coffee, because my husband had whisked away the coffee machine for a bachelor party weekend away from the city.

So here I am. Awake with the rooster, yawning and staring grumpily at the ceiling, hoping I will miraculously develop Superman-type laser eyes so I can smash the bowling-basket-ball into pieces. Sipping an unfulfilling cup of green tea, while contemplating if I should start writing murder mysteries, so I can kill off the irritating upstairs people without getting caught. I even have a title: The Mysterious Disappearance of the Noisy Neighbors. (PS: the butler didn’t do it 🙂 )

Whaddaya think? Shall I give it a go? 😀

mi871


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My war on the Oxford comma

I started editing Find His Way Home today (since my fabulous beta was faster than lightning and finished in a day!!)

Editing resulted in some a lot of cussing and this tweet:

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My poor beta always has to add all the Oxford commas (and then some), since the rules for how to use commas in Swedish and English are very different.

(In Swedish the “and” replaces the need for a comma, we don’t use both. And spare me the funny memes, I’ve argued against them until I was blue in the face. It doesn’t work that way in Swedish 🙂 )

Anyway. After I was done unloading my frustration on Twitter, I continued working.

Until I stumbled upon this comment, making me laugh out loud:

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She knows me so well! 🙂


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Day 30 #30DayWritingChallenge

This is the final day of the writing challenge. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have, and now you know a little a lot more about me. I hope you still want to be friends 🙂 

Your highs and lows for the month

My month started on a low, writer wise. After spending a couple weeks in Sweden for Christmas and suffering from a bad case of jet lag after I got home, I had a really hard time to get back to my writing. That’s why I decided to do this challenge: to find my writing flow.

At first it didn’t work. I wrote the daily challenge and enjoyed it, but it didn’t encourage my “real” writing. After finishing the topic of the day, my brain said That’s it, you’re done. That was the task of the day, now you can go back to watching videos on Youtube. Not very helpful, let me assure you.

But when I wrote about how the challenge wasn’t helping, a trusted writer friend offered me some great advice. She suggested I write all the topics in one or two days, that would probably kickstart my writing properly. So I tried. I sat down and wrote 12 challenges in one day, and the next day I opened my WIP and wrote words. Actual words.

After that, I’ve finished said WIP (well, except for the fact there will be editing, and editing, and editing…), written the rest of the challenges, critiqued a writer friend’s WIP, edited and prepared Unconditionally for release, and gotten a great start—finally!—to the editing of The Locked Room, which had started to feel like a herculean task.

So a month later, I’m ending this challenge on a high note. I’m happy to say it worked, even if I had to tweak the concept along the way. And now it’s up to me to keep it up. And to figure out a plan for my next trip to Sweden so that this doesn’t happen again.


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#SuperShort

Will and Noah’s first Valentine’s Day

Will wanted everything to be perfect for his and Noah’s first Valentine’s Day. He’d been planning for weeks, trying to decide whether to take his boyfriend out or have a quiet—and hopefully sexy—dinner at home. When he’d decided on the latter, the question of what to eat was easy. Will had made meticulous plans and even consulted his sister to get the details right.

And then everything was almost ruined because Noah had to work late to cover for someone who had managed to get himself fired. But after some cajoling, and with a promise of a stellar blowjob, Will had convinced him to come over directly after the shift ended. Ten minutes ago he’d gotten a text saying Noah was on his way.

He made a final check to make sure everything was ready. The food he’d picked up at their favorite Italian restaurant was keeping warm in the oven. The place was spotless, the candles were lit, and the table looked nice and romantic. Except…the roses?

He frowned. The roses might be too much. He wasn’t a flowery kind of guy and neither was Noah, but his sister had insisted there had to be roses on Valentine’s. With thoughtful steps he walked over to the table, reached out with a careful finger and caressed the fiery red petals. The flowers were beautiful, but he wanted the evening to be about them. He didn’t want it to be a tired old cliché that anyone could have given to Noah.

As he stood there, swirling his thick finger around a rose bud, he had an idea. He grabbed the bouquet, turned on his heel and sprinted into the bedroom. He glanced at the dark green bedding and the low light as he passed by, wanting to make sure everything was still perfect. Then he continued to the ensuite bathroom.

He gingerly gripped the stems, pulled the flowers out of the vase, and emptied the water in the sink. He snatched a towel from the warming rack and put the roses on it. With swift movements, he patted the stems to get rid of any excess water.

“Oh God, what if they’ve got thorns? Please don’t let them have thorns!” he muttered, but he didn’t have enough time to make a thorough inspection because he could hear a key in the door, and Noah letting himself in.

He flicked open the button of his jeans that Noah always said made his butt look delicious, and wiggled out of them. His t-shirt was unceremoniously pulled over his head and thrown in a heap on the floor next to the jeans. He cursed himself for not choosing sexier underwear, but it was too late to do anything about it now.

“Will?”

“In the bedroom!” He grabbed a couple of the roses and frantically started to execute his idea as he heard Noah toss his keys on the side table and kick off his shoes. He hurried, Noah was approaching fast, but Will managed to finish in time. He pushed the discarded clothes out of sight with his foot and leaned against the doorframe, trying his best to act casual as he waited for Noah to find him.

Noah was busy unzipping his hoodie as he walked into the bedroom so he didn’t see Will at first. “That was a fucking long shif—“ Noah’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open when he caught sight of Will, who was trying his hardest not to fidget. His mouth was suddenly dry and he swallowed. What if Noah thought the idea was ridiculous?

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Noah.” Will’s voice was trembling and uncertain, but his courage returned when he saw Noah licking his lips.

“You have flowers in your briefs,” Noah rasped, and his gaze swept over Will’s body, zooming in on the the roses—thankfully without thorns— Will had shoved into the waistband of his tighty whities.

“I do.” Will’s face split in a wide smile. “Sarah said roses were required on Valentine’s.”

“I don’t think that was what she meant.” He took a step closer and Will could see his Adam’s apple bobbing. Noah cleared his throat, but his voice was still hoarse as he continued, “But it’s very creative.”

“Yeah?” Will pushed his hips forward and winked. He groaned to himself. He’d never winked before in his life, but the heat in Noah’s eyes was intoxicating. “You like it?”

Noah didn’t answer. Instead he closed the distance between them with a couple quick steps, cupped Will’s face with warm hands, and kissed him with such intensity Will’s toes curled.

Will took that as a yes.

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Inspirational picture found here.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


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Day 29 #30DayWritingChallenge

What are your goals for the next 30 days

I don’t really set goals for myself like that, I prefer to take it as it comes. I almost burned myself out completely when I worked at my soul-crushing job back in Sweden, and it has taken me a long time to come to this place in time. For the longest time I felt panic if I had too many thing planned in one week, even if they were fun things. So I try to go easy on myself because I have a tendency to expect too much of myself.

I hope one day I’ll be able to do a detailed plan for the coming year, or even a month. Now is not that day.

That being said: I do have a few goals

Finish my short story Find His Way Home

I’ve sent Find his way home to my trusted betas and I await their comments and opinion. Edit: I scheduled this post the other day and had planned on sending it yesterday, but I was busy with Unconditionally so I didn’t have time. I will send it today though. As soon as I get the feedback, I’ll edit/revise and finish it so I can submit it. I need to be done by February 28th.

Plan fun stuff for the blog

I want to have fun content to publish when Unconditionally is released, so potential readers will think it’s fun to hang out with me. What do you like to read about, do you have any fun suggestions? 🙂

Decide on my next project

I have a couple of things. I’ve already started a story that’s currently on hold and I’ve had an idea for a new one for a while now. I have to decide which one to work on next. I know one thing: it’s going to be a short story. I love them, and I think I’ll devote this entire year to writing them. If nothing unforeseen happens.

Edit The Locked Room

I want to continue the editing process on TLR. It’s been put on hold the last week because I had to finish Find His Way Home. But now I’ve made room for it in my schedule.

Personal goals

Celebrate my husband’s 45th birthday and my daughter’s 22nd. Hang out with a visiting friend from Sweden. Plan a fun vacation on a nice beach somewhere.

And that’s it. Do you set goals for yourself? If yes, tell me about your goals for the next 30 days! 🙂