Super Short

#SuperShort

I love to write. You already know about The Locked Room and the short story I wrote, but I also have another WIP (currently on hold) and I’m plotting another story. And if that wasn’t enough I write this blog, my own personal blog (in Swedish for my family and friends), and I write a lot of poetry. 

And sometimes I write these super short stories, with 1000 words or less, just to practice. To hone my craft and get better. So today I thought I’d publish one of those super shorts here for you to read. 

It’s inspired by this picture: (source)

building-bridges


Tearing down walls

 

The first rays of the rising sun woke me up. The light pierced my eyes and it took me awhile to adjust, to be able to focus my gaze on him. I blinked and watched as the light of dawn danced on his dark skin, painting him golden brown. He looked relaxed; sleep had smoothed the deep furrows usually marring his handsome face. As if he’s finally found peace from whatever was bothering him.

But all was not right. I glanced down and saw the wall of blankets between us. Every night was the same, his blanket and sometimes even pillows ended up between us. Kept me away from him. I swallowed around a lump in my throat. Why did he do it? Was being close to me so repulsive to him these days?

My fingers itched to touch him. Instead, I captured my hands between my naked thighs, not knowing if my touch would be welcome anymore. Tears welled up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks, blurring the image of him. Distorting his features, his sharp cheekbones, and the full lips I ached to kiss.

“When did you stop loving me?” I whispered.

He opened his eyes, his eyelids were heavy and sluggish and his coffee eyes full of sadness and fatigue.

 “I didn’t.” His voice was raw and pained. “I still love you,” he whispered.

I gasped at his words. They didn’t make sense; all his actions lately had told me otherwise. But I wanted to believe him.

“What happened to us?”

For months I’d tried to figure out why we’d drifted apart. Why our passion and togetherness were replaced with this void where we’re only existing side by side? When had loving kisses turned into a stiff back turned to me in the night?

What had I done to push him away?

He hadn’t been willing to talk and I hadn’t been able to come up with an answer by myself. I had been drifting in a sea of bewilderment for the longest time. I still was.

He reached out and cupped my bearded cheek with a calloused palm, using the pad of his thumb to wipe away the wetness leaking from my eyes. I closed my eyes and reveled in his touch, loving the feeling of warmth radiating from his hand. Hoping it would thaw my frozen soul.

I felt him shift on the bed and my heart fluttered at the thought of him climbing over the wall of blankets to lie next to me. When he tangled his legs with mine a loud sob escaped me. I didn’t dare to open my eyes; I was afraid all this would be a dream.

 “I’m sorry.” His voice was a trembling whisper, but it gave me the courage to finally open my eyes and look at him. “I never meant to shut you out.”

I moved closer, desperate to kiss him but not brave enough to take the final step. I reached over the blanket wall and put a tentative hand on his trim waist. He whimpered. It was just a hint of a noise, but it was enough to let me know my touch would be welcome. I leaned closer and only hesitated for a fraction of a second before finally pressing my lips against his.

 “I love you, I love you,” he sobbed against my mouth and my heart almost broke. “Please forgive me.”

“Of course,” I whispered. “Just don’t shut me out again.”

“I swear.”

He let go of me and grabbed the blankets between us, pulled at them and kicked them until they ended up on the floor. With the barrier gone, he scrambled close and threw his arms around me as I tugged him close. We clung to each other, holding each other so tight not even air could fit between us.

And finally, he started talking. “It’s my family…”

I knew this moment in the early morning light wasn’t enough to fix all that was broken, but I was willing to fight tooth and nail for us as long as he talked to me.

As long as I knew he still loved me.

 

Miscellaneous, Nell's WIP

Some editing and a VIP-guest

Today I opened the manuscript for The Locked Room and didn’t hate it. Yay, victory!! I took advantage and started the editing process. And before you get all excited and start cheering me on: we’re talking baby steps only 😊

I divided up the document into chapter size, both my original manuscript and the commented documents from my betas. Opening the whole thing just makes me overwhelmed, so I thought I’d make it easier for myself. Also I made notes about changes/edits I plan on implementing, based on the comments.

That’s probably it for the week, though. But the notes will help me work through the changes in my head and it will make the actual work easier when I get to it. But the plan is to start real edits on chapter one next Monday.

p1040851

I know I’ve said it before, but my critique group is the most awesomest group in the world. The thoughts and comments throughout the entire process have helped me immensely and I’m so grateful to them. And I’m not saying this to suck up, it’s the honest truth 😊


Finally I have an announcement. My tiny blog will have a VIP guest on Friday November 18th, so be sure to be on your best behavior when you visit. 😊

I really look forward to welcoming Addison Albright to my blog on Friday. She’s on tour for her latest book To Love and To Cherish and she’s making a stop here. Most importantly: she’s one of the fabulous people in my critique group that I rave about all the time, so make sure you stop by on Friday to say hi to her 😊

to-love-banner

Writing Update

“The End” and inspiration

Yesterday this happened:

theend

Or not really. I finished the short story last week but was unhappy with the epilogue. I’ve spent this week revising and editing the story—and re-writing the ending not just once, but twice. Now I’m happy with it…I think.

Anyway: I sent it to my critique partner for comments yesterday and I look forward to her opinions.

The inspiration for the story came from a picture I scrolled by when I checked my Instagram feed. This is the picture (source):

ska%cc%88rmavbild-2016-11-12-kl-19-41-34

I was immediately drawn to it and several questions popped up in my head. Why is he sitting naked under what looks like a veil? Why is he sad/upset? What happened to take him to this point in time?

So I wrote a story answering all those questions. But I’ll talk more about it later, this blog post is about inspiration.

I often come across pictures that inspires me, pictures like the one above that makes my brain first go Why, what, how? quickly followed by What if..? What if the guy in the picture ran away from his wedding because something happened? But why would a guy marrying another guy have a veil? And what happened to make him run? Those were all questions I explored when I wrote the short story.

But it’s not only pictures that inspire me. Music or poetry are two other big inspirational sources for me, but mostly music. Sometimes the lyrics capture my attention, sometimes just a line but just as often the entire thing. Or it can be the way the artist sings it, something in the voice that makes me feel…and suddenly my fingers start to itch, telling me I need to write this story.

I find inspiration really interesting. Why did the picture above capture my attention while someone else might have just shrugged, thought Well, that’s pretentious and kept scrolling?

What inspires you?

Nell's WIP

A snippet, but mostly a cute puppy

Like I promised myself I didn’t do any work on The Locked Room these last two weeks. When I opened the manuscript yesterday I still hated every word, so I’m going to give myself next week off too.

But I don’t want you to get bored with me, so I thought I’d bribe you with a picture of a very cute puppy and a snippet from the book. The picture is my inspiration för the puppy, Ben.

Brief backstory: Zach adopts an adorable puppy from a rescue group. It’s a mutt of unknown origin, but one thing is certain: it’s part Dalmatian. This short scene is from the day after the adoption when Mason and Zach are taking a walk with the new puppy in the park.

(And bear in mind that the excerpt still needs lots of work 🙂 )

ben

“So, come on tell me his name.”

“Ben,” he says.

“Ben? Why Ben?”

I can see the blush creeping up his cheeks and he fiddles with the leash before he answers. “When I was a kid I loved that Michael Jackson song. My mom told me the song was about a boy and his best friend who was a dog, so I decided right then when I got my own dog his name was gonna be Ben.”

I stop dead in my tracks and stare at him, “You know that song is about a rat, right?”

“Yeah, I do now! But my mom was terrified of rats and couldn’t stand to even think about them, so she told me the song was about a dog.” He averts his eyes and I double over with laughter. I’m so loud several people around us in the park look our way as if trying to figure out what’s so funny. I straighten up, put my palm against his cheek and make him look at me.

There’s no trace of laughter left in my voice and I gaze straight into his eyes when I say: “Ben is a great name for a dog.”

“Yeah?” I’m glad to see his smile returning.

“Yeah.” I let go of his face and we start walking again. “That’s gotta be the most adorable story I’ve ever heard in my life.”

About Nell

Bad writer!

I’ve been a bad writer this week. I had planned on being done with my short story today, but for that to happen I have to sit down and actually…you know…write. Which I haven’t done this week. At all.

First life happened. Then I went to dinner with a 60-year old republican who thinks Trump is the best choice for president, and to stop myself from screaming I drank too much wine and was very, very tired the next day. And yesterday we had a couple of dear friends from Indonesia for a visit. They were on their way to Melbourne, Australia but wanted to stop by here in Kuala Lumpur and say hi.

Hence, no writing. And this time I can’t even blame the flu.

Luckily the week isn’t over yet. I still have a shot at finishing my short story.

So I’ll just put this up here. As a reminder to myself what happens to bad writers 😉

bad-writer