Equilibrium Christmas story

October 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, Short story | 2 Comments
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I am back in New Zealand after my sojourn in the US, via a week in Hawaii for a conference. Hawaii was hot, it had excellent pineapple and outstanding bacon, and I spent a lot of money there. I’m delighted to be back home, mostly because of getting to sleep in my own bed and having more options for clothing than what fitted into my suitcase 7 weeks ago.

I bought some incredibly snazzy Doc Martens while I was away, I am ecstatic about those. But I didn’t really start this post to talk about all of my new swag. I started this post to talk about the weather. Sort of.

When I got home on Friday morning and did my laundry, all of my clothes had dried on the clothesline by that afternoon. Today, there was not a cloud in the sky, and I was quite unpleasantly warm and sweaty (oh, sorry, “glowing”) by the time I’d finished pulling up 7 weeks worth of weeds from my backyard. This is the time of year when I start avoiding going out into the sun for too long in the middle of the day, lest the pale, delicate flower that I am gets burned to a crisp in the ozone layer-depleted Southern Hemisphere sunshine.

All that means that summer’s coming. And in this hemisphere, it means that Christmas is coming too. About six weeks ago I mentioned that in December I will have a short story coming out from Dreamspinner entitled “Tinsel and Dust”; it’s a coda to Equilibrium, which picks up a couple of weeks after the novel ends and describes Michael and Ryan’s first Christmas together in Burreela. I don’t have a blurb for it yet, but now that we’re six weeks closer to release what I do have is an edited version, so I’m going to share a little bit of it with you now. I hope you enjoy it.

***

Michael first became aware of the warmth of Ryan at his back. He sighed, snuggling back into Ryan’s body and settling back down. But after a moment he realized that something felt wrong, or odd, not right; he rubbed at his eyes and blinked awake, to be confronted by huge blue eyes in a pale face just inches from his own in the before-dawn grayness of the room. He gasped and jerked back violently, elbowing Ryan hard in the ribs. Ryan grunted and curled in on himself, pulling away, but all Michael could do was put a hand on his chest so his hammering heart wouldn’t pound right out of it.

“Fu—udge, Jack, what are you doing?” he whispered fiercely. He looked at the clock. “It’s five in the morning!” They’d only been asleep for a few hours.

Jack smiled at him, not seeming to notice his mood. “Santa’s been!” he said, and ran out of the room.

Michael stared after him, then slammed his head back on the pillow. “Unbelievable.”

“Ow,” Ryan said from behind him, his voice muffled by the pillow. “Rudest awakening ever.”

“Sorry,” Michael said over his shoulder. “He scared the shit out of me.”

“What did he want?”

“Didn’t you hear? Santa’s been!”

Ryan groaned. “Christ almighty.” He rolled onto his stomach, shoving his face further into the pillow. “Santa wants to go back to sleep. There aren’t enough Tim Tams in the world to make up for this.”

Michael reached back and patted Ryan on the backside. “Don’t get too comfortable, Saint Nick. If I have to get up, so do you. That’s the deal.”

Ryan groaned again and put the pillow over his head.

***

Reason #1 billion why it’s not easy to write characters from another country

October 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Posted in real life | 2 Comments
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I apologise in advance for the use of capslock in this post, but it has to be done. I can’t adequately express my frustration any other way, I’m afraid.

SCENE: America, our Aussie heroine’s hotel room. Because this room is a long-stay room (OAH likes staying long in America) it has a kitchenette. OAH crawls from her bed, cursing the fact that it is not yet Friday, and looks forward to some peanut butter on toast to make the morning better. She plugs the toaster into the wall, but lo, the toaster is not working. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the toaster to work, and testing the coffee maker out and having that not work either, OAH has muesli bars instead, which are completely unsatisfying. She rings the hotel’s reception desk.

OAH: Hi. The powerpoint in my kitchen isn’t working.
Hotel Employee: the what isn’t working?
OAH: The powerpoint. In my kitchen.
HE: The what?
OAH: THE POWERPOINT. *desperately tries to think of what it could be called in American, fails miserably*
HE: *long pause* I’m sorry, the what?
OAH: *DIES INSIDE* YOU KNOW, THE THING IN THE WALL YOU PLUG APPLIANCES INTO TO GET THEM TO WORK.
HE: Oh! I’ll get someone up to fix that for you.
OAH: Thank you! *hangs up, goes to work*

SCENE: OAH’s American workplace.
OAH to Favourite American Colleague: So the powerpoint in my kitchen isn’t working, couldn’t have toast this morning. The girl at the hotel’s front desk didn’t know what a powerpoint was when I asked her to fix it.
FC: What a what was?
OAH: *DIES INSIDE AGAIN* You know, the powerpoint, the thing in the wall you plug appliances into to get them to work.
FC: Oh! You mean the electrical outlet!
OAH: YES. YES, I MEAN THE ELECTRICAL OUTLET. Thank God we have finally bridged this massive gulf between our countries.

Incidentally, regardless of what the bloody thing is called it’s still not working. I’m not ringing them. I’ll make toast on the bloody bedside table tomorrow.

Eyes Wide Shut now available for free at Smashwords and ARe

October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Color Box, Eyes Wide Shut, Rust Red: Galvanized, Torquere Press | Leave a comment
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Yes, I’ve finally got my act together and uploaded Eyes Wide Shut to All Romance ebooks, and in celebration of that fact I’ve decided to make the book a free read at both Smashwords and ARe. You can grab yourself a copy from Smashwords here and ARe here.

 

Of course if you enjoy EWS you can grab yourself a copy of the sequel, Rust Red: Galvanized, available now from Torquere Press or ARe.

/shameless self promotion.

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