Wrote a little review on Goodreads

The Dead ZoneThe Dead Zone by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the writing, and Johnny Smith pulled at my heartstrings. I found the story a little drawn out, but mostly I didn’t mind that. It was immersive writing; I like reading books that were published thirty, forty years ago. It opens up a way of thinking that’s hard to replicate now.

But something seemed missing. Why was Greg Stillson bad? Johnny feels that he is, and that he might become a new Hitler. But it’s never really fully explored. Maybe it was hard to really come up with a truly evil politician that felt naturally in 1979. Now, post-Bush and in the middle of the times of Trump, that’s sadly no longer so hard.

Several times I felt reminded of 11/22/63, in the best way. Playing with ideas around changing the course of history has seldom felt so timely.

View all my reviews

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#amwriting #amediting #amreading

I’ve had a killer week, writing-wise, what with #SonofaPitch, then #PitchCB and #PitchMadness. Been knee-deep in revisions of the pitches, and the MS, but it was all great fun. And I made it into the final round for Son, so yay!

Despite all this I’ve been trying to keep up with my reading. I’ve discovered the delicious L.A. Witt. This is the sort of comfort reading I do when I need to not think about my own boys but still wanna think about boys, if that makes sense. 😉 Two other writers are on that same comfort reading list, and I’ll get to them next: Laura Gomez and Anna Zabo. I can’t wait!

I’m also making my way through a few of the classics of gay (and LGBTQI) literature. I tried to read Giovanni’s Room, but I got very depressed over it and stopped. Currently I’m halfway through Dancer from the Dance (Andrew Holleran) and I really like it. And I finished Val McDermid’s latest this week, too. It was really good!

Scrivener, my new toy

It’s probably too late to make the most of it for the current book, but I’m enjoying playing with Scrivener immensely. Definitely buying it after the trial!

Not sure I’m doing it entirely right, but putting all my scenes into folders and naming the folders was really fun. It’s really helped me understand the structure better.

Next: Type up the synopses for all the chapters into the little synopsis cards.

scrivener

My first twitter pitch party #SonofaPitch

Thank you to everyone for your feedback!

-.-

Title: A World Apart

Category and Genre: Gay romance

Word count: 47,000

Query:

February 13, 2017

Dear editor,

A WORLD APART is a gay romance novel dealing with illness and crime – themes not often explored in the world of “happily ever after”.

BEN GRIERS is the darling of Corinth’s Georgia Police Department – intelligent, handsome and hardworking. Thanks to his beautiful wife Helen and clever daughter Laura Ben’s family is the envy of the town. Yet desperate unhappiness is hiding just below the surface.

When DONNIE SAUNDERS, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit and run, Ben finds himself strangely intrigued by the man. He is quick to establish Donnie’s innocence, but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. They encounter each other again in an unlikely place, and soon sparks begin to fly. As their mutual attraction draws them ever closer both men are forced to confront their most painful secrets.

Please let me know if you would like to see a detailed synopsis or the manuscript. In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to read my query.

Sincerely yours,

Mel Gough

 

First 250 words from Chapter 1 (there’s a Prologue before this)

“What have we got, Lou?”

Ben stepped up to the reception desk at Corinth Police Department and glanced at a handcuffed man on the bench off to one side by the clerk’s station. The man was staring down at the scuffed linoleum floor, and Ben was looking at the top of a head of strawberry blond, disheveled hair. One of the man’s knees was jiggling nervously, and Ben could see his jaw working as he bit the inside of his mouth repeatedly.

“Guy was driving the vehicle involved in that hit and run yesterday,” Lou the desk clerk said, pointing unnecessarily at the man on the bench. “Browne and O’Donnell brought him in. They’re in with the boss right now.” Lou nodded towards the captain’s office. Ben glanced around and saw his partner Jason Browne striding towards them.

“How was court, brother?” Jason sounded cheerful, but his eyes were cold. That was never a good combination. Ben frowned, then shrugged.

“As expected.”

“You missed all the excitement.” Jason indicated the man on the narrow bench who was still staring at the floor. “Saunders here knows some pretty colorful language, and he wasn’t none too happy to accompany us, neither.”

“Hence the handcuffs,” Ben said drily, and it wasn’t a question. Jason answered it with a smirk anyway.

“Wasn’t me that hit that kid,” the man Jason had called Saunders muttered. “Told ya I wasn’t in town.”

The greatest honour

Back in May 2015 I wrote a Walking Dead rickyl fanfiction called Contact. (If you want to ready it do feel free, but be aware, this is slash fiction. This is how I started on my writing, I’m not ashamed of it!) It was sweet and fluffy, and there was sex. I had nice feedback and a fair number of likes on it, for a one off.

A very lovely reader called saffron_chen over on AO3 said that she would translate it to Chinese. I felt honoured and a little nervous, but mostly just amazed that someone actually liked the story enough to do this.

And today saffron_chen sent me a link to part of the translation! You have to log in, and it’s all in Chinese, of course, so I’m copying the text here. It looks so pretty!

I am still flabbergasted that she actually did this. Thank you so much, this is the most wonderful thing that’s happened to me in my writing adventure so far!

If anything looks wrong, my apologies, the Unicode browser probably makes a mess of it.

授翻 rickyl contact [复制链接]

SIGHT
Rick看着Daryl,对方正专注在自己的弓弩上,摩挲着把手周围的皮带。他看着另一个男人如何检查武器的每一寸,全神贯注地不放过任何细节。他注意到弓弩手在找到一个新的小刮擦痕迹的时候都会皱起眉,注意到那手指如何灵活地驱走每一处瑕疵。
看着对方的时候根本就没法再多想些什么。他不清楚日光是否在他们周围消失,不关心他感觉到了多么疲惫,不介意任何人看到自己专注地盯着Daryl。视线沉浸在注视着他的伴侣之中,只有一件事是重要的:不再让视线从他的猎人的身上松开。
Daryl感觉到了他的注视,他一直都知道的。Rick在他抬起眼看回自己前很长一段时间就很清楚这点,那双蓝眼睛对上自己的。Daryl的感官十分敏锐,他拥有绝妙的视力,穿过整个房间,他们的视线在闹哄哄的团队中,在Daryl笑的时候胶在一起。Rick可以感到对方注视的热度像是接近心窝的一团火,温柔得像是爱抚。什么环绕在他们身边并不重要,重要的是他们都能看到些什么。
Rick轻微地仰了仰头,这是他问问题的方式:一切都好吗?
Daryl的回应是点了点下巴,以他们确认的方式。一切都在控制之下。
Rick知道接下来会发生什么,他看到Daryl放下弓弩向楼梯走去。他后悔打断视线的胶着了,但是思绪已经开始探索即将到来的东西。

HEARING
Daryl可以听见脚步声在金属楼梯上消失,在他跟上去的时候坚硬的重靴子声音实实在在地响着。他知道这上面除了他们就没别人了。他一般都清楚他们团队里的每一个都大致在什么地方,这让他感到安全。现在就能听见大家在下面交谈的声音,碗碟在他们准备晚餐的时候敲击着发出声响。Beth在唱歌,Carol因为某些笑话大笑出声。他们都很安全。
他自己步声在光滑的地板上是几不可闻的。大多数时候他能,更是本能地去无声追踪任何他想追踪的人或物。他拉开自己房间前的窗帘,那玩意儿发出安静的沙沙声。Rick就坐在里头背对着他,不过现在转过来了。
‘‘hey,Daryl。‘‘
从Rick口中说出的他的名字带着他人无法企及的亲密,那感觉像是安抚的拥抱,一只在他心上放着的沉静的手。如果爱在他们两个独处时有声音那一定是Rick的。
Daryl跟他的爱人站在一起,看进他的眼睛。Rick跟他对视,然后一只手穿过对方的发间,轻压着他的后脑勺。Daryl附上他们间的最后一点距离,而Rick则伸手抱住他。
他们安静了几分钟。Daryl闭上眼睛,聆听着。他能听见Rick的呼吸近在咫尺,那么缓慢又强大。他能感受到自己的心跳紧挨着对方的,平和而安静,这也让Daryl慢慢平静下来。
Daryl知道,这是他们的所属之地。

TASTE
Rick从怀抱中撤开些许,重新观察双眼紧闭的Daryl,他享受此刻。随后他的伴侣张开了眼,里头裹藏着Rick见过的最美的实现。Rick明白自己是有多幸运,跟他在一起的时候,Daryl的眼睛总有不一样的神采。没有丝毫怀疑,没有一点心眼,没有审视和恐惧。Daryl花了点时间去聚焦在Rick的眼睛上,现在他这模样不似以往对方看过的任何一个。
对视已经足够长了,但还不够。Rick感到对他伴侣的渴望在不断增长,最后这些都化作一个吻。Daryl温暖的嘴唇跟他的饥渴地交叠,他们一同享受着彼此的气息。手四处游移,准备着做些其他的。
Daryl尝起来像是香烟。Rick从前可从没如此热爱这味道,直到现在。这味道附在Daryl身上,一切都刚刚好。这味道尝起来是Daryl独有的,跟Rick从前轻吻任何人都不同,这味道带走了从前以后的忧虑,只剩下此时此刻。
Rick躺下,开始亲吻伴侣的脖子。Daryl的身体渴求地专注在这个环节,仰起颈项发出呻吟。他喜欢Rick咬自己,当然,Rick也挺喜欢这么干的。他从落下轻咬开始。他们接下来拥有大把时间。他可以品尝Daryl汗湿的肌肤,今日让他们身体疲惫的奔波。咸涩的滋味在让他们在某种程度上更真实可感。Daryl在Rick绕着圈舔舐着第一个咬痕时抽着气。

tbc—抱歉我明天就把剩下一点翻完,今天实在太累了orz

 

“Alcohol. Like bookends to a life.”

That’s a line from the chapter I was editing last night. I quite like it, but maybe it’s cheesy, I don’t know.

Sometimes I have these moments where I wonder who wrote this thing, because it definitely wasn’t me. And depending on my mood that’s a good thing, or a bad thing. And sometimes it’s both, like with this one.

Does this count as a writing crisis, I wonder? 🙂

I’m rather enjoying this

After letting it rest for a few weeks I have now picked up my manuscript again. Editing round #2 commencing now. It’s a good thing, really, that I still love the story, and seeing how much more shiny and polished the second draft sounds gives me all the motivation I need.

I have also set up a writing twitter (and come up with a naff pen name), so if you want to follow me over there, this is me: twitter.com/melgough_writer