We are finally home! We moved in last weekend and it’s taken this long for the place to not look like crazed pack rats are in residence. Yesterday, we donated a lot of things accumulated over the nearly eight years in Playa del Rey. It was some good stuff and went to a great thrift store. All in all, the experience was liberating. There aren’t any wacky squirrels that I’ve noticed. But there are many wacky young children. One is marching above my head in the apartment upstairs. They’re all adorable and the noise isn’t distracting. Our office is set up and we’re finally working. I was really surprised at how little we were able to get done during the five weeks in the temp spot. Our lives and work has gotten too complicated to function in a really stripped down environment. Of course, that means we’re woefully behind on everything career and business related. Yet I’m not as stressed as I was two weeks ago. The important things are in place. And later today, I will be cooking up a storm – at peace with my cutting board and sauté pans.
On the writing front, I’ve been mulling over my leading men from the Yaoi novel and where to take them next. Save for the attempts on their lives, day to day life for Rik and Vincent in A Soldier’s Choice is idyllic. They spend a lot of time in each other’s arms. They eat great food and have a lot of ‘naps.’ The only stress they have – aside from the people trying to kill them – is negotiating personal boundaries with their family and friends while keeping a suitable supply of food and firewood. In these conditions, it is easy to have a perfect relationship. Most of their world is each other. As I consider the sequel – and I am with the novel doing so well – I have to put the couple through the trails everyone faces adjusting to work and daily life with an intimate partner. Of course, there are still forces trying to destroy them, but the big enemy is everyday life. Vincent is, at heart, still the volatile young man that Rik was always trying to reign in, and Rik is still the imperious bastard that Vincent has to take down occasionally.
The next novel will be filled with conflicts for the couple. They have to establish personal boundaries with each other at work. That will be a battle. Each man has to make his own way at the new Foundation. Each has personality traits that make the transition a challenge. Bobby becomes a large source of contention as he formally enters the service and seeks a relationship of his own. The hardest issue for them to overcome is being separated for lengths of time when they are almost physically addicted to being within arms reach of each other. Their staff will certainly find it a constant source of conflict. Then again, all that fighting means a lot of really great opportunities for making up.
One of my frequent soapbox topics is what happens after the curtain comes down on the couples in romances. I always love a happy ending, but I also try to make sure the reader understands that the couple will always be working on their relationship. One of the issues I argued about with fanfic writers was the death story. In certain genres, there is a fascination with them. I was told death stories were the ultimate romance story. I called it ‘the Juliet Syndrome.’ I felt killing one of the couple was ca cop out. Of course, the romance is perfect. The pair never had a chance to face day-to-day life together. I don’t find the day-to-day dull. Each day brings an opportunity for a new situation to find drama, humor and eroticism, frankly. This certainly will be the case for Rik and Vincent. Breaking in their plush offices will represent many opportunities for sensual mayhem. As I said, this is all in the early stages. For now, I must put on the publisher hat and get some titles out.
There is one audio excerpt (Vincent’s) up on ‘A Soldier’s Choice’ Website. Getting Rik’s done has proven to be a challenge even with Travis being in the same town as we are. We’re hoping it will happen this week. Believe me, everyone will hear about it when it happens.
No contest for this week. I’m trying for a very special set of prizes, so I have to put it off again. Stay tuned!