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1 day until Cartography for Beginners

We first met Leo and Stuart in Chiaroscuro and got to know them better in Something Beautiful, and Cartography for Beginners wraps up the story for this particular sextet.


Well…another story for Ben and Jamie is in the works. David Campbell will get his own story, and in Cartography for Beginners we’ll meet a man named Jack Buckner who I want to give a happy ending. I’ve even been toying with a way to get Noah and Sawyer from Apples & Gin to show up again.

Like I said earlier, I enjoy shared universes and introducing a character in one story who’ll be the hero in another. I expect that to continue until all my stories are told.

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2 days until Cartography For Beginners

Last year I bought a book called Tarot For Writers, that’s about using the symbolism and meaning in Tarot cards to help with your writing. I’ve found it to be a great resource in helping me to organize my plots and get ideas for characters, and it was one of the things that helped me get Cartography for Beginners out of the limbo it had been in since 2008.
the details

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5 days until Cartography for Beginners

I have a weakness for shared universes–characters who carry over from one story to the next. Not sequels, entirely, though of course I’m not adverse to those.

One such character is David Campbell, who was a part of Cartography For Beginners from the start though he made his first appearance in Apples & Gin. The intention has always been to introduce is love interest in Cartography For Beginners, and tell their story later on.

So I did.

In the excerpt below the jump, David confesses to Leo that he’s been attracted to him ever since they first met as young actors years ago, and share a kiss. But Leo is still getting over his broken heart, and they’re interrupted by someone David hasn’t seen for a long, long time.


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6 days to Cartography For Beginners

My music collection is large and varied, and most of my big stories (and a few of my smaller ones) get a playlist as a mood-setter/thematic guide.

The original plan was to make a playlist for Leo and Stuart with music from the 60s and 70s, but I couldn’t find much music from that period that expressed what I wanted to say about them. Some of the more obscure selections from my collection, though–they worked just fine.

(There are no links to mp3s in this entry. You’re on your own with that.)

* Guess How Much I Love You, the Lucksmiths
* Love Song, Scott Clifton
* All I Need, Mat Kearney
* If You Need a Reason, Mason Jennings
* Drive, Melissa Ferrick
* I Know, Fiona Apple
* Star Me Kitten, REM
* I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash
* PS You Rock My World, the Eels
* Somtimes, Gabrielle
* Question, Old 97s
* I’m Yours, Jason Mraz
* I’ll Love You Till My Veins Explode, the Paper Cranes

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7 days until Cartography For Beginners

Cartography For Beginners drops in a week, and I’m going to post a little something about it every day until it’s released. Today, the cover (isn’t it pretty?) and blurb:

At the age of fifty-one, Leo Bellamy from Chiaroscuro and Something Beautiful has to do what he never expected: start over. Leo has been mourning the end of his long-time relationship for over a year. It takes the death of a close friend to convince Leo that he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life being bitter. It’s time to move on and find a love that will last. Leo accepts his friend Stuart Huntsman’s invitation to visit him in London, where Leo’s friends hope he will find a holiday romance that will kick start that “moving on” business.

Meantime, Stuart has been tentatively rebuilding his relationship with his estranged children. For twenty years Stuart thought his children were better off with him, and it’s a shock to learn they don’t feel the same way. Stuart doesn’t think he’s good for anyone — and certainly not for Leo, even if he and Leo call each other daily and Stuart is always a welcome guest in Leo’s home.

There’s no road map to true love and it’s easy to get lost along the way. But with patience and understanding, Stuart and Leo may find their way to each other.

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The second draft of the next City by the Bay (previous stories are Chiaroscuro and Something Beautiful) story is done, as of today.

There will be editing. Oh yes. It’s not quite ready to submit yet, and I don’t think my publisher would take too well to a 100,000-word submission. But that’s an issue for another day.

(Like tomorrow or Wednesday.)

Also for another day is deciding what to actually call this thing. I’ve been calling it Cartography For Beginners for years, but I’m no longer sure that’s the right title. Currently it’s One of My Kind. I’ve also tried The Curve of the Earth, which seems kind of generic, and Loving Leo, which is just…yeah, no.

Oh, titles. When they don’t announce themselves they can be so hard to find.

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first lines meme

I do a lot more of these in my personal blog, but it’s appropriate here, this time around. These are the first lines of everything I’m working on right now (minus the script). There’s some fanfic in there too: I’m in thrall to a new obsession, and it manifests itself in fic.

Untitled Dean/Castiel sequel:
Sam slept soundly in the other bed, but Dean was awake when Castiel joined him.

the going to the chapel story:
It was a small party, only thirty or so people.

Untitled Supernatural post-series thing:
His name is Daniel.

A Taste of Honey, attempt #9576777:
The cake was a traditional three-tier wedding cake, chocolate, with white fondant and intricately-piped white decorations like Victorian wallpaper.

Cartography for Beginners:
The moment Leo Bellamy finished introducing the band, the crowd leaped to life and the music began.

Edit: Since this keeps getting hits from people looking for fanfiction, you can read my fanfic at Enjoy.

Originally published at