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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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6 days until 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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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 (probable) 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 year so far

Since it's the halfway point of the year, a little navel-gazing.

For the last couple years I've participated in a year-long writing challenge called Get Your Words Out: there are various levels of goals to select from, you choose one and then you write. You can work on one project or many, whatever floats your boat, and the idea is to just reach your goal.

This year I decided on the 200,000 word goal, since last year with a 250,000 word goal I felt like I did a lot of writing but not a lot of finishing and I wanted something low-pressure. Then Life happened, as it tends to do, and the writing has been my primary occupation for the year. Which means that as of today, I'm 53,000 words away from achieving my goal.

I'm happy about this, but it's still a weird feeling.

Most of it was taken up in finishing, rewriting, and editing Cartography For Beginners: it was 40,000 words of a rough draft when I started, 108,000 words when I started rewriting, and 105,000 words when I submitted it. Yes, I think it is the longest thing I've ever written. Whether it will stay 105,000 words or not remains to be seen, as the editing/proofreading stages are still to come.

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the cooling-down period

I have "often" down.
Working on "well."

Back in 1984 or so–one of my childhood Olympic Games–I was watching the end of the women's marathon with my dad. The winner crossed the finish line, verified she was the winner, and then went on running for a few yards more.

"Why is she doing that?" I said. "Wouldn't she want to stop?"

"You can't run that far and just stop," Dad said. "You have to stop slowly."

While I've never run a marathon–my gym teachers were lucky if I did the required number of laps around the track–I sympathize with that feeling.

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