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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

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Once Upon a Time I Was Writing a Novel

For the past couple of days, I’ve gotten back to writing some scenes for the novel. Having lost momentum, I feel a little silly for fretting over the unstructured time I had this summer when I went to a writing retreat. That was a good problem to have.

But I’ve written a little over the last few months while tending to some big changes at work. I feel optimistic about gaining momentum. I’m just going to have fun and see where my characters take me.

Here’s a fresh excerpt. Hope you’re craving backstory.

The hand grabbing Blaine’s left arm must have been Ryan’s. That was the only possibility that made sense to Blaine in that moment. Seconds before, they were talking as they walked quickly across campus. The warmth of the early spring day was gone. The chill of nighttime made them shiver as they laughed at each other’s mock insults.

Blaine was still giggling about Ryan calling him “needledick” minutes before, in response to which he’d told Ryan, “Hey, you know better.”

“I know nothing.”

“Well, at least you know that much.”

He’d gotten the upper hand in their stupid game, so Ryan must have slipped behind him to disorient him. Although that wasn’t Ryan’s style–his strength was strategies, not tactics–but they’d both purposely had a little too much beer, so maybe he was feeling comfortable enough to joke, to touch, to acknowledge he liked being with Blaine.

It all happened so quickly that Blaine didn’t even notice Ryan was still on his right side. Ryan kept walking as Blaine stopped to turn backward to his left. Blaine felt something touch his face as his head jerked sharply to the right. A flash of lightning that came from inside his head overwhelmed him for a moment. He fell backward, landing on his ass. A voice said, “Next time, I’ll use something bigger than my fist, faggot.”

As if smoke cleared, Blaine’s vision returned. He saw two guys, or their dark silhouettes, at least. The one closer to him must have been the one who hit him. Blaine took in an enormous breath, which energized him. He rolled forward and pushed himself to his feet. The guy’s eyes opened wide, and he turned away from Blaine, who rushed toward him and tackled him.

Ryan watched as Blaine pressed his knee into the attacker’s back and pushed the guy’s head to the ground.

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