It has been a crazy few weeks here in Duncan-land. In the process, I’ve let some of my regular posts go, and I do apologize for that.

One of the things that you may have noticed that’s disappeared is my Wednesday Briefs posts. Fear not, Ghalib has no gone away! You will read the rest of his story, I promise. However, Ghalib, and the rest of my briefs, are moving to Friday, starting August 1st. I have co-founded a new site with author Andrew Q. Gordon that we’re calling Free Fiction Friday. The website is still very basic, but that is part of what is taking up my time, as I am working on putting it together. Look for our first posts on August 1st. We have some great authors already lined up and hope to have a lot more.

I do hope you guys enjoyed the BDSM blog hop a couple of weeks ago. I had a lot of fun, if a stressful fun, putting it together and hope to do it again. I enjoyed being able to talk about a subject so near and dear to me.

Another thing that has been taking up my time is a new story! This one is… well, very different for me, as it… young adult. Yes, young adult. I started out writing for this anthology:

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I’m still not all that great at writing to a theme but I started out with a story that has since been named The Geek and His Artist and which kind of… well, took off.  I sort of just blinked at the 10k limit as I sailed by it, smiled nervously at the 11k mark, fidgeted when the 12k mark walked by and finally conceded defeat at 12,252 words. Geek still isn’t done and has been set aside, instead, for another story that I sat down on Friday night to put some notes in on and ended up… mostly finishing. 6k and a lot of shock later. Blue Eyes gives a glimpse of a homeless gay teen living on the street, trying to fight his fears and get past them to find hope again. This was even more a departure from my usual stuff, but I am very proud of it and hope to see it as part of the anthology. Below, you’ll find a little tease from the story.

I do intend to finish Geek and hope to submit it to Harmony Ink before too long. Then back to my boys on their boat and What About Now.

In the meantime, here’s a small tease from Blue Eyes. Make sure to keep an eye out for the return of Ghalib on August 1st, too! Until then, happy reading!

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Mr. Handsome looked around. “Thanks. I can’t believe how many people are here. It’s a good thing, though. I wish we got more, but we’re still new.” He smiled over at me. “I’m Will,” he said, offering his hand.

This actually kind of shocked me. The do-gooders, for all they wanted to help, weren’t usually willing to touch. I automatically held my hand out. “Andy. Hi.”

Will’s smile brightened even more. “Nice to meet you, Andy. Do you come here often?” He rolled his eyes and dropped his face in his hand. “I did not just say that.”

Despite myself, I started laughing. “Second time here, actually. It’s a nice place. The food is amazing. Do you cook?”

It was Will’s turn to laugh. He shook his head. “Oh no. I’d burn everything. They don’t let me near the food. I’m allowed to fill the drink machines and stuff, but I can’t touch the rest.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, I was never good at cooking. Back when…” I didn’t bother finishing the thought. For the most part, I’d gotten good at just not thinking about the ‘before’ part of my life.

“What are you good at?”

I stopped myself from saying something asinine like finding places to sleep or finding ways to keep from going crazy, because I knew that wasn’t what he meant. “Computers. I used to build them.”

“Oh, I wish I was good at computers. I mean, I can use them, but I couldn’t build them.” He grinned.

“So… what are you good at?” I found myself asking. I really needed to end the conversation, eat my food and get out of there. This had been a bad idea.

“Music. Or, well, I used to be. I haven’t had an instrument to play in so long. That’s one of my goals.”

“Goals?” I asked, then cursed myself. Shut up, already!

Will nodded. “Yeah. We have to set these goals. Some of them are kind of big, like finish school or get a GED. Others are smaller, like fill out a college application or, like mine, get an instrument. I want a guitar. I used to be able to play really well.”

I blinked at him, a little lost. Something wasn’t adding up. “Your… school makes you do that?” The GED thing sounded odd, but maybe it was some sort of alternative school?

Will actually laughed. “No, silly! The shelter.”

I stared. “Shelter?” I was so lost and feeling more and more so as I went.

Will nodded, waving a hand around him. “This one. Do… Do you know what this is?”

I shook my head, still feeling lost. “I thought it was just a new soup kitchen.”

Will smiled. “We do run the kitchen, but the rest of the building is a shelter for LGBT youth.”

I felt the blood drain from my face. This was the last place I needed to be. I jumped up, meatloaf, fresh bread and chocolate cake forgotten. “Oh, uh, sorry. Uh, take care.” It came out mashed together as one long word, but I didn’t much care. I bolted.

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