#WeekyWritables ♥ Pause

I’ve made the executive decision to put my #WeeklyWritables challenge on hold until further notice – if I decide to pick it up again. We’ll see how it goes.

As I mentioned during last week’s reveal, I had started this challenge to keep my muse motivated and working, but with the new challenge I presented myself (see the DIY 30 Day Challenge Here) – this one has become more counterproductive than helpful.

It’s obviously more conducive for accomplishing my goals if I focus on the variety of WIPs I already have, rather than creating more or just polishing up excerpts from them. Maybe, when I start running out? LOL Okay, not likely, but maybe another time anyway…

Happy Tuesday!

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#WeeklyWritables ♥ Word Reveal

weeklywritables

Well, last week was a total bust – though, I am still working on getting my video tutorial squared away. For anyone who’s just joining in, welcome to my fairly new writing challenge. Below are the guidelines for those who’d like to participate. I started this challenge for myself, primarily, to try to keep my creativity flowing more steadily. I tend to run into dry spells, where all I’m doing is nitpicking at WIPs without really writing any fresh material to get them finished. In short, I’m trying to apply more discipline to my writing, so that I’m more productive.

The #WeeklyWritables word for Thursday is: Statuesque

RandomWord_SS

Every Tuesday morning I will post a random word and anyone who’d like to join in will have until Thursday to publish their work.

The rules are simple:

  1. Your post must contain the random word at least once (using it for your pingback is probably the most familiar practice for anyone who’s ever done the Daily Prompts)
  2. Short stories, flash fiction, poems, WIP excerpts, and real life experiences are welcome
  3. Please no song lyrics, unless you wrote them yourself – there are already so many music challenges out there, I’d really like this one to be all about creative writing

That’s it! There are no restrictions on length, you can make it as long or short as you want, this is all about feeding your creative energy! Feel free to grab the badge/banner above for your posts, if you’d like. And if you do participate please don’t forget to leave a pingback so I can find your post and read it. I don’t expect this to be an overnight success, but do hope you’ll join in if/when you can!

p.s. Your feedback is more than welcome! If you’d like to join this challenge, but don’t feel the time-limit is long or short enough, I’d love to hear your input!

 

#WeeklyWritables ♥ I’ve Got Your Frightening Right Here

weeklywritables

I could give you any number of excuses on why I failed to write a creative post for my own writing challenge today, but the truth is: I was doing something frightening, rather than writing about it.

I have made my very first video tutorial!

Not without a lot of trial and error, or first finding the right “Free” screen recording software! Ugh, I had to have downloaded and sampled, then uninstalled 4 or 5 different programs before finally finding one decent enough to use. Okay, so it was more frustrating creating the video, but the frightening part will come with launching it on my blog tomorrow to see how it’s received!    **UPDATE: My greatest apologies, everyone, I have hit some technical issues with both YouTube and WordPress, so will NOT be able to launch my video tutorial as planned – HOWEVER – I am working on figuring out how I can launch it soon and will let you know! SORRY!!!**

Lookit, I don’t care if you’re just starting out or have a ton of experience, it’s always scary doing something new.

It often boils down to what exactly you’re trying to achieve and if the final outcome will be worth the frustration and anxiety. In this case, I say yes, it is! Because I wrote the post…and it was super, super long and full of screenshots and probably a lot more confusing than I wanted it to be. Mostly, refer to the super, super long part.

With a video tutorial, I’m able to show everyone how to do things step by step without any confusion in under 20 minutes and there’s that lovely pause feature so writers can follow right along with the video if they want.

Definitely, a lot clearer and concise than screenshots with a lot of verbiage. Still frightening to put it out there, put a little more of myself out there than I ever have before – but not too much. Baby steps…we introverts only take baby steps.

 

 

#WeeklyWritables ♥ Word Reveal

weeklywritables

It’s time to reveal the word for this week’s #WeeklyWritables!

I’m on a mission this week to keep my Thursday’s submission much shorter than I’ve been doing so far. Last week’s results took me deep into my old ‘story idea’ archives and churned out a much longer excerpt than I’d been planning for, but I suppose finding inspiration and motivation to write is the whole idea of this challenge! 😀 For those interested in how it works, here are the guidelines again, followed by a screenshot of the random word.

Every Tuesday morning I will post a random word and anyone who’d like to join in will have until Thursday to publish their work.

The rules are simple:

  1. Your post must contain the random word at least once (using it for your pingback is probably the most familiar practice for anyone who’s ever done the Daily Prompts)
  2. Short stories, flash fiction, poems, WIP excerpts, and real life experiences are welcome
  3. Please no song lyrics, unless you wrote them yourself – there are already so many music challenges out there, I’d really like this one to be all about creative writing

That’s it! There are no restrictions on length, you can make it as long or short as you want, this is all about feeding your creative energy! Feel free to grab the badge/banner above for your posts, if you’d like. And if you do participate please don’t forget to leave a pingback so I can find your post and read it. I don’t expect this to be an overnight success, but do hope you’ll join in if/when you can!

p.s. Your feedback is more than welcome! If you’d like to join this challenge, but don’t feel the time-limit is long or short enough, I’d love to hear your input!

The #WeeklyWritables word for Thursday is: Frightening

randomword_ss

#WeeklyWritables ♥ The Contractor

weeklywritables

The Contractor

Delta Simone was everything Dru Simmons would never be. Tall, lusciously curved and exotically sexy. About the only thing they had in common, was their brazen confidence. That hadn’t been the case five years ago, when Dru had taken a job at SinChats to keep a roof over her head while paying a college tuition. Not that she’d been a wallflower, but she’d never envisioned herself as a phone-sex operator, either. Once she’d realized she could spend a few hours being taller than five-two, trade her b-cups in for D’s and finally fill out the ass in her jeans, Dru had given life to her alter-ego and never looked back.

As Delta, she’d become so successful at creating a following, she’d been able to stash enough money away for a cheap house, plus the capital needed to strike out on her own. Desperation may have driven her into the industry, but she could no longer imagine doing anything else.

On the very first night of operating her own business, she anxiously waited for her phone to ring. Could already imagine her bank account doubling, since SinChats would no longer be taking their fat cut out of her paychecks. She was pleased when it didn’t take long for the first call to come in.

“Mm, hello,” she answered in Delta’s sultry, husky voice.

The other end of the line was quiet for a moment, but that wasn’t a shocker. Most callers had given her voice the same response their first time hearing it. Now, over half of them were repeat customers.

“Hi.” A man finally replied.

Dru smiled at the hesitance in his voice. Definitely a first timer. He had a nice, deep timbre, which would make talking to him quite easy.

“Who’s this?” she asked, open and sensually curious.

“This is Don Masters,” he answered, his tone even more uncertain than before.

“Don,” she breathed, savoring his name, as if it weren’t the most obvious cover in history. That wasn’t a surprise, either. Some guys, especially phone-sex virgins, were too embarrassed to give their real names. “What can I do for you this evening, Don?”

With Delta’s voice, the very real promise of giving him anything he wanted dripped off each syllable and she heard the telling catch in his breathing.

“I was calling to see what I could do for you,” he said forcibly. “I’m the contractor.”

“Oh, my,” she replied, intrigued. Yay, role playing! One of her favorites. “Don, is it true what they say about contractors?”

He was silent again. “Depends on which story you heard,” he ground out. “Do you always answer the phone like this?”

Dru chuckled quietly, seductively. “Should I answer it differently?”

“How about like a normal person?” he suggested, sounding agitated.

Dru rolled her eyes. One downside to branching out on her own was having no one to vet her calls. It was a risk she’d weighed and decided to pay, though she’d never thought it would rear its ugly head right out the gate.

“I’m sorry. Hello, Don, how are you this evening?” she asked, ready to please so the call could end sooner. It was too bad, because she really did enjoy the sound of his voice.

“Can’t complain.” His gruff tone said otherwise. “But, I’m looking for Dru Simmons.”

Everything in Dru froze. It was a phone-sex operator’s worst nightmare, that someone would find a way to crack through all their securities and discover their true identity. She had to play it off, play it cool and not let on that he’d succeeded or she’d be done for.

Dru gave a light, husky laugh. “Well, you got Delta Simone, sugar,” she replied, satisfied when the panic didn’t carry through to her voice. “But you can call me Dru if you’d like.”

“I think I’ve dialed the wrong number,” he rushed out and hung up.

Dru was hyperventilating. Hand clutched to her chest, she stared at the phone for a full second and then yanked the cord from the base. Next, she dove under her desk to recheck which jack it had been plugged into. When the phone in the kitchen started ringing, she froze again. Then, her heart leaped to her throat when the answering machine clicked on and she thought about a customer getting her real personal greeting meant solely for family and friends. Dru shimmied out of the cramped space in a hurry, halfway between a full-on anxiety attack and fury, when a familiar voice filled the house.

“Dru? It’s mom–”

“Ow, fuck!” she swore, whacking her shoulder on the underside of the desk so she could bolt down the hall and slide into the kitchen to grab the phone.

“I’m here, I’m here,” she panted.

“Druscilla, what have I told you about running in the house?” Her mother chastised.

She didn’t bother checking for hidden cameras this time, but in most other cases her mom’s intuition was just as uncanny. “Mom–”

“Listen, sweetie, I know you’re probably busy with that naughty business of yours.” Dru groaned at her mother’s emphasis, not because it was said in disgust, but in an exaggerated purr. It was one thing for her parents to accept her chosen profession, quite another for her mom to find it fascinating. “I just wanted to let you know that I contacted the contractor that did all the work on our gazebo a few years ago, you remember, Donald Masters? Nice man. Anyway, he’s going to send one of his foremen out to get all the details for your office. He’ll probably be calling to set up a good time with you as soon as possible.”

Dru’s lungs had stopped working the second her mom had uttered his name. Her mind raced back to the gazebo’s construction and could only recall a nice, older man with blond hair and friendly blue eyes, wrinkles fanning out of the corners from the way he squinted in the sunlight. If that was Donald Masters, he did not match the voice of the man she’d just had the most unfortunate conversation with.

“Mom, which number did you give Mr. Masters?”

Her mom laughed. “Honey, I only have one of your numbers and it’s the free one! Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll call soon.”

Oh, yeah. He hadn’t wasted any time on that. Now, she was left with a major dilemma. It was Friday night, one of her busiest times, and the phone company was already closed. She didn’t even want to calculate all the money she was losing out on, but it wasn’t worth the risk of clients getting her personal recording. Dammit!

***

Don Masters was a professional. He worked for a very clean, legitimate construction company with high standards and even higher expectations. He thoroughly loved his work and took immense pride in it. Through a pair of Oakley’s, he stared at the rambler he’d just parked in front of. It was a corner lot, which was a bonus in the older neighborhoods. He wasn’t a painter, but that would be at the top of his suggestion list, because the pealing baby blue was an eyesore that hadn’t been popular for at least two decades. The lawn was in vital need of some TLC and landscaping advice. There was a single car garage up the slightly sloped drive where a cherry red Saab was parked.

Don grabbed his clipboard and climbed out, trying to ignore the foul mood still percolating in his system. There were only two explanations for what had happened the night before. Either he’d been given the wrong phone number or someone in the godawful blue house was a phone-sex operator. He prayed it was the former, because he’d never been so aroused just by a woman’s voice before and knowing she wasn’t anything like he’d imagined pissed him off. The outright manipulation was why Don had never and would never pay for phone sex.

He’d just made it to the top of the driveway, when a loud slamming noise broke through the sky and startled him. Brows creased, he followed the continuous racket around the side of the house and through the open gate into the backyard. Don paused, his shielded gaze drinking in the five-foot-nothing woman going at the exterior wall of an obvious DIY mudroom sticking off the back of the house–yet another eyesore–with a sledgehammer. It had to weigh twice as much as she did. Ninety percent of her belonged to the sun-kissed legs sticking out of her tiny denim shorts topped with a fitted tank under an unbuttoned dress shirt rolled halfway up her arms. Her medium brown hair was naturally curly and pulled up into a ponytail at the back of her head.

When she lifted the hammer to take another swing, Don couldn’t stop himself from intervening. Honestly, he would’ve been the world’s worst citizen if he didn’t step in for both her and the house’s sake.

“Whoa, you don’t want to do that,” he approached her with his hand held out, like she was a wild horse. “You’re going to break your arms, before you ever damage that wall.”

She gave a little start, her hazel eyes growing wide behind her safety glasses. At least she’d had the brains to use them and the gloves covering her hands.

“I’m gonna damage your face if you don’t tell me who you are and what the hell you’re doing on my property,” she threatened.

Her voice was honey rich, with enough smokey rasp underlining it to have Don reevaluating his previous stance on phone-sex operators. Because, if the petite juggernaut wasn’t the same Delta Simone he’d spoken to the night before, then he’d trade his tool belt in for one of those nifty white jackets that buckles in the back.

“I’m the contractor,” he stated deliberately, watching her like a hawk for any kind of reaction. “And I’m looking for Mr. Dru Simmons.”

It had been harder to say than he liked. The idea of her being Mrs. Dru Simmons had a hard knot forming in his gut that messed with his head after the things she’d put his body through the night before.

She gave him a smirk that would’ve crushed the ego of another man. “Yeah, and I’m looking for Mr. Drew Barrymore.”

“You’re Dru Simmons?” He was more relieved than surprised, which was a bad thing because it meant she was his potential client and Don never mixed business with pleasure. Ever.

“Look, are you the foreman Don Masters sent or what?” she asked, impatient.

“No,” he smiled. “I am Don Masters.”

The hammer dropped to the ground with a thud and she leaned it against her stomach to peel the gloves off first, then the safety glasses. She was even more attractive with bare hands, devoid of any wedding rings.

“I know Donald Masters,” she stated. “You’re not him.”

It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten that response from old customers of his father’s. They didn’t look anything alike. Don had taken after his mother in every way, from his black hair to his Irish green eyes and a smile that many claimed came straight from the fae; as equally charming as it was mischievous.

“Donald Masters is my father,” he said. “I’m Donovan. Donovan Masters.”

And you’re Delta Simone.

The tiniest jump of nerves in her eyes confirmed what he’d already suspected. It was completely unprofessional. It would break every single one of his own rules. But he would prove her secret identity before he was done with the job. He simply had to. She’d tossed that gauntlet at his feet the moment she’d answered the phone in a way specifically designed to get him all hot and bothered against his will. It wasn’t just a challenge, it was justified dues.

###

©A.C.Melody_WIP/StoryIdeas

Maybe I should put a word limit on this challenge, I’m just getting worse! LOL When I thought of noise, I immediately thought of construction, which reminded me of this little gem buried deep, deep in the dusty archives of my “story ideas” waiting for me to do something with it. So, I took it out and thought of all the ways I could build on it for today’s post. My original plan was the opposite, having Dru waking up to the racket of construction and going outside to complain about the noise, but this works even nicer, I think. 🙂

#WeeklyWritables ♥ Word Reveal

weeklywritables

It’s time for week two of the new writing challenge, #WeeklyWritables, hosted by yours truly. Last week was a huge success for me, because I ended up with a bonus scene I’d never planned on writing for my new semi-psycho-taboo-thriller WIP (I have no clue what the genre really is, but that sums it up). Anyway, I should have done this last week, but didn’t think of it – so this week I’m including a screenshot of the random word generator just so y’all know the word really is random! LOL

First, here’s a recap on what this challenge is all about:

Every Tuesday morning I will post a random word and anyone who’d like to join in will have until Thursday to publish their work.

The rules are simple:

  1. Your post must contain the random word at least once (using it for your pingback is probably the most familiar practice for anyone who’s ever done the Daily Prompts)
  2. Short stories, flash fiction, poems, WIP excerpts, and real life experiences are welcome
  3. Please no song lyrics, unless you wrote them yourself – there are already so many music challenges out there, I’d really like this one to be all about creative writing

That’s it! There are no restrictions on length, you can make it as long or short as you want, this is all about feeding your creative energy! You’re free to use the graphic I’ve created for my posts or you can create your own. And if you do participate please don’t forget to leave a pingback so I can find your post and read it. I don’t expect this to be an overnight success, but do hope you’ll join in if/when you can!

p.s. Your feedback is more than welcome! If you’d like to join this challenge, but don’t feel the time-limit is long or short enough, I’d love to hear your input!

#WeeklyWritables word for Thursday is: Noise

randomword_ss

 

#WeeklyWritables ♥ Deal With the Devil

weeklywritables

Deal With the Devil

Twilight didn’t fall in the city. It crept up from the gutters, hovering just below the streetlamps long before it touched the sky. Perpetuated by the shadows of looming buildings hungry for everyone’s personal space. Dahlia had always dreamed of rising above them, to see the monster in its entirety. Preferably through the window of a plane whisking her off to some tropical destination. In her fantasies, there was a distant land filled with women just like her and men who loved them freely, not as a vice or fetish. Women who’d been born as men, trying to survive their lot in this sadist’s wet dream called life.

That fantasy was all that remained of her whimsical side. Disenchantment was a slow poison snuffing out hope with such stealth, its death went unnoticed. For the most part, Dahlia had already come to terms with her fate. Learned to embrace the prickly city that tolerated her for its own gain; squeezing all the blood and money out of her in exchange for a few scraps of joy and something making a mockery of love. Everyone did the best with what they had, right? But, it wasn’t about acceptance, anymore. The stigma would follow her, no matter where she went. It was all about survival now.

Through the window of a cab, she watched the crowded sidewalks perform their slow striptease. Layers of business attire peeled away to reveal the sexed-up desperation underneath. Modesty fell by the wayside, as pretty feens clamored for the attention they’d spent all day craving in denial. And the scum snaked out of the inkwells to intersperse themselves among the commoners, seeking the thrill of the game. They were all there to hustle. Thieves and denizens, alike. Men and women poached each other to fill some kind of void, while con-artists relieved them of all their hard-earned cash.

Dahlia had never been guiltless of running cons, but she was hustling big tonight. Stuck her damn neck out for it, too, with all the determination of getting her prize at the end. Her whimsical side might be halfway to the grave, but her reality-check light was still functioning at full capacity and the truth was: she wasn’t getting any younger or relevant. The novelty of her was wearing thin. Newer, more exotic options flooded into the streets daily, siphoning revenue from the Bosses. It made Dahlia expendable and she needed to move on, before they decided to prove it. Leaving just wasn’t an option when your ass was owned. It was something you had to make happen. Sacrifice it all to create a diversion, then run like hell and pray no one noticed.

Too quickly, she arrived at her destination and spotted her diversion sitting alone in the farthest, gloomiest corner the second she walked in. He wore a dark coat and hat, shrouding his masculine features in more mystery than his reputation already secured. As instructed, she went to the bar first and ordered a drink she didn’t even want. Bourbon was poured neat, while she ignored the inevitable gawking with the ease of expertise and a spine of solid diva. It didn’t matter that most of it was forced and left her feeling hollow. They bought that shit, so fuck ’em.

Her hand shook when it wrapped around the glass, because she was nearing that point of no return. Once she set her plan into motion, there would be no going back. No way to stop or reverse it. Oh hell, who was she kidding? It was already too late. The devil had her name. Dahlia turned, just in time to catch the man’s deliberate glance, as he walked right out the back door. Foreboding cut down her spine like a cleaver, her heart slamming against her chest to avoid the blade. Suddenly, the drink made perfect sense and she downed it without tasting a single drop. No burn, no effect. Nothing could quell her nerves.

With every step toward the back door, she tormented herself with vivid memories she’d just as soon forget. It was the fuel needed to sustain her conviction. The reminder of why she’d contacted the devil, himself, to ask for a favor. And she’d known then what she knew now, that it had all the potential of freeing her from everything. Permanently.

The single fixture mounted above the door was meant only to illuminate the dumpsters directly across the alley, it seemed. Of course, that wasn’t where he waited for her. Theirs was not destined to be a friendly chat. Dahlia inhaled a steadying breath, released the door and left the false sense of security to enter the darkness. The man leaned a shoulder against the wall halfway between the door and the next street. She’d be dead before anyone spotted them, even if he wasn’t as lethal as everyone claimed.

It was the most damning moment of hindsight when she stopped in front of him, only to discover she’d been the one getting hustled all along. There wasn’t a single sound to warn her of the tremendously imposing presence that crept up right behind her. And there was no stopping the chill of dread when she watched the man before her silently defer to the devil at her backside.

“Hello, Dahlia.” Hot, cinnamon breath caressed her neck and cheek, he was so close. Self-preservation had her head turning before her body followed.

She stared into the face of the most notorious monster of their time, that no one beyond their sick, depraved world even knew existed, and finally understood the meaning of beautiful death. Her body heated and withered in terror simultaneously; some primal instinct recognizing the cold predator through the mouthwatering façade. His eyes were two pools of undiluted malevolence, beckoning her to dive in with the power of self-destructive urges. The way you sometimes wanted to squeeze a glass so hard it broke. Not from anger, just to feel it happen.

“So much prettier than I expected, given everything I’ve learned,” he remarked. “Guess it’s true what they say about scars only being soul deep.”

No one said that. It was too true for comfort. Dahlia’s heart hammered in every corner of her body. The city lost all its power over her, unable to compete with him. It was no surprise that he’d dug into her real identity before agreeing to meet, or that he’d find her as they all did; something to judge and dismiss in one, careless motion.

He made the quietest sound of amusement, and it was–hands down–the most terrifying thing she’d ever heard. He crowded her without touching, pulling the toothpick from between his lips and waving it under her nose, revealing the source of cinnamon. Her head jerked back out of reflexive fear, but he grabbed the back of her head to keep her in place.

“This is going to burn no matter where I insert it, but I imagine, particularly in the tip of that little prick between your legs.”

Dahlia nearly choked on the glob of terror clogging in her throat. “I’m allergic to cinnamon,” she rushed out, despising herself for giving him the exact means to kill her, just by trying to stop it from happening.

“Imagine that,” he mused, sticking the toothpick back into his mouth. The pure menace in his tone revealed he’d already had that information prior to arriving and her chest felt like it was going to cave in. “Tell me, Dahlia, what would make a woman like you crawl all over the dark-web looking for a man like me?”

“I didn’t do it for me–”

His chuckle was quiet, which only made it worse. “Yes, you did.”

“I want out,” she confessed. “Alive. I want out alive.”

“Mm. Well, I want the girl,” he deadpanned, all humor gone. “Can you do that? Are you willing to trade her life for yours?”

There was no question, but that didn’t make it any easier to bear. To know she was completely willing to trade the life of a friend in exchange for her own freedom, her own life.

“Yes.”

With another laugh, he backed her into the wall, caging her head between his hands and leaning in so close she was afraid to breathe.

“Yes, she says. So cold. So ruthless.” His words were deliberate slaps at what humanity she had left. “I’d say we seal our deal with a kiss, but I’ve always been a man of business over pleasure. I am curious, though. If you had to choose between the ugliness in your mind and having the surgery, which would it be?”

The toothpick moved between his lips when he spoke, coming within a hair of her own. He might as well have been brandishing a knife in her face for all the cold sweat breaking out along her brow. His sharp perception pierced right into her soul, exposing her deepest shame. That she’d rather keep the horrific memories than lose the parts she’d been born with. She’d never wanted surgery, the consultation he’d obviously found in her medical records had simply been another cruelty dealt by the one man who was supposed to love her more than anyone else.

“Ugliness, it is.” His smile was sinister, reveling in all the turmoil and conflict he bred.

“How am I supposed to get you the girl?” she forced out, more than ready to conclude their meeting, despite what her body thought.

“Beautiful Dahlia, all you need to worry about is doing exactly what I tell you to do,” he answered. “No deviation, no looking out for number one or growing a conscience when shit starts getting real. You’re going to do this like a fucking pro, because if you don’t…well, I’m sure you’ve heard how that story ends.”

“She really is the one who wanted you, not me,” Dahlia stated, needing it on record to ease her guilt. Was she supposed to risk her life without finding some way to save it in the process? She wasn’t an opportunist, damn it, she was a survivor!

Once more, his quiet laugh molested the murky shadows, conjuring the very basis of every nightmare known to man.

“And now she’s going to get me,” he replied. “You’re the one standing here, begging to live with that.”

###

 ©A.C. Melody 2019_Untitled WIP

 WOW, this was completely unexpected and not at all what I had planned for this challenge. This scene was never meant to exist, let alone get completely fleshed out like this – because, Dahlia is not my main character. She’s a sub-character with a minor – yet extremely vital – role and apparently, she wanted us all to know exactly what she had to go through to pull her part off! LOL What do you even call the process of putting your characters through hell after the fact? O_o

When the book’s done, I’m going to have to add this as bonus material, it’s too gorgeous – sometimes, it pays to have demanding characters. (I said sometimes!)