So, as anyone who follows me on Twitter is no doubt aware, I spent last weekend at Nine Worlds, a 3 day geek-fest convention thingumy. It was good. I approve. Would do again.

Specifically, I got to hang out with fab people, both people I know and don't get to see often enough, and people I don't know who were shiny and interesting, and go to All The Things.

The sheer abundance of sessions was kind of overwhelming, in a good way, and I'm really appreciating people's write-ups of sessions I didn't get to go to - so many threads full of so many interesting things, but I don't regret choosing any of the things I did in the end go to (not even the slot where I didn't go to any of the five different things that I wanted to go to, and instead got a foofy coffee and ate a protein bar, and sat and chatted to friends, because that was good too.)

I do kind of regret not taking time off work, which means I missed several sessions that I would have liked to go to on Friday, and had to leave mid-afternoon on Sunday to get home. Note duly taken for next year.

The only thing I did get to go to on Friday was Tony Keen's session on Writing Fantastic London - part discussion of his list of key texts, running from Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol to the Rivers of London trilogy series*, part writing exercise, and part reading / discussion of some of the participants' writings. We had about 15 mins of writing time, which left one of the participants with an impressively polished and vivid short inspired by Crossrail, and generated lots of discussion about how the transport system ties in to the fantastic-ness of the city.

I was thinking about my own stuff, and Everything Changes is, I think, my London-est story with supernatural elements. The area around Kings Cross is both inspiration, symbol, and plot element in that one, and a lot of the session discussion brought up transport and transience, and migration and crowds as aspects of London that engender fantastic fiction, so - yes.

My own writing exercise results? under the cut tag )
_____
*<strike>I can type up if anyone wants it - I have a couple of new things on my to-read list from it., personally. </strike>
The reading list is online now: http://tonykeen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/writing-fantastic-london-reading-list.html

<b>ETA - Shiny! - Bedlam, a story by Catherine Taylor, aka the nifty Crossrail story has been posted! text or Audio    Go, read! </b>

I'm a member of a book-swapping service called BookMooch. As well as helping books to find readers and readers new books, it's also spawned a collection of collaborative journals,  sent around the world and filed with words and images and thoughts and notes by anyone who wants to take part. I've added to a few, and not  documented them, but this afternoon I decided to write a drabble for this one - A Dragon's Tale. A drabble means a hundred words, which means typing the words so I could count them and tweak them to get the perfect century.

I also remembered to take a couple of photos.

Silver-on-black stencilled dragon and handwritten drabble

*****
Nothing like you imagined.

*****

Smoke in the air, carbon staining anything that touched the rocks, and - there! A flicker of distant flame? A glint of reflected light? Reflected from scales or gold? It barely mattered - she stumbled forward, further into the dark of cave, straining to catch a second glimpse, and then froze as the cave floor vibrated under her feet. She felt as much as heard the bass rumble of the dragon shifting, sighing. A clatter of something falling against rocks - gold, or more rocks? She smiled, imagining the dragon stretching, and curled asleep on his horde, like a house cat.

*****


silver dragon stencilled on black

alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2009 05:26 pm)
A short Christmas ghost story, written in response to a challenge at Just_Writing

*****

It was bitter cold this year. The snow that brought the city to a halt earlier in the week, which made the solstice celebrations glitter and shine in the darkness, has gone. The iron grey that was left had Col cold to the bone, and it wasn't surprising that everyone else who had a warm cosy place to be chose to be there instead. It left the Christmas woods deserted. Just him, and the drip of water slowly rolling together on a leaf, the sharp rustle as a bird took wing. Col thrust his hands deeper into his poachers pockets, and hunched his shoulders, trying to shield his heart from the cutting wind. Read more... )
alexdraven: (Cherries)
( Jun. 30th, 2009 02:33 pm)
Over at the Torquere Social email list, Vince Diamond threw down a ficlet challenge: 100 words or less using the words:'June', 'nuclear', and 'garage'.

I'm not doing so great at writing short today, it seems, so here's exactly twice as much ficlet as required (which is why I'm posting here not there.)

*****

The metal garage door was hot to the touch, and when Mark turned the latch and lifted it up and over the June heat slammed into him, prickling his temples with sweat and making him squint against the sun's nuclear-blast brightness.

He retreated a few steps into the relative coolness of the shaded garage and screwed up his eyes, watching the sunspots dance across his closed eyelids.

Fuck, it was brutal out there. A beer out of the fridge, and his recliner positioned between two fans seemed more tempting than ever, but he'd promised Hal that he'd clear out the junk boxes today, and, well - a promise was a promise.

That went for his promised reward, too, he reminded himself, and the mirage of the fans faded away, replaced by something much more distracting.

Mark loved water and sex together, which, admittedly, wasn't Hal's favourite thing about him. Hal wasn't above bribery, though, and especially after nearly two weeks of heat-wave which made even the slightest touch sticky and irritating, the prospect of Hal stretched up against the wall in the shower stall, water running over those muscles, begging Mark to touch him…

Mark shivered.

The beer could wait.

*****
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Reverse Raven)
( Jun. 10th, 2009 12:30 am)
A tiny, off-the-cuff snippet for @melfaescotland over on Twitter, who asked for Teague and emo boy's in bands

*****

It's afternoon when he wakes, at least he thinks so from how it feels. The room's sun-baked air still stuffy from having passed through too many lungs, even though he's alone now.

He remembers sprawling out on the couch, dumping his legs across someone's lap. Sam? Teague? The details aren't there yet.

He remembers laughing wildly at something, laughing till his lungs hurt, his stomach ached, until he slid boneless onto the rough carpet. He remembers pulling people down on top of him in a hot, heavy, ridiculous pile. He remembers deciding that standing up was way too much effort, and the conversations were all floating above him, up, out of reach, disjointed because every time he blinked his friends skipped into fast forward.

He doesn't remember the party ending. There must have been a moment when the room fell silent, and someone caught someone's eye and made some gesture that asked 'time to go?', because why else would he be alone?

The room's wrecked, although it's only because it's his mess that he can tell how much of the chaos is new. A t-shirt balled up under the couch, right at his eye level. He stretches awkwardly to tug it free, sky blue against the grubby charcoal of his rug, soft under his calloused fingers, and he wants, so badly, for it to smell of Teague, but when he buries his face in it, there's just the sharp smell of stale beer.

*****
I had plans for my Halloween story this year, but as the saying goes, there's many a slip t'wixt cup and lip. The new plan is that you'll get that next year.

Instead of the planned story, I have a little snapshot of the boys from last year's Halloween story, Micky and Rhys, on their one year anniversary, fresh of the keyboard, unedited, and so on. I hope it makes you smile.

Tradition

Rhys was half watching the muted black-and-white film on the tv, and half watching Micky. Micky was sitting sideways in the big battered armchair, tv remote resting in the space under his knees where his feet were tucked up against the arm, talking on the phone, and picking at the chipped black polish on his nails.

From Micky's half of the conversation, and the way his accent was just that bit stronger, Rhys had deduced that it was a member of Micky's family on the other end. Either his mam, his nan, or one of his aunties, most likely.

He ought to go back upstairs, where the problems for next week's seminars were waiting for him, but what was the point of Saturday afternoons if you couldn't slack in the living room for a while?

snipped for length )

If you'd like to read about how Micky and Rhys got together, you'll need to pick up Favor. As I said last year, when it came out, Favor's sweet like candy, and it has laser-quest, fake fangs, and boys making out in graveyards. It's also on sale right now, and available for a mere $1.03.

Free Halloween stories from the past four years can be found linked in this post, or under '' in the tags list.

Happy reading!
I had plans for my Halloween story this year, but as the saying goes, there's many a slip t'wixt cup and lip. The new plan is that you'll get that next year.

Instead of the planned story, I have a little snapshot of the boys from last year's Halloween story, Micky and Rhys, on their one year anniversary, fresh of the keyboard, unedited, and so on. I hope it makes you smile.

Tradition

Rhys was half watching the muted black-and-white film on the tv, and half watching Micky. Micky was sitting sideways in the big battered armchair, tv remote resting in the space under his knees where his feet were tucked up against the arm, talking on the phone, and picking at the chipped black polish on his nails.

From Micky's half of the conversation, and the way his accent was just that bit stronger, Rhys had deduced that it was a member of Micky's family on the other end. Either his mam, his nan, or one of his aunties, most likely.

He ought to go back upstairs, where the problems for next week's seminars were waiting for him, but what was the point of Saturday afternoons if you couldn't slack in the living room for a while?

snipped for length )

If you'd like to read about how Micky and Rhys got together, you'll need to pick up Favour. As I said last year, when it came out, Favour's sweet like candy, and it has laser-quest, fake fangs, and boys making out in graveyards. It's also on sale for the bargain price of $0.99..

Free Halloween stories from the past four years can be found linked in this post, or under '' in the tags list.

Happy reading!
earlier this morning, before the first caffeine of the day, someone put a laptop down in front of me, with a text editor window open on it and asked me to just type, to see what I thought of the set up. This is what my brain came up with when faced with a blank screen and no requests, uneditted and unpolished. I have no idea what this says about me!

Domestication )
earlier this morning, before the first caffeine of the day, someone put a laptop down in front of me, with a text editor window open on it and asked me to just type, to see what I thought of the set up. This is what my brain came up with when faced with a blank screen and no requests, uneditted and unpolished. I have no idea what this says about me!

Domestication )
I signed up to [livejournal.com profile] apiphile's Llamas Eve Ficathon, and then failed repeatedly to write anything inspired by the prompts that even vaguely hit the criteria. Eventually I found an internet connection on my way out of the country last week in order to bail officially, because I may be intermittently uninspired, but I do try not to be rude. I had a bunch of ideas, wrote four different starting points, and in the end, this little snippet is the only fragment that's not going to be dismembered into it's constituent 1s and 0s, and turned into something else entirely.

read on )
I signed up to [livejournal.com profile] apiphile's Llamas Eve Ficathon, and then failed repeatedly to write anything inspired by the prompts that even vaguely hit the criteria. Eventually I found an internet connection on my way out of the country last week in order to bail officially, because I may be intermittently uninspired, but I do try not to be rude. I had a bunch of ideas, wrote four different starting points, and in the end, this little snippet is the only fragment that's not going to be dismembered into it's constituent 1s and 0s, and turned into something else entirely.

read on )
alexdraven: (Kiss Me)
( May. 20th, 2008 06:34 pm)
A quick snippet for [livejournal.com profile] cicirossi, who wanted summer rain.

***

Max was already asleep, his revision notes doing double duty as a sunshade, his bare chest rising and falling with slow regularity.

It was too hot to touch, airless, their skin sticky with sweat and sunscreen, but Nils couldn't resist at least letting their feet brush as he squirmed about on the blanket they'd spread out on the lawn, trying to find a position that would magically make his notes more
interesting. Finals pretty much sucked, but it was hard to get too worked up about exams when you were lounging about in your boyfriend's back garden and had a whole house to share with no-one else home. It was really hard to care about vector analysis with your boyfriend napping next to you and the sun beating down and the distant static-y buzz of the radio playing in the kitchen.

Nils gave in and let his head rest on his hands, staring at the rough-cut grass from a distance of millimetres until his eyelids got too heavy and then he let them stay closed.

He must have dozed off, because the first cold, heavy drop landed between his shoulder blades with startling abruptness, and when he jerked awake the sky was heavy and grey. It wasn't even a second before a second droplet hit the sun-baked skin of his calf, and another blurred the careful blue and red ink of his notes, and then both he and Max were awake and scrambling to their feet, trying to collect notes and books and snacks and clothes and the blanket and make a dash for the open kitchen door as the raindrops became a solid sheet of water and the air shook with a sonorous rumble of thunder.

The lino was slippery beneath his feet, the shock turning to laughter as Max tripped on a trailing t-shirt and dumped a mixed armful of revision aides in a heap on the floor.

"Ohh - fuck it!" Max cursed.

Nils dropped the sheet in favour of snagging Max's notebook from the pile to get it away from the growing pool of sun screen escaping from the still open bottle. He made sure the rest of their belongings made it to the kitchen table, and then kicked the sheet over, half heartedly wiping up the spill with his feet, adding mud and grass clippings to the mix.

"Jesus - look at it." Max said, gesturing out of the door before pulling Nils into a hug with a quick press of lips to Nil's cheek. His lips felt hot, Nil's face cool and slick from the rain, which was really hammering down, drowning out the radio as it bounced off the
corrugated plastic roof of the lean-to and poured off to bounce and splash on the concrete patio. The air itself smelled different - cooler and clearer and cleaner.

"Rather look at you," Nils said, turning around to wrap himself around his goose-bumped boyfriend. They'd caught enough rain to darken Max's blond hair, pulling it down into sable points around his face. Nils reached up to push the hair back, and catch the droplets collecting on Max's forehead before pulling Max down into a kiss.

"Think we can find something else to do but sunbathe," he asked with an innocent smile when Max finally stopped kissing back.

"Oh, I think we can come up with something," Max smiled back. "Better get you out of those wet shorts first, though."
alexdraven: (Kiss Me)
( May. 20th, 2008 06:34 pm)
A quick snippet for [livejournal.com profile] cicirossi, who wanted summer rain.

***

Max was already asleep, his revision notes doing double duty as a sunshade, his bare chest rising and falling with slow regularity.

It was too hot to touch, airless, their skin sticky with sweat and sunscreen, but Nils couldn't resist at least letting their feet brush as he squirmed about on the blanket they'd spread out on the lawn, trying to find a position that would magically make his notes more
interesting. Finals pretty much sucked, but it was hard to get too worked up about exams when you were lounging about in your boyfriend's back garden and had a whole house to share with no-one else home. It was really hard to care about vector analysis with your boyfriend napping next to you and the sun beating down and the distant static-y buzz of the radio playing in the kitchen.

Nils gave in and let his head rest on his hands, staring at the rough-cut grass from a distance of millimetres until his eyelids got too heavy and then he let them stay closed.

He must have dozed off, because the first cold, heavy drop landed between his shoulder blades with startling abruptness, and when he jerked awake the sky was heavy and grey. It wasn't even a second before a second droplet hit the sun-baked skin of his calf, and another blurred the careful blue and red ink of his notes, and then both he and Max were awake and scrambling to their feet, trying to collect notes and books and snacks and clothes and the blanket and make a dash for the open kitchen door as the raindrops became a solid sheet of water and the air shook with a sonorous rumble of thunder.

The lino was slippery beneath his feet, the shock turning to laughter as Max tripped on a trailing t-shirt and dumped a mixed armful of revision aides in a heap on the floor.

"Ohh - fuck it!" Max cursed.

Nils dropped the sheet in favour of snagging Max's notebook from the pile to get it away from the growing pool of sun screen escaping from the still open bottle. He made sure the rest of their belongings made it to the kitchen table, and then kicked the sheet over, half heartedly wiping up the spill with his feet, adding mud and grass clippings to the mix.

"Jesus - look at it." Max said, gesturing out of the door before pulling Nils into a hug with a quick press of lips to Nil's cheek. His lips felt hot, Nil's face cool and slick from the rain, which was really hammering down, drowning out the radio as it bounced off the
corrugated plastic roof of the lean-to and poured off to bounce and splash on the concrete patio. The air itself smelled different - cooler and clearer and cleaner.

"Rather look at you," Nils said, turning around to wrap himself around his goose-bumped boyfriend. They'd caught enough rain to darken Max's blond hair, pulling it down into sable points around his face. Nils reached up to push the hair back, and catch the droplets collecting on Max's forehead before pulling Max down into a kiss.

"Think we can find something else to do but sunbathe," he asked with an innocent smile when Max finally stopped kissing back.

"Oh, I think we can come up with something," Max smiled back. "Better get you out of those wet shorts first, though."
alexdraven: (Halloween)
( Feb. 15th, 2008 02:38 pm)
Only a day late: a little Valentine's snippet from the boys from Favor.

for the birds )
alexdraven: (Halloween)
( Feb. 15th, 2008 02:38 pm)
Only a day late: a little Valentine's snippet from the boys from Favor.

for the birds )
alexdraven: (Cherries)
( Jan. 21st, 2008 12:12 am)
by Alex Draven.

Mack and Keir appear in the story 'Skin' in the first Men in Uniform anthology.

***

"You woke me up to bring me cake?" Mack took his hand away from his forehead, where it had been shading his eyes, and blinked up at Keir. The corner of Keir's mouth quirked.

"I bought you cake and caff, to your pod, early enough that we can enjoy it before you're due on shift."

"It's very early," Mack pointed out, redundantly.

Read more... )
alexdraven: (Cherries)
( Jan. 21st, 2008 12:12 am)
by Alex Draven.

Mack and Keir appear in the story 'Skin' in the first Men in Uniform anthology.

***

"You woke me up to bring me cake?" Mack took his hand away from his forehead, where it had been shading his eyes, and blinked up at Keir. The corner of Keir's mouth quirked.

"I bought you cake and caff, to your pod, early enough that we can enjoy it before you're due on shift."

"It's very early," Mack pointed out, redundantly.

Read more... )
Those of you who've been reading me for a while will have figured out that I enjoy Halloween, and I've posted a short story for the season each year for the past few.

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)

This year, the main story is Favour, but I do have a couple of extra sketchbook ficlets for you.

sketch the first - Soar )

and sketch the second - Raining Cats )
Those of you who've been reading me for a while will have figured out that I enjoy Halloween, and I've posted a short story for the season each year for the past few.

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)

This year, the main story is Favour, but I do have a couple of extra sketchbook ficlets for you.

sketch the first - Soar )

and sketch the second - Raining Cats )
alexdraven: (Edwardian)
( Dec. 31st, 2006 02:14 am)
for [livejournal.com profile] samcdermott65, who's resolution was Lose 20 lbs. Curb the wine consumption or eliminate it all together. Eat healthier.

*****

Mark stretched out, languorous and heavy-limbed, coming so gradually awake that he wasn't sure if he was still dreaming. They'd collapsed together in the recovery coma of le petite mort, so the gas lights were still casting their gilded glow over the scene: Mark's dark wooden floors strewn with discarded garments, his own leg, thrown over the side of the mahogany framed day-bed, the muscle-shaded back of the beautiful young man who was sprawling across Mark's lap.

Oh yes, the New Year was off to a sterling start! Read more... )
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