Category Archives: Absolute Write Water Cooler

A Story About That Guy #1 (AW Blog Chain)

This month, I decided to rekindle my connection with the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums and take part in the monthly blog chain. If you’ve been reading me long enough, you know I participated in these every month a couple of years back.

The theme for this month is Romance and several writers are posting on the subject. You can find the links to their entry at the end of this post.

At first, I thought about writing a commentary on romance in pop culture these days. It seems to me like there are a lot of abusive relationships being celebrated as sexy or romantic. Fifty Shades of Grey is an example. Animals from Maroon 5 is all about sex and stalking. Take Me to Church from Hozier portrays another broken relationship. I’ve read a couple of books in which the heroine lands in the hero’s bed three days after he violently asserted dominance over her.

This trend baffles me.

After some internal debate, I decided that I didn’t want to write a whole post about that. Instead, I kicked my behind to polish the first of my new serialized short stories series.

The first of The Quirks is entitled A Story About That Guy and just so happens to be a romance. Here are the first 500 words. The next “chapter” will be up next Wednesday. 😉


* * *

That Guy walked in Jamie’s Coffee for the third time this week. He had gotten a turkey sandwich on Monday and ham on Wednesday, each time with a bowl of our soup of the day and a large cappuccino. Brown tousled hair and blue eyes, That Guy strutted in with a laptop bag slung over a shoulder and a casual-with-a-hint-of-bad-boy vibe in his green polo shirt, jeans and leather jacket. Given today’s chilly weather, I doubly approved of the leather jacket.
I didn’t know anything else about That Guy, and I’d make damn sure to keep things like this. While he was still That Guy, he wasn’t The Ex and he could be anyone from yet-to-be famous TV star to understated millionaire to just another student.
“Next,” I said like I always did. I didn’t want That Guy to think I found him special or anything. It might lead to him ignoring me or worse, wanting to have a conversation, which always led to self-humiliation.
“Hello!” I added when he stepped up to the till. Jamie’s employees didn’t last long if they couldn’t pull off the friendly cashier smile. “What can we get you today?”
“Hi again!”
Again? He’d notice me. How? I had just been working here like many a faceless sandwich maker. Tracy had been here all three days too and he didn’t “again” her.
“I’ll have the Mediterranean Panini, please.” He ordered with the same part-absorbed, part-bland tone everyone used, but his voice had a spark, an avid taste for the world around him. Or maybe it was the hint of a growl behind the sweet caress of his tone that made me think of jungles.
I shouldn’t be noticing such details.
“Extra cheese, all veggies but the peppers? Will you get a soup of the day and large cappuccino with this?” I didn’t stutter! A part of me victory danced at my inconspicuous professionalism.
“So you do remember me!”
Damn! How did he know? I blushed beet red like the bowl of tomato soup I put in front of him. Blushed tomato red, then. Tomato red. Why am I staring at that soup?
“Well…” I chuckled —deadliest of all giveaways. “My boss…” I’m still staring at the soup, damn it!
I looked up to his baby blue eyes and warm smile. “He gets pissed when we don’t remember the regulars.”
Clean getaway or poor excuse?
“Yeah,” That Guy said.
Clean getaway. What a relief.
I gave him a quick smile and moved behind the sandwich counter. Jamie had gone Subway-style here with a long refrigerated counter of produce and deli meats for the client to choose from.
That Guy watched me assemble his sandwich through the glass protecting the sandwich bar. “I worked in a place like this for two weeks before I cracked.”
We had a somewhat something in common? Eek…
I had to find a way to discourage him from sharing more information, so I turned around to put his panini in the press on the back counter. Three minutes. I only had to hold on to my dignity for three more minutes.

Next >>

* * *

Check out the other participants:

AW Blog Chain – Scenery

It’s been quite some time since I’ve participated in an Absolute Write Water Cooler forums‘ blog chain and I’ve picked quite the month to get back to it.

This month’s prompt goes as follow: “Write a location description, and make us feel as if we are there. No dialogue, no introductory comments, just a location. We’re the tourists, you’re the guide.”

At first, I thought I could grab something from one of my WIPs. The search led me to realize that I don’t do pure description. At all. I mean, there might be a couple of sentences here and there but most of the information about the environment and characters is shared through the action.
Which isn’t bad, per se, it just doesn’t work for this prompt.

I finally decided to write a… errr… descriptive story!? It’s kind of full of action and yet nothing really happens.
I made it a drabble (story of a hundred words) because Monday is Drabble Day here.

So yes, drabbler, you’re at the right place for this week’s story, and AWers, feel free to drop by every Monday for a low-pressure writerly start for your week. *shameless self-promotion off*

Without further ado, here is my description!

The undertones of the running river complemented the melody of rustling leaves. A hart’s hooves thumped as it galloped in the meadow, playfully beating the bass drum to the cricket’s hi-hat. Frogs blues-ed the tune. Birds chirped in harmony, back vocals to the eclectic symphony.
And the opera smelled of the chlorophyll brought to life by the sweet embrace of leaves and morning dew. The four o’clock flowers slowly left the floor and the other blooms readied for their dance. They swayed with the wind, intoxicated by the growing warmth.
As the sun rose, the dissonance and left feet returned.

Here are the other participants in the chain. Check them out!

orion_mk3 – (link to this month’s post)
juniper – (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin – (link to this month’s post)
pezie – (link to this month’s post)
Inkstrokes – (link to this month’s post)
WildScribe – (link to this month’s post)
Guardian – (link to this month’s post)
Lyra Jean – (link to this month’s post)
egoodlett – (link to this month’s post)
cwachob – (link to this month’s post)
Aheïla – Guess what? You’re here!
Robbi Sommers Bryant –
TheMindKiller –
Irissel –
xcomplex –

First Year Tally – Natasha Bennett

Today’s guest blogger is another person I met on the Absolute Write Water Cooler Forums. Natasha Bennett is a Canadian author and has published two e-books, War of the Soulites and War of the Soulites 2 : Ouroboros, along with several short stories. In her spare time she likes to help other authors by hosting interviews and reviews on her blog. Her website is and her blog is
Here is her First Year Tally post!

I have always wanted to be an author ever since I was eight years old. While my teachers would drone on and on in class, I would be in the back of the room writing fantasy stories. While these stories would never see the light of publishing, they were great practice. To this day, every time I think of college, I can’t think of any other career I would want to pursue, besides writing.  While it was true that I could have taken some English classes, a smart author will never tell a publisher they have degrees in writing. Why? Because most of the time, the publisher doesn’t care. All they care about is your experience-have you been published before?

When I was twenty years old, I decided to submit my stories for the first time to markets. After one year, I had accomplished absolutely nothing but rejections. To be fair, I had gone to the top markets, the ones that offered hundreds of dollars for any story. Not surprisingly, they needed ground-breaking, flawless material, and I was still a newbie at writing. I then decided to switch tactics, and started with the markets who didn’t pay authors besides publication. A few weeks later I had achieved my first success, and it was the greatest feeling imaginable.  Over time those markets also helped to improve my grammar and story structure, and I learned a lot in the process. With a published background, it was now easier to submit to the more professional markets, and within a year and a half, I had gotten my first book accepted.

The moral of the story? Like any job, don’t start from the top. Start from the bottom, the beginning, and never, ever think that your writing is perfect. Like a carpenter or a welder, your work will never be perfect from the first day of the job. It takes time and effort to fine-tune your skills.

Natasha is kind enough to add a price to this month’s gift. Besides the grand price – a 50$ gift certificate on Amazon or a selection of the guest bloggers books -, we now also have a second price consisting of Natasha’s ebook War of the Soulites. Here is the blurb!

Renolds Osirus spent most of his life as an accountant. To his shock, his life-long dream of becoming a spaceship captain is suddenly granted, and before he can even celebrate, Earth is decimated by a race of mysterious and terrifying aliens. His new ship, the Vigilant, is transported to hostile territory.
Vigilant’s first officer, Marcus Collingway, is a terrorist leader and a mass murderer. Long believed dead, he suffers the crew’s wrath when he’s blamed for the attack on Earth. As Renolds investigates, he exposes a complex web of secrets and lies.
Now trapped on a crippled ship, can the captain and first officer work together to save the Vigilant from alien Soulites?

AW December Blog Chain – Hint Fiction

November was really busy for some of us folks of the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums. So we decided to opt for drabbles as last blog chain’s theme.
December is busy from everyone so what do we do? We go even shorter!

The idea is to write hint fiction (25 words or less) or mini-saga (50 words or less). No theme, just the dreadful word count. Yikes!
If you know me even a little bit, you know I write/talk a lot. But I’m a masochist so I opted for hint fiction.

I remember seeing somewhere on the forums that poetry was acceptable. My brain spurted out something and I went “what just happened?” Then, I realised there was a hint of character, a touch of world building, a conflict and a sad ending. I liked it. But – oh drama! oh world unfair! – it’s 26 words long! I tried to cut it down but it screwed the rhythm, the rhymes, the charm or all aforementioned answers. So I am breaking the rules because this story just won’t be told any other way. 😉

I wish to see
I wish to say
A thousand things at least
But seems to me
There is no way
To tame the liar beast

And because I’m a masochist, here’s another one that respects the rules. Yay for the 22 words! But now I wonder if it’s too obscure. I have this rhythm problem again. Anyhoo… *laughs*

I met her. She grew young. I scared her. She grew strong. I joined her. She cuffed me.
Time-travel is a bitch.

And now, here is the list of the other participants. Give them a read!
AuburnAssassin and direct link to her post
jonjon.benjamin and direct link to his post
rmgil04 and direct link to his post
CScottMorris and direct link to his post
Proach and direct link to her post
Aheila (You’re here!)
Regan Leigh
Dolores Haze

AW Blog Chain – Drabble Edition

Before I started the Drabble Day Challenge last Tuesday, I had actually suggested drabbles on the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums for the November blog chain. Since a bunch of us are NaNoing but wanted to do the blog chain, drabbles are perfect.
So now my turn has come to post for a blog chain. If you are an AWers, you can join the chain on the forums. Whether you’re an AWer or not, you can participate to this special edition of the Drabble Day by either posting your drabble in the comment or posting a link to your drabble.

The one word prompt for today’s hundred word story is: Beach!



The horizon formed an unbroken line in shades of blue. The color radiated with hot overlays where the setting sun spread its rays. Before that distant line, blue deepened, truer to the distance of the bed beneath it. When a wave rode high enough, the sun shone through, making the water turquoise. Almost green.
The ensemble described perfection in a way words or images could never capture. Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate it as behind the beauty slumbered a menace I tasted every minute.
Another wave washed over me. Hanging to my plank, I prayed for the beach.


The blog chain’s participants are:
Bettedra and direct link to her post.
FreshHell and direct link to her post
CScottMorris and direct link to his post
AuburnAssassin and direct link to her post
Aheila (You’re Here!)

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