thatrcooper: (geoffrey fuck you by iconsftw)
In response to recent events, and my political posts all over the place:

There are a lot of people who feel that writers, like artists and actors, should stay out of politics. Usually, people worry about them driving away fans, I think, That is a real possibility. Fans have plenty of other options if you displease them.

But I don't like that argument. For one, art is always political. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's a product of its time and place, and the experiences and worldview of the person who created it. Just as how it's interpreted by fans is also political and based on their experiences and worldviews. And I know, this is genre fiction--romance--so calling it "art" feels a little silly, but each m/m romance story is still a written document. It's still a creation. It's something that could survive to another time and be examined by people wanting to discover more about our time. So I'm just gonna go ahead and call it art. :)

It's art, and it has meaning to the people who write it, and to the people who read it. You can't pretend otherwise. You can't, for example, have women claiming m/m helps them explore their sexuality but then also claim m/m is meaningless. It's art, and every choice made by the author of an m/m story is political whether they realize it or not. The age of your protags, their body types, their races, their choice of how to label themselves, their economic class, their freedom (or lack of freedom) to express their desires, their state of being Out or not to their families, even if they are a goddamn werewolf--it's political. Writers are making a political statement, even with the smuttiest smut, or the fluffiest fluff piece set in a coffee shop. Readers are making political choices when they choose certain books over others.That's just the way it is.

Beyond that, although certain people like pretend otherwise, m/m romance is a genre about an actual real life community of actual people who are in actual danger of having their rights stripped away. M/m books have readers (and writers), male and female, who are a part of that community and are in terror right now. And a part of me feels like, if you write those books, but you aren't standing up for those people now, then you cannot be writing books I want to read.

So yeah, if you follow me on Facebook or Tumblr or on my fledgling Twitter, I am probably annoying the shit out of you with all my political posts. (Especially if you live in another country.) You might decide not to follow me anymore because of that. Or you might decide my views are too much for you, so you never want to buy my work again. That sucks for me, but it's your right.

But I can't shut up right now. I'm a nervous wreck, and swinging wildly between anger and despair as I read every day about new horrendous injustices being ordered by Evil Orange Tiny Hands and his friends, and I'd love to just ignore everything, or keep my opinions to myself. But I can't. It's not in my nature. And frankly, if you've been reading my stories, that should be pretty clear by now. :)

I'm not saying people in this community have to start shouting about Cheeto Voldemort the way I am and others are, but I am thinking that sometimes, for what I said above? The reverse is true. Sometimes not voicing your opinions or offering support in a time of crisis can cost you fans too.

So anyway. tl;dr. Sorry not sorry for all the political posts, but thank you to the people who donated and participated in both of my anti-Tiny Hands and the Axis of Evil charity drives. You guys are awesome! Also in a little bit, I should have a new story out, and part of the profits are going to go to charity again. Stay tuned!
thatrcooper: (Default)
Where have I been?

Writing a story that WOULD NOT END. I love the characters and all, but for whatever reason, the story took me forever to write. (It was probably my emotions in the way. I'm not one of those people who are super in touch with their emotions. Then these issues and feelings just sort of appear in my stories, and I'm like... how did that get there? aaaah.) Anyway, I would adore talking about this book with everyone, but since it contains stuff about my newest book, I suppose I will wait until you all have at least read that. (Yes, this is a tease.)

Newest book? you say. Oh right. TREASURE FOR TREASURE FINALLY HAS A RELEASE DATE! December 12, you can get it and softly murmur mine mine mine as you stow it in your pocket.


In the nineteenth century, the dragon Dìzhèn put the small coastal town of Everlasting under her protection. Her family was supposed to carry on the tradition, but all of Dìzhèn the Great’s heirs eventually left rather than live in the shadow of such a powerful dragon.

Only the youngest dragon of the current generation remains: Zarrin, the softhearted disgrace of his family. He might be weak, small, and afraid, but he is determined to show the humans they have not been forgotten… one human in particular. The problem is, Zarrin can barely get that human to talk to him.

It should be a dream come true to have a dragon trying to get his attention. But Joe refuses to bow to Zarrin like everyone else. Yes, Zarrin is sexy, oddly gentle for a dragon, and stares at Joe with a gaze so hot it makes him shiver. But hurt, mistrustful Joe can’t believe Zarrin’s promises that he’s here to stay. Joe doesn’t realize he is the treasure Zarrin has been looking for his whole life, a treasure he once let slip through his fingers out of fear. Now, to win Joe’s trust, Zarrin has to be brave and become as strong as Dìzhèn herself.



Look at that!!!!

Also, for those who like audiobooks, The Firebird and Other Stories and A Beginner's Guide to Wooing Your Mate are now available on Audible.


And now, pimping done, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in my little fundraiser, and gave money to worthy causes in exchange for sinppets of their choosing. You guys were awesome, and the snippets were fun to do. The charities thank you. <3<3<3<3
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
So I was killing time yesterday in between cleaning and food prep, and asked if anyone on Tumblr would donate to a foodbank in exchange for a snippet with a prompt of their choosing, and Starrla89 kindly donated. She then requested Wicklow/Rhoades, with Wicklow initiating a kiss.

(It might be a little strange. I am sick and was sick when I wrote it. Ah well.)

Spoilers for Wicklow's Odyssey. (duh)

i can breathe again )





Love, if that was the word for it, was a terrible thing.


Wicklow wasn’t overly fond of the word itself, love. It didn’t say nearly everything it should. It was too small to contain the vast, ocean-like ache that he was only now beginning to be fully conscious of, and it was too simple to explain his need to sometimes come and see Rhoades when he had no reason and no plans to.


He supposed that was why the Greeks, the ancient, dead ones Rhoades was so fond of, had different words for it. Words Rhoades whispered to him in his bed and out of it. Words that tickled the back of Wicklow’s neck in the morning and that echoed unsaid over the radio. Names for the warmth in him when Rhoades remained safe in his library and the strange heat that had Wicklow shivering in Rhoades’ arms.


But none of those words felt right when Wicklow looked at Rhoades and saw him as he was, the way others saw him, and had seen him. Rhoades was a light, a dark, wicked, dancing fire, there to illuminate the way or burn Washington itself to the ground. That was a fool’s way to describe him, but that was how Wicklow felt, at times, when Rhoades was working and seemed to have forgotten him.


Alexander Rhoades did not forget, not anything, not a slight, and certainly not Wicklow. Wicklow felt Rhoades’ regard for him in his bones—another sensation he had grown so used to he had not even realized it was there until Rhoades himself had drawn his attention to it.


“You come back to me, and I can breathe again,” Rhoades had told him, voice and hands shaking. He’d been panting despite his words. The smashed radio at the side of Rhoades’ desk had distracted Wicklow when he’d first entered the library. The dozens of pieces had spoken of anger, and a loss of control that had left Wicklow puzzled and silent.


“You came back, beloved,” Rhoades had breathed against Wicklow’s neck and rested his hands on Wicklow’s sides without pulling him closer, as though Wicklow were not ready to drop into his arms. Wicklow had approached him, making a sound to bring Rhoades’ gaze up, and then Rhoades had said those first words and Wicklow had pushed himself into Rhoades’ lap.


Rhoades had been surprised. Wicklow would not forget that, whatever the length of his life. Rhoades had been surprised that Wicklow had returned to him, and devastated to think he might not have. Wicklow had thought only that Alexander Rhoades should not tremble because one thief and spy had left him.


Wicklow had yet to ask why Rhoades would have thought Wicklow would leave him. Then, he had whispered, “Alexander,” and Rhoades had kissed him, placing hot, pleading kisses to his mouth and his cheek, before pressing Wicklow to his desk there with the door wide open and sucking his cock. And when Wicklow was empty and weak, Rhoades had kissed him again and called him, “Beloved,” and led him up to bed. He’d pressed his fingers inside Wicklow in the way that was making Wicklow burn to ask for more, although he’d again bitten back the urge and cried out instead when Alexander had drawn seed from him with little more than his fingers.


The release had felt as though it had been drawn from the depths of his soul, strong and blinding as good drink. Wicklow had been shaking too, by the end.


“I won’t push you,” Rhoades had murmured, kissing at Wicklow’s hip as though his own cock wasn’t hard and no doubt aching. “I forgot myself. I’m sorry.” He seemed to think Wicklow angry with him, and Wicklow had been too close to sleep to argue.


In the light of day, with Wicklow the kind of fool in love who would visit Rhoades’ office while he was working and better left alone, the things Rhoades had worried over made Wicklow hurt.


They brought him low, like a punch to the belly. But that pain was nothing to seeing Rhoades with his own kind. Washington had stupid men aplenty, but it was a town of clever, ambitious, ruthless men too. Men like Rhoades, as much as any man could be said to be like Alexander Rhoades, well-bred and moneyed and full of knowledge. Some of them were even the sort to enjoy other men, and, in the past, many of them had certainly known Rhoades’ bedroom as thoroughly as Wicklow did.


Wicklow stopped in Rhoades’ doorway and watched him in conversation with a nicely dressed gentleman, not as dandyish as Rhoades, this fellow, but with eyes nearly as sharp. His eyes saw Wicklow before Rhoades did. The man pulled his hand down from where it had hovered near Rhoades’ back as Rhoades reached for something on his shelf, and then he stepped away.


Rhoades was smiling faintly as he turned around. He had soft smiles when with people he liked. He was a soft man in certain respects, fine clothes, delicate foods, silk in his bed, gentle words.



Wicklow was none of those things. Wicklow had not known or wanted softness, before. When Rhoades whispered, “Beloved,” at him, the best Wicklow could offer in return was, “Alexander.”


What was that but the man’s name? Nothing. Rhoades needed softness and he’d foregone it for Wicklow, as though Wicklow’s wellbeing were paramount when the man himself was starving.


When he noticed Wicklow in his doorway, his smiled changed, widening and flaring bright. He turned the rest of the way to greet him and Wicklow clenched his fists to stay where he was. He looked away from Rhoades to study the stranger, the man of Rhoades’ kind. He wore velvet, and a waistcoat of ivory. He had no pomade in his hair and his eyes were light. Blue, Wicklow thought they were, though nowhere as dark as his own.


Rhoades liked Wicklow’s eyes, liked to look into them as he caressed Wicklow’s body. Wicklow had thought that had been enough. Rhoades had said so, with all his deeds and distractions and late suppers by the fire. But Rhoades was a liar.


A liar in love.


Wicklow barely noticed the other fellow excusing himself, though he did not think any of his displeasure showed in his face. Wicklow was not jealous; he was no outraged husband. But he swallowed and lowered his head to study his hands. Fists were about the same size as the heart. The heart was naught but blood and toughened flesh. It made no sense for love to be contained there, any more than it made sense for love to be a small, harmless word.


“Private?” Rhoades spoke carefully. He had to take care, since he had chosen Wicklow for his beloved, the madman. “You needed to see me?” Rhoades tread lightly but despite that Wicklow could hear the vein of hope in his voice. “You forgot something when you left this morning?”


“Please.” That was what Rhoades had said, his voice breaking for one small touch of Wicklow’s mouth to his shoulder. “Beloved, please.” Like a dying man in need of water.


Wicklow would give Rhoades anything, and he had not known the truth of that until he realized what one thing Rhoades had not asked for. He would die for Rhoades in an instant, which they both knew full well. Perhaps that was why Rhoades held back from requesting this small thing that was not small at all; he wanted Wicklow to give it. Although, knowing Rhoades, he had made plans to never receive it. Knowing Rhoades, he’d thought himself safe from admitting to the need.


Then Wicklow had kissed his shoulder, and Rhoades had begged for more.


“You thought I would leave you for that?” Wicklow could not seem to feel any rage over the matter. He raised his head. “Alexander,” he began again when Rhoades opened his mouth to debate or talk something Greek. Wicklow’s face was hot but he repeated himself. He would rather have emptied his heart. “Alexander, I--”


“Private.” Rhoades would not stop speaking. Every word in existence would cross his lips before he would give in again. But Wicklow knew how to make him weak. He stormed forward and slid his hands over soft, soft lapels, inky blue silk, and one large, smooth pearl, in order to draw Rhoades down. He placed a kiss on Rhoades’ parted, pink mouth before he pulled away. Then he ducked his head and exhaled against Rhoades’ shoulder.


He had no grace, and the blood remained in his pounding heart. Rhoades’ thundered equally as strong beneath his ear. Wicklow frowned. “I repaired your radio.”


Rhoades, as great a fool as Wicklow himself, ran his thumb along Wicklow’s jaw and seemed both amused and frustrated. “And I love you too, Private. You don’t need…” There, Rhoades trailed off, startling Wicklow for one hushed moment until he used his thumb to tilt Wicklow’s head up. He traced Wicklow’s mouth. “You don’t need to be soft for me in the way I am to you. It is only….” Again, Rhoades fell silent, as if considering how best to temper his response.


He had forgotten Wicklow was not a scared boy. Wicklow let Rhoades’ thumb between his lips, then pulled back in order to place another kiss on the tip, a kiss like velvet. “Show me,” he ordered, as serious as he had ever been. “Show me, and I’ll be soft in my way, for you.”


From the sound Rhoades made, he also thought love was a terrible thing, too large for his ribs to hold and too fierce to be denied. But his kiss was gentle, and for all that his hands grasped at Wicklow there with the doors open for anyone to see them, it stayed so, until Wicklow was brave enough to push upward, and give him his own gentle kiss in return.

thatrcooper: (charlie and will)
Look! I remembered to post a reminder!

I still haven't heard back from the auction people (??) but I'm going to assume it's all going as planned.


October 11, there will be a silent auction with all sorts of things from various authors, with all benefits going to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.


Here is a link to the auction's Facebook page. Authors, Bloggers, and Readers Raise Awareness


I am will be offering to either a) write a series of letters or emails (at least two) between any two of my characters (your choice) OR you can get another short story set in the alternate universe version of Play It Again, Charlie in which Charlie is the reluctant host of an online cooking show and Will is a fan. (You can find that here). (and um, okay so a friend and I have a whole thing about the first time Charlie mentions Will on the show... and also a show Will hosts with Jeanine, in which he imbibes a bit and maaaybe says things he shouldn't, and then worries about what Charlie will think when he sees it. Ahem.)

Hopefully it all goes well and everything gets bid on and donations are huge.

In the meantime, here is the last prompt fill I promised to post. The *other* Will/Charlie AU, in which the prompt was "meet at a masquerade ball"



tale as old as time )
thatrcooper: (charlie and will)
Well, maybe.

There is going to be a silent auction for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance on October 11. The event (which once again will be happening on October 11 from 11am to 11pm CDT) will feature many donations from m/m authors for everyone to bid on.

Totally for a good cause, and you get stuff out of it too. Yay!

I, maybe, perhaps, will be auctioning off something as well. Though it's kind of a weird thing (because hey, I would just sign a book and donate that to auction, but who would bid on that and also international shipping is ouch to my budget). I just signed up so I don't know if my auction offer will be okay.

But if you're interested, I offered to either a) write a series of letters or emails (at least two) between any two of my characters (your choice) OR you can get another short story set in the alternate universe version of Play It Again, Charlie in which Charlie is the reluctant host of an online cooking show and Will is a fan.

Ah, but Rispa, you say, frowning in confusion, what universe is this? We've never seen this universe.

To which, I say, right. Well, here it is. Part of a Tumblr prompt I did a while ago in an attempt to wake up my brain. So read, enjoy, and hopefully, maybe, give a little to a good cause to get more of it.


.....

Less with Bread )



Will juggled the six pricey chocolate bars in his hands and the bottle of wine he was still debating, and stared down at the barrels of cheese in dismay. He’d promised Dani he’d bring something good to the surprise birthday party-slash-potluck tonight, but between work and life he’d forgotten to even try to plan until today. The expensive grocery store probably wasn’t the best place to get ideas either. He had no idea what half this stuff was for, or best paired with, or what nutritional yeast even was.

He was going to end up bringing a pizza, like always. It felt especially wrong since he had genuinely tried this time. He had scoured through episodes of Less with Bread, searching for something that wouldn’t be too difficult, and hadn’t come up with anything that he thought he could make with confidence.

There was nothing he could make, period. He knew that. Yet something about Charlie Howard’s measured, calm voice tricked Will into thinking he would succeed, just this once. And then Will wound up with burnt cakes and separated sauces and undercooked potatoes. Will’s inability to cook even the most basic food was almost legendary. Why his sister had ever thought an internet cooking show would help him was a mystery, unless of course, she’d sent Will the link to the first episode because of the host.

Charlie Howard had certainly set Will’s bells to ringing. Handsome didn’t begin to describe him, with his square jaw and dark eyes and serious expression. He was handsome, with strong shoulders and height and strands of gray in his black hair, but his appeal went deeper than that. Will wouldn’t have sat through a cooking show just for a good-looking host; he knew that for a fact because he’d tried. Charlie was different. For one thing, he shot the smaller videos in a tiny apartment and the longer ones in this huge, gleaming kitchen in his grandmother’s house. For another, his family was often in the videos with him, and when he cooked for them his whole demeanor changed. He was never rude, or angry, or loud, like some other chefs Will had seen, but the line of concentration between his eyes vanished when his family was near. And though he never let them help him, keeping them always at a safe distance from the knives and flames and boiling water, he asked what they preferred and smiled when they answered, and his smile… his smile was, well, there were entire chats on his website devoted to that warm, careful smile.

Will had been sprung after episode one and by the second video—because of course he’d watched them all, his stomach growling and his heart pounding—he’d been cruising the show’s website for information on the host. He wanted to know why Charlie limped, bad enough sometimes to require a cane or for Charlie to sit down for the entire show. He wanted to know why Charlie had a last name like Howard and spoke English, but then fell into fluent Spanish whenever he cooked with certain members of his family. And, yes, okay he’d wanted to know if Charlie was queer, if he was single, if he wouldn’t freak out if Will messaged him through the website, or if he would think Will was going to stalk him like Kathy Bates.

All Sorrows Are Less With Bread, which was the inspiration for the show’s title, was also the name of the website, where they explained that Charlie had started out making the videos at a friend’s request, to give him something to do when he’d been recovering from an injury. That’s why the show tended to focus on simple, filling meals that could be reheated or frozen, but also on the kind of guilty pleasure, fattening foods designed to tempt someone with no interest in food into eating. The show, and Charlie, were pretty honest on that subject, although Charlie never referred to his own injury beyond the blurb on the site.

This being the SF Bay Area, the show also tended to blur all sorts of cuisines together. Will thought that was called fusion, in foodie circles. Occasionally a local chef came on to make something new. Once, notably, a therapist had come on with Charlie and talked about self-care while Charlie had made quiche and kept his gaze on his hands as he worked. Other than that, only members of the Howard family had guest-starred. Never a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, or anyone else. Not even for Valentine’s Day, which was when Charlie had talked about cheese and let his sister talk about wine.

Will tried to recall the names of any of those cheeses and then gave a dejected sigh and took a step toward the next display. He bumped into something that he realized was a person a second too late and turned quickly, which made his basket swing around and hit the person again. This time of day the place was packed with stressed soccer moms, all yoga pants and loud cell phone conversations, giving Will side-eyes for his hair and tight shirt, the hint of glitter. But he spun around to apologize anyway since it was his fault, then stopped dead.

He blinked.

Very slowly, he tilted his head back and then licked his lips. Not to be sexy, but because his mouth legitimately went dry at one glimpse of the man in front of him. His stomach seemed to tighten and then flip, all while going cool, which he didn’t understand, because his everything else was burning up.

“I was just thinking about you,” he exhaled in amazement and then immediately froze to stare up in embarrassment. Charlie Howard stared back, mouth open before that familiar line began to form between his eyes.

His eyes, which were a deep brown in person and close up, were focused on Will as if he was as surprised to see Will in this store at the moment as all the moms were. He was wearing a white, button down shirt, with the sleeves rolled up and the top few buttons open, just like he wore on the show. His skin was darker than it seemed on the videos, like he’d gotten some sun, and Will could see the chest hair he’d only glimpsed before.

He took a long, deep breath, inhaling cheese and cologne and garlic.

“Oh my god,” Will said after countless seconds of internal squirming and getting lost in Charlie Howard’s eyes. He recalled what he had just said. “Oh my god. I meant, I watch your shows. And I was wondering what you would do in my situation. Not that I don’t also think about you in the way you are probably thinking.”

Will closed his mouth, very deliberately, when Charlie Howard’s stunning brown eyes went wide.


“I really never intended to be that kind of fan,” Will explained himself, hoping his soft tone would keep things calm. Instead, Charlie blinked and then his expression went as stern as it did on the show when his little niece had started to reach for a hot pan. Will’s palms went damp. It was the first time in his life his palms had ever gone damp for someone. He didn’t think Charlie would be interested in hearing that, however, even if Will was kind of fascinated. “It’s just, in person you are even hotter than you are in the videos.”

He had no idea what was wrong with him. Will was a talker, but his talking was usually a lot smoother than this. In fact, most of the time it didn’t matter what he said. Men took one look at him and wanted him. They never listened to what he was saying. But Charlie Howard wasn’t saying a word and maybe that was why Will was suddenly panicking. His online crush wasn’t only in front of him; he was listening.

“You know that scene in Singing in the Rain where Debbie Reynolds is totally cool with Gene Kelly until she recognizes him as her screen idol, and then she doesn’t really know what to do at first? Yeah. I kind of feel like that right now.” Will made himself breathe again. While he did, Charlie’s frown didn’t lesson, although he did skip a glance down to Will’s sleeveless t-shirt with the faded Debbie Harry picture on it. “I wasn’t expecting it would be this bad. Not that I was expecting to meet you ever. I’m not a stalker—except in the normal way that everyone follows everyone on Facebook. But I’ve seen all your videos. I’m… well, clearly, I’m a big fan.”

“But you don’t know what to buy?” Charlie spoke at last. His voice was gravely and hesitant, not like what it was on the videos. But then, on the videos he knew what he was doing, and he didn’t have Will acting like a psycho. Still, of all the things he could have said, or done, like tell Will to get lost, or flee in the opposite direction, he’d asked a question.

Will shrugged, although his shame was completely obvious. “I can’t actually cook. Like, at all. It’s the one part of adulting that continues to escape me.” He saw Charlie mouth the word, “Adulting?” but he didn’t interrupt. Will felt a fraction calmer. “My sister sent me links to your videos in the vain hope I could learn to make toast. I’ve watched them all, some of them more than once, and well, those chocolate pancakes you made for your niece? Those almost came out okay, except for how they didn’t look like yours and the first five were crisp at the edges. I ended up just licking the batter and eating the bananas later.”

Charlie’s scowl grew more intense. “There’s raw egg in that batter.” The gravel left his voice but it was no less serious. Will swallowed, although his mouth and throat were still dry. Charlie studied him and then continued in the same stern daddy tone that had earned him a legion of gay fans. “You shouldn’t eat raw egg. You could get sick.”

He appeared to be genuinely concerned that Will had once eaten raw batter. Will wanted to blow him more than he’d ever wanted to blow anyone in his life. He made a noise, a frustrated little squeak that would have had his friends laughing at him, and then shook his head. “The risk of salmonella is slight. I looked it up.” He nearly lost his voice in the face of that unwavering disapproval. “But, uh, it tasted good, anyway. So thanks.”

No one, not one of the men who had ever pursued Will, would have even noticed that Will had eaten raw egg. Of course, Will would never have cooked for any of them. None of them had been worth it.

Charlie Howard inclined his head as though there were no more serious topic to discuss than Will’s cooking habits and safety. “Tell me you haven’t been doing the same with uncooked chicken.”

“Gross.” Will wrinkled his nose. “I haven’t gotten brave enough yet to attempt anything with meat. But, yes, of course I wash my hands. I am pretty strict about disinfectant in general, you have no idea. Should see my work kit—I do hair—and my tools are disinfected on the regular, trust me.”

He didn’t think he imagined Charlie’s relieved sigh, and though he waited, Charlie didn’t have anything to say about Will doing hair for a living. Will perked up. It occurred to him that this was hardly the usual conversation Charlie probably had with his fans, but whatever. Will was going to think about these few minutes for months. He was going to make the most of them.

“All right, no more eating the batter,” he promised, although Charlie hadn’t asked him to. A strange look crossed Charlie’s face. Will watched the flush darken the skin of his face and his neck.

Charlie cleared his throat. “Are you using fresh herbs or dried?” The moment the question was out of his mouth, he froze, then coughed and stared down at the cheese as if the cheese had misplaced his potato peeler.

Will angled his head to the side. “You said dried herbs were perfectly acceptable for someone on a budget, or for someone too emotionally or physically exhausted to seek out the fresh version. You just have to adjust the amounts because the flavor is different.”

Charlie’s gaze met his. His frown slowly eased away. “Yes, I did,” he agreed, so low and approving that a shiver went down Will’s spine, as if Will had been a very good boy.

But that couldn’t have been how Charlie meant it, before he tossed his head and asked a different question. “If your friends know you can’t cook, why ask you to?”

“I volunteered.” Will sighed for what couldn’t be, but explained further. “Sometimes watching you makes me ambitious.” He offered Charlie a playful grin, then realized they were blocking this part of the cheese section. He shifted to the side but Charlie stayed where he was. He was leaning against one of the cheese barrels and Will wondered guiltily if Charlie was in pain.

“No cane today?” he blurted. Charlie usually had the cane on the bad days, but maybe he’d only run into the store to get a few things and Will was making everything worse. Then he thought he probably wasn’t supposed to mention the cane, because Charlie stopped moving and glanced away. “I hope I’m not making things worse, if you are having a bad day. I wouldn’t want that,” Will added quickly.

“You really have watched every episode.” Charlie looked back at him after what felt like far too long.
Will smiled in relief. “Of course. Don’t all your fans?”

“Yes. But.” Charlie took a hand from his own shopping basket, and Will belatedly noticed that he had a white-knuckled grip on the handle, and that there was nothing inside but bread and two apples. “I don’t know.” Charlie waved a hand in a confused gesture. “My friend handles all the comments and things, unless it’s a chat. I don’t… I wasn’t meant to do all this, so I don’t understand a lot of things.”

That was likely true enough. Charlie had never attended any cooking school or worked in a restaurant. He’d been a cop of all things, and then suffered the injury that had forced him to retire. According to the site, he’d always cooked for and with his family, and his friend had recorded him cooking and posted it as a way to distract him during a low point.

“What don’t you understand? Having fans?” It was Will’s turn to frown. “Of course you do. You’re hot, and you make good food, and the way you teach is…” Will blushed like he hadn’t in years. Charlie probably wasn’t interested in being anyone’s daddy, but even if he was, it wasn’t something to discuss in the cheese aisle.

“Hot?” Charlie stared at him with an adorably surprised expression. Then he scowled and shook his head. “Having fans at all takes me by surprise. And you don’t… seem like you would find my show interesting.”

“Oh.” That hurt. It hurt a lot more than it should have. Will ran a hand through his artfully messy hair and lowered his head.

“I don’t meet most of the followers face to face, and I’ve never pictured them like you,” Charlie went on.

Just what Will needed, someone else refusing to take him seriously because he dressed like this, or talked old movies like some clichéd queen, or was unashamedly proud of being the bottom that he was. He made himself look up. “What’s wrong with me?” he demanded, still more hurt than furious, though the anger would come later.

“Nothing.” Charlie regarded Will without blinking, as utterly serious as he was about homemade tortillas and mole and stirring the melted butter and sugar for fudge so it wouldn’t burn. He seemed confused that Will would even ask that question. “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Will bumped into a display then spun around to fix it, all the while on fire with a blush. His hands were shaking. This was also new. He didn’t think it was nerves and it was clearly stronger than a mere crush. “Oh,” he repeated himself, although in a much warmer, softer tone than before. In any other situation he would have been looking up coyly, but he couldn’t manage it now. “Well,” he mumbled in the direction of Charlie’s shoulder. “Well, you have quite the gay following, just so you know. Lots of guys I know have crushes on you. If ever want to get to know your fans, they would eat you up, and your dishes too.” He risked a glance up in time to catch the blank shock on Charlie’s face. The smile just took over Will’s face. This man was real. “Your friend didn’t pass on those messages?”

“She did.” Charlie spoke faintly. “I thought she was kidding.”

“Don’t worry.” Will almost patted him. “I don’t think any of them have any immediate plans to make you their daddy.” Well, aside from Will, but there was no need to say that at the moment. Anyway, at the word ‘daddy’, Charlie looked right at Will, and Will was aware that his feelings were probably all over his face.

“You aren’t kidding,” Charlie declared, with certainty. Because right, he used to be a cop and was probably good at spotting lies.

Will gave him a helpless shrug. Charlie went even more still, except for his gaze, which traveled slowly over Will from head to toe. Then, unbelievably, Charlie looked down at himself with an expression of deep confusion, as if he could not comprehend this development. His free hand passed over his hip, on his bad side, and then Will understood.

“I am absolutely not kidding,” Will told him, voice unaccountably husky. Even if he didn’t have a chance here, there was no way he could leave without letting Charlie know exactly how attractive he was. “It isn’t just that you’re hot. It’s how you are with the food, with your family. God, you care for them and you feed them and you barely remember to feed yourself, and they don’t even notice. I just want to make you sit down. I’d feed you myself.” Will wanted to press himself to Charlie Howard’s every stunned inch. “And then how you praise people. The way you gently walk us through everything. Who wouldn’t--” Will abruptly recalled the way Charlie had frozen when one of his sisters mentioned his ex during a video. “Trust me,” he said instead. “There’s a legion of men out there ready to bring you home.”

A soccer mom gave Will the most arch look he had ever received in his life as she passed them, as if she didn’t care about if they rubbed their dicks together, but could they do it somewhere else out of her way? He heard her complaining to someone on her phone about people standing in front of the Pecorino.

He focused on Charlie, thinking that he’d probably said too much. He was going to blame it on being starstruck, even if that wasn’t the case. “I am one of them. Clearly,” Will added after too long of a pause. “This is probably time for a graceful exit.”

“You haven’t picked out anything,” Charlie observed, then cleared his throat again. “You should make something easy. Something you can take there with minimal fuss, and then prep in someone’s home. What kind of gathering is it? I could… I could shop with you.”

Will put a chocolate-filled hand to his chest. “Be still my beating heart,” he murmured in disbelief. “You want to help me? Even after I went all crazy fan on you?”

“You didn’t--” Charlie shut his mouth and took a breath before he met Will’s amazed stare. “Just because you promise to avoid batter doesn’t mean you’re safe with anything else. Have you sharpened your knives recently? Dull knives are how accidents happen.”

It was a lot to take in, until it wasn’t, and Will got it. He bit his bottom lip to keep from purring out an appreciative, “Oh, daddy.” He let himself grin, his forgotten flirting skills returning with a vengeance. He leaned in closer and smiled even wider when Charlie let him do it. “You’ll take care of me?”

Even embarrassed, Charlie managed to give Will’s wine and chocolates a significant look. “Someone should.”

Will nearly dropped everything to the floor. “Will.” He blanked on everything else for a moment. Charlie’s gaze was hot, hotter than it had ever seemed in the videos, before he hid it all away again. But it was too late now. Will had seen it in that one shy, careful glance. He finished introducing himself. “My name is Will. Will Stewart.”

Charlie raised a hand, as though for half a moment he’d thought about touching Will’s face. Then he blinked and frowned and appeared as stern as a blushing man could. “Charlie Howard,” he said gruffly, as if Will didn’t already know. He was wonderful. “How about enchiladas?” Charlie asked seriously. Of course he was serious. Will had forgotten about food, and Dani, and the rest of the world, and still, Charlie was serious about helping him. Will was going to marry him. “Would enchiladas be okay?” Charlie continued, oblivious to this for the moment. “We could make vegetarian, if you prefer that?”

“Charlie Howard, I am almost swooning at the thought of you in my apartment,” Will told him, using the same earnest, matter-of-fact tone that Charlie had. “But I don’t think I can make those.”

“I can.” Charlie seemed to surprise himself with the speed of the offer. “I mean, I can show you. If you’d like.”

This time, Will did purr. “Yes, Charlie. I’d like that a lot.”





And I will let you know if my auction offer is accepted. :)
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Oh, Rhoades, you sly, sexy scoundrel!

I just want people to read my steampunk thing with Wicklow and Rhoades so that they can lust over the other characters like I do right now!!! Whyyyyy? I need my pain and love for them to be shared by others!

I mean honestly, when you accidentally make every character in your story crazy hot in different ways and you imagine all their epic loves but at the same time, just picturing all the monkey sex fanfic that I hope some of you are inspired to write, well... good luck keeping your chonies on. (If that sentence made no sense, remember I am extremely tired.)

Of course, even if Dreamspinner wants the thing (so far I have heard nothing. Not even a reply to report receipt) it will be forever until it comes out. Forever, I say! And yeah okay that depends on people also reading the thing and then liking the thing. That part might be tricky. Sigh. Hmmm I'm probably going to have to fic them all myself, and no one will have the slightest idea what I am talking about. Sadface.

Before I get too upset about my eternal dorkiness, I should explain a few other things.

See, I wrote this Wicklow and Rhoades steampunk saga as a short story for Dreamspinner's steampunk anthology. Only my reader was like... "No, this needs to be longer. I need to know all about these two delightful muffins." (Only she's British, so those might not have been her exact words.) So it ended up much longer. But meanwhile, because I was trying to get a feel for steampunk, I wrote two other short stories.

The first was a steampunk Play It Again, Charlie AU, with Will the terrible valet and Charlie as his gentleman. The second was a story set in that same world about two other characters. I didn't know what to do with them, so I put them up on Smashwords. You can check them out if you like. One of them is even free! They don't have covers yet. Next week probably. R. Cooper on Smashwords. Proper links when I have proper covers. :)

Also I was going to do an "all the proceeds from the sales of this story go to charity" thing for the holidays (because I live in the US and our government cut foodstamps and other aid programs because our government is full of assholes) but I wouldn't even get the money from Smashwords until after the holidays, so instead I am just going to give to my local foodbanks some food and money. I encourage everyone to do the same. Seriously. Just drop something off in the donation bins in your grocery store or look up a local foodbank online. :):):)


This is more random than even my usual ramblings. I've been very busy, okay? My brain is little fried.
thatrcooper: (perv by kittie)
Hello hello! I am a silly, ridiculous person so I am terribly amused and delighted that like three of you bought my little story. Delighted I say! I dance in your general direction.

In other news, I know this is bad timing with the East Coast of the US on hurricane lockdown, but I will be without free time all week so this is me, begging you to take some cans of food down to the food donation bins in your local grocery store or to look up your area food bank online (Second Harvest is a good term to Google for this) and give a few bucks. I believe in the good in you. :)

As a reward (if you want to call it that, you might change your mind after reading) here is a snippet of what I am currently working on. Tim and Nathaniel, two werewolves who are being difficult and slow and everything (I blame Tim) but I still want them to have their happy ending.

in which tim fails to grasp the obvious )
thatrcooper: (elizabeth hug by someone)
I have been going through... things... so I apologize for not being around much. The fun part of being crazy is that I get to say things like that and y'all have to be understanding about it. But yeah, life, seriously. (When you are playing "I am a rock" by Simon & Garfunkel over and over again it's maybe time to emerge from your fortress deep and mighty). I am working on being a person again, just in time for the holidays.

In writing news I finally got something from Dreamspinner about A Boy and His Dragon. I assume if I'm just getting the cover specs sheet about the artwork that it won't be coming out until January at least. But I don't have a definite date yet so bear with me.

Meanwhile, I should reformat that short story I did a while back and hopefully get it up on Smashwords soon. And I still want to do something for the food bank Second Harvest for Thanksgiving. I don't know what would raise the most money. I was thinking of maybe writing something in small sections and posting a new section every time someone donates to Second Harvest (even a dollar) or takes a picture of themselves putting cans or boxes of food into a donation bin at their local grocery store. You know, holding your story hostage until people get fed. Something?

I really need that secretary my third grade teacher said I would need in life now. Plz. I also need to channel my inner Will and go dancing. I haven't in over a year and that is just wrong. If only I had friends...

Ah well. STORIES. Let me think of some.
thatrcooper: (Default)
I have a problem. I wrote a story for Torquere's NOH8 Charity Sip thing without ever actually looking at Torquere's guidelines and now I think it might not be what they are looking for. See? Problem.

Know who's not a problem? Kristi P! Who is Da Winna! And for whom I am already thinkin' about magic and banter. :)
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
To get people in the mood to give (and give it *good*) a pretty -->




CHARITY AUCTION THING POST!!!!!!

Today is the day, bitches!

I am offering up my services for a good cause. I will write a new original story with a minimum of 5k words (I say minimum because I tend to go over word limits very quickly) to the highest bidder.

--Bidding will take place in an entry here in this livejournal, in this very post, because most other places will not allow anonymous bidding and some people might want to do that and I like people to have options.

--Bidders can PM me with their contact info if they don't want it public, otherwise it should go in the comment/response post, along with the amount of their bid. The starting price is $5 (exchange rates apply).

--I'll leave the auction up for five days. Sunday June 10 through Friday June 15.

--If you are the highest bidder by the time the auction closes, I will contact you and you can give me a prompt (if you wish) or not, but either way I will write something after you show proof of donation (My deadline to finish will be probably the end of July).

--By prompt I mean do you want something fluffy and sweet or something darker, or a taste for twinks, or shifters, or cops, that sort of thing. Not a complete story outline, that's limiting and no fun for either of us. (This is not a carte blanche though, I'm not writing anything underage, for example, unless you request some kind of YA. You get the idea.) The story will be dedicated to you, all pretty like, with your name at the top and everything. :)

--I might write in the universe of stories I have previously written or published but I will not be doing new stories about old characters. At least, not as main characters. :) Sorry.



Charities:

--Again, I like people to have options, so I have a choice of charities. Two local (for me) but relevant and one charity with a slightly wider net.

Shanti Shanti is a San Francisco organization that provides housing and support for people with life-threatening illnesses, including HIV/AIDS.

The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center The mission of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center is to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and our allies.

And then the NOH8 camnpaign. The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.


The link to my blog one more time: R. Cooper is out of her damn mind

Torquere Books is also donating to NOH8 this year, and I want to write something for them, but my work schedule is crazy right now and I might not get to it. But it's a cause worth giving to even if you don't get fiction out of it. Buy These Stories



Seriously. Even if no one wants to bid on me, give to these charities, or anything like them that is closer to home for you.


Now picture me like this, diligently typing away for you on a pink word processor and debating different words to use while writing porn! Doesn't that inspire you? haha Oh well. She's still *my* hero anyway. Someday I too will live in a pink palace by the sea.

thatrcooper: (Default)
Quick update:

The charity thing is moving forward, so next week is the starting day.


Meanwhile, Dreamspinner is releasing an anthology in August called "Animal Magnetism" about pets bringing people together and it's going to feature a story of mine. I don't know if they are going to keep my crazy title though, but just in case it's, "Butterbean and The Pretty Princess Make a Home". Crack! More later.


Also everyone has seen this? Tag me I post because shy guy/model y/y???
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
I've posted about this before but consider this one official. In the middle of June I am going to offer up my services for a good cause. I will write a new original story with a minimum of 5k words (I say minimum because I tend to go over word limits very quickly) to the highest bidder.

--Bidding will take place in an entry here in this livejournal, because most other places will not allow anonymous bidding and some people might want to do that and I like people to have options. :)

--Bidders can PM me with their contact info if they don't want it public, otherwise it should go in the comment/response post, along with the amount of their bid. The starting price is $5 (exchange rates apply).

--I'll leave the auction up for five days. Sunday June 10 through Friday June 15.

--If you are the highest bidder by the time the auction closes, I will contact you and you can give me a prompt (if you wish) or not, but either way I will write something after you show proof of donation (My deadline to finish will be probably the end of July).

--By prompt I mean do you want something fluffy and sweet or something darker, or a taste for twinks, or shifters, or cops, that sort of thing. Not a complete story outline, that's limiting and no fun for either of us. (This is not a carte blanche though, I'm not writing anything underage, for example, unless you request some kind of YA. You get the idea.) The story will be dedicated to you, all pretty like, with your name at the top and everything. :)



Charities:

--Again, I like people to have options, so I have a choice of charities. Two local (for me) but relevant and one charity with a slightly wider net.

Shanti Shanti is a San Francisco organization that provides housing and support for people with life-threatening illnesses, including HIV/AIDS.

The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center The mission of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center is to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and our allies.

And then the NOH8 camnpaign. The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.

Torquere Books is also donating to NOH8 this year, and I want to write something for them, but my work schedule is crazy right now and I might not get to it. But it's a cause worth giving to even if you don't get fiction out of it. Buy These Stories



Seriously. Even if no one wants to bid on me, give to these charities, or anything like them that is closer to home for you.

I need a charity icon.
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
A couple of things. (Oh hey anyone new who might be reading this. Hey! I just met you, this is crazy, but here's my number...)

First things first, LOOKIT IT'S A BOOK!!!! )

I know it's expensive and a big purchase and maybe I'm no one's favorite author, but OMG! It's a book! I'm having a moment. I'm getting all verklempt!


In other news it's Dreamspinner's Fifth Anniversary, so they are having sales all month, but I guess they are surprise! bonus extra special sales and other deals and treats that you have to watch their FB or Twitter feed to find out about. Just letting people know. Sales! Sales are always good.


In *other* other news, I seriously might be no one's favorite author (as far as I can tell anyway) but screw it, I'm going to go ahead with my charity thing. What I am most likely going to do is set up a post with a starting bid price (something low, like $5) and offer to write a new story of at least 5000 words based on a prompt from the person with the highest bid (if I have a bidder. If not I might write something anyway, but charity would get no money. Boo). I am still considering the details, but the charity will most likely be for this place or someplace like it The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center. But again, I'm still working out the details... with myself really, and my schedule and moods. (Damn moods!)

Anyway, BOOK! It's pretty to hold I must say. Now back to work for me... or sleep. I might sleep now. Work tomorrow.
thatrcooper: (natalie wood natalie wood by teh gandu)
Rather low energy at the moment, which I am going to blame on not having any writing projects and working on a synopsis, which always sucks (trust me, any non-writers out there, it's an irritating experience). But really, this is definitely one of those times where I'm torn between living as a hermit and wanting someone to come take me out for a night of debauchery to make me forget all this. ...Hermit still sounds slightly more appealing. Poop.

ANYWAY. Charity thing. I was thinking old school bidding for new original short stories unless people are dying for snippets in a particular universe(???), not that I expect to make much in either case, but you know, a dollar for charity is a dollar for charity.

ANOTHER ANYWAY. We are ten days away from Play It Again, Charlie coming out, so I thought I'd spam you all with some classic movie goodness. Why? Well once you know Will this will make sense. Also Barbara Stanwyck, motherfuckers. Barbara Stanwyck.

teaching a pretty man the meaning of yum yum

With bonus Cary Grant!

Gay all of the sudden!

(Yeeeeeah can you tell my type and/or what kind of stories I like from those or what? hahaha)
thatrcooper: (natalie wood natalie wood by teh gandu)
I am supposed to be going over my galley proof today, only I keep getting embarrassed at seeing it in print and looking away.

The front is lovely though. Old-fashioned and pretty.

Etiquette question...are you supposed to comment when you friend or follow someone you don't really know? Similarly, are you supposed to comment when they friend or follow you if you don't know them that well/at all?

I suppose it's one of those things where you can do whatever, but one is seen as slightly more or less bitchy than the other.

And then the dilemma, start working on the synopsis for the dragon thing (which I hate doing) or waste time writing long fanfic insane thing that's eaten my brain? Dammit. *Or* brainstorm online with someone this original thing that would be awesome but which will likely never get written? ARGH.

Also I am still thinking on the charity thing. Would people bid on me if I offered a short story or something? A free book? hmmm

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