Sunshine and Snakes

So I’ve been writing about how stupidly busy I am and how I want to waste time by writing about writing in real time. I’m going to try that with this:


While I should be working my day job, supporting my massive comic book addiction, or you know, writing the words I need to earn my degree, I will instead be writing about bad boys!

This call seems tailor-made for me. I write a lot about criminals, though I’ve never been one (that you know of). The first novel I wrote, Evasive Love, features a Bounty Hunter falls in love with a drug manufacturer he’s bringing to justice. Second thing is Uninvited Love, about Sal, a prostitute who is not glamorizing his job when he ends up kidnapped. Then came The Dishonest Lover about George, a professional thug who falls for a counterfeiter. This year alone there’s been The Scarf, a criminal shape-shifting fox and Hiring the Tiger, about an ex-bandit tiger.

I have a theme. It’s criminals.

But the one thing about all those guys above is that they are redeemable. Elliot in Evasive Love has stopped making drugs because they’re hurting people, Dimi in The Scarf is hiding refuge animals, so he’s breaking an unjust law. Sal, George, and Roy are all trying to stop being criminals. Nav is a tiger and he’ll do what he wants, bitch.

So yeah, very redeemable guys.

The thing that tickles me about this anthology is that it’s not about good guys. They want anti-heroes. I think it would be really fun to write a love story between two dudes who are unrepentantly bad. One is a hit-man and the other is in the Mafia and I love this idea that they could be criminal together. Not want to escape from crime, or bring anything to justice, just be amoral and in love with each other.

And because I’m experiencing that same spark of excitement I had the beginning of Breathless, I’m going to try this writing about the writing business.

So every day I work on this new story I’ll record thoughts on it and see how it comes together.

The frightening thing about doing with Snakes and Sunshine is that unlike Breathless where the story was contracted before I started writing it, so I knew it was going to be available to readers.  I couldn’t not write Breathless because they had already agreed to publish it.

I don’t know about Sunshine and Snakes. I can submit it and  be rejected. I can implode and stop working on it entirely because I have other writing obligations and nothing forcing me to stick with it.

The bulk of my notes on this story are in this nugget:

“How’s your flight?”

“Good. Sat across the aisle from a little kid. Played cop and robber with him.” Ice [which is not going to be his name, I promise myself] mimicked shooting an imaginary gun around his coat. He looked fucking ridiculous and Burgess had no doubt even the kid’s mom thought the man mockingly shooting her child was totally harmless. “When I got bored, I pretended I was actually dead. Kid spent the rest of the flight crying.”

Burgess laughed. Ice nodded and leaned back, sinking into the couch. That was about as much as anyone ever got from Ice. Even in prison, when he’d ended up in the infirmary with bloody knees and bruised eyes no one in the block could have told what time it had happened. He never made a sound when he got beat down. He never made a sound when he got fucked either.

Bur tapped the beer can. It wouldn’t do anyone any good if he sat around thinking about blow jobs behind bars or the nebulous consent of his cellmate. “So.  How’s Arizona?”

“Full of sunshine and snakes, asshole.” Ice leaned forward. “Listen. Are we gonna kill your Dad or not?”

Hopefully, you won’t hear about this until August when I’ll have a mostly written first draft of my thesis novel and maybe a minute or two to write Sunshine and Snakes.


Longo Out!



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