Good morning guys!! I’m finally home after two weeks, and it’s seriously the best feeling ever. My bed, my shower, my house, my TARDIS coffee mug… Sure, travelling and visiting is nice but nothing beats the feeling of coming home.
I have SO much to do. My to-do list resembles a phone book, and I’m starting to panic about not getting everything done before we leave for the US in eight weeks… eeeeeeeeeeek.
So this week, the only writing I got done was the plot points for the rest of my WIP. No actual word count but an outline, so that has to count for something. I rarely use an outline, but I was on the plane and jotted down some plot points to get my characters to the finish line. They probably won’t stick to it anyway LOL
Now I’m home, I’m hoping to kick-start a promo tour for the audio of RDH. Will post more on that when I know more.
In more RDH news, the German Translation is now live!!
For my German readers, it’s available at Amazon.de. I will have it up on Smashwords, ARe, iTunes etc in the coming days. <3
Because I don’t have much else to report on, I’ll share a little snippet of my current WIP. Tentatively titled The Weight Of It All (though that may change) I did share this same excerpt in my Readers’ Group on Facebook and in the Grinder’s Group on Facebook, so some of you may have already seen it. It’s the story of Henry Beckett who joins a gym after his boyfriend Graham left him for being overweight 🙁 But, he meets Reed, his new personal trainer <3
This is unedited, and copyright of N.R. Walker
Being at the gym at eight in the morning on a Sunday was ridiculous. The fact that some people were finishing up from an hour session already was even crazier. Did these perfect people sleep? And realistically, that meant they must have gotten up sometime after six to be here to start at seven. To exercise. On a Sunday. The day where I normally slept in and went out for a lazy brunch. But exercising? I had concerns for their psychological well-being.
“Hey, Henry!” Reed greeted me cheerfully. “So glad you’re here.”
I watched two women as they left, all sweaty and laughing. “Do you do psych evals, or blot tests on these people?” I asked Reed quietly. “Because I think they might have some mental health concerns.”
Reed threw his head back and laughed. “Oh, you crack me up.” He seemed genuinely happy, and given he’d been here, probably working out since six himself, made me question his sanity.
“So do you have to be crazy to do exercise for a living?”
He grinned. “Nope. But it helps.” He clapped his hands together. “I’ve worked out an exercise and diet plan for you.” He collected some sheets of paper, and showed me the exercise plan first. “Cardio, and core training and body strength will be the two main focuses of the first four weeks. We’ll start slow and work our way up, okay?”
I nodded bleakly.
“And the diet plan is fairly broad. You said food is your thing, so it’s important to get this side right just as much as the exercise because if this doesn’t work for you, then you’ll be more likely to quit.”
“Does it include kale?”
He grinned. “No kale.”
“Come on, and I’ll show you what I’ve got planned for you.” He walked with a bounce in his step over to a row of treadmills.
I did my best David Attenborough impersonation. “Ah, modern, yet archaic torture devices in their natural habitat. Not a particularly threatening species unless you’re an overweight thirty five year old who hasn’t run since high school.” Then I remembered that wasn’t exactly true. “Okay, well, running to grab a half-priced Kitchen Maid in the Boxing Day sales doesn’t count.”
Reed was staring at me, still smiling. “Did you get it?”
“The Kitchen Maid.”
“Oh, of course. I love to cook. It’s my thing. And there was no chef or grandma alike brave enough to get in the road of a man on a mission. Although I still do feel bad about elbowing that lady. She was faster than me; she wore running shoes, and I wore my Diesel loafers. Style over comfort, you know how that is. But let me tell you, I never made that mistake on a sale day again.” Reed looked at me for a long moment, like I baffled and amused him in equal measure. “Sorry. I tend to talk a lot. Not a great deal of it makes sense.”
His grin was slow-spreading but genuine. “Makes perfect sense to me. Okay, we’ll start with some cardio.” Then he pressed some buttons on the treadmill. “I’m gonna set this for you. See this?” he pressed some more buttons while I watched. “It’ll start with a slow by steady walk, then it’ll get a little faster, incline a little like you’re walking uphill, then it’ll slow back down to your starting pace.” I stepped onto the machine and he hit the start button. “I’ll be back when you’re done, okay?”
He left me to it, walking over to some other customers, giving them the exact amount of attentive and professional time he gave me. He was good at his job. Definitely a people person, and the way that everyone called him by name, and him them, I assumed he was well-liked.
I watched him while he spoke to a lady who was using some arm-pulling torture device, and then helped a guy lifting weights. He looked over at me every so often and smiled, as I puffed and huffed my way through what he’d called a gentle stroll. Jesus, if I walked this gently anywhere, I’m sure I’d be dead before I got there.
Then holy shit, the treadmill beeped and started to tilt. The platform started to raise up and sweet mother of God I was going to die.
After I got used to the change, Reed was beside me. “Looking good,” he said, his usual smile firmly in place.
I fully intended to reply with some intelligent and witty comeback, but walking up a non-existent hill for five minutes left me incapable of breathing and talking at the same time.
I thought about hitting the stop button. Actually, pressing that emergency stop button in hopes that an ambulance would arrive and drive me to the nearest coffee shop was very tempting.
But I knew if I started making excuses now, I was wasting everyone’s time, and proving Graham right. And that’s what made me push through it. Sure enough, after an eternity in hell, the treadmill started to decline and the pace slowed.
When it came to a stop, I hopped off, my legs were absolute jelly, my lungs burned and my heart was nearing cardio-defcon one levels.
Reed clapped his huge hand on my back. “How was that?”
I held my hand up, still too out of breath to speak. So I nodded instead and managed a few one-syllable words. “Not. Good. Exercise. Bad.”
He laughed again. “You pushed through it. You did really well.”
I nodded and wiped my face down with my towel. “Yeah. That was great,” I managed to say. “Thanks. See you tomorrow?”
Reed barked out a laugh. “Uh, that was just your warm up.”
“Well,” I panted. “Consider me sufficiently warmed up. Overly warmed, actually. Hot, if I’m being honest. I think I’m going to expire. As in, drop dead.” I walked, somewhat shakily, over to the closest weight bench and sat on it. My heart was still trying to kill me, my lungs felt like they were fighting for room in my chest.
Reed clapped his huge hand on my shoulder. He was really rather touchy-feely. “Come on, on your feet. You’ve got more in you yet.”
I put my hand up, still trying to catch my breath. “One sec. My lungs are broken.”
He snorted out a laugh. “Come on, get up.”
Somehow, I stood. Reed took me over to a stair-master machine. “Oh, I’ve seen these in action before,” I said. “In Hugo’s House of Pain, except the guy was strapped on and he was naked and―” Reed’s eyes went wide “―and that was a long time ago. I’m not into leather, it was just one night, sorry, what were you saying?”
Reed slow blinked then started to laugh. It took him a moment to stop laughing, not that I minded because the longer he laughed at me, the less time I was gonna be on that exercise machine.
Still smiling, he shook his head. “Okay, step up on it for me.”
I did that.
“Hold onto the handles,” he said. I did that, and he continued to explain, “The elliptical is a cross-trainer. You will use lower body and upper body. It’s great for cardio, similar to the treadmill but with no impact.” He rattled off the physical benefits, to which I simply nodded and smiled―in a slightly horrified kind of way―then he went through the settings on screen and set it for two minutes. “Just a short one today. I just want you to get a feel for it. You ready?”
“Not at all.”
He chuckled and hit start. Fuck. It was like climbing stairs while holding ski stocks, or two Gandalf staffs. Thou shall not pass was too bloody right. I’d never make it in Middle Earth because two minutes on this frickin’ machine almost killed me. Fuck going to Mordor. I couldn’t even go around the block.
Poor Henry 😉 I’m currently 22K into this story and it’s probably about half done. I have no clue on release. Maybe early Sept?
Until next week!