Background information: I’ve been writing fiction (short stories, novels, unending sagas, the world’s worst gay porn) since forever. In 2000, I began to write slash. I couldn’t stop, and eventually it became all that I wrote. Then, when I finally returned to the world of original fiction, I was like, uh, how does this go again? I wanted to open a new site for original fiction, for things like Off the Record
, but I needed some other fiction on the site. (I opened my slash site with 51 stories on the first day, so I had something to live up to.)
The first one I wrote for the new site was “Ten Weird Things.” I started with something I knew: college. I figured that was a simple enough topic to ease me, and my slash readers, into new territory. (Not that they’d never read original fiction before. But they’d never read mine. Also, a lot of slash readers don’t read gay erotica outside of slash, so original gay erotica was new for some of them, too.)
The book that David reads in “Ten Weird Things,” Beyond News of the Weird
, is an actual book, as noted at the end of the story. I’ve had it since middle school, I think. I was thumbing through it, reading over the tales, and decided that it was rich material for something, I just had to figure out what.
David and Eric needed something to bond over, and that seemed like an easy tool. What I like is that it not only forms the basis for most of their conversation, it becomes the trigger for the happily ever after at the end. Finding the book and realizing that David’s been keeping it around just to read it to him, just to have an excuse to strike up a conversation, gives Eric the necessary impetus to make his move. And I like that it gives David a reason to say to Eric, “Tell me a weird thing,” reversing their normal dialogue. It’s a simple moment, but it’s cute.
Overall, I’d say that “Ten Weird Things” gave me a good foray back into original fiction, and turned out to be a decent transition piece. It’s one of the longer short stories on the site, but it’s nice to have some not-as-short shorts.
(Confession: I didn’t actually plan the “Eric realizes that David’s reporting the stories out of order, there must be something significant going on here” revelation. I just had David recount whichever story seemed most interesting or good for conversation. But, as a consequence, David reported the stories out of order, and when Eric realized that, I realized along with him that it meant something.)
"Ten Weird Things" http://matthewhaldemantime.com/1/tenweirdthings.html