My 2018: a year of ups and downs.

It’s the last day of the year, and I’ve been debating forever whether I should write one of these posts or not. As you can see, I finally decided to write one.

This year has been a bit of a wild ride for me, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, it feels as if I haven’t written as much as I should have, but thinking it over, I think it’s been a pretty good one.

On the writing front, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished much: I only published a novelette and wrote and submitted a novella. But you know what? Those were still a big win. My novelette, No Rulebook for Flirting, made it into the Top 10 Gay Romance anthology published by JMS Books. It’s probably my favourite story I’ve ever written, I love the characters, and making it into a Top 10 with this story, which has a trans main character, it’s one of the biggest wins in my career as an author so far.

When it comes to the other story I wrote, Waking Up the Sun, I’m very proud of it. It’ll be published with Nine Star Press next year. I’ve been editing it lately, and even though it’s the tenth time I look over these words I still love them. It’s a Basque mythology inspired story and it’s very dear to my heart. My beta readers liked it, and one of them suggested I make it into a full series, with every book inspired by different myths and legends, which I thought was an amazing idea and it’s unleashed a reasearch book shopping spree. So that’s something to look forward to in the new year.

On a more personal level, although I still strugged with my mental health and had some very dark weeks, it’s been a good year. I’ve travelled, I’ve learned new things, I’ve started a new and healthier lifestyle, and I got engaged.

I visited Córdoba in April, and I travelled twice to the UK, on my own, beating my anxiety and having an amazing time both times. I met online friends in person, some again, and some for the first time, and they all give amazing hugs.

I studied a literary translation course, finding along the way how much I would love to make of translation my profession. So much so that I’ve started studying a professional translation course, which again is something to look forward to in the new year.

I’ve also started exercising and changing my eating habits for more healthy food. And I’ve already lost 15 kilos, the first of many more to come. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve fully grasped how much I’ve improved since May, but I have noticed how good exercise has been for my mental health. It’s helped me a lot.

As for the engagement, while some people still don’t believe it, I’m looking forward to the start of a new life with my partner. And honestly? Seeing my mum’s friend’s face when I told her I do have a partner was probably the highlight of this year’s Christmas lunch.

I hope you all have an amazing start of 2019! Here’s to more books and personal accomplishments!

A mand and his dog (flashfiction)

I wrote this for Zarah, who won a giveaway in which I was offering a flashfiction piece written to a prompt of the winner’s chosing. Zarah’s prompt was “A man and his dog”, and this is what came out of it:

There was a dog on his bed. Dogs liked sleeping on comfortable places, so that shouldn’t have been a surprise. The problem was that Jared didn’t own a dog. He was sure he’d closed all the doors and windows before leaving for work in the morning, so how the hell had the dog got in? He checked everything again, just in case, but the house was just as he’d left it, and it should have been inaccessible from the outside. He went back to the bedroom, shaking his head, trying to convince himself he’d imagined there was a dog sleeping on his bed, but the canine was still there.

He – yes, he, Jared had looked – was an ugly thing too. One of his eyes was missing, his teeth were crooked and his fur was full of white patches that had nothing to do with what looked like the original colour. And still, Jared didn’t want to wake him and throw him out. He took a picture instead, and printed a few posters to hang onto the neighbourhood’s trees. Maybe someone was missing their dog.

He went pout to hang them and found himself closing the door softly as to not wake up his unexpected guest. When he came back, the dog was still asleep, and Jared was surprised by how the calming effect his breath had on him. He sat down on the bed close to the dog, and run his hand down his flank. The dog didn’t wake up, but he shifted slightly closer to him. His fur was raspy, and Jared was determined to give him a bath as soon as he woke up. Between the regularity of the dog’s breaths and the soothing motion of his hand on his fur, he soon fell asleep next to his visitor.

He woke up with a start, and there was still a dog on his bed. He was awake now, his eye focused on Jared, and he’d been lying completely still until he noticed Jared was awake. Then his tail started thumping and a canine grin appeared on his face.

Jared greeted his visitor with a few pats on the head, and spoke softly to him, getting up from the bed and guiding the dog to the bathroom, where they both got completely wet, even if Jared’s plan had only involved getting water on the dog.

A few weeks passed, and no one answered to Jared’s posters, but the dog kept sleeping on his bed, and he was taking Jared out in a regular basis. Jared was sure that should have worked the other way around, but he wasn’t going to complain. The dog was happy, and his happiness was making its way into Jared’s heart, into a place that had been empty and cold for too long; a place that now felt warm every morning when he woke up and found a dog on his bed.

I hope you enjoyed this little story! Comments are always welcome ❤

He was there, I remember

This little short is the first thing I wrote completely in English, so it’s truly especial for me. I thought I’d be perfect to greet you with some of my first words.

When I woke up today, I knew it was going to be one of the rare days; one of the days when I always remember, when I’m my old self again. So I got out of bed and cooked breakfast for myself. It was still weird, cooking just for one, but I had to do it.

You see, I’m losing my memory. There are days when I don’t know where I am or when I don’t even now how to tie my shoelaces. But him, him I always remember, and I always end up cooking for two.

He was there, I remember. He was there at my best friend’s engagementent party. I remember staring at him that night, but I couldn’t make myself go and talk to him, I was a coward. But he was there again some months after that, a wedding guest, and that time it was him who came to introduce himself: “Before you get away again” he said, while he stared at me with those beautiful eyes. We danced every song together that night and he kissed me just as the sun was beginning to rise. I went home with a really rare smile on my face, one I couldn’t shake for the next 30 years, while we lived our lives together, through dating, living together, and our own wedding. We spent our lives dancing, until we were forced to stop, until I was left here without a dancing partner.

I remember him, and I miss him with every fiber of my being. Good days are actually the worst. Those are the days I know he’s not here, and he’s not visiting some friends or working either; those are the days I know he’s not coming back. So I cook for myself and pass the time watching old photos and smiling, thinking of the good life we had together, even if he was taken from me too son. At least we were given the chance to be happy and we took it, and that I know I’ll always remember.

I’m heading to bed now. Tomorrow will probably be a bad day, and I’ll cook for two and wait for him to come home but in the end, I’ll go to bed alone again.