It's Monday, so all my readers will be expecting their weekly dose of Dust & Ash at some point today. I hate to disappoint them, but it's not going to happen and here's why.
Chapter 65, titled Broken Wings, is the chapter where Dustin and Tyler confront each other after eight long years of separation. More than that, though, that separation has included some pretty horrific events, culminating in Matt getting shot and losing a lung.
Originally when I wrote chapter 65 the entire thing took place in the mental ward at Western Psych, with a small scene between Dust and Ash afterward. It was heavy and high-handed, and when I went back and re-read it, I couldn't reconcile what happened after Dustin went to see Tyler in that facility with everything that went before. It wasn't logical and it didn't make sense. Now don't get me wrong. I know that a lot of time in real life, especially during moments of real stress, people don't make sense. They say some pretty stupid shit, actually, or are funny, or so poignant and heart-breaking you could weep in the men's room.
All that said, when I went back in my revision process and asked myself, "What can I do to make this chapter work better? What can I do to make the confrontation between Dustin and Tyler believable in the eyes of the reader?" The answer was pretty clear.
I needed to tell the real story of what happened that night so long ago between the two of them. Because really, at this point all we've heard is Favian, Ash's private investigator, report the story based on the info in the court papers. We've gotten some very skewed commentary on what happened from Dustin, fed by his never-ending and all-consuming guilt over what he did to the first male he ever loved. But we're never had a non-partisan, omniscient opinion of the actual events that transpired...
Because I've never told it.
Some astoundingly important things happened that night. When you think about it, so many peoples' lives hinge on the events of 10/31/02 that it's really imperative that the reader know the full truth and not just wonder throughout the rest of the series. And I'm not just talking about Dustin, Tyler, and Ash. I'm talking about Micah, Gregos, Matt & Star, Arden & Jazz, and characters the reader has heard about but never met in person, like Dustin's entire biological family. Even his old boyfriend Miroslav was effected by that night.
Because I've chosen to add this major event to the chapter... There was no way I could have it ready for posting today. I've just now gotten around to revising the newly rewritten part of the chapter and still need to do a final edit on it. Then my Beta reader gets it so she can find all the mistakes I read over. 65 will post next week. While I'm sorry for the delay, take the time to gird yourselves against what's coming, my fair, fine, and intrepid readers. My Valentine's treat to everybody: a story to break your hearts.
Baby, don't understand why we can't just hold onto each other's hands.
This time might be the last, I fear, unless I make it all so clear:
I need you so...
Baby, I think tonight we can take what was wrong and make it right.
Baby, it's all I know, that you're half of the flesh and blood that makes me whole.
I need you so...
See you next Monday! Dust & Ash at GayAuthors.org