OS: Welcome Andrew Grey!
I am going to let you in on a secret. Whenever I am writing and I come to the part of the story that gets difficult… or when the story just sin;t coming to me, I sit back and pull up You Tube. There is particular video that I will watch over and over again. Its Mam Cass singling Make Your Own Kind of Music. Because that’s what I’m doing when I write. I’m not only making my music, but I’m allowing my characters to make their kind of music and that’s the very best part of what I get to do. And what I love most is when you read what I wrote, listen to my song, and then make it yours. There is nothing better than that. So in the words of the indomitable Mama Cass, Please Your Own Kind of Music, Sing Your Own Kind of Song…
Here’s a link if you want to listen to the rest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEQxEJ5_5zA
An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track—and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources—so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.
As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams… and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.
Duncan sighed. “Great. You’re taking me to church.” He closed the laptop and set it aside. “Wonderful. Maybe Henrietta Blodgett will be there, and she can tell everyone again what a shame it is that I got hurt and how you got stuck caring for me.” The old lady had been running her mouth in the community center kitchen when Duncan had gone out there to use the restroom because it was bigger and easier for him to get into.
His mother whirled around, her hands coming to her hips. “First thing, that woman is a menace and an old battle-ax. She can go to church all she wants, but her gossiping is going to send her straight to hell. And no matter what happens, you can’t let people like her get to you. There will always be folks who talk and give you the ‘poor little thing’ face. You think I haven’t seen it a million times since your father died?” She plated the eggs, set them in front of him, sat down, and patted his hand. “No matter what, you have to go on.”
Duncan took a bite and set his fork down. “If we aren’t going to church, then what are we doing?” It was Wednesday, and his mom usually had her ladies circle prayer group at lunch. She’d gone for years.
“Just finish your breakfast and clean up. Shave too. You’re all scruffy, and that isn’t a good look for you.”
She went about straightening up the kitchen as Duncan ate slowly. His appetite had been hit-or-miss for weeks, and it looked like today was one of those days where nothing seemed to taste very good. Not that he said anything to his mom. The eggs she made were good usually, but just not right now, not to him. Still, he finished them and put his plate on his lap to carry it over to the sink.
“Thanks, Mom.” He rolled out of the room and back to the bathroom. In the mirror, he saw he did look awful, his spotty red beard only adding to the disappointment in his eyes and demonstrating the fact that he didn’t really care about anything.
Ten minutes later, after washing up and brushing his teeth, he wheeled himself to his room and went about the daunting task of getting dressed. He was determined to do it on his own, dammit, and he did it. Granted, it was only sweatpants and a T-shirt, but they were on correctly. Duncan even managed shoes and socks, though that took a little more doing. Finally ready to go, he glided back into the living room, where his mother was dusting. “Let’s get this over with.”
His mom ignored the comment and picked up her purse.
Duncan left the house, rolling down the ramp and out to the car. He would have liked to be able to get a van that was equipped with a lift so he could get in the car and drive it himself, but that was way outside their budget. His mom had put in for one, but it was taking a lot of time to get approved. There were grants and things that would help with the cost, but they hadn’t come through yet.
He got into the passenger seat with help from his mom, and she put the chair in the back. Then she climbed in and pulled away from their small ranch-style house in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, heading out toward the main road.
“Mom, what’s the big secret?” he asked, turning toward her.
“No secret. I thought you could use some time to visit some friends.” She slowed as they approached a light and then turned into the drive of an auto repair garage.
Todd stepped out of one of the bays, smiling brightly.
As soon as she came to a stop, he hurried to his side of the car and pulled open the door. Todd leaned right in, hugging Duncan tightly even with the odd angles. “I came to see you after you were hurt, but they wouldn’t let me in. And then I had to go out on tour and to competitions and….”
Duncan returned the embrace, inhaling deeply as Todd’s rich scent, tinged with work and a touch of grease, filled his nose. Heat washed through him, and Duncan’s breath hitched for a second. He almost didn’t know what to make of his reaction. They stayed that way for longer than was necessary before Todd pulled back.
“I know. But you called, and that meant a lot.”
His mom, who had already opened her door and gotten out, came around the car and pulled Duncan’s chair out.
“What’s the deal?” Duncan asked.
“You remember when you and I used to work together on those old cars I brought home in high school? Well, I still work on them, you know that, and I was hoping you’d help me.”
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.