My Writing Scrapbook + Story Snippet

I decided to do a scrapbook post of sorts for the book I'm writing at the moment, combining some songs, pictures and movies that have inspired the creation of the story. It's called Painted Faces and it's a romance about a woman who falls in love with a drag queen. I'll also post a snippet of the very start of the book at the end here;)




But I get torn to pieces for the stupidest reasons
It's half biology and half corrective surgery gone wrong, you'll notice something funny if you hang around here for too long


She's uncertain if she likes him, but she knows she really loves him
I saw you watching from the stairs, you're everyone that ever cared




When starting out writing this story I considered making it a big mystery what the male lead(Nicholas) does for a living. But then I thought it could leave me facing a few disgruntled readers, since obviously some people won't want to read a book that turns out to be about a woman who falls in love with a man who dresses up as a woman. I know it will only appeal to a select few, but I just have to write it.

It's one of those stories that gets into your head and keeps pouring out of you, I don't think I've ever loved two characters as much as I love the two leads in this novel, and that's saying something because I have a massive soft spot for most of the characters I create. I'm in that honeymoon phase where all I want to do is write about them. This is also the first full on adult book I've written, it's quite liberating to be able to write with no holds barred. Anyway, enough of me gushing, posted below are the first few pages, (as yet to be edited) enjoy!

I Call You Viv?
The mascara stings my eyes as it drips down my cheek. It's a good
thing I'm not wearing lipstick or I'd look like some sort of circus
clown. A lunatic escaped from the asylum perhaps. A sudden downpour
of rain is soaking through my clothes, leaving my skin full of goose
pimples, my curly hair a soggy mess and my boots squeaking with the
liquid that has gotten inside. I'm the picture of a modern woman who
doesn't own a car and doesn't possess the forethought to carry an
This is what we
call Summer in Dublin ladies and gents, one minute the sun is beating
down on you, making you all sweaty and the next it's lashing rain.
Either way, you're going to end up damp. I'm carrying what feels like
about a million plastic shopping bags, though in reality it's only
three. The bags are most likely adding to my appearance of being an
escaped psychiatric patient. Is it just me, or do the psychologically
unstable always seem to carry plastic bags around?
I live in an apartment block just off Aungier Street, a bit of a dive
truth be told, but at least it's central. I fumble for the keys in my
handbag which is slung over my shoulder, as a couple of the local
kids walk by me, snickering at my struggle. I want to tell them to go
fuck themselves, but of course societal rules prevent adults such as
myself from swearing at children. I suppress a snort at the idea, it
would again add to the façade I'm unconsciously cultivating of being
off my trolley.
Finally, I manage to retrieve the keys from their hiding spot at the
very end of my bag, wouldn't you know, beneath a half empty bottle of
spring water and a half eaten bar of chocolate. I live on the third
floor and the building doesn't have an elevator, so I have to trudge
my way up the stairs, soggy clothes, plastic bags, open handbag
(since I'm too lazy to zip it back up after finding the keys) and
As I mentioned, the block is a bit of a dive and I don't have the
nicest of neighbours, so I always tend to hurry getting from the
front entrance up to my apartment. Just as I'm slotting in my keys,
the door from the recently empty apartment next to mine flies open.
I'm curious to see who my new neighbour is this time. A single mother
with three little brat kids who'll make an unholy racket day and
night perhaps? Knowing my luck it'll be something like that. Only it
isn't, a very smartly dressed man emerges. He has a crisp white shirt
on, the first two buttons casually undone, expensive black trousers
and black dress shoes. Well, well, well, perhaps Nora and I are going
to have a respectable neighbour for once.
Myself and my best friend Nora have been living together for going on
three years now in our two bedroom apartment in the city. Not as
glamorous as it sounds let me tell you. In those three years we've
lived next to a junkie couple, a single mother with two obnoxious
children, and a young husband and wife with a baby who, when the baby
wasn't crying the building down, would have noisy rows at two o'clock
in the morning. The couple moved out about three weeks ago, providing
myself and Nora with some much deserved peace and quiet.
The man I'm currently staring at looks like he belongs in this place
about as much as an Indian tiger belongs in the Dublin Zoo. He has
jet black hair, sort of midway between long and short, ice blue eyes
and a classically beautiful face. His physique is lightly muscled in
that kind of athletic way, and when he smiles at me politely his
whole face lights up, his eyes are all shines and sparkles.
there,” he says, shutting the door behind him and locking it with
his key. His accent is Australian, posh Australian, not Irish. He
steps toward me, holding his hand out for me to give it a shake. I
give him a look that's probably somewhere between confused and
exasperated, as I clearly can't get my hands free for the shake he's
waiting on.
must be Freda, your flatmate Nora invited me in for a cup of tea
earlier. Lovely girl.” He says.
Oh, I'm sure she did. Nora is quite the opportunist when it comes to
men, and I'd say she thought this fellow was a fine specimen. Even
within this short conversation I've noticed something sort of
electric about his personality, something addictive. His eyes pull me
in, like they hold secrets that could make my boring old life so much
more exciting. His kind are certainly few and far between. You don't
come across men this alluring very often.
everyone calls me Fred,” I tell him stupidly, placing the plastic
bags down on the floor so that I can finally shake his hand.
palms touch, our fingers entwine, and I can't believe I'm admitting
this, but the tiniest tingle goes through me at the contact. Of
course, he doesn't know that, and thank fuck, because he'd probably
think I was some kind of maniac. I mean, who exactly gets tingles
when they shake a person's hand? You might as well say, Hello,
you'll be starring in my dreams tonight, Mr Blue Eyes
Not creepy in the slightest. Perhaps it's been too long since I last
had a boyfriend.
I let go first and try to ignore his magnetism. He laughs, a
wonderfully low sound that vibrates through to my toes. “Okay Fred,
you can call me Vivica.”
Our eyes connect and we both smile at his joke. It's funny, but not
funny enough to solicit a laugh. “Cool, if we become close friends
can I call you Viv?” I respond.
He mock flicks his hair over his shoulder, a very feminine gesture,
and puts on a sweet Marilyn Monroe voice. “You can call me whatever
you like, Frederick.” The gesture suddenly opens my eyes to a
certain fey aspect in his demeanour, maybe he's gay. He certainly
dresses well enough.
thanks, I'll keep that in mind, Viv. It was a pleasure to meet you, I
hope you're finding the place to your liking.”
it's a palace fit for a queen, Freddie, a real find.”
I take note of his obvious sarcasm. He still faces me, walking
backwards down the hall, twirling his keys around his fingers.
Clearly he has somewhere he needs to be.
I laugh. “Well, that's good to hear, drop in for tea any time.”
nods and leers at my wet top, where my purple D-cup bra is blatantly
visible through my cream t-shirt. “Damn it,” he says humorously.
“Did I miss the wet t-shirt competition, again?”
The way he's staring at my top makes me 99% sure he isn't gay.
you did I'm afraid, in Dublin we put on some great ones too. We all
gather down by the river Liffey and dive in with our clothes on. When
we climb out the junkies on the board walk give us marks out of ten.”
He smirks at me. “If that's the case then you must have gotten an
eleven. Sounds like a real classy affair Fred, I'll make sure I don't
miss the next one.”
along any time, we always welcome newcomers.” I tell him, running
with the joke.
He salutes me then, smiling at me fondly, and disappears around the
corner. It's only at that moment that I realise he still hasn't told
me his real name.

3 responses to “My Writing Scrapbook + Story Snippet”

  1. Overall, I found it engaging and interesting. I feel like the comment on Viv's personality wasn't necessary. I think the paragraph reads cleaner without it:

    "Oh, I'm sure she did. Nora is quite the opportunist when it comes to men, and I'd say she thought this fellow was a fine specimen. His eyes pull me in, like they hold secrets that could make my boring old life so much more exciting. His kind are certainly few and far between. You don't come across men this alluring very often."

  2. I love the conversational tone. Can't wait to read it. And the idea of falling in love with a drag queen - brilliant.
    Great pics of Alan Cumming.

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