About fuzzyblue


Sweet sensation of a nation.

I like mapmakers, dreamers, cyclists, musicians, magicians, linguists, gardeners, schemers, protesters, sculptors, painters, adventurers, writers and readers.
Favorite Books:
Breakfast at Tiffanys. Jude the Obscure. Lolita. The Secret History. Bleak House. Kidnapped. The Cone-Gatherers. Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde. In Cold Blood. Frankenstein. Music for Chameleons. Grapes of Wrath. Persuasion. Democracy. The Bell Jar. The Girls of Slender Means. Hotel du Lac. The Sun Also Rises. Why Scots Should Rule Scotland.
Favorite Authors:
Truman Capote & Philip Larkin & Sally Rooney & Joan Didion & Muriel Spark & Dorothy Parker & Jane Austen & Donna Tartt & Sylvia Plath & Zadie Smith. Stephen King too.
Favorite Movies:
Roman Holiday
Favourite TV Shows:
Favorite Music:


Date Joined:
10 Sep 2017
Last Visit:
23 Apr 2019
Page Viewed:
10,889 times

Latest Forum Posts More forum posts »

Topic: The Versions of Me
Posted: 05 Feb 2019 08:15

I have dominated this thread - holy jamolies - for over a year now. But I can’t help myself. I promise I won't do it again, but this final time, I wanted to explain the first paragraph of Beating the Skin , which came second in the ‘Winter Adventure’ competition. I hope what I'm going to put here encourages others who struggle with words or think they’ll never do well in competitions. I know lots of writers like that. I wanted to share how I came up with the opening of the story and over two months improved it. I’m not saying it was great by the end, but wanted you to see how rotten it was to begin with; show you how no matter how raw your story in its first draft, it will get better. The only tools you need are low cunning (to steal without shame) and a willingness to rewrite until you find your voice. Everyone has that in them. Serendipity takes care of the rest.

Anyway, the first sentences of Beating the Skin were written on 31 October, before the competition it was eventually to be entered into was announced. Here’s what I wrote:

There are some men who attract women and some who don’t. Simon, now in his thirties, was not bad looking. He was a butcher …

Isn't that the worst start to a story you've read? A lot of my stories begin that badly. The only thing I have to remember is not to click the Publish button yet. It’s just a start. From here, I’ll tack bits on and sometimes the story takes off. In this case, that evening I was looking at a Google Street View of the Shakespeare & Co bookshop in Paris (raise a glass to my social life). The front of the store looked fabulous. I zoomed into some writing by the door to read the epigram (‘people call me the Don Quixote … because my head is so far up in the clouds’). I wanted to know more about the character on that sign. So I kidnapped him for my story. Now my protagonist had a name and the hint of a personality.

https://upload.lushstories.com/1824469937-Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 14.04.03.png

They called him Stretch, not on account of him being tall, because he wasn’t. It was because, his friends said, his head was always in the clouds.
Stretch still had the wiry hair of his youth, but his complexion had finally settled. He was not bad looking…

I liked it better, but I didn’t have much idea about where the story would go. I’d only written a couple of hundred words and story would probably have been abandoned, until two weeks after the competition was announced (Google Docs tells me all this) when I came back to it, wondering how my character would make a journey as the competition suggested? And what if it was started on a Scottish island (and all the backstory implicit there); what if he had to find someone using a map? Why had she left? Once you get the start of these questions they tend to bubble up into answers that invite more questions, such as if my story was to be set on a Gaelic-speaking island, what would ‘Stretch’ be called? I looked up the Gaelic for ‘stretch’. It was ‘Sìneadh’.

That dictionary check changed everything, including the character’s sex. I had my voice. I knew who Sìneadh was, how she'd speak English in that sort of formal, gentle way infused by Gaelic's lack of indefinite articles. I knew her accent; even now it's in my head. I wrote the whole story in that voice and the first paragraph I wrote on 15 November didn’t change much from then on:

Everyone called her Sìneadh, though it was not the name she was born with. Everyone on the island called her that. In the Gaelic Sìneadh means to stretch, and they called her Sìneadh because she was tall. And also because her mind was always stretching somewhere up there in the clouds.

Now she'd come alive, the rest of the story was easy to write. I knew how she'd react, what she'd say and how she'd change. And, at last, how my story might end. The only thing I had to be careful of was getting carried away with her, which I did a bit. For example, I wrote a rhyme to start the story, sung by two other characters, Donald and Angus, ‘until Donald’s wife swung open a window and told them to shut the fuck up about Sìneadh Macleod.’

– Sìneadh Macleod
has the mind that flies with geese
the ears that hear seals
the tongue that talks to sheep
the hand that writes verses of longing in the sand
and an arse that enchants all men –

Though I liked the rhyme enough, I could see that it was background, complicating the story. I ended up cutting scenes like this. I don't miss them.

I’ve only talked about the 59 words of my first paragraph. You should see the rest. But anyway, I hope it’s clear how hard I found it to write. I kept going to scratch the scab on the version before. This is embarrassing to admit: I wrote 94 drafts of this story by the end of November, and 212 by the time I submitted the final version. That's 212 times I went into Google Drive and changed something, big or small. In my final edit on 29 December at 6:21 am, Google tells me I made 157 last-minute changes. It’s no wonder I haven’t looked at it since.

I'm not saying it will take everyone that long. I fiddle more than I need to. It's more to make the point that it doesn't just flow; it's all rewriting and finding odd things and putting them in and accepting that things can just change suddently. I hope this encourages you. Just keep going, keep writing it. The story emerges.

https://upload.lushstories.com/1175563252-Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 15.16.27.png

Topic: Reader's, Do you like long stories or short?
Posted: 08 Dec 2018 13:14

I'd still want to cut it and if you can't get cut it below 9,000 words then it must be so good, so readable, that it would be criminal to split it too.

Either way, you have a solution :)

Topic: Reader's, Do you like long stories or short?
Posted: 08 Dec 2018 12:18

My current story is heading north of 8000 words and I'm starting to wonder if I should split it even though I don't think I'll hit the magic 10K. It doesn't really lend itself to it (it's pretty seamless, though it stretches over a weekend so there must be a way I can reasonably break it at the end of one of the days). The reason for my thinking is that someone on the blue site pointed out recently in a similar discussion that they find 5000 words is about the maximum they can handle given how stories are formatted on here and there.

I wouldn't split it. I'd cut it, though.

Topic: Put one of yours here...
Posted: 06 Dec 2018 12:49

I wrote this at Christmas:

I’m thinking of last night and this
in particular: that kiss
under thread-swinging mistletoe
just after you were the last to say you had to go.
Our lips touched and held
a second too long, I felt. Lips unpursed I could tell
this meant more. I drowned in the smell
of your mulled breath and the wet taste
of sugar-sweet on your lips. Haste
forgotten in the perfume of that embrace.

It hurts the day after. Where do we go from here
if anywhere at all? It’s less clear
if you felt the same thrill
I did when my tongue touched yours; or if you still
will soldier on as that sympathetic friend.
Too late now, in one sense. You’ve gone away, to spend
the holiday at home. But will you send
some sort of sign? Let me know
where I stand? As for last night, all I have to show
for it is the raw, primal torture of a day spent aglow.

Topic: Cum and Came
Posted: 01 Dec 2018 01:15

Just a quick note. Cum is what comes out of the dick, cock or whatever you call it. To come is the act of having an orgasm. Please make sure you use the right word.

Cum is a verb that apologises for itself; it is abbreviated and harsh, yet too weak-willed to say what it really is. It's as emotionless as swiping right. It is so abrupt it doesn't have a past tense. It is a verb so artificial I bet it's trademarked somewhere. It smells of plastic, of railway stations, of spilt milk. When men cum they do it remorsefully. It ends up as the gunk at the end of a condom or stuck between the pages of a magazine.

Come is sensous. It is two people, or maybe more, wanting the other to join them. It is creamy, fertile strings or dissipated sighs. It glistens when you say it. It is confident. It knows exactly where it is going.

I didn't realise I felt so strongly about this. I feel quite light-headed.

Topic: Put one of yours here...
Posted: 18 Nov 2018 13:35

I thought I'd lost this

Across my path last night you flew:
A cocksure, giggling, half-drunk mess
The smokescreen of a hidden you,
unstable in your awkwardness
I grimaced as you spilled your drink –
and played the slack-jawed sort of bloke
Who likes to say, but never thinks
and jabs his way through punchless jokes

I know your sort; perhaps that’s why
I’ve stuck to bookish types who read
– No. I mean that’s what I’ve tried ,
but never managed to succeed.
The ones I go for wear a love
of arcane writers on their sleeve.
I'm sure we’ll fit like hand in glove.
We never do. I always leave.

The trouble is, to those who deal
in ordered words and pretty prose,
the everyday can seem unreal
– a blurry world beyond their nose.
Potential swims against the fact:
the promise of a well-read man
(no matter how that still attracts)
rarely goes the way I plan.

What virtue would I stand to lose
to value men as I do books?
Not be so shallow as to choose
them by their cover – or their looks?
Everybody looks to hide
our worst from others. It’s because
we can’t risk showing what’s inside:
the most repugnant of our flaws.

I might as well give you a chance
as drunkards might as well with me;
the gamble of a mating dance
where no-one’s as they seem to be
So send your beer-stained look my way
and watch me primly waiting here,
crafting something smart to say
to rid myself of sober fear.

I’ll fight the urge in me to ask
you as you greet me with a grin:
‘What lies behind your lager mask –
does something graceful live within?’
Who cares? Come here and kiss my lips.
Seduce me with a dirty offer.
Lick my neck and grab my hips
– then tell me of your favourite author.

Topic: Put one of yours here...
Posted: 18 Nov 2018 13:33


Topic: Put one of yours here...
Posted: 08 Nov 2018 00:11

O gosh here's another

The sheets.
Underneath, us.
In darkness, face-blind,
skin breathing on heated skin,
limbs arguing.
Listening to our hearts calling each other
from lonely chambers
– that joyous, beating echo
that keeps me alive
in this safe place. You, here
the sheets

Topic: Put one of yours here...
Posted: 04 Nov 2018 10:16

I wrote this months ago:

Glassed streets shine like jewelled stone
beneath a flooding, ceaseless rain
Hooded humans hurry home
Autumn shakes the window pane

‘A dirty night,’ you say to me
‘I’m glad we’re inside where it’s warm.’
And yes, we’re safe, though you can’t see
the first waves of an inner storm

It rages when you use your touch
to end resistance, strip me bare
The feel of you; your breath is such
a warm wind on me everywhere

Later, bedlocked, when we kiss
I hope I am at one with you
‘I always want to be like this,’
I tell myself, to make it true

Ten-thirty – by the bedside light –
you’re spent. Across my belly lie
small beads of passion, glossy white.
You softening against my thigh

Like wind through eaves, I'd heard you moan
Our half-lit bodies shone with sweat
But afterwards I feel alone
and wonder if you love me yet

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Story Competitions

Stories Published By fuzzyblue All Stories »

Editor's Pick Beating the Skin

Everyone on the island called her Sìneadh, though it was not the name she was born with. In the Gaelic, sìneadh means to lengthen, and the boys called her that because she was tall before them. Also, it was said, because her mind was up there in the clouds. The name stuck, by way of familiarity more than teasing. That she was still there to be called Sìneadh surprised everyone. She had...

Added 29 Dec 2018 | Category Lesbian | Views 4,700 | 33 Comments

Editor's Pick The Library is Closing Now

The article about the library shutting its doors appeared in that day’s newspaper. When Tom had read it – it was a short piece – he folded the paper and leaned back in his chair. After a minute he rose, shuffled to the sideboard and in an orderly way pulled out its drawers and placed them next to each other on the floor of his kitchen-diner. He searched through them in turn, like a fox...

Added 18 Sep 2017 | Category Straight Sex | Views 25,078 | 33 Comments

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