Thursday, September 10, 2015

TBT: Budding Hopes

MLR Press put out a submission call a couple weeks ago that has my brain awhirl. As soon as I have a little room in my schedule, I'm going to write something for it. It'll be nice to work with them again. It's a great family, incredibly supportive of all of their authors.

Budding Hopes was the last story I had come out at MLR, three years ago for Valentine's Day. It's a romantic little ditty set in 1950s Baltimore about a flower shop employee and the doctor who visits him every week.

For eight months, Dr. Mark Vance has been visiting Sheehan's Nursery to buy flowers for his mother's grave, and every week, Hal Sheehan slips an extra lily into the bunch. Mark would love nothing more than to get to know the gentle giant better, but in 1954 Baltimore, a man just doesn't ask another man out. His fears are compounded when a visit the day before Valentine's casts doubts on Hal's intentions. Maybe he really was meant to live a life of secrets. Or maybe he just needs the holiday to discover the best secret of them all.

The excerpt at the publisher site is the opening of the story. Honestly, I adore this romantic story. The time period was fraught with fear and still rife with possibility, and the potential of Mark and Hal still gives my hope a flutter. At some point, I'd really like to write a follow-up and see how they are doing.

Check it out at MLR!