Love is an Open Road – The Roaring 20’s

It’s that time of year again when the Goodreads M/M Romance Group hosts their annual “Don’t Read in the Closet Event.” This year it’s titled “Love is an Open Road,” and once again I picked up a prompt. I swore I wasn’t going to claim a prompt because I needed to work on the summer anthology story. But my muse dug in her heels with that story and refuses to budge. I may give it another go when I hit a break in the LOR story I’ll write but not to sure how that will go. Anyway, I’m sure you’re curious to find out which prompt I picked, so here it is:

Dear Author,The Hotel
My name is Shane, I was born in Ireland. When I just turned 16, back in 1919, influenza killed my whole family. Our village Priest was a great help at the time and he assured me that his cousin, who lives in New-York, would take care of me and he did just that. He was able to find me a good job in a grand Hotel. I began as a Bellboy helping with the luggage and the deliveries. Now that I’m 18, I’m a Room-Service boy and I love my red and shiny uniform so much!

I found out some men want a little ‘more’, and at first, I always said no, but now… now I’ve done it a few times. I don’t take money. I’m not a whore. But there are men I feel like I want to please. I would die to please Mr. Beaumont! I didn’t know that a man could be so ‘beautiful’! I dream about him every night… He usually asks for Room-Service three times a day, drinks a lot, doesn’t eat much and is always alone. He has never asked for ‘more’; does he even see me…?!

This morning I was summoned to see the Assistant-Manager… he knows!!! Either I steal from certain clients or he tells my ‘dirty little secret’. “Jesus, Marie and Joseph! What am I gonna do?”

Help me please!

This prompt was submitted by Misty and included a few requests which are over at the original post on Goodreads. The prompt included a Room Service Boy in his red uniform, but was quite explicit and I didn’t want to post that here. The other MC, MC2 as he’s called for now, was an older man with dark slicked back hair and high cheekbones. He reminds me of David Gandy.  I searched through numerous Pinterest images and found  two images of the Boy that both Misty and I feel personifies his look and those images are over at the M/M Romance Group. I’m using the Man’s art image, Misty selected because I like the art.

The hotel image in this post is of the Ansonia Hotel in Manhattan. It has an extremely colorful history but that’s not why I chose it. I chose it for the architecture and the fact that the Ansonia was either a long or short term residence for wealthy people only. Not your ordinary type of hotel. I have MC2 renting the two south wings of the top floor. The north side being unoccupied at the moment.

It was quite an adventure picking this prompt. It was in the first batch of prompts that came out and I was attracted to it immediately, but then I read “1920’s.” Yikes! I’d never written a historical before, my forte is contemporary with emphasis on relationships, not the scenery. I waffled literally hours, on whether or not I should take it because it was going to be a stretch outside my comfort zone. When my writer friend Deb McGowan came on late that night she snagged it before she saw my message to her about my writing the story. She was very gracious in giving me the prompt and the Moderators equally kind in allowing the switch in authors to occur. In the end I went about claiming the prompt the hard way but I got it, and Deb was able to find a prompt that she loves.

My muse was firing off ideas left, right and center even before I got the prompt so it’s good that I did. I’ve got a 4.5k sketchy draft written that is nowhere near the full story, but have had to take a day off because all the typing took a toll on my right wrist. Instead of writing, today I researched music to represent the characters and their emotions. I also need to learn a little more about the other music during the 20’s. It’s amazing how much research needs to be done for a time not that far gone. Simple little things, like men’s underwear, and did they have cupcakes with frosting at the time? The answer to that question is yes. Cupcakes, although not called that, have been around since the 1700’s, but frosting came into being in the 1920’s in chocolate or vanilla.

I’ve learned a lot but still have more to learn. I also need to finish finding the names and a title to the fic. The names are almost finished, but the title is elusive. In the meantime take a listen to this piece by Schubert D 959 Sonata Andantino that I found today that represents the emotions and mindset of who I’m calling “The Man.”

I’ll be posting updates on how the story is coming along. Also as the Moderators allow us to reveal names of the characters and the title of our story, I’ll post that info here too.


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