Leona stepped out of the cab in front of the West Coast Hotel. It looked nothing like what she’d imagined it would look like when she read the ad in public library copy of the Village Voice.
She had imagined the West Coast would be slightly edgy, but disheveled in an artsy way. Instead, it just looked tired and nondescript, the sort of place where a person might disappear in a puff of sad grey smoke and never be seen again.
The city was no longer a fantasy.
This was real.
Leona was really and truly in New York City, by herself with $500 cash in her wallet, and the West Coast was the hotel she could afford, here on the edge of Harlem, next to a store that displayed the world’s largest pair of blue jeans across the front windows like a denim flag declaring loyalty to American excess.
She turned to tip the cab driver who had taken her suitcases out of the trunk and set them on the curb. He didn’t make eye contact or respond to her thank you. He was back in his car and gone before Leona could catch her breath.
Shaking, she grabbed her bags and walked toward the front door of the West Coast. She made her way up the front stairs, past an inflatable palm tree, to the front desk.
The tiny lobby of the West Coast did possess a sort of dirty threadbare charm, she told herself. The young man behind the desk, surprisingly good looking, seemed shocked to see her.
“Welcome,” he said. “You must be Ohio.”
I’m doing a new thing!
Beginning in October, I’m going to be sharing fiction on my Patreon.
Leona Lights is a character I created and basically, I’m going to let things happen to her.
I’m going to write serial fiction without an outline or a plan and share at least one installment a month with my patrons.
Will it be short stories? A novel? Some new storytelling form?
I don’t know, but I’m excited to find out.
You can read the first installment on Patreon now, but going forward the Leona stories will be for patrons only.
When I set up a Patreon page, my friend Olivia gave me two pieces of advice: Don’t be afraid to change what you’re offering and give it time.
I’ve taken both of these to heart and when I think about my patrons, my mission is that what I’m offering is fun and unique. I want the Patreon experience to feel like we’re sitting in a treehouse together.
I’m having fun writing fiction again, and my hope is that the feeling will translate to you - that you’ll have fun reading it.
So, check out Leona and consider joining me on Patreon and let’s see what happens!