Monday, January 30, 2012

On The Fly

I got my final confirmation, including making payment arrangements for On the Fly. It's been accepted and will be published Very Soon Now. I'll have money in hand in a few days, and should have a link for you all in a week.

So that's awesome! And this will be a good way for you all to get a cheap look at my work; the collection will be available on Kindle only (you don't need an ereader to look at a kindle file. Your smartphone or computer will be able to view it as well) for 99cents for several stories.

On the Fly is a pretty basic, modern erotic romance, m/f.

In other news, we've given up on the house we bid for back in October. I have nothing good to say about Bank of America. We're putting in a new bid tomorrow for a different house, and I hope to have this whole buying a house thing wrapped up soon so I can stop stressing, drinking too much, and waking up in cold sweats behind me.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I went to Marscon this weekend; it used to be a small, relax-a-con. No big guests, good con food, a few no-pressure panels, lots of gaming and socializing. (yes, astonishingly enough, geeks do socialize.)

There were over 900 people there this weekend. Which was cool. Lots of great costumes. I did not costume. I wore snarky or geeky t-shirts and had my face painted. I am the slack. It's traditional.

I brought in a bunch of promo materials for Shifting Steam (about 150 postcards with the cover art) and left them on the tables - along with dozens of other people who had books, cons, games, music, etc to advertise. And because I am cheap, at the end of the Con, I went 'round to gather up anything that was left so I could use them later.

There were less than a dozen.

So... if you happened to find your way here because of a postcard, hi! Nice to meet you. Please feel free to check out my Facebook fan page. I post interesting links, Very Dirty Words of the day, and snippets of my work in progress.

I went to 2 writing workshops, one that was great and the other that I had to leave early because my husband's sugars dropped alarmingly. I'm not sure I learned anything precisely new, but it was interesting to see the basics from a different perspective. I already know I write shoddy first drafts. As a matter of fact, I've been working hard to learn how to allow myself permission to write shoddy first drafts! I met a couple other writers and ended up talking editing with a friend's brother. (He's currently an artist, of the pen and paper variety and is trying his hand at writing... In the midst of that discussion, I pointed out that Hunger Games is, indeed, written entirely in the present tense. Which my friend had not even noticed, which indicates that present tense story telling can be done well.)

I also attended a really interesting panel on LGBT in sci-fi/fantasy/horror and got to talk a bit about my favorite stories, the Liaden novels, by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend them!

Anyway, it was a fun con (mostly) and I got to talk to a lot of people, including the very talented Jonah Knight. Keep an eye on this space, he and I have done some talking about doing a collaborative contest, and I'll be giving away some copies of his music.

And... now back to the writing projects.... of which I have entirely too many!

Word Count for the first 15 days of the month: 4,123 / 4,175 so I'm just about on track

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Review

Another review for Steamlust.

Simply put, Steamlust is one of the most gorgeous anthologies I've encountered. From the first page, I was dazzled, mesmerized, and relegated to a state of breathless arousal by story after story in this extraordinary, exquisite collection. Since I'm not very familiar with steampunk, I'm not sure what expectations I had of this anthology, but any notion of them seemed exceeded such as to render them obsolete by the end of the first story--a story, incidentally, that was one of my very favorites and which set the bar for the remainder of the collection exceptionally high.

Astonishingly--and delightfully--it met it. Each story greeted me with evocative and brilliantly clever renderings of inventive ideas and mechanisms, solidly imbued with the spirit and imagination around which I have the impression steampunk is centered. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the additions of the steampunk elements of time, inventiveness, machinery, etc., amidst the blazing hot and beautifully rendered romantic encounters this book offers. It's made me think that perhaps this is a genre of which I should seek out more, and I offer sincere thanks to the editor and authors for providing such a luscious, scorching, spellbinding introduction to it.

For anyone with any appreciation for erotic romance and/or any inkling of interest in or curiosity about steampunk, mechanical engineering, fantasy, or even historical settings, I recommend this collection without reservation and with utmost enthusiasm--and I hope with all sincerity that every reader enjoys it as much as I did.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hippo Gnu Deer

I felt a bit alone this New Years, which is funny, since I think this year I was surrounded by more people on that occasion than usual. (Admittedly, I spent at least an hour and a half of it attempting - and failing - to keep an elderly Jewish woman from completely losing her shit, but hey...)

I felt alone because I was the only one mourning the passing of 2011.

2011 was the best year of my life, bar none.

I remember, way back in 5th grade, when the most interesting thing about me was that my name was longer than I was, I was introduced to a strange concept; People write books. Actual, real people. Someone I could talk to had written books. And other people read them. Hey, I was a kid. I suppose if you'd asked me before that, I would have acknowledged that people wrote books, but I hadn't really glommed onto the concept... that year, my teacher had us write short stories. Each student wrote a short story, mine was called Alona and the Blue Ribbon. After we wrote - and then revised - the story, we made bound copies by writing the words carefully on paper, sewing the pages together, and pasting them inside cloth-bound cardboard covers.

I still have mine. (It was bad. Terrible in fact. Fire drakes and fantasy, weirdly not-nice fairy godmothers... those fairies, always creep me out just a little bit... adventures and learning to deal with magic.)

From that day forward, I've wanted to be a writer.

And to some degree, more or less, I've been one. Or, at least, in the strictest sense. I was a writer in that I wrote. Along the way, I had one short story picked up by a Young Authors magazine (I was supposed to get 2 contributor copies, the magazine went out of business shortly after my acceptance, and if they ever printed my story, I never got a copy, and never saw it in print.) and one play picked up by an underground lesbian indie magazine. (I didn't submit that one, my professor did in college, and I suppose I should be grateful that she submitted it under my name instead of her own, since there's no way in hell I would have ever known about it otherwise. I don't count that, really, because that's not a piece of work I would have wanted to publish on my own.)

I don't actually have the "stack of rejection letters" that a lot of writers talk about having. Oh, I've received a few of them. About 10 years ago, I sent out a string of inquiry letters to agents, trying to sell my co-authored book, Circle in the Sand. I got back 3 "no thank yous" and never heard on the rest of them. Really, if I send out a SASE, is it that much trouble to say no thank you? I never kept any of them; or at least, I don't think I did. If I have any, I have no idea where they are, and that's about the same thing, right?

2011, things changed.

I finally found my groove for writing; and honestly, if I'd been paying attention, I'd have found it a lot earlier. I took Creative Writing in college twice which meant I wrote four short stories for critiques over the course of two semesters. I wrote two horror stories, one sci-fi and a modern-day romance about a woman who runs into her ex-husband while at a bar in the Bahamas. The one story that got any approval AT ALL from my classmates (now, don't mind me, but I will still say that 95% of my classmates were a bunch of snotty, stream of consciousness, look how stylistically I'm writing mom! assholes who were more interested in how obscure they could be rather than in learning how to tell a good STORY) was the one romance I wrote.

For decades now, I've been writing romance stories and trying to market them under a different genre. I've written horror romance, fantasy romance, and sci-fi romance. And when I was done writing, I'd go back and edit out all the sex, most of the romance, and end up with a bare-bones plot that just wasn't that interesting. What I'm most interested in is romance. My favorite sci-fi stories are the Liaden Universe novels, written by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. (Start here and move forward.) I like Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer stuff best of all her work; if you look at them, they're very, very romantic. I read and re-read, obsessively, Clan of the Cave Bear, which was one of the first novels I was introduced to that had graphically described sex. I'm a huge Jane Austen fan (I even have a Jane Austen action figure that is pinned to the wall near my monitor).

So... eight short stories written and submitted in 2011. Three accepted.

34,356 words written that have been submitted (slightly more if the fact that I had to submit On the Fly twice!)

One novel written. 50,059 words.

And one semi-completed short story that will be done within the next 2 weeks, for a total of 91,415 words written this year. (That's not including the 20,000 words I've edited OUT of Marked Man... or blog posts. Or flash fiction, of which I have written a TON....)

2011 has been the best year of my life. Bar none.

Except that I want to raise the bar.

Yes, yes, eventually I'm getting to the point, hold onto your butts.

2012 (it's the end of the world as we know it....)

I would like to write over 150,000 words.
I would like to submit one short story per month (with the average word count of 4,000 words submitted, so if I submit a longer story, say 10,000 words, that counts as 2 stories...)
I would like to finish editing Marked Man and get it out the door.
I would like to plot out and begin re-writes for Circle in the Sand
I would like to finish Blood Sight and begin edits for that
I would like to start writing Hunter Moon (perhaps as my NaNoWriMo project)
I would like to start writing The Wormwood Trade

So... that's my broad plan for 2012...

More detailed plans:

Finish writing Blister Effect (a 10-15k short story) by Jan 15th, get to betas and get submitted by Jan 31st
Plot out and write Roll, a 3-5k short story and submit by Feb 29th
Plot out and write Alive and Kicking, a 3-5k short story and submit by March 15th
Plot out and write a tentacle sex story, 20 - 25k, due for submission March 25th 
Plot out and write Picking up the Pieces, a 15 - 20k short story, due for submission March 31st
Plot out and start writing Nocturnal Equations, a 10k short story, due April 30th

(I'm not committing myself to both of the March longer stories; I'm mulling them over and trying to decide which one I want to do more...)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Made my New Year

 A review of Steamlust that made my day:

This book is glorious, all the stories are well written and sexy. The steampunk aspect is not over looked at all, with airships, rocket cars and space wars, the only thing hotter then the steam engines is the sex.