Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Hey, it's Writing Update Wednesday!

Unfortunately, I don't have much to report, thanks to the depredations of the Day Job... I worked overtime (unpaid, natch) last Thursday and Friday, I worked over the weekend, and I worked until after midnight last night. And those brief, blessed moments when I haven't been working, I've been too braindead to even want to read, much less write.

But I put myself to sleep last night trying to plan out the next scene for my new story, and trying to think about how to de-exposition the other piece so it won't be so damned boring, so I promise I haven't given up! This horrible contract at the Day Job is done at the end of this week, and I swear to every god I've never heard of that I'm taking at least two days off next week, and that at least one of them will be spent in a cozy coffee shop doing the write thing.

In the meantime! If you want to give me some prompts (three or four words -- random or themed, your choice, and/or some character names you'd like me to use) then I'll post flash fics on Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Take Pride!

As previously mentioned, I went to the Roanoke Pride festival this past Sunday, and let me say, it was great. There were easily a thousand attendees, ranging in age from babes-in-arms all the way up to a few elderly folk with walkers. They came dressed in casual jeans and flannel shirts, or they were decked out with rainbow flair, or they were in full-on drag. (Favorite t-shirt of the day was a hand-painted one that read, "I <3 men... and so do my 2 sons!")

I got to meet two fellow authors/editors, which was fantastic -- J.M. Snyder, who is both an author and a publisher, and Belea Keeney, who is an author and editor (and, in fact, was my editor for both Of One Mind and Safe Harbor). It was great to put faces with names, and we sat in our camp chairs and between talking to potential customers about the books, we talked about our "favorite" grammatical twitches, and about our assorted pets, and the way some authors don't seem to understand that the editor is on their side, and argued (jokingly) over whether JM could "poach" me from Torquere, and kept up a running commentary on the assorted clothes and costumes that went by.

One young man with a pink feathered boa kept wandering back by our tables with his pretty lesbian friend in tow; he was more than slightly over-the-top with the stereotypes (seriously, he even lisped a bit) and a little bit teenager-obnoxious, but it was all in the spirit of fun -- I found him much less annoying than the more straightlaced guy who must have taken more than a dozen of our freebie lollipops without so much as glancing at the book titles. We even recruited the boa boy and his friend to help us carry our tables and tents back to the cars, and paid them with free books, and I promised to write him into my next story.

That's a promise I should be able to keep, by the way. I had four hours to drive home on Monday with not much to do but story headwork, and I've pretty much got the whole plot worked out. When I sat down to write that night, I knocked out 1400 words without even really trying. Apparently, long drives and Pride festivals are good for my writerbrain.

I had a great time, and I hope I'll be able to go again next year.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flash Friday!

Hey, it's Flash Fiction Friday! Lynn kindly suggested the following words: quarry, mushroom, sublime, and challenger. Let's see what I can come up with, shall we?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Mine

First and foremost, a reminder: I will be at Roanoke Pride this Sunday, all day! I'll have candy and other goodies to give away, and I might even be wearing my leather corset! Come say hi, and while you're there you can fervently thank my Torquere Press editor who made both Of One Mind and Safe Harbor fit for public consumption. I promise you don't need to actually be gay to enjoy the festivities!


Second, another notice: Torquere's 2010 Charity Sips, benefiting Doctors Without Borders, are in their last week; the 2011 Charity Sips will go up this Saturday morning. So if you'd been meaning to pick up "Of Sound Mind" or any of the other 2010 stories, now is the time and Friday is the last possible day to get these awesome tales!


And in actual writing (as opposed to marketing or publishing) news... Holy shit, I think I finished my (very) rough draft of Foxfur! Except for a couple of scenes that I have marked out as "maybe"s, and the fact that the whole intro needs to be rewritten. But at least I have a skeleton to work from, now. Sometimes that makes the rewrites easier. I did the same thing with Of One Mind -- y'all would not believe the horrible beginning that I had on that one to begin with. Seriously.

So I put Foxfur away for a while, and started a new project, called "Next Thursday Night." I think it's going to be a short instead of a novella, but we'll see. It's a bit of a departure for me -- a contemporary, with no supernatural elements about it at all. Just two regular guys undergoing some growing pains with their uncomplicated, no-nonsense relationship. I'm about 1200 words in already, though I think a lot of what I wrote last night is ramble-y and will need to be sternly pruned.

But it feels good to be writing regularly again. I mean, really good.

I'd had a kind of crap day Monday, and after I'd put the kids to bed and was getting into the shower I thought maybe I would not try to write. Maybe I would just take the evening off and kick back and relax. Vegetate.

But then I thought, Why? I've had a nonstop crazy, crappy day. I deserve to sit on my comfy bed and light a couple of candles and prop my iPad up on my knees and write.

That thought took me by surprise, but it felt real. It felt good. It reminded me that, even published and trying to remember to build a web presence and increase the size of my readership and all... that the whole reason I write... is for me. Just for me.

Don't get me wrong. I love being published. I love you guys. But I'm not really thinking about you, or even about the publisher or the submission call, when I'm writing. I'm writing for me, and the stories I want to know.

But just to show you how much I love you... if you leave some prompts, I'll post flash fics on Friday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back on the Wagon

I did not write while I was on vacation. (Well, I took notes of the things we did and such, but I didn't write anything that was related to anything I'm going to try to publish.)

I did not write while we were living the simple life when Hurricane Irene knocked out our power for five days, largely because we coped with having no power by spending as much time as possible hanging out with friends.

I started reading through the primary WIP last week after our power came back, but it was taking a long time, because I really wasn't liking it that much, so I kept finding better things to do. Like sleep. So I didn't really write last week, either, except for the "flash fic"s that Lynn and I traded (mine is here, and hers is here, if you missed them.)

But Monday was Labor Day, and the Daughter went back to school yesterday, and I declared that it was High Time for me to get back on the several wagons that I'd fallen off over the past few weeks. Time to start eating healthy again. Time to go back to the gym. Time to knuckle under and get my work schedule and to-do lists in order. Time to get back to writing.

So last night after we got the kids to bed, I settled in my chair in the bedroom and picked up where I'd left off with the WIP. And happiness! I didn't hate it. Once the action starts actioning, it's really pretty good. Which means I certainly do not need to throw the whole thing out the window, as I've been moaning I would do for the last week. What I need to do is find a way to compress the entirely-too-expositiony first half and/or add some action to break up all the talky.

So yay for that!

Oh, hey, in the meantime! One of the things on my to-do list is planning for a day-trip to Roanoke in a couple of weeks for the Pride in the Park event. I'll be meeting up with a couple of fellow authors and/or editors to man a table for Torquere and hand out promotional material. If you live anywhere near Roanoke, consider coming to the event and checking us out! (More information when/if I get it!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flash Fic Friday

Last night, I was pushing my cart through the grocery store, trying to begin restocking the hurricane-depleted fridge and freezer, when my cell phone trumpeted at me. It was my friend Lynn, who wanted to tell me about a beer she'd spotted that she thinks I should try (I don't like beer, as a rule, but I'm game to try from time to time) and then, apropos of nothing, she sent me four words and demanded a flash fic.

I had to put her off a bit, since I wasn't at my computer and I had some actual work for the Day Job waiting for me at home, but before I went to bed last night, I sent her a tiny story, which she posted on her blog.

I also sent her some words of my own (phone, seashell, caramel, balloon), which she has lovingly crafted into an adorable little steampunk (it's her preferred genre) vignette, which I'm posting here in its turn. It's a fun little exercise -- I love doing flash fiction -- so feel free to offer up additional prompts in the comments, and I'll see what I can do with them!

(Warning: absolutely no sexual content whatsoever, but plenty of steampunky gadget porn...)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Torquere Press 8th Anniversary Press Release

The Eight Ball will help celebrate our eighth anniversary here at Torquere Press! Join us for the celebration!

We're having a reader scavenger hunt with weekly gift basket prizes and a grand prize (this year, a brand-new 3G Kindle along with a CD of stories from each participating author), plus daily prizes of gift certificates to show our appreciation to you -- our readers! Check our blog, where we'll have a number of our authors visiting the whole month. We'll post excerpts, hang out to chat, and talk about our stories.

In addition to the grand prize of the Kindle, we're giving away gift baskets every week! Some are silly, some are smutty, and all are fun. The themed ones are: m/m, ménage, BDSM, and lesbian plus our authors have chipped in with extra goodies.

Here's how to play. Visit our contest page,, and start scavenging for the Eight Ball answers. Visit the author pages and find the graphic somewhere on their site. An online form is set up, and we'll randomly choose a winner for the Kindle from all of the correct entries. Plus, every day, readers will have the chance to win a Torquere gift certificate and a gift basket.

Help us celebrate our eighth anniversary and ask the Eight Ball your question… Like, will I win a prize from Torquere Press?

Thanks, and have fun playing.