author thought process

Free for all Friday: Romance or Plot?

Trying out regular blog content, today’s is “Free for all Friday,” where I choose whichever topic I like, then maunder over it for a little while before opening it up to comments.

The topic that struck me today was: Do you prefer romance to take the forefront, or do you want your story to be plot-driven?

Let me first elaborate on the question before presenting my viewpoint. When reading, or writing, do you prefer it to be a romance-driven story, focusing on the unfolding feelings between the main characters (and/or supporting cast), or do you prefer it to be it to be a plot-driven narrative, focusing on the details that keep events rather than relationship moving forward?

For my own part, I began my creative writing endeavors focused on the relationships between people. It was a strength of my writing that was commented on by my professors, peers, and later on my readers. It was also my area of interest, honing in on what happens between two people when they begin to notice each other, whether that’s to create sparks or even rub each other the wrong way. My stories tended to be relationship-focused, in turn, and any plot that happened was either off-screen or incidental.

As time went on, relationship became a vehicle for plot. It took me a while to get there, maybe, but the plot points became as interesting to me as telling the story of the relationship itself. In a way, I credit this to a reader essentially challenging me to make my stories more than “these two characters get together.” And with some practice and refinements, I think I’ve managed to get there.

My preference as a reader is for a relationship story that is as important as, and ideally intertwined with, the plot points throughout. Accordingly, I find this is the kind of story that I seek to write.

A lot of people seem to seek out their stories for very particular reasons: they’re reading it for the sex (including the relationship), or they’re reading it for plot. Of course, there are those that seek both, in varying mixes. And of course, both are equally valid. Sometimes I’m in the mood for plotty, and sometimes I’m in the mood for sexy.

Most often, though, I seek the best of both worlds. What’s your preference?

Surfeit: A Review; and Current Projects

Out of nowhere, a blog entry!

I’ve been resting and recuperating after my week-long Appetite Tour de Foodie (and giving all of you a break), but I’m back and ready to talk about what I’m working on as well as my upcoming projects, and confess the fact that I may have gotten my head under water.

First and proudly foremost!

Surfeit for the Senses has netted its first blog review over at Joyfully Jay.

appetite03

Crissy at Joyfully Jay has high praise, and says “As a reader, I love to be shown the author’s vision and Andor certainly showed me everything she saw from the food, to the characters, to the restaurants, to the city. I simply loved it.” Check out the rest of her review to see what she has to say; it makes me really happy, of course, because not only is it a great review but seeing her talk about all those things is what I was really trying to bring forward and convey, so it’s always fantastic to feel like you got it right.

She concludes the review wishing she could see more of Alex and Nik, and I have to say, I’m hoping it’s not the last we’ve seen of them, either. I’d like to write two more novellas of their continuing adventures in cuisine, and already have the storylines handy for both. So if you thought I wrapped it up neatly, think again; there are more than enough recipes (and potential issues) to delve into the realm of Appetite again. Crossing my fingers hopefully that I can get to them next year!

Next on tap!

rockinghard1_225

I have the galley proof for Rocking Hard in my inbox, and it’s top of my priority list for this weekend to get that looked over and returned to the press. It features a slew of the rocking good serials that premiered at Less Than Three Press, bound together in one musically-driven anthology.

My story, Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues, is part of the anthology, and I’ve been told I am now “on the list” of authors who’ve made themselves troublesome with long titles. Oops?

Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues is the story of Bailey Kravitz (no relation to Lenny), the flashy and high-strung frontman for Courage Wolf Sings the Gorram Blues, a saucy internet sensation whose music-making duo enjoys riffing on memes and other social-networking jokes. Bailey goes on the prowl for bandmate Gunner Lansing, but when his interest is harshly rebuffed, his recoil threatens to tear the band apart.

It’s no longer available through the serial site, but you can pick it up with the anthology on Oct. 1st. I’ll unpack what went into the band’s name a bit closer to the release date. But if you already understand it, then you forever have my heart.

Also on my list for this weekend, Convergence is back from edits and I have some work to dig into. I’ve also secured the services of someone to Britpick it for me, because the main character, Chris Bryant, is a Brit and I completely failed to Briticise the spelling. (See what I did there? It’s a start.) First stop, figuring out how to re-configure my Word spellcheck to make it think we’re in the U.K.

In terms of what I’m writing, Klaxon at the Core is wrapped at a hair under 90k, I’m really happy with my pre-reader’s reception to the story, and it’s off for its first edit pre-submission. Body Option first draft is done, and I’m finishing up my own re-read and self-edit before I send it to its pre-reader and first edit. Next up is re-reading The More Plausible Evil to work it over for expansion, and I have some fan projects going on as well, with one of those due at the end of the month.

After I’m done with The More Plausible Evil, I want to write My Sexual Superhero for Less Than Three’s Satisfaction Guaranteed call, and I thought my dance card would be open for NaNoWriMo, but it’s filling up fast.

Piper Vaughn put out a call for Project Fierce, and I’m signed up, pending inspiration. (I did put dibs on a fairy tale I might like to re-imagine. Oops, now I have a title. The rest will come in time.)

Also, Less Than Three put up Geek Out – a trans* call, and I got a brain tickle for that one, don’t have a title yet but the ideas are slowly forming. I also have a story that would work very well for their Damsels in Distress call, but have to either pull it from SSBB, or re-draft it substantially enough to be considered brand-new.

Consider as well the fact that The Fall Guide will be out during the tail end of Fall, December 3rd. So I have those edits yet ahead of me.

Busy author? Yes, feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but loving it. I also have three things on my wish list project: a sequel for Fireborn, the final installment of a fan project I started years ago, and my pre-reader for Klaxon at the Core sparked ideas for a potential third novel in the Signal to Noise universe. Not to mention those after-Appetite novellas. (Should I call them Aperitifs?) And did I mention I want to write a sexy, short one-shot over the weekend?

A writer’s work never ends. Bless.

Erasing the Bisexuals

I am a bisexual woman, and have been for as long as I know, even before I was explicitly aware of it.

I have been in a long-term relationship with another woman for fourteen years. This does not make me a lesbian. This makes me monogamous and committed. I am still bisexual, and always will be. Being with a woman for over a decade doesn’t make me gay. I do consider myself very much a part of the queer spectrum – I am not straight. I’m not heterosexual. But I’m not a full-on lesbian. I exist.

Not long ago, there was a certain kerfuffle in our literary blogosphere regarding the presence of het sex in gay fiction, and one of my first reactions was “wait, are they pretending bisexuals don’t exist?” Because, believe it or not, that happens. A lot.

There is a broad, wide market out there, a rapidly-expanding niche that–I thought–was becoming ever more inclusive across the QUILTBAG spectrum. Now, preference is one thing. I understand expressing a preference for a certain type of story, or a certain kind of erotica, and that’s all well and good. Where it becomes unfair, insulting, and even harmful is imposing that standard on the genre as a whole. Because, really, are we just the M/M genre now? We don’t make room for trans*? We don’t abide lesbians? We do not suffer the bisexual women and men to live and love?

It’s one thing to state “I don’t like reading scenes with heterosexual sex.” That’s totally valid, and I support that. Depending on the characters, I may not enjoy it and would skip it myself.

It’s another thing to state, “heterosexual sex doesn’t belong in the M/M genre.” It should be labeled. It is a squick. It is an insult to M/M readers. Get out of my sandbox, you have your own.

Okay, wow. So what about your bisexual men?

They don’t exist, detractors cry. That brings us round to my point to begin with–once again, supposed allies are erasing the bisexuals.

One of the things that made it so difficult to come to terms with my sexuality, personally, was the complete dearth of bisexual representation anywhere. Media, news, conversation, you name it. Growing up, the concept of bisexuality was not shown to me anywhere as something I could be. You were one or the other, straight or gay. What I wanted, what I was, did not exist. It’s been important to me, as a writer, to show that yes, we do.

Out of the three novels I’ve had published so far, two of them feature main characters (men) who are bisexual. In one of those, it’s something of a plot point, even, with Lucas’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that he can be bisexual and committed to another man. In the other, Alex is so fixated on Nik that no one else matters–but he has a past with women, and at one point it does come under scrutiny.

I’m guessing that this has been deemed acceptable, that this has passed muster in the genre, because there weren’t any scenes that depicted the men having graphic goings-on with anyone other than their love interest, who was also male. But what if they had? What if that had been an essential element of the story? Cut it, these reviewers would say. Your audience doesn’t want to see it. The audience doesn’t want a graphic relationship between a man and a woman. There’s already a robust market for that; it’s the hetero romance genre. Your het sex scenes are not welcome here.

Does this sound familiar? “You can do _____, so long as I don’t have to see it.” “Well, it’s your business if you like _____, as long as it’s in private and you don’t rub it in my face.” That doesn’t sound like tolerance, to me. That sounds like veiled hate speech. You can do that thing I find repulsive, but it doesn’t make it right. So do it somewhere else. When you consider this may apply to bisexuals and their relationships, it starts to sound like bi-phobia to me.

Where is the market for the people who swing both ways? The recent outburst from the reviewing sphere suggests that “het scenes” have no place in the “gay market.” That makes it amply clear, once again, that I and people like me don’t exist, or we’re not supposed to. Or we can hook up with opposite-sex people, so long as it happens out of sight. If we want to have sex onscreen, it had better be with the partner whose genitals match up with what our audience is expecting.

To me, this kind of thinking is not only unnecessarily stifling, creativity-wise, but it’s exclusive. We are so much more than a narrow slice of uniformly handsome white men getting it on with other equally handsome white men. We are disabled trans*men, and capable bisexual brown women, and devout Muslim men who sleep with women but fall in love with other men, and chubby girls with vitiligo and a penchant for polyamory saving the world with their adoring wheelchair-bound genderqueer sidekick, and androgynous asexual vampires finding their one true love in a girl with PTSD. We are women falling in love with men falling for men who OTP women and so on, ouroborous unending.

Or maybe we’re not there yet. But authors ought to be able to write it, if that’s the story they want to write. And it’s still queer fiction.

Blanket directives to keep certain content such as–dare I say the blasphemous concept, heteronormative erotica–out of the genre are oppressive and they exclude those of us who cross genre constraints, whether we’re bisexual or not. They exclude certain types of characters, including bisexual and trans*, and erase or otherwise heavily edit those characters’ experiences.

When I was younger, I thought the story of Casanova was that of a bisexual man, who romped through the ranks of the attractive men and women of court. Boy, was I disappointed to find that he kept his charms solely distributed to women. I was young and ignorant but even then, looking for portrayals of someone whose attractions transcended sex or gender. In this day and age, we ought to be able to get that bisexual Casanova. And if someone from the QUILTBAG genre were to write his story, it should be the whole unedited glorious romp. Messy, “undesirable” girl parts and all.

Because we exist, and our stories deserve to be told, too–including the sex we enjoy on both sides of the “street.”

Where inspiration flows

I want to work on two stories right now: my mecha story, Body Option, and the outline for a later submission call, My Sexual Superhero. Of course, neither of them is what I’m supposed to be working on right now. I need to finish Klaxon and really, really need to expand my outline for The More Plausible Evil, because I’ve been putting off taking that back to second draft for far too long.

“Waiting for inspiration” is a concept that many writers seem to abide by, but the best advice (for me) is to keep on writing, keep pushing on, regardless of the presence or lack of inspiration. Writing isn’t only a creative endeavor; it’s a practiced skill. One of the easiest, and most important, ways to get better at it is to write, and write, and write some more.

As such, my method tends to involve a lot of comprehensive outline work and linear writing. That’s not always what I need, though. Sometimes, when you push the wall, it pushes you back and you land on your ass.

While I was on vacation, I didn’t do any writing at all. I did a lot of thinking about writing (I can’t disengage that part of my brain ever) but we were out and about at all kinds of fun locations, places that were new to me, and scenic. I’ve got more than enough projects to keep me afloat for the next two years, but the ideas kept flowing!

The short list of what I came up with during my trip:

– A romance between a townie and a rich visitor
– A romance between an island resident and a tour guide
– A romance between T—–, a Japanese exchange student working at Japadog, and nightlife-loving K—–, which seeks destined to be only summer romance until K—– enrolls at a local Vancouver school
– A kickass witch with unconventional character flaws
– A story where the hero breaks up with his love interest before he goes on a doomed mission to save the world, and intended to send him a final message proposing marriage should he safely return, but his last message was cut off

Whether I’ll end up writing them at some future point is anyone’s guess, but I’ve got the inspiration, and it all came from different places and experiences on this trip.

When I came back, I chilled out for an extra day and didn’t even try to write. It was on the list, but I spent the day reading instead. And, as important as it is to write and be consistent and push to practice that skill, it’s definitely necessary to recharge the batteries, too. I’d driven for eight and a half hours the previous day, I’d been away from home for six days, and it was important to simply relax. Finally I let go and did that without guilt.

Today I started up Klaxon at the Core again and got right back into the full swing of things. I’m really pleased with the results, and getting to the creepy, intense parts of the story. I’ll definitely finish it this month.

As for The More Plausible Evil, I’m starting to suspect either the outline approach isn’t going to work for this one, or I’ll need to unplug the internet and shut myself in a room until I get the damned thing done. There is, after all, no waiting for inspiration!

You can find it all around you, but don’t ever depend on riding its coattails. The biggest part of writing is the hard road: sitting down and just doing it.

Vancouver, B.C. was beautiful and I hope to post a few pictures soon. Everyone have a great rest of the week! Two days until Pacific Rim for me. I’m so hyped about the movie, I did a jaeger-inspired manicure.

Where the hard part begins

Concrit is hard…but it’s the most important aspect of writing, and I don’t think I can over-stress this point.

I’ve heard so many people say, many times over, that writing your novel, just getting it all down, is the hardest part.

IMG_20130701_192455_zps1418f8ae

Respectfully, I disagree. Writing is the easy part. Writing comes naturally. Even self-editing, to a point, is easy because it’s proofreading for yourself. You know what you meant; you see what you expected to see. The absolute hardest, most challenging aspect of writing is, hands down, receiving and incorporating constructive criticism. The hard feedback. Your editor’s content edit.

My editor friend Amanda Jean has made a post regarding editing basics here, for the curious, or those new to the editing process. It’s from the editor’s perspective, and I’m going to touch briefly on the process from the author’s side of things.

In her post, Amanda mentions that the content edit “rattles the bones of the manuscript,” and when you get your novel back from that kind of shaking, what do you do?

Everyone familiar with the old Hemingway saying? “Write drunk, edit sober?” I’d say read your edits drunk, incorporate them sober.

The very first professional edit that I got back was probably one of the hardest blows I’ve ever received as a writer. I am not exaggerating one tiny bit when I say that I was utterly devastated. It was just so much. It was like a mountain of red. The more comments I read through, the more numb and horrified I got!

Looking back on it, I can admit that the manuscript needed a lot of work to bring it up to publishing standard. At first, that work–heck, even the prospect of that work–seemed insurmountable. I had issues, questions, and hell, even a few instances of “no, you’re wrong!!” How do you even begin to tackle that, especially when it involves a lot of work, even re-writes?

Back then, my reaction was basically to roll around feeling very sorry for myself before I started to piece things back together. I didn’t really have a method. It was more fumbling around in the dark, at that point.

Now, my practice is to read through the edits, and set them aside. Give things a chance to sink in a bit. Go through them a second time, and jot down questions for the editor, if you have them. Some edits are mandatory, like grammar or style; some are subjective, like re-phrasing, trimming clutter, removing scenes or adding them.

Sleep on your questions for the editor. You may get some insight if you let things mull around in your head for a bit. That often helps, too, if some re-writes are being asked for, but you’re not sure where to start.

When you’re ready to start, email any questions you still have for the editor, get your answers squared away, and prepare to dig in.

My preferred way of incorporating edits is to set aside large blocks of time and just go through them change by change. I use Track Changes, so I go through accepting changes (those damn commas!!) and resolving editor comments, tracking my own changes so that my editor can see what I’ve changed so that they can perform a final review.

Some of those subjective changes are where it gets dicey. What if your editor makes a change that you don’t want to incorporate? When it comes down to it, you’re the author. However, something to keep in mind is the fact that if something came up on the editor’s radar, it’s more than likely something that will pull your reader out of the story, or otherwise cause something to snag. Depending on your relationship with the editor, you can discuss it with them. You might also want to discuss it with a third party or two and get some outside opinions.

After working with concrit for over a year now, I’m starting to develop what I feel is a good sense for when to incorporate the crit, versus when to stick to my guns. On a recent manuscript that I received, my editor axed the epilogue. On my first read-through of the edits, my gut response to that was “NOOO! MY EPILOGUE!” (That’s the second time that’s happened to one of my stories, by the way.)

By the time I got through the linear edits and reached the epilogue, though, I was able to hit “accept” to axe the epilogue without regret. The story was definitely stronger without it, and the ending I’d crafted in the final chapter was a better place to leave it, overall.

There were two other places in the story where the editor recommended I trim a scene here, take out an element there. I made the case for keeping those things, and received a “fair enough, we can keep them” in response. Happily, I work really well with my editor, and I let them know at every step that if they thought further changes were needed, or if they felt strongly about cutting something I defended, I was willing to be flexible.

The editor usually has a wider view of things, more objective distance, than the author who’s so close to the manuscript and knows exactly what they meant to do, but not necessarily how that came across.

What this means is, frequently, the editor may be telling you things you don’t want to hear about your story. Even, to a point, things that you disagree with. And this is what makes concrit so hard. What do you have to incorporate, and what should you, even if your instincts first say “NOOO?!”

Alas, there are no easy answers for that question. This is one of those cases where everyone has to find their own path. Something really important to keep in mind, though, is the fact that it’s editor’s job to help make your manuscript better. They’re not in it to tear you down or make you feel bad about your writing – they’ve put a lot of work into editing. (Seriously, a lot of work – and editing is often a thankless task.) They’re putting in the work to help bring out the best version of your manuscript in order to get it published.

What gets it there, though, is the way you incorporate those edits and craft those re-writes. And in the best of all possible outcomes, it’s something that puts a smile on your face and has you writing your editor an effusive thank-you note for helping it get there.

And don’t forget the drink. Every time you despair, raise a glass and keep editing. And no matter what, keep writing!

Using MS Word Track Changes, with visual aids

Greetings!

This evening’s post is about a tool that I use quite a bit in both my jobs, the day job and the writing job, and I’ve heard through the Twitter grapevine that there are a number of writers who haven’t heard of this tool, or don’t know how to use it.

I’m taking it upon myself to provide a layman’s guide to MS Word’s Track Changes feature. Once you start using it, it’s hard to imagine editing, or incorporating edits, without it!

Click any image to make it larger. Sorry the embedded images are so small.

Step One: Turning On Track Changes

Best to start simply. I’ll run through all three steps in Word 2010 as well as the older version. Below, you can see Word 2010.

trackchanges01

In the upper menu, locate the Review tab and click on it.

trackchanges02

The “Track Changes” button is right in the middle of the review toolbar. When you hover over it, it lets you know the keyboard shortcut as well as what it does. Click Track Changes once, and you turn it on. After you’re done incorporating changes and using the feature, click it again to turn it off.

trackchanges03

Once you’ve turned on Track Changes, anything that is added or deleted will be tracked in a different color. (Usually red, if you’re the first person making changes.) Deletions will be strikethroughs. There’s also a handy line on the left-hand side to let you skim through and notice paragraphs that may contain tiny changes, such as comma deletions/additions.

Step Two: Accepting and Rejecting Changes

Using the Accept/Reject changes feature took me a bit longer with Word 2010, because they made separate buttons for “comments only” vs “all changes.”

trackchanges04

Over on the upper right part of the toolbar, you have the review buttons. When you click “next,” it highlights the next change that your editor made.

trackchanges05

Here we have the “accept” button highlighted. The “Accept” button in Word 2010 will accept the editor’s proposed change and automatically move you to the next one. This is a fantastic feature when you have a lot of edits to get through but, like me, you’re a control freak and want to look at every single one of them. ^_^

trackchanges06

And here you can see I’ve gone through several edits and accepted each one of them, bringing me to the comment. There are a couple of things to do with your editor’s comments. My personal preference is to leave the comment there if there’s something I’m adding to resolve the comment. Track changes is still on, so my editor will see what I’m adding in response to her comment. In this case, it’s a comment I’ve resolved in the previous volume, so I don’t need it. Click the “Reject” button highlighted in the circle.

trackchanges07

The comment disappears, and the next comment is highlighted. Now I’m going to show you how to delete the comment, but add a change to resolve it. The editor made a suggestion about something my character would be very likely to do. In this case, I rejected the comment…

trackchanges08

…and I added a little to the sentence, incorporating my editor’s suggestion.

Step Three: Adding Comments

The third feature I’ll show is how to add your own comment. This feature is especially useful if you need to reply to a comment that your editor made. Rather than replying in the editor’s comment (which they wouldn’t necessarily notice), it’s better to add your own, so they can use their own review pane to go through your comments in turn.

trackchanges09

To add a comment, select a chunk of text. Usually you’ll be selecting a specific sentence, paragraph, or passage to which your comment applies. Notice the “new comment” button above.

trackchanges10

After you’ve highlighted your text, click new comment, and type away! Here I’m adding a comment to my own document so that, when I go through and self-edit, I remember to consider adding more detail.

And that’s using Track Changes for MS Word 2010! Here’s a quick rundown of the same features for the older version of Word.

Step One: Turning On Track Changes

trackchanges11

You may need to add the Review buttons from the Tools menu, I’m sorry I skipped that step. Basically I always have the Review toolbar open on my old Word program.

Here, I’ve circled the Track Changes button to show you where to locate it on the toolbar and turn it on.

trackchanges12

And a quick example of some changes I made, with Track Changes enabled.

Step Two: Accepting and Rejecting Changes

There are no separate buttons for comments and changes here. The arrow keys will take you to and from every change and comment in the document.

trackchanges13

Here, the first change I made is highlighted.

trackchanges14

Click the “Accept” button to accept the change. If you click the downward arrow beside it, you get the option to accept all changes in the document. I only recommend that option if you’ve read and agreed with all changes. My preferred method is going over each change individually, but your mileage may vary.

trackchanges15

Here, the previous change has been accepted. Unlike Word 2010, you have to click the “Next” button to get to the next change or comment.

trackchanges16

After accepting a few changes, I came along a change that I’m not going to incorporate exactly. So, here, we’ll click the “Reject” button.

trackchanges17

I made a different word choice, and Track Changes is still on, so the editor will be able to see that change.

Step Three: Adding Comments

trackchanges18

Pretty much the same! Select your text.

trackchanges19

Add your comment. And there you have it!

Hope this has been somewhat helpful. If you’ve got other tips and tricks, or handy Track Changes tutorials of your own, feel free to share the word. And do let me know if this helped you in any way. πŸ™‚

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone – go out and enjoy the super moon!

Caution: Writing works in progress

A few small updates…

I haven’t been writing so much this month; I finished three stories last month, finished a chapter of something else this month, and I suppose I’ve been taking a bit of a break.

Top priority: finishing edits on The Competitive Edge and getting them back to the editor for final review. And I need to get that done, soonest, because: *drumroll*

Substantial edits have come back for The More Plausible Evil. The in-document edits aren’t so bad, I think I could blaze through them in a day or two. But the overall story has two major issues, one that I could probably resolve, the other that I can’t because my beta thinks the story is too short for everything that’s happening. She thinks it would work better around my usual length, which is ~80-100k.

Tough one. So, I’ll incorporate the edits to bring it to a good second draft, submit it, and present it to the press to get their take.

The Fall Guide has a publication date of December 4th, 2013, and I have to think what to put on the cover. This is one of those where I’m contemplating saying “…dealer’s choice?” All I can think of is palm trees. That…yeah, probably better not.

What else? Oh yes, this month I need to finish plotting the sequel for Signal to Noise, because I’m going to start writing it this month and it’s next month’s focus point.

Final word: don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway! Tomorrow is the last day to win a free book. :3

Giveaway winners, a new review, and Manicure Monday

Good evening on this marvelous Monday!

The winners of the giveaway are Hexen, Arella, and Valarie P. Expect an email from me soon, and thanks everyone for participating. If you didn’t win a copy, I hope you’re still intrigued enough to check out A Cut Above the Rest.

BIG NEWS! It’s Review Monday over at Alessandra Ebulu’s blog, so hop over and see what she says about From the Inside Out. (Hint: great things.)

I’ll lead out with a picture of yesterday’s manicure, which was for St. Patrick’s Day.

IMG_20130316_215819_zps4e534b5d

Wishing everyone a great week! I’m going to take a wee break from posting for the next day or two. I’ve got another deadline this month and writing up all those entries for the blog hop on top of finishing another story wiped me out. πŸ™‚

Signal Boost: A History of Sexuality for Romance Writers

Writers, what kind of historical narrative do you know, what have you read or heard, regarding the history of sexuality?

E. E. Ottoman’s inquiring mind would like to know! Take a trip to her blog and lend your thoughts. She’s also looking for questions you may have, topics and points of interest that would be useful for m/m or other GLBTQA romance writers to know.

Check it out, it’s a fascinating topic! I’m going to try to leave my own comment when I can brain properly again.

For now I’m going to cuddle up in a fleece burrito with my kitty water bottle afloat an ocean of tea, because I think I’ve caught The Crud.

My body says no

Check out my giveaway for a FREE ADVANCE PRINT COPY of From the Inside Out, shipped anywhere that accepts U.S. Mail. πŸ™‚

This week I think I’ll make the pumpkin risotto with pine nuts that I was craving on Thursday, so as to use up the leftover pumpkin puree and make use of a lot of ingredients I already have on hand. I’m achy today, so I want something easy that won’t require a ton of prep work like food I’ve been making for the past few weeks.

Yesterday we went to a new restaurant, China Gourmet, across town and they were pretty good! My friend ordered a spring roll appetizer that we started out with, and that was light and crunchy, my girlfriend had a mushroom chicken dish that she just loved, and I had a sesame chicken that was a little weird (the sauce was not what I’m used to from sesame chicken) but still good. We’ll definitely be checking them out again. I’ve reached the last week of the Insanity workout and I’m getting to the point where I’m sore and achy, so I think my body’s ready for a break. Next month I’ll take it easy before I pick up another serious exercise challenge. But I’ll still be finding activities to keep my body active for at least thirty minutes a day.

It’s good to change things up once in a while, after all.

Most triumphantly, I finished “The Fall Guide” on Friday, and I’m excited to finish that off and submit it, and start my next story tomorrow. It’s going to be a huge change of pace; I’m going from contemporary m/m romance to fantasy fairy tale-esque f/f. They’re two very different styles but I’m eager to tackle the project. Like my body, it’s good for my writing style to change it up every so often.

Prose can be different for fantasy. With contemporary, it’s good to keep it clean and simple. With fantasy, you can be a little indulgent, and florid.

The Awesome Thing About Serial Subscriptions

I’ve had a Less Than Three serial subscription since last year, and it’s been a great way to get a look at a lot of different stories at a seriously bargain price.

The first Rocking Hard story made its debut last week, Centrifical by Sol Crafter (you can read the first chapter for free), and I wanted to give the serial subscription a plug for two reasons. My own Rocking Hard story, Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues, will start posting in May; and I just love my serial subscription.

There are five stories that LT3 has available through serial right now, and they’re a wide sampling of genres and writers. You’ve got everything from fairy tales to rock stars to politics and arranged marriage. Serials don’t typically get reviewed until they’re complete and available as ebooks, but I’ve got to say, I love what I’m reading now! You can read all the first chapters free on the Serials page, and check out membership rates – for the amount of fiction you end up getting, it’s a darned good deal.

If you end up signing up, you’ll get to read Courage Wolf that much sooner, too. πŸ˜‰

That’s a good start to a Sunday! I’m off to have some yogurt and get my Core Cardio and Balance workout over with, so I can keep my to-do list down to something manageable.