NaNo ends, and I lose all writing mojo for a month. In this case, more like two months.
I honestly admire and respect any writer who can charge through December and keep writing. Forget NaNo burn out–the holidays seem all consuming. I blame my own overachiever nature. I decided to hand make gifts which left me no time to write. Or at least, not enough time to spend on writing when I could spend it in a coma instead.
On the heels of that came a January full of sick family members. Everyone got sick but me. I’m still looking over my shoulder, waiting for the flu to sneak up and say “AHAHA FUCK YOU.”
I know writing isn’t a thing you can pick up and put down at will, and yet, I seem every year to take a few months off of the process. I suppose that’s why I’m not a superproducer of stories. I plug along though, stories come to mind and I try to write them down as best I can.
In good news, though, my story New to This finally has a release date! It is part of the anthology titled Fifty Gays of Shade, coming to Torquere Press on February 13th! More news as it comes, but here’s the cover for you:
My story is a sort of response to the whole 50 shades phenomenon. It has nothing to do with the books at all, but I wanted to write a story where BDSM wasn’t thinly veiled rape, and wasn’t about the hurting but the deep respect between top and bottom. About consent, really.
Plus, the main character is super cute. Just sayin’. I’m super excited to be a part of this anthology, and I have been looking forward to the release for months. I’ll post all the details as they come in.
Hope you, my invisible reader, had a good holiday and are feeling ready to get back to whatever it is you’ve been avoiding. Or maybe that’s just me. Sigh.
We are officially one week into NaNoWriMo, and I have already neglected everything in my life including laundry and shaving my legs, so we’re right on track.
I’m working on a romance novel, something I’ve written before but I am attempting to pull off a deep POV, semi-believable romance between two unlikely candidates: an ex-drug addict and a demon.
I tell you, these dudes have beautiful backstories. I can write them alone for hours. Get them in a room together, though, and they just sort of stare at each other, waiting for someone to tell them what they’re doing there. As always when I try something out of my comfort zone, I have a newfound respect for authors of deep POV romance. It’s frigging hard!
I’m ready to write this morning, ensconced at my dining room table with coffee and a laptop. Week two is ever the difficult week of NaNoWriMo, no matter the word count going in, things seem to slow to a crawl this week.
I’ve got things for the blog: A guest post, some Can’t Talk, Reading of my own, and more information on my upcoming release, New to This. In the meantime, enjoy the NaNoWriMo Blog Chain–lots of us crazy people out there!
I suspect my brain has been trained, now, to develop story ideas right around this time of year. I thank the discipline of NaNo for that. I’ve been trying to come up with a couple short stories in the mean time, but the brain keeps returning to the new novel, so I’m just going to let it. I’m working on plot structure and how to really get deep in a POV with characters this time around. I’ve been a dedicated world builder, now I want to focus my attention on the people, really get to know them.
Also, it’s a m/m erotic paranormal romance, so that should be fun I think.
This year my local group is full of people I don’t know well, and the people I used to write with every year have nearly all moved on to other things. I suspect I’ll be relying heavily on the online community and the truly awesome people of the NaNo Blog Chain to keep me motivated.
I’m still excited though! This is my favorite time of year
*Fable is a great series of games, from which I cribbed that title. You should play them, they’re super fun.
I’m also going to a water park this weekend, but that’s not really as relevant.*
The theme of this blog hop is “What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me.”
Writing fiction with queer characters is very important to me. I believe in visibility. I believe in the power of being seen, not just being seen with a big rainbow sticker on but being seen as doing the dishes, driving a minivan, fucking and falling in love. In other words, being just like everyone else.
I write fiction with queer characters because queer people exist. We’re not hiding in dark alleyways waiting to jump out on to unsuspecting straight folk. We’re here. We’re friends of yours, we’re parents at your kids’ schools. We’re not really any different from anyone else.
Do you guys remember when Joss Whedon answered that now-famous question: “Why do you write these strong, female characters?” (He gave this glorious speech, which you should go watch.) His answer, well one of his answers, is simply “because you’re still asking me that question.” That is what writing queer characters means to me. Why are you even asking me that? I write queer characters, kinky characters, characters who are pirates, characters who have tattoos, characters who are very tall or short. I write about people, people who interest me or entertain me. I write stories that I like to write. Sometimes, the people in them are gay. Sometimes demons live in the back of their neck. Stuff like that.
When I first came out as bisexual to friends and family, the reaction was mixed. What I often sense, even now, is an undertone of “who cares? You’re married to a man.” There is still a lot of invisibility attached to being queer, and inside that invisibility is a “disappearing” that makes queer people seem mysterious. “Othered.” Strange.
I am so happy that there are so many people, of all walks of life, who are enjoying reading fiction with queer characters (whether it be the dirty dirty kind that I write, or any other kind). I love to know that for them, a love story is a love story no matter the genders or whatnot involved.
I guess the answer to the question of what it means to me to write about queer folk is: Nothing. And everything. It means I write what I know and I write what turns me on and I write what I want to read. I’m so glad that others write that same way too.
Now for the giveaway. If you leave a comment here, I’ll pick one at random and offer a story from my backlist. You’ll find gay, straight, completely pansexual, pirate, ghost, deadly virus, treasure hunts and kinky dealings in there. I’d love to see which one appeals to you!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of the blog hop, via this link: http://rainbowbookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-rainbow-book-reviews-blog-hop-is-here/. I know I will.
*I don’t do sun. I burn. I’m a writer for heaven’s sake, we don’t go outside! I’m currently trying to figure out how I can carry a giant beach umbrella with me the whole time.
I had another idea. A much bigger idea. An idea that has morphed into what might be a love story between a crossroads demon and a tattoo artist/recovering addict. A person I created as a one off, a sweet character in a tiny story, sort of grew into a whole person with a backstory and a future that might just end in a happily ever after. Or maybe burning in hellfire. It could go either way at this point.
What amazes me is how much storytelling is a muscle. For me, it isn’t a magical delivery service from storyland. It’s work, I have to exercise to make it happen. But if I do, things happen. Stories appear out of nowhere in my head. *
That’s kind of cool.
*less, of course, that swamp of sorrows between 25 and 35k. I never get that. That’s always work.
Got another rejection yesterday, but it was so nice, I can’t feel sad about it. I mean, a little, but the positive rejections are so much better. I feel like a Real Writer ™ with every step like this.
I’ve been working on Worse Things, I have about 10 percent redrafted now, in first person. I’ve never written a second draft before. I’ve always worked off the first draft and added/subtracted as necessary. Some of this work is that kind of simple editing, but a lot of it has to be rewritten because of the changes I’ve made (a character has changed drastically, not to mention changing all of Caroline’s POV chapters to first person). It’s a little ood. It doesn’t feel as much like editing as I expected, it feels more like writing another first draft.
On the plus side, I’m not finding that I suddenly hate this story, which sometimes happens when I go back to edit. I still pretty much love this story. I love Caroline’s character, and the world I’ve put her in. Apparently I’m happiest as a writer when I’m torturing my characters. Interesting.
Oh and did I mention:
THE RUBY IS RELEASING AT THE END OF THIS MONTH
OMGGGG *kermit arm flail*
I will have a story out! I wish I could give you an excerpt, but I want to be certain all the final editing is done before I do. Wouldn’t want to give you words that won’t be in the final (I hate that, when they do that in movie previews).
As soon as I have final details, I will put them here and everywhere. So excited to have something releasing!!
Other than that, my crazed June is turning into a much more sedate July. Lots more time to write. Monsoons are raging here in the desert, the afternoons are dark and ominous and perfect for writing about demons who eat people and the poor girl who carries them. So, onward!
I have two vacations in June. I’m pretty excited for both of them. I’ll be gone two long weekends for fun and relaxation.
So, thinks me, this would be a good time to work on Worse Things rev. 2, right?
I decided to dive into camp NaNoWriMo, which as far as I can tell is the same as regular NaNoWriMo but with no forums. An excuse, really, to get my butt in the chair and write. June and August are slated for big writing months. I think I’ll use the time on Caroline’s story. If I get her done by July, I’ll use the time to write something else.
So, my camp nano goals deviate a bit from the traditional 50 in 30, but I think it will help keep me motivated. Or at least guilty.
By the end of summer I want Caroline’s second draft done. I hope to begin querying her by January at the latest, so I need to get my rear in gear.
It would also be great to get a new story in the bag, but that’s secondary for the summer.
I’m looking forward to the work! But I’m looking forward to vacation, too
Thank you to everyone who commented on the Erotic Romance Scavenger Hunt post, and to everyone who played. I think that was about the coolest blog hop I’ve ever been a part of. And the grand prize? DANG. Lucky someone!
I’ve let my little giveaway winner know, so check your email.
Anyone doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year? I’m thinking of using the time to redraft Worse Things. I have big plans for Caroline, including perhaps a first person draft to see how that sounds. I’ve never done an entire novel in first person before, so it will be a new adventure for me!
Thanks again. I had a great time this weekend
This is the danger inherent in wearing my NaNoWriMo teeshirts in public.
I’m not embarrassed by my writing, that’s not it. I don’t think it is shameful or wrong to write stories with graphic sex in them. Not all the stories I tell are erotic in nature, but all my available works are. I feel quite comfortable writing for the erotic markets. I’m also happy selling as I am to the ebook marketplace, although that is another source of confused looks. (Oh, where are you published? Online. So… you published yourself? No… etc.)
We live in a prudish world though, at least in my corner of it. People on the whole are not overly comfortable talking about sex, especially when they’re not expecting to be. Just consider that I have to tell the pta dad that I have an epublished book about a m/m/f triad. I get the look, you know? The “wtf” look. Triple X is my most popular story (although, I would argue, not my best story), but talking about it only creates long and painfully awkward conversations with people. Romance, even erotic romance, is the highest selling genre on the market yet somehow no one seems to have heard of it in the real world.
I have yet to figure out how to navigate that conversation effectively. Maybe I should just print up some business cards with my website and let them figure it out? What about just saying I write romance stories? Would that be enough information to get me out of the conversation? Or should I just quit over thinking it and say I write smutty smutty fiction and here’s my card so you can go enjoy it?
I’m not sure. I do know that I write dirty stories, and I enjoy doing so. That’s not going to end anytime soon so I’d better figure out how to have this conversation soon!
I am so excited about a thing, but I need to be sure all the bits and bobs are dealt with before I share so… yeah.
I wish, still, that the success feeling wasn’t so tied to getting published. Because I’ve had a lot of writing successes lately.
I submitted yet ANOTHER story to an anthology, news on that to be delayed until after summer. Rocking the new material.
I started a new one, this one not an erotic piece but a work of spec fic about the afterlife. My first spec fic since I finished the first draft of Worse Things.
On Worse Things, I’ve got at least one big problem with the manuscript solved, and can jump into a new draft far more confident.
Today I spent the morning redesigning the site. I finally added pages for the books, go figure. You can see their covers now, which in the case of The Bell Curve is a great thing. I love that cover, all boobs and penile space ships and stuff. Pulpy sci fi perfection.
Lastly, I’ve been reading a LOT. I know this is the advice and the wisdom from all writers–if you want to write, you must write and you must read. I’ve been reading faster than I can review lately, and I’ve got a backlog of great stuff to talk about. As I read I find story ideas percolating, so it must be working. I’ve been focusing on scifi, spec fic and urban fantasy and paranormal romance lighter on the romance heavier on the paranormal (er… some of these can interchange). If anyone has any recommendations for me, I’ll take them!*
I’ve also been knitting the biggest lace shawl in the universe for a wedding. Because of that, I caved on my never ending quest for good audio books at the library and joined Audible instead. That way, I can read and knit at the same time. The shawl is coming along beautifully, and the book is hella entertaining (The Magicians, Lev Grossman).
All of this feels like being a Real Writer ™. Every day is a step forward, if only a baby one.
*Are we friends on Goodreads? If not, hit me up! I love to see everyone’s reviews and recommendations.