Sunday Snippet September 25, 2016

Skipping a scene from last week to stay with what was happening.  Autheren bolted from the dining room, running from Barlen.

 

“Autheren, wait!” 

Jorsen’s words were wasted as Autheren ran across the yard, not knowing where he was going, only that he wanted – needed – to get away.  Then Jorsen caught him, pulled him to a stop and held him.  “It’s all right,” he soothed.  “It’s all right.  You are safe.”

“No.  Let me go.”  He struggled, twisting to get away from him, but Jorsen was bigger than he was and his training let him easily take him to the ground, even as his instinct to protect him made it a soft gentle fall, taking him first to his knees and then to his stomach.  Once down, Jorsen held him there, covering him with his body as he sobbed and struggled to get free.   “Please, please don’t,” Autheren begged.  “Please… don’t.”

“Don’t what?” Jorsen asked softly.  “Autheren, it’s me, Jorsen. I’m not going to hurt you.  You said you weren’t afraid of me, remember?”

“Please,” he sobbed.   “Please get off of me.  Don’t, please don’t.”

“Don’t what?” Jorsen repeated. “Autheren, relax. I won’t hurt you. Just calm down and relax and stop running.”

“Jors! Jors, get off of him.  He’ll be all right if you get off of him.” 

Jorsen looked up as Draethlen dropped to his knees next to them.  Terhesh stood behind him, his wings half flared, his protective instinct still making him agitated.

“Please.  I… I won’t run.  I promise.  Just please… please don’t…”

“Please don’t what?” Jorsen asked.  He moved away from Autheren and looked up at Draethlen, pain-filled blue eyes begging for help as Autheren drew himself to his knees, his arms wrapped tightly around his stomach, his body shaking.  He wanted to reach out and wrap his arms around the apprentice but now he was afraid to touch him. 

“It was the way you had him pinned to the ground,” Draethlen said softly.  He touched Autheren’s shoulder gently, holding his hand steady even as Autheren flinched away from his touch. “They raped you, didn’t they?”

 

Find more great reading at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 9-24-2016

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

This week I’m taking a brief break from Onyx Sun to promote an anthology that I’ve been published in.  It’s called Flight was released on Wednesday by Mischief Corner Books.  It’s a collection of 300-word flash fiction, all of it LGBTQ spec fic.

Yesterday I shared  one of the Judge’s Choice entries “Smoke” by Zev de Valera) chosen by J. Scott Coatsworth.  Today, as promised, I’m sharing an excerpt from mine: “Paper Arrows.”

“Fuck.”

It seemed to be the only word he could say, the only word he could think.

It didn’t keep the nausea at bay. 

Branth was no fighter.  He would be killed in the first skirmish and Kiervan knew with absolute certainty that that was his plan. 

The paper crumpled in his fist.  He would set fire to it, destroy it as Branth had just destroyed him.  Power built in his hands as tears built in his eyes.

“I love you, you son of a bitch.”

 

flight-banner

 

Flight Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Author: Various (including me!)
Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Length: 33.6 K
Format: ebook, print
Release Date: General release 9/21/16
Pairing: LGBTIQA
Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, $24.99 print color*
*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.

Blurb: A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.   Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme.  “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret – winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.   Some astonishing stories were submitted – from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones – and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Available:
Mischief Corner Books
Amazon
All Romance
Kobo
iTunes
Goodreads
Goodreads Series Page
Barnes & Noble: Coming soon
Smashwords: Coming soon

Author Bio: In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”. This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.

Also!
If you join the QSF (Queer Science Fiction) newsletter this week, you get a free copy of Sanguine,
my SF, semi-paranormal, MM erotic romance.

Sanguine06b

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A Real Announcement!

I know I was going to start the every other week “Ask the Author” blog posts today but something came up.

Er, out.

flight-banner

Flight was released on Wednesday by Mischief Corner Books.  It’s a collection of 300-word flash fiction, all of it LGBTQ spec fic.

Tomorrow I’ll share my entry (“Paper Arrows”) in the Rainbow Snippet post, but for today I’d like to share one of the Judge’s Choice entries, chosen by J. Scott Coatsworth.

“Smoke”
by Zev de Valera

He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake. Was that a shaker he’d felt, or the onset of a hangover? He clutched a silken pillow and waited.

Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise. Shit. This is the real thing. With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed. How many years had it been since the last one? Sixty? Seventy? The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling.A model unit when he’d purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain. Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work. What to wear? He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation. A resounding thud. He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling. A pop. Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft. He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke. Up and away to meet his new master.

 

Flight Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Author: Various (including me!)
Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Length: 33.6 K
Format: ebook, print
Release Date: General release 9/21/16
Pairing: LGBTIQA
Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, $24.99 print color*
*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.

Blurb: A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.   Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme.  “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret – winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.   Some astonishing stories were submitted – from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones – and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Available:
Mischief Corner Books
Amazon
All Romance
Kobo
iTunes
Goodreads
Goodreads Series Page
Barnes & Noble: Coming soon
Smashwords: Coming soon

Author Bio: In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”. This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.

 

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Wednesday Words #91 (9/21/2016)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

twilight
a broken lock
smoke

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Announcing…

I would like to announce that finished entering the changes of the first round edits to Book Four of The Academy of the Accord.

Yeah, I really would like to announce that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t, so I can’t.

I did, however, get past the mess with the notes so I think it should be smooth sailing now and I’ll hopefully finish it tomorrow on my day off.

And then I can start on Book Five.

This weekend I discovered that not only do I leave myself worthless notes, I also apparently write scenes and lose them.

I was certain that I had written a small additional scene for Onyx Sun.  I needed to see where I had decided to insert it because there is another part to it that comes later and I thought I had finally figured out where to put it, but when I checked the Word doc I couldn’t find the scene.  It’s just not there.

After I got done crying and beating myself over the head with a loaf of bread, another folder caught my eye, and yep, sure enough! I had written that scene!  But I hadn’t put it into the main Word doc.  Nope.  I made it its own Word doc and had saved it in a folder called “To Get Printed” because apparently I was going to print it and compare it to the full manuscript to decide where to put it.

This doesn’t help the “where to put the second part” problem, but at least I found the scene and haven’t totally lost my mind.

Never mind that there is a “Novel I’m Ignoring” that I know I wrote a whole bunch of stuff for that is just quite simply nowhere.  (Which is probably why it’s in the “Novels I’m Ignoring” folder.)

I’m beginning to think I should get everything printed out and kept as a hard copy.

Maybe when I finish The Academy of the Accord and have twelve empty three ring binders and an empty shelf on my bookshelves…

Anyhow…

My current non-writing project is trying to figure out what sort of safe easy-to-find-when-I-need-it place I put my writing bullet journal in.  (Apparently Word docs aren’t the only thing I put away in weird places that make sense at the time but not later.)

You know what the most frustrating thing is? I am totally organized at work. No matter what job I’ve had, I’ve always been extremely organized and “together” at work.  No matter what my desk or work area looked like at any point in time I could lay my hands on whatever I was looking for in thirty seconds or less. For some reason, however, I’ve never been able to carry that organization ability over to my home life.

 

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Sunday Snippet September 18, 2016

Following from last week’s snippet from the totally unedited Book 9 of The Academy of the Accord.

 

Autheren cried out when Barlen grabbed him and all of the Warders were on their feet.  Brythel and Jorsen, the two closest, pushed themselves between Barlen and Autheren, forcing Barlen to take a few steps backward and release his grip as Rahmael, Draethlen and Terhesh joined them.

Autheren, free of Barlen’s grasp, scrambled to his feet and started for the door, but Jorsen grabbed him, holding him.  “It’s all right,” he assured him.  “You’re safe.”

“No,” Autheren said. “I – I have to go…”  He looked back in terror.  “He’ll make me go back and I can’t… I can’t go back.”  Desperately he broke free of Jorsen’s arms and bolted for the door.  Jorsen cast a quick glance at the others and went after him as the other cadets blocked Barlen from pursuing them.

Then Marsden, Kordelm, Wellhym, Yhonshel, and Radenth reached the table, along with Vinadi, Torlew, and Caristen, all of them blocking Barlen from going after Autheren.  Draethlen glanced at the others and touched Terhesh’s arm and the two of them went to help Jorsen as Rahmael backed the rest of the apprentices away from the scene and stood in front of them, his hand on the hilt of his sword, dark eyes never leaving Barlen’s form.   

 

(Yes, I know I dumped a bunch of names there, but by this point in the series the readers will be familiar with all of them.)

 

Find more great reading at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 9-17-2016

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one.)

 

Last week, two men from Pendelia Four Planetary Investigations informed Taliya that Vastyne Byrd’s shipyard (the dealer she bought her ship from) had been blown up the night before.  No one was hurt.

 

“I’m glad of that,” she said. “But, why…?”

“We don’t know.  That’s why we’re talking to you,” Agent Capize said.  “What do you know about what happened?”

“Nothing. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

“You didn’t hear the explosions and sirens last night?”

“I slept on board the ship.  If I had heard any outside noises I’d have been taking it back as not being space worthy.”

The younger one suppressed a snicker as she all but called his superior an idiot but the older agent’s glare intensified. 

“And can anyone vouch for that?”

“Check the station records,” she said coldly. “I set down last night at nineteen hundred hours, went to dinner with a friend, then went back to the ship.  Neither the ship nor I have left the station since.”

“And your friend?”

“Had nothing to do with it either.”  She raked her gaze over both of them.  “Are you harassing everyone who bought a ship from them or just me?  And how much did my mother pay you to detain me?”

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Time and Tea

One interesting thing about having a blog with regular updates is that it makes you realize how fast time is moving. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing Monday’s post.

And can you believe that September is half over already? Before you know it it’s going to be November and NaNoWriMo will be happening. (A month and a half. And I am so not ready!)

Time is just moving far too fast for me right now and I wish I had a way to slow it down. (Except, of course, for work days where eight hours feels more like eighty some nights.)

(Why does time do that?)

Anyhow, so far I’ve managed to write a thousand words a week this month, so I’m handling that goal pretty well.

I’m not doing so well with spending an hour a week on some other craft, but that’s mostly because everything is still stashed from the “hurry up and make my room not look cluttered” rush of last month. I need to start getting stuff back out and organized because I made a list of stuff I want to do last night and yowza!… so many ideas, so little time.

(Kind of like plot bunnies…)

Actually, I’ve been feeling kinda lazy this past week.  I did pretty much nothing on my days off.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I reread the last three books of The Academy of the Accord.  I’m not quite sure how it happened.  I started out with plans to just look through Book 10 with an eye toward deciding what to post from it for Snippet Sunday next month.  And somehow that led to rereading Book 11 too.  And then Book 12.

And with the re-readings came the realization that I have a lot of revision to do. I think that books 10 and 11 might need switched. Or parts of them might need switched.  A timeline would help but for some reason I just can’t seem to get myself organized enough to make one.  And Book 12.  Geeze!  I have at least three different versions of one part of it, and two of another.

But on a brighter note, I actually did some paper edits work on Onyx Sun.  Mostly I’ve identified areas where I can expand things a bit (based on beta reader suggestions).

And the weather is cooling off so I’m slowly getting some energy and focus back. I love fall and am hoping my usual energy burst hits soon.

And along with cooler weather comes something else I love.  Tea!  I have a cup of it right now and is there anything better than a cup of tea to soothe the spirit and make the day easier to manage?

 

 

 

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Wednesday Words #90 (9/14/2016)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

“Look what followed me home!  Can I keep it?”

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Stress and the Art of Novel Maintenance

First off, if you haven’t read Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, you probably should. It’s a cool book, which has nothing to do with Zen or motorcycle maintenance.  (Or, in the words of the author himself, the book “should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”)

But anyhow…

Unlike Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance this post has much to do with stress and novel maintenance. Or novel writing maintenance.  Whatever.

I’ve had enough stress lately to last me for the rest of my life.

Some of it has eased, and hopefully by this time next week another part of it will have disappeared (but I’m not holding my breath). That will leave only one major stressor and that, I think, I can live with, at least for a while. (I’m trying for “through the end of the year” but we’ll see.  Of course, job hunting is its own stress factory, so…)

Anyhow.

Life is slowly settling back into some semblance of normal. Or the new normal. Whatever.

What that means is that my writing life can also get back into some semblance of normal. (Whatever “normal” means to a writer.  I have the feeling that that definition varies wildly. I’m not even sure I can define it for myself on any given day.)

Stress is a natural part of life.  There is good stress and there is bad stress, but stress there is.  And even good stress can sap your energy after a while.

And my stresses have been… not good.

But that is changing!

(Change is also a stressor, even good change.)

With the reduction in stress comes an increase in writing and writing related things. (Like that “E” word. Or the “R” word.) (Editing and Revision. You figure out which is which.)

Come to think of it, E and R are stressors as well.

Where was I going with this?

(See what stress does? It eats holes in your brain.  Or at least in your attention span.)

I just haven’t felt much like writing lately.

I have been writing, though. Unfortunately I’ve been working on a new old story (the opening scene has been kicking around for a while and I finally decided to start it) instead of an existing novel. But hey, it’s words.  And it’s fun. And I’m curious to see where it goes.

Or working on revisions for Onyx Sun or entering changes from the first round paper edits of Book Four of The Academy of the Accord. (And, no, I still haven’t figured out what my note about the note was about.)

And I have been getting more and more little bits of ideas. (Ideas related to the above, not to new plot bunnies.)

For instance, yesterday morning I had a burst of bathtub inspiration for a bit of a fleshing out in Onyx Sun.  By the time I got to sit down and type it up, however, I’d pretty much forgotten what it was — all I could remember was that I’d had this great idea.  Fortunately I was able to piece together what I was going to do and work it into the book — mostly. I haven’t quite figured out how to work in the second part of the idea.

Oh! Or maybe I have! Ha! Off to leave myself a note on how to fix it.

 

 

 

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