Monthly Archives: September 2016

September Summary, October Goals

September is over already?  Things have been so busy here that doesn’t seem like that long ago that I set up my goals for the month and now here it is, time to look back at how I did (“abysmal” comes to mind) and look forward to the goals for next month.

I finally finished entering the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord.

And…

That was about it.  I’ve almost but not quite finished this round of revisions and paper edits to Onyx Sun, but… yeah, it still needs a few days of work.  (I normally work on paper edits during down time at work, but we courtesy of a new resident there hasn’t been any down time for a couple weeks.)

I’ve also done pretty good at the thousand words a week, despite the fact that the stress of dealing with the above-mentioned resident for forty hours a week has been totally draining me. Something needs to change by November or I’ll never make 50K for the month.

I haven’t done the “hour a week on some other craft” but, oddly, I haven’t felt the need to do something different.  Maybe I’m just too stressed out from work, or maybe the goal gave me permission to do that and now I don’t need to want to do it.  (That sentence makes sense in my head.)

So, on to October.

I do want to finish the paper edits to Onyx Sun and get the changes entered in Word, and maybe enter the changes to Book Five of The Academy of the Accord, but neither of those is going to be my major focus.

No, my major focus in October is going to be November.

Or, more specifically, putting together detailed outlines of the three potential books for NaNoWriMo.  By mid-month I need to have at least a basic outline for all three so I can decide which one shows the most promise and develop it more completely.  (As a general rule, the more detailed the outline I’m working with the better the writing goes and the more closely I manage to stick to said outline the more smoothly the editing goes.  And right now smooth editing would be a welcome change.)

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Wednesday Words #92 (9/28/2016)

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:

You are an alien, the first of your race to discover/visit Earth. Write a report to send to your home world.

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

 

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Dodging Plot Bunnies

We’re just over a month away from NaNoWriMo and already the plot bunnies have been congregating. I swear the approach of November acts as bait for them.

There’s a dragon story that really wants me to write it.  (And Squirrel! I just had a breakthrough on what to do next for Book 2 of the Other Mages trilogy.)

Anyhow, as I was saying, the plot bunnies are starting to crowd around.  I love the dragon story that’s taking shape in my head, but there’s also this weird dream that I had last night in which I was a cat burglar. (If you could actually see me you’d laugh hysterically at that.)  The dream itself has great promise as a novel. I don’t think I’ll ever write it although I might incorporate elements of it into something else.

Yeah.  Nothing like the approach of NaNoWriMo to call forth the plot bunnies (and it’s only going to get worse from here on out) but the plan is to work on another book set around Song and Sword.  (Because if I don’t my friend Debbie will probably kidnap me and lock me in a room chained to a desk until I do.)

But which book set around Song and Sword?

There’s the prequel, which was supposed to be a short side-story about how Pachevel met Hierik, but when I re-read what I had written there’s a definite novel in it. It might be the easiest to tackle but I always start something new for NaNoWriMo and use Camp sessions to work on stuff already started.

And then there’s the sequel that I had started.  Well, sort of started.  I’m not quite sure what the starting scene is yet.  I might stick with the one I have or I might move it a bit further in.  We’ll see when I start outlining.

Then there’s a sequel that goes before that sequel. (A prequel to a sequel?) I have only a very vague idea for it but I feel like it should be written before the other one.  (For one thing, I’ve pretty much learned my lesson about writing books out of order.)

Decisions, decisions.  I’ll start outlining all three and see which one shows the most promise and probably go with that.

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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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