Monthly Archives: May 2013

WOULD it smell as sweet?

A quick note before I get to whining — the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up that I’ll be attending in September is now open for registration! There are quite a few fabulous authors on the list and it looks like it’s going to be a fun, low-key event, so if you’re in Seattle or close enough to make the trip check it out!

And now the fussing part: why does it never get easier to name characters? You’d think it would get easier with practice, like any reasonable sort of skill. But no. Here I am staring at an outline and trying to figure out the second main character’s name. It needs to fit the culture he belongs to, it needs to sound plausible in conjunction with the other guy’s name, because it’s for a romance audience it needs to sound like it belongs to a hot dude, and yet ideally it won’t be one of those names that gets used constantly in the genre….

I wonder how long I can get away with just using a placeholder.

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Filed under word factory

a treasure trove of… more work!

Whew. My Love Has No Boundaries story made it in on the deadline, complete with an illustration by the lovely and charming Rachel Roach for the cover. I’m looking forward to sharing!

And in the meantime, I’m pondering the merits of a self-published collection. People who’ve known me since before I had the courage to start subbing to publishers will remember the Bijou, a big sprawling collection of erotic short stories about slave boys working in an extremely fancy whorehouse. (Expensive boy whores are a perennial weakness of mine.) I’ve been sorting through them lately and — well, wincing at how rough they feel now, and how little made it into the stories beyond all the sexy bits. But also remembering how much I love those boys and their romances and their determination to find their way to happy endings. (Also, blindsided by how badly I want the madam and her charming libertine patron to get together.) So it’s extremely tempting to pull those character arcs together and try to make a few somethings out of this, but dang is that going to take time and energy. The most complete arc right now is just shy of 40k words, nearly a third of the total; it’s pretty obvious they were the pairing of my heart, in all their dysfunctional D/s adoration. Then there are… four other arcs that are shorter but follow distinct characters/groups, plus a fifth one that would probably just get booted off most retailers’ sites because it’s so heavy on the twincest, plus another 30k or so of stories that don’t fit neatly into any of the bits above.

Probably I need to write some things down on actual physical bits of paper so I can spread them out and rearrange them and figure out what crucial bits of a satisfying narrative arc each group is missing. Possibly I need to do this while somebody stands over me with a taser to keep me on task. I should start looking for volunteers.

…In between continuing to job hunt and trying to teach myself programming, obviously. Isn’t there a witty saying somewhere about being under pressure and creating great things? I hope so.


Filed under word factory

September meetup; free short story

Two quickies!

First: there’s going to be a Gay Romance Northwest Meetup on September 14 right here in Seattle! I’m so excited. My finances haven’t allowed me to travel for any of the cons happening elsewhere in the country this year, but at least I’ll be able to get my feet wet at a smaller event in my home town. I’m already nervous about meeting some of the fabulous authors who are planning to attend. It’ll be a good thing, right?


neverseelight I wrote this f/f vampire short last winter as part of the Hurricane Sandy charity auction organized by MJ O’Shea and Piper Vaughn. Now I have finally gotten off my butt and added it to Smashwords, where it is free in multiple formats. This was also a good reason to create a “Free Reads” page on my site, which will come in handy once my Love Has No Boundaries story is ready to go public, too.

That’s all the news for now, though, because the weather is goddamn beautiful this weekend and I need to go outside.

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Filed under my books, word factory

with silver bells and cockleshells

So living in an apartment in a fairly large city, as I do, has many benefits, but “available land to garden” is generally not one of them. (Container gardening on windowsills is right out, because I have no means of catproofing a spot for this, and my boycat is the sort who pushes things off my bedside table every morning to tell me it’s time to get up.) However! Seattle is a city with a thriving community garden program, and I put myself on the waiting list last fall, expecting that maybe by 2014 I’d have some space of my own.

Last Wednesday I got an email that there was a plot available for me in my neighborhood garden and did I still want it. Did I ever! So now I am the proud caretaker of 100 square feet of prime soil and thriving weeds. Okay, slightly less thriving weeds than they were a few hours ago, but still. I didn’t think to take a picture until I’d started working, but here’s the general state of things when I got to the garden to start messing around in the dirt this morning:


The nice clear space in the background there? That’s somebody else’s plot. Mine is the riot of crabgrass, henbit, and miner’s lettuce gone to seed. (With some thriving chives and thyme in that left corner, though. I need to plan some cooking around those.)

But I dug into it this morning, pulling things out, clearing space around the obvious intentional plantings and volunteer annuals, filling up that milk crate repeatedly with fluffy piles of weeds and depressingly small chunks of dandelion taproot. (Dandelion wine, I’m pretty sure, was an act of grim determination: “Well, we can’t kill the stuff, so we might as well drink it. Takes the edge off the frustration a bit.”) Excavating the useful things was kind of an exciting process! There are several strawberry plants, some established and others just starting from the originals’ runners. One corner has a few stubborn potatoes. There’s a little wandering trail of young arugula. I even found a few tiny sprigs of lemon balm, which smells every bit as refreshing as I remember from the garden I had as a teenager. After an hour or so I had gotten about this far:


Clearly there’s still work to do, but it’s progress! And I have a friend coming over tomorrow morning to help with that back corner and maybe a compost run before we dig in and start planting new seeds.

I’m already looking forward to those strawberry flowers turning to fruit.


Filed under life the universe and everything