13 November 2012 4 comments

WIP Wonders Never Cease

I have been trying to stay unplugged today.
My writing related efforts have been limited to WIP research in the form of a series of tarot spreads that demanded exhaustive interpretation. Not that it was much of a demand; I looked at the cards and the meaning just flowed from me onto the pages, fitting into the characters and their situation and struggles as easily as though I'd deliberately chosen which cards went where. It's going to fill the last pages in the first giveaway notebook, and begin the second with another.
Fang & Fire, Animal & Element
I'm saving a blank page at the end to write a personalized note to whomever the recipient ends up being. This journal is very much a collection of tarot spreads, interpretations, discussions of the finer points of the main characters, exploration into their deeper motivations, and a smattering of raw, unedited prose -- scenes that may or may not end up in the final version of the novel when it's published. Plus a few random snippets of descriptions and lines of dialogue, standing alone without reference or orientation.
Outcome and Avatar, The Moon on Water & The Journey
A story forged from tarot cards was birthed on these pages. I truly hope readers find both as much enjoyment in it, and characters with whom they can sympathize and relate, as I have while creating them and following their journey along the labyrinth. It's been a joy getting to know these two main characters intimately as I did each tarot spread for them, listening to what they thought the cards were saying, and how they chose to employ the wisdom found.

And like anything else, the end of this story won't be the end of their journey, but a rest-stop. The Moon on Water is the still point of potential; they'll have other stories to tell and a hundred other adventures. I wonder if they'll let me tag along when this one's done...
Mind you, this one isn't quite done being written just yet.
09 November 2012 0 comments

The Writer's Process: Losing Sense & Increasing Sensitivity

One of the things I've learned to do as a writer is to make use of all the various senses while using descriptive prose. It drags the reader in completely, lets them submerse and engage.
I've also toyed with, in certain scenes--specifically in "Blacker Than Black"--leaving out the engagement of a specific sense for a reason. It's a short sequence,  and I recall a discussion with the editor who felt the need for there to be some type of description of visual cues to ground the reader.
"No," I responded. "The narrator's eyes are closed."
05 November 2012 2 comments

The Writer's Process: Mapping Out An Emotional Journey

I spent a good chunk of my meal hour at the day job writing out a scene in the latter half of my WIP. The MC has begun feeling detached and withdrawn, at least emotionally. It could be that Zhar comes to life a little more in the process of rewriting from my notes.
But something felt... not exactly off, I guess. Given events thus far, I don't think I would fault my MC for being slightly detached or emotionally withdrawn. But I needed some clarity and some structure to what is going on.
02 November 2012 1 comments

The Writer's Process: Goals and Deadlines and Nano, Oh My!

No, I'm not doing Nano.
Not really.
Okay, well, maybe I sort of am.
But it's not like I'm going to hit 50k for the month. That hasn't happened in a long while.

I am, however, not at all above shamelessly using the deadline to churn out the second half of the WIP on my desk. It's still not hit 50k yet, hovering just below that point. I'm not entirely certain what the final wordcount on it will be. Not 100k ...I don't think. One way or another, though, my goal is to have a complete first draft to edit and polish in December.

For me, Nano stopped being about wordcounts a few years back. It evolved into a concept of setting a goal for myself for the month, and then reaching it. Regardless of what it is. November is probably the only month that I actually engage in this sort of structure. Mostly because attempting to force the structure of a solid story doesn't have a very nice outcome for me. I've been sitting on the same scene for a week now with the WIP because I couldn't come to terms with the direction I saw it going. My subconscious was whispering one thing, and my conscious was thoroughly at odds with subjecting the characters to that level of distress.

18 October 2012 0 comments

The Writer's Process: Learning Curves Like Kentucky Hills

I spent a handful of my formative years in Kentucky. Rolling hills lush and green, thick with wildlife and the endless white fences of horse farms.
And beneath those hills, I also learned, lurked some of the most majestic limestone caverns in the world. Frozen Niagara is a sight everyone should get to experience once. (I'll be geeky for a moment; Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world. There's a photo gallery there.)

11 October 2012 0 comments

The Writer's Process: Totally Pantsing It

So... update!
Ah, this feels so strange.
I've only been working on this WIP for, what, five weeks? (I suck at updating regularly, and it shows.)

And while I haven't hit 50k yet, which would be like a NaNoWriMo all on my own and would be all kinds of impressive, it's sitting at 36k and feels like it might be the halfway point.

Alas, alack, I really have no idea. But I've written roughly 10k in the week of vacation time I've had from the day job. For me, that's better than a good solid pace. Usually it goes slower than that. I even had some lagtime in there where absolutely nothing happened for a few days. I've tried pushing before, nothing good comes of it. Whatever I push ends up needing hacked and reworked. I've learned to let things stew until they feel right. It's what works for me.

At best, I've only a tenuous and vague notion of where this is going and what will happen next. But then, that's a fitting description for how this entire story has gone thus far, so I'm trying not to be too terribly nervous about it. I made a skeletal plot sketch back at the beginning of September when I started, and the lads haven't entirely veered off course yet, so there's still hope for me to make a strong finish with this and wrap it up by the end of November.

I refuse to let another Mercury In Retrograde put me in an artistic funk. It will not happen, damn it.
The drawback here? At the rate I'm going, I'll only use a single notebook for the longhand portions of this story. I haven't even managed to fill this one to the halfway point yet.

If it means I only have one notebook to give away this time, I'll just have to use the other two for other stories. Sequels, perhaps. Which is increasingly plausible, because I stumbled into Z's family in this last scene, and the entire clan is grinning at The Writer and waving their stories under my nose.

This makes me want to cry or something.
One at a time y'all. My gods. Now I have to come up with a series title as well as one for this book? Guys! You're killing me.
Apparently the notice about me sucking at titles got lost somewhere.
20 September 2012 3 comments

The Writer's Process: Intuition & Art

I have a number of "tools" I use to focus my energies on developing the plot and characters of a story arc.
Scrivener is one of them. I honestly don't know where I would be without it--no, that's a lie. I'd still be one clusterfuck of a disorganized writer who trembled in fear at the thought of forming an outline.
Not that I really "form" one in advance of writing. But I get a general concept in my head, and though it is often too ethereal to go down on paper or screen, it's there and Scrivener is great for creating a visual of the outline forming as I write. I am learning to see where I need to pick up the pace, and where I can spend some time drawing things out.

[Side note to any of my betas who are reading this (ahem, especially you, sis, since you dabble in tarot): please do not freak out or hyperventilate.]

13 September 2012 6 comments

The Writer's Process: A WIP is Born.

I've been sneaking around a great deal lately, under the radar and such.
I blame my betas.

In the general course of perving #soldierporn on Tumblr around the beginning of September, I stumbled upon an inspiring photograph. While it's one I've seen before, my admiration for it has many layers. Mostly for the body language of the individuals who are the focal point. The communication taking place is decidedly...intimate, although that's not unusual for military types and even less so for battle buddies.

I don't have a source or credit line for this photograph. I reblogged it on Tumblr with the simple caption of ....

[Body Language.]
There is undeniably a great deal of that going on there.
Certainly a story wanting told.
Or a few, because the story that *I* have pulled out of this photograph has been rather loosely translated and thoroughly removed from the assumptions one would make looking at it.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I finally ran out of space in my Moleskine notebook. It took six months to fill, and it's crammed with scrawled notes of about five different stories. I went shopping for some notebooks. Picked up a couple replacements, but also nabbed a set of three thinner ones, eighty pages each.

Their covers screamed for Sharpie markers. I had difficulty getting a clean shot without the matte surface refracting a glare, for some reason. 

WIP: Fang & Fire
Not to get ahead of myself since the notebooks are still completely blank on the inside...but these three thinner ones will have nothing in them but notes and scribbles and doodles for this one story. Nothing else. We'll see if I actually use all three, but from what I've outlined of the plot thus far, they should fill up rather swiftly. My day job means that I often find myself fleshing out scenes in longhand and transferring them to Scrivener in marathon sessions. It's the front line editing process, you could say. Going from raw stream of consciousness writing, to the "rough" prose of the first draft.

And once this project is finished and off my desk, I have every intention of sacrificing these now "one of a kind" beauties for a promo release giveaway. A little piece of the process, and the art, that few ever get to see. Little bits and pieces that are shaved away, remolded, or discarded in the journey to the final product.

Although I have become increasingly averse to sharing intimate details of plot, characters, and world-building on public venues over the past couple years, don't worry-- I'll be sharing the process. And maybe even some shots of the pages as I fill them. My handwriting varies widely depending on my energy level and artistic focus. The font I use ranges from Typewriter to Prescription Scrawl.

So there you have it: a WIP is born. 
Who knows, maybe the final cover of the published book will have the same title and artwork.

29 August 2012 2 comments

More Adventures @ Haus of Rhi

This one is safe, I swear.

The weather was beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the sky a clear vivid blue.
The temperature was perfect and a brisk breeze was blowing.

I had a short dayjob shift thanks to my inability to say "no" when they asked me to work a release event Monday night. And so I got home at the perfect time to snap some pictures...

27 August 2012 4 comments

Adventures @ Haus of Rhi

So. Umm.
This happened yesterday...
And I decided it was the perfect thing to share on a Monday morning.

You should probably set your morning coffee down--and swallow--before you click past the break.

16 July 2012 0 comments

Editing: The Evolution of a Story

I've spent the past few weeks under the radar for various reasons, but edits have had a great deal to do with it.

Trapped between the grindstones this month, a novella that has a relatively shallow past with me. It hasn't been around all that long, I didn't play around with it much before I just churned it out.

That's not my modus operandi, to be blunt. I don't do my best work that way. Thus, the edits are exhaustive, and have resulted in the story's growth, on a number of levels.

Yeah, the word count swelled with every page I edited.

But it was more than just fluff. In fact, a good bit of my efforts have involved cutting back and tightening the prose where I can. And yet the length increases.

I think this quote from Stephen King doesn't just apply from a reader's perspective. As an artist, writing is much like any other medium. Some stories aren't just all there from inception, adhering to the predetermined outline. Certainly mine are not.

Instead, my stories evolve as they're written. As the characters flesh out, they take control and make their own decisions, dictate what they'll say, what they do, how they do it. Toss a couple of those on the page together, and a writer (well, this one at least) swiftly discovers that the story being told isn't at all the one that they started out telling, and in fact may bear little or no resemblance to its predecessor.

All the sudden the story is whispering things, themes that weren't even planned now echoing through the subtext. Monsters lurking in the shadows, and wraiths in the basement. Don't go down into the cellar alone, and make sure you knock first.

In the initial editing round, I doubled the length of the story, from a short to a novella. One of the secondary characters I introduced in the newer text decided that their sex/gender was irrelevant, and presents as neutral. This is very challenging in a third-person construction, limiting referential options in the prose. On some level, I dislike it. And yet it won't slide past unnoticed by the reader, which I feel makes a crucial statement. Here I go playing with the reader assumptions and perspectives again. Just a little bit. I swear.

I just find myself wondering what else this story will decide needs saying before I'm done with it...
And of course, that's half the adventure. Discovering the story as I write it, following along on the adventure every bit as much as the reader eventually will. Actually, I get more adventure than the reader does, because I get the fun of exploring all the options that don't end up in the final version as well.

Sadly, there's little room for actual sex in this novella. Too much blood spatter, arterial spray and close quarters combat...
29 June 2012 3 comments

An Option Failure Is Not.

Camp Nano had actually been chugging along reasonably well through the middle of the month. Halfway through June, I managed to stay on track and broke the 25k barrier only a day or so late. And I did hit 50k... for the year.

The irony is that, well, the day I broke the halfway mark? I received an email from my Riptide editor. Yep. I am wading through edits, my focus on a completely different project. And switching gears between them doesn't happen easily enough for me to try finishing out the month goal of 50k. Especially not when all my creative energy is going into polishing. It takes a lot of elbow grease. Can I count the 2k+ that I've added in the edits?

So! August Camp Nano it is, then! I'll take the year-milestone of 50k as a technical victory, putting me at the halfway point for that. I set an annual goal of 100k for this year for a couple reasons -- the greatest being a matter of quality over quantity, but editing processes contributed heavily as well.

I knew coming into this year that I'd have one official pub to edit, and the intended completion of a very large and substantial rewrite on another project would require at least two thorough editing passes as well. That completion is my major goal this year, word count be damned, to be honest. Which is why I engaged in Camp Nano this month, will do so again in August, and have every intention of participating in NanoWrimo as well.

Forcing the creative focus is crucial for me. I have very close blood relations who have diagnoses of ADD. Some are medicated. Some aren't. I share a lot of the symptoms, have known it for years. Coffee helps. So do externalized deadlines and goals (like Nano). The rest of the time? I manage it by understanding my limitations and accepting that I work slowly as a result. I don't beat myself up about it.
(Okay, not too often, anyway.)

I may have left camp early and hiked off into the wilderness on my own, but it's hardly been a failure. I have 25k on a project that I didn't have before, and it helped push me part of the way over a plot obstacle I had.

I'm about a third of the way through the edits, roughly. I'm being horribly thorough. Which is the way I prefer to do it. Rhi, the Editing Masochist.

23 June 2012 5 comments

Struggling With Theoretical Implications

Earlier this past week, I grabbed a special collector's edition of Scientific American Mind titled "His Mind, Her Mind: How We're Different" off the magazine rack.

Because, in all seriousness, I wanted to see how they tackled a headline I caught on the contents page.
An article titled, "The Third Gender."

I'll admit, though I had high hopes, just seeing that title gave me a queasy feeling. I knew deep down that it was going to be rough reading before I even started. Guess I'm a masochist, because I read it anyway.

And you know what? I was right. I realize that Scientific American isn't a scientific journal where the foremost minds in their fields publish those papers that you need a comparable doctorate to parse through. That being said, the author of this particular article still contradicted himself so often that I began to suspect he was confusing himself. Or perhaps was confused himself already, and it simply presented that way in the writing...

08 June 2012 5 comments

A Letter From A Nano-Camper

Dear readers,

Hi! Send Twizzlers and black licorice jelly beans please? Oh, and more coffee of course. Not that I don't have plenty, but one can never have enough.

The weather's great, sun's warm, and the occasional glimpses of Black Hawks and Chinooks are just enough to be a timely distraction. I was sorely tempted to go sit and watch the #soldierporn flying around all afternoon, but that sun-so warm and lovely in an indirect way on my front porch-promised the murder of a thousand lobster-burns if I dared neglect my day's task. So I saluted the Chinook with my Moleskine and went back to writing.

01 June 2012 0 comments

I Dreamed A Dream

I rarely recall much of any detail about my dreams anymore.
They dissipate the moment my conscious awareness reboots and comes back online.

This morning was different.
In living color, playing out before me as though I were an actor in a lead role of a theater production.
The edges of the stage, the curtain, invisible.
Immersed, I experienced every emotion, every touch, heard every word and musical note, with clarity and realism that I cannot begin to describe. I think I might have even experienced a few smells, too. Talk about engaging all the senses.

I know it was a dream.
But it didn't feel like one.
And the words came pouring forth from my fingers before the fuel of caffeinated beverage was past my lips. I rarely write 600 words in ten minutes. Hell if I didn't this morning.

Good morning, new muse. Go sit in the corner and strum your guitar and keep all the other muses in some kind of passive state of non-frenzy while I finish this other project. And then I will play with you. And you can channel your rage into your riffs and scream of wrong-doing, or whatever the hell this story is you want to tell me.
23 May 2012 1 comments

Plans For Summer Camp

So I've set a goal to finish the WIP known as the Trunked Novel Overhaul before the end of June.
That leaves me with, roughly, somewhere between 40-50k needing written, with the bit of backtracking I needed to do in order to detour around some plot-block issues I had.

One of my fellow Riptide authors tweeted this morning about "Camp Nanowrimo" which, not surprisingly, I'd known nothing about because I live in a cave under a mountain most of the time.

At any rate, I've signed up for the June camp.
And because I'm silly and sentimental and this WIP has been with me forever, I tossed up an old sketch for the "cover art" spot:

A piece inspired by one of the original characters, which has since been smooshed back into a lump of clay and recreated along with many others. The concept prevails, though. And I am acutely aware that I have less talent for drawing than I do for writing. This is here because, as I said, it's been a long journey and it has sentimental value. Not because it's actually good or anything.

Come on Writer's Tree. Give me some more juice!
Off to pour a fresh cup of Thai Nguyen and buckle down to get a few thousand hammered out today.
Look for regular(ish) updates on my progress over the next few weeks.
I'll try to share some excerpts.

21 May 2012 0 comments

Bloghop Winners!

Thanks to everyone who followed the "Hop Against Homophobia" this past weekend. The participation was huge and it was so awesome to see all the wonderful blogposts raising visibility and awareness of not just homophobia, but transphobia as well.

The winners of the two copies of Dark Edge of Honor are:

Erica (eri.pike@gmail.com)


Ashley (ashley.vanburen@gmail.com)

Check your email account for your ebook, and thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and comment at Haus of Rhi!

17 May 2012 22 comments

Homophobia Awareness Ebook Giveaway!

One of the things that turned me toward M/M romance was repeated encounters with a double standard of homosexual acceptance.
For years, everywhere I turned, I kept hearing the same thing: "women can be lesbian, nothing wrong with that, but two guys that is just wrong and gross and unnatural."

And yes, I've heard a reversed version of this double standard in which a person accepts male homosexuality but rejects the validity of the same in females. But I've heard it a great deal less often. As in, so rarely it's virtually nonexistent.

Now, I'll be the first to acknowledge that it's a reading preference when it comes to book content. How a reader finds entertainment and the subject matters they enjoy most are individual and unique, nor should they ever be infringed upon.

But when those personal preferences are focused outward and reflected on others to dictate what is or is not acceptable choices, or valid identities or orientations, when one individual seeks to set limitations on social acceptability and equality? Then there is most definitely a problem.

People fear what they don't understand, and so often that fear translates into hatred, suppression, and discrimination.

In Dark Edge of Honor, my co-writer and I tackled just that -- from two wholly separate angles. The romantic plot arc of Mike and Sergei's relationship is a two-sided battle of self-identity, confidence, and acceptance -- mutual and individual. It isn't a journey that Sergei, more prominently, makes easily or quickly. His is the most obvious, in part because he's a member of a society and culture that expressly and actively prohibit homosexual activity. He begins the story, in fact, as a homophobic person despite his awareness of his homosexual nature. He knows he has this "dark, ugly side" of himself, and he can't help but indulge his "baser cravings."
Mike's struggle is more subtle, and largely internalized. His cultural origins encourage freedom of individuality and equality, yet he has suppressed himself. Learning to open up again, to find the courage to be vulnerable and feel, is a more subtle thread in the story.

Share you thoughts, or your own experiences!
Comment on this post with a contact email address to enter my "Hop Against Homophobia" drawing.
Open worldwide. Entries close 20 May 2012 at midnight (EDT). Two randomly selected commenters will win a free PDF copy of Dark Edge of Honor. Winners will be contacted via email, and also announced here on the blog on 21 May.

Check out the rest of the authors, reviewers, and readers supporting the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia! For the full list of Hop participants, click here.

09 May 2012 9 comments

And Somewhere Along the Way...

I figured I should offer an update on what's going on over here in the mayhem that is my Writing Corner. Well, I was feeling slumped and distinctly lacking motivational drive to work on the WIP projects that were on the top of the "To Do" list.

It was that "ehhh" sensation, where as a writer or artist, it's best to step away from a project and focus on something else. Or take a break completely, a vacation from effort to rediscover some vigor.

And then my dear friend, the Wielder of Claymores and Hand Grenades, sent me a catalyst of sorts.
29 April 2012 0 comments

It's All in the Presentation

I'll admit it here for the world to see and read.
I am a nerd. A geek.
One of my all-time favorite books on my bookshelf is Edward Tufte's volume titled "Visual Explanations." Between its hardback covers is a brilliantly executed argument for the method one uses to process data into information so that it impacts its audience with the desired effect, conveys the proper sense of urgency.

It was given to me by my engineer of a father about seven years ago, and hands-down the best tangible gift I've received from that source. It triggered a realization that it is not enough to have a legitimate grievance, a valid argument, or stand in the right. If you are going to challenge the perspectives or perceptions of others, you as a human being have a responsibility to your fellow human being to present an alternative, and to do so in a coherent, rational manner that conveys your information effectively and succinctly.

25 April 2012 3 comments

Edamame & Bull's Blood

No, I promise those are not the protagonists in my current WIP.
I did, however, stumble across an Earnest Hemingway quote earlier this afternoon:
Write drunk, edit sober.

16 April 2012 1 comments

Playing With Imagery

I really was beginning to focus on the writing again. Within the past week or two, I'd begun fiddling with characters, secondary cast members, and potential entanglements, plot threads.

I've hit on the idea of writing the synopsis before I start writing this. Highly unusual, but I'm going to see if I can make it work. Now that I have the characters in place. It's very much like setting out the ingredients for a baking recipe: once you determine what's going into it, there's usually only one possible end result for what you'll take out of the oven when it's done.

Back in December (I think) I sold a short story. Did a heavy rewrite-expansion, and returned it in late January. Though it was contracted, I knew it was waiting its turn. Yesterday, I got an email from the art director requesting completion of a Cover Art Request for the story. The timing was really bad--I almost face-planted in the middle of the road in the parking lot at work, reading that email.

29 March 2012 1 comments

The huMan/huMan Genre: On Responsibility

The definition of the word is: the quality or state of moral, ethical, legal, or mental accountability; burden.

Writers, as artists, have a responsibility to both entertain and challenge their audience.
Granted, not every work of art will deliver both in equal measures.
But both responsibilities exist, if the artist is one who seeks to challenge themselves, to grow and evolve. There's also the responsibility of quality, which encompasses any number of aspects including subject presentation with sensitivity, authenticity, etc.

12 March 2012 0 comments

Invasion of the Shinies

This afternoon, the weather was warm enough, for the first time on a day off, to venture out with Iron Mike and do our walk. I still have no idea how long it is. It takes about thirty minutes. We don't walk slow.
On the way back, I stopped to check the mail. Mistake. Ended up juggling two large packages along with leash and keys. Thankfully, Mike's a sensible creature and didn't trip me.

At any rate, boxes!
05 March 2012 0 comments

Artists Don't Refill at the Gas Pump

I'm discovering what feeds my inspirations, and it's rather strange.
Or maybe I just have strange tastes.
Or maybe it's just a case of the creative tide shifting. These sorts of things happen when they feel like it, seriously. I can string words together in sentences all day long, and sentences into paragraphs, etc. but if it gets me nowhere fast, it's useless.

27 February 2012 1 comments

WIP Overhauling: A Reason to Plot First

It happened a lot with BTB. It's happening again, as I work through a plot direction lag in this overhaul of Dancing Circles.

I get lost in the reading, so lost that I'm drowning in the experience all over again as though it's the first time. I forget what I was supposed to be focusing on, and accomplish nothing.

With BTB, I had to literally force myself to skim during the editing passes. The schedule was too tight, the book too long, for anything else.

22 February 2012 0 comments

Too Much Music: Exploring Communication

Years ago, someone challenged me to write a story just using dialogue.
No labels, no descriptions, nothing but the spoken words between two characters. As though all but one of the senses were shut down, and even that one was filtered with extreme prejudice.

It was a challenge. It took a bit of effort. But it also helped me develop as a writer, opened my eyes to thinking about communication in a completely different way.

And these days, instead of just "people-watching" as some writers are prone to do, I close my eyes and listen. To the flow of conversation. To the nuances of language, word choice, the volume of silence stretching out between them, even. It all speaks.
20 February 2012 0 comments

Life is in The Little Things

I swear these shots are in no way planned or staged.
This one, I took earlier this month--manual shutter, no flash--upon glancing up while in the middle of a conversation with a close friend. Sometimes life lets you know that you're where you're supposed to be, doing what you're meant to be doing.
Fate, destiny, design? I don't pretend to know.
You decide for yourself.

09 February 2012 0 comments

Appearances & Beauty That Inspires

This coming Saturday (11 February) I'll be at the M/M Italia group on GoodReads for a Q&A session. It's a moderated-membership group, but if you're interested in joining the discussions or asking a few questions, stop on by and put a join request in. Check my GoodReads profile for the group link.

Having finished the rough overhaul of a novella for Riptide, I've taken the past couple weeks off from writing. Part of it was the promo blog tour for BTB, but much of it has been spent refilling my tank, unwinding, and pondering what to work on next.

And then, in a random trolling of the internet, I stumbled upon a piece of artistry, handmade craftsmanship to stop the breath in one's chest:
Tiger & Dragon, Kees Engelbarts
Pricing available upon request. One day? I will request that price. It's not a watch, or a timepiece. It's a work of art. That you strap to your wrist. This is gorgeous.
I must write more. So that I can buy lovely handcrafted trinkets and shinies, like this one.

Behold, intrinsic motivation. Thou art a fickle master.
03 February 2012 1 comments

Blog Tour Winners


30 January 2012 2 comments

Setting the Mood: the Music of BTB

Although much of Blacker Than Black was created with trance music for my writing space, there are a number of songs that resonated with the story and with certain scenes or muse-moods when I was struggling through a certain passage of prose.

Without further ado, I give you the music of BTB:
27 January 2012 1 comments

A Sense of Rhythm

When I was a kid, I took horseback riding lessons with my older sister. It was fun.
Our instructor liked making us switch mounts halfway through the lessons, so we would learn how different ones moved, learn to adjust. My sister never liked this. No two horses were exactly the same height; different legs, different carriage, different energy.
To me, it didn't matter. Off one horse, on the other, picking up the gait and cadence of their stride without missing a beat.
"How do you do that?" she wanted to know.
And I'd just shrug. I had no idea. I just did it.

14 January 2012 2 comments

Foodporn With Jan: Now, With Swag!

Is it the weekend? *blinks and looks around* It is, isn't it. Where the past couple months have gone, I couldn't say. Been working myself assless, to say the least. BUT! I survived the hell of the holidays in the retail industry. Again. No big deal. Happens every year. This, however, does not: look at the pretties I got in the mail today!

04 January 2012 0 comments

Equality =/= Neutrality

Exploring Feminism & Gender Variance.

This, on many levels, is a subject that needs addressed, has needed addressed. For many, many months now -- even before the upheaval and fallout of this past fall.
The words were slow in coming to me. Or rather, they were there all along, they just needed to settle into the correct order.

At long last, they have.