Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So, when your computer somehow eats the new section you wrote yesterday, is that the Muse Erato's way of confirming your suspicion that it was, indeed, unnecessary padding of the chapter?

Oh well, Tony and Ramon will have to find a home elsewhere. Maybe in their own story, not for someone's voyeuristic fantasizing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The adventure continues...

Several more stories have found good homes since last I managed to post. "Busted," the Sophie Mouette collaboration that got shortlisted for Best Lesbian Erotica 2007, also got accepted for a Rachel Kramer Bussel/Alison Tyler anthology called Caught Looking. (Fortunately all the editors involved are cool with this.) I also got a solo story in Caught Looking, a very kinky little piece. And today, FishnetMag.com accepted "Mine Like the Rest of You." That should be out soon; I'll keep you posted as to when it's up on line.

In other news, in a turn of events I'm still trying to wrap my head around, I'm going to the RWA National conference in Atlanta at the end of July. I hadn't even considered going, even though it's a great conference, the conference for romance/erotic romance writers. It's in Atlanta. It's not cheap. I've made a habit over the years of not even looking at conferences that weren't in easy driving distance. Just didn't feel right to consider spending the money for what, to me, was pure pleasure. I managed to convince myself that I really didn't want to leave home for that long, that I had better uses for the money, that the networking and learning weren't "that important."

And there was just enough truth to that to be believable. When I had money, I had no time. Now I have a flexible schedule, but our finances are tight. And it's true that I'm often averse to leaving home, or more to the point, my sweetie, for long periods of time. (There's a reason I write erotic romance and romantic erotica. My home life is...inspiring.)

But a large part of it, really, was that I was scared. Scared to admit I wanted it. Scared to be "selfish" enough to consider attending a professional conference that might disrupt the routine of our lives more than me hopping in the car and driving half an hour to the regional conference does.

Scared, on some level, to admit that this really is my job. (I have some weird issues about writing as a profession versus as a vocation/passion, which I will not burden you all with. Suffice to say I know they're there, I know why they're there, and I am chipping away at them. Unfortunately they took a long time to develop and seem to be taking a long time to go away. Just when I think I've killed the damn hydra, it grows another head.)

Then I got an email from Black Lace, asking if I'd be at RWA National to take part in a book-signing party. I mentioned this to my husband. "It's great that they're having this big thing, since they just got recognized by RWA. I can't go, of course" I said.
"What do you mean?" he said.
"It's in Atlanta. Too much money to spend on a trip for just me."
"It's your job, you silly woman. Your full-time job."
And so on and so on until I saw reason.

So I'm going to Atlanta in a month. Yikes!

Of course, there's a down side to all this good news, which is that I haven't produced vast quantities of writing lately, for various reasons. (Finishing a copyediting project, an anniversary mini-vacation, where I did write a bit, but not much; distraction via paperwork). But I did get a new story off today and have a few more in various stages of completion, and have another new scene for Making Master Right.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Words of wisdom from a fellow writer

"Things I've Learned from a Career in Genre Publishing" by Elizabeth Bear
I have bolded the ones that I find particularly important to remember.

1. Writing will not make you happy.
2. Selling will not make you happy.
3. Good reviews will not make you happy.
4. Being happy will make you happy.
5. I hope you like mushrooms.
6. And booze.
7. Editors are mostly tremendously nice and helpful people.
8. Chances are, you will starve.
9. It helps to be okay with that.
10. Or hate sleep.
11. I love my job.

My own additions to this list:
  • Sometimes writing will make you ecstatic. This is not the same thing as happy. It's better than happy when it happens, but leads to tremendous crashes when it's not going so well.
  • Selling does make you happy, temporarily. But it brings its own problems, neuroses, and work for which you (coming in to it with a writer's skills, not, say, a publicist's) are probably ill-prepared.
  • Quitting your day job to write full-time won't make you happy, even though it's probably fulfilling a lifelong goal. And see Elizabeth's #8.
  • If you do quit your day job, there will still be days when you don't want to go to work, any more than you did when you worked for someone else. Only now, you've got the worst boss in the world.
  • I've tried this game with and without supportive partners. Definitely better with. (Thanks, loves, and a big raspberry toward the Ex!)
  • Invest in a crockpot and a good crockpot cookbook. Eating is important, but cooking sometimes not so much.
  • Corollary: See supportive partner comment above. Partners who can cook--or are willing to throw money at the problem--are lifesavers at deadline time.

One of the Sophie Mouette stories has been shortlisted for Best Lesbian Erotica 2007, meaning the editor wants it in the collection, but the publisher will do a final culling to cut the anthology down to size. About a 70% chance it'll be accepted. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Much mad sending out of review copies of Cat Scratch Fever has been happening. Once they're out, we're going to brainstorm other promotional opportunities. See my comment above about publication having its own challenges. I was in book publicity, briefly, about 20 years ago. I got out because I hated it and wasn't very good at it. It's more fun when you're doing it for your own book, but it doesn't come naturally.

(Yeah, yeah, quityerbitching. You have a book to publicize, and not too long ago you weren't sure when you'd get that far. It's always something!)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Reviews! We're getting reviews!

The British adult magazine For Women says of Cat Scratch Fever: "Cat Scratch Fever combines a cleverly unfolding mystery with some steamy sex among the animal cages to leave you purring with pleasure." They liked the mystery! They didn't just like the hot sex; they liked the mystery!

And while we're not actually reviewed yet per se, we're mentioned, and our fabulous cover art is displayed, on Fresh Fiction and Fallen Angel Review.

In other news, I'm plugging away at Making Master Right and at various short fictions. Started a new fantasy short, aimed at the new Carnifex Press magazine, which is amusing me to no end, although I know I'm starting out in a meandering way that will have to be reined in during the rewrite stage. Nothing seems to be going too fast in Writing-Land, but I did manage 1,500 words on two shorts, plus a boatload of research and requests for various potential review sites for CSF. (In the process, I ordered two new ebooks and added about 50 titles to my mental To Be Read list, but who's counting?)

Speaking of Carnifex Press, two things:
1) They recently accepted one of my shorts, "A Snow of Moths," for a 2007 anthology. This is one of the few fantasy (actually dark fantasy bordering on horror) stories in several years that I've completed to my satisfaction and the first to get accepted since "Demon Bone." Woot!

2) Read the interview with Dayle at http://carnifexpress.net/index.php?s=Dayle+A.+Dermatis. And then buy Clash of Steel: Assassins. It's an inexpensive chapbook that will fill any heroic fantasy cravings you may have, and it has one of her stories in it.