Sunday, September 30, 2007

Novella news

Novella news...
I should be squealing happily, but I'm actually reporting news I got a while back and (blush) forgot to post.

First off, Dayle and I have been asked to do a novella for a project that I'm not sure I can talk about in any detail yet, but is very exciting. Now we just have to get our schedules aligned properly and write it, because life has been a little crazy of late for both "Sophie" and "Mouette." Fortunately it's on the short end of novella length, almost a long short story, so once we get going, it should go fast.

Also, my novella Lady Sun Has Risen has been accepted by Phaze Books and will be out in January. Look here for more details as the date draws closer! This is an erotic romance in a fantasy setting, with an unabashedly alpha hero, a heroine who's smarter than she thinks she is some ways--and more naive in others--and involves two of my favorite subjects to write about, or read about, (or fantasize about, for that matter), spanking and sex magic. Sex magic involving spanking, even. I can't wait to see my cover for this one. Phaze has also commissioned me to expand a short story into a novella...woot!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poetry and shameless self-promotion

Poetry is still happening.
Fall is poetry season because it's beautiful and sensual and romantic and melancholy all at once, a slice from the Tale of Genji. It's a time to walk on deserted beaches and in brightly colored, dying woods, to wander in old cemeteries and invent stories for the forgotten lives and enigmatic epitaphs. A time when the colors are poignantly vivid, sharper than they have been under summer's hazy heat, before everything turns gray and muddy and snow-covered. A time to eat sharp, sweet Concord grapes that taste like home and tart, biting Cortland apples that are actually named for home, or at least one of my homes, to enjoy the fruits of the past summer and the fruits of the coming winter all at once--tomatoes and winter squash, stews and salads. A time to start baking again, and making stews and soups and other luscious comfort food. A time to snuggle with one's lovers after a long summer of being just too damn hot and sticky to think of it, to rediscover each other's bodies unmediated by sweat. A time to contemplate woodstoves and fireplaces and cashmere sweaters. A time of memory and magic and loss, a time when, for Celtic-path pagans at least, the year turns and the dead come, briefly, to pay a visit. This time of year always makes me think of those I've lost, although only my grandmother actually died in fall, and to cling to those I love.

A time for reflection and thus a time for poetry.


And now for a little more bragging.

The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica (featuring Teresa Noelle Roberts and Sophie Mouette) is in! Look for it on,, or your bookseller of choice.

And I have a poem, speaking of poetry, appearing online shortly--details to come when it's posted.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ich bin auf deutsch

Cat Scratch Fever is out in a German edition!

The title translates as "Sharp Claws," which isn't exactly the right idea, but isn't the cover pretty?

The only reason I know what the title means is because my lovely co-author either worked it out or asked Babel Fish. My German professors would have my head if they knew how much I'd forgotten! I read Goethe in the original once--but that was more than twenty years ago.

Fortunately Ursula "Kitten with a Whip" Beitter has long since forgotten me. Unfortunately Sydna "Bunny" Weiss passed away a few years after I graduated. Sad, that. Sydna was an inspiration in many ways. She taught me many valuable lessons, including that a grown-up could choose to have lousy furniture and an old car and save her pennies for travel and book-buying, and that smart women read erotica. The German lessons, though, didn't sink in so well.

(I realize, looking back, that Dr. Weiss, who seemed tremendously old way back then, was only a few years older when she died than I am now...and that Dr. Beitter, the "hot older woman" who lured all the frat boys to take German although she was one of the toughest professors on campus, was probably a decade younger than I am. How weird is that?)


Lately I feel like I've been doing everything other than being a writer.
Wife and partner? Check
Daughter? Check
Friend? Check
Fake accountant? (I'm not an accountant, but I'm in the accounting department and they keep calling me one...) Check
Cook, dishwasher, and general household goddess? Check
Cat-mom? Check (although the furry monsters will try to say otherwise)
Editor? Check
Book marketer? Check.
Allergy-sufferer? Oh, check! That's been a big one of late.
Writer...not so much.

Oh, writing has happened. And I'm even poking at poetry again, which will be the subject of another post: why fall and spring are poetry seasons, but summer isn't.

I just don't feel like it's been my focus. I can't regret my other roles (except for allergy-sufferer!) I'm especially grateful, after all of Mom's health scares, that I'm still blessed with the chance to be a daughter. But I need to put the writing in the forefront again, because boy howdy, I have a lot to do!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

a certain level of blah

We returned a week ago from a wonderful Boston-Bermuda cruise. Cruising is a very pampering experience and for me, a lover of history, natural beauty, and especially the ocean, Bermuda was magical. (Snorkeling! Peppercorn helmet dives that allow one to walk on the ocean floor and see the fish up close--with one's glasses on! Warm waves!) For the first time in I'm not sure how long, I had a week with absolutely no obligations, a true vacation. I brought the laptop with me but only turned it on when we wanted music in the cabin.

You'd think I'd feel rested, relaxed, recharged, and raring to go. Well, I'm rested, and raring to go--back to Bermuda.

But not back to work.

Instead, I'm seeing the flaws in my WIP far too clearly. (Note to self: Of course there are flaws. It's a bloody first draft, and it's rambling all over the place as first drafts are wont to do, and two characters probably need to be rolled into one, and it seems to be inventing its own subgenre. And one of the heroes has been a prisoner for something like 40,000 words, which means he's been much too passive and non-heroic for too long. But at this stage, it's okay that it's flawed. You can revise crap, but you can't revise a blank page.)

I'm not sure romance is what I should be writing at all. Hell, I'm not sure fiction is what I should be writing. I'm not convinced I have any ability to plot or characterize.

This despite two shelves of anthologies containing published stories and a novel, not to mention the novel published in serial form back in my twenties. Realistically, I must be doing something right. I'm not perfect. I do tend to make things too easy for my characters in the first draft (although in Lion's Pride I may have made things a bit too hard, given that I meant poor Jude to be freed from the bad guys' clutches several chapters ago, but the way I'd set things up, his lovers needed to do some major magic just to figure out where he was, let alone rescue him.) And I'm certainly not a fast writer.

But I also beat myself up too much: for not writing enough, for not being self-supporting as a writer, for not having a new poetry book ready to go on top of everything else, for having times when I just want a holiday weekend like everyone else gets, etc. For being me and not someone else, Nora Roberts maybe, or Stephen King (although I really wouldn't want to be Stephen King, given the shit he's put himself through over the years. Nora seems pretty sane and stable.)

Rant off. Now to write!