Sunday, May 24, 2009

And it's off!

Lions' Pride is back to the editor with time to spare.

My brain hurts, but I'm happy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My wedding story (for the Passionate Inkers)

I'd mentioned my two weddings on a post at the forum for Passionate Ink, the erotic romance chapter of RWA, and had several requests for the story. Posting the story in that thread didn't make sense, but this blog feeds to the forum, so here you go, ladies (and anyone else who's curious.)

OK, ladies, the wedding story. Quite simple, really.

Himself and I got engaged in March of 2002. We'd been together for eight years by that time so we didn't feel any need for a long engagement. We didn't want an elaborate traditional wedding--I'm a pagan, so an outdoor ceremony felt more appropriate, and the symbolism of the big white floofy dress just didn't work for me. (Red leather, maybe. White floof, not so much.) We decided to get married in our backyard on Midsummer, have a potluck barbecue that we knew would rock thanks to our wonderful foodie friends, and wear Cavalier outfits just because it would be fun. (Have I mentioned we're in the SCA?)

There was only one hitch. My mom was the director of a small museum at the time--a Victorian house that was often rented out for weddings. And there was a wedding on that day at the museum, so she needed to be there. For what it's worth, she offered us the museum for our wedding, but all our friends would have had to travel from New England, except for the ones making the trek from California, and her town's over an hour from the nearest airport and six hours by car from Boston. Too much hassle--and I wanted outdoors.

We all felt strongly that Mom needed to be there. So we arranged for a JP ceremony on a date Mom could attend, which happened to be just after May day/Beltaine. Nice little ceremony attended by Mom and Jeff's brother and his wife, a big dinner at a local bistro, and that was that.

Six weeks later, we had the big party in the fancy clothes, presided over by a couple of special friends as high priest and high priestess. And guess what? The couple whose wedding Mom was supposed to shepherd broke up. Sad for them, good for us--we had Mom at both weddings.

This seemed especially important because between the two ceremonies, Himself's father passed away, leaving Mom as the last surviving parent in our family. It was good to have her there to honor on our special day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Deep in edits

I'm madly doing edits and requested rewrites for Lions' Pride. I'm delighted with Linda's comments and suggestions overall; they'll make the book stronger without changing my tone.

A few things I've found especially interesting in this process:

1) How much Sophie Mouette's style slipped into this book in places. We were finishing Out of the Frying Pan when I started Lions' Pride--I wrote the first chapter in Oregon, across the table from Dayle while she worked on the next installment of OOTFP--and working on other projects together on and off. Sometimes I fell the style that works so well for romantic comedy--short paragraphs; clever breezy dialogue, lots of cute, conversational asides--which doesn't work so well for a dark paranormal. The tension in a romantic comedy, aside from the sexual, is largely verbal, and clever word games works. Past a point, they distract in something with real suspense.

2) Things that seem obvious to me aren't to other people. This is because the inside of my head is a strange place at times. I had a bit where a character was thinking the phrase "her One True Love (capital letters and all)." Now, I think this was an example of #1--while it seemed natural for this particular character to have wise-ass thought patterns, even under deep stress, it was too flip for the moment. But I was also reminded from Linda's reaction that thinking in typography is not something everyone does--and was certainly not something this character, who's smart but not bookish--would do.

3) In real life, I try to diffuse tense situations with humor. In writing, I do the same thing for my characters. Joss Whedon is brilliant with this--think Xander or Wash, who can come up with one-liners that add to the tension because they remind you how much you love these characters. But I don't always do it deliberately and brilliantly like Joss does. Sometimes my subconscious pulls back from the drama and pain of the moment and injects something that lets me get on with the dirty business of torturing my characters. Which is fine as long as I recognize these moments in the editing stage and fix or axe them.

4) I use like too often, and rely too heavily on adverbs. I also use She heard, she saw instead of stating what she heard and saw more directly. Hrrm.

Friday, May 01, 2009

This explains so much...

I subscribe to an email list called The Daily Om, little essays on spirituality and growth, basically. Sometimes they're silly, sometimes they're insightful--and one in a while, one makes me say, "Oh, yeah."

Ever since Lions' Pride was accepted, I've had little urge to write and now, two weeks later, am finally turning back to it. It didn't make sense. Shouldn't I be excited to dive in to my other projects? I think today's piece offers a little insight. While creating the novel concluded some time ago, the subsequent project of selling the book was pretty major in itself...

Permission To Simply Be
Working Through Transitions
The elation we feel when we have learned an important lesson, achieved a goal, or had a big breakthrough can sometimes be met with a period of downtime afterward. During this period of transition, we may feel unsure and not know where to turn next. Many people, during the pause between achievements, begin to wonder what their life is about. These feelings are common and strike everyone from time to time. Human beings are active creatures—we feel best when we are working on a project or vigorously pursuing a goal. But there is nothing inherently wrong with spending a day, a week, or even a month simply existing and not having a plan. Just be. It won’t be long before you embark upon your next voyage of growth and discovery.

The quiet lull into we which we fall between ideas, projects, and goals can make life seem empty. After accomplishing one objective, you may want to move immediately on to the next. However, when your next step is unclear, you may feel frustrated, disconnected, or even a mild depression. You may even perceive your lack of forward momentum as an indicator of imminent stagnation. To calm these distressing thoughts, try to accept that if your intent is personal growth, you will continue to grow as an individual whether striving for a specific objective or not. Spending time immersed in life’s rigors and pleasures can be a cathartic experience that gives you the time you need to think about what you have recently gone through and leisurely contemplate what you wish to do next. You may also find that in simply being and going through the motions of everyday life, you reconnect with your priorities in a very organic, unforced way.

The mindful transitional pause can take many forms. For some, it can be a period of reflection that helps them understand how their life has unfolded. For others, it can be a period of adjustment, where new values based on recent changes are integrated into daily life. Just because you’re not headed swiftly to a final destination doesn’t mean you should assume that you have lost your drive. The stage between journeys can become a wonderful period of relaxation that prepares you for the path that will soon be revealed to you.

Jazz Age Vampires and other fun stuff

F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Dracula? Why not? It's coming soon to the erotica section of a book store near you. My story "Blood and Bootleg" features a flapper with a dark side and a vampire who doesn't quite know what he's getting himself into, and it will be appearing in The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica, edited by D.L. King. (Who also edited Where the Girls Are, which Sophie Mouette has a story in, and Dayle does as well.)

Isn't the cover pretty? My story calls for a hot man rather than a sexy goth chick, but hey, I like sexy goth chicks too. And check out the TOC. I'm in great company.

Midnight at Sheremetyevo by Remittance Girl
Wait Until Dark, Montresor by Thomas S. Roche
The Temptation of Mlle. Marielle Doucette by Anna Black
Kiss and Make Up by Lisette Ashton
The Student by Sommer Marsden
Red By Any Other Name by Kathleen Bradean
Enlightenment by Amber Hipple
Blood and Bootleg by Teresa Noelle Roberts
Fair Play by G. B. Kensington
Advantage by Ciara Finn
The Communion of Blood and Semen by Maxim Jakubowski
Nightlife by Madeleine Oh
Takeout or Delivery? by Evan Mora
Devouring Heart by Andrea Dale (that's Dayle)
Wicked Kisses by Michelle Belanger
Fourth World by Lisabet Sarai
Turn by Nikki Magennis
Cutter by Kristina Wright
Once An Addict... by A.D.R. Forte

I'm pretty darn excited about this. Fall 2009 is going to be a fine paranormal season for me.

Now if I can just finish any of the WIPs. It's so hard to sit down and write in spring. You see I'm an avid gardener as well as a writer, and in spring I tend to stay outside until it's dark and I'm happily exhausted. I'm almost relieved it's going to rain this weekend!