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I Feel Accomplished

June 11, 2014

I did finish Of the Flesh, and it’s in my editor’s hands at the moment. I’d been shooting for 8,000 words, but the short finished at just over 7,000. I didn’t want to pad it for the sake of word count. I think it’s a tight, good short that fits perfectly with the theme.

So! If you’d like to read something of mine before Human Rights comes out, be sure to buy Blood Embrace, since I’m in very good company with that anthology. :D

Now! I’m back to poking at Lessons in Cowboy (novel) and Fever Dream (short story for the Devout anthology SMP is putting out in August). I feel so accomplished! I’d thought I’d lost the writing mojo, and maybe I did for a while, but it’s back! *does a happy dance*

New Short Story WIP: “Of the Flesh”

June 9, 2014

So! This Friday, K. Piet and I have a short story coming out in the Storm Moon Press anthology Blood Embrace. It’s a gay vampire anthology, and it has us, D.K. Jernigan, Kelly Wyre, and Katya Harris, and it’s a great little romp of vampy goodness.

It’s available now for pre-order, though the current blurb isn’t the final one. Sorry! Still waiting on that to go up! I think it should be up sometime today or tomorrow. But, I wanted to give you a brief taste of our offering in the anthology, Of the Flesh, which is about a priest who has captured the vampire who turned his twin brother some years before.

The vampire grinned at him. “Are you actually trying to exorcise me?”

Hyde ignored it, focusing on the ritual, on the words. “They shall lay their hands upon the sick and all will be well with them. May Jesus, Son of Mary, Lord and Savior of the w—”

“You’re really going to say the whole thing, aren’t you?” The vampire tilted his head. “Aww. That’s so adorable.”

This time, Hyde faltered. The words. He had to continue with the words. “May Jesus, Son of Mary, Lord and Savior of the world, through the merits and intercession of His holy apostles Peter and Paul and all His saints, show you favor and mercy.”

“No demon controls me, boy.” The vampire growled, half-animal, half-human. “I am as I choose to be. I am what all men could be without your pitiful, choking morality. You are the one allowing your actions to be dictated by an invisible, supernatural force. I, on the other hand, am merely free.”

Hyde stopped and looked up from the book, frowning. “Free?” He scoffed and motioned with the cross to the room. “You may want to re-examine your surroundings. You don’t look very free to me. In fact, you look like you’re strapped to a fucking chair that’s bolted to a floor.”

“Do I?” The vampire planted its feet and leaned forward in the chair, ripping the bolts out of the ground. The strain and the additional contact with the blessed wood sets bits of its clothing on fire. Another flex of muscles and the shackles Hyde had put around the vampire’s wrists snapped, leaving the vampire standing, unencumbered, an amused light to its eyes. “How do I look now?” The beast sat back down, motioning indulgently with a hand. “Please, pray continue. I believe you were up to the first chapter of John’s gospel. Let me get you started.” He tilted his head for a moment, thinking, and then recited, “When time began, the Word was there, and the Word was face to face with God, and the Word was God. This Word, when time began, was face to face with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him there came to be—”

“Stop!” Hyde slammed the book shut. “You taint God’s word with your tongue.”

The vampire gave him a toothy grin. “It’s not the only thing I could taint with my tongue.”

“Lessons in Cowboy” Playlist (1 of 3)

June 6, 2014

I have 30 songs currently in this playlist, but I’m going to share them over the course of three posts. This is the music I listen to on repeat as I work on Lessons in Cowboy. :) The first 10 today are what randomly played while I worked today on the manuscript.

Dwight Yoakam – Ain’t That Lonely Yet
Travis Tritt – I’m Gonna Be Somebody
Clint Black – A Bad Goodbye
Shontelle – Hello to Goodbye
Steve Grand – All-American Boy
Waylon Jennings – Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
Patty Smyth and Don Henley – Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough
Toby Keith – Should’ve Been a Cowboy
Garth Brooks – The Red Strokes
Collin Raye – Someone You Used to Know

So, the last two don’t have YouTube videos I can link to. I don’t know about Collin Raye, but I do know Garth Brooks is an ass about his music being available for digital download and on services like YouTube. The other note I have is about Toby Keith. Now, personally, I think he’s an asshole and I dislike him as a person, but I do like… two… of his songs. XD This just happens to be one of them. So… yeah! Here is the first third of my Lessons in Cowboy playlist!

Short Story Push

June 4, 2014

I have to write a short story in seven days. @_@ I am co-authoring it with K. Piet, but it’s a very tight deadline even for us. I started it last night, and I’m 414 words in. I’m going to hit it hard this morning and try to bring it up to 1,500 words before passing it off to K. when she wakes up this afternoon (she works night shifts, so doesn’t get up until 2pm or so). I know we can do it, it just means 1,500 word days for the next few days, minimum.

When K. has the manuscript, I’m going to pet away at Lessons in Cowboy and another short that has to be done by the end of June (called Fever Dream). We’re about 13,500 into that 70K manuscript, but I’m hoping to get it finished by the end of July/early August so it can come out around Yule/Christmas. After that, it’s only Immortal Symphony: Counterpoint and Under the Strawberry Moon. Once those two manuscripts are done and out to the editors, I’ll pick up 52 Weeks again.

This is the first time I’ve been excited to write in about a year. Planning RainbowCon in the latter half of 2013, losing Dorian at the beginning of 2014, and then losing Little Boy right after RainbowCon… it sort of made writing difficult. It’s hard to be creative when stressed and grieving. But, I think I’m back on a roll. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I don’t want to fall into another block again. I want to write! *laughs* So, it’s back to writing the two shorts for me today before passing them back to K. before she heads off to work this evening.

“Human Rights” Is Done!

June 2, 2014

I began working on Human Rights March 6th, 2012. It was the first manuscript I’d begun on my own that wasn’t a short story in years, and I was so sure I’d be done with it by the end of the year.

But, stuff happened. And stuff kept on happening.

I picked it back up in March, though, determined to finish it. I had people emailing me about it, and I wanted to give them the story they’d been waiting so long for. Then RainbowCon happened, and that threw all of April and half of May out from under me. But, a week or so ago, I dove back in, and…

I FINISHED IT!

:D! \o/ I am so damned happy!

It’s done at 32,842 words, though that may change through editing. It’s with my editor at the moment, and we have a release date set for August 1, 2014!

I am so fucking happy, and it’s such a relief. I can now move on, go back to my co-authored projects with K. Piet. First one on the docket is Lessons in Cowboy, which I know a lot of people are impatiently waiting for. ;) I’m hoping to have it in our editor’s hands by Thanksgiving. Then, we have a lesbian werewolf novella planned and the second Immortal Symphony book. I’ll leave you with a new teaser from Human Rights

Every year, the city lit up with the Spring Festival. Streets were crammed with stalls selling clothing, shoes, art, food. Jiat took me into one of the crowded streets, his collar warm on my throat and his leash leading me through the throng safely. My feet were clad in new sandals, and I had been recently groomed by Kosi. I thought everyone had to know how Jiat and I lived, loved, as if it were a mark on my very flesh, but no one gave us a second look. I didn’t feel safe, but I also wasn’t afraid. As long as I continued to behave as I had before all things changed, no one would be the wiser. I kept my eyes downcast and my feet three steps behind Jiat.

So much life around us! Myraid voices echoed in my ears, and I stole glimpses here and there. The sun was bright, the breeze cool, and the colors and scents from each stall beckoned me. Jiat stopped at several of the stalls, buying bits of art, a new loincloth, and six books. I carried what I could, but by midday, my stomach ached with hunger. I didn’t want to be too forward as I stood there, Jiat talking with one of the beautiful, caramel colored cats outside sweets stall. She didn’t look to be of noble birth or pure bloodline, and Jiat laughed when she spoke of her betrothed’s drunken antics the previous night. I wondered about their marriage customs. I’d never been kept long enough—or by someone unattached—to even know how the felines and canines married and bred. I chewed on that, lost in my own thoughts, until a gentle tug at my least brought me back to the present. The female had disappeared into the stall, and Jiat was grinning at me.

“Daydreaming?” he asked.

I shook my head. “There’s so much to look at!” I couldn’t help but smile back at him. “And… and my stomach is very empty.”

Jiat nodded. “It’s well after noon. I know a perfect food stall that sells pastries filled with savory meats.” My eyes must have lit up because Jiat laughed and began to lead me through the crowd once more. “Pastries and perhaps some dandelion wine, and then we will return home.”

“My mouth is watering already,” I said, a slight, excited hop to my steps. When we neared the stall, there was a short line. Jiat took me to a small part of grass between two stalls, attaching my leash to one of the stakes set there for just that purpose.

“I won’t be long,” Jiat promised. “You can sit, if you like. The grass is cool and soft. I’ll bring the food back, and we can eat it as we begin home.”

I watched him go to the stall and step in line. As long as I could see him, I didn’t worry. Maybe, if this had been within the first few weeks with Jiat, I would have panicked. But not now. Now, I closed my eyes and turned my face up to the sun. Sitting on the cool grass was an inviting proposition, but Jiat had said he’d be quick. And I’d just been groomed, too. No, I’d stand and wait.

Progress!

May 20, 2014

I finished the seventh chapter of Human Rights tonight! First time writing since March, and it felt really good. Another 1,500 words down. 20,000 more to go, and then it’s done. I know if I focus and devote a handful of hours to it each day, I could finish those 20K in about a week. I just… need to do it.

Kris and Roger will be at Anime North from Thursday evening until Sunday evening, so I’ll have the house to myself for three whole days. If I push, really push, maybe I can get a huge chunk of that 20K done and out of the way. I’d like to have this novel done and to my editor by the end of July. I’m giving myself plenty of time, but of course, the sooner, the better.

But, yay! I may actually have a release in the fall!

Been A While! RainbowCon + Writing + Life

May 8, 2014

I had every intention on posting once a week, but… yeah. RainbowCon broke my brain.

RainbowCon
This… was my first year heading a con of any kind. Oh, the things I learned! XD

I had a great time regardless of all the bumps. So much laughing happened in the Hospitality Suite (were I was 99% of the time)! Lots of conversations. I met a lot of authors I’d only ever spoken to over email or the phone. Cari Z is one awesome lady! I’m so glad I got to give her hugs. And Kassa! I’ve adored her since I first stumbled onto her blog many years ago, and having met her in person, I adore her still. There were just so many lovely authors and readers and bloggers that came in and chatted with me, plus I got to meet/hang out with the folks that help make SMP as great as it is. Having a week with Kathleen Tudor was a lot of fun, and we miss her around the house like whoa.

In the end, the laughter and talks and all the information shared was great. I can’t wait for 2015. We’ve already begun the ball rolling for that one. The hotel is secured for the next two years, the site is up, and we’ll be opening up registration in July. 2015 is going to be so exciting!

Writing
I haven’t been writing. The first four months of 2014 were sucked away by RainbowCon. This month is trying to get SMP stuff back on track. I’m crossing my fingers that writing will begin again by June. I want to finish Human Rights and Lessons in Cowboy, as readers have been poking me about them for a while. I just need to get everything settled down this month so I can free up the second half of the year for a few writing projects.

Life
I’m still up and down emotionally. I was grieving Dorian heavily at the start of the year. It even spilled out during one afternoon at RainbowCon. I was sharing picture and video with Kassa and some others in the Hospitality Suite, and… I just started crying. Everyone was great, letting me grieve while also enjoying my stories, but… it was a hard thing.

And when we returned home, our eldest cat, Little Boy, became very ill. By the end of April, he’d had a stroke and was dying. We helped him over to the Rainbow Bridge on April 30th, and we brought his ashes home a couple of days ago. I was actually surprised by the depth of my grieving of Little Boy, and I’m still down about it. Sometimes, I think I hear him meowing and go to look for him, but… he’s not here.

Also, when we came home from RainbowCon, we brought Easter Lilies home with us. They were a gift from the hotel, and while I’d warned everyone they were poisonous for cats, Kone still got at them. He’s still recovering from that ordeal, and we can’t help but continue worrying about him. Mama Kitty also became very ill over the last week and a half, so we’ve been limping her along. She’s much better now, though, and we’re immensely relieved.

But! The fun thing is… the Monday after RainbowCon, we picked up a sibling pair of 7 week old kittens. :D Gray and Joshua have been a delight to have in our home. They’ve brought a lot of laughter during very dark times. :) They’re also growing like weeds!

So… yeah. A bit of a catch up! I hope everyone else is having a great 2014!

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