September 30, 2010

Smut Marathon 6 is up!

A little last in posting (blogging schedule? what blogging schedule?), but Smut Marathon 6 is up and looking for votes! It's looking to be stiff competition already, so get out there and cast some votes!

Thankful Thursday

A lot of frustrating things going on today, and this week in general. But here are a few things I'm thankful about, just to keep things in perspective.

I'm thankful to have some paid work.

Thankful for great friends who know how to make sushi.

Thankful for a lot of fun events happening this weekend - an all-day movie party on Saturday, a day trip to Fredericksburg on Sunday for Oktoberfest.

Thankful for flirtation, for feeling really special for the first time in weeks.

Thankful for dancing. Lots of dancing.

September 26, 2010

Sunday Pleasures

Yesterday, my best friend and I had the opportunity to go on the Austin Duck Adventures tour. You get to see the sights of Austin, learn a little bit of city trivia, and the boat goes on the water and takes you around the lake for a bit. It's quite fun, though I imagine it would be more so if I could afford to rent a BYOB tour boat for my friends . . .

Dinner last night took place at Apothecary. It's a new-ish business, and one of my favorite places to drink. They have a lovely menu with a good selection of vegetarian fare. In addition to tasty panini and salad, my companion and I split a bottle of Vinho Verde, which is hands-down my favorite wine.

Both of these Saturday enjoyments were financed in part by Groupon. Seriously, Groupon is one of my favorite things! Okay, sometimes you don't always get the best deal, but if you know how to work it, you end up getting entirely free brunches and things like that. And membership is free. Okay, since I'm plugging Groupon already, this URL is also a referral code. If I've convinced you to sign up, do so via the referral code link so I can get some mad props from Groupon.

Up for today: nothing scheduled! I'll probably take the time to get some freelance work done, and I'd like to go play minature golf if the weather is nice, but otherwise it looks to be a relaxing Sunday. Huzzah!

Flash-Fuck-Tion Roundup Part 1

A few weeks ago, Alison Tyler put out a call for flash erotica on her blog. She meant for it to be a contest, but then got far more submissions than expected, and decided to turn it into a sort of anthology, posting a new story every day or so, along with a beautiful photo that really illustrates the piece.

Here's a roundup of the first few stories:

Breathe by Aisling Weaver

In the Train by Emma Hillman

Silent Images by Ruby Kiddell

Subway by The Curator

Music, Her Release by Andrea Dale

(Note to authors: If I missed one, let me know! I'll include it in Part 2!)

September 21, 2010

Writer Humor!

20 Reasons Not to Date Writers.

#2, #6, #9, #13, and #16 all apply to me. Just so you know. In case you were interested. *giggle*

Okay. Time for some serious writing . . .

Confession Tuesday

I confess that so far, a three-times-a-week updating schedule is not something I'm even coming close to sticking to at this point. But I also realize that I can't just be annoyed with myself for not keeping up with the near-daily blogging I was doing for four or five months. My writing is in a slightly different place right now. I'm retreating a bit, not trying to constantly create new stuff, focusing on research, reflection, and planning. I don't have a lot to blog about because I don't want to make my ideas public while they're still no new. I also realized that last year, my blogging took a nosedive in the second half of the year and didn't pick up again until April. I think this is just part of a cycle I need to go through.

I confess that I'm embarking on yet another project, an anthology this time, with Round Rock author Reesa Brown. No details just yet, but this is going to be a book that really pushes some boundaries (in a good way). I'll release more once we get past the initial planning stages, but once again, we don't want to put something into the world that's so new. Anyway, we're outlining submission guidelines for entries, creating a query for publishers, and researching those publishers. My goal is to have 15 large publishers and 15 small publishers by the end of the week that look like good starting points. It's so much easier to find potential small presses than large ones, especially because we're going at this without an agent, and many large houses restrict themselves to people with agents. I've found 7 large companies, and I really feel like I've hit the end, but I'm sure there are more out there. Just need to keep digging . . .

I confess I have severe writer's block for the next round of Smut Marathon. I have an idea, I have a loose outline . . . and I can't write. I just can't write. Like I said, my brain is in "planning" mode rather than "creating" mode. But sometimes, you just have to make it work. My piece will be done by the deadline. I'll get there. I just have to be patient with myself. Unless it's Friday and I'm not done. Then no more patience.

September 14, 2010

Confession Tuesday

I confess that now that I'm no longer committed to some kind of writing-a-day project, I'm blogging less. Since I'm not as accountable to getting things done, I feel there's less to report on. However, I'm going to try to start working out a blogging schedule of some kind. I think I want to post on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, as these tend to be my least-busy, most blogging-friendly days of the week. However, I tried to implement that this week and so far have skipped Sunday and am not sure I will have anything to post about tomorrow. So . . .  we'll see.

I confess that I'm writing and submitting less and focusing on research for my new novel (NaNoWriMo is only 6 weeks away!), and loving it. I enjoy having the chance to just learn and absorb information while letting my creative juices simmer. I'm also doing character sketches/exercises every single day. I can't wait for the writing process to begin!

I confess that I want a new laptop even though I don't really need one.

I confess that I completed therapy today. It was open-ended, and I had realized that I was nearing the end of my treatment. It's thrilling to realize all the work, time, and money paid off. And having an extra hour a week is nice, too.

I confess that real life has gotten in the way of a lot of my writing and researching this week, and it's really frustrating. It's hard to remember that life just goes this way sometimes, and the best thing I can do is just relax and know that I will give my work the attention it deserves when I am able.

I confess that I have a new dry erase board in my room to help keep my stories organized, and I love it. It feels great to look at my wall and see my progress, even if the progress isn't going as fast as I'd like.

I confess that I'm ridiculously nervous about the Lusty Literati Erotic Reading tonight. Terrified. Absolutely terrified. It will be great. But tell that to my nerves.

Reminder: Lusty Literati Event Tonight!

Just a reminder that the Lusty Literati Reading takes place tonight in Austin, TX, at the United States Art
Authority. Come one, come all!

The reading is free, but please support the Art Authority by purchasing a beer, cocktail, or soda from the bar.

Survived Round 5, Off to Celebrate Good Fortune

I survived Smut Marathon Round 5 with "The Tell" coming in towards the middle of the pack. I admit, I was nervous about my chances of making it this time. I had never written a mystery before, so it was quite the challenge, especially with a limit of 500 words. But I did it, and I did it well! I'm really pleased with myself and my fellow competitors.

Now off to start thinking about the next story. The prompt is "Good Fortune," and I get a whole 750 words this time! Whee!

New Story Up at Bare Back Magazine!

I'm excited to announce my second appearance in Bare Back Magazine. Bare Back was the second site ever to publish one of my stories, so I'm thrilled for a repeat performance. They're a great source for free smut, so check them out!

September 8, 2010

Smut Marathon Round 5 is up! Vote!

Yikes! What with camping, and then adjusting back to normal life after camping, I completely forgot to post that Smut Marathon Round 5 is now up for voting! Nine erotic mysteries, 500 words or less. You have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday to cast your vote, so get going!

New story up at Sleep. Snort. Fuck

One of my stories, "Saturday Morning," is up at the fabulous Sleep. Snort. Fuck. I love this blog! They're new to the game, and publishing excellent work. I'm thrilled to be a part of their site.

Drabble Reflection

I've now completed the 100 Drabbles of Summer Challenge. I did finish a bit early - I was told the challenge was supposed to end on Labor Day, and I knew I'd be camping through Labor Day weekend, so I wrote ahead in order that I would have all posts up and done while I was in the midst of rural Texas without internet access. But as it turns out, there are fewer than 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so there are a few more days of the challenge, and I'm done much earlier than expected. Ah well. Now I will know for next year.

I started the challenge as part of the Character Loft community on Livejournal. Most of the people there were doing their drabbles to develop characters for original stories, fanfic, or RPGs. I was one of the only participants who was not using the drabble challenge to work on character development. My goal was to simply write standalone stories. It was interesting being a part of the community and having different goals from most of the people there. It was fun to see the other participants work out there characters, but I did feel a little alone as one of the few writers who was not character-focused. Still, it's a great community, and I look forward to spending more time there as I begin character development for my new novel.

My final two drabbles actually were character development pieces for a story I got an idea for just as the challenge was winding down. As you might have read, they're intense. I haven't actually used the drabbles in the story - they ended up not working in the draft. But I'm glad I wrote them; they were a good foundation for getting into the heads of my characters.

I also wrote a lot of non-erotic drabbles. I started with the intention of writing erotica, but some days my creativity was in a different place. So I let myself do whatever I wanted. Post-breakup, my erotic drabbles nearly disappeared, given the abrupt shift in my mood, which was fine. I actually used drabbles for a lot of post-breakup venting. It was extremely helpful and cathartic. Plus, I found that writing breakup drabbles actually was helpful in my grieving process. I sat down, wrote 100 words that reflected how I was feeling, and then didn't feel the need to dwell on it for several hours. The concentrated period of letting things out left me much more capable of remaining productive while dealing with loss.

I've learned that drabbles are an excellent way to remain productive when you're stuck. Some days, I just wasn't feeling inspired. But I still had to meet my challenge. And if you're feeling blocked, convincing yourself to only write 100 words is a lot less daunting than tackling a larger project. It was pretty easy to motivate myself to just do a drabble even if I didn't feel motivated. Often, the act of writing the drabble opened up the floodgates. And if it didn't - well, I'd met my challenge for the day. I gave myself a pass to do research, errands, or chores.

And above all, writing drabbles helped me with concision. Most of my drabbles were too long and I spent much of my time on them paring the pieces down to exactly 100 words. It made me realize that I use a lot of unnecessary adjectives and otherwise give details that don't necessarily advance my story. My writing is gradually becoming cleaner as the result of the drabble challenge.

This is the first time since April that I am not involved in some sort of writing-a-day challenge. April was NaPoWriMo, May was Story-A-Day, and then I immediately launched into drabbles. It's refreshing to have some time of from challenge mode while I gear up for NaNoWriMo in November. Not being obligated to write a new piece every single day leaves me more time for the research I'm doing for my new novel. Plus, it's nice to be on a bit of a hiatus - I'm still working, but there's no pressure to do something new every day. But I do enjoy such challenges, and I look forward to participating in them all again next year. They were a wonderful boon to my creativity and my productivity, and have made me an overall better writer.

September 6, 2010

Victory! Drabble #100

Prompt: Author's choice
Inspiration: New story I'm working on; photo by Paul G

The pills were the worst part of treatment. Having my autonomy stripped away was one thing. Losing my friends and family, my community - that was another. But being married to you gave me a taste of total dependence, so I was prepared for that. Being married to you had meant distance from everyone else I loved, so I adjusted quickly. Those pills, on the other hand, they zapped my brain so I couldn’t even think straight, couldn’t even begin to process what had happened, couldn’t even heal. And every time the fog lifted, it was time for another dose.

Drabble #99

Prompt: Author's choice
Inspiration: New story I'm working on; photo by Derrick Tyson

I always saw your rage eking out of your consciousness. No matter how I worked to control you, I always found your barbarism around the edges. That morning after I’d finally convinced you to quit your job (all that autonomy wasn’t good for you, it gave you too much room to think), I looked up from my newspaper and saw you glowering, your fork in your fist, poised for attack. I kept calm, pretended it didn’t matter, but I was terrified. After all I had done to help you, after staying in this marriage, you still wanted to kill me.

September 5, 2010

Drabble #98

Prompt: Author's choice
Inspiration: Karen Rubado

When she visited David, she learned that the most beautiful fruit is the most delicious - and also ugly. The grapefruits and oranges he picked from his trees and gave her for breakfast were nothing like what she’d grown up with in the grocery stores. They were mottled yellow and washed-out green, uneven and dull-skinned. But they tasted vibrant and alive. This was the week she learned a new definition for freshness. She hasn’t eaten citrus since she returned home, can’t stand the blandness of attractive fruit, thinks the produce here is hideous with its shiny rind and watery flavor.

September 4, 2010

Drabble #97

Prompt: Author's Choice
Inspiration: San Antonio

This is where we didn’t go. It was supposed to be the last in that tome of compromises, of postponements made until everything else got better. I was always waiting for your life to catch up. My well of patience was infinitely deep for you. Every time I thought it had run dry, there would always be dewdrops on the walls the next morning, the vessel full by noon. Even now, with so many items on the list unfinished, the only one I mind is San Antonio. Even now, my well remains an oasis in the desert of our history.

September 3, 2010

Drabble #96

Prompt: Author's Choice
Inspiration: Krause Springs

This is where I went to escape you. I drank too much beer, but I didn’t swim until I was sober, because while I wanted to indulge, I did not want to be reckless. I smoked because I even though I shouldn’t, the cigarettes tasted so good with the beer. I swam the sweat away, but was happier sitting in the sun, feeling warm again. I talked with a kindred spirit I didn’t know all that well, but know much better now. I am grateful that this bad experience brought me closer to her. There is always a silver lining.

September 2, 2010

Drabble #95

Prompt: Author's Choice
Inspiration: Enchanted Rock

This is where I went to escape you. I went in the middle of an August day, without a hat, sunscreen, or water, intent on burning out the past. I managed to lose a layer of skin, but that wasn’t enough. I managed to get heat exhaustion, but history did not evaporate. Still, it felt good to feel cascading sweat, to be baptized in my own liquid, to carry the weight of saltwater all the way back down and on the long drive home. It was a relief to feel exhausted, to shower away the day, to finally sleep well.

September 1, 2010

Drabble #94

Prompt: Author's choice
Inspiration: Fredericksburg, Texas

This is where I went to escape you. I was self-conscious of my queerness there, but the fact is that it was the first time I felt conscious of anything at all for the first time in days, and so it felt good to be awkward, felt good to be insecure. I ate German food, I bought wine and beer, I let the locals look at me, know I was one of those Austin kids that comes out to loaf and spend money. It felt good to have an identity, to spend a day doing what all these strangers expected.