I guess it's a good thing that I'm looking at my schedule over the next month and it's crazy busy. My biggest priority is Saints and Sinners. No, wait, it's getting my story for the flogger anthology polished way before the due date. Unless it's finishing the first draft of my genderqueer Japanese rope bondage tale. And then there are the readings, the Lammys, starting the rewrite of my novel, following up on another novel submission, getting to work on an anthology, BookExpo America...
This is when my time starts looking like puzzle pieces and I have to try to find a way to make everything interlock and fit. Either that, or take hammer to it and force the issue.
I finally finished my first draft on the flogger story. It took longer than it should have because I had to go back and make the dialog and thoughts fit the narrator's background. I didn't usually have that problem, but I started it off in third person, where I can use my vocabulary, and switched it to first person. That's another thing I don't usually do. Stories come to me in a certain way and they normally work in that voice. This one didn't.
It's hard to explain what makes a story work or not work for me. Words are ideas and ideas have no weight, but on the page, they either feel cumbersome or they have what I call deep edges. When I first sat down to write this, the words stumbled across the page with all the grace of a bear on roller skates. Like the bear, I felt like the words were grumpily going through the routine, but only if I kept prodding them. Switching into first person was like switching from clay wheels on grass to polyurethane on oiled wood (if I'm going to keep the roller skating idea here). Suddenly, it flowed much better. Once I fixed the problem with putting my voice into the character's mouth and let him have his own, it came together like... okay, I'm out of roller skating ideas here. I thought of going back and changing it to ice skating and throwing in a triple lutz, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Oh - I have a reading slot at Saints and Sinners, but I'm not sure which day yet. I am, of course, terrified. Thank the gods that I'll know almost everyone in the room. Oh wait - that might not be a good thing. I was going to read some boy smut, but since Haunted Hearths is coming out soon, I think I'll read from Words Like Candy Conversation Hearts. It lends itself to performance better than my smut pieces do.
I'll also be reading at A Different Light in North Hollywood the same night as the Lammys with some other writers. If you want more details, drop me a private line.