A couple weeks ago, I told a friend that I had something scheduled every weekend between now and the middle of December. Unfortunately, that wasn't stretching the truth.
For some reason, a bunch of anthologies I wanted to submit to had October 15th deadlines. As I struggled with stories for each of them, I realized I had to give up on most of them. One polished story going out is so much better than five half-assed ones. So I went with my strongest tale and grudgingly gave up on the others. I'm still not happy about it. Three more anthologies I'm interested in have mid-November deadlines. I hope to make all three, but I have a feeling it's going to come down to priorities again. (For the very dear fan who wrote and asked for more Ophir and Chris stories, I promise that the plan is to make one of these stories about them)
Last weekend was family. Big family party on Saturday, followed by a day at The Land (Disneyland) on Sunday. I'm the only non-Disney geek in the clan, so after twelve hours, I was ready to go. Luckily (this is the only time I'll say this about my job) I have to be at work 6:30 AM. That's a valid excuse to leave before the fireworks. Yay!
That should have been the end of that, but oh no.
In September, I joined the Erotica Readers and Writers association review staff. For November's entry, I had two companion books to read instead of the usual one. Then, of course, I have my ongoing commitment to Erotica Revealed. So that was three anthologies to read and then review. I sent off the last review last night.
October 30th, I have a reading at In The Flesh L.A. at the Hustler Hollywood store. If you're in town, please come. I have yet to start practicing for that reading. And yes, you have to practice for a reading. It's a performance after all. That means timing myself on several read throughs and smoothing out any sections that are tongue traps. If I don' t have time to do the whole story, I have to choose which part will have the most impact, or I have to condense it. Either way, it will take me at least three evenings to prep for it.
But wait, there's more. There's always more. And for this, I only have myself to blame.
My editor has been waiting patiently for a week to see my edits on a YA novel. That I'm starting tomorrow. (I promise Shawn, I really do.) Once I get stared, it usually goes fairly fast. I'm not the type to argue of most edits. However, I know I'm going to have to re-write one scene that includes a blow job. As a writer, my editor doesn't want to change the scene as written because it's a rather raw and honest, but we both understand the realities of the market and know it simply won't fly as written. It would seem easy enough to rewrite, but there are some heavy emotional buttons being pushed in that scene and I have to substitute the unacceptable part with something that's acceptable but that still has the same impact on the characters. I have an inkling of how I can get around this, but until I'm submerged back into it, I'm not sure if it will work. The sad thing about our society is that the casual brutality in the story is perfectly acceptable, but a blow job? Egads.
And then there's...
I agreed to be a judge for the EPPIES again this year. I did eight or ten books last year. This year I'm reading 15. I think I've found the upper limit on the number of books I can read in the given time period. Yes, I read the entire book. Every word. Just the same as when I do a review. That's a lot of words to absorb. But it makes me grateful for the differing styles of writers, and the way storytellers can, from the first sentence of their work, make something fresh. Plus I always end up judging categories I don't usually read much of, so I get exposed to some cool reads I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own.
Okay. So that gets me through mid-November. I think I'm working a soccer tournament the weekend after that, plus there's Thanksgiving, and a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of December. Then I'm free and clear. Right? Please say right. Oh crap, I forgot about the edits on my other novel that are coming in December. *flips through calender* How far away is Saints and Sinners? I think I need some serious decompression time.