Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Movie Inside My Head

Many writers talk about "seeing" a movie of their story in their head. I don't know if every writer is like this, but I'm one of the "movie inside my head" people. It's tempting to transcribe what I'm seeing, but that doesn't quite work. I can tell when other writers do it, especially new writers, because they get bogged down in the details. I tell new writers tat what they're aiming for is a Impressionist's painting of the scene, not a technical diagram. If someone gets to the point where they're mentioning which hand is doing what (His left hand rested on her shoulder as he swept her bangs from her eyes with his right hand.) then they're micromanaging their characters and need to back off.

But that's not exactly what I meant to talk about. Helen and I are in a quiet period with our project because we both have things to wrap up first. I told her I was having visions, which is just another way of saying I'm getting brief flashes of story moments, like teaser trailers in a movie theater. So she told me to go ahead and run with it a bit. This time, for the first time, the movie in my brain is animated. That probably has a lot to do with the genre we plan to work in. We're aiming for Yaoi crossover.

I whipped up four pages on the opening sequence last night and sent them to her even though it will be a couple weeks before she gets to it. Any writer who has been in the thrall of a strong scene knows why I had to write it down. Sometimes after I come back to something I hate it, but this one is in medias res, as any good opening should be. It's got a bit of mystery (several), conflict, danger, action, drama, and shows a glimpse of the main characters in their "normal" life just before everything goes to hell. It is in keeping with the elements we talked about, but doesn't go too far into the story, so it's easily changed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


No, dears, not the kind of restraints you'd expect of me. No rope, leather, or metal. This time, I'm thinking of mental restraint. It's something I'm going to have to get used to if I'm going to work with a co-author.

I so used to taking story ideas and mulling them over in my own weird leapfrog tangential fashion that as Helen and I lobbed killer plot bunnies of doom at each other, I started building Frankenbunny with bits and pieces of the ones that splatted and stuck to the wall - so to speak. (If you're getting grotesque mental pictures of spaghetti sticking to the wall, but it doesn't look quite like spaghetti, and there's some red sauce involved, I apologize. No real plot bunnies were harmed, or disinterred and used for parts in my laboratory.*)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're working with someone, it's not quite cricket to grab the parts that look appetizing (sorry) and run off chuckling with fiendish glee. She's busy. I'm busy. We won't be free to pursue this until March. So I keep having to tell myself to have some mental restraint and not take off running with the story, because we have to develop this together. And I don't want to get to emotionally invested in my ideas before I know hers.

But it's hard. Some of those plot bunnies are giving me the come hither look. Even worse, they're beginning to seep into my dreams.

* as far as you know

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Never Gets Old

My YA novel is going to the printer today. *Extreme happy dance of joy* This is novel 3 for me, with 4 soon on the way, but it never gets old.

Writers seem to gripe about their covers a lot - sometimes with good reason - but my publisher has a form that allows us to have input (but not final say, of course) on cover art. For this novel, I simply wrote, "I have no idea." What they came back with is just breathtaking. I'm so happy with it. And I'm even happier that I didn't try to come up with an idea because I probably would have just mucked it up.

For several reasons, I'm not mentioning the novel title here, nor telling you what pen name I'm using, but if you know me and you want to see it, you know how to reach me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Killer Plot Bunnies of Doom!

Writers who work together amaze me. I have no idea how they do it. Last year at Saints and Sinners, I asked Timothy Lambert and BeckyCochrane lot of questions about how they work together. Poor dears. It probably felt like an interrogation. But talk about gracious! I learned at lot from them.

I also pepper Chris Owen and Jodi Payne with questions from time to time. (Look out Myc and Shanye - you may be next!)

The closest I've ever come is working on an anthology Beth Wylde is editing for Phaze. She gave us the setting and a couple main characters and let several writers run with it. I had a somewhat similar idea last year for an anthology and even pitched it and got it accepted, but had to drop it (with the blessing of my publisher, thank goodness) for my YA novel.

So I'm fascinated by people who can co-write, but didn't think I'd ever seriously consider it. But... it's too early to talk about anything, because we're still brainstorming like crazy about what kind of project we might possibly do if we can get it together, but Helen Madden has been a friend for years now, and we come up with eerily similar stories from time to time. I can't remember the title of her story (she'll hopefully post it in my comments) about a man who meets a Goddess at a bar at the end of the universe, but I remember reading it on the Erotica Readers and Writers Association Story Time list at the same time I was working on She Comes Stars. I swear we didn't talk about it beforehand, but as soon as I read hers, I thought "She's going to hate me forever because it looks as if I'm ripping off her idea." Luckily, she didn't hate me forever, but ever since then, when I get hit by a great story idea, I run through her stories and make sure she didn't get there first. She usually does. Her novel Demon By Day and my novel Chaos Magic have some elements common. (They're both great reads, for one.)

Even if it never amounts to anything, this creative conversation between us is spawning plot bunnies like a tribble on shore leave. For every one she lobs over to me, I'm sending a couple back. Result? I'm up to my knees in killer plot bunnies of doom.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Book News

My editor D.L. King sent the cover for Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. It's not out until June, but the cover is too cool to wait. My story Don't
Fuck With Country Girls
will probably make you laugh if you've ever had an internet hook-up go horribly wrong, and wished you could have gotten some sort of revenge on the psycho who wasted your time.

In other good news, Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades, or stories from it, seem to up for a slew of awards from the Golden Crown to Gaylatic Spectrum. Whoo-Hoo! Editor Catherine Lundoff is working her butt off to create buzz for this book. My story is Words Like Candy Conversation Hearts. Don't let the sweet title fool you. My ghost is malicious.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Galley Slave

Now I guess I should have taken a pic of the muscle queen muscle-bound non-dancer from Thunder Down Under, because nothing says galley slave like a sweaty, shirtless steroid case.

Of course, that's not the kind of galley I mean. I got the galley proof of
one of my novels from my publisher and I have to read through it for

I hate writing a synopsis. Blurbs are a little slice of hell. But galley reading? Dante's 6th,at least. You can't fix anything at this point but the little things
such as wrong words and those punctuation problems that appear out of

Does anyone else hate reading their own writing after a while? I've already read this thing about a zillion times, so one more shouldn't matter, but I'm dreading it. I have to act as if I've never read it and see what's actually on the page, not what I think I wrote. It's very slow going. It helps to read it aloud, but my voice is going to give out.

I'd love to hand this over to someone else to do, but only the author can proof a galley. Too bad. I could use a set of real galley slaves, and a golden barge so I could spend my days sailing the mighty Los Angeles River instead of, you know,

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Thunder From Down Under

Or why I'm an Epic Fail as a Girl.

This weekend, I went to see The Thunder From Down Under show in Las Vegas. Since I always critique the shows I see, now you get to read all about it.

Let me start off by saying the drunk Whoo-Hoo! chicks in the audience seemed to love this show. So if your idea of fun is getting drunk while sitting in a room full of other drunk women and shouting Whoo-Hoo! every time a guy rips apart his shirt to bare his sculpted, waxed, tanned, chest, are you ever the audience for this
show. If seeing one sculptured butt is all it takes to entertain you, you need to get out more often, honey again, you'll probably love this.

First - the positives. The music selection was great. I could have done without the half-assed lip-syncing, but there wasn't a bad piece of music in the set.

Second - the guys are nice eye candy (except the really bulked up muscle dude
with the long blond hair who couldn't dance to save his life, but I realize the TDU people try to staff with as many body types as possible.)

Third - the atmosphere rocked. Whoever put this show together did a great job of creating a comfortable and fun space.


Okay, before I say something negative, just remember that I called myself an
epic fail as a girl. I hate pink. A dozen roses are dead plants with their throats slit. I despise cute. I'm not a magpie, so don't ever gift me glittery shit like diamonds. And the perfect Valentines Day is one that passes without comment. Also remember that I spend a great deal of time thinking about and writing sex. Most women I've talked to (erotica writers aside, but even some of them) seem to have sex compartmentalized in this separate place outside of their everyday existence and only drag it out for special events. Not me. Sex might not be front and center in my mind at every moment, but it's always lurking right below everything else. This is the main reason why I consider myself an epic fail as a girl - but don't care.

Okay, now the negatives of The Thunder Down Under

First - The dancing. I've been to a number of adult shows in Vegas, and I notice when a show highlights - or fails to - the true dancing ability of their cast. I would have liked to have seen some more dance skills instead of so much S&M (stand and model in this instance, hon. I know that I usually mean that an entirely different way). A few hip thrusts to a microphone stand? Please. I'm not that easy.

Second - The Repetition. Yes, the Whoo-Hoo chicks went wild every time the guys came out, did some S&M, then ripped off their shirts. I think the Whoo-Hoo! chicks don't get out very often. After the third shirt-ripping moment, I turned to my accomplice, who rolled her eyes. So it wasn't just me. Even worse, the dancer's pants had saggy butts. What's with that? If I have to watch guys do a cowboy dance number in jeans instead of a pair of Ginch Gonch undies, those jeans better be showing off their assets instead of hiding them.

Third - Flesh for Fantasy. This is sort of a catch all, but it all comes down to the dancer's bodies. (Objectify, Sister!)
- I like a thick mat of hair around a guy's pecs, and love a treasure trail leading down to his g-string. Every guy in the cast was waxed within an inch of his life. Boo! Just one hairy chest would have made me much happier. If he was a brunette, so much the better, but any fur port in a storm...
- Only a few guys at TDU got down to g-strings, and their dancing wasn't anything that would get me hot and bothered, even after a glimpse of their very nice butts. I've seen enough gay go-go dancers to know what it looks like when a guy who can dance is really working it, and TDU didn't come close.

So overall, a fun evening with some R rated entertainment, but nothing I'd go to again. I definitely could have done without the juvenile gay remark to the two guys in the audience. However since I know I'm not the typical audience, I think the opinion of the other women there is more important than mine, and they seemed to give The Thunder Down Under a solid, screaming WHOO-HOO!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On The Writing Front

I'm still working on my Ophir story. The last scene isn't working as
well now that I've gone from a short story to a novella, so I have to
sit back and think things through.

It isn't easy telling a story from the POV of the Sir. Or I should say, it isn't as easy as telling it from the POV of the sub. BDSM stories tend to be internal journeys, and the one on the voyage of discovery is usually the sub, so most BDSM stories are written from the sub's POV. Why did I pick Ophir's head? I have no frickin' clue. That's one of those writing mysteries which will never be solved.
The story comes as it is and I don't usually question it.

Ophir's not giving me a whole lot to work with, the bastard.

I'm also not happy about how much my characters are talking. As Elvis so
rightly said, "A little less conversation." So I'm going to have to get
ruthless with my dialog. The sex though...mmmm. No problems there. (That might sound strange, but you have no idea what the burn-out rate is for erotica writers. You'd think we'd sit around talking about sex, but in reality, we talk about dreading sex scenes after a while.)