Sunday, September 25, 2011

NaNoWriMo is coming!

NaNoWriMo - national novel writing month - begins November 1st.

Last October, writer Nobilis suggested trying the snowflake method of outlining as a way to prepare for the grueling month of writing ahead, so I tried it. It's an interesting exercise for a non-outliner (I could even say for someone hostile to the idea of outlining) to engage in. Would I do it again? Probably not, but I learned some useful stuff just by trying.

I tried other experiments outside my usual method of writing. Some were useful, some weren't.

While I hit the 50,000 word mark, the novel I produced wasn't useable. However, after the third rewrite, I now have The Devil's Concubine, and readers have a lot of good things to say about it.

So am I going to try again this year? No, but nothing about the experience was wasted. I learned how to write even when I didn't feel like it (here's when having an outline really helped. I didn't stare off into the distance as I tried to figure out what happened next. I'd already done that work in October). I learned how to distill my story down to one sentence. Hopefully, I learned how to write a decent synopsis. (I'll test that when I try to prep The Devil's Concubine submission package).   I'd suggest it to anyone who ever wanted to try to write a novel. If anything, it teaches you to just write.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Been a Week

and I'm still in recovery from the conference.

But, I'm hearing back from my beta readers on The Devil's Concubine, and what I'm hearing is encouraging. It's good to know that my third try at this novel was worth it. The common complaint is that the story ended. Hah! Success!

Monday, September 12, 2011

EAA Con wrap up

I'm still in recovery from this weekend, but what a weekend it was!

Thanks again to D.L. King, Nan Andrews, Kate Dominic, and Jolie du Pre for their amazing hard work running this. Andrea Dale also pinch hit for us in a spectacular display of generosity.

Where do I begin? Things that went wrong. Hmm.

Well, the starting hour was way to early. Unfortunately, we we took this date, the hotel didn't mention to us that 9/10/11 was a huge day for weddings. If we'd known that "suddenly" the hours we needed the rooms that they wouldn't be available and we'd have to start at the crack of dawn to get in our programming, we would have gone a week later. Live and learn. Get the hours in a contract and fight it tooth and nail when they change it on you.

No readings opposite panels. The readings were sparsely attended, and the schedule was to blame for that.

Have more staff! We were blessed that Nan and Kate, and Andrea, were willing to be drafted. We couldn't have done it without them. But we need to recruit more people before hand. Andrea - I will never forgot that you offered to help with programs next year! NEVER! Programs were the bane of my existence. And some of the things she mentioned were so obvious in retrospect that I'd wished I'd tapped her insight beforehand.

Some panelists and class leaders weren't able to come last minute. Oh man, were they ever missed. I don't know how you work around real life emergencies, and we filled in fairly well, but some guests were really disappointed that certain people they came specifically to see weren't there. All I can do is apologize. And get viruses to obey me. And flooding rivers too. I'll work on that. Oh, and internet connectivity. It was crap in the convention center. Sorry.

I should have asked the hotel to show me their worst rooms as well as their best beforehand. I hope no one besides me ended up in one of the frankenrooms.

I'm sure that there's more that I missed. People were generous with their insights, and I hope we can address those problems next year. We will send out a questionnaire and please, tell us again, because right now, I barely remember my name.

What went right? Our amazing panelists and guests. Imagine all sorts of people you admire chatting and laughing and having a great time. Imagine people so engaged in panel discussions that they groan when the time warning goes off. Imagine for once as an erotica writer not having to self-censor an honest question about your work.

I'm thrilled that so many people came and that there was a broad spectrum of interests, writing styles, sexualities, and backgrounds represented. The generosity of everyone who came and shared blew me away. So I'm tired, but very happy.  

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready to Go

Except that I'm not leaving on a jet plane. Tomorrow morning, when I try to shove my suitcase into the car, things are going to get interesting, because my poor car is so stuffed with boxes that I may have to pack my clothes and toothbrush in a grocery bag. Climbing the Cajone Pass with that much extra weight in the car is going to be interesting too, to say the least.

One panelist fell ill and another had to cancel at the last second, leaving us a bit short on one panel and eep! one class short in a time slot. I really wanted to go to the synopsis writing class, so it was the only one I demanded free time for. Now I'm leading a class in that slot. Oy vey.

See kids, this is why you never put on a play in the old barn. You end up playing seven roles when all you wanted to do was be the prop person and enjoy the show from the wings.

Truthfully, it's not that big of a scramble to fill that slot though. D.L. King and I talked a long time ago about what we'd do if this situation came up, so I already had some notes together for a class on character development. (I'm not going to try to teach synopsis writing)  So this is what I'm doing tonight - fretting over character. (I hope everyone goes to the taboos panel instead.)

That, and moving boxes around my car trunk to make sure every inch of space is filled.   And wondering what else will go wrong.

Monday, September 05, 2011


I didn't realize that it had been so long since I'd made an entry. I blog weekly over Oh Get A Grip and that's been about all I've managed to do as D.L. King and I have worked off our butts putting together the first EAA Writer's Conference (this coming weekend in Las Vegas). It's gong to be amazingly successful. I hoped for sixty-five attendees. We just hit eighty. So that's huge, and wonderful, and scary.

I've also been writing madly to finish The Devil's Concubine. It's in the hands of a few beta readers. This is my third stab at the novel, but this one works (thank goodness!). At least it does for me. We'll see what they think.

Once the conference is over, I'll try to be much better about regular posting. I may have to give up my slot at Oh Get a Grip. It's fun, but I'm not sure if I like the amount of personal disclosure it sometimes pressures us into. This week's topic was a good example. While I'll admit that there a (very) few erotic diarists who can share interesting stories about their sexual fantasies, I'm just not into that.