Friday, February 23, 2007

Writing Toys

Don’t go there.

You’re going to be disappointed.

This post isn’t about that.

I promise you that this post isn’t about those kinds of toys.

This post is about toys for writers not toys for your characters. I just checked some information on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on the NIH website.

I completely misunderstood what causes this syndrome.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition - the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; overactivity of the pituitary gland; hypothyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause; or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. In some cases no cause can be identified.

There is little clinical data to prove whether repetitive and forceful movements of the hand and wrist during work or leisure activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Repeated motions performed in the course of normal work or other daily activities can result in repetitive motion disorders such as bursitis and tendonitis. Writer's cramp - a condition in which a lack of fine motor skill coordination and ache and pressure in the fingers, wrist, or forearm is brought on by repetitive activity - is not a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Emphasis added.

All this time, I thought repetitive actions such as typing did cause it. I’ve never gotten Writer’s Cramp from typing just from writing longhand. I hold my pens too tight. I'm also left-handed and I think lefties get this more because we push the pen instead of being able to let it follow, but I could be wrong.

Anyways, in the past I did get aches in my hands from typing for incredibly long periods of time. I own two toys that have eliminated this problem. You’re still going there aren’t you?

Neither of my toys vibrate so get your mind out of the gutter. Well, none of my writer toys vibrate.

I have a big ball silly putty, bascially a double ball, and a slinky sitting by my desk. Hubby gave me the slinky today. One of the metal ones. I had a plastic one for the longest time, but it left to find a new home. I guess I didn’t slink it well enough or something. I use these toys during “think breaks” while writing and since I’ve started doing this, I don’t get any of that ache in my hands.

I just wanted to share that. Remember to be good to your hands, they’re important for writers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

No longer in “those” kinds of stores

My grandmother believed that only those kinds of people used the word “pregnant.” My mother believed that only those kinds of girls wore shorts. When I came of age, only those kinds of stores carried erotica.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re all those kinds of things now. The word “pregnant” is no longer offensive, my mother hit menopause and discovered the joy of shorts, and even respectable print markets want to cash in on the money erotica brings—HarperCollin’s Avon Books now has Avon Red and Kinsington has Aphrodisia. You can find yaoi manga and erotica anthologies inside the doors of Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Waldenbooks. WalMart caved and pulled some of Yaoi Press’s titles, but WalMart is a punk like that.

These are the times where change is a beautiful thing! So now, to all of my friends who say, “Why don’t you write things that are more mainstream?”

I can say, “I write what I love and, oh, guess what, it is mainstream.” I’m going to keep writing those kinds of books as long as I damn well please. ^_^

Monday, February 19, 2007

Attention: Blog readers.

Now, this is a neat blog directory. The people at Grokodile are trying to establish a directory of blogs by location of blogger. I think this is pretty cool.

There’s been local chat room for as long as mIRC has been around. Local yahoo and livejournal groups, but now there’s a way of finding local blogs.

But, do you have to browse locally? Heck no! I checked my hometown just to see if any of my “back in the day” friends were listed. They weren’t, but my teeny-tiny backwoods hometown WAS listed. That little speck of the world doesn’t show up on most maps, but Grokodile has them.

I’m about to sign up using this blog. I’ll be the first one in this town which is surprising, because I live in a fairly large area now.

This is a wonderful idea. Can you imagine facing a move and being able to connect with people via their blogs before you go there? You’ll be able to talk to locals and find out which neighborhoods to avoid and stuff like that. It’s also a great way to do that “friend in every state” thing that some people are doing.

To be honest, I’m surprised no one else has done this already. This is an awesome idea. Yeah, the website is a little bare, but I’m sure it will grow as word spreads.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chippewa is hiring.

Chippewa Publishing LLC is searching for a Public Relations
Specialist to work with both Chippewa Publishing and Lady Aibell Press.

The CPLLC Public Relations Specialist will:
-be familiar with the ebook and print market
-be open to marketing books for the general audience as well as erotic
romance, erotica, glbt markets, and other genres.
-be the focal contact for sending out reviews and posting the reviews
to the various catalogs.
-be the primary contact for all chat related events for Chippewa and
Lady Aibell authors.
-prepare and deliver our press release material for releases,
submission calls, chats, and all other exciting news and events.
-offer new and inventive marketing ideas to the management group
-be the contact liaison between advertisers and our ezine sites and
our Internet radio/podcasting site.
If you are interested in working with a growing company, you're an
entrepreneur at heart, you love to read ebooks and meet exciting
authors then this opportunity is for you.

Please visit our website at and send an introduction letter telling us the following:

1. Why you'd like to be in this position
2. What are your favorite reader Yahoo! groups to visit
3. Why you have that entrepreneur spirit
4. What kind of experience you have that is related to the position.

IMPORTANT: Send it using the contact form on the site.

Please do not send resumes at this time. We will close the first part
of the screening process on Friday, February 24, 2007. Candidates who pass the screening process will be notified the following Monday.

This position is commissioned and royalty based.

Rebecca Pack
Chippewa Publishing LLC

An interesting article about yaoi.

I came across an interesting article about yaoi.

SB Day: Girls who like boys who do like boys.

She brings up some interesting points about the history of yaoi in the states and I urge you to read this.

She also mentions a question that’s asked of me a lot.

Why Yaoi appeals more to a female readership has never been fully explained to me, nor do I think that I have the psychological background and interview pool to really understand. It would make for an excellent grad school paper. What I have heard is that boy’s love comics tap into different parts of female psyche, letting women enjoy a sexualized story with no guilt (hey, it’s two boys, not a boy and girl) while allowing them to indulge the fantasy of a threesome in their minds. I heard the same argument used to explain why the television show Queer as Folk had such a large female following. I really don’t know if I buy into this at all. It’s too simplistic and seems to be a feminization of the explanation of why men fantasize about two women together. It also completely disregards any focus on the building of an emotionally stable relationship.

Why do women love yaoi? I don’t think it has anything to do with guilt or fantasy. I think it has to do with equality. Yaoi was started in Japan. Although women’s rights and social status has come a long way in Japan, you have to remember that this is a culture that still has “office flowers”; at one time, men were expected to have a mistress; women weren’t allowed to eat at the table when men had business associates over; cradle to grave positions were only open to men; and, those are just a few examples.

Women started yaoi, I think, as a means of getting some kind of relationship in their world that carried equality. As a western girl, I can look at yaoi and point to all sorts of forms of inequality. That’s as a western girl. My understanding of equality and a Japanese woman’s understanding of equality (at the time yaoi started) are two totally different things.

As a western girl, I latch onto yaoi because of that. And, who doesn’t want sexy pretty men? As a writer, I celebrate yaoi. I can write any kind of storyline I want without someone rolling their eyes and saying, “Oh look, another subservient female.” Or “Oh look, another dominant she-bitch.” I can have a cute shy uke all I want. I can have a strong willed uke too! No one bats an eye because it’s yaoi.

I don’t have to adhere to gender roles or anything like that. Yaoi is freedom for a writer. Complete and total freedom. Yes, yes, yaoi has rules, but if you break the rules while keeping the spirit of the rule alive—you’re fine.

The article goes on and touches on one of my pet-peeves.

As Yaoi’s popularity continues to grow and become more accepted in the United States, it will be interesting to see how this affects other venues of entertainment. Will we see more boys’ love TV shows on the air to fill the void of Queer as Folk and more movies in the vein of Brokeback Mountain or will this interest be mis-shelved once again, mis-marketed and ignored by people who don’t realize they are missing their target audience?

Brokeback Mountain is not yaoi. Repeat after me. It is not yaoi. It doesn’t hold to the conventions of yaoi. It’s doesn’t have painfully beautiful men. There’s not a single bishie in that movie. They might be sexy, but damn it, they’re not bishie. (I can’t speak on Queer as Folk.)

Just because something is m/m and appeals to women does NOT make it yaoi.

Yaoi requires a specific tone and style. There are elements that must be part of any yaoi story and from what I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain does not have it—even with as good as it is.

I’m all for Brokeback Mountian’s success and I hope it has a long flourishing life in DVD, but it’s not yaoi.

For those of us who are rabid yaoi fangirls, the distinction between “m/m popular among/targeted toward women” and “yaoi” is a no brainer and we expect there to be confusion among those who don’t understand yaoi. However, I’m getting tired of people perpetuating the myth that if it’s m/m and popular with women it’s yaoi.

Yes, there are non-yaoi titles that are popular with the yaoi crowd. Cross-over is a beautiful thing, but crossing over doesn’t make it yaoi.

She goes on to this…

…it makes me wonder how many other niche markets are being ignored by mainstream stores. What are they? Are they just being mis-marketed or mis-shelved or are they just not available at all?

Yes, there is a huge problem with this with the e-book industry. Yaoi e-books are not getting the right covers or catalog listings by many publishers and that’s killing the title. Yaoi fans look for certain things to let them know a title is yaoi and not “gay erotica.” A cover is the best and sometimes only way to show a browsing yaoi reader that a particular title is for them. Some yaoi fans have turned their back on the publishing world, because their titles aren't reaching them. Thankfully, publishers are beginning to recognize this and are on the look out for yaoi artists. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough talented yaoi artists out there.

What’s beautiful to me?

Here’s a neat little almost-meme.

Belisi asks, "What's Beautiful to You?", I love the look of an old growth forest at sunset. The hue of the sky tweaks the leaves almost casting them into the realm of ultra violet. It’s breath taking. I also love the smell of a forest at dawn in the early fall. The air still has a bit of crispness to it, but it feels clean and new.

The sound of a cat purring. That soothing content rumble can’t be duplicated by any means. Every time one of my little ones curls up beside me and purrs, I know that I’ve made him a very happy kitty. Happy kitties are the best kind of kitties. Watching my husband sleep. I know, that’s totally sappy, but it fills me with a sense of peace. I use that a lot in my writing. I like to have a character thing about their lover and their relationship while their lover sleeps. It’s a great time for contemplation and deep thinking. A child’s laugh—that’s another thing. There’s something clear and honest about how children laugh. They don’t care if people stare at them or find it funny too. They just laugh until they don’t want to anymore.

It does seem strange for a fashion company to ask this kind of question, but I’m glad they did. Just thinking about these things makes me feel calm and collected.

In regards to fashion and beauty. I love glasses. I have a huge glasses thing going on. I think it’s because I equate intelligence to glasses and intelligence to sexiness.

Mmm…glasses. Don’t ya just want to hurt him to make him moan?

Genre talk.

I call myself an erotica writer. At one time, I called myself a smut writer and a “chick with a keyboard.” One of my editors, Tami Parrington, threatened me with bodily harm over that. She told me, “You’re a writer, who happens to include erotic elements in her stories.”

Fine, but that’s a pretty big mouthful, don’t ya think?

What I do try to avoid is the “romance” label. Yes, there’s romance in my stories. Yes, there’s relationship building, soulmates, fluttering hearts and all that wonderful stuff that’s in fictional romance.

So, why do I resist that label? The word “romance” implies a happy ending (HEA= Happy Ever After). Recently, “romance” has pushed its boundaries to include “happy for now” at the end of the stories.

I can’t promise that. I want my couples to stay together. I want that HEA, but I don’t always get that. I’ve been known to kill off leads, let the world fall to shambles and keep characters in unhealthy relationships.

Yes, I know. Putting realism in my fiction is mean of me, but one reader told me that’s what she liked about my stories. She said that when she read one of my stories she needed to be prepared for anything and she liked that. I guess after you read a few romance books, you come to expect the two leads to stay together and the suspense is lost.

That’s also why I try not to let the fate of the relationship be the plot. If my publisher lists my title in the HEA category, then all my suspense work is lost. The reader knows there’s a happy ending before they open the file. I assume the reader will assume the relationship will stick.

I want to be known as a “yaoi” writer. This is a special sub-genre of m/m erotic fiction. Yaoi promises you a lot of things, but it doesn’t promise you a happy ending or a healthy relationship. Yaoi writers will break their characters and give them a mind-fuck that therapy can’t help. And, damn it, the men are painfully beautiful while they angst themselves into The Pit of Despair ™.

Yaoi also has a different style and tone than “gay erotica.” There’s nothing wrong with “gay erotica.” Some of my favorite authors consider their home genre to be “gay erotica.” And, I’m even trying my hand at with About to Sin.

I think taking the yaoi label is a wise choice for me. Yaoi is what I write. Beautiful headcases who need therapy damn quick, but will never get it. Yaoi is not without its critics though. Gay men are slowly discovering yaoi (a genre started by and targeted toward woman). Some enjoy what they’ve found and some can’t stand it.

I can understand that. Sometimes the characterizations in yaoi seem like caricatures of gay men. The men are emotional (on both ends of that spectrum) and some are very flamboyant. I can see where some men will look at it and feel like I do when I watch movies prior to the 70’s.

Some like yaoi and some don’t. I love it. I don’t look at it as means of understanding gay men. I look at it as a means of entertainment. I adore a dark brooding character who is so locked up in himself he can’t really relate to those around him. I also enjoy the open, giddy and happy character who simply wants to love someone. Sometimes, those who are in love with the idea of being in love are the biggest angst-fests you can find. Those are the ones who are so screwed up they no longer feel it.

Some yaoi is fluff. Some has teeth. It’s a wide-open genre and I feel right at home in it!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oh, the hotness!

Images are just as powerful as well-written literature. A good book will stick to you and you’ll find yourself thinking about it long after “the end.” Photography is the same, but how many of us can afford to buy originals? Sexy posters, however, give us the beauty of the image at an affordable price.

I came across this site and figured it was just another stars and strips “Proud to be an America” merchant. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when I’m seeking inspiration for my muse, I need something else.

Something like this…

But for me. Just as I was about to go into a long-winded rant about how women enjoy beefcake too, then I found this

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Oh sweet heavens have mercy! I can't get the link to work right due to the frames on the site, but there's a whole section of hot men. You can get to it by clicking the American West catagory and the look through the gallery till ya find the sexy cowboy. Then look for the photographs of erotic men stuff in the frames.

I’ve seen some hotness in my day, but these are bite your knuckle, make you ache, melt your panties off, hotness. They’ve got muscle men to svelte hotties that you know are cute bottom boys. Everything from interpretive photography through bondage to shots that scream of intimacy can be found here.

You MUST check out this site. Your muse will work overtime for you. I, personally, am book marking it. Since my “office” is my living room, I’ll have to be careful about which of these boys I bring home, but OMG the hotness. This brought me to my knees!


Yes, this is a sponsored post, but OMG you MUST check it out. You owe it to yourself. Be good to yourself. Give in to the sexiness. You know you want to.

Net and phone connection, huh?

I just had the strangest technical error with my net. My net and phone are handled by the same company. My connection started to crawl and then cut out. I checked the phone and didn’t have a dial tone. I knew my account was up to date and I hadn’t been cut off so I called tech support.

They detected no dial tone also and sent me to the techs. The tech called me back and we checked all of my phone connections. Something I should have done before calling helpdesk.

I have cordless phones in the house. One phone sits on a base and that one is connected to the phone line. There’s a remote station that holds the other phone and all it needs it power no phone cord. If the main handset goes dead, then the remote won’t work. My roommate kicked the plug out of the wall and the base went dead. Once I plugged that back in and put a charged handset on the base, presto, my dial tone came back.

THEN my net came back.

I’m on cable internet. Those two shouldn’t be connected. I don’t understand it, but you can bet if I ever have a problem again I’m going to check the plugs before calling.

I’m such and idiot for not checking that first.

Musical Muse

For those of you who haunt the ERWF, you know that I’m really dependent upon music to write. I always have my headphones on. I’m not kidding you. This habit is so strongly ingrained in me that when I go to jot off a quick e-mail, I put my headphones on before I start typing. A few times, I caught myself with my headphones on without the music on. LOL! I think it has something to do with helping me carry tone and tune out the world. (I organize my music by type of scene not genre of music.)

Needless to say, I’m always on the look out for new music. When I stumbled across this site Unsigned, I instantly became a very happy Cup. With everything from classical to Icon of Coil and 80’s metal bands in my library, I love to sample new music. This site has Industrial Artists to Acoustic and everything in between.

There’s one problem with this site. Not all of the bands have a song uploaded. They all have cover art up, but that doesn’t help a listener much. That helps promote a cover artist, but it does nothing to help me enjoy the music. However, the few that I found that did have music uploaded shows the potential for this site. I really think I could lose an entire day just exploring this site.

For me music is a very helpful writing tool. I’ve talked about this before on this blog (Haven’t I?), but I don’t see how people write with silence around them. Sometimes I need to write an angsty scene, but I’m not in an angsty mood. Good music plays with our emotions. (Now, I know I’ve been online too long. I tried to spell that e-motions. >.<) It helps me get in the mood for the scene and carry the tone.

If you know of any other unusual music sites, please, drop me a line.

Friday, February 16, 2007

POV a Powerful Tool

The manipulation and control of POV is a writer’s most powerful tool. The character that shows the reader the story (or scene) comes with his own biases and limitations.

In one WIP, Recovered Flotsam, I have a demented twisted character. This story, I have already been warned by two publishers and one editor, runs a strong risk of being too dark for publication.

Me write something too dark? Gee, who’da thunk it.

But one of the ways I’m telling the story that I want to tell while tempering the darkness, is to limit how much I tell from the antagonist’s perspective. My hands are tied in one scene where his prey has been rendered unconscious, but that stands to reason. Jeremy has a very warped sense of reality and giving the reader too much of that might be difficult to take.

However, it’s a balancing act. I like stories with teeth and authors use the most powerful POV to tell the scene. Which is more dark? A predator toying with his pet or the pet’s agony? Hmm…I may have to rethink my logic on some of these scenes.

Authors can also “cheat” or “fudge” a little via POV manipulation—you can’t do this too much or the reader will want to slap you. With About to Sin, I have a priest and a doctor. I’m neither a doctor nor a Catholic so I’ve had to do a lot of research for this short series. I don’t want to risk errors in my work so I handle things carefully. I show Anand between patients and he’s a bit cynical and jaded. This allows me to skirt some medical stuff that he’d know and I can’t possibly fully grasp. Due to his snarky personality, I can get away with him thinking about his patients by ailment—“Mr. Broken Arm” and such. Most importantly, I avoid having him in hardcore medical situations where I, as an author, do not command the medical knowledge to properly write the scene.

But, that’s not the real cheating.

The real cheating is the Catholic stuff. Anand isn’t Catholic. Oh, he’s been attending mass for six months, but that was to ogle the priest not for worship. He knows less about Catholicism than I do and I can use his ignorance to fudge what I don’t know. I spent hours looking up the names of the different vestments that priests wear and then it hit me. Anand wouldn’t know those names. He’d just think of them as robes or smocks maybe even “things.” One chapter will contain the start of mass, I dove into the internet looking for the order of mass and what was done when (Actually, I should attend a few masses, but I’m not that motivated on Sunday mornings.) Then I realized that Anand wouldn’t know the fine points of the jargon. He’d know the big stuff like communion and things, but he wouldn’t know the word “homily.” He’d call that a lecture or a sermon. LOL!

POV can also change the “reality” of the scene. It’s entirely possible for an outsider to view a consensual sex scene and pick up on certain things that might question the consensual nature of the sex. Think about the role-play that lovers enjoy and how all that grabbing, biting and thrusting can seem violent when it’s just heated passion.

Remember, there are tricks and ways around things. Yes, every story will require research some more than others and most more than expected, but you can use POV to help you figure out what you really need to know and what you don’t. Can’t figure out what that little part is called on the machine your repair guy is fixing? Use the customer’s POV.

Readers want good stories. They want accurate and believable stories, but if the reader gets hung up on one tiny detail, you never had them. Use your research skills. Talk to those in the know. Go forth and face the sea of information (some accurate and some not) that’s on the net, but don’t ditch a story because you can’t verify a few facts. Keep it in character. Know your characters. Create them to be good characters as well as writing tools and you’ll be just fine.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Seasonal Writing

I suck at seasonal writing. I think it’s because I normally do the e-book thing and not shorts. First round publishing rights for e-books is measured in years. When you do the shorts for websites, they can control when access to the story is highest thus making seasonal stories more applicable.

Also, I tend to get my seasonal plotbunnies after the holiday. “Sojouner” is loosely Halloween themed and the plotbunny jumped in my head the day after Halloween. My Christmas plotbunnies tend to nibble around New Years. As bad as it sounds, I’ve never written anything to do with Valentine’s Day.

Never. I’ve not used it in any of my stories. “Tainted Past” mentions Thanksgiving football, but not Valentine’s Day. I’ve handled birthdays and anniversaries, but never the most romantic holiday of the year. I really should write more about Valentine’s Day, it’s bigger than I thought. In this article , they state that “according to the National Retail Federation” consumers spent nearly $14 billion on gifts and that the per capita average is approximately $100.00.

That’s a lot of chocolate and roses. Or, if you made it into the Trippon’s top 10 list of most expensive gifts (reference same article as linked above) that’s a whole lot of sports cars, diamonds and personal jets.

So, why haven’t I written more about something that includes everything from chocolate to jets? It can’t be a lack of material. LOL!

I think that’s because I’m not all that floo-floo romantic in my real life. Come to think of it my books aren’t floo-floo romantic either. Romantic, yes. Floo-floo romantic? No.

My type of gift is chocolate. Don’t give me flowers. They die and it’s depressing. For gods’ sakes don’t give me a plant! I will kill it with the exception of my Confused Vegan Venus Flytrap. I’m great with cats, but I suck with plants. Anyone who gives me jewelry doesn’t know me. I regularly wear two pieces of jewelry. My wedding band and engagement ring. For the rest of my life, I can see myself wanting one more piece of jewelry and that’s a thin plain rose gold band to mark my ten year anniversary with hubby—coming up in four years. Wow—this year makes six years? Time flies when you’re having fun!

I’m not one of those expensive chocolate gals either. A nice dark chocolate bar will work. I do love those tacky heart shaped sampler things—they look gaudy, but taste great. However, I stumbled across this site, BELISI on Valentine's , and they have something rather interesting in the chocolate department. (If you’re not a chocolate kind of person…and I think that should be illegal…but they also have other non-edible things such as pajamas, spa suggestions, and even a guide to writing some love letters.)

They have a chocolate gift thingy that contains a fondue pot. Which I find particularly funny. I’ve never used Valentine’s day in a fic, but I have used a fodue pot. It shows up in “Tainted Past.”

Here’s a snippet (PG rated prelude to a kissing. It is m/m if you’re offended by that stop reading now. This also hasn’t been tweaked by my editor yet.)

Begin snippet...

Conner stood in the kitchen tending to a fondue pot. The wax paper on the counter still had more room. Several chocolate-coated stemmed cherries already lined up on the sheet. Should he go a head and get another sheet ready or…no, he had room for two more rows. He glanced out the kitchen window and looked at the snow-covered yard.

A new year already. The time had passed all too quickly these past few months.

Tyler walked into the kitchen and stood behind Conner. "What's this?" He rested his chin on Conner's shoulder. The chocolate swirled beneath Conner's command. Thick, dark, and smooth, it spiraled as Conner stirred it. A little chocolate wake rippled through it when the blond dipped a cherry in it. Tyler whimpered when a fresh chocolate covered cherry marched barely past his nose.

"It's dessert." Conner playfully tapped Tyler's nose. "Not for now."

"But, I want it now." He slid his hand down Conner's arm and "helped" with the stirring and dipping.

Conner shifted his weight and leaned into Tyler's chest. Tyler had been living here for eight months now and still slept in the guest room. This was the most contact he'd had with his "Sweet T" and was going to soak it up. He turned his head and brushed the tip of his nose against Tyler's cheek. "Are you trying to help me cook? You know I take my kitchen very seriously."

"Is that so?" Tyler smirked. "I seem to remember a pasta fight three days ago."

"That was you and Scott derogating my special haven. Blasphemy." A bit of "blasphemy" that Conner laughed through and threw his fair share of pasta, but that wasn't for discussion now. He had cherries to coat. With the latest cherry properly coated he, with Tyler's "help", lifted the cherry from the fondue pot. Together they carried it to the wax paper.

Tyler quickly diverted it toward his parted lips. "Wax paper can't appreciate warm chocolate."

Conner's mouth dropped open, "You scoundrel!" He fought the diversion enough to only drizzle some chocolate on Tyler's chin and lips. At least the cherry was safe. Once the chocolate-covered soldier joined the ranks of the cherry army, Conner turned his attention to the agent provocateur. And, oh, how provocative he was with sugary sweetness decorating his lips. Tyler lips, puffy and pouty, were hard enough to resist without chocolate. With chocolate, they made Conner's jaw ache.

End snippet...

Oh yes, that fondue pot has possibilities! Many of which I’m sure the manufacturer never intended!

There’s also a discussion going on at the website about fab or flop gifts. This should be comical!

Duct tape can do anything.

More proof that duct tape can fix anything.

There was a study done that shows duct tape (tape occlusion therapy) was more effective than removing warts than cryotherapy.

Nope, this wasn’t from some wacky website. Don’t trust what you read on the web? Neither do I, but I do trust the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Mayo Clinic.

According to this study...

In patients treated with duct tape, 85 percent of the warts completely resolved, compared with 60 percent in the cryotherapy group.

I wonder if the creators of duct tape had any idea how their product would be used? I’ve heard of this stuff fixing plumbing leaks (temp fix of course), fixing cars (temp fix I hope), holding together furniture, used as part of an emergency splint, used to create furniture, held together parts of an airplane (scary!) and all sorts of stuff. Now it’s been clinically proven to be effective in the removal of warts.

Ain’t innovation something? In honor of duct tape’s contribution to society and humanity, I’m going to try to use it in a story. Now, hmm...I can an erotica writer use duct tape?

Actually, it’s not advised to use duct tape as a substitute for bondage tape. Something about the stickiness being too much for that much skin and "struggling." But, I do write fictional erotica not tales from true life stuff. I wonder how much the B&D community would scream if I paid a little homage to duct tape?

How to pay for your e-book habit.

As some of you are aware (if you’re not look at my side bar) I will occasionally have paid advertising on this blog. I participate as a “postie” with Pay Per Post.

This is how it works. Advertisers contact PPP (Pay Per Post) and pay them to pay bloggers to talk about their product or service. The bloggers or “posties” in turn check out the product or service and write what they think about it. Most advertisers expect the truth from the “posties” and do not dictate that the review has to be positive or negative. The “postie” has full control over which opportunities they take and how they handle them with in certain parameters such as providing a link or something simple like that.

Since this is a writing blog, I’m very careful about the opportunities I take and I make sure I can relate it to writing in some way shape or form. Thus far I’ve received no complaints.

PPP is starting a new thing that is resulting in higher pay outs to “posties.” This is called segmentation. Essentially, this is target demographics. Advertisers will be able to state that they only want blogs with certain PR levels (they have a way of determining the popularity of a blog), blogs that are in certain parts of the world or country, blogs that have certain topics such as tech, parenting, etc.

This has resulted in higher payouts for the posties, because advertisers who want this pay PPP more for the service. I’ve seen one opportunity that paid as much as $1,000, a few in the $50-$125 range, but most are in the $5-$15 range. My blog isn’t popular enough for the really high-end ones, but I do have a great deal of the lower ones at my disposal.

You’re limited to three posts per day and you’re required to maintain “original” content between PPP posts. They don’t want blogs that are nothing but advertising. You are required to put a disclosure tag on your blog. They want honest legit advertising not duping readers.

And, yes, you really do get paid. I’ve have actually been paid. Yes, money in the bank. Yes you really can make money blogging. No, I’m not lying to you. Honest.

Even if you only take $5 posts—that’s $15 dollars in a day. Most e-books cost between $2-$5 dollars. You can buy at least one book if not two per post. Essentially, you’re getting awesome erotica for free. Or you can save up the deposits in your pay pal account and pay a bill or go out to dinner. This won’t be anyone’s main income, but it’s something.

We all have something to say. Why not get paid to say it? I have received no complaints from my blog readers since starting this program. I’m not sure if that’s because you aren’t complaining or if you aren’t begrudging me the occasional commercial. (I rarely max out my posting potential because I want to relate it all to writing.)

If you’re thinking about this, feel free to contact me. I’m a major cynic and walked into this expecting to get scammed. I have not been. This company is legit. Yes, they’re experiencing technical problems and some growing pains now, but I can tell they’re trying to get all of that worked out.

If you’re set, check my side bar and look for the affiliate button. Click that and sign up. If you have questions contact me and I’ll do my best to answer them.

What do you have to lose other than a few moments to check it out? You could gain a whole library of e-books without touching your current budget. ^_^

Food for writing thought.

I experienced something the other day that I never expected to experience. Last month I met a man online who raised a few red flags in my mind. Something wasn’t right with him and I couldn’t figure it out. I don’t mean he was demented or anything like that, but something just didn’t jive.

I met him via one of the writing forums I haunt. This is a writing forum dedicated to erotica romance writers so the subject matter is adult in all ways, shapes and forms. At first he seemed overly concerned about making sure his writing was erotica and not pornography. It felt like he was trying to convince himself more than anything else.

Yes, there is a difference between erotica and pornography. If you disagree then you show me a “stroke story” that’s 30-90K words long. Until you show me that, let’s just go with this, ok?

Then he’d censor himself. I don’t mean subject matter. He was more than willing to tackle some of the larger taboos in erotica, but he wouldn’t cuss. He seemed to have a hang-up with certain words. I know, I know our characters will do things that we may never do and there are plenty of erotica writers who can get down and dirty with the best of them, but never utter a curse word in their personal lives. So, I did my best to separate the author from the fiction and went with it.

After that, he started posting excerpts. His non-erotic stuff has been accepted by a few publications, but he was trying to break into the erotic genres and came to the forum for help and guidance. (One of the better aspects of this particular forum.)

That’s when I saw the problem. His words didn’t flow. The situations seemed forced after long dawdling by the characters. This worked screamed of someone who was uncomfortable writing an erotic scene.

After talking to him off-board about a few personal things that I’m holding in confidence, I realized what this guy was trying to do. He was trying to right a wrong in his past via fiction and he had some kind of sexual hang-up to boot.

Writing is therapeutic. I’ve yet to find an author who disagrees with that, but writing is not this kind of therapy.

I’m a writer not a psychologist. I realized quickly that this situation was out of my league. Later he confessed (in a public way, so I’m not breaking confidences here) that he’d developed a religious problem with writing erotica. Bingo. There’s why his sex scenes didn’t flow nearly as well as his non-intimate scenes.

So, what’s a writer to do? I think he gave up and that might be the correct decision on his part. He didn’t give up on writing just with writing erotica.

What about all of you who might be facing similar troubles and don’t want to give up? I write very graphic erotica. Most of the writers I know write graphic erotica. We’re comfortable with this and have no qualms religious, social or otherwise doing so. But, if you are not comfortable writing sex scenes then don’t do it. It will show in your writing and your work will suffer.

So, what can you do? You don’t have to be graphic. There’s no law stating that romance novels have to be graphic. There are “inspirational romance” novels that sometimes have a Christian or otherwise religious theme. Christians do fall in love and there’s nothing wrong with writing a romance story about it. There are readers who don’t like the graphic nature of my type of erotica, but still want a good romance story. Write for them. Embrace your readership. There is nothing wrong with or less than when it comes to different genres.

What if “inspirational romance” isn’t your thing, but you still aren’t quite comfortable writing a sex scene? Publishers have different ratings or heat levels for their books. Mine tend to be at the top of the scale by default. I write m/m and that comes with certain activities that push it to the top. Publishers, writers and readers don’t think this is fair and more and more publishers are tweaking their ratings to accommodate the genre. Some romances have “light” sex scenes (for those of you who come from fanfiction these would be called limes) instead of “graphic” sex scenes (for those of you who come from fanfiction these would be called lemons). The point is to write a good story and give the story what it needs and for some stories that’s fade to black or light sex scenes.

Write what you’re comfortable writing and always strive to better yourself. Yes, you should push your boundaries for growth, but if you’re completely out of your element, it will show in your writing.

An Interview!

Yumiko interviewed me about my blog on her blog!


That was my first interview since becoming a writer and I think I'm already addicited. XD

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Writing as a Business.

Is writing an art or is it a business? It’s both. If you plan on making money and eating off your art, you need to see it as both. As writers, until we’re especially famous, we’re the start and stop of the business. We’re the worker bees, the managers, customer relations, marketing and all of it.

In that light, I try to keep an eye on business related blogs and a few other things to help keep my finger on the pulse of skills that I don’t really have. Do you know how to do business accounting? I don’t. When I have to do my taxes with royalty checks, I’m gonna go bald. I just know it.

However, if you listen to those who are a bit wiser and more experienced in the areas of your deficiencies, you might learn something and keep a few strands of hair.

This particular blog caught my eye: Strategic Planning Thoughts

Let me quote a bit here…

When companies set out to innovate strategically, they often rush off in the same direction as everyone else. In many industries — especially high-tech industries — this causes markets to mature very quickly as unique specialty items that took tremendous R&D investment become "me-too" commodities.

How many times have we seen that with writing? Harry Potter explodes across the world and all sorts of magical boy stories show up. Broke Back Mountain revived a whole genre in erotic romance stories (cowboy) and Pirates of the Caribbean sparked interest in pirate stories. I can only imagine what life was like when Interview with a Vampire first hit.

By all means if you have a pirate plotbunny, write it, but do you really want to follow the crowd? How many pirate stories or cowboy stories can a submission coordinator read before they get sick at the thought of another one? Timing with business can be critical. If you’re at the beginning of the wave, you’re probably safe. If you’re at the middle or end you may want to sit on it for a little bit.

I encourage you to read Mr.Bradford’s blog from time to time, but here’s some of his advice.

First — and this is one of the best — competitors sometimes are simply unable to copy a new product or service. The reason this is a very good situation should be clear — if you do something valuable for your customers that your competition cannot copy, you have created something that looks an awful lot like a strategic competency, which we all know is practically a license to print money.

As writers how can we do this? Yes, we have copyright protection, but we cannot (nor should we be able to) copyright an idea. What we do is make sure our style and voice is honed properly and that we offer a unique spin to whatever it is that we write. We make our pirate story bigger, badder and buffer than any others. We add a twist to our universe that can only come from our hands and minds. That’s a major part of author branding.

Some more advice from Mr. Bradford…

The second reason why competitors may not copy us is that they choose not to copy.

In a way this is impossible for writers to control and in a way we have built-in protection. Face it, most people never finish their novels. If they don’t finish it, then they can’t publish it. If they can’t publish it, then they’re not competition.

What do we do if someone does copy our ideas? (I don’t mean copyright infringement.) There’s not much we can do legally. However, if we’re as good as we think we are, the readers will recognize a hack when they see one.

The third reason why competitors may not copy us is that they are prevented from copying by someone else. Usually, this is a legal situation (as in the case of a technology covered by patents), but it may be driven by other forces as well.

For writers this means register your copyrights. Pay the 45 bucks and register them. Yes, we own the copyright the moment we type it in the safety and comfort of our own homes. But, when it comes to proving copyright ownership you must register it and don’t fall for that “poor man’s copyright” bogus crap. Register with the US Copyright office (or whatever office you have to in whatever country you live.) Also, no one will be able to copy you exactly. They may strive to emulate you, but if you’ve settled into your style and voice, you’ll still be unique.

The key to this? Be the best writer you can be. Be the best business manager you can be. Wear all those hats with confidence and read the words of those who specialize in your weakest areas.

If anyone else has any good business blogs, drop me a line. I’d love to check them out.

Do people think? (Snarky rant)

Before I snark this article, please know that I support our troops and no amount of political posturing will make me turn my back on our men and women in uniform. Whenever I see a soldier, sailor or marine in uniform, I thank them for their service. My father and two uncles served during Vietnam. My grandfather served during WWII and my grandmother served in the WAC. At this moment, I have several friends overseas fighting this battle. I’m also proud member of the American Legion.

I support the troops—let me make that very clear and I don’t give a damn what you think about the war. I support them and they hold a special place in my heart. Whether or not I support the war is NOT the question. Our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and friends are over there and I will always support them. Period.

However, the people in uniform that make decisions and give sound bites make me hike an eyebrow.

Start snark now…

This_article makes me question the abilities of some people.

Quote: A transport helicopter that…was brought down by a "sophisticated piece of weaponry," the U.S. military said on Wednesday.End quote:

And all this time I thought our men and women were being hit by sticks and stones. I’ve been wondering why this war has been doing on so long. Now I understand we’re not using cruise missiles against spears.

Of course it’s sophisticated, it shot down one of our helicopters. I’ll just file this sound bite under “shit I already know.”

Quote: The military initially said mechanical failure was probably to blame.End quote:

If you really think about it all crashes are from mechanical failure. What causes the mechanics to fail is a different story.

“Bill, what made the chopper crash?”

“Well, I do believe it was mechanical failure.”

“Ya don’t think it has anything to do with this big o’le hole in the side and the three missing blades?”

“Maybe we need to call CSI?”

Quote: The high number of U.S. helicopters lost in less than a month has raised questions about whether insurgents in Iraq are using new tactics, such as studying aircraft flight patterns, or have acquired sophisticated weaponry.End quote:

Those sneaky bastards. How dare they pay attention to our tactics! Let’s file this under “shit I would have expected.”

Quote: [Chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Major- General William Caldwell] was speaking during a news briefing that concentrated on U.S. claims that Iranian-manufactured weapons are being used to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, but he insisted he was "not making any inferences" about where the weaponry had come from.End quote:

The Major-General will tell us where they weapons were made, but he’s not willing to go out on a limb and link “where made” to “where from.” Perhaps he hopes that Iran outsources its weapon distribution?

Quote: The military, which relies heavily on helicopters to transport troops and equipment to avoid Iraq's dangerous roads, has said it is adjusting its tactics in the wake of the downings.End quote.

And it took 7 downed aircraft and 17 hit aircraft to reach this conclusion? I’ll file that under, “shit that should have been concluded sooner.”

Quote: But at least two of the seven helicopters downed since January 20 appeared to have been deliberately targeted.End quote:

My god, you mean that our enemy isn’t just randomly shooting their weapons? Firing them off willy-nilly? They’re actually taking aim! OMG! The scoundrels! We’re at war; of course, our helicopters will be “targeted.” I’m filing this under “shit I would have expected.”

Begin quote: "We are engaged with a thinking enemy...They understand the strategic implications of shooting down an aircraft," he said.End quote.

Wait—you mean we’re not fighting drones over there? All this time I thought we were up against robots who were acting under programming. OMG! A “thinking enemy” whatever shall we do? Quick contact George Lucas and tell him the clones won’t be needed! We need to fight thinking with thought!

Damn them! Why couldn’t they be lemmings?!

Filing this under “shit I would have expected.”

I read articles like this and I shake my head. War news shouldn’t be humorous. In a way it’s sad and it makes me worry for our troops for a whole different reason.

Prince and Pauper

*blink* *blink* *blink*

This site exists? Millionaire Singles need an online dating site apparently. Guess things are little dry at the yacht club. Well, now, I’ve seen everything. The cynic in me wants to know how they verify the financial information. The writer in me squeals with joy.

This site is a plotbunny waiting to be born. Begging to be born. Pleading and whining to be born. Do you feel it nibbling? A nice prince and pauper romance just dying to be written.

This is neat. They have online_dating_tips. That’s pretty cool. It’s right inside their FAQ. I’m a bit shocked, actually, I thought online dating sites were all about making money, but this makes me think these guys actually care. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge online dating sites, but most of them seem pretty cheesy. This one doesn’t. The site looks clean and doesn’t have all of that fluffed-up campy romance stuff all over the place.

Perfect for a prince and pauper meeting. So, any of you gonna write it or am I?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Updates: Writing and Reading

On the writing front, I just finished getting beta feedback on “About to Sin III” That’s going very well! Still no ETA on “Full Circle”, that’s in the hands of the art department. I’m amazed at how much interest there is in this book and I’m utterly honored that you guys want it so badly. If I could release it right this second I would. “Tainted Past” and “Selling Foxx” are still in the editing phase.

On the reading front, I just picked up The_Legacy by Kay Derwydd. That title now has the honor as being the first e-book I have ever purchase. It was a really simple process, I used my paypal account (first purchase via paypal too).

I practically worship Kay’s writing and I’m certain I’ll love this book, but once I’m done reading it, I’ll let you know how it is.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Honey, it’s just for a study of sensuality. Honest!

I knew it was abound to happen. A friend of mine told me it happened, but I didn’t believe her and had to check it out myself.

Sports Illustrated swimsuitmodels are now available for cellphone wall paper. In this day and age where the theme of Law and Order can announce a call and Jack Nicholson can handle your voice mail, why not let one of these ladies

handle your screen? SI Swimsuit Issue turns 43 years old this year and they don’t look a year older than 25 and I think I’m over estimating there. This might be a special thing they’re starting this year; I’m not sure. The issue should be hitting the newsstands on Valentine’s Day.

Although I’m not one for Heidi Klum on my cellphone (still looking for the cut picture from another calendar with the priest and nothing but his collar), I’m thinking about getting some for hubby as a Valentine’s Day gift. The wallpapers are pretty cheap at $1.99 each and they'd be a nice little addition to getting him a copy of the issue.

The SI Swimsuit Issue is a lot more than eye-candy. Oh, I’m sure the SI people want to point to the articles and what not, but they have mastered the art of being sensual without being pornographic. That’s something erotica writers struggle with, well, some of us.

How can we cradle sensuality in our words without the thrusting, moaning and straining that comes with a sex scene? Well-written erotica is a lot like the SI Swimsuit Issue in so much that there’s an undercurrent of beauty and sensuality throughout the whole piece. There’s a saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” After looking through some of my older issues of the SI Swimsuit Issue, I’m inclined to agree. There’s a depth to their work that isn’t seen anywhere else with the exception of older (pre-80’s) Playboy stuff. I know it seems weird to say this, but try to look past the model in this_picture.

Look at the snow-capped mountains in the background and the water running down her spine. Every element of that picture, from the model to the use of color and light screams sensuality. It’s beautiful and that’s what we need to strive to capture with our words.

Ya know, I just might get a copy of the issue just to try to do some tone work. Inspiration can come in a multitude of places for writers and even though I write about men, sensuality is sensuality. It’s something that breaks the confines of gender and strikes all of us equally.

I wish SI would do a special edition for female sports fans. I don’t expect that to be an annual thing, but once every five years or so would be nice. Who am I kidding, we all know where I really want my sex men to come from. Yeah, you guessed it, the seminary.

*thinks about sexy priests and enters her happy place*

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What? Me cooking? Say it ain't so.

Well, I’m getting better.

For those of you who don’t know about my saga to make kappa maki, let me give you a brief history.

Have you ever been so obsessed with a show/book/movie that you want to try one of the character’s favorite foods? No? You won’t be able to relate to this.

I have. Kappa maki (basically cucumber sushi—rice and cucumber all rolled up) is a food that has a special meaning in my obsession, Saiyuki. Anyways, I wanted to try it. I noticed it on the menu at a restaurant and ordered it. I loved it. So, then I just HAD to learn to make it.

I’m not going to go to Sushi Chef School just to learn to make one dish. So, I worked off memory and tried to reverse engineer how to make it. (This will be referred to as mistake number one.) Nori, you say? Bamboo mat, you say? What is this strange alien tongue you speak? Mistake number one ended up in an attempt to use a wet bread cloth to roll the rice and CUBED cucumber. Needless to say this fell apart.

Then, I ordered it again and noticed the nori. I went a local Asian market and found the sheets of nori. How many freaking ways can seaweed get pressed into a sheet? I picked one that had pictures on the back and that’s where my “formal” training started and ended. This will be known as Mistake Number Two. One of the things I learned at my school, Mistake Number Two, is that there’s a mat used to keep the rolls tight. I wandered around the store (because I’m too stubborn to ask someone a question) and almost bought a bamboo table mat. The woman saw the nori and bamboo table mat in my hands and shook her head. She snickered at me under her breath (I deserved it) while she took me back to the nori and showed me a simple sushi starter set that contained not only a bamboo mat, but a rice paddle.

Armed with my uber-leet tools (nori, bamboo mat, rice paddle) I headed home and proceeded to get bits of rice stuck between the sticks in the bamboo mat, squished my rice and MATCH STICK cut cucumber all over the place. BUT! The huge rolls, once cut, stayed together until I bit into them.


Then I got creative. This will be referred to as Mistake Number Three. Mistake Number Three led to the inclusion of avocado, crab meat, and all just about anything that I remotely remembered anyone mentioning being rolled in rice that I could also get my hands on and wasn’t raw fish. I also figured out that that putting plastic wrap over the bamboo mat made easy clean up.

I learned to cut the rolls into bite-sized pieces. The more I made it, the easier and quicker it became.

Fast forward a few months and I have this…

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The stuffing is avocado, crab meat, garlic, pepper, and a tiny bit of soy sauce. I ran out of crab meat and decided to give avocado rice balls a try. A mold to make rice balls? What is this alien tongue you speak? I don’t even know if my “recipe” is real or not, but it was pretty tasty. I think this brand of nori is fairly strong and I’ll try another brand next time.

At least this time, it LOOKS right. XD

Yes, that is a Garfield glass in the background. Don’t hate the Garfield.

A Few Words about Writer’s Block

Apparently, my earlier post about having an overabundance of plotbunnies has led some people to believe I’m immune to writer’s block. This is not true.

I do occasionally get that moment in the middle of a story where the words just won’t form in my head. My fingers turn stupid and refuse to cooperate.

There are a lot of reasons that cause this, but rarely is it that the I don’t know what to do with the story. Only one time have I stopped a story because I had no clue at all what else needed to be done and that’s a WIP with less than 500 words written. Usually, my writer’s block is caused by:

1)Thinking and getting wrapped up in chapter five while I’m typing chapter three. My mind has been writing faster than my fingers and I can’t get myself to concentrate on the task at hand. I know what the scene needs to do, but the other scene seems juicier.

2)Life and worries. Did I remember to pay the light bill? What’s that funny pain in my side? Is that the cat getting sick? Did I remember to give Abo is insulin? Why won’t the phone stop ringing? It’s hard to focus on fiction when the real world closes in on you.

3)Not feeling it/Lack of motivation/Discipline problem. Sometimes I’m slacking off and being lazy. Sometimes I’m just not in a sex writing mood. The ideas are running in my head, but I’m not listening to them because the pretty sparklies of the internet are more alluring. Yeah, well tough. This is my job and I need to motivate myself to do it. This is a discipline problem and I know it. Sometimes I muster the self-discipline to do it and sometimes I don’t. I’ve only noticed this problem when I don’t have a contract for a story yet. I think my problem is that I suck with self-imposed deadlines. If the deadline comes from a publisher, I meet it with time to spare. I’ll actually start rushing my editor.

4)Physical/Mental fatigue. After a rough week or day, I’m just too tired to write. As long as this isn’t disguised laziness, I cut myself some slack with this one. But only after I determine that I’m not slacking off.

I think that’s pretty much it.

When I get these moments, here are some of the things I do.

1)Paint my nails. When I look at painted nails over the keyboard, I feel more professional. I can be in my robe and slippers, but I still feel sexier and thus writing erotica is easier.

2)Shower or take a long bath. This is a symbolic way of washing away the day and real life worries. Also, I tend to get a lot of plotbunnies in the shower for some strange reason.

3)Give myself a lecture—that I type out—about the importance of discipline. Sometimes these turn into mini-therapy or cheerleading sessions.

4)Spend some “quality” time alone or with my husband. I’ll let your imagination go from there.

5)Address some of the real life issues so they’ll leave me alone. Check my account and see if I did pay the electric bill. Do some dishes so they’ll stop pestering me. Check on the cat. Etc.

6)Re-read the story from the beginning and use that to get myself back into the scene. Or read someone else’s story and once I start re-writing the story in my head, I know I’m ready to write my own stuff.

7)Take the day off, because every so often we all need a break.

8)Go for a walk.

9)Change my play list and listen to music that’s appropriate for the scene. This helps get me in the mood for whatever. I group my music files according to what kind of scene they’d go with: fight scenes, suspense scenes, romantic scenes, sweet sex scenes, aggressive sex scenes, etc.

10)Refresh my coffee and enjoy a few sips. There’s something about that hot, delicious, dark liquid flowing between my lips and covering my tongue that gets my creative vibe running.

Attention Readers with a Budget

I stumbled across a website today that offers online coupons.

It doesn’t look like you have to register or anything, but there is a sign in place. I’m sure if you register you get more goodies or something.

From what I can tell, this is how it works. If you’ve ever ordered anything online, you’ve probably noticed a place at check out for “coupon code” well, this site gives you a code for that box. I’m not registered and I was still able to get the code.

Now, here’s the rocking part—there’s a whole section dedicated to Books_and_Magazines ! How cool is that?

Amazon and Books-a-Million are listed as well as a few other book merchants. E-books are very reasonably priced, but maybe something like this could help some of you foster your print book collections.

*salutes* Just doing my part to help the wallets of readers everywhere. After all *wink* If you save a few bucks on your print purchase you can spend that money on my e-books. *blush* Whoops, was that out loud?

Firm and soft--equally hot. Contains Excerpt

Warning: The following post contains an excerpt from my series “About to Sin.” This story not only celebrates m/m sexuality, but has a priest as one of the leads. I’m rating this post NC-17 reader discretion is advised.

Sometimes while reading stories I wonder: How hard can they kiss? How much can the tongues “fight?” How firm and gripping can the touch be? I’m all for aggressive sexuality in writing, but it almost seems as if we’ve set this thing up that it must be aggressive to be hot.

While working on “About to Sin” for Publisher That Can’t Be Announced Yet, Dr. Singh had reason to give Father Daniel a little lesson about sin. I didn’t intend to make a point with this kiss, but I think it helps illustrate that “firm” sexuality and “soft” sexuality can be equally arousing.

Begin Excerpt…

“You make me thirst.” Father Daniel closed his eyes and curled a hand around my neck. He pulled me into a kiss and the tight squeeze against the nape of my neck forbid me from denying him. Damn, he was thirsty and hungry too. He moaned and pulled me closer pinching our lips between our teeth. I tried to back my head, but he tugged against me.

I heard the paper rustling as he squirmed and winced as our teeth pinched again. Not wanting to leave a kiss with a bloody lip, I felt for and found his wrists. Quickly pinning them to the paper above his head, I broke the kiss. “Not so hard. It doesn’t have to be brutal to be powerful.” I looked at his dazed eyes and saw his arms over his head. He silently begged to be tied up. He expected brutality.

Just to be stubborn, I fluttered my lips over his coaxing his to part. The tip of his tongue swiped my lips and I kissed him with a whisper of touch. Flicking my tongue in and out of my mouth to barely brush his. The cool air of the room washed around and through our embrace.

He writhed against my hold and nudged his head up. I backed mine. I may, occasionally, play games and hurt lovers, but I don’t inflict pain. His fingers gripped my wrists and he started pleading with me for something only he knew. I kept up the fluttering torture until I heard his feet kicking and ripping the paper.

His eyes flicked between my eyes and lips. “You’re not supposed to feel good.”

“Too bad.” I released his wrists and nuzzled his neck. “What kind of propaganda have you been fed? Do you really think being gay is all about anonymous sex and angry testosterone filled foreplay? Glory holes and cruising?” I interlaced our fingers and held our hands before his face. “Being gay isn’t about the sex. It’s about this.” I shook our connected hands. “It’s about being comfortable with someone you care about. It’s about longing to see someone and wanting to know all about them.” I broke eye contact and glanced at his collar. “It’s about knowing someone's dirty little secrets and respecting and liking them in spite of it.” Returning my gaze to his eyes, I continued. “The sex is just—”

He mouthed my name.

“A physical—”

He moaned and squeezed my fingers.

“Expression of all of that—”


“When words—”

“Anand, please…”

“Fail.” I closed my eyes and kissed him. He ripped his hand way from me and clawed at my back yanking me closer. His fingers twisted into my scrubs. He nearly ripped them before I could tuck my head down and let him take it off. My shirt along with my stethoscope hit the floor.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cup’s Top Ten

Cup’s Top Ten

JH Bogran ( >.< Can't get the link thing to work )tagged me with a meme.

The rules are: Once you have been tagged you can't be re-tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end, you chose 10 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" on their profile and tell them to read your latest blog.

1)I spent some time in Guatemala and was accused of being a nun and a doctor. To this day, I don’t know why.
2)To break writer’s block, I’ll paint my nails. It’s basically my only girly-girl habit.
3)I learned how to operate a drill press and other power tools before I learned to apply make-up or cross-stitch.
4)One part of my family history has been traced back to 1655 and I’m the only left-handed person on record.
5)I’m scared that spiders will eat my toes while I’m writing.
6)I can hold someone’s head while they vomit, but the sound of someone blowing their nose makes me ill.
7)I can’t properly function without cats in the house.
8)Legos and Construx were my favorite childhood toys.
9)I vocalize while I write.
10)I’m trying to work a coffee reference into every story I write that’s over 5k words.

And I tag...

You, you, and her, and him, and the woman in the tan shirt, the man in the black t-shrit, no, the one with the flame logo on it. Yeah, you. Oh, you've already been tagged? Hmm...and...the cute guy in glasses. Oh yeah...glasses...mmm...

Is this really a problem?

I came across this article on the Erotica Readers & Writer’s website Coming Up with Story Ideas. It’s a good article and there are interesting tips, but do people really have this problem?

Getting and breeding the plotbunnies isn’t a problem for me. I’ve never had a plotbunny shortage au contraire my problem is getting the little beasts some birth control.

What I’m curious about is how do we determine which plotbunnies are worth feeding and which ones need to become stew? I haven’t a clue. I go with the idea that is nibbling the hardest, but that might not be the best idea. When I know I have a publisher for something or I’ve signed a contract, I focus on that one. I will meet my contractual obligations no matter how hard other plotbunnies nibble, but for those times when I’m waiting to hear back from my editor, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what should be my next priority.

At one time, I would prioritize my WIP’s by level of completeness. That fails to help me identify the strongest idea.

So, I come to you with a question: What’s your criteria for prioritizing WIP’s?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Creative Marketing

Do you guys remember my earlier post about e-cards? Well, I’ve been sniffing around and I’ve found this site Egreetings

They have a GAY AND LESBIAN SECTION! How cool is that?

Ok, so how is this creative marketing for a writer? How many of you run e-mail lists for updates? If you have someone’s e-mail you can send them an e-card. So, instead of boring text you can send them a funny card. They have one that simply states “Got Lust?” How perfect is that?

Ok, so you don’t have the time to send everyone an e-card when one bulk mail will do it. If you get a year’s subscription (pretty cheap at $13.99) you can schedule e-cards in advance and all sorts of stuff. So, once you get the e-mail addys in, a few clicks of the mouse and you have a marketing e-mail that’s sure to be noticed. “Got Lust? You will after you read my new release: “Title” by “Publisher” link.”

Isn’t that better than some boring e-mail? You can even personalize the cards. And what does that mean to us? Short excerpts.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I think it’s worth a shot. $13.99 is pretty cheap for a year's worth of e-mailers and they have a 30 day free trial so you can see if it is worth it before plunking down some of that string-marketing-budget.

Here are three of their cards so you can get your creative wheels spinning.

Here's a main link for you incase the other's don't work:
free, funny birthday eCards

You do WHAT for a living?

Some of us cringe and some of us slyly grin in eager anticipation, but when someone asks and erotica writer what they do for a living, we know there’s going to be a reaction.

Personally, I kind of like it. I think I’m up front with people because 1) I know they’ll find out anyway. 2)I think it’s an uber-cool job. 3) Shock value.

People have preconceived ideas about what kind of people erotica writers are. They might think we’re a desperate man typing with one hand and doing something else with another and hasn’t so much as kissed in 15 years and we’re dealing with our sexual frustrations in font. Or maybe we’re oversexed whores willing to not only write about those things, but do them also. My personal favorite is that I’m an unclean heathen destined for hell.

Regardless of what you’ve experienced, you must readthis article .

About they myths associated with being an erotica writer. It’s an excellent article.

Attention Information Junkies

In connection to my previous post about research, I stumbled across a new encyclopedia site.


Although some of the articles are a little on the thin side, it has the really neat feature at the top—a browseable (is that a word?) alphabet. Oh yes, not only can you type in a search phrase, but you can, simply, browse the day away jumping from topic to topic.

Can you hear the writers of the world giggle with glee and groan from finding yet another thing to take them from their characters? Yes, well, distraction loves company and I HAD to share this with you.

While topic jumping, I came across this tidbit of information pertaining to my series, “About to Sin,” 1/6th of the world’s population is Catholic. Thank you, Encyclocentral, for giving me some ammunition to use in my story. Oh, Anand, dear, you might want to hear this…

Poor Father Daniel, he might end up needing one of these Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Writer's Forum Rec

There’s a writer’s forum that I’ve found to be completely invaluable in regards to my grow as a writer and I would like to rec it to you. The forum’s name is Erotica Romance Writers Forum or ERWF

The mods are excellent, the fellowship is phenomenal and the fellow writers and editors have been a wonderful source of information and guidance for me. Even if you aren’t a forum junkie and you don’t like to participate in discussions, simply reading the information and knowing about the resources on that board will be worth your time.

I hope you check it out and find it to be as wonderful as I have.