Sunday Small Talk

Given the first week with our new illustrious (cough) leader in charge has been depressing as fucking hell, not much has gotten written other than a few lines for the flash fic I promised to Lex. Yeah I haven’t been able to write 500 words.

So why even update? Because I DID finish my whole novel revision of Blood Red Roulette! I’m very happy about that since I’m way ahead of my self imposed deadline. However, four things still need doing. I need to go over the first 10 chapters AGAIN (shoot me). I’ve decided to change one more thing which I think will help Arrigo look less like a selfish ass and a bit more intelligent so I have to go fix that. In the process I should double check Luc’s dialogue. He gets more Cajun as we go so I need to make that more consistent.

There are only three sex scenes in this, two short blow jobs (one very awkward one, done purposefully) and the one time they aren’t having a quickie. Problem: I hate that scene. It doesn’t work. It really doesn’t so I’m going to scrub it. I’m half tempted to not redo it but I think it needs to be there so back to the drawing board with that one.

And then I realize there is something missing. There is a scene in the 20-something chapter range where Arrigo goes to help Luc remove his stuff from his dad’s place which was a nice scene because we finally learn something about Luc’s mother and how much he loved her and the few things he kept that were important to him. That scene is now missing. I’ve been through every flash drive and as far back as last April that scene was gone. It doesn’t exist in the chapter break down files either. In fact in me sending my beta readers chapter by chapter files, I totally skipped over the 20s. I caught them up apparently with the full document instead of chapter files and I know this because I just spent a half hour scouring my sent folder for them.

I want to add that in but there’s a problem. What do I remove to do so? In removing Craig’s whole plot line, I only lost barely 2K. This thing is still about 113K. One of the original complaints was it was too long. I could remove Damien but I liked having him there because if nothing else it gave Taabu something to do and I’m NOT removing her. I wanted a few scenes to humanize her so people care when things go sideways.

I’m not sure what to do.

Once I get these things polished, I’m going to work on the finding new beta readers for it. I’m not looking forward to that. I better brace my ego.

Rainbow Snippets

I’m still sharing from There Haunted Hills. I’d better get back to writing it! I’m struggling to write anything right now. I have a rough semester this time out and by the time I get home and do all the work I have to do, I’m too tired to write. Sigh.

This picture is jumping ahead a little to where Brendan will first meet Joshua. This is Ash cave in the Hocking Hills, near Logan, Ohio.

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The snippet continues directly from when he got his coffee and has sat down on the futon to try and settle in (and it finally hints as to why he’s in this cabin in the woods, other than as a potential site to commit suicide in).

Flipping on the TV, he reassured himself there was actually a functioning satellite and ditto the wifi for the computer so there wouldn’t be some Overlook-The Shining isolation driven craziness going on. Brendan powered up his computer, wondering if he should remove the paperweight of a galaxy he had as a wallpaper. Kristen had shared her opinions on it the last time she had seen him, and they had been as negative as they had been loud. He pushed it from his mind. He checked his emails, let Kristen know he’d made it safety. He saw no emails from his agent, his best friend Jonathan nor the man who he’d hired to show him around to the haunted sites in the Hocking Hills and the surrounding towns.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Politics

I’ve been absent the last few Queer Blog Wednesdays because I’m adjusting to my new schedule where I have to be in the lab around 730 AM and leave around 5 and I’m too wasted to think afterward (Maybe I should start these on Tuesday). Not to mention the giant ball of depression that is sitting on the lot of us so I decided to make that the focus this time and hopefully never mention it again.

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You might notice I don’t talk politics on my social media much. It isn’t that I don’t care (someone had suggested that about those who are quiet and I do NOT want anyone thinking I don’t care because I do) or that I’m with that orange jizztrumpet (because god, no!) Politics make me anxious. Chest-pain, heart palpitating, sweating and outright panicking anxious and that has been since LONG before Dumpster fire. It started nearly 25 years ago when I used to have to deal with lobbyists for patient and doctor rights.

I avoid it with a passion, all of it. Right now social media is enough to make me give up all hope and believe me, it doesn’t take me much to drop into suicidal thoughts. I’ve been dealing with those even longer than I have politics.

While it’s true, I am not in the QUILTBAG at all, I still see it as my fight (Hell, I’m a woman scientist with tons of health issues, I have plenty of reasons to join the Resistance). The one thing history has taught me is you can’t just rely on the group directly involved. Are they at more risk than me? Inarguably. But every rights movement (women’s, race, gay, doesn’t matter) needs to bring in people from all walks of life rather than to turn them away with a ‘you aren’t X, you can’t understand.’ Maybe not entirely but everyone can understand basic rights and fight along side others to achieve a goal.

So for me, you’re not going to see endless political posts or outraged ranting even if I agree with you because I have my mental health to protect. My fight will be a quiet one and maybe one where my posts will be about where you can get involved to HELP. And for the activist out there self care for the activist because seriously burn out and mental issues can happen to any of us under this level of stress.

And let me share some good news like this LGBT center for SouthEast Ohio that some of my friends are heavily involved in (and I’m bringing news of this to my students).

And the fact that one of my students immediately decided to spearhead a new experiment on the water supplies in the surrounding four counties to battle the gag order on the EPA and other agencies who should be policing this, looking at lead levels among other things. Proud of her.

Hopefully next time I’ll be back with more writing related material!

Sunday Small Talk

We’ll keep it short as a) there’s not much in the way of actual news b) it’s been a depressing week with little reprieve on the horizon.

I did agree to do a flash fiction prompt thing for Lex Chase’s blog. I have the idea. I just need to sit my butt down and do it and for it NOT to get insanely long.

I find myself wondering if there are any Halloween anthologies out there. I’m in the mood to write something scary but I haven’t gone searching yet.

I’m up to chapter 28 on edits for Blood Red Roulettebut it’s hard going for a couple of reasons. I’m to the point where I’m going to remove an entire plot thread so I have to be very careful that I get it out. Also I noticed another thing I need to do to the beginning so that means rereading the first 10 chapters AGAIN. OMG I am never going to want to see this again by the time it’s accepted somewhere (or I self publish it). But if I do this thing, it will make Arrigo look less like a selfish dickhole so it needs doing.

It’s hard also because every time I fix something it adds word count, not removes it. Sigh. I’ve managed to get 1k out of it but it needs more to go. It doesn’t help that I keep seeing person after person posting about how no one wants fantasy/SF/paranormal romances because they’re not selling. Granted they would never reach the levels of contemporaries but I can’t believe they’re not selling judging by requests I’ve seen in writing challenges, the sheer amount of people in communities like Queer Sci-Fi and how many of the authors who love writing it. I mean, if you love writing it, it stands to reason you’re buying it. It’s the ONLY thing I buy. I’ll be pretty damn sad if I have to stop following some of my favorite authors because they’ve had to give up on genre fiction because they can’t make it otherwise. (I’ve tried to read some of their contemporary stuff and while well written did literally nothing for me).

So wish me luck on getting Blood Red edited and sent to betas. Wish me even more luck on getting this depression under control.

Rainbow Snippets

I’m continuing with These Haunted Hills even though the work on it is STILL very slow.

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This is Queer Creek (no, really) that wends its way around the Hocking Hills and is part of the various small waterfalls.

We’re still with Brendan this week (Maybe next week I’ll fast forward to Joshua’s pov). This snippet is directly after last week’s and it showcases Brendan’s mental state at the start of the story.

Brendan could see giving in to the grief in a quiet place like this. They wouldn’t know until his month’s worth of rent was up. He shuddered and forced himself away from the window. He busied himself with unpacking. He braved the lashing rain to grab his computer bag and three canvas bags of groceries out of the car. His mood lifted to an inch above the floor once he filled the cabin with the scent of coffee.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Sunday Small Talk

I almost didn’t bother with a post today because there really isn’t much to say. I’ve written all of two paragraphs on These Haunted Hills and all the rest of my time has been sucked up by the first week back to school stuff and editing Blood Red Roulette and making a fine mess of it.

Then I thought, you know what, let’s start this year out right by thanking the people who’ve helped me. So thank you to Betty and & for offering up some thoughts on how to even FURTHER revamp the beginning of Blood Red so Arrigo looks less like a selfish idiot because that isn’t what I wanted him to be. When I reconfigured Eleni to make her a more worthwhile villain, it was at Arrigo’s expense and that isn’t working either. So thank you, ladies.

And thanks also to & for weighing in on the rejection of Cassadaga Nights because I had to agree with the editors of the publishing house who said no. I had worried about that and now those worries were confirmed but you know, I think CN can wait until I get my way through BRR.

Sadly I see there is one less publishing house to consider. Wilde City closed its doors. I had noticed it wasn’t open for submission when I shopped around for CN and while I have nothing there personally it’s sad to see SO MANY indie LGBT publishers going under. I’m also worried about Wayward Ink. The owner there had said hopefully by Jan things would be rolling again (health issues are the concern here) but it’s mid Jan with no contact. Oh well. Right now I have enough on my plate without worrying about the SF short I have in consideration there. Once I get BRR and CN reworked, and if there is still no word by then (because seriously I’m thinking it’ll be mid-March by then) THEN I’ll pull that story.

Of course, I guess the argument could be made that we could just self publish all of these things but that really isn’t what I want to be doing right now. Mostly because with the indie publishing houses I at least have some marketing support, editors to help me and cover artists (I mean have you SEEN all my cover art? It’s amazing and I could never get anything that good on my own.) So yeah, it’s sad to see another one go and good luck to my friends who are affected by this. It’s not an auspicious start to the new year (especially following on the heels of the All Romance nightmare).

Rainbow Snippets

I’m continuing with These Haunted Hills even though the work on it has been very slow (as I’ve been working on edits for a vampire thing which I might start sharing again as I really need fresh eyes on it).

Brendan is bisexual which will be known by the second chapter. I’m using Tom Mison (from Sleepy Hollow) as body/face inspiration for Brendan though I’m not sure yet if his hair is shorter or longer.

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This takes place directly after last week’s snippet and I ran over 2 sentences so the thought is completed (as a reminder, Brendan has come to the Hocking Hills and is renting a cabin for a month).

 

He peered out one rain streaked window. All he could see were trees, mostly pines with something that was covered in blooms, dogwood maybe. The green isolation he’d chased after surrounded him. Those second thoughts skyrocketed. Kristen hadn’t wanted him to come. She didn’t trust him alone. Brendan knew his ex had reason to worry. Both of them were mired in grief and three years hadn’t moved them past it.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!