Category: Rambling

Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop

Aug 24, 2012 by

Rainbow Book Reviews is running a Blog Hop this weekend, and I get to participate! <blows whistle!>  Here’s the link to the Hop.

As part of this celebration, participants were asked to blog about What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me. Aside for being whole bucketloads of fun, and the way to meet new people and make some kickass friends.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the post.

So here’s what I have to say on the subject.

What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy… oh, wait, wrong story.

A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…  Nope. Not “American Pie,” either.

Start over. When I was a child (better), my mother used to try and encourage me to become involved in politics. She was—still is—a fighter, a gently fierce woman who defended her children to the death, stood up for what was right, and volunteered her time and energy to helping others. She and my dad and my aunt (who lived with us) all worked at soup kitchens and ran fundraisers for digging wells in Africa and marched in protest of the Vietnam War. All this although she had six kids at home and was, by nature, a shy woman.

I’m not shy, though I am introverted. The idea of being in public terrifies me; the idea of being the center of attention triggers panic attacks. The idea of being in politics? Ludicrous. But my mother firmly believed that people can make a difference, and politicians don’t have to be evil and self-absorbed, but they do have the potential to change the world.

I don’t know about politicians, though I am and always have been a Democrat and a staunch one at that. (Will Rogers once said “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” That pretty much sums up my involvement in politics.) But I do believe that people can make a difference, that people have the potential to change the world.

For a very long time, I was content to let other people handle that, thank you. Oh, yes, I contributed to charities and occasionally got dragged out by my mom or aunt to run bingo games at retirement homes and whatnot. And I supported public television and public radio. But I wasn’t passionate about anything.

And then I started reading m/m. And then I started writing m/m. And then I started reading about m/m, and f/f, and all the other permutations—specifically, the state the world was in regarding GLBTQ . And I was horrified.

We weren’t wealthy when I was growing up—hell, we were barely even middle class—but I was lucky enough to grow up in a suburb that was affluent enough to be mostly liberal. I went to parochial school during the Vatican II years, when the Catholic Church was all about giving, and loving, and “if you want peace, work for justice.” I went to a public high school, where I met my first gay friend, who was as out as one could be in 1974 (really, nobody talked that much about sex then, so while we knew he was gay, we didn’t know anything about any part of it). He never mentioned being hassled at school, at least no more than the rest of us nerds were, so I don’t know if he was ever harassed for being gay.

I was innocent like that for a long time. I thought that people were generally good and that the Catholic Church was a nice religion, and that Bad Things only happened elsewhere.

I still think that people are generally good. I think that most Catholics are nice, and appalled at the way the Church has imploded in recent years. And I’ve never really personally experienced the kind of Bad Things that happen elsewhere.

I have been damned lucky.

Because Bad Things do happen. Appallingly often. And to the friends I don’t know yet, and sometimes will never get to know, because they are taken from us long before their time. It frightens me and horrifies me, and sometimes it lifts me up, when I see things like marriage equality becoming law in state after state, and artists and actors and musicians coming out of the closet, and even things like the garage mechanic in California (I think…) who fixed for free the car of a gay person who had it smashed up in a homophobic attack.

And somehow along the line, I have become political.

I’m still introverted. I still dread public humiliation, and will never be a politician, or even an activist, except in the very edge of activism. But I am aware, and being aware, feel compelled to make other people aware. So I share on Facebook, and Twitter, and talk to people one-on-one on the train platform and at work. I contribute to GLBTQ causes and support Gay Pride, and try as best as I can with my limited ability to communicate the reality of what gay teenagers and young people face. Because the more people know, the more they can change. But they can’t change if they don’t know.

Writing m/m changed me. I’m much more opinionated now on political issues, not just GLBTQ ones, but feminist ones and racial ones and immigrants’ rights one, because they are all interlinked. I look at the news today and dread what is happening to the political process and to society as a whole, with a large number of powerful people seemingly determined to shove us back into the Stone Age—or at least some version of the 1950’s, which anyone who actually lived back then can tell you was not a nice time to live, if you were black, a woman, gay, an immigrant, a blue collar worker, or poor. For every step we take forward—a biracial President, marriage equality, occupational safety laws—there are those who are fighting to shove us backward. Some people—and I can name them, which tells you how much I’ve become more aware—won’t be happy until gays are back in the closet, women are back in the kitchen, immigrants are only hired to pick lettuce, and employers given carte blanche to ignore safety concerns. They talk about a “gay agenda” when their agenda is much more destructive to the fabric of the United States as a whole.

Politicians and pundits nowadays focus on business, but it’s not about business. It isn’t enough to have a job if you can’t provide human dignity. In the words of Jacob Marley: “Mankind was my business!” Mankind is our business.

I frame most of my arguments in terms of gay rights and marriage equality, because those are the issues that brought me to my political stance. I feel that if I can get one person to listen and understand what the situation is all about, and that there are Bad Things happening to Good People, things that they can do something about, then maybe they will find their way to understanding the other issues. And maybe one of them will not be shy, or introverted, or nervous in public places. Maybe one of them will be like my mother and my father and my aunt, willing to help others, willing to take a stand, brave enough to have an opinion and a sense of what is right, and courageous enough to offer their hand to their brothers and sisters. Braver than me.

Because until there is equality, there cannot be justice. And until there is justice, there cannot be peace.

 

I promised you a giveaway, so here it is.  Any commenter on this blog will be entered into a random drawing for one of my ebooks. Drawing will be held at the end of the Blog Hop and winner will be notified on this site, so check back here on Tuesday to see if you won and to pick your prize!

Girls just want to have fun

May 24, 2012 by

Last night I sent a tweet to a friend who was anxious about attending a party and told her to “Have fun. Just have fun, always and everywhere.”

Yesterday I was chatting with another author who was deep in edits and we were commiserating on how our lives had changed once we had been published, and how so much time was being spent on marketing and promotion and maintenance, and how little time we had to actually write anymore. Her comment: “Remember when writing was fun?”

Once, when I was talking to my mother on the phone the evening before I was going out of town for an SCA event, she said, “Have fun.” Then she stopped and added, “I don’t know why I always say that—you always have fun.” And it’s true. I do.

I’m a firm believer in fun. Not mindless pleasure, not the frenetic search for fulfillment, not the need to have or do or be whatever society and fashion tells us will make us happy that fills so many people’s lives, but fun. That other stuff might pretend to be fun, but it really isn’t. It’s obligation, and not even obligations that we’ve accepted, but obligations that are imposed on us. Just say no. Only say yes to it if it’s fun.

What is fun?  It’s joy in what you’re doing. The part of the word “enjoy” that really matters:  “joy.”

Fun isn’t something you get. It’s not something that’s given to you automatically when you do or are or have something. Fun is something you make. You can have fun doing those other things, like partying with friends or going to a sporting event or some other social thing. But you can also have fun watching grass grow. Or doing laundry or cleaning house. Or sitting on a porch with your bestie not even talking. It all depends on what you bring to it, and what you can make of what you’re doing.

Sure, doing laundry isn’t always fun. Sometimes your back hurts and sometimes you’d rather be doing anything else, but sometimes, when the time is right and you’re in the right mood, you can make it a game. Or take pleasure in the smell and warmth of clean clothes. Or of empty baskets and a full closet.

I normally loathe housework, and my house looks like it. But one day two weeks ago, I was in the mood to do it, and spent 10 hours enjoying every moment of the cleaning.

Whoa, Pollyanna time! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Cockeyed optimist much?

Yeah… no. Anyone who knows me knows I’m no Pollyanna (who, if you don’t know, is the main character in book written a jillion years ago, who was so cheerful and optimistic that she changed the lives of everyone in her creepy little town. They did a Disney movie of it back in the ‘60’s when Disney made movies like that). I’m occasionally crabby, have a very short fuse, and do not suffer fools gladly. (Riding on the cliché train!) But I know what I enjoy, and I know how to make things I do fun when I have to. And you can too.

The first key is to know what you enjoy. It took me mumble-mumble years to realize that no, I am not a “People Person.” Back in the day, that was sort of a required statement in job interviews. I do not play well with others. I am a classic introvert, which, contrary to popular belief, does not mean that I am shy or withdrawn (just ask anyone who knows me). It means that I am happiest when I can work on my own, or with one other person.

There is no “I” in team—and I like it that way.

The second thing is to figure out what you really want to spend your time on—and then do it.

Yeah, I know. We all have things we have to do. Work to earn a living. Take care of our families. Maintain our homes. Fulfill social obligations. But these things don’t have to be completely devoid of fun. Figure out what you have to do, and then what you can do to make those things fun.

If your job isn’t fun, if you’re not satisfied at the end of the day, find a new job. Or better yet, find ways to improve your job. Look at what you should be doing—and what you could be doing. Challenge yourself. Rearrange your job so that it works better. Rearrange your desk so that everything works better. If your environment is stifling, you’re in the wrong place. You got that job—you can find another. It won’t be easy, but why put up with misery for a third of your life?

If you’re not having fun with your family—your family’s not having fun with you. And that’s just sad.

I remember as a kid my mother taking us (there were six kids in my family) out of school to spend a day at the museum or zoo. We didn’t suffer for it—we all did very well academically, and I think it was because we discovered early on that learning could be fun.  Mom also would do things like rent famous paintings from the library and hang them in our living room, and we would all try to find out something interesting about them. Cue love of art. My dad was musical, and played the piano, and told long rambling stories of growing up in the ‘20’s and ‘30s. Cue love of history and music. And every week we had a long, multisyllabic word written out and hung up over the kitchen table that we were challenged to learn to define before Sunday dinner. Cue love of language.

Learning=fun. Is it any wonder that several of us have advanced degrees—and some more than one?

We all had chores, of course, but even those could be fun. Racing to finish first (and still pass muster). Negotiating to switch jobs you were bored with. I used to clean the bathroom, and when I was done, I pretended with my Barbies that the sink was a lagoon and waterfall on a deserted island where they’d been stranded. Pirates were usually involved.

Around the holidays, our regular chores were assigned monetary value, so we would compete for the right to sweep down the stairs or clean the bathroom or shovel the walk. Of course we’d get aggravated sometimes, and sulk and fuss and whine about doing them. But a lot of the time they were fun.

I sometimes feel sorry for kids nowadays who don’t learn responsibility at such an early age. They’re missing out on the fun. And their parents, who run around taking them to soccer and dance class and play dates and all that stuff—yeah, they’re missing out on the fun, too. It’s not fun being a glorified chauffeur.

So why not try to find ways of making it fun? Why not indulge in a little make-believe? Buy a gray cap and pretend to be a chauffeur. Wear a Groucho nose and glasses. Embarrass your children.

And when you can spend time with your kids, or your Significant Other, or your mother-in-law, spend it doing something simple you enjoy, even if it’s only talking or playing cards or badminton. (Does anyone play badminton anymore?) Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, turn off the Nintendo. You can leave the Wii on if you promise to share.

Really, the most fun stuff is the simplest stuff. But you have to make it fun.

Okay, Pollyanna time over! You may now return to your regularly scheduled life, or the facsimile thereof.

 

Hello, Website!

Apr 27, 2012 by

Welcome to my brand spankin’ new website. Hopefully you were automatically shifted here from my old rowanspeedwell.wordpress.com blog, or are a new friend who came looking for me at a “real” web address. So hello!!

This site is so brand new that I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing or what’s working. If you’re a subscriber, I hope you got this as the subscriber list was supposed to copy over here. That’s part of the reason for this post–not only to introduce my new site (isn’t it pretty??) but to sort of check and make sure things are working as they are supposed to. I’d gotten pretty good at working with the WordPress blog dashboard, and while this is still built on the WordPress platform, there are things that are distinctly different. Please be patient while I work through all the details.

I’m very excited about this site–not only is it pretty (!!) but I can showcase my books better here, while still maintaining the blog presence. Maybe at some point I’ll put in a front page that’s more “me” focused. Like after I’ve won the Pulitzer or something. <snort>

Okay, if you’ve subscribed to my WP site but aren’t getting updates, please resubscribe using the link on the right. I apologize for any complications, but I hope the updated site is worth it. :)

Talk to you later!!

That sinking feeling . . .

Apr 12, 2012 by

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  I don’t know why I care, except that it gives me a title for this post, which I otherwise wouldn’t have, since it’s not really about anything. I’m just writing so I can avoid working on The WIP That Will Not Die. Two years, people! Two years I’ve been working on this book–or rather, avoiding working on this book. I am determined to finish it by the end of May at the latest. I sort of promised it to a publisher way back last fall, and am feeling very guilty about it.

     I reread it up until the part where it starts to go off the rails, and I like pretty much all of it to that point. I don’t know why it’s taking so long. I like the characters, I like the writing, I like the story, and I pretty much know what’s going to happen. WHY is it being so difficult? Every time I start to work on it it becomes a matter of… look, a squirrel!  Roadblock.

     This weekend I’m getting officially apprenticed to Sarafina, a Laurel in the art of sewing. The idea is for me to actually get better at pattern-drafting and period sewing techniques. A lot of SCA garb gets made on the machine, which is fine, but I like hand sewing, so I’m trying to work on the period styles. I want to make a Tudor outfit using solely period techniques. The only problem with that is it requires I make a corset to fit me.

     I am so not a corset type. I don’t want to wear a corset. Roadblock.

     Seems I keep running into them. Or maybe, it’s really an issue of me putting them up. Probably a pshrink would say I’m afraid of failure or afraid of success, when really I’m a fred a staires. (rimshot)

     The editing process for The Florentine Treasure, the novella coming out June 1st from Dreamspinner, continues apace. I sent in the form for the cover art (which isn’t custom cover art, since it’s only a novella) and the picture that inspired me. I wish they could include it on the cover, but it’s Michael Stipe from REM.

     Here it is.

He looks exactly like a Renaissance angel to me. Amazingly beautiful. It’s an old picture from when they were first getting started, so naturally he no longer looks like this, but boy, was he something back then.

     So, that’s what Giacopo looks like, except his eyes are jade green. You’ll read more about him when The Florentine Treasure comes out. Hopefully.

     ‘Til then, I’m going back to writi… LOOK! A CHICKEN!!

 

I love traveling . . . oh, wait. No, I don’t . . .

Mar 21, 2012 by

     I travel probably at least as much as the average person, though probably not more in total miles, as most of my travelage is weekend trips via automobile to various SCA events. But every once in a while I get to Travel–that is, turn my fate over to total strangers who may or may not have my safety as one of their priorities. That’s not the part that bothers me. No, what bothers me is getting to the place where I turn my life over into their hands.

     Going to NOLA for GayRomLit was more fun for me because I traveled by train, which was simply a matter of calling a cab to drop me off at the local Amtrak station, a trip of about twenty minutes (well, thirty-five, because for some reason the cabbies in the suburb tend to take on more than one passenger at a time, so we had a couple of stops in between. Fortunately, for reasons I shall explain later, I allowed myself extra time. If I had been driving, it would have been twenty minutes or less) and walking into the station hauling my hellaciously heavy suitcase. I did not have to stand in line in my stockinged feet while my back took up its throbbing refrain and my arches sank slowing into the west. I did not have to empty out my carryon bags into insufficiently large dishtubs, displaying my collection of shampoo and moisturizer to the wide world. I didn’t have to stand in front of an x-ray machine and wonder if my fat rolls would hide my naughty bits from the leering TSA agent. Nope, I walked into the elderly adobe train station, sat down on an equally elderly wood bench, and chatted with the station agent through her plexiglass window, which she’d decorated with hand-lettered announcements and pictures of her grandchildren. It was nice.

    I didn’t go through the usual panicked hysteria pre-trip with that one; I could focus on organizing swag (not enough and too much) and making sure I had enough to entertain myself for the 19-hour ride. I didn’t have to worry about the fact that for some reason, although the TSA strictly forbids gel insoles on airplanes, almost every insole on the market has gel in them–at least the ones that have a hope of actually helping my aforesaid fallen arches. Amtrak, like the honey badger, don’t care. I didn’t have to worry about checking a bag and having it get lost, or trying to cram everything into two too-small carryons. I didn’t have to get there two hours early (although I was almost an hour early, but That’s Just Me).

     I have this weird terror of being late for anything. I like driving places because I can control the timing of my arrival–sometimes within four minutes of my estimate. When I first started working downtown a few years ago, having to adhere to a train schedule made me nuts for months until I got the routine down. As it was, for the first couple of years I would always try to make the earlier train just in case I ran late. Most of my life runs that way–I am almost always very early for events. This is why I carry my Kindle with me always–because when I’m an hour early for something, I can always find a quiet parking lot to read in. But being early isn’t the only thing. I need to know that things will run smoothly, that I will be prepared in case of strange things happening to disturb my meticulous plans.

     Tomorrow I’m flying to New York for the Rainbow Book Fair and a workshop that Dreamspinner is putting on for its authors. JP Barnaby is traveling with me, and I have sent her into paroxysms of hysterical laughter with my “preparations.” Which include printing multiple copies of every possible associated piece of paperwork, packing and repacking three times, going into frantic mode about the bus station we will be traveling to O’Hare (O’HARE!!!) Airport from (I never fly out of O’Hare. Midway’s bad enough, but O’Hare is a Sartrean vision of Hell), and, last night, having a complete meltdown on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention I have been up almost non-stop since 4 am yesterday? Yeah, insomnia is one of the other side-effects of air travel.

     And the silliest thing is that I am packed and ready to travel (well, except for coloring my hair, which I’ll do tonight, just before I take the sleepy pills so that I can sleep straight through until 4 am–again–when I have to get up to travel to the bus station). I’m organized and have everything possible I might need–if the plane gets hijacked through an interdimensional wormhole and we have to survive on roasted airline peanuts and the contents of my carryon.

Bonus post

Mar 1, 2012 by

My God – two posts in two days?!!  I must be sick. Or something. But I’m not, I’m fine. Well, aside from the upset stomach from taking too many Excedrin yesterday battling a severe case of FMS, but that’s over now, and I’m feeling better. Except for the stomach. But anyway, that’s not what I’m posting about.

     (At least I’m in better shape than my poor Aunt Bunnie, who fell Tuesday and broke her arm and dislocated her shoulder. A normal person would have sat on the concrete and called for an ambulance. Nope, Bunnie is a Finley Girl, and they do not admit to pain. So she went home, and refused a trip to the ER when my brother wanted to take her. Then she went to the Urgent Care place the next day, and they SENT her to the hospital. That’s Bunnie. She’s home now, and allegedly comfortable, although she wouldn’t tell you if she wasn’t.)

     A couple of announcements – I have FINISHED the time travel romance short story that is due the fifteenth, or at least the first draft of it. Sadly, about 3,297 words are going to have to be cut. I will do that this weekend. I’m waiting to see if my beta reader can review the rough draft so I can see if it’s worth working on. I think it will be, with some clean up. It’s a bit art-history heavy, but that’s what it’s ABOUT, so…

     ALSO!  I am officially registered for GayRomLit 2012, to be held in Albuquerque October 18-21st. (I forgot to mention that the other day in discussing my upcoming travels. How could I forget that???) The lovely and delightful JP Barnaby will again be my traveling companion, and we will probably do some kind of author event together. Gay porn stars may be involved. (Hers, not mine, but what the hell.) We have a little time to work something up. There will be lots of stuff going on, and I’m really looking forward to it. Registration is limited to 400 and tickets are going fast!!

     And third, but no less important, I got an email today that said that Kindred Hearts is entering the process of being translated to Italian. This is nice enough news, but it came on the heels of my finishing my story (set in Italy) and reading a CupOPorn post written about living in Rome (also in Italy, for those who have been living under a rock or, you know, were educated in certain public school systems in the U.S.). So there is definitely an Italian theme going on here today…

     Maybe I need to book a trip to Italy, too…

Where the heck did winter go?

Feb 28, 2012 by

Okay, not that I’m complaining, or anything, ’cause I’m not stupid, you know. And frankly, cold weather plays billy-hell with my fibromyalgia, so cold winters are horrendous. But it’s going to be fifty-five degrees tomorrow, the last day of February.  In Chicago.

     It’s been like this all winter. On New Year’s Eve, I went out without a coat.  On February 2nd, it was 60 degrees. My gas bill, usually about $300 by now, is $113. I think the water I keep in my car most of the rest of the year has frozen exactly twice.

     We still have March to go through, but for now I’m liking this milder weather. I hope it keeps up so when I go to New York for the Rainbow Book Fair at the end of the month I won’t have to wear a bulky coat on the plane.

     Speaking of which–one of my New Year’s resolutions–actually my ONLY resolution–was to travel less. So far this year I’ve been to St. Louis and to Kalamazoo, will be going to New York at the end of March, and in November–Turkey. Yep, Turkey. I’m skipping Pennsic this year, but that’s still a lot of traveling for someone who said she was going to travel less. Oh well. That’ll teach me to make resolutions.

     But…  Turkey!  This is going to be really awesome. Me and Mom, exploring the Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sofia, and Troy and Ephesus and Pergamon–where they invented parchment!–and Anatolia, which I guess is just a region of Turkey but for some reason like “Istanbul” and “Samarkand” fills me with visions of romance and mystery. Hopefully I’ll get some story ideas out of this–or at the very least, a hella lot of pictures.

     But first, I gotta get rid of this plantar fasciitis…

Bad Blogger Blues

Dec 20, 2011 by

I admit it. I am the world’s worst blogger. The whole point of these things is to keep sort of a daily journal or something, isn’t it? A log, like the Captain’s Log on Star Trek. Or the one that that Julie person did about making all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook. I have that cookbook–well, I have The French Chef and Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1, and I think it was one of those. I bought them for $2 each on the sale rack at my library and it turned out that she died the same day. I don’t cook AT ALL, so I think my purchase of those books is what killed her. Sorry. Couldn’t have been because she was like ninety or something. Anyway, I don’t cook but I love cookbooks. I bought someone who shall be nameless ’til at least after Christmas the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and had a real hard time giving it to him. I may have to buy a copy myself, if only for an offensive weapon. I think it weighed about fourteen pounds.

     And why isn’t “til” a valid word? I mean, come on. Who says “until” every time? And having to remember to put that stupid apostrophe in front makes me crazy. And I tend to be a grammar anachronist, so that’s saying something.

     So, anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, being a bad blogger. I’ve probably lost the three subscribers I did have, but if not:  “Hello!  Happy Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy WhateverYourHolidayIsIfAnything!  I aten’t dead yet!”

     That last is of course, borrowed from Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett–scuze me, Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Best books ever. There was a rumor going around yesterday that Jon Bon Jovi was dead, and today there’s a photo going around of him holding a sign that basically said he wasn’t. I think he should have made up a big one that says “I ATEN’T DEAD” like Granny uses when she goes head-hopping.

This is the cover of my Christmas story for this year. It came out on Sunday and is available at Amazon. I like it. It’s cute and sweet, despite the bad beginning (bad in the sense of something bad happens to one of Our Heroes, not in the sense that it was badly written. In my opinion, anyway).  Will is a college student who’s accidentally outed to his conservative father, who beats the shit out of him and kicks him out a week before Christmas. He hikes back to his college, where he figures he’ll live out the rest of the year in his dorm room before they kick him out too. But he stops at a church to rest, and his roommate Quinn, who’s practicing in the choir there, finds him and takes him under his wing. I’m sort of a little in love with Quinn, but I usually am. At any rate, he’s cute, and you can get the story from the Amber Allure website or from Amazon.

    I’m actually working on another blog post that I’ll do next week, hopefully. It’s to showcase my friend, the fantasy artist Shannon Valentine. She’s the one who painted the original of my bookmark, and she did some line drawings for GayRomLit for me, of characters in Finding Zach. She is an incredibly talented woman, and I’ll have pictures to prove it. Stay tuned…

The fall, she is falling.

Sep 12, 2011 by

     Bitterwood edits are done and sent back to Amber Allure and the lovely Karin Story. (That’s my editor. I haz an editor! And isn’t that a great name for an editor? Fills me with all kinds of hope!) The book is still on track for a September 25th release, because the folks at Amber, they are fast.

     Today I got the second email regarding Kindred Hearts where someone was compelled to stop reading IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK to write me and tell me how much they are enjoying it. This blows my mind (sorry, Sixties’ flashback). That someone is so moved by something I wrote just flabbergasts me.

     Work proceeds apace on my niece’s christening gown; the bodice is embroidered and I’m working on the skirt embroidery. Time is fleeting and I need it done by the first weekend in October. IN THE MEANTIME, I’m trying to work on Turbulence, a sort of spin-off of Finding Zach (although there are no cameos planned for any of the major characters in that work); thinking about Going Like Elsie, my hermit/rock star romance; thinking about my straight Regency, A Lamb for Isabel; editing Angel Voices, a Christmas story that I need to submit, um, yesterday; and get some freelance editing done too. Oh, and finish my swag for GayRomLit and do a little thrift store browsing for Victoriana for my steampunk adventure.

     And then there that little issue of the electric in my house going all wonky. I’ve lost a “leg” of the circuits or something like that, which basically boils down to the fact that my kitchen mostly doesn’t have power and I have industrial-strength extension cords snaking around my house. Ahh, the joys of homeownership.

     Finally, I just ordered some Blue Stop for my fibromyalgia. Heidi Cullinan gave me some and it’s wonderful, especially for my hands, which hurt quite a lot, to the point where I can’t lean on them or rest my head on them, or anything like that. But I ran out and the weather is getting cooler, and that’s when the fibromyalgia kicks in. I got the two small jars so I can carry one in my purse and leave one at home. I have a feeling it will become like my Excedrin and my inhaler—one in every place I spend any time: car, office, bedroom. But if it takes the pain away, it will all be worthwhile!

Social, Not Working

Aug 3, 2011 by

     Pennsic preparations are underway; my bins are packed (that sounds vaguely off-color; I have no idea why) and ready to load in the car, and pretty much everything else is properly in train. This means, however, that I will be off-line for about ten days, which, considering I live and breathe by my mobile apps, will be not unlike quitting smoking cold turkey. (Not that I’ve ever smoked, and cold turkey? Yum, especially with mayonnaise and home-grown tomatoes on fresh bread…) 

     This has become an issue the last couple of years, what with the writing life and the social networking I do. (Who’da thunk I’d suddenly develop a social life?)  I pretty much don’t write during Pennsic—hell, I pretty much don’t READ during Pennsic, and anyone who knows me is right now dropping dead of shock. Because I read constantly. But at Pennsic, there’s so much to do, and so many people to talk to, and so many bottles of Gatorade to fill for the Ayreton Angels Fighter Support Squad, that I just don’t have time to read. I do sew, and sometimes draw, because you can do that and talk at the same time, but I don’t read or write, which are both activities for which I require quiet and solitude.

     The internet isolation is especially knotty this year, because of JP Barnaby. JP writes wonderfully angsty stories, some with BDSM, some without, but all with immense tear-jerking properties. In fact, she just sent me a heart-in-your-throat short short story under the subject line: “Your crying jag for the day…” Beast. I love her. AND she and I are going to collaborate on a novel. Or perhaps a series; we haven’t quite worked that out yet. The other day, we shot ideas back and forth like water balloons at a picnic. It’s still in the bare bones stage, but we think it will be a fantasy novel with kings and executions and gods and reincarnation and social reconstruction and battles and wizards and street kids and of course TONS of angst:  betrayals and murder and poison and forced prostitution and slavery and tattoos. Because that’s what we do, JP and I:  we torture our characters.

     So I will be pretty much incommunicado and left to percolate ideas with no way of sharing them with JP, and she will be working on her next Little Boy Lost installment without me as a critique partner (waaaah!!) hopefully, because she has a deadline. And I still need to finish the story I’m working on before I can commit to an undertaking like the collaboration I really want to be working on. It will be interesting to see how we work together; I tend to take a looooong time to write, and JP whips those puppies out like one of those tennis ball machines.  So I hope this will inculcate in me the drive to write faster, because I pretty much need to do that. Not so much faster as more, on a daily basis. I’m gonna have to start writing at home, instead of just on my lunch hour.

     Maybe I will develop a better work ethic….   Nah.

     On a separate note, my mom called last night, to tell me she’d gotten to the part of Kindred Hearts where Charles is in the Battle of Waterloo, and she said she had been on the edge of her seat it was so good.  I love that!  On the other hand, she doesn’t like men who cry, whereas I do. (See “Angst,” above.) I’m just happy that she’s reading it and finding it readable. Because she is, after all, my MOM.