Questions Asked and Yet Answered

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, I’m awake and alive (the two can be, at times, mutually exclusive), and I made it through another Saturday which wasn’t one of the best, but it was better than I expected.  There wasn’t as much writing as expected–I feel just short of six hundred words before I was busy doing some research during the afternoon, and there were distractions like Where Eagles Dare being on TCM (bit of trivia:  it has the highest body count of any Clint Eastwood movie–total 100 people–and it was the last movie where he didn’t receive top billing) and then Orphan Black Season Two starting an hour and a half later, seestras.  But the quantity isn’t important:  it’s the quality.  And it ended with one of the more important things I’ve written for the story:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie patted the envelope with her right hand. “Ms. Rutherford left prepaid debit cards with £200 on them for us to use. No need to worry about money for the day.”

“Oh.” Kerry’s eyes took on a far away look as he seemed to consider Annie’s words.

Seeing the indecision on Kerry’s face, Annie knew the time had come to push the forty-four percent odds in her favor. She reached out and touched his hand; Kerry’s head swiveled around to face her immediately. “Would you like to do something? Would you like to go somewhere with me, Kerry?”

 

Yeah, those last two questions are going to come back a few more times in this scene, and later–well, I know what sort of importance they play much later in the story, and the effects are going to be fairly tramatic.  You wouldn’t think that would be the case, but it will.  It’s gonna tear someone’s heart out.

Don’t worry:  they’ll get better.

Yesterday’s post seemed to generate a few of my more interesting comments, which were along the lines of, “Wait, there’s werewolf erotica?  Since when?”  Since people were writing, that’s when.  Off the top of my head I can’t remember the actual title, but back in the days when Rome was pretty much kicking everyone’s ass, one of the more popular books around had the main character turn into an ass and head off some sexual adventures.  It has been pointed out by no greater an authority on the mater than Cracked.com (I was biting my inner lip when I wrote that) that strange fetishes have been around a long time–sometimes centuries, sometimes a lot longer than we’d like to admit there’s recorded history.

I like to make fun of the various sorts of erotica out there on the Internet, until I remember that (1) these people are writing, and (2) some of them are selling a lot.  What that says about people in general I’ll leave to you, because if you read some of my stranger erotica, you’d likely lump me in with the dino porn women.

If you are curious about the the sort of things out there, never fear!  I’m gonna show you, because I’m that sort of gal.  Click on any of these links at risk of your own sanity, and lets remember that every link takes you to that wonderful purveyor of reading material, Amazon.com, and not some shady, back-asswards website where the Internet has crawled off to die.

Without further ado:

"How is that even . . . no, no, no!  Why did I look?  Why?"

“How is that even . . . no, no! Why did I look? Why?”

Maybe you’d like some Kraken erotica?

There are also some excitable werewolves, and a leprechaun you might not want to meet.

Maybe you’re not the Mother of Dragons, but you could be the lover or one–or two.

I don’t remember reading about this Minotaur when I was into Greek Mythology–

Speaking of Dino Porn–yeah, it’s here.

Gay Cuttlefish Shapeshifter Erotica–that’s not something I made up:  I’ve taken that right off the Amazon page for the story.  You’re welcome.

Even unicorns won’t escape my gaze!

Last but not least, if you’re interested in how someone works to write stuff like this, they talk about it in long piece from io9:  How to Write a Sex Scene Between a Unicorn and a Rainbow.

Hummm . . . I think my work here is done.

Out of the Fire, Into the Dance

Not much writing wise got accomplished last night–and yet, there was.  It was a weird, raining night (not dark and stormy, mind you) and I had to door to my balcony open and my fleece jacket on while I did my nails and thought about writing scenes.  I kept walking from the computer to the balcony, where I would take in the night air–and the noise of the street twelve stories below–while I let my nails dry.  It’s a great way to think and let you mind work on ideas–

I worked on a story.  Only it wasn’t my current work in progress.  I was thinking along the lines of erotica, because I’ve reread some of the stuff I did years back and I’m interesting in publishing it under another name and seeing if this generates any cash.  Be my luck that I’ll end up selling big and I’ll spend the rest of my life writing all sorts of strange stuff for the masses to wank to.

But I believe Gore Vidal started out this way, so there are worse paths to follow.

I also spoke with a friend who read a few of those stories–I’d sent them her way Thursday night–and she told me she’d had a difficult time sleeping because, well, I apparently brought back sexy.  She’s also an illustrator, and she let me know she had a few ideas about a couple of the scenes, and she wanted to work up a few preliminary sketches to show.  I let her know that if I liked them I’d commission a few more for the story, and use them when I publish–which, honestly, I now feel is a bigger possibility that it was a few months before.

Which brings me back to the current work . . . the Great Cassie Novel on Hold.

Today or tomorrow I’m going to go into one of the scenes and rewrite part of it.  If I like what I see, I’ll move on to another scene which needs a rewrite after the previous rewrite didn’t feel right.  If I’m satisfied there, then I’ll move on to the new scene that need recreating, and then rewrite the scene that follows.

I know my focus there now, and I have a better feel for the characters.  I say I may start the rewrite today because I still have things to work out in the character map, and there’s a few things I want to do with Kerry as well.

The rewrite is coming, however, because yesterday was a Dance on a Volcano sort of day, and it was necessary to, as the lyrics say, get out of the night and out of the dark, into the fire and into the fight.  One as to make up their mind if they’re going to continue or just cut and run–and I decided there really isn’t any choice for me.  It’s finish the story in a form that isn’t going to embarrass me, and by that I mean I can live with the characters.  It won’t be an easy struggle, but I’m certain I’ll find my way through the death zone of expectations that didn’t pan out.

"Death zone my ass.  You wanna see a death zone?  Watch what I do with the whole London section."

“Death zone my ass. You wanna see a death zone? Watch what I do with the whole London section.”

The novel will get finished.  That’s all there is to that crap.  Just need to stop being worried and get through what needs to be done.

It’s dance on the volcano or die time.  I know where I want to go.

New Tales of the Old Erotica

One scene down, five scenes remaining for this last chapter.  A couple of scenes–or at least one–won’t be that long.  Then again, last night’s scenes clocked in at a little over sixteen hundred words, and that’s not a lot for one of my scenes.  One scenes may actually come in at under a thousand words, though that remains to be seen.

At the worse I’ll finish in ten days, at best I could wrap all this up in less than a week.  A good push over this weekend could see me finishing up before next weekend–or I may finish up next Saturday or Sunday.  Either way, I see the end, and I know when it’s coming.

Then it’s on to other projects.

One of those projects included editing a manuscript for someone else.  Big push time after I’m through with my story, and spend a few hours every night cleaning it up.  But what of my tales?  Well, I got a plan here.

Now, it has been mentioned once or twice that long ago and far away, I used to write fiction that had very little to do with what I write now.  I would say that I wrote erotic fetish fantasies, while others would likely say smut, and a few would go so far as to condemn it as over-the-top porn.

Regardless what you might call it, a few years back I sold a set of four interconnecting stories that were rather unusual, rather strange, and in their own way rather steamy.  My total sale was forty dollars, and I rack that up as my first professional sale.  What was really cool was that they were illustrated, with covers and a set of four inside pictures.  It was really pretty classy, if I say so myself, and I was actually quite proud to see the project come together.  I even have all the covers and illustrations that were made, but due to the fact I don’t own the copyrights on the pictures–and I’d promised I would never show them to anyone–it is unlikely they will ever see the light of day.

The rights to the stories, however, reverted back to me last year.  I checked the contract that I’d signed, and I’m well past the point where I can publish these stories under a pseudonym of my own choosing.  Because, why not?  They are written, they are edited, and about all I need is a crappy cover and I’m ready to rock.

I even have my smutty author name picked out, one that I can slap onto the cover and say, “Lookie here, sexy girl publishing sexy stories!”  Or something like that.  Probably won’t be anywhere near that exciting, or even that sexy.

The thing is, I have another erotica story, that I sold a couple of years ago, and the rights of that story will revert to me.  So if I want to put that sucker out there under another name, I can.  And then there’s Fantasies in Harmonie, which needs a good cleaning and a cover, whereupon it’s set to go live for the unsuspecting world to discover.

"I didn't know you could do that with your body.  Or another body.  Or . . . Check!"

“I didn’t know you could do that with your body. Or another body. Or . . . what the hell am I reading?

That’s just one of the things I’m looking to do.  There are others, but this is one.

It’s waiting for me to do something, too.  I’d be a fool not to take it by the hand and lead it into the light.

Millennium

Here is it, the one and only, my 1000th post.  After nearly three straight years of coming here to share, with my audience and followers, my almost-innermost thoughts, I have reached a most impressive goal.

"It's all darkness and misery, leading to a lonely, pointless death."

“What is the point?  In the end it’s all darkness and misery, leading to a lonely, pointless death.”

Thanks, Frank.  I knew I could count on you to bring the good times to the party.

At least there are others who feel differently . . .

"I already knew your inner thoughts and secrets--your passwords were easy to break, even with the childish encryption you used."

“I already knew your inner thoughts and secrets–your passwords were easy to break, even with the encryption.  You are a sad, foolish girl.”

Ray of sunshine you are, Lisbeth.  Don’t you have a large Swedish corporation to take down?

What started me down this strange path?  Well, to be honest, writing.  Not writing a blog, however.  No, not at all.  When I first started this sucker I was going in fits and starts, and my postings were uneven.  I had nothing to say, I just posted things here and wondered if anyone would read them.  And frankly, I gave very few shits if anyone did.

What started me working hard on the blog was when I was writing my novella Kuntilanak.  I wanted to get into the habit of writing, and it wasn’t just enough to work on the story, because I was afraid I would–as I had done many times before–just give up somewhere along the line.

Then came the brilliant idea:  what if I talked about writing my story by writing on my blog?  It’s simple:  I work on the story in the morning, do a little editing in the afternoon, and at some point in between I’d set up a post detailing my writing exploits.  Not exactly the greatest idea in the world, but it kept me writing my story–and it’s kept me writing my blog.

And how much have I kept writing.  I went back and looked, and found that the last day I didn’t post an entry was 24 March, 2012, a couple of months short of two years ago.  However, there were two posts on 23 March because of something that kept me from posting on the 24th.  So it’s not really a missed day, just a day where I posted the day before.  The last day where nothing was written:  8 September, 2011.  Which, if you’re following the details of current work in progress, is the actual day Kerry is shocked so badly by the Queen of Sorcery, Helena Lovecraft, that he ends up spending the night in the hospital.

Coincidence?  You tell me.

So much has changed since that summer of 2011.  Since then I’ve been through three jobs, and I’ve moved for two of them.  I still suffer from depression, but not nearly as much as back in 2010 and 2011.  I cry more, but that’s because I feel more, I’m not cut off from my emotions any longer.  I finally came to grips with my gender dysphoria, began seeing a therapist and came out, and now spend a reasonable portion of my life as female (as opposed to Life in Technicolor, but you can blame Coldplay for that).

Most of all I write.  I write stories, and I write on my blog.  I’ve sold one story and self-published two.  My sales are crap, but I’m keeping at it.  2014 is the year I start sending more things out, because I’ve got a slush pile and a half waiting, and it’s time to move that monster.  Talk is cheap, and I got bills to pay.

Yesterday and today I looked over my posts and my stats, and decided to list my ten biggest posts in the history of this blog.  We  aren’t talking huge numbers here, and with the exception of one time when I was sort of damned with faint praise by someone who said, “You only get about forty hits a day?  I thought you were huge.  I get more than that,” I’m happy with my few thousand followers who literally come from everywhere on the planet.

Behold my Global Empire!

Behold my Global Empire!

Since I’ve always wanted to do this, allow me to offer up my own top ten.

 

Top Ten Posts of All Time:

10. If I Go the Plane Way, 8 November, 2013.  140 views.

This was about a set of scenes I was working one during the last NaNo, and how I used Scrivener to layer additional scenes under existing scenes.

 

9.   The End Beginning Again, 5 January, 2014.  144 views.

This was about my idea file, and how something I’d thought about using for an old story in the file was considered for a much later story I wanted to write.  This is the only post from 2014 to make my top ten.

 

8.   Time Tunneling, 16 October, 2013.  148 views.

In the run-up to NaNoWriMo 2013 I went into a lot of detail about how I set up my novel, and some of the things I was doing with time lines.  This was the third of my “October Three” where I had fantastic hits for three posts in a row.  Just as I did layers of scenes, this showed how to do layers of timelines within timelines.

 

7.   You Are Now Leaving Silent Hill, 22 September, 2013.  167 views.

My first “Daily Excursion” post after arriving in Harrisburg, PA.  I ran up to Centralia, PA–which was once used as inspiration for the art direction of the movie Silent Hill–walked around, got pictures, and lived to tell the tale.

 

6.   Preparatory School, 14 October, 2013.  207 views.

The first of my “October Three” post, where I show the lay out of what was to be my NaNo 2013  novel, and that is still my current work in progress.

 

5.   Playthings in the Hands of the Arbiters of Decency, 27 February, 2012.  231 views.

This is the only one of my rants that made the top ten.  It was about how PayPal was getting crappy about being used to pay for what it saw as smut, and how it arbitrarily decided to impose rules that screwed over a lot of writers.  Things are much better now, unless you write monster smut . . .

 

4.   Dancing with Demons, 4 November, 2011.  272 views.

The oldest of my top tens, this one puzzles me.  I was four days into my first NaNoWriMo, hard at work on Her Demonic Majesty, and I threw this one up pretty fast.  And for some reasons it has pulled in nearly three hundred hits.  Must be the demons . . .

 

3.   Done Ready, 21 October, 2013.  312 views.

A quick discussion about how I was ready to start NaNo 2013.  I say in this post that I’d finish the first book of The Foundation Chronicles by 31 December.  I think I meant I’d finished my drugs then.

 

2.   Timelines and the Aeon, 15 October, 2013.  644 views.

The middle of my “October Three”, and the biggest by far.  This is where Aeon Timeline ended up on my computer and I told everyone about it.  Apparently a lot of people liked that.

 

1.   Penultimate Daydream, 2 May, 2012.  645 views.

And this is another puzzle.  Why?  Because nothing much is said here.  Well, actually, there is, but it doesn’t make that much sense.  I was sleep deprived, I hated my job, I was almost hallucinating.  It was the day before I turned 55, and the incident I speak off while dining, I did think someone I knew was dining with me.  And then they weren’t, and it killed me.  I’ve always wondered if there was some kind of bot that drove the numbers up.  Not that it maters today.

 

Honorable Mentions:

The Rough Guide to My Alternate Chicago, 12 December, 2011.  120 views.

This was the first post where I really got into talking about the wonders of editing, and though most writers hate it, about this time was when I was starting to love it.  And so I have to post my love.

 

Hail, Scrivener!, 31 July, 2011.  128 views.

The oldest of my posts with more than one hundred views, this is where I started talking about Scrivener, and how much it was helping my writing and my story telling.  What was nice about this post was there was a comment from the Scrivener people, saying they enjoyed the kind words I had for their product.  That was when it first hit me:  there are people out there actually reading this stuff!

 

In looking over some of my old posts I saw likes from people who no longer blog, who have vanished from the face of the Internet, who I wonder about.  Blogging isn’t something you stick with day in and out for years.  I’m probably one of the strange examples, getting up every morning and cranking out my five hundred words, or more, before starting out my day.  And if any of you who used to blog, who I used to see every day, are still out there following me–hey, I miss you guys.  Hope your life is treating you well, because we all need that.

What comes next?  No more special posts for a while, that’s for sure.  If I do another, it’ll come when I reach my 2,500th post, which over four years away.  And that begs the question:

When will I stop blogging?

Because everything comes to an end, doesn’t it?  In four years I’ll be sixty-one, and I can’t say if I’ll still show up here, blogging every day, or if I’ll still continue churning out stories that no one reads.  Or if I’ll even be alive, cause the next eleven hour run back to Northwest Indiana could see me flying off the side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike at high speed into a valley, all the time regretting nothing.

Or perhaps I will have reached my dream of being a full-time writer, and I can be like Chuck and blog to all the word slaves out there (the penmonkeys are his), giving them encouragement and telling them why they shouldn’t stop, because look at me, I made it.

I won’t be quitting any time soon.  I can’t.  I still feel as if I have something to say.  But should it become time to move on and find my wide awake dreams elsewhere, I’ll fall back on this quote–something I heard over Christmas, and something that speaks to me of what can be the finality of change:

 

“Times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s ok, that’s good, as long as you keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.”  The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

I’m not quite as good at The Doctor, but I do remember so much of who I’ve been these last three years.  I remember the people I’ve known, those who’ve been a pain in my ass, and those whose friendship and help I have cherished through the years.

And I remember those who have left their mark on me in such a way that it will never be erased.

A thousand down, and still more to come.  Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

There are stories to be written, you know.

Raptor on a Half Shell

The last couple of weeks has seen the rise of Dino Porn, which if you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve been living in a cave or meth trailer—which are pretty much the same thing—you’ve missed out on one of those things that tends to get the Internet tongues a-wagging.

Long story short, two women in Texas are writing tales of dinosaur on human female erotica, where lovely lasses from all walks of light end up getting bedded by various reptilian beasts who breathed their last during the K-T Extinction Event.

But that doesn’t stop the production of Ravaged by the Raptor, Taken by the Pterodactyl, T-Rex Troubles, and Dino and Wilma Make a Porno—oh, wait, that’s Kevin Smith’s next movie. No less than that esteemed cultural critic Cracked.com has weighed in on the matter, and have pretty much declared that the Internet can now be shut down and our libraries burned.

(On a side note to the lady writers in question, can’t Stegosaurus get a little love in your books? Or Ankylosaurus? I mean, if it’s alliteration that you seek, I can think of one for Ankylosaurus. Come on! Lets go for it together.  Call me!)

On first glance it’s very easy to make fun of this stuff. I first learned of these stories while roaming the Lousy Book Covers site, and posted the found cover a few days before the tales of Saurian Sex began appearing all over Facebook. I’ve made jokes on this blog about werewolf erotica, vampire erotica, tentacle sex, dragon fantasies that involve more than killing knights and hording gold, and my favorite erotica genre, unicorn porn.  I’ll look at these and wonder, first, who is writing this stuff, and that–damn, they’re writing it because there’s a market.  Roll over to Amazon and do a search on “Lactating Lesbian Babysitter”, and make sure all the shape objects in the house are put away.  You won’t get an exact hit, but the ninety-five you find may keep you entertained.

There is one thing I can’t fault them for:

They’re writing.  And they’re writing a lot.

I’ve heard from a few people who’ve said things along the lines of, “I couldn’t write crap like this!” and for a lot of people this is probably true.  I’ve written erotica, some of it pretty strange and fetishy, and it’s not an easy thing to do.  Sometimes it’s easy to skip the character building moment and go right to the hard core boning.  (That last is a technical term, so it’s okay to use it.)  Sometimes you just never get the right mood.  Sometimes one couldn’t write a sex scene to save their lives.

And then I’ll hear someone talk about the quarter of a million word Harry Potter/Mass Effect crossover fan fiction, where Harry has knocked up Fem Shepard and Luna is running a strip club out of the Hufflepuff commons, and my eyes go crossed . . . I know I shouldn’t do that, but if dino porn isn’t your thing, fan fiction isn’t mine.  Such is the world.

Neil Gaiman has written a list of things one needs in order to become a writer.  The three I remember the most are write, keep writing, and finish what you write.  That last is where I always used to fall down, because I’d start in on a story and about half way through think, “Who’s gonna read this crap?” and just leave it.  On another system I left behind about a dozen stories that I’d not finished, and knew I never would.  One was an actual novel that I was about a hundred thousand words into . . . it was also something of a fan fiction, and while I’d love to have finished that story, I know it’ll never happen.

Gaiman has also said that, when it comes to people writing fan fiction of his own work, he doesn’t care because no one is going to write something that will change what he knows about those characters, and as long as people are writing, they should keep writing.  The Dino Erotica women are not only writing, they’re finishing their work, and they’re selling–probably better than I am with my work.  So more power to them, because, like it or not, they are doing what I’m working towards, which is making something of a living off my work.

Which gives me an idea . . . fan fiction dino erotica!  I mean, think of the possibilities.  First up could be a HP slash fic called Hermione Rides the Hadrosaurus, and I know at least half of you saw, “HARDosaurus”, and now you can’t unsee it.  Now all I gotta do is find a picture of a Hadrosaurus and a sexy Emma Watson picture–like there aren’t any of those on the Internet–’shope the pictures so she’s riding ol’ Hadro like a reptilian pony . . .

Yeah, I’m talkin’ best seller here.

As long as J. K. doesn’t get upset.

Listomania

No, not the Ken Russel movie, but rather “What do I have ahead of me today?”  More like this weekend, but tomorrow I believe I’m going to blow off the near noon hours and see Gravity.  Yes, I know there are issues where the ships seem to have more delta-v than possible, but the chances are the person telling me this not only watched Armageddon but liked it, so they’re in no position to tell me how space works.  Hey, Saturn 3 is on:  go check out Kirk Douglas’ naked ass.

So–novel.  NaNo Novel.  I didn’t do anything last night because I reconnected with some friends I know on Second Life, and that took a bit of time between the viewer crashes.  Today is names and plotting, so I can put this sucker to bed and spend October working on other things, and begin writing when I’m ready to write.  This year it’s about doing it right, not just doing it because there’s some goal at the end of the rainbow–which is probably a unicorn, ’cause who doesn’t want a unicorn?  Or maybe it’s Twilight Sparkle after she becomes an alicorn . . .  Pomf!

So, names and plotting.  Oh, and I need a A Level roster of students and where they come from.  Oi!  How did I put myself in this mess, with all these people and all the stuff I need to track.  Such a crazy level of detail for something so simple as sending a bunch of kids off to school.  I really should do something else, but I’m not sure what.

The one thing I won’t work on is the spell list.  When it comes, it comes.  Spells be spells, mon, and you let that flow into you, right?  Jah loves, ya know, it all be comin’ in time.  Therefore it’s in the back of my mind, and when things pop up I’ll thrown them in.  I’m good there.

I have an article I want to start.  I know what I want to say, and how to say it.  It’s just a matter of reading, research, and writing, then posting the sucker up where it will be seen.  I figure getting one of these off a month is a good deal, and it keeps the mind fresh and limber.  Not that my mind needs to be too limber, ’cause it’s already all over the place.  But I need to keep the ideas coming, and getting yourself rooted in some article goodness is one way to do it.

And lastly:  I have to get some notes from another person for–here it comes–a story.  It appears I’m attempting a collaborator with another writer, and we’re either gonna come up with some crazy shit, or some shit, period.  I think it’ll be crazy shit based upon some notes I passed along, and as soon as I get permission to go crazy in her Google Docs, I’m gonna start doing my thing.

Yeah, writing before NaNo start.  Brilliant!

Eh, probably not, but what the hell else is there to do?

Promises of Lightness and Dark

This is what comes of fooling around on line all night and then getting a good night’s sleep:  you look at things in a different light, and ideas pop into your head.  Maybe they’re not good ideas, but they do come up, and you’re a damn fool not to do anything with them.

I really was intending on working on my NaNo Novel last night, getting the lexicon worked out, because I truly do need that cat in the bag.  But I didn’t.  I waited for a package that didn’t come, and by the time I’d stopped waiting, it was getting on six-thirty.  So in for a shower, getting nice and clean, and I pop back out and it’s already seven-fifteen.  I did go to plug in my external drive–

But I had people wanting to speak with me.

The one part of The Burg that is so much like being back in Indy is having little or not personal contact.  Yes, you can speak with people at work, but there is no one here who you can hang with after the day is over and chat up, and maybe go out for a couple of drinks afterwards.  I have this lovely balcony and sitting out there is nice, but it would be wonderful to have someone over to speak with.

At the same time, during one of the conversations, my mind started working on its own side project.  I was reading what they typed, and I responded one way, but in another part of my brain I saw myself typing something else.  Something that was dark and not a little strange.  I know, you’re saying, “You, honey?  Strange?”  Shocking, right?  Sometimes I surprise myself.

While I have a lot of story ideas, very few of them are dark.  Maybe that’s because I have enough darkness surrounding me and while I might not write the most uplifting prose, I at least have something close to a happy ending by the end of the tail.  What I saw last night, what was being typed on the other side of my mind–it wasn’t happy, it wasn’t light, it wasn’t a good ending.

Or was it?

Every so often I dip into the horror.  Every so often I imagine the dark spaces in life and wonder what exists there.  Oh, sure, cannibal hillbillies and shambling zombies and things going bump in the night are good favorites.  But what if someone was drawn into the darkness, and embraced it willingly?  Not because they’re crazy, but because what was promised . . . touched them in a special way?

At the end of the novel Hannibal, Clarice ran off with Doctor Lecter because she’d spent too much time staring into the abyss, and when it stared back, she shrugged and said, “Ah, fuck it:  this isn’t that bad.”  Sure, you can say the drugs and the brain washing played a part, but I’m of a mind that after all those years chasing the darkness, she finally caught it and allowed it to become her own.

I need some dark writers.  The people in my stories better watch out.

Mortal Changes

After a weekend of working on various things, it’s now time to–get back to work?  Seems like only Friday I was looking forward to a relaxing time of doing nothing.  Which doesn’t happen around here, because if I’m doing nothing, then I’m probably sleeping.  Correct that:  trying to sleep.  Here I am, up at four-thirty again this morning, and my head is feeling a tad woozy.

One day I’ll go to bed at ten-thirty and wake up at six.  It will happen.  But today is not that day.

I was reading film reviews on Something Awful–’cause if you’re going to read film reviews, you may as well read something that’s gonna be funny, or at least sarcastic as hell–and they were doing a review of The Mortal Instruments movie.  While they didn’t care for it–they did give it a four out of ten rating “As a Piece of Absurdest Humor,” so it’s got that going for it–they did mention the fact that “Cassandra Clare”, the pen name for one Judith Rumelt, got her start penning Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring fan fiction.  They also mention that there’s more than a passing resemblance between some of the characters in The Mortal Instruments, and some of the characters and passages in the HP fanfic, all of which was pulled from the Internet as soon as her publishing career got started.

As Neil Gaiman has pointed out, fan fiction is writing, and anything that gets people writing is a good thing.  He’s also said he doesn’t care if you do fan fiction of his work, because, hey:  nothing you’re going to do is going to impact anything he’ll do to his characters.  He probably wants to stay away from Coraline slashfic, however . . .

His point about fan fiction is well taken, however.  It’s very likely that Neil never reads it, or if he has he’s sort of skimmed over it and thought, “Hum, yeah,” and moved on to working on his HBO adaptation and Doctor Who scripts.  And he’s correct:  there’s nothing millions of words of fan fiction will do to his characters that will reflect what he’s going to do to them, so why sweat it?

I wonder how he’d feel, however, if someone wrote a million words of Sandman fan fiction, put the character through some interesting changes–like having him get hammered in a strip club while watching his sister Death gyrate to some Millie Cyrus crunk as she’s making out with a demonic Taylor Swift–and then, a year later, finds a book called, Sleepytime Sam, the Dream King.  Book One:  Down and Out in Sister Stripperville.  Oh, sure, it’s just a coincidence the characters bear a little resemblance to his . . .

Not that I’ll have to worry about any of this.  I doubt that anyone will start ripping off my characters and write stories of their strange escapades, ’cause anything you can do, I know I can do better–and I love being strange.  I need to open up the strangeness stuff a little more, ’cause I feel I’m getting rusty.  Maybe it’s time to write my magnum opus about gay cuttlefish shapeshifters–

Oh, wait:  it’s been done.

Penny in the Rain

I don’t even have to think about the day and know it’s going to be rough.  Why is that?  Getting up so many times . . .

It was hard enough getting up at one AM and then trying to fall back asleep, but then the rain started about four.  Not just rain, but a thunder shower.  I haven’t heard thunder in a while, actually:  before I left home we were having something of a mini-drought, and though there’d been tons of rain in the spring, the summer had seen fit to shut it all down.  So a decided lack of thunder, you know?

Not here.  The storm started right about four and kept at it for about a half hour.  There were times when it sounded like it was right outside my window, but that was probably my imagination–or sound echoing off the mountain ridge a couple of miles away.  It was loud, and it wasn’t going to let me sleep.

Which I haven’t.  I may have dozed off for about thirty minutes at some point, but I was wide awake and not dreaming at six-ten, so I decided to get up, have breakfast, and start working on this post.

I would certainly love to have one good night’s sleep, since it seems as if I haven’t had one all summer long.

This story that’s been running through my head for the last month–I’m trying to clear it out so I can concentrate on other things.  After much consideration, I do not want to begin writing another erotic fantasy story that is going to feel like more of the same.  More of the, “Yeah, I’ve done this already,” feeling that is as bad for your ego and motivation that deliberately setting out to write crap.  I’ve done that last, and ended up with a novella.  I set out to write a novella, and I end up with a fifty-two thousand word novel.

Ideas that eventually aren’t that interesting go in the bin.  Maybe time for them at some point down the road, but not now, not here.

My imagination seems lacking in a way these days.  I suppose it’s the new surroundings and the job and the living out of hotel conditions.  Or maybe there’s something waiting to spring, getting ready to burst out and take over.  Between the last sentence, and the one before that, I actually paused for about a minute because a thought came into my head about an idea I had for a story last year.  There were only two words, but I hadn’t thought of those words in probably a year now.

That’s strange how that works.  Random thoughts popping into your head like that.  Almost as if the idea is trying to tell you something . . .

Tonight, I see an apartment, I get something to eat, and I sit down and brain storm some daddy issues.  The last I may have a handle on–oh, and they’re not my issues, but the issues of a character.

If they don’t make you crazy, it’s probably because they already are.

Scribble Scapple

So another is in the books, for yesterday I finished the Final Draft for Couples Dance.  The short novel now stands at fifty-three thousand and change for the word count, and that’s not bad for a short story of erotic horror.  How erotic and horrifying it is I won’t know until it sells, but then if it sells as well as my other stories, I’ll never know how well it is doing.

This time the editing went with little drama and strain.  If it seems as if I was driving myself crazy editing Her Demonic Majesty, this time the editing went off as orderly and easy.  I’d sit and do a thousand, two thousand words in a sitting with little problem.  There was one time when I put down about six thousand words and didn’t think anything of the matter.  Maybe I’m getting better at this, or maybe I came into the editing with a different set of eyes and a different mind set.  Whatever the reason, Couples Dance was actually a pleasure to fix.  And I do mean fix:  there were parts that were messed up, that didn’t make sense, that were simply wrong.

Now time to find readers and get their feedback.  Find more errors and fix things up.  Get a cover and bang!  I’m ready for big time publishing once more.  Yay me.  If this is the breakthrough, then next up:  gnome porn!  I know there’s an untapped market there . . .

I know the question that’s being asked:  what’s next?  Good question.  I could edit another story, for I don’t intend to start another original story until November–at least that’s the plan at the moment.  But one never knows with me.  I’m thinking Fantasies in Harmonie would be a good one to clean up:  follow up one erotic story with another.  Why not?  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’ll make up my mind in the next few days, because with nothing to do I’ll begin getting crazy by Wednesday.

Not that I need any help there . . .

Since I’d finished editing my novel by seven-thirty PM, I had plenty of time to play with Scapple.  There’s a story idea that’s been floating about in my head for the better part of a month, and I figured, “Hey, what better to lay out, huh?”  I’m the sort of person who likes to flowchart, because that’s what comes of being a computer programmer for a long time.  I wasn’t putting notes all over the place; I wanted to see if the plot flowed well, and if things made sense.

I managed the first couple of chapters and realized the program is great.  Does it do what I want?  Yes.  Does it do it well, with a short learning curve?  Yes.  Are there problems with the beta?  Yeah, but that’s why it’s a beta:  you have people play with it and then tell the developers what you’ve found that’s wrong or not working.  I’ve found one problem in particular that bugs the hell out of me, so I’ll see about leaving feedback so the issue will get fixed.

Will I buy this program?  You know it.

A girl and her software shall never be parted . . .

Rough Night in Nox

Today I was hoping to end out my first week in the new digs with a quick day at work, a little lunch in a new cafe, and finishing up Chapter Eleven tonight before turning in and figuring out what I’m going to do for the weekend.  That’s what I thought about last night.

However . . . my body and my mind thought otherwise.

The headache is still here, though not as major as it was the other day.  Last night I managed to edit about twenty-five hundred words in Couples Dance, and did a very good job of it, if I may say.  I watched a hilarious version of Pulp Fiction on AMC while I edited, because things were cut out and words were completely edited, and if you were using this movie as a guide to figure out what was going on, you’d probably get lost.  Any movie where The Gimp isn’t present, but you get to hear someone tell a young boy about how they kept a watch stuck up their ass for two years is a strange time indeed.

With all that behind me I headed off to bed . . .

And woke up about two AM with the guitar solo from Firth of Fifth running through my mind in a never-ending loop.  I felt warm, I felt a little disoriented, I felt uncomfortable.  I got up and washed off my face, then rolled back into bed and spent hours tossing and turning.  I didn’t seem tired, but I didn’t want to get out of bed, because I knew that once up, I’d be up the rest of the night.

I know I finally fell back to sleep because I had a dream that I drove up to my house and found people I didn’t know working on it, and who had put some of my things out on the curb for garbage pickup.  This did not please me, I can assure you, and there were words spoken, though being it was a dream I don’t know what was said.  I think at some part I ended up driving away and going for a walk in the woods because why not?

There were other moments, too, where I felt like I may have been awake, may have been asleep, and I didn’t know if I was dreaming, if I was hallucinating, or just had strange thoughts running about my head.  For one I was out shopping at Catherine’s, getting a couple of outfits for work, and Donna Noble–not Catherine Tate, the actress, but the actual character–was waiting on me, giving me the strange eye the whole time.  There was another of these moments where I swear the reason I was having trouble sleeping was because I’d just gotten breasts implants, and having big boobs in bed was bothersome . . .

Lastly, though, I was with someone I know, a special friend shall we say, and I spent a considerable amount of time kissing her from her cheeks to her toes and back.  This was topped off with something special that, while it took some time, the end result was great for us both.  The last part of this moment that I remember was holding her and calling her, “My dark witch,” to which she replied, giggling, “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.”  Then she spooned into me and drifted off to sleep.

That’s what will likely happen to me tonight.

The drifting off to sleep thing, you know?

The Head and the Hurt

There weather in The New Local is changing, turning cooler, and my head is killing me.

Just a few days ago it was in the eighties and humid, and it felt a lot like what I’d left behind in Red State Indiana.  But yesterday it began to change as a cold front started moving down from Canada.  The temps dropped, the humidity vanished . . . and my head began to hurt.

I know what it is:  sinuses.  Whenever the weather changes a lot I get pressure like mad.  I end up feeling it in the bad of my head, like it’s trying to leave the rest of my body behind and find a place to hide.  And I can’t blame it, because it hurts a lot.

By the time I arrived home my head felt like it had done a couple of hours in a vice.  Hurt and hurt and hurt.  Listening to music hurt.  Looking at word on the screen and trying to concentrate hurt.  I couldn’t edit last night:  just looking at the screen and trying to think about what I wanted to do brought too much pain.  I downloaded the beta version of Scrabble for Windows and started to play with that, but after fifteen minutes I gave up because of the throbbing noggin.

I finally decided to give myself a virtual makeover, and–surprise!  I take horrible pictures when I’m not feeling well.  Everything ended up looking like I’d never learned to smile.  Even when I thought I was smiling, the picture said otherwise.  It really sucked, believe me, because if I had smiled, then maybe my makeover pictures wouldn’t have looked like the worst things evar!

I finally gave up n the computer.  I dressed in something warm–which seems to help at night–and sat down to watch Scarface on AMC.  It’s amusing to see, because they don’t use a sanitized version of the film, yet they can’t say shit and fuck.  So when it comes time to offered up the swear bomb, there’s no sound.  Just emptiness where the word should be.  Which becomes amusing after a while as there was some stretches of the film where it seems as if nothing is being said.  Or there’s something shouted–then silence–then another shout–then silence.  Not as ridiculous as what has happened to other movies, but funny nonetheless.

I went to bed, fell asleep, and went right through the night, my first time in a lot time.  I woke up feeling okay, but then I got out of bed, took a couple of deep breaths, and–ah, yes.  The pain, the paiiiinnnn.  Though it seems to have dissipated a bit, since I’ve popped a couple of ibuprofen and had my tea, and generally relaxed while writing this post.  Before I get back to the homestead I’ll head to Target and pick up some decongestants, and pop a couple of those tonight, see if it helps clean things up.

The day awaits.  I hope I can get through it with a little discomfort as possible.

And work on my novel tonight.