We’re at the Post

It’s been a busy day.  Blogging; formatting a story; getting the title page set up for submission; getting my last set of note in place for NaNoWriMo

Yes, here outside Chicago, we are down to 2 hours, 30 minutes, and change, before the Novel in a Month Madness begins.  Here I am, getting ready to crank out the wordage.  I have my newest version of Scrivener, the NaNoWriMo 2011 Special Version, all set up and ready to rock on my computer.

And I even know what music I’m going to play tomorrow.

Yeah, I got it all laid out and I’m eager to start writing, probably kicking off a couple of hundred words right after midnight just so I can get my word count on the board.

Am I excited?  Hell, yeah, I’m real excited.

I haven’t tackled a novel in a long time, but I’m on the right track.  I have the characters, I have the plotting . . . I have the world all ready to become real.  I know it’s going to be fast, and it’s going to be dirty, and it might even get ugly.  But when I’m done I’m going to have a novel based upon an idea I developed in a writing class last year.

It’s going to be edited.

It’s going to be submitted.

It’s going to be published.

It’s going to be good.

But, most of all–

It’s gonna be mine.

Good luck to all your NaNos out there!

Lets get to writing, yo.

Dreaming the Dream

NaNoWriMo kick off last night, and it was great.  Ran into a couple of friends who I’ve gamed with–one of  them the former owner of a really nice space ship and Jones, the Space Cat of Death, who always, eventually gets you even when you’re smiling while holding him–and meet another person who I can turn into a writing buddy.  We also made plans for getting together, including an idea I had for a Dusk-to-Dawn session that would involved Chicago pizza and my friend’s girlfriend having to dance barefoot on a table with a snake wrapped around her shoulders.

These are interesting times.  It should be Panicville right now, but it’s not.  It’s feeling like a great time to work, to develop, to create . . . and to work.  I was told last night I’m approaching this with an energy that’s somehow different that what I had earlier, and they’re right.  I feel have something this very moment that is way off the charts from what I had when I wrote my last two stories.  Good or bad?  Who cares?  I’m the guy with the word processor.

Part of it might be what I discovered yesterday after yesterday’s post.  The day before I’m talking about my erotic story to Trusty Editortm and they mention that they’ll be happy when they hear I’ve sold the story, that others are enjoying it.  I’m like, “Sure,” because I always think the worst, but then yesterday . . . there are groups I belong to where writers of erotica hang out.  And one of the, the editor of an erotica press, posts a notice:  hey, we’re looking for flash fiction, submit!  (No, not that sort of submit; not all erotica is BDSM.)  They said they were looking for stories up to 9,999 words, so I do a word count on my story and . . . it’s 9,948 words, which is 9,950 when you round, which means I nail it, yes!!!

Talking writing, talking characters, talking about plots and ideas–it’s a great time for it all.  It seemed like when I’m turning here and there, I’m finding idea.  Yeah, I have another erotic story with a supernatural bend to it, and I’ll probably crank that out, maybe when I’m not working on NaNo.  It’ll be strange, it’ll be kinky–hey, any story that starts out with a naked woman and her sex toy has no where to go but someplace different.  And I’m the guy to take it there.

But it’s all there, all feeling great.

These are the dreams I have that I am trying to make true.  They are coming, slowly, but they are coming.

Yet these is one more dream to come.

And I think it’ll be here soon.

It’s one of a more personal nature–so personal I can’t talk about it, not yet.  I know it’ll be one of those life affirming moments, so that when it happens–as Captain Jack might say–everything changes.  As one friend told me, “I want you to have (this dream), and when it’s over I want you to be happy.”

Happy is something I haven’t had in a while.  I’m starting to feel it, though.  I know it’s just outside my door, and it’s ready to knock, and when it does I’m letting that sucker in.

We should all get our dreams, and they should make us happy.  I know I will have that dream, and I’ll be happy.

It’s about damn time.

Slashin’ the Fic

With NaNoWriMo gearing up a lot of my time is focused on that.  Well, not a lot, but you know what I mean.  However, I know I’m near the end of the prep state and right now I just want to lay down my first hundred or so words.

I seem to have writer’s anxiety, which appears to be the case with a lot of people.  I see it on the boards everywhere: “I want to start writing.”  “I can’t wait to begin writing!”  Yeah, everyone is ready for the birth.

It’s getting through the labor that sucks so much.

Having never done this before I’m looking all over the place to make connections.  I have several friends who are doing it this year as well; I’ve got the Facebook and Twitter sites locked down; and I’m on Skype talking to people when they come on.

Like yesterday . . . (Ever noticed that everything here is “yesterday”?  Are these my yesterdays alone, or All Our Yesterdays?  Have I taken this joke too far?)  I fired up the Skype and spoke with some of the people who are getting ready for this insanity.  One woman had a couple of characters ready and was going to “let the writing take her where it wanted”.  Another said she never plotted out, she just went.  And the one I thought was most interesting–she was going to write for a couple of days, and if the novel wasn’t working for her, “I’m going to do a fanfic”.

Hey, now!

We all know what fan fiction is, right?  Where people decide they want to put themselves into a world created by another and build their own adventures–or, better yet, lets take established characters and do things with them.  Maybe they die in a battle where they once lived, and it changes the in-world history.  Or they hook up with someone else, rather than the character the original author chose (this last was a particular bone of contention with Ms. Fanfic, as she was rather incensed with the “End of the Story” hookups found in the Harry Potter world–and if you know me, you know when it comes to geek outrage I’ve moved beyond that).  Or, better yet, lets go the slash fic route and get Ginny in bed with Luna so the later can get her nargles all tingly.  (I would have said “Lets get Harry and Draco in bed”, but that’s been done to hell and gone–with Tom Felton’s approval, apparently.)

Hell, I know fanfic, only when I was growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s it was stuffed away in badly Xeroxed fanzines that were difficult to get your hands on, if you could at all.  If it weren’t for fanfic we wouldn’t know about Mary Sues, since they are a direct offshoot of the fanfic genre.  And lets face it: in earlier times fanfics ended up becoming wholly legitimate parts of an overall mythos.

I never wrote much fanfic.  The closest I got into it was doing a few stories set in the Cyberpunk game universe, which I wrote around the time I was actually running a years-long campaign.  The first one I finished–the one that I presented to my then writing group–end up topping out at about 130,000 words, which was, for anyone, a hell of an effort.

I remember finishing it, sitting back as a nice, warm glow came over me, and suddenly thinking, “What the hell am I gonna do with this?”  ‘Cause this was 1992, and posting stuff to FanFiction.Net wasn’t an option.  These days the Internet is the the place all fanfic goes to live–though I’m really looking forward to 2050 and the expiration of the copyright on the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I’ve got some mad elf sex scenes to write.

My fanfic was really the fetish fiction I did earlier in the century (I love being able to say that).  It was done with the idea that (1) it would give me an outlet to be creative, (2) I could put it somewhere and people could enjoy it, and (3) maybe I’d have a few people coming back to me going, “Hey, great job”.

But I found myself limited by what I was writing and stopped doing it a few years ago.  And I thought I was finished with all that–

Until someone paid me money for a series of stories I did back about 2006.  Paid me so they could illustrate them.

And the funny thing is–now I see that some of what I did write was particularly good.  Good enough to publish.

Which leads to an interesting conundrum–

Recently I’ve finished an erotic story that I’m in the process of editing for submission to . . . well, somewhere.  And that seems to have gotten the imagination going, for while I have a NaNo novel to crank out and a couple of works in progress behind that, I have this idea for a story that is something of an paranormal erotic fantasy that’s sitting on the fence that used to be my fetish fiction.  And while I know I might not be able to publish this work should I ever write it, the ideas I have about it–they draw me in; they want me to make this real.

And trust me: there are a few scenes in my head that really get out there.  There are a couple of imagines I have of the couple in my story, and the one that’s sticking with me today is of the woman in my story who starting out feeling unusual things beginning to happen–like her breasts and clitoris swelling–and it ends with her found passed out on the bedroom floor after masturbating herself into a dozen orgasms, literally sticking to the carpet due to her flowing “essence”, so to speak.

It’s erotic, it’s fantasy . . . it’s pretty much fanfic that I maybe, possibly, might be able to sell.  Or not.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write it.  If not for me, for the few people I do know who will enjoy it.

And, deep down, that’s what we in the writing game all want.

Bounteous Offerings

Oh, yesterday, yesterday.  Such it was that so many things just seemed to come together and make it magical.  It was one of those days that you wish could happen all the time, that you could wake up and hit the ground running (which the Mythbusters proved really did you no good) and just be constructive.

It was the perfect storm of creative goodness.

No secret I’m getting geared up for NaNoWriMo.  I finished up what I think my characters will look like, and when Trusty Editortm showed up I fired off the pictures to her so she could give me her opinion–which is why she’s Trusty Editortm .  So she looks them over and is happy with everything I picked out–save one.  And it’s an important one, because it’s my main character.

Now, at first, I had the impression she didn’t want to say anything, but I insisted.  And she told me, more or less, that if my main character was suppose to be of Greek heritiage with a little Persian blood thrown in, then she should look it . . . and the picture I’d chosen didn’t look the part.  And I had to agree, because that character had been hard to “sync up”, so to speak.

So back to Flickr, back to looking for pictures, back to narrowing my search to “Greek Women”.  Damn, and wouldn’t you know it?  One of the first pictures I see, I shoot over the link, and Trusty Editortm looks it over and says, “That’s what I’m talking about.”  And, again, she was right: the picture was more in line with how my main character should appear.  (Acutaly, Trusty Editortm also said something like, “She’s got a great costume and (the first girl) doesn’t seem like it would work for her.”  This is why I have a Trusty Editortm .)

So one part of my day saved and a character realized more fully.  It’s a great thing to have, for someone to come in and help you where and when you need it, and set you on the right path in your creative process–and you can do nothing more than thank them.  To do anything more might be illegal . . . or could get you in all sorts of trouble.

So the NaNo novel is just waiting for the countdown to get to zero.  What to do in the meantime?

After my encounter with Trusty Editortm my friend who is also Lovely Annie, my role playing sweetheart (really, my character’s, but who cares?), showed up, and we got back into a little of the give and take that is our character’s lives.  It was the first time in a while we did it, and it went on for a few hours . . . and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.  I’ve missed the character interaction, and of late, when we slip into our characters, it feels like the dynamic between them has changed.  I’d have to say that we are more “in tune” with what they are feeling, and as such we are able to take them in different directions than we could have imagined when we first created them.  See, Jill?  Not everyone is a emotionally shallow pool of scum like you; some people actually know how to relate to other people with love and affection.

So now that we’ve started back on that path, I’m certain there will be more to come.  Why do I know that?  Because I know Lovely Annie.  I know what she wants, and what she needs, and, I believe, what she desires.  So more creativity from that side of my life.

And now, for something erotic.  Hey, it’s Saturday: I gotta get the juices flowing somehow.  Oh, and in case you didn’t relalize, dirty talk ahead.

You’ve Been Warned.

This actually happened a few days ago, but, hey, Time is Relative, right?  (Or is it the new meme, “Timey Wimey”?  I can’t remember.)  My erotic writing friend–whom I’ve yet to label, but I will soon–we were talking about, of all things, sex.  And one of the things she mentioned that sorta kinda turned her on would to be either walk in on someone who is, or have them walk in on her during, the act of masturbating.  She even went into some detail about the sort of things she’d like to see and do, and one of those things involved Ms. Sexy Writer (see, she’s labeled), in the bedroom, going at it with a sex toy.  And then someone comes in, finds her, and rather than fix her cable they decide to join in the fun, so to speak . . ..

And it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see where this might go.

The problem is–I have a lot of imagination, and I can see it going in a lot of different directions.

See, sex needn’t be just sex: that’s why you have erotica, or at least that’s the theory.  As one friend told me, “Sex should always be more, even if fucking is what’s required.”  There should be something there, and I don’t necessarily mean you must have the greatest, unending love the universe has ever seen–but, as a couple, you should always be on the same wavelength and hold deep regard for each other.  Okay, yeah: that is love.  I guess this means I’ve given up playing around . . . oh, wait.  I gave that up decades ago . . ..

Anyway, I’ve held onto this image for a few days–I mean, why wouldn’t I?  I’m alive, aren’t I?  And while I was thinking about this, holding onto it, something else came up–a conversation about one of the various paranormal ghost hunting shows on TV.  And just like that–BAM!!  I got an idea for a story.  One that sort of starts off with Ms. Sexy Writer’s idea of being “caught”–wink wink, nudge, nudge–and then some supernatural entity gets involved, things change, sex happens, hilarity ensues.  Or more erotic love making; I haven’t decided yet which it’s gonna be.

This is how my mind works these days.  I hadn’t set out to do another erotic story–I mean, I got a novel I’m gonna work on, for gawd’s sake–but the idea is there, and it’s one that doesn’t want to go away now.

Could it be I’m possessed?

Or could it be that these days I know how to take a few ideas, put them in that blender that passes for my mind, and come up with things that I think are going to interest people other than me?

I guess we’re going to find out, won’t we?

Bouncing ‘Round the Rubber Room

Advil PM is a fantastic medication for getting rid of a headache, but man, does it leave you with a hangover the next morning.  Nothing completely debilitating as the head spinning I had last week, but this is something I could do without this early in the morning.

I still surprise myself with how I react to my writing, and how I respond to my characters–and, in turn I’m still take back by the passion I have for both.  I can see why, as I continue to develop my talent–and, yes: it is a talent as much as it is a skill–that it’s easy to get lost in that passion.

A couple of days ago I was contacted, out of nowhere, by the person whom I often refer to as the Whingy Latex Wearer.  She started out by first asking me how my writing was going.  Normally I wouldn’t take that badly, but with her you have to dance around, because with her something always seems to tie back to her fetish.

I told her that I was working on the outline for the novel I will write for NaNoWriMo, that I had all my notes in place (really, I’ve got about 90%, but that’s quibbling), and I was ready to rock come 1 November.  She was like, “Oh, great!” and wanted to hear a little more, and I told her that I’d been working on the design of my main character’s costume that day.  She listened (as much as one can on electronic personal posts) then said, “Well, I just stick to latex because it’s easy to order”.  But of course, my dear.  The easiest solution is always to swath yourself in layers of rubber.

If I were a nice person I’d have just let it go . . . but I’m not always a nice person, and of late I’ve felt as if I’ve got my own menstrual cycle going and I’m in the middle of that time.  So I told her, “That’s nice, but I want my character to have an outfit she can wear outside that’s not going to give her fucking heat stroke after 20 minutes”.  Yeah, that’s me:  nice, but I’m still gonna eat your liver if you give me a chance.

Needless to say she didn’t reply.  So let that be a lesson, kiddies:  let the people who have watched all 9 seasons of Project Runway design the outfits, and you can sit there quietly in your latex panties and mind your tongue.

Now, on to my character meltdown.

I do game; I game online.  If you follow the daily scree you’ve run across a few posts where I discuss this.  Well . . . something happened in the timeline of the game where I sort of bailed on a thread that the Lovely Annie, apple of my character’s eye, wanted to do, but instead I went off doing something else with the thread, and I did it unilaterally.

And it was wrong.

There was a very important lesson that I forgot: our game is a collaborative effort.  Just like a couple of authors working together on a novel, the game we have is a collaboration between me and Annie’s player.  But a combination of several factors–feeling bored, wanting to do something, thinking I had the story in my head–led me to cut her out of what should have been moments between us.

Even though I didn’t get a ream out over what happened–Annie’s player is far too kind to me to do that–I felt very bad; there was a lot of hair pulling on my part–well, not a lot, I don’t have it left to pull–and crying.  Oh, yeah: there was crying.  Some of what I felt was her frustration at not knowing how to deal with where her character should be, but part of it was, on my behalf, the knowledge that I didn’t allow a fellow writer, who has her own unique view, to express herself.

And as much as I bitch about people who want to do that to me, I should have known better.

Does this mean that Annie and Kerry (our characters) are on the outs?  Ha!!  You people don’t know us very well, do you?  Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, and this was a down for us.  But the ups more than balance out the little bit of trouble that occurred.

And look at it this way: just think of the make up kisses our characters can share later.

All the Women That Are My Life

This is what comes of being busy for a few days: you wake up, you stare at a blank screen–and nothing comes out.  There were all these thoughts rolling about in my head this morning when I awoke, but they suddenly decided to scurry to the shadows the moment the lights come on and the computer comes up, like some kind of mental cockroaches spooked by an electronic dweller.

I suppose there nothing to talk about–

Oh, there’s always sex.

Actually it goes beyond sex.  It has everything to do with my characters.

It has been pointed out to me, on more than a few occasions, that my female characters are generally pretty nicely done.  I take a lot of pride in that, mostly because I feel that creating wonderful female characters is, for some writers, a difficult chore.  You read some stories, and the female characters adhere to Melvin Udall adage that when they create female characters they first create a male then take away reason and accountability.  Ha, ha, I get it: men are the only ones who totally have their shit together, which is why the world is in such great freakin’ shape.

Part of the reason I love a great female character (who, I should point out, isn’t a guy with breasts, as some characters tend to come off) it the time I grew up in, and the sort of things I read.  I geeked out early on science fiction, and most of the stuff I started with was from the “Golden Age” of sci fi.  And if you know anything about the Golden Age, it’s that it was sorta light on believable female characters, or any at all.  There was a lot of what I like to call “Golden Brage” for the Sci Fi Ladies, where most illustrations fell heavily into Fanservice, and the women themselves were usually little more than Ms. Fanservice incarnate.

That started to change in the 1970’s, in particular with the movie Alien and the introduction of Ellen Ripley.  It’s hilarious to know now that originally Alien (oh, I’m sorry, I mean, Starbeast) was going to be something of a homoerotic sausage fest before someone got their shit together and turned into the classic movie we all now know and love. I fell in love with Ripley, and that really drove me to begin looking at women in a far different light as characters.  Not to say I hadn’t before then, but yeah–the movie did something to me.  And I wanted to do that in my own work. When I got around to doing it, that is.

I much prefer working with women, trying to understand them, try to get into their heads to learn their secrets and motivations and desires.  Not only in my writing, but in real life as well.  I’ve never been much for “guy stuff”; it’s always bored me.  Doesn’t make me bad, just makes me a touch different.

When I look at my next novel, the novel after that I wanted to re-edit, and another novel after that which is in need of writing, I realize the majority of characters are dealing with are female–and that the guys who are in those stories are either very smart and competent, or physiological messes, or both.

Am I projecting?

Probably a lot more than you can ever imagine.

Building the Believable Butt Kicker

I had a lot of fun finding characters yesterday.

As I mentioned yesterday about the need to get some pictures in my head so I know my characters, I started looking for those pictures.  And I had a good bit of luck because I did find pictures.  I found a lot of them.  And I was able to narrow do “the looks” for my female characters at least.  I have a few men I need to image, but that will happen today.

Now, was the search perfect?  No, it wasn’t.  But, I got the ideas I need, and I can mix and match nationality and things like hair and skin pretty easy, because I have an image now.  And good ones at that.

But I have one last thing to do, and that’s get my main character’s outfit down.  And I worked on that against yesterday as well, mostly by doing a little Internet research, and pulling upon my inner Tim Gunn.

The thing that was important most important to me is that that outfit look (1) cool and that it be (2) functional.  Sure, those two aren’t always mutually exclusive, but that’s where your imagination comes into play.  And, fortunately, imagination is something I have–and I’m not afraid to use it.

I’ve got layers here, so stick with me, ’cause I might get lost in this trip . . ..

First and foremost, I should start out by saying I drew inspiration from Ruby Rocket, a professional cosplayer.  In particular, I drew upon this Cracked article about the funkiest aspects of superhero costumes.  Needless to say, your average superhero isn’t sartorically inclined, and that meme is pushed even more to the extreme by Hollywood.  And if you’re a butt kicking sorceress, the chances are if you’re being costumed by Hollywood you’ll find yourself running around the streets of my Chicago in latex and 5 inch heels . . . which means you’ll soon pass out from heat stroke if you aren’t nursing sprained ankles first.

Let’s move on.

First, I need something that’s going to be comfortable, that’s going to move, and is going to breathe.  My world has crappy weather, and the story takes place in August–and if you’ve ever done a summer in Chicago you’ll know just what sort of hell that can be.  My sorceress might get away with a leather dress for a night, but during the day she’ll be sweating her butt off.  And latex?  Sure, you might get away with that if you’re rocking out for 90 minutes in a controlled environment–or hangin’ in your BDSM cave waiting for some serious action–but on the street you’re an ER case waiting to happen.

So we go with a two-piece outfit, top and pants.  Both are form fitted so they lay close to the body.  They’re likely made of something like Supplex®, so they’re both breathable and able to pull sweat away from my character’s body.  The pants will likely stay basic black, while the top will likely be two-toned, say a soft pastel with intricate rune patterns etched in black.

If you’re thinking this sounds a bit like something you’d do your morning yoga in, congratulations!  That’s exactly what I’m going for.  Yes, it’s not Underworld worthy, but then Selene is a vampire, so she doesn’t have to worry about little things like her internal body temperature zooming to 112 degrees.

Over that is going to go a coat.  If you’re thinking “black leather trench coat”, at one time so did I.  It’s such a cultural meme these days that it’s hard to get it the hell out of your head.  But I don’t want to go there, as it’s just too stereotypical.  Now, since my characters exist in something of a Steampunk world, I decided to give my main character a jacket that fits with that imagery, and so she gets a modified corset back jacket, maybe with a bit of lace trim and done up in purple.  Why purple?  Because it looks good on her.

And the jacket is important because it gives my character to put her stuff.  I see it having a few pocket sewn into the inner lining, and at least one of them is likely her Bag of Holding.  It doesn’t do anyone any good to go out into what could become a dangerous situation at any moment and realize the only place they can put their mobile phone is up their ass.  Maybe that works for Christopher Walken, but for the rest of us mortals it’s inconvenient as hell.

Now we come to my character’s most fetishy pieces, her boots and corset.  I can hear you now:  “So this is where you bring the sexy, right?”  Alas, probably not.

The corset is going to be a simple underbust, leather with a steel front busk closure.  It’s not going to be tight: we’re looking at Of Corsets Sexy, not Of Corset Hurts here.  The boots . . . they’re gonna going to be knee high, leather, and I’m thinking brown.  They are not going to be Combat Stilettos, however:  my character is less Rei Hino beating demons while wearing high heels and more Silk Spectre II in the prison break scene, or Zhora running from Deakard.  (And, yes: I did consider her having enchanted boots that would have a very high heel for the hell of it, but would make the heel vanish when she got into a situation where she needed to run or fight.  I considered it, then smacked myself in the head.)

But there is a reason why those two pieces are leather: in the rules of my world enchanting what has once been “natural” (like cotton and leather) is easier than enchanting something like her Supplex® outfit, and those items are enchanted to offer protection.  The boots protect her legs and the corset protects her torso and arms–think of it as Kevlar that protects against projectiles and most magical attacks.

But what about her head?  She is like Batman, where no one thinks to shoot him in the head with a shotgun, because they love aiming at that big bat on his armored chest?  Not a chance.  My character will wear a necklace that has a dual function: one, it’ll serve as a foci, and two, it’ll offer protection to her head.  So she’ll be able to channel more energy when she needs it, and keep from getting her face blown off when she’s not looking.

So there you have it; the outfit my main character wears.  And believe me, it was fun putting it together–

So much so, I can’t wait to see her in it.