Madman Across the Water

Just under fifteen hours to go before I head off to the cabin and start typing words into a computer.  There was a time when I used to do this on paper, but just as Tony Banks doesn’t look back lovingly on the ARP Pro Soloist or Quadra he used to fight with, or the Mellotron M400 that broke down every night–the one that he said was built with bicycle chain, which is a pretty harsh comment from a guy who has a Mellotron package named after one of his songs–I don’t look back upon my old typewriter and get misty eyed remembering all the great times we had.  I look back upon that device as the tool I used at the time, and know I’ll be damned if I’d go back to using one.

I love my computer for writing, even if I need power to make it go.  One day I’ll get a new computer and replace The Beast, but until then my machine will do the job.  A tool is a tool, and there will probably come a day when I realize I waited far too long to replace this little monster.

Anyway, Camp . . . it’s almost here.  My day is planed:  do this post, check over a few things, maybe finished my building design, maybe start working modeling a spacecraft in Blender, take a nap, stay up until midnight, then right at the stroke, start writing.  Get three to five hundred words down, then go to sleep and start writing in the morning.  Oh, and I need to fix my spread sheet that I use to track word count.  Mustn’t forget that.  (I didn’t; just fixed it up.)

I’m about as ready as I can be, with another NaNo ahead of me.  Not the NaNo, but something shorter and sweeter.  Doesn’t matter.  Fantasies in Harmonie was finished on 10 June, and that’s three weeks in the past, and since then I’ve not written a draft of anything.  The last time I went this long without writing anything, and spent the time developing background for a story was October, 2011–and we know what happened after that.  Well, you might not, but I do:  I participated in my first NaNoWriMo, and I wrote, and finished, my first novel.

What I’m starting tonight–which will be tomorrow, but really early tomorrow–is the beginning of another novel.  I’ll do the prologue in July, then come November I’ll finish off the novel, and include the prologue as part of the story.  I can do that, for I haz Scrivener, and adding things to the final compiled document is a breeze.  When the time comes, I’ll take the separate folder for this novella and blend it into the main novel.  Case closed.

I can see very clear:  this is going to be fun.  I’m excited to start, and even if I’m going to lose my mind at some point and go on about how much I’m hating the story, I don’t worry, because I know I’ll finish.  I’ll probably end up writing more than the twenty-five thousand words I’ve set for myself.

I hope by not too much, though.  I would hate to edit all this awesome down.

Land of Confusion

Put another tick in the “completed” column.  Fantasies in Harmonie pulled into First Draft City, found a good hotel, and decided to shack up for a while, ’cause the diner across the street has damn good coffee.

It was a good afternoon of writing, and since I said I was gonna finish that story, I was for sure gonna finish the sucker.  Two thousand, six hundred words later I was finished, and it was a good thing.  Not because it was finished, but because my mindset had changed drastically over the last week, and where I had been pretty down on both myself and the story, as I wrote the final chapter I returned to the conclusion that while the story might not be down and dirty, smoking hot dirty porn, it was pretty good fantasy erotica, and I could give myself a pat on the back for completing another story.

‘Cause if you don’t know, completing a story is pretty much as important–if not more–than starting one.  And if you’re gonna start one, you better finish it, love.

Fantasies in Harmonie is not only finished, but I’ve got it out to a couple of beta readers already.  Yes, Cassie is quick on this one, because it’s a pretty clean story–you know what I mean–and after a couple of edits and a cover, I can work the world of smut with this beauty.  Maybe it’s not as good as a story about programming the girl next door to be your perfect sex slave, but it’ll be good.

With that out of the way, it means I got–let me check the big clock . . . a little more than nineteen days before Camp NaNo is in session.  Which means I need do to research.  It means I need to build my world.

I means I need a title.

That’s the thing that’s bugging me right now.  Not that I need to spec out the school, or the teachers, or the students, or the curriculum, or . . . well, any number of things.  No, the thing that bothers me now is that I don’t have a title.  I have an idea and the bare bones of a plot, but I don’t have a title, and just like Harlan, I’m strange about starting without a title.  I did that with Kuntilanak, because I really had no idea what to call it before I got all original and named it after a creature in the story.  Since then I always have a title so I don’t have to go and rename the Scrivener file once I’m about ten thousand words into this thing.

However!  Part of the story takes place aboard a 747-400, and while doing one of those magical things called a “Google Search”, I found the Seat Guru site.  While my plane will be a charter flight, I have an idea of what a current 747-400 looks like, and I can–what’s that word again?  Oh, yeah:  Imagine.  I can imagine what the inside of my place will look like.

If I get too crazy I may just model my plane in 3D–

I’ve done worse.

After the Ordeal

Things are almost finished this morning.  My intention yesterday morning was to finish up Fantasies in Harmonie and be ready to move on to something else–that “else” being Camp NaNo.  But there was so much more going on yesterday–

For one, there was a birthday in the family that required some attention on my part.  Between getting things set up on line, and having to deal with someone on a freelance writing site who wanted me to show him a concept I would develop for him before there’d be any exchange of money (hint:  I recognize when someone trying to get something from me for nothing), and a late birthday dinner, there were two other events that needed to be addressed:

First, on the trip home, I encountered an RV burning on the side of the road.  I’m not going to say how said RV came to be burning on the side of the highway, but given the demeanor of the folks who’d bailed out and were standing around looked panicky, and the location of said torched vehicle, I’m going to opine that there was some cooking in progress, the RV came around a couple of sharp corners, there was a spillage of something hot, and–WHAM!  Time to bail!

Since none of the people standing around the RV were bald, I’m guessing the cooking of meth wasn’t involved.

Then I was not in the house more than ten minutes when the power went out.  Not just in the house, but around the entire neighborhood.  Pitch darkness everywhere, or as dark as it gets on a cloudy Sunday at 7:36 PM.  I remarked that the longest the power every stayed out where I live is about two and a half hours, and right around nine-thirty the utilities trucks rolled into the area.  At 10:05 PM the power was restored, showing that when it comes to calling the lengths of power outages, I nail them.

The downside to all this was being unable to start writing until almost ten-thirty.  The power on, the A/C going, the computer finally up because I can only run mine for about forty-five minutes on the battery.  Otherwise I’d have been typing away in the darkness.  I gotta get me a new system

The upside to this is I managed a thousand words before heading off to bed, and I’m about to cap that with another thousand or so words after I finish this post.  Then . . . well, what comes next, you ask?  I know what comes next.

I gotta come up with a title.

That’s the way I start every new story, with a title, as taught by a lot of writers who I grew up reading.  First you have a concept, then you have a title, then you do your research, then you work things out–

And then you start writing.

The countdown clock for Camp NaNo says I have twenty days and change before I have to write.  I’m going to write what should be an opening to a new novel; I’m not going to tackle a novel just yet.  At least I don’t think I will.

But I’ve been wrong before.

Deep in the Motherlode

There are a number of things happening today, not the least of which is finally getting to this blog post.  I was going to start writing about eight; it’s now ten-thirty, and I have only myself to blame.  Part of it is due to looking at bad book covers.  Part of is due to being pulled away by every shiny thing that happens to cross my path.  Part of it is that it’s sticky outside today, and I feel it in my writing space.

But I’m here now.  All Hail the Great One!

When I crawled out of bed today I had Fantasies in Harmonie on my mind, because my life is pretty much like that.  No one else in bed with me, so wake up with my story.  Last night I finished all the sexy encounters that happened in the aftermath of one big event, so all that is left is to have the girls say goodbye and close it out, just as a story should.

While putting the story together in Scrivener I set up the chapters and gave each a little tag, as I always do.  For my last part, Part Four, where I am now, I had two chapters:  one of goodbyes, and one of followups.  And while getting up today, I thought about the writing I had ahead of me and went, “I don’t need that last chapter.  It’s going to take away from the story and and end up becoming superfluous.”

Which means the last chapter is dead.  Something I was going to do in the old last chapter gets done in the new last chapter, and that’s that.  End of story, write “The End”, move onto the next project, my Fantasies are over.  Sit on my twenty thousand words of erotica, it it later, and submit it to the big smut stand on the Internet.

Speaking of what’s next . . .

I’m off to camp again:  Camp NaNo July, that is.  I’ve already sent out my notices about who I want in my cabin, and I’m getting stuff ready for smores for those moments at night when we’re not writing.  It’s going to be fun, I tell ya–fun!

Then again, I have to come up with something to write in the next few weeks, don’t I?

I’ve a few ideas that I could do, all of which sound like–here it comes, I’m going to say it . . . novels.  I have lots of ideas that could be turned into novels, but if I write a novel now, does that mean I’ll be able to write another novel come November and the Big Party?  I even had another one pop up this morning and I need to get it written down before my mind completely spaces away.

I also have one particular story I could do that would make this a great Camp NaNo.  I’ve even been nudged in that direction by someone who knows me well, and knows the sort of stuff I write.  They even had a couple of words of inspiration for me:  “Two witches”.

Hot lesbian witches . . . wait, sorry:  I’m not Charlie Sheen.

I need to get this erotica behind me today.  Then I can get my witch’s hat on and start thinking right.

 

Entanglement

The difference in a day or two does wonders for a person.  Because?  Well, sit tight, ’cause I’m going to tell you.

After yesterday’s post my mind was in, what I felt, the right place.  It’s been lovely here in the nether-lands of Chicago, and the windows are open, the sun is shinning, the breeze is lovely, and I got to call the cops on some smart ass kids who think when they tell you, “Go ahead, call the cops,” you won’t act upon their request.  Threat + Internet lookup + mobile phone = cops telling you to drag your crap out of the street, punk.

But that’s beside the point . . . I was writing again yesterday.  Yes, it came slowly, in fifty to one hundred word bursts.  Something I never realized until now, but finding the right words to describe emotions and sensation related to sex is hard work–it’s hard!  It’s one of the things that helps bring my writing to a crawl, because I don’t want to go back over my stuff later and rewrite everything.  I try to get it all right the first time.  Arthur Hailey, the author of Hotel and Airport, used to write five hundred words in an eight hour day, but that was his first, second, final, and polished draft, because he’d go over and over what he wrote until he got it right.  I don’t claim to be him, but I do enjoy getting it as right as possible before I start editing.

I kept at it, though, and by the time I’d reached my just over nine hundred word limit before heading to bed, I had a pretty good scene going.  So good that I’ll finish it up today and make sure I get started on the penultimate section today.  I stopped just short of the border of Novella, so I’ll get my passport ready and head on into the country today.

But something else happened.  Something . . . well, not wonderful, but it made me feel good.

My current Work in Progress, Fantasies in Harmonie, was going to be a Camp NaNo story.  The tale is actually taking place during Camp NaNo July, and I’d taken the idea of writing in virtual cabins into real life, and having a group of lady writers getting together for a week of pajama time fun as only writers can have fun.  Obviously that didn’t happen, because here it is the end of the first week in June, and I’m close to closing this particular cabin.  My intention, therefore, was to pass on the Camp this year.  I’ve never done one, and I figured I’d save my time and energy for the Big One in November.

That was before I ran into someone I know and love–

I was hanging out on Facebook yesterday, and I spied a message from a friend–one who pretty much got me crazy on writing.  She was the one who helped me edit Kuntilanak, she was the one who more or less talked me into doing my first NaNo, which produced Her Demonic Majesty . . . we’re talkin’ Trusty Editortm.  And her message:  “I’m doing Camp NaNo, wish me luck!”

Hold on there.  You’re going to camp and you’re going without . . . me?  I felt great for her, but at the same time my mind is flashing on sitting around in our shorts and take tops tapping away at our computers, and when the night comes we’re going over plot points while doing each other’s nails with mood polish.  (That exists:  I looked.  RESEARCH!)

Since I figured she need to hang out with at least one loser, I went and did it–I signed up for Camp.

What am I going to write?  I have no freakin’ idea.  Maybe I’m polish Couples Dance and get it ready for publication, because camp is looser and you can do that sort of thing.  Or maybe I’ll write something original.  Or maybe I’ll break into the cabin next to ours and do something naughty.

I don’t know.  I’ve never been to camp in my life.

I hear you’re suppose to have a good time . . .

Sound and Vision

It’s early afternoon, and I can’t believe I’m getting to my writing now.  Usually by this time I’ve had my saying of the day saved to the Internets, and I’m kicked back with lunch and/or some other insanity.  Today I’m running late because–why not?  Due to having to get out and pick up a few things?  Because of an annoying  ?  On account of pedantic discussion on Star Trek?  Or maybe . . . bacon?

Only time will tell.  Or not, ’cause timey whimy, you know?

In thousand words leaps Fantasies in Harmonie moves forward.  It was only suppose to be some quickie porn that I’d rip out and post in no time:  instead, it’s become of War and Peace of fetish fiction.  She now sits just short of sixteen thousand words, and in another fifteen hundred I’ll have to get out my passport and entered the Country of Novella, and I hear the greasy chuckle from here.

If you wonder what I’m talking about, read the afterword to Stephen King’s Different Seasons collection, where three of the four included stories have become some of King’s best adapted movie.  One of the lines he uses is, “Now, artistically speaking, there’s nothing at all wrong with the novella.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with circus freaks, except that you rarely see them outside of the circus.”  You get the point.

At the time King wrote those words (1982 or there about), finding a market for novellas was damn near impossible.  There were only a hand full of magazines that would tackle those stories, and by the end of the 1980’s they pretty much went the way of the dinosaur.  Or did they?  Just wait . . .

So rather than eight thousand words of hotness, I’m more like double that pleasure, and it’s likely I’ll start tripping into the twenty thousand lane before everything is over.  Been there, done that:  in fact, some fetish fiction I sold a couple of years back went the same way.  They were fantasy stories that ended up being long novelettes or short novellas, and after four of them I stopped because, at the time, I figured no one was ever going to read them outside of a few people who were into that sort of thing.

Now, about that place to publish . . .

So many publishing outlets dried up in the late Twentieth Century, but fast forward to the end of the first decade of the Twenty-first Century, and one sees self publishing taking off.  I remember people saying, “I ain’t buying one of those new fangled ebooks–only the real thing for me!” and emotions ran pretty high on both sides–but I knew that tech is one of those things that tend to stick around if they’re good, and ebooks were good.  I even bought one, and though I don’t use it much these days–I need a new battery–there are enormous advantages to having one–

Liking being able to take your kid to their soccer meet and sit in the stands reading Daddy’s Little Milk Maid and not worry in the least that you’re going to skev out everyone sitting around you.

It was Penn Jillette who pointed out that all new technology leads to porn.  After the Gutenberg Bible came a printing of the Karma Sutra; after the first movies came Le Coucher de la Mariée, a seven minute movie of a women doing a strip tease in a bathhouse, filmed in 1896, followed by El Sartorio, the first film to show sex acts, filmed in Argentina in 1907.  We have the Internet and . . . you really need to know?

With ebooks came eporn, and big or small, it sells.

Will my fantasy story sell.  Only time will tell.  Or not–

That timey whimy crap, I tell you.

Wild is the Wind

For a moment I wondered if my computer was coming up this morning.  You start having these fears when your machine is looking at its seventh birthday, and all your friends have gone through three or four machines by this time.  If I’m lucky I’ll hang on this sucker for another year, then maybe get that super-tablet that I’ve had my eye on for years.

But I’m here, I’m up, and I have plans for the day.  Writing, of course:  I need to get back into my story, and there’s something special I want to work on as well.  What is it?  I’m not telling, at least not yet.  Give it a day or two, but you’ll see it.  Maybe you’ll even like it.

Speaking of the story . . . yeah, over the ten thousand mark.  That’s me, Ms. Wordy Smut.  It should just be sex and sex and sex, and kept it short and simple, but no:  I gotta tell a story.  Well, people liked my other long smut, so maybe I can get people to like this smutty smut, too.  They might even want to give me a couple a bucks in the process.

I have a guy watching me because writing and swaying back and forth as I listen to David Bowie Live From the BBC, from back in 2000.  Hope you enjoy the show, sucker, because maybe it gets better.  Enjoy your yogurt and quit staring a hole in me, ‘kay?  People, I swear.

I think I’ve finally reached some sort of point with Fantasies in Harmonie, where I feel like I have to write this now.  I go through the strangest feelings about my works at time, and this has been one of them.  Maybe it’s the writing late at night, maybe it’s finally using Scrivener in full screen mode–which I highly recommend–maybe it’s I’m finally kicking through this depression I’ve been in for the last month.  Whatever it has been, when I’m writing I love writing.  The distractions are becoming fewer, and I’m really getting into the scenes I’m creating.  It could be due to the story finally taking off, so I crank through another ten thousand words, get to the end, and get a cover while I’m editing this sucker.  Push it out, put it up, have it ready for the end of July so people can have a little excitement as they flow into fall.  I aims to please.

There remains what comes next.  It’s always about what comes next these days.  Get into the wind and go with it, and don’t stop flying just because you found a place where you can relax for a bit and enjoy the sights.  Somewhere down the jet stream you’re going to find something new and exciting, so finish up your thing and get wild with the wind, because if you’re good, if you’re right, you can keep flying the wind forever.  Or at least until you get too old to fly.

Then what do you do?

Screw it.  You keep flying.  And tell the stories of when you touch down.