Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Re-packaging my life

Sorry about my two-week hiatus. Writing-wise I've been so busy I don't know how I'm keeping organized. (Maybe I'm not).

I received not one but two rejects for Pull My String. Would be depressing but one agent gave me such and awesome rejection that included a great critique. I'll be using her feedback to take another look at the story, so I can't really feel too bad. I also learned that Damaged Goods finalled in a second contest, Indiana Golden Opportunity. Suddenly the story of the prostitute and the killer that I thought only its mother would love is being liked by others.

Anyway, last week I finally completed my first draft of the second YA, the sequel to Pull My String, which I've renamed Minority of One. I managed to get Neil and Carl back together again. Unfortunately Neil's mom had to die. And once again if felt bad killing a character I never intended to care for.

Just when I thought I'd never make a good murderer I'm off to edit The Last Logan, a romantic suspense where I get to kill of almost the entire family. My critique partner is looking at the beginning right now. And, since November is approaching, I spent today outlining the book I want to write for NaNoWriMo - the sequel to Damaged Goods - Damaged Lives.

Oh yes, I just signed up for YARWA, the new RWA chapter for Young Adult writers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Weight Gaining Lifestyle

A little while back I did a Facebook on writing as a weight gaining lifestyle. There's just something about sitting in a chair for hours on end that just seems to attract the pounds. It also stimulates the desire for unhealthy snacks, a lethal combo. (I admit to giving in to temptation.) I've been getting a lot written these past months, and right now I'm deep in editing a book I started earlier this year. Plus I've been doing critiques for various partners and writing story for he Arlington Almanac - I even got a fan letter! Add in the work I do at a local senior center and I have no life beyond sitting at a computer, or with pen and paper. So I'm growing by hips and pounds.


A friend laughingly said this all sounds like a topic for a workshop. I say, sign me up - although I think she was suggesting I give the workshop. So I'm asking, how do you handle the sedentary nature of the writing profession? Have you discovered the secret to jogging while writing? Or found a twenty-fifth hour to use exclusively for exercise? Or do you just no longer care. And, if so, I really do envy you.

Anyway, just for giggles and kicks I've set up a poll. You're all invited to make a selection. And please - I'd say pretty please with sugar on it, but that just defeats the whole purpose, if you want to comment on how you combine work, exercise and writing, please do so. I need all the help and suggestions I can get.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another day off

I went to the movies and saw District 9. I thought it would be good. I hoped I'd enjoy it. I was wrong.

It was amazing!!

I'm not normally a movie critic, so take this with a grain of salt. But this movie had everything I wanted from a film. A strong but flawed protagonist I found myself at first reluctantly, then whole-heartedly rooting for. A strong antagonist who mirrored the protagonist in every way, so much so that I had to root for him as well, alien or no. A truly evil villain I could hate in good conscious. (In fact, we got two good villains for the price of one.) And an adorable and spunky child to boot.

This is more than just a science fiction movie. It's political satire at it's best, there's a location that is new to most of us, Johannesburg South Africa, and therefore exotic, there's a government and business conspiracy (there really are a lot of secrets in District 9) and a good buddy picture.

So help me, the aliens are uglier than the guy in the Predator movies. Yet, somehow they aren't hard to look at, and actually kind of endearing, although the idea of inter-species prostitution did strike me as going a little far. Speaking of which, this shoes that the human race will go on, even if aliens were to invade. There will always be someone, probably several someones, who will figure out ways to profit from the deal. And, as always, the child is endearing, no matter what he looks like.

The human's biggest fault is that he actually trusts the officials around him and thinks he is doing a worthwhile job. The alien's biggest fault is that he is just too darn honest.

Of course there will be a sequel. There has to be. I need to know. I just hope they're wrong and it doesn't take three whole years.

In the opinion of this amateur film critic - five stars. And I think I'm going to see it again.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good News

I've just been told that my novel, Damaged Goods, is a finalist in the Mainstream Category of the 2009 Golden Gateway Competition. Too bad you can't see my trying to float on air right now. Especially since in my heart of hearts I didn't really think a story about a prostitute and a would-be murderer really had a chance in - well, in hades. Right now I'm doing some last minute touch-ups, the judges thought it needed more body language and setting, before the story goes in front of the final judges.

And it get's better. My YA novel, Pull My String, finalled in the Reveal Your Inner Vixen contest. That involved a high sexual tension scene from the middle of the story as David discovers the depth of his feelings for Yolanda, the girl who belongs to the school's chief bad-ass.

Be still my beating heart.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I've joined Goodreads, an readers/writers networking site. I'm posting my WIP's there, along with reviews of other works. Come take a look at Damaged Goods, Pull My String and Life Sucks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Back

Sorry, but after the BIAW week I took a short rest that became just a little longer. By the end of the week I had a complete plot, about 110 pages and 22,000 words and I just needed some time to myself. Not too long, though, because now I'm editing and adding story. My first writing class gave me a distinct difference between Plot and Story, and I've found that helpful. I am a plotter, so my first tun through is to get the plot points. My second run, or first big edit, adds in Story, the emotional context. Then I take another run to add in setting, and finally I'm into pure editing, which frequently means cutting. I have finally learned that less can mean more.

Right now I have a deadline - Tomorrow I have to have a short story for my column in in the Arlington Almanac, a local magazine I've been writing for during the last year and a half. It's quarterly for God's sake, so you'd think I could come up with one story every three months. But no, I'm feeling dead in the water. So today and tomorrow is dedicated to making that story happen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

BIAW - the end

Even after taking yesterday off to do a little playing, this has been an exhausting week. Productive, but dizzying. I have 126 pages, and almost 21,000 words of Neill's journey through a sucky life. Not only dies the poor boy loose his boyfriend, but his grandfather hates him, this girl won't leave him alone, and now he's got to deal with a dead teacher and a brother in prison. I'd feel sorry for him, but I know how the story ends.
“I don’t want you to hate me.”

“I could never hate you, Kalif.”

“Never?” My brother laughs.

“We’re family.”

“You need to know, I loved you from the first moment I saw you. I knew I had to stop being a coward and protect you, no matter what it cost.” He swallows as if his throat is on fire. It’s like he’s about to make some confession. But I know my brother like I know myself. He never killed anyone.

“It’s okay, Kalif. You’ve always been the best brother anyone could ask for.”

“Maybe. But I’ve been one lousy father.”

“No you haven’t. Sierra -”

“I’m not talking about my daughter.”

Kalif falls silent. His eyes glaze. He’s no longer staring at me. His eyes burn through my skin as he stares at something I can’t see.

“I met your mother in college.”

“No.” My chest pounds like I’m in a marathon and my brain refuses to believe what I think I’m hearing.

“I thought she was just another student.”

Don’t say this. Please.

“I didn’t know. How young she was, I mean. Didn’t find out until too late she was just sixteen. She told me she was eighteen and I believed – wanted to believe. Prescott’s daughter hated the tight leash he kept her under, she liked escaping and hanging around the campus. Hanging with me.”

Come to think of it - I do feel sorry for Neill. Because not even he is who he thought he was.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BIAW - Day 6 - playing hookey

I cheated today and did precious little writing. Fortunately my writing's ahead of schedule and I promise to make up for today's slackoff tomorrow. I did do a critique on a new work for my CP Angela. And I entered the Golden Rose contest with my YA, Pull My String. Then I just took a day off and headed for Chicago's Midwest Buddhist Temple and the annual Ginza festival.

I can't tell you enough how I love the Taiko Drummers. If you've never heard them, find the nearest place in your area that has a club and go see. If you have, you understand exactly what I mean. The Ginza festival includes a group from the Chicago temple, and a group from St. Paul, Minnesota. Together, those men and women are awesome.

Also, take a look at the little Japanese Dancer.

In my youth I tried a number of different religions - I was born a Baptist, tried out Catholicism in college (they had this insanely handsome priest) and I've studied Islam. Went Ecumenical for a while, and tried a Lutheran church that ended up being too Hellfire and Brimstone for my liking. I didn't stick with that long enough to see if it was just that one church or the entire denomination. I've been a Methodist for about seventeen years now. Truthfully, I don't see all that much difference between this and my old Baptist beginnings. At the Ginza festival, there's always a discussion during intermission about Buddhism. Today's discussion was largely question and answer. Learning that some of the core of this religion is a belief in impermanence, interdependency between all things, and cause and effect, leaves me wondering if there isn't a little Buddhism in me too. Especially now that I know that Karma is actually "the sum of who you are."

Guess in my case, Karma really is a bitch.

Friday, August 7, 2009

BIAW - Day 5

This isn't as bad as NaNoWriMo - I only have to suffer through two more days. And this story is zinging. Maybe because this is the first time I've tried a sequel, so I know most of the characters already - although I never knew Neill lived with his older brother. Or maybe because I'm doing 1st person again. My last 1st person POV novel zinged too. Anyway, today I worked on the scene where Neill confronts his brother about a possible affair with his teacher. As usual, it's all about Neill - which is as it should be - he's the hero and he's sixteen. All this is leading up to the moment they find the teacher dead, with his brother as the prime murder suspect.
Kalif’s hands tremble. “I haven’t felt like this since the night mom and dad died.” He heaves a sigh and turns to look at me. “Relax, I’m not repeating that stupidity again. But at a time like this I almost wish I were still a drinking man.”

“Are you having an affair with my teacher?”

The words hang in the air between me and my brother. I know I’ve crossed into a world I never wanted to enter.

I’m expecting him to swear, hit me, throw things.

Anything but the look of fear that tightens his jaw. “No.” He lifts his hands in a helpless gesture of surrender. “Not now.”

“But you did.”

Whatever he’s feeling it’s more than fear. Something moves in the back of my brother’s eyes. I could swear he wants to say more. I think if I were older he would. I think he wants to confess. But not to his kid brother.

“It was a long time ago.”

“Before or after you got married?” I say as I jump to my feet and run up the stairs to my room. I thought their marriage was tight. Proof love was possible. I know without some miracle I’ll never be married. I may find a partner willing to be with me no matter what people say. Maybe we’ll live together, have a civil contract and one of those civil ceremonies and try pretending it’s the same thing. But marriage, real marriage, would require a miracle.

If real love takes a miracle too, I am so screwed.

And not in a nice way.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BIAW - Day 4

I am reaching what is usually the magical point for me in any story, the hundred page mark. By this point ideas are solid. Unfortunately this is also the time when flaws become visible. Amazingly so far, no glaring plot holes. I'm at 16,000 words, far ahead of schedule, and I see the road to the end of the story clearly.

Right now I'm busy plodding through the dreaded middle.
“Is there something wrong with me?”

“No.” Now I have to explain I’m not interested, and then she’ll want the details why and she’ll pout and another friend bites the dust. Why didn’t I just say something in the first place?

Her brows furrow like Sierra's does when her mother takes her toys away. “I thought you liked me. Is it because I’m a white girl?”

After biting back a laugh I say, “It’s because you’re a girl.”

She’s silent for a minute. “You don’t like girls?”

You could parade every model from the swimsuit edition in front of me and all I’d think was – interesting. Maybe, nice tan. “Call me crazy, but I’m gay, as in not exactly happy, but that’s life.”

“Gay? As in you hate girls?”

“Oh, I like girls. They make great friends. But I’m not interested in them in any other way. Julian knows I wouldn’t object if you two got interested in each other.” Yet, for some reason that thought does bother me. Calling Julian a man-whore’s a bit much. He just never met a girl he didn’t want to touch, and right now he’s popular enough that most of them want to be touched by him.

The girls at our table are the exceptions. Like a prophet unwelcome in his own neighborhood, our girls know him too well. But there’s a whole school full of girls for him to strut through. I don’t want Sheila one of his casualties.

“How do you know you’re gay?”

The crowd screams as Farrington scores again. People around us leap to their feet, jerking the wooden bench beneath us as we stare at each other.

“How do you know you’re straight?”

“Boys – some boys, make me feel -,” she pauses as if searching for words.

“Some boys make me feel hot, too.”

“But not girls?”

“Never.” Still, there’s something in her face that attracts me. I’ve never questioned being gay. But there is something calming about being with her. “I’ve known I was gay since I was twelve.”

“You wanted to have sex with guys at twelve?”

Why does everyone think its only about sex. “Is that what you wanted at twelve?”

She looks thoughtful. “No. I just … wanted to impress them. Wanted them to like me. To be around me. It made me feel good knowing a guy liked me.”

Bingo. “Especially the right guy.”

She nods. “I’d get all tingly inside when he’d smile or say hi.”

Ditto. I love that tingly thing. When Carl and I have sex, it will be extra.

Except its not gonna happen. He’s over there across the stands snuggling up to Wendy like she’s the last life preserver on the Titanic.

“Did you ever try being with a girl?”

“No. Have you ever tried being with a tree?”

“That’s gross.”

“Not really. I like trees. Think where the world would be without them.”

She doesn’t laugh. “Is that what you think of us?”

“Girls are all right. Okay to talk to, sometimes even interesting. But not that interesting.”

“But guys blow your gasket?”

I’d never have put it like that, but she’s got the idea. “Some guys, anyway.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BIAW - Day 3

I think I'm liking this crash way of writing. Being the kind who likes to create scenes and does not start at the beginning, go all the way to the end and then stop, I've got the outline of my complete story down in ninety pages and 10,000 words. I even managed to put together a synopsis, unheard of for me this early in the process.

Today its the scene where our hero, Neill, meets the new girl in school, and the new teacher, and has an immediate reaction to both. Is he wrong about his sexuality - or is something else afoot?
The first time mom called me a contrarian I had to look it up. I’m proud of that word, it describes me perfectly. Explains why I have French fourth period instead of the Spanish that ninety percent of the students taking a language attend.

Spanish classes are always packed. Most Farrington students have no trouble getting good grades there. The school’s forty percent Hispanic. Like most of the other kids in the who didn’t learn Spanish in their homes, I got my share on the playground tangling with friends who did. I swear as fluently in Spanish as I do in English. Better. Mom never punished me for the Spanish swears she didn’t understand, so I used those most often.

I take French.

Less frantic. Fewer students.

But today there is a new student. Blondie.

She settles into a seat next to mine as we wait for our teacher. Once again I find myself studying her face. Something draws me, and I wonder if I’ve met her before.
She turns. “Where’s your girlfriend?”

It takes a few seconds for me to realize she means Yolanda and I almost burst out laughing. “My friend, not my girlfriend.”

“Her loss.”

It won’t take her long to know how unimaginable that would be. And not just because I’m gay and don’t want or need a girlfriend. The great Yoyo Dare and anyone except David Albacore? Even if I was into girls it’d never happen. The long fist of David Albacore would reach across the state and strangle me, or anyone else, who tried to put a move on his Dare. I’d live longer putting a move on his little sister.

The door opens and a woman walks in. We’re all wondering who the new teacher will be. Mr. Faber unexpectedly retired just before finals. Normally that would mean we’d have to suffer through a string of subs for weeks, maybe even until the end of the semester. There aren’t a lot of spare French teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, and fewer still with so little seniority they can be transferred to an inner-city school at a moment’s notice. But we were told the Principal was lucky enough to find someone willing to take the post.

This woman’s tall, blond, pale skinned, and, except for her eyes being a smoky gray instead of green, she looks enough like Blondie to be her sister.

Or her mother.

I turn my head and see Blondie do an eye roll that would make a sister proud. She looks like she’d disappear if she could, but since she can’t, she stares at the wall and mutters “Welcome to my world.”

The woman in the immaculate and totally out-of-place in this world, anyway, dark velvet suits leaned against the desk and smiled at us. “Je m'appelle Alison Grant. Je serai votre nouveau professeur.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

BIAW - Day 2

I made today's quota - barely. I also have plot details worked out. I know Neill's real parents, I know what he wants to be when he grows up and why kissing Sheila is as bad as kissing his 3 year old niece. I know how he and Carl get back together, and I even know who killed his real mother and how he or she gets caught. Anyway, at 6800 words, here's today's scene, as Neill tries to explain to his brother Kalif how he feels about his breakup with Carl.

Just say it.
“Neill, I have to get back to my patients.”
“Carl and I …” God, this is so damned painful. “We’re not a couple anymore.”
Kalif’s eyebrows pulled together. “I don’t understand.”
“He broke up with me.”
“Well, I’m … I’m sorry.”
No. He’s not. I can tell by the way his hand pats my shoulder. The little nod of his chin. There’s that look on his face when he’s satisfied he’s been proven right about something.
It’s just a cold, Mrs. C.
I knew you’d prefer red instead of green.
I told that old man it was cancer.
I knew my little brother wasn’t really gay.
“It’s not a phase, Kalif. I'm not going out to find come girl to take Curt’s place.”
He and Lilah pretend they’re okay with my being gay. I guess they tried, but looks like it was never real.
Mom and dad are the only ones who really accepted me as I was. My parents would have accepted anything.
Brother’s suck.
And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm in a BIAW (Book In A Week) challenge. As if NaNoWriMo isn't enough. My personal challenge is 3,000 words a day. So, it's almost the end of day 1, and I have finished 3600 words (a bit of a future cushion always helps.) I've started a new book, I'm always at my best at the beginning. This one is tentatively titled Life sucks, and no, it's not another vampire story. I recently completed and submitted a YA novel called Pull My String. While waiting - hoping- I'd get a bite, I decided to do another YA. And, while the original was not supposed to be a series, I thought, why not use the same school, setting and characters? Why reinvent the wheel? So, this one takes place a few months after PMS ends, and one of the minor characters, a gay junior named Neill, is the antagonist for this book.
Anyway, here's the beginning:
Chapter 1
The first day of second semester should mark the beginning of the end. In a good way. The school year’s half-way over. I know we still have to wear boots and heavy coats, and the clouds in a sky more putrid and gray than blue promise there are more blizzards in store before there’s even a hint of spring. The negative temperatures eat at the end of your nose and there is absolutely no reason for us to be standing here at the foot of the staircase instead of following the other students up to the entrance to Farrington High School.

With first semester finals out of the way there’s supposed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Not a wind chill ripping through my guts that matches anything January can throw at me.

“I just want to be normal,” Carl says again. “Is that too much to ask?”

For Carl to be normal he has to dump me.

Even bundled in that bulky down jacket with the cap pulled down to hide his hair and ears, the sight of Carl’s big body leaves me feeling loopy. Maybe I didn’t think we could really be a forever couple, but I do love him.

He can’t be abnormal. If he’s abnormal, what does that make me?

I try making a joke. “We’re not abby-normal.” Stupid, and way below my usual standards. The cold stings my face, turning every sound I make into frozen clouds that hang in the air in front of my face, stinging my cheeks and growing larger with every word. “There’s nothing wrong with us, except we’re standing out here freezing our butts when we should be inside.”

He shakes his head. “My uncle says it’s a choice I have to make. He did, and it worked for him. I’m going to try. You can handle this, Neill, you’re strong. I tried, you know I did. But I can’t deal with this anymore.”

Strong? It’s ten below and snowing and every word he says leaves me ready to melt out here. “What’s not normal is denying what you are. What about us?”

“There is no us anymore. I won’t be gay anymore.”

Just like that. As if he can turn the way he feels off.

Maybe he can.

“I’m tired, Neill. I’m tired of being a homo, faggot, or fudge packer and having my mother crying and praying because her son’s on the fast track to hell.”

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beginning at the beginning

My first YA novel, Pull My String, details the story of a 17-year-old boy in Chicago's inner city as he tries to separate himself from the history of violence in his family and falls in love with a girl who thinks her only value is sex.

Starting today I'm working on a second. I didn't intend this to be a series, but once I decided to do another YA, it only made sense to reuse the characters rather than create a whole new universe. So this story stars a minor character, Neill Mallory, a junior on my mythical Farrington High School on Chicago's south side. Neill is gay, and is suffering from a breakup with a long time boyfriend who has decided to try the straight life. His father and stepmother have always seemed to accept that, but he sees the truth in their reaction to his news. But that pales when he finds out there's been a major lie going on in his family, a lie that began before he was born. His supposedly dead mother isn't. And she shows up in his father's life after her husband's death, wanting to resume the relationship. Worse still, he discovers this isn't the first time she reappeared in his father's life, and he has a half-brother out there somewhere. Worst of all, she ends up dead, and his father's picked up for her murder. Neill will need to take a new look at what makes a happy couple, and at what makes him happy. And, hopefully, get his parents out of jail and rescue his half-brother from foster hell. All before his seventeenth birthday.

And did I mention there is this girl Neill will have to deal with?

Other characters from PMS (really I didn't have that in mind when I gave it the title) will show up, including Barney, Yoyo, and a sneak guest appearance from David Albacore. And I might even reveal Tyrone's dark secret.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Last Logan

Finally I got to the Logan Sex scene. Good thing, too, because my schedule has me starting a new project Monday for a BIAW (Book In A Week) challenge. Not that I'll finish an entire novel in one week - I know, I've survived, and won, two NANOWRIMO's, but its good to stretch myself. And I've been editing, first Damaged Goods, then Pull My String and now The Last Logan for almost six months. I know editing is a necessary evil, but that's evil with a capital EVIL. True, Last Logan was almost a re-write, between adding new victims, a red herring villain and changing out one sub-plot for another, but still, its not as much fun as a new beginning.

Anyway, here's a snippet of today's work, as Kyle and Beverly finally renew the love after being torn apart for a decade.

Only a thin film of sweat on his muse’s skin revealed her nervousness. A drop beaded just below the hollow of her neck. Rolled down her chest and through the valley between her breasts. His knees trembled as the shining bead of moisture moved down her stomach. As the drop hovered at the delicate curve of her navel he bit his tongue, using the pain to keep focus and prevent himself from dropping to his knees to lick that bead of moisture from her skin.

Her body was demanding. Greedy.

Kyle willingly offered himself to her needs.

Take me.

All of me.

“I want you,” Beverly said. An admission of weakness she no longer feared making. She had been too long without her man.

Too long without love.

He looked at her with the wide, awestruck eyes of a five-year-old surveying a cone of multi-colored cotton candy at the circus.

Beverly felt the moisture on the finger tips she ran her fingers through the field of dark hair covering his chest. The head of his cock strained toward her. Her hands moved to encircle the hot, pulsing flesh. He was motionless. The effort to remain so left him covered in sweat. She traced her fingertips through the sweat-filled field of dark hair covering his chest. Her hand lowered, stroked the length of his manhood. “Kyle. Now.”

He lowered himself on top of her body. This moment, every moment, was perfect. The tension, the loss, the yearning dissolved, driven out by the heat from the flesh that nestled beside her.

Fingers trailed across her lips down to her chin, then ran across the bottom of her chin to her throat. Her head lifted involuntarily, as he kissed the base of her neck. Kyle’s lips were gentle. Asking.

He rolled the ball of his finger over the tip of her nipple, once, twice, before his lips seized her breast, suckling her as she experienced rapture that left her unable to stop the moan that began deep inside her chest.

He lifted his head. “More?”

“Oh, God, yes, Kyle. Don’t you dare stop.”

He moved to her other breast making sure it experienced the same satisfaction as its mate. Then his head moved lower still. Down her ribcage. Down to her bellybutton.

His tongue moved into the indentation, forcing a laugh from her.

“She’s still ticklish,” he said.

Every inch of her body tingled with his touch. Every cell begged for more. She was eighteen again, eighteen and her heart vibrated inside her chest. All of the love, the passion she had once been capable of resounded through her body.

No man’s lips sent the tingle running through her body the way Kyle did. The gentle pressure deepened, leaving her feeling suddenly powerful. How could she feel this powerful when she had no control at all? Not even over her own wildly beating heart?

God how she enjoyed this feeling.

Kyle Logan worthless?

Oh, hell no.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More dillydallying

As I said yesterday I'm exhausted, so of course I began today by cutting the grass. Next year - a service.

I managed the first draft of a short story today - i do a quarterly column in a local journal, and even though the deadlines are three months apart it's deadly. But it has forced me to look at shorter words (they want 400-700) and a year ago I would have sworn I couldn't do anything under forty thousand, so maybe, as my daughter would say, it's all good.

May even have helped me learn query writing, I sent a few out yesterday and have someone interested. Wish my oodles of luck.

I know, I was supposed to work on the Logan sex scene, and I promise to do that tonight.
Pity I have no one right now to practice with.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Odds and Ends

This has been an busy week, probably why I feel exhausted and it's only Wednesday. For the past three days I've been successful in getting up and heading off to the gym. A requirement since I've put on a large number of pounds that I worked hard to eliminate over the last few years. (So large, I refuse to mention a number, lets just say way too much). In addition, I finally sent off queries to agents on two of my novels - not Logan, I'm still working on that, remember? I've queried on Damaged Goods, an interracial novel of romance and suspense, and on Pull My String, a young adult novel geared to appeal to the male reader.

Not that I've abandoned Logan, but while editing that one, I've been working on the query and synopsis for the other two. I'm not certain which was the harder job. But I decided I had them done today, and sent off three queries.

Hence, I'm exhausted.

Anyway, not one to sit back and twiddle my thumbs, it's back to Logan. Another Joy of Sex scene.

Then maybe a little rest, before I begin another marathon next week. I've accepted a challenge to do a BIAW (Book In A Week), or as close to it as I can handle. Add in a deadline for another short-story for the Almanac, a local magazine I have a quarterly column in, and a children's story for my church, all due early in August, and you know I'm not just a writer, I'm a masochist.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Writer's Rules

Today I'm going for something different. Not totally leaving the Logan family - in fact I just finished a scene where the real killer is finally revealed to the reader - but the characters in the story don't know that. They think their troubles are all over.


Instead, I'm going to go over the "sure-fire rules for getting your novel published" I heard at a lecture earlier this year. The other day someone on one of the loops I subscribe to brought up the people who never finish their novel, which made me remember this. Today, I accidentally came across the notes for this lecture. The serendipitous (don't you just love that word) nature of that made me decide to post them. So - If you're interested, in no particular order, here are the thirteen sure-fire steps:

  1. Start writing your book
  2. Keep writing, don't stop - something 9 out of 10 people who start don't do.
  3. Make a time commitment to your writing career. Write a realistic goal down, a written goal is easier to stick to.
  4. Finish the book you're writing. Don't worry if it's not "great."
  5. Start writing book two, while you query agents/publishers about book one.
  6. Make a financial commitment to your writing career. Join professional organizations, subscribe to journals like the Writer's Digest, Poets & Writers, The Writer, etc. Attend writer's workshops.
  7. Finish book two.
  8. Submit book two while you begin working on book three.
  9. Make a heart commitment to your writing. You cannot afford to be afraid or worry that your book won't be accepted. Be courageous, create support for yourself. Call yourself a writer.
  10. Join a writer's critique group. Get a Critique partner. Yeah Angela!!
  11. Finish book three.
  12. Start book four while submitting book three.
  13. Keep writing, submitting, repeating these steps. The difference between published and non-published is perseverance.

They said it was sure-fire. Nobody ever said it was easy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today with The Last Logan

Today was concentrate on the villain day in the Logan universe.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Who will be the next to go?
Let him holler, I won’t let go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
He's darned self-centered, and had been confining his killing to inside the family until he had to kill poor Grace. A young, enthusiastic reporter who found out a little too much - or at least he thought she did, and that was enough to get her killed.

This one I don’t even have to pretend is an accident.
I can use my hands.
The woman shivered. “You don’t have to kill me.”
She is so wrong.
Not because she knows who I am. Just because I can.
I’ve spent too much time keeping people alive. True, that is a powerful feeling. Like being a god.
But only with a small g.
Ending life – that’s real power.
It’s safe to stroke her hair, they can’t lift fingerprints from hair strands. Safe to lean close, smell the fear that overpowers the cloying perfume she’s chosen to wear.
Not safe to be her.
I wonder how Beverly would smell?
“How did you find out?” I admit curiosity. The bitch walked right up to my door. “How did you know it was me?”
“I didn’t. I swear.”
“Then why come here?”
“I just wanted to talk to you. Questions.”
Did I jump the gun? Too bad – for her.
Grace will be used to frame poor Travis.
I'm at 250 pages and counting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Last Logan - halfway there

Back to the business of killing off characters - this is romantic suspense, right?

I'm at about 230 pages. Dead so far are
    Charles, the newest Logan child, age 3 (died before the story started)
    William the "badass", the oldest son whose death begins the story
    Elizabeth and her unborn child - Old Man Logan's mistress

Still to die,
    Grace, newspaper reporter, (currently the killer has her kidnapped)
    Lakesia Styles-Logan, Old Man Logan's daughter,
    Travis Styles, her half-brother
    And, of course Old Man Logan himself.

There has been one attempt on the life of the heroine's daughter. There will be one more at the end.

Today's work got me to the point where the hero Kyle, is telling the heroine, Beverly, that he spent the last ten years in a Texas prison for murder. What he doesn't tell her is that he was framed, by his father and brother. (The Logan's are a truly heart-warming family). “Why Texas?”
Kyle shrugged. “Logan Enterprises has dealings there and my father needed someone to oversee activities. Once there I got bored and became involved in … extracurricular activities.”
He paused, head raised as if he expected something from her. When she remained silent he said, “Aren’t you going to ask?”
Keep calm, girl. Just do your job. Interviewing the hostile was her specialty. Sandy often compared her to his father after a hostile witness in the courtroom. But this was Kyle. He might never have loved her, but he’d never been hostile. “What was the charge?”
The Earth tilted beneath her feet. She gripped the back of a chair to hold herself upright. “Impossible.”
“Not something I’d lie about, Beverly.”
He’d never been the kind to think being locked inside a jail some badge of honor. Just the man least likely to have a jail’s doors close behind him. She’d imagined Kyle Logan crawling through a desert on hands and knees, her name the last sound falling from his lips. Imagined him in a hot tub surrounded by a dozen glamorous women. But never thought of him imprisoned.
“Who did you kill?”
“Their names – I never knew.”
His hands crossed over his chest. Hands that once wielded a paintbrush with the dexterity of a maestro. Fingers that had curled around a paintbrush, that should be stained with the result of his creativity. That had caressed her skin, sent electric sparks arcing through her, driving her wild with desire.
Those hands killed six people?

She's right to not believe him. Hopefully within the next hundred pages or so she'll get the full story out of him. Before the real killer gets to them all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Last Logan - my Villain

And now the villain, Dr. Gary Newman Gary is Kyle’s cousin. After his parents’ deaths he is raised in his uncle’s house and grows up thinking of himself as a Logan. He’s enraged to learn his uncle’s will shortchanges him because the old man wants his 'blood' to inherit. Unless the other heirs die first. Using his skills as a physician to make the deaths look like accidents or suicides he starts eliminating the competition. He kills two of his uncle’s sons, an infant and William. His uncle’s imminent death means he has to work fast. If all the heirs predecease his uncle he gets the jackpot. His hit list includes his uncle’s mistress who is carrying his unborn son, his uncle's illegitimate daughter - and Toni, Beverly’s daughter and Mitchell’s granddaughter. So now you have the background of the major characters. The story is all about Gary eliminating the competition as undetected as possible, and Kyle and Beverly trying to keep Toni alive until they uncover the killer.

Did you notice, Kyle, his uncle's younger son, is not on the hit list? Not that Gary isn't trying to make Kyle's life miserable, but Kyle is not a direct target.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Last Logan - Hero

As promised, my Hero
Hero - Kyle Logan
Kyle Logan, the ignored younger son of one of the most powerful families in Chicago, is a talented artist who dreams of bringing beauty into the world. Beverly helps him believe that his dreams are worthwhile. He respects Beverly’s skittish nature and her reluctance for sex, until the night his brother, William, dares him to seduce her. Unknown to Kyle, William and his friends witness and videotape the act, then jeer and demand a turn with her. To head them off, Kyle lies and tells his brother that Beverly wasn’t worth the effort. In truth he feels she is worth anything, and he risks the wrath of a brother he knows associates with violent criminals by stealing and destroying the tapes the group made. William threatens Beverly to punish Kyle. Their father, Mitchell Logan, agrees to restrain his older son if Kyle accepts exile that ends with Kyle being framed and sentenced to prison in Texas in place of one of William's criminal friends. Kyle has not been able to paint, or believe in anything since that night. Recently released, Kyle returns for William's funeral and the hope of saying a final goodbye to the girl he was ready to sacrifice anything for.

Tomorrow - My villain.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Last Logan

I just thought I'd give a little information on my characters in The Last Logan.
Heroine/Protagonist – Beverly Jefferson
Beverly is fueled by a need to be in control of her world. Her father deserts the family when she was six, and her bitter mother ignores her her child. Beverly is left to protect herself from the increasingly persistent attentions of her mother’s string of boyfriends until she wins a college scholarship and escapes. At college she meets Kyle Logan, a young artist from a wealthy family who makes her feel beautiful and valuable. And safe. She loosens her need to control and lets herself relax, trust and fall in love. Until the night she surrenders her virginity and finds herself the star in a video of the event shot by his brother, William. Kyle laughingly tells his brother Beverly hadn’t been worth the effort before he disappears from her life. Weeks later William violently rapes Beverly before agreeing his brother's assessment was right. Ten years Beverly is a highly successful investigative reporter with a nine-year-old daughter, Toni, and a vendetta that leaves her instrumental in uncovering evidence that has William Logan indicted for many of his crimes. All except the one crime that matters most, the rape she has never revealed. Her efforts to make William pay are thwarted when he apparently chooses suicide over imprisonment. As rigid and in control as she appears to the outside world, inside she is still the child who feels hopeless and knows she can't depend on anyone; the girl who knows she wasn't worth the effort.

Tomorrow - The hero, Kyle Logan.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

To Kill or Not To Kill

I have this poor, but dedicated reporter for the Messenger, the paper I created for the Last Logan. She's new, just screwed up once, and really wants to do a good job now to make up for her mistake. She's been assigned to check out on a murder suspect, her boss is doing a piece on the victim's family and she's just supposed to get some information at the hotel where the dead woman - Elizabeth, remember her - was found with her wrists slashed in the bathtub. She gets overzealous when she finds information about Travis's location (he's the suspect). Instead of reporting back with her information, she decides to go after him herself. I have two possible scenarios -

First, she ends up encountering the real killer and has to be killed herself. Her body is found in a place/location that further implicates Travis. Travis is eventually killed, a so-called murder-suicide after his sister is brain-dead from a supposed drug overdose they both die and everyone thinks the killing spree is over. It's not - he's just a poor decoy.

Second, she encounters Travis who takes her hostage because he knows the police are after him and he can't let her reveal his location. In a Stockholm like situation she and her captor grow close and she can't believe he's a killer. She helps him cope after his sister overdoses, and helps convince people he isn't the killer.

I'm not sure which way to go. I find I'm not as bloodthirsty as I think I am.

I did kill off Old Man Logan's three-year-old son, does that count?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Last Logan

I know, I was supposed to report back earlier. I have all the excuses under the sun. But at least I've been productive. I killed off Elizabeth, Old Man Logan's mistress, and the villain made it look like a suicide. Even better, I've set up poor Grace, a reporter who works for the heroine, to be killed in a manner that will incriminate Travis, another new character there to distract attention from my real villain. I've put the hero in a position to rescue the heroine's daughter, a move that raises the villain's jealousy AND gets the hero and heroine to stay in the same house for a valid reason. Yippee. Cause with them sleeping under the same roof it's easy to let hormones and nature take it's course - my heroine, Beverly, has already commented on how strong my hero - Kyle's pheromones are. I give it one night, and they'll not only be under the same roof, they'll be in the same bed.

Next up - we need to find Grace's body and have a manhunt for Travis. Oh yes, the hero has to admit he'd spent time in prison for murder. (I just don't know how to do conventional, flawless, billionaire heroes.)

Then I just kill Travis's sister, Kill Travis, give Old Man Logan a heart attack, and let the villain make another try at the heroine's daughter.

All in a day's work. Okay, give me a week or two.

Today's selection from the book -
“One problem with that theory,” Beverly continued. “Elizabeth wasn’t suicidal.”
“And of course, you know because you’re a trained shrink. Or is it voodoo?”
“It’s knowing when a person wants to talk, not die. She told me she could prove the test was wrong.”
“You know, if it was murder, as Janey on the spot you’d be suspect number one.”
“Don’t threaten me, Sandusky.”
“That’s Detective Sandusky.”
“Cold day in hell, Sandusky.”
He gave a mock shiver. “Knew someone had been messing with that damned thermostat.”
Thank God both Sandusky’s had the ability to cut through layers of tension. The elevator opened down the hallway and she saw rival reporters come rushing for the cordoned off area. “Do me a favor, Detective, don’t talk to them, either.”
“I don’t talk to anyone.” He winked before stepping back inside Elizabeth’s hotel room.
See you all soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Editting the Last Logan

Starting today I'm using this to track - and motivate myself - on my progress. This is my third book, and I'm editing like crazy but getting nowhere. Part of the problem - it's a romantic suspense that wasn't suspenseful enough. So I added three new characters, two victims and a red herring to divert attention from my real villain.

Today I'm working on a scene between the hero and that rat bastard father of his. The father and his older brother had our hero framed for a murder and he's spent ten years in prison. During that time the heroine has suffered, even though his relatives promised him that in return for his compliance she would be protected. He'd returned to threaten his father if he doesn't stop harassing her. There's nothing he can do about the past, but now that he's back he's going to make things as right as possible - even if she hates him because she thinks he abandoned her. eleven pages, over 2000 words. Done, thank God.

Tomorrow's scene - his father's mistress is accused of being unfaithful, she's failed the paternity test and being thrown out. he tries to stand up for her. I'm also hoping to squeeze a meeting in between the hero and his cousin, my secret villain.

Just for kicks, here's a sample from today's edit:

William had laughed. “Son of a bitch. You actually had the balls to fuck with me on your own. Stupid-assed move, but still, I never thought you’d have the guts.”
Gary tried to plead for Kyle. “He shouldn’t have done it, but … come on Willie, he’s your brother.”
Mitchell Logan slammed a fist on his desk. “I told you to give that slut up.”
“She’s not a slut,” Kyle said.
William laughed again. “She fucked you, didn’t she?”
Kyle’s fist slammed into William’s face.

William would not have killed him for that. Not when he knew a better way to hurt his brother. Mitchell had promised to shield Beverly from William’s wrath, and Kyle had agreed to follow orders.
The ultimatum William presented had been deceptively simple. Agree to leave and work for him at the Logan Enterprises branch in southern Texas. William was only twenty five but he already moved in a world of violence. His enemies populated hospital emergency room and morgues. Or disappeared without a trace.
“Did you know what William intended for me?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t lie.”
Mitchell laughed before moving to the bar along one wall and pouring himself a drink. “Want one?”
“No real Logan ever refuses a drink.”
What real father sends his son to rot in prison? “Did you know?”
Mitchell tossed back the drink and poured another. “You stole from your brother. He had a right to pick the punishment.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Death and whatever

Here's the problem with getting older, you begin to lose friends. And while I may hope to be the last woman standing, three funerals this year - and the year's barely half-way over - is much too much. I know a lot of famous people have died. Heck, I remember little Michael with the big bushy Afro. But we only think we know them. We see them in front of camera's and read about them in gossip columns and magazines and think they're like family. But I'm talking about real people, real friends. First was Bob Moulds and I knew he was sick, but he was supposed to be getting better and he was even getting ready to go back to work and then suddenly he was dead. I remember a big guy who would sit in the corner and make really loud, really stupid jokes and I remember that I wish I knew him better.

And I remember Rochelle Verhassault, but not well enough either. And she was another nice lady who did good things int he church and community and I watched her husband almost break down because she'd been battling cancer for a long time but she too was supposed to be getting better and then ... gone.

And now Tokiko Blaine. At least she wasn't really a surprise, she was in Hospice care at home with her children around her and no one thought she'd get better. The problem is, even though you think you're prepared for a loved one to die, you never really are. My sister died a few years ago and the doctors told us there was no hope. Of course, they'd told us to come and say goodbye a decade earlier when someone shot her, and there was supposed to be no hope, but she eventually got out of ICU, then out of the hospital, married and had a good ten years. But apparently something was still wrong, and she started going downhill and had a year of hell where she even asked me to help her die. This time when they said she had six months they were wrong again.

She barely had six days.

And I was so not ready to hear she was gone. Even though I know she was ready to go. She couldn't talk, or even move, by then. Couldn't ask anyone to help her escape life. Her limbs were curled up. She needed tubes to feed her and tubes to take out the waste. And someone to remember to turn her to keep out bedsores. When they called to say she was dead I felt robbed.

I looked at Tokiko's husband and had that same feeling. He smiled, but you could tell it was painted on. Her son's couldn't make it through their speeches without tears. Her granddaughter tried, but broke down too. One grandson managed to hold it together with a bunch of jokes about her - but you could see how hard he was trying.

For all of them the minister talked about God calling them back home.
And I just kept thinking, he has no right. We still needed them. Wanted them. Loved them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

RWA Nationals or Why I'm not there this year

Here's my top ten - or maybe bottom ten, who knows, reasons why I'm not going to DC for the RWA Nationals in 2009.

10 - I don't want people to see how crappy I am at networking. (Which is almost a pity because I have some email acquaintances this year who might even know my name and network with me.)

9 - The lines for book signings are just too darn long.

8 - I got so many books last year I'm still trying to read through them. The box is cluttering the middle of my den, there's no space for more.

7 - Too many sessions - and all the good ones are at the same time.

6 - I'm exhausted just thinking about the conference.

5 - I've been all over D.C. already, lived there years ago.

4 - I've got deadlines this month.

3 - I so hate flying. And hotels. And traffic jams.

2 - I'm lazy.

1 - I'd rather be writing. (Bet you thought I was going to mention the cost!)

Really, this year I chose to attend a number of regional conferences. I went to Love Is Murder - a Mystery Writers of America conference, The Association of Writing Professionals conference, and Lori Foster's Readers and Writers Gettogether. I'll probably go to RWA National next year. Good luck to anyone who's going, enjoy yourself and happy pitching.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movie Night

I know. This has nothing to do with writing. But even us writers get to have a little time off.

This weekend I saw one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I'm not a professional critic, but I know when something tanks, and Public Enemy did, big time. Lots of tommy guns, lots of men running and swearing and shooting - it reached the point I didn't know who was who. Worse still, I didn't care. One of he few times I've ever walked out of a movie, but I was too bored to see watch the Lady in Red get him done in.

Anyway, don't tell the theater, but I went in to see he Hangover instead. Not even sophomoric humor, this was too grade school for words - and I loved it. It's a comedy, a detective story, even a bit of a love story. Childish - featuring the future brother-in-law that would make you think twice about joining the family, and a set of impossible adventures that show how wild men can get once their so-called rational minds go to sleep. I defy anyone except the most rigidly straight-laced to not like this movie.

I'm actually looking forward to the sequel.

Friday, July 3, 2009

There's not always an HEA

I'm in the midst of a mid-year funk. I had all kinds of plans for this holiday. After all, my neighborhood has a holiday festival, and Chicago has the Taste of Chicago, and Milwaukee has Summerfest and I'm right in the middle of it all. So my plans included rotating between all three events. Instead, I really fear I won't get to either.

Some of it's my daughter. She's bipolar, twenty, and left home to live with a set of less than reputable friends two years ago. Recently she had a pregnancy scare that turned out to be an STD. I've decided to be hard on this. She's had a hospitalization which I'll have to pay for, and she needs money and I'm going to say no. Unless she agrees to come home, get back into therapy and medication, and get a job. I don't know whether I'm more worried she'll say yes or no. Either way it makes it difficult for me to think about festivals and fun right about now.

As for writing stories with a Happily Ever After - that's a little difficult right now, too. But its my self-appointed job, so I'm going back to work editing The Last Logan, my Romantic Suspense. There, at least, I get to kill people with a clear conscience. And still arrange for the good guys to find love and happiness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Since my last blog dealt with writing sex scenes, I'm dedicating today's entry to writing the not-sex, or at least the almost sex scene. Pull My String is a story I wrote about a 17 year old boy. By definition that means he's horny - almost constantly. He's got the serious hots for a sixteen year old girl, and she's not about to say no to him. When I described the scene where he decides not to have sex with her to a male friend, he laughed and told me that I write fantasy.

But I believe that it's possible for even a seventeen year old boy with a major hard-on to have empathy, compassion and love in addition to his lust.

My hero, David, really cares about this girl. He wants sex, but he's also concerned when she seems disappointed by his desire. He dares ask her why.

I grab her, pull her back against me until she gets her balance. Hold her so tight that even through the coat she’s gonna feel what I've got waiting for her. Know just how badly she’s wanted. Forget Perry. Forget Trey and the football team and everyone else. Grow as eager for me as I am for her.
She stiffens. Beneath the brown her skin goes from red to gray.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
I've got two sisters. A girl says that and she really means A-helluva-lot-you-stupid-male. “Yes, I want you. Why’s that wrong? I’m not Perry, I’m not gonna hurt you. We won’t do anything you don’t like. It’s gonna be good for both of us.”
“That’s what he said.”
Her head shakes. “Trey.”
Him again? Her body’s so tense she could be posing for a straight-jacket ad. Whoever this joker was she still feels something for him. “Is Trey someone you … lost?”
“Someone I found. We were placed in the same home and I thought it was like having a big brother or something. After three years I’d begun accepting my parents weren’t coming back. So I thought, a big brother would be nice. And when he said I’d like it, I thought, okay.”
Like it? It? I want her to tell me more. I’m afraid she’ll tell me more.
“He said it only hurt because I was dumb and didn’t do it right. That we’d have to practice a lot because that’s what guys wanted from me so I better learn to be good.”
Eight plus three is … eleven? God, Linda’s eleven.
The memory of my first time springs into my head and I fight down a shudder. At thirteen I’d been embarrassed. At eleven I’d have shit my pants in terror.
“Why didn’t you tell someone?” I don’t mean to sound accusing, but her head jerks as if I’d hit her.
“I finally did. And DCFS took me away.”
Took her away?
Drops of sweat bead on her forehead. “They yanked me out so fast I didn’t have time to pack. Course I didn’t have much, so I didn’t lose much.”
I can barely breathe thinking about how much she did lose. And I want the son of a bitch that raped her. I want his mutilated body on the floor at my feet. I won’t be quick about anything I do to the bastard, either.
“What … what do you want me to do?” How had she held all this inside her so long? I never knew how strong my Mighty Mite really was. “If you want I’ll take you home.”
“Oh no. It’s okay. I’m not a kid anymore. I just thought,” she sighs. “Let’s get inside and … and get busy.”
Big Willie agrees with her. But as we join the slow moving line coiling toward the ticket seller something’s wrong. I want Yolanda. Want her happy to be with me. With me, not just fucking me.
The guy in line in front of us is already halfway inside his date’s pants. Their kiss is hot, loud and wet. As he purchases two tickets for Witch Doctor Zombies his date giggles so wildly I wonder how old she is. “I don’t think I can watch this,” she says.
He pinches her ass as they enter the theater. “I gotcha covered, baby.”
The picture on the wall shows blood dripping from a maniac’s fangs down onto a bikini clad girl screaming at his feet.
“Two,” I tell the old woman behind the glass. “Holiday in Spring.”
She looks surprised. “You sure? That’s PG-13.”
My groin’s so tight I want to yell, but I say, “That’s right where I want to be.”
In a theater full of giggling middle schoolers.
Yolanda’s head rests on my shoulder and I feel her laughing. She looks up. Her eyes glisten in the darkness. That’s worth the uncomfortable chair, my too tight jeans and Willie’s disappointment. We kiss, and the stupid movie doesn’t matter. My arm slides around her shoulders. To hold her tight. To let her know she is wanted. And safe.
She relaxes against my chest.
And it’s all good.

So there it is, the "fantasy" scene where my 17-year-old decides he'd rather show his new girlfriend respect.

Fantasy - God, I hope not.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The joy of writing sex.
So I'm writing this novel, Damaged Goods. My Heroine's a nineteen year old former hooker - former as in she quit in chapter 2 after meeting the hero. Needless to say her whole attitude about sex is seriously warped. Men must like it if they're willing to pay, but she can't believe any woman could enjoy the act. Then she meets the hero.

He's a little warped himself, let's just say that he hates women, has a very valid reason, and leave it at that. The point is, for the first time ever they feel something more than just a need for money or to scratch an itch.

She's actually looking forward to penetration, even if she doesn't believe the Earth will move or anything like that. And her lifestyle has taught her a few tricks she intends to use to make sure she pleases him, since she more than likes the guy.

Problem is, she never gets a chance to use them. As they begin emotion and feeling take over and her mind goes blank. All her tricks are forgotten as she surrenders to his gentle teaching. He administers some big time foreplay, involving two fingers and a thumb - need i say more, and she ends up with her first ever orgasm.

Talk about rock the boat.

She can't believe it. And hell, he's never been anybody's first before.

He barely gives her time to recover before he's at it again, this time with full penetration. She grabs hold and this time they ride over the edge together. I got hot just writing the stuff.
So naturally, the poor girl has to spoil everything at the end. She's grateful to his brother for persuading her to tell him the truth because man did the truth set her free. And as she falls asleep in our hero's arms, she whispers his brother's name.

Talk about a mood destroyer.

Girl's gonna have to pay big time for that little mistake.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I keep promising I'll be regular at this and I keep falling off the wagon. So today I'm back, and I'll do a bit on the perils of being a self-employed writer.

The boss is brutal. She always wants more than I have to give. I long for the GOD (Good Old Days) when my boss said, "work smarter, not harder." Someday I'll share my writing technique and you'll see why that's impossible. The hours are never-ending. Literally. I picked up pen and paper at 12:30 a.m. last night - this morning - because an idea came to me and I've learned from experience to write it or lose it.

The money is peanuts. I write a regular column for a quarterly journal at $50 a shot so it keeps me in McDonald's for a while. I do a little other freelance work - trust me, not enough to worry the taxman.

Only one thing makes this self-employed life worthwhile. The satisfaction.

The first time my column won me a fan letter I was walking on air. (And that for a story I almost didn't bother to send because the ending's anything but happy). And when my editor called me "a find" she had me for life. And I get to work on my novels. Writing "THE END" is so cathartic. (I love that word). Now I just have to develop my skills at the dread synopsis, and who knows.

Next time I'll blog on the joys of writing the sex scene when your heroine is a prostitute and your hero hates women.

The things we must do to turn our men on. Yum.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Really down day

Okay, so how does it happen that some days are truly wonderful and others I feel dead in the water. Yesterday I went to a memorial service for a friend and I haven't been able to feel perky since. I'm writing a novel and supposed to be sending a partial to an editor tomorrow, and I feel a huge case of BLAH. Add in a contest deadline also due tomorrow and all I want to do is go to bed and pull the covers over my head. And it's finally summer, so I shouldn't have an excuse. Here's hoping I get up tomorrow full of juice and ready to put the final touches on my submissions.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Losing friends

I had sad news yesterday, a long term friend died after being ill for several years. Tokiko Blaine was a lovely lady and I've known her nearly twenty years. Although she moved away two years ago because of her health, her death was still a shock. Tomorrow I'll be at her memorial service.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Okay, so I fancy myself a writer and I've been getting pretty serious about it. I'm going to start with a teaser from one of my books. This is the beginning of a killer of a suspense book I'm putting together.

The true test of a man is his willingness to do the dirty tasks others refuse to even think of. I learned early in life to face the hardest challenges head on – get the worst jobs over and done with early.

That’s why I did the toddler first.

Turns out murder wasn’t hard at all.

The kid did everything I told him to. He put his fat-fingered hand in mine and the second he touched me I knew I could do it. I felt the power. He came into the back room with me and climbed on the windowsill, all the while babbling about some lost tooth or something. His scream was a little grating. But he was already in the air by then and things were silent again in a second.

One down.