Jigs and Reels – Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Who here loves free stuff?

Jigs and Reels has been out for a whole week already! Woohoo! To celebrate, I’m giving away two ebook copies of my story through Rafflecopter. Participate in any of the three entry options for a chance to win!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1c4c99ba1/?

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Renewal Anthology – released today!

QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Renewal Banner

Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer


Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

Publication Update – Jigs and Reels

Holy crap, guys, this is insanity!

A couple weeks ago, I submitted a short story to JMS Books, and within three days (THREE DAYS), they got back to me and offered me a contract for it. I’ve heard good things about JMS Books, so I accepted! My short story, Jigs and Reels, will be released in September! It features an anxious fiddle player, a rambunctious singer/flutist, and is set at/around a Renaissance fair.

awesome

You may remember a few months ago, I found out my flash fiction entry for the Queer Sci-fi contest, “Renewal,” was selected for inclusion in the anthology. Since then, I’ve been notified that it has received an Honorable Mention, meaning it scored in the top 25 of all entries! This is also awesome!

Jigs and Reels will be my first standalone piece, and I believe it’s going to be published before the QSF anthology, so it’s technically my first publication. My debut!

This is SO EXCITING, GUYS.

I’ve also been paying attention to submission calls for various publishers and I think I might submit something for one of NineStar press’s calls. Short stories seem to be doing well for me.

I may eventually self-publish a short story collection. I’ve written several recently which are less than 10k, which means virtually no publisher wants them except for anthologies, which generally have a theme, which my stories probably don’t fit into. We’ll see about that.

For now, I am QUITE content with what I’ve accomplished this year. I will announce a publication date for Jigs and Reels as soon as I know it. For now, it’s “September.” Stay tuned for more updates in the future!

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing!

i have no idea what im doing

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me use this gif to explain my writing process. It’s so accurate. I am totally winging this whole “writing” thing.

Some days, it really hits me how accurate that is.

This struck me recently while reading through the first draft of Trustfall, which I wrote during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I can tell it needs work, but… fucked if I know what to do with it.

I thought I had an idea. I thought it was a great idea. It would require significant changes in the first half of the book, but it seemed brilliant!!! I wrote 400 words of notes about everything that would need to change in the first half in order to make this work. But then as I kept reading, I realized I did not like that idea. It wouldn’t work. It didn’t make sense. It wouldn’t fix things.

So now I’m back at square one. Having no idea what to do.

I’ve only written and revised one full novel in my life. It took me like three years to get it to a point where I thought maybe I was done revising and should start trying to publish it. Three years of “spend a couple months working on it, take six or eight months off, pick it up again later and revise again”… Ain’t no one got time for that now that I’m taking writing seriously and trying to publish. My goal for Camp Nanowrimo during July is to get this draft to a condition where I can send it to beta readers. Then I’ll probably wait 3-4 weeks for feedback from them (and write another short story or two in that time….) and revise again. Hoping to have it out to at least one publisher by the end of the year.

But I have no idea what I’m doing. No idea. At all. How do I fix this? I think I’ve figured out the problem (unclear character arc, entire first half of novel written during NaNoWriMo so it’s really, REALLY rough, and cute, but not overly exciting) but I am not sure of the solution. I guess I need to make Saul’s arc more clear? Make Alex’s struggle more difficult? So what do I do?? Add a scene? Change scenes? Remove scenes? Just flesh out scenes that are already there? rewrite the entire first half?!

This feels like someone dropped a calculus problem in front of me, told me the solution, but didn’t tell me how to get to it, and I have to write down the process of how to solve it. I HAVE NO IDEA. I GUESS I’LL JUST TRY A BUNCH OF SHIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS! Except I have a time limit! One month! One month isn’t enough time to “try a bunch of things” with a novel.

I know, I know, self-imposing a deadline like that and pressuring myself is bad and leads to burnout. But I want to get it done.

I’m hoping for a flash of miraculous brilliance but not betting on it. How do you move forward when you have no idea how to move forward? Especially with revisions?

Baby Steps! – Publication Update

Exciting news on the publication front! A few months ago I entered a flash fiction contest for queer scifi (contest info here).  My piece, “Green Burial,” has been selected for inclusion in the anthology to be published later this year!

Official contest winners have not been announced, so I may or may not hear more on this, but even if I don’t, I’m happy! This is small, but it’s publication, right?! This counts! I’m going to be published!

WOOHOO!

I told myself ages ago that when I got something accepted for publication, I’d get myself a new tattoo to celebrate/congratulate myself. I was thinking it would be, you know, a book publication and that I would make money from it, but flash fiction in an anthology is good too!

I’ve been craving a new tattoo, and since it is Pride month and I write queer fiction, I’m going to get a rainbow. I’m excited.

As for the rest of my publication journey, I am revising a short story (Jigs and Reels, if you want to browse my snippets from a few months ago – first lines here) and hoping to have it out to publishers by the end of the month. I’m thinking Nine Star might be my first shot. As soon as it’s out to publishers, I’m moving on to revising Trustfall, my D/s novel with an asexual MC.

On the backburner is a scifi novel tentatively called Dark Lies, which has been in my head for years and years but not as a romance. I need to rework it. I realized a few months ago that the love interest is trans, and realized last week that the MC is aro/ace, so that will be incredibly difficult and torturous FUN to write. I never realized how much I relied on sex scenes to keep plot moving until I wrote a whole novel without any. I love a challenge, though!

Also on the backburner, an entirely new novel idea which will end up being polyamorous, with one asexual partner. That one would be urban fantasy. Something about a curse and a cop on a magic-law-enforcement task force. I’d write this one in third person, I think, which I haven’t done in ages but with three MCs it’ll be hard to do in first.

One of those two will end up being my NaNoWriMo novel for November, unless I get an infinitely better idea before then. Both will require significant worldbuilding, which is not my strong suit, so I’m not planning to dive in to them in any hurry.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with my writing! Hopefully I’ll have more news in the coming months.

author announcement

REJECTION

Well, my manuscript for Stray has received its first rejection!

I’m not disappointed (okay I’m a leeeetle bit disappointed, but not surprised). I was expecting a rejection. They even gave me some feedback!

I’ll treat you to a play-by-play of my emotional states as I went through this experience:

9:00pm – I see email in inbox. PANIC. Try to decide if I should just pretend I didn’t see it. That’ll make it go away right? No. No. You’re right. Okay. Need moral support. Send panicked message to friend. Friend demands I open it.

9:05pm – Nghhh. Rejection. Okay, this is okay, I expected this, it’s okay. Read the feedback.

9:10pm – Damn it. I should have revised more. I knew about one of these issues that they pointed out. I should have fixed it. It was not good enough. It is not good enough. I have failed. Dishonor on me, dishonor on my family, dishonor on my cow.

9:15pm – STOP THAT. NO. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.

9:16pm – but…

9:17pm – NO. STOP. IT’S OKAY. GO WRITE. GO WRITE BEFORE YOU GET TOO DISCOURAGED WITH LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING TO EVER WRITE AGAIN. GET BACK ON THE HORSE AND ADDITIONAL CLICHES. DO THE THING.

9:18pm – *dejectedly stares at in-progress sequel to freshly-rejected book* but…

9:19pm – OKAY FINE, SET THOSE GUYS ASIDE. WRITE SOMETHING ELSE. WRITE YOUR SHORT STORY.

9:20pm – *buries the sadness under productivity… sorta*

I’ve spent the past few days in a state of contemplative blah, wondering if I should revise (AGAIN) before sending it off to the next place, or if I should just ship it away in its current state. One of the best writing teachers I’ve ever had advised me to send it off and see what the next place says, so that’s the plan now. I started re-researching other publishers last night. Torquere and Samhain are both closing, which I find alarming, especially after that All Romance debacle recently. The publishing industry is scary enough without publishers folding left and right. Torquere was the first m/m publisher I discovered when I started getting into this genre, so that one’s a double punch in the gut.

One of the great things about this rejection, though, is how positive everyone has been about it. I posted on Twitter and Facebook about it, and I have received so many “welcome to the club” sentiments and back-pats and encouraging words (from published authors!), I can’t even be a little bit sad (okay I can but I’m not letting it get to meI AM NOT LETTING IT GET TO ME I AM NOT).

I said when I started this blog that I wanted it to be a bit of a road map to publication. First stop was Dreamspinner and they rejected me. Next I make my meandering way down the list. I struggle because my book is lengthy (140,000ish words) and a few romance publishers seem to cap it at 120k. I’m disqualified from even attempting there. I am reluctant to try the really small presses after seeing longstanding ones flop. I am further limiting it if I look at the publisher’s Twitter page and they never post.

My list consists of three choices right now. I think they all allow simultaneous submissions (Dreamspinner doesn’t), so over the next couple weeks I’ll be putting together materials to ship Stray off to all of them at once. Might as well just rip off the band-aid. Let the rejections pour in upon me like a plague of frogs from heaven.

IT IS DONE.

Holy shit you guys

I sent my first manuscript out as an unsolicited submission to Dreamspinner Press.

I did it. For real.

I attached it to an email and I clicked “Send” and a few hours later I got a “receipt confirmation” email and now I get to spend the next EIGHT WEEKS living in LIMBO waiting for… well, let’s be real, I’m expecting a rejection letter. I’m forcing myself to expect a rejection letter. I think my writing is good, it’s definitely better than some published stuff I’ve read, but I know that good writing isn’t the only factor that publishers consider.

So now I wait.

But, there’s no point in dwelling on it. In fact, there’s absolutely no point in even giving it a passing thought. If Valentine’s Day comes and goes and I haven’t heard anything, I’ll start to worry. But until then, until eight weeks have passed, there is nothing I can do and there is no point in worrying.

It’s easy to say, of course. It’s so easy to type things like “I am not going to worry” and “I am going to accomplish this goal.” It’s also easy to type “I am a tyrannosaurs rex” or “My hands are actually jellyfish.” Typing does not make these things true.

I’m not going to worry. I’m not, I’m not! I have another WIP to focus on, and two short stories that are in varying states of completion, plus I’m in the middle of reading three books, and Christmas is coming up, and I’m really throwing myself into this Twitter nonsense. I downloaded Hootsuite and I’m having fun with scheduling tweets. I sit around on my lunch break queuing up tweets for the next day or two. I also spend an hour or two actually on Twitter each night interacting with people (that’ll have to change though. I need to spend most of that time writing if I’m going to finish my nanowrimo WIP before Dec. 31).

I’M NOT GOING TO WORRY.

I’M NOT GONNA THINK ABOUT IT, NO SIR.

NO THINKING FOR ME.

MY MIND IS EMPTY OF THOUGHTS

SHUT UP YES IT IS