Jigs and Reels pre-order available!

Hi everyone!

I know I’ve been kind of quiet on the blog front lately. I’m working on getting back in the swing of things. I just wanted to pop in and give another publication update!!! Jigs and Reels is up for pre-order! The release date is September 16. I am absolutely in love with this cover. Check out the blurb below and click the link under the image to pre-order!!

 

Jigs and Reels final

BLURB:

Elijah works in a cubicle, lives with his parents, and never goes on dates. It isn’t an exciting life, but it’s safe and easy and that’s good enough.

Then he meets Peter, a whirlwind of a man who leads a traveling renaissance band. Peter represents everything Eli usually avoids, but his boisterous enthusiasm is infectious… and his band needs a fiddle player.

When Eli agrees to fill in for a weekend, he awakens a part of himself he thought long gone. With Peter’s help, he shakes off the dust that has settled on his soul and remembers how to have fun.

But when the band asks him to join them permanently, is Eli’s newborn sense of adventure — and insane crush on a man he barely knows — enough to make him leave the safety of a life he’s clung to for years?

Click here to pre-order!!

I’m going to be arranging some sort of release party on September 16, so stay tuned!

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Binge & Purge

Oh man you guys, I finished my draft. Holy shit. Hot damn. It’s done. It’s absolute trash, but it’s done. (I’m kidding, I really love some parts. Just the last 1/3 or so kinda went to shit because I was so tired of writing it I just wanted the suffering to end)

The process of writing this draft has made me realize that I operate in a series of binges and purges. Intakes and outputs.

Since the end of April, I’ve been writing this draft. So for two months, I’ve been purging. I’ve been on “output” mode. I’ve read one book in that time. I haven’t watched any TV or played any video games, I’ve watched maybe three movies, and I’ve been listening to the same handful of bands on loop until I hate them. I’ve purchased SO MANY BOOKS in the past two months, but I haven’t read a word of them. I’ve been getting anxious because I want to do other things, but I just couldn’t stop writing. Some people might advise “take a break and do some of the other things!” but if I did other things, I would be anxious because I wasn’t writing.

It’s a vicious cycle.

When I wrote the last word of this draft, I sat staring at it for a minute, thinking, “Well… I’m not happy with this ending, but this is the ending. I have no further ideas for this draft. I have written all of the ideas. I guess… that’s it. It’s done.”

It’s like stumbling out of a desert into a lush field of wildflowers. I’M DONE. I’M FREE! SO MANY OPTIONS FOR HOW TO SPEND MY TIME! SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES! SO MANY THINGS TO TRY. I CAN FINALLY RELAX!

So I will now roll around in the wildflowers for a while. It’s binge time. I will read some books. I will watch some movies. Maybe I’ll finally finish Yuri on Ice. I will load my brain up with SO MUCH STUFF after draining it clean of ideas with the single-minded focus I’ve had on my current WIP. I need to refresh my brain. I need to intake. I will devour all the media. All the ideas I can access. I will do new research. I will spend time outside.

I have declared on Twitter that I will take two weeks off from writing. That’s hilarious and untrue, but I will take at least two weeks off from this particular draft. I have a short story that needs to be revised and sent out to publishers. I had people beta read it for me a month ago and haven’t read their feedback yet because I didn’t want to split my focus off my novel draft. I have another short story that needs to be revised and sent to betas. I still have my NaNoWriMo novel from last year waiting to be revised.

But I am taking time off. I need to regroup. Maybe I won’t take two weeks off, but I’ve accumulated a seriously large number of books I need to read, so I’ll be starting on those. Plus there are a few authors I’ve befriended online and I’d like to read every book they’ve ever written. Plus I have things to beta.

How do you guys split up your “intake” vs. your “output” when it comes to writing? Do you intake and output a bit every day? Every week? Or are you a crazy person like me and you split intake/output periods over months? Leave me a comment!

Rainbow Snippets – 3/11/17 – New Story

Hello hello! How is everyone doing this fine Rainbow Snippets Saturday?

I’ve started a new short story! A first draft of Jigs and Reels is complete and I’m letting it simmer while I write a first draft of this new story. The plan is basically to just keep leapfrogging stories through writing/editing phases. Write the first one, let it simmer, write a second, edit the first, send it out, write a third, edit the second, send it out, etc… And at some point I need to start editing the novel draft I wrote during NaNoWriMo last November… Ugh, what’s the saying? Got my fingers in too many pots? Too many jars? I don’t know.

Anyway, this new story is something different for me. It’s a historical setting with most of the story taking place on a privateer’s vessel in the 1600s? ish? It’s not going exactly as planned… I came up with the idea around Halloween. I wanted it to be a suspense thing, but of course I am incapable of writing anything that doesn’t involve two men loving each other, so it’s a suspense…. romance… with pirates…? But the “suspense” aspect is difficult for me. I don’t write horror or thrillers or psychological stuff so it’ll need some work. But yay trying new things!

ANYWHO, THE SNIPPET. The POV character is named Morgan. He’s been on the captain’s ship for just under a week. Working title is Shipwrecked.




The captain left the helm and came down the stairs towards me. He wore no shoes—most of us wore no shoes—and his trousers had been rolled up to expose most of his lower leg. Tanned, muscular lower leg with thick black hair. I tried not to stare. There was no privacy at sea and I did not fancy the idea of satisfying my desires tonight in my hammock, surrounded by the rest of the crew.

“Come with me.”




Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). Visit the group for links to more snippets from LGBT works! While you’re over there, shoot me a friend request!

What I Love About Writing

You know how sometimes in life, there’s a thing, and for the most part it’s commonplace and you take it for granted, but then occasionally you think, “…Wow, this is actually really fucking awesome. Literally a mind-blowing cause of awe. Like woah.”

Examples: airplanes. cell phones. the internet. THAT SHIT IS SO COOL. HOW DOES IT WORK? I KNOW THERE’S SCIENCE INVOLVED BUT TO ME IT SEEMS LIKE WITCHCRAFT.

That happens to me with writing sometimes. I write every day, and I have been writing every day for years. Plotting, character development, revision, all of that is commonplace in my life. Maybe it is in yours, too.

But every once in a while, I have this moment of delirious awe about writing. Here I am with this pile of words–87,000 in my current WIP–that are strung together to tell a story. This story ONLY EXISTS because I wanted it to. Because I decided to take the time and devote the energy to birthing it. Sometimes, things in that story need to be changed, but others need to stay the same, so you start cutting great swathes of words out of your draft and adding different words in, and you weave these two separate parts back together in the loom of your mind, with the thread of your words, and no one else could do this the same as you. No one else would write this exactly like you will.

What really blows my mind is when you need to tweak things–remove a minor character, or combine a couple minor characters into one, or rearrange a scene so that the same events happen but at a different location. And YOU CAN DO THAT. You can just magically POOF, shift some words around and BAM, no more George, or BAM, suddenly George and Gloria have combined to form Georgia, a new and better and more efficient character, or BAM, suddenly that dinner scene in Chapter 4 is at a classy Italian restaurant instead of a character’s dining room.

And no one knows! You just changed the fabric of reality! You just DELETED A PERSON’S EXISTENCE. You just lifted characters out of their house and plopped them into an eatery and they continued having the same conversation they were having back at their scuffed up dining room table. And no one will have any idea because you go taka taka taka, and then that’s just how it is.

It’s just really cool.

What’s your favorite thing about writing? Or, for my non-writer followers, is there anything commonplace in your life that just occasionally blows your mind? Drop me a comment!

Featured image credit: Tatyana Chaiko

Rainbow Snippet – 1/21/17 – Trystin

Happy Saturday everyone! Here’s my Rainbow Snippet for the week!

Trystin’s POV again, as he muses before picking his new house guest up from the hospital…



When I reached the hospital, I parked and sat in my car, staring up at the tall grey building. I thought about him, about all I knew about him, and realized I knew virtually nothing. He had an abusive background, he slept around, and… According to Ryan, who had called me after talking to Andrew in the hospital, “He’s a mess.” Beyond that, all I knew was what I’d learned the night I’d slept with him, and the more I thought about that night, the more I kicked myself for it. Not just because I’d cheated on Trisha, not just because I’d slipped back into bad habits for one night, but because it had led to this.



 

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). Visit the group for links to more snippets from LGBT works! While you’re over there, shoot me a friend request!

Music and Writing – The Chicken or the Egg?

Every week, I do my best to participate in as many writing-related Twitter chats as I can. They’re fun, interactive, and they get my brain moving in different directions. A recent #writerspatch chat focused on playlists for writing. Questions included things like “How does music affect your writing process?” and “What is your favorite genre of music to listen to while writing, and why?” My favorite question was probably “Will your playlist affect your story, or will your story affect your playlist?”

For me, the answer is the latter. I listen to music almost constantly–probably around 12 hours a day. What I listen to depends on what I’m writing. When I wrote the first draft of Stray, over four years ago, I had just discovered Maroon 5, and I listened to their Hands All Over and Overexposed albums on a loop for months. Nothing else. No other bands. Nothing. When I first drafted the sequel to Stray, I listened to Bastille’s Bad Blood album on loop so many times I have flashbacks anytime I hear Dan Smith’s voice.

Since then, I’ve moved on to individualized playlists for characters. When I’m creating new characters, one of the first things I do for them is build a themed playlist. Andrew’s playlist is Fitz & the Tantrums, OK Go, Kongos, and Foster the People. Trystin gets classic rock and solo piano instrumentals. It helps me get into their heads. When I was pre-writing for NaNoWriMo, I spent an entire day at work switching between Pandora stations trying to figure out what my MC would listen to. After much station-hopping, I stumbled upon Milky Chance, Radical Face, The Head and the Heart, and The Decemberists, and knew I had found his home.

I’ve noticed recently that when I am working on a certain set of characters, my brain automatically craves the music I associate with them. Even if I’m not physically writing at the moment, if I’m at work or driving or just doing chores around the house, my brain (always writing in the background, let’s be real) just feels like listening to Ok Go. Or Mozart. Or Bastille. When I shift gears to work on a different WIP, whether I am consciously deciding or not, I suddenly crave a different kind of music.

What do you guys listen to when you write? Do you find that your playlists differ depending on the characters, or do you listen to music more for the overall ambience of a scene? Or does it even matter?

Rainbow Snippet – 1/14/17 – Andrew

Happy Saturday everyone! Here’s my Rainbow Snippet for the week!

This is Andrew’s POV. Trystin has come to visit him in the hospital…



“I have a spare bedroom. It’s yours if you take my job offer.”

It took a second for the words to sink in, and when they did, I had no idea how to respond. My mouth hung open as I stared at him.

“You look surprised.”

“Yeah,” I said. Here was a millionaire, or billionaire, I didn’t know, offering me a job and a place to live. I knew virtually nothing about him, and he knew even less about me.



 

Thanks for reading!!!

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). Visit the group for links to more snippets from LGBT works! While you’re over there, shoot me a friend request!