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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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!

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

GRL 2017

Well I registered for GRL 2017 (aka GayRomLit / Gay Romance Literature Retreat) last weekend. I’ll be attending as a general attendee, not as an author, being as I have nothing published [YET. #GOALS]. I will be attending alone, because I have no friends in real life.

*wait a beat… let them question how sad my life really is… okay go*

Just kidding, I have friends. They just aren’t in this genre and/or are not comfortable with the financial aspects of a shindig like this.

I am not really sure what happens at a GayRomLit retreat. I am not sure what happens at any sort of “retreat.” I don’t like going into situations where I don’t know exactly what’s going to be happening. Spontaneity is not my thing. As you may know, I have anxiety, so doing something like this alone is ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY TERRIFYING. But at the same time, really exciting, and I feel pretty confident I can handle myself with minimal breakdowns and/or panic attacks. It is very likely, however, that I will say something stupid to someone and dwell on it for the next 15 years.

thats-how-i-roll

Can you ever eventually get over anxiety? Like, could I someday actually not have anxiety? Because if that’s possible, I may be taking steps in that direction. Signing up for GRL alone is immersion therapy. Maybe this time next year I won’t be such a mess.

I do want to tell you a funny story on that note. Sometimes I have “anxiety dreams” when something big is going to happen in my life, and I dream that everything goes horribly wrong. I had them before my wedding, I had them about my new house, I’ve had them about new jobs. So one night last week, I had a dream that I flew to Denver for GRL early–like, now. I had no money for food, I forgot to rent a car, I didn’t tell my friend who I’ll be staying with that I was arriving, and as it would turn out, Denver had relocated to Hokkaido, Japan, and I had to wade through chest-deep snow to get from the plane to the terminal, and no one spoke English.

So… clearly I’m nervous about this.

The outpouring of support as soon as I posted in the GRL2017 attendees’ FB group was amazing and did wonders to assuage my nerves. I’m looking forward to it, beneath all the nervousness. Hopefully by the time October rolls around, I’ll have something(s) published. I have one short story/novella in the works, another on deck, and a third drifting in the ether with just a single scene clear in my mind. Plus I have my urban fantasy novel from NaNoWriMo awaiting revision. Surely something there will be publishable! Right? RIGHT? Ugh.

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.

Rainbow Snippet 4 – 1/7/16- Trystin

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

POV SWITCH! This is Trystin’s POV. Something happened between him and Andrew since last week’s snip…



Leaving now wouldn’t answer my questions. Leaving now meant I’d never apologize to him properly. I’d never see him again, never make amends, and the guilt and confusion would stick with me forever. With a sigh, I leaned against the wall and shoved my hands into my coat pockets, inhaling deeply and then exhaling for a ten-count. Making amends for something like this would be much different than making amends for forgetting a birthday or insulting someone. The hospital gift shop probably didn’t sell ‘sorry I almost sent you to your death’ cards.



 

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!

New Year, Same Me

I hate New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s be real, people: The ticking over of an arbitrary time-counting system, the hanging of a new calendar, and the progression of seasons does not alter your identity.

Self-discipline, motivation, and wherewithal alter your identity.

If you’re going to make a resolution, if you’re going to set goals and better yourself, there is no reason to start on January 1. January 1 has as much significance as February 17, the first day of Spring, Thanksgiving, or “a week from next Tuesday.” It is a wholly insignificant date plucked out of the ether, which society has placed undue significance on.

If you are going to set a goal, make a resolution, change your habits and your life, there is no better time than “now.” If you are going to set a goal, set something achievable–set something YOU personally want to achieve, not something other people think you should achieve–and don’t expect your friends, society, your spouse/SO, your workplace, etc, to provide you the means or motivation to achieve your goal. If you want to achieve a goal, YOU have to do the work to achieve it. Start now. Don’t wait for magic motivation. And if you miss your planned “now” and find yourself three months down the road, still eating like shit, haven’t written a word, only read one book of your ambitious goal of 50… Don’t beat yourself up. Okay, you missed three months. But you can still start now. Every moment is a new “now.” Every moment is an opportunity. Just because you didn’t start three months ago, last week, January 1, two Mondays ago, on your dog’s birthday, whenever the hell your intended start date was–doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start at all.

My point here is, don’t rely on an artificial feeling of significance to motivate you to make a change. “JANUARY 1. NEW YEAR. WOAH. MUST CHANGE LIFE!”

No.

Valid reasons to change your life:

  1. You aren’t happy.

Invalid reasons to change your life:

  1. It’s January 1 and society says you should.

 

So with that in mind, yes, I have set goals for 2017. I am not making resolutions. I refuse to make broad, sweeping statements about things I am going to change or do in 2017.

I am also not going to utter my goals aloud to any other human. Every time I do that, I fail them. I told no one my goals for 2016, and I achieved them all for the first time in the history of my goal-setting life.

If I’m as successful in 2017 as I was in 2016, it’ll be a very good year for me. Here’s to hoping. CHEERS!

(featured pic of cannibalistic serial killer not meant to intimate any hints towards my secret 2017 goals)

(…or is it…?)

(no but really I just have a ladyboner for Mads Mikkelsen)