Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reasons to love a Blue Moon Friday

I love the night sky; the beauty of so many stars shining down. It's especially beautiful on a night with a full moon. Why? I think because you can look up and think that all the people you love are beneath that same moon.
If you're married, you have your family all tucked away beneath that same night sky. You can look up at the night sky and know that although you may be separated by miles, however many, you all share the moon tonight.
For those divorced or single and not in a relationship; the moon can be a companion and a symbol of the love to come. Somewhere beneath this beautiful night sky and full moon is a wonderful person that you've yet to meet. Perhaps they are gazing up at the same moon and wondering about you as well. Love will find its way. All you have to do is believe.
For those in a relationship, it's the mystical sharing of a beautiful night where romance can blossom. Make love outdoors if you're brave enough. Or if not, sit outside with your lover, sipping a cool beverage and holding hands. Gaze up at the moon and enjoy the peacefulness of the moment together.
I like to imagine that full moons are the time when those of us who are creatures of passion are energized. It's a magical night; a time when the night world is highlighted with soft light.
Anything can happen on a full moon night. When you're a writer, you dream of those possibilities and your imagination soars. That's what I'll be doing tonight; imagining two people coming together on a Blue Moon night and taking the first steps on their journey to true love.
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day, All. Please be safe, and I'll see you all in September!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When A Submission Fails

The question of whether a story is ready to be sent to the publisher is always a tricky one. We aren't the best judge for our work because these are our babies. Still, we edit until our eyes cross and even have one or two people edit after us.

My recent submission didn't make the cut and I got a rejection letter. Yes, it's a sad moment. Still, the editor was kind enough to offer some comments, which not all editors will do, so it's important to read over those comments with objective eyes. Did the editor have valid points? Are these changes that should be made to the story?

These aren't easy questions to ask, but we must face them and supply the necessary answers to go forward. Oh, yes, I'll lick my wounds and heal the hurt with a fat slice of cheesecake, but then I'll get back to work. What is the next step in this process? Well, it's a step that I made before I submitted the story in the first place.

I have a list of publishers from who I will submit to next. Is this appropriate? Am I being rude by not putting all my faith in the single publisher? It is absolutely not rude, and yes this is appropriate. Publishing is a business. Making writing my business requires that I have additional prospects. It's the same concept as having more than one publisher. There's no disloyalty involved, just smart business sense.

So, I'll look at the editors suggestions, probably revise and edit some elements of the story, and then resubmit  Bet on the Lady to another publisher. This story has a home somewhere. I just need to find the right place.

Until next time,

 Oh, P.S. Don't forget to send a "thank you for your time" note to the editor. It's just good business behavior. We are all, after all, professionals. :-)



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Fifth Story and Nanowrimo by Ivy B

Hello everyone
Mary's site is the first stop on my promotion blog tour! (Thank-you Mary for having me on!)
So, what am I promoting you ask? I'm here to talk about the release of my second book, The Fifth Story, which is being released by Breathless Press on September, 7/ 2012. It's not a very sexy title, but have no fear, it is a sexy book. It's a paranormal erotic adventure that will take readers through many places in time and space.
The novel begins with my main character, my heroine Bryn, attempting to write a novel and much like Bryn when I sat down to write The Fifth Story, I had no clear idea of where it would take me or where I should go. The whole process stared when friends of mine, aware that I had a passion for writing, encouraged me to take part in NanoWriMo 2010 (National Novel Writing Month).
I eagerly signed up, thinking I'd have plenty of ideas to turn into a novel, but as November 1st approached, the day the challenge was to start, the idea for a novel hadn't really come to me. The thought of trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days became less about "just having fun" and more about adding unwanted stress to my life.
However, on Halloween night, as I lay in bed, the outline of a novel came to me. It wasn't fully formed and I didn't exactly have all the plot points laid out, but I had something to work with and was ready to go. From the first day of November 2010 to the last one 30 nights later, I worked like a fiend. I felt alive and creative as I never had before. I didn't write 50,000 works in 30 days; I wrote them in 20 and by the time the month was finished, I'd written a 60,000 word novel that I was genuinely proud of and is not very different than the one that I am promoting today.
Not long after I finished my novel, I was listening to a radio program on the CBC called "Q" and the topic had to do with NanoWritMo. The host and his guest were discussing whether or not this month of writing frenzy was of use to the writing and literary world. The guest, who was an editor of some nature, was not a fan of the month of writing fun. She essentially dismissed it as useless and felt that all NanoWritMo did was create a sea of bad novels. She said "Every December editors everywhere gird their loins for the onslaught of Nano manuscripts, most of them poorly written and not edited at all." I had some choice words for this editor and shouted them very loudly at the radio in my car. I was in shock. OK, yes, I suppose that receiving a large mess of terrible manuscripts would be irritating, but to say that it was bad for the writing and literary world? How could she say that? Art, no matter what the form, no matter whether the intention behind it is to attempt to sell it or keep it sealed in a box in an attic, art needs to be created. Art is the breath of the life, the oxygen of many creative people or people who just appreciate creativity.
Criticizing an event like Nanowritmo, demeaning people who are at least trying to be creative, is like telling a child who's learning to draw to not bother drawing at all because most likely their art will never be anything anyone wants to see. "Tuck your pencils away, Johnny and until you have the spontaneous genius to create something the world will want to look at forever, don't even bother to try."
Now this isn't a posting to advertise NanoWriMo. It's supposed to be a posting to promote The Fifth Story. However, to me this novel and that contest will always go hand in hand. November 2010 was the month I dared to go from writing short stories and articles to a full blown book. It was a month that changed me, gave me confidence in my writing, and caused me to pull out my previously rejected Between the Lines, my first novel, dust it off and send it to Breathless Press. If it wasn't for NanoWritMo, I wouldn't be writing this today.
So, I dedicate this post to all the people out there who dare to create art, in any form. No matter what creative or artistic endeavor you do there will be those who will shun it, those who wonder why you bothered and even hate it. However, the lovely flip side of this is that there will be people out there who will love what you do, whom you will touch deeply and perhaps, because of your art, you will inspire them to create "useless" works of their own.

Between The Lines by Ivy Bateman

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Can Still Blush

Here's a fun topic. What can make an erotic romance author blush? My answer: Sports. Let me explain.
While in line at the grocery store, I stood behind a man talking to the male cashier about what they enjoyed most about watching the Olympics. An ordinary enough topic until the conversation became women's volleyball. Apparently, the cashier and customer had both really enjoyed watching women's volleyball.
Show of hands as to who knows the reason why.
Yeah…this is about when I started to feel my cheeks heat. Yes folks I, as an erotic romance author, was blushing. They discussed certain ladies athleticism. Okay, at this point I'm taking care to stare at the items not yet unloaded from my cart. OMG, do I really want to know what men are thinking? After a few interesting comment about athletic attributes, I decided to completely tune them out as they spoke.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude but hearing ribald comments when hanging out with my guy friends is different than hearing strangers talk. Mercifully, the belt moved so I concentrated on putting my food up on the conveyor. At this point, I decided to tune back in to the last of their conversation. Lol, talk about a happy ending.
The cashier proceeded to say "yeah, you gotta use it or lose it", at which point the customer agreed with a hearty laugh.
The Olympics sure have brought out some interesting aspects that escaped my own dirty little mind. That's saying quite a bit. I mean, have you ever watched baseball and seen how often the batter touches himself?
Yeah, like I'm the only woman who's ever noticed.  ;-) Oh, btw, Football season is starting soon. Let's look at some butts!!! LOL

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Write Short, Edit Long

Today I'm sharing a bit about my writing method, otherwise known as writing short and editing long.  
Simply put.. my mind is faster than my fingers when it comes to typing out my thoughts for a scene. It's a problem I've had since I started writing. In fact, as a child I could read extremely fast in silence, versus when I was forced to read aloud. I stumbled over words aloud because I'd read the entire sentence before my mouth could get all the words out.
I've tried a hand held recorder, but just couldn't get all the details I envisioned and still move the scene along. Therefore, I decided on the method of writing short and editing long.
Most writers write long and edit a story down shorter. They delete unnecessary things from their books. This isn't a method I'm capable of. I wish I could do a 200K word story and edit it down. Nope, I'm a bit backwards in my writing method.
Writing short means writing as fast and as much as you can, but still moving the scene along. If I need details of a bed, unless it's immediately critical to the story, like the hero is about to tie the heroine to the bedposts, I don't add details of the bed. My only goal is to move the story forward, one scene after another.
Editing is where I do my magic. When I have a finished story or nearly finished, I'm ready for more details. I go paragraph by paragraph and add in whatever details I feel are missing. Sometimes it's internal thoughts, other times it's physical details. I can better immerse myself in the moment, when I'm no longer concerned about finishing a story. I add those special details, tighten up my writing by using strong verbs, and overall improve the story.
This is an odd method, I know, but for me it works like a gem. I used to feel terrible about not being able to write the same long way as others, but that's not a reasonable way to feel. I'm my own person and have to follow my own path and method.
Writing is about the enjoyment of immersing yourself in a book, its characters, and the romance. I don't ever want to lose that magic, so even if I'm a bit backwards, I'll follow my heart and write the way that works for me.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Comedic Colonic or "Dicktation" by Sophie Sansregret

I am so pleased to be invited to your blog today, Mary. Which author can refuse an opportunity to talk about oneself or one's work or any other topic which pleases? Of course, being the good narcissist that I am, I would prefer to talk about myself. But as I have a regular psychoanalyst, perhaps I will spare everyone this week.
I was trying to think of a new way to post excerpts and write a guest blog rather than my usual blah blah this is me and here’s an excerpt. I thought I would write a bit about my process (how original too) but as it pertains to the fact that I dictate and can no longer “write” until I get some nerve damage fixed on my hands.
I wish there were a genre for comedic erotica. Insofar as I dictate all that I write, due to my having serious bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, comedy comes with the territory. And by that I mean that when I dictated comedic erotica just now, my software came back with "comedic colonic". Although that too may possibly have a charm. Who am I to sneer at those sexually enjoying a good purge?
As one usually does in a guest posting, I have included an excerpt or two. Today, I have decided to use the novella The Coach House, which my husband continually refers to as "The Cooch House" but my voice recognition software always transcribes as “The True Chess”.
Let me situate this a bit first. Female protagonist, Carys, is somewhat sexually inexperienced. She is living with her boyfriend/fiancĂ©, the otherwise ok but dullish game-addicted Steve (and whoops, he’s a phagein which is like a zombie but with a Greek-based name), but they do not enjoy regular sex life. She has these dreams, or so she thinks, of a gorgeous man, later whom we come to know as the vampire Daniil (yeah, zombies and vampires. I’m so trite. Sorry but I LIKE zombies and vampires), making love to her at night. Whereas before she felt herself shy and sexually insecure, now she has decided that since these are lucid dreams, there is really no reason for her to feel so awkward and unsure of what to do when alone with a naked gorgeous man sporting a raging hard on. Oh, and there’s a time portal involved. And a cat. How could you not love this story? The steamy sex helps.
The Coach House Excerpt: The Finished Version
She reached for his cock again and with a boldness she had never before experienced, she pulled him toward her. She made a few tentative licks on the head of his shaft before taking him into her mouth as best she could. He was enormous. And for the first time ever she felt she knew what to do. Her sexual instinct overcame her and she no longer felt awkward. She licked his shaft and reached to pull his hand to feel her, showing him where to massage her. She could feel herself growing close.
“Not now,” the stranger whispered as he retracted his hand, his voice husky with desire. “Another time.” He pushed her gently back into the cushions and pulled her hands gently to rest above her head. His large hand held them there as his other parted her legs and took hold of his cock, placing it again at her entrance. At first he did not enter her but massaged the tip of his cock against her wet, throbbing pussy until she thought she would scream. He revelled in her exquisite wetness on his cock. “Now!” she urged.
“Open your beautiful eyes,” he replied. “I want to see you as I enter.”

The True Chess: The Dictated Version
She reached for his car again and with a blindness she had never before experienced, she pulled it ruler. She made a few tentative licks on the head of the shift before taking him into her month as best she culled. He was he normal. And for the first time heaving she filled she knew what to do. Her sexual instinct overcame her and she no longer felt all squared. She licked his shop and reached up was handed to feel her, showing him where to massage her. She could feel herself growing clothes.
"Not now," the stranger whispered as he retracted his hand, his voice husky with the squire. "Another time." He pushed her gently back into the coffins and pulled her hands gently to rest above her head is large hand held them there is this other parted her lakes and took hold of his cock, placing it again at the ant tracks. At first he did not enter her but messaged the tip of his crop against her wet, throbbing pussy until she bought she would scream. He reveled in her exquisite wetness on his cock. "Now!" She urged.
"Open your beautiful ass," he replied. "I want to see you as I science tar."
For the record, I have long since updated the software. It is only for my personal amusement that I now keep a legacy version of the software on my old computer.
Having reviewed all this for today's blog, I'm sad to note that neither I nor my editor caught the fact that I used the word gently twice in one sentence. That is probably my greatest writing error: using the same word twice in a sentence.
I had similar fun with The Fire, which I wrote at the same time as I wrote The Coach House. The Fire was supposed to be a Choose Your Own Sex Adventure book. I had always enjoyed the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid summer camp, and I thought it would be fun to write an erotic novel in the same vein. Alas, the logistics of it all were too much for me, being massively pregnant at the time. I decided to finish one version of the story as a novella, and revisit the Choose Your Own Sex Adventure concepts at a later point in time, like maybe next week.
The quick breakdown of the story here is that Lady Katherine has been kidnapped by evil Sir Edwin. It's the usual Elizabethan trope: she has money and he wants it. He figures that by deflowering her and shaming the family that he will be able to marry her and have her fortune, etc. etc. ad infinitum. His faithful assistant, or so he thinks, is Serafina. Serafina is actually a vampire and hates Sir Edwin tremendously. For what it's worth, Sir Edwin gets punished in the end for being an evil scumbag in general, and a rapist in specific.
It is well documented by now that there is a huge trend in male on male erotica these days. Sometimes I like to buck the trend and put a little female-female. I was told by one publisher that if I changed the woman-on-woman scene to a man-on-man I would have a better chance of publishing but I just couldn't get my head around such a huge revision to the story. Maybe that’s best left for the Choose Your Own Sex Adventure.
The Fire Excerpt – Finished Version
Serafina began to paddle Katherine’s buttocks quickly while alternately massaging and pinching one nipple, then the other. Katherine began to moan. Despite the sharp bursts of pain, the lust was in full force. She could feel herself grow wet again. As though reading her mind, Serafina stopped to kneel behind Katherine and lap at her womanhood. “I see you are not injured,” she murmured. She inserted a long finger inside and cupped Katherine’s mound, massaging it as she administered a few more slaps of the paddle. “Oh yes Katherine, that’s my good girl,” she said. “Are you ready for something more? I think you are.” Serafina laid the paddle down and picked up the black dildo, affixing it to the front of her leather pants by means of several rings. Katherine, not knowing what Serafina was up to behind her, shivered in anticipation, excitement coursing through her veins. Although she was revolted by Sir Edwin, she found Serafina’s touch intoxicating. Serafina reached for a bottle of oil and quickly greased the cock up. Serafina watched, amused, as Sir Edwin’s lust grew. She climbed atop the bed and knelt in front of Katherine, allowing her to see what was in store for her.

The Fire Excerpt – Dictated Version
Serafina began to paddle But it's quickly while alternating massaging and pinching my nipples than the mother. Katherine began to moan. This by the sharp bursts of pain, the lust was in full force. She could feel herself grow it when. As though reading her mind, Serafina stopped to kneel behind Katherine and laughed at her womanhood. “When I see you are not injured," she mowed her. She inserted a long finger inside and cupped Katherine's mound, massaging it she administered a few more slaps the paddle. "Oh yes Katherine, that's my good girl," she said. "Be ready for something more? I think you are." Serafina laid the puddle town and picked up the black dill go, affixing it to the front of her lithe pants by means of several things. Katherine, not knowing what Serafina was up to behind her, shivered in Auntie sip patients, excitement coursing through your veins. Although she was revolted by Sir Edwin, she found Serafina's touch in socks grating. Serafina reached for a bottle of oil and quickly greased the cock up. Serafina watched, and used, Mr. Edwards lust grew. She climbed atop the bed annulled in front of Katherine, allowing her to see what was history for her.
I hope these excerpts amused and possibly titillated. I have a lot of fun writing with voice recognition although sadly, the new version is pretty good and my amusements must be found elsewhere. Perhaps the Choose Your Own…. Series.
Thank you so very much for having me over for a virtual cuppa, Mary! Looking forward to your visit on my blog on September 8, 2012.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To Die a Thousand Deaths or Communicate

Fear is an insidious monster for an author. What sort of fear you ask. The dreaded fear of …communication. We battle these fears as best we can but like most hideous creatures of darkness, they don't go away forever. There is always a new experience that forces us to call upon strength we aren't even sure we possess.
 Most authors aren't natural extroverts, so communication, even through emails, can be daunting. We don't want to bother editors with what our inner fear voice calls "a silly question", so we wait and hope the editor can read our minds. Alas, most can't and we end up allowing the question to eat away at us.
Then, there is the guest blogspot where you haven't heard from the owner of the blog about a definite date. Still, you send your blog but get no reply back. "Did they receive it? Did they change their mind about you?" You want to email and ask for an update, but the inner fear voice says that you're "bothering the other person", so you let time pass. Never mind the reality that the person may have missed your email, or that the email failed to reach its destination as sometimes happens in cyberspace. 
Off-topic a bit, but it reminds me of the first time I called the tow truck to remove another car from my parking space. Yes, I was scared. I was afraid of a confrontation with the unknown car owner and I was afraid of bothering the tow company, despite the company specifically servicing my gated community. Guess what. Nothing bad happened. The car was removed, there was no confrontation and I got the parking space that I pay for, back. End of story.
The old saying that a coward dies a thousand deaths' is true. The worst part is that there is really no need. Yes, it's risky to contact an editor with a question or a blog owner with an issue, but what do you have to lose. If they reply back to you in a nasty way, then you know to move on from interacting with them again. Don't get angry, just move on with life.
It's been my experience that most people reply back with courtesy; so long as this isn't the tenth time you've contacted them in the last ten day. Patience and faith in others has its place as well. Editors are busy but their business is authors, so again, what do you have to lose?
You're welcome to share your story of battling passed a fear, whether related to writing or not.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pushing the Boundaries of Erotic Imagination

I'm doing rewrites on a futuristic erotic romance novella, but I've been stuck on an erotic scene. In this scene the heroine is leading the hero through rooms that allow a voyeuristic view. Fine, but then I needed to up the ante.
She agrees to take him to the rooms that are more prohibitive and for him to see what goes on there. Damnit! *sigh* whose idea was that? My willful characters, of course.  They do this to me on a regular basis, so I should have expected it.
Not knowing what they wanted, I slept on it with no idea of the scene in my mind. I love sleep. I woke up this morning with the scene in my mind and it is rather unique. For whatever reason, it's a bit BDSM, which I've never written, but that's of no concern. I finally have an idea of what the heroine wants the hero to see.
This is a naughty scene even by my standards. I'm including some mechanical devices and there are things to ride on. *grin* By the time I'm done with this scene, the hero should be properly shocked and aroused, which is exactly what the heroine wants.
While this scene isn't quite done yet, I'll share with you the unedited (R-rated) excerpt that leads up to this very important and wickedly sexual scene. Enjoy.
CAUTION: Erotic Excerpt:
"The rooms can be locked or not depending on the whim of the occupants. We'll stay to the voyeur halls, since we aren't here to participate," she explained. She led him down the left wing.
She stopped at the first occupied room. A man was lying on a large bed, a woman sucking his cock, while another woman squatted over his head and fed him her pussy. Liana didn't need to look at Shurik to know he watched the scene with avid attention. The slight change to his breathing told her enough. "Does he look abused to you?" She didn't wait for him to answer but instead continued on down the hall.
A few rooms down she stopped and looked in on the occupants who consisted of several men and one woman. The woman laid on an upraised table, one man fucking her, while the other two played with her breasts. Each time the man between her legs orgasmed, another man took his place. The woman begged for more with each new man that slid between her thighs.
Shurik watched for a few minutes before turning to her and saying, "These are tame sexual acts and you know it…"
She loved the man's intelligence. "I didn't want to frighten you at the beginning." She explained away with a shrug. She didn't want to appear too eager to show him the more decadent rooms, less he suspect her motive. "What is it that you expect to see here?"
"Show me where the boundaries are pushed."
LOL. The man has no idea what he's just asked for, but I do. As this book is in the middle of revisions, I'll keep let you know when it's finished and ready to submit to a publisher.