Wednesday, 5 March 2014

MM Romance Group prompt: Secret werewolf!

The M/M Romance Group over on Goodreads have a free story event. This year it's called Love's Landscapes. Authors write stories to fit prompts submitted by members of the group.
My prompt is amazing. You can check it out if you're a member of the group.

Two best friends at college who are fated to be together by a werewolf bond. Except only one of them is a werewolf, or even knows werewolves exist. The other just knows he's in love with his best friend and is too shy to tell him.
Both men have a secret and both secrets need to be shared. But both secrets seem too big to be expressed. What's a (totally hot and tattooed) boy to do?

In total there will be 200 stories for the Love's Landscapes event. They will be coming out in June, July and August and they'll all be free for download. There are some fantastic prompts this year, so you should be excited!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Words I didn't know

Among other projects, I'm working on a story called Dictionary, Unillustrated which (as the title suggests) features a dictionary as a central motif. In writing it I've reignited my interest in unusual words so I thought I'd share some with you.
If you're one of those people who likes to 'test their knowledge', go ahead and crow about knowing all these words - I didn't!

Palaver: Prolonged and idle discussion

Avocation: Hobby

Shyster: Slang for someone disreputable or unethical, especially in law or politics

Celerity: Swiftness of action or motion

Peccadillo: Small, relatively unimportant offense or sin

Scuttlebutt: Gossip. Scuttlebutt was the tap on a ship, so it's like the old-school water cooler conversation!

Galling: Causing extreme irritation or chagrin

Parsimony: Preciousness with money

Those are all words I've read recently but couldn't supply with an exact definition. It came as a shock to realize just how often I take meaning from a sentence without actually knowing all the words!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tonight the lights are rainbow

Gay marriage officially became legal here in New Zealand on the 19th August.
In celebration, several public fixtures were lit up with rainbow lights.
This is not the photo I took. I wish I took photos like this.
I stopped to take a photo of a rainbow Sky Tower. Behind me I heard an electronic shutter clicking.
I turned to see another woman taking the same photo of the rainbow Sky Tower. Our eyes met. We grinned at each other.
Is that the start of a great romance or what?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Animal Magnetism

Andrea Speed and I wrote a story for the Love Has No Boundaries event, a free stories event with the MM Romance group over on Goodreads.

What you see above is a gorgeous cover by Madison Parker, kind of a fan art surprise which is awesome and makes me very happy.

You can read or download the story over on Goodreads, and check out the other LHNB stories while you're there.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pretty show-off tools

I got hooked on showing off about my WIPs. Here are word meters from Critique Circle. Blurbs for most of these stories are here.

I've grouped them in the rough order that I intend to finish them. Though what I need is a second bar which indicates how much editing I've done - Dictionary, Unillustrated and Exploding Engine Diagram are technically finished in terms of writing and into the revision phase but that takes me much longer than writing the first draft.

I spent the weekend planning out books 3, 4 and 5 in the same series as Vicky's Rules and my excitement over that world* has caused me to nudge Vicky's book higher in my list of priorities.
Let's be honest, though: Before I finished more than 2 of these WIPs I'll be starting something new. I threw out the goal of not starting anything new until older works are done and instead am trying to focus on only starting shorter works before anything older is done.

I hate writing 'The end' but I love writing 'I suppose it all began when'.

*By 'world' I mean a tattoo parlor and all-ages hardcore venue and the scene surrounding them

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (psychologists love their acronyms) is, apparently, the reason I haven't been reaching my goals for the past three to five weeks. It's the reason I've doubled the time I spend sleeping and lost interest in jogging. SAD is the reason I could swear to myself that watching Teen Wolf would make life meaningful again, but then couldn't build up the energy to actually watch it. I even stopped browsing my favorite Tumblr tags.

I got obsessed with picking at scabs on my scalp, a problem I only solved by cutting my fingernails too short to get at the scabs. I don't want to make judgement calls on how people spend their time but I think we can all agree that scab-picking is less important than writing sexy sweet romance novels.

Now that I'm aware of SAD (awww, psychologists, you are cute) I can stop fretting over how it's possible to lose interest in telling stories while those stories are still popping and fizzing in my mind. I can angle my head to see the light between the clouds on my way to work, or possibly put my face in front of a light bulb in an attempt at self-medication. That sentence only makes sense if you've read the SAD link I gave you at the start of this post.

I'm revising two stories but the process is halting. Both stories are the Best Thing Ever so you can appreciate my alarm at my own inability to focus on them or, indeed, on anything but sleeping or scabs. This blog post has taken four and a half days to write, for example.

The first story is called Exploding Engine Diagram and it will be my debut novel - my first published story longer than 50k words. It stars a mechanic and a coder and some cool friends and an asshole ex who is mentioned but never actually seen, which is exactly what you want from an asshole ex.

The second story is called Dictionary, Unillustrated and it features obscure words, chocolate cake, and bonding over an ant nest. It's a novella I'll self-publish and I'm very excited for you to get to read it.

Revision is one step forward, one step back. It is halting and depressing as all hell because you can see your hours disappearing but your writing doesn't seem to have changed. How I let myself get to the revision stage of two drafts at once is amazing to me, but there it is. I want these stories finished so you can read them. But I won't sacrifice the time needed to make them the best I can. Even if that time is increased a lot by my need to stop and stick my face in front of a light bulb.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

WIP novels

It would be easy to assume that, as I haven't put a story online in some time, I haven't been writing. That's not the case at all. And to prove it, here are blurbs for the 7 unfinished novels I have, including their latest word count.

Not Killing Anyone
First in a sweet S&M werewolf trilogy. Four years after the unsolved murders of his family, Theo meets werewolf Baz who explains that the bite on Theo's wrist and the strange feelings he's been having are related - he's a werewolf, just one who's never shifted. Baz becomes an essential part of Theo's life as he helps Theo understand the consequences of being bitten and what to expect if Theo decides to take advantage of his gift and shift into a wolf. But Baz isn't the confident guide he seems - he's reeling from his own tragedy, exiled from his werewolf community and the only home he's ever known to wander the country trying to find atonement for his mistakes. As he deals with Theo's fears and confusion he also has to deal with his own feelings for Theo - taboo romantic feelings which can't possibly be reciprocated.

Living Rough
Trent is half-owner of a progressive publishing house. With a rich and caring family, great friends and international recognition for his company it seems like he has everything he wants. But his feelings for his best friend and editing assistant Nile have grown over the years into full-blown unrequited love. Nile seems to understand Trent in a way no-one else does. The only problem is Nile doesn't seem to share his romantic feelings - or feel any kind of romantic attraction for anyone, at all. When Trent discovers Nile has been living on the streets for years he's forced to admit how little he knows about his best friend and how much he has to overcome to even consider the idea of a romance between them.

Vicky's Rules
Herald is an apprentice tattooist and the owner of one of the last hardcore punk venues in the city. He takes an instant dislike to a preppy new guy at a show - only to discover that the new guy, Victor 'Vicky', is not only to work with him every day but is also already loved by all of Herald's friends. To make matters worse, everyone expects Herald to fall in love with him, too. It takes weeks for Herald's heart to soften toward Vicky with his endless enthusiasm, crappy tattoos and electric violin. The only problem is - Vicky already has a boyfriend. Falling for Vicky opens Herald's eyes to the narrow-minded life he's been living and the potential for unimaginable happiness. But falling for Vicky also means facing pain and heartbreak which could ruin him forever.

Second Degree
Rafiq hasn't had a friend since sustaining disfiguring burns at a young age. He hides in his room in an abandoned train station and creates a world of his own focused around jazz music and tending to his garden. That's until he meets Hunter - a crazy-haired builder with quotations tattooed over his arms, a passion for English and modern Philosophy and a seeming blindness to Rafiq's burns. Hunter bursts into Rafiq's tiny world like a new sun, forcing Rafiq to face himself, his body and the outside world he's been trying to ignore for years.

Arana has nursed a crush on his best friend's older brother since high school. Rockland took the boys to their first hardcore punk show and was there when Arana first realized how much he enjoyed fighting - and being hit. Arana develops a friendship with Rockland over years - a friendship based on their joint love for whittling and wood carving, but hindered by Arana having to hide that he's gay and that he has feelings for straight-as-an-arrow Rockland. Arana does everything he can to impress Rockland but even his fantasy of fighting with Rockland is never fulfilled. He's left with friendship when what he craves is Rockland's body - especially his fists. Their world is turned upside down when Rockland's brother - Arana's best friend - goes missing and the search for him brings the two closer together than ever.