Kindle short!

This story was previously available in the anthology Cuddling from Dreamspinner Press. Now you can get it solo! If you haven’t read it, think about giving it a try. It’s a sweet little story about love gone wrong, love gone awry, and then love returning. It’s an experiment of sorts for me. Since the rights reverted to me, I thought I’d check out self-publishing. Hopefully it does well enough I’ll decide to do more! Let me know what you think of it!

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Visiting ghosts and old friends

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Last night I joined Haunted Rockford and the Ghost Research Society on an investigation of the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum. It was a fun night, and it was great to see some old friends again and meet some new people.

Up in the Red bedroom (so called because, well, it’s red) an EVP session didn’t provide any immediate results, but down in the basement, we got some interesting things. Barbara turned on a device called a ghost box and we asked some questions. Other people in our group used some dousing rods, and we asked any spirits present to point the rods to where they were standing. They kept pointing behind a female team member. She was standing near the doorway at the time, and when she moved I saw a shadow dart from behind her and down the hallway. At first I thought this was just her shadow, but then I realized hers wouldn’t have gone all the way down past the stairway.  We then asked if that was Mr. Tinker I saw moving down the hallway, and the answer came very clear: “You bet!”

 

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IMG_3956Upstairs we examined a photo taken by one member on a previous visit to the museum. This was taken in the master bedroom, and was of the mirror on the dresser. They got some strange anomalies in the photo and what looked like a transparent female just at the edge of the frame, wearing what looks like a bonnet and old fashioned clothing. That photo will be examined further, but here’s one of Zach investigating in the same room.

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Do we HAVE to have sex?

I was reading some reviews of an audio book I’d recently listened to, mainly because I hated the narrator chosen to read the book. He was horribly wrong for the book, and pretty much ruined a good story. And I wanted to know if others felt the same way (they did!). But I was also a little annoyed at other comments I read. Two readers of the book disliked that there was no on page sex in the story. Hey, that’s what they want in a story. Fine for them. Me, I prefer no sex / fade to black. That’s me. But one line really gnawed at me.  I’m paraphrasing here, but it went something like: “This wasn’t a romance because there was no on page sex.”

What the everloving f*ck?

There was romance. Guys falling in love, going through hardships, finally getting their HEA. How is this not a romance?

Must MM romance be so rigid? Must every story fall into the same box, square peg in the square hole? Can’t we have wiggle room?

Or do we all have to write dot to dot stories, just changing the names and locations? I’m pretty sure the world is big enough to have books about gay men who fall in love in which there aren’t explicit sex scenes.

Maybe that’s just me.

We’re almost there!

Okay, for anyone who cares: the next Duncan Andrews is almost finished. I’ve got to write the last scene and then go through and re-write a few scenes and add a bit here or there (things that occurred to me as I was writing, but didn’t want to go back and change at the time and interrupt the flow). The villain just insisted on being nastier than I’d originally intended, so I have to change a few things in the first several chapters to reflect this. But we’re nearing the point where I can send it off.

This was a tough one to write. I always knew how it would end, but getting there was a struggle. I had written about 50,000 words on one draft and decided I hated it. So I did what I always do…sat back and gave it a good think. I sat there for several days. It may have been weeks. Then I realized what was wrong, and started pretty much from scratch. I think I kept one scene from the original draft. But that’s the way I write. I have to throw down a bunch of crap first so that my mind can reject it and figure out what I really need to do.

Next, I want to do another Raven’s Rest story. And then…back to Duncan and company. Although the next one won’t have Duncan in it. It will be a Robbie story, which will lead up to the last and very final book in the series. I promise.

Things They Don’t Tell You in “Author School”

As if there was one. Well, in a way, there are. Workshops like Dreamspinner Press holds every year. I just don’t leave home much, so things like that aren’t really a good fit for me. I can’t stand to be away from my dog, nor she me. Plus, I’m super introverted, and it’s hard to put on my “public persona.”

Swag. I understand it, but I don’t. Authors go to conferences and give out stuff, 90% of which is immediately tossed out. The author spent loads of bucks for someone to look at their swag as it falls down into the trash receptacle. Bookmarks? Who uses them nowadays? It’s hard to mark your place with a physical bookmark on an e-reader. Postcards? Yeah, right. I’m going to write to someone with the cover of your book on the other side of my message. Pens are nice, but they’re pretty expensive. If you want to give out 300 or so pens, it could cost you around $600 (depending on where you get them). Are you going to get $600 worth or more of sales back? I don’t really know.

I’m going to be attending Rust City Book Convention in August, and I’ve decided to do a charity basket. Now, this I can get behind. I’m having fun coming up with ideas that match my weird little worlds I’ve created. A few books, lots of ghostie stuff, and I’m looking around for a plush bulldog I can make look like a zombie.

Who the hell wouldn’t want a plush Daisy the zombie bulldog?

I don’t like to get involved in controversy…but…

If you write MM romance, you’re undoubtedly heard at least an inkling of what’s gone down this week. Someone said something, people were offended, it seemed the original people felt attacked, etc. Every now and then something like this comes up. And people, very well meaning people, try to patch things up and say things like, “We’re a community. We should all get along.” Or “The LGTB community are supposed to be accepting. Why are you attacking so and so?”

Here’s a news flash. ANY group has in-fighting sometimes. Because we’re all human beings. We say things sometimes without thinking. We get our feelings hurt, and we lash out. So if you think the MM writing group is somehow exempt, or should be, think again. Never going to happen.

I don’t want to get into the original post that began this whole kerfuffle. It’s been hashed out to death by now. But I will say this: if you write about gay men, and you feel you support gay men and rights of LGTB+ in general…and you post something that gay men feel insulted by, or is misconstrued…try to remember that these are the people you support. If I hear one more person say something like “MM romance isn’t for gay men. It was started by women and it’s for women, and gay men should just keep out of it” I swear I won’t be responsible for my actions.

Jeff Erno wrote a very good piece about this controversy, as did F.E. Feeley and TJ Klune, and they expressed themselves a heck of a lot better than I can. It’s weird that gay men often feel marginalized and excluded in a genre that is supposed to be about them. Is it any wonder that sometimes we  feel like throwing up our hands and just giving up? I know I’ve felt that way several times.

I’m sure I’ll upset someone by posting this, and I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.  But if it does, contact me. It can be private on Facebook, or leave a message here. Let’s hash it out. Maybe we’ll both learn something.

That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?