Current projects

So I actually have been writing lately. 🙂

I finished up revisions on a Shadowguard prequel, Severed Spirits Rising, the other day. I’ve been sitting on it for, man, a couple years now. I had some really nasty crap happen right around when I finished it that resulted in me leaving it be. That, and the fact that Shadowguard has not sold as well as I would like; as much as I love the setting and characters, I can’t justify spending the time with it right now.

I found that it was on the upper end of acceptability for Tor.com, so figured, hey, what the hell? It’s just sitting on my hard drive. So I fixed up the ending and my writing buddy Robert spent all night going over it with me and tightening so it fit the word count limit. We’ll see where that goes. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, since I’m competing with authors like Catherynne Valente here, but hey, what the hell, right? 🙂

As far as other writing, I’m working on Stronger than the Night again. This one has come and gone so many times over the years. It’s in the same setting as the Shadowguard stories but told from a different perspective; where Shadowguard focuses on Arielle and the FBI side of the world, Stronger comes at it from the side of the “monsters”, the paranormal underworld. Initially, I wrote it nearly ten years ago, when I was 17, but I’ve changed and grown a lot as a writer since then. (I should certainly hope so!) I started rewriting it a few years ago but stalled out with all the drama.

I picked it back up again to finish recently. And I made a massive change to the story. I’ve made a somewhat interesting revelation recently, which is that I’ve had a very hard time writing romances, or romantic subplots, with men. It’s not that I have anything against it, but I’ve been wanting to write love stories between women for years now, and I kept putting it off because — it won’t sell, or nobody wants to read it, or I shouldn’t write it because people in my crit group think I shouldn’t.

And I was thinking about Stronger and a thought came to me. What about changing the male lead’s gender? What about making him a woman? I initially disregarded it but it kept nagging at me, because Alex always was a more feminine sort of guy. Feminine man but he’d be a slightly butch woman. And then I realized that it fit in with the rest of the theme of the planned series. The rest of the books? Book 2 is a lesbian romance, 3 is a gay romance, and 4 involves a transgendered woman as love interest. Starting off with a straight relationship didn’t give a good idea of the rest of the series.

Plus, it’s something a little different in the sea of dark broody alpha males. 🙂

I have a couple other things up my sleeves but they’re taking backseat to Stronger right now. I have twelve scenes left and then I’m finished with the book! And then I get to jump into revising the first half of the story, which needs some fairly massive work.

But there is progress! 😀

Submitted Twilight

So, I got crits back from people, implemented changes, formatted the MS properly, and submitted The Twilight Deception.

Whee!

Does this count as a request for a full?

I heard back from Rachel Fox at Liquid Silver the other day regarding A Passion Draconic. She said just to go ahead and send along the full novel.

So, now I need to make the edits, do a basic line edit on the rest of the manuscript to see if there’s anything I haven’t caught, and probably print it and run over it again, just to be sure. 🙂

(Not so) brief update…

The past several days have been … very hectic, to say the least. 🙄

I haven’t managed to get quite as much done as I’d wanted, but it’s been a hellish week.

Morgan was feeling social on Wednesday, so we went out to see X3 with a friend of his. I liked the movie a lot, but I was very disappointed with how they handled Phoenix. I remember watching the animated X-Men series on TV when I was a kid, and there was a lot more conflict and exploration of Phoenix’s character in that then the movie. Which is sad in a way, cause you expect more of a teen/adult movie than from Saturday morning kiddie cartoons. Well worth seeing, despite that, though.

That was the fun bit. The not so fun bit:

I’ve had a sinus headache from hell all week. Literally. It was bad enough that I thought it was a migraine — because I mostly the same symptoms — but meds did pretty much nothing for it. The stuff I normally take for sinus problems didn’t help, either.

Yesterday, I had to go up to Boston to let the vampires collect their vials of blood. I’m seeing an endocrinologist for (extremely) elevated testosterone levels and have to go back again today, after taking an adrenal suppressant, and then again on the 6th for an ultrasound. Then back on the 8th for a follow-up with my doctor. Sometime this month, I also have to see a gyn. I’m on doctor overload here. On the bright side, I haven’t seen anyone who hasn’t been pleasant to deal with yet. (I’m a nurse’s daughter… I was trained from very young not to put up with doctorial bullshit. LOL.)

Boston + forecast of rain + sinus headache = da ebil.

It was bad enough I picked up a box of claritin yesterday — or rather, walgreen’s generic brand, because the price for the brand label is fucking ridiculous — thinking that if it was caused by an allergy of some sort (pollen?), it might help.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

It started my sinuses draining, which increased the headache by a good three times. So. Not. Fun. Add to that, the 85 degree heat (it felt like at least 90, but it was so damned muggy) really hit me hard. Unfortunately, since developing the fibromyalgia, I don’t have the heat tolerance I used to.

I got back to South Station and took the train back home. For once, the train was well air-conditioned, but the shock of going from 85+ heat to something in the high 60s = not good. I was extremely nauseated by that point. Morgan picked me up, we went back home, I got another shock from the heat to cold and lost my lunch.

I pretty much crashed in bed for several hours, and when I woke up, I still had the headache. >_< Then I remembered the bath salts I have that are frickin loaded with eucalyptus. Grabbed the bottle, opened it, took a big whiff, about fell over as the eucalyptus started burning out my sinuses. Okay, not really, but that's what it felt like. Got rid of the headache, though, and don't have one this morning, which is, like, YAY. Writing-wise, I've only managed to revise a couple chapters of Resurrection and write the synopsis. The syno was not as good as I’d want it, but with the headache, I didn’t have the time or concentration to get it the way I want. So I let the male look over it, gave everything a final pass myself, and sent it off right before the contest deadline. Whee!

It’s kinda weird, because, for all that I’ve been writing and submitting this many years, I’ve never submitted a novel before. It’s like … woah. This could really sell. (At least, I hope!)

It’s an … intimidating sort of feeling, in a way. It’s odd, because most unpubbed writers talk about how much they want to be published and how they fear rejection. I don’t fear rejection — never have, really. Even when I was fourteen and fifteen, I had a professional attitude; if it didn’t sell, then I’d just keep shopping it around till it did. (Nowadays, I’m not surprised that none of it did, because it sucked ass, but it was the best I could do at the time, and I was proud of it.)

It’s not rejection I fear. It’s success. I’m not entirely sure why that is, because it seems to be the antithesis of the rest of the writing community. Then again, maybe more people fear it, too, and use rejection as a foil — both from themselves and from the rest of the world.

I dunno. But I’ve got to run here … I’ll probably write more about that later, though. 😉

Acceptance! *squee*

About a week or so ago, I read the submissions call for Freya’s Bower Bites line on their blog and on Romance Divas. After asking a few questions of one of their editors on the RD thread, I went ahead and submitted my query and writing sample early April 9th.

Ironically, the writing sample I submitted was a rough draft from Resurrection. This one, actually.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a response:

Hello Heidie.

Congratulations! It’s official! You’re a new Freya’s Bower Bites author. Welcome aboard!

You are also in the running for the books that will be awarded soon.

Youwill be contacted soon with prompts for your two stories and a contractfor the first rough draft and final drafts will be emailed to you.

Again, congratulations!

Regards,
Faith Bicknell-Brown

Cue mad squeeing. 😀

I’m really looking forward to this. Some of y’all who knew me back in 2003 remember I used to write erotica and erotic romance stories, but stopped for various reasons, one of them being marketability. Some of my work is very dark, and I’m still working on finding “homes” for those pieces — but the more romantic erotic pieces I have, I couldn’t find a home for, either. At the time, there were erotic romance ebook pubs, but they wanted novellas or longer, and most of my stuff was under 10k.

As for the erotica markets, well … they seemed to mostly be aimed at contemporary/literary than SF/F, with some exceptions. Now, I do stuff with a more “literary” tone to it, but even that has fantastic elements and would be classified as slipstream/experimental. I’ve tried to write contemporary without any fantastic elements … it really doesn’t work.

As I had several stories that I had difficulty finding homes for, I decided to work on other things instead. It’s not like I don’t have enough ideas clamoring for my attention, after all. 🙄

The different categories I mentioned interest in writing are paranormal romance, fantasy, gay/lesbian (I’m sure you’re so surprised), and werewolf/vampire. So, basically, I get to write just the sort of stuff I love. Whee! 😀

*blink*blink*

So I checked the email box I formerly used exclusively for submissions, as I needed to double-check rights on an article contract. I never check this box anymore, as I switched to using my main gmail account for it last spring and any submissions I had out from it, I’d queried with the new address.

Anyway, I find a rejection from an anthology I’d submitted to in 2004. The editor commented that the character’s behavior was unconvincing and unrealistic. (Funny, people who read it prior to my submitting didn’t think so, but whatever.)

But, that’s not what bothers me. Cause even if I don’t agree with it, I appreciate it when an editor takes time to comment on my work.

Closing line? “You would benefit from attending [publisher’s short fiction workshop].”

Which, when I go look at it on their website, is $500.

Excuse me?

Am I the only one who considers this trollish, near-scamming, and absolutely unacceptable? Cause, look, I don’t really care when they collect my email address from submissions and put me on their mailing list for stuff like this. Usually, you can unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive the info, and all’s good.

But to reject a story and tell the author she should take their class? Uh. No. Sorry. Fuck off and die.

*puts another market on the do-not-submit list*

*sighs*