Monthly Archives: February 2018

California, here I come!

As you can see by my playlist, I listen to a lot of hard rock when I write. It’s not necessarily the song lyrics that I pay attention to, but the cadence and rhythm of the song. “Coming Undone” and “Good Man” have pertinent lyrics to what I’m writing. I do know that if anyone ever makes a movie of Grimaulkin, I don’t necessarily want anything to do with the casting because I don’t watch TV or see movies, but let me curate the soundtrack!

I’m up to about 18K words in Grimaulkin Redeemed, and wrapped up one of the subplots. The muses are working on how to get me out of a box I painted myself in with the main plot. In the meantime, I’m writing another subplot, and I plan on stealing an idea from Twilight (yes, I know, that’s very bad).  When you read Grimaulkin Redeemed, you may not notice. First one who does wins a signed collection of all three (by then) Grimaulkin short stories. But I’ll run this contest after Grimaulkin Redeemed comes out.

I’m going to WorldCon 76 in San Jose! We just got approved for a table, so we’re in! I won’t be at the Loof this year (August 11) because I’ll be sending my table display to San Jose for August 15. Hopefully I will get everything back by Columbus Day in October so I can set up at the Autumnfest and Scituate Art Festival this year.  I won’t be at Narragansett or the Big E. I may be at RI Comicon in November if I can scrounge up the money for the table.  I’m going to try to set up at Richmond and Scituate Farmers’ Markets if they do them again, but not during the month of August. And probably lastly will be the Author Expo in December. I missed last month’s meeting so I don’t know what’s coming up.

I am definitely going to be at the Warwick Public Library April 21. Come visit!

Episode 15 of the Dark Mystic Quill is up and ready. Want to get rich? No, that podcast won’t help you with that, but it may help you pay some bills.


A great week for writing

I had my talk at Mount Pleasant High School. I think I went a little over their heads But I had four good questions that I want to answer here.

  1. What inspired you to write gay characters?

I played City of Heroes (the teacher knew what it was!) and I explained that in the gaming world, if you play a girl, the guys all rush in to try and save you, no matter how well you play. I wanted to play a guy, but I also wanted to flirt with men. So I created Grimaulkin as a gay character, but a tough one, not feminine. I played him so well that the gay community online accepted me as male and was surprised to find that I was female.

2) How many gay characters do you have?

I told them 40, but when I went and checked, it’s closer to 60. The follow up question was “How do you keep track of them all?” I explained I use Scrivener or One Note, or index cards and they laughed that off as too old-school.

3) What inspired you to write Homecoming?

My husband was into the military, the guns, the tanks, the whole thing. I kind of got into it through him. After my husband passed, I wrote the book in memory of him. That elicited “Awwww.”

4) How did you get published?

I explained the typical way of getting published: sending out query letters and waiting for rejections. I told them a friend of mine started his own press and asked if I would write some books for him, which I jumped at. Then I joined the Association of Rhode Island Authors and that’s how I got to speak in front of them. I told them that small presses are more receptive to new authors and if they want to get into publishing, to try those first.

After that, a few people came up to me. One showed me her poem, which was about rejection, and excellent. I told her it brings forth an emotion, and that’s what you want poetry to do. Another young man gave me his story (I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to today) and asked for a critique. A few people said they were happy to know they weren’t alone writing gay characters and trying to get them into mainstream fiction.

All in all, a great time, and I would love to do this kind of thing again.

Saturday I had an event, and sold Grimaulkin and Grimaulkin Tempted. (Note: bundles are a really good draw.) The Valley Breeze (a weekly free local newspaper) was there with a photographer and I might get noted in there. I’m going to pick up the Breeze next week to see.

I also found out that I was the last author picked for a Warwick Library Meet and Greet on April 21. Details forthcoming. I think it’s 10-2 but not sure.

I’m up to 7K words on Grimaulkin Redeemed and it’s going along smashingly. In fact, at the event yesterday, I had an idea for a scene that I’m itching to write. But first I have to get my podcast out–I’m two weeks late. After that, I’m writing.


When the muse speaks, listen!

I decided this weekend to tackle Earth, to try and get it finished. As I talked with my publisher, he said, “How about you work on War Mage?”

Okay, for a different way of looking at things, sure. It’s been cooking for about a few months, so I should be able to get right back into the swing of it. A new story, a new character, new setting. I have an idea of where the story was going to go (after all, I’ve written eight drafts of the damn thing) so it should be easy. Right? Right?

I sat down, reread what I wrote up to the point I stopped and thought, “My God. This just sucks.”

I’m tempted to say, “To hell with the whole War Mage idea, let’s just not continue it.”

This made me reach for the comfort food to console my depression. After eating a few Belgian waffles, I went upstairs to my Windows computer (the computer that has Scrivener, Internet, and game on it) and did some mindless button-mashing in game.  Then I said to myself, “What happens if I start Grimaulkin Redeemed?”

I left the game, started a new project in Scrivener, and started writing. An hour later, I had done a thousand words (would have been more if I didn’t self-edit) and it flowed! This, this is what I like to feel when I write. The instant flow of words, the story just comes out, and it’s not work. It’s enjoyable. It’s play.

This is what every writer’s “zone” is. When the work takes over your life, and you enjoy it. It’s not a job. It’s not something you keep wanting to procrastinate. It’s a flow, a river.

I had a dream last night, and now that I think about it, I know what it means. There was a metal pipe that fed to a creek in the back of the house, and it was clogged, with water backing up against the foundation of the house. I had just grabbed a stick and planned on poking the end of the pipe to try and dislodge what was blocking it.

That’s Grimaulkin Redeemed. It’s unblocking the pipe of creativity. Maybe Grim will be my go-to for stories when I’m stuck. I still role-play him in the game (Champions Online–I’m @maulkin if you want to hit me up), so he may be around for a long time.

Further updates: Water will be an audiobook very soon. Grimaulkin is in production for an audiobook (yay!). I’ll be at the Cumberland Library Meet and Greet from 10-2 on February 17. Come down for some exclusive swag! And buy a book, even!0

Podcast is on hold for this week. I think I’ll try and get it together for next week.

Behind the eight ball

I’m getting a banner made (but I think it’s going to be too big) for my table/canopy tent. It’ll be ready for my appearance in Cumberland on February 17.

I just finished the speech I’m giving to the Mt. Pleasant high school kids on February 15. Now to distill it into an outline and to stretch it out for 15 minutes.

I have not done anything with Earth so far today. I may have to lock myself down here in the cellar for another 4 hours to get anything done.  Earth is behind schedule. There’s no way I’m going to be able work at night over the next two weeks because I have a lot of late nights coming up.  Next weekend I have to put in 10 hours on Earth at least to get it done. Capricorn is in the can and headed off to the publisher.

After Earth comes War Mage. I hope that this time in the cauldron will help War Mage spring out fully formed like Athena from my mind and be an easy story to write. Something tells me otherwise.