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>Update to Nano-whasit. October 31, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in NanoFiMo, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe.
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>Remember how I said I was really superstitious about Nano?

Yeah…. Thursday morning my sister was hit by a car.

She’s FINE, thank Deity. A little banged up. But now I’m pretty much convinced I’m bloody cursed.

I’m still doing Nano. I’m still going to finish Sable Locks by 12/1. But you can call me very nervous for the rest of the month….

>You can’t please everyone… October 29, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in contest, philistines, scores.
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>…and really, why are you going to try?

So I got my scores today for the Royal Palm Literary Awards (the annual contest for the Florida Writers Association). I had entered “The Succubus”  as published short fiction.

Near as I can understand this, the story is read by three judges. If you get three scores of 34 or higher (and I’m not sure if they average them or take them on face value), you’re in the finals. Now that I have my scores, I can see that I wasn’t in the finals. And I can see that there’s absolutely no purpose to me entering this contest again. Because apparently they’re not looking for genre fiction. They want “literary”, and I know for a fact that I will never be “literary.”

One judge scored 45 (highest you can go is 50). This one LOVED it. Only one nit, but what they’re picking about really is proper period language. I researched it.

One judge scored 33. Didn’t connect to the characters, said it was too much like reading porn. (no, really?)

The last judge scored 19. Didn’t get the point, didn’t GET that The Succubus was a machine. Was annoyed that there was no character growth in the POV character (i.e, the machine.) and that they didn’t think the readers could identify with a machine. (the first line of this scoring section was “I have a big problem here.”)  Said that the reader would not feel enlightened or pleased after reading (really? My readers disagree) and said that while there was probably a market for this kind of thing (!), that it did not fit the “general mainstream of short stories for general readers.” Oh, and he said that if they weren’t a judge, they wouldn’t have finished. (Now that one, I can understand. I’ve read contest entries like that. However, when I have that reaction, it is because of bad grammar, worse dialogue and a plot with holes big enough that   you could slalom through them. This judge had no complaints about my writing — it just wasn’t their cup of tea and they raked me over the coals because of it).

I think I need to stick to contests that actually have a science fiction category. Because all these people know of steampunk is what they see on NCIS and Castle. (However, Castle was pretty good.)

>And another update October 20, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Ta-da, to-dos.
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>Snowbound and Princes of Air both went out today. Now we wait. And write some more.

To Revise

To Write:

  • House of Sable Locks (novel, in progress — second priority)
  • Fool’s Gold (for Like a Cunning Plan. deadline Dec 15th)
  • Drum Mage (Bumped up in priority since “The Hand You’re Dealt” came out)
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series.)

To Outline

  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • Mystere Book 2 (which hasn’t given up the title yet and may turn into book 3 and A&L will be book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Tales from the Arena

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Infernal Machine 
  • Princes of Air
  • Snowbound 

Allow to percolate

  • Professional virgin story (no title as of yet)
  • Wandering star story

>Nano-whasit? — or why Liz doesn’t do NanoWriMo. October 20, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in NanoFiMo, writing.
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>So, I’m fairly superstitious about Nanowrimo. (If you don’t know, that’s National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write 50,000 words in one month.)

The first year I tried Nano was 2003. I started all of my prep work in September, and then my mother passed away October 13th. It was totally unexpected, and it derailed me for months. No writing happened. That novel was to have been God’s Blood. I still have all my notes, but I’ve never done any more work on it.

I tried again the next year (2004). And on October 27th, my father passed away. In the course of a week and a half, I buried my father and then attended my sister’s wedding. Which was followed up by two weeks of a strep infection that went systemic. Needless to say, there was no writing happening that year either. That novel was Drum Mage, which I’ll be writing sometime next year, I think.

So, I don’t DO Nano. I’m running out of relatives!

That being said, I decided to sign up for Nano this year. See, I have some 40,000 words done on House of Sable Locks. I’d really like to finish it, so I figured I’d use Nano as the goad to get this novel done.

Today, I read this, from the wonderful Ursula Vernon. Looks like I’m not the only one with this idea!

So, anyone else doing NanoFiMo???

>The Queue October 19, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Ta-da, to-dos.
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>To Revise

  • Snowbound (holiday short story)

To Write:

  • House of Sable Locks (novel, in progress — second priority)
  • Short story for Like a Cunning Plan. (deadline Dec 15th)
  • Drum Mage (Bumped up in priority since “The Hand You’re Dealt” came out)
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series.)

To Outline

  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • Mystere Book 2 (which hasn’t given up the title yet and may turn into book 3 and A&L will be book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Tales from the Arena

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Infernal Machine 
  • Princes of Air

Allow to percolate

  • Professional virgin story (no title as of yet)
  • Wandering star story

>Well, that was quick. October 19, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Drum Mage, short story.
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>Snowbound is done, and off to be read before sending in.

I love it when things come together like that!

>Something new. October 16, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Drum Mage, WIP.
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>I went to start working on House of Sable Locks again, but the words weren’t flowing. And I have two deadlines coming up, so I figured, let me work on one of those. Nothing in the creative brain for Like a Cunning Plan yet. But Nick and Steven are always ready to play….

Yep, I’ll be submitting a Nick and Steven story for the Circlet advent calendar. Working title is Snowbound, and if you remember these two from The Hand You’re Dealt, you know that’s a bit of a double entendre. Oh, and if I have to tell you that this is NSFW, then someone hasn’t been paying attention.

Want a taste? Now, this is pretty raw — complete stream of consciousness stuff. So it might change a little before I’m finished. But here’s the beginnings of this new scene:

*****

“Happy, mily?” he murmured into my hair.
“A little sorry that we’re going to miss Christmas with the folks,” I admitted. “But otherwise? Yes, I’m happy.” I tipped my head back, expecting him to kiss me. Instead, he ran his finger down my exposed throat to hook on the chain that I wore, the one that marked me as his. He tugged gently and laughed.
“Shall I make you happier?”
I smiled, “Is that a proposition, Kolya?”
“Do you want it to be?” This time he did lean down and kiss me, his arm around my shoulder tightening as he pulled me to him. I closed my eyes and leaned into him, sliding my hand up under his sweater and tugging on his undershirt. He laughed against my lips and pulled back. “Not yet, you don’t,” he said, pushing my hand down. He gently pushed me back and the couch shifted as he stood up. “Take your clothes off. I’ll be right back.”
“You’ve been planning this! I know you have!” I called out as I heard him leave the room. No answer, so I pulled my sweater over my head and started undoing the buttons on my shirt. By the time I heard Nick coming back, I was down to my skivvies and socks. I stripped out of them quickly. Not quickly enough, it seemed.
“Being a little slow?”
“It’s cold,” I answered, standing up straight. “Can we throw another log on the fire if we’re going to play in here?”
In answer, I heard the firescreen squeak, and then a pair of soft thumps. The fire started to crackle a little more as the screen squeaked again. Then Nick was behind me, his hands cold on my hips, “Better?”
I nodded and leaned back against him, feeling the rough wool of his sweater scratching against my back. “Much. Now what?”
His answer was to pull my arms behind me, crossing my wrists and binding them tightly with something wide and soft. I felt it brush my fingertips and realized what he was using. “Ribbon?”
“Red and green stripes. Very seasonal,” he answered. “Now let me move you.”
First, he brought me down to my knees and leaned me over the ottoman. It wasn’t an unfamiliar position, by any means, but he was still fully dressed. I heard a snap, and a moment later something cold and hard was pressing against my ass. I took a deep breath and relaxed for the butt-plug, trying not to squirm too much as Nick used it to tease me until I was so turned on I could barely stand it, my cock full and damn near screaming for attention. Nick wasn’t done yet, though, and once he’d finally put the plug where he wanted it, he pulled me back up to my feet and steadied me until I could walk I let him steer me and ended up closer to the fire, my back growing pleasantly warm as he left me there and started doing something else. It sounded like he was moving something heavy, but I was distracted by my cock and by the plug and couldn’t figure out what it could be. When he came back to me, he led me back across the room and sat me down, which was when I found out what he had been doing — the couch where we had been sitting was a king-sized futon, and now the cushion was gone, leaving me sitting gingerly on the cool wooden slat frame. Nick nudged me gently until I was where he wanted me, then moved away.
“Don’t move,” he said, his voice now coming from behind me. I heard a hissing sound, and then something narrow, soft and cool — more ribbon, I assumed — pressed up against my belly. It tightened, and another ribbon followed the first, a little higher up, until my torso was bound tightly to the frame and I was feeling very much like a bug caught in a spider’s web.
“Comfortable?” Nick asked. He’d come around the futon again, and was standing in front of me. I tried to shift and found that I couldn’t move an inch in either direction. The bondage was tight, secure, and incredibly arousing. I had no idea where he was going with this, but I knew I wanted more.
“I’m fine,” I answered.
“Good. Now spread your legs, as wide as you can.” I did what I was told, and felt Nick’s hands on my left knee, pulling my leg a little further out before he started to tie it to the frame. He did the same to the other leg, running more ribbon from my knees to the tops of my thighs, leaving me completely, obscenely spread. It wasn’t uncomfortable by any means — even though it had been a long time since I’d last danced, I was still ridiculously flexible. Right at that moment, it was a good thing, too. Nick certainly seemed to think so. He ran his nails down the inside of my thigh, and I heard him laugh as I moaned and tried to move. Instead of doing anything else to me, he moved away, and I felt something tighten around my ankle. A sharp tug, and I knew he’d tied my ankles to the legs of the frame. I wasn’t going anywhere until he released me. Yippee!

>State of the Queue. October 8, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Ta-da, to-dos.
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>The current state of the Imp….

To Revise

  • Prince of Air (This is the current priority — self-set deadline of August 15)

To Write:

  • Audition piece for the SOOPER SEKRET collaborative project.
  • House of Sable Locks (novel, in progress — second priority)
  • Short story for Like a Cunning Plan. (deadline Dec 15th)
  • Holiday short story for the Advent Calendar. (deadline Dec 1st)
  • Drum Mage (Bumped up in priority since “The Hand You’re Dealt” came out)
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series.)

To Outline

  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • Mystere Book 2 (which hasn’t given up the title yet and may turn into book 3 and A&L will be book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Tales from the Arena

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Infernal Machine 
  • Princes of Air

Allow to percolate

  • Professional virgin story (no title as of yet)
  • Wandering star story

>THIRTY! October 5, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in mwha-ha-ha-ha, Princes of Air, thirty.
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>Princes of Air is done.

62,127 words. Easily the longest thing I’ve ever written solo.

And now… off to the beta readers!

>Who exactly is the enemy here? October 4, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in facebook, someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet.
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>I posted to Facebook the other day about Spirit Day. And a friend (Friend A) decided that my Facebook was the place to vent his rage at what he sees as an attack by Christianity on homosexuals. Another friend (Friend B) pointed out to him that he was painting Christianity with a very wide brush and that not all Christians were like that. I told Friend A that he needed to soapbox in his own Facebook, not in mine.

Friend A proceeded to tell me off, and then tell Friend B that yes, ALL Christians were TEH EVIL!!! At that point, I told Friend A that we were done, and he was not allowed to insult my friends. And I unfriended him.

He then sent me a message telling me that I was being unsupportive. 

Um…. no. I ripped him a new one, pointed out that he was acting like the hate-mongers who condemn all Muslims for the crimes of a few, and then asked him if he would like it if all SCA members were condemned for the acts of the idiot child molester up in PA.

His response? My choice, and if I chose to SUPPORT THE ENEMY, then he didn’t want anything to do with me.

I held back from telling him to grow the fuck up. Maybe I should have. But he’s been blocked now, and apparently, I’m now THE ENEMY.

Later, I’ll probably look at this and laugh my ass off. Right now, I’m too pissed. I’m gonna go write a fight scene now and try to cool off.