May 25th!

Cover of Tobias's Own Adventure

I don't think I will EVER get tired of that whole "I sold a story" thing. Or the "I got to help design the cover!" thing, either.

M√ęttwoch, 25 Mai 2011/Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

That’s the day that this goes from being “something that will happen” to “something that has happened”.

Tobias’s Own Adventure will be released on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. You can see it on Dreamspinner Press’s Coming Soon Page, or you can go directly to the book’s page itself.

And now I have to go A) write a letter and B) try to decide whether I’m going to hide for a couple of days or a week or more…

I try to keep things cheerful around here.

But today, I’m going to talk about something that’s more important that maintaining a near-Stepfordian level of happiness.

The thing is, hiding stuff is nothing new for me. It’s nothing new to most people, though it might take some digging for some of them to find something they’ve kept to themselves.

I haven’t told my father–or most of my family, actually–what I write. My father has been poisoning himself with AM talk radio for years, and goes to a fundamentalist-type non-denominational church. (Peri-Christmas services with those people were both incredibly frustrating and deeply annoying, but that’s another rant and a half so moving on.)

My father himself, though, is an incredibly generous man, with a good heart. He loves little kids and thinks they’re just the greatest. He loves his job, which is driving the bus that picks up and drops off special-needs elementary students. If my brother and I needed anything–money, his presence, a plane ticket, whatever–he would move heaven and earth to help us out.

I still have no idea how he’d react to finding out that I’m the author of Awydd. Of Totally Choice. Of some of the other stuff on my hard drive. (And while I’m not precisely out to him in the traditional sense, I don’t make a point of being anyone other than myself around him. Being bi is a blessing, in this case.)

That uncertainty feeds on itself, and I keep what I write to myself. He knows what my pen name is, but fortunately it only turns up Terminator 4 fanfics when you drop it into Google (add ‘smut’ to my name and this page turns up, though).

The rest of my uninformed family are… It’s less that I’m afraid that they’ll disown me and more that I worry that they’ll be disappointed in me. That they’ll shake their heads and say “This is what you use your creativity on?”. I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of my grandparents reading the sex scenes, but that’s more of the above mixed with the fact that my grandparents read out loud to one another, and I reeeeeeally can’t/don’t want to imagine my grandmother saying some of the stuff I’ve written.

On a less-squicky note, I think that Tobias’s Own Adventure is actually a good point to start with in that regard. It doesn’t have any hard-core words in it (I don’t think I even used any of the milder aversions for them, either, come to think of it), and the most that happens on-screen is some kissing.

Anyway, my whole point is that it doesn’t matter who you are, there are things that you keep back because that’s how humanity works, and because there are far too many narrow-minded fools in the world who would just as soon scorn you as shake your hand for things that in no way affect them. And that I think I’m going to suck it up and come out to my family about my writing when Tobias’s Own comes out, just so that no one can ever try to use that against me*.

* Not that it would work very well. I have this terrible habit of digging in my heels and demanding to know WHY I should do what other people want me to, and then disregarding the reasons if they don’t make sense/aren’t good enough for me.

This isn’t really news to anyone who knows me, but…

I am an odd duck. I am easily amused by the strangest things; I’m easily entertained (a family friend once proclaimed that my entire family could keep themselves busy for at least a few hours with nothing more than a piece of string and a pan of dishwater); my mind goes leaping willy-nilly from thing to thing.

I am also not the world’s biggest fan of organized religion, for reasons which don’t need exploring at this juncture. I have this Thing for liturgy, though–probably related to the way in which my Virgoan desire for order manifests itself–and I’m pretty cool with the liberal end of the Anglican communion. I like rites and rituals and things done according to schedules and tables and things like that. (I’m happy to let other people do the math, though.)

I’ve tried working faith into stories before, but it hasn’t quite worked out — no one ever felt like they were being preached at (win), but it also contributed nothing to the storyline (fail). This is where I’m going with this: I’ve started something new (I know, I know), and I’m basing most/all of the religious stuff on the Anglicans/Episcopalians. I’ll probably be taking some liberties, since it’s a paranormal/fantasy (I think? Maybe?), but otherwise… And the only people doing any preaching will likely be preaching to the choir. I’m also pretty sure you won’t have to have a Book of Common Prayer to follow the story — although now I’m having images of Rite II people getting into arguments with Rite I people… (“Stuffy old goats!” “Hippies!”)

As soon as I have a date, I will mention it.

A street-date, not a date-date. Although if by some miracle– Book, right.

So I wrote this story about Tobias and how he keeps getting kidnapped. I just turned in the galley proof corrections, which means that I’m done. I picked out the cover; my editor(s) and I fixed as many of the issues as we could. Now all that’s left is those last-minute tweaks, and then it’s time for Tobias and friends to stand on their own two feet.

I can’t wait and I’m terrified at the same time. I love the cover, I feel better about the story than I have in months (though I was just thinking that I really didn’t need some of the ellipses that are still in the story and that counts as massaging and that’s not what the galley proof was for), and I can still see the warty bits that critics will not love.

At least I never billed it as a pure historical — I was washing my hair the other day and suddenly realized that I never bothered to check on Luxembourg’s timeline. I just assumed it existed when I needed it to. (I still haven’t looked, because it’s too late and TOA is an AU/AH anyhow.)

I will stop freaking out about this, right now, and go do something constructive. Like trying that whole sleeping thing again.

It never ends. (Or: A Peek Into How My Mind Works)

In the course of Tristan making a joke about Bastille Day, I thought I’d better double-check to make sure I had my dates/events straight in my head. Lucky me, the whole storming-the-Bastille thing took place in 1789.

Wait, 1789? I went scrambling off, thinking I was going to have to be concerned about getting Tristan’s escape from the French Revolution just right, and then I suddenly realized that it would have been over– No. I just checked. Crap! The Revolution wasn’t over until Napolean showed up in 1799. Argh.

I go from one war to another. If Tristan is (15-16, 16-17, 17-18) when he leaves for and then arrives in the nascent US, then he was born, let’s see, he gets there in 1814, so if his birthday was somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of April, then he’d have been born anywhere from 1797-1799. Which means that no matter how you slice it, depending on where he was born, there’s going to be war and bloodshed in the kid’s surroundings. (And now I’m wondering what I did with my copy of the Les Mis soundtrack. I was actually exposed to it via my high school choir director, who gave us a medley of Do You Hear The People Sing and…one of the sad ones, I think the one about the castle in the sky, to sing.)

And all of this over a joke. I still don’t know what the most common breed of draft horse was in the US at the time, either.

Edited to add: AND I just found out that one of the things that happened during the French Revolution was that the whole master-apprentice thing got tossed out. Anyone could join a trade as long as they got the right license. *Grumble* *Blink* But that doesn’t mean that people forgot about it, and it doesn’t mean that it actually happened overnight… And besides, Tristan’s parents wanted him away from certain “undesirable elements” anyhow, so it all works out. Okay, then.

Second Edit: Hm. Upon noting that France went to war with Austria (who was then supported by the Prussians), about the time that a 17-18-year-old Tristan would have been born… I’m about ready to throw up my hands and decide to move the Dupont family to Spain or Belgium or something. (Aaaaand now that I think of it, since the US didn’t want anything to do with French or British imports, it would probably be easier on Tristan if he boarded a Belgian/Dutch ship and sailed off, instead of having to do the whole Spain-Florida-Louisiana thing. Hmm.)

What am I working on?

About a million different things. I’ll pick four or five, though.

– Untitled Historical: A love story set in/against the Battle(s) of New Orleans. Features a potter’s apprentice, the potter’s son, mild piracy, clay, disliked Brits, and smut.
This is sort of an unusual story for me, in that the framework is a pure historical — no magic, no boys who used to be something else, no paranormal elements, no alteration of the actual events of history. The research has been a blast, though. (I’m off to do more this afternoon, in fact.) It’s a teeny bit of an AU in that no one kills my protagonists for simply existing. (Have I mentioned how I just don’t do Misery Lit?)

– Schooling Rhys (working title): Another Max and Trevor story! Features Trevor fulfilling one of Max’s fantasies while other people watch.
I’m hoping to get this one finished in time to submit it to an anthology of College Students stories. Other than that, it’s typical Max/Trev, with Max being a smartass to get exactly what he wants and Trevor loving to give it to him.

– Untitled Contemporary: The Threatened Cyclist Thing. Features a punny name, a guy who gets little pleasure out of being a hardass, and one very damaged bike racer.
I have no idea where this is going, or if it will ever be salable. I thought it was going to be dumb/funny, and instead Perry took off in a completely different direction, leaving me to sit in the dust and gawp like an idiot.

– Untitled Paranormal-ish Contemporary menage: They’re not demons, they’re just…Others. Features an anything-you-want-me-to-be-baby eater of souls, an infovore, and the human man they love.
Dallas Blackwell has survived six months in Finland* and a bank robbery. All he wants to do is go home, have sex with his husband, and maybe order a pizza. Instead, he walks in on one last insulting injury: his husband is in bed with not one but two other men. After that, there’s a divorce, Christmas with the family, tattoos, Dallas finally gets to have sex, and a discussion of how to talk about someone who doesn’t have a fixed gender being kind-of-pregnant. (It’s NOT Mpreg, I promise! And it’s hard to boil down into a blurb.)

* Dallas loved Finland. He would have loved it more if he’d had his husband around, though in retrospect it was all for the best.

Stuff I Am Currently Considering:

– Next month is (inter) National Masturbation Month (Warning: popup(s) and annoying pizza hut advertising, for those of you without adblocker.). I will write more than one single story, this year. I am open to requests/suggestions — a particular character, scenario/setting, etc.

– A BDSM thing featuring a guy who has kind of given up on his culture’s hookup-festivals because he just doesn’t get the same kind of delight out of them that his friends do… Until the year he meets someone who offers him something different.

– A story featuring a cowboy (one of the few overdone character archetypes I can bear to write) who inherits or otherwise ends up in a castle. And that’s about as far as I’ve gotten, with that one.

Things I haven’t learned, yet

Precisely WHAT was smuggled during the embargo/non-intercourse act years, as well as the war of 1812, at least in the American SE. (In the NE, it was food, cows, and potash.)

I did learn that it’s highly likely that Tristan would have had to travel to Spain, sail across the Atlantic to Florida, and then from Florida to Louisiana, thanks to the whole ‘No French Ships’ thing.

Grammar questions you won’t see addressed by the AP or CMoS…

I’m working on a sex scene to keep myself from messing with my almost-ready-for-submission story. As I was detailing the items a character removes from a bag, I discovered that I have no idea about the name of one of them. Is it cock-ring, cock ring, or cockring? I have the same problem with hard-on/hard on/hardon and blow-job/blow job/blowjob.

I suppose that it’s mostly a matter of preference, and as long as the terms are consistent through the whole of the story, it doesn’t really matter. (Also, Firefox says that cockring, blowjob, and hardon are all incorrect.)