Archive for January, 2012

Not enough time in the day

So here I am at the end of January, and very little writing to show for the month. I’m finding the only thing more frustrating than hitting a block or plateau is wanting to write and feeling like circumstances conspire against you. (And the Flyers just lost, in the shoot out; pffft.)

I don’t know why, but for the last year or so, writing time has been very difficult to find. I’m sure it is for any of you who write, or whatever it is you do, when you try to balance home, family and everything else. I admit I’m kind of flummoxed, because prior to that year, it seemed like time was much easier to come by. I’m likely remembering wrong, but that’s how it feels.

I had such plans for last year, for writing, and almost none of it happened. I can’t tell you how jealous I get when I check my Facebook page or various forums and see people mention stories in progress, or finished, or anything else. I feel like I’m running to keep up and hurdles keep popping up.

So far this year, I’ve posted chapter eight of Rhythm and the Blue Line, and that’s it. I am working on the rest — it’s looking like another three chapters, perhaps — but there’s that time issue again. I write a Valentine’s Day story, but my beta reader pointed out some pretty basic issues, and I’ve pushed that back for now. I have ideas for it, and I think it can be salvaged, but it’ll have to wait.

I have to give lots of hugs to my husband, who does try to help, but sometimes events conspire even then. I find it’s a bit like being on vacation — by the time you relax enough to really get into it, you’re past the halfway point and  you’re already looking at coming home. It’s like that with writing. When you’re faced with a two- or even three-hour window, sometimes it takes a good half an hour or more to relax so that you can get into the flow and then you feel like you’re under the gun to finish. I’m reminded of Rita Rudner, who commented when taking questions at the end of one of her shows, that this part was where she had to be funny all of a sudden (and, of course, she was).

Sometimes it feels like that with writing. “Okay, here’s some time — get creative. Three, two, one, now!” I actually tried to make a habit of getting up around 6:30am to try to get some writing done before everyone else got up. That lasted about a whole day, since my littlest one got up at 6:45am. I think that’s not for me anyway, as I’m simply not awake then. It’s not a matter of inhibitions being down and being able to think outside the box (I wish it was); it’s a matter of my synapses not firing and not really being able to think at all.

So much for morning creativity.

However, I am working to make some time. Some nights, I will simply have to resist the pull of watching movies in HD. (I can’t resist the hockey games, sorry. 🙂 ) Some other changes should, I hope, gain me some time during the week.

I’m still writing, I promise. It just takes a while.

More Music

Rhythm and the Blue Line continues, although I confess it’s at a halt right now. Working on it, though! Wrote up some note, send them to the beta reader, and looking forward to a little brainstorming which I hope will set things in motion again.

Until then, I thought I’d review the music in R&B again, since we last left our heroes. Nothing was mentioned in Chapter 5, so let’s move on to Chapter 6 — in which Ryan’s band, Imaginary Grace, headlines at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, for the first time.

First off, we meet friends of Ryan’s, such as Annette Kochanski, a member of the all-girl band Trouser Minnows. (Anybody recognize the name Kochanski? I got it from here.) “Trouser Minnow” is a song by the group Rapeman, a noise rock band founded by Steve Albini. Prior to my beta reader telling me about this when we were trying to come up with names for the opening acts, I’d never heard of any of this. Still, let’s face it, Trouser Minnows is a great name for a rock band.

Next there’s No More Trees on the Potomac. My DC-affinity is showing. I lived there for fifteen years; the first year I was there, the Redskins won their last Super Bowl, and what a night it was. Although I was never a rabid ‘Skins fan, they are the team to follow down there (the Capitals are giving them a run for the money the last few seasons, though), and Jack Kent Cooke, the previous owner, was a character. Then Dan Snyder bought the team, and unfortunately it was a huge downhill slide that they haven’t corrected. Snyder has also made other missteps, including when he cut down trees on his property to improve his view of the Potomac. Federally protected trees, I might add. (It’s covered to some extent here.) Anyway, I thought the name sounded good for a band.

At last we move on to Imaginary Grace. Most of their songs are, of course, originals. 🙂 But they do a coule of covers, and this is where I indulged myself. One cover is Modern English’s “I Melt With You.” Another is Bad Company’s “Rock and Roll Fantasy.” (My indulgence; this is a live version, I believe from their Merchants of Cool CD.)

Chapter 7 has no specific citings, but then we move on to Chapter 8 and the rocky patches. Lara warns Brody that Ryan’s listening to “angry music.” This posed a challenge for me, as I’m a pop culture fan but don’t keep up on everything. When I am (or was) angry, my music of choice was Queensyrche’s Operation: Mindcrime, or The Crow Soundtrack. Henry Rollins’s Ghostrider sounds angry even if it isn’t.

Those are pretty 80s and 90s, though, and Ryan’s more current, so again with my beta reader, we decided to use The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge as examples of artists Ryan might turn to when she’s pissed. Disclaimer: I have yet to listen to anything by either group, I’m going by recommendations here.

So I hope you enjoy those. I am working on the next chapter(s) of R&B — thanks to everyone who’s been reading, voting, commenting, etc.


Happy New Year

Well here it is 2012, and I have indeed posted Ch 7 of Rhythm and the Blue Line. It’s up at Literotica (that’s the link) as well as, and In this chapter, Ryan gets some good news, Brody gets some bad news, and then there’s Ryan’s parents. Hope you enjoy.


He squeezed her arm and they went back to watching the movie. Ryan tried to remember what they were watching, but there was nothing too distinctive. Cars sped along roads, sometimes against traffic, and various things exploded in beautifully choreographed sequences. She couldn’t have cared less, and every time she glanced at Brody, it was obvious he didn’t either.

“We can turn this off,” she said.


“The movie.” She turned towards him. “Neither of us is watching, so we might as well turn it off.”

“Sorry. I guess you’re right. I just can’t focus.”

“It’s okay. As far as I can tell, there’s not much worth focusing on.”

Brody turned the set off. “I am sorry, Ryan. Rick’s phone call really threw me.”

“It’s okay. I was just thinking I should cheer you up. You’re usually the cheering me up, though, so it’s a little weird.”

Brody chuckled. “I hadn’t thought about it that way.”

“Well, let’s see what I can come up with.” Ryan made a show of thinking of what to do, which made him smile, and then she climbed onto his lap. He put his hands on her hips to steady her as she straddled him.

“That’s not a bad start,” he said.

“Good to know.” She braced her hands on his shoulders and leaned down to kiss him. His fingers dug into her skin, but she didn’t care; she liked to feel him respond to her. When he tried to take control of the kiss, she drew back and pressed her lips to his neck. He groaned in approval and she smiled to herself. She decided to up the stakes and rocked her hips against him.

“I think I’m feeling a little better.” His voice was rough.

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