Archive for the ‘On Writing’ Category

Time to wrap it up

But only for the year. ūüôā

So I didn’t write as much as I’d hoped to this year, which I’m sure happens to many of us. The events of real life just take precedence, and carving out time for thing is hard, especially when the rewards are more¬†intangible.

In fact I only wrote two stories, both parts of unofficial challenges at Literotica. One was called Keeping Secrets, and was inspired by the song “Written in Rock” by Rick Springfield. The other was¬†Empires of the Stars, and the challenge there was to write a story beginning with the following sentence:

Upon the table lay three items: a handkerchief, a book, and a knife.

I can’t say I was exploring any great or profound themes in the stories, but they were fun to write. In¬†Keeping Secrets a¬†man and a woman each rationalize why they are keeping something secret from¬†each other. I bet nearly all of us do this. That there is something we keep to ourselves out of fear, or fear of upsetting someone else, and so we find ways to work around it. I generally believe, as Sylvia¬†says in the story, that this is not harmful so long as the secret does no harm to the people involved, or the relationship. But sometimes, you need to share.

Empires of the Stars was just a one-off, something of a satire of the various types of tropes in erotic stories and other things. I know it confused¬†some people at first, including the gentleman who organized the contest and contacted me to make sure I hadn’t sent an incomplete draft. ūüôā However, once people got it, they seemed to like it, and so I’m grateful for that.

As always I’m hoping to do more writing in the year ahead, and so I’ll have to make a real effort to carve that time out even if it means making the dishes wait a bit.

Thanks to everyone who keeps reading,¬†I’m grateful to you too.

All the best and Happy New Year. ūüôā

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Still here

I think I set a record for not blogging, but here I am.

I am working on a story as well. I can’t tell you when it will be finished, but I have¬†signed up for NaNoWriMo¬†to give myself some incentive to get moving.¬†If you are unfamiliar with NaNo (as we say for short), I’d recommend checking it out. It’s free (although they do ask for donations if you can), and the goal is to write 50000 words during November. That’s it.

Your story does not have to be complete and can be in any genre you’d like; the idea is simply to encourage writers to write. There are forums where you can chat about writing, and you may even be able to find a local group that gets together so that you can meet face-to-face in a group.

My story is something of a werewolf¬†story but I’m aiming not to hold to some of the¬†common themes, or at least to play around with them a little. No idea how it will come out, but when I does, I hope if you read it, you enjoy it.

Writing, I have found, demands more of you than you might think.¬†It is as simple as sitting down to write your story, but that is not so simple in itself. Do I have the time? The focus? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes I’m not sure and it’s more fun to catch up on¬†Ghost in the Shell (thank you Cartoon Network!).

But I am working on it!

I also urge you to check out Yellow Silk Dreams — we’re working on new stories from new authors, and have some holiday promotions going on. Sometimes you need a quickie. ūüôā

Time to write?

I’m hoping so. Unlike a lot of parents, it seems, who fret at sending their little ones to school after the summer, I’m looking around wondering where the bus is and ready to try to take advantage of this to carve out writing time on a regular basis. Because when you don’t have that, it’s easy to get out of the writing habit and hard to get back in.

If you haven’t seen Wes Anderson’s movie¬†The Grand Budapest Hotel, I highly suggest you do, because it’s a) it is a fantastic film and b) it is in part about a writer. The opening of the film contains some observations about writing by the Writer, who is¬†never identified, and who is played by Tom Wilkinson and then by Jude Law (who has a terrific voice for voice-over narration; his voice¬†was probably the best part of¬†Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I digress) at a younger age. Wilkinson’s character notes that people think writers just come up with everything, making up characters and worlds out of thin air, when the truth is that when people find out a writer is writer, they bring the stories to him or her,¬†and if the writer listens, much of the work is done for him.

And I think this is true to a great extent. Most stories, I’ve found from talking with other authors, do not quite appear out of the blue. There is a character based on someone they know, or a situation based on one they experienced, or an edited or adapted version of a story someone told them.

But no matter the story comes to the¬†writer, the writer needs time to write it down, which is hard to come by for those of us with kids and or “real” jobs.¬†Some writers, and I envy them, can sit and write a few pages or even words when they can steal the odd moment. I find that, perhaps because I’m out of the habit of writing, I need more than that. I need time to focus, and the small bits between “Mom, when’s lunch?” and doing the laundry aren’t enough for me.

I admit, as I told my husband, that for a little bit, I’m¬†hoping to have a bit of a vacation when school starts. To¬†relax for a bit, watch a movie or show on demand (True Blood is under consideration, as is Defiance), and to quote Depeche Mode, “enjoy the silence” for a bit.

However, I do want to get back in the habit. I’m not sure what I’ll work on, as I’m torn between new material and revamping older stories, but perhaps there will be time for both.

Plagiarism

I don’t and won’t often do this, but I’m going to call out an author.

E.F. Turner has stolen from authors. I know of many, including myself, who post at Literotica. For an example, in her “Erotica Collection #9,” she has plagiarized my¬†entire story, Island Encounter,¬†only changing the name of the lead character from John to Justin.

My story, Island Encounter, was posted on Literotica and StoriesOnline.net in November 2010, as you can see on my submissions page. Her book was published in May of 2014, and it was hardly the only one stolen from authors. Please spread the word; if you recognize a story, please leave me a comment or if you can contact the author, do so. Most stories seem to be in the BDSM and Incest and Non-Consent categories.

I realize it’s a risk you take on the internet, posting things for free, but I’m not going to let someone take advantage of me if I can help it.

This is her Facebook page; if you can post proof of stolen stories, please do. She’s also on Goodreads. I’m not asking anyone — in fact, I explicitly ask that you don’t — to bully or otherwise harass her. Pointing out the stolen stories is enough.

Story reveal

So, the FAWC (Friendly Anonymous Writing Challenge) is over for now, and my story was called Empires of the Stars.

This is a different story than I’ve written before, and likely not what you’re expecting. So all I ask is that you read with an open mind, and I hope you enjoy it. Please leave a comment here or on the story page. Thanks!

Guess that story again

Over at Literotica, we’ve done another FAWC, a Friendly Anonymous Writing Competition. This time, we all had to begin with the same sentence:

Upon the table lay three times: a handkerchief, a book and a knife.

From there, we could go anywhere, and judging by the entries, that’s a good description. If you get a chance, stop by the submissions page, read some stories, and leave some comments.

And try to guess which one is mine. ūüôā

New story

Now that the challenge is over, I can tell you I have a new story up. ūüôā It’s called¬†Keeping Secrets and was part of an unofficial challenge over at Literotica. The challenge this time was to select a song and write a story inspired by said song. My choice was¬†“Written in Rock,” by Rick Springfield.

Excerpt:

¬†The day dragged on, interrupted by a quick lunch and some afternoon meetings. He checked his phone after the last meeting and was surprised to see a text from Sylvia. Meeting with some coworkers, won’t be too late. Leftovers in the fridge. Love you.

He frowned at the words on the screen, debating his reply. At a loss, he just responded with a quick thanks and love you, too.

It ate at him on the way home. Did this have to do with her phone conversation? Was she meeting someone and, God forbid, hiding it from him?

“Jesus, man. Paranoid much?” He got out of the car, annoyed with himself. He had no reason to think anything like that. If Sylvia had any secrets, it probably involved cheating on a test in high school, or maybe spilling a drink on her prom dress.

In the apartment, he changed and dug out the leftovers. He flipped on the TV as they warmed in the microwave, then ate as he watched sports highlights and waited for Sylvia.

I hope¬†you enjoy it, and here’s the direct link.

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