Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Year End Rant!!

I saw the squirrel the other day. He was just as crazy as ever, so I wasn’t sure if all the fumes and dust were really affecting him. He used to fall out of the trees before the renovations began. We’ve already started packing. I wonder if the little critter will ever move on.

Many things are on my mind at the end of the year. And there is a lot going on personally and professionally. There is so much on all fronts that I am not even attempting to cook the festive New Year’s Eve buffet. I just don’t have the time or energy to spare. Oh, don’t think the Eve won’t be festive (as long as there is champagne, I could eat mayonnaise sandwiches). I’m just taking it easy on the cooking, save for two very traditional soul food dishes. To do what those Food Network peeps do without a shopper and interns takes too many hours. I want to relax with a glass in my hand and a vague smile on my face as 2007 rings in.


My first observation for this year is that I prefer years when traveling to France is a part of the equation. We did some fun traveling this year, don’t get me wrong. But there is something about that country that makes everything else more bearable.


2006 was interesting professionally because I was largely a gun for hire instead of working on producing my own scripts. I did a lot of budgeting and scheduling for other small film-makers. That was strange because I really hate doing all that detail-oriented paperwork, but it pays really well. I was surprised to have reached the point where I know how many days and how much a film will cost from just reading the script. The script doctoring happened once. That was really strange, because that film was something I would have never written on my own. It was kind of cool to fix it and keep the spirit the writers intended. I’ll know whether or not the fixes worked when the reviews come in.


But it wasn’t all working for other producers. We started the process on one of the biggest projects of our modest careers. I’ve been playing footsie with the A-list, baby. A hundred dollars for coffee and toast for four in Beverly Hills (that only happened once), hob nobbing with some intense agents and managers (I don’t see how anyone that tightly wound can be enjoying their work). We may be in Europe as early as next month to continue development of the film. I have no idea what the next two weeks will bring. This is not a fun state for someone who hates limbo and really hates to travel on short notice. But I can never turn down a shot at an adventure. This one looks to be a huge one. And in that vein, I've had more than my fair share of fangirl fun. I've met and even befriended some long admired actors. That's been a hoot and a half.


The research Jon and I have been doing all year for the Hemmingway thing has made my grad school paper jones kick in(there are those who believe we’re only doing this to shoot a film in France for six months, but we really put a lot of time into that script). I know I’ll have to write one for all that research and the central thesis of that script, but there are other papers that I’d like to write if I had the time. Some of the serious and whimsical are:


The Juliet Complex: Character Death in Fanfiction. And yes, the complex can apply to men.

Homoeroticism in the Sword and Sandal Movie. I know that Spartacus and Alexander are no-brainers, but it was howling apparent in the Robe, for goodness sake. All that moaning and gnashing of teeth by Richard Burton over Victor Mature was hard to ignore – even at 4a.m.

Book ‘Em Delko: Comparing and contrasting CSI: Miami and Hawaii Five-0. There are more similarities than one might think.

On the novel writing front, this was a very odd year. I had a very difficult time finishing The Price of Surrender despite loving all the characters. Everything else I was doing seemed to get in the way of that novel. I was very depressed about continuing as a novelist when it was all over. I began to think that the toiling I was doing in film had disconnected me from writing prose. But then I was at Dragon*Con and the first sentence for A Soldier’s Choice (the back blurb is now up on the temp site. You can read it by clicking the title) popped into my head. I had written three chapters before we touched down at LAX. It felt so good to have characters interacting in my head instead of budgets and flow charts and day out of days schedules. Mind you, I was still doing those things and then some, but I was also writing that novel every chance I got. That story has spawn other ideas for next year. I am very happy about that.


On the personal front, it was a great year. Jon and I got to go home for a while and reconnect with family and friends(and stuff our faces with proper steak sandwiches and soft pretzels). I got to know my wonderfully eclectic in-laws better. I find them to be extraordinary. And it was nice to forge new bonds with my brother and my father. We had a great time at Dragon*Con, and Jon got to know my wonderfully sharp-witted grandmother. I was glad to get to know her again.


All in all for 2006, to quote the song, ‘regrets, I’ve had a few but too few to mention.’ I bid a sad farewell to my naked rugby guys of Dieux de Stade 2006. I have the new batch on order.

Next year, we’ll be living in a new place and undoubtedly doing something new. As long as I’m learning something, creating something, cooking something and making new friends(especially the actor boys), loving and laughing 2007 will be a great year.


Next week, I’ll have e-books of A Soldier’s Choice for giveaways, and more strange rants to share.


Now, I’m going to put my glad rags on, pop a cork on some nice bubbly and enjoy the company of my friends. I’m hoping that you and yours will have a great time, too.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!




The trees are up at last. We have a regulation sized one and a little, artificial one from our first year here. The little tree is the Todd Manning tree, named after my favorite soap character at the time -- more than ten years ago, I think. The Hanuka bonfire is ablaze and threatening the Christmas Stockings. It's a melancholy holiday because of the impending move, but I think everyone will have their usual good time. At our next place, we may add Festivus to the celebration.

We don't know who from the film part of our lives will be coming by. We never do. Word spreads that we have an open house, and whoever shows up, shows up. I'll get photos of them in my happy holiday hat (santa hat with mistleto attached). And they all know that any misbehavior will be in my blog and elsewhere.

So I'm off for last minute stocking stuffers and later, the buffet cooking frenzy. I hope all of you have a great holiday, whatever you celebrate. Look for the mega year-end wrap up next week!

May you all have a very sybaritic holiday!

http://sybpress.com/dlxmas.htm

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Perils of Infamy

Consternation is the theme for me this week. No that the week has been bad, per se. It's a little early in the week to render that judgment. But events have filled me with consternation. Today, our new overlords, er landlords, commenced jack hammering the pool. I'm assuming that is being done to replace said pool. All I know is I have a headache and the dust is giving me fits despite the closed windows and doors. But that's not the only reason for my agitated state-- it's just the loudest.As a former slash writer, I am often placed in potentially awkward situations with actors. Many of the ones I've met or have worked with are aware of slash on the net. And they have some pretty strong opinions. I always have to out myself as a slasher before some well-meaning fan does.

The revelation has yet to cause me any problems in my film career so far as the actors are concerned. Though I have been in the incredibly embarrassing position of explaining Real Person Slash (RPS) when I want nothing to do with it. The fans are another story. I can always tell when Trekkies has run on cable. I get a burst of hate mail claiming that I have ruined the franchise. I am awaiting a backlash from Fullmetal Alchemist fans when they discover who my narrators on the book trailer are. And I realize that many FMA fans are really young, but I have no intention of promoting anywhere that's age inappropriate. I've even child protected this blog as I do all of my sites with registration on the sites that support child block software and I have warnings. Children shouldn't even be looking at any of my pages. I know that won't matter. Like the affronted Trek fans, the affronted FMA fans will think I am trying to besmirch that series. All of this is howlingly funny as I also received a number of notes to me or about me concerning the Slash and Burn anthology. I seems in some circles, I don't really know enough about slash to make this sort of call for fiction. This gets frustrating, and fills me with consternation, I tell ya.

But the thing that has me in an uproar this week is that I can't really talk about what I'd like to talk about in my blog. The high powered Beverly Hills type guy is pretty net savvy. He does appreciate the value of good net buzz (despite the negligible affect of the ticket sales of Snakes on a Plane). However, he likes a controlled release of information, especially before all the contracts are signed. I get that, and I agree with it. But it makes me nuts to go through grief over fandom and not get to talk about the cool stuff that's going on. And I know you're thinking 'how could he find out what you write in the blog?' A few months ago I would have agreed. However, according to my stat counter, I've had hits on my blog that stemmed from searches on the web for Elizabethan cooking (I have no idea why) to the French Rugby Calendar. All I have to do is mention The Privateers, and someone will find the blog because of it. And most of the stories have to have references by name to really make sense.

Thus, I am censored for now. I'll have more on the next book next Monday. But the good news is that the jackhammers have stopped.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lovers, Families, Novels and Films

There was lots of drama in the apartment complex this past week. To begin with, it's no longer an apartment complex -- it's going condo. And in that process, they've cut down almost all of the trees in our environment. I was saddened by this more than I thought I would be. The place now looks like a concrete institution. But I also thought it had ended the escalating feud with the squirrel. Even the hummingbirds had disappeared. To my relief and, surprisingly, that of my room mate, the squirrel came back. As did the hummingbirds. We think it was the noise of the tree cutters that scared them away for a while. I'm really pleased that we have not lost that part of our routine -- however strange it is.

It seems my life and my creative work have attached me to several strange 'families.' I'm not counting my blood relatives and in-laws as strange, no matter what I've muttered during holiday gatherings. Out here in LA, I have among my friends lots of novelists, screenwriters, poets and actors. No musicians, which is odd. There is one stand-up comedian though. Our room mate is the odd man in the mix, but he has enough eccentricities to be a creative person. But I digress.

They are all strange in some sort of way which makes for volatile mixes at times, but we are all very close. I can't think of them as any other way but family. Which is the only reason I answer the phone at 1:30 am knowing that it'll result in an ordeal that'll last hours when I really need to sleep. At least this time he wasn't nearly naked. Hey, wait, I actually enjoyed that part of the last pre-dawn adventure. Ah, well.

With the holidays coming, having an eclectic and unpredictable family means making sure there is enough food for anyone and everyone who may take a notion to cross our threshold. This gets really interesting when my friends hand out my card to actors with nowhere to go because they looked forlorn. Some of them I know can afford a really good meal (I see the re-runs, I know there are residuals). I suppose they come for the camaraderie and the comments during bad movies we show.

Having these relationships seems to mean that I am fascinated by the dynamics of families -- even ones cobbled together because of common interests. This theme keeps coming up even in my erotica. In the Surrender novels, the relationship between Nikulainen and his brothers is as important as his relationship with Sarianna. I ended up healing the relationship between Nikulainen's father and grandfather when I hadn't planned on having that thread in the novel. I wrote The Price of Surrender because I could bear for Armas to remain estranged from his family.

In A Soldiers Choice, I started with just the two men but soon built a family around them. I think these other characters help define my protagonists. Know a characters relationships and you get to know them. These relationships also give the drama higher stakes. It's very clear that though my main men are a physcial match for almost anything, those around them are vulnerable to attack. The threat of losing someone close or the danger for the main characters that stems from them trying to protect a love one makes for more suspenseful drama.

Jon tells me that all of my work has that family theme somewhere. In Demon Under Glass, it's like the Odd Couple gone terribly wrong (can a vampire and a doctor share an apartment without driving each other crazy). In the cop novel, Freak Experts, the romance begins in the midst of a failing marriage and involves forging a new family with a squad of cops. Geez, I sound like one of my professors.

A total non-sequitur. In the Simpsons tonight, Gor Vidal mentioned my Ala Mater, Temple University and the year I was in the graduate writing program.

Enough literary analysis. I didn't spend the week doing that. In fact, I was only thinking about it as I start the polish on A Soldier's Choice. This past week was power meetings in Beverly Hills and conference calls from Europe. All of it less aggravating than usual. This was in part because I got to hire some friends for parts they've been waiting a long time to play. I also landed a major anime voice actor from FMA (Fullmetal Alchemist) to do excerpts on my booktrailer and audition for this film. That was a lot of fun. The big fat hairy deal of the week though was being solicited by and hired a highpowered agent to make the film happen. It was really cool to have this guy come after us on the strength of the concept and the script. Of course, he's one of those guys with a blackberry who may call at 5am because of something happening in Japan. Now, I only answer my cell when we're in production. I'm as laid back as he is high-powered. This should be interesting.

I must now morph into Martha Stewart. I've got six pies and pounds of side dishes to start.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Taming the Muse

This subject comes up today because I am an acquisitions editor on Sybaritic Press. On the occasions that I have advised aspiring authors when wearing my editor hat, I often tell them that they need to ditch their muse. I usually say this because the muse is often blamed for a lack of productivity on the writer's part. 'My muse isn't speaking to me' or 'I can only write when my muse is working.' Nonsense, I tell them. If you want to be a writer, write and write every day. Write something and keep writing. It's the only way to hone skills. And if you want to get published, editors expect work to be turned in when it's due.

I had the notion of writing in response to inspiration only beaten out of me in undergrad and then grad school. I was a Journalism/PR major as an undergrad. We had to do exercises with basic facts given by the instructors that we had to put into stories -- news stories, features, interviews, press kits. It taught us how to structure a coherent story quickly. In grad school, I had to write a chapter a week each semester of my thesis novel and I had to write a short story per week for my workshops. There was no time to wait for inspiration. You had to present a detailed outline of the novel and then follow the structure. The artistic touches (adding depth to the characters, refining descriptions and dialogue) came with the re-writes.

Of course, there must be inspiration. That is what makes the writer choose which story to tell or what characters to follow. But if a writer wants to be a professional, the writer must treat the craft professionally. If you want to be professionally published (even with a small press), you have to be able to meet deadlines. Learning how to work from structure will enable a writer to get through any kind of writer's block. It may not be a perfect draft, but what an editor is there for -- to help hone the draft.

Right now, I have an out of control muse. I'm crashing through my soldiers novel because it simply must be written -- NOW (that happens sometimes), I have my hot cops novel that has a publishing date I must meet -- so I'm working on that as well. And now I want to write a short piece about my mother and I at happy hour in a French Quarter bar in New Orleans called Dancing with the German at Happy Hour. I blame that on youtube.com. But that is for another blog. All of these stories demand my attention. Since I have a publishing deadline on one of them, I have to give that the higher priority.

So, to those fanfic writers who want to break into the professional world, it's fine to keep writing fanfic. I consider it practice and it can hone skills. However, once involved with a press or when you're trying to get the attention of a press, deadlines must be met. It's hard for me to accept that the story I'm waiting to see isn't finished when I'm seeing new fanfic from the same writer being posted all over the place.

I now get off my soap box and return to my usual insanity.


Next week, excerpts from the new book and Jury duty in LA. Also, see the news section of http://sybpress.com for exciting announcements and calls for stories.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Out, Out Damed Plot

I was watching an episode of CSI- Miami or as our roomate calls it Horatio's Happy Flippy Sunglasses Hour, and was even more devoid of logical plot than usual. Mind you, I don't tune in for Brechtian depth, but it was ridiculous though the murder was solved in a humorous fashion when -- literally-- everyone involved in the case was dead at the end. Well, the cast wasn't. That would have been something, but I digress.

Even the pulpiest of pulp fiction needs sensible plots that have at least some internal logic. I drifted from mysteries written by lawyers because the plots made no sense outside of a courtroom. One book, written by a best seller author, actually had the police acquiescing to the demands of a serial child rapist and murderer who wanted to visit the daughter he'd traumatized on the hopes he might have some information on an active case. I haven't read a mystery since that one three years ago.

I even want plots with my smut. I know that sounds a bit extreme, but even a ten page short story needs some plot to get potential lovers from hello to afterglow. And the plot should be plausible within the genre written and compelling. In the Surrender novels (The Gift of Surrender and The Price of Surrender), I spent a great deal of time on the intrigue that surrounded my couples. I enjoyed spinning that web almost as much as I did writing the love scenes. My Cops, Freak Experts, isn't so much a who done it but 'how solved it.' The novel unfolds around how these men work together and how it fosters an intense relationship.

My new novel (I still haven't titled it -- being very indecisive there), Soldiers for now, has what I hope is an intriguing plot about military paranoia, self discovery and meshing of an extremely offbeat and dangerous family. And there is much hot, delicious smut as well. I may put up some excerpts at some point soon. In all of my ficiton, I have it proofread for errors in both the prose and the plot from people who know whatever genre I'm writing in. It's not hard these days to get information on virtually every subject and make the plot plausible. In Fantasy, it just has to make sense internally.

So, don't settle for fluff that's completely plot free or has a plot that gives a headache. Though I admit, I'll probably look at CSI Miami next week. Again, pretty people.

Speaking of pretty, I have to say hello to a new calendar boy in my Dieux de Stade 2006. Alas, there are so few months left. Anyway, he turned up on my 8th wedding anniversary, so I must mention him. Todd Feather is not French, he's from New Zealand. Very nice -- though frowny. Before him was Julien Laharrague, tres magnifique!

Later this week, I'll be doing a new contest. Stay tuned and read carefully.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Music, You Tube and Roller Strollers

I did a post in July about how, in general, listening to music isn't a great way for me to work. I get dstracted by lyrics and trips down memory lane. Well, I've found a more treacherous distraction -- youtube.com

I've been on there a few times for various reasons. My friend Scott's PSA on pain management is there now at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZgP1viWYwg

I watched to support him in his work...who am I kidding? I was there because he's naked and sweaty. and looks good that way.

On Friday though, I was there because an actor's agent had me so riled that I couldn't think straight, let alone write. I swear film is the only industry where the job applicant feels justified in picking a fight with the potential employer. I didn't even call the so and so in the first place. anyway, I was angry and noticed the site in the cache. I looked up some anime things, and then wondered whether the Bay City Rollers had any videos there. In my defense, Mervyns has been running a commercial with part of the song Saturday Night as its theme. The song was in my head, so I looked. It was there. I wasn't ever a fan of the band, but it was part of the high school school lunch scene. I was even gifted a ticket for my 16th birthday, so I wouldn't feel left out when the rest of the table went to see them in Philly. That was really interesting. Anyway, that video led to me looking up Shiela E and Prince (I've seen them live as well -- it was a differenct experience from the BCR) and MC Hammer, and of course Springsteen(whom I still see live now and again and who still looks great in jeans). Two hours later, I was calmer but really far behind in my paper work. I also have an account there with a frightening favorites list.

In the midst of all this distraction, I finished my short story for Sybaritic Press' Slash and Burn anthology, and that story is on its way to being a novel. I fell in love with the soldier boys and their antics, so on I go. I got some good title suggestions, but I'm still mulling. These guys seem to be in bed a lot, but with two guys, that's to be expected. I also find I'm enjoying the science fiction elements of the plot. There are the timely dilemmas of what to do if there was a way to make an ultimate soldier. What do you do with those soldiers who don't want to be weapons any longer? It's interesting to write, and hot fun to boot.

One last thing about YouTube. It's a handy place to put up video for professional reasons. For one of the films in development, I needed a way to give acess to a previous version of the same project to our art director and the fight coreographer. And since we make no money from the broadcast and it is a tool for getting the full feature done, we used youtube.

Check out our first short and soon to be a major feature at:

http://theprivateers.com/trailer.htm

And keep a sharp eye on everything I mentioned in this blog. It'll be part of a contest next week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Report on West Hollywood Book Fair

My second favorite line from the fair was 'I found a way to put a cyborg in Elizabethan England.' And the next time we're there, I'm going to have half naked men with fans cooling our booth. Not that I think that will work, but I'd feel better.

For the report that will make this make sense (probably), go to:

http://sybpress.blogspot.com/

enjoy!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Novel Title Search

This is the new and untitle novel. Please read and make title suggestions.

Here is the backstory:


The setting is Earth in the near future. Paranoia and a military unchecked has lead to the creation of elite soldiers who are altered humans. Their naturally enhanced traits (strength, speed or paranormal skills) has been intensified through genetic manipulation and advanced training. A few years prior to this story, Vincent Greven, a young prodigy even among these elite soldiers, discovers a plot by those at the head of the military to sieze control of the government by using a device that will control all of the altered humans on earth. Greven's squad leader, Rik Heron, comes to believe Vincent. He and his squad take on virtually the whole military while Vincent takes down the device on his own. The resulting explosion sends Vincent into another dimension. He is lost for two years. Vincent returns in spectacular fashion on the heels of another doomsday machine. He and Rik re-unite and destroy the machine.

The story:

Rik stops Vincent from destroying himself after the battle is won. In doing so, he realizes long repressed feelings he's had for the young man. He risks letting those feelings show, and discovers that Vincent shares them. While they try to heal from the last battle and many old wounds, a deep bond is building. However, their frinds and colleagues are not pleased for many reasons beginning with their both being men. While they navigate the messy personal situation, they discover that new plots are brewing in the government that have them in the crosshairs yet again.

An Excerpt:

The first time I held him in my arms was an accident. I grabbed Vincent to pull him back from the abyss. I could not believe it when I saw him lurching toward the edge on his damaged leg. He had done his job. We both gave almost all we had. The mission was finished. We had sent the hulking, fiery menace back to whatever hell it had come from. But Vincent was still trying to fight – still determined to punish himself. He would never admit to that, but he was punishing himself for still breathing when so many were not. I knew what he was doing because I had been intent on the same self-destruction. He had the same haunted, guilty look in his eyes that I saw when I looked in the mirror each morning. It was wrong for him to feel that way. His transgressions were minor in the scope of that accursed conflict that tore him from our world. His life was worth more than that. Seeing Vincent again made me consider the possibility that mine was worth something, too.

I grabbed him as he staggered toward that burning chasm. I used all the strength I had left to jerk him back against me. Momentum took us down the incline. I rolled over curling around his lithe body to shield him from other blasts. It was surprising that he didn’t fight me. The inevitable final explosion startled him. I pulled him closer.

“I’ve got you, Vince,” I murmured into his ear. “I’ve got you.”

When the chasm fell silent, I carefully turned us over, but kept him close to my body. I managed to sit up against a large rock. Vincent was sprawled across my lap. His closeness felt better than anything I could have imagined.

“Don’t try to move. I don’t think either of us can get far,” I said quietly.

“I wasn’t planning to,” he replied softly.

Vincent pulled away lightly to look at me. His large, amber-hued eyes were curious. I looked back putting all I felt into the gaze. Vincent’s eyes widened in surprise and his cheeks flushed, but he did not avert his gaze. His regard grew warmer before he eased back against me and rested his head on my shoulder. I held him until our rescuers arrived to pull us apart.


So, what do you think? I'd like a title with the word Soldier in it, but I also need to convey that this is a romance, not a war story. Give it a try and make a suggestion. Thanks!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sybaritic Press at West hollywood Book Fair

The Sybaritic Press booth at the 5th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair is numbers 72-73. For the exhibitor Map, go to:

http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/images/map_1000.jpg

For general info including how to get to the fair, go to"

http://westhollywoodbookfair.org



Come out and see us! Let us give you a free critique or learn how to write smut!

DL

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dragoncon Part Two, Actors, Perverts and New Novels

I'm not sure how to do this in any kind of narrative flow, so I'll just do sub-sections with headers as they come to me. This will also be in installments as I'm tired right now.

Liquids in the airport

The new policy is a major downer. You see, I have to fly drunk. I have panic attacks at take off and usually sometime just before descent.And I mean, I need to be hammered. When I land, I'm sober as a judge -- that's really sober and a little cranky. That's how anxious I get. Part of my staying hammered through the rough spots strategy is bringing something onto the plane until drinks are served. Well, the new policy put the kibosh on that. Thus, I had to imbibe at home up to a point, then I had to buy very expensive drinks in the airport before I boarded. And I wasn't the only one with a problem. Two year old emily REALLY wanted a juice box before take-off, but her father had to toss them before entering the airport. That little gal could really shriek. I really felt for her. Luckily, I was sufficiently buzzed. Not so on the trip home. First, no liquor stores are open on sunday in Atlanta.

Geez. So there is not drinking before getting to the airport. And then the only place with a bar in the terminal we're in isn't open until a half an hour after we take off. Luckily for everyone on board, I was exhausted and I had some benedryl. I tranqed myself and slept through the takeoff. Then I had three bloddy marys before we got to Phoenix and a double brandy there. Since I don't see this policy changing, I'm going to have to schedule later flights.

Actors and Perverts

Like most of the actors in our lives, we have a strange relationship with Richard Hatch. To boil it
down, because of meeting him and his then girlfriend, Brannon Braga ended up with a printed copy of my Voyager Slash. That got me on Trekkies and heavily into fandoms which lead to the Garett Maggart connection and ultimately our first film. He also inspired us to actually try to film something ourselves with his own version of a new Galactica. That and thefilm Bowfinger are why we did the trailer for The Privateers and from that a full feature. He has been mentoring us one way or another since we moved here. So, I was tickled to be on a panel with him. I actually made sure to thank him for all that when I introduced myself. But I thought I would mess with him for most of the talk. Ha! I should know not to trust actors. First, he flummoxes me with musings on why his Tom Zarek character, and how he'd wished he'd spent more time on the prison colony. When I asked why, he said his Apollo never got laid on the first Galactica and he felt Zarek could get some action in prison. 'Like Oz!' I all but shouted, but the panel was starting. Then, Mr. Hatch calls me a prolific pervert(which is true, but not to be shouted through a microphone) -- all because I wrote a log about his Apollo and Starbuck in the Logs. See:

http://www.novad.org/MJaneway/Stories/MJaneway35a.html

I think that may have put the prison sex idea in his head. Who knows. He wasn't the only problem on that panel for me. I was seated between Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) and Aaron Douglas (Tyrol), two adorable and incorrigible actor types who were saying the most naughty things to each other and to me. I lost it and mostly giggled through the panel. It was shamefu, yet I'm not ashamed. It was a hoot. Later, I was passing Richard's autograph table when he called me a pervert again for trying to get by without speaking. I think he forgot I actually know how to use a whip on men. It was a nice though weird encouter. we talked about writing and he said I'm talented enough to be doing original work. He didn't know about Sybpress, so I told him. He then told me about taking the plunge and adding erotic elements to his new novel. He wanted me to check it out. That's when he suggested the panel about eroticism in Sci-fi novels. And I think he was flirting with me. It was whacked. I also got to see Denise Crosby again. We meet in the oddest places. And we talked to Mark Goddard, whom I once loved when I was seven. That was really neat.

Starting a novel by accident

I've been struggling through my cop novel though I managed to do almost a chapter in my head while I was away. Since giving up fanfic, I haven't had excercises to get me out of writer's block. Then I got this pairing in my head from a show I'd been following for a while and a sentence that I couldn't get out of my head. I really don't want to write fanfic anymore, but since Sybpress is doing the anthology based on slash, I decided to do that pairing as an original story. It has been a godsend. I've been much more creative lately despite the film workload. I actually love working with these characters so much that I may do a novel with them. I'll do their first encounter for the anthology, but I don't think I can leave them alone until their story is really finished. that was the most exciting thing, writing wise, to come from Dragoncon. I even bought a bit of jewelry from the the show. I also bout a circlet crown ro remind me of Nikulainen and Sarianna. It was a good time.


More in a day or two. I still have to chronicle the kilt thing and old black superman. Then there's my Grandmom and Little Richard.

Meanwhile, here are some photos:

http://www.sybpress.com/dragoncon.htm

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sybaritc Press Calls for Slash Writers

Sybaritic Press will be publishing an anthology of fanfic converted into original fic called 'Slash and Burn' for the RT convention. So if you have written some slash or know people who do, check out this site and pass the link along.

http://www.sybpress.com/slashburn.htm

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Joie de Vivre - Of Literature and Pop Culture


Fasten your seat belts. This will ramble hither and yon and to yon's suburbs, but I promise to tie it together in the end -- sort of. Now, I know that many of my readers here have commented on not being too into TV or the movies. I understand that you're into books. That's why we're here. I just ask that before shunning mass culture or my ramblings upon them, remember that Dickens among others was considered the lowest of low brow when he was pubished in weekly rags. The Victorian Lit scholar at my grad school was an avid soap fan because of their similarities. the Melville scholar preferred westerns for some reason. And recently, I found out that James Joyce liked going to the cinema. I cannot admit to that making me admired Ulysses, but I find him more of a regular Joe because of it.

I had a conversation over a lot of beer with William Goldman over whether it is better to be remembered for literature than for pop culture contributions. That argument was far safer in that bar than whether the NY Giants were better than the Eagles. I told them to leave that to the lit professors and to keep telling stories like The Princess Bride. He gave me the valuable advice that to persue writing as a career, one needed a head of cement.

So, I embrace all forms of entertainment, and if pressed I can give really educated reasons for why they're important to the creative mind. But generally, I indulge because it allows me just to enjoy something for its own sake. Writing hasn't been that for me since I stopped writing fanfic. Everything has a stake now. I still write and I really enjoy living with my characters, but there isn't the sheer joie de vivre that just watching something inconsequential brings.

And it's not just me experiencing this. Our dear friend Gabriel Koerner, the wunderkind in Trekkies and Trekkies 2 is discovering the difference between enjoying Sci-fi as a fan and working in the industry. He was called to a meeting at Universal today to sit in between a sculptor of Battlestar Galactica merchandise and one of the actors who had image approval. He was sent there to lend and air of calm to the meeting. I laughed out loud when he told me. I just couldn't help it. The uber fan was going in to keep another fan calm. The meeting went well, but he was exasperated by all those disaprate creative types trying to get their way. Another fan has seen the man behind the curtain.

But back to the joy. We watch a lot of cartoons here. I think we only watch cartoon sitcoms anymore. And we watch a whole lot of Adult Swim. It's pop cultrue gone horribly wrong. Among our favorites is The Venture Brothers, essentially Johnny Quest gone spectacularly wrong. There is a new run of it on now on Sundays, but it won't make sense without seeing earlier ones, if then. But it's danged funny and twisted. I watch while doing other things, but manage to get sucked in enough to follow.

In addition to twisted comedies, we follow some anime. For Jon and I, it's partially because we grew up in the 60s in Philly. They showed a lot of anime on a UFH station back then. I knew who Speed Racer was long before the Geico ad and even my mother recognized that the Lion King had 'borrowed' from Kimba the White Lion whole down to the hyenas see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimba_the_White_Lion. Jon was more obsessive. He used to watch bootlegs from Japan of many thing running on cable now. That's why he reads Japanese.

One show, Ben got us into was Fullmetal Alchemist (see photo).
http://www.fullmetalalchemist.com/movie/index.htm
We followed the pathos of two cursed brothers through 53 episodes that made me laugh with delight or sob in turn. We even rented the first subtitled version of the feature that wrapped up all the considerable loose ends in the series. It was a translation of Japanese to Cantonese to English. A lot got lost in translation -- including me.

On Friday, Ben found out that the English dubbed verison of the film would have an LA theatrical run of two days, and the first day was sold out. He bought tickets online for Saturday. I can't tell you how crazy busy I am, and if I had 90 minutes to spare, I should be soaking my locked spine in the complex's hot tub or curl up in a ball away from the phones. Yet, there we were in a packed theater full of teenagers in costume. The only reason I wasn't singing the theme song with them is that I only knew 'Ready, Steady, Go', the three English words in the tune.

It was a raucous time whith the kids cheering and whistling, but they didn't drown out the dialogue. There was even a quite unexpected slashy turn in one of the relationships (thank goodness that brother was an adult at this point). Jon accuses me of seeing slash everywhere, but this caught even me by surprise. The girls in the audience loved it. And I was a happy girl for the rest of the weekend. And I didn't lose all that much time. I was up until 4am working on my presentations for dragoncon and the various minutia for the films. Ieven thought about some creative writing. None of it was what I'm supposed to be writing, but it was nice to be inspired.

We're almost ready for the trip. I'm not sure if there will be a blog next week. At least, not on Monday, but I'm sure I'll have lots of news. I'll be preaching the joys of erotica and of slash and shaking up various fandoms. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fangirl Extreme -- A 'Royal' Audience

Oddly enough, despite the distractions, I have made some progress on my Hot Cops novel. We have a cover and I actually started a new chapter. Though still an early chapter, it is an important one in displaying how my main men interact with each other on the job, and it contains some major points on the case their are trying to solve. I am making progress. It doesn't sound like much, and I'm certain now that I will not make my own dealines, but it is quite huge considering the size of the distractions.

In this blog, I will talk about one of the films I'm developing and a couple of the actors we've met in the process. I will not name the film nor the actors. Though if you're film saavy, you'll figure it out. I can't reveal much for a number of complicated reasons. Some are legal and some are for the sake of not alerting competitors. 'Who cares what is said in a blog?' I know that is the question. Well, I've learned in the last couple of weeks that search engines have become so sensitive that any name I've mentioned in my blog has turned up via a google or yahoo search. I know this because my hit couter tells me how everyone gets to my pages including the blog. It gives an exact link from the search. Thus, the precautions. We aren't ready to be public.

Anyway, we've been inundated with submissions of some really cool names for this film. And we were slap happy with the choices. Usually with well known actors, one doesn't get to have a face to face meeting until after contracts are signed. We already had a meeting with a young up and coming actor. He was a charming and very good looking, soft spoken Brit who has been in one of the Sci-fi Dune miniseries. He even looks a great deal like one of the pirates in POTC. The meeting was in defference to a rep who handled another actor we were very interested in signing. However, we are now quite interested in this young man, so it was time well spent.

I wasn't going to take anymore 'meet and greets' until we were ready to offer contracts in a few weeks. However, we got a call that one of the actors on our wish list was in town and wanted to see us. He was a valiant yet troubled king in one set of blockbusters and a tragic ship's captain in another. I was thrilled for the quality he would bring to the production. the fangirl in me went promptly ape.

The meeting was amazing for us on many levels. He really liked the script, and had some insightful observations about how to tweak an admitted difficulty with exposition. For more on the poject, the shot synopsis is here:

http://dragoncor.com/privsum.htm

The full script is here:

http://dragoncor.com/Priv06.pdf


He asked very intelligent questions that showed he had closely read and respected the writing. He liked our views on an actor's role in the production beyond the part he or she is playing. For that alone, it was one of the grooviest encoutners I've had in my entire time in Los Angeles. But then, he shared actor antics from his films. It was so delightful, it almost made up for the insane amount of money the very light breakfast for four cost. Best acting kudos go to me for not screaming at the amount of the bill -- which could have provided five steak dinners at any family restaurant -- for four cups of coffee, juice, toast and fruit in Beverly Hills. I didn't show the check to jon. He would have fallen backwards in his chair.

Of course, there is weird fallout. I can't read anything in my favorite slash archives because his character has popped up there for some reason. I'll have to read about Benton and RayK for a while. Then there are the stories I heard that day which have further eroded heroic images into a lot of silliness. There was also some disappointment among close friends that I didn't take pictures. I actually took a camera, but it just wouldn't have been cool. We were in our serious suits and such trying to make a case for working with us. I will have tons of pics during the shoot. I always do.

To sum up, I'm way behind on the novel and my author chores and that's distressing. But I am making progress with the narrative, and that's something. Meanwhile, I'm coping with two phones and three e-mail boxes and a lot of people who all think what they need to say to me is urgent. I am way behind on almost evrything, but I have found some moments of artistic satisfaction and fangirl fun. I really need to sleep now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book into film, Shenanigans, and of course, Naked Men

It's mid-August, so I say a fond farewell to Sergio Parisse and a big bonjour to Juan Martin Hernandez, whom I suspect may not be French, but he seems to be a member of the Paris Stade team and a welcome site on my calendar.

Shenanigans are what I seem to up to that more than I am writing ficition. I await the start of the Western. We are now haggling over pay rates I thought had been settled weeks ago. We're getting ready for Dragoncon. I'm doing my first powerpoint presentations ever! And we decided to develop yet another film. It is a prudent decision. I'm swining sans net now and need that next vine to grasp onto. And it all seems to be paying off with keen interest from some surprising parties. There'll be a website and a blog, naturally. I can't blog now on any of the films until we're shooting. I can give some details on minutia.

I spent the weekend playing with strip schedules. They're what's on the links below. There's a program that converts a script into numbered scenes that you can program characters, sets, props, etc into. You have to arranged the strips into a schedule that is both budget minded and realistic. Sample 1 on the first link shows you the number for each character. The strips on sample two are examples of how scenes are scheduled. You have to try to keep the actors working in groups of days, so it's economical, and you can't have too many pages per day. It's minutia, but it's a lot easier since paper strips in a frame gave way to interactive software.

http://dragoncor.com/Privschedulesample1.pdf
http://dragoncor.com/Privschedulesample2.pdf

Right now, I'm avoiding my phone. We also did a casting call for the inevitable 'star names' to sign on for the new project. I think everyone wants to be a pirate lately, even if it's in space. I thought the western's responses were mind- boggling, but youwza! I'm even getting names submitted that were on my wish list. Still, I have to ignore the phone because the calls would keep me from getting anything else done. And I really have nothing to say to Coolio's manager.

Here's the link to the casting Breakdown:

http://dragoncor.com/privbreak2006.pdf

And what really makes the calls unproductive is that the manager will extoll his client's talent for twenty minute, but won't tell me their pay rate. They want you to make them an offer. Getting that info is really hard. Even IMDB pro is inaccuarte. It only gives the pay rate for the last project, if know. It doesn't give an average. I really doubt Michael Keaton's rates is $100 a day, but that was what he made on some artsy independent film that was his last gig. And casting directors won't divulge unless they get a fee. I had to bribe my regular guy with a tasty treat that I cannot divulge.

I'm hip deep in all sorts of grids right now. But I have stolen time to inch forward on my Hot Cops novel. It's been fun getting into their heads. The wisecracking is coming more easily and I think I'm building the sexual tension. I may do a call for beta readers for content and not just grammar and typos. Now, I have to add the space pirates to my piles of ficition to be written. This one will be fun because their are several threads from the proposed TV series to choose from that couldn't be included in a normal length film. Unlike the Cop novel, I'll pick a plot thread that happens after the film script -- not before. I can also make the novel version more naked than the film will be. Alas, bigger budgets means having to strive for the PG-13 rating. I have no such restricitons in the ficiton.

I haven't talked much about it much, but the Western is part of a larger effort to bring romance films to DVDs and cable. We're doing original scripts for the first couple of films, but later we want to do films of some of the Sybpress titles, including the m/m ones.

For this week's prize, I'll ask you to slip into my shoes and cast The Gift of Surrender. The major roles are: Sarianna, Nikulainen, Armas and Julin. I'll give a bonus prize for good suggestions on Magnus, Taraasta. In keeping with the film thingy, I'll give an amazon.com gift certificate to the best suggestions. My budget will not be the same as the the one I posted about. So let's keep the actors in the popular TV range, not a-list feature film.

Monday, July 31, 2006

9/10 of the Law -- More on Hot Cops and Films

Old business first. I was asked several times if I had any photos from my adventures in producer and slash land. Why yes. Here they are. First, is The Privateers shoot with Karl Urban. Next is a mini shoot with Jason David Frank, our Power Rangers friend. The third is a fraction of the photos from the France adventure with Garett Maggart.

http://www.novad.org/Galleries/Privateers/index.html
http://www.novad.org/Galleries/Buccaneers/index.html
http://www.novad.org/Galleries/France/index.html

Forgive the late post of the blog. I've been distracted by a number of issues vying for my attention. The most amazing thing about having a scrip turned into a reality is the incredible amount of minutia that's generated. Because of something Jon and I wrote, Phil and I have to figure out many glamorous things like how many port-a-potties we need on a shoot and how often they should be emptied. And whether or not the large dumpster rental comes with complimentary landfill fees. The big concern though has been heat. How do we keep our actors' skin from melting off their bones like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Of course, you may think it's because we want our actors comfy. Well, I do, but my 1st AD doesn't want to lose time which really is money. If the actors sweat, they have to change. If they have to change that's time and an extra costume. If they fall backward from heat exhaustion, it's a trip to the hospital and that loses time. The reason shoots feed everyone isn't because we have to. We just have to provide time for meals. It's to keep the actors from wandering away from the set. Yes, it's cold blooded, but that's his job. I do care though. And I do get to do some fun things this week like see how well the actors can ride a horse. I fielded a call today from an oh so perky agent's assistant who wanted to know if the call back at the Equestrian center was the audition with the horses. That's where the patience comes in.

Back to the books. "The Price of Surrender' has left the nest. The characters are resting though I suspect I may do a third novel set in that world. For now, I'm going full throttle on my cop novel. The title of the blog this week is the issue I'm fighting with.

The word is possession. I'm trying to subtly build the sexual tension between two men. One of them thinks he is straight. The orientation of the other isn't immediately apparent. Unlike typical slash ficiton, my main character doesn't immediately recognize his gay-ness upon meeting his soul mate. Thus I'm writing a seduction that may or may not be happening. The way I want the reader to know that what Hague suspects actually is happening is through Jordan's slowly growing possessiveness. It's not a Lifetime movie of the week kind of possessive. Jordan recognizes Hague's unhappiness and wants to ease that as well as protect him. When they are together, Jordan is in Hague's space as much as he can get away with. To the casual male observer at work, they got chummy quickly, but there isn't anything really strange other than no one thought Hague would ever be chummy.

It's a dance of subtlety that has be sensual enough to keep the reader intrigued. And it's slow going because of that.

That's all for now. I'm hoping to have excerpts next week.

Ah, this week's contest. That's a thoughie. I keep thinking I'll give a big prize to anyone who could tell me how to keep cattle cool during a shoot in a county where they've been dropping like flies. But that's hardly fair.

I was going to ask you who was The Pwer Station, but that's too easy. Tell me anyway, if you're inclined.

But this week's quiz question is Billy Idol and Tommy James and the Shondells had a hit with the same song. What was it? The Tommy James version is still popular at Philly weddings in South Philly. But that's not important. A Hard copy of 'The Price of Surrender' is the prize.

Until next time.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Fanfic Slash Thing

I had this whole blog about possessive men, but it's still half formed. I do have fun thinking about it though. Maybe next week.

But for the new contest. I'll try music again and make it a little more difficult. It's an 80s song that meant a lot to me. the lyric is I found a picture of you....those were the happiest days of my life...

Name the song and win a print copy of 'The Price of Surrender' or a lovely massage kit from Kama Sutra products. Tell me which song and artist inspired the one in the clue and the artist and win both 'Surrender Books' or a gift card to amazon.com. You will also impress the heck out of me.

WARNING MAJOR GEEK ALERT

Down to business. I discovered fanfic kinda late for a fan. I was a full grown adult when I first read Price of the Phoenix and Fate of the Phoenix, two really early Trek novels. In them, I found an uncomfortably close relationship between Kirk and Spock. When I asked a longtime friend and Trekkie about that, he told me of slash. I was appalled. In retrospect, I may have had the current version of the characters in my head (1980s era), and I just did not want to think of them having sex. Even the young Kirk I grew up with (for those of you who think you have trek street creds, I saw them first run and attended the second convention that was ever held), though hot, was not someone I ever wanted to think about naked. I rejected slash.

About ten years pass. Along with many other things that happened in my life, I learned a lot about writing in general. I realized that these slash writers were responding to the fact that these buddy characters in many TV shows were closest to each other. Women were transitory at best, and leathal at worst. I came to an understanding of why they would extrapolate that relationship to its logical conclusion. Heck, the Starsky and Hutch leads actually called the relationship a love story. It made more sense to me though I still couldn't see myself writing it.

When slash next came to my attention, I was in LA and trying to be an industry writer. Voyager turned up. I was fascinated with the characters who were well formed, but annoyed by the plots which were dopey. Before the show came out, I saw an interview with Kate Mulgrew who said she liked to say the word thruster. I liked the growl in her voice. I generally liked the way she barked orders. Oh, I forgot to mention, I realized I was a dominatrix shortly before moving to LA. Janeway sounded like one to me. Thus to amuse myself during the dopey plots I deigned to watch (any episode with the word anolmoly in it, I refused to watch -- that included the pilot), I would say things like 'yes, mistress!' to her commands.

I was stressed about trying to make LA work, and my mother was gravely ill thousands of miles away. I wrote the first of the Secret Logs of Mistress Janeway to get away from both situations and as an experiment with voice. I had trouble finding my writing voice in grad school, and this was a low pressure way of finding it. They were originally for me. I had no plans to post them anywhere. Origanally, they had no dialogue. They were meant to be a true journal. But they got posted first on the old usenet system and then to a web page a friend back home created.

Then, the weirdness that is LA began to happen. Jon was working in a Santa Monica toy store called Puzzle Zoo. It's fabulous and freqented by many celebrities. Anyway, one of those was Richard Hatch. His close friend, Sophie had sold some stories to Voyager. Conversations drifted from the Galactica blaster in the case to Voyager and my logs. It seemed I had a fan amongst the cast. The next thing I knew, Sophie and I were friends. That lead to attending Brannon Braga's birthday party. I am a girl raised with formalities. I don't attend parties without a present. I brought Mr. Braga a copy of the Logs which he hence kept on his desk. That's how the producers of Trekkies found it. I was the subject of an internet hunt that lead to the strangest day of my life to date in LA. I attended a premiere of Turbo: Power Rangers movie as Jon and I had befriended Tommy, the White Ranger. He would later figure prominently in how our first feature happened, but that is for another day. I was hiding my corsett under a heavy jacket during the kiddie film, because I had the Trekkies interview that afternoon.

Trekkies brought me infamy in fandom and in the SF TV community. It was fun and annoying. On the fan front, I got invited to conventions to speak about slash, and was even challenged to write for other fandoms. That's how I began writing for The Sentinel and Due South. All of it was experimental writing for me. I could play with characters and prose and had nothing at risk. I never imagined that the worlds would colide, but they did.

The first intersection came because of The Privateers. Karl Urban had been the subject of a lot of fic even while he was on Xena:Warrior Princess. And since he attended a lot of conventions where my work was known, I had to 'out' myself as a slash writer early in our negotiations. That was fine, because he thought it was funny, and I'd never written any Xena stuff. There wasn't a conflict. I had even pooh poohed a long time S&H writer over not being able to separate the actor from the character around then. I never thought I'd have that problem.

But then, Demon Under Glass happened. I was well into the Logs by then, and determined to finish the series. I had it on good authority that the Voyager cast read the and found them funny. I thought I could handle working with actors I'd written about. I 'outed' myself to my leads. Jason Carter already knew. We had met at my most infamous Toronto Trek where I spanked a Klingon and Richard Hatch reneged on reading from the Logs. Garett Maggart took it all in stride. I thought that I could continue writing slash and working with actors. But after the film, I spent three weeks traveling with Garett. I also found he's a neighborhood overform mine and it's close enough for frequent contact and Richard Burgi ended up in my kitchen at some point looking for chicken. Another long story. It wasn't so much that I felt guilty about writing the fic, but I no longer viewed them as sexy. I really like them, but they're like having really crazy brothers. Thoughts of them any other way is like --eeeewwww.

And artistically I was changing. I found my voice, and I found I liked writing novels again. Grad school nearly killed it, but slash brought it back. They became my refuge from the group think of film making. I wanted to create my own worlds and play in them. I did finish the Logs. The last one was posted in 2005. But slash was no longer as satisfying for me.

So, that's the history. I still have my fannish creds. I reach out to slash writers to get the best of them professionally published. I still read the stuff. And I'm back at conventions. I think fans create some wonderful things. I've been priviledged to see some fine works inspired by Demon Under Glass. I think it's possible to be of both worlds, but I wonder how many could continue writing while straddling.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Why Music Doesn't work and other raving

This may be a part one of two. There's a lot going on. For the last few days I've been listening to music while writing. Actually, it's more like listening to music while trying to write. It's not working very well. Usually, I can listen to anything going on around me and concentrate. Lately, both the guys in my home have been into video games. Normally, I don't mind them either. I actually get into the story lines sometimes. We actually bought our roommate the last Legacy of Kain and had him play it so I could have some closure with the story. It wasn't much closure, but there was some.

Lately though, both have been playing Ratchett and Clank: Going Commando. I enjoy the series well enough, but after the tenth time of either one of them trying for the same skill point, I'm ready to hurt someone. And my usual distraction, the CBC news online has been down. I never did hear their coverage of Bastille Day. Not that it's mattered since Peter Mansbridge went on vacation. That is one sexy anchorman.... but I digress.

I can't listen to any recent music. I'm an old fogey that way. My interest in music tends to end somewhere in the 80s before techno. So I listen to the stuff I grew up dancing to. Unfortunately, it also makes me think of what I was doing at the time I was dancing to the stuff. Then, I'm totally out of whatever I'm writing. And if it isn't memories, the lyrics are distracting me. I probably never paid much attention to them when I was dancing, but now I can't get away from them. For example:


"Smell like I sound, I'm lost and I'm found..."What the hairy heck does that mean? It's been bugging the crap out of me which has distracted me from getting my pages in. Oh, here's a good contest clue. Tell me what song that's from and I'll send you a print version of 'The Price of surrender.' Tell me what it means and you have my gratitude.

It's almost one am. I have to be up and dressed and professional looking by 7 am for the auditions. They aren't due to start until 9:30, but my assistant will arrive too early and someone's agent or manager will be desperately calling by 8am. I should be asleep, but I'll just worry about some detail or other and toss and turn. Besides, my cops are doing some itneresting things right now. I should get it all down while it's vivid in my mind.

The Bangles are playing now. I didn't dance to that music as much as I drove listening to it. I can focus a little bit better. I should get back to work.

I'll cover the auditions tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

E Book Release for 'The gift of surrender'

The Gift of Surrender, is releasing on Friday, July 14th. Forbidden Publications will be having a release celebration on Friday night in the FP chatroom at 6pm pacific, 7pm mountain, 8 pm central or 9 pm eastern. I'll be there. I hope you will, too.

Find the book:

http://www.forbiddenpublications.com/coming_soon.html

Visit the chat:
http://www.forbiddenpublications.com/chatroom.html

Thanks!

DL

Monday, July 10, 2006

Anatomy of Hot Cops

Yes, yet another blog! Don't get used to it. I've got a tiny windo this weekend and the urgeto work on the Freak Experts novel. I thought I would share some of how I go about writing novels and share the synopsis.

But to last week's business first. No one guessed who the actor was that inspired my Prince in the third Surrender novel, now titled The Joys of Surrender. The actor is Karl Urban. He was my lead pirate in a shortwe did eons ago called The Privateers and he was Eomer in the Rings films. He came to mind as the inspiration forthe dark Prince who steals away the very grown up Princess Kirsi's heart as I watched him frwoning his way through the Bourne Supremecy. I wanted a love interest who was grumpy as Kirsi is happy. And of course, he had to be hot. Voila! Alas, we have no winner for last week. I'm not doing a contest this week. I'm too tired to think of a question. Maybe next week to co-incide with the release of The Price of Surrender in print and The Gift of Surrender in e-book.

Anyway, when I write a synopsis for myself, it's usually in present tense and it's more conversational than an outline. It's the way I would pitch a story in person. My written book proposals are much more formal and more detailed.

For Freak Experts -- The New Partner, I just roughly outline the basic plot and some of the details I want to make sure I cover. Then, I typically move on to flesh out key scenes in more detail, and then I start writing the novel. Well, I've done the key scene in some basic detail, and I have my rough synopsis. I'm ready to start chapter one.

I've put a link up to a pdf of the synopsis to show what I'm talking about. Please let me know if you see any huge holes in my plot, but keep in mind it is uneditied and written off the top of my head.

http://sybpress.com/FENewPartner.pdf

Enjoy!





http://sybpress.com/FENewPartner.pdf

Friday, July 07, 2006

More Hot Cops

My short blog from Monday is augmented with an addition to my Hot Cops novel excerpt. I found myself inspired and with a little free time before we make our first trip up to the film shoot's locale. Thus, I am working on the day after the first night together. I thought it would involve another full out sex scene, but my guys wanted morerelationship stuff. I find it almost as exciting because of the sexual tension.. At least I hope so.

As I've said in the earlier post, this is a work in progress. It is written off the cuff and definitely un-betaed. I welcome comments on the character work and the thrust of the story. I'm starting from the beginning of the excerpt because it's been some time since I posted the first part. Enjoy.

___________________________________________________________

Freak Experts Novel -- Excerpt

CJ didn’t know why he was on that road. He should have taken the last exit. There were a few nice long-term hotels near LAX. He had babysat a few witnesses in one that even had a kitchenette and wfi. That one was right off the freeway on ramp. Getting to work even in bad traffic would be under a half an hour. Instead, CJ was hugging the coastline in the darkness enjoying the sudden biting crispness in the air. CJ breathed in the salty, fragrant breeze as he wound his way through the narrow complicated neighborhood without really thinking about where he was going.

<> “This isn’t a convenient place to live at all,” CJ observed as he squeezed into a parking space on a street crowded with cars. Even the ones in driveways jutted out to almost illegal lengths. His destination didn’t even have a space for a second car. “What the hell am I doing? God, I’ve actually left Marilyn.”

CJ’s eye filled and almost spilled over at the thought of the anguish on her face as he closed the front door behind him. But her last words propelled him the remaining distance to the front door. He didn’t think about why he brought his suitcase.

Jordan looked tired when he came to the door. He may have even been asleep. CJ thought briefly about how tedious and draining it was biding time waiting to testify. He found it harder than working cases.

“Ceej?”

CJ blinked at Jordan’s sleepy blue eyes.

“It’s not just lust,” CJ blurted out. “For me, it isn’t.”

Jordan’s eyebrows raised. “But some of it is.”

“Some of it’s what?”

“Lust,” he replied. There was a lot in those big blue eyes then. There was befuddlement worry and something else that made CJ swallow hard.

“Yes,” he almost chuckled. How could he want to laugh now?

Jordan stepped back and waved him inside the living room. “Take a load off. I’ll get you a drink.”

“Nah, I’m driving.”

“No, you aren’t,” Jordan replied firmly. His voice was floating in from the kitchen.

The tension in CJ eased then. There was something really pathetic about a lone guy checking into a hotel in his own city. How many guys had he interviewed that were living in one room with a hot plate? He never wanted to be that guy. Jordan’s sofa was really comfortable. Actually sleeping was suddenly a possibility.

CJ drifted mindlessly as he watched cable news. He hadn’t realized that a little time had passed until a small plate was deposited in front of him on the coffee table. It was an appetizing square of lasagna. A glass of red wine was placed next to it.

“You should eat something,” Jordan said settling next to him with his own plate and glass.

“You Italian?” CJ asked after sampling a forkful of the food.

“On Mom’s side, but I didn’t make it,” he replied. “Italian deli down the road.”

“Thanks. I didn’t eat dinner.”

“Knew that. Looks like you packed instead,” he said. His eyes were sad as he looked at the bag. “She told you about lunch.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry...so sorry,” CJ muttered. There was suddenly a lump in his throat. He put his fork down.

“Sip the wine, and keep eating,” Jordan said gently. “You’ll feel better.”

Keeping his mouth full was easier than talking. CJ didn’t know if he could really talk about what happened that night.

“I’m not going to be a good friend to you, Ceej,” Jordan said quietly as he eased back on the sofa.

“Hmmm?” The declaration surprised him mid sip.

“A good friend would get you a pillow and a blanket and make you eggs in the morning then help you find a furnished apartment,” Jordan replied sipping his wine.

“You aren’t going to do that?”

“Nope.”

CJ put down his empty plate then turned to look at Jordan. He leaned back on the sofa as well with glass in hand. “What are you going to do that’s so bad, Jord?”

Jordan looked him straight in the eyes. He wasn’t befuddled or worried any longer. “I’m taking you to bed. It’s a very bad idea. It’s the last complication you really need, but I have to.”

“You do?”

“Oh yeah,” he replied considering CJ almost lazily. “There’s something about you...makes me want to drive you crazy.”

CJ was fully confident that Jordan could accomplish that without ever touching him, but that wasn’t the matter at hand. “Is it more than lust for you?”

“Yeah...”

He looked CJ in the eyes again. Forget swallowing. Breathing was getting really difficult. “Then, why can’t you be more of a friend?”

CJ didn’t know why he was asking all those questions. He wanted Jordan to make him stop thinking. Maybe some part of him wanted to make sure he was acting with his eyes wide open. For his part, Jordan’s intense vibe hadn’t changed. He just seemed more agitated about any delay.

“I’m not perfect,” he said quietly. He deliberately placed his wine glass on the coffee table. He then took CJ’s glass and put it aside. “We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. Now, I want you to come with me and get in my bed.”

CJ stared at him. “You’re quoting Moonstruck to me? Jord, that’s so gay.”

Jordan had him by the shoulders and his head was angling perfectly. “You knew it was Moonstruck. How gay is that?”

Jordan's lips sealed with CJ's. A talented tongue invaded his mouth. That clean, spicy scent filled his nostrils. It seemed to CJ that Jordan was possessing him, and he didn't mind. CJ moaned into the kiss wrapping his arms around Jordan and holding on.

The short trip to the bedroom was hurried and graceless. Jordan stepped on CJ's foot and got elbowed a few times along the way. The moment was about to slip into comedy when CJ's shirtless back hit the blankets. Where did that shirt go? Jordan's lush mouth actually had a slight smirk. His vibrant blue eyes were feral as he shucked his dress shirt. Meanwhile, CJ suddenly found himself on the verge of panic.

"No you don't," Jordan murmured. "Stop thinking...stop..."

He was kissing CJ again. Jordan was good at coaxing his mouth open and getting their tongues to play together. A warm hand pressed against the center of his chest holding CJ down while providing an almost electric connection between them. When Jordan pulled from the kiss, the hand remained.

"Unfasten your pants," Jordan ordered softly. "This is not something I'm going to do to you. There is a lot I will do to you at some point and probably repeatedly, but this time we do it together."

CJ unhooked his pants then slid down the zipper. He arched up and shimmied the pants down to mid-thigh while Jordan watched him intently.

"Jesus, Ceej...you're packing a big surprise."

CJ felt his cheeks get warm. "What about your pants?"

Jordan smiled. "I'll have to move my hand."

"I'm okay," CJ managed after a hard swallow. "I want this..."

Jordan considered that answer while caressing CJ's collarbones. After a long moment, he pushed his pants and under shorts down at the same time then hurriedly heeled his way out the of bunched fabric at his ankles. CJ could barely get a good look at Jordan because he was busily yanking his pants and shoes off. What he saw was impressive. He had fine hair spread across his chest and legs. CJ knew his partner was nicely built. That was apparent in even in clothes. But Jordan wasn't hard muscled like he spent all of his spare time in a gym. He was lean and sleek like an athlete. CJ found the body appealing though he was a little nervous about the big surprise Jordan was packing.

"'S'o'kay," Jordan murmured as he pressed their bodies together. "We're just gonna get to know each other."

With that husky promise, Jordan ground his hips against CJ's shocking him with the pleasure of mutual heat and hardness. It was the first time he felt an aroused cock pressed against his own. CJ didn't panic. He reached for more hungrily grasping the back of Jordan's curly head and taking his mouth in a desperate, hungry kiss. His moan went straight to CJ groin making him even harder.

"Damn," Jordan murmured as he broke the kiss. He smiled at CJ's breathy protest before he lowered his head to kiss and taste the side of his neck. "Kiss good...taste good..."

CJ moaned in pleasure and surprise when Jordan gently bit then sucked at the curve of his neck and shoulder. He didn't know that was an erogenous zone. He was really surprised at the jolt from Jordan's tonguing his collar bones.

"Keep moaning and sighing like that and this will be over before it really starts," Jordan said softly. His voice was full of laughter.

"Can't help it," CJ sighed. "What are you doing to me?"

"Introducing you to your body," Jordan murmured as he flicked his tongue against a hardened nipple. "Every inch of this beautiful skin needs attention."

CJ wanted to say something in response to those provocative words. He wanted to flirt in kind. He wanted to thank profusely. All he could do is arch into the feel of that hot mouth on his untried nipples and moan once more. Everywhere brushed by those lush lips or laved by that hot tongue or nipped by those white teeth was hypersensitive to the air. CJ didn't think he could bear to be touched anymore at the same time he thought he'd never want it to stop.

Jordan seemed to be impervious to the impact of the seduction, or CJ thought he was. Just below his navel, Jordan huffed in frustration.

"I suppose I can make love to you slowly when we're seventy-five or dead," he chuckled into CJ's belly. "You are driving me crazy."

With that, Jordan engulfed his erection to the base in that hot, moist mouth. CJ couldn't moan. He had no breath for any sound. One hand gently grasped Jordan's warm, broad shoulder. The other sank into his curls to cup the back of his head. He then met Jordan's gaze. There was almost none of the vibrant blue visible in his eyes. It made the ring of blue still visible even more intense. CJ had never felt that act gifted to him with such relish, it felt as if pleasuring him was the only thing in the world Jordan wanted to do. For a man who had his relationship ruled by rationality, that kind of physical intensity made short work of CJ's limited control. It seemed to take only seconds to come.

CJ petted the hair beneath his hand while he grasped the shoulder more firmly to move Jordan up his body, so he could kiss him. As their lips met and their tongues clashed, CJ thought about the many times he had tasted himself on Marilyn's mouth. Those kisses had been more about fair play than an uncontrollable need. During that open mouthed kiss, CJ rolled Jordan on his back and pushed his thighs apart with one leg. He gently tightened the hold on those soft curls to keep Jordan's head in place while grasping that big, hot erection with the other hand. There was no way he could make his mouth work that well on the first try, but he was very good at using his hand.

Jordan moaned into the kiss while his hands roamed CJ's back. He found it satisfying that those warm, expressive hands were nearly desperate against his skin. Everything about Jordan's sensuous responses fascinated him. It should have been odd stroking another man's cock Hell, it should have been terrifying making such a shift in his life. All CJ could think about was how good, the hot, hard velvet felt pulsing against his palm and the way Jordan was moaning and straining towards him. All he wanted was to see and hear was this enigmatic man beneath him come. And then Jordan was tearing away from his mouth and crying out as the heated flesh in his fist spasmed.

There was nothing feminine about Jordan's face at that moment, but CJ could only describe him as beautiful. His lush lips were parted invitingly. His hooded eyes were sleepy and satisfied and very warm and tender in expression. CJ wondered what Jordan saw in his eyes as he tasted the thick liquid on his fingers.

"Kiss good, taste good..." CJ murmured with a smile.

Jordan smirked at him then pulled him down for another long, intense kiss. This one wasn't as desperate or hungry, but CJ still felt his entire body react to it. He wondered if he would feel the same way about those kisses a year from that night. Chances were good, he decided. He didn't think he every felt such physical intensity with Marilyn.

Jordan broke the kiss and looked in CJ's eyes closely. He shook his head while sitting up. He handed CJ a big glass of water from a tray on the nightstand next to he bed.

"You're thinking again. Stop," he murmured wiping his torso with a small towel that was on the nightstand.

The towel made CJ wonder as he handed back half the glass of water. He supposed a man living alone could keep a come towel so boldly by the bed. It made sense. Jordan squinted at him while drinking the water.

"You never stop thinking, do you?" He asked softly. "I'll learn ya, that's for sure. Sleep is what you need right now. And maybe some cake, but I don't have any cake, so sleep it is."

Jordan turned off the light then pulled CJ into a loose embrace. After a few moments of configuring arms and legs, CJ settled. He still didn't feel strange in that relative stranger's bed. Fatigue hit him as soon as his body stilled. Jordan sighed into sleep within minutes. CJ soon followed.

* * *

Waking the next morning was disorienting. CJ had just worked out the rhythm of the routine at the townhouse. Then there were more changes. The sunlight was all wrong, and that confused him. He was on a terrible mattress. It had to be at least ten years old. His back was sure to be unhappy when he was finally vertical. And then there were the clingy, warm limbs wrapped around him. CJ wasn’t sure if Jordan was showing him affection or keeping him from bolting.

“No thinking before coffee,” Jordan murmured in his ear. His voice was deep and raspy and sounded like sex.

That voice went past CJ’s brain to his groin. Within seconds, he had an erection that matched the one pressing against his ass.

“Damn, you feel good,” Jordan murmured, holding him even more closely.

CJ gasped as his bedmate gently bit him at the curve of his shoulder then sucked at his skin. Then, he carefully untangled himself and rolled out of bed.

“Hey,” CJ exclaimed, turning over to face him.

Jordan was casually naked. His dark curls were mussed, and his fine morning beard made those blue eyes even more vibrant. He seemed to be startled by CJ’s tone, but a warm smile transformed his expression.

“You should see your face,” Jordan said softly. “Damn, you’re mad that I didn’t make a move. That’s pretty hot.”

Before CJ could find enough voice to respond, Jordan was kissing him. One hand cradled the back of his head while the other rested gently on his abdomen. The kiss was gentle and tender and clingy. Lust and anger shifted to something else that was just as strong but not as urgent.

“If I went after what I want from you, I’d be late for court,” Jordan murmured against his lips. “And you have a very long day today.”

CJ closed his eyes for a moment savoring Jordan’s touch.

“Yeah,” he agreed at last.

“I’ll make you some space in the bathroom,” Jordan said, reluctantly pulling away. “Then, I’ll make coffee.”

CJ eased back onto the mattress to stare at the ceiling. That was different. Usually being denied sex involved feeling guilty about wanting it. Well, that would be different with a man. Still, CJ sensed they would probably fight over that mattress. Things wouldn’t be perfect. Somehow, that insight made him feel better.

Jordan was in the kitchen when CJ made his way back to the livingroom to retrieve his suitcase. A national morning news shows airing softly on the TV. He could hear Jordan puttering about.

“There are towels in the bathroom closet,” He said from the kitchen.

“Thanks.”

There was space cleared on the glass shelf above the sink and in the medicine cabinet. One of the two towel racks was empty and there was a new plastic cup next to the toothbrush stand. CJ smiled at that, but somehow the kindness made his move more permanent. For some reason, that made him swallow hard on the lump forming in his throat. Jordan was right. He shouldn’t be torturing himself before coffee.

“So, you’re a news junkie,” CJ said to the curly hair that was visible just above the newspaper. The morning news show was still going strong in the livingroom.

The newspaper folded down. Jordan gazed at CJ intently.

“Yes, I am,” he replied. He re-folded the paper before sliding it to CJ. “Coffee’s ready. I’ll make breakfast when I get out of the shower.”

“I can cook more than steaks,” CJ said quietly. “What’ll you have?”

“Eggs any way you want,” he replied. “There’s some sausage and bacon, if you feel like it. I’ll just have toast or a bagel.”

CJ found some green onions and spinach in the produce drawers. And there was some cheese in another drawer. After pouring a little cream in his coffee, he put some in the egg mixture and started the omelet. The coffee was strong, but it was good. Cooking calmed his jangled nerves, making him feel less needy and vulnerable.

By the second cup of coffee, CJ was engrossed in the paper enjoying the eggs. He was even half aware of the traffic and weather reports, but somehow he hadn’t noticed Jordan’s return until he was being kissed on the nape of his neck. The smooth skin and those warm, soft lips made him forget about breakfast. But Jordan pulled away before he could make any overture. He looked good freshly showered and shaved. His dark gray pants and crisp white shirt gave him the image of a serious professional while the twinkle in his eyes promised a lot of naughty fun.

“Wow, omelets,” Jordan murmured appreciatively as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

“I didn’t know how you liked your toast,” CJ replied returning his focus to the paper.

“I like it good and toasty,” Jordan murmured as he popped the bread inside the machine. “And dripping in butter.”

“You’re a cocktease,” CJ accused softly as he glared over the newspaper.

Jordan raised his brows at that. “Over toast?”

“I’ll think of you all day, and you know that,” he replied matter-of-factly. He put away the paper then attacked his eggs.

Jordan buttered his toast then sat across from CJ. He met his gaze levelly. There was understanding in those blue eyes, but the gaze held some frustration as well.

“You won’t be in court with your thoughts,” Jordan said quietly.

CJ was startled. It never occurred to him that he was driving Jordan crazy as well. He sure wasn’t trying to be sexy. And certainly not over breakfast. A smile tugged at his lips as he finished his meal.

“I suppose there are better things for us to fight about,” CJ admitted.

“Yeah...this is the easy part,” Jordan chuckled.

“So far. We’re in the shallow end now.”

“I’m in no hurry,” Jordan murmured. The smile was back on those lush lips and in his eyes.

They finished breakfast in a comfortable silence. Soon they were both in their suit coats with satchels in hand. Jordan took CJ’s notes on the assault case as he handed over his own.

“I think you’re on the right track, Ceej,” Jordan said as his eyes scanned the pages. “Keep after witnesses on that couple.”

“I will,” he replied. “I know I’m right on top of something.”

Jordan fished around a glass bowl on a table near the front door. It was full of change and paper clips and who knew what else from CJ’s point of view. Eventually, he came up with a set of keys.

“The one with Ace on it is for the deadbolt,” he said. “First one in makes dinner.”

“Fair enough,” CJ said.

“You’ll let me know if you get hung up,” Jordan said. “I don’t like you flying solo with a possible domestic case.”

CJ smiled at him. He wanted to kiss him for that concern. Hell, he wanted to kiss him because he looked cute in that tie.

“I know the drill. I’ll be careful.”

Jordan nodded. They finally headed for the door.

“What did you want to fight about?” He asked suddenly.

CJ closed the door and locked the deadbolt. “Your mattress. It sucks.”

“Oh. Never noticed.”

“You wouldn’t. You sleep like a cat,” CJ retorted. “I think your bones turn to rubber at night. How old is that thing anyway?”

Jordan went blank for a moment. “Beats me. I bought if off some guy seven or eight years ago.”

CJ blinked at him. Jordan smirked as he climbed into his car.

“You know what you want us to have. Get it and let me know what my share is,” he said. “I want you to very comfortable there.”

The last phrase was said in much the same raspy tone Jordan had when he awoke. CJ narrowed his eyes at him.

Jordan chuckled as he started the car. “Now, I’m being a cocktease. See you tonight.”

CJ tried to glare at him, but it melted into a smile.

“Later,” was all he could say.