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!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Grab Bag

Sorry for the lack of a post last week. My wrist still doesn’t like me using a keyboard – even with a brace. The healing is very slow going.

Words and Phrases

My favorite adjective this week: batty. It was used in an LA Times report on the upcoming TV season. I think that’s a much more clever way of saying someone is nuts. Batty implies an eccentric sort of behavior one expects with those involved in creative pursuits. Needless to say, I know a lot of batty people – including me. My favorite new phrase: Popular Eugenics (see this link for an explanation of Eugenics). That’ sounds like a profoundly twisted version of Popular Mechanics. I found the phrase in a book from the turn of the last century on Sex Education. Though the text was considered progressive, the good doc who wrote it still seemed to think that ‘the singular vice’ (love that phrase, too) was responsible for all sorts of disease and moral depravity. My favorite forecast: warm with a 20 percent chance of fire. It’s been that kind of summer in Los Angeles: very hot, too dry, no rain. I’m really not getting how anyone can retire to a place like Palm Springs.

But What's it About?

Writing wise, the theme has been what my novels and short stories are about. I’m not talking about what the plots are, but what the central theme of the stories actually is. Sometimes, that’s not obvious – even to the writer. I’m working very slowly on a collection of stories about my family at different points in my life. They are very amusing tales that I’ve told many time. Why were my mother and I running through the entire length of an Amtrak train en route to New Orleans? What did my ex-marine turned cop father do when the joint was passed to him at the George Harrison /Ravi Shankar concert I begged to be taken too (yes, I’m that old)? Why do my bother and I really hate Stuckey’s . Each answer involves a very amusing story. But it wasn’t until recently that I figured out what the stories were really about. All of them surround the moment when I really saw my parents as people and not Mom or Dad. That realization has helped the writing flow better. Jon is wrestling with that same question concerning a new script. The lack of an answer has stymied his progress.


The sequel writing is on schedule. I hope to have A Soldier’s Fate published for Yaoicon in October . Despite the wrist, I’m ¾ of the way through the writing. The Legacy of Surrender will have excerpt by then, but won’t be published until early next year.


The film shorts will be shot soon. I’ll have blogs from the set and lots of photos. There is a website in the works for those as well. We may have a feature on the horizon. I have to keep mum on that for a while.

My wrist is achy, so I have to hold off on my food, sex and movies comments for next week.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mourning Mentors

I've written a blog about some writers who have recently passed away and their influence on my work. One of the authors was a subject in my first blog here.

You can read that post at:


Where to Put the Heterosexuals

Snippets of conversations from the past week or so:

“Which one of you cowboys made a woman cry?”

“I can do Greek, I’m easy.”

“I like the naked guy with the angel wings better than the naked guy lying with the wolf.”

“But why was she dressed like a cave girl?”

“What was up with that goat?”

“So where are you going to put the heterosexuals?”

I’ll address the last statement because it has to do with a dilemma I’m facing with one of the novels I’m working on. I could explain the other snippets, but they don’t make much sense even after putting them in context. They were all part of various work-related conversations.

A Soldier’s Fate, is not just a continuation of Rik and Vincent’s story. There is a strong subplot revolving around Bobby’s becoming a soldier and falling in love. This has been a dilemma because most of my readers and, frankly, the strongest sales have been from the gay community. I’m not saying that there would be no interest in Bobby and Ellie from that community, but I can’t have Rik and Vincent viewed as mere supporting characters. Thus, I’ve had to keep a close eye on how I’m developing the story and not let Bobby’s story overwhelm the novel. Then again, I do have a lot of material in my head concerning those two characters that I don’t want to abandon. I’ve decided to take advantage of the website and put the material there as bonuses. Now, there are schools of thought dictate that writers should write the novel and let it go where it will. That is a valid argument, and I am a veteran of mixing genres as I see fit and hoping the readers will follow. However, A Soldier’s Choice has done very well thus far, and the feedback I’m getting is the readers really love being with Rik and Vincent. I don’t think it would be fair to them to give them less than what they’re looking for. Hopefully, I’ll be able to have the best of both worlds by putting the bonus material online.

The Legacy of Surrender is well underway. The main plot revolves around Princess Kirsi and the handsome and mysterious Prince Ruark who washed up on a riverbank near her home. He comes from a far away kingdom with assassins at his heels and a grave problem for which he needs extraordinary assistance. For Nikulainen and Sarianna, the dilemma is how much their stable kingdom should involve itself in the affairs of a far away land. They must also face the possibility of losing their beautiful, beloved daughter to the enigmatic stranger. Meanwhile, Prince Alkarin is coming into his own as a Captain of his father’s elite guard and quite a rake amongst the ladies. This novel is shaping into a story in the vein of the previous Surrender titles. It mixes impending disaster with desperate romance. This one also pushes the notion of sensual possession to the absolute limits.

Alas, I cannot do an exerpt from either. Both books are still largely in long hand. My wrist is already protesting the amount of typing I’ve done today. That nun who tried so very hard to teach me touch typing in high school would be cackling her head off at how important that skill has become to me – if she’d had a sense of humor. At the time a pooh poohed the secretarial arts. What did I know?

Hopefully, I’ll be able to input more material by next week.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Blog Delay due to Injury

I've sprained my wrist badle enough that I can't type. I'll have an extra long blog over the weekend or next week.