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!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Provocative Questions, Saucy Answers and Updates

 BREAKING NEWS! Craig was in my local library today. That was surreal but lots of fun. Apparently, he did usually pull partons over the counter for a big hug while sounding like Elvis. 'Gimme some sugar.' That sort of thing. We also had an earthquake in our neighborhood. According to the maps on the news, we were almost on top of the epicenter. It was fast, but it did feel like the building had been picked up and dropped. Still, I went right back to sleep. We are such Californians.

Reader Questions
I get interesting questions all the time. The theme of the most recent ones have been 'You don't talk about x anymore. Are you still doing that?' I seldom completely abandon a practice or an idea. Usually, when I stop talking about something in the blog, it's because I've hit a dull patch with said activity. I mean, I don't know if my readers want to hear me wine about every time the bread doesn't come out right or how the macarons are mocking me after the many failed attempts. Yes, they are mocking me, especially the supermarket macarons. I am still learning Japanese. Some very kind friends have gifted me with the two major audio learning systems that I use along with the books. The audio has done wonders with my pronunciation. The manga has done wonders with my kanji reading. I'm recognizing more and more on my own. My favorite question from a reader about my learning Japanese was 'Am I tempted to say Anjin-san after I say Konnichi wa (good afternoon). I must admit that I really have to fight saying Konnichi wa, Anjin-san to that poor supermarket clerk at Mitsuwa market. He's just stopped being afraid of helping me. I think that is because he understands the words coming out of my mouth. Okay, folks, that's two pop culture references in one paragraph. No one knew who I was referring to in the blog covering the Green Eyed Monster a couple of weeks ago. The character was a homunculus called Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist. I don't know how you all didn't know that. :) Anjin-san was the name given to Richard Chamberlain's character by the Shogun in James Clavell's Shogun. The upshot is that I'm still studying and practicing and trying to to be irreverent to people who wouldn't get it..

Yoga is another matter. I still do the warm-up exercises, but I didn't take to practice as a whole. I was still dealing with pain issues when I started. Perhaps, due to that, I kept thinking that I was injuring myself even with the mildest of the movement. Tai Chi was suggested to me as an alternative by the clinician providing acupuncture. While looking into it, I discovered that very elderly people with all manner of aliments practice the martial art without hurting themselves. I've seen reports that indicate that Tai Chi can reverse a lot of conditions that cause pain. The I've just begun learning the routines, but I am feeling an impact from just the warm ups.

Dormant Books?

I think the single biggest surprise I've had during the months and months I've been home is that I still have to fight to find time to write fiction. Before I was discharged from the hospital, I was plotting stories and contemplating a very ambitious publishing schedule. Well, that was silly. Even if I set aside all the physical things profoundly slowing my output, there were the hours and hours of phone work to keep my insurance from becoming a mess and other bureaucratic craziness from overwhelming us. Those problems are not  as frequent, but now there are other obligations to my business partners or the people who give me freelance work. Promoting any independent project is a time devouring monster. Spending time with my own characters is very difficult for me to justify on any given day. Today, for instance, I have to finish this blog and move on to a trailer script that I need to get out in a few days.

All of the above is an explanation for why some books I'd hoped would be long out are still in various states of undress as it were. And then, there is a problem common to writers. Characters from one project will be speaking more clearly to me than those in another project. Even though I started one book long before the other, this can happen. It did happen with Ensnared. Lord Darius Galetea is the most arrogant character I have ever written. He is even more arrogant than Simon Molinar which he proved when he shouldered his way past A Soldier's Destiny for my attention. Granted, I was having trouble meshing Simon with my more established characters, Rik and Vincent. But Darius is one of those super hot bad boys that is impossible to ignore. He is still vying for another book. Not right now, milord. I've figured out what was going wrong with the narrative in this Soldier's book. And I have a hard deadline. That helps a lot, it seems. I'm getting a whole lot more fiction out since we decided to get a booth at the West Hollywood Bookfair. I also intend to finish the Vincent Greven Cookbook that I started years ago. I think my problem with writing a cookbook is that I never thought of myself as someone who had original recipes. That has changed markedly since I began that book. I've also been given a great deal of information from cookbook authors and food bloggers on how to attribute a recipe from another cook in my book. This book is a giveaway for people who have purchased my yaoi titles. I am thinking of writing a cookbook for myself, but that's still in the pondering stage.

There is one more project that's been gathering dust for a number of years. That was a script about at Dominant/submissive relationship between a powerful businessman and a woman he had known since she was a child. It's called The Proposal. I began writing it in response to a very bad film about such relationships. The film never found a distributor, so I won't mention the title. However, with all the stuff and nonsense over the idiotic 50 Shades of Gray, I feel that I must respond. My leading lady is as powerful as the Dominant in many ways in this book. I want to show that you can have as hot and kinky a read with a real exchange of power and true informed consent. Irritation and a deadline make for some swift but always thoughtful writing. It also helps that I had a full treatment and half a script. I hope it will be finished. The cut off is four to six weeks before the event to make sure we have print copies for the table. If not, I will provide free sample chapters in a booklet and online.

So the answer is that I have no dormant books. I am working on all of them more diligently. If all holds as it has, I should have most of them published by the end of September. Thanks for the questions. Keep them coming!

Personal Update

Next week, I'm scheduled to have tests to see if I am still in remission. Wednesday is the CT scan which means a long and not so pleasant day. Thus, it's not likely there will be a blog on Wednesday. I should be in full paranoid panic mode by Sunday. It may be sooner. Everything points to my being fine. Panicking is just a thing I do.

Stay tuned.

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