Tuesday, November 30, 2010

D20 Source Article: Longsword vs. Rapier

Gamers and writers-of-stories-with-sword-fights: check out this article, complete with a YouTube video.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creative Draw of the Day: The Hermit

Yes, this is the card made famous by the inside of the Led Zeppelin IV album. I've strayed from the Universal Waite Tarot deck because that album is where I first encountered the Hermit--and where I first encountered the Tarot.

The Hermit is the ninth card of the Major Arcana, falling between (in most decks) Strength and the Wheel of Fortune. So say your character has just had a traumatic experience that helped him discover his inner strength. He's still not ready for the ups and downs of the Wheel, or for the rest of the torture--er, conflict--you have in store for him. He'll need to seek out the Hermit's advice first.

The Hermit himself seems like the Obi Wan type, doesn't he? But he doesn't need to be that obvious. To me, this card represents any secondary character who is detached enough from your main guy to give him sound advice--advice your main guy will probably ignore, but that's another issue.

In Not So Safe, for example, Scott Edmund will perform this service for Zev. Scott is a ruthless bastard, not an enlightened Jedi! He just happens to have a soft spot for Zev, whom he views as a little brother. And since he's not immediately involved in Zev's drama, he has a better idea of Zev's situation than Zev himself.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I thought this would be a good time to say thank you, Arkhamites, for reading and following this blog! I wish everyone who's celebrating a marvelous holiday.

I'm visiting my folks, getting ready for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. We're waiting for tons of family to show up, and we've just turned on the parade. I'm watching with half an eye while I hold out for football tonight. (Go Jets!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Creative Draw of the Day: Six of Cups

Ever met people who miss the way Thanksgiving "used to be?" They're thinking back to a time when relatives who have passed on were still alive, or back before a divorce complicated the holiday, or back when there didn't seem to be so much pressure to bring everyone together.

To me, this card represents that nostalgia taken to an extreme. It's a longing for some time in the past that we've idealized and, well, idolized. Of course, we were never as deleriously happy "back then" as we think we were. We've just forgotten the bad stuff.

A character with this card as his guiding principle is fixated on the past. He can't move forward because he wants things to be the way they used to be. Maybe he's can't let go of a failed romance--we could have a stalker here--or maybe he's an athlete who can't face the fact that he's too old to compete. Whatever the specifics, this character is all about looking back.

Failure--but not disaster

I'm officially facing facts. I won't be finishing 50,000 words of Not So Safe by midnight next Tuesday. I've failed yet another NaNoWriMo.

But I'm ok with that. I think I'm going to have a solid first draft by the time I'm done, so I'm not going to castigate myself if I finish it in December instead of November.

Meanwhile, I've had a productive week. I've read two Josh Lanyon books--yeah, I'm hooked on his M/M mysteries--and Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've revised my outline and character list for Not So Safe and added about three more chapters. So I can live with my failure. No kvetching about from me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starting in the middle . . .

Scott Adams' Dilbert speaks to the business world rather than the world of creative writing, but this comic makes a great point for writers regardless. Don't start your story at the beginning!

Ok, ok. James Michener was an exception. He could start from the very beginning, much like 'the man who could not summarize' and make it fascinating. But book after book on writing advises us to start in the middle of the story, where the action is.

I'm taking this advice to heart. I promise that when I write a romance, I won't spend six chapters telling readers about my hero's childhood. I'll jump right to the moment the future love of his life pulls him over for speeding.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review: Man Oh Man, Writing M/M for Cash and Kinks by Josh Lanyon

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Book Blurb:

It can be more than just a dream...

To write the kind of stories that you love to read - that's what you really want. If only you knew how to get started. Help from someone who knows...

What you need is professional advice, help from someone who's been there, who can support you through the creative process, with the goal of writing for publication. What you need is Man, Oh Man

So, why this book? Why not one of the other "How to Write..." titles? Because everything in Man, Oh Man is geared to the M/M market and the M/M writer, to you and the genre that you love, whether you're an aspiring writer or you're already published. Lambda Award finalist Josh Lanyon takes you step-by-step through the writing process: from how to find fresh ideas and strong hooks, to how to submit your carefully edited manuscript. With help from the genre's top publishers, editors, reviewers, and writers-- experts in the field of M/M and gay romantic fiction--Lanyon offers insight and experience in everything from creating believable masculine characters to writing erotic and emotionally gratifying M/M sex scenes.

Indulge yourself and your dreams...

My Review:

Solid advice from Josh Lanyon, complete with insights from other authors and editors. I'll be reading this one again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm not giving up!

According to my stats on NaNoWriMo, at the rate I'm going I won't be finished with my novel until December 31st. But I'm not giving in!

Here's the good news: I like my story, even if I'm not as far along as I hoped. And even if I'm writing a sort of bare-bones, dialogue-centric version that will need some layering on the next edit.

So I'm hanging in there. Here's to 41,000 more words by the end of the month!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Writing music

I love listening to El Cuarteto de Nos, a brilliant and very tongue-in-cheek band from Uruguay, while I'm writing. This song, Ya no sé qué hacer conmigo, is one of my favorites. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creative Draw of the Day: Seven of Cups

I've always seen this card as holding special meaning for writers: it's a card of imagination, showing all the different stories a writer can conjure up. But sometimes conjuring up stories is easier than buckling down, choosing one to write, and completing the project.

That's one advantage I've found with NaNoWriMo--participating is forcing me to work consistently on one story this month. I may be behind in my wordcount, but at least I'm not hopping from idea to idea.

And that's the lesson of this card, I think. It's one thing to dream up stories, but another to focus on one and convey it in the real world. I've always been better at the former than the latter!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNo Word Count Update

I'm behind on my word count: I just reached 6,052. But so far I'm happy with Not So Safe. So I'm turning in for the night, but I'll be back tomorrow to post the next part. I'll also return to my 'Creative Draw of the Day.'

Meanwhile, I hope your NaNo-ing is going well! Are you making your daily word count goals? Feel free to share your triumphs or kvetch about your failures!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bradbury on Writing

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

~Ray Bradbury

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not So Safe, Part Two

Title: Not So Safe
Author: J. Rosemary Moss
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Gay; Poly)
Warnings: Adult language and situations
Feedback: Welcome!
Summary: Zev learns that his crush on his straight boss isn't as safe as he thought . . .

Creative Commons License
Not So Safe by J. Rosemary Moss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Marc didn’t say much as he drove us to Ralph and Karen’s. Funny, he was usually talkative in the mornings. But he was probably dying from shock and embarrassment. I tried to think of a way to set him at ease, but then I decided that I didn’t want to. My head was spinning; his should be too.

Not that I was angry, exactly, but--I didn’t know what I was. I’d worked for Marc and shared his house for two and a half years. I’d had a harmless crush on him the whole time. Now I didn't know where I stood.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not So Safe, Part One

Title: Not So Safe
Author:  J. Rosemary Moss
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Gay; Poly)
Warnings: Adult language and situations
Feedback: Welcome!
Summary: Zev learns that his crush on his straight boss isn't as safe as he thought . . .

Creative Commons License
Not So Safe by J. Rosemary Moss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


I had my jacket on and my hand on the doorknob, but I still turned around one last time. “Are you sure you want to be alone tonight?”

Marc, my boss and house-mate, rolled his eyes from his spot on the couch. He was ensconced there with his feet up on the coffee table and a bottle of Guinness in his hand, watching the Yanks on the ridiculously large flat screen we had mounted on the wall. “Get out of here, Zev. Go enjoy your date.”

“But I can cancel--”

“Go. Ross is waiting outside, right?” He was wearing a tired, exasperated smile, but those hazel eyes of his were warm and there was no hint of judgment in his voice. He might look and act like the stereotypical straight guy he was, but he’d never given me a hard time about being gay.

I nodded. “Yeah. Ok. Call me if you need anything.”


I sighed. Marc can be such a martyr.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo is off and running!

Good luck to everyone!

I have a thousand words of Not So Safe so far--once I have a full chapter I'll post it.