Get Over It: Writer’s Block

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I hate writer’s block. It’s one of the worst things to have to deal with as a writer. I know, a lot of writers have advice on how to deal with writer’s block, and there are a lot of solutions out there.

One of my very favourite ways to try and break out of writer’s block is to imagine the very worst thing that could possibly happen to the main character in the moment and write that. A lot of what happens in my stories comes from exactly that. I have to think of a terrible thing to do to my character, and THEN I have to think of how to get my character out of that situation. It’s fun to write, and hopefully entertaining to the audience.

Another thing I try to remember is that every scene should have a purpose in the story. The purpose can be a lot of different things, but ultimately, a scene should drive the action forward somehow. As a giant nerd in the department of English, I kind of think of writing fiction like writing an essay. You have a thesis or argument, and everything should tie back to that main point. That’s how I think of scenes – if they don’t fit into the main story, then it’s not going to be useful. If I include something cool but useless, than it doesn’t actually help the story.

Sometimes if I’m having writer’s block on one project, I’ll work on another one for a while and let the problem with the other one percolate. Sometimes if I just leave it for a bit, an idea will come to me for how to resolve it. Usually, it’s because I realize that in order to drive the story forward, something has to happen in a certain way.

Of course, other times, my characters just get away from me and do what they like. And I guess that’s fine, but it sure is annoying when you have something plotted out and the character ruins it. Does that ever happen to you? Do characters ever just decide to do something without your input? At least it helps with not having anything written down.

So those are my ideas, but I’m sure there are so many others! Feel free to tell me in the comments.

2021 Projects

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Hello all,

Happy New Year! Hopefully we’ll have a good year ahead of us. I have some fun plans for the future, and I’ll take the chance now to talk about them.

The first is that I’m writing the sequel to Weekend Girl. If you recall, Weekend Girl is a novel I wrote about a genderfluid student at UBC. They meet a cute guy and commence a confusing and hilarious romance. It’s my first contemporary romance, and this sequel is the second in what I hope will be a series. Anyway, Ashley Kingston returns in this sequel, tentatively titled Not Your Average Lady. So far, I have about a third of the novel finished.

Second, I’m working on the sequel to Far Patrol, which is looking to be a trilogy. The sequel sees Ignius and their friends becoming more world-wise in the face of a civil war. Originally, I was going to have draconic pronouns, but it turns out that it was a little more complicated and hard to understand than I thought. So I changed the pronouns to they/their/them. The pronouns will still exist, just in the rarely used draconic language.

I have quite a few projects on the back burner, so it’s unlikely I’ll ever run out of projects to work on! Right now, I have quite enough on my plate. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a PhD student, which takes up a lot of my time.

Good luck in the New Year, everyone!

Christmas Giveaway!

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Hello all!

I have a Christmas giveaway going on for exactly one month starting today. I will make the draw on December 25th, 2020. The prize for this giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to JMS Books.

So, how do you enter? Easy peasy. I have three different places you can enter by leaving a comment. The first is here on my author webpage on this post. The second is on my Twitter post announcing this giveaway. The third is on my Facebook post announcing the giveaway. I will write your name on a piece of paper and draw it out of a hat, old-school style.

What should your comment be about? I have a list of questions for you. Choose one and answer it in the comments of whatever platform you like. You can enter up to five times by answering different questions in separate comments. Please don’t cheat and leave more than five answers on different platforms. I have no way of making sure this doesn’t happen, so I’m appealing to your sense of fairness.

Here are the questions!

  1. Who is your favourite LGBTQ+ author?
  2. What is your favourite LGBTQ+ book (with LGBTQ+ MC)?
  3. When did you start reading LGBTQ+ books?
  4. Do you have a favourite romance trope? (ie “there’s only one bed” or “pretend relationship”
  5. Where’s your favourite place to read?

Okay! Make sure to share with friends!

Merry start of the Christmas season everyone! (And other winter holidays too)

Writing the Erotic

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Hello everyone

Some of you know me as a romance writer of LGBTQ+ romance stories. I am, and I wanted to talk in this post about writing about sex. A lot of my stories have some pretty hardcore queer sex in them. Some people may question this decision, and I wanted to address it.

Why sex?

First of all, I think of sex as something fairly ordinary. Not normal, as that erases ace identities, but not something terribly out of the ordinary for romantic entanglements. Sex happens. So, the question from some people is – why do you write the actual scene? Why do you not just let it fade to black?

Several reasons, actually. One of the reasons is that I want to try and normalize queer sex. The mainstream media has many many options when it comes to straight sex scenes, and often queer sex or even queer relationships are still seen as taboo. And I do understand that sometimes queer relationships are sexualized in order to keep them away from children, even though queer relationships are not necessarily sexual. But by writing queer sex scenes, I want to give queer people something that they might not have access to in mainstream media.

Another reason is for my characters, it’s important sometimes for them to actually develop their feelings for one another. And for some, the erotic is empowering and gives a person or character agency. Take this quotation from Audre Lorde for example: “Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning in our lives” (57). I write about the erotic because to be able to just be in our bodies as queer people is something that I think empowers us.

The erotic is a source of power, especially for marginalized identities such as our queer ways of existing. Now understand that the erotic does not necessarily mean sex. It means the sensual, the bodily way of existing, sensation, pleasure. That’s something that I also try and portray in my stories because it’s so important.

That’s why I write queer sex scenes. My queer erotics are for other queer people, to give them something, to show other people that we are allowed to exist in pleasure.

I hope you understand.

Works Cited

Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider. Crossing Press, 1984.

Hakusan Angel and Sequel

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Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to give some love to one of my older works Hakusan Angel, which I had republished with JMS Books. I wrote this novella when I lived in Vancouver in the summer of 2013 for a submission call. The call was for a mecha theme, and because I drew a lot of inspiration from Japan, I decided to set my novella in a Japan-esque world.

In this novella, there are people who can wield their own energy as a weapon. These people are called Sources. The military recruits Sources to power huge war machines. The Sources power the machines, and then pilots drive them.

Kaede is a Source who has been hiding her true abilities. She is working as a Level 3 Source, but her powers are stronger. One day, an accident happens, and Kaede must deal with the consequences.

Mariko is a pilot, who recently started training as a Level 1 driver. She and Kaede butt heads until bigger problems surface and the two of them have to work together in order to overcome them.

I recently accidentally started a sequel to this novella, which will be a full novel. I’m looking forward to diving into this world again after 7 years. This novel, which I’ve tentatively titled “Key to Tateyama” has a complete outline done already.

I hope everyone is having a good November!

Even More Progress

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Hello all!

Happy to announce that I just submitted Weekend Girl to the same place I submitted Far Patrol. I haven’t heard back about Far Patrol yet because it takes up to 16 weeks for an answer.

I have several more projects to work on over the summer.

First of all, I just started the sequel to Weekend Girl, which I have tentatively titled “Not Your Average Lady.” I am really excited to have started this project and to continue to write about my protagonist Ash and their journey.

After I finish that, I have another project lined up. I have to finish writing the sequel to Far Patrol. I have half of it written so far, so I only have about another 30k words to go on that one. I’m hoping to make Far Patrol a trilogy in the future.

Lastly, I have a wild plot bunny project! I’m working on outlining it right now, but I can tell you that it has a Black woman protagonist and an Indigenous love interest. I’ve decided to call my protagonist Lionetta, which I hope is an okay fantasy project name.

Anyway, hope everyone is staying safe and well during this time.

Thanks for tuning in!

Summer 2020

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Hello everyone,

I’m just tuning in to let you all know of the progress happening with my WIPs.

Unfortunately, a lot of stuff is being put on hold because I’ve been focused on the Black Lives Matters movement. I think this issue is of great importance. I’m so so worried about my Black siblings who have been put in the line of fire simply for asking people not to kill them. It’s devastating to me that their lives are not held as precious as any other. I will not be taking comments against this movement on my page. If you don’t agree, the unfollow button is right there.

I’ve submitted Far Patrol and am awaiting a response. I’m really excited to hear back. As I said before, a LBGTQ+ beta reader helped me with this work and does amazing work in the community. That is Siobhan Crosslin (@siobhancrosslin on Twitter) who made sure that all my plotholes were covered before submitting.

I have finished and gotten feedback on Weekend Girl and am just giving it a little time before revising my draft. I’m really excited to also submit this work for publication. It will be my first novel-length story with a genderfluid protagonist.

I will be starting to write on both the sequel for Far Patrol and the sequel for Weekend Girl in the coming months. I hope to be able to update you all with further progress on these projects.

Thanks for tuning in!

2020 Vision

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Hello everyone!

It’s a new month, a new year, and a new decade. I have several projects in the works for writing, and I’m really excited to share them with you!

The first thing is that my novella Yaliana is finally going to be published. It was originally going to be published with Less Than Three Press. When they shut down, JMS Books agreed to publish Yaliana and take on the editing job as well as creating it a new cover. So without further ado, I’d like to unveil the new cover for Yaliana and also announce that the official release date is January 18, 2020. This is my first new publication in years, which I am glad to say is finally here.

yaliana

I also have some news on the development of my other stories.

Weekend Girl is shaping up to be about 60 000 words long. I am currently about 2/3 of the way finished writing this novel. After I finish it, the novel will go out for beta reading. I’m hoping to wrap it up before the beginning of April.

Secondly, Far Patrol, my epic fantasy with dragons is out for beta already. I’d like to finish editing it and get it out for submission somewhere soon. Also, I am halfway done writing the second novel in the trilogy.

Lastly, I have a novella of about 25 000 words that I want to finish writing. It’s currently at 5000 words, but it will be a nice addition to my current works.

Those are my current projects. I hope to keep everyone apprised of how all those projects are shaping up. Apart from the ones I’ve already started writing, I have several stories planned for the future, so hopefully my writing hiatus is officially over.

Have a great year everyone!

Merry Christmas 2019

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Merry Christmas everyone!

In the spirit of the holidays, I’m releasing a free self-published short story!

The story is called “Flying to Tomorrow,” and stars a shy trans man who wants to be a Swarm pilot. He is one step closer to achieving his dream, but will a handsome fellow trainee make his life more difficult?

Flying to tomorrow

Short story, 8000 words, m/m

The download link is not quite available, but when it is, you can find it HERE

Happy holidays to everyone reading this right now!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Start

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Hello all!

I’m checking in to see how everyone is doing this November and to announce that this year, I am doing NaNoWriMo!

What is NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, and it means that I am attempting to finish writing a novel in a month. In this case, a novel means 50 000 words and a month is 30 days. It’s quite the challenge.

I have made a video log about my NaNoWriMo challenge which you can watch below.

 

If you want, you can also watch it on Youtube HERE.

I really enjoyed making this vlog for you all, so I hope that you also enjoy watching it.

Good luck to all of you out there who are doing NaNoWriMo. If you want, you can comment about your own project and how that’s going!