Read & Write with Pride 2017

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Hello all! 

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I’m super excited to tell you about the reading event Read & Write with Pride that took place at Audrey’s Books last night.

We had five readers: Ruby Swanson, Heidi Belleau, Marina Reid Hale, Rob Browatzke, and myself. We were hosted by Sheldon L’henaff, who did a great job of keeping us all on track.

When I first arrived, I was nervous that a) I would say something really dumb (which happens at times) and b) that no one would show up.

I was nervous for absolutely no reason, because not only did lots of people show up, but for the first time, I managed to do an intro to my reading which made complete sense, and I didn’t forget anything. This is a good thing.

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So, I read fourth, and I read from my yet-to-be-released story with the place title “Yaliana” but which will soon have a proper title. I asked earlier on Twitter whether I should do an action scene or a sappy scene, but found, to my dismay, that most of the scenes I could choose from were all action scenes. I tried to include some light banter before all hell broke loose, so I hope I succeeded.

Ruby Swanson read first, opening up out little gathering. She read from her book A Family Outing which is about her and her son, who comes out to her as gay. It was a very poignant piece, and I think that a lot of people were touched by the scene where she and her son sit in her office at the U of A and talk.

Heidi Belleau read next, and she read a section from her novel that she co-wrote with Sam Schooler, Dead Ringer. She read a rather intense scene between the two main characters Percy and Brandon, who are discussing Brandon’s grandfather James Ringer and his sexuality.

Then Marina Reid Hale opened with a bang, reading from one of her slam poems about female bodies and male entitlement. She performed several more poems from her book of poems titled These are NOT Love Poems.

Lastly, Rob Browatzke read from Wonderland. The section that he read from is a flashback from his childhood and younger years about all the times that he has been bullied for being gay. It was also a rather intense reading. He also read a short section on his own experiences, which was a deeply personal piece to read to us. 

All in all, we all had a good time meeting and greeting people afterwards as well as doing the actual readings. I had a lot of fun, and I will hopefully be back next year for more of the same.

Giveaway 1

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Hello all!

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I’m just writing a very quick blog post to announce the winners of the June 10th draw for the print copies of All The King’s Men.

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I wrote down the number of comments on a piece of paper, flipped them all over and mixed them up before drawing three numbers which correspond to the comments on the blog in order from earliest to latest.

The three numbers were 19, 17, and 3.

Those numbers corresponded to comments by Toni, JenF27, and Reiko Meyers. 

Congratulations on your win! Please email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com and give me an address which I can mail your print copy to.

The next giveaway will be held on June 17th! All of those people who commented previously are still in the draw to win either a print copy of Damsels in Distress vol 2 or A Loose Screw vol 2. 

Anyone can still enter my draw for next week by commenting on my 5 Year Anniversary post!

Thanks everyone for entering!

Gay Romance Northwest 2016

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Hello all,

Bringing to you today the events from the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up that happened yesterday. 

The event started off with everyone registering for the conference and finding the people they knew. I found the trans panel contingent as well as some other friends, such as Kelly Haworth, a Riptide author.

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Then, we started off with an intro from the Seattle Public Library, which was hosting the event. Then Tracy Timmons-Grey, our lovely and dedicated organizer said a few words.

Then, we moved on to the terrifying part, which was the keynote speeches. Richard Compson Sater went first, and he talked about being a young man and falling in love with some of the non-queer characters in books, such as Atticus Finch. Then I went, and I talked about being young and not being able to find queer characters in books to reflect who I truly was. Then Tobi Hill-Meyer went and talked about trans issues in the queer community. Our speeches will be posted on the GRNW blog as well as the recordings of the speeches.

Then, we moved right along to our panel, which was Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry. The moderator of our panel was Austin Chant, and our panelists were Tobi Hill-Meyer, Laylah Hunter, E.E. Ottoman, J.K. Pendragon, and myself. We had a great time with our panel, and some of the questions asked were things such as how being trans affected our writing and what were our experiences with publishing as trans authors. I felt like some of my answers were more basic while other panelists such as Tobi had more in-depth answers. But I still had fun with the panel, especially talking about our favourite tropes.

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After that, we went to the Erased no More: Bisexual Characters in LGBTQ Romance panel. The moderator was E.J. Russell, and the panelists were Dev Bentham, Charley Descoteaux, CJane Elliot, Amanda Jean, and Morticia Knight. I’d wanted to check out the panel about writing a series, but that discussion was full. The bisexual panel was still fun, touching on issues such as stereotypes, pushback about writing bisexual characters, and the gay-for-you trope, which Amanda suggested should be changed to the bisexual revelation trope.

We went to the bookfest on the 4th floor after that, which was fun. I got to talk to a lot of people, sign some books, and give away some swag. I was sitting next to J.K. Pendragon and E.E. Ottoman, so we got to talk a lot. During the last part of the bookfest, I went and bought some books, The Mechanical Universe trilogy by E.E. Ottoman, and The Admirer, a murder mystery by Karelia Stetz-Waters which I got signed by the authors.

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Then we went to the Rendezvous for the after party. Last year we missed the after party because we were so tired. There were several readings, and I went up and read from Rangers over Regulus, which was an impromptu reading. 

And that’s all folks! We had a great time and were exhausted afterwards, but I think this year’s Gay Romance Northwest meet-up was a great success.

TransFics and Love Bites!

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Hello all! I just got back to the hotel after the TransFics and Love Bites readings at Hugo House! We had a wonderful time, and J.K. Pendragon and myself did readings, as well as everyone else on the Trans Authors panel.

Austin Chant went first, and he read from his trans retelling of Peter Pan. We got to hear a lot of witty banter between Peter and Captain Hook, who are lost together. It was a very funny reading, and there was a bit of (one-sided???) sexual tension near the end to entice us to read more.

Next up was Tobi Meyer Hill, who read from her upcoming anthology Nerve Endings. It featured a very interesting sex party in which the main character was uncertain and nervous about being there. It all ended happily for her in the end, however.

Then Laylah Hunter read from a military fantasy novella work in progress in which the main character has lost his memory after a crash-landing, and one of his comrades came to his rescue. Were they more to each other or not? We’ll have to read it when it comes out to find out!

E.E. Ottoman read from their novel Documenting Light in which one of the characters takes a long walk in the park and has an intense inner struggle after having a fight with his lover. It was very angsty, and it really made you feel for the poor character!

J.K. Pendragon read from Witch, Cat & Cobb, a trans lesbian fantasy novella starring a runaway princess, a talking cat, and a reluctant witch. They read a section in which the princess wakes up to the witch yelling in the garden right after she had stayed the night after running away from the castle to escape an arranged marriage.

Lastly, I read from Charmed by Chance, which is in the charity anthology Magic & Mayhem. I read a section from the very beginning of the story in which the main character Merritt meets Verity, who is the mech mage who helps to fix his prosthetic hand. I chose the mage x cyborg pairing for my story, as you can probably tell.

We had a short break, and then we went right on to the Love Bites readings!

The first reading was by Karelia Stetz-Waters, who read from Slack Tides, which is also in the Magic & Mayhem anthology. She chose the soldier x tattoo artist pairing for her story. She read a steamy scene between her main character, who is surprised and pleased to find that her lover is as skillful in bed as on the battlefield.

Next up was Richard Compson Sater, who read from his upcoming novel, Rank. His main character is the aide of a very handsome General, and in the section he read, the main character and the General share a very suggestive dance. 

Isabella read from her story involving a lesbian yakuza gang leader who sees her ex-lover at a club trying to catch a new lover. Her character doesn’t like this, and she moves in to take charge. Luckily, her former partner isn’t as adverse to this as you might think. Bring a fan to this one, because it is hot!

Cora Walker read from her lesbian urban fantasy novel, which is coming out from Less Than Three Press! She read a section in which her two characters, a detective and a templar have some down time.

CJAne Elliot read from one of her novels, in which her main character has just been caught in a compromising position with a professor and a player by the guy he likes. He has to chase after him and explain what happened. Will he get his man, or won’t he? Those of us who attended the reading know!

Jeff Adams read from his novel Hattrick, in which his main character shares a room with one of the other boys on his hockey team. He not only had to navigate the treacherous waters of teen romance as well as tackling the issue of being gay. 

Dev Bentham read a funny section from her story from the charity anthology One Pulse about a bisexual character who runs into a teacher of his daughter’s at a LGBTQ meeting. The two share a second meeting, and the main character awkwardly and hilariously stumbles through a greeting.

That was the end of the readings. We had a great time, but I am tired now, so I am going to go to bed. Hopefully I see some of you at the conference tomorrow! 

Catch you all later!

 

 

Magic and Mayhem release date!

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Hello everyone,

Today is the release date for the Magic and Mayhem charity anthology which benefits the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up!

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The anthology includes my short story Charmed by Chance, which is a cute little story about a cyborg who meets a mage and is instantly smitten. I’m really excited about this story because it features a genderqueer character and a bisexual character. It’s supposed to be short and sweet, so I hope it delivers! 

You can buy the anthology on Amazon or on Smashwords.

Cyborg characters

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I’m writing this blog post because in just a few days, my story Charmed by Chance is coming out in the GRNW charity anthology Magic and Mayhem.

The theme of the anthology was based off the character matching game from past GRNW meet-ups. The pairings for the stories in the anthology were to be either mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist.

So, spoilers, but I chose the pairing of mage/cyborg.

The reason I wanted to talk about cyborg characters is that I find them very interesting. I’ve written characters with cybernetic enhancements before, but not exactly in this way. In this story, my character has a prosthetic arm which he finds himself without the use of as the plot moves forward.

It brings me to this: technically, a cyborg can be counted as a character with disabilities. I haven’t really written a disabled character before. My other character, who is technically a cyborg, is mostly cybernetically enhanced, and those enhancements are used in the line of duty. He doesn’t find himself without the use of his enhancements, and can’t really be separated from them anyway.

My character Merritt, on the other hand, does find himself without the abilities that the arm brought him. He’s back to the point at which he lost his arm in the first place, which shows that cyborgs can only count on their enhancements to a certain point.

I don’t think most people think of cyborg characters as disabled, because their enhancements are superior to the flesh and bone that humans are born with. The enhancements that they are given put some of their abilities ahead of a normal person’s. I think that people don’t like to think of a physically disabled person’s abilities as superior to a person without them.

I tried to explore the idea of characters with cybernetic enhancements in sync with a character with a physical disability. I hope that I did it well in spite of the shortness of the story.

Any thoughts on cybernetic enhancements, cyborgs, or physical disabilities? Feel free to voice them in the comments!

Unfinished projects

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We all have them, sadly: half-finished ideas that weren’t really thought through or that we got bored of before we could end them. Some of them we got stuck on and never got back into writing on again. Some of them, we had a really good idea, but we jumped into it without much planning or research, and they fell to the wayside.

Authors have tons of unfinished projects. I have lots of them. Steampunk sky pirates, cross-dressing soccer players, and sorcerers-turned-cats (accidentally) are all there waiting for me to pick them up again and finish them. I even have a couple from when I was in my late teens (I am now in my late twenties) that are salvageable (so described by one of my very good friends) that were pretty long before they petered out. 

What do we do with them? Sometimes, the motivation and creative juices have just stopped, and others, the daunting task of outlining and research is too much for us right at this moment. Sometimes, it was so long ago that we wrote them, that we’ve forgotten where we wanted to take our protagonists. Possibly, we’ve also lost the voice of the characters that we were writing, a true tragedy.

They’re stored there in our computer files, in our notebooks, sometimes just in our brains, waiting for us to get back the motivation to finish.

One day, I would like to come back to them. I have mentioned that I have three projects on the go right now, just because I’m a ridiculous person who can’t stop it with the plot bunnies hopping everywhere. But maybe after I’m finished those three, then I’ll be able to come back to some of them.

I loved those ideas, as I’m sure we all did at some point. I don’t want to just abandon them to time, to let them gather dust and eventually disappear.

Maybe it will help me regain motivation if I describe them.

The steampunk sky pirate story takes place in a world of floating islands in the sky, and our hero is a young man who foolishly intercepts a message meant for the high command of the royal navy. He then has to escape with the help of – you guessed it – pirates. 

The cross-dressing soccer player story is about a guy from England who wants to find work while he’s in university in America, but the only job is a female server position. So he cross-dresses in order to get a job and ends up on the female soccer team as well. His name is Ashley, which is how he managed to fool everyone.

Lastly, the sorcerer story is about a young wizard in college who is in a rivalry with a fellow student. He accepts a challenge to create a familiar, and he planned on using a cat. However, he accidentally uses the wrong spell, and instead turns himself into a cat. Now, he’s stuck as a cat without a way of turning himself back (that he knows of, heh heh.)

Anyway, those were my projects. Feel free to share some of your projects that have fallen by the wayside!