A New Start

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Hey all, it’s the New Year, and although I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions regarding writing, I’m still making progress.

I have three different things happening right now on projects.

I’m on the editing stages on All the King’s Men, which is a cyberpunk novel. I just finished my second round of edits, so hopefully I will have more news soon on progress for that novel. This novel has been in the works for me for a long time, and it feels like quite an accomplishment to have it progressing.

Secondly, I have finished writing a dragon fantasy novel and I’m having it beta read by a few different amazing people. I’m letting that one be for a while before I start revisions and line editing. I wrote this one for 2015’s NaNoWriMo and it won. I’ve tentatively called it “Far Patrol,” although that could possibly change.

I’ve started writing the sequel to Far Patrol, and I’m only a few thousand words into that so far. If I’m writing a series, I want to have as much written as possible by the time I submit the first novel. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, because Far Patrol is nowhere near ready to submit.

Lastly, I’m writing a short story for the Magic and Mayhem anthology, which is a charity anthology being written in order to help fund future Gay Romance Northwest initiatives. As I have attended all three meet-ups, I am definitely submitting something to help.

So those are my projects for this winter, so it should be a fun few months.

Another short announcement that I have is that I recently purchased a bookstore business called the Final Chapter, and of course, I am looking for LGBTQ titles so that I can make an LGBTQ section in the store, as it was sadly lacking one when I purchased it. I have a few books that I can donate as I’ve read them already, but hopefully I can get even more!

So that’s it for now, folks! I’ve been a bit busy, but hopefully I can get some more blog posts going now that all the kerfuffle of Christmas and bookstore bargaining is over with.

Bothersome Background Noises

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When I’m writing, what noises are around me really affect my writing. I find that having just the right sort of noises can be very productive and get me into the writing zone, whereas others can completely ruin my concentration altogether.

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One thing I can’t stand at all is having the television going in the same room as I’m trying to work. Now that I live on my own, it’s not as much of a problem, but when I had roommates, it could be a huge issue. Sometimes, if I’m staying somewhere for a holiday, it can be a problem. It’s far too distracting, and half the time I’ll end up watching whatever show is on rather than writing.

Music is very helpful for a lot of people. I usually do very well with instrumentals or soundtrack music or theme music from video games. One of my favourites is listening to music from the Final Fantasy series, because a lot of video game music is mood-setting music. It helps set the tone of my writing to listen to it. I don’t usually listen to music with words, once again, because I get distracted – can you tell that I’m easily distracted?

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A couple of my favourite Final Fantasy XII themes – The Golmore Jungle and the Paramina Rift. I have to admit I have a whole Youtube list, but I won’t subject anyone to the entire thing.

Background noises can also be very helpful, both real life background noises and synthetic. I particularly like the background noise in cafes because of the low murmur of people’s voices which are usually low enough not to be intrusive. I’m sure there are many background noise synthesizers out there meant for writers, but one of my favourites is Noisli. It has a few different noises, such as rain, running water, wind, crackling fire, a cafe, and a train going over traintracks – no engine whistles, thankfully.

Strangely enough, I can’t stand silence. Silence is somehow just not stimulating to the mind.

What helps you concentrate on working? There are tons of methods out there that can get you in just the right kind of mood to be productive.

Greenpunk

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Well, now that I’ve done NaNoWriMo, I’m going to wait a bit to do edits on the finished novel myself for a while.

That means I’m starting on a new project. I’ve had a few ideas kicking around inside my head, and it’s starting to become more clear. It looks like I might combine two of the ideas that I had into one.

The first idea was to write a Victorian lesbian detective story in London. I’ve had a few different ideas regarding that, and one of them includes a trans woman private investigator who used to work for Scotland Yard. I haven’t really fleshed the idea out yet, but I was working on it.

The other idea was to write something other than steampunk. I love steampunk, and my NaNoWriMo novel is vaguely steampunk. However, I recently started researching environmental literature, and it gave me the idea to write about something I’m calling “greenpunk.” It’s the idea that using green technology started in the Romantic era and that the Victorians now have working green technology.

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I’ve decided to combine the two, and now I’m really excited to start the planning for world-building. I’ve started looking into current green technology and also looking into how some of it could apply to a world with a different twist on technology. It’s surprisingly fun coming up with all sorts of little details about this green world. To be honest, some of it won’t even make it into the book, but it’s fun making it up anyway.

If you know anything about London during the Industrial revolution, I’m sure you can imagine huge factories, lots of soot and smoke, and streets that were dirty and filled with literal crap. Can you imagine it all differently? I think it would be great. But enough about that for now.

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So for now, I’ve finished writing on my dragon novel, although I haven’t come up with a title yet. More on that process later, because I have fun making up titles, even though I’m not always the best at it.

I have one novel in the works for publication, although I don’t yet have a timeline on publishing for that. I got the first round of revisions back, and there will possibly be another one. 

So that’s what I’m up to for the next month or so. After all that time in the dumps with depression, I feel a bit like a dusty factory that’s finally starting to be cleaned up and used again. Go me!

Anyway, I hope you’re all having fun on your current projects (whatever they may be) because I sure am.

NaNoWriMo Crunch

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It’s day 21 of NaNoWriMo, and I’m 36313 words into my NaNo novel. It’s been a steady upward battle for me this year, but at least I (probably) won’t be writing 12000 words in one day like I did one year.

I’ve found that my model of planning two chapters in advance works quite well for me because quite often, if I write a whole outline then sometimes the story will veer far off course and I’ll have to scrap it anyway.

I will definitely need to revise and edit a lot before I’m satisfied with my story, this one will be pretty bare bones when I finish it. Also, the story arc is nowhere close to being finished, so I’m thinking that this is definitely going to be a series. I haven’t written a series before, so this is going to be a steep learning curve for me, I think. I’m looking forward to it, and even have possible titles in the works.

Speaking of titles, I only have a working title for this story, so I’m going to need to try and figure out if I’m going to stick with that or change it. As a few of you may know, one of my strategies of coming up with a title is to create a mind map to try and figure out themes in my story and then find a title from that. I’ll probably wait until I’m done the novel to do that.

I got to host a write-in last night, which was fun. I’m starting to get the hang of organizing things, and I’ve often found it’s the taking of responsibility that is hard, rather than actually setting things up. That part was actually fairly easy. I also got to meet some local writers, which was great. I’m hoping to host another write in next week, so I’ll tell you how that goes later.

As for now, I’ll just keep plugging away at my word count. I’m a bit ahead of the game now, but there’s no time to relax until all 50000 words are done.

Read and Write with Pride

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Guess who’s going to Edmonton?

I’m going to be taking part in the Read and Write with Pride event taking place at Audrey’s Books Ltd on June 9th. The event starts at 7:00 and runs until 9 pm.

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So what’s going on?

Seven different local authors will be sharing their fiction, memoirs, and poetry. Who are those authors?

Heidi Belleau
Bio: Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, but now lives in Beaumont,
Alberta. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer
characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional
mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.
Chosen Work: Wallflower

Rob Browatzke
Bio: Rob Browatzke (born 1977) is a proud Edmontonian, proud homosexual, and proud writer. His reading and writing tastes vary though, so some books might take you on a comic journey through classic Bible stories, some might be filled with graphic sex and drug use, some might mash-up cherished childhood tales. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Rob has been writing since he was able to pick up a pen, and is excited to finally be sharing some of those words with all of y’all.

He has been working the club scene in Edmonton since the late 90s, and that has definitely enabled him to create some authentic nightlife in his works. Four years sober as of March 2015, he thinks the stories he’s lived himself add some true color to the stories he’s now sharing with the world at large.
Chosen Work: Through the Mirror Ball

Sheldon L’Henaff
Bio: an author blogs through the age of sex, drugs, and techno
Chosen Work: Joy (Maybe This Christmas)

Marc Colbourne
Bio: Originally from Newfoundland, Marc Colbourne comes by his love of tea and storytelling honestly. His non-fiction and fiction addresses themes of social justice and LGBT culture and history. His latest book, Exiled for Love: The Journey of an Iranian Queer Activist, is the memoir of Arsham Parsi.
Chosen Work: Exiled for Love

Marina Reid Hale
Twitter
Bio: Marina Reid Hale is an Edmonton spoken word poet and writer. She can’t remember a time when
she didn’t want to be a writer (with the notable exception of a week in grade two when she wanted toMagazine, the Rat Creek Press, and the #yegwords Coffee Sleeves project, and she has co-written
plays for NextFest, KidsFringe, and OverActing Imaginations. She performs and competes at open
mic nights and poetry events all over the city, and was a 2015 Edmonton Poetry Slam semi-finalist.
Chosen Work: slam poetry piece

Laurie Macfayden
Bio:LAURIE MACFAYDEN has lived in Edmonton since 1984. Her second poetry collection, Kissing
Keeps Us Afloat , was released in September 2014 (Frontenac House). Her debut collection, White
Shirt , won a Golden Crown Literary Society award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary
awards. A painter, poet and photographer, MacFayden spent more than 30 years as a sports journalist and continues to work as a copy/web editor at the Edmonton Journal. Her poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly literary journal, FireFall, Queering The Way and DailyHaiku I: A Daily Shot of Zen; and has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret and at Calgary’s Q The Arts cultural festival.
Chosen Work: Kissing Keeps Us Afloat

Alex Powell (pronouns they/them/their)

Bio: Alex Powell is an avid writer and reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but on occasion branches into other
genres to keep things interesting. Alex is a genderqueer writer from the wilds of northern Canada who
loves exploring other peoples and cultures. Alex is a recent graduate of UNBC with a BA in English,
and as a result has an unhealthy obsession with Victorian Gothic literature. Alex has been writing from an early age, but is happy to keep learning to improve on their writing skills. Feedback and comments as well as any questions are appreciated! You can reach Alex at aa.powell.author@gmail.com
Chosen Work: Sky Knights

 I’m really excited for this event, and I’m stoked that I was invited by Heidi to attend!

Anyone in the Edmonton area who is interested in attending, the event is at Audrey’s Books, 10702 Jasper Ave NW.

Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join!

 

 

Cyberpunk

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I’ve been talking about my cyberpunk story for a while now. To be honest, this one was started for NaNoWriMo 2013 and has been mostly finished for the better part of a year. The needed revisions weren’t too bad as far as revisions go – I’ve seen people scrap half of an already written novel, so adding in a few scenes here and there wasn’t a big deal.

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So, yes, it’s finally here. I’ve finished the revisions and it’s currently being read by two beta readers and edited by me. Very soon I will be submitting it for publication with Less Than Three Press. I’m very proud of it, and now that it’s finally almost finished, I think I can let everyone know! It’s currently about 58K words, but it will probably lose about 1-2000 words in editing.

A few of you might be wondering – what exactly is cyberpunk?

Cyberpunk is a genre meant to take place in a high-tech world with low-life living. With the advance of our current technology, many writers suddenly saw all types of different places technology could go in the future.

ghost-in-the-shellA cyberpunk setting is one that can take place mostly in cyberspace, and is generally a dystopian setting. A really good example of cyberpunk is the Matrix trilogy. With cyberpunk, the sky’s the limit when it comes to setting – or rather, not the actual sky. The power of the human mind is phenomenal, and cyberpunk often explores this idea.

My main character for this one is a hacker who is being hunted down by an unknown government for reasons not quite made clear. It was a fun one to write, and I hope I see more cyberpunk novels coming out in LGBT publishing.

Blade_Runner_posterA few other cyberpunk examples:

The Matrix (already mentioned)

Inception (movie)

Blade Runner (movie)

Ghost in the Shell (anime)

Psycho-pass (anime)

Neuromancer by William Gibson (novel)

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (novel)

If you’re a science fiction fan like I am, and you haven’t yet gotten into cyberpunk, I would really recommend it as a genre, especially if you also like dystopian novels.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Hey all! Today is probably one of the best days for romance authors everywhere, at least on a fictional level. I can’t speak for anyone else, but Valentine’s Day is easy to make perfect when you’re writing about someone fictional!

valentines-chocolateI hope everyone’s having a good Valentine’s Day regardless. I know a lot of couples today who tried and failed not to be ridiculously romantic today.

If you’re a single person, I have a pick-me-up in the form of some awesome sales on romance novels today! Recommended to read with a side-helping of vodka.

holiday packageI’m the Featured Author for February, so all my titles are 20% off! Just go HERE to get instructions on how to save some dough at Less Than Three Press. I’m going to be the Featured Author till the end of the month, so go check that out! And if you’re wondering who the Featured Author for March is, there’s still a bit of time to nominate someone, and then it will be time to take a vote on who it will be! Go HERE to nominate the Featured Author for March!

Last but not least, it is Valentine’s Day, so there’s a sale on everything at Less Than Three Press for 20% off until tomorrow. And guess what? It’s stackable, so you can get 40% off my books until the 15th!

To be honest, that’s why I love Valentine’s Day the most, because of all the sales on romance books. Also, all the chocolate goes on sale afterwards, so you can have cheap and delicious chocolate and a cheap and delicious romance novel to go with it!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and Happy Reading!