Lately, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be… – One Republic, Counting Stars
Counting stars. Lucky ones, that we’re not living in The Reich as imagined by Harry Turtledove in “Shtetl Days.” But also gold ones, on the coats of men like Turtledove’s Veit Harlan, or worn by Billy Joel in memory of pogroms past and a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville that never should have been.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Judenstern (Jew’s star), and how a symbol of religious and cultural identity got turned into a badge of shame. I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about who did that and why, and the way the Trump administration makes scarlet letters and gold stars and pink triangles things of the present instead of things that never should’ve been — at least not the way they are. Identity and identification aren’t the same thing, but suddenly they seem to be, at least in the sense that without documentation — of citizenship, for example — an immigrant doesn’t exist, or becomes illegal. Or in the sense that dark skin is used identify a young man as Other, a monster, and in the eyes some with authority, that is his whole identity as well. Read On
Writers talk a lot about process. If you’ve been around here at all or you’ve met me, I tend toward two other P words in my writing: perfect and panic. Sure, in theory, I have a process, but mostly it’s “so and so says Scrivener is an excellent tool for keeping track of series stuff” or “oooh, Aeon Timeline looks neat!” and then I’m off and running trying out something new. (They are, actually, very neat and excellent tools.)
I’ve never written two projects using the same “process.” An early (and somewhat embarrassing) effort under a different penname was composed in one evening while super-high on Nyquil. Another was inspired by some hentai that I stumbled across on the Internet and evolved into an elaborate world-building effort–of which I kept exactly enough notes to know that no matter how awesome the world was, I can’t go back to it. I have no idea what I was doing. Read On
Newsflash: I obsess about getting things ‘right’.
This is ‘news’ only if you’ve never met me. If you have, then you’ve probably witnessed me ‘practicing in front of the mirror’ more than once.
There’s a scene in the pilot of Crossing Jordan (great show about someone who isn’t exactly neurotypical) where the lead character, Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh, played by the gorgeous Jill Hennessy, is washing up in a public restroom on the way to an interview. She stops, looks in the mirror, and practices what she’s going to say to her former boss about getting her old job back. It’s not just the words she’s practicing, but her facial expression, her tone, the right amount of emotional honesty. Read On
Much, much delayed again, but better late than never, right? (Previously, I posted my liveblogging notes for Victorian Violence and the session taught by Katriena Knights and I, Ins and Outs of Erotic Romance. )
If traditional outlining isn’t working for you…
Try Something Else!
Imagine you’ve sketched your hero, Roberto
* rich and arrogant
* no use for gods or religions
* has been betrayed by a brother
* highly independent and snippy about class distinctions
* you know what he likes to eat and wear Read On
TEN TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SUPER SEX SCENES
1. A Sex Scene is a Scene (or a Sequel).
A sex scene should be a scene like any other scene or a sequel like any other sequel. That is, it should either have a goal, conflict, and disaster, or emotion, analysis, dilemma, decision. It needs to move the story forward.
2. A Sex Scene is not IKEA.
A sex scene isn’t about Tab A and Slot B. It’s about character, plot, and emotion. Who does what to whom isn’t as important as how and why they do it. Don’t give a play by play. Change up the order of events from one scene to another. No two or more characters should have the same sex scene; it’s not plug-n-play either. Read On