IY: Mah Plans 01/02/16 & January 2016 Round Up


Aaaah, first of the month. That fresh feeling of knowing I have a full four weeks to get lots of shiny things done. Rawr.

Actions Over The Past Fortnight (& January Round Up)

checking off feedback~Complete an additional proof on Episode Four (Resistance) and upload
All done. The file is completed and ready on both Amazon and Smashwords ready for it’s release on February 15. That seemed like a bit of a rough ride, so I’m glad it’s done. Resistance is quite a heavy episode. ^_^

~Get Episode Five (Answers) ready for release and listed as a pre order
Also ready. I want to do another read on it as I may have found a problem (or I’m dreaming it, but I feel better if I check). Otherwise, Episode Five is also done and listed on Amazon and Smashwords.

~Draft the next three episodes of Dead And Alive, Season Two
Done. Finished the last of those three, which completes Season Two. I’m not totally happy with it, I have some words to edit later, and that’s the main thing. Seriously, I know Raven said this a week ago, but outlining and planning is the way to go! I know exactly where I want my characters to go, exactly what their motivations, challenges and victories are and exactly how long I want my episodes to be. This has made writing up the season the easiest thing I’ve written to date. And I’ve only been working on it for 15 minutes a day!

Changes To My Plans

Since my list is so stupidly long (!!!) I’ve taken out some of the nesting from my original list just to keep things a bit cleaner. If there are items from the nested lists that need updating, then I’ll included them. Otherwise, consider this the shortened version. Changes in red, new items will be in green and completed tasks struck out.

  • Release ‘On A Knife Point’ in paperback and digital forms and thus complete the ‘Saar’s Legacy’ trilogy
  • Complete the release of ‘Dead And Alive, Season One’
    • Release Episode Four (Resistance) on February 15
      • Complete an additional proofread on formatted document and upload
    • Release Episode Five (Answers) on April 15
      • Complete deep edits
        • Format
        • Amazon
        • Smashwords
      • List as pre order
      • Release
    • Release Episode Six (Crossroads) on June 15
  • Complete draft of ‘Dead And Alive, Season Two’
  • Submit ‘Clash of the Animal Kings’ to agents/small presses/open submission calls
  • Outline plans for my traditional fantasy serial (I suppose it’s Wheel of Time-esque), especially to figure out how many novels it will take to tell the tale and how I would release them if I chose to start writing in 2017.
  • Outline plans for a new series, following/featuring characters from ‘Dead And Alive’

Targets for February 2016

generic calendar with mountains from OpenClipArtRight. Well, if I really want to complete Saar’s Legacy by May/June time, I guess I really should get started on those deep edits. Looking back at the notes I made in December, I know I have a lot to get through, I just haven’t decided if I’ll be working in hard copy or digital. It’s a deep decision as it affects how I write, but I’ll spend sometime figuring that out before I start. Basically, I need to get a wiggle on.

  • Complete half the deep edits on ‘On A Knife Point’ (45,000 words ish)
  • Complete deep edits on Episode Six: Crossroads

Activities This Fortnight (complete by 14/2/16)

  • Work through a quarter of the ‘On A Knife Point’ deep edits, we’re talking about 22.5k words
  • Get Crossroads out of the way

Thoughts…

thinking boy, black and white, with questions marks around his head

Credit: ryanlerch at OpenClipArt

Yep. Time to get serious. I have so many other ideas whizzing in my head, I don’t want to sit on ‘Saar’s Legacy’ any longer. I know I’ve been putting it off because of excitement over ‘Dead And Alive’ but the time has come to get it done. It will be wonderful to see my first trilogy complete and it opens up all sorts of box set/compilation options that I’m keen to explore. But first, I need to get it done. So that is my focus this fortnight.

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IY: Fantasy Creatures – Vampires – Where Do I Begin?!


This is the last fantasy creature I’ll be featuring before the blog shuts. Heh, are you surprised that it’s vampires? Come on? Really? ;-)

lady vampire by OlKu from Openclipart.comIf you’re new to the blog (you poor dears) I’ll explain that I like vampires. A lot. I can’t think of any significant novel/novella length story that didn’t feature them in some way or another. I adore the creatures and everything about them. It’s the concept that I enjoy the most. So, I go out of my way to include vampires in as much of my writing as possible.

What can I say, it makes me feel good inside! ;-)

It’s worth mention that one of the reasons I enjoy vampires so much is because of how versatile they are. Next time I’m talking to you guys I’ll be going through just how many variations there are on the basic theme, but for now, know that my major published works (Saar’s Legacy and Dead And Alive) both feature vampires that are completely different from each other. Those of Saar’s Legacy have their own creation myth, religion and culture, while those of Dead and Alive are a little more generic. Regardless, for all their differences, they remain vampires and easily recognisable as such.

nice red vampire lips with blood and teeth, from OpenClipArtBut the differences aren’t just in my writings. These fanged creatures of the night come in so many flavours, that, at times, it’s hard to point and say ‘this is, in fact, a vampire.’ Hollywood takes as many liberties with them as writers do and I can’t think of another fantasy creature that allows such treatment.

What’s not to like about that?

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RS: I Haz Planz 25/01/16


Okay, I have to say this upfront before I forget: 15 minutes of drafting a day, just 15, has given me some incredible results! I’m so chuffed with how the last fortnight has gone for me that I’m feeling a hella lot more positive about the weeks to come.

Clipart lemon from OpenClipArt,

Actions This Past Fortnight

~Finish drafting ‘The Back Seat of My Sister’s Car’
Done. In fact I’ve completed the deep edits on it and have no decided to let it rest for a couple of days before going back for my final read through.

checking off feedback~Do all background admin checks on ‘A Domme At The Club’ to be sure there’s nothing left hanging
Sorted. The piece released on Friday. Check it out if you haven’t already. ^_^

~Complete half the draft of ‘Shh, The Kids Are Sleeping!’
Sorted. This was a lot of fun to write: softer and sweeter than many of the other SS offerings. I also finished the full thing; the whole snippet has been drafted.

Also . . . since I didn’t really want to stop, I also wrote the first draft of ‘Back Row of the Cinema’ too, which is Smexxy Snippet No.5.

Seriously the next person who tells me they doubt planning and outlining will help them, I’m going to direct them to this post. Writing these shorts has been easy because I’ve outlined them before hand. I know exactly what I want in them, where I want them to go and how long I want to them to be. Yes, they’re short, but it still takes me about three days to get one done. But compared to how long it used to take (even tapping at the keys for two hours at a time), I’ll take the planning any day!

Activities For This Fortnight

Well, the things I had listed for January are actually completed in full, so there’s no harm in slipping ahead (in a gentle, easy fashion).

  1. Complete editing on ‘The Back Seat of My Sister’s Car,’ upload and list
  2. Draft ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?’
  3. Draft ‘Not Another Blind Date’

Thoughts . . .

thinking-boy15 minutes a day. Just 15. Sometimes more if I’m on a role, but I’m working in 15 minute sprints, against Ileandra who is doing the same. Then the rest of the time we have each day is devoted to editing and admin.

I guess, I just want to tell you guys that so long as you do a little every day, so long as you push on, even when it feels tricky, you’ll get where you want to be. 100 words a day is LOADS better than none at all and if you do that every day for a week? That’s 700 words. Every day for a month? 3,100. See where I’m going with this? Even at 100 words a day, you’ll soon have a novel length manuscript on your hands.

I used to feel guilty if I couldn’t spit out thousands of words a day. Now, my average in that 15 minutes is about 900 words but that’s creeping up slowly every day. So long as I keep that up seems like I should have no trouble. ;-)

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RS: The ‘SM’ In #BDSM – Part One, Let’s Lay Out Some Facts


I suppose it would be kind to leave a warning here before you start. Many, if not all, of the links (and pictures) in this series of posts are totally NSFW. If you want to have a look, do, by all means, but don’t be surprised if you find naked boy bits at the other end . . . or girl bits.
Happy? Let’s go.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Oooookay. As I come towards the end of my ‘chat about BDSM’ let me try to break down the SM part for you. o.O

Here we go.

The Free Dictionary defines sadomasochism as:

The combination sadism and masochism in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting submitting to physical or emotional abuse.

I picked this definition first because I (thoroughly) dislike it in the context of BDSM. The word ‘abuse’ has so many negative connotations these days, that to use it as part of the definition seems short-sighted and wrong. BDSM, including the SM part, is about connection, communication and mutual gratification. It’s not even always sexual.

Abuse, by it’s nature is something that often one or both parties can’t possibly enjoy. So . . . that, to my mind, is not what sadomasochism is.

Though I tend not to rely on Wikipedia for my info, I much prefer how their article on on sadomasochism begins:

Sadomasochism, a subset of BDSM, is the giving or receiving of pleasure from acts involving the receipt or infliction of pain or humiliation. Practitioners of sadomasochism may seek sexual gratification from their acts.

So . . . notice how sexual gratification and pleasure are mentioned here separately? They can be linked but not always.

This is a tricky part of BDSM to talk about as my knowledge is quite limited and I don’t actually know many masochists or sadists (there’s a hole in my friendship circle I never though I’d have to think about!), but I think it’s safe to say that, as a starting point, it’s important to note and understand the following things:

  • It’s not just about hurting people
  • The giving and/or receiving of physical pain is often not the end game, there is more involved that tends to go deeper

Next time I’ll discuss the different ways people find pleasure through SM activities. Bear with me . . . it’s going to need a fair bit of research. ;-)

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RS Bonus Blog: A Domme At The Club, Out Now ^_^


Yes! I’m pleased to say that the second story in my Smexxy Snippets series is out today, lovingly titled: ‘A Domme At The Club.’

SS02 - Domme

The pet must serve his mistress. Her pleasure is all.

For some, the idea of sexual servitude is a source of confusion and derision. For others, it is the absolute peak of their sexual desires. The act of submission brings pleasure and fulfilment to both the dominant and the submissive in a way few others can.

In this tale, watch a powerful scene between The Mistress and the Pet as they test each others’ boundaries and bring about release in a manner that enlivens them both.

The Mistress, a cheeky, light-hearted woman puts her pet through his paces, with floggers, canes and whips before teasing him ruthlessly with orgasm denial. When the moment final comes for release there is but one thing that matters: does Pet deserve such kind treatment?

Amazon US |  Amazon UK  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

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IY: Mah Plans 18/01/16


Feels like ages since I wrote one of these. Still, nice to be back and again and return to normal. I have been busy, even though there hasn’t been a set of goals up: my new way of working in tandem with Raven seems to be working out nicely (more on that in a bit). But, just like Raven had to break it all down a bit and look at what she actually expects of herself this year, I need to do the same.

So here we go!

This Year I Will . . .

Here are my goals for the year, broken into their component parts. As ever, changes in red, new items will be in green and completed tasks will be struck out.

  • Release ‘On A Knife Point’ in paperback and digital forms and thus complete the ‘Saar’s Legacy’ trilogy
    • Complete deep edits
    • Send through beta readers
    • Complete beta edits
    • Final edits
    • Commission cover design
    • Format for all formats
      • Smashwords
      • Amazon
      • Createspace
    • List as pre order
    • Release
  • S1E4 Resistence (Diavian)dComplete the release of ‘Dead And Alive, Season One’
    • Release Episode Four (Resistance) on February 15
      • Complete an additional proofread on formatted document and upload
    • Release Episode Five (Answers) on April 15
      • Complete deep edits
        • Format
        • Amazon
        • Smashwords
      • List as pre order
      • Release
    • Release Episode Six (Crossroads) on June 15
      • Complete deep edits
      • Format
        • Amazon
        • Smashwords
      • List as pre order
      • Release
  • Complete draft of ‘Dead And Alive, Season Two’
    • Write parts 1-9 (min 5k words each part)
  • Submit ‘Clash of the Animal Kings’ to agents/small presses/open submission calls
    • Rewrite and edits
    • Beta readers
    • Further edits
    • Seek suitable submission opportunities
      • Agents
      • Small presses
      • Open submission calls
    • Submit
  • Outline plans for my traditional fantasy serial (I suppose it’s Wheel of Time-esque), especially to figure out how many novels it will take to tell the tale and how I would release them if I chose to start writing in 2017.
  • Outline plans for a new series, following/featuring characters from ‘Dead And Alive’

generic calendar with mountains from OpenClipArtUgh. So, Targets for January 2016?

  • Complete an additional proof on Episode Four (Resistance) and upload
  • Get Episode Five (Answers) ready for release and listed as a pre order
  • Draft the next three episodes of Dead And Alive, Season Two

Activities This Fortnight

Actually, this list is exactly as above as there are only two weeks left of the month anyway. Completion of this list will take us into February.

Thoughts…

thinking boy, black and white, with questions marks around his head

Credit: ryanlerch at OpenClipArt

Seeing everything I need to do laid out like that is a bit startling. I forget just how many different roles are involved when it comes to releasing one title. This way, however, I think it’s manageable.

Raven and I have been doing small amounts every day, working in alternating 15 minute blocks of time. It’s fascinating how much we can get done this way and it means that neither of us is left ‘waiting for a turn.’ Sure, it’s a bit slower, but it does mean that both of us can work towards what we want to do without huge gaps in between. That, I feel, was the biggest challenge last year, especially for DSB. So far, this is much better.

Let’s see if we can keep it up. :p

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IY: Fantasy Creatures – Werewolves – Sins of the Flesh


Wrapping up my posts about werewolves (man, this took AGES!) I’ll be continuing the tradition of offering up a little piece of writing. I have no idea where this came from or what the hell was in my head when I wrote it (I was watching over the Sprogs while they had bath when I wrote this) but hey . . . I quite like it.

It needs some work—this is the ‘brain vomit’ version, but following some positive feedback from my buddies at the PWG, I’ll be working on it a bit more in coming weeks.

Enjoy!

“Forgive me father, for I have sinned. More than ten months have passed since my last confession.”

Father Oliver Bowman sat straighter behind the textured screen between himself and the whispering figure on the other side. “I’m glad you’ve come. Please use this time to speak with the Lord, that he may hear the full extent of your sin.”

The words rolled off his tongue now; so easy, day after day. Week after week. Month after long, painful month.
If only his own sins could be so easily forgiven.

The shape on the other side of the screen shifted slightly. He seemed to be thinking. Deeply.

“Don’t be nervous—you’ve taken the greatest, most important step in coming here. Now unburden yourself and seek absolution.”

The stranger sighed. The heavy exhalation sent a gust of onion-scented air through the divide.

Oliver wrinkled his nose, tried not to think about who sat on the other side. And yet, with each puff of air, each whispered word, the image became clearer. He had such a distinctive scent and voice, after all.

Bruce Sammal.

Oliver gazed at the open bible spread across his lap. He touched the golden lettering, almost worn away in places. “I’ll read you a piece of scripture. Perhaps that will help.” He choose a passage from the gospel of John, one discussing the necessity of confession and how every man, woman and child was tainted by sin.

Beyond the divide, Bruce wept. He sniffed and, at last, spoke. “Father, I’ve . . . touched people.”

Oliver allowed the silence to stretch.

“Young people. Very young. Children.”

A lump filled the back of Oliver’s throat. He fumbled in his cassock for the figure of Christ dangling from a slender chain about his neck. “Go on, son.”

Bruce sighed again. This time, instead of pain, the sound held wistful introspection. “I work in a school—I see them every day—I—I mean they—I know it’s wrong. But they’re my special friends. I love them. How can it be wrong?”

Oliver gritted his teeth. His sense of duty battled with the fury tingling across his palms.

“There are so many.” Bruce’s voice dropped lower. “This week, at least four. Before that, more. And I know it’s wrong. I know. But I can’t help myself . . . I’m like an animal.”

The bible slipped off Oliver’s lap. It hit the floor face down with a loud slap. He left it there, breathing heavily as he understood. He knew what had to come next.

Bruce continued as if he hadn’t heard, his voice now breaking. “I just want to feel whole again. To be clean.”

With effort, Oliver cleared his throat. “Then begin with an Act of Contrition. Then I shall give you the appropriate penance.”

The phrase felt slick on his tongue. Appropriate penance? He knew what the appropriate penance was and the mere thought of it made his stomach turn. But he had a job to do.

Eyes closed, head resting against the back of the confessional, Oliver listened to Bruce speak his prayer of sorrow knowing that it would never be enough.

***

Night fell early. A full moon hung low in a cloudless sky, leaching colour from the street. Trees, cars and buildings bore a silver edge, beautiful yet ghostly in the darkness.

Oliver Bowman crouched low in the bushes, hidden by shadows thrown by the ugly block of flats on his right.

He listened to the song of the city; rumbling cars, distance voices and scuffling nightlife. So many souls, so much life . . .

A woman with a Jack Russell on a long lead walked by, three feet from his hiding place. She didn’t see him, but the dog growled low in his tiny throat and strained to get at him, angered and confused by his presence.

He glared at the creature until it backed down, scurrying closer to his mistress with his short tail tucked between his legs.

Though Oliver hated to frighten animals, he knew it was best. No good would come of him being discovered tonight.

He hated this part of the city. The stench of it slammed his nose and set all his senses tingling; like the smell of human souls rotting. Anguish and despair made tangible.

He thought of his sister as he sat in the darkness. The sadness in her eyes when he told her of the work he had planned that night.
God’s work.

She didn’t agree. She never did. Yet, she pulled him close and pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. “Tonight?” She glanced out the window at the blue-black sky.

“Tonight.”

Her features slackened. Understanding dawned and sucked the colour from her face. “Haven’t you been through enough?”

“The Lord tests my faith. I mustn’t falter.”

“You won’t need dinner, then?”

“No.”

She stepped back from him, building a three foot chasm between them. “I won’t wait up.”

Oliver shook his head to clear the memory. Sure, Barbara never complained, but their relationship had become strained over the last ten years. Tense. Full of awkward silences.

But she never complained. Just prayed.

A figure stepped through the communal front door of the flat across the street. The familiar scent of onions spiked into the crisp, night air.

Oliver stood. Shook himself. Stalked after Bruce.

Though he hated to admit it, the chase excited him. The physical act of chasing down sin thrilled him in a way that made his mouth water.

His nostrils flared at the stink of corruption and wrong-doing. It seemed to fill the air with tactile shadows that screamed with the voices of a dozen children.

As he moved, Oliver began his own confession.

Forgive me father, for I am about to sin.

Oliver thought the well-rehearsed words as he crept closer, slowly closing the distance between himself and Bruce.

It has been 28 days since my last confession.

Bruce stopped outside an old hall on the back of a working men’s club. Gleeful shrieks from inside told Oliver this must be youth club night.

Closer still. Every muscle tensed. Ready to spring.

I have hunted . . .

Bruce cast an anxious glance over his shoulder, scratching the back of his neck. His shoulders hiked high towards his ears, every limb tight with tension.

. . . I have tracked . . .

A golden rectangle of light illuminated the ground as Bruce pushed at the door.

. . .And I have used the gift you gave me for one foul purpose.

By some bizarre fluke—or the grace of God?—the children within chose that moment to crank up their music.

Oliver sprang from the shadows, closing the last few feet between himself and his prey.

Bruce screamed.

While the preppy, synthesised tones of Justin Bieber filled the night, Oliver opened his mouth. His long, haunting howl filled the air and Bruce cowered in the dirt.

Father, I have killed.

Oliver bit down on Bruce’s tender throat. The stink of onions made his eyes water.

. . . I have maimed . . .

Blood pooled in his mouth with a thick lump of hot, savoury flesh. He swallowed and savoured the taste of sin as it passed over his long, pink tongue.

. . . I have eaten human flesh . . .

Though Bruce’s body continued to twitch and gurgle, his mind was already dead.

. . . Father I have committed murder, knowingly and willingly. I beg your forgiveness.

Oliver dragged the floppy sack of meat away from the hall and into the privacy of an alley at the back.

There, behind a pair of huge black bins, Oliver ate. And prayed.

***

The following morning Oliver woke to Barbara’s gentle hands on his face.

He lay in the garden, naked and shivering, the metallic tang of human flesh still clinging to his teeth.

She said nothing, merely handed him a coat and a wet towel.
He took both with a nod of thanks.

“Is it done?” she whispered.

“Yes. For now.”

“But what about next month?”

Oliver sighed. “There will be another. The Lord always sends me another.”

Aaaaaaand that’s that! Hope you enjoyed it. Next time I’ll be chatting vampires.

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