Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Literary fiction is a term that has come into common usage since around 1960, principally to distinguish serious fiction (that is, work with claims to literary merit) from the many types of genre fiction and popular fiction (i.e., paraliterature). In broad terms, literary fiction focuses more on style, psychological depth, and character, whereas mainstream commercial fiction (the page-turner) focuses more on narrative and plot.
Genre fiction, also known as popular fiction, is a term for fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre.
So I have to be honest, I had no idea what to post this week. None. At all. So I took the cheaters way out and decided to wait until the last minute to see what others had to say first. And as per usual Simone and Mia hit this one straight out of the freakin' park.
I can see where literary fiction would have it's place. In the 1800's. Or, well no, in the 1800's. Today I think most people have a genre or two that they love and they will stick with that as much as possible.
Me, I love me some romance and I love me some horror. And when you smoosh those together and give me sexy vampires who fall head over heels in love...well ding ding ding my friends. Winner winner chicken dinner!
I don't believe I have ever even attempted to write 'literary' fiction. I wouldn't know where to start. Fuck, I couldn't even write a blog post about it until I had others to define it for me first. Sheesh.
And for the record, I enjoy READING when Mia has men stretch heroines 5 ways to infinity. It makes me squirmy. In a good way. ;)
Off topic, sorry. But I just relived a particularly yummy scene...
This is the problem with letting others post first. Sigh. Now I just want to read some sexy Mia and Simone genre fic. And by Friday I will be well immersed in some Bron and Brynn as well. Books that is. I don't think I could immerse myself in THEM. Their husbands would be jealous. Or excited. Never mind.
I can't focus. As per usual I suppose. Sigh.
So to wrap up, I like penises too much to settle for literary fiction.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Genre fiction is generally defined as works of fiction that are heavy on plot and light on real, three-dimensional characters. It is also known as popular fiction and has a few main categories - Science Fiction and Fantasy - which are always lumped together even though they are mostly separate arenas, Mystery, Western, Horror, Action/Adventure and Romance. Each Category can be further broken down into subcategories, but that would probably sidetrack me too far from where I need to be.
Literary fiction on the other hand is serious writing that deserves merit, recognition and has more depth to it than genre fiction. There might be subcategories like historical, contemporary, and classics.
I had a nice spiel laid out about the merits of each and the placement of arguments and symbology in both forms of fiction, but what it really comes down to is that academia and 'cultured' elite are of the perceived opinion that the only 'real' books tell stories similar to the world we live in and make you think and analyze your life and symbology and will lead to deep intellectual discussions that sound great and give the appearance of knowledge. I was going to try and be objective, because I have read literary fiction as well as scads of genre fiction - something I'm sure few literary fiction readers have done. I do now tend to keep my literary fiction limited to the classics because I like stories of adventure and love, and where I can escape the realities of my life, especially during really stressful periods where money, food, jobs, or the safety of loved ones is in question. I don't need to be reminded of how hard life is or how bad it can be. I already know that. Perhaps that is why literary fiction is the choice of academia and the elite - so they have a clue to what most people go through. There are people I know personally that will juggle no less than 15 things and drop everything to help out a loved one or sit by a hospital bed so a person doesn't have to be alone. People who will give time and money because a family member of their friends has been told they have months left. These people don't need books to tell them that life is tough, they know that. They don't need books to tell them that need to push through, they just do. They are more likely to read a book that allows them a bit of release from situations that they can't control and be a hero for a few pages so that when they go back to their life, they have a bit more energy. They solve a mystery, catch a killer, save a planet, a nation, or their soulmate. Faith in humanity, silver linings, love, lovemaking and happily ever after is restored if only for a few pages.
The job of literary fiction is to teach - to teach empathy, to teach compassion, to teach understanding, to teach a bit about reality away from a perfect and insular world.
The job of genre fiction is to entertain.
Again - my opinion. I'm interested to hear what others think...
Friday, March 26, 2010
Yeah you know I’m mad since I just called you the worst thing in my book. What kind of demented sicko are you? First, you disappear from the usual places: the car, the shower, the twilight just before sleep. You leave me alone and to my own devices—good thing I’ve learned to work without you. Then, THEN, you start showing up in those other places.
Do you have any idea what the hell you’re doing to my thighs? I should not need to bake or (shudder) cook in order to get you to play nice and whisper in my ears. Furthermore, I object to the dish washing servitude, you bloody sadist.
And STOP with the grocery store crap. I’m seriously supposed to make notes on the little tiny space left on my shopping list? And do you know how crazy I look talking to myself? People who talk to themselves about kidnappings and chains and group sex tend to get themselves in trouble. So if I’m in the produce aisle (or hardware) just stuff it, okay?
And then…THEN, you have the freaking nerve to visit me in church and bring me the full-blown plot for my ménage romance—and not just any ménage. No. It was the one with the woman and four men. That is just wrong. You KNOW I can’t make note about that at church during the pastor’s sermon on love. Please.
Look… I realize you’re just trying to shake things up and add some excitement to the relationship, but stop it. Just stop it. Or seriously, I might need to demand a muse divorce. There are plenty of nice, reasonable muses out there who’d like to help me out—though it’s quite apparent from reading earlier posts this week that none of them are playing well with their writers.
So here’s an idea: all of us writers. We’re gonna go on strike! You need us. We can work without YOU. Yeah… HA! How do you like me now?
Now get to work!
~~Brynn (who is very un-a-mused)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I just want to take a moment to thank you for all the shiny ideas that you've given me over the years. Granted, some have worked out better than others, but all things considered, I think we have a great thing going. In fact, I'd go so far as to say our relationship is pretty badass.
However, that said, we do need to discuss your underlings. You know...the ones who bring me memos when you're tied up? Yeah...them.
The Shower Faery rocks. I love that chick. The ideas flow in the shower, which is why we're often late for school because I'm all distracted, but I'm not complaining. Shower ideas are always the best ideas.
The Car Faery is pretty cool. There's something about spending three to four hours in a car every day that lures her out of hiding. The only trouble is, she's really shy and the boys scare her away. Perhaps You could arrange for some assertiveness training for her?
The one we really need to discuss is The Receptionist Faery. She's the one who shows up right as I'm drifting off to sleep for the night. She waits until I'm too exhausted to keep my eyes open any longer, then shows up with absolutely brilliant ideas or snippets of dialogue. She always tells me that she'll take a message and jot it down for me so I don't forget. The only problem is, she never does! I wake up and the idea has vanished like it never existed. I know it's hard to get good help on the night shift, but what are you doing? Hiring temps? Temps who hate writers? Seriously, Myfanwy - we've got to do something about the night shift.
But even with the temp issues, I think we have a great relationship. Thank you for all of the shiny treasures you bring me. You're the best!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I would also like to apologize to Bronwyn as I fear the image I have chosen to accompany this post may haunt her. Rest assured, it is not real.
Dear M/M Vampire fairy poo poo head muse person or persons,
Where the fuck are you? I have maintained my part of the bargain. I have made the necessary sacrifices asked of me. I have spent the requisite money on the new pretty green laptop you wanted. I have given up hours of family bonding time to stare hopelessly at said laptop screen. I have given up time, energy, sweat and tears. I have offered all of this up to you and you are no where to be found.
What the fuck?
Is it the baby? Guess what, there is plenty of room for you and the baby. Please tell me you are not acting like a spoiled only child that has been told you now have to share everything with another person. That is beyond selfish and lame. Even my real child is taking this better than you are.
Have I not shown you enough appreciation? I feel that I have and I apologize if you disagree. I know for sure that I have thanked you for my previous successes. Even for the books I have written that have sold a total of 20 copies, I have offered my thanks for I know that is not your fault. So again I ask..
What the fuck?
So here I am now, publicly begging you to come back to me. Even if it is only part time, even if you just whisper to me in my sleep. Any input, any inspiration, any kick in the ass you could find in your heart to bestow upon me would be most appreciated. By me and my editors and publishers. We are all waiting as patiently as we can for you to decide to come back to me.
If you are on vacation then I am relatively sure you are late coming back. Sure you're good, but you have not accrued this much vacation time in the last two years of work. Your hiatus is neither approved or appreciated. There have been two deadlines you have missed, and this last one has been postponed indefinitely. This is completely unacceptable muse(s). You need to come home now. You have people who care about you worried. Sure, I am antsy because I want to write, but I am honestly concerned something may have happened to you.
All I know for sure is that I had better not find that you are cheating on me. If you have left to go whisper ideas into someone else's ear I will have to hurt you. A lot. With a sharp object. Perhaps to the ear canal or the eyeball.
Though to be honest, if you just come back now and promise to stay with me then all will be forgiven. I just need you here with me. I miss you. I miss the sound of your voice. I miss the delicate way we would write together. The feelings we could invoke. Don't you want these things again? Can you honestly say you don't miss me?
What the fuck?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
March 23, 2010
Where the fuck have you been? Do you realize that I’m flopping around like a fish in the wind? Fish on land? Leaf in the wind? And any other metaphor I can mix? I have deadlines. Everyone has deadlines. That means you have deadlines, too, so quit calling in “bored”, it’s not a legitimate excuse. Besides, if you’re bored, you could spice things up a bit and I DO NOT MEAN WRITING THE MUSICAL SONETS INVOLVING THE LOVE LIFE OF A BOX TURTLE SHIFTER AND AN ANCIENT VAMPIRE. While I’m sure there IS a market—as you keep insisting—it’s not through me. Yes, turtle skin is tough and therefore more likely to put off a fangy attack from a would-be suitor before he knows he’s a would-be. I get that. But (tapping my watch) can we move on to things I’m actually contracted for?
Listen, you and I have been a little off lately. I don’t like to dance. You don’t like my singing. If there were a way to trade in muses, I would so do it. Mostly because you asked me to and only a tiny bit because I think you suck as a motivational speaker. Plus I really hate your glitter fetish. It gets on everything and no, it doesn’t make my computer look better.
I really think we need to go our separate ways. In fact, if you want, my next letter can be a break-up letter. Say…does your older brother still work out a bunch? He had some pretty spectacular abs and I would find that VERY inspiring. You should ask him to come over for the auditions because if he has the right, erm, equipment, we could work very well together. Have him bring chocolate and some message oil. I’ll explain it when he gets here. Just think, he could totally get you off the hook! Hey! I really think this could work out for both of us. I’m so glad you thought of it, you clever, clever Muse. You do your job so well that it has totally inspired me to find new ways of getting rid of you and being reassigned to your stud-tastic brother. He’s single right?
Okay, so you get on that and I’ll release you from your “boring” contract. You’ll totally have one over on him for all the times he teased you as a young Muse-let. That’s right! Tell him it’s a great gig so that he signs up with me and you get to snicker as he gets bored out of his mind. That makes you happy, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know. He’ll just hate me. Hurry up and send him over. Hurry! The faster you get him here, the faster I’m done with you…erm, I mean, YOU’RE done with ME. Yeah, that.
Love you, too—in that can’tstandyou kind of way. Hugs!!!
Monday, March 22, 2010
My Dear Muse:
Sending postcards and leaving messages from tropical getaways in the Caribbean and Mediterranean when I am freezing my butt off all winter long, is completely unacceptable. As is completely abandoning me until its convenient for you and showing up just in time to take credit for a completed or nearly completed project.
While I'm sure you can't be bothered to initiate anything - at least since I started school - now that I'm out and will have more time and a better schedule I will expect to see you or at the very least one of the guys (did I forget to mention - her helpers are male - hot males to be precise) on a daily basis.
Hope you enjoyed the vacation - time to get back to work. Now.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Bachelor 1 hails from New York City where’s there’s always a story to tell. A leader in his area, he’s into magic, fine wine and women. In fact, he’s been accused of having a harem, but he’d say that’s a gross exaggeration.
Bachelor 2 comes to us from Michigan. He’s a small business owner who’s into leather, kink and hearing you scream…in pleasure.
Bachelor 3 hails from a planet in another astral plane where one could say he’s pretty much god of all he sees. He’s into power and getting his way.
(crickets. a smattering of claps and a cough. Bachelor 3 glowers)
Now the guys’ identity will be shielded from our Bachelorette until she chooses the lucky man to be hero of her story.
And here’s our bachelorette is a lovely young lady who’s going through life with a few unfulfilled fantasies, but I’m sure we can hook her up today. Say hello to Jenna Marks.
Jenna: Thanks Brynn.
Brynn: Welcome Jenna. Have a seat over here and let’s have the guys each say hi.
Bachelor #1: Hello, Jenna.
Bachelor #2: Hey, love.
Bachelor #3: Worship me.
Jenna: Bachelors, I’ve had a really rough day at the office. I’m stressed and tired. My boss is a jerk and I’ve also had to work late, but now I’m with you. How do you help me relax?
Bachelor #1: Did his eyes glow blue? First, I’d make sure you were safe within my compound then my wingscion and I would hunt him down and flame him. Afterward, I’d take you to the hot springs inside my quarters where we’d soak in the relaxing mineral water and make love.
Jenna: Sounds nice…um, except the barbeque part. Bachelor #2?
Bachelor #2: First, I’d kiss you to let you know how much I missed you, but I know what you really want. I’d have you stripped and ready for a flogging. And as the pain flicks over you, morphing to pleasure that will lead to your explosive orgasm, your stress will release. Then we’ll have sex until neither of us can move.
Jenna: Wow. I feel a little tingly. Bachelor #3?
Bachelor #3: I’d chain you to my altar to be my sexual sacrifice which is where you should have been anyway, because your purpose is to worship me.
Brynn: Bachelor 3, please sit down. Jenna, next question.
Jenna: Bachelors, you find out I have a really naughty kidnap fantasy. What do you do?
Bachelor #1: Why would you want to be kidnapped? With me, you’d get all the fantasy you need.
Bachelor #2: I’d make it happen. I’d kidnap you, but you wouldn’t know it was me as we had days and days of sex to fulfill every naughty fantasy.
Bachelor #3: Kidnap? You will spend your days captured in the throes of ecstasy within my very presence.
Jenna: You seem very full of yourself.
Bachelor #3: Of course. I’m a [BLEEEEEEEEEP]
Brynn: Bachelor 3, you must refrain from revealing your identity.
Bachelor #3: Whatever. Like it matters. She’ll choose me.
Brynn: (sigh) Jenna, next question.
Jenna: Bachelors, describe yourself to me at your best and at your worst.
Bachelor #1: Depends on your point of view. I have two forms. In one, I’m a bit scaly. Blue-black scales actually. Over seven feet tall and thickly muscled. A bit of a temper and known to breathe fire. If I’m protecting you, you think that’s me at my best. In my other form, I’m about six and a half feet with black hair to the middle of my back and green eyes. I’m quite laid back and know how to give a woman a good time.
Bachelor #2: I’m not a dragon, but I know how to bite. My hair’s medium length and usually a mess, but a hood will do that to you. Light brown eyes and lots of tattoos. At my best, I’m dominating you and you’re on your knees and wanting more of me and my special toys. At my worst…I’m alone without someone who wants me and not what I own.
Bachelor #3: Ya big saps. I’m always at my best. With my black hair and eyes, I am unsurpassed in male beauty. I mesmerize and capture those who see me. Women long to worship at the altar of my pillar of marble. The world is awed.
Brynn: Last question Jenna.
Jenna: This is tough. Okay, gentlemen… tell me your special abilities. What makes you special and why should I choose you?
Bachelor #1: No one can keep you safer than I can. I can shape shift to Dragon form, use Dragon magic and fly. I’m the leader of my compound and can give you any rich you’d desire, including a nearly eternal life. I breathe fire and can produce energy waves, some of which will increase your pleasure.
Bachelor #2: Bondage. BDSM. You name it and I can do it. I can dominate you in the way your heart has always longed for, physically and mentally. With me you’ll feel more protected, cherished and taken care of than ever before or after.
Bachelor #3: (silence)
Brynn: Bachelor 3?
Bachelor #3: (silence)
Brynn: Bachelor 3, you must answer the question.
Bachelor #3: It’s a stupid question. I have more power than you can imagine. The world is at my feet and your sex will my altar. Oh…and I can teleport through dimensions, change into various creatures, and shoot energy bolts.
Brynn: Thank you bachelors. Well, Jenna, now’s the time to make your decision.
Jenna: This is tough. But I know who I’ll pick. No question.
Nara, Goddess of the Veil: What are you doing out of your orb!
Brynn: Excuse me?
Nara: Airyon, or I guess he’s going by bachelor #3 right now. He’s my prisoner and ineligible to participate in this “game”.
Bachelor #3 (muttering): Raging harridan.
Nara: I’ll give you raging when I have you chained to my bed. Back in your orb!
(Nara and Bachelor #3 disappear)
Brynn: I hope he wasn’t your choice.
Jenna: Not hardly. I choose Bachelor #2.
Brynn: Well, let’s learn about the bachelors you didn’t choose. Bachelor #1 is Levi, also known as Leviathan. While he will eventually have his own story, he can currently be found in Dragon’s Blood and Blood Bought. Come on out, Levi.
Levi: It’s good you didn’t want me. You’re not a Dragon’s Mate.
Brynn: Bachelor #3 who’s already left, is Airyon the villain of Tribute for the Goddess and currently captive of Nara, Goddess of the Veil. But who did you choose? Bachelor #2, come on out.
Jenna: I can’t wait.
Brynn: Bachelor #2? Oh…I’ve forgotten. You can’t see him yet. If he’s going to kidnap you, it should be a bit of a surprise. I promise you’ll see him soon…on April 20th to be exact. Okay all, see you soon and be sure to check out Bachelor #2 in Kidnap and Kink in April!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Ian: (frowning at Meaghan) What are you doing here?
Meg: Don't get your undies in a bunch. Bron is busy getting ready for her kid's birthday, so I'm helping out and doing the interview.
Ian: (leans back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest and studies her)
Meg: Don't arch your brow at me. My sister might think that's twelve kinds of hot, but I just find it annoying.
Ian: Your sister finds many things about me--
Meg: Okay, you can stop that right now. So not going there. Let's do this interview. I've got other stuff to do.
Ian: Carry on, then.
Meg: Let's do the biographical info first. Where and when were you born?
Ian: County Cork, Ireland, 1817.
Meg: So basically my sister's doing a dude who's 193 years old.
Ian: Hardly. I was cursed at 32. I haven't aged despite the spell.
Meg: Which is good, because otherwise, ewwwwww.
Meg: Not even close. How did you end up in Michigan?
Ian: I emigrated to America during the Great Famine and found a rural school in need of a school master.
Meg: Did you enjoy teaching?
Ian: Very much. I hope to go back to it someday.
Meg: Tell me about the bitch that cursed you.
Ian: Language, Miss Boulton.
Meg: (rolling her eyes) Whatever. Who was she?
Ian: A concerned sister. It seems I run into a lot of those.
Meg: Hey! I'd never curse someone no matter how much I disliked him.
Ian: Good to know.
Meg: Okay, what I really want to know is what are your intentions toward my sister? Are you planning on sticking around? Seriously, if you hurt her, I'll beat you with a shovel.
Ian: So no spells, just a sound thrashing with garden implements, then?
Meg: If necessary.
Ian: I suspect this interview may be more indicative of you as a character than me.
Meg: Whatevs. So will I be getting nieces and nephews soon or what?
Ian: (checking the time) I'm due to pick up your sister from work, any other questions?
Meg: I never should have taught you to drive.
Ian: What's done is done. (getting up to leave) And the answer is probably sooner than you think.
Meg: If you'd like to find out more about this annoying man, there's plenty of dirt in Immortal Curse. Also, I'm in there, too. You should visit. We'll totally hang.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Full Name: James Joel McHale
Birthday : March 17, 1977
Place of Birth: Royal Oak, Michigan
Occupation: King of Chicago
Relationship Status: It's Complicated
Favorite Color: Black and Blue
Favorite Food: Ethan Connor
Turn ons: Fighting in the rain, synthetic tables
Turn offs: Being told what to do
Thank you so much King Jamie for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today. I'm sure the readers of the blog have been dying to know what you have been up to.
Well thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.
I know you have a lot going on today, so what do you say we jump right in?
You stated above that your relationship status is complicated. Can you expand on that for us?
Well, I am currently living in lucious sin with the amazingly sexy Ethan Connor. We are divorced, but planning to re-marry as soon as we have the time. Things in Chicago have been pretty hectic and luckily for me Ethan has been very patient...so far.
So far? You say that like you don't expect it to last.
Anyone who has ever read about Ethan knows that patience is not his strong suit. I keep waiting for him to blow up at me or something for not spending enough time with him. But it's difficult to run a city. I think him growing up and watching his parents run Detroit has given him some insight into what I've been going through.
Has he been helping you at all?
(Laughs) No! No, he wants nothing to do with it. When we got to Chicago he flat out refused to have any involvement in the running of the city. He much prefers to take care of the house, shop, and wander the city when I'm busy. He was never really one for politics and I respect that.
It's good to hear that things are going well for you guys. Does that mean that your infamous fighting has ceased?
I think that ceased is a strong word. They have definitely diminished in number, though not necessarily in volume. (Laughs.) We spent our whole lives at each others throats. Being in love hasn't really changed the way we interact. Ethan and I are both very hot headed and short fused. It's just not possible to spend any time together and not get in little spats now and then. Besides, make up sex is the best of any sex. We've almost got it perfected. It would be a shame to waste that talent after all the practice we put in.
Fair enough. Shall we return to the quick answer portion of our interview?
Joss Whedon or Larry David? Definitely Joss.
Edward or Jacob? I'll have to plead the fifth. Ethan is going to read this and he is a tad jealous.
Beer or Wine? Beer
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter.
Christmas or Halloween? Halloween.
Best Dressed at the Oscars? Sandra Bullock.
So have you and Ethan talked at all about the wedding?
Well sure we have. The problem really is timing really. We want to be able to go back to Michigan for the ceremony so that our families can be with us when we do it properly. But with Chicago in the state it's in I just don't know when that can be done.
What's wrong with Illinios?
Well you said the problem is the state that Chicago is in...
Oh, no. I mean it's current condition. The vampires are all sort of in-fighting and being rather pesky really. There is nothing wrong with Illinios at all. It's a lovely state.
Right, um sorry about that. Anyway, will this wedding be a full on lavish event or small and quiet with your families?
I would like small and quiet, but that isn't really Ethan's way. It should be chock full of dogs and ponies if he has his way. And as anyone who knows him realizes, he eventually always gets his way.
You don't sound very happy about that.
What? Oh, no. All I want is for Ethan to be happy. I think I'm just tired and my words aren't coming out right. No matter what happens, as long as at the end of the day we end up bound together for life, then I will be thrilled.
That's so sweet! King Jamie, thank you so much for coming to talk to the readers of the Writer's Evolution Blog.
Thank you so much for having me.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I’ve been commissioned (well, not really as there is no pay involved) to interview one of my characters. There is one Bronwyn mentioned off her favorites list last week, that had me thinking: Gee, I want to get to know that wacky chick better. And because I always like interviewing the men, I thought I should shake it up a little and interview a female. However, this isn’t a main character female—not yet. She’s a secondary, cameo appearing character in the Faerily Imperfect series: The Mom.
The Mom has no name. Yet. I’m saying that word a lot, but it’s true. She hasn’t been given a name and we only know her as that crazy woman with a penchant for floral designs, doilies, and dildos. She adores her five children in her special spacey kind of way and is the mistress of guilt trips that circle randomly around without a starting point or an ending point. That’s right, I’m talking about Mrs. Harper, the full-blooded faery.
To understand her, you need a bit of background. She married a scientist and had five children of mixed breed. Because the faeries are known for their pranks, each child was given a faery ability only as reliable as their mother was intelligent. Since all the kids have extremely unreliable gifts, you can imagine what that says about her reasoning skills. Yet in her own special way, she’s kinda smart…sorta.
I walk into the house yoo-hooing. Her soft, musical voice calls me upstairs. My path takes me over rose and green printed carpet, across the foyer which is papered in rose and white stripes, dotted with plate sized rose heads. There’s a credenza on my right of dark mahogany and antiqued brass ornamentation. On top is an elaborately crocheted doily and a white vase holding a crazy array of pink and white Stargazer Lilies, neon yellow Sunflowers, pristine white Magnolia (which makes me want to sneeze), and brilliant orange Gazanias. There’s a large, purple Liatris sticking straight up through the middle like an obscene phallic reference among the clustered petals.
The house is older. It creaks with my steps even though the wood has been muffled by floor covering. I think about this as I tread up the carpeted stairs to the second floor. Mrs. Harper has framed several round doilies in ornate, gilded frames. Each contains pictures of one child in yearly progression, with a highschool graduation mug at the center. There are five which I climb past.
Cute, I think.
“Which one?” I hear her mutter, as I make my way around the top of the landing to the brightly lit room nearest the stairs.
“Which one, what?” I ask.
I shouldn’t have asked.
She’s sitting sideways on her bed with an impressive array of sex toys spread out on the quilted bedspread. I notice that each of the quilt squares features a different grouping of flowers. Only the throw pillows at the head of the bed are solid in color, picking up the vibrant floral tints. For that matter, each of her toys looked more like decorative accents than lewd objects.
“For the trip. I have to have the right ones. If I don’t have the right ones, I’ll wish I’d brought the right ones.”
“Is it that critical?”
She looks at me, her head tilted to one side, and her blue, almond-shaped eyes blinking at me like she doesn’t understand. Blonde hairs sift over her shoulder. Frozen like this, she’s ethereal. Light touches her from the window and Mrs. Harper seems to glow with life and energy. No wonder Mr. Harper was mesmerized. I can almost imagine gossamer wings of light and air behind her, but those are a thing of Hollywood.
“Critical? Well, of course it isn’t. I must have them,” she answers.
“So they aren’t critical?” I ask, confused.
“Wait. They are critical?”
“Yes.” She smiles vacantly and nods her head which only makes more silken hair slide over her shoulder. Her long, slender fingers are plucking the purple head of an impressive plastic cock.
I decide to take a different tack.
“What will you need them for?” Really? Did I just ask that? I can see her answering in that obvious way that all sex toys are used for one thing—sex. But what I’d meant to reason through was the distinct purpose of each item and what she intended to need. Yet, no, that still sounds somehow wrong and personal.
“Creating life, silly,” she says.
Now I’m completely baffled.
“Are you trying to get pregnant again?” I hedge.
She laughs. It’s musical and floaty. “Of course not!” Then she gets serious again, and doe-eyed. I get nervous when she gets doe-eyed. “You can’t get pregnant with a toy unless it’s blessed.”
“Spring needs an orgasm,” she says, like I should understand.
“We all need orgasms,” I decide.
“Exactly!” She sighs, happy that I understand. Except I don’t. Not at all.
“Um. Mrs. Harper? How do you give spring an orgasm?” What? It had to be asked.
“Through The Great Fucking Festival. Or Festival of Fuck. They keep renaming these things.” Her brow furrows. “You should come. You’d like a good fuck.”
I’m trying hard not to laugh. She’s so sincere and it’s mean to laugh at the insane. “The toys are for your fucking festival?” I snark.
She beams at me. “And that’s why it’s critical that I pick the wrong one so I know which one is the right one.”
“Gotcha.” I don’t.
“So which one would be your pick?”
I walk a little closer. There’s a long crystal penis with ridges in cobalt blue and ruby studs. At the base, a rubber attachment houses a bullet with a curved rubbery projection for external stimulation. “That one.”
“I love that one. It’s exactly the right choice which, of course means, I won’t take it.” She nearly hops with joy. “You’re very good at this.”
I still haven’t figured out what “this” is. Or why it is except it involves festivities and fucking and sex toys… I think.
I turn to leave because really there are no guidelines when talking to Mrs. Harper. I’m even afraid to ask her for her name. Her kids are Sage, Dill, Flora and Fauna, and Willow. For all I know, her name is Posey, but that doesn’t ring true.
“Are you going now?” she asks as I leave.
“Nope, but you’re coming,” I throw back, hoping to confuse her like she’s confused me.
“Exactly.” There’s some silence as I continue down the steps. “Mia?”
“Yeah?” I answer.
“My name. It’s Thistle.” Then I hear her humming.
She’s moved on and so should I. Strangely, I no longer want to go. I want to find out all about the Festival of Fuck and offer myself up as a sacrifice on the Altar of Cock. You know, for the sake of unity among our people. Really.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Ethan: Really, this bloody early in the morning. Don't you ever sleep? We had a late night.
Ethan: You have questions, I assume. To which you should know most of the answers.
Me: There are always questions. First, tell me about yourself.
Ethan: I'm an extremely happy, nearly completely committed man.
Me: Nearly? Why only nearly?
Ethan: I'm committed to Dean, he belongs to me as much as I belong to him.
Me: No dice, come clean. You've already collared and marked him.
Ethan: I'm aware of that. But there is something else I want to do.
Me: A wedding?
Ethan: A hand-fasting ceremony, after hours. Just our closest friends and family.
Me: When do you plan on doing this?
Ethan: Haven't asked Dean yet, but soon.
Me: Thanks for the heads-up. And since you seem to be avoiding the question of your past --
Ethan: Nothing worth knowing. I'm here. Now.
Me: How did you get involved in Renaissance Faires?
Ethan: Darken. I met him when things were really rocky, he offered a free ticket to the faire, I went. Later he asked if I would give him a ride to practice one night, because his car was broke, again. I started asking questions, they asked if I wanted to try. The rest is history.
Me: How did you get involved with BDSM?
Ethan: A guy I was seeing introduced me into the world of BDSM, he was a top and wanted me to be his sub, I tried it, but it didn't work. The next guy I'd met wanted to try submission. He liked being a submissive as much as I liked being a Dom, but our personalities clashed and we went our separate ways. I found a Master to train under, learned about techniques and rules. I've had a variety of subs, but none like Dean.
Me: How do you feel about being in Knight Of Pleasure?
Ethan: Aside from being on an emotional roller-coaster, I have Dean, what more can I say?
Friday, March 12, 2010
Jane Eyre (character from a book of same name by Charlotte Brontë). I don’t know. I just like her. She sticks with you, hazards a lot of crap and still manages in the end.
Eilonwy (from The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander) She’s a bitch, but she’s sweet. She foolish, but she really smart. There’s an awesome mix in this character. If you've seen the movie (Disney’s Black Cauldron), trust me, you in no way know the books because the movie is sooooooo far from the path.
Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter series by JK Rowling) She’s smart, really smart, sometimes bitchy but she has this part of her that’s almost needy and kind of hurt. She hides the vulnerable part of herself behind her brains and exasperation with stupidity.
I have to agree with Bronwyn. When I was thinking characters by Evo Writers the very first one who came to mind was Jamie McHale (from Dakota Rebel’s To Hate and To Hold). I love him, I love him, I love him. I’m still sticking with my love of Asher (from Bronwyn Green’s Overlord’s Vessel)—and I’ve seen enough of Asher’s book as she’s been writing it to adore the man more than is healthy. I’m pretty fond of Geo (from Bad Boys, Bad Boys by Mia Watts).
If I be waspish, best beware my sting. Okay, I’m a fan of Katherine from Taming of the Shrew by the venerable William Shakespeare. It’s one of my favorite plays (followed by Kiss Me, Kate). Shakespeare was way ahead of his time when it came to writing women.
Now the next few of my other fav. characters come from books that might be a little more obscure. Shiloh Pennington and Billy Bob Walker (from Billy Bob Walker Got Married by Lisa G. Brown) are some of the best drawn characters I’ve ever come across. Despite the title, this is one of my all-time favorite books. I’ve read it at least twenty times. Actually all of the books from here on, I’ve read multiple times (in the double digits) because their characters draw me to them.
Mara Golden (from Savage Desire by Constance O’Banyon) proved to be a strong woman in an era of shrinking flowers. Yes, the hero saves her repeatedly throughout the book but I never doubted that she could save herself and you know she didn’t take any crap from the hero even if he was “Prince of the Lagonda Tribe”.
These others are more recent. I adore Arian Whitewood and Tristan Lennox (from Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros). Again these are some well drawn characters who occasionally make me cry with their pain but just make you feel good when they win. I also looooove Michael Copperfield (who goes by Copperfield) from the same book. He’s an awesome, funny, secondary character.
Cranky Lucern Argeneau (from Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands) drew me in from page one. He’s every editor’s nightmare, but I love him. He’s the reason I was drawn into the Argeneau series and why I have every book though sadly he doesn’t appear often.
And finally, Elizabeth Smith and Jamie McLeod (from A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland). Lynn Kurland doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the horrors of medieval times yet Elizabeth rolls with them. And Jamie…he’s the ultimate alpha hero. Strong and hiding his vulnerability. And when he gets his girl, everyone better watch it. He’ll not let a soul harm her ever. She’s his. He’s growly and determined and refuses to show weakness, even when he comes forward to modern times and is stunned by everything. This is also the first introduction to Jamie’s brother, Patrick whom I also adore (he has his own book, A Garden in the Rain).
There you have it. My favs. Now I feel like running to pull them off the shelf and do some reading!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I've been thinking all week about my favorite characters and I have quite a list - some by fellow Evo writers - some by others, but all of them hard to narrow down. In fact, this is by no means a complete list.
By fellow Evo writers, there's Dakota's Ethan and Jamie from To Hate and To Hold - how I adore those two.
There's Brynn's Thad and my two favorite Cress Brother, Max and Josh. Le sigh...those yummy, yummy men.
Mia's Tate, Sage, Sage's crazyass mom from the Fairily Imperfect series...Love the mom - she's batshit crazy and makes me laugh out loud every time I read about her.
Simone - I'm so sorry, I'm a bad person and haven't had time to read your book yet, but I hope to do so soon.
Margaret Yang's Morris is amazing and I can't wait 'til this book is published so everyone can know the awesome that is Morris.
Jennifer Armintrout's Max from the Blood Ties series. He's hilarious and badass all at once.
Gwen from O.R. Melling's The Hunter's Moon. A timid soul who finds an inner strength to face impossible odds to do what needs to be done no matter how bizarre or dangerous to save her cousin.
James from Maggie Steifvater's Ballad. I love this boy. I feel like I know this boy inside and out from his loathing of Pearl Jam to his moderately OCD behavior and compulsion to create music.
And last but not least, Elizabeth from Robert Muncsh's The Paperbag Princess. I know you may be thinking WTF, that's a kid's book. I contend it's an everyone book. Elizabeth is clever, determined, strong and she also has the kind of self esteem I wish we all possessed. When she realizes that she's valued for what she looks like rather than who she is and what she's accomplished, she dumps the prince and lives happily ever after on her own terms.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
If you have never read a Queen Betsy book, I urge you pick up the first book. You will know right away if you love it or hate it. And I genuinely hope you love it. She cracks me up.
The premise is that a young, beautiful, naive girl gets attacked by a group of vampires and somehow fulfills a prophecy to become queen of the vampires. Very reluctantly. She hates that man who is to be king...at first. To get her to do anything the man learns to bribe her with very high end shoes. Betsy is shoe obsessed and it just adds to her charm.
The stories are silly and fluffy, but they are a great way to kill an afternoon. Betsy is laugh out loud funny and the rest of the characters are pretty faboo too. MJD is a very talented author and I think she has invented an awesome and truly memorable character in Queen Betsy. I am head over heels for her and I think you will be too if you give the books a chance. Click the covers to buy your very own copies of this wonderful series.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Julian, Jacques, Lucian, Darius, and Gregory - the heroes from 5 of Christine Feehan's Dark Series have a couple of things in common, besides being hot, they are tortured with vulnerable points and honorable despite everything they've been through.
I like both Eve and Roarke, from JD Robb's In Death Books. Because both characters while strong and kick-ass, are flawed. Flaws that can have them butting their heads against each other on several occasions.
Temperance Brennan from Kathy Reich's books - gotta love intelligent characters.
Let's see for one reason - and generally more there is:
The Cress Brothers and a few others that belong to Brynn; Gray, Temperance, Michael, and Zander that belong to Bronwyn; Rio, Nate, Ryan, and the guys from Carol Lynne's Cattle Valley; Dakota's Vampires, Mia's Sage and Joe; ---hmmm --- still drawn to men....hmmm
I know there are more - lots more... but my brain is fuzzy and not working properly. There are over all characteristics that I like - strong, honorable, kick-ass, flawed, intelligent and somewhat tortured. I like 3-dimensional characters with a past, present, and future.
Friday, March 5, 2010
This isn’t a pat answer… I spent over an hour the other day in my writing file looking at the titles I’d written and thinking of the characters within. It was an interesting exercise. I thought I’d be able to easily pick a winner. What I found was that each person captured on the pages resonated with me for different reasons. Kinda like kids…they all had their different talents and foibles and things that make them so damn endearing to me.
Interestingly, I found myself looking at the men the most. I’ve always said that I specialize in writing men. It’s true. I do. Writing women is easy for me, writing men is a challenge and I love it. So…unfairly to the heroines, the men did get first dibs on the favorite spots.
In looking at the other bloggers this week, I had to laugh. Not one of them mentioned a female character in their writings. We’re all women I guess we just all like our men.
Back to mine… The Cress brothers resonated strongly with me. Of course they did. They’re all Doms and they don’t sit back in the corner. They’re in control of every situation—at least they like to think they are.
Thad from Tribute for the Goddess also jumps out. How could I not love a man who goes head to head with a goddess, shows her who’s really in control AND saves her from a rogue god.
A hero you haven’t seen yet, but will, is Thad’s best friend Bram. His story is actually the prequel to Tribute. I wrote it first, but was never completely happy with the original draft. I’m rewriting it.
I have to give my Dragons some love before they ‘fire’ me. Janos, Jonah, Lucan and Niko have been following me around since 2002. Those tortured shifters grow on you, but don’t feel sorry for them. That would piss them off. And they’re not sure about the new Dragon who’s shown up. Riven is a lot like the smartass little brother they never knew they had—a lot like Christian Slater’s Will Scarlett in Robinhood.
There are so many guys I’m leaving out, but you know what they all have in common—every single one of them? They know what they want and they unerringly and determinedly go for it. Or should I say ‘her’ because what they want, what they refuse to live without is always the same. And that’s the heroine, the one woman they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Really, it shouldn't be that hard. I love all of them, otherwise I wouldn't have written their stories in the first place. And yet, I'm having trouble narrowing down a clear winner.
There's Ronan - Torn between duty to his king and a chance at a life with the woman he loves, he realizes that the only way to protect her is to fulfill is duty, likely dying in the process.
I can't forget about Taliesin, a foul-mouthed fallen angel who discovers that his chance at redemption means giving up the person he loves.
Or Michael, an undercover cop, eaten up with guilt over his best friend's death and in love with the man's sister who wants nothing to do with him.
I suppose one thing they all have in common, besides being hot, is the willingness to sacrifice everything they have - even their lives - to protect their loved ones. I have no idea what that says about me as a writer, but I'm sure that a halfway decent psychotherapist could make some observations from that little insight. (Mia, that's not an invitation.)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I think that Mitch stands out for me for many reasons. He is a bad ass bounty hunter who kicks ass and kills monsters, but he has this huge soft spot for his little sister Reagan. She can get away with murder because he loves her so much and would never hurt her or let anything happen to her.
Then there is the vampire killers falls for vampire aspect that I just love. Something about the contrast just flat does it for me, which if you've read any of my books you already knew. It started with Sweet Dreams and just continued from there.
This book will always hold a special place in my heart because of the story I was able to tell through Mitch. If you know anything about me then you are aware that I am a huge fan of the show Queer as Folk. Hence making Mitch my very own Brian Kinney. Obviously if you have read Mitch the stories are not remotely close to QaF. There were no vampires on QaF and Mitch is not nearly the dick that Brian could be. But for me I could give Brian and Justin the ending I wished they could have had by writing the story differently from beginning to end.
Mitch was a really big deal for me. I don't know if I've been more proud of a book, or a character, as I was of this one. I loved that Mitch was willing to give up everything for love. It was a sweet story that still had action and adventure and violence and sex and heat and family story arcs. This book had it all and then some...not to toot my own horn anything.
Recently Mitch won an award from the CataNetwork Reviewers for most sensual read of 2009. I was dead chuffed and remain so to this day. I love when people love Mitch as much as I do. (Say that out loud ten times fast.)
When mortal Bounty Hunter Mitch Baine decides to spend one night breaking all the rules with a sexy masked vampire, he has no idea that the stranger is Jarrod Axlerod, lead singer of the famous band Heartstrings, or that he will be contracted to kill the vampire the very next day.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Each of my characters have pieces and parts of people I meet or know. If I didn't like or love my characters I couldn't write them. I have favorite or scenes that keep drawing me back or replaying themselves long after I've moved to another book, and I try to capture the best of each character that makes itself known to me.
I'm still learning, but I love all of my characters.