Thursday, March 31, 2005

Time to Play (which for me means write)

After finishing the last touches on Consigned to Darkness, I figured I'd take a day or three off and do something I really enjoy. I'm going to write.

This might seem odd to you, since I write all the time. However most of the time, I have columns due, or contracts to honor, or books to get out. There are, however, a few things I write just for the fun of it. Anything that appears in the Origami Salad section of my Dream Sequence Webpage (click on the link above) falls into this category.

Origami Salad started with the three issues of Reflections of A Recovering Author, and continued with A History of My Writing in Nauseating Detail. Part one is up and I'm working on part two, which is a lot of fun for me. Perhaps that's only because I'm remembering the days before writing was business and I could "come and go as I please".

The first part of A History of my Writing deals with my life up to 1990. This second part will cover the next ten years or so.

One of the things I did, in order to add detail to the piece, was to call up original versions of A Leaf in the Wind and Consigned to Darkness. I still have them banging around on my hard drive. Leaf was written on Lotus Amipro, while Darkness was written on Lotus Word Pro, Amipro's successor. Fortuitously, Amipro and Wordpro both have fairly extensive document property functions, so I know the exact date I started those files. The amount of time makes me reel.

I started the Leaf rewrite on September 3, 1995 and didn't touch it again, at least that file, after February 16, 1996. That would have been just to fix typos, because I started writing the first draft of Darkness on December 14, 1995 and didn't touch that again after April 4, 1996. I started the third book of the trilogy, then called the Price of Freedom on March 8, 1996 and have yet to finish it. I last touched that file on July 17, 1996.

That I'm still working on this series today, and that I've just finished the second book of it, is almost disorienting. The amount of history leaves me speechless...well speechless for me, which is about as long as this blog entry is.

Hopefully you'll stop by and read my entries in Origami Salad, including the installment I'm working on now. It's a free gift to those of you who enjoy my writing. I wish there could be more of them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

But it's ALMOST over. Today I've typed in the last corrections, rewrote the last scene I'd have to rewrite in Consigned to Darkness. That means the next to next to last step is done.

If I've already entered all the corrections from all my editors, what's next, you ask?

First, I have to do the global edits. This consists of a number of searchs in the document to make sure certain references remain consistence. For example, is high priest capitlized or not. In the case of "Darkness", I have an extra step, since it's the second book of a series. I have to make sure that the conventions used in the first book, are continued in the second. It's a pain in the ass, but it's better that way.

Is it spelled m'Lord or M'lord. It has to stay consistent from book to book. is the Fotress-Temple of the Sarithan Assassins capped? Is it hyphenated? Even in this same book, I have things that I have to check, such as the capitlization of sangreth, which I eventually decided to lowercase.

And then, I check for the words I tend to overuse: of course, thus, really, fortunately-- all words I could do with a lot less of.

Then, all that remains is to check the formatting, which dana does anyway, before sending off the final copy to Double Dragon.

Does that sound like fun to you? It's not, but it has to be done. So I'm off to do it. But it feels so damned good to get the corrections typed in.

Yay me! (and dana too!)

Monday, March 28, 2005

It's All dana's Fault

Well, I thought I'd be done with Consigned to Darkness by now. I'm sure you're probably as tired of hearing about it as I am of editing it. Dana and I have just entered chapter nine corrections into the final manuscript, which only leaves 10, 11, 12 and the epilogue to go.

However, chapter nine required a bit of a rewrite, because dana couldn't visualize one of the battle scenes. It left her with questions, one of which was dead on.

There's a plateu in High Gondylar called Hell's Garden. It's quite a remote site. Three of its sides are too steep to get an army up, and so it can only be approached from the West. The Count of Astriana decides this is a very defensible position, and decides to gather his scattered forces there.

In the original scene, there is a rush to get one of the forces up to the top before dark, because even the western slope can be trecherous, and after dark, downright dangerous. To help the men climbing below, the Count orders a large fire built, which will hopefully give them some light and a beacon. During this crisis, an attack comes from the north face of the plateau. This raised several questions to dana. Where did they get the wood for such a large fire? How did the attackers bring a force up the north side, and why would any intelligent General light a hugh fire on the top of a hill, when he doesn't want to give away his position.

I hated having to rewrite this scene. I fought against it tooth and nail. I was verbally agressive. I got dana to the point where she was just saying leave it...but by then I couldn't, because her comments started making ME wonder about the scene.

The new scene is MUCH better, more logical and the mood, my favorite part of the first scene, is preserved and even improved. Yay dana. That will teach me to argue.

It's just that I'm so tired of working on this book, and I'm dying to move on. Still a couple of more days should do it. Just a couple of more days.

Assuming dana doesn't make me do any more rewrites

Sunday, March 27, 2005

My Least Favorite Thing About Writing

The newest issue of Sahara Ice is up at Fallen Angel reviews. Just click on the link above, and read away.

If I didn't spend so much time editing, I probably wouldn't hate it so much, but it's a quality control issue. Some of my early work is not as well edited and when I read it now, I absolutely cringe.

In spite of this, people have told me they love my early work. Go figure.

It's particularly noticable in the ebook version of Dream Sequence, in which the unedited manuscript was inadvertantly published instead of the edited one. I should say that the fault here doesn't like with the publisher, but with me sending the wrong copy to publish.

On the other hand, the copy I sent in, was the final formatted copy, sent to me by my editor (who denies it to this day).

Anyway, all water under the bridge, but now I'm far more careful about how I edit and how much personal responsibility I take for those edits, instead of leaving them in the hands of others.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I Can't Imagine How Tired I am

Well, progress is slow, but getting there. I finished and submitted my monthly Sahara Ice column to Fallen Angel reviews today. It's subtitled My Least Favorite Thing About Writing, and I quite like it. Anyone who's ever edited a story will be able to appreciate it.

I've also gotten halfway through my final edit of Planet Ds Cluster 3 - Tier 2, before I ran out of steam. Completely. I don't know if this is a blood sugar related problem (I seem to have no energy since I've been diagnosed with type II diabetes, or if it is something else. Maybe just my schedule. In any event, I couldn't see straight and have to stop.

And dana is just about finished with her final edit of Consigned to Darkness. She'll be done with the Epilogue in just a few minutes, which means I have three chapters of corrections to type in, and then I have to do word searches on words that I tend to repeat too often and a few things like M'lord to make sure they're all spelled and capitlized the same way throughout the book. Then, finally, I can send it into Double Dragon.

However, there will be no work at all on Saturday. March 26th, 2005 is my two year wedding anniversary. Dana and I will be spending the day celebrating. The kid's grandmother is picking them up in the morning and we'll have a few days to ourselves. As much as I love the kids, and I do, I can use a break from their constant sniping at each other. I know it's normal, but it's also frustrating, because no matter how often I tell them to stop sniping and just beat each other senseless, they ignore me. lol

Anyway, they're gone and we're going to go to the Psychic Faire down at Wrestpoint Casino, afterwhich we're going to have dinner out, we haven't decided where yet.

But the best thing about the day, will be when we get home. (Get that dirty thought out of your mind!). You see, dana and I have something most couples don't have. Most people have memories of their dating days, and can reflect back on them, but dana and I met on the Internet. I moved to Tasmania from the States to be with her, so we were a couple pretty much as soon as I got off the plane. We didn't exactly have dating days. We were sleeping in the same bed from day one.

However, we did chat online for many, many months before I ever moved here, every day, sometimes for hours. Which means, unlike most couples, we don't have memories or photos of those early days, but we do have transcripts of those conversations. Imagine being able to actually relive your old conversations, your old arguments, your old moments of sharing...in actual detail. Not a fallible memory, but an actual record of the event.

So when we get home on Saturday, dana and I will be reading through some of our old chats, to remind ourselves just how we got together. I should be, if nothing else, interesting. Some would say it's romantic. I know I think it is.

But since Saturday is a day off, I want the Planet Ds edit finished by tomorrow, so that dana can go through it and lay it out on Sunday.

Of course, tomorrow, we're also going to be typing the rest of the corrections (or as many as we can) into Consigned to Darkness, so that might not be realistic. Oh well, it will be done, when it is done. I used to stress about things like that (hell I still do, I just live in denial), but I can only work as fast as I can work and I refuse to sacrifice the quality of my work to rush something out. Anyway, when I started Planet Ds, I didn't know I'd be diagnosed with diabetes or have no energy.
Hopefully my subscribers will be patient, and they'll feel the wait for the new issue (which I really love) is worth it.

I also want to update my webpage, to include the Enda Icon for Slave Heart that I got in the mail, and I want to update the Planet Ds members only area as well.

Oh, and I just signed up for a new anthology with Extasy books, with three other authors, which means another short story I have to write within the next couple of months. The anthology, which has yet to be named, will include Halloween erotica stories, for those who like a bit of supernatural mayhem with their sex.

Okay, this is turning into a novel in and of itself. I'll see you all tomorrow (if I have the strength).

Monday, March 21, 2005

Planet Ds Tier Three - Cluster Two

After two days of slow writing, I finally finished the rough draft of the next issue of Planet Ds. I'd like to get it out in the next few days, though it depends on dana who does the layout. She's busy editing Consigned to Darkness, but she's almost done, so who knows.

I'm only a bit behind schedule, which isn't too bad. A few days at most. Fortunately I'm not really scheduled to start writing Earth Scorched till April 1st.

I've done a lot of other work that I haven't listed here lately, including a story of the Planet Ds story. In other words, why I decided to write it. I should probably publish that here separately.

I also wrote a review of the Jack Chalker book The Moreau Factor for Novelspot, the first review I've done for them. Oh, and I wrote my Master-D-Bates column for The Dom's View, my Speculative Fission column for the Novelspot Gazette and an article called The Making of Thylacon for SFSITE and anyone else who wants it. I guess I have been getting some work done, if only a little at a time. I really need to start keeping this diary up to date.

Slave Heart Wins an Enda

Earlier today, I learned that my book Slave Heart has won the Enda Award for Best Erotic BDSM book. Furthermore, I found out the decision of the judges was unanimous. I'm very proud of Slave Heart, and I'm glad that it was recognized.

Slave Heart is the book in which I put forth my own personal BDSM philosphy. Actually, I do that even more in Master Nage's Guide to Training Consensual Slaves, but that's nonfiction. The character Jorge in Slave Heart is basically me (with more hair).

I should mention, The Enda Awards are the annual Literary Nymph Awards. Literary Nymphs is probably my third favorite yahoo group, right after Dark Romance Novel Group and Novelspotters, which I consider home. I really should spend more time there.

So Much for Posting Every Day

I had originally started this to be a journal for my writing, though I do include other thoughts as they occur to me. However, I haven't been feeling great lately and so I haven't done as much writing as I would like and though I have made progress on Consigned to Darkness, I am so sick of the book, I no longer want to talk about it.

I guess if I want daily entries, I'm just going to have to try harder. I do have some news today, but I'll post them under separate headings, because it makes more sense to do that.

In the meantime, hopefully my health will improve and I'll be back to posting more often.

Monday, March 07, 2005

What's in a Name

Several people have asked about the origins of the name Master Nage. We can trace the roots of the name all the way back to two of my favorite high school past times...watching Star Trek and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Fantasy roleplaying in general and D&D specifically was my favorite thing to do in high school. The idea for A Leaf in the Wind came from a D&D game back in high school, though of course, it had to be significantly modified. Games don't generally make great books.

In any event, back in those days, we could never think of names for characters, so we ended up spelling things backwards. Emanon was one of my favorite character names (no name backwards lol).

Back then, the only Star Trek series in existence (unless you count the cartoon), was the original series. My favorite episode, written by the science fiction great Theodore Sturgeon is called Shore Leave. My favorite character in Shore Leave was a guy by the name of Finngean, played by a little known actor named Bruce Mars. Not that that has anything to do with the name, just thought I'd mention.

Anyway, if you spell Finnegan backwards, you get Nagennif, which was what most of my characters were named. I was too lazy to think up new names. Naturally, when I wrote the first draft of A Leaf in the Wind, Nagennif was the main character. It also became something of a nick name.

Once at a Star Trek Convention at the Statler Hilton Hotel in NYC, I was wearing a name tag that said Nagennif, as it had become sort of a nickname (even though no one ever really used it. It was more of a tag I guess).

When I went up to get Walter Koenig's autograph (that's Checkov to you), he asked me what my name meant and I told him, it's contrived. It's Finnegan spelled backwards. He didn't bat an eye but signed his autograph and moved onto the next fan (there was quite a line). As I walked away from the table, I noticed that he'd signed his name backwards. If I still have my Star Trek scrapbook somewhere, I might have the ONLY autograph of Walter Koenig backwards in existence! Certainly a novelty item.

I was thrilled, by the way, by his frequent appearances as the Psi Cop Al Bester in Babylon 5. But I digress.

Anyway, when I got online and started going into chat rooms, Nagennif just seems like the name to use. It was there, I wasn't using it for anything else, I didn't have any books published. So what the hell.

Of course many of those chat rooms became BDSM chat rooms (I first found out about BDSM accidentally. I was actually looking for a D&D chatroom and saw a room on the IRC called The Dungeon. How's that for coincidence?). Anyway, when it was time to publish A Leaf in the Wind, I couldn't use Nagennif anymore as the character a fantasy novel, because back then the link between Nagennif and Steve Lazarowitz was not widely known. So I changed the main character's name to Tanrif in the book. In fact, I changed pretty much all the character's names, so that people reading it wouldn't be distracted by trying to spell everything backwards. I did leave one of the old, backwards names in, a minor character, just to see if anyone would notice. So far, no one has.

In any event, around this time, I started realizing that if people in chat rooms want to shorten the name Nagennif, they'd call me Nag. While I sometimes do nag, I didn't feel this was a good name for a dominant, and so I shorted the name to Nage, figuring it was short enough for most people to type.

When I started writing erotica in September of 2004, I decided Master Nage would be a good name to write BDSM fiction under. I'm still not sure I've made the right choice.

Some people are fascinated by the idea of a real life Master writing BDSM and some think I'm the most egotistical thing since sliced bread. I'm guessing both groups are correct. lol

Anyway, that's the story of my name. And now, I go to prepare for a promotional chat at Fallen Angel Reviews.

I realize the odds of anyone reading this before the chat are negliable, but just in case, here's the info:

Sunday 3/6 at 9:00pm EST. http://client1.sigmachat.com/sc.pl?id=57562

Mind you that's March 6 rather than June 3. I have to say that since I now live in Australia where the dates are written before the month.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Champing at the Bit

Well, I'm tired of this novel already and want to move on. I'm ready to start working on Earth Scorched, but I still have about two weeks of work left to put the finishing touches on Consigned to Darkness. During those two weeks, I also have to write the next issue (Tier Three-Cluster Two) of Planet Ds. I'm sooooo tired.

Yesterday, I wrote my short Speculative Fission column for the Novelspot newsletter. This one was about the upcoming Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, and why it scares me. I also edited Dragon Tails (the Double Dragon Newsletter, which I also write) down to 500 words so it could go in the newsletter too.

Actually I don't write the Double Dragon newsletter. A while back, Deron Douglas at DD was looking for a newsletter editor and at that time, I told him how boring I felt the newsletter was. There was no unifying theme, it wasn't entertaining, it was just a list of everything that came out. Enter me.

I came up with the idea of writing the newsletter from the point of view of the dragon who founded the company. It actually says on the bottom of each issue, Translated from Dragonese by Steve Lazarowitz. Actually it says Translated to Dragonese, which is a long term typo that dana only just caught. lol

Anyway, I write the intro pagragraph and the closing paragraph and then we insert the boring bits in the middle. If I had more time, I'd write about each book personally, but that's just not in the cards. I did it for a few issues.

Anyway, to subscribe to the Double Dragon Newsletter, click on the link above.