Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Vote for Slave Heart

If you loved Slave Heart, and want to support my writing career, please consider voting for me in the Love Romances Golden Rose Award. Slave Heart has been nominated for the best erotic romance. To vote, go to http://www.loveromances.com/goldenrose.html of click on the link above!

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Word About OQ

Years ago I was a huge Dungeons and Dragons player. I loved it. Back then we changed all the rules that didn't make sense, until we had a completely different game. So I wrote it an called it Doublestar.

This is not a computer based roleplaying game, but a pen and paper RPG, the type I love best. In any event, I wrote Doublestar. The player's handbook was 118 pages, and I even managed to get some illustrations for it, which was pretty cool. I sold about 50 copies at one point, before my first wife decided she owned half of it, even though she did nothing more than proofread the manual for me, and perhaps put up with me writing it.

In any event, Doublestar was rewritten a couple of years back under the name OQ, short for Odd is Ze Qwest. Yes, it's a very bad pun. If you don't get it, you don't want to know.

The best thing about OQ is that the character sheets are very detailed. The worst thing about OQ is that the character sheets are very detailed, or rather it takes a long time to generate a character (which is done by rolling dice, if you must know, and making a bunch of calculations).

Years ago, I had a doublestar character generation program that I wrote in basic on my old Amiga 500 computer. It was a great program. It did everything. It allowed you to generate a new, random character, or input one you've already rolled. Then you could save it, edit it, print a character sheet, what a great tool.

A year or so ago, I made a brave attempt to program an OQ character sheet generation program on some shareware basic program I downloaded on the computer. It sucked. I'm using a better version of basic now, and recently, since I had to give up origami due to back pain, began programming again. I had some of the program written and I'm back into it. I'm rather happy with how it's coming along.

I need a hobby that's really involving to unwind, or my mind won't shut off. I need to beat my mind into submission to get to sleep. So programming is perfect. Hopefully I'll have a working character generation program in a month or so. I'm pretty excited about it.

Oh, I don't play OQ, by the way, I just write the program. Pretty stupid, huh. Still, my stepson Lachlan has been interested in OQ for a long time and is trying to get some friends from school into it, so maybe it will come in handy anyway.

Maybe I'll even find a couple of friends here in Tassie who want to get a game together. Or maybe an online game, which would be problematical, but it could work.

I guess I'll have to give it some thought.

Stuff I've Been Working On

Well, dana and I are about halfway through the edit of A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation. We just got finished typing in the corrections for Virtual Confusion. Every time I read this story I like it more. For all that it's one of my oldest stories it's one of my favorites. I have a lot of favorites from back when, actually, and this is up there with them.

I am in the process of editing genre definitions for the reviewers at Novelspot to use at the request of Erika, our beloved site manager. I also did a dynamic interview (no I won't explain what that is here) with Adrianna Dane for Novelspot this week, which I have yet to finish editing.

I wrote the rough draft of a review for Novelspot, of Stephen King's book On Writing, which I loved. I have to read and review Tyrant Moon by Elaine Corvidae soon. I can't wait. She's a terrific writer.

I still have to write this months Speculative Fission column for the Novelspot newsletter, I'll probably do that tomorrow. Maybe. lol Hopefully I'll also finish up an article I wrote to help out the Novelspot review team called The Anatomy of a Review. It is Novelspot's goal to offer training to all our reviewers to improve the quality of their reviews over time. I hope it's a huge success.

I was over at Fictionwise today and I reached a milestone, if a small on. A Leaf in the Wind (which is currently the #41 fantasy bestseller on Fictionwise) now has over 30 ratings, 31 to be exact. It was sitting at 29 reader ratings for so long, I was beginning to think I'd never have 30 ratings on any of my books. Strangely enough, my top rated book only has twelve ratings. Go figure. A Cure for the Common Curse is also doing well rating-wise and continues to be a humor bestseller at Ereader.com, which is pretty cool.

I'm waiting for Deron Douglas of Double Dragon to send me a cover for Consigned to Darkness. It will be up for sale not long after that, which is good for me. It will put another ebook in fictionwise fantasy. You have to keep your name out there and that's one way to do it, but damn it's hard work.

I mean, if I'm finishing off a fantasy book, my erotica career languishes and vice versa. It's not easy. I have to come out with at least two books per career, or four books a year to make it, as close as I can tell. Fun, fun, fun.

I still don't have my issue of Sahara Ice edited, or my new Planet Ds issue written. I have to do both of these this week in addition to all the Novelspot chores I've been handling.

The fun never ends. lol

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I Think I Sold a Book

Okay, I've sold lots of books. However, this one is different.

A while back, I left a couple of copies of Fantasy Cereal, my Zumaya double novel, at a local bookstore called Ellison Hawker. The store specializes in science fiction and fantasy.

Today I stopped by and it looks like one copy has sold. I don't think any of my books have sold from a bookstore shelf before this (and if they did, I wasn't around to see it).

It's a small thing, but it's sorta cool.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Dream Allows Me No Time To Sleep

I should be writing Earth Scorched right now. I had thought to start that on April 1st. I'll be lucky to start it on May 1st.

Turns out I have to edit A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation for print. Lida Quillen from Twilight Times Publications contacted me. I should have had it in ages ago, but with the changes the company was going through, I really never had a clear date and admittedly, I kept putting it off for projects that were due. Now I'm cramming at the last hour again.

A Creative Edge is a seventeen-story anthology that's 93,000 words long. It includes all my early work including classic stories such as Music to My Ears, Born of Darkness, As Luck Would Have It and the Necklace of N'larikan. It differs from the very first ebook version that was published, with the addition of the short story Tales of Speculation. This was added as an afterthought.

See, I have a method for naming my anthologies. Dream Sequence and other Tales from Beyond was named for the titles stories Dream Sequence and Tales from Beyond. They are the first and last story in the book respectively. A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation starts with the story A Creative Edge, but lacked a story called Tales of Speculation at the end, so I wrote one. It's probably not as aptly named as it could be, but I wanted to use that name and the truth is, it's such a fun story no one has noticed that the name might have been better chosen. Naturally, I have to go and ruin everything by confessing here.

I have enough short stories for at least another anthology, maybe two. The tentative title of my third anthology would be Dream Warriors and other Rites of Passage. Rites of Passage was published in Twilight Times magazine, where as Dream Warriors, one of my favorite stories, remains unsubmitted. I really have to do something about that in my copious free time.

I just submitted my story Dead Wrong to Quantum Muse a new market for me. They don't pay a lot, but I can't think of a pro market that would take Dead Wrong and it was all edited and ready to go. I have a lot of stories like that, just about ready to go, sitting on my hard drive doing nothing. Should I sell them all for ten bucks a piece, or shoot for the gold? I guess I'll try a bit of both, depending on the story.

If you've been reading this blog, you'd know that two of my stories have recently been published in ezines (A Matter of Grave Importance and Euthanasia) and I'm looking to spread my name around a bit, and gain a wider audience by sending out some others. I don't care if I give them away, it's free advertising. That's how I look at it. Hell, Alaric Swifthand, Reflections of a Recovering Servant and Confronting the Void were all given away at one point for free, and they were a lot more work than a short story. But they helped me build a readership.

So now, I go back to my roots, submitting stories, in some cases for a pittance, trying to increase my share of a jam-packed market.

And instead of starting the new projects I have lined up (Earth Scorched, A Game of Ghosts), I have to try to get A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation as clean as possible for print.

Can I complain? Not really. I'm writing full time. I'm so far ahead of where I was two years ago, it's not funny. Sure I've got a long road ahead of me, and I may not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at least I've reached the tunnel.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, I've got my head stuck in an edit. Hopefully I'll have enough strength at the end of each day to post here.

By the way, if you recognize the title of this blog installment, then consider yourself a die-hard fan. I used this title as the subtitle for one of my Shattered Fragments columns that appeared in The Wandering Troll Ezine years ago. If you didn't recognize it, that's cool too, because I only just thought of it now myself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I folded The Sphinx

Okay I didn't get much done today. After staying up all night on Far Chatters to promote my work, I got to little sleep, did yet more work on the new webpages and then had to go to a quiz night at a local pub, helping to raise money for Thylacon, the Australian National SF convention that I'll be attending in June.

Afterwards, dana and I typed a few edits into a story called The Tree, which is part of my anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation, which we're editing for print. Then I decided I needed to unwind. I found a number of origami diagrams online, and started downloading. I downloaded 52 files, including instructions on how to make an origami chess set and also, instructions on how to make The Sphinx.

It's pretty complex, at least for me. I didn't expect to be able to complete it the first time out but complete it I did. Soon as I figure out how to put pictures on this damned blog, I'm going to take a pic of it and show the world. It's not perfect, but I'm very proud of my Sphinx.

I guess I'd better get the editing done first tomorrow, before I start playing.

If anyone is interested in some of my older origami, check out the webpage link above. I've actually done more complex origami than this, but don't have pictures at this time.

Monday, April 11, 2005

OMFG I am Tired!!!!!!!!

Well it's 9:15 am. I just got through with my author day at FAR Chatters, which is an all night affair for me. Dana is in the shower then we're going to bed. I'm shot.

It was a great day though. I got to post excerpts from much of my work, I got to tell a few jokes, answer a few questions, have some pleasant banter and sail modestly off into the sunset. My Yahoo group membership is up to 77 members now, which is the highest it's ever been. I have new subscribers to both my newsletters Nagerotica and Dream Sequences. I really feel like I'm starting to gain a small following. I love knowing people are reading my work.

Now, I'm going to drag my weary carcass to bed.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Author's Day at Far Chatters

If you happen to be around on Sunday, April 10th, why not join me on the FAR chatters Yahoo Gropu? I'll be chatting all day about my current work, my upcoming books and anything else that takes my fancy.

Not a memeber of group? Clicking on the link above will bring you to the Fallen Angel Reviews page. Once you enter, scroll down the side of the page until you see Far Chatters. Click on that link and follow the instructions. Just be prepared for lots of email. This is the busiest Yahoo Group I'm on.

Anyway, I'm all excited about my author's day, so I'd better go get ready!

Of Awards and Websites

I've been told by many people that my book Slave Heart is a winner. The point was driven home to me more strongly recently, when Slave Heart won the Enda Award, not only for the best erotic BDSM novel, but also for the Year's Best Erotic Read. I was stymied. I hadn't thought a BDSM novel could do that. I was, thankfully, wrong.

So to celebrate, I decided to redo the entire Master Nage website. It's only just begun, but already it's much better than it's ever been. Just click on the link above and away you go. I've already developed quite a network of pages (my books page, Amazing Erotic Sci-fi and now the new Nage Page), and more, as I said, is on the way.

All comments on the new website will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Sahara Ice and the Dream Sequence Webpage

Today wasn't a particularly productive day either, at least as far as writing goes. However, I did write a future Sahara Ice column called Dealing with Writer's block. However, I think I might have to let that sit for a while, as I really need to write up something about The Dream Realm Awards.

I also completely redesigned the books page of my Dream Sequence website. I really couldn't deal with it anymore, so I bit the bullet and put in the time. I've been working on it since last week.

The section is now complete. The main page (which is duplicated in the books section of my Dream Sequence webpage), now has short blurbs on it, with links to individual books pages for each of my books.

Each book page has a blurb, an excerpt and reviews if available. Making a separate page for each book is a pain in the ass, but it was worth it in the end I feel.

To see the new page and check out the individual book pages linked from it, just click on the link above.

Most of the short log lines you'll find on the book page are brand new.

The Solution

Yesterday I achieved very little, but I did write a new story, if a short one. The Solution is under 600 words, and probably saleable if I take the time to edit it properly. It doesn't have the sharp twist that most of my short work has, but it's twisted in its own way. In fact, there's something disturbing about it because I can almost see it happening.

Normally I'd tell you what it was about, but with a story that short, it's almost impossible to blurb. Hell the blurb would be longer than the story.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Matter of Grave Importance

Like Vampire stories? I don't write them. At least I haven't written one yet--well, not really. A Matter of Grave Importance is a vampire story that's not really about vampires. It's a rather entertaining look at the first trial in the world to uphold vampire rights.

Anyway, the story is called (if you haven't already guessed, A Matter of Grave Importance. You can check it out by clicking on the link above, in the current issue of Alien Skin Magazine.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Enda Award Chat

Come chat with us!

On Thursday April 7, at 9PM EST, join the Enda Winners for this final contest to see who wins the Best Erotic Read Award. Finalists including myself, Desiree Erotique, Maria Osborne Perry, Marianne LaCroixe, Ellen Fisher, Vivi Anna and Lucinda Storey. I hope you can join us for an entertaining and erotic night, when the best erotic read of the last year will be named.

Just click on the link above (or go to www.literarynymphs.com ) and select chat from the pull down menu box. Hope you can make it!

Wish me luck (against names like that I'm going to need it!).

The Shortest Story I've Ever Written

Enthanasia is, by far, the shortest story I've ever written. My last blog entry was longer. Click on the link above to read Euthanasia. I promise, it won't take that long.

I'd like to say at this time that this story was schedule to print long before I heard anything about the euthanasia debate in America. That it appears at this time is just a coincidence.

Trying Again

The last time I tried to leave a post, the webpage crashed after I'd written the whole thing. I then wrote a really angry post in response to the crash, which I did nothing with. So here I am again.

Planet Ds Tier Three-Cluster Two has finally shipped, at least the PDF version has. I'm still waiting for dana to finish the .lit version, which represents about a 10% of our subscribers. I believe that will be done shortly. Dana is working on it as I type.

I broke ice on an erotic story for a new Extasy anthology, involving four authors who I somehow, through no doing of my own, ended up linked with. They are (in no particular order): Amy O'Conner, Sarah Dickson and Sascha Illyvich. It's an odd grouping, since none of us write the same type of stuff. Therefore, it is only logical that after our successful four authors contest, we should participate in an anthology together--just not logical in this universe. The anthology is called Just Past Midnight, and my story is called Moonlight Sonata. The tagline: Is there love after death? I think that about says it all.

I've been working on individual book pages for my Steve Lazarowitz books. If you want to check them out, click on the link above. That will take you to the one for Confronting the Void, my newest ebook release. From there, clicking next or previous will allow you to cycle through all the new pages. Yay me.

Actually I had help from Rebecca Pack, who did me a favor by setting up the initial pages. It took me only two days to complete them all, by adding in navigation and reviews, and making the occasional changes. Anyway, the pages are terrific, if you want to know more about a specific book, these pages are linked both to my books page and the books division on my Dream Sequence website.

Dana is currently in the process of doing the final edit of A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation for a Twilight Times Print Edition. This has been a long time in coming, and I'm extremely excited about it. The entire volume has been re-edited, including new beginnings for my short stories Sea Trap and Virtual Confusion. They are much improved over the originals. The old Virtual Confusion opening was a total cliché, and the Sea Trap opening I always felt was wooden. I'm glad I had the opportunity to rework these stories before they went to print. For those of you who don't know, A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation won the Dream Realm Award in 2000 for the best anthology, and finaled in the Eppies.

I also am almost finished writing the promo guidelines for Novelspotters, the yahoo group associated with Novelspot, which surprisingly, I own part of...don't ask me how. I'll be posting it to the list as soon as I finish up this blog, which is what I should do now. Then I'm back to editing web pages. Isn't life grand?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Out of the Frying Pan...

Once I finish a major project, I catch up on all the little things that have been neglected for so long. Today, for example, I started organizing the Dream Realm Award information, since I'll be in charge of getting the judges this year, as Samandi Adams, the old coordinator, is out of commission.

I also wrote the promotion policy for Novelspotters, the chat group affiliated with the Novelspot website, of which I'm one of the owners (don't ask me how it happened, I'm still trying to figure that out).

Then I wrote a blurb for Consigned to Darkness, and sent it into Double Dragon. Here's the blurb for those of you who aren't on in my Yahoo group...

Kestryl the Bladesman has been pushed to the edge of madness. Only the death of the Duke, the son of the woman he loves, will satisfy his need for vengeance. With High Gondylar on the brink of war, an assassination would destroy the Dukedom's best hope of surviving. Trapped between the love for his country and his hatred for the only man who can save it, Kestryl must make the hardest decision of his life.

I think this does a nice job of summing up the main conflict of the book, though there are quite a few others. This is probably the most complex book I've ever attempted.

My next trick, which I'll do after I take a break, is to get some much-needed work done on my webpages, afterwhich I'll be working on my newsletters, both the Steve Lazarowitz and Master Nage versions.

After that, I'll probably try to submit a couple of short stories, before I dive into working on Earth Scorched.

I had wanted to start the new project by April 1, but I feel it will probably be almost a week before my plate is clean enough to devote my attention to it.

Still, I have been thinking about it quite a lot, and I've made several plot changes from my earlier concept, including a new twist that should make the book far more interesting. This isn't an unusual procedure for me. I've always done most of my prewriting in my head.

Actually, I do a lot of work telling my stories to friends and colleagues to. I am gratified to find out that I'm not the only writer who does that. According to Orson Scott Card in his book Characters and Viewpoint, he knows another author that works the same way I do. Believe it or not, a silly little reaffirmation like that, helps.