Tuesday Tickle: Bite Me (Later)

Just a few lines tonight. Writing’s been a hit-or-miss kind of project lately, with more misses than hits. Writer’s block–or, rather, depression masquerading as writer’s block (so I can feel even worse about myself, right? Depression’s a shady bitch.). I’ve learned to recognize it for what it is, which is half the battle. I haven’t figured out the other half yet, unfortunately, so the month’s wordcounts are rather ragged. But here’s a little bit, totally unedited and very first draft.

Levi wasn’t nearly drunk enough to deafen himself to the call of the moon. He lay on his bed in the rooming house and groaned as the liquor tried to drag him down to unconsciousness and his bones tried shift and take on their full moon shape. When he’d first arrived in the city, he’d kept things stable by hunting stray dogs. Since he’d discovered the witch, he’d managed to placate the wolf with sex and food—lots of both. But now Glyn wasn’t answering his calls.

He rolled off the bed and shook his head. A walk would clear the fog from his mind. And help him burn off some of this raging energy.

The wolf agreed.

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Learning About The Bells and Whistles

I’ve been playing around with Liquid Story Binder a bit more. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s similar to Scrivener. It’s a PC program and, as far as I can tell, is as full featured as anything Scrivener has to offer, though the interface is a bit different. (By the way, I just went to the website to get the URL, and it’s on sale for $23, so go check it out!)

Like Scrivener, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but it’s usable right out of the box. The reason I’m blogging this now is, because I have two monitors to work on, some of the options and functionalities that didn’t work for me before are now a bit more useful.

Here’s a screenshot of what I’m playing with now:

twoscreens

This is actually both screens. The left side is the laptop monitor, the right side is the second one.

On the right, you can see the short story, Forastero, that I’m working on, and something called a Planner, which is where you store your chapters/short stories.
chapters

On the left is something called a Storyboard, which works like a set of virtual notecards. You write in them, you can add images, and move them around however you want. I tend to think in chapters rather than scenes, so mine is broken into chapters, but it can also be used for organizing scenes.
storyboard
The storyboard is my new toy. I’m trying to get a little more into planning than I have been, to avoid some of the questions I keep running into. And I’m wondering if it might help speed me up a little. I didn’t do pictures in this one, but I may try them later in something else.

My favorite part of it is the planner, though, because I like being able to see all the chapters in order. You can move them up and down, or add new ones as you go. You can also write in scenes in the planner, instead of chapter like I do, and have the program build the manuscript for you later.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all works in conjunction with the whiteboards. :D

I threw a bit more junk out of the office today and tried moving the desk to see if it really was as heavy as I remembered. (Yes, it was!) But not impossible. Maybe over Easter weekend I’ll move everything about.

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Conversations With My Editor

Editor: Here’s an idea for you–sexy cockroach.
Me: o.O
Editor: Evil laugh.

*Fast forward one month*

Me: Hmmmm.*scribbles* *plays with Paint* *Emails editor* Don’t be surprised if this gets written.

La Cucaracha cover

Editor: Muwahahahaha! I win!

It’s like she’s got some weird superpower.

That’s okay. She doesn’t know the giant gummy bear that arrived at her place yesterday is possessed and will sneak out of the cupboard tonight to paint her face with Crayolas. :D

By the way, if you like the cockroach, you can buy the t-shirt at Spreadshirt

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Tuesday Guest Tickle: Tempeh for Two by Karenna Colcroft

TempehforTwo_200The concept behind this series always makes me giggle–imagine a vegan werewolf. A vegan alpha werewolf, at that. I like Karenna’s style. It’s that same sly perversity that created Glyn and Levi for me.

Tempeh for Two is that last book in the ‘Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat’ series. As such, you should buy them all, so you’re not left figuring things out when you get to this one. :D

Here’s what the story’s about:
Tobias Rogan never wanted to rule anyone, but in the past several months has gone from quietly running the smallest pack in the U.S. to controlling the Northeast Region. And now, to save the werewolf world, he must challenge the Anax, ruler of all werewolves in the United States. But Tobias’s mate, Kyle Slidell, is being held as blackmail, and Tobias must choose: Issue his challenge and risk Kyle’s life, or allow the Anax to declare war.

We found the others in the kitchen, where Kendra and Avery were bustling around cooking and setting food on the island. Ordinarily they would have had everything ready before our friends arrived, but I didn’t blame them for the oversight this time. Too many things had happened for them to have their minds entirely on their jobs.

Dave and Ramon stood at one end of the island. Brianna sat at the corner of it with Trey beside her. When we entered the room, Brianna jumped off her stool and hurried toward us. “Tobias!”

“Hello.” I gave her my first genuine smile of the day.

She faltered and stopped a few feet from me. “I’m sorry, Arkhon. I should—”

“You should call me Tobias unless I tell you otherwise.” Werewolf titles held a horrible weight for Brianna. She had never been permitted to address the alpha of her first pack by name, and she had been used by him and most of the other males in that pack. Saul had insisted on a different title, one which should have been earned not demanded, but he’d made her call him “Alpha” at times as well, from what she’d told me.

The day she’d joined my pack, I’d told her she would only be required to call me by title on formal occasions. This wasn’t one. Seeing my friends from Boston brought a lightness to my heart that had been missing since March. This was a celebration.

“Tobias.” Brianna’s smile returned. “It’s so good to see you.”

“And you.” I reached to touch her and stopped at holding out my arms, giving her the choice of whether to accept a hug.

She did. She was sturdier than she’d been last time I’d seen her. Back then she’d looked half-starved, even after two months of healing and life with Carlos. She’d put on some weight now, and it looked good on her. She appeared healthy.

She allowed me to hold her for only a moment, but it was enough for me to sense the growth and healing within her. She pulled away and turned her smile on Kyle. “Hey.”

“Hey.” He grinned. “Mated life looks good on you.”

Brianna’s cheeks colored. “Yeah, sure.”

I walked over to Trey, who had also stood but had remained at his place. “Hello, friend.”

“Hello, Arkhon.” He tilted his head.

I rolled my eyes. “Do I have to say this to each of you individually? Titles are formal. We’re friends here. Unless I tell you otherwise, use my name.”

“Hello, Tobias,” Trey said in a half-sarcastic lilt.

“Have you taken over being wiseass of Boston North Pack?” I grinned. “How are Mikey and Jeremiah?”

“Mikey’s doing all right.” He sobered. “Still has nightmares sometimes about what happened back in January. Lately nightmares about his mother’s family, too. And he told me to tell you to watch out for the colorful wolf.”

“I will.” I had no clue what Mikey might mean by “colorful,” but if the boy had seen fit to send me a message, I would listen. If we’d listened more to Mikey in the past, some of the events we’d dealt with over the winter might have been avoided. At least we would have been better prepared.

“Jeremiah helps him a lot with the psychic stuff,” Trey said. “He’s been teaching Mikey how to filter things better, for one thing. He’s keeping an eye on Mikey and Tareth while we’re gone, and if Tareth has the baby before we get back, Mikey will stay with Jeremiah.”

“The baby had better not come while I’m away,” Justin said in a near-growl. “I will be there to see him born if it kills me. He and Tareth need me.” He paused. “I need to be there. I can’t miss the birth. It’s too important.”
“I’m sure Tareth doesn’t want to have him while you’re gone either,” I said.

He nodded and relaxed. “I know. Just keep hoping.”

“Hey, Kyle.” Ramon’s white teeth flashed in something between grin and grimace. “I have a joke for you.”

“Oh, how lucky for me.” Kyle shook his head. “I don’t know if I want to hear this, but go ahead.”

“If tofu turkey is called tofurkey, what do you call tofu duck?”

All of us stared at him for a second. Kyle caught on first and started laughing so hard he had to lean on the island. “You asshole.”

The rest of us laughed with him, and the lingering tension and anger from Kyle’s trial finally went away. The darkness didn’t completely leave my mind, but for the first time in two days, I felt completely happy. I was with friends. This was how it should be.

Karenna Colcroft is a firm believer that love is love, regardless of gender and number. She is a survivor who knows that true love doesn’t heal all, but it can help someone find the motivation to try. Karenna lives in the northeastern United States with her two children, her real-life romance hero husband, and three cats, one of whom does a mean parrot impersonation. Find out more about Karenna and her books at http://www.karennacolcroft.com

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A New Nightmare for You

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This goes way beyond the werecockroach story my editor gifted me with.

(Yes, indeed. A werecockroach. He’s a superspy. An indestructible superspy. I mean, he’s a cockroach, right? Not entirely sure who his arch-nemesis is, yet. Maybe a wereSEAL? Too far? Too much pun? Bear in mind, if you shoot this idea down, the next one will be exponentially weirder.)

Why is there a Mountain Goat in my head?

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The Proto-Office: The Official ‘Before’

DSCN0343 This is the proto-office, in it’s rather messy ‘before’ state. It has a tropical island theme–it used to be one of the boys’ bedrooms. I’m keeping the theme, because I like the bright sky-blue and just the general funkiness of it. In the dead of winter, this will be a fun place to hang out and write. You can see my whiteboards waiting to be installed. I’m debating doing built-in bookshelves against the wall at the bottom of the sloped ceiling. The space isn’t really good for much except that kind of storage, but a set of nice shelves and a few sets of drawers to keep things in would be really handy.
 

DSCN0344 This is from the other end of the room. The desk will be staying–it’s an incredibly heavy beast and there’s no way I’m getting it back down the stairs without hiring professionals. I think I’m going to move it against the long wall, but I’ll have to wait and see how things look as I get stuff cleared out of there. I do have another desk downstairs which I’m considering moving up to this room. The clothes dressers will go, as well as at least one of the beds. The other is an old Dutch army cot, and I’m tempted to keep it as a place to lounge when I need to do research or just recharge. You can see the little fish tank sitting on the desk. We have incredibly hard water around here and it’s more than a bit of a mess. If I can scrape the mineral deposits off it, I think I’ll set it up with a small school of neons and some plants, to keep me company during long editing sessions.

DSCN0346 A close up of the ‘banana tree’ at the end by the door. I made it out of burlap and a length of that heavy green fabric you make awnings out of, to hide a pipe that runs up through that corner of the room. My house is old, has had many owners, and lots of really odd things have been done to it. It’s a prime example of ‘good enough’ renovations, where doing things the way they should be done is a rare thing indeed.
 
 
 
 

DSCN0345 And some little buddies that hang around in the room. Note the cobwebs–this room has been storage for nearly five years, so there’s a fair bit of dusting and dewebbing to be done.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m really excited to be moving forward with this project. My own space, a bit of room to spread out in. I’m looking for some picture frames, so I can have my book covers printed and framed for the wall. Maybe a laser printer? I’m sure I’ll come up with other things I need, or want, to make this into a working office.

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Tuesday Tickle: A Knight in Shining Kevlar

So, my little weather bomb did a real number on me. RCMP have been asking people to stay off the roads for the past three days, the huge poplar tree in the side yard lost about half it’s branches and everything is covered in half an inch of ice.

I’m a little behind in producing new words–my jaw flared up again over the weekend and my one trip out of the house was to Emergency for painkillers. I only took one, because I hate how opioids make me feel, but it was almost enough to break the pain cycle. So, I’ve been functional, but nowhere near the state necessary for writing.

However, I do have a few bits and bobs that I threw into Knight, as I reacquaint myself with the manuscript and try to figure out what additions and changes I want to make. Here’s one of them:

They stopped to pick up steaks at the grocery store. Ben, wearing a grin that Ross could only categorize as impish, had dropped a frozen caramel cheesecake into their basket as well.

“In case I burn the steaks.” But his eyes danced and Ross had to laugh.

“Despite what you might think, I’m not a picky eater.”

Ben grinned and bumped a hip casually against Ross’s. The flash of desire was pretty much status quo at this point, but the warm, ‘just came home’ feeling was a bit of a surprise.

Getting ahead of yourself there, Gorveatt. Foot off the accelerator. He followed Ben up to the cash register, taking the opportunity to admire the way his police jacket fell across his shoulders, how the trousers gripped and slid over his thighs with each step. Damn, but he was a sucker for a uniform.

Have to see how the rest of it falls out before I know if that will stay, but it’s a cute little scene.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled heating pad and Chuck marathon.

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