Friday, September 30, 2011

56 miles. In the Rain. Uphill. Both Ways.

God, I'm old.

I'm still recovering from my 56 mile walk last weekend. I may have done something to my foot, as it keeps swelling up and hurting a LOT. And I have a busy, busy social weekend staring me in the face.

Recommended read, covers 3 out of 4 kinks: Zombies, Gay/bi men, and blue-haired women. Go check out We Kill Dead Things by Sommer Marsden. I won a free copy, and while I was INTENDING to read it tomorrow on the car ride up to my dad's, I opened it up to make sure it downloaded correctly to my kindle, read the prologue and the next thing I know I was saying, "Shit, is there a sequel?" (Rest assured, there are two sequels! Lunatic Fringe is coming out... soonish?)

I meant to do some more Flash Fiction today, but I got distracted by Sommer's book... so here's a bit I had left over...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Old Trick, New Dog

Or something like that.

Today, I am learning about the wonderful world of story edits. And I don't mean the changes suggested by my betas. I mean actual edits from my soon-to-be publisher.

I got them on Thursday.

By the time I got them, I was already out of town. I was almost three hours away, at my parents' house, after having gotten some incredible news from my parents (more about that later. Much, much later.), and after going out to the porch to attempt to use my cellphone to get directions to the walk. So, from what I could see on my phone, there were some edits, but I couldn't actually look at the comments. So, I could do nothing with the document at all until I got home.

This was incredibly frustrating for me, since I like being able to start on stuff Promptly.

Especially since the edits are due October 1. Given that I wouldn't be home until late Sunday night... well, let's just say my head wasn't in the game this weekend. And the game this weekend was a 60 mile walk. Yes, you read that right. I didn't walk the entire thing this time, I was short 9 miles off the official route, but with camp walking and the like, managed a respectable 56 miles.

So, I get up this morning and open the document.

And now I need to learn how to use Microsoft Word's Track Changes options. Which I've never done before.

So... this has been fun.


(First off, I'm apparently a heretic and I put two spaces between sentences. When did that stop being correct?)

On the plus side, the editor did say a few very lovely things with the email.

Attached are the edits on your shifting steam story. I really went through and did an edit geared toward suggesting where you might want to examine your writing. Not every house or editor would agree, I imagine, but in general, I found your biggest problems to be sentence fragments, starting sentences with conjunctions and occasional odd word choice. The first two are great when used for emphasis, but I think there are some constructs that you overuse, and you need to read through your work with that in mind.

The reason I was so invested in pointing these areas out was because I found your story incredibly engaging, with a great premise, good flow and intriguing characters. So the few issues that you did have stood out to me as a reader, and I think the kinks could be worked out to make your writing really effortless to read.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Early Release, Odds and Ends,

Well, it looks like Steamlust is actually now available... you can get it here through Amazon, or here through the publisher. (My story specifically IS mentioned in the blurb at Cleis, so even if you're NOT going to buy it from them, please feel free to go look at the splash page, because you know, it's awesome.)

If you would like a signed copy, I will be setting that up through this website shortly, but I'm going out of town this weekend (of COURSE I am... and my copies of the book will arrive while I'm GONE!) so I don't really have time to do it now. (If you've already BOUGHT a copy and would like to ship it to me to sign, I'm happy to do that, as well. Please send me an email at lynntownsend dot writer at gmail dot com and I'll give you the deets on that. You will have to send me a check or a return pre-paid shipping label, because honestly, I don't get paid that much yet and while I love you for being a fan, I don't love you enough to spend my entire payment on shipping!)

I've also started the process of getting an Author page on Amazon, so I'll show y'all that as soon as I get "approval".

Flash Fiction Friday will be delayed this week; I've got 4 left from last week, so I don't need any new prompts just yet. Sorry about that. I'm going to be in DC walking 60 miles in the hopes of eradicating breast cancer. (Feel free to donate if you want. I've made goal, but it's a good cause. This walk mainly brought to you by Flowers Power; my dear friend Leslie donated quite a lot this year.)

I'll be having a book release party at the Bean There Cafe in Norfolk, Saturday, Oct 15. This is an open event. If you're local, feel free to come by. I'll be signing books, doing a reading, answering questions and talking sex. Should be fun.

I signed my second contract this week; Shadow of Kenfig will be presented to you in print and e-book formats from Torquere Press. More deets on that when I know them. (Torquere is LGBT stories.)

I currently have a few stories out; Garden Variety (which I should hear about Real Soon Now), On the Fly, and Ripped will probably be going out today or Monday. Working hard on P.B.E.M. for Duty & Desire. After I finish that, I'll be working on the sequel to Shadow of Kenfig, The Blister Effect, and editing my novel, A Marked Man. (By the way, I am "hiring" for a few beta readers for Marked Man... this is a full length, ~150,000 word fantasy romance. If you're interested and you will actually DO THE WORK, please contact me.) Then I have a short story for Kingdom of Desire due in December. I have another m/m steampunk novella in the works, too, The Wormwood Trade. Got that partially outlined. So, the rest of the year is looking pretty full.

Hope you guys are doing well and I'll see you after the 3 Day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flash Freaking Fiction Friday

Well, You asked for it, you got it (toyota! Or am I the only one who remembers those commercials? Nevermind, I'm old. I know.)

I asked for some flash fiction prompts. I've only gotten one at a time thus far. Not this week, no, no... this week I get SEVEN! Holy crap!

So... Keep your eyes on the ball, and I'll get back to you!

Dave B asks for: shards, endless, sundering, tree
Kyra gave me: train, cowboy, run, rainy
Rhonda tells me I should do: chimpanzee, pwn (or own), pioneer, sunset
Lenora gives me: tryst, petticoat, morose and bonded
Zac wants to see what I'll do with mysterious, betrayal, war and flee
Liz likes feline, pinned, stalk and frame (with words like that, this one might be NSFW... we'll see)
and Elliot wants to know about chalice, reproach, honor, and pickling.

I'll let you know as I complete them!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flash Fic Friday, Redux

So, Richard Crawford (one of my best friends that I've never met) gave me this prompt: Water, Adipose, Jellyfish, Pocketknife.

I had some problems with this one at first. Water, no problem. Jellyfish, EASY. Pocketknife. Workable... but Adipose? Fat? Really? I don't like the word "fat". It has a lot of emotional connotations that I'm uncomfortable with. So, I was pondering, and pondering... I finally made this tweet:

tisfan Working on my flash fiction and trying to find a good place to insert a word... aside from in the trash... oh, WAIT! I got it #mywana

So, here you are... a continuation of last week's story... I'm thinking I might make a habit of this, continuing to make my flash fics looking into Scanlon and Landers.

Book Trailer

Sooo... the book trailer for Steamlust is out. It's quite adorable and I'm delighted to see it. And now you can too...

The first book trailer I ever saw was for one of Julia Quinn's novels... (not that one, actually, but I don't remember which one it was...)

Before that, I'd never even heard of the concept. I'm still trying to decide if it's useful advertising, just plain fun to make, or what...

I read a lot of books on my kindle recently, and romance authors are doing a lot of "here, read my backlisted books for 99 cents each!" So I've bought a LOT of them... the problem is, with kindle books, there's no back cover. I don't always know what I'm getting. I've picked up a couple of romance-lite books; all about the love story with no sex. I'm ok with that, really; Pride and Prejudice and Tenant of Wildfell Hall are two of my favorite books and there's no sex scene. But sometimes, I get to reading a romance novel, get involved with the characters, and then I'm just waiting for the sex.

And I feel like I'm on a bad date where he goes home without kissing me goodnight. Did I do something wrong? Am I that unappealing? Where's the payoff?

I'm really much better about these things when I KNOW I'm not getting the payout.

Of course, a book trailer still doesn't tell me if the book's going to sizzle. I wonder if we could get some sort of rating system... a Five Kiss for hot, steamy, plentiful sex and a Peck on the Cheek for "white wedding, no honeymoon."

Hey, give me a prompt, would ya? For Flash Fiction Friday? Four words and I'll write a story. Link me an image? Something.... Or I'll be forced to get creative.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flash Fic Friday

I love the concept of flash fiction; given a writing prompt and a variable amount of time, write a story. I've done it a few times (ok, twice!) and found it to be fun to write, funny to read, and sometimes pretty amazing.

My friend and fellow writer (I keep wondering if there are just a lot more writers than I might have thought, or if us weird, wordly types are just drawn to each other because it seems like I have a lot of writer friends) did some flash fiction the other week that I enjoyed, but while I'd meant to send her a prompt, I fell face-first into my own work and never quite got around to it.

Here's what she came up with; (content warning, contains strong language, sexual themes, gay themes)

Yesterday, when I was out to dinner, I was idly skimming through the beer menu and came across this:

The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.

I promptly sent her a text; I found your beer!

I was, however, driving, so I didn't sample it. (The husband had a terrible couple days at work and he drank a Long Island Iced Tea that was making my eyes water from across the table!) But I am seriously tempted to go over to the Total Wine and get some. It sounds lovely; and I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never actually HAD any Sam Adams, despite being told it's one of the best American beers that exist. (I'm bigoted against American beer.)


Having started thinking about her flash fiction, I followed up with yet another text: Write me some flash fiction! Your prompt: airhorn, hockey stick, sushi, guttermouth. (Confession: I took those from four commercials on the radio, one from each commercial. Except for Tread Quarters, which was the "airhorn" one, I can't remember any of the commercials. Advertising semi-fail?)

She gave me a lovely little blurb, and then gave ME a prompt: phone, seashell, caramel, balloon. Tune in - hopefully later today - to see what I come up with (feel free to leave me additional prompts in the comments!). UPDATE! Here is my Flash Fiction...

I give you Liz's flash fic:

(Contains strong language, sexual themes)