Saturday, 22 December 2012

Swan's paddles on

banner made by Don'tcallmeleelee

‘Swan’s mate for life’ is still going. One of my betas, Feebes, assures me that it will end up longer than ‘Best Friends’. Yeesh, I hope not; that was over 200,000! But she might be right, because the word count is already way over 150k. This was taken on the sixteenth and I have written some since then.

I made a rash promise to the JBNP readers that I would try to finish this story before Christmas... yeah... that’s not going to happen. Sorry guys. I have made a huge effort and written 22,035 words in the last seven or eight days and posted all of those chapters. I have got them to a point where the three are back together, but now there are a lot of loose ends to tie off. And they are kind of important loose ends, so I don’t want to do a rush job on it.

My Scrivener plan has 24 scenes marked out to follow the last chapter and that doesn't include the sex... lol. Sex always blows out my word count.

·       Who was the gas station vamp? Who sent him and why?
·       How does the alpha pair change the status of the pack?
·       Vampire battle scene? The pack fights with an alpha pair in place,
·       Paul has matured and Leah has accepted her wolf, but Bella still needs to prove her worth to the trio as well,
·       Bella needs to tell Charlie the whole truth (because I insist on it), and
·       More information on the gene theory of phasing - who is next? How can the tribe be better prepared?
·       And of course, the happy ending!

I have been having major issues with Google Drive. I plan and write in Scrivener and cut and paste into Drive for my betas to check/edit/comment. We also chat and brainstorm. For some reason I crash the chat function, and last night, Drive decided it didn't like Feebes and took away her access to all my documents. I have no idea why. My other beta Bansidhe assures me that I should be sent to foreign enemies to crash their computer systems.

I swear I am magnetic.

So, sorry guys, it will take some more time. But happy holidays to you all! May you enjoy your time off and survive the time spent with relatives.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Fandom Choice Awards

I have been nominated for four categories in the Fandom Choice Awards.

1.            All-Time Favorite Author
2.            Favorite Short (One-Shot) - ‘Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’ by Mrstrentreznor
3.            Best Love Scene - [I have no idea which scene they chose… lmao] ‘Best Friends Share Everything’ by Mrstrentreznor
4.            Best Slash - ‘Best Friends Share Everything’ by Mrstrentreznor

Vote here:

There was a limit of three nominations for each writer, with some exceptions including the all-time fave category. If you were nominated in more than that, they just took the top three, so clearly Friends beats out Apologies.

Voting is open until January 3rd and you may choose three in each category. Thank goodness, I know I had enough trouble limiting my nominations. I was particularly pleased to see 'Boys with Girlfriends' by audreyii_fic in the best Bella Swan category. It is a gender swap story, and her Bella is called Lucas. It certainly made more sense to me for Edward to be an Edwardian female.

I was also pleased to see my beta feebes86 nominated for six categories. So proud of her. She has worked really hard to push herself in her writing femslash and horror/action, both of which she has been nominated for and in the all-time fave category, as well. 

There are very many great writers listed, so make sure you vote.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


If I had been doing the national novel writing month, I would have failed. Perhaps I would have tried a little harder if I had registered, but in any case, I only wrote 43,550 words not 50,000 for the month. In my defense I wrote 41k in October and 43k the month before that.

According to the website the big three genres this year, were fantasy, young adult and science fiction. So it looks like those three are still popular with writers, and hopefully with readers.

There were some super neat offers making the rounds. Scrivener was down to $20 for Nano winners (people who finished the challenge) and 20% off for those who didn’t finish but registered. Now the tricky part is to finish it, edit it and then do something about it.

Yeah, right. Easy for me to say. *looks sideways at pile of unfinished projects*

I think that might actually be the hard part.

It’s always hard to hold yourself out there. To show to someone else, the thing that you have poured so much effort into.

So shop around. Find out what publishers accept the kind of stories that you have written. Don’t waste your time, and theirs, sending a Christian publisher your vampire porn story. Think of it as a job interview. Get it right. Do your research. You wouldn’t apply for a job if you didn’t have the qualifications.

Meanwhile, read it through again. Polish it. Edit it. Make it the shining jewel that will catch someone’s eye.

Worst case scenario? Get a cool cover made for it and load it up on Smashwords.

You just never know. And of course, with Smashwords, you haven’t actually signed away the rights to anyone else. Ugh *shudder*. I remember reading some fine print pages and backing away fast. One actually said that if you uploaded the document, it now belonged to them; even if they never ever published it. No thanks.

*I cannot find the image owner, but clearly the words are Neil Gaiman's.

Friday, 23 November 2012

I won second prize!

And I am really pleased with that.

Jacob Black~n~pack did a fall anonymous one shot competition. The prompt was: What will future bonfires and the tribal stories around them be like?

Come on baby light my fire

It was anonymous so nobody knew who wrote each story. I posted something small when I noticed that they were not getting a lot of entries. I should have known! Everyone else was clearly putting some intense effort into their entries, and put them in at the last minute. There were some fabulous ones and seven in all by the closing date. I really didn't think my little story had a chance.

I love anonymous competitions.  They make it a level playing field. Popular people can’t sway the vote with all their fans voting for them. It also means that people, who have never posted something before, can place it anonymously and be judged solely on their words. A number of the entries were either from new writers or broke new ground for old ones.

I posted my story on fanfic too, for those who are not members at JBNP. I kept the wolf identity anonymous too, lol. Insert your own wolf fun. So much fun reading the reviews, where each person thought it was a different character.

I am Australian and we don’t do thanksgiving, but if I was thinking about what I am thankful for, then I’d say that I am thankful for all the writers who share their words with us all.

Monday, 5 November 2012


I like the concept of nanowrimo. For those who don’t know, the idea is that you register with the site and your aim is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It sounds like a lot but it’s an achievable target of 1,600 words per day. Even easier if you made it three 600 word session targets.

They have a huge number of hints, resources, twitter feed encouragement, writing sprints you can participate in, etcetera. They also get deals with editors and software sellers for discounts to nano members. I think it can be any writing. Fiction, non-fiction original or fanfiction.

They assign a local organiser who arranges meetings in your area. There were over four thousands participants registered where I am, for example. I think if you wanted encouragement and you needed to know other people were writing with you, it’d be perfect. I am one of those truly annoying people who can say, ‘I write that many words every day’.

I discussed it with a couple of people but left it very late to look at in any detail. One issue for me is that it has to be an unwritten idea. You can have done all your preparation, plotted out your storyline and designed your characters but you are not supposed to have started writing it. I have half a dozen story lines sketched out, but none that I haven’t actually started writing on.

Listen to me, I am so rule bound! It would never occur to me to cheat. Lol

Also I really do need to finish some other stuff. After distracting myself with some happy, smutty, fluffy one shots Wide open Road, and an attempt at a children’s story The great flood, I am diving back into the angstfest that is Swan’s. I said it would be worse than Hurt. It certainly is bigger! Over one hundred thousand words and, I suspect, maybe half way.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Plagiarism vs fanfic

I write a lot and I get very little time to read fanfiction these days. I keep up with my favourite writers and stories that aren't finished yet, but I just don’t have time to read everything. I have some great fans and readers who let me know when they hit a fic that sounds very like one of mine.

In all honesty, there is not a lot I can do about it, but I do appreciate them notifying me and keeping watch on my behalf. I have heard of fanfic being copied word for word; even the summary and posted under another name on another site. That is clearly plagiarism and a campaign from the original writer’s supporters got that one removed. But in a fanfic world where only the real author holds the rights, none of us have much defense.

It would be true irony for me to get upset about it, so I don’t. But if I don’t respond, then people assume that I don’t know about it and they keep messaging me, to tell me about it.

I'm not well today and maybe I handled something badly, but I am not sure what else I could have done. I heard from a few sources about a fic that was very similar to one of mine. So, I read it.

Clearly some people must have spoken to the writer as well. If you are accused of copying someone’s work, it’s probably a bad idea to put up a message telling people to shove it up their ass. She did say that she had ‘hardly read my story’. I'm not sure what that means. In any case, I replied to her message. Maybe I should have done so privately? But she had posted a public comment and that effectively called me out. She also mentioned me by name.

I was polite. Maybe too polite? She said she didn't know how it was like my work, so I listed it for her. Lol. That might have been a touch provocative, but a few of the items were very specific and quite rare. To see them all in one story did sound familiar. At least I avoided all discussions about asses and shoving.

And then I said that it was now a different story. I suggested that it was more like a fanfic and I clearly have no issues with fanfic. 

I encouraged her to finish it and I made it very clear that I wasn't upset about it. I reminded her that she had fans who supported her and who wanted to read the end of her story. I assumed that if she got any further comments from people saying it was like my story, that she could just point at my response and say, ‘MTR isn't worried about it’. And that would be the end of that.

What I didn't expect was a rampage.

She didn't respond to me. She deleted the story. She deleted all her stories. And then she deleted her account on that site. Then she went to another site where I am not a member and (I hear) raged about me, the people who told me about her fic, the organisers of the site etc. Picture me confused as Buffy would say.

I am not sure what I could have done differently. Maybe if I was completely well I would have handled it differently? I don’t know. I suspect probably not.

I am very sad about the whole thing.

Sad that people who told me about it have been trashed, sad that the writer had such a knee jerk reaction, sad that her readers have been punished for all this and sad that the site and probably me, might be painted as the bad guys in this by the writer. As I said, I am not sure what else I could have done. I could have ignored it, I suppose, but why should I have to?

In fanfic we pay lip service; it’s all we pay. Sometimes I have got an idea from someone’s story and I will say that in mine and provide a link to their story. We say this really belongs to X and I am just borrowing it. So if you want to write an alternate universe or ending for one of my fanfic stories, go right ahead, but it would be polite to say it was mine and whoever really owns it, of course.

Maybe I shouldn't even be posting this, but … yeah… sad.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Words have power

As writers we can influence people’s emotions. We can make them laugh or cry or feel good or hate a character. I know I have sobbed over books. People tell me that my stories have made them cry. Heck, they make me cry when I write them.
We can also influence people’s opinions. I blogged a while ago about how one person told me, that after reading my fanfic ‘Best friend share Everything’ that they were not as anti-gay as they had been; that my story had given them a better understanding of issues for heteroflexible boys.

I was honoured by that comment.

So, any words we put on paper or computer screen are our responsibility.
We hold ourselves and our viewpoints out there. And we should be especially careful that if we are writing something that could be negatively viewed, that we couch it in the right words.

Words hurt. Far more than the stick or stones of the old saying, I reckon.

So if you write a scene that is any way controversial and that upsets people, then you have to expect that some of them are going to say something. If you write that scene without putting an author’s note to say that you do not condone what is happening. Then people will assume that you do condone it. After all, you wrote it. And if you seem to be condoning something that you actually hate, then you should be prepared for your readers to feel betrayed when they work that out.

Lately fanfic has veered towards an exploration of bondage and more extreme sex. I know my own stories have gone a little further from the norm, and all I seem to write are threesomes, now. I just got bored writing plain vanilla sex. I blame ‘50 shades of Grey’ for the bondage fad and most, like that story, get it wrong. They don’t do their research and they don’t obey the rules. I’ve read a bit of that type of work in real fiction recently. Just finished ‘The Siren’ by Tiffany Reisz. Gah! Damn that writer. She made me feel sympathy for a character I wanted to hate. I soooo wanted to hate Søren and couldn’t.

See? Words.

As I understand it, the big thing in bondage is the rules and the safe word. The submissive has the ultimate power because if they say their safe word, it must all stop. And the essential word there is ‘must’.  If it doesn't stop, then it becomes non-consensual and is now just plain abuse. It’s all about trust. Readers trust writers too, and it hurts when they betray their readers.

[edit: March 16th 2013- I would also add that if you are writing what your readers believe is a BDsM fic and you have been quoted as saying that 'spanking is sick and wrong' then the whole thing is as valid as a homophobe writing a slash fic.]

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Well, that didn't take them long.

The trio passed the three quarter million mark, too. Best Friends share everything is on fanfiction and at JBNP to read.

The banner was made by goldengirl of Printing Paws for me. It’s a page from Embry’s scrapbook.

So proud of them. I’ve been getting a few reviews from people who say they don’t usually read wolf fanfic and are die-hard vamp girls, but read Best Friends because it was recommended to them. I think it got listed on a poly community on fanfic somewhere. And they loved it and say they are going on to read more wolf fic.

Yay! Come to the pack side; it’s warm and you get big wolfy rib crusher hugs.

PS; good lord that background is orange! Is it too much? I am a bit tech challenged and I found that bookish shot appropriate, but I can’t change the background colour. Let me know if it is too much. Hey, nothing like standing out, eh?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Worlds colliding

I have noticed the strangest thing lately, my worlds keep colliding.

It’s not that they haven’t collided before; obviously… it’s just that I am noticing it and it’s all in the last month.

I love the books of Neil Gaiman, and I love the music of Amanda Palmer. And they are married to each other! But I never expected one of my favourite humorous blog writers The blogess, to love her music, and to write about going to one of her concerts alone. She had a panic attack about it and Amanda, being awesome, sent her a tweet telling her that she had set aside an area for her so that she wouldn’t have to be in the crowd. Interesting how the really funny people often hide the darkest sides, eh?

Then the Blogess talked about how one of her favourite musicians is an Australian called Tim Minchin… wait... what? How could she know about him? He is like the Australian Robert Smith (lead singer of the Cure) with wild, spiky hair and eyeliner - if Robert Smith sang incredibly funny songs and accompanied himself on a grand piano.  Another fanfic friend tweeted a vid of his about hating bad reviews and how well he got over it… NOT. She had got it from the Blogess.


Then someone asked Neil about Lemony Snicket who wrote the Series of Unfortunate events novels. My kids loved those books and we have them all. Neil said this: “I am ridiculously fond of Daniel Handler, Mr Snicket’s representative. He played the accordion at my wedding.”

Wait… what? The accordion?

I am currently reading the Game of Thrones books. Well… chewing my way through the most recent one… gah. I force myself to read a couple of character point of views each night. Like eating an elephant except it is stomping me back… should have killed that sucker before I started chomping on him… in any case, I saw an article about how George RR Martin worked as a book editor for the Wild Cards series, which takes place in a shared universe post-World War II where humanity gains superpowers after the release of an alien-engineered virus. Whoa… I knew he had worked on television scripts for twilight Zone and stuff like that, but I didn’t know he had written comic books. (I think the correct term is super hero prose)… and then I see a tumblr post about how Neil Gaiman proposed a character idea to him back in 1987… he didn’t like it.

They know each other?


I went to see the Irish band Snow Patrol in concert with a friend. Before I went, I checked their Facebook page and the lead singer, Gary has a photo of himself in costume to play a minor role on Game of Thrones, the TV series… wait… what? I am willing to bet he is playing a bard or singer; don’t you reckon?

I also watch Doctor who, the BBC television series that started a very long time ago in black and white TV land. Laurel K Hamilton, who writes the Anita Blake books, mentioned that she cosplays characters from the 4th Doctor series. Wait? What? And of course, Neil wrote an episode called the ‘Doctor’s wife’ that just won a Hugo award. Then ensued a twitter convo between her and Neil about how she would love to write an episode but that they would need to give her a list of rules not to be broken, just to be safe.

Circles, again.

I think I like it. Anyone you have been surprised to find are friends? 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Google reader

I know I am often technologically challenged, but I actually showed my teenager something the other day. Lol. Believe me it doesn't happen often. I always laugh that teens are digital natives and we are digital immigrants.

In any case, I taught my son the wonder of Google Reader.

I read a lot of blogs, publishing pages, author sites, writing hints, blogger hints, tumblr pages and image sites. I don’t even have a tumblr page and it lets me read posts this way.

Phew. I feel tired just listing all of that. If I was to bookmark each site address, then I would have to find the time to check them all. Or to register on all of them and remember another dozen passwords.

I am never going to remember to do all of that.

So I use the wonderful invention of the RSS feed. For those who don’t know what an RSS is, according to Wikipedia, it stands for Rich Site Summary. And it looks like this:

I had to explain this to a few people when I wanted to add one to my JBNP story page. I think I worked it out there, but it’s hard to know unless I subscribed to it myself to check. Didn’t think of that, then, did I?

So far, I have 78 sites that I follow in this way. It has become my morning habit to sit, with my first cups of coffee, and to check them all. Google reader puts them all in one place and lets me sort them into folders. It looks a lot like an email reader. I can scan through; see which to read in more detail, skip the ones that don’t interest me, open items fully on their own site, star items as favourites, and copy urls to email or tweet the page link to others.

I can even load a Reader app from the chrome web store that sits on the top corner of my  browser pane and tells me how many I have unread. So I will never miss an update.

To subscribe is easy. I just click that curved line symbol and Reader tells me how many updates the site releases a week, and gives me the option to subscribe. If it is too many, I will skip it.

My son uses it for deviant art, fanfiction and some other sites of his. And yes, every fanfic author has an RSS button on their author page. 

Bet you didn't know that!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Three quarter million

Oops. I posted on my Facebook page and forgot to tell you guys.

Silly me. I have been watching with interest, the race between two of my fanfic stories to hit the next milestone.

Apologies crossed the line first. Three quarters of a million hits on! How excited am I?

Paul for the win!  Apologies did start ahead, with Best Friends chasing it down. The trio almost did it, too - it's 720k. I have a feeling they may cross the next milestone first. If only because it is a much longer story. And again, assuming my whole account doesn't get ganked.

Oh, and the banner above was made for me by the awesome goldengirl from Printing paws

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Word chatter

A while ago I chatted about my works in progress.

It seems as if the extension of the femslash one shot rose to the top of the pile. So I started a new group on JBNP ‘Swan’s mate for life’

Author: Mrstrentreznor
Pairing: Leah/Bella/Paul
Rating: MA
Genre/Universe: New Moon AU
Summary:The girls are happy together but Bella is curious about men. Paul agrees to help out, but things get complicated. What happens when their boy toy won’t stay in the box? They can’t go back, but can they go forward? Can they all fight for what they need?

Thanks to don’tcallmeleelee from printing paws for making me the banner. 

I have loaded up twelve chapters, and it is up to 38,000 words already. I have it all planned out in Scrivener, plus a large chunk of it is written; my word count there is up to 70 thousand. I still have no idea why my current writing genre is polyamory, but it is. I will start to post it on fanfic when I have finished it.

I promised my fanfic readers a long time ago that I would never start a story that had no ending; and so far, this one isn’t complete. It’s a personal thing. I HATE it when I start reading a great story and it just fades off and the author says they are bored, can’t think what to write, or have changed to a different fandom. Aagh.

According to my bar graph of writing guilt (I should copyright that lol) I have written just under 120,000 words in three months. But again, nothing finished. Gah *headdesk*

Oh, and the race to three quarter million? Still neck and neck ‘Apologies’ pulled ahead and is now 744,959 but ‘Best Friends’ is right after it at 712,577.

It’s going to be close.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Coffin bay flash fiction

Lit reactor website did a flash fiction challenge this month and you know how much I love those! Any genre, max 250 words, plus a title. The inspiration was a photo.

Image of Cathedral Cove, NZ
Used under GNU license
Image belongs to Mike Bordignon. Original uploader was Micknz at en.wikipedia

Coffin bay
The bay was only accessible from the sea. And it was from the sea that the invaders came.

They knew the day. The wise men had warned them. ‘If they touch us, we will sicken and die.’ They believed them; they had proven themselves before.

The tall ship with the white wings approached. The canoes met it. They waved, as if at friends.

The women manned their boats. The wise men said the invaders did not value women warriors.

The invaders were pale and weak. Too long at sea. But the wise men had said they would kill them all.

The invaders did not speak the same words as they did, but they were careful to be friendly and smiling. They led it into the shallow bay. The tall ship stopped; the invaders swarmed up like ants to close the white wings. They shouted to each other.

A smaller boat was lowered and rowed to meet the women on the shore. Only one craft had landed, but they did not notice that.

Inside the cave, the creature’s eyes opened. It blinked extremely slowly. One of the women saw. She motioned to the others and they turned their boat so that it faced out into the bay.

The creature was enraged.

A rival. With white wings. Loud. Disrespectful.

It exploded from the cave in a flurry of black leathery wings and fire.

The women ran and paddled for their lives. The invaders did not recognise the creature.

Fire cleansed them all.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


I am always looking for ways to be better organised. Being an eternally messy, forgetful person in real life, I have to work very hard to keep a handle on all my writing ideas as well. I have wasted precious time looking for documents or references that I swore I wrote down or had in a folder… somewhere…  more than once.

I saw a program mentioned in a few places, Scrivener. It looked pretty neat. Even better, the site offered a free download and a 30 day trial. The trial runs for 30 days of actual use: if you use it every day, it lasts 30 days; if you use it only two days a week, it lasts fifteen weeks. Once the trial expires, you can export all of your work or buy a licence to continue using it.
It is a Mac program but recently made a Windows version.

So, I downloaded it. As I have mentioned before, I have a problem with one of my major works, where I just can’t see how it has gone wrong. I used Scrivener for about two days before I manned (or credit carded) up and paid the US$40.

It was so worth it.

You use it just like a word processing program, but you can also view what you have put into your document in three ways.

One: as a document with all the sections in one section.
Two: as a corkboard, with index cards and coloured pins
And three: as a summary table.

You can change from one view to another with the click of a button. I look in the summary table to see where I should be working, but organise scenes in the cork board view. I can view all the chapters in the cork board, or individual scenes within chapters. I have used screenshots from my current fanfic work to demonstrate. (but being tech inept - I hope you can see them)

Your document is kept in a binder with sections for research, characters, pictures, videos, and pdf docs; everything in one place. You can open a split screen and write while you are looking at your character bio. You can look up that pdf copy of a legal document without leaving your manuscript.

I tend to write all over the place in a document. I will start at the end, jump to the beginning and then fill in the in-between. I like to keep track of how many words a day I write. It will do that for me. It will set a daily/session target as well as targets for each section and the whole document itself. And you can see them in pretty colour bars going from red to green. Believe me; getting it though the baby poo green stage is incentive enough for me. Ugh.

It has a screen writing option, where word counts are not so important. 

In the corkboard mode I can see the whole story laid out. I can see at a glance; that actually, that scene ought to be before that one. And the cards can be just dragged around. I can add colour ‘keywords’ to each card to show where that keywords is relevant. I chose pink for sex scenes. lol. Or where a minor character appears. Everything seems to be tweak-able, from the pin colours, to card size, to backgrounds and screen colours.

The card pins are colour organised as well; green for a scene, red for a character etc.

I know that I haven’t discovered half the features yet. But if I am lost, there are even video tutorials on YouTube and on their site as well. Definitely worth the money for me.

Now let me at that old work in progress!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Flash fiction challenge

I’m going to give you three columns.
You have to pick one from each column.
And from that, write a 1000-word story.

(If you really want to get crazy, roll a d10 or pick random number between 1 and 10 from this Random Number Generator. In other words, let fate pick your choices in each category!)
The three columns (pick one from each) are:
Sword & Sorcery
Body Horror
Romantic Comedy

Serial Killer
Climate Change
Hotel Bar

Love Triangle
On The Run
Fated To Die
Man Versus Himself
Ticking Clock

I let fate choose my three column choices and they were: erotica/gladiator/on the run. Typical. Lmao. At least I didn’t get steampunk/insect/love triangle. That would be a challenge.
Word count: 678
Rating: NC17

Lentulus waited patiently in the darkened cell. His body had been requested; probably a senator’s wife. It was a frequent occurrence. Given his body was not his own, he could not argue and he made a small profit from the subterfuge. The guard made more and the senator’s wife probably hoped for a strong baby. There were rumours that Caesar’s own mother had done the same. Commodus looked nothing like his father.

It was an inconvenience because Lentulus much preferred a male lover. He adored hard and muscled bodies; women did nothing for him.

The knock at the door. Door flung open without ceremony; the hooded figure entered.

Not a wife - a man. He could tell.

A gasped breath as the figure triggered a memory. “Mercato?”

“Shhh.” The scarred hands lifted the hood back. He smiled at him.

Lentulus threw himself at his lover. A rare man in every respect; a gladiator, freed undefeated and now wealthy from his earnings. “You came.”

“I promised.”

They kissed desperately. It had been months.

Lentulus wore only a loincloth. Mercato’s hands ran across his slighter body, looking for new scars. He found a bad one on his right shoulder. He sighed. 
“Every day I prayed to the gods for your safety,” Mercato said.

“You were not here to protect me.”

“You almost lost that last bout.”

“I know.”

They kissed again urgently. Hands dug under clothing with no time to remove it.

“Please?” Lentulus begged. He knew just what to do. His hands reached for his lover and found him already hard. He dropped to his knees and wrapped his lips around his shaft. Mercato groaned and rocked into his mouth.

“I missed you,” he breathed. His hands locked on either side of his head; holding him still. He dragged himself away before he finished. “Need to be in you.”

He hoisted him to his feet and lifted him in his arms; pressing his back against the wall and wrapping his legs around his hips. Some spit on his fingers was all they required, and then he was working his way in; the muscle clutching and dragging at him. “Sorry,” he apologised.

Lentulus grabbed his neck and plunged his tongue into his mouth. His other hand wrapped around his own weeping erection. He grunted as his back hit the wall with each thrust. “Yes… more… harder.” He lost the rhythm as he tugged at his cock. He made a noise as he came that sounded almost like a sob.

Mercato came so hard he almost fell. He leaned against the wall, clutching Lentulus to his body; leaving bruises where his hands gripped too hard. He wanted to bury himself in his lover. Never to be separated again.

A nip at his ear broke him out of his reverie. He let Lentulus’ legs drop to the floor, so that he could stand. He watched him retrieve his loincloth and retie it. He reached out and stroked his hand down his arm.

“Come with me,” Mercato suggested.



Lentulus blinked.

“I have money. I can’t leave you again; I can’t.”

Lentulus’ hands adjusted his partner’s clothing; making him presentable.

Mercato grabbed his hands. “Please.”

Lentulus made a tiny nod.

“Good. Grab your stuff, your earnings, your penates* and meet me back here. I will talk to the guards.” They’d do it for him and he’d pay as well if he had to. If he needed to, he’d pay out the last of Lentulus’ contract. He wouldn’t survive another bout. The scar on his right shoulder would affect his movement. He’d buy him as a last resort and never tell him. And if none of that worked, they would run. 

As long as they were together.

He waited in an agony of nerves for his return. His face broke into a grin when he saw him approach down the dark corridor.

He took his cloak off and swung it around his lover’s shoulders, kissing him quickly before he hurried him out the barred door to escape.

*penates - small figurines of family

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


I get a real kick out of watching my fanfic stats. Sad and tragic, I know. But the reality is that not many people are reviewing right now, so the only measurement I can get of page activity and story popularity is from my stats.  I suppose, also, I’m not posting right now. I am writing! Really I am.

Fanfic counts a visitor as one person in a twenty four hour period. In that time they can visit many pages; each will count as a hit or a ‘view’ on the table.

For example, I usually average a hit ratio to review rate of about 1%. So that for every one hundred times a page has been read, one person leaves me a review. Heavy sigh.

But right now, my legacy stat page looks like this.

I am watching avidly to see if Apologies hits the three quarter mil mark before Best Friends catches it. I think it is going to be very close.

I suppose I should also see if I survive at fanfic. I hear they are still deleting stories. Sigh.

Just for interest, my most popular one shot is ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’ a photo inspired Paul/Bella fic I wrote and didn’t enter into a competition. Oopsies. Might have made a mistake, there. Lol.

And yes, I am thinking about extending it. When have I ever extended a one shot before? Oh, wait…

Monday, 13 August 2012


I was about to go to bed and realised that I haven’t done a blog post for a little while.

I was thinking about the Olympics and the over the top closing ceremony and then I thought about endings.

I watch Supernatural with my teenage sons and one of my favourite characters is the Prophet Chuck. He writes novels that oddly mirror the lives of the Winchester boys.

He does a voice over at one stage that I ran off to look up. The quote belongs to whoever the heck writes Supernatural and I take no credit, but it really resonated with me.

Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There’s always gonna be holes. And since it’s the ending, it’s all supposed to add up to something. I’m telling you, they’re a raging pain in the ass.

He is so right.

I make an awful lot of beginnings, but winding up a story; letting those characters go is sometimes spectacularly hard to do.

The last time I spoke about works in progress, I had eight things on the go.

I have been following an idea from Jerry Seinfeld of all people. People asked him how he could be so prolific and he said ‘don’t break the chain’. Every day he would challenge himself to write a certain number of words and he would make a mark on the calendar (I think) linking each day to the one before. He effectively guilted himself into writing.

[I believe you can buy ‘don’t break the chain’ calendars, too.]

I can do that, I thought. I’m good at that guilt stuff.

So I set up a spread sheet. I am not so good at that, but I can learn. I worked out how to generate a bar graph. And every day I would count how many words I had written and plug it into my spread sheet. And voila.

In the last five weeks I have written 43,823 words. Good job me.

BUT and this is a big but. I haven’t finished anything. Those words are spread over a number of projects from my earlier list.

Heavy sigh.

Endings. They’ll get you every time.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

JBNP awards for 2012

The JBNP awards were announced yesterday.

How blown away was I to get an award in nine of the ten categories that I was nominated in? Unbelievable. I truly thank everyone who voted for me.
I am honoured to be the All time favorite wolf author for 2012.

I think the one that I am most proud of is the beta award. I really like helping people get their own stories out of their heads and onto paper, as it were. I get a real kick out it.

Feebes was a reader of mine who kept sending me story ideas to write. She inspired me to write a funny outtake at the end of Closer to God. We were laughing about exactly how Paul the womaniser would cope with his daughter dating. I encouraged her to write her own stories down and her first was ‘Shades of Grey’

I was so proud of her when she won the favourite breakout story in the last JBNP awards. She has gone on to write other things and has won some other awards, too. Her current epic is passing 150k words and still isn’t finished yet. She (like me) likes to write the whole story before she publishes it. It is Jake/Bella. Each time she pushes herself to write things she hasn’t done before. I love seeing her develop that way.

I also beta for Ruadh sidhe. I met her on a Vin Diesel site and we became friends when I made some comments on her stories and we got chatting. She has had some issues with so isn’t posting there much anymore.

She doesn’t write twilight fanfic, she writes Vin Diesel characters from his movies, including: Riddick from Pitch Black, Shane from the Pacifier, Xander Cage from Triple X, Sean from A man Apart, and Toorop from Babylon AD. She also writes original fics; with a heavy fairy bent, as in fae of the Celtic world; some dark elves and that kind of stuff, too. Her current major work is a crossover of Aliens and Riddick that has just passed 115k. And she has made some notes for a new crossover story of Riddick and Predator.

For each story, I try to do my research; watch the movie, read the book or whatever. I can’t brainstorm and help if I don’t know what I’m talking about.
They both read my stuff in return. Seems like a raw deal to me! lol. My word count is way more than theirs.

I have also helped out bmitw with her Gods and wolves pre twilight story. She was nominated for a couple of things recently, too and has been doing well on fanfic and a few other sites. I dragged Feebes into that one too. We needed specialist advice and she is good on the brainstorming. This one is about Ephraim and the original pack. If the Cullens had never left Forks? What issue would that have for the Quileute?

I am also trying to encourage blahblahblahinifinity to finish something she ran past me ages ago. It’s a great story concept and I really hope she gets back to it. It is a Quil story and there aren’t enough of them out there. She did have almost 10k words written and some great ideas.

I also beta’d for another writer who has given it up recently, furyangoddess. She used to write Riddick, Twilight, Supernatural and Heroes fics.

I spend a few minutes each day sending a message to anyone who joined JBNP and mentioned my name as either their nominee or in their favourite fic list. I feel if I invited them to the party, I should welcome them on their arrival. A helping hand and a kind word when someone is new can make all the difference, I think. So many people asked me how the JBNP site worked when they first joined, that I actually ended up typing out a ‘how to’ guide that I could just send them before they asked me.

I have done some pre-reading for a pile of other people. I have given writing advice to others. I often get grabbed in chat by people who want to run ideas past me.

I don’t mind. If I am busy I will just say so. I have turned down a few people who asked me to beta for them, too. I just don’t have the time to get that involved in more fics, but sometimes a really neat idea will grab me. And your beta does get involved. They have to talk you down off a ledge occasionally. Convince you not every word you have written is complete crap; assure you that people will like it, read it and review (please). They also have to know the story well enough to argue with the person writing it. No way is your main character gonna do that - no way. Back in chapter three he said he would never go there again and now he is? You had better have a reason, and a thought process laid out to convince your beta let alone all the other readers.

But I swear, some days, I think my head is going to explode.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Neil Gaiman advice

I don't have a tumblr account (be thankful for that - lol) but if I did I would totally reblog this answer that Neil Gaiman gave to a fan on his account.

My faith in humanity and in writers (who take the time to answer fans) is restored.

Hi, Neil. In a recent VlogBros. video Hank Green said that 50 Shades of Grey has sold more copies than the number of books Ray Bradbury sold in his lifetime. That worries me, and I’m afraid that it will become increasingly difficult to find brilliant literature in the future. Do you think the commercialization of literature (if that’s an appropriate phrasing) has put good, thoughtful and valuable literature at risk? The aforementioned statistic seems rather ominous. Thanks for reading.

If ever you’re curious, go and look at the annual bestseller lists for years gone by. You’ll find a lot of books that sold an unbelievable number of copies when they were fashionable. I’m sure The Revolt of Mamie Stover also sold more books than Ray Bradbury will ever have sold in his whole life in its year*. Have you read it? Heard of it?  Off the top of my head, Peyton Place in its year, or The Gospel According to Peanuts, or The Ginger Man, or even Jonathan Livingstone Seagull in their years undoubtedly outsold all of Ray Bradbury. But when their day is done, mostly those kind of books drift back into the void, and go, if not out of print, then back into a world where, even if a select few people like them, nobody quite knows why they sold that many copies any more. (Do you know who Gilbert Patten was? He sold about 500 million books in his lifetime…)
Meanwhile, Ray Bradbury sold quite a lot of books in 1956, and quite a lot of books in 2006 (Fahrenheit 451 alone has sold over 5 million copies by now), and he found his readers for his books and his stories in every year. And I’ll wager a hundred years from now he’ll still be read…
So, honestly, I wouldn’t fret, if I were you.
Nothing’s changed.Some books are, often inexplicably, even with hindsight, bestsellers. That’s been the way of it for a hundred and fifty years or more.
Read the books you love, tell people about authors you like, and don’t worry about it.
*1951. It sold over 30 million copies.

Monday, 16 July 2012

My mind and WIP

I had the bare bones of a hilarious blog post in my head last night, just as I was falling asleep. Did I write it down? No. Do I remember it this morning? No. Sigh.
My mind… honestly, I’ve lived with it for a long time now - you would think I knew it better than anyone? Wouldn’t you? I have a pen and notebook by my bedside for just such brain storm emergencies, but last night I wanted to sleep and now the idea is gone.

My problem, generally, is too many ideas and not enough time to write them all up.
I did an update on one of my fanfic stories to ask people to vote in the jbnp awards and to tell them what I am up to writing-wise. So I may as well tell you guys, too. Slight spoilers, if you haven’t read the fanfic stories.

1.            Home for Christmas.
I wrote this one shot after chatting in JBNP chat box one day about Bella's thing for older guys. Edward was 106 after all. She picks up a guy in a bar and it is not until the last line that we all work out who he really is. I think it will have to be extended - everyone says they want it extended!

I am planning it now. But there are a lot of things to think about. For example: why, after leaving Forks for five years, does she come back now? Are the wolf gods sending them both back? Via dream messages, if so, why now? Do they need all available wolves? What if the older generation of Quileute phased too? Who is Embry's father? What the heck is Sam/Embry/Jake going to say? Are the Volturi coming? Are the Cullens still around? Has Jake imprinted in the five year gap?
I must say, I asked readers these questions and they answered me in droves. I thought it was wonderful; they got so invested in the story that they all sent me their ideas. And some were pretty good. I kept them all and will make sure to thank them when I finish writing it.

It works for me for a few reasons. I object to Stephenie Meyer’s continuous obsession with age. Why can’t a person in their forties be a shape shifter, too? Sam changed when he was 19 or 20; way beyond puberty. Book Bella thought her world was going to end when she hit eighteen; I mean really?

Also I can fix up the awful family trees that Meyer produced. She made almost every kid on the rez an only child from a broken or single parent family. Think about it. Only the Clearwaters and the Blacks have siblings and even they don’t have both parents. I assume it was some attempt to contrast them all with the perfect Cullen ‘family’.

So yeah, I want a pack of older guys (and girls?). All rejuvenated and running around getting into trouble and weirding the younger pack out with their memories of aching knees and midnight toilet visits. And who would they imprint on? Now that could be fun. Double the packs, double the trouble?

2.            Swan’s mate for life
This was a femslash challenge that a friend gave me. I had never read femslash (oh wait - one, I beta’d for feebes) let alone written any. It turned out super sweet. But of course, my mind can’t leave it there.

I am messing with an idea to extend it. With Paul. Sigh. I know. *rolls eyes* He is totally my muse; it explains everything really. Lol. Not sure when I changed from the porn fairy to the poly fairy, but there you go.

I worry because a few people commented that it was so rare to see femslash and my mind wants to change it into something else. Am I betraying that? Maybe I can leave the original one shot intact and beef it up a bit for a full multi-chapter story?
The only way I could see it going is dark, complex and super angsty. If the girls actually get Paul into bed with them, what the heck would happen then? What about imprinting? If there are two wolves, there are no guarantees that they won’t imprint on someone else? What do they get out of it by complicating their previously happy relationship?

And you thought Hurt was bad? Lol
[update: 14th feb 2013. Done - ended up nearly 218k words. whoops - a real wringer of emotion]

3. Billy smut
First off, I need to say writing wheelchair sex is hard. This was a challenge from tamfan, a very involved reader of fanfic. I did want to do it for her- I have even done some research on people who provide such services (snort) for disabled people.

There truly is a need for specialist sex workers. I read a wonderful interview with the mother of a quadriplegic who organises such dates for him. She shrugged and said she already did everything else for him, so it wasn’t an issue. There are some real gems in the world.
[ done Second chances on JBNP at HERE ]

Original fiction
1.            The necklace
I was watching Torchwood, an English spinoff of Doctor Who. Totally worth it just to watch Captain Jack Harkness. Oh, and the scene in episode one of season two where he and Captain John, played by James Marsters from Spike/buffy fame, fight and then kiss and make up? Can I just say, ‘wow’.

But I digress. Mind reading. The episode was about mind reading. And of course, Edward from Twilight has such a gift.

I have often thought that it would not be a gift. We have a thousand thoughts cross our minds every day that are not ever meant to be spoken aloud. And especially not to the person you are thinking them about.

So I came up with the idea of a gypsy who has such a gift that will be passed to her granddaughter. She doesn’t want her to have it; she knows it is a curse. She imprisons the ‘gift’ in her favourite teacup. The teacup is made into a necklace. Whoever wears it has the ability to read minds.

Now, think about it. If you could read minds, what would you do?

Some people would use it for good, others for nefarious purposes. It’s human nature. So I have started writing a series of short stories; linked together by the necklace. With certain rules. If you use it for evil, the necklace is lost or stolen from you. If you use it for good, you may sell or give it away.

I was going to try to make each story fit within the seven deadly sins/seven virtues list, but I think that is too ambitious. How the heck do I write chastity or temperance?

2.            Second chances
This is an erotic one. An unhappy wife goes on a second honeymoon. Her husband ignores her during the day but at night she has a dream lover. She knows he is not entirely human, but what is he? And what do they both want? What happens when the holiday ends?

And I can let the smut muse loose.

3.            Promise
Everyone loves my Paul. I have no idea what note I have struck that resonates so well with readers, but rather than pull to publish one of my fanfic stories, I am trying to replicate that guy in an original world. He is a smart mouthed womaniser. She is his opposite; of course. Gotta follow the romance rules. Lol.

I want to make them supernatural hunters, or hunters of the supernatural. I do like writing things that are a little out of the ordinary; it’s fun, but I don’t want to make him a werewolf for obvious reasons. I also don’t want to go the instant love recipe, so I think I will go the bound together for some reason and hate each other route.

Yeah - that sounds like fun. I warn you that feebes, one of my betas, really likes this one. She convinced me to put Best Friends on fanfic and told me it would be my biggest story. I still can’t judge my own work.

4.            London.
This is another erotic romance. But this time, it is an older woman who picks up a much younger guy at a party. It was an impetuous decision and then she finds she can’t get rid of him. He won’t stay in the casual sex, toy boy box she’d prefer him to stay in. She is divorced, has kids and has her life sorted out - even if her life isn’t exactly full of the best things for her. Like a lot of mothers, she puts herself last on her list of priorities.

It also struck me that no one notices when an older guy dates a younger woman, but the other way around? Everyone has an opinion. Society and its massive double standards. Ugh.

This one is probably closest to being finished.

5.            Watchword
This is an alternate worlds, steampunkish fantasy story. A god has two children; twins, a boy and a girl. They gravitate to two different areas; he to death and war and her to life and growth. They fight like all siblings do. The god decides to set them a task, to make them work together. Together they must create one hundred worlds.

But they cannot do everything themselves, so they create a community to train, educate its replacements and to guard their worlds; The Watchers. The Watchers have Windows; one for each world. The Windows show a glimpse of the world within. But still the twins fight.

It goes very wrong. He is caught in a trap his sister has set and she realises too late, that they are linked; in trapping him, she has trapped and weakened herself.
The Watchers stumble on without guidance. But they forget. They lose their purpose. They make mistakes. The worlds suffer.

A girl exists who is everyone’s last hope.

I have written a heap on this one. Over 100k words. But somewhere, I have lost it. I have written A, B and D but C is missing. I have actually left it alone for a while in the hope that distance would allow me to see what is wrong with it. I know something is wrong, I just can’t see it. I even printed it all out in the hope that seeing the words on paper would help me to fix it.

It is, I suppose about technology and forgotten ways. Progress is not necessarily a bad thing but neither are some of the things from the past that we have forgotten.
So, that’s my list of current works in progress. It doesn’t list small scraps or ideas, just the works I am seriously writing on.

Yes, I know. Pick one and finish it.