Monday, 30 December 2013

Home for Christmas is finished

I wrote a blog post back in June 2013 about how I was going to finish working on this story. And that I would try hard NOT to write 200k words. [*banner by goldengirl]
Yeah, right…
It ended up 187,764 words which isn’t 200k – just.
And it has (at the time of writing) 3,425 reviews which is HUGE for such a rare pairing. I just cannot believe it. It has overtaken Apologies and is now my second biggest story in reviews but not for views. It is way behind on views.
To explain: fanfic counts each page visit as a ‘view’ and it counts each person as a ‘visitor’ within a 24 hour period. So if they click again the next day that would be two visits from them in the month. So, on a normal day, I get 6-7k hits and about a thousand visitors. That means each person reads 7 or 8 pages. Which is good. It means that they stay or that they read a whole story while another visitor is reading the latest chapter only.
So if each person reviewed every page that they read, my ratio would be 100%. It isn’t. It’s closer to less than 1%. For Apologies for instance, it is 0.2%, but for Josh it is almost 2%. Big difference.
Josh seemed to get readers who loved it enough to review; more so than other stories. The ratio of views to reviews is much higher. Not sure why that is. Maybe it attracted the more loyal readers of mine? The ones who were willing to experiment with such a rare pairing.
Previously when I have finished a story there is a massive spike in hits as people who waited to read the completed story, read it and others may go back and reread their favourite parts. That didn’t happen with Josh either. Well a little bit, but after one story I hit 28k hits in one day. That might have been Apologies, I forget.
And the reviews are very different. They keep telling me that it is the best fanfic they have ever read. I often get ‘great story’ comments I don’t get ‘best story’.
I am not sure why that is, maybe I made them cry? I killed characters that they cared about, and that leaves an emotional shadow. A resonance that sticks with them.

Saturday, 28 December 2013


I keep forgetting that I own eBooks. I read them on my PC as I do not have (and do not want) an eReader. I often forget to write reviews for them as well and they totally count as books that I have read. I prefer to download them from Project Gutenberg because I am also totally cheap. *grins*
I spent a few hours adding my eBooks into my book database – yes, I have one. It’s from a company called Collectorz and, believe me, the price of the software is worth not duplicating items. I have a book, cd, and movie databases. But I digress.
I guess because most of them are out of print or too old for copyright laws to apply, they can be converted to eBooks. But my list sounds hugely intellectual.
I’ve got Proust in there for God’s sake. When did I think I was going to be ambitious enough to read Proust? Why do I even have vol 2 of Havelock Ellis’s Studies in the Psychology of sex? Where’s vol 1? Dante’s Divine Comedy? And a lot of them are fairy tales and Victorian gothic horror.
I loved G Heyer books as a kid – I know, I was able to borrow books from the adult section. Who knew you can download some of them for free from the Goodreads site? I have never noticed that button before. It's green in the 'get a copy' section and is labelled 'download ebook.'
So now my ‘to-read’ file has 124 books in it and to contrast, I managed to read 80 books this year.
Eek. And I thought that pile on my side table looked intimidating.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

MTR’s Challenge list

When I posted a lot at JBNP (Jacob Black N Pack - a wolf friendly Twilight fansite sadly now closed) someone started to challenge me. ‘Hey MTR write this pairing,’ or ‘write for this song,’ they’d say. Now my mind is a very strange place. For some reason I view a limited pairing in a competition as a limitation, but tell me it is a challenge and I see it as… well… a challenge. Go figure.
Over the years, I did more than a few requests and I still get them. I had forgotten about it until the other day when someone asked me about one and I realised I had lost my copy of the file. I found it eventually. So I have cleaned it up a lot and will post it here, so that I can keep track of what I have and haven’t done.
       Jasper-replaces-edward: I would really like someone to write a fic where Charlie does actually shoot someone ‘coz he threatens it a lot … Best friends share everything but I can’t say where or who gets shot.
       EnjoyYourJacob: My challenge? Jake stealing Bella away from Paul. Now, that!!! would be something I'd love to read. … The Wild One
        LittleFurryCannibals:  posted a techno remix of the song ‘Closer’ by the Nine Inch Nails, with this: See if you can write a sex one-shot depicting Bella and any wolf. LOL, listen closely to the tempo change and include that in the sex. The only stipulation is, the sex scene can't be linked to the characters engaging or meeting at a club. Techno Bella
        Melinda(dorme99): wanted a song fic to go with ‘Shoots and Ladders’ by Korn…. bonus - entered it in the Christmas one-shot and it won 2nd prize 'All I want for Christmas is your two front teeth' 
        LFC has requested Quil catching Bella dancing to the song YMCA... 'No man does it all by himself.'
        Melinda(dorme99): the song... Rumour has it by Adele 'Rumour has it' (Actually killed two birds with this one and it was my entry for the Paws & Art contest 2011 and won! Yay)
        Rtnnc10 challenge: Coldplay 'warning sign' …'Warning signs'
        In the chat box one day we were discussing SM vamp theory. If everything they are is enhanced after they are turned, then Bella ought to be clutzier. I challenge myself to write that one. … 'BreakingThings'
        My beta Bansidhe challenged me to write a crossover fic with Twilight and Shakespeare... ‘I'd like to see the wolf version of a Midsummer Night's Dream now there's a challenge for you!’ … ‘A Forksummernight's dream’
        Yemonja wanted a Leah/Nahuel pairing in the category of Angst/Hurt/Comfort, pretty please with lemons and sugar on top?  … ‘Freaks of Nature’
        Suz 26 wants: Maybe you should try writing an evil Seth story? Has anyone written an evil Seth yet? Maybe some screwball take on the campy, classic, The Bad Seed, where everyone thinks Leah's the bitch sib but it's really sweet little Seth masterminding everything and Seth is the evil one? ... 'The bad seed'
        tamfan wanted Billy Black to have wheelchair sex or better still a glimpse of pre wheelchair Billy... ‘Second chances’ - I healed him too, and he walked again in ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’
        soily (notashamedtobe): ‘If you're up for challenges and we know you can more than handle slash, do a Bella/Leah fic. Let them heal one another's broken hearts.’… ‘Swan’s mate for life’ one shot then extended
        stealthliberal: a Paul/Leah/Bella fetish. Something about those three makes me wanna beg you for a oneshot or a oneshot that runs rampant with you. … Swan's mate for life - extended story - rampant? Jeez *rolls eyes at self* it hit just under 220k words.
        Yemonja: a Leah/Paul … Anger Management
        Shreveport1: ‘I was listening to a favourite song of mine earlier and was wondering if you could write a fic to go with it? its Leader of the pack by the Shangri La's - … The leader of the pack
        Jake'sgirl: wants bad boy Jake - inspired by Lana del Ray's Blue Jeans music clip … blue jeans & a white shirt and then she wrote the smut I left out, for the Autism Speaks charity one shot compilation *fans self*
        Yaya: I was wondering if maybe you could write one based on the song Payphone by Maroon 5. The song has been playing on the radio like crazy and it’s been stuck in my head. I would love to see a story for it :)… Payphone
        brankel1  Can you do a Leah & Billy one? … ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’
        wolfgirlandproud wants a Seth/Bella story ... 'Almost Done Running'
        Jakejunkie wants a multi-chap fic with some twisty ending where Jake and Bella end up together… not very twisty but it WAS different ‘Offerings

Remaining challenges:
        Jbnp chat ladies wanted some Charlie Swan loving
        Golden Girl and LaPushStarlight challenge: I wanted this waaaaay back with Apologies and didn't get it - so I wanna see a paul/bella BDSM tied-up sorta thingy. like maybe she initiates, but he turns the tables?
        Taoist elf - I kinda want to see a fic where Paul either imprints (or even better) falls in love with a prostitute (who is of course a good hearted girl who's been through tons of stuff).  Wanna give that a shot?
        rororogers   I would really love to see you do a steamy Bella/Embry. A multi-chapter one please, I loved the Casper friendly ghost you did with them, but I can't get enough of this pair.
        Tamfan also wants Bella catching Jake jerking off. In his little single bed.
        WolfGirl_JB   I would love to read a Sam/Leah, preferably post imprint Emily -  to me, Sam always loves and has the total hots for Leah regardless. I would like to see where you would take that particular thought:-)
        Yemonja asks (extremely politely) for: an Emmett/Leah in their supernatural forms in colour of Angst!
        bmitw wants a fic where the Sam/Emily imprint does not result in them becoming lovers - either because Emily chooses not to go down that path, or Sam resists it and stays with Leah. I suppose that would make it an anti-Hurt. Hard to know which would be better to read - there would be angst for someone either way. And with a wolfy partner maybe he could remain Alpha... :)
        CCBTH from fanfic requests - Still wishing you would write me a hot bella/jake could soooo do it... they need one... come on... pweeese? I hate jake/leah... Jake/bella/paul would be hot if you need to dilute the jake.. lol.
        Fitmom: I would love a story where Bella/Paul and Jake are in a relationship together. It would be PERFECT if Jake and Paul get it on too with Bella in the middle or at least respect and like each other in some way. I would like it if Bella and Jake are together romantically and then Paul imprints on her, but she still loves Jake and he won't imprint (I don't believe Alpha's should imprint), somehow they could be together like the three of them.
        sisteria wants: I want a Dom Bella and a Sub Paul...I know that Paul is always so Dominant but maybe he might like to give up control since he has to be all Alpha Male in everyday life.  Bella being so meek in her everyday life might like control in the bedroom.
        blahblahblahinfinity I saw a comment where u mentioned an AU of your What was he thinking fic, but I would love to see u write an AU of Hurt where Paul gets Bella for a long long time and Rachel goes the same route as Edtard and never comes back? Seriously. You made me hate Rachel in that story so much that I'm still scarred.
        Samibear9 from fanfic wants: so I want to ask you to plz PLZ write a one shot of chapter 21 when Bella wakes up to Quil making love to Embry after he hits him from Best Friends.
        Silkylove13 from fanfic wants: I think that you should do a bella/brady/collin. Not enough stories with bella and either or both of the twins. I did tell her that they are not twins any more - thank you the new twi guide. Sigh
        connect2tjb from fanfic wants: I adore your writing. Have you ever considered doing a Tara (True Blood TV version) and Alcide or Sam story? I'm a big fan of your Leah and Alcide story. I haven't found a Tara story I liked.
        ilikedirtywordz on twitter wants: I've read all your fics but have yet to read a Jared/Bella....would you take up a challenge?
        Codiroo from fanfic wants more Leah and Alcide, maybe an extension of 'Bought and paid for'? If you were ever to write them together again it would be the best thing ever!!!!!
        RealityDidMeIn  I loved your Quil/Embry/Bella, and then I kinda had a funny/sexy idea. Could you write a story where one of the wolves (Paul?) imprints on one of the other wolves, then has to convince his male imprint into various *activities* while fighting himself all the while? It would be both hilarious and hawt!
        Littlefurrycannibals wants me to write Bella the reluctant porn star...
        Fatpplarehardertokidnap wants more twilight/sookie stackhouse x-overs. Specifically, Bella with either Godric or Eric, and more Leah with Alcide… extension of ‘Bought and Paid for’
        Chamsp: looking for Jake/Emily OR Paul/Emily fic.
        Chamsp: wants Jake marrying both Leah and Bella, and all three living together. Maybe be some humour.
        butterflybitch - I so want a Sam/Bella/Paul imprint were the two of them fight over her a lot eventually learn how to share her of course saving her from an insane Edward and a physco Jacob hehe and she has to be fiery sarcastic and hot! that would be awesome
        Chamsp:-Forced marriage between one of the pack and an OC -Preferably Paul or Jake -Male-very alpha like, dominating, intimidating, anger issues etc. Doesn't like the female lead -Female-innocent, quite, shy, fun loving and not Bella like ;) (might as well have a back bone). She likes him and tries to win him over -I would love it if there is a age difference btw them. Like 6 to 8 years (older male)
        Chelsea Jay at fanfic wants a Paul/Bella/Jared story, or even just Bella/Jared or even Paul/Jared idc.. I'd just love to see you bring Jared to life since his presence is really lacking. She’s right; I haven’t ever written Jared.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Fandom choice awards 2014

Oh my! Thank you so much to all the people who nominated me and then voted for me in the fandom choice awards. I am in the final round in four categories.
1.            all time favourite author
2.            all time favourite story - for Closer to God 
3.            best non traditional - Swan’s mate for life 
4.            best erotica - I’ll be home for Christmas 

The last two surprise me. I would not have described ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ as erotica but I guess it doesn’t fit in anywhere else and I didn’t think Swans was a very popular story. Huh. What would I know? Lol. It absolutely hits the non trad button as a poly story of Leah, Bella and Paul and the trials they went through to actually get to a functioning relationship that worked for all three of them.
One of my betas feebes86 is nominated five times! I am so proud of her.
There are a lot of familiar names there, so please take the time to vote for your favourites! Voting closes January 3rd.

Oopsies. I need to amend that. It was five nominations, I missed Home for Christmas in the Best Non Canon Romance. Now that’s more like where it belongs.

Ps: if anyone is having trouble voting - for me, the blog post sidebar overlaid the actual voting button and you had to scroll to the right to see it at all and then it would NOT let me select it, they suggest using a different browser, like Internet explorer.

Monday, 2 December 2013


I was chatting to one of my betas (Feebes86) years ago. We were looking at the photos I had in my JBNP slideshow, as you do with your internet friends. She sent me a shot of Paul Walker from the Coolwater Davidoff ad that he did. We joked about how they managed to get two streams of water to run down both nipples simultaneously. She was writing a Paul/Bella story at the time and I was betaing it for her and I got to thinking about Pauls and water … and then I sat down and I wrote the first chapter of Apologies.

So in a way, the Paul in that story was Paul Walker. He was my inspiration. Often you don’t know what was your inspiration for a story, but I do remember that one.
So I was really sad to hear of his car accident and death this weekend. That is a horrible way to go. I love the Fast Furious movies and I watch all the extras on the disks. If there was one thing the stunt guys said, it was that Paul could drive.
And for it to be on the way home from yet another of his charity fundraising events is beyond tragic. He did a huge amount of work for world-wide charities; he was always working on humanity for homes and animal welfare.

One of the nice guys; the good guys. And a loss to us all.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nanowrimo 2013 Done

I did it.
I am utterly exhausted right now. I have large black bags under my eyes. There is literally twenty minutes to go before my time runs out and I just validated my novel.
It’s not a novel of course; it is a rough first draft. And very rough at that. It has all kinds of crap in it: a table or two, bullet point lists, some strike through parts. It is full of this symbol %%. In my writing shorthand, that means a few different things: check this, research this, match this up with a previous mention and fix the tense. (I switch from past to present a lot. For some reason I plan in present tense and write in past - go figure. I use strikethrough when I am not certain that deleting something is right.) I can search and find all the %%s easily to fix things later without stopping writing.
I also think there are a lot of repeated things and a few errors in the story line. Things out of order. I can drag scenes around in Scrivener very easily, but the more the month went on, the less editing I did. I just didn’t have time.
Like most things in my life, I left it to the last week to get really serious. Plus, I wrote other things. My novel is 50,297 words but my total monthly world count is 78,389. Last month I wrote 58,000 so it is an improvement. I also miscalculated. Where the table says ‘days remaining’ (it shows 1 on the last day) I didn't realise that was an inclusive count. So it said I needed to write 10k in 2 days (easy) but that turned out to be 10k in one day (eek - what?), because I was looking at it before midnight.
I left the sex and the romance to this week, knowing that I would be on the home stretch and writing something that I write without difficulty would make it easier. But I still got up at 6:30 every day and it is midnight now and I am still typing. I have worked in 15 minutes bursts. Setting a timer and stopping when it went off; even in the middle of a sentence. And then I would go do something else for 15 minutes. Oddly, where I came back to a half sentence, I knew exactly what I was thinking and could just write.

I nearly gave up. At day 17 I decided that my story just didn’t have 50k in it. And then I went back and did some serious plot planning. The stuff I should have done before I started, but I only decided to enter two days before it started. That cleared a lot of things up and I saw that I needed more scenes in the first third of the novel.
I also kept getting off track doing medieval research that I could have done later. Do I really need to know the right term for male medieval underwear?** NOW?
But it will need a lot of cleaning up before it can be called a novel; I would say it is 75% done. And for that, alone it's worth doing Nanowrimo.
**They are called ‘Braies’ just in case you were wondering…

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fiction pad update

Fiction pad has made some changes: they now allow a cover page, as well as links to images within the body of a story and banners are now standard format rectangular rather than square as they were for a little while. There are also a few more changes including story tags. So you can add in warnings of character death or original main characters or whatever in the tags. Neat, huh?
I spent a lot of time today adding in the scrapbook pages that goldengirl made me for ‘Best Friends share everything’ chapters, as well lots of other banners people have made me over the years and they look beautiful. I also used the images that inspired one shots as their cover pages.

So my main page now looks like this.
All I can say is I need more banners to fill those plain blue bits!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Expanding plot devices

I have decided that I love expanding plot devices. You know… the things that always provide the device or the information that the main characters need at the exact moment that they need it. Like dad’s diary in Supernatural, or the caravan that belonged to Nick’s aunt in Grimm, or the Tardis from Doctor Who; infinitely large is clearly the way to go with these things.
On Grimm each week the main character Nick finds a weapon, a book or a potion that will coincidentally defeat this week’s monster. And afterwards it is filed away or lost, usually never to be seen again. I have only seen the first series but so far, nothing has returned. Blasted aussie TV keeps moving things around.
Dad’s diary on Supernatural ought to be ten inches thick with the information that the Winchester boys pulled from it; at least in the early series.
I've also been watching Arrow, the TV series and the fabulous Island where Oliver was lost for years, has at some point, crossed from plausible to beyond ridiculous. I only identified that as my issue with the show when I recorded the last episode. I usually fast forward through the commercials but I caught myself pressing the ff button during the island sequences. I can no longer rationally believe that the Island is lost, with the amount of traffic to and from it. Or that any areas of it remain hidden or unknown.
So I guess you have to use expanding plot devices carefully.

Thursday, 14 November 2013


I am writing away for Nanowrimo and still working on ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ but last night as I was scribbling away, (I write longhand in notebooks and type it up later; it works for me) I came to an awful realization.
My nano novel is a rewrite of Bluebeard. I needed to come up with a story idea in a day and that story has always fascinated me. If you don’t remember, Bluebeard is the guy who married between 7 and 107 wives, in different versions of the tale, and murdered them all. She asks for a few minutes to say her prayers, which he grants (wtf - as if?) and she goes up on the roof and waits until her brothers rescue her. The feminist in me objects. I want her to rescue herself.
His last wife is my heroine. In my story she knows that he is going to kill her. She has opened the room where the bodies of the other wives are hidden and she knows his secret.
My one sentence summary is:
Hyacinth, a curious and clever girl is married to Bluebeard, a wealthy landowner, when she discovers she is his seventh wife and the others have been murdered by him so she must fight for her own life and fight for justice for the dead.
I have written a chunk of it and I have struck a problem.
I like Bluebeard. I have made him sexy and gorgeous and he adores his little seventh wife. He will beat up anyone who hurts her. He’s my Hannibal, I suppose. He will love her until she crosses that line and breaks his rules. The betrayal for Hyacinth will be worse when she understands what he is. She will be devastated and it will be really hard for her to see what she doesn’t want to see.
I like Bluebeard.
And I have to kill him. And that is really hard to write.
Plus, in my other fanfiction story, they have almost reached the battle with their archenemy. I refuse to write a Stephenie Meyer non-battle chat in a paddock, so characters that I love are going to die.
And I will have to kill them.
If one story was fluff, I could use writing it as a break from writing the other, more intense emotional story, but I have unwittingly set myself up for tears in both.
Sigh… better stock up on tissues.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Nanowrimo update

I am still nanowrimo-ing if that is the right word. I am not doing so well; just under 15,000 words for 12 days. I need to write 1800 a day to finish. Of course, I am still working on ‘I'll be home for Christmas’ and if I added that in too, I would have 25,000 exactly.

I’d be half way on day 12!
But the only way to really fail is to stop writing!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

If you don't know, look it up

I got a review this week - well, I term it a review, it was more of a complaint.
They wanted to draw to my attention that I had used a word in a story that they didn’t understand. The first thing I did was search my fanfic inbox. I have never received a message or a review from this person before. And maybe they changed their username or something, but probably not. This whole review is a complaint about this word. They have not started with ‘I was really enjoying your story, when…’ and they have read nearly forty chapters of it.
I look up their profile. I reply. I am polite. They are American, I am not. That word means something different to you than it does to me because we speak different versions of English. I say that my betas are American and usually catch things, but they are used to my language now and sometimes words slip through.
They reply. They insist that the dictionary definition is a different meaning. Yes, it is, because your dictionary is different to mine. (duh)
I ask: do you really want me to change that word? It is very early in the morning my time and I have not had enough coffee yet.
No. They were just letting me know. They insist that they (as one reader) were thrown out of the story by that word and that I should add a definition of each word that they might not understand because they felt it was Australian slang. They object to having to go look it up.
It isn’t slang… it’s English. At this point I get annoyed.
Oh, the horror. They might have to look something up.
This story has over a million hits and more than three thousand reviews. No one else has ever had an issue with this word. It has even been translated into French and she understood what I meant. The word is a homonym and it is blindingly obvious that her definition doesn’t fit in the sentence.
I can’t add a definition for every possible word that someone might have an issue with. I can’t recognise them to start, because I don’t have an issue with them. And this month I had readers from 109 countries. I can’t begin to guess what people might not comprehend.
I’d define Aussie slang, but I don’t use it. [Oh, I did once, in my weredingo fic. I spelled Australia as Austraylya. That’s how we say it. And I got a review from an Australian telling me that I had spelt it wrong … snorks.]
So what do I do when I hit a word I don’t know? I look it up.
I love looking up words. I read at my son’s piano lessons and I often ask to borrow her dictionary to look something up. I know that she has a wonderfully fat and enormous dictionary. It is literally a weighty tome.
This week it was rubefascient*.
Last time it was tenebrous**.
I love both those words and I will try to use them in my writing because they are beautiful words. I am thrilled to have new words to use.
I have a very vague recollection of the children in ‘the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ playing a game they called dictionary when they had nothing to do and before they decided to play hide and seek and found the wardrobe. They would flip to a random page in the dictionary and they had to guess if the word origin was Latin or Greek. What fun! Very vague but I am sure they played this game before they went exploring. Or was it in the Dawn Treader? Before they jumped into the painting? Shrugs. Whatever. The point was that children used to play games based on language.
How tragic is the loss to our languages, both American English and Australian English, if we only ever used the same words; the words that people know and don’t have to look up? Language is a constantly evolving thing. So don’t be scared or annoyed that you have to look things up. Embrace it!
*Rubefascient: means red cheeked. The sentence was “There was clearly something in the water of Ireland to make its people rubefascient.” From Peter Temple’s Jack Irish.
**Tenebrous: means dark, shadowy or obscure. I can’t remember the line but it was in Peter Straub’s Shadowland.
PS: The word the reviewer objected to was ‘grizzle’ Ironic eh? Given that was what they were doing - grizzling. lmao
English definition of “grizzle”
verb [I]       /ˈɡrɪz.əl/ disapproving
› (especially of a young child) to cry continuously but not very loudly, or to complain all the time:
The baby was cutting a tooth and grizzled all day long.
They're always grizzling (= complaining) about how nobody invites them anywhere.
(Definition of grizzle verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Nanowrimo 2013

I have decided to do nanowrimo this year. Feel free to friend me or however it works. Newbie, here.
Nanowrimo is the national novel writing month and it requires you to write 50k words in November in order to ‘win’ your completion badge. It cannot be something you have already half written, so none of my sketched out rough plot bunnies could be used. I have already written more than that this month and I still have two days left. Grins. So 1600 a day should be doable.
I am probably insane because ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ is still going. I have posted more than 145k words for it so far, and it is still weeks to the battle. It has veered so far away from the original storyline that it will take some effort to get it back into line. A cast of dozens gives me too many characters to want to write for.
BUT can I do that AND finish Josh? That is the question.

I have told readers that Josh may drop its daily updates, but I can't stop writing it. I will do my best to complete both.
So, in two days I have worked out how to install a widget. Yay. And I have written 3,041 words for Bluebeard and done quite a bit of plotting and brainstorming plus I wrote 4,000 words for Josh. Phew.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Censorship of e-books

It’s happening again.
Yet again, is having a purge of offensive fics. As before, without warning to the authors.
And in the wider world, self-published e-books are getting slapped.
This is a quote from the digital reader.
Many authors have reported that their titles had been pulled from the Kindle Store with little explanation beyond the statement that the titles in question violated Amazon’s policies on “Description, Cover Image”. Many don’t have a clue what that is supposed to mean, including the author who forwarded one of the emails to me.
All of the titles are erotica. All of these books are legal.
Like these purges, it is pandering to the opinion of a few. And do I have to point out that just because something is self-published does not make it worse (or better) than a print book? This is censorship… AGAIN. Are they deleting offending print books? No. There is incest in Game of Thrones - has that been deleted? Flowers in the attic? Lolita? Nope.
I don’t want to read dinosaur porn. It doesn’t even make sense to me, but if you want to read that? Fine.
The real problem is that someone else’s ideas may be further away from mine. I like to read gay sex, heck I have even written some. So if someone finds my liking for gay sex offensive, can they delete all the books that I want to read? No - that’s censorship.
The news reports of this use words like, ‘barely legal’, ‘offensive’, ‘filth’, ‘vile trade’ or ‘sick’.
Emotive words.
Words that assume that you believe the same thing they do.
And I don’t.
I think a world where the few can tell the many what to read and what not to read is the start of something much worse.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Landing dock
A picture says a thousand words. Write them.
Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture.
Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

Picture Source:

“Alanna!” her father shouted. “Incoming!”
“I KNOW!” she shouted at him before she muttered under her breath, “You can hear the thing coming a mile away.” The airship was running hard and loud; if necessary they could be almost silent.
Smaller airships were sent to the other platform; theirs was for larger ones but there were few of them these days because of the war and how dangerous the skies were now. She knew this ship. It was the Bennu and she knew the captain of this one, too. Cheeky bugger. Always flirted with her. Offered to fly her away from all this; as if she could ever leave? Her father depended on her.
“Alanna?” a voice called from the rigging over the side as the airship approached.
“Evelyn?” She was the second in command of the ship.
“You got a first aid kit? Our supplies are depleted.”
She caught the mooring rope and tied the airship off. The rear line was in her father’s capable hands. “Hang on.” She ran to grab the first aid kit before she clambered up the rope that was dropped over the side and aboard the ship. Normally she would have asked permission first, but she was in a hurry today.
“Who’s hurt?” She almost didn’t want to ask.
“It’s Peter. Gut wound.” She paused as she swung down to the deck. “It’s bad and we don’t have time to wait around for him to heal.”
They had already dragged him out of the cabin. He lay on the deck looking smaller than he usually did. She rushed over and leaned into his face. When he didn’t acknowledge her, she knew he was very ill.
She hurried over to the side and looked for her father. He was negotiating the mooring fee with the purser. With some kind of extra sense, he glanced towards her. His face asked the question.
“H-he’s hurt,” she said.
Her father patted the shoulder of the purser and moved quickly towards her. “What do you want to do?” He looked up at her, trusting in her decision.
“Can he stay here?”
He sighed. They both knew what harbouring a fugitive meant. “Evelyn?” he asked.
“We can be back in three weeks.”
“He’ll die being out of the air for three weeks,” Alanna said.
“He’s close enough to the sky, here.” Evelyn jigged her head at the windmill sails. “Almost there.”
“E-evie?” Peter croaked. Alanna thought he was mostly unconscious. He was just raving. She put her hand on his forehead. He was fevered.
“I know,” Evelyn said. She looked just as concerned as Alanna did.
“Get him inside,” her father said. Crew leapt to help carry him.
She stripped him down, bathed him, and blanched at the scars on his wiry body. His shirt stuck to the angry wound. She cleaned it and stitched it while he was passed out and then painted it in honey, just as her mother had taught her.
It looked like a sword slash to her; across the stomach. He was lucky to be alive and not holding his spilled guts in his hands. She covered it with a clean bandage and mopped his brow with cool water infused with herbs. Her stash would need replenishing. She had tried to grow them in tubs on the platform but the weather was too erratic.
She fed him broth when he could manage to swallow it.
On the third day his fever broke and he fell into a much more restful sleep. She felt confident enough to leave him alone and check in on her father.
“I got young Tim to help out.”
“The boy from the village?”
“He doesn’t know we have a guest?”
“No, he believes you have taken to your bed.”
“It is occupied.”
“Yes.” He frowned. He still wasn’t happy about it. “Is he ...?”
“He’s on the mend. Asleep now.”
“Good. The sooner we see the Bennu’s sails, the better.”
She didn’t agree. She wasn’t sure what to hope for.
That night, as she fed him his broth, his grey eyes were heavy upon her. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing.” She fed him another spoonful.
“I can feed myself, you know.”
“I know.”
“But I like you to do it.” He almost had his rascally gleam back.
The next mouthful, he licked the spoon. His tongue darting out of his mouth to touch it.
“Stop it,” she groused at him.
“Tell me.”
“I’m worried.”
“Ask me anything. I’ll be honest with you.”
“My half sister.”
“Oh.” And after she had thought for some seconds. “Oh.”
“Honest,” he repeated.
“Right. Thank you.”
A spoonful.
“The war?”
“We are not winning... but we are not losing, either.”
“What will change that?”
“I am not sure.”
Another spoonful. He studied her.
The next spoonful, he touched her arm; brushing his fingers very gently down her skin.
She sighed.
“Alanna,” he whispered.
“Don’t. You’ll just heal and leave.”
“Come with me.”
“I can’t.”
“You could if you wanted to.”
“As what?”
“My wife, if you wished it. My partner if you do not.”
“You mean that?”
“I am no airman.”
“You could be; you are halfway there.”
She chuckled. “That’s what Evie said.”
“Please, Alanna. I can’t make you co-captain, that’s up to the crew, but you could be my partner in other ways.”
“You’d share your spoils with me?”
His face twisted. “Yes,” he chewed out.
She smiled at him. He was a pirate at heart.
“Because I adore you,” he added. “It kills me every time I fly away and leave you. All the treasures in the world mean nothing compared to you.”
“You really mean that.”
“Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“Oh, but I did. Just not out loud.”
She thought about it. He always had gifts for her. Silk scarves from far off lands, perfumes from the Orient, small carved animals that he swore he had seen running below the airship. Even the honey she had slathered on his wound had been a gift from him.
He seemed to understand that she wasn’t completely convinced. “I nearly died. I don’t want to waste another day doing what is seemly; I want to do what is right.”
He reached out and took the bowl out of her hand.
She still held the spoon. She clung to it.
“Alanna?” he whispered. “I need an answer.”
He tried to sit up and groaned with the effort.
“Stop it! You’ll rip the stitches.”
“After you put so much effort into stitching me up.”
“Yes, so don’t wreck it.”
He fell back on the pillows, breathing hard with the effort.
She touched his face; her hand cradling in against his jaw. He leaned into her hand. His eyes... they were pleading with her.
“Yes,” she whispered.
He smiled at her but he was so exhausted, he passed out.
She pulled the blanket up and tucked it in around him, brushing his hair out of his face. He was still a rascal and a pirate, but he was her pirate. She knew that now.
© AM Gray 2013

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Be careful with that thing!

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

“Be careful with that thing!” he yelled, grabbing her hand.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she argued. “I can’t work it; it’s a magic staff and I’m not-”
A beam of greenish blue light shot out of the end of the staff and zapped into the wall. A few chunks of plaster fell in a mini avalanche onto the floor.
In a fluster, she dropped the staff on the floor.
They stared at each other. She looked more shocked than he did. “What? How? I’m not...”
“Clearly you are... you didn’t even say anything.” He bent down and picked it up; handling it rather more gingerly than she had.
“I wouldn’t know what to say if I did know the words.” She stopped. “Did that make sense?”
“No. You can barely make sense when you do know the words to say.”
“Ha ha.” She reached for the staff but he held it away from her.
She rolled her eyes. “I’ll be careful.”
“How? You don’t even know what you did. You just held it in your hand.” She noticed that he didn’t close his hand around it.
“I can’t explain how it went off.”
“I’m well aware of that.”
“Well, who can we ask about it?”
He looked doubtful. “We need to keep this quiet, actually. And we need to get out of here.” He wrapped the staff in a cloth and shoved it inside his rucksack.
She knew he was right. They had come here to steal it; to stop the evil wizard Bronwyn from using it. 
“I didn’t do anything,” she said as they hurried from the chamber.
“No, I know.”
“I just picked it up.”
“Yeah... I know.”
“Wait... You know what this means?”
“Maybe she isn’t magic at all... maybe she just has tools that are magic.”
“Move faster... in fact... run.”
“Why?” she puffed as she sprinted after him.
“If you are right about the magic tools, then she won’t want anyone to know that. Run faster.”
“Oh, crap.”
They ran.
© AM Gray 2013

* I asked kid 1 what was a good name for an evil wizard and he said Bronwyn… no idea where that came from. 

Monday, 23 September 2013


Since the closure of JBNP I only have my stories loaded at fanfic. I have looked at ao3 (an archive of our own) and joined so that I could comment on another story. Seriously, if you like Teen Wolf, why are you not reading meeranamjoker’s  ‘Witha Silver Practise’? It is Derek/Lydia and it is awesome.
But I digress… so, I could load my 71 stories onto ao3 but that might take me years and it is html editing and I HATE html. I saw an article in fictionators, I think, about a new site called fictionpad. I had a look. 
They also have an info vid on YouTube 
I joined mostly to protect my fic name. Woe betide someone else tries to be mtr, like I dunno the real mrstrentreznor… lmao
It is in the beta phase and very much reminds me of a Twitter page. Same screen size. It fills your screen and you navigate by hovering on the RHS where a next page bar pops up.

Some good things:
·       You can sign in with Twitter, Facebook or Google+
·       One button loads all stories from fanfic. I know right? It did load Closer to God twice. But I have a lot of stories and it did pretty well.
·       Works in progress are marked with a big blue spanner next to the fic name
·       One shots are marked with a green thunderbolt
·       It has an 18+ category
·       You can load banners on each chapter if you wish - I am still trying to work out the banner size for story icons.
·       Readers can click the thumbs up or leave a comment or both
·       It allows multiple characters AND multiple genres
·       Writers can PM a reviewer or reply to the review publicly. If you use an @ like twitter, they get notified.

It is very new, so all my alternate pairings meant most of my characters aren’t listed yet. But they seem cool and approachable. I am slowly working through my list and upgrading the age bracket or telling them they need to add a character.
And big plus for me. No HTML! You edit the story, click add a chapter and cut and paste it in from Word. Then click republish. It will hold it as a draft until you have it all done and click the green button. Neat!
They don’t have lists of authors yet, but the search box works well at the moment when the site is small.

If nothing else, it will serve as a backup of my fanfic stories. I wake up every day expecting my whole page to have been deleted. I do write some rather racy things… *grins*