Monthly Archives: May 2013

Achooo!

“Hey Niki, where have you been?”

I’ve been sick, folks.  Like stuffy head, day of coughing followed by sneezing followed by chills and fatigue kind of sick.

And I’ve got a submission due Friday that’s about halfway done with edits.  I’ve been pressing on, taking meds and going to my local coffee shop for hours of editing, then coming home and spending the rest of the day between passing the hell out and mindlessly shooting geth in the face on Mass Effect.  So, let’s just cross our fingers and hope I get this thing done and finished before the 1st, kay?

Because on the first, I’m doing something kinda…big.  If’ you’ve got Google Plus, or access to YouTube, make some time Saturday night.  Details to come later this week, promise 😉

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Smokey Glimpses

So I submitted a story for the Goodreads M/M Romance Groups “Love Has No Boundaries” compilation, and I realized that I released two excerpts on that site and guess what…

I’ve got this here blog that I can post them on here too!

So, here’s the first excerpt of Smokey Glimpses:

His entire body flushed hot, then cold, then a more intense kind of hot. Like fire. Kaden could feel fire and heat surrounding him, but he could barely see, it was so dark. Smoke poured all around him. His lung burned even as the mask around his nose and mouth fed him precious oxygen. How long would this tank last? They’d been fighting this fire for about an hour and he was already on his second one.

Someone shouted into his radio speakers; “The building’s gonna come down! Get outta there!”

Two directions lay ahead. Right, out the way they came in, or go left. His Captain had gone right.

“Hurry!”

Out in Wisconsin…

So, I really threw myself into trying to bump up that word count last week for two reasons.  One, because I needed the next two weeks to edit.  Two, because this weekend myself and Partner and our friends were driving up to an old farmhouse in Wisconsin (one of the friend’s family owns the place) to help plant pine trees and shoot various stuffed animals with said friend’s decent arsenal of firearms. We had a blast, I met my very first tick, had my very first tick freakout (oh god, bugs that aren’t spiders freak me out) and got to take out my preteen frustrations with Barney the Purple Dinosaur’s very existence (I’m the oldest of six, the youngin’s loved that giant goofy freak) with a .22 hunting rifle.

Even though we were in the middle of fuck you nowhere, I brought my tablet computer and banged out another scene in my college submission story, just to be on the safe side with the word count.  The whole works is currently a disjointed mess, but this week and the next I will be working daily on whipping it into as good of shape as I can get it.  This may be a daily sort of project.

 

I think I’m ready.

 

Too Short! Why is it so short!

Insert”That’s what she said” here

So, there’s this submission call due at the first of June.  And for some insane reason, I decided to start on it a month and a half before the due date.

I just finished it today.  And it’s 10K words too short.  AND because it involves a romance between two asexual men, I can’t return to my old ways and try to crow bar in a sex scene or two.  AND I don’t even have a title yet.

Fuck me running backwards.

So, I’m going to be spending the rest of the week adding in 10K AND editing.  Damn, I need a beta reader for moments like these.

Though, I don’t feel that kind of negative pressure that I thought I’d feel when a deadline looms.  Maybe it’s because I’m a bright and shiny and new writer (okay, probably), but I’m looking forward to the challenge.  Do I add more conversations between Salvatore and Leo?  Do I let them endure more nonsense form the one dissenting friend that doesn’t understand how happy they are in a relationship sans sex?  How about extending the scene with Salvatore’s parents getting a handle on their son liking men in the first place?  The possibilities are endless!

Why do I write this filth?

(“Filth” mostly tongue in cheek)

Fellow DSP author (and apparent fellow MN resident) Posy Roberts asked fellow M/M romance authors why do we write M/M?

Now, my short answer is always, “Because I like it.” But of course, I wouldn’t make a post out of just that one statement.

Yonks ago, I posted a very quick and dirty Tumblr post about why I read and enjoy M/M romances.  Since my Tumblr is very much not safe for work (penises, penises everywhere), here’s that article.  Just replace “read” with “write”, and you’ve got the jist:

…otherwise known as “Nicole is gassing on about something when she should be working on her own damned book on a Sunday”.

If you haven’t figured it out from looking at stuff I reblog, I love men on men (and sometimes men on men on men).  Gay porn, m/m romance novels, you name it, I probably enjoy it.  There are a lot of lady folk who do, of all places on the rainbow, and we all have our reasons why.  Here’s mine.

The variety of the men in m/m romance stories is outstanding.  M/F romances seem to stick their male love interest into one of two categories: alpha male caveman or slimy charming asshole.  Both are usually built like brick shithouses and are emotionally unavailable for most of the book/series.  Sometimes things get really creative and the dudes are some sort of alpha male charmer or a slimy caveman, still so emotionally constipated, and it takes the love of the right persistent lass to act like the ExLax and I’m stopping this metaphor now before I gross myself out.

With M/M, we get so many types of men.  Yeah, the alpha male caveman and the slimy charming assholes are there, but maybe the body types are different.  Men in M/M aren’t all six foot five and built like brick shithouses.  Some are skinny.  Some are downright slender.  Some are rangy. Some are short brick shithouses.  Some even have just a wee bit of padding in their tummies. All find love in the end.

And emotions? Holy fuck, stop the presses, men are allowed to have all kinds of emotions in these books.  Not just jealous rage, or angry rage, fierce possessiveness, or sullen sadness, or ragingly horny.  They can cry.  You know, like men in real life do?  Some dudes get depressed.  Some get anxious.  Some are, yes, emotionally constipated.  At the same time, some dudes are fairly open with how they feel and have no problem expressing their emotions.  Don’t tell anyone, but some of these dudes are downright romantics.  There is room in the HEA or HFN Inn for all these guys.

Now we’ve got our guys, and they’re feeling things.  What about sex?  One of things I yawn about in m/f is that the sex is just the same.  The woman is receiving, the man is giving (seriously, has no one heard of a strap on? How about having the woman posses a ‘top’ mentality?).  If you want your sex with a woman “topping”, even while being penetrated, you’d have to look for femdom stories.  In m/m, yes, there is a convention that the shorter, slimmer, younger partner takes it up the ass and is the ‘beta’ of the relationship, but it’s so not always the fucking case.  The convention gets turned on its head so many times and I love it.

My favorite series involves two alpha male assholes (search your heart, Minions, you know it’s true) who switch.  And there’s no battle to figure out who’s fucking who.  Ty’s dick doesn’t fall off the second Zane’s inside him, and holy cow does he give himself up when he’s bottoming.  No fight to surrender here (unless they’re playing around), and it’s goes the same way when Zane, who’s physically larger, has his sexy ass in the air.  Another fav book of mine from last year featured a short, twinky, pink haired artist who topped the ever loving fuck out his hunky firefighter every single time. And I loved it.

See, I loved it because a character like Rodney (from Fire Balls by Tara Lain) would barely exist in m/f, unless he was the sexless sassy gay friend of the lady protag*. M/M allows for the twink tops, the femme man Doms, the bear bottoms, the alpha male who owns a dildo and/or a butt plug, the single father who likes to wear silk panties under his Levis, the guy that wants to wait until he’s in a serious relationship first.  It allows two submissives to have a loving committed relationship while seeing a Dom to meet their mutual need to submit. AND it allows for sweetly submissive twinks* to love and care for their alpha male/bear/Daddy tops. It shows us that men have just as much variety in their sexual expression as women do.

You know, just like in real life? 

Hell, M/M romance is all about the variety of men.  There’s something for everyone.

*I would love to read a m/f book where the male LI is a little effeminate/sensitive and that’s just what the main lady wants, damn the expectations.  Because damn, not every woman wants the alpha male cavedude either.

**on that note, that sweet submissive twink who may express his emotions openly?  Still a man.  His penis still exists.  Calling such a character a “Chick with a Dick” or “Such a Girl” or complaining that “Men Should Act Like Men” slanders such men in real life (you may not personally know any, but they do exist), and is insulting to women in general (what? You don’t know any cold emotionally constipated women in your life? Are they suddenly men because of it?).  Since when was having and expressing emotions just a lady trait? And why is it bad? Seriously. Gender policing is bad, mmkay?

 

How Did I Get Here?

I’m working on three stories at once.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

First, I’m editing some parts of Little Earthquakes and realizing that this could be a publishable shorty of a story.  I hope I’m able to remove it from FictionPress in that case; it would be awesome and I’m really in love with the characters and the angle I’m taking with BDSM.

Next is a rewrite of To The Moon and Back, my attempt at a light sci-fi setting.  So far, I’m liking it.  This is the one I’m working on with the new tablet on transist, so the stopping and starting really show. When I get to really sit down and pound it out, this could be interesting.

And lastly is a real challenge that I haven’t actually given a title yet.  Riptide has a short story prompt that’s open to not just their invited authors, and the theme just pulled a story right out of me.  The hard part is getting it out of my head and onto the page.  It’s challenge because it’s for Riptide, for fuck’s sake, and getting in with that publisher would be just…amazing.  And also, it involves a story that’s almost an YA.  The main characters are men in a relationship, but there is no sex.  And not because they’re too young.  For me, this is a challenge to convey that love in a mature adult way without involving fucking.  It shouldn’t be a challenge, but there you go.

Lastly, I’ve sent Smoky Glimpses off to the M/M Romance Goodreads group.  Hopefully I’ll see good things from it.  I don’t think it’s big enough to bother with a cover, but I should probably get myself an authory GR page to like to before the release, yah?