Health issues and the spectacular destruction of my old computer slowed down my writing for a while, but I'm getting back into it.
In the meantime have some linkage:
The Guardian's Bad Sex Awards is on again. They usually get either a giggle or a disgusted-but-cannot-look-away stare from me.
Also, if you haven't watched this video, you should. It's truly beautiful.
And happy Halloween to everybody else. May it bring candy and much spookiness!
Oh and for those of you planning on embarking on the mad journey that is Nanowrimo tomorrow, you might find this article by Jodi Cleghorn helpful. Oh, and consider joining the guys on Often Inspired for their annual Nanowrimo contest. It's always heaps of fun. I'm not attempting another novel this year as I have too many other writing projects on the go as it is, but I'll be watching my friends' progress with interest.
Since most of these are anthologies it's not really too confusing, but I should actually knuckle down and finish some of them so I can write some reviews. My writing tends to go the same way. I start writing a story, then have an interesting idea and start writing that, then think of something new and before I know it I've got half a dozen stories on the go and nothing completed to show for a whole month of writing. Having lots of ideas is a good start, I think, but I need to work on my focus. At any rate, I can assure you that there are new stories coming, it's just that presently they're all in bits and pieces. I'll get there. It's just a case of picking one and sticking to it.
I had a lot of fun at Supernova at the weekend, gawking at the cosplayers and celebrities and trying not to spend the whole month's budget on books, comics, dvds and assorted geekery. I MET KATEE SACKHOFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those who don't know, she's Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, and she was lovely, despite being probably quite jetlagged.
I got to (briefly) meet fellow Brisbane author Trent Jamieson, who signed my copy of Managing Death, the second book in his awesome new urban fantasy series Death Works (more info about this can be found on his website, including some spiffy 'community announcement' videos about the series).
I also briefly said hi to Marianne de Pierres, whose new young adult series, Night Creatures, I really must check out. So many books, so little time! That's it for now. I'd better go and tackle the giant stack of unread books by my beside before it topples and crushes me in my sleep.
I've been sick for a while (nothing serious, just a cold and stomach flu- what a great month!), but am still plugging away at another story on and off. Today, though I took time out to join in a rally for gay marriage here in Brisvegas. Apparently there were about 400 people marching, which sounds about right. Not quite the numbers seen in other larger cities, but considering our population and the fact that it was pissing down today it wasn't too bad. There's another rally planned for May 21st. Hopefully if we can keep the issue in the public eye and keep up some pressure on the government eventually something will happen.
I love this video. :) Beware: Contains lots of naughty words. Well, mainly just the one lots of times.
I'm a contrary creature. Originally I got into reading romance novels because I felt an automatic urge to rebel against intellectual snobs who not only dismiss all romance novels as crap without ever actually bothering to read one but dismiss all romance readers as morons for liking the stuff. Some of these people are sci fi and fantasy fans who, after fighting exactly the same battle for years, frankly should know better. To these people I say, fuck off.
Yes, some romance novels are crap (indeed some are hilariously so -plagiarist and racist Cassie Edwards springs to mind) but as Theodore Sturgeon once said, 90% of everything is crap. Romance is a massive and diverse genre, with a ludicrous number of (sometimes alarmingly specific) subgenres. There are romance novels that are also murder mysteries (like J.D. Robb's In Death series, which is also kind of sci fi), or heist stories (like Jennifer Crusie's Agnes and the Hitman, which is sort of like what you might get if Elmore Leonard took up writing romance), historical fiction, you name it. And of course, the readers are a diverse bunch too, so it is unfair to assume anything about their intelligence from the fact that they enjoy a genre you don't personlly like (or haven't even tried), just as it would be unfair of me to think that all fans of Dan Brown have suet pudding between their ears instead of brains. Which I don't, honestly. I know some of you people even have degrees. I don't get it, but whatever.
So, in conclusion, do what you wanna do, read what you wanna read yeaaaah and leave other readers to enjoy their trashy books unsneered at. And if you haven't already, check out Smart Bitches Trashy Books where a couple of very smart ladies put what I was trying to say far more cleverly than I could.
Was this post purely an excuse to post the video below? Only I will ever know for certain.
That's not the name of a game as far as I know, but it should be.
Lately I have been trying my hand at writing some historical erotic fiction and have encountered a small problem. While there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief needed to accept that people in Ancient Rome or Medieaval Europe or wherever/whenever are speaking modern English, writers mostly get away with it, but certain words stand out more than others. You don't want to throw around 'shlong' and 'bearded taco' unless you're actually trying to be funny. Actually, you usaully don't want to do that in a contemporary story either, but I'm getting sidetracked...
When it comes to describing parts of the body, especially the naughty bits, I find that modern slang sounds very jarring, and clinical terms are too, well, clinical. Where possible I guess you can research and find out the actual words people used for these parts in the time of your setting, but if it's really far back that can be pretty difficult. I think I will set myself a project to read more historical erotica and pay special attention to how writers describe things- whether they use slang of the time or get around it with careful description (I don't want to slip into Harlequin territory with 'her sex' and 'his rod' etc. either). So, that's my project for the week.
Suggestions on description in historical erotica, or of good historical erotica to read would be very welcome.
With one day to go until the final deadline I'm still not quite finished my submission for 100 Stories For Queensland. Flash is tricky to write! It's hard to bring a story to a satisfying conclusion in just 1000 words. I've written flash before of course, but it was mainly erotica, and I find that easier because, without wishing to sell my chosen genre short, there's a more obvious conclusion for events to come to (no pun intended), so it's just a matter of trimming away some of the preamble. Wow, that really is selling erotica short. I don't mean that it's easy to write, because it's not (well, no more so than any other genre), or that it's less worthwhile somehow (there are some seriously brilliant erotica flash stories out there). I suppose I just find it easier sticking within my comfort zone. This exercise has been good for me and I probably should practise this kind of thing more often.
Fellow Goodreads author Sean Williams is involved in another initiative by Aussie authors to help flood victims. Visit Writers on Rafts if you'd like to help out and go into the draw to win some pretty awesome prizes donated by various authors. These incluce author visits, book packs and the chance to have a character in an upcoming book named after you.
A couple of writers are putting together an anthology called 100 Stories for Queensland to raise funds to help victims of the recent flooding in the area. They're calling for submissions of flash fiction, any genre as long as it's upbeat and not about death and destruction. It's not my usual genre but I will see if I can come up with something suitable.
In terms of loss of life the floods aren't on the same scale as other disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, but the damage to homes and businesses is in the billions and it is likely to take the state a couple of years to recover. There are people out there right now sweeping out their homes and emptying everything they own onto the footpath to be taken away in a garbage truck. Many of these people were insured for everything except flooding because they couldn't get flood insurance due to their proximity to the location of their homes. Click here for photos. So please, if you can help us out by submitting a story, buying the anthology when it's finished, or preferably both.
If you'd like to donate to the Premier's disaster relief fund directly you can do it here. Thanks in advance for your support.
Half of my city is under water at the moment, so I may not be online much for a while. Hopefully we won't lose water (it's ironic having none to drink when it's everywhere!) and the river will subside soon. In the meantime I have a roof over my head at least and plenty to read when I can't go anywhere due to all the road closures. My heart goes out to those who aren't so lucky.
Evelyn Applegate writes romance and erotic fiction. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with two cats, Heinrich and Butternut, and a ridiculous number of shoes. Her veins frequently contain more coffee than blood. She enjoys creative writing and reads a lot. Her favourite authors include Poppy Z. Brite, Anais Nin and Kelley Armstrong. Her work has appeared in For the Girls Magazine and Every Night Erotica. She also has a paranormal erotica ebook, Land of A Thousand Dances, available through Logical Lust.