After a Week of Smoke-fog, the Air is Clear!

After a week of the air quality index in the 250-300 Very Unhealthy Range, Western Washington is had a couple of rain storms, literally clearing the air. We lived in a gothic horroresque setting for an entire week, with a campfire-scented fog settling over the mountains and lakes of the PNW. Today, we’re sitting pretty[…]

A Dedication to RBG

Yesterday, I mourned. Today, I wake up another day to fight. I used to think that stories were just that. Dragons and magic, tech and battles, or just about personal demons. But, even the short erotica I published, Adoration, had a theme of empowerment for women, of not accepting a mediocre existence. Writers have an[…]

Tam Lin: A Modern, Queer Retelling (featuring sneak peak excerpt)

Since Tam Lin is traditionally a Halloween story Tam Lin: A Modern, Queer Retelling will be released October 1st, 2020. However, I wanted to celebrate Bisexual Visibility Month and #bivisibilityday, by offering a story with bisexual characters written by a bisexual author (yours truly), by setting up a pre-order . Here is an exclusive excerpt[…]

Creating Character Boards and Why They’re Useful Visuals

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I’m doing character profiles for the story I plan to write Dot and Al’s Paranormal Detective Agency. Character profiles are part of my plotting process. It’s where I create backstory and discover motivation long before I know what’s going to happen. I think this is key to creating compelling characters. I[…]

View from My Writing Desk

This is the current view from my writing desk. An overcast sky in September isn’t out of the ordinary in the Seattle suburbs, but this is smoke from the wildfires ravaging Oregon and California. (We’re not downwind of the ones razing Washington. Yet.) Needless to say, our air quality is in the crapper. So, I[…]

Troublesome Tropes in Urban Fantasy, Romance, and Paranormal Erotica and How to Subvert Them

Alpha Male/Rich Asshole: The concept that a man who is power-hungry, aggressive, violent, stalkerish, possessive and territorially jealous as a romantic lead is worrisome. It not only promotes toxic masculinity, but might encourage readers to seek abusive or codependent relationships. It’s not just toxic for individuals, it’s toxic for humanity in general. We live in[…]

Research: The Devil is in the Details

When you write a novel, you’re going to run into research. Whether it be about diet or hygiene of a certain era or mythology and religious texts, doing your research will add a layer of depth to your world building. Hopefully, you won’t go into detail to the point of boring just to show how[…]

Excerpt from Eastside Faerie: A (Sub) Urban Fantasy II

While I query Eastside Hedge Witch: A (Sub) Urban Fantasy, I thought I’d start other projects just in case it tanks. But, the story and characters drew me back in. The first book, though it served the purpose thematically of proving Miriam should not run from her problems and accept herself and her magic, was[…]

Writer Talk: Why Isn’t My Story Selling?

I’ve been alpha and/or beta reading manuscripts for about four years. I read a mix of about fifty to sixty traditionally and indie published novels a year for pleasure. What do some indie novels have in common with not-yet-polished drafts I alpha and beta read? Bad beginnings. Info dumps. Lack of developmental editing. The way[…]

Another Draft Finished

I finished the rough draft of Tam Lin: A Modern, Queer Retelling last night and will think of a less on the nose title soon. In the meantime, I’ll send the draft off to alpha readers. They’ll look for things like pacing, tension, seek plot holes, and analyze the character arc. I ended the story[…]

Test, Allies, and Enemies–A Hero’s Journey Plot Point Featuring an Excerpt from Tam Lin: A Modern Queer Retelling

With a hero’s journey style plot, after your protagonist steps out of their ordinary world and into the new world, they’re going to meet some people along the way. These are little mini adventures that will give your character tools for the ultimate challenge. They’ll get pieces of advice too. This is an excerpt where[…]

The Hero’s Journey Plot Rundown

The most important thing you must remember about any plot is that a good plot is a series of events that teach a lesson. Without that lesson learned, the story will come off as hollow and formulaic. The Hero’s Journey Plot The Set Up/call to adventure Every story must start up in the character’s ordinary[…]