The two freelance jobs I've been working on since March, which ate my brain, are pretty much tidied away, so now I have more time each day to take a deep breath and look around and get caught up on little things, like blog posts. I have so many things to post about! But I don't want to inundate you, dear reader, so I'll keep it to one or two a day. Promise.
First up: In March and April I received many lovely comp copies of anthologies that contain my stories. Look!
Pretty, pretty copies on my pretty, pretty writing chair.
The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica
Geek Love: An Anthology of Full Frontal Nerdity
Best Lesbian Romance 2013
The Big Book of Bondage
Under Her Thumb: Erotic Stories of Female Domination
Get 'em while they're hot! (And they're all hot!)
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Goals for Today
food shopping/refill water bottles/buy cat litter- actually, Ken did it. I love him.
- go for a bike ride and a short run - nope. Felt oogy this afternoon. Tomorrow.
- scrub the cat puke off the bedroom carpet - not yet. It's not like it's going anywhere.
- enter receipts in Quicken/tidy home office desk - guess we're looking at tomorrow.
curl up and watch a movie with Ken- watched the latest Doctor Who, and introduced Ken to the glory that is Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. finish editorial revisions on short story and send- done! 1 hour freelance copyediting job
- finish reading through half-finished collaborative novel (or at least 4-5 chapters today, leaving 4-5 chapters for tomorrow) – tomorrow
- watch final videos for online workshop
and do any homework(no homework!) - will probably do this tomorrow answer a ton of work email
- various online stuff (
promo “Catalyst” on website, write blog posts about groovy news, etc.)
I feel like the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey: “What is a 'weekend'?”!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Squee! Little Kisses Press has just released their very first Sophie Mouette offering! (Sophie being the psuedonym for Teresa and I when we collaborate.)
Amid the standing stones of Anglesey, Wales, Kate meets a seductive woman who offers Kate teasing moments of pure passion—then disappears with catlike ease. To win the enchanting Annie, Kate must face dark magic, set right a centuries’-old wrong—and, scarier yet, confront her own past. The magic of the stones can turn a woman into a cat, but is it strong enough to guide Kate to her heart’s desire? “Catalyst” is an intoxicating lesbian paranormal erotic short story.
"Windswept cliffs, fogbound villages, and moonlight on standing stones; the Welsh isle of Anglesey would seem mystical even if American anthropologist Kate Williams weren’t bound to it by blood and her own intense connection to the earth. She finds much more in this land of her ancestors than healing for a bruised heart, and Sophie Mouette tells her story of magic and lust and timeless love with just the right blend of fantasy, reality, and hot-to-the-core sex." – Sacchi Green, Editor of Lambda Award Winner Lesbian Cowboys
Monday, May 06, 2013
Okay, here I am with another question for my foodie friends! (Note: I'd be grateful if you posted your responses here rather than FB/Twitter/G+, so I can keep everything together in one place. I cannot find anything on FB after a day or two after it's been posted, and I rarely even check Twitter, and I'm on G+ even less. Thanks!)
This time, I’m looking for a reasonably healthy macaroni and cheese recipe. I say “reasonably” because it’s hard to make something full of cheese super-healthy, but I want to strike a balance. I’ve been eating Amy’s Organic frozen mac and cheese, but it’s expensive, and doesn’t use whole wheat/whole grain pasta. I’m choosing it over boxed mac and cheese – which I can get as whole grain and organic – because if I make a box of mac and cheese, I will eat the entire box. And it’s still more processed than I’d like.
So what I’m thinking is, if I make my own (either in the crock pot or oven, or on the stove), then I can freeze it in portion-sized amounts.
I’ve done a little research and found bits and pieces of recipes that sound good, but I can’t seem to find one that covers everything I’m trying to do – and I’m not a good enough cook to know how to combine recipes.
Here are my parameters:
- Ideally less than 400 calories per serving (where a serving is a reasonable size, not a quarter of a cup or some such bs).
- Whole wheat/whole grain pasta – doesn’t really affect the recipe; I can just substitute.
- No ingredients beyond pasta, cheese, and things that make it saucy. No breadcrumbs, no onions, no cauliflower. Those things are all fine and sometimes I do want a dish like that, but right now I’m looking for bog-standard comfort-food mac and cheese.
- When I see the phrase “low fat,” I think “chemical shitstorm.” I’d rather have a strong-tasting full-fat cheese and use less of it than use a blander low-fat cheese that will trigger my body to eat more.
- A little flour or cornstarch is fine, yogurt/milk is fine. I’m open to suggestion.
Here are some of the recipes I’ve looked at online. None of them fit all my parameters, so one question is, how could I combine these ideas?
Fitness recipe. What I like is the idea of using Greek yogurt for creaminess. What I don’t like is the onion-garlic puree (I could see trying it later, though), the breadcrumbs, or the reduced-fat cheddar. Would ditching the puree and using regular cheddar keep it below 400 calories, I wonder?
Food Network Squash Recipe #1. I know I said nothing funky, but eventually I’d like to try something like this one, with squash. Will it appreciably change the flavor? (I add squash, carrots, all sorts of stuff to spaghetti sauce and it doesn’t change the flavor, but then again, tomato sauce is different than cheese sauce.) What would happen if I left the squash out but used the same basic recipe? Likes: Ricotta, regular cheese. Dislikes: Lowfat milk (it’s not enough to make a big calorie difference, though), doesn’t give calorie count.
Food Network Squash Recipe #2. Ditto questions about squash above. Likes: Yogurt (would use regular, not non-fat), decent calorie count (but how far would it go up w/regular yogurt and cheese?). Dislike: The low-fat/non-fat options.
AllRecipes recipe. Likes: Basic and simple. Dislikes: Low-fat stuff, and what’s the calorie count?
Blissful recipe. Would cauliflower puree make it bland? Otherwise, my biggest issue with this one is the lack of calorie count…I’m guessing it’s high, given the cream cheese.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
All sorts of books talk about scheduling and how to pace yourself and focus on what’s important. I’ve been so deep in work these past couple weeks that it’s been hard to see the bigger picture. So I thought I’d make a list of all the projects either in progress or due soon.
Oh. My. Gods.
- “Finding My Own Voice” (fantasy) – redraft (per editorial request) finished, waiting on Ken’s review. (Since it was a redraft using some bits from previous versions, I want to make sure the information flow is correct.)
- erotica stories for Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 12, due Sunday 3/31 – reprints, assembled today and will mail tomorrow
- fantasy story for fire-themed anthology, due Sunday 3/31 – um…looking for an idea?
- “Still Flying” (lesbian erotica) – in progress, due to Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 by Monday 4/1
- erotica story for Best Bondage Erotica 2014, due Monday 4/1 – I was going to send “Still Flying” (see above) but it fits better for BLE2014, so I’ll probably send a reprint to this
- short-short erotica stories for Short-Short BDSM Erotica, due Monday 4/1 – one written, needs a read-through before I send it, along with a story I already had
- reprint erotica story for Coming Together: Girl on Girl charity anthology, due 4/15 – I know which story I’m sending; just need to send it!
- two erotica stories for His Book and Her Book, due 4/15 – not really on my radar yet, although it’s on my production schedule
I’d like to get all of these off my plate so I can get back to longer fiction, including
- On Her Lips – second novella in a three-novella set (In Her Hands is already available as an ebook)
- Seasoned With Danger – sexy funny spy novel as Dayle St. Clair
- No Horns, No Trumpets – labor of love project. My aunt wrote this book about my cousin, who was brain-damaged at age 15 in a motorcycle accident, and was submitting it to publishers before she died. My other cousin has taken up the reins, and I volunteered to publish it (I did the copyediting and design). We’re waiting for our proof copies and the pdf from the proofreader, and then we’ll make final changes. Due date is having it ready before a traumatic brain injury conference in June.
- How to Sell Cruises Step-by-Step – nonfiction freelance book that I copyedited and designed. Also waiting for proof copies and markup from proofreader.
- What Beck’ning Ghost – gothic romance by me as Dayle Ivy. I need to finish the interior design, and rewrite the back cover blurb because it kinda sucks. I’m taking a six-week online Pitches & Blurbs workshop starting 4/2, so it may not get published 'til after that.
- In Her Hands – cover redesign of already published erotic romantic novella, to bring it in line with the two forthcoming novellas, and then also to publish it in print
- “Catalyst,” paranormal lesbian romance by Sophie Mouette – Sophie’s been on the back burner while Teresa and I have focused on solo stuff, and it’s time to get her going again! Cover is designed, interior is designed…it’s ready for upload once we get the bank account and all the online accounts set up (see below).
- Cat Scratch Fever, erotica by Sophie Mouette – reprint of previously published book, which has been re-copyedited. Need to design cover (rough preliminary done) and interior.
- various erotica short stories – I’m working on rebranding all my Andrea Dale erotica covers, redoing the interior files, and getting them all uploaded to the various sites, including Kobo, which I’ve just started to do. Also, I need to learn how to upload directly to iBooks and get them all up there.
- freelance job, mystery novel, due 3/31 – in progress; will take extra hours over the next few days
- freelance job, uh, can’t remember genre – due 4/15, scheduled to start 4/1
- freelance job, proofreading, SF – due 4/15, scheduled to start 4/1
- Blackwood House, gothic romance as Dayle Ivy – doing a final readthrough to add a small element throughout. It’s been copyedited, so after this, it’ll be ready for design.
- Possessed, Undressed, and in a Mess, erotic paranormal romance by Sophie Mouette (with Teresa Noelle Roberts) – We’re something like 60K into this book already, but we haven’t looked at it in a few years. Step 1 is to read through everything we’ve got. It’s really freeing, because we made some changes per an editor’s request (before the editor bought it – live and learn) and now we can just focus on writing the book that gives us the most excitement and joy rather than worrying about publisher guidelines.
- Beta read a friend’s fantasy story. Currently overdue (sorry, LW! SOON!).
- Set up business bank accounts for Soul’s Road Press and Little Kisses Press
- Write and send anthology ideas to publisher for possible editing jobs. Kinda overdue (I had a phone confab w/her a few weeks ago).
- Set up Little Kisses Press accounts at kdp (Amazon), pubit (B&N), Smashwords, Nook, iBooks, and CreateSpace
- Out of the Frying Pan, spicy romance by Sophie Mouette – still in early stages: need to hire a copyeditor, need to contact the artist of the potential cover art, that sort of thing
- Meet up with owner of lingerie shop to discuss a reading/signing
- A variety of fiddly website and online stuff
Looking at this makes me feel energized and tired in equal measure….
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Soul's Road Press has set up a special imprint for Sophie Mouette books! (Sophie being the coauthoring team of myself and Teresa Noelle Roberts.) Here's the scoop:
Soul's Road Press have an exciting announcement to make: We're about to unveil our first imprint, Little Kisses Press!
Little Kisses Press will showcase the work of popular erotic romance and erotica author Sophie Mouette. She has quite a backstock of stories and a few novels as well, so we have a fun time ahead getting all of her work published! We're delighted to have her as a part of our publishing venture.
First up will be "Catalyst," a short paranormal lesbian erotica, followed by erotic novel Cat Scratch Fever (originally published by Black Lace Books in 2006). After that, probably more short fiction, so stay tuned!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
This past Wednesday night, my throat started to feel funny. Thursday, it hurt…by Thursday night, I was questioning whether I’d be able to go to California Dreamin’, the very first Southern California Romance Writers of America conference. Friday morning I ditched working out with my trainer (which would’ve been at 5:45 am), got up and 7 am, and started packing…still wondering whether I should go. In the end, I did.
My throat hurt like hell. I hoped I wasn’t infectious. I checked my temperature both Thursday night and Friday morning, and it was normal.
My friend and roomie Christine, whom I was carpooling to the conference with, said pffft, she wouldn’t miss the conference unless she was outright throwing up.
Despite feeling rather like poo, I had a wonderful time. Great workshops, great people. On the way there, Christine commented that she was craving Chinese, so I found a local place with good reviews on Yelp. It was 2.2 miles away. She said, that’s close enough, let’s walk.
Did I mention that the place was in a strip mall in the dodgy area of town?
The food turned out to be surprisingly decent – the chicken was all white meat, and the cabbage in the noodles was firm and tasted fresh. The orange sauce was tasty with a very slight kick. Two thumbs up for that.
Of course, then we had to walk back. And it was starting to get dark. And the cops had pulled someone over in our path – at least three cop cars…
I’d worn my Vibrams, but they were my everyday Vibrams, not the ones I have for working out. They’re older, and I don’t normally wear them for power walking. So I had blisters on the bottoms of my feet by the time we god back. We did stop in an AM/PM so I could by cough drops for my throat (they didn’t have lozenges, so I settled for cough drops) and Band-Aids. Christine bought cough medicine and Nyquil because she was getting over a cold. We were partying hard, I tell ya.
We drank maybe half a bottle of wine and went to bed early that night.
Saturday night she had dinner with her soon-to-be editor, so she was all abuzz. I’d picked up a burrito from Rubio’s across the street and eaten it in our room, since I felt like crap. My throat kept swelling so it was hard to swallow (no issues with breathing), and always felt like there was something caught in it. But then she came back from dinner and was all bouncy and we finished off the bottle of wine and opened the second bottle and finished that, and at 9:45 pm she said, “We need more wine.”
“We don’t have any more wine,” I pointed out. So I checked online when the bar closed.
That would be at 10 pm.
We were in our jammies.
So we threw on clothes and raced down and ordered a glass of wine each and some garlic parmesan fries (because with that much wine in us, we weren’t thinking “healthy,” we were thinking “sop up the booze”), and discovered people we knew were still there, including the gorgeous Kate Wood, so we moved over to that table, and we all talked and talked and we ordered a glass each more wine, and finally it was nearly 11 pm and the bar staff probably loathed us, so we paid and left. (Although they forgot to charge us for the second two glasses of wine, which we pointed out to them so they could fix the bill, so maybe they don’t loathe us completely.)
Funny thing: My throat didn’t hurt when I was drinking wine. WHY??? Both days, I had the misfortune to sneeze during a workshop, and it hurt so incredibly much that tears sprang to my eyes and it was all I could do not to cry our in pain.
Sunday was more workshops and lunch, and then a big book signing. I sold out of Waking the Witch, which had been ordered through Barnes & Noble, who admittedly didn’t order very many and I had people disappointed because they would have bought it, so phooey. I brought copies of three other books (two collections and a long short story), and they sold respectably. I still made way more on the others than Waking the Witch, so there was no benefit to going through B&N. Lesson learned.
Meanwhile, because I’d been walking funny due to the blisters on the bottom of my feet, my dressy shoes had rubbed a horrid blister on the back of one ankle. As in, a layer of skin had peeled off. (Sorry…)
And my throat hurt. And my ears hurt. Ugh.
Ken had come to the book signing (he’d been at an SCA event that weekend) and his mom came, too, which was fantastic! On the way home, though, I asked Ken to take me to an urgent care. Advil and cough drops and gargling with warm salt water weren’t helping; I needed bigger guns.
Apparently I was a medical mystery. If I had other symptoms (sniffles, coughing), it would be a virus. Nope, otherwise I felt great. If I had a fever, then it was probably strep. Nope – plus the in-house culture came back negative. So they took a culture to send out, and the doctor said to get proper lozenges and Aleve, and to gargle with salt water. Thanks. I have since learned that Aleve does nothing for me, and that spray stuff for sore throats? I can never seem to hit the back of my throat where it hurts. The lozenges help, but mostly just make my tongue numb.
Monday, I skipped my workout, and had a complete and utter stressy meltdown in the evening. Tuesday, I realized I was feeling better. Wednesday, I felt fantastic: I worked out, got a ton of stuff done. I still took Nyquil, though, because now I was coughing and feeling a wee tiny bit sniffly.
Today the doctor called. I have strep. Hellloooo, antibiotics. I’m contagious until 24 hours after I started taking them (which was 3:30 pm or so today), which means I was Patient Zero at the conference, and have potentially infected everyone else I’ve come into contact with. If you are one of those people, and you get sick, I am deeply, deeply sorry.
I’m taking tomorrow off from working out, too, so I don't infect my trainer (if I haven’t already, eep), but I should be fine after that.
Okay, back to work. I have some brain left….
Note: For the most part I'm staying off Facebook/Twitter/G+ due to deadlines and such, so if you need me, email or call or text, and apologies if it still takes forever to get back to you. Thanks.