~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Passionate Ink workshop

Title : Collaboration: When Two Heads are Better Than One
Date : January 9-11, 2009
Presented by : Dayle A. Dermatis & Teresa Noelle Roberts, aka Sophie Mouette
Cost : $15 (PI Members) and $20 (Non-PI Members)

Be one of the first 20 PI Members to email karen.e.erickson @ gmail.com to be added to the free members list. All Passionate Ink members receive two free workshops per membership year.

Workshop Description :
Learn how to write with a partner, including how to choose the right collaborating partner, the types and methods of collaboration, collaboration agreements/contracts and much more!

Presenters’ websites:

To Pay Online :

Using PayPal (http://www.paypal.com), send payment to renewals@passionateink.org with “WORKSHOP - Collaboration” as the subject. In the “message” section, include Your Name and Email Address.

Cost: $15 for Passionate Ink Members, $20 for non-members

To pay by check, print this page and send with a check to
Passionate Ink Workshops
c/o Karen Steele
1304 Forest Marsh Dr
Neptune Beach, FL 32266

Best Lesbian Romance 2009 available!

I'm delighted to announce that Best Lesbian Romance 2009 is now available for sale! It contains a reprint of my story "In Flight," a sweet erotic romance about learning to trust again, with bonus! birds of prey.

Plus there are so many other fabulous authors in this one: my frequent coauthor Teresa, Shanna Germain, Alison Tyler, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Catherine Lundoff, Sacchi Green...

A good year indeed

The New Year has started out extremely well, even if, in my mind, yesterday was the first day of the New Year (since we were traveling all day Thursday). They say that what you do on the first day of the year relates to how your year will go, and my first day(s) have been mostly marvelous.

New Year’s Day started with kisses and the best music EV-er, followed by cheap champagne and much laughter, and then blessed sleep. In the morning we had brunch with Sara (the fabulous Styx fan with whom we stayed—she’s also into faeries, SFF, Ren Faire, crafts, and paganism, so you’d think we were clones or something), Rob (a fellow OWN writer), his wife Ximena, and his brother Richard. Then, sadly, we had to say goodbye to Sara and drive home, but that involved stopping at The Old Spaghetti Factory for supper, and a day that includes TOSF and mizithra cheese is a good day indeed.

I woke up with a headache yesterday (a holdover from the day before) but liberal applications of painkillers and a hot shower chased it away. I hammered through some e-mail, and after lunch went to CB&TL where Ellenie and I caught up and got productive. I finished writing the first draft of part 3 of the workshop, and got a good chunk done on Ghosted (Ellenie helped me work through a couple of small sticking points, in part by saying useful things that sparked me, and in part just by being there so I could ramble aloud at her to get to the information I needed). :-)

The only downside was when I got home, Grimoire started yarking up bile (on his own paws, even), panting, and shaking, so we raced off to the vet. Who gave him a shot of $30 painkiller (in hindsight, I should’ve asked for one, too—my neck/shoulder is killing me and I don’t have a chiro appt until Monday), told us to not feed him ‘til morning, and bring him back in the morning if necessary.

Half an hour later, he was demanding food and purring. Twit. As Ken said in the vet’s waiting room, “This is why we don’t have kids.” (To which I responded “Really? I thought it was because I didn’t want to lose my girlish figure.”)

We wrapped up the day with pizza (because it was too late to cook) and a soak in the hot tub, and that’s pretty much a perfect end to any day.

Now we’re to today, and I was up early to feed Grimoire and make sure he was okay, which he is. The mail came early because we had packages—hemp cord for my new corset and my comp copy of The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, which includes the Sophie Mouette reprint “Behind the Masque” (about jewel thieves in Vegas! Hee!).

Lots of work planned for today:
  • Ghosted
  • crit a story of Teresa’s
  • review synopsis of PUM (formerly Angelika)
  • go over part 2 of our workshop
  • write holiday thank-you notes
  • track down the roadie who gave me the backstage pass and thank him! (There’s a form to contact the band on their website, plus the band has a MySpace page; I’ll leave messages both places :-) )
  • work on (and ideally finish) the first online issue of The Oak Leaf, our Shire’s newsletter
  • hammer through more e-mail
  • go to the gym
  • go to the library

I’ll check back later with my progress!

Friday, January 02, 2009

The best part of technology

I really love the Internet, and right now that especially includes Facebook. A few months ago, a friend from England—from when I studied there in 1987—tracked me down just by searching for my name. (I also really love that I have a unique name and that I didn’t change it when I married!) I’d tried to find her when we lived there in 1998-2002, but she doesn’t have a unique name, and her parents had moved (the only address I had). So I was thrilled.

A few years ago, one of my first boyfriends found me. We had a great talk, kind of clearing the air about when we broke up (talk about complete lack of communication…oh, we were so young). I’m so happy he’s doing so well!

Now, one of my best friends when I was a kid—she was older than me, but lived two doors down in a neighborhood where we were the only girls of any young age—just found me via Facebook. I’d actually been thinking about her, maybe a month or so ago, wondering how she was doing. The last time I heard from her was when I was in law school, and she’d gotten married. I’d since forgotten her married name, so I was at a loss. I’m so excited she found me!

There are still a few other people I think about every so often, wondering what’s become of them. Of course they’re people with names that bring up eighteen million Google hits (or eighteen hundred Facebook hits, or whatever), so pretty much all I can do is put the thoughts out there in the Universe and hope someone hears. And hope that those I’m thinking of, even if I never hear from them, are happy and well.

Eating the elephant, one bite at a time

I’m not making resolutions again this year, because I never do. I make general goals, and try to work towards those goals regularly. On New Year’s Day, I had a small epiphany, and realized my “resolution” is to stop and think: “What is the best thing for me right now?”

It might be choosing a healthier eating option—or it might be to indulge a little. It might be to hammer out another thousand words—or it might be to veg in front of the TV with my beloved. It might be to go to the gym—or it might be to take the day off. The main thing I’m going for is to make sure I’ve considered the question, that I’m not just taking the easy option.

Tony Robbins says something that’s a corrolary to this in his Personal Power stuff: That with anything you set out to do, even if it’s going to hang out with a friend, you ask yourself “What is my goal?” It could be just to hang out and have a good time. But the idea is to focus on what you want to achieve, because if you do, you’re more likely to achieve it.

The only other thing I’ve been thinking about in terms of goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call them, is a series that one of my mentors, Dean Wesley Smith, has been writing about in his blog. Although the articles are focused on writing goals, his insights can be applied to any goal. He’s also training to run a marathon, so he equates some of it to that, too. Even if you’re not a writer, I think they’re worth checking out. (You pretty much have to read them in order; the lead-in one is dated December 2.)

I've been re-reading them, taking notes as I go of the things that ring true for me. That way I'll have a Cliff Notes version to refer back to throughout the year.

What about you all? Are you resolved?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year? You betcha!

How to ring in the New Year, Dayle's version:

Go to a Styx concert.

Get given an all-access backstage pass by a roadie from one of the opening acts who overheard you being interviewed by the local TV station saying this was your 82nd show.

Get kissed by your husband at midnight while he's recording a video of Styx singing "Auld Lang Syne."

Go backstage. Ask Lawrence if you can have a New Year's kiss.

Get it.