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

Friday, June 12, 2009

Best Lesbian Romance 2010 for the win!

Sale! I opened up my e-mail this morning to find a contract from Best Lesbian Romance 2010 for “Queen’s Up”! The story will first appear in Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures from Cleis Press in August.

Plus there was an e-mail from another editor saying she should have final approval on the table of contents for another anthology by mid-July. What often happens is that an editor will select the stories, and sometimes even send the contract, but the publisher has the final say on the selections. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because this is a very exciting potential publication!

(The same caveat applies to Best Lesbian Romance 2010, but I’m being positive because it’s also being published by Cleis, and they’ve never nixed one of my stories as far as I can remember.)

Today is starting out quite nicely!

We <3 Alison Tyler

Editor and author Alison Tyler is being coy as usual. She’ll admit that June is her birthday month, and that she likes to celebrate all month, but she won’t admit which day is her actual birthday.

She ducks her head, hiding behind a fall of dark hair. She says she’s shy while she reveals intimate details of her life. She won’t let us see her face, but she’ll show us her shoes, her little skirts, her panties (okay, maybe not always in pictures, but she paints pictures with words, and how can we help but fill in the rest with our imaginations?).

She writes, she edits, she drinks coffee in the morning and tequila at night (or is it the other way around), and all the while she reminds us how much you can confess while at the same time divulging just enough to tease.

Because you know what teases get? A spanking. Spankings: They’re not just for birthdays anymore.

We’ve declared today to be her birthday, whether or not it actually is, because, well, we wanted to throw her a party. Any excuse to party, right? If you follow the link above, you'll get links to everyone else who's staggering around with glasses of champagne and party horns, wrapped in streamers and smeared with frosting.

So, Happy Birthday Alison! I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow at the Erotic LA expo, imagining you’re there with me, saying, “Oh, I have this toy, and this one, and this one, and ooh, this one’s great, too, and…!”

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On staying positive

One of my writing mentors, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, has been doing a series of articles in her blog about how to be a freelancer. She’d originally conceived of doing writing a book, but realized that in these difficult times, people needed the information now.

The series is, well, outstanding. Kris has been a freelancer for most of her adult life, and she’s overcome her share of adversity more than once to be a successful, prolific award-winning writer and editor. She’s also not afraid to be honest, candid, and blunt.

So far she’s covered everything from how to set up your office to the various insurance issues you need to consider, but the article that so far has been the most useful to me is about Staying Positive.

You wouldn’t think that would be a hard thing at some stage of the game. Maybe at first, when the rejections pour in, but hey, I’ve sold two novels and 85 or so short stories. Certainly I must dance to the computer every day and the words flow while rainbow-colored sparks shoot out of my fingertips as I type, right?

Yeah. Snort.

Oddly, hearing someone I have respected for a very, very long time (I was a fan of Kris’s work well before I took the Master Class in March 2002, and I still sometimes have awestruck fangirl moments around her—note that above, I called her one of my writing mentors rather than one of my colleagues. I’m working on that. ::gg::) admit to having moments of self-doubt is somehow encouraging to me. I know that sounds weird. It sounds weird to me. But I know I put people I admire and respect up on pedestals, and I’m working on that, too.

One of the things Kris said she does to stay positive really resonated with me: She keeps a desk calendar at hand, and every day writes down the good things that have happened, writing-wise: fan mail, awards, payments, covers, and the like.

I had the perfect blank journal for this already waiting for me. It’s one that Phae bought for me in Lincoln City during one of our workshops there, at a coffee house with wireless Internet that we frequented (before the workshops moved to a hotel with wireless access). On the front it says, “This is the way you slip through into your innermost home: Close your eyes, and…surrender.” Inside are some other similar quotes. On the back it says, “Unfold your own myths.”

How fucking perfect is that?

So with a purple pen I’ve started logging things. Not every day (yet), but as they come in. The glowing thank you from the client calling my first CES story “PERFECT” (yes, in all caps). The nice things Shanna said about me in her blog (and which I at first downplayed in my own head, rather than embracing—I am prolific, dammit, and I have to believe that for it to be true). The recent e-mail I got from an editor about a novel query: She didn’t think it was for her, but rather than just rejecting it, she saw enough merit in it that she “checked with a few of [her] colleagues” and gave me the direct e-mail of another editor who’d like to see it.

I’m even tracking the good writing days, the ones where I hit my goals. No dancing or rainbows, but close enough for me. It’s good to be reminded that some days, the writing does flow. You just have to get out of your own way and let it happen.