Caves of Buda available as an e-book!










Just in time for my birthday tomorrow!

A Roman magician binds a 5-stone-eyed demon deep in caves in a part of the world that eventually become known as Budapest, Hungary. Now, the bindings are breaking. The three main characters have to either rebind the demon, or destroy it, before it causes another war in Eastern Europe.

Going through this novel, re-editing it and getting it ready for e-pub was very difficult for me. I had thought it would be hard because I was ashamed of the writing. While there are some transitions that are clunky, the writing itself is better than I’d remembered.

However, many part of this novel are at best a thinly-disguised autobiography. The emotions it brought up were painful. Plus, there are parts of this novel that can still make me cry.

Available on Amazon (Kindle)

Available on Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Available on Smashwords

Racing toward that final word

This last week I read a couple of different posts about writing 10,000 words a day: here and here.

First the caveat — this is talking about me and my writing, my process and my speed. Not comparing or disparaging anyone else.

Anyway, both posts got me thinking, a lot, about my own process. I think that the triangle of know what you’re writing about, know when is the best time for you to write, and fire up your enthusiasm are key for higher word counts.

For me, I tend to write out drafts by hand, first, then type them up. When I’m on fire (that is, I know what I’m writing about and I’m pumped up about it) I can easily write 1000-1500 words per hour.

The problem is then, after I’ve written out all those words, I have to type them up. So I effectively cut my writing speed in half, down to 500-7500 words per hour total.

Words-per-hour isn’t my only measurement. I hate rewriting. I’d much rather get it right the first time. By doing the hand-to-typed draft, that first draft is really clean. When I type up the first draft, I end up doing a lot more editing. So even though the words-per-hour may be higher, I’m not convinced that the overall writing time is less.

So for the next few weeks I’m going to keep better track of things. I’m writing this week’s story out straight to the computer. (Which is good, actually, it’s about 9000 words.) I want to see how I can achieve high-quality, high-word-count hours. What it takes for me to tweak my process.

Tonight I followed her advice and wrote out the scenes before hand, getting all jazzed about them before I started typing. (That’s always one of my problems — I can get really excited before I start to hand-write — it’s like anything is possible. Sitting down at the computer has over-tones of working on the day job. It’s too much like work and not enough like writing!fun.) It was a very good writing session tonight.

Holding myself to a timer, and only letting myself write while I’m “on the clock” is always very effective.

I can’t tell yet how much rewriting this story will need once I finish typing it straight into the computer. At least 20% gets rewritten going from the hand-to-computer draft, then another 10% gets changed during the last couple of drafts. (That number can be higher, but is generally not lower.)

And now it’s time to not be writing, but knitting and reading instead.

Free fiction Friday! The Secrets of 9s

I finished the ninth story early this week. This was a story that just pulled me in, demanding that I write it. I really, really like this story. It’s a bit experimental for me, very different than my usual stuff.

The Secrets of 9s: A tale of anarchy broken into nine bits

One of the secrets of 9s: they always return. They may come disguised in the coyness of eights, with the rigid line of the one hidden at their back. Or maybe you mistake them for fours marching across burnt fields, not seeing their friends, the fat fives, until it’s much too late. Other secrets are that 9s are anarchists, hyper-local, and stand alone at the end. Come learn about the 9s and their more militant anarchists.

This story has mature themes, bodily fluids, and a high body count. Reader discretion advised.

I went to college in London during the 80s, when the IRA were planting bombs. I had many close calls, like the time they blew up a store front on High Street just after a concert at the Prince Albert Hall had let out, when the street was full of people. I was two blocks away. If I hadn’t stopped to go the bathroom, it might have been me cut to shreds by the flying glass.

This story has a lot of bombs and anarchists, and some Britishism as well. They fit the story that I told.

This story is available for free, here on my web page, for a week. When I post the next story I’ll pull this one down.


The day after

Happy Thanksgiving, for those who celebrate. I hope your day was as wonderful as mine, full of good food and friends.

The only drawback to yesterday was my fall: when coming back from the car (after dropping off more food to be carried with me) I twisted my left ankle. I spent much of yesterday seated, foot raised, icing the thing.

Today my ankle is better, but it still isn’t healed. It’s sunny outside, and I’d love to work a little in the backyard. However, given the way my ankle burns after standing on it for a while, I think that would be foolish.

I’ve finished the story for the week – just have to read it out loud, then format and publish it. There are other publishing things that I’d like to do as well. So I’m going to sit and keep my foot elevated and ice it now and again and just relax for the day. Hope that your day will be as stress-free as mine.

Fires and such

I continue to be obsessed by this story. There have been a few other stories in this challenge like this. The Hell stories both grabbed me and said, “WRITE ME.” Gabriella, the character from “True Vision” was very compelling, though the story itself wasn’t as grabby. I’ve enjoyed writing the other stories, quite often I fell into the “flow” where the words just came. I think some of them are quite good.

But this one is different. I don’t mean quality — it just feels different to write. It’s not my usual style and it’s not my usual voice. It also has deep echos within me.

I went to college in London during the 80s, when the IRA was planting bombs. I had many close calls, like the time they blew up a store front on High Street just after a concert at the Prince Albert Hall had let out, when the street was full of people. I was two blocks away. If I hadn’t stopped to go the bathroom, it might have been me cut to shreds by the flying glass.

This story has a lot of bombs and anarchists. It also has some Britishism as well. I may take them out on the final edit if they strike my American ear wrong. But I may leave them in as well — they seem to fit the story as it’s being written.

If the story really only is 9 parts, I’ve written 7 of them. I don’t know what the next bits are. I don’t worry about it blossoming, though, either tonight or tomorrow morning. The mana is flowing, and it’s all so good.

Story Eats Writer’s Brain: News At 11

I hope ya’ll can hear the sarcasm that accompanies that headline. It really isn’t news. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. And again and again.

I really liked the last story I did. It was fun and light and humorous. Not a laugh a minute, but still some parts that I at least found funny.

This story, though, is eating my brain. It’s only coming one scene at a time, but each of those scenes is so compelling I must sit down and write them now. The first three scenes are done, and it’s about 1500 words, which is the right length. (Nine scenes all averaging 500 words.)

This story is my “breaking the rules” story. I’m doing everything wrong on purpose: switching POV characters, killing off POV characters, switching tenses, making up my own words, etc. This is a story that I doubt I’d ever be able to sell anywhere. I am also in love with it right now, and think it’s a great story that will have an audience (though it might be a small one.)

Readers are smart. They know what they like. They’ll find it. I trust the reader.

Because I love this story so much right now, I’m going to share a couple small pieces with you. The title is: The Secrets of 9s: a tale of anarchy broken into 9 bits

This story is more graphic, in terms of bodily functions, fluids and the number of dead bodies than most of my stories. Please click or do not according to your self-health.

Continue reading

Free Saturday Evening Fiction!

Finished edits and copy edits on the eighth story today. It’s a much lighter piece, called, “Were-Teen.”

Patrice is happy, successful, and cursed. Every month during the full moon she reverts to her awkward teen-aged self, complete with braces and acne. This year, it’s Patrice’s 25 year high school reunion. She finally has a chance to confront the witch who cursed her, and maybe get the spell reversed.

Of course, she also has to find the prefect dress. . .

This story will be available for free, here on my web site, for one week. When I post the next story I’ll pull this one down. Of course, it’ll be available through the usual suspects, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords.

I’ve already got some ideas for next week’s story. Just five more to go. And while I’ve enjoyed this challenge, I’m just about ready to get back to the novels. Not quite yet, though. I have more playing and exploring to do first.

Spam alert

I lost my BB here in SF. I’ve changed the passwords to my gmail, facebook and LJ accounts, things I believe I accessed from my BB. I never accessed the Twitter from there, so I think I’m okay with that. However, if you see something weird from me, please let me know. Either I missed an account or they got through anyway.

New Fiction Sunday!

Yeah, I know. A bit late. But hey, I finished! I figure that counts for something.

Hunting Ghosts In The Machine

Overcrowding, pollution and acid rain have reduced humanity’s livable areas. For most, space is achieved through virtual reality. Only a few see behind the mask. They’re the collectors, who hunt the ghosts in the machine. But who watches the watchers?

I actually wrote about 500 words or so on this story a long, long time ago. I always liked the idea, but it wasn’t really a story, no real plot. I decided to revive it this week, threw away everything but the main character and the world, and came up with something new.

I wrote the entire story on Saturday. It isn’t my best piece. But I think it still has merit.

For the next week the story is available for free here on my web site. After that it will be available for $.99 via the usual suspects: Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to start the next story tomorrow or not. I hope so. I hope to avoid the same situation this week. It will be difficult, as I’m in SF for the day job. I’ll still make a run at it, though.

Scheduling Redux

I didn’t get well according to plan. Or at least, not well enough to be able to write. Not until today, Saturday. The good news is that I’m 3000 words or so into the story, 2000 of that written today. I’ll finish the story today — it’s going to only be 4000 words or so. I won’t post until tomorrow. I might start writing the next story tomorrow — It’s going to depend on how the rest of my day goes on Sunday.

I can’t express the amount of disappointment I’ve felt for not being able to write. I’ve tried. I just didn’t have the brain for it. I pushed and worried and finally found the words. This hasn’t been easy. The next two weeks are going to be similar, I’m afraid. But I’ll make it through.

I want to post sometime about the changes I’ve gone through the last month or so. I feel as though I’ve had a concrete shift in attitude about my writing. This is a good thing.