My avatar's name is Ava Donja of Silk and Stone.
The other me writes general market romance. I play World of Warcraft. This is where I make two parts of my life merge in sensual fantasy romance novellas.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nothing In Particular

I really have nothing good to say. I'm sorry.

I've been working on four different projects -- and I've honestly been working. Hard. It's crazy. My neck hurts. I should probably look into ergonomics or something like that.

Let's see... it's summer which means it's warmish here on the coast. I don't like the extra crowds tourism brings, but I realize it's good for the economy. It's not like I'm a beach bum anyway. I'm way too fair skinned and the beach has a lot of sand. That, and the ocean has stuff that lives in it. I do like listening to the surf and the smell of the salt breeze. I don't feel the call of the sea, but it is soothing. That, and when I'm all wrapped up my stupid little problems, the vastness of it all is humbling.

Still sober. Coming on a year soon. Nothing especially exciting with that either. I have had no great moments of clarity or any of that.

Right now I'm waiting for my banana pudding popsicles to freeze so I can eat one. I'm also waiting for my toe nail polish to dry so I can put on my shoes.

Wow, this is really weak. Ummm... interesting and not-so-interesting facts about me:

If Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook cost money, I would owe a lot to some bookie type. I now totally get how people can be addicted to stupid things like slot machines. Never going to take that up.

I'm considering going vegetarian + fish. I don't know if I have the strength of conviction to really go for it.

I have lost contact with one of my closest friends. He was non-judgemental and always there for me during my early sobriety and I could tell him anything. It's my fault, I've let life interfere. He's probably got a job and a girlfriend at this point and I don't even know. I feel the loss and have no one to blame but me.

I'm totally bored with WoW. I log on, run around the fountain in SW. Occasionally I start some dailies or decide to find focus with achievements -- but I just don't care. My guild imploded, I took time off, and now I'm undergeared and lonely. Sort of sad.

And, last but equally unimportant, I'm really looking forward to Brave and sort of craving a green tea latte with almond milk.

So, there's my post. Perhaps radio silence would have been better. I will dedicate some energy toward planning next time.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

50 Shades of Meh

Yes, I read the book. I had to - the hype made me feel like I was out of the know. So I read it. I had heard many things, good and bad. And, since I have nothing better to talk about today, I will address them.

1. I'd heard it was poorly written. I disagree. It's written in first person point of view, so everything is from the main character's perspective. It's conversational and, at times, train of thought. It works for what it is. Overall, I enjoyed the read and never got taken out of the story by problems with the quality of writing.

2. It's like Twilight for adults. Okay, well, the female lead is lacking a strong personality in the same every-girl way of Bella. In fact, I don't even remember her name or what she looks like (I remember her outfits though - weird). Christian, on the other hand, is really fleshed out (insert naughty laugh here). In a way it makes sense. It's from the 1st person  and Christian, like Edward, is the object of the heroine's obsession. Both Christian and Edward stalk their female. Both are a super man in every regard, but emotionally distant.  I've heard rumors that this started at fan fiction, but I'm not interested enough to confirm.

3. It's about corrupting innocence. I disagree. Female lead jumps into feet first. Why? Because she's never been aroused before. Christian, once he finds out the scale of her innocence, it reticent about said corruption. Her virginity wasn't a big deal to her, so therefore not a big deal in the scheme of things. Now, if she was a nun who was a virgin based on the dictates of her conscience and he broke her down, that would be different.

4. It's a romance novel, not literature. Okay, well, I think romance novels are a form of literature, so there. However, romance genre fiction is qualified in part by having an emotionally satisfying happy ending where the good guys are rewarded and the bad guys are punished. Fifty Shades does not meet that standard. The series as a whole might, but I'm not interested enough in spending the money to find out.

Yes, the book is steamy. There are sections that I really enjoyed. I find nothing appalling about a little rough sex or even some light bondage. I do draw the line at actual pain for pain's sake. Yes, I understand that pain and pleasure are part of the same family, just in extreme forms -- that doesn't mean I secretly long for a spanking. If the reader is cringing and/or wincing during scenes that are supposed to be hot, it takes the reader out of the moment and breaks from the story. In that, the book should have stayed classified as BDSM erotica and not mainstream.

As to the idea of a movie, I cannot see it being anything other than a porn because it's all about sex. Picture the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair but without the side plot of the art theft. Plus, I kept seeing Christian Bale as he was in American Psycho.

So my overall opinion of Fifty Shades -- it was fine. I read it, was intrigued by it as much as any romance novel. I'm not addicted. I also will not be requesting to be tied up with a tie any time soon. Probably.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Months Sober and My Birthday. Damn.

Okay, so here we are - it's May 1st. This is significant because it's my birthday. Yay for me! I'm older now. I might get some frozen yogurt later to celebrate.

Today also marks my 10 months sober. This is my first sober birthday and NONE of my friends have called. Why? Because they're really uncomfortable. How does one party whilst sober? If you ask my friends, the answer is YOU DON'T! Me? I would suggest nachos and Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.


So, happy freakin' birthday to me. Honestly, I would rather not see them. They're all so understanding without understanding a damn thing. I mean, how's one drink going to hurt? Or one night of drinking? Man, each time I hear that I really want to buy in, to believe that I could just drink with my friends for a night. But I know that once that happens, there will be nothing standing in the way of my alcoholic rational mind from me taking that one night to mean I'm fine so why can't I have a margarita on my own? Or a pitcher. There is no such thing as moderation.

So, what am I doing today? I'm sleeping. I plan to get naked, put aromatherapy stuff on my pillow, and climb between cool sheets. I will lock my door and put on my white noise rainstorm. If anyone tries to call, they will go directly to voicemail because I decided not to charge my cell phone.  When I wake up, I will write and it will be good.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm a Pretty, Pretty Panda

So I took the bait and cleared room on my hard drive to install the beta of Mists of Pandaria. I even, against my better judgement, made myself a panda monk. Why? Because I'm an idiot.

SO MANY PANDAS! Seriously, my computer couldn't take it -- and that was with the graphics on low. I froze and reboot twice. I did get my hand-wraps equipped, but never was able to make it to a training target. Because I care enough, I'll try again on Monday morning when American kids are at school. Of course, the German and Russian kids are in a different time zone, so I'm probably equally screwed but with less English. 

Die frau macht der fussball.  Yep, I remember my 7th grade German enough to be annoying.

Anyhow, my panda. She's cute. People with furry fetishes are going to be all over panda chicks. I assumed she'd be about as sexy as a Tauren, but she's much better -- more on the same level as when Bugs Bunny was in drag.

I have a friend and fellow blogger who plays WoW. She has had a couple kids and struggled with her weight. She enjoys being hot in game. Pandas are not hot unless you have really diverse tastes.

As for me, I'm hot in rl so I don't need my avatar to help me fantasize. In fact, I look just like my blood elf (I'd say a ne, but I don't have the Popeye arms and man hands). That being the case, I wonder why I don't have any dwarf, tauren, or undead toons?

No Photoshop used in this image. None. Zip.
And, just for fun, here's a very pixelated Snickers commercial from a few year back that pops to mind whenever I think of pandas. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Not in the Mood

 I've been charting religious practices, social strata, names, holidays, traditions, etc... in world building within my United Factions, the Allied People's Republic, and the neutral cities of Seraph and Selph within the world of Azuramer. I've also been continuing to work within my two works in progress, Control and Surrender.  I've become a hybrid planner/pantser and I like it.
The problem I'm having is that I'm at the BIG sex scene. You know, the genre required scene toward the climax (he he) of the story where the couple realize it's true love, etc... These scenes have never really been a challenge. Once I get my writing groove on, the scene flows. Yes, I have some tidying to do, but in all the scenes are well written and get the intended emotional content across. And, I shouldn't have to mention, they're hot.

This is my problem right now. My real world influences have been decidedly not hot. Life is, well, life. I've been sick with an upper respiratory thingy (not hot), I'm broke (not hot), and work is crazy. To top it all, I recently watched Bridesmaids. While I really enjoyed the film, the residual imagery it left with me has made sexual content really laughable. I am not able to suspend disbelief long enough to allow a mood to establish.

So I'm stuck on my w.i.p., unable to finish the scene. Since a big part of my process is seat of my pants, I can't just write the last scene and be secure in the knowledge it will be the organic extension of their sexual moment of clarity.

To add insult to injury, I Googled "romantic imagery" for this blog, and this was the 2nd image suggested.  WTF? Thanks Google, I needed the help to be not turned on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? A lot.
I wrote Mind, Body, and Spirit as a stand alone. That gave me so much freedom. The world creating, details about culture – I could just throw things in to land where they may. Writing follow up stories in the same word? Now I have to think about it. I even have to draw a map (I admit it; I have already drawn a map).

When I started writing Control, I made a table to lay out how each magic user actually used magic. Mages manipulate molecules, primarily through academics. Warlocks have links to the soul, it’s almost parasitic. Druids tie in to ley lines and rely on the balance of nature. Yes, I have more details than this, but they’re not relative to this post. The point here is that planning is now required. Structure. I don’t respond well to limits.

One of my biggest obstacles now are character names. I can’t just flippantly choose something that sounds cool. I can no longer just throw in a random apostrophe or replace vowels with the letter ‘y’ simply because it looks neat. No thinly veiled references to Arthurian legend (which are fine when the story itself has something to do with said legend). I have to consider the rules for naming, masculine and feminine, in the elvin cultures. Actual thought is required. Damn it.

I have already (and thoughtlessly) named Evanesse and Malccino. That sets the precedent of names ending in ‘o’ being masculine. It’s not a far reach from our own western culture naming habits. My sun elf bad guy, Thassian, is from a different culture and will have slightly different norms. In Control, my main male is sun elf – his name has to follow similar structure. I had named him Torvyn, but it was just because it looked neat. I haven’t ruled it out, but it has to fit the rule book for the culture.

In Surrender, my elf rogue was named Cagasi. Not only was this hard on the eyes (an ‘a’ followed by ‘g’ followed by ‘a’), it ends in a long ‘i’ sound. Is that within the parameters for elvin male names? That problem is that I don’t know the answer to that question – and it’s something I should know. It’s something most fantasy writers have plotted long before they start their writing. I am an romance writer who threw on some magic sauce, so this is a learning experience.

I am looking forward to this becoming so second nature, the world so fully fleshed out, that I can screw with it. Once the world norms are set in stone, I can joke with my readers. I might throw out elvin equivalents to Apple or Ochocinco and my readers will realize they’re anomalies.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nothing New Under the Sun

Laura Kaye's Hearts in Darkness is one of my favorite books, with Caden one of my favorite heroes. I have since read her other works. I just finished In Service of the King. Though I'm not into vampires, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys erotic paranormal romance. It threw me, though, because in her created vampire lore, when vampires mate they get a mark, a tattoo, as a visible sign of the spiritual connection.

I did the same thing in my novella, Mind, Body, and Spirit.

As soon as I read that, I put down my Kindle and checked the publication date. Her book came out a month after mine which means there was no way I could have copied that detail.

I had another moment of panic a month or so ago when I read Zoe Archer's Rebel. In the big, meaningful sex scene where they both realize they are meant to be together (one exists in every romance), it is from behind with some hair pulling involved. Slightly animalistic (which makes sense since Lesperance is a shifter). My final big "You are mine" scene had a very similar choreography.  This bothered me a little, but not too much since, in sex, there are three basic positions and the chances of having the same sequence of events are high.


But mating tattoos? What are the chances? I really thought my story device was original. I happen to really like ink and carried that through into my story. Kaye must like it too (Caden). I just have to tell myself that great minds think alike, right?  The only thing that irks is that she did it better than me. :)