General Insanity

Getting Under the Skin

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Getting Under the Skin

I’m so very pleased to welcome the newest member of my fiction family: Skin Deep. This story is a Contemporary Erotic Romance with BDSM elements. The first in a series called Secrets at Midnight put out by Evernight Publishing, Skin Deep is about finding love in the aftermath of pain and loss. Here’s the blurb: Mirabel Soto disconnected herself from the many people and places that triggered memories of her husband following his death. She’s avoided everything that might remind her of him for three years and never looked back. Until the owner of Midnight, the BDSM club they frequented, calls her for a favor and she finds what she was missing in the form of a very large, very troubled former marine. Carson Brewer returned from the service broken. Discovering the source of his trauma may be the key to helping him cope with post-military life, but he shuts down whenever he’s confronted about what happened. Only pain brings him peace. Buy Skin Deep at: Evernight Publishing Amazon (US) Amazon (UK) All Romance...

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Just a Drabble a Day

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 | 0 comments

Just a Drabble a Day

As I’ve been flailing around trying to figure out how to properly motivate myself, I came upon HabitRPG which is a  cute way to gamify tasks and goals. I have no idea if this will work for me, it’s much too early to tell, but so far it’s a nice way to track writing goals and streaks. There is even a writing guild which offers writing challenges. One of those was a neat idea I thought I’d share. On DeviantArt there’s a 100 Theme Challenge that offers five lists of simple themes. The goal associated with this is to write a ‘drabble’ for each theme a day–something between 250 and 1000 words. It can be a character profile, a setting idea, a thumbnail for use later, or even a stand-alone flash fiction piece. I thought I’d offer this for anyone else who has been struggling to write. It seems like a nice way to get your writer-brain engaged and working on something without pressure. In this week’s episode of Rejection Rodeo, I’ve got six pieces currently making the rounds. I feel good about two of them. 30% approval of my output isn’t bad for me, so I’m going to run with it. I also realized one of the pieces I had been sending the last few weeks I’d already posted here and forgotten about. How embarrassing. Just about done with chapter 1 of The New Novel so I feel like that goal is still a good one. It’s been fun to write in that world again. I forgot how much I liked the characters. Hearts and puppies,...

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My Thoughts On The Hugo Kerfluffle

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 | 0 comments

My Thoughts On The Hugo Kerfluffle

My apologies to those of you reading this who don’t know the backstory of the situation with the 2015 Hugo Awards. I’m not going to provide links for one reason: I can’t find any that are sufficiently non-partisan to refer you to and I’m uncomfortable with offering either side. I encourage you to either skip this post or if you’re curious to Google 2015 Hugo Award Ballot yourself and sift through with your own filter. I’ve been chewing on the Hugo ballot for nearly a week now to figure out my views on it. I’ve read plenty of both sides. More than enough to make me sick. I think people on both sides of the issue have behaved deplorably and I wish that would end more than anything else. However, since this is going to follow us around for a few more months, and since I have a membership to Sasquan, I have to make some sort of stand. Here’s my big problem with the Sad Puppies. Once again, I’ve been told I’m the wrong kind of fan. Because they don’t approve of what I like, I apparently need to be taught a lesson on what is good and proper science fiction. As someone who was reading ‘the wrong kind of books’ when I was young because I was reading science fiction and fantasy, I resent the hell out of that. People are different. You like some books I hate, and I like some you hate. That’s fine. That’s fair. What is not fair is someone else deciding for me what is the right kind of fiction. Their argument is that they’ve been treated this way for years, except how is their insistence that my stories are the wrong kinds of stories any better? I’ve read that this story or that story wasn’t worthy of a Hugo and that proves that there’s a HUGE CONSPIRACY. Dude. Just because stuff you didn’t like wins doesn’t mean anything. Welcome to the history of awards ever. Do I agree with the Oscars or the Emmys every year? Hell no. I don’t agree with the <insert random fandom>’s Choice most times either. The voting Hugo membership represents thousands of people. We have different tastes. With few exceptions, what I’ve nominated in the past didn’t make it to the ballot in any category. I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is a bunch of people yelling at me that their view of science fiction is the one true science fiction. That I’m somehow less because I didn’t like what you like and I should feel ashamed. I’m not okay with ANYONE doing this. On any side. I like what I like and make no apologies for that. I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to vote, but I’m leaning toward not voting at all. I’m even leaning toward not going to Sasquan, which I had been looking forward to, and removing myself entirely from the equation. Why? Because I’m clearly not wanted. I’m the wrong kind of fan. Again....

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My Six Cents On Diversity

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 | 0 comments

My Six Cents On Diversity

I’m sure you’re wondering how I have the audacity to offer six cents worth of my opinion rather than two. Well, inflation is a bitch.  I’m probably going to say a lot, and hopefully some of it will even make sense. I’m taking a class starting tonight with Mary Robinette Kowal and K. Tempest Bradford on Diversity and Narrative that I’m excited about, but it got me thinking today about the topic of diversity in general. This is a topic pretty near to my heart, and I’ve even ranted about it on this very blog a time or two. Today I’m going to tackle two of the best arguments against diversity. Why? Because these two points are valid, and they make sense, and they still shouldn’t stop us from trying to be more representative in our stories. Argument Number One: I’m not <insert whatever qualifier here> and I don’t feel like I can do justice to that story. This is a valid, and in fact a vital, concern. I hope I’m always worried about treating my characters and their backgrounds fairly. However, I came to the conclusion a while ago that I wouldn’t let that fear stop me from writing more diverse, interesting characters. Want to know why? When I started writing stories I wrote, almost exclusively, about white guys and never once worried that I wasn’t going to do it right. And just for the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, a white guy. (I’ve learned since that this is very common among writers. There’s a wonderful TedTalk from Chimamanda Adichie on this very topic which I heartily recommend.) Now, in all seriousness, there are certainly reasons to worry about reaching into cultures that are not my own for stories. Stereotypes, appropriation, exploitation, are all concerns that I’m terrified about wandering into accidentally, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying. I think if we are cautious and empathetic about telling stories of other cultures, it’s difficult to go really wrong. Argument Number Two: When I start writing more representative stories I feel like my cast seems too much like I’ve chosen them only for diversity. This is a variation of the checking boxes argument, albeit more thoughtfully worded. This argument makes me shake my head, every time. Honestly, what does it matter if I’m checking boxes? Who cares about the damn boxes anyway? It’s not like I’m going into this with a diversity bingo card and trying to get the maximum score. Better representation does not automatically mean you have to have one of everything like some kind of half-assed Noah’s Ark. It means look at your characters and examine why some of them can’t belong to other groups. When I look around at work or in the coffee shop I see hugely diverse groups of people talking and interacting. There’s no rule that says your character can only have friends like her.  Also, diversity isn’t just about characters! Examine your setting and ponder if a change of time or place would help make your story more interesting. I guess that’s where I diverge from the people who think more diverse stories are somehow inferior because we’ve added requirements: I think diversity makes things interesting. I wonder why the people who complain that Thor is now a woman or that Captain America is now black think either of those qualifiers means the story can’t still be good? Why is it always “well diversity is all well and good as long as the story doesn’t suffer”? Why do we as a culture automatically go to that place? It baffles me. For me, characters exists in a place beyond all of...

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Month of Letters

Posted by on Jan 11, 2015 | 0 comments

Month of Letters

Hello friends! I’m doing a challenge in the month of February to mail an item every day the mail goes out. This made me realize I do not have nearly enough people whose addresses I know to fulfill this solemn responsibility. If you have a mailbox and you would like me to send some sort of paper product to you: please fill out this form. I promise not to use these addresses for anything more nefarious than sending mail which hopefully will make you smile. And who knows, you might even get mail from some exotic location (like Wisconsin!) along my route as I drive across the country at the end of the month. Edited to add my month of letters profile: http://lettermo.com/members/coral/ Hearts and puppies, -C...

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Merry Merry!

Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 | 0 comments

Merry Merry!

Two days before Christmas I got one of my short stories back from the eighth market I had sent it to. It wasn’t a surprise. The story is a little weird, and funny only on the darkest way, and to add more difficulty it was a holiday-themed fantasy story. Since holiday stories have such a short shelf life (I mean who really wants to read a Santa story in January?) I started to wonder if I should just table the story for a few months before sending it around again. In the end, the story is just too quirky and strange to easily find a home so I decided to make it a Christmas present for those who read my blog because I don’t update enough. So, if you were looking forward to a dark fantasy not-quite-Christmas story about an elf revolution and meat-eating were-reindeer, you came to the right place! I love this story for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it taught me that I could write a successful short story in a small space. I’d struggled through a few short stories before this one, but none of them really worked and I didn’t know why. I wrote this one mostly during Mary Robinette Kowel’s short story intensive workshop last year. I enthusiastically recommend the class to anyone looking to improve their short fiction. I owe all of my sales this year to her and the lovely writing group that spawned from her workshop (many thanks to my Violet Revolution cohorts–I’ll be back soon and I miss you guys and gals!). Without further rambling I present to you: It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Will Be Canceled Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and if not please accept my warmest wishes for the coming New Year....

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