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[author] erin
Total Tales: 262
Last Update: 27 May 2012
Europe: Includes the Sky of... trio and the ...Bluebell Fields duet. 

The South: Includes Barefoot BluesDistant Thunder Slow DanceAcross the Azure SkySpringtime in the FallStatic Lightning SkiesFarther than a Neon SkyAnother Summer's Promise, and Through Stormy Nights and Cloudy Days.

New England: Includes Quiet Winter Nights in the Big CityThe City Steaming, and Remembering the Autumn Sunrise 

Crossovers: Any mix of the fourteen canons that are included in the Lazy Tequila Afternoons universe.

Fudge Ripple 16/30   Amaretto 18/30    Prickly Pear 15/30   Teaberry 02/30   Cheezburger 06/15 

Butterscotch: 1   Caramel: 4   Cherry : 19   Chopped Nuts : 68   Hot Fudge :   Sprinkles : 82    Whipped Cream : 21  Cookie Crumbs : 4   Gummy Bunnies : 1

Pocky : 48   Brownie : 24   Root Beer Float : 1   Malt : 27   Flavor of the Day : 12   Smoothies : 4  Pocky Chain : 5  Fresh Strawberries: 1

ChocolateVanillaStrawberryPiña ColadaButter PecanMargaritaCherry Chocolate Chip,  Chocolate Chip Mint, Strawberry Cheesecake, Iced Tea, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt

Whipped Cream,  Sprinkles,  Cherry,  Chopped Nuts
Flavor of the Day

Bonus Challenges
Neapolitan, Brownie "Sundae"
Binges: Red Velvet

Flavors of the Month
Peanut Butter [September 2011]
Sea Salt [April 2012]

Updated Prompt List Plan Thing.

Back in February / March of 2010, I made a post showing my scheme of flavor picking. I'm updating that right now to be current.

Slot One: Starting from the beginning and going to the end [starting #6, Rocky Road, after I open a slot]
Slot Two: Challenges [currently -- FR Smut]
Slot Three: Novel-Specific [currently -- Sea Salt for Barefoot Blues and Teaberry Smoothies with Kuu; next -- Pralines and Cream for ASP; after that -- Rainbow Sherbet for El Cafe side stuff]
Slot Four: Alcoholic flavors [currently -- Amaretto]
Slot Five: Random [currently -- Prickly Pear video game AU from PfaH]


On Using Life Experiences in Fiction.

This is something that we all do, I'm sure: turn things that have happened in our lives into bits and pieces of our novels, short stories, poems, lyrics, etc. Whatever it is that we're writing and using as a creative outlet... It becomes a part of us; a different way of chronicling the important events in our lives.

But how do you know when you haven't fictionalized things enough? Is there such a thing? Can your art be too close of an imitation of life?

Naturally, I have a reason for asking this. I've been thinking a lot about my AugNo short this year and how I really want to put something in the anthology that is in my home genre and really sings of my voice. The last two years, I've done stuff that I've honestly liked, but I didn't feel like people reading them would get an accurate idea of how / what I write by reading them. This year, I want that to change. This year, I want to write a romance.

And this year... I have the motivation and inspiration for that story to become a reality.

However, for those of you who know me personally and have been keeping up with my life since the beginning of the year, it will be painfully obvious what this is about. Hell, for anyone who knows me at all, it will be painfully obvious what it's about and then it will be like the entire world will have read my diary and they'll know exactly what happened and how I feel / felt about everything...

I'm pretty much an open book and won't mind that so much. But, what I want to know is if you guys, as my peers and fellow writers, think that would be a bad idea. To use my tumultuous life as the sole source of inspiration for this short and leaving no secret untold. Is it a terrible, terrible idea for me to put so much of myself on the line with this, all in hopes of a good story?

tl;dr: When is RL too much for fiction?

also, if you know who this short will be about, kindly keep his actual name / any details out of the comments. this is public and i know my ~faithful readers hate him right now... please don't let him know that there's an angry mob ready to stone him whenever i give the word?
I mean, each way has their own pros and cons, right. So, let's look at them here.

Traditional Pros
-- Advances: This is something that you're not ever going to get with a self-published book -- money upfront. So, if you're looking for a fast $3k [because, let's face it... That's a high amount for a first-time author these days, so securing more than that would be a little hard], traditional would be good for you so you'd get that advance. But, remember... Until you sell enough books to make that $3k advance back, you're not going to get any royalties from your book. So, better hope that they've given you a good marketing scheme... Or that you're willing to do the work with that yourself.

-- Audience: A lot of the time, you'll already have a pre-established audience, depending on your house, agent, or genre... So long as word has gotten out about your book. Or if it's in a book store and people see it with other books they've liked, they might pick it up to read just because. You probably won't get that too much with self-pub [depending. but we'll go into that later], so that's a bonus.

-- Marketing / Distribution: This is both a pro and a con, really, since some houses don't do much for this other than ship your ISBN to a bookstore and have it available for order if they want to stock it. And marketing? From what I've read... Lately, you're better off to handle this one yourself.

Cons of Traditional
-- Price: You have no say in what your price is set at or how much you'll be making with each sale. Sometimes, this works out okay, but sometimes you're making too little [in your opinion] and sometimes, the publisher is overcharging.

-- Cover: You also have very little say over your cover art... So sometimes you get lucky and sometimes... Well, you just don't.

-- Marketing: Falls under both categories. If you thought you were going to get away without doing this because you went through an agent / house, you're wrong. In the age of the internet, you're almost expected to have a website, blog, and twitter that you are in control of in order to get your readers interested. More work than you were intending, yeah?

Self-Pub Pros
-- Complete Control: I've lumped a few categories into one for this one. But, if I want a sunflower on my cover for a gory horror novel, I can do it. If I want a pair of shoes on my chick lit [which is at least sometimes fitting], I can do it. If I want to charge $35 for my 110 page poetry collection... I have that option [but probably won't be selling anything]. Anything that I want to do with my book... I can. And that is a great feeling.

-- More Intimate Knowledge: I've heard authors say "I really don't know..." or "You'd have to ask my agent..." about an unbelievably high number of things before because it's just part of the process to keep the author somewhat out of the loop on the business end of things. And, I mean, they're on a contract, so if they're interested in doing something, they have to have clearance first. Which... Sounds a lot like no fun to me. Being in complete charge of your career and knowing why are pretty big deals, in my opinion.

Cons of Self-Pub
-- More Work: You do have to learn how to format; you do have to get all of the editing perfect on your own [or with the help of others that you have to find yourself]; you do have to market and promote your book all on your own... It's a lot to handle by yourself. And can be overwhelming. But if you can handle it, the rewards are amazingly fulfilling.

-- No Store-Front Spots: This will inevitably lower your sales by not having your book out in the retail locations, but for how much longer? Bookstores all over the country are closing, so soon, maybe this won't be an issue at all.

I don't know, really, which is better or worse, even looking at my list [which I'm sure I've missed things off of], but it's something that I am really debating right now, since I do have two complete novels in my series finished and have another handful of them started.

What do you people think? Hate self-pub? Love it? Have I missed something important here? Let me know in the comments!

2010 Writing: In Review.

2010 Writing Meme

back hereCollapse )

This year, I plan to actually keep track of the things I'm working on, so I will have more stuff down here. [:


October / November Update

I have to apologize for missing last month's update. I moved on the 5th and didn't have internet until the end of the next week, so it just sort of got ignored, unfortunately. But, I'll just roll it all up into this post anyway.

Let's see... I still haven't done much in the way of that long list of links and will again be carrying it over here for the hundredth month in a row. Eventually, I will be caught up on everything and I will be happy.

I wish I had kept better track of what I did to accomplish the word counts that I put into my spreadsheet [that's a goal for next year, for sure!] because right now, I can honestly not tell you what I managed to scrape together for the 25,300 words that I wrote in October. I know some of it was revision notes and some of it was outlining for NaNo, but even combined those things would have been less than 2k, so who knows about the other 23k. Fucking mystery words.

November, however, I have a much better idea of where my words went. I ended the month with 69,373 words. ~36k of that was in To My Beloved Ex Boyfriend... and the remaining ~33k was on Of Earthworms and Idiots, which still isn't finished.

TMBEB is, in fact, mostly finished. It didn't exactly come out the way I had hoped it would, really, which is a fact that I'm still struggling with accepting. The first part of it started out quirky and snarky, like I'd intended. Then I got drunk and it turned into some hysterical I don't even know what thing for 5k-8k, and then I delved into exhausted and it ended up turning into bitter and uninspiring. By the end, I was just so ready to be done with it and move onto the fanfic that I just hated it. Closing the file and not reopening it felt amazing. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to do it eventually, if I'm going to offer it up as a free download and all. :/

OEIA, however, went in quite the opposite way. Starting out, I didn't think the fanfic was going to play out well and it was just going to be a waste of my efforts that I tossed up on my fanfiction.net profile and forgot about, but after I started getting into the post-Hogwarts part in chapter 3, it really started to grow on me and writing it was so, so easy. It was amazing. I loved it mucho. I still do, in all honesty. It's not finished -- in part because I was busy with work and holidays and in part because I got so pissed off at Scrivener that I spent four full days ignoring NaNo because I didn't want to have to use that damn POS excuse of a writing program [there will be a review on it coming up soon, no worries].

However, it is currently being finished and moved over to LSB for safekeeping and further working so that I can do a quick read through and post it online for everyone else to enjoy [hopefully] as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

The last day of November saw the reset of the WriYe Forums for 2011. Had help this year, which was amazing and wonderful, and Keri is awesome for doing it and helping with the little images and such. Yay for friends!

Next month is going to be a sprint to get shit done. Because I haven't completed a single thing this year [okay, that's a lie. I finished TMBEB, but I don't count it 'cos I also started it this year]. I'm half-tempted to just get everything really close and knock them all out in January to help the romance people with the genre cup, in all honesty. I mean, I'm so unlikely to actually hit my WriYe goal this year [i'm at 57% complete right now], so I'm thinking maybe I should just give up and really start preparing for next year. Make next year the one that counts and all that. But we'll see. I may have a fear of finishing things, but usually when it gets down to it and I'm close enough to taste it, I tend to just race through and be like "b'weeeee!!! :D"

And. I need to get on this stuff. Like, nooow.

Writing Part One ;; Writing Part Two ;; Writing Part Three ;;
Writing Part Four ;; Writing Part Five ;; Writing Part Six ;;
Writing Part Seven ;; Writing Part Eight ;; Writing Part Nine ;;
Writing Part Ten ;; Writing Part Eleven ;; Writing Part Twelve ;;
Writing Part Thirteen ;; Writing Part Fourteen ;; Writing Part Fifteen;;

Chapter Four Part Two ;; Chapter Four Part Three ;;
Chapter Four Part Four ;; Chapter Four Part Five ;; Chapter Four Part Six ;;
Chapter Four Part Seven ;; Chapter Four Part Eight

Chapter Five Part One
;; Chapter Five Part Two ;; Chapter Five Part Three ;;
Chapter Five Part Four ;; Chapter Five Part Five ;; Chapter Five Part Six

Chapter Six Part One ;;
Chapter Six Part Two ;; Chapter Six Part Three ;;
Chapter Six Part Four ;; Chapter Six Part Five ;; Chapter Six Part Six

Chapter Seven Part One ;; Chapter Seven Part Two ;; Chapter Seven Part Three ;;
Chapter Seven Part Four ;; Chapter Seven Part Five ;; Chapter Seven Part Six ;;
Chapter Seven Part Seven

Chapter Eight Part One ;; Chapter Eight Part Two ;; Chapter Eight Part Three ;;
Chapter Eight Part Four ;; Chapter Eight Part Five

Chapter Nine Part One ;; Chapter Nine Part Two ;;

NaNoWriMo 2010 Confessions.

I have a small confession to make to you guys now that I am officially halfway done with the official NaNoWriMo goal, I feel like I should admit this to people who care: I sort of feel like I'm cheating this year. I mean, nothing I'm writing is hard to write; I'm working on a casual blog style novel that's more like having a conversation with the reader than it is like writing a novel, and the second is my fanfic. And I mean, yeah... Part of it isn't finished because I need to have access to a physical copy of Deathly Hallows so I can write about Snape's death scene perfectly, but even the rest of that -- the part with my original plot and characters -- has been so easy to write.

There's been no stress over characters turning into weepy balls of mess like April did to me last year, derailing my plot for 25k. There's been no worry of screwing up a genre into something completely unrecognizable to anyone in the world like Faded Sunsets did in 2008. I've been pumping out tons of words every day, but nothing that actually feels like the work that NaNoWriMo should feel like.

And sure. I did pick these two plots / premises with this in mind because of the moving and not knowing if work was going to continue with the insane almost 40 hour weeks [which, for the record, they haven't. I'm down to the perfect 27 hours a week with three days off each week for the next two weeks after this whole vacation + moving fiasco is over] so that I would be able to just sit down for 20-30 minutes every day before crawling into bed and wanting to die and still get my words out. Or even, so that I could write on my phone off and on during breaks and at the end of my lunch break if I needed to. I did this on purpose because the other plans that I'd been looking forward to doing for NaNo ended up being complicated like whoa and I didn't think I would have neither the patience nor the brainpower for them.

Remember when I talked about that? A 50k novella all in Spanish? A historical fiction / romance set in America during the Cold War? Not exactly the easiest things to do when you have all of the research done and complete access to all the materials you think you'll need to get them done. Try doing it in the middle of a move after not having the time to even flesh out a plot, let alone all the history-specific details and... Yeah. Sounds like a headache to me still, just thinking about attempting either of those novels this year.

But that doesn't really make me feel any better about this year and the fact that maybe I made things too easy for myself.

Anyone else have any NaNo Confessions?

[Possible hiatus for a few days / week while internet gets sorted in the apartment and I get unpacked. October update and recap is coming up soon!]
One of my NaNo Novels this year is a post Deathly Hallows AU about Snape, and I am currently finding my Soundtrack as a little lacking [iTunes decided to "lose" my library again when I got back from vacation]. Which is why I've decided to turn to Twitter / LJ for help with this. I know I'm missing a shitton of songs -- probably some incredibly obvious ones, too -- so, comment here and let me know what I'm missing and by who? Anything about Snape at all is good, not just DH / Post Novel stuff.

This is what I have so far:

So, yeah. [And I know the last one isn't really ABOUT Severus, but rather from his perspective, so stuff like that clearly works too] Help?


NaNo Survival Kits and Memes, Oh My!

I've never really put a lot of thought into having a "survival kit" for NaNo, in all honesty. But, there are, without fail, multiple threads about it, across writing forums internet-wide once November hits. [This one seems to be the Big One on NaNo this year.] A few of my friends have posted their NaNo Survival Kits on LJ and I thought they were fun to look at.

However, I've never given any thought to having one. Never really seemed to need it. But, then I thought about it... And without meaning to... I suppose that I actually do have one.

It's never been intentional, but there are a few things that I just absolutely cannot do a WriMo without, and then there's some that I really like to have close at hand and it feels weird not to have them, but at the same time... They're not a necessity by any means.

So, now I'm compiling my NaNo Survival Kit for all of you to see. And will even provide photographic evidence. Because I enjoy photos.


First things first, the absolutely have-to-have section. This is the part of the list that if I'm missing it, my NaNo will likely fail. Or I will at least not even bother with the starting:

1. Computer. The last few years [since 2006], it's been a laptop. The one in the picture has only been around since January of 2009, but it's this year's NaNo Writing Vessel of Doom. Complete with Sunshine Yellow exterior, DFTBA Sticker... and new as of last night: a red nail polish dot on the "A" key [which I thought was going to drive me mad, but it's actually starting to grow on me].

2. Caffeinated Beverage. Usually, that would be Cherry Coke Zero, but right now, it is an assortment of Code Red Mountain Dew and Monster drinks. Mostly because on the first I'm having a WriDay and Coke, as much as I love it, doesn't have quite enough caffiene to keep me going through [hopefully] 50,000 words.

3. LSB / Notebook Planning. I have to have some sort of idea of what I'm doing, be it an outline on the computer, my entire binder worth of material on LSB, or the 30-point-notebook outline that I did at work this year.

4. Music. I need something to break the silence / noise of my

Which is, surprisingly, all shown in that photo! I have LSB up [albeit in my blog binder, not anything fictional], I have my computer and my soda... And even though you can't tell, I have Pandora playing in the Firefox folder.

Surprisingly, that's it for the have-to-haves. And most of those are things that I have every single day anyway. Minus the NaNo-specific plot, anyway. But, then there are the things that I like to have around but don't have to.

Which is actually all food-based and kind of amusing.

5. Plain, ruffled chips and Queso Dip. For my first WriMo that I ever won, I pretty much lived off of this while writing, so it's become my WriMo food staple. Not the smartest of food choices to have while writing, since it's a bit messy and your keyboard ends up a bit greasy from time to time if you're not careful, but meh. It's good.

6. Hard Candy. Something to keep me distracted / thinking while occupying my mouth. Otherwise, I'll chew on the inside of my lip or pick at my fingers and by the end of the month, I won't be able to talk or type.

7. Oreos. Just something that I love.

8. A hoodie. Okay, not food based, but I like to keep the house cold [to keep me awake] and snuggle up under blankets and hoodies while writing.

9. Starbucks coffees every couple of days / on weekends. I don't drink coffee very often, but during NaNo, that extra little reminder / jolt of energy is sometimes all I need to spark my muse into coming up with something awesome again. Or maybe it's just the trip to the coffee shop that does it? xD

Photobucket Photobucket

But, anyway. That's my list / survival kit... What's yours?

With, [hoooooshit] 9 hours left 'til NaNo, do I have...?
[x] A title?
[x] A plot (however vague)?
[x] And/or a tagline/synopsis?
[x] Main characters?
[ ] Minor characters?
[x] An emotional relationship/connection with your characters?
[x] A beginnning?
[x] A middle?
[x] An end?
[x] A setting/settings?
[x] The climax?
[x] The resolution?
[x] A dictionary and/or thesaurus stationed nearby?
[ ] A bottomless coffee mug for inducing insomnia? [at a hotel...]
[x] A notebook for when you can't access your computer?
[x] A word count goal higher than 50K?
[ ] Pliers with with to cut your internet connection to prevent distraction? [uh, no. i like my interwebz, ty]
[x] Muses to keep your imagination sparked?
[x] An inner pep talker?
[x] An outer support system / someone to nag you?
[x] A writing buddy (official or unofficial)?
[ ] A cage to lock your inner editor in (only for a month)? [I REFUSE.]
[ ] A pause button for your social life (if you had one to begin with)?
[x] A reward if you reach your goal?
[ ] A consolation prize if you don't?
[x] Motivation?
[ ] Negative emotions (stress, panic, fear, etc.)?
[x] Positive emotions (happiness, excitement, eagerness, etc.)?
[x] Time?
[ ] Sanity?


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