jana_denardo: (Default)
I've been quiet because not much has been happening. I've been busy deep cleaning the house and tossing stuff in prelude to either moving or at least inspection by my new landlords and trying to keep my head above water with the new class.

But I did get the final edits on my steampunk Christmas story. I felt SO bad because somehow there was a problem with the file. I think having to convert it (using libreoffice) from Docx to the old doc file because my parents' computer still has the 2003 Word on it caused issues that forced the publisher to redo ALL the formatting. I know it's not exactly my fault but it still made me feel like an ass.

Hopefully though the next you hear of this I'll have the cover and the pre-order links.
jana_denardo: (Default)
I don't have a lot to say but I thought it would be good to share the freebie I wrote last week for Chuck Wendig's flash fic challenge. It's the most I've wrote in a week in forever (almost 1,900). It's also my first foray into lesbian fiction. It is very mild, just the very beginning of the relationship. Obviously I work better with a deadline. I used to love that in myself. I'm beginning to hate it.

You can find the story here: When They Called Her Home

I'm waiting on a bit more from my beta on Blood Red but I know she's busy so I'm probably just going to label it as done as it's getting and resubmit before I lose my nerve.

I started editing Cassadaga but with the hurricane in Florida (where this is set) I'm struggling. I need to set it aside until I know my friends and family are okay.

I am going to be writing Josh and Brendan's story for nano in theory. I might be writing under my other pen name for the next few weeks for a middle grade reader open call.
jana_denardo: (Default)
It's just a short talk this time as it was a horrendous first week of the semester. It ate up all my time and emotionally left nothing for me when it came to writing.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my beta on whether or not she'll be reading more of Blood Red Roulette (things are nutso on her end too). So that's in a holding pattern.

I did however make tons of progress on my steampunk Christmas story. I 'm already through two rounds of edits and am waiting on copy edits. I've finally managed to get all of the author info, cover spec and blurb stuff in. I wasn't dragging my heels but I was a bit late with it. The first week of school and the week leading up to it are insanely busy so there's that.

The other writing thing I've done was editing on an old fan fic. I don't hide my fan fic roots. I'm proud of them. I had written a Saiyuki novella for a big bang at least seven years ago (which was the last time I had touched the file) but that challenge failed and it's been in the forgotten file folder. This year someone else started up another Saiyuki big bang so I blew the dust off the novella. To my shock, for being so old, it's not actually bad. There are some weak rough spots but when this goes live next week, I'll be happy for it. I miss doing a lot of fan ficcing. It's something i only do at the holidays for the various challenges.
jana_denardo: (Default)
It'll be short but important this weekend. It'll be hard to write this coming week as class is starting and that is always a chaotic time.

I did manage to finish my edits for Nine Star Press on the steampunk Christmas story. I still have a ton of other stuff to finish for them (maybe tomorrow) but the edits have been turned back in. I'm struggling to come up with a picture for my bio. I loathe having my picture taken.

And I finally finished editing Blood Red Roulette. Oh it's not ready yet to send out. My beta reader is going over the first third of it since I changed it so extensively and I have a few scenes that I want to dither about cutting or not but it's done (but still pretty long. Sigh). I wanted to get it done by July and failed so I revised that to get it done before classes. I'm making that by the skin of my teeth.

I still fear this one will never find a home.
jana_denardo: (Default)
I am very happy to say Nine Star Press gave me a contract for my Christmas Steampunk short story. It's a thrill to see someone not only want my unusual story but also hoped there might be more in this universe.

This is a very nice feeling. I hope that the readers will love it as much.

But it's more than just a short story sale. I'm making connections with another publisher and that is a good thing.

I need to, once I get Blood Red finally over and done with (hopefully soon), edit through those two novellas of mine and try them again.

I've also noodled a bit with These Haunted Hills so that's good.

I've not accomplished all I wanted to this week but it's been a good week regardless.
jana_denardo: (Default)
Just a hurried post as I prepare to go on vacation. Or as I see it, research for future stories because that is often the case. I'm looking forward to it (in spite of the fact I picked an area of the country that's bloody expensive).

As expected DSP turned down my Christmas story. Well I have to say a steampunk adventures IS a weird holiday story. I am very grateful that they let me know in time to send it on to Nine Star Press which maybe is what I should have done in the first place. I'd like to get a toe in the door with them after all. They're putting out some interesting stuff.

I haven't touched Blood Red but I had to get that class done like I said and I did. The rough draft is more or less finished which makes me very happy.

So I'd best get to bed. The plane leaves early.
jana_denardo: (Default)
So Conned is now out, I'm happy to say (though it reminds me that I'm paying for QueerRomance Ink and I haven't put up ANY of my stories, idiot that I am). Check it out here.

Blurb Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion's cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He's surprised to find one of the most handsome men he's ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can't keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.

Buy link You can find Conned here

 photo JD_Conned_zpsq3rdsflz.jpg

I did end up giving up on the Halloween short story, both of them really. With all the drama with the work issues, I didn't write a thing and while I could conceivably finish it this week, (which I really do need to work on finishing lectures so that's not really an option), I'm on vacation next week and wouldn't have been able to edit it and that was before I learned my usual beta wouldn't be available. I would like to finish them, maybe there'll be a market next year.

So my camp nano, which I'm unlikely to finish even with the wimpy word count of 10K, is back to These Haunted HIlls which makes sense from a business stand point. It would be nice to finish a novel again.

Speaking of which I made considerable progress in revamping Blood Red.

That said, I'm struggling to write but that's not new. I hate this, the depression that is creating the inability to concentrate.
jana_denardo: (Default)
I missed last week because I was traveling and it was the day after my 50th birthday and I'm still not easy with that idea (though grateful to have so much time allotted to me).

I've finished all the proofs for Conned and I picked a cover (I asked 4 people for input, actually got 4 responses split 50/50). Neither picture were a truly great fit but with something set at a con, it's very hard to do that since everything is trademarked. I'm still pretty shocked that each story in this one-a-day thing (or however it's being done) is getting art so I am very happy with what I got.

I'm waiting to hear from my beta on my omg why can't I title it Christmas short. I'm not really sweating it if it doesn't get picked up. I'll self pub it and give the money to St. Jude's or the like.

I'm trying to quickly write a Halloween m/m/m story which all it wants is sex. I could barely finish my Christmas story because I felt it needed a sex scene but didn't want to deal with it and that's all this story wants (it's not getting it, some yes but not nearly as much as it wants). I do have a beginning (which has been lost three times, driving me nuts) and I know the end but will I have the time? Who knows.

And I want to finish Blood Red which I STILL haven't finished. It's been a matter of time and I'm more and more sad over it daily.
jana_denardo: (Default)
It's been a strange set of months for me lately. The writing has been way down between depression, work and my ability to focus (ADHD, Depression, diabetes converging)

However, I did get some writing done during the boring parts of my convention. I'm not sure I'll find a home for a Steampunk Christmas story but I tried it any how. It's nearly done.

I spent the plane ride to Utah and back again editing Blood Red Roulette. I'm shocked at how rough areas where, things I should have caught in earlier edits.

And my flash fic Falling Water has been selected for Queer Sci-Fi's flash fic anthology, Renewal. That made me very happy. The winners in the contest haven't been announced yet but even if I'm not a winner, I'm proud to get selected to be in the anthology again.
jana_denardo: (Default)
I haven't blogged much since the every day in April blogfest and honestly while I DO have something to say in this space I don't have time for it at the moment. Mostly because I have to do edits on my writers group stuff.

And more importantly finish the edits for MLR press on my elves at the anime con story. I couldn't download it thanks to that internet issue. I'm still having it but at least now I can download stuff. I was even able to upload a picture today so maybe I can get onto uploading my steampunk symposium pics.

I'm excited to be working with a new press. So far they seem as easy to work with as DSP is so that's really cool. I feel a little spoiled by that.

I am still slowly plugging away at These Haunted HIlls and I'm glad it seems to be popular in Rainbow Snippets.

I all but given up on my Christmas steampunk. I am just swamped and a little depressed, neither making it good for writing.

I DID start something for a horror anthology but it's gone. I know I typed it but I've looked all three places I would have saved it and there is nothing. Luckily I haven't lost much but still, annoying.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
It's been a while I know since I've had anything of note to say here. My creativity has been utterly paralyzed. I have stories sitting in my head howling but when I sit to write the feelings of you can't do it right so why bother overwhelm me and I play online games instead.

I did do a little writing. I sent something in for Queer Sci-Fi's annual flash fic contest (check out their FB page for more details). It was the first idea that came to my mind quite some time ago when the theme of renewal was first announced and it came out mostly as I had envisioned it so I'm happy about that.

The last time wrote one of these I mentioned sending out Conned for ManLoveRomance's fae folk anthology and it was accepted. I'm SO happy. Actually I wrote that years ago for another anthology and it didn't fit. It languished around my hard drive all these years. What makes me very happy is this is the same elf character I've been noodling around with for decades. He and his family have made me very happy over the years but this was the first time I tried to publish one of his stories. I'm awaiting edits (and I already know a couple places they want me to expand). I'm looking forward to working with the editors at MLR as I've not worked with this publishing house before.

I should be getting the rights back to another old story that came out in Wayward Ink's Angels and Devils anthology now that the publishing house is folded. I'll probably just end up making that a free download.

I'm still working on congealing my Camp nano plot.

So yes, there is some good news but I still just don't feel much better about things in general but that is the nature of depression.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
Hi. It's been a few weeks, hasn't it? Mostly I've had nothing to say. I've not been writing. It had seemed rather pointless.

I'm picking up a little this week. I found an anthology that was looking for fey characters and I did send out Conned to that which is an older story. It was shockingly too short so it has a new (and better) ending. Now that I reread the open call, I'm not entirely sure it fits but I took a chance any how.

I did sign up for Camp Nano and I will be doing These Haunted Hills. I'm not sure I can write contemporary but I can at least write paranormal. This is a blend of those. I wish it would gel in my head more though.

I'm revising Blood Red one more time to remove yet another plot line and work on some of the passivity. I am truly ready to just chuck it. It seems like I've been wasting years of my life on this.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
I did skip last week's for good reason: I really had nothing new to talk about. I don't really this week either but I didn't want to let it go too long. I am waiting on the edits of one scene, the lost scene, from my beta. You have no idea how happy I am to find that scene. It does something important for all that it's only 1,600K long. But now comes the task of what to cut to shoehorn it in. I have one scene I know is going but I'm not sure they're the same length (I doubt it).

Once that's done it's on to my usual beta and about three pairs of new eyes (and THANK YOU for volunteering. You know who you are!) Once I hear back from them Blood Red Roulette is going back out there.

I am working on rewriting the ending of both Conned (which needs a better title) and Cassadaga Nights (ditto). I'm also struggling to finish my steampunk Christmas story. It has to be done soonish if I'm going to make any of the early cut off dates.

I'm still struggling with my depression but one thing that has made me smile is the reception to These Haunted Hills in the FB community Rainbow Snippets. I'm so thrilled people are liking it. Now to find time to WRITE it. That would be nice. I mean this whole weekend was wasted for writing, for teaching, for literally anything. It's a shame too. And more a shame that it was warm and perfect for hiking except for the fact it won't stop raining. Sigh.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
Given the first week with our new illustrious (cough) leader in charge has been depressing as fucking hell, not much has gotten written other than a few lines for the flash fic I promised to Lex. Yeah I haven't been able to write 500 words.

So why even update? Because I DID finish my whole novel revision of Blood Red Roulette! I'm very happy about that since I'm way ahead of my self imposed deadline. However, four things still need doing. I need to go over the first 10 chapters AGAIN (shoot me). I've decided to change one more thing which I think will help Arrigo look less like a selfish ass and a bit more intelligent so I have to go fix that. In the process I should double check Luc's dialogue. He gets more Cajun as we go so I need to make that more consistent.

There are only three sex scenes in this, two short blow jobs (one very awkward one, done purposefully) and the one time they aren't having a quickie. Problem: I hate that scene. It doesn't work. It really doesn't so I'm going to scrub it. I'm half tempted to not redo it but I think it needs to be there so back to the drawing board with that one.

And then I realize there is something missing. There is a scene in the 20-something chapter range where Arrigo goes to help Luc remove his stuff from his dad's place which was a nice scene because we finally learn something about Luc's mother and how much he loved her and the few things he kept that were important to him. That scene is now missing. I've been through every flash drive and as far back as last April that scene was gone. It doesn't exist in the chapter break down files either. In fact in me sending my beta readers chapter by chapter files, I totally skipped over the 20s. I caught them up apparently with the full document instead of chapter files and I know this because I just spent a half hour scouring my sent folder for them.

I want to add that in but there's a problem. What do I remove to do so? In removing Craig's whole plot line, I only lost barely 2K. This thing is still about 113K. One of the original complaints was it was too long. I could remove Damien but I liked having him there because if nothing else it gave Taabu something to do and I'm NOT removing her. I wanted a few scenes to humanize her so people care when things go sideways.

I'm not sure what to do.

Once I get these things polished, I'm going to work on the finding new beta readers for it. I'm not looking forward to that. I better brace my ego.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
We'll keep it short as a) there's not much in the way of actual news b) it's been a depressing week with little reprieve on the horizon.

I did agree to do a flash fiction prompt thing for Lex Chase's blog. I have the idea. I just need to sit my butt down and do it and for it NOT to get insanely long.

I find myself wondering if there are any Halloween anthologies out there. I'm in the mood to write something scary but I haven't gone searching yet.

I'm up to chapter 28 on edits for Blood Red Roulettebut it's hard going for a couple of reasons. I'm to the point where I'm going to remove an entire plot thread so I have to be very careful that I get it out. Also I noticed another thing I need to do to the beginning so that means rereading the first 10 chapters AGAIN. OMG I am never going to want to see this again by the time it's accepted somewhere (or I self publish it). But if I do this thing, it will make Arrigo look less like a selfish dickhole so it needs doing.

It's hard also because every time I fix something it adds word count, not removes it. Sigh. I've managed to get 1k out of it but it needs more to go. It doesn't help that I keep seeing person after person posting about how no one wants fantasy/SF/paranormal romances because they're not selling. Granted they would never reach the levels of contemporaries but I can't believe they're not selling judging by requests I've seen in writing challenges, the sheer amount of people in communities like Queer Sci-Fi and how many of the authors who love writing it. I mean, if you love writing it, it stands to reason you're buying it. It's the ONLY thing I buy. I'll be pretty damn sad if I have to stop following some of my favorite authors because they've had to give up on genre fiction because they can't make it otherwise. (I've tried to read some of their contemporary stuff and while well written did literally nothing for me).

So wish me luck on getting Blood Red edited and sent to betas. Wish me even more luck on getting this depression under control.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
I almost didn't bother with a post today because there really isn't much to say. I've written all of two paragraphs on These Haunted Hills and all the rest of my time has been sucked up by the first week back to school stuff and editing Blood Red Roulette and making a fine mess of it.

Then I thought, you know what, let's start this year out right by thanking the people who've helped me. So thank you to Betty and [livejournal.com profile] evil_little_dog & [livejournal.com profile] wildrider for offering up some thoughts on how to even FURTHER revamp the beginning of Blood Red so Arrigo looks less like a selfish idiot because that isn't what I wanted him to be. When I reconfigured Eleni to make her a more worthwhile villain, it was at Arrigo's expense and that isn't working either. So thank you, ladies.

And thanks also to [livejournal.com profile] silvrethorn & [livejournal.com profile] evil_little_dog for weighing in on the rejection of Cassadaga Nights because I had to agree with the editors of the publishing house who said no. I had worried about that and now those worries were confirmed but you know, I think CN can wait until I get my way through BRR.

Sadly I see there is one less publishing house to consider. Wilde City closed its doors. I had noticed it wasn't open for submission when I shopped around for CN and while I have nothing there personally it's sad to see SO MANY indie LGBT publishers going under. I'm also worried about Wayward Ink. The owner there had said hopefully by Jan things would be rolling again (health issues are the concern here) but it's mid Jan with no contact. Oh well. Right now I have enough on my plate without worrying about the SF short I have in consideration there. Once I get BRR and CN reworked, and if there is still no word by then (because seriously I'm thinking it'll be mid-March by then) THEN I'll pull that story.

Of course, I guess the argument could be made that we could just self publish all of these things but that really isn't what I want to be doing right now. Mostly because with the indie publishing houses I at least have some marketing support, editors to help me and cover artists (I mean have you SEEN all my cover art? It's amazing and I could never get anything that good on my own.) So yeah, it's sad to see another one go and good luck to my friends who are affected by this. It's not an auspicious start to the new year (especially following on the heels of the All Romance nightmare).
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
Happy New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Small Talk of 2017. It's been a couple of weeks but the last two sundays were holidays and let's be honest, I haven't been doing much because of those said holidays.

For the last month, I took a small vacation from writing professionally because I use December to write fanfic for friends for the holidays. I suppose some will argue that it's a waste of my time but I mentioned on Queer SciFi when the question was asked 'how do you recharge your muse' the answer is I write fanfic. I DO find it recharging but I get to take a break from some of the harder parts of writing (world building, character creation) and just let the words flow.

So I'm looking at 2017 and trying to be better about my time. I need to get an ecalendar that emails me because I keep missing things I should be doing.

Nine Stars rejected Cassadaga Nights but were thoughtful enough to tell me what they thought did and didn't work and the didn't was something I had been worrying about so it's back with my first readers for opinions on how to change it.

Once I get Blood Red Roulette revamped (and god is this a bear!) I want to a) find first readers for it b) start thinking about the rewrites for Deadwood and dedicating it to my friend, Paulle who died this week. It was the last thing she beta read for me.

Other than that, once I get the start of the semester crap out of my face, it's time to get back into writing new stuff. I have four current projects: Behind Blue Eyes (SF), the Steampunk holiday story, These Haunted Hills (contemporary or paranormal, still working that out) and the one set at an anime con but I think I'm going to back burner that one for now.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
As I write this it's hard to be entirely positive what with All Romance shutting down with very short notice and some jackass stealing stories and publishing them under other known authors' names on Amazon to ride their reputations to sales. (There are days I miss the old days of publishing but granted back then most of what I write wouldn't have seen the light of day).

So that's the negative part so let me move on and see what my plans can possibly be in the LGBT publishing realm.

1. Be much more rigid on time management. That is still a bit on the negative but it needs to be said. I need to get it in my head. I've been horrible about it. I spend too much time pissing about on line, especially social media and I need to knock that crap off.

2. First and foremost, I need to FINALLY fix Blood Red Roulette. I have been working on it but I MUST get it done. It'll be almost a year between getting it rejected with suggestions for resubmission and sending it back out. It was a big hit to the ego, especially seeing other stories with almost identical things I was knocked for getting put out by the same publisher. I keep making more of a mess of it. I'm going to need a set of eyes to do a complete read-through once I'm done

3. Play about with the Deadwood shifter story. A little tweaking at it will be a novella and then I'll send it out.

4. I need to find out what's going on with Wayward Ink to see if I need to be thinking about that SF story I have there for an anthology.

5. Work on Behind Blue Eyes. I would love to finish it.

6. Work on the two contemporary novels even though they are a brutal struggle for me.

7. Work on the steampunk Christmas story.

8. Keep an eye on the open calls of course.

9. Clean up my website because it's an embarrassment.

10. Continue to support my fellow authors.

It's not much of a plan. I'm willing to admit to that but I have to balance it with the non-romance/LGBT writing (which definitely needs a lot of work right now too). Here's hoping 2017 has some good opportunities, some good writing and it will look better than 2016 which was a very bad year for me writing-wise.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
In all honesty, my week in writing can be boiled down to a handful of paragraphs on a steampunk short story and the beginning of a new idea. Writing time has been spent cleaning house and packing for the holidays.

So why bother posting at all? Because I wanted to share the reviews of Once Upon a Time in the Weird West. Let's call it an ego moment. It was an exciting project for me and I'm so glad I got to be part of it because for a while I thought I might not be (because damn you story for being overly long).

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

The Blogger Girls

Gay Book Reviews

Joyfully Jay

Divine Magazine

And it's a bestseller at All Romance so do go check it out. I'm sure you'll find stories to love. (and now back to the Christmas packing for me)

 photo WeirdWestORIG_zpskpd6r0lp.jpg
Buy Links Dreampsinner Press
All Romance
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
I just made it through finals week. I'm disappointed that I didn't write more while the students were testing but they like it when you grade things fast.

I've inched my way a bit more into a Steampunk Christmas story that I actually intend for next Christmas (i.e. send it to the themed anthologies and if they don't bite, self publish it myself.) I think it's 1899 and I've just realize I'll probably have to make up a war for my airshipman to have fought in. The Civil War was too far in the past and I didn't really want to set it in WWI (besides I don't want it to be in Europe). So was America fighting Canada or Mexico.... I still need to name the lead. I'm between Adam and Abel but realize that if I want the professor love interest to be Al I shouldn't use either of those. Literally just realized that while typing this. Excuse me while I beat my skull on the wall for a moment.

I know what the perfect gift he's bringing Al for Christmas: a Buffalo coat and a Blackhills gold accented pocket watch (Al thinks the perfect gift is Whatshisname being home for the holiday).

Hmmm maybe instead of a war he's lost a leg defending ships transporting Comstock and/or Blackhills gold.

I've nibbled around the edges of Behind Blue Eyes but haven't gotten far and I am getting more and more sure I'm bungling the rearranging of Blood Red Roulette. I'm just going to keep going and get a second pair of eyes on it.

Also I've been kicked in the muse by another contemporary which I think might be better to try than the one I was noodling with (I'll keep that one on the back burner as I like it but it's impossibly geeky). Or might it be paranormal? One of the characters hunts ghosts for fun and for that matter so do I...I'm not sure yet what to do with it but I do know this: Brendan has come to the hocking hills and has taken a cabin there ala Hocking Hills Cabins I'm trying to decide between this large one  photo hocking_zpsom2h0ldk.jpeg or this small one  photo hocking blue-cabin-intro_zps49jjazfx.jpg but it'll probably closer to the small with a loft.

Brendan is a successful YA author from Columbus who wanted to do a horror/ghost story novel next and has rented the cabin for a month while he investigates haunts in SE Ohio, most of which he's seen from a haunted ohio website. Brendan is dubious about being alone in the cabin as he's still, three years later, deeply mourning his son's death from brain cancer at age 5. His marriage has long since broken up and really he's never sure he's more than two steps from joining his child.

He meets the currently unnamed owner of the website who was going to be a naturalist but decided that was a tad too close to my friend whose job and website I'd be modeling this guy after. Also I just didn't want to deal with some of that so instead he's an environmental scientist at a local college (i.e. mine) doing research in the hills as well as being a guide for Brendan. Naturally they hit it off albeit rather slowly.

I do know Brendan wears a glass pendant forged from his son's ashes and I need to find the site I originally saw those one but have found others. At one point he nearly loses it which is probably how the professor learns of the boy.

Drop by tomorrow for a release from me! And since I forgot to share this last week I think have the wonderful art Lex Chase did of Tsela Zahni in Once Upon a Time in the Midwest which comes out in 5 days.

 photo Jana_WW_Fin_zpsntrigvof.png


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