Monday, October 17, 2005

Crossed Wires

I had two sets of feedback from my betas on 'Crossed Wires', both of them very helpful. It sounds as if my fear that I'd quite literally 'lost the plot' with having to cut the story down so much is unfounded, which is one less thing to worry about. However, one beta pointed out that one of the minor characters didn't have a name and calling him 'the second man' all the way through one particular scene was very cumbersome. She was absolutely right, so I added an introduction into some dialogue and gave him a name, and it reads a lot more smoothly as a result. After that I rewrote one or two more sentences, gave it a quick spell-check, and whizzed it off to the editor at Whiskey Creek Press, who's been waiting with baited breath for a companion to 'To the Rescue', for my Torrid Teaser duo. She wrote straight back to say she'd got it (why can't more editors be as polite and helpful as that?!?) and I'm hopeful she'll like it.

My one concern is the subject matter, as it's a tale of undercover cops, telephone sex lines andd a snuff gang. But as I never actually describe the sordid happenings, just refer to them, I'm hoping it'll be okay.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Torquere Press are running a neat challenge on their readers' yahoo group - readers throw out ideas with a Halloween theme and us poor mugs (aka writers LOL) have to try to come up with story, or at least a snippet, based on that idea. The first idea to come up was pumpkin carving. For some reason all I could think of was the pottery scene in the film 'Ghost' (don't ask why... I haven't a clue!) and I scribbled a very short, very silly little story along those lines and sent it off.

It's odd - up to a few weeks ago I couldn't do flash fiction to save my life, and everything I started was turning into a novel before I'd gone three pages. But suddenly, for whatever reason, I've knocked off about half a dozen of these shorts in the last few weeks and am having lots of fun with them. Most of them are contemporary and many feature mistakes, slip-ups, cock-ups and minor injuries and I'm even wondering whether I could collect enough of them together to bundle into an anthology. I could call it 'One of Those Days' or something. Hmm. I rather like the idea!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Yaay! I finally finished rewriting Crossed Wires. I managed to pare it down to about 8,500 words in the end, and that included upgrading both the sex scenes, so I'm really pleased. It's out for betaing at the moment and once I've had a few comments back and had another look at it myself, I'll be sending it off to Whiskey Creek Press.

Here's an incredibly brief snippet, just to set the scene:

Reuben Duncan was grumbling. First he groused about the state of the canteen coffee. Then he started on his overtime payments - or lack of them. By the time he'd got onto the perils of cigarettes, even the squad's regular smokers had decided enough was enough and stalked out, slamming the door behind them. Which left Eddie, weathering the storm as usual.

"Job not going well?" he said gently, knowing from past experience that sympathy worked wonders when Reuben was in one of his moods.

Reuben snorted, took a swig of the much-maligned coffee, screwed his face up and tipped the rest down the sink. "Well? It's not going at all. Four days I've spent in that place, four sodding days, and what've I got to show for it? Absolutely bloody nothing. I'm beginning to think there's nothing there to find. And I never want to see a phone again."

Eddie sucked in his cheeks, suppressing the bubble of laughter that threatened to erupt. Wouldn't do to set his partner off again... but mischief won over caution. "So, erm, who are you today, then? Rampant Reuben? The squad's Siren of Sex?"

"Pack it in, Eddie."

"Okay, keep yer hair on, there's no need to take it out on me. Besides, you've got to admit it's funny, the thought of you as a telephone sex-line operator."

Reuben rubbed a hand through his hair and scowled. "Nothing funny about it, mate, not when you have to listen to the blokes on the other end. There's some right nutters out there."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New m/m yahoo group


Do you love to read about hot handsome men getting it on together? You might call it 'gay romance', 'original slash' or just 'M/M'. Well if that's what you like to read do I have the yahoogroup for you! Homo-promo is a place to swap gossip, post reviews, hear about new releases, contests and promotions, and chat with your favourite writers of that spicy manlove we all love. (Bisexual, threesome and other M/M+ content also welcome.)

M/M and M/M+ writers are also welcome to join our happy band which already includes the following authors: Lena Austin, Ally Blue, Rachel Bo, Kay Derwydd, Kate Douglas, Fiona Glass, Jeigh Lynn, Jet Mykles, Willa Okati, Barbara Sheridan, Kira Stone, Silvia Violet, Emily Veinglory & Samantha Winston.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Being ruthless

I'm still hard at work on the undercover cop story for WCP's Torrid Teasers. It was some way over their preferred word count so I started butchering some of the unnecessary verbiage, plus one or two scenes with minor characters that didn't really add to the story. And I'm amazed just how much I've managed to hack off it - about 4,000 words at the last count! That puts it well under the target size, and even gives me some extra words to play around with if I want. Which I may well do. The sex scenes are a bit lacking and for a 'Torrid' line, probably not hot enough so I'll see what I can do to spice them up a bit. :)

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Lots of publishers and magazines are putting on contests and special offers for Halloween - it's an 'embarrassment of riches' and quite a job choosing between them all! I decided to enter Torquere Press's Halloween contest and duly sent off the story I've been working on all week. I've had to trim it considerably to fit the word limit, but hopefully it still makes sense. Now I just have to wait till the end of the month to find out if I've won anything.

And I renewed the domain registration on Forbidden Fruit so the magazine should be safe for another two years!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Old stories can come in really useful sometimes. I rarely throw them out, no matter how many years ago I wrote them or how dreadful they sound, because I can always rewrite or recycle the ideas. I've done that with two this week. Torquere Press are running a 'things that go bump' contest for Halloween so I brushed off a short story set in a haunted house, cut it down to the required word length and will send it off in due course. And whilst I was browsing the old files for that, I came across a story I'd completely forgotten about, even though I only wrote it last year. (I know, I know, it's my age creeping up on me. LOL) It was an 'undercover cop' story set in the world of sleazy telephone sex lines and I reckon it could be perfect for the Torrid Teaser that Whiskey Creek Press - Torrid want to put together with 'To The Rescue'. It's a bit overlong so I spent the morning hacking it down (not too difficult as it was surprisingly wordy) and it needs a bit more sex. But once that's done, it can go off too. I wish all my *new* stories were as easy to write!

I started one after we got back from holiday, inspired by lakes like Thirlmere and Haweswater which are actually artificial reservoirs. The valleys they're set in were dammed, and several old villages were drowned in the process. Local myth says you can still hear the church bells from the villages ringing from under the water and I thought it was a great idea for some sort of ghost story. I haven't got very far with it yet but it's definitely one for the work-in-progress folder....

Monday, October 03, 2005

Check for 'Checkmate'

The latest edition of Torquere Press' newsletter, Fresh Off the Vine, is out, complete with Halloween theme. And 'Checkmate' is right in there on the front page, with the other Halloween flash-fics and snippets. For your Halloween giggle, scroll down to the third story on the page (and then scroll back up, because all the other stories are well worth reading too).

Fresh Off the Vine

I've been getting a sudden snowstorm of spam masquerading as comments on the blog, so I've turned on word verification. If you'd like to leave a relevant comment to one of my posts, you'll just need to copy a single word, to prove you're not a bot! Yes, it's a pain, but so's deleting endless guff about rss or specialist lighting systems or even worse, porn. Gack.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Second place!

Drought's End, the little m/f sex-in-a-thunderstorm flash fic I wrote for the contest in the summer, has won silver in the Steam Heat contest!! I still can't quite believe it, since I so rarely write anything het - but people seem to like that one so perhaps I should have the courage of my convictions and write some more.