24 December 2013

50 States of Pray

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! The last horrible day of work! Ok, that's not actually true. I still have to get through New Year's...

Today is the day for the 50 States of Pray event, thought up by the awesome Mark Koopmans. Click the link if you'd like to see the other participants, or join in, too! There's still the whole day! I'm posting from Massachusetts. I'm not entirely certain I've ever told you guys where I live. Anyway...

Christmas Eve, 2013

Here's the thing. I'm not very good with prayer. I've had a lot of things happen in my life that have left me a little faithless. So I haven't really been able to figure out what to write for this post ever since I signed up. So I went back to Mark's original post and read it again:
Why not set aside a moment to reflect on the year that was and share some hopes for the next year?
So I guess I'll start from there. 2013 was sort of a mixed bag of emotions. As far as writing goes, it was great. I finally finished my first draft, got to 100 blog posts, and made some great friends through blogging and networking. Life-wise, however, it wasn't so great. I still feel like I'm waiting for my mom's death to hit me like a ton of bricks, but maybe it isn't going to. Maybe I'll just have those random moments of sadness that will hit me from time to time. Then I worry if I'm incredibly resilient or just incredibly numb. Still figuring it out, I guess.

But anyway, I don't like my blogging being a therapy session, so I'll move on to the second part of the question: hopes for the new year. Like always, all I can really think about is my writing. I want to get my second draft done super fast, then start getting queries out. I want to keep up with my blogging, hopefully reaching more and more people and making more blogger buddies. I'd love to be at a point where I can actually decide what I want to do with my life. Getting more writing done will probably help me figure that out.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

23 December 2013

A Somewhat Jaded Christmas

Has it been a week already? I suppose I should get back to blogging...I know I never actually said I was taking time off. It just kind of happened. I don't have to be so rigid anymore, but I'd still at least like to try to stick to my schedule.

Ok, if I'm going to be honest, I'm feeling a bit jaded. Maybe I do just need a break from blogging. Maybe I need to work on editing for a while, let my second draft be my main focus. Maybe I feel a bit like my 100th post was a complete failure. Maybe I really need a vacation. Or to just sleep for 24 hours straight.

Maybe there's just a tiny rock stuck under my backspace key that is driving me insane!!!

Did I tell you guys I rewrote the first chapter? I don't remember and I'm too lazy to go look at older blog posts. But yeah! So that's good. I completely changed the first paragraph. My original first line now opens the second paragraph instead. It was one of those things where you think you're going to struggle with the decision but then just immediately realize that it needs to change and you'll get over it.

Honestly, though, the first chapter was the easiest to edit. Nothing about the overall structure really changed. Now I'm staring at the second chapter and wondering if I should break it down into two or three separate new chapters. Or should I just write scene by scene and worry about labeling the chapters later?

Part of me doesn't even want to think about trying to write until January. Partially because resolutions and fresh starts and whatnot, but also because that's when work slows down for a bit and maybe I can relax a little.

And yeah, I kinda don't care about Christmas this year. I mean, I'm really excited about the gifts I got for other people. I had fun with it. I ran a Secret Santa at work, which we've never done before. But anytime someone asked me what I wanted, I had no idea. Because I really don't want anything. At least nothing that other people can give me. There are only things I can do for myself. Things that take time. Things that have already taken too much time.

Blah. Ok. I feel most of my blog posts come off as more depressing than I mean them to. But anyway, I'll be back tomorrow for Mark Koopmans' 50 States of Pray event. Although I still don't know what I'm going to write...but you should check it out!

15 December 2013

The 100th Blog Post/ Jordan's 18th Birthday Extravaganza!

I've always liked the word extravaganza...

Hello, everyone reading this! Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my (drum roll please) 100TH BLOG POST!!! If you've been following me for the past few weeks, you know I've been planning this for a while. And you'll know that this is going to be a long post. So if you make it through to the very end, I salute you!

It's also my muse, Jordan's 18th birthday. He's not all that enthusiastic about it. But he says he accepts praise as well as actual presents. So feel free to leave a comment telling him how wonderful he is. I'm not rolling my eyes right now or anything.

I figured I should keep the introduction short. I now present to you my list of 100 fun facts about my novel. Everything you could ever possibly want to know about my book--how it all started, character details, my writing process. I've put all of the facts into categories just so they wouldn't be all over the place, and there's a "Spoilers!" section in case you want to avoid them altogether. Not that my book is anywhere near being published, but you know.


Humble Beginnings

1. I started writing this as a short story on February 15, 2011. Approximately 9:30 PM. I was riding the train home from my fiction writing class, where I would eventually workshop the short story (with much regret). 
2. I wrote the first lines on my iPhone. It erased them somehow by accident (after I typed them onto my computer, of course), along with a poem I was working on.
3. The short story was 19 pages, single spaced, and took me just a week to write.
4. The idea sparked from watching an investigative special on E! about student-teacher relationships. I decided I wanted to write about one.
5. When I started it, I referred to it as my “perverted love story.”
6. The original title was “Saying Yes.” This referred to an understanding between my characters, that literally Jordan saying “yes” would mean they would have sex. I erased this from the novel version so the title doesn’t work anymore.
7. The first people to read the story were three coworkers at the bookstore I worked at. I gave it to a fourth but he never read it. In his defense, he gave me a story that I never read, too. There were just so many typos to get past…
8. I kinda had a nervous breakdown when one of my classmates critiqued my story as “offensive” and “clumsily written.” I even went to my professor to talk about it, but to get some perspective rather than to tattle. This person didn’t write much else so clearly didn’t put much thought into it, and I suspect she did the same with everyone’s stories. I think I was mostly mad that I actually put in some effort when critiquing hers when she clearly didn’t deserve it.
9. My temporary title for the book (that lasted oh, about a week or so) was The Formula.
10. It took me a couple months to finally make the decision to develop the story into a novel.
11. This was the third short story that I’ve developed into a novel. I have some sort of genetic defect where I’m incapable of writing a short story without wanting it to be longer. 

Straight Girl, Gay Fiction

12. I did not plan on the story being gay fiction. As I was developing ideas, the characters decided to both be male. And I don’t fight with my characters.
13. I still struggle with my identity as a gay fiction writer. ‘Cause, you know, straight girl. I guess I’m still in my fiction closet (I also can’t decide if this phrase is offensive or hilarious. Definitely one or the other).
14. I actually think my quest toward become a writer of gay fiction started when I was sixteen. I had some ideas but just didn’t know what to do with them. There was also some manga that a friend let me read…*cough*
15. In case you’re wondering, yes, I do get turned on by the thought of two men together. There, I said it. But there’s also something adorable about m/m relationships that I don’t get from reading/writing m/f ones.
16. I do have more ideas for gay fiction stories (and not just the stupid vampire one). But I don’t want to solely identify with this genre because I have other ideas as well. 

All About Jordan

17. When I finished the short story and read it back, I realized that my narrator was completely lacking a conscience. This was completely unintentional but it worked. So I say that Jordan is a bit of a sociopath.
18. I didn’t figure out what Jordan looked like until a few weeks after I finished the story.
19. Jordan is a bit full of himself, but it’s not completely unfounded. He is good looking, and girls hit on him all the time. Which he just finds hilarious because he’s gay.
20. Jordan is very skinny, not short but not ridiculously tall, with brown eyes and short brown hair (that’s just a bit long in the front).
21. I originally ended the story with Jordan dating a girl, but people seemed to think that meant he was “going back to girls” which was not my intention at all.
22. If you want to get super technical, Jordan is bisexual. He describes himself as “mostly” gay. I sort of see him dating a couple girls in high school, but by the time he gets to college, he’ll exclusively go out with guys. It’s kind of reflective of the fact that it always takes him a long time to make up his mind.
23. Jordan is a very good singer but he doesn’t realize it until almost the end of the book.
24. I purposely don’t mention Jordan’s first name in the book until Tom says it when they meet.
25. Jordan’s last name is Palmer. In my town, there is a Jordan Dr. next to a Palmer St. I discovered this after I named him.
26. Jordan’s catchphrase is “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
27. It was tricky crafting Jordan’s voice, but now it’s like second nature to me. 

Age Differences

28. Jordan is fifteen and Tom is twenty-eight.
29. I really, really hate math. I don’t know what I was thinking having Jordan need a math tutor. I remember absolutely nothing about geometry.
30. One of the hardest scenes to write is a tutoring session where my characters are going over geometric proofs, but flirting at the same time. It still needs serious revision.
31. Jordan is not the only teenage boy that Tom has been attracted to, but he is the only one to make him act upon the attraction.
32. The hardest aspect of the story for me is Tom’s attraction to teenage boys. I didn’t want him to seem ridiculously perverted, and thought about cutting it entirely and just having him be attracted to Jordan exclusively. But I felt their structured relationship wouldn’t work without it. I’ve developed some background info about Tom’s past and his family that helps explain it more, and he comes off as more paranoid than perverted.
33. I’ve done a lot of research on ephebophilia. A lot of this was reading a message board on a psychology site where a lot of people confess to being pedophiles but refuse to act upon their urges.
34. The way my characters’ relationship works is that Jordan will get something (usually food) in exchange for letting Tom be physical with him in some way. It starts out very tame and structured. For example, their first time together, Tom makes Jordan dinner and then they kiss only once. As the story progresses, they change the rules but the basic give-and-take structure is still in the back of their minds.
35. Writing this story has given me far too much knowledge about age of consent laws. It’s seventeen in NY, which is necessary for me to know for the story. But I know other states. It’s sixteen where I live. I’ve brought it up in conversation before.
36. I worry about the fact that I find my characters to be adorable together. Does that make me some kind of pervert? 

Subplots & Sidekicks
37. Jordan’s two friends in the book are Brian and Eric. He mentions “other guys” but they’re never named nor do they speak.
38. The subplot is reflective of some issues I had with friends at the end of high school. Since I had to change the actions to fit teenage boys instead of girls, it bears little resemblance to what actually happened to me.
39. The character I’m most like is Eric.
40. I make references to Eric being like the character Moritz from Spring Awakening, my favorite musical (I’m eternally obsessed with it, and anyone involved with it*). He’s terrified of sex and at one point Jordan tells him to call him if he feels like sticking a gun in his mouth.
41. Eric is the one who helps Jordan realize that his passion is for music.
42. Brian beats Jordan up about halfway through the book. He certainly gets revenge, though.
43. Eric ends up having to choose between Jordan and Brian. I would mention this in the “Spoilers!” section, but it’s probably obvious, anyway. 


44. The book takes place in New York City. I worry that the setting doesn’t come across very strong because I don’t actually live there.
45. Jordan’s favorite thing to do is just walk around Central Park.
46. The only “on location” research I’ve done is going to The Met. Twice.
47. I wanted The Met scene for the short story but didn’t have time to develop it and fit it in. So I wrote it for the novel version.
48. There are two reasons for The Met scene. One is that when you pay to get in, it’s a “suggested donation,” meaning you can technically decide how much you want to give. I thought this related to my characters’ relationship very well.
49. The second reason is that I could have my characters looking at art from Ancient Greece. ‘Cause, you know, pederasty was a big thing back then. And I’m all about symbolism. 

Food, Glorious Food

50. Tom’s job is being a math tutor, but his real passion is for cooking.
51. Some of my favorite scenes to write involve food descriptions.
52. When my characters meet, Tom gives Jordan a key lime pie. It’s kind of a lame joke (Pi! Geometry! Get it?). Jordan ends up eating the whole thing in one sitting.
53. I’ve never made fresh pasta but I could give you step-by-step instructions on how to. Tom makes homemade ravioli for their first “date.”
54. Since my characters make chocolate chip cookies in one scene, I made a batch and took notes while I was making them and when I ate one.
55. I learned why you usually use salt in baking from writing this book. It helps to balance out the flavors and without it, whatever you’re making would be too sweet.
56. Jordan has a big sweet tooth. This also reflects the sort of people he’s drawn to, meaning those people are sort of sweet and innocent.
57. There’s a lot of eating in this story, but Jordan has crazy teenage boy metabolism so he remains the skinny little twig that he was when the book began.
58. In the third chapter, there is a lemon-vanilla cupcake with raspberry filling and raspberry buttercream. Well, of course I’ve made them! 

Words, Theme, & Symbolism

59. I make (extremely) vague references to cannibalism throughout the book that most people probably wouldn’t even pick up on. Except for the fact that I keep telling you about it…
60. My book has colors. Yes, colors, like a school or a sports team. Gray and blue. If I have book signings, I will only wear these colors. They’re my favorite colors to wear anyway. My favorite color is gray and it’s all Jordan’s fault.
61. I think I associate gray with Jordan because it’s a blending of black and white, a sort of moral ambiguity. I also usual picture him wearing gray.
62. I’ve got a thing for sexually ambiguous names. There’s Jordan, obviously. The girl he almost sleeps with is named Madison. And in my unofficial sequel, Jordan’s boyfriend is named Cameron.
63. The time frame of the book is from January to July.
64. There are 196 f-bombs in the first draft. The highest in one chapter is 33 in Chapter Twelve. Every chapter before that has 10 or less. I have no explanation for this.
65. I kinda sorta stole a line of dialogue from an episode of Scrubs.
66. I only use the word “love” once in the entire novel. And yes, it is in the phrase “make love.” You’d be surprised how hard it is to not use a word.
67. I also only use the word “pedophile” once. It seemed too obvious and technically, Tom is an ephebophile. But since I didn’t even know that word before I started this story, I didn’t think Jordan would know what it was, either.
68. As of right now, there are twenty chapters. I plan on making the chapters much shorter in the second draft, so there will be more.
69. Actually, there technically are only nineteen chapters. Because I had to edit the first few chapters (for a novel-in-progress contest), things shifted before I went back to where I left off. I didn’t change the numbers for the later chapters, so technically there is no Chapter 7.
70. I have some backwards symbolism in my book. Meaning, I have a few objects that I know could be symbolic, I just don’t know what I want them to be symbolic for yet.
71. The basic theme of my book is that a person can never completely fight off who they are, even if they try to suppress bits of themselves.
72. I call my theme “The Inevitability of Self.” I could totally write an entire AP English style paper on this.
73. The first draft has 70,900 words. 

74. I was convinced I would never find a song that would fit my book. I now have a full playlist, as well as playlists for certain characters.
75. The first song I added to the playlist was “The No Seatbelt Song” by Brand New. I’ve always loved this song to death but it was ruined by the fact that I associated it with my first boyfriend. I like to think that Jordan saved the song for me. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time now.
76. Jordan has over 10,000 songs on his iPod.
77. My two favorite CDs to listen to for writing this book were Brand New’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me and Duncan Sheik’s Covers ‘80s. I imagine that Brand New is Jordan’s favorite band and Duncan Sheik is my favorite singer (*see #40!), plus the tone of both CDs seem to fit the book in my mind.
78. I can picture an opening title sequence for a movie version set to “Stripped” by Duncan Sheik.
79. The song I imagine during the sex scene is “Handcuffs” by Brand New.
80. By the end of the book, Jordan and Eric have started a band and are writing songs. I know I have to write at least some lyrics. This terrifies me. I have no musical talent whatsoever. 

Movie Deal

81. I fully intend to write a screenplay version of my book.
82. If my book is ever turned into a movie, I will give the actors gift baskets filled with Chapstick, breath mints, and antacid. Lots of kissing and eating.
83. I don’t have a dream actor for Jordan. This is partially because I haven’t seen an actor who seemed to fit. It’s also because I haven’t tried very hard, not wanting to become attached to someone who would get too old to play the part (should all my movie dreams come true).
84. I have no idea what the sort of legal issues would be in filming a movie like this, but I don’t think I would want the actor playing Jordan to be older than 17 (18 if absolutely necessary). But I also think an actual 15-year-old would be too young.
85. My absolutely perfect, don’t even try to change my mind, dream actor for Tom is Jonathan Groff (*You weren’t paying attention, were you? See #40!!!). After I finished the short story, I realized Tom looked like him and then I was doomed from that moment on. I probably did it subconsciously because even in the depths of my brain I’m still a spaz.
86. I fell in love with the idea of Anne Hathaway playing Jordan’s mom after seeing one of the first trailers for The Dark Knight Rises. I thought she would be able to pull of the combination of cynicism and sarcasm that is necessary for the character.
87. For about eight months during this year, both of my dream actors were actually the ages of my characters (28 and 30). Coincidence? I think not! 


88. Jordan kind of gets the idea for his and Tom’s relationship from his mother, who has a similar “get things in exchange for sex” kind of relationship with her boss, who is also about twice her age. She never actually mentions any of it, but Jordan is pretty sure of what is going on.
89. Jordan’s mom was 15 when he was born. I don’t reveal this until about halfway through the novel.
90. There isn’t a single reference to Jordan’s father. He has no idea and doesn’t actually care, so it seemed unimportant to mention. Plus I like not answering an obvious question. 
91. I came up with a plot twist (and one of my favorite parts of the book) while having a half-drunk,half-asleep dream about my characters.
92. The twist involves the fact that Jordan and Tom both almost cheat on each other on the same night. But it’s hard to call it cheating since they’re not actually in a relationship.
93. Jordan has to come out to four different people over the course of the novel. One time isn’t actually necessary, since the person already knows. Three of the times it’s completely calculated and to him, serves some greater purpose.
94. Jordan and Tom have a ridiculously intense fight about ¾ into the novel. It upset me writing it and actually gives me chills when I go back and read it.
95. When one of my coworkers gave me back the short story, she said, “I don’t think this was a story about a pedophile and a bi-curious teenager. This is a story about a pedophile and a sadist.” I don’t necessarily think Jordan is a sadist but it was a big sigh of relief for me because she got it. I don’t think anyone in my fiction class understood this.
96. There is a hand job scene in the book and it’s actually more explicit than the sex scene.
97. Jordan and Tom have a rather scandalous conversation via text message while Jordan is at lunch at school. The texts themselves are good, but trying to balance them out with what else is happening in the scene is very difficult.
98. I wanted the sex scene to be a bit vague. Initially I thought this was because Jordan didn’t care about it by the time it happens (this fits the short story), but now it’s more like he’s sad and doesn’t want to admit it, and also is embarrassed to share all the messy details.
99. The last line of dialogue is, “Well, thanks.” It’s what Jordan says to Tom before he leaves.

And finally...

100. I finished the novel on October 11, 2013 at 11:50 PM.

There you have it! I can't believe it's actually over. I'm thinking I'll take a quick break from blogging, at least for tomorrow. I don't have to stick to my rigid schedule anymore but I do want to stay active. I'll probably be back on Wednesday. I hope you enjoyed all of the nonsense that was my 100th post. Now I just have to come up with an idea for 200...

13 December 2013

Post 99: The Dialogue Awards

That's right, this is the 99th post! That means the 100th is only two days away! I'm really excited. I hope everyone enjoyed the blurb I posted on Wednesday, and thanks to those who left comments. Now there's just one more thing to do before the big day...

It's The Dialogue Awards!

I originally wanted to share some dialogue with my 100 facts, but I realized there were far too many lines that I liked. It was hard to pick just a few. So I decided to devote a whole post to some of my favorite lines of dialogue. Some of the categories are typical, some are ridiculous. I wanted to give every character a chance to be featured, as well as include some of my favorite moments. I tried to pick ones that could still shine out of context.

Do we need a drum roll? Or dramatic music? No? Ok.

Most Adorable:
            Tom: "You’re cute. Can I keep you?"

Most Shocking:
Jordan: “I’m amazed I wasn’t an abortion.”

Best Back and Forth Banter:
Jordan: “Couldn’t spring for a coffee?”
Tom: “Are you allowed to drink coffee?”
Jordan: “Am I allowed to make out with a twenty-eight-year-old?”
Tom: “Touché.”

Best Lie That’s Actually Kind of True:
Jordan: “Mom, there’s no easy was to say this. I started prostituting.” 

Best Inappropriate Comeback:
Tom: “What good could possibly come from it?”
Jordan: “I dunno, orgasms?”

Best Dialogue That Has Lasted Since the Short Story Version:
            Tom: “You’re fifteen.”
            Jordan: “It’s just a number.”
            Tom: “Yes, a big flashing red number. With sirens.”

Best Just Before the First Kiss Line:
            Tom: “Oh, for crying out loud, haven’t you ever kissed anyone before? Just hold still and close your eyes.”

Best Tom is Crazy When He's Cooking Line:
Tom: “You can’t rush risotto!”

Mom’s Best Line:
            Mom: “You know, I really do miss when you were a baby. You didn’t talk.”

Best “What the Hell is My Stupid Mom Doing Here?” Discussion:
Tom: “I feel terrible.”
Jordan: “Why?”
Tom: “Because every instinct is telling me to punch your mother in the face and snatch you away forever.”
Jordan: “I think if you just ask she would let you. Actually, she might sell me to you.”

Best “We’re Not Entirely Certain Who the Adult is in this Relationship” Line:
            Tom: “Are you kidding me? You’ve never had a cookie fresh out of the oven? Were you born forty years old?”

Best “It is what it is” Line:
Jordan: “No, having a sugar daddy has worked out great for my mom. And I don’t even have to fuck you.”
Tom: “Please don’t call me that.”

Best Words of Wisdom from Eric:
Eric: “Oh. You mean…? Oh! Is it that guy? From your date? Is he your boyfriend?”
Jordan: “Shh! No, he’s not…I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. You really want to know this stuff?”
Eric: “I dunno, that sort of thing might gross out someone like Brian, but it’s cool with me. I’d tell you if I had a date with a girl, right? We’re friends.”

Best Brian Still Doesn’t Know That Jordan is Gay Line:
            Brian: “Christ, Palmer, are you going out with a vampire? I hope she sucked your dick that hard.”

Best Dialogue That Shows Theme (Possibly Also the Saddest):
            Jordan: “But it’s who you are. You can’t fight who you are. I can’t, either. That’s why I can’t stay. You always knew that. You knew you couldn’t keep me.”

There you have it! I did too much, didn't I? I'll understand if you skipped a few. Or if you think I'm just nuts. If not (or if you're totally ok with that sort of thing), be sure to come back on Sunday for the 100th post! I should probably get back to work on that...

11 December 2013

Post 98: My Book Blurb

Ok, bear with me, people. I'm actually typing this post on my phone, which I've never done before. I had to be at work at 7, but now have nothing to do until 11. Don't ask. But I didn't feel like putting this off until tonight, so here we are. If I can get through it without a typo, it'll be a miracle.

I came to realize that "synopsis" was not the right word for what I wanted to share with you guys. I wasn't planning on writing pages and pages of summary, or on giving away any spoilers. What I really wanted to share was a blurb. I know I said I wanted to carefully craft this, but really I've just scribbled it out over the past hour or so. I'm a procrastinator, ok? So obviously it's not back-of-the-book ready or anything (it's too long, for one thing), but I think it's decent enough so that I can share it with you.

And this is mostly for everyone who's ever asked "what's your book about??" Like my boss this morning. And I avoided the question as usual. So without further ado, here is my not-so perfect blurb for Uneven Lines:

If there's one thing Jordan hates, it's being bored. Right now, two things are boring him to death--girls and geometry. Since he's not quite ready to ask out a guy, he has to find other ways to amuse himself. His plans to fail math class just for fun backfire when his mostly absent mother hires a math tutor. It's not all bad, though--Tom is really cute, and most importantly, not boring. Turns out he has a few secrets of his own, and eventually the two can't deny the fact that they're both attracted to each other. Since Tom is nearly twice Jordan's age, he's certain that they can't do anything about it. But Jordan is always up for a challenge. He develops a plan to keep their relationship in check--because it isn't really a relationship at all. It becomes more of an arrangement, where Tom gives Jordan whatever he wants in exchange for any physical acts, all the while keeping the boundaries in place so that certain lines will never be crossed. It's fun at first, but they find those boundaries need to be stretched until they break. Everything comes into question, and they no longer know what their relationship is or what they want from each other. Finding the answer may be impossible.

Woo, so there it is! It's like bearing my soul. Be sure to come back on Friday for The Dialogue Awards, which should be really fun. Then, of course, the 100th post on Sunday! I should probably work on those facts...

09 December 2013

Post 97: Something Unexpected...

All right, here we go!

With less than a week until my 100th post, I'm doing a lot of special posts this week. Today is #97. And it sort of came out of nowhere.

If you've been following me for a while, you know I've struggled to come up with a title for my book. Sex scenes? Half-drunk plot twists? Easy. But a title? Not so much. I'm sure I've said it a million times, but it seemed so hard to sum up my entire book in just a short little phrase.

Well, this is the list of folders on my flash drive at the moment:

Normally all of my book related things are filed under the first one: "A Folder Because Jojo Said So!" I made this a long time ago when all of my various files devoted to this story were taking up too much room and the muse demanded organization (Yes, sometimes I call him Jojo). "BL" is for Bleeding Life, an old book that I've shelved for now. Blood Lust was my NaNo book. The rest are pretty self-explanatory.

But what is that at the bottom?! I've never mentioned this before! Well, um, that's my new folder for the second draft. And yes, it has a title.

Ok, I'm not going for fireworks or any sort of big celebration here. It's kind of like being in a new relationship. It feels right, but you don't want to rush it. I've got to sit with this title for a while before I'm sure it's the right fit.

How did I come up with this title? It kind of just hit me out of nowhere. Well, half of it anyway. The other half has been pestering me for a while. The word "uneven" came to mind like a slap in the face. I was in the shower, actually. I do most of my thinking either there or right before I fall asleep. I liked the word, it felt at least somewhat right. The whole point of my characters' relationship is "being even," although it's easier said than done. I think the word "uneven" fits on this level, as well as a few symbolic ones.

The thought of having a one word title was strange. I told my boyfriend the idea and he wasn't all that impressed (not that he's much help on the title front, really he tries, but he's terrible at it). But what really killed it is the fact that whenever I come up with a title, I like to look it up and see if it's already a title to something else. I know there's no copyright on titles, and it would be hard to come up with something that's never been used for anything before. But I still like to check just to make sure I'm not naming my book the same as something that's already famous. When I checked Amazon, well, it wasn't a famous book, but it was the name of a gay BDSM novel. So yeah, kinda ruined it for me. If it had been a m/f book, then maybe I could have gotten past it. But I was already back to the drawing board in my mind.

After a while, the phrase "uneven lines" came to mind. I've always kinda wanted to put the word "lines" in the title. It fits with the geometry aspect, as well as the idea of crossing lines, morally, legally--whatever. Having "crossing lines" as a title seemed way too obvious. But these two words that I came up with completely separate--well, they seemed to fit together. And that's how I got Uneven Lines. I've been playing it over and over in my head. Occasionally I'll have the "I hate it!" moment, but for the most part, it's growing on me. I know, I know, I've said that before. But I think this time might be different.

What do you think? Like the new title? How do you come up with titles for your books? Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next post in my week-long drum roll to the 100th!

06 December 2013

Things I Should Be Doing

Since I couldn't quite decide what to write about today, I thought I'd provide a sort of counterpart to my Things I'm Doing Today post. Because that was a busy day, and today is not. So here are the things I should be doing.

Turning off the TV
If I can turn it off before the Law & Order: SVU marathon starts, then maybe I can save myself. Oh wait, was Glee new last night? It was, wasn’t it? Uggggh…must…resist…On Demand screen!!!!

Grocery shopping
            Seriously, I have no food.

Working on my 100 facts
Still at 55. I’m sure I can come up with more ideas. Right? I just don’t want them to be nonsense! Like this post!

I know I write better when I’m also reading something. But then reading takes away time that could be spent writing! I can’t win! I’ve got a pile of books waiting for me. I still have J.H. Trumble’s latest book, but I kind of don’t want to start reading it because I don’t want to be done reading her books. I love them so much! And I know the universe wants me to read David Sedaris but I’ve only gotten two stories into Naked and that was like, two months ago. Somebody tell my books to stop staring at me.

Planning this stupid trip
Still no hotel room. No bus tickets. No dinner reservation. I still want a picnic, though. Yes, in February. It could happen.
Writing my synopsis
Do I really think I’m going to be able to do this last minute? No, this needs to be crafted. Every sentence needs to be perfectly executed, giving just enough detail to tell people about the story and still leave them curious.

Doing more to promote my blog
            It’s not like this is something new or anything.

Actually venturing out into the world to do my Christmas shopping
But…but…that would require interacting with people. And finding a parking spot. And dodging psychos with shopping carts. It’s just so easy to point and click and wait for a package! I’m introverted, what do you want from me?!

And finally...

Things I’m Actually Doing That Aren’t Useless:

I did start my second draft last night. Totally revamping the first chapter. I wanted to start in a scene rather than having a whole page of exposition before anything happens. I really like how it’s coming out so far. And I’m handwriting it! How crazy is that?!

I'm also planning out my blog posts for next week. Sort of a buildup to the 100th post. I think I’ll post the synopsis sometime during the week, so that on Sunday I can just focus on the 100 facts and not have the post be too long. I’m also thinking of sharing some snippets of dialogue in a post called “The Dialogue Awards.” Hopefully they’ll make sense out of context. But I’ve got fun categories, like “Most Romantic,” “Best Inappropriate Comeback,” and “Best Brian Still Doesn’t Know that Jordan is Gay Line.” Should be fun!

Well, hopefully this post was good for a laugh. Come back next week when all the festivities begin! Still don’t know what to get Jordan for his birthday, though. It’s kinda hard to keep a secret from someone who lives in your brain…


04 December 2013

The Impending 100th Post of Doom...Sort Of...

It's that time again! The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group day. Check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog to learn more!

First Wed of Every Month

I think I'll start by telling you what I'm NOT insecure about:

I'm not insecure about failing NaNoWriMo miserably. At a certain point, it just didn't feel right to be working on it any more. I'd rushed in, hadn't developed the characters enough. The voice was slowly starting to shape itself but it still wasn't good enough. I felt like I was forcing myself to write it, and the words weren't as good as they could be.

I'm not insecure that November was my very first perfect blogging month. I posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with no exceptions. Sure, some posts weren't as thought out as others, but I still managed to pull it off.

I'm not insecure about diving headfirst into editing and crafting a second draft. Yet.

Ok, what's really weighing down my mind is this 100th post I have coming up on December 15. Yes, I know that's a Sunday. It's also my muse, Jordan's birthday (if you've never been here before and haven't seen me talk about it fifteen billion times). So the timing seemed kind of perfect for me to have my 100th post be on that day rather than on one of my usual blogging days.

What I'm concerned about is making this post live up to its potential. Making it be everything I want it to be and everything I've promised it would be. Getting enough people to see it. Having the people who do see it not think it's stupid. I know it's going to be a long post, so I'm worrying that some people won't get through the whole thing. And then sometimes I just feel like I'm going crazy.

I'm insecure about what to write. I've decided to share 100 fun facts about my book, whether it's about characters, my writing process, or what music I listen to in order to write. Pretty much anything. But where I'm fine telling you my characters names and how many f-bombs are in the first draft (Yes I counted. You'll have to check out the post to see!), I'm really weird about sharing other details.

It's not just because I don't want to completely spoil my book before I even finish writing it. I'm not giving a lot of plot details away. More like things you wouldn't find by reading the book. But there's a lot of things I'm sharing about myself. Finding 100 facts to write is difficult, so after all the obvious things come to mind, I have to dig deeper. And there's some things I'm uncomfortable sharing.

They're not all ridiculously personal things. Some things I'm just really awkward about sharing. Like the original title for the short story, or my dream casting for my characters. I don't know why I'm so weird about these things. And then there's my issues with identifying as a gay fiction writer, which comes up in a few of the facts I've written. It's like part of me wants to share all these things with the world, and part of me just wants to keep it all to myself.

I'm also just afraid that no one's going to care at all.

Ok, really, it's not all doom and gloom. This just seemed like a good day to vent. I really am looking forward to my 100th post, and coming up with these facts is a lot of fun. I'm also finally going to post the synopsis for my book on that day. So if you're interested in all my nonsense, come back on December 15 and check it out!

02 December 2013

Jordan Takes Over: Sweet, Sweet Freedom! And Some Other Sh**

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

You know what's great about December? Well, that I was born, but I'll get to that in a minute. What's great about December is that November is over!!! Start the fireworks! Cue the orchestra!

Wait, am I the only one who's happy about November being over? And by November, I really mean...NaNoWriMo. Ugh, it gives me chills just saying it. I suppose you're wondering how it went. But really, come on, do you seriously care?

Ugh. Fine. The final word count was 30,434. Not a whole lot done structure-wise, just the first two chapters, but a lot of random scenes that are later in the book. She never likes to write things in order. So, yeah, we failed. But it's kinda hard to work on something when your muse wants nothing to do with it. And for me, it was like being locked in a cage for a month. Well, guess what? Now I'm free! And I couldn't be more thrilled. Believe me, it takes a lot to thrill me.

So now that the horrible vampire shit show is pushed aside, we can get back to what really matters. Me, duh. We've got some serious editing to do. And I want it done fast. So chop chop. I'm thinking second draft by February, just in time for the *sigh* muse-iversary. Such a stupid word. But there is a whole big trip to plan. And besides getting the concert tickets, she hasn't even started. We've got a lot of work to do so I guess I'd better start kicking her or something.

Aaaaaaaand the best part! What I know you're all just dying for--the 100th post! December 15. It's coming up fast. Less than two weeks now. And it's on my birthday, of course. It's weird, turning 18 doesn't seem all that exciting for me. Well, because there's not much I'll be able to do that I'm not able to do at 17. I don't smoke and I certainly don't want a tattoo or anything. I could buy porn, I guess, but there's this great thing called the internet that hasn't exactly stopped me before. Plus, you know, technically I'll only be 2 years and 10 months old. But I don't want to confuse you.

Let me just tell you, the 100th post is going to be an extravaganza. A list of 100 fun facts, the synopsis, and possibly a title reveal. If the one she's thinking of right now actually sticks. I can't make any promises. Plus, it is my birthday, so I'll be expecting presents!

Hugs and kisses! I know, that was weird for me, too. I must be in a good mood.