Savvy Saturday

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I’ve done something brilliant and actually added a WordPress app on my iPad! This means I’ll have time to write random blog posts when on the go, which is about the only time I have to think about blogging 🙂 So I’m giving it a shot!

My novella “Small Miracles” is done and at the beta… hope to submit that soon. I’ve been doing a lot of fandom-related projects, but those are starting to ease off so I can pay more attention to my fiction. I resolved to start NaNoWriMo but my inspiration dried up right at the beginning, so I might just let that go.

As for “Thinking Outside the Box”… well, it’s still stalled. I’m trying to come up with an easy-to-write book that won’t give me hell, but it seems like my ideas only stay around if they’re challenging. No, Ellen, why should you get to write the gay equivalent of a bodice-ripper? Wealthy heir meets dashing rebel? You’ve gotta be cerebral about it, don’tcha?

But I have my first actual royalty check, and if that’s not an amazing inspiration, I don’t know what is 😉

Onward!

Musing Monday

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Occasionally, I feel incredibly out of the loop.
I suppose that’s nothing unique. But it’s problematic, in this writing world, to try to find your way into a circle and then feel uncomfortable there. And that’s something that’s happened to me a bit more often than I like, and I’m unsure how to deal with it.

I have a Twitter account (@ellen_holiday, for you slackers who aren’t following me yet), and I am following a whole bunch of other M/M authors. And while it’s no surprise to anybody, there are an awful lot of links to porn sites, retweets by porn stars, talk about hanging out with strippers and general camaraderie with the adult entertainment industry there. I don’t have anything against that industry — in fact, I sort of wish I’d had more exposure to it earlier in life. But I don’t have any friends like that. And if you were to ask me if I wanted to watch some porn with you, or visit a sex club, or even watch some male strippers, I would probably blush and demur.

Which is funny, because I write porn. And not just Harlequin romance, either. I’ve written everything from D/s to watersports to bloodplay and back again, hate sex and casual sex and yes, even porn industry sex. I love writing it. I do it every day. My brain is a veritable wonderland of sexual deviance.

But I still don’t love seeing it. And I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any room in this industry for a writer who writes dirty, hot fantasies, but still considers sex and fantasy to be a private thing.

I’m not comfortable hearing the details of real people’s sex lives. It’s not something I like to share, and it’s not something I particularly want to know. Which isn’t to say I think it’s shameful, because duh, I don’t. But I have some lines of privacy and modesty that maybe don’t fit with others in this business.

Am I less credible as a writer because I don’t want to do a lot of porn-watching? Is it OK for me to write men going at it in all kinds of dirty ways, but still demur when a friend tries to tell me his kinky experience at college? Is this a sign of some deep issues I haven’t worked out?

(Well, clearly yes, and there’s more there that I won’t go into in this post. Because it’s private. Shocker.)

I’d like to think that there’s a place for me at this table without having to change where I draw my lines. Once upon a time it was all right to be a reclusive writer, but in this age of interaction it’s important to connect with your readers and your fellow writers. I hope I can make those connections and still be me. Because I’m really not interested in watching porn with you, or hearing about that threesome you had back in your twenties. But I’m totally interested in writing about it.

Wordy Wednesday – challenge me!

So I have finished the draft of Small Miracles, and things are moving along where Thinking Outside the Box is concerned. So I’ve been a pretty prolific writer for the past few weeks since I last updated this blog.
 That’s my writerly update, but I’m feeling like a challenge. Drop me a link to a photo — anything from a bland landscape to a super-hot, NSFW pic of two men en flagrante. I’ll let you know what story or characters comes to mind. Who knows, you might just trigger the idea for my next novel — and if you do, you’ll be in the dedication for sure!

Also, to my fellow writers — if one of the pictures sparks your imagination, feel free to drop in with your own ideas. It can be a challenge for all of us!

WIP Wednesday – Small Miracles

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Long time no blog!

It’s a busy month for me — lots of projects, in the day-job, writing and other realms — but I wanted to check in and share a bit from the novella I’m currently working on. It’s called “Small Miracles,” and while it isn’t the likeliest story in the world, it’s sure a romantic one.

Imagine you have nothing, not even a roof over your head. But you have your pride, and you’re no longer living by someone else’s rules. Are you free, or are you enslaved? Are the hardships you face bad enough that they’re worth throwing away your identity for the chance of a lifetime?

Now imagine you have everything, but you’re alone. You see the love of your life across a crowded room, and you’d do everything in your considerable power to get him. But how do you keep him, when the comforts you can offer him are, to him, too good to be true? And what happens when you finally find the one thing you can’t buy with money?

Here’s an excerpt from “Small Miracles.”

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An embarrassment of riches (five stars, giveaways, Dragon*Con and more!)

Let me start by giving another shout-out to Giselle – please send me your info, hon, so I can get you your free book! (Come Labor Day, if I have nothing, I’ll do a re-drawing of just those who gave their email addresses in the Blog Hop post. Would be a shame to let a free book go to waste!)

OH, what a wonderful week this has been! I’m so grateful to everyone who came to stop in and chat on the Blog Hop giveaway.  Thanks again to Rainbow Book Reviews for hosting the hop — it was a lot of fun!

And today’s big, big news — I’m thrilled to announce Inside the Beltway received 5 stars out of 5 at Reviews by Jessewave! Thank you Wave for the kind review and for particularly expressing some love for my characters. Davis and Kurt and Senator Randolph and Sen. Adams and Alex Hu and yes, even Helen, are all dear to me, and I’m so thrilled in particular that they were able to touch you.

Finally, an announcement! I will be appearing (and selling discounted copies of ItB) along with several other authors, at a special meet-and-greet at Dragon*Con in Atlanta this weekend!

Hope to see some of you there!

A Search for Identity (Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop – What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me)

Tonight I’m pleased to blog for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop!

I’ll also be giving away a digital copy of my novel Inside the Beltway. All you need to do is comment on this post to be entered, and I’ll pick the winner via random number generator. The novel will be added to your dreamspinnerpress.com shelf once I get your information.

So on to the topic at hand. The blog hop’s theme is “What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me,” which has been the topic of much self-examination (and interrogation by others) since I started writing. Why on earth do I? The answers, I think, are much closer to home than I realized.

Venture beneath the cut for more!

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Reading at Outwrite tomorrow at 8 p.m.!

For everyone who’s in the D.C. area, tomorrow, Aug. 3, I will be doing a reading at the Outwrite LGBT book fair in DC! I’ll also be at the center all day Saturday, so if you’re in Virginia or Maryland and have a chance to come by and meet lots of amazing authors.

I’ll also be doing a giveaway on Saturday at The Sweet Spot. Show up and you could win a free digital copy of Inside the Beltway. Lots of other books will also be given away — it’s a reader appreciation weekend.

It’s gonna be a busy one!