New Year, New…

If you’re anything like me, you don’t need the turning of a new year to make and break resolutions. But it’s nice to do it all together, isn’t it?

Yada, yada get fit.

Yada, yada watch less TV.

I’m continuing my “monthly goals” (which I hit only slightly more accurately than yearly ones!). I’m trying to up my writing word count and actually hit 120,000 in a year (or 10K a month). Not all those words are going to get published, and some of them are for other side projects not connected to my name, but writing is writing!

One serious goal is to submit The Miracle Man. Which means finally finishing revisions. Which I haven’t touched since….November? I’m a work in progress…

Currently I’ve been using my morning writing time to try to brainstorm the end of a different story (that is only 1/3 written) and takes place in the same world as Mark of the Familiar and Gift of the Familiar, but about a hundred and fifty years in the future (ie, our modern day, assuming similar timelines). I’m excited about this story and the characters (some of whom were not originally supposed to be as important as they are), but something’s hinky and I need to thinky.

So if anyone would like to wave their magic wand and resolve my issues, I’d much appreciate it.

Hard Truths on KU

Isaac didn’t expect to find love at his family’s Christmas dinner, but that was before he met his sister’s new fake boyfriend. Tall, muscular, and tattooed, Logan is what Isaac would love in a partner—and also everything his parents would hate in one. Not that they know Isaac’s gay.

That doesn’t stop him from dating Logan—unbeknownst to his parents, and with his sister’s approval after she fake dumps him. The pair dive into a whirlwind romance of motorcycle rides, cheesy puns, and hot sex. They meet each other’s friends and fill their time with happiness and laughter. It’s all perfect.

Until Isaac suggests they move in together, and Logan asks Isaac to come out to his parents. Isaac wants to, but he’s scared; he doesn’t want to lose his family. Unfortunately, he can’t see that his real family has been right beside him all along.

Christmas freebie!

I’ve written several blog posts since my last one, but they’ve all been in my head. Which doesn’t help you, but it keeps tricking me into thinking I update this more than I do!

The last few weeks have been busy: not only do I have the holidays (and holiday shopping) to contend with, but I also have been running a tabletop game and prepping all the feed for my riding instructor. She needed to have retina surgery, and I was up for the task. But it also means driving 20 minutes to the barn 3 days a week to mix feed (and supplements) for 15 horses, and sometimes (most times) taking care of all the evening chores (with help).

Whew. I don’t mind helping out, and it has really made me appreciate all the work she does, but I’ll be glad when she can return to work!

For the holidays, I released Two of a Kind, which is a short asexual romance about two boyfriends who are home for Christmas and haven’t come out to each other yet. It’s sweet and dorky and will hopefully bring you a little smile. Plus it’s short, so it’s easy to read among the hectic holiday season!

It’s “pay what you want” on Smashwords, which means you can get it for free or you can give me a little present.

Happy holidays!

Quietly writing…

Back in the beginning half of the year, I was working on a project I was super excited about. I was so excited, in fact, that I broke one of my cardinal rules: don’t talk too much about a project.

One of the reasons I have this rule is because it gives my audience expectations of something coming, and I don’t want to let anyone down. A few teases? People will likely forget. A tweet every day for a month? They’ll remember that (hopefully).

The other reason is the same reason I previously never outlined/plotted stories, and even now have to be very careful: if I know too much about the story, my brain decides the story has been told/heard/figured out and doesn’t need to be written. (I do not agree with my brain on this, but ultimate the brain wins.)

So a month of following a hashtag and answering questions about my story and plotting it out…

And I found a little plot hole in my planned outline, and I tried to think of a solution. And I thought and thought and eventually wore that story out in my brain. It’s not dead, I don’t think, but it’s also not in an exciting part of my brain where I have to write it down.

So I set it aside (and barely wrote for several months….), and when I started my new piece, I’ve said not a thing. I know it’s silly and superstitious, but that seems safer than risking it, right?

The new piece was mostly started on a lark, a “what would happen if I took this setting that takes place in a Victorian-esque world and put it in the modern day?” And I started writing, just throwing whatever I wanted at it. No plotting, just adding pieces as they came. Some plots have begun to appear, but I’m not thinking too far in advance.

It was supposed to be a straightforward “MC meets LI” story, but then the LI has this friend and the MC has a weird connection with the friend as well, so now I have no idea where these folk are taking me. This is a truly magical world 😀

So we’ll see where it goes, we’ll hope that I’ll be more diligent on working on my revisions, and if everyone could send me some positive vibes to get through this dark, cold season with my depression, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Review: Given (anime)


Somehow, the guitar that he used to love to play and the basketball games that he found so fun just lost their appeal… That was until Ritsuka Uenoyama randomly met Mafuyu Sato. Ritsuka had started losing his passion for music in his everyday life, but then he hears Mafuyu sing for the first time. The song resonates with his heart and the distance between them starts to change.



I had no idea what to expect going into this show, except for the fact that it would be gay and about a band, but it was so much more than that.

First off, if you’re looking for classic yaoi with its tropes, over-the-top dramatics, and awkward power dynamics, this will not hit the mark for you. While this show is undeniably gay (there are several m/m kisses and relationships), and it is following the relationship of several men, the relationship itself isn’t the driving impetus for the story.

In fact, while the band plays an integral part to the story and the characters, it’s not the driving impetus either. Both Ritsuka and Mafuyu’s relationship and the band are more like vehicles to explore Mafuyu’s…journey. And that journey has a lot of twists, and a heavy dose of reality. It’s fantastic.

Reasons to watch:
1. Realistic portrayal of queer men.
2. Positive portrayal of being queer, with supportive friends.
3. Realistic depiction of mental health issues and topics like depression, suicide, and abuse.
4. Complicated relationships in both the main pairing and several side characters, whether those relationships are romantic or friendship.
5. It’s dark and at times very heavy, but ultimately uplifting. You go on an emotional journey with the characters.
6. Unlike most band anime, you are not forced to listen to the full length of the “main” song repeatedly in every episode as the band comes together.
7. The art is pretty while staying realistic with a dash of humor thrown in.

Downsides:
1. Currently sub-only (although I have my fingers crossed!)
2. It’s a slower-paced show, especially in the beginning.
3. Trigger warnings for (highlight to view):

suicide, overdose, family abuse.

As I told my friend, this felt like a combination of Kids on the Slope with Sweet Blue Flowers (and a dash of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad thrown in).

A+ Would recommend to anyone with taste.

Review: Magical Girl Raising Project (anime)

When I first saw this title advertised, all I could think was how obviously perfect it was for my friend who loves all things magical girl. But a cast of all girls is generally not for me. However, their reviews had me interested, so it got slotted for our regular get-togethers.

And I’m so glad I did. This anime is a fantastic mix of cuteness and darkness, with a look at what happens to these characters as they are put under extreme duress. It’s a large cast, but the show does a fantastic job of building an in-depth character within one episode to help the viewer better understand the character’s motivations and backstory.

The show does rely on some tropes, but never lets that restrain the story, and does an excellent job of dealing with some very dark and heavy subject matter. While not for everyone (there is a fair amount of character death), for anyone who loves magical girls and wants a new (and dark) take on them, this is definitely worth a watch. It’s a fairly short show, but they utilize every minute and keep raising the stakes to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat.

SPOILER WARNING

Spoiler: there are two cannon lesbians who both die, but most of the cast dies, so I cannot hold that against it – plus the relationship was very well handled and portrayed.