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Wait! Don’t turn away…it’s a must read and will make you laugh out loud!

The fabulous and complete grinch of a man, Daniel O’Shea, wrote me a love letter. I can’t help but share it with you! I met Daniel on Twitter – and if you don’t follow him, you must. Not a tweet goes by from him that he doesn’t leave me smiling and shaking my head at the same time. Be careful though – he has a way with words. He’s promised me the moon and more… @doshea.

Writer porn – spankings, nudity, chocolate and the craft

I need a good spanking (he really does). Which is to say discipline. Lots and lots of discipline.

Is this a common problem for writers? I dunno. Take somebody like Joelle Charbonneau (who is awesome btw-one day we’ll meet up and swap stories) – she cranks out books the way I crank out bowel movements, except I’m making shit and she’s making best sellers that all the major publishers are tripping over themselves to snap up. So I’m guessing she doesn’t have my discipline problem.

She must have that famous self-discipline stuff I’ve heard so much about. Never works for me. Maybe I’m not limber enough, but I can’t spank myself hard enough – can never get the angle right (must be your age). I need other people to go to the whip for me. I’ve offered Steena the position, but she keeps turning me down (I’m not that kind of girl. Really, I’m not!).

So I’ve engaged in some strange habits to ensure a sufficient threat of flagellation, like writing in public.

Huh, you say? You’re what, sitting with your laptop in subway tunnels banging away, little box out in front of you for people to drop change into, handing out whips?  No (although now that you mention it . . .)

Flashback. My first novel took half my adult life, although that includes long stretches nothing.  Still, even after I got serious, it took a couple years of work. Because even after I got serious, I was prone to procrastination – to stretches of sloth (most writers are like that, don’t beat yourself up, just learn from it). Which isn’t just lost time – it’s lost inertia. That Newtonian crap about things staying at rest or staying in motion? That shit applies to writing, too. You let your draft sit for a spell, and you can’t just jump back in and go. Usually the battery’s dead, you got to jump-start the bastard, and then it runs like shit for a spell until you get it back up to speed.

I needed something to keep me moving.

When I started drafting my second novel, I posted chapters to my blog as I wrote them. The knowledge that any procrastination would now be a public sin, that there were witnesses standing by with whips encouraged to redden my bare cheeks should I falter, that spurred me to work faster. In fact, maybe a third of the way through that book, I boldly claimed I would post a chapter a day until it was finished. And I did, more or less.

I went from most of my adult life on novel #1 to a little under three months for #2. Now, re-writes, edits, that’s another story, but getting that first draft in the can, that’s the hard part.

I started novel #3 on my blog on August 8 just this past summer and finished in about five weeks – 37 days, 38 chapters. I had the clean-up done to the point where my agent was shopping the thing in November.

It’s been a few months since then, though, so you rightly ask what I’ve been doing since. Well, that second novel, after talking it through with my agent, Stacia Decker – and she knows her shit – I had some major rework to do on that one.  Also, I had to polish up my short fiction collection, OLD SCHOOL, which just came out from Snubnose Press, so I had some other things on my plate.  But I do hope to start my next public novel soon. (I’ll have a review of Old School next week – perhaps Daniel and I can write the review together…it would be a hoot).

Let’s see, the lovely, if ever so slightly kinky Ms. Holmes (shhhh…) asked that I include spankings, nudity and chocolate in my guest post.  Well, asked might be stretching it a tad (once you mentioned chocolate, I didn’t read the other part…). But when I indicated that those would be the themes, she didn’t exactly say “Don’t you dare!”  Her reaction was, well, gleeful (how could I say no? I’m glad I didn’t). I took that as assent, even encouragement. And besides, anybody who has been reading Mistress Steena’s offerings knows she ain’t got any problem with nudity. Or Spankings. Or chocolate. (SHHHH! My new stories don’t have…well, there is nudity and chocolate…but no spankings. You must have me mixed up with someone else. Anya something or other…lol).

Spankings I’ve covered in detail. I’ve got one reference to my bare cheeks, which is all the nudity anybody wants from my direction, trust me on that one. That leaves chocolate.

Here’s the thing with chocolate.

Chocolate originated here in the New World, down in Mesoamerica, starting with the pre-Olmec peoples, then amongst the Aztecs and Mayans.  It was not a kiddy treat ingested by the masses as a sweetened solid. It was the heated drink of priests and royalty, consumed during sacred rituals, often mixed with hot spices. You can Google around and find some recipes that approximate that heady beverage. If you try them, you’ll recognize your next Hershey’s bar for what it is – the denatured husk of chocolate’s royal heritage. Industrialized pabulum tailored to the denominator of the lowest common tongues and to the maximum profit of its purveyors.  (There, Steena, I worked in tongues, too.  A little bonus.) (Daniel, you are awesome. That’s not quite what I had in mind when you mentioned chocolate, but it’ll do.)

There is a lesson there. (really???)

When my writing feels like something in the wire rack of impulse items at the counter of my local 7-11, just another chocolate bar piled in with dozens of its barely distinguishable competitors, then I know I’m doing something wrong. But when it feels freshly squeezed from nature, when it feels spiced to the edge of tolerance, when some dark corner of my mind is channeling priests in loin clothes and feathered head dresses, flashing obsidian knives ripping the hearts from naked victims held bent over stone altars, cheering throngs pressed to the foot of the temple stairs now slick with blood as victim after victim is tumbled down, their life force held aloft in service to some barely understood god, those crowds driven in a lusted frenzy to all manner of orgiastic excesses until that entire public square is a seething mass of limbs and libidos, then I know I’m having a good day. (If that doesn’t make me want to read whatever story that just came out of then I have no idea what will! Hey – you were supposed to write me a fairy tale – remember? What happened to that??)

Hot chocolate. Yes. Yes indeed.

 

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