Romancing the Capital – Where I’ll Be!

RTC-Buttons2-768x644Friday, August 4th, 2017 (today!)

  • 10:00 am – Heroes that Growl…and Bite! – Kanata A Room – Milly Taiden, Eliza Gayle, Heather Long, and myself chat about the heroes who have teeth, or fur, or both.
  • 11:00 am – Exploring LGBTQ Romance – Kanata C Room – Elizabeth Lister, Angela S. Stone, Kristine Cayne, Sheri Lyn and I will chat about rainbow romance.
  • 1:00 pm – Blurbs Against Humanity – Algonquin Room – Bring some laughter, a cheeky sense of humour, and a willingness to win a prize or two, and come play with romance book blurbs from participating authors of RtC, and get one author’s chocolate into another author’s peanut butter. Elizabeth Lister is helping me MC my little game.

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

  • 2:00 pm – The Bookfair! This is open to the public. You can meet all the authors, even if you didn’t register for the event, and walk on in to get your books signed. I’ll be at the table with the big rainbow flag.

Romancing the Capital – August 3rd-5th – Where I’ll Be!


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Hey everyone! I’m off today to Romancing the Capital. If you’re also coming to the awesome romance conference here in Ottawa, here’s where I’ll be over the next three days:


Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 (today!)

  • 4:00 pm – Indie, Publisher, and Hybrid – What’s the Best Choice? – Kanata B Room – A discussion with Milly Taiden, Deb Cooke, Elle Rush and myself, about the options of publishing and the different paths to get
    your book out there.
  • 7:00 pm – Discover a New Author – Kanata A Room – I’m taking part in a multi-author reading, where I’ll be reading from In Memoriam.

Friday, August 4th, 2017

  • 10:00 am – Heroes that Growl…and Bite! – Kanata A Room – Milly Taiden, Eliza Gayle, Heather Long, and myself chat about the heroes who have teeth, or fur, or both.
  • 11:00 am – Exploring LGBTQ Romance – Kanata C Room – Elizabeth Lister, Angela S. Stone, Kristine Cayne, Sheri Lyn and I will chat about rainbow romance.
  • 1:00 pm – Blurbs Against Humanity – Algonquin Room – Bring some laughter, a cheeky sense of humour, and a willingness to win a prize or two, and come play with romance book blurbs from participating authors of RtC, and get one author’s chocolate into another author’s peanut butter. Elizabeth Lister is helping me MC my little game.

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

 

  • 2:00 pm – The Bookfair! This is open to the public. You can meet all the authors, even if you didn’t register for the event, and walk on in to get your books signed. I’ll be at the table with the big rainbow flag.

Matches 4 – I Saw the Sign

Dead End

Not creepy at all.

Today’s series of writing prompts all come from various signs I’ve seen. Sometimes it’s a combination that made me shiver (see photo, right), other times it’s a chuckle. Either way, inspiration can be right there at the side of the street.

If this is your first visit to my prompts (or ‘matches’) it’s in honour of a book called The Writer’s Book of Matches. It has 1,001 little prompts that are designed to give you something to work with. I often flip through it when I’m in the mood to just write without a specific focus. The book has three kinds of prompts: A single line of dialog; a scenario or situation; and assignment prompts where the book lists a series of three characters all reacting to a particular moment/event, and since I first got it, I’ve been noting my own prompts to myself the same way.

If you ever find success or just fiddle around with any of these ‘matches,’ please do let me know!


  • A couple pass by a pair of signs that say “Dead End,” and “Watch for Children.” Looking back, they realize that was their first mistake.
  • “It says ‘No Tresspassing,’ but I guess we’re ignoring that, eh?”
  • After parents advocate changing the bylaws “for the safety of children,” a dog owner is frustrated when every park she used to take her dog to now has signs demanding all dogs must remain on their leashes. She concocts a plan to replace the signs with ones suggesting all children should be on leashes to protect dogs from the children. She doesn’t expect her prank to go viral, or to unleash a storm of counter-protests and divide the neighbourhood.
  • Backstage without a pass, a fan at a concert dodges security by slipping through a door marked “Employees Only” and comes face-to-face with the lead singer he idolizes…having a tryst with someone they shouldn’t.
  • Two days after the funerals of his mother and sister, who died at the wheel of a drunk driver, a construction worker holding the “Slow”/”Stop” sign on a blind corner realizes that the car approaching is driven by the judge who let the “local golden boy” off with a warning so as not to ruin “his bright future.”  Write about the following three characters: The construction worker, who has a brief moment to decide whether or not to flip his sign the wrong way and potentially get revenge; The judge, who’s married to someone with a serious drinking problem and knows he has no ability to distance himself from the topic; the innocent driver of the truck coming in the other direction, who has no idea of his role in what amounts to murder at the hands of a construction sign.

See you next week, and by all means, drop any prompts of your own in the comments!

Writing Wednesday – Romancing the Capital!

Thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m very on track for my writing these days. This is good, because I’m about to enter three days of romantic hilarity at Romancing the Capital.

If you don’t know it, RtC is a romance conference here in Ottawa, where yours truly and almost fifty other authors will be chatting, gaming, entertaining, teaching, and reading for the next three days. It’s a blast, and even if you can’t make it to the conference (it’s sold out), there is an opportunity to come to the open-to-the-public-bookfair that happens on Saturday.

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Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks

Still truckin’ along on the novel, and as I mentioned above, thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo I got a huge amount of words down this month.


Of Echoes Born

Ditto; which is to say, things are good word-count wise and I feel like I’m going to be just fine to recover from my month of renovation noise induced word count slippage.


Open Calls for Submission

Every Wednesday I try to include my list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better.

August to date: nada, yet.

Previously this year thus far: January was: 6 submissions (4 reprints, 2 new), 1 acceptance; in February was bare minimum: 1 submission (1 new); March brought 1 rejection, and 1 submission (new); April say 1 submission (new) and 1 acceptance; May: 1 submission (new), 1 acceptance. June: BUZZ! (Let’s not talk about that). July: 1 submission (1 new).

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
  • Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
  • Totally Entwined – Many calls, various dates and lengths.
  • Erotic Short Romances — Carina Press, an ongoing call for 10k to 17k word count limit.
  • Haunted — Erotic stories centered around the theme of haunted, Mugwump Publishing; Deadline August 5th, 2017; 1k-5k word count limit.
  • Flint Charity Anthologies – Organized by Vicktor Alexander; deadlines throughout September, 2017; 5k to 20k word count limit.
  • Saints & Sinners Short Fiction Contest — Judged by Radclyffe; deadline October 3rd, 2017; 3k to 7k word count limit.
  • Futurescape Contest – “Blue Sky Cities” theme; 8k word count limit; deadline October 13th, 2017.

Sacred Band – Joseph D. Carriker, Jr. (Lethe Press)

I’m over at Out in Print today, talking about a really enjoyable queer superhero story.

Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews

Buy from Lethe Press

It’s possible anyone who’s met me for more than, say, a few hours will hear me wax poetic about the X-Men of my youth. When I was a kid, they were a much needed allegory to my own existence. Think about it: the mutants were people born different, but to normal families, and hated and feared for their difference by the world around them.

This isn’t hard to translate for a queer kid, especially one who knows things weren’t going to go well if anyone found out.

The difference, of course, is that the X-Men also had fantastic powers, which they used to try and prove to the world they weren’t a threat, and smacked down villainy wherever they found it—especially among their own kind.

So, years later, when here and there the various comic books did finally deliver a few queer characters, I was so…

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Matches 3 – Turning a Phrase

I often talk about how I “dream in short story.” It’s a quirk of my brain that many nights, when I dream, I’m not involved at all. I watch from above as a story plays out (often with a pretty cohesive narrative, which is nice). I do dream where I’m included sometimes, but far more often it’s like I’m watching a movie instead. Today’s writing prompt matches come from two dreams where in the midst of dreaming, a character paused and made a clever turn of phrase that my waking brain remembered hours later.

CoverIf this is your first visit to my prompts (or ‘matches’) it’s in honour of a book called The Writer’s Book of Matches. It has 1,001 little prompts that are designed to give you something to work with. I often flip through it when I’m in the mood to just write without a specific focus. The book has three kinds of prompts: A single line of dialog; a scenario or situation; and assignment prompts where the book lists a series of three characters all reacting to a particular moment/event, and since I first got it, I’ve been noting my own prompts to myself the same way.

If you ever find success or just fiddle around with any of these ‘matches,’ please do let me know!


  • “Stealing kisses” becomes literal when a young boy realizes he has the ability to remove all memory of a kiss—and any love that came thereafter—from adults with a single touch.
  • “I know the devil’s in the details, but I never thought it would be literal.”
  • A man faced with a difficult decision over two potentially lucrative career decisions sleeps on it. When he wakes up, he discovers he can live “the best of both worlds” when he starts to slide effortlessly between a reality where he made the first choice, and another where he made the second.
  • Two strangers living in different cities who have never met start to “see eye to eye,” catching glimpses from the point of view of the other randomly throughout their day, with increasing frequency.
  • When a teen discovers an ability to skip forward in time by a month and meet with their future self for an hour, they concoct a plan to reinvent “paying it forward.” The future version hands over cash and information to the past version, which goes back and invests or saves it, accordingly. Soon, the teen is on the edge of being very, very wealthy. Write about the following three characters: The time-skipping teen in the future, who is wondering if they just vanish once their counterpart from the past goes back, or if the world will change around them; a fraud investigator, who has noticed odd duplications of certain serial numbers in a particular bank, but can’t otherwise seem to prove either bill a fake; a journalist following the story of the teen’s sudden fortune, who sees the teen meeting with themself.

See you next week, and by all means, drop any prompts of your own in the comments!