Monday, June 23, 2014

I will not make a 'peek behind the curtain' reference I will not make a 'peek behind the curtain' reference I will not make a peek behind the...

Hello! Today is the rare chance for you to pe-


Rare chance for you to get a glimpse into my writing process while also meeting another writers whose work I think you will really really like and I'm not just saying that because she writes (among other things) humorous erotica.  But that's a big part of it.

"That's what she said!"  Hey Lori, does that qualify as humorous erotica?  What? Not even close? *sigh*.

Anyway, this is a blog hop I was introduced to by Lori Schaefer.  Lori Schafer is a writer of serious prose and humorous erotica and romance. More than thirty of her short stories, flash fiction, and essays have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, and her first novel, a work of women's fiction entitled My Life with Michael: A Story of Sex and Beer for the Middle-Aged, will be released in 2015. Also forthcoming in 2015 is her second novel Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-Challenged. On the more serious side, her memoir, On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness, will be published in October 2014. When she isn't writing (which isn't often), Lori enjoys playing hockey, attending beer festivals, and spending long afternoons reading at the beach. You can find her at:

So this blog hop includes me answering questions that in no way call for a mention of pizza and yet I will almost certainly mention pizza in answering one or more of them. 

i. What am I working on?

What am I not working on?  I have been focusing on writing short stories lately.  Not long ago I began a project in which I write a short story every day, and each day the story has one less word than the day before.  In between that, I have been editing my sci-fi novel Find Out Who You Are, set in a world where human beings can be cloned and their personalities programmed like computers, and I finished editing the (sure to be a smash-hit) book This Stupid Pineapple Is..., which is a sequel to my (wildly popular) Santa, Godzilla & Jesus Walk Into A Bar... 

In between those things I have been editing and contributing to the Indie Writers Monthly magazine, and helping put together the first-ever IWM anthology, which will feature great time-travel stories by a bunch of writers.

ii. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmmm. Pizza? No, doesn't work here.

In the past year, especially, I think I've gotten more abstract and speculative than ever. That seems odd to say about a writing career that began with a story about an astronaut drifting through space and/or being trapped in an asylum and moved through an adventure featuring the dead spirit of William Howard Taft, but with stories like Sea (about a boy who spends his entire life on a small raft) or Origami, about a man who folds a paper bird into life, among others, I've started experimenting more and more with not only the subject of stories, but how stories look on paper and how the story itself unfolds.

iii. Why do I write what I do?

I write what interests me. No, wait, pizza.  Darn.  

I write the kind of stories I think should exist.  That's not to knock other stories -- there's lots of great writers out there whose stories I love, and in many cases I couldn't write the way they do anyway -- but I tell the stories I want to be stories.

iv. How does your writing process work?

I change it up from time to time, but right now, I get up every day about 6 a.m. and after checking emails and replying to any that need replying, I write the story of the day.  Then I work a bit on editing any stories or work  on a longer story, depending on what I feel like doing.  My short stories I send to other publishers as well as publish on my own blogs, so I try to send out one of those a day.

Lately, my second-youngest son, Mr F, has been having trouble getting to sleep at night, and he wants someone to sit in his room with him until he falls asleep.  I've volunteered to do that, so I get a second crack at writing something each night, usually for about 20-30 minutes until he falls asleep and I sneak out of the room.

When I write, I usually listen to music.  I will cue up certain music based on the mood I want to create in my writing.  If' I'm writing something funny or weird, I use bands like They Might Be Giants.  For more abstract stuff, I'll put on songs like Nitrogen Pink.  When I work on action things, I like to listen to groups like fun.

I rarely have a complete story worked out in advance; usually I have no more than a title or an idea that hasn't been fully fleshed out.  Andrew Leon (a great writer whose stuff I love) sent me a prompt about the threat of bacon and I turned that into a story.  The other day the phrase Staircase Elevator Rope popped into my mind and that's the story I've been working on at night.  It's probably the most experimental story I've ever written.

I've also been editing a lot more.  No story gets sent out to anyone or published on my own blog without a couple of read-throughs, and I make most of them wait a lot longer than I used to.  So some of the things I mention in here might not be seen for months, if not longer. 

What, no question five? What about the pizza?

The next step, per Lori, is to give a bio of and links to three other authors. I don't think that means these people have to do this but if they do, great.

For the first one, I'm going to cheat and name Indie Writers Monthly, which means I'm naming four other authors in one swoop.  They are P.T. Dilloway (blogs here), Rusty Carl (blogs here), Sandra Ulbrich Almazan (blogs here), and Andrew Leon (blogs here.)  Together with me, they form IWM, which is a blog (here) and a magazine (here) and each of them is phenomenal in their own right.  You should definitely bookmark each of their blogs.  

Next is Nigel Mitchell.  While I've had a lot of Nigel's books on my to-read list for a while, I recently won a copy of his book Operation: Masquerade and having finished 90% of it I can say it is one of the greatest sci-fi adventures I've ever read.  The story (about a special agent who has to infiltrate a starship full of enemy bugs while his wife tries desperately to get off Earth and reach him with important news) is incredible, and Nigel's writing is top notch.  Nigel blogs here.  You can buy Operation Masquerade here

Finally, I'll mention Tina Downey.  Tina has written a short story which I published on my website, and this summer she's been recapping her college years in an amusing and entertaining series.  Find her blog here, and find her story "Sippy Cups, Earbuds, and Something That Surely Isn't Wine" here

In closing:


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