Magical Moments

That is seriously the corniest title for a blog post ever, but I’m sticking with it. I spent the past weekend at the Create Something Magical Conference in Iselin, NJ, organised by Liberty States Fiction Writers.

Despite having depleted a good deal of my conference mojo at the Dreamspinner Author Workshop in Florida earlier this month, I had a really great time. More importantly, I met a lot of fantastic people, learned some new tricks, added a new story idea to my Big Book of Ideas (thanks, Felice Stevens) and came away freshly inspired to create (something magical). Continue reading

Marc’s Worst Date

Counting Down releases in just over two weeks, so I figured it might be time to post a few excerpts! And, you know, let you all know I have a book coming out soon. 😀

It’s up for pre-order everywhere:
Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooksDreamspinner Press

Read the first chapter at Dreamspinner Press.

In this excerpt, Marc and Henry are swapping worst date stories. Marc’s worst date may or may not be based on an actual date I might or might not have been on… Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

This year I stopped rating books on Goodreads for a couple reasons. One, it felt hypocritical, even though, intellectually, I know it’s not. What writer isn’t also a reader? And why shouldn’t I express my opinion of what I’ve read? Even if I haven’t enjoyed a book, I still internalize a lot of elements such as character, plot structure and pace, either as “things not to do” or “things to explore.” Every book is useful in some way.

More, though, I found that reading with a score sheet hanging in the forefront of my mind placed too much pressure on every book to perform. I was more easily disappointed and less often delighted. I was reading too analytically.

The sense of freedom that comes with deciding not to quantify a book, or qualify the experience of reading it lightened my perspective. The other upside, of course, is that if I’m reading a book inside my genre, I no longer have to wrestle with the “should I or shouldn’t I?” question. Finally, without a score, any comments I leave can be left open to interpretation. Continue reading

Celebrating Two Years of Chaos Station

2-years

Chaos Station released two years ago today! Because I miss these guys, I decided to recreate them in The Sims 4 and play out the lives they couldn’t have in the 24th century. No war, no space-faring or military careers, nothing to get in the way of their happiness.  I wasn’t at all surprised by how much fun I had replaying Felix and Zed’s love story. What amazed me was how much like the guys my Sims turned out to be. Sure, I designed them and gave them all the right personality traits. But when left to their own devices, they did things that Felix and Zed probably would have done. It was awesome to watch. Continue reading

Following Your Heart

following-your-heartIf I had to pick the underlying theme of my many blog posts about writing, it would be me asking: what am I doing this for? The question isn’t unique to my profession, or even to creatives. From time to time, we all take a look at what we’re doing and ask why. Or we should. And it’s not something you can ask once and be done. The answer changes with time.

I set goals at the beginning of this year and felt pretty good about not only the direction I wanted to take my career, but in the number of books I wanted to write. It was a good number. Very doable. Then I got to work and started writing the wrong book. Henry and Marc’s HEA was number three on my list of projects. I went with it, though, and by the time I hit the 6k mark, I’d entered that wonderful phase where the story started to tell itself. I was golden; writing 1500-2000 words every morning, revising a two or three chapters of Irresistible, the novel I drafted last year, every afternoon.

Then I finished drafting this second book and suddenly had two books to revise. Revisions on Irresistible had ground to a halt as Counting on You hit the phase where all I wanted to do was write another chapter so I could see what happened next. This is a good thing, usually. It’s one of my favourite parts of drafting. I rushed past the finish line, took a few days to recharge, and started revising Counting on You.

So I was attacking my To Do list out of order. What did it matter, so long as I got all the books written by the end of the year? Continue reading

5 Video Games I’d Love to Play Again (For the First Time)

I “borrowed” the idea for this post from a recent feature on Unbound Worlds listing five books to read again, for the first time. I am, of course, working on my own list for that one, but while considering books, I started thinking about the games that rocked my world, the ones I wish I could go back and play again for the first time.

I’ve played a lot of games and this list could get unwieldy if I started at the very beginning. When thinking about early adventures like Zork (played on a Compaq with a little green screen and fold out keyboard) or Asteroids (or anything on the Atari), I acknowledged the greatness and moved forward. I don’t really want to play any of those games again. Instead, the earliest game I’d really like to rediscover is: Continue reading

Dishonored and Dishonored Again

I haven’t posted about gaming in forever! I have been playing some great games, though, so it’s time to catch you all up. First, Dishonored and Dishonored 2, two neatly packaged, shorter games that allowed me to complete an adventure in less than six months.

dishonored-2-fb-share-8ef325c803 Continue reading