Being Published

This is going to be a long post. I know it's been awhile, journal. I've been pretty busy. With what, you ask?

With this:

Yep. That is the print cover of my first published book. It is a novella, and it is, of course, the first publication in what will be known as myTelepathic Space Pirates series. You may remember it from my many posts and tags. It is currently up for pre-order on Amazon, here:

But this post isn't about telling you where the pre-order is. This post is about the journey it took me to get here. I know a lot of the old LJ gang isn't around anymore (on LJ or Dreamwidth), but I think a few still are. And I would be very remiss if I didn't post here and talk about how very instrumental your role has been in getting me here. When I joined LJ back in 2003, I was very active in fandom. I was writing fic and visiting forums and participating in chats with a lovely group of ladies who were also huge fans of the TV show, Alias. I started writing Sarkney fic before it was a thing (seriously - there was only one other writer at the time writing genuine Sark/Syd that didn't involve ugly rape-fic, and I wish she was still around to be reading this. Wherever you are, Rach, your stories gave me the confidence to write again.) This was during a period of my life when I had lost confidence in myself as a writer. I'd gone to a writing con, and a big time NY editor ripped my work to shreds in front of a room full of people. At the time, I thought I was okay. What was one woman's opinion? But I stared at a blinking cursor on my screen, and didn't write another word on that WIP. Ever. I didn't write another word of original fic for a very long time. Only discovering fandom and finding a safe place there allowed me to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and write again. I wrote, I posted, and people gave me instant feedback! They asked for more, they were positive and encouraging, and many of them became my friends. Without the confidence they gave me, I would not be here, looking at my book up for pre-order, looking at that gorgeous cover with my pen name on it.

For a long time, Livejournal was the center of my writing world. Not just for fic writing, but for my own original work. I posted progress meters, snippets, and talked about what I was doing when I finally started writing my own stuff again. The agent who originally asked to see the full manuscript of my first draft of the first Telepathic Space Pirates book, did so because someone she knew had pointed her to my Livejournal, and told her "I think you would like this." Even though I journaled anonymously, when I queried her for something else entirely, she recognized me, and asked to see the full draft of Nemesis when it was finished.

That was my first lesson in "you never know who is reading you online". A good lesson, thankfully.

That book, the book that was Nemesis, will be going up for pre-order in March, and will launch in June. I already have a gorgeous cover that is so stunning, I cried when I saw it for the first time. It wouldn't be happening if not for Livejournal, if not for those fandom friends who supported me, encouraged me, cheered me on, acted as beta readers, told me I had what it takes, and were generally the best damn group of friends a girl could have. Maybe someday, some hopeful writer will be writing fanfic of my worlds, and won't that be a kick? Words will never express what this community has done for me. Even though most of us have moved on, I will never forget it, and I do not regret spending the money for a "lifetime" Livejournal account. At times as I wait out this pre-order period, I am happy, excited, so anxious I want to throw up, and filled with self-doubt. And I remind myself, "This is no different than putting your fanfic out there for the world to read." And I take a deep breath, and know it is all going to be okay. Thank you, members of the Harem. You know who you are. I still think about you all. Some of you, I keep up with on Facebook, and some of you, I have lost touch with completely. But you are never, ever forgotten.

This is a copy of the acknowledgements I wrote to include in this first book. It doesn't say everything I wanted to, because I was limited by word count, which is why I wrote this post. I love you ladies. I hope you are all having excellent lives, and achieving your dreams.

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If I have recently added you as a friend, and you are wondering why, it's probably because I noticed we seem to share common interests, or I recognized your username from LJ and we had common interests there. I am trying to build a more active f-list (circle?), particularly in regards to fandom, because I really miss it.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.

Some kind of 7-7-7 thing going around...

Wherein you go to the 7th page of your current WIP, and copy/paste 7 lines starting from the 7th on the page.

This was actually a really good exercise, because it reminded me that since Mercy uses this ability in the prologue, it really needs to come up again later in the book. :)

(It might not format to 7 lines on LJ, but it was 7 lines in my Word doc.)

          So she didn't use her telepathy to look inside the Captain's head and see if she could find out more about him. It was enough to know that he had a daughter who worked with him, one Mercy's approximate age. A father would probably hesitate to airlock or enslave a girl if he caught her stowing away on his ship. Especially if his daughter was standing right there.

        Decision made, Mercy used her Talent in the most passive way possible, projecting what she thought of as her don't look at me protocol.
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Writing Update

So close to the midpoint!

Favorite bit:

“Did you know he once swore to kill a Queen, if we ever came across one again?” Treon asked.

Mercy didn’t say anything. She felt a sudden chill, and her hands tightened on the edge of the table in front of her. Odd, how real it felt, the metal digging into the palms of her hands.

“From a Killer," he continued, "such a vow is particularly binding. I can’t think of any one of them who, after committing to such a thing, would have taken the time to think it through and not kill you at the instant of your meeting. In fact, as you say, he rescued you. And when I suggested seducing you, as a way of coercing your connection to us as a people, for a moment I thought he might kill me.”

Mercy stared at Treon.

“You suggested what?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

But he ignored her, continuing on in an aggrieved tone, as though she hadn’t interrupted him.

“Do you know he hasn’t looked at me like that since I was six years old, and he was eight?” Treon looked away from her for the first time, his gaze distant. “He used to practice his Talent on me, until our mother realized what was happening, and told him one didn’t stalk family, or plan out how best to murder them.”

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.


 I read a pretty intriguing blog post today, from a pretty successful indie author, regarding the midlist. For those who don't know, the midlist used to be this kind of sweet spot, where authors could sell moderately well, enough to make a living without having to be in the top 1% (i.e., bestselling). It was where the mass market paperback lived, the place where someone browsing through a rack at the airport or wherever could pick up a book for $6.99 that sounded interesting. The rise of the ebook reader and massive changes across the publishing world due to people reading more on their phones/tablets/e-readers/et al sang the death knell of the midlist. People saw it coming for years, and eventually, it happened. 

Now, the mass market paperback is pretty much no more. The midlist is no more. They have something called "digital first" these days, where a first time author often will be published first in digital only format, and then if that sells well enough, an actual paper book will be printed. But that has not resurrected the midlist, or so say many of the industry blogs I read.

Today, I read a post by an indie (self published) author, regarding the numbers she and another pretty successful indie author have regarding money and the sale of their books. Basically, she theorizes that indie authors are the new midlist, and that even a non-bestselling, but just good, middle number selling indie author can make a living. Her friend, who was the focus of the article, grossed $500,000 over the past three years on her indie books, of which she has published 12 novels, 3 boxed sets, 2 novellas, and a short story.

It certainly isn't the norm among indie authors to make that much, but it is interesting that they can, without even being considered a "bestseller". 

I am certainly not saying I am going indie instead of the traditional NYC publishing route, but it is food for thought. In order to be that successful, one has to have several books one can market and publish, be able to successfully market them, etc, etc. It isn't without its downsides. 

Aaaand I'm sure this isn't very interesting for about 90% of then 10 or so people still around reading this journal, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to post about it and just kind of think about it. 

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.

Haven't done one of these in awhile

Writing update:

Almost to the halfway point. Well, realistically I think the halfway point will be happening slightly after 50k words, more like 55-60k. 

Most of my favorite bits are spoilery. But since it's been awhile, have a whole snippet, that mostly isn't:

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Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.

Back at it!

 So, after all of the excitement and training around getting the new job, and then having a houseguest for a week, I am finally back at it working on the novel. It continues to move forward, which is a good thing.

Officially a third of way finished. 

Favorite bit:

“Such a pleasure to have everyone together,” Vashti said aloud. “The family, and Nikolos, of course.” She gave Reaper a chastising shake of her head. “I keep telling you to visit me more, boy.”

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.


 Holy crap, this show is good. So, a little slow, but then Babylon 5 started out a little slow, too, and that show was fantastic. I have faith that JMS will bring the same level of character-driven-fantastic-ness to this as fact, he already is. 

Is it a surprise to ANYONE that Wolfgang is my favorite character? Yeah, didn't think so. 

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.


I have a job! I will be teaching English Lit to high school students online. It is pretty much EXACTLY what I want to do, working with a fantastic team of people, and it will give me the same schedule as my husband, and time to write. 

So, so happy! :)

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In which I talk a bit about politics

I don't talk about politics much. This is, at least in part, because I am both conservative and Christian. But here for awhile now, I have felt the need to append that statement thusly: I am fiscally conservative, and a Christian. By and large, the most vocal presence online tends to be very liberal, and many of them are people who I consider friends. And often, they will post links to GOP members saying horrible things. For a long time, I have always just thought to myself: "Well these people being quoted are clearly the extremists of conservative thought. They don't represent the entire conservative viewpoint."

The problem is, no one else who is also conservative and Christian seems to say anything (or if they do, they don't get quoted and linked to and passed around social media much). So I don't have anyone who sounds, well, sane to link to and say "This!". If I say anything that even remotely seems to support a conservative viewpoint, the discussion devolves. Someone inevitably has to post to my feed how I am a moron to believe in a higher power, because science! Uh...I don't see religion and science as mutually exclusive. To my way of thinking, God is happy if we educate ourselves. I don't want to digress here.

So here is the thing.

Being Christian should be about love, not hate. 

Being conservative should not mean clinging to old ways of social and party thinking until you are a bigoted asshole.

I look at the current candidates from the Republican party for the 2016 Presidential race, and I seriously want to cry. I wouldn't vote for a single one of them! When the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage came down, I was shocked and disappointed when every single conservative candidate either spoke out against it, or said something vague, trying to ride the fence. Many of them used religion as their excuse. (Hey, newsflash! Being Christian means being loving, not being a bigoted asshole! Also, the Bible does not say what you think it does about having a same-sex sexual preference, or marriage.) Yesterday and again this morning, I got into a conversation with a conservative friend I know in real life, who basically posted that this decision opens a door for pedophiles - yes, pedophiles! - to get their "rights" recognized. I was shocked. I tried very rationally to explain to this person that love has nothing to do with a child predator. He responded that it is the same since it is a "sexual preference" and that in some countries (not the US) it is considered normal and acceptable behavior, and that it might not be socially acceptable here yet, but this gay marriage decision opens the door for them to try. I responded and said, no, you are comparing apples to, like, something not even edible. Those with a same-sex preference are consenting adults, gay marriage gives them to right to marry who they love. Pedophilia is about predators who target and hurt children. 

I ended up having to walk away from the conversation. I felt nauseous, near tears of frustration, and shaky. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. My grandfather on my father's side of the family molested me from the time I was three years old, until my Mom caught him when I was seven or eight. It is an experience that left its mark on me for my entire life. I don't know how I am going to see this person again in real life and have a regular conversation with him. How can anyone seriously compare the right for people who love each other to marry, to pedophiles being legally allowed to molest children?

Fastforward to an hour later. I went for a walk this morning, and driving home from it, two radio hosts on a conservative talk show were quoting from an article, that basically calls the GOP out for refusing to change with the times, and that this is literally destroying the future of conservative politics. The conservative radio hosts did not disagree. They talked about how social issues have moved forward in the last few decades, but how the party has not moved with them. How no candidates spoke out in favor of the SCOTUS decision, or in favor of removing the confederate flag, or how none of them spoke up about the Charleston church shooting and how awful it was. They talked about all of these as missed opportunities to show how the party has changed, and to appeal to the younger generation of Republicans, who by and large are far more socially progessive, but remain fiscally conservative.

I just sat there in amazement, listening to this talk show say all of things I have been thinking! I guess at 41 years old, I am a "young Republican". Because I support gay marriage. I support trans* rights. I believe that, sadly, racism is still alive and well in this country. So is inequality for women. I believe in a woman's right to choose, but I don't believe it should be used as a form of birth control, nor do I believe in late-term abortions. I also believe in our right to bear arms and defend ourselves. I don't believe in wasteful government spending. I think taxes should be something like a flat 10% across the board, with no loopholes that only the super wealthy (of both parties) get to exploit. No using tax money for crap like CEO buyouts, while education, police, and fire departments struggle to get by. I believe the government should stick to spending tax dollars to benefit the whole country, and stay out of people's personal lives. Republicans like to use that last as a reason why the recent SCOTUS decision is so terrible. "But the government is telling us what we can and can't do!" NO. No, they just gave one group of people the same rights the rest of us enjoy. That is not the same thing as telling us what to do. They aren't telling you that you personally have to support the right of gay and lesbian people to marry, but they are saying that those people DO have the right to marry. 

Anyway, the idea that there are many young Republicans out there who are "socially progressive and fiscally conservative" fills me with hope for the future. Now, if we could just get rid of both the assholes who refuse to change their bigoted social beliefs, and the cowards who actually don't share those bigoted beliefs, but choose to parrot as if they do because they (misguidedly) believe the voting public will never support them otherwise...maybe the Republicans would have a political future, after all. Until then, I have no fucking idea how I will be voting in the next election.

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