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  • Felt Tips Now In Print

    Felt Tips Cover

    That’s right folks, the Felt Tips Office-Supply Erotica anthology, featuring my short story What Is It, Suzie? along with stories by over 40 other amazing authors, is now available in print!

    Edited by the inimitable Tiffany Reisz, other of the Original Sinners novels, all proceeds from the sale of Felt Tips goes to charity, providing kids with much needed school supplies. So go ahead, let this unique and exciting volume grace your shelves (or nightstands) and remember: it’s for the children.



  • Happy Third T-Day!

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole three years already since I started on T. At the same time it’s hard to believe it’s only been three years. I’m starting to feel like I’ve always been this person, that I’ve always been Eric and that my previous life was some kind of bizarre dream.

    More than that, it’s hard to imagine that I was ever not a writer. I began to take my writing seriously back in November 2010, and I’ve been pulled deeper and deeper ever since. I’m still slogging through Fallen Things with my critique group and am sending chapters out to beta readers at the same time, and this process has improved my writing incredibly.

    One thing that made a huge difference was writing the first draft of the second book in the series, Hidden Things. I got to know my characters so much better; when I went back to editing Fallen Things, I had a much clearer idea of what I was doing with them. My view of the story is so clear, in fact, that I have to completely rewrite just about everything from this point on because I can now see how far off my first (and second) draft was. This is amazing. This is incredible. This is what gets me up in the morning (and often keeps me up at night). This, even more than a name and an affirmation of gender, is Who I Am.

    That said, it’s great to take the chance to look back over the past year and all the things I’ve accomplished. For the first time since I went to college, I have a job that’s lasted more than three months. Even more, it’s a full time job that still gives me plenty of time to write, which is an amazing thing. I started as a desk clerk at a small motel almost a year ago, and I have no plans of leaving any time soon. After a few years without stable employment, having a steady income and a schedule I can count on is a luxury I don’t want to lose. The fact that I genuinely enjoy the work itself helps a great deal, of course.

    And now–because if I don’t stop I’ll blather on forever about my writing–it’s time for progress photos:

    Feb26-2010

     

    I’m not even sure what to say about this one anymore. It’s like looking at a stranger; it’s hard to imagine being this person now.

    Feb26-2011_2

     

    A wee bit of scruff on the chin, desperately in need of a haircut, and still way too much in love with the filters in Vignette when taking pictures with my phone. It’s still incredible how much of a difference a year makes.

    Feb26-2012

     

    Still in desperate need of a haircut, but at least I’ve ditched the earrings now… I almost wonder why I held on to them as long as I did. The beard’s gone from ‘scruffy’ to ‘respectable’ and is still one of the things I’m most pleased with.

    Feb26-2013

     

    And here I am today. I finally got a haircut! And new glasses! (One of two pairs I bought recently; the others are simple, squarish, black frames.) And I finally stopped taking my picture in the bathroom! (Yes, that is a Dalek on my living room wall.) Bow ties are still cool, and my beard has gained a photographically-visible presence!

    And that, as they say, is that. Until next year.



  • Writers, Writing, and Fetishizing the Process

    I am still–and continually–reading Page Fright, which means I have become more obsessed with the process of writing than usual. It also makes me think of how both writers and non-writers fetishize the process, giving birth to the idea that ‘real writers’ write longhand, or only use typewriters; that ‘real writers’ must have certain conditions met–perfect silence, a particular type of paper, a certain brand of pen or colour of ink. It can lead many budding or potential writers to believe that unless they also adhere to these ideas, they cannot possibly write and will never be ‘real’ writers.

    Yet this fetishizing of the process comes with a grain of truth.

    I’m leery of the idea that a ‘real’ writer must do anything but write, but I also recognize that I have my own process that I find difficult to deviate from. When I write by hand, I could use a ballpoint pen if that’s all that’s available, but I vastly prefer my Sharpie pens because I like felt tip pens and Sharpie has everything I want in a felt tip. I can write in a typical word processor–OpenOffice, say–but I’m only truly comfortable with a Scrivener project where everything is set just so.

    I have my preferred formatting (Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5x line spacing when drafting; Andalus, 12pt, 1.5x line spacing, printed with a 2″ right margin for editing and rewriting) and my preferred setting (on the bus or train; in a coffee or tea shop, or in a diner; at the front desk at the motel where I work; and always within speaking, texting, or tweeting distance of fellow writers). My Moleskine notebook–where all manner of notes both writerly and practical are written–must be black, and so must the Sharpie pen I write in it with. I edit in green Sharpie pen, and my critique partners get their critiques written in purple and orange Sharpie pen, respectively.

    I have these rituals which surround my writing, but they have all developed as the result of squeezing the most writing time possible out of a very busy schedule. I write longhand at work because it is more practical and edit longhand because it gives me a fresh look at my work; I write and rewrite in Scrivener because the labels and folders help me keep track of where I am in my writing or revisions. I save and compile redundant copies all over the place because I don’t ever want to lose the work I’ve done. Everything I’ve incorporated into my writing process is there for a purpose.

    And that is the most important consideration for any part of the writing process. Writers write; how we accomplish that must be there to help us continue writing, not tie us to conditions we won’t always have the luxury of meeting. So whether you write longhand or exclusively with a computer, and whether you use fountain, felt tip, or ballpoint pens, find a process that works for you and keep on writing.

     

    Do you want to read an erotic short story by yours truly and stories by 43 others while supporting a worthy charity? Of course you do! Get the Felt Tips: Office-Supply Erotica anthology by Tiffany Reisz today! EBooks available at AmazonSmashwords, and Barnes & Nobel



  • Fear Of Writing

    Writer: n. Someone living in a constant state of wtf by choice. ~Eric Andrew Satchwill

    Lately, I’ve been reading Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers by Harry Bruce. At one point, he quotes a number of authors talking about the abject terror they feel when they sit down to write, and it got me thinking about my own attitude towards writing.

    I don’t approach writing with fear so much as complete and utter bewilderment. I’m far too stubborn to not be writing, and compared with the fear involved in shifting one’s identity as I have, the fear of a blank page is laughable. Even so, when I stop and think about what it is I’m doing as I writer, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer audacity of it.

    You see, I’m not just putting down words, I’m creating worlds. I’m picking up human failings and fleshing them out into living, breathing people, and I’m putting them in some of the most absurd situations I can imagine. I take these situations and play them out to their logical conclusions until I suddenly find myself to be the custodian of several worlds, numerous diverse people, and the engineer of no less than three wars between them.

    And I had thought that all I would be doing was following one character through an ordinary day in his life.

    It’s not only the large scale, ‘I wasn’t planning on starting another war but apparently I am’ realizations that so thoroughly bemuse me while writing, it’s the details. It’s realizing that while the situation makes perfect sense based on the chain of events and the worldbuilding, the fact that I have a gay daemon and his lesbian slave trying to find a misplaced closet is completely and utterly ridiculous. It’s these sorts of things that make me stop, blink for several seconds, then burst out laughing. I can’t quite explain how it happened, but it did, and it works.

    And you know what? I love every absurd, bewildering, and downright ridiculous moment of it. I love knowing that I am tackling something that no sane person would try and that without me, none of these situations could play out quite the way they have. This is who I am. This is my calling.

    Whether I chose this vocation or it chose me, I am a writer and I am not afraid.

     

    Do you want to read an erotic short story by yours truly and stories by 43 others while supporting a worthy charity? Of course you do! Get the Felt Tips: Office-Supply Erotica anthology by Tiffany Reisz today! EBooks available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Nobel



  • Felt Tips is Here!

    This is an incredibly exciting day for me because today I have become an author. That’s right. I have been a writer for years now by simple virtue of putting ideas out in words, but today I can officially call myself a published author.

    Felt Tips CoverFelt Tips, the office supply erotica anthology (and second kinkiest thing I’ve done for charity), is out today.

    That’s right, you can read my short story, What Is It, Suzie? along with short stories by 43 other incredibly talented writers, including our infamous editor and author of the Original Sinners series, Tiffany Reisz. All the proceeds go to charity, providing kids with much needed school supplies.

    You can get the Felt Tips ebook today at Smashwords or at Barns & Noble for $4.99US. (Other stores coming soon, and print edition forthcoming in 2013.) So click, buy, support a great charity, and above all, enjoy ;)

    Edit: now available at Amazon (US)!



  • What’s In A Name?

    Every once in a while I take a step back and just think about the names of the characters in my book. Sometimes they seem to name themselves and sometimes I have to dig and search for just the right one, but it’s always something unique to the character and the story.

    In my current novel, I’ve noticed that I have a lot of fairly traditional names. Lisa. Michael. Felicity. Justin. Cecilia. Deirdre. Barnaby, even. Most of them are actually more traditional than you’d expect from their ages.

    But then something unusual pops up. Isabell; not ‘Isabel’ or ‘Isabelle’ as is more typical, but ‘Isabell’. Tristianne, who incidentally has ensured that I will never pronounce the name ‘Tristan’ correctly in my head ever again, and Timoth, who was my first answer to the add-Tim-to-your-novel challenge. (The second was Timeus and yes, they are both still active in my story two books in.)

    And that’s just my human or nearly so character names. Don’t even get me started on the faeries; most of them defy categorizing, which is just so typical of them.



  • Characters Are Messy

    Much like with people in real life, character dynamics can get… messy. Especially when we’re suddenly forced to look at them through the eyes of an outsider.

    I ran into this in the scene I’m currently writing for the second book in the series. I’ve spent more than an entire book with my core cast by this point; I know their quirks and foibles, I know how they feel about themselves and each other, and I know what brought them to this point in the story. I love them and understand them as rich, complex people.

    And then I bring a new character in, and she’s seeing their household for the first time. Suddenly, I’m seeing my beloved characters through the eyes of a stranger, and I see a middle-aged man living in a one-bedroom apartment with a much younger man, and a woman half his age who wears a collar and calls him Master. And it feels awkward when I put it that way.

    On the other hand, if life were straight-forward and simple, our stories would be, too. But our stories are complex, messy, and more than a little awkward because that’s what life is like, and we tell stories as a way of making sense of life.

    So I will continue to write my beloved characters in all their messy complexity. I will do everything in my power to make them as real to my readers as they are to me so that they will see past the awkward exterior to the (hopefully) inspiring story beneath.



  • Believing Your Writing

    They say writers are liars.

    They also say that to be able to hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously is a mark of genius.

    I say genius writers believe their own lies while simultaneously knowing them to be fiction.

    In a prime demonstration of the third point, today I managed to scare the living daylights out of myself with one of my own characters. I know he’s fictitious, and logically, I know that I’m the ultimate decider of his actions, and yet I also know that given half a chance he will murder me in my sleep. Without a second thought, and without remorse.

    Today I believed my own lies, and tonight I will sleep with one eye open. And if you see a red-eyed man who looks like a marble statue in a casual suit and a T-shirt: run.



  • A Kobo, a Dropbox, and a Sharpie Pen

    Since today is Back Up Your Novel Day, I thought I’d share with you how I work backing up my novel into the daily process of writing so that I never forget to do it.

    First and foremost, I use Dropbox as my primary save folder. Anything saved on my computer is automatically backed up, without my even having to think about it. First draft, second, third; it’s all there, and I can access my files remotely if my computer crashes or if I don’t have access to it for whatever reason.

    I also tend to work at least partially in hard-copy, whether it’s writing at work during November or editing and rewriting during the rest of the year. Granted, this is only a partial back-up, but thanks to my printer and any one of my numerous Sharpie Pens I have a hard copy of whatever I’m working on somewhere… even if that particular filing system leaves much to be desired.

    Finally, and as an aid to the writing and editing process, I save an up-to-date version of my novel on my Kobo. I just compile from Scrivener (love you guys so much!) into epub format, save it directly to my device, et voilà! An easy-access quick-reference to everything I’ve written in my novel thus far, and–you guessed it–another back up.

    And that’s just what I do on a daily basis. At semi-regular intervals, I also back up everything I’ve added or changed on my computer, my phone, and my Kobo onto a usb key. I even have copies on there of things I’ve deleted from my other devices for reasons of space or convenience (it’s no fun scrolling through several hundred photos on your phone just to get to the latest one).

    If you’re like me and have backing up your work built into your creative process, good for you! You’re ahead of the game. If not, think of this as a reminder to back up your work, and to think of ways that you can do it more and more often.

    I’ve shared only a few of the ways you can back up your work. What do you use? How do you make sure you won’t lose all your hard work to a computer crash? Share your answers in the comments :)



  • How To Dress For All NaNo’s Eve

    As some of you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the month where we are challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This will be my third year participating and I’ve come to view October 31 not as Hallowe’en, but as All NaNo’s Eve, a celebration similar to Hallowe’en in that we dress up and eat candy but also stay up so we can begin writing as soon as midnight hits.

    In the spirit of All NaNo’s Eve, I will share with you my costume and how it came into being. This year I went as my all time favourite writing program: Scrivener.

    To begin, open your Scrivener project and select the most visually appealing chapter:

    Then create your scene cards, binder, and meta-data and arrange them on your clothing:

    Binder
    Cork Board
    Meta-Data
    Project Window

    Now you’ll want to create a handy template to help you as you paint the Scrivener logo on your face:

    Put it all together, and you’re ready to head out to your local NaNoWriMo Midnight Kick-Off!

    Once you have returned home from getting a head start on your novel at the kick-off, sigh wistfully as you remove the paint from your face with wet wipes and go to bed so that you may awake refreshed and ready to write once more.

    Also: because writing a novel in a month isn’t crazy enough, I’m doing a blog post a day in the Epic Month of Blog Posts challenge. To see the full list of those who are participating, check out the side bar at Epic Robot Danni.