Monthly Archives: April 2014

Wednesday Blogging: You couldn’t pay me to…

This was a difficult one this week, because I was thinking of stuff I didn’t like to do, and I couldn’t really think of anything. Oh, sure, you couldn’t pay me to go to an enemy’s funeral or give my biological father a kidney, but that stuff is pretty much a given. And it’s so negative, when so much positive stuff is happening in my life right now.

Positive stuff like getting a new office set up! So I guess you couldn’t pay me to trade my office for a different set up!

Let me show you some pictures:

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That is my old desk, waiting for the rain to stop so it can go in the yard with a “free to good home” sign on it. Getting rid of it is bitter sweet. This is, to date, the desk where I’ve written every single one of my books. And that’s a lot of books. I sat at this desk to write Blood Ties book one: The Turning, right up through The Bride. But it was time for a change.

Once we moved the desk out, the dogs discovered the window:

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As you can see, Sammy is not interested in sharing the view. Also, check out the Medusa head of cords over there. Those were all under my desk. And I detangled them, but I am supernaturally good at that.

I chose to go with IKEA’s Kallax series of shelves with an attachable desk. Putting the shelves together was super easy, but easily the most time consuming.

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After the desk was assembled and attached, I added two cupboard inserts and one double drawer insert.

Oh, and my books and some goofy shit:

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In an attempt to continue my mental health journey, I actually put my books on these shelves, right where I can see them.

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Just because things didn’t go exactly the way I wanted them to in the past ten years, I still deserve to be proud of myself. Hopefully just seeing them there will condition me to be proud of the work I’ve done!

As for the drawers, one of them is full of office supplies. The other one is full of candy and pills.

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As it should be.

So now that I sit down to work, this where I’m doing it. Under the stern gazes of three Doctors who think I should definitely be writing

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Yes. That is a wooden stake next to my computer. Because you never know.

So, that’s where I’m working now. I can’t show you the rest of the place, because it’s still a total shit show. But the important thing is, I’ve got a much better groove going on here, and (so far) you couldn’t pay me to change it around.

Wanna see what you couldn’t pay the other Wednesday bloggers to do?

Bronwyn Green • Jessica Jarman • Gwendolyn Cease • Kellie St. James • Kris Norris

 

 

 

State of The Trout: I went to IKEA!

Hey everybody! Just a quick update to let you know what’s happening around these parts!

  • Next week, The Boss series will be going on a blog tour! This is going to give you a chance to enter to win some really great prizes, including signed paperbacks and Sophie’s lipstick vibrator (some shipping restrictions apply).
  • The cover for If Ever I Would Leave You gets revealed next week, as well! And there’s another giveaway! OMG YOU CAN WIN SO MUCH STUFF IF THAT IS YOUR THING!

I went to IKEA! I have long been wanting a specific desk from them, but the shipping was like, prohibitively expensive (it would have cost more than the desk!). So when we were on our way to Chicago North’s Spring Fling conference this weekend, my awesome friends Andrea Dickinson, Bronwyn Green, and Patricia Kiyono braved IKEA with me (on a Sunday, which is apparently the worst day to go? There were people lining up outside before the store even opened!) and I got my freaking desk!

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Bronwyn Green and I try to figure out if we’ve got all the right parts

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Me, Bronwyn, and Patricia posing for a photo right after Andrea said, “I’m taking a picture of this, guys!”

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And then Patricia was like, “Now let me get a picture of you guys.” In hindsight, we could have probably just asked somebody else to take a photo of all of us.

IKEA is the scariest place on Earth. There is too much stuff and it’s all overwhelming and everybody knows exactly what they’re doing and they do not like that you’re there messing up their groove. It took us forever to find the restrooms because we kept seeing signs that said Bathroom and they meant stuff for the bathroom and not the bathrooms where you could do a potty. I had no idea how any of the IKEA process worked and it was all terrifying. But I got my desk, and hopefully I’ll have it set up soon. There is a lot of office reorganizing that needs to take place before that can happen. But I’ll take pictures when it’s done.

As for the conference? It was awesome. I got to meet some of my tweeps that I’ve never seen in person, I made some new friends, got to have a super good chat with my editor at Entangled, Liz Pelletier, and there was a Starbucks in the lobby that was open until 5pm. There was a fancy dinner with a shitty comedian, so here is a picture of me avoiding his “Am I right, ladies?!” jokes in the bathroom:

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The first day of the conference, I found this in the lobby:

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This is gonna be a good day. I can feel it.

There was a silent auction for a literacy charity, so Bronywn Green and I decided to do a basked together. The theme was “Naughty and Nice.” I bet you can’t guess which side was mine:

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I went to a bunch of workshops, including one on reviews by Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and one by Liz Pelletier on the traditional publishing process. And at the book signing I got my Kindle cover autographed by Mary Balogh, Courtney Milan, Lauren Dane, and Carrie Lofty, and in the lobby Kristan Higgins complimented my hair! All in all, it was a good conference, and I’m glad I went.

So, what’s on the agenda for the next week in Trout Nation? You can expect Merlin Club on Friday and another After recap between then and now. I’m also working on the next Buffy recap, but you know those are a little longer and take more time in between, just like I know that you’re patient.

Everybody have a great Monday, join us for Merlin Club tonight at 8pm EST if you can on the hashtag #MerlinClub, and I’ll see you later in the week!

Merlin Club S02E01 “The Curse of Cornelius Sigan” or “The Trouble with Horcruxes”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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Jenny Reads After, chapters 1 – 3, or “The Best Girl Ever”

Hi, this is Jen’s snark voice! Did you miss me?! I missed you. I missed you so much that I decided to scrap my earlier secret plans for a read-a-long of Beautiful Disaster in the fall in order to start this recap of Anna Todd’s After right now.

A few things are going to be different this time around. I will probably not be as hateful and mentally destroyed, for a few reasons:

  1. I believe there is a difference between RPF and fanfic, a difference we’ll discuss at length throughout these recaps.
  2. Ms. Todd isn’t as obnoxious as E.L. “worship my expertise in shit I know nothing about” James.
  3. I’ll be listening to One Direction exclusively while working on these recaps, and they’re pretty good, right? Everybody likes them, so what could go wrong?

Now, before we get started, you need to understand the author’s warning:

This book contains detailed sexual scenes and tons of explicit language. If that isn’t your thing, you shouldn’t continue on, but if it is then you’ll enjoy. :)

This book is being touted as “the next 50 Shades” by a lot of people, so keep that in mind when considering the words “detailed sexual scenes.” We probably don’t have any problem with the explicit language, right? So we should be good.

Also, yes there are loads and loads of typos, be easy on me, this was an amazing and fun time for me and no one was reading it, I am fully aware of all the mistakes :) Thank you for reading :)

Don’t thank me just yet, Ms. Todd. Because as a long time fanfic devotee, I have a real issue with the “this was just for fun” defense. If it was just for fun, it would still be on your hard drive. And a lot of activities that are fun require some amount of attention to detail– go karting, tennis, rock climbing, trap shooting, that knife-between-the-fingers game pirates play when they’re bored, I guess– so that isn’t an excuse for not putting your fic’s best face out to the world. I am probably the least demanding person when it comes to typos and stuff like that, because I’m dyslexic and I understand. But if there are enough, I say nay. And this author has admitted to not editing her work for fear of ruining it. So we’ll see how this goes.

The good news is, this will give me more of a chance to point out to you guys stuff that will help you in your own writing. So everything here is paved with good intentions! I don’t remember how that saying goes, but I’m pretty sure it meant great stuff would happen.

So, let’s do this!

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Wednesday Blogging: Let’s take a look at my WIP!

Hey everybody! This week’s Wednesday blog is about sharing one of our works in progress. Which is awesome, because I have one I really want to share with you! Except I have this whole cover reveal shizz set up for the first week of May…

So, while I can’t reveal the cover or the blurb, I can definitely tell you what it’s about! The book is called A Choice Fit for a Queen, and it’s in the If Ever I Would Leave You anthology. Which, by the by, is an Arthurian mythology themed collection of New Adult… I don’t know. Novels or novellas, depending on how you classify 50 – 60k stories. I’m not a bookseller and everyone classifies that shit differently. Anyway, the antho is written by me and my #MerlinClub friends, Jessica Jarman and Bronwyn Green. I’m the odd duck out, because I’m the only person who’s not contributing something paranormal to the mix.

Okay, the story is about Madison Lane:

leighton-meester-tiffany-fnoan English literature major taking a summer course studying Arthurian mythology in Wales. Her instructor is a totally gorgeous failed novelist who intended to write the next The Once and Future King, but ended up writing the Arthurian equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey, minus the financial success. He’s hot, in that whole down-on-his-luck, doesn’t-give-a-fuck, nothing-to-lose way. Also, in this way:

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But Madison also meets good-boy hottie Rhys, a friend and former student of Mr. Professor there, and a stand-up guy.

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And he’s like, such a nice guy that while he’s pretty into Madison, he worries about betraying his friend or potentially hurting Madison. Ultimately, Madison has to make the titular choice, and believe me, she sees the parallels between what she’s studying and what she’s living.

So, there you have it. A sneak peek at one of my current works in progress. If you’re a blogger interested in being a part of the cover reveal, here’s the sign-up!

For  a look at what my Wednesday Blogging buddies are working on right now, check out the links!

Jessica Jarman • Bronwyn Green • Tess Grant Gwendolyn Cease

Kris Norris • Leigh Jones • Kellie St. James

 

Jenny Reads After

The latest fanfic sensation sweeping the internet is After, a One Direction RPF written by a twenty-five year old named Anna Todd. Ms. Todd’s fanfic is getting a lot of attention due to its:

  1. staggeringly high page view count on the serialized fiction platform, Wattpad
  2. sexually explicit content
  3. depiction of 1D member Harry Styles as an emotionally abusive boyfriend
  4. recent representation of film rights by United Talent

As you may remember from my 50 Shades of Grey recaps and various other long-winded rants, I am not a fan of P2P or fanfic properties garnering a profit. But I feel there’s a bit of a murky line when it’s literally just the names of famous people inserted into original fanfic. After all, lots of authors (myself included) base our characters of the appearance and speech patterns of celebrities. The only difference I can see with RPF is the fact that those celebrities are depicted as actual representations of themselves through the use of their names.

In the case of a fic like After, I can understand why that would be problematic. I’m sure Harry Styles is probably not over the moon about being depicted as a total dickhead in a book that has millions of readers. But I don’t think it’s quite the same as what we saw with 50 Shades of Grey. There’s a difference between taking someone’s name and building a character around it and taking someone’s character and changing their name.

Still, I am intrigued to the point of recap by the author of After openly admitting that she doesn’t edit her work because it might ruin it (clearly laboring under the delusion that all first drafts are pure gold and the touch of an editor’s hand is like some reverse philosopher’s stone), as well as the abusive boyfriend content that we’ve all come to crave now that our wet, wanton holes have been filled to maximum capacity by the 50 Shades of Grey media glut. Oh. We are so ready.

It will also give us a chance to discuss how our media culture exploits the sexuality of teen girls while simultaneously dismissing the same sexuality. Even the Jezebel article linked above makes a snarky jab at the fact that After has a large audience of female teens. Material marketed toward teen girls– packaged supergroup One Direction among those materials– rake in tons of cash, but are mocked as lacking value. I’m not going to argue that all of those things have some underrated artistic value, just that the near universal hatred of these franchises is disproportionate to the derision our culture holds for fads traditionally marketed toward teen boys.

Marvel movies, for example.

So, beginning this week, expect to see recaps of After in two to three chapter chunks. The chapters are quite short, especially in comparison to the forty-pages-of-absolutely-nothing-going-on monstrosities in 50 Shades. Keeping the recaps shorter enables me to stick to my other blogging features like Merlin Club, The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch, and Wednesday Blogging.

Look for the first recap later in the week, and if you haven’t had a chance to read After or you’d like to read along, you can find it– and its sequels– here.

Merlin Club S01E13: “Le Morte d’Arthur” or “What do you mean magic will work exactly as everyone has been saying it will?!”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

IMPORTANT! CHANGE IN MY APPEARANCE SCHEDULE!

Hey guys! Due to my boob getting sliced up for a biopsy last week, and then the strep throat I that is so magnanimously gracing me this week, I’ve had to pull out of my Ransom Library appearance on the 17th. I’m really sorry for disappointing those who were planning to attend. Those of you who have mailed books to the venue to be signed, you’ll still be getting them signed, just probably the next week. Again, sorry everybody, but after my boob thing… let’s just say I understand why flaying is torture.