Category Archives: Heroic fantasy

Musing 10/16/17 – Are We Getting Too Old For This Sh**? Part 2 or: “So now blogs are obsolete?”

Well peeps, in about 12 days, I’ll be hitting a milestone birthday –that’s right, I’ll be um – 30.  Forget what I said about being 33 last year.

I’m taking a bit of a break from my current WIP, tentatively titled Gunslinger Witch, although my friend Robin says I should be careful it’s not confused with Stephen King’s, The Gunslinger.  I told him that was unlikely to happen.  I personally was thinking people may confuse it with the anime Gunslinger Girl.

OK, that’s not the subject of this Musing however.

I’m not a big newsletter reader.  I am subscribed to a few, mainly informational, genre-specific books or current markets accepting submissions.  One of the newsletters I receive is C. Hope Clark’s (You are absolutely fabulous, BTW), Funds for Writers.  The topic of her most recent newsletter?  How the blog is now passé.

It is?

Maybe she’s right.  In all the years I’ve had this blog I’ve had some wonderful people stop by and of course I appreciate it but not many at any given time.

On the other hand…

See above.  I don’t like a lot of newsletters crowding my in-box and I am very particular about the ones I choose.  I know that comes off a bit bougie.  My apologies.  I had a newsletter a long time ago when I had my published works out and it no more sent people here or to my site than any other social media type.  I ended up shutting it down a while ago.  Many of the email addresses were gone and no one bothered to let me know.

Also, people unless it’s specifically set up that way, people can’t respond to a newsletter.  I wanted to voice my opinion on the subject but there’s no way to do so.  Maybe she had some bad experiences with commenters and I certainly can’t blame her for making commenting impossible if that’s the case.

I want to hear from my readers.  I want to know their thoughts on various subjects.  Of course, that doesn’t mean someone can come on my blog and act like they don’t have any common sense or home training.  But I’m always interested in a good discourse.

So of course, I must look into this further.

Now the first things that came up in a search using, the term, “Are blogs passé?”  Most articles were from business bloggers who responded with a resounding no.  I couldn’t find anything very recent.  The first was from 2015.  A 2013 New York Times article touching on the removal of several of their blogs, the author asks why and are blogs outdated?  She received the usual corporate responses.  However, readers were quite vocal about the disappearances and said so.

There was another blog owner who asked himself this question because his readership was dwindling.  I give them props because they were doing fan better than I am but they said no matter what they would continue although that last post was March of 2016.

Jane Friedman has a guest blogger write an article back in 2013 on concerning the subject.  It was quite interesting.  Simon & Schuster apparently requires them.  Well, at least they did back then, I doubt that’s changed.  The author suggested to an aspiring author to become an editor for a site where she was managing editor.  But she also encourages new writers to do so however experienced writers should find larger platforms that they can contribute to if they’re looking to promote their work.  Well right at this second, I don’t have that problem.

I tightened my search parameters: “Is the author blog passé/out of date?”

Nothing specific came up.  Most of it was either how to work on your blog or the best author blogs.  I tried one more time, “Is the blog out of date?”  Mainly suggestions on updating blogs and deleting posts came up.

I’d be interested in knowing how Ms. Clark came to that conclusion or was it just personal preference?  I of course can only give my opinion which is this – it really depends on the person doing the reading.  Blogs are good for people who prefer to get their author news online instead of via email.  I can go either way myself.

I wonder how she feels about podcasts?

*****

I’m finding more things that are confusing the you-know-what out of me.  Apparently, six-guns and sorcery is now being replaced with gunpowder fantasy.  I have to admit it does sound better.  I’ve also seen something called latte-lit.  Anybody have any idea what it is specifically?  Books about coffee?  Books you can read with coffee?  I thought all books could be read while drinking coffee.  I do it all the time.

So of course, we must turn to the internet.

Apparently, I’m not the only one asking this question!

You know an explanation or references would be nice when people make these things up.

The only references I could find were a year-old posting on Agent Query, and it was still anybody’s guess.  All of a sudden, I want a latte and it’s after 8:00 PM.

Next thing, the acronym, STEM (or STEAM).  From what I gathered, it means books about:

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING and MATH.

When it applies to kids it means books that makes these subjects easy and fun to learn.  It would have been nice to have some books like these when I was growing up.  But here are some links which discuss the genre and gives examples:

The Educator’s Spin on It:

https://theeducatorsspinonit.com/2014/11/stem-books-for-children.html

Teach Beside Me:

https://teachbesideme.com/stem-books-kids/

What We Do All Day:

https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/tag/steam/

13 Cool STEM Books for Kids Who Love Science (and More)

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/13-cool-stem-books-for-kids-who-love-science-and-more

So, what have you seen that is confusing the you-know-what out of you?  Comment and I’ll work my magic.

Peace~

CJ

Read my previous blog posting:

Musing 9/12/17 ~ Are We Getting Too Old For This S***?

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Musing 9/12/17 ~ Are We Getting Too Old For This S***?

This Musing is actually going to handle a couple of subjects that are on my mind right now.  I ask for your patience.  If you haven’t already you may wish to read my two previous Musings which are companions to this one.

Yesterday, I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of a small shopping center when my phone pings with a message.  I’m following agent Quressa Robinson, with Nelson Literary on Twitter to whom I just sent Tinderbox so I took a moment to glance at it:

Afrofuturism + high/epic fantasy = Happy Me.

Umm…. what exactly is Afrofuturism?

I did ask the agent on Twitter but I haven’t received a response yet.  I also asked if she could provide some examples.  If I receive a response, I’ll post an update.  When I got home, I asked Big Brother what he thought it meant and he didn’t know either.  And he’s much older.  Best guess it was something that combined a futuristic setting with magic but maybe combined with African lore?  We weren’t quite certain.

Now at the time he was watching BraveStarr, if any of my peeps remembers it and I said, “Maybe something like that?”  Big Brother thought that was highly likely although neither of us were certain.

So, I went upstairs to my office, got on the PC and looked it up:

“Afrofuturism is a literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrofuturism

And now I’m even more confused.  Big Brother was too when I showed him the definition.  I then pinged my BFF and fellow writer, Kelli and asked her if she had any idea what it meant.  Sorry the print is so small.  Here’s an abridged version of our conversation:

musing 1

musing 2

musing 3

Young Adult and Middle Grade ANYTHING seems to be the big thing lately.  The ones I chose were merely requests that caught my eye.  There were many that were alike in some ways and other I felt the need to comment.  Once again, I’m not trying to offend anyone.  this is just my humble opinion.  Some particular ones I saw:

musing 4

OK, this would be interesting but personally the only experience I’ve had with a sideshow is the story I wrote of the same name.  And I’m not a big circus fan, well not anymore.  I think I’ve been to a circus only once in my lifetime.  So this isn’t something I would want to write.

musing 5

I’ve only seem clips of Moonstruck but I love the scene where Cher slaps the guy and says, “Snap out of it!”  Although from the plot, I’d wonder, is this something young adults would like?  Then again, I’m an old lady so maybe it is.

Why do some agents want stories about toxic friendships?  Saying they “like” that type of story?  I’ve had toxic friendships and you know what I learned?  To end them as soon as I realized that’s what it was.  Also, something I wouldn’t like to write.

musing 9

My work is speculative fiction with a non-white MC.  Unfortunately, my experiences with this agency have been less than idea.

And I’m still trying to figure out what PB is.  It’s probably very simple.  One of those snakes it would have bit me, things but I do like this idea.

Musing 11

 

But how would you define that?  People of color can see the world in a myriad of ways, depending on their upbringing and where they are from, among other things.  A person of color who was raised in the inner city may carry themselves differently from someone who was raised in the suburbs.

musing 12

Hmm…he may just like Immortal Stream.  I’m keeping him in mind.

musing 13

I’m assuming this means that she wants a WOC to write a story about the MC involving themselves in forbidden fruit?  That’s what the quince is known as, apparently (https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-quince-1705661), the Greek Forbidden Fruit, otherwise, I’m really confused by this.  Like what?  Dating someone outside of their race?  Very few people, at least no one I know, considers that forbidden fruit anymore.  So what else is there?

 

 

musing 15

Sigh…

It’s 5:29 pm EST and it looks like the #MSWL Twitter Feed is winding down for the night.  Can’t believe I was looking at it for four hours but research is research. I have lots of ideas but I’m not seeing any requests that match my writing and/or interests.  As previously stated, many of the requests were for diverse or LGBTQI, YA/MG.  There was little to no fantasy of any type requested, mainly asking for was historical, romance or contemporary.  Some suspense and just a dash of horror.

Can I write within these genres?  Yes.  Do I want to? No.  And I’m afraid if I start something new the trends will change by the time I’m finished.  I just saw a post on the #MSWL feed that asked a perfectly legitimate question –

“When did adults stop reading?”

I mean, I still do – well I try to anyway and although at times, I’ll read a certain YA book, I’d rather read about adults myself.  And I like to think adults are craving good books.  I’ve written YA before and when I did, this was long before it was popular.  Not to mention the internet was in its infancy and there was no social media or things like MSWL or Query Tracker.  This was before many writing venues existed online so it was really hard to see what was popular.  When I was fighting to get my YA published, the response I usually got was they weren’t accepting it, although it never said so on their websites or that; “This is a good story, but our plates are full.”  Even though again, no indication that they closed to queries.  Then came my writing defeat and I was pretty much through with the YA trade.

So, I’m sitting here thinking, maybe I’ll go into semi-retirement.  I’ve said over and over I don’t want to quit writing.  It’s very easy to do quit though, I’ve tried it a dozen times.

And although I have an idea kicking around in my brain, I haven’t decided if it was going to be young adult or adult.  I was leaning towards the latter.  And it’s epic fantasy, although I’m thinking of maybe adding six guns and sorcery as part of the deal.  No weird stuff though.

But the fact is, I’m not going to write something I’m not in love with, no more than literary agents will offer representation on a book they are not in love with.  Maybe someday, hopefully in the near future, there will be a market for what I write again.

I just hope it doesn’t take too long.  I’m a mature woman after all.

Peace~

CJ

 

Musing 08/28/17– Weird is the New Brilliant?

I’m a big fan of the Nostalgia Critic! Well it’s sort of an off and on relationship. I gave him up a few times but came back. Why mention this? Because there is a question I was pondering concerning stories that are not quite well — they’re different and they seem to be the type of stories magazine publishers want.

I hadn’t watched before but now since I was pondering, I thought I’d give it a shot.

In this video, the Critic postulates that there is so much weirdness going on nowadays in current media, is really brilliance in disguise? To get the full picture watch the video, then if you don’t mind finish reading my post please. I’ll wait.

All done? OK, as my peeps may know, I was currently hit with a massive dose of inspiration. Yes, yes, I know, humor me, OK? The Muse was at her best and brightest and I wrote or re-wrote ten stories and have them out into the world right now.

Now of course there have been a couple of rejections but as any writer knows that’s a given. But one particular one I received invited me to first read their magazine – which I’d already done and in fact subscribed to it so I could get the exact feel for what they would like.

I thought the story I sent would be perfect but apparently not, so I continued reading/researching to be certain. Now yesterday evening, I read a story that well – I couldn’t follow at all. Absurdly weird is what I would call it but apparently there was something that caught the editors eye and it was accepted. Now I am NOT saying the story wasn’t good but to me it simply had no logic. But then again, as I’ve mentioned in the past, my Army buddies once told me I was too logical for the military.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen stories like this. Some I have understood and enjoyed perfectly well but others…

So I thought, am I missing something? And that is when I recalled the Nostalgia Critic video, so I sat and watched. Now some of the shows he touched upon were Adventure Time and Steven Universe, both *former favorites of mine.

He goes onto say how other stories we are familiar with uses their weirdness to tell the reader/watcher about important the social issues. I’ve always gotten the message despite the weirdness or at least I did once I got a little older.
But when weird goes to far and it gets crude and disgusting then there is no message no matter what the writer/animator says, IMHO. Yes, they have a right to create whatever they want. Not everything has to have a message weird or not but at least let it have some purpose besides shock value again, IMHO.

I’ll do weird every so often but it is impossible for me to write weird without there being a purpose or message. Does that still make it weird? Well according to the Critic, it can.

So what to do? Make up something weird to hopefully sell a story?

Nope, sorry, can’t do it. I may just need to leave that market behind. I really don’t want to but hey, what are you gonna do?

So do you do weird or what do you think of it? What would you do in this situation? post away.

Peace~

CJ

*Sorry but, I got out of Steven because Peridot was annoying and as for AT, Finn who was always a reasonably smart boy suddenly pulls a totally messed-up stunt with Flame Princess. Hey, don’t judge me.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ! CHANGES!

Not too long ago, on my FaceBook page, I left a cryptic message saying I had made the hardest decision of my life. Well here’s the skinny on that. On July 17th, I requested a reversion of rights from Liquid Silver Books for Illusion of Night, Memory in Shadow and Soul Fires. Illusion of Night and Memory in Shadow will revert back to me on August 31st and Soul Fires on December 31st, 2017. So, if you or someone you love – who loves male/male erotic fiction— wants to purchase them they have until those dates to do so.

I know I said I was going to complete the series and I apologize but the fact of the matter is, life has been pretty chaotic. Some of you may know I was recently separated from my 9 to 5 and will be filing suit. I’m not going to get into the particulars. The good thing is the change has kicked my Muse into overdrive and within the space of two months I’ve either written new stories or re-written old ones. So far, I’ve sent out about five and am working on a sixth. These I have sent them using my real name so I’ll be changing everything on my sites and social media to conform in the near future.

And I’m not going to stop writing erotica, I’ll go back to it in the future, however right now, it’s not feasible both time and finance-wise. Many of my fellow erotic authors are having the same issues with sales. They’ll tell you that it’s frustrating and disheartening to create tens, even hundreds of thousands of words only to have little if anything to show for it.

And I’m still working to get into mainstream. I’ve gotten a few full requests to agents for Tinderbox, so I’m waiting to hear on those but I’m also sending it out to publishers. And I want to keep at this momentum. I haven’t been here at a long time.

As stated, this wasn’t an easy choice but I believe it’s time for a change. And things as you may know have been changing quite a bit for me. Ten years at the same nine to five and suddenly I’m handed my walking papers for something I didn’t even do. Maybe this and my new found want to write are some kind of sign from the cosmos.

I’ll still be around though and will keep providing updates, likely on FaceBook and Twitter as those are the best places to find me. I’ll be temporarily closing my site after this, however this blog will remain open and active.

I don’t quite know what will happen in the near future. I tend to concentrate on the now but I know what I am doing is the right thing for me. And always your patience is appreciated.

Peace~

CJ

Mini-Musing 8/1/16–More Authors Found!

I definitely need to go through my hundreds of books more often.  I found more authors who’s books I either don’t recall reading (probably because I hadn’t) or books where their were sequels that I lost track of.  But you know it’s like finding buried treasure.  Yes, I have THAT MANY books and my TBR pile is growing exponentially.

 

BTW, I just purchased Sharon Shinn’s, Royal Airs – Second in the Elemental Blessings Series.  Can’t wait for it to arrive! 

 

So I discovered the original version of Dawn Cook’s – a.k.a. Kim HarrisonFirst Truth.  So I’m relieved to learn you can get the remaining of the series although I’m trying to find the copies with the gorgeous new covers. 

 

And I can’t believe I found this really old book I bought at a used book store © 1961 called What Happened to Amy.  A mystery thriller by Jane Edwards.  I didn’t want to handle it too much so I placed it in a plastic storage bag.  I actually found it on Amazon and some insane person wants $2300.00 dollars for it.  Listen, I love books but no effing way.  Of course if someone wants to buy my copy for $2300.00…. Winking smile

 

Hazard’s Price by Robert S. Stone has a sequel but sadly, it appears the author passed away.  So it will continue to grace my shelves.

 

Animist by Eve Forward.  Not finding anything else about her online.  This may have to go onto my missing authors list.  However, I’m certain I haven’t read this book so I’m putting it on the front of the shelves.

 

The Sharing Knife Volume One: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold.  And it looks like the rest of the series is available!  So it will go on my wish list.  And I’ll read the first book…first.

 

So who knows what I will find next clean-up?

 

Peace~

CJ

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