Blockbuster

At work, I earn movie tickets in the customer service program. Over the years, I’ve earned quite a few of them. When Nikki (Motley) was younger I always gave her the tickets because like most teens, her friends were always going to the movies. Rott and I rarely went to the movies so it was no loss giving her the tickets. In the last couple of years though, I haven’t given her the tickets and Rott and I acquired a little stash of them.  Did I already say that Rott and I don’t usually go to the movies? 😉 Well, not when we lived in the Santa Ana-Orange area. Apparently, now that we live in Brea, Rott wants to go to the movies.

A few weeks back we saw the Avengers, which I’d like to see again. And it’s definitely a DVD we’re going to have to buy. This weekend we saw Men in Black 3.  Oh, and last week we bought Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I wish we’d seen that one in the theater. They blow up a lot more stuff in it than they did in the first one.

Anyway, I juggled a lot of hats this weekend including the one where Rott and I went to the movies. I’m not sure where the idea sprang from but hell if I didn’t starting thinking that being a good multi-tasker is like being a good super hero or movie hero. When the bad guys are coming at you from a dozen different directions and you manage to fend them all off, it’s a lot like juggling a bunch of different things that need doing: send off cover mockup to one author, size and send final cover files to another author, do some website maintenance, update Facebook, send out a few tweets, answer a few emails, fill out a cover art form and send it in, look over edits, look for some cover images, start a new mockup, write a few paragraphs in my WIP because I had an idea, switch back to movie maker to add something I had an idea for there, back to email, then check my phone, back to Photoshop to finish an ad, send off the ad, post the ad graphic, send off an invoice, take a break to read a little and right back to the grind again.

Um, yeah. Super-hero sounds like a good title to me. I wouldn’t look very good in tights though. When I was younger sure, but not now. I might take the cape though or some of Ironman’s gadgets. Yeah, gadgets sounds good! Here’s a look at some of what I did this weekend:

Excerpt from Out of the Pocket:
Opening his eyes, Bryce saw that Joss’s expression had turned sad. He rubbed his thumb over Joss’s down turned lips. “When Evan broke his leg, I knew it was all over. I knew he’d go home to California and somehow he and Reed would end up together. I’m afraid I wasn’t very nice to him about it.” He shrugged. “I was scared of being alone again. Afraid to face the emptiness of my future. The façade I’d built to hide the fact that I was just going through the motions cracked wide open and the moment that woman asked about my true love, I lost it. Every emotion that had been held in deep freeze broke free and everything I’d felt the day you walked away from me came rushing back. And I broke all over again.”

He felt his tears spill over once more, unable to stem them, unable to stem the flood of emotions he’d held back for eight years. “The night you left me, I drove back to Atlanta and somewhere before dawn I found myself standing on a bridge in the middle of nowhere off I-75 wishing I had just driven out to the Port of Savannah and chucked myself off the Talmadge Bridge.”

Joss sucked in a breath, the sound sharp and harsh in the subdued quiet of the cabin. Bryce chuckled and the sound seemed rusty and self-deprecating even to his own ears. “Of course, I didn’t have the balls to do such a thing. I couldn’t do anything right except play football and after you left me, I couldn’t even do that right. Two concussions in the next five games all because I couldn’t concentrate. They told me to quit or I’d become a vegetable. Since I was already a zombie, emotionally numb and totally uncaring of my own welfare, I kept playing. Three more games and then Jackson’s hit. I was unconscious for more than a day. Even I couldn’t ignore the doctors when they told me quit or die.”

Hard arms tightened around him until his ribs ached in protest. “My God. How could you have kept playing after they told you to quit the first time?”

“I didn’t care.”

“Jesus Christ, Bryce! You could have died!”

The angry shock in Joss’s voice made Bryce sigh. “When my agent told the world I was quitting because of the concussions, when I came out that same week, I thought you would come back to me. I waited and waited but the phone never rang and you never showed up.” The pain of that horrible waiting time came back to him in an instant. He’d been so full of hope, only to have it crushed as days went by with no contact from Joss. He shivered, hunching his shoulders under the blanket.

“Shit.”

He stared into Joss’s remorseful face. “I thought that football meant more to you than I did. Your team was doing well, it would have hurt your career to be with a retired player who had just come out. Even as friends. Whatever hope I still had within me died. And I died right along with it.”

“Holy fuck.” Joss’s soft murmur held complete astonishment. “I didn’t know. When you retired, I was out on the west coast in rehab. I’d fucked up. I was drinking heavily. Not playing well. I got myself arrested, benched, suspended and sent to Betty Ford. They pulled a major intervention on me. I’m surprised you never saw any of that on ESPN or in the papers.”

“I couldn’t bear to look at either.” Bryce wondered how different things would have turned out had he know what had happened to Joss.

Yes, it was a busy weekend but my super hero self managed it all and I didn’t exhaust myself either. Of course, that could be because I’ve been drinking freshly juiced oranges from my yard thanks to Z.A. Maxfield who was kind enough and awesome enough to send me a juicer as a gift. It’s kinda weird to walk out to the tree, pick 4 oranges, peel them, stuff them into the juicer and have orange juice. Weird. But really, really good.

Now, it’s time for a Marcus and then off to work!

He looks like he could be a super hero. No matter what they put him in, he looks good! LOL

Happy Monday everyone!

Coming Home

Yup, yup. The baby is coming home. Her roomie is graduating and moving away. I am glad to have her back because she is a lot of help for me especially when I’m going through all the health issues I’m going through. (Getting old sucks.) I know Rott’s not exactly jumping for joy, but he seems okay with it. And the babies (cats) will be ecstatic. They adore her! I don’t relish sharing my computer or getting used to having another body in the house, but those annoyances are really small to be honest. The pros outweigh the cons in this instance and I’ll get used to having her underfoot again. She is my baby girl after all. (Who will be 23 on May 16! Where does time go?)

I’ve been doing a lot of ads for authors going to GayRomLit lately so I made Winterheart Design a little “commercial” so to speak. When I uploaded it, it couldn’t be seen. Grrrr. Used to be YouTube would email you if the music wasn’t something they had a license for. No more emails apparently. Grrrrr.  I changed up the music and the commercial for Winterheart Design is now live on my YouTube channel. Still…grrrr.

I’m off to a dr’s appointment now so I’ll post my Monday Marcus and skedaddle.

Shirtless in jeans…oh, yum.

Oh, yeah. In case you didn’t see my Facebook page…Loose Id requested the full manuscript of my NFL story. Woot! Now I need to hurry and finish it! Have a great Monday everyone!

Research

Have you ever had to do research? For an essay or term paper? For a book? For information about something you knew nothing about, but now need to know? I’ve done all of those things, most recently, for a book.

Like a lot of Americans, I’ve been a football fan. I’m from NoCal so I’ll admit to being an Oakland Raider fan. My brother is a referee and he’s been a big football fan since before I was born so when I eventually started watching he taught me a lot about the game. I used to watch religiously, but now I don’t even watch the Super Bowl.

But now that I have a football story I’m working on, I think I’ve learned more about the game than I ever thought I’d know. First, I asked a co-worker some questions to help me solidify my plot outline. Then, once I started writing, I had to do some research. Mostly about the draft, but I’m sure at some point it will be about something else. I’m going to pull out the snippets that involve football and see what my co-worker thinks. If Michael thinks the football related parts sound okay, I’ll just keep moving along. If something’s not right though, I’ll have to go back and fix it.

For now, I still have a long way to go. I have about 10K words on a book that could go as high as 60K.  I have almost half of the first part of the book done. I’ve got a few bits and pieces of the latter half done as well. A couple of scenes. But all that research is stuck in my head now. Mostly, I found this fascinating list of a dozen of the highest paid rookies. Ten of the twelve were NFL players and they told how much these guys signed for and how much the signing bonus was. WOAH. We’re talking some serious numbers although there was at least one on the list whose numbers were lower due to the salary cap instituted some years ago. The guys in my book would have signed before the cap so I gave them numbers like 32 million and 40 million with a few million in signing bonuses. That’s so much money I just can’t even imagine it.

Once this story is done, my next bout of research will be emailing with a co-worker’s son who is a professional ballet dancer. Instead of salary caps and signing bonuses in my head, I’ll have ballet moves. And that information will reside in my head until that book is done and the next bout of research replaces it.

Writing paranormal stories means I can make up whatever I want. No research. Just world building. I do that in my head. I lay down to take a nap and start planning the creatures and how the world works. I do this over and over for a few weeks until the world is pretty fixed in my mind. Then I write.

For now, I’m enjoying my football story. It’s more serious and more dark than any contemporary I’ve ever written. It deals with coming out, risky sex, HIV and AIDS as well as the media. I mess with these two heroes quite a bit before I let them have a Happily Ever After. I’ve sent the partial (the first three chapters) to the publisher and now I have to wait to see if they want the book. I hope they do. I’ve wanted to get in with this publisher for quite awhile but I never had the right vehicle before. Cross your fingers for me!

Before I head in to work, here’s a Marcus for this Monday morning.

Ah, one of my favorite photos of him! Sure brightens up my rainy Monday morning. I hope everyone has a great day!

Unhinged

I was writing last night and wrote the line that my hero was so overcome by his passion for the other hero that his brain had come unhinged. I think I have a little of that today. I feel brain dead for sure. I read a novel, did about a dozen covers (some mockups and some finals), did a few website graphics, and wrote a few thousand words this weekend. Oh, and we watched The Big Year. Funny movie. Really cute. Now, it’s Monday and my brain definitely feels unhinged. So I’m just gonna give you a sample of what I did this weekend, hand you off a Marcus and toddle off to my office. Since my boss didn’t call me over the weekend I guess our office pool didn’t win the MegaMillions either.

I love it when authors are easy to work with. Makes my life a whole lot easier and means I can actually do that many covers in a weekend. So kudos to everyone I’ve been working with lately!

Now, time for a retro Marcus (ie one I’ve posted before) who will guarantee that at least something will go right for me today. 😉

Here’s a little tip for some of you who like my M/M books, on April 10 All Romance eBooks will have Breathe Me In as a FREE download in honor of Earth Day. So mark your calendars and go get it for FREE! Have a happy Monday everyone!

Whole Lotta Workin’

I’ve got a whole lotta working going on. This week is shaping up to be a very busy one and that doesn’t even take into account the holiday. I’ve got a cover to do for a fellow OCC RWA member, some book trailers to knock out, and I need to finish my Christmas story Cupid Christmas. Add to that the fact that the Lords of Aether is shifting into a higher gear as we close in on our mid-December launch. I went to lunch with ZAM yesterday and we brainstormed and the upshot is that she’s joining the Lords of Aether with a character I’m really excited about. He’s a hooker. Sort of. LOL You’ll have to check out the site as we near launch and you’ll see his bio.

At the office, we had a bit of a server migration over the weekend. We virtualized one of the servers. I had nothing to do with that work but I need to check stuff out this morning. It’s a payroll commission processing week so I have to be on the ball with contracts and cash receipts. Luckily, my ladies in AR are really turning out to be great workers and I’m more happy than I can say to have them. I have no doubt that with their help we are gonna rock the commission processing!

I made the mistake of watching Food Network yesterday and now I’m dying for turkey. With my sink still kinda out of commission, I can’t cook, but I can buy a ready made dinner from the local grocer and I can warm it up in the oven and microwave. Besides, I have lots of work to do so it will be better if I’m not spending quality time with my hand up the turkey’s butt.

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off my 30 Days of Christmas giveaways. I have a lot of books lined up from a plethora of authors. There is something for everyone. I’ve one solid week of gay rom that features authors like Rick Reed, Ethan Stone, Kimberley Gardner, Barry Brennessel, and more. I’ve got new releases from Kate Douglas, Desiree Holt, Tara Lain and me!  I’ve got paperback books from KC Burn, Adelle Laudan, and Jasmine Aherne. There’s a romantic suspense day with books from Lisa Alexander-Griffin, Debbie Gould, Emily Wade-Reid and Jackie Diamond. And there are Christmas stories galore! I’ll wind up the giveaway on Christmas Eve with my newest Christmas story Cupid Christmas and a holiday story from my pal Z.A. Maxfield.

The 30 days kicks off on Black Friday with my paranormal The Wise Guy and Gambit from Kim Knox. I’m a HUGE Kim Knox fan and Gambit is a great read so the winner on Black Friday won’t be disappointed. And wait until you see the line up for the day I give away Fire Season…me, Neil Plakcy and Willa Okati! WOOT! I’m telling you, you will not want to miss a single day of this year’s 30 Days of Christmas giveaway.

Ah, now for my Marcus to warm up this cool Monday. Here’s another of my “retro” Marcus’s, one I posted several years ago.

Now, I suppose I should take myself off to work. There’s lots of frost out there Rott says so he’s worried about there being ice on the road. I kind of doubt there will be because so many people travel the road before I get out there, but I know how to be careful driving in the bad weather.  I’ll be back on Thursday to wish you all happy turkey day and remind you of my Christmas giveaway.

Everyone take care and have a great start to your Thanksgiving week!