Friday, April 4, 2014

Shifting Gears...

I allowed my website to expire...  I know, I know.  I thought I'd move on over to blogger and go from there.

I've been working on several projects, but for now... I am going to get this site up and running.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Short Story Published - Katya's Stays

It was a struggle closing the corset entirely; a creaking sound.  My neighbor used doorknobs, never the extra pair of hands in the room.  “Get an even pull.  Tightness is much more secure.  And the knobs stay fastened,” she said.  The first tug was most intense.  The laces pulled tighter, giving way to a more curvaceous figure of the natural female form, and it did the magic with whalebone and fabric.  The sight deepened my appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of a woman’s waist.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hoarding your writing – Let the light shine on your piece.

You are safely ensconced in your writing lair.  Ideas swirl around your head and you translate those thoughts into words.  The pen scratches against the crisp paper.  One sheet soon becomes two and then a hundred.  Finally, your work is complete and elation sweeps over you.  Yes, your work is finished – even though it is a rough draft.  Who cares?
Exactly.  Endorphins bask in the soup of future novel ideas as you place your finished piece into the drawer, with all of your other stories.  Yes, you know they are great stories, but there is no way in hell you are ever going to let anyone read them because ‘anyone’ might STEAL them.  Oh, no!  Such criminal act against your awesome writing self cannot ever happen.  It would be an act against nature if someone read your story and went off to write a better story. 
I have three words for you. 
Yes.  You read the words clearly.  I know it seems mean, but I always shoot from the hip.  The words are scarier than listening to nails scratching across a chalkboard.  You would much rather roll around in a mound of fire ants than to ever allow your piece to see the light of day.  However, there is hope – your story is not original because more than likely the story line is an amalgamation of stories you have read here and there. 
I want you to think of the book that developed your passion for reading.  Write down the name and write the reasons why you loved that book so much.  One of my favourite books I ever read as a kid was Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff.  The author sparked my interest in reading because she wrote about a dinosaur that lived with Danny.  Such a fantastic idea and from then on, I wanted a dinosaur to live with me!  Alas, to say my mother forced me to settle for a stuffed one.  Just as well. 
I promise is hard at first, but once you bring your piece out and show the world how great your work is, you allow new ideas to come your way.  So go ahead, take your project out – whether it is a short story, novella, novel or super novel – and invite others an opportunity to offer some insight. 
Go ahead.  Take your piece out of the drawer and be the first one to inspire a person to develop a passion for reading.  Who could ask for a better prize?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cool Cucumber Salad

I am inviting you to join me **virtually** to eat cucumber salad with me.

Stay true to your voice.

Go to fullsize imageI had the honour of tweeting with a wonderful person -- Stacey O'Neale (@YAFantasyGuide) -- about her article Sex in YA, How far is too far? Apparently a debate exists as to whether YA fiction should include sex scenes or not.  While Stacy wrote an EXCELLENT post about her views, I felt I needed to add my thoughts.
I must write a caveat: I am biased because for years my motto has always been “Sexuality should be embraced, never feared.”  In addition, I’ve written so many short stories and novels which are infused with erotica, it’s hard not to align myself with the encouragement of sex scenes in every book.  Even as a teenager, I enjoyed reading vanilla (without sex scenes) fiction, however I hungered, thirsted and even desired stories with a sexual element.  Why? I didn’t want to feel alone.
Now you ask:  Won’t the sex scenes in YA books cause teens to have sex?  I mean, they’ll actually learn what goes where.  We wouldn't want them to learn what they already know...
First and foremost, abstinence does not work.  If you want statistics, please consult @violetblue, @susiebright or a professional publication on the topic.  They are excellent sources in the statistical arena for they have worked in a sex positive community for so long. 
Teenagers are having sex, if they are not – they will eventually.
I have been a high school teacher for over 10 years.  It’s without a doubt in my mind that YOUR pre-teen/teen is reading books filled with sexual scenes (or will at some point).  It’s tempting to say, “Not my child.”  I’d walk around the classroom to ensure my students understood the concepts.  Oftentimes, I’d find students reading Zane Chronicles or Cosmopolitan or a bodice ripping romance novel or writing a graphic “what I want to do to you while your mom is at work” type of letter to their object of affection for the month.  The teens would be so enraptured in the reading or writing, they didn’t realize I was behind them – reading as well.  When the student realized I caught on, they would try to justify.  Before any excuses would spill out of their mouth, I stopped them and responded, “Just as long as you’re reading,” and I’d move on with the lecture. 
Seeing teenagers giggle as they read the SPECIFIC part or thumb through the pages just to get to the graphic sex scene tells me teens want to read about sex.  Teenagers need validation and assurance that their thoughts of sex are normal.  Teen magazines have this practice down to a science.  Pick up any teen magazine and you’ll find headlines splashed with “Does he really love you?  Does sex hurt the first time?  You’re into your girlfriend, does that mean you’re a lesbian?” Does this mean you, as an author, have to go against your nature and write your teen characters having sex? No.  Write what you’re comfortable writing because your readers will feel the discomfort through your words.
What’s even more is these pages are dog-eared and passed around faster than you can blink.
You ask?  Why didn’t you tell the parents?  I did.  In my earlier years of teaching because I felt it was my duty to inform the parents.  However, after the SEVERE denial on the parts of the parents and protests their child was a virgin and would never read such DIRTY material.  I simply stopped because this happened EVERY time I met with parents.
Dr. Alyn

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wicked Kisses Excerpt

RELEASES June 20, 2011
“People believed looking glasses repelled spirits that would bring them harm, death, and destruction.” Chloe said quietly, catching her reflection and squinting. She wondered if she were to ask the mirror the magic words, would a voice from the other side give her an answer like it did in the story Snow White?  
“Such fables and tales.” Penny announced, without interest.
The old scrollwork that surrounded the dull surface of the looking glass had dimmed over the years, collecting a layer of dust that barely moved when she touched it. Chloe turned from the mirror to examine the ancient Sumerian figureheads neatly arranged on the shelves along with carefully preserved scrolls in glass boxes. Chloe struggled to read the words, calling upon a history class she had taken over the summer. A gentle whisper, a medley of lyrical female voices and a seductive male voice, overlapped her mumbles, allowing Chloe to follow the words with greater ease. The murmurs grew louder, forcing her attention back to the mirror. The reflective surface was not as dull as before and the layer of dust between the crevices transformed into tiny specks of gold dust. She trembled, threading her fingers around the thick silver chain that hung around her neck. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, she thought as she pushed away her gnawing fear, what secrets do befall?

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