I Do This Every Year

Why do I do this every year? I know it’s coming. I anticipate it. I dread it. And yet, I still do it.

I’m referring to my complete disregard for my lack of writing productivity from mid-June to mid-September. I’m not a summer person in the slightest. The noise, the traffic, the heat — all those hallmarks of summer are brain-killers for me. I should know by now not to mess with this, to just sit back and chill out, but I’ve only ever half-learned my lesson. When I was writing for a publisher who gave me deadlines that crossed into summer, I’d bust my ass to get them out of the way by mid-June. “Fantastic! You’re so prompt!” the editor would say, and I’d keep it to myself that I had barely slept in an effort to make my deadline.

I’m not under contract for anything right now. My book is in a potential publisher’s TBR pile, and even if she came back tomorrow to tell me she was publishing my book and I needed to start working on it right away it wouldn’t be so bad, because editing isn’t writing. Editing requires me to be critical instead of creative.

I had hoped this year would be different. I have a nifty new writing space begging to be used. I made a to-do list of manageable bites. “Bring it on!” I said to myself, and then proceeded to hurl myself into that dark pit of failure. I crawl out, I play some video games, and then I go for another leap.

This is different from my failed attempt at writing a historical novel in 30 days. At least I wrote something that week. This is just a soul-sucker.

There are countless articles, books, and admonishing tweets about needing to make the time to write, how you can do it on top of a flaming pile of garbage if you were really serious. I’ll give an inch, a lot of writer’s block is just procrastination, but at the same time I challenge those people to listen to my DIY-loving neighbour drive his riding lawnmower up and down his lengthy driveway for three and a half hours while his four-year old screams in the background.

July 20th and I’m throwing in the towel. I’m going to read books and play video games for the next six weeks. I’ll end up doing it anyway, but at least this way I won’t have the crushing defeat of summer on my shoulders.

On Fire – Available Now

I honestly can’t remember the last Cleis anthology I was a part of. I think it may have been Love, Lust and Zombies, edited by Mitzi Szereto (my story in this is easily my favourite, by the way, so check it out.)

Today marks the release of the latest, this time from the desk of Rachel Kramer Bussel. On Fire features my story A Place As Beautiful As This as well as a roster that includes some of my favourite authors — Giselle Renarde, Tamsin Flowers, Jade A. Waters and Victoria Blisse to name a few. If you’re a fan of erotic romance, add this to your TBR.

Rachel has all the links posted at the book’s Tumblr. If you’re on Netgalley, you can request it there in exchange for an impartial review.

You can also check out my other stories by heading over to I Write Smutty Things, where you can find links to free reads at Tablo and also to my Amazon page. I’ve been in a lot of great anthologies put together by some fabulous editors, and many of those stories are now up at Tablo to read for free.

2016 Reading Roundup

This is the first year in a while I was able to sit back and do some reading. Previously I had been so busy writing and making deadlines, not to mention living in an apartment where peace and quiet simply was not possible, but this year I actually managed to get 15 books read. Well, 14 so far. I’m on number 15 right now.

That’s not really a big number when you consider in past years I read through about a hundred a year, but it’s a huge start, and I think some of these books deserve a good shout-out.

The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan – I actually enjoyed the sequel much more (and am eagerly awaiting the Christmas book), but this is the book that kicked off my return to reading back in February. City girl’s relationship and business tanks, and she heads off to Cornwall to get her bearings together. She doesn’t plan on staying, but after her hobby of baking bread turns into a career she decides to put down roots. There’s a a hunky fisherman, a hunky bee-keeper, a curmudgeonly bakery owner, and a baby puffin in this one. A BABY PUFFIN.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – This one has been out for a while but I’d been avoiding it, and it was on my Kindle longer than it should have. It’s about a scientist with Asperger’s syndrome looking for a wife in a very scientific way. You’d think he was being thrown into a cutesy scenario where Rosie is the wild, unpredictable love interest that brings him out of his comfort zone, but Rosie is pretty average as love interests go. Definitely one of my favourites, and I’m keen to get started on the sequel.

Mattie’s Story by Margaret A. Westlie – Another one that sat on my TBR for too long. This authors is local to me, from Prince Edward Island, and her book was right up my alley. At fifteen, Mattie’s father dies and she’s married off by her mother to a schoolteacher, David. It’s a coming of age story set in the 1800s and you follow Mattie from her tomboyish adolescence into marriage and then motherhood.

Hyde by Daniel Levine – Finally a Jekyll and Hyde adaptation that didn’t make me want to rip my hair out while reading. Told entirely from the perspective of Edward Hyde, we learn that he’s not the villain that the original book made him out to be, and we learn why he exists to begin with. There’s a twist, and even if you see it coming you’ll still be on the edge of your seat by the end.

The Secret Path by Jeff Lemire – This graphic novel is heartbreaking and based on a true story. A part of The Secret Path project that includes an album from Gord Downie, a concert series, and a television special, The Secret Path gives a name to the sixties scoop in which native children in Canada were placed in residential schools to assimilate them into white Canadian culture.

My TBR for 2017 has over 75 books on it (!!!) – the accumulation of about 2 years worth of book buying, so my goal is to read every single one of them at 2 a week, and with one exception I’m pretty much cut off from buying any more books until I get every single one of them read.