Private Property

Leah and I have been friends and crit partners for a long time. We've laughed and screamed and cried together, and the more interesting of those stories may yet come out at some later date. ;)

But for today, I could not be more pleased to introduce her and her first release. It's been exciting for me because I've been alongside her so much of the way. I've known she was a talented writer from the beginning and I'm proud (very proud) to have helped her along with what support and emotional encouragement I could give.

*Raises frosted mug* So here's to Leah, her first sale and to many more.

When Sue asked me to write something up for her blog, I said, “Sure, I can whip something up for you.” Then I sat and stared at a blank page for a while. You see, Sue has been a huge influence on me. She’s the one who pushed and shoved me toward where I am today, not listening to me whinge and rant the way I’m prone.

Sue and I started off writing a round-robin story with several other aspiring writers. That was the first time I’d ever written from a male point of view and it was quite eye-opening. And surprising, especially the time when I posted my character (a warrior) talking to Sue’s character (a barmaid) saying that he wanted an ale but perhaps he needed shave, or perhaps he needed both. Sue misread my post and had her character thinking he’d asked her for a BATH. Okay, you had to be there to understand how hilarious that was. But you see, that was the beginning of our partnership. I went on to write quite a few more stories involving that character, and Sue very generously allowed me to use her character in some of those stories.

For the next year I concentrated on writing fantasies, where before I’d usually written science fiction or suspense. When not writing my next chapter, Sue would challenge me to write drabbles to make me write tighter. She’d push me to write outside of my comfort level. We’d exchange numerous emails about writing techniques and ‘the rules’ and when you could break them, or if you should. And with each critique, with each email, I learned more and more from her.

So when Sue challenged me to write an erotica back in the spring of 2007, I looked at it as another exercise. The first one I wrote was a sci-fi involving dragons and shapeshifters on an earth in the future, the next was a contemporary paranormal, again involving shapeshifters. But then for some reason I can’t explain, when I created the world around Private Property, there wasn’t a shapeshifter in sight. Set in contemporary Dallas, there was no fancy hardware involved (unless you count the BDSM equipment lining the shelves in Sam’s private bedroom.) No swords and chainmail, no elves, no evil wizard in sight. Yet these characters, Mark Rodriguez and Jodi Tyler, and especially Sam Watson, just leapt off the page in a way none had since I wrote that very first round-robin story. It’s about jealousy and betrayal, and the search for trust and boundaries and respect for both your friends and your lovers. All universal themes, no matter what the genre. Oh, and I mustn’t forget, there’s some really hot, wicked sex in it too.

If you want to read an excerpt you can go here, or here. (I will warn you, the first one is for those 18 years of age or over.) And you can buy Private Property here. But whether you buy it or not, I still owe Sue a huge “Thank You.” Because I really wouldn’t have gotten where I have without her guidance.

Happy New Year!

"HAa-ppy New Year" ~ I can never say that without thinking of the stop motion "Frosty the Snowman" saying that when he wakes up with the top hat on. But it's a happy memory and so I guess that's all good.

And we have had a good start to 2009.

The holidays were good here, if busy. But I think that's the nature of the holidays and it was especially welcome since we had a rough year with some of the family stuff.

But while so much of the US is iced in, in Texas this time of year can be the time to be out and doing.

Beri and I went to our first Brass Tacks match yesterday, hosted by our local CMSA Club, Texas Smokin Guns. It was a beautiful 84 degrees with a perfect light breeze for most of the day. The wind picked up toward the end of the day and made the last couple of rounds more challenging, but that's an inherent part of the sport.

I'd given Beri, and myself, time off since our last match last fall. She did a 50 at the Armadillo endurance ride with Courtney and only some light trail riding and pony rides since, but we haven't been shooting so I wasn't sure how we'd do. Overall, I was moderately pleased with my shooting and extremely pleased with Beri. The break did her good and she seemed ready to get back in the game.

We did 'good enough' in our class (3 of 6!) and are slowly moving up in the overall standings, which is pretty exciting since we spent so much of last year just learning how to use our thumb.

- no. really. One of the hardest things for me to learn to do has been to cock the gun fast enough on the run down. Even now, I'll miss the fourth balloon if I let her run home. But yesterday, she rated for me better than she has before and that's part of all the elements of the sport starting to be more automatic instead of me having to over-think each step.

We only got to do two endurance rides last year (although my horses each did a ride without me!) and we're excited to have more endurance local-to-us on the schedule - so we're looking at an intense (FUN!) year, and yesterday gave us a great start.