Saturday, August 22, 2009

Must Have Pants!

Well, I'm a little more timely this time! At least a month hasn't passed by since my last post. Not as much to report though.

My critique partner returned the gay Greek time travel--tentatively titled FOR OLYMPUS' SAKE. Her comments weren't too harsh, thank heavens, but as usual, she's right on the money. I ran through the edits then finished up the submission package (synopsis, back cover blurb). I emailed the entire thing to my Ellora's Cave editor yesterday morning. Now for the nail biting. And nausea. I always feel a little sick after submissions.

Early in the week, I started working on a gay erotic paranormal murder mystery. Oh, and it's a cold case. Yes, I've got genre-itis. Let's see how many I can squeeze in there. The plotting is coming along well. The victim is a smart-assed nineteen year old. I twittered yesterday that if my murder victim was real, I'd want to kill him! *cackle* No, I will not be writing myself into the novel as the killer.

Okay, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen reference to the family must-have-pants rule. It's a long story. Someday, I'll stick it in a book. But let's just say a relative forgot to wear pants one day. For whatever reason. The worst part had something to do with arguing with the cops after the accident. I shudder to remember all the details. So anyway... Now the deal in our family is you can get away with almost anything--as long as you have on pants.

I just found this on YouTube. To freaking funny. Would give my mother nightmares!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another Month Gone!

Another month got away from me! I haven't posted since July 11!

Things have been a little hectic. Momma recovered nicely from her gall bladder surgery. I did a lot of running back and forth for the first couple of weeks because she couldn't lift anything over 10 pounds. She doesn't like anyone staying with her when she's sick because she can't rest. She feels like she's not being a good hostess by sleeping through the visit! *cackle* But she was just fine calling me when she needed something. Worked for both of us. I'm only six miles away and I don't like spending the night away from home. *shrugs* We work well together. I figure when the day comes she needs to live with someone, we'll get a house with a mother/daughter set up (also called mother-in-law quarters, depending on where you live). With separate living quarters in the same house, it would work out perfect!

I received some great reviews for my Ellora's Cave novella, FIGHTING FOR ETERNITY! It's book four in my ETERNITY series.

Teresa at Fallen Angels Reviews said: "Ms. Kersten has continued her series with this action packed paranormal story. ... The love between Estefan and Karl is beautiful as they meet again at the most unexpected time and quickly rekindle their feelings for each other. I can’t wait for the next book in the Eternity series."

Scandalous Minx from Literary Nymphs said: "Ms. Kersten’s story has action, suspense, and sexual encounters that intertwine basic need, passion, love and devotion. This is a wonderful installment, and I have a feeling she will write, at the very least, one more book. I found the story delightful and look forward to reading more from Shayla Kersten in the near future."

Christine Phoenix said on her blog: "I would recommend not only this series but all Shayla Kersten’s work. Her characters are brought to life and she keeps your mind completely planted in the story until the end. I can’t think of a better way of spending a couple hours than reading about her hot heroes. Did I mention how hot the sex was? It’s a must read!" (WARNING: Christine has spoiler warnings in her review.)

I really need to get started on book five but I have several other projects simmering first.

On July 27, I finally finished the ancient Greece time travel that I thought would never end! LOL Finished around 39k words. A little longer than my novellas usually run but hey, the characters kept having sex! What am I supposed to do! On July 28, I started a space opera novella for a special anthology call. Only problem, the deadline was yesterday! Can we say procrastination, boys and girls?

I finish it yesterday afternoon at 26k words. In 14 days. And some of those days I had to work the day job. Saturday, I kicked into high gear. From Saturday through Monday, I wrote over 17k words. Everything hurt. Hands, fingers, arms, shoulders, back! But I finished it. Monday night, as I was putting the finishing touches on the synopsis, with less than two hours to go on the deadline, my power went out.

My neighbor said it was a substation two towns north of us. The entire east half of the county was dark. I had no way to get internet. I kept working on the laptop battery until my head hurt from lack of light. I gave up and went to bed, with no air conditioning mind you. I left my overhead light in the bedroom on so I'd wake up when the power came back. However, if my neighbor was right, I didn't have much hope for anytime soon.

Luck would have it, the power came back on around 11:45. I jumped out of bed, half awake and grabbed my laptop. A friend had done an emergency read on the story. As soon as I downloaded her email, I ran through her comments, wrote a cover letter and sent it off. With an apology and explanation for missing the August 10th deadline. So it's out of my aching hands.

Now, I'm getting back to my mainstream scifi idea from several months ago. But I don't have a concrete deadline so I don't have to kill myself.

One thing about the speed writing of the space opera story, it helped restore some of my confidence. Writers--probably creative types of all kind--tend to be insecure creatures. Or at least the ones I know. No matter how many accolades the last project garnered, I always have a little voice in the back of my head calling it a fluke. Seventeen contracts later, the voice is still there. I submit each project with a certain amount of nausea, waiting for the editor to tell me how much it sucks! Each release, I bite my nails until I see the first couple of reviews.

Then I had a couple of stories I started that stalled. The little voice said I was a fraud as a writer. I couldn't finish a story. A couple of rejected projects... Depressing yes, but usually I manage to brush it off. After a lot of cursing. *cackle* You can't be a writer if you can't handle rejection. Still, the little voice... Saying bad things.

So by speeding through the space opera project, and turning out what seems to be a pretty damn good story--one that is designed to be the beginning of a new series--I have managed to bind, muzzle and stuff in a closet that annoying little voice. Now to get through the next project before the bitch chews through the restraints!

May you always conquer the voices of doubt in your life!