Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Muse

I've change my mind.
I need my Muse.
My words keep getting stuck
between my head
and the paper.

The part of me that was had began to blossom,
has once again started to die due to neglect.
I try to remember the feelings,
but they too are fading.

I need him to come back
stoke my embers,
make me laugh,
ignite my imagination,
play me a song,
spank my ass,
stimulate my mind,
feed my fantasy,
remind me to feel.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Historical Tour de Grande

Okay, I admit it.  I am a history geek.  I love history.  I have since Mrs. Cady (who was actually related to Elizabeth Cady Stanton) stood before our 5th grade class and told the most amazing stories of New York History.  I sat on the edge of my seat wanting to know more.  It wasn't about dates for geography, it was about people and their stories.  I was hooked.  My favorite time period?  Probably the Middle ages with the Civil War coming in a close second. 

When I began homeschooling my children, I was drawn to the classical module for education.  My children soaked up the stories and myths of the ancient world.  They didn't realize that they were doing history, they were listening to stories.  I want to do that for my readers.  I want to sneak in fascinating facts about major and minor historical figures.  When they reach the end, I want them to have to fight an inexplicable urge look up details they never would have thought to explore. 

Well, this evening I was presented with a challenge that I just could not pass up.  In the next 12 months I have to read 6 historical novels, in 6 different sub-genre.  I can't wait to get started.  Lucky for me, I know at least 2 of my favorite authors, Beverly Jenkins (multicultural)  and Kate Pearce (regency), either have a recent release or one coming out early in 2011.

What does this have to do with my WIP?  Hopefully, a lot.  First of all, Mrs. Research  here, is going to see how many book, within the sub-genres I can find that have characters of color.  Black would be nice, but I'm looking for Brown, Red and Yellow.   I want to use this challenge to learn about people I never thought to know.  Learn about a time period that has escaped my radar until now.   Learn to bring an long gone era back to life. I also hope that I'll be introduced to at least one author that I've never heard of, but won't be able to live without.

Let the games begin.

I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with a little assistance from a professor of Greek and a few poets.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Post NaNo Musings

NaNoWriMo is over and I didn't make my goal of 50,000 words.  Between my contemporary short story, historical novel and all my blogging, I still only achieved a final word count of 34.857  But, when I think about it, I don't feel like a loser.  Matter of fact, NaNo gave me a few things that I desperately needed.

The first thing I got from NaNo was a writing community.  The writers old and new that joined my Facebook groups are amazing.  From Reena with her stockpile of writing software to Jen with her perpetual cheer leading, I know that I wouldn't have done so well without the support of others who had entered November Madness.  Friends and family are great, but there is nothing like having another writer understand your frustration when the words aren't flowing.  Or having a writer friend give a cyber high-five when you work through a difficult scene.  If you aren't part of such a community, feel free to join mine on Face Book:  The Writers' Block group, The Writers' Block page (Education and self promo for Indie Authors and aspirings.)

I also think I will be writing on a more regular now that NaNo is over.  Who knew that writing everyday made sustaining a thought easier?  Not me.  Up until now, I've written when the mood struck me.  Having to sit down to the computer and churn out 1667 words a day was daunting, but it soon became a habit.  One that my husband and children grew to expect and even respect.  Now that I've grown accustomed to writing everyday, sometimes only a couple hundred words,  I think I may actually finish the pile of unfinished manuscripts in my desk drawer.  And that would be nice as my website went live last week and I have readers and a publisher waiting for me to get kick it up a notch.

But the thing that I am most thankful to NaNo for this year is my newest WIP, My Lover's Keeper.  Accepting the challenge to write an historical novel has been the most awesome ride.  I'd hate for anyone to see my desk.  There are maps and reams of print outs.  Not to mention the books of Kate Pearce and Beverly Jenkins that I refer to often.  Not of it all smooth.  You have no idea how hard it is to find out the exact length of a transatlantic voyage. Much less finding an image of the interior of a French galleon, but I digress.

Etienne Chavaleau

Michel Rigard

Henri Chavaleau
I introduced my female characters early in NaNo.  Now I'd like to share their love interest.  I'm curious to see if anyone can figure out who goes with who. The girls are a couple of post back - NaNoWriMo.   I've posted a excerpt  of "My Lover's Keeper, please leave a comment to let me know if I am on track. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mission possible

I know one of the reasons I've been hesitant about writing my stories, is that I've had to reconcile my strict fundamental upbringing with my less then rated PG-13 imaginings.  Good church girls don't write dirty stories.  But I had a situation unfold in the last few hours that is helping me with that little issue.

My best friend popped into my chat box hysterical.  I truly thought that she was suicidal.  I felt so impotent.  I'm over 3,000 miles away from her.  If she was going to do something stupid, there wouldn't have been a damn thing I could have done about it.  Then she told me what was wrong.

She'd caught her man pleasuring himself with the help of a little Internet porn.  She took it as a personal attack against her ability to satisfy him.  I fell out.  She could not be serious.  She was yelling and screaming because he was jerking off!   I couldn't wrap my mind around that one.  This woman is so beautiful I used to feel invisible walking next to her.  Yet, she was the one with all these insecurities that I'm sure were based in her imagination.  It never occurred to her that he might just want an uncomplicated orgasm.  That he might just enjoy touching himself.  There had to be something wrong with her, for him to do this madness.

But then I began to really think about it.  How many woman really see themselves as sexual beings?  How many of us take the time to learn to pleasure ourselves or know how to articulate our desires?  How many of us bring our fantasies to our sexual partners and give them life?  How many of us secretly think our darkest desires are somehow perverse?  I image way to many.

Which got me to where I am now, rambling into this computer.  What if, what I do is not so much corrupting upstanding citizens, but educating them?  What if, through one of my tales a husband will try something that brings a spark back to a dying space?  What if, my stories give a new mother comfort and pleasure, when her husband is away providing for his family?  What if, someone single reads a line that causes her to leave a jerk alone and wait for a good guy to come along?  What if, a woman embraces her sexual preferences as good and normal because of me?

I may write the great American novel.  May dabble into genre I haven't even thought of yet.  But for now I am Portia de Moncur, writer of erotic romance...and I'm embracing that a little more every day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What was I thinking

My Evil Self-Editor

It is possible ;-)
Here it is Day 16 of NaNoWriMo and I am beyond behind.  I didn't realize that I had this evil little self-editor lurking in my psyche.  He wants me to reread and rewrites sentence after sentence, just because they are stiff or cliche.  Wants me to stop writing to check on historical facts,  from multiple sources, no less.  Wants me to force my poor husband to help me figure out if you can suck a boob AND play with a coochie while a woman is laying on top of you.  Either I have to learn to turn him off...or I may oops up and turn out a fabulous piece of historical erotica.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who needs a Muse...my literary Fairy God-Father speaks French

Well, here we are at the end of day 3 of NaNoWriMo and I am only at word count 2189.  I should probably be feeling guilty for being so far behind, but I'm not.  I may not have been writing, but I think my time has been well spent.

First of all, on Monday, the NaNo servers crashed.  No one was able to get on until late that evening.  But I knew I was going to need cheerleaders, so I created a group on Facebook.  At first it was just unpublished writers like me getting together to bond.  But then I noticed that some of my favorite authors were also NaNoing.  Of course, I had to ask them to join my merry group of writers, to make sure we were doing it right.  It wasn't until much later, that I realized that many of my "friends" were writers of erotica or steamy romance.  Needless to say, I'm starting each day with prayer, that they will behave.

 Mon Dieu littéraires Fairy-Père

Then, I realized that a friend actually lived in France.  I sent him a message, asking if he would read my French dialogue, to make sure that Google Translate got it right.  He said  but didn't really know how helpful he would be.  Neither did I until this morning.  He messaged me first thing and asked what he could do today.  I replied that he could talk dirty to me.  I wanted to know how a real Frenchman, in 1810 would seduce a young woman.  He was quite helpful.  I began to write.  Before long I came to a part in the scene where a door is opened to the outside.  I again messaged him to find out if there were any spring smells unique to Paris.  He wrote back  that the smell of fleur d'oranger was amazing.  Instantly, I had sensory data to spice up my story.  It is truly like having my own personal Literary Fairy God-Father.

Then I was able to set up my online writing critique group.  We aren't going to do much until after NaNo, but starting in December, we will have a place to post and critique each others work...I am so excited.  Again, it is mostly newbies and indie writer's, but enough "real writers" will be around to offer guidance.

I finally got to the part in the scene where poor Vivienne is supposed to be ravished by the evil Lord Fournier.  I'd been dreading having to get her out of what I imaged to be layers and layers of period clothing.
You have no idea how ecstatic I was to find out that fashion in 1810 Paris was not that complicated.  More importantly, ravishment could be achieved by any able-bodied healthy male.  Woo, whoo...

But back to my 2189 word count.  It took me two days to get to 1,000.  I kept changing words and adding words but the scene just didn't feel right.  There should be medication to reduce the need to self edit.  This morning I tried something new.  I wrote out all the dialogue and then went back in and added the action.  I wrote over 1,000 words in about an hour.  It didn't hurt that it was a sex scene and there was a soft rain falling outside my window...but I digress...

Monday, November 1, 2010


I f you have been following me for more than five minutes, you know that I write contemporary erotic fiction.  What you may not know is that I am participating in this year's National Novel Writing Month project.  Writers from all over the world have been challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  For someone like me, with a hint of ADD and a hectic life, I think this is the perfect challenge.  Hopefully, I will have a good chunk of a novel completed when December rolls around.

Anyway, I have always wanted to write a historical piece, but have had a hard time thinking of a story line that had a sexy love story with slavery as a backdrop...but never doubt my inner freak...I think I've come up with some pretty juicy ideas.

My Lover's Keeper is set in 1810 New Orleans.  It will show the role of race on love and friendship.  It follows 3 women, Vivienne, a French heiress; Lisette, a kept mulatto woman, and Suzanne, a sassy African slave.  Each of them is strong, in their own way, but together, they are lethal.

Suzanne Baptist

Lisette Boudois

Vivienne Arceneau
I always start by getting a picture that matches my vision for my character.  Today, I spent most of my time, on character sketches for both major and minor characters.  Also worked on the entire plot outline and individual chapter outlines by scene.

I didn't think I would ever write historical...but it's coming together.

Oh, and a side note...I added a link to Good Reads...add me as a friend, I'd love to know what you are reading.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Writer's Block

I woke up this morning intending to begin on an erotic historical piece.  I'd gone over dialogue in my sleep and knew exactly how I want to proceed.  But, a inexplicable sadness hung over me all day and words just would not come. I tried to work on an edit that I printed out last night to work on today.  Again, I just couldn't concentrate on anything productive.  Finally, I gave up and cleaned out my Farmville giftbox.

Then about 8pm, I got the news my spirit had been waiting for all day.  A dear friend had been found dead in her home.  She and I had worked together for almost 10 years, but had lost track of each other, when within weeks, we both got fired.  I'd been so busy trying to get my head together, that I hadn't thought about Dottie in months.

But, tonight when I heard that she was gone, I felt a wave of emotion crash over my soul.  Strongest was anger with the hospital where we'd worked for so many years.  They fired her, knowing she had health problems, knowing losing her insurance would mean not getting her medications and access to specialists, knowing she was a single parent.  And they did it without a blink.  I know the hospital is in business to make money, but damn.

As I sit here,  updating my status, fielding questions from mutual friends, I feel so guilty.  I have so many people in my corner, wanting for me to succeed as a writer and Dottie didn't have anyone.  No close family, no lovers and if I am example...no friends.

Intellectually, I know that there is probably nothing that I could have done differently that would  have Dottie alive today. But in my heart, I also know that I let a friend down.  She died alone on a kitchen floor.  I can't remember if I ever told her how much I valued her friendship.  And now I never can.

Tonight, I feel my mortality.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social Networking

I have discovered the joys of networking. Among my new "friends on Facebook, I have established authors, spoken word artist, aspiring writers and book reviewers. Writers from every genre have graciously allowed me to become a fly on their walls. I even picked up my very own "Literary Fairy God-Mother". A professional editor who read a brief prologue of mine and helped me to tweak it.  Gotta love a woman who with a few minor edits makes me better.

There is so much more to this writing gig than just typing words into the computer.

What I've learned this week:

Since I started sharing about my literary aspiration, quite a few of my friends have come out of the closet. A guy I went to high school with is an independent author. He utilizes both print and e-publishing. Another friend, who is an accountant, clued me into the fact that she had self-published a book years ago and would like to get back into writing. Still, another friend shared that she was not a writer, but her 13yo daughter was already showing signs of being a wordsmith. I love it.  If I can help someone else to feed their creative soul with words, I can justify every breath I take.

Also learned that many established writers are willing and eager to offer advice and encouragement. I don't want to become a cyber stalker, so I tend to just write little notes when someone accepts my friend request. In response, I have received a fair number of commercial posts to buy this book or that. But I have also received personal words of support. I can't tell you how thrilling it is to read a post from someone whose book is sitting on your shelf. Those post, somehow, make me feel one step closer to making my dream a reality.

I think my favorite new friends are the pre-published authors. More than anyone else...we understand each other. Non-writers watch in fascination as we agonize with finding just the right words to breath life into our characters. Established writers can become so jaded that they forget the hunger. But another writer who is just beginning to work up the courage to share their words with others...gets it. I don't know if there will ever come a time when I look at a book contrast with bored disdain. But I doubt, for a writer, if anything can compare to the rush of that first book deal.

Finally, I'm learning that all e-publishing is not created equal. To be honest. I never thought about submitting to an e-publishers. In my mind, I kinda classified them as a step sib to "real book publishing". I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only is e-publishing a million dollar industry, but for some genre, it is the ONLY option. For someone like me, who wants to introduce paranormal plots that have a little more flavor than True Blood or Twilight, e-publishing may even be the best choice.

One of my mentors sent me a comparison chart of some of the major e-publishers. Reputable companies aren't too much different that print publishers. The process of sifting the gold from the dross is pretty much the same. On the other hand, there are companies that allow a writer to sell their work, no matter how poorly written, without external review. It might be nice to have an ebook to sell to family and friends, but even with a small readership, my pride would want a fresh set of eyes to evaluate my work. Hell, my name is on that book. I want to be published, but I also want to be remember. And not for putting out second-rate trash.

Dak and Elise got pushed to the side this week. PortiadeMoncur.com should be online in the next week or so.  I'm working the last edits on a series of shorts that I'll offer online.  As for writing, I'm working on  breathing life into a friend's fantasy. Have a few interviews lined up with interracial couples. Been a while since I was with a white boy, wonder if the rules have changed.  Doubt it ;-)

Happy writing,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elisa Royale

I think I found her.  Elisa is a nice girl.  Almost boring.  She is a math geek and is a senior manager at a aeronautics firm.  Currently unemployed she heads to the Bahamas when she learns her father is missing.  I haven't figured out how to set up a poll, so just leave a comment in the box...I'll get it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Predictability and Plausibility

I figured out a long time ago what my reading pet peeves are.  Predictability and Plausibility.  If I can tell who did it two chapters in, that book may not get finished.  Same goes for plausibility.  Too many coincidences and the author loses street cred with me.  I need a reason to turn that page.

Last night, I was still trying to come up with a plausible reason for Dakheel to lash out, in Deadly Paradise.  This is not the beginning of story, but it's what sparked my interest to create Dak's story.  I asked a dozen male FB friends what they thought would set a man off, other than cheating.  I was very surprised by the response.  Almost all of them replied lies and/or secrets.

So, today I sat down and began working on my plot outline.  I usually start with a general idea of my character.  Then I troll the Internet until I find an image that brings that character to life for me.  I was pleased with the image that I came up with for Dakheel.  (Even though the model is Indian and not Algerian, he had the look I was going for.)  Elisa is still an vague image in my head.  I'm starting to see her character, but her face still eludes me.  All I do know is that she is going to screw up big time, probably with a lie of omission.

I decided on Huntsville and Nassau, as primary settings, because I am familiar with both of those locales, and wouldn't have to waste time with a lot of pre-writing research.  Also, there are some social issues, I would like to explore.

Then, I usually work on my bad guy.  In this case, I wanted him to be smooth and not necessarily evil, but definitely self-centered.  Think I've come up with a character I am going to love to hate.

I made it to Chapter 6 in my outline, before life got in the way.  I know how this is going to end...just not sure of the journey.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The New Man in my life

Last night I asked my Facebook friends to help me create a character.  I couldn't see him clearly.  Just felt the impact of his fist as he hit the plaster behind a woman's head.  I could hear see him rest his head on the wall and whisper, so only she could hear, "do you love me?.  That's it.  Nothing else. 

Today, I know him much better.

Meet Dakheel Hason Katton. 32 years old,  he is the son of an Algerian textile merchant.  They create high quality linen sold throughout the world.  His mother is European.  Sadly, she died when he was only 6 years old.  He was raised in London,by his maternal grandparents, but spent his summers with his Father.  His name means beautiful foreigner.   He loves the desert and the culture of his father, but also appreciates the hustle and bustle of London.  He has been educated in the US, UK and Saudi Arabia.  He speaks English, Arabic, Spanish and French.  He can read Latin and hold a decent conversation in Japanese.   He has a pretty good relationship with his siblings.  Thanks, in part to his father' wife.  She has never held the circumstances of his birth against him.  Always treated him as one of her own.  He has it all, but does not have a place that he call home.  But all of that is about to change.

Dak is the Bahamas to survey  a potential site for his family's business.  He becomes involved with, Elisa Royale, a woman who ignites protective instincts he didn't know he had.  She has become his obsession.  Unfortunately, she has a secret that is going to test this very new, very volatile relationship.  Will their relationship survive the revelations?

I haven't decided yet :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beginning and Endings

The last time I posted, I was pretty bummed out about losing my job.  To say I was angry is to put it mildly.  I was pissed.  But now, I thank God for that kick in the butt.  Losing that job was the kick that I needed to start living.

Looking back, I haven't really been living, for a while.  I'd just exsist between crisis.  What bills need to be paid, what kid needed attention, what dilemma needed my immediate attention? There was no time for breathing, much lest actively feeding my creative soul.

My daughter turned 17 today.  I look at her and wonder where the years have gone.  In less then a minute, she'll be running off to college to start another chapter of her life.  I'm glad that I will be around to share more of this last year at home with her.  I hope to model balanced womanhood.  I hope her ending childhood is a door to a marvelous adulthood.  I hope she never forgets to feed her creative self or let life get in the way of being happy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Chapter

Well, It's been a few days since I got the axe via certified mail.  I've worked out a few list of things to do this week.  It's amazing how when you have all the time in the world, it's hard to find a starting point.

My lists are divided into personal, household and professional.

Personally, I intend to learn to breath again.  I've spent so much of the past 6+ years trying to fit into a system that didn't want me.  I feel like I should have to go through a military-style debriefing

Household needs are easier to define...Organize, Organize...Organize.  From our schedule, which is nonexistent , to the walls of clutter, I know what needs to be done.  The dilemma lies in the order of operations.

Professionally, I'm taking a little vacation from nursing.  The family can't afford my little vacation to be indefinite, but probably a couple of weeks.  Then I'll put together a resume and hit the local temp agencies.  I hate that I traded the money and the freedom of agency work to the security of being on staff.  But I was single then.  Thank God for a supportive mate.

As for my writing, I have several irons in the fire.  I've misplaced my notes on the mythology series so that is on hold.  I'm work on character bios for the mystery series.  And, I just finished the plot outline for the erotic series.  I also have started working a nonfiction project.

I haven't had a real working space...working on that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I hate goop

Somewhere around the seventh grade, I discovered the joys of journalism.  I wrote for my school newpaper and yearbook all thru high school.  One of my first "real jobs" was as a photojournalist for a small African-American paper. I loved the cleanliness of the literary style.  Each word was a valuable contribution to the piece.  Who? What? Why? When? and Where?  Just the facts, Maam.

Then I decided that I had to write a paranormal romance.  Guess what?  Readers want to know more than just the facts.  They want to know what color curtains were in the room.  What time of year the scene is set in?  How tall is the hero?  Bottom line...readers want goop.

Goop is all the stuff I skip when I'm reading a book.  All those little details that make the story come to life.  I didn't even realize that I was skipping over the goop, until I started reading to learn.  I read the first paragraph of probably 50 books before I even got a clue.

Another thing that is really, was an online critique site.  Other novice writers gave me very helpful advise on a short piece of erotica that I posted.  From the feedback, I figured out that I was starting with the wrong part of the story.  I was adding goop, but not goop that advanced the story.

I hope that I never completely lose my jounalist view of the world.  I hope that the observation skills I have learned will translate into clean, crisp details that paint a vivid picture, for my readers, of my world. 
I hope to vanquish the goop.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Land of make believe

When I decided to write a book, I figured I'd write about a sexy Black Vampire.  In my mind, Ryan Gentiles would play a much better vamp than that adorable Twilight Brit.  But then I started doing research and discovered a whole mythological treasure trove.  Who needs an imagination when indigenous people around the world have come up with some fantastic stories to explain their world.

Now I'm walking around with a notebook filled with character stetches, plot summaries, pictures, and timelines.  I stopped trying to remember who had what powers and started writing stuff down.  I even know all my villians.  Villians are hard for me.  Crimes of passion I understand.  You catch me in bed with your husband, I expect a attempted beatdown.  But what makes a Jeffery Dahmer?  What makes a Zodiac kiler kill?  These guys can't be total monsters or society would easily identify them.  The fact that they commit crimes over the course of years, lets you know that they appear normal on the surface.  I'm trying to create villians you love to hate.

Anyway, back to the Aje.  I tried writing book one of the Aje series and nothing happened.  I outlined a workable plot.  Created characters I love and added enough spice to get a reader hot.  But the story didn't call to me.  The story I've started writing is actuallty Book 3 in the series.  I go to sleep hearing voices.

I've also started working on a series of short erotic stories based on songs.   I will add to my blog as soon as I figure out how to do that.  The first is based on "Boots On" by Christian Keyes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'd rather be writing!

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I guess I am a writer of sorts...I've had a few nonfiction pieces published in national magazines. But I've decided I want to write a novel. Not a great literary work that will be studied by students one hundred years from now, but paranormal erotica novel that will have sexy vampires.

I bought a book on writing basics and am working faithfully...not!

But I have noticed already, writing is hard. I am coming up with great characters, plausible plots and fantastic endings. My hardest challenge is the bad guys. Why do bad guys do what they do. Are they all mentally ill, but so smart that they don't get caught.

As a women of color, I understand crimes of passion. Black folks will shoot someone in a heart beat. What I don't understand the Hannibel Lectors or Jeffery Dahmers. What is that about?

Anyway, I've avoided working long enough.