Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Read It Week

I am going to try and read 10+ books in one week. May 1st to 7th. Anyone who wants can join me. How about a twitter hashtag for book updates? #readitweek

Oh, and... Yes, I'm a bit of a nerd.You'll know why I say this when you see the books on my list, trust me. lol

Potential Read List (in no particular order):
On Writing by Stephen King
Lessons From a Writing Life/Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks
Particle Physics: a very short introduction by Frank Close
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Wake by Lisa McMann
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
and, FALLING, fly by Skyler White
Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Hero by Perry Moore
Wren to the Rescue by Sherwood Smith
The Drunkard's Walk: how randomness rules our lives by Leonard Mlodinow

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Books and Buying

Another trip to the bookstore, so I'm going to talk about what I bought and what are obstacles to me buying books. Don't forget to post author/book suggestions in the post below this one. Still have a week left to give me your suggestions.

From Barnes and Noble I purchased:

1. empty book with black&white cover with tree and mist. Quote is "One instant is eternity; eternity is the now. - WU-MEN"  It's for my Sekrit novel since it'll take more than one notebook and most of what I already have is either unlined or a bit too femme even for a gay boy character.

2. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez - If it isn't obvious, it's a book with gay characters. Woot. Boys in high school and homosexuality. At least it's a start.

3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - This is one that I've heard a lot about but hadn't really considered at first. The cover isn't bad either, so I'm going to see how this first book reads.

4. Wake by Lisa McMann - I'd heard about this one over blogs. The premise interests me and the cover isn't too bad. It even links to the story a bit, which I prefer but don't always see.

There are a variety of reasons that I'll buy a book. Having people tell me about it is one and the cover another. The story has to have something that interests me but I'll give almost anything I try. However, there are a few things that can hinder a book's chances with me as the buyer.

Hardback: I don't like to purchase hardback books. I will on the rare occasion, but I just don't care for them. There are two main reasons. First, the sleeve that has the nice cover on it gets in the way so I end up throwing them away. Which means the pretty part of the cover gets thrown away because it gets in the way and is more annoying than anything else. The other reason is financial. Fact is, hardcover are more expensive than paperback. Sure, I would like to support the author more but why buy one hard cover when I can get 2 paperback books for the same price, or even 3.

First Person: While I am willing to read the occasional first person pov book, it's not my preference. I have a harder time getting into the main characters and such. Maybe it's from my preference of epic fantasy, but I'm not sure. I just prefer third person. So, if a book is in first it's going to be a harder sell for me.

Combining them is even worse. Still a slight chance but won't be easy to sell to me with both.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Make A Suggestion

That's right. I need ideas. So, Im letting you decide.
1. Authors
Who should I try and interview for this blog? Pick anyone and I will try to contact them for an interview. Oh my god and goddess, why am I saying any author? Should I change it? No, I won't. Any Author... (yes, I'm weird).

2. Books
What books should I read? I am slow so it may be awhile but I'm open for suggestions. And if you mention a gay book, I'll really try to find it. I read almost any genre, though am more fond of fantasy (elves, mages and witches in particular).  But I won't read Twilight. No. Twilight.
*note: I tried to read Twilight and just don't care for it.

So, now it is your turn. Oh, my wise 69+ followers. Make your suggestions. Will be closed at the end of April, so get those ideas in while you can.

Monday, April 19, 2010


The 50+ Follower Giveaway is over and I have the two winners. Yay!
14 people entered for a grand total of 30 numbers

I have learned a bit from this giveaway, but no need to rant about that here. I'm sure you all just want to know who wins. So, here you go.

Prize #1 Ray Bradbury Book
Winning Number = 27
Harley D. Palmer

Prize #2 Tree Book
Winning Number = 4
Melanie Golden

Will send out an email or twitter DM to the winners after getting some sleep so I can get mailing addresses. Congratulations to the winners. And thank you, everyone who entered and to those who follow my blogs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lead or Follow

This is a topic that came to mind while I was shopping in Cheyenne, where I bought a few books. But have a few points first.

I bought books, yay! Okay, I didn't really need more books to read but come on. I was in Barnes and Noble. How could I not buy some books? There were a few I wanted that I still am not buying, but that will be discussed at a later topic. So, what did I buy? On Writing by Stephen King (Yeah, a shelf full of books on writing and I'm just now buying King's *slap on wrist*), Changeless by Gail Carriger (I saw the youtube video of the cover being made for the next book and it caught my attention) and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (picked at random from searching the YA section, liked the cover and it was paperback).  They will be part of a personal read-a-thon.

Read-a-thon! In order to get some reading done, I've decided to do a personal read-a-thon the first week of May. Anyone who wants to join me, can. My goal is to read 10 books, which might seem small for some but I haven't read 10 books in the last year, let alone in one week.

Remember, my book giveaway ends on the 18th. Don't forget to enter and maybe try to follow the rules, maybe. If you have entered but didn't follow the rules, don't worry. This time, since I'm new to all this, I'll let it slide. ;-)

Now the topic: Lead or Follow

Most of the time, the general rule is that it's better to be a follower but there are some times and people where that isn't the case. Maybe it's just me. I feel like there are times when I would like to follow and not be a leader. But it doesn't work out this way.

To use a non-writing example first. I read tarot cards. Not often, but I do know how to read them. When I was first starting out back in junior high and high school, I hoped that someone would come along (online or in person) who would teach me. Never happened. By high school, I was teaching other people online how to read tarot. I didn't have anyone to learn from, or "follow" in this instance.

Now for writing. I'm sure that many of the authors who are viewed as leaders in their genre never planned it that way. Bet they never really thought they would lead the way in trends, influencing people to read, or anything like that. Then there are the people who follow. I'm not saying they do it on purpose, it just so happens to work out in their favor because the book they loved to write fits. It's not an intentional follow, but it happens.

I wish I had something/someone to follow. Why don't I? Try this drill. Go into say, the YA section, or another fiction genre section in a regular bookstore. How many gay books can you find just by looking at the shelves? Yeah, umm I found 3 in YA. 2 Rainbow Boys ones and then one other right next to them. The chance of gay main characters becoming a trend or obvious is rather slim... okay, very slim. My sister (wants to work in publishing) actually told me that I should write straight characters because it stands more of a chance of being published. But that is one thing I won't ever change in my stories. My characters are gay and I'd rather never be published than change them.

Take Writing.Com for example. I write erotica on there and recently a set of classes were created to help people learn how to write erotica. Am I going to enter? No. Do I need help? Yes. But the people running the classes, same ones from contests I enter, have a preference for straight erotica. The one gay round the main contest had, I was the judge. If I want there to be a class that helps glbt writers along with the others, then I'll have to teach it.

Then there is the erotica newsletter on the site. There was a recent poll and one of the questions was whether or not we felt there needed to be more glbt topics in the newsletter. Guess who gets to write those newsletters? Yep, me. I just sent in my first one about publishing opportunities for glbtq stories.

Okay, I have officially rambled.

I guess my main point is. I wish I had something/someone to follow that are obvious. I'd love to not have to spend hours online just to find a couple of books. I don't know how capable I am in leading, or if the chance will even occur when it comes to this book stuff. And that worries me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Giveaway Time!

That's right, I have more than 50 followers now. (60 to be exact.) Time to giveaway the two books I had picked out just for this occasion.  I found the banner online, at paintermommy.com, which is kinda perfect in that I'm actually a painter and even have brown hair. Though, I look nothing like that, I can guarantee. Not even close. But it's a fun image that works for this giveaway.

First: Thank you to every one of my followers (even the one who is accidently following me twice). I appreciate having all these followers, and the occasional blog comment makes it even better. Feels validating to have the knowledge that someone is reading what I post.

Now to the fun stuff. The prizes, and yes there are two prizes, to be given away.
1.) Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
2.) Blank, lined, hard covered book

I tried to find prizes, books, that were related to the topic of writing and that weren't overly feminine. Most the empty books to write in had pinks and purples, so this is the best I could do in the way of non-expensive empty books. It's a tiny bit more girly than boyish but it's really not bad. I like trees personally, so that's another nice aspect. I think the image on the cover is great. lol

*Should mention, I live in the U.S. so, not sure how far I may be able to ship the items.

Giveaway details, aka... How to Win:
1+ entry: comment on this post with email address added
1+ entry: tweet giveaway/blog link and have #dawnembers in the tweet
3+ entry: blog about the giveaway/blog and post a link in the comment to said post

Total chances available = 5
Days to enter = 5 days (ends the end of April 18th, 2010)

Both 5's are to go with the 50 follower concept, hehehe. The winners will be picked using an excel sheet and a dice system which basically picks random numbers based on a set parameter. Only one prize per person, so that two different people will win. 1st number wins Bradburry book and 2nd number from dice system will get the empty book.

Good luck and let the follower celebration begin!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Murder Scene

Another blogfest entry though it will be one of the last few in a while on this particular blog. This time, it's a murder scene thanks to an awesome blogger.
Blog for Murder Fest

I don't often show murders or much violence in my writing. Even in the mystery novel that I'm working on, the murder isn't seen. It happens off stage. When I first came upon the blogfest, I wasn't sure if I'd have anything to post. Then I remembered, at the very end of the novel I was working on at the time the antagonist dies. So, here I have something to post. It technically is a bit of a Spoiler but that's okay. Enjoy!

The Novel: Standing Ground

Background information: The antagonist had kidnapped Noah's boyfriend, father and brother. Noah tried to save them but failed the first time. Now, him and Bastian(boyfriend) manage to break out and  solve the dilemma that was keeping them from breaking out earlier. Noah electrocuted him once, Valk (the antagonist), but is reluctant to finish him off. Oh, and there is a gun on the table, mentioned before the section I'm posting.

*Warning* This is a first draft. Not edited or rewritten. So, bear that in mind. 

The scene:

Valk began to move. The shaking had subsided but he still groaned from the pain he'd experienced. He struggled, pulling himself to his knees. It took him a few minutes before he was able to settle on his knees and look up at Noah.

"Now you're done." Noah said, breaking the silence. He had another bolt of energy ready but his anger waned seeing the damage he'd already caused. Even though he hated Valk, he still couldn't find enough reason to kill him.

"Noah, finish him off. You can do it." Bastian spoke, yelling down from his position of clutching the railing.

He raised his hand towards Valk as the man started to pull his body across the floor towards a table near the panel of computers. Noah watched but wasn't able to go through with it. The memories of the few good things Valk had done for him were enough to make his death unwarranted.

Valk made it to the table and started to pull himself up.

Noah dimmed the energy, no longer resolved to act, but kept a little prepared just in case.

"What are you doing?" Bastian sounded concerned. "He has a weapon. Do something."

But he didn't do what Bastian wanted. Instead, Noah spoke in Valk's direction. "Don't even think about it, Valk. You're done, accept it and face the consequences for your actions."

Valk didn't speak as he stood up. His gaze settled on Noah as his hand rested on the table.

A cracking sound echoed through the room and Valk collapsed on the floor. Blood started to ooze from his lifeless body.

Noah stared, his mouth open as his stomach wrenched. The look on Valk's face remained etched in his mind as he stared down at the body before looking upward in Bastian's direction. Bastian stood, holding himself steady with one hand on the rail, the gun still aimed downward in his other hand.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This is post number 50. That's not the surprise, however. First: a schedule.

I have the next two posts figured out with their exact days of publication, though I haven't written them. I've heard of people writing posts ahead of time and scheduling their release but I'm not savvy enough to know how to do that.

April 10th - Murder Scene Blogfest
I will be posting the end of the climax from Standing Ground, because that's the scene where the antagonist is vanquished. My other blog will have a first kiss scene from the same book. Noah's book has made for some good blogfest entries, though I've used other books for some of them.

April 12th - 50+ Follower Book Giveaway
That's right. I will finally have the contest to giveaway the two books picked out for when I gained 50+ followers. I still don't know how I'll do it but that will be figured out by the time I post the start of the contest. The prizes will be a writing book by Ray Bradburry and a blank book that has a tree on the cover. I tried to get something that might be of interest to both genders but it's a tiny bit more femme than masculine (in my mind). I'll post pictures of the prizes in the contest post.

Now to the main topic: Surprise!

I don't mean I have news. What I mean by "surprise" is that it is a piece of advice I believe in when writing. I believe that you should allow for some surprises to occur. Planning has its use and if having almost every detail planned out ahead of time works for you, then go for it. But if you let the characters surprise you, the result could be even better. I've had a few surprises of the years, which is the cause for this post. I am going to post two examples but can add more in the comments if anyone is interested.

Recent examples:

1. When writing the 15,000 words on Standing Ground (Hero at the time) back in February or January(don't remember), I came upon something in the first couple of chapters that I didn't know about. Sure, if I'd have done a character sheet I might have known the bit of information, or I might have forced one answer because I didn't know at the time what the character would really say. All of a sudden, when writing for Mad Dash (write as much as one can in a week, whatever their goal may be) I came to realize that the main character, Noah, is left-handed. Not a big detail but I found it interesting.

2. In the urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel, I had another minor surprise. I haven't written much on the book but now that Noah's first is out of the way, I have started writing in it again and my thoughts have gone through the whole story idea. It follows both an angel and a demon main character. Both are male and they fall in love with each other. The surprise? I was imagining the angel talking to his friends after he and the demon (doesn't know he's a demon at this point) finally made love. The conversation in my head included one of the other angels actually asking if "he was the top or not". That led to a confession that the other angel, when he was a regular human, did a little experimenting before being save and the what not. Small surprise.

What can you take from these examples? Don't plan every single detail. I guess what I mean is that a story and characters need to develop. Planning is a part of development but making discoveries along the way is a different part. This is partly why it's good to write more than one draft, a full rewrite, and not just do edits to fix grammar/spelling errors. Because the story and characters will evolve and many writers will have a better understanding of their story and everything else the second or third time around.

I leave you with more questions:
Have you ever been surprised by your characters?
How about a side plot or other story element?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Truth and Update

Yesterday was a good day for me because I had two accomplishments.
1. Blog reached 50 followers
2. Finished novel first draft

For the blog followers, that means there will be a contest soon to win the books I picked up for the event. However, I'm probably not going to run the contest until after the 10th. There will be another blogfest post that day (murder scene), so I'm going to wait till after that. And I'm hoping there will be one more follower because right now, two of the followers are the same person because he was confused when he first tried following. That means at 50 it's really only 49. But no worries. The contest will happen and people will be able to enter to win a book on writing or a empty book to write in.

The novel is a big accomplishment for me. I started the novel in 2009 but only wrote one chapter that was in first person. It wasn't planned for 2010, when I figured which novels I was going to write. Then in february I wrote 15,000 words for a mad dash in one week. When I was trying to decide what novel to use for March Novel Writing Month, I ended up choosing this one because I had been thinking more about it. My goal was 35,000 words for the month, and my overall novel word count goal was 80,000. I wrote around 67,000 words in March. The novel ended with 90,230 words.

Now for the truth part of this post. A couple posts ago, I did a massive post on with blog awards and one required me to tell 6 lies and one truth. Only one person guessed which one was true but it still warrants a confession.

The claims:
1) raised on a ranch in wyoming. 2) hate my real name, thus the pen name.
3) exercise on a regular basis. 4) not one to procrastinate.
5) insists on querying agents first instead of a publisher 6) never wants to get married
7) prefer female main characters when reading.

The guess:
One person guessed that number 2 was the truth.

1) lie - I lived on a ranch when I was a toddler but we didn't live there long and it was an extra house on my great grandparents ranch that wasn't a functioning one as much anymore.
2) lie - I don't hate my real name. My real name is just very common and I also write in a variety of genres that may require having a pen name. So, I use my real full name for non-fiction type work and right now Dawn Embers as my pen name for the regular fantasy/sci-fi type genres.
3) lie - I keep trying but have yet to succeed. Haven't worked out in weeks.
4) lie - Bet that fooled no one. lol
5) true - I want to go for the top at the very beginning and the publishers don't accept unsolicited from authors. So, I'm going to try for an agent first.
6) lie - Of course I want to get married, no matter the gender of the person.
7) lie - When I was younger, I read more female main character books but not as much lately. I don't care really if the main character is male or female or both. ;-)

That is my update. Look forward to the Murder Scene Blogfest and don't forget to check out my other blog. http://itsinthebookde.com  From now on, most blogfests will be posted there and this blog will be kept for the more serious topics on writing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Alternate Version Blogfest Entry

Hello. I found this blogfest a little while ago and it attracted my interest at once. This is not something I'd considered in the past, but the idea was so good that I had to try. Plus, the section of novel that I'm going to post was used as a short story that received a review saying I should get rid of all paranormal elements. The reviewer said it would be better that way. So, here you go, my lucky viewers. You get to read another piece of my writing used in a blogfest. Sorry if they ended up a bit long. Couldn't help it.

The Blogfest = Alternate Version
blogfest announcement

How it works:
Post a short passage from your WIP, and then an alternate version of it in a different style.

The Novel: Fallen (WIP title, still looking for a better one)
Angel and Demon main characters. This section is from the Angel's POV after he almost sinned when meeting the Demon one for the first time. And yes, I let my angels be gay and it's okay. :-)

1st Version - The Confession - Paranormal//Fantasy

"I thank you for your silence. I hope that you have considered upon and sought forgiveness from your brother, Muriel. Do you have anything you wish to confess?" Omniel, the leader in the sect of angels, spoke in a calm tone.

Elijah nodded, glancing around the circle. "I do have a confession. But it entails more than thought. Yesterday, a friend of mine let me borrow some clothes. Then I went to the Hell's Club, looking to sin."

Everyone in the circle stared at him.

"I started at the bar," Elijah continued, unsure what everyone might think. "It was a struggle but finally the bartender made me a drink minus the alcohol. However, I had drawn some attention from the owner of the club. He had someone bring me to his office."

"You spoke with the owner of Hell's Club? He's a class 2 demon." Omniel sounded both impressed and worried.

Elijah nodded. "Yeah. Actually, he was really nice."

"Nice?" Sophia sounded freaked. She had been his only chance for a sympathetic member but it seemed she wasn't going to help him.

"He offered to help me get whatever I wanted." He smiled at the memory. "Alcohol, drugs... women."

He had them at the edge of their seats. All afraid at what he had chosen.

"Then he told me that I could have fun without sin. So, I went up to someone and asked them to dance."

Muriel sounded disappointed. "You danced with someone? That's it?"

Elijah had to control his excitement. He hadn't quite let out the big secret and he wanted to leave it to the very end. "Well. We started dancing real close, our bodies touching and soon our lips followed. It felt so good. I missed having someone touch me like that, kiss me. After awhile we stopped dancing and made out."

He glanced around the circle to see all eyes on him. Some looked disgusted but a few others seemed interested. Muriel looked beyond disturbed, already.

"I had been given a key to a back room, so we went back there and got even closer."

"How close?" Sophia interjected, she sounded concerned but intrigued.

"Very close." Elijah continued, "We started taking off clothes until all we had left on was our underwear. Lying on the bed we kissed again." He knew he had worked the story up to the right amount of suspense. "But I couldn't do it."

"How did she respond?" Sophia asked.

This was it; the moment. "Better than I thought. He said he understood and after we got dressed he walked me home."

He sat back and blushed a bit at the silence as everyone stared beyond stunned. The only one that didn't look surprised was Omniel. The rest of them looked uncomfortable.

"He?" Muriel was the first to speak his disgust.

Before he could answer back, Omniel interrupted. "Thank you, Elijah, for sharing. You have done well."

2nd Version - The Confession - Mainstream/General Fiction

No one spoke as Elijah took his seat. Confessions at the sexual orientation conversion facility were similar to AA meetings. They all sat in a circle, sharing to each other and the supervisor their temptations and thoughts of sin. No one actually went through with the sin during their stays at the facility, but some came close. The meetings usually involved the same drivel with the only accomplishments being the lack of 'self love' but not today. Today, Elijah had something to confess.

"I welcome you, sons and daughters of God, during this holy day of vigilince to our Father in heaven. May we give praise." Omniel, the supervisor, chanted the same greeting every sunday."Does anyone have anything to confess?"

No one wanted to speak first, so Elijah nodded and raised his hand. "I have a confession. One that entails more than thought. Yesterday, I went to Hell's Club, looking to meet someone."

Everyone in the circle stared at him.

"I started at the bar," Elijah continued, unsure what everyone might think about him now. "I almost ordered a drink but changed my mind."

Elijah had to control his nerves as he confessed. "I found a man I thought was attractive and asked him to dance. We started dancing with our bodies touching and soon our lips followed. It felt so good. After awhile we gave up on the dancing and made out."

He glanced around the circle to see all eyes on him.

"He lived nearby so we went to his place and got even closer."

"How close?" Sophia interjected, she sounded concerned and yet interested.

"Very close." Elijah continued, "We started taking off clothes until all we had left on was our underwear. Lying on the bed we kissed again." He knew he had worked the story up to the right amount of suspense. "But I couldn't do it."

"How did he respond?" Sophia asked.

He couldn't help but smile at the memory. "Better than I thought. He said he understood and after we got dressed he walked me home."

Omniel made a note before speaking. "Thank you, Elijah, for your confession. You have done well."