I’m over at Word Whores today, mulling over the word “decrepit” and my battle not to become my grandmother.
Month: March 2014
Walking that Consent Line Workshop
I’ll presenting my “Walking that Consent Line” workshop to the San Diego Chapter of Romance Writers of America from June 2-13, 2014. For more information on the workshop or to register, click here.
Writing Sexytimes in Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Stories Workshop
I’m presenting my “Writing Sexytimes in Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Stories” workshop to FF&P April 7-20, 2014. To find out more and sign-up for the workshop, go here.
Page One Books. Hot Sultry Summer of Romance: Celeste Bradley, Darynda Jones, Jeffe Kennedy and Katie Lane
At 3;30 p.m. on June 14th, 2014, I’ll be at Page One Books for the “Hot Sultry Summer of Romance” with Celeste Bradley, Darynda Jones and Katie Lane.
Bookworks. Romance double launch: Jeffe Kennedy, The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala, and Darynda Jones, Sixth Grave on the Edge
I’ll be at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 7 p.m. on May 28th, 2014 for a the “Romance double launch: Jeffe Kennedy, The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala, and Darynda Jones, Sixth Grave on the Edge”. For more information, click here.
Writing Sexytimes in Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Stories
Sex is a fundamental human experience and arguably the most powerful. The intimacy of sexual interaction can elevate the tension, emotion and visceral impact of most any story. But how do sex scenes best function in the speculative fiction genres?
This class will cover the basic of adding vivid, sensual and heart-pounding sexytimes to any story. In particular, students will explore examples of sex scenes that enhance the world-building and fantastic elements of any speculative fiction tale. Finally, writers will come away with tools for using sexytimes to enhance and build unique excitement in their worlds. Students will be able to submit short scenes to the instructor or the group for feedback.
Cleaning Someone Else’s Kitchen
A lovely vista at Cerrillos State Park from a hike last weekend. I mentioned before that author, critique partner and fab friend Carolyn Crane came to visit for a long weekend.
She mainly came to Santa Fe to get out of the crushing Minneapolis winter. In fact, when she Tweeted that she didn’t know how she could make it through the endless snowstorms, I sent her a link showing how cheap plane tickets to Albuquerque were and reminded her that I have a guest room.
Ostensibly I was doing her a favor.
But then she did me one. First of all, having her visit brought several days of nonstop writer convo into my life. Carolyn is one of my favorite people (and RWA roomie!) and we had the best time rambling over numerous topics, gossip, business and ideas. We even came up with an amazing brainstorm for a Sekrit Joint Project. Best of all, Carolyn got along great with David and even had him bringing out his guns to show her the different kinds. You’ll all be pleased to know that her Associates will have a much more varied arsenal now. 🙂
At the same time, I got back my final set of line edits on an upcoming manuscript. For this third round of edits, my editor STILL wanted more on a particular scene I’d never wanted to put on the page in the first place. Her instincts are good on this kind of thing, but I felt so *done* at this point that I just couldn’t face taking another stab at it. But Carolyn – well, she cleaned my kitchen for me.
You all know what I mean, right? Or maybe this is mainly a female thing. I know a lot of guys cook and clean, too, but I’ve never heard them mention this. But my female friends and relatives sure have. And I know I’ve said it to them.
“Oh, let me finish the clean-up – it’s so much more fun to clean someone else’s kitchen!”
Because it just IS.
My own kitchen I’ve cleaned hundreds, if not thousands of times. I know every countertop stain, the persistent yellow crud in that hard-to-reach lip of the sink at the back, that one pan that never *quite* yields up that old burn on the bottom. Over time I give up on these things. I just don’t care enough and I’m resigned to these little, enduring failures to reach perfection.
In SOMEONE ELSE’S KITCHEN, however, I become a dynamo of shininess. I scrub those pans until they gleam. Those countertop stains cannot withstand my zeal to see them gone, gone, gone. My mother managed to get my glass-top stove cleaner than it was when we moved in – and was happy to do it.
So much more fun to clean someone else’s kitchen.
Likewise, Carolyn took up the torch of expanding that scene with excitement and enthusiasm. She wrote a page for me in no time at all – and had fun doing it. Once I had that from her, I was able to see past the old stains and revised it to blend with the story. What she gave me was brilliant. More, I don’t know that I had it in me to do myself. I might have just let that stain go, yet again.
A gift beyond price.
Best of all, she’s excited that I owe her. She’s got ideas for a scene or two she’ll ask me to riff on. And I’m excited to do it. I’d love to take her story and play with it. For the first time, really, I get what fan fiction is all about.
It’s all the fun of cleaning someone else’s kitchen – just once – without having to face it day after day.
Sexual Tension – Getting Away from Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma’am
High heat sex scenes are popular like never before. But what makes a scene go from ho-um to cold shower-worthy? The key is sexual tension. Without that basic conflict – as with all stories – the momentum of the scene will falter and lose steam. Not what you want with your sex scenes!
In this class, students will learn first what creates sexual tension and then how to build it in their own stories for maximum impact. Dubbed by her editor as “The Queen of Sexual Tension,” Jeffe Kennedy will give away her secrets for drawing out the suspense, building expectations and finally delivering those crucial climactic moments. Students will be able to submit short scenes to Kennedy or the entire group for feedback.
Sex as a Tool for Character Transformation
Nothing is worse than the gratuitous sex scene, right? We’ve all been there-skimming the pages to get back to the “interesting” stuff that advances the plot and transforms the characters. But that not the sex scene’s fault. It’s the writer’s! Done well, a sex scene, from mild to steamy, should move the story forward and-most importantly-drive a change in the characters.
In this course, students will learn what makes a sex scene sing-and what makes one sag. Working with the model of character transformation, the class will lead students through the concepts of sexual taboos and the mental, emotional and spiritual impacts of breaking them. Students will explore the concepts of intimacy and personal barriers and practice tools for using them to move their characters forward on every level. Writers will be able to submit short scenes to the instructor or the group for feedback.
Choreography vs. Sensuality
Tab A into Slot B? What about Tab C and Slots D and E??
Sex scenes can be a maze of mechanical considerations – whose hand is where and whether two (or more!) people really fit together that way. Somewhere in all those logistics, the writer also needs to bring out the tension, intimacy and sensuality of the experience.
This class will help students find the balance between choreography and visceral enjoyment. Student will learn how much detail is needed to give the reader a clear image, without bogging her down in the blow-by-blow, and how to use those descriptions in an artful way to build sexual tension and the overall impact of the scene. Then students can submit short scenes to the instructor or the whole group for feedback. Writers will come away from the class with a strong sense of making their sex scenes both natural and powerful.