Friday, December 12, 2014

Good News!

Good News for a Rainy Winter Day


I just found out that my erotic novel, "Inn on the Edge" has been selected as a finalist in the EPIC book awards...and I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I have checked the website several times in the past hours, and - YEP! - THERE IT IS! - Gail Bridges, finalist in the Erotica category.

A Link to the page: EPIC Finalists

The Novel
It will be on 50% sale during March through Amazon and other outlets

I didn't find the news by myself; it turns out the announcement email they'd sent me went to my email's "spam" account. Who knows when I would have found the notice? Or if? I was lucky - a writer friend saw my name on the EPIC list and sent me a congratulatory note. I read her note in disbelief, then I staggered around with my head in the clouds and my toes barely skimming the ground for an entire day.

Self-portrait of me, being all excited

Now, it seems that the next step is to wait until March to find out who the winners are. According to the EPIC finalist's page, it looks like I am up against three other finalists in the Erotica category.

Good luck to us all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Krumkake and Memories

(Recipe Below)

I made Krumkake this morning. I love these delicious rolled-up Norwegian cookies that are as pretty to look at as they are to eat. Oh - the choices! Do I fill them with whipped cream goodness? Or do I leave them as-is (I choose to leave them alone.) Do I take a bite of the cookie in its rolled-up form? Or do I carefully break off pieces with my fingers or my teeth and delve toward the center slowly, a layer at a time, as if I were a cookie archaeologist?

Right now, as I'm sitting at my laptop at the kitchen table, my fingertips are still smarting from handling them. My back and feet ache from standing in one place for over an hour because I had to make a double batch even though I knew it would take forever to prepare the entire platter full of cookies! It was worth it.

 The Krumkake Iron

Let me tell you about the first time I ever saw Krumkake. It was all due to Ruth Hansel, a widowed neighbor and a member of the church I attended as a child. Ruth was very tall. She was thin. She spoke with a mild accent. She had a great, loud, huffing laugh that made me want to laugh too. I remember thinking Ruth was strong-looking, as in a squared jaw and large hands and a no-nonsense manner about her. To me, Ruth was a kind, generous, fascinating 'old lady' - looking back, I imagine she was some eighty years old.

My oh my, could Ruth make Krumkake! She invited me over to help her make them one December when I was nine years old. I showed up at her door with the apron my mother had stitched for me. "Come in, Honey!" Ruth called from the kitchen, "I can't leave the iron."

Her kitchen was small, with scant counter space. But every inch of that counter space was filled with teetering stacks of white rolled cookies, hundreds of them, thousands of them (at least to my eyes.) Plates and platters and cookie trays held rows upon rows of them.

"Krumkake!" Ruth hollered. (She always hollered.) "Come in! Wash your hands! Take over for me at this iron, would you? I'll show you how."

And she did. Ruth taught me how to put the perfect amount of batter on the iron, how to let them cook until the steam stopped seeping from the edges of the iron, how to lift the cookies with the edge of a pancake turner, how to roll them up - QUICK! QUICK! - on the handle of a wooden spoon.

Quick! Quick! Before they cool!

My cookies weren't as pretty as hers. How could they be? She was a master who made untold numbers of them every year of her long life (I imagine!) Gradually, my attempts became better-looking and Ruth allowed me to stack my cookies alongside her perfect ones.

Best of all, I presented a platter of Krumkake to my family at the end of our afternoon together.

I now have my own Krumkake tradition, thanks to Ruth Hansel. I bought my own Krumkake iron ten years ago. I found a recipe that seemed close to Ruth's. I practiced my rolling technique, and soon I was making stacks of the cookies.

The batch of Krumkaka I made today are destined for a cookie exchange my husband and I are going to tomorrow. It always pleases me to offer a type of cookie that one doesn't see very often - I admit, I enjoy the "ooh's and aah's" and the excited faces as people reach for a cookie. And I think of Ruth, who taught me to make them.


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon fresh powdered cardamom
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
6 Tablespoons water


Cream together the butter and the sugar. Scrape the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl each time. Add the vanilla and the cardamom. Add the flour. Add water until batter is the consistency of a thick cream sauce.

Spoon approximately one Tablespoon onto ungreased preheated Krumkake iron. Cook about one minute until lightly golden brown. While warm, roll around a wooden spoon handle.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Cat has Devil Eyes

In honor of Halloween: Smokey with the Devil Eyes!

Scary, aren't they?

I took this picture of him in July, when we were going through some boxes that needed sorting. Pretending to be a true cat, Smokey-the-devil-cat jumped into a just-emptied box. But I caught his true nature! (No photoshopping - the green flash of his eyes looked just like this when the flash went off. Weird!)

*** A Halloween Challenge ***

Out of nowhere, this Devil Cat jumps up in front of you, hissing and growling! You must fend him off - but the only thing you can use is whatever happens to be to your immediate left.

For me, it's a banana. Good luck to me!

What's to your left?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Aliens and Cinnamon Rolls

Aliens and Cinnamon Rolls: What do they have in common?

Yes. It tastes just as good as it looks.

It's been more than a month since I've posted here, which is hard to believe. Life has thrown hammers at my head, and wrenches, and an anvil also (might as well throw in the entire tool box!) - but now I'm tentatively putting hands to keyboard and getting back to writing and blog-posting. It feels so good to get the creative juices flowing again.

I've been working on "Drawn to Scale", a new, just-for-fun sci-fi short story. I'm already more than seven thousand words into it (that translates to about 24 pages). Maybe it will grow into a Novella? I don't know, and I don't really care. I'm enjoying the writing.

The main character in Drawn to Scale is an alien linguist who has come to Earth as a Happiness Corp Volunteer (think Peace Corp). She has just experienced an unexpected "togetherness moment" with her Earth man counterpart ... but she's horribly embarrassed and upset because no one bothered to tell her that on Earth it is appallingly rude to mash up cinnamon rolls between your hands and lick off the resulting goo.

As you can see, I'm having fun with this story.

I am currently at the Starbucks in the hospital lobby while my husband is at his Yoga class. I'm eating this surprisingly delicious cinnamon roll in honor of the pastry in my story. Research, you know... although I'm not eating it the same way my character would!

The drink is a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Oh boy, I think I'm going into sugar euphoria!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cool Vintage Album Covers - Downsizing, Part Four

They Sure Had Fun With These!


...And so did we. Yesterday, as part of our summer downsizing effort, we dug out Richard's collection of record albums. He has kept maybe a hundred of his favorite albums through the years, and through many moves. He is now ready to part with most of them. He and Micah and I spread out in the living room (again) to look through them and admire the covers. Micah couldn't bear to part with a good number, so they'll be living on in the family. Heirloom record albums!

They're heavier than they look.

A good number of these albums are from, shall we say, before my time. I know of most of these bands and albums, but I can't say I am very familiar with the music. Others, such as Pink Floyd, were still going strong when I was in high school. (I graduated in 1982) Still others, I recognize and like the songs, even if they were considered "old" by the time I was interested in listening to them.

I couldn't help myself. I took pictures of some of the best covers, they're so cool and weird and colorful. I thought I'd make a little gallery of them to share with you - so sit back, get comfortable, and take a walk through history with me.

 After much deliberation, I chose this one as my favorite.
Micah said it reminded him of "Where the Wild Things Are".

How cool is this?

Micah likes it too.

 This one has nifty little windows cut out for the faces. 
I wonder, how much extra did that cost them?

Woodstock! I didn't know there was an album.

It looks like an illuminated manuscript.

This blog post is bringing up some fun stuff. As I'm sitting at the kitchen table, putting this post together, the three of us are talking about the albums. "Do you know As Tears Go By, by the Rolling Stones?" asked Richard. I knew it, but Micah didn't. It's beautiful, I'd discovered it on my own years ago. In no time, I brought the song up on YouTube. Here is the YouTube link to the great live performance we just watched:  As Tears Go By   And now, back to the Gallery of album covers!

I have no idea who this band is, but the cover art is cool!

Yikes. Was someone high when they designed this one?
I like it, though!

This one has an amazing center.

Neil Young...weird...
he looks like he's carrying a puppet of himself on his back.

...And Bruce! 
We went to see him in concert years ago, with some good friends.

That's all for now. I don't know how much more of our downsizing project we'll get to this summer - seeing as how summer is over, but we've made substantial progress. It's been a lot of work, but I know we will thank ourselves later. Thanks for reading, as always!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Downsizing, Part Three - Destroying Hard Drives

In Which We Enter ... Hard Drive Hell

There were at least five of these monsters lurking in our basement!

We'd been putting it off for years. Why take the effort and time to take apart and deal with our old desktop computers when they can sit on shelves in the far reaches of the basement, not bothering anyone? As I've shown in a previous post, we have plenty of basement shelving.

Two of our many basement Gorilla Rack shelving units.

But the collection of old computers, keyboards, mice, monitors, and printers (not to mention fax machines and copiers and old telephone systems) was getting out of control. Way out of control. They were taking up too much space and collecting dust, and who needs to keep huge old computers from fifteen years ago, anyway? It seemed important at the time to keep each one for security and backup when we brought a new computer into the home, but now, so many years later ... not so much.

Besides, we have this downsizing thing going on. It was time to deal with them. And that meant taking out the hard drives and destroying them.

It turns out that it's a PAIN IN THE BUTT. The internet said to unscrew the tiny screws on each corner of the hard drive case, separate the parts, take out the disk, break the disk in pieces. Not a huge deal, right? Well, the internet was wrong.

First, we took the computers apart just to get the hard drives out. Big job. My son and husband worked on it while watching a soccer game on TV, and it took a while, several hours maybe. Then they put the sides back on and donated the gutted computers to Goodwill (they accept them like that, no problem).

See the tiny ridged tip of the screwdriver bit? Maybe if you squint?

Second, the aforementioned tiny screws! Richard and I looked high and low for something that would work on them, but they turned out to be some specialty thing in a weird shape. "Security screws," the lady at the hardware store told us, shaking her head. "Sorry, we don't carry them." She did, however, point us in the right direction. "Look for a T-7. I think it might be a T-7." Richard finally ended up getting the correct one as part of a bigger set on Amazon. It wasn't a T-7, but a few sizes larger. Those little screws were a pain in the butt, for sure.

The miniature set, with the destructo screwdrivers!

Third, once we had the proper tool, the screws themselves were easy to get out. But then the two sections of the hard drive refused to separate. I believe the internet mentioned super-heavy-duty magnets...? Maybe? We finally resorted to taking screwdrivers and wedging them open a few millimeters at a time, with plenty of elbow grease and cussing. Several were opened by sliding the cover sideways with an obscene amount of effort. Two of the five never got more than half an inch opened, like the one pictured below.

One of the failures.

Fourth, of the ones we did manage to open, we found we couldn't get the disks off their holder. Bummer! What a thing to discover after so much effort! The things must be made to fall out of an airplane, or to be driven over by a war tank, jeez! (Then why do computers crash so often, hmmm?)

Fifth, we showed those disks a thing or two by using the screwdrivers to scratch the crap out of them, at least for the disks we could reach. Unfortunately for us...there were two disks in each drive, one on top of the other, with (it appeared) both sides active. We figured if we couldn't get to the second one, then no one else would be able to either. Right?

Maybe we'll get back to them later and do more destructo work. I've heard you can take sledgehammers to them? Drill nails through them? Drill through them? Dip them in acid? Or maybe we'll decide that the scratching we did was enough.

 Hard Drive Carnage

You can easily see the scratches we made with the screwdrivers...
and my reflection as I shot this image! 

Don't tell Richard, but I thought prying them apart was kind of fun!

...So there it is. Not so easy to destroy a hard drive!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Downsizing, Part Two

The Past, in Living Color

Very Important Stuff.
Stuff that none of us has looked at in years.
And this was just a small portion of it.

Downsizing. We're still at it. It's the reason I haven't done much writing for the past several months or updated this blog as often as I'd like to. This is the designated summer for the Arvey family to put some real, honest-to-goodness effort into downsizing - at least that's what we're calling the reaming out of the house of all manner of stuff we don't need any more.

We've been at it for months. Here it is, already the next-to-last day of August, and we are still going through the house. We've carefully looked into each box and every closet and drawer and bookshelf, sorting and getting rid of stuff and making some very hard choices along the way. But even with our eleven trips to the Goodwill donation station, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Today's job:  We tackled the old (and wonderful, some of it) school work and artwork from when our three kids were little ... about ten enormous boxes full! Four of us (and a few cats) spread out in the living room and started pulling papers and paintings and hand-drawn cartoons and stapled-together books one at a time out of our designated box, deciding which pieces merited saving and which were destined for the recycling truck. It was tiring, tedious work, interspersed with moments of true delight.

I found it staggering, how much there was. Apparently, we kept all of it, every assignment and drawing and book report and doodle ... all the way up to high school. For three kids. All of it.

Sarah, going through one of her many boxes. She was the homemade card queen!

Micah, considering the fate of the green spiky dinosaur he drew in the fourth grade.

Some memorable lines of dialogue captured by the writer in the room:

1: "What in the hell was I thinking when I did this?"

2: "Do you know what? I was actually pretty good."

3: "You'd have to say I was prolific, wouldn't you?" (Said while contemplating a knee-high stack of papers.)

4: "Ha! Look at this! We were just as awful then as we are now! This PROVES it!" (Accompanied by wild laughter.)

5: "Oh ... I loved this one. I have to keep this one. I'm serious. This one is going with me."

6: "I did this? I don't remember doing this." The drawing is held up to better peer at the name penciled in on the lower left corner. "Are you sure this was mine? I have no memory of it."

Just getting started...

Finding the program for her middle-school play, an exciting moment.

Smokey, with the Devil eyes!
He jumped in a box and was watching Sarah's every move as she worked on her last box of the day. I snapped this cute picture of him - and his eyes flashed just as I clicked the shutter. This is how the image turned out, for real!
I did nothing to it.

That's all for now! Tomorrow, Micah and I will haul all of the reject boxes out to the curb to be taken away by the city recycling. The chosen artworks have been neatly stashed in small, flattish boxes and returned to the basement. (Until the next time we take them out and look through them, I suppose!)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Books, Books, Everywhere!

Who Knew There Were So Many in our Home?

Books are memories, of the best kind.

As part of a major down-sizing, my husband and I have decided to go through our many hundreds of books and give away the ones we no longer want. But...wait. Wait! Wait! What if I want to keep them? All of them? What if I still love the row of battered Little House books with the yellow covers that that I read so many times as a child? What if I can't bear to part with the ones I loved as an adult? Books such as Maia, by Richard Adams; Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler; Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown (in my hand in the below image)? And so many others! How could my husband and I possibly choose between them?

 This was much harder than I'd thought it would be...

The truth of the matter is that they can't all be favorites. The nature of the word "favorite" makes that obvious, right? Since there are books everywhere in this house, scattered in bookshelves in almost every room, there have to be some books that truly are favorites ... absolute, indisputable, jaw-dropping favorites. All we need to do is take the time and effort to sort through them to find the best of the best. 

No problem.

No big deal, right?

I started with my personal shelf in the bedroom. Then we moved into the guest bedroom where the motherload lived and called in help. My kids came, wonderful people that they are. They wrestled boxes upstairs, pulled books from shelves, looked for books here and there they wanted to keep. Good thing they're here. Books, it turns out, are sooooo dangggg heavvvvy.

During the past week, we've gone from room to room sorting and boxing. Here is a list of just how many books we'll be giving to the Friends of the Seattle Public Library for their book sale:

* Fifteen boxes of my husband's collection of novels, classics, manuals, drama collections, accounting textbooks, etc (he taught English lit, drama, and University-level accounting, among other things).

* Four boxes of my favorite old novels from our bedroom (Goodbye Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel. And also Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein, which my son took. I hope it will blow his mind like it did mine when I was his age.)

Books, books, and more books...

* Five boxes of random bookness from the basement. (We carefully set aside my husband's beautiful old leather-covered Hebrew bible from his Bar Mitzvah.)

* One box of cookbooks from the pantry. (Goodbye From the Kitchens of Oklahoma Housewives, an old old notebook that my grandmother and her neighbors put together...hmmm...perhaps I'll offer that one to my daughter...I did keep my Better Homes and Gardens red-and-white checkered cookbook, of course. I also rescued a book devoted to cookies and several Weight Watchers cookbooks. Hey. They're really good recipes, even if I'm, ahem, not actually doing Weight Watchers any more.)

* One box of lovely crafting books from my studio. (Beautiful Wire Jewelry, oh, how I loved you!)

* Two boxes from my daughter's old room. (Most of the Harry Potter books. She's taking them with her.)

* Six boxes of my kid's favorite children's books... (My son kept some good ones: Wizard of Earthsea, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler... such great books!)

Empty Shelves. Dust? What dust?

Some of the books that made the cut.

The many, many boxes of books are now waiting until tomorrow, when my son and his friend can load them into my SUV and deliver them to the Friends of the Library donation area. I console myself with the hope that someone else, somewhere, someday may enjoy them also. 

What about you?

Do you have your own story about the books you love? About hoarding them? About letting them go? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Intrepid Eavesdropper

Sound Bites from the Coffee Shop

Over the past month or so,
I've collected these little tid-bits from four different
conversations as I've worked on my novel in my
favorite coffee shop, Zoka Coffee, in Seattle, WA.
I do hope you enjoy them!
1)  "What happened?" asks a woman. Pause, pause, pause...then the friend answers: "Oh, nothing too terrible."
Nothing TOO terrible? It was just a little terrible? What on earth happened? Now I want to know!
2)  "We want them to look as big as possible without looking ridiculous."
I'm awful, but the first thing that came to mind was...wait for it...a breast enlargement! I didn't manage to hear enough to know what the two men were actually discussing, but it probably wasn't breast enlargement.
3) "You’ll get your two million dollars out of the project in thirty-six months. I’m a property developer, and I can tell you that with confidence."
Oh. Okay. Nice then. Tell me where to sign the check.
4) "As soon as a bear charges, you're done. That's why I was up there testing different kinds of bear spray."
I'm serious. He said bear spray. The two men (different men from the ones above) really WERE talking about bears. The man was testing four brands of bear spray. He was lean and tall and wore a dingy gray baseball hat. He stood leaning forward on his toes, looking as if he wanted to go out searching for bears right then and there.

Let's Talk About Blood

At the Starbucks I frequent in the hospital lobby, two women are speaking Spanish. They're both doctors, maybe. One is slightly older, and American, as white as can be. She is dressed in blue scrubs and has curly hair. As for the second woman, as far as I can tell from her accent, which isn't Mexican, she is from somewhere in South America. She has on a flowery dress, a light-weight sweater, and is wearing high heels. She can only be described as perky.

I can't help but listen in. I speak Spanish, and their discussion tugs for my attention even though this time, I have an important project and I really don't want to eavesdrop. I'm at a critical point in my novel. I'm not looking for fodder for my blog. But it's a losing cause. The more I try not to listen in, the more I have to. Because this is a language lesson, of sorts. And also, because they are discussing ... blood. How could I not listen?

"Sangre. That is blood, in Spanish," says Dr. Perky. "But you know that already?"

"Oh, yes," says Dr. Scrubs, pen in hand. "Everybody knows that one. But I'm looking for details. Wait a second." She bites her lip as she turns pages in her notebook. "Watery blood. How would you say that?"

At my table across from them, I stare at my computer screen. Watery blood? There was such a thing? Apparently so, because they're discussing it.

"Sangre aguado." Dr. Perky says, nodding. "Aguado means watery."

"Coagulated blood?"

"Sangre coagulado."

"Almost the same as English, then." Dr. Scrubs takes her hair out of a ponytail holder, then re-twists it and puts the band on it again.  "How about ... um ... iron-deficient blood?"

"Deficiencia de hierro. Anemia. Where did you learn Spanish?"

Dr. Scrubs writes in her notebook, then looks up. "I lived in Spain for two years, before medical school." She scribbles something else. "I loved it. I almost gave up on med school. I almost stayed there."

"Two years!"

"How about uncontrolled bleeding?"

A vibrating phone suddenly starts to rattle on the table between them. "Oh!" says Dr. Scrubs, standing up. "I've gotta run." Before I know it, they're both gone, and all I'm left with is visions of watery blood and uncontrolled bleeding as I stare into my mocha. Just another day at Starbucks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who Loves Science Fiction?

I Do!

I've been a fan of Science Fiction almost since I could read. Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, name it, my nose was buried in it. And later, when I was more grown up, there was Octavia Butler (my idol) and Kage Baker (my other idol) and Sherri Tepper and Stephen Baxter and ... oh my, I can't begin to name them all. Reading good science fiction has a way of opening my mind to new ideas, of making me look at things in a different way. I never get tired of it.

My first full-length novel, The Architect of Grayland, is unabashedly, proudly Science Fiction. I wrote it several years ago - but recently lightening struck me in the form of a FANTASTIC idea, a dual story-line to insert into the story that will give it extra dimension and depth.

I HAD to do it! 

I must follow the muse where she leads. As many of you know, I have been working on an erotic horror novel called Over the Edge for the past six months. It is the sort-of-sequel to Inn on the Edge. I am currently about two-thirds of the way through writing it, I still love the story and the characters - but it can wait until my (very non-erotic) The Architect of Grayland has its day in the sun.

A mock-up cover I designed for "Architect"

The Blurb (as it stands right now):

The Architect of Grayland is a Science Fiction survival story with strong female characters who are engaged in a high-stakes battle over what it means to be human.

Elaine is one of eight people abducted by scientists of the distant future. She has been brought forward to their time and dropped into a barren gray habitat designed for the study of "primitive" human beings.

Awakening in their cruel experiment, never knowing where she is, Elaine must figure out how to create food, clothing, and shelter - or die. After finally making the things she needs, she strikes out on her own to search for others like herself, finding two fellow captives with whom she forms a tiny community.

But now Elaine is about to lose it all. Staying alive has just become immeasurably harder.

Assistant Professor Mirri Daaha, the Historical Anthropologist in charge of the experiment, is purposefully destroying Elaine's carefully constructed world for her own scheming ends. Elaine, however, refuses to give up. Drawing on her creative survival skills, she confronts one obstacle after another in her quest to bring herself and her friends safely home to the 21st century. What she never expects is the final cataclysmic confrontation with Assistant Professor Mirri Daaha.

Pitching The Architect of Grayland - YIKES!

A week from tomorrow, on July 17, I will be attending the Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference (PNWA) in Bellevue, Washington. My plan is to pitch the heck out of Architect, to do my utmost to get someone interested in it. I have two scheduled sessions to pitch it to literary agents and editors, and with the help of my husband, I am scurrying to perfect my verbal pitch. I will be pitching under my real name, Evelyn Arvey, which seems odd after having been a professional author for several years under my pen name, Gail Bridges.

Friday, June 27, 2014

AW Erotica Authors Blog Hop!

2014 Erotica Authors Blog Hop

Welcome to the second annual Absolute Write erotica authors blog hop. Follow the hop and discover new and exciting authors and their works and win lots of great prizes - we will be showcasing individual writers for more than two weeks. This is the sixth stop, so there is still plenty to see.

Today, I welcome author Crane Hana to my blog. She is the author of Moro's Price (blurb, cover art, and buy links below.) Tomorrow, please visit Crane's Blog, where she will have another great interview to share: Crane Hana's Blog

So glad to have you here, Crane!

The Interview:

1. As an erotic author, how much do you enjoy writing sexy scenes?

For me, writing sex scenes is fun, challenging, and scary all at once. Fun, because, hello, literary masturbation (to be blunt). Wait, I get paid to write this stuff? If I'm not reacting to a sex scene, I know my readers won't, either.

Challenging, because I want to find a balance between the characters' internal thoughts and reactions, and the simple physicality of sex.

Scary, because I stopped writing altogether for a few years, after a beta reader I trusted told me I'd just written the worst sex scene she'd ever read. She was right, it was awful, and I didn't pick up the skill until half a decade writing and reading fan fiction smut.

2. Is it easier to write action, sex, or emotional scenes?

I get more of a kick from emotional scenes than just sex scenes. Frankly, sex-for-sex's-sake bores me a little now. I want the complete package - searing sex and giddy emotional ranges.

3. Is there a story you want to write but feel the market is too crowded for?

I have a parody novel outlined, with the loose theme of Hipster Werewolves in the American West. It's meant to be an affectionately satirical sendup of all those alpha/omega M/M werewolf-shifter novels that are stock catalog fare for several erotic romance publishers. But by the time I get it finished, I suspect the craze will have died back.

4. If you could steal any erotic author’s career, whose would it be?

I'd mug L.A. Witt in a back alley for one-quarter of her career, because we both started writing-for-publication around the same time. But I'm lazier. And more easily distracted. And I have that pesky art career. Don't worry, Witt, I'll just worship you from afar and take inspiration from the freakishly large backlist you and your co-writers have amassed.

5. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

I can't listen to music at all when I write - too many distractions, and I type so fast my scenes will outstrip their theme music. That said, I plot many stories to music. My debut novel, Moro's Price, is a M/M erotic romance space opera that I plotted mostly to the Daft Punk soundtrack to Tron: Legacy, and to several Tangerine Dream albums.

From Moro's Price: 
“You just saved my life, and all you want to do is die?”

Blurb for Moro's Price

Prince Valier gives suicidal escaped-slave Moro another option than leaping off a skyscraper - a few hours of meaningless rough sex, while Moro is infected with Val's lethal symbiont. Neither man expects Moro to survive, or become the one man in the galaxy who can tame Val's darker urges.

Attention is Arbitrary review for "Moro's Price":

“…vast political intrigue, manipulations everywhere and a tender, gentle and ruthlessly sexy love story.”

Buy links:

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Family Matter

When I began this blog, I promised to share all of my creative pursuits...and also the occasional glimpse of my private family life. This is one of those times. I am so proud to be the parent of a recent Stanford graduate that I have written about the trip we took last week to be with him on his big day. I hope you enjoy it.

Micah Arvey: The Unparalleled Graduate
A Play in Three Acts

Micah, with his dual diplomas

The Cast:

· Micah Arvey - The main character of our story. An overachiever at the best University in the country, with two degrees. He is an all-around amiable guy, the only person on campus who has five guitars in his dorm room, the only person in the world who has ever had a naked Mermaid suddenly appear unbidden on his desk, demanding to accompany him to his graduation ceremony.

· Richard and Evelyn Arvey - Intrepid travelers otherwise known as VIP's (Very Impressed Parents). They braved airplanes, a bit of hysteria, recalcitrant lower limbs, and armloads of carry-on luggage to be with their beloved son, the star of our show, Micah Arvey, on his graduation.

· Sarah Arvey - Devoted and "up for almost anything" big sister. She good-naturedly bunked in a college dorm room and slept on a questionable couch, all so she could be with her little bro on his graduation.

· Aaron Arvey and Cate Bradford - The epitome of loyal and loving family. They were there for many, many of Micah's important college moments over the years, and were first in line for his Graduation events.

· Drew Barnett - Good forever friend. A trustworthy guy to have in the car on the long drive back home to Seattle, in a car he helped to stuff with four years of Micah's college detritus. Oh, and with three of the aforementioned five guitars.

· The FIFA World Cup - Honorary Cast Member. Seen on television screens wherever possible, as often as possible, and for as long as possible.

The First Act:

The date is Friday, June 13. It is a sunny but not too hot day in Northern California. Mom and Dad arrive in San Francisco in the mid-afternoon. They go out to Mexican dinner with Cate and Aaron (who very conveniently live very close to their motel) and sample various delicious enchiladas and engage in delightful conversation.

And the star of our show? Micah is doing...who knows exactly what...probably last minute getting-ready-for-graduation-weekend stuff which most likely involves indie beer. Sarah comes in late the same evening, hangs out with Micah at a teriyaki joint near the airport, then they pick up Drew at almost midnight. Who knows what time they got to sleep...or did they?

The Second Act:

The date is Saturday, June 14. Mom and Dad partake in a leisurely breakfast at their motel, watching the World Cup. At halftime, Mom has a great idea: "Let's walk to Cate and Aaron's, what do you think?" She doesn't realize that, although Aaron and Cate's place is within shouting distance of the motel room, to actually GET THERE, it will be necessary to hike around a mammoth-sized block that is so long that you cannot see the end of it. She's been told this fact by her well-meaning son and daughter-in-law, but didn't quite take it in. Mom and Dad make the journey, and finally, they all watch the soccer game.

Mom, Dad, Cate, and Aaron meet up with the rest of the party at lunchtime - and with the star of the show...Micah Arvey! They all go to the world's best Hummus Restaurant, and the only thing Mom doesn't like about the place is that it isn't in Seattle. Everyone loves it and eats too much. Especially Drew, who vacuums up several more plates of food after everyone else has finished. 

Mom and Dad, and eventually everyone else, gather to watch World Cup game number two.

In the afternoon, everyone meets up at Stanford for Official Graduation Number One - The Native American Ceremony. First, there was dinner. Chicken and mashed potatoes and cute little fruit tarts. As dusk fell, about forty Native American graduates and their families gathered for a heart-felt ceremony where the graduates were each invited to speak, as well as random assorted persons such as: their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins, nephews, friends, next-door-neighbors, college name it. Everyone was invited to speak into the microphone, with no constraints as to time. Everyone took them up on it. As you can guess, the ceremony was at times lovely and touching and heartfelt, but at other times, um, it seemed to be never-ending.

My favorite part? When Micah received his gift, a gorgeous black and white (with splashes of other colors) Pendleton Wool blanket. Seeing him wrapped up in it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of my own grandfather. When he was feeling especially Indian, which was often, he would wrap up in his blanket. It tugged at my heartstrings, seeing past generations in my own son.

My other favorite part? The Makah mother-and-daughter duo from Neah Bay of Washington State who sang and drummed a beautiful love song written by an ancestor.

Afterward, at Richard's request, our family group made our own little ceremonial gathering where we each told Micah what we wished we'd thought of to tell him when we were on the stage with a microphone thrust in our faces. It was a very nice way to end the day.

The Third Act:

The date is Sunday, June 15. Once again, Mom and Dad's day starts with the World Cup. They have elected to forego the Stadium graduation and instead to meet up with the rest of the family for Micah's Music School graduation at 1:00.

Micah brings the Mysterious Mermaid Maiden who'd inexplicably appeared in his room the night before. Apparently, he wore the Mermaid on his head for the silly part of the Stadium graduation. Cate assured us that many, many pictures were taken.

Micah is one of twelve graduates in the School of Music. We all clap like mad when he walks up to the front to receive his diploma. The ceremony is over before we know it, and we gather in a nice little courtyard for a buffet and live jazz music. Oh, the food! There was salmon and shrimp and chicken teriyaki and yummy little appetizers wherever I looked. Much better than what the Indians had provided...

Mom and Dad went back to the motel for a rest and more World Cup. Micah, Sarah, Cate, Aaron, and Drew kept going: they visited Micah's other graduation party, the huge one for Computer Science. They reported that it was nowhere near as good as the Music buffet. The food was boxed lunches, for god's sake. And the organizers hadn't even provided enough of them.

Later in the afternoon, we went into the depths of San Jose for a garden party hosted by the parents of one of Micah's Fraternity brothers, where we met some of Micah's friends and watched cute girls pay close attention to him. As we left, Cate and I were invited to pick lemons from a tree growing in the host's front yard.

After the party, we went out to Micah's favorite Indian restaurant. I saw immediately why it was his favorite Indian restaurant. I liked it also...but my favorite is still that wonderful Hummus place. Why isn't it in Seattle?

A full day, a very full day, and a fantastic graduation weekend, replete with awesome memories. We are so proud of you, Micah!