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aroslav: Blog

Where’s the Beef?

February 18, 2018
Posted at 3:08 pm
 

Or more appropriately, perhaps, "Where's the Story?" Honest, I'm working on it.

I often see writers post that 'real life' got in the way. I can't profess that. The only life I have is writing and things that get in my way are distractions from real life. Like the cold I've fought since returning from AVN's Adult Entertainment Expo. Sick and I didn't even get kissed! Or the new crown on my implant that simply fell off and I had to deal with the hole for two weeks while it was being reconstructed. Or the editing and layout project I did for a client (I do have some income-producing jobs, even if not many). Or taxes that I haven't filed yet (but they're only three weeks late).

But none of those are real life to me. They are distractions.

Real life is that I've been focused on the rewrite of City Limits and haven't taken the necessary time to focus on the edits to A Touch of Magic. And I know both readers of The Props Master series are anxiously awaiting the next volume. Well, I'll shove my schedule around this week and start getting that story over to my editors for proofing. It's been long enough that I have a clean perspective on it again.

So, the beef-or the stories-should resume soon. Except in unusual circumstances, I no longer start posting stories that I haven't finished. There are too many of us authors who seem to drop out of existence in the middle of a story. Maybe it's age. I've noticed a pair of turkey buzzards who have been camping out on the electric pole next to my trailer each morning for the past week. Suppose they are trying to send me a message?

So, I finish each story and preload all the chapters so that they will post to the end of the story, even if I kick the bucket. Sorry that means you have to wait a little longer for the beginning.



I'm still toying with the idea of a story in the SWARM universe by Thinking Horndog. I have a few more stories in that universe to read (there are only 250 or so). I've read most of them, skipping over most of the stories that are entirely about fucking as many people in a half-hour pickup as possible in order to make a lifelong commitment to an asshole (male or female) that could never be made in six months of dating. I have evolved a concept that is typically (for me) outside the norm for the universe. No pickups and no ex-military heroes. Pretty short on discussions about weapons and tactics. And totally opposed to Asimov's three laws. I have the general concept developed enough that it is time to contact the powers that be in that universe to see if it will fly with them, but I want to finish reading the most recent stories, many of which are also introducing some new concepts.

So, I guess another of the distractions from getting my stories up includes reading the several million words of the Swarm Universe.



At the end of the month (yikes! Only ten days away.), I'll be leaving my sunny little corner of California paradise and going… somewhere. I haven't resolved where yet. I should be up in Idaho about mid-May, but what route I'm taking to get there is still open. The most likely route is 3,000 miles and will take ten weeks. The invited route would be 4,000 miles. Still ten weeks. The shortest route is 1300 miles and would still take ten weeks. The question is "How much driving do I want to do?" And what is of interest along the way?

And none of those routes include showing up for Exxxotica in Denver the first weekend of April. I've definitely decided not to exhibit there this year. I made no sales last year and can't say I gained a lot from the contacts I made. I need to balance cost against profit, and while the people at that show should have been a prime target market for my books, no one bought.

Um… That could be why City Limits is taking so much of my energy. It's targeted to the broader market that could actually result in book sales.



Speaking of book sales… Art Something is book of the month on Goodreads under the group "Authors needing reviews." https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19194779-feb-2018-book-discussion--1st-book--art-something-strange-art-1#comment_number_1 The eBook is available on Amazon this month for 99¢. If you've read the story, I welcome your reviews!

I'm looking at doing a book tour in late summer for City Limits. I'll need hosts and locations in order to make it work. Bookstores are good, but experience tells me that events (especially those focused on the author reading and signing books) are far more profitable.



And finally, my plans for the fall/winter. I have found that I am able to live on the road and in campgrounds far more cheaply than I can in a house. What I discovered two years ago was that I could travel the world for the same amount. So, I'm contemplating launching a round-the-world journey again in November 2018, extending through April 2019. My goals include (but are not limited to) Australia/New Zealand, Thailand, India, Southern Europe (Mediterranean Coast), and the UK. I'll be looking for a lot of advice on where to stay and what to see. Don't bother telling me about ritzy hotels and high-end resorts. I'm more likely to be couch-surfing and camping on a beach. But if there is a must-see, let me know. Some of these places are very big and I have no idea where I should attempt to go or how to get around. I need the hive mind buzzing about this.

Of course, if you'd just like to help me pay for this excursion, you can always become a patron at http://www.patreon.com/aroslav. And get some reading bonuses tossed in as well! I'll be relaunching my travel blog in the near future and will give you a heads up. When I'm just spending my time in nudist parks, taking pictures is not allowed. While traveling, though, I'll be posting again.

Cheers!

An Ending and a Beginning

January 30, 2018
Posted at 3:18 pm
 

Well, tomorrow (Wednesday the 31st) the final two chapters of The Props Master Prequel: Behind the Ivory Veil will post. Quite a journey for this little story from its humble beginnings back in 1979. I'm glad some of you are enjoying the story and am thankful to have it written, published, and out of the way.

Because today, I wrote the final chapter of The Props Master 2: A Touch of Magic. Of course, my first flight editor has totally torn the story apart, so I have a fair amount of rewriting to do, but at least this draft is finished. I'll start the rewrites tomorrow.



I was in Las Vegas for the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo this past week and came home with convention crud-runny nose, congested lungs, sneezing. I'm pretty careful at these events. Didn't kiss anyone and washed my hands frequently. But oh, the people! Too many. I did get some pretty sweet pictures and I'll post them as soon as my eyes are clear enough to see what I'm doing.

At the moment, I'm torn about whether to exhibit at Exxxotica in Denver the first weekend of April. They seem to be a little slow getting launched this year and I'm not sure I want to put up $600 for "good publicity" again. Tough decision. It might be a bust this year. And not one I could caress!



I've launched my new Book of the Month level at Patreon. http://www.patreon.com/aroslav. Starting with people who are $25 patrons as of the first of February, I will send out a paperback book each month. Months in which I release a new book, the book of the month will be a signed edition. This is true of both Devon Layne and Nathan Everett books. There will be at least one of the latter released this year and three of the former.

Join now and get the first gift in February!



Thank you for nominating my stories in twelve different categories for The Clitorides Awards. Nominations close this week and I'll invite all to vote early and often as they say. I'm glad to have contributed seven stories to the body of work on SOL in 2017. I hope you continue to enjoy the tales!

Thank you!

Signed Editions

January 18, 2018
Posted at 4:29 pm
 

Are you on Goodreads? Please vote for Devon Layne's "Art Something" as Sassy Brit's Book of the Month for February!

Poll

Just join the group and click on the vote link. Thank you!



As long as I am advertising, I see that all three "Strange Art" stories have been nominated multiple times in the Clitorides. Go over and click on your favorite so I know which to leave in the running. Nominations will close soon and I'll remove my stories that are competing with my own stories. I see Yelloweye, my erotic paranormal romance western adventure, is also nominated. Chime in (vote) if you think it should stay on the ballot. Thank you!



Writing on both The Props Master 2: A Touch of Magic and City Limits is going well. I'm moving forward on both projects. The first draft of City Limits has now been taken down from the works in progress site. The next draft will go to my editors and proofreaders. The first (or fifteenth, depending on how you count them) draft of A Touch of Magic is in the queue and will start hitting my editors at the end of the month. With luck, we'll see it on SOL in March.



Who gets to see my first drafts as they are completed? My $10 patrons at http://www.patreon.com/aroslav. It's called the sausage grinder because those patrons get to see it in its (very) raw form. They also receive what all my $5 patrons do: advance copies of all my releases in eBook form. And an occasional special story that I write just for my patrons. I've just opened a new $25 level subscription, my Book of the Month. Each month, $25 patrons will receive a hard copy (paperback) of one of my books or those of my alter-ego.

When I release a new book, it will be signed, dedicated, and shipped to $25 patrons in advance of its release on Amazon. These are truly collectors' editions. And the funds help me keep focused on producing more reading pleasure for you here on SOL. I remain committed to making my stories available here at no charge. I don't even have any stories hiding behind the paywall!

I don't write for a living. I write to live.

Making Demons into Heroes

December 29, 2017
Posted at 1:41 pm
 

This is my year-end bog post. We're about to cross another of those imaginary lines in the sand that we use to measure time. I often contemplate my life around this season (usually on Solstice), and the self-examination often takes a week or two before I arrive at the conclusion that I did the best I could at the time, so I should keep moving forward.

That process, however, often reveals things that have been on my mind and, therefore, slipping into my writing. Among those things is the way I often turn demons, internal or external, into the heroes of my stories… or at least into positive characters.

Warning: This has nothing to do with politics or how we have made monsters into leaders. Just totally non-political.

Case in point: My stories often include a strong supportive father figure. I never write about the relationship I had with my own sometimes demonic father. I write about the father I wished for and later strove to be. Even then, I find myself writing corrections to things I failed at as a father.

And that leads me to turning my internal demons into heroes. I'd like to be the kind of person who is neat and tidy, cleans up after himself immediately, and has his life organized through the simple expedient of never procrastinating. In reality, there are always dirty dishes in my sink, my dining table is a disaster of immense proportions, and I have no idea where somethings lie buried in my trailer that I put there for safe-keeping, but I'll look for them later. I don't have that much storage space. I meticulously keep my bed clear so I can sleep, and my chair clear so I can write. Anything else is a major task in my head. So, of course, my characters are neat and tidy, clean up after themselves at once, and are organized and never procrastinate.

In general, my characters are all more talented than I am, are smarter than I am, and of course, are better looking than I am.

The first story I wrote for SOL featured an artist/real estate agent who introduces his young next door neighbor to the art of love-and through her experimentation, she introduces him to the science of love. I still like The Art and Science of Love and maybe this year I'll edit it and put it out as an eBook. But a few years ago, I entered it in a competition that was judged by female romance writers. Among a few scathing comments about how "some people (men!) might find that romantic" were a few that were more pointed. "If he knows and understands women so well and is so sensitive and in tune with their needs, why is he still single and lonely at 35?"

Or 55. Or 65. Or 75.



On the other hand, my dining room might be a mess, but my writing is progressing well. I'm about halfway through the writing of The Props Master 2: A Touch of Magic. I have collected great feedback from my initial readers of City Limits and will start the rewrite as soon as I finish ATOM. I'm amassing new projects that I want to work on and that means I simply don't have time to do the damned dishes!

And also, I still have nearly 200 stories in the SWARM Universe to read.

There are year-end papers to sort, plans for travel to make, and my personal character to create for the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo next month. Life will continue!

Have a safe and happy New Year!
Devon

Epiphany

December 18, 2017
Posted at 12:42 pm
 

That's probably too big a word for the minor adjustment in thinking I just made, but it was startling, nonetheless. I was talking to a friend about old (late 1970s) word processing technology and the fact that I spent eight hours a day typing patent applications from dictation. On a Selectric, because the terminals for the Wang word processor were considered too expensive and important for mere text entry.

We had a special typeball we used (O2??) that was developed specifically for the OCR scanner (Optical Character Recognition). Each character had to be distinctive, so the OCR software could figure out what it was meant to be. But the number of odd looking characters made the typewritten page hard for humans to proofread before it went to the scanner. But we learned.

It got me thinking about how many things in our lives changed to make it easier for technology. Some of those things made life more difficult until we figured out how to work with the technology. How many times did I restart my Prius at a traffic light because I thought the engine died???

Like I said, it's not that big of an epiphany, but I've been reading some of the classic stories in the Swarm Universe (even contemplating a contribution) and how the impending invasion and the introduction of new technology fundamentally changed the fabric of human society.

We suffer from the same thing in our culture today. How much has social media changed the fabric of our society? We get our news from Twitter. We share what we eat on Facebook. We post our selfies on Instagram. Technological innovations that caused us to change the way we operate and even the way we think.

With the disembowelment of Net Neutrality, I've been thinking that we might need to revert to old fashioned means of communicating. Paper. Seriously, I would put more trust in a pamphlet handed to me by a homeless dude on a street corner than in something I read on Facebook. We've seen how easily we can be manipulated by social media and I suspect the remaining print versions of our newspapers are no longer the source, but rather the reflection of the Internet.

But we will change our lives to accommodate the technology and complain about a microsecond's delay in our computer speed when it is too late for us to do something about it.

Hmm. Well, that was just a thought that went fleeting by. I need to read some more internet porn.