aroslav: Blog

Big Thank Yous and a Couple Changes

May 21, 2017
Posted at 3:08 pm
 

First and foremost, thank you for the encouraging responses to the first chapter of Art Project. These responses have come in the form of comments, email, Amazon book sales, direct donations, and Patreon pledges. I'm frankly thrilled and at the same time humbled by your faith in my storytelling.

I've made a couple of changes--not in the story, but in the site. First off, I established a series for these stories. I originally named it The Adventures of Art Étrange, but on further thought, I've changed the series name to Strange Art. And yes, I am working on the outline for a third volume in the series, tentatively titled Art Critic.

I detected some confusion about one of my other stories. Even though it was not tagged as part of the series, Art School had such a close resemblance in name to the stories in this series that I believe some people thought it was a part of it. To avoid confusion, I've changed the name of this story to Welded Together. I'm not particularly fond of that story anyway as it was only the second story I posted on SOL and isn't very good. At least this should keep people from thinking it is part of the Strange Art series.

Links to the eBook, paperback, and my Patreon page can all be found on my website at www.devonlayne.com/ae.html. Thank you again for your gracious support!

Starting an “Art Project” today!

May 20, 2017
Posted at 12:36 pm
 

And my project is a story named Art Project. After the warm reception for Art Something when it posted earlier this year and my editor's insistence that it "smelled like more", the sequel starts this evening.

Art is headed to college with his girlfriend/sister, Morgan, and their girlfriend, Annette. How he managed to have two spectacular girlfriends is still a mystery to Art. How they managed to convince his parents that they should all live together in a suite upstairs is baffling. But Art's family is all a little strange. His mother and grandmother see people's auras. He suspects his sister does, too. His father is a professor of English Literature and named his children after characters in the Arthurian legends-names the trio has shortened in their endearments to Pen, Fay, and Lady.

And Art is an artist. Enough said.

College is a big, new, scary world for the socially inept artist. At the best of times he can barely get words out of his mouth. Amidst crowds of new people and demanding professors, he is in a constant state of panic. By the end of the first week, Art wants to quit.

Creating a sketchbook of his classes helps him with notetaking and opens a world of possibilities as classmates become models, models become friends, and friends battle the system to right an injustice.

And Art emerges an unwitting leader.

I'm making the somewhat unusual move for me of releasing Art Project in eBook and paperback this weekend as well. You can find details on my webpage at www.devonlayne.com/ae.html. I'll be updating the page as soon as the links to the various versions are available.

I've managed to park myself in a lovely RV park in Green Valley, UT for the weekend where I have an apparently solid Internet connection. That means that I'll be able to upload the remaining nine chapters of the book as soon as the first chapter posts this evening. The remaining chapters will post on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for the next three weeks. Scoring will be turned on Monday, May 29 when the fifth chapter posts.



Speaking of where I'm camped, I'm trying to decide my route back to the Pacific Northwest before I pull up stakes on Monday. I had planned to continue West across Utah to Ely, NV and then turn north to Twin Falls, ID. From there I would generally take I-84 up to Pendelton, OR and cut across Washington State on various backroads.

While working on Yelloweye (I still have two more chapters to rewrite, but it is going well and I expect to start the first chapter through the editing cycle today) I realized that a lot of the story is set in Yellowstone National Park. I've found myself studying maps and satellite imagery to verify locations. It's been three years since I visited Yellowstone last and frankly I was more interested in Alice than Old Faithful. So, a refresher on the park could be helpful. On the other hand, the rewrite will be finished and in editing this week and I wouldn't get to Yellowstone until June.

While looking at various maps, I've also considered continuing across Nevada on "The Loneliest Road in America", US 50, from Ely to Carson City and then turning north on US 395 through Oregon and Washington. So many alternatives! I will say that I have a due date in Seattle on June 26 to work on a couple of client projects, so I have just five weeks to make whichever trip I decide on.

Any suggestions?



I didn't make it across the US on this trip, barely crossing the Mississippi before heading back west. Thankfully, I escaped Louisiana with only busted out speakers on the side of my trailer. It could have been worse. In fact, while visiting a sister in Texas, I discovered that the landing jacks on the trailer stripped the gears and I had to get them replaced in Albuquerque, NM. Fortunately, I bought a buyer protection plan when I purchased the trailer and only had to pay $200 of the $1000 repair bill.

I used the opportunity when I was stuck in New Mexico waiting for the repair to scoot up to Santa Fe, a city that I love. I spent several wonderful hours in the Georgia O'Keefe museum, walked around the square, and visited a certain University that the school Art goes to in Art Project is loosely based on. I was surprised to find the campus, which was once beautiful, in nearly derelict condition as the University is closing its doors. I talked to some students and found that only about 175 seniors would be returning to the University in the fall to finish their degrees and then the school would close its doors.

That is corporate-owned education for you.

Fortunately, Dryden University of Art and Design in an unnamed Southwestern City does not suffer from any of these problems. It has its own problems, but they are overcome by caring professors and administrators who have the best interest of their students at heart. Of course.

Ah well. As soon as I finish Yelloweye, I'll start on the next sequel to Art Something, tentatively titled Art Critic.

Or a different story. I only have about six in the hopper.

"Art Project" is coming Saturday!

May 14, 2017
Posted at 11:21 am
 

Yes! At last I'm finished with the next story in the Art Étrange saga, Art Project. This is the sequel to Art Something. My patrons have received their pre-release copies (www.patreon.com/aroslav) and the story will begin posting on SOL on Saturday 5/20/2017. It will post on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays for ten chapters.

Here's the back cover copy:

Art is headed to college with his girlfriend/sister, Morgan, and their girlfriend, Annette. How he managed to have two spectacular girlfriends is still a mystery to Art. How they managed to convince his parents that they should all live together in a suite upstairs is baffling. But Art's family is all a little strange. His mother and grandmother see people's auras. He suspects his sister does, too. His father is a professor of English Literature and named his children after characters in the Arthurian legends-names the trio has shortened in their endearments to Pen, Fay, and Lady.

And Art is an artist.

Enough said.

College is a big, new, scary world for the socially awkward Art. At the best of times he can barely get words out of his mouth. Amidst crowds of new people and demanding professors, he is in a constant state of panic. By the end of the first week, Art wants to quit.

Creating a sketchbook of his classes helps him with notetaking and opens a world of possibilities as classmates become models, models become friends, and friends battle the system to right an injustice.

And Art emerges an unwitting leader.

Of course, there's a shorter blurb that will accompany the story.



So, eleven days without a word? What gives?

Yeah, I know I've been silent. As soon as I got the remainder of Art Project to the editors, I started the rewriting of Yelloweye, the sequel of Redtail and Blackfeather. I'm getting insanely excited about this story and plan to start it through the final two stages of the editing cycle by the time Art Project starts posting. The edits on this story are expected to take a little longer as the story is longer and considerably more complex. I'm still hoping to start posting at the beginning of July when I settle into my summer campground in Idaho.

Travel has been complicated the past few weeks. I spent a week with a sister in Texas and discovered that my trailer had more significant problems with the landing jacks than I originally thought. Seems the gears were stripped out and one leg collapsed as I was getting hitched. No additional damage and I got pulled together, but needed to find a repair shop. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I'd intended to go straight to Santa Fe, but needed the repair work. Unfortunately, the estimate was $1,000! But what could I do? I couldn't unhitch until I had the jacks replaced. Miracle of miracles, I made a good decision when I bought the trailer. I bought a protection plan. $100 deductible. Whew! They couldn't get the trailer in until Friday, so I went to Santa Fe without unhitching.

I often have a location in mind when I write a story, even though I fictionalize it. For unknown reasons, I decided to set the Art Étrange series in a town that was suspiciously like Santa Fe with a college that focused on the arts, coincidentally like Santa Fe University of Art and Design. That was really all I knew about it until I visited the campus.

It's a small college campus with fewer than 1,000 students offering BFA and BA degrees in various art disciplines as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in the Arts. Overall, exactly the kind of place I needed.

Imagine my surprise to find that my fictional college, Dryden University of Art and Design, is almost more real than its inspiration. SFUAD is closing! Only about 175 students (seniors) will return to campus next fall to finish their degrees. The rest were leaving, even as I arrived to stroll around the almost derelict grounds. It is, or at least was, a beautiful Southwestern campus and I will take the general image of it with me as I continue to develop the next story in the series, Art Critic. Nothing else is really relevant.

Back to the trailer saga: I got it back to the repair shop on Friday morning and they set about replacing things. After some initial problems with the insurance coverage were resolved, I was told that the provider could get the part for $115 less than the repair shop (someplace in China, maybe?) and they would only pay the amount they had it listed for. Well, that left me liable for the balance. But $220 is still a whole lot better than $1000.

Now I'm peacefully camped at Ute Mountain Casino in southwestern Colorado and plan to spend the next week exploring the National Parks out this direction, like Arches National Park.

If I have anything that resembles a schedule, it is still intact as I make my way Northwest to Seattle the last week of June and Idaho on July 1.

Now you have much more information than you ever needed about Aroslav's Erotic Journey Around America. Volume 4. Sometime in the next couple years.

Enjoy the summer!

The Hard Work Commences

May 3, 2017
Posted at 12:05 pm
 

The Hard Work. That's how I'm referring to the rewrite of Yelloweye. I naively thought I'd start editing the project. No. I've opened a brand new document and have started writing. Of course, the original with editor MrSpock's commentary is open next to me as I start on a blank page, but there is no pretense that this first draft was ready to proofread and submit. In fact, Spock and I discussed that in our correspondence, agreeing on the term 'first draft' and what that meant. The first draft wasn't bad. It could have been proofread and released with only a few disgruntled comments from readers who would say "I don't get it." But that's not really an option for me when I know the story could be so much more than that.

So, like Blackfeather before it, Yelloweye is being completely rewritten. That doesn't mean that there is nothing usable in the first draft. There will be a lot of cutting and pasting going on. But writing a first draft is really to get the concepts down. I had a pretty good idea of what the purpose of the story was and where it was going to end. I'd been carrying around the opening line ever since I finished writing Blackfeather. "I remember being born. I was eight years old." Yeah. It gets more complicated from there. But writing a first draft is a time of exploration and finding the right path through the concepts to the climax.

That's an appropriate play on words. Imagine yourself with a new love interest for the first time. There's a lot of kissing and exploring and touching. You both know that eventually there is going to be a cock in a pussy and the delightful tingles and release of an orgasm. But every step along the way has the potential to either advance toward that goal or derail the entire event. Will he like having a finger up his ass? Does she like having her nipple twisted? She's ticklish there??? What's that smell? We pick our way through the minefield of physical and emotional responses.

That's what writing the first draft is like. This concept is too complicated and needs to be simplified. That sentence just doesn't make sense. Using those words is out of character for this person. She sounds like a he. He sounds like a fifty-year-old instead of a teenager. Wait! Last chapter she was blonde! Eventually, the story reaches the climax, but was it satisfying? Did it leave the reader wanting more? Thankful it's finally over? Looking forward to a rematch?

So, I start the hard work.



That's different than the current status of Art Project, which is in final edit proofread stage and the first five chapters are formatted and ready to go. It's exciting to get to this stage of a book and know that before long, people will start to read and respond to what has been written. Hang in there. It won't start posting until those last five chapters are back from the editors.

Of course, the last stage of writing is when people read and respond to what the author has written. That brings me to the Clitorides Awards and my thanks to all of you who voted. Not This Time received the second-place nod in the Do-Over category. Frankly, deciding who to vote for in every category this year was difficult. With Jay Cantrell, G Younger, rlfj, Penguintopia, bluedragon, Dual Writer, oyster 50, Lubrican, and Harddaysknight, as a small selection of the incredible authors with stories nominated this year-many multiple times-we saw some of the best that SOL has to offer. I'm gratified that you chose me and several of my stories to be in their company as nominees this year.

I want to give a special note of congratulations to Jay Cantrell as author of the year and Xalir as new author of the year. Jay is a constant source of inspiration and a joy to read. Great things will come from Xalir in the future as well as this year. Both were well-chosen to represent the best the year had to offer.



I'm happy that Pygmalion Revisited released on schedule on May 1. If you are one of the couple hundred who picked up the pre-release copy from my website in April, I hope you will consider leaving a review at https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review/ref=dpx_acr_wr_link?asin=B071DSBXGQ. Reviews help authors reach more people. Pygmalion Revisited is a very approachable story for first-time readers of erotica or of my stories. Please help! Thank you.

I'm rocking in the North Texas wind this week. Spending a little time with family before I start the six-week trail northwest to my summer camp (nod to Nick Scipio) in Idaho. Having to do laundry today reminds me of how much I will enjoy being skin to the wind for the summer again. I'm trying to get myself organized so that I can be more productive in the coming months than I've been in the past four. It's not that there aren't stories to be told. I just need to sit my butt in my chair and start typing.

Speaking of which…

I need to get back to Yelloweye.

Last Day for Free Download of "Pygmalion Revisited" eBook

April 30, 2017
Posted at 9:06 am
 

I might have a strong enough connection to make a post if the wind doesn't start blowing again here west of Weatherford Texas. I'll try.

Today is the last day to get a free copy of the pre-release eBook "Pygmalion Revisited" at http://www.devonlayne.com/pygmalion.html. Code word SOL. Tomorrow it goes live to the public in both eBook and print. This does not affect its availability here on SOL. It will continue to be available here for free as always. If you've read the work here or in the pre-release eBook, please consider reviewing it on Amazon tomorrow! Reviews help authors immensely. The more reviews, the higher our listing in book searches. Much appreciated.

In the meantime, the first draft of "Art Project" is in the hands of the editors and I'm compiling the edits and formatting for posting in May. Excited to get this project up!

"Yelloweye" is also being edited, but I don't expect it to be ready until July. In the meantime, I'm editing "American Backroads" for release in eBook and print, and am preparing "Blackfeather" for its first print release. Both of those should release at the end of May.

And I travel. Met with my editor, Old Rotorhead, this weekend and enjoyed every minute of our time exploring art museums, lunch, and coffee. I'll be headed to North Texas for the next few days and then through the mountain states and west toward my summer camping ground in Idaho. Hoping the rest of the snow has melted by the time I have to cross the Rockies!

I'm still accepting patrons at www.patreon.com/aroslav and appreciate your support. It means a lot to a starving artist!

More as soon as I have a better connection!