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I had such an incredibly productive past ten days that everything else slipped by the wayside. Productive=Writing.
Yesterday, I wrote "THE END" at the bottom of my first draft of Art Critic. Over the past week, I've averaged around 4,000 words a day. It really started flowing. Part of that productivity was the result of having a couple 'writing buddies'. Think of those like a running partner who gets up in the morning with you and pounds out five miles before work. They don't run FOR you, but they run WITH you. That's what happens with a writing buddy. We challenge each other to keep writing, pick up the pace, keep our eyes on the finish line. I had a couple really good ones and they helped me get the story focused and finished.
Art Critic is the third in the series of "Strange Art" stories. It's Art's senior year in college and he's focused on preparing his BFA Exhibition. The cast of principals are the main characters who evolved through the first two books and have become The Grail Associates:
Art Étrange, an emerging artist fascinated by nudes and drapery.
Morgan Étrange, Art's sister/lover who has always had the ability to read how Art feels from his paintings.
Annette Sample, Art and Morgan's girlfriend and stable leg of their ménage à trois; Annette is a writer of horror fiction.
Kendra Williams, Art's best friend since the beginning of college, tattooed sculptor attempting to capture the aura in bronze and glass.
Les Dorn, the frightened kid who was afraid of his father freshman year and is adopted into the clan, especially by Kendra.
Susan Reynolds, the sensuous and sexual model and poet who was the inspiration for Art's drapery paintings.
Mavis Wells, photography student.
Wait! Who the hell is Mavis? She's the blonde to whom Art has always had a spontaneous physical reaction. She joined his Lib Arts class second semester of his freshman year and became one of his 'nipple models'. She's the only one of his models that he's drawn while having a persistent erection. An explosion ready to wreck Art's world. Or a catalyst to put it back together.
As Art prepares his BFA Exhibition at the university, a comment by the department chairman sends him crashing into what Gramma calls 'the darkness'-a curse that males in the aurist line suffer, but which none of them understand. How can Art paint when everything he sees is black? A new artistry emerges and Mavis becomes the catalyst that begins to bring color back to Art's world.
Add to that fun the fact that Yelloweye posts chapter five tonight on SOL (and scoring gets turned on). Patrons (www.patreon.com/aroslav) have already received the complete eBook. It is also available on Kindle, Nook, and in paperback. Check www.devonlayne.com for details!
I'm pleased with the response I'm getting from readers, several of whom have commented that this story is more emotionally intense than others in the series. One reader of the entire story commented, "Wow! Just wow!" Three-word review. The tension mounts tonight as Cole and family celebrate his birthday with two of his children still missing. Reading Caitlin and Phile's story, the family learns of their sexual awakening-and it is in no way that anyone would anticipate. How would YOU like to ride in the head of a rutting bull elk???
As we headed toward our fifteenth birthday, Mandy was changing. She'd thinned up some and her complexion was clearing. In fact, Mandy was turning out to be really pretty. She'd grown about six inches in the past eighteen months and it was like her body had caught up with her personality. I know Caitlin already mentioned this, but I was about to turn fifteen and Mandy was the only person other than Cait that I'd ever seen naked. Except Wolf Riding Woman.
That was the thing, though. Caitlin and Wolf Riding Woman were the same person inside, but they were very different outside. Cait and I went to bed with no shirt on and sometimes she slept partly on top of me or curled up in front of me or with me curled up in front of her. We were used to each other's bodies. I could touch her breasts and she sometimes wiggled against my prick. Well, we touched. But I had all the sensory input of those same positions and feelings with Wolf Riding Woman.
And her responses were different.
Well, today I'll start rewriting Art Critic and making sure it is ready to send to my editors. Old Rotorhead and Pixel the Cat can expect the first chapters in their queue this week. And Pixel will be happy that I'm finally making notes and beginning a draft of Art History, a multi-POV story that tells of each of the aurist's experience dealing with the family trait of seeing auras. And they discover they really didn't know how it was different for men and women in the family.
Art History might not be the next story in the posting queue, though. I have two other stories that are burning on my computer right now. My completely different paranormal art story, Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain, follows the young career of artist Jett Blackburn as he paints the soul of his subjects. People seeing his drawings and paintings are deeply moved. Sometimes, permanently. Sometimes, even finally. He paints desire, desperation, and despair. He paints love, lust, and life. He paints the soul of his model. He draws on the dark side of the brain.
Alternately, I'm working on the outline and research for an apocalyptic story that I've temporarily named Singularity. I plan to write the first volume in November for NaNoWriMo. My current research involves rereading Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near, a treatise on the potential fusing of natural and artificial intelligence. In addition, I'm studying excerpts from The Voynich Manuscript, an undecipherable manuscript of the fifteenth century. Hmm. Obscure manuscripts and artificial intelligence. What could go wrong???
And just a hint: My proposed book, The Art of Sensual Draping, has taken another step toward reality with the interest of a professional photographer and a new model. We seem to be in sync.
Yelloweye will finish posting in mid-August and I expect to start posting Art Critic in early September. Wish us all luck!
This evening, Chapter Four of Yelloweye posts: "Wolf Warriors". You'll begin finding more references to events that were taking place in Blackfeather at the same time that the kids were growing up in two timelines. This chapter tells about what was happening in Caitlin and Phile's lives on the day Ramie was attacked by the wolf on the ranch (Blackfeather, Chapter 13). Let's just say it was a traumatic day for all of them.
CAITLIN: I am so sorry, Ramie, that I have never been able to tell you how much I love you. I know I was a brat, but I hope you know why now. You were kind to us kids, even when we were at our worst. You defended us on the bus to school. You brought Bells and Bows to us at the ranch. You gave us good work that we were happy doing. And you never once passed judgment on Phile and me for being in love, even when you struggled with your own relationships. But in all that time, I never told you what I felt when I saw Kyle carry you into the house. I love you, my sister.
I was frozen in place. In both before-time and now-time, I
vowed to destroy every threat to our family, our tribe, our land.
Do you remember Ramie's passion for rescuing horses (shared by her brothers and sister)? Think it was just a sentimentalist twist and not a real threat? Take a look at this article from the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/19/wild-horse-destruction-vote-passes/. I'm not making a comment on whether the BLM is justified in its request or is just bowing to pressure like everyone else. What I will say is that there will be hundreds-the article estimates as many as 10,000-wild horses and burros lying dead on the ground if this bill becomes law.
I guess it would be one thing if Americans ate horses like people in many other parts of the world do. When I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia last year, there were 'horseburger' stands on many corners. But not only will the slaughtered wild horses and burros of America not be used for food, the bill specifies that no commercial use can be made of them. No rendering. No dogfood. No horse steaks. No horsehide. No glue. They will be buried. A wholesale destruction with no benefit to anyone.
And, if you haven't figured it out yet, that is the theme of Yelloweye, the wholesale destruction of our environment and Mother Earth's rebellion against it. We'll see how that pans out.
Remember, if you are impatient to see it all right damn now, Yelloweye is available for Kindle, Nook, and in paperback. Or you can make a direct donation to me at PayPal, firstname.lastname@example.org, and request the electronic version of your choice: .mobi, .ePub, or .pdf.
Naked Guy from the RV next to mine: I don't think I can read your book (U.S. Highways) down by the pool.
Naked Me, puffing a cigar by my campfire: Embarrassed to be seen with it?
Naked Guy: No, but when I began reading, I started getting a hardon.
Dude. You're seventy years old. Good for you!
I've completed the official part of July Camp NaNoWriMo, having passed the 50,000-word mark yesterday on Art Critic and registering my eighteenth NaNoWriMo 'win'. But that leaves me about 10,000 words short of the end of the story so I'm continuing to write. I was aided and abetted in my writing effort by two lovely vixens of the erotica world, Angelika Devlyn and Amy J Romine. We met every morning (via the Internet) over the past week to challenge each other to word sprints and share our encouragement and work. Someone here at the resort compared it to having a running partner. That's an appropriate analogy.
I expect I'll finish the story over the weekend and start rewriting and editing immediately. By the end of next week, I plan to have the first three chapters in the capable hands of my editors. Mr Spock is already reviewing and making storyline and character suggestions. Old Rotorhead has sent me copious notes and links on the bronze casting process, including the variety of patinas that can be applied to a bronze. Pixel the Cat has just been tapping his foot and telling me to hurry the f*** up. I'm looking at a September release.
And, yes, I am definitely planning a fourth book in the "Strange Art" series, Art History. This is one that Pixel has been after me to write since I started the series. He'll be demanding it, though, after Art Critic. I don't know if I'll go straight into that story when I finish this or if I'll play with my own strange take on the apocalypse (unnamed) or maybe my paranormal art story, Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain. Then there are the other three or four I've got in the works.
Some people are even asking me to return to my mystery series under that other pen name.
I got a new editing project in this week so there will be a little income soon. Also have two books (one of mine and one for a client) in the layout process. So I write in the morning and work in the afternoon. I'm fortunate that I can do so much outside beneath the shade of my canopy. I love air-baths.
70 degrees and mostly sunny in Northern Idaho. Time to get to work!
I live in a "family" nudist resort, not in one of those "lifestyle" resorts where sex and swapping are common. (So I've heard.) So, in general, lewd displays, innuendo, and open staring are rare and somewhat frowned upon.
Unless you are among your closest friends.
It happened that I owed one of my neighbors five dollars because I didn't have a five when he gave me twenty for a fifteen-dollar book. A couple days later, I had the five and walked over to his trailer. Knowing the book was for his wife (sitting beside him) I simply handed her the five. She looked at me.
Naked Woman: I really don't do much for five dollars, Ari.
Naked Me: Damn, Sandy. I only have a five-dollar bill. I was hoping you could make change.
Chapter three of Yelloweye posted last night. I've received a couple messages that suggested they needed more information on the family relationships. One had gone so far as to construct a family tree and was asking about given names and surnames.
I should have told you all that I created a complete eight-generation family tree, starting with the marriage of Miranda's mother and Laramie's father back in 1865. It goes all the way up through Caitlin and Phile born in 2001. You can view the complete pdf chart at http://www.devonlayne.com/BellFamilyTree3.pdf. I should have put that in a post when I started the story last week and stressed that all the characters were listed in the cast list. This makes a handy cross-reference if you need one. Feel free to view or download the chart and let me know if you spot something in the story or the chart that isn't consistent.
The address to the chart is also included in Chapter Five when they hold their Labor Day memorial at the family plot. It's also included in both the eBook and the paperback in the middle of Chapter Five.
I'm 45,000 words into Art Critic with another two-and-a-half chapters to write. One of those chapters might come between Chapters one and two. Mr. Spock is going to send me some additional info and his comments on the opening of the story SOON! It took me a couple chapters to start really rolling on this story, but once I hit my stride it's been going smoothly.
One of the reasons for this is that I signed up for CampNaNoWriMo, a July version of NaNo. I was assigned to a virtual 'cabin' with two other known erotica authors, Angelika Devlyn and Amy J. Romine. We've been spurring each other on in our writing. The typical format is that I wake up between five and six in the morning and it is already three in the afternoon for Angelika in England and about eight for Amy in Texas. About the time I have my first cup of coffee in hand, Angelika starts a timer for a twenty-five-minute writing sprint.
We start typing. The timer rings. We compare how many words we've written in that time. I average around 600 words in each session. We run as many as ten in the morning with ten-minute breaks between. My word count has been growing by 4,000-6,000 words a day!
And need I mention that both Angelika and Amy are female, cute, and have dirty minds?
Have received a new manuscript to start editing this afternoon, so I'll cut my missive short. And I promised myself that I'd clean house today. Dishes. Ugh!
I have two plates, two bowls, two cups, and a full place-setting for four. So once a week or so, I do dishes and find in the sink one plate, one bowl, one cup, and twenty-four pieces of silverware. The plate, bowl, and cup seem to get washed whenever I need a clean one. The flatware just accumulates.
It's sunny and 80 degrees here in Idaho. Probably need to go have a smoke outside and a nap. Oh, yes. And all that work I need to do.
Scratch that. Not much in the way of "another dollar" coming in as I sit behind a table loaded with paperback books. Eighteen titles and no buyers.
Naked Woman (looking over the titles on the table): So, you're like an author.
Naked Me (sitting behind the table): Yes. Very like an author.
Oh. The naked part? I am at a nudist park and this weekend is the Skin to the Wind Music Festival. So, I have a table with a beautiful drape, my banner, and a load of books, waiting for someone to get tired stretching out by the pool under a clear sky and wonderful Idaho sun, and come to see my wonderful books. Except it rained during the night (books were put away and protected) so I'll have to dry the table cloth and banner before I can set up this afternoon.
"You're so clever." "I might want to read that." "I only read on Kindle." "Do you want to sleep with me?"
Life of an author. Right. Actually, I've been married three times. I'm used to sleeping with women who don't want to have sex.
But I jest.
In serious news, I'm progressing with the writing of Art Critic and wrote a fourth chapter that is so long I have to divide it in two. Another sensual draping scene between Arthur and Susan that goes just a little further. I'm in a writing group that includes BDSM author Angelika Devlin and romantic thriller author Amy J Romine. We've been challenging each other to word sprints and the result yesterday was over 4,700 words on the story. It's progressing well.
I shared the draping scene I wrote yesterday with Angelika. I wanted her perspective as a well-established BDSM writer on my gentle, non-restrictive take with sensual draping. Here's what she had to say:
I thought it was lovely. Really well written and so coherent. I loved it. Didn't want it to end. It's almost a short story in itself.
And it isn't quite as difficult to follow as Yelloweye. Not quite. It will still challenge you. But it's nothing like having two kids who are living in two different centuries at the same time. Put that into your left-brain/right-brain hopper and shake well. It's not so out of reason, either. The human has a bicameral brain, each side of which is capable of completely independent thought. Speculation has it that some of the ancient prophets were actually just listening to what one side of the brain was telling the other. "Oh wow! I just heard God speak!" Think of each kid in Yelloweye as one mind receiving the complete sensory input of two different bodies. That's the only way you will ever understand Yelloweye.
And, for gods' sake, if you haven't read Redtail and Blackfeather recently, please read the Cast List for Yelloweye before you wade in. Don't forget we are talking about time travelers who were hosted by people in a different century and in both centuries, they entered into triple (or more) relationships. If you don't remember who is who, it's spelled out in the cast list.
But tonight, chapter two will post.
In two more years of now-time, we'd aged five years in before-time. We were eleven-year-old wild Indians in now-time, doing all kinds of crazy stuff. We were trying to assimilate seven years of learning in two years. In before-time we were ten.
Yeah, these kids had it rough. It's no wonder they were a little bit crazy.
Here's a little verse from a song by James Lee Stanley, last night's performer at "Skin to the Wind".
The more I drink, the less I think.
The less I think, the better I feel.
The better I feel, the more I drink.
I've got a system and it works for me.
I know, I've been promising it FOREVER! But it's really coming tonight (if Vixen is willing). Yelloweye is in the queue for posting this evening. (Scheduled stories usually get posted between 8 and 9 Eastern time.) I'm glad this story is finally seeing the light of day. Chapters will post every three days thereafter.
Yesterday, I received the first batch of paperbacks that will be on sale this weekend at the nudist camp where I spend my summers. I already have two pre-orders and more are sure to surface. Of course, anyone who hasn't purchased Redtail and Blackfeather will also probably buy those. After the weekend, I'll be figuring out my reorder numbers for all titles. We are Skin to the Wind, baby!
Well, now that the excitement is out of the way, I find myself thinking of the humor in this. In anticipation of this release, a number of people have taken it upon themselves to reread Redtail and Blackfeather. I discipline myself to not respond negatively about readers who have differing tastes. It's not about the story, but about what appeals to readers. Case in point: I received two messages about Redtail this weekend on consecutive days. The first, on Saturday, said, "What a great story! I believe it may have been the best of all of them. Thanks for sharing such a fine talent." Wow! I pat myself on the back. I really had a winner there. On Sunday, I received this message from a different reader. "Sorry aro, but this is just trash, not even worth being called a story, just sheer nonsense, def NOT up to your usual standard."
Surprisingly, given the delicate state of my sanity, I did not crash and burn after receiving this message. It was an important reminder that not every story nor every concept appeals to every reader. In fact, I wager it is impossible to please every reader (without resorting to mind control, and I've sworn not to use that on my SOL readers).
I, too, am an avid reader of stories on SOL. And sometimes a story by a favorite author just doesn't do it for me. The great thing about being a reader is that I can stop reading any time I feel like it. Don't like this story? Certainly am not going to read the sequel. Next story, though, I'm ready to start fresh.
I dabble in many different sub-genres, having written lengthy coming-of-age sagas, erotic paranormal romance western adventures, incest, damsels in distress, do-over, and god-knows what else. They reflect what I like to read and decide to add to, not a devotion to a specific subtopic that a subset of readers respond enthusiastically to.
Speaking of different, I've got three chapters of my new "Strange Art" story completed as I race against the calendar in Camp NaNoWriMo to finish the story by the end of July. Like the other "Strange Art" stories, I expect Art Critic to be about ten chapters and 60,000 words. I'm sending the first part off to my story editor today and hope to get some feedback that says I'm not writing utter trash that's not worth being called a story. I'll tell you right now, though, that the third chapter was a royal pain in the ass to write. Yeah, I'm torturing my characters again, hoping they will emerge victorious over their tribulations, stronger, more creative, and far more in love. We'll see.
I ended up with a bit of a fan club here at the nudist resort this week. We were having informal cocktails Saturday afternoon and renewing a few of my acquaintances from last year. One of the women had bought one of my books last year and I'd had a chance to chat with her husband for quite a while about cigars. The upshot was an invitation to their patio for cocktails, cigars… ultimately dinner… and to talk a bit about what I write. And answer lots of questions. And talk about which porn stars I'd met. And see if I can get them into the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo next year.
Ultimately, they donated a large sum of money to me in exchange for sixteen paperback books! There is also an offer on the table to subsidize part of my booth costs at AVN next year. I've got a request for info in to AVN. With the donations for my books, I have enough money to buy food for the rest of the month!
But wait. That's not all. Among other things, I talked about my concept for a new (non-fiction) book titled The Art of Sensual Draping as posed in the last two chapters of Art Project. Shibari without ropes. There was enough interest in the project that on Sunday they introduced me to an unbelievably beautiful young woman that I remember worshiping from afar last summer. They-not me-suggested to her that she model for the photos in the book. And she said, "Sure!"
Of course, there are all kinds of details to be worked out, and since she also travels, it will be two weeks before we can sit down and actually discuss the project in depth to see if she's really interested in having her beautiful breasts put in print, but if so it could make the whole AVN booth a reasonable venture. I will keep you posted, but be patient. We have a lot of details to work out!
I'm working on the outline of the book and have collected a number of examples of poses and techniques I'd like to use.
A last word about piracy. Thank you all for the support you provided last week as several of us battled a pirate on Amazon. Stories of about 30 SOL authors were released under the names of Veronica West and Vera West (two sites). I kind of used up my weekly allotment of words last week, but those authors who have complained have received notice that their works are being taken down from the sites. If you need more info on the subject please send me mail. And if you discover any of your favorite authors' works being sold under someone else's name, please don't hesitate to let us know.
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