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Hey, wait a sec, this is third person!

I always forget that, especially when writing about Ben and William.   One of the cardinal sins of writing in the first person is switching points of view. You need to pick one character and stick with him or her -- no changing in the middle. Yes, I know a lot of 'net fiction does this, but it just doesn't work. (If it did you'd see it in commercial fiction, something I had pointed out to me once. I've read exactly two books that have done this, and it didn't work well in either. And if Diann

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Fiddling's fun!

Not productive, mind, but fun.   Being a Computer Geek in real life, when I did up the new layout for Wild Life, I wanted it simple to splat out new chapters without me having to fiddle much with the generated HTML, while still having it look good.   The looking good bit was tricky (and it turns out that IE7 has a busted CSS box model, so my outdented chapter tabs didn't work, dammit! No tabs for you, IE users!). I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I've never done any CSS work, so it w

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Wild Life, with extra pretty for your enjoyment

Chapter one of Wild Life is up for your reading pleasure. New chapters should come every two or three weeks, if all goes well.   One thing that's new with this is some bonus prettiness. As I'm sure anyone who's read my stuff's noticed, the styling I use in the HTML-converted documents is... minimal. (Well, okay, nonexistent) That's been on purpose -- I've enough trouble making sure all the crap that Word stuffs into a document is stripped out, and I've never been good at making things look nic

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Anyone up for a quick beta read?

I've got the first chapter of Wild Life done, and it needs a quick read-through to make sure I haven't made any truly egregious grammar errors or used the word 'moment' more than eight times in a paragraph. Anyone up for frowning at it for a bit, and maybe the next chapter too if I finish it in the next few days? (I'm looking to have a backlog of both Wild Life and Carpe Diem chapters done before I start posting them)

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So I need to go revamp my website

Since it's looking a little dated. 1993 dated, back when the best you could do with HTML was colors and text size. (Yeah, yeah, I remember building one of the original versions of Mosaic from source, and the NCSA http server. Hey, y'damn kids, get off of my lawn!) Given that tests the limits of my graphic arts prowess, it's not something I poke at much. That needs to change, though -- with Ben and William's first novel starting, plus Carpe Diem (finally!) starting up, and Busted getting shopped

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Ben and William ride again

After altogether too long, it's time for another run with Ben and William. Coming Home is up for your reading pleasure. Prequel to Dirty Basement, and sequel of a sort to Firegrass, the guys are moving from itinerant barbarian heroes to men about town. Transitions are always troubling.   Now that this is done, it's time to head back to other projects. Busted's been inching forward ever so slowly, but it is moving. And as you might notice from the minor cleanup of D'home page, Carpe Diem is off

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Damn those garden pests anyway

(I should know better than to throw out offhand little things. Geeks, like magpies, are distracted by shiny things, and I'm very much a geek...)   "I'm so glad you could make it," Harold said. "I've tried everything I could think of, but my roses keep getting worse!"   "Don't worry, Mister Hargrave," said the gardener. He was wearing a green t-shirt with the 'Jake's Lawn and Garden' splashed over the left breast pocket. "I'm sure we can find out what's going on and get it taken care of."  

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Cheating is good

I was going to spend some time here whining about opening scenes, 'cause I hate 'em. I really, really do; they're annoying, and hard to get right, and even when I do manage a paragraph or three that doesn't suck they never go anywhere. I mean, I get as far as: Harold took a sip of his coffee as he looked out over the deck railing at the lake in front of him. The soothing warmth of the drink flowed through him as the first rays of the rising sun bathed the lake's waters in rich orange ligh

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Hit over the head with subtle

The current Ben and William story I'm working on set this one off. I sent off the draft for their most recent story to a good friend of mine for a read through. He's straight, and while guys doing each other isn't his thing, neither does he much care. (Which is cool, though occasionally somewhat embarrassing for me)   The boys, of course, are a couple, and more than willing to boink each other at the drop of a hat. (Ben keeps a bag of hats around, just in case) Regardless, in the few stories o

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Need a beta reader or three

Right, as I've threatened recently, I've another Ben and William short I'm working on. (Though does it still count as a short story if it's 9K+ words? I dunno)     Anyway, I've been trying to stretch some with this one and have a more deliberate structure and theme to the story. That's a good thing, I think, assuming I managed to do it, but it makes it tougher to tell; with a good adventure story you just have to make sure that the thumping happens in more or less the right order, the descrip

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So just die, already

It's a grey and drizzly saturday, and I'm sitting here rewriting this goddamn fight scene. Again. This is its third go-round, and it's pissing me off. This is S&S stuff. It's supposed to be straightforward, "kill the monster, take its treasure, move on." I mean, there's formula. Possibly sacred formula, I'm not sure -- the genre both demands it and is antithetical to it, which might make it obligatory to acknowledge and ignore it -- but definitely formula. You'd think it was easy to follow,

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I hate it when I forget the moral

It's damned annoying, that's what it is.     Not, in this case, a "what the heck was that moral, again?" but more a "damn, I had a moral and I lost track of it!"       I mean, here I am, typing away, pretty much done with the story and I realize that the big end fight scene (c'mon, it's a sword'n'sorcery story, fight scenes are obligatory) is disconnected from the rest of the piece. I have what I think is a pretty nice setup, and I managed to let the banter side track me.     Pesky cha

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Dates in the mirror are closer than they appear

So I've been beating up Busted, and I've been finding (as so many people do) that making it good takes a whole lot more work than just making it exist. I'd planned on having it done and shopping it around by the end of the year, assuming my HR department was OK with it. I'm not sure if that's going to happen now, unfortunately. It may, given that it's not yet Halloween, but I'm not holding my breath.     Still, the work going into the rewrite is definitely worth it. Even if the book ultimatel

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Rewrites, rewrites, rewrites

And more rewrites.   I'm not dead, but you'd never know it from the postings, would you? When Real Life hasn't been getting in the way, I've been beating up the draft of Busted, trying to get it in shape to shop around for publication.   It's been a !@$! pain in the ass getting it ready, too.   I thought the worst part about this would be throwing out scenes. I've already tossed 30K words, the last third of the book. Not that it isn't bad; some of the stuff I tossed I really, really like.

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Twists on an old standard

or semi-old standard, at least. Cliches always bother me, and I've been pestered the past week or so by some characters and a bit of plot. I'm not going to work on it now -- writing time's dedicated either to the rewrite of Busted (which is crawling along, dammit) or working on Wild Life, which I've put off for way too long -- but still, they interest me. Maybe they'll interest someone else, enough to do something with them.   In this case it's the "kid shows up on the doorstep a decade or mor

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Ooooh! Spiffy-keen client side goodness!

As part of the forum revamp, it looks like the blog module now properly supports XML-RPC access. (It used to claim to, but I never had any luck getting it to work) That means client blog editors (like, say, ecto, the one I rather like. It's well worth the cost) work. Which means I can blog from the train, with a text editor that doesn't suck, and that has built-in spelling checking. (Though I do see the latest version of Camino enables that in text widgets, which is kinda nice)   Being able to

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Rewrites suck

It's always so much easier to write things in the first place. Not easy, exactly, but easier. Of course, the problem is that the ideas for the new stuff don't stop when I'm struggling to fix the old stuff. (I've only managed to get to the point where Joe's found Stephanie, dammit)   So, while I struggle, have the last few pages of the thing that likely comes next. And all I need now is everything that comes before it. It's going to have to be pretty good, since there's definitely no happily ev

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Is it right to mourn the words?

I've been re-plotting Busted (yeah, I'm keeping that title for now, as it's better than the replacements I've managed) and I've come to the part of the process I really hate -- chopping out the good bits because they just don't work.   Chopping the crap out's relatively easy. Embarrassing, yeah (I mean, I wrote it in the first place, and what was I thinking?), but easy. So that flashback scene to when Chris was a kid? Gone. Poof, and no worries.   Unfortunately it also means that Steve's ra

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Werewolf stories always disappoint me

So much macho posturing nonsense. Bleah. I hate it when they start off all promising and go downhill too. (They're much like vampire stories that way. At least with vampire stories you know that they're going to suck...)   I made the mistake of reading one the other day. I swear, at some point I'm going to sit down and write one myself, but until then I'll make do with this scene. (I'm not sure if it works without context, but it's funny in my head)       Clay looked down at Max, lying in

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Toymaker, part 2

[Hrm. Looks like my tendency to mushy background stuff is getting in the way. 1700 words and nothing's exploded! Have to fix that in the next piece...]   William finished dressing himself a few minutes later. Gone was the barbarian prince, and in his place was an ordinary, unremarkable merchant. He was wearing a tunic and brown overshirt, belted at the waist, and a pair of dark green leggings. He'd exchanged his doeskin boots for a pair made of sturdy leather. He tugged at the collar of the sh

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Dirty Basement's done!

And up, thanks to Joe. Ben and William are back, and as domestic as Heroes ever get.   Go read, and marvel at the joys of home ownership.

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Toymaker chapter 01

[i'm feeling the need for some good melodramatic monologuing and denoument (it's all Dio's fault!). Ben and William are always good for that, so while I'm sitting on Busted, and polishing up the last draft of Dirty Basement (the second complete Ben and William story) I give you... Toymaker! Or, rather, the first draft dump of it. That seemed to work pretty well with Busted. My son likes these, so this one's going to be PG, at worst]   William reined in his horse as he crested the hill. The mid

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Busted end notes

Right, some notes for the end of the story, and (hopefully) an entry to hang people's comments about things that need fixing or addressing. Yeah, it's quiz time -- please weigh in with the problems you had with the story. I've got my list, but I can't fix what I don't realize is wrong. (This is not the time to be nice)   I need a title! I don't know that 'Busted' really fits all the way through. The folder on my hard drive's labelled "Ghost Cop" but that's not all that good either. You've got

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Busted chapter 74 + 75 (fin!)

[Ah, I can't wait, so instead I edit and re-release. I'm done. Yay!]   Snuffles may have cleared Chris head, but he also broke the spell that hid Joe. The maniac stiffened as he realized they weren't alone any more.   "You! How are you

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