What’s Next?

This is where I live.

Well, I actually live in a house, but this is the view from the window of the room where I write.  And I’m sure it goes without saying that sometimes I spend more time gazing out the window than I do writing.  It’s pretty hard not to.  I took this photo last October.  I was going to take a new one today to post, but ever since I got home, we’ve been having one of those thunderstorms that rumble in the distance for a hour, crash down all around you for twenty minutes, and then rumble off in the other direction for another hour, and by then, another storm is coming up out of the west so you can’t tell where one ends and the next begins.  If I’d taken a photo, my view would have been fog outside rain-drenched glass.  Right now there’s some spectacular lightning going on right over the summit of the mountain, which is Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont.  This is going to be a short post because I probably should unplug my computer.

What’s next for me in my first novel, called Notice. I don’t have a release date yet — it was accepted so recently that I’m still doing my happy dance whenever I think about it.  Soon enough, I’ll be feeling a different kind of happy, the kind that comes in the middle of edits, when you have to focus on the “how good it’s going to feel when this thing is finally released” feeling.  I’m enjoying this happy while I can.

Notice is about dragon shifters, and it’s in the same world as my story, “The Dragon and his Knight,” which was published in the Mine Anthology.  The characters are different, but the premise is the same — the ancient dragons learned how to turn into humans to avoid getting killed off by knights, but there are some modern day knights who know the truth and have vowed to kill all the dragons they can find.  The knights still follow their honor code, though — it’s bad form to just attack a dragon; you must give it “notice” first.  My main character is given a notice at the worst imaginable time.  Stay tuned for more details as the publication process goes forward.

I’m going to be safe and turn off my computer now.

Acadia Photos

My most recent publication, “Ice,” is set in Acadia National Park, on the coast of Maine.  Though Vermont will always hold my heart, Acadia is one of my favorite places.  Vermont is the only New England state which doesn’t have a coastline, so when I need a taste of the sea, Acadia is where I head.  I admit it’s an odd place for an erotic gay novella, but its magical beauty just fits my characters Tace and William perfectly.  These are some of my recent photos:

This is a stretch of shoreline before Otter Cliffs which Tace and William would have driven past on the Park Loop Road.

This is Thunder Hole, where Tace stood gazing for a long time, thinking about his life.

These are the rocks where Tace and William tried to have a heart to heart talk.

And this is just a beautiful sunset from the top of Cadillac Mountain which captures the essence of the place.

A Little Erotica from “Ice”

“So what is Ice, anyway?”

I get asked that question a lot.  Well, aside from Ice being the name of my most recent publication, I would say that what Ice is depends on who you are.  For most people, it is an instant death sentence.  For others, specifically gay men with certain genetic traits, it is…well…interesting stuff.  It looks like regular old ice cubes, but the vapors that evaporate from it cause…well…some rather drastic changes in those who inhale them.  Why only certain gay men can survive and become…changed…no one knows.

“Ice” is about Tace and William, who both find out more about Ice than they ever wanted to know.  Here’s an excerpt from the very beginning of the story:

The hot, pulsing crowd swallowed him.
Tace pulled off his T-shirt and let it fall from his fingers, raised his arms to the ceiling, and savored the touch of other shirtless bodies against him, all moving to the numbing, pounding music, all lost in the flashing, rhythmic lights. This bar was everything he’d dreamed of — small, safe, and hundreds of miles from home, where he could be absolutely anonymous and utterly himself. Closing his eyes, he let the music pulse through him and make him its own.
After a while, Tace felt eyes on him. A gorgeous, blue-eyed man, very nicely shirtless and wearing a huge diamond ring on his right hand, moved in a circle around him. From behind, he laid his hands on Tace’s shoulders and began to massage to the beat.
God, this was so easy, Tace thought, leaning into the man’s hands as they slid down his sides and circled around his waist, pulling him back more firmly. Boldly, one hand went to Tace’s groin and massaged there, while the other hand went up Tace’s chest to his throat. Lips touched his jaw.
Tace moaned and closed his eyes, allowing this man to claim him without a single word.
The man led him to an empty stool at the far end of the bar and stood behind him. With one hand, the man pressed Tace’s head into a bare, muscular chest and kept it there. With the other hand, he signaled the bartender, a very young man who didn’t speak or meet Tace’s eyes. The bartender brought a single drink in a small, clear glass filled with ice, and left without any suggestion that payment was necessary. Tace thought that was a little odd, but didn’t give it another thought as the man who’d claimed him raised the glass. He brought it toward Tace, who started to drink, only to realize there was just ice inside it. No wonder the bartender hadn’t charged anything. When Tace looked up at the man behind him in confusion, the man smiled. His blue eyes were so beautiful that Tace lost himself in them.
Then he smelled something unfamiliar, a clean, sharp odor that made him think of skating on the pond on cold winter evenings, when he’d been a child with a family who still accepted him. It was the smell of ice, he thought, and realized the man behind him had brought the glass close to his face again. He glanced down and saw a faint, wispy mist coming from the cubes. They looked perfectly normal. It must be the warmth in the room causing them to vaporize. He breathed in the essence of ice, settling back more firmly against the solid man, letting his eyes close, dimly aware the music was pulsing in and out of his hearing.
He sighed in pleasure as the man’s hands began to work down his sides and across his stomach. Both hands. He opened his eyes and saw the glass resting on the bar in front of him now. They were strong, firm hands, hands that could shape and support him, the kind of hands he wanted on him so badly… Hands that slipped inside the front of his jeans and inside his shorts, grasping him firmly.
Vaguely aware that this probably shouldn’t be happening here, at the bar, even with only other gay men around, Tace thought about protesting, but he couldn’t find the energy, and oh, it felt so good… He moaned and arched backward against the man’s firm, solid body, thinking that this was better than anything he’d ever dreamed of, certainly better than anything that had happened the other few times he’d ventured into bars where his own kind congregated.
Ice and music and hands, ice and pleasure and the cold, crisp smell, and hands, and ice, and — he came. Silently, he collapsed forward against the bar, face on his left forearm, next to the glass of dancing vapors. He gazed at the shimmering cubes, entranced, while the man’s hands did something else to him inside his jeans and then withdrew. He couldn’t move, his body limp with release like he’d never felt before, his mind swirling like the patterns of mist coming from the ice. He kept breathing and breathing and a cool, tingling rush spread through him and held his body in its quivering embrace, every nerve in him humming with pleasure. Rising and throbbing and swirling and blissful.
It kept going even after someone removed the glass. After a while, Tace raised his head, still caught in the bliss of it all. The man was gone. Tace sat up and turned to look. On the dance floor, men were still dancing, but not so many. The bartender was busy at the other end of the bar. No one was sitting near him. Where had the man gone?
Tace wanted to thank him for the wonderful experience.
When he slid off the stool, he felt something pulling at him. Something wasn’t right inside his jeans. Quickly, he located the men’s room near the end of the bar, went into a stall, and unzipped. And found a metal device on himself. It had six silver rings that encircled his penis tightly, and one slightly larger one around the base of his scrotum. A solid silver strip connected the rings in the back. It looked like they were meant to be opened — he could make out a tiny line in the top of each one — and there was no way this was sliding off, it was so tight. He fumbled for some kind of release mechanism, only to discover a tiny, silver lock up close to his body.
Closed.
Shit.
Within a couple seconds, he knew the thing wasn’t coming off. Nor was he going to be able to have an erection with it on.
Okay, he thought. So he’d be seeing more of the man with the amazing hands. He hoped. Or else he would eventually have to make a very embarrassing trip to the doctor. No. No one outside this bar could ever know about this. Ever.
Though there was something kind of cool about it.

Buy Ice here

Well, it’s rather pathetic that somebody can write and publish five pieces before figuring out how to set up a blog, but well, that’s me. I think this looks pretty much the way it should now — I’ve got my works up, and links to my reviews, and links to the other places where I can be found on the web. This is good. I’m pleased.
Enjoy.
Leave me comments, please!

Here in Vermont, we’re enjoying 2011– The Year of the Never Ending Winter. I took this photo of my patio furniture this morning.  Snow in April is actually fairly common, but it still feels wrong somehow. Yet this is part of what I love about Vermont. The pattern of the seasons here has sunk into my blood in a way that is partly because my family has lived here for five generations. And yet, every year is different.  Yesterday morning while I was in the shower, our house shook with a terrifying rumble. I panicked and thought that our furnace, which is elderly and has given us many problems lately, had decided to launch into orbit. I leapt out, all soapy, only to discover a tremendous thunderstorm had blown up from nowhere. This morning, I woke to a dull white haze outside my window — a snow squall worthy of January. Where I live, it is not an easy transition from season to season. We learn to accept. Vermont is a land of contrasts — sharp beauty of mountains and lakes juxtaposed against failing farms and poverty just below the pristine surface.  We’re like everywhere else, and yet we’re different, too. I don’t think it was an accident that Vermont led the country in passing a law to allow civil unions a few years ago. Long winters around the woodstove have bred a people used to thinking a thing through, seeing it from all sides, and then deciding what is right and what is wrong from inside, from where it really matters, not from political agendas. Like Vermont, I am a person of contrasts — a mother, an educator, and a writer of gay erotica. And I’m having no trouble at all with who I am, inside.

Anyway, for those of you who are here looking for gay erotica and found patio furniture, don’t worry — I can do erotica, too. Stay tuned for future posts with excerpts from my fiction and glimpses into what I’m working on now, and who I am.

Setting Up

I’m just setting up my blog right now, so if it looks a little threadbare, it is! I’m totally techno-challenged, which is depressing for someone who writes science fiction, but the truth. I would make a far better ship pilot than a blog creator, I’m sure. I’m wide open to suggestions, so if anybody happens by, feel free to leave any thoughts you have!