Category Archives: Writing

Happy New Year

2013 was a busy year. I spent a ton of time in doctor’s offices addressing neck and shoulder pain. It’s not all gone, but I’m managing it — some days better than others — and that’s the best I can ask for at this point. I’ve also revamped my diet, removing most grains and sugar-added items from my meals, returned to a steady running plan, and wrestled insomnia down to a moderate annoyance.

Between my literal pain in the neck and working through setting myself up for a potential career path adjustment with my current employer I’ve barely had time to write. Sure, I could get up early to write, but sleep is important. I could forgo football season but… hahaha. Never mind. I think you know how these things go.

So despite all of this, I do have an exciting announcement. In between all these other activities, I have managed to write a story for Loose Id, with an expected release this spring, in time for Ostara (Easter). I don’t have more than that to share today. I’ve yet to name the story, or edit my query blurb, but when these things get addressed, I will share them with you.

My fingers are crossed for a productive 2014. I hope to write more, step up my running program, and start a new role that will carry me through the next few years at the day job.

I hope you all had a wonderful 2013 and are looking forward to exciting activities and goals for this new year. Best wishes to each and every one of you.

Pia Veleno

 

(cross posted at http://www.slash-and-burn.blogspot.com)


Long Time…

Hopefully you’ve noticed I haven’t been around much. The blog, Crank, Goodreads, Twitter… you name it, I’ve been either spotty in posting, or completely absent.

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally admitted to myself that my back, shoulders, and neck need more than just intermittent breaks from the laptop. When it comes down to it, these breaks can’t be enough when I’m still working a full time job at a computer. I’m still working that day job. It pays the bills where writing, in its best months, might cover my groceries. So I can’t cut back on non-writing computer hours.

Backing off on the writing has been as painful as the muscle issues. My wonderful editor still sends me emails asking how things are going. She hasn’t given up on me, but there are days I feel like I have.

So now I’m officially in physical therapy, spending more money than my books have earned so far, in hopes that I can get my body to cooperate with my mind’s desire to tell a story. It’s the best option so far. I can’t cut back my hours at the job that pays the bills, and I have to get back to writing regularly for my own sanity.

If my blog continues to suffer, please forgive, and Facebook, well, I should probably delete that one outright. I have a new CRANK chapter to share this weekend, but I can’t promise I’ll return to the bi-weekly additions. I’ll finish their story, definitely, just how quickly remains to be seen.

Be patient, dear readers, and please, be like my editor. Don’t give up on me. I promise I won’t either.

PS I am not earning any money on ads popping up on this site, or on the CRANK site. Please see WordPress’s new rules about ads. Either I pay to go ad free, or they put ads up to supposedly keep my usage free. Oh, WordPress, I pay you already, just to use my own domain name, so I’ll be looking for a new hosting site. Anyone with web experience willing to be hired at a reasonable price want some work to set up my website on its own?


Coming Soon…?

Maybe I need to rename this post to something like “Stuff That Happened Recently and Hopefully will be Happening Soon.” Perhaps I’ll shorten it to just “Stuff.”

Since the funeral, I’ve been spending most of my mental energy on the Job That Pays The Bills. Q1 is always busy, but with the market performing well lately, I’ve been tapped every day. Sure, I get personal time — I do get to come home every evening — but after the busy market days I’ve had lately, personal time rarely has any mental acuity for things like WiPs, blog posts, or some nights, cooking a healthy dinner.

Never you mind that because it will pass. It always does. When summer rolls around I’ll be hip deep in my new story, and (maybe) posting regularly again here. I say maybe because let’s face it, I’ve never been a good blogger. It’s not in me to share with strangers when I barely share with my friends. Ah, there’s a fun blog topic. Introverts. We do try, dear Readers. Really.

Anyway, this post is titled “Coming Soon” for a reason… I mean “Stuff.”

On the Slash & Burn blog today, I wrote about running and writing, with a hint at the upcoming WiP: “The Written Mile”

No CRANK today, but there was one last Sunday. Mike eavesdrops and Ash puts Crandall on the spot in “A Favor Asked”

In the next week or two, we’ll revisit our calorie counting, and our favorite junk food in the next Hunger Games post. So if you’ve been slacking, get counting!

Quoting Fiction will be back this week. Stay tuned.

Happy March, dear Readers!
~PV


Update

CRANK is back on a new(ish) schedule. I will post a new chapter every other Sunday, starting last Sunday with a naughty (NSFW) scene. www.thecrank.wordpress.com

Last Sunday was also my Slash & Burn day. I shared an update on writing and the creative process. www.slash-and-burn.blogspot.com

Today, I’m working on a new manuscript, though I may take a break for another quoting fiction. Maybe. I think I’m ready to ignore all else to get the next book written. Maybe.

Happy Tuesday, cari miei!


Blog Musings

As I edited the post I wrote for the Hunger Games piece, I stopped to wonder if I was too distracted. Should Pia the writer be blogging about non-writerly things? I know some readers – myself included – enjoy reading about other aspects of their favorite writers’ lives but, at the same time, there is such a thing as too much information. Should I be blogging about dieting when I could be writing fiction?

I was at a loss. I just didn’t know, and there’s no one right answer. What finally broke the stagnation was two things: one, I wasn’t writing anything else, so I wasn’t really taking time away from the fiction, and two, readers and writers, en masse, sit a lot. Sure, there are those of us who will walk on the treadmill or sit on the bike at the gym with a Kindle propped up against the touch screen, but for the most part, reading and writing requires physical inertia. It also lends to the nasty habit of munching convenience foods without thinking of content, or even if I’m truly hungry. Sure, maybe I’m making excuses for my Hunger Games post, but I think it’s a viable excuse for the fiction world. As for that post? It should be ready to share this weekend.


Just for Fun: The Muse vs Warcraft

I’ve been going back and forth between feeling guilty for not writing much and admitting that The Job That Pays The Bills is taking way too much of my mental energy for me to write something actually worth reading after being in the office all day and week.

The guilt jumped tenfold when I resubscribed to World of Warcraft. Chances are you’ve heard of this game. They spend a lot on online ads and TV commercials to drive the membership numbers. It is a fun game – that I won’t deny – but it’s also an addicting game. It has mechanics that appeal to my OCD tendencies, and I’ll find myself saying “I’ll take a break after this quest.” An hour, four quests, and three side tangents later, I may notice that I lied to myself about that break.

What’s a girl to do when she has to pay the bills? I love my day job. I’m good at it. I want to be better and get that next promotion, but I also want writing to be more than a passing fancy. I love to be the storyteller, and it makes my day when someone really, truly gets a character. The people I help during the day don’t need me as much as my boys do. The former have more money than they know what to do with while my boys won’t find their Happily Ever After without the guiding touch of a loving hand.

Regardless of day job versus writing, I need to stop feeling guilty about having fun. We all need to have fun and we need to do it every day. Life has to be enjoyable or it becomes harder and harder to get up every day. Yes, there will be a time when I’ll need to cut back on the Warcraft hours and apply that time to writing, but not until I can come home from the Job That Pays The Bills with the mental energy to crave the written word. Yes, crave. I never want storytelling to become a chore.

I’m still working on Man Whore’s untitled sequel. I’m determined to get that finished, little bit by little bit at a time. I haven’t given up. Nor am I going to feel guilty when this evening consists of no more than a three-mile run through the woods followed by a two-hour crawl through dungeons.

Hey sometimes video games can inspire a new story too!

 


Coming…Soon?

I thought about it, but I didn’t think it through. “Coming Up Next Week” really just means me fishing around for something exciting to blog about every weekend. Let’s face it, I don’t write that fast. Certainly not fast enough to have a weekly blog update.

Let’s try this instead – Coming this month. Of course, as warranted, there will be updates throughout the month too. Or maybe it should be a Coming Soon feature? Ugh, I’m going with Under Construction for the whole revamping the blog concept. That’s the safest bet.

Anyway, without further ado…

Coming soon, this week AND next month

This Sunday: A new chapter of CRANK. Crandall leaves work behind, and you’re invited to relax with him, the Crank way.

Next Sunday: My monthly Slash & Burn visit. My notes for this blog post so far read: “Something fun.” Uhh…. What’d I get myself into?

On a Tangent: I have two topics rolling around in my head. As soon as I pin one down, I’ll write a Tangent blog post. It’ll be something non-writing related. I hope.

Work in Progress: An update on Man Whore’s sequel

Just for Fun: the inaugural post, Are you ready for…

Once Upon a Time: the inaugural post, on CRANK and writing an online serial


Fractured

Oops. Haven’t posted here lately. I’ll chock that up to my fractured sense of time. Or, instead, to the many times I’ve thought about blogging, but other shiny things have distracted me. Either way, shame on Pia. So, let’s chat now.

I sent out the punk rocker story for consideration. I still think of it as “the punk rocker story” instead of its title – A Hound’s Love – because I’m not in love with that title. I sent it to Loose Id, so I’m not holding my breath just yet. I had to submit Summer Lust (which became Make You Sweat - Loose Id, August ’11) three times before a contract arrived in my inbox. I think I’ve learned some things since then, so I’m hoping to cut that down a bit. Either way, I used the waiting as an excuse – “I’ll post to the blog when I have an acceptance.” Uh-huh. Yeah.

Onward! Currently, I’m meandering about in my WiP folders. I have a synopsis for a Coming Out call (LI), plus two outlines for A Sexy Mind call (Silver). Both of those calls have deadlines, and in the meantime, instead of working on those, I’m fiddling with the second book in the Personal Demons series (the sequel to Man Whore) which, while overdue, does not have a deadline.

See… lovely sense of time. Yes? Laugh away, I’m used to it.

And now for a few quickies:

  • Freedom’s Souvenir is approaching a milestone. It’s just under 300 downloads from Smashwords. If you haven’t read it yet, you can get your copy HERE.
  • The Little Birdie rumor mill says Man Whore should go to audio production soon. I’m not looking forward to listening to the entire thing to approve the recording, but then I read it a gazillion times to get it ready for publication. I may be sick of it, but if you’ve been waiting to hear it, all I can say is… some time this year. Yep. Helpful. I know.
  • The running is coming back to me, little by little. With running comes the writing. The Muse is optimistic… and teasing… and still a pain in my a—
  • When the heck did I fall down the rabbit hole?? My Sunday to Slash & Burn is coming up this weekend. Stay tuned as I track down winter.
  • I’m singing out loud while I work. Perhaps I should write a series of blog posts inspired by random songs playing on my iPod. Interested?

Have a great weekend, dear Readers.

Ciao,
Pia Veleno


Setting Goals

Today is the last day of November.

Hey, I’m good. Huh? Yep, last day.

And then I reflected on what I’ve done (or rather, what I haven’t done this month) and I can see why I’m amused at even realizing the month is over.

I’ve done nothing.

Nothing.

So, shut the eff up, and do something about it, Pia.

Yep, I heard you. I intend to. I’ve been intending to… right after I stop berating myself for falling for the annual lure into hibernation.

Each year, as the days become shorter, I give in to an apathetic laziness that I can only blame on lack of sunlight and willpower. This year I tried taking extra Vitamin D to combat it, but it hasn’t helped. Much.

Okay, so it has helped my mood, but not my productivity. I could also blame the productivity levels on the healing foot (I’m still not running more than two or three minutes at a time) or my neck (sitting around, instead of running or other exercise is affecting my entire body,) but when it comes down to it, I go through this every fall.

I’m working on that. Really I am.

Last night I moved three manuscripts to my Kindle so I can read through them, refamiliarize myself with the characters and story, and make a list of notes for the next round of edits. I’m setting a goal of having one of them ready to share with my editor by the end of the year. I’m also setting a goal to have a rough synopsis ready to share with her for a fresh story. The latter is sketched out, but needs some concentration to flesh out details that have been rolling around in my head. Lastly, I need to read through the original CRANK posts so I can take notes on ideas for rewriting it in novel format.

That’s right, dear Readers, for those of you who missed the first year of that online story, I fully intend to release CRANK in ebook format some time next year. Never mind if you’re already reading CRANK as it’s released each Sunday, because this ebook will fill in the background and show you how Crandall and Mike got together and got stuck chasing vampires. It’ll be setting it up to be read either before or after the current installments since there are readers on both sides of the spectrum.

Okay, enough goal setting. Now I need to buckle down and attack those goals. Please excuse the return of Placebo lyrics tweets, as Mr. Molko’s is one of the few triggers that can drag my motivation out of the Winter Blahs and back into the wonderful world of Make Believe.


Broken

It’s been an interesting month.

To put it mildly.

I haven’t been writing much at all in August, and I’ve mentioned here and there without really telling the story. The thing is, to take the effort to write a blog post about it would have been wasting precious droplets of creativity. I don’t say that because I don’t take this blog seriously – on the contrary, I love chatting with my dear Readers — but because I wanted to save what little energy I had for the commitments I’d already made.

On July 31st, I broke my foot. Now a foot injury, you’d think – and I did too – would make for MORE time to write. The foot had to be propped up constantly, and I certainly couldn’t walk on it, let alone spend hours a week running nowhere for the sake of being healthy. So, perfect for cuddling up with the laptop and a few cute men, right? Alas, no. Without my running catharsis, my mind shut down too.

A physical injury is never just physical. I was (and still am, at times) mentally exhausted. I’m sleeping a lot, and I still struggle to put in a full forty hours a week at the Job That Pays The Bills. That Job is very challenging, so needless to say, I crash hard after work each day.

I’m coming around now. Little by little. I’m moving more, and while I’m still in pain, still healing, I’m inching my way back to my feet. The Doc has cleared me to use a stationary bike, but made me swear on my FiveFingers to not stand on the pedals, and to use my heels, not my midfoot. Yes, yes, I agreed. Anything to MOVE again. Besides, I love running too much to risk slowing the healing, or worse, reinjuring the foot, by pushing too hard too soon.

With this little bit of physical output, I find my Muse wandering by too. I’m playing around with an idea for a sports themed story, and I put on Crank’s playlist to toy with the next few scenes. I suspect it’ll be another two to three weeks before I’m ready to pick CRANK back up because I need that to be right, and I need to be in full creative mind to write more than blog posts. In the meantime, I’m reading through a couple of other projects and making revision notes. Revisions need a different part of my mind – that part between pure creativity of writing from scratch and the pure technical section that helps with line edits and proofreading.

It’s a start, and it’s not a bad way to ease back into things since this is a manuscript I’ve been avoiding to concentrate on getting Make You Sweat ready to read. Now that Sweat is in the readers’ hands, I should be working on another project. Next week I’ll work on a blog post to update you with those projects, and maybe – just maybe, because my memory (and energy) is still faltering – I’ll run a giveaway for Sweat. I’m not sure how or where yet, but I’m considering a GoodReads location since the M/M Romance Group has been such as wonderful place for me as both a writer and a reader.

Keep your eyes out for a post about it. I’ll announce it here (too) regardless of where the entries are requested.

I think that’s enough rambling for one day. I still have a bit of energy, but I’ll put those towards the revisions. Punk rocker anyone?

Ciao,
Pia Veleno


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