Fall has befallen, and we’re just past the height of peak colors. It’s a rather monochrome sort of autumn that we have here, but I love how bright the gold trees make the whole world feel.
As Lauren Esker, I have a story this month in Two Mates for the Dragon, a benefit anthology for OutRight International, a nonprofit that works to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people across the world. All profits will be donated to them in perpetuity.
I’m one of six authors who wrote a story for the anthology. All stories are M/M/F bisexual poly romance involving humans and (shapeshifting) dragons. My story, “Heart of Stone”, is blurbed thusly:
Tess’s dragonslayer husband David is dying, and her only hope is to seek help from David’s ex-boyfriend, a dragon who runs a hot springs resort.
(Note: This anthology contains sexually explicit material.)
We’re starting to get into the time of year when I’m thinking ahead to winter holiday bazaar season and starting ornament painting, but I … kinda haven’t gotten started on that yet, so no progress to share yet.
Some new stuff on Facebook, though! Namely, two new groups:
Lauren’s Fireside Book Chat, for my Lauren Esker romance books (and general booktalk, mostly romance related)
Layla Lawlor’s Books and Art, for my realname projects.
Feel free to join if either of those sounds relevant to you! But don’t feel obligated to follow me in projects that are not of interest.
And finally, a few interesting links found in various places:
The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It and relatedly, The Marshmallow Experiment. Two very interesting posts on procrastination and delayed gratification.
“Let’s Talk About Genre” – a really fascinating interview with Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro.
I think that there’s a huge difference between, for example, a novel with spies in it and a spy novel; or a novel with cowboys in it and a cowboy novel. I have a mad theory that I started evolving when I read a book called Hard Core by Linda Williams, a film professor in California. It was one of the first books analysing hardcore pornography as a film genre.
She said that in order to make sense of it, you need to think of musicals, because the plot in a musical exists to stop all of the songs from happening at once, and to get you from song to song. You need the song where the heroine pines for what she does not have, you need the songs where the whole chorus is doing something rousing and upbeat, and you need the song when the lovers get together and, after all the vicissitudes, triumph.
I thought, “That’s actually a way to view all literary genres,” because there are things that people who like a genre are looking for in their fiction: the things that titillate, the things that satisfy. If it was a cowboy novel, we’d need the fight in the saloon; we’d need the bad guy to come riding into town and the good guy to be waiting for him. A novel that happens to be set in the Old West doesn’t actually need to deliver any of those things – though it would leave readers of genre cowboy fiction feeling peculiarly disappointed, because they have not got the moments of specific satisfaction.
Really good stuff.
And finally, How to have a Smartphone with No Data Plan and Still Do All The Things. Not just applicable if you have no data at all, but also to maximizing your data by using available wifi where possible.