A change is as good…

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A change is as good as a rest, they say; I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know there’s not a lot of rest to be had around here at the moment. That said, I finslly got to the end of my first draft of the historical novel that’s swallowed my last six months! That was a couple of weeks ago, maybe, and since then I’ve allowed myself to take a break from writing. I’ve done a little drawing on my shiny new graphics tablet – something I’ve wanted for years but which has only recently become affordable – and found that I’m actually not as bad at drawing as I thought, given plenty of chances to redo mistakes and references laid out in front of me.

But mostly I’ve been staying away from the computer for the last couple of weeks, taking a rest from the word processor’s glare to work on more low-tech projects, like assembling a little solar-powered fountain for my bedroom, excavating a tiny rubber dinosaur from some sort of plastery substance, and returning to that worldbuilding project I started ages ago.

Speaking of the worldbuilding project, I couldn’t find several of my files on what I’d done so far, and what I could find felt very two-dimensional, so I photocopied my original blank map and started again. I’ve been using post-it notes, my trusty ringbinder, more post-it notes, and a couple of tutorials on my phone, which has been a refreshing change of approach, and I’m building from the tectonic plates up. So far, I’m much happier with the ideas and features springing up in this new version!

Having had a bit of a rest for the last part of May, I’m now planning to get back into it – although I think I’ll probably be investing my word count into the planning for my Camp NaNo in July and, of course, the fact files for this world I’m building.

I’ll try not to be such a stranger, but I can make no promises about future blogposts, I’m afraid! Things here are, and will continue to be, completely mad. Still, I hope to talk to you all soon!

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No Holds Bard – a new Shakespeare anthology

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Hi, everyone!

I know, I know – it’s been all too quiet here lately. Unfortunately, my responsibilities at home have become much harder to juggle with everything else in my life – not that I was great at updating here to begin with – and I haven’t been able to keep up this blog and write. So I’ve been focusing on writing, largely a very long historical novel whose first draft I hope to get to the end of in the next month or so (next story already lined up for the period between edits).

However, this post is to let you know about THIS beauty, which I have a story in.

Cover image for No Holds Bard from Manifold Press

Ten authors, twelve extraordinary stories. From a novel solution to the Plantagenet succession crisis to revelations about the private lives of Prince Hal and – separately! – Brutus and Cassius, plus a surprise ending for Twelfth Night, no play is safe. We have marriage proposals and murder; subtle scheming villainy; a missing manuscript; a haunting… Whether set within the framework of a play, or spotlighting actors, characters, or the Bard himself, these stories will have you viewing Shakespeare in a whole new light. It’s definitely not the kind of thing they taught us in school…

Take a deep breath. Dive in. Prepare to be astonished!

My contribution to this anthology is short, but hopefully sweet, and is set in modern times – as you’ll see from the descriptions on the Manifold Press page here, that’s not true of all the stories therein. Stories take place everywhere from Shakespeare’s time to the present day, and not all entirely on our mortal plane. I also suspect there are some steamy shenanigans within, but as I haven’t yet read all the stories I’m unable to confirm that for certain!

You can pre-order the anthology now, ready for its release on the 1st of May – just click here and follow the relevant link for the format you prefer. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

My Mistress’ Eyes
Eleanor Musgrove
In a tender domestic moment with her high-flying girlfriend, Lexi, Jasmine reflects on their relationship. A flattering request from a local festival leads her to take inspiration from the Bard himself as she searches for the right words to ask a very important question.

Rainbow Advent Calendar

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Hi, everyone!

Well, I survived NaNo with my fifth win – still plenty to do on the novel, of course, but I’ve made a good start. BUT that’s not what I want to tell you about today.

Today, I am excited about the…

Rainbow Advent Calendar

Yes! It’s Christmas soon (like it or not), and Alex Jane has done a fantastic job at making the run-up to the holidays a little more fun for fiction-lovers.

Every day from the 1st-24th December, a different author will be posting a short story, completely free, for you to enjoy. Some of the authors will be suggesting charities you might like to donate to but that is absolutely optional. The identities of those authors and the order in which they’ll be posting is a closely guarded secret – you don’t want to open the doors too early and spoil the surprise – but I can reveal that I am taking part at some point during the 24 days, and that so are some truly fantastic authors I know. Then, of course, there are many I don’t know at all, so it’s a great chance to expand all of our reading lists!

I should warn that this calendar opened up to the rainbow after some time being planned as an M/M (male/male) calendar, so it does skew towards M/M but there should be some variety in there somewhere! There will also be various ratings, kinks and heat levels, so please check the listings on the masterpost as they appear.

You can get to the masterpost by clicking on the banner above (or here) and there’s a closed Facebook group (applications are usually approved pretty fast unless you’re an obvious spambot) here so you can chat with authors and other readers and keep track of the calendar. Please do check it out if you’re interested, it’s such a lovely idea and I hope it’ll become an annual tradition.

Talk to you soon!

Here we go again…

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Hi everyone!

It’s time for NaNoWriMo again, and I’ve signed up as usual (because apparently I’m a total masochist). I’ll be writing a historical novel that may or may not involve a romance (I honestly can’t tell if that will pan out right now).

You can follow my progress via the widget below, and if you’re also participating you can add me as a buddy. My username is @masqueblanc.

I probably won’t be updating much during the month (no change there – I really am sorry about that) but I’ll see you on the other side!

Patreon launch!

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Hi everyone,

It’s my birthday, which means it’s also launch day for my brand new Patreon page! Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators in doing what they do best, by effectively giving them $1 (or more if you like!) now and then.

My Patreon currently works on a per-creation basis. I’ll be adding new free content at least once a month, at least for a while, and I hope to add about two pieces of paid content a month (until I can increase it to three; beyond that I’ll be switching to a pledge-per-month system so it doesn’t get silly for anyone). Everyone can see my free posts, but paid posts will be Patron exclusive.

Please go and check out the page – the free story is at least some indication of what you can expect from my writing – and tell your friends! I hope you’ll enjoy the content over there and, hopefully, renewed activity on this blog.

Thanks, and talk to you soon!

Coming soon…

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Hi everyone,

The situation at home continues to be somewhat fraught, to say the least, so I’ve not been keeping up with this blog the way I’d have liked. Truth is, writing has been difficult in general lately, so even if I had been blogging regularly I’m not sure what I would have said.

BUT! I want to fix that. I’m hoping to start putting some short stories out on a more regular basis, and in order to try to motivate myself I’m setting up a Patreon account. I’m still sorting out some posts to queue so nobody’s signing up for a blank canvas, but I’m hoping to officially launch on October 7th (or 8th, depending on how busy I am on the 7th). I’ll share a link nearer the time, so keep an eye out!

I’ve put most of my previous projects on the back burner for now as I’m having trouble finding either the time or the attention span to write novels. So Patreon rewards will be largely short stories and behind-the-scenes insights. Right now, I’m also working on a longer-term project, building a fantasy world from scratch so I can play in that – and I’ll be sharing maps and such with my patrons first, until I have enough to start writing.

Once I’m creating consistently for Patreon (knowing people are paying for things makes it much harder to let them down), I hope I’ll fall into the sort of routine that will make it easier to post here more often, too. There will be a delay between some things getting to Patreon and making it onto this blog, however, I’m afraid – part of the reward system for signups over there!

Talk to you soon, readers, and thanks for sticking with me for this long!