Sunday, November 13, 2005

It's growing! Plus a piercing story...

Remember that disease I told you about? ML's "can't write anything short to save her life" disease? :) Well, my vamp story, Night Shadows, is, er, still growing. In one of my last posts I said I thought it would probably be around 20-25,000 words. Yeah. Well, see, it didn't quite happen that way. The truth is, I'm currently at about 25,000 words in my writing of it and I still have to finish the scene I'm on and write the final scene. But I swear--really, I SWEAR!!--it's going to end at novella length and not be a full-blown novel. (I can hear AQP's editorial director, Trace Zaber, laughing from here...he's thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah, ML, heard it before, will believe it when I see it, not betting my life on it.)

Hey, in my own defense, this story is juicy! There's good sex, there's good emotional muck, the hero's already become one of my all time faves I've written, and there's a nasty bad guy. So how could I possibly water any of that down just to make the overall product shorter? Well, obviously, I can't!! :) But I seriously do think it will end up still nicely within novella length limits. I actually want it to be a novella because I, myself, love reading novellas. They have enough word count that the story and characters can be more fully explored than in a short, but they're quicker reading than a novel. I like that I can sit down and read a novella in a few hours. So...mark my words, this sucker will be done in the next couple of days and it WILL be a novella. Really! (Quit laughing, Trace!! )

On a non-writing related note, yesterday, on a wild hair, I got another piercing in my ear. This was my first one in my upper ear, in the "cartilage." I totally cracked up at the amount of paperwork I had to read and sign to get it done--I had to initial about ten different things, then sign in like four places once I'd read paragraph after paragraph about how getting piercings could lead to scarring, infections, diseases (Honest! They even gave some fancy scientific names for some of them.), and how said piercings required mondo proper aftercare or my ear might fall off and I might die. Okay, I made that very last part up, but you get the picture.

It was amazing how things have changed since I got my first ear piercing done when I was twelve. I went in with my mom to J.C. Penney--they were one of the few places who did them back then, unless you wanted to do them at home with a needle and a potato (no kidding...my mom and at least one of my sisters had it done that way). I don't remember my mom having to sign anything, I sat in the chair, snap, snap, it was done, I had throbbing ears and two lovely big gold posts.

I got my second round done when I was in high school. A friend and I were at the mall one Saturday, we went into one of the stores and, on a spur of the moment decision, got our ears pierced for the second time. Don't remember signing anything that time, either. Snap, snap, this time I had lovely sparkling birthstone earrings. There was just one problem. I played varsity basketball and the season was still in progress, so that night when I went to the game, I put tape over my new earrings (no jewelry allowed, but many refs would let you cover earrings or barrettes with tape if you chose), but the refs that night were picky and they made me take them out. Yow!! You should have seen me after the game trying to put those suckers back into my very sore holes. For the next three weeks, the final ones in the b-ball season, every dang ref made me take them out. It took about two years before those second holes finally healed completely and didn't hurt.

Round three...I was in college, was with my teenaged niece, again at the mall, and...you guess it, on a wild hair, went in to get a third piercing done, this time just on one side. No signing of paperwork, snap, snap, I had a lovely gold stud.

My how things have changed. Some seventeen years later, I have to sign my life away. At first I thought it was because it was a "cartilage" piercing instead of the regular earlobe stuff. But, no! They make everyone who comes in now read these forms and sign. Man, do we live in a litigious society or what, that even these poor folks who do ear piercing have to be sure to cover their butts so they don't get sued. I signed everything; no biggie. If I were doing the piercing I wouldn't anybody suing me, so I understood where they were coming from. But, still...it makes one wonder.

I really like my new piercing, by the way. I had heard from a couple of people that the higher up on your ear you go, the more painful the piercing, but I didn't experience that at all. In fact, I felt no pain. It was the easiest yet. I've been told I have to keep this earring (a tiny white gold stud this time) in a minimum of 12 weeks, and then always make sure I have a stud earring of some type in for at least a year.

By the way, don't expect to ever see me post saying I got my tongue or my belly button pierced. Just the paperwork alone that they no doubt make people sign for those is enough to scare me away! :)

Tattoos, on the other hand... I have one. Uh oh, I think I might be feeling a wild hair coming on to get another...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Title Shifting...

Talked to AQP's editorial director today about my new vamp story and we agreed I should change the name from Night Shift to Night Shadows. Strangely enough, I like Night Shadows better, so I'm totally happy with that!

The story's still coming along well. I sent the first half off to my critique partner, Harlequin author Marin Thomas, the beginning of this week to get her feedback. And last night my hubby read what I had so far. His review? It's his fave erotica story I've written. He loved both the futuristic and the paranormal aspects to the story, and he didn't complain about the sex either. LOL!

I'll be posting a blurb for Night Shadows on my website within the next day or two, and I'll also post it in my newsletter, which will go out within the week. I may even give a little excerpt in my newsletter, so if you're not already signed up for ML Rhodes' Hot Reads via Yahoogroups, maybe you'd like to join! It's free and I promise I don't clog your mailbox with tons of posts.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Thiefs and the 80s

Last night I watched a great movie. It's older...made in the 80s, which--okay, I'm about to date myself--was my decade (high school, college, etc.). My friend, fellow AQP author Denyse Bridger, sent the movie to me since it's one of her faves. It's called Thief of Hearts. I'm a huge movie fanatic, so I couldn't believe I'd never seen this one before. It was quite yummy!! The actor, Stephen Bauer, was a hunk. How come I've never seen him in anything else? And the sex was very hot. I've read that when the movie was originally out and on VHS, the bedroom scene was considerably longer than it is in the DVD version. Now why the hell would they have cut a bunch for the DVD?! Maybe they thought they'd screwed up by giving it an R rating the first time, that it was too steamy, so they thought they'd better tone it down for the DVD before someone had a fit. I, on the other hand, wanted more! I may have to eBay a copy of the VHS so I can see the rest.

And speaking of the 80s, have you heard that song called 1985 by Bowling For Soup? They've been playing it on the pop stations for a few months now. Well...I love that song because I can so relate! I can't say I ever wanted to shake my ass on the hood of Whitesnake's car (LOL!), and I don't have teenagers...yet. But otherwise, that song--the recap of the music and everything from the eighties--reminds me so much of my high school and college years. I crank up the volume every time it comes on the radio, and I downloaded a copy of it from iTunes. And, by the way, my SUV isn't yellow...it's gold. :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Psycho-Writer

The vamp story is coming along nicely! I've been in total psycho-writer mode for the past week. This means I'm at my computer writing feverishly until three or four in the morning (or later ) most days. And that I've been eating a lot of meals at my desk because I don't want to pull myself away from the story. Thank God for an understanding hubby, who cracks up when I say for the thirtieth time, "Hope you don't mind, but I'm going to go have sex with my characters now." :)

I'm about 11,000 words into the story at this point. I had thought this was going to be a short story (10-15,000 words), but as most of my writing friends and my publisher will tell you, I have this disease...I just can't seem to write short. How I ever finished my really short story Well Hung (which came in at about 6000 words) I will NEVER know. It still boggles my mind that I ever did that! For the vamp story, it feels like I'm about halfway through it, so it'll probably be in the 20-25,000 word ballpark. That's about the length of The Bounty Hunter.

As I've been writing it, this one has felt to me like it might be one of my sexiest to date, although...I'm not sure. It's hard for me, as the writer, to see the forest for the trees sometimes. I'm so close to the characters and...er...sexual situations in the book, that I can't always track exactly how hot a story is as I'm writing it--as compared to my other stories, that is. I hadn't reread some of my older stories in a long time, but a few days ago I reread parts of After Hours, and I'd totally forgotten I'd written some of that stuff. Hehehe! But with Night Shift, it's just that the setting (slightly futuristic and dark) and the heroine (cop) and hero (vamp) seem to naturally lend themselves to harder language and situations. I got fairly steamy as I was writing it...so I suppose that's a good sign. ;)

I'll keep you updated on my progress! And stay tuned to my website, because I'll be posting a blurb and excerpt very soon.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

M.L.'s Vamps

Yep, you read that correctly. :) Vamps as in vampires. As in my vampires...soon to come!

About a year ago I held a newsletter contest where I asked my newsletter subscribers to answer a few questions about what they liked, what they wanted to see, and what they hoped I'd write. One of the top suggestions that came up was for me to write some vampire stories. At that time I kind of gulped. I love to read vamp stories, but hadn't ever thought about writing one. Still...the thought stayed with me and every now and again the germ of an idea would come to me and I'd jot it down in one of my many computer "idea" files. But nothing ever truly came together for me.

Then, something happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I'd been sick and feeling horribly crappy, but I also had a slew of work to do for my "day" accounting job, some stuff I had to finish no matter how I felt. However, as I plugged along crunching numbers, a vamp story began to blossom in my mind. The more I thought about it, the more pieces of the puzzle fell into place, and I realized this was The One. The One I was going to write. Except I couldn't. I had to work on the accounting project because it was on a deadline. It figured. I'd finally come up with an idea I loved, I wanted desperately to start writing it...and I couldn't. Argh!!!! Talk about frustration!

Once I got the accounting project done, first I slept because I'd gotten very little for a couple of weeks, then, the next day, I shut my office door, and started the story. I'm VERY excited about it!! It's going to be called NIGHT SHIFT, and will be an erotic romance short story. There were a couple of rather big surprises that happened within the first few pages, things I hadn't planned but that just sort of showed up. Of course, that's the way writing often works for me. It serves me almost no purpose to plan stories out in detail because once I get down and dirty in the writing, the characters, the setting, and the events happen as they will and I simply become the channeler for them all, writing everything as fast and furiously as I can.

Stay tuned to my website. I'll be posting a blurb and an excerpt very soon! Remember...NIGHT SHIFT. If readers like this one, I may write a series with these characters!