layla: grass at sunset (Default)
A post over on my romance-writing blog about what I've been up to this week.

In other news, it snowed this week -- on top of trees that had barely begun to change colors. Looked pretty cool, no? (This was Wednesday.)



Most of the snow has melted, but not all of it. We got another light snowfall on Friday, some of which stuck around in sheltered spots, and I noticed when I walked the dogs today that the ground was frozen anywhere that hadn't received direct sunlight today. I have a bad feeling about this.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

A lot, it seems!

First of all, I’m in an art show that opens in May! The opening is a First Friday event on May 3rd from 5-8 p.m. (although the show will be up all summer). It’s a comics-themed show at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine — which might sound like an unusual place for a gallery show, but it’s an absolutely beautiful space, with lots of little corridors and nooks and crannies for art to hang in. The show itself is like a who’s who of Alaskan cartoonists and purveyors of fantasy-themed art, including myself, Ellen Million, Jamie Smith, Chad Carpenter, and Anchorage editorial cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl. I’ll mention it again closer to the show itself.

(Oh my, preparing for the show has been a nonstop comedy of errors. At the moment, after purchasing a number of cheap frames so that everything would match, I’ve just discovered that a double-thick mat doesn’t fit in the frame style, so one of my pieces of art is going to need a different, non-matching frame. FAIL.)

By the way, I have NOT forgotten about all of you who expressed interest in my watercolor cards! The main problem is that I haven’t made much more progress (on either painting more cards, or putting together a website ordering system), but I’m getting some cards together to (attempt to) sell at the opening, and after that I will focus on getting a catalog up on my website and contacting the people who had expressed interest. Thank you again for your interest and enthusiasm, and I’m terribly sorry I’ve been such a sloth about it.

On a slightly different front, my romance-writing alias Layla M. Wier has been busy. I’m starting to wonder if there’s even the slightest point in having a separate alias for that, because as it turns out, what I’m writing under that alias is basically indistinguishable from everything else I write, except for the way it’s marketed. On the other hand, the categorization split is unexpectedly useful for my work ethic. (“Today I’m working on Layla Wier’s stuff; tomorrow I’m doing Layla Lawlor” is how the thought process goes, and as bizarre as it sounds, it’s actually helpful.) As “Layla Wier”, here’s what I have for sale and upcoming:

  • One of my short stories appears in the anthology Snow on the Roof from Dreamspinner Press (m/m anthology about men over 40).
  • I will have a story — actually more of a novelette — forthcoming in July in Storm Moon Press’s Big Damn Heroines anthology (see their fantastic cover!), about plus-sized women kicking ass. This story is adventure fantasy with f/f and f/m pairings on the side. The anthology releases on July 12; I’ll have more info and a preview when it’s for sale!
  • I just sold a novella, Homespun, to Dreamspinner Press. This will probably be out in October or November, and I’ll post more info (the cover, etc) when I have it. I’m thoroughly delighted that this one sold, though I was (pleasantly!) surprised that DSP bought it, because it isn’t really their usual fare: both the main couple are middle-aged and have been together for 20 years, and the viewpoint rotates between the two of them and a third major POV character who is female. It’s not a story about falling in love; it’s a story about growing up and growing old and dealing with family and community along the way. And also, it’s about a sheep farm; I am embarrassed to admit how many books on sheep and fiber spinning I bought for “research”.
  • Also, I made a blog post over there on writing what you love that I meant to crosspost here and never got around to it. Oops.

And that’s what I’m up to! Oh, and I also need to get another round of agent submissions going for my urban fantasy novel. (Yes, I’m still at it; no, I still haven’t placed it anywhere, but that’s partly because I haven’t sent out more submissions in … uh, awhile. It’ll never sell if it never gets sent out, though.)


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Before I get to the rest of this, my romance alias Layla M. Wier has a story out now in the anthology Snow on the Roof, from Dreamspinner Press. This is an M/M anthology of stories about men over 40. I’m very happy with the company I’m in; the final story in the anthology in particular, “Granddad’s Cup of Tea”, is just really good fiction, nevermind romance. And it’s a pleasantly less-tropy-than-usual collection of romantic fiction. Here’s its Goodreads page. I’ll also have a novelette with a female protagonist (F/F and F/M pairings) in an anthology coming out from Storm Moon Press in July. Small steps, yes, but hey, I’m selling stuff. :D

Anyway, right now I’m making WordPress sites for Sun-Cutter and for the Annotated Raven’s Children. Having already created an account on WordPress.com for my (rarely updated) romance blog, I discovered that it is incredibly easy to create new WordPress accounts and manage them all from the same hub. So now annotatedravenschildren.wordpress.com is a go, and so is kismetsuncutter.wordpress.com. (No real content in either place yet; I’m still getting them set up — well, at the moment, trying to figure out how I can stop the site scheme I chose for the Sun-Cutter site from putting a line around all my images. Knock it off, CSS!) I also figured it would be a good idea to lock down the “laylalawlor” name at WordPress too, since in both the above cases, the addresses I really wanted (“ravenschildren” and “suncutter”) were already taken.

… which is partly because WordPress’s rules for deleting accounts are STUPID. You can only delete an account by completely locking it out of the system, so that no one else, including you, will ever be able to use that address again. Why would they do that?! I much prefer LJ’s system, where a deleted username can either redirect to your new site or become available for other people to use. Once you select a WordPress username, no one can EVER use that name at WordPress, and if you delete it, you can’t ever change your mind and undelete it. Right now I have a spare WordPress account that I (somewhat stupidly) made in the beginning, back when I was futzing around with different romance aliases and thought I wanted to be Lenora Glass. (Turned out I didn’t.) But I like that pseud and I’m keeping the account even though it’s just visual clutter on my dashboard, because otherwise I can never ever use it again at WordPress.com.

(Seriously, why would they do that, WHY.)

Other than that, though, I like WordPress a lot. Most of my site management on my website is now being done that way; I still have some tag cleanup to do at LJ/DW to get the two of them in sync with the way I’m handling tags at WordPress, but, now that I’ve managed to staunch the tide of spam by setting it to registered users only, I’m quite comfortable working with it. When I start updating the Kismet and Raven’s Children wordpress accounts, I will probably crosspost them to LJ & DW much as I’ve been doing with my main laylalawlor.com blog (where I’m typing this update right now); there’s no reason, I think, why you can’t crosspost from multiple WordPress blogs into the same LJ account.

A partial website “to do” list for the next couple of weeks:

  • Get the Sun-Cutter and Raven’s Children archives set up on WordPress, so that I can start updating RC again.
  • Somehow figure out a good fiction archive interface for my website. (I want to start posting free short stories and putting up ebook versions of the fiction I already have online, but I’m not sure exactly how I want to handle it. Right now it is, like all else, a scattered mess.)
  • Set up a website store, selling books, art, ebooks, etc. (Aargh, so overdue!)

Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Two new posts over at my (not so) top-secret romance-alias blog, one on my current romance-related projects and the other on upcoming anthology open calls I’m thinking about writing for. I continue to remain undecided whether having a separate romance alias is a good idea or not. Part of me says yes, part of me says no. And it adds an extra level of pain-in-the-ass to submitting things, though I suppose I’ll get used to it. I reserve the right to quit using it and revert back to my regular name if the pain-in-the-ass elements become too much to bear.

(I was also amused to notice that the Dreamspinner Press anthology in which I have a story also has a story by another “Laylah”, with an H. I had thought about tacking an “H” onto my name for my romance alias, but decided not to. I suppose it could be her real name, but I’m not laying odds. I am, however, the ORIGINAL Layla, if not the only one! 36 years and counting. Accept no substitutes.)

The weather is warmer than usual (which for us, means it’s about 10F rather than -30), so I’ve been getting out in it as much as possible, taking long walks with my faithful canine companion in the falling snow. My usual walk with Lucky is down to the mailbox and back (it’s on the highway, about a half-mile from the house). I almost never go beyond the mailbox with him, and clearly, everything further out has been mapped “Here there be dragons” in his dog brain, because he starts out chipper and then the farther we go, the more he attaches to my leg like a 60-pound remora, until I’m tripping over him.

The warm weather is supposed to hold for the next few days (actually, they’re predicting freezing rain for Sunday … aaiiieeee!), so with luck, he’ll have a chance to get used to it. I really do need more exercise.

And I am gleefully, joyously DONE with the final rewrite on my urban fantasy novel! I am letting it sit for a few days while I procrastinate write a query letter, and then I’ll do a final pass for errors and start sending it out to agents. I am SO grateful to everyone who’s helped me with it so far. Apparently, it takes a village to write a novel, and I couldn’t have done it without mine.


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

I mentioned a little while back that I had been writing romance and thinking about using my maiden name as an alias for it. Well, I made my first sale under that alias, a short story in the anthology “Snow on the Roof” from Dreamspinner Press. So I am activating my new romance alias (special pseudonym powers: ACTIVATE!) and it now has its own wordpress blog: laylawier.wordpress.com.

Hopefully this is not a terrible idea that will sow only confusion.

I will be making absolutely no secret of the fact that both Laylas are the same person, and I’ll be frequently linking back and forth between the two blogs — Layla M. Wier’s upcoming releases will be linked from the Layla Lawlor blog and vice versa. If it turns out to be simply too hard to keep things straight, I’ll probably end up rolling the two blogs back into one. But in the meantime, the Layla M. Wier blog will pretty much be all romance all the time (with an occasional “oh hey, I sold this other thing as Layla Lawlor”), and this blog will be for everything else.

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

I made my first submission using a pseudonym today, so apparently I’ve stopped dithering and decided to take that particular plunge. I’ll be writing romance and contemporary fiction as Layla M. Wier (which is 2/3 of my maiden name, so not really that pseudonymous anyway). I haven’t actually published anything under that name yet. I’ll keep you posted when I do! (I plan to make a separate blog for “Layla Wier” at some point, but it’ll still be closely connected to this one; I plan to keep the connections between the two names quite obvious.)

It’s a branding thing, mostly. My genre fiction and comics will still be under my regular writing name; the Layla Wier name will be for the more mainstream stuff. Doing this feels very weird, very commercial, but I figure that if I don’t like it, I can always go back to using just the usual name (which has the added advantage of being my actual, legal name).

Further rambles about writing romance under the cut. )

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

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