Archive by Author

Heather Does Flash Fiction

23 May

I’m trying to get out of a writing rut, so it’s flash fiction for me. I’m going to write it right here, right now! Feast your eyes, people. This is a writer doing improv. (Be forewarned, though. My flash fiction… very flash, and sometimes weird.)

Ahem.

They Tell Me I Was A Ninja Pirate Back In The War

 I pretended to have voices in my head, just for laughs.  It was all fun and games until the doctors strapped me down and fed me pills.  Now there really are voices.

 “Oh, thank god that’s over with!” I said, which is what everyone wanted to hear. They always check to make sure I’m still taking my pills.

Of course I am. I like the company.

There. Now to open up my WIP and see if it worked…

*sigh*


BUTZ, LOL

25 Apr

My friends. My dear, dear friends. Let me preface this by saying how much I love commas. Commas are sexy. Commas allow one to nest asides and qualifiers within asides and qualifiers, and if your audience is mentally nimble enough to follow along, boom, you’re the next Nabakov. In fact, this is my very favorite sentence in the English language:

The challenge was accepted; two native seconds were chosen; the Baron plumped for swords; and after a certain amount of good blood (Polish and Irish — a kind of American “Gory Mary” in barroom parlance) had bespattered two hairy torsoes, the white-washed terrace, the flight of steps leading backward to the walled garden in an amusing Douglas d’Artagnan arrangement, the apron of a quite accidental milkmaid, and the shirtsleeves of both seconds, charming Monsieur de Pastrouil and Colonel St. Alin, a scoundrel, the latter gentlemen separated the panting combatants, and Skonky died, not “of his wounds” (as it was viciously rumored) but of a gangrenous afterthought on the part of the least of them, possibly self-inflicted, a sting in the groin, which caused circulatory trouble, notwithstanding quite a few surgical interventions during two or three years of protracted strays at the Aardvark Hospital in Boston — a city where, incidentally, he married in 1869 our friend the Bohemian lady, now keeper of Glass Biota at the local museum.

–Vladimir Nabakov, Ada, or Ardor

Yes. There are 168 words in that sentence. Thanks for upping my blog wordcount, Vlad! I also start sentences with the word “but” all the time. You’re not the boss of me, Strunk and White! I like it when writers break the rules. Rules are meant to be broken. So I’m not a grammar Nazi. I am not.

However, when it comes to the written word, there are certain things that drive me utterly batty, and one of those things is when people begin a sentence with the word “but” followed by a comma without a parenthetical statement. Like so:

I’d love to stay and chat. But, I have to go.

But, he couldn’t be my son! I’ve never even been to Portugal!

Yes, yes, you have cancer. But, what about me?

Sweet zombie Jesus, I hate that. HATE. IT. It is just horribly, completely, and unequivocally wrong. There’s no way around it. Unfortunately, I see it everywhere. In articles. On message boards. In blogs. I ran across it in Wikipedia today. And every time I see this crime against the English language, my head literally explodes. Then I have to bum rides from people for at least the next week because it is not safe to drive without a head. Continue reading

Peeping Toms…Hot or Not?

28 Mar

It’s a rare day when I’m not struggling with a WIP. My WIPs are monstrous things, all half-amputated thematic structures and bulbous plot growths sprouting in unsightly places. My eternal jihad against them is but one battle in the neverending struggle between good and evil, and Evil is not only currently tunneling under the walls of Good’s final stronghold at the ends of the earth, but it’s throwing a kickin’ rad party down there, too. Bottles of champagne and some really sick beats, keeping Good up all night with its sweet sound system. (Evil knows how to party down.)

Point is, I’m struggling with the first hot scene in this WIP and it’s kicking my ass because I’m not terribly sure if it’s actually hot…or just creepy. The scene in question involves voyeurism, which can be really hot, but also really, really not.

I see you there, Jimmy Stewart! Stop being creepily adorable!

My leading man is being a total voyeur over my leading lady. This is hot, usually, except my leading man and leading lady, being normal humans living in the 21st century, have limited opportunities for voyuerism that don’t involve stalking (very not hot), so my leading man is doing the next best thing: jerkin’ it to Facebook photos.

I ask you, gentle reader: hot or not? Does it matter if they are friends or not? If he doesn’t actually look at the photo whilst pulling on his pud? If it’s merely a springboard for an elaborate fantasy that takes place entirely in his head? Leading Man was quite attracted to Leading Lady before said photos, so it’s not like he was tooling around on Facebook looking for random, unsuspecting women to baptize with his baby batter, so said photo merely pushed his burgeoning attraction to the fore. But is it kosher (or, hey, sexy or romantic?) to write a scene that is essentially Our Hero adding his future paramour to his spank bank?

I have no idea. You tell me. And now we all see why I have such trouble with WIPs. Next time I’ll ask you about the ethics of emotional authenticity as it pertains to werewolf threesomes.

Mama’s Watching Her STORIES, Sweetie

16 Feb

This picture does not fully convey the terror of his reign.

I have to admit, I’ve never quite understood the appeal of brain-candy, even though as a romance author I ostensibly write it. It’s predictable and full of drama and people getting in their own way, which gets under my skin in real life and somehow it’s even worse when it’s deliberately set up that way by a writer. Oh, you could have cleared up that misunderstanding about your love child’s paternity with a simple explanation to both your ex-husband (who happens to be your boss) and your secret lover (who happens to be your pool-boy), and yet you chose to lie and obfuscate instead? Moron.

But I recently had a baby. (I say “recently,” but it occurs to me that he’s eight weeks old today, so I’m not sure that counts as “recent.” It sure feels recent since I still haven’t figured out how to Get Things Done with him around gumming up the works. This entry? Remembered at 2:30 AM and typed at 2:45 AM. Yes. I should be sleeping. But I’m writing this blog. For you.) We had troubles breastfeeding from the get-go. I won’t bore you with the details, but the solution involved sitting on the couch all day every day with him sleeping in my arms, chubby cheeks pressed against my newly-abundant bosoms, keeping my ta-tas a “friendly place,” as my saint of a lactation consultant put it. What was I to do? Who could I turn to to keep me sane?

Oh, Netflix. You say you have 6 seasons of Desperate Housewives available to stream? You are my only friend.

Continue reading

Threesomes vs. Triangles

6 Dec
Three Turtles Doin' It

Wait, I put which thing in what thing OH GOD HOW DOES THIS WORK

A year ago tomorrow my very first story, Barbells at Christmas, was released. I wish I could say it’s been a smooth ride since then (all aspiring authors want to hear that) but it hasn’t because I managed to get knocked up and dun lost my mojo somehow (possibly expelled with one of my meals). Since then I have started and then petered out on no fewer than four books, each time managing anywhere from 10k-20k words before I suddenly realize that my brain is made of marshmallow fluff, and it’s not even good marshmallow fluff. Not the delicious fluff found smooshed between two slices of peanut butter-slathered bread, no, no. No, my brain is more like an elderly, rodent-sampled Peep found behind the cereal boxes and exploded in the microwave…for science.

And yet, there’s this one story. There’s always one, the one that teases and says, “Look, if you could just make a freaking decision we could get on with it, already!” And my decision involves threesomes. Or triangles. Or maybe neither. But which is it?

Continue reading

A little to the left, please!

22 Sep

LEAVE ROOM FOR THE HOLY GHOST, YOU TWOWhen I first embarked upon the wild waters of the internet back in ’92 as a wee girl still in elementary school, one of the first things I wanted to know about was sex.

SEX! my almost-adolescent brain shouted at me. (I am assured this is entirely normal.) Sex sex sex SEX SEX SEXSEXSEX–

Though it is hard to discern the particular nuance my brain was getting at through mere text, rest assured my brain merely wanted to know… just what the hell is sex?

That was eighteen years ago. Now I am an experienced woman who has managed to successfully procreate as well as publish two stories predominately concerned with the exact subject of SEX, and I must confess: Sometimes, I’m still figuring some of it out.

Continue reading

Impressions

18 Sep

Moi

This entry started out as me unfavorably comparing the heroine of my current WIP to Dexter Morgan in an attempt to share with readers of this blog the difficulties a writer might encounter when skipping from one genre to the next (step one: don’t make the heroine of your romance a psychotic serial killer). Then I realized that I hadn’t introduced myself yet so no one would know who I was. Or care.

So! My name is Heather Howard, and I write books. Continue reading

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