Hi everyone! I’m delighted to be hosting the lovely Delilah Night today, whose newest novella, Capturing the Moment, is now available with Totally Bound. And, I’m honored not only to be featuring an excerpt of Delilah’s words—but to be hosting a contest. That’s right…I said contest!
Before it’s time to play, please read on to find out some of Delilah’s inspiration involving the merging of music and story. It’s good stuff!
Take it away, Delilah!
The Marriage of Music and Story
Thank you for the opportunity, Jade. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you over the past year, and I’m eagerly awaiting your novel! I hope you and your readers enjoy this look at the making of my novella, Capturing the Moment. Please stick around for the giveaway!
Music was one of my earliest loves. I remember the excitement of buying Madonna’s True Blue on cassette at the age of seven in 1986. I’d sing True Blue, Where’s the Party, La Isla Bonita and the rest as I swung back and forth on the swings in my local park. Thirty years later, I still know all the words to every song on that tape.
I joined my school’s chorus in sixth grade, and despite switching schools a number of times, music was the constant in my life. When I started a new school, my first (sometimes only) friends were ones I made in chorus, band, show choir, acapella chorus, or pep band.
Music is such a constant that I almost always write with my earbuds in. Sometimes I have specialized playlists for stories, but for the most part, I shuffle through music from every genre.
Capturing the Moment began with a moment—Meg turning to see that RJ has showed up, unwanted, at the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and anger flooding her body. Why? What was their history?
I was fumbling my way through variations on the opening chapters of the story when the song Teardrops on My Guitar by Taylor Swift began to play.
That lyric unlocked the story for me.
The story became so much easier to write after that (at least the first draft). I wrote the story of what happens after that moment in Cambodia. As I did, I also wrote the story of what had happened in the years before. I learned that Meg and RJ had been engaged, but that the engagement had been called off, and realized that they’d have to deal with their past if they were to have a chance at a future. However, my realization didn’t mean that my characters wanted to deal with their past.
(Context—RJ has asked Meg to spend the day with him. She’s always been susceptible to his dimples.)
Meg took several deep breaths. “Ground rules.”
“Rule Number One is no sex.”
He smirked. “You’re awfully obsessed by the idea of having sex with me, Megan.”
Her clit swelled in response.
You have no idea.
“No sex,” she repeated.
“I’ll cry manly tears into my pillow tonight, but fine. No sex.” He held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. They were big, beautiful hands graced with dexterous fingers. Twelve years of piano lessons had given RJ magic hands. Meg remembered, vividly, what they felt like on her body.
“Secondly, I don’t want to talk about the break-up. This is about not ruining my one day in Siem Reap. Not ‘Let’s talk about our feelings.’”
“At least let me apolo—”
She turned to walk away, but he grabbed her arm.
“You win. I won’t bring it up,” he said, obviously frustrated.
“Third, you carry everything. I might as well get a free pack mule out of this.”
“Sure.” He picked up her equipment and she could read the relief on his face.
“Finally, Rule Number Four is that we follow my agenda. No hijacking my game plan.”
“I’ve been here a few days already. I can indulge you”—his eyes took a long, lingering inventory of her body—“in any manner you see fit.”
You never forget your first love…
Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.
Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali. She fulfills her dream of taking a photograph of the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, one of the oldest temples in the world. But her joy is short-lived when she turns around to see RJ standing behind her.
RJ threw himself into work after Meg ended their relationship. He’s built a successful business, but it’s a hollow victory. He’s come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.
Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.
Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?
Also available for Pre-Order at:
About Delilah Night…
After 30 years of snowy New England winters, Delilah Night moved to steamy southeast Asia. While she doesn’t miss shovelling snow, she does miss shopping for bargains at Target.
In 2014, Delilah visited Cambodia for the first time and fell in love with Siem Reap. Many of her misadventures from that vacation (including the one with the monkey) made their way into this story.
Contest—Win a free copy of Capturing the Moment!
What song has spoken to you when writing a story? Leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you.
I can remember, sometimes, how we used to kiss. The look in your eyes when you stared down at me, your fingertips sliding around my neck, and up into my hair. Pulling. That I remember well. There was a tension at the base of my skull, almost as hot and heavy as the pound of my heart, the throb of my cunt. Then the way you’d pitch toward me—slow, slow, tiny, quiet ticks of the clock passing by faster than we ever could, because all that mattered to us was this. The weight of the air around us, the press of our lips to come. Sometimes, you whispered my name. Others, you held me, still. But always, I felt it: me, bound to you. Then. Now. Forever.
It felt like this because I loved you.
When we moved together, it was the shock of waves, tectonic plates shifting in violent bursts, ruining the surface of everything around us. We were the only force that mattered. We were the lightning, the storm, the crest of fire blazing across the distant horizon.
We were one.
Mouth to mouth, we lingered. Breathing fast. Bodies close. When our lips parted, I let you in, let your tongue find mine, dance with me. And we swayed like this, hungry and lost, but as easily found in that electricity between us, in the clutch of our bodies, in the gentle hum bursting out to silence anything, everything.
Everything that wasn’t us.
I’d say it was longing, but it wouldn’t be enough. If I called it lust, that wouldn’t be right, either. We were the joining of cells, the collision of atoms, the combustion of two solutions that never quite fit. We were amazing, too. Planets, stars, comets, sun—we were all of it, a galaxy of feeling swirling round us, enveloping us in the way we kissed. In the hold of you to me, and me to you, chests heaving in the blackest night before the rustle of morning wind blew us all apart.
But I know why.
And so do you.
It was all because you loved me, too.
Photo courtesy of Penny’s Dirty Thoughts
Welcome to Elust #80 –
The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #81 Start with the rules, come back April 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~
~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~
~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~
*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
He’s not a Tumblr Dom
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!
She Strips The Boundaries Away The Black Bra
He enjoyed Playing with My Shoes
One… two… ménage à trois!
Doing Mt. Shasta
What’s Behind that First Strike…
How To Top Off Valentine Weekend Lovemaking
Scened All Night
Spoiled in the Sun
01/14 Session With Mistress Claire & Others
THREESOME HEAVEN – extreme sensations
The neighbours don’t learn my name
Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor
Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish
Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships
I am the worst at taking a break. I’ve been this way my whole life—relaxation is a thing I enjoy, but most of the time, there has to be something else going on simultaneously. Hell, it wasn’t until recently that I took up watching some TV before bed while needing to talk myself into lying still on the couch (because, sadly, reading revs me up and makes it impossible to pass out). I have a friend who describes me as being incapable of slowing down, but I often correct him to say that I can, I just prefer to have my wheels spinning at all times, if not in person, then at least in the back of my head.
The slowing of the wheels is something I’m actively working on this year. I’ve been going through a lot that I’ve mentioned on the blog, but there’s been other off-site stuff, too, which has made my series-writing ride quite the adventure. Add to this that moderation is a concept lost on me (just give me a pile of candy and I’ll blow your mind, swear), and the fact that I’m still pretty good at pushing past pain…well, put all this together, and you’ve got a flashy sports car that eventually has a major break down and stops working.
Obviously, that, in the middle of a 3-book series, simply will not do.
Which is why I’ve set up various rewards to honor the need to slow my roll in this already unique process. Since I just typed “The End” and closed off the draft for The Discipline, book 2 in the Lessons in Control series, the one I greet you with today is a deal I made with myself long ago: two full weeks off! This is a time for me to not only not think about the book while it simmers, but to essentially take a mini-writing-pseudo-vacation. Yes, writing is my passion, my sustenance, my love—but revisit that moderation in all things clause, and eventually, one can overdose in love, too.
Plus, a “vacation” always brightens the landscape of pretty much anything, so here I am, taking one!
What does this mean? Save for the potential of my copy edits showing up during this rest time, I’m not doing a lick of writing beyond a blog post or two, and maybe even a little revise of a poem and a piece of flash I wrote a while back, since it’s high time I get some fiction up in this joint. But beyond that? I’m practicing chilling out interspersed with moments of handling a short To Do list I avoided while staying focused on the series. This last weekend, for example, I swapped between bills, taxes, and major social time with friends. I even kicked off Saturday morning with pancakes, bacon, and a coconut milk latte in front of a TV show while still in my robe. Guys, this sort of thing hasn’t happened in years. And you know what? It felt pretty good.
There are other cool things happening in this two-week break, too. One, I’ve got a slew of awesome social encounters I’ve delayed: karaoke, luncheons, dinners, happy hours, and, hell, I might even take myself dancing and then sleep in this weekend! Whoa! Also, I’m finally reading a book. I know this sounds like a no brainer—but between being all up in this series and not being able to read before bed lest it keep me awake, I’ve pretty much been catching only blog posts here and there, and thus haven’t touched a book since, oh, late August (shameful, I know, but it’s the truth). Oh and extra chill-worthy: I’m rewatching Fringe from start to finish. This is my favorite series of all time, right before the wicked tie for second between The Tudors, Dexter, Friends (bonus points if you caught the show reference in the title of this post), Grey’s Anatomy, and the first six seasons of The Vampire Diaries (don’t even talk to me about the current season). I have tons of other good things planned for this time, too, but let it be said: there will be some real relaxation for me. I’m excited!
On top of that, I’m not going to feel guilty. Not at all. I know my lovely little characters can wait for me, and everything—life, series, etc.—will return to normal when I’m back.
We are, after all, on a break. 🙂
Okay, here’s the deal: I kept fooling myself into believing I have a systemized process, and it’s become abundantly clear I’m full of shit.
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been fairly quiet on both this site and my poetry site. For the most part, I’ve had my head down working on the Lessons in Control series. I’m getting more and more excited to talk about it as we get closer to launch in December, but for now, I’m tied up (heh) in edits for The Assignment (book one), the drafting of The Discipline (book two)—and later down the line, the drafting of The Reward (book three).
The process has been thrilling, shocking, and terrifying, all at the same time. My editor, Rhonda Stapleton, has been a dream through the work we’re doing on book one—but alongside that, I’ve had a hell of a journey on book two. Whatever “process” I swore I had for writing books has been, well, doctored.
Let me give you a little background. The first real book I wrote (because I’m excluding the fictional biography I wrote at 11 as well the YA horror I wrote at 13) was a romantic fantasy that took me 17 years to complete, and at the end of it, I learned one very important thing: I’m neither a fantasy writer OR a strictly spec fic writer. I love sexual content, and I love dripping that all over the pages of whatever the hell I’m writing. So for my next book, I opted to write a comedic memoir about the year and a half I semi-intentionally stopped having sex. (True story!) Turned out, for a book about not having sex, it actually had a lot of sexual content—but it was also about healing from heartbreak, finding oneself, and a bit of ridiculousness that happened in that period, among other things. Honestly, I haven’t talked a ton about this thing since it’s shelved in lieu of what I currently love writing (that would be erotica in its various forms), but, the point is that it took me about three years to write, the end confirming that (1) I needed to write more because it was my life blood and (2) I was capable of finishing things faster than I thought.
Next came a bunch of short stories. I had a spec fic writing mentor at the time who suggested what I needed was to start and stop over and over again, so I could feel more confident in the process before I took on another book. Whoa nelly, did that turn out to be a boon: I wrote something like two dozen short stories in a few months. Plus, I wrote them fast. 4-6k in a couple hours? No problem! I had become a binge writer who also learned the skill of drafting without backtracking, because one can always chop and revise later. I was pretty sure that nifty trick would carry with me for life.
Flash forward to the recent past, and there came The Assignment. I’d been plotting and stewing about how I might be able to write an erotica series for a couple months, and, meanwhile, had an extremely transformative relationship that sparked all sorts of ideas in my head. Then…we broke up. Okay, in actuality, I had to pry myself away because the entire thing was about to ruin me, but a well-timed vacation and a keen interest in the “do not disturb” function on my phone created utter magic. Even through my devastation, the plot of my story became clear and I proceeded to channel all that breakup energy into writing The Assignment. That book—which I am seriously excited for you to read when it comes out in December—took me a whopping week and a half to outline, and right around one month to draft.
And suddenly—I knew my process: outline, speed draft without editing, let it breathe, go in and proceed to smoothe. Check! Oh yeah. It was that simple, and it would be, forever. Right? So while the final version was off wandering the world for a home, I proceeded to start another book—but the entire time, I couldn’t figure out what had happened to my process because I seemed to be going in circles…for almost eight months.
I’d just upped my speed and written a book in a month. How on earth did this thing take so long?
Then came some real life chaos that fucked with me. It took a while for me to get a clue on how to handle it, but when I did, I opted for a book break. I spent a couple months writing shorts and reworking my confidence, so that when The Assignment found a home at Carina Press and they wanted the entire series, I was both giddy and ready to write book two. Except, not so much. I was still contending with the residual chaos that culminated in the attack of the chronic migraines while also struggling to realize this was in no uncertain terms affecting my process. I drafted about 30k. I got migraine sick. I drafted 10k. I was still migraine sick. I tore up 20k. Edits for book one came. I finished them and then drafted 20k. But again, I was really sick and had to straight up stop. When I was migraine-free and ready to go again, I not only cut out about 15k, but completely replotted the rest of the book.
Ha. Take that, process!
Oh, and my binge writing tendency in that entire time period? M.I.A. 1-2k became a good day! But I plodded along, accepting that I would produce, delete, rewrite, break, etc., until somewhere around December when—while setting my 2016 goals—I took a step back and thought, hmm, maybe I should just write the damn book however it comes out, and stop being an asshole to myself because the process happens to have changed from what it was before.
Amazing concept, right?
I have to say—since then, things have continued to be pretty good over here. I turned in another round of edits on book one, and when I sat down to begin the final chunk of the book two draft this last weekend, I didn’t even bat an eyelash at the fact that the first thing I did was replot the last 20k again.
So, ladies and gentlemen, it’s safe it say: I have discovered the real process! It’s good, and I’m going to share it with you. You should grab a pen. Go ahead, I will wait. *Taps foot.* I know you want the Secret to the Writing Universe I discovered over the last few months, and now, I’m going to give it to you!
Okay, you ready?
Here it is.
The official process is…
Whatever fucking works.
Yep. That’s it. (Did you write that down?) 🙂
I have no idea if my process is “no process” because of life things, or just because that’s the truth of the matter, but I’m pleased to have established this riveting…process. Also, I’m curious about everyone else—what’s your process? I’d love to hear in the comments.
For now, though, time for me to get back to work.
It’s a process. 😉