Saturday, July 27, 2013

Serious Shifting of Focus


I never thought this day would come. I have two series out and it looks like they're not going to get finished. So much has happened in the last 2 weeks. Mostly inward workings. Shifting of focus. I may get back into the swing of M/M (Or Gay Male) Romance writing, this may just be a phase I'm experiencing, but I've never even come close to this way of thinking and I never thought I would.

I'm going through a lot of confusion right now. Since becoming pagan over 12 years ago I've spent that time playing and laughing and frolicking like a child who has just been shown the world for the first time. I took my love of Bromance a step farther and dove into the world of Gay Male Romance (loving every minute of that jaunt up to this point, I assure you.)

But things happen. Desires change. Over the last 5 years I've been struggling with something within the realm of this genre' of writing. Mostly the sex angle. I don't like sex scenes. I can't deny it. They do nothing for me. What I love to focus on is the intimacy factor between men, be they of platonic or romantic involvement. Unfortunately the audience of this genre', most of them expect a heat factor. No matter what erotica setting you shoot for be it straight or gay, the heat factor in such romances is expected. I cannot deliver it. I write lousy sex scenes. It's simply not an area where I excel. And it appears that without that factor, sales plummet. I work a 40 hour a week job. I'm single with no prospects for a significant other coming to my side. I'm a single person income. I'm close to retirement age, my prospects are not that great so I need to think about doing what I love to do in order to compensate for a measly pension when the time comes to retire. Writing is my passion. So, some conundrums have surfaced. Read on...

Then there's the spiritual thing. Totally not part of the above conversation, something different, but it factors in to the confusion arena I'm going through right now.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2009, and when it raised its head and said, "Boo!" in February of 2010, I was faced with a mortality dilemma. Suddenly writing took a back seat, my dreams of becoming a full-time author where I could live my life happily and secure within a modest set-by-me income, everything took a back seat. And a question that had been presented to me back in 2004 became a gnawing revelation: Teach!

So I made a deal with the Universe... they heal me and I would teach. Whatever it was about magick about Wicca/Witchcraft, I would teach because there's more to that path than just spell-work. I would teach. Unfortunately, when I was given an opportunity to do so at a spiritual center for Science of Mind where I had been attending for close to a year in 2011, I put my curriculum together and was extremely excited. But something happened... it fell through the cracks. The doors were shut down immediately. Changes were happening at the Center. New Board members, new pastor... I knew a transition was going on there. I didn't pursue it. The more I studied SoM, the more I learned and yes it was wonderful, but the path of Wicca kept calling me back.

Now it appears I'm to learn techniques in Shamanism. I don't believe I'm being called into that path, but to learn the techniques for my own spiritual benefit and hopefully to be able to help others.

Some other things are happening, too. Publishing woes. I won't go into any detail, but to say I'm very disillusioned with the whole publishing business is an understatement. Hence my desire to seek out self-publishing. With Kindle and Nook both areas are wide-open to this field, but everyone wants to make a buck and everyone wants to tear down others who they are jealous of. I'm not just seeing it with me (I've had one experience so far and Amazon refused to do anything about it. The person 'made a mistake' in buying the product and left a rating that plummeted the rating stars. I've not had much success with the story, anyway so what do you do?) I'm seeing it with many other writers. Let's face it, ratings on a book helps sales. But get anti-gay reviewers blasting books by Gay Male Romance authors and the sales begin to plummet and Amazon refuses to do anything about the discrimination. According to them, it's not part of their review abuse policy as they "are interested in what all people think." It doesn't matter it seems that these people are just being used to rip apart an author's hard work just to sabotage their sales.

I cannot believe the level of hatred in this field. There are rumors of authors hiring people to go in and blast another author's work and then to praise the work of the one who hired them. I have no idea if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me. I'm that jaded, now.

My Harp & Sword Chronicles has been out for over a year on the first book, close to a year on the second and third books. No one is biting. It's a school-of-hard-knocks lesson, but it also makes me wonder if my struggle with the heat factor has something to do with it. Mostly it's called homo-erotica. But I don't really write that. I write romance. I don't even read sex scenes in other author's works because it bores me to tears. Honestly. Again, being jaded here. I've read more than one sex scene and they just seem so repetitive to me. Others however see them differently because it's what they love about the stories. That's fine. I'm not knocking what other people love, but I can't get into that groove, so it's pushed me to confront a fork-in-the-road.

I began writing when I was 12 years old. I would later learn that what I was writing, my first love in writing, was termed hurt/comfort, later to be called 'Bromance'. Love between men, but strictly platonic friendship. Like "Star Trek" between Kirk and Spock, "Starsky and Hutch", and recently "Merlin" between Arthur and Merlin.

Now please let me clarify here, I have nothing against the Gay romance angle. It's lovely and there are some fantastic stories I've read with that theme, but then I have to deal with the sexual aspect. I'm just not THERE! I've struggled with it for over five years now and I have to be truthful with myself. I can't write it.  It's not what moves a love story between men for me.

A friend of mine and I talked a while ago and she said, "Just follow your heart. Write your bromance stories." And honestly, my lovelies, that is where my heart is. I can't go back in and rewrite what I've published, the back stories and histories of the characters are too set in stone. I'd have to do an entire rewrite of both entire series' and I just can't do that, but I also can't pursue what I've been trying to do and failing for all this time.

What I'm hoping for is that the stories I wish to write at this time, my Bromances, will help to unleash a flow of inspiration within the Gay Male Romance areas I wanted to take H & S and most recently my "Blood-Mark" series. But until that happens, I have to leave things alone for now. I'm not saying I'll never go back to the GMR story writing, but for now I have to pursue areas in my life I've ignored for far too long.

I'm working on an outline for a space opera bromance story I wish to pursue for NaNoWriMo this year. It's about magick, it's about witchcraft, it's about spirituality but done on a broader scale set in the realm of futuristic fantasy, an A/U if you prefer. As I write the outline I get all excited and my heart leaps all over the place as a result. A feeling that has not been felt for a very, VERY long time.

In the area of the shaman teachings, I've read that dealing with the shadow-self, you end up dealing with crap, looking at yourself from other angles and seeing what needs to be shoved out the door. Anger, confusion, lots of things come to the surface and you have to face it head on. Being truthful with yourself is the best way to deal with it all. So, here I am confessing and realizing that I just may not be ready for the area of GMR writing. My stories are not making headway and I just don't see the point in pursuing them any further at this time.

I have a new FB page if you're interested in checking out my progress in the Bromance field: https://www.facebook.com/JansNaNoWriMopage?ref=hl
I've put up some Merlin shots in the Photos/Albums section with captions explaining why I chose those particular pieces to share. I'll be putting up quite a bit of inspirational items to help me along when November gets here and I can officially begin the work on this new venture.

I'm excited, to be honest with you. When I made this decision this week, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The burden has slunk back under a rock and when I'm ready to face it again and have it not be such a burden to my soul, then I'll call it out of hiding. But for now, Bromance is taking point.
I hope you'll walk with me on this journey. Two paths converged in the woods... I'm taking the one less traveled.
Thanks for reading.
Hugs and love Myristica (aka; Janalyn)

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