Thursday, January 28, 2010


(First of all, my husband's minor operation went fine and he's currently cuddling with an ice pack on the couch. Hooray! That's not what my *sigh* is all about.)

I'm currently going over the Advance Review Copy of Nine Tenths of the Law, and I'm noticing a particular pattern. This happened with Between Brothers, it happened with Rules of Engagement, and God Almighty, it's happening now.

In short, I never hate my own work more than I do at this step in the process.

In Advance Review Copies, the dialogue sounds lame, those scenes (tm) fall flat, every character is TSTL, and the plot is tripe. Every time. Every damned time.

My guess it that it's performance anxiety. After all, I'm reading it knowing that this is the last time I will see it before it's published. Once it's approved, it'll be inflicted on the universe, and anyone who's so inclined will be able to read it without me hunching protectively over it and saying, "No, it's not ready yet." So I read through this copy while thinking "oh God, someone's going to read this and think I'm a talentless hack."

It reminds me a bit of when I used to show horses. Some classes required each horse and rider to perform a pattern of some sort (whether an obstacle course, a dressage test, or what have you). Being blessed with a photographic memory (that usually has film in it), it didn't take me long to memorize even the most complicated patterns. Give me a piece of paper and I could probably draw some of them out even now, 14 years later.

And still, every single time, as my horse and I stood at the in-gate waiting for the rider ahead of us to complete their pattern, I'd be struck with this paralyzing panic of "oh shit, I don't know the pattern", or "everyone's watching me and only me and I'm going to fuck this up royally." I'd suddenly realize my horse and I hadn't trained nearly enough, that there was some key thing that I would screw up, rendering my pattern a complete catastrophic failure. I'd wonder just what the hell I was thinking when I'd signed up for this class. I don't know what I'm doing, I'm in over my head, I'm not ready for this, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

99% of the time, I remembered. The pattern went fine. The course was challenging, but doable. We really had trained enough. We really did know what we were doing. Maybe we didn't win, but it wasn't a disaster either.

The same goes for my books, I think. It's not memorization or recitation this time, but I'm putting my work out there for people to see. I'm getting in front of an audience, and being visited by stage fright and his cousin, self-doubt.

I know not everyone will like what I write. Some books are received well, some aren't. I've gotten plenty of positive and negative responses to Between Brothers and Rules of Engagement, so I'm well aware of this. My books aren't perfect, they aren't God's gift to literature, but someone saw fit to publish them.

This book doesn't suck quite as hard as I think it does right now.

I know this intellectually.

But I forget it when I'm reading my Advance Review Copies, because no matter how many times I've ridden this course (even if it's only three times so far), I'm back at the in-gate wondering why the hell I signed up for this class.

So, right now, I hate Nine Tenths of the Law with a fiery passion, just like I hated Between Brothers and Rules of Engagement before they were released. In a couple of weeks, I will likely loathe every word of The Next Move.


This too shall pass.

I know, because Gerard Butler is hot.


  1. Yes. Peace, Grasshopper. This will pass.

  2. I really don't know how you can doubt yourself. This book is head, shoulders, cock, arse, hand and mouth above all other M/M erotica out there.