|Image courtesy of Anime Expo|
I took time from work to get my geek on a little bit. I went to Anime Expo as it is a mere 30 minutes from my house. AX was a personal treat, because there was all kinds of firm fleshed young men that were either nearly undressed or wearing paint or very tight costumes. And then, there were all the anime and manga related goods to explore. The young men wouldn't let me explore them. All this talk about 'laws' and 'lewd' acts. Bah! The two big reasons I attended in the middle of the mayhem that is my work, was to meet the bosses at Digital Manga who send me wonderful yaoi to edit. In fact, a new title is going to be distributed widely sometime this week. I'm very excited about it as it is a very funny and extremely naughty book! We got to chat with some of the folks who run the Digital Manga Guild. I even had a chance to chat with the president of the company! The other reason for the trip was a visit with the talented ladies behind Teahouse Webcomic. I am such a huge fan of this series! And I am so in love with their newest character, Gilder. I love this big, scary strong, yet sweet Seme! I walked away with some gorgeous artwork and trinkets featuring him. Sugoi! A great time was had by all, despite not wranglin' that herd!
I've had a few conversations on various writing forums about the environment necessary for writing well. Many of them have spaces just for writing that are quiet and free of distraction. I never had that – ever. My childhood home was filled to the rafters with our immediate and extended family. I always shared a bedroom. We didn't have a study. If we had, I do not doubt there would have been a distant relative living in it. I learned to do homework with the TV blaring and every day life bellowing around me. To this day, I can tune out the most raucous of settings and work. The communal household also made playing music to work by difficult. You see, young-uns, I am from the age before headphones. We had a hi-fi (boy, that was a major piece of equipment) and later, a boom box. By the time things like the walkman or discman came along, I was simply used to whatever ambient sounds were around me when I wrote.
Only recently did I start writing while listening to music. It started with A Soldier's Fate. I had become enamored with Yoko Kanno's music for Ghost in the Shell Second Gig. This sequel to Soldier's Choice has a melancholy air to it due to the separation and tension Rik and Vincent endure in the book. Also, there was the theme in the background of the plot that these soldiers must be willing to give their lives at any moment to make sure their given objective is achieved. I found the song, Rise, summed up all those things for me. I also found the song Get 9 reminded me of Falcon Squad, Rik and Vincent's unit. It was a funky tune with attitude that fit the personality of that squad. I wouldn't listen while I wrote, but I would listen when I was having a block. The song Rise in particular helped me get through a scene at the climax of Soldier's Fate where Rik and Vincent are trying to survive a brutal attack. The song has a haunting quality to it. There is a sense that death is something that a soldier expects, but they must fight anyway. In that case, they are fighting to survive.
Ensnared has an entirely different vibe. It is drenched in sensuality even when Darius and Andreas are nowhere near a bedroom. Early on, Darius spends every waking moment after meeting Andreas on a campaign of seduction. Even though Darius owns Andreas through a happenstance of fate, he still works to seduce his lover so thoroughly that leaving their relationship will be completely out of the question. The seduction continues during the time they are forced to be separated. There are intimate meals and sexy notes and detailed wet dreams. All of that sexuality can only mean that Sade is my musical muse. In fact, the song that Andreas has played to get a rise out of Darius when they first meet is Sade's Smooth Operator . The song seemed to describe Lord Darius Galatea, and I could see these beautiful men dancing closely while listening to it. I use most of the songs from Sade's early CDs for inspiration in writing the saga of Darius and Andreas. Yes, there are more to come!
The current book, A Soldier's Destiny, seems to have a Jpop vibe. I'm listening to Theatre Brook and Yuya Matsushita. There's an edginess to the music that matches all the action and intrigue in this book. There is still some melancholy for my leading men. They will be put through a lot once again, but I'm hoping that the reader will sense that they have a lot more control over what will happen in their lives. Yes, I'm getting all that from the music. I still don't actually write to music, but it has become useful to feeding my muse.
I am doing the sound mix for the second CLU video with the cutie pie actors while in pre-production for the next shoot. I'll make no promises. I'll just announce when I do the upload.