Welcome to my weekly wrap up of things I am up to!

1. Doing! Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow to go spend 9 days in the upper midwest for my first vacation out of the city in a very long time. I hope to spend a great deal of it just sitting around reading. I have more books than I could possibly read in a week! Hopefully I’ll get a lot of writing done, too. My family owns some property in northern Wisconsin and that’s where I’ll be most of the week; my dad claims there is wifi there but implied when pressed that Internet may be spotty. Thus I might be even more of a rare presence on social networks than usual! But I hope to come back relaxed and refreshed; this year has been stressful and busy!

2. Reading! This week, I read R. Cooper’s Play It Again, Charlie, which I loved, and Stars and Stripes, because of course; I’m already waiting for the next Ty and Zane book. I’m packing a stack of books and my Kindle to take with me on vacation. I’ve got a couple of nonfiction books, the first book in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, more George R. R. Martin, and a zillion Kindle books. I’ve been binge buying a lot of historical romance, so that might feature heavily. (Any MUST READ books I should take with me?)

3. Making! The obvious promotional material for a book about baseball players is a baseball card, n’est-ce pas? I designed these and got them printed; they came in the mail yesterday. (Sorry the photo is a little fuzzy.) They look pretty good in person, IMHO. I’ll have these at GayRomLit for anyone who wants them.

4. Writing! I’ve written about 6,000 words this week, all on new projects and not on any of my old project. I’m not sure if any of it works.

Like, can you redeem a character who has done something irredeemable? Earlier this week, I was listening to an old episode of This American Life about bullies, and after I thought about it, I wrote a scene in which a 30-year-old guy runs into his high school bully at a gay bar. I like the scene I wrote, but I worry that a romance between these two characters is completely impossible, that the victim could never forgive the bully for putting him through hell, no matter how repentant the bully is. (Then I showed the scene to one of my betas, and because she’s awesome, she was like, “No, I think you should keep going.” But I don’t know.)

Then I started writing this cop thing, but I don’t like it so I’ll probably scrap it.

I’ve also been turning around an idea for a series, which will be a real challenge for me because I’m rarely motivated to write sequels. So, if I plan the series as a series from the get-go and pitch it to a publisher as a series, maybe that will be my incentive to follow through with writing it. I want to play around with stereotypes in this series, though, so I’ve got an ex-military alpha type and an artistic type who find love under unusual circumstances, and I want to plan out this series so that the two characters go on adventures as their relationship grows and develops. We’ll see, I’m gonna run with it and see where it goes.

5. Last Thing! I don’t have a fifth thing. Discussion topics I’ve considered: people who don’t ever leave New York City and how never leaving warps their world view; what to do when one is in public and also reading a hot sex scene; the period a few months ago in which I was listening to a lot of m/m books in audiobook (hooray for Dreamspinner’s audiobooks) and it is SO WEIRD to have someone read a sex scene to you, especially when you are just out walking in the park; the fact that, on my last day in NYC until Monday 8/27, I thought I should order something exotic for lunch but my lunch buddy wanted Subway; the sublime pleasure of walking along the park on a hot day and seeing a really hot guy with interesting tattoos walking his dog while not wearing a shirt; how much I enjoyed catching up on all the TV I DVRed during the Olympics this week. I dunno. Are there burning issues?

I so need a vacation, you guys. I hope your week is also pleasant and relaxing.