The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Upcoming releases and news about Fae Born

For a year now those who loved the Dragon Prince have been waiting for Fae Born, well here’s the news. All being well Fae Born will be released in time for Christmas. The fault on the delay has been mine, between the evil Best Buy wiping my hard drive (yes I back things up on disc now) and my brain refusing to let me write the rest of it Fae Born was delayed. However we have a wonderful cover by artist Meredith Dillman, the same artist who did the new cover for the Dragon Prince re-release.

I’ve been working like mad all week on Fae Born and can now happily say it will be done on time and I have every belief that those who loved Dragon Prince will also enjoy Fae Born.

For those that love Orent there is good news, Orent is getting her own book next year. Well let’s be honest, she deserves her own book, she has shared the lime light for two books and now wants to step out on her own.

What other books do I have coming up soon?

Well Family Heirloom is due to be released in October from Chippewa.

Eternal Slave also goes on sale, this time from eXtasy Books in October, hopefully for the Halloween release.

I’m heading off to Wisconsin for a convention next week, along with Scott Palter of Final Sword Productions. This is a trade convention for the gaming stores and will be my first time at such an event. Now I’m looking forward to it for several reasons. Every time I meet up with Scott I find myself learning more, plus the convention will be a new experience for me which is always a bonus.

I don’t think I will have much, if any, internet access during my time away this time, but that should only be for 4 days. I’ll be back online on Sunday 2nd of October. So it all works out well.

There are a lot of conventions coming up over the next twelve months and in all honesty I am looking forward to all of them.

Sleep safe

Terri Pray

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oysters and Chocolate

Chains has been accepted for Octobers issue of Oysters and Chocolate. This was the one that asked me to submit a new piece to them after they had already accepted one story for October's issue. So October both Chains and The Watcher will be in their webzine!

www.oystersandchocolate.com

Terri Pray

Back on Track

Though I’m still feeling rough I’m back on track. With ‘A Touch of Magic’ done and submitted to eXtasy for the Sins and Virtues line and two new stories accepted by Chippewa I’m beginning to feel as though I am pulling back out of the slump.

I hate being ill. I don’t know about other people but it’s depressing and makes it very hard for me to write. Now I am working again, getting caught up on my submissions, and I am active on my own list once more.

The two stories accepted by Chippewa are ‘Baby Steps’ a sweet D/s romance, and ‘With This Ring’ a regency romance. Both are shorts and I am looking forward to seeing how they turn out after editing. I’ve certainly enjoyed the editing process I went through for ‘Family Heirloom’.

So I’m back, I’m with it again and wow I might even persuade Sam to let me off bed rest finally!

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Longest Thirty Minutes of my life

Today my daughter, my five year old daughter, didn’t get on the bus to come home from school. For thirty long minutes she was missing, lost, with no one knowing for sure where she could be.

The bus company was alerted, her school teacher, the police and she was found by her teacher at a skating park not that far away from her school by her teacher.

In that short time a hundred nightmares gained life. I aged more years than I want to know, and I tried not to think of the might be’s what if’s and worse.

When the teacher pulled up in front of the house with our daughter in the back seat I nearly dropped. All I could think about was she was safe, none of the nightmares had caught her to use for their terrible form of fun. There would be no knock on the door from a police officer telling us the worst.

No one who isn’t a parent can imagine what a child being missing, even for such a short time can cause. I know I didn’t until it happened to us. Now I only hope that it is something I will never ever go through again.

The strangest thing of all had to be when my husband walked in to tell me Sarah was not on the bus was right in the middle of a phone call with Sarah’s teacher. One of the very issues she had called about was her concern that Sarah would not behave on the bus or would not get onto it due to a stubborn streak she has following instructions at times. She’s a bright child, too bright in some ways, as she has a desire to be in charge, to run things, to give instructions not to be the one following them. Because of that her teacher was right out of the door and looking for Sarah, for that thank you… both to her teacher who had the right idea in calling me to let me know her concerns, and to fate for it being today Sarah decided not to follow the rules about getting on her bus.

Whoever was looking after us, as a family, you have my gratitude for the safe return of my daughter.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Has it really been four years?

Tomorrow it will be. I find it hard to believe so much time has passed since the day the world seemed to change. I grew up with terrorist attacks, knowing that a bomb could explode either in my home town or elsewhere in the country, it was part of living in the UK in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. My father was a police officer so checking under the car before getting into it became almost second nature, though I am sure my Dad didn’t want us to realize he was doing it half the time.

We had a small RAF base just up the road from us, I had friends and family members in the armed forces. I was cleared out of work, theatres, cinema’s, pubs and more over bomb alerts. It was just a part of life.

Yet the destruction of the World Trade Center rocked my world and the lives of billions. It didn’t matter how much we’d lived through, or seen first hand, this was live, in our faces as the planes hit, as the towers fell. In full color, full horror, there was no way of ignoring it, down playing it or shrugging it off as just a part of life.

The world changed that day.

Sarah was a little over a year old, my parents had only just gone home to the UK by a few months after their only visit here. I found myself wondering what would have happened if it had been their flight. Then I thought of my husband, working then for Rosenbluth International on their flight help desk. When he came home I saw it clearly, the horror in his eyes, the men and women frantic on the other end of the line as he had been unable to say anything, unable to help, even though he had had the list of the passengers in front of him for over an hour. He knew who had checked in and who had not, yet he could not even offer a single word of comfort. It destroyed a part of him.

We lived so far away from NYC but we were still hit by it.

I can’t tell you what I feel now about that day because there is a numb spot inside me surrounding that date. I can’t process it, the numbers of dead, the amount of destruction, all I can understand is the look in my husband’s eyes when he came home and the nightmares that followed for him.

Four years ago and he still winces if you mention that day, there’s a shadow that claims his eyes. It wasn’t just those frantic calls of families, but the chaos that followed for those trying to help stranded passengers. But the worst of it is the memory of those calls, the families he couldn’t reach out and help, not even to say ‘No s/he wasn’t on the plane’…

How many other men and women are like my Sam and still deal with the memory of those frantic calls?

Friday, September 09, 2005

And off to bed I go...err

Well it’s the end of another long day of rest, rest and oh yes, rest. Okay, so not quite. With the children and my desperate need to keep trying to get up I haven’t been resting as much as perhaps I should have been.

There were a couple of small things I looked into on the site, and it’s beginning to appear as if either the Stalker has moved on or been denied service by her ISP. Either that or she just took a day off. Only time will tell there. It does get annoying though, having to watch for her like that. Some people really need to have more interesting things to do with their lives.

DFC also has a radio station now affiliated with it, Dark Eclipse Radio. It’s going to take a few days for all the rough edges to be smoothed out but I am hopeful this will work.

We’ve also now got the Authors Lounge up and running, where I will be spending a lot of my online time when things are calmer. So it’s not ideal but it does make for a good place for me to be working at the same time as keeping an eye on the site. At least that is the theory.

Almost finished Black Knave, it’s not brilliant but as I said earlier it is at least better than the previous novel by another author that I forced myself to read. I try so hard not to throw books at walls, really I do. And I guess I have been spoiled by all the wonderful authors at eXtasy.

Bed time, well sleep time seeing as Sam is still keeping me on rest.

Terri Pray

Paperwork

I hate government paperwork. Oh I know I am not the only one who must dislike it with a passion. Every few months I have to either fill stuff in or watch Sam do the same. It’s been that way ever since I came over here and now I am about ready to scream if I see one more set of paperwork.

I have this mental image of rows of box like cubicles filled with grey suited, blank faced drones shoving paperwork from one desk to another never really looking at it. Now I know there are some real people at the various agencies but I’ll be damned if I can find any. Half the time I end up dealing with an automated phone system.

Not that filling in paperwork does any good, but we go through the motions and keep hoping. Take the court case my husband went through, for six years we filled in ream after ream of papers, they lose them a dozen times over and then we’d have to start all over again.

Oh they do love their little forms. Fill in form A*** and then see form C-**** for further instructions. And can you find out what happens when you send the forms in? Not a chance in hell half the time.

I think I’ll ease off trying to do the paperwork side of things for a while, and stick to writing.

Even dealing with Stalkers actually makes more sense than half the forms I have seen in my life.

Oh and don’t think other countries are any better there. The paperwork I saw when in the UK was amazing. The forms and checks I went through to be a registered child care provider over there were enough to sink the Titanic. Still, I got through that easily enough. The base I was living on pushed things through. Criminal background check, well you know I was living behind the wire at the time on a UK RAF base. Nice little place called R.A.F. Wyton, in Huntingdonshire. Seems such a long time ago now.

I wonder if there is a place in Hell for the people who churn out these forms? If not there should be.

Oh, update on the Stalker on DFC. Still no response from her ISP but she’s not entered the site that I have seen today which might be a sign that either she has given up or her ISP has taken action. Still it would be nice to know if that is the case.

Sarah finished her first full week at school today, and has her very first show and tell on Monday. My Mother in Law mentioned to writing group in Pelican Rapids that her granddaughter had started school, only to be given shocked looks. You see many of the writers there remember Sarah when she was little more than a babe in arms. Now she’s five years old already and it came as a shock to them.

Sam still has me resting up as I am getting a little dizzy when I stand up. He’s exhausted though so enough of this lolly gagging around, time I got up and did something other than rest. Well, okay, if I get up he’ll tell me off about pushing it too much too soon, which I can understand as he does worry a great deal.

So what am I doing?

Right now reading Patricia Potters “The Black Knave” a book that came out in 2000 from Jove I believe. It’s certainly better than the last romance I suffered through, but the spelling mistakes in the book keep catching me. There aren’t that many of them, and I know I make some dozies when it comes to typo’s but I would have expected a NY house to pick up on them before it went to print? Ah well at least this one has a mildly interesting plot line, if highly predictable.

I am slowly reading my way through the stack of second hand romance novels, hopefully I will find one or two that really grab me. Please let there be something there that grabs my attention at least until my copy of ‘On Basalisk Station’ arrives. (knowing my luck I mis-spelt the title)
Back to reading, should finish the book before I call it a night.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reading Material

Ever wanted to throw a book against the wall? Well I did, for the past three days I have been forcing myself to read a historical romance set in the usa around the mid 1850’s. Talk about a poor novel, yet there it was having been put out by NY house and I’m sat here wondering why.

The story had more plot holes, repeats of phrases and groan elements in it than I had ever expected.

Now perhaps it’s because the book was from the early 90’s? I’m not sure, but as it is with all the time on my hands as I am still supposed to be resting I am spending the time reading my way through the stack of second hand romance novels I have picked up in the last few months. I just hope the next one isn’t as bad as this one.

And…. Just when I thought I could rest I had to go and boot the stalker again from the chat site. That woman just doesn’t get it that she is not welcome on the site. She is not welcome at all. I have told her on email, I have told her ISP, and she still insists on ignoring the signs that she is not welcome.

Pulling out of the Mire

I’ve been unable to really focus with writing or much else for the past week and during that time my husband put me literally on bed rest. However, though I am still tired my mind is starting to clear enough to start writing and I have the chance to reflect on some of the things that have happened in this time.

The first thing that comes to mind is the loss of a dear friend, Mart/Atilla/Dragoneyes from online chat. He died RT of a heart attack last week and was little more than 2 years older than my Sam. Both myself, Sam and many other friends we share online were hit hard by the death of this wonderful man. He always has a laugh, a joke, a smile to share. I don’t think he ever hated anyone, not even one woman who stalked and harassed him over the course of a year. He was one of the truest hearts I have ever had the joy of knowing. Mark you will be missed, your death has left a gap in the lives of those you touched.

Stalking, harassment, these seem to have become an online sport for some people. During this week when I have been able to focus I’ve had to deal with issues on the chat site caused by one woman who is going out of her way to make the lives of some of the chatters a misery. She even had the gall to contact me wanting to be unbanned (As of this time she is an automatic boot on sight) as she would not enter Tuchuk again (Tuchuk being the name of the room) The very day she emails me she enters that room three times in quick succession, then tries to use a claim she is disabled as an excuse as to why she shouldn’t be banned. WTF?

Before anyone jumps me about not being sympathetic to someone living with a disability a few facts. My eldest son in the UK is disabled. My Mother is now almost reduced to a wheelchair. My husband is disabled. I cope with an illness that can put me bedridden when I take bad turns. Not one of us use what we deal with as a reason to not be held responsible for our actions. I’ve written two stories with disabled main characters, one of which was in the July issue of Wax Romantic the second one is currently in the submission pile with eXtasy. I have more than a passing understanding of how the net can be a life line and how living with disability can and does add extra pressure to every day tasks. It is not, under any circumstances, a reason to stalk, harass or disrupt business on my chat site.

To show how disturbed this woman is, how focused she is on disrupting the chatting of those she has targeted she actually turned up twice at Mark’s memorial service on another site. How sick is that?

Stalking is not something I tolerate. It’s not a right protected by the First Amendment as one helpful soul at an ISP told me. If it were it would not be a criminal offence. If it where restraining orders could not be issued. Lets use a little common sense here. Yes dealing with the idiot at that second ISP did annoy me. I’ve dealt with other ISP’s, small servers, large ones, and this is the first time I have had to deal with an employee who didn’t know his arse from his elbow.

And since when did an abuse department NOT have a phone number? That’s a first for me. And no they are not making any attempt to contact me, to reply to my emails. If this continues I will be naming the company to warn people that this ISP will not help you.

Onto other things.

I’ve finally started with a clear enough head that the edits and writing that had been put on hold can begin again. Which is a relief. And I am hoping my husband finally decides that he is comfortable with me being out of bed. I am so very tired of bed rest. I know he means well, and I understand it’s the best thing for me right now, but damnit I am calling for an escape crew!

So if I can get some work done over the next few days hopefully he will let me back into the living room over the weekend.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Random Thoughts and the loss of a friend

I’ve been more than a little unwell in the past few days and now find myself slowly starting to pull back out of this. It’s been a bad few days, nearly a bad week entirely now, but that happens with my health from time to time.

It’s not just me that has had a bad week.
The people of New Orleans are in a far worse state than I will ever be, they are living through a night mare and the courage being shown on a daily basis there still leaves me astounded. A good friend of mine sent me a link to a piece written by Anne Rice who has set so many of her books in and around New Orleans that her love for the city is obvious. It’s well worth reading, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rice.html?ei=5090&en=ce2f33f8719dba9c&ex=1283486400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print


A dear friend of mine died yesterday, DragonEyes/Atilla from the roleplay sites I have been playing on since 1998. He and I met way back then, and when I received the news that he had died it hit me hard. I never met him in person and now I never will, but like so many friends back before I came to the states he sat with me through some very bad times.

He was one of those people who always had a joke, or a smile. I don’t think I can ever recall him being truly angry about anything, and we only spoke on the phone a handful of times. Yet for all that the vast majority of our contact was through text I counted him as a friend and did my fair share of crying last night.
Mark, I’ll miss you. You were a light in the world, and the world has too few lights. Sleep well old friend