Thursday, July 24, 2014

A.M. Hartnett Gets Carried Away...

A. M. Hartnett
is visiting with her notes for several recent projects.... She says: spend a lot of time lovingly looking at organized offices and productivity hacks on Pinterest ... right before I go to my small explosion of writing notes.

Seen above is my laptop, a Macbook Air, and my iPad - not shown is my iPhone, which makes up the last of my mobile office. I’m usually using all three at once with note sites like Evernote, Simplenote, my OneDrive, and Pages. In an ideal world I’d have all my notes neatly organized online, but as you can see I haven’t been cleansed of my need for notebooks. Lots of notebooks.

 When I outline, I outline everywhere. In a notebook, in Word and Scrivener, and usually on a regular old sheet of paper that I can have in front of me at all times. This is the outline for the third book in my Carried Away series.

I love it when an absolutely filthy idea strikes so fast and hard it has to be written down. This is from a book that’s in its planning stage, about a couple who are getting reaquainted after about a decade.

This is what it looks like when I’ve finished a book and am trying to make it less like it was written by someone who’s deranged. I never write linear, so just about every page of the manuscript looks like this after just one read-through. My editor really doesn’t get paid enough. This is Uncover Me, my June release from Mischief Books. Or, what it looked like before it was spanked into submission.
 A. M. Hartnett recently visited Trollop with a Laptop to discuss Uncover Me. Be sure to stop by and comment for a chance to win a spectacularly sexy set of pencils!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sommer Marsden's Wanderlust

Above are Sommer Marsden's notes for Wanderlust, which she emailed me back in 2011, and which I only recently discovered when I reached the bottom of my inbox. No joke. There are only, like, three emails left for me to deal with. Ta da! XXX, Alison

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cora Zane: Synchronicity!

Synchronicity! I dropped by your blog tonight and saw the post asking for more scruffy jottings. I actually have a few page of notes for you if you care to take a peek. I've almost filled up an entire notebook (70 sheets, college ruled) I bought last year with snippets of fiction, lists of things to remember, doodles, fragments of dialogue as they come at me. Stuff like that. When the notebook is full, I'll probably toss it into a box. (And forget it exists within a few weeks.)
On the pages I photographed, I had jotted down dreams, updated my book wish list, and listed a ton of affirmations for the New Year. Lots of hippie-dippy stuff, but it is what it is. One of the pics turned out a bit on the small side. The gray slash marks are in place to cover a name, and a friend's address for safety reasons. The rest is pure thought process. I enlarged the second picture so you can get an idea of what's in the fine print. —Cora
Cora Zane lives in an area of northern Louisiana known as "out in the sticks." She is the author of What She Doesn't Know, Wicked Obsession, and the Werekind Werewolf series of erotic romance ebooks. She has also published work in several anthologies, including Morning, Noon, and Night, Coming Together: Hungry for Love, and Dirtyville. To find out more about Cora and her fiction, please visit her website

How cool are those notes? I mean, seriously! XXX, Alison

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Notes from Danielle de Santiago

hey alison,

somehow i m in a kind of "send pictures to alison-mood" and since my violet bed clothing is still uhm*..missing in action..i m sure you know what i mean..i thought i send you something for your Scruffy Jottings About Filth to say my notes...i ll send you two different notes..

first of all of my story "la chocolata" which has been published twice in you can see the actual book next to the notebook with the first idea for the story..i keep those books (i have tons of them full with old notes) which are a wild mix of diaries and sketch books..i draw,glue pictures inside, i write down ideas and also about things i see and do..the second notes are from my first audio book Der Stall ( the stable)...

here you see the much more "clean" and tidy side of my work..actually with my german editors notes on it...believe it i d be lost without her ..lost between mistakes and missing commata and points and other mofo-mistakes...she is a very nice and totally not filthy or smuty person..and sometimes she writes me really freaky little letters about my Danielle you wrote the girl sucks both dicks in the same time ..are you sure that is even possible in a technical way ??...

or when i come over to pick up my stuff before i send it to my publishers she wants me to sit down with her and tells me how much difference could be in a sentence depending on where the comma is..then she says very articulate something like..dunno..anything with the words pussy, cunt or cock in it..this very small so not smutty person..i love her..but she cracks me up with those you have them pics..hope you like them..if yes i ll soon send you pictures of where i do sleep..and work know that part..:-)




If *you* want to be featured on my Scruffy Jottings blog—send me a .jpg of your notes and a little description and you can join the ranks of such illustrious writers as Donna George Storey, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and Craig Sorensen!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stripped-down, homegrown Cora Porn

Ah, damn. This is going to make all of those "cora porn" Googlers so fucking happy!

Hi Alison,

I know it's a little late to be sending notes, but there's always one person who drags in uber late, right? Anyway, I finally have something to send for your note collection! This is sort of like Cora porn - only it's stripped-down, homegrown Cora porn since it's something I wrote myself.

My notes are messy, and I'm sorry it's marked up beyond recognition. Then again, this is what my final drafts look like. When every line is marked through, including the handwritten notes, I know I've checked everything twice. The different colors start out as simple deletions, but as I move through the pages, I end up crossing out bigger and bigger sections so I won't back track or lose my place.

Happy wishes,
Cora Z

Thanks so much for sending these fabulous notes, Ms. Z. And remember—any writers (porn or smut, I mean, porn or not) should feel free to send me pics of their notes, too!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Allison Wonderland's Wonderful Notes

I love when the notes are from stories I am familiar with. Makes this voyeuristic encounter extra delicious (from my vantage point, anyway). These are from Allison Wonderland, who says:

Hi, Alison.

Here are my notes for "Flick Chicks," which appears in Hurts So Good: Unrestrained Erotica. These notes began their life as mildly-legible scribbles, eventually blossoming into literary eye candy. I'm very visually-oriented and have found that this scrapbook-style storyboard is conducive to creativity (and, apparently, to alliteration).


Anyone else want to review HSG? I have a few extra copies milling about.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jo's Notes

I've been lucky enough to receive a handwritten story by Jo before. She has the most engaging handwriting. Jo says:

Attached is the idea for the story I scribbled down, so I could get on with my work without thinking about it! Sadly that's as far as I got.

More notes (and boudoir shots) shortly. Remember to send yours to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.


Surprisingly Un-Scruffy Jottings

These neat notes are from Erobintica, who says:

My writing writing is surprisingly unscruffy - at least when I'm working on my erotica. Now, when I'm working on poetry you can hardly read stuff. I have to type into the computer pretty quickly or I don't know what words are later on.

The top (white pages) notebook is showing work from May 1991 when I wrote the story that will be in the upcoming Coming Together: Al Fresco - my first long piece of erotica to be published. There are a few lines through things, but for the most part I did most of the editing when I typed it into the computer well more than a decade after it was written. The other larger notebook is one of my current ones - I've got several - and it's showing some of the writing prompts I did in Rachel Kramer Bussel's Erotica 101 class I took recently. The little notebooks are my "notes" that I scribble whenever I think of something. The unlined one with the little golf pencil lives in my purse and is tucked in my back pocket when I walk. It's one of those itty bitty moleskines - so is the one with lines (which I paid no attention to) and unfortunately is perforated so the pages started coming out. I won't buy this kind again.


Don't worry. More notes on the way!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Absurdly Un-Neat

The effortlessly effervescent Emerald has dropped by with a few of her notes. She says:

Hi Alison,

Well I've sent you so many pictures of my panties, it seems I could manage to send you one or two of my notes as well, heh.

Most of my notes I do via computer. This is because they are then so much easier (sometimes even possible) to read. Seriously. For as long as I can remember my handwriting has been absurdly un-neat, especially if I am writing something I really want to get down and things seem to be coming faster than I can write. So whenever possible/pracitcal, I type any notes I want to actually be able to read later.

That being said, I also keep little notebooks in my car, on my nightstand, in my purse, and of course around my desk in case I need to write something down and the keyboard isn't handy. I won't send you any of those notes. :) But here are some from when handwritten notes do enter the process for me.

After I have a rough draft, or part of one, I have tended to print it out and then go over it with a pen, scribbling all sorts of things here and there in what appears to be a very little-organized fashion. I then have the task of deciphering it and adding it in on the computer to the rough draft (only to print it out again for the next go-around). I do end up probably wasting a lot of paper this way...hmm.

Anyway, here's an early printed draft of my story "With Random Precision" that's in RKB's Love Notes anthology. This multiplied by about 10 or so is what my apartment looks like on most surfaces (including the floor) when I'm on a story deadline. :)

Have a beautiful day.


I have more notes to post, and I'm hoping more come in. But I'm out most of today. So stop by soon.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Sketches from My Moleskine

Well, no. Not from *my* Moleskin, because I do not write in Moleskines. Because, clearly, I am not as totally hip as Stephen Elliott and T. Elle Harrison. Or perhaps because I am intimidated by how neat Moleskines look, so I end up writing on my hand, or on the back of a junkmail envelope, or on my best friend's thigh. T. Elle Harrison, however, is funny, cool, and self-deprecating:

Apparently, I'm a mother says it's something I've always done. Before I started taking my writing seriously, I thought I might be an artist. Now I just keep it in the sketch book. I also do a sort of picture collage like Nikki Magennis. I find that while I'm drawing, cutting, pasting etc, I'm more relaxed and the ideas come to me easier...more organized. Okay I lied, the next page is full of scribbles and scrabbles but when I first start thinking of a character this is one of the things I do.

I'm not published or anything but this looks like fun and I wanted to join in.

Man, T. Elle Harrison, I'm so glad you did join in. I am in awe of your art. I could trace my fingertips over that profile for hours. You rock, kid.


Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Dose of Reality

Here are two sets of notes from Craig Sorensen, whose work has appeared in a slew of different anthologies, including Afternoon Delight, Hurts So Good, and Frenzy.

Hi Alison,

As a public service to those who think their writing is "uncomely," here is a little dose of reality.

Still, as bad as it can get (and these examples are actually pretty clean for me) I can almost always read what I've written, even years later. I actually have no idea how many spiral notebooks and three ring binders I have around as well as folders for loose notes, both written and typed/printed. Looking at some of the things I wrote twenty-plus years ago can be both humiliating and inspiring, if that makes any sense.

I jot down quick notes at work sometimes and shove them into my pocket to review at home. The picture with the mouse and my as yet uninstalled copy of TurboTax show examples of these. There are a couple of rough random ideas on kissing, and a quick thought for a change in timbre for a scene in a book I'm working on.

The spiral notebook is one I keep around the house to record ideas when I'm away from the computer. The example I provided is part of a set of notes for the story "Square Loophole" which was recently published in the awesome Alison Tyler collection called Afternoon Delight. Though I have a red check through each entry, note that not all three ideas made it in the final story. That happens a lot.

And speaking of Afternoon Delight, thank you for taking the time to forward the kind comments from Amazon to me. That certainly brightened my day!


Oooh, let me brighten your day a bit more, Craig! I have to offer a little shameless plug along with your images. The fabulous story "Square Loophole" just won these two mentions in Amazon reviews of Afternoon Delight:

"Craig Sorensen's "Square Loophole" is romantic, beautiful and poetic (she writes, as she lets out a big, sunny sigh...). Such wonderful writing and wonderful imagery!

"Square Loophole" by Craig J. Sorensen lets the first rays of sun illuminate modesty - "There is always time for touch later."


Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Amorous Woman's Notes

Speak of the devil! Moments after Isabel queries, "So where are your notes?!?" to Donna, I can happily respond, "I've got Donna's Notes right here." DSG was last seen on my blog offering around some really scrumptious looking delights. (No, I'm not talking about her awesome, leopard-clad ass. Shame on you!) She's also stopped by to share her kinky collection of books, and invite fellow foodies to her Moveable Feast. Now, Ms. Storey is back to let us spy behind the scenes in her writing world:

I love your new writer's notes series! Very cool to get a peek under the pages, so to speak. I'm sending along my earliest notes for what would become my novel Amorous Woman. As you see, this is absurdly and misleadingly neat, rather like my sex toy drawer, an oasis of organization in an otherwise after-the-tornado household. These look like notes from a college lecture: "economic parallels--rise and fall of Japanese econ dominance....personal dynamics of gaijin woman and husband." Pullease. I'm always shocked at how little the final product resembles my early jottings! But I did copy down the writing on one of the jackets I bought in Japan in the 1980s in the upper right hand corner of the page for inspiration. Fortunately, more of this kind of humor actually made it into the novel: "BASEBALL CLUB. I am delighted to get you to play baseball. I believe in rough, manly sports." And I do indeed!


More notes to pop up shortly! And please. Don't be shy. Send yours to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.


P.S. If you are inspired to buy DSG's novel, Amorous Woman, based on this post, please drop me an email letting me know. I'll post you this button (or one quite like it) as a little reward for supporting us struggling erotic authors!

Isabel's a Dilettante

She said it. Not me. I had to look up the word. Because, you know, it's early. And I was thinking "debutante." Did you know that the word came from Italian dilettante, prop. ppr. of dilettare (“to delight”) < Latin delectare (“to delight”)? That's pretty fabulous, in my opinion.

Here is the official definition:

1. An amateur, someone who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest.
2. Any person who enjoys the arts, regardless of expertise.

I don't agree with either one in regards to Isabel. You won't either once you see her art:

Isabel says: As you see, my notebook tends to be combination notes and sketches. I jump from one thing to the other, taking inspiration from this or that or the other thing, and work it out here.

You can read and see more on her blog.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nikki Magennis' Notes for the New Rakes

I know that some of you already spied these notes on Nikki's blog. But they're too good to miss! As many of you know, Nikki is my go-to girl for lovely short pieces. She can take 100 words and spin a magic web. Of course, her longer works (stories and novels) are divine, as well. These notes are from her rock 'n roll masterpiece:

For Alison, here are some what I s'pose you could call notes from The New Rakes.

Right at the start of writing it, Lina was called 'Jacqui' and the whole story was totally different - there were going to be a lot of liaisons in a deserted hotel, which you can see there with ragged red velvet curtains. I'd made a whole A1 board of pictures, characters and locations. I have also got folders full of scribbled notes, A, but I thought this was prettier!

Funnily enough, though I don't think I specified Kara's hair colour in the text, I was obviously thinking of pink hair when I gathered these pics. And it's pink on the finished book's cover! Gosh, psychic cover-art editors - what a blessing!

Please do keep sending your notes to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com. You don't need to be a porn writer, either. Just a writer.


Heidi's Notes

These delightful notes are from Heidi Champa, who says:


I couldn't resist getting in on the fun. I usually have notes everywhere, on all manner of paper, envelopes and post its. And, I have countless notebooks as well. Lately, I've been trying to be good about using my laptop for notes, but I don't always succeed. These notes are on an old article from Rolling Stone. I had written one thing on it months ago, and just continued to use it for little ideas or reminders. I really need a better system.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kristina Lloyd's Dirty Words

These notes are from the wicked redhead herself, Kristina Lloyd, who shares my fascination at looking into other people's windows. (I mean, I think she does. I hope those were her eyes I saw peering into my bathroom window last Tuesday at eleven.)

Two lots of notes for you, both from when I was writing Split. One is unusually neat. Split has stories within stories (hence my cute Russian doll!) and I was trying to set down on paper how they linked up. Sometimes, the point of my notes is to be tidy and make order from the chaos in my head to stop me going nuts. When I'm trying to generate ideas, I use coloured pens in some vaguely synaesthesic way. So say I want to think about a particular character, I'll write their name in felt-tip pen and first spend time thinking, 'Hmm, what colour is this character? Is she purple? Blue? Yellow? What sort of blue? Oooh, definitely not navy.' I don't think I was trying to generate ideas here, I was trying to control them. But the colours probably had some significance. Actually, looking at the page now, I can still see what those coloured boxes were probably suggesting. Oh, and you can make out the word 'GHOSTLY' showing through from the other side of the page. That's in black and grey and is written in silly, shaky ghostly handwriting.

The second pic is more typical - scruffy jottings about filth, a tea stain and some random nonsense that has nothing to do with what I'm working on. Here I've written 'Stomach rumbling like a pod of whales (Beth)'. I have no idea what that relates to but it's certainly not Split.

And I stockpile Silvine spiral-bound notebooks ref 14l (ruled feint, no margin) and Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5 pens (black). God, the things you make me reveal! Am looking forward to other people's notes!


More notes to come shortly—and send yours on to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com, won't you?


Jeremy's Colorful Scribblings

Here are the fabulous notes of Mr. Jeremy Edwards. Thanks so much, JE, for sending these! Please let me know when I can link to your forthcoming novel!!

Hi, Alison.

These are some notes I have lying around from when I was revising my novel. The typed items were things I knew I needed to check out or correct based on a read-through I'd done. I checked these items off (and annotated them) as I dealt with them, evidently using a variety of colored pens. Then I evidently used this same piece of paper to make further notes by hand as I read the manuscript again. This time I seem to have favored squiggles over check marks (most of the time) as I addressed the various issues. The final layer of notes consists of words (or partial words, e.g., "sensu-") that I was checking myself on to catch and address overuse. Evidently the phrase (or concept) of "sniffing panties" also fell into this category.

: )

I have more notes to post shortly. But please, if you're brave, send yours to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.


Scenes from "Smut Girl"

Here are the first (and so far the only) notes sent in to me by a writer. Sommer Marsden says:

As you can see, my notes can be spotted from space. The more excited i am about a story idea, the bigger i write. The big X through the page means the story was completed, subbed, accepted and published (in this case Scrapbook Pages was taken by Xcite).

Anyone else brave enough to let us see your scribbles? Or proud enough to let us see your neat, clean, perfect handwriting?


A View Inside My Twisted Mind

Is this what the inside of my head looks like? Maybe. These were notes for "Rumours," a novel I wrote a few years ago for Virgin's Cheek line. I try to keep track of where I stop for a novel, so I know where to pick up, because I don't write in any linear order. I read once that Hemingway re-read his entire work each day before starting again, but I don't see how that's actually possible. (And I'm no Hemingway!) Also, I always have to know my word count near the end of a book, because I can't go over 85,000 for Cheek. That's what all the numbers are about. I tend to have about 10 pages like this by the end of the book. This page came from the very finale. I can tell I was feeling stressed that I was going to go over the word count, because there are several notes about dropping scenes. Anyway, there you have it. My "process."

All right, off to bed...