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  • Spar
    Spar
    by Nikko Lee

    A closeted black belt comes to terms with his bisexuality when he takes an openly gay student as his new sparring partner.

  • Wolf Creek: Gay Werewolf Romance
    Wolf Creek: Gay Werewolf Romance
    by Nikko Lee, Digital Fiction

    Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairytale.

  • Bon Appetit: Stories & Recipes for Human Consumption
    Bon Appetit: Stories & Recipes for Human Consumption
    by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt, Rev. Thomas Thorn, Nikko Lee, Dax Bordas, Sebastian Bendix, Rick Powell, Misty Tyers, J. N. Cameron
    Contains Bouillon de Bebe 
  • NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    by Gary Budgen, Julian Darius, Richard Greico Jr, Nikko Lee, K. A. Opperman, Alice Renard, Rose Banks, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Michael Seese

    Contains Instabiable by Nikko Lee

  • Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    by Carol Hightshoe, Cynthia Ward, Terry M. West, Christie Meierz, Dana Bell, Mary E. Lowd, Patrick J. Hurley, Francis W. Alexander, Liam Hogan

    Brainatarian by Nikko Lee

  • Coming Back
    Coming Back
    by James Arthur Anderson, Brian Barnett, Dave Fragments, Shawna Galvin, Vince Darcangelo, Ken Goldman, Michael Lindquist

    Contains A Mother Knows by Nikko Lee (paperback available at Lulu.com)

  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee

    E-book

    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

Tuesday
Jul162019

Je me souviens

Home for me has always been Knowlton Landing, Potton, Quebec. It's not that I spent my entire childhood on the family farm of which I was the eighth generation. In fact, we moved so regularly that I've now lived more years in Maine than I have lived anywhere else. Yet it was the first home I ever know and where my father's family lived. The land that was settled by my ancestors in 1821 and has been more or less -often less- in our family since than until this year when we sold the farm.

Knowlton Landing was always the place I returned to no matter in which province or country I had my primary residence. It was where I spent holidays and summer vacations during high school and undergraduate. The land is tied to my nearly all my memories of family and childhood.

My children are too young to have formed many memories of the farm. In all likelihood, they won't even remember visiting it. Years from now when they take me on a trip to Quebec in my old age, I will have to point out all the old spots that used to be so familiar to me. Their experience growing up will be so different from my own in many ways. I wonder sometimes how I will impart to them their family heritage, particularly their French Canadian heritage.

Although my father's family is English, descended from Massachusetts residents who sought their fortunes in Quebec, my mother's family is French of the first French Canadians to settle the province. I can remember understanding and speaking French as young fives years old. I've tried now and again to sing to my children in French and they will indulge me sometimes by singing along when they aren't telling me 'not that one'. Yet they will never be fluent in French if they even remember some phrases.

In recent years, my husband and I have started hosting Reveillon Christmas parties. Even though those particular parties weren't a part of my up bringing, it's an excuse for me to cook the foods I remember my mother cooking for special occasions and other uniquely French Canadian recipes.

With the sale of the farm and my father moving away from the place I had always considered my home base, I am forced to reflect on how I define myself as Quebecoise. Researching the history of the farm has helped me connect to my anglophone roots. My maternal grandpapa wrote a great family history that helps connect me to my francophone family. But I can't help but feel a loss that my children will never really know what it means to be half-French, half-English. One foot in each culture.

So if I seem a little too eager to speak to you in French or pull out random French Canadian recipes for gathering, it's just my small way of holding onto a piece of me that isn't so obvious.

PS For an explanation of the 'Je me souvien motto' see this Frenchly post.

Tuesday
Jun252019

What a story is versus what it is about

Nearly a month ago, I attended the Maine Crime Wave 2019 in Portland Maine. This is my favorite writer conference (and closest). As always, the room was packed with numerous successful authors and authors aspiring toward success. I love this opportunity to talk to both kinds of authors about their craft, the business of publishing and their non-writerly interests. It's a comfortable and welcoming gathering for readers and writers at any level who are interested in crime fiction. And what fictions doesn't deal with death, police or a mystery?

There were several fascinating panels and workshop. One workshop with Julia Spencer-Fleming really brought home to me how much I rely on exposition to give the back story of my characters when I should be relying on their actions, thoughts and words. The iceberg poster comes to mind. I definitely struggle with burying the driving motives and emotions of my characters, which tends to have the duel curse of slowing the plot.

Another workshop with Gayle Lynds focused on the elements of plot. Most importantly for me, Lynds spent quite a bit of time explaining the difference between what a story is (the plot outline) versus what a story is about (the relatable cord running through the novel that says something about life or people).

It's often hard to boil down a 90,000 word novel into a one sentence summary. That summary tends to focus on the nuts and bolts of the novel including character, place, action etc.

Safe Word (my languishing novel that will most likely get trunked) is the story of psychiatrist Jacob Riley teaming up with strong-willed Detective Katrine St. Onge to stop Jacob’s former submissive from framing him for murder.

But what's it about?

I struggle with this question. Both Jacob and Katrine use control as a means of protecting themselves from rejection. Jacob more overtly prefers sexual relationships that involve dominance and submission. He also enforces a kind of emotional control on himself that keeps people at a distance despite his deep need for personal connection. Katrine downplays her feminine side, unwilling to appear vulnerable as a means of protecting herself from rejection. The problem is expressing this aboutness in a catchy one sentence that doesn't sound trite or cliche.

I'm still working on that part.

Wednesday
May292019

Flawed hero

I've started reading Save the Cat! Write a Novel in the hopes that it will help to break down the basic elements of story writing. This book uses the script writing advice of Save the Cat! beatsheet for script writing but twists it to explain story structure in novels.

Movie reviews have become my gold mine for analyzing character, plot, story structure and pacing. There really is a lot of overlap in how stories unfold regardless of the medium.

So I'm going to try the exercises with Safe Word as my basis.

Chapter 1: Why do we care?

Jacon Rilley is the main character of Safe Word. His big flaw is that he feels he must control everyone around him if he's going to be certain of meeting their needs and garnering the love and approval desperately wants. Because of this flaw he's chosen to avoid standard relationships, instead seeking sexual and emotional fulfillment by being the dominant to his chosen submissive.

The root of Jacob's obsessive need for control and approval stems from growing up in a sexually repressive house with a controlling father who died when Jacob was a preteen leaving him to care for his mother whose health deteriorates. His need to please her and be the head of the household requires him to put his own interests aside for his mother's needs.

At the start of the novel, Jacob is looking for a new submissive after recently ending his relationship with his previous submissive. His goal is to find the perfect submissive to whom he can devote all of his attention and affection toward. He turns to an online forum he has used before to screen and interview potential submissives.

Jacob can never find the submissive to meet his needs because he never lets himself give up control of their interactions. The moment one of his submissive challenges him or lets him down, he ends the relationship rather than addressing the problem.

What Jacob really needs is to relinquish his unrealistic idea of control and accept that disagreements and disappointment are a part of building relationships and becoming a person capable of loving and being loved.

Wednesday
Apr172019

Facing rejection

"... if I am honest, although I thought your idea was interesting I found the manuscript lacked a bit of depth; the narrative was told rather than shown.  So, as it stands, it is not really a match for the ... brand and we won’t be pursuing publication."

"Although we felt it had some good concept and story it falls short of our required 80,000 word count and still needs work in some areas to keep the momentum going for the reader."

I admit it. I've been avoiding the above feedback for a few weeks now. Safe Word has been trunked. My attention has been focused on my nonfiction project. But those words linger in the back of my mind. So much so, that I've been actively avoiding my fiction projects.

Fortunately, I have a wonderful writing group partner who reminded me that I won't get better without working on the problems that exist in my writing. And that won't happen if I stop writing fiction.

The goal to get me back on the fiction horse is to finish a less than 5000 word short story contest that's due at the end of the month. I already a short story that fit the criteria but needed to be finished. Now I'm battling limited time and energy while fighting back my inner critic that whispers 'may you just aren't really good at this'.

Two more weeks to go...

Monday
Mar042019

Registre Foncier: Finding Quebec Land Transactions

I found yet another rabbit hole when I finally figured out how to use the Quebec land registry Registre Foncier. There's a surprising amount of information that's been digitized going back to the early 1800's. However, the website is primarily in French and I thought I'd share how I figured out to use it. Their help resources are also mostly in French, but the resposne I got online and on the phone was very helpful.

Firstly, you will need to register for a free account. Cost to download most documents is generally $1, so you will also need a credit card number. You can order all the given transactions for a specific lot, but it will cost much more.

The website is only available for searching 6AM-11:30PM weekdays and 6AM-5PM weekends.

Note the website may not work for all Mac OS (OS 9 and X are no longer supported). The website is optimized for Internet Explorer 11.0 (or more recent) and a 1024 X 768 pixels screen. I used a Mac with Sierra 10.12.6 browsing with Firefox 60.5.2esr without issue.

Keywords

Suivre - continue

Annuler - cancel

Poursuivre - continue

Code d'utilisateur - user code

Mot de passe - password

Circonscription foncière - district of land registry 

Get an account

Select 'Consulte le Registre foncier du Quebec en ligne'. You can use the site with a temporary user code ('Client qui ne possède pas de code d'utilisateur'). However, I had diffuculty obtaining one. You can obtain a code for repeated log in under ('Devenir client régulier - Formulaire enligne'). Select 'Suivre' on the next page.

On the registration page, 'nom' is last name and 'prenom' first name. You can enter a non-Canadian address and phone number. For the nearest public registry office 'Bureau de la publicité des droits', select from a drop down list. I used the one closest to the area I was researching. You should then get an email with your operator number.

Logging in

Use your user code (not account number) and created password to log in. You will get prompted to download Adobe or another pdf viewer. At least on Macs, it doesn't recognize installed ones. You can select poursuivre (continue) if you have a reader that isn't being detected.

Consulter


Select 'consulter' to bring up the main search pop-up. There are a number of searches that can be performed from property deeds and maps to mineral rights. The most useful ones for identifying land transfers are:

Index des nom - Name index for records older than the cadastre system. Depending on the district, their name registries go back to the mid 1800's (e.g. Stanstead goes to 1842). If you do not know the name of the district for the land you are researching, consult a census from the time you are interested in with the names of known inhabitants. Some townships have switched districts over the years and you may need to consult different district name indexes depending on the era (see below).

Index des Immeuble - index of non-movables. This is the core search database for the land registry. You will need to know the current or historical lot number for the land. If you don't have it, you can use the map searches at the bottom of the search menu pop up. Plan cadastre will give you the current maps with lot numbers. Historic will give you the lot number prior to the 1980's.

Plans Cadastre - search for current lot maps. You will need to know the district.

Historic Cadastral Etendu - search for historic lot maps. Again you will need to know the district. Below is the township of Potton in the Brome district.

  

Land transactions after 1980's


You will need to know a lot number. This can be a lot number established in by 'Index des Immeuble'

Land transactions between 1880's and 1980

You will need to know the historic lot number. If you do not know it, you can find it on the top of the result for the modern lot number registry file.

Land transactions before 1880's

You can look up earlier land transactions if you know the name of one of the people involved in the transaction. From the search popup menu, select 'index des nom' (name index). Under 'numerise', select 'index des nom '. Choose the circonscription foncier. My region of interest is Potton which is currently in the district of Brome (name index started in 1856) but has also been a part of Stanstead (name index started in 1842), Missiquoi and Richelieu.
By searching for all of the name indexes for a district, you can select the earliest one from the results. However, if the district has more than 50 name indexes such as for the district of Quebec (city), you will need to refine the search parameters such as date or name.
Then it's a matter of looking through the indexes for the name of the person who owned the land at the time. Or all the land transactions associated with a person of interest. Some indexes are organized alphabetically in year groups, others are organized into first letter of last name and order of transactions. So you will need to read the entire letter section to find all the transactions from a given person. The index is bidirectional for the transactions so you will find an entry for buyer to seller or seller to buyer. There are also other transactions listed such as will deeds and debts relating to land.
Once you find the name of interest the next columns record the register (A, B, etc), volume (numeric), page and acte. You can then use this information to obtain a pdf copy of the transaction. 
Finding an acte


Once you've obtained the exact acte number for a transactions, you can search for a pdf of the actes using the 'Acte, radiation, avis d'adresse' in the consulter pop-up menu. Select Circonscription foncière (district) and enter acte number. You may get back multiple files to chose from but if you know the register and volume (also listed in the name index) you can decipher which one is yours:
For example, Standstead 188 brings back multiple results but the index told had recorded as registre B vol 3 ...
Stanstead 188 RB3 Registre B Volume 3

 

Reading these acts is fascinating. For my region of interest and time period, the actes are in English. They may list professions of people involved, dates, sums of money exchanged and a description of the physical boundaries of the property in question.

Erreur

'Vous ne pouvez accéder directement à cette page. Vous devez d'abord fournir certaines informations avant de pouvoir y accéder. Vous allez être dirigé vers la page précédente. Pour plus de détails, consultez le guide d'utilisation. Cliquez sur OK.'

If you see this error page, it means the page you are trying to access has expired. You will need to return to the entry page https://www.registrefoncier.gouv.qc.ca.