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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

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.

Tuesday
Feb262019

Research rabbit holes and procrastination

Procrastination takes many forms, from cleaning the house to relentless outlining. With my current non-fiction project about the history of my family farm, I've discovered another place for procrastination and anxiety to hide. Research.

Of course research is a valuable part of writing. For Safe Word, I had to research medical examiner protocols and police proceedures. With the farm history, I have so many resources to find out as much as I can about the initial land sales and lives of the people who built the farm. Some of my favorite finds are the surveyor notes from 1794 describing marking out the boundaries of the lots on which the farm was built.

There's land rights, general history of the times, old newspapers, lawyer's notes, and so many genealogy trees to detail.

All of this means that when I get a spare minute of two, I can do some digital digging. However, I have more than enough information to write a first draft. What I'm lacking is time. This morning's efforts to get up early to write were thwarted by a sick child who was up every 2 hours.

But there's also a nagging worry that I won't be able to produce a work that accurately documents almost 200 years of history and dozens of people's lives. Some I knew and so many other's are familiar to me by reading accounts of their comings and goings in the papers or listening to the few family stories passed on to me.

The only thing that overrides the fear of failure is the fear of not doing anything at all. So I press on, stealing moments here and there, hoping that before long I will have time to write.

Monday
Jan282019

Novel 101 and rejection

This past weekend I attended a Novel 101 presentation by Cynthia Thayer. I've attended her courses and talks before and really enjoy listening to her talk about the craft of writing. I never get bored of reviewing the basics. It's funny how understanding a concept if only one level; implementing it is another matter all together. I particularly liked the discussion about the crisis point.

Often when I start a book, I have in mind a character with a flaw or challenge that needs to be overcome so that they can move forward in their life. The whole first three-quarters of the book is all about leading up to that moment when they must make a decision or choice that at the beginning of the book they would have picked path A, but now after their newly gained experience they chose path B. It may be for the betterment of the character and their relationships or it might lead them down a road towards being the villain.

Because I write in multiple points of view (at least two for romances), each character has to have this challenge/crisis/change arc. I love forcing my characters to grow and overcome their flaws. But it has to be earned and hard. So hard that the reader doubts the character will overcome even if that's what the reader is rooting for.

With Safe Word, my main character Jacob is an egotistical, controlling man who feels that he must maintain control at all times. Control over himself, his relationship with his clients and the women he enters into BDSM relationships with. Because of his past experiences, he feels it's the only way he can ensure his partner's happiness. The novel gradually takes him on a journey to realize that he must surrender that control because it is an illusion.

About Safe Word... I was encouraged to get a full manuscript request. Alas, it was found to be lacking. I received the criticism that I expect and dread at the same time, that the writing is 'just not there'. There being a professional quality that would make the novel appealing to a mass market. The next day I received another rejection letter from an agent who I had given up on hearing anything positive back from.

These rejections both inspire the desire to quit and the desire to improve. Unfortunately, my time to write is extremely limited. I'm not sure if Safe Word is destined for the trunk or maybe in a few years when the kids are older I'll be able to devote the time needed to improve it.

Often I doubt my ability to write and my keyboard gets neglected. Then a character starts whispering in my ear 'write me'. I love the craft of writing, I just need a lot more practice and growth to get 'there'.

Thursday
Jan242019

Writing resolutions for 2019

So I'm a little late the new year's writing resolutions. It's a good time to take stock and make goals for the coming year. Life is always so busy and it's easy to put writing on the back burner with a full time job, long commute and two small children. I've got so many writing projects on the go that I hope to complete or advance by the end of the year. It's going to take a small miracle and no end of determination.

Resolutions:

  1. Set aside one hour a week to be out of the house working on writing.
  2. Attend an author talk, writing workshop or conference once a month.
  3. Re-write the sequel for Wolf Creek 2 and submit it.
  4. Publish Safe Word.
  5. Write a nonfiction history of the family farm and Knowlton family.
I've already missed one writing hour due to a sick kid, but I hope to make the time this week. Cynthia Thayer is giving a Novel 101 talk in Belfast this weekend, so I'm getting a jump on #2. Resolution #3 is my main focus for my one hour writing time. I'm not sure that will be enough time to get it in submission shape by the end of the year, but that's the time I've negotiated. I do have a full manuscript request on Safe Word, but if that doesn't pan out I may have to re-write the ending as a romance to open up another market for submissions.
The last resolution has been my research obsession for the last few weeks. I'm at the point where I need to bring the research together into a first draft while I wait on copyright permissions and a variety of contacts to get back to me.
What are your writing goals for 2019?

 

Thursday
Dec272018

Writing romance in the age of #MeToo

My great-grandmothers used to exchange trashy romance novels. The dated covers and titles spoke of the two roles that women were relegated too in early romance novels. They were either pure-hearted virgins who needed a man to make awaken them sexually or scandalous harlots who needed a man to make an honest woman out of them.

I've been reading and writing romance and erotica for over twenty years now. While forbidden romance is always sexy, I'm glad to say goodbye to the two traditional roles for female characters and some horrible romance tropes.

These include:

  1. Women who are passive recipients for the sexual pleasures of men
  2. Men who force themselves on their supposed romantic interest because they cannot control their lust
Consent in romantic fiction is often implied. A good romance author will reveal to the reader the intents and desires of their characters on both - or multiple - sides of the romance. When done poorly, scenes that should be thrilling come off as creepy.
Someone said the only difference between a romance and a horror movie is the score. It's so true. So many romance films involve stalking, obsession and often unprompted displays of physical affection.
Fortunately, romance writing has evolved with the times. I find myself having characters state consent or ask for it explicitly. Done right, it adds to the tension of the scene.
What romance tropes are you ready to leave behind?