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    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.

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

    Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairytale.

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    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 
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    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

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    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

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    Coming Back
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    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

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    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

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    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


    Print-on-demand paperback

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    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


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.


'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


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.


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'.