Tag Archives: Pen Names

Ah, WP statistics, you make me wonder sometimes…

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 10.09.49 AMThe screenshot to the left shows what google searches have led people to my blog. I didn’t include the numbers to the side, but I found this one kind of interesting and kind of creepy. The top search item was for my daughter. She’s off at college and doing her own blog and her own NaNoWriMo project, and I am guessing that people are looking her up to check out her work. I like that idea, and refuse to entertain the notion that there’s anything sinister going on.

The fact that people are looking for recipes for quince liquor/booze is interesting. I’ve blogged repeatedly about quince. In past years I have posted pictures featuring quince jelly, membrillo, quince caramels, and, yes, quince liquor. Last year I used Everclear to soak up the flavor of quince, mixed it with quince syrup and let the flavors meld. Since I don’t drink, I’ve limited myself to tasting it to make sure it’s not utterly foul. It’s not. So, I’ve bottled it and given it away as gifts. This year, I limited myself to four batches of (REALLY GOOD) quince jelly, a huge batch of membrillo, and a half gallon of quince infused Everclear soon to be liquor. The rest of the quince were sold to my favorite Basque restaurant (The Harvest Vine) and to a few friends who wanted them. The fact that anyone knows what quince are is somewhat unusual, that people are looking up recipes is heartening. I once pitched a quince specific cookbook to a prominent New York agent. She loved the idea but agreed the audience would be too small for it to be a profitable endeavor. My mission is to spread the word about the fabulous fruit.

Every October I get a lot of hits for the Plague Doctor costume mask–sometimes upward of 20. I love the image of a flashmob doing something fun with all those masks out there. The last two searches had me cracking up. The skilcraft blog post I wrote a while ago remains one of the top links to my blog–several hundred over the course of a year. I am guessing people are looking to buy the pens, but maybe they were searching for the same information I was when they entered “Skilcraft” into their search engine.

The search for my pen name is a first. I haven’t seen it before. Usually people ask me directly if they can read my erotica and where to find it. I have one friend who asked for a hint because he thought it was a fun puzzle to figure it out. I gave him the name of a couple of editors who have included my work in their books, and I hope he’s enjoying all the reading it would take to figure it out. One editor I work with has a dozen or more anthologies, the other even more. At this point, I don’t have anything out that is published solely under my pen name–just short stories in compilations. I’m not embarrassed by the content, but I am…circumspect about sharing the info. Something about my young adult nephews/nieces reading my smut sort of squiggs me out. If you want my pen name, and I think you can handle the content and recognize my characters are not me (or my husband!!) then, I’ll likely give it to you. I just don’t hand it out willy-nilly. And, frankly, it bothers me WAY more to find searches under my pen name looking for “real identity of…….”

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Double Duty NaNoWriMo

For various reasons that I know I won’t be able to fully articulate, I’m admitting my own insanity in public. Maybe it’s an underlying egomania that wants you all to know just how hard I really am working at this writing “thing” this month.As a matter of fact, the number of words you see for my NaNoWriMo ticker is actually roughly double that. Yes. I’m writing TWO projects during the month of November. For a variety of reasons, I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I split myself in two and honestly went at work on two projects with my two different writing personae.

The first project I can talk about openly and freely because it’s a literary fiction piece that involves a regular sort of person dealing with extraordinary events in her life. Her husband is in an accident and put in a coma for twelve weeks. During those twelve weeks she has quite a few personal ups and downs, though I’m not yet sure what they will all be as I’m still just writing that. The story will ultimately focus on the time after her husband has returned home and is re-entering family life. My sixteen year old rolled her eyes and told me something to the effect that it had to be literary fiction because it was depressing and serious. She continued with telling me that everything I write is disturbing.

That was certainly the case for the novel I wrote two years ago that is on an editing hiatus. I got the insight I needed to fix it a while ago, but haven’t gotten around to opening it up and re-writing the entire novel from a different point of view and in retrospective instead of current time. This approach fixes that whole pesky “Unreliable Narrator” problem I was having trying to write about a teenager going through a heartbreaking and self-destructive time.

The other novel I’m writing is under a different name that, so far, only my hubby and a friend or two know. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me well that I am interested in writing romantic smut. Okay, okay, the term I prefer is “erotica” because it’s well written and there is a story to what I write. But, the last thing I really want to have happen is for someone to do a search on the Rockenbeck last name and have it connected with such overtly adult material. Let’s say it’s somewhere between the low-level Harlequin Blaze program and Anne Rice’s Beauty series in it’s level of content.

I find myself wanting to be in the open about this somewhat covert activity more keenly because of the recent elections. My mind has been a-whirl with some of the campaign rhetoric of people who scare the hell out of me on any number of levels. I know that a lot of people made fun of Christine O’Donnell when she put up the commercial declaring “I’m not a Witch, I’m just like You.” Well, no, ma’am you most certainly are not just like me. I’m far more concerned with her up-tight Victorian-era rigidity and fear of sex and can no longer stay completely mum about my own views on the subject. (See this link for more…)

Unless people like me–normal Americans with homes, families, two cats, two cars and a garage admit that sex (and even “GASP” masturbation) is part of our normal daily lives, people like that are just going to gain ground politically and socially. Their anti-sex, fear mongering, anti-homosexual, anti-freedom rhetoric is cloaked by their use of the American flag and their so-called claims to God and country.

I, for one, am sick of it. So, every once in a while, I will make references here and there to my other, still mostly closeted persona. And, I won’t be afraid to mention sex here. No worries about me getting graphic on wordpress, but neither will I be utterly complicit by my continued silence.

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