Portrait Torture

#portrait #phobia #hermit #MFRWauthor #MRWauthor
Hi Folks!
My latest short-blog entry is one I’m anxious to share, kind of like a support group, where you tell your story and others commiserate. I know I’m not alone in this “portrait torture.” Authors are reclusive by nature. We have to be. Stealing large chunks of alone-time is the only way we’re going to draft a novel.
And what happens when all you have to do is shuffle from your bed to the coffee pot to the computer? You do it without a thought to your outward appearance. In fact, when a story hijacks your brain and the “real” world ceases to exist, the only body you have is your fingers, flicking away on the keyboard.
Face? What writer has a face? There’s just a hole where you pour coffee into your bloodstream.
Then my publisher tells me I need to use an actual photograph of myself this time. No more hiding behind an avatar, no more biographies where I leave my readers imagining what I look like. Readers want to KNOW what I look like. I have no clue why. My face isn’t writing my stories, my brain is, and who wants to look at that squishy thing?

Torture tools of the trade.

Torture tools of the trade.

Well, I sucked it up and hired a photographer. Someone who makes a living forcing people into unnatural stances topped off with a grimace.

Okay, that’s just my opinion about how things went down. My photographer was a real trooper. She was a Picasso trying to paint with crayons, but she managed with a real smile on her face.
An eon, an epoch, and a dead dinosaur later, we were finished. I was alive. So was she, but just barely. I wasn’t an easy subject to work with. Not that I was a diva, but hell, my face does not do public.
At any rate, when my next novel, Love In Stone comes out May/June 2016, my mug will be on the back cover. Go check it out, if only to make that torture session worth it!

~S.C. Dane


#editing #romance #new release
When blogging, I’m supposed to say something witty and/or engaging. Not right now, I can’t. I just finished doing final edits on my May/June release of “Lover In Stone” and my brain is fuh-ried. Not that the book needed a shit-ton of rework, it’s just that I’ve read the manuscript now a total of 1,000,000 and one times. Gotta get it perfect for my readers, you know.

Sneak peek at the cover:

Lover In Stone_FNL

~S. C. Dane

Short Blogging

#ranching #writing #monsters and sex

Click for pic:

Love to write, but I’m not going to come up with formal essays every week. Ain’t happening. I’d rather put that brain power into my latest WIP (Work in Progress). I’ve only got so many hours in a day and so many brain cells to burn out. Not to mention, working on a ranch, I’ve only got so many inclinations to sit in front of my computer rather than sit astride a four-legged beastie. Better to use that ass-in-a-chair-time wisely.
Such as on my latest novel, or touching base with readers.
So, I’m going short.
Today, calves are coming left, right, and sideways. There’s barely time to deal with them, let alone write some structure-perfect essay. Used my ACT (ass chair time) adding apps and such to my Facebook author page, so now it’s off to the corrals…

S.C. Dane


#endoftheworld #weird

Nothing crazier than a shithouse rat…or is there?

I got this in the mail the other day. At first, the linked words didn’t make sense. I had to read it a couple of times, wondering if maybe Joe Jesus missed the typos.


By the third round, the message finally dawned. As did the realization that there are indeed things in this world loonier than rodents who like to hang out in outdoor bathrooms.

I mean, come on:


But then, I got thinking: What if these folks know something I don’t. Eventually, the sari wearing dude on the sidewalk proclaiming the End is Near! is going to be right. Kind of the way a broken watch is right twice a day.

Therefore, I’ll forego judgment. Granted, I’m gonna laugh my ass off, but I won’t judge. It takes all kinds of people to make our world go round. And if this planet decides to blow, we now know who will be getting the last laugh.

~S.C. Dane



#quills #foal

NOTHING hurts worse than this:

…discovered during my quest for nothing.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Someone pick my nose, puh-leeaase!



More Nothing

#words #math #oxforddictionary #nothing #satisfaction #funny


As a writer, I’m a word junkie. I crave words, get high from their meanings. Unlike math and numbers, writing and words are like Silly Putty® They can be stretched and played with, their definitions malleable.

I could give you examples, but the list would be as long as…the Oxford Dictionary. The English language is a mutt, a crossbreed who continues to change to this day. Such fun!

Now, I can give you an example of the fun. In my quest for Nothing I came across this website: http://www.nothing.net/index.html

The owners of this website sell ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Check it out:


We know that you work hard for your money, so we are working overtime to develop our customer image. We’ll do nothing to help you right from the start. If you don’t like our service, we’ll do nothing until we get it right. Anyone can offer nothing, but we’ll deliver. Others may stop at nothing to get a satisfied customer, but to us nothing is just the beginning.

This is just one example of the funny business of Nothing going on at this website. There is plenty more in the fun department over there. So if you just need a smile or chuckle for the day, I recommend the visit.

Thank you to the makers of Nothing. Find Nothing at http://www.nothing.net/index.html


~S.C. Dane

A Blog About Nothing

A Blog About Nothing

#nothing #Oxfam #poverty #NelsonMandela

As a published author of paranormal romance novels, I’m supposed to blog as part of my promotion platform. You know, fling my author brand out into the virtual universe and hope for sales of my books.


That’s all I’m going to say about my feelings on that.

Because I don’t have enough of an ego to profess about my craft, or my author’s life, blabbity, blah, blah. I mean, who cares. Readers just want to read my books, right?

So, now the problem. How to hold up my end of the contract with my publisher by writing for the public on a regularly scheduled basis.

Aside from posting another serial, I was coming up with nothing.

And then, I’m washing my hair. You know, working my fingers into my scalp, loving the smell of my ‘poo turning into scented steam from the shower, and Ding, ding, ding!


I can write about nothing.

I Googled it, and got some surprising results. So, here I go. Keeping my author’s presence breathing and kicking in the digital universe.

Nothing: Nothing is a pronoun denoting the absence of anything. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness.[1] In nontechnical uses, nothing denotes things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance, or significance.[1] Nothingness is the state of being nothing,[2] the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing. (Wikipedia)

I, however, disagree. Here’s reason why #1: http://youneednothing.com/

Check it out. It’s a black or white rectangular block. An entire website devoted to the sale of it. Yet, the proceeds are for more noble. They go to Oxfam.org, a worldwide organization devoted to ending poverty. Which is where the real story of my delving into nothingness lies. Here is just one section of Oxfam’s motivating site:

Nelson Mandela said, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” Whoever you are, you are critical to the global movement for change.

It then goes on to tell the stories of people all over the world who are doing their part, no matter how small, no matter how humble.

Well, there you have it. My blog post about nothing. A surprise twist that started with nothing, but ended with something…as big as the world.

Stay tuned next week for nugget #2 of what it means to be nothing.

~S.C. Dane

S.C. Dane is the author of The Luna Chronicle, and No Little Thing. She has started a new series about sexy, tormented Gargoyles, which makes its debut in the summer of 2016.



Friends: furry or…


#bestfriends #dogs #smiles

Two warm-blooded friends are sitting in the room you walk into. One of them has fur and wags his tail. The other one nods and says, “Hi.” Which one are you going to go over to, and touch with a smile?

~S.C. Dane

Accessing Your Inner Beast

Identifying with Shifters #fur #reading #shifterromance #escape

Last week I talked about camouflage, and how there is an inner beast prowling inside some of us that we won’t let out. For various reasons, and all of them personal. And visceral. But, I’m getting sidetracked already, thinking about guts. Because that’s leading to…See? Sidetracked.

What I want to talk about this week is how when that inner beast gets poked at its damned hard to keep her passive.
So, please forgive me as I stand here as Captain Obvious and announce: We read paranormal romance novels for the pleasure of it. What, you want to know, does reading books you love have to do with our own hidden animals?
Because when it comes to reading the subgenre of Shifter Romance, I think we read it for the escape. From un-reality, my friends. The world most would call normal…isn’t. For those of us who don’t fit into it, the “un-real” world is a confining and confusing space. With waaay too many rules many of us just can’t understand. Or tolerate.
So, we escape to places that do make sense. Sure, some call them fictional. Let them. By now, those of us who claw at the steel of our invisible cages are used to being patronized. Being accustomed to something doesn’t mean we like it, though. We’re baring our fangs, lifting our hackles. But being the awesome, adaptable creatures we are, we camouflage it.
But, man oh man! Wouldn’t it be AWESOME to really show your teeth?
Being the author of my…I’m gonna call them get-aways, I get to create scenes that let me vent. You know, like something happened with some humans, and I so, so wanted to clutch their throats in my jaws. Thrash ‘em around a bit, make them see sense.
Instead of acting on my instincts, I hide my true nature, and retreat to my keyboard. Here’s a scene from my book Kenrickey to show you what I mean:

I shuffled to Hersey’s office at his request when class was over.
“God, Ken, you look like hell.”
I stared at him.
“Er,” Hersey cleared his throat. “Well, then.” He rubbed his hands together like he was cold, or nervous. “The reason I wanted to see you–”
“Stay the fuck away from my house.”
He shut up, his guilt blooming on his cheeks.
The rush of blood to his face stirred me, awakened the predator within and I crept forward, my muscles shivering tensely, aching to hurt him. I stopped when our toes nearly touched, then followed my nose toward his neck, where his fear puffed in whiffs from his quickening pulse. I leaned back to lock his eyes with mine. “Come near my property again, I will personally cut your legs off and throw them in the river.”
“I didn’t-I wasn’t—”
I arched an eyebrow at his stuttering lies.
I raised my hand to point at his chest and the pussy flinched. “Don’t ever beckon me to your office again, Mark. I’ll come when I think it’s necessary, and not before.”
I turned my back on the pathetic crumb, and left the building without waiting for his reply. ~Kenrickey: Book Three of the Luna Chronicle

See? Of course, there is a ton of pre-story to this scene. Ken is being sucked into the world of wolf shifters with some strange and fearsome side effects. But I think the scene shows the gist of what I’m talking about. Sometimes, you just want to show a liiiitle of that beast inside you. Let just enough shimmer to the surface so the one you’re confronting feels your intensity.
I think of scenes like this in all my books when my hackles are up and I want to shred someone a new a**hole. Don’t you? When you find yourself in these situations, do you remember a shifter character you’ve read about, and picture yourself in their stead? Or imagine yourself adopting their can’t-give-two-shits attitudes when it’s going to kill you to roll over one goddamned more time?
Me, too. It’s why I love to read shifter romance, and love to write it even more. When problems surface, I find myself thinking what would Kenrickey do? 
How about you? Is there a favorite character you fall back on to get you out of crappy situations?

Thanks for getting what I’m talking about. There’s nothing scholarly, or particularly rational about this post. I’m just sharing. And, hopefully, letting you know you’re not alone in there.
Enjoy your day. Shake your fur. It needs fluffing.

~S.C. Dane is a paranormal romance novelist with four books to her credit, and two in the works.

Confessions of a romance writer: An animal in human skin

Confessions of a paranormal romance author: Animal in a Human’s Skin #furry #freak #wolf #creativity #writing #excerpts

Camouflage is French for “mind your own business.” ~Anonymous (I don’t know who came up with this. I heard a friend say it, and thought it so clever he couldn’t possibly have thought it up himself. But if he did? My apologies. And hats off to you, K.B.)

Don’t you ever wonder where your imagination comes from? Why the fancies of one person’s mind can vary so greatly from another’s. Each one taking on a specific slant, a perspective leaning in a constant direction.
Like the too-close-for-comfort preternatural dramas of Stephen King, or the complicated sagas of JRR Tolkein. Both writers reveal a pattern, a legend to the maps of their minds’ inventiveness.
What does this tell me? It tells me that our imaginations are linked to our essential cores. That they are linked to who we are on the inside.
No matter what we look like on the outside.
What I mean is, yeah, we can look perfectly human, but there’s something else curled deep and safe inside of us: the inner self which can be truer to who we are than our own skins.
For some of us, that skin is camouflage. It doesn’t represent who we are on the inside. I mean, do you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and get taken aback? As if the image in the glass isn’t what you expected to see?
Or that maybe inside your hands, when you look down at them, there is something aching to push out?
Happens to me. Which is how my first book came about. I dared to cage my insecurities and stepped a tentative toe onto the damning evidence of the page. Where the written word transformed itself into the accusing finger, giving the “normal” public a chance to scoff and malign the creatures escaping my imagination.
Since it was my first story, I stuck to the cardinal rule of authors: write what you know.
Still shy and afraid, I wrote in privacy, guarding my computer screen while I transported the animals inside me to the brutal exposure of the open page
This is how Beth was born. A woman living in human society. A woman out of touch with that society. Yeah, she blended okay, but there was always something others were put off by.
Always something she was put off by, but couldn’t quite put her finger on.
That’s me. I live with humans, but too often find myself saying, “What the fuck?”
Because I don’t get people.
Neither does Beth. Since I couldn’t do anything about myself, I saved her.
I conjured a wolf-man to come and show her where her real world was.
Wishful thinking? You bet!

From Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle by S.C. Dane:

Sunrise found me in my usual spot in front of the picture window, sipping my coffee and gazing at my reflection as I fantasized about the stranger named Alec. I was running into him a lot, and he seemed to be searching me out as often as I was looking for him. No guy or teenage horny-toad had ever pursued me, not even out of curiosity. So, why didn’t I find the whole situation unusual?
Because this man’s interest stirred me like I’d only dreamed about. I wanted him. Scratch that. I craved him. Hell, I was getting goose-bumps just sitting in my chair thinking about him. It was all I could do to keep myself from throwing my virginity at him.
So, I had to be careful. I had no experience in this sort of thing, and I sure as shit didn’t want to scare him off with my weirdness. Forget that I thought the guy could be a wolf. That was just me fantasizing again. The reality was that I was the freak, so if Alec found me interesting, I was going to have to act as normal as I could muster. Which meant not stalking him like a hungry predator.

This is a scene from when Beth still thought she was human. Before she learned there were wolf-people and she was one of them. At this time in the story, she thinks she’s a freak because she just doesn’t think like the people around her. She prefers spending her time in the woods. It’s the only place where she feels closest to her “real” self, without understanding why.
Like many of us, she has to put on a mask to get through her day. She has to pretend to “get” the rules of human interaction. Only in the primordial cradle of the forests does she slough her mask, to run and play with wild abandon.
For Beth, these private sojourns into the woods are necessary to her spiritual survival.
As they are for mine. I need to touch the earth with my bare feet or I’ll go bat shit. Know what I mean? Or can you keep your beast happy without leaving the city walls? If you can, I’d love to know how.

I’ll share more of Luna, Beth, and a romance writer’s private inner workings later. If you want to read more about Beth, be one of the first to comment, and I’ll send you a free, signed copy of Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle. Or check out another female misfit in the serial I published here on my blog. Titled Wolf Love, it’s free for the reading.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

~S.C. Dane