Monday, September 29, 2014

National Coffee Day: 5 Coffee Factoids about Voss Foster

It's today you know.

There are a handful of literary holidays, observances, and celebrations out there. Banned Books Week. NaNoWriMo. Edgar Allan Poe's birthday (January 19th). Edgar Allan Poe's deathday (October 7th).

But, to many a writer, there is no more important day than National Coffee Day. September 29th. Free coffee at some of the big chains (Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks), and some of the smaller local shops (Unfortunately none of them in my town, but life does go on... theoretically.).

So, in celebration of this most glorious day, and as an occasional worshiper at the Church of the Immaculate Roast (Praise be to the grower, and to the roaster, and to the French press.), I want to share my coffee preferences with y'all. Just a few.

1: I may be a Washington native, but Starbucks is not my first choice for coffee. At all. I prefer The Hardback Cafe. If you haven't been, give it a try.

2: If you ever have to make me a cup of coffee (for whatever reason), it's three sugars and four creams.

3: My favorite coffee mug, a gift from Andy Jensen over at Pigs and Mirrors (sorry about the image quality):



4: When I'm at home, I like my coffee simple. Not that I have an issue with fancy coffee... but my wallet does. I go straight for the Folger's Black Silk, and that runs through my $8 Wal~Mart coffee maker.

5: I once drank so much coffee I got actual, factual caffeine poisoning.

How about you? Any coffee stories to share? Favorite way to have it? Thoughts on flavored coffee? Latte? Espresso? I can talk about this subject for days.

And don't forget to subscribe!

Voss

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Writer Roundup: Tomato.es



Last year during NaNoWriMo, my Co-ML came up with an ingenious method to make our Nanites work their tails off. She started us off sprinting. Short bursts of writing (10-20 minutes) intermixed with 5-10 minute breaks. It was a way to show the Nanites who were 'too busy' that they only needed to devote an hour or two a day, whenever they could get it in. Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there. Turns out, of course, that it wasn't an original idea, but she hadn't heard of it when she came up with it, so it was a totally awesome little brain-baby.



Well, I found something just as good, and it has it's own website. Today, I bring you the Pomodoro Technique, and a free supporting website, Tomato.es. The basis of Pomodoro is to increase productivity with the same basic principles that make sprinting work: concentrated periods of work, interspersed with regular breaks.

You work for twenty-five minutes, then mark off that twenty-five minute work session and move on to a five minute break. After four sets of twenty-five, you take a fifteen minute break. And it's that simple. It sounds a little strange, but it really works. Not only do you write words, but you condition yourself to write a lot of words in a short amount of time. I mean, you only have twenty-five minutes to work right now. You can't rely on more. So you'd better bang out some words. When you then don't use the Pomodoro Technique, you'll find that you're writing words faster in general, hence increasing overall productivity.

It's that simple. And the Internet is full of so many ways to work it. There are even apps you can download to help you, such as Pomodroido, Pomodoro Timer, and the desktop compatible, and very unobtrusive Tomighty. Or , of course, you can do it the simple and cheap way and just watch the clock, or use one of the thousand online timers out there. But if you, like me, would rather cut back on your workload as much as possible, and you have access to the Internet, you'll be best off with Tomato.es.


Voss

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Big Reveal

I think it's time for this. It's been a long time coming, but I think it's really, truly time to make the final announcement.

See, I live a double life. The one you've seen, Voss Foster's life, is the one that most people see. It's basically accurate, minus a few personal details I would simply rather not share. But everyone has those.

However, there's a whole separate life that I've been... not hiding, but certainly not making clearly public information.

I am Raven de Hart, author of gay erotica and erotic romance. Since the inclusion of her as a pen name, I have kept it mostly on the down low. My writer and reader friends know, for the most part, but that's about where it ends.

Until today. I made a statement about it on the Torquere Twitter account this morning, and just put up a corroborating statement on my Twitter account. So it's out in the open. I am a singular person, yes. But I have two brands, for lack of a better term. This way, no one accidentally picks up a steamy erotic book, not expecting it from Voss Foster. And it works in reverse--they know that, if it says Raven de Hart on the cover, it's not going to be PG.

So there it is: the secret is out in the open. I feel liberated: no more hiding anything, now. I am free. We are free?

There's freedom, at any rate.

Voss