Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
So there I was, just taking a leisurely tour through my favorite blogs, peeking into this window and that to see what's new, enlightening, and/or moderately entertaining. I came upon an intriguing batch of posts related to something on Twitter called "#romfail." The term is, from what I read somewhere, a "hash tag"--hence, the hash mark. (Am I right?) Beyond that, I have no freaking clue what a hash tag is.
Now why did I follow any link to Twitter? Why? Curiosity, plain and simple. When I see words like "haters" and "mean girls" and various 'n' sundry insults being bandied about, I smell a Wankfest. And these Internet events can be highly entertaining--as long as you follow them quietly, from the sidelines.
So off I went in search of this apparent Wankfest, because I was in the mood for some chuckles.
Why didn't I know better? Why didn't I remember that trying to follow any-damned-thing on Twitter is like trying to watch a play in which the actors spontaneously dash on and off stage and spout seemingly unrelated lines of monologue with some mystifying bursts of dialogue thrown in?
Then there's the circle-jerk factor. Cliques seem to form around certain high-profile Twitterers or Tweeters or Peeps or whatever the hell they're called. I inadvertently stumbled into one of these. Didn't post anything, of course, because I felt like a homeless person who'd just wandered into an elite club. And, besides, I couldn't figure out what the hell anybody was talking about!
How do the rest of you deal with Twitter? Is there some Twitter Guide to Comprehension I failed to find? Or a secret access code to TwitterSense? I feel as if I should participate--it seems like such a grand party for other authors and readers and reviewers--but every time I step through the door, I feel like the victim of a practical joke.
Yikes. Who dreamt this shit up?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I don't know how this one is going to be received. It's a contemporary, but it might strike some editors as heavy fare due to the theme -- the "ex-gay" movement. Don't know if you're all aware of it or not. It's a truly hideous effort that's been mounted by various conservative, homophobic organizations -- both here and, I think, in the UK -- to turn queers into straights. I tried not to be too ham-handed in my treatment, although it's difficult to underplay the seriousness of this situation, and I believe the protags are engaging. But ya never know with publishers.
So anyway, following is the blurb. Wish me luck!
* * * * *
Hoping further to expose the fallacy of "reparative therapy" for non-heterosexuals, writer Misha Tzerko has enrolled in a week-long program at the Stronger Wings Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas. He's already lost his long-term boyfriend to the ex-gay movement, and for the sake of his own closure as well as his job at Options magazine, Misha hopes to get an inside look at the nondenominational ministry established by C. Everett Hammer III.
Contentedly gay, Misha has always been a player -- except when he committed to his only real relationship. But when Robbie abandoned him for straight life complete with wife, Misha's promiscuity began to peak as his emotional landscape flattened.
That’s all about to change. Misha is shocked and dismayed to see another man from his past at Stronger Wings, a man with whom he’d had two brief but captivating encounters. Although Misha knows he can’t save every registrant in the Stronger Wings program, he becomes determined to save Jude Stone.
No matter what it takes.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
- the formation of a timeline, since trying to determine which seemingly insignificant, supposedly revelatory event takes place two days, ten days, or two weeks into the story (So far, there's a lot of zigging and zagging.)
- some pruning of the lush prose and long and winding sentences, which often leave me breathless in an unpleasant way
- suspension of disbelief re. the narrator's age (I'm having trouble remembering this is a 17-year-old boy and not Michael Caine's character from the movie Educating Rita.)
- action and/or more than a few lines of dialogue at a time
- sex (God, popular fiction has made me one shallow and impatient plebe!)
I'm intrigued enough to keep going, though, and hope this book's saving graces do indeed save it. (Yes, it has many saving graces, but they're swamped by authorial self-indulgence.) I also hope I don't have to slog through one more dissection and microscopic analysis of the breezy farewell, "Later!" I'd never realized how nuanced it could be. But now that my brain is glutted on its nuances, I could use a break.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm sure the shift in my reading and writing tastes has something to do with this -- I've developed a deep appreciation for m/m fiction, little of which is explored by the major blogs -- but there's also something of the "Old Guard" versus the "New Guard" at play here.
Frankly, I couldn't care less about Harlequin's various lines. Category romance has never appealed to me. Even a lot of the non-HQN romance print titles have a category "feel," which means I'm not interested in those, either. E-book publishers have, as far as I'm concerned, been putting out the most compelling fiction.
Yeah, okay, there's plenty of derivative material issued by e-publishers, as well, and quality can be hit-or-miss. But I find so much more variety in their output, so much more explorative risk-taking, whether serious or lighthearted, that reading an e-pubbed book has become much more of an adventure than reading the safe and predictable stuff that's sandwiched between two paper covers.
Ever more frequently, I find myself groaning and beating a hasty retreat whenever I click onto a post that has to do with some Harlequin or Big NY Print Publisher release. I'm sick of seeing the same names turn up, sick of the whole RWA/RT mindset that lauds workmanlike (i.e., boring) writing, cardboard-cutout characters, and connect-the-dots plotlines. I'm REALLY sick of standard heroes and heroines, including and especially the new breed of chick who's sexy, sensitive, and self-assuredly violent, all at once. ("Oh shit, do I want to be Paris Hilton or Vin Diesel? Guess I'll be both!")
Spare me, forever, the kickass heroine, whom I find just as revolting as the TSTL heroine!
Anyway, I can't help but wonder if there's a division forming in Romanceland, if certain bloggers/reviewers will continue to give more space, time, and credence to works originally published in print rather than works originally published in pdf, or to m/f fiction rather than other types of pairings/groupings. Will the lip service they pay to e-publishing and to GLBT romance ever be accompanied by genuine respect (for publishers other than Samhain, that is)? Or is the mainstream becoming increasingly more distanced from its tributaries?
Are we going our separate ways?
JMHP (just my humble puzzling)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So please stop by to celebrate quality smut for the discriminatingly oversexed. Your comments will, as always, be welcomed! (Click on the post title to get there, but don't expect to see me until Friday.)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Hell, no. Better! (BTW, you'll have to visit Jenre's blog to find out who Castanet Feldman is. Truthfully, though, it isn't worth the bother, although Jen has a great blog.)
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I'm resurrecting this topic because two of my publishers have recently made mention of a heavy influx of submissions over the summer, resulting in big additions to their stables. What does this mean?