Friday, December 31, 2010

Some New Year's Love


Brought to you by me, via Mr. January. (You know I like my cookies dunked!)

This is going to sound more like a Thanksgiving Day post, but...eh, so what. New Year's Day is a good time to reflect.

Although none of my books has yet found its way into DIKdom, some are finally turning up on Favorites of the Year lists. Good golly, Miss Molly! I didn't think it was possible! So...my very deepest gratitude to Lisa at Michele 'n' Jeff Reviews for picking not one, not two, but three of my stories for her top fifteen. Lisa chose The Prayer Waltz, Electric Melty Tingles, and Mongrel. And I must shave off a slice of that gratitude for Jeff Erno at the same site; Jeff chose Fugly. I'm truly honored. (I'm also glad the folks at MnJ highlighted some books and authors I hadn't heard of before instead of coughing up predictable "yeah, yeah, what else is new?" picks. I love discovering new-to-me voices.)

Many profound thanks as well to Val Kovalin at Obsidian Bookshelf for recommending some of my titles this past year in her m/m fiction feature for All Romance eBooks' Wildfire newsletter. Val's support has bowled me over.

Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos has allowed me to offer my new releases as giveaways (in fact, there's a giveaway for precious_boy going on right now). I don't consider this a small feat. Even though Chris is the Queen of Links, setting up these listings requires an investment of time and effort, and that should never be taken for granted. Thank you, too, Lily, Lynn, and Jen (and a slew of people at Goodreads), for reviewing my books. It's always nice to see someone is paying attention! ;-)

I haven't been much of a blog hopper over the past year, but I couldn't have made it through each week without a dose of laughter from Tam and thought-provoking observations (!) from Kris.

What can I say about my author pals? Not enough. Aside from being talented writers, Wren and Kitty and Clare are a joy in every way -- insanely bright, funny, insightful, and kind. Oh, and hugs to Se for her unsolicited consideration in alerting me to things I wouldn't otherwise have noticed (like that CAPA nom). And then there are those selfless authors who've sent me personal messages just to let me know they've liked my work. (I'm not going to name them, but I hope they know who they are. Getting compliments from one's peers is a uniquely heady experience for any writer -- and for me, a boost to my often flagging confidence!)

I was also graced with superb publishers and phenomenal cover art in 2010. Although, contrary to popular belief, I did nothing to deserve the fruits of Anne Cain's and Christine Griffin's genius . . . I want more! :-D

So, dear people, may the New Year rain blessings on your lives. You all enriched my life in 2010.

(P.S. to my alma mater, whose football team made it into the Rose Bowl this year -- you suck!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction

An author friend clued me in that I've been nominated in the Favorite Erotic Author category of The Romance Studio's 2010 CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Awards) competition. TRS describes the CAPAs as "awards given by The Romance Studio for excellence in romantic and erotic fiction." (Click on post title to read more.)

Huh?

I have no idea how this happened, because, in all honesty, I know I'm not anybody's absolutenumberonefavorite author, but I think the nominations have something to do with TRS's reviews over the past year. I'm flattered but...

Huh?

The fact that few romance readers have even heard of me will not exactly make me a strong contender (heh -- that, and the authors I'm "up against," like Cameron Dane, Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Jaci Burton, Samantha Kane, Shiloh Walker, etc.)

Actually, the more I think about it . . .


Animated Pictures Myspace Comments

(Ai-yai-yai . . . contests.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Next Week, Different Channel

Please join me on Tuesday at Reviews by Jessewave, the largest m/m fiction review-and-discussion site (I'm pretty sure, anyway), as I ponder these two things:





Thursday, December 16, 2010

Patchwork


Dreamspinner accepted Visible Friend (my story involving a recovering heroin addict) and will be publishing it in April.

Abercrombie Zombie is proceeding, but at a shamble. :-) Jackson and Adin are calling to me again. A sequel to Mongrel is calling to me . . . faintly. My impression so far is that people aren't too interested in the book, and I'd probably be better off sticking to contemporaries. My imagination hopes I'm wrong.

I'll be a guest blogger-opinionator at Wave's on the 21st, although I'm not sure what topic to tackle. (Go ahead and throw ideas at me if you have 'em!)

The following was ganked from Etienne at the Dreamspinner authors loop:

Many people who chat on the Internet and use text messaging tend to overlook the "art" of capitalization. They shouldn't. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

Heh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goodreads Snorting

Oh, lordy. Last night I sat here for two-plus hours wheezing suppressed laughter (suppressed, because JLA had gone to bed) over reviews at Goodreads. Mind you, the assessments I came across were for hugely popular bestsellers. No GR snark is going to have any measurable effect on these authors' careers. So I let myself be amused with a guilt-free conscience. (Actually, most of the reviews tickled me because of the way they were phrased, not because they were scathing -- although some were scathing and hilarious.)

What made me check out the responses to these books was a post at Katrina Strauss's blog. I've read the Glen David Gold novel, Carter Beats the Devil, but wanted to see what others thought of it. I've heard of but haven't read Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, so wanted to satisfy my curiosity about that one, as well.

OMG! Buwahahahahahaha!

Here, first, are some comments about Carter Beats the Devil. Mr. Gold's book, a whimsical bit of historical/biographical fiction, has a higher overall rating than his wife's, which was vilified as much as it was praised. (I liked Gold's clever novel very much -- smooth writing, fascinating subject matter grounded in meticulous research, droll humor -- but agreed with readers who felt it was overpopulated with characters as well as subplots and, as a result, got bogged down in the middle.)

  • ...my disbelief got tired of being suspended and just came in and crashed the party. [ROFLMFAO! The best line I've ever read in a review!]

  • This is another one of those books with a cover so intriguing that I always pick it up whenever I see it, only to put it back down after reading the description on the back cover and finding it not to my liking, then immediately forget that I was ever interested in the book at all, until the next time I see it, when I do it all over again.

  • Wow...that took me two WEEKS to get through. Either it was a very meaty book or I was very busy.

  • ...the Gaimenosity of this book scored very low... [I assume this reader is a fan of Neil Gaiman. Otherwise, the comment makes no sense.]

  • I found the 500 pages more than I wanted to know about life in the community of magicians so I stopped at page 194. Worth reading, however. [???]

  • Magic is indeed magic. The Prohibition was also kinda magic. Blind people are magic too.

  • Maybe he'll write a book about clowns next.

  • Like other man-authored sprawling novels with lots of characters (mostly men), this book starts out strong but meanders a lot in the middle (metaphor for life!)

  • I don’t know why, but for some reason I find magicians inherently creepy. Ergo, I didn’t enjoy, nor did I finish, this book.

And now, for Ms. Sebold's reviews:

  • One book, two rapes. How's that for a bargain? I almost said three rapes, but then I remembered that I was a consenting adult and did indeed willingly part with my ten bucks...

  • This was the book that made me realise the serious flaw in the theory that if lots of people you see on the tube are reading a book, it must be good. I would say with some confidence that this is the worst book I've ever read in my entire life. The only thing that kept me going to the end was sheer bloody-mindedness; a determination not to be defeated by any book no matter how brain-deflatingly awful it is. That said, the endless cloying sentimentality in this almost made me throw it in the bin on several occasions, and it contains the single worst simile I've ever encountered in an entire lifetime of book-reading: "Her heart, like an ingredient in a recipe, was reduced."
    [Here, by the way, are other horrendous similes mentioned by different readers: “Her pupils dilated, pulsing in and out like small, ferocious olives.” And the subsequent comment: What does that even mean? What the hell? Did she actually think this was good writing?
    “The tears came like a small relentless army approaching the front lines of her eyes. She asked for coffee and toast in a restaurant and buttered it with her tears.” Another bit of commentary followed this quote, but I neglected to copy it. It was funny, though.]

  • I only finished it so that no one could pull the old "But it gets better..." on me. It does not.

  • So over-the-top melodramatic I almost lost my lunch... twice. I should have known better: NYT bestseller list + Oprah recommended = ptewy!

  • I got about halfway through it, but only because I was listening to the audio version.

  • If you like this book, then you hate literature. It's that simple. I'm not joking. Do not read this book.

  • I HATED this book. Truly. I read it on a flight and I disliked it SO GREATLY that when I finally landed home at PDX, I threw it away in the women's bathroom, rather than trying to sell it at Powell's or giving to an unsuspecting friend.

  • So why is this innocent girl who died before her time using her best friend's body to have sex with her boyfriend on earth? Who the fuck does that? And who the fuck is okay with that? I don't care if the friend was okay with it, that's still fucking sick. And that Suzie would even think of and go along with the idea was just fucking... ew. Was it meant to be tragic and romantic? Because that was just disgusting. Also, Suzie, you're dating one hell of a fucked up guy if he's also okay with doing something like that.
  • I think I'll read books by people who have brains in their head from now on. One star was far too high a rating. Minus a star would be far too high a rating.

  • 'Anguish Porn'

  • ...Anyone who finds Sebold to be an artful manipulator of prose or finds the last 50 pages of this book to be narratively or intellectually satisfying cannot possibly be playing with a full deck.

  • ...a heaping pile of unrealistic suburban vignettes that read like a watered down soap opera...

  • If Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks had an awkward romp on the set of CSI: Pennsylvania circa 1973, this book would be their love child.

  • Sebold's concept of heaven takes cliche to a new level. It doesn't even try to stretch the boundaries of an infantile concept of the afterlife, which is limited to the fulfillment of sensory pleasures. Really? All you can think of is that the air smells pretty and there are lots of puppies?

  • The only way I could finish it was to turn the speed up to 2x on my player, so I could listen really fast.

  • I am trying to make sure my review doesn't sound like I guzzled two quarts of hateraid, so bear that in mind. I hated this lame piece of crap. Seriously, I get why the world wanted this kind of book, but I really don't get why it's become this omghugebestseller.

  • I'm not a book burner but I considered it. Granted, this is my roommate's book, so that would have been a dick move.

Now I'm laughing all over again! People sure do take their reading matter seriously.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bits 'n' Bobs


I'd intended to post this sooner, but other developments intervened. Two respected online reviewers have started up a site devoted exclusively to reviews of m/m short fiction (20k words and less, I believe; correct me if I'm wrong, Tam or Jen). Click here to check out Brief Encounters. These ladies are devoted and astute readers.

My birthday present to myself arrived today -- a PRINT COPY (ahhhhh) of The Markhat Files by Frank Tuttle. I absolutely adore this man's writing. It isn't m/m, but it isn't really m/f either, so I don't have to endure scenes full of those horrible euphemisms for aroused female genitalia and secondary sex organs. And I don't have to endure that vile "c" word preceded by a host of nauseating adjectives like "dripping" and "gushing." (Be still, my stomach!) The book arrived just in time, too, since a whopping, big-ass blizzard possibly packing 12+ inches of snow is predicted for tomorrow.

I also recently revisited Sleight of Hand by Katrina Strauss. Incredible tale, so beautifully woven. Thank goodness I can read it fairly painlessly at my desktop -- one of the attractions, for me, of novella-length work. This is truly a story to get lost in. Richly detailed yet mysterious (and pretty freakin' hot), it just carries me away. I suspect most of you are already familiar with it, but if you aren't, get a copy. Srsly.

Poor Cody and Luna! Our neutered male mutt, the Code Man, was ill and virtually immobile from Sunday through Wednesday. Limpness in one leg, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy. Then, yesterday and today, he suddenly began to perk up. I had a feeling I knew what the problem was, and a brief Internet search all but confirmed my suspicions.

We took Cody and his spayed female sidekick, Luna (a funny-looking terrier mix, also with one blue eye), to the vet today. The diagnosis? Lyme Disease. Even though it's winter in this part of the world and ticks are no longer active, a bite that took place in spring or fall infested Cody's system. The symptoms didn't manifest until now. A blood test on Luna showed that she, too, carried the germ, although she hadn't yet been laid low by it.

Those of you who have canine companions and live in the country, please be aware of this threat. An annual shot can innoculate your pet against Lyme Disease. Cody and Luna are now on a 21-day antibiotic treatment that should cleanse their bodies of the invader. It's horrible to see a sweet animal suffer so, even for a few days.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christine Griffin's FUGLY takes third place!

WOW. What an achievement. Out of scores and scores of GLBT covers, her stunning bit of portraiture came in third! (Click on the post title to see the entire top ten.)

I must say, Mel Odom's cover for The Lost Library was one of the other two I voted for in the final round. It's mesmerizing. And goddess Anne Cain was all over that top ten! I'm so glad some of the people who make us authors look good are getting their due.

TOMORROW I'll be at Dawn's Reading Nook (that's the Dawn Roberto who runs the Love Romances Cafe loop).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's alive!

No, that's not right. That's what Victor Frankenstein cried after his monster, played by Boris Karloff, was vivified by lightning.

What I mean is, it's live! Click on ye olde poste title. (And look beneath the picture for more news.)



Plus, there's this.

Friday, December 03, 2010

FUGLY cover made into the finals!

Looks like Christine Griffin's talent got her into the final fifteen of Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards cover art competition. You're allowed three votes in this round -- and, damn, it was tough choosing!

I know some of you won't want to vote for Christine's cover; just letting y'all know about the finals, and how proud I am to have had my work represented by such a stunning piece of original art.

And what's this, you ask? Well, it's a flower symbolic of a certain high-profile football game. In the US, that is. Something else near and dear to my heart made it into the "finals," so to speak. (Yes, I can be that shallow. *g*)



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FUGLY now available at . . .


the Kindle Store
and
ARe (All Romance eBooks).

Sorry it took so long -- SBAC (situation beyond author's control)!
In another respect, the timing was perfect. Val Kovalin of Obsidian Bookshelf designated Fugly a Recommended Read in her "Man to Man" gay-romance reviews feature for ARe's "Wild Fire" newsletter. Thank you, Val!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

OMFG...with a cherry on top!

Anne Cain
scores again!
(Coming in January
from Dreamspinner Press.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

See some of my true colors.

If you dare. Michele and Jeff, of the excellent Michele 'n' Jeff Reviews, just posted an interview with me. (Click on post title to get there.)

I just realized something about interviews: I sound like a different person in each one. Don't know why this is, exactly, but it must have something to do with how certain questions strike me at certain times.

Anyway, you'll be bloody sick of me by mid-winter. I'll be doing a guest blog at Dawn's Reading Nook (that's Dawn Roberto of the Love Romances Cafe group) on December 10, opining at Reviews by Jessewave on December 21, showing up as a featured author at Rainbow eBooks sometime in January (I think), and doing another featured-author gig at the Goodreads m/m group in February (I think). I'll provide more details in the future -- if, that is, my delusions of grandeur aren't making me imagine all this stuff. :-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The First Chapter of MONGREL

Now up at LiveJournal. Click on the post title to read it (except you, Chris).

Visible Friend is finished. Abercrombie Zombie is next. Damn, I wish I had a beer right now. Writers from Milwaukee don't need no Dom Perignon. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Title From an Old Aversion

Except for vampires, which I love, I'm not big on undead heroes. But a title sprang into my head that begs for a story. I also have a few character names. Will a plot unfurl? I can only hope.

Keep your digits crossed. The title is Abercrombie Zombie. I can't let it pass.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bed Writing


Pay attention. The post title does not read "bed wetting" or "bad writing." ;-) Now that we've cleared that up . . .

Bed writing is how I often come up with titles, character names, development of and solutions to plot points, and entire paragraphs and sections. It isn't something that happens while I'm sleeping (that would be dream writing) and it isn't something that happens while I'm awake and alert (that would be normal writing). Bed writing happens when I'm tired and want to sleep but can't sleep. It's tied to the insomnia that's plagued me for years (and, since I don't trust drugs and don't have health insurance, will probably continue to plague me).

Last night, as I lay awake and sandwiched between JLA and Luna, and Cody was on the floor passing gas . . .

Okay, wait. Let me clear up this scenario, because right now it sounds like a Roman orgy. JLA is my SO, Luna is a sleek little terrier-lab mix rescue dog, and Cody is a not-so-sleek, dumber-than-dirt, shepherd-something mix rescue dog. (Maybe pit bull, but you'd never know it considering what a wussy sweetheart he is.)

So anyway, they were all asleep. I wasn't. My mind was churning. I don't know if this mental restlessness is the cause or result of my insomnia but suspect it's both. I'd been stressing a little over how to end my WIP, Visible Friend, because it's a strange story about a recovering heroin addict, the pitfalls he encounters, and his often unwanted companion. The HFN was there, but something was missing. The missing something came to me between rounds of wriggling from my right side onto my left side and back again in a futile attempt to get comfortable. I expanded and typed it out today, and like it very much.

Bed writing has also led to character names and a core idea for my next story. Maybe the title will come to me tonight.

This isn't any kind of technique. It can't be taught. I haven't cultivated bed writing; it just happens. It also has a tendency to interfere with my paltry attempts at working from an outline. Sometimes, in fact, it destroys those attempts.

Other than that and the fact it keeps sleep at bay, the biggest drawback to bed writing is that it isn't on paper or computer. Its output must be stored in one's mind -- a process that's iffy at best. (Oy, how many times I've wished there was some device I could just clamp comfortably onto my skull, like an electronic, thought-transcribing yarmulke, and transfer these words and ideas directly onto my computer! It's a little maddening when a whole section writes itself out in my mind and I can only hope it will be there the next day!)

So what's the point of this post? Only this: if you ever doubted that writers are weird creatures, doubt no more.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Preachments

People on Facebook suggesting what I should "like." Politicians (and Fox NoNews) telling me what I should and shouldn't believe. Corporations telling me what I should buy. The PC Police telling me how I should live.

Damn, I'm sick of being told shit. I like opinions (value them, in fact), and I cherish shared wisdom (like author Victor Banis's, bless 'im), and I don't mind in the least hearing about good and just causes (those should be publicized). But I'm really sick of preachments. I'm sick of people ascending the Mount and giving me The Word.

I'll tell you what the Word is: the Bird is the Word.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Words You Need to Know


The august Washington Post runs a weekly feature known as the Style Invitational, in which readers are given a chance to do clever things with words. (Click on post title to see some recent contests.) I found one from 2003 that involved altering words by one letter and assigning them new definitions.

I like these very much. :-)


  • Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to begin with.
  • Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  • Foreploy: Any misrepresentation of yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  • Giraffiti: Vandalism painted very, very high.
  • Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  • Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  • Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
  • Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.
  • Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's a serious bummer.
  • Glibido: All talk and no action.
  • Dopeer Effect: The tendency for stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. [Lookin' at you, Glenn Beck.]

And the winner --

  • Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts - UPDATE

From the "Wha...?" file: Mongrel already has a page at Goodreads. Publication date is December 8. You can read about it here. (By the way, this is more a category-length novel than a novella. The book is several thousand words shy of Dreamspinner's minimum for their novel category -- hence the designation "novella.")

The cover for Fugly has made it into the ELEVENTH ROUND of voting at Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards Cover Art Competition. It's been up against some stiff competition, so I'm really, really proud of Christine Griffin.

Still working on Visible Friend (or Keeping Tink Alive -- a title that may or may not stick, depending on what turns the story takes).

I've been getting in some reading lately -- heaven! -- and discovering chapter by chapter what I like and don't like in terms of style. (It's amazing how stuff jumps out at me when I've had little or no time to read for an extended period. I also seem to pay closer attention when I have a print book in front of me rather than a desktop monitor.) So my reading jag hasn't just been a treat, it's been something of an education.

It really bugs me like a swarm of flies when characters continually speak the names of the people they're addressing, especially when the dialogue involves only two individuals.

"You might not want to go there, Bob."

"I can take care of myself, Dick."

"Bob, don't make me call you stupid."

"Don't make me call you stupider, Dick . . . head."

I never thought I'd be particularly bothered by quirky constructions or modes of expression--I'm not a slave to grammatical convention--but when they're used repeatedly, I am indeed bothered. This one, for example, drives me crazy. Batty. Insane. Encountering it once in a while is okay. Tolerable. Acceptable. But overuse renders it annoying. In the extreme. To say the least. (Kid you not, I'm ready to tear at my hair just thinking about it!)

I've noticed, too, that character exposition and development sometimes suffer in stories that are heavy on action sequences. I've read a couple of books in which moving about is described in meticulous detail, down to the last slapping footfall, yet the characters' motivations and psycho-emotional makeups leave me puzzled. What's this guy about? Why does he have that attitude? What exactly is the nature of these men's relationship, and how did it get to this stage? If I don't grasp the dynamic between the heroes, I don't find the story satisfying.

Sex in the midst of or right after trauma, terror, or trouble serious enough to provoke scrotum sweat also has me mystified. I appreciate resilient characters, but not the ones who can sprout wood during or immediately following one hell of a scary and/or tragic event. Leaves me feeling kind of cold.


Then there are stories that seem to start in the middle rather than at the beginning, and stories that end so abruptly, I keep wanting to turn pages that aren't there.

I've come upon some delights, too -- smartly, sharply written fiction in which the authors' creativity, language skill, intelligence, wit, and sensitivity shine through. I just wish I could find more. (Oh, for another Wicked Gentlemen. It had me in readerly rapture after the first two pages.) But I have a mile-long TBB list, so there's hope!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Haunted Places I've Been


My former mother-in-law was from Blackpool (England England) and had many family members in that part of the world. When my ex-husband and I went to Britain for a three-week visit (this was, of course, before I killed him), one of the places we stopped was Chingle Hall, on the grounds of which a really delightful dog show was going on.

Mind you, I don't have a psychic bone in my body. I've been in plenty of cemeteries, even on Halloween, and have lived in old houses. But as I toured this 13th-century cruciform structure, I distinctly sensed . . . something. Unsettled presences, I guess. The feeling was strong and tenacious, although not particularly distressing. We'd already, by this point, spent a couple of weeks doing touristy things in London and Bath, the Cotswolds and Lake District and Yorkshire, but no place, not even the Tower, had affected me the way Chingle Hall affected me.

Eerie building, that. Click on the post title to read more about its history.

Some years later, when I was on Husband #2, I lived just north of Sturgeon Bay on Wisconsin's Door peninsula. Behind our home, down a dirt access road, lay an abandoned 40-acre cherry and apple orchard, all its structures somewhat decrepit but still standing. I had no problem poking around the outbuildings. But as soon as I entered the house, I wanted very much to leave.

I knew nothing about the orchard's history, and there was nothing foreboding about the look of the residence. It was just a weathered clapboard farmhouse. Still, its atmosphere, even on a sunny summer day, was heavily oppressive -- so much so that I had to get out of there. Whenever I mentioned my reaction to other locals familiar with the property, they knew immediately what I meant. A chill between the shoulder blades, hair standing up at the back of the neck, an urgent desire to flee. It was worse than a reaction to a run-of-the-mill creepy place; it was more like a reaction to an evil place.

I haven't had any experiences like these in a while. What about you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Halloweened!






Here's me in my Halloween costume:
Here's me out of my Halloween costume.

I look better in green, don't ya think?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Must get in my thanks!

Between my WIP, Visible Friend, and upcoming edits for Mongrel, I have to shift focus away from Electric Melty Tingles. I've said before how much that book meant to me, so I'm very grateful these kind people took the time to comment on it:

* Tam at Tam's Reads

* Aunt Lynn at Reviews by Jessewave

* Ami at Goodreads

* Val at Obsidian Bookshelf

* Lily at I Love Books

* Lisa at MichelenJeff Reviews

* Carole at Rainbow Reviews


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Got PRINT?



Remember this novel?

Much to my surprise, the print edition is now available at Amazon. (I knew it was coming; I just didn't know it was coming so quickly!)

Clicking on the post title will take you to the book's page. Unfortunately, there's no cover pic -- why, I don't know -- and I can't download one because I haven't recently made a purchase at Amazon. (They're real buttholes that way. I can't even access my author page unless I buy something from them. Don't you love the way corporations operate? Profit uber alles!)

Would anybody be interested in winning a signed copy of this book? I'm thinking of running some kind of contest, but I'm not sure where/how to do it or even if there'd be enough entrants to make it worthwhile. So if any of you experienced print authors have some tips, please bring 'em on!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Preview

by
(you guessed it!)
the phenomenal
Anne Cain
Mongrel is coming in December from Dreamspinner Press.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't get around much anymore.


It's been a peculiar couple of weeks for me. Been very preoccupied with some RL stuff, struggling to keep my WIP on track, dicking with computer glitches. (Shortening days and the onset of cool weather certainly don't help -- ugh.) As a result, I haven't been crawling the Webz much at all.

I've been relying on Google Alerts to ring my cyber-doorbell should something come up that's worth my attention, but Google Alerts hasn't alerted me to anything -- not a single blessed thing, aside from my own posts to my own blog; way to go, Google -- and that makes me even less inclined to get on the 'Net. (WTF? Are all the pirates rotting away in some computerless dungeon? One can only hope!) So don't anybody take umbrage at my lack of sociability. I do slink out of my burrow now and then to comment at a post somewhere . . . but then I slink back in again.

Maybe it's the pre-winter doldrums. I don't know. Anyway, just thought I'd clue you in.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shout . . .

OUT!

October 11 & 12





If there's anybody who doesn't think coming out of the closet is an act of courage, even in this day and age, below is an example of what non-heterosexual people are still facing in our society. It's a response to a Yahoo News article, 10-06-10, on the Supreme Court's deliberation of the "funeral protest" case involving Mr. Albert Snyder and the hateful Westboro Baptist Church. The vicious ignoramus who made this comment calls himself "gaybasher."

The church obviously is out of line,however if the perverted gays with their sleaze ,slime and putrid attacks on the church and moral decency in order to spread their justification for being the lowest order in the animal kingdom weren't attacking the church and moral standards,there wouldn't be a problem..The Church needs to fight this sickness and disease with an intensity, but using different methods and not blaming the military for the sickness of these deviate excuses for animal feces.as most military find the gay lifestyle as repulsive as the church does.Mr Snyder should have taught his son different instead of creating the sickness. .---Watch the F(maggots). attack this comment with their perverted remarks and thumbs down and you will know what I'm saying.. WATCH it you sick perverts every thumbs down is a vote that the gay sickness is a putrid vote against being a normal member of the human race.

As an antidote to this toxin, click on the post title to read some personal accounts of coming-out experiences. They're infinitely more compelling and inspiring than the rants of brain-dead religious fanatics.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wherein I become a music critic.

This?



George: Good job. You're a hottie. But forget for a moment you're a white Brit. The word is not pronounced "secksual." Trust me on this. And while you're singing, feel the song. That means you must also forget for a moment you can have your pick of men. You must think of that one, special, OMFG guy who knows where all your "ahhhhh" buttons are and how to push them. Then imagine you haven't seen him in like...well, just pick a length of time that gives you the celibacy jits. Oh, and try to forget you're doing a Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert, 'cause that could be acting as a damper on your hormones. And please don't end this song like a gospel tune. Just chop that part right the eff out and let the music fade. Okay? We'll work on your moves at a later date.

Or this?



2pac: Gah...sorry, man. I know you didn't ask for this. There's a much better vid done by Chico Caldeira -- solid rhythm and harmonics. But this is one of the things that happens when you die and end up in the hands of remixers. The next time around, keep that in mind. (P.S. If it's any consolation, there are some REAL horrors featuring Marvin with Michael Jackson.)

Or this?



Marvin: I adore you. ADORE! YOU! No contest, baby.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fugly cover is still a contender!

FIRST get on over to Katiebabs' blog -- http://kbgbabbles.blogspot.com/2010/10/it-gets-better-my-500-pledge.html -- and leave a comment NOW! The incredibly caring and generous KB is donating up to $500 to the Trevor Project and the Matthew Shepard Foundation for every comment her post receives. If you're a fan of any form of queer fiction, you must do this. These organizations and others like them provide hope for all GLBT young people struggling to take pride in themselves and gain acceptance within their communities. So go comment!

Now back to the original topic. Check out Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards cover competition -- http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1127553.html. Elisa put the Fugly cover front-and-center in her announcement for round six. I'm so, so happy Christine Griffin is getting this exposure! Her work is phenomenal. (Click on the post title to see her online gallery if you don't believe me -- even though you should believe me, since I have an infallible aesthetic sense. *g*)

I'm hoping the cover goes far, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I have a feeling people prefer "pritty" covers over gritty ones. Still, it's gratifying to see Christine get some recognition.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Big-Name-Author Interview!

Well, it took an embassy's worth of adroit persuasion, bribery via some choice cookies, a bit of palm-greasing, and a whole lot of ego-stroking to get this diva on my blog. So y'all had better pay attention.

I'm honored to present . . .



MS. WREN BOUDREAU!

Hiya KZ! *looks around* Nice place you have here! When did you add a third column? How organizational of you.

[Snot.]

I’m (feeling silly introducing myself) Wren Boudreau. I am a relatively new author, with one book published -- Ice Cream on the Side -- and one due October 5th -- Back To Normal, both from Loose Id, both of the m/m persuasion. Some of your more astute readers may have noticed that I also prowl the web quite a bit. And occasionally natter about nonsense and little things, at http://wrenboudreau.blogspot.com/.

Let the interrogation begin!

Wren, whom did you dream of marrying when you were a little girl? How do you think it would've worked out?

How "little" are we talking here? From early days, I can recall having a certain yet still unnamable fondness for Little Joe, Heath Barkley and James West (respectively: Michael Landon, "Bonanza"; Lee Majors, "The Big Valley"; and Robert Conrad, "Wild Wild West"). Action! Adventure! Cowboys!

When I got to the preteen-early teen years, my big love was Bobby Sherman. I thought he was yummy, and I knew we’d be great together. I loved him stuttering his way through "Here Come the Brides." I listened to his records (yes, records) endlessly. The line in “Julie Do You Love Me," tossin’ and turnin’ and freezin’ and burnin', made me long for something, even if I didn’t know what it was yet. Now I do know and it still turns me on. TMI?

[Synchronicity! Bobby Sherman comes up in Electric Melty Tingles. I'll bet we're the only two people who've thought about him/mentioned his name in thirty years. Dude owes us.]

Tiger Beat magazine was my friend and kept me up to speed with all things Bobby. And when he made a guest appearance on "The Partridge Family," appearing briefly with my second favorite crush, David Cassidy, well, my teenybopper heart grew three sizes that day.

I had a lovely time walking down memory lane to pull up some images, and wondered if Bobby’s propensity for wearing the fashionable choker or artfully tied neck scarf reflected a shall we say certain disposition *winkwink* his fans didn’t know about. He did get married and had a couple kids and got divorced, but we all know that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Now he’s a county sheriff, specializing in training cadets in CPR, and let’s just not talk about his age. I saw a clip of him on the Rosie O’Donnell show from maybe 5 years ago and he was kind of dorky. So in the end, we probably would’ve gone our separate ways. Alas.

Have you ever coined an insulting term and flung it at somebody who pissed you off? (Doesn't matter what age you were.)

Yes. Just yesterday I called my husband a pee-head. What’s that you say? I didn’t coin that? Well, you’re just a burnt radish, then!

[Oh, ouch. That stung. You are one vicious bitch. *eye roll* Maybe we'll take up a collection and send you to the AS School of Insult Flinging.]

When you look out a window in your home, what do you see? When you look at the insides of your eyelids, what do you see? Which do you prefer?

Outside my home: Green, green, green. Grass, decorated with random dog poop piles. Evergreen trees and sassafras and river birch and other deciduous trees. Hostas and ivy. Unfortunately, I can also see my neighbors’ houses and yards. Inside my eyelids: it’s too damn dark to see anything! I don’t have a preference; it depends on my mood. I’m just glad I’m not rolled in a ball under my desk staring at the wall.

Do you have any fetishes sitting around your workspace? (You know, like a lucky cue ball or something.)

I have a dancing hula guy that used to be attached to my dashboard, and a Buffy action figure. While I was writing Back To Normal, I had a box of animal crackers and a vase of sunflowers. The flowers -- I just liked them. The crackers -- I use them in the story, so they became a token for me. Then I ate them.

[You ate your fetish? That's bad mojo!]

Did you ever reach the depths of author dorkiness and laugh or cry at something you wrote? If so, what was it?

It’s odd that you are asking this now. It happened once while I was writing Back To Normal. When Greg, our closeted hero, comes out to someone important in his life. I got so caught up in the scene -- I guess I was in “flow” -- I got to me with my own writing. When I later told my husb, I felt incredibly sheepish about it. But he was all, “That’s awesome. It must be good.” I decided not to remind him that I cry at almost everything and in response to any emotion. ‘Cause who knows? Maybe it’ll make some other sensitive fool person cry.

[Awwww.]

I also laughed a few times at the behavior of one of the secondary characters who took on a life of his own. He kilz me.

What do you usually say when you talk to yourself? (Come on, I know all creative individuals talk to themselves.)

I usually say things like, “I’ll just play “Word Bubbles” one more time.” Or “I wonder what’s on Eyre’s and Tam’s tumblr today?” Or “Well shit. What happens next?”

Who are your favorite debauched people?

Eric Northman, Lady Gaga, and Kris of Kris ‘n’ Good Books.

[Heh-heh.]

What makes you laugh when you're in an adult toystore? What makes you cringe?

What doesn’t make me laugh? I mean in that what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here way. I suppose things like the male masturbator that looks like an ice cream cone, or the one made from a mold of Katie Morgan’s…um…nether lips. The gigantic (anal) dildos make me grit my teeth together imagining the stretch involved. I have to be honest here. With the Internet at my fingertips, I haven’t actually stepped into a “real” toy store in ages. (No, I’m not including pictures. Do your own Googling.)

Which pairs of books do you think should breed? (Because if the stories were somehow blended, they would be, like, so AWESOME, dude!)

You’ll notice I seem to gravitate toward series rather than single books. I hope that’s okay in regards to your question. If it isn’t oh too bad.

Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Because reading about a kick-ass wizard and a hot Scottish warrior fighting paranormal evildoers and the British would be spectacularly stupendous.

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books combined with Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels books -- Kate could kick Stephanie’s ass, punch out Joe Morelli and take Ranger back to Atlanta, where she’d hook him up with Curran and the three of them could fight paranormal evildoers and have sex. Lots and lots of hot, sweaty sex.

Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English books with Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries. Because: Adrien and Jake and Jonty and Orlando. Bwahahahahaha!! (Maybe they could hook up with Adin and Jackson?)

[Uh . . . no. Besides, those guys wouldn't want anything to do with Adin and Jackson. None of 'em. Trust me.]

I tried to avoid the Jane Eyre/Zombie concoctions. The very idea makes my brain bleed a little bit.

What's something you do, or try or have tried to do, that, if we saw you doing it, would make us pee our pants 'cause we'd be hooting like banshees?

Singing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on karaoke, followed by “Julie Do You Love Me”.

What's the strangest thing you've ever thrown?

Underwear. I know what you’re thinking and get your mind out of the gutter. Not my underwear. When my son was just a li’l tyke, we used to have underwear and sock fights while we put away the laundry. It was fun.

[I got you beat on this one, Wrenboo. I once threw a raw beef roast onto the driveway. It was a perfectly good beef roast, too. At least it was still wrapped.]

Finally, what's with the bird name?

“Wren” was part of a nickname I had in prehistoric days.

[Nuts. I was hoping for something juicier than that.]

Thank you, Wren! It's been a slice.

Now here's a tasty little niblet from Back to Normal:

In that moment, it was as if a window had been thrown wide open, bringing a wave of clean, fresh air into a stuffy room. There was nothing more important than that kiss and the tendril of emotion that pulled on Greg’s heart. He pressed in to taste more.

A clap of thunder accompanied a brilliant flash of lightning; the store lights winked out and on again in the space of a second, and Greg jerked away from Finn. “Shit.” He dropped the book he’d been holding. “What am I doing? I can’t do this.” He took another step back, looking around for the quickest way out.
Finn touched his shoulder, but Greg shook it off. “It’s okay. We got drawn into the moment.”

Greg clutched his hair and closed his eyes. “It is not okay. I don’t do…that.” He looked at Finn. “I can’t do that.”

Finn crossed his arms over his chest. “You mean you won’t.”

“You don’t understand.” Greg struggled to keep his voice to a harsh whisper.

“I’m a good listener.”

“It’s not that simple.”

“I didn’t say it was. But in my opinion, you’re making the wrong choice.”

“Choice? What choice? You think I have options?”

“There are always options and consequences. You have to decide which are acceptable. Who do you want to be? What price are you willing to pay?”

Greg didn’t want to get into this, especially not with Finn Sparks. What were his options? “If I walk away now, is it going to affect my job at the pub?”

Finn looked affronted. “No. Of course not.”

“Good. I’ll see you at the training session next week then.” Greg spun on his heel and strode down the aisle. He maneuvered through the remains of the book-signing crowd and shoved open the door. Beyond the little awning, rain fell in a strong downpour. He got drenched on the short walk to his car and sat shivering behind the wheel for a minute. As he waited for the heat to kick in, he felt the familiar pressure in his temple signaling the start of another headache. He downed a couple of the pills he kept in the car and felt a slight burn as they hit his stomach.

*

Back To Normal by Wren Boudreau
Release date: October 5, Loose Id, http://www.loose-id.com/Back-to-Normal.aspx

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Secret Guest!


Okay, now that I've hammered you senseless with announcements for Electric Melty Tingles, it's time to switch tools. (Actually, "switching tools" would mean finding a new boyfriend, but I digress.) Anyway, strained metaphors aside, I've scored an interview with a famous author. And I mean SUPERSTAR, people; you know I only run with the big dogs. It isn't the same old blah-de-blah interview, either. None of this stuff:

Q. When did you start writing?
A. I believe it was during my previous incarnation as Jacqueline Susann. (Oops, no; that's Ryan Field.) Or maybe it was Jacqueline Onassis. (No, wait; she was only an editor.) Shit, I've been writing so long I can't remember. Let's just say I was born to write -- numerous times!

Nope, none of that crap. So keep checking back. This VICE (Very Important Creative Event) will be taking place within the week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And a new book bursts into light in the literary cosmos!

Okay, okay, I'll pare the announcement down to its bare essentials. Electric Melty Tingles is now available at Loose Id -- and cheap at twice the price. *g* Click on the post title to have a look-see. (The excerpt, by the way, is from Chapter Two, so there's stuff that goes on before it. 'Fraid I have no control over these things.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breaking News

Coming Sept. 28 from Loose Id
Cover art by Anne Cain

AND, just got a new contract. Dreamspinner Press will be publishing my contemporary, precious_boy, in January. (Mongrel, as you may or may not recall, is coming from them in December. It's a steampunk novel.)

I'm currently working on another contemporary, Visible Friend, about a recovering drug addict.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Electric Melty Tingles ~ excerpt

Loose Id will be publishing Electric Melty Tingles on September 28.

Since this is a rather long entry, I posted it at Live Journal --
http://kz-snow.livejournal.com/3326.html (and, lordie, what a PITA to copy and paste text at LJ). It isn't the complete chapter. I ended it, of course, at a critical juncture. ;-)

Hope you all like it.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I knew I was onto something.

Clicking on the post title will take you to the "Babbling About Books" blog and a bit of vindication -- for me, for Fugly, and specifically for the characters of Todd (an embalmer) and Gabriel (a mortuary cosmetician). Check out the third item on Katiebabs' list.

Heh-heh. There ya go.

Many thanks to Tam for the alert. It sure made me smile.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I'm out of the garage!

Finally. After four days of sitting with an air compressor and countless other pieces of machinery at my back (because it's a working garage, after all, not just a place to park vehicles); four days of being bombarded by flies and buffeted by the chilly breezes that often whirled through the door; four days of listening to people tell me their life stories (and being truly creeped out by a lone man named Bob from Appleton who'd found Jesus -- but where, he didn't say); four days of crossing the yard and hustling into the house whenever the opportunity arose, hoping to have enough time to use the bathroom, shove some food in my face, and let the poor dogs out. Yep, I was alone for three of those four days. It's harvest season, which means JLA has been driving truckloads of vegetables around the state.

At least I can now pay the DMV $75 to have my license plates renewed. But I still must return to the garage to pack up all the leftovers. Ugh. The weather has definitely turned autumnal -- gray skies, gusty winds, and occasional smatterings of cool rain.

The highlight of my long weekend came courtesy of my canine companions. The weather was lovely enough on Sunday to allow them time in their big, pine-shaded pen. Early that afternoon, they both started barking in a way that said, WTF? People, come here! What is this? What are we to do? (For those of you who've never had dogs, they have different kinds of barks that convey different messages.) So JLA, his son, and I all hurried over to the pen as a few shoppers browsed in the garage.

What had Cody and Luna so distraught was a hissing snake, curled in the underbrush along the fence. Since none of us is a herpatologist and there are timber rattlers in Wisconsin, we got the dogs into the house and then asked the few people at the sale if anyone was familiar with snakes. A younger man came outside to eyeball the invader.

"That's a bull snake," he said. "It won't hurt you."

Later, my inquiring mind drove me to the Internet. Bull snakes are, it appears, a protected species in Wisconsin. They're constrictors -- they stalk rodents and small mammals and squeeze the bejebus out of 'em -- and, while nonvenomous, can deliver a bite if they feel threatened.

Now, of course, we're left wondering where exactly this creature has taken up residence. State law says we're not to harm it or even move it, but . . . the bugger was in the dog pen! We have no clue where it's currently lurking. Eep!

Well, back to work. I have to do some house and garage cleaning before I can even begin to contemplate writerly stuff. By the way, many thanks to all of you who popped in for the blog tour!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blurb: precious_boy

The novella, she is finished. 32,800 words. Don't yet know who the publisher will be. Here's the blurb for precious_boy.


It was just an amateur porn video, like thousands of others on the Internet. Like hundreds Jonathan Wright has seen and hundreds more he's ignored. He hadn't intended to watch it. In fact, he hadn't intended to go anywhere near his home office. He was simply on his way to the bathroom—the only sensible destination, aside from bed, in the middle of the night.

Jon's fuck-buddy for the evening doesn't think so. Much to Jon's annoyance, his trick is having some solo fun in front of the computer as he watches a lithe, blond young man doing naughty things with a bearish, older man. When Jon gives in to his curiosity and watches the same video the next day, he's seduced too ... and feels like a pervert afterward. The youth in the video seems a little too young, despite the fact he also has his own escort service. Worse yet, Jon gets the nagging feeling he's seen "Justin Time," aka precious_boy, before.

One of Jon's former lovers, a college professor eleven years his senior, is the connecting link between that vague sense of recognition and the hot bottom whose screen name is precious_boy. When Jon takes the defining step of meeting Justin in a Chicago hotel room, his past, present, and possibly his future begin to converge in alarming and confusing ways. There’s no escaping the resulting dilemma: Jon must decide just how involved he wants to get with a sweet kid, all grown up now, whose life has turned sour, and with an ex-lover who seems to care more about his own needs than those of his lost son.

The resolution lies in trust that was established and faith that was betrayed seven years earlier. And it won't come easily.

Next project? Haven't decided yet. I've been toying with a number of ideas for something paranormal, but I never know when a contemporary or historical wild hair will sprout. ;-)

I do know this week will be devoted to setting up my garage sale for the Labor Day weekend. Gads, what misery being out there, now that the heat and humidity are back! I hope they break soon. I also hope I have buyers for my hundreds of books. I'll tell ya, I have one enormous, eclectic collection, and I'm sure the sale will barely make a dent in it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

News (no rants) ~ Amended Version



Loose Id will be issuing Mobry's Dick in a print edition. O_O. Am shocked. It should be out in three to four months. (This will be my first m/m title in print--because, you know, I'm the novella queen. *g*)

And, OMG, and I already have a cover flat! I didn't even know it until I opened the zipped cover-art file. And if you have bionic eyes, you'll see there's a quote on the bottom from "Well Read Book Reviews" (that be you, Jen!)

Another of my m/m titles that breaks from novella length is Mongrel, the steampunk book. Dreamspinner sent me a contract last Friday. They're fast! Mongrel is scheduled to be released in December.

My WIP, precious_boy, is nearing completion. Don't yet know where I'll sub it.

Just a reminder that Electric Melty Tingles is coming September 28 from Loose Id. Sorry I still don't have a cover to show you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Puter Problems Continue; Contract Arrives but Can't Leave


Warning: This post exhibits an exuberant indulgence in profanity.

Yup, it's been another one of those weeks.

My Local Expert Computer Repairman, after wiping every bit of software from my hard drive (thus losing MS Office Suite 2003, which I couldn't reinstall for reasons I won't get into), replaced it with a Thinstall, now Thinapp, version of 2007. I was dubious, but it worked fine. For a while. When it wasn't being attacked from within by the trojans that had lodged there.

Then, last week, I tried opening Word and only managed to open an error message: "Microsoft Office Word has encountered a problem and needs to close." The same message came up for every program in the suite. It won't go away.

I did the most logical thing to do -- after, of course, pitching hissy fits from here to Kuala Lumpur -- and called the LECR. No answer, so left a message. Got no return call. Worked, in the meantime, in Wordpad. (Oh, joy! No page view! Next-to-no formatting!) By the time I got through to the LECR, I was like a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot with an ADHD kid at the controls. As soon as I heard his voice on the phone, I was ready to let the verbal fists fly, which would have brought me some measure of relief.

Just as my mouth opened, he said, "Oh yes, I got your message. But I just got back from the MAYO FUCKING CLINIC TO HAVE MY PACEMAKER REPLACED AND HALF MY CIRCULATORY SYSTEM REAMED OUT!" [Insert Ritalin into open mouth.] Gah! Thus began another round of calls made and not returned and appointments broken. But there hasn't been a damned way for me to vent about it because the mofo and his bum ticker just got back from the fucking Mayo fucking Clinic!

As of now, I'm supposed to deliver the machine to him on Sunday morning. The way my luck's been going, he'll be dead by then.

Which brings us to the printer/scanner/copier piece of shit from Dell. Ah, Dell. The most international of American companies, with customer service based in India, hardware made in China, ink cartridges from Mexico, and nothing in the U.S. of A. except maybe an executive urinal or eighty. I've already had to replace this crap pile A920 while it was still under warranty, because it just . . . gave up.

Well, after the LECR wiped clean my hard drive, I had to reinstall the printer software. But guess what? The brainiacs at Dell, who are obviously rejects from Microsoft, who are obviously rejects from the LECR's basement repair shop, designed this monument to technological advancement so that when you have to reinstall it, the scanner and copier stop working! WTF? I discovered online that this is a fairly common problem with an incredibly complicated solution that isn't even a sure thing. I repeat, WTF?

Which brings me to the new contract that I now cannot scan and send back to the publisher. But I'm too exhausted to tell you about it. So . . . next time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Erastes, Beecroft, and . . . Anne Rice?

Clicking on the post title will take you to an enlightening and commendably candid interview with Erastes and Alex Beecroft at Out magazine. I was fascinated. I silently cheered. Then I admired the china. (Honestly, I did.)

What brave and articulate authors! I feel honored even to be in the margins of the same fiction community. How many female writers and readers of slash fiction and m/m romance, I wonder, secretly identify not only with but as gay men? My guess is, far more than people realize. I'd love to see a study of this phenomenon. [Edited to add: I've looked into this, and apparently I'm behind the times. Wiki has an entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girlfags_and_guydykes, and it appears the subject has indeed been studied and discussed. But how extensively or scientifically, I have no idea.]

When I was still in my twenties, a boyfriend told me, "You're the only woman I've ever known who wants to be a gay man." My current SO is befuddled and a bit snarky about my love of gay fiction and porn. Me? I don't quite understand this crooked river of gender fluidity, and I've never had any desire to undergo transformative surgery, but I do sure as hell identify with male homosexuality. I just don't worry about it. Instead, I try to funnel that mindset into my fiction.

What added even more stun to stunning was an interview with Anne Rice in the same magazine, and how some of it related to what Alex and Erastes had to say. For example:


I have no consciousness of being a particular gender. It gets me into trouble all the time. I’m constantly reminded that I’m a specific gender. When I rejoined Christianity and discovered the tremendous amount of emphasis they put on gender, it was just jarring.

Anne's responses to all the questions were thoughtful and made eminent sense, even if one isn't as devout a believer in/follower of Jesus as she is -- although, I should note, she's divorced herself from all organized religion. This interview combined with an anecdote about her generosity, which I read on one of my m/m groups, has instilled me with a new respect for her. (And keep in mind her celebrated, bestselling author-son, Christopher Rice, is gay.)

Final note: Regardless of Ms. Rice's opinion of her books, I still believe Cry to Heaven was the most extraordinary novel she ever wrote.

Read these interviews. Seriously. They're eye-opening.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I found Rick Reed at a garage sale . . .

And brought him home. Actually, it was a paperback copy of his first published book, Obsessed (1991). Click on the post title to read more about it and to see his HOT author photo. (I'd show it to you here and now . . . if my scanner hadn't crashed along with every other $%*&#@&* electronic device I own. This summer has not been a good one for me, cars, and computers.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I love this show!

Brent and Josh
The Fabulous Beekman Boys!

If you haven't seen "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" on the Planet Green network, you're missing out on one of television's subtle joys. Together for ten years, this odd couple -- quirky, annoying, and utterly endearing -- moved from New York City to the tiny, picturesque town of Sharon Springs, New York (if ever there was a gaytopia, that town must be it) and assumed ownership of a historic farm. There they raise goats, pigs, cows, and chickens, make soap and cheese, have a pet llama, host weddings, and get involved in community events. They also bicker, pout, make up, laugh, kiss, and bicker some more. The whole danged show is just as sweet and funny as can be -- and it's returning for a second season!

Here's what the Planet Green website has to say about it:

"The initial season followed Josh, a best-selling author and advertising executive, and his partner, Brent, a physician and former vice president at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, as they left Manhattan behind for the country life at the Beekman 1802 farm. Season two will follow them——along with viewer favorites Farmer John and Polka Spot the llama—as they juggle their relationship, along with a burgeoning home business and a rapidly expanding working farm. From raising a barn to hosting a Sotheby’s auction to shopping for sheep with Martha Stewart, season two will offer complete access to Brent and Josh’s second year at Beekman 1802."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm, like, wondering, like . . .

About something related to a discussion on one of my author loops. It has to do with English usages -- words, phrases, various idiomatic expressions -- that become associated with particular periods of time and certain places. For example, "the cat's meow" and "twenty-three skidoo" are pure Roaring Twenties. "Groovy" is hippie-speak. Then I started wondering if older people of bygone eras got irritated by trendy additions to the language.

Yup, probably. Because I know how irritated I get, old biddy that I am. (I'm groovy, but I'm still an old biddy.)

Recently, I saw a teenage girl on some TV show (I think it was "Children of the Paranormal") trying to explain . . . something. Dicked if I could figure out what it was. She was American, so English was her native language. But every sentence she uttered was hacked up by insertions of the word like. She couldn't utter four syllables without sticking in a like. She flung around likes as if she had a salt shaker full of 'em! For the life of me, I couldn't grasp what point she was trying to make.

Brits seem to do this with the phrase sort of. (Is that the one? Or am I thinking of another pointless phrase?) Anyway, both drive me apeshit. Or is it batshit? (What animal's doodoo is currently associated with craziness? I can't keep track.)

American gangsta urbanites are very fond of this: "Y'know what I'm sayin'?" It's spoken rapidly after every declarative sentence. And it, too, pulls my apeshit/batshit trigger.

Then there's "awesome." I think this word should be stricken from the language for the next ten years. Maybe, when it's brought back, it will be used properly and in moderation.

What does it for you? 'Cause I know I'm not the only curmudgeon, groovy or otherwise, who's driven apeshit/batshit by certain contemporary usages. (Please tell me I'm not!) And I know I've only scratched the surface of this topic.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Review for Fugly

Jeff Erno, a lauded m/m author, just notified me of his new review of Fugly. You can read it at MichelenJeff Reviews by clicking on the post title.

I'm speechless. Doubly speechless, because there's a review of The Prayer Waltz just below this one.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

About that workman with the great ass . . .


KZ Gets New Carpeting and Kitchen Floor;
Dodges Jungle-size Houseplants
Looming Over Her Desk

A man has been here for the past three days laying new floor covering pretty much throughout the house, which has been in a complete state of disarray for the past month in preparation for his work.

Was the wait (and the echo) worth it? Was he a hunk in tight, tattered jeans? Did a hint of buttliciousness show when he bent over? Hell, no. I got a 62-year-old man with a beer belly who drank two pots of (my) coffee a day, resulting in motor-mouth and the incessant whistling of "Blow the Man Down."

The houseplants that were temporarily moved into my office are still nodding over my shoulder. One is a seven-foot cactus with spines about half that long.

I figured I deserved at least one good ass-shot to compensate for all my suffering and coffee brewing --but NOOOOOO.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

If it's August 2 . . .

It must be time for

fugly

to appear
at Liquid Silver Books

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Got lucky again!


I am now eagerly awaiting a signed copy of Rick Reed's new Amber Allure collection, On the Edge. WOOOHOOO! (Click on post title to check this book out.)

Some of you might recall me mentioning here and there how addicted I've been to horror fic since I was a kid and how much I also love the eerie psycho-stews concocted by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine. But in the writing of RRR, I can enjoy gay eros in addition to a dose of chiller lit . . . in addition to some damned fine writing.

Perfection!

Honestly, I feel like a kid at Christmas. I'm going to allot myself only a certain portion of the book each day, as I did with Normal Miguel, so I can prolong my enjoyment. Abundant thanks to Mr. Reed for this unexpected gift!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How WAS that cover made?


Okay, the book is coming out next Monday, August 2, from Liquid Silver. But you already know that. What you might not know -- and what I certainly didn't know, because my ignorance about many things cannot be plumbed -- is how this incredible cover was made. (And it was painted . . . with tricks!)

Christine Griffin, the artist, was kind enough to post at LSB's "Coming Soon" forum and explain:

"My background is in traditional media, but when my kids came along, I had to put the paints away. Digital is SO much neater! (I'm trying to get back into oils now that the rugrats are older, though.)

"Fugly was actually painted with Corel's Painter program; it mimics traditional media wonderfully, but is a little hard to control. PS is da bomb! I'm still using PS7, and I've no complaints. Someday I may graduate into one of the CS models...when I HAVE to!"

(By PS, I assume she means Photoshop. See? I'm learning!)