Friday, April 30, 2010

My Pix of the (Alternative) RT Convention

You might not know about this con, but it's specifically for flat-broke writers with friends in low places.

Now, on with the show!

Although I was greeted with a tackle hug and squee at the Izaboutshittin Super 8 Motel (I guess that's how they greet every attendee), you can't see me in this photo. I am on the ground, beneath the butt of the guy on the left, picking grass and a substance I couldn't identify out of my teeth. But, hey, it's the thought that counts.

After freshening up in my room, I went to one of the convention's meet-and-greet events. I have no idea who these authors are, except that they all have stripper names. They assured me they're great writers, in addition to being really freakin' cute and bubbly and fun-loving. When I told them I was camera shy, they informed me I didn't belong with their group.

So away I went, looking for a clique that would accept me. I finally found one. We had fun tossing around plot bunnies, although one did squash the hat of Hermione Trent (center front).

Next came dinner. Unfortunately, Ruby Netherlips (she's somewhere in the second pic), had partied herself out by then.

It was really too bad, 'cause she missed a great dance. The woman in the middle, Lil Shame, said to me, "You're K. Z. Snow?" (I'm in the lower right corner). "Yes!" I said excitedly. "Never heard of you," she replied.

The next day, we had our write-off (that would be the photo at the top), and then we hugged a lot and went home. It was a lovefest and a blast.

~ The End ~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Title Dilemma

I'm still tossing around title ideas for a book Loose Id will be publishing.

This is unusual for me. Bastards and Pretty Boys, The Prayer Waltz, Jude in Chains, Mobry's Dick, and Fugly all came to me at the same time the stories did or, in some cases, before (with the kernel of the story embedded within them). So this indecision is making me a little crazy.

The new book, still technically in the WIP stage, is a friends-to-lovers tale that spans forty years (1970 to 2010), although the vast majority of it takes place during the most critical week in the main characters' on-again, off-again, ever-changing relationship. It's also a story that entails many "comings out." (What is the plural of "coming out," anyway?) And it's quiet and introspective, like The Prayer Waltz, except for one foursome scene.

The working title is Electric Melty Tingles. I believe I mentioned it before and posted a snippet from the first chapter. Melty tingles a phrase the POV character dreamt up in his youth to describe how he felt when he first kissed a boy (hence, the juvenile ring to it). The "electric" gets tagged on later. This phrase crops up throughout the story and is still relevant at the very end.

But . . . there are other possibilities. One of the men sometimes teasingly calls the other "Schnickelfritz," a term of endearment, German in origin, that roughly means little rascal or scamp. But is that too doofy for a title?

The POV character's father uses the term fruit when referring to homosexuals (as, I'm ashamed to say, my own father did), and I think that word has a lot of potential for being massaged into something sensual or gently comic (one of the protags puts his own spin on the term) rather than perjorative. However, it also has the potential for stirring controversy, like Beautiful C*cksucker. Hmm. Do I want to go there?

So . . . I don't know. There are certainly other possibilities, but since I have an aversion to blah titles, I'm studiously avoiding those that sound generic or are derived from common phrases. I might just stick to the working title. But I'm obviously still undecided. (More to the point, why am I even babbling about this? I suppose because it's preying on my sleep-deprived mind.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ouch! I've been tagged!

Wow, I just discovered this from Wren in my Gmail inbox! I would've posted it sooner if I weren't so Yahoocentric. Thanks, sweetie! I never get awards. (Well, except for those sympathy medals I won for playing bassoon, which I mentioned in an author bio somewhere. And that reminds me -- when am I going to learn to keep my trap shut?)

So, it appears Ms. Wren Boudreau (click on post title to view "Nonsense and Little Things") expects me to bare my soul and list ten things that make me happy. I suppose it's less embarrassing than listing ten things that make me sad, 'cause then I'd have to get into TMI territory -- like peeing my pants when I sneeze or laugh too hard. So here goes, in no particular order. Don't expect anything juicy; you ain't gettin' it. I'm not tagging people, either, because y'all have tagged just about everybody I know!

1. Eating quality vanilla ice cream with gobs of hot fudge. (Oh gee, guess what? I've already managed to do that today!)

2. Watching my mutts get their goofy on.

3. Spring.

4. Finding cool stuff at low prices when I go junking (resale shops, yard sales, flea markets, auctions -- what treasure troves!) Nope, I'm not a hoarder; just love discovering unusual and/or useful things.

5. Writing.

6. People liking my books.

7. RL and online friends.

8. My Christmas ornaments (well, Christmas in general, sans the consumerism).

9. Nearly every aspect of nature.

10. My favorite music, movies, and books. (Let's just group those together as pastimes.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dig this.

Okay, so I notice at Goodreads that there's some thread re. humorous lines from m/m books. A member quoted a couple from Jude in Chains. Then in zings a response from another (author) member whose first name begins with A and whose last begins with S.

Euw. If that's supposed to be funny.... I felt ill reading that.

One man's trash etc, I guess.

So she not only called my book trash without ever having read it, she impugned the taste of the innocent poster. Now that's a class act.

This particular individual is known far and wide for her psychotic online episodes, paranoia, and personal grudges, the last of which she spins out of thin air. As a result, she's been banned from many blogs and book review sites, since her zonked-out viciousness has outraged and alienated readers, authors, and reviewers alike. Spurred on by an innocuous post I did at a fellow author's blog last January (which had absolutely nothing to do with said psychopath), she launched into her trademark Crazy Dance, with the full accompaniment of personal emails threatening vilification, and had to be shown the door. I never exchanged a single word with her. Those of you familiar with this creature will understand why.

And now, months later, this. Such sick tenacity astonishes me. Holy kee-rap.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Poetry Month

Erotic Horizon or EH (click on post title) tossed out an idea to celebrate National Poetry Month, and Jen at Well Read passed it on. How could a former English teacher resist?

Below are several love poems that I treasure. Be prepared for some quirky punctuation, capitalization, phrasing, and spacing. All are intentional.

W. B. Yeats

It's through this poem that Jackson Spey first acknowledges his feelings for Adin Swift. (The scene, which takes place at the end of Obsessed, is one of my favorites from all my books.) So of course, the poem now has even more resonance for me. Writers are loopy that way. :-)

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.


e. e. cummings

Two pieces by an early-twentieth-century American poet. I've adored his work since I was a teenager.

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss; i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Emily Dickinson

My favorite poem by America's most creatively supercharged spinster. There's such uncompromising ferocity as ED transforms anguish into anger into transcendent energy. A lot is going on here. Like the pun in the word bridalled; the telling switch in pronouns from "us women" to "when you hold."

Like others, I can only speculate what the poem is about: the unique martyrdom of frustrated love, and a longing for as well as rebellion against the conventions of mid-nineteenth-century marriage. Finding Mr. Right and joining with him seems to be, in ED's view, a revitalizing, swoon-inducing death sentence -- an experience that's exhilarating but ultimately stultifying. She craves it and spurns it; she both celebrates and mourns the fact she's been denied it. The final, ambiguous question is wrenching. What's "this"? The mixed blessing that is marriage, or the mixed blessing that is ED's solitary, internalized life? (Sorry for the exposition, but that's how my mind was trained to work!)

Title divine — is mine!
The Wife — without the Sign!
Acute Degree — conferred on me —
Empress of Calvary!
Royal — all but the Crown!
Betrothed — without the swoon
God sends us Women —
When you — hold — Garnet to Garnet —
Gold — to Gold —
Born — Bridalled — Shrouded —
In a Day —
Tri Victory
"My Husband" — women say —
Stroking the Melody —
Is this — the way?

Friday, April 16, 2010

I can haz bannerz!

Why are these here? you ask. Because I have a banner fetish, that's why. In fact, I often make my own just for fun. (I made all of those below except the two from Loose Id.) But . . . what am I to do with them? Where should I put them? I don't know. I thought I might pay to put Mobry's up at GLBT Bookshelf, but that place confuses the ever-lovin' hell out of me.

So I'm wondering, do any of you even notice banners? Click on banners? Or are they just visual junk that you overlook because you're already being bombarded with visual junk and can't be bothered with more? Should I just shitcan my banner-making hobby and quit worrying about how best to use them? Should I go back to making collages?

Oh, and while I'm here asking stupid questions, does anybody have a clue how to hook a website to a domain name? I have both but don't know how to marry them. I'm serious. They're just sitting there, dead in the water.

And finally, how did that dumbass LOL Cats lingo get started? You know, the kind I tried to imitate in the post title. What's up with that? Why do people like intentional misspellings? Why do they encourage pronunciations that should be coming out of the mouth of a three-year-old? Is it cute? Am I pathologically incapable of appreciating cuteness?

All right, I lied when I said "finally." Because I still want to know what a "tackle hug" is. People were "tackle hugging" each other on a Yahoo loop where I went to pimp some books earlier in the week. Although it sounded painful, I felt left out. Nobody tackle-hugged me. Then again, I am a crotchety old biddy, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Okay, y'all have your hands full now, so I'll go to bed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Therapeutic Funnies

Well, since my day got off to a rip-roaringly shitty start, I figured I'd better amuse myself damned quick. So here's something entertaining for all of us.

There's a competition in which English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of analogies, similes, and metaphors culled from actual high-school essays. Here are last year’s winners:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Let the Wicked Pickett recharge your batteries!

Since everybody seems to be posting music vids lately, I'll start off with this. If you look real closely, you'll likely see me in the crowd. (You may or may not know that I'm hopelessly addicted to classic funk and R&B.) I had the thrill of seeing Wilson Pickett perform live. That was, of course, before he died. RIP, Wicked!

In other news, my WiP has a tentative title -- Electric Melty Tingles -- and Mobry's Dick has a cover. (I can't post it just yet because it needs a bit of watermark clean-up.) Dark Diva Reviews also informed me that The Prayer Waltz was a March "Top Pick." I believe I'll also be doing a guest post at Reviews by Jessewave in conjunction with the release of Jude in Chains. More on that a little later.

Now get off your fat asses/arses and dance!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

It's WIP time again.

This as-yet untitled story (the lack of a title is very odd, since titles often come to me before plots do) is about friendship, secret love, a road trip, rejection, separation, and reunion. And the discovery of capital-h Happiness, no matter how long that discovery takes.

Mind you, this is a first draft.

The story begins in 1970. Here's a brief introduction to Ned Surwicki, the narrator.

* * *

Louie was, I swear, the hardest-working woman in show business. Not like James Brown was the hardest-working man in show business, although her splits did put his to shame. As I watched her hit the floor again, like a drafting compass with a broken hinge, I could almost feel my testicles parting company and landing like finials on either side of my pelvis. The other men at Oliver Duncan’s bachelor party must’ve felt the same; they all winced in unison, even as they cheered.

"Louie, Louie," the dancer’s none-too-original signature song, grated from the speakers of an oversized cassette player. I amused myself by sipping a martini at the wet bar and watching Oliver’s reactions to the bumping, grinding, and boob jiggling going on just inches from his face. He seemed to be enjoying himself. Flushed to his hairline, he chortled and squirmed. Then he teasingly stuck out his tongue as Louie began undoing his necktie and unbuttoning his shirt.

That’s when I began to squirm. Suddenly, the scene wasn't so amusing anymore. I was watching someone undress and fondle my best friend. I was watching Oliver behave in a sexually suggestive way, which was something I’d never before had to witness. Seeing his interaction with the dancer wasn't the same as accepting the fact he was getting married. The most he'd done in public with Naomi, his betrothed, was put an arm around her or give her a rather sanitized peck now and then. Louie, however, was coaxing out his inner beast. Coaxing out Oliver's inner beast was something only I was allowed to do. In the privacy of my imagination.

I looked around the enormous, handsome hotel suite for some distraction. None was available. I couldn’t even engage in mindless conversation, since every pair of eyes in the room was trained on the stripper.

"Excuse me," I said to the bow-tied bartender. He was a little older than I, maybe in his mid twenties, and none too shabby. But he, too, was distracted. I leaned farther across the bar. "Excuse me."

Yeah, the deaf SOB was straight.