Thursday, March 31, 2011

I was interviewed by The Big Thrill

I was interviewed today by The Big Thrill

I was thrilled to be interviewed by Michael F. Stewart at The Big Thrill.

I'm still sorting out how to do these interview via mail thingies, but he was very nice and there are a lot of interesting articles on the site. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Okay, so I'm going to give a book on Goodreads a 'star' rating...

I Am JI Am J by Cris Beam

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't going to give star ratings anymore, but this book is exceptional. J is a teenaged boy who was born with a girls anatomy. I've never read a more insightful piece about this subject. It's a YA and I hope it will make its way into the hands of young people who need it. I'm on my second reading of it and still amazed by the character and his story. Highly highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I live in a dog park.

So I already introduced Stanley. He's the newest addition to my little crew.

Since Buddy is moving out soon,
I thought it would be nice to get Bella a new playmate

Stanley is insane. And he seems not sure yet that we are going to keep him so he varies between very very good doggy to very saucy and disobedient doggy. It is really hard to resist him when he's saucy but I am trying to be strong.

Meanwhile, Benton has been my best friend since 2007. Here's Benton at the beach zoning out on the waves and the smells.

There are two stories in my place and a narrow set of stairs leading to the bedrooms. These days it sounds like a thunderous herd as the pack follows me up and down the stairs. The kids now refer to my place as The Dog Park.

I love it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rape is not a compliment

Recently, I saw this blurb on a book at Goodreads.

There is one upside to almost getting raped. It proves that you're at least desirable to someone.

I have no reason to believe that the author of the book meant any harm by it. I also do not believe that the author thinks rape is a good thing. The blurb is unfortunate. In my opinion, it should be taken down.

Here is just a little information about rape from the 'Rape Myths and Facts' site:

Myth: Rape is caused by lust or uncontrollable sexual urges and the need for sexual gratification.

Fact: Rape is an act of physical violence and domination that is not motivated by sexual gratification.

Myth: Women provoke sexual assault by their appearance. Sexual attractiveness is a primary reason why a rapist selects a victim.

Fact: Rapists do not select their victims by their appearance. They select victims who are vulnerable and accessible. Victims of sexual assault range in age groups from infants to the elderly. Sexual attractiveness is not an issue.

From the US Bureau of Statistics:

Fact #1: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, (woho those sexy children!) and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)

Assault causes sometimes life long damage.

Fact #13: Rape victims often experience anxiety, guilt, nervousness, phobias, substance abuse, sleep disturbances, depression, alienation, sexual dysfunction, and aggression. They often distrust others and replay the assault in their minds, and they are at increased risk of future victimization (DeLahunta 1997).

Fact #14: According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, more than 260,000 rapes or sexual assaults occurred in 2000; 246,180 of them occurred among females and 14,770, among males (Department of Justice 2001).

Fact #15: Sexual violence victims exhibit a variety of psychological symptoms that are similar to those of victims of other types of trauma, such as war and natural disaster (National Research Council 1996). A number of long-lasting symptoms and illnesses have been associated with sexual victimization including chronic pelvic pain; premenstrual syndrome; gastrointestinal disorders; and a variety of chronic pain disorders, including headache, back pain, and facial pain (Koss 1992).Between 4% and 30% of rape victims contract sexually transmitted diseases as a result of the victimization (Resnick 1997).

So, when I read a blurb that says: There is one upside to almost getting raped. It proves that you're at least desirable to someone. I'm sorry, I can't just let this go without saying, it is exactly this sort of attitude that makes recovery so difficult for victims. Shame on you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bad blurb no bisquit.

A Dish Served ColdA Dish Served Cold by Andrew Ashling

The reviews look good. The blurb for this is horrible, offensive and should be changed.

"There is one upside to almost getting raped. It proves that you're at least desirable to someone"

Are you effing kidding me? Rape is NEVER about attraction. It is ASSAULT. It is about power and sickness and hurting another person, not about sexual attraction.

From the reviews I get the impression that this unfortunate blurb does not reflect the opinions of the author.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stanley Kowalski

Stanley Kowalski is the name of our newest dog. I think. After the 'Due South' character, not the 'Streetcar...' though I suppose there might be confusion.

My other dog's name is Benton after Benton Fraser. It's a slash reference.

Isn't he Mr. Adorables?

Friday, March 18, 2011

I love L.A.

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

This is the view from my editing room. The building next door is under construction so my view also includes cool entertainment I.E., men in hardhats driving destructo machinery around. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, so a view of the mountains will never seem old to me.

Inside, I work with the coolest people on the planet. Artists, writers and film makers, of every race, creed and life style preference you can imagine. It's like the United Colors of Beneton here. If you are looking for diversity in employment, I highly recommend Disney Studios.

Of course, this being the second largest city in the United States, it's a big plus to make a decent living here. Nobody likes to live in the economically challenged neighborhoods of a super large city. I think most of what people see on television is about the scary parts of town and the people who must struggle for survival in those neighborhoods.

It took fifteen minutes for me to get to work this morning. I drove here in a convertible with the top down.

I love Los Angeles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things that make me wonder...

When did 'politically correct' become a bad thing? I mean, if an institution seeks to update themselves with an eye towards greater fairness, why would they be criticized, with snideness, for trying to be politically correct? Isn't that a compliment?

When did Christianity become the National Religion? I missed the memo.

And when did Christianity come to mean conservative? Jesus was a liberal, people!

And since when did Conservative mean 'we care what you do in the privacy of your own home'? The conservatives I knew growing up believed whole heartedly that their private lives were none of the governments business. When did that change?

No wonder it is so hard to have a rational discussion anymore. Somebody has taken the words and packed them with agendas, misinformation and skewed meaning.

Some days I think the greatest threat to this country is our ever decreasing standards in education. Less money to guns and more to teachers, IMHO, is the solution.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back Amongst the Living

Frightening things happened to the world while I was safe in my downy white bed. I was watching the sunrise and the finches hopping around in the palm tree outside and thinking that if it weren't for the internet, and the media, I'd never know about the horrible events in Japan. And isn't it strange to think that there was a time when a woman walking the Mil Potrero Highway in California would have NO IDEA what might be happening in other parts of the world?

Today at work I realized that there is an illumination problem in my room. I've thought it was my glasses, and then my contacts, and then just my dreamy lazy brain, but after spending several days in a properly illuminated bedroom I realize that there is something wrong with my office. I can't see anything in here!

I don't want to turn on the flourescent lights because they give me a headache. Maybe I need some new bulbs for my desk lamp. Are there better kinds of light for computer work?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Contest - Win a copy of Death by Misfortune!

The Erie Gay News is running a contest online to give away copies of Death by Misfortune. They've got a lot going on over there, so check it out!

Day Four - The Road to Recovery

Mr. Hyde has withdrawn somewhat and I'm wobbling about today. I may even manage to take the dogs for a walk. I'm dissecting the plot of a book I'm working on. Taking out characters, blending them and changing the interaction between two of them... it's like re-knitting a cable sweater, but it has to be done.

On Book Two of a Reed Farrel Coleman series that Val recommended, Redemption Street. It's the second in the Moe Prager series. The first was Walking the Perfect Square which I read yesterday.

The books seem terribly dated, so I was surprised to see that the publish date for the first was 2002. I'm not sure whether they were reissued (I did look around the web trying to find out) or if Mr. Coleman is an expert at writing decades gone by. Even the 'witty' dialogue is dated. So much so that it was like listening to my older relatives trying to be funny. The flavor and feel is so consistent that I found I didn't mind too much. It does look like the series comes into this century eventually, as Innocent Monster is a post 911 mystery.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Home Sick - Day Three and Cranky

Whine #1: It is completely unfair to introduce supernatural elements at the end of an action adventure and not explain why. I'm fairly miffed with T. Jefferson Parker at the moment.
Whine #2: Despite my best efforts, I dribbled RED #28 dyed cough syrup onto my white coverlet. I hope there's a way to get it out.
Whine #3: There's a person outside loudly contructing or deconstructing something. I want to drop heavy objects onto him to make him STOP.
Whine #4: Everything tastes like soap.
Whine #5: I don't particularly care for first person narrative. Yeah yeah I know. I shouldn't complain since I've written first person narrative, but it's like listening to someone who can't shut up talk about themselves for 300 pages.
Whine #6: The bottoms of my feet itch. But I'm super ticklish so I can't scratch them. But they itch.
Whine #7: I've watched all of my DVD's.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home Sick - Day Two

The view from my bed is pretty. Those green 'berries' hanging from the palm tree out there are the food source for quite a few squirrels, rats and birds. And the orchids on my desk are one of my hobbies. I've been reading a lot about orchids lately. I'll post something later when my brain is working in a more linear manner.

Continuing to read. I've read several Lisa Gardner books lately. I just finished The Perfect Husband which seems kind of her typical theme. Abusive men, abused but courageous women. Children threatened. There are romantic elements to the stories, but I wouldn't call them romances. Very strongly written tales, so it's hard to put the book down, even if you know how it's going to end. The pov shifts carry the story forward quickly and keep the reader freaked out, because we see the bad guy at the end of the block just a chapter before he intersects with our heroine.

I recognize the same 'trope' as in m/m romances. Big strong manly men who are protective and almost superhuman in their abilities. Sex that is totally penis based and, of course, dramatically repeatedly orgasmic. You know. We read it all the time and it's super hot. Not realistic but super hot, perhaps because it's not realistic.

Pleasure is easy in romances. Our heroes don't retain water or feel fat and ugly at inconvenient times. The gorgeous hunk or hunkette turns out to be good in bed, too, with an almost psychic ability to know what is needed and wanted. Great sex means love. Just like we all wish it would. This happens as much, or more, in m/m romance. I'm not a gay man but I know a few. It just isn't that easy. For anybody.

Maybe that's why I'm getting tired of the romance genre right now. I want to read about people who manage despite the difficulties. I want to read about love that isn't easy. Sex that people make work because they care enough about each other to do so.

I loved Crazy Love because it was that sort of romance. So I've been picking my way through books by David Lozell Martin. He's really not a romance writer but he does have emotional depth and realism. Maybe that's what I want to head towards.

Meanwhile, I have soup and Switch. A weirdly magical lesbian story.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sick Day

I'm home sick. I'm bored. I feel too rotten to actually do anything.

When I have free time, I write. Granted, sometimes 'writing' really consists of me grousing while trying to sort out the latest mess I've made of a plot and the hapless characters stuck in it. For instance, I have this unhappy dude who is suspected of murder traipsing off to an adventure and thought 'easy peasy this plot writes itself'.

Ho ho! says my plot. Take this! And I have a sudden dump of too many characters... I mean, it looks like the Alewives in Lake Michigan during a red tide. All writhing around bitching and complaining. I know what I have to do. But I'm sick and just the idea of rolling up my sleeves and sorting this mess is like asking a sick person to wash the three days of dishes that stacked up when the washer broke. Did that metaphor turn into a snake in my hands? Yes it did.

Like I said, I'm sick.

Snakes and dead fish. What the heck?

So... I opened Kindle and read a bit. This would be good except of course my eyes are burning and my muscles ache and I can't concentrate. I finished 'Soulless' which is the vampire book Jane Austen never wrote. (that's a good thing) but I read it while reading 'The Border Lords' which is a book Miss Austen would have probably had the gardener take out and burn. Not because it is bad but because it is intensely violent.

How did I get from dead fish to drug cartels? Well, it seemed like a logical progression a few minutes ago. I think my fever is going up again.

You know how when you're sick after day three or so you run out of Kleenex and opt for the roll of Charmin? But my roll of tp has toppled off the bed and disappeared and the maid seems to have taken the day off. I need lemon tea! I need a cold compress! Wait, what era am I in?

Back to the book. How is it I've written fifty thousand words and only five thousand of them are any good? How does that happen? This would have never happened to Jane who, I understand, wrote in ink pen on paper.

Now my head hurts, my nose is both stuffy and uncomfortable, I'm itchy and irritable and I can't write worth a damn. Jane would call me Pathetic.

Where is that frickin' maid?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Literary Nymphs gives Death by Misfortune 5 stars

Literary Nymphs gave "Death by Misfortune" five stars and a very nice review. It's just a little spoilerish, if you haven't read the book yet.

Of course, if you know me then it's not that spoilerish. I do like to stack up the bodies.

And Pottery Barn delivered my bed at 8 oclock this morning. They almost had to roll me out onto the floor to deliver it. But, yay! A bed!