Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Life of an Indie Author

     Sooo… Recently someone asked me why I self-publish and why not go with a publisher. Only a few moments later, a read a post from a reader saying that she is skeptical on buying Indie books because so many are so badly edited. Today, I’m going to try and shed some light on this subject.

Gotta have a hottie in there somewhere.
     First off, I’ve done the publisher route. The first experience was pretty good. Well it was until they didn’t pay me. It wasn’t much. It was for a short story, but still, I deserved to be paid for work done. I did submit invoices, wrote emails and finally gave up because it was taking more of my time up than it was really worth. Still, over all I was fairly pleased with them.

     The second publisher was a nightmare from start to finish. The editing process was long and tedious. On the first round of edits, the editor asked me to rewrite a paragraph. I did. The second editor didn’t like that same paragraph, so I tweaked it and sent it back. The first editor didn’t like that and asked for something different. A third editor said that the same paragraph didn’t make sense and it needed work.

     Okay, this had been going on for weeks by this point and no one was telling me what specifically they wanted, or were looking for. So what did I do? I changed it back to exactly the way it was in the first place and everyone loved it. Go figure.

     If there were the only issue with this publisher, I could have dealt with it, but no. That was only the beginning. That book has been out for almost two years now and I’ve yet to be paid anything for it. Not one red cent. Nada. Nothing. I’ve asked for the rights back, but have never gotten a response from them. Come to find out, I’m not the only author this has happened to. Its okay, Karma is a real bitch.

     The last issue that I have with publishers is that it takes them months to get a book out. That is time money is not coming in. From the time I finish a book, till the time it goes live is a lot less. Now granted, it still takes time, and this is where I get into the comment about editing issues.

     After I finish a book I turn it over to a beta reader. I try to proof it myself first, but by that time, I’m usually sick of looking at it, and I miss things. It looks and sounds right in my head, but that doesn’t mean it actually is.

     So, first beta read… They are looking for plot holes, things that don’t make sense, name mix ups and things like that. After they are done, I will go back over it, make corrections and then send it back to them. They have another look and send it back, often with more corrections.

     I’ll go over it once again and then I will send it off to an editor. This is where the real work begins. First off, editors are not free nor are they cheap. This can be very expensive. The more time they have to spend on it, the more expensive it gets, so it is wise to try and give them the cleanest manuscript possible. If they have to go over it a second time, you get charged for that round of edits as well, round two and possibly round three. They don’t work for free and I don’t expect them to. However, I try and keep the cost down as much as possible, so I do my very best to limit it to only two rounds.

     After I get the edits back from the editor, I go through the story again. How many times is that now? Now you can see why I get sick of looking at the damn thing. Okay, so I go through it once again… then off to a second beta reader. They still catch stuff. No one is perfect and things slip through.

     Oh guess what, I then get to go over the thing again. Yep, joy-joy. By now I’m ready to start drinking first thing in the morning. I begin to hate the characters and have self-doubts if this damn book is any good at all.

     Now, all this does take time. I can’t expect a beta reader, who does this out of the goodness of their heart, to do a one or two day turn around. They have lives too after all. The editor, depending on their own work load, can sometimes take up to two weeks to get a round of edits back to me, for an averaged sized book.

     And guess what? I send it off to yet another beta reader. Yes, I usually have three different beta readers go over this story as well as the editor. I learned the hard way about putting out something that had major editing issues. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was my first go-round, and I learned a lot. So yes, I try and put out as clean and polished product as I possibly can.

     On average, I say I can get a book ready to go live in five weeks, compared to six months or longer with a publisher. Yes, it is a lot of work and can be frustrating as hell, but again, I’d rather get it out there to readers than it sit on someone else’s desk for who knows how long.

     Then we get to the cover… yeah, that pesky thing. I thank my lucky stars that I have A.J. Corza who does my covers. The woman is a true artist and a genius. We work very well together. There are times I have something in my head and she will go in a completely different direction and it is amazing. No, I don’t mind that she does that. She knows me, what I like, how I work and she’s always spot on. Of course there are times that she does go with my ideas, and that works too. But let me make this clear, she doesn’t work for free either.

     What I truly love about self-publishing is the freedom it allows me to get all this done. Of course I’m out of pocket hundreds of dollars before you know it, but that’s on me. I’d rather pay for that freedom.

     “Well the publisher promotes the books, don’t they?”

     Uhhh, not that I’ve seen. The two publishers that I worked with didn’t post, promote or do anything to get my work out there and into the hands of readers. Nope, I did that. And guess what, I don’t see any other author’s work getting promoted either. They end up doing it themselves, for the most part.

     There are a few exceptions here: The Bears of Winter. That editor and the publisher both promoted that anthology. They are one of the few that I would consider working with again. Also Wilde City does more promoting than any other publisher that I’ve seen, so I’d look at them if I ever decided to go with a publisher again.

     The dirty side of indie publishing: money. Oh yeah, there’s that too…

     Readers who do not know me or my work will balk at spending $2.99 on a short story, especially if it is under the one-hundred-twenty-five page mark. I have no idea why that page number is the magic number, but it seems to be. So let me break it down for you…

     Editing…costs money. Cover art costs money. Time, well I’d like to think my time is worth a little something. Ahhh, but the biggie is that giant that everyone loves to hate: Amazon. Why does Amazon have anything to do with it? I’ll tell you. (Like you thought I wouldn’t?)

     Amazon has this little rule… anything below the $2.99 mark, the author only makes thirty-five percent of total sales. Anything $2.99 and above, the author makes seventy percent of total sales. This has nothing to do with that KU thing. Not even going there. It is a hard balancing act. Ahhh, but then there are those who are constantly saying they want bigger books; longer stories. I am all for that. I myself love a nice long book. BUT, and it is a big but; are readers willing to pay for that longer book. The numbers say no. This is why you will see many authors aim for the sixty-thousand word mark. Remember, this is not only an art, but also a business.

     Let’s go back to the editing process for a moment. Editors charge by the word. For just one round of edits, the price can vary from $0.0025 to $0.035 per word! That is just one round of edits. A lot of time it will have to go through a second round of edits, which will often be less, but still, that is money out of pocket.

     I’m going to use the lowest number, the $0.0025, here as an example. That’s $150.00 for a sixty-thousand word book, for just one round of edits. Add another $100.00 to that for a second round, and as you can see, it gets a little expensive for an individual. It is very easy to be in excess of $500.00 to get a book to market, and that isn’t a huge book.

     Double the size of the book and you are going to double, at minimum, the cost of producing the book. Often times, the longer the book, the more the editor is going to charge per word because it is going to take more of their time.

     The average cost of an ebook is around $4.99. That is roughly a sixty-thousand word book, give or take a bit. Are readers willing to pay more for an indie author’s book even if it is longer? Again, the numbers say no.

     I’m currently working on My Hero: The Olympian, which is well beyond that mark. It could easily reach the six hundred page mark, no problem. Here is the dilemma: Do I charge for the word/page count or do I charge for what the market will bear? Do readers really want longer books? Will readers pay for a longer book? See where this is going?

     Readers want longer books but rarely are they willing to pay for them.

     Now for a total topic jump… damn, I’m longwinded today…

     European book sales are in the toilet. Why? Because most European Governments have placed a VAT (taxes to us Americans), of anywhere from 19% to 22% per book. I personally think that is outrageous. Not only has it hurt the readers, but it isn’t much fun for the author either.

     Before the end of this year, I am going to offer all my books at the same price, across the board, to ALL readers directly from my website. We’ll see if Amazon will allow this, the big brother that they are, or not. I’m going to try at least. I think the European readers are getting ripped a new one and I don’t think that is right. We’ll see how it goes.

     What did I do this week as far as doing something nice for someone? Nothing individually, however I did finish a story for charity, which I enjoyed doing. I loved the story, even if it did make me want to jump on a plane and go stuff my face with ├ęclairs. It is being divided among charities that I believe in, so I feel good about that. How did y’all fair this week? Did you reach out and touch someone’s life, even if it was just a tiny bit?

     I bet you did! Have a great week, y’all,

And I leave you this.... enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Fetish...

     Soooo…. I’m drawing a blank here. There were a few things that popped into my head, but they all seemed rather deep and depressing to me. Gah, I’ve had enough of that this week. One thing that came to mind was what Gay Pride means to me. Yeah, uh… no. Not going there.

I do love me some Gio.

     Hairy legs. Okay, that got my attention.

     Who knows what it is that turns people on. I mean, where does that come from? My poor brother-in-law has this thing about high heeled shoes. No, not wearing them, silly. He likes women who wear them. It’s his turn-on button. I’m guessing that’s why my sister has so many shoes. Last count was something like seven-hundred-fifty. She has a shoe room! I know for a fact that a good number of those shoes have never seen the floor, only the ceiling.

     Back to the hair-leg thing… I love a nice furry man. Yeah, big surprise there, right? But how did that happen? Who knows what made me that way, its just the way I am. It’s just like I’m gay. Another big reveal, huh? No, but… like… why? Or when?

     I can answer the when part…

     When I was about four years old, that was when. I had an uncle, my Uncle Charles, by marriage I might add, who was probably one of the best looking men I’d ever seen. Even in his later years, he would turn heads. He looked a lot like Tyrone Power. So much so, that people would ask him for autographs. Years later, I was told that he did a Hollywood screen test and did well. Only problem was, he looked too much like Mr. Power.

This looks so much like my Uncle Charles
it's scary!

     Anyway, one hot summer day, a weekend I’m sure, he and my Aunt Evelyn came for lunch. This was before air-conditioning was common place, so it was hotter than blue blazes. Uncle Charles was wearing shorts. I remember that day so vividly. As far as I know, it was the first time that I had ever seen a grown man naked. I’m so glad it was him.

     Now my Aunt Evelyn was a beautiful woman, very gracious, a bit on the formal side, but a joy to be around. My Uncle Charles was the type to always have a smile on his face, would help anyone that needed it and an all-around nice man. Together, they were a stunning couple. I remember photos of them from that era and they really were something to behold.

     I digress… His shorts were blue. He was wearing a white button down shirt. I’m fairly certain that he was wearing sandals, matter-of-fact, I’m sure of it. Being so young, I would just walk up to him and stand between his legs. I remember, stroking his very hairy legs. Yeah, I was petting him. I was enthralled with so much dark fur, the silky feeling of it sliding between my fingers.

     He, my Aunt Evelyn, my mother and another aunt, decided it would be a good day to go down to the lake and go swimming. It was so hot and the house was like an oven. Also, they could drink beer, which my grandmother absolutely forbade in her house.

     That was when I saw my Uncle Charles naked. He and I went into my mother’s bedroom to change. He stripped completely naked, and I think almost posed for me, but that’s a bit iffy. He had a beautiful hairy chest and stomach, a rather full pubic bush too. He wasn’t circumcised, and had very low hanging balls. I’d like to say he was rather averaged size, but to a kid, everything looked bigger. He had a perfect ass, a light dusting of fur, and then there were those very strong, powerful looking, hairy legs. I can be fairly certain in saying that was when I began my thing for hairy men.

     I’ve always been a very visual person. I love black and white photography. I love shadows, shading and bright highlights. Alfred Hitchcock was a genius when it came to that, by the way. I think that is what drew me in, along with the tactile feel of fur. It was the way the hair shaded certain parts, and highlighted them at the same time. The gradation of light to dark with a third sense thrown in, if that makes any sense at all. It’s like the hair defines the musculature of a man.

     To this day, I’m a leg man all the way. I will look at a man’s legs, and then move up. Yeah, nice ass, broad back, nice chest, arms good, and then the eyes. That’s the selling point right there. I’ve got to connect with the eyes. He can have the most perfect, hairy body, but if I look into his eyes and there’s not spark, then it just isn’t going to happen.

     Of course, there is no doubt that my fetish finds its way into my books. Just about every book I’ve written has a hairy man in it somewhere. Mostly main characters, but that is what I find sexy. That is my hot button. Do I have a type? You better believe I do. A dark, swarthy man, covered in fur will make me take a double take every time.

     I gotta say I’m a little bit afraid of going to Italy for this very reason. One of several things may happen. One, I’ll get whiplash. Two, I’ll get arrested. Three, some woman will bash me over the head lusting after her husband, brother or son. Four, I’ll get my ass stomped by some hot hunky Italian man for drooling on him. So you see, as much as I want to go to Italy, I have a few reservations. I may need a leash.

     Of course I’ve had to include some photos of some hot hairy guys. I think I may have to go lay down now…

     Please remember to be kind to others and do one little thing to help someone else this week. Gotta keep racking up those Karma Coins!

     Have a great week, y’all,


Sunday, June 21, 2015

What The Fuck?

     So… (a needle pulling thread) Yeah, not sure where that came from. It just popped into my head. Probably not a very good start to all this.

     You know what really burns my ass? A flame about three feet tall. Okay, maybe two feet. Something else that just randomly crossed my mind. Why? Who knows? I told y’all I was bat-shit crazy!
     This has been an interesting week. I got a lot done and then didn’t get a lot done. I’m sure that makes perfect sense, right? The bad thing… I fell off the wagon this week. Oh yeah, did I ever. I drank a gallon of milk in two days. There are times I just can’t help it. I crave the stuff. I don’t know what it is about milk. I’ve always been that way, even as a kid. My mother never had to tell me to finish my milk. She was actually telling me to slow down on the milk. I don’t get people who don’t like milk. I think they’re weird.
     Of course, having a care package full of Tim Tams didn’t help. So much for that diet. Yeah, thanks for that Lauren. Love you, mean it. Don’t ever change. But my diet went right out the window! Please don’t ever stop sending them. Kiss. Kiss.

     I’ve been holding off on saying anything, since I got burned the last time, or two times I should say, but I do have an announcement.

     Drum roll please…. My Hero is going to be on audio book!
Book Cover
     Yep, I found, well Monique Thompson found, directed me, okay pushed me toward this guy, Jarrod Ford. He’s a singer, musician and now book narrator. Yeah, I got his cherry. Anyway, he lives in New York City and did the audition and he was simply brilliant.
Audio Cover
     Here is where I get to explain why I don’t/can’t do audio books. When I was a kid, my mother, grandmother, sister and anyone else around that wanted me to shut the hell up and go to sleep, would read to me. As you may have guessed it; it put me right to sleep.

     True story… I rented an audio book while driving once. Boy, was that a mistake. I learned very quickly that not only was it not helping me stay awake, but was actually putting me to sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t do that again.

     Anyway, back to the story… Jarrod Ford got all joined up with ACX, the people, and signed the contract. Now, color me oh so surprised when he sent me a spread sheet with questions. Did I happen to mention that this happened within a week’s time of signing the contract? Why am I surprised? After the last two guys totally flaked on me, I’ve been a bit leery.

     It was fun talking to him about how to pronounce things, explain minute details to him. Then to my surprise, he told me that he’d been researching Knoxville, the town where the book takes place. He went through the list of things he’d learned.
     This guy really has impressed me. When signing the contract, they ask for a finish date. I wanted to make sure to give him enough time, so I suggested a date that was out far enough so that it didn’t rush him. Then low and behold, he tells me he is looking to have it done three weeks early! Oh yeah, I’m loving this guy.

     Anywho, my first audio book should be out no later than mid-August. I’m really excited. This is something new for me and it really is exciting. For those who like audio books, I think you’re going to be in for a bit of a surprise. This guy really is that good. I think a star has been born.

     Now then, I’ve been trying my best to get the sequel to My Hero, My Hero the Olympian, done. It’s very hard. Actually, I’m terrified. I think I may have mentioned it before, but this really does scare the hell outta me. Oh and did I mention that it is already twenty-thousand words longer than the first one and it is only three-quarters done? Yeah, this is a huge book. It is going to cost me a fortune to get it edited.

     It’s very difficult to live up to expectations sometimes. This book being one of those times it seems. I refuse to put out crap. I know it has taken me over a year to get this thing done, but I’d rather it take longer than forcing it and it not living up to what readers loved about the first book.

     Here’s a funny, or I think so. In My Hero, I used characters that I knew in real life. I do tend to do that. Like Ruthie. She was a friend of mine in real life. It was suggested by someone that I contact her and let her know that she was in the book.

     Well I did that. It was fun to reconnect with her. She seemed to find it funny that she was in the book. I sent her a copy. Not sure if she’s read it or not, but I guess we’ll see. I hope she likes her character. In a lot of ways, it really is her.

     That’s about all I have this week. I can’t say that I’ve done anything for anyone else this week. I’ve been staying home a lot lately. Played in the yard some, went to the grocery store, washed a dog and that’s about it. Well I did get some writing done, but that’s work. I guess this coming week I’ll have to try and figure something else out. At any rate, the Kudo Coin Bank didn’t get added to this week. That always makes me sad. Hope someone else had better luck. If so, let me know.

     Have a great week, y’all.


I don't know who's ass this is, but I sure would like to find out! I may be in love.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rainbow Glitter!

     I’ve been trying to figure out what to blog about this week. Sometimes I really wonder, and worry, about y’all. I must be crazier than I thought for y’all to find my ramblings so amusing. Oh well, thank you for understanding my nuttiness.

Happy Pride!
     Anyway, I thought I might touch on some of the Great Gays in History stuff that I’ve been posting on FB. It got me to thinking… yeah, I know. That can be dangerous for me… and you.

     I’m going to start off with how amazing it has been to read or re-read about some of the great people who happened to be gay. There are a lot of them, and I’m sure that there are many more out there who didn’t come out, or were just never recognized. The history books will often talk about these folk, but they never say they were gay.

     I find that to be…disappointing. Just think about it for a moment. How many young people would feel better about themselves if, say in high school, they learned of a great general, who was important to the American Revolutionary War, happened to be gay. Yep, there was one.

     Don’t you think that perhaps some of the bullying would stop because of some of these facts? I mean, really. How could anyone bully someone for being gay when it was revealed that there were so many great people who were gay? Maybe it’s just me, but I think that is pretty much just common sense.

     Do you ever think there will be a gay history month in schools? I never thought I would ever see the day, but then again, I never thought I would see gay marriage happen in this country. I guess stranger things have happened. I do think, however, that it would be a good idea. I also wish that there was some really solid proof that Abraham Lincoln was sleeping with that guy. I think that would be awesome.

     Another thing that ran through my head was a comment that I heard recently. “The gay ghetto is practically dead now. The younger crowd doesn’t seem to care.”

     First, let me clarify the term ‘gay ghetto’. That was a term that used to be used fairly often when describing a gay section of town. Where most of the bars, shops and restaurants were. They used to be in a bad area or at the very least, a place where ‘most people’, meaning the straights, rarely went.

     Unfortunately, like what happened in Atlanta, the gays went in, got property cheap, fixed it up and then priced themselves right out of the market. They improved the area so much that the taxes went through the roof and then the hets wanted to move and, and so they did. Why do you think that there are so many revitalized areas in towns that are suddenly the ‘in’ place to go? If you looked closely enough, or back far enough, you’ll see what I mean. I think it’s kind of funny and sad at the same time.

     Going back to that previous statement: The younger crowds. That’s when I felt like I had been bitch slapped!

     Whoa… what a fucking surprise! It took me to a place I never thought I’d ever go. Being gay is much more accepted, if not even mainstream! What??? How…, when did that happen?

     The newer generation does't necessarily need to hang out in the strictly gay sections any longer because they have less to be afraid of and they don’t seem to care, a lot of the times, who know they are gay!

     Now, of course, there are those out there who are still being bullied, abused and gay bashed, but it is a lot rarer than it used to be. The biggest thing now is that it is being reported and in this country, considered a hate crime.

     I see this as being a double edged sword. On the one hand it’s a great thing because some of the hard work that many of us fought so hard for is now a reality. On the down side of things, these kids have no idea what it cost to get them this freedom, to be able to walk about holding hands, kissing in public and being able to be totally out.

     This goes back to education. What does Gay Pride actually mean to them? Do they fully understand why we have Pride Month? Do they get why you throw change onto the flag as it is marched down the street? I know that there are a few who do, but the majority? I’m thinking no.

     That fact saddens me. I have the gut feeling that this might not be the case had we not lost an entire generation to AIDS. We tend to learn more from those who are older and pass along the stories of our history. This has always been the case throughout history. I mean hell, even the Bible is based on ‘stories’.

     There were so many were lost to that horrible disease. Where would we be today if someone like Freddy Mercury were still around? Who knows what great things might he have accomplished.

     It’s been said that if Alan Touring hadn’t gone through what he did, and then committed suicide, our world would be a much different place. The things he could have done may have obliterated anything that Steve Jobs or Bill Gates might have done. Ever think of that? How different our history, world history, might have been?

     It boggles my mind sometimes to think how different things might have been. There have been so many changes in my lifetime it is sometimes hard to fathom. Openly gay Congressmen and Senators. Gay Marriage in many states. The Supreme Court going to decide on gay marriage for the entire country. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, being abolished. I mean, the list goes on and on.

     Yes, I’m proud. I’m proud to have been arrested numerous times for standing up for our rights. I’m proud that things have progressed as well as they have, as far as they have. Yet, at the same time I’m surprised and also a little sad. I hope that we don’t forget how hard and how long the fight took and how many suffered for it. Because, as we all know, freedom does come with a price tag. Sadly, sometimes that price is very high.

     But enough of this melancholy bullshit. Go and put on your rainbow gear. Find some pretty fairy dust. Kiss a handsome gay man, or a pretty lesbian. Make sure to tell an older gay person how much you appreciate them. Tell them how proud you are of them. How much you admire them for being who they are. Dance with them in the streets. Wave your rainbow flags, or leather flags or bear flags or any other number of pride flags that there seem to be now. Toss beads. Have numerous cocktails. Have fun!

     The biggest thing that anyone can do is support local gay business, or any gay business at all. And don’t forget to write reviews for gay authors. There is nothing more important to them than to know that someone appreciates their work. That they’ve been seen and someone knows what they’ve accomplished.

     Now, as many of you may know, I have a few special charities that are close to my heart. One of them is Lost n Found in Atlanta. I’ve been a big supporter of theirs almost from the beginning. What you may not know is that they have a wish list that is constantly being updated. I often only mention this at Christmas time, since I feel that every kid should have something to open on Xmas day. Well they have this list up year round.

     Did you also know that you can sign up through Amazon so that each purchase you make with them, so that a portion of that sale goes to that charity? Yep, so every time you purchase a book, a new pair of shoes, or hell, even a fly swatter, a little bit can go to them. Part of my regular routine is to go to their wish list, which can be accessed on their website. ( I try and spend between $30-$40 a month on that wish list. It isn’t much, but I try and do my share.

     That’s my little good deed for the month. If I can do something else for someone, that is bonus Kudo Coins for me.

     What have to you done lately for someone else? 

    Till next week, y’all… 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble...

     So… here I sit, totally scatter-brained. I had the fortunate luck to catch a cold or some kind of bug this past week. I’ve been sick for the last four days. Talk about bad timing… I was supposed to meet up with friends for Gay Dayz in Orlando this weekend and I never made it out of the house. Hell, I barely made it out of bed.

     While in bed, I thought I would catch up on some reading. My to-be-read file is overflowing. I have no idea when I’m going to ever get through it all.

     Well, that didn’t work. My eyes kept watering and/or itching, to the point I just gave up on that idea. It was probably a good thing. My mind was and still is, all over the place. Talking about ramblings… Cold medicine does that to me.

     When I did manage to pull my big butt up outta the bed, I sat in my relatively new recliner. Damn, but I love this chair. It’s rare that I splurge on something for myself like this, but it was on sale. I was able to get it for almost half price too!

     It’s a big black leather thing, with electric buttons to raise and lower the footrest. It also has cup holders on both sides and a swivel table that can be removed and stored. OH yeah, it has this neat armrest thingy that lifts up to store the tray-top or a laptop.

     On the other arm, there is a compartment that has two plugs and two USB ports! Talk about convenient! I can plug in the laptop and phone. Isn’t that just too cool?

     Where was I going with this again? Uhh…

     Oh yeah, why I brought it up in the first place. Well duh! So I’m sitting there, enjoying my nice comfy chair, my feet up, watching TV. I’ve watched more TV in the last three days than I have in the last six months.

I need to be watching this news channel!

     Okay, that might not be true but in a way it is. I have the news on in the background almost constantly. I’m one of those oddities I guess. I’m a self-admitted news junkie. One of the good things about being a news junkie is that I get some really good story ideas. I mean, I did get the idea about P.O.W. directly from Anderson Cooper doing a report from Afghanistan, so it isn’t always a bad thing.

     Any-whooo, I booted up Netflix and was cruising through and randomly picked this TV series produced by Netflix. It’s called Sense8. The first two shows were a little slow and seemed a bit disjointed, but it got much better by the third installment. After that, I was hooked.

     I have to give Netflix kudos for doing this drama series. They have a gay couple and a transgender woman, in a relationship as well. They aren’t afraid to show or use nudity to further the story. Matter of fact, there was this one sex scene that was so hot I thought I was watching one of those soft porn channels. Season one is done and I sure hope they do season two. It’s great story line.

     Have I mentioned that I love coffee? If I had to choose between coffee and sex, coffee would win every time, hands down. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

     How do dogs get so dirty? I just washed these critters last week and they are already filthy. We’ve had rain over the last few days, so I’m sure that is part of it, but damn, give me a break, y’all. Can’t you at least stay clean for a week? It kills my back bending over the tub washing these heathen creatures. Okay, they’re not heathens, they really are sweet, but hell-fire, enough already.

     As I sit here, I have the door open so the dogs can go out and get even filthier than they already are. The cool morning air smells so clean and sweet. I have the great urge to go play in the dirt. There is so much that I want to get done in the yard. But I know that if I even try I’d probably fall over. I’m still sick and it isn’t a good idea to try and be active without making myself even sicker. Actually, this is the first day that I’ve felt like I was probably still part human.

     Earlier this week, before I became Typhoid Mary, I was given a play to read. It was written by a fairly new friend, who I met at through the happy hour group that meets on Fridays. What an interesting man. I like him and his partner a lot, even if they are damn Yankees.

     So I read the first act of the play and I was quite impressed. I liked the way he was laying it out. The flow might need a little work, but overall, it was very good. Thing is, as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but put some of my own ideas into it. That was probably not a very good thing to do.

     You may have guessed it: I started thinking of writing a play. I have no idea who’d want to produce it, but the seed was planted. As I was reading Charlie’s play, I kept thinking to myself, ‘I could so do this’.

     When I’m writing, I can feel the characters. I see what they see and I think that comes across in my writing. Of course I get to know these characters, and they become real people to me. It is only recently that I became confident in thinking I could actually do justice to this whole writing thing.

     As I promised, I’ve been reading reviews. I have to say, I’m more than a little surprised. So thank you all who take the time to write reviews. It’s been rather eye-opening for me. Back to the play thingy…

     I might actually think about that for a future project. I do like a challenge and I think it would be a nice change of pace for me. I even have a story line forming. We’ll see I guess. Right now I have more than enough on my plate. Probably enough to keep me busy for the next couple of years.

     Before I close this up, I’d like to say thank you again to everyone who has supported me with this author thing. I still feel like I’m a newbie struggling to find my way.

     Did you do anything nice for someone this week? I did. Wasn’t much, but I did make someone’s life just a tad bit easier.

     Have a grrreat week, y’all.


I wanna pet it!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I Have Issues

     Okay, now I’m the first person to admit I have issues. I have issues when my toothbrush isn’t in the same place, facing the right direction. Weird? Uh, yeah. I have OCD, and I’ll be the first to admit it. There are just certain things that I have to have in place to keep me from going nuts. Alright, more nuts.

     I like to hang my clothes in a certain order. Like all long sleeved shirts together, and then organized by color. Oh, and by season. Same with the short sleeved ones. I even go so far as to keep the polo/golf type ones together. Did I mention they have to all be hanging in the same direction?

    The drawer where I keep the flatware? It is beautiful. All the forks on their sides, so I can count them, separated by size. Same with the spoons, except they don’t lay on their sides. Stupid spoons just won’t do that, damn it.

     All my spices and herbs are organized and yes, they are in alphabetical order.

     For the most part, I’m a fairly organized person. I like to be able to go and put my hands on things when I need them. What drives me nuts is when something isn’t where it is supposed to be. Usually, at any given time, I can almost always tell you where something is.

     Clutter is something that makes my eyes cross. I don’t have a lot of knick-knacks. As far as I’m concerned, they are mostly something else to dust, and I hate dusting. I’d rather clean ten toilets than have to dust.

     Did you know that I have a huge collection of teddy bears? Yep, I do. And never, not once, have I bought a teddy bear. I don’t know what it is, but people, for a while, thought I needed teddy bears. Why? I have no idea, but damn, I sure do have ‘em. Again, something that I have to clean. I do to admit, they do look cute on top of my armoire, but once or twice a year I have to throw them into the dryer with a damp towel and a bounce sheet to get the dust off ‘em. And please, do not send me anymore. I have more than enough!

And that isn't all of them!

     On a more serious note, I do have a few things that will simply turn me off. Betray me, or lie to me and it’s pretty much a done deal. Go behind my back, once, I may forgive, but I’ll never forget. Do it a second time, and you and I are done. It happened to me recently. It hurt like hell. But, that is just something that I won’t tolerate.

     My personal opinion is that if that a person will do that to you; they really aren’t that much of a friend and surely can’t be trusted. Trust is a biggie. If I can’t trust you, why would I let you into my life? Just doesn’t make sense to me. I can overlook a lot of things, that isn’t one of them.

     Why on earth do people continue to keep giving others second, third, fourth, fifth chances is beyond me. It will only hurt them in the end. There are sometimes when you just have to call a spade a spade and move on. It might hurt, but it will be a lot less hurt than further down the road. And trust me, that’s a lesson I learned the hard way. And yep, I’m hard-headed enough to have done it more than a few times.

     I know that I am truly bat-shit crazy. I fully understand that and acknowledge it. I really don’t have a problem with it. Of course that means that most of my close friends are just as crazy. They’d have to be to put up with my nuttiness. I think it is that whole thing about birds of a feather, ya know?

     We all have our own idiosyncrasies. Many won’t admit they are crazy, like my friend Mo-mo. But trust me when I say, she’s just as nuts as I am. To her I say: “Come into the light. Crazy is fun!”

     Oh, while I’m thinking about it… Last week I asked for some help. It seems I still can’t get food to my flippin’ mouth anymore without dribbling it down the front of my shirt. Does anyone know of a way to get stains out of shirts that have already been washed? I have several shirts I’ve only worn one time and they now have stains. I hate that. I think I’m going to cry if I can’t get ‘em out. HELP!

     And why is it when you’re on a diet, you want everything that you aren’t supposed to have? I can go months, even years without craving something and the minute I try to lose weight, BAM, I’m wanting something so badly I can just taste it? I know it is probably some demon creature sitting on my shoulder saying, “Go on, eat it. It’ll be okay.” Ugh, I hate that crap. For a foodie like me, resistance just isn’t my strong suit.

     I so failed last night. Somehow a package of Tim Tams found its way into my bed. I have no idea how that happened. LOL

     What else…

     OH! I finally finished the last installment of the Memories Series. YAY! Good for me. So Memories – Spring Break should be out in a few weeks. Here's an FYI - The damn this is almost book-length! I didn't think these people would ever shut the hell up. I do love A.J. Corza. She’s once again put a cover together that is perfect.

     Speaking of covers… There was a photo shoot yesterday. While in New York City, I was lucky enough to meet a young man who will be perfect for a book that I’ve started. He agreed to be on the cover. I have to say, this guy has really impressed me. I can't wait to see what he came up with!

     With all the shit he’s been through, he has a great attitude. He has so impressed me that I think I may actually do an extra blog post dedicated to him. So keep an eye out for that. I really think that his story is one that needs to be told. I feel that y’all will be just as impressed as I am. With all the crap he has dealt with in his short life, he always finds a way to give back.

     Speaking of giving back… I actually was able to do a few nice things this week for a few people. It wasn’t much, but I saw a need and lent a hand. What about you? Have you done something this week that helped someone? Hmmm? 

     Okay, that’s all I have for this week. Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Such Talent

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Offense Taken

     Wow, this has been a long but interesting week. Got home from NYC and hit the floor running. Always busy it seems.

     I’d like to first start off by addressing something that comes from last week’s post. It seems I may have struck a nerve with some people on my opinion about those in the adult entertainment industry having outlandish wish lists or asking for money on GoFundMe for ‘frivolous’ things.

     It’s my opinion, and I have every right to feel that way. I will say,  most of the responses I've had have been more towards the way I think. I was a little surprised however when I was attacked by the one who I had the most recent issue with. I never thought I was even a tiny blip on their radar. Hey, no hair off my ass. I work for my money, and the money I have won't be going towards such ‘frivolous’ things.

     Hmm, now that’s interesting… I just had a vision of me winning the lottery. (here's where the mad rambling starts) I've always said that money doesn't buy happiness, but it does buy a certain amount of freedom. What would I do with millions and millions of dollars?

     Let’s see… I would like to be secure financially, pay off some bills and travel. More than likely I'd give most of it away. I don’t need much. I’m really pretty simple when it comes right down to it. And lord only knows I have enough junk.

     I am pretty sure that I would set up a trust for the two charities that I am closest to. Both organizations work with homeless LGBT youth. It would be nice if they had big enough live-in facilities where no kid is sleeping on the streets and can have a decent meal. I've always been told that all a kid really needs is shelter, food and love. They can get all of that at these two places I hold dear to my heart.

     I've had an idea in the back of my mind the last couple of years of how I wish that there was a retirement village, community with assisted living, when needed, for gay elderly men. Is it just me, or do we seem to be forgetting those who have done the leg work for the rights that so many gay people have now? Anyway, I think I'd like to see that happen. 

     I'd also like to see music and the arts put back into schools. Maybe another trust in the name of my first music teacher so kids can have that same wonderful experience that I did as a kid. I loved orchestra and I'm sure it made me a better and more rounded person.

     Oh! A project that I've wanted to see happen for over twenty years! I'd love to start a charter school that revolved around food. I know for a fact that kids will eat most anything that they can grow.

     Did you know that there is not one subject that can't be taught when introduced as something relating to food?

     History: Tomatoes are native to Brazil and the Italians declared it the fruit of the devil.
     English/Spelling: Have to be able to write a menu and convey what it is you're cooking/growing in writing.
     Science: Baking is science based without a doubt.
     Math: Fractions would actually make sense and algebra has a practical use when you have to change recipes for however many people you're cooking for.
     Biology: Endosperm. Yep, enough said there I think.
     Economics: Do they even teach that anymore? Lord knows they need to!
     Social Studies: Did you know that there is a version of the taco in practically every civilization known?
    Foreign Language: Pfft, easy. When talking about food, you can get and keep most kids attention. How would you order Mac-n-Cheese in French, Spanish, and German?

     See, each subject and be centered around food, giving it a practical approach to learning. Has anyone ever heard a kid say, “What am I ever going to use this for?” If given a reason for learning about things, more than likely they'll pay attention.

     Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I don't think so. I think kids are amazing little sponges, ready to soak up most anything, if presented in the right way.

     On the writing front: Yay, the latest, and biggest, installment of the Memories Series is almost finished. I've grown to love the Sutton family so much. However, there are two new characters that are screaming to have their story told. I am thinking that after the last installment of Memories, I’ll start with their story. I think you’ll love this couple. It is going to be fun getting to know them better.

     On a side note: This Memories book is just that, a book. It is longer than most novellas. LOL They won’t shut up!

     Now that I've just about gotten that done, I'll be returning my focus back onto My Hero: The Olympian. I know that people have been waiting for this book. But I am going to finally admit, I've been scared to death to write it.

     Why? Self-doubt mostly. Will people like it as much as the first one? Is it good enough? Am I doing the characters justice? I’m really trying to not let those things stand in the way of finishing it, but it isn’t easy. Also, it is HUGE. Almost twice the size of the first one and it isn't finished yet!

     While in New York City I got to know a young man that impressed me greatly. There are so many similarities in our lives that is quite scary. It was because of him that I was able to open up a WIP that I had set aside and whip out several chapters without even thinking about it. It flowed so well and so easily. I’m sure that when I am able to get back to it, it will all but finish itself. One of the main characters, who I thought would be the most damaged, is actually the one who is going to be the one who helps the other character the most. A complete flip from what I had initially thought. Stock up on tissues for this one. It will rip your heart out.

     Would you read a book that didn’t have sex in it? I often do. I don’t need to have sex in a book to make it appealing to me, I just need a good story. I happen to like writing sex scenes. Could I write a book without them? Hmm, I don't know. I’d like to think I could. I’m going to give it a try and see where it goes.

     In totally brain-flop direction… Why does everything I eat end up down the front of my shirt? Is it time for me to have to revert to having to wear a bib? I mean honestly, I've been feeding myself for decades without a hitch and now… what gives? Sheesh, as big as my mouth is you'd think I'd be able to hit that maw with a pitchfork it’s so damn big. Any recommendations on how to remove stains from shirts once they’ve already been washed? I'm seriously thinking of just carrying a bib around with me. –sigh—

     I'm ashamed to say, that I’ve not really done anything this week to help someone else. In my own defense, I’ve not gone anywhere. Once I got home, I’ve pretty much stayed home, enjoying being in my own bed and having the pups around. I’ll try and do better next week. I hang my head in shame.

     Y'all have a grrreat week.