So to inspire you to see the Hunger Games movie this weekend, I'm featuring Lenny Kravitz for my Smexxxy Friday this week. Enjoy! *drools* Look at him...he's cooking and he has tats and piercings! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't jump his bones! A man in the kitchen gets my oven nice and hot...if ya know what I mean! *wink wink*
Can I tear more holes into his shirt???? Pretty pwease??? I won't hurt him...I promise!
Sexy! Even with a towel over his head, hahahahahahaha! I love you Lenny! You did an awesome Cinna! :D
Requesting volunteers for Team Peeta to go and see the Hunger Games movie! Hahaha! I don't want to write any spoilers in my post for those of you who haven't read/seen the book/movie yet...but yeah...it was pretty fun to watch! Katniss was annoying (just as annoying as she was in the books) but I wasn't watching the movie for her. I was watching for Peeta! *fangirl squeal* I must say though...none of the male leads were all that attractive to me (Sorry, Josh...you're just not my type) but Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna! That was fucking badass! I love me some Lenny Kravitz! Yum!
Go Team Peeta! (and also Team Haymitch! and quite possibly Team Finnick!) See the movie!
I told myself I would not talk about Trayvon Martin. Honestly, I try to keep my blog as politically "neutral" as possible. But as new facts/reactions surface in the media, I feel an obligation to say something. What happened to Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Regardless what you believe, an unarmed child was killed last month. And the topic of race has once again become a sensationalized hoopla in the media circus. But for me, race isn't just an issue I think about on slow news days. I am a queer black female in America...and I think about race/gender/sexuality everyday. I don't have the privilege to "opt out" of these discussions because they directly concern me and those who look like me.
So I signed the petitions. I joined the Million Hoodie Rally. I watched the news and continue to this day to follow every twist and turn of the case. And just yesterday I found a tumblr page to support Trayvon Martin. You don't have to be a sociopolitical activist to participate. It's as simple as putting on a hoodie and submitting a photo. That's it.
Querying is time-consuming. And annoying. And degrading. And demoralizing. You're practically groveling to someone who is more than likely too busy to respond to you anyway, so yeah. There's a reason so many writers loathe this part of the submission stage. But if you're smart (and I'm assuming you are since you read my blog) you can make the most out of this horrendous process.
Break out the note-taking materials, I will be giving a pop quiz later.
1. Familiarize yourself with sites like QueryShark and Nathan Bransford. Study them. Memorize them. Find other blogs/sites that resonate with you while you learn the mechanics of writing the actual query letter itself. Find successful queries that resulted int full-requests. I personally recommend THIS SITE.
3. Once you select an agent DO YOUR RESEARCH and check their agency's website, past clients, interviews, etc. Just because Publisher's Marketplace lists "horror" under your agent's name, does not necessarily mean your agent is actively looking for horror at this time. Study the sort of books your agent has represented in the past and make sure you read their submission guidelines first!
3. Personalize your queries. I realize this is a pain to do--but trust me, your chances of getting a full request are greatly improved if you study your agent's likes and dislikes before sending off your query.
4. Write multiple versions of your query letter. Pick the strongest one. Then seek the advice of fellow writers (preferably the writers who beta'd your novel) and revise, revise, revise, revise! This query letter is the only obstacle standing in the way of you getting published, so make sure your query is as strong as possible!
5. You've finished writing the damned thing and your query has been polished to perfection. Congratulations. The hard work is over and all that there's left to do is pull up your big girl panties and mail them off. Expect rejections but stay optimistic. Keep in mind most agents adopt a "no response means NO" approach. So if your agent is nice enough to tell you you've been rejected DO NOT act like an asshole and demand answers for why. Be professional at all times.
6. So by now you've been rejected by 25 different agents. Chin up. There's still hope. Explore small-press publishing or even self-publishing. There are many ways to get your novel published nowadays. Take these rejections as an opportunity to polish up your MS while you think of a plan B.
If you have any tips or useful resources to share with us, please don't hesitate to enlighten the blogosphere with your comment!
There's something so distracting about a naked man singing with lots of body paint on. I love this song too. Been jamming to it for weeks now. :)
I LOVE how Kimbra responds to his over-romanticized "male angst," lol. "Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over!" Makes the whole song for me, haha! I actually laughed the first time I heard that. The acting is very well-done in this video. Anyway. Men and women. Doomed relationships. Somehow I find it all aesthetically appealing. Have a great day, everyone!
And because I'm just a spaz, I'm just now noticing it! Truth be told, I won this award before, the "One Lovely Blog Award." But hey, getting it twice now must mean I'm doing something right, eh?
Please do check out my girl Dismantylnn over at Color Me Goth. Her blog is fantastic and aren't her dreads just DIVINE???? Serious loc-envy going on right now! I'm kind of giddy about my dreadlocks right now because as of March 25th, my locs will be officially 1yr old! Happy birthday to my hair! Yay! Go me!
Picture time! Behold the awesomeness of my loc progress!!!!
Day 1: Still at my loctician's beauty shop sitting under the dryer! Two-strand twists all the way! For anyone wondering, I have 71 locs. And yes, that is ALL of my hair. I don't need to break out the photos of my shoulder-length afro, do I? Shrinkage is a bitch. I got locs because I was sick of losing 80% of my length. I got 4ab/spongy hair. And lots of it. I gots the GOOD HAIR, don't I, Mommy?
Month 2: At least I think this photo was from the second month...my hair was going through the dreaded (no pun intended) "ugly phase." I don't know what's up with my expression in this picture, lol! But yeah...my locs have thickened up quite a bit by this point. Yes, that is a Christmas tree...in May. I was too lazy to take it down (or remove the beer bottles underneath it) so sue me!
Month 4: The glorious back of my head. I just want to show off my awesome hair texture. It's so funny, because I can still see the rivets from the two-strand twists in this photo! We just moved into our new apartment (hence the tower of Home Depot boxes in the background, lulz!)
Month 7 or 8: I was showing off my blue titanium nose hoop in this picture. Don't I look cute? As you can see, there's not much "length" happening here because my hair (if you can believe it) is STILL condensing! I don't plan on seeing any real "length" until I get into my second year. *sigh* 'Tis the life of a dread-head to suffer through stunted growth periods! Nowadays my hair feels very "hard." But I've been told by my loctician that my hair will always be "softer" than most because my individual hairs are freakishly fine.
Month 9: Just to compare different back of the head shots...in this photo, my locs are budding like craaaaaazy! And yeah, you can't even tell they were once two-strand twists here. My locs look like this today. Just chunky ropes of hair, lol. I'm thinking I should latch on the 25th to celebrate the occasion! As I'm sure you dread-heads have noticed, I'm a bit of a free-former. I latch like...honestly...once every two months. If I can remember. I don't palmroll because my hair loves water too much and I detest puffy roots after spending $60+ at the hair salon. (I refuse to palmroll on my own...I lack the patience)
I became natural so I wouldn't be a slave to a salon. So yeah, starting the first month, I managed my locs 100% by myself. I'm used to doing my hair toute seul anyway! I rocked my afro for 8yrs before jumping into the loc world. I don't even really buy commercial products for my hair. I make my own conditioners and try to use as many natural ingredients as possible. Maybe I'll do another post about hair recipes...but I doubt anyone who reads this blog would actually care about that! Haha!
Anyway...shameless narcissistic propaganda. Enjoy all of the pictures. I won't post this many of myself again. Ever. I hate putting my face out there on the internet. Paranoia. Privacy. And all that. Fuck. It's 1:34AM and I still haven't finished writing my fucking query letters! *sigh*
I love this song! I just rediscovered it recently. I've been listening to it nonstop while I edit my novel. It is the lyrics that really get me. So feministic! Pumps me up as I'm writing all of those scenes with my main character. Her womanhood is hers. No one else is "invited" to just take it. Go Alanis Morissette, you sing it, girl!
Like anyone would be I am flattered by your fascination with me Like any hot-blooded woman I have simply wanted an object to crave But you, you're not allowed You're uninvited An unfortunate slight Must be strangely exciting To watch the stoic squirm Must be somewhat heartening To watch shepherd need shepherd But you you're not allowed You're uninvited An unfortunate slight Like any uncharted territory I must seem greatly intriguing You speak of my love like You have experienced love like mine before But this is not allowed You're uninvited An unfortunate slight I don't think you unworthy I need a moment to deliberate
I'm soooo excited to have Drake Stone sit down with me and answer my questions today. This is my first ever book narrator interview! So everyone, please give a round of applause for our dear guest today! I don't think he's ever been interviewed by a cannibal before...so let's make him feel welcome.
*motions for Drake to sit in the plump red chair*
First things first. We need to congratulate Drake on his newest release. It is titled: "Best Gay
Erotica 2011" and you can find it on audible.com HERE. He is published by Cleis Press. Some of the other books he has narrated are: "Best Gay Romance 2011," "Hot Daddies: Gay Erotic Fiction," and "The Ultimate Guide to Anal
Sex For Men."
For those who are curious, you can listen to a free sample from each of these titles. Click HERE and find the little green speaker icon on the thumbnail cover of each book. I must confess, I was most intrigued by the sample from: "Best Gay Romance 2011." Raunchy! Yum!
VC: Sooo *turns to Drake and smiles* Quite an impressive roster of titles, sir! I can't help but notice most of them are in the gay erotic genre. Any particular reason for that?
Drake: The gay erotica genre is a field
that has a very diverse audience, and a wildly versatile array of outstanding
writers with incredibly varied viewpoints – truly a flavor for every taste. It is a privilege to serve the community and tell these stories,
(our stories), by portraying a myriad of characters with the utmost integrity,
transparency, and authenticity I can conjure while staying true to the author’s
VC: What are you hoping your readers (ahem) or well listeners, get out of your work?
Drake: I don’t think it’s so much a question of what I want them to
get “out of” the work as much as it is what I want them to get “off from” the
work…. *grins* Of course, I also hope they appreciate all the character nuance and
conflict inherent to the storyline of each author’s intent.
VC: Hahaha! Fantastic! "Get off from..." I like your sense of humor! You know, I've been wondering. How exactly did you get into book narrating? And are you ever embarrassed when you're reading explicit material aloud in the studio?
Drake:Well, I didn't plan on becoming a gay erotic narrator - I am an audio book narrator who happens to be gay, and I saw a couple of titles available to audition for (Cleis Press titles) and I went for it and was cast! I was then asked by the same rites holder to narrate a couple more titles and the rest, as they say is history.
I suppose if I was doing this material in front of an audience I would have some reservations, or nerves about performing erotic material but as the recording is so "contained" I really don't get nervous - I think I would be more "nervous" or worked up if I had to narrate something terribly violent or psychologically 'uffed up' like pedophilia or some sort of non-consentual abuduction or the like. But erotic material is - well - fun!
VC: What are your goals in life? What are you proud of?
Drake: My goal is to
be in a committed, sustaining, lasting relationship. I am most proud that Washington State, as of Feb. 13, 2012
became the 7th state in the nation to put a law into its books
recognizing same-sex marriage by Governor Christine Gregoire – Washington, my
VC: Yes, I know! Very exciting! Now, if only Texas can get on board! My governor is the esteemed Rick Perry. *Smh* Oh lord, don't get me started on Rick Perry and these republican presidential candidates, hahaha! We'll be talking politics in a second! And I don't want to derail the interview! But that is fantastic that Washington has recognized same-sex civil rights. That really is amazing. With that said, if you had to describe yourself in three words, which three words would you choose?
Drake: Way With Words.
VC: Should've seen that coming...hehehe! What is your favorite fairytale?
Drake: The Emperor's New Clothes.
VC: Interesting. And if you could shag any fictitious character, who would it be and why?
Tolliver (Mouse) from Tales of the City – reminds me so much of my first true
VC: OK, I gotta ask because one of my favorite books will be turned into a movie this month. I'm a Hunger Games fangirl and all that, hahaha. So are you Edward vs. Jacob or Peeta vs. Gale?
Drake: The wolf boy
VC: You've been a real trooper, Drake! Thanks you for answering my questions. Please tell us about your newest release and where we might buy it.
Drake: The newest title is: Best Gay Erotica 2011,
it along with all the titles I have narrated have been published by Cleis
Press, the anthologies are edited by Richard LeBonte and are available on
amazon and audible.com. I have another title I just completed that should become available within a month or so:
Muscle Men: Rock Hard Gay Erotica
VC: And there you have it folks! *shakes Drake's hand* Thank you for coming on to my blog. We really did love having you and I enjoyed our conversation. Good luck to you and your audio books! It's been a pleasure, sir. Round of applause everybody! Drake Stone has just left the building! :D
Flight of the Conchords! This is a CLASSIC! Anyone who's been in a longterm relationship will appreciate this video, hahahaha! Here's hoping you get some "business time" this weekend! :D *puts on business socks* Where is that boyfriend of mine?
Ahhh...the quintessential "alpha male" antagonist. Does it get any better than Gaston from Beauty and the Beast? Creating an evil (authentic) villain can be just as challenging as characterizing your main character! At the moment, I am having serious problems with one of the villains in my novel! Agggh! It's easy to make your villain a dick. It's much harder to humanize him so his motivations seem authentic.
So what is an "alpha male" exactly? And why do alpha males make such good bad guys?
Alpha males aren't necessarily "evil" but they do have character traits that often twist them into unsympathetic characters. "Alpha" types are assertive, aggressive, self-absorbed, confident, proactive, and tend to put themselves in leadership roles. These traits can be good (and even necessary) in some situations, but in most interpersonal situations, not so much. True alpha males are rare. They should make up less than 15% of the general population. In the wild, the strongest alpha usually wins the right to mate with the female and pass his genetic line. Likewise, in human settings, the alpha male usually puts himself at the top of the social hierarchy (CEOs, politicians, military generals, etc.)
If you're dealing with an alpha male, he will try to assert his "dominance" over you. An unwilling main character who refuses to follow his rules can create the perfect conflict scenario. This is why alpha males make excellent antagonists in fiction. However, whenever you're creating a villain (alpha or not) you've got to give him realistic motivations. He can't just be evil for the sake of being evil.
I love to HATE my villains. A truly convincing bad guy can become my favorite character! If your readers love to hate your villain, they will root for your main character. And often they'll turn the pages just to see how the villain "get's it" in the end. So with that said, who is YOUR favorite fictionary villain? And is he an alpha male?
I'm interviewing book narrator extraordinaire, Drake Stone this week! He is promoting his most recent book, "Best Gay Erotica 2011" from Cleis Press and I am stoked! I must admit, I've never interviewed (let alone spoken to) a book narrator before! So I'm super excited to have this guy on my blog! I can't believe my luck! I took a quick listen to some of his samples today--holy cow! Drake's voice is really awesome!
I guess I didn't know what I was expecting. To be honest, I've never listened to a book before but it's one of those things I've been meaning to try. Anyway, I wonder how someone prepares for a role like that! Although I write erotica I doubt I have enough balls to stand in front of a microphone at a recording studio and read it aloud! Hahahaha! I'd be blushing like a sunset! I gotta ask Drake about that when he's over here!
Anyway, he's going to sit down with me this weekend so we can talk about his books. :) I hope you guys will join us here on Saturday! *happy dance* Yay!
Which one is better? Is there a better? Can one claim moral superiority over the other? The Plotters claim the Pantsers are too disorganized. The Pantsers scream back that they are more"artistic"and "creative" for that very reason.
I don't think it matters so long as you finish your WIP. Boy, but this debate continues to pop up on writing message boards a lot. I would never look down on a "pantser" just because I'm a "plotter." People use different tools when they're writing. So why knock each other down over something so silly?
With that said, which are you? I'm curious to know...
I wrote this poem a few months ago. I thought about publishing it...but then I decided it is just not something I want put out there (professionally). Anyway, I wrote this poem after watching an episode from Criminal Minds. I think the episode was called "Six Seconds." There was this song that came on during that episode by Imogen Heap and I knew I just had to jot down something. It was a spur of the moment sort of thing. Please enjoy the song that inspired me to write this poem and also (if you you can) the poem itself. I always cry when Imogen sings: "You're scaring me! You're scaring me to death!" and also "I've got a bad feeling...trust me on this one....you're gonna throw it all away!" When she says "Smash!" I flinch from the sting of it. Such artistry in this song.
You see...the awesome thing about meeting new betas is learning new things from them. One of my betas (*waves at Aaron*) introduced me to this musician named Tim Minchin. Had I not read this beta's MS, I never would've heard of Tim Minchin.
And now Mr. Minchin is my new favorite thing...so yeah. Hurray for meeting new people and stuff. Anyway, this song cracked me up. Thought I'd share. Have a good weekend! :D
*Sigh* How many times has a man put his hand up my blouse just so he could fumble around for the next 30 seconds trying to unclasp my bra? So frickin' annoying! Half the time I just undo the damned thing myself because it seems most males on the planet are so hopelessly inept in this area. Guys, if you're going to take off her bra, AT LEAST LEARN HOW TO DO IT PROPERLY! You can score extra points for doing this with one hand, you know. Watch and be enlightened!
I must admit...the lightning bolt factoid kinda freaked me out a bit. It further reinforces the idea why I never wear underwire bras. Wireless and padded-free all the way, baby! W00t!
Hi. I'm the Vegetarian Cannibal.
My primary diet consists of broccoli and tofu and things like that, but I've been known to spoil myself on organisms higher up the food chain. Babies mostly. Sometimes clowns.
I'm a writer and this is my blog. :) I don't eat any of my fans, so don't worry. Just promise to clean up after you're done!