Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Word: Galumph

galumph |gəˈləmf|verb [ intrans. informalmove in a clumsy, ponderous, or noisy manner shegalumphed along beside him [as adj. ( galumphing)a galumphing tortoise.ORIGIN 1871 (in the sense [prance in triumph] ):coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass; perhaps a blend of gallop and triumph .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hot Hot Hot

Jo's sexy fun menage story is out. It's a great book, full of humor, personality, and of course, sex. I designed the cover, and I'm very happy how it came out.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Men: College Football

I have a confessions to make: I don't understand the rules of (American) Football. To me it's a bunch of guys in tight pants (no complaints) running around for a few minutes then standing around and doing nothing for twice as long. Pretty boring, if you ask me.

The interesting sub-text of this photo is that it was taken at a time when desegregation of college football was still a hot issue. There is an excellent HBO documentary on the subject, Breaking The Huddle.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Snivel – Nature vs. Writer's Block

I'm moody, constantly need something to feel excited about—a nice review, a new project I'm working about, etc.—and small things can throw me into a funk. Last Sunday misadventures with plumbing got me in a bad mood. Since misery loves company, other worries and self-doubts joined in and soon I had a full-blown anxiety attack. To top it all off, I had to admit that my WIP was in trouble.

Nature came to the rescue. I went to the park and lay under a tree. After a few hours of thinking, watching the birds, and one of them pooping on me, I figured out the problem—I'd jumped into the story before fully flashing out my protagonists. I went home feeling good, created detailed characters sheets, and started writing again.

Two chapters later, I realized it still wasn't working. In theory it was all there, but I wasn't feeling it. I couldn't inhabit my characters. Even with first person POV, I was looking at my narrator from the outside. So I took another trip to the park. I think I figured out the problem and the solution. We'll see. I still have anxiety. (And problems with plumbing.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Word: Wackadoodle

wackadoodle (plural wackadoodles)

Crazy, eccentric, etc.

Unfortunately, not recognized by scrabble, but at least I can use it in a sentence: I had a wackadoodle couple of days, and almost forgot to post Wednesday word.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Men: Boys of Summer

Sad to say, I don't have many pictures of non-Caucasian men, so this reason is a treat. This picture could've been taken at many places, but the background reminds me of Griffith Park for some reason. The cars in the background put this scene in around the fifties, I think.

My favorite part is the little kid in the back with his nerd-glasses and gap-toothed smile.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Snippet

The narrator of Hanging Loose, like me, is a nerd and a fan of old movies. He's also a bit repressed but loosens up under the influence. He gets into a pickle at a party in a big house in the Hollywood Hills:

The fresh air sobered me a little, but not nearly enough. When I moved my head, the lights left cool trails. I amused myself with that for a little while, till I realized I really couldn't go back inside to find Sandy and pressure her to get me home. After some deliberation, I decided I could just wait for her in the car, but I couldn't find it. Not only could I not find anything mint green anywhere, but the spot where I remembered we'd parked—as much as I could remember anything—was conspicuously empty. I commanded my two conscious brain cells to come up with a plan. Aha! The gorillas at the gate! With alarm, I realized that said brain cells were attempting to channel Sam Spade.

I ambled down to the gate to question the “gorillas” about Sandy. The errant brain cells assured me that I looked and sounded just like Bogie in The Maltese Falcon.

“Now listen up”—I tilted up my imaginary hat—“because I won't repeat myself. Did you see a dame in a small green convertible leave?”

The two guys, each as big as a door, exchanged a grin.

“Hot blonde in a Bug?” one of them asked.
“Yeah, that's the one, buster. So where is she?”

“I don't think I have to tell you anything,” he said, folding his arms over his chest. Judging from the snickering of the other gorilla, they were both having a good time at my expense.

“Now think again, and think fast!” I said at my menacing best. My delivery was slightly undermined by my slurring.

The heavy I'd been conversing with was having a hard time staying in character too. “She left hot on the tails of a Jag. Your girlfriend?”

I shook my head. “That's just swell. She was my ride home.” The spirit of Bogie abandoned me.

I was screwed. Maybe I could sleep under the azaleas and figure out how to get home once I had more functioning brain matter. Did azaleas even grow in California?

“Tough break, kid. Why don't you call someone to pick you up?”

My brain cells had a conference. I dug out my phone and dialed Sandy. No answer. A third brain cell regained consciousness and had a brilliant idea. I dialed Jez.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Sense of Place

I prefer setting my stories at places I know. Academic Pursuits took place at a fictionalized version of St. Louis, where I lived for years. A couple of my recent, and not yet published stories are set in Chicago. I lived close to the Windy City for a few years and got a feel for it. Plus, I love everything about Chicago, except the winters.

The majority of my stories happen in Los Angles because that's where I live.  The protagonists of my current WIP live in Pasadena, my favorite LA neighborhood, but at one point they take a visit to Hollywood Hills. My first trip there happened when I was still new in town and wanted to drive up to the Hollywood sign. (You can't.) I took a refresher tip the other day, and it proved useful, making me realize the house in the story needs to be located in a different part of the hills that I originally thought.

Then I went to a taco stand on Hillhurst and had a chili verde burrito. I took pictures of the place while there. I didn't even notice the Christmas decorations till I looked at the photos.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Word: Porcine

porcine |ˈpôrˌsīn|adjectiveof, affecting, or resembling a pig or pigs his flushed, porcine features.ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French porcin or Latinporcinus, from porcus ‘pig.’

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Men

The heat wave in Southern California continues. So here is something to cool us off.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Snippet & Status Report

Not all books come about the same way. Last Stop was one of those unexpected ones where the protagonists mugged me and forced me to write the story. Their backstories also dictated the plot. Then I wrote a paranormal novel (not yet published), simply because I got fed up with brooding vampires. Then a novella (also unpublished) because one of the supporting characters from the novel proved to be too intriguing.

If writers always waited for divine intervention, they wouldn't get much done. Sometimes the muse needs prodding. I spent the last couple of weeks percolating my next story idea. It's one of those slow-brewing ones. I think I finally have the rough plot outline, but more importantly got a handle on the characters. So now I'm having the pre-writing jitters. Half the time I'm excited and feel good about the story, another half I'm convinced it'll suck—if I ever finish it.

Anyway, so far I wrote the first paragraph. Of course it might change later, but for now here it is:

I'm not the one for deep thinking, I'll be the first to admit. Growing up in my family you could get smacked for "talking rubbish," not that I ever had the inclination. Still, sometimes I wonder about stuff. Like how a man's life can turn on a dime. There's this straight path right in front of you, and then suddenly you're off to a whole different direction. You know what I mean? Sometimes it's your own choice, but not always. It can be the result of other people's actions, or even something trivial, like a color. I would've never met Evan if it wasn't for the green flyer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Word

(photo by bluefishrun @ deviantART)

sun dog (also sundog |ˈsənˌdôg|)nounanother term for parhelion.
parhelion |pärˈhēlēən; -ˈhēlyən|noun ( pl. -heli|-ˈhēlēə|)a bright spot in the sky appearing on either side of the sun, formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals high in the earth's atmosphere. Also called sun dog .ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin parelion, fromGreek para- ‘beside’ hēlios sun.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Men

He's one handsome guy, isn't he? It's hard to imagine, but he must be in his eighties if still alive. The dog is surely long gone. It's the strange magic of photography to gift a brief moment with immortality.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Snippet

This is from a paranormal romantic mystery I'm working on. It's morning, the protagonist just woke up in his boyfriend's bed and contrary m/m expectation has matters more pressing then morning wood on his mind. (This is still a draft, so excuse the rough edges. I just know I misspelled something.)

He slipped out from under the covers and made a beeline for the bathroom.

On his way back to bed he noticed something seriously amiss in the living room. He saw a dark-haired woman sitting in one of the chairs, watching him in unconcealed interest. Denton couldn't tell if her presence or his own nakedness perturbed him more. Possibly the combination of the two. He retreated into the bedroom, and shook Bran by the shoulders. He got a sleepy grumble in response.

Denton shook him again. "Wake up. There's a strange woman in your living room."

Bran cracked his eyes open. "What does she look like?" he asked, in a voice thick with sleep, wariness, but not shock.

Denton thought back. "Attractive. Lots of dark hair. Not too young." From that brief look Denton guessed her age at late thirties, maybe well-preserved forties. "She's wearing a green dress."

Bran rubbed his eyes and groaned. "Oh, great." He rolled out of bed and threw on some clothes.

Denton followed suit. He half expected the woman to be gone, but when they got to the living room door, she still sat there, exactly as before.

"Where?" Bran asked.

"Right there, in the chair. Can't you see her?"

Bran let out a sigh. "Mother, you can stop it. He can see you. I told you he would."