Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Word: Lugubrious

lugubrious |ləˈg(y)oōbrēəs|adjectivelooking or sounding sad and dismal. See note at glum .DERIVATIVESlugubriously adverblugubriousness nounORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Latin lugubris (fromlugere ‘mourn’ ) + -ous .

This word is a mouthful, you can roll it around on your tongue like a hard candy. I'd use it in conversation, but nobody would know what I'm saying.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Word: Lacuna

lacuna |ləˈk(y)oōnə|noun ( pl. -nae |-nī; -nē| or -nas )an unfilled space or interval; a gap the journal has filled a lacuna in Middle Eastern studies.• a missing portion in a book or manuscript.• Anatomy a cavity or depression, esp. in bone.DERIVATIVESlacunal |ləˈk(y)oōnl| adjectivelacunar|ˈlakyəˌnerē; ləˈk(y)oōnərē| adjectivelacunate |-ˌnāt; -nit; ˈlakyəˌnāt| adjectivelacunose |ˈlakyəˌnōs; -ˌnōz| adjectiveORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, ‘pool,’ from lacus‘lake.’

I love the sound of this word but it should be the name of an animal from the rainforest--something small, sleek, and furry.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vintag Monday: Conundrum

I have no idea what's going on here. This could be a photo of a bearded lady, perhaps from a circus sideshow or a Victorian cross-dresser. Or a cross-dresser disguised as a bearded lady.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Word: Hornswoggle

hornswoggle |ˈhôrnˌswägəl|verb [ trans. (usu. be hornswoggled) informalget the better of (someone) by cheating or deception :you mean to say you were hornswoggled?
ORIGIN early 19th cent. (originally U.S.): of unknown origin.

Colorful word, but not commonly used, probably because there are so many lively synonyms: hoodwink, bamboozle, flimflam, sucker, and more.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vintage Monday: Kilt

This laddie is actually in uniform. He probably served in WWI. I hope he made it--he looks so young.

I wonder about the practicality of kilt in the trenches, especially in winter.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Kilt

Denton shrugged. "Bran can be difficult at times."

She nodded with sympathy. "Men. Can't live with them, can't bury them under the porch. What's the matter? Maybe I can impart you my wisdom."

"Aren't you single?"

"At the moment, but I date. Plenty enough. Trust me, I know men."

Denton opened his mouth, but he immediately realized he couldn't breath a word of Peter or the frog business. Joy knew only so much about Bran's past and talents, and this secret wasn't Denton's to share. So he course-corrected. "What do you think of kilts?"

"On men?"

"Of course."

She grinned. "They are hawt. More than shorts. I'm not sure why. Probably because they make your imagination run wild wondering what's under, and hoping for a stray gust of wind. It must be like in the old times when women were so bundled up a glimpse of an ankle drove men crazy. I bet Gerard Butler in a kilt is ten times sexier than Gerard Butler naked."

Denton hadn't expected such a thorough reply. "You have paid some thought to this before, haven't you?"

(Dead Man and the Army of Frogs)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday Word: Bromance

noun \ˈbrō-ˌman(t)s\

a close nonsexual friendship between men

bromantic adjective

blend of bro and romance
First Known Use: 2004

So the big news is, 5,000 new words have been added to the Scrabble Dictionary, including bromance.

I first understood the true meaning of this word watching on youtube Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto give interviews around the premier of the Start Trek reboot. I mean, just look at them. It was obvious from the body language that these guys are not only friends but extremely comfortable with each other.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dead Man and the Army of Frogs

The newest installment in the Dead Man series is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks. Branes & Noble and print are coming soon.

Self-publishing has its challenges but it gets easier the more you do it. You also learn a few tricks along the way. For example, if you want Smashwords to accept your epub file for upload, you have to compile the epub in Scrivener then convert it from epub to epub in Calibre. Nuts but it works.

Whenever I'm uploading my books I get frustrated by the available categories. Dead Man and the Army of Frogs is a contemporary gay paranormal romance mystery. Probably more mystery than romance. It could possibly be also categorized as urban fantasy. One thing it isn't is gay fiction. Yet I'm forced to pic gay fiction as one of my categories at almost all vendors' sites for the gay part to register at all.

Amazon allows you to pick two categories only. So I chose gay fiction and paranormal romance. However, now that it's live it listed under nine categories, including gay romance. I'm convince that the Amazon goblins pick the additional categories based on the tags you supply. (Ironically, the tags don't appear on the book page anymore.)

All Romance eBooks is the only retailer I know that lets you pick gay romance as a category. If they can do it why can't the others?

Anyway, enough of my yakking. Enjoy this excerpt from Dead Man and the Army of Frogs:

"What in the name of Hecate are you wearing?" Bran's tone teetered between bafflement and alarm.

Denton had anticipated Bran's reaction, and secretly reveled in being able to surprise his generally unflappable boyfriend. He had promised to buy them a pair of kilts months ago but he knew Bran hadn't taken him seriously. Taking two steps into the living room he twirled around in a totally non-girly way. "It's called a utility kilt." He swiveled his hips to show off the side of the garment. "See, it even has pockets for storing stuff. You know, keys, wallet, a bag of graveyard dust. Whatever you got. Practical, eh?"

Technically, his kilt had gone well beyond mere utility with its steampunk-inspired design of straps, buckles, and other embellishments, but Denton had always liked extras. He'd wanted the kilt the moment he laid eyes on it at the online store.

Bran stared at the tan fabric first, then at Denton's bare legs showing between the hem and the orange socks puddling around his ankles. "It looks like a skirt to me."

Denton eagerly clarified the situation. "Nah, it only would be a skirt if I wore underpants."

With a pained expression Bran closed his eyes and kept them shut for several seconds—possibly counting to ten. When he opened them again they brimmed with resignation. "You're going to freeze your balls off."

"We're driving, aren't we?"

"Yes, but—"

"My balls will be fine." Denton did a quick shimmy with his hips. The swoosh of the thick cotton against his skin was anything but unpleasant. "You should try this; it feels so…liberating."

Bran's jaws set in a stubborn line. "I'm not going to a dinner at your friend's place wearing a skirt."

"Kilt. And Joy's your friend too now. Anyway, I meant around the house. Instead of those baggy jeans. The kilt I bought for you is tasteful and black, just how you like your clothing, but still functional with a pocket on one side for your eyes of newt or whatnot." He closed the few steps separating them till they were toe-to-toe. He wrapped his arms around Bran's waist. "It would be much more comfortable for your tail." Denton wasn't talking euphemistically. Bran had a perfectly formed, hairless, and surprising agile tail. Apparently, stuff like this happened when you had a demon for a father. Denton slipped a hand down to Bran's backside, over the spot where ordinary people had the beginning of their coccyx and pressed his finger at the root of Bran's bonus appendage. "Just think about it," Denton said quickly to cut off possible protest.

Bran sighed. "Fine, I'll think about it."

Denton grinned. "Good, because I have a pornucopia of fantasies of you in a kilt."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vintage Monday: Dark and Rainy

Hollywood at night 1950s

As a writer you'll be scoffed at if you if your plot relies even on a single coincidence. But coincidences happen.

We've been having unpleasant weather here in L.A. recently--hot and muggy. Then it started to rain. In August. It never rains in the summer in southern California. Our window for precipitation is roughly October-March.

It was drizzling when I drove over to the used bookstore to search for books on cocktails and bar tending for my next project. While there I checked the mystery paperback section for Ross Macdonald books I don't have yet. I found one: The Far Side of the Dollar.

MacDonald wrote my favorite type of mystery, hardboiled detective novels from the fifties to the seventies. The filmic equivalent of this genre is Film Noir. They won the name both for content and their dark visuals. It's ironic that the biggest names in the hardboiled genre--MacDonald, Dashiel Hammet, Raymond Chandler--set their stories in perpetually sunny Southern California.

At the bookstore I pulled The Far Side of the Dollar off the shelf, opened it, and read the first line:

It was August, and it shouldn't have been raining.