Saturday, December 7, 2013
This article claims there are 14 things you should never say to a gay man. Of course it's a tongue-in-cheek piece and none of it's written in stone, however, I noticed a few things I've posted about over the years myself and it's interesting in a general sense to see I wasn't the only one thinking this way. I thought this line was interesting: "the factory of Sex in the City tokenism." I've used the old TV show Sex in the City so many times as a point of reference I have too many posts up to link to one thing in particular.
In any event, I agree with some of the statements, I'm not so sure about others. The gay community is very diverse. Just last night Tony and I were watching the TV show House Hunters where a gay couple was looking for a property in NJ within commuting distance to Manhattan. They looked at one place in Jersey City in Trump Tower and one of them actually said he would like to live there because he could tell all his friends he lives in Trump Tower...as if that's the most important thing in the house hunting process for him. We switched channels after that comment. It was too Sex in the City for us. We're more interested in space, views, future property values, and the pragmatic issues that accompany becoming a home owner, not whether or not we can brag about living in Trump Tower. And, last I heard, Donald Trump wasn't supporting gay people.
3. “I'm like a gay man trapped inside a woman's body.”
I know you're trying to connect with me, but what does that even mean? Does that make me a straight woman trapped inside a gay man's body? Trust me, there's a lot more to being gay than enjoying nice clothes and hooking up with dudes.
4. "How do you know you're gay if you've never been with a woman?"
Did you need to experiment with women to know you were straight? What about porcupines? How do you know you wouldn't enjoy sex with a porcupine if you don't at least try it?
These are just two of the 14 I thought were interesting, and two I've personally heard many times myself. The rest are just as informative and entertaining. There are gay men who love Sex in the City. I don't understand why. But they do. It's all about diversity.
You can read more here.
Side note: This one below is for Joan and Melissa Rivers They had a wedding shower (or bachelorette party thing) episode on their reality show last year where the token gay guy went along as one of the girls. Of course I'm sure he's being paid well, and some gay guys will do anything for a buck. But seriously. It's time to knock it off.
7. “Come to girl’s night!”
If I’m invited then it’s not girl’s night. Stop calling it that! I’m not a girl!
Honoring Stonewall in London
This is the kind of thing I love to see. When the LGBT community comes together on a global level the way they are doing in London at the 2014 Pride event.
Pride in London 2014 will pay tribute to the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, a turning point for the LGBTI liberation movement.
You can read more here.
Friday, December 6, 2013
I've been saving this to post because I wanted to read it over first. It's interesting because it's the first time I've seen something like this, and I never actually thought I would (in my lifetime). Things are changing, and fast. If it's accurate, and I have no reason to believe it's not, one quarter of Amazon the top 100 kindle books are self-published.
Orna Ross, director of the Alliance of UK Independent Authors, said this:
"We are in the middle of a major change. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we reached a situation where the majority of the top books are author-published. I don't see what would stop that," Ross said.
That's a strong comment I don't think I would have made at this point. But she could be right. Who knows?
The article goes deeper into why this is, and explains a few things with examples. I would recommend reading it if you are interested in self-publishing, if you have already self-published, or if you are still a snob about self-publishing and think that your small start up e-press is going to make you look better. I'm not being snarky about that. I've seen small writers with small presses turn their noses up at self-published writers more than once and I don't think they are getting the full impact of why we're starting to self-publish. I'm going to write a longer post on this and give a few more reasons why I was forced to self-publish very soon. And I'm not saying that lightly. I would prefer to work with a publisher at all times. However, things came up that left me no alternative but to self-publish, and a good deal of that was because of my readers. Different authors work in different ways. I'm more of a reader oriented author, and my readers come first. The publisher doesn't. And I expect certain things from publishers, big or small, that I don't often see.
In any event, you can read more here.
Baker Scorns Gay Cakes
A Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay ceremony was ordered by a judge they have to serve the gay couples. Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled the baker will face fines if he doesn't follow the law.
An attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Shop owner Jack Phillips had argued that making cakes for gay wedding ceremonies violates his Christian beliefs.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year on behalf of Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The couple was married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake to celebrate in Colorado.
Tony recently had a cake made for our anniversary and to celebrate our upcoming marriage. The baker was so excited he made it his top priority. Why we live here instead of there. And if a bakery in New Hope were to pull something like this, they'd be out of business within six months.
You can read more here.
If you have a faint heart, you probably shouldn't click the link to this piece about James Franco and his Batman and Robin photos. If you have a sense of humor, you'll love it. And like with everything else Franco, I'm sure there's an underlying message somewhere. He does nothing by accident. We might never know what exactly that message is. But it's there.
James Franco's version of 50 Shades might actually be more NSFW than the original.
Able pulled his hand out of his pocket and took the key from Carl. He put the key into his pants pocket and then pulled a pair of black gloves out of his coat pocket. Before he put on the gloves, he pulled a ten dollar bill out of his back pocket and placed it on Carl’s desk.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Last summer when I posted about cookery/lifestyle celeb, Nigella Lawson, I have to admit I was quietly hoping for an update like this, but wasn't sure I would get it. However, Lawson not only divorced the idiot who used physical force on her, in a public restaurant last summer while photographers shot photos, but she left the nasty bastard without taking one cent of his money and declared her own independence.
Lawson also testified that her ex-husband was threatened by her own financial independence in their relationship. When an attorney referred to her divorce as "unfortunate," Lawson quickly snapped: "I don't regard it as unfortunate."
Well done, Lawson! She also looks great in the photo.
You can read more here. The link to my previous post talks about what Lawson went through last summer.
In the eighties there was a Tom Cruise film, Rain Man, where Cruise's emotionally challenged brother had a fixation on K-Mart. At one point in the film Cruise loses control and tells the brother, "K-Mart Sucks." When I found an e-mail this morning talking about something Walmart allegedly did to an employee this past Thanksgiving, it reminded me of that old movie for some reason.
Change.org is a web site where people and groups can go to start petitions online in protest of something they think is unfair and unjust. In this case, a guy's mom filed a petition at Change.org for something Walmart allegedly did to her son and she's looking for support. I know nothing about this, but I thought I would pass it along for people who have had experiences like this before with any large corporate structure that makes billions on the blood and sweat of people who make barely enough money to pay their oil bill.
From my inbox, with links to change.org:
There's a new book out that claims Vladimir Putin is gay. I didn't say allegedly gay because I don't consider being gay defamatory in any way. If someone claimed I was straight and they were wrong, that wouldn't be considered defamatory, and I think it's time to point this out.
In any event, here's what they say about the Putin book:
He suggests his propaganda experts put out the rumors to hide his ‘latently gay’ sexual orientation. The author also says the 61-year-old president prefers animals over humans.
You can read more here.
It's not the first time something like this has happened, where a closet case has turned in a complete opposite direction because he/she is filled with such self-loathing they can't accept who they are. But again, whether he's gay or not seems to be a huge issue in Russia, as if there's something inherently wrong with being gay. And since I don't believe there is, the only significant thing about this story is the self-loathing angle...if Putin is gay.
In any event, Putin's spokesperson said this:
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has flatly rejected the allegations. He said: ‘Belkovsky’s remarks are lacking any basis, or as we say it in Russia: They are total rubbish.’
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This past weekend in Pinellas Park, FL, moms and dads took their dear well-behaved little ones to see a family fun-filled flick, with wild and wacky shenanigans, and wound up running for cover when the movie theater showed an explicit erotic film clip by mistake. This travesty calls for every Internet-ism ever used, including OMG, WTF, and my all time favorite, YGTBKM!!
Evidently, there were tech difficulties and while they worked on fixing the problem this is what happened.
What followed was a two-minute sexually graphic clip that one person who claims to have been in the theater says was the red-band trailer for Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac," which depicts a blow job, among other images not exactly suited for PG-rated "Frozen"'s core audience. Audience members were understandably upset by the mix-up.
That's just wrong. Someone really should notify the Kernel to do a full scale investigative analysis of the situation at hand.
You can read more here.
Johnny Weir Calls Us Idiots
I guess I'm part of the LGBTI group that gay athlete, Johnny Weir, thinks are idiots, because I find what's happening in Russia right now absolutely sickening.
I've posted about Weir before, here, and about the controversy he's stirred because he thinks the time an athlete puts into training for the Olympics trumps equal rights, the anti-gay law and attitude in Russia, and the oppression Russian gays face daily.
Weir quote from my post:
To have a boycott would not only negate the career of some athletes who have only one chance at competing at the Games, but also the over-time shifts an exhausted father takes to make ends meet, or the social acclimatization of a brother who can’t go on spring break because his brother needed another costume, or the mother who works part-time at a job far beneath her, just so she can afford to watch her first born perform for the world. The Olympics are not a political statement, they are a place to let the world shine in peace and let them marvel at their youthful talents.
Recently, an LGBTI protest against Weir was held at Barnard College, and Johnny Weir allegedly called them "idiots." Among the LGBTI protesters was the creator of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker.
From Gay Star News:
'We’re angry at him for not telling the truth about what’s going on in Russia to LGBT Russians and everybody else who dissents, who are being brutalized,' Queer Nation's Ann Northrop said at the protest. 'He is selling out millions of people to satisfy his desire not to forgo his income or status. Is this what he would have done in Germany in 1936?'
Weir has since apologize for calling them idiots. In fact, Weir claims he wound up in such a state of kerfufflement after all this he went home and pigged-out on ice cream. I swear I'm not making this up.
Personally, I think we should send Weir to Russia...for GOOD.
This morning I looked at my inbox and found an e-mail exchange between Tony and someone at allromanceebooks.com about a customer who had an issue with a self-pubbed e-book. Long story short, she/he couldn't download the e-book with Word because of Mac issues and HTML issues on her/his end, which rarely ever happens. In fact, it's never happened before. But we all know that anything can happen and usually does eventually. And even though it's the first time this situation happened, it's not the first time an isolated issue has come up and thankfully Tony and I know how to deal with it from a tech end and a customer service end.
But most authors don't know how to do these things. And they go to e-publishing services that offer tech assistance and other things that can range from developmental editing to marketing/promotion. The article to which I'm linking now talks about how the majority of people in e-publishing/self-publishing today are making money with services for authors, instead of the authors themselves making money. It's a tricky article because they also mention authors like Amanda Hocking who became what's been dubbed a .99 millionaire because she allegedly started the self-publishing boom after her books took off. But for the most part, very few authors are making that kind of money, and even fewer are getting a return on their investment to self-publish...which on average seems to range from one to two thousand dollars.
Before this boom, authors such as Hocking and Bella Andre, another successful self-published author, did all the work of creating, editing, formatting and distributing e-books, often slogging through complicated technical manuals and getting stuck for days or weeks on complex software problems.
A lot of authors do this themselves, and they do it for control reasons. But what's really interesting is now that she's been so successful, the article says this is what Andre spends each year.
Andre estimates that she spends $60,000 to $80,000 a year creating and promoting her books, employing about a dozen freelancers for various parts of her operation. Each works up to 10 hours a week for her.
What the article fails to mention are things like genre specific authors and books. For example, anything like LGBT that doesn't have a mainstream audience. We didn't jump onto the e-publishing bandwagon to be the next Andre or Hocking. We learned how to self-pub because we didn't have any other alternatives. And even more important, authors who have been around in trad publishing and now consider themselves hybrid authors because they self-pub and trad pub, got into self-publishing because big publishers were screwing them over with royalties and because they wanted to get out of print backlists into the market again. Another huge issue the article doesn't mention is that it's not simple to self-publish and e-publishing services deserve to get paid for what they are doing. No one works for free...except maybe the author. But no one is twisting any author's arm to self-publish. Last I heard authors are more than willing to admit making money is not on the top of their list of reasons why they self-publish. Think about it this way: water is free at your kitchen sink; millions of people pay for bottled water in spite of this and the companies bottling water are not twisting anyone's arm to buy their product. It might not makes sense to me to pay for water, but it does to many people.
So the entire concept of self-publishing goes far deeper than the content of this one little article. And not everyone is self-publishing because they want to be the next .99 millionaire. But in a general sense there are a few good tips at the end of the piece you can check out here. In the same respect, they might be so basic I think everyone already knows them anyway. My advice would be to learn how to keep your costs down as much as possible, and if you can learn how to do something on your own, do it and get that free water. If you can't, and you know this, find an e-publishing service you trust who charges fair prices for the services being offered. You can google this information with a simple search and compare one to the other very easily nowadays. You just have to know there are no magic secrets to making millions in self-publishing. I wish I could say it's all about writing good books, but that's been disproved with one or two bad self-pubbed books that made millions. Sometimes you need a little luck, too.
The most positive thing I can say is this: now you can do it. Now you can self-pub and get your book out there. You couldn't have done that fifteen years ago without spending thousands of dollars on publishing the print book alone.
Rush Limbaugh/Pope Francis
I keep seeing these comments and pieces about Rush Limbaugh and Pope Francis all over social media and I really haven't been paying much attention to them. Rush Limbaugh means about as much to my daily news radar as spending the holiday season on the moon does. He's a pundit...ugh...who gets paid very well for doing what he does. He knows how to manipulate and sway people in one direction. He also knows how to get them angry with some of the most insignificant topics. If he'd been alive in the old Wild West days he would have been a snake oil salesmen. To be fair and objective, and to remain bipartisan, Limbaugh is about as creepy and disgusting as that other liberal creep on MSNBC I can't remember offhand.
The Pope, however, is one of the most powerful, spiritual, respected figures in the world. Even if you aren't Catholic, you know the significance of his position on a global level. Nancy Reagan once said that in all her years at the White House her most impressive experience was meeting the Pope. She's not even Catholic. The Pope is not a pundit at Fox News or MSNBC hawking for ratings. He's The Pope. So I don't even see how Rush Limbaugh...or any other commercial American pundit for that matter...should even be associated with the Pope. But this is what's been happening.
Rush Limbaugh is going after Pope Francis just in time for the Christmas season.
The outspoken conservative pundit blasted the Pope this week after the pontiff released a new 50,000 word document, titled “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), calling for church reforms and criticizing certain ideas of capitalism.
Talk about putting a spin on something. I don't even know where to begin. The Pope is not an elected government official. He's the Pope. What part of that Rush doesn't understand passes me by. And if you are a serious Catholic and you believe that Catholicism is the one true religion, it makes Rush and the American Christian right even less significant on a global level. In other words, what the Pope does, and what the significance of his position is, goes so far beyond American politics it's not even worth trying to compare the two. Unfortunately, Limbaugh is the Ugly American stereotype who just doesn't know any better.
Mr. Transman 2013
This is a competition held in Brooklyn for female-male transgenders.
Set to take place at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York, on Thurday, Dec. 5, Mr. Transman will bring together five individuals to compete for the title through the categories of Platform, Swimsuit, Interview, Talent and Evening Wear. The "female-to-male competition" will be judged by a panel of trans and queer personalities, including Juliana Huxtable, Merrie Cherry, Glenn Marla, Kit Yan and reigning Mr. Transman Teddie B Glaze.
All I can say is you have to check out the photos. Some of these guys are gorgeous. Trust me.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I love any book that begins with an acknowledgement to Glenfidditch, however, that was only the beginning with this one. Lucca is a lonely, arrogant, rebellious young man who seems to crave attention from his family. However, due to this lack of attention from family he winds up finding it in a few questionable places. Almost as if he's daring himself to see how far he will go. And in the same respect, his self-destructive nature could also be described as vengeance toward his family. His only consolation in Italy is his mentor, Sal, who sometimes seems too nice for a young man who needs more guidance. The first chapter moves fast, and the the story really begins when Lucca asks Sal to take him to America. Only that makes life more complicated, and it changes Lucca in ways he couldn't have predicted.
Lucca becomes obsessed with the idea that he needs to be worth something to someone, which is almost a direct quote from the story. And in order to prove his worth, and to prove how determined he is, he stuns his family with something they never saw coming and disappears into the world of BDSM in Denver, CO, with his friend, Marcello. When the family realizes he's gone, Carl, from the prologue, enters the picture through friends of friends and he reluctantly begins a search for Lucca. But Carl also has a story of his own: Carl opened the door and stopped for a moment to process the feeling that hit him every time he entered the club, the feeling that he’d just tumbled down the rabbit hole and into a sexual wonderland. And at this point in the book I would be remiss if I didn't mention how well the subject of BDSM is handled. There's nothing too graphic, but it's the concept that is treated with respect to those who are into the scene, which I found interesting as a bystander who isn't into BDSM. I don't see that often in BDSM books.
In the meantime, Lucca and Marcello form a closer bond because of their circumstances and I often felt as if Lucca feels responsible for Marcello. From there, the BDSM scene continues in more interesting ways I'd rather not say to avoid spoilers. Marcello is not as savvy or articulate as Lucca, and he becomes a liability Lucca's not sure he's willing to deal with. As the character of Carl is explained in more detail, we see him as a stronger, almost stubborn man who is determined to get what he wants and we're not certain about him just yet. All we know is he wants to find Lucca.
In some scenes that follow, the BDSM world is shown to be a sometimes dangerous place for young men who aren't as careful as they should be. Marcello discovers this after a particularly bad scene he does because he needs the money. This is when we see a stronger side of Lucca as he convinces Marcello to go home. In the same respect, he refuses to go himself in spite of the things he knows he must do to survive. Then Carl enters the picture again and ignores his own feelings because he's promised Lucca's parents he would bring him home again. He then becomes a counselor, or guardian of sorts and tries to convince Lucca his family really cares about him.
What happens after this is a surprise. In fact, like with most of Michele Montgomery's books, there are a few surprises I didn't expect and I don't want to spoil them for the reader. From a more technical POV, the book is written well, with careful attention to detail and it's not overwritten. I speak and read book Italian, but I think it's important to mention this for those who don't. The dialogue constantly moves the story forward and that's interesting because part of the book is set in Italy and the characters are Italian. However, this is handled very professionally, without words and phrases...or colloquialisms...that stop the story, or that the average reader might not understand. We know they are Italian and the book continues in English so it will move forward. It's a clever trick most seasoned novelists understand. And not one that's easily obtained. Montgomery has a way of drawing the reader into the story with dialogue in all her books, but I found this one especially well-executed.
I would recommend this book to anyone for several reasons. One, because it's so well-written. And two, because even if you aren't into the BDSM scene it's interesting to read about them in a book like this that's more focused on love, emotion, rebellion, and the kind of relationships that grow from some underlying connection that's not always visible, but is there all the time. And once again, I'll take these characters with me for a long time.
To read more and purchase the book, click the photo above which is a link to Amazon.