Monday, 27 February 2012

Something to Make You Smile...

Just in case you haven't seen this already. It was taken at a USMC homecoming and is from the facebook page Gay Marines which garnered some 650+ comments in 12 hours before apparently being shut down, although the jury's still out on what exactly happened to it.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

What's in a Name?

My latest opus is almost finished, and is with my betas as I type. I'm looking for a release in early March - stay tuned! It's a tortured romance between two businessmen who both want to be the boss. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and want to punch a vicious ex-boyfriend in the face. Repeatedly. My main problem is what to call it.

A title might be the most difficult two or three words that you ever write. It has to be something punchy, intriguing, and memorable. It needs to roll off the tongue. Preferably it'll have at least a double, if not a triple meaning. A play on words is highly desirable. A quick shuffle through Amazon's bestsellers shows Pear Shaped, I've Got Your Number, Wedding Tiers and 11th Hour. Utilising a common expression is always a good idea, because it's already memorable.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Freedom of Speech and Inciting Hatred

An interesting story reached a conclusion (for now) in the UK this week. Three men from Derby, not a million miles from where I live, have been jailed for inciting hatred. These lovely gentlemen posted leaflets through doors and around the town calling for the death and destruction of homosexuals, in the run-up to a Pride event. Resident gay people testified in court that when they got these leaflets pushed through their doors, they feared that they'd been deliberately targeted. They feared for their lives.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Review: A Pirate's Life For Me - Tricia Owens

Ok so I snagged the first book during an Amazon promotion without much expectation of what I was going to get. The premise is far more fantasy than reality: Lucas, wounded from being dumped by his girlfriend, is offered a dream job as part of a troupe of actors on a Caribbean island. He'll be paid handsomely to live in a tropical paradise and participate in an erotic pirate show every night. Sounds like fun, right? Except there's a mix-up, and Lucas ends up being cast for the gay pirate show.

Stop rolling your eyes in the back!! I did exactly the same thing. Don't worry, it gets better.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

MTM Pulled, RWA Releases Statement: Reaction #Rom4All

I've just got an email back from RWA directing me to their press release. This states in full that:

RWA members are served by 145 local and special interest chapters, and those chapters are individually incorporated and governed. So long as chapters fulfill their obligations under state law, as well as RWA and chapter bylaws, and their programs and services support the professional interests of career focused romance writers, policy affords them rather broad latitude in determining which programs and services to offer. Absent policy governing chapter-level contests, RWA's board cannot intervene in the decisions of individual chapters.
Romance Writers of America does not condone discrimination of any kind. RWA's policies regarding chapter programs and services will be discussed when the board reconvenes in March.

That's a pretty convenient brushing off of the whole sordid mess. The key words are of course state law. In America, homosexuals are not usually classed as a minority, and it is therefore not illegal to discriminate against us. Of course, that makes no mention of the morality of this kind of discrimination.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Less than Magic #Rom4All #RWA

Some of you may be aware of Romance Writers Ink, a chapter of the national organisation Romance Writers of America. This is a group of female romance writers, published and unpublished, who aim "to promote excellence in romantic fiction, to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy, to provide a general basis of mentorship to any writer who is actively, and seriously striving to become published and thus establish a career in the romance genre, as well as to provide a camaraderie for writers within the romance publishing industry" [Source].

Read that last line again: to provide a camaraderie for writers within the romance publishing industry. That means they're inclusive, right? Wrong. Because this year their annual competition is not accepting any same-sex submissions. Check out the rules for yourself if you don't believe me -

Friday, 3 February 2012

Voyeurism & Pornography

Despite the title, this is going to be a grown-up post. I'm thinking about the act of watching, the direction of the gaze, and the impact of being the subject.

Yawn. Sorry, stick with me - this stuff is interesting, I promise.

The act of looking, or being looked at, is actually very aggressive. We all know that meeting an animal's eyes implies some kind of power challenge. Try and have a stare-out with your dog and I bet it looks away pretty quickly. Either that or it'll rip your face off. It might be an interesting way of testing who's really the boss in your house... Rotterdam zoo was forced to distribute 'gorilla glasses' after one woman was mauled by their 400lb silverback. Apparently she was turning up every day and staring deep into the animal's eyes. She thought they were bonding. He thought she was a rival and one day he snapped, broke out of his cage and mauled her half to death. The gorilla glasses make it look like you're looking to one side, allowing you to stare directly at the animals without unwittingly endangering your life.