Monday, May 27, 2013

Taking A Break

Antonio Cortina Farinós [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Y'all, I am le tired*. April and A to Z kicked my butt. I need a rest, so I'll not be blogging this last week of May. Also, I'm traveling for work from Wednesday through Saturday, so I'm not sure I'll have access to the Interwebs. (Oh, the horror!)

If you're desperately bored and need some reading material/music to shake your bootie to, you can try:

At Home With The King & Queen of the Underworld

Blog Props ~ For Folks "Met" In My A to Z Travels

Tuneage ~ Bad Ass Mothers of RAWK!

Or, you know. Maybe go take a nap*.

Hope y'all enjoyed the long weekend and have a fabulous week. God willing, I'll see ya on Monday, June 3, with my 200th post!


In memoriam
By Remember (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


*Linked to a video that still cracks me up, even though it's years old, but it's my source for "I am le tired."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Le List Du Bucket (WIBWIW)

For today's installment of Whatever...I'll Blog What I Want (aka WIBWIW), I wanna tell you about my new Bucket List.

For the longest time, I rolled my eyes at the idea of a Bucket List, 'cause I'm cynical like that. Or just crabby. Or maybe I've just got wobbly eyes.

Anyway.

I just thought that, if folks had shit they wanted to do, they should just sort it out and get to it. Ain't nobody got time for makin' lists like that!

Well...

I've changed my mind. I've started a list.

(Does this worry you?)

(It totally should.)

I've no lofty goals on my Bucket List. In fact, for the moment, it's quite short, consisting solely of:
  1. TP my enemies' houses.
  2. Fork their lawns.
In fact, it's not much of a list at all, is it? More like a non-rhyming couplet.

Hmmm...

I don't care to dwell on the fact that my List Du Bucket focuses on vengeance. Though, in point of fact, I do have enemies and they are classified as such 'cause they were awful to me and totally deserve it.

But my list needs more...

What benign ways of avenging yourself against those who've authored your tears can you think of?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blog Props ~ For Folks "Met" In My A to Z Travels

Dear Readers, you may have noticed I blogged with a particular theme in mind for the month of April. That's 'cause I was doing this Blogging from A to Z thing, I may have mentioned it.

Anyway.

A bunch of the bloggers I palled up with last year I'm still tight with and this year saw me digging the scene of some new (to me) blogs. So for my regular "Blog Props" feature, in which I praise blogs like I should, I thought I'd give some shout-outs. Mind you, I've not made it through the whole danged list of bloggers who participated in A to Z just yet, so in future there are bound to be more folks I'll be...uh...props-ing? Whatevs, you know what I mean.

In alphabetical order by blog title:

It Starts at the Beginning
So, this groovy Brit chick, Juliette explained in her Big Reveal post that for A to Z she'd "...decided to write a fictional story based on a teenager with Aspergers and the effects of their behaviour on others close by." What the story turned out to really be about was Sophie, the teen's mother, and how she copes with the ruckus he raises at school, as well as her ex-husband and the mysterious stranger with whom she's been playing online games. Equal parts heart-rending and hilarious, this grabbed me so hard when I came across it that I had to go back to the beginning of the alphabet to catch the story from the start. I recommend y'all do so as well.

(parenthetical asides)
Being that I frequently speak in parentheticals (regular readers know what I'm talkin' about), this blog could not fail to appeal. In it, Dy Saturday posts "...Internal monologues, soliloquies, and things probably better off left unsaid..." He's currently running a serialized story which began with Lawn Gods: Neighborhood Beautification Task Force. I really enjoy this dude's "voice" and judicious use of swear words. (Especially the swear words.)

Samantha Redstreake Gary
Samantha is not only a fellow writer, but one into Greek mythos, as I am. For A to Z, she wrote a series called The Essence of Memory. Her writing is lyrical, mystic, beautiful, dark, and enchanting. Truly. I flatter myself that I'm good at what I do, but I can't do what this gal does. Start the series with Athens (The Essence of Memory Part 1).

Tales of The Rock
My new good friend Rocky's a writer and all-around groovy guy. For A to Z, he wrote about Ghosts: Real, Imagined, and Metaphorical. Naturally, the spooky topic was right up my alley. Read his first post, in which Rocky learns that his mother's adopted a ghost.

Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi
The title of this blog alone should tell you something. What, I'm not sure, and I'm too lazy (as everyone knows) to elaborate. Basically, my girl Valerie is a hilariously, surreally (shut up, that's totally a word), funny trip. For realz. Just go read her stuff, only don't be eating or drinking while you do, as anything in your mouth's bound to come out your nose, at some point. Here, I'll help get you started: M is for Maniac...And Elijah Wood's obvious obsession with me.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

At Home With The King & Queen of the Underworld

As I mentioned last week, groovy fellow blogger Allyson Lindt promotes her new contemporary romance, Conflict of Interest, by hosting a reverse blog tour. Rather than guest posting about her book on other bloggers' sites, she's welcomed other writers to pimp their books on her site during the month of May!

Today, she features my interview with Hades and Persephone, Rulers of the Greek Underworld, who are also the hero/heroine of my romance novel That Fatal Kiss (coming later in 2013!). CLICK HERE to read the interview and be sure to leave lots of lovely comments over there! (S'il vous plaît!)

UPDATED TO ADD:
Y'all, I'm gonna leave this post up, in lieu of a Thursday post and in the spirit of unabashed self-promotion. 'Cause, you know, why not? ;-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tuneage ~ Bad Ass Mothers of RAWK!

In the spirit of Mother's Day, today's Tuneage is my little homage to the 
Bad Ass Mothers
of
Rock 'n' Roll
who I want, desperately, to be when I grow up.

(Whenever that happens.)

(Please note that, in my enthusiasm for these righteous babes,
I may, just occasionally, use expletives for emphasis.)
(But only occasionally.)

(PS: Tune in tomorrow for a special bonus post, in which I direct thee to an interview
with the Queen and King of the Greek Underworld, aka, the main characters of
my upcoming romance novel, That Fatal Kiss)


OHMAHGAH, OHMAHGAH, OHMAHGAH
Check out Nancy Wison rocking the shit outta
that motherfucking intro,
Yeah, Yeah, YEAH!!!!!!!!!!


Yeah, ok, I know this was originally
done with The Runaways
But damn, I just like it better
when Joan growls it, ok?


Deborah Harry of Blondie
Yeah, that's right: Debbie's so freakin'
cool, she's gonna walk the hell
off stage before the song's even finished!


They really didn't need that
bloody apostrophe in their name,
but, whatevs. They still rawk.


 
 Nobody rawks the eyeliner like
Siouxsie Sioux. Not even Robert Smith,
and that's sayin' somethin'.


This tune did WAY better than the movie
for which it was made.
Way, way better.


You can walk like an Egyptian,
if you want to, I just wanna
be with you.


Poor Fred doesn't get a word in,
on this tune, but danged if
the gals don't rawk the hell out of it!


How does this chick manage to make
pigtails look so fierce???

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Indie Author To-Do List? (IASOS)

Herein lies my second Indie Author SOS post, which I address to other writers who've gone boldly where they hadn't ventured before—the thrilling/terrifying world of independent publishing!

As I mentioned in my first IASOS post, I plan to publish my Greek-myth inspired romance novel, That Fatal Kiss, later this year. I was shooting for the first day of fall in 2013, but shit got real at work, and then there was the A to Z Challenge and, as I whined about in my Reflections post, a Guy ('cause there's always a Guy) so...yeah. I'm thinking not that day. Probably. Though you never know, I may still be able to pull it off by then, though I'm more interested in putting out a quality book than I am in keeping to my original deadline. As long as I can get TFK out into the world by my birthday* this year, I reckon I'll be satisfied. (*That's December 21, in case you're feeling like you might wanna get me something.) (Or, you know, buy my book.) (No pressure.)

'K, so, I've picked up some books on what folks gotta do to independently publish their stuff (I'm focusing on e-Publishing and print-on-demand paperbacks). From Catherine Ryan Howard's "Self-Printed 2.0" I got a lot of great info (it's really a fabulous resource, I must say), and have put together a rough to-do list for publishing my Greek-myth romance. All you indie-authors out there, how does this list look to you? Am I missing something super important? Are any items below in totally the wrong order of needing to-be-done? I'm super interested in feedback from folks who've already gone through this ordeal process, especially on the stuff with question marks (either because I'm not sure about them, or not sure how to go about doing them).
  • Decide Release Month/Date (Pffffft. Fail.)
  • Research/Hire Book Cover Designer
  • Research/Hire Copyeditor (This bit's done, W00T!)
  • Wrap up copyeditor's changes, as desired (accepting/rejecting changes).
  • Research/Hire Proofreader
  • Set/Advertise release date
  • Set up mailing list for when book's released?
  • Determine manufacturing costs, use this to determine list price.
  • Format eBook/print book
  • ISBN numbers for all formats (Unless provided?)
  • Order proof copy
  • Online “Cover Reveal” (scope for BFF bloggers willing to join in on pimping TFK)
  • Solicit Reviews from BFF bloggers/book bloggers?
  • Annoy BFF bloggers further by asking them for blog tour?
  • Promotional give-away(s)? (Set this up 2 months in advance of release? That's too soon?)
  • Order proof copy (copies) of final version
  • Develop Book Page on Blog With
    • Book Cover Image
    • Back cover blurb
    • E-mail sign up to receive info
    • How much/where sold
  • Set up Google Alert for my book title + name
  • Once book’s finalized, upload to online sellers
  • Update main page sideboard w/links to book
  • When ready, send “Out now!” e-mail to mailing list, update site w/same news
  • Set up Author Page on Amazon? (When? How soon is too soon?)
  • Update Twitter profile w/news on book. (When?? How soon’s too soon??)

Um...so, yeah. Help?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dark Romance #8 ~ Allyson Lindt's "Conflict of Interest"

Fellow writer/blogger Allyson Lindt recently released her contemporary romance Conflict of Interest and put an interesting spin on the standard blog tour idea to promote it. Rather than guest posting about her book on other bloggers' sites, she offered to do a reverse blog tour, in which other writers might pimp their books on her site during the month of May. I have to say, this is a spectacularly lovely way to promote both her work and others', one which I have taken advantage of (but more on that next week). Anyway, the blurb and excerpt on her site for Conflict of Interest piqued my interest, so I asked if I could check it out in advance so I could tell all y'all about it.

Leading lady Kenzie is a smart, professional PR gal who, as successful a career-woman as she is, still can't help getting wound up by an unflattering assessment of herself made by her twin sister, Riley. According to the sis, Kenzie's a frigid miss who wouldn't know passion if it bit her right on her classy ass. Suitably perturbed, Kenzie stalks off to her fave coffee place in full-on, "I'll show her" mode and, when she arrives, spontaneously decides to pick up cute-dude-in-torn-up-jeans, whom she's been eyeballing for a while, now. Naturally, hijinks ensue. I find Kenzie incredibly endearing as she struggles to overcome her natural reticence by coming on to a stranger. (I find the stranger endearing for other reasons, which would possibly melt my keyboard to go into right now.)

Ahem.

Turns out, Scott's a high-powered gamer and software developer/owns his own company/used to chicks going after him for his ducats kinda guy. Because Kenzie's so different from everybody else who wants a piece of him, Scott finds this clearly out-of-her-element beauteous blonde intriguing. They enjoy some hot moments in his "love van" but must part ways. Here's the thing about Scott, though—he's been pissing off one of the Suits investing in his company with his "bad-boy/no verbal filter" ways and now all the investors want him to subject himself to grooming so they can rake in more money. Uh, I mean, so his image can be a credit to the company.

So guess who's hired to groom him?

Kenzie's determined to keep their relationship professional. (Sorta.) Scott's determined not to. (Totally.)

The dark romance of it all: I told Allyson early on in my reading that I found myself smiling through the first few chapters because Scott and Kenzie are so much fun when they first connect, and they really are. On the surface, it's a very fun, modern, sexy romance between two career-oriented folks. But the darkness I see lying beneath points to very deep hangups, on the part of both parties. Kenzie and Scott are both forthright folks when it comes to work, but they bury the reality of their feelings for one another under smart-ass remarks or corporate masks. Deeply vulnerable in different ways, they hide their growing feelings due to very old-fashioned fears which I'm sure we've all known: the fear of exposure, of rejection, of humiliation and eventual heartache. It's so fascinating to me how modern dating, in which girls routinely ask guys out, dudes'll tie on an apron to cook for their gals, and everyone's got loads of condoms at the ready, just in case, we can all still be so terrified about telling someone, "Hey, I really like-you, like-you." It's almost scarier than going to the dentist, right?

Anyway, I did really enjoy seeing Kenzie realize that, actually, it's very natural to her to be a temptress. And Scott...well, W00F, OK? Just W00F.

You can click here for a sneak peek at Conflict of Interest, which is available for purchase at Amazon, Kobo, and Liquid Silver Books.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reflecting on the 2013 A to Z Challenge

By Timothy Valentine
[CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
I am wiped out, y'all.

This A to Z, my second turn at it, I volunteered to be a helper/minion/ninja for one of the co-hosts. I had only two distinct tasks, one involving promotion, the other regarding following up on various bloggers to see if they consistently stuck with the A to Z program (and reporting for deletion those who didn't). I feel like I didn't do my best with this. In fact, I know I could've done better.

April was a weird month for me. The day job continued to use me, sometimes brutally, and then...well, I got caught up in this thing about a guy. (There's always a guy.) I was distracted. OK, I allowed myself to be distracted. It seemed impossible for me not to be distracted. (Hell, even though this heart-throbby business has come to its inevitable end, I'm still bloody distracted!)

Which is all to say, I wish I'd followed through better on my help-y/minion-y/ninja-y responsibilities.

I also had less patience/head-space for commenting on blog posts. Sure, I scanned way more than five links per day, sometimes averaging twenty links a night, but I just couldn't concentrate well enough to comment intelligently. I feel this to be another failure, on my part—I definitely exerted myself more last year. To be fair to myself, I didn't have the additional duties then that I had this year (nor the emotional nonsense). But whatevs; it was making connections w/other bloggers which most excited me about the Challenge, and my level of engagement was sorely lacking. Mea culpa.

Finally, I feel I must be true to myself and voice one criticism about this year's Challenge. Specifically, I thought the practice of requiring participating bloggers with adult content to code themselves with the AC tag, while other bloggers were free to code themselves or not, was inequitable.

For the sake of clarity: I absolutely agree that blogs with adult content should identify themselves as such, especially those involved in the A to Z Challenge, for all the reasons given by the A to Z Co-Hosts. I have my standard warning up through Blogger anyway, so I readily tagged myself with the AC code on the linky-list. I also agree that folks who didn't self-identify as hosting adult content material should be removed from the list.

What I don't agree with is that AC bloggers were the only participants for whom the coding was mandatory. Some folks wrote that they wouldn't be coding their links because they didn't want to be "boxed-in" or pigeon-holed. Well, that's essentially what the mandatory coding did to bloggers with adult content, and to them only, since no other bloggers were under the restriction of coding their blogs. I truly feel the coding should be required of all bloggers participating in the challenge, to insure an even-handed experience, with equal opportunities for exposure, for all A to Z participants.

That aside, I congratulate every A to Z-er who stuck with the Challenge to the bitter end. I aim to pop in on folks from the linky-list whose blogs I've not yet visited during the remainder of 2013. Folks whom I regularly visit when not in A to Z mode: I'm sorry I didn't make it around to you in April. I'll do my best to atone for it in the coming months.

God bless and God speed, y'all. And, you know, I'm not above requesting prayers/good thoughts/chocolate for some help in getting over my heartache and focusing on my personal goals for the rest of 2013, specifically, going the indie publishing route and reconnecting with my music.


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