Thursday, August 30, 2012
Posted by: T.C. Blue
In honor of the event, I thought I'd share some of the unique experiences I've had in that time. Just a few. :P (Next week I'll be talking about politics, Gods help us all!)
My first year: It was my friend Jen who talked me into my first Dragon*Con, and while I did attend, she was the only person I knew there. I can't say I was particularly nervous, but I did wonder whether I would get along with her other friends or just piss them off. (This was a 50-50 shot, really.) So she met me when I got to the hotel and took me to a spot where about 10 people were gathered. As we approached, one of the guys in the group was saying "Well, Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." My response: "They do if you smash them with a hammer." (You guessed it. I fit right in.) I was amazed, amused, and disturbed, by turns, at some of the costuming choices many of the attendees made, and the costume parade through the streets of downtown Atlanta (they block the streets off for this every year and there's usually some footage shown on several national news programs).
Thus began my affair with Dragon*Con. This affair has included meeting the Firefly cast (without knowing it because I hadn't watched the show when it was on the air), causing myself and my friends to start having giant parties, and becoming familiar with the idea of a convention that takes over a good 8 hotels and most of downtown.
Other firsts for me that occurred at Dragon*Con: I had never before been vomited on from a hundred feet up. That wasn't fun, but how many people can actually say it's happened to them? Had a man in a quasi Dr. Horrible costume ask to take a picture of my (fully clothed) tits. Spent an hour debating the merits of Robert Heinlein vs Frank Herbert (hard to say who won that one because they're very different authors) with a rather well known writer. Spent over an hour trying to figure out where one of my friends had lost her glasses while drunky-drunk. Run into people from my past and discovering that I didn't miss them at all (this one was an eye-opener for me).
Last year, the Hyatt bar was different. Changed. I suppose someone thought it was a good idea, but they ruined it. Sadly, it still has more seating than the Marriott bar, so we're kind of stuck. With a group the size of ours, seating is necessary.
Usually I fly but this year I had to drive, due to the sheer amount of stuff I had to bring with me. I think next year I'm going to pare down the crap, or possibly try to leave a week early so I can stop to visit with several friends who live between DC and Atlanta. That might actually be fun, but we'll see what happens. LOL
It's only Thursday. Con hasn't even officially started. Things are already promising to be even more insane than last year, which was crazier than the year before, which was more nuts than the previous, and so on. LOL
Some of my friends are already here, and it looks like my time will be devoted to panels and writing stuff and the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.
Sounds like a good time to me. :)
So what are you guys up to this Labor Day weekend?
Monday, August 27, 2012
Posted by: Cardeno C
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Posted by: Cardeno C
And then the 2012 election season got underway...
Now it seems that each new day brings some new horror bubbling to the surface. In a stunning win for marriage equality, my state’s legislature passed a law allowing same-sex marriage. In the next breath it was taken away by a citizen’s referendum. That fight is ongoing. Right-wing extremists renewed their crusade against women’s reproductive rights, and Republican officials began working to disenfranchise Obama-likely voters by rewriting voting rules.
Still... hope remains. With each new travesty perpetrated by those who would roll back all of the enormous strides our country has taken in the decades since the Civil Rights Act became the law of the land, since Roe v. Wade, since Loving v. Virginia, since Stonewall, the voices raised in outrage against oppression and intolerance are heartening, indeed. I have only to open Facebook or Twitter to be reminded that, for each extremist voice calling for a halt to the steady march of progress, a chorus of voices rises up in outrage to drown out the bigotry and hatred and fear.
That hope I felt so keenly—that I tried to share in every word I committed to the manuscript—is alive and well. My tribute in writing To Touch the Stars is not equal to the great courage displayed by so many who risk criticism and ostracism in defense of basic human decency by speaking out, but I hope that readers will come away with the same sense of wonder I feel every day when I bear witness to these acts of valor in the name of equality.
My statement in the acknowledgements, “Our quest to touch the metaphorical stars of acceptance and equality for all began with the single steps of a very few courageous individuals and remains impossibly long still. Looking back, however, I marvel at just how very high we have already climbed” remains as true today as it did on that happy day when I wrote it down. I hope, as we continue on our way, the ideal that we’re striving toward continues to remain in our reach.
You can find more information about me, read an excerpt of To Touch the Stars, and find purchase links for the book on my website at http://www.jeremy-pack.com. If you choose to read it, I hope you enjoy the adventure, and that the love and spirit I put into every page comes through loud and clear in my words.
Blurb for To Touch the Stars
For happenstance news correspondent Tait Williams and newly minted astronaut Nicholas Sullivan, 1966 is a year of beginnings. Idealistic Tait dreams of changing the world with his pen, and Nick has his sights set on the moon. With the Apollo program in full swing, Nick is on the fast track to his dreams—even as Tait’s hopes of covering the Vietnam war are sidelined by a cause he doesn't believe in: a correspondent assignment with NASA. It is here, in the golden age of the US space program, that the hearts of two men collide, setting them on a path of discovery spanning two decades.
From war-torn Cambodia to the decadence and heartbreak of the early 1980s, Nick and Tait come together time and again only to be ripped apart by social conventions and their own ambitions. As they strive to realize dreams that remain elusively beyond their grasp, through each other and the extraordinary people that touch their lives, they will come to understand that the things that matter most—the brightest stars of all—have been within their reach all along.
And on a personal note let me say that I know it sometimes feels like we're taking one step forward, multi-year steps back in the fight for equality, but when we look up from out of the trenches, I think we can see that change is here, it is happening. We want it to happen faster. The set-backs are demoralizing. But I know that if we keep our chins up, revel in the victories, and learn from the defeats, we will win this fight. And we'll win it soon. Thanks for all that you do, Jeremy. Keep fighting the good fight by being you. - Cardeno C.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Posted by: T.C. Blue
As some of you may know, I'm one of those people who needs to be occupied at all times. I require near-constant mental stimulation or I become incredibly bored. (Bored Tis does stupid/dangerous things just for the hell of it, so avoiding boredom is one of my main callings in life.)
So what do I do to avoid boredom, when I'm not working through edits on two different books and trying to complete a short story by September 1st? (The story needs to be finished by then. The edits deadlines are much tighter, haha!) Well, I do a lot of things.
I waste -- I mean spend -- time on Twitter (I'm @tc_blue, if anyone's wondering) where I cyber-stalk my friends, as well as some total strangers... I watch what is possibly the oddest assortment of things ever on Netflix -- right now, I'm working my way VERY slowly through 'The 10th Kingdom,' a mini-series from 2000 starring John Larochette, Kimberly Williams, Dianne Wiest and assorted others. I watch porn, of course, because who doesn't? And I talk/text with people at all hours. Pretty normal, I guess.
I've said many a time, though not here, that August is a clusterfuck of a month for me, largely due to family issues in addition to the writing-related crazy. Oh, relations (of whatever kind)! Haha! That being the case, I thought I'd share a link with you this week. Now, this link will take you to the most recent blog post by my dear friend (and fellow M/M author), Kage Alan, who I truly believe is one of the nicest and funniest people it's ever been my privilege to know. His post is, appropriately enough, all about having a crazy week, which fits because my whole MONTH has been like this. :)
Check it out and tell him Tis sent you! Hahaha!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Posted by: Kiernan_Kelly
Anyway, between all that, I never managed to write a blog for today! I apologize, and can offer this bit of solace -- today I was in the spotlight over at Mantastic Fiction (for those who aren't familiar with this site, it runs the annual GRL Reading Challenge, among postings of m/m book reviews). So, if you've got the time and inclination, trot over to read what I wrote about writing (or, as the case may be, re-writing) history. :)
Monday, August 20, 2012
Posted by: Cardeno C
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Posted by: Cardeno C
Today, we welcome Nikki McCoy to our blog. She'll tell us a little about herself and share some info about her new novel.
About Nikki McCoy:Well, I regret to say there’s not much to me when it comes to adventure, hehe. I have always loved a simple life and find more joy in the presence of my family at home than I ever would by traveling around the world or constantly filling my days with excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I also love to do something crazy every once in a while, but nothing for me beats a day of waking up to a houseful of boys, writing until my brain shuts off, then curling up in bed with the hubby (when the youngest one isn’t using his big brown eyes to sucker me into letting him sleep with us J).
I’ve recently taken a break in my studies as a psychology major. I think I definitely burned myself out in that department, but it’s only temporary. I’m still going for that all-elusive PH. D. soon as I get my butt around to concentrating on school again. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the simple life and immersing myself in my addiction of reading and writing.
Currently, I’m working on a fantasy book for teenagers and finding it a bit difficult to concentrate on. I actually have to remind myself to veer away from sensual scenes and erotic pleasures. In fact, I am constantly have to stop and get a quick romance fix by reading a steamy book before I can go on with the g-rated novel I’m working on, lol. What can I say, I’m a romance junkie. While I look forward to returning to the genre I love so much, I am very excited to write this new challenge I’ve set for myself. Anyhow, I hope everyone is having a great week and has the opportunity to sit back just once today and think, ‘Life is sweet’ J
About Crimson Mate by Nikki McCoy:For centuries, a feud has existed between two powerful races, pitting Ba'Kal against Vam'kir, shifter against vampire. Quinn has suffered through the pain of the ongoing contention in ways no man should ever be subjected to. Once the respected son of the King of Vam'kir, his life was forever altered the day his father realized a truth not even he was aware of.
As ruler of the Ba'Kal, it is up to Manning to seek justice for the vicious attacks on his kind perpetrated by the Vam’kir, but his very beliefs are called into question when he discovers that his newly found mate is also his enemy. To keep Quinn safe, he must put aside his anger and learn to trust in the impossible, that love might truly exist beyond boundaries. For if he fails, his future will not be the only one to come to an end.
Buy Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/products_id/982/?zenid=6dfc05285b6508fc3fea995d611c5240
About the Characters in Crimson Mate by Nikki McCoy:Quinn was a very easy man to write. I see a little bit of him in all of us ― the fear of committing to the uncertain, desire to love and be loved, and the absolute need to find independence. Manning is both his equal and opposite in many ways. In most books that are centered around characters who are predestined mates, I get the sense that those characters learn to love the qualities of each other while being physically tethered by sexual desire. Even in some of the books I’ve written, that is the case. In this book, however, it felt like the characters recognized the qualities of one another as that of those they’d been searching for all along in a partner. There was nothing really to learn, only accept.
As much as I fell in love with them, though, I must admit that Merebeth and George were my favorites. In one of my psychology classes, I remember reading a theory on the cycles of love that suggested the romance in relationships eventually peters out, giving way to a sense of companionship and complacence. Personally, I can’t imagine that ever happening in my relationship with my husband. The day I become satisfied with simple companionship and nothing more with him is, I hope, the day I leave this world. The all-encompassing love and compassion Merebeth and George have for each other after countless years together was beautiful and reaffirmed my hopes that I will be just like them when I’m older.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Posted by: T.C. Blue
Now, back in the day (I totally just said that, didn't I? But in this case, the day was not so long ago), Cam and I were roommates. Flatmates, really, as we didn't share a room. We had our whole goth/punk (on my part) and punk/goth (on his) thing going on and we were fucking fabulous! *grins* If you don't believe me, check out my pics on FB! LOL
We were young and stupid and did all sorts of crazy things just because we could. Luckily, it didn't kill either of us, though the same can't be said for several of our friends from that time... and for me, at least, for friends I made later, too.
What does this wee view into Tis' past have to do with anything, you ask? Well, it has an awful LOT to do with today's post.
We were crazy and young and kinda stupid, yes, but we survived. Me and Cameron. We went our separate ways, way back when, and have been sort of hit-and-miss in the time since. But to this day, I do still consider him a friend. He's also one of those people -- we all have them -- who changed me in ways I still can't define, and that's a good thing. I like that. So when I saw on his FB page that he was going to have an exhibit of his photographic art at the World AIDS Conference 2012 last month (July), I decided to Metro my ass down into DC and see it... and him. (Seeing Cameron mattered more to me, to be honest, but I was also looking forward to seeing the various exhibits in the Global Village section of the Conference. Global Village was open to the public and didn't require registration for the Conference, which is a good thing as the charge for a one day pass was $450 US, to the best of my recollection.)
So I went to the Global Village and was astonished by all the booths and people and information available. It was fucking awesome! And then I found Cameron's area with the photos he'd taken whilst living in Bangkok.
I'm not one of those people who goes to galleries or museums. I'm not one of the folks who look at art and go "Oh, wow, that's amazing, I need to own it!" That's just not my thing. But the pictures I saw there, in the exhibit... were glorious. Triumphant. Brilliant!
And they were Cameron's.
He was there because of his... well, you know what? This is way more than enough lead-in. I'm going to just let you guys get on to the interview (and accompanying pictures).
* * *
My shows are multi-media events of music, dance, fashion and awareness raising, and very well attended. I like that I am part of a collaborative effort which brings creativity from many different perspectives. The dancing that “X” does, in beautifully crafted, traditionally-inspired Thai costumes, is a fusion of ancient classical style with more modern interpretations. He performed as a Thai puppet, which like Pinocchio, is released from strings; and another piece as a half-swan, half-human, androgynous creature, he is chased by a hunter, akin to a Thai version of Swan Lake.
All photos in this post are copyrighted by Cameron Wolf, and you can stalk him on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000896020443#!/cameronwolfphotography. Photos are used with permission from the artist.
And that's it for today, peeps! Hope you've enjoyed meeting my friend! :)
~Tis (who seriously STILL can't believe she knows someone who went to Harvard AND Johns Hopkins! LOL)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Posted by: Kiernan_Kelly
Not so much with tattoos. They're a forever kind of thing. Sure, you can have them lasered off, but that's a bit more painful and expensive than just hitting the delete key, right? I mean, wouldn't you want to be absolutely sure how something is spelled before you start permanently etching it into my skin?
I am continually amazed at how many people have mispelled or grammatically incorrect tats. Seriously dude, do these tat artists not own dictionaries? Maybe tattoo guns should come with built-in spell-check. I can almost understand it in prison tattoos. After all, one can't be fussy about spelling and grammar when it's necessary to keep only one eye on the tattoo because the other is looking out for anyone trying to shove a shiv in your back.
But if I'm paying you a couple hundred dollars for a tattoo, I would like to think you know how to spell the word "tomorrow."
Or the word, "tragedy."
Yeah, not so much.
Oh, and the words "your" and "you're" are NOT interchangeable. Neither are "to," "too," and "two," or "there," "their," and "they're." Just sayin'.
And who in the blue hell is "Noone" and why can't we trust him?
And is this supposed to be a tribute to diabetes?
I think the next time I get a tat, I'm going to bring a dictionary with me. You know, just in case. I don't want to end up with "Gay Romance Arthur" tattooed on my butt.