Hang On Woody!


Four Possibilities of Publishing Your Own Work

Ran across this and thought it was worth sharing.

Four Possibilities of Publishing Your Own Work

It’s said in football that when you throw a pass there are seven things that can happen and only one of them is good. Self-publishing offers four eventualities, and while some are more desireable than others, none is actually a bad thing.

This is a sort of baseline evaluation of the outcomes of self-publishing. Once you get by the false ideas that it costs a lot of money makes you a industry pariah, you start sizing up what it can do for you. Here are the four main possibilities I see:

1. You establish a readership that you grow and nurture, perhaps reaching the “1000 True Fans” or a level that can support you.

2. You achieve enough sales to impress an agent or publisher.

3. You achieve neither level, but are happy having your work read and with your however minor-league identity as an author. You’re known as an author in your milieu, perhaps speak or do book events. You get the satisfaction of the regard of people you actually know.

4. You absolutely fail. Nobody wants your crappy book at any price. You have therefore gotten the ultimate feedback and can use it to either improve your next book, or to seek self-expression in other areas. This ties into a current business theory called, “Fail better, quicker”. There is no point sustaining the illusion of success if it ain’t in the cards.

A fifth might be, you try it but only halfass or stupidly (paying big bucks to vanity mills or promo jerks, not doing promo, etc.) In which case you wasted your time. Maybe you learned something. If nothing else, you can say you tried it and have been exposed to the business side of books.

Most self-publishers fall into category 3, just like most golfers and athletes and painters fall into some local form of “weekend painting” or club tournaments or company leagues.

Note that NONE of these is possible while sitting around for years waiting for the traditional publishing’s Godot.

If you have the stuff to be a major seller for a publisher, it can emerge at any time, and experience doing it yourself will not prevent that–can only help it. Your second book will be seen in the context of you already having readers and some savvy at promotion. Titles light up the altar called your “author brand”.

If you are NOT one of the elect, the sooner you deal with that and find your place on the multi-level pyramid of modern publishing possibilities, the happier and more successful you will be.


Broadway isn’t just for gays anymore!

Neil Patrick Harris’ 2011 Tony Awards Opening Number

GLBT: “Here I Am” – Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow – Video

“Never forget those who have gone before us, laying the foundation for positive change for the GLBT community.”
This video remembers their legacy and celebrates our future.

In defense of hairy chests

Repost of original post from Salon.com Thursday, June 9, 2011 11:01 ET

The hairless Weinergate photos call for an ode to the sexinesss of unwaxed men

Weinergate raises concerns about many important things — marital infidelity and politicians’ lack of integrity, for starters. But I’d like to take a moment to address an admittedly much less important issue: male hair removal. Bare (or bear, as the case may be) with me. Consider the sheen of Weiner’s chest — which prompted speculation that he waxes — and the seeming lack of hair in the new X-rated shot alleged to be of the congressman’s junk. I have no idea whether he actually waxes his chest (he may be one of the 6 percent of Caucasian men with naturally hairless pectorals) or whether that is really his nether region. What I do know is that depilation is increasingly visible among straight men, and it’s a damn shame.

I don’t pretend to speak for all women; there are plenty of ladies who love nothing more than a man as smooth as a Sphynx cat. I’ve certainly gotten looks of revulsion from friends when expressing my fondness for unshorn men. But given the extreme visibility of denuded beefcakes — everywhere from underwear ads to pornography — it’s easily forgotten that there are also women with a special appreciation for hirsute hotness. I love resting my head on an undepilitated chest, whether it’s a thick forest or a slight scattering of curlicues in between the pecs. The same goes for running my fingers over a man’s facial hair, be it a wee bit of stubble or (only in my dreams) a legendary thicket like “The Beard.” As for the undercarriage, trimming can certainly be practical for certain carnal endeavors, but visually speaking, shaving and waxing takes away that earthy sensuality, the primal snarl.

I appreciate men’s body hair in the same way that I relish their size and strength. It’s just another signifier of difference. That isn’t to say that women are naturally un-hairy, but they are generally much less so. Part of the charge in heterosexual sex is the distinction, the joining of opposites. I see a man with hair on his chest and I think (or rather feel, because this is where my rational, feminist brain checks out): You man, me Jane. It’s not that hairiness necessarily makes a man more attractive — please, no one run out for pectoral hair plugs — it’s that natural is sexy, and unvarnished maleness is incredibly erotic. To me, excessive hair removal signals an insecurity and uneasiness with our wild, primal selves. It’s anesthetized masculinity and lust — the total opposite of sensual.

The truth is that the male body in general gets a bad rap. There is this bizarre cultural notion that the female physique is innately and objectively more beautiful or artful. I can’t tell you how many times a boyfriend or straight male friend has said to me, “I don’t know how you women put up with this [gestures towards his own body].” Ancient Greek sculptors would have a thing or two to say about that, something along the lines of, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and “Get out of here with that nonsense” —  at least that’s how I’ve always responded.

Then there is the porn factor. Shockingly, there are no scientific studies on this, but I’d be willing to bet that a man who has waxed genitals is far more likely to also subscribe to certain other porny norms, like speed-of-light pounding and cheesy dialogue (or, you know, taking close-up shots of his junk). There’s a nauseating superficiality to it — like a man who watches himself in the mirror while having sex. In the same way that many women are repulsed by mainstream porn because it’s so narrowly targeted toward male viewers, I can’t help but associate “man-zilians” with straight men’s discomfort with the maleness of the male body (although I do realize that gay porn can be very waxed as well).

I suppose it really comes down to an appreciation of the natural body — blame it on my Northern Californian hippie upbringing. On that note, there is nothing sexier than a man who doesn’t give a crap whether a woman regularly shaves. But now we’re getting into the subject of female body hair and, believe me, you don’t want to get me started.

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter. More: Tracy Clark-Flory

Dustin Reviews: Without Reservations, HOME, & A Secret Edge

OOPS! Sometimes  things slip my mind and here are THREE of them.  I may have forgotten to post them, but they are 3 books which I won’t soon forget.

Completed on May 10, 2011

Without Reservations
by J. L. Langley

“Sometimes love just catches you by the tail. 

Chayton Winston is a veterinarian. He is also a werewolf. Much to his Native American parent’s chagrin, he has always dreamed of a fair-haired, Caucasian mate. However, he never imagined his mate would be male. As a heterosexual man, he’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but more than willing to find out. 

Keaton Reynolds wakes up, in wolf form, and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not so thrilled to find out the man is straight. Having been in a relationship once before where his partner professed to be “Not gay” left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay-but Chay is not ready to let him go. 

Together the two work to solidify their shaky relationship and battle the prejudices against homosexuals. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s prejudices against gay men but also her hatred of white people. 

When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men learn to depend on one another and their relationship to get them through it.”

A sweet sweet story with two contrasting male characters which made for a very good read. Two men from different backgrounds find themselves in a position that should put them at odds with one another, yet fate brings them together.  The struggles they encounter while dealing with their own differences made this a book I didn’t want to put down.

Completed on May 18, 2011

by William Neale

“Lucas Reed is a Cleveland advertising executive who returns to his southern hometown to deal with the sudden death of his estranged homophobic father. There, he unexpectedly encounters Rogan James, the former high school bully and now local deputy chief of police who had once made Lucas’s life miserable.”

Match up two strong male characters like Lucas & Rogan and add a little sexual tension and you’ve got a story that gripped me from the very beginning. I enjoyed Neale’s relaxed style of story telling, although the story was far from being relaxed. This was a 5 star read for me.

Completed on May 24, 2011

A Secret Edge
by Robin Reardon

“Jason Peele is like any other teenager. He hits the books, hangs with his friends, flirts with girls, and omits the full truth of his life from his Aunt Audrey and Uncle Steve, who have raised him since his parents died. But there’s one way that Jason Peele is very different: when he dreams at night, it isn’t about girls; it’s about David Bowie. At sixteen-years-old, Jason is just beginning to understand that he might be gay.”

Talk about taking me back to memories of my own high school days… Reardon has crafted a story with a unique flavor, somewhat along the lines of Bart Yates, but different at the same time. A tale that sparked memories long forgotten, but her words pulled emotions to the surface that had been repressed inside me for years.  I lived the story along with Jason, even though my own story was different, we shared many of the same emotions and struggles at that same age. Thank you Robin for writing a touching story that hit home.

GAY, to be or not to be…

Edward Albee’s recent remarks about being labeled a “gay writer” sparked controversy within the gay community when accepting an honor from Lambda Literary. Albee told the audience, “A writer who happens to be gay or lesbian must be able to transcend self. I am not a gay writer. I am a writer who happens to be gay.”

Okay, but what if, I as a writer, who happens to be gay does not wish to “transcend” and consciously write gay fiction? Am I slighting the writing profession?

Albee’s comment got me thinking about myself and my writing. Yes, he did make a good point that just because a writer is gay/lesbian does not predestine him or her to write gay/lesbian. Look at the myriad of heterosexual women, many of whom are married with families who choose to write m/m romance novels. They write tales for other heterosexual women who enjoy reading about two (or more) men in physical romantic situations. They have transcended beyond their “straight” world to create vivid romantic adventures outside of their lifestyle and reality. Does this mean that writers who are of the gay persuasion should write “straight”?

Finally after thinking about this so hard my brain ached, I came to my own conclusion. A writer’s genre choice should be of their own choosing and their sexual preference should not dictate a particular niche. A writer composes their writing from a story that plays out in their head. That “story”, either consciously or not, occurs in a genre that is of interest to the writer. It’s quite challenging to write something outside your own comfort zone.

So, with that said, I will continue to write GLBTQ fiction. Being a member and a supporter of the gay community for most of my life, it’s my “comfort zone”. I enjoy writing about the community, one I am proud to be a part of. Someday, a story may come to me that may not be related to the GLBTQ community/lifestyle, but until the day that story floats into my head, I will write gay, not because I am gay, but because I consciously choose to do so.