Archive | Blogosphere RSS feed for this section

Heads up!

17 May

Hey guys, it’s IDAHO, and there’s a Hop Against Homophobia and Trans*Phobia going on all this week. My post is in re biphobia (no one is shocked!), and I’m posting about it here because 1. possibly relevant to some of your interests and 2. giving away books, including KV Taylor stuff.

For All My Unicorns Out There

Just noticed every novel/novella I’ve had published as KV Taylor has a bisexual protag so yyyyyeah. Relevant!

See you there, and back with more rambles next week ♥

(Evidence that this is a necessary thing: the IDAHO website was just attacked, hence it temporarily redirecting to their facebook page. On the day. Spread the word, spread the love, please!)

31 Days of Secrets… with Carole Lanham

3 May

And now, a lovely little tease from one of my absolute favorite short story collections ever…

The Whisper Jar by Carole Lanham

To gear up for the latest print release from Morrigan Books, author Carole Lanham is sharing 31 secrets in 31 days from her collection of award-winning stories, The Whisper Jar.  On May 31, 2012, The Whisper Jar will be available for purchase in paperback, and this is one secret that both Carole and Morrigan Books hope you’ll whisper far and wide.  In the meantime, if you’d like to read the book before the end of the month, please pick up your copy of the ebook today at Amazon.

Secret # 3

It all begins and ends with a leather book, twenty-five significant pages asmudge with jelly thumbprints, pasted valentines, and knee blood. Childhood, if you will, saved on wrinkled paper. You know the stuff: the feathers you collected, the cigar ring the neighbor kid slid on your finger behind the snowball bush, that snotty smear that was once a frog’s heart… KEEPSAKES. That’s what the front of the leather book says, written in curly gold letters more flowery than flowers. Real gold letters, probably, and worth a small fortune each. Be it a shoebox, a hope chest, or a dresser drawer, one should always have a place to keep what must be kept.

The Turnbull brothers had a leather book…

~ Keepity Keep

Carole Lanham is made entirely out of awesome. The Whisper Jar is packed to the lid with dark magic and whimsy, while bearing an ominously old-fashioned touch that might make Edward Gorey feel right at home. It deserves to be ranked as a modern classic.

Brian Hodge, author of Mad Dogs and Picking The Bones

Bloody Bookish Bits

23 Feb

Ugh way too much alliteration, sorry. But I’m over at Bloody Bookish today waxing philisophical on Women in Horror Month for Blood Chatter.

Okay, it’s not philosophical at all, actually. I just like that expression. Thanks for the chat, Mary!

My planned Women in Horror Month reading is going very well. I’ve been stretching out the Linda Addison stories and poems over the course of the month, but I’m running out now. Looooove the voice in the shorts, and a few of the poems are insta-love so far. Already finished House of Fallen Trees, which was a — okay, this is a weird word to use for a horror story, but it was a delicious haunted house tale. Read Peter the Wolf, which was difficult for a lot of reasons, but extremely well done and more than worth reading. I’m well into Theatre of Curious Acts now — probably polish it off this weekend because it’s just so lovely to read. And then one more, the next Hexslinger installation, and I’m all good.

It’s been a fun month. I gotta remember to do this next year, too. Nice to take a month off and not let myself write anything new, to be honest. Sometimes one really needs a break from the voices. If you know what I mean.

And I know you do.

My Disastrous Valentine’s Party and Giveaway

6 Feb

ETA: This contest is over! Thank you, everyone!

 

Once upon a time I had a Halloween Party. I asked people to tell me which awful, awful fictional character they were bringing, and in exchange for indulging this sick whim of mine, I entered them into a drawing to win books.

Let’s do it again, but with a potentially sweeter result, shall we?

I’m having a Valentine’s Day party. You’re all invited, but you have to bring a guest – a fictional character from one of your favorite books. There’s no limitation on genre, place of origin (yours or theirs), or whether or not I’ve read the book before, but there is one catch. You are officially on a date with this character.

You can be as serious or as ridiculous as you like in the answering, but I would particularly love it if you’d tell me why you would take this character out on a date. Maybe you think they’d entertain you with shining wit, or perhaps singing or storytelling or otherwise entertaining the company. Maybe you think they’d bust the party up with a good drunken fight, and that’s your thing. Maybe you could use them as a spy or assassin, or maybe you’re more interested in what would happen after the party. Anything goes, man.

Anyone who helps fill the guest list will be entered into a completely random drawing to win some… well, they are all books that have to do with love in some way, it’s true, but love as a perfect disaster. Dark, ugly, and rather unfortunate. Occasionally even violent.

Which anyone who’s ever been in love will gladly tell you, it usually is.

1. The first name drawn gets a paper copy of Scripped, plus one of the second run* of the Liberty Tree chapbooks. Which, by the way, you can’t get anywhere else ever again. And they’re pretty, honest.

2. Two more people will get a digital copy of Scripped, format of your choice, plus a Liberty Tree chapbook.

Wait, already own Scripped? Wow, I love you, I would never leave you out! You won’t be able to win the first prize, because someone’s definitely getting this copy sitting here on my desk — BUT you can get the runner up prize, and I’ll change it to a paper copy of either Steamy Screams or Rock n’ Roll is Dead. I’ve got disastrous love in both of those, so it’s all in the proper spirit.

(Have all that stuff? Okay, fine, I’ll send you this awesome, totally unopened journal I bought at the National Gallery a few months back. It has a Picasso quote on it. C’mon, it’ll be fun.)

Contest closes at 12 noon, EST, February 14.

So who’s your date? Someone sweet, or someone wicked? Hit me.

*Yes, the second run are slightly less awesome than the first run, which is mostly a matter of ribbons. But those are long gone, sorry!

Woman

4 Feb

I thought of like five hundred ways to introduce my plan to read a bunch of stuff by women in horror this month. The truth is that I’m having kind of a shitty night, so I probably shouldn’t do it right now. (ETA: I saved it as a draft and came back to it this afternoon. It’s not as dismal as the first four-hundred-and-ninety-nine versions were, as it turns out.)

So basically, my feelings on things like — well, take this month being Black History Month in the US, in the UK LGBTQ History Month — are all the same. I’ve said it loads of times, but for the record: this is good and necessary. But I’m going to go with a tiny little niche month, which for the record was created and centered around film, and is the subject of much vitriol just now, Women in Horror Month. This is how I come to “good and necessary”:

1. Yes, it would be super awesome if all viewpoints were equally represented/easy to find, and every month was “_insert underrepresented viewpoint month here_ month”. But that ain’t the way it’s working just now, so highlighting a given underrepresented one is fun times. It does not make it other, it makes it featured. Which is what you do with things that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. It is also not to the exclusion of all other viewpoints. Addition, not subtraction.

2. No, the relative dearth of women who write horror is not the fault of men who write horror. It has been my personal experience that men who write horror love women who write horror, and their company, both in a table of contents and at an actual table.

3. Yes, this is the fault of it being a genre that tends toward violence of one kind or another,  because our society (I should say “my society” since I can only speak to that one) tends to condone and even fetishize, either tacitly or outright, violence against women.

4. Yes, this does mean that historically, women in horror — as characters — very often exist only to highlight or be victims of violence and/or the saviorhood of men in horror — as characters*. Which, even in this age where any woman can as easily live by her pen as any man, likely turns a lot of women creators off the genre as early as childhood.

5. Yes, some people who like horror today still like that aspect of it, but I think more simply don’t notice it because it’s just always been there. Having it pointed out as such is oftentimes embarrassing, which can cause kneejerk denials, but these things are never called up for the sake of a guilt trip, but for the sake of progress. (“It’s not about you. Stop making it about you. Really.”)

6. No, none of these trends apply across the board by any stretch of the imagination. But these are easily provable, often proved trends that did and do exist.

7. Yes, I do believe the situation is getting better thanks to the awareness and efforts of creators of all gender identities. Anyone can write a woman with agency, and they do it all the time, beautifully refusing to slip back into outdated genre tropes. (Any human being can write any human being, one likes to hope.) This is a problem we, as in people working right now, inherited, not one we created, and there’s hope in that.

8. But yes, I do think this is helped along by the visibility and activity of women in the creator position. As this becomes more common, so too will the negative stereotypes naturally become less prevalent — and more obviously ridiculous to all.

9. And no, I do not think thinking and talking about it critically is giving it undue attention/making it worse/whatever people say when they want a “problem” to shut up and politely go away and leave them in their comfy chair. Examining assumptions, stereotypes, and alternate viewpoints is a writer’s profession.

I really don’t care who writes a book so long as it’s good**, and I don’t think most readers would. But I think every life experience has something to bring to the table, so fuck it, I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy some women authors and explore and the darkness they bring to their fiction this month.

Short Story and Poetry Collection: Linda Addison‘s How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend
Novel for Week 1: Gina Ranalli‘s House of Fallen Trees
Novel for Week 2: Zoe E. Whitten‘s Peter the Wolf
Novel for Week 3: Cate Gardner‘s Theatre of Curious Acts
Novel for Week 4: Gemma Files‘s A Rope of Thorns

Hoping I can stretch that first one out over the course of the novels… but we’ll see, right?

*Random note of interest — this was why I didn’t love The Light at the End. Which I really, really wanted to love because that vampire was awesome. But yeah. No.

**Okay, not entirely true. I don’t buy books by authors I know are straight assholes. (I’m lookin’ at you, OSC.) They don’t get my money. Screw ‘em.

Guest Blog: L. Bohmer Talks Porn

10 Jan

Today I’m lucky enough to have Louise Bohmer stop by to discuss porn. Porn and women, even. Which is, of course, something in which I have a great interest and many opinions of my own.

Please enjoy!

Ahem.


Misconceptions About Women and Porn

(Or, Why I Heart Nina Hartley)

by L. Bohmer

Yes, I am a feminist, and, yes, I watch porn.

There tends to be a school of thought among some feminists that states women can never, ever enjoy porn. Porn is exclusively for males, and the women acting in said films are always faking it. Porn always marginalizes and sexualizes the woman in a negative light. Porn is always abusive to the female, and no right-minded woman would willingly act in it. They must be coerced into it or need the money.

With all due respect to those who hold this view, I simply cannot agree with it. For starters, I have a problem with broad stroke approaches to any argument. Rarely in life have I found any accurate black-and-white answers. Life is simply far more complex than that. Secondly, research into today’s porn industry, and the history of pornographic film, will reveal this argument is simply not true. While, yes, the adult film industry is not lily-white, many women within it have gained not only sexual empowerment through the medium, but also creative and financial empowerment.

Nina Hartley is a prime example of this female empowerment. At 52, Nina still acts in and directs pornography. She has also taken on the role of sexual educator, and identifies herself as a sex-positive feminist. Here is a great quote from Nina, and I think it sums up what I’m trying to say perfectly:

“Sex isn’t something men do to you. It isn’t something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does.”

In fact, the first adult film Nina ever starred in was directed by a female porn star, Juliet Anderson. Since her debut, she’s appeared in over 600 adult films, and now directs and stars in her own line of sex instruction videos. She’s been a strong pro-advocate of the adult entertainment industry for almost thirty years, and she vehemently speaks out against the use of illegal drugs in the adult film business. As well, Ms. Hartley is a registered nurse, and graduated magna cum laude. She was also the first adult film star to cross over into mainstream acting, landing a role in Boogie Nights, and appearing in a Canadian film called Bubbles Galore.

Nina has rebutted antipornography feminists for close to two decades. Instead of telling women what kind of sexuality is ‘right’ for them, Nina takes an educational approach that is open and positive. Her instructional videos take an enthusiastic and all inclusive look at sex. To me, and for me, hers is an ideal that empowers women sexually. It doesn’t inhibit them or tell them sex can only be one way. It encourages exploration, education, and respect for the female.

Today, thanks to direct-to-video proliferation, the Internet, and women like Nina Hartley, the adult film industry doesn’t have nearly as harsh a social stigma as it once did. At the end of the 90s, adult film sales and rentals comprised about one-third of video revenue, and those numbers continue to grow. And as more women watch porn, and more women take on active, powerful roles in the industry, the face of adult entertainment continues to morph.

The key to demystifying the industry is not to demonize it, but rather for women to make it their own, just as Ms. Hartley and many other women have done. For a great summation of the sex-positive feminist, please read this article “Feminist for Porn” by Nina Hartley:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/02/02/feminists-for-porn/

 

Links to quotes and other articles referenced:

Nina Hartley’s Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Hartley

Nina’s website (NWS!): http://www.nina.com/ninahartleybio.php

Globe and Mail – The thinking woman’s porn star speaks out:

http://www.walnet.org/csis/news/toronto_99/gandm-990424.html

***

L. Bohmer was the pen name under which Louise Bohmer once wrote erotic fiction. Today, she writes erotic fiction under other pen names, Isabel Dyakov being one.

She lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with a tattooed giant and assorted fur children. To learn more about Louise and her alter egos, visit: www.louisebohmer.com

Her erotic romance collection, Passion Plays, will be released February 14. A free teaser ebook will be released January 15, and both will be available on Kindle and Smashwords. To keep up with release news for the collection, bookmark: http://www.louisebohmer.com/site/passion-plays/


Just for the record, Louise was kind enough to ask me to write the intro for that upcoming teaser. And, I mean, check the cover:

Passion Plays teaser

Yeeeeeah. You know you want some porn.

(It’s better than porn, though. It’s erotica. Maybe that’d make for a good post, too…)

Social Animals

29 Dec

I don’t think writers are social animals.

Earlier today, I was thinking, “God, why am I so worn out?”

It’s a fair question. I’ve done… well, not that much, this week. I kept up with emails — after the weekend, anyhow, which was understandably commandeered for holiday festivities. (An atheist and a Hindu walk into a bar on Christmas Eve…) I’ve even got some work done, stuff I needed to finish, adminny things, promoy things, etc. etc.

And yet, I keep thinking I’m tired. Then I realize: “Oh right. People.”

The holidays are a time to engage with our fellow, um, humans, right? We had most of the weekend to ourselves, but Monday we went out for dinner with our fantastic neighbors (genuinely — they know all the best restaurants and are awesome folks), tonight we’re going to dinner at a friend’s house because his parents are visiting (and are from Chennai, therefore they want to cook for my husband — it’s a thing), and this weekend my parents are coming for our usual New Years Blowout Dinner Event. (tm?)

I’m already like, “I WILL NOT SPEAK TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING FOR TWO WEEKS AFTER NEW YEARS.” Also, I keep thinking, “I will write and write and write and write and HIDE.”

These are all people whose company I enjoy. Like, genuinely, I like them, I look forward to spending time with them. I look forward to doing things that will make them happy — good dinners, nice cigars, bottles of wine, gift exchanges, catching up.

And yet, I know I will be tired after the fact. I know I will want to hide under a rock. This is certain. I understand that some human beings do not get this tired effect. In fact, they seem to be recharged by this whole human interaction thing.

But I want to know, my writer friends: do YOU feel recharged or worn down in such circumstances? I feel as if writers either prefer our own heads, don’t have the energy to go around, or simply don’t give a shit in some cases. (Not mine! I complain about humanity, but I do love a pretty long list of people, I admit.) Is this some horrible stereotype without cause? Or is it one that arises from some sort of reality? Is there some causal relationship here?

The holidays seem like the most obvious time to ask these questions, since we can’t avoid interaction just now. So what do you think?

Coming up next:  a bold new years resolution!

And by bold, I mean I’m actually making one. Dun dun dun!

Hiding Out

17 Oct

Okay, I’ve been hiding out. You caught me.

See, there’s this thing we all do. Some people talk about it to get it out. Me, I usually whine to my friends — I have a personal journal just to whine, make scene lists, ramble about characters, and otherwise drive my darlings mad with my head issues and voices. A lot. The truth is I had a bit of a rough week last week, personally speaking, and though things are going rather well now, I’m officially in my yearly funk. This generally lasts a week to a week-and-a-half, and consists of me hating everything I’ve ever written.

I know you all do this. That is some comfort. But mostly, all I can do is keep working and wait for it to go away.

Pathetic story: I need to make a scene list. If I’m going to write JAMES (sequel to LIAM) for Nano — my first Nano! — a scene list would be good. I know the plot backwards and forwards, inside and out. I’ve had it in my head for ten years, just like the other three that come after JAMES. I wanted to learn how to write to tell this story. But since I already wrote this one once in ’06-07, I’m sure I can use a lot of the scenes, as in rewrite them, in this brand new version.

Except I can’t make myself open it. If I hate everything I write now, oh god, can you imagine the potential trauma of opening up something that old? Unthinkable! So instead I’m sitting here, avoiding my own writing, avoiding as much of the world as I possibly can until this crippling fear passes.

Because it will. I will totally go back to being thoughtless and stubborn and coughing up half-formed novels like it’s my job (oh wait, it totally is, now! See, why am I even complaining?) very soon. I always do, because frankly I am not deep enough to stay depressed for long. Being as shallow as a mud puddle on a hot day comes in very handy at times like these.

Lucky thing, too, since now is kind of a bad time. I had the RIOT BOY proof over the weekend, and I gave it a nice, hard, final read before sending it off to my incredible editrix, Raven McKnight. And I even liked it. I sat there going, “Hey, this is kinda cool. These characters are all right. The voice is pretty solid. You’re getting there with the first person thing. Hm, that was hot. Man, Raven really saved this thing.” And then I put it down and went back to EVERYTHING SUCKS OMG.

But you know something? That book is coming out in like three weeks. So I don’t have time to be a fucking punk ass emo kid, and I don’t get to hide. I have to get on with the business of preparing for a release: setting up a release party, getting advertising sorted, planning contests, talking to people, choosing and adding excerpts, and otherwise putting myself out there.

Because I love this shit, man. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t based on something as horrifically fragile as an ego, but if that’s my biggest problem, I am winning this game. So I’m posting this not to complain, but just to admit that even though I turn up with these long lists of projects and balls in the air and things that apparently make it sound like this is all very easy for me, I am in fact a complete and utter punk sometimes. And I know you guys understand.

I swear to god, without the blogosphere, I would be way drunker. (I’m not drunk at all right now, I just mean in general, I’d need a lot more self-medicating.)

Nobody’s Home

13 Sep

At least, nobody’s home here. I’m off for a week or so — an adventure into a state I’ve never before seen. Wisconsin! But first I have to wrangle the cat into her carrier and get her to the vet for boarding, so I’d better make this snappy.

Have a marvelous week, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and I’ll miss you. If you get bored, you can always try and win a copy of one of those romance novels I’m always talking about.

See you after the weekend! <3

Scenes, Screams, and Scripped Interview

10 Sep

I have many things I’ve been meaning to say or need to say, and no good way to tie them together into a coherent post, except that the gist of all of them is: I wrote a thing!

I won’t trouble you with sad attempts to sound coherent, then. Here are the things:

1. SCRIPPED! Here is my first SCRIPPED interview, with Mark S. Deniz: Stars of Speculative Fiction #24 — KV Taylor. I do talk some about RPP in there, and I don’t know how we got on the subject of hamsters, but still.There’s a lot of info there about what’s up with the title, which seems to be an issue of some question. Sensibly enough, since “scripped” is not actually a word. Details! Mark knows the book very well, though, seeing as he wrote the foreword for it. Nice guy, that.

As an addendum, we did the interview before LIAM was a definite thing, and since my nasty little vampire has apparently been stalking my friends in their dreams again (I get regular complaints to keep my head people to myself :/), I’m a little worried he’ll start on me now cuz he got left out.

Told you he was a fucker.

2. Things that involve Mark, part the second: the announcement for SCENES FROM THE SECOND STOREY – INTERNATIONAL went up this week, and it’ll be out in a month! How ’bout Amanda Pillar’s cover, huh? This is a project that has been in the works for a long time, and I’m really happy to see it come to light. I know we’re not meant to play favorites, but my story, “She Said”, actually ties for My Favorite Short in terms of how much I enjoyed writing it. Throw in my excitement to be part of such a cool concept and that ToC… yeah. Yay!

This is particularly neat timing because my story’s an AU exploration of two characters from LIAM, and what might have happened if things went differently when they were younger. (As it turns out, they were fucked no matter what. I’m so mean, I know.)

On a sort of wistful note, it’s the last Morrigan Book where I’ll ever get to grace the pages, since I now work for them. The book was put together a few years back, before I even knew Mark, and had only ever spoken to Amanda about where to move my commas and how to make sense of my sentences.

3. STEAMY SCREAMS. I know I tweeted about this and mentioned it briefly in a previous post, but this is horrorotica from the good folk at Blood Bound Books. I’m working my way through my own copy and damn, it is cool — Jack Burton did a nice job getting it all together. I mean, I would say that, my two favorite things, horror and erotica, right? But seriously, for the curious, the brave, the pervy, the wishful, this is the book.

My own story, “Shadowgirl”, contains madness, girls kissing (okay, way more than kissing), and possibly sleep paralysis. Sex is so creepy. In an awesome way.

4. The very cool Non-Horror Reader Survey recently spotlighted ANTE MORTEM edited by Jodi Lee. NHRS is a really cool idea, in that it acknowledges that many — perhaps even most people hear the word “horror” and flinch. So here the books, and in this case the  stories, are classed by just how interested in horror a person might be to enjoy it in that sense.

I’m really fond of the stories in this book, and love the way their disparate energies play off each other. If you check the ToC, you’ll see there’s bound to be something for everyone in it. And hey, mine was based on a Smiths song! (Wait, I’m not sure if that’s actually enticing or not… hmm…)

 

Okay, enough about me, I’m even boring myself. Other people who’ve done awesome things recently:

1. Cate Gardner is getting brilliant reviews for her recent chapbook from Spectral Press, NOWHERE HALL. It’s a bit of a tease, as I don’t think you can get hold of a copy if you don’t already have one. I do, and will soon be adding my voice to the chorus of praise. Hm, that was kind of a tease too — I got one nyah nyah. Sorry, didn’t mean it that way. Gosh, I’m bratty sometimes.

2. Aaron Polson just released SPIDER AND I as an ebook. I tell you this because the short from which this idea came is one of my all time favorite Polson stories — which is saying quite a lot — and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the expanded one. These characters fascinated me instantly. Also, he’ll give you free stuff if you buy it. As in a book. Yay!

Aaaand that’s me. Happy weekend, everyone!