Thursday, October 31, 2013

Romance=Happily Ever After

Greetings my Pretties!!!!!

I had several debates on “happily-ever-after” (HEA) at Gay Rom Lit. One might tag me as a troublemaker… Okay, fine you might be right but I was rather shocked and confused that the main characters in a romance novel walking off hand in hand into the sunset was even open for debate. Right there on my badge ‘romance’ is front and center in the title.

Romance has a specific definition. To quote the Romance Writers of America: “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” (  That’s only one definition but it is rather specific.

1+1 = awww (or 1+1+1= awww) Romance is a specific genre with expectations. To paraphrase ZA Maxfield & Ethan Day during their session in the writer’s track, romance is a warm bath. You just ease into it and you know you’re going to feel better when it’s done.

You can imagine my surprise when another author said he didn’t do HEA or even HFN (happy for now). It tapped right into my primitive brain and I denied the possibility. He was a lovely man but I thought this conversation had to be a fluke. How could a romance author not write HEA or HFN? But when the second and third discussion occurred my heart hurt.

What was happening? Had the world tilted and dropped me off in hell? No, no I was still at GRL (& the Heaven & Hell costume party wasn’t until Saturday night).

My reader self rebelled when one author said he wanted to educate the reader giving them a ‘richer more educated read’. I tried to explain as a reader I am drawn to romance for the unfolding of love and as a writer that’s what I want to provide my readers with a bit of happy brain candy that has the potential to make their world brighter.

After a number of discussions, I figured out these lovely authors were writing Gay Fiction, which is a different animal than romance. Gay fiction is fine and a wonderful genre but I’m not your reader base so don’t try to convert me to ‘meaningful’ non-HEA endings cause it’s only going to annoy all of us.

For the record, I don’t want anyone casting shadows over what we write or read by implying romance is ‘less’ intelligence, important, or meaningful because we have happily ever after’s. These romances help turn ‘ew’ into ‘aw’ with every single page. When a mommy/daddy finds out their child is gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer, or differently oriented, the parent who has exposure to this genre would further along in the acceptance process then had they not.

And just to clarify I don’t fetishize about gay men (You truly are NOT my fantasy… I respect and wish you well… just putting that out there). I identify with gay men as a category more then I would with ‘straight’ females but that has nothing to do with ‘you’. Something not discussed much is gay romance is helping to re-associate some Q women back to their own sexuality. It is experienced differently than what is found in HET romance. So turn off your judgment off… cause we deserve better.

As for my characters and stories: I worship the edges and I write in the Yaoi style. I don’t expect gay men of a certain age to enjoy my work but to be honest I’m not writing for anyone but me. It’s my sanity, my air, and my world. If you enjoy it come play with me (Currently, I can serve you up hot dirty rockers and sexy zombies who need male essence to survive)… if not let me hug you on Facebook but don’t try to convince me to read non-HEAs.

Soooooo my Pretties tell me what you think?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Updates on my writing

Greetings My Pretties!!!

I've been asked a number of times where certain manuscripts are.... so I thought it's well past time I do an update.

Club Zombie 2: Zombies Suck 

This manuscript is with Stiff Rain and an editor is pouring over it to make it sparkle. I don't have a release date yet but my guess would be within a 1.5 months.  
The guys, especially Alex, gave me a lot of problems... I was writing a happy erotic fluffy bunny piece and we took a turn>>> have faith I got everyone on track and happy but I was forced to play in ouchie parts of my mind that I don't like to go. It resulted in several complete re-writes.


Entwined: Lock & Key

(Several of my Pretties might want to strangle me) This manuscript is done and has been betaed/critiqued. I need to incorporate all the comments and tweak some things. I'm hoping by end of Nov I'll be submitting it to a publisher.


The Ladyboy Chronicles: Illusions & Dreams

I am re-working this story and a beta/critique partner is pouring over it now. I'm half way through the re-writes and it is my hope to be done before the end of Nov so I can submit it to a publisher.


Sean & Jack's Story (unnamed)

This one I'm not gonna front... I've been avoiding the fuck out of it. I know what happens in chapter one and neither Robin Strider (keyboardist of The Dark Angels) or I want to deal with it. I don't want to write it, I don't want it to happen... but I have to and I will be argh! It's going to suck rocks.


Viking Haven

The Craving which is the first book in this series has been quiet. But thanks to my Pretties on Facebook I've been given a ton of man candy that has filled out the cast of characters for five books. The King (manipulative bastard) has given me some interesting information which makes the end of book 2 make a whole lot of sense... 


The Dark Angels

I'm planning on re-writing them adding different points of view and more information. I'm quite devastated at my own lack of skill as a writer... they deserve better & I shall give it to them.  There are several more stories I'd like to do for them as well.


Made in China 2: The Temple of Heaven

Plot is getting fleshed out. Several chapters are outlined and a number of sex scenes are written. Jordon Davis has given me lots of great information which I am putting to use. His best friend Laurie  (I don't know her last name) has made a very loud appearance...

Soooooo that's the basics. I don't have a time line yet... but the order appears to be: Club Zombie 2, The Ladyboy Chronicles, Entwined: Lock & Key, then I believe Viking Haven's: The Craving. 

Thanks so much for your patience and encouragement. I truly appreciate it!!!

Big hugs, Z.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Travel Blog Part # 2.... cause 1 just wasn't enough...

Travel Blog Part #2

I worry about you… so I need to give you more suggestions.

1) Chew gum on take off & landing: helps prevent ear pain & popping (when you forget the gum: chew chew swallow again and again…)
2) They will make you throw out your water or liquids… either buy them on the other side of security or bring an empty bottle and refill at a fountain.
3) If you have time find a plug and charge everything… you never know if you're be delayed and there's nothing worse than a dead battery… on the same vein power off you devices if you want to save power roaming the skies seems to eat power. Rule: ABC=always be charging… I promise you won't regret it.

Win At The Security Check Point:

1) Have your driver's license (or passport opened to the identification page) and your ticket facing the officer. Say good morning or good whatever it is…restrain yourself from making jokes (the irony will be lost on those of you behind you in line when the TSA feels they need to be extra thorough). The officer will check to ensure the information matches & will scribble on your ticket you will move to the x-ray machine.

2) The X-ray belt separates the travelers from the newbies…

Here's how you can fake it:

*If there's a choice of lines: get behind business travelers, avoid lines with children, avoid individuals in high heels (clearly never had to run through an airport aka not a traveler), avoid people who looked confused. If there's no choice no worries that's why you got to the airport early (RIGHT?).

*Take 2 bins (3 if you can't put your pocketbook/manbag in your carry-on)

*Have your carry-on bag organized so without rooting through it like a squirrel you can pull out the things need to put in the bins provided so they can be screened:
*Bin #1: Laptop goes in this bin ALONE.

*Bin #2: Put your cell phone/kindle/iPod, your 'die if you lose' that couldn't be checked liquids/gels (in your quart bag 3oz or less bottles). Time to undress (cue the stripper music in your head but do NOT hum it people don't like it): belts off, shoes off, wallets not contain in a purse, no change in your pockets, take off the jacket or scarf.

**Make sure you zip your carry-on back up before sending it through the machine**

**Pocketbook/Manbag carriers again if you can put that bag in your carry-on you'll fly through the security line… take it back out afterwards… having your pocketbook/manbook contents rolling around the floor when it spills over means the X-ray machine won… ((= the less free floating pieces of you the better))

((The list of what you can't carry-on can be found here:

If it's the old type of doorway scanner just wait you're turned and walk through. But many airports have the new body scanner… you wait your turn (but pay attention when it's your turn: MOVE don't make me beat you with your own shoe) step into the cubicle onto the foot prints arms up (just like the picture) it takes 3 seconds move to out the other side and pause until they wave your through… (sometimes underwire bras or necklaces will set it off… it that's the case you're given a short massage… no happy ending>>> shut up and don't laugh thinking about me when that happens to you)
Gather your things…. just slide them to the end of the roller table and repack. Usually someone is there grabbing your bins to restack them just make sure you look to see you gathered all your things out of each bin. By taking out your laptop out of a bin you're down to one bin with all your stuff… put on your shoes first cause ICK! Then your wallet & cell phones then your bag of gels/liquids open you're carry-on and re-insert, zip up and move out of the way.
3) Once at your gate check to make sure it's still your gate… sometimes you can miss the announcement.

**Again your sex toys won't be bothered if you have checked your batteries**

Owning the Plane:

*You've got your seat hopefully an aisle or window… if traveling with another person consider to aisles in the same row… avoid the middle seat.
*Put the stuff you want in the seat pocket in a ziplock bag: much more sanitary (you can't imagine what I've seen people put in those pockets & there really is no way to clean those pockets especially for domestic flights) & it will help you can track of your things which means you'll be less likely to forget them… just remember to grab whole book on landing.
*Don't expect planes to show a movie or give you even pretzels… you'll be lucky to get a drink. (Usually the airlines will tell you the type of plane and you can ask about what will be offered on board so find out.)  So think about what you want (food or movie or reading material) & be prepared & have it accessible.
*Greet the flight attendant but move along, put your stuff in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you and get out of the aisle.
*Smile at your seat companion and say hi… but don't be insulted if they aren't chatters.
*If you're feeling nervous: slip off your shoes and rub the heel of one foot against the ankle of the other=this deactivates your fight or flee response and can relax you.
*Sometimes, the seat belts won't quite fit or feel uncomfortable ask the flight attendant quietly for an extension. It will be passed to you after the safety demonstration.
*READ THE SAFETY CARD* I've flown over a million miles and each time I get on the plane I read it because each planes doors/exits open differently & chances your fellow flyers haven't a clue. Know how many seats the nearest exits are (both in front of you and in back of you)>>> you'd could possibly crawling so counting the seats will be your guide. Knowledge is power & in this case… well important.
*Take a moment and get Zen: How can the philosophy of flying impact your life? How can putting on your air mask on first be the less selfish option then giving everything you have until you have nothing to give? Or plot bunny that cute passenger three rows up… is he from Europe…what's his story?

Have a safe wonderful trip!!!!!

Hugs, Z.