Friday, March 30, 2012

Style Grids

Apparently Blogger felt the urge to put a little padding around my grids, and I'm not sure how to make that go away right now, and I assume it was a default that I put into the design elements. Anyway, here are some style grids with links...hopefully links that all work.
Under $25

Clad in Chrysanthemums NecklaceFramed Coin RingMarrakech Your Eye Earrings
Shimmer FlatsVelvet Burnout Maxi SkirtTrue Love Will Find You In The End T-Shirt
Black Gold Glass BanglesPoint d'espirit camiCrepuscule T-Shirt

Under $75

Vanessa Bruno BroochCorner Coffee Shop CardiganStyle Tryst Metallic Feather Earrings
Black Widow Drop EarringsTea Leaves DressVanilla Milk Top
J.R. Nites Tiered SkirtStylish Selection SkirtTime and Lace Dress

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An update like many others

I was sick off and on for about a week, and I've been playing catch-up since then.
So, I'll have a book review for Queer Fish up as soon as I finish writing it out coherently. I have notes right now.
I will also post a basic publishing guide that I wrote for an online group, but I think it's rather useful so I'll post it here as well.
And I'm working on an essay about how to use criticism.
You should check out Columbus Creative Co-op's next anthology theme-- Bicentennial Columbus
I've been filling out many job applications, but got rejected from Saks Fifth Avenue this morning because apparently they heard I'm more likely to have skeletons in my closet rather than designer labels.
I'm going to the CD101 Day Side A show this Saturday. I hope to avoid fighting with drunk hipsters.
So, that's the update. I'm working on a sci-fi story and since I've been making progress with that today I plan to work on it until I get bored or fall asleep.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Playing With Dolls by I.G. Frederick

I was given the opportunity to review an erotic novel by I.G. Frederick, so here is what I thought of it:

Playing With Dolls by I.G. Frederick has an intriguing plot and brings insight into the realm of male submission. Jesse has always been led to believe that he should be gay just because he prefers to wear women's clothing and enjoyed playing with dolls as a child. His exposure to gender identity and sexual preference has been dictated to him by his therapist who fails to separate expression from orientation, and the theory is rather forced upon him by his parents because gay is an easier answer on the surface. His father accepts him, and his mother expects him to be a gay rights activist.
Over time Jesse explores his sexuality starting in a lackluster relationship with David, where he loses his virginity on his 18th birthday in a scene that is written in a way that easily conveys his disappointment with the encounter. He is then introduced to BDSM by a lesbian couple (Ashleigh and Rachel) that more or less accepts him unquestioningly, but thinks that they know what is best for him much like his parents believed. He does enjoy the experiences of "flying" that they provide. Ashleigh and Rachel pass him off to Tony, a leatherman who further brings him into a Dominant and submissive relationship. Jesse is unsure of this arrangement, but goes along with it and continues to let others decide for him. It's entertaining to watch his attempts to make the best of some scenes that he finds to be not quite the right experience for him.
In general I found the progression of encounters to be appropriately more exciting and sensual as Jesse discovers what he enjoys. The book is oddly insightful in regards to the main character's slow revelation of finding himself through gender expression and sexual exploration. He begins to assert himself by choosing a career and life path that he wants rather than appeasing his parents. I enjoyed the varying degrees of information on the BDSM community, and even the fact that some of the characters didn't quite know the proper guidelines that go along with BDSM, but that's also an aspect of Jesse's education. This book is a delightfully sexy read that effectively evolves into Jesse pursuing possibilities for himself rather than just accepting what others have planned out for him.

Playing With Dolls can be purchased on and All Romance ebooks, and will be available on SmashWords later this week.
I.G. Frederick can be found online and on Twitter

Friday, March 9, 2012

Late Night Editing Thought: Dirty Candy

I've been revising a story that was rejected by a publisher. I think it has good bones, but could pack more punch (I also think it may have been a little too dark for their purposes).

Okay, so from this little project I'm learning that the sections of a story should be concise or compact... like a fun size candy bar, and it should all be in a neat little wrapper. You don't want to eat the candy bar that got caught in the machine and didn't seal right. You has caramel and chocolate hanging out of the end. Which might seem like a bonus because there is technically more candy there, but it really only serves to attract rats and dirt. We don't need that.
So, pack your story neatly. (covering it in chocolate could possibly help, too)
Also, know where to seal the wrapper at the end. That extra smooshed rat food candy...yeah, that's a poorly concluded story right there. You really don't need those extra words that kind of squished out of the conclusion. Don't be scared to cut off your dirty candy.

Maybe that sounds extra dirty, and maybe it doesn't make any sense, but I'm revising a story at 2:30am and this is my thought.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flash Fiction: Deaf on the Right

Needed time to recharge, so that's why I've been rather scarce online recently.
I participated in Columbus Creative Cooperative's Flash Fiction Smackdown on March 1st. Didn't win, but that's okay because the final round involved writing another story in 15 minutes based on a prompt, and then presenting that story. Scary, yes?

So, here is what I read that night--

Deaf on the Right
By J. Lannan

Spending summer at home was boring. But I kept seeing this guy. Hiding in bushes. Standing behind garages. So, like I said I was bored. That afternoon I snuck up and snapped him in the back of the head with the stupid rubberband on his Halloween mask. I hadn't been expecting that falsetto scream. I took off down the street even though I wasn't scared. Why was he even wearing that when it was ninety degrees out? And he had to be way too old to be creeping like that.  I felt justified. He ambled after me groaning like a constipated walrus.
"Really?" I could walk backwards and he wouldn't even catch up. So, that's what I did. "Are you seriously such a spazz that you're following me? Look at how you're dressed. Who do think you are the next member of Slipknot?"
I stopped on the sidewalk. He lurched forward with his hands aimed at my neck, but he didn't know that I played soccer. I corner kicked him in the junk and ran for a friend's house.
Now, no one had seen any of them for about a week, but maybe they went on vacation. Without telling anyone. The door was unlocked. Inside, the place smelled like road kill. Like big roadkill.
You know, in these situations most people try to rationalize that the creepy guy who showed up a week ago and the house that smells like week-old death were somehow not connected. I wasn't one of those people. 
I knew they had guns. The downstairs cabinet was locked. I knew about the loaded pistol in the nightstand. But that was upstairs, and there are rules against that.
Serving as a reminder of the rules I encountered Colleen laid out on the stairs with a knife wound to the chest. "You never run up the stairs." I yelled at her, but that was pointless.
So the gun wasn't in the nightstand, it was on the bed by Colleen's dead dad. The psycho was faster. He gripped my throat. But I had the gun. Put it up near the side of my head. Pointed back. Heard him breathing. Pulled the trigger.

And that's why I'm kind of deaf in one ear.