Archive for May, 2008

Things I Can’t Wait For

May 30, 2008

I have one more week of classes. Then the summer off for book work.

Seriously, that whole, “I’ll work a full time job, take 7 credits of marketing and econ classes, move house, and finish book 2” thing was kinda stretching it.

At least I learned my lesson.

Other things I can’t wait for:

We had our reviews at work. Raises kick in next week!

Pending a little light haggling with my boss (what they offered was actually very close to what I believed I was worth, insofar as a raise goes), I may finally getting paid what I’m worth!

And that’s all I can say about that here.

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Learning How to Write… And Write. And Promote What You Write

May 30, 2008

One of the great things about the day job is that I’ve been learning how to write in so many different modes. I’ve written training scripts, marketing scripts, brochures, newsletters, blurbs, SOPs, various scripts for franchise recruting videos, the occasional press release, resumes, bios, SEO optimized web copy, regular web copy, funding proposals, and much more.

It’s sort of been a crash course in all of these different types of writing. It’s involved a lot of research and a lot of trial and error.

The good part about learning that kind of breadth and flexibility is that when one of the two comic book artists here at work (yes, we have TWO comic book artists. What are the odds?) approached me about doing a project together, I was eager to see how I could use that opportunity to promote GW for next year.

I’ve always thought the God’s War books would be awesome comic book material. I mean, wicked owmen warriors and heads being chopped off and guns and bugs and magicians and shapeshifters and blood oh my!

And it’s cool “extra” stuff that you can pass out at readings, send off with signed copies, maybe post a free web comic on a revamped website of mine to drum up some interest, and basically just use to promote the book.

I spoke with my editor about the idea of doing a promotional God’s War -related web comic or book; so long as it’s promotional and nobody’s making any money, it looks like that’s doable. I’ll see if it works out and run it by all parties once I actually have a sample concept in hand.

So now I’m spending a bunch of time learning how to write comic book scripts, which are a lot like movie scripts (hey, it’s a good jumping off point to get there, too). The big challenge, I think, will be working with artists (can she please wear actual clothes? No, her boobs are not supposed to be bigger than her head. No, she’s not going to end up mutilated in a refrigerator. Sorry.).

We’ll see if the project works out; in the meantime, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to learn how to write in another mode… again.

I also figure it’s a good dry run in case I do want to do a GW comic book deal (or another type of comic book) for reals in the future. If I do this and it turns out 1) I like it 2) I’m good at it, then we’ll see.

There are also some other promotional things in the works, including a re-design of my website which I’m trying to incorporate with my blog. That won’t happen for awhile, since our web designer at work graciously offered to do it for free as one of his side projects (He knows I am a poor writer. I offered to pay his hourly rate! I did! But Ok, yeah, it’s probably best if I put the grand that is my next book check toward my credit card…).

I have a lot of stuff in mind for the website, including GW extras, deleted scenes, demotivational posters, maps, etc. And, of course, a peek at the next series I’ll be peddling after this one, which I am also very excited about, though it’s at least two years away.

So I’m hoping there will be some swoony goodness to come over the next year prior to the GW launch. I have a crapload to do this year. Author photo, improved buffosity, promo brainstorming, local Dayton-arts-related people I need to contact to try and drum up readings and blah blah.

Oh yeah, and I have to finish, um, book two (20k to go! yeah, I’ve been stuck there for six weeks, but I’ve also been work-crazy and moving-crazy). Scheduled for a very leisurely personal August deadline right now (work has finally turned Less Crazy. It should remain that way through the summer, which is great, cause I have GW edits with the editor and book 2 to finish this summer. Being in a the tax industry is a pretty good thing, for a writer).

It’s been a crazy few months.

Now that the gosh-gee-whiz-bang-wow of the book deal has worn off, I have a shitload of work to do.

It’s going to be a crazy year.

Knowing this makes me so happy.

The Brown Bunny

May 30, 2008

Man goes on long road trip with a motorcyle in the back of his van. Makes out with various women along the way named after flowers.

In the end, he gets a not-very-good blowjob from his dead ex (yes, he has lovely boy parts, but it just wasn’t worth an hour and twenty minute road trip to get there).

We are apparently supposed to feel sorry for him because his hour and twenty minutes of quiet roadtripping and anonymous making out are the results of… (wait for it!)… his incredible trauma at having walked in while his girlfriend was passed out and being ganged raped.

No, no, seriously.

She was passed out and being gang raped and he was so traumatized that he LEFT HER THERE BEING GANG RAPED and she later choked on her own vomit and DIED and he was just TRAUMATIZED.

Seriously?

Seriously.

You know, I think it can be fun to mess with the whole expectation of men-as-heros. The reason we have so many stories about heros is that most people really aren’t heros. Most people, in a traumatic situation, freeze up or run away just like this guy did.

But you know what? I really have no sympathy for these people, especially when, you know, their lame-headed lack of spine results in the harm or death of somebody else.

This movie reminded me a lot of The Machinist, where you have this big, long, drawnout buildup to this not-very-compelling ending where it turns out the guy is just wracked by guilt because he’s a fucking fuck-up.

I mean, really.

“Feel sorry for me because I let my girlfriend be gang raped and die!”

Excuse me if I feel a lot more sympathy for the person being brutalized who YOU DID NOT HELP AND THEN BLAMED FOR “FUCKING GUYS.”

Retard.

There was something else I noticed in this movie that bugged me. Most of the movie is shot from the back seat of his van, so all you ever see is the back of his head. And when he’s making out with these women, and for the majority of the blowjob, all you’re seeing is the women’s reactions.

It occurred to me for the first time (yeah, I know), that every movie I’ve ever seen concentrates mainly on the woman’s reaction during a sex scene. There’s more shots of hip and breast than the man’s ass and shoulders, more of her moaning than him moaning, more of her gasps and sighs and whatevers than his.

I put on The 300 not long after and tested out this theory, and it’s true. Even in the fantasmagoria of man-flesh that is The 300, the sex scene primarily shows how “good” the sex is by showing *her* reactions to this.

I find it annoying that the vast majority of films make the assumption that all men AND women want to see of a sex scene in film is… well, women. Our bodies are already so defined and inscribed with “sex” that to then make every movie sex scene concentrate on women is… really annoying.

I like looking at hot guys. My delight at The 300 is in no small part due to the fact that, yo, there are 300 guys in boy shorts and capes for nearly two hours, with loving, slow-motion shots of rippling abs and asses and buff thighs for nearly two hours! It is delightful.

Watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall was also delightful for the unexpected full frontal you get of the guy. No, he’s not terribly hot, but he’s likeable, and the novelty of seeing a naked guy on screen was pretty fun.

Why is sex always about women? I think one of the best ways to get a lot of guys out of their homophobic freak-out is to get them used to seeing other guys naked… and thinking it’s sexy.

Cause you know what? As women, we’re trained to think that about women from day one. We see it everywhere. All the time.

Sure, maybe there are just more bisexual women than bisexual men… or maybe it’s just that more bisexual women recognize that other desire than bisexual men do. We’re given far more oppotunities to look at other women as sexy, sexual, attractive, as… well, sex.

And here’s my thing about sex. Sex is not just women. Sex is not just two women. Sex is people. That includes men. And you know? I like guys to come with most of my sex.

All puns intended.

But is it Cheaper by the Gallon?

May 29, 2008

The Office

May 29, 2008

What a horrible little show. I was surprised, at first, to hear that it struggled its first season, and keeps getting nudges and bumps and lots of help from corp staff as far as network scheduling and second chances.

Then I watched the first three episodes.

It’s just not a funny show. In fact, it’s deeply uncomfortable. The “humor” involves working for a tasteless boss. And the discomfort comes from the fact that we’ve all worked for (or deeply dreaded working for) a loser, clueless boss just like this one. These are the people who control your salary, your health insurance, your 8-12 hour workday. And they’re utterly incompetent. But not in a funny way.

To add insult to injury, the only female main character is… the secretary. Seriously. And she seems to only exist so one of the sales guys can have a hopeless crush on her. It’s just this side of insulting.

I nearly didn’t finish the last episode on the disk, then realized it was the only “new” television I had in the house, and ground through it.

I’m sure the show’s gotten better since it first came out, but I understand now why it struggled.

They kept this on an cancelled Firefly?

Seriously?

Home Again, Home Again

May 26, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I love my apartment?

Home again, late, delivered safely to my door by the Old Man. I’m hoping I avoided the stomach flu, but loads of folks weren’t so lucky.

The con got easier on Saturday, and I had a better time and kept myself busy and went to a great reading and all I have to say about that is: WHEN IS BEN ROSENBAUM’S NOVEL COMING OUT DAMMIT???

There was food, and more food (did I mention it was Ethiopean food??) and I got to meet my fabulous editor, and there was more food, and strange introductions, and wild characters, and some folks I was genuinely overjoyed and incredibly suprised to see.

Overall, though, yes, it was kinda exhausting, and I’m glad to be home. I’ll plan better for next time. This year was just kind of a crap shoot. Next year needs a proper schedule, as I’ve been told that God’s War will be coming out next summer instead of next fall.

I have a lot of work to do between now and then.

And you know what I realized?

Cons are a lot different after you get a book contract. It’s not so much fun anymore.

It’s like… work.

Gah.

Wiscon

May 23, 2008

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re the only one not having a good time?

I miss my apartment.

Socializing takes way too much out of me these days. The older I get, the harder it is. When I had a wingman at a con who enjoyed the social part, it was a lot easier to run around, but doing it all on my own? Incredibly hard. Massive amounts of effort.

There are things that I just am and do. And then there are things that take a hell of a lot of work. It’s like pulling teeth.

And the weirdest thing of all?

Walking through the dealer’s room and realizing I just had no interest in anything there. Seriously. What’s up with that? How can I not desire books like breath anymore? What’s happened to me the last year? Why don’t I feel like I fit in here anymore? Has Dayton screwed with my head?

Coming here again is like coming here a different person. The Chicago airport, too… it’s like visiting it for the first time. Everything is the same, yes, but me looking at it… it’s all so different. Everything is just… different.

Something very strange happened this year. It’s why I don’t blog as much, why I don’t write long rants. The thing is, I don’t know when it happened. With the not-Boyfriend, maybe? Building a life outside of traveling and rocketing credit card debt and massive self hate. Since September life has been rich and exciting and *enough*… just living it. It’s hard *enough.* I didn’t need to make it any more complicated. And it was still, amazingly, such a rich life.

Maybe that’s the thing. I wasn’t traveling anywhere. I wasn’t living in a big, exciting city. I had a book contract and a great job and suddenly, for the first time in… in my life? Everything was OK. I was OK with myself. I didn’t need to bash myself in. I didn’t need to seethe. When I look inward, everything just goes really quiet now.

I don’t know what happened. A lot changed.

Or maybe it didn’t change so much as it went into hibernation. The seething, angry voice went suddenly quiet.

Just this quiet place. A quiet place after a devastating storm.

And I’m still in that quiet place.

But the me that lives in that quiet place isn’t the same one who has a blast at Wiscon.

I think things are just going to be quiet a little while longer.

I want to go home.

UPDATE: Well, it’ll cost me over $180 to change the ticket so I can go home tomorrow night instead of Sunday. So I guess I’m staying the second night.

One for the Road

May 23, 2008

Greatest Hits

May 22, 2008

In honor of Wiscon, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

“I Know Lesbians, and Lesbians Don’t Act Like This”: Or, I Don’t Speak for all the Mostly Straight White Girls in America Who Eat Apple Pie

and:

Why Writing Colorblind is Writing White (a rant)

Four-word Amazon Reader Summary of "The Women of Our Occupation"

May 22, 2008

“Big bad brutal biatches.”

Awesome on so many levels.