Saturday, April 30, 2011

Six, to Be Specific

A Numbre of Goode Things Wich Hath Happen'd To Me

1. Regaining a sense of humor after several severely humorless weeks. This should go under, "Things Which are Bad for my Readers."

2. Got back into the Prediction! Dissection and other pastimes of young girls: Girls Club. Come and join the fun! What can you do with cut, neglect, and syrup?

3. Thanks to the ethereal Madames Asuqi et RR Kovar, my Pagan fantasy fic is turned in. Look, you still have until midnight tonight, and the minimum is 1,000 words. Misanthrope Press -- A rare opportunity, for how many Pagan anthologies are out there? Not to mention that the Misanthropers are really lovely people.

4. I've got a new Sirius radio for my truck! I adore satellite radio. I switched years ago when Howard Stern left terrestrial radio, and I haven't looked back. Book Radio is occasionally good as well, such as when I listened to a chapter a day of Jane Eyre last fall (my favorite book). RawDog, 80s channel, Bluesville... Believe it or not, Playboy Radio is by far the most boring.

5. Six Sentences featured my piece, Genuine, last week. (I'm just catching up) Thanks, Robert McEvily!

6. You may remember that I adored the BronxZoosCobra until that bitch sold out. But never fear! I have a new, adorable Twitter crush! Iceland. @thisisiceland Yes, the country. And if you have something to say to Iceland, Iceland will reply! Yes! I love Iceland. I want to pet it and hold it.

Lalalalala! A lot of boring things, but it's good to be back and blogging somewhat regularly again. We'll see how my May schedule goes.

Friday, April 29, 2011

An afternoon with a Beekman Boy

What better way to celebrate a day off -- a Friday, no less! -- than to meet Josh Kilmer-Purcell?
Beer. Well, yes. And so there was beer, too. Not with Josh, alas, though we extended the invite. :)
At Shuler's Books in Lansing, MI, we went to hear Josh read from the hysterical, touching book, The Bucolic Plague, an account of how he and his boyfriend, Brent, left the big city to become gentlemen farmers in upstate New York. Josh started on time (a big deal to me!), was adorable in person, and read the section about meeting Martha Stewart. Then we got to ask questions, and finally, we lined up to get our books signed.

Brian poses

Becky poses. :)

Josh signs. I don't know why this one came out so funky.

Aaand... the model walk! Very nicely done, Mr. Kilmer-Purcell and Audience Lady!

We had a fabulous time, and will definitely go out to see him again. He even remembered that I'm the shy girl who couldn't talk on the phone to him last year when Brian asked him to call me and wish me a happy birthday and he agreed! How incredibly nice is that! And I freaked out. Sheesh.

Yes. If you ever think to yourself, "She can't be as shy as she says she is, " YES I AM. I could barely talk to him today, and when he asked if I was still shy and I said yes, he hugged me anyway! What a wonderful person.

Also, he made me cry when he talked about Brent.

Okay, so we're back to work this weekend, both of us. Lastly, if anyone's got some time to read a short story for me, I'd be much obliged. First person to email me at: gshep72 AT sbcglobal DOT net

Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pagan anthology: Got something?

 I know this is short notice, but the deadline to submit to Misanthrope Press' pagan anthology, "Etched Offerings," is this Saturday, April 30th. Some of you, like me, are interested in/delve into alternative religions and belief systems, so I thought it would be very cool if any of my author-friends got a story in.

I started mine a month ago, thinking I had until May 30th. Wrong! So now I'm in a big push to finish it and make it perfect for submission. Working six days a week doesn't help, but one must have priorities. (Laundry? Dinner? Pfft!)

Submissions guidelines HERE. I appreciate that they tell you what they don't want, specifically. Also, Misanthrope are the publishers of Title Goes Here, the horror mag I recently had the pleasure of having a story in. Great people to work with.


Automata Taxidermy by amandas-autopsies on DA.

Click on the link. It's a wind-up box of a little circus, and it has moving parts! This is so fabulous, I can't stand it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011



Hilarious, but for an intriguing, thought-provoking look at modern art that has got some religious fanatics' panties in a twist, Eclectix, one of my favorite art blogs, has a great article: In the Name of God--Art, Censorship and Hypocrisy. Not for the easily offended, and some is NSFW.

It bothers me that a certain nutcase from Florida wants to come to my town, Dearborn, MI, next week and burn a Koran in front of the Islamic Center of America. But I'm torn. I can't say that he shouldn't be allowed to do so, as that is the same as saying that the above pieces of work shouldn't be shown. This isn't First Amendment rights; it's about universal tolerance. I've said all my life that while I may not like what you have to say, I would defend to the death your right to say it. To take away that right would be a blow to humanity, no matter what message the idiot with the ridiculous mustache and leather biker jacket (oooh, Pastor Jones, you are so cool! let me burn a Koran next to you!) is putting forth.

Our local court, btw, denied him the right to "protest" Sharia and extreme, militant Islam, on the grounds that it would incite a riot. Still, he says he'll be back this Friday.

So much is done in the name of religion. So much that is tragic and sad. We could all use a bit more of that universal tolerance.

Did not go to MIL's today. The last thing she wrote in the infamously nasty three-page letter a while back was, "I am making Easter dinner and you are invited. OH THATS RIGHT YOUR NOT RELIGIOUS." Accompanied by scribbled underlinings and a plethora of exclamation points. She clearly stabbed the page a couple of times. At any rate, I didn't think that the invitation merited an RSVP, and then there was the three pages before that... Yeah. Did not go. Fallout might be spectacular, but I'm hoping she simply writes us out of the will and never talks to us again.

Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Story at Title Goes Here!

Thrilled to be in the newest issue of Title Goes Here with my short story, "Itch." Like horror? Ever had a bit of the grungy, itchiness between your toe? Muahahahahaha!

TGH is by Misanthrope Press, and it's published in both print form and .pdf. Aside from my chapbook, this is the first time I've had a short story in print, and I'm filled with devilish excitement. Issue 7 is 52 pages long and has great artwork as well, so check it out and buy a copy! Please? *puppy dog eyes*


On the heels of my recent post about an author publishing the stats of their e-book sales comes this highly informative article by mid-list author Tobias Buckell. Graphs! Charts! Intriguing numbers, and I appreciate the work that went into his pricing/sales experiment. Definitely worth a look -- it's food for thought. And honestly, getting numbers like this really brings reality home; you may hear over and over that being a writer means making no money and that you shouldn't expect much, regardless if you choose traditional publishing or self or e-pub, but in the backs of our minds, are we not thinking we are all the next Amanda Hocking or JK Rowling? Indeed.

Thanks so much, Aidan Fritz, for the link.


Island Coconut recently came back in stock; it's one of the most popular K-cups for the Keurig ever, and it's only a seasonal flavor. I got two boxes pronto, because even though I'm not a big coffee drinker, I absolutely love being in the kitchen in the morning when B is brewing his. Every single time, I feel transported. Crazy, I know, but if inhaling a little coffee aroma makes me so happy, who am I to complain or feel silly?

I also bought the TEAser tea infuser. I'm hugely into tea, and loose tea is certainly superior to bagged. My only issue is that, throughout the years, I've yet to find an infuser that is convenient and easy to use, and that doesn't finish infusing while still leaving leaves in my tea. The closes I came was the Bodum, and I do love my Bodum; it makes stellar coffee as well. But still, I searched for something better. The TEAser was a special of the day, and after watching the accompanying video, I got pretty excited and ordered it. Having used it quite a bit for the past two weeks, I can report that it not only works as expected, but that I'm over the moon about it. Hands down, best infuser ever.

The single review is positive, though the reviewer worries about the apparent delicate nature of the lid. Considering how incredibly clumsy I am, this has performed well in that area as well. Very impressed. In fact, I'm drinking a nice Irish Breakfast tea right now!


That's it for today. My new job (while still working old one as well) is taking a lot of my time and energy, and I've been working diligently on a novel. More on that at the end of the month. And I'm reading the best book in a while, "Winterlong" by Elizabeth Hand. So far, 2011 has not been a year for good reading, hence the low number of book reviews. I swore not to write anymore negative reviews, so... Yeah. But Winterlong is astounding, and unless it has a terrible ending, I will probably be giving this one a "must read!" review. Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Killer Chick's e-pub stats; Free Things!

Jennifer Colgan of the Killer Chicks did a short stats review of her recent self-pub/e-pub of her out-of-print titles. If you'd like the rundown, click here. I found it interesting, and I'd like to see more authors do this, though I don't suppose it can be expected.

The Killer Chicks' blog is highly recommended for all sorts of discussions of the writing world.


And now, free things!

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware! is the author of two fantasy novels. The first, The Arm of the Stone, is available free this month as an e-book from Phoenix Pick. And the sequel, The Garden of the Stone, is half-price. What a deal!

Over at The Leaky Pencil, Chris Allinotte is offering free e-book copies of Eight Days of Madness, an anthology of twisted, rusty-coat-hanger-of-the-psyche stories from his recent Madness in March. Some great authors in this anthology with tales to tell of people losing their minds (OR ARE THEY).

Here is adorable vintage teapot clipart. Maybe you will use it to make me a card with a glittery, magical teapot. A collage of teapots, or teapot and bunnies. I am very generous in letting you choose here. It's all about creative freedom.

This last item is not free BUT IT IS PORN:

I got excited when I thought there was a new press devoted to audiobooks of steampunk erotica. How cool would that be? But alas, I misunderstood. However, over at Forbidden Steam and Morbid Romantica, you can find out about a publisher of erotica who does only offer audiobooks. The cool part? They have books for men and women, and you can choose to have your book read by a male or female voice. They do genre fic, I see, and offer levels of erotica, from GoodGirl (*yawn*) to hardcore.


I start my new job today. I'm excited/terrified. Wish me luck. I've got a terrible cold, but I don't want to call out on my first day. I'm in bad shape, though.

I thought I had a new horror short story up today, but the place that accepted it just published their monthly web edition, and I'm not in it. However... they do a print edition each quarter, and it comes out next week. They asked me a few days ago for an updated bio, so is it possible I misunderstood and my crazy/freaky/gross horror story will be in print next week? Whooo, that would be cool.

Have a nice Thursday, folks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing Advice from The Rumpus; Pics; Book Review:"Night Animals" by Brecht Evens

At The Rumpus, their slogan is: Write Like A Motherfucker!
I found this seriously inspiring today. I would get their mug, but the slogan's in the shape of a heart. Which sort of takes the punch out of the phrase. So I think I'll just write it in big, black sharpie on a piece of paper and stick it to the wall. Also inspiring: a conversation with Shell about fiction blending mythology and reality in mind-blowing ways. I got so pumped that I re-wrote the intro to my book, and it rocked! Then I wondered if the beginning of any YA novel should have "whore" three times in the first thousand words. And then I decided that I am writing like a motherfucker and I can use that word whenever I wish.
Been too "safe" lately, anyway.
I've been saying goodbye to some clients because they'll find it too far to travel to find me in my new salon. Here is one of them, Napoleon:

We have a torrid affair of the heart every time we see each other. Here he is saying, "You know I cannot live without you. I will tell my people to bring me to you. Until then, my sweet, I will wail at the moon in my misery."

Read the coolest little graphic novel, "Night Animals" by Belgian cartoonist, Brecht Evens.

A wordless diptych with a central theme of sexuality, Evens tells two stories in a gorgeous, R. Crumb-esque pen-and-watercolor style that I adored. A reviewer points out hints of Gorey as well, which is certainly evident in the darkness of the way the theme is handled, not just the art itself. Note that this might offend some, particularly the second story of a (very) young girl's coming-of-age. For more details, click on the review.

This will be difficult to find. It just appeared in my local comics book store, and they only received one copy. I saw it on a shelf along with other, "arty" books, flipped through it and was intrigued. I'm pleased to have it, as despite having no text, I pored over the pages and took my time with this. The pamphlet itself has a rich, expensive feel to it, and the quality combined with the art and provocative stories makes for a very nice collectible. If you can find it, I'd certainly pick it up. It's just such a wondrous, fantastical little book.

Sorry about the text size changes. Blogger is being exceptionally difficult at the moment, and I'm just about out of patience.
Until next time, friends.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Up at 6S: "Lessons On Salt Water," and Book Review: "Pirate Talk or Mermalade" by Terese Svoboda

Lessons On Salt Water: My humorous stab at relationships of the... strained sort. If only I were as good a pugilist in real life...

I like Six Sentences, I do. Like the Prediction, it's a challenge.

After you read, you may wonder, "Darling, where did you get the strange idea to tell it like that?" And I will tell you:

"Pirate Talk or Mermalade" by Terese Svoboda, a slim novel told entirely in dialogue, sans the typical quotation marks and dialogue tags. A challenging read, despite the book's slender silhouette.

An amusing tale of two brothers who are pathetic pirates, it follows their misadventures from their life on land with their rope-obsessed mother to various ships, none of which work out well for them. Along the way, meet a (possible) mermaid half-sister and a parrot who shows up at inopportune times to squawk, "Hanged!"

Honestly, it's a bit difficult to describe this book. But the dialogue is effervescent, and Svoboda continually charmed me with turns of phrase and delightful imagery. Not a book for everyone, but a suitable book for those of the peg-legged, one-eyed persuasion, or those who feel romantic longings deep in their parts for such folk.