Don’t Worry, This Will Feel Great.

Okay, I’ve been fairly quiet lately as I’ve been working really hard on multiple things, but sometimes things get under my skin and lately I’ve run into this very subject a few times and I’m going to rant for a few minutes on this. Why is it that some women who are writing gay romance/erotica think consent isn’t necessary when it’s two men? Since when does “I’m not sure about this” become “Please fuck me”? For some reason it a man is uncertain about having sex, all he needs is a little bit of lube, or another beer and everything’s great. Wait a minute…NO! If there’s a hot guy at the nude beach or the gym shower room and he just happens to bend over to pick up something it’s an invitation to every other hot guy near him that his ass is open for business…NO! If there’s a straight guy who accepts a kiss and then pulls back, going “I don’t know about this” a polite man, a good man, will stop and they can spend some time talking, maybe going out to dinner, a self-centered ass (who in some of these cases is the main character of the story) will press things and force himself on the other guy who afterwards beams about how wonderful it all felt…NO!
If any of these scenarios happened in a straight romance the MC would be declared a cad at the least and or up on rape charges. Why do we have a double standard? This kind of behavior isn’t acceptable under any circumstances. Not all men are just out for sex. Some of us want to get to know the person we’re having sex with before we get too intimate. Being slammed up against a tree, shower stall, forced face down on a beach towel, that isn’t make love, even if it is consensual, it’s still just sex, or a fuck, or whatever you want to call it other than making love. Truly making love means you love the person you’re with, it doesn’t mean you’re just getting off. A trick is a trick. A fuck is a fuck. Making love means you’re trying to make each other feel good. It also means you actually care about the guy you’re with.
I hear a lot of complaints about the male dominated rape culture we live in. I think the idea that a woman is subservient to a man is ludicrous. If it weren’t for women, men wouldn’t exist. But with these stories, women are saying that it’s okay for them to have fantasies about men enduring what is essentially rape. Not cool. Is it possible for men to have non-emotional sex? Sure, happens all the time, but when you’re writing about that, make sure things don’t come across as non-consensual. Make sure the character’s motivation is clear to the reader and the person they’re having sex with. I hope the age of men not talking about their desires before having sex is over. Let your characters talk before sex and have both be totally comfortable with it before just plowing in. Don’t write anything that seems forceful and pushy, it doesn’t look good on you as the writer or on your characters, who you want your readers to like. Having anal sex for the first time when you’re uncertain isn’t like eating peas for the first time. It’s going to hurt, maybe a lot. There needs to be kissing, talking and sweetness involved. I don’t understand people’s motivation for these rapey scenes. If you don’t understand that gay men, or even men as a whole, have feelings and don’t like to be forced into something they are unsure of (just like you wouldn’t want to be forced into something similar) then please stop writing. There’s enough competition out there and we don’t need this crap filling the digital shelves.
I realize there’s a lot of change going on in our world, and there’s a lot of things that don’t have as much meaning as they used to, but when LOVE loses it’s real meaning, we’re totally screwed. Making love should be kind, LOVING, and passionate, not just an act of carnal animal lust. If that is all it is, maybe we should just rename it, making lust, but even then make sure your characters get clear permission to do what they’re doing. Permission is everything, and no, it won’t feel great when we’re done if everyone isn’t on board 100%.

Snowy Owls

It’s one of those strange days when I just couldn’t think of anything to write. These things happen to writers, and sometimes, we just have to force our fingers to begin randomly hitting the keys of our keyboards and hope what comes out will have some semblance of order, or failing that, that our editors can make heads or tails of what we’re trying to say. So as I was sitting here trying desperately to figure out what to say during this non-writing theme, sorta holiday concept blog hop, and staring out at the snow-covered hillside beyond my window, an idea hit. Write something about Snowy Owls. I have a wildlife rehabber in an upcoming book, snowies have been in the news of late, it’s winter, and owls are always awesome. So here we go—a quick blog about Snowy Owls.

snowy-owl

Now a fast note here, since I like to check some of my facts when doing blog post like this. I just found out that, per mitochondrial DNA studies, Snowy Owls are in the same branch of the owl family tree as horned owls. I can see it. Snowies are large owls with well-feathered feet. I personally have never dealt with a snowy owl, but I have dealt with several Great Horned Owls in both rehab and educational settings, so I can’t vouch for similarities in personalities. Maybe someone will be kind enough to comment on it. Basic facts: Snowy Owls range in size from 20-28 inches in length with a 49-59 inch wingspan and weigh between three to seven pounds. That’s a fair amount of owl. They start out white with black stripes/markings. Over time, the males molt out most of their black stripes and the females a few of them. This sexual dimorphism is unusual in owls as most cannot be easily sexed by color. Like all raptors, or birds of prey, they have differences in size between the sexes, with the female being about a third larger than the males.

snowy-owl-flying-across-a-field-in-falling-snow

For the most part, Snowy Owls are found above the 60-degree latitude north line. Depending on weather conditions, they are occasionally pushed south in search of prey and more hospitable conditions. Now when you consider that a Snowy Owl is an arctic species, things have to be pretty frigid to push them south for the winter. Like most owls, they are extremely opportunistic predators with a particular liking for lemmings. In fact, Snowy Owl populations follow a similar bell curve to lemmings. An average Snowy Owl can consume up to 1,600 lemmings over the course of a year. When the lemmings are in short supply, Snowy Owls head south in search of things like rabbits, rats, mice, ducks, pheasants, basically anything that fits in their razor-sharp talons.Snowy_Owl_2

The past few days, Snowy Owls have made the news as a major cold front pushed them down into the northern U.S. Folks are spotting the brilliant white birds in some unusual places. But what brought them out to the news is an order in New York to shoot them if they are spotted at airports. There’s been a huge public outcry to this and the order has been restated and they are now being trapped and relocated. This is a much better response to finding owls than shooting them. Not only is it a cruel and stupid thing to do, but all raptors are protected by the Migratory Bird Act and it’s illegal to kill them. For me, the fact that the authorities actually listened to the public outcry is a good thing. Sometimes those in charge really do hear what the people have to say. There is hope for people and the wonderful creatures that share our world.

I like owls. They are incredibly awesome creatures. The fact that I manage to work a few into my stories now and then is even better. There are others that also manage to work owls into their work. I won’t even bother mentioning the most famous Snowy Owl in the fictional worlds. So keep your eyes open, I know I am. We spotted a Snowy Owl a couple of years ago, and hopefully, we will spot more this year. If it’s going to be a frigid winter, these birds might be the bright spot in an otherwise dreary winter for many people. So let their white and black wings carry a bit of joy and happiness this holiday season.

oicchristmas

Now for the paperwork part of this blog hop. Here are the links for yesterday’s Blog with Caitlin Ricci and tomorrow’s blogs with Cari Z. (to be added at time of posting) Please stop by and see what some of my other author friends have to talk about during this awesome Colorado M/M writers winter holiday blog hop. Also there will be a giveaway. Be sure to check out the home page for more details.

 

The Next Big Thing Blog Chain

Hey Folks, today is my part in The Next Big Thing blog chain. Make sure to stop and visit the links on the bottom next week to see what they have to post at that point.

What is the working title of your book?

The title of the current book is “The Satyr’s Horn” it’s book two of Renfaire Romances, the first book “The Jouster’s Lance” was picked up by Dreamspinner Press and will be released this spring.

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Every summer, I spend a couple of months working at the Colorado Renaissance Faire and there are a ton of characters running around there just waiting to appear in books. After completing the first book in the series, I had already come up with titles for more books and then decided which characters I wanted to us. It really was an easy process for me.

 

What genre does your book fall under?

This series is really contemporary m/m romance but being set at Renaissance Fairs give the books an almost fantasy feel to them. I think it’s fairly unique

 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Wow, this isn’t something that I normally think about. We’ll need to get back to this at a later date.

 

 

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

When Adrian Mylonas takes a summer job at Scarborough Renaissance Festival, the concert musician does it for a change of pace, little does he know what awaits him in the arms of the hunky elephant trainer.

 

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

It is my hope that Dreamspinner Press will be interested in this book to go along with “The Jouster’s Lance” making a series that will hopefully continue into several more books.

 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still working on that, so this will have to be another thing I’ll get back to folks on. Normally it takes me a month or so to finish the first draft of a book.

 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.

To my knowledge, there’s nothing else like this on the market at this time.

 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I said earlier, working at the renfair in the summers inspired this series of books. So many of the people there are awesome characters, both in and out of their renfair personas. Is the book based on particular people…no. Most of the characters are from my own creative process, but some of the outward appearances ect are things that I’ve observed at the fair.

 

What else about your book might interest the reader?

I’m hoping the originality of it will inspire folks to read it. Also there’s the opportunity to learn a bit about elephants and the working behind the scenes of the renaissance fairs that most people who go and enjoy them never stop and think about. It takes a lot of work to craft that illusion, I give you a little peek into that.

 

Next week in this blog chain please stop by and visit these great blogs.

Fatma Alici naharavensari.WordPress.com

A.M. Burns www.amburns.com

Autumn Heat

So I want to start this by apologizing for it being short and I’m hoping it will make some level of sense. The flu is trying to take over my life and all I want to do it sit around and watch TV for a few days, but let’s do a quickie blog post about the favorite things about fall.

I happen to love autumn, it’s my favorite season, followed closely by winter. Having grown up in Texas, I know that summers can get unbearably hot, and overall you can only get so naked and you can still be sweating. Being a person who likes heavy clothes, this isn’t a good thing. Now come around to the colder months and flannel comes flying out of everyone’s closets. For me, there is something comforting about the feel of a nice heavy flannel. The feel of the soft fabric is awesome under the fingers, and where there’s a burly furry guy under the flannel, all the better. Curling up with a hot guy and running my hands under his flannel shirt, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

I hope everyone enjoys the Autumn Harvest blog hop lots of other blogs to visit. Leave a comment, with your email, for a chance to win an e-copy of either “Passion’s Storm” my gay superhero romance or “The Cowboy, The Clown and The Fire” my m/m cowboy romance. If you follow the blog, twitter, and like my facebook page you’ll get an extra entry for each like and follow you make. Winner will be drawn at random on 11/13/12. A side note here, I don’t use raffle copter, just keep track of everything via spreadsheet.

Be sure to stop by other blogs to have an opportunity for some of these great prizes.

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains 10+ paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Another awesome winner

Wow this blog hop has been just great. So many awesome comments, it’s a good thing that the winner selection is random, otherwise it would’ve been really hard to choose a winner. But it was random so we have a winner, MaryAnn I, just respond to the email you were just send and I’ll get your free ebook sent out. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, left comments, followed on twitter and liked on facebook. You folks are amazing.

Meaning and Spirit

What is the meaning of the Fourth of July? It is the day that we celebrate our country’s independence from England that occurred over two hundred years ago. For a lot of people the fourth means a reason to picnic and see fireworks. For most of us here in Colorado, there won’t be fireworks this year. We are in a major drought right now and the land is simply too dry to risk any sparks coming down and igniting dry grass. Here in Colorado Springs, we’re dealing with the costliest fire in the state’s history. The Waldo Canyon fire started just west of Colorado Springs last weekend and ravaged much of the foothills west of town, and some very exclusive neighborhoods in those areas. For a while, people were not allowed in many of the parks around town for fear that more fires would start from folks being careless. For a while, I wondered what people would do if they couldn’t get together to celebrate the birth of our country.

I think this year, here in Colorado, we’re going to be celebrating surviving the fires, coming together to help each other out, and the real heroes that have touched so many lives, the firefighters and other emergency service men and women who have done so much over the past week and a half to save lives and property. Sunday, on the first day that they had highway 24, the main road between Colorado Springs and the area in the mountains to the west, opened again for traffic, we drove through, thankful for our trip home being back to its normal hour as opposed to the two and a half hours it had become. Along the area where the evacuations had occurred, people lined the streets holding signs thanking the firemen for their brave efforts to contain the fire. As the fire trucks rolled past, going the opposite way we traveled, they turned on their lights and sirens for the crowds. Something in this display touched me in a way that, even as a writer, I have trouble putting into words. It reminded me of some small-town celebrations that we see documented for the Fourth of July.

The city of Colorado Springs is asking everyone to please not shoot off fireworks this year, but instead they are wanting to have a flashlight celebration in honor of the firefighters that have fought so valiantly to protect our community. Sometimes we have to change the way we do things, but the meanings stay the same. We are still celebrating the birth of a country. Back then, on that first great celebration folks celebrated their freedom from England. Now across this country that has recently been ravaged by fire, storms, floods, droughts, economic down turns and other things, we celebrate the spirit of what makes us great. To find the true meaning, all we have to do is look in ourselves and open ourselves up to freedom and life.


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Be sure to visit http://thebloghopspot.com/event-page/  for more great blogs participating in the blog hop.