Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ricky Blackman was put on the sex offender registry -- where he was "designated the highest level of risk possible" -- for having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl, who'd claimed she was fifteen, when he himself was sixteen. Now, color me silly, but it seems to me that the "highest level of risk possible" should be reserved for forcible rape, not merely statutory rape, regardless of the ages of the people involved. No matter how wrong it is for someone to have sex with an underage person, it's worse if they force it, right? So if the highest level of risk is applied to consensual sex, what's left for the actually violent rapists?

And seriously, this was two teenagers having sex. We're not talking about some creepy forty-year-old luring little girls with candy. :/ The whole point of designating people under a certain age as minors is to indicate that our culture believes they're not yet old enough to take full responsibility for their actions -- that's what "minor" means, after all. So this sixteen-year-old minor was lied to by a younger girl, and did something he had no reason to believe was wrong. Maybe he should have stood back and coldly analyzed the situation and... what? Asked to see her ID? What if she'd had fake ID? Grown men have been convicted of statutory rape when the young woman they were with had fake ID saying she was over eighteen. So what should he have done?

The moralists would say he shouldn't have been having sex at all. That's not realistic, though, nor helpful, nor is it any kind of justice to put a minor on the sex offender registry for succumbing to his hormones with a willing young woman he believed was old enough. Punish him, sure -- some sort of education, community service, anything like that would've been appropriate. But even the young woman's parents weren't interested in prosecuting Ricky, given the circumstances. And yet the DA decided that it's justice to ruin a young man's life for having consensual sex with a young woman only three years younger, whom he thought was only one year younger.

In Ricky's case, justice was eventually served and his name was taken off the registry through his mother's diligent efforts. This kind of crap happens regularly, though, and there are plenty of people still on the list who should never have been put there. The value of the registry as a list of truly dangerous sexual predators is compromised to worthlessness when young people like Ricky are added.

Thanks to Free-Range Kids for linking to this.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Links

Federal judge says you can break DRM if you're not doing so to infringe copyright -- this is excellent news, in my opinion. DRM is a pointless annoyance anyway, and courts ruled many years ago that someone who bought a piece of software was allowed to make backup copies for personal use, so it only makes sense that we should be allowed to break the DRM on a movie, and e-book, a game, or whatever that we've legally purchased if it's become a pain in the butt, or if we want to make a backup of that for our own personal use. Of course, some of the publishers would love to force us to re-purchase our entire electronic libraries every time a hard drive crashes or a book reader is stolen, but it seems there's a judge who disagrees. Good to know at least one circuit court is on the consumer's side.

Funny, smart commentary about burqa bans -- the idea of a government body dictating what people can wear, short of the really riciculous exception examples cited in this piece, is ludicrous. If Moslem women want to wear a burqa then they should be able to. Anyone who wants to wear a burqua, or a veil, or a T-shirt saying "Our Government Is Full of Idiots!" should be able to do so. Banning a traditional item of clothing which causes no harm to anyone is an outrageous infringement of freedom, and racist to boot.

Period Speech -- this xkcd comic pretty much says it all about various writers' attempts at period speech. (It also applies to various kinds of accents and dialects used by writers who apparently have never been exposed to same.) It's easy to see how silly it looks when our era is one of the ones being mangled, but plenty of writers trying to write "medieval" or "Southern" or whatever sound pretty much like this.

Jane Austen's Fight Club -- this is a really wonderful video. :D I'm not usually one for videos, but my husband e-mailed me this one and I was LOLing. Watch and enjoy. :D

[Edited because embedding the video didn't work. :/ ]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review of A Hidden Magic

The first review for A Hidden Magic has gone up -- Lydia at Rainbow Reviews gave it 4.5 stars. :D She said:

All his life Rory has been different, hearing and seeing things no one else can. After he is attacked by Goblins, Rory is introduced to a whole new world, one he’s having a hard time accepting.

With this premise you know "A Hidden Magic," the first book in Angela Benedetti’s new series Sentinels, is going to be a fun read. Loaded with just about every fantasy creature under the sun, the author sends the reader on an interesting, action packed, journey.

Other than magic, our heroes Paul and Rory really have very little in common. Yet, the author is able to convey a wealth of chemistry that, once Rory can overcome his confusion about his new reality, and an overbearing but well-meaning mother, will burn up the pages. Although Rory and Paul are the main characters, the secondary characters, Manny, Cal, Aubrey and even Azzy, are just as engaging and help move the story along. There are many small twists and turns in this story that will leave the reader intrigued.

The author has done an excellent job weaving a story that is sure to hold the reader’s attention until the last page. I was glad to see on the publisher’s site that this was the first book in a series and can’t wait to see what will happen next.

This is a wonderful review; I'm so glad Lydia enjoyed the book. [beam] This kind of commentary makes me want to get right back to work on the next novel in the series.

Angie, walking a few inches off the ground

PS -- Fictionwise has A Hidden Magic for 15% off right now, $5.09 instead of $5.99. I guess it's not up on the iBookstore yet? Anyway, I don't know how long the discount will last, but I'm guessing not long.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Literature Map

This is kind of fun. :) It's a map of writers, placed by who else readers who like them also like. So frex., if a lot of people like Bernita Harris AND Charles Gramlich AND Shauna Roberts, they'd all appear near each other in the map.

Unfortunately, the map is missing a lot of lesser-known writers; obviously this is a hole that needs to be filled, right? You can go to this page and enter the names of writers you think should be on the map, in the "Suggest a new Writer" box at the top. You can also vote for or against the top ten almost-made-it writers in the list below. If you suggest someone who's already been suggested, it counts as a vote for that writer. If you suggest someone who's already on the map, it'll just tell you so; that's not a problem.

Note: looking at the list of names to be voted on, most of them are (sort of) valid but have some problems with how they were entered. Sticking with full names, first-name-first, is probably best; using multiple formats of someone's name just splits the votes.

From this page you can enter the name of a writer, and if they're on the map, you'll be shown that writer's chunk of the map -- their name, surrounded by the names of other writers "near" the first writer. So if you like the writer whose name you entered, you might also like the others, because a lot of readers like both. Different names are at different distances; I'm assuming nearer names are more likely to share a reader's list with the central name.

This is fun to play with -- it's a great time sink. :) There definitely need to be more writers on the map, though. Come enter your favorites!


PS -- thanks to Emily Veinglory for linking to this.

[EDIT: links, links, I do know how to do links. :P I originally posted this on a Yahoo mailing list where HTML links don't work, and forgot to fix them for here. :P ]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Most Awesome Settings

...are right here on Earth. Check this out:

Pamukkale, Turkey

Calcium carbonate spills coming from thermal springs under the mountain have formed a series of spectacular and beautiful pools.

Most science fiction and fantasy writers can't come up with anything anywhere near as awesome or creative as this for their settings. I know I never have, and I can't think of anything I've read that came even close, leaving out the spectacular-engineering type SF books, such as Ringworld. For natural wonders, though, whether set here on Earth or on an alien planet or in a magic-filled fantasy world, nothing can match mundane Nature.

Which isn't to say we shouldn't be trying. :)


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guildelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

Anthologies have slown down for the next few months. It looks like most of the (many) editors who had deadlines in the spring and early summer are working on putting their books together now.

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Fallen, Panverse, Horror Library and Heritage Tales.


1 August 2010 -- Paranormal Month: Halloween Shorts -- Torquere Press

Short Stories (Sips) 3-8K words, on a Halloween theme. Send your submissions to submissions@torquere.com with "Halloween" and the name of the line in the subject line.


15 August 2010 -- Thrill Ride -- Torquere Press

Fast cars, jungle cruises, crash-landed spaceships. Thrill Ride is all about action and adventure, however you slice it. Make us gasp at your characters' near misses and fan ourselves at their heated, clandestine moments. Wrap it all up in a m/m/f package, and let us fall in love. We want loving relationships and happy endings, though all sensual heat levels are welcome. Preferred length is 8,000 � 12,000 words. Payment is a flat fee of $75.00 for first time print and electronic rights. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2010. Please submit the story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography to submissions@torquerepress.com with "Thrill Ride" in the subject line.


15 August 2010 -- Pour Some Sugar on Me -- Torquere Press

Decadent and sweet like the finest chocolate, Pour Some Sugar on Me is an exploration of the luscious side of love. Edited by Michelle Rode, this e-anthology features sensual, highly romantic m/m love stories, 3,000 to 8,000 words. Payment is a flat fee of $35.00 for first-time electronic rights. No reprints, please. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2010, with publication projected for December. Please submit the story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography, to submissions@torquerepress.com with "Pour Some Sugar" in the subject line.


15 August 2010 -- Bondage Mitts -- Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher's site/vendors, divided among the three authors. Send attached file to Submissions@torquerepress.com.


31 August 2010 -- Fallen -- ed. JW Schnarr, Northern Frights Publishing

For this anthology, we would like to see stories involving demons and demonic possession. As this is a horror collection, please don't send any stories about demons being depressed, falling in love with the local high school outcast, or trying to come to terms with their humanity (face it...they have none! They're DEMONS!). We're looking for stories that will mutilate our souls and have us screaming "Unclean! Unclean!" in the shower. We want to be horrified. We want you to make us puke. We want to have a sit down with your parents and ask them how they managed to birth such a twisted little monster.

Stories we are most likely to pick up for this anthology will accomplish this on some level, while still being a great read. If the story reads like a shopping list of torture fantasies, we're probably going to pass on it.

Publication Date: Late 2010.

Particulars: We're looking for stories up to 10,000 words. Unpublished work is preferred, but please query if you have a previously published work you think will fit the theme of this anthology. We promise not to discriminate because your story has been around the block once or twice.

Payment: Payment is $0.01US (One Cent) per word up to $40.00, and one contributor copy, paid on publication through Paypal. NFP is looking for one time world wide rights to print your story within the context of the anthology, and all rights to the stories will remain with the authors.

Format: Please send all submissions in RTF format and titled: FALLEN "Your Story Title - Your Name - Word Count". All stories should have contact info and word count in the top left hand side on the first page. No headers or footers please. Double spaced in a nice, readable font works perfect. Please include a little bio and introduce yourself when you send your story in, because we love to hear from you!

Submissions should be sent to: nfpsubmissions@gmail.com


15 September 2010 -- Pine Switches -- Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher's site/vendors, divided among the three authors.


UNTIL FILLED -- MM and Menage Steampunk Antho -- Ed. Leigh Ellwood, Phaze


Call: M/M and Menage Steampunk Anthology, Title TBA
Edited by: Leigh Ellwood
Projected release date: late 2010
Format: eBook (with possible print release)
Publisher: Phaze Books
Payment: $50 for one-time electronic and print rights, plus copies

Hey, all you steampunk enthusiasts, grab your goggles and get to writing! Phaze Books is planning an M/M (and bi-M menage) steampunk collection for eBook publication in 2010. If you have a yen for 19th century history with a touch of good humor and technological innovation (and a whole lot of manlove!), we hope you’ll send us your hottest steampunk erotic romance of 10K - 20K words. If you’re not sure about the genre, check out this Wikipedia entry for steampunk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk) to get an idea of the style of stories we’re looking for. Think H.G. Wells or Wild Wild West, then turn up the steam factor with an incredible M/M or MMF/MMM match-up!

This call is open indefinitely until the spots are filled. Contributors will offer one-time electronic and print rights to their works and receive a one-time payment of $50 and contributors copies (eBook and/or print, if the book goes to print).

To submit to this anthology, please follow the Phaze Books structural guidelines at http://www.phaze.com/submissions.html and attach your RTF submission to Leigh Ellwood, c/o Phaze Books at submissions @ phaze (dot) com. Please use STEAMPUNK ANTHOLOGY is your subject header.


UNTIL FILLED -- Panverse Three -- Ed. Dario Ciriello, Panverse Publishing

The anthology will be open to submissions until we have enough good stories.

Looking for pro-level novellas of between 17,500 and 40,000 words. Stories should be Science Fiction (except Military) or Fantasy (except Heroic/High/Superhero/S&S). We'll also look at Magic Realism, Alternate History, and Slipstream (whatever that is). The story should be original and unpublished in any medium (this includes web publication).

Depth of characterization will count for a lot – however clever the idea, if we don't care for the protagonist, we'll bounce it. We like stories that instill wonder. Subject matter is pretty wide open. If we care, can't put the story down, and find no big holes in the plot or worldbuilding, you've got a good shot.

What we don't want:

Military SF, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Horror, RPG, superhero, or shared-universe stuff, etc. Vampires and Cthulhu-mythos stories are strongly discouraged unless you've done something absolutely original with either theme. No gratuitous or wildly excessive sex or violence: what this means is that sex or violence which serves the plot is okay, within limits; the same goes for language. Think R-rated rather than XXX-rated.

[NOTE: there are some unusual bits in their formatting and cover letter requirements. Nothing ridiculous, but definitely click the link and read the full guidelines before submitting.]


UNTIL FILLED -- Horror Library, Vol. 5 -- Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2009.

We're looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what's already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won't cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They're just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we'll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

Variances from traditional manuscript format: single space, NO INDENTS, ONE EXTRA space between paragraphs, use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in story

Subject box: Short Story submission - title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]


UNTIL FILLED -- Heritage Tales -- Pixiu Press

We are currently only accepting submissions for our children's Heritage Tale series. Our target audience is Grades 3 - 6, or ages 8 - 12. Required length is 8,000 to 12,000 words. Stories must lend themselves to strong visuals. Selected stories will be published as stand-alone, fully illustrated books.

Heritage Tale stories are speculative fiction stories about American immigrants. We're interested in all aspects of American immigration: the events leading up to decision to immigrate, the journey to America, the trials and triumphs of a new life in America, the subsequent journeys back to the homeland, and anything else that might constitute the "immigrant experience." The only requirement is that the story be told using myths and/or legends from the native culture of the immigrant. The intent of this series is to help children explore themes of immigration while exposing them to myths, legends, and fairy tales they might not come across in general text books.

Heritage Tale books are marketed to schools, libraries, and educators. Pixiu Press works with two California-credentialed teachers to develop free teaching curricula for each of these stories. All curricula are available online for free download. We hope to increase the amount of speculative fiction used in learning environments.


Pixiu Press operates on a modest budget, though we hope to compensate by giving our writers good exposure. We will pay a $250 advance, plus royalties.


Please use standard manuscript format. Include an SASE or an email address for a response. Please staple your cover letter and manuscript together. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are okay. Response time is approximately 2 months.


Pixiu Press
P.O. Box 183
Healdsburg, CA 95448

If you have questions, send an email to: publisher at pixiupress dot com.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great Comic About the Creative Process

Thanks to Nagasvoice over on LJ for linking to THIS COMIC. You'll probably want to blow up your browser window to take up your whole screen; I did and still had to scroll a bit, but it's worth it.

I have to admit I recognize far too much of this. [wry smile] The tangled loops of overthinking, for example. And I wish there were a handly station for filling up on motivation and ambition. I think I have enough pride, thanks anyway; the trick is producing enough output to be proud of. [laugh/flail]

Where do you get stuck along the route...?


Friday, July 2, 2010

Wonderfully Funny Video

I don't even own a cell phone, so I have no horse in this derby. Heck, I've never even heard of the other phone in this cartoon. But my husband found the video and I was LOLing through most of it, 'cause yeah, I've known people who were like this about whatever the must-have product was way before iPhones came out. Watch and laugh -- it just keeps getting funnier. :D

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo


Thursday, July 1, 2010

June Stuff

Another awful writing month. This feels like 2008, which is very depressing. :/ I didn't manage to pull that year out of the bucket until October; hopefully I'll get it together sooner than that this time around. [crossed fingers]

On the good side, I did a lot of other stuff, so at least something is progressing:

5 story submissions = 5
21K words editing = 4
story synopsis = 1

10 pts, yay!

Koala Challenge 9