*cough*cough* Five years of dust! But I’m back, and this time I’m bringing Connie Bailey with me! We’re co-writing!

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Have you ever noticed that once you stop doing something, it’s really easy to keep not doing it?  It’s like inertia, only backward.  (Which is probably still just inertia…?  *does a quick Google search*  Yup, still just inertia – “the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion.”)

So anyway – I stopped writing.  And I sort of stopped thinking about sex a whole lot. And I even stopped reading very much.  (I know, I know, terrible…)  Mostly I’ve been focused on cooking and gardening and doing things with yarn – sock-things, usually.  And starting a new exercise program and doing a god-awful detox diet.

UltimateGuidetoProstatePleasureCover-profileBut!  I did something sex-related recently; I went to a workshop my friend Charlie Glickman was giving on prostate pleasure.  Which is coincidentally the topic of the book he just co-wrote with the amazing Aislinn Emirzian, “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure.”  It was FABULOUS!

Despite the fact that I’ve been writing about male sexuality (and anal pleasure) for over a decade, and reading about it (and talking to men, and playing with them in bed) for well-over twice that long, I learned quite a bit.  For example:

  • Much like the female G-spot orgasm, men can have a prostate orgasm without ejaculating, which allows for increased options for multiple orgasms (rather than just super-short refractory periods).
  • Set your strokes/massaging fingers to a 120 bmp music soundtrack for best results.
  • Jostle, don’t poke the prostate.
  • Mark the base of your dildos at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions with a blob of nail polish, to keep the orientation the way you want it.
  • And a bunch of how-to tips for pegging.  *eyebrow wiggle*

And now I have this 300-something page book to read, which sounds a little daunting.  But it’s all about sex, and that’s the Right Kind of Homework, as far as I’m concerned.  Plus, I bet I know how to get some extra credit with my study partner.  *g*

Next up – polishing off that joggers story (whooo, that’s dusty) and then maybe the super old kinky steampunk story that I started, if the dust bunnies haven’t eaten it.  (Hmmm… What happens when plot bunnies and dust bunnies have a war over a certain story idea?  Who wins?)rainbowduster

Anyway, just thought I’d some spring cleaning around here, get out the feather duster and scrub brush, call in the houseboy and the maid.  Those sexy sweeties like it when I give them something to do!

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bath time thoughts

Things I like today, in no particular order:

  • Having 30 min left in the parking meter when I arrived, and leaving before it expired. Free parking!
  • When you are cold all the way deep, nothing warms you up like a bath.
  • Unless it’s the dog drinking the bathwater.  Nothing says “love” like someone who will drink your bathwater.
  • “I don’t want to eat the leftovers” = pork buns and pot-stickers and salad for dinner!
  • Being over the flu!  Yay!  Not that the hallucinations weren’t fun and all, but I’d rather have those from recreational drugs, thank you.
  • Secret early draft of a favorite author’s next book.  Whoo!

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You know what I like most about writing?  Answering all the questions.  How did these two guys meet?  What did they think of each other on first glance?  What do they fantasize about?  What are their secret kinks?

And the more general questions are fun too, because they’re about me/everyone.   If you get a hurt a lot in your job, how do you reconcile that with kinky play?  Is pain still a turn on or is it rendered utterly unsexy?

How do you get a control freak into subspace?  Is subspace learned or does it happen the first time?  Has it not happened to me because I’m not really a sub or because it takes practice?

Pondering these things, mulling it over, texting my friends as I’m out doing errands, leaving myself illegible notes as I drive…  That’s the part of writing that I ADORE.

The part I suck at?  Sitting in front of the computer and writing it all down.  Sigh.  I’m working on it though.  Even the tortoise gets there eventually, right?

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NaughTea Time with Andrea Speed

ZOMG, Andrea and I had so much fun and we talked about *everything* during our chat before xmas!  Seriously, *everything* – Canadians, superheros, mad scientists, “The Tick”, and pretty much everything geeky/nerdy in the scifi/comic book world.  Also, music, TV shows, and manatees.  Read on, if you dare….

***

Alix Bekins: Heya!  Welcome to tea!

Andrea Speed: Hola, mi amiga!

Alix Bekins: What kind of coffee/tea/cocoa do you like?

Andrea Speed: A nice white tea with peppermint would be great. Or a dark chocolate cocoa with mint. Basically, something with mint in it. (Not a coffee drinker, though.)

Alix Bekins: I’m not a coffee fan either. I love how it smells, hate how it tastes. Have you had the Ghirardelli peppermint cocoa?

Andrea Speed: The smell is nice. So is coffee ice cream. But it stops there. I think so! That’s nice. There’s a British drinking chocolate with peppermint which is just awesome.

Alix Bekins: Ooooohhhhh!  Anyhting British is immediately better. 😉  IMO.

Andrea Speed: Ha! They do know their way around a dark chocolate – I have to give them that.

Alix Bekins: And candy.  They understand everything is better with milk and real sugar, not corn syrup and wax.

Andrea Speed: We’re just going to wax rhapsodic about foreign sweets, aren’t we? I’m good with that…  Corn syrup really doesn’t need to be everywhere.

Alix Bekins: I’ll stay away from my rants about GMOs and corn subsidies and other hippie liberal stuff. End result – British cocoa is better. 😉 So what’s the best cocoa you’ve ever had? Most fancy, exotic setting, special in some way?

Andrea Speed: Hmm… Probably that British drinking chocolate I mentioned. Just because it is super fancy, and wasn’t something I could pick up at the store. Every now and again, I splurge on something I shouldn’t. But it’ s the little things that can make you so happy sometimes.

Alix Bekins: That’s what splurging is all about. 🙂  You are the first Naugh-tea person in the same time zone as me – you’re in Washington?

Andrea Speed: Well, with our legal pot and gay marriage, it seems like we’re in a slightly different universe too.  😀

Alix Bekins: Not from my town. Northern CA wants to be there with you on both issues.

Andrea Speed: Aww. Maybe soon.

Alix Bekins: I hope so. But again, I won’t go off on a rant about Prop 8. Not enough energy/preaching to the choir.

Andrea Speed: Yeah. But look at it this way – if things keep going the way they are, twenty years from now, this won’t be an issue at all.

Alix Bekins: So have you been to the UK and had cocoa there?

Andrea Speed: I have not! I really want to go, too. But sadly money and circumstances have left me stranded here for the moment. I’m a vicarious, armchair traveler. I want to go everywhere. Although, I don’t want to be felt up by TSA agents, so there you go.

Alix Bekins: Well, you’re close to Vancouver/British Columbia – that’s sort of like the UK! A little bit? Maybe if you squint?

Andrea Speed: If you squint, tilt your head, and… not really. 😀 It’s Canada! Canadians are a proud, hockey playing people who will mock you senseless if you call them Brits. I have many Canadian friends who would want me to stick up for them, especially as an honorary Canuck.

Alix Bekins: Yeah, but they pronounce their vowels similarly and they drink tea and…. I’m going to get my ass kicked by Canadians, aren’t I? 🙂  I love both places, though – Canada and the UK.

Andrea Speed: Oh, they’re great! But I think Canadians get tired of being the world’s nice uncle. Nobody really hates Canadians, because they seem polite and reasonable, for the most part. Despite their prime minister, national sport, and beer. Oh, and superheroes. It’s understandable.

Alix Bekins: There are Canadian superheroes?

InfectedPreyFSAndrea Speed: Hell yes! First of all, Wolverine is Canadian, and he was a part of Alpha Flight, the Canadian superhero team, before he joined the X-Men… Unless that’s been ret-conned. Which is possible. I lose track. Then there’s a whole bunch of others, including the first gay X-Man, Northstar – gee, with a name like that, who would guess he was Canadian? By the way – comic book geek. If you couldn’t tell. 😀

Alix Bekins: Hehehe! Awesome

Andrea Speed: We could circle back to my Infected series here, as I feel it is a stealth superhero series.

Alix Bekins: My husband drags me (willingly) to the comic-book movies, but I usually know almost nothing before the theater goes dark. Oooh, is it? Tell me how Infected is about superheroes.

Andrea Speed: The best superhero movies, you don’t have to know the characters at all, but afterwards, maybe you want to.  Because Roan is a superhero, really. An inadvertent one, and he surely doesn’t want to be one, but there’s a reason the cops call him – sometimes derisively, sometimes not – Batman. But really, the Hulk is a better comparison point. The virus that is killing him has also given him some gifts. But along with the gifts comes the lion, or at least an animalistic second persona.

Alix Bekins: Oh, interesting. I was really fascinated by the Banner/Hulk character in The Avengers this spring – tell me how your Roan is like him. Is he in control of himself mentally, or does he check out the way Banner seems to?

Andrea Speed: As the stories goes on, the readers – and Roan – learn how much it costs him. He can do amazing things. But he’s losing himself in the process. When he uses his abilities, he partially – in his parlance – lions out. He’s fighting the lion for control of himself. It’s painful, and sometimes he loses. At the end of Infected: Shift, he loses spectacularly, and he goes full lion. Which … well, let’s just say there probably weren’t any survivors to nail him with it.

Alix Bekins: Wow, that sounds terrifying.

Andrea Speed: Holden was a witness, but considering what Holden himself does… Yeah, he ain’t squealing. Holden, by the way, is an amusing-to-me Punisher analog.

Alix Bekins: How do you relate to that, as a writer? Is it all outside of you, or is there something inside that you’re pulling that emotional content from?

Andrea Speed: He’s a hooker, and he’s a vigilante. That’s just an awesome description to write.

Alix Bekins: I like the idea of a sex worker vigilante…. Seems like they’d go together pretty well.

Andrea Speed: I think if you want to get metaphorical, we all have something inside ourselves we don’t necessarily like. A dark side, if you will. The funny thing is, in some circumstances, it can be really helpful. In Roan’s specific case, he’s the personification of an illness. He hates it, he doesn’t want to be it… but we don’t pick how we end up.

Alix Bekins: Absolutely. No, we don’t. And that’s good point, that a lot of us learn to draw strength from our darkness, in whatever way.

Andrea Speed: And… I don’t think this is a spoiler for the later books, but we can mark it as such…

=SPOILERS=He finds out that the more he uses the lion, the more the lion is getting used to him. Or, specifically, his body. This is absolutely not good at all. So eventually, he’s going to have to make a choice. That’s all I’ll say for now. =END SPOILERS=

Yes. Darkness has good points. Weird good points, but ones all the same. In fact, in the prequel I’m writing, Roan’s ex, Dee, tells him how basically he likes to fight, and how he was just born that way. If people didn’t resist him, Roan would have withered and died. And that’s probably true. Roan is a born resister.

Alix Bekins: Oooh, that’s quite a broad hint, there. 😉

Andrea Speed: Perhaps.;) Of course, there’s the built in problem that it won’t be easy for Roan to choose – he’s sharing his body with a lion. He can’t exactly evict it. Oh, but if he could… 😀

Alix Bekins: I once had a really interesting discussion with a person I’d met on the bus, about would we – if we could – change our physical problems. Like for her, she had a bone disease that resulted in a lot of surgeries when she was a teen, and a permanent uneven walk/limp. She said she couldn’t imagine her being herself without that whole experience, and as an adult, feels pretty confident that she wouldn’t go back and change it.

Andrea Speed: Which is a good attitude.

Alix Bekins: I don’t have anything big like that, but I have had terrible eyesight since it was about 8 years old. I can’t imagine just being able to see without glasses or contacts or anything. It defines how I think. But it was a really interesting mental exercise, to consider how it’s shaped you, as an adult, and if you changed it, how it would shape you differently.

InfectedBloodlinesFSAndrea Speed: If you asked Roan, though, I’m pretty sure he’d say “make me normal”. He’d probably regret it, though, as normal really isn’t his forte. I’m with you! Ask me how myopic I am. Then again, no, don’t. Adversity builds character or breaks you.

Alix Bekins: Yes.  And maybe I’m weird, but I like the battle wounds. Then again, most of mine are mental. Which sort of fits with the superhero thing too – although their pasts are more tragic than mine, thank goodness. You said you were working on a prequel – do you write exclusively paranormal stories? This will be part… 5 of the Infected series?

Andrea Speed: There will be another part – a sequel and a prequel. Only I’m not sure I count Infected as a paranormal series. I actually think of it as a weird sci-fi series, because I try and make this weird thing as realistic (in context) as possible.

Alix Bekins: Maybe I’m not clear on the difference between paranormal and sci-fi.

Andrea Speed: If there was a virus that could turn you into a cat for three or four days a month, how would it work? Well, first off, it’d be horrible, which may distinguish my book from most shifter stories right there. Paranormal generally means something supernatural. (Is this virus supernatural? Perhaps. I guess readers can take it however they want.)

Alix Bekins: I guess shape-shifting can kind of go either way, depending on the cause and how it’s dealt with.

Andrea Speed: I proposed it as a blood bourn pathogen of unknown origin. Although I know, I just haven’t shared it with readers. Or at least I should say I think I know, and it’s of a very terrestrial, non-supernatural origin. The shifting in my books is awful. Skin tears, bones break, it’s a process that takes a while and kills a good amount of the infected.

Alix Bekins: Ouch!

Andrea Speed: In fact, when Roan partially “lions out”, the first sign, beyond growling, is blood starts pouring from his mouth. Due to teeth poking through his gums. And after the adrenalin spike wears off, he’s often in so much pain he can’t function without a lot of painkillers.  (I’m so cheerful.)

Alix Bekins: That’s pretty different from the usual scenarios I’ve read. How did you come up with that? Where do you get your ideas from?

Andrea Speed: Believe it or not, I got the original idea by reading an article on gene therapy in the Science News. *puts on nerd hat* It was talking about the use of neutered or dead viruses in gene replacement therapy…  (Lately, a denatured AIDS virus was used to supposedly cure a girl’s leukemia. Fingers crossed on that.) So I began thinking about what a person with malicious nature might be able to do if they could perfect this process. So it’s the Science News meets the Island of Doctor Moreau. 😀

Alix Bekins: Wow, that’s brilliant! 🙂

Andrea Speed: I’m sure I’m not the first person this has occurred to. But I may be the first person who got a Rainbow Book award for it. #humblebrag

Alix Bekins: I don’t know, probably not a lot of people sit around pondering creative uses for gene replacement therapy.

Andrea Speed: 😀

Alix Bekins: At least, I sort of hope not, unless they’re writers! 😉  WhooO! Congrats on that, by the way.

Andrea Speed: Yes. No mad scientists need apply. Thank you. And I noticed Infected got a nod in sci-fi/fantasy too.

Alix Bekins: Wow, that’s excellent. You must be very proud of your stories, getting recognized like that.

Andrea Speed: I have to ask Elisa if I was the first person to have two books in the same series come up in different genres. It’s lovely! I still think it was a huge mistake.

Alix Bekins: Nonsense! 🙂 But – where do you go from here?

Andrea Speed: I was planning a sophomore slump. I figure, if I start sucking now, maybe I can rally in the final third of my career.

Alix Bekins: Hahahahaha! Well all right then! I mean, I was GOING to ask about your writing and inspiration and projects, but if you’re heading into a slump…

Andrea Speed: Oh, well, if you must…

Alix Bekins: Hehehe! Okay then – how do you plan to stay OUT of a slump? What excites you about writing?

Pretty_Monsters_0Andrea Speed: I shouldn’t neglect my Josh of the Damned horror/comedy series, which is so much fun to write. If only horror-comedy was a big selling genre. (Spoiler alert: it isn’t.)

Alix Bekins: Yeah, I don’t think I’ve read anything like that….

Andrea Speed: Well, I misjudged the audience for people who wanted to read about giant, man eating mustaches. But I do! And it isn’t so much “write what you know” as “write what you want to read.” (Although, in this case, I am probably alone in wanting to read it.) It’s fun to be goofy. And scary. What keeps me writing is the ability to be both goofy and scary. (This applies to Infected too, which can be scary, but is, a good amount of the time, very, very silly.)

Alix Bekins: Goofy is good. And I’m delighted to meet someone else who writers what they want to read, and writes funny stuff.

Andrea Speed: You can’t be dark all the time. You need a sense of humor to survive.

moustacheAlix Bekins: (I’m having flashbacks to an old episode of “The Tick”, the animated one, which I think was called “The Moustache.”)

Andrea Speed: YES! That was the direct inspiration for “Night of the Mustache.”

Alix Bekins: OMG!!!! I’ve never met anyone else who’s seen The Tick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved that show! I recorded them all on VHS.

Andrea Speed: Now, if only I could have worked in a Dr. Mung-Mung and Tongue-Tongue reference.

Alix Bekins: YES!

Andrea Speed: Or Pigleg!

Alix Bekins: Seriously, I’m making squeaking noises over here! A Tiny Two-headed Bluebird That Only Speaks High School French!

Andrea Speed: I love the Tick! I wish they’d release the 3rd season on DVD. But they’ve only released the first two. (I have them.) Yes! Gravity is a harsh mistress.

Alix Bekins: OMG! This is brillliant! 🙂

Andrea Speed: I’ve wanted Roan to say that, but I’m not sure Ben Edlund would be good with that.

Alix Bekins: We say so many of those things around my house, just in passing.

Andrea Speed: I say gravity is a harsh mistress nearly every week. Any time something falls down, that’s the first thing out of my mouth.

Alix Bekins: seriously! And she *is* too. I’m so fucking clumsy.

Andrea Speed: What’s the nerd slogan? “Gravity’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.” And she is a harsh mistress indeed.

Alix Bekins: *snort*

Andrea Speed: And what about the wonderful El Seed? I regret never having a killer flower.

Alix Bekins: There’s always next time.

Peek-a-Boo 590x900Andrea Speed: But, for some reason, the line that still makes me laugh the hardest is the Tick’s panicked “Dog ….hit … by … street!” Yes, there is. ANd Thrakkazorg! (A/K/A Susan.)

Alix Bekins: *snort* Okay, I’m going to have to get those on DVD and watch them all again. Huh, maybe that’s what I’ll get my sweetie for xmas.

Andrea Speed: Maybe! The Tick is a gift that keeps on giving.

Alix Bekins: It’s decided! (Mostly because it’s also a gift for myself – cheating! Don’t tell Santa!)

Andrea Speed: If you ever checked out the original graphic novels, they’re pretty good too.

Alix Bekins: I will do that.

Andrea Speed: They actually make it pretty clear the Tick was an in an insane asylum. They don’t say he’s crazy – maybe he’s just an alien who ended up there, or something – but they were a wee bit darker.

Alix Bekins: Huh, that would add a different flavor to the story, for sure. So what do you want the guy in red to bring for you?

Andrea Speed: Besides a billion dollars and my own island to be dictator for life upon? Hmm… I think I’d like more writing time. Life has conspired to keep me from doing it as much as I’d like to. But don’t all writers want that? (Save for King and Oates, who should probably be encouraged to pace themselves a bit more.)

Alix Bekins: I think so – everyone I’ve asked during the Naugh-Tea chats says they just want time. I’d like a month or two. But that’s hard to stick under the tree. What else? 🙂

Andrea Speed: Hmm… I’d say the latest Mystery Science Theater 3000 box set, but I already bought that for myself. 😀  (Come on – Revenge of the Creature is on it! How am I turning that down?) Apparently, I only like cult things. It’s a sad thing to realize you’re an adult who doesn’t know how to be mainstream.

Alix Bekins: Us too, mostly. Feh. Ever been to ComiCon? We keep trying to go, for the last decade, and Every Damn Year, something happens.

JotD_DustBunnies_500x750Andrea Speed: The Emerald City ComiCon, yes! Several times. I used to do a “stupid questions at the ECCC” feature. I’d go up to creators and ask them extremely stupid questions. This is how I know most straight men have a huge crush on John Cusack. I casually know several comic writers and artists, and we’re all creators. There’s some good people out there.

Alix Bekins: Huh, I never would have thought of that, but yeah, he was a huge deal in the 80s. That’s fantastic.

Andrea Speed: I asked everybody one year who they’d want to play them in the movie of their life, and this led to this deep vein of straight guy John Cusak worship. It surprised me too.

Alix Bekins: I feel like I’ve found a geeky twin!

Andrea Speed: 😀

Alix Bekins: So, did you see the Hobbit this weekend? Are you a LOTR geek?

Andrea Speed: Sadly, no. Funnily enough, my grandmother was, but I never got into it. Then again, I’m not really a sword and sandals fantasy kind of gal. Unless it’s horrendously bad (MST3K’ s take on Deathstalker, and the Warriors From Hell, for example.) You?

Alix Bekins: My husband is an old-school D&D geek, so he actually got me to read the books for the first time when we got together. I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but I did see the other three movies and got pretty into them.

Andrea Speed: I’ve heard some people complaining about the length of said Hobbit, but I’ve heard no one complain about the quality.

Alix Bekins: I had some issues, but I enjoyed myself, so I count it as a win. 🙂

Andrea Speed: Good!

Alix Bekins: Any book turning into a movie will have some issues, IMO.

Andrea Speed: Oh hell yes.

Alix Bekins: Of course, what writer wouldn’t love to have one of her books turn into a movie? (Without or without the hot sex scenes?)

Andrea Speed: Screenwriting is a totally different beast. You know what? I’d rather go to cable TV series. 😀

Alix Bekins: Heheh – more episodes?

Andrea Speed: There’s too much going on in Infected to make a film. Two hours wouldn’t be enough. At least, with a TV series, you could adequately parcel it out without boring everyone to tears. And hopefully have room for character growth.

Alix Bekins: Exactly.  Like the Game of Thrones stuff (which I actually haven’t seen – too bloody for me).

Infect-LifeDeathFSAndrea Speed: Yes, exactly. Or Breaking Bad. Ha! As if I’d ever do anything that good. Still… Oh, you have a bloody quotient? I enjoy horror movies, so I don’t. 😀 The funny thing is, I don’t think GoT is all that bloody, overall. It has gruesome moments, but not relentlessly.

Alix Bekins: It’s the people-being-horrible that’s the real turn off for me. I don’t know, I’m a sensitive flower. Blood and guts doesn’t bother me in themselves, it’s the anger and creepy factor that gets me. Like I totally can’t watch Spartacus or Dexter. But I have no issue with most action movies because the violence is impersonal and removed.

Andrea Speed: Oh. Hmm. Is “how do you get through life?” way too cynical a thing for me to say? 😀  (It probably is.)

Alix Bekins: Hehehe!

Andrea Speed: I guess it depends on what you consider people being horrible to one another. I mean, torture, sure. But is omission just as bad? Ignorance? Just plain assholism?

Alix Bekins: It’s a balance between ignoring things like the atrocities in Africa and rape camps and gibbering in the dark because it’s too much to handle. Mostly, I ignore it because I can’t do anything about it.

Andrea Speed: Fair enough. I totally understand that.

Alix Bekins: It’s the torture thing mostly, although to a lesser degree, it’s why I hate reality TV. People being jerks isn’t entertaining to me to watch.

Andrea Speed: But this is fiction, so there’s that. Oh, I don’t watch reality TV either. Mostly because I don’t see the point.

Alix Bekins: I would love to watch Spartacus… My friend sends me links to the sexy manlove bits. Well, and I’m outraged that people would rather pay a bunch of editors than a WRITER to write a STORY.

Andrea Speed: I tried to watch Spartacus… I found it so dull, I didn’t stick with it. Oh, but reality shows DO have writers! There are outlines. They have people re-enact scenes with added drama. It’s phony from shot one.

Alix Bekins: I honestly did not know that. Wow.

Andrea Speed: They just hide their names in the credits.

Alix Bekins: I’m not sure if I should be dismayed or glad the writers guild is at least getting SOME work!

Andrea Speed: A little of both, I suppose.

Alix Bekins: Heh, yes, always some with the other. So, have you done screenwriting?

Andrea Speed: Oh, although there’s no full frontal, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that Teen Wolf has surpassed Spartacus as the most homoerotic show out there. I have not done screenwriting! It’s a different beast, much like comic book writing, and I haven’t mastered it.

Alix Bekins: I had a friend who was going to try to break into that once, but I don’t know what happened with it. All the rules for outlining and action were very hard for me to understand. I’m pretty visual, but I guess not movie-action-visual.

Andrea Speed: It has its own rules. If you were going to do it, I’d suggest investing in some screenwriting software, which makes it that much easier to tackle.

Alix Bekins: Ah, technology.  What’s on your calendar for the next couple weeks and then for 2013?

JotD3_Cover2 colorAndrea Speed: Oh crap. Let’s see if I can remember… *set your timer * Well, I’m in edits on what may be the last Josh of the Damned trilogy… I have Infected: Undertow due out in 2013… Hopefully I can finally get my fantasy novel Strange Angels done for Riptide… Then I have more of the Infected universe on the back burner, as well as possible return to another detective series, and damn it, I want to write that science fiction story one of these days. Maybe a horror story too. I do like writing in that genre.

Alix Bekins: All m/m or not?

Andrea Speed: Most likely.

Alix Bekins: Very exciting plans 🙂

Andrea Speed: Of course, keep in mind I only seem to like writing in genres that don’t sell. 😀

Alix Bekins: Well, you know. *shrug* That’s only a concern if you’re needing to make a living at it. I’d rather see a story a writer wants to tell, not what they’re hoping will sell to readers.

Andrea Speed: Agreed. I just think it’s kind of hilarious I only gravitate to stuff that has a small audience. I was never meant to be mainstream in any capacity.

Alix Bekins: Well, at least that means a tribe of devoted followers 🙂 And awards in your genre.

Andrea Speed: Ha! True. Although sometimes I don’t know what genre I belong in. I let other people pick.

Alix Bekins: One of the things I was asking while everyone was working on NaNoWriMo was about creativity. I imagine since you write in so many genres, you must be a pretty creative person. Do you have other outlets besides writing? Art, dance, music, alligator wrestling?

Andrea Speed: Oh, if only there were some alligators around here…. I would love to be an artist, but I can’t draw worth snot. I think I mainly save it for writing. Oh, and making music mixes. 😀

Alix Bekins: I hear that. Sometimes I try painting, but mostly at about a 2nd grader’s level. It’s fun though. And I’ve recently let Amy Lane teach me to knit. What sort of music do you like?

Andrea Speed: What have you got? I think my main genre is noise rock, but I’m all over the map. Like, I’m putting together my best of 2012 list, and while noise rock is there, so is electronic, rap, metal, punk, and neo-psychedelic.

Alix Bekins: I don’t even know what noise rock is! Give me a few examples?

Andrea Speed: Oh boy, can I!

Alix Bekins: Hehe!  Maybe I should just wait for your recs list?

Andrea Speed: Well, my two top noise rock albums of the year are by Metz and Police Teeth… But Roan’s love of These Arms Are snakes comes straight from me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gc3ZjkrTZk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krGDNbT4CSE  I will admit, Police Teeth’s latest is only quasi-noise rock. They’ve adopted a bit of mellowness in their older age.

Alix Bekins: Nice, reminds me of the industrial stuff I used to listen to in college. Happy memories 🙂

Andrea Speed: Noise is an offshoot of industrial. Also of punk.

Alix Bekins: Yay! Now I have new stuff to go explore. Will you post your list to your blog?

Infect-Freefall_pr2Andrea Speed: Have you checked out my online playlists? http://8tracks.com/notmanos I will be posting the list at my site, with an 8tracks online playlist to go with it. I’m not sure anyone cares, but I love putting these together, so I do it.  😀

Alix Bekins: No, I love it — playlist shares online are the only way I find out about new music these days. “These days” meaning since about 2003, actually.

Andrea Speed: Well, radio stations are kind of… blah.

Alix Bekins: Although I confess I’ve become pretty mainstream. I like anything I can dance to. Or has clever lyrics.

Andrea Speed: Understood. Therefore, you might like the electronic albums I have on my list. 😀

Alix Bekins: Like, I love Pink and Train. But I kind of want to punch Katy Perry in the face.

Andrea Speed: Although I do listen to KEXP online now and again. I occasionally find new bands there. Who doesn’t want to punch Katy Perry in the face?

Alix Bekins: Hahaha! Do you listen to music when you write? I see you have soundtracks for you books! I made one for my first novel, but I couldn’t actually write while it was playing.

Andrea Speed: I make soundtracks for all the books! Sometimes more than one. Sometimes for specific characters. I do listen to music while I write, which is probably how this whole thing got started.

Alix Bekins: The writing or the playlists?

Andrea Speed: The playlists.

Alix Bekins: How did you get into that?

Andrea Speed: Which – music or writing?:D

Alix Bekins: Both!

Andrea Speed: I’ve liked music forever, so I can’t really answer that… As for writing, my grandmother was a (mostly aspiring) writer, so you could say I grew up with it.

Alix Bekins: Do you remember what was the first album you bought?

Andrea Speed: Holy crud! No, not at all. But then, as I’ve said before, I never remember anything. 😀 Much like Homer Simpson, every time I learn something new, something gets shoved out.

Alix Bekins: So very true – now that I think about it, I’m not sure if mine was Prince’s Purple Rain or Wham!

Andrea Speed: Both ’80’s appropriate choices, though!

Alix Bekins: Embarrassingly so, but what can you do?

Infect-Shift3Andrea Speed: Exactly.

Alix Bekins: We still have a bunch of vinyl up in the attic somewhere. Probably unplayable from the heat.

Andrea Speed: Mine may have been Blondie? Maybe…

Alix Bekins: Oooh, loved her.

Andrea Speed: Oh, I bet. Vinyl can be fragile. She was pretty awesome. I think I was into new wave as a kid. And then I just kept getting stranger.

Alix Bekins: Well, strange has worked out pretty well for you.

Andrea Speed: Very true. But part of me wishes I could be mainstream SOMEWHERE, just to prove I’m an actual human being.

Alix Bekins: Hmmmm…  Mainstream food? What will you likely have for Christmas morning breakfast, if you celebrate it?

Andrea Speed: Er… Not big on holidays. See? See what I mean?! I disgust myself sometimes.

Alix Bekins: I’m lobbying to find a date in 2013 that can be for celebrating porn. Maybe during May, for Masturbation Month.

Andrea Speed: There isn’t one already?

Alix Bekins: Not that I know of.

Andrea Speed: There’s a month for everything. It’s a shocking lapse if it’s not covered.

Alix Bekins: still, there could be another. Who doesn’t like porn? 🙂

Andrea Speed: Well… frankly, the acting could be better.  😀

Alix Bekins: Well, yes. sometimes that’s true.

Andrea Speed: But it’s too easy to complain about wooden porn acting, isn’t it?

Alix Bekins: So what sort of porn do you like?

Andrea Speed: You know, I’m not a big porn person, which is probably reflected in my lack of sex scenes. Well, that, and the fact that I can’t write them well. I never want to get that bad sex writing award. 😀

Alix Bekins: I didn’t even know there was a bad-sex-scene award – yikes!

Andrea Speed: Oh yes. But normally it’s given to “mainstream” books. I’m trying to remember who won this year…

Alix Bekins: Porn’s not for everyone – it just seems to come up in most of these chats, so I had to get there eventually. 🙂 Thank god. I’m afraid to go look!

Andrea Speed: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/dec/04/bad-sex-award-nancy-huston Nancy Huston, a Canadian novelist.

Alix Bekins: I am sincerely sorry for her and relived for me.

Andrea Speed: Don’t be. It’s… pretty bad. And they don’t include erotic books. They just go after bad mainstream sex. Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer have won it before.

Alix Bekins: Ha! Well then. So, if you’re not into holidays too much, I can’t ask you what you are hoping Santa to bring you….  Oh! I know – end of the world is Friday. Anything you want to make sure you do, if the world happens to NOT end? 🙂

Andrea Speed: Not end? Oh, spoil my fun…

Alix Bekins: Hey, maybe it will. Who knows?

Andrea Speed: Well, hopefully complete one of my goddamn manuscripts! I’m working on three alone, and I’d like to finish one before the year ends. (Which is a pipe dream, I know.)

Alix Bekins: Hey, you’ve got until Friday! Get to writing!

Andrea Speed: Ha! The sad thing is, I know the world won’t end. But damn it, it should! Humans have had a good run, but I think the ants have earned their chance to give it a try. Or apes. Hell, manatees.

manatee_621_600x450Alix Bekins: The Age of Seacows. I could get behind that, they seem nice enough.

Andrea Speed: That would be an awesome age. Mostly based around kelp, though.

Alix Bekins: I like kelp.

Andrea Speed: Probably wouldn’t smell great.

Alix Bekins: It would be cold in the ocean, though. Although – huge plus here – it would definitely be time to start packing on that blubber to stay warm. And no more plucking chin hairs.

Andrea Speed: But would they evolve to walk on land? Or maybe just make water suits, so they can flop on dry land. Maybe they’d have water-to-air tanks.

Alix Bekins: We’d have to evolve to live in the ocean. and plus, with global warming, it could work out for everyone, as the oceans heat up.

Andrea Speed: True. And the land begins to sink.

Alix Bekins: I think the Age of the Manatee sounds pretty damn good. For them, anyway.

Andrea Speed: Maybe we could have human/manatee hybrids. Aquaman won’t seem so stupid!

Alix Bekins: We just need to figure out how to evolve fast enough. Hahaha! Way to bring it back around to comics!

Infected_LesserEvils2Andrea Speed: The Revenge of Aquaman. Too bad I don’t have an in at DC, because I smell a series. I know! Purely by accident. He and his army of vengeful manatees.

Alix Bekins: Seriously! You should do that. All right, anything you want to add before we end things?

Andrea Speed:  Umm… Sorry? Sorry for everything. 😀

Alix Bekins: Hahahaha! A blanket apology from Andrea Speed, to end the chat on. I can think of worse things

Andrea Speed: It seems best.  I always feel like I should leave handing out official apologies.

Alix Bekins: “So sorry for scarring you emotionally.” It’s been lovely chatting with you.

Andrea Speed: And you too. Sorry I go off on weird tangents. I’m taking meds, I swear.

Alix Bekins: No, it’s awesome.

Andrea Speed: My brain is a little hamster on a wheel. 😀

Alix Bekins: I love chats where we’re leapfrogging and keeping up with each other. That’s always a great kind of connection to make.

Andrea Speed: Always running very fast to nowhere.

Alix Bekins: I always call mine a hamster on crack! See? We’re connected!

Andrea Speed: Hey!

Alix Bekins: We’ll have to get together and nerd out again. *hug* Great talking to you!

Andrea Speed: Thanks! Bye!

***

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

>> Infected: Freefall just won a Rainbow Award!  Yay Andrea! <<

Andrea Speed can be found at aspeed2@gmail.com
blog – http://www.andreaspeed.com
facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001496290042
twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/aspeed

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State of the Alix

For the first time since I can remember, I decided to sleep through NYE.  I wasn’t sick or anything, just cozy and warm and cuddly in bed and decided not to get up.

2012 was kind of a bad year for me.  Not every moment, and no actual tragedies like 2011, but an overall downward slide into depression and anxiety.  I wasn’t very social, wasn’t very active, haven’t interacted with my friends online or in person a lot.  Finished fewer stories than I have since 2002, when I started keeping an annual count.  But let’s focus on the positive:

Good things, in no particular order…

  • Belly dancing veil classes
  • Fantastic visit with friends in Florida
  • My very good RL friend had another adorable baby and honored me by using the name I had planned to use if I’d ever had a baby girl, Melina
  • Hershey adopted us
  • I finally went to Iceland and saw it and Elin and it was fantastic
  • Met some writer-friends I admire and love, in NYC and New Mexico
  • Avengers movie and resulting fandom
  • WITS was released and did fairly well, much better than I’d expected
  • Did some promo stuff that wasn’t awful or painful
  • Amazingly fabulous trip to P-Town with sister-like good friends

Mostly I feel like what I need for 2013 is more quiet time, alone-time, not-plugged-in time.  I don’t know what my dreams or hopes or goals are.  I’m pretty happy with my life overall, but I want to be always moving forward, and I’ve felt stagnant for the last year or more.  With reason, but still.  I don’t know where I want to be going.  So that’s my only resolution for the next year – spend more time dreaming up a wonderful future.  Oh, and reconnect with friends.  And maybe write some more.  Okay, that’s three things – shoot me.   🙂

15027249-happy-2013-written-in-sand-at-the-beach

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The Next Big Thing – “Running in Circles”

Edmond Manning invited me to participate in “The Next Big Thing” blog hop, where we all talk a little about our upcoming projects and tag more writers after us to do the same thing.  He said I could do my current WIP, which is a novella, not a novel (I think – it’s not finished yet, so who knows).  If you think that’s cheating, you can go and poke him – he’s at remembertheking@comcast.net.  🙂

Here are my replies to the questions…

What is the working title of your book?

Running in Circles

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Actually, I asked a few friends for random scenarios/ideas about a year ago, and this one stuck.  Thank you, Connie!

What genre does your book fall under?

Well, m/m for sure.  After that, I’d say it’s contemporary, maybe humor.  Although the main character might be a bit too depressed for “humor.”  Not sure yet.

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

Oooh!  I’m very visual, so I have images from the internet that I thought looked sort of like my boys.  Here’s Max:

batman

And he is with Nate:

towel9

And here’s Senor Ferdinand (he’s the most important character in the story):

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

How about “Max is stuck in a dead-end job and a boring life, until one morning when the sexy guy he sees jogging every morning trips over a crack in the sidewalk outside Max’s house.”

Will your book be self published, published by a small press, or represented by an agency?

I pretty much publish exclusively with Dreamspinner Press.  If they won’t take it, then I’ll see about other venues.  Or I might offer it as a freebie – I’m definitely not interested in self-publishing!

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

*cough*  I’m not finished yet!  But I’m embarrassed to admit that I started this in June.  I’ve had some major life ups-and-downs…  I have missed writing, though, and am excited to get this finished and off my plate.

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

I have no idea.  There are a lot of books I like and writers I admire.  I’m not going to say my own style is utterly unique, but I can’t think of anything to compare it to.  I suppose it’s not unlike my stories “When Work is a Pleasure” or “Relationships 201” in tone/style.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Connie.  She’s awesome.  She gave me the best writing advice ever when I was down and feeling unloved.  “Write for me,” she said, “because I want to read your stories. And fuck everyone else and the horses they rode in on. And their mothers.”

So I’m writing for Connie.  Everyone else – and any resulting sales – are just icing on the cake of her laughter.  🙂

What else about your book might interest the reader?

Joggers.  Tattoos.  Dia de Los Muertos.  Painting.  Sequins.  Roller derby girl BFFs.  American bulldogs.  LGBT Centers.  Glitter.  Embarrassing moments.  Emergency rooms.  Pejazzling.  Pride parades.  Food.  Movies.  Kinky sex.  Laughter.

🙂

In a week or two, go check out the fellow authors I’ve tagged to see what their Next Big Things are: Lou SylvreZahra Owens, Jana Denardo, Anne Barwell, and Grace Duncan.

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Boxer Falls and Evergreen Advent

OMG, I thought I posted this last week when it was actually, you know, RELEVANT, but I guess I flaked.  Life has been a tiny bit busy lately.  Weddings and parties and house cleaning – oh my!  Anyway, I have two bits of writing-related news:

1)  I got to write a chapter for Boxer Falls!  It’s a “Gaytime Soap Opera”, and it’s hosted by the M/M Romance Group on GoodReads (and there’s more info at BoxerFalls.com).

BF-banner-400px

It was an amazingly interesting experience – and surprisingly difficult for me to try to write someone else’s characters, in a style very different from my own.  I got to do my very first on-page death (murder!) scene, which was so much fun I’m tempted to kill someone in every book I write from now on. (Just kidding.  Or am I?)

Keeping the characters consistent was super hard, since I kept wanting to, well, like them more.   Let’s be honest – soap operas are all about action, and not about characters you can relate to.  It’s about hot sex and over the top egos and power and drama.  Hardly any of those things ever make it into the stories I write (except the hot sex).  And while I was writing and reading the previous chapters, I had this weird realization – “Oh right, I don’t watch soap operas for a reason.”  Oops!

It was like that one time when I took the Emergency Teaching Credential test, got my passing scores back, filled out all the paperwork, started to hand it over to the lady at the desk, and had this blinding flash of divine insight: “Oh wait – I don’t like children!  I would hate being a teacher!”

(Slight disclaimer – I’m not a curmudgeon who hates children, I just think being shut into a small room with 20-30 of them for 6 hours a day sounds like a form of obscure, complicated torture.)

Anyway = Boxer Falls.  It was a learning experience, I had a fun with it, go read and check it out and tell me what you thought.  I’m honored to have been allowed to participate! 🙂

2)  I wrote a short story for the holidays, and Dreamspinner Press is publishing it in their Evergreen Advent calendar.  Here’s the blurb:

LordofMisrule-LG

The Yule festival of Twelfth Night is a time when servants are the masters and vice versa, and tension and humor fill the air. Dan and his partner, Taj, have busy lives even without their duties as members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. When Taj is selected to coordinate the holiday activities and assigned the title Lord of Misrule, it encroaches on their time as a couple—until they negotiate their way to a happy holiday.

You can buy it here

This is hands-down the most sappy story I’ve written.  It ends on a note I swore I would never write, but it fit, it’s what the guys wanted to do!  It was so much fun.  I miss Taj and Dan.  I might have to see if they want to do a sequel some time.…

Hope you’re all having good holidays!  Next update will be after I get caught up on the shopping and wrapping and decorating and cookies, cookies, cookies!  Whee!

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