Category: idiots

Dolly Parton; Author Scams; James Strauss; Limbaugh Attacks Don Lemon

Dolly Parton on Gay Marriage

Singer, entertainer, and in some cases gay icon, Dolly Parton, came out with a few strong statements about gay marriage recently.

“I didn’t know any gay people in my childhood. I do have a lot of gays in my family now, but some will never come out,” the singer, who was one of 12 children in a Pentecostal family living in Locust Ridge, Tenn., told Britain’s Event magazine, per an article featured on the Daily Mail’s website.

“I think everyone should be with who they love,” Parton, 68, continued. “I don’t want to be controversial or stir up a bunch of trouble but people are going to love who they are going to love. I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals. Ha ha ha!”

I would bet that if you ask most gay men who Fred Karger is and how hard he’s fought for gay marriage they wouldn’t have a clue. But I can hear the sighs of relief from one end of the rainbow to the other with this one statement from Dolly Parton. Don’t get me wrong. I love Dolly, too.

You can read more here.

Author Scams; James Strauss

A writer with a fairly high profile in some circles who has been asked to speak at “cons” and offers to teach courses for a fee has allegedly been lying about his publishing credits and past publishing work experience. In this case, from what I can gather, this one really took a few strong chances that may or may not be legal. Even more interesting, chances that could be researched with just a few simple clicks and taps.

James gets gigs teaching screenwriting courses based on his experience writing episodes on the TV shows HOUSE, DEADWOOD, SAVING GRACE and ENTOURAGE. The problem is, according to the Writers Guild of America and writer/producers on those shows, James Strauss never worked as a writer on any of those series. So beware. If you run across any conference or seminar programs where he’s fraudulently claiming those credits in his biography, please alert the organizers and have them contact Lesley McCambridge in the WGA West credits department. Okay, so here’s the April 2013 post that tells how I first encountered this fake, James Strauss:

You can read more here. It gets much more involved. Side note: these “cons” make a lot of people a lot of money. So the next time you decide to spend your hard earned money on any publishing “con” please take that into consideration…and take into consideration that by going to a “con” the odds are you won’t get any further along in publishing than if you remained at home and worked a little harder.

The web site where I read all this is interesting, too. Lee Goldberg is like a sort of vampire hunter but he’s chasing scammers instead of vampires. Bravo. We need more like him.

And here’s a link to a commentary about author scams in general. It’s insightful from a legal POV. Among other things, it talks about the author to whom I fell victim a few weeks ago who cried bully, and it mentions a trend where certain authors are associating themselves with well known celebrities in order to gain attention and sell more books. There’s an interesting mention about using celebrity images without permission. I’ve seen authors do this, too, without taking into consideration they may be violating someone’s rights. A few times I’ve tried to warn these authors and they’ve ignored me completely. Remember my post about how Sarah Palin’s S PAC got sued for using a photo without permission? It’s the same thing.

In any event, it’s a commentary post about frustration. Unfortunately, unless there are a few examples made about stealing likeness, illegal contests, and all those good things we see we’re not going to stop this any time soon.

Limbaugh Attacks Don Lemon

Good old Rush Limbaugh is at it again. The wealthy conservative pundit who will say or do anything for attention (and money) responded to a comment made about him on CNN.

Limbaugh recently went after CNN’s Don Lemon for being gay.

“Well, over at CNN, they interpreted that to mean that I was defending Sterling!” he said on Tuesday. “How did they get there? I don’t know how they get there. Erin Burnett played the sound bite and then went to Mr. Black Hole himself, Don Lemon—who sleeps with men, proudly—for comment.”

My only comment, again, is that I hope people know all this is about as real as a sideshow at the circus. Or Joan Rivers’ reality show. You don’t really think Melissa is dating that hot British guy, do you? Or as Melissa would say, “SRSLY, Mom!!”

More here.

We Don’t Need Sex; Orson Scott Card Pleads

We Don’t Need Sex

This time I’m not the one trying to define erotic romance, as I’ve posted here. In fact, I have mentioned this many times in various posts I’ve written, partly to explain to readers and partly to make note of it here for my own records.

I found the post to which I’m linking by accident last night, and I thought it was interesting because it’s another take on the definition of erotic romance, which is a genre that most people seem to define on their own. Everyone seems to have a definition, and I understand that. The worst critics think it’s porn. But since there has never been a clear cut definition of porn to my knowledge, that’s highly subjective. I once posted about how Sarah Palin thought Levi Johnston’s playgirl photos were porn and he didn’t even show full frontal nudity.

The blogger to whom I linked above says this in the quest to define erotic romance:

I have nothing against erotica, people can read and write what they want to, but I am tiring a little of having to defend my books, and their genre to people who say they don’t like/review/blog about erotica. I have blog guests who write erotica, it’s fine, it’s just that I don’t write erotica.

The confusion in large numbers of peoples’ minds between Erotica and Erotic Romance is leading some publishers to add definitions to their submission pages. (Sadly there are still some publishers who don’t know the difference).

It seems even some large book sellers don’t know the difference.
I write both erotica and erotic romance, plus a little new adult sometimes, and I’ve even written the occasional pg rated hetero romance novel with a pen name. I’ve also been around for over twenty years and I started writing gay erotica and getting published when I was in college. The main reason I started writing erotica is that back then there wasn’t a market for anything else that was gay, unless it involved something dark and highly sensationalized like AIDS or suicide.  
I agree with the author of the blog post for the most part. And I do think most booksellers and small start up e-presses now don’t know the difference. However, there is one part of the blogger’s definition of erotic romance that I look at differently. 
This is what I’m talking about:
 It’s a story, plot heavy, but the sex scenes are so integral they need to be there.
I don’t think that’s wrong for some authors. And I’m not trying to give a set definition of erotic romance to anyone. I wouldn’t do that; I’m not that presumptuous. But I’ve never personally written an erotic romance where the sex *needs* to be there. On that point I totally disagree with the blogger. I’ve written the sex scenes in my books because I think they add another layer to the story, and because I think readers want that extra layer. I also think sex scenes help define the characters in a more detailed (complicated) way, and they often move the story and characters forward by showing instead of telling. I also believe we are all highly sexual beings…even those who won’t admit it.
In other words, erotic romance for me is a romance with erotic scenes. But if the erotic scenes are removed there’s still a strong story that can stand on its own. I’ve posted about this in the past. And I even went the extra mile when I released “Chase of a Dream” in two different versions. One version has strong sex scenes, the other doesn’t have any strong sex scenes. And the version without the sex scenes still has a story as strong as the one with the sex scenes. By removing the erotic scenes from this book, I only removed 7,000 words that clearly did NOT NEED to be there. I think they added to the story, but they were NOT integral to the story. And none of the sex scenes in any of the erotic romances I’ve ever written were integral to the story. In a way, I self-censored with “Chase of a Dream” in order to not only prove this, but to give my readers a choice. Frankly, I prefer the version with the sex scenes. I think it adds that extra layer to the book and it makes the characters more human. But that’s only my opinion and I left the choice to my readers.
There is a reason why this blog is now titled “Naughty Guys with Strong Stories.” I didn’t do that by accident.
As a side note, there is a difference between erotica and erotic romance. But erotica (not erotic romance) is also a strong story with erotic scenes. Erotica is not just hop into be and start going at it. And if you take the erotic scenes out of the story the story should still stand on its own. So there is not a distinct difference between erotica and erotic romance with regard to the sex. I write them both. I’ve been writing them both for many years. In every single call for submissions I’ve ever answered the editor has always asked that the erotica (not just erotic romance) have a strong storyline. 
It’s all about the story.  
Orson Scott Card Pleads

Author Orson Scott Card recently made headlines again when he issued a plea to those who plan to boycott the film version of his book, Ender’s Game…I guess in reply to all the anti-gay comments he’s made in the past.

What many of my readers might not know is that Orson Scott Card is a member of the National Organization of Marriage, NOM, that has been fighting same sex marriage for many years. I’ve posted about this a few times.

I was going to share this FB post about how NOM (National Organization for Marriage) works against marriage equality in a Huff Po piece written by former Presidential candidate, Fred Karger, but then decided to post it here on the blog because I’d like it to get more exposure.

Since I wrote that post, and others like it, Karger has continued to work hard to help in the fight for equality. He also made history in the last Presidential election as the first openly gay candidate ever to run for President.

In any event, NOM is not the only part of Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay history. You can read more about his anti-gay history here. And if you do the simplest search with his name you’ll be directed to many others. He’s never hidden how he feels about his beliefs.

In this article he makes a statement that almost sounds like a combination of bitterness, arrogance and begging at the same time. I think I even heard an “I dare you,” somewhere between the lines. But I could be wrong about that.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

As a resident of Pennsylvania where gay marriage is NOT legal, and as someone who has been with his partner for over twenty years, I know for a fact that I’m not at the same level of equality as those who live in states where gay marriage IS legal even with the recent supreme court ruling. I’ve posted about this, too.

But I honestly don’t know how to get that point across any clearer, as things stand right now as I write this post. Yes, the ruling was historic and it brought us all one step closer to full equality. Yes, I’m thrilled it happened and I’m thrilled for same sex couples who live in states where they are fortunate enough to be recognized. However, Tony and I, and millions of other gay couples in this country, are basically still screwed and we are still outlaws.

The bottom line is that Orson Scott Card wants us to forgive and forget, to go see the movie about his book, and he clearly thinks the gay dollar must have some significance. You can choose for yourselves. I won’t be running to the local theater any time soon for Ender’s Game. This isn’t about tolerance. I have no problem tolerating Orson Scott Card, and I have no problem respecting his beliefs and opinions, or his right to free speech. But I do NOT have to support him, or anyone associated with him, financially.