porn

Anne R. Allen on Blogging; Beekman Mortage Lifter; The Bluest Eye Called Porn

Anne R. Allen on Blogging

There were so many things I wanted to post about last week and didn’t get a chance, and this is one of them. Anne R. Allen is a blogger and author I’ve posted about before. And now she’s giving advice about blogging that I thought was interesting. She is, from what I’ve seen, the consummate blogger.

If you are interested in trad publishing, this quote below is good advice. In full disclosure, I have not followed most of these blogs in a while. However, I still do follow one of them (Bransford’s) and I usually find something worthwhile. The only reason I don’t follow the others is because I don’t need to know anything more about querying. But if you don’t know anything about querying, I suggest you find blogs like these to learn about it. It’s a skill that will follow you throughout your publishing career, especially when it comes to writing your own book descriptions for your published works. It’s important to “hook” an agent with a good query. It’s 1000 times more important to “hook” readers with your book description. And that book description not only has to hook the reader, but also be accurate. If not, you will pay a price with reviewers.

If you hope for a traditional publishing career, you should also be regularly visiting agents’ blogs like Janet Reid’s and Kristen Nelson’s and former agent Nathan Bransford’s to find out how the traditional publishing process works. You can also interact with other writers who comment on the blog.

This is important, too.

Your blog can spin a good yarn, make people laugh, provide information, or all three, as long as you put it in your own honest, unique voice and you’re not too whiny or preachy. (Although experts generally advise against fictional yarns. More on that below.)

In other words, keep it real and don’t screw around. I’ve seen what has happened to some authors who created fake blogs and it wasn’t pretty. I actually once made the mistake of starting an author blog with a pen name and I started such a category five shitstorm without even realizing it I shuttered the blog after two weeks and never returned to it. It freaked me out, and that’s not easy to do.

The Internet can be a nice place, but also a mean place, and if something doesn’t add up on your blog, there will always be someone who can’t wait to expose you, even if you are harmless. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I can stand behind everything I publish here on this blog, and I’ve never had any regrets. It also gives you leverage and freedom, not to mention the ability to sleep well at night.

The only thing I can add to this is that you want to stick with it. You don’t have to blog every day. But you want to keep some kind of consistency going. As a blog reader, nothing bothers me more than going to a blog and seeing the blogger hasn’t posted anything for over a month. What happens is people lose interest and they don’t come back.

Beekman Mortgage Lifter

I’ve posted about “The Beekman Boys” before a few times. I’m on their mailing list and I’ve been following their mortgage lifter plan. (I think Tony and I need one of those mortgage lifter plans, too. Maybe we could raise pachysandra; we have two acres of it here.) In any event, this is what they are doing now.

From my inbox:

The woman who helps us with our book-keeping (math is not our strong suit,) recently got an email from the company who makes accounting software, Intuit. Apparently Intuit is hosting a contest in which they will pay for a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl for one lucky small business.

We immediately thought of our “Mortgage Lifter” sauces. As you know, 25% of the profits from all “Mortgage Lifter” products go towards helping struggling small farms. Our goal is to get “Mortgage Lifter” products into every major supermarket.

How cool would it be to have a commercial all about helping small farms in the freakin’ Super Bowl?! And think of the money that would be raised for farmers!

So, to get through this first phase of the contest, we need your vote. Please go to this link to our entry, scroll a bit down, and hit the “Vote” Button.
There are also a few other things of interest going on at Beekman.

The one hour video special about our wedding will be available for downloading on Amazon on September 21st! Until then, our friends at the production company are releasing one teaser video each week- with PolkaSpot herself as narrator!

You can check that out here. And here.

The Bluest Eye Called Porn

You know how I’m always talking about how there’s no set definition of porn, even though some people decide to define porn on their own terms all the time. Well, I think this is the perfect example of that. They are now calling Toni Morrison’s classic novel, The Bluest Eye, porn. And, the entire post to which I’m linking has put a spin on something serious and made it sound frivolous and wrong. I’ve read The Bluest Eye multiple times, at various points in my life, and I have never once considered this book to be porn or obscene. In fact, it’s one of the most important books I think I’ve ever read in my life. It changed me, and when  a book can change you there’s something more to it than just words and sentences on a page.

The Bluest Eye is the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, who prays every day for beauty: for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to fit in. As her life begins to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife, such as being raped by her father and beaten by her mother, she finally appeals to Soaphead Church, a pedophile, to help her attain blue eyes. After being impregnated by her father, she loses her baby and ultimately loses her mind.

Read more at http://politichicks.tv/column/warning-graphic-common-core-approved-child-pornography/#qh4T64JIkUhQiMmi.99

The reason this all came about is because The Bluest Eye is on a list for 11th graders. That’s a junior in high school.

When the blogger says this I cringe when I read it.

I understand that after reading those excerpts a lot of you may be angry that this is approved for reading in any school. I could probably end the article here.

Either she hasn’t read the book in full, has no empathy or understanding of the cultural aspects handled in the novel, or she just wanted to put a spin on something controversial to get attention.

If you have not read The Bluest Eye, I highly recommend you go out and find a copy. It is not porn.

Colin Farrell Sex Video and Erotica/Romance

I’ve posted before about what I think the differences between porn and erotic romance are. Though it can get more complicated because it is so subjective, I think erotic romance has sex with a storyline and the sex should move the storyline forward. Porn is just sex with no story. Even erotica that’s not romance should have a storyline, and the sex should move that storyline forward. How much sex is too much or too little depends on the author and the reader.

This is just my opinion, and I know there are some who will disagree with me. I know people who believe that whether or there’s a storyline or not if the sex is to detailed…or too much…they consider that porn. I’ll never argue with them because no one’s really come up with a set definition of porn, so I just do what I think is best with my own fiction and I mind my own business. I also follow the guidelines of what most publishers consider taboo and I don’t cross those lines. The only time I get frustrated as a reader is when something is marketed and promoted as erotica or erotic romance and there’s either no sex, very little sex, or some kind of vanilla pg rated sex that’s being passed off to sell books. Then, as a reader, I feel frustrated. I would much rather know what to expect and not be disappointed one way or the other.

When I released two versions of “Chase of a Dream,” with and without sex scenes, I tried to cater to both groups. I also wanted to see if  removing the sex scenes could actually be done without hurting the book. I found it not only can be done, but I only had to remove about 7,000 words from the book. I doubt I’ll be doing this again any time soon with erotic romance. One, because I don’t want to start self-censoring myself. And two, because I’m writing erotic romance and erotica and there are supposed to be sex scenes.

As I said, it’s hard to define what’s porn because so many have different opinions about it. But I’ve always been curious about it. When a friend sent me a link to that infamous alleged sex video with Colin Farrell recently, I was curious about it and I watched it in full. I’m not linking to it here because the woman in the video has already received more than what I consider her fair share of attention. And I don’t think Farrell ever wanted the video released in public. But it was interesting for me as an author who writes a lot of sex scenes because that video was a good example of what I consider porn. I’m not judging it. I’m just calling it that.

There was nothing romantic or emotional about it. And it wasn’t very good in more than one respect. The ridiculous woman in the video is either inept in bed or she wasn’t into Farrell, because I found myself eager to fast forward more than once. Actually, Farrell wasn’t bad at all and he lives up to his reputation. And though the things he did to the woman were far more detailed and accurate than what she did to him, it was enough to make any gay man scream and clamp his knees shut.

But I’m not reviewing Farrell’s alleged sex video here (I say alleged because who knows if it really was him…it sure looked like him, but I’m still not certain), and I’m not trying to define porn in a general sense. I’m just casting my own personal opinion about what I think the difference between erotic romance and porn is and anyone can feel free to disagree with me. I’ve always been open to discussion with this topic because I’ve always been so on the fence about it. In books, I just try to go with what I think the characters would do. If I think there should be a sex scene and it works with the story, I write it and I don’t hold back.

I can tell you one thing: not everyone agrees and I don’t think there will ever be a clear concise definition of porn…or even erotic romance for that matter. I posted about Levi Johnston’s Playgirl photos a while back and how Sarah Palin thought they were porn and he didn’t even show full frontal as far as I know. For Playgirl Magazine, I actually thought his photos were artistic.

I have been slammed more than once for writing sex scenes that some find too explicit, and sometimes I even understand where they are coming from. I’ve also written parodies of sex scenes that were intended to be funny and have been taken way too seriously…and I’ve always been stunned that someone would take them so seriously. I joked around once in a book about a burping penis and you’d be amazed at how seriously THAT was taken. There’s one sour old woman author who is still talking about it. But I’ve never tried to define either porn or erotica, and I’m not going to start now. And the only rule I have is that I try to stay away from people who do.