Category Archives: IMO

Personal, politics, religion, exasperation.

TRADEMARKING WORDS

WHOPPER    BURGER KING    BK    JR

Those words are all trademarked. That doesn’t mean I can’t write “That fish he caught was a real whopper!” It means I can’t call my burger that if I own a restaurant. Here are some more presently trademarked words:  bubble wrap, dumpster, jet ski, memory stick, lava lamp.

No one gets a trademark by accident because a clerk in an office wasn’t paying attention.

There are so many. It’s not easy to get a trademark. It takes months or sometimes years.  There are a lot of legal hoops to jump through. You usually need a lawyer.

There’s actually nothing wrong with an author trademarking a word in a series title. In fact, it’s a standard thing to do in the industry. (See header image – source: http://www.sylviaday.com/best-selling-books/ ) Or trademarking the repeated word in the series titles. It’s similar to trademarking anything that identifies your product.  It isn’t immoral, illegal or unethical.

What is unethical, although not illegal, is copying a more successful author’s series title, using a similar font, naming your series the same thing as theirs in hope of getting their readers to read your books. The ones you can’t manage to sell on their own merit.

It’s cheating. It’s what makes authors trademark their series names and title words. Worse, it’s unprofessional, juvenile and simply the mark of a bad writer. But it’s not new.

Picking a pseudonym of KING is common for a newb horror writer. Putting it in all caps at the top of the cover, doing any of this tricky stuff that’s supposed to get you readers instead of just working hard to become a good writer, is all part of why indie authors get so little respect in the industry.

The author who trademarked “cocky” isn’t the problem.

Psychic and The Cube

montage
A friend and I have the same story about our first encounter with a Rubik’s Cube.

We fiddled with it for a few minutes, tossed it aside and never picked up another.  Or that was my story until I was writing Psychic. During some research I saw links to solutions. Being the Queen of ADDland, I watched one.

Then I ordered one.

Now, I’d have ten times as many titles out of I could just write nonstop for 8 hours a day. But writing is like surfing. You ride a wave but than you have to paddle back out ad sit in your board ad catch another wave.

While you wait you write emails or whatever. Solving the Cube was one of my whatevers.

I read somewhere that only about 2.3% of the population can solve a Rubik’s cube. I’m not one of them. I just followed directions. But, even following the directions and solving is something to be a bit proud of. There are  43 quintillion ways to arrange The Cube.  (43,000,000,000,000,000,000.) Those sharing their methods can’t account for all those possibilities so you do have to figure out sometimes how to adapt the thing you have in your hands to the instructions that don’t cover your scenario.

 

The current world record is held by Mats Valk, a Dutch teenager, who managed to solve it in 5.55 seconds.

Robots, however, been able to solve the Rubik’s cube even more quickly. The Cubestormer III robot built from Lego kits and powered by a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone solved it in 3.25 seconds in March this year.

Just thought you’d want to know.

You Write Your Books

I keep saying I don’t write romance because I don’t.

Fantasy is great. Romance or shifter or sci-fi or whatever, I’m down with fantasy.

I just don’t write it because I’m pretty sure I’d suck big time at it. I’m a person who reads nonfiction for pleasure. And we usually write best what we read most. When I did read fiction, I usually read mysteries. The author who influenced me the most was Truman Capote. He refined and popularized, some say invented, the “nonfiction novel” with the publication of In Cold Blood. It’s a kind of writing that is, by the fact of what it is, loosely-defined.

It’s what I write. Capote, whose literary shoes I’m not fit to tie, wrote mostly  fact that read like fiction.

I write fiction that insists on being true to reality. Not bound by it, but very much based in it. Camden Snow is physically based a real pro athlete. His accomplishments are mirrored in teen-aged Olympic medal winners. I write about BDSM clubs or sex from the experiences of my life and the lives of people I know. I write about being a cop as I was a cop and cops I knew. Hunter Dane poses for stock photos, nude or semi because a cop I knew did. You rarely find a lid with a Tamil burial jar. A clitoris is not a little nub. A comminuted femur fracture can take four months to heal well enough to bear weight.

Things are fictionalized or it would’t be fiction. Ben Hart makes sexual support devices that are about serving women instead of men. That’s wildly fictional, unfortunately.

My next book will be out …. soon. Not when I’d planned. Before Spring ends. It’s got graphic sex, as usual, because my boys can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves for more than five minutes. Like most of my stuff, it’s fact-based and a bit science-heavy.PSYCHIC2tohoAnd it has a really interesting list of research links.

I write love stories. But what’s inside the book is only what you find there.

“It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
ALBERT EINSTEIN

 

NO SMUT ALLOWED

When I started my writer’s journey, I was briefly on a terrible Reddit board about writing “smut.” I was told my covers and blurbs were’t sexy enough. That I’d be a failure and make no money if I didn’t write to market and follow the formula of the wildly successful smut-writers trying to help me. None of them gave their author names. There was no evidence anyone was wildly successful. They were all about money and zero about writing.

I don’t write smut. I write erotica. And there is a difference. Dale Cameron Lowry, MM romace author and my first blog reviewer, described it thusly when he reviewed On His Knees in May of 2017, here:

This isn’t a romance. … It’s not stroke fiction, designed to get the average reader off as quickly and dramatically as possible while they hold the book with one hand. …

On His Knees is erotica in the most basic sense: “stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals.” (Thanks for that definition, Sylvia Day!)

Here’s the thing: readers get off reading my titles. I write explicitly. Maybe too explicitly for some, I guess. But I see them, I feel what they feel, want what they want, fear and love and suffer and triumph with them. In and out of bed—or car or van or BDSM club playroom. Or in a bathroom hearing the music you know will kill the man you love and knowing you don’t have time to save him. double1lighter

They make me feel them.

And while I have very literally never written anything to arouse a reader, my message to you is: You absolutely get to get off reading this stuff. You get to cry and laugh and be confused. They are. I was. Have a damned orgasm if you are so inclined. I made a sort of joke about it in one of my promos for Snowed In because it really is a lot of sex.

The reader experience is theirs. And readers get to have feelings about what they read, because if they don’t, WTF am I bothering to write for? But what happens between the men I love is not any word that implies there is something wrong or cheap or dirty about what they do or who they are. Or who a reader is and how they  respond.

My message to readers is: If you just read my books for the sex, to get off and that’s all, cool. There’s nothing cheap or wrong or dirty about you, either.

addi-


 

Romance Writers of America and the Absence of Black RITA Winners

Romance Writers of America posted a tweet a few days ago with a link to this article: Board Commitment to RITAs and Inclusivity

Is there a problem?

According to the RWA article, less than 1% of finalists are black. So, how many black authors entered their books? They don’t know. ONLY 2000 ENTRIES are allowed. If 99 of them are from black authors, that’s less than 5% of the entries and a really big field to compete against. In which case, none of them winning at this point is a high-probability outcome. (ETA: The original % I posted was 1. A reader in comments pointed out the error. Thank you.)

So, the numbers are not the problem. That is, the simple fact that a black author has not won a RITA is not indicative of prejudice or process failure on the part of the RWA. I suspect the numbers are similar for all authors who include themselves under the POC umbrella.

So how are the contenders chosen, anyway?

The authors, themselves—or their publishers—enter the RITA, choose what category to enter in, and pay a fee to enter.

RWA wants a black RITA winner. I’m sure they’ll make one and absolutely let everyone know. But the choice to enter, to pay the fee, is with the author/publisher. If there’s an issue, it’s with the percentage of black authors who have joined the RWA. SO –

How About Actually Putting a Category in the RITA for POC romance books?

RWAcategories

Right between Contemporary Romance: Short and Erotic Romance they can add Diversity Romance. And that’s a lot more inclusive than just looking for a black author.

When you invite people to dinner, you have to make a place for them at the table.

addi-


ETA: I already removed a comment for ad hom. The topic is in the title. Individuals are not topics. I should remove the one I am answering, but there are two good points in it. If you want your comment read here, stick to the subjects of the article.  –addi

TRANS WOMEN IN THE OLYMPICS

Of course she does! What athlete doesn’t? And the International Olympic Committee seems to want to make this happen by changing the rules. Now, a woman who is  genetically XY can compete if she has a designated low level of testosterone for at least 12 months prior to the event. VOILA! All objections overcome. Without increased testosterone, all the inherent advantages of being born genetically male cease to exist. Right?

No.

Testosterone is the explanation for muscles getting bigger. But bigger isn’t the only factor in the performance of a muscle.

Faster muscles are so much better, if you’re lifting weights.

WTF are FASTER muscles? I hear you asking.

There are a variety of muscle fibers. XY people (men at birth) have a greater proportion  of what are called “fast twitch” fibers in their muscles—these fibers are the ones that provide the power. So, XY skeletal muscles are “faster” and produce a higher maximum output in terms of strength, than women’s.

The “slow twitch” fibers, provide endurance. XX people have more of these, those muscles are more fatigue-resistant, making them dandy for long-distance running, for instance.

Anyone born with the musculature of an XY human, is going to be able to lift more weight than an XX human of the same general size regardless of the testosterone levels.

In transgendered people, the amount and type of muscle fibers are not shown to change.

The way to develop fast twitch muscle fibers is to lift weights. Whether Ms. Hubbard has testosterone or not, she has a distinct advantage in strength over her XX opponents.

But what about the transgendered athlete born XX? Meet Chris Mosier:ChrisMosier

From Outsports:

The International Olympic Committee adjusted its trans-inclusion policy a couple years ago in part because of the success of duathlete and triathlete Chris Mosier in men’s competitions.

Duathletes and triathletes compete in endurance races. Chris Mosier gets all the testosterone benefits, but also has the higher ratio of slow twitch fibers giving him a distinct advantage over his slow-twitch deprived XY competition.

It’s easy as supporters of the LGBTQ community to see a headline about a transgendered person wanting to compete in the Olympics and automatically shout ABSOLUTELY!!!

But the differences between men and women are far more than simple hormones or personal identification. Biology makes us different from one another in so many ways. It all needs to be taken into account. And I fear the IOC is bowing to the political climate rather than protecting the integrity of international competition, which is their job.

I fear that because I cannot imagine how they don’t know these facts. I do, and I’m not even a fan of the Olympics. But I am a fan of science. If the International Olympic Committee is going to base an eligibility decision on human biology as it impacts athletic performance, they need to consider all the factors.

MM Does’t Mean Gay (necessarily)

Hunt

That guy on the right has quit talking to me until I talk about this. That’s Hunter Dane, homicide detective. And very good at it.

He is the Main Character in the Hunt&Cam4Ever series. (Behind meCam clears his throat. He’s on a short sofa with my Kindle in his lap.) Hunter’s back there, too, and I’m not turning around to see what he’s doing. 

ebd0b-bloodspatterblankdesat300
Cam

These men, if you’ve been following the series, have a pretty hot relationship, sex-wise. They also have a pretty amazing relationship otherwise, too. It’s evolving; title to title, things change. But the point here is that …

Hunter Dane is not gay. (He also doesn’t like labels and is rolling his eyes because he knows I’m going to use one.)  

 

BI-SEXUAL(ish)?

The thing about sexuality and gender is, it’s a spectrum. Probably the main reason Hunter resists even being called bi, though he grudgingly goes along because it’s what readers are used to. (He just said, “You’re a fucking writer, make up a better word!”)

OK, uh … Homo sapiens sapiens. But I didn’t make it up.

Hunter says he’s “Camsexual.” He’s a D/s switch and he’s all about power dynamics. His Domism (I did make that one up) is triggered by women.

MM doesn’t mean gay. Its means the story revolves around the relationship of two men and includes sex. It does not mean there won’t be mf sex.  Or ff sex.  Or mmm sex. 

Hunt and Cam’s story is not a romance; it’s a chronicle of these two men’s impact on one another. 

I don’t write gay romance. I write MM Erotica and a lot of BDSM. I write about all the stuff of my characters who are just as real as anyone, to me.

But mostly, I write about love. 

(Aaaand Cam just dragged Hunter off .  And it’s a one-bedroom apartment. … where’re my earplugs …