Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'll Be Animated Every Night, The Grass Will be Greener on the Other Side

Lost in all the nonsense I've had to deal with in the last week, was some really good news. Not only have I completed and sold my first novel, it turns out said novel is my 100th publised piece. I double and tripled checked my numbers and it is true. 100 published (or soon to be published) fiction stories/novellas. I'll have more information about my novel very soon, but after all the distractions, it's nice to be able to focus on some positive thing again.

When I got my first short story accepted back in 2008, I never thought I'd be where I am right now. I can honestly say this is the best and most rewarding thing I've ever done. And, even with all the slings and arrows that have come up along the way, I wouldn't trade a second of it. Finally doing what I love has been worth all the bullshit it took to get here.

Also, in other good news, my story That's The Rub, is now available in the collection Kept Against His Will II, published by STARbooks Press. You can buy your copy right here.

100 original pieces in 4 years sounds like a nice number. To celebrate, I've given myself (and everyone else) a little extra Man Candy. Sorry it's a few days late.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Walk Right Through the Door

I've spent the better part of the weekend, which I enjoyed at the Mothership, trying to decide whether or not to write this post. I don't want to cause trouble and to be frank, I'm getting a bit tired of talking about the whole thing, but the more I thought about it, the more I had to get my feelings out.

On Wednesday, I got an email informing me that someone had submitted one of my stories as their own for an anthology. To make matters worse, I also found out that the same story was for sale on Amazon, under a different name. I won't get into all the deeply stupid particulars of how the story fell into someone else's hand, but those are the facts. But, it's what happened after that I find most troubling.

When I confronted the person in question, the response I got was very disappointing indeed. Instead of any shred of remorse or contrition, I got a diatribe about how they were not at all responsible for their actions. Not only that, I got insulted. Basically, I was told that a person like them would never have to steal from an 'amateur' like me. But, the fact is, they did. Whether I am to believe that they did so 'unknowingly' (how do you not know whether you wrote a story? I mean, come on!) is not the point. You took a story that you knew wasn't written by you, changed a few things, put your name on it and called it your own. That is not writing. THAT IS THEFT. Plain and simple. By any standard definition, that is plagiarism. Whether or not you thought you were able to do so because of the crazy ridiculous shady dealings of a publisher who takes stories from other people, turns around and does what they please with them because they think they own them outright, putting your name on someone else's work is still wrong. No matter how many details you change, you didn't write it. It is also unethical and quite simply, not something a professional writer would do. Even with exclusive publication rights, you can't take someone else's name off a story and call it yours. Not how it works.

I chose not to ask the person any of the questions that have been dancing in my mind for the last few days, because I knew from their original response that I would get no satisfaction. And, I knew that nothing I said would make them feel the shame they should feel but clearly didn't. Also, I was not interested in going to war with the righteously justified who know in their heart they are wrong. So, I took the high road and kept it all inside. Until now.

More than anything, more than the anger and the rage, I feel hurt. That someone would do this to someone and then be so cavalier about it, as if because I am not of their 'stature', it's okay to steal from me, is beyond crushing. I cherish each and every word I put down on paper and send to someone. When I get into a book, I am honored and thrilled. For someone to take that from me, to take my words and treat them so frivolously, well, I am just so sad. There really isn't any other word for it. Not just because of everything I've mentioned thus far, but also because of the lack of empathy this person seems to possess. To say that you are too much of a big shot to steal from someone you stole from, speaks to a lack of awareness that just makes me ill.

So, that's how I feel. I've taken care of the business aspects of this incident, but the rest of it, well, that will take some more time to fix. Until then, I'll be asking myself the same question that has been on my lips from the beginning.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It Only Takes One Match to Burn a Thousand Trees

I call this picture Australia porn. This is the view from Tamarama Beach in Sydney. The surfer is a nice extra touch, don't you think? It's not my usual Man Candy, but I thought it would do quite nicely. I'll be back shortly with some great news, but I need some time to put my thoughts together. Until then, I'll just be staring dreamily at this photo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Could Really Use a Wish Right Now

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We made the pilgrimage to the Mothership for some ham, some Easter eggs, and some good times. It was a top notch trip from hot dogs at Yaccos to the sugar cookies hand made by my nieces and nephews. Speaking of, finding out my nearly 5 year old niece was analyzing the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' makes me smile in ways I can't even explain. The same way I smile at my 14 year old niece's crush on one of the little Brits from One Direction.

Now, I shall finish this WIP this week, if it kills me. Hopefully it won't. I hope you're not too full on candy to enjoy the Man Candy this week. He's lovely, no?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

You Know I Can't Let You Slide Through My Hands

Awesome news to report! My novella, One More Summer, has made the Amber Allure Best Seller list for March!! Thanks to everyone who made this possible by buying a copy. Those of you who haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?

Here is the complete list of Best Sellers for the month! There I am, Lucky Number 7!

1. Finally His - Shawn Lane
2. Pushing The Envelope 7: Yours Sincerely - Kim Dare
3. Games Boys Play - Fae Sutherland
4. Diversion - Eden Winters
5. Sins Of Profession - India Harper
6. Subject 13 - Ethan Stone
7. One More Summer - Heidi Champa (Squee!!)
8. Joe Gallant - Adrianna Dane
9. The Rivals - Christiane France
10. Full Disclosure - Sean Michael

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reckless Abandon, Like No One's Watching You

It was another great weekend. Saturday night, the man and I headed to DC to see the Temper Trap at the 9:30 Club. It was an amazing show by a terrific band. If you're reading this and are saying, "Who the hell are the Temper Trap?", I'm sure you've heard at least one of their songs. Their big hit is called Sweet Disposition and you can listen to it here. If you haven't heard it, well, it's a fucking fantastic song and you should listen to it right now. I'll wait . . .

Now, I'm back to work on my latest WIP, which is hopefully close to being finished. I'm tackling a bunch on new projects soon and I'm ready to put this baby to bed. My Man Candy inspiration this week is quite lovely, don't you think? Say hello to the Manly Sea Eagles, a National Rugby League team in Australia and proudly sponsored by the fabulous company AussieBum. Brilliant marketing, if you ask me.