Calls for Submissions, love and leather

Hi, all–

I’m a little late to the party, but found out that Radclyffe’s Best Lesbian Romance 2013 through Cleis Press is up and running and ready to accept submissions. You can go to this link (RadNews!) and there on the left, you’ll see “Best Lesbian Romance 2013” link. Click that, and a pop-up for a .pdf will show. You can thus print it out for easy peasy reference. (Deadline March 15, 2012)

You can also find it here, at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association.

The ERWA also has some other calls for submissions:

JMS Publications is looking for LGBT short stories. See here (deadline Dec. 30, 2011).

EDITED TO ADD: Hi, all–Victoria Oldham noted (see comment below) that JMS seems to be a little tight with story rights. So, make sure you check into that if you want to work with them.

Also according to ERWA, Bradley Publishing is looking for romance, too. Check details here.

And Laura Antoniou is looking for submissions (heh!) to her leather anthologies. Click this link. One has a deadline of Dec. 31, 2011 and another has a deadline of January 31, 2012, and another February 28, 2012. If that’s your gig, go check it out!

There. That should keep you busy for a little bit…

Happy writing!

Sunday readin’ and watchin’ tip

Well, okay, it’s actually a Sunday readin’ tip and a Monday watchin’ tip.

Tomorrow (Monday) begins the new season of the detective show Rizzoli and Isles, on TNT. The show features Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. It’s a great buddy cop show, and actresses Angie Harmon (Rizzoli) and Sasha Alexander (Isles) have a really excellent rapport. Not since Cagney and Lacey have I been as thoroughly entertained by a chick buddy cop show as I am by this one.

So what’s in store for the new season? Here you go!

All rightie, here’s a cool thing, and feeds right into the “readin’ tip” aspect of this here blog. The series is based on books by author Tess Gerritsen. Now, don’t think that means the TV series follows the book series exactly. It doesn’t. The first in what could be called the loose “Rizzoli and Isles” series is Gerritsen’s The Surgeon (2001), in which Detective Jane Rizzoli is introduced, working with Thomas Moore. Boston-based, they’re trying to head off a serial killer who seems to have targeted a doctor who survived an attack by a serial killer elsewhere and two years earlier. Rizzoli is not the primary character in this book, but she is a strong secondary character.


You’ll find Maura Isles introduced as a secondary character in one of her standalone medical thrillers, 2007’s Bone Garden as well as in the Rizzoli and Isles books.


So what’s reading Gerritsen’s mysteries like? She’s dark. That is, it’s like reading Patricia Cornwell‘s brilliant first Scarpetta books. Grim but engaging, with accurate medical details because of Gerritsen’s own background — she’s a physician. The TV series has a dark edge, but you’ll find light touches of humor and family that maybe don’t get expressed as readily in the books. I like what TNT has done with Rizzoli’s character, and I like the softer edges of some of the episodes. With regard to the books, Gerritsen is a strong writer, employing excellent craft with an eye for character and dialogue. But it’s not light-hearted work, so if you’re expecting the TV show in book form, you will be disappointed. Instead, think of the TV show as a nice alt-universe for two strong Gerritsen women. Enjoy both books and TV show, for different reasons.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy watching!

Awesomely cool writing tip

This comes from one of my fave bloggers and writer-guys, Chuck Wendig. He can be a little raunchy with the tips, but he’s always right on.

This week, Chuck enlightens us with 25 tips for writing dialogue, and I gotta tell you. I think dialogue can make or break a character, pacing, and a story. Here are some of MY thoughts on that.

What I really like about Chuck’s tips here is that he nails the importance of good dialogue and its role in plot. Here’s a taste:

3. Sweet Minimalism
Let’s get this out of the way: don’t hang a bunch of gaudy ornaments upon your dialogue. In fiction, use the dialogue tags “said” and “asked” 90% of the time. Edge cases you might use “hissed,” “called,” “stammered,” etc. These are strong spices; use minimally. Also, adverbs nuzzled up against dialogue tags are an affront to all things and make Baby Jesus pee out the side of his diaper, and when he does that, people die. In scripts, you don’t have this problem but you can still clog the pipes with crap if you overuse stage directions. Oh, heavy dialect and sland? Just more ornamentation that’ll break the back of your dialogue.

6. Shape Determines Speed
Short, sharp dialogue is a prison shiv: moves fast ’cause it’s gotta, because T-Bone only has three seconds in the lunch line with Johnny the Fish to stitch a shank all up in Johnny’s kidneys. Longer dialogue moves more slowly. Wanting to create tension? Fast, short dialogue. Want to create mystery? Longer, slightly more ponderous dialogue. Want to bog your audience in word treacle? Let one character take a lecturing info-dump all over their heads.

And there are 23 more, just waiting for you to peruse

Happy writing, happy reading!

snazz up your wardrobe

with some groovy tees from my webstore, Funk Munkee Junction!

You’ve read my mysteries. Why not wear ’em? Here’s a sample:

Huh? Huh? SEXY, right? You’ll also find the designs for State of Denial and The Ties that Bind over there, too. And you’ll find some cool-ish designs that promo Funk Munkee Junction, an outlier of Andi Land. 8)

Heads up–the book covers and photo work best on cups and tees, and stick to lighter colors on the tees. The ringer tees look pretty cool, too.

And there’s also some personal artwork from a previous life available. This photo of Chimayó, New Mexico, looks pretty cool, I think:

I’m working on getting some images for my sci fi ready, too. But in the mean time, maybe you’ll find something you like.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy dressing!

JD Glass rocks! And she’s got a new project!

Hi, kids–

Detracting from my Saturday apocalyptic ramblings to let you know about a super-cool project from JD Glass, the ultra-cool and edgy writer of books like American Goth and Punk and Zen.

source: Bold Strokes Books

JD is a modern-day Renaissance woman. Not only does she write (she’s a 2006 Lambda Literary Awards finalist), but she’s also the lead singer in the band Life Underwater AND she’s an artist of the drawing variety. She’s also an EMT. See what I mean? JD is one of the hardest-working women in and out of showbiz, and probably one of the nicest people I’ve had the good fortune to meet. She’s also got a ragingly cool new project in the works.

If you’re not familiar with her writing, check out Punk and Zen, which is a great lead-in to her latest project, called Core, a rock n’ roll novella with the soul of a graphic novel and the heart of a garage band.

source: Outlines Press

I have this feeling that you’re going to want to check this out, because what it does is what a really cool DJ mix does: two seemingly disparate elements seamlessly fused together into one helluva performance reading experience. Reading and looking through Core is like going to see your fave punk band at New York’s CBGB back in the day, when you wore your leather biker jacket and your black Converse high-tops with your skinny jeans and ripped Ramones shirt and you freakin’ spazzed your head near the stage, screaming “I Wanna be Sedated” at the top of your lungs. It’s your favorite artsy postcards taped right next to your concert ticket stubs, a novella/scrapbook/picture book that I guarantee will make you dig in your closet for your Converse and Wayfarer shades.

You can pre-order your copy now, via PayPal.

And for those about to rock, I salute you!

Sunday in Seattle (I wish…)

Hi, all–

I am a huge fan of Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is one of my fave regions in this country, and I love visiting. Seattle has a great literary and arts scene.

If you’re a writer-type of spec fic — which I am — Clarion West runs an awesome workshop. Here’s some skinny:

The mission of Clarion West is to provide a high quality educational opportunity for writers of speculative fiction at the start of their careers.

Speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and slipstream) gives voice to those who explore societal and technological change along with deeper considerations of underlying archetypes of human experience. Clarion West brings new writers to the field of speculative fiction by providing a venue for a transformative experience in the form of a lengthy and intensive workshop focusing on literary quality, diversity of viewpoints, range of material, and other essential qualities.
source: Clarion West website

Clarion West is also doing a free readings series over the summer.

And because I also write mysteries, you MUST NOT leave Seattle without visiting the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. If you go, ask for Fran. She’ll hook you up with great recommendations and stories as well as local Seattle tips for food and drink. Tell her Andi sent you.

And, if you have time, see if you can catch a reading by Gina Ranalli, a horror/bizarro writer who’s one of my faves in the genre. She’s a local up there, and does events on occasion. Tell her Andi recommended you check out her books.

Oh, and because I’m a freaking music fanatic, stop in at the Experience Music Project museum, which blends creative innovation, technology, and pop culture/music. Awesome.

And yeah, if you’ve never been to Seattle, swing by the Pike Place Market and take a ride up into the Space Needle. TAKE YOUR CAMERA. The views from the Needle are freaking unbelievable. I was at the Pike Place Market a few years back and my shoulder was bugging me from god-knows-what and ta-da the Market had an acupuncturist available and he fixed me right up. Maybe take one of these awesome tours — ghost or true crime (the Pacific Northwest has an…um…interesting true crime history).


Anyway, you can find or see just about anything at the Market. The last time I was there, fellow author Joan Opyr and I managed to end up in a crowd of people intensely interested and sort of tailing after a lesbian BDSM lite couple through the market, dressed in full S/M vinyl regalia (and both looked like freakin’ models), one in red, one in black. One had a studded collar around her neck, the other held the leash. Serious stiletto heel boots. Our conversation went like this:

ME: “Those are great outfits. Seriously.”
JOAN: “I like how they match.”
ME: “The heels on those boots could do some serious damage if she stepped on somebody’s foot. They’re probably also good for squishing bugs in corners.”
JOAN: “Takes real skill to walk in those things. Or wield them like weapons.”
ME: “Takes real skill to dress in that. I’d be better off painting myself red than trying to get in there.”
JOAN: “I’d paint myself black and then we could go out clubbing with them.”
ME: “Cool. But in this town, nobody would notice.”

I freaking LOVE Seattle.

All rightie, happy writing, happy reading, and happy traveling!

Cool “writers on writing” archive

Hi, folks–

I took Monday off. Kind of a Manic Monday, don’tcha know.

Anyhoo, I came across this really sweet New York Times archive. It’s called “Writers on Writing” and it’s a big ol’ list of articles done by various writers that addresses some aspect of writing. Super cool.

How about E.L. Doctorow on how novels are following films into a land of “fewer words”?

As more than one critic has noted, today’s novelists tend not to write exposition as fully as novelists of the 19th century… .The 20th-century novel minimizes discourse that dwells on settings, characters’ CVs and the like. The writer finds it preferable to incorporate all necessary information in the action, to carry it along in the current of the narrative, as is done in movies.

Or Annie Proulx (whose work I deeply admire), on inspiration?

A whole set of metaphoric shovels is part of my tool collection, and for me the research that underlies the writing is the best part of the scribbling game. Years ago, alder scratched, tired, hungry, and on a late return from a fishing trip, I was driving through Maine when a hubbub on the sidewalk caught my eye: milling customers at a yard sale. I stop for yard sales. Pay dirt. I found the wonderful second edition unabridged Webster’s New International Dictionary with its rich definitions and hundreds of fine small illustrations.

Or Alice Walker on meditation, John Updike on character, or Carl Hiaasen on plagiarizing from real life?

This archive is a treasure trove of gems from a variety of writers, from a variety of perspectives. Seriously check it out.

Happy reading, happy writing!

Vonnegut interviews people he never met

Okay, so I was totally just going to go on off to bed because the ol’ day job kicked my ass today, but I found this awesome bloglink from Brain Pickings and I just HAD to share.

Here’s Brain Picking’s link, BTW.

So I’ll pimp Brain Pickings while I’m at it–irreverent, esoteric, and just a lot of fun stuff over there, like this post: “Kurt Vonnegut’s Fictional Interviews with Luminaries.”

In 1997, iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut pitched an idea to New York public radio station WNYC: He would conduct fictional interview with dead cultural luminaries and ordinary people through controlled near-death experiences courtesy of real-life physician-assisted suicide proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian, allowing the author to access heaven, converse with his subjects, and leave before it’s too late. The producers loved the idea and Vonnegut churned out a number of 90-second segments “interviewing” anyone from Jesus to Hitler to Isaac Asimov. The interviews — funny, poignant, illuminating, timeless, profoundly human — are collected in God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, a fantastic anthology playing on the title of Vonnegut’s 1965 novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, some of the best cultural satire of the past century.

Brain Pickings gives you a link to “Letters of Note,” which tells you a bit more. Here. I’ll be totally pimping that site soon!

Anyway, enjoy!

Zombie-licious tidbit: housing!

Hi, kids! Happy Saturday! So my ever-alert sibling sent me the most awesome link yesterday. It’s the zombie-proof house. OMG.

Here is the link, from All That Is Interesting. (shout-out to ATII!)

And here are a couple of photos, to give you a sense of it all:

When it’s locked down:


Not very appealing, is it? I mean, in terms of zombie-proof-ness, that’s pretty decent. But wouldn’t you love to have a fab living space, too? Well, ta-da!


There’s also a drawbridge between building one and building two (building two houses a swimming pool).

I did a little research, and thanks to ATII, the designers of this “safe house” (probably not intended, necessarily, to fend off zombies but rather warfare or some such) are the firm KWK Promes. This house is located outside Warsaw, Poland. Here’s another link that gives you a ton of info about the house, along with more photos, thumbnail photos, and the plans of the house.

Seriously awes-matic, friends. The house is like a plant. It opens up in the morning and closes up at dusk. CRAZY! I couldn’t find a price for this pup, but at 6100 square feet with all those amenities and fortifications? I’m sure we’re talking serious moolah.

The only drawback to a place like this in a zombie apocalypse is if you don’t have access to food/supply lines. Because sure, the zombies will be gathered outside your giant concrete wall, but who cares? You can pick ’em off at your leisure, I guess (there’s a disgusting, macabre image for you) while your kids are frolicking in the yard or the spouse is taking a few laps in the pool. But again, if you don’t have access to supply lines and no way to get to ’em, the house proves to be a prison as well as a castle.

However, I find myself strangely drawn to this thing. Seriously decorative protection.

There you go! Happy surviving and happy weekend!