Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Visit





I'm hanging out at Kathleen Hayes's blog today, and I have presents! Stop by and comment for a chance to win either Snakeskin Boots or Crazy Wind.

I could probably even be persuaded to give away some swag.  Just look for me parked under the mistletoe.

~xxx~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Snark - Love, Whiner


I love the sound of snark in the morning...

Make sure you visit Marie Sexton's blog for more delicious snark.

Tall, dark, and scowly. That sums up Whiner Stendhal. But that doesn't mean he has no soft, fuzzy feelings. Just look at the way he tells Connie that he loves him.

----------------
"I hate your car, but I love its driver."
----------------

We hate your truck too, Whiner. We really hate your truck.

This intimate moment between Whiner and Connie can be found in Make Your Stand, a Stendahl's Stand Choose Your Own Adventure.

~xxx~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Snark - Goldilocks?



Can you smell what the Snark is cooking?


Here's another snippet from the Hersh/Quint WIP. Hersh has left Quint alone at his house while he ran some errands. Quint took the opportunity to do a little exploring. And napping.


----------------

“Look who’s sleeping in my bed,” Hersh said loudly, waking Quint up. “In his Monday underwear. On Thursday. Get up. What are you doing in my mask, and where the hell are your pants?”
Quint didn’t realize he had drifted off until Hersh started yelling. He glanced up through the Stormtrooper mask and swallowed thickly. “Uh…. Trick or treat?”

------------------


Ah, Quint. How do you expect to get out of this one?


~xxx~





Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weigh Anchor

source: http://countyourlastblessings.tumblr.com

Cut the cord. Ditch the anchor. 

Allow yourself to float freely in who you are, not who you have been, who you are expected to be, or who others define you as. 

Because the you inside is all that matters, and it is more than enough for me. 

~xxx~

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Authorized



I authorize you. 


If someone tells you the door is locked, fuck them. 


If someone says you don't belong, fuck them.


If someone tries to stop you from creating your own paradise, fuck them.


Because no one is allowed say you aren't entitled to it.

No one.


~xxx~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Snark - Shunning IKEA





(with apologies to Hal David)
What the world needs now
is snark, sweet snark.
No, not just for some, but for everyone.


This is from a silly, MadLibby story I started this week. My NaNo has been getting a bit serious, so I needed to switch gears for a bit. 


Chief Maverick is holding a press conference detailing the gruesome murder of Humpty Dumpty.


----------------------------



"It had been shot, stabbed, frozen, and sliced. Then it was reassembled in the incorrect order. There were body parts all over the floor, but our doctors simply could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. It was as if this man had never even been to IKEA.” The throng of reporters pressed forward, all calling for the Chief’s attention. “Yes, you, Chastity Nemesis.”

Chastity stood up and adjusted the cups of her red bustier before her light brown nipples peeked over the tops, like a cup of coffee threatening to spill down the crotch of your pants when you jammed it between your legs at a fast food drive through.

“Chief,” she started in her sultry baritone. The male officers reached down to adjust their cocks behind their dark blue uniform pants, while the women squirmed in their seats, crossing and uncrossing their legs. “You believe this fiend has never been to IKEA? How is that possible?”

“Well, Chastity, in this day and time, there are still those who would eschew quality, low-cost furniture that is easily transportable but requires some assembly.”

“The barbarian! He must be caught!” she exclaimed, draping one hand dramatically over her eyes before she fainted dead away into the waiting arms of Zeal Floraslayer. 




----------------------------

Oh, he will be caught. Detective Rascal Lonejackal will make sure of that.

~xxx~


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Snark - Want a Hand?



As always, jog on over to Marie Sexton's blog to check out more snark. 


Today's Saturday Snark comes from Bennie's Wish. It's my holiday story - celebrating No Pants Day. Look for it on Star Wars Day next year (which coincidentally happens to be No Pants Day) next year. May the 4th be with you. But not your pants.


Bennie's catching Wish just as he *ahem* finishes something... ;)


---------------------

Wish panted a few times, then Bennie watched as his knees buckled and he started to fall. He rushed across the room and grabbed Wish under the arms to keep him from hitting his head on the edge of the counter. With Wish in his arms, he leaned forward and placed a kiss just behind Wish's ear.
"I would have helped you with that, you know," he whispered.

---------------------


That Bennie. He's a helpful guy.


~xxx~




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who Are You?

It's human nature. Our own minds are our worst enemies. We find our flaws and pick at them until that's all we see in the mirror. We give others the ammo to hurt us through our own insecurities. Then we wonder how we got here, and why it hurts so bad.

It's time to stop it. Quit worrying about who you aren't. All that matters is who you are. That is what you should be showing the world. Show us who you really are, and we'll respond accordingly.

So your assignment today is to write a list of who you are. Why you are special. Why you deserve to be noticed, celebrated, and loved. Because you do deserve it. I can see it.

It's time you did too.

~xxx~

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Snark - Semantics


I suck at keeping up with blogging, but I always make time for Snarkiday. Wonder why that might be?

Make sure to head over to Marie Sexton's blog for more specifics.

Today's snark comes from Snakeskin Boots again. This time, Jeff is talking about his apprehension with Deacon. 

------------------------
“You don’t trust him?”
I sigh. “I don’t know. I mean, I do trust him, but like you guys keep drilling into me—don’t be stupid about it.”
“It’s a little late for you to be thinking with your big head, isn’t it?” He’s smirking. “I can smell him all over this room. That shower practically reeked of dog.”
“Hey! He’s a wolf, not a dog.”
“Semantics.”
“Don’t be an ass, Deke.”
“No, that would be Jake.”

------------------------

Seems Jeff's not the only one capable of being a smart ass.

~xxx~

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Snark - Driving Snark



Snarkiday, what a day! 
Here's another one of my guys.


(You know you want to sing along)


Check out Marie Sexton's blog for more of the species.


Today's entry comes from one of Spunky's newest plot bunnies. Quint has royally pissed Hersh off by insulting his car, and Hersh has leaned over to pin him against his door.


“Whatever dude,” Quint said. He felt the car drifting to the edge of the highway. “Just grab the fucking wheel, okay?” The car started running over the warning grooves cut into the edge of the pavement. Hersh continued to stare at him. “Uh, driving by Braille?”
Dude, never insult a classic car, or its driver, while it's moving


~xxx~





Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Snark - Curious Aaron?





It's Snarkiday! This week, I'm pushing to finish Aaron's story. He's my spider monkey, and I hope you love him as much as I do. Maybe sharing a bit of him will help give me the push to wrap him up. He's only been simmering a year (Epic NaNo!Fail)

Swing over to Marie Sexton's blog to get more info, and check out the great linkities below to other entries.


------------------------------

All my life, I’ve been called ’monkey boy’. Stupid me never knew it was an insult. I just figured they knew. At least no one asks me about the man in the yellow hat anymore.
------------------------------



I think Aaron needs a hug. From someone tall, dark, and scowly. ;)


~xxx~

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gettin' Steamy


Well, it's finally here. I'll be down in N'awlins gettin' steamy with someone easy. No, that's not right. Getting Steamy in the Big Easy. Yeah. That's it. That's what I meant.

I'll see some of you there, and I'll miss those of you who can't make it, but watch this site for some goodies next week. 

~xxx~ 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Look Where You're Going

Standing on the edge, looking out. You know where you want to be, but getting there is the daunting part.

Taking that leap to be what you were born to be, away from what you have been, what you have been expected to be, is scary.

It really is a long way across and a long way down, but it's going to be an amazing journey. Expect that you will be kicked in the nuts a few times along the way. Just remember whether you make it, or just barely miss it, at least you tried. And that makes you special.

~xxx~

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Snark - When Connie Met Whiner


Snark. It's what's for breakfast.
Be sure to visit Marie Sexton's blog to get more information on the SnarkTour, and check out the linkities for more snark.

I'll share a free Stendhal's Stand choose-your-own-adventure style short at GayRomLit, so I thought I'd share how Connie met Whiner. This is from the short Cowboys and IT-ians, in the Riding Double anthology.

----------------

“I didn’t know you were the IT guy. Hell, they said Connie was coming. I expected a woman.” Whiner gestured at Connie, as if he could magically conjure a female IT specialist. Connie leaned back, pushed his glasses back up his nose, crossed his arms over his narrow chest, and cocked his head to the right to give Whiner a searing look.

“Well, I expected a whiner. At least one of us wasn’t disappointed.”

----------------

Whiner, doing his usual stellar job of making people welcome. Find me at GRL, and I'll share the link to more of their story.

~xxx~

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Almost Here...

Snakeskin Boots finally comes out Wednesday. I'm excited to be unleashing him on you guys.

Brad and Jeff stopped by to talk to the ├╝ber awesome M.J. and Piper over at Babes in Boyland. Head over to see what they have to say about how they came to be. While you're there, enter for your chance to win a copy of their story.

Here's a little teaser from the story.


----------------------------


We head back toward town in what I think is called companionable silence. The SUV rumbling under me, along with the heater blowing on me is making me sleepy. Or maybe it’s just post-orgasm tiredness. Or the fact that the thoughts running around my head have exhausted me. My mind has been racing about what happened tonight. Thinking about where we go from here. Not that I’m picking out curtains or towels or anything. Okay, maybe I indulged in a small case of the “what ifs.” What would it be like to live with a wolf? Can I really picture grocery shopping with Brad? What the fuck am I thinking? I’m presuming he’s going to actually stop the car to let me out, and now I’ve fast-tracked us into a relationship with a future. Who the fuck do I think I’m kidding? I huff at my lunacy and shift in my seat.
“You’re thinking awfully loud over there,” Brad chuckles. “Wanna talk about it?”
“Nah,” I sigh. No sense letting him know I’ve already shackled him with a house. I turn to look at him. “I had a good time tonight.”
“Just good? I must be losing my touch.”
“Well, that last part was pretty good.”
“Pretty good? I had a fantastic time.” He reaches over to pull my hand up to his lips. “Do you work tomorrow?”
My heart speeds up at the thought of going out with him again. “No, I don’t go back until Sunday afternoon.”
“What time should I pick you up?” I can see his dimples in the glow of the dashboard. And is it the oncoming lights that’s making those eyes sparkle?
“So, you’ll still respect me in the morning? Or is it just that I’m easy?”
“So you’re saying I’ll get a repeat? I’m so there.”
I cock an eyebrow at him. “You think you deserve one?”
“I promise I’ll be very good.”
“How ’bout picking me up at eleven?”
“A matinee?” He wiggles his eyebrows at me.
“Down, boy. Maybe if you’re a good puppy, we can discuss it.”
He growls at that. “Sounds like you have a plan. Should I be nervous or excited?”
“Depends on how well you behave,” I smirk. We’ve pulled up to the house. “How long do I have you for?”
“You think I’m going to let you slip away?”


----------------------------


What do you think? Is Brad going to let him slip away?

~xxx~


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Snakes Do It With Snark




It's Saturday Snark time again. Be sure to visit Marie Sexton's blog to get more information on the SnarkTour.



Here's a little more snark from Snakeskin Boots (OMG! It comes out in 4 days! *gulp*)

Jeff's dad isn't too happy about Jeff dating a wolf.

---------------
I turn on the shower while I get undressed. “Yes, Dad. I knew he was a wolf, I knew he was with the Donnelly pack, and I suspected he was an enforcer.”


“Then what on the gods’ green Earth were you thinking? Or is this a case of what you were thinking with?”


This would be a whole lot easier to discuss if I weren’t naked right now. Just thinking about Brad, and picturing those eyes, remembering the feel those hot hands on my ass. I turn around before Dad can notice just what’s doing the thinking right now, and yelp when I jump in the hot shower.

---------------

Hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to check out the other great linkities for more Saturday Snark.

~xxx~



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Snark - Snake Style



I'm always up for some snark. I am a natural smart-ass, so I'll join the fun of Saturday Snark. Hop on over to Marie Sexton's blog to get more info, and check out the great linkities below to other entries. 

The following exchange from Snakeskin Boots. (Did you hear it comes out October 5?)

Kim, my wereboa's best friend, has a question for him on the day his werewolf comes in to the bookstore where they work. Brad's looking for an educational book.
------------------


“Yeah, I’m looking for a book on the care and feeding of boas.”
Eggplant is on the tip of my flicking tongue, as my eyes travel south.
“Would trouser snake make you a cannibal?” Kim whispers behind me. Brad laughs as I whirl around, wide-eyed and turning purple. She doubles over laughing at my expense. “Sorry,” she giggles out through her tears.
“Break time!” I head off toward the back stairs, leaving the new best buds to their amusement.

------------------

~xxx~





Thursday, September 15, 2011

Charles Edward Had Me

On his blog.

To chat, you pervs! And I talked about such lady-like things as FilthyMacGyvering and cock-blocking. Go check it out.

~xxx~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Take a Break

You can't search for droids all day long. Grab a book, kick back, and take a break. You deserve it.

~xxx~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time.

When you feel like you've bit off more than you can chew, just try to remember that. Don't let the size of the task overwhelm you. You can do it.

Just take it one bite at a time.

~xxx~

Friday, September 9, 2011

You're Not Afraid of Snakes, Are You?

Ophidiophobia:  abnormal fear of snakes


Look at him. Isn't he cute? He's even smiling. He's happy you stopped by.


I have a confession to make. I don't like snakes very much. Is it a phobia? Not so much. More like an aversion. I grew up way out in the country, so seeing rattlers curled up and sleeping, or slithering away, wasn't uncommon. I have a healthy respect for the critters. But to cuddle up with a boa? I'm not so sure about that. 


So what on earth would possess me to write a story about a were-boa constrictor?


It started on a whim. Just me thinking "No one writes wereboas. Why not?" That led to "What would he be like? What would he think of all this wolf worship going on?" And I figured out that he'd be kind of like me. Self-depreciating, sarcastic, and trying to take everything in stride. After all, he's a wereboa! Who would even think of such a thing?


Oh.


~xxx~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wanna Trade?

If you thought the Crazy Wind cover was hot, wait till you see these Zef trading cards I'll have at the GayRomLit Retreat next month. I'll hang onto the SuperHot Bobby Joe cards, so you'll have to find me for those. Who knows? Maybe I'll give you a little something extra for your effort.

See some of you there!

~xxx~

 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Switched Off

Sometimes it feels like I always have to be on.

Something I've had to learn is that it's not possible. Having a bad day, or negative feelings, or just feeling off sometimes is just normal. We all go through it.

That's the price of admission to the human race.

And it's all right. You can be off. You can be down.

Go ahead and take that moment to yourself. We'll still be here when you're ready.

~xxx~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keep On Keeping On

It may make me seem like a pessimist, but one of my favorite characters is Eeyore. Yes, he is the sad sack of the bunch. Always down. The most in need of a hug.

And yet, he keeps trying. He puts himself out there. He opens himself to failure, not letting fear stop him. And he makes it through.

Even if he does tend to lose his tail once in a while.

~xxx~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not sure if you realize, but


Just thought you could use the reminder. You are special, just as you are.

~xxx~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Au or Al?


Everyone has one. That person, or group of people, who makes you feel completely inadequate.

Someone who is gold. They walk into the room, and they shine so brilliantly, so beautifully, they capture everyone's attention and imagination. Everyone wants to be near them. They are the bling.

And they remind you that you are aluminum. You are the pipes that bring the water so they can clean up and shine even brighter. You are the can that brings the soda that refreshes them.

Us lesser metals stand no chance standing next to them. They fill up the room when they enter, whether it's a broom closet or an auditorium.

But, the thing about us lesser metals? We are the support systems that provide the nourishment they need. We are flexible, so we can bend to fit the situation. We are lightweight, so we don't need huge support systems to keep us elevated. We are ubiquitous, and we are innocuous. So we are everywhere, even though you may not notice us.

I tend to think that makes us the greater metal.

~xxx~


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zef Flew the Coop!

He's over at L.C. Chase's blog today, hanging out, chatting her up. He told her stuff he wouldn't even tell me!

So I clipped his wings and turned them into some coloring pages for you. Have fun with them! I have the feeling he won't be needing them for a while.




~xxx~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday - I'm an Author? Edition

So I may not be moving more, or eating less crap, and my blogging has sucked, but something amazing did happen last week. Something big. Huge. Life changing–for me anyway.

I had my first release. As in my name is on the cover. Alone. I am standing on my own. Time to put out, I mean put up or shut up.  Make a splash or FAIL LOUDLY.

Crazy Wind blew onto the Dreamspinner website last Wednesday.

What else is going on?
You mean that's not enough? Okay. I have an official blurb for Snakeskin Boots, and a tentative release date (slithering in October 5!).

I'm a submissive, too. I mean, I have submitted. I mean, I finished my No Pants Day story and submitted it for consideration. The countdown is on to take it off.

~xxx~

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pornspiration to Publication

Ever wonder where writers come from?

I talked to the titular babes of Babes in Boyland, M.J. O'Shea and Piper Vaughn, about it, and a few other things.

They're also giving away a copy of my upcoming release, Crazy Wind. You know, that one about a certain cock-blocking sheriff? Yeah, he's ready for his close up.  Comment on their blog to enter to win, and who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky.




~xxx~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crazy Wind Blows

Well, I hope it doesn't blow blow, you know?


My first solo release (EVER!! – EEEP!) blows into Dreamspinner one week from today, Wednesday, August 10.


Am I ready for it? Does it matter if I am or not?


Hope you enjoy it.


-----------


Zephyr “Zef” Kokinos has just settled into his job as sheriff of a small ranching town when he gets a call to log a report for an animal shooting. He meets Bobby Joe Decker, foreman of Stendhal’s Stand and everything Zef has always looked for in a cowboy. But the real surprise is that Bobby Joe is aka “fckgfired,” a friend Zef has become close to online.

Bobby Joe only recently discovered the Internet. He’d set up a date with one of his online friends months ago, but since then he’s realized the only online buddy he really wants to meet is “vientoloco”—“crazy wind.” He doesn’t think he’ll ever have a chance, and then Zephyr blows into his life...



(and check out that HOT HOT HOT cover!)


~xxx~

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My First Cover

And damn, is it hot or what?

Thank you Anne Cain for more than doing justice to Zef.

I'll post the blurb later, but I couldn't resist introducing you to my cock-blocking sheriff.

~xxx~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday #Who Knows


All right, for those keeping score, it's Week 29, and this is Wednesday #28 of 2011. The last time I did a WIW, it was #15. Guess I've been a little off track lately. Epic failure on my part.

Half the year is gone. I'm looking around, trying to find it, but it's just not there. What the hell did I do with it?

How have I failed? Let me count the ways...

Stop Eating Crap? I think we all know that's a big, fat nope. Let's move along, all right?

Start Moving? Again, nothing to see here.

Blogging? Uh, yeah. Wish I had better news.

What Did Work? Standing in the middle of my brain, it doesn't feel like much. I've felt lost lately, and very much out of sorts because of it. Spunky the Muse has gifted me with some ideas, but he floats in, knocks up a plot bunny, then leaves like the deadbeat muse he is. 

Taking a step back, what did I accomplish? 
  • I finished a story for charity. That one has sparked an idea for a sci-fi cyborg story which may turn into my first novel.  
  • I co-wrote one of the Hot July Days stories for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group with Lissa Kasey.  
  • Bennie's Wish, my No Pants Friday story, is finished, too. It's a super fluffy, lightweight little novella. I'll submit it by the end of July.
  • Crazy Wind, the short novella featuring my cock-blocking sheriff, has a tentative release date of August 10. Edits are complete, and I've been through the galley proof. I'll share cover art as soon as I am able. 
  • Snakeskin Boots has entered the editing phase. I'm really looking forward to bringing my were-boa out into the world.
  • My website, http://xaraxanakas.com, is up and running. Go, poke around in there. Let me know what you think. There's a feedback button on every page, so just click on me. 

I guess I've been better than I thought.

What's Next? Stop being so damn lazy. Get off my ass, get my brain in gear, and get things going.

I've been making some progress on my Spider Monkey story. The current plan is to finish him by the end of this month. Can I do it? Anybody wanna lay odds?

After that? He'll need some companions, so I will focus on that pesky were-chicken and the tattooed biker librarian bobcat that's been marking some turf.  Really, it's not a silly as it sounds. And a were-bunny popped up to say howdy.

Then there's Stew. He works at a big-box home improvement store, and he's going to be a lot of fun to write, once Spunky gives me an actual plot to go along with his personality. There's also a yuppie-hunting rocker in the mix, and a Car!Porn idea I really hope I am capable of doing justice to. There might some follow-ups to a couple of co-authored shorts in the pipeline, as well. You never know.

In October, I'll be attending the GayRomLit Retreat in New Orleans, LA. I'll see a lot of you there. You'll be able to find me - I'll be hiding in a corner. I'll attempt to come out of my shell, but I am painfully shy. Is there anything you want to see from me there? Let me know. I'll see what I can do.

Seems like enough to keep me busy, yeah? Now, if only the shiny would dim a bit so I could focus...

~xxx~

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot July Days, Part II - The Excerpt


Here's a little snippet of our story.  Hope you like it!


Just in case you forgot (and because I love looking at it!)...


 Sink or Swim, by Lissa Kasey and Xara X. Xanakas
For the Goodreads M/M Romance Hot July Days
==========================

Beau woke me up before dawn that morning, shoved a travel cup of coffee at me, and practically dragged me to the car. He hadn’t even given me time to grab a shirt, which I guessed was okay since he wasn’t wearing one either. A cooler sat between our seats, a beach towel draped across the backseat, and Beau wore a crazy grin.
 
That smile of his had always been infectious. That day it hit me hard, and I couldn’t keep my heart from swelling. Obviously we were going to the beach, that wasn’t new. We went there often, and that was where we met. But when he turned away from the highway that would take us to the beach, I shifted to watch him and tried to determine what he had planned.

“Where are we going?”

 “It’s a surprise.”

 “It’s not my birthday, or our anniversary.” It wasn’t his birthday either.

“You want cake? We can go get cake.”

“I don’t want cake. At least not right now. I’m just wondering what has you grinning like a villain.”

Grinning like a villain? Does anyone still say that?” Beau’s smile was teasing.
 
“Did you win the lottery?”

“Maybe.”
 
Okay, now I was really curious. He didn’t buy lottery tickets. Beau was a planner. He always knew where he was going, and he never dove with filing a plan. “What’s that mean?”
He shook his head, happy expression remaining firm.
 
I scratched my very prickly jaw. “Are other people going to see us? Couldn’t you have let me shave first?”

He reached over and stroked my chin, the sensation shooting right to my cock. “I like you scruffy. And no, it’s just us.”
 
“In that case maybe you could take that hand a little further south.” And he did, but only to rest his warm palm on my thigh. “Not exactly what I had in mind.”

“Plenty of time for that later. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.”
 
We drove for almost an hour up to a hiking trail we hadn’t used since the summer we met. In fact, we’d come here on our first date. I’d been so nervous that day. Beau had been so far out of my league, I’d nearly had a heart attack when he asked me out. We’d hiked up to the top, taking it slow because I had been still recovering from an accident, and sat there, making out on the rocks overlooking the ocean. Best first date ever.

That morning the rich salty air brought strength and warmth to my heart. Beau grabbed the cooler, towel and my hand before dragging me up the path. I dug in my heels a little to get him to walk slower. He only had three inches on me, but I swear he was all legs. I nearly had to jog to keep up with his long strides. He pulled my hand up and kissed the back of it, softly, that heavenly smile still on his face.
 
We moved in silence, two parts of the whole, until we reached the top. The view was the same. Beautiful blue-green water, white waves crashing, and blue sky meeting water as far as the eye could see. I knew what he saw in the water, why he loved it so much. I knew he loved me, but sometimes I just wished he would look at me with that same glint of joy in his gaze.

He tugged me along with him. “Little further, Abe.”

“We’re not hanging here?”

“Nope. Got a better plan.”
I followed him over the rise of rocks and down a slight incline until a little valley came into view. The ground was littered with red pops of color. Flowers, much like the ones on his arm, decorated the open area. And though I couldn’t see the waves, I heard them crashing nearby in that peaceful swoosh-shoo sound.

Beau set the cooler and blanket down then pulled out a huge breakfast: California rolls, fruit, cinnamon raisin bagels, and honey nut cream cheese. He even had more coffee in a thermos.
 
I spread out the blanket, trying not to squish too many flowers and patted the seat beside me. “That was a long drive for breakfast on the beach.”

He plopped down and used a set of chopsticks to hold up a roll for me to bite into then took the other half for himself. “Anything for you, baby.”
 
I fed him a strawberry, letting him lick the juice off my fingers. We ate until I was ready to burst and lay down on the blanket. The scent of the flowers mixed with the salty air was oddly soothing. He rested his face on my shoulder, staring at me like he was trying to memorize the moment. I watched his eyes close in peaceful calm, his scruff tickling my shoulder.

After fishing my cell out of my pocket I tried to maneuver around Beau to get a picture of him sleeping so sweetly. But since my arm was half trapped under his head, the angle turned out a little weird. He must have heard the click because he smiled at me.
 
“You faking it?” I nudged him.

“Never with you, baby.”

==========================

Well? What do you think? Is your appetite whetted?
To be continued sometime in July...

~xxx~

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hot July Days - M/M Style

Well, they're doing it again.

For Christmas, the Goodreads M/M Romance group asked its author members to stuff their stockings. We wrote letters to the authors, and the authors stepped up to write the story behind the photo.

Now, they're asking us to help heat up July a little more. And boy, are the authors responding! My friend Lissa Kasey and I teamed up to bring you one of the 112 FREE (yes, one hundred twelve free) stories throughout July (and probably spilling into August).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Author,
I will leave the story up to you. What ever gets your creative juices going is fine with me. These men just need a story.


Thanks,
Lynn 

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Sink or Swim, by Lissa Kasey and Xara X. Xanakas

Beau has always been the center of attention, the first responder, dive master, and all around life-saver. When he gets a job overseas, Abram feels that he has to follow his lover, but he still harbors doubts of his own worthiness.

Those doubts come to a head during the long flight to begin their new lives. How far is Abram willing to go to keep Beau to himself? Sometimes in matters of the heart, you just have to dive in and sink or swim.

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You can start reading these stories on July 1 (that's only a couple of days away!). Is your AC ready? Can you handle the heat?

~xxx~

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nerd Glasses

I've been wearing mine a lot lately, but that's okay. Nerd glasses make everyone cuter, don't they?

Let your nerd flag fly!

~xxx~

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Labelling

Doesn't matter what label you put on it, we're all still human.

Isn't that all that should matter?

~xxx~

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CAN'T! won't.

Is there a difference between can't and won't? There used to be.

Can't means you are incapable of doing something. I can't be elected president, because I can't imagine an instance where I would run for office.

Won't means you have chosen not to do something. I won't stand for hate and bigotry. I won't support hurtful messages.

Very different meanings. But it seems as though can't and won't have become interchangeable. It seems can't has become the de facto excuse for the entitled. "I can't do it" means "I won't even try."

So why should I have to do it for them when they won't do it for themselves? Why is it acceptable for The Entitled to just drop everything, say "I can't", and expect that I'll pick it up for them. What happened to the drive to succeed?

I'm all for helping someone who needs it, but all too often, it's the "I won'ts" that take, rather than the "I tried, and I need help."

Conversely, when I say I won't do something, it doesn't mean that I am incompetent, or that I am not capable of doing it. It means I have chosen not to.

Can't isn't the magic word that means you don't even have to try anymore. And it's not the magic word to get me to help you out. That's please.

After all, can't never could do nothing.


~xxx~

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reminder

 

I really try to keep positive. Upbeat. Suzy-freakin-Sunshine.

But sometimes, it's not so easy, especially when it feels like the world is out to get you. 

Sometimes I need a reminder to just accept that crap happens.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that the only thing I have complete control over is my reaction to what happens around me. Even if that reaction is to get angry, to retreat and regroup, and to move on to Plan B.

Sometimes I need to just remember to tell the negativity to get the fuck out of my way, let the sunshine in.

So, I'm going to choose to have a great day, even though it's yet another fucking Monday.

~xxx~

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Still Do


Dear Spouse,


I know I joke about trading you in, about still taking you for a test drive, about hanging on to you until something better comes along.


The funny thing about that joke? It's on me. There is nothing better. I know that, and I knew that way back then. You are the better. The one that makes me better. Try harder. Makes me want to be what you think I can be. When that bar is sometimes seems too high for me to even think about reaching is when you put me on your shoulders, making me twenty feet tall, ready to steal the world if it won't come quietly.


So, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in good times and bad, I still do.


~xxx~

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hafta! Gotta. Wanna?

  • fic•tion [fik-shuhn] is any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s). (from wikipedia)


This may piss some of my peers off. I'm okay with that. Ready for my next brilliant revelation?

You did not have to write that novel.

You wanted to write that novel. You may have felt compelled to write it. But, at the end of the day, you did not have to write it.

Believe me, I understand how characters can get into your head and scream to be let out. Heck, I have a whole barracks of characters, and they all take turns running up to the glass and bang on it to have their stories told. But, as much as they egg me on, it's still a want, not a need. 

When you have to write something, you are doing it for a purpose. You are trying to sell someone something–whether it's selling the boss on approving your budget, selling your constituents on keeping you in office, or recruiting more bigots for your hateful diatribes. The most important piece of your writing is THE MESSAGE, whatever your message is. Buy this. Validate me.

When you want to write something, you are doing it to tell a story. To answer  'I wonder what would happen if....'  The most important piece of your writing is sharing your creations. You're giving the world a piece of you, honing it, and putting a piece of yourself out there. Here I am. Enjoy me. 

That's not to say you can't pass something meaningful into your fiction. You can present an idea, or blend a movement into your stories. You're basing your work on humans, after all, for the most part. People have thoughts, and ideals, and beliefs. That's part of being human. Your fiction shouldn't ignore these things, and done as a part of the story, can be very effective and move people to tears, or to action. That's part of what all writing is. Manipulation. Pure and simple.

When your primary goal in your fic•tion is THE MESSAGE, you will fail, only grabbing the most loyal to your cause. Your fictional novel goes from being entertainment, with a side of activism, to an all-out manifesto. Bludgeoning your readers repeatedly with your MESSAGE will turn readers off. Your message will get lost, and the backlash will be astounding.

We've all read examples where the have to write has contaminated the want to write. Believe me–it shows. 

You owe it to your characters to showcase them, you owe to your readers to respect their ability to understand and interpret things for themselves, and you owe it to yourself to enjoy the fucking ride, without cursing the journey.

~xxx~