Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The New Normal Parody Shirley MacLaine; Elliott Deline Talks Transgender & Self-Publishing; 50 Shades Women Authors

Thanks to an overdose of "Downton Abbey" and DVR, and the fact that I don't watch that much TV, I'm catching up on episodes of "The New Normal." One of the shows I watched last night was too good not to share, and hits too close to home as well.

This particular episode deals with David and Bryan getting a puppy and learning how to raise it as a way to practice for when they have their baby. In one scene, the puppy gets sick and they have to take it to the animal hospital. It reminded of more than one time Tony and I have spent in vet waiting rooms, with me near panic, ready to jump at everyone.

While they are in the waiting room of the animal hospital, Bryan has a sort of melt down. I knew what he was doing the moment he started speaking. I started laughing before he finished. He went into a parody of the infamous scene in the old Shirley MacLaine film, "Terms of Endearment," where Aurora goes ballistic with the nurses because they aren't giving her daughter the pain killers she needs fast enough. Even the hospital waiting room resembled the scene from the film, and this was gay parody at it's best.

Of course they explained the scene with dialogue at the end for the straight people who would never get it. But I thought it was interesting to see this done for several reasons. One in particular is that I've parodied several straight films with gay romance and while most people "get" it, I still find myself explaining that these are parodies, they are supposed to be taken lightly as parodies of straight films, and they were written in the same spirit that the scene in "The New Normal" was done.

I also see a lot of gay male authors getting slammed these days for exercising their right to use gay humor in their books. I don't know how else to put silly as it sounds. Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. In "The New Normal" David is an obstetrician. Do you think that wasn't done as a joke? Or to show a little irony? The man is gay and he spends his working hours dealing with vagina? And this isn't meant as a slur toward women and it's not meant in a derogatory way. It's meant to be ironic and funny. And it's a good example of gay humor and how gay men look at life.

Elliott Deline Talks Transgender and Self-Publishing

I've been following indie author, Elliott Deline, since I first posted about him a few years ago. He wrote a book titled, Refuse, that's compelling, exact, and endearing. He also did what so many authors are doing now: he stopped waiting for the Janet Reid types to blow smoke up his butt and he self-pubbed his own book and started building his own platform. I think his book also made it to the finalists in the Rainbow Awards last year.


Here's another post about a book that was self-published. I find it more than interesting, being that I don't see many books out in this genre from publishers. In fact, I really, really like this one a lot. Please take the time to check it out and see what it's all about. I like that the author added a few product details. I'm sure this one is going on my TBR list as soon as I'm finished reading the books I have left for the Rainbow Awards.

I wrote that post a while before I actually self-pubbed anything on my own, and when I look back I remember how curious I was about self-publishing. I have no regrets and plan to do it again. And as I stated, I liked the fact that transgender fiction is finally getting a chance and it's not dependent on the gatekeepers anymore.

Elliott's going to be giving a lecture on March 11th at 8 pm, and you can read more about that here. If you live in the area it would be interesting to hear him. If you don't, check out his work.

About the Author: Elliott DeLine is an American independent and freelance writer, born on August 14th, 1988 in Syracuse, New York. Currently he lives in North Syracuse, with family and a brown tabby named Tiger (his best friend of 15 years). Elliott is also a university student and works at a public library. His controversial personal essay "Stuck at the Border Between the Sexes" was featured in The New York Times Modern Love series in the spring of 2011. 'Refuse', his debut novel, is available in ebook and print as of April 2011. Elliott enjoys nature, books, music, scowling, and writing about himself in the third person.

Fifty Shades of Grey Breaks 45 Year Lag For Women Authors

In this article, they discuss Publishers Weekly's novel list. It talks about books that have hit the number one bestseller list for the past 100 years. It's an interesting piece, and it shows more about what people want to read than what some might think they want to read. And in spite of how many people with questionable taste reviewed "Fifty Shades of Grey" poorly, author E.L. James wound up breaking ground as a woman author.

Without EL James, it's an extraordinary 45-year lag until you hit another female writer – Jacqueline Susann's 1966 blockbuster Valley of the Doll's, and what a decade for women the 60s was! – with a single further female entry, in 1962, from Katherine Anne Porter and Ship of Fools. (First line: "The port town of Veracruz is a little purgatory between land and see for the traveler, but the people who live there are very fond of themselves and the town they have helped to make.")

Actually, women did much better in the first half of the 20th century, with Margaret Mitchell appearing two years in a row for Gone With the Wind; Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings with The Yearling, Lillian Smith's Strange Fruit, Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, and Kathleen Winsor's romantic teen fiction, Forever Amber, which I remember my mother going on about and which sounds like Twilight without the vampires.
I would not hesitate to bet money on the fact that the same people who've reviewed FSoG poorly would most likely have reviewed "Valley of the Dolls," just as poorly.
As a side note, I parodied parts of "Valley of the Dolls," too, with a campy sexy gay romance titled, "Valley of the Dudes."  No need to explain.

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