I don't know why, but I can't help finding the old rejection letters of people who went on to find huge success in life amusing. It shows that the gatekeepers don't know as much as they tell you they know, and so much in the arts is subjective. The following link will take you to a site where there are a handful of these old rejection letters that people like Andy Warhol and yes, even Gertrude Stein received.
I think this shows unpublished writers so many things, but mostly that you can't take any one person's word too much to heart. I also think that nowadays with all the information we have it's just as important for writers to vet agents as much as it used to be important for agents to vet writers. I came across an agent web site the other day where she disclosed she doesn't own a TV. I don't watch much TV myself, and I do think it's dying out as a medium. However, the fact remains that TV is still a huge part of our culture, and whether you like it or not that's not going to change any time soon. And if an agent isn't interested in a HUGE part of our culture just for professional reasons, I would be very careful when querying her.
In any event, you can read more here.
The best advice I ever read actually came from a well known literary agent's blog. She said something basically to the effect of this: "I've never had a big book through the query process. All the big books I've had came from finding the writer and nurturing him or her over a period of time."
A British camp comic, Alan Carr, claims the most homophobia he gets is from other gays. He's now the face of a new PETA campaign in which he wears pink fairy wings. The slogan is: "Be a Little Fairy For Animals."
Several people on social media spoke out against the advert, describing it as ‘homophobic’.
In response, Carr said on Twitter: ‘The “fairy” in the @Peta campaign refers to my Tooth Fairy DVD that's all. Take my advice if you act like a victim you get treated like 1.
‘Don't worry twitter they'll be another bandwagon you can jump on in a minute zzzzzzzzzzzzzz ‘Hey and before all you oh so worthy gays get back on your high horse the most homophobia I get is from gays. #selfloathing
Posting a little later, he added: ‘Well that last tweet shut them up!! Ha!
I'm not sure you can be gay and homophobic at the same time. That thought lacks reasoning, and rings a little of sour grapes. But I do actually think that sometimes we all need a better sense of humor. And whether or not you're laughing at Carr or with him, it's funny.
FREE Excerpt Chase of a Lifetime Series
Because we're approaching a holiday weekend for many, I thought I'd post a free excerpt today and tomorrow from a work in progress. This is from a new book in the Chase of a Lifetime series, tentatively titled, "Chase of a Rainbow." Trust me, this is a very raw version. I'm only about 40,000 words into the novel and haven't really taken much time to edit it. But I find that when I'm writing something from a series, the characters return to me faster than when I'm not.
No links. It's not out yet. I'm shooting for a May release.
After Jim Darling-Mayfield inherited all of Carol Greene’s medical marijuana dispensaries, he decided the legal marijuana business wasn’t for him and he actively set out to sell them to someone who could appreciate that sort of business the same way Carol Greene had loved it.
Jim and his husband, Len Mayfield, had inherited the dispensaries together, but Len had given Jim permission to do whatever he wanted because Len was now actively working again at the family business, Branson Communications, and he didn’t have the time or the inclination to deal with cannabis. Although Jim had a full time career in marketing, he worked from home most of the time and he didn’t have as much pressure as Len so he usually handled the smaller things.
On a warm quiet night a few months after Carol Greene’s death, they were sitting in the family room of COAL Ranch…COAL was an acronym for Chase of a Lifetime…in Chatsworth, California and Jim was wondering if he’d ever get to bed that night. He’d put in a full day’s work in his home office on the third floor near the bell tower, he’d picked up their son, Culum, from school, he’d cooked dinner, helped Culum with his homework, and then put him to bed. And now he was working on a marketing project so he could sell the medical marijuana dispensaries to a guy who was the first serious buyer he’d found.
Len and Jim’s assistant, Arturo, were sitting on the other side of the family room playing cards and half listening to Jim’s computer in the background. They were listening to the computer because Jim was working on a marketing campaign for the guy who wanted to buy the marijuana dispensaries. Jim specialized in high end online marketing and his clients involved people from all walks of online commerce. One of the stipulations in the medical marijuana dispensary sale was that Jim had to agree to continue marketing the dispensaries online for the next two years. He’d been marketing them for Carol Greene and he’d had excellent results. The new buyer wanted this to continue and he’d insisted on having Jim stick around after the sale.
“Did Culum get off to bed okay?” Len asked, without looking up from the cards Arturo had just dealt him.
“I read him the Berenstain Bears, tucked him in, and Clinger is next to his bed snoring,” Jim said, without looking up from his desk. Clinger was a large, beige Labrador who would growl at any stranger who came near Culum’s bedroom at night.
“I’ll go in and check on him before I go to bed,” Len said.
A voice from the computer made an unusual comment about gay sex and Jim glanced at the screen and frowned.
Len stared at the cards in his hands and asked, “And why are we listening to this crap on the computer tonight?”
Jim sighed. “I told you. The guy who wants to buy the dispensaries has an online advice show about love and relationships for gay men. It’s his fourth webisode. I have to watch it. I really want him to buy the dispensaries and I want to impress him by showing him I watched. We don’t have time for anything as it is now and I want a simpler life, which means selling that business.” Since they’d moved to Chatsworth, they’d turned the ranch into a working ranch, they’d bought the ranch next door and turned it into a touristy gay dude ranch, and Len took over full time responsibilities for Branson Communications. They hadn’t planned any of this. The goal had been to move to Chatsworth and start a working ranch so Len could retire from investment banking and they could live simpler, quieter lives. Len’s ultimate dream had always been owning a working ranch. But then Len’s father passed away and he left Len a billion dollar communications corporation and Len couldn’t refuse. There was no one else to do it. Doris Branson, Len’s mother, knew nothing about business. And Len’s much younger brother, Caleb Branson, was now an ex Catholic priest who had come out of the closet and he was off somewhere in the world trying to find himself. Len had been estranged from his family for many years and Len’s mother and brother, Caleb, were willing to reconcile. Fate seemed to take control and Jim and Len found themselves in positions they couldn’t refuse even if they tried. Even the medical marijuana dispensaries happened by accident. Carol Greene had died saving their son’s life, and Jim felt a posthumous obligation to her heroic actions.
Len reached for a card and said, “This guy on the computer sucks. I don’t even know what he’s talking about now. Put on some music.”
Jim looked at the computer screen and frowned. Hal Robertson was a middle aged man with a paunch and no hair who had always wanted to be an A-list celebrity. In order to make a living until he became a star, he’d fallen into real estate and he’d done very well. His client list included major Hollywood celebrities and some of the most influential people in the world. But that wasn’t enough for Hal. He still wanted to be a star many years later and like so many others without talent he’d discovered the Internet as a viable resource. This series of webisodes he was doing concentrated on romantic advice to gay men who couldn’t seem to find the right person. While he sat in a chair in his home office in front of a webcam, viewers would chat with him and ask him questions on anything that ranged from gay sex to love. On that particular night he was answering a question about whether or not two bottoms can make a lasting relationship, Jim had a feeling no one else was actually watching Hal and he made the questions up himself.
Even Arturo seemed to be having a problem listening to Hal that night. “I can’t believe he just said that. There’s something wrong with this dude.” Hal had just told someone two bottoms can make it work, but sometimes they need to invest in a double-headed dildo.
Jim smiled. “Well, he’s not totally wrong. I don’t see why two bottoms can’t last if they have a double-headed dildo.” He was only joking around to see how Len and Arturo would react. He knew they both had strong opinions on this topic.
Len sent Jim a look and asked, “How would you like it if I got a nice big double-headed dildo for us?” He didn’t mind the fact that Arturo was in the room. Jim and Len had been experimenting with three-way sex for a while now, and they’d recently invited Arturo into their bedroom. Arturo had been seeing Len’s brother, Caleb, for a short time, but after years of being a priest Caleb wasn’t ready for a relationship and he’d left the US for a while to figure out his life. It was ironic because Jim had always thought Caleb would be the one to get hurt by Arturo. When this happened, Arturo had been devastated and Jim and Len had consoled him. One thing led to another and they wound up in bed one night. But it was always clear there was no emotional romantic attachment other than friendship; just a physical act of sex between two grown, adult men.
When Arturo heard Len’s comment about the dildo, he laughed so hard he lost a card in his hand.
As Arturo bent down to pick up his card, Jim sent Len a glance and said, “You know that’s not going to happen. If you ever decide you don’t want to top anymore I’ll be more than happy, if you want, to become the top in this marriage.” He had to hold back a smile. He knew how Len would react. “I’ve been dying to top you for years, husband.”
Len squared his back and said, “Well, you know that’s not going to happen any time soon, husband. Besides, you couldn’t go a week without getting tagged. You’d be climbing the bell tower.”
Arturo dropped another card and laughed harder.
Jim looked at the computer screen again and smiled. He couldn’t argue the point and he knew it. Although Jim could be versatile when he wanted to be, he’d always been honest with himself about sex. He liked being the bottom, he liked being more submissive in bed, and he even preferred being around aggressive top men like Len and Arturo when he wasn’t having sex. The thought of going longer than a week without having a man that way made his hands shaky just thinking about it.
On the computer, Hal started talking about how two bottoms in a relationship could use the double-headed dildo and Jim turned the volume up higher. Hal said, “The best way is for both guys to get on all fours and back into each other.”
Len groaned aloud and said, “I think that’s the only way to go in that kind of situation.”
Arturo laughed and said, “I’ve actually always wondered about this myself, to be honest. I once dated a guy who would only top and we didn’t even know what to do with each other. He kept trying to turn me around in bed, and I kept trying to turn him around. It was very frustrating.”
Jim looked at Arturo and smiled. Although he hadn’t expected anything sexual to happen with Arturo when he’d first hired him fresh out of college, he wasn’t disappointed that it had happened. Arturo had that longish, messy dark hair, and always the scruffy dark beard. His torso was smooth and muscular but his legs were dark and fuzzy. There were times when Jim just loved rubbing his face up and down Arturo’s legs.
Len looked at Arturo and said, “That happened to me once, too. I was like what the fuck, man? Turn over. Lift those legs up, baby.” Len tended to get overly aggressive and macho for show at times. Jim always thought it was his need to overcompensate for spending the majority of his life in the closet. He couldn’t help himself; it was the least of Jim’s worries.
“What did you do?” Arturo asked.
Jim rolled his eyes. “Yes, what did you do, husband? Did he lift up his legs?” He didn't show it, but tended to get a little jealous when Len boasted about past lovers.
Len shrugged and picked up another card. “I gave up and found myself a hot little power bottom named Jim Darling who won’t put his pretty legs down.”
Jim smiled and said, “You’re disgusting.” They had the same unusual sense of humor and it always kept them laughing about stupid things, especially stupid things regarding sex.
To be continued tomorrow...