Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broadway Men Strip; Advice for Writers; Twitter in Danger; Mini Cooper & Jean Paul Zapata On Ice

Broadway Men Strip

In an effort to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, eleven male dancers from popular B'way shows will strip at New York's BRM nightclub on May 11.

The intimate event serves as a bit of a tease for "Broadway Bares: Rock Hard!," which takes place on June 22 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

For more information on "Broadway Bares: Solo Strips," head here. In the meantime, enjoy photos of the participating dancers in the slideshow below.

Link to article, here. I checked the link with the article and you won't be disappointed with the sneak preview.

Advice For Writers

In what I think is the most comprehensive spot on post I've seen in a long time with advice for writers, the article to which I'm linking next lists thirteen facts writers should know...if they want to be in this game for the proverbial long haul. I've been working as a writer for over twenty years and there isn't one thing I can't agree with. I could probably add more, but this list, as it stands, is about as good as it gets in a general sense.

Here are a couple I found most important:

5. Trust no one. Okay, that’s extreme but essentially, no writer should count on anyone else professionally. Your agent, your editor, your publisher: they are not your friends. They are not your business manager. They are people who you work with as a self-employed part of the publishing machine. They might love you, but when the numbers don’t add up—later, gator.

This is the number one reason why I have never formed any social relationships with publishers, editors, or agents. Writing is my business and I keep it business and never mix it with my social life. I see new writers all the time talking about how close they are to their small presses, especially in m/m romance. Sometimes it sounds almost cult like. Trust me on this, you're playing a dangerous game. Think like a businessperson, not a friend, with publishers. Their bottom line is to make money any way they can, and they are doing that by promoting a stable of authors, not just one author.


8. People lie. Writers are professional liars. I’ve listened to keynotes from writers and known they weren’t telling the truth. I’ve seen ‘deals’ posted in Publishers Marketplace and known the agent was grossly exaggerating the sale. No one blogs about “my career has gone down the crapper”. Nope. People talk about good things. So don’t let it discourage you when everyone seems to be doing better than you. Often they’re hanging on by their fingernails.

I have nothing to add to this other than, BRAVO. Trust nothing you see on facebook, especially. They are all full of crap :) And never let those literary award promotional things get to you. In the past twenty years I've seen a lot of people win literary awards and very few have ever sold many books...or gone on to write that many books either. In my upcoming 110,000 word novel, The Small Town Romance Writer, I get into awards in-depth in ways I think might piss a few people off. But I think readers will enjoy it. (More about this novel tomorrow, with excerpts.)

2.  The minute you think you have it made, your career is over.

I think #2 is the most important. Not only is there a great deal of competition out there, it's getting stronger because of authors who are gaming the system and working more than a few illegal angles. And if you're not gaming the system this only means you have to work harder...fucking ten times harder :)  

You can read the rest here.


Twitter in Danger

I found this article interesting because I've been on Twitter since it began and I've always found it the most difficult of all social media to deal with. I think most of the people on there who know how to work the Twitter system have paid for followers in large quantity, which makes a good deal of Twitter more about vanity than success. I get at least four e-mails a day from public relation firms asking me for money to get Twitter followers. And out of all social media platforms Twitter brings me the lowest number of hits at any given time. For me, Twitter is for the ultra-successful celebs and the most well-known in the world, and I often wonder whether or not they are actually making the tweets themselves.

As we discussed earlier this year, Twitter’s biggest challenge when it comes to attracting and holding onto new users essentially boils down to content curation. New users can’t find the information they want, or filter out the information they don’t want. But as Twitter works to rectify these issues, Facebook, which has about five times as many users and an audience coveted by the media and other content providers, might have already stolen the march on it.

I also find it hard to interact on Twitter in a comfortable way. If you don't understand the way Twitter works, you could misinterpret something. But what I dislike most of all is something I've done myself in the past: just sharing inane links from major media sources no one really freaking cares about. Late last night I was on Twitter and spotted over two dozen tweets like this and I just kept rolling my eyes. It's so transparent that you're on Twitter just to be on Twitter and tweet something it makes you look like you're willing to do anything to get attention and remain relevant. Bottom line: no one cares what Oprah Winfrey is doing if you're tweeting it. They only care about it if Oprah's tweeting it.

Twitter works for Anderson Cooper. It works for the Pope. It works for sexy Scott Baio when he's off on another one of his entertaining political rants. But it doesn't work for the average person or the midlist author unless you've found a small group with whom you can share tweets all day long. Oh, I've seen THOSE mean girl gossip sessions plenty of times. My first thought is UGH! And then ,how freaking boring is that?

In any event, I do think Twitter will be around for a long time, but never as popular as Facebook with the mainstream because it's lacking visuals and it's harder for people who aren't tech savvy to use. 

Here's the rest of the piece.  

Mini Cooper and Jean Paul Zapata On Ice

My favorite GSN writer, Jean Paul Zapata, recently took a crash course in how to drive a Mini Cooper on ice. I'm also a huge fan of Minis. I've used them in novels, and when we went car shopping last January we seriously thought about buying one. We didn't. We thought it would be too small for travel with two dogs and we bought something bigger. But I haven't ruled getting one out in the future.

For over four hours, drivers get the chance to test the Mini Cooper Countryman All4 on a frozen lake racetrack just a few minutes’ drive from the ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland.

After checking in with a valid driver’s license and getting a few pointers from experienced instructors, drivers first do a series of exercises to test the acceleration and braking powers of the four-wheel drive.

You can read more here, and also find out more about Jean Paul Zapata. I wish he'd put more out there about himself, especially photos.

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