Thursday, October 25, 2007

We'll be leaving Friday for another cruise. This time it's the Western Mediterranean leaving from Barcelona, with stops in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Gibraltar, and the Canary Islands. You don't even have to ask about pictures.

See ya when we get back!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Permissions - the final piece

I decided to remove the lyrics of two of the songs I wanted to use as chapter epigraphs (new word I learned in this process). The third one, I just had to go for. It took pulling together the representatives for the two collaborators. It all came together today for $87.50. Those 3 lines resonate through the whole book.

I don't have permission to print them here, but you know what they are.

Main Entry: ep·i·graph

1 : an engraved inscription
2 : a quotation set at the beginning of a literary work or one of its divisions to suggest its theme

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book Clubs

I have been in a number of book clubs over the years, some in person and some online. One of the reasons I enjoy book clubs is that I get introduced to authors that I would not have chosen for myself.

Some of those authors that I didn't know before, later became favorites of mine, like Tananarive Due. And others, I would not have touched with a 10-foot pole, but I read because the book club was reading. Now at least I can talk about those authors with more direct knowledge, but I still won't touch them again without prodding. I won't name names.

I know of some book clubs that have been together for 10 - 20 years. The longest running one I was in lasted 4 years. The online book clubs I have been in lasted a year or less. The ones that died, died for similar reasons.

Too many members only want to read the kind of books that they already read. For the in-person clubs, this meant that some people only came to the meeting when we discussed the book they chose. We changed the rules to disallow that after a while. With online book clubs, many people just don't read the books that are outside their comfort zone.

I recently joined another online book club through a yahoo group. I'll see how long I last with this one.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Where is the line between erotica and porn?

In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain “hard-core” pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . . “

That discussion was about pornography in movie theaters. The courts don’t even bother with pornography in print. I started rolling this around in my head while reading the latest selection from my online Book Club. I won’t even give the title, because I don’t consider the book worthy of my endorsement, even a negative one.

The book was self-published by a writer who writes what he calls “erotic” literature. My personal assessment is that it is porn. I would venture to say that every person reading this will draw the line between erotic and porn in a different place. Maybe some of you have a good definition you can share. But, I’ll go with Justice Stewart in “I know it when I see it.”

For the book in question, I can give examples of where it crosses MY line. Geez, this book is so sleazy I have to hide it from hubster!!



Character portrayal

People I can identify with. I have to care enough about at least one character to continue reading.

Characters are defined by a tick list of body parts and sizes of those body parts. Pick your body parts from an assortment of mannequin parts and the personalities are all the same.

Plot line

Characters have interests, habits, and activities that don’t include sex. Conflicts arise from the depths of human experience

One sexual encounter after another. Cut and paste the dialog, but add some different toys for variety. The only conflict is who’s doing who.


Incidental to a bigger plot line. “The act” is described from the point of view of emotion and feeling. The woman’s emotion is not the same as the man’s. The words have no shock value.

“The act” is the only plot, described graphically in terms of body parts and part sizes. The dialog is intended for shock value, with no difference in choice of language between men and women. How many women refer to a man’s “package?”

Surrounding environment

Paint me a picture of a place I haven’t been before.

Right out of your favorite soap opera. Candles, flower petals and music by Maxwell.