First draft. Finished.

March 31, 2014 Writing Comments (0) 90

First Draft Finished

That right there is a finished first draft. I hit my five-month target, starting in November and wrapping up on the last day of March.

If you’re wondering what the process is now, the next step is six weeks in a drawer. That gives the manuscript time to season, and me enough distance so when I next pick it up I’ll have [somewhat] objective eyes.

This version is nowhere near ready for beta-readers. It’s the cleanest first draft I’ve ever written, but there are still some very rough sections I know have to be completely rewritten, and I’m not sure the plot or story make sense in this version. Hopefully the second or third draft might be ready for some reader feedback. I’m aiming for June or July for that.

So the question of the moment is: What to do for the next six weeks?

I mean, besides drinking.

 

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Corporate Religions

March 31, 2014 Artwork, Comics, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 152

Corporate Religion cartoon by Christopher Keelty

Hobby Lobby’s argument that a corporation can itself have a religion (as opposed to the individual religions of its owners, board members, and executives) is so patently absurd it’s surprising the Supreme Court even granted cert. What’s frightening is the possibility they might agree.

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress wrote a decidedly terrifying summary of the oral argument that suggests Justice Anthony Kennedy (everyone’s favorite swing vote) favors Hobby Lobby’s position. Dahlia Lithwick at Slate seems no more optimistic.

It’s hard to imagine the Court authoring a ruling that could have such catastrophic and far-reaching consequences, but as long as four of the Justices remain partisan ideologues, it seems entirely possible. So laugh for now–in a year it might not be funny any more.

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It’s the weekend. Have a cat video.

March 30, 2014 Animals Comments (0) 106

I don’t want that awful Wiser’s whiskey commercial on top of my blog. Here are some cats getting the better of their eternal nemeses. Enjoy.

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The Society of Uncompromising Douchebags

March 30, 2014 Pop Culture Comments (0) 86

I really hate this commercial. It’s the Wiser’s whiskey spot with the guy holding his wife’s purse in the mall. If you haven’t seen it, I’m linking it below–but if you have seen it, I’m going to politely suggest they don’t need more traffic.

httpv://vimeo.com/30140142

Sure, the idea that a man holding his wife’s purse for even a few moments demeans his masculinity, that’s an old chestnut of the lazy cliché commercial. But in case that wasn’t misogynistic (and homophobic) enough, this guy drops the bag on the floor [“fuck your new iPhone, honey!”] and then picks it up with an inside-out plastic bag, the way a person cleans up dogshit. Continue Reading

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This is generally a good sign.

March 27, 2014 Personal, Writing Comments (0) 99

1962773_10101949150778153_634367685_n[1]At this point I’m aiming for more like 85,000, but it looks like I’ll hit my goal of finishing this first draft before the end of the month. Then a quick polish, six weeks in a drawer, and I begin the second draft. My aim is to have a polished final ready to start querying around September, which would mean turning around a novel in less than one year for the first time. My first one took about seven years, and the second took nearly three.

Oh, and I know it says “Working Title” up there, but I’m increasingly thinking that title may stick around. At least until someone tells me to change it.

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Nainaine on your Kindle!

March 25, 2014 Writing Comments (0) 132

nainaine-fbcover

“Nainaine Laveau, Nainaine Laveau,The teeth that bite, the eyes that glow…” 

A tale of dark fantasy set in the magical, post-apocalyptic world of Murka, Nainaine of the Bayou follows a young girl named Nell as she wanders the swamp that has overtaken New Orleans in search of the witch who can cure her zombie grandmother. The traveling magician who promised to bring grandmother back to life did not warn of her hunger for human flesh, or the anger and hatred that now burn in her undead eyes.

Download Nainaine of the Bayou for your Kindle–free for Amazon Prime members!

In a world run by outlaw bikers and religious zealots, Nell’s adventure takes her deep into the forgotten French Quarter–but will the witch choose to help, and is there even a cure for undeath?

Nainaine of the Bayou is a short story of approximately 4,000 words (16 pages). It is set in Murka, the lawless post-apocalyptic world that follows the fall of the United States.

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Nomencreature

March 24, 2014 Animals, Artwork, Comics Comments (0) 167

Point of trivia: You can tell because a crocodile’s fourth lower tooth is enlarged and visible (sticking up behind its nostrils) when its mouth is closed.

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The Brief but Stupid Story of Bill Donohue’s (Almost) Anti-Gay Gay Pride Float

March 22, 2014 Gay and Lesbian, In The News, New York City Comments (0) 240

...except, of course, EVERYONE expects the Catholic League.

Torquemada was also defending the civil rights of Catholics.

I’m posting this story here because I just love it so much.

So the Catholic League is an organization established to “defend the Catholic Church,” headed by a man named Bill Donohue. Like most Christian advocacy groups, the Catholic League interprets “defending their religion and civil rights” as imposing their beliefs on other people, and claiming they’re harmed any time a person or group of people choose not to be Catholic. Probably because there’s no need to defend something that isn’t being attacked, but I digress.

This year, a few beer companies pulled their sponsorships of the Saint Patrick’s Day parades in New York City and Boston because the parades don’t LGBT people to march. [Those beer companies, by the way, are Guinness, Sam Adams, and Heineken. Hooray for them! Buy more of their products. I would, but I don’t think my apartment can hold any more beer.] LGBT marchers have been banned by Saint Patrick’s Day parade organizers for decades, by the way.

In response to the boycott, the Catholic League sprung into action. Remember, not endorsing Christianity is attacking it. Bill Donohue had a brilliant idea to call attention to the hypocrisy of the LGBT community: He would attempt to register the Catholic League for New York City’s Pride Parade in June. Their float would be dedicated to “straight pride,” with signs like “STRAIGHT IS GREAT,” a huge wedding cake featuring a heterosexual couple [transgressive!] and assorted other pro-straight paraphernalia. Continue Reading

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Fred Phelps, In Memoriam

March 20, 2014 Gay and Lesbian, In The News, Pop Culture Comments (0) 119

Fred Phelps was a closeted gay man.

No, I have no conclusive proof of that, and I’m not being facetious in a “ha-ha, he sure would hate me saying that” kind of way. It’s what I truly believe, because it’s the only rational explanation I can come up with for the sheer volume of the man’s hatred for homosexuality and the LGBT community. [pullquote position=”right”]Fred Phelps was attracted to men, and he hated himself so much for that, with such fervor and intensity, that hating himself was not enough.[/pullquote] He needed all of America, all of the world, to hate him too.

How else to explain the decision to move from protesting the funerals of gay men who died of AIDS, as Phelps and his “church” of family members, did for years, to protesting the funerals of America’s war veterans? To protesting the funerals of beloved celebrities, to eventually jumping in front of the cameras at any widely-covered event, just so he could show a few more Americans why they should hate him? Continue Reading

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Rocket Science

March 18, 2014 Artwork, Comics Comments (0) 245

My boss and I got into a conversation about the origin of this expression. Her question: “What did people say before there was such a thing as rocket science?”

I don’t know, but I knew this worked best as a New Yorker-style cartoon.

My alternate caption was “I wish I were taller.”

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