Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quirky, erudite, and just plain fun

M. Christian -- my partner in all things -- recently started a blog with his brother Sam, and it's quickly turning into something rather remarkable.

It's called Meine Kleine Fabrik, which means "my little factory" in German. As many of you know, I find most blogs (even my own on occassion!) are not terribly compelling, amusing, or enlightening, and like reality shows, they seem mostly to be a way for people to have the say or voice that they cannot have in their everyday lives. (Yes, yes, I know the Internet is the great equalizer and that everybody deserves to have a voice, but let's face it, there are some people with opinions and thoughts that stir you and others who just winge on. Most are wingers, methinks.)

I was surprised when Chris wanted to start a blog because he has always been more anti-blog than I. But once he and his brother began posting things, I started to realize that they were using the concept of a blog in a whole new way.

You see, Chris and Sam are tremendously curious people. Intellectually insatiable, I think you could safely say. They take great pleasure in discovering small, perhaps even relatively unknown creations/inventions/facts/phenomena and delving in to learn more. (I am witness to their weekly get-togethers, where they tackle the problems of the world, play video games, eat crazy food from Japantown, and put their heads together on graphic novels they want to write. There is so much energy in the room, I often have to leave!)

Meine Kleine Fabrik is their avenue for reminiscing, celebrating, and exploring all the intruiging stuff they've ever encountered and/or enjoyed in their lives. The depth and breadth of their collective knowledge never ceases to amaze me, and now that the Internet truly does seem to contain virtually everything that ever existed, Chris and Sam are using the blog to post, marvel at, and catalog all the wild stuff they've ever had occasion to be influenced, taught, or entertained by.

But what I find the most touching of all is that they are using the blog as another way to bond with each other. They are titillated by one another's posts and although I sense a healthy level of competition between them regarding who can post the coolest stuff, each genuinely applauds what the other one puts up. The blog functions not only as an information sharing tool, but an emotional one, as well.

I'm so touched by what they've done for each other through this blog. Not to mention excited by what they're doing for anybody who reads it.

I encourage you to check it out. You won't find gratuitous puffery, pedantic prose, or anything even remotely mundane. And I guarantee you will learn something.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mika sings "Grace Kelly"

I cannot stop listening to this song. I am quite thoroughly addicted -- so much so that I have to share it with you. (Mika is a U.K. artist but I'm hoping he swims over to this side of the pond soon.) Find him on MySpace at:

Glamour Magazine wants your lies

For Glamour magazine, writer Natasha Chilingerian is looking for anecdotes from women, age 20-40, that describe how you got out of a lie you told. The lie doesn't need to be 'outrageous.'
The lie should have occurred in adulthood (no stories from high school
or younger).

She'd love to hear how you handled a lie that you told:

- at work
- to a guy
- to a friend
- to your parents (as an adult)

Also, she'd love stories about lies told while doing online
dating (you lied about age/height/jobs/hobbies, etc.)

The anecdote should include:
An explanation of how you got out of a big lie you told someone. Give
all the details on why you told the lie, and how you handled the

Glamour will only run first name and age if selected, but please also
include your phone number and email address for fact checking. Email if you have anecdotes!
She needs these by Tuesday morning, Feb. 20. Thanks so much.

Friday, February 16, 2007

They like it!

It's hard to write a book. And not necessarily for the reasons you think.

Popular wisdom holds that fiction writers struggle with periods when the muse does not visit or the creative well is dry. This is certainly a real and pervasive problem for some fiction writers. But it's just the beginning of the hell that awaits them after they are published.

Add to that struggle the disturbing eventuality of getting published and then having the unwashed masses take potshots at what took you weeks, months, or even years to create, polish, edit, and refine. If they don't understand your finely honed nuances or your incredibly clever plot twists, you and your book are villified and maybe you will have trouble earning money by being creative in the future.

Non-fiction, however, poses a somewhat different but equally irritating set of problems. It is far less dependent on visitations from the unpredictable muse but it does rely heavily on the writer's knowledge of the book's subject matter. Even if you thought you knew exactly what you'd write about and felt confident in your depth and breadth of knowledge to take the topic on, at some point during the writing, you will experience panic attacks of varying degrees because you will question whether you really know enough to write an entire book.

I faced such a question when I wrote YOUR EROTIC PERSONALITY. Suddenly, I was questioning everything I thought I knew, anticipating the "she doesn't know what she's talking about" criticisms that probably every writer gets (regardless of whether she actually does know anything about her subject matter!

So, when The Erotic Woman's review of my book came out this week, I breathed a sigh of relief. They gave it a glowing review, for which I am eternally grateful.

One down, approximately 50 more reviewers to go... Do they make a version of Valium especially for writers, I wonder? If so, I may consider acquiring a few thousand doses.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Last Seduction

A young and virtually inexhaustible aspiring writer friend of mine, Lucy Felthouse, recently told me about the book she's writing: The Last Seduction. But she's writing it via blog entries and is letting the book take twists and turns based on reader feedback (and her own whim, of course!). The results are quite compelling.

Lucy is an engaging person and good writer -- check out her ongoing novel and give her some comments. She's taken custom erotica writing in a whole new direction!

(This image is by one of my CES illustrators, Gradiva. It screamed "seduction" to me....)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I want one!

As a dutiful San Franciscan, I am rarely without my iPod. It's true that I love the device itself, but I also feel happy when my music is with me. So, imagine my delight when my mischeivous beau brought the OhMiBod music-powered vibrator to my attention!

It syncs with your iPod to deliver a new level of musical satisfaction. And it is appropriately priced at -- what else -- $69.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I can't imagine why this little beauty wouldn't be on your list.

I can't help but think about how I might be able to make the most of this device on my daily commute...