As you may know (Bob), when I’m not writing I like to make jewelry, particularly chainmail and wire-wrapped pieces. I know from experience that it’s always kind of a crapshoot when you make a piece as a surprise for someone — you can try your best but sometimes you don’t get the size right, it’s the wrong color, it’s just not something the person really likes, etc.
So I was very pleased this morning to wake up to pictures of the delightful and talented Colby Keller wearing the wire-wrapped malachite amulet necklace I made for him earlier this year. I feel the green of the malachite goes very well with the hazard orange of his hat, plus seeing my work on a torso that in itself is a work of art — yeah, Christmas came a little early this year.
And after a weekend of social media promo and talking it up wherever I could, it’s on the All Romance eBooks Romance Bestseller list (currently #28) and on two category bestseller lists at Amazon, all of which makes me very happy (and people teasing me on FB about selling the movie rights and who could play Taric, Zhan, and Duncan is even more delightful. For the record, my dream cast would be Colby Keller as Taric, Paddy O’Brian as Zhan, and Levi Karter as Duncan. Cockyboys and Men.com, take note).
Of course, the annoying thing about being a writer is that you re-read your newly published works and wish to God that you could have one last crack at editing them. Nothing major, just a sentence here and there that makes you think, “Why did I phrase this so clumsily?” or “Aw, crap, I already used that word in this paragraph.” (Apparently this happens to Neil Gaiman of all people, so I don’t feel that bad about it, but still.)
And the funny thing is, almost no readers will ever comment on these little infelicities, or even notice them. It’s just the writer, that OCD perfectionist who wants his or her story polished to a high gleam before it sees the light of day, who spots the occasional smeary fingerprint and winces at it. So I just need to shut up and enjoy my sales, basically.
I love everyone who’s working to help Colby meet his goal. I especially adore erotic romance writer and brilliant graphic artist L.D. Blakeley for putting Storm Season right over Colby’s groin. Because let’s be honest, that is the closest anything of mine is ever going to get to that man’s lap. Ahem.
Don’t have any money at the moment? Don’t fret — there’s still plenty of time to get a cameo! Head over to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/big-shoe-adventure-1-colby-does-america-and-canada-too before July 13 and contribute.
As you know (Bob), I have the immense pleasure of knowing artist, blogger, and performer in Cinema Sans Culottes Colby Keller. In addition to meeting him in Baltimore last April, I also contributed to Cameron Stalheim’s merman sculpture that used Colby as the model, and participated in Colby’s poetry contests for National Poetry Month (and even won one!). He is an intelligent, talented, incredibly nice guy with an open mind and heart, and his mindset never ceases to fascinate me.
And yes, he looks nice naked. Well, it’s true.
Anyway, after becoming a casualty of gentrification and giving away almost everything he owned in a massive art project he called Everything But Lenin, Colby has left Baltimore and is about to start off on a grand adventure careening around this great continent of ours meeting his fans, making art, and having sex with hot guys (and recording it all for posterity). He plans to detail this adventure on his blog, but to do this he needs a reliable van, a decent mattress, video equipment, bandwidth, and funds for the occasional hotel room. Because sometimes you just want to sleep in a room with a shower and toilet, you know?
After much encouragement from his friends and fans (i.e. us screaming “DO IT!” at him on Twitter), he’s started an Indiegogo campaign called Big Shoe Adventure 1: Colby Does America…And Canada, Too to help raise funds for this endeavor. If you have a few spare shekels and like the idea of becoming a patron of the sexy arts, I highly encourage you to throw them his way. If you’re broke, spreading the word would also provide the support he needs. I guarantee you, the results of Colby’s adventure will be hot and thought-provoking.
What more can you ask for? Well, there’s something more! If you contribute to Colby’s campaign and send me proof (screenshot of your donation, confirmation email, etc.) I will add you as a character to my eco-thriller paranormal erotic romance series Olympic Cove (book one, Storm Season, is here). The best way I can describe this series is, “A rag-tag group of humans, gods, and mythological creatures must band together and stop an insane goddess from destroying humanity and remaking the world in her own diseased image. Oh, and there’s lot of sexy times, too.”
For you SF fans out there, you will recognize this offer as Tuckerization. Your character will appear in the M/M/M Breaker Zone or M/M/F Deep Water books (extending to books 4-6, depending on the popularity of this offer), and you can choose whether you’re a hero or villain, and what species you want to be (mer, triton, selkie, human, god, ilkothella, kelpie, satyr, nymph, oracle, etc.). Such a deal, people! So go, contribute, and become part of the adventure.
UPDATE: NINE! Nine donors have already signed up to be characters, and the first of them is going to get a very heroic death rescuing Nick and Aidan in Breaker Zone.
Aw, crap. What with the plague knocking out most of November and then getting sucked into the Plushie-Making Hellmouth (one more to do and then I’m finally free, and dear Lord I have GOT to learn how to say no), I don’t have a lot of time to finish Two to Tango and Breaker Zone before the end of the year, but I’m going to do my damnedest to get them finished and out.
In the meantime, since I apparently like pain, I was thinking of doing a Christmas free read about Paul, Rory and Tim, my menage from Vanilla-Free Christmas: Manlove Edition and “Tied with a Bow.” Well, it is their first anniversary as a triad, and I’m sure I could get them into some entertaining trouble if I put my mind to it, plus I’m wondering how Amira is doing and if Paul’s hired any new staff for the bookstore during the Christmas rush. If this is something that would appeal to you, let me know downstairs in the comments and I’ll see about getting it cranked out this weekend.
Speaking of writing, as you may know (Bob), Breaker Zone will feature a pair of mermen as major characters. In fact, the Christmas ornaments at right are my present to myself this year to celebrate Aidan and Liam (I know that technically Nick is a human, but I couldn’t pass up the doctor merman), so, yeah, I’m rather fond of fishy hunks at the moment. That being the case, I would like to tell you all about a very nifty Kickstarter project called Myth as Object by sculptor Cameron Stalheim. This is what he has to say about it:
This project aims to realize a monumental work of sculpture for my MFA graduating thesis at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I will be creating a massive, thirty-foot long merman. I have enlisted adult film star Colby Keller to model for the life cast that will become the base for the sculpture. Using skin-safe silicone, a three-dimensional replica of Colby’s body will be made and cast into plastic. The cast will then be transformed into a merman, lying serpentine in the middle of the gallery floor.
Stemming from my experience as a gay male from the Midwest and transitioning into the gay culture of the east coast, this sculpture, the first in a new series of work, questions the relationship between fantasy, reality and the objectification that happens in between.
We Camerons have to stick together, and Mr. Stalheim is only a measly $170 short of making his goal, so if you have a few extra shekels in your pocket I urge you to consider donating. It’s going to be a gorgeous sculpture (unsurprising, considering that the brilliant and delightful Colby Keller is the model), plus you’ll become a patron of the arts, which is always nice.