• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Sick Doggie

Sorry to be so absent for the last bit; out of town for several days, during which our Fat Dachshund, Gus (whom some of you have met in the pages of BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE [g]) developed pancreatitis and kidney failure of unknown cause. Our son was watching house and livestock for us, and called to tell me Gus was having bloody diarrhea (sorry for the details), so I asked Sam to take him to the emergency veterinary clinic (this being the weekend). We thought we might lose him at least twice over the last two or three days, and he’s frankly not doing well–but he’s still got a chance, and we want him to have it, as long as he’s in good hands and not suffering. So he’s on “supportive care” at a very good animal hospital, and…we’ll hope he gets better. All good thoughts much appreciated.

I’m going down to the hospital to visit him now (they let you visit 24 hours a day); will give him all your good wishes. Thanks.

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Pam’s "Ode to a Penis"

PAM’S “ODE TO A PENIS”

(As in—I did NOT write this—proud though I would have been to do so [g]. No, no—this is the stellar handiwork of Ms. Pamela Patchet, multi-winner of the Surrey International Writers Conference Silly Poetry Contest, Honorable Mention (more than once) in the Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest, and holder of many other distinguished titles, I’m sure. Many thanks to Pam for giving me permission to post her poem here!)

[ahem]

How does a writer describe the aroused male member in a romance novel without tarnishing the family jewels?

Despite thousands of words used to describe Wee Willy Winkie (Mark Morton lists 1,300 in his book The Lover’s Tongue: A Merry Romp Through The Language Of Love And Sex), none seem to adequately convey the language of love, with its most obvious method of delivery, without giggles. One might argue the biggest organ of love is the brain, but a man’s brain is not the organ which makes its presence most boldly known in the throes of passion.

But how does a writer of romance describe ‘It’ without ruining the moment? There’s no denying ‘It’ is there – its presence is as keenly felt as the relentless prodding of a Labrador’s nose against an outstretched hand.

One might wish to use a soft touch and describe a poet’s Dart of Love. A knight shields his Lance of Love, his Excalibur seeks its sheath. A fighting man thrusts his Hooded Warrier, or if angered, his Bald Avenger. The CEO fires his Executive Staff Member, the chef heats up his Meat ‘n Potatoes, the outdoorsman handles his Rod and Tackle, and the butcher unwraps his 100% All Beef Thermometer.

No, I think for romance to work, allusion is everything. I humbly offer up the following poem:

Ode to a Penis

or

Advice For Romance Writers

I think that I shall never see,

a penis lovely as a tree.

Though both can be described at length,

it’s best you don’t.

Please show some strength.

For ample members are best left

(even when one’s hands are deft)

untouched by writers’ florid prose,

whether roused,

or in repose.

So drop the little one-eyed snake,

of other things you should partake.

Admittedly, they do enthrall,

but after one, you’ve seen ‘em all.

Graphic Novel Update!

Just to let y’all know that I’ve posted a sample page of the graphic novel script–so you can see what one looks like–and a page of Hoang’s layout sketches. Layout sketches are rough drawings, made so that we can be sure Hoang and I have the same vision of what the page looks like; that he has the composition and perspective I was envisioning, and whether there are any small details that I forgot to include that should be present (or that he’s added, but that oughtn’t to be there for historical or plot reasons).

Yes, that _is_ Jamie in the third panel. And yes, he is young [g]–remember, he’s only 22 here.

As always, I’m fascinated to hear what y’all think!