ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( May. 23rd, 2017 01:30 pm)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Sorry for the delayed post! Web server and I both crashed overnight so it took a while to get it rebooted and the post re-loaded! -ctan)
Remember how someone told me that Nomad traveled much lighter than your average big rock band? You might recall that when we flew to Japan the instruments and equipment went ahead by a week or something. One crew handled getting the stuff from gig to gig and from country to country, and the band itself traveled like regular people, by train, by plane. We didn’t have a large crew or complicated stage setup, and we relied on local backline and crew at each show.

That wouldn’t be the case with the Tempestad tour.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Today’s fanpost is different because today is different. For those who haven’t seen the news, Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, died yesterday. You can read more about it and him here.

Lena offered her own Tumblr post for sharing, and there’s a bit of a mourning thread that’s developed on the previous regular DGC post, but feel free to offer your thoughts here.

I’d planned to do a post of live cover performances today, and Cornell’s take on “Billie Jean” was on my list. Instead, I offer three acoustic performances by Chris from various times in his career.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I took a long shower as if that could thaw my frozen brain. It didn’t work. But Ziggy didn’t object and he didn’t rake me over the coals or anything so that was good, I guess?

When I emerged from the water I spent a very long time combing my hair. I had conditioned it the way I had been admonished to, and it was slick and wet as I combed carefully through the strands. This wet the blue was almost invisible but as soon as it dried it would start to show. Comb comb comb comb… I had been combing so long I had made my good hand cramp. The rest of me was dry and chilly by that point. But at least my brain had rebooted somewhat.

I found Ziggy sitting up in bed, reading a book in the light of his bedside table. The whole apartment was a tableau of urban nighttime blue except for the pool of golden light around him. I thought about what I wanted to say so that there would be at least a half a chance that I might say it, and then I crawled into bed.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

[To sign up for a Thursday post, go here for more information.]

The second of the Thursday Fanworks is fiction by Mark Treble, a follow-up to Flip’s Story. Mark’s standard note still applies: This is a work of fiction and all names used are fictional. It is fan fiction based on the “Daron’s Guitar Chronicles” series by Cecelia Tan. There are no copyright restrictions on this work and it is free for such use as the reader may wish, without attribution.

A secondary note from sanders: brace for homophobic language–it’s Mills being Mills and leveling up in being a slimeball.

JOHN MILLS ON A SHITTY DAY

Ziggy did his revolting thing in the recording studio. Jordan Travers was producing this part of the album, and he turned the mixing board over to somebody else so he could come out and stand with Ziggy for a run-through. Ziggy started doing something with his hips, staring at Jordan, and coming closer to him. He got down on his knees and sang into Jordan’s crotch. Then he pulled himself up along Jordan’s body and licked his ear. I wanted to vomit.

There have been rumors about Travers for a while, and he just stood there and took it. I guess the rumors are true.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( May. 9th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Reminder! Submit your fanworks to dgcfanworks@gmail.com or email to reserve a posting slot later in the summer!)

“Are you guys going to do that in the actual show?” Mickey asked. The run-through was over. I’d survived. I was sitting on the band riser with my hand in a bucket of ice water. Ziggy was sitting next to me with a cat-canary smile on his face.

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I’m at RT Booklovers this week, which is one of the largest reader/writer conferences out there. RT started life as “Romantic Times” but it now encompasses all commercial fiction genres including YA, mystery, women’s fiction, science fiction, and so on, but retains a strong romance focus. One of the major forces that has reshaped the book industry, and the romance genre in particular, of course, is ebook publishing and ebook SELF-publishing. A major figure in that revolution over the past ten years has been Mark Coker of Smashwords, one of the early self-publishing platforms and not only an online retail store but a distributor to the other retailers (Kobo, Apple, B&N, etc.)

Mark always has insightful things to say about the state of the ebook market, and later today he’ll be unveiling the annual Smashwords data survey, where they slice and dice the big data of what’s happening in sales across all retailers that they can see. But his earlier session today was “Ten Trends Shaping the Future of Romance Authorship.” With Mark’s permission I’ll now present you those ten trends as a listicle.

(Caveat: This is very close to verbatim what Mark said, but as a typist I can only capture about 60% to 70% of the true transcript, and any errors you may find in here are purely mine.)

Mark Coker: So much news happening every day, every month, it can be bewildering, and it’s easy to mistake ephemeral news for trends. Today I’m going to talk about firmly entrenched macro trends that are going to persist for a long time. These are what are driving your threats and opportunities in publishing forward. Some may be obvious, some may not. These may provoke some strong feelings. These are some important issues that should provoke greater discussion so please share this information widely:

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.


Thanks everyone who attended the panel at RT Booklovers in Atlanta on BDSM: What’s Next for BDSM Romance?

If you need the handout, you can grab the PDF from here: RT BDSM HANDOUT. It includes some specific sales numbers from the authors on the panel demonstrating the rise and fall of sales numbers.

I opened the panel by saying when we first started planning the panel it seemed like if we were all seeing sales drops like that, it was legitimate to ask whether the post-50-Shades “BDSM boom” was over. However, since compiling our numbers, I’ve been talking to many authors in other subgenres of romance and erotica, and to publishers as well, all of whom have seen very similar curves in rise/fall even when no BDSM is involved. So, it’s not just us.

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The first of the Thursday Fanworks is fiction by Mark Treble, who included the following note:
This is a work of fiction and all names used are fictional. It is fan fiction based on the “Daron’s Guitar Chronicles” series by Cecelia Tan. There are no copyright restrictions on this work and it is free for such use as the reader may wish, without attribution.

Flip’s Story

Daron and I were bullshitting one night and I don’t know what came over me. I hadn’t even thought about it in at least a decade.

“Yeah, I sucked a few dicks in college.” What had motivated me to tell him that?

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Thursdays are now Fanworks Days!

From May 4 through August 31, Cecilia and Daron will be taking a bit of a summer break, with new chapters posted only on Tuesdays (and Saturdays as the tip jar fills up). As we did in 2015, we’ll be filling the weekly gap with fanworks of all kinds, from art to fanfic, rec lists to memes, original music inspired by DGC to the much-anticipated casting submissions for DGC characters.

To join in, pick a date from the list below, email dgcfanworks@gmail.com with your preferred posting date, the type of work you plan to submit, and any questions you have.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( May. 2nd, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

It’s been a while since I geeked out about equipment at you guys, because you know I try to keep it to a minimum. Otherwise I could go on all day about gear. But it’s time for me to tell you more about looping, which was Jordan’s idea for how to recreate something like the complexity of the Star*Gaze recordings without me having to play the same melodies and riffs over and over. I explained that at least, right? Take digital samples of a riff or a couple of bars of music and then make them triggerable with a foot pedal. “Looping” means they repeat.

If I hadn’t been so stressed out I probably would have enjoyed playing with the technology more with Flip and Jordan. Flip was an even bigger gearhead than me–which is why and how he became a guitar tech in the first place–so he was all over it.

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Did you all see that the winners of the NLA Writing Awards were released? These annual awards celebrate the best in BDSM-positive writing and publishing, in both fiction and nonfiction categories. As a member of the awards committee I’ve been involved with these awards for several years and this year had a bumper crop of books!

To quote from the press release that came from NLA: International:

National Leather Association: International, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather community, announced the winners for excellence in literary works in SM/leather/fetish writing published in 2016. The judges received a great number of nominations this year and judging in most categories was quite difficult with such exemplary pieces of writing.

Winner of the Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award is Peter Tupper and David Stein (ed.) for Our Lives, Our History (Perfectbound Press). Honorable mention in this category goes to David Wade for “Vanilla Breaks” (Xcite Books), Richard Levine for “Jolted Awake” (Alfred Press in cooperation with Lulu Enterprises, Inc.) and to Slavemaster and slave 7 “Beyond Obedience” (Createspace).

In the John Preston Short Fiction category, the winner is D.L. King for “Cupcakes and Steel” from the anthology For The Men and The Women Who Love Them (ed.) Rose Caraway (Stupid Fish Productions). Honorable mention for short story goes to Caraway Carter for “7 With 1 Blow” (Beaten Track Publishing) and Ferrett Steinmetz for “Rooms Formed Of Neurons and Sex” which appears in Uncanny Magazine.

The winner of the Pauline Reage Novel category winner is Angela Hamm for The Gambler’s Lady (Blushing Books). Honorable mention in this category goes to Amelia C. Gromley for Risk Aware (Riptide Publishing), Scott Alexander Hess for Skyscraper (Unzipped Books, an imprint of Lethe Press) and Jade A. Waters for The Assignment (Carina Press)

The winner of the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award is Erica Mena for “(K)ink #5 – Writing While Deviant” which appeared on January 26, 2016 on TheRumpus.net. Honorable Mention in this category goes to Jack Fritscher for “He Was A Sexual Outlaw: My Love Affair With Robert Mapplethorpe” which appeared March 9, 2016 in The Guardian.

There is no winner of the Samois Anthology Award as there were no submissions this year.

Congratulations to all the winners! Writers, publishers, the NLA starts taking nominations for judging in September and the deadline is typically December 31st annually for books published in the calendar year. Contact awards@nla-international.com for more details.

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 27th, 2017 01:56 pm)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Ziggy got up on the stage and clapped his hands for attention–a move that by then I realized he’d picked up from Josie, who’d no doubt learned it from some other dance teacher or choreographer or theater person, carrying on back through generations. Anyway, it worked.

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I went down a bit of a rabbit hole yesterday when I dug into -- don't laugh -- my archive of grad school poetry. Well, okay, laugh. I was so chipper and naive and the poems are so earnest and trying so hard. They're better than my junior high poetry but only in certain light. Some of them are actually good. Or they would be if they had been able to live and breathe within a matrix of expectations on equal footing with the literary canon.

My whole Twitter epiphany was graciously collected by Charles A. Tan (no relation) on Storify:



The gist of the thread is this: my grad school poetry professor couldn't see that there was a contradiction for those of us who weren't white, straight males when told that we had to write "universal" themes in our poems that could be understood implicitly without having to be "explained". In his view, if someone couldn't understand your implicit message it was because it was a bad poem, and if you had to make it too explicit that was also a bad poem. By extension the messages that could be received most implicitly were "literary" ones. In other words, if it was about a white man's alienation after an act of war (for example), the reader should "get" that even if war was never mentioned explicitly in the poem. The problem is that if the implicit message is something that is "universal" within a marginalized community--for example, internalized homophobia--those who have never experienced it won't "get" it. And rather than admit that there are things outside their experience, the literary establishment instead brands those topics as marginal, and only lauds their appearance when they make themselves accessible to the literary mainstream.

Short version: "literary" is a worldview that centers academia, particularly white male upper middle class academia. At the time I just didn't have the perspective to see that. "Literary" equals "laudable" in MFA programs. It's a self-reinforcing system.

I quit writing poetry because for me to perform the same artistry would require my poems to exist in a context where the implicit things that didn't have to be "explained" were things like internalized homophobia, questioning cultural identity, and code switching. And that context didn't seem to exist. My poems were "meaningless" to the literary establishment, and I had plenty of things to write instead, in other contexts. (Come to think of it, founding the English language's only erotic science fiction publishing house in 1992 was me creating my own context for my fiction.)

This introspection was all brought on by the fact that Sheela Lambert of the Bi Writers Association -- the editor of Best Bisexual Short Stories (Circlet, Amazon) and the driving force behind the Bi Book Awards -- is editing a book of "bisexual poetry." (Call for submissions here.) I'm bisexual and I figured I would look and see if there was anything obviously "bisexual" about my poetry from back in the days when I wrote poetry. If. Ha. "If."

In fact, lo, I went back and saw that a ton of my angsty metaphor-laden poems from the early 1990s are now, in retrospect, quite obviously about internalized homophobia and/or about being caught between communities, even if not a single person in my poetry workshops (including me, sometimes) could articulate that. But I wonder if these poems will read "properly" if they were to be published in a book with a bisexual or queer context? I guess I will submit them and see.
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 20th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Don’t laugh when I tell you the thing that made me feel instantly better was playing some music.

I know. I know. This is the thing, though. I didn’t know how long that feeling would last because if I pushed too hard or went too long I knew what was going to potentially happen was my hand would seize up and, to paraphrase Han Solo, that would put an end to the trip real quick.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 18th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

By dinner time the dancers had been released for the evening and we’d made some strategic and logistical decisions. For example, we cut a song from the final segment of the set and moved it to the encore.

That took a tiny bit of the pressure off me, but only a tiny bit. Considering that we made that decision while I was soaking my hand in a bucket of epsom salts, every minute helped.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 15th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Saturday post! Enjoy! -ctan)
Flip, approaching from behind me, smacked me on the back. He waggled the granola bar in his other hand like a dog biscuit. As he came around to see my face though, his jocular demeanor changed. “You alright?”

“No,” I said.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 13th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

There was one huge thing that I had not thought about at all in the weeks leading up to our departure for South America. I knew there were a lot of things floating around in my head that I had crammed to the back because I didn’t have the bandwidth to think about them. I had a sense of those things pressing on me but I had to keep them at bay because there were more immediate things hammering my brain every minute of every day getting ready for this show.

Some of you have probably thought of it already, though. I’ll give you a hint: I barely had the bandwidth to deal with even a fraction of the emotional stuff going on between me and Ziggy. Family stuff, interpersonal stuff, other people-related stuff therefore was well outside the realm of my dealability.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 11th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I woke up in the morning with Ziggy attached to me like a starfish.

“When was the last time you got off?” he asked.

The ceiling was a different color of white from the walls. Had I never noticed that before? “Um. A while ago…?”

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 6th, 2017 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

“Deja vu all over again.” The studio was lit only by consoles and equipment, and the dark felt cozy rather than threatening. Jordan flicked on the main lights as I dropped myself into one of the secondhand armchairs tucked in a corner of the control room.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Apr. 4th, 2017 02:00 pm)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

When it was just me and Chris and Bart there, the Hangar seemed extra vast.

We left our instruments and sat down together in the break room. “I have a confession to make,” I said. “I haven’t had a single brain cell to put towards this pretty much since we recorded that demo with Trav.”

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