Archive for June, 2014

So, the supremely awesome Rebecca B. has made me a very happy author by pimping my book on her blog, “A Blog Abroad.”

A Blog Abroad | Book Pimping: Talking About Fungus <–Here.

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So, yes, this pleases me.

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http://www.ablogabroad.com/

If you’re into K-Pop, sarcasm, or good, intelligent writing on a number of topics, you should absolutely check out the rest of her blog. And click on some ads while you’re there, so she can get paid. Because getting paid is pretty great.

Also, buy my book.

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I had a dream last night that I was working in an office and a client had sent me an email that I had no idea how to answer. I couldn’t ask my coworkers for help, however, because they were too busy worrying about the terrifying zombie cat that was trying to break into the office.

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(That happens sometimes, right? It’s been awhile since I worked in an office.)

I helped them fight off Zombie Cat (at least  in the sense that I helped them close and barricade the door), but it still managed to shove open the door and squeeze into the office. We ran for it and ended up in my parents’ bedroom in my childhood home, where we once again locked and barricaded the door. THE CAT MANAGED TO GET INSIDE HOWEVER, AND THEN….

I woke up.

My first thought upon waking up was, “Oh, thank goodness, it was just a dream! Now I don’t have to figure out how to answer that email.”

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Which pretty well sums up my feelings on dealing with people vs. doing literally anything else, even if it involves zombie cats.

/drive-by post before work

Presenting, a shoddily made and amateurishly drawn book trailer for my novel, Talking About Fungus! Watch, like, share, and just generally pimp it out to everyone you have ever met or will ever meet, and everyone they’ve ever met, as well as their children, parents, dogs, and hamsters! Let it spread, like fungus, which we can then talk about!

Direct link: http://youtu.be/2lNRai9ttPg
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L6FFOCW

…I may need to calm down. In my defense, I’ve been fiddling with Windows Movie Maker all morning and that’s enough to destroy anyone’s sanity.

 

In honor of Pride Month, I’m pleased to announce that my first novel, Talking About Fungus, is now available for only 99 cents in Amazon’s Kindle Store!

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Talking About Fungus [Kindle Version] $0.99

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Talking About Fungus
by T.J. Baer

Jamie knows by now that breaking up with a guy is not the end of the world. After taking a few deep breaths and giving a pair of his ex’s underwear to the cat to shred, he’s prepared to forget all about ole What’s-His-Name and get his life back in order.

But then his little sister barges in for a visit, his homophobic dad shows up after two years of stony silence, and to make matters worse, his best friend seems to be falling in love with him.

Just when Jamie’s fantasizing about running off to a monastery and joining up, he meets Mr. Right in a hospital waiting room thanks to the matchmaking powers of the Great Bard. Abe is unlike anyone Jamie’s ever met, let alone dated, and things finally seem to be looking up.

A phone call changes all that, though, and Jamie finds himself flying home with his sister and his best friend for a bedside vigil. Will Jamie make peace with his family before it’s too late? Will Abe forgive him for missing their second date without even a phone call?

Warnings: Strong language, sexual situations, disparaging remarks toward goatees.

PRAISE FOR TALKING ABOUT FUNGUS:

“This story is like a breath of fresh air. Modern and quick-witted, it moves along at a fast pace and displays a sense of humor atypical for the genre. The characters’ voices are unique, the dialogue utterly realistic. The relationships between the characters ring true; they can be strained without being horrific, fun without reading like a comedy. Despite the sometimes-serious subject matter, this story is filled with hope, and its conclusion is no exception. Jamie’s too nice a guy not to end up with a happily ever after — who he ends up with, though, isn’t as simple as one might think.

Charming, entertaining, and contemporary. Not to be missed.”

Alexa Snow, author of Clear Cut and Sleeping Stone

Buy it on Amazon for 99 cents: Talking About Fungus by T.J. Baer

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This new version of the novel includes a brand new cover designed by Yours Truly, the original image of which you can see below in all its poorly drawn glory:

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The book has also been cleansed of its unholy typo infestation (wherein MS Word spell check for some reason changed “pink-a-holic” to “pink-a-Hollis,” because of course), and features many other wonderful things like words and punctuation and more words! Wow!

So, head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy – the Pride Price of 99 cents will stay in effect until the end of the month, so you have until then to purchase a copy and insist that everyone you have ever met likewise purchases one.

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Now go, my pretties. FLYYYYYYY to Amazon and BUYYYYY~~~!

I know what you’re thinking: I’m in desperate need of something good to read, and on an entirely unrelated note, I have all these great heaps of extra cash cluttering up my home. Whatever am I to do?

Well, salvation is at hand, my friends.

June is Pride Month, as it happens, and what better way to celebrate than by using your unwanted wads of cash to buy some quality gay fiction written by yours truly?

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(Click any of the above images to go to the books’ respective Amazon pages.)

All proceeds go toward helping me pay my rent and keeping Benny happily chowing down on his favorite flavors of Fancy Feast – a most worthy cause indeed.

And if you need further incentive, head over to my Books page for samples and reviews of the books in question. Or you could check out this absolutely-real-and-not-in-any-way-just-a-gif-from-the-internet footage of a Wee Child reading one of my books:

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(Limited Edition Choo-Choo Train cover no longer available.)

In other news: As for the very important question of what I’ve been doing lately, my primary pastimes as of late have been teaching, working on Chosen, eating too much freshly baked bread from the bakery down the street, and then teaching some more and working on Chosen some more.

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I’ve actually been making a lot of progress writing-wise, and have even reached the point where the two main characters of Chosen have their first conversation.

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…Twelve chapters into the story. But seriously, it’s worth the wait. Or it will be once I actually get the scene finished. But it’s going very well so far, full of awkwardness and defensiveness and random bits of genuinely liking each other, plus the usual sarcasm and snarkiness from Kaine.

Actually, I’ve been realizing something through the writing of Chosen – I strive to be like Kaine’s mentor, Mr. Defrin, calm and patient and always willing to give humanity the benefit of the doubt. But in reality, I’m 100% Kaine, defensive and socially awkward and sure the Universe is about to dump a torrential rainstorm of badness on everything good in my life.

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Yeah. We both have some issues we need to work through.

Anyway, I’m very much enjoying my work on Chosen, the story is progressing, and aside from the giant pile of unwashed dishes that’s been slowly gathering mold in my sink, all is well.

Annnnd it’s well past my Old Lady Bedtime of 9:30, so I’ll just finish waving my stick at the kids playing rock music on my lawn and then head off to bed. Someday I will return, and perhaps on that day, I’ll have something even remotely noteworthy to say on this blog.

But today is not that day.  Good night, friends~~

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So, Facebook has informed me that it’s Father’s Day weekend, and as Facebook has never lied to me before (except all those times it lied to me), I will take it at its word and blog accordingly.

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With that in mind, I thought I’d blog a bit about my dad, who is, after all, 50% responsible for my existing in the world, and that’s kind of a big deal (to me, at least). But more than just giving me the gift of existence, my dad also, as it happens, was a pretty awesome father.

Behold, an embarrassing photo of myself as a poofy-haired ironing board wearing someone’s grandmother’s dress:

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My dad, you may be surprised to learn, is the gentleman in the back-right of the photo. In case you’re still straining to pick him out, here’s a handy close-up:

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My dad, sadly, passed away of a heart attack when I was twelve, which was particularly illogical because his heart was easily the strongest part of him. He had a bit of a temper, he could paint an elaborate tapestry with swear words, and he never shirked from punishing me when I did something really wrong – but I never doubted for a second that he loved me. He was always gentle, always kind, always affectionate and loving, and the saddest thing, I think, is that I never had the chance to tell him how much I appreciated that.

As kids, we’re all selfish little brats sometimes (or a lot of the time, in my case), and then we grow into obnoxious emo teenagers, and then finally we move away from home and become semi-sensible adults who can look back on all the temper tantrums and emo poetry and say to our parents, “Man, I’m sorry you had to put up with all that.”

I can offer such apologies to my mom, but sadly my dad never got the chance to see me move out of the brat phase and become a (mostly) non-bratty adult. And I really regret that. I know he loved me, but I wish I could’ve had the chance to show him that all the lessons he and my mom tried to instill in me did stick, and I’m a better person today because of what I learned from him.

Anyway, a few memories of my dad that always make me smile:
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I’ve been working hard on my fantasy novel lately, but given my minuscule attention span and attraction to All Things Internet, it was inevitable that I waste at least a little bit of time online when I should’ve been writing.

But rather than watching an endless parade of cat videos or reading YouTube comments and despairing of humanity, I instead used my precious time to create…a newer, more complete Fake Cast Poster for Chosen~~~!

Behold:

Chosen cast 6-08-2014 (Alex Kingston version)

A brief explanation of the premise of Chosen, for those who haven’t been feverishly reading every word posted on this blog:

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C H O S E N

colinmorgan-kaine-YESAfter the mysterious disappearance of his father, 16-year-old Kaine Ikarra moves with his mother to the small town of Aurora. Unable to cope with his feelings of guilt and abandonment, Kaine begins to close in on himself, spending the majority of his time shut up in his room studying magic. In this conservative, gods-fearing town, however, interest in magic is a dangerous thing.

The Book of the Gods warns against the Marked Ones, a group of people who, for their crime of stealing power from the gods, were cursed to an endless cycle of reincarnation, being kept forever out of the gods’ glorious realm. The people of Aurora fear the Marked Ones like nothing else, and are more than willing to kill anyone they discover to be Marked.

With his sarcastic, secretive nature and talent for magic, Kaine is a natural target for his neighbors’ suspicions, and must hide his powers or risk the people of Aurora discovering his secret – that he is one of the Marked. According to the Book of the Gods, he is an abomination who must be put to death, and he knows that his new neighbors won’t hesitate to do just that if they find out what he is. But Mr. Defrin, his teacher and mentor, assures him that the Book of the Gods is wrong, that the Marked are not enemies of the gods at all – they are the Chosen.

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Dun-dun-DUNNNN.

And for the record, writing that teeny little summary took me a good hour and a half.

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Summaries are hard, yo.

Anyway, regarding the cast picture above: Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Morgan, and Hunter Parrish have been “cast” for quite some time, and I actually wrote the character of Mr. Defrin’s wife, Elisabeth, with Amanda Abbington in mind.

Alex Kingston, however, was a mad stroke of genius that hit me yesterday, because damn, she’s perfect for the role of Kaine’s tough, loving, frequently swearing healer mother.

Gemma Arterton, I confess to having never seen in anything except an interview on the Graham Norton Show, which probably doesn’t count. I chose her mainly because she just looks like my mental image of Silas. Silas is a diminutive, sweet-faced bully who beats the hell out of Kaine because she catches him practicing a spell in the woods, and her uber-religious dad has brainwashed her with anti-magic and anti-Marked propaganda for her entire life. So yeah, she has some Issues. But she’s a lovely girl, really, if your definition of “lovely” is “terrorizes half the school with her gang of muscly thug friends and makes Kaine’s life a living hell.”

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I do actually really like her, though. >_>

Anyway, Nicholas hasn’t been in the story much yet, but he’s actually the second main-main character after Kaine. He and Kaine start out with a sort of rivalry relationship, both vying for Mr. Defrin’s attention – Nicholas as his son, Kaine as his student – but come together later after Bad Things Happen. Their beautiful Man Love is really the heart of the story, and has been both one of the most wonderful and one of the most challenging things I’ve ever tried to write. *_*;

Buuuuut, anyway. Now that I’ve geeked out appropriately re: my own story and characters, I shall return to actually writing said story, as that’s probably a slightly better use of my time.

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Laterz~~

Hello, friends. I’m back with an update, because it’s Sunday again and there are no lengths to which I won’t go to put off doing housework.

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Over the last few days, I’ve been writingwritingwriting, working hard on Chosen, A.K.A. my Gay Fantasy Epic (TM).

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It’s been going surprisingly well, to the extent that I’m now at the midpoint of the book, and A Very Dramatic Occurrence has just Occurred. I’m now actually reaching the point where I have to try to connect the beginning chapters of the story (which I wrote within the last few months) with the latter half of the story (which I wrote quite a long time ago) and see if they actually fit together, or if I’ll have to redo the whole bloody rest of the book.

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Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to rewrite the whole thing.

But hey, if it ends with me having written an awesome book of awesomeness, it’ll all have been worth it.

In other Chosen news, I’ve gender-switched one of the characters from a vicious boy bully named Silas…to a vicious girl bully named Silas. And I have to confess that I kind of like the idea of a girl named Silas, so the name may end up staying through to the final draft.

In non-Chosen news, June is Pride Month (insert explosion of rainbows here), so I shall offer up some pride in the girl-loving side of my bisexual self and say that Gwen from Merlin is pretty smokin’ in this gif:

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Do you deny it? CAN you deny it?

Didn’t think so.

So, on that note, I’ll be on my way, back to writing and listening to music and wishing fervently that my laundry would head on down to the laundry room and wash itself. I’m sure if I stare at it for long enough and continue to make shooing motions, it’ll get the idea.

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Yeah, I may be a tiny bit sleep-deprived.

Greetings, Internet. I have returned. Again. I have re-returned.

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Sadly, I’m not at my most coherent at the moment, as my dear feline companion Benny (see my Cat Stuff page for more on the little furball) decided that six AM would be a great time to start howling and scratching at my bedroom door like the apartment was on fire.

Had the apartment actually been on fire, Benny would no doubt have been hailed as a Brave Hero Cat who nobly sacrificed his delicate vocal chords in order to sound the alarm and alert the slumbering humans in the building to the danger. As the apartment was not on fire, however, and his motivation was apparently more along the lines of, “Wake up and pay attention to me,” all his efforts did were royally annoy his owner, who had been hoping to sleep in.

Anyway, due to waking up so early, my brain is somewhere between Zombie Mode and Everything Is Hilarious Mode, while my body mainly just wants to do this:

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So, yeah, this is sure to be a great entry.

If my brain is in such a dreadful state, then why, you may ask, am I even bothering to attempt to update my blog?

Well, that can be explained via my To Do List for today, which I offer below:

1. Wash dishes
2. Clean sink, wipe off counters
3. Tidy apartment
4. Clean off desk
5. Do laundry
6. Sweep
7. Dust
8. Go grocery shopping
9. Clean bathroom
10. Clean out refrigerator
11. Take out garbage, recyclables
12. Go back in time to tell younger self to enjoy childhood more, because damn, being an adult sucks sometimes.

So, the very difficult choice I find myself faced with this morning is: Do I get started on all the desperately-needs-to-be-done housework I’ve been putting off for weeks, or do I write a semi-coherent entry on the blog I just updated a day ago?

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So, yeah, blog entry it is.

I…don’t actually have anything to talk about, however, which I will admit is something of a roadblock.

Um.

So.

What is the deal with airline food? Am I right??

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Fine. Off to clean. But if I think of anything even remotely interesting to say), I’ll be back.

Water triiiiiiibe. *exits*

/incoherence