Thursday, November 30, 2006

Looking for People for Fun and Art

Okay, here’s the pitch: I work too damned much. So much I am beginning to seriously fry, and so social/recreation/art/fun must be had.

So I’m putting out the call for folks who might feel the same to form a pool/group/bunch to do it together, or at least share ideas and resources.

Off the cuff, here are some ideas for things to play with:

• Composing and posting weird ads in local papers (tied to larger project, like an interactive game?)
• Fake fundie protest at a local science museum
LED Throwie party
• “Invisible city:” poetry written across the city – except visible only with UV lights
• Pick a corner of the city, everyone takes pictures of it over a period of time, posts the result to Flickr (experiment in subjective reality)
• Create fake campaign posters (as surreal as possible)
• Leave pages cut from a favorite book around the city
• Become ‘payphone warriors’ (
Anything these folks do

The only thing I ask is for there to be a few simple rules:

Don’t waste people’s time: if you’re interested then be interested and not just say so and then vanish, not answer emails, or not carry through on plans or commitments.

No egos, please: I don’t care who you are or who you think you are. So what if you’ve been involved in the Cacophony Society for fifteen years or been listed on boing boing twice? Everyone involved is equal, no one is better than anyone else, and everyone has something to bring to the party -- or is at least worthy of respect.

If you’re interested write me at

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When Insults Had Class

(compliments of my pal, John Montgomery)

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"He is a modest little person, with much to be modest about."
-Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea's of any man I know."
- Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend....if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
- Paul Keating

"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
- Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he over came them."
- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without an address on it?"
- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Call for Submissions

My pal, Ellen Tevault, is doing a book. Send her stories, true believer!



Call for Submissions – Superqueeroes (tentative title)
Edited by Ellen Tevault
Published by Haworth Press
Submission Deadline: February 1, 2006
Payment: $ 50 and 1 contributor copy

Superheroes are everywhere. Are they among the queer/lgbt community?

I want to read about original superheroes from all aspects of the queer community – drag king/queen, MTF, FTM, transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, butch, femme, bear, twink, genderqueer, intersex, etc.

Queer/lgbt community. I DO NOT WANT FAN FICTION. No blatant use of trademarked characters or veiled use of them either. Original characters and plots are necessary.

1. Stories should be between 1500-6000 words in length. Email me if your story is longer or shorter.
2. Stories should have fully developed characters and plots.
3. Stories can be erotic if necessary to the plot, but this is not an erotica collection.
4. Name, pseudonym if used, address, phone number, word count, and email should appear on first page.
5. Each page should double-spaced and include your name, title, and page number.
6. Include short bio (50 words) with story.
7. For previously published stories, you must include publication history with the story.

Mail stories to:

Ellen Tevault
P.O. Box 199032,
Indianapolis, IN 46219.

Email me at with any questions. DO NOT email stories to the above address unless requested.

Ellen Tevault has published lesbian stories on various websites and in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, Faster Than Light zine, Early Embraces III, Perfect Valentine, and After Midnight, including a forthcoming story in Lipstick on Her Collar. She has also published articles in various local small publications. Her male pseudonym has published in Bearotica and Muscle Worshipers. This is her first trip into editing an anthology, so be patient with her. In turn she will keep her internal super villain under control.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A dear friend --

-- and a great writer. I can't rave too much about AF. Here are two of her sites:

The FAQ on her homepage

Her great Spalding Gray site (miss ya, Spaulding)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My Rig

It ain't much, but it's served me well: a iBookG4, iPod mini, and run-of-the-mill cell. You're looking at it in "sideways on the couch websurfing" mode, but when I'm seriously working I put it on an AirDesk stand (highly recommended). The novel is not one of mine, btw; it's Jean Shepherd's legendary hoax 'I, Libertine' (with Ted Sturgeon). For the three I wrote on this rig, you should check out my amazon link to the right.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More Quotes

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous.
-Will Durant

There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.
-James Joyce

You laugh at me because I am different; I laugh because you are all the same.
-Daniel Knode

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
-Sir R. F. Burton

You don't have to give the Republicans Hell. All You have to do is tell the truth, and they'll think that it's Hell.
-Harry Truman

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
-Bertrand Russell

But we, wretched unbelievers, we bear our own burdens; we must say, 'I myself did it, I. Not God, not Satan; I myself!'
-Olive Schreiner

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
-H.L. Mencken

The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.
-Benjamin Franklin

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
-Thomas Mann

Edward R. Murrow

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous!" And God granted it.
- Voltaire

Friday, July 07, 2006

Felice Picano's Introduction to Filthy

Thanks again, Felice!


Felice Picano

The minor league, dying performer finally hit a zinger. On his deathbed he was asked if dying was hard. “Dying is easy,” he shot back. “Comedy is hard.”

He also might have replied “short story writing is hard.” It is hard. It requires the talents of a novelist, and of a dramatist, and of a screenwriter, and of an advertising copywriter, all rolled into one. To write a good short story, you need to establish the time and place instantly. You also need to establish a “voice” instantly, meaning the voice of whomever is telling the story. And since that voice usually belongs to a person, you need to establish that character and her/his relationship to the time and place, and to other characters—also fairly instantly.

After that, you've merely got the usual problems of any fiction writer in any other medium: an original idea or significantly well-done twist on a familiar idea, a unique character, a distinct point of view, a particularized perspective on the world, a compelling narrative, and an ending that satisfies.

Oh, and you've only got two to six thousand words to do all that in.

Go on. You try it.

See what I mean? Short story writing is hard.

M. Christian's new collection of singular and satisfying short stories, Filthy, is subtitled “Outrageous Gay Erotica.” Emphasis on “outrageous.” Although each of them does deliver a more than adequate erotic charge, Christian is after bigger game here. He's writing short stories. You know, like the ones you had to read in high-school: anthologies about suburban Connecticut teens and hardscrabble poor white trash and adventurers desperate to light a fire to stay alive. The ones you had to discuss in class, using terms like “irony” and “thematic development” in those seconds before your forehead hit the top of your desk out of total apathy.

Take heart. Christian's stories are sexy, smart and a lot more fun.

Several of the tales here are entertaining take-offs of famous movie classics. “Suddenly Last Thursday” is a sly turn on Tennessee Williams' never-indisputable play, and to my mind it actually plays a lot better than the original. Reader and writer certainly have a more interesting time here, arriving at the questionable ending. I won't spoil it by spilling exactly how Christian bends it.

“Hollywood Blvd.” is, of course, the old William Holden-Gloria Swanson flick redone so that she's a he, a former Porn Star Diva. While the journalist character is, well not very distant from the original, if—like me—you never quite believed the writer's “beard” of a girlfriend in the movie. The same moral applies here as in the Billy Wilder film. But I wonder… Did you, like me, ever ponder what really went on in that big house after the star went to sleep and the German manservant was still awake—and dressed in leather?

Possibly less familiar if equally cool, is “That Sweet Smell,” based on the lurid, Nineteen Fifties model play and then movie The Sweet Smell of Success. I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only viewer who wondered what the real connection was between the characters played by drop-dead sexy (and recently revealed to be bisexual) Burt Lancaster and the still very cute Tony Curtis. In Christian's clever and very noir update, even the “heavy” cop got me wondering, as well as hot.
If like me, you like science fiction, but you like it “soft” i.e. without too many gizmos and objects (read: weapons that do everything but masturbate you while offing the entire population of a Midwest city) but with a real look at how we may possibly live and interact, then you'll like two of the longest and most realized tales in Filthy.

“The Hope of Cinnamon” begins semi-typically sci fi in that it is set in a post-apocalyptic future. What makes it totally non-typical is that its setting is an orbiting mini-world of gays known as Stonewall. The intriguing story is about the time-travel “rescue” by this new society of liberated homosexuals persecuted in earlier times. The protagonist, Gen, is concentrating on what historian Richard Plant called “Men of the Pink Triangle,” i.e. German and other European men oppressed to death because they were homosexual. Christian's story is moving, tender, and questioning, as one after another salvaged man chooses self destruction rather than life in a “perfect” and free gay society. The author's representative opts for a perilous yet surprising path to understand why.

Another futuristic narrative, “Utter West” takes a fresh look on that much iterated adolescent dystopia combined of suburbia and the family, though the old folks here are mostly absent, if only as a result of their own self-involved excesses. It's a tale of first love and wild nights, and of the first time you realize that who and what you idealized into a dream was too busy getting on with life to live up to your high criteria.

Remember those high school stories with suddenly reversed endings: O. Henry, Bret Harte, etc.? Christian does that well, too. In “The Greener Grass,” the narrator leaves his humdrum existence in favor of Mr. Lawrence, his leather master, only to receive the shock of his life. In the tightly controlled story “Bitch,” a gay man's homophobia assumes a life of its own, with a scorpion's sting.

Then there's the indefinable, “Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel,” which I'm tempted to categorize as that rarest of objects: a gay religious story. Not because of the obvious trapping of the tale, but because of the underlying spiritual investigation made by author and reader in tandem.

I could write about how clever and writerly M. Christian is. But if you've read this far you're ready to read the stories. Enjoy.

— Felice Picano, author of Onyx

What's in Filthy

Here's the stories in my new collection, Filthy, from Alyson Books:

The Greener Grasses
Hollywood Blvd.
Happy Feet
6 Inches Of Separation
The Hope Of Cinnamon
Heads And Tails
Suddenly, Last Thursday
That Sweet Smell
The Hard Way
Utter West
Friday Night At The Calvary Hotel
About The Author

Thursday, July 06, 2006

People have been asking --

-- why I haven't posted here lately. Unfortunately, I've been slammed by a few deadlines and so haven't had a chance to. But I promise to be better in the future, if anything to let you folks know what I'm working on and what's coming out next.

Speaking of, I'll be posting shortly on my first novel, Running Dry, and Filthy, my latest collection.

In the meantime, please feel free to email me ( if you have any questions.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Transgender Erotica: Trans Figures is OUT

-- and I think the wait was well worth it.

Thank you, contributors, for helping create a wonderful anthology:

Patrick Califia
Greg Wharton
Thomas Roche
Linda Rosenkrans
Ann Regentin
Simon Sheppard
Helena Settimana
Raven Kaldera
Annie Sprinkle
William Dean
Jason Rubis
James Williams
Barbara Brown
Chris Jones
Bree Coven
Jean Roberta
R. Greco, Jr.
Raven Gildea
Susan St. Aubin
Roxane Gay
Shaun Levin

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I've been Wikipedia'd

Cool. I just wish the write-up about The Bachelor Machine was more accurate. But it's always nice to be thought of.

FILTHY Coming In June

As a early taste of my newest collection, here's the cover for FILTHY: OUTRAGEOUS GAY EROTICA.


Richard Labronte (of BEST GAY EROTICA fame) just sent me his review of RUNNING DRY. Check it out:

Let's see. Vampire bites man. Man becomes vampire. The biter and the bitten are in love. Must be a gay vampire novel. But not just another gay vampire novel. RUNNING DRY is, yes, about vampires. Hardcore vampires. Unless they're passing along the vampire gene, they don't just sip blood - they suck out every sweet empowering ounce of a body's bodily fluids, leaving behind but a dusty husk. Christian, author of hundreds of acclaimed short stories and editor of many fine anthologies, has crafted a brisk combo of decades-arcing romance, contemporary suspense thriller, and original horror story - Doud, the vampire longing for the lover he thinks he's lost forever, is a mysterious artist whose every painting is daubed with the blood of victims he's had to kill in order to survive, a spooky kind of homage. This is a rip-roaring read that ought to come with this warning: don't read the last page before starting the first, then devouring the rest. The book's ending is a shocker, as lives end and another begins. Enough said.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sage and I Teaching In Sacramento

Sex Sells: Writing & Selling Erotica [520060] For the beginning writer, Erotica can be just the place to start and - best of all - it earns respectable rates. Even for the experienced writer, Erotica is an excellent place to earn extra income or gain a very respectable resume in editing, publishing, or writing for a wide variety of genres. Erotica today is also a widely diverse field, from the typical "men's" magazines to the humorous cutting edge glossy, book or website. In this workshop, receive:

* A current and comprehensive listing of markets for erotic short stories and short novels
* Lessons in how to tailor stories for certain markets and interest groups
* How to avoid common mistakes in erotic fiction * Realistic expectations of current market payment rates and contracts.

Saturday, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM; 1 session on March 18, 2006
Cost $49, Materials Fee $0


Writing For Your Sex Life [520061] Enhance Your Sexuality Through Creative Writing What's the secret to having a healthy, pleasurable sex life? In this groundbreaking class by two erotic masters, learn that it may very well be writing erotica. Through a provocative, informative lecture, as well as some fun and interesting literary exercises, Sage Vivant and M. Christian show you how to discover your hidden sexual potential through the power of creative erotic writing. By using your own imagination and the written word, learn:
• How to tap into your sensuality
• New methods of erotic visualization
• Techniques to become more comfortable with erotic feelings and fantasies
• How to overcome obstacles in your sexual exploration.

Saturday, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM; 1 session on March 18, 2006
Cost $49, Materials Fee $0

Running Dry Interview

Tom Cardamone interviews me about my first novel, Running Dry, on the always-excellent Velvet Mafia. There's even an excerpt.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What am I working on?

Mark Pritchard asked and I answered. Please note that anything I said can and will be used against me ... especially if any of the projects fall-through (sigh).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Leather, Lace and Lust -- OUT NOW from Berkley!

Can a pair of orthopedic socks be sexy? How about an Amish nightdress? If you have your doubts, you might want to read LEATHER, LACE AND LUST, the re-released 2003 anthology edited by M. Christian and Sage Vivant!

The book is full of surprises as well as truly great stories about the erotic allure of clothing. Eroticism is in the eye of the beholder, so it's not just lingerie and work-out gear that gets a person's motor racing. The authors in this anthology understand that sometimes keeping an item of clothing on can be just as exciting as taking it off.

Want to know more? Go here.

Once available only through the Venus Book Club, LEATHER, LACE AND LUST has just been published by Berkley Books and can be found in bookstores everywhere! This compendium of stories explores the connection between clothing and sex and really runs the gamut from fun to provocative to disturbing. Here's the table of contents, to whet your whistle:

Killing the Marabou Slippers by Molly Laster
When Calls Ed Wood by Tom Piccirilli
Underneath Your Clothes by Elizabeth Coldwell
Cruising with Vickie and Marge by M. J. Rennie
A Novel of Manners, Set Vaguely in the Heian Era by Jason Rubis
I Am . . . by Christine Morgan
Contented Clients by Kate Dominic
A Little Bit Like a Slut by Thomas S. Roche
Nacht Ruck by Karen Taylor
Dress Pinks by M. Christian
Debt of Honor by Tulsa Brown
Cashmeres Must Die by O. Z. Evangeline
Sheer Excitement by Debra Hyde
Pret-a-Porter by Stacy Reed
Red Nails in the Sunset by James Williams
A Reflection in the Mirror by D. D. Smith
Bethany's Game by Bryn Colvin
Urban Noir by Tara Alton
Twentieth Century by Lisabet Sarai
Skirting Pleasure by Sage Vivant

It's a fabulous book with so much more to offer than mere sex stories. Pick up a copy today!