Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sex In San Francisco (Another Update)

Believe it or not - and by now I bet more than a few of you so-patient contributors out there are mumbling "not!" - the book is actually happening! Now that I've gotten moved in and gotten settled I promise to very, very, very soon finish the book and get back to you all about your stories.

Thank you again for your understanding and sorry (yet) again for taking so long with this project.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Billierosie Likes Running Dry

Right up there with cool, another thing I probably say too much is that I have some truly wonderful friends. But unlike over-using a dumb word I can never praise my friends enough. Just take a look at this touching review Billierosie just posted to her review for the new edition of my very-first novel, Running Dry.

Thanks so much, Billierosie: you are a real treasure!

Here’s a real treat coming up! M.Christian’s first ever novel; RUNNING DRY is scheduled for re-print! I don’t know the dates yet, but Christian’s debut novel is being published by Camel books. First published in 2006, it’s getting the recognition it deserves.

In RUNNING DRY, M. Christian, elegantly re-writes the eternal themes of love, loss, betrayal, fear and death. With a flourish of his pen (or lap-top and cursor) Christian gives us a potent potpourri, that has little to do with gracious fragrances and everything to do with the pungent stench of bodily fluids; blood, bile, saliva and mucus.

This is a vampire story with a difference. Unlike Anne Rice’s exotic, erotic Lestat and Bram Stoker’s sinister Count Dracula, M.Christian’s vampires are riddled with guilt about what they have to do to survive. Ernst Doud, paints his guilt, with portraits lurid with the blood of his victims. Doud has a conscience, and he makes it up to those he has killed with a visual, tangible lament. His remorse is palpable.

There’s a mystery here. Who is Doud? Who is Sergio? What is their secret? Why has Doud given up on his art? Why is Sergio trying to seek out Doud? Why does Doud want to kill Sergio? What is Shelly’s place in all of this?

Yes, Doud and Sergio are monsters. They know it; Vince is a monster too. But he’s worse; he’s a killer without a conscience.

There is no “dark trick” in RUNNING DRY. Doud, Sergio and Vince won’t spellbind you with a glamour. In the tradition of the most gruesome fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, or Angela Carter, they grab you, gobble you up; eat you. Your death won’t be romantic, erotic; sexy. Just complete, total annihilation.

The scene where Doud fights Vince in the desert, is terrifying. It’s visual; like watching a film. My heart is racing, as I read. I can feel the heat of the desert, scorching my lungs. I screw up my eyes, against the glare of the sun; the painful blue of the desert sky.

M.Christian, possesses a rare gift; that of making elegant, lucid prose appear effortless.

Just listen to this;

“…the world acquired sound, the ground achieved traction, the air thinned, the rose-red glow ceased. As his body slowed from the blinding acceleration Doud had forced upon it, the monster’s body completely disintegrated. A body once ninety-five percent water became nothing but a desiccated five percent, falling apart into dust, ash, and a few brittle bones; life and moisture gone.”

Don’t you wish you’d written that? I do!

As a first novel, RUNNING DRY, anticipates the promise of more delicious work to come. Christian has certainly not disappointed, following RUNNING DRY with THE VERY BLOODY MARYS, the haunting ME2, the disturbing PAINTED DOLL and the exploration of one artist’s character, in BRUSHES.

For me, RUNNING DRY is every bit as good for a second reading; better. Buy it, borrow it, read it. It won’t fail you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Wonderfully WriteSex!

I know I use that word far too often but, let's face it, this is really very cool: I'm pleased and proud to be part of a new site, WriteSex, where Sascha Illyvich, Oceania, Jean Marie Stine, Dr. Nicole Peeler, Thomas Roche, and I will be posting our various thoughts and helpful hints about writing effective erotica. My own first post, Flexing, is up there right now and - along with my other great cohorts - new stuff will be put up on a regular schedule.

So stay tuned and learn everything you ever wanted to know about writing about sex!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Running Dry - A Tempting Taste

Keeping with the flavor of my previous post, here's the preface to my gay vampire book, Running Dry:

“They say the seas are going to dry up. Blow away.”

“I’ve heard that.”

“The moon, too. It’s going to leave, sail off into the sky. Leave us behind,” Sergio said, swinging his feet off the edge. First the left, then the right, dancing with the heights. “Do you think we’ll see that?”

“We could,” Doud said, arm around Sergio’s shoulders. To reassure him, and to remind himself that this was real, firm, and solid, he tugged him closer.

Mahogany eyes directed at him, Sergio said, “Everyone will get old, turn to dust. But we’ll still be here, won’t we? The earth will be like the desert. No oceans, no water, no one will be alive. But we’ll still be here.” His legs stopped swinging.

“Maybe. Other things could happen, too. You never know for sure. Time changes too much.” Sitting on the toes of rearing elephants, they looked down on the gleaming architecture of Babylon, a plaster movie set brilliantly white from a still-neighborly moon.

Despite their height, Doud wasn't afraid. Not of falling, at least. He knew the elephants Sergio had made for Mr. Griffith, believed in his lover’s craftsmanship, and so implicitly trusted them to carry their weight. He hoped he knew Sergio as well, but he was still quietly grateful for the simple strength of his sculpture. Men were too complex, too unpredictable. Apparent solidity and dependability all too often hid deep flaws. The elephants of Intolerance, though, were wood and plaster.

Dependable wood, trustworthy plaster.

“Ever been to the desert?" Sergio asked unexpectedly. "I went there, with some friends, just after I came here. Hot, like a stove. But I didn’t think of cooking, the kitchen, or food, only that it was like a line across a page, like the start of a drawing. Now, I think of it like the way the world will be. All boiled away -- just hot air and that line.” Drawing his hand across the horizon, he underlined distant Hollywood.

“Too hot and dry for me. But we can go sometime. Both of us.” He didn’t need to say we have lots of time.

“They say the war will end soon. The War to End All Wars -- but that’s not true, eh? We’ll find out, I guess.”

“It’ll end. They always do.” Doud tried to catch his attention again, but the other man refused to look away from the bright lights of the distant city.

“Even our Babylon will be gone. Mr. Griffith’s film is over. They’ll break up my elephants.”

“There’ll be other pictures. You’ll see.”

After a moment of tense silence Sergio's eyes swung back to Doud. “You’ll be there, won’t you?”

“I will,” Doud replied, gently stammering, delicately hesitant. I will. Not a promise, just desire. With it, abrupt reality on the toes of great white elephants: please, let this one work out. I don't want to kill him.

“Kiss me,” Sergio said, closing those dark marble eyes.

And Doud did, a simple kiss on the edge of a Hollywood eternity.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dark Roasted M.Christian

Here's a brand new Dark Roasted Blend piece, this time about some very weird -- and very wonderful fairs and festivals around the world.

Weird festivals? Strange celebrations? Bizarre events? Those of us in the United States have our share. I mean – sheesh: how about giant balloons in the shape of long-cancelled cartoon characters? Celebrities waving from flower-covered 'floats'?

Weird, strange, bizarre, though, really is in the eyes of the beholder. As one travels the globe and observes the variety of fairs, festivals, and frivolities, that point becomes crystal clear. Although human behavior doesn't vary much, the methods of public celebrations certainly do.

For some baffling reason, for instance, people like to throw things. And depending on the country, what they throw is likely to be different. In Binche, a small town in Belgium, the projectile of choice is a fruit. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday Binche the town is visited by masked figures called Gilles who – later on in the festivities – carry large baskets of oranges through the town. Many of these oranges are calmly, orderly, handed to residents as well as tourists. Others, though, are rather vigorously … well, thrown at wary residents and unfortunate tourists.

Meanwhile, if you happen to be in Buñol, Spain, on the last Wednesday in August, you also might want to duck as the fruit thrown there – while not as hard or potentially damaging as an orange – can still sting a bit. What's fun about Buñol isn't just the hurled tomatoes but that the town, which normally has a population around 10,000, swells to closer to 60,000 as folks from all over come to throw -- and get thrown at.

If you happen to be in Taihape, New Zealand, things will be flying through the air but none of them – at least as far as we know – have been thrown at anyone. Nevertheless, a festival where people try to throw a gumboot as far as possible could pose some risks to passersby and participants alike.

"Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" are words you might want to keep an ear open for if you're in Japan during Setsubun, and happen to see a member of your household holding a handful of roasted soybeans. Mamemaki is the term for it, and "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Demons out! Luck in!") is what is traditionally said before the beans are thrown out the front door – or at another member of the family.

If you happen to be in India during Holi, the festival of color, you also might want to avoid wearing your best suit of clothes. As part of the celebration, a brightly dyed powder called abir is merrily thrown everywhere – and especially at each other.

Fortunately, not all festivals in the world include hurled objects. Some just have unique themes. Japan's Hōnen Matsuri is a fertility festival, uniquely celebrated in the city of Komaki. By unique we mean prodigious, tumescent, large, and … okay, enough with the jokes, especially since the object of the fertility being celebrated is that certain part of the male anatomy. A similar festival is also held in Kawasaki, called Kanamara Matsuri.

While nothing is thrown, and nothing terribly phallic is evident, there's a festival that absolutely has to be mentioned: an event featuring tremendous beauty that ends with ashes and smoke.

Around the middle of March, the city of Valencia, Spain, has a festival called Falles – a celebration of Saint Joseph. But long before the Falles, Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, begins to prepare: neighborhoods and a wide variety of organizations form groups called Casal Fallers who raise money for their own contributions to the festivities.

It's these contributions that make the event so incredible. Each group – working from a common theme selected for that year – creates a ninot, or puppet. Fashioned from paper, wax, Styrofoam, and a few other materials, ninots are whimsical, outrageous, profane, comical, political, and every one is incredibly beautiful.

The artisans of Valencia have had a very long time to perfect their craft, and it shows in each and every minot. Each figure and tableau is a hallucinatory mixture of a Renaissance masterpiece and a three-dimensional cartoon. Each one, too, is frequently a wildly executed satirical jab at everything from politics to tradition, from pop culture to the Falles celebrants themselves. Nothing is sacred, nothing is spared.

Then come the fires, and then the ashes. Yes, you guessed correctly: each and every minot, every figure and tableau is lit – exploding into the night sky in a roaring conclusion called La Cremà. In the morning there is nothing but ashes, and the memory of the wonders of the falles.

Regardless of location, the one thing every fantastic fair, festival, and frivolity has in common is that they all show how we're all very much the same – and that all humans, no matter where we live, are more than just a bit bonkers.

Running Dry - Back in Print!

This is VERY cool news: my first novel, Running Dry, is finally back in print, courtesy of the great folks at Camel Books! I'll post more about this very soon but here's the cover (linked to Amazon) and the back cover blurb, as a teaser:

Ernst Doud is a middle-aged 154-year-old nonhuman painter. He is living quietly in Los Angeles when he receives a cryptic message from a lover he last saw in 1913--when he killed him, or so he had always thought. So begins M. Christian's debut novel, Running Dry. It is unlike any book you have read, and Doud is unlike any hero who has ever graced the pages of a novel. Set in contemporary Los Angeles, with excursions into the surreal outback of Southern California's high desert, Running Dry is a stunningly realized vampire tale of vengeance, loyalty, and the inescapable humanity of the inhuman.


It may have taken a wee bit longer than I thought but - whew - I am now moved in and ready to begin to live again. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Going forward I promise not just the same as before but bigger, better, wilder, stranger, and (better yet) even more fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Please Stand By

As some of you may know, I'm in the process of moving. So posts and such to this and my other blogs are going to be spotty until I get settled in. But I promise to be back - and then some - when I get unboxed and hooked up again.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dark Roasted M.Christian

Here's a brand new Dark Roasted Blend piece, this time about birds - and some of the truly amazing things they do.

We see them all the time, rowing across a clear, blue sky, applauding into the air when we startle them, singing their sharp, sweet songs in the trees, spiraling, spinning over our heads … but when you take a bit of time and do a smidgen of research, you realize that birds are fascinating creatures, capable of some truly remarkable things.

Take, for example, the members of the anatidae family. Not familiar with them? Sure you are: aside from the city pigeon, they are probably one of the first birds people think of. Still fuzzy? Well, think ‘season’ and you might very well jump to ‘duck.’

The poor duck has gotten … if not grief then not a lot of respect, which is unfortunate because they certainly deserve it. Sure, they walk a tad comically and their quacks are more likely to get a chuckle than a salute, but they are capable of some astounding feats.

It’s common knowledge that many birds migrate – some halfway around the world, others not very far at all – but a few species of duck travel amazing distances as part of their regular travels, and at phenomenal speeds. The black brant is one such record holder, making the trip from the cold climes of Alaska to the much-warmer lands of Baja, California. No need to do the math: that’s more than 3,000 miles. A distance, by the way, covered in less than 72 hours.

The ill-respected duck is also a record holder for not just distance and time but also altitude. Although they commonly aren’t high flyers, preferring to stay relatively close to the ground, ducks have been recorded soaring to close nearly 20,000 feet. That most definitely is a ‘wow’ thing but what’s an even bigger – more like a real big WOW – is that a duck skeleton was found at 16,000 feet … in the form of a skeleton on Mount Everest.

This isn’t mentioned to make you want to shake the hand … er, ‘webbed foot’ of the mallard you see on the street with newfound admiration but to point out that if the common duck isn’t exactly common in its ability, consider the other long and high flyers among our feathered friends.

Take the Sooty Shearwaters. Sounds like a comedy character, doesn’t it? But what this seabird does is anything but funny. Remarkable, yes. Funny, no.

See, the Sooty holds the current record for the longest migration. Period. Think 3,000 miles was wild for a duck? Well, the Sooty travels from New Zealand, or thereabouts, out to the waters of the North Pacific (Japan as well as California), which is a trip much, much longer than just Alaska to California. In fact, it’s a round trip just shy of 40,000 miles.

WOW is right.

For altitude, ducks are amazing, no denying that, but if you want to get really, really high you have to look at the extremely ugly Rüppell's Vulture. That might not be fair to the bird, but ugly or not this vulture wears a handsome medal for going where no bird, or even a lot of airplanes, have gone. Ducks, sure, deserve applause for 20,000 feet but the Rüppell's Vulture goes more than just one better, attaining a remarkable 38,000 feet. Alas, the record was set when the poor bird got sucked into a jet engine at that height but you still have to admit that it was quite an accomplishment.

Here’s something that will really make you think twice about swearing at the next swallow that poops on your windshield: the Peregrine Falcon is not just a regal bird as well as a magnificent hunter: it can spot, and then swoop down on, its prey from more than half a mile away. But what’s astounding is the speed of the falcon, considered by many to be the fastest animal in the entire world, when it attacks. Faster than a cheetah, faster than a greyhound: the falcon has been clocked at close to 200 miles per hour.

Yep, that deserves another WOW.

But birds don’t have to be huge or travel long distances to be marvelous (though, in case you’re interested, the biggest living bird in the world is the ostrich, which can weigh as much as 350 pounds). The members of the family trochilidae – Hummingbirds to you and me -- aren’t big, don’t travel far, but they are certainly fast in their own way. Among the smallest of birds, they beat their wings up to 90 times per second – allowing them to fly every direction including backwards – and the hearts that power them can beat at more than 1,000 beats per minute.

Waddling across grassy fields, gliding through the air, becoming elegant silhouettes against the white of clouds, they are all around us: the magnificent – and amazing – owners of the sky. So let’s give the birds their due as well as some well-deserved respect.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Review Of "All Eyes On Her"

Sometimes life can give you the sweetest gift, like this nice review of my story, "All Eyes On Her" by the Viscount, via billierosi's excellent blog:
I loved this short story by M. Christian. He has a fabulously descriptive writing style that places one there in the scene with the eager participants. I could smell the tar and feel the heat of the sun beating down. I was on that rooftop. I even found myself getting slightly aroused, at this young women amusing herself in such a public place. She is surrounded by the all seeing eyes, hidden behind the blank looking glassy panes of the buildings all around her. For a queer reader like me that's saying something as this guy likes guys. They can see her, she can't see them and my -- what a display she gives.

Most of us are voyeurs to some degree or other, even general cinema, or TV is a kind of voyeurism. However in these circumstances the subject of desire isn't physically present. Is it the physical presence of the object of our desires, is that what makes voyeurism so arousing? Is it the fear of being caught that turns us on?

This story got me thinking. The subject of most voyeuristic desires don't know they are being watched, so that must add to the 'thrill' the voyeur has. The power -- he/she is in control.

As a young teenager of around 13, I would sometimes on my way back from babysitting some neighbours kids, peer through the garden fence that overlooked our neighbours. Most Saturdays they would be making out in front of porn on the TV, you could really see pretty much everything but they had no idea I was there. I got really turned on by that as I was in control, but also I was terrified that I would be caught.

A bit later on in my formative years, at around 15 I caught a voyeur, looking. I was the voyeur watching a voyeur being a voyeur and that was quite thrilling. My aunt employed a lad to do some gardening work one summer and he was hot in every respect. I watched him from the bathroom window and he was as buff as anything and about 10 years older than me at the time; I guess around 25. I noticed him trying to get a better look at something and from my vantage point I could see a young woman sunbathing topless a few gardens down. She had no idea our randy gardener was watching her and he had no idea I was watching him. He was really turned on and so was I at his arousal.

My Mr Christian, what has your story done to me all of these memories as a result of your trigger.

Cindy in Christian's story on the other hand takes control; she is empowered and is turned on at being the subject, not the unwilling participant. Could I give this delightfully titillating short story a feminist reading? Well yes, I expect so. Cindy is woman taking back what is hers, she is no longer the passive pin-up, or downtrodden street walker or abused porn star. She isn't doing this for the kids, or to pay for mum's care home, she is doing it because she wants to.

M. Christian really does know how to write, and write well. I want some more please so get busy with it!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Grace & Beauty

I'm very excited to have some stories recently posted to the very-fun Grace & Beauty site. So head on over if you want to read "Blow Up" from Rude Mechanicals, and "Nighthawks" from Licks & Promises.

Be sure and keep an eye on the site as even more stories and such will be going up very soon!