Monday, August 28, 2006

Fess Up Monday!

How much did you write? Did you submit? Did you sell? Tell, tell tell!

First things first:

The Global Exististential Threat Level remains at GUARDED.

And today's inspiration, from Marie Curie:

I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.

Markets coming later today!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday's Creative Challenge Game!

Share your creativity in the comments section.

How do you meet the science fiction/futuristic, fantasy or paranormal date of your dreams?

Write the ad copy for the match-making service who can set you up with your personal slice of speculative romance heaven.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

News 2 Use: Freaky Freaks Edition

A traumatic antidepressing frontal lobotomy hysteria

According to The Psychologist, the worst ideas ever entertained by scientists about the human mind are…

#4: Freudian hysteria: it's not just in the woman's mind, Doctor!
#3: Post-trauma counseling: it makes things worse!
#2: The chemical imbalance model of mental distress: only the drug companies believe that seratonin really means anything.

And the worst idea ever about the mind in human history: THE FRONTAL LOBOTOMY.

I wasn't surprised by #1 and #4, but I'll admit the drug companies suckered me on the depression is caused by chemical imbalance. And why are we rushing counselors to disaster sites if it makes things worse? I wonder who gets paid, and by whom…

I also wonder which Bright and Shining Current Theory, in any field, will be debunked in your story's vision of the future?

With Large, Nasty Teeth!

A pack of raccoons is terrorizing a Washington State community. So far ten cats have been killed by the raccoons, one small dog almost carried off, and one human bitten.

Wildlife authorities have no explanation for the aggressive behavior. Attempts to trap the animals have failed, because the adult raccoons have figured out how to avoid the traps and are teaching the tricks to their offspring.

Says one nuisance wildlife expert at the scene: "They [the raccoons] are in control up there."

Watership Down meets Cujo, man. What species will quit pretending they are inferior next?

Astronomers Observe Dark Matter

Scientists believe that they have found proof that dark matter exists, and that our understanding of gravity is not basically flawed.

Dark matter is thought to account for up 80% of what's in the universe and is invisible because it does not emit any electromagnetic radiation.

I don't totally get the whole "dark matter" thing, but isn't it totally creepy that we are able to sense and interact with only about 20% of What's Really Out There?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fess Up Monday

How much did you write? Where did you submit? Did you sell? Tell, tell, tell.

The Global Exististential Threat Level has been downgraded to GUARDED.

Put your duct tape away.

Today's inspiration, thanks to Winston Churchill:

Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SpecRom Says...

Each Thursday I'll post a writing prompt. We can laugh at our collective sicko creativity in the comments.

Create a new slang word and its definition (and etymology if you feel enthused) for romantic and/or sexual interaction with an alien/fantasy or paranormal type lover or lovers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

News 2 Use: Oh The Humanity Edition

One More Misstep for Mankind

NASA can't find the original video tapes made of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.

According to the BBC, they lost an audio tape of the same event, then found it again, in September of 2001:

But we all know where to find the Paris Hilton Sex Tape.

Better Wine Through Worms

Australian scientists are using the olfactory molecular recognition system of the nematode worm as a pattern for a "cybernose" that will help evaluate a grape's readiness for wine.

"The cybernose will draw on how the brains of simple organisms...process information about smells and tell the difference between related odors," according to the lead scientist of the research, resulting in better Australian wine.

Scientists continue to turn to bioengineering for clues on how to improve technology, which is great. I'm just so glad they are focusing on essential services. I mean, better Australian wine could be the turning point for humanity. Maybe the cybernose, or the little worms, can sniff out the NASA tape?

Get Your GETAS Update Here

The Global Existential Threat Advisory System, tracked by the Lifeboat Foundation, has been raised to ELEVATED.

"The Global Existential Threat Advisory System intends to provide a comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding existential threats to the world," said Philippe Van Nedervelde, Lifeboat Foundation's Chief International Evangelist.

Existential risk quantifies the probability of events that could spell the end to life, the universe and everything.

Got duct tape?

PS -- I signed up for the GETAS email updates, so I think we'll report the Global Existential Threat Advisory on Fess Up Mondays. Just to put our writing travails in perspective.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Quest for Romantic Horror continues...

Here's an interesting article at HellNotes about the genre definition of horror.

The gist -- that horror is not so much a genre itself but a subcategory in all genre works when one of the author's goals is to evoke fear in a reader.

I can dig that. Because as I've said before in many places, to as many people who will listen, there is little physiological difference between the body's reaction when it's frightened and the body's reaction when it's aroused. To my mind that makes sensual romance and horror a hand-in-glove fit.

And I for one am eager to have my damp panties scared right off me, as long as I know there will be a reasonably happy ending.
New Review and Member News

MONSTER by Joely Skye is reviewed at our website. It asks why is this gay alpha hero not the jerk that straight alpha heroes can be?

And our members report great and glorious stuff:

Zircon winner Isabo Kelly won the Dream Realm Award for Speculative Fiction Romance with her Cerridwen Press release, MARSHALL'S GUARD. Congrats, IK!

Visit author SUSANNE MARIE KNIGHT's Romance Writing with a Twist website and sign up for her 2006 Snowy Season Surprise Contest. The *surprise* will be an autographed copy of one of her best-selling books. Which one it will be is up to you! Goody bag also includes cool prizes, promo items, and lots of seasonal fun! Contest ends on January 15, 2007. Only one entry per person, please! Go to and click on the contest button for details.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fess Up Monday!

Accountability breeds success. Or so I'm told. I'm willing to give it a try. So...

Each Monday I'll post a little thought to get us all through the week.

Then we can post our progress, or lack there of, our submissions, waiting angst, rejections and sales in the comments section.

So it's Monday, Specrommers. Fess Up.

And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong -- the author whose work was the first my mom forbade me to read!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

News to Use!

No Gravity, No Good Stuff

(Thanks Vicky Woodard for the tip!)

As humans become space tourists, what's the first thing we're going to try? Zero-g sex, of course. And what will be the enhancement or drawbacks to performance? What will be the impact on conception and birth control?

Who knew that pregnancy in space might be unavoidable through contraception, but dangerous, even deadly, for fetal development? If people in space can't have regular intercourse, I wonder what sort of zero-g sexual expression might develop? Could it come to…

Choking the Chicken in Clerkenwell

(Thanks Denise Rossetti for the tip!)

Europe's first Masturbate-A-Thon comes to a close Saturday afternoon, when sponsors will receive pledged money for every minute they masturbate or orgasm they achieve. The event raises funds for HIV/AIDS treatment and alternative sexual practices awareness.

Okay, nothing gets the attention like salicious headlines, but this bit and the space sex bit make a good combined point. If you're writing about sex between humans and aliens, the plumbing might not match up. What alternative sexual expressions will your human/alien love match use?

OM Your Way Out of Pain

Research points to Transcendental Meditation as an effective way to reduce and manage pain. TM actually changes the way the brain responds to painful stiumuli, producing "a physiological state capable of modifying various kinds of pain."

If TM can make your brain feel pain less acutely, what other changes in human perception of sensual stimuli are possible? And without invasive technology. Well if that doesn't help there's always…

Eat Worms and Don't Die

Intentionally hosting parasitic worms may be the key to reducing allergic conditions like asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers have evidence that allergies are practically unknown in the developing world, and they think parasites are an important factor. "Many parasitic worms have … developed ways of dampening down the inflammatory immune responses that are also responsible for many of the symptoms of allergic disease."

Would controlled parasitic worm hosting help out when we colonize other planets? Could we host the alien world worms, gaining the supression of inflammatory immune response to alien allergens?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Speculative Romance Online...

  • open for entries in the Third Annual Zircon Contest for Short Speculative Romance! Visit for rules and electronic upload form.

  • <...posted a new article: Just A Whisper of Magic: Using Magical Realism in Contemporary Romance, by me.

  • ...salutes the achievements of its members:

    Zircon winner E. Catherine Tobler invites you to share her stories: "Indigo With Distance" is in the August 2006 Realms of Fantasy, and "Threads" is in issue #18 of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

    Zircon winner Isabo Kelly is running a contest this month. "Guess that Movie Quote" for fun and prizes at

    Carol Berg announces that DAUGHTER OF ANCIENTS won the 2006 Prism Award for Best Romantic Fantasy from the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter. She's running a drawing for copies of DAUGHTER OF ANCIENTS and the other books in the Bridge of D'Arnath series on her website,

    CJ Barry's UNMASKED won the FF&P chapter Prism Award for Best Futuristic, and the Kiss of Death Daphne Du Maurier Award for not only Best Paranormal but Best Overall (!!) for 2006. Congrats, CJ!

    Linnea Sinclair won a RITA with her futuristic GABRIEL'S GHOST. Congrats, Linnea!
  • Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Markets, Markets, Get Your Markets Here!

  • Silk's Vault Calls For Romantic Horror and Sultan's of Sin Halloween Contest Entries

  • Arg, Mateys: The Shimmer Pirate Issue!

  • Stardust Press wants erotic romance stories that walk the edge

  • Lady Aibell -- Erotica and Erotic Romance wants dark romance, horror and science fiction

  • New Concepts Publishing Has SpecRom Anthology Opportunities

  • Liquid Silver Books launches Molten Silver for speculative romantic erotica

  • Whispers wants speculative erotic romance with alpha males and strong heroines

  • The Opinion Guy opens to character-driven, thoughtful speculative fiction shorts

  • As always, full listing with links can be found at our fabulously marvelous and helpful website, Speculative Romance Online.