Friday, April 6

A to Z Challenge : Funniest videos ever!

Well, maybe not funniest ever, but definitely the funniest I've seen in a while. These videos are posted by Nice Peter on YouTube. If you love silly humor and don't mind a little bad language, you'll love this.

The Epic Rap Battles of History feature opponents such as Sara Palin vs Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson vs Elvis Presley, and one of my personal favs, Master Chief vs Leonidus. I know this has nothing to do with Romance (my intended theme), but I had to share this. Hope you enjoy!

Seen anything funny on the net lately that you'd like to share? What kind of humor gets you laughing the most?

Thursday, April 5

A to Z Challenge : Entangled Publishing

Well, shucks. I misscheduled my A to Z Delta post on Dating Disasters and thus missed a letter for the challenge. Lesson learned, folks. Now that I'm settled into my nights schedule at work, I can keep a better eye on these things.

While on leave to Washington last weekend, I attended the Rose City Romance Writers Spring Intensive, and I had the pleasure of meedting Liz Pelletier, editor and one of the founders of Entangled Publishing.

She entered the publishing business in an unusual way. After starting Savvy Authors (if you're an author and don't know about it, check it out. It's a fantastic resource with tons of affordable workshops and informative posts every month), she ended up with a small surplus of profit on what she'd intended to be a non-profit venture. So what could she do with the money that would help authors most?

She noticed the majority of authors weren't getting published. As anyone else would do *ahem* she developed a business model based on case studies she'd read on Boeing's success and gathered friends who shared the same vision of how a publishing company should be. Entangled pays higher royalties because of the management team's belief that the author should receive more of the profits for their work. They are not a digital first as some people assume, instead releasing print and digital simultaneously.

Entangled is one amazing publisher, a rapidly expanding one. They've recently added multiple imprints, similar to Category lines by Harlequin. In my opinion, they'll give Harlequin a run for their money some day, though there's plenty of room in the market that's been virtually untouched by publishers other than Harlequin. They've also contracted with a distributor to get select titles on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.

I think what impresses me most about this publisher is that despite the need for the bottom line (it is a business, after all), Entangled cares about and stands behind their authors. Liz shared a lot of tips and information on how distribution works. She has only a minute to pitch the books when she markets them, so getting a great, hooky pitch down to that length is a huge plus. Overall, I was quite impressed with this publisher. Of course, I also know someone published with them, Lisa Kessler, and she's had nothing but glowing things to say about them.

What publishers do you have your eye on? What do you think of Entangled's unique "it takes a village" model of publishing? Have you used Savvy Authors before? Do you think a small publisher can take on the big guns? What do you think they need to accomplish that?

Tuesday, April 3

A to Z Challenge : Casual Encounters

Don't act all innocent! I don't know a single person who hasn't at least perused Craigslist's personals section at least a few times. When you open the page, it even has a scent. Something like... desperation, lol. Alright, I'm not going to knock the site any further. I'll just point out that for women, using CL is like shooting fish in a barrel, and generally women don't need to post pictures to get responses.

Men, however, get the gamut of spam, links to pay sites, fake responses, etc., and they must post a pic to get any real responses. Unfortunately, they post the most lewd pics--ones sure to invite the wrong responses. Now, for those of you curious, I gleaned this information from a multitude of friends who have used the site or attempted to use it. Most never answer the responses they received from a post.

Believe it or not, I don't think all who post there are looking for a drive-by. I've seen plenty of posts where the poster seems to be looking for a connection of some sort, the potential for a continuing relationship. The rest of them seem to post out of boredom.

Has anyone posted--under Personals, not just Casual Encounters (I used platonic before and found that the general public has no idea what platonic means *shudders*)? Do you know anyone who's used the site to meet new people? What's the craziest personal ad you've seen posted anywhere? Do you think CL should even include a section like Casual Encounters under Personals? After all, they're not in the Adult Friend Finder business...

Yay! Day 3 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is complete. My post is a little late, of course, because I was driving home overnight from Washington. I got in around 7 am this morning after a seventeen-hour drive. Couldn't help myself. I had to have a little nap before I had to go to work. Thank you all for patiently awaiting my visits to your blog. I'll be making rounds shortly ;)

Monday, April 2

A to Z Challenge : Bromance

Technically the bromance pictured above isn't typical bromance behavior, but I couldn't help myself. They're hot and confident enough to hug in public. Wikipedia defines bromance as a close, non-sexual relationship between two or more men, a form of homosocial intimacy. I never really thought about the dynamics of such a relationship until I watched I Love You, Man and realized how important it is for men to have these kinds of bonds. Women can often take these kinds of relationships for granted because they're more encouraged for women, at least in my experience.

It can, however, go too far, enough to ruin other relationships. I suppose this means there has to be balance. From the comments on this post on The Nest, you can see there are pros and cons to the bromantic relationship.

Some more famous bromances in the public eye are Matt Damon/Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt/George Clooney, Tom Cruise/David Beckham, Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson, Tom Felton/Rupert Grint (yes, it's Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley). Bromance is a frequent feature in anime as well.

Personally, I've seen the strongest romantic bonds formed among those men exposed to danger on a regular basis--military members, police officers, firemen. Danger is a great motivation to set aside differences and competitive natures.

Are you or your significant other in a bromance? When does a bromance go to far? Have you had any good / bad experiences with a bromance? Is it a necessary kind of relationship?

Alright. Day 2 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Once again, there is still time to get in on this great blogging experience and push yourself. Head over to the blog by tonight to sign up and join the fun! And a note to my visitors and followers: I'm still in Washington spending time with my kids for a few days (haven't seen them since October), so I'll be by your blogs after I return tomorrow.

Sunday, April 1

A to Z Challenge : Alpha Males

Need I say more? LOL, alright I will. Let's just say I've been reading Romance for a very long time, and I've seen a shift in the perception of an alpha male. In older novels, they were often portrayed as domineering and controlling, nearly knuckle-draggers--the "I know what's best for you" type. I think publishers have realized this kind of guy is indeed NOT attractive to most readers.

Exuding confidence, self-esteem, and leadership seems to be key to being alpha. There is definitely a difference between controlling and leading. This former gives no regard to others' opinions, desires, or input while the latter involves doing what needs doing in order to succeed. If that means having the confidence to go beyond oneself for expertise or advice, then so be it. A man who can see the value in that is absolutely an alpha male to be respected.

Several sites list alpha traits (Alpha Men, How to be an Alpha Male, Masculine Freedom), but you'll see a wide variety of differences from site to site. Everyone has their own ideas, but they all really describe the same type of person. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, there's also been some research that being alpha can be bad for your health especially if you're also a Type A personality.

Are you an alpha male or female? What traits are key to being a true alpha? Would you rather be an alpha or beta? Do you find alphas (m or f) attractive?

So, welcome to Day 1 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and thank you to all of our wonderful hosts. Check out the blog for more information. Sign up before Monday night to participate. Finally, I leave you with this:

Alpha Male