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I just wanted to remind y'all that the submission deadline for Dormitory Heat is quickly approaching!

Bella Books Call for Submissions

Dormitory Heat: Hot Lesbian Tales of Campus Lust

Edited by Therese Szymanski

Submission deadline: July 1, 2011 (to be published in 2012)

Ah, to be young, hot, and hopelessly in lust while surrounded by nubile babes at one of the many great institutions of higher learning that help to mold the future leaders of this country.

Therese Szymanski is seeking hot stories about women on campus—horny sorority sisters, feisty women’s studies students, queer drama dykes, we want them all:

• From the sexy new sorority sister being initiated into the ways of her newfound sisterhood…

• To the wide-eyed freshman theatre major learning all about trust exercises in her freshman acting lab…

• The sexy geek learning all about extra credit in her latest women’s studies class…

• The feisty track star getting hot and sweaty in the locker room with her teammates…

• The beautiful Japanese student exploring women’s culture in the states…

• And more—your imagination’s the limit! I want them all, so long as they’re hot stories my readers will want to read one-handed in the bathtub, bring ‘em on!

Use your imagination and your very best words to craft hot stories with great ideas, real characters and interesting situations while leaving your reader hot, wet and wanting more. Put your all into it, but as you’re bringing onyou’re your best sleaze, remember that story reigns supreme—humor and twist endings are fun, but the stories must also be hot and sexy. Bring on your very best and realize that typos, punctuation, grammar, odd/incorrect POVs, and other things DO count against you.


1) Stories should be between 2,000 and 7,000 words in length.

2) Please submit a typed, double-spaced hard copy in at least 12-point type with one-inch margins. Preferably in a nice, readable serif font like Times New Roman. Documents should be formatted with US standards of 8½”x11” paper, etc.

3) Characterization, plot, and story are key. (Really. I want a good, hot story, with a believable plot and real characters!) but punctuation, grammar and POV are important.

4) Stories must be erotic, lesbian and on topic.

5) Name, address, phone number, word count, and email address should all appear on the first page. (If accepted, final manuscript must be submitted electronically.)

6) Include a 50-word bio with your submission.

7) Only previously unpublished stories—or stories that have appeared on the Internet (and can be pulled)—will be considered. (Please include information on where and when the story was posted in your cover letter.)

8) Please include a brief cover letter with your submission.

9) Only three submissions per person please.

10) Include an SASE with sufficient postage to return the manuscript if you would like it returned, or, if manuscript is disposable, please state so in your cover letter.

11) Handy hint: If you don’t necessarily need/want the manuscript back, but would like to know if you’ve been rejected, please include a #10 SASE (that is, Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) so we can let you know if we’re unable to use your story with a simple form letter (no feedback can be given).

12) Email Reese at dormitoryheat at bigbadbutch.com with any questions.

Contributors will be paid upon publication and will receive two copies of the anthology. No final decisions about stories to be included in this anthology will be made before 1/1/2012.

Send all manuscripts to:

Therese Szymanski
3571 Far West Blvd. #122
Austin, TX 78731

Please do not send manuscripts in any way that requires a signature upon delivery. If you enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard with your story, Szymanski will be happy to drop it in the mail upon receipt.

Therese (Reese) Szymanski, the bestselling, award-winning author and playwright of nine mystery/thrillers, four novellas, six controversial plays and several dozen short stories, essays, articles, columns, reviews and feature stories, is a marketing guru whose every fiction-editing turn has been shortlisted for or won an award. She’s edited Back to Basics: A Butch/Femme Anthology, Call of the Dark: Erotic Lesbian Tales of the Supernatural, A Perfect Valentine: Erotic Valentine’s Day Lesbian Love, Wild Nights: Mostly True Stories of Women Loving Women and Fantasy: Untrue Stories of Lesbian Passion. You can find out more about Reese and her work at www.BigBadButch.com.

Starting to get a complex

I lived in Washington, DC, for 10 years and now, just a year after I moved to Texas, my brother, who lives in Australia with his family, is moving to DC. Am I allowed to get a complex about this?

Free Butterflies!

 Stacia spoke to a writer's group last week in Dallas. We had to leave for Dallas about an hour after the last butterfly came out of her chrysalis. We didn't want to leave them at home, since we were going to be gone for a few days, but we didn't want to let them go since they were still so young, so we took them with us. Needless to say they drew quite a bit of attention from valet parkers and hotel staff.

When we were coming home we made a few stops and although we left the car windows open a bit, it still got really hot in the car, so we started to worry about them, but we were surrounded in all ways by parking lots, so it seemed really cruel to let them go there. One butterfly was especially getting antsy for freedom, bashing herself into the sides of the container whenever sunlight peeked into it. 

Anyway, we took them into the last restaurant with us for lunch and let them go as soon as we got home. We had to help all of them out of the container—even the really excited butterfly wasn't seeing the exit when we opened it, but she did fly WAAAYYY up into the sky as soon as she felt free air under her wings (when I last saw her she was at least 100 feet up).

We washed out the butterfly house and hung it up to dry. We'll be keeping it around since we'll definitely be doing this again. It was really interesting this first time around and I highly recommend it to those with kids. The next time it'll just be fun!

We have Butterflies!

This morning shortly after I woke up our first butterfly emerged from her chrysalis! Total pushover I am I immediately ran to the store to get her carnations (the instructions said that butterflies like to drink sugar water off carnations. They also said we could put the sugar water on crumpled tissues to feed the butterflies, so we did that to hold her over until I brought home carnations.) 

And now, at 2.45 a.m., the second butterfly has emerged and the last three chrysalises are a dark, dark grey (they apparently turn really dark just before they emerge).

I'd share pics but I'm wicked tired tonight...zzzzzzzzz... 

Flutterby... flutterby... butterfly...

...the chrysalises started shaking and vibrating and just going wild tonight! We're thinking it's time to get them some carnations (we're supposed to put sugar water on carnations to feed the butterflies once they come out of their chrysalises. We can put it on crumpled up tissues, but  we think they'll just enjoy the carnations ever-so-much more.)

So any day now we expect butterflies!

In the meantime, if any happy readers have been intrigued by this—ooops, any US READERS (sorry, this deal is only available to those in the continental US and Alaska), you can get your very own Butterfly Garden complete with a coupon for the larvae and everything—by getting over to Kids.Woot today (Monday, March 21, 2011): kids.woot.com/. It's only $6.99 for each garden plus $5 shipping (and you can get up to three gardens with the one shipping fee).

It's highly recommended fun and scientific interest!

The Return of the Bugs

Picture of five caterpillars in a cup One afternoon recently Stacia came running into the living room to announce that the bugs were all working together—something we hadn't seen yet!

Well, I hold that they were not. Pretty much what happened is one of them went nuts cleaning the container. If you look at the first picture really carefully you'll see that the cup the five—now bigger than ever before—caterpillars are in looks really scratched up. Well, it's not scratched up—all of those supposed scratches are actually Read more...Collapse )

Gay Teens on TV

I got sucked into an issue of Entertainment Weekly (the 1/28 issue) recently while I was in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. After all, how could I when it had such a provocative front cover—Special Report: Gay Teens on TV?

According to the article, which I was unable to finish because some idiot ripped out the page with the story’s conclusion, the average coming-out age is now down to 16 from the 19–23 it was in the 80s. It also said that 45 percent of schools now have gay/straight alliances. But the article obviously focused primarily on gay teens on TV.

It’s disgusting how overlooked and stepped on we queers still are, in this modern age of equal rights. Of course, women still make only, like, 60 percent of what men make, and the country recently decided that a black president was less objectionable than a female president. But at least it’s not as bad to be gay as it was just 20 years ago.

I mean, as recently as 1987 it was illegal to serve an alcoholic beverage to a queer in a bar in Read more...Collapse )

The Bugs Get Bigger!

The first time Stacia and I went to England together, we were sightseeing with Jane Fletcher and we came upon this sort of butterfly reserve and, while we were wandering around in this beautiful reserve in a sort of enormous greenhouse, someone spied me and took a liking to me. Butterfly on my collar

I guess that's the sort of thing the caterpillars in our bathroom will soon become—although they'll be a bit more colorful since they're Painted Lady caterpillars.

In the meanwhile, our little bugs have grown! It can be a little weird to hear them walking around now, since our first reaction is usually to stomp something that makes that noise inside the house, but they're nice and safe (and cozy!) in their little jar-like container.

They've even started spinning silk, putting up little webs that make them practice their skills—and help them move around the container and give them little slings to sleep in. We were worried for a while that two of them had stuck themselves in their little webs, since they didn't seem to be moving from them while all their friends wandered around and grew far more rapidly from them but, fortunately, they are now all happy and growing and moving.

If you look closely at the photo you can see little dark dots. Apparently caterpillars occasionally slough off their skin as they grow!

We're eagerly awaiting their chrysalises and transformations!

Butterflies! (And Caterpillars!)

Butterfly kit box with picture of net-cage.For Xmas my sweetie got me, among other goodies, a butterfly kit. Sounds kinda weird, right? It’s actually really cool. (Apparently someone in her family asked for one of these and she thought I’d like one as well. She was right on about that!)

What the kit is is this netty-sorta cage thingie and a coupon. You mail in the coupon to get five caterpillars and food. You then watch the caterpillars as they go about their days in your little container, where they sleep and chow down. (See photos to see some of the packaging of the kit and the caterpillars.) Eventually they’ll spin their little chrysalises (cocoons) and you move the cocooned caterpillars into the netty-cage thingie and watch it as the miraculously change into beautiful painted lady butterflies which we can then let loose into the Texas spring. (We obviously won’t keep them in the netted cage thing for very long because that’s not the point of it—the point is to watch them grow and change (and the caterpillars have grown already in the mere days we’ve had them. I haven’t caught them eating yet but Stacia has. They sleep a lot.)Picture of caterpillars in action

Stay tuned for more exciting news about our resident butterflies-to-be!

Container top with info about butterflies

The New Eminem Chrysler Commercials

It's about time one of the big three pulled in some real Detroit talent like Eminem to represent Motown. (Granted, I have a LOT of problems with Eminem, but he's a popular, respected, Detroit talent.) I really enjoy the new Chrysler commercials, in fact. I think they're well done and they have a good selling point (USP, Unique Selling Proposition).

Historically, advertising has gone through phases, with ads in some times (these ad trends aren't usually just a month or year long, but more like a decade or more) being reason oriented: The ads will use facts and figures to differentiate one product from another. Other times ads are more image oriented, showing specific cool people that use the product, or generic sexy people who use it. Or they'll use descriptors or an overall mood in the ad or commercial to sell the product.

At least that's the way it used to be.

For quite some time it's been more segmented by product category than time. Any given year, or day, has some products appealing to the intellect and reason while other products are sold emotionally—with a celebrity spokesperson or with a high fashion, glossy, upper-crusty, rich feeling. (Of course, some products use reasons AND celebrity spokespeople, but that's just another part of the advertising mishmash that's going on.)

The Eminem Chrysler campaign is another mishmash, using a celebrity (one could argue that the people who Eminem will sell to will know who he is while folks who might be offended by him are more likely to not realize whose music is powering the commercial, if he still offends anyone, that is) and a mood while the voice-over gives reasons: It's what we do. We're the Motor City.

One thing that I thought of this morning while seeing the commercial is something my Dad used to say. One version of the commercial poses the thought that the people making the cars aren't known for being rich (well, except for the Big Three execs) so what do they know about luxury? How can they make a luxury car? Then it says that they know cars.

My father ran a credit union for years and, through his position there, was able to get some nice deals on repossessed vehicles. Something he often said comes to mind with regard to these new ads: He used to hold that some folks lived in their cars so they bought nice cars. The repoed cars he drove were usually Cadillacs. And I’m sure some folks he referred to owned homes and cars and it was their cars they found their luxury in.

Writers have to be careful to choose their stereotypes wisely. There are reasons for stereotypes—they can do a lot of characterizing for you with just a few well-placed strokes—but then they have to be well-chosen stereotypes drawn with well-placed strokes and very choice words.

And although I like the new Chrysler ads, I am glad that they did a few different cuts of the ads so that the one with the perhaps often erroneous logic structure isn’t used too much.

And those are my thoughts today.


Mary Rainbow Me
Big, Bad Butch

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