What if you could look like anyone?

facesDo you like the way that your face looks? If you had the kind of fine muscle control that Zane has in the novel y1, you’d be able to make some subtle alterations, without the expense or pain of surgery. In fact, you could try out different ideas. One day, a shorter nose.  The next day, fuller lips.  Keep going until you get the face that you like. How close do you think it would be to the face that you started with?

Zane guesses that there are three types of people in this regard.  Those who could care less what their genetic material is and would happily alternate between Brad Pitt and Barack Obama and would throw in a day or two of looking like anyone else that would gain them what ever advantage they could get.

surgeonAnother group would go for subtle improvement, like a glamor seeker with deep pockets and a cooperative plastic surgeon.  “Did you lose weight? You’re looking good these days?” “No, not really.  Just a little tanning and working out.” Right.

And then there are the purists, like Zane, who would choose to only alter their appearance when circumstances require it but who day to day would rather look like themselves. Some might say that Zane’s unique appearance altering talents are wasted on him. It raises the question — to what extent is your appearance, for good or bad, an essential part of you?

For more thoughts on “what if” check out my z2 blog post on what if this could last forever?  And see my x0 blog post on what if I really do know what you are thinking?

How things change: the eye of the beholder

Visit psychsearch.net

Visit psychsearch.net

When I graduated from high school, apparently  homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental conditions. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, because to the best of my knowledge there weren’t any homosexuals in my home town and there possibly weren’t even any in the whole state of Kansas.  It was a rare condition, my mother assured me.

Unbeknownst to me, there were also gay activists in 1974, and they pushed the American Psychiatric Association to remove it from the DSM. It was removed, and since then a lot a of new illnesses have been added. As edition five came out this spring, psychiatrists took a lot of grief for classing so many types of behavior as “illnesses.” For example, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder threatens to turn children with too many temper tantrums into those with a mental disorder and binge eating (defined as excessive eating 12 times in 3 months and I wonder if my ice cream habit puts me over the top here) is now an official mental illness.

On the one hand, classification as an illness does allow those who want help to get their insurance to pay for it, if they have insurance 🙂 . On the other hand, having your idiosyncrasies or your own areas for personal growth classed as a mental disorder could be life altering in negative ways as well.

So what of homosexuality as a form of mental illness? Well, a few months ago Saul Levin, an openly gay man, was named the  new American Psychiatric Association chief executive officer and medical director.

Things do change with time. In the case of Dr. Levin, I’m glad that they have and I wish him the best. In the case of the new mental illness referred to as “hoarding disorder” …… well, I prefer to still consider it one my more charming little eccentricities.

For more on how things change with time, visit my z2 blog here for thoughts on human trafficking and Broadway musicals. Also visit my x0 blog here for thoughts on veggie burgers, humor and empathy.

Orangeberry picks up the slack

new cover

new cover

I’m stretched too thin right now.

My third novel, z2, has just had a mild cover redesign and a very light edit after finishing its first  90 days of life as part of Kindle Select. It appears now on Kindle in its mildly improved form and it is newly available at smashwords as well.  In a few days I hope to be able to approve the final proof for the create space paperback version.  So,  as of yesterday I am delighted to be offering a Goodreads giveaway of 15 paperback copies of z2 and it is so exciting for me to to watch folks sign up for my giveaway and to add my book to their to- read shelf. Wahoo!  My third creation is talking physical form.

x0_sw final mediumMeanwhile x0 is having quiet behind the scenes excitement of its own. A reader has contacted me with her suggestions to improve the flow of the writing in certain parts of the book and I am excited to be working with her and learning of her ideas. From the beginning I considered putting out a second edition of x0 once all six books were finished, and now I certainly will. The story will not change a bit, but some of my more difficult to explain concepts will hopefully come across more clearly thanks to her expertise.  The problem is that she is providing input NOW and this collaborations requires my attention.

And then there is the current love of my life (well except for the real love,  but fortunately he waits patiently while I write). This love is the half created story c3, with Teddie Zeitman far from home and struggling for survival in a world far more frightening than anything she has ever imagined. I just want to be in this world day and night and of course I cannot be and it frustrates me to the very core of my being.

This explains why y1 is getting so very little of my attention right now. Fortunately the fine people over at Orangeberry are picking up the slack for me. They are trotting y1 hither and yon and folks are taking me up on my free y1 smashwords giveaways so I am pleased. The schedule for this coming week’s trotting around looks like this:

11th June – Guest Post st at Blog-A-Licious Authors 

12th June – Book Review & Author Interview at Author’s Friend

13th June – Guest Post at Kindle Nook Books 

14th June – Book Review at Everything for Books 

15th June – Author Interview at My Reading Problem 

16th June Book Feature at Just My Opinion

17th June – Guest Post at UnEnding TBR Pile

18th June – Author Interview at My Life in Books

Please come check out y1 at any of these sites.

The give-aways end (sob) and I turn in my hour of need to my first blog tour

I little over a year ago I thought I was writing books to entertain and express myself, and creating a novel from little more than my imagination certainly did that. It was tiring and sometimes frustrating, but dammit is was also FUN.

Soul searching confirmed for me that neither money not fame were the object, especially given that I am incredibly introverted and already work in a fairly well paying profession that I enjoy. But days after I hit that first publish button for x0 on Kindle, I discovered something that surprised me totally.  I wanted people to read my book! It was even better if they liked it of course, and I had absolutely no objection to them paying for it, but basically I wanted it to be read.

megaphoneSo suddenly I had two hobbies. I was writing away on y1 and loving it, and I was trying to come up with ways to get total strangers to open x0 up on their kindle and read it instead of the (gulp) million or so other books available electronically.

This second hobby has been more frustrating than fulfilling for me, and clearly there are reasons that I did not end up working in advertising. I tried getting bloggers to review my book (most never answered my queries.) I discovered that producing a paperback book on Create Space was both free and rather easy, and after that I discovered that I could give away copies of my paperback on Goodreads.  Oh boy!

Suddenly my day job was providing the pocket money for me to mail copies of x0 and y1 (which author (2)came out in paperback about the same time) to Romania and New Zealand and Brazil. I don’t even know if most copies made it to their destinations, but slowly responses to both books have begun to pour in. Some people gave me 5 stars (an A) and others two stars (a D) with no comments either way.  Some people praised my book and gave it a poor rating while others did little more than complain then rated it high. I could only scratch my head and wonder. But in other cases, other wonderful cases, I could tell from the review that the reader “got” my book. And whether they loved it or just kind of barely liked it, their understanding, and the sense of that connection that came with it, was a high almost as strong as writing the book itself.

And now all that has come to an end.  Goodreads only allows give-aways on books published within the last 6 months, and my time has run out for both x0 and  y1.  What to do, what to do?  I think I am addicted to reviews. Luckily, I have two solutions

One, my third love child, z2, will be out in paper back next week. Hurray.  I have six glorious months in which to give copies away. Two, I discovered fine people on the internet who will get my 6-month-olds out there onto people’s blogs for me. I elected to try my first blog tour with y1, and to use a group called Orangeberry.  My blog tour officially starts today, and the schedule for the first week is as follows.

4th June – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces

5th June – Twitter View with OB Book Tours

6th June – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

7th June – Book Review & Author Interview at Mommy Adventures

8th June – Guest Post at The Bunny’s Review

9th June – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

10th June – Book Review & Author Interview at The Reading Cat

Please check me out at these venues, and I’ll post the rest of the tour next week.  Ahhhh …. I think everything is going to be okay.