Sunday, December 19, 2010

Romance for the Solstice

My last post raised a few eyebrows (and maybe other things), but today I'm posting something for the romantics.  If you're snuggled up next to the fireplace looking for a sweet, romantic holiday read, try The White Stag, available in a variety of ebook formats from the incomparable Dreamspinner Press.

The fantastic cover art is by Paul Richmond.  If you love it as much as I do, you can purchase a giclee or Christmas cards at Paul's online store.

Here's what it's about:  In the aftermath of September 11, a grief-stricken Joshua finds comfort and solace in the arms of a mysterious man who also lost someone that fateful day. Jude Balder, the son of a U.S. Senator and a well-known artist in his own right, is everything Joshua has ever wanted, except for the whole “religion thing.” Joshua is a Christian, and Jude... well, Jude is something else entirely, something abstract and scary and indefinable, something that is definitely not Christian. When Joshua receives an invitation to a Solstice/Christmas party thrown by Jude and his Senator mother a couple of years later, he's faced with a quandary: Should he worry about the dangerous allure of the unknown, or will he dare take the chance to bask in Jude’s undeniable perfection?

It's a sexy, romantic story with a touch of holiday magic.  I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Looking for something to stuff in your stocking?

Now available from STARbooks press, this anthology includes my story "Nicholas North."  This one is guaranteed to roast your chestnuts.  Available in paperback or kindle format.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writing Flash Fiction: Take my story away before I wreck it.

I've been playing with flash fiction lately.  It's been an interesting exercise for me.  As a writer I tend to inject a lot of detail into my storytelling and when you are working with a form that allows you 500 words to tell the whole story, it makes you more linguistically frugal.

I like the idea of limitations in writing.  

Here's an unvarnished truth for you:  I am a terrible poet.  

But I enjoy poetry.  I like to read it and I like to write it.  I'm just not very good at writing it.  I can't really stand unstructured, moody free verse poetry.  My free verse quickly evolves into paragraphs and characters, and a story emerges.  But I do like poetic forms; sonnets and sestinas are particular favorites of mine.  They're like Sudoku or song lyrics, so defined that the words become critical.  Make a misstep in a long, free verse poem and the other words swirl around to mask the glaring problem, but add an extra syllable to a sonnet and it's no longer a sonnet.

I write sonnets by writing down fourteen lines of story and then playing with the words to make them fit the form.  Matching words to meter and rhyme without sounding stilted or pretentious is a challenge to which I can seldom do anything more than aspire.  As I said, I am a terrible poet. 

For the last few years I've written fiction in the same way, by throwing something down on the page and then working it over and over until I feel like I've managed to eke out all the excess.

But it hasn't always been that way.  I used to spend evenings sitting in front of a blank screen cursing my lack of creativity.  I tried to channel Natalie Goldberg (in Writing Down the Bones, she urges writers to "Write through the dross.") but in my heart of hearts I categorized her as a journal writer, not a fiction writer and, while I loved her and tried to do what she said, I could not really believe the process was relevant to fiction.

And then one night in 2001 or 2002 I was watching a marathon interview with Toni Morrison on C-SPAN and she said that was her process.  She would just sit down and write something--anything--and then go back and work the lines, aerating the roots and straightening the rows, coaxing the blooms to life, tangling or untangling the vines.   And I thought, "Well hell, maybe I need to try that."  And suddenly my fiction output increased exponentially.

So my first drafts ramble and wander, carrying trunks full of excess wording, unclear phrases, and misplaced emphasis.  By working with the material, editing and moving and shortening, I eventually arrive at the moment when it seems complete enough to submit.  To tell the truth, recognizing that moment is sometimes as hard as the actual writing and editing.  

Sometimes I wish there were someone else to read my work, someone to say, "Okay, we're done with this one.  Write some more about that gardener or maybe work on the one about the hospital."

So flash fiction seems like a good way to hone my skills, to polish my craft.  I mostly write the flash for myself, but on occasion I find someone who's interested in a piece of it.  Pill Hill Press contracted a zombie flash story called "Z-Day" for their anthology Daily Bites of Flesh, 2011, and another zombie story for Daily Frights 2012.  I've got a couple of other pieces out there floating around looking for homes, so maybe I'll have more flash fiction publication announcements soon.

I saw Six Degrees of Separation first on Broadway and then later as a movie (dozens of times).  It's one my favorite works dealing with the big questions about how and why we translate experience into memory or art or stories.  There is a scene in the movie where Flan Kittredge, a middle-aged art dealer, is talking about the process of painting and he has this to say:
I remembered asking my kids' second-grade teacher: 'Why are all your students geniuses? Look at the first grade - blotches of green and black. The third grade - camouflage. But your grade, the second grade, Matisses, every one. You've made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into the second grade. What is your secret?' 'I don't have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.'
-Flan Kittredge, Six Degrees of Separation

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2010

Remember & Support.

In the early 1990s I bought this ornament as a fundraiser for AIDS research and services.  It's been a part of my Christmas decorating ritual every year since then. It's a beautiful glass globe--to which my photo fails to do justice--but it would be nice to be able to retire this particular ornament.

If you're looking for a way to express your feelings of hope this holiday season, consider giving to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to support education, advocacy and services around the world.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"You see, Eliza, all men are not confirmed old bachelors like myself and the Colonel. Most men are the marrying sort, poor devils. And you're not bad-looking; you're really quite a pleasure to look at sometimes. Not now, of course, when you've been crying, you look like the very devil; but when you're all right, and quite yourself, you're what I would call... attractive." 

-Professor Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stock up on Jamie's Cleis Press Titles - 20% Off

Don't you love online shopping?

Cleis Press is having a great holiday sale on their entire stock.  Look for my titles (Beautiful Boys, BGE 2009, BGE 2010, Best Gay Romance 2010, College Boys, Daddies, Muscle Men, Special Forces) or find something else that strikes your fancy.  Cleis Press has been good to me.  Show them some love and give books for the holidays.  Offer good through 12/31.  Special offer code: GG.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

50 Word Review: Suburbilicious by Eric Arvin

Suburbilicious: Vignettes from Jasper LaneSuburbilicious: Vignettes from Jasper Lane by Eric Arvin

Review:  A fun, funny novel of intertwining stories in the tradition of "Tales of the City" featuring an entertaining mix of sweet and sassy, serious and sexy.  Housewives, porn stars, gym bunnies, rugby players, gay dads, teenagers and straight moms tumble through the trials and tribulations of life on Jasper Lane.

Previous book in the series:  SubSurdity: Vignettes from Jasper Lane
Buy Eric Avin's work at Dreamspinner Press.
Arvin's entertaining blog:  Daventry Blue.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Guys: Lazy Sunday

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Although the temperature is up around 80 F most days, the decorations are up, the sales are on and the Christmas carols are playing.  I love this time of year.  Just wish we'd get a little cold weather.

Cinderella's Castle lit for Christmas.  Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World - November 11, 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Caprica Disappears

I was shocked and saddened by the sudden disappearance of Caprica, one of the most complex, rewarding shows on television.  I understand Syfy could not muster the numbers needed to sustain the show despite the fact that nearly every scifi fan I know has been glued to the set.  There are plans to air the last five episodes in the spring and BSG: Blood and Chrome, a war saga set in the 10th year of the Cylon War is still slated for production.  Still a sad day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Random Guys: Ecstasy in Unexpected Places

Today, this is on my mind.  Writing "the good parts" is always the hardest part of a story.  No pun intended, I swear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hostess League of America

Can someone please confirm that
I have not died and gone to heaven?

Click the pic above to read Chris Sims' taste test journal at Comics Alliance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Work in Progress: Erotica with a Twist of Noir.

Working on a short story with a future noir twist.  Here's an excerpt to give you an idea.  This stuff is great fun.  Maybe there's a novel in here somewhere.

I was sitting in the corner of Cholly’s Bar letting the cheap baijiu eat through the lining of my stomach while I watched the trio of skinny go-go boys stumbling through their tired routine on the platform above the bar. Cholly was pushing this expensive dirtside shit he’d just gotten in, but he knew my credit count so he kept pouring his cheapest lunar domestics in my glass. Yeah, Cholly wasn’t gonna drain away my last credits, but he wasn’t gonna let me go home sober either. What a guy.

Darius, the hairy stick of a boy with a strong Greek nose and delicate epicanthic folds danced over to me, giving me a better view of his filthy bare feet and his pharmaceutically powered erection. He danced a slow, sad shimmy that made me want to give him my overcoat and drag his scrawny ass out into the street for a noodle bowl. He must have seen the look in my eyes because he stood up as straight as he could manage, teetered for a minute, and then kicked my half-filled glass of hooch into my lap.
I'm always drifting towards the dark end of the pool...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween.

On Halloween evening I'll be holed up in my living room with the shades drawn and the lights out, dodging trick-or-treaters and watching the television adaptation of The Walking Dead on AMC.  If you like the show and you haven't read the comics, you should definitely take a look.  They are dark and deadly and harrowing and some of the best zombie fiction you'll find out there.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Funny. And kinda hot.

Because you know who benefits when a frat boy gets all charged up around the lesbians ... the gay best friend.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Reviews of "Blood Fruit" (QueeredFiction Press)

I came across a couple of nice comments and reviews of Blood Fruit (QueeredFiction Press).

Rainbow Reviews publised a detailed review of the anthology that featured this mention of my story:
"However, the stories that did hit that nerve, and successfully took them with me ~ some of those will be lingering in the back of my mind for a long long time. Deep, to-the-bone, icy-shiver creepers, and a couple of kick-to-the-gut visceral thrillers.

"Jamie Freeman's "Hollow," for example, delivered that fine blend of irresistible revulsion, provoking an actual physical reaction with it's clear-as-ice descriptions, while forcing me to keep turning the pages to see exactly how badly things would work out."
And in another comprehensive review, AlexDraven (Librarything user) described the story as "Brutal horror - Dexter meets Bret Easton Ellis ****."  Four out of five stars and comparison to a personal hero (Bret Easton Ellis) is pretty great.  Thanks Alex.

This is Halloween (Marilyn Manson)

Most excellent.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Guys: Daddy of the Month

Just finished a story called "One Man in His Time."  It's a sequel to my story "For Luck" (Daddies, Cleis Press), following the story of the fateful silver ring.  Not sure what I'm talking about?  Check out Daddies.

The sequel is about an aging twink who comes to terms with becoming a youngish daddy.  Steve, the aforementioned youngish daddy has those Paul Newman steely blue eyes.  I'll let you know if the story is picked up for publication.

In the meantime, I'll be turning my attention to a short story about cruising.  The twist:  characters are aboard a cruise ship in space in a future dominated by the Chinese.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Are you wearing purple for remembrance?

Growing up gay in this country can really suck.
But things get better.

Remember those who have not made it to adulthood
and support those who need help now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Guys: Let the Sun Shine In

Doing a bit of editing and a bit of writing this weekend and I thought I would share my current inspiration for a character named Noah.  Noah's a willowy nearly-thirty with a shy disposition and a penchant for singing.

He appears in part two of my current work in progress, the novel/novella "The Ambivalent Gardener" which I am carving from a pure white block of Carrera Wordplay.  Stay tuned for more.
Singing our space songs on a spiderweb sitar
Life is around you and in you
Answer for Timothy Leary, dearie
Let the sun shine
Let the sun shine in

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Excellent review of "Muscle Men" (Cleis Press)

I ran across this great review of Muscle Men (Cleis Press) by Chuck Forester at the Lambda Literary website.

Here's an exerpt:
The richest story was The Ambivalent Gardener and the State of Grace by Jamie Freeman. It starts with women that would put Desperate Housewives to shame, talking about a neighbor. Freeman’s attitudes and the language of the women reminded me of Tennessee Williams. It’s also a story of self-revelation as a married man with a son acknowledges his love of men. Using the word clumsy to describe part of a sex scene made it more believable, just like seeing the outline of a man’s dick in his underwear is sexier than seeing him naked. The story has a nice symmetry of broken glass on the floor in an early scene where he’s fed up with his old life and broken glass on the floor when his son tells him to pursue his new life.

Read the whole review here.

Buy the book in paperback or kindle format.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Picks: The killer, the detectives and the hopeless romantic.

Don't you love Halloween?  The cool fall weather (if it ever drops out of the high 80s here in Florida), the early sunsets, the horror movie marathons and horror novels stacked to the ceiling.  Who could ask for more?

So here, gentle reader, are three seasonal suggestions.

For the hardcore horror enthusiast, try Blood Fruit, an anthology of gay and lesbian horror available from QueeredFiction.  Buy it in paperback or kindle formats.  "Hollow" is a vicious little thriller about a serial killer who will go to any lengths to keep his secret.  Violent and hollow, Theo's a man to be feared.

If the violent stuff is not your cup of tea; if you're more of a Scooby Doo, Hocus-Pocus kinda person, try "66 Hours in the Devil's House."  It's gay romance with a spooky, kooky air available from Dreamspinner Press.

And for the hopeless romantics, a supernatural tale of love that lives on beyond the grave.  My first novella, "The Marriage of True Minds: A Ghost Story" is available in kindle format or in other eformats from Dreamspinner Press.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hate is illogical.

Here's 50 Cent urging our brothers to kill themselves:

And here's a noble response from a member of the Star Trek acting family:

Thanks Zachary.  I loved you before, but now you're a hero too.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Summer's End. Back to the Words.

I've been away for the summer, but I am back behind the keyboard working on a great short story about frat boys and circus performers.  (Yes, somehow they are connected.)  I've got a couple of other short stories in mind for the next few months including a sequel to "For Luck" (Daddies, Cleis Press).

I've got plans to expand "The Ambivalent Gardener and the State of Grace" (Muscle Men, Cleis Press) to novella or novel length.

I have some new stories coming out in the next few months, so be sure to check back or friend me on Facebook (the link is in the column to the right) for all the details.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bearing it all.

Great things come in bears, indeed.

Bonus:  Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Excellent review of "Muscle Men" and my story "The Ambivalent Gardener and the State of Grace."

Story Excerpt:
“You know that bitch Nancy has to come out and sit on that damn porch swing every time Jericho sets foot in that yard.”
“Slut,” Wanda hissed.

“Bitch,” Sherie’s voice stretched the word out like a string of summer taffy. Bee-itch. “And why does he have to spend so damn much time out there in the yard anyway? Planting bulbs and pruning the roses and mowing the damn grass? Why doesn’t he just let me get a couple of Mexicans to come do that stuff? Maria’s brother said he’d give us a good price.”

“Maria’s Cuban,” Wanda muttered absently.

“Well, what the hell’s that supposed to mean, Wanda?”

“I don’t know, just that they’re not Mexican, they’re Cuban.”

“Wanda, what difference does it make? You are so dizzy sometimes, I swear and—god, just look at him out there, standing in the middle of the yard in those damn shiny shorts trimming that tree and putting on a muscle show for Nancy. That bitch.”

Wanda stood beside her, shaking her head and jiggling the ice in her glass, watching Jericho stretch his body taut, imagining him standing naked out on the lawn, his enormous body glistening in the sunlight, every muscle tanned and gleaming. He beckoned to her with an outstretched arm and a shiver ran down the length of her back.

“You cold, honey?”

“No, it’s just the ice,” she said, turning away from the window and sitting back at the table. She refilled her tea from the glass pitcher, condensation dripping onto the lace tablecloth.

Muscle Men (Edited by Richard Labonte, Cleis Press)
is available now.
Buy it in Paperback or Kindle format.

I woke up this morning, still not far enough into my first mug of coffee to be completely lucid, to find this great review at Out in Print Queer Book Review.  Read an excerpt from the review by Jerry Wheeler, then check out the whole thing.  (Thanks Jerry.)
...but it’s with Jamie Freeman’s “The Ambivalent Gardener and the State of Grace” where the book really takes off for me.
This marvelous story is a muscle-sex romp as well as a touching coming out story with some interesting girl-girl dialogue between the main character’s wife and her best friend. It not only titillates, but it has great characters and an interesting scenario.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blood Fruit: Now Available in Kindle and eBook formats.

Available now in kindle or other ebook formats.  Trade Paperback coming soon.

"Hollow" by Jamie Freeman
Theo has a secret life he’s killing for…

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Personal Hero: Kurt Vonnegut

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

(Cat's Cradle, 1963)

Argentina: A Gay Rights Leader in the Western Hemisphere

Argentina is a pioneer, offering unprecedented rights to gays and lesbians to marry, adopt children and live like other people.  If only the United States would follow their lead.  Congratulations Argentinos!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Guys: Statuary

Working on a fantasy romance piece at the moment.  It's slow going so I've been looking for inspiration.  I like the interplay between photography and sculpture.  As far as the interplay between the two guys, I'll have to give that some more thought.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Casting Glee: Who's Rachel's Daddy?

John Barrowman

Sam Harris

There's been a lot of discussion about Rachel's two dads on Glee.  If I cast the show, these boys would be hired in a flash.  Both of them have publicly expressed an interest in the roles.  Both of them are well known in the musical theater world and if McKinley High gets attacked by aliens, John's got combat experience from Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Review: Paws de Deux (Best Gay Romance 2010, Cleis)

This book has been out a while, but somebody just sent me this great review at  Thanks to T.R. Moss for the mention:

“Paws de Deux” by Jamie Freeman is a scrumptious bear-on-bear romance, ranging from a romantic poolside dance to Frank Sinatra to dirty sex in the field of flowers, and then sex in a secluded log cabin in front of the fire. It’s refreshing to read about such hot sex in the context of a long-term, complex relationship.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Battle Against Civil Rights - Still Recruiting Children

Anita Bryant will reportedly be sharing her wisdom this weekend at the "Reclaiming America for Christ" youth rally in Yukon, Oklahoma.  Here's a sample:  "If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nailbiters.” 

And there's this gem:  "As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children." 

And in her 1978 Playboy Magazine interview, she explained the Biblical source of the pejorative term "fruits":  "...they eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of life. God referred to men as trees, and because the homosexuals eat the forbidden fruit, which is male sperm."

 Anita and her message should be a couple of curious footnotes along the road to full human equality.  The fact that her message still resonates with the religious right is puzzling and a little sad.  The fact that she is recruiting young people to her hate-based lifestyle makes me want to do something to save the children.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fan Review: Necking (Dreampsinner Press)

A nice mention in a review by prolific Goodreads reviewer Kassa:

"The majority of the 15 stories offered are decent to good (~2.5 to 3 stars or so). A couple stood out above that such as Thank you Note by Jamie Freeman about an established couple having a fling with potential and wonder how to go about dating a new person. The characters are warm, fun, and inviting exactly like the hot sex they get up to. The story is well developed and the sense of fun, adventure, and possibility comes through very well. The sex scenes are a little clinical but the characters help override that."

Available in paperback and kindle formats.

Velma and Scooby: Vampire Hunters

Not sure where this came from originally, but it's fantastic.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Captain America (and Mark Twain) on being an American.

Labeled an outlaw by the U.S. government, the press, and the general public for his unwillingness to accede to tyrannical legislation that he feels compromises the civil rights of U.S. citizens, Captain America talks to Peter Parker (Spider-Man's young alter ego) about what it means to be a true patriot.

"I remember the first time I really understood what it was to be an American...What it was to be a patriot."

"I was just a kid...A million years ago, it seems sometimes. Maybe twelve. I was reading Mark Twain.

And he wrote something that struck me right down to my core...something so powerful, so true, that it changed my life. I memorized it so I could repeat it to myself, over and over across the years. He wrote --
'In a republic, who is the country?  Is it the government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the government is merely a temporary servant: it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. It's function is to obey orders, not originate them.
Who, then is the country? Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it, they have not command, they have only their little share in the command.

In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country: In a republic it is the common voice of the people each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak.

It is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians.

Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man.

To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.

If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have your duty by yourself and by your country. Hold up your head. You have nothing to be ashamed of'.'
Cap continues, "Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.

When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world--No you move."

Happy Independence Day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: Necking

A nice review of "The Thank You Note" (Necking, Dreamspinner Press) at Dear Author:

"Army (WTF with that name?!) and Roddy are long-term lovers and they decide to celebrate their 7th anniversary by bringing in a third. The story is told in three “Acts” from each of the men’s perspectives, and starts from Army’s POV, remembering with Roddy the evening before with Aidan and how Army and Roddy met at a performance of Aida. Roddy takes over and remembers how they hooked up with Aidan through Craigslist and remembers the night, and then Aidan takes over and reveals how they get back together. This is a well-crafted story. The understated tension arises from Roddy’s hard limit on the encounter of no emotional entanglement. The characters are distinguishable and fun, the relationship themes are strong and draw the personalities together in a way that you know they’re going to make it. Grade: B+"

A note:  The three names (Army, Roddy and Aidan) were derived from Aida (Amneris, Rademes and Aida).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blood Fruit - Horror Anthology Coming Soon!

I've been looking at the final proofs or an anthology called "Blood Fruit."  My story "Hollow" will be included in this collection.  It's nice to wander from genre to genre.  I love the cover art and had to share.

I'll let you know when the book is available for order.