ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

Ars Technica published an article by me on Pride Day (yesterday, traditionally the last Sunday in June) entitled “Coming Out as a Slytherin.”

In the article I detail how there have been a series of “closets” whose doors I have had to kick down, from coming out as bisexual in the 1980s, to coming out as a pro who also wrote fanfic in the 2000s, to, eventually, realizing I had to come out as Slytherin, too.

In the article I talk about the pervasiveness of the anti-Slytherin bias in the books, which carries right through from Harry’s first hearing of the word through the epilogue:

“One of the magics of the Potter books for me was that as I read them, I was transported back to feeling like a kid again. … My journey as a fan… started from a childlike devouring of the books where I took Harry’s journey at face value. Harry hated Snape and Draco? I hated Snape and Draco. Harry thought all Slytherins are bad? I thought all Slytherins are bad. It’s a book for kids, right? A simplistic worldview is appropriate and comforting.”

“But the moment I leapt into fandom headlong was also when book six, Half-Blood Prince, came out. In that book, Harry keeps on thinking that Snape and Draco are villains. It’s also a book where many adult readers started realizing that Snape and Draco are victims. I went back and re-read the entire series through Snape and Draco’s eyes and what I saw was very different.”

“I guess you could say it was the Potter fandom equivalent of being woke.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

Did you all see that the winners of the NLA Writing Awards were released? These annual awards celebrate the best in BDSM-positive writing and publishing, in both fiction and nonfiction categories. As a member of the awards committee I’ve been involved with these awards for several years and this year had a bumper crop of books!

To quote from the press release that came from NLA: International:

National Leather Association: International, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather community, announced the winners for excellence in literary works in SM/leather/fetish writing published in 2016. The judges received a great number of nominations this year and judging in most categories was quite difficult with such exemplary pieces of writing.

Winner of the Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award is Peter Tupper and David Stein (ed.) for Our Lives, Our History (Perfectbound Press). Honorable mention in this category goes to David Wade for “Vanilla Breaks” (Xcite Books), Richard Levine for “Jolted Awake” (Alfred Press in cooperation with Lulu Enterprises, Inc.) and to Slavemaster and slave 7 “Beyond Obedience” (Createspace).

In the John Preston Short Fiction category, the winner is D.L. King for “Cupcakes and Steel” from the anthology For The Men and The Women Who Love Them (ed.) Rose Caraway (Stupid Fish Productions). Honorable mention for short story goes to Caraway Carter for “7 With 1 Blow” (Beaten Track Publishing) and Ferrett Steinmetz for “Rooms Formed Of Neurons and Sex” which appears in Uncanny Magazine.

The winner of the Pauline Reage Novel category winner is Angela Hamm for The Gambler’s Lady (Blushing Books). Honorable mention in this category goes to Amelia C. Gromley for Risk Aware (Riptide Publishing), Scott Alexander Hess for Skyscraper (Unzipped Books, an imprint of Lethe Press) and Jade A. Waters for The Assignment (Carina Press)

The winner of the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award is Erica Mena for “(K)ink #5 – Writing While Deviant” which appeared on January 26, 2016 on TheRumpus.net. Honorable Mention in this category goes to Jack Fritscher for “He Was A Sexual Outlaw: My Love Affair With Robert Mapplethorpe” which appeared March 9, 2016 in The Guardian.

There is no winner of the Samois Anthology Award as there were no submissions this year.

Congratulations to all the winners! Writers, publishers, the NLA starts taking nominations for judging in September and the deadline is typically December 31st annually for books published in the calendar year. Contact awards@nla-international.com for more details.

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

I’m teaching a workshop tonight at the Artisan’s Asylum, the awesome makerspace in Somerville, and thought I’d share this handout list here since then all the links can be live.

This is a list of all the free or open source bits of software and other things that I’ve used in my publishing ventures. I’ve also used a lot of expensive things like Adobe Photoshop, Quark Xpress, and so on. But not everyone has the money or the access to the high-priced programs, so part of my workshop is basically how you can do it all using free or very inexpensive options.

Book-making Software & Free Stuff You Will Need

Download a printable one-page version here: PDF

You might also be interested in my other posts:

  • Type and Design for Small- & Self-Publishers
    1. Farming Out to Professionals
    2. Elements of Book Design
    3. Page Layouts
    4. Widows, orphans, and hyphenation
    5. “Smart” quotes, section breaks, and fleurs
    6. Ebook design versus print design
  • The Publishing Nitty Gritty: All the Hoops to Jump through to Self-publish (slightly out of date but mostly still relevant)
  • secrets_of_a_rock-star_ad_card

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    Oh my god. I just figured out what the central overarching meaning of the entirety of David Bowie’s life’s work is. All of it. It all fits. And I can’t figure out why I never saw this before.

    My god. It all makes sense.

    No, I’m not on drugs. No, I wasn’t even trying to figure it out. But since Blackstar came out I’ve been pondering the meaning of the video and lyrics, and especially since Bowie’s death I’ve been re-pondering it over and over, and listening to The Next Day, and other Bowie albums and songs, as well as listening to a radio documentary about him (narrated by Tim Minchin), and Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff’s string quartet tribute, and other things as comfort in the wake of grief, using the music to try to fill up the inexplicable hole that was left in my psyche.*

    Tonight I was watching the DVD “Best of Bowie,” which I’ve had for years (got as a fantastic Christmas present) and I usually watch piecemeal. Tonight I tried to watch it chronologically, starting at the beginning, but now I’ve paused to start this essay because the video for “Space Oddity” is the key to the entire thing.

    Here it is. Here’s the secret that’s been in front of our eyes all this time:

    In all of Bowie’s work, outer space is a metaphor for fame itself.

    Maybe a million semiotics and pop culture theses have already been written on this subject: I don’t know. All I know is I never realized it before now, and now that I’ve seen it, I can’t unsee it. And the more songs I analyze the more I realize it fits.

    Let’s start at the beginning, or pretty close to it.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    taking_the_lead_tame_200x300This is exciting! Something new! RT Book Reviews will be hosting me and Tara Sue Me (author of the Submissive series) in a live YouTube chat this Friday, Feb 5th at 12 noon to 1pm (Eastern US time). Her new book THE MASTER is out this week, and of course my TAKING THE LEAD just hit last week!

    Want to leave a question for us to answer? Post it over at RT Book Reviews here: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/87694/live-chat-cecilia-tan-and-tara-sue-me-friday-february-5-noon

    Here’s the chat video stream window, embedded:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    slow_surrender_112x150If you’ve been meaning to pick up my award-winning BDSM contemporary “billionaire” romance novel SLOW SURRENDER, the ebook’s been discounted right now to 99 cents everywhere! They’re running a “Dark and Twisty Romance” sale. Here are links to my book:

    Amazon | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | B&N Nook

    You can find other books in the Dark and Twisty Romance sale on each of the sites, too. Here’s a link to the B&N page. Slow Surrender is the first book in a three-book series.

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    I was up all night last night when I discovered David Bowie had died. My entire Twitter feed turned into a wake until dawn. 100% of the tweets, except for the promoted tweets about the movie The Martian (eerie coincidence) having won a Golden Globe award. Spiders from Mars indeed.

    I’ve talked about Bowie a lot, and written about him a little. Most recently the essay I had in QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION I talk about how as a misfit 11-year-old I found a role model in Bowie not only for daring to declare himself bisexual, but in the embrace of science fiction analogies to define himself “Other.” He created a persona that was a space alien. Later he created other personas…some of which were space aliens pretending to, or learning to be, humans. Just knowing he existed was a spark of encouragement that growing up a sci-loving nerd with gender conformity issues was going to turn out OKAY.

    At the time I didn’t grasp that his true role as my guardian angel had a third component, that of creative person and artist itself.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    This giveaway is over now! But you can still enter the poetry contest until July 17 to win a copy here: http://blog.ceciliatan.com/archives/2427/

    Only four days left on this Goodreads giveaway! The book launches on July 9 and we’ll be drawing the winners then!Book is launched and winners have been picked! Congrats to Gwen B., Emily C., Lisa B., Alina B., Emilia D. — the books have been ordered and are being shipped directly to you! Expect them to arrive by July 20!

    Click HERE to go directly to Goodreads to enter if the widget below doesn’t show.

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    Spellbinding by Cecilia Tan

    Spellbinding

    by Cecilia Tan

    Giveaway ends July 09, 2015.

    See the giveaway details
    at Goodreads.

    Enter Giveaway

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    Last night we went seeking the wonders of the world. And we found them.

    I had read on Twitter early in the evening that a “geomagnetic storm” was going on and that there would likely be amazing auroras to be seen, but corwin and I both had to work until 9pm and I didn’t even think of going hunting for it. But after we’d finished dinner, around 11 o’clock at night, I saw a photo on Twitter taken from the bay in Salem, Massachusetts that looked spectacular. Sure it was a long exposure photo, but Salem does not exactly have dark sky conditions and is very far south of where one normally thinks of seeing auroras.

    I showed it to corwin.

    “Want to go?” he asked.

    “I’ll put on pants,” I replied.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    Cover reveal, and I do mean “reveal”! My next romance from Hachette/Forever is slated to release on January 26, 2016 in both paperback and ebook, and I have not one but TWO amazing cover designs to show you!

    As you might expect given my track record, my books have a lot of sex in them. They’re very steamy. TAKING THE LEAD is no exception. It’s a rockstar romance and a BDSM “billionaire” book except this time SHE is the billionaire.

    The brilliant thing my publisher has done is create two versions of the cover, a “tame” version (which is still pretty suggestive if you ask me), and a “wild” version. Feast your eyes below the fold:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    nla-writing-award-logo-250pxJust got this press release from NLA! Congrats to all these talented writers! Winners will be announced on May 1st!

    SEMI-FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2015 NLA-I WRITING AWARDS

    (Columbus, OH) — National Leather Association – International (NLA-I), a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather/fetish community, announced today the semi-finalists for its annual writing awards. Named after activists and writers Geoff Mains, John Preston, Pauline Reage, Cynthia Slater, and the groundbreaking organization Samois, they are awarded annually to recognize excellence in writing and publishing about Leather, SM, bondage and fetishes.

    The semi-finalists for the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award are:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    It’s out, it’s out! So happy to announce that the new Riverdale Ave Books edition of THE TOWER AND THE TEARS is now live and in hand! Ebook, paperback, and audio, all available from all your favorite sellers. And look at that gorgeous new cover.

    Tower-and-Tears_Amazon_200Buy at: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | AllRomance eBooks |
    Audible.com

    Keep reading for a sample chapter!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    I have so much going on these days it’s hard to keep up with it all! So as it happens two important milestones are coming next week. One is the release of the new edition of THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, book two of my Magic University series, in all new paperback, never-before-heard audiobook, and new ebook editions from Riverdale Avenue Books. The other is we’ll be hitting post #600 of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. Yeah. That’s a whole lotta webserial.

    So I’m doing two chats back-to-back on my YouTube Live channel on Tuesday, January 20th:

    From 8-9pm I will do a Magic University chat, read an excerpt from THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, give away some copies of the gorgeous new paperbacks, answer questions about magic, sex, and magical sex.

    From 9-10pm I will do a Daron’s Guitar Chronicles chat, give away a copy of the brand new DGC volume one paperback which just came in the mail, read Daron’s fan mail, field questions, and geek out about music and LGBT pop culture history.

    Here’s the URL where the video will stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C4JIucBz8g

    and you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel itself: https://www.youtube.com/user/ctanvideo/

    jan_20_livechat_banner

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    If you’re new to following me and my partner corwin, our Thanksgiving meal is a Big Deal. corwin has been cooking duck for “Duck Day” ever since he got to college in 1986 and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for himself for the first time. He and I got together in November 1991 and I joined the tradition right away.

    In recent years we’ve gotten into “molecular gastronomy” and have experimented with various cuisines. Our style tends to be postmodern, we’re not above puns whether verbal or visual in our dishes, and we tend toward Asian fusion, which makes tackling a theme like this years–Traditional French!–a very interesting challenge indeed.

    Full menu under the cut. I have links to many recipes and variations.

    Edit: Next day, I’ve added the intended recipes and photos and links.

    I photographed and video’d much of the cooking and the finished dishes on Instagram:
    http://instagram.com/ctan_writer

    Likewise on Twitter (use hashtag #duckday): https://twitter.com/hashtag/duckday?src=hash

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    How The Line Between Fantasy and Reality Defines Consent: And Why It Matters
    by Cecilia Tan

    This blog post is prompted by two things that happened today. One, a male writer friend I respect a lot and who is clueful about many things including sexuality and feminism asked me: “Serious question: I’d love to hear your thoughts, as a kink-friendly feminist Asian woman, about racial fetishes. Blog post?”

    The other is that right before reading his message, I had just gotten email from a reader who wrote: “Anything that makes violence abuse and torture seem more attractive, i.e. associating it with getting off sexually or glorifying in anyway, is keeping us from developing into a more enlightened society” and also “those feminists who think that rape portrayed in any format is okay are just shooting a cause in the foot.” This fan is someone that I met at a BDSM convention and their email to me says they’re okay with common consensual BDSM activities like bondage and flogging and spanking. What prompted their reaction was not the convention, but reading some of my fan fiction that featured “non-con” — non-consensual acts. (If you’re new to me: I’m a professional writer of erotica, romance, and sf/fantasy whose fiction often deals with BDSM. I also write fanfic for fun.)

    You might think that someone who was okay with BDSM wouldn’t be able to make a statement like “Anything that makes violence abuse and torture seem more attractive, i.e. associating it with getting off sexually or glorifying in anyway, is keeping us from developing into a more enlightened society.” The point I’d like to make here is not that this particular fan is confused or a hypocrite, it’s to point out that this particular kind of hypocrisy is VERY COMMON. So common perhaps we should say it’s human nature, except then we’d have to accept it instead of trying to change it. And I’m trying to change it. My activism and my creative life for the past 23 years have been built on trying to change it, on the following basis:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    You readers were extremely awesome this week, banding together to make donations to trigger the post that just went live this morning. (“Here I Am”: http://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/3382)

    But I know that after reading that post, you’re going to really, really want ANOTHER bonus post. Because it’s been so long since certain people saw each other. And it’s been a long time since we had a Sunday post, you know? I don’t want to ask for more money, since you guys already ponied up. So how about this:

    I’ll post ANOTHER post tomorrow if you guys can amass 50 “fan points.” You get 1 point for every social media post praising DGC & linking to us -Tweet, Facebook, Tumblr, G+, LiveJournal, etc- 1 point for any new Amazon, Goodreads, or Audible.com review of any DGC book or ebook, and 1 point for every comment you leave quoting your favorite lines from DGC.

    Let’s amass all the comments on the current story post so folks can see the progress: http://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/3382

    Leave a comment for each action you take, and if you can include a link or a screencap as proof, ok? (If you can’t, do your best to tell me how to find it to verify.)

    OK? So EACH social media post counts for one point. A single person posting to 5 places would be 5 points! Remember to include links back to DGC!

    EACH new review left on Amazon or Goodreads or Audible.com counts as a point. Post the same review on both Amazon and Goodreads and it counts both times!

    And EACH quotable, pithy favorite line you leave in comments counts for one. For example:

    This would be worth one: From 232.New Gold Dream: “Were you up all night?” I asked Ziggy. “It’s hard to tell when you’ve got bags under your eyes versus when it’s just smudged eyeliner.”

    And this would be another one: From 227.Knock Me down: I’d never really wondered until that moment, hearing my words sung back to me, if maybe I was as bad for him as he was for me.

    Go nuts, y’all! I’ve got the post in the queue already and can bump it up from Tuesday to Sunday real easy…!

    UPDATE: As of 7pm we’re about halfway there!

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    As many of you know, I’m a previous winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather/fetish community. Right now I remain active by helping to judge the nonfiction entries for the annual writing awards. I just got the press release announcing the finalists for the 2013 entries and I’m pleased to notice that two books published by Circlet Press have made it onto the lists! House of Sable Locks by Elizabeth Schechter is a finalist for the Pauline Reage Novel Award, and No Safewords edited by Laura Antoniou is a finalist for the Samois Anthology Award!

    Winners will be announced this fall at the NLA-I general assembly (date/place TBD).

    Here’s the full list of finalists:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    People often ask me what I think about Valentine’s Day and I think they expect me to go “ack! p’tui! I hate pink and gooey sentiment and cheap chocolate!”

    While all those things are true, though, I love true sentiments, excellent chocolate, and the fact that we HAVE A HOLIDAY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT LOVE. Why wouldn’t I love that? We have how many holidays that are about war? Death? A bunch. We have exactly one holiday which is expressly about love and about appreciating the people you love, and that’s today.

    Now, while I think it would be best if people were always so open and free with their emotions that saying “I love you” every single day would be a matter of course, I know not everyone lives in the utopia that I do. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say or when. There are times when love hurts. But on Valentine’s Day everyone has permission to say it, to express it. Some people need that permission. I don’t begrudge them a holiday that gives it to them.

    Yes, I’m the one who told my high school boyfriends that if they ever brought me flowers I was breaking up with them immediately. Why? What I told them, actually, was this: 1) I wasn’t a “girly girl” and if they were going to treat me like one we should not be dating. 2) If they ever felt they had to use flowers as a way to say something, anything, that they felt they couldn’t just TELL ME, then the relationship was already lost. So it wasn’t the flowers themselves I objected to. It was the stupid ways that flowers were often used that I didn’t want to be a party to.

    You’ll note I never told them not to get me chocolate, though. I’m not crazy.

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    Whew. It’s been a busy year so far, but the good news is that health-wise I am really starting to bounce back. tl:dr, last year I was severely anemic, was finally diagnosed in November, by December my iron levels were back up but I still have occasional crashes. This month is the first time I’ve really felt mostly like myself in close to two years!

    Having more energy means I’m keeping up with my writing commitments better. I’m in the middle of writing the third book in a BDSM billionaire romance trilogy for Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever, the Struck by Lightning trilogy. The first book, Slow Surrender, is out in ebook now and the paperback comes August 5th!

    Speaking of which, there’s a Goodreads giveaway for the book going on right now. If you’re on Goodreads, check it out here: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/55415-slow-surrender

    They’re giving away 10 copies of the book.

    Meanwhile, I’m writing book 3, Slow Satisfaction

    Read the rest of this entry » )

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

    ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

    Since I often forget to take pictures as we go along (though my iPhone and Twitter have made that less of a problem than it used to be) I asked guests at the meal to take pictures, too! Here are some, including a course I managed not to get any photos of prep or service, the “Hot and Sour Soup.”

    The concept in this dish was to feature the vinegar, since it was the Vinegar course. (Vinegar being one of the Seven Essentials, see original post for explanation on that.)

    I didn’t want a traditional, slimy “hot and sour” soup. I wanted to highlight vinegar as a desirable flavor of its own. And duck, of course. My thought was to make it more like a consomme, with duck broth (we make a ton of duck stock for this meal), just a touch of “hot”.

    We bought a few vinegars to try in the soup, including a palm sugar vinegar, Chinese “chinkiang” vinegar, and we have a ton of rice wine, white, sherry, balsamic, etc… stocked here to begin with.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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