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My First Audiobook

Posted: Monday, December 9th, 2013

Vamp Camp is now an audiobook. My first.

I say it’s “mine” because I wrote the book, but Jason Lovett did all the heavy lifting on this project. He’s the narrator (except for the intro and dedication which I recorded and slipped in). The running gag through the book is that the narrator – a vampire – lives in Europe but is awful with every European language. That’s hard to pull off, but Jason does it.

Vamp Camp is available at Audible and iTunes.

Vamp Camp by Wynn Wagner

Sculpture with Music

Posted: Monday, August 19th, 2013

The greatest part of liking classical (Mozart) or baroque (Bach) music is that when we find something we like, it stays a “hit” for hundreds of years.

Act!

Bill the cat

Mozart (“too many notes) leaves me frazzled like Bill the Cat (“Bloom County” comic strip). Frazzled, but all in a good way. Mozart is like a roller coaster. Fun (in moderation and not when I am operating heavy machinery).

Johan Sebastian Back

Johan Sebastian Back

Bach grounds me because it is precise to the way musical wavelenghts work.

My heart is unleashed from everythimg mundane. Bach is correct mathematically, so I never-ever crimge or wonder where some Shostakovich weird note.

I got over him being Lutheran. Petty. Stupid bias. But I’m okay with it now.

Musicians playing Bach do the best when they follow the notes… something I always found hard on my keyboard. I wanted to jazz up the concerti, but Mr Bach really totally OWNS music. Mmmm. BMV 1055. Closed eyes.

Bach is a great SCULPTOR OF TIME.

BRENT is here

Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

Brent the Heart ReaderShameless plug.

Brent: the Heart Reader is available. It’s about a tarot reader who was adopted into a hateful and homophobic family. The story is how he works through the hatred and how he meets the love of his life. One chapter closes, and the next opens into a wonderful dawn.

The book is brash and tender at the same time.

It is available as hardback, paperback, and e-book.

Genre: M/M, romance, gay, adult (explicit)

Health care trickle-down

Posted: Friday, April 6th, 2012

Wynn WagnerThe GOP says companies should not be forced to pay for health insurance benefits they don’t like. No big brother, they say.

I don’t remember a single employer in my life that was qualified to judge what health care I need.

  • Big government is an open forum with elected officials.
  • Big business is a secret club of rich guys.

It is only with government that I have any input.

 

 

Tarot for the Author

Posted: Saturday, March 31st, 2012

by Wynn Wagner

I use tarot and have for decades, and I’m rarely far from my deck. If you see Wynn, you can assume he has two things handy: insulin and tarot.

Some folks are surprised to hear that a retired archbishop would be around tarot. They’re an awesome set of images for meditation. The primary cards are a kind of trip through spiritual development. The 0th (“zeroth”) card is call The Fool, and those primary cards are The Fool’s journey through life. It’s less mystical and demonic and more archetypal … at least to me.

The other thing I do with tarot is get around writers block. I write books, and every author I’ve ever known talks about those dry spells where all the creative juices are dry. I cut my deck of tarot cards and look at the first card. This random image is full of images to jolt my imagination back to life.  One card shows a guy on a boat full of swords. He’s collected all his stuff, and he’s making a run for it. Where? I have no idea, but I think about what my characters might be doing if they were in such a frame of mind.

The author pretending to do a tarot reading.

My latest book is BRENT: THE HEART READER, and it’s about a young tarot reader. He does divination for fun and profit. That’s something that I’ve never personally done. Again, I don’t consider it demonic. It’s just not something I ever did or ever wanted to do.

Brent has always had a talent, which he doesn’t even try to explain. Somebody gave him a tarot deck with he was barely older than a toddler, and he’s always been able to tell stories based on the pretty pictures. It wasn’t until later that people started noticing that Brent’s stories are dead-on accurate about what the universe wants a person to do.

Is he an empath? A fortune-teller? Brent is really clear about his own attitude: he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care to go looking for what’s behind his ability.

Like I said, I’ve been around tarot for decades, and I’ve gazed into each of those cardboard rectangles for hours or days at a time. If you ask me what I see in a tarot card, I can tell you. If you want me to cross that invisible line and peer into some kind of prognostication about a person or thing or event, I’m a complete idiot. If you want me to do a reading, all I can do is shrug. You don’t want me to do that.

So, that was something of a problem with BRENT. I brought all my tarot experience to the word processor, but I wasn’t sure that what I had to say would ring true to a real tarot reader. Fortunately, I have cavalry: my husband, Rick Wagner, does readings (rarely, but he can do them). Our friend Mariah Prosper (Rick’s tarot teacher) is more of a tarot guru. I gave really early copies of BRENT to both.

Believe it or not, neither Rick nor Mariah had huge issues with anything I had to say about a tarot card. They didn’t quarrel with what I said about the relationship of cards.

They might have been rolling their eyes behind my back… pointing… giggling. They kept it to themselves, and they said all of the tarot in Brent is reasonable.

(wiping brow)

And yes, I got writer’s block a few times while I was putting together the book. Naturally I used WSWBWT (Wynn’s Supreme Writer’s Block Whack-it Thingy… my pick-a-card trick). The really cool thing is that I saw some really cool facets to characters (especially Nick and Kaela) based on the archetypes I saw in my deck of tarot. They were facets that I wouldn’t have noticed without WSWBWT.

Photography by John Selig.

Brent: The Heart Reader is published by Mystic Ways Books.

“Meet the Author” [Facebook scratch-and-sniff]

Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2012

Meet Wynn WagnerFirst comes the rattle of that big key against the metal door, and that’s followed by the groaning rust-on-rust squeak of the big hinges.

One of two things always happens. They’re either throwing in a metal plate of slop or reaching in to grab my latest manuscript.

Only this time it’s different. Dreamspinner Press is piping in the Internet on MARCH 3 for a “Meet the Author” thingy at 1PM – 6PM (probably Eastern US timezone). It all happens on Facebook.

I have 13 books in print, but I’m a virgin at this kind of… wait… I have to interact with carbon-based life forms? OMG. Internet… words… I have nothing to wear. Nothing, I tell you. I have to polish all my innuendos between now and then, and my best participles still have a stain from that… (never mind that, now)….

The timing is great: Saturday is also the day my next book is published: FANGS OVER AMERICA.

Uncanny timing, eh? So if you have a few minutes on Saturday afternoon, I’d be honored if you could stop by to say Hello.

 

Autographed books at Mystic Ways

Posted: Sunday, February 26th, 2012

 

[shameless plug mode: on]

Mystic WaysSome of my books are up for sale at my husband’s e-store, Mystic Ways. Each book is autographed at no extra charge.

So far, he’s put my LGBT fiction online. The spiritual books will be online at some point in the future.

[shameless plug mode: off]

Thanks for y’all’s stick-to-it-iveness

Posted: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

According to a spreadsheet from Dreamspinner Press, books two and three of my Vamp Camp series are selling about as well as the first volume.

I sort of expected people might try the first book but we’d thin out all except the die-hards before the third volume. That hasn’t happened, and I am as grateful for that as I know how to be.

Vamp Camp is the sales leader again this month, and that’s to be expected. It is the first book in the series. It’s the one without any baggage from earlier reads.

The Obscurati and The Vamp in the Silver Mask are right up there, almost tied with the first book.

Book four is coming up in early March. Fangs over America continues the series and is more self-contained than the earlier books. It’s funnier and has a little less explicit sex than the others. I hope you like it.

What I mainly wanted to say was THANKS for taking the time to invest in these vampires. I am as grateful to you as I know how to be.

 

Civil Unions is a half-measure

Posted: Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Photo is from Diane’s Muse

By Wynn Wagner

Several states now allow what they call civil unions.

I’m happy that my gay brothers and lesbian sisters can approach equality with those born heterosexual. It’s a step, but it isn’t equality.

This isn’t a gay issue. It is a matter of religion.

My church — the Old Catholic Church — teaches that sexual orientation is not a barrier to marriage. Gay men and lesbian women can marry in the Old Catholic Church. Most priests don’t blink an eye or hyperventilate when they’re asked to perform a gay wedding. In fact, one of the oldest marriage rites we have is for two men from what we call the Orthodox Church.

The Roman Catholic Church thinks it differently. Rome’s church was established in the year 1054, regardless of their marketing attempts to claim it is the “original” Christian sect. Rome says that so-called traditional marriage is always between one man and one woman. Balderdash.

The Roman emperor Charlemagne (742-814) is considered one of the great Christian emperors. He led the Rome back when there was one Christian denomination. He was the leader of Rome when the Old Catholic Church was formed in Holland, by the way.

But here’s the thing: Charlemagne had eighteen children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives or concubines. He had multiple wives at the same time, and he never apologized for that. He was a Christian with a stronger claim to “traditional marriage” than anything Rome can put forward.

It’s find for a religion to define marriage however they like. If the Romists and Baptists want one-man-one-woman as their prototype, they’ll never get an argument from me. The argument comes when they try to inflict their dogma onto my reality map.

I’m not Roman Catholic. I’m not Baptist. Yet, they try to control my church.

The Bill of Rights in America says that government isn’t supposed to pass laws that restrict the free exercise of religion, but they do pass those laws. They have judges who claim to be reasonable but restrict my religion every day.

What needs to happen is this: the US government needs to get out of the religion business. My church heralds love in a diverse array. Marriage is a glorious gift.

I shouldn’t have a law that promotes rules of some johnny-come-lately churches like the Roman Catholics and the Baptists.

Bravo for civil unions! Now, can y’all stay the heck out of dogma?

Photo is from Diane’s Muse.

Mixed up Christmas

Posted: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Religion Professor: We need to get back to the original meaning of Christmas.
Me: Mithras?
Religion Professor: (hits me)

The airplane wins this contest 87% of the time.There was a little confusion reported in the whole concept behind a store window display in China a few years ago. I’m sure they meant well. The store celebrated Christmas by putting Santa Claus on a cross.

It was sooooo close, but really missed the point.

On the other hand, a little chaos can bring a spirit of fun to the holidays. One of my favorite holiday songs is “Christmas in the Ashram.” It was written and performed by Chris Rosser. Tom Prasada-Rao recorded an excellent cover. It’s a wonderful mishmash of ideas, like putting Santa onto a cross.

From the west to the east
They left their homes in search of peace
A transcendental mystic yogi
Took them in, he was kind and holy
California to Bombay

They travelled far to sing and pray
But on the last week of the year
Their songs became a little weird

Chorus:
Singing Om Alleluia – Hare Hare Krishna
In Excelsis Deo – Rama Bolo Rama Bolo
Gloria Gloria – Govinda Gopala
Om Noel – Jay Siya Ram
Christmas in the Ashram

The guru must be out of town
There’s tinsel in Vishnu’s crown
Someone hung a Christmas star
From one of Shiva’s extra arms.

There’s egg nog in the black spice tea
Lotus petals on evergreen
Incense burners green and red
Santa hats on shaven heads

(Repeat Chorus)

They sang Gospels and Upanishads
Psalms and Vedas praising God
Maybe Christ and Krishna are amused
When humans get a little bit confused

(Repeat Chorus)