Posted on October 21, 2016
Yes, it’s a Rapunzel story. And let me tell you, I did my research.
Here’s a taste of what I read in my effort to strip the Disney version of Tangled down to the most basic version of the tale. It comes from an article on Flavorwire called, “The Disturbing Origins of 10 Famous Fairy Tales” by Emily Temple.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Well, in the Grimm version, she does, a little too often, to a prince, and winds up pregnant, innocently remarking to her jailer witch that her clothes feel too tight. The witch, not to have any competition, chops off Rapunzel’s hair and magically transports her far away, where she lives as a beggar with no money, no home, and after a few months, two hungry mouths to feed. As for the prince, the witch lures him up and then pushes him from the window. Some thorn bushes break his fall, but also poke out his eyes. For all this extra bloodshed, however, there’s still a happy ending.
I had a lot of fun creating a very dark parallel version of Rapunzel (the original fairy tales were quite disturbing) that takes place in the modern universe. And I submitted the story to 2 YA publishers, one after another. I was told that In A Gilded Cage was just too dark. As in, way too dark. “Readers like their modern fairy tale retellings light and fun.” Maybe I could lighten it up a bit, hmmm? But I liked it dark. And Evernight Publishing said something similar when I submitted it to their Teen imprint, but they added suggestion to the tune of, In A Gilded Cage is AN AWESOME STORY! Have Lucci and Prin grow up a bit… add some heat… and it would fit our Naughty Fairy Tales line PERFECTLY! And so Lucci and Prin grew up enough to be New Adult characters, got a lot more intimate, as did the original Rapunzel characters (wink, wink), and my DARK version of Rapunzel found a home.
I can’t write a story without a visual image of my characters. So here you go…
My image of Lucci… the male Rapunzel.
And Prin… Lucci’s hero. His Prince Charming.
And Mr. Gotham, Lucci’s creepy guardian, who is largely responsible for the darkness of In A Gilded Cage.
In A Gilded Cage is on Amazon in Kindle Format, on All Romance Ebooks, and Evernight Publishing. See comments below for links.
Posted on September 22, 2016
ONCE UPON A TIME…
I had some time on my hands. Every year, Mr. Mia goes on a LONG fishing trip to Chappaquiddick, an island off Martha’s Vineyard. It’s his favorite time of the year. Lots of men shuttle in and out of the house he rents, and they fish a lot at odd times of the day and night, dictated (I think) by the tides, they eat very well, and they take a few trips to Edgartown for dinners out.
At home, I have a different sort of vacation.
I become a literal recluse. Yes, I continue my motherly duties… but wifely duties? I put them on hold, with the exception of phone calls and text communication involving lots of “I miss you’s” and emojis.
Where Mr. Mia eats well, my kids and I (at home) eat badly. We order out A LOT!
And… I write. And I write and I write, because there’s no one around to stop me.
This year on my “vacation from wifely duties” I wrote about 2/3 of a YA book that I suspect could be THE ONE. You know, the book that makes me the famous author I am in my mind, but no one on the outside realizes this. (I suspected that The Red Sheet was THE ONE. And Love Spell, and Clean, and Us Three… yet I continue to write in relative anonymity.) However, the drive is more to have my books READ by hoards of people than it is to be famous. Because when you’re famous you can never go out wearing no bra and without brushing your hair and/or teeth, as I sometimes like to do.
***NO IMAGE OF BRA-LESS MIA HERE
I will let you all know if this YA book ended up being THE ONE. Or you’ll realize it when they make a movie out of it.
SOOO…. back to SOL Shit Outta Luck. I haven’t published since last February with The Art of Hero Worship. I have written books, but they as of yet have no home. I blame this partially on my Never-Trump obsession. I couldn’t concentrate on books when I was grasping the reality that Donald Trump could actually be our president one day. But I don’t want to go off on a political tangent…. In any case, on my “vacation from wifely duties”, I did a lot of walking. And while walking, I listened to a lot of acoustic pop hits. LOVE THEM!! When I listen to music, I get inspired.
And I wanted to publish something. I had an urge… a drive to put something out there. And I spent six days writing, editing, rewriting… and when it was finished, came the moment of truth. What am I gonna do with this thing? (THING being my 8,500 word manuscript)
Beck and Griffin’s story is cool. That is how I think of it. In SOL you will find a lot of bad attitude, a little bit of hipster, some David Beckham-ish-ness, mixed with hurt/comfort theme, blended with some tortured hero, and rounded off with some snarky humor.
And I had a what the hell? moment. Ever have one? They can cause you to act impulsively.
I went on KDP- me, I guarantee I’m the most technically challenged non-nerd you have ever met. And I plugged everything in where the Kindle God asked for it, DESIGNED MY OWN FRIGGING BADASS COVER on Cover Creator, rewrote the story slightly to fit the picture I chose (LOL-but I did), and hit the button. PUBLISH.
I immediately started sweating. And I’m talking, sweating profusely. I had a HUGE OMG moment. Then I had three more. I wrote this Facebook Post and (THANK YOU, friends) got tons of support.
Then I proceeded to re-publish SOL three more times in the next 12 hours because I found errors.
And SHIT OUTTA LUCK was born!!!!
You are NOT shit outta luck, though. Because this guy was my mental image of Griffin, who Beck finds passed out on the crosswalk on his way home from work:
And Beck… well, I had one guy in mind. A younger version of Posh Spice’s husband.
That is the story of SHIT OUTTA LUCK, that was originally pegged to be named NOT-BLUE EYES but Cover Creator had no picture options I could make work, but, whatever.
If you are still with me here, head off to Amazon.com. pick up SOL Shit Outta Luck and meet the men behind this madness, Beck and Griffin.
❤ Momma Mia
COVER REVEAL of my very first FAIRY TALE RETELLING!!! “IN A GILDED CAGE” Mia Kerick’s LGBTQ Version of RAPUNZEL
Posted on September 21, 2016
It has certainly been a while since I’ve announced a new book, but I’d like to post the COVER REVEAL of IN A GILDED CAGE by Mia Kerick, a modern retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel. The publisher of this NEW ADULT LGBTQ CONTEMPORARY FAIRY TALE is Evernight Publishing. It will be in their Naughty Fairy Tales, as well as New Adult and Gay Romance. And what a cover! I’m thrilled!!
RELEASE DATE October 21, 2016
Here’s a little about In A Gilded Cage:
In the dark and modern fairy tale retelling, In A Gilded Cage, “Rapunzel” is indeed alluring, crowned with a mane of long, blond hair and blessed by an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest. However, this Rapunzel just so happens to be a young man named Lucci Grimley, sold as a child to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is actually William Prinzing (Prin), a handsome and ambitious young landscaper hired to care for the grounds at the lavish Tower Estate, who climbs an extension ladder, rather than a long golden braid, to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window. In a college town where success in soccer and superior grades make Prin “royalty” and where Lucci is schooled by elite private instructors—completely detaching him from the rest of the world—the young men address the prospect of liberating Lucci from his twisted guardian and gilded cage. Prin manages to penetrate the secrecy surrounding the young man in the tower, allowing friendship, and soon romance, to bloom. Together, they sneak off the mansion’s grounds to do the things that young men do—explore the town, attend parties, and learn the truth of friendship and intimacy. And as in the original tale of Rapunzel—the version we don’t read to our youngest children—the tower captive freely gives his love to the brave rescuer, which ultimately sends the fanatical Gotham into a frenzy of rage. He banishes Lucci and destroys Prin, dashing their hopes for the future. Will they find their way back together?
There will be more info about the book to come… but enjoy the awesome cover showing modern-day Rapunzel, Lucci Grimley, and his prince, William (Prin) Prinzing!!❤
Posted on June 23, 2016
This is my Facebook post from this morning. I will add to it below:
I have been writing, but I will admit to having been EXTREMELY DISTRACTED by the US political landscape over the past six months. The possibility of having Donald Trump as the president of the United States of America has horrified me to the extent that I’ve been spending a great deal of time absorbing the reality that this is happening–that Trump is being given serious consideration as a presidential candidate–and less on my friendships on Facebook and posting in my blog.
In my opinion, Trump disqualifies himself from being a legitimate contender for the presidency OVER and OVER again by spouting unforgivable comments and tweets that show no regard for human rights and no respect for human beings. They reveal his heart.
For example, Trump mocked a disabled reporter. This disgusting act of ridicule, IN ITSELF, makes the man INELIGIBLE to be the leader of the free world.
How can anyone stand behind a man who does this?
As to the books I’ve been working on….
I’ve written three manuscripts. Two of them, an adult and YA, deal with the relationship between a transgender person and those who care about him/her. These books do not yet have a home, in terms of a publisher. I was inspired to write them by the anger I felt with regard to the “bathroom bills” enacted in North Carolina that requires one to use the bathroom of the gender on one’s birth, as well as the high suicide rate for transgender teens.
I also wrote a fun one! I have always wanted to retell a fairy tale, and make the main characters LGBTQ. And I did it. Here is how I would start my blurb.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may climb the golden stair.
In His Gilded Cage, a YA LGBTQ modern fairy tale retelling, “Rapunzel” is indeed alluring, crowned with a mane of long blond hair and blessed by an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest. However, this Rapunzel just so happens to be a teenager named Lucci, sold as a young boy to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is actually Will Prinzing (Prin), an ambitious seventeen-year-old landscaper, hired to care for the grounds at the lavish Tower Estate where Lucci resides, who climbs to the top of an Extendo-ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window.
I based my “Rapunzel” character of Erik Andersson.
His Gilded Cage was so much fun to write!! I think I’ll write another LGBTQ fairy tale retelling– I’ve always LOVED the story of Beauty and the Beast.
Raine O’Tierney and I have also come together to write a YA LGBTQ contemporary fiction, signed a contract with Harmony Ink Press, and will publish it… well, a very long time from now, but it deals with the beauty and value of silence, gaining control through losing control, and owning/embracing your life circumstances. I am a little bit in live with the character I wrote and his sister, who I based on models Lucky Blue Smith and his sister Pyper America Smith. Raine’s character is such a sweetheart, too.❤
Also, two of my kids have graduated- one from high school and one from college. In this sense, I have been distracted in a very good way unlike what I talked about in my Facebook status this morning.
This is 2016 for Momma Mia… I hope to be around a lot more now.
Posted on February 19, 2016
My blog post of September 20, 2015 attracted a great deal of attention and I’ve been asked to write another post about body acceptance! In today’s post, I’ve extended my discussion of body love to include the HOW TO’s in terms of changing the way you view yourself. A big part of this includes the creation of a personal style that you love–from lingerie beneath your clothes to the coat your wear over them!
One letter said,”Your thoughts on body confidence and being true to yourself is something we not only agree with, but try to cater to as well. With our plus size styles we create designs that not only promote confidence but accentuates a woman’s curves. With that being said, we’d love to get your further thoughts on the subject.”
In response to the requests I have written a post regarding the way in which I embrace myself as I am. Here are the tools I use to “SEND OFF SHAME” and to affirm the beauty of my body.
Above: Mia in Adore Me Marcella Cami & Pajama set
EMBRACING MY PERSONAL STYLE
What plagued me was the underlying belief that no matter what I accomplished, or how kind and sweet and thoroughly wonderful I was, it was all disqualified by the fact that I was fat. Even before I gained weight in my thirties I lived in fear of fat. I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who said he was attracted to petite Asian women, and although I was not petite or Asian, I struggled to make my body fit this criteria. My mother, in her Hospice bed from which she couldn’t rise and in the final stages of lung cancer, asked me how my diet was going. It was one of our last conversations. And her focus on a thin body as representative of a beautiful and successful woman did not come out of nowhere, it was imposed on her by society, as well.
I have never been free of society’s shaming, and though I sincerely hope that the world is gradually changing in the direction of wider acceptance of people’s differences, there comes a point where I need to choose my own feelings about myself. About my beauty, about my self-worth, about my size.
It is time to stop the dieting, in favor of healthy and satisfying eating. It is time for chocolate to be “good” again. It is time for me to move my body because it is fun and makes me feel good. It is time to KNOW I am beautiful and worthwhile
just because I am.
It is easy to say “I’m going to accept myself the way I am.” It is easy to tell myself, “I am a big beautiful woman.” But how do I rise above the past fifty years of having had the image of the “perfect” size 2 or 4 or 6 body stamped into my consciousness as the only right way to be? How do I un-hear the slurs that have compared a large body to a house or a large sea animal? How do I do this? I cannot not care. I’m a woman who enjoys fashion and makeup and presenting myself to the world in a way that makes me feel attractive and beautiful.
So, in order to love and accept myself just exactly as I am, I have decided to embrace and love my own personal style. Style is important to me, and finding a style I like that works with my body is essential to my self acceptance.
I have accomplished this using several steps.
1)I have created several Pinterest Boards that I refer to often. One is called “Plus Size Beauty” where I pin pictures of mainly beautiful plus size women (but I have a number of beautiful plus size men, as well). I try to post a wide variety of women. I think that we (society) are highly influenced by what we see in advertisements, and if we never look at beautiful large women of various races, and are constantly shown only very thin pale women as representative of our standard of beauty, we will not begin to view any large body as a beautiful body.
I have another Pinterest Board called “Plus Size Fashion” where I pin plus size women wearing outfits I love. My favorite items of clothing are torn jeans and preppy shirts and leather boots, and lots of plaid flannel. Underneath my preppy/cowgirl exterior I like to wear sexy lace and silky camisoles as the contrast intrigues me. Creating this board has helped me to focus in on what I want to wear and how I want to look and feel. And I have another Pinterest Board called “Self- Acceptance” on which I pin positive self-affirming statements about how I choose to see myself and the world.
2) I turn the volume off or change the channel on ALL of the dieting commercials I see on television. When I was cleaning my closet, a weeklong event if you look at my September 20 blog post, I put the television on so I had something to listen to as I worked. I have to tell you, I heard more commercials from featuring Marie Osmond and Oprah Winfrey encouraging me to try out the amazing diet they support than any other type of commercial. I also became aware of what a huge business weight loss is, as many of the other commercials featured ways I could walk and climb away the pounds. So I can finally be happy.
I turn these off and tune them out.
3)I made a few rules to live by: Look for the beauty in all people. Appreciate the differences in people. Do not compare myself (physically or otherwise) to other women.
4)Associate with people who share my values—I find that I enjoy spending time with people who are not all about what they eat and which diet they are on and how often they work out, but who focus on they types of things that I find interesting and stimulating, like books and social issues.
5) Dress in what makes me feel sexy. And then go ahead and feel sexy. (AdoreMe.com’s beautiful lingerie helps with this!)
6) I take note of plus size women in the news. Right now I am very excited by the beauty and style and intelligence of presidential candidate Bernie Sander’s wife, Jane.
7) I constantly challenge myself to find new online styles and new online stores that offer clothes for all sizes. This is a way I can enhance my personal style and embrace myself, as I become aware that the fashion world is starting to see larger women and create fashion to please us.
This list continues to grow every day as I find ways to support myself and to support other plus size people. I’d love to hear how YOU embrace yourself and your style!!!
Posted on February 15, 2016
Insult, swear, and curse word generator.
It’s real. Google it.
I succumbed to its lure. I confess: I was drawn in by its politically incorrect, crude, and perhaps even sleazy appeal. And I’m not proud of this lowly moment in my word-finding life. But I did it. I am guilty. Okay? So sue me.
It all started with The Bearded Boob Inspector. Well, no. That’s actually what caught my eye when I googled “creative curses.”
I think you’re going to need some history here. You see, I am driven by very personal, very demanding creative urges. These primitive impulses have led me to create dialects that have been referred to as “hick speak… nearly drove me out of my tree for quite a bit of the book. To supposedly be from New England, he sounded like some sort of redneck from East Bumblefuck, Alabama.” (Thanks, Todd with regard to Beggars and Choosers.) They have led me to write books using the stream of consciousness technique, where I had to fight the automatic use of punctuation in favor of allowing my thoughts to flow freely. I have written stories as emails, blog posts, diary entries and vignettes. The research I have done has been extensive when it comes to gay Christianity and bullying and gender fluidity and physical abuse and depression and alcoholism… and I got caught up in the Foul-O-Matic random curse generator.
Now that you have a sense of my need for a variety of expressive techniques, maybe you will better understand my need for discovering some uncharted territory. The plain and simple truth is that once discovered, I had to use the Foul-O-Matic. There was no room for, “you know, Mia, this might not turn out well.”
Gold-digging dick lover…
One-balled bottom slapper…
I could not deny their refreshing, though possibly lurid, newness. I had to use them in The Art of Hero Worship… but where?
Off topic: Wouldn’t you agree that a little dose of jealousy often moves the two main characters forward in their fledgling romance? Yes, I think so too. (Here is where Foul-O-Matic makes its entrance into The Art of Hero Worship.)
When Liam and Jason, two “straight” guys who survived hell together and are fighting romantic feelings, go out to have a few drinks they meet Lola and Missy Rose. Who just so happen to be interested in enhancing Liam and Jason’s “boys’ night out.” In the sexual way. Yeah. (Wink wink.)
These two girls are aggressive; they see what they want in the form of rugged, burly Liam and sleek, cool Jason. Missy Rose is cooing and shiny and overt in her sexiness, but Lola has a secret weapon for attracting attention. She is a creative curser.
EXAMPLES of Lola’s creative cursing from the text of The Art of Hero Worship:
1. “I don’t think I’ve see you two hunky spunk wankers in here before.” I think this dark-haired girl is trying to be flirtatious but I can’t be sure. Maybe it’s because I’m totally out of practice with the ladies.
2. “You alien ball sacks got yourself girlfriends?” My girl is also obviously much more comfortable with the creative use of crude language, than Liam’s. She looks right at into my eyes. “Don’t you understand plain English—I asked if you’re seeing somebody?”
3. “Hmmm….” Lola is deep in thought. “I think we know how to make a couple of jizz kings’ night out even more fun….” Ginny is right. This girl’s mind might be in the gutter but she definitely needs a new urban-language thesaurus.
And it gets worse….
4. “I’m Lola and she’s Missy Rose, some call us Bourne Sperm Riders.” Ewwww. Still, I reach out to shake Lola’s hand. She apparently has a different idea. Lola pops off of the bar stool and next thing I know, I’m wearing her like an overcoat.
5. “What’s so funny, tit-torch?” Lola doesn’t like being laughed at.
6. “Make that two Long Island iced teas. And Missy, it looks like you got yourself a bearded boob inspector,” my dark-haired girl chimes in with a husky chuckle, and then winks at Liam.
Liam, the bearded boob inspector. It has a certain ring… and I don’t like it.
Yes, there it is, The Bearded Boob Inspector… the creative slur that caught my attention and worked its way into my novel.
The reviewers’ comments, with regard to my creative cursing courtesy of Foul-O-matic, have not been consistently positive. My creativity may possibly have led to a chapter featuring less than believable conversation, because who on earth says alien ball sacks? (FYI, Lola does.)
Well, maybe my writing behavior in chapter 8 of The Art of Hero Worship exemplifies the pinnacle of a novelist’s immaturity. Or maybe it boasts that I have reached the summit of creative confidence. Or maybe it is neither of these. Maybe I just had fun with words.
Call me a criminal. Or call me a scruffy-looking butt dictator. I’m glad I wrote it.
Posted on February 10, 2016
I wanted to offer you a SAMPLE of what I’m writing… because I’m back to work on a YA transgender story. (Having finished and adult bigender love story, which is being professionally edited.)
This book is as yet, untitled… but I’m thinking about My Crunch Life, as the other narrator is trying his damnedest to be a retro hippy. PLEASE CHECK OUT MY CHAPTER SEVEN!! I would dearly love to know what you think. THANK YOU!!
Thursday 3:00 AM
I often dream about that day… and about the conflict, the anxiety, and the hopelessness that led to the flicker of contemplation about how much easier it would be… if I didn’t have to be anymore. Soon, though, the idea wormed its way into my mind; and even though I pushed it away, it came back. The brilliant and terrifying idea I had for of ending my pain came back and came back until it became a real option.
I’d been rejected by my peers a long time ago. My isolation at school almost didn’t affect me anymore. Alone is my natural state. I told myself over and over that solitary was how I liked it—how I wanted it. And a big part of me believed this.
As of last fall, only a few people still wasted energy on bullying me at school, unless you consider acting with total indifference toward somebody a manner of oppressing. To most kids, I was too insignificant to bully. I was nothing, except to Sydney Harper, and thus to her vicious clones. Sydney knew I was a threat—an academic threat—and she used every means possible to push me over the edge that I was already precariously close to.
But to be real, what I tried to do that day… it was mostly because of my body. Because of what was happening to my body—in terms of a word I’ve grown to fucking hate. Puberty. I was not the person I was starting to turn into. My child’s physique was far preferable to the… the hairy, big-balled, deep-voiced beast with constant erections who was taking over my body. And maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but this is how it felt.
I put all logic aside—my mother’s future suffering included—and headed into what I saw as the light at the end of a brief and agonizing tunnel.
When I climbed up the rickety ladder into the ancient tree house in the only tree in the neighborhood, I was more truly trying to climb out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. I saw relief in what I was going to do up there.
It was my only option, because, how can you live in a body that isn’t yours?
I wake up sweating because in my sleep I was back in that damned tree house sucking away at my bottle of Citrus Cooler Gatorade, scared to toss the next handful of pills in my mouth, but more scared not to. And having no words to explain to my mother—who I knew loved me—what was happening to my body and my mind. And every single time I wake from this dream, I’m assailed by an image of Ma, wearing the pain that for so long lived in my heart on her face—and I know I put it there!!!
“Ma!” I’m a coward. I was a coward on the day I tried to take my own life and leave my mother with nothing but five words scribbled on the back of a gum wrapper, and I’m a coward now. “Ma!”
But maybe it’s okay to be a coward, if you admit you’re one.
I’m faster on my feet than she is so instead of waiting for Ma to come to me, I jump out of my bed and run down the short hall, throw open her bedroom door where she is already sitting up, about to push herself from the bed. “Jules… my baby!”
Her arms come around me and I’m safe in a way I didn’t know I could be safe last October. “I dreamed about it again….”
Ma pulls me down so I’m lying on her chest and I know I’m not too heavy because my body is still a child’s thanks to the puberty blockers. “You did the right thing by coming to me, Jules. You’ve got me to turn to…. hear me?”
“Uh-huh.” I want to cry but tears don’t come. I think I cried them all last fall and there are none left. “I hate waking you up—you’ve gotta work in the morning.”
Ma’s grip gets tighter on my shoulders. “I woke up for you when you were a hungry baby and a piss-wet boy, and damn it, I’ll wake up for you now.”
“Can I stay?”
“You think I’d let you outta my sight?”
We both laugh. “I’m a pain in the ass.”
“A pain my ass couldn’t live without. Now lie down beside me and tell your Ma about what happened at school today.”
Incidentally, the note said, I can’t take it anymore. But I never knew I could turn to my mother, and she would change things this way. In this life-saving way.
Thanks for reading!! I’d love to hear what you think!!