Friday, March 31, 2006

What? This blog doesn't show up until the third screen? That just seems wrong.

I cannot believe what a great mood I'm in this morning.

The first person to screw it up dies.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The things you find when you Google yourself!

As a matter of fact, I am totally fuckable. But I hadn't considered a modeling career. Thank God these people have stepped up to the plate and started the process for me.

They got my location, height, and hair and eye color right. Ethnicity, too. They are a bit low high on their age estimate, but model-types like me always lie about that anyway, right? As for the other particulars, maybe I'll share with them. Eventually. Like, when the weight is back down.

Now I just need to give them an updated photo for the web site. Which one should I choose?

This one?

Or this?

A lot of tough decisions come with this modeling career. Let me tell ya...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Dear Cumming:

Now that almost four years have passed, I think it's time to bury the hatchet. It is time for that silly rivalry that began when our first books were published simultaneously to come to an end. Yes, you got the media attention and bookshelf space, but I got something better: capitalized Fame. And deals for two more books. So there's no reason why we shouldn't get on with our lives.

And in any event, in September -- when my new novel, When the Stars Come Out -- is released, I will apparently have a new rival. Remember that guy who was Governor of New Jersey, and his administration was being investigated, and then suddenly he was on television proclaiming himself a 'Gay American'? Yeah... him. Well, it seems that Bernard Kerik's former mistress is publishing his biography.

In September.

Cumming, you were a worthy arch-enemy, but now we both must move on. You must go back to perfecting your Tim Curry impersonation, and I must move forward, and take down the Gay American. Knee-cap the motherfucker Golanfucker, if I have to. You understand, right?

But what times we had, Cumming. What times we had... Remember June 28, 2005?... November 20, 2003?... October 26, 2004?... Good times, good times. I will always cherish those memories.

And McGreevey? Watch your back. I've been gay a lot longer than you've been.

Related: Famous Author Rob Byrnes mocks Bernie Kerik.

Related: Famous Author Rob Byrnes reacts to the Gay American.

Site stats dropping again... must fix... now know what to do...


And look! No back hair that day!

For those of who you have written wondering when I'm going to post some real Famous Author flesh, be patient. Be very, very patient...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I don't feel like writing anything today -- well, except for a few blistering work e-mails this morning, 'cause I am not into suffering fools gladly this week -- so I'm just going to refer you to Greg Herren's latest dead-on take on the wonderful world of authordom.

Which reminds me...

In September, When the Stars Come Out will be published, and I want to take my show on the road. I have vague plans for an Atlantic Coast tour around Labor Day -- Baltimore, Rehoboth, Washington, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill -- followed by a mid-month launch party here in New York. (You'll want to go. The last one was fun... I think.)

My question is: where else should I take the Famous Author '06 Tour? Leave your suggestions in the comments and I'll take them into consideration. Uh... just keep in mind that I also have to take finances and time constraints into consideration.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Twenty minutes ago, in an office high above Third Avenue in Manhattan:

Me: How many RSVPs do we have for our Big Event?
Him: Forty-nine.
Me: Forty-nine? But the spreadsheet you sent earlier had 50 RSVPs.
Him: It's 49 when you take off the hetero.
Me: *blank stare* What did you say?
Him: We only have 49 when you take off the hetero.
Me: Take off--? What? Who?
Him: The header row on the spreadsheet. If you don't count it, you'll see we only have 49 RSVPs.
Me: Header row! Now I understand. I knew we were planning a pretty gay event, but I didn't think we were going to start keeping them out.
Token Female: Do you guys have to make a 'gay joke' about everything?

Note: some aspects of this conversation were changed for dramatic effect, and also because it took me closer to five minutes to figure out that 'hetero' was 'header row,' and I don't want you to think I'm quite that stupid.

Late yesterday I learned that the book club conglomerate BookSpan contracted with my publisher for lots of royalty money. An amount ten times the amount they had paid for my first two books. An amount meaning that five months before publication I've already earned back 36% of my advance.

I'm feeling a lot of BookSpan Love right now. In fact, right now I'm going over to the InsightOut book club web site -- where When the Stars Come Out will be a September 2006 Main Selection, by the way -- and signing up for a long-overdue membership. Won't you join me?

Because true love should always be requited.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Over the past few weeks, daily readership of The Rob Log has dropped approximately 40%... and more on particularly bad days. And that's with allowances for the days in which Blogger was making me crazy.

I could understand that if this blog sucked. But since that's not the case, clearly it must be your fault. (No, not you! The other ones!) Fortunately, I think I know how to fix the problem.

Gratuitous nudity.


Let the site stats soar!

NOTE: For the record, Drunk Naked Guy is not Famous Author Rob Byrnes. For one thing, I don't have hair on my back, let alone a tattoo. Just sayin'.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Okay, I've just about had it with Blogger. I know it's free, and I should be grateful, but... I'm not. In fact, it's really pissing me off. For days now this blog has been fucked up, and I'm close to the point where I'm ready to pull the cord.

I'm open to your suggestions.

We're constantly inundated with top 10 lists that run down must-visit destinations all over the world. One thing we don't get very often is a list of places to avoid. That's why we look forward to the annual human rights report that details those countries that discriminate and abuse their citizens based on sexual orientation.

Surprisingly, all of the countries are clustered close to one another. But even with a leader who wants a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the U.S. is not included on the list (well that's because the U.S. State Department put the damn report together). There are places much worse off than our own. Take for example Iran (they kill queers) and Poland (no pride marches for you!).
I really hope the passage I bolded above was an attempt at humor that fell flat. If not, some people really need to get out in the world a bit more.

And anyway, everyone knows that the prime example of zealous American homophobia came when Brokeback Mountain didn't win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Sheesh. That one sent us straight to the Gulag.

Due to a bad server at Blogger -- thanks, Blogger! -- I'm going to have about 30 visitors today. But instead of seeking revenge the old fashion way, I shall let Googlism do it for me.

Plus, I can't find my baseball bat.

Blogger is:
* blogger is not working
* blogger is giving me hives
* blogger is giving me shit
* blogger is evil
* blogger is a fat pissant with the uptime of an old man without viagra

Why stop there?

Gawker is:
* gawker is going to hit your car and blame you for the accident

The Malcontent is:
* the malcontent is never heard from again

Fark is:
* fark is way better than bored

Andrew Sullivan is:
* andrew sullivan is looking to fuck around with strangers on the internet

Hot Toddy is:
* hot toddy is even safe for kids

Faustus is:
* faustus is both astonishing and unprecedented

The Tin Man is:
* tin man is in an undisclosed location awaiting his next adventure

And, finally...

Rob Byrnes is:
* rob byrnes is 35

You don't get that kind of accuracy on just any web site. Just sayin'...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I thought it was me. I thought my readership was substantially down because you were tired of me. You thought my content sucked... my design was lame... you found another Famous Author who was even more handsome and lovable...

But, no, now I realize that I can't access my own blog, so I know that it's all Blogger's fault.

I guess you get what you pay for. But at least I have confirmation that my fears of another, more handsome and lovable Famous Author, are ridiculous. The things that go through my head sometimes...

Stupid article. I don't have an accent.

[I'm actually surprised that the linguists didn't mention the wider range of the accent. I get pegged for a Chicago native quite frequently, and -- except for an hour in O'Hare twenty years ago, which doesn't count -- I've never been there. Maybe Northern City Shift + New York City After a Decade = Chicago. Hopefully someone will commission a study to get to the bottom of this.]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


From the New York Post:
A big-screen version of the classic prime-time TV soap opera "Dallas" is in the works, as Hollywood prepares to once again shoot J.R. - but this time, with megastars J.Lo and John Travolta in the lead roles.

Producers want Travolta to fill the role made famous by Larry Hagman, Texas oil baron J.R. Ewing, according to a report yesterday in Daily Variety.

Jennifer Lopez, meanwhile, has been approached to be J.R.'s beauty-queen wife, Sue Ellen, a role played on the 13-season CBS hit by sexy Linda Gray, the showbiz paper said.

The producers, who have lined up J.Lo's "Monster-in-Law" director, Robert Luketic, have asked Luke Wilson to play J.R.'s nice-guy brother, Bobby, originally portrayed by Patrick Duffy...

Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine, meanwhile, has been asked to play Ewing clan matriarch, Miss Ellie, made famous by Barbara Bel Geddes in the series.

Actually, maybe we should welcome Armageddon. If it comes quickly enough, we'll also be spared this.

And, yes, the center of the earth is indeed John Travolta. But you knew that already.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On Friday, March 14, 2003, at approximately 9:00 PM, a visitor to New York -- in town for a conference -- decided that he didn't want to waste his last night just hanging out in his hotel room. So he consulted a gay nightlife guide, determined that the closest gay bar was a few blocks away, and set off for Posh.

At the same time, one of the regulars, who had been drinking for hours as he was wont to do on Monday Tuesday Wednes Friday nights, was starting to wind his evening down. The Regular was preparing to say his good-byes as the Visitor took a seat at the bar and ordered, after which he was immediately descended upon by a group of men who detected fresh meat.

The Visitor spotted the Regular standing half-way down the bar and asked the Fresh-Meat-Detectors if they knew who he was. They did. "Stay away from that one," said one of them. The one who was fat and bald and totally unstylish and probably impotent.

But the Visitor persisted, so the Fresh-Meat-Detectors stopped the Regular as he passed and made introductions. The Regular decided to stay to talk to the Visitor for a few minutes, and ordered a glass of water.

Some time later, after the planet was back on its orbit, the Regular ordered another glass of cheap white wine, at which point the Visitor, seeing the way things were playing out, ordered like seven shots to catch up. Then -- after the Regular fell off his bar stool once or twice -- they went back to the Visitor's hotel room and...

Fade to black.

Three years later they are still together. They remain a work in progress, still weathering the difficulties of a long-distance relationship as they redefine romance for themselves and each other. They have stumbled, and they have fought, and they have loved and cared perhaps too deeply at times. But they are certain they'll be together for the rest of their lives.

The End.

With Extra Excerpt Goodness!
Via The Malcontent, I came across this GLAAD press release lauding the Associated Press for updating sexual orientation references in the AP Stylebook. I have to admit that this ordinarily wouldn't interest me -- anyone who's read my books knows that my 'style' owes little to the rules of a stylebook, which is not a bad thing in fiction -- but it does pertain to When the Stars Come Out (the new and recently-completed novel, in bookstores in September, which you are going to buy) so I have content for the day. Yay!

In the novel, I used a few stylistic tricks to get the reader into the heads of the characters... and since the book is all about the 'mos, many of them relate to words they use when talking or thinking about homosexuality.

For example, where the younger characters relate to the word 'gay,' the older characters -- especially the straight ones -- are much more likely to use other words or awkward phrasing to convey their age or comfort level.

Exhibit A -- the seventyish film star who uses the term 'homosexual':
“The ‘B’ word?” Kitty asked.

“Bitch,” said Dean from his perch at her side.

“Oh… uh… I guess all I can say is this. Quinn is the person who had sex with men in our bed while we were married. Quinn is the person who tricked me into marrying him, even though he was a homosexual. And, after all these years, Quinn is the person who wrote all those nasty words.” Tears appeared in her eyes and her voice cracked. “I was faithful, I married him because I was in love… and, even 36 years after we divorced, I have been discreet and not attacked him.” She looked straight into the camera, her eyes still glistening. “Now you tell me which one of us is manipulative, greedy, and the B word.”

Exhibit B -- the crass publicist who, through her words, shows she has a problem with it:
She gasped, and almost swallowed the gum he realized she was somewhat discreetly chewing. “He’s a gay? Quinn Scott is a gay?"

“Gay as, uh, me. And ‘gay’ isn’t a noun, Lindsay.”

She ignored the grammar lesson. “Gay as you? That gay?”

Exhibit C -- outward hostility from a TV producer, countered by an overly-mannered response from his studio boss:
“We want to take advantage of the Quinn Scott story.”


“Quinn Scott. Q.J.’s father?”

MRC thought about that. Something made him uneasy. “Isn’t that the fag?”

Stan Roth cleared his throat. “If you’re asking if Quinn Scott is the gay gentlemen you’ve been hearing about lately, then the answer is yes.”

[And a note about the word 'fag': I am prone to use it, but my editor doesn't like it. Even my mobsters in The Night We Met had their language toned down. Therefore, you will find the word used only rarely in Byrnes Lit.]

So that's your writing lesson for the day. The words they use -- in dialogue or in narrative POV -- can help define your characters. You thought you knew that, of course, but now that you've read it here, you can believe it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Congratulations to Jeff at Gatsby's Ghost, who just learned that he's going to be published. Congratulations, too, to his boyfriend -- 'The Catch' -- who will also lose his publication cherry in the very same anthology. It couldn't happen to two nicer guys.

... uh, assuming The Catch is a nice guy, that is. I'll take Jeff's word for it.

Moments ago I was proofing a work piece that's going to print this afternoon. Five thousand copies are to be delivered in a few weeks for a major event we're coordinating, making it very important. Numerous other eyes have reviewed it, so I didn't think it was going to need too much of my time or attention. And yet...
The company invites you to preview it's new collection...
Sigh. And people wonder why I have a hard time delegating.

I'm flummoxed. And you know I must mean that, because I have never used the word 'fummoxed' before.

Is this:

(a) Satirical and Snarky
(b) Real and Terrifying

Memo to self: never again think to yourself, 'I wonder if there are any gay men looking for Hannidates.'

Poor thing. And yet, she's so brave to push on, despite the infirmities of age.

Juliette, you are my hero!

When I first moved to New York nine years ago, I was all over this city. Lower Manhattan... Harlem... Chelsea and the Village... the East Side... the West Side... Times Square... I was even known to cross the East River on occasion.

I mention this not because it makes me unique, but because over the past year or so I've come to realize that I've been getting lazy. The city may never sleep, but I can't say the same for my sense of adventure. For the past few years, I have made myself a captive of Manhattan between 42nd Street and 96th Street; my rare forays south of Grand Central Terminal have usually been work-related.

Which is why I have particularly enjoyed mixing it up for the past couple of weeks.

Cabaret at The Duplex in the West Village. Friday Happy Hour not, for once, at Posh, but at XES in Chelsea. A party at the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore in celebration of the new ownership. An evening of community theater, followed by my first return trip to Brandy's Piano Bar in years. None of this exactly makes me a jet-setter, but it's a break in the home-work-Posh cycle in which I've trapped myself. And that's a good thing.

If this keeps up, I might actually end up in Queens one of these days. Although I can't imagine why...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

So I just ran across this banner ad on and... uh... no.

I can't image how anyone thought Ellen's eye color looked natural. Although...

Village of the Damned Lesbian? Hmmm...

Sorry about the lack of blogging. Too busy at almost everything to find the time. Plus I'm trying to figure out how to use my new Treo.

My new phone makes me feel very old. But enough about that.

Greg Herren had a great entry the other day on why he is "the luckiest bitch on the planet." You should read it. Because if he's the luckiest bitch, I'm in the top ten. Greg and I have followed different paths over the past few years (and, of course, he's much better known within the industry), but his words hit home with me.

Over the past few months, I feel like I've finally started to come into my own. Oh, this probably could have happened earlier, but -- and I know you might find this hard to believe -- I'm pretty abysmal when it comes to self-promotion. Now that I have a third book ready to roll, though, I think I'm gaining the self-confidence to take this to the next level. I'm already making plans for a (self-financed) East Coast tour, and I intend to do as many readings and signings as I can in the New York area. This is a complete turnaround from my efforts on behalf of Trust Fund Boys, which I treated as if I were Thomas Pynchon. And I'm not.

But luck -- some of my own making, some out of the blue -- is finally propelling me forward. The book-signing in Asbury Park last summer... inclusion in the InsightOut 2006 calendar... my first blurb... being asked recently to write a piece for an anthology... all of these things, combined with what I hope is a greater maturity as a writer, have brought me to the point where I understand that luck is only what you make of it.

So now it's time to use it. I think I'm ready.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Tears. Anger. Rage. This is how any adult would react when faced with injustice.

Or, in this case, it's how they react when their favorite movie isn't named Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Sheesh. Memo to Grant, Rod, and Brad: I know your names have doomed you to a lifetime of gay stereotyping, but Brokeback Mountain was Just. A. Movie.

And it's perfectly all right to like another movie better. It doesn't make someone Jesse Helms just because he or she voted for Crash.

Then again, these guys probably cried when Shirley MacLaine was passed over altogether for her role in Bewitched. What can I say, boys? There's no justice in Hollywood. Why don't you run home and make a protest quilt or something, 'kay?

UPDATE: What Ebert said. Also what Sid and The FAF said. They're just nicer than I am. Go figure.

AND ANOTHER THING: I'm hardly a legal scholar, but I think I understand the basics of copyright law. And unless I am dramatically mistaken, you cannot, oh, cut-and-paste an Associated Press article on your web site then stick your own copyright on the bottom of it and claim it as your own. I mean, who would do something like that? Oh yeah...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Yes, 'T' moved a few days. But now my manuscript is done. More later.