Sunday, January 31, 2010


Readership of this blog went into a free fall a few years ago -- the web equivalent of jumping out of a ground floor window, but still -- and then, just when I thought it couldn't get worse, last January it got terrible. Like "20-people-a-day" terrible.

I don't do this often -- because usually it's your fault -- but I blame myself. I was afflcited with a combination of Blog Fatigue and Facebook Infatuation, which made it easy to desert this site for weeks at a time. In fact, I almost walked away, as so many of my old blogging BFFs have done.

But as we rolled into 2010, I decided to give my baby one more shot. After all, we've been together for almost seven years now, and I am not the kind of man to walk out when the Seven Year Itch starts, uh, itching. Meaning, I started updating more.

My pay-off has been the biggest month for site visitors since last April, and almost the biggest since last January. Okay, in relative terms, we're still not talking about a groundswell of people, but it's enough to keep me going. I know things will never be the way they once were when all of us Crazy Kids were blogging up a storm and hundreds of people visited every day, but I'm okay with that.

So, dear people, thanks for reading. And for my part, I'll do my best to keep the momentum going for yet another month.


Have I mentioned in the past that I am blessed to have been born in the United States of America? Yeah, a few times. And I meant it every time.

But... this shit. Uh, no. Especially ironic coming from the governor of the most natural disaster-plagued state in the nation.

I know Charlie Crist probably doesn't mean it. He's just protecting his ass when Marco Rubio goes after it. (Which, come to think of it... but, no. I won't go there.) But some politicians will do whatever they have to do to stay relevant.

And if swimming in the nativist swamp is what they have to do --

Hey! I have an idea! If Charlie happens to pick up crabs from some illicit genital commingling, he can tell people he got them in the Genital Swamp! Right off the Intercoastal! Brilliant! I am the next Lee Atwater! Truly.

But in the meantime, it'd be nice for rich, comfortable Americans to pick up the tab for poor Haitians who will die if people like Charlie Crist dictate the rules. Decency is not a partisan sport, and there is not a single dying person who cares who gets the credit.

So, Charlie Crist, go fuck yourself. And Marco Rubio -- unless you condemn Crist -- fuck yourself, too.

Friday, January 29, 2010


There's a reason it's called Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, after all.

(via Towleroad)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Much as I appreciate the work that our men and women in the military do for our nation and the world, can we get off the "military fetishism" kick? The constant thoughts about hot sweaty butch men bunking together and eventually sticking Slot A into Tab B because they can't stop their primitive desires... the deep yearning heaving under their well developed pecs...

No, I don't mean you, gay porn sites.

I mean the Right Wing.

J. D. Salinger is Dead

And I suspect we'll be hearing from John David California any moment now.


It's a new year --okay, I guess that's not news anymore -- and I've been a negligent landlord to this blog, so I've decided to (a) blog more; (b) read your blogs more; and (c) clean this place up. Starting with (c), because that's the easiest. Also because I was still advertising public appearances I made back in July, 2009.

I've substantially cleaned up my blogroll -- if you've blogged since last fall, you're still on it; if you haven't, you're off but I still love you --and realized I've missed a lot of you. Sorry about that; I'll try to be better. As for you who have stopped blogging, I understand. If you come back into the fold, drop me an e-mail and I'll put your listing back online.

I have also added links to a number of writers, as well as one of my new faves: my friend Laz Marquez's blog Face It, his daily exercise to capture emoticons expressing his mood in everyday objects. Check it out!

Monday, January 25, 2010


This was in my blog's list of referrers this morning:
"her contacts" OR "her contact lenses" OR "my contacts" OR "my contact lenses" OR "got contact lenses OR "new contact lenses" OR "wear contact lenses" OR "got
contacts" OR "wear contacts" OR "new contacts"

It's none of my business -- I'm happy with any traffic these days -- but I think this person might want to narrow their searches in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Dude, you married a woman named "Trigger." What did you expect?


No, this entry isn't nearly as retro or provocative as the title. This isn't the Royal Teens. Not even their lyrics, technically. You'll live.

Today, kids, we are talkin' 'bout the Art of the Short Story, which is a talent of which I am not a master. (Although they say that sometimes about my mastery of the Art of the Novel, too. Idiots.)

Short stories require a lot of subtlety, which many people -- starting with me -- don't exactly equate with your hero. (Uh, that would be me, for those of you too shy to ask.) Still, I get asked to write them on occasion. Usually for little or no money, which I'm okay with, because -- you know what? -- I was able to report $0 (and .00 cents) writing income on my tax forms for 2009. And I'm considered to be a famous well-known... uh... published author.

Moving on -- because self-deprecation is fun, until it becomes depressing -- a few weeks ago I was asked to write a 5,000 word short story, and I did it. Mostly, I did it last weekend, but I did it.

Then I read it again last night.

The horror!

Not only did my 5,000 word short run 8,000 words, but it also lacked every trace of subtlety. Basically, I wrote 8,000 words for, oh, Married With Children, without the humor. But with "Seven."

The fact is that short stories are tough for a lot of novelists. In a novel, you have 100,000 words to develop a character and plot; flesh him or her out, find light and darkness, make the story work. Doing that in 5% of the space isn't necessarily beyond my talents, but it's a different art form. I managed to work it -- in "Happy Hour at the Cafe Jones" in Fool for Love (link for educational purposes only; buy it at your GLBT indie bookseller!) and Strange Bedfellows (my only foray into erotica, if you care, and you might have to buy it from Amazon) -- but this story eluded me.

Thank God I read it a few days later and saved myself from too much embarrassment. The "Rob Byrnes" writing brand isn't exactly something that most PEN voters think of when they wake up in the morning, but it still means something to me. So... back to the computer this weekend. I know what I have to fix, and I think I can fix it.

Oh, even if it sucks I am going to make you buy the book when it comes out and pretend this little conversation never happened.

Just thought you'd like to know...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


When you're issued The Life Manual -- you got yours, right? -- the authors do a halfway decent job of preparing you for childhood accidents involving both bodily fluids and skinned knees; adolescent angst and awkwardness; hating your parents just because you hate everyone due to your adolescent angst and awkwardness; getting a job; getting another job; getting a job that finally fits; flirting; dating; falling in love; and, finally, accepting your limitations and learning to live with them.

Why the hell, then, did they skip the chapter where your body starts falling apart when you turn 50?

Much as I like to joke around here, this is no joke. Not even a gay-ish "prostate exam"/ "colonoscopy" type of joke; both -- by the way -- recommended for men annually after they turn 50. Go figure.

I turned 50 just over 13 months ago. I was healthy enough for the first 600 months -- a bout of hepatitis (errr... my bad) and mild psoriasis (yay for dad's genes!) -- but otherwise I've been all right. The the last 13 months, however, have been a bitch: shingles; hives; a nasty fall (okay, maybe my clumsiness was a contributing factor); a few snips of random skin growths; two major sinus infections; and -- now -- my second go-around with some weird-ass stomach-cramping infection that has put me on a liquid diet. Three visits to my GP; two to my dermatologist; and four to my ENT.

I have an ENT? WTF?!! I'm only 51! I'm still vibrant! And no one told me this shit was all going to come down at such a young age!

Actually, that isn't true: I was told it would happen. My brother, who is a doctor -- although his son says he's not a real doctor, just an eye doctor, he's an opthalmalogist, meaning real doctor (six-year-olds can be cruel) -- and I discussed this almost two years ago, when our mother died. These bodies we have are frail vessels, and not built for the long haul. Every now and then, one will get to 100 (and how old is Betty White, by the way?) but basically we all have the same shoddy mechanics, which is why we start falling apart at a certain point.

My Brother the Doctor, let me note, is only 40. Easy for him to say. (bitch!) I hope to talk to him in 10 years and ask how his colonoscopy was.

But, for now, I am ending Day 3 of my Ensure Diet, struggling through another minor health glitch, and really, really praying that it doesn't get worse at 60. Because I am all about keeping my expectations reasonable these days.

So... anyone want to grab a burger while I stare at it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Martha Coakley lost the US Senate race in Massachusetts tonight, and suddenly every one sees a sea change. Even an "epic" one, according to the news item I linked to.

And I say: Eh.

There are probably a couple thousand people right now -- most of them not in Massachusetts, but rather in the White House or on K Street -- thinking about their paychecks and wringing their hands and wondering "what now?" They are worthless.

Take the question mark away and think: "What now!"

Now maybe the Obama administration and congressional leadership will "man up" (sorry, females! Believe me; if we could change places...) and fight the political ground war they have needed to fight for the past 14 months. Yes, 14 months; Bush was still in the White House for two months while the Democrats were starting the diddling and compromising and hedging that would mark the first year of this administration and lead us to today.

Now maybe Obama, Reid and Pelosi will have an incentive to propose a legislatve package -- and I'm not just talking health care here -- that will look more like a platform than ideas written and re-written on a dry-erase board. Note to the leadership: it's hard to support your package if, every other minute (or every other senator... or representative...), you've changed what's inside the box.

Now maybe Obama -- and this one is exclusively the President's prerogative -- will get out in public to sell his agenda. You want an example? In 1981, a seriously underestimated Ronald Reagan bypassed Tip O'Neill and the Washington establishment and sold his agenda direcrtly to the public. No comment about the net result; just about the salesmanship.

We have a president who can command the networks pretty much whenever he wants, and what do we get? Nothing.

On a more "micro" scale, he can do things like, oh, speak out against anti-LGBT discrimination in California and Maine, or support Martha Coakley before the last hour, and... he does nothing?

Listen, I do not want to be president of the United Stated of America. I've got enough on my plate without having to worry about Bradykins starting world wars. But if you want to look for a reason Massachusetts (or "Massachusettes," as it was spelled in one Coakley commercial, which was another problem..) went to the dark side, don't only flip out over Scott Brown or the RNC or the Tea-Baggers.

This problem starts at home -- home being 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- and it starts with a determined reluctance to chart and advocate for a vision.

Incoming senator Scott Brown (R-MA) is not your problem. Neither were the California and Maine votes. They are all the results of problems of your own making. Our own making, for offering blind support, but getting nothing in return except platitudes.

Whoever told the Washington elite they were above politics deserves some sort of prize for fiction.

Now get the fuck to work! The rest of us who aren't employed by the administration or congress are waiting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


On the surface, a remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off sounds like a terrible idea. But this can be saved, and I'm just the man to come to the rescue.

My solution? Bring back the original cast. Let's see, we have...

Matthew Broderick

Mia Sara

Alan Ruck

Jennifer Grey

Jeffrey Jones

Charlie Sheen

and Ben Stein.

Now be honest: With this cast, you would totally park your ass in a theater for 90 minutes, right?


I've written about this before, but the GLAAD Media Award nominees have been announced and I'm pissed off again, so here we go.

My comments from 2005 remain relevant:
There are all sorts of LGBT/GLBT/whatever awards for all sorts of things, and GLAAD has no problem doubling-up on some of these. For instance, there are gay music awards, gay journalism awards, and gay film awards. I wouldn't be especially surprised if there were even gay comic book awards given out somewhere. In these categories, GLAAD boldly goes where everyone has gone before.

But apparently if you put a book in front of them, their heads explode. The lack of a GLAAD award for literature is an egregious oversight.
I guess we live in a world where Entertainment Weekly, The Real World: Brooklyn and One Life to Live are considered more worthy of praise from a national gay organization than gay fiction and nonfiction. Oh, when the gay independent bookstores close their doors and the national chains marginalize us, they will issue a press release and express regrets. But will they help promote the industry?


Which means that GLAAD is part of the problem.


Friday, January 08, 2010

"FARB AT 10"

Yes, I know I haven't updated for one month. But it's not as if anyone is reading this blog anymore, so no harm, no foul.

Still, I have a good excuse. No doubt you have heard that Jay Leno will probably lose his 10:00 PM slot on NBC. Well... what do you think of the concept of "FARB at 10"?

Yes, I am talking about a nightly hour-long talk show hosted by Famous Author Rob Byrnes, with guests including my friends from the writing, blogging, and Facebook communities, as well as other people whose worlds revolve around my sun. (Billy Hufsey, I'm talking to you! You, too, Gary Coleman-Byrnes!) I think you'll agree this is The Most Awesome Idea Evar.

There is, however, one tiny little hitch. NBC has yet to seal the deal. Fortunately, I am a reasonable man celebrity, so I'm sure this is only a formality, but it would be helpful if you and your friends expressed your support directly to NBC.

Here is the link. You know what to do with it.

See ya on the tube!