Thursday, December 23, 2010

the DH's Thursday Thirteen - 13 Guitars I'd Love To Own

The DH's list of 13 Guitars he'd love to own, AKA Kate's last-minute Christmas shopping list if we win the lottery tonight.

1. Brazilian rosewood Martin D-28, any year.

2. Shell Pink Fender Stratocaster.

3. Pelham Blue Gibson SG

4. Martin OM-28V.

5. Gibson Mike Bloomfield Les Paul

6. Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 370-12

7. Martin D-18 Golden Era

8. Gretsch 6120.

9. Taylor 814 CE.

10. National Resonator Duolian

11. Tom Anderson Cobra

12. Fender Nocaster Reissue

13. Martin D-42 or D-45

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Posting on Nine Naughty Novelists

Today's my blog day over on Nine Naughty Novelists, and in the spirit of the season, I'm blogging about... chest hair?

Okay, not a holiday topic, but hope you enjoy!

And here, have some pics to go with the post!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inspiration Friday - Flat Daddies (and Mommies)

Last night, I went to a choir concert at one of the kids' schools. (It was one of three concerts - plus a play - yesterday, which made for a busy but enjoyable day.) Around the time the concert was starting and the kids were filing in, a woman a few rows up hauled out a big cardboard cut-out and set it in the middle aisle, blocking a good half of the space next to her.

All I could see was the white back of the cut-out, which stood about waist-high. I also wondered (a little irritated) why she put it there, blocking the aisle and potentially the view of shorter audience members behind us.

Then, about halfway through the concert, I saw the front of the cardboard. It was a life-size, waist-up picture of a man in a navy uniform.

It was my first encounter with a Flat Daddy.

I was touched - and humbled - by the knowledge that for some child in the concert, daddy was able to be there, no matter how far away he is. So for me, today, the men and women who serve are my Inspiration. And so are the families who carry on at home.

The DH's Thursday Thirteen - Top 13 Movie Scenes (Part Two)

As promised, here's Part Two of the DH's Top Thirteen Movie Scenes. Wait, that would make it the Top Twenty-six, right? :) Again, these are not in any particular order.

WARNING: There are most likely spoilers throughout this list. Avoid if you don't want to know significant events or plot points of some classic films from all eras of filmmaking.

Top Thirteen Movie Scenes, Part Two:

1. Impact tremors, Jurassic Park
The first time we hear the T-rex, and see the impact tremors in the puddle and the glass of water. Wow.

2. The rolling barrage, A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Early in the movie, when the Germans are entrenched in the trees, waiting for the British. The british walk the barrage right up to the tree line. Intense, feels very real.

3. Preacher tells Scout to stand, To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
As Atticus walks out of the courtroom, the courtroom spectators rise. Poignant.

4. Slim Pickens character is dying, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" plays in the background as Katie Hurado looks on, tearing up.

5. The death scene, Ride the High Country
The dialogue between Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott is fantastic. Right up there with Shane for best ending to a western.

6. Burning of Atlanta, Gone With The Wind (1939)
Again, amazing special effects, particularly for the time period.

7. "That's a fact, Jack!" Stripes
Bill Murray leads his troupe in a drill routine at boot camp graduation. Funny.

8. Gunfight between Johnny Ringo and Doc Holliday, Tombstone
Val Kilmer's delivery is wonderful. He steals the movie.

9. Opening scene, The Godfather.
Transition of Don Corleone's office from dark to bright. Beautiful cinematography.

10. "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille." Sunset Boulevard
Norma Desmond's descent into madness is chilling.

11. Captain Queeg's court martial, The Caine Mutiny
The mental instability of the Captain on the stand becomes clear, from the rolling of the steel balls in his hand to the unraveling of his testimony.

12. The final shootout, The Wild Bunch
Bloody, but beautifully choreographed.

13. Baby carriage down the steps, The Battleship Potemkin
Visually stunning, especially for 1925.

So that does it! The second 13 of the DH's favorite movie scenes. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guest Post: Christmas Traditions with Skylar Kade

Christmas is all about traditions. Though my boyfriend, Phin, and I started dating long before last December, this is our first holiday season living together. It's been such a joy starting our own traditions, like debating between multi-colored or white lights for our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. After much deliberation, we came to an agreement on a decorating scheme (white lights, red and green ornaments) and founded a tree-trimming tradition: a Skylar-style dinner. I'm not big on cooking, so we had my version of tapas: baked brie and crackers, crudites, hummus, and cold cuts. Not much in the way of gourmet food, but we had a blast nibbling and decorating. I love forming new traditions, because that shared memory forms the foundation for a strong relationship. In “Christmas Packages,” Jason uses a new tradition not only to entice Lizzy to indulge in her darker desires, but to bring them closer together.

What traditions do you and your family share? And was is your fondest Christmas memory? C'mon, I've got plot bunnies that need inspiration!

For your own inspiration, here's a little more about “Christmas Packages,” and a contest!!

Blurb: Elizabeth has watched with frustration as her relationship with Jason slowly faded away. Braced for their inevitable end, this “nice girl” is instead surprised—and aroused—by her boyfriend’s naughty Christmas plans. Jason has tiptoed around what really turns him on, afraid Lizzie would run screaming from his kinkier desires. But as their relationship flags, he latches onto a last-ditch effort to inject energy into their sex life—and their love.

For twelve days leading up to Christmas, Jason gives Lizzie a new present, each one enticing her further into his dark desires. Now Lizzie needs to loosen up a little—to give up enough control to submit to her edgiest urges and give herself completely to the man determined to be hers forever.


To celebrate this release and the holiday season, I'm giving away a copy of "Christmas Packages," along with an early present--Sexuations (US only). This game includes an adults-only card game, a book of naughty stories, an erogenous-zone map, paddle, blindfold, and feather to tickle all your fancies. I'll be touring blogs all week, and on Friday, I'll the select a winner!

To enter, leave a comment at any of the blogs on my tour or tweet about the book/contest using the hashtag #christmaspackages

Blog stops:
Monday—The Nine Naughty Novelists
Tuesday--Andie Marie's Sidewalk
Wednesday--Kate Davies Blogs!
Thursday--Kelly Jamieson's Building Castles
Friday—the Skylarverse


“Open it.” He held his breath as she unwrapped the small package, folding the paper into a precise rectangle. Lizzie, his little neat freak. The deliberate movements of her hands and her prim way of opening everything from the newspaper to cereal boxes to presents fascinated him and gave him one more thing to love about her. Hell, sometimes it even turned him on.

She cocked her head to the side in what he thought of as her curious little bird pose and popped open the lid of the box to reveal a blue silk eye mask. She turned to him with one eyebrow cocked. “I’m sleeping just fine, Jason.”

Though he tried not to read into her words, he cringed inside. He didn’t want her to sleep poorly without him, per se, but would it be too much to ask for her not to be sleeping fine?

She’d always been able to read him, almost as well as he could read her, and she cupped his cheek. “I’ve missed you, Jason. The bed is empty without you.”

He kissed her before saying. “Yeah, hotel beds leave much to be desired. Mainly, you.” Her pupils dilated and he kissed her again, lingering on her lips. “Besides, the blindfold isn’t for sleeping.” Holding her gaze, he watched the understanding fly across her face, only to be replaced with warm delight.

“Oh, it’s that kind of blindfold. How very inventive.” Her grin gave him hope that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t run from his desires.

He stroked her back, enjoying the softness of her gray sweater. But it would have to come off. “Why don’t you go change into your robe and point me in the direction of the candles and oil.”

She shuddered under his hand and her breathing hitched. Their eyes locked as she answered. “Okay. And everything’s in our bedroom.”

Our bedroom—he loved hearing that. And it was past time he showed her just how much. “Then change in the bathroom, love, and I’ll have everything set up when you’re done.”

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The DH's Thursday Thirteen - Top 13 Movie Scenes (Part One)

Welcome to The DH's Thursday Thirteen, where my husband takes over the blog to share his top 13 in whatever category catches his fancy. He'll be dropping by from time to time to post. I've added as many video clips as I could track down. Hope you enjoy!


1. Chariot Race, Ben Hur
11 minutes of amazing filmmaking.

2. Gene Kelly's dance in the downpour, Singin' in the Rain
Pure moviemaking magic. Will put a smile on your face.

3. "Do you feel lucky?" Dirty Harry
The first time Harry says the famous line, after the bank robbery. And then smirks after he pulls the trigger on an empty chamber.

4. Opening scene, The Searchers
When the character of Martha opens the door of the cabin, as Ethan is coming home. The transition from the black interior to the gorgeous scenery of Monument Valley. John Ford at his best.

5. German planes strafe the beach, The Longest Day
Fabulous long shot, from the German pilot's POV, where you can see the men on the beach diving for cover. Amazing to me.

6. The car chase, The French Connection
The quintessential car chase as police officer Popeye Doyle chases an elevated train. Bullitt is a close second, but this takes the prize.

7. Airplane chases Cary Grant, North by Northwest
Hitchcock doesn't get much better than this.

8. "Shane! Come back!", Shane
With the music swelling, this scene tugs at your heartstrings.

9. Captain Fred Derry's father reads his citation letter, The Best Years of Our Lives
Beautifully played by Ronan Bohnen. Emotional and touching.

10. Cafeteria breakdown, White Heat
Disturbing scene where Cody Jarrett goes nuts in the prison cafeteria after learning his mother has died. (It was VERY difficult to choose a James Cagney scene. "Made it, ma! Top of the world!" [White Heat] and the grapefruit scene [Public Enemy] were strong contenders.)

11. Train station, Gone With The Wind
When the camera pans over all the wounded soldiers, pulling past the Confederate flag. Powerful.

12. Earthquake, San Francisco
Included for the amazing special effects, particularly for that time period.

13. Any scene, Casablanca
Perfect film. All-time favorite.

(It was impossible for the DH to narrow this list down to 13. Expect a Part Two next week.)

How about you? Do you have a favorite movie scene that didn't make the list?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Story of "Hi Kate!"

If you've followed me on Twitter or friended me on Facebook, you may have noticed I don't use a picture of myself as my avatar. Instead, I use a rotating set of photos of hot guys holding a sign that says "Hi Kate".

And I've started getting questions about it - who are those guys? And how did you get those pictures, anyway?

The guys are soap actors from the US and Germany. Yes, all the pictures are real - no photoshopping required. And it all started with the Gays of our Lives fan event in NYC last spring. Though I wanted to go, it conflicted with a family vacation that had been in the works for a couple of years. Several online friends attended, though, including redcouchaddict.

So the event is in full swing, and I'm living vicariously through Twitter as the attendees post about what's happening. Suddenly, redcouchaddict has posted a link to a picture for me. I click on it, and there's Igor Dolgatschew, actor on Alles Was Zaehlt, a German soap, smiling and holding a sign with my name on it.

I may have flailed a bit.

By the end of the weekend, I had several pics, both of the actors in attendance and of my friends, most of whom I was 'seeing' for the first time through these pictures.

Since then, the "Hi Kate" photo collection has grown, both with actors (Eric Sheffer Stevens, Van Hansis, Jake Silbermann) and friends. But I'm always on the lookout for more. So here's the scoop:

If you want to be added to my "Hi Kate" gallery on my website, all you need to do is send me a picture of yourself with a "Hi Kate" sign. I'll add it in. Help make this the largest "Hi Kate!" collection around!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Book BIN Tuesday - His For The Holidays

I adore holiday anthologies, and there are a bunch of them out there I'm itching to read. One of the ones topping my list is His For The Holidays, featuring four stories from LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, and Josh Lanyon. These four m/m contemporary novellas seem sure to warm your heart - if not more! Here are the deets:

Spicing Up the Season

Hope brightens a bleak Edinburgh December. A man gets a second chance with his high school crush. A decade-long game of cat and mouse comes to a passionate conclusion. And Santa Claus drives a red muscle car. Heat up your holidays with this collection of four festive tales from some of the top talent in the male/male genre.

Anthology includes:

Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg

Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox

I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon

It looks just delicious - so why not head over to Carina Press and Buy It Now?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Movie Musings - The Man Who Came to Dinner

This month, I'm going to spend Mondays focusing on my favorite holiday films. (Seems appropriate, no?)

I'm kicking things off with one that is full of sparkling dialogue, great characters, and a fun story. The Man Who Came To Dinner originated as a stage play, and it shows - in a good way. When radio personality Sheridan Whiteside slips on the steps and injures himself, he ends up convalescing at the owners's home and taking it over completely. There are celebrities, resident nurses, a mummy case, penguins, and hijinks galore. It's smart and funny and snarky and sweet, and I love it.

The cast is amazing, too - Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Monty Wooley, Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Durante... not an off note in any performance. Just delightful.

I highly recommend it!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part Four

Hard to believe, but this is the last day of my interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I did! Today, we take a look at what's coming up next for Eric, and some final thoughts on the acting life.

I know you’ve just finished up with SILENT HOUSE; are you working on anything right now? Do you have anything on the horizon? Or are you just appreciating a little time off?

Yeah, that’s good. I’ve been trying to get stuff done at home this whole week, stuff I’ve neglected for months now.

We’re developing a play that’s just about written. It’s a four-hander (four characters), a playwright that I’ve worked with before. Over the past year and a half we’ve also been doing readings of a two-hander (two character play) that he had written about a married couple. Right now he’s writing the four-hander. Jenny Mudge and Chris Coffey, my wife Jenny and I. The couples are mixed up, and it’s sort of – I don’t know how to really pitch it. It’s very funny and it’s really good. [The playwright] is about 60 pages into it, and we just had a reading of it last week. We’re sort of close on a grant to start a company that would produce this sometime next year when all of our schedules come together.

Eric and his wife Jenny in last summer's Much Ado About Nothing

He’s just sold the film rights to this other script, so he’s in L.A. all the time. All of us are in different places. But that’s what we’re working on right now, this week included. Taking some time to all work on it together, try to move it closer.

And then it’s always a mystery as to what acting work comes along. You just start auditioning again, and something happens, and you start it two weeks later. I’m sure nothing right now, over the holidays. I’ll just be doing this, and then in January things are going to start up in earnest again. And I may be here, or I may go out to L.A. for a couple months, just sort of be back and forth a little bit.

LEFTY LOOSEY RIGHTY TIGHTY. Where is that in the process right now?

I just heard from them today. They think they’re going to have a rough cut next week, which is pretty amazing. It’ll still be a little bit of time before they have a final cut. Their deadline for themselves is the first week of December so they can make the cutoff for SXSW festival. I know James is working every single night on it. They’re sending it back and forth. The editor, who was also our DP (Director of Photography), is out in LA, so they’re doing a lot of filesharing and putting it all together. I haven’t seen any of it, except what you’ve seen, the teaser, which I loved. I’m going to go out there sometime this week to James’ house to go over the footage with him.

Well, we’re campaigning hard for the Seattle International Film Festival. Late January deadline. Plenty of time.

Sounds great! That sounds perfect, yeah.

Current TV lineup, broadcast and cable – what show would you like to be a regular cast member on, and what show would you like to guest star on?

MAD MEN, I’d love to guest star on. Just started watching that; it’s a great show. I’d love to go back in time and be a regular on THE WEST WING. That show was amazing.

Here’s another one that came through on Twitter. People were tossing out questions for the radio call in but didn’t get through. If you were to create your own primetime show, what kind of show would it be? Is there any kind of a feel to a show that you’re really drawn to, or just whatever happens to cross your plate?

I think anything that David Simon was writing, I would kill to be on. The guy’s doing TREME right now, he did THE WIRE, did HOMICIDE. That’s just amazing TV writing.

I’m sort of behind in TV shows. I don’t have cable, and so I watch things on DVD later. Much later. Sometimes years later. I still haven’t seen DEADWOOD; I’ve never seen THE SOPRANOS. I have kind of bizarre little quirks like that.

But yeah, I think it would be an hour-long drama, but also something bizarre and funny, which I think all good writing has. Tying all of the elements together, which makes the comedy more funny and the profundity deeper, by contrasting those two things.

I have some questions from my kids.

FutureStar: How did you become an actor? What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

I was always interested, and I started doing it in college. I stuck with it, and it just sort of kept happening. Sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’d just say pay attention to the story, more than to your own character. As far as how your character is telling the story and contributing to the story. For too long I just really wanted to be an actor. I was focusing a little too much on my role, my character, and not about storytelling. Something clicked for me when I realized that I was a storyteller, and that made me a much better actor.

Midkid: How early do you have to get up in the morning for acting jobs?

Yeah, that’s hard for me. Theater is pretty awesome because you start late. A lot of times you rehearse noon to eight pm, or ten to six. But TV you get up really early. Always before the sun comes up. It’s awful. And film, too, but they’re longer days. At least on [daytime] TV you’re getting up at 5:30 to be there at seven, but then you’re done usually at two or three. The worst day was five pm, but you’re not doing twelve hour days. They don’t do that. Film and [primetime] TV is often twelve or fourteen hours. You’re working from seven in the morning to nine at night on those days that you’re shooting. But no, you don’t sleep in.

GPS: How would you feel if you were a superstar?

I don’t think I would like it. Not what I’m gunning for. I think I would hate it. It just seems like you would lose a huge part of your life. It would be nice to skirt that and still make a living at it.

A huge thank you to Eric Sheffer Stevens for taking the time to talk with me, and for sharing so much with us all. And thank you to all the readers who took the time to keep coming back for more. I so appreciate it!

If you missed the earlier parts of the interview, links are below. And if you liked this interview, and want to read others in the series, check out the two-parter interviews with James Yaegashi, director of Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty, and Parrish Hurley, creator of "the (718)", a TV pilot.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens Part Three

Is it day three already? Wow - time flies! Today's theme is As The World Turns, which is where the majority of us were introduced to Eric Sheffer Stevens. Learn how Dr. Reid Oliver impacted Eric's life/career, how some of those character quirks came about, and what he REALLY thinks of the Cartoon Saga. Enjoy!

Would you say that the role of Dr. Reid Oliver opened doors for you, limited you, both, or neither?
It remains to be seen what kind of doors it might open, but it was a great opportunity, and it can only be good. There’s nothing that’s limiting about it. Because it was such a character role, and also because it was just less than a year. It would be pretty impossible for me to be stereotyped. It was actually great for me as far as other things I’ve done, to have a guy like that in my body of work. Because of how bizarre and specific he was written. So yeah, for me, it can only be a really great thing.

Were you surprised by the reception for the character, or the attention that you got for the role? On paper I can see it looking like, “oh, secondary character in a secondary storyline, couple of days a week, a good, solid few months of work, steady income” kind of a thing. A great character, a lot of fun to do.

Yeah, that was all exactly my reaction.

And then, all of a sudden did it feel like it exploded on you? In a good way?

It was very surprising. I was pretty unaware of it for a while. Just [noticed] that they kept me working and brought me more and more into the world there. It was just a lot of fun. And that he got so popular was very surprising to me and very unexpected. And, obviously, you think you’re just going along and … it was just what you said. They said two or three months. I’m not sure what they thought the storyline would be, but that character would be around for two or three months. And I thought, “that’s fantastic! That’ll be so much fun.” And then that they wanted to keep him around indefinitely was such a surprise. A welcome surprise – it was a happy thing. That was a character I could have played for…I would have been happy to go on longer with it.

We would have been happy to watch it, too.

My friend Maia and I live in different cities, but we always watched the show together. We’d get on IM and chat while we were watching. I used to joke that it was time for Master Class, because we loved seeing the choices you would make for the character. Line deliveries, or bits of stage action, it was like, “Oh, my God, I never would have thought of that, but it’s perfect.” It was really enjoyable.

That’s really nice. Thank you. You know, it was fun because there was a freedom there that I didn’t realize at first. I think each little thing that I got away with … I mean, they were really happy with it, but I felt more and more emboldened. “Oh, they’ll let me eat whatever food is on set, they’ll let me do anything! This is great!”

Let you drink somebody else’s lemonade.

Yeah, right. [laughter] That one was an odd one. I’ve talked about this before, but we had to redo it, because one of the cameramen started laughing. It was just so random.

Excellent. [laughter] You know it works when you can get the crew to break.

Or it’s just that bad. It could be that as well.

Have you been approached by any other soaps since the end of As The World Turns?

Yes, two. They were contract roles. I remember they were described as “nice”. And I said both times to my agent, “Wait, wait, stop.” So, neither one of those seemed right, but I’m definitely open to it. It depends on what would come along.

I have to say as someone who has done some theater, I completely get where you’re coming from. Because the nice characters are not as interesting to play.

And there’s a lot of them, and they just sort of move through the story. I know I would be really bored. And that’s a really bad place to be. Just not feeling challenged. I’d be miserable, my family would hate me, I’d be very crabby. So that’s something I have to think very seriously about.

I remember being offered a role in PICNIC, down in Baltimore. This is right after Trent and I worked down there together. It was for the role of Alan, who is the nice guy who gets jilted. The hunky guy, Hal, you know, the William Holden part, that’s the fun role to play. I’m not right for that, but I also didn’t want to play the nice guy. It would just be really … this is coming out wrong. I don’t have anything against being nice. At all. In life. And there are plenty of nice characters. But there are tons of parts where that’s their only function is to be the nice guy, so the other person can be interesting. That’s what I’m talking about. So I passed on that.

But then the guy who was playing it bailed on them after opening weekend, to go do something else. And they called me to go on in a week. And I said, “No! What?” That’s actually your nightmare. That whole being naked, not knowing your lines, onstage thing. And my wife said, “Do it. It would be the most ridiculous challenge. It would be horrible and they would love you and you’d save the situation and it would be the most unique experience.”

So I called back and said, “Uh, okay.” And I took a train that day, and the director took the train with me. I rehearsed that night, and then I rehearsed the next day, and went on that next night with a book in my hand. It was terrifying. And that was fun. The character wasn’t the challenge, the circumstances were. I went on twice with a book and the third night, the Friday night, I did it off-book. That was another scary, horrible night. And I got through. It was fun. And after playing that part for a week I was completely bored. But the whole first week was worth that.

The cartoon saga. I know you’ve heard of it, or been made aware of it.

Oh, I’ve watched a lot of them. Yeah, it’s hilarious.

The Mistake is my personal favorite because it’s based on the first time we talked, on that radio call-in when I asked about the Shakespeare plays.

The one with Yorick? Yeah. Those cartoons are hilarious. They’re so smart. They’re ridiculously smart. I think my favorite was the Bad Hair Day. The continuity one. That was genius. So funny.

There have actually been major posts on that (subject).

Oh, yeah. We had to shoot one scene, [where] we were making out, at the end of one of the episodes and the beginning of the next. And we never did the other episode until a month [later] because of some snow day or something, I don’t remember what happened. And he got his hair cut. I was like, “what are you doing?” And he said, “Yeah, it wasn’t supposed to be this short.” So then they’re trying to push it forward or something. Trying to make it all look [the same]. That was one where I knew it wouldn’t work right away.

There were a lot of conspiracy theories about that – were there reshoots, are they trying to make it hotter or what?

No, no reshoots. Just a scheduling thing. Your hair grows. When you wait that long to shoot the next scene, it’s going to look a little weird.

The joke making the rounds was that it was such a hot kiss, not only did it shorten Luke’s hair, it dried Reid’s hair.

[laughter] Yeah. That’s something they let go of, a little bit.

It must be cool to have something like the cartoon saga created around a character you developed.

Oh, yeah. Of course it is.

Guess what? Tomorrow is the last day! So be sure to stop by to see what's on the horizon for Eric!