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April 2011


my (our) books

Fool for Love When You Don't See Me

Someone Like You I'm Your Man

He's The One It Had To Be You

The Mammoth Book of New Gay Erotica Best Gay Erotica 2007

Best Gay Love Stories: New York City Best Gay Love Stories 2005

Three Fortunes In One Cookie The Deal


If you have any of the above books and would like them signed, mail them to:

P.O. Box 131845, Houston, TX., 77219.

Please include three dollars for return postage.

Send email to timothyjlambert@gmail.com

Warning: This blog may contain homosexuals which in the states of California and Maine have been alleged to destroy the sanctity of marriage. Read at your own risk.


recommended courses of action

Scout's Honor Rescue is an all-breed, no-kill, Not-For-Profit 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization committed to bringing courage, character and compassion to Houston's homeless pet population and making a positive difference in the lives of these stray and abandoned animals and the Houston community as a whole. 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to saving the life of a homeless animal.

Scouts Honor Rescue Inc.

locally known


maine AIDS alliance

global AIDS alliance


AIDS foundation houston

bering omega community services

frannie peabody center

Timothy's hair by Larry Henderson Hair Design.

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Dec. 29th, 2008

you get what you give (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03VklMOkraU)

It's been quite a while since I've posted reader mail, but this one was too good to omit.

Dear Timothy,

Merry Christmas! I've long read now about the dogs you've cared for and the work you've done with [Scout's Honor] rescue. I wish I could follow your example. But the apartment I live in is in a building that doesn't allow pets. Do you have any suggestions what else I can do to help dogs in need? If so, I'm thinking that might be my resolution for the new year. Thank you! Happy New Year! - F.G., Charleston, WV.

Happy New Year to you, too, F.G.! Even if you can't foster an animal in your home there are many ways you can help your local animal rescue organizations. Here are some ideas, off the top of my head:

1. Monetary donations. I wish I could say that saving a dog like EZ's life and finding the perfect forever home for her is priceless. Unfortunately, there is a price for that kind of happiness. In EZ's case, because of her operations, it cost about seven thousand dollars. Unfortunately, many rescued animals require medical attention and those costs can add up fast. Even the animals that don't require medical attention still need vaccinations, routine check-ups, heartworm preventative treatments, etc. They also need food, collars, leashes, bedding, and crates. And then there's the administrative costs to run a rescue. All these things add up, so monetary donations--no matter how big or how small--are always greatly appreciated. Donations are tax deductable, so be sure to get a receipt and Tax ID number.

2. Other donations. The items mentioned above--food, leashes, blankets, crates, toys, treats, etc.--can be purchased and dropped off by you. If the rescue operates out of a building, they'll probably also need things like bleach, towels, mops, paper towels, newspapers, etc., as well as general office supplies like paper, pens, staples, copy machines, phones, etc. A lot of these items are found in most homes. Call or check their Web site for a list of needed items. Again, the dollar amount for donated items are often tax deductions.

3. Human contact. One of the best ways you can help a rescued dog is to interact with it. Spend a few hours one day a week to volunteer at a shelter walking dogs. You and the dog will get exercise. (This might fulfill two resolutions at the same time.) Also, attend adoption events. Nobody's going to frown at you and shoo you away for not adopting a dog or cat if you say that you're just there to pet the animals and say hello to them. Socialization with humans is very important for a rescued animal. You may not be able to write it off on your taxes, but any love you can offer is valuable.

4. Be an animal advocate. Does your community have leash laws? What about spay and neuter laws? Does your community require breeders to be licensed? Is there a local dog park? Find out. Requiring dogs to be on leashes within town and city limits will prevent dogs from being hit by cars, or from running away and becoming yet another dog in a shelter. Requiring pets by law to be spayed and neutered will help reduce the number of unwanted pets in your community. A local fenced and gated dog park will give dogs (and their owners) a safe place to run and socialize. Requiring breeders to be licensed will reduce the number unwanted and ill-bred pets in your community. Also, it will hopefully stop local puppy mills. There are lots of things you can do as a good citizen to help animals in your community, and keep them out of shelters.

5. Start a rescue organization. So you can't have pets in your apartment. Do you have five or ten friends? Can they have pets in their apartments or homes? Do each of them have five or ten friends who can have pets in their apartments or homes? And so on and so on? If so, you've got the making of a great foster program and you could run it, thereby having upwards of fifty to a hundred pets by proxy! It's not an easy way to spend your free time, but you could do it. Lots of animals and humans will thank you for it.

Nov. 5th, 2007

ask the lonely (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeneHH3-L2I)

If you haven't seen it already, check out Mark G. Harris' 12 question for writers. Mark asks 6 writers (myself included) for answers to these probing questions:

1) How much importance do you place on The First Sentence, both in your work and in the works that inspired you?

2) With everything there is in a scene to keep track of-- continuity, building suspense, maintaining the motivations for every individual character, making descriptions serve and sparkle, making dialogue inventive, fresh and "the way people talk," etc.-- how do you keep track of it all? Do you anticipate and plan ahead? Fix it all in rewrites? Somehow do it in medias res, and move on without returning?

3) Maybe because it's mandatory that we're taught to read and write (unlike being taught composing or sculpting, or whatever), many idle and wish to write and perhaps dabble. What slingshot you into seriousness?

4) What are some lessons, looking back, that you "needed to learn?"

5) Do you intentionally devise a sentence that will cause a reader to stop and reflect? likewise, one that causes a reader to read on to the next sentence, paragraph, page?

6) What have your experiences with literary rejection given you, in return?

7) People who've read your work and praised it...does it affect what you write, next?

8) Have you ever surprised yourself?

9) Do you envision a reader you intend to read an individual work of yours? Who is she, or he?

10) What has a scathing review done to your soft writer-parts?

11) If you wouldn't mind, Google this guy: portrait of Charles-Joseph-Laurent Cordier, by Ingres. Could you please write a brief description of him, his looks, his mood, any quirks you suspect him of, and whatnot? (I'm wanting to see comparative approaches to the same subject, as well as examples of flair-attack.)

12) Finally, what's one thing you adore that readers do for/to you?

Oct. 5th, 2007

ask (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8RoLeUroM)

How difficult was it to get published? - EJ, New Jersey

Hmm...this is where I have to give one of those "That depends" kind of answers. It took us a while to write our first novel, because we weren't writing a novel. We were only writing to entertain each ourselves and each other. After ten chapters, which may have taken over five or six months to write, I forget, because my mind is like a colander, we realized we had a novel. We finished it, and then came the task of trying to find a publisher to print it, or a literary agent to represent us. We sent out forty query letters to agents and publishers and received forty rejection letters in return. That probably happened over the course of two or three months. Then an editor wrote back and said he'd work with us to develop our manuscript into a better novel. Then he vanished off the face of the earth. Then ten more rejection letters, and then Becky and I read Andy Schell's novel, MY BEST MAN. It was similar in style to our manuscript and he was kind enough to thank his agent. We looked up her contact information, wrote to her, and she agreed to represent us. In no time at all she found a publisher for our book, and shortly thereafter we were signing contracts. So while it took some time to find the right agent and publisher, it all happened really fast.

I'm in the process of starting my first fiction book and need some input, advise, ideas, you name it. I'd be happy to work with you, chat, collaborate, whatever. - BC, Missouri

Thanks for asking, BC, but I'm not searching for another co-writer as I'm more than happy not writing with the ones I already have at this point in time. My agent and publishers advise me not to read unpublished material. The only exception to that rule is if I solicit stories for an anthology as an editor, or solicit work in an editorial capacity. I think my time is valuable, so I charge a lot. However, you don't need me. All you need is one friend who isn't afraid to give you their honest opinions to read your writing. Remember to listen to this person's opinions and reread your manuscript with an objective eye, and then make any necessary revisions. Find another friend, and then repeat, until you're satisfied that your manuscript is as close to perfect as it can possibly be.

do you use entries from your journal or from your friends journal as themes in your books or do you work more from anecdotes from your own life? how long have you been in houston? do you prefer living in houston or would you rather be back in the northeast? do you really not get out? - CC - email address withheld

I can't speak for my collaborators, but I don't think I've ever used my journal entries for my writing. My journal is more like a diary, or thoughts about writing in general. Although, there is a tag that I use called "random thoughts," and those entries are sometimes thoughts that I think might be good material to use for my writing at a future time. While I may occasionally find inspiration in real life situations, or conversations with friends, the vast majority of what I write is fiction. I have a vivid imagination. Plus, I'd never force a real life anecdote or situation into my writing if it wasn't true to the main character I'm writing at that time.

I've been in Houston since October of 2001. I like Houston, but I do prefer New England or New York. Maybe one day I'll move back. The climate in New England is probably better suited for my well being.

I don't get out much. I'll put it that way. Although, in May I went to New Orleans and New York City. That was pretty amazing. I lived in NYC for ten years and, during that time, I went out a lot. Now, I'm content with solitude and reflection. I do leave the house from time to time. But when I do, I encounter people and they largely disappoint or annoy me. The only people I see at home are the people with whom I live and, luckily, I really like them.

Aug. 4th, 2007

always asking questions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yd1ueQD5Wc)

Did you meet anyone interesting in your recent travels? - James, Alabama.

Of course! When Becky and I went to New Orleans we met some of our LiveJournal friends in person. I would say they're more than interesting. "Notorious" might be a better word. In both New Orleans and New York City we met writers we'd never met before and, as well all know, writers are always interesting. I also met a cab driver in NYC who reminded me very much of Samir Singh in the Timothy James Beck books. We had a long talk about the decline of western civilization, art, and man's inability to conduct rational thought on a higher plane of existence while eating BBQ Fritos.

How do you normally start a book? I would assume with the [plot], but even then, where would you get the idea for a story? - Brian, Arizona.

If I'm doing collaborative writing (Timothy James Beck or Cochrane lambert) or working on my own, normally nothing happens unless there's a main character to write about. Who is this person and what's their deal? If there's one or two characters forming in my head with distinct personalities, then ideas for stories will develop around them. However, sometimes ideas will come out of nowhere, though. For a story I wrote called "The Dance" I happened to hear someone complaining about going dancing with her girlfriend, because the girlfriend didn't like to dance and always sat on the sidelines of the club, so what's the point? So I used that as a basis of a new short story two characters I'd previously developed. As you can tell from my mixed answer, I have no true answer and I'm just winging it. Which is pretty much like writing in general. Maybe other writers who read my LJ can share their experience in the comments.

You've admitted your track record with men is like shit on toast and the dogs you own seem to feel similarly. Maybe it's you. - LMcG, Boston, Masshole

So you think River died to get the hell away from me, and Rex bit me so I'd put him to sleep and he could follow suit? You're lovely. Thanks. I freely admit that I'm part of Rex's problem, and that's why we're both signed up to see an canine behavior specialist next Tuesday. I'm a dog, too; ask any of my ex-boyfriends and they'll tell you.

Jun. 29th, 2007

always asking questions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yd1ueQD5Wc)

"...I've written a novel and I think I'm ready to submit it to publishers. What advice do you typically give new authors in this situation? Thanks!" - JW, New York.

Dear JW,

Thanks for the wonderful things you said about the Timothy James Beck books. I'm glad you enjoyed them, and if you read any of our books in the future, I hope you take the time to write to us again. As for your question, first, let me say that I don't normally like to dole out advice, because to have advice usually implies a position of knowledge and authority. The only position I prefer is prone, preferably while sleeping. That being said, and since I'm awake, I think it's great that you've finished writing a novel. Congratulations! Most people don't make it that far.

I won't give advice, because advice often goes unheeded, but I will share experience. My experience is that most editors love a tight manuscript. Which means, don't submit it anywhere until you've reread and proofed your manuscript at least three or more times and think it's the best it could possibly be. Don't rely on your text editing software's spell check program, because even it can let mistakes slip by unnoticed. Also, take the time to research the submission guidelines for each publisher. They're often different, and their guidelines apply to you. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, Oh, they won't care that I used Arial font instead of Times New Roman. They will care.

If you're the sort of person who fancies themselves a book critic with no qualms about ripping writers and their works to shreds on every Internet forum and Web site from here to Kalamazoo, I wish you the best of luck and beg you never to mention my name to anyone, because I won't want to be associated with you. Remember that writing is work. Would you be openly opinionated, difficult, and piss people off in any other job? The writer whose work you judged harshly yesterday could be the editor you submit your manuscript to tomorrow. Good luck with that. I always treat my writing career as a career and try to act accordingly.

Also, if you've watched movies based on John Irving novels you might want to forget everything you've seen. When your novel is published you probably won't be the toast of the town. You probably won't be able to quit your job and buy a penthouse in the city. Your editor probably won't be your best friend and advise you on how to live your life. However, you may find yourself wanting to jump out of an open window. If any of that does happen for you, other than the jumping out of an open window part, mazel tov! If that's the case, feel free to mention my name, and I'll be available for dinner on Fridays. =)

Good luck with everything, JW!


Feb. 19th, 2007

dare to be stupid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5MHYihAWAk)

"Drayden's almost seems like a real store. It's not, is it?" - Marc, Topeka, KS.

The above question comes up every now and then in our mailbox, so I thought I'd address it here. I love that people who read the Timothy James Beck books can imagine finding Drayden's in their hometown mall. You won't, of course, because Drayden's is a product of our collective imaginations. Though we mentioned the store in previous TJB books, Drayden's didn't fully come to life until SOMEONE LIKE YOU. When the idea of setting a book entirely inside a fictitious super mall was in its infancy, we decided to make Drayden's one of the Mall of the Universe's anchor stores. To amuse myself and my cowriters I wrote an entire history of Drayden's. This was mainly a spoof of experiences from when I worked at Barneys New York and Nordstrom. Both stores required their employees to learn the history of each retail company's founding families, the Pressman and Nordstrom families respectively, and both followed up with quizes that drove home certain trivia factoids that often come up in their press releases. Because I'm from Maine, and because my family is from the Midwest, I thought, I wonder what Drayden's history is? What if I melded Barneys, Nordstrom, and L.L. Bean into one store that would cater to the midwestern farmer and his daughter? The Swedish Nordstroms inspired the Swedish Lvandssons in name and nationality only. All other likeness ends there. The Lvandssons are fictitious and hopefully bear no likeness to any Nordstrom, Pressman, or Bean family members. Barney Pressman pawned his wife's engagement ring to fund the original Barneys store. In SLY, Bjornn Henry Lvandsson's wife Greta pawned her loom. The L.L. Bean "Bean Boot" inspired the Lvandsson's "Cattle Cozy" livestock blanket that started it all. Highlights from Drayden's history were pulled for Chapter One of SLY when Derek is in training on his first day at work and meets Vienna.

Dec. 21st, 2006

these are days (http://youtube.com/watch?v=mEIKRdm-ez4)

I love it when different artistic genres inspire each other, and apparently other people do, too, because I've noticed in articles and interviews that writers are often asked what music they listen to while they work, if any. People ask me this a lot, probably because we write about musicians, or because our characters often talk about music. After we finished writing IT HAD TO BE YOU I made a tape (remember those?) for Becky featuring songs I listened to while working on our book. I titled the collection of songs "Daniel," because we didn't have a title for the book at that time—I think the working title of the manuscript was "The Book of Daniel," and before that it was "The Queen of Clubs"—on the spine of the cassette's cover I wrote "songs inspired by Daniel." Now I wish I could revise that to read, "songs that inspired Daniel," but no matter.

I made a soundtrack, available on iTunes by clicking this link. These are songs that gave me inspiration while writing IHTBY. Or, some of them are tongue in cheek references to the TJB writers; Deeper Understanding by Kate Bush, for example. I call it an unofficial soundtrack, because I did this without my cowriter's knowledge. Also, an official soundtrack would probably be the songs listed in the book, and there were many. Plus, "official" makes it sound like we'd have to pay someone, and we can't afford that. We'd probably have to pay Madonna, since that book is rife with Madonna mentions. In fact, at some point down the line, maybe after I'M YOUR MAN, I made an edict that we weren't allowed to reference Madonna anymore in our books. To which my cowriters, I believe, held a mirror in front of my face.

Anyway, annoyingly enough, a few of the tracks from the tape I made for Becky aren't available on iTunes. Here's the tracklisting. Song titles in red aren't on iTunes.

Daniel - Elton John
My Honey's Loving Arms - Barbra Streisand
You Have Placed a Chill In My Heart - Eurythmics
Stars - Simply Red
Not Enough Time - INXS
Save Up All Your Tears - Cher
Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) - Janis Joplin
Dreaming of the Queen - Pet Shop Boys
C Minor - Communards
Drowned World / Substitute for Love - Madonna
Silver Springs - Fleetwood Mac
Deeper Understanding - Kate Bush
New Dress - Depeche Mode
Love, Thy Will Be Done - Martika
Morning Glory - This Mortal Coil

Heartbreak Beat (Extended Mix) - The Psychedelic Furs
Hit - The Sugarcubes
F**k and Run - Liz Phair
Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday
Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
I'll Remember - Madonna
I'm A Star - Dead Or Alive
Prophecies - Sandra Bernhard

True Faith - New Order
It's Good To See You - Pride Committee
If Madonna Calls (I'm not here) House Mix Radio Edit - Junior Vasquez
AbFab (Thin & Gorgeous) 7" Edit - Junior Vasquez
In My Arms - Erasure
If I Were You - Stevie Nicks

Hold On - Sarah McLachlan

Dec. 20th, 2006

yesterday, when i was mad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdg-ss3DyCQ)

Someone specifically asked about a portion of my bio that, in some versions, makes reference to me being a keyboardist and lyricist for a band, and since other people have asked me about it, I guess I'll elaborate. Or, rather, I'll give the highlights of the story.

Yes, I was a member of GWAR. Just kidding! About ten years ago (eeek) in a land called New York City, my friend Jon asked me to join his band, Boss Drum. Don't bother googling "Boss Drum" because you'll just get a lot of information about this album. We really didn't hit big. We just had fun. We recorded songs. We made a CD, which apparently was sold in the Soviet states. We did shows at the Bat Cave, Limelight, the Bank, and Pyramid Bar. Two high points were when we opened for A Flock of Seagulls and Lords of Acid. I only wrote lyrics for a few songs, among them Running Away From Yesterday, Why am I Here (Without You), and I have a shared writing credit on When I Cry, though I don't remember why. I just remember sitting in the studio all night and saying things like, "Yeah, that sounds cool." And, "I'm hungry." Or, "What time is it?"

Click here to listen to When I Cry. (This link/file will be disabled in about a week, lest I get sued, or something.) I always liked the bass line of this song. Still do.
**Update: if the file won't play for you via the previous link, try this one, instead. If that doesn't work either...oh, well.

Jon was also my roommate for a few years. Here's a photo of us on our rooftop. Note the holes in my pants. We could only afford to be photographed from behind, because we were poor, starving artists. Some things never change. Note the Darth Vaderlike appearance of my hair from behind. Oy.)

Recently, Jon contacted me and mentioned something about Boss Drum tracks being on iTunes soon, which I alluded to here. I'm not sure when and if this will happen, but if does, I'll be sure to post about it. Jon also asked if I have "any lyrics laying around the house" that I might want to send to him. There were some under the sofa cushions, so I sent those. We'll see what happens. =)