The Official Website of Author L.A. Mitchell

Category: Fabio

When One Blogging Door Closes…

21st November


Okay, so back in the days of heavy blogging (remember those? Before other social media swallowed blogging whole), my blogging friends were like family. We shared poems, triumphant (and not so triumphant) entrances into the publishing world, our lives, our environments, our art. Though I was an early entry into the Twittersphere, I’m just now warming up to the site (I know, right?), and I’m still holding out on not doing Facebook (despite the persistence of some of my marketing guru clients). I have stayed in contact with many Vortexers via Twitter and LinkedIn. Some have stopped blogging altogether. Some have kept the blog fires burning.

When I sit down at my laptop, I’m far, far more likely to be all business. Freelancer girl. This is my chair of productivity, which is why I needed to set up my social interactions through my phone. I downloaded three feed-reading apps, decided on one, and entered all my old blogging friends into it. My hope is that I won’t lose touch when I take down my old Blogger site for good this week.

I don’t blog as much as I used to, but I do recognize the power of a blog – even now. Posts from years ago helped me to secure one of my many awesome clients. He said he felt like he knew me when he hired me. I guess Fabio and Dean Butler jokes will do that. I won’t post as often as those heavy blogging days, but I hope you’ll subscribe or drag me into your reader so that we might keep in touch. Sign up for my newsletter. Find me on Twitter. Leave me a comment every so often. Keep blogging if it still rocks your world. It still rocks a tiny corner of mine.

Shorty T…The Story, Not Fabio

7th September


I have a lamb I wish to sacrifice to the web. This lamb, heretofore dubbed “Shorty T” because it is a short story and it involves time travel-GET OUT! I know, right?-will be given away for free. Shorty T has been previously published. Some of you may be well acquainted with Shorty T, and for that may I be the first to offer you this Etsy item of win as a token of my undying gratitude:

The questions I wrestle with now involve how best to sacrifice Shorty T.

Does the very nature of the story lend itself better to some forms of web publishing over others? Would it be better to lay a short story out in its entirety than to serialize? Does the ease of smartphones make listening to a podcast more appealing? Would anyone really want to listen to my voice?

Recently, I talked about my serialized fiction attempt-how it became so enormously successful it took on a life of its own. Some of you may even remember my attempt on Blogger early on to serialize a romance novel with co-writers from my critique group. Good luck reading it.  No really. Blogger is set up to follow a calendar dynamic, not a serialized fiction dynamic. First installment is here if you’re masochistic. Why do I keep making the roundabout back to this idea? I can’t deny the serialized nature of delivering stories in the nineteenth and early twentieth century has infinite appeal to me, especially when married to the time travel angle.

I’m realistic about Shorty T. He has a crooked nose and, sure, he has his stinky moments, but I still love him and I think others might, too. Because of his very cross-genre nature I cannot narrow his appeal to one publication, one print stream of revenue in a dying short story print market. My goal is that his freedom will bring others. Give it away and an audience will grow.

So my question to you, faithful Vortexers, is in what form do you like your free reads? Podcast? Serialized Podcast? An interactive experience this story would lend itself to and, perhaps, develop beyond? A self-published read on Kindle or Nook? Serialized and delivered via RSS? You Tube? Twitter? I’m in the early stages of conceptualizing Shorty T’s exit, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

Friday: My new-to-me favorite writing-site addiction.  Beware!

Vortexers of Awesome

31st January


There is so much I want to share this week; but, alas, Casa Mitchell is under heavy quarantine. I have managed to swerve free of strep and H1N1, but I developed a wicked nasty eye infection yesterday like I’ve never had before: half arrrg pirate wench, half MMA blow to the lids, and collateral ick Fabio could, no doubt, identify with. So until we turn this fort ship-shape, we’ll just have to make this week’s posts quick and potent.

Vortexer Erin is keeping it real regarding our resident creepy dentist. She writes: is a hoax – if you use the free domain tool WHOIS.COM, it will say that the author of the said website goes by the name of Andrea Natella – a guerrilla marketing specialist. The person is apparently advertises by means of making hoax stories,urban legends and other unorthodox method to increase traffic in a certain website. A year ago, this website was a hot topic for debates back in my hometown in Tampa. Internet marketing consultants suggest that this was another way for a site to go viral and receive a lot of hits for profit. Some say it was a trial site for a guerrilla marketing theory – which was proven later on. People thought they would really dream of THISMAN as disappointment filled the whole town of Tampa; Internet marketing specialists were actually impressed by the idea.”
Erin, I am a fangirl and bestow upon you a red booth to travel whenever you choose. Be sure to let us know where and when it took you.
Vortexer Rick has launched a quarterly (paying! I know!) web-zine open to submissions starting in February from an impressively diverse genre pool. If you’re interested in getting in on the ground floor of this new project, visit his blog, The Writer and the White Cat. I wish him enormous success-he deserves it after the rough year he’s had dealing with overt and rampant plagiarism of his stories.
I’ll be back Wednesday with more quick and potent. Until then, Arrrrrgh!

Romancing New England’s Roads, Or There’s No G,P or S in Romance

19th October


I wish Garmin gave me options. Why can’t my GPS voice seduce me into keeping right or entering roundabouts? Make it a man with a slight accent, like a spy or a butter spokesman, so it feels like an intimate encounter each time he leads me astray. Then I’d be less likely to curse him when he drags me under Boston Harbor and abandons me like a mangy stray or has me making donuts in Providence that would put the fifteen million Dunkin Donut franchises in New England to shame.

He might offer more than “arriving at destination” when I passed the TAPS office in Warwick, Rhode Island, enough times to be categorized as a crazy-stalker fan. He might have said, “Look, over there. The suburbans block it, but it is there. Do you trust me?” He might have praised my ability to parallel park in Boston instead of insisting where I’d gone wrong. He might have understood my complete and total devotion to him at the exemption of all other navigation tools and how a belly full of lobster and butter sedated my most basic situational awareness. The nowhere, Maine streets had no lights, but it wouldn’t matter. He would be the Columbus to my Pollyanna in a plastic bib.
He might have pulled me aside and explained to me what the hell a roundabout was and why Plymouth drivers are so quick to shoot the native bird. Was it the New York plates? Did the whole Yankees/Red Sox thing extend to the region’s very infrastructure? I’m sure our Pilgrim ancestors would have swelled with pride as I, a mere refugee from the genteel South, showed my bird prowess as well.

Instead, Garmin gives me a pushy pitchwoman with a “recalculating” stutter. There would be more romance in Fantasia’s voice, but together we conquered four states in nine days and she did work through the adversity of ancient rock, a NPR show on bedbugs, and Hootie-no-more-a-blowfish, ad nauseum.
Tomorrow: Romancing the Yankee Accent: The Language of Seduction

Fabio’s Flavor of Summer: The Laaahhve Attack

21st July


For once, I was ahead of the buzz, right? The I Write Like…thing exploded last week and everyone from Curtis Brown agent Nathan Bransford to the Associated Press had something to say about it. Margaret Atwood writes like Stephen King! Who knew? Not wanting to leave well enough alone, and knowing that Fabio adoration is never far from our hearts here at the Vortex, I bit off the big fat assumption that Fabio crafted the words to his romantic ditties and plugged his words into I Write Like‘s text analysis. Commence guessing fun.

First, Fabio’s liquid poetry in case you’ve forgotten.

Now for bragging rights:

Fabio’s lyrics are most like which famous author?

A. Dean Koontz
B. William Shakespeare
C. Jane Austen
D. Stephenie Meyer
E. Charles Dickens

Answer in the comments. If that sample whet your appetite for more laaahhve attack from Fabio, jump back to my post on his After Dark album. Still. Brings. Tears.

What have I been doing? Streaming Netflix movies through my Wii, reading the fabulous literary novel A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, and deep editing on my spanking new laptop…whoot. No more jockeying for coffee shop outlets. No more viral leprosy. No more stalled production.

Which means it’s back to work. I’ll be dipping into the Vortex archives to find special favorites for the coming weeks to mix in with the crazy usual. I hope you’re all having a Dairy Queen Classic French Silk Pie Blizzard kind of summer. Yum.

If your summer were an ice cream flavor, what would it be called?

The Soundtrack of Seduction

24th February


Let me say straight out of today’s gate that I adore Fabio Lanzoni and all his broken English, bird-catching, smack-talking-George-Clooney, stallion-esque awesomeness. The man has made a career out of playing into women’s fantasies about butter and love, a mere stones-throw from what we romance writers do. Okay, maybe not the butter part. Is he an easy target for something besides birds? Definitely. Sadly, today’s offering does little to advance his fabulocity campaign beyond fans of romance, but it is a steamy hot serving of fun.

Fabio’s After Dark album came onto the music scene-and I do use the term music loosely-in 1993. Think of it more as a hybrid between the internet vids the guy in the next cubicle sneaks at lunchtime and the hot Italian waiter rambling off the specials at your favorite bistro. Sprinkled with tracks from Billy Ocean and Barry White in an attempt to disguise the hideousness of the woo-music beneath Fabio’s sultry seduction tips, After Dark is a major win for a hump day break. Treat yourself. Or as Fabio would say, “Thhat special lady in your liiife.”

Track 1: Fabio-About Romance (listen)
Bonjourno, Fabio. I’m veeeeeery interested in what you did to con the 80-track pre-programmed keyboard away from your grandmother for this number. No doubt this is program 44, banned from the rotation for its proximity to that pay per view movie your nana thought starred another Debbie-Debbie Reynolds. And you forgot an ingredient in your recipe for the perfect evening for two laaaaahvers: Nana’s bridge club popping in at the end for a little harmonizing.

Track 3: Fabio-On Inner Beauty (listen)
Look into my eyes, Fabio. No, not the eye roll. Look deeper. They’re revealing just how passionately I want the bridge club to stop making this a group thing.

Track 5: Fabio-On Films (listen)
Whisper veeeeery quietly in my ear during a Hugh Jackman film, Fabio, and you’ll end up stuck to the veeeeery sticky theater floor. And the beautiful adventures afterward? They’d better last longer than the one minute and two seconds this track took to burn my ears.

Track 7: Fabio-On Tropical Islands (listen)
Holy Sax! Fabio has another seduction melody in his repertoire. I don’t know about you, but Fabio’s triple threat of fish, fruits and secrets makes me go all From-Here-To-Eternity. Fish, Fabio? Really? I’m having a tryst at dinnertime with the Gordon’s Fisherman. The last thing I want to think about on a cliched beach fantasy is what will be swimming in my stomach in an hour.

Track 9: Fabio-When Somebody Loves Somebody (listen)
Can it be true? Is he really going to sing to me? And then, it happens. The bridge club returns to back up his Luuuuve Attack. The deep shudder in Fabio’s voice reminds me more of Vincent Price’s “the evil of the thriller” line than the moment where full love-conviction sets in.
Track 10: Fabio-On Humor (listen)
Squee that I’ve mastered one of Fabio’s paramount characteristics in a woo-man: the ability to laugh. At his forced guffaw. At the moments in my life that I’ll never get back after listening to After Dark. I feel like a chiiiiiiiild of lahve.
Track 12: Fabio-On Surprises (listen)
What, no toothpaste? Swap the bikini for Max Factor and you have a deal. The bikini comes off, but Waterproof 2,000 calorie Mascara lasts ten times longer than your erotic overtures.

Track 14: Fabio-On Slow Dancing (listen)
The background music on this track reminds me of lying in a planetarium. Nearby: a geriatric man with dress socks to his knees, a jaded museum attendant with faded DJ dreams at the Captain Kirk-ish helm. Oh, wait. We’re in Fabio’s terrors? What? Oh, terrace. Whew.

Track 15: Fabio-Ciao! (listen)
Fabio knows how to end his four-minute-and-thirty-six-second seduction leaving us wanting more. That’s right: program 44. In this last, breathless moment with him, when he’s stumbling so adorably through the English language, he leaves us wondering Wait, he has mammaries? What? Ciao, Fabio. My best to Nana and her bridge club.

A huge thanks to the ultra-funny i-mockery site for offering up these tracks.
Was it good for you?

I Can’t Believe It Hasn’t Been Done

10th April


Okay, so I’d really only want to visit it, not own it, but I can completely picture it. A pub in some trendy arts district called “Time Out” where moonshine in Civil War flasks is served alongside a Genghis Khan-worthy concoction in a gold stemmed Mongolian goblet. Where patrons could match their mood to the period in history saturating alternate nooks and come away with a different experience each time. The focal point would be the bar, the epicenter tying it all together with some kind of Timeline-esque, hollographic glass construction where drinks were served on a raised hydraulic platform instead of sloshed out from the meaty hand of a bartender. I’d SO go there.

Incidently, thanks to the Smart Bitches, my new favorite reward for hitting my daily page count is to flood Fabio with the names and phone numbers of those who need the special kind of message that can only come from the buttery Italian. I’m sure their fondness for me only grows when Fabio interrupts a board meeting, calls them by name to cite Elizabeth Barrett Browning and jokes about what he’d like to do on a bear skin rug. Could technology of the future get any better?

“I can’t believe it’s time to write.”

I know, I know. I’m going…

Name a drink for my time travel pub.
Oh, and let me know how the calls go. You know you want to send them.