Monday, March 6, 2017

Where in the World is Max?

     So… here I am… sitting… having coffee. I need to be trying to write a blurb, but my head just ain’t in it. I was just reminded that I needed to do a blurb about what I’ll be doing this year… as in where will I be. Also, you will note the fantasy fairy tale images. There's a reason... be patient!
     Coffee…Coffee…COFFEE!
     Yes, as most of you know I do love my coffee in the morning. Some have asked if I drink too much. Not anymore, or not as much as I used to. I used to easily drink anywhere from 20-24 cups a day. I was also working full time and my days were usually around 10-14 hours a day. To me, that was what got me through it.


     Now… after three heart attacks, I’ve cut back. Waaaay, back. I now only do 3-4 cups a day and I try to not have any past nine in the morning. Pretty drastic, huh? So for those who think I drink too much coffee… give me a break. As you can see, I have cut back, so nah!
     Oh… back to the main topic…
     Where will I be in 2017? Well… I’m about to tell ya. I’m happy to announce that I will be returning to Europe this year. I was supposed to have gone last year, but sometimes there are things beyond our control that happen, and that was the case last year. It sucked, but I’m going to make sure that I make up for it this year.
     So… here is the schedule:
     London May 7 – 10 As of yet, I have no real plans other than some sightseeing. If anyone wants to get together, just let me know. I hope to catch up with some old friends while there.
     Paris May 11 – 17 Book signing and release party for new book May 13. I hope to see some of my favorite people there. I can’t wait to face-plant into a plate of éclairs!
     Venice May 18 – 23 I get to spend my birthday in Venice! How cool is that. Can’t wait to meet some of my Italian readers! Anyone know of a good stripper in Venice? He he he
     Hmm, from the 23rd until June 19 I’m going to have a little me time. Yeah, I’m going to spoil myself a bit. But everyone needs a vacation.
     Barcelona June 16 – 19 Anyone in Barcelona?
     Berlin June 20 – 25 Euro Pride Con! Going to be there for this event and looking forward to it. I’ll have books there for anyone who might want one. This is one event that I’m really looking forward to.
     Tampa July 6 – 9 Rainbow Con. Looking forward to seeing readers and authors. So many great authors from the Florida area. Hope to see many readers.
     There, that’s all I have pertaining to travel and where I'll be. No, I will not be attending GRL. So please, don’t ask.


     While I’m at it…
     I’m really looking forward to Euro Pride Con in Berlin this year. I’ve always wanted to visit Berlin. Never thought I’d get the chance, but here I am… I’m going. Are you?
     I’ve heard so many great things about this book conference. I just checked the attendee’s list and I was amazed at how diverse it seems. There are people from all over Europe going. Hell, there are people from all over the WORLD going! How cool is that?
     Think about it… people from around the globe will be meeting together just because they like reading about men having sex. Okay… it isn’t just about them having sex, but they do like to read gay male books, which is something I’d never thought I’d see. I mean it wasn’t even close to a thought, it was so remote.
     I also like that it isn’t a huge event like GRL. I prefer smaller groups personally. It really gives you time and space to really talk to people. For me, that is what it’s all about. So… who’s going to meet me there?


   Now... about the cartoons...
   Who likes fairy tales? Okay… who remembers fairy tales? Ever wonder about how it might go to have a gay themed fairy tale? Hmm… makes me think. (Yeah, it did kind of hurt.) I recently got the complete collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d forgotten how gruesome some of those stories can be. I still loved ‘em though. They do remind me of my childhood.
     It got me to thinking about trying my own hand in writing a fairy tale or two. What do you think? Perhaps a twist on a favorite, or something outside of the box? Got any plot stallions to share? Let me know, y’all. I'm going to be spending some time in a small town in France while attempting this. And yes, I plan on visiting a castle/chateau or three! So looking forward to that.


     I guess that’s about all I have for this week. Remember that it is always better to give than receive. Have you done something nice for someone lately? Helped someone who needed a little boost up? I’m sure you have! Way to go on getting some of those good Karma Coins in that big pink piggy bank!
    Have a grrreat week, y’all,
    Max




Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Letter...

     So… this week has been a bit of a jumbled up mess for me. I don’t tend to be an overly emotional person, but there was an incident, a few actually, that made me want to go all redneck kinda postal on someone. Never a good thing.
“It’s all in the sauce.” – Fried Green Tomatoes
     I wanted to write a letter, a letter that I’ve written more than a few times before. Some were sent but most were only seen by my eyes. It’s a letter that I wish someone had written to me. Yes, I needed this very same letter once upon a time. It was a brief time in my life, but it is one that might have moved things along a bit better, a bit quicker had I received it. Here is the letter…

     My dear, dear friend; I’d like to thank you for you being you. You’re one of the most gracious ladies, a term I don’t use lightly, that I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. You light up a room when you walk in. Your smile, laughter and sense of humor are truly gifts which you selfishly give away time and time again. You’re one of the most intelligent and eloquent people I’ve met in sometime. You’re the type of person people, like myself, are drawn to like a magnet.
     Ladies, like yourself, should be treated with respect and honor, like family heirlooms or fine crystal. When I see and witness anything other than that, I become very upset. This week, I have seen you mistreated, on several occasions and it hurts me. It hurts me because it hurts you and those around you as well, myself being one of them.
     I understand the wish for everyone to just get along. I see the struggle of trying to maintain a calm and enjoyable environment, but there are times… at some point we all need to stop, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Examine the circumstance and dissect it and ask what the hell is going on.
     This is where I’m going to take the bull by the horns. As it was told to me by someone both of us love dearly “—that’s why you’re kitchen and I’m management.” This is so very true. So, I’m going to just put it bluntly… your partner is a bully.
     Bear with me for a bit longer, if you please…
     I’m going with what I’ve personally seen, observed, witnessed and then heard. This person has slowly and methodically alienated you from friends and family. This is always the first step that often leads to domestic abuse and many times results in violence. I’ve seen it numerous times before in both straight and gay relationships. I’ve also been on the receiving end of this, so I know how it feels. How does it feel? It feels like you’re constantly trying to juggle situations so that everyone is happy. It’s a hard balancing act, which never seems to stop. It’s exhausting. Always pacifying the aggressor, making excuses, trying to hide the obvious misbehavior and bad manners. The feeling of wanting to crawl under the table and hide at times. Yes, I’ve been there. I do know. It feels like a broken record that will never end.
     This type of person will bring you you’re coffee in bed, spontaneously bring you flowers and small gifts. Things that will keep you enamored, captivated and basically string you along. All the kinds of things you want in a partner. Things that make you think that they care, and in a way, in their own way, they probably do, but then they are also the abusive bully.
     I have now witnessed the snide remarks this person makes when you’re not around. How disrespectful they are to those who, like you, are just trying to get along and do the best that they can while being as supportive as they can. I’ve now seen the wedge they are using to further drive away those who love and care for you. It is happening, make no mistake about it. It is happening.
     Every one of us makes choices. Some good, some not so good and then some that are just plain bad. Heaven help me, because I’ve made a lot of bad ones and paid for it in the end. It’s like that old theory—“for every action there is a positive or negative reaction”. Yeah… I’ve had my butt kicked several times with this one. The point here is it is your choice. However, there are times when we need someone to tell us the truth, as much as we might not like it or agree with it.
     I may be putting it too simplistically, but you are fast approaching a crossroads where you are going to have to make a choice. Staying with this person means that people are going to continue to pull away, distance themselves from you. It doesn’t mean that they love or care for you any less, it is just simply that they are tired of being on the receiving end of this bully. As I mentioned, people can and do make choices. No one wants to put up with that type of crap and eventually… they won’t.
     If you have people, friends and family, who consistently tell you there is something wrong, at some point you need to pay attention. As hard as it may be, we all need a reality check. You may want this person to be the perfect one for you, the everlasting, undying love that we all want and crave, but… sometimes it just isn’t.
     Who can you trust? Personally, I can count on one hand and have fingers left over of those I feel I can truly trust. Listen to those who are closest to you and will always have your back. In your heart of hearts, you will know what the best decision will be for you.
     You know when people say it is a new chapter in your life when you make a major change? Yeah, I think of it as opening a whole new book. The world is your oyster. The possibilities are endless. Yada, yada, yada. The clichés are endless. Well guess what? It’s true! There is a great big world out there. There are some wonderful people and great adventures to be had.
     I had a very good and close friend who is now gone. I miss her terribly. She married such a person and stayed with him for eighteen years. When she divorced him, she told people “I’ve just lost two-hundred and forty pounds!” They would look gobsmacked at her. “Really?” they would ask. “Yep, I finally kicked that bastard to the curb,” she’d say, smiling.
     Afterwards, she led a full life. She traveled. She reconnected with friends, who had stopped coming around. Spent more time with her children and grandchildren, whom she’d become somewhat distanced from. She had a grand time. I was able to spend some very good quality time with her in her later years. She was happy and content with her life. We should all be so lucky, right?
     So, my dear lady, I wish you all the best of luck and I want you to know, that I will always be your friend. I will always be there for you. I only wish you the best and brightest of futures.
     Your devoted friend,
     Max
     If you know of someone who might be in need of this letter, please feel free to forward, copy and paste or whatever you need to do. No one deserves to live in fear. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Proud Curmudgeon!

     So… I’ve been in quite the quandary these past few weeks. Busy beyond all belief and then just… ugh… I feel like Madeline Kahn… I’m so tired….
     Yeah, I am… 
     Yep, I will admit it. I have no qualms about admitting it. I’ll carry a flag. I’ll show you an I.D., if I had one. I’m a proud recluse; a curmudgeon of the highest order. People will often scoff at my proclamation. They don’t believe me. Trust, me when I say, I’m really not kidding. Nope, I will readily hand you your ass if I feel that is what you need. Trust me. I ran a professional kitchen. I can make Gordon Ramsey look like an amateur when it comes to dressing down people. BTW, he really is a total ass. Can’t stand the man.

     I’m not quite sure who came up with this whole notion that I’m some sort of fuzzy teddy bear. First off, I’m not really fuzzy. I’d always wished I was, but alas, it was not meant to be. Oh, and I’m rather short. Too short for a real bear obviously. Did you know that I’m also Southern? Oh hell… do I have to explain that as well? Well I’m not gonna. Go read ‘Gone With the Wind’, if you feel the need to know.

     It’s not that I hate people. Alright, I don’t hate most people, that better? I just find them irritating. They tend to piss me off. This has been a growing within me for the better part of three decades. The more relaxed our society becomes, the more likely people are going to forget basic manners. Whatever the fuck happened to ‘please’ and ‘thank you’? That doesn’t even take into account simple common courtesy!
     Don’t even get me started on what people will say online, behind their blinking little screens, their anonymity protected, or so they think. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m gonna say it again, right here… right now. If you don’t have something nice to say, shut the fuck up. I don’t want to hear it and the chances are, no one else will either. You got something nasty to say, go tell it to your BFF or in a mirror. Chances are, you’ll get a much better response.
     If I want to bitch about something, I have a completely rational, highly intelligent conversation with myself. No sense in dragging someone else’s poor tired ass into it now is there? I don’t even need to look into a mirror to do that. I can sit and weed my little garden and just fuss up a storm all by myself and have a wonderful time doing it, thank you very much.
     Stay away…
     I’ve really stayed away from social media lately. I already have high blood pressure; I don’t need someone else trying to force a stroke on my ass. Just when I thought… hmmm… I’ll go check things out, BAM! I get hit in the face with something that just pisses me off to the highest point of pistivity! And it didn’t even have anything to do with politics.

     Okay, I get that people need to talk about things. Their feelings… their… whatever. Go get a therapist. Tell a clergy or someone who will listen, nod their head, give you a blessing, let you rant and then shut the hell up. There are just some things the rest of us really don’t need or want to know.
     Bragging will push me right over the edge. If you do something nice for someone, that’s wonderful. However, the best part of that is keeping it to yourself, knowing that you’ve done a really good thing. You don’t need to brag about it, patting yourself on the back for a job well done defeats the purpose if you ask me. You know you did it. Feel good about it and move along. Go do it again for someone else. There exceptions to this rule. Personally, if I’ve gotten help or involved someone else, I will talk about it. If it is just me, I will keep quiet about it.

     ‘White Banners’, a book by Lloyd C. Douglas. No, don’t go rent the movie. It has a similar theme, but Hollywood totally botched that one. Good enough movie, but totally missed the mark in delivering the message of the book. Go. Read it. Feel good about yourself. It’s a great read and one book that I think should be required reading. You won’t regret it. Most every library has it.
     I told you…
     See… now do you believe me? I’m a crusty old fart who really doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass about other people’s opinion of me. Okay… there are a few who I look to… um… scratch that. They’re already dead, so they don’t count. Do they? I may need a Bloody Mary and garden time to think about that one. Do their opinions matter if they’re dead?
     Putting it simply…
     How I live my life, or try to:
     1. Treat others as I want to be treated.
     2. Don’t lie.
     3. Don’t steal.
     4. Respect; me first then you.
     5. Mind my own business.
     6. Be kind and try to be helpful.
     7. Offer a helping hand, not a hand out.
     8. Don’t judge.
     9. Manners matter.
     10. Keep my mouth shut and nod.
     If I keep to these rules, I usually do okay. Whenever I have strayed… that’s when I always get in trouble. I always seem to be getting in trouble, but mostly because people don’t want to hear me jump their shit. If you don’t want to know, then you best not ask me, but I’ll pretty much tell you. ‘My it’s weather we’re having!’
     I’m somewhere between 55 and death, so I don’t have a whole lot to lose, now do I. “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.” Just be damn sure you want the truth. I’m a good listener, and I usually know when that is all that is required of me. I’ll listen to just about anything as long as we know the ground rules. It’s when you ask for my input or opinion that I’m gonna give it to you, no sugar coating. You’ll get the truth.
     Done…
     Now… stand up straight, square your shoulders and march. Go… do something productive. Make something. Be creative. Make someone else’s day. Mind your manners and things will turn out okay. Stay focused on what makes YOU a better person and don’t worry about those other folk. (For some unknown or rational reason ‘Onward Christian Soldier’ just popped into my head. I’m so ready for a cocktail now.)
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max
     p.s. Take most of this with a grain of salt, preferably from the rim of a cocktail glass. Most of it was tongue in check for those who just don’t get my sick sense of humour. But I really am a curmudgeon!
     Oh... and happy Super Bowl! 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Feeding My Addiction(s)...

     So… I’m sitting here wishing I had a cocktail. It’s really too early to start drinking and I have a meeting in four hours and it would probably be a good thing if I weren’t drunk off my butt for it. Although, she probably wouldn’t mind. Yeah, she probably would come to think of it. Only because she’d be sober though.
     Ho Hum…
     Last time TAT (That Aussie Tart) and I went out to dinner with some friends after happy hour. We went to this little French style café, which isn’t too bad. Service was a bit on the wonky side, but that is pretty much everywhere here. I swear, I don’t know who some places stay in business to be honest, but that’s a whole ‘nother story for another time. Anyway, this friend asked me if I missed cooking.
     Yep, face plant in a big plate of depression. I miss not being in a kitchen so badly at times I seriously could just cry. I miss not working. I miss not having the adrenalin pumping when your ass is about one minute from going into the weeds. The noise, the heat and then… it’s over and everyone is cleaning and ready for a couple of well-deserved stiff drinks. Yeah, I miss it like nothing else. It’s my drug of choice and it was taken away from me when I was enjoying it the most. But… sometimes that’s the way things go. Who knows, if I could ever convince someone to cut my feet off and I get some of those bouncy prosthetics like that legless Olympian, I could be back in business, just bouncing off the walls of a kitchen once again.
     Speaking of which, the next time I’m in France, I swear I’m going to find a good patisserie and eat my weight in éclairs! I don’t know what it wrong with American bakeries. They can’t seem to get it right no matter what. Oh… and a good opera cake. Damn, I’m craving junk food.
     Hurry, change of subject…
     You know what really burns my ass? A flame about three foot high. That an old quote from a Dolly Parton movie. A good friend, Lisa Schrader, tagged me in a post about some Yankee woman who had never appreciated Ms. Parton for who she really is. Of course so many people think that she’s just some overly made up country singing bimbo. She is so far from that. She is probably one of the most generous people on earth. She gives back to her community like no one ever else has. With all the wildfires that devastated the East Tennessee region, she has promised one-thousand dollars to each and every family affected until they get up on their feet. She’s held a fundraiser.

Here’s the link of the woman who changed her opinion of this icon.  
An Open Apology To Dolly Parton
     She bought Silver Dollar City and named it Dollywood, which I’m sure some of you may have heard of. That place used to only be open about four months out of the year. Now that place runs year round and provides thousands upon thousands of jobs to local and traveling people.
     She also has a mobile library for the kids who are so remote; there is little or no chance for them to get to a library. She expanded on that and is now sending preschool kids’ books in the mail for free! You heard right, these kids have the opportunity to get a free book every month at no cost.
     No, our jezebel wanna be is so much more than a talented songwriter – performer. She is a superstar where I come from and it has nothing to do with her musical abilities at all. So, I’m gonna sing me a little Dolly tonight while whooping up something in the kitchen tonight. I’m thinking Jolene might be the ticket.
     Where’s that damn escalator…
     I so want to jump on my soapbox. I’m just too fucking lazy to walk up the stairs. You might want to be glad that I can’t find the escalator. Trump the chump just pisses me off. Him and his stupid wall. At what point has a wall ever really worked. Let’s ask the Chinese. Or how about the Brits with their stupid wall. Did it work? Or Berlin… how well did that wall fair? Hmm. Walls haven’t worked at any point in history and it won’t work now. Physically or virtually. The anti-Muslim wall he’s erecting won’t work either. It’s only going to piss more people off and play into the hands of the extreme right radicals, Christian AND Muslim. Okay… that’s as far as I can make it without the escalator. Ain’t you glad!?
     Moving right along…
     Did I mention I’m having the wackiest cravings? My doctor put me on a mega dose of steroids for four days and they are kicking my ass bad. It’s worse that smoking pot, as I remember. Makes me want to eat the entire house. I sat down and had a party size bag of Doritos last night with about half a gallon of milk. Damn, I’m going to look like I swallowed a beach ball the way I’m going. Either that or I’m carry triplets, which is impossible. Oh wait… there is that whole immaculate conception thing… who knows… think I could sell that story?
     I gotta goooo…
     I’m gonna close this bad boy up now so I can go and scarf up something good… or not so good, so let me just say… get out there and live life. Be happy. Do something for someone else. You won’t break a nail. It won’t break the bank. Your face won’t crack if you smile. Just do it. Put some of them good Karma Coins in that piggy bank.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max



Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'll Shut Up Now...

     So… I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out something nice to say. I don’t know about y’all but my momma told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut.” Yeah, well that doesn’t always work for me.

     When is a spade not a spade…
     Never. Basically if you’re a liar and a cheat, you’re always going to be a liar and a cheat. Add thief to that and you’ve got a human being that isn’t worth his weight in salt. I never thought I would actually say this about a sitting President of the United States but… Donald J. Trump is a thief, a liar and a cheat. It is easily proven. It isn’t a big surprise.
    I’ve made it a point to not get into this political mess, but after Friday, I can’t hold back any longer. How this happened I don’t know. I just lied. Yes I do. I know exactly how this happened. People didn’t get out and vote. We have the lowest turnout for elections of any westernized country. That is pretty shameful.
     Tha, tha, that’s all folks…
     Since I really can’t think of anything nice to say, I’m going to stop right here. I had another thousand words, but after reading it, I just deleted it. Yep, that’s just… well that’s all. I’m going to head my mother’s advice and shut up now.
     Did you know?...
     Yep, I re-release P.O.W. If you’ve not seen the new cover yet, you haven’t seen one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. A.J. Corza is a genius. I’m just blown away by her talent. If you’ve not read P.O.W., it is now available at your favorite book retailer. Please read the warnings though. It won’t be for everyone. It is hard and gritty and not always nice.
Buy links
Amazon
iBooks
Smashwords
Kobo
     But before I go…
     I’d like to thank everyone who donated books for the Zebra Coalition. I’m going to start categorizing everything this week and see about arranging a date for delivery. If I’m able to get it all done this week I hope to have a number to give y’all. Overall, I’m very pleased with how many responded to the request for books. I knew you would. You’ve never let me down yet when I ask for help. You guys rock.
     Remember, we all have more in common than not. Treat everyone with respect and the chances are they will reciprocate. Do something nice for someone else and you will reap those good Karma Coins.
     Have a great week, y’all,
     Max



Sunday, January 15, 2017

I'm So Confused...

     So… I’m sitting here pondering about the state of things. I’m so confused. On one hand I want to scream and on the other I want to hide. Oh, and then there’s the feeling I have that I have to put on my happy face and pretend that everything is perfectly okay.
     Why so…
     Angry? You bet’cha. When I order Chinese delivery, and I get an eggroll, I expect mustard damn it! What the hell? Who doesn’t want the hot mustard with their deep fried goodness? Come on now, admit it. Don’t you get a little pissed off when they forget that? I know I do.
     Oh and don’t even get me started on stupid people. I mean, there are those who can’t help it, but then there are those who are just too fucking lazy to get the facts straight. Yeah, those folk who are now pissed that our GOP laden government is going to do away with the Affordable Care Act. They are screaming their fool heads off because they had no clue that Obama Care and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing. Really? Are you really that fucking stupid? If you are, then you deserve exactly what you get… which in this case is nothing.
     And then there are those idiots that seem to have forgotten that there are indicator lights in cars. It’s an epidemic here in Florida. I bet there are probably less that 10% who actually use them. There are times that I want to tell them that they need to either return their new car or have it serviced because obviously, their turn signals don’t work. Grrr…

     Hiding… I got a new throw (blankie) for Xmas. It’s a big orange UT one that is so nice and fuzzy. (Thanks TAT. I love it!) There are days when I just want to stay in bed and cover my head and relish my blankie. Okay, I do like it that much, but there are some days that I don’t want to face the world.
     To be truthful, I really, really don’t want to go to the grocery store. It is bad on the best of days here but on Saturday? Why did I put it off till today? No matter what day you go, it seems to always be busy. Well, unless you go as soon as they open at 7 a.m. No, not one of my favorite things here.
     I want to hide from Facebook and other social media lately. There is so much hate and bad stuff erupting everywhere that I just want to crawl under my blankie. Why can’t we be civil to one another? Has etiquette and manners completely disappeared? Do you think these people would act this way if the other person/people were sitting across the table from them? I highly doubt it. I wish everyone would take a deep breath and imagine that person sitting in front of them before blasting their business for the entire world to see.
     Did I mention that I really like my new blankie? Maybe everything else is just an excuse to be all comfy cozy. I may have to think about that… under said blankie of course!
     My happy face…
     My mother told me once that no one wanted to hear my woes and for the most part, she was right. I think I’ve mentioned this before. When someone asks how you are, they don’t want to hear your crap. That is why I put on my happy face and move on. Compartmentalize is the key here: putting things in nice little boxes to deal with later. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that. I think it’s a good thing to be able to do.

     There are times when I think it is easier to put on the happy face. It keeps things in balance. People won’t ask you what’s wrong, or what is going on with you. It’s easier, let’s be frank. I’m sure that there are times when we all have to do that, whether we like it or not. It’s just part of life I think. I also think that there are some people who need to practice this a bit more. Trust me when I say, it comes in handy.
     Where’s the fork…
     Done. And there you have it. All my emotions spelled out… or spilled out, all over the page. No wonder I’m a mess here lately. Of course, it could also mean that I’m going through dirt withdrawal. I’ve not been out digging in the dirt in a few weeks. Now that I think about it… I’m sure that’s what the issue is. I need me some dirt time!
     Oh… and did you know…
     I got the rights back to a book I wrote years ago. P.O.W. In my humble opinion, this book was never marketed by the publisher. Actually, at the time of release and until I got the rights back, it wasn’t even available on Amazon in e-book format. Why, I’ll never know. I also think that is was so overpriced that no one bought it.

     It now has a new cover, thank god, and has been re-edited. I’d forgotten what a good book it is, if I do say so myself. I feel that part of that was because I was so disgusted with how it was handled by the publisher that I almost hated the thing. Now that I have the rights back and I’ve read it again, I’m surprised at how powerful this book is. For sure, it is not for the light of heart. There are some difficult scenes in there.
     Anyway, it's available for pre-order. Here are some buy links.
Happy Dance…
     Wow… thanks to all the wonderful authors and readers who have sent books for the Zebra Coalition library. So many books have come in that I’m a bit overwhelmed. The kids are going to flip when they see how many.
     The postman handed me the mail the other day and thought that something was wrong when he didn’t have a parcel for me. I told him not to worry, that UPS had gotten there before him, so all was good. I had to smile at that. It won’t be long before they are all ready to be loaded up and taken to the center. I’ll try and get some photos for y’all.
     Again, thank you all so very much. As always, you guy come through for me each and every time. If you didn’t buy/send a book, there are still things you can do. Sign up for Amazon’s Smile program. You can pick them as a favored charity where part of your purchase price is donated to them. Or you can check out their wish list, which you have to actually click their name under ‘wish list’ to see what they need. A lot of things are under $20.00. I try and get one thing each month. I usually do it right after I’ve paid all the bills. It makes me feel a little better. Just think of the good Karma Coins you’ll be able to put in that piggy bank!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Another New Year...

     So… it’s a new year. Am I the only one who is finding it hard to write 2017? Not so much that I was in the habit of writing 2016, but just difficult to wrap my head around the date itself. I find it hard to believe I made it this far.

     Putting it away…
     Over the holidays, I’ve received numerous greeting cards. There were a few that really cracked me up. Some people know me too well. Many of you know that I hate snow. I’ve come to detest cold weather, mainly because I find it painful, so when I got a card that said “I Love Snow” with a cute snowman, I at first frowned. Then I saw who it was from and had to laugh. I got another one that was so funny and sooo me, I almost pissed myself. There are a few that I think I’m going to keep and pull back out next year. They’re too good to throw away.
     I did manage to send out a few cards myself this year, not many. That was the first time in several decades that I’d done so. I did avoid doing it the day after Thanksgiving, but I still found it a little difficult. And of course, putting it off meant that several of them didn’t make it before Christmas, but I figure they were ‘Holiday cards’ so it still counts.
     Speaking of…
     No. No. No! I do not do snow! I hate the stuff. Yeah, as a little kid I liked it well enough, especially when it got me out of school. I however, learned very quickly to dislike the white, wet, cold, disgusting crap at a very early age. You see, I had a paper route. I rode a bicycle to deliver papers. Those papers had to be delivered come rain, snow or heat wave. Have you ever tried to ride a bike in ten inches of snow? Yeah, it doesn’t work. When it snowed I ended up having to walk that damned route. Cold, wet feet is not my idea of a good time. So, yeah, I hate the stuff.

Nope! Not even for him!

     Having lived through the blizzard in Washing D.C. back in the 80’s, and having to walk from the subway in two feet of snow in my work clogs only made me hate it that much more. When it snowed in Atlanta, and things shut down, I knew that as soon as I could, I’d be moving even further south, which I did. I swear, if Global Warming, or whatever the PC name for it is now-a-days, causes it to snow in Florida, I’m going even further south. I wonder if I could move to Cuba. I bet I could find me a cute cabaña boy there! I could perhaps even afford one there!
     Marching on…
     Last week I think I mentioned trying to do better. I’ve been thinking a bit this week about that. It’s not as easy as it was when I lived in Atlanta. Things were closer and there was more need. A LOT more need. Here? Not as much. Not that there isn’t need, you just don’t see it as readily. I’ve decided to continue my focus on LGBT kids.
     It still amazes me when people think that gay kids aren’t tossed out like yesterday’s trash, by their own parents, just because the kid is homosexual. That in itself proves that there is still work to be done and a thus, a need. I personally know what it is like to be bullied because of it. I personally know what it is like to be rejected by family. I personally know how hard it is and the fear that comes along with it. Kids have it hard enough without piling all that shit on them as well. Kids should have the chance to be just kids.
     Here… have a look if you dare. Yes, I do dare you. I double-dawg dare you. 
     When I lived in Atlanta I did what I could for ‘Lost-n-Found’, a great organization that helped displaced, homeless LGBT youth. I believe that everyone should help out, whenever possible in their own community. So when I moved to Florida, I found an organization not too far from where I live and have tried to concentrate on doing what I could for them.
     I did a book drive to help build their small library. If kids have books that they can relate to, perhaps they’ll read more. Reading is always a good thing if you ask me. I also push to help clear away their wish list, which is really easy to do. I did the same thing, the wish list that is, for ‘Lost-n-Found’. Many times there are things listed that cost less than $10.00, so it is affordable for me to do a little something each month.
     There are so many things that one can do that doesn’t really cost much at all. A friend in Georgia made hats and scarfs for kids on the streets for the winter. Another makes afghans so a kid can have something warm that they can call their own. There is so much talent out there, I’m sure everyone could think of something that they could do.
     Look into your own community. See what needs there are and see if you can’t do a little something to make a difference. If each of us does just a little bit, think of how that could add up. Oh and think of all those good Karma Coins you can put in the bank. Karma is a funny thing sometimes. Whatever goes around comes around and often it comes back with interest! Woo-Hoo! How cool is that?
     So go forth… do your best, be your best and remember, kindness doesn’t cost a thing and manners do matter.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max.