Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloweenie!

     So… I’m sitting here wearing… well never mind that part, but it is finally cooling off a bit here in sunny Flo-rid-ia. It’s not as cool as it would be normally for this time of year, but cool enough to where I’m not sweating my ass off! Must be time for… MUWHAhahaha… Halloween!

     Yep, it’s that time of year again that when you walk into a grocery store and there is a huge display of candy. Yeah, that’s really helping my diet… NOT! Actually, I could pass on most of that junk, but there are a few of my favorites there. I do love a snickers bar; especially the dark chocolate ones. I’ve been good so far. I’ve passed them right by. LOL
     A quick update…
     As many of you know, I fell five weeks ago and managed to sprain my foot/ankle and then, being the most talented and graceful of human beings, managed to break my foot as well. Yeah, it’s been so much fun… again, not. Well, I managed to ditch the stupid crutches last week and finally, the stupid Frankenstein boot this week! YAY! Yeah, the foot is a bit sore, and the doc said it would be for a while. I still need to use the cane, which I’ll more than likely have to continue to use for the rest of my life, but at least I can move about and carry coffee without most of it ending up on the floor. So, double YAY!
     A great big thank you to all those who sent me well wishes, cards and gifts. They were greatly appreciated. The big problem was, I had a hard time getting to the mail box and the mail man wasn’t quite nice enough to bring it to the door, even though he knew what was going on. Imagine that? Grrr….
     I’m so ashamed… 
     I fell off the wagon again. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty either. I came very close to hanging black cloth over the mirrors so I wouldn’t see my shame. There are times I just can’t resist. It’s like I have to have it. I have no self-control sometimes. It is my drug of choice I guess. I’ve yet to find a twelve-step program for my addiction. Am I that strange? Surely there must be another person out there that has the same problem! Oh the shame, the shame.

     Yes, of course I’m talking about milk. Can you believe I drank an entire gallon in one sitting? Yeah, I did. (hanging head in shame.) I couldn’t help it. It was there. It was cold. It called to me. It was teasing me. I could hear it calling to me from the frig… “You know you want me. You desire me… I am here.” I’m not going to mention the entire package of Tim Tams that went with it. So much for the diet. Ugh…

     Moving right along…
     The good news is I finally finished this latest installment of Christmas Memories. Go me! Look for it soon: A Christmas Memory 3: Home Sweet Home. All the regular characters are there. Maggie Sutton is still the powerhouse she always was and I did add a few new characters. I hope you like it. I’m not sure why I struggled with it so, but there were times it was like pulling teeth from a mule from the back end. However, it’s done and I can now move on to the other 1, 2, 3, 4 stories I’ve got going on.
     The other good news is…
     I got the rights back to P.O.W. from MLR. I’ve had it re-edited and a fantastic new cover for it. A.J. Corza, who does all my covers, is pure genius. We’ve gotten to know each other so well, that I just give her the basic synopsis and tell her to go for it. She always comes through for me. She is a true artists and it shows each time she does a cover and that isn’t just mine either. Anyway, keep an eye out for that one soon.

     What else…
     I’ve been dying to get outside and dig in the dirt. With this weather being so nice, it has been killing me to be stuck inside. There are so many projects I want to get done. I’m hoping that I can get back to a more normal schedule and have time to do some of them. Maybe by this time next week I’ll have my herb garden in. That would be so awesome. I do miss not having fresh herbs to cook with. They do make such a difference.
     I guess that’s about all I have for this week. Take care of one another. Do something nice for someone, not matter how small. Always remember that we all have more in common than we have differences. A hand up doesn’t mean a hand out. Go get some of those good Karma Coins, everyone.
     Have a grrreat week y'all, 
     Oh, I almost forgot... if you're looking for a a little something to read while the little monsters are visiting, why not give The V Unit a try. Like Vampires? Like hot hunky Marines? I smooshed 'em together. Available at your favorite book retailer.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Okay... Now What?

     So… here I sit… again, staring at a blank page. Now what? Well I’ll be damned if I know. I have nothing real exciting going on. Of course… sitting on my big butt with my foot up is part of the issue. One thing that I have been able to do is catch up on some things on TV and some reading.

     What I’ve been reading…
     Well, I tore through a bunch of M/M books while I was still in Australia. I think I read just about every Aussie themed book I could. Of course, TAT (The Aussie Tart) had a lot of those, which made it easy. I mean, while there, why not. It was nice to have an actual book in my hands, I admit.
     Then I decided to take a break from M/M and went to some of my other favorite authors. I went on a tear and read some Anne Rice and Clive Cussler. It was like a breath of fresh air for me. It was something that I needed I think. It gave my brain a break from not only gay themed books, but from romance as well. Okay, Anne Rice does tend to lean a little on the romance, but not all that much. It is more of an underlying theme.
     The one thing I came away from while on this reading binge was that there are so many styles and voices in my head that I need to listen to more. I think every writer needs to be a reader, and I’ve always said that. I think that I need to spread my reading habits around more. Get out of the M/M from time to time and let my mind wander.
     Okay, now what…uhhh….
     Oh, the other day I needed to the grocery store but stopped off at Lowe’s first. I went early so I didn’t have to deal with any crowds. I did use, for the first time, one of those electric cart things. I’ve always refused them before, but it was just easier than trying to push a shopping cart on crutches.
     Anyway, by going early, I got to see a lot of the tradies getting supplies to start their day. I was surprised at the new perspective riding around in that cart gave me. If you haven’t guessed yet, it puts your eyesight right at crotch level! I might reconsider using that cart from now on. Yeah, I know, I’m a bit of a perv, but then most of you knew that already. Hey, I may be on a diet but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu!

     I don’t know about anywhere else, but here, a lot of tradesmen wear those nylon shorts. I’m guessing because they are light weight and fairly cheap. The one thing I like about them is they really do cling to the body. Those things do show off a nice booty, let me tell you. Oh, and you can usually tell if they are wearing boxers or briefs. Yay, long live the boxers, even if they are butt ugly. It reminds me of that old country song: “Swingin’”. Yeah, things do tend to swing to and fro with boxers. I think I may need to go to Lowe’s first thing in the morning. I’m sure I need something there. Sadly, I didn’t have the same experience at the grocery store.
     Here in fabulous, sunny Flo-rid-ia, the weather has finally become more tolerable. What I mean is that it isn’t in the high 90’s with humidity close to the same digits. Ugh, that really is miserable. However, since I’m somewhat laid up, I can’t really be out doing what I’d really like to be doing. Yep, I so want to be outside and digging in the dirt. Hopefully, I’ll be free of the Frankenstein boot by next week and I can get my hands dirty. I’ve got so much I’d like to get done.
     The break in the weather also means that Halloween is just around the corner. I used to go all out for the holiday. Most gay men love this holiday. Hell, I think we got more excited about it over Christmas! I think that after my Jim died, I kind of lost interest. That was his favorite holiday, after all. He would go all out. One year we even made CNN! Anyway, I think I may be starting to get the itch again. Not sure why, but I’ve been thinking… always dangerous. I doubt that I’ll be able to do anything this year. I’m just not able to do much, but maybe… next year.
I do like body painting!

     It’s this time of year that seems to fly by for me. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas. That’s when my stomach starts to tighten up. I can’t help but think of those kids I’ve seen or met that were tossed out by their families like yesterday’s garbage. What is their Christmas going to be like? Are they going to have a safe place to spend the holidays? Will they be warm? I can’t help myself. After seeing the need first hand, I can’t get it out of my head.
     It isn’t just the kids either. I’ve seen the homeless veterans hovering around the VA Hospital in Atlanta, looking, begging for help. We as a country have truly failed these men and women. As individuals, we can always do something. Sometimes the simple act of kindness makes a big difference in their lives.
Irreverent Warriors do a lot of good!

     When I was researching for ‘Life After Living’, I was heartbroken at some of the stories I found. Some of these poor guys left their homes, their families, because they were afraid they might hurt them. Some were so messed up in the head that repeatedly tried to commit suicide, many succeeding. The stories are varied, but the outcome was pretty much the same. They need help and they need it now.
     Please, keep that in mind when you do your shopping this year. Keep those in mind that don’t have families to spend time with. There is always something we can all do. No matter how small, it can and does make a difference. Go get them Karma Coins!
     Okay, y’all, that’s all I got this week. Have a grrreat week.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Yep, I'm Southern and Proud

     So… I’m about to go on a little bit of rip-roaring tirade here… you’ve been warned. Fasten your seatbelts and put a hat on, it’s gonna be a full-on blow. The other morning, I woke up after a good nights’ sleep and was feeling pretty good. Yeah, well that didn’t last long. The morning went to shit fairly quickly. Why? There were actually a few things, but I’m going to focus on one in particular that really irked me.
     I may be white. I may be middle-aged and yes, I did grow up in the South and I prefer to live in the South. I love my biscuits and cornbread. I love my pinto beans, collards, and pork bar-b-que. That does not mean that I am uneducated, stupid or… wait for it… a RACIST! Yep, that is exactly what I said. Can you believe it? I live in the land of Dixie and I am NOT a racist.
     I will never understand why so many people in this country think that if someone is born in the South they are somehow stupid, degenerate or think it is sad. WTF? I once had someone ask me how I got out [of the South]? Huh? It’s not like it’s a maximum security prison. Yes, that is true. I’m from East Tennessee and damn proud of it. Yeah, I may speak with a bit of a twang, but that does not make me some degenerate who plays a banjo on the front porch!
     And then…
     I have seen several posts from people who are calling people out for being bigots or being racist and/or making slurs against people. Sorry, but in my opinion, that isn’t much better than actually being one. It is hateful and hurtful. My mamaw told me when I was little that ‘that you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar’. She was so right. Took me a while to learn the art of that, but with practice, I got it.
     When did we become so divisive? How did we get to the point where we think it is okay to say things online that, more than likely, we’d never say to another person’s face? At what point in time did we decide to disregard anyone else’s opinion, whether we like it or not? What made us disrespect one another so venomously?
     I try to be a good person. I do not always manage that, but I do try. There are times I fail to mind my momma’s words, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, shut your mouth.” By no means am I perfect, and I don’t pretend to be. I do have my faults, just like everyone else. But let me tell you now, I have too much respect for myself to do the kind of shit that I’ve seen posted on social media lately. Yes, I said respect for ME. I have to look in the mirror each morning and I want to feel okay with ME. I have to answer to me first, no one else.
     Here’s what’s been my rule for years…
     As long as you don’t mess with my family, in whatever form that comes in, we’re good.
     As long as you don’t mess with my house or my stuff, we’re good.
     As long as you don’t mess with my money, we’re good.
     As long as you don’t steal from me, we’re good.
     As long as you don’t lie to me, we’re good.
     Now then, I have been lied to and have forgiven, but I don’t forget. I have been stolen from and have forgiven, but never forgotten. You go after my family and we’re not good and you won’t be good at all when all is said and done. And yes, I do consider my dogs to be a part of my family.
     Things I won’t do…
     I’ll never tell you how you should feel. They are your feelings and you own them, but do that. OWN that shit. That does not mean that you need to spread them out for the entire world to see. There are some things that people just don’t want or need to hear. Learn to use that filter.
     Opinions are like… belly buttons… yeah, that’s what I meant to say. They are yours and you are entitled to them. Don’t expect me to always agree with them and I might even try to change your mind, but I will always respect them. That goes for book reviews too.
     I will never tell anyone that they don’t matter. Every life matters. We each have a talent or a gift. We need to support and help each other find and develop those special skills.
     What to do…
     Personally, I think people have forgotten how to get along. The skill of minding one’s manners has all but disappeared. Mutual respect has flown out the window and people seem okay with this. I am not. I do not like rude people.
     I wish everyone would remember that we all have more in common than we may think. Take away the politics and yes, there are a lot of people on opposite sides of the aisle that can, and often do, get along. Yes, there are things that we can agree on, things that we share. Actually, there are a lot more things that can bring us together than separate us. BUT you have to be willing to listen. Not just hear what they are saying, but actually listen and try to relate. That common thread is there; you sometimes have to look for it, though.
     Now I know it’s not always easy, but who said that things in life were going to be easy? Sometimes it is easy. But honestly, we each need to put forth a little bit of effort. Try to put yourself in other’s shoes, if only for a minute. Try and see the world from their perspective. If we each would take the time, this world would be a much better place.
     Here’s an idea…
     I’d like to challenge all of you. Find a person you don’t think you have anything in common with and start a conversation. It doesn’t mean this person is going to become your new best friend, but you never know. Just talk to them for a few minutes. Find out something about them. Anything. Do they have hobbies? What might you have in common? Just communicate! That’s all I’m asking.
     This is the time where I’m going to ask something else of you. Do something nice for someone else. It won’t hurt, I promise. It might actually make you feel good. It never hurts to rack up some of those good Karma Coins. Bank them bad-boys. 
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Week in Review and a Challenge

     So… it’s been one of those weeks. Not even sure if I’ll get to post this on time or not, I guess that depends on Matthew.

     NOTE: Yay! The power here only blinked a few times so I was able to get it all done and posted!
     Hmm… a storm…
     For those of you who may not know, I’ve hunkered down to ride out hurricane Matthew. I spent days preparing, hobbling around, doing what I could. I think I did pretty well considering how slow I’ve been moving about. But I got most everything I wanted done, done. Have I mentioned how much I hate crutches? Go me!

     As I sit and write this, it is raining cats and dogs and the wind is gusting about. The real bad part of the storm won’t hit for a few more hours yet. I’m sure I will lose power at some point and have no clue as to how long it will be before I get it back. Why I’m not sure if I’ll get to post this on time or not… but I’ll get it up when I can.

     A week in review…
     Wow, I was so busy this past week. I was trying to catch up on things as well as prepare for the storm. For the past two weeks I’ve pretty much been out of commission because of this stupid foot. I’ve decided that crutches are evil. I’ve tried to play catch up as well as get ready for Matthew, so yeah, I’ve been busy.
     One of the things I managed to accomplish, which was number one on my to-do-list, was to go and visit and tour the Zebra Coalition in Orlando. They help, take care of and nurture young LGBT youth from the age of 13 through 24. I wanted to see their facility for myself and meet some of the people there running things. I was so impressed that I almost cried.
     The one thing that I’ve always looked for in non-profits is how they well they use services from other organizations. Well, they people have all those bases covered! For a first time meeting, I learned a lot. I look forward to being more involved with this group.

     Feelin’ good…
     I want to give a shout out to my fellow author, A. E. Via. She always surprises me. On her monthly blog she said that ‘Life After Living’ was one of her top five must reads for 2016. Yeah, that kind of blew me away coming from such an incredible author in her own right. Thank you, Ms. Via!
Link to see for yourself.

     What else…
     Unfortunately, I’ve been in a bit of a writing rut. After my graceful decent from a curb, I was a bit woozy from the pain meds. Then I couldn’t get physically comfortable to write. But even before that, I was struggling. I just wasn’t in the mood. I would have all kinds of new story ideas that I liked, but I just couldn’t bring myself to sit and write.
     I could always force myself to sit and write, but that never seems to work. It always comes out as forced. That was painfully obvious the last time I did that. I ended up trashing most of it and starting over when I got over the hump. Thing is, I don’t remember ever having such a long period of time where I didn’t want to write. Not sure what is up with that. I think I need to go back to doing ‘Flash Fiction’ exercises. Who knows, that might jar something lose up in my head. Um… that might not be a good such a good thing… I have enough rattling around up there as it is.

     Moving right along…
     Wow, I was looking for some inspiration for something fun, or funny to blog about this week and I came up with nothing. It all seems to be bad news. That makes me very sad.
     Pfft… I’ll make my own humour…
     I was just wondering after reading one little thing that happened on some TV show. A straight male, macho film star, kissed the show’s host. It’s been done before, right? Was it that big a deal? I’m not sure. I’m curious now. How many heterosexual men would actually kiss another man?

     Anyone feel like testing this out? If you know or have straight friends or work colleges why not ask them?
     1. Would you kiss another man?
     2. Would you do it if it would help anti-homophobicism? (Is there such a word?)
     3. Would it be just a quick peck on the lips?
     4. Would you be open to a full-make out type kiss that lasts say, 30 seconds?
     Makes me wonder if this has ever been tested out before? Does anyone know? I’ll be interested to see if anyone actually does this. LOL
     Anyway, I think that’s about all I have for this week. Remember to and collect some of those golden Karma Coins. Do something nice for someone else and please, let me know about it, no matter how big or small. I want to hear some good things for a change.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

DRUGS - Bears and Stuff

     So…a week has passed. I had a bit of set back with the broken & sprained foot this week. So I’m still on drugs. Yep, happy pills. They do tend to make me a bit spacey. Okay, more spacey than normal. Bear with me. If I make typos or don’t make sense, that’s why.
     The one thing that I’ve been able to do is just kind of mindlessly surf the net and catch up on some things. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do this, and I do enjoy letting my mind just wonder over various things. My friend David sent me this link…

     Now the title 6 Things the Larger Gay Community Can Learn from Bears, of course that got my attention. I’ve been a member of the bear community from its early inception back in the early 90’s. I am not the typical bear type physically, but I do love a hairy guy. You know the ol’ sayin’? If you wanna catch fish you gotta go where the fish are. So… that’s exactly what I did!

     Now the author, Zachary Zane, may have stepped in it, but for the most part he got a lot of it right. Where he messed up were the photos that he/they chose. Yeah, that didn’t go over too well. Personally, I think that three of the photos were okay, but the lead photo was what I think got the guy in trouble.
     Can you guess why?...
     If you went and looked, you might have a pretty good idea… or not. I guess that depends on how much you know about the Bear Community. The first photo: Yeah, the guy is furry. Yeah, the guy is hot. And yeah, there are a few bears who look like that, but that would probably be less than one percent. ‘Muscle head’, ‘Gym Bunny’, comes to mind. Sadly, that doesn’t really fit the overall culture of Bears.

     There were a not of negative comments left, which you can see for yourself. I feel sorry for Zach, because the message was a good one and I think it got lost because of the photos. I highly recommend the read. There are some parts that I don’t agree with, but for the most part, it was spot on.
     I touched on it a bit on my monthly Blog Post for Love Bytes. There were other things in there too that you might find funny.

     What else… Damn, I had something and then lost it. I really am a space cadet today… (Two hours and several cups of coffee later)
     Finally! I remembered, I think… or not… it might be something completely different. I’m feeling sooo blonde at the moment… Anyway…
     I know that I’ve said on here before that this whole gay marriage thing would be a double edged sword, and sure enough, I now have proof of just that.
     Unfortunately, there is a dispute about the money raised for the victims and their survivors from the Pulse shooting. Florida does not recognize common law marriage and hasn’t since 1968. What does that mean? It means that the partners of those who lost their lives in the largest mass shooting in this country’s history, probably won’t see a dime of that money.

     Now, had gay marriage not been passed, they would have a better chance of getting at least some of the financial help from the money raised. That was over twenty million dollars, by the way. Now, if this had happened before they had the ability to marry, they could have argued that they didn’t have any choice other than to cohabitate together without that little piece of paper. But, once the law changed and they did have that choice and didn’t take it… they’re pretty much shit out of luck.
     Basically if they chose not to make their partnership legal by way of marriage, they get squat. Yep, there’s the back side of that sword I was talking about. I knew it was coming. The GLBT community wanted equality and they got it. There is one case that is fighting it, but I have no doubt it will be in vain. Sadly, this couple had been together for over seven years, but that doesn’t mean a thing in the eyes of the law, just like it wouldn’t if they were a straight heterosexual couple.
     I still think Gay Divorce Court would be a big hit on TV. I can just see two old queens fighting it out over china and a cute little dog.
     Um… now what?

     It’s the first of the month so I guess I need to go and see what is on the wish lists of the charities I try and support. I think I will focus on the Zebra Coalition close by this month. They don’t have much on there, but they cost a little more than the little things I normally do for Lost-n-Found. I’ll have to see.
     Don’t forget about the Smile program on Amazon! When you do your holiday shopping, you can help a worthy cause and it not cost you a thing! Grab up some of those good Karma Coins!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.