Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ramblings From Sunny Florida

     So… here I sit. I may have had two sips of coffee, so I’m really… what was I sayin’?     
     You know your computer screen is dirty when you have backspaced three times trying to get rid of a period only to find out it was a speck of dust/dirt on your computer screen. Anyone else ever done that? Either I need to clean my computer or I need more coffee. I think I need more coffee and then clean this screen.
     (I had to have a full cup of coffee before I could even find the cleaner… yeah, I do love coffee. Now… where was I?)

     I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Here… TAT and I had a very quiet day. We didn’t even get out of our P.J.’s. Watched mind-numbing TV, ate ham, laughed and basically did nothing. A perfect day if you ask me. Oh… for those who don’t know, TAT stands for That Aussie Tart. And before anyone decides to take offense, it was her very own mum who started that, so don’t blame me. I’m sweet and innocent… almost virginal. I so am! It’s been so long… not going to say just how long, but trust me… I could at least wear beige down the aisle! Give me another year… white. Of course that could be a shroud instead of a veil. LMAO

     We did have to turn on the air conditioning on Christmas Day however. We’ve had record breaking heat the past three days, and it doesn’t look like it is going to change anytime soon. Personally, I’m thrilled. I have no problem watching men with great legs walking around in shorts… with tight T-shirts… or with no shirts. Yeah, I can live with that. Besides, I’m not even sure where my winter clothes are, which is hunky-dory with me. Yeah, I think I need more coffee… bad pun.
     Here’s some news…
     On December 24, I reduced all my books to $0.99, as a little gift and thank you to all readers. I got busy and didn’t announce it until Christmas Day. Didn’t seem to matter, there were some who found out. When I did promote the sale, there were quite a few who took advantage of it, which is a good thing.
     The fun part? The response I started getting. My message box on Facebook filled up. I stopped counting how many messages are there. It’s going to take me a while to get through them all. Sorry, people, but I’m only one person and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. The few that I have seen… I’ve loved. A lot of thank yous, but there was one that stuck out. A guy, who had just finished My Hero: The Olympian wrote to me saying that he got every other book I had during the sale. “How many triggers can you get in one book? Hot football jocks. Hot twinky divers. Bears. Jockstraps. I was hard before I got through the first chapter.” Now that is the kind of endorsement I like to hear. Of course I told him I needed proof or it didn’t happen. We’ll see if that will happen, but one can always hope!

     The sale does end tomorrow, so if anyone hasn’t taken advantage of it, now’s the time!
     On the writing front…
     I’ve hit a wall on the current WIP, which happens sometimes. It is either because I know it is going to be a hard scene to write, or it just isn’t coming together as I had hoped. Whatever the reason, I’ve learned not to try and force it. Eventually it will come, I just have to be patient. Meanwhile, I’ve jumped over to another story that I’d started early last year. It’s flowing very well, so I guess I’ll stick to that one until those other characters decide to let me know what’s going on.
     That’s just the way it works out sometimes. And no, I’m not sayin’ what I’m working on. There will be a few who will want to know. HA! Not a chance.
     What else…
     I’ve been helping TAT with her new house. We’ve been working very hard and it is coming along very nicely. She’s let me be in charge of the yard, which gives me a lot of time to be out playing in the dirt. I do love being outside, working with plants and stuff. Of course I’ve not been able to get to the planting part as yet. There is so much of the grunt work to still get done, which I also enjoy. For me, it is soul cleansing. I did post a few before and after photos on Facebook. I’ll do more once we get a little further along.
     The pool guy is going to do the new screening around the pool tomorrow. I’m hoping that he’ll be working without a shirt. Not really my type, but would at least give me a little eye candy to look at. Nothing wrong with that is there? Of course I’ll make sure to be working around the pool area while he’s there.
     Okay, so I’m a pervert, but I only look. Hey, I may be on a diet but I can still look at the menu. Besides, most of the guys around here are straight and married. Oh well, at least they offer inspiration.
     I guess that is about all I have for this week. I hope that everyone will take a little time for someone else. Yes, I know the holidays are over, but there is need all year long. Be kind to yourself and do something for those who are in need.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Memories, Like Dust Bunnies in My Mind...

     So… you’ll have to excuse me if I ramble along, more than likely making little or no sense. Don’t go closing the door too quickly, it’ll take a few minutes for my ass to catch up to the rest of my body. Yeah, my ass is dragging… I’m pooped!

     Some of you may know that I’ve been helping my friend, the Aussie tart, TAT for short, with her new house. It’s been fun, tiring and keeping us very busy. I need to find some sort of balance here. I tend to go full steam ahead without thinking sometimes. Yeah, I know you find that hard to believe. You may stop laughing now.
     The good thing is that I’ve been able to go play in the dirt, which is one of the bestest things evah! While it is a lot of work, I do enjoy it. Of course by the end of the day I tend to look like Pig-Pen from Peanuts. Do I care? Pfft… that’s part of the fun of it. Reminds me of making mud pies as a kid.

     Speaking of being a kid…
     I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately. Not exactly sure why, but there it is. I guess as I get older, I tend to reflect more towards the end of the year. Five years ago, I’d never have guessed that people would call me a writer, an author or call me at all for that matter. Five years ago I’d go to work, come home and… well that’s about it. Exciting right?
     Someone asked me recently about my cooking career. This is where I do a quick flashback in my head of me sitting on the kitchen counter ‘helping’ my grandmother make pancakes. I was about four years old at the time. She would try and keep me occupied and as quiet as she could by entertaining me, which was cooking. My mother usually got to sleep in a bit on the weekends with the help of my Mamaw.
     My grandmother would get out cookie cutters and pour pancake batter into them making cute little shapes, letting me ‘help’. I’d pick out which one to do next, maybe she’d let me flip them over and then put the butter on them when they got to the plate. I will always remember those early Saturday mornings.
     As I grew older, I got to help more. We used to sit on the front porch and string beans. During the summer months we’d sit out there for hours stringing beans to put up. She’s tell me stories about her childhood, her brothers and sisters, the farm and all kinds of things. Those were some of the best memories of my childhood.
     She instilled in me the love of food, whether she knew it or not. I’d like to think that she did. My grandmother used to have a saying… “Food feeds the body, but food made with love feeds the soul.” I think she was right on that one. I also think that was part of the reason why I was successful professionally. In the back of my mind, I always remembered that saying and tried to give my all when in the kitchen.
     What else…
     Well, on the writing front I’m moving a bit slower than I was. Part of it is I have been busy, but I think most of it is because I’m coming up on a scene that I know is going to be hard to write. It’s going to be emotional and I want to make sure that I’ve got it all in my head before I do it. Sometimes I just have to be in the right frame of mind to put those words to paper, if that makes any sense at all. Yeah… I’m going to see if I can push through that today. TAT has seen fit to give me a day off, the slave driver that she is, so I better take advantage of it.
     What else…
     Oh, someone wanted to know what I was going to cook for Christmas dinner. Well TAT wants ham. Of course I have no problem with that. I’ve always had ham during the holidays… grew up with it. However, she’s never had a Southern glazed ham. She keeps saying that there’s nothing special about it. Boy is she in for a surprise. Anyway, the menu… so far.
    Slow cooked, glazed country ham.
     Collard greens (because I really like ‘em).
     Sweet potatoes.
     Green beans.
     And cranberry relish. (Love that stuff)
     Pecan Pie.
       I might get a wild hair and make Wassell, also spelled Wassail.
     We’ll see. If you see pictures posted of me drunk on my ass, you’ll know I made it.

     What else… I’ve noticed that there has been a call out for more toys needed, at least around here, for Toys for Tots. I hope everyone has remembered those who are less fortunate this Holiday Season. It’s never too late to rack up on some good Karma Coins, so if you’ve not given of yourself, either monetarily or of your time, there’s still time. Go forth and achieve.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Inspiration and Coffee!

No, not me!
     So… Here I sit… again, wondering what the hell to blog about this week. Someone suggested something about my playing in the dirt. Well… that would be rather short. Not much to say about that. I checked my messages and saw something that inspired me in more ways than one, if you know what I mean.
    Nooooo, get your minds out of the gutter, y’all. Sheesh…
     I think I may have mentioned this a few hundred times, but I get inspiration from all kinds of places. Yeah, I know, I’ve got five, six or ten books already in mind, but there are a few that just grab me. P.O.W. was inspired by a broadcast by Anderson Cooper. Going Home, personal experiences, My Hero’s, football and the Olympics and The V Unit, on a dare.
Inspiration for one of the characters for
Life After Living.

     I do have a work in progress that is progressing nicely. Life After Living is the title and it is going to be a hard read for some. It’s been tough doing the research and then writing some of the scenes are quite heartbreaking. There are a few secondary characters that seem to want to be main characters, but that is okay too. You know how I am about those.
     No, this time, this photo struck a chord with me. A simple black and white photo was all it took. I’ve been wanting to write something about more mature men and this one came at the right time and gave me that ‘feeling’ that there was a story that needed to be told. I’ve already done a brief outline of the story. Just a niggle of a thought. The research on this one will be easy, and I can tell it is going to be one of those tales that is going to practically write itself.

     A week or so I posted a photo, of the picture that inspired me, and asked if anyone would be interested in a story about a more mature man and the response was an overwhelming yes. That made me very happy and started the wheels turning.
     As a side note, I contacted the model and he’s a very nice gentleman. Yes, I said gentleman.
     There are times when I know… a gut feeling, if you will, if a story has merit to pursue. This one is a big fat yes. Believe it or not, I’ve written some things that I’ve never shown anyone. I have one that is just a big ol’ rambling mess that will more than likely never see the light of day. I’ve written two stories that I know I’ll never publish, especially with the way that Going Home was treated by Amazon and All Romance ebooks. I mean, why would I put myself through that again?

     No, this one… it is going to be one of those special works that I’ll take my time with and enjoy it as I would a fine wine. A really good red wine needs time to age and mature, as this character has.
     I’m sorry to say, there is this current WIP to finish, and then two more that I’ve promised to do before I can really delve into this new venture, but I am so looking forward to it. I can be patient… I think. Oh hell, we’ll see. It isn’t too unusual for me to be working on two things at once, but not often.
     So why am I telling you about it now? Yeah, I’m a tease. I’m going to flirt with this and yank your chains with it. Why? Because if I have to be tortured in having to wait to write it, it only seems fair that you feel my pain. That’s rational, right?
     Let’s talk coffee…
     Yeah, you know I love my coffee. No, it’s not Starbucks or Dunkin’, nothing that fancy. I get an Italian espresso blend from a local grocery store. The damn stuff is almost black it is so dark. And yes, I drink it black and very strong. My day doesn’t even start until I’ve had my coffee.

     There are those who know me by my morning coffee photos. I figure I’d combine two of my favorite things: coffee and handsome men. How can I go wrong with that? I’m glad that so many of you out there appreciate my loves and stop by to say good morning.
     I’ve been planning on visiting Europe again next year. Italy, Paris, Berlin and a few days in London. A book convention in Italy to start things off, then Paris for a book signing and party. Berlin is Euro Con, and then flying out of London. There is a show that my friend Lauren wants to see there, so why not.
     Why am I bringing this up? Well… I kinda, sorta started a little contest. I asked readers from France and Italy to submit photos of handsome men drinking coffee. The more risqué, the less clothes, the better chances of winning. I have to say… I’ve gotten some pretty nice/racey photos. There is one reader in France that is… well, she’s just blown me away. I can’t wait to see what the Italians have to offer. I must say, they’ve got some catching up to do with the French.

Submitted by French reader.
     It got me to thinking… it kinda hurt, so early in the morning, but I came up with an idea. So listen up you people in the New York City area… Starting in January, I’m going to start a little contest. Let’s see if y’all can’t compete with the Europeans. I’m going to be in New York City for the Rainbow Book Fair, April 9, 2016, and will award the winner then. What will you win? Every printed book I have out, signed, and breakfast that morning. A coffee and a bagel? New York’s the place for that!
     So… who’s gonna be the one to send me that winning photo? I will post rules, requirements and such sometime this week. I will also start up a separate Facebook page just for this event.

Of course NUDES are accepted!
     What else…
     Did anyone see the CNN Hero Awards? Wow, there are some really great people out there who do so much for others. What kind of world would we be living in if everyone did a little something for those who are less fortunate?
     If we were to have our own little M/M genre contest, I would nominate Lynn Schmitz. She is a participant in her local chapter of PFLAG, bakes cookies, collects books for LGBT youth, and is always helping others. Warms my heart every time I see her bright smile and loving nature. You go Lynn… keep on keeping on and more power to you!
My Hero
     This year are you willing to do something for someone else? Can you afford to get a little something for a child who may not have much of a Christmas or Hanukah? Toys for Tots? How about Lost n Found? You don’t even need to leave the house to get something on their wish list on Amazon. It really is easy and a lot of things there are under $20.00! Let’s do our part, shall we?
     Okay, I think that’s enough of me rambling on for this week. I’m off to play in the dirt. Yeah, I’ve been out for the last few days playing, but I can’t resist. I do love getting dirty.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Sunday, December 6, 2015

An Easy Bake Oven and a Shovel

     So… here I sit… again… wondering what the hell do I have to say to fill all this white space. Who knows? Sometimes I have things to say, but most of the time I just ramble on about whatever comes into my head. Damn, that’s a scary thought. I need to make sure I have the filters in place. LOL
     When I was very young, like five or so, my grandmother sat me down with the Sears catalog and asked me what I wanted Santa Claus to bring me. I told her I wanted a play kitchen and an easy bake oven for Christmas. I also asked for a tea set and dishes. Yeah, it was pretty clear even then that I wanted to cook and that more than likely I was gay. I’m pretty sure I knew then that I was gay, but didn’t know what that meant.
    My father hit the roof, of course, when my mother considered it. Good thing they were getting a divorce at that time. I got the tea set and the easy bake oven that year. Found out that that stupid oven wasn’t worth a tinker's damn, but I did enjoy the tea set, along with the GI Joe’s I got.

     I loved my GI Joe’s by the way. Who wouldn’t love big butch military men? I remember one of them having facial hair. I always did wonder where all their boy parts were however. I wonder if boys still think about those things? I guess it’s pretty easy for girls with their dolls. There aren’t any dangly parts to compare themselves with. Boys… yeah, they’re gonna want to know I think. Hell, a boy’s dick is his first toy. I guess that is why even as grown men, they’re constantly playing with it.

     My next birthday, I asked for a lawnmower. My poor mother. She flat out said no to that. I did get a wheelbarrow though, and a little shovel, rake and hoe. I would play with those things for hours. I planted a flower bed full of zinnias for my grandmother. My mother was so surprised when they came up and bloomed all summer long. My grandmother was thrilled. She loved ‘em. Not too bad for such a little kid, huh?
     Isn’t it funny how things we love as small children help form our personalities and choices we make? I started cooking at a very young age and continued to do so professionally. To this day I love playing in the dirt, being outside, and messing with landscaping. I still like butch masculine men with beards, Marines in particular. Woof! So here I am, fifty years later, reminiscing and finding out that I still like a lot of the same things.
     What else…

     There’s a Christmas tree in my living room. It is the first tree I’ve put up in many years. With it just being myself, why bother, I thought. This year I have an Aussie Tart with me, and she’d never had a real tree, so we went and got one. Poor thing...

     She had to put up with my gay side. Yeah, it’s pretty foo-foo, of course. I can’t help it. It’s in the genes. I did pass gay 101 with flying colors, for those of you who might be curious. I actually got all the way to 501 without a hitch! Yep, I’m a full-fledged Queen. You may bow to my gay greatness. LMAO!
    I think that is part of the joy of being a gay man. I can handle power tools, do most DIY projects, whip up a FABulous soufflé and suck the chrome off a bumper. You know that old song… I am Woman? Hell, they should rewrite that for a gay man. Yeah, I can go out and make the bacon and fry it up in a pan and lay my man… if I had one. BUT then I can also change the oil in the car, swing a twenty-two pound framing hammer and do plaster work. Ha! I am Gay Bear, here me roar! Okay, that was just cheesy as hell. I think I may need more coffee.
     Speaking of coffee…

     I got rather brave last week. I messaged a guy that I think is one of the best looking men on two legs. Turns out he is a super nice guys who also seems to have a passion for coffee. He has also agreed to be on a book cover. Of course… I will have to write the book first. So… onto the pile of books started/outlined to write. I swore I wasn’t going to do that, but yet I did. That puts me up to six book ideas. I guess that pretty much takes care of 2016.
     Anyway… Anthony Varrecchia, the model inspired me. I’ve always wanted to read a book about a mature man. I don’t remember seeing one around, so I might as well write it, huh? Still figuring out the plot, but it will come to me. It usually does once I get the characters flushed out more. They will have their own story to tell no doubt.
     Update: The current WIP was about halfway done, or so I thought, until they threw me a curveball. Who the hell knows how long this book will be. I guess we’ll see. Oh, and get this… over forty-thousand words and not a sex scene yet?
     How’d that happen? I’ll tell you how that happened. I don’t think a sex scene should be there unless it moves the story along. It must have something to do with the characters and the story. These two aren’t even thinking about sex at the moment. They have too many other things on their plates to deal with sex. Yeah, get the tissue boxes out. Might get two.
     Tis the Season…
     Time to consider others, y’all. I’m providing the link to Lost n Found in Atlanta. It is one of the best organizations out there. Please take a moment to read about them and what they do. You can also see how to give. They have a wish list that is updated constantly. Please give if you can. Many of these kids show up with nothing but the clothes on their backs. It is a good way to bank some Karma coins.

     That’s all for this time.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.