Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas...Looking Back

     So… Another week has passed. Is it just me or has this year rushed by. Where does the time go? It seems as if only yesterday it was… well not Christmas, that’s for sure. I always fall into reflection around this time of year.
     A Christmas Memory… (see how I worked that in? LOL)
    It was my fourth Christmas, yeah four years old. My mother, sister and I had moved in with my Grandmother a few months previously. Yes, my mother and father were on the road to divorce, which was rather scandalous back then. Anyway, things were a little tumultuous to say the least. Emotions were running high and I really didn’t care: I was with my grandmother, who I loved more than anything in the world.
     I remember being asked what I wanted for Christmas. What I really wanted was an easy bake oven, a set of dishes and who knows what else. I can’t really remember everything. Of course my father went ballistic. Those weren’t things to give a boy! My grandmother didn’t listen or care.
     Now you have to understand a little bit about my grandmother. She was one of those women who raised nine children during the great depression. My grandfather was injured in a railroad accident and wasn’t much help. She was a teetotaler and disapproved of anyone who drank. (Didn’t stop most of my family though. There’s a cute story here that I’ll try and get to another time.) She was also one of the most giving people I ever knew.
     Guess what? I got that easy bake oven and the dishes. I’m pretty sure it was my grandmother who got them, even though they said they were from Santa. The only problem, in my mind, was the damn oven was pink. I really don’t like pink, but those were the days that dictated that girls did the cooking. Boy did I prove them wrong.
     Of course that silly oven didn’t last very long. I was a pretty rough and tough little boy after all. The dishes… I was finally convinced to give them up when I was around eleven or twelve. My grandmother had died when I was eight years old.
     It was my grandmother who instilled in me the love of cooking. There were many early morning weekends when she would keep me occupied in the kitchen so my mother could sleep in, having worked late the night before. She taught me how to make pancakes, which I thought was the best thing ever. To this day, when I make pancakes, I think of her and smile.
     Her philosophy: “Food feeds the body. Food made with love feeds the soul.” I’ve always remembered that.
     Christmas Memories 2… (Ha! I did it again. I’m so clever. He he he)
     Back in 1984, I spent Christmas alone. In August of that year, the mom and pop restaurant I was working in closed. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement. It was chained shut by the IRS. I was suddenly unemployed with a month’s worth of salary unpaid left me and completely broke. It didn’t help that it was also the first of the month and rent was due.
     That was a scary time for me. I almost became homeless for the first time in my life, and thankfully, the last time. I ended up working three jobs as I tried to work myself out of the huge financial hole I suddenly found myself in. It was definitely a low point in my life. I wouldn’t recommend it.
     Anyway, it was suddenly Christmas. My poor car was in serious need of repair so there was no way it was going to make the drive from Washington, D.C. to Tennessee. Most of my friends were with family or left to go to wherever they were going for the holidays. That left me in the city… alone. The first time I’d spent Christmas away from home. If I’m correct, that was also the last Christmas I didn’t work for close to twenty years.
     Being the stupid youngster I was, I didn’t plan ahead of course. Okay, hell, I was exhausted if I’m to be honest. That was the first day I’d had off since September of that year. What I’m saying is that there was no food in the apartment. Why would I buy food when I was never there and I always ate at work… at one job or another or all of them.
     I ended up going out into the city, which was mostly deserted, in search of food. Of course, almost nothing was open. Back then… everyone closed up for Christmas. I did find a crappy dinner that was open close to the Washington Post. I guess they stayed open because of the close proximity to the newspaper. News never stops ya know, especially in Washington.
     It was surprising how packed the place was. I guess I wasn’t the only one with no place to go on Christmas. I had a huge breakfast and hung out drinking coffee and talking to one of the cooks for a while. Later on… I left, found a gay bar that was of course open, albeit almost empty, and got as drunk as Cooter Brown.
     That was a rather expensive Christmas. Not only from the bar but from the taxi that I took home. Never trust cab drivers in D.C.!
     A Christmas Memory 3: (Yep, I did it again. LMAO)
     Now, I’m sitting here with this humongous tree taking up most of the living room and presents underneath. I sit staring at it wearing shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops with the doors and windows open. The dogs keep running outside chasing who knows what. I have this great urge to go make pancakes. I’m very fortunate and thankful for all the blessings I have.
     A New Year…
     As 2017 approaches it makes me wonder what the future has in store for me. What adventures will I see? The one thing I do know for sure is that there will always be those who are less fortunate. There will always been a need. There will always be kids who find themselves on the streets or in homes that are less that functional. That makes me sad. But it also gives me opportunity to do something good. Maybe I can share some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Maybe… just maybe, I can pass along the love of cooking that was bestowed upon me by my grandmother. Of course, it never hurts to put some of those good Karma Coins in the piggy bank. Who knows what lies ahead? I do know that I will embrace the challenges ahead, good or bad.

     I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season,


Sunday, December 18, 2016

I Sit and Ramble... Again

     So… here I sit once again staring at a blank page wondering what the hell I’m supposed to say. I guess I’m going to just do what I do under such circumstances… ramble.

     I have a neighbor who is a bartender in an upscale restaurant not far from here. When I have to get up in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom, I can often see her just coming in from work or see her moving about, long after midnight. The other night, in the wee hours of the morning, she came in with a friend in tow.
     It reminded me of the days, when I was close to her age, dragging my ass in from having bar-hopped after work. There had been times when I also would drag a friend home to keep them from driving drunk as a skunk. Those were great times, as I remember through the alcohol induced fog.
     There was/is a slight pang of want there. I miss the kitchen. I miss of the closeness of working with others who understand the stresses of the job, the comradeship of your coworkers, the letting loose after a long hard night. Yeah… there is a certain intimacy when you work in a professional restaurant. There are bonds that form that you just don’t find anywhere else. And yes, I do miss that. I miss it a lot. Honestly, I’d still be doing it if my body hadn’t decided to fall apart. This whole growing old thing is a bitch, not to mention painful.
     OCD and…
     To be honest, I’ve never really hid the fact that I have OCD. I’ve always had it but as I grow older (seems to be a theme here), it does seem to be getting worse. TAT has pointed out that there are certain things she won’t even attempt to do because she knows it won’t be the way that I want it. It isn’t like I really make a fuss about it… okay, not much of one… I hope, but there are some things that just drive me bonkers. And yes, I do realize that is a very short drive, but it does send me there.
     I want my socks to be folded a certain way and they are, of course, color coordinated and they have to all be facing the same way in the drawer. My toothbrush goes in the same place and faces the same way each and every day. I place the cutlery in the drawer, lined up neatly like little soldiers ready for battle. Whenever I set the table, the plates have to all be facing the right way, each one exactly the same as the other. Napkins have to be just so too. Yeah, I have it bad. Even the remote control has to be facing the right way, in the same spot too. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s just the way I am. Don’t even get me started on the linen closet!
     But something has changed a bit. I’ve started to ignore clutter, which would usually send me over the edge like a mad woman wielding a machete. Not quite sure why. Okay, that’s a lie. TAT is a clutter-bug and I think I’ve gotten used to it… or not. In all actuality, I think I’ve just gotten lazy. Of course, now that I’ve realized what it is that is going on, it’s probably going to start driving me nuts. Better watch out TAT… I might just go on a house cleaning tear!
     Did you know…
     Confession time: I’m an idiot when it comes to technology. Oh, and I have zero patience for it. If I can’t get it to work, it is all I can do to keep from throwing out the back door. I recently had to get a new phone. I got the new iPhone 7 Plus, mainly because it has a really super nice camera. Yep, that was the primary reason. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the photos off the stupid phone and onto my computer. Grrr… that so pisses me off. I finally relented and let TAT take over to get it done. She figured it out so all is good now. The downside to all that is I have to rely on her to do it.
     That leads me to my website, which is sorely in need of attention. There is so much updating to be done on it, it isn’t even funny. I hope to have that remedied in the near future. We’ll see how that goes.
     Tis the season…
     Yeah, yeah… bah humbug. I didn’t get my fun sweater that I wanted. I went so far as to see if it came in a T-shirt version, but it didn’t. As I sit here, at 7 a.m., it is a balmy 70F and humid as fuck. Good thing I didn’t get it I suppose. But it was so perfect for me. I do love a good pole dancer, and… well I really wanted it. Maybe next year they’ll come out with a T-shirt version.
     I really need to find a decent strip club. I miss that.
     While I’m talking about the season…
     Have you ever heard that it is better to give than to receive? I truly believe that. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to cost you monetarily either. Giving of your time is… more genuine if you ask me. There are so many people who just need someone to talk to sometimes.
     I became acutely aware of this recently. Poor TAT has some man nearly talk her ear off one day. The guy was lonely. Of course she got to hear his life story, and since he was quite elderly, it was a long story. Something for y’all to think about maybe? Just take the time to listen to someone. It won’t hurt ya and you might even rack up some of them good Karma Coins.
     ‘Bout all I’ve got for now. Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I Feel Pretty...

     So… I’m sitting here with my electric warming house shoes on. What the hell? The temperature here is 51F and my feet are cold. Oh, I still have shorts on, but… well this is a little cooler than I like it. I guess it's okay. Makes it feel a little like Christmas. I’m just glad it isn’t going to last long. It will be going to be back up in the 80’s next week. So ha!

     Getting a bit serious…
     I don’t know if anyone has noticed or not, but I withdrew from most things social media. There were so much hateful things… so many things that were negative, things I didn’t want to see. I might dip my toe in the waters and see how it is, but I’m not promising anything.
     You know, if someone asks how you are and you say, “Oh, my back hurts and I stumped my toe and my life just sucks,” more than likely, whomever you’ve just told, their eyes probably glazed over and they zoned out. How are they supposed to react to that? What are they supposed to say? “Uh… I’m sorry?” Well duh. And then they run like hell.
     “How are you?”
     “I’m good, thank you, how are you?”
     They don’t give a flying fuck if your toe is broken. Okay, I may care but let’s get into it later in the conversation, just don't lead off with that. But let me tell you one thing, if someone starts off a conversation with them bemoaning all their woes, I’m going to tune them right the hell out. I have enough of my own issues to take on someone else’s, thank you very much. Let’s stay positive folks… at least to start off with.
     What else…
     Okay, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes my sister is right. This growing old not only sucks, it’s downright painful at times. My mind says, “Yeah, you can do this!” and then my body says, “Oh the fuck you say!” Ugh… there are things I used to do with no problem. I’m all gung-ho about it and do it and then I pay for it. LOL
     Now you’d think I’d learn to take it a bit easier, but nooo… Stupid me goes right ahead and nearly kills myself. The end result is me hobbling around like an eighty-year-old man for a few days. Yeah, running a jackhammer, with that flipping Frankenstein boot on, is a prime example. I had that thing rented for 2 days and damn it, I was going to get it done. Well, I did but boy did I pay for it later. But hey, it was something that I’d wanted to do for some time, so I guess it was worth it. The only big problem was the following morning I got up outta bed… and then promptly fell into the closet. How apropos, eh? And here I thought I’d left that stupid closet decades ago. See how I waited to whinge until midway through this blog?
     Did you know…
     I really hate shopping. I specifically hate shopping for clothes. However, I saw this cool Xmas sweater that I really, really wanted. I went so far as to select the size, add it to the cart and was about to check out when I was rudely reminded (of course it was TAT that was so rude) “You do realize that you live in Florida and it’s like 80(F) degrees outside.”

     Talk about your party-pooper! I mean really. Alright, she has a point. How much would I actually wear a sweater in Florida? Doesn’t make it any easier since I did want that sweater. And yes, the photo is of the sweater I wanted. I guess I’ll look at is as having saved $40.00! Bah Humbug.

     I Feel Pretty…

     Do not ask why I thought of this… just did. I’m thinking it’s because I need a haircut and beard trim. I hope you’ll take the time to watch this little video. It is so me at the moment. Yeah, I can be pretty nuts sometimes.
     Moving right along…
     Um… drawing a blank here. I think I may need more coffee. Be right back… Ahhh, more better. Now I remember where I was going with this...
     A grrreat big THANK YOU to all those who have donated books for the Zebra Coalition book drive. I’ve received so many great books. I’m sure the postman is wondering what the hell is going on. Of course the UPS man is probably wondering the same thing.
     There is still plenty of room on the new bookshelf for more books, so keep ‘em coming y’all. If you have a favorite Y/A book, please send it on. If you are an author who has a Y/A book, please, donate it to this good cause. If you know of a Y/A author, please let them know about this project. How important is reading to you? Don’t you think that these LBGT youths want books they can relate to? Of course they do. So… take your Grinch pants off (of course you can always just strip naked if you want, I don’t care.) and think of the kids. Tis the season ya know.
     Okay, I think that’s about all I got this week. I think I’m going to go find something to do that won’t put me in a wheelchair.
     Have a grrreat day, y’all,

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's a RAMBLE!

     So… Once again I’m sitting here looking at a blank page, not knowing what the hell to blog about. Sometimes I can get it done during the week but it didn’t happen this week. I was busy and then I couldn’t think of anything and then… well just didn’t get one done. So guess what? I’m going to go by the seat of my pants and just RAMBLE!

     It’s all about the Sutton’s…
     I woke up this morning to a very nice surprise. Christmas Memories 3: Home Sweet Home was voted book of the week on the Love Bytes poll. Thank you everyone. I think y’all like this little series. I have to admit, I do like writing about them… when they decide to talk that is. There are a lot of good characters in those books that I do like a lot. Nice warm fuzzies for the holidays is never a bad thing.

     Tis the Season…
     I did get my Christmas lights on the house and one wreath done. I think they came out alright. I’ll try and get some photos this week and get them posted. We’ll see what y’all think. TAT likes multicolored lights, so that’s what I went with. At least she didn’t want to make a Christmas tree out of beer cans, like some of those other Aussies have. I should count my blessings I guess. But then she doesn’t like beer, so maybe I should be glad she didn’t want them out of wine bottles!

     The tree is up, but still naked. I might be able to get to that this afternoon, we’ll see. I may need several adult beverages to get it done though. Hell, it might even involve some carols to get me back in the mood. It’s kinda hard to get in the mood when it’s 80F outside. LOL Yeah, I do love living in sunny Flo-rid-ia!

     Oh, and I do have all of my shopping done. Didn’t take me that long either. I pretty much knew what I was getting and where, so it wasn’t all that difficult. A lot of it I got off Amazon so I could make sure that a part of my purchases went to the Zebra Coalition. Remember to use Amazon Smile so that you’re helping others while giving. A wonderful thing in my book.
     What else…
     Yes, I’m still working on several books at once, although one in particular is going pretty well. I’m more than halfway done with it I’d say. Looking at a release date of sometime in April I think. Will have to see how things progress. I was giving out hints and some have come pretty damn close. It’s nothing too heavy. After finishing Life After Living I needed a break from the hard subjects. I can only take so much of that ya know. The next one, well, it isn’t quite as difficult a subject, but one that isn’t exactly what I’d call fluffy, so that’s been on the back burner for a bit. All in all, the writing is going pretty well.
     I special shout out…
     No, I don’t mean that I’m going to buy the next round either. I wanted to say a little something to Ms. Theresa May: Thank you. All this week, I’ve had that silly theme song from the show Flipper stuck in my head and I don’t mind at all. That one day in Sawtell was one of the best days ever. I had such a wonderful time. I’ve got to say, that was a big highlight for my time spent in Oz. So, a great big hug and lots of love your way.

     I’m going to cut it off here…
      Just remember that there are others who need a hand up this holiday season. So many people have been left homeless because of the fires in East Tennessee, my home state. My heart goes out to them. Thanks to Dolly Parton and her gracious nature in helping them out. However, there are always those in need. Keep them in mind while you’re out there in the big bad world. Never hurts to rack up some of those good Karma Coins.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble...

     So… here I sit once again, staring at a blank page, my mind just as blank. Okay, to be honest I’m as sore as an ol’ whore’s butt after a hard Saturday night. That’s alright though, it’s a good kind of sore. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time outside working in the garden, but my mind… still somewhat blank. So guess what? Yep, I’m just gonna ramble on a bit.

     Um… Oh look, a book…
     In case you didn’t know, I did put out a little book this past week. Yep, Christmas Memories 3: Home Sweet Home is out and available from your favorite book retailers. I was a little surprised at how popular the first one was (is) and a little less surprised when Christmas Memories 2 surged forward. I do however get it why people like the Suttons. I mean, who wouldn’t want them as a family. This time… I think the story took a major step forward. I’m not sure if there is going to be any more from this family, but I’ll welcome their return if they decided to pay me a visit. To me, these stories are like being wrapped up in a warm fuzzy blanket. Hope y’all enjoy them.
     Oh wow…
     I was watching TV with TAT (That Aussie Tart) this week. To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was we were watching. What I do remember was the story line, the major plot holes and how ridiculous it all became. I made the comment… “If I put this crap in a book I would be nailed to a cross and then it would be set on fire.” Why? Pfft… Insta-Love to start with. Do you know just how many times I’ve had my big ass raked over the coals for this? But it seems Hallmark can get away with it, no problem. As I’ve said time and time again; a guy will often know within thirty seconds if he is into you or not. Case closed. Not sure why, but it happens. And here’s a news flash for you: It happened to me this past summer. I was totally mesmerized by a man in five minutes. Had he asked me to marry him that night I’d have said yes! Hell, he could ask me today and I’d say the same thing.

     The plot holes were so damned big you could have driven a Peterbilt through ‘em. I’m really careful about those kinds of things, mainly, because they are a pet peeve of mine. I mean, come on, who is writing this stuff and why in the hell is no one checking it? As I told TAT, after giving her the dialogue before it was even spoken, I could write this drivel. And it was just that… total drivel. Grrr…
     Oh hell no…
     I’ve been asked a few times if I took part in Black Friday. Uhhh… NO! You couldn’t pay me enough to get into all that mess. First off, I hate going to any mall. Okay, I take that back. I loved going to the malls in Australia, but they are very different. I mean, they have real honest-to-god butcher shops in theirs! I do love me some bacon. But here, in the States… not a snowballs chance in hell.

     Let me point out… I save a whole lot more money staying my ass home that dragging it out into the madness of Black Friday. Sure, y’all may have saved a lot of money shopping on things… stuff, but my money is still in my pocket, so you tell me who saved more. HA!
     I will admit though, I did do a little online shopping. There were a few deals I’d been waiting for AND what I did get also put some money towards my charity. Yep, I sat here, sipping my coffee, my comfy house shoes on, did my little bit of shopping and didn’t even swear once. I figured I made out like a bandit. So I did spend a little bit, but I saved even more by not having to buy alcohol.
     Let’s talk snow…
     This is for you Mo-Mo: No, I do not like snow. No, I don’t ever want to see snow. The only snow I want to see is on TV or a Hallmark card. Been there done that. I don’t like my feet getting cold or wet. Actually, it becomes really painful to tell the truth. Another reason I moved to sunny Flo-rid-ia. Snow is a baaaaad four letter word. I think hell is actually Siberia. So for those of you who like that nasty wet stuff, more power to ya. Just don’t expect me to get all excited about it. Me, I’ll continue to sit here in my shorts and T-shirt, the doors and windows open, playing in the dirt while you shovel snow. ‘Nuff said.

     Side Note: I’d rather peel my nuts up off my leather chair than try and pry them away from my tonsils, thank you very much. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
     Let’s talk books…
     I was fortunate to come from a family of readers. My mother, grandmother and sister would read to me most every night. Of course, this is probably why I can’t really listen to audio books. Talk about a sleeping pill. Puts me right out. The side benefit was that when I started reading on my own, I found it easy. I was reading well beyond my grade level which pleased my teachers, but also put them in a bit of a quandary. They didn’t know what to do with me. While I could read on a grade level 3 when I was only five years old, I couldn’t add for shit. Hell, I still can’t. Don’t ask me to balance a checkbook! Numbers escape me. Always have.
     Personally, I think that reading is a way to escape for a little while. Go on a vacation, an adventure; learn about different cultures and people. Who wouldn’t like a mini-vacation? I also think that all kids should have the opportunity to read about people like themselves. I remember as a young man when I stumbled upon Gordon Merrick and then Armistead Maupin. Then it was Felice Picano who took me on a wild mind twisting murder mystery. What do all these authors have in common? They all wrote gay characters. This was a first for me and what an impact it had. This is why I am doing a book drive for the Zebra Coalition. I’m begging for Y/A books so that they will have a library for kids between the ages of 13 and 24. If you are an author, or have a favorite author who writes in this genre, please contact me or have an author contact me. What a great gift this would be for the next generation, don’t you think? So, please take the time to reach out and make this happen.
     Tis the Season…
     With Thanksgiving 2016 now history, it is time to turn our attention to the upcoming holidays. I remember my grandmother during this time of year and how quiet she would become at times. I didn’t understand it so much at the time but I sure do now. She was one of those people who had a heart as big as the whole outdoors. She would fret about those who were less fortunate. I guess I come by it honest, because I often have those thoughts.
     My grandmother raised nine children, a lot of it during the great depression. Even then, she thought of others. She always found a way to give to someone else. It may not have been monetarily, but she always managed to give something.
     I’m going to ask that of you now. As I’ve said before, I’ve adopted the Zebra Coalition as my charity and they have a wishlist on Amazon. (Uh… they kinda messed up, so if you go to their wish list, there is nothing showing, but if you click on their name, it comes up.) Anyway, there isn’t a lot on their list, and most all of it is under $20.00. With a little help, I think we could make this list disappear. Most of the items are to stock their pantry while they have their afternoon “Drop In”. Kids hang out there after school in the afternoons, so a lot of things are snacks and drink type things. Razors and shampoo are also on their list for their emergency shelter program. There are less than twenty items on this list. Let’s see if we can’t make it go away. What’cha say? OH, and if by chance you go and there is nothing, you can always check out their needs list on their website.

     Wow, I got rather chatty with having nothing much to say, so I’ll stick a fork in it and call it done. Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Blast From the Past...

     So… yesterday, while dirt digging, I tried to think of something to blog about today. There are a few things I’d like to pass along to y’all, but I also wanted something funny. I think we all need something to at laugh about now.

     A little story about my friend Alan…
     I’ve known Alan most of my life. He’s been a constant source of fun and entertainment as well as a great support person. He was always there when I needed him, but for now, I want to tell you about a time when I laughed so hard I actually peed my pants.
     Picture it… (I feel like Sofia from the Golden Girls) Atlanta 1981. It was hotter than hades, and the weekend of the Hotlanta Raft race. It was a weekend of hot gay men, hot weather and hot times.
On the River

     Note: This was how Atlanta got the nickname Hotlanta. It was the gay mecca for gay men and there was no hotter place in the country that Hotlanta during raft race weekend.
     Well, Alan being his true fun self, decided that a little MDA would be a good idea to keep things moving along. That was his drug of choice back then. Don’t judge. It was the time of drugs, sex and disco! He and a bunch of friends had gone all out doing their little decorating bit for their raft. Alan was more of the engineer than decorator. He is the one gay man I know who never got past Gay 101. He couldn’t identify a color to save his poor little gay heart. I swear, he couldn’t tell the difference between white and antique cream if his life depended on it. It’s been an ongoing joke for years.
     The big event was Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to work lunch that day, and yes I did try to get out of it. But it was either take off Saturday and do the race or work Sunday, and I knew I’d be in no condition to work the day after the big parties going on, so I suffered and worked Saturday lunch. Oh, and saved myself from having to buy sunscreen.
     Party… Party… Party…
     Back in the ‘80’s, it was party till you dropped or a hot man dropped his pants. Okay, that may have happened, and then you went back to the party afterwards. That is the way Alan saw it, as did so many others. I caught up with him and a few other friends around 2 a.m. at the Cove, a.k.a., the Cave.
     It was a gay bar in Atlanta that never closed. It was one of the few that had been grandfathered in, and on weekends like this one… it was packed to the gills. There were different sections in the massive building. A game room, a more quiet bar area and a huge dance floor. Because Atlanta is so flippin’ hot in the summer, they divided up those section and the doorways were covered in those thick plastic strip curtain type things. You know what I’m talking about: those things that are normally used in front of walk-in coolers when the doors are left open.
     Anyway, Alan, who’d been in town since Friday afternoon, hadn’t slept, which wasn’t that uncommon whenever he was in town. But here he was, early Sunday morning and he was in rare form. Okay, it wasn’t all that rare for him back in those days. To say that he wasn’t sober would be a major understatement. Alan was making his way back in from the outdoor patio… I happen to know what or who he was doing out there, but on his way back to the dance bar, he missed the doorway completely. How he did that I still don’t know, but he did, twice.
No, this isn't Alan.

     Alan missed that doorway be at least two feet. He bounced off the wall and fell on his ass. Being the typical good Southern raised man, he got up, dusted off his rear and adjusted his shirt, had he had one on. It took him a few minutes to realize that he wasn’t wearing one. Hell, the only thing he had on was a pair of daisy duke cutoffs that were so short his nuts were constantly falling out. It was rather funny to watch him push them back up whenever he had to leave wherever we happened to be. It was the look on his face as he struggled to put himself back together that was the icing on the cake. It was even funnier when he attempted to go through the doorway and do the exact same thing all over again. I and a small group of friends from Tennessee stood and watched him do it and laughed our asses off. The second time, when he’d finally gotten himself put together, as much as he could I guess, flipped us the bird and finally got through the door.
     Later that day, sometime after one in the afternoon, post brunch, I saw my friends off to make the four hour drive home to Knoxvegas. It was another epic weekend. Alan was in the backseat of that blue Volvo, already asleep with a thread of drool hanging off his chin and a big smiled plastered on his face. Yep, he’d had another great time in Hotlanta.
Backstreet Atlanta, another Party Central Location

     I have so many good memories of Alan and the rest of my friends from those happy days. Days before AIDS took most of them. How he and I survived is a real miracle. I may have to share more memories of him and our adventures another time.
     Oh yeah…
     Ooops, I almost forgot. Damn, I have a novella coming out this coming week. Duh, sometimes I really am blonde all the way to the white meat. Yep, A Christmas Memory 3: Home Sweet Home, comes out Tuesday, November 22. For those of you who like to visit the Sutton family this time of year won’t be disappointed. They are all back and doing what they do best: be a family. One of the beta readers I use said he thought this was the best one yet. I hope y’all agree.

     What else…
     TAT and I went and did our shopping for Toys for Tots. We each got some fun stuff. I found these great metal trucks for about $10.00. I got two of them. I think they’d be great for boys. I know I loved ‘em when I was a kid. I also got two Frozen Dolls for the girls. I make a point of doing Toys for Tots each year. I know that they stay local and kids deserve to have a decent Christmas, no matter their circumstances. I hope that everyone will participate in this great cause.
     A note here…
     As you know, I have adopted The Zebra Coalition as my local charity. I still try and keep up with Lost n Found in Atlanta, but I live here now, so I feel I should support a local charity. I have visited their facility and met with their Director and Volunteer Coordinator and I’m pleased to say that I think they are doing a great job. They have their fingers in just about every agency in the area that they can count on for support and to help young gay youth find their way.
     What I noticed while I was there was their pitiful little library. I’m trying to take care of that. With the help from Lynn Schmitz, I’ve begun a book drive for YA books to help them along. The director and I also talked about perhaps getting some gay history type books to put in there, but one step at a time. If you are an author who has a YA book, please contact me if you would like to donate. If you are a reader and have a favorite author, please ask them to send some of their work my way. I think that books that are a positive reinforcement to our gay youth are very important.
     The gift of giving…
     While you’re doing your online holiday shopping this year, why not take the time to sign up for the Amazon Smile program. You can choose from many worthy charities and they benefit from every eligible purchase you make. Every little bit helps ya know.
     And while I’m at it…
     If you want to help The Zebra Coalition, you can pick something from their wish list. If you’ve designated them as your prime charity, you may need to click on their name to get the list to come up. I think they may have put their list in the wrong spot, but you can still see what they have listed. There are things there for as little as $10.00 on up, but most under $20.00.
     One of the things that I really like about this program is that they give kids a place to gather and hang out after school. Almost every day of the week they open their doors and these gay youth gather to talk, watch TV, play video games and just basically be kids. It is a safe place for them, which is a major thing in my book. They really do like the snacks and drinks that they have on their wish list.
     Now I need to get my big butt in gear and see if I can’t get a little more writing done before I head out to play in the dirt. I’ve really been on a good writing jag lately and I’d like to keep that momentum going. But before I go… you know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? Yep. Go get you some of them good Karma Coins. Do something nice for someone else today. Sometimes it doesn’t cost a thing!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

No Words...

     So… I’ve tried since Wednesday to write this week’s blog, but I just can’t seem to get anything written down that isn’t… well, basically depressing. So instead, I give you two of my favorite things!
     Just remember that we all have things in common. Treat each other with kindness and try and do something nice for someone else.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Confession Time... I was a Bad, Bad, Boy!

     So…another week has passed and it has been a busy one for me. There is always so much to get done it seems. Now that TAT is back, it is even more so. But… such is life, I don’t really mind.

     I’m glad to announce that the writing is going really well. So well in fact, that I’m surprising myself. This current WIP is practically writing itself. That’s a big fat yay! I don’t know why I had such a difficult time getting the last Christmas Memories done, but it was a problem child. Not to worry, it is done and it seems to be a good story. I will soon let you know when the publish date is as well as the cover reveal. I have no doubt that it will be another great cover by the talented A.J. Corza.
     Confession time…
     Okay, now I’ve talked about how I hurt my foot and y’all have lived through my bemoaning the use of crutches. I’ve also said how much I wanted to be outside and playing in the dirt. I may have misled y’all just a teeny tiny little bit. Yes, I did hurt my foot. Yeah, I did a pretty good job on it too. And yes, I was on crutches for what seemed like forever. That god-awful Frankenstein boot was in place as well. But… I cheated a bit. I went against the doctor’s advice and went and dug around in the dirt anyway.
     Damn, I hate having to be honest sometimes. Fuck it… I not only played in the dirt I played with power tools too! Yes, that is a jackhammer you see. Guilty as charged.

     There was a project I wanted to get done on the house from the moment that I saw it. Yeah, I know. It could have waited, but I wanted to surprise TAT and I also wanted it done. I’m not always the most patient of souls and when I want something done, I tend to just buckle down and get it done. So… that is what I did. I’ll put the rest of the pictures up on Tumblr if y’all want to really see the entire project. I have to say, I’m really pleased at the finished result. Well, finished up to this point. I have a few more things that I’d like to do, but this is fairly close to the finished project. I’m already planning out what else I want to get done in the yard. I just can’t seem to help myself.

     Back to the writing for a bit…
     I recently had a beta reader tell me that whenever they read one of my stories they got hungry. Uh… sorry? I guess I do tend to write about food but hey… I’m a foodie, what can I say. Cooking and food have been such a big part of my life that I can’t just ignore it. I tend to write what I know, and I know food, so it’s going to go into my writing. So might I suggest that you get one of your favorite snacks ready if you decide to read one of my books. Sorry, but that’s just the way I work.
     Oh… how about this…
     What if I were to put together a little recipe video with one of those hunky chefs? I think I could get behind that… and the chef of course. What’cha think? Don’t know that if that will ever happen, but stranger things have happened. Hmm… makes me think, which might hurt. For all of those who think that is a good idea, please leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. If I get a big enough response, I’ll go for it. BUT… I gotta get a lot of comments so I can approach someone to get it done. I’ll also take suggestions about what chef you might like to see. So share this post and get those comments in.
Maybe one of these guys?

     What else…

     I’ve been giving out hints about my current work in progress. I can’t help myself. When I get excited about a story, I want to share. I’m awful, I know. Such a tease, but it is fun. I think someone actually called me evil. Yeah, okay… I know. But… yeah, I am. LOL However I think some readers get a kick out of it. I will tell y’all this much… it involves food and music, two things that I really do have a great love of and a little bit of knowledge of. I might put a link up of a performance of music or a recipe or something that pertains to the book. If you pay attention, you’ll learn a lot about what I’m doing at the moment or where the story might be going. So just a bit of a heads up on that. Maybe we’ll make a game of it. Hey, there might even be some free giveaways in the future. Ha! I bet that got your attention.
     Moving right along…
     I did a few things over the week that helped some people out. I got a nice smile from a lady that made my day. It was something to simple and didn’t cost me a thing except a little effort. Did you do something for someone this week? I bet you did.
     The end of the year is fast approaching. It’s time to get as many of those good Karma Coins into your bank as you can! You can do it! I have faith in all of you. So go out and do something wonderful for someone else. It will always come back to you.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

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.