Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reflections...


     So… it’s been one of those times when I have to sit down and reflect a bit. We all have to do that at times, and I’m no different.
     I admit, last week was tough because I got word that my friend, Tim Marsh, more than likely wasn’t going to recover. Matt, his husband, told me that they were going to remove the ventilator so if I wanted to see Tim, I needed to come.
     Tim, buddy, your timing couldn’t have been worse. I’m just tellin’ you.
     With several deliveries already scheduled for that day, a house full of people expected, I couldn’t make it down there. It had been my plan to get up early, even for me, and go down and say my goodbyes. Sadly, I didn’t make it. He was gone before I even woke up.
     Yeah, I felt guilty as hell for not having gone the day before, but in all honestly; I’d already said my goodbyes. But it wasn’t supporting Matt that made me feel the guiltiest. That really sucks, because I do love him and wanted him to know that by my being there.
     Now then, that’s not what really sent me off in a tailspin…
     The mind is a great and wonderful thing, until it slaps you in the face and calls you ugly names. That’s what happened to me this week. Memories suddenly flashed back, playing in my head like a badly filmed B rated movie. There is a lot of regret there and a lot of sadness. Those things that I tend to keep in small boxes up on the filing shelf of my trivia cluttered mind.
     Things I don’t talk about… His name was Jim and he was the great love of my life. He worked for Bell South, when there was such a thing. I seduced him off a telephone pole when I was… well very young. Our relationship was on and off, mostly on, for over seventeen years. He was older, had more experience than I did, but we fit together. He was so not my type, which was the oddest part, at least it was to me. But Jim had that spark of life that never seemed to go out.
     He was the biggest kid I’ve ever known. Poor man couldn’t carry a tune even with the help of a courtesy clerk from the grocery store. That didn’t stop him… sadly. “The Good Book says to make a joyful noise, so I am!” Yeah, it also caused the all the dogs to howl within a mile radius. But that was Jim. My Jim.
     I had to make the decision to have the ventilator removed. He was never coming home...
     That was the flashback I had. That rattled my cage hard this week. I got to watch the vibrant man I knew, the one who loved life, wither and die before my eyes. It took over a year for AIDS to finally take him. He fought the good fight. He kept his head up. Even when he was no longer able to work, he volunteered for organizations, did his thing and kept on going, until he couldn’t. Unfortunately, he was always singing.
     For those caregivers out there: I know from firsthand experience that it the hardest job ever. To take care of the one you love most in this world, to be there twenty-four hours a day, making sure they have everything they need. Keeping them as comfortable as possible isn’t always easy. Actually, it’s damn hard.
     Now, I’ve had other friends, we had other friends, who’d lost the same battle as My Jim. I was no stranger to the “AIDS Ward” at the hospital. At one point, I was going to a funeral a week. It was never easy. To know that these men were cut down in the prime of their lives, men who had careers, family, lovers and friends who loved and cared for them. And what of our government? Well they were just fags so they’re not great loss.
     The ventilator came out. There was no hope of recovery...
     Jim wasn’t conscious when the nurse and doctor took the ventilator out. I held his hand. I sat and watched. I don’t know what I expected but I sat there, holding his hand, stroking his arms with the other. I waited. He never woke up.
     Friends came and went. Family came… and went. I sat there and held his hand. I sat there holding his hand for almost twelve hours waiting, watching and holding his cold pale hand. My Jim took a breath, exhaled and was gone and yet I still sat there, holding his hand. It was three-twelve a.m. when My Jim finally lost the fight and left me sitting there… alone.
      One of the nurses came and got me, took me to some lounge and gave me the best cup of coffee I’d had in days. Her name was Charlotte and she was a wonderful nurse and woman. She didn’t try and talk. She just sat there with me as I drank that coffee and then got me another one.
     Sometime later she took me back to My Jim, who was now lying there, clean, no tubes, no monitors, no incessant beeping noise. It was peaceful. I sat back down and took his hand once more.
     Memories, like the corners of my mind…
     That was twenty years ago now. It seems like a long time ago until something like this happens and then it all comes rushing back, my mind slapping me with the reality of that long day and night. What seemed to be so long ago, suddenly feels like it just happened.
     I rarely talk about it. For me it is something very personal and private. It’s easy to say ‘Let it go’ but that never happens. Things like this stay with you. You learn to cope with it and move on. It’s like when you first put on a ring. It bugs you and then you begin to get used to it. Before long, you forget it’s there, until you touch it or like me, bang it into something. Then suddenly, you’re aware of it. It’s part of life. Part of your life, you’re history.
     Tim’s passing was quick, or at least it seemed so to me. I kind of figured it was coming, but I still wasn’t prepared.
     “… take him off the ventilator tomorrow.”
     Yeah, those few words came crashing down on my head like a ton of brick. For those that I’ve been short with, snapped at or not been very nice to this week, I do apologize. And yes, I’ve probably not been the most pleasant person to be around, and for that I’m sorry. I find it difficult to have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. I’m really not that smart and it messes with my head. So again, I apologize for being such a bitch this week.
     It’s time for me to say goodbye once again to My Jim. To let him go back into that little box on the shelf where sometimes I take it down to visit, on my own terms. To put the past in the history book and look forward and get things done.
     Goodbye my friend, Tim. I’ll never forget you.
     Goodbye My Jim. You know you’ll always be in my heart. I’m sure they’ve gagged your ass wherever you are. Damn, what a racket you make. I love you.




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Goodbye My Friend...


Tim Marsh
     I start today with a heavy heart. My friend, Tim Marsh lost his battle with cancer yesterday. Tim was a funny, snarky, intelligent and loyal friend. You always knew he was going to zing you by the twinkle in his eye. He was a fierce and loyal friend, and I will always admire him for that.
     I was told once that the only thing in life that you need to accomplish was to love and be loved in return. Undoubtedly, Tim did this in abundance. He had many friends who loved him as he loved them. I know that his husband, and fellow writer, Matt Ortiz, returned his love as well. Many of us were blessed by his presence. Tim, you will be sorely missed.
One of my favorite photos
     I figured since I was already a little depressed, I thought I’d go and read some reviews. It is rare that I subject myself to reviews on Goodreads. Normally I stay far away from there, but what the hell. I also checked out those on Amazon, which tend to be easier to take.
     I was… surprised. Somehow that doesn’t seem adequate. I was more overwhelmed to be honest. The things that readers said about ‘Going Home’ nearly brought me to tears. ‘My Hero: The Olympian’ appears to be well received. Not sure why it didn’t so very well in way of book sales, but those who did read it, took the time to write a review, which is pure gold to an author.. I’m glad that they enjoyed it.
     ‘The V Unit’, another one that wasn’t exactly a best seller, but people liked it as well. I want to take a quick thank you to every reader who takes the time to write a review. They really are what sell books. And a great big thank you to those of you who talk about their favorite books and authors on social media. It really does make a huge difference.
     I think I need to make myself read reviews more often. Instead of becoming more depressed, it lifted me up. It made me want to write. To get back to work and get this book done. Yeah, this book…
     I’m not sure how other authors feel or deal with their current work in progress, but I tend to suffer, especially when I’m dealing with hard subjects. Yep, I’m doing another one of those books. I feel as if it is a delicate balancing act. How do I get the information to the reader without doing an information dump on them? When is enough, enough? Are the emotions real? Have I gone over the top?
     These are questions that I constantly ask myself. When I get close to the end of a book like this, which is the case here, I tend to slow down, procrastinate finishing, scared that I’m not getting it just right. Am I doing the story and the characters justice? Is anyone going to want to read this crap?
    I will admit that I tend to push buttons. It’s what I do. But when I do that, I push my own buttons a well, and that’s not always a good thing. It makes me doubt myself. I think that is why I find it difficult to finish a book. I overthink it and I worry and get all stressed. Many of you know what happens when I stress: I hit the jug. Yep, I’ve hit the milk pretty good over the past few days. Up until a few days ago, I’ve been really good. Then it was milk and Tim-Tams. Milk and cold pizza. Milk and… well milk. My shorts are back to being a little on the tight side. Oh well… at least I know and understand my addiction and it isn’t illegal!
     I originally planned to have this book finished in December. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. I think it is close to the end, but then sometimes the characters dictate the length of the book, not me. Unless they go off and create some hari-kari, it should be done soon. That’s the plan at any rate.
     For those who keep up with this blog know that I’ve been helping The Aussie Tart, (TAT for short) with her new house. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. We’re coming down the long stretch. This is the hardest part for me. Doing the little detail things that make all the difference in the world. Of course, this is when I start becoming bored and want it to just be done. Hopefully, in the next few weeks I can go and dig in the dirt there. I’m soooo looking forward to that.
     Sadly, it is becoming more and more difficult to make Studly-Do-Right blush. I’m afraid that he has become used to my banter and nothing much gets to him now. It’s either that or he just knows that I’m going to push his envelope. The poor man just shakes his head and walks away. Oh well, shit happens I guess.
     Now, don’t get me wrong; I like the guy. He’s one of the good ones, for sure. He has a great work ethic, gets things done and does good work. Something that I’ve noticed isn’t exactly the norm around here.
     What else…
     Today, I’m being descended upon. I have three friends that are coming in from out of town. Two of those have never seen American Football, and today is Super Bowl Sunday. I’m just hoping that I can stay awake that long. I think I may need a nap just to get to halftime!

     I’m going to do some football type food. You know, wings, chips-n-dip, along with other assorted fare. Not sure if I’m going to get the cheesecake done. I’ve just run out of time. We’ll see though. Who knows, it could happen.
     What else…
     Oh, I had dinner Friday night (much needed time out) with some friends. One of which is a playwright. Last year he gave me a draft of a play he was working on, wanting my opinion, which I gave. That’s hard to do sometimes, but I was honest. He said that he got what I was saying and has given it back to me to look it over. I’m looking forward to reading through it again. It had a lot of potential, so I’m excited to see what he has done. He’s a real hoot. My kind of people. That’s code for crazy.
     Well…
     This week I’ve not been as good as I could have been. I didn’t help out as many people as I possibly could have. I’ll try harder next week. Sometimes the opportunity just doesn’t present itself. This next week will be better, I can feel it. I’ll let you know.
     I guess that’s all I have for this week. Remember to go forth, live life, do unto others, and make each day count.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Where Are The Strippers, NYC?


     So… I’m sitting here, looking at this blank page and wondering… “Hmm, now what?”
     I’d thought about doing a little something that was history related, but… meh, sounds kinda boring now. Then I considered just winging it, as I so often do, and just ramble along about whatever comes to mind, but then… I’m really not in the mood to ramble. Besides, I don’t have all that much to ramble on about.
     So what now? Oh hell… I need more coffee.

     Oh, I know…
     Rainbow Book Fair in New York City. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Uhh… well, maybe? Right… Let’s see how this goes.
     I finally booked the apartment where I’ll be staying. Check, done. Looking at plane tickets, waiting a bit longer. Still too soon to book those. I try and book no sooner than six weeks out, but that may change. I’ll keep an eye on it.
     Inventory books. Check. Damn, I’m going to need to order more books.
     Swag. Ugh, I hate having to deal with swag. I never know what to do, and that shit gets expensive.
     Stripper party. SCREECH! Brakes on.
     What is it with New York City that you have NO strip clubs? What gives? Many of you know that I try and have a little party with my fellow authors at a strip club. It’s fun!

     I thought I had something all lined up and them BAM! The manager decided to be a real jerk, so I backed off. So I start my search again. Found several places with go-go boys, but no strippers, and yes, there is a difference. I mean, go-go boys are fine, but there is no show there. Just guys shaking their asses in underwear. I have a feeling that the art of a good strip show is dying out.
     Come on NYC, get it together! I’m excited to be going to New York. It is more about seeing old friends than anything else. I forgot who said it, but it isn’t the city or seeing the sights that makes a city special, it’s the people who make it. I so agree with that.
     Of course, being the total foodie that I am, I’m looking forward to having some really good meals. I know that there are going to be those who think I’m crazy to plan my trip around meal times, but hey, it was such a big part of my life for so long, how can I not. Carnegie Deli damn well have their kitchen fixed this time. I’ll be banging on the door if not and demanding my Reuben!

     Now years ago, and no I’m not going to say how long ago, I remember when Times Square was one of the sleaziest places I’d ever seen. Granted, it needed to be cleaned up, but come on… there’s got to be a little balance for us good natured, fun loving pervs. Don’t we deserve a little adult fun when in the Big Apple? So frustrated.

     Meanwhile, on the writing front…
Yes, there is a reason for this photo.
     I’m almost done with this current book. I just need the time and space to buckle down and get it done. I think most of you might be surprised by this one. There are times when I shake my head, wondering where this all came from. It’s different for me, that’s for sure, but then again, I don’t shy away from tough topics and I never seem to stay within the same sub-genre. Oh well, it’s just the way my mind works I guess.

     I also have two other stories that are in the works. There are times when one kind of struggles along, so I switch to another one until the characters decide to pull their proverbial heads outta their asses. There are times I’d like to just shake ‘em till their teeth rattle.
     Then there is the house remodel…
     Poor, poor Studly-Do-Right. That man has had such the education this week. I’m not sure how it came up (I wasn’t there at the time) but TAT (The Aussie Tart) told poor Studly that he wasn’t my type. HE brought it up at lunch. I think he was fishing as to why. When I told him he wasn’t nearly hairy enough, as in “You have no hair!” He simply replied, “Oh.” Of course me being me, I had to take it a step further. “The best thing about having a hairy guy is there is never a need for dental floss.” The look on that man’s face. I thought he was going to lose it right then and there. It really was priceless. You could just see him running through the visuals, shaking his head. He really does make it too easy sometimes. The education he’s getting… It didn’t seem to spoil his appetite though!

     I don’t really have much more to add today, so I think I’ll cut this off here. I’m also hungry, so I need to go forage for food. Why not start the year off right? Make sure that you take time out for someone else. A smile doesn’t cost much, nor does helping some who may be struggling with something at the grocery store. It doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day. Just do something. It will come back to you.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     Max


Sunday, January 24, 2016

I'm Baaaack!


No, he wasn't one of the workmen, but... he'd be welcome!
     So… I’ve been a little busy lately. Okay, that’s a lie… I’ve been so damn busy these last six weeks that I’ve hardly had time to do anything but work, eat and sleep. I did try to let everyone know that I wasn’t dead. I did stop in on FB from time to time to prove that. However, there were a few times I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t so sure I was alive. Damn slave drivers… Anywho, I’m still around and I’m still kicking. Might not be very high, but I’m still at it.
     I’ve been trying my best to finish this book I’ve been working on. A little bit each day, and it is getting closer to being done. Sometimes it’s a good idea to step away from it and let it settle a bit before you can get the creative juices flowing again. Things are moving along nicely, although not as quickly as I wish they would. Oh well, that’s the way it goes sometimes.
     What have I been doing these past few weeks? Sanding, painting, stripping… hardware, you pervs. I know what you immediately thought and no, I’m not taking up stripping… Basically, I’ve been doing just about anything you can think of when you’re redoing a house. I enjoy doing these types of projects, I’ve just never had to do it on such a tight timeline or a whole house at one go.
     Here are some before and after photos. 


     Here’s the thing… TAT (The Aussie Tart) hired a helper. Now, this guy is great, there is no doubt about that. He gets a lot done and a lot of things that I’m no able to do, or just don’t want to do. The problem is… well… he’s a Baptist. –sigh- If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also a… republican! Oh holly hell, what has she done?
     I have to admit, the man is hot. He ticks a lot of my boxes, just not all of them. The big one is he’s not single. Poor man is married with three kids, and he’s only thirty-two! Tisk-tisk, I did have to mention that there were things that would prevent that. Oh well, I don’t have to feed and clothe them. Also, he’s not nearly hairy enough for me. Actually, he’s practically hairless, so he’s safe.
Studly Do-Right
He's a bit of a goofball
     Then… it came as a revelation to me. He was sent to us to save. Yep, I’m sure of it now. The poor guy is so innocent and unaware of our world that he was delivered to us to educate and show him the way to debauchery and fun. Of course, me being me, I’ve had to bit my tongue… okay, nearly chewed it off would be more accurate, at some of the things he says. He leaves himself so wide open at times, that to a sick and twisted mind like mine, it’s hard not to comment at times. It’s hard, sooo very hard.
     Here’s an example:
     There’s a little work room off the carport of this new house. He’s claimed it, at least for that day, for something he was doing. All the tools are currently in there, which includes my tool box. I was in there looking for something and he says, “Get out of my hole.” Now, what kind of response do you think came to my mind? Hmm, yeah, exactly. I thought I was going to choke to death to keep from saying something. He noticed, and after a few seconds, he shakes his head and walks away, muttering something under his breath. I’m not sure if he came up with something worse than what I was going to say, which I highly doubt it. Poor man.
     It was funny when he found out I was a writer. Of course, he had to ask what I wrote and I tried to be as vague as possible simply saying romance. But TAT snorted and let the cat out of the bag. I’m really trying not to scar this poor guy for life, I swear I’m not, but there are times when people just won’t let things go. He asked, he pushed and let’s just say that it might be awhile before the guy eats bacon again. I’m not sure how it came about, but ‘Going Home’ came up and the scene with the bacon grease. Yeah, he took a little walk after that one. However, he has learned that when I or TAT say, ‘You don’t really want to know’, he leaves it alone. He’s learning.
     Now, I don’t want you to get the impression that he’s some stuck up prude. He’s far from it. He’s actually a lot of fun. Very upbeat, funny, always ready to laugh, and a bundle of energy, which can be a bit irritating at times. He is also very accepting, which means he can be saved… I think. He’s a really good guy who I enjoy being around. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s got a great ass.
     Okay, now speaking of great asses… Wow, some of the tradesmen that have been in and out of the house have been incredible. There was only one, just the one, the plumber, who didn’t meet the mark of ‘Stud’. (Oh, and I’ve been calling the new guy, Studly Do-Right. He doesn’t even bat an eyelash now. Yeah, I’m rubbing off on him.)
     Anyway, there has been a steady stream of eye candy roaming about. The electrician is… OMG… just my type. The pool guy and his helper had bodies that I could watch all day, and did. But it was the tile guy that took my breath away. Holy shit, this guy was… be still my heart…, just hot. On a scale of one through ten, he hit a good solid thirteen. He had it all. Sadly, he’s very straight, married and with kids. Oh well, I could at least look and look I did. Of course, he being on his knees so much of the time only made me drool. I needed a bib.
     We’re coming down the long stretch now. The house is almost done, so I’m going to try and work out a new schedule where I can get more writing done and not be totally incommunicado.
     On a more serious note… A good friend of mine and husband to fellow author, Matt Ortiz, need a little help. He’s recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s had a rough time of it. Please, keep these two wonderful men in your thoughts and prayers. There is a Go Fund page for them to help offset some of the mounting medical bills. Every little bit helps.
     I’d like to say a great big thank you to all who may have helped with the Lost-n-Found’s Christmas list. Those kids deserve all the help they can get. December was a bit of a tight month for me, so I wasn’t able to do as much as I had in previous years, but they seem to have gotten most of their list covered. It’s kind of sad when the kids are asking for socks and underwear for Xmas.
     As always… Please try and do something for someone else. I have seen those Karma Coins at work lately, both good and bad, and I know from the very center of my being, that y’all are doing the right thing. There are so many good things happening and I’m sure that is the reason. Keep up the good work, gang!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,
     Max


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,
     Max


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.
     Max



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?
Lost-n-Found
     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,
     Max