Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Milestone...55

     So… here I sit, slightly groggy, only a partial cup of coffee down, and I start this. What to write about this week. Um… well… I haven’t the slightest idea. I guess it’s going to be a fly by the seat of my pants… shorts this morning. 
     Let’s get started… but another cup of coffee is in order first…

     This week I hit a milestone: I became a speed limit, hit the double-nickel, in other words, I turned fifty-five. Ugh… There wasn’t a big party or a lot of hoopla. To be honest, I slept through most of it, thanks to an early morning massage that I received as a birthday present from TAT, (The Aussie Tart) Oh, I do miss getting a regular massage. I really do need to remedy that. Anyway, it was a pretty average day over all. Trust me when I say, I was perfectly okay with that.
     But there was something niggling me, in the back of my mind, something that was bothering me. It took me a while to figure it out because… well I’m not very bright sometimes. I was depressed, but why? It wasn’t that I turned fifty-five. Pfft… I’m an old fart now and I’m okay with that. So… what was it?
     It hit me last night while at happy hour. I know I’ve mentioned this weekly event before, but I’ll touch on it again. There is a fairly vibrant gay community here and a lot of men gather on Friday for happy hour. Yes, there are some men close to my age there, but for the most part, they are older than I am. I have to admit, that kind of makes me smile to think I’m a younin’ there.
     Anyway… It finally dawned on me why I was feeling the way I was: remorse. Now I’ve heard of it before. Could empathize with it, recognized it in others but never actually felt it. It was survivor's remorse. I lived through one of the biggest health crises’ this country, the world had ever seen.
     It was political. It was dirty. It was argued that the men, the gay men who were dying left, right and center, deserved what they got because they were perverts, vile creatures in the eyes of God. It was God’s way of cleansing the earth of such abominations. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was God’s way of punishing the wicked sodomites!
     However, this was the first time that I’ve actually felt guilty for surviving, and living through the nightmare that took so many of my friends and some colleagues. How did I escape it? Why was I not one of the first to go? Trust me; I was out there having just as much fun as everyone else, if not more than some. So how was I so lucky to have made it? It isn’t as if I was some great artist. I’m really not all that smart or funny, or good looking or… anything really special. I was just an average guy trying to make his way in the world, who happened to be gay. So why? Why me?
     I once knew this guy, an acquaintance, a friend of a friend of a friend, who really had a bad case survivor’s remorse. He felt it was a punishment to be left behind. I thought he was being a little dramatic at the time. Okay, he was pretty crackers in my opinion. He was one of those people who was gloom and doom all the time. I personally never felt that way and still don’t. Do I? Was it a punishment to be allowed to live when so many other talented, smart, funny, gifted men were cut down in the prime of their lives?
     The simple answer is no. I’d never felt I was being punished for not dying such a horrendous death. Do I now? Hmm… Was that what was bothering me? I don’t think so. I think what I’m really feeling is loneliness. A loss of all the friends I knew who are no longer here. Is that what was bothering me? Sort of I think. It was also the feeling of lost youth, of having so many good times with those friends, those lighthearted times. It’s the loss of staying up dancing all night. It’s the loss of the T-dances on Sundays. It’s the loss of going out, carousing with them. It’s the loss of the laughter that we all shared. That was the remorse I was/am feeling.
     Yeah, yeah… I know I’m going to hear ‘But you’re not that old!’ Pfft… in gay years you might has well be invisible. Well unless you’re one of those hunky gym-daddies, which is so not me and that still won’t alleviate the loss I feel. No, I may not seem that old in general society and in general I don’t feel that old. I just wish someone would tell my poor beat-up old body that! LOL
“Mary, crawl off that cross, someone needs the wood!”
“Miss Self Pity, table for one!”
“Honey, would you please come out of the pity pool? You’re all shriveled up.”
     Okay, I didn’t just write all that for any kind of sympathy, or oh poor, poor Max. No, I think it was my way of paying tribute to some of the fabulous gay men I was fortunate to call friends and in my way, letting them know that they are missed but not forgotten. No, it was me remembering, subconsciously, those who I loved and wish could have been here for my birthday. I know without a doubt that they’d have given me total shit for being a speed limit. There would have been old fart jokes from start to finish. Yeah, yeah, yeah… bite me you bitches. I made it!
     I am a proud gay man. I’ve lived through one of the most horrendous, catastrophic health events know to mankind and I survived. I still laugh, cry and feel. I have people who I love and who love me. I love the feel of the sun on my face and the dirt under my fingernails. I have a life and I intend to live it!
     So, this tired ol’ nag is gonna trot his ass around the track at least one more time. I’m gonna throw my tits to the wind and dare anyone to tell me not to. Damnit, I’ve earned the right to say ‘fuck you’ to anyone who wants to try and put me down. Don’t tread on me. Oh wait, there’s a snake involved in that, isn’t there? Okay… might not go that far then. I hate snakes. Alrighty then… I will survive. There. ‘Nough said.

     Okay, this is running a bit longer than usual but I did want to share something with everyone. This made my day and actually made me a bit weepy.
A Bear in Paris – A French Review
      Rhett Beaumont arrived in Paris to make the dream of a lifetime, this should have been done in joy but it is with a heavy heart the memories of the past that puts his first look at the city. It is immediately amazed when he discovered Paris, its boulevards, this special ambiance of the capital of love, of glamor and romance.
     After a quick installation, stay a month can finally begin. At the street corner, pastries irresistibly attracted. However, when his eye catches a completely different kind of sweetness that would be enjoyed with relish, this is a new world that awaits him!
     To my surprise, this story has literally snapped up, it is very refreshing. I loved the character of Rhett. Outside it is beautiful, intelligent and tender with a cracked past, he is finally ready to conquer, discover, explore and live his dream.We will follow the whole time wonder.
     Descriptive emerge elegantly Parisian charm, I was enrolled in a trip to the heart of the story. It almost would feel the vibrations of the city to our reading and the wonder of Rhett each discovery of a new place to visit, the most tempting specialties as each other. It eats everything around it, drinking at every moment of every detail.
     His morning routine was already very nice, pastries to die for, the smile of sexy pastry chef and player chewable.
     Luke is charming, pleasant to the sight, direct and enterprising so that he gets to overwhelm the American of his deep gaze. It is also on the defensive, not knowing whether he can be trusted again.
     All crescendo rises like a heartbeat accelerating with emotions. This romance is languorous, simple and tasty. The story takes its time, it is a pleasure to follow these two wounded beings groping bruised face their doubts and pain of an experience but do not let down!
     The authors make a beautiful tribute to the city of Paris, I felt the attraction they have for it to through their words so enthusiasts. This is why it makes this moment so unique, special and exciting. They reveal extreme delicacy with a splendid history, euphoric and fulfilled.
     Your feathers Max and KC Wells combined are very pleasant. A delight for the senses. A sumptuous alchemy of letters, a bookish escape that will transport you and delight you fully.
     The end ... Oh the end is simply magical, beautiful and radiant.
     This book is a sweet romantic jewel to be enjoyed without moderation!
     Thank you Karine for such this review. A Bear in Paris is being published in English, French and Italian. All proceeds to go help LGBT youth. Your purchase price of only $2.99 will help young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth get off the streets and get the help they need. You get a pretty good story for that price and help kids at the same time. I’d say that is a win-win situation. Why don’t you go, get the story, have a good read and feel good about the Karma Coins you’re collecting.

     Thanks, y’all. I think that is about all I have for this week.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ramble and Grrr...

     So… Here I sit wondering what I should write about this week. The quick answer is: I have no clue. Here goes me flying by the seat of my pants once again.
     Ramble, ramble, ramble…

     I found a new cookbook that I really must have. There is no doubt that this one will find a home on the coffee table it looks so good. I can’t wait to see all the recipes. More than likely I have a variation of most of them, but who cares when the book looks as nice as this one! Who doesn’t need a good ginger cookie recipe and a fine looking ginger man to go with it? Anyway, if you have a gay friend or a gay friendly hostess, this might be the perfect gift for them.

     I swear if I were to ever do a cookbook, I would have to do something like this one, maybe featuring bears. Hmm, I’m thinking I might need models for inspiration. Oh pfft… don’t worry about the hair. After all, when you have a nice hairy man around, there’s never a need for dental floss!
     Oh, I do have some news…
     An old friend of mine and I reconnected a few months back and she’s been reading this blog. She said it sounded just like me and she could hear my voice as if I was in the room to her. I think that is a good thing. I really am just me after all. That’s not the news however. She got with a friend of hers and showed her the blog and they decided that I needed to start doing a podcast. To be honest, I really hate doing public speaking, but this sounds like something that I could do.
     What do y’all think? I personally don’t listen to podcasts so I have no real idea of what goes on with those things. Is it something you good people would be interested in? Are you sure you want me to sit and hear me ramble on? I did come up with a few ideas that might make it more interesting. You tell me. It might be fun.
     What else…
     Oh, I was surfing about the internet reading some news items when I came across something that made me shake my head. It seems that the World Health Organization did a recent study on human sexuality. Okay, nothing so strange there I guess. This article highlighted the fact that a good percentage of people had some type of homosexual experience at some point in their life.
     Well, duh. Didn’t that little tid-bit of information come to life some fifty odd years ago with the Kinsey report? Shocking huh? Okay, not so fast… because that is exactly what I thought until I continued reading.
     It seems that more and more men (and women) between the ages of 18 – 32 are more open to having sex with a same sex partner and still claim to be straight. Can it be that this next generation doesn’t think that homosexuality is taboo? Have we really reached this milestone? I guess only time will tell, but that kinda blows me away. Kinda cool if you ask me.

     Grrr… I’m irritated…
     I often listen to Pandora while writing. Now what I listen to really depends on my mood and what I’m writing. I have a channel set up, is my go-to channel, which is classical piano. This is where I start getting exasperated. Perhaps I’m being picky or maybe even snobbish. But damn-it-all-to-hell, play the whole thing or don’t play it at all.
     I’m referring to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14. There are three movements damn it. I hate it when they only play the first one and then move on. I am sure that most of you know the piece as the Moonlight Sonata. That’s just one movement.
     It’s like sticking your dick in, pumping a few times and then saying “Okay, that’s it. Bye.” No orgasm, no conclusion, just stopped one third of the way, putting your dick away, zipping up and leaving. Now how frustrating is that?

     Okay, it might be that I’m getting older and my OCD is getting more and more pronounced, but I don’t think so, well not this time at least. This is something that has always bothered me. If you’re going to do a job, then do it to completion, not stop before the task is done. Grrr… just… GRRrrrr.
     If you’re at all interested, I’ve included a link so you can hear the entire piece. 

     Of course I’ve been on a huge Chopin kick of late. No surprise to a lot of you out there. He is after all one of my all-time favorite composers. It is also a major part of the book I’m currently working on. The man was pure genius if you ask me, Chopin that is. I think that one of these main characters is also, but time will tell on that one.
     I’m sure I’ve mentioned Garrick Ohlsson before, but I’ll do it again. He is the master of master’s when it comes to Chopin if you ask me. (Are you bored yet?) Not only is he a hunk of a bear, gay, (also married, dang it) but boy can he play. Here, have a listen to my favorite Chopin piece.

     On the writing side…
     I announced the new release of A Bear in Paris, which is no available for pre-order. When I first mentioned it, I said I would talk a bit more about it. I also mentioned that all proceeds to go charity. Those charities are:
The Trevor Project – Here in the US
La Refuge – in France
Arcigay – in Italy
     The proceeds will be split evenly and the book is to be released in English, French and Italian. It is all going to help LGBT youth around the world. There are four parts to this series, all based on the seasons. I was lucky enough to get summer. 

     As one of the French beta readers said, “It is like a love affair with Paris.” That is exactly how I felt when I wrote it. I do love Paris. Of course I also love the French pastries, so that might skew my opinion a little.
     Honestly, I think I could live in Paris for a year and get some really good writing done. I have a huge dislike for most major cities and wouldn’t even consider living in one, but Paris is different. Yeah, I think I could do a year there easily.
     What else… more rambling?
     While in the post office the other day, there was a lady on crutches who was struggling to handle a parcel she was mailing off. It didn’t take any extra time to help her with the heavy glass doors or get the box up to the counter for her. She was most appreciative. I would have been also. It’s hard managing anything while on crutches. I should know. Been there done that a few times now. She thanked me profusely. Yep, that was my good deed for that day. Didn’t cost me a penny and yet I’m sure I gained a few good Karma Coins. Did you do something nice for someone this week? Hmm….?
     Well, I guess that’s all I have for this week. I’m off to buy more mulch!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Yep... More Ramblings...

     So…What’s been going on? Yeah, I know this is a few days late, but honestly, I’ve really been busy. I’ll try and do better. Promise.

     Ugh… it is has been a busy last few weeks. As some of you may know, the Aussie Tart (TAT) and I have been working on a major house renovation, with the help of Studly-Do-Right. It has been a long process, but I think we did a pretty good job. I have some photos, but they are not complete, so I’ll post some on FB and perhaps Instagram later on.
     Sadly, I’ve gotten very little writing done and I’m anxious to get back to this work in progress. It’s one that I started over 2 years ago and ended up setting it aside for a bit. I sometimes do that if I get stuck or if something else comes up. Unlike the last book I worked on, it is not quite as heavy.
     Funny thing is, after I read through what I’d written I was… well horrified, if I’m to be totally honest with myself. It was pretty bad. It sometimes amazes me how much I’ve grown as a writer. I’m sure my poor editor will be happy that I scraped the whole thing and started over. Yep, I ditched everything I’d written and started over. That was hard to do since I was about halfway done with the thing. Oh well, I’d rather do that than put out that kind of crap.

     I recently received an email asking if I was planning on continuing the Memory series. The simple answer is yes. Well, at least one more about the Sutton family. I do like the story and feel it has at least one more installment. After that I have something in mind that is a spin off from their story. I’ll keep that as a surprise for later.
     Now I have a question for y’all…
     If you’ve read the Memory series, do you prefer the small installments or would you rather have a full length book? I’m pretty good either way, so I’ll let you, the readers decide.
     Speaking of writing…
     Y’all wouldn’t believe how many how many story lines I’ve got jotted down. I had an idea not long ago and went to write it down before I forgot it. Damn, I have about twelve full length book ideas sitting there waiting to be written. I guess I should get busy, huh?
     What else…
     Yesterday we were driving home from the other house… at 8:00 p.m. (Yeah, another long ass day), and we drove past downtown. Now, you need to understand that downtown here is about two square blocks. Yeah, it is a tiny little town. But they were having the monthly Friday night street party. They often have a live band, arts and crafts, small businesses have booths set up and there is all kinds of food.
     The place was packed. The lake was off in the distance, the sun was just setting and it was so nice to see so many people out. There were lots of families, young people, and retirees, just a mixed bag of people. It was nice to see.

     One of the reasons why I like this little town is they are always doing something. The last Saturday of the month they have what they call a Classic Drive In. It’s basically every classic car enthusiast showing off their old cars. I just love that. So many cool ol’ cars. They always have a good turnout. If I were to win the lottery I’d participate. Yeah, I’ve always wanted a classic Cadillac Biarritz. That has always been my dream car. Not sure why. Just something that I’ve always liked.
     I’m starting to ramble…

     In a few weeks I’m going to be 55. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d live this long. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, with the AIDS epidemic killing off most of my friends, I just assumed that I’d be one of those statistics. Well, I’ve made it this far so I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. Initially, I’d planned to go to New York City for Fleet Week. That’s something I’d always wanted to do but since I’d was just there, I’ll forgo that. Besides I don’t think my poor feet could do another NYC visit. I have no plans for the upcoming event. To me, it’s just another day.
     OH! I almost forgot…
     I have a new release coming out. Don’t know if you’ve heard about it or not, but A Bear in Paris is up for pre-order on Amazon. It’s just a novella, but I did love writing it. Did I mention that it was for charity? I was so honored to be asked to participate in this project. Go get yours now. It will be available May 24th.
     The idea is that pairs of authors were to write a story together with the theme being the four seasons in Paris. Since I loved my week in Paris two years ago, I had no problem with the subject matter. There really is something magical about the City of Lights. I can’t wait to return. Of course, I plan to eat as many French pastries as I can! I got summer, so it was easy for me.
     All proceeds go to help LGBT youth in France, Italy and the US. All are stellar charities that do a lot of good. I hope that everyone will run off and get a copy. It will help many young people. Here is the buy link.

     That brings me to ask… Have you done something for someone else this week? I have a feeling that y’all did, I know I did. As I often say, it doesn’t have to be much. It might not even have cost you a penny. Sometimes just a smile, a quick hello is all it takes.
     That’s all I got for this week. Go forth and conquer y’all.
     Have a good week.

Now... go read a book. ;-)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Playing Catch Up...

     So… It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a blog. The first week I missed was because I was in New York City for the Rainbow Book Fair. It was a busy weekend, and to be honest, I was taking a lot of pain killers for my feet. I had to admit to myself that I just can’t do the things that I used to do. I knew that day was coming, but I chose to ignore it and push ahead.
     The reality is that I’m not going to be able to put off the surgery that was recommended some five years ago. I have yet to follow through with setting up the appointments, but they will be happening.
     The second week I missed was simply laziness on my part. Well, that and I was still having issues and a lot of pain, but mostly, I was just putting it off. There are times when I’m just not in a good frame of mind to do a blog. I often try to keep it upbeat if not downright silly.
     This past week… I was thinking. When I have a problem, I like to sit on it a bit. Let it percolate and see what comes out. It’s a process for me. There are times when it is a good thing and then… not so good. This was a not so good time.
     I had a conversation with someone that I enjoy being around, respect and consider a friend. Of course I knew that he was religious and I can respect that. To each their own. As long as I don’t have to listen to the rhetoric, I’m good… up to a point.
     My writing, my work, is a big part of my life. I was talking about the book that I just finished and the one that was coming out in both French and Italian, as well as the novella that should be available around the same time, the novella for charity.
     When I didn’t get a response I looked and their face was tight, eyes averted as they continued to work. I knew what they was thinking, but I asked anyway. I wasn’t surprised at the response. I figured it was coming.
     “You know I don’t believe in that. Your lifestyle is your choice and I can’t condone it.”
     Okay, I get it. There are a lot of people out there who still believe it is a choice. But someone who is that intelligent, that smart, who still believes that amazes me. That I just don’t understand.
     Now realize I’ve dealt with this for years. I’m no spring chicken and I’ve learned to accept that people just are going to think that and move on. I always think the same thing…
     Yeah, I chose this. Who in their right mind would want to be gay, to be an outcast?
     That is how I used to think. To some degree I still think that, right before I say “Fuck ‘em”.
     So why did it hurt this time? As I said… I like this person. I respect this person. I like being around this person. The realization that the feeling wasn’t mutual was like being slapped in the face with a cold, wet, dead fish.
     I also understand that this a belief that has been ingrained in them for most, if not all of their life and it isn’t going to change anytime soon, if ever. Been there, done that. Doesn’t mean that it still didn’t hurt.
     I will continue doing what I normally do. I won’t say anything, but I won’t hide who I am either. There’s no doubt that there are things that I say that will make them uncomfortable and there are times I purposefully do it but always in fun. But hey, that’s who I am. Yeah, I admit… I brought in powdered doughnuts one day and snickered the entire time. If they only knew, right?
     Who wants to bet that this is going to find its way into a storyline in a book? Of course it is… sometime, somewhere.
     Speaking of books…
     Did you know that I just finished a book? It has now gone through numerous beta reads and is now at the editors. It is a little something different than what I’ve done before. Yeah… I know… I never seem to stick with any one type of sub-genre. What some of the beta readers have said...
"I think this is the best book you've written so far."
"I have book hangover, thanks for that."
"Five paragraphs and I'm hooked. Five stinkin' paragraphs."
"I hate you and love you at the same time."
     I gave you My Hero: The Olympian, which is more on the fluffy side. This time, not much fluff. I took on a serious subject that I feel needs more attention. Once again, I took part of a story I heard on the news, then a piece from somewhere else, a little of this, a little of that. Damn, it sounds a little bit like how I cook!
     Anyway, I hope that everyone likes it. Might reserve a tissue box. Oh don’t worry, you’ll laugh and smile too. It’s not all gloom and doom.

     There is another book that will be out soon; a novella. It’s called A Bear in Paris. This is only one of four books in this series. The other three are written by some other wonderful authors and it is all for charity. I’ll go more into that before it is released. I think everyone will like it. I know I loved being able to write it. It really is my love affair with Paris and the great people that I had the opportunity to meet there.
     You know I'm always preaching on about helping others, right? Well I did that, or tried at least. There are some people who need a hand up, who could really benefit with a fresh start. However, they have to want to participate and not screw it up.
     This happened to me recently. I reached out, gave someone a chance and they screwed it up. Sad that they threw away a decent chance, but hey... at the end of the day, you can only lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. That's kind of how I feel about this.
     It doesn't mean that I won't keep doing things for others. Most really appreciate the helping hand, but there is always going to be that one. Oh well. I did what I thought was best. I wonder if I will still get Karma Coins for it?
     That's about all I got for this time. Have a grrreat week, y'all.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mad Ramblings From A Mad Gay Man...

     So… what’s been goin’ on y’all? Have you had a good week?
     Here we are again… Monday. Yay! I can only imagine how many of you want to hit me about now. He he he… 

     This is going to be one of those times when I have no specific theme in mind, so I’m going to just kind of ramble along and see where this ends up.

News Alert! Hello New York City!
If it snows, I'll be so pissed!

     I will be arriving in New York Thursday afternoon. I’m going for the Rainbow Book Fair. This will be the first time that I’ve done this event and I’m really looking forward to it. There will be so many great M/M authors there as well as many other genres. I can’t wait to experience this wonderful event. I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about it, so I figured I should give it a try. So anyone who is in or around New York, why not swing by and say hello.
Rainbow Book Fair
524 W. 59th St. (Just west of 10th Ave.)
Saturday, April 9, 2016 12:00 p.m. – 6 p.m.
     I will have copies of all my backlist available (in English). So stop on by if you’re going to be in the area.
     Even though I will be out of town, I will do my best to keep up with everything, including my daily Facebook coffee posts. But if I miss a day, you’ll know I was either on the run or… well shit happens sometimes.
     What else…
     This past week I found out a few things about Smashwords and the distributors they deal with. One in particular stood out, mainly because of the sales report I saw. Scribd is one of those that I’d never heard of. I think I may have mentioned it last week. Well, I dug a little deeper and I was really surprised that I’d never heard of it. Looks like a pretty good deal if you ask me. Granted, I’ve not used it, and I don’t see myself signing up for it anytime soon. I’ve got a To-Be-Read file I mile high as it is. If there is anyone out there who uses Scribd, I’d like to hear from you.
     I’m really proud to announce that most everything in my back list is now available on many distributor sites. Thanks to The Aussie Tart (TAT) for having the patience to persevere to get this done. I’d never have the patience to do it. Honestly, I’d probably have thrown the computer out the door before I even got one book done.

     Here is the list of retailer where you can find my stuff…
Amazon, Apple, Baker & Taylor Blio, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Flipkart, Gardners Extended Retail & Library, Inktera, Kobo, Library Direct, Odilo, OverDrive, Oyster, Scribd, Smashwords, Sony, Tolino, txtr and Yuzo.
     Frankly, I’ve never heard of most of these, but hey, they are carrying my books and many other wonderful authors, so I figured I’d go ahead and list them.
     Now, while I was exploring these retail sites I noticed a fellow author who is also listed there. Damn, but this author is productive! I’m talking hundreds of books. I can only bow, take my hat off to him, you know what I mean. Wow… just… wow. At first I felt dwarfed by this giant of a writer. It didn’t last long though. In reality, I’ve only been doing this for three years, so I’m still a newbie. Then I thought about it some more and went back and looked again. Hmmm…
     Now do not get me wrong, I’m not putting down anyone or their work. However, the biggest thing I noticed is that my books, most of them anyway, are two or three times longer in length. One is almost four times longer.

     How I work…
     This whole writing thing is still new to me I guess. I try and take my time to make sure I get it right. By that I mean, I try and let the characters tell their stories. This is one reason why doing an outline of a plotline doesn’t work for me. My characters have minds of their own, and there is no sense in me spending the time with an outline when they take over and do whatever the hell they want to anyway. Pfft… I have no control over them. Pisses me off sometimes, but hey, that’s the way it goes.
     I may only turn out a book a year, but I do put a lot into it. I also have to remind myself that I’m the publisher. I get to do it all. I don’t have a publisher that is taking care of the cover, the promotion, the book keeping, the editing, formatting and the printing. All this… stuff takes time. A LOT of time.
     Now I don’t feel so bad. Go me.
     What's new...
     As some of you may know, I just finished a book. Yeah… it’s one of those that I’d been working on for a long while. While I was writing My Hero: The Olympian, I’d sometimes get stuck and then I’d jump over to this one for a while. I would have gotten it done sooner, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I’m sure most of you know how that goes. Anyway, I hope to have it out by the end of May. For now, all I’m going to tell you is the title: Life After Living.
     There are a lot of funny parts in this one, but a good deal of the humor is what I'd say is a coping mechanism. Personally, I think it is a topic that needs attention. I really like to push myself and thus, taking you, the reader, along with me.
     Anyway, I’m working hard on getting it ready for release. I’ll let you know when I’m close.

     I got an email from a reader recently asking me if some of the foods I talk about are real recipes. In this particular instance it was the Peanut Butter Chicken dish. Yes, it is real, as are the other foods I talk about. I was a Chef for many years, and a total foodie. I can’t help it if it bleeds over into my writing.
     I guess that’s about all I’ve got for this week. Happy Monday. Go forth and conquer. Be kind to one another, help those who can’t help themselves or are less fortunate. I did my bit this week. Did you?
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Passing and Expectations...

     So… did everyone have a good week? Mine? Well… it was okay. I think I got a lot done. This coming week is going to be very busy for me. Gotta get ready for the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City!

     You know, there are times I have no clue what I’m going to write on here until I sit down to write it. This week, I had an inkling of an idea but it wasn’t until Friday that it started to come together, but it wasn’t until today that I actually sat down to write it.
     It was while I was taking a break from writing, and I was scrolling through FB that I saw something that caught my eye. Something that came out of the blue, gave me pause, and made me reflect for a moment. I have to admit, I was a bit startled.
     You see, it was about gay bashing and how this fellow author dealt with it. Of course, I was able to relate completely. I’m not sure that there is a gay man out there who can’t relate to it to some degree. But it wasn’t until I read a comment that made me shake my head a bit.
     Frankly, I never expected things to change. I fought for change. I rallied for it, but I can honestly say, I didn’t expect it. Hell, I never thought I’d see gay marriage in my lifetime. Nope, never even considered it. I never thought that The Supreme Court would ever discuss it, much less pass it. To be honest, I think I’m still in a bit of shock over the whole thing.
Think they would have tried to gay bash this guy?
     Another thing that struck me while reading this post was that this author mentioned ‘passing for straight’. Again, something I totally get. Been there and done that. Just because it happens doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I get it. In no way would I ever put someone down for feeling that they need to do it. It is just a simple fact of life and self-preservation.

     I also have had to condition myself to be aware of my surroundings, frequent places that I know to be so public, where it would be nearly impossible to be assaulted, or I visit gay friendly establishments. I rarely sit without my back to a wall. I don’t like being out at night alone, unless it is a well-lit public place. It’s just part of life. Of course, this isn’t failsafe. Just ask the couple from Philadelphia who were accosted on a well-lighted street, in a gay-friendly section of town, by a group of young, middle class, well dressed, educated… thugs. That is the only word that comes to mind. You just never know when or where it might happen.

Convicted of gay bashing

     No, it isn’t new…
     What I noticed is that things did get a bit better, or I think they did at least, for a little while. I think it was while Bill Clinton was in office. I hope it wasn’t just my imagination, but I do think things were a little better. So why did we go backwards? What has changed?
    Of course this is just my personal opinion, my own personal views, and for sure it is nothing scientific, but things seemed to start going downhill when the Tea Party got hijacked. The right-wing radical conservatives jumped right in and took it over. When I first heard of the Tea Party, what they were saying made sense. They wanted our government to get back to work and do the job that they are paid to do. Then it changed. Really changed.
     Breaking my own rules again…
     I really try and never discuss politics or religion. I learned at a very early age that those were things that were personal and shouldn’t be discussed in public. Yeah, well, that isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and in this case, impossible. I can’t explain any of this without going there.
     So here I go…
     Again, this is only my opinion, but it seems to me that the conservative right wingers have all but waged war on anyone who isn’t Protestant white, bible thumping, anti… pretty much everything that does not conform to their very narrow views. Now, this isn’t anything new, but, and it’s a fairly big but, they now have money, a national platform and media coverage. Did I mention money? Yeah, a whole LOT of money.

     Not too long ago I was watching a television program where a news reporter called them, meaning the ultra-conservative GOP, ‘The American Taliban’. Yeah, that sums it up fairly well. If you were to compare the radical Muslims to the radical Christians, line them up side by side, you’ll see there isn’t a whole lot of difference there. Pretty scary right?
     I have personally known some wonderful people during my lifetime. That includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and those who are… well neutral. I didn’t want to say they were nothing, because they are something, it’s just that I’m not smart enough to know what they are. If they are like me, I’d say they are private. My personal religion is just that: personal, and no body’s business.
     I’d like to think that there is some good in everyone. That when push comes to shove, they’ll do the right thing, but once they have become ‘radicalized’, when they are poisoned by hate, all bets are off. Hate is something that is all pervasive. It will eat your soul. Fortunately, I think that can be reversed. I do think that deep down, people are generally good. That given the opportunity, they will accept love over hate.
     What about this…
     To cure those who hate, I suggest that they be put in a room full of puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies? Puppies are cute, cuddly and just a joy to be around. They offer unconditional love and lots of sweet puppy licks. Who could resist, right?

“I sentence you to one hour, twice a day, to the puppy room for the next year. In between your puppy session, I sentence you to watch puppy movies.”

     Now, that would be the perfect sentence if you ask me.
     As a side note... is there anything sexier than a hot guy with a puppy? Nope, didn't think so. 

     Were you able to do something for someone else last week? Sure you did. I have faith in all of you. Let’s see if we can’t do something really special this coming week to make up for all the bad things that are happening all around the world.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cut vs. Uncut... As Requested

     So… how’s this Monday morning thing working out for ya? I see it as a fresh new start, so I’m ready to go.
     A few weeks ago I did ‘Let’s Talk Dick…’ and didn’t get to the cut vs. uncut debate. Well, let’s see if I can’t rectify that.
     Here we go…
     Cut vs. Uncut: I am not one of those gay men who are of the opinion that every male should be au natural, or think it was criminal for a boy-child to be circumcised. I’m old enough to have had it both ways, not my own mind you, and I’ve come to appreciate both.

A before and after photo. Oh hell NO! Not as an adult!

     I’ve been privy to some very handsome circumcised dicks and some… not so much. I knew a guy whose dick was spotted. Other that the odd discoloration, he had a fairly nice cock, pretty fat as I remember.
     Then I’ve seen some spectacular uncut/uncircumcised penises, the foreskin framing the glands perfectly. Personally, I’m not really a huge fan of a lot of loose, crinkly foreskin. I know those who are, but it just isn’t my cup of tea. But hey, if one was presented to me, I’m not sure I’d turn it down either.

     In my experience, those who managed to escape the knife, seem to have a lot more sensation around the glands, which is great, I assume. Ahhh, but then sometimes that can be a not so good thing. During a blow job, they become so sensitive that it becomes painful. Now, if anyone were to ask me, I’d say that could work to one’s advantage. But then… I’m kind of evil like that.

It's a party! Woo-Hoo!

     I used to work with a woman who refused to circumcise her little boy, but then had an issue with keeping the kids little winkie clean. Come to find out, she wasn’t comfortable with washing that very well, and her husband didn’t do much in the way of taking care of the kid. That’s woman’s work ya know. In the end, the child started having issues and ended up having to have the foreskin removed at age two. Poor kid is all I can say.

     It was quite a while before I saw my first uncut dick. I can’t remember any of the guys that I went to school with being uncut. Of course my first thought was “What’s wrong with it?” Yeah, I was pretty dumb back then. Hey, give me a break I was new to all that stuff… okay, maybe not so much, but an uncut dick was new to me. Needless to say, I was a little fascinated by it.
     A little history…
     Why do so many here in the US insist on circumcising little boys? How did this madness start? Well, it seems that there were some doctors who thought that whacking off the foreskin would prevent young men from masturbating. The reason? Jacking off caused all kinds of maladies like simple-mindedness, lack of balance and all sorts of ridiculous theories. Yeah, that was… just… hell, I don’t even know how to respond to that. Nuts I’d say.

     There was one advocate who really pushed for circumcision: Will Keith Kellogg, of Kellogg cereals. He, along with his brother, John Harvey Kellogg, who was running some kind of sanatorium, following the Seventh Day Adventist Church doctrine, claimed that it would keep young men from the sins of masturbation. They also claimed that it would ruin a man’s mental health and all sorts of other illnesses, including blindness. Somehow I have the feeling that didn’t really work all that well. No offense to anyone, but I kinda think that the Seventh Day group are a bit nuts to begin with. Just my opinion mind you.
     Of course there is the whole religious aspect that has been around for centuries. Most all men of the Muslim faith are circumcised. Astonishingly enough, they quote the Hebrew portion of the story of Abraham to support the theory of Allah being circumcised for whatever reason. However, they can’t seem to agree on when this should be done. It can range from birth to teenage years. Can you say OUCH!?

Uhh, just no. ICK

A Bris Tool.
     Most Jewish males are circumcised eight days after birth by a Rabbi. The famous ‘bris’ ceremony is quite common. Poor kid…having everyone watching while is wee-winkie is being trimmed up.

     After World War II, the Brits, after starting their national health care system, decided that there was no real benefit to hacking away the foreskin and decided that they weren’t going to pay for it. Guess what? Very few circumcisions happened after that. Ha… there’s that money talking again.

     Hell, even the Egyptians got into the act. The god, Ra, is supposed to have circumcised himself, and it wasn’t soon until it became all the rage. Men cutting off their own foreskins. Yeah… I’m not so sure about all that. There was something that I saw once about it being a big ceremony. I just can’t for the life of me seeing how a man would want to do that to himself, but then again, that’s me.
     Now a lot of this comes from ancient health conditions. Sand, poor sanitation and more than likely, just plain ol’ bad hygiene. Whatever the reason, it has been going on for thousands of years.

Docking. It can be kinda fun.

     As for me…
     I don’t mind an uncut cock. Well, let me follow that statement up with a clean uncut dick. There is nothing worse than having a smegma smelling, nasty dick around. Whew… that is some serious stank for sure.
     I did have one experience that I will share with you. Once upon a time, there was this very cute little bear who chased me for a while. I agreed to go out with him and then do the deed. As soon as he took his pants off I could smell it from across the room! I couldn’t get him out of the house fast enough. I think I used a whole can of Lysol to get the smell out of my bedroom. For some reason, he thought it was a turn on. Uh, not so much.
     Here’s a little joke for ya...

     Where does blue cheese really come from? Uncircumcised Smurfs, that’s where. 

     Yeah, that was bad, but still funny if you ask me. So there’s my scoop on cut vs. uncut. Did you learn anything? I think I did.
     Just so everyone is informed… My friend, TAT (The Aussie Tart) has been working hard in getting my stuff up on Smashwords. I had no idea how far that went or how involved it was. All I knew was that it was near impossible for me to deal with it. As you probably know, I can’t deal with all that technology stuff. As I’ve said before, it’s damn lucky I can turn this damn box on.
     Anyway, most everything I’ve written is now on Smashwords, which includes Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes as well as Scribb. ( I didn’t even know what that was.) Hope that helps y’all some. Spread the word to your book geek friends if you don’t mind.
     Did you know that sometimes just listening to someone is doing them a huge favor? Yep, that can get you a few Karma Coins in the bank. Being a friend who is willing to offer a shoulder to cry on, let your ear be bent, is just as important at times as is helping the little ol’ lady cross the street. Be kind. Listen. Be objective and do the best that you can. Be good to one another.
     That’s about all there is folks.
     Hope you have a grrreat week. Knock ‘em dead.

I need to know where this bar-barber shop is!