Monday, May 28, 2012

Silence is Golden, Golden... except when it's NOT!

Silence from me can normally mean two things, maybe three. I'm depressed, I'm reading, or I'm writing. In this case it is kind-of #3. I AM writing, albeit slowly, but most importantly I am THINKING about what I need to write. Sometimes that takes silence.

Of course, silence in the submission department can be good and bad. Bad because I HATE waiting, but good because I'm not rejected YET! LOL.

I am working on a new book. Not sure what "genre" this will be in. Not sure how it will shape up. But at least you all out there know what I am up to. I'm up to "something" just not sure what. My writing takes time, most of the time. WLINE and MRJWC both took about 2-3 months. TCOL was a n exception to that and took 9 to write and it's still not published!

I am a person with loads of stories in my head at the same time. Although I am currently writing the one with no known destination or genre to categorize it in, I am also contemplating another m/m contemporary romance. I have characters in mind. I can see them. I hear some voices which is a good thing. I have some plot sketched out. I may write that one as I write the other one. The "undetermined one" is more personal. I am trying to capture my life and trials in it. Although WLINE & TCOL do that in some sense, this new book is going to be more controversial and hopefully more mainstream. (Probably no sex in it.) I know having a "dream" of seeing you book on a shelf in Walmart seems like a hokey dream, but I'd seriously  like that to happen eventually. I do NOT see Target carrying m/m romance anytime soon. They can carry Harliquin romances but not Dreamspinner! So unfair!!! So I am going to try and write something with a broader net. If it doesn't work, I can alter it (probably) into m/m romance, but I am going to give it my best shot!

See, I have this vision. I have passion over gay-rights. I have conviction over gay-marriage, I have a desire to change the world's view of homosexuals! The Blog Hop against Homophobia was cool! It helped me thing about way more aspects of this global problem than I had before, But I can't let my thoughts stop with a blog-hop. I want more! So I am writing a book. It's what I do. I'm an author.

I have a friend... "Dude" from another blog weeks ago. "Dude"/ "friend" has been such a terrific surprise in my life. He is also a writer and we share similar thoughts. I am enjoying our friendship and it is spurring me on to write deeper still! WLINE was deep, but I have more to give. "Dude" is helping me see that!

There is so much wrong in the world! I hate it. I hate no being myself 24/7. I want to just be me everywhere I go. But the world and it's fear and narrowmindedness suppress me, suppress you, suppress "Dude"!...  We have a voice and it needs to be heard. Governments need to change. They aren't going to change if we stay silent. If the suppressed fear the judgement, and ridicule. We have to ban together and be brave. I admit, I am not. I hide behind a computer and write. But the more my books are read the closer I am to being outted anyway. It is only a matter of time before someone I know in my town reads WLINE (or this new one I'm writing) and says, "Hey! Didn't YOU write this?" Then It will be out there. I won't be able to change that and I will have outted myself, but at least it will not have been in vain. Some things NEED to be said and if it is a novel form with (potentially) millions of readers, I will not feel alone and isolated in my vision. I hope to find support. Gay-rights is only a simple way to phrase it. The deeper issue is bullying, and harassment and imprisonment and bashing, etc.... People need to be seen as people! We are all human and we have inalienable rights! Staying silent for fear of being the next victim is NOT golden, it's black as death. When I am the next one to be judged in my community, I hope to find "dude" and other people standing beside me in the fight for what is right!

that's all for now!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank you to all

I am really pleased with the first "blog hop" I've participated in. There were over 250 people who posted blogs to raise awareness and wipeout homophobia. (I wrote about fear.) A special thanks needs to go out to all the people who stopped by and left comments. My goodreads post had 158 views which I believe is one of the highest I've received yet. I had 30 people leave comments! 30! That is really very cool.

Many of you had some wonderful things to say about my post and insightful observations which I am grateful for. Thank you.

As promised I picked a winner among those who commented. Two actually since people left comments on both my Blogspot blog and on They were picked at random.

Michele Montgomery & Kaje Harper

I am not sure if either of you have read When Love Is Not Enough so I will post this and you can comment to let me know. (Or if you already own it and didn't read it yet.) If you do I can offer you a copy of the very next book I publish.

I was very glad to hop around on different author's pages. I will admit, I did not visit ALL 250+. It takes time to read each one. I DID read very many and more than I left comments on. I found several to be educational in the fact that the author brought to mind somethings I'd never thought of before. So thank you.

Currently I am in a state of _____ something. Not sure of the word to use to describe it but I bet it matches the rain that is falling outside my window. I have loads of ideas in my head but I am very uncertain as to which idea to run with first. I am waiting for inspiration and the surge of desire to write to come on strong. I has done that before and I am confident the right words will come when they are ready.

For my small group of faithful fans, fear not. I'm good. Quiet, but good. I'm at a low point but the sun always shines eventually. And then I'll be back yammering about my next MS.

Until then, chin up!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia

I don't normally do a blog post on consecutive days but this is a special day. This is a day set aside as the "International Day Against Homophobia"according to Since I am against homophobia I decided to join the efforts made by some 262 plus people who also feel strongly led to end this.

Some years ago I took an "Anger Management" class due to some apparent issues my boss at the time thought I had. LOL I don't even remember what I did. Either it was blacked-out of my memory or it was so insignificant to me that it doesn't matter and therefore my brain dismissed it. Whatever the reason, the event is gone but the memory of taking the class still sticks with me. Why? Because I remember the teacher saying that anger is a secondary emotion. He said, "Anger never comes first. Anger," he explained, "is a byproduct of another emotion. Anger results from fear."

Fear is what I believe fuels the fires of so many wars.

Fear of the unknown keeps people trapped in their safe little sub-divisions. The world seems like a big scary place and huddling in one's own two-story colonial with its white picket fence and a dog in the back yard is comforting. We don't want to know about the wars oversees. We don't want to know about the killings in a neighboring city; we like safe, we cling to warm and fuzzy. But the problem is that the world is an ugly place. People are shot for a pair of shoes! So while homophobia is disturbing, it should not be surprising. Yet it is, because people choose to wear painted glasses that make the world out to be full of love. Wake up, people. The world is not over-flowing with chocolate fountains of love. It's full of hatred and FEAR!

When I was growing up, there were gunshots down the street. It wasn't a safe neighborhood, but I was okay. One day my brother (younger than myself) came home crying. Some kids shoved him off his bike WHILE HE WAS RIDING IT and stole it out from under him. Lucky for him, two other kids were playing basketball nearby and saw what happened. They knew my brother and came to his rescue. They ran after the guys who stole the bike and took it back for him. This was an act of kindness in retaliation to the act of violence. Why did they take it in the first place? I don't know. People always want what others have. Success, popularity, wealth, clothes, chickens, a published novel, you name it. I think they get angry and blame society for the fact that they don't have it-whatever IT is. But what is lurking under the surface of of covetousness? I propose it is FEAR. Perhaps the kids who stole my brother's bike feared never having one of their own, perhaps from poverty, and decided to act out of hatred and anger to get what they desired.

I am being philosophical to make a point. FEAR drives people to do any number of things. And I believe people are homophobic out of fear. They don't understand someone's attraction to the same sex and they see it as a disease. On Wikipedia it defines Homophobia as: "a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality or people who are identified as or perceived as being LGBT. Definitions refer variably to antipathycontemptprejudice, aversion, and irrational fear." I like that last bit "irrational fear." What fears ARE rational? Fear of bees? Fear of heights? But fear of a homosexual is completely irrational in my book!

And WHY is that? WHY are people afraid of homosexuals? Aren't they people like everyone else?

A friend of mine at Kaleidoscope Trust told me about injustices in Nigeria where people are being jailed because they dared to text someone they cared about who happened to be the same gender. TEXTED!!! What the F*** people? Did we sink so low as a human race that we jail people for texting because they might possibly be gay? Oh my God!

So yeah, I think it all comes back to fear! People don't know how to handle their own misunderstanding and ignorance so they lash out in anger because they are afraid to admit they don't understand. Wouldn't it be easier to get to know someone you don't understand first? If I wanted to know about Ball Pythons I wouldn't run in fear when I saw them. I'd ASK an expert: "Hey, is that snake poisonous?" (To which the reply would be, "NO. And by the way the term is 'venomous'.") I think the same fear applies to tattoos and piercings but that is just an observation...

To squelch the FEAR in our nation and around the world we need to help people understand that homosexuality is not a choice, and it's not a disease. It's they way people are made. (And I believe God makes people but that is another discussion.) Homosexuals are people just like everyone else. He is short, she is smart, this guy has blue eyes, and that girl is gay. It is a trait of the person, why are you afraid of that? What is the solution? hahhahhaaa. (ROFL) Um, people are evil and do stupid things ALL THE TIME! I think the solution is LOVE but I also do not see that people act out on love as much as they like to talk about it. The Bible says, "perfect love casts out fear." But how do you love perfectly? Another "I don't know!"

I FEAR all the time! In fact I was thinking of writing a book on fear! I live it. I cower and I find it hard to just be MYSELF. It is because I am afraid of society. I am afraid of judgement. I am afraid of someone attacking that human part of me they THEY are afraid of. I don't have solutions. But I am trying to make a difference one person at a time. And as I read in DC Juris' blog this morning, "Because that's how change happens - one small victory at a time." That is what I think sums it up!

Thank you for stopping hopping by!

NOW... what you and I are obligated to do--since this is a hopping contest.
I am supposed to offer you the reader a "prize for stopping by". I also encourage you to look around the other 262 blog posts and enter each contest. You could get lucky! All you have to do to win is leave a comment. the entries are accepted between NOW and May 20th. On May 21st I will pick a RANDOM winner from the comments on this blog. (I will link this to my goodreads blog so you MAY leave comments there too!)
To the winner I will give a pdf copy of When Love Is Not Enough. IF YOU ALREADY HAVE IT, I can offer to give you a pdf of the very next book I publish. (I have TWO submitted right now.)

So please, leave me some thoughts. (I'm afraid of what you might say.)

Spread the word and END homophobia!


Me and Stephen King

First of all, I've never met him. Second we have nothing in common, and everything in common. I am currently reading On Writing. This is the second time I've tried to read it. I think my first attempt was back in 2007 (maybe) when I was first starting out in the daunting task of editing a manuscript. I had finally found an editor and she was kind enough to show me how often I wrote in passive voice. I believe she was the one to recommend Mr. King's book. I say that the first time was an attempt because I faded before the middle of the book. It was boring and I didn't understand it. I came at it wanting an epiphany and all I got was his life's history. I thought, "This is supposed to be about writing, not an autobiography." Oh how naive I was.

I still am green but I can see definite progress in my thinking. I'm learning. (BTW, I'm a slow learner.)

This time around I was ready for the brilliance. And although I am not finished-I'm on page 122-I felt the need to pass on what little I have learned about writing and the meaningful amount of encouragement I've gained from Mr. King. (Thank you for your book, by the way.)

As I read On Writing and I find a passage here and there that strikes a cord in my brain, I highlight it! This is not something I do with every book I read, but with this one it seemed appropriate. My advice to every author (published or not) is to read this book again and highlight things. Then, years later, read it again. Your brain changes over time. Your thoughts and your outlook changes. His words will come at you differently each time. THIS TIME, Stephen King's life history put in prospective his challenges and his perseverance. In that regard we are both the same.

Every writer has to start somewhere. Whether they are the product of a single-parent family environment or they have all the tea in china, writers begin somewhere. NO ONE starts off writingThe Shining in his first go-round. (And I am not educated enough to think of writers on the equivalent as Mozart writing a symphony) BUT the writers who eventually DO write The Shining, and Carrie,etc... WORK to do it. It takes time, talent, and tenaciousness. (I like alliteration.) To be a writer means you WILL be rejected. But what you do with that rejection will shape how you look at your art.

I'm learning that most writers are extremely critical of their own stuff. Even Stephen King said he threw Carrie into the trash! If that is not encouragement right there I do not know what is! In his book he says things like, “I have spent a good many years since--too many, I think--being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all.” (pg. 50) I highlight these lines to remind myself I am not alone in these thoughts. People DO and have made me feel lousy about what I write.

I was at a dinner party last year and I was excited about When Love Is Not Enough because it was accepted by Dreamspinner and would finally get published. One person at the party asked about it. (She was an aspiring author and I am not sure as yet of she is published.) When I gave her a description she said something to the affect of, "Oh, you mean you are publishing crap." That comment stuck with me. She thought it was crap because it had sex in it. She thought it was crap because it was not a mainstream book. She thought it was crap because I didn't have a literary agent. Maybe in the eyes of most of the literary world it IS crap, but it is crap that means the world to ME! And not just me, When Love Is Not Enough has meant something to its readers.

This is MY beginning. Stephen King had the sci-fi mags and the short stories he wrote when he was young. He started writing very young where as I DID NOT. (I think I was in high school and beyond when writing became a passion.) He started and he kept on going because it was in his bones. NONE of us know who the next Stephen King will be. Do we? The world didn't know who he was when he was 10, but most of the world does now! Writers have a beginning and as they take each step into the dark unknown they have to have faith in their dream.

As I have seen elsewhere on the internet, "Most people are not cut out to be astronauts, some are going to be fry-cooks." The same can be said of authors. Not everyone out there is going to write a novel as acclaimed as Gone With The Wind, or The Godfather, but how do we know unless we start?

Stephen King is an amazing author who takes us on HIS personal writing journey in On Writing The book is to show how he was formed. His talent was there, but the book explains in his mind how his craft was shaped over time.

If the gift is in us, we owe to ourselves to put it to use. We must learn and grow and and put to page the stories that form in our minds.

As I write, I have also learned that only other writers appreciate the creativity and loneliness that being an author brings. "Outsiders" want to know where we get our ideas and how we write. But only authors know that sometimes there are no answers for those questions. Sometimes the idea comes out of no where. Sometimes they are two ideas put together. Sometimes the story comes from a mutated for of a childhood memory. Whatever it is, only other writers appreciate it for the "unknown aspect" that it is. I am glad for those other writers I have met through the years. (Although not so happy about meeting the one who called my writing crap.)

I'd like to think I have something powerful to say. I want to reach the world. I want to let people know they matter and they are loved for WHO THEY ARE! If other people call that crap, maybe they just don't understand what it means to have a vision.

That is all I have to say for now. Leave comments, you know I love those!

PS: to all of those people who read and rate WLINE, Thank You! I TRY to "like" a review and read what people think, or even say "glad you liked it" when someone gives me 4 stars (or whatever) but I am finding it harder to do that. For some reason not all people who rate the book can be found. (Maybe it is a privacy setting?) But for those I can't thank personally, I DO THANK YOU! and I do notice.