Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
"I am not a feminist," said my friend [not naming names, let's call her 'Q']. She lay her credit card (which has her maiden and married name on it) on the tray. She is paying for lunch today. She can afford it. She's been working union for almost twenty years, steadily.
We worked together for about seven of those, so I know quite a bit about Q. Her husband, through no fault of his own, has been only working sporadically for years. She has two kids, one of whom was in company run daycare almost from birth. She supports her family and makes a pretty damned good wage.
Did I make a speech when she made that ridiculous statement? No. Because I was stunned.
I like Q. She's kind and smart and a decent human being. How can she sit there reaping the benefits of years of political strife and personal grief on the part of other women and deny affiliation with them?
Wouldn't that be something like a person of color claiming not to support de-segregation, or having the vote? I mean what the fuck?
I went home from that lunch deeply depressed. But then my daughter pointed out, "Q is old. Old people are stupid."
Which brings me to The Children.
On occasion, I come down for breakfast to discover a young person sleeping on my couch. Currently, we have one of those. Big heap of blankets, foot sticking out of them that is definitely a boy's foot. He came with a backpack, a blanket, a laptop and a 60 pound dog who I find, much to my dismay, has problems with gas. He works nights while pursuing a GED. He's bright, polite and a so-called 'good kid'. Why he needs to borrow sofa's is an odd little story but it's not what you'd think. He isn't a runaway, doesn't have some horrible abusive childhood.
My daughter, who would have been at home running an Inn in the Middle Ages along the pilgrimage route, finds these people, brings them here. We feed and entertain them. Sometimes they hang around. I don't mind. They give me hope for the future.
Because, and here's I think the core issue, they have a basic innate respect for other creatures. They haven't grown up learning to bury their feelings in a hodge podge of poorly thought out rhetoric. I hear them down there playing their video games and when one of the guys calls another a 'faggot' he immediately gets trounced by his piers who explain to him in linear simple common sense detail, why that word is out of line. Because it's mean. Mean=bad. Simple.
Of course then it becomes a joke and he calls himself 'faggot' periodically.
If you saw the kids protesting in the streets after Prop 8 was passed, some of those were these children. Not because they are gay or have a friend who is gay or because Emily's mom said they should (god, no, when I saw one of them on the news, I was immediately on the cellphone telling him to get his ass out of there before he got hurt). But because they know on a gut simple level, that the proposition was wrong. They don't need a degree in law or a convoluted sermon from some minister to prove this. Its obvious. Its mean and its inhumane and that's what these kids are against.
They are feminists. In the way that any humanist would naturally be a feminist. They respect the women in their group and expect the same adult behavior from them that they would from themselves. Its obvious, its logical.
Old people are stupid.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I've got another complex murder mystery featuring Bill Turner, his partner and Christopher, in edits at the moment. Different sort of book, but Bill and Christopher's story is advanced somewhat. Not sure when we will be done with it. I unloaded the whole mess on my editor and then ran away laughing bwahaha.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Benton. He came from the Pasadena Humane Shelter. They tell me he was part of a pack of dogs found wandering in the hills. Theory is these dogs are bred to fight and when they are too passive, or too beta to fight, they are released to starve or make their way somehow. Benton was covered with scars and bitter when I got him. Now he's my best friend in the world. Sometimes he comes in the room and just sits there and looks at me with melty eyes like, 'oh my god, i love you so much'.
Bella. She was seen running back and forth across a four lane highway at midnight. Who would abandon a 7 pound bundle of adorableness? Benton wasn't too sure about her for awhile. After all, I was his one and only human and he didn't want to share. But nobody can resist Bella.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wonderful language and world building.
Ethan's dreamed about Jell since they were adolescents, and now he might have a chance to live a few of those fantasies, but he's got a lot of other troubles at the moment.
A derailed career, his disappointed parents, who expected a heterosexual doctor for a son, not a gay man who has flunked out of med school. An enigmatic FBI agent Uncle who wants to use Ethan's friendship with Jell for his own purposes, to name a few.
Ethan is a sincere, passionate main character whom I instantly adored. It is easy to understand what he sees in Jell, who ends up being more than just a pretty face and a hot body. The action is fast and exciting and the sex was sizzling. A great read.
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This is the MAGIC bunny. See his blue sparkly magic wand? See his weirdly myopic eyes? Magic!
Magic bunny has been waving his sparkly wand at me from over there in the orchid window all winter but now it's time to take him out and show him around Los Angeles. More later...
We had the World Championship here in Los Angeles. (this was before he won the Gold in Vancouver) The photo is awful, but don't the photographers look like priests worshipping at the shrine of youth and beauty.
Wait, there was a song like that.. "Sacred" by Depeche Mode?
Okay, back to the book. Who wants a classic manor who done it set in the Redwood National Forest with metaphors buried in it?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso
Yes, I'm procrastinating. I've hit a particularly difficult part of the book and that blank page is starting to drive me mad. I keep filling it with images instead of words. argh.
But, since I'm on the subject of trying to write, I'd like to suggest John Gardner. Anything by John Gardner, but specifically "October Light". Recently, I wrote a short blog for Elisa Rolle about my top ten books and for some unforgivable reason I neglected to mention this book or anything by John Gardner. Who also wrote 'Grendal' which everyone has to read at some point. NO, you simply must. Currently, I'm re-reading his book "The Art of Fiction" which is gentle but irresistable, like erosion.
And now I've got to get back to work.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I did. I think I created a logjam with my poem. My blogging skills are still somewhat limited.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Tomorrow there will be a free give-away and promotion on 'Stumbling Over Chaos', for Son of a Gun I will post links to it as soon as they are available.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hurt Hawksby Robinson Jeffers
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I’d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bones too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him for six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the oldImplacable arrogance.
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed,Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers;
but whatSoared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
Every single one of Jeffers' poems make me sad and angry and yet I recognize something beautiful through them. He is best known as the poet who lived and wrote about Big Sur. He lived a passionate life, stole a married woman away from her civilized husband, lived in a rock tower built by hand from the stones of Carmel. He fell out of favor in the public schools for a time, maybe we didn't want to teach our children about women who rebel against the cruelty and power. Or maybe his seeming mysanthropy,
But he is now regaining popularity with environmentalists.Jeffers loves the wild places, metaphorical and physical. He doesn't much love the human race when it congregates and becomes 'civilized'. Still, he sees something of value in living:
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Saturday, April 10, 2010
by the way, I live in L.A. and it's not yet noon on a Saturday. One eye is still shut, I keep dozing off mid-sentence and I probably won't remember a word of this in a few hours.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I now have a Smashwords author page
Where you may find "Of the Clan O'Grady" my very first m/m book that was published over six years ago and is now out of print.
The good news? Is I've actually had a sequel moldering away on my computer. Faeries, amoral and strange and running amock in New York City. I know. They are almost indistinguishable from the humans. And that's the point.
Smashwords also allows you to sample a percentage of the book, so check it out!
Son of a Gun is now available at MLR Press!
|978-1-60820-117-4 (print) $14.99|
|978-1-60820-118-1 (ebook) $6.99|
|Release Date||April 2010|
|Cover Artist||Deana C. Jamroz|
Politics, drugs and secrets from the past collide in the town of Boerne Texas and end in a chase across the Devil's Backbone.
Stefan Sanchez number one reason to leave Texas was closeted deputy Chet Blain. When Stefan returns for the funeral of his best friend, he is confronted by painful memories, Chet's recriminations, and a hunky Secret Service agent who seems determined to make Stefan's business his business.
I grew up on The Hardy Boys books and this book is a little bit of an homage to them. And a little bit of a slash on them as well, since I always KNEW Frank and Chet were longing for each other. Didn't you? Anyway, its erotic but wholesome if that is at all possible. And the hero is one of my favorite sorts. Here's an excerpt:
which is NOT WORK SAFE
The place hadn’t changed at all. It smelled strongly of jasmine and grass, tufts of cottonwood floating in the moonlight. And it might have been the memories, or it might have been that famous reaction of the male libido to death, or maybe it was the habit of self-hatred that the place engendered, but Stefan found himself walking closer to Chet, their hands and shoulders now occasionally bumping until, when Chet turned toward Stefan, his eyes quickly scanning the clearing in which they stood, Stefan just stepped into Chet’s arms as if they hadn’t been separated for seven years.
“I can’t believe how long it’s been,” said Chet, when they parted for air. Instead of answering, Stefan lifted his head and found Chet’s mouth again. Soft short hairs under his fingers, Chet’s lips firm and knowing, hands solid on Stefan’s hipswhile he waited for Stefan to break and make the first move.
For seven years, Stefan Sanchez had worked the West Hollywood social scene with a cool cynicism, negotiating every encounter so coldly that he’d acquired a sort of reputation as a prick tease and a player. Stefan Sanchez broke for no man.
Now, hands shaking and sweaty, Stefan unbuckled Chet’s belt, opening his slacks, fingers eager and sure with memory as Chet murmured a tongue-filled approval and his stiffening cock slid into Stefan’s hand.
“Missed the feel of your hand,” Chet said, roughly.
Stefan’s habit of bending his knee was stronger than his will to resist it. Chet tasted exactly as he always had. The feel of his belly under Stefan’s tongue inextricably intertwined with the memory of smoky barbeques and fireworks. Salty damp painted Stefan’s cheek as he nuzzled clean, practically hairless sacs and then, aware that he resented the hand gently urging him—but not fighting it—he tilted his face sideways and took Chet’s cock into his mouth. Stefan let the pleasure override his mind and only pulled off when he heard a condom wrapper being opened. Chet was breathing hard, white belly flushed pink above his opened boxers. He rolled the condom over his prick then threaded his fingers, again, into Stefan’s hair.
“God. Your mouth,” Stefan heard him whisper.
When he’d finished, Chet urged Stefan up, cradling him with one arm, as he pulled at Stefan’s cock.
“Look at me.”
No, thought Stefan, eyelids lifting so his gaze was locked with Chet’s.
“Christ, the way you look,” breathed Chet and his mouth covered Stefan’s again, so he had to feel the little groan Stefan issued as his come pumped obediently out onto the ground.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."
'The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner' World War II poem by Randall Jarrell
This week, a prolonged comment exchange with Josh Lanyon, brought me back to my 'home base' - i.e. 20th century poets, especially 20th century American poets. I've decided to babble about them for a few months, choosing one poet each week. I'm posting these psuedo 'reviews' on my blog as well.
I chose Randall Jarrell as my first poet, because he was a reknowned critic as well. I consider him the bar to which all critics and reviewers of literature should aspire. Firstly because poetry is extremely difficult to critique. Usually, the critic is reduced to some sort of opinionated diatribe. "I liked this poem because" sounding like a fifteen year old essayist. Or "so-and-so's lyrical blah blah , masking confusion in a litany of terms that really say nothing.
Jarrell seemed able to understand what the poet was trying to accomplish and to point out where he/she had both failed and succeeded in this attempt. Awesome, useful amazing critiques.He was also an outspoken pacifist and a friend of most of the contemporary American poets of note. (a small circle of alternately supportive and critical literary giants. a very very very small circle. You and I would never be invited to their parties.) Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Adrienne Rich, to name a few.
Jarrell's note to the poem aboveI also chose Jarrell because he didn't survive the depression, alcoholism and despair that seems to have been the fate of so many poets in the past. His death, hit by a car while out walking, was officially ruled an accident but was generally felt, by those that knew him, to be a suicide.
A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24,
and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small
man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his
bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his
little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which
attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a
It is my belief that 20th century poets began to 'get a grip' and more and more of them fought hard to survive with their sensibilities intact.
Jarrell was, obviously, a pacifist. He spent time in prison as a concientous objector and wrote two books of poems based on his stay there. All of his poems and quite a few of his best critiques are in this 'complete works'. He wrote poems that stuck in the head of anyone and the poem above has been used and quoted in many anti war and pacifist books and pamphlets.
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