Top to Bottom Reviews posted a very nice review of Son of a Gun here. I've never been able to write reviews well and I'm always impressed when a reviewer displays the ability to succinctly summarize and critique over two hundred pages in a few paragraphs. It's its own art form for sure.
I've been blog light lately because of family drama. Hoping to get it together soon with news of the next book.
Oh, and THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!
A re-edited, re-formatted 'Son of a Gun' is now available from Loose id here. There's a little bit more added to the ending as well. And check out the pretty new cover. There will be a contest in the next week to win a free ebook version, for those of you who may have bought the original, but are still interested in reading this one. I wanted to give you a chance to own it without having to pay for it.
More info will follow shortly. Meanwhile, huzzah for release day!
On the nhl.com website there is a Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge that one can enter every year just before the puck drops in the first game of the first series. I ALWAYS play it. I ALWAYS think I know absolutely positively who is going to win each series. Well, except for a few wild cards that is.
The Blues are up two games on the LA Kings! Last years Stanley Cup Champions look surprised out there. Their supermagical must-have-signed-a-deal-with-the-devil-goalie, Jonathan Quick, gave the first game away. Last night? Was close and the Kings have a history of coming out ahead on close games. But they didn't. Surprise!
Detroit beat Anaheim last night. That's a series I believe could go either way. The Red Wings are a mere ghost of what they once were but they still have a coach who knows how to win. And they still have that faith that comes of being on a team that makes the playoffs every year and frequently wins the cup. That counts for a lot in a fast and hard sport.
Minnesota's goalie was out during warm ups so Josh Harding, who is currently struggling with MS, had to step in at the last moment. Chicago barely beat them. Good for Josh!
I think Toronto should just be allowed to go home quietly. The Bruins are going to kill them out there. BUT I COULD BE WRONG. A miracle could happen. Toronto could suddenly find the pride of all Canada somewhere deep in their guts and rise up and thunk them. Wouldn't that be something to see?
And that's what I love about the playoffs. ANYTHING can happen. It's as exciting as Basketball, as romantic as Baseball and as brutal as any sport can get. I may not win that danged Bracket Challenge but so far it's looking like a really awesome playoff year.
WARNING WARNING This blog may, for the next several weeks, contain irrational, badly spelled and grammatically challenged diatribes, rants, moanings and groanings, unabashed chortlings, uncensored cursing, and quite a bit of trash talk about various creatures such as Red Wings, Blackhawks, Senators, Ducks and Canucks.
Never fear. AM Riley will return to a semblance of sanity once the Stanley Cup Playoffs have subsided. This is only a temporary interruption of your regularly scheduled blog posts.
If any of you have read 'The Elegant Corpse', you have met my friend. He was one of the characters in the book. I always imagined him as a decrepit horny old man, but sadly he didn't make it to that. He was fifty one and had less than a month after his diagnosis to wrap up his life. He did it with charm and bravado and every photograph of him at the end shows him smiling in that self-deprecating shy way of his.
This sort of thing is always a shock and I've been in a sort of daze, not able to shake it. It helps to talk about him, to remember him, to read his facebook page and the articles here and there about him. He left quite a legacy of photographs behind. He chronicaled much of the gay leather scene out here, and his friends are currently working to make sure his last body of work is shown at the next Pride week. There is something wonderful about someone who takes their passion and makes a career of it.
Which brings me to next reaction we often have to an untimely death. That 'what the hell am I doing with my life?' reaction. Especially since I knew him professionally and he was the one who said 'aw fuck it' and made the leap of faith to chase his dream.
I heard about his death while at work, and while I was still reeling a bit and trying to pull it together, a particularly bitchy coworker, who seems to live to make people unhappy, sent an email about some stupid trivial issue which does not matter to anyone and I'm pleased and yet a little ashamed that I managed not to pack it in and walk out.
I mean, seriously, we are just ants, moving around our little bits of earth for reasons that only seem important, but really aren't. And some ants are even more messed up than others. Some are mean, some are homicidal and violent. Given how small we are and how short life is it seems obscene.
Jay was kookie, kinky and lived in an uncompromising way with who he was and what he believed. I wish I had his courage.
RIP buddy. I hope you are currently residing in an optimally fitted out heavenly dungeon filled with beautiful men.
A newly edited Son of a Gun will be released by Loose Id next month. There have been a few tweaks and a bit of a longer ending (only a bit!) There will be a sequel this year as I found it hard to let Stefan off that easily.
Around my fourteenth year a librarian saved my life.
I don't think that is an exageration. I was introverted, too sensitive and bookish. My family life was dysfunction inc. In a small conservative town, I had no one to really talk to and knew nobody like me. I was a weirdo, as my piers frequently told me. A freak. I was overly smart and one of three girls in the excellerated programs. I wore oversized shirts and boys sneakers and no make up.
That librarian saw me and KNEW. And she gave me some books that showed me people like me, or people who were different, succeeding, finding happiness. You know... not self destructing. Rubyfruit Jungle, Death Trick, The Catch Trap. And a LOT of science fiction because in space nobody cares how you get your freak on.
I read a few books on my own, too. Torchsong Trilogy, Maurice, The Front Runner. There is a lot of fairly good lesbian pulp fiction but I didn't have access to that until I was older. Many of the books were sad and angry. I understand that that is a story that needs to be told, but here's my problem with the sad books. All too often lesbian and gay characters are made to die young. They MUST die young. The only way to deal with any sensitivity to an aberration and still keep society safe is to kill the practitioner. So you see you can show a gay person as kind and valuable but you have to make sure they die. Otherwise you have to make a choice. Society or the gay. That idea was planted in me by those sad books and I spent a good chunk of my early adulthood terrified waiting for the lightning to strike.
Just like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' we can't let the outlaws flourish. We can tell their story and portray them with humanity but they can't 'win'.
I hate that.
I have to say that nameless librarian, may she spend eternity in heaven, never handed me one of the sad books. She must have known better.
Hope your holidays were festive and filled with family and friends. Hope your New Year is everything you wish it to be.
About this time of year, as I sweep out all the closets and put away the Christmas ornaments for another year, I remember the people from the last year. Some are personal, friends and family members whom I expected to be here still and am feeling their absence particularly today. Some are strangers who were in the news but whose deaths particularly touched us all.
One of those is Gore Vidal, who passed last year. I've been reading his books this week as a kind of in memoriam. Last night I finished 'The City and the Pillar'. Besides being a very insightful journey in the mind of a gay man before the rights movement, it also has a universal theme. The love he felt in adolescence (and he never thinks of it as 'love', it is much more elemental than that), motivates almost all of his early adult life. When this is shattered it is as if the foundation of everything is removed. All he has left is self loathing and fear. Not the best thing to read during the dark and sometimes depressing days following Christmas, but definitely a good book for the New Year, when I traditionally think about my life and what the hell I think I'm doing here.
It is also appropriate as I finish "If Not for You" which is a very nostalgic book about youth and cynicism and confronting the past.