Some Important Stuff, and Some Other Stuff (the week in review)


  • A fellow author, Eric Arvin,  is in the hospital. About to have, I am told, surgery on his brain stem. This is wicked scary, and he and his fiance, as I understand it, are far enough from home that his extended hospital stay (and I would imagine the associated bills) are going to be difficult. So a fundraiser has been started to help Eric and TJ with expenses, and if you’d like to help out you can contribute, here. (your donation can be kept anonymous, if you want)
  • Every day I crush a little harder on Hugh Howey. I confess I was once so down on self-pubbing. Then I published, both with a publisher and without, and compared results. There is still such an interesting stigma attached to doing so because as he points out we see “the slush pile” in self-publishing. The stuff that no publisher would have accepted goes up for sale without editing or attention to cover art, alongside some stuff that’ll really blow your mind. His response to Digital Book World’s survey about author income is very interesting and inspiring.
  • I have “Holly Jolly Christmas” stuck in my head. You’re welcome.
  • Yes, Sir is back on Barnes and Noble. Not sure why it disappeared, but it has returned. It can also (still) be found for the bite-sized price of .99 at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and ARe.
  • The paperback version of Stripped Clean is currently 11% off on both Amazon and B&N – it’s a vendor discount, so I’m not sure for how long they will be marked down, but I appreciate both Amazon and B&N putting it on sale. Also, if you get the paperback on Amazon, you can get the ebook for .99 instead of the usual 3.99.
  • I’m currently working on a) A nap b) the sequel for Stripped Clean and c) A collaboration with Riley Hart called Out of Bounds. You’ll notice the nap was first. Priorities. :)
  • An adorable YouTube video of kitten pictures, here.

Kurt Cobain thought he was gay?


What else could I say?
Everyone was gay.

–“All Apologies” – Nirvana

Nirvana was one of my favorite bands in high school. All those alternative punk bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s were a perfect soundtrack to my angry teenagerhood. This old interview, posted recently to the web site of one of my local radio stations, fascinated me. His pain, both physical and emotional, and the fact that he briefly questioned his orientation, spoke volumes about his music and why so many people connected to it. Maybe also why his life ended so tragically and so soon.

Hands Down


Because it’s stuck in my head… Actually, this song gets stuck in my head all the fucking time, and I never stop loving its passion. It reminds me of those heart-exploding moments in my life when everything held so much possibility. I started thinking this morning that the feel and the premise of this song (new, young love) probably explains why young adult fiction has exploded so much recently. The genre contains some of the darkest books I’ve read, but in tapping that darkness we access our deepest emotions, our passion, and then we find the dawn. Most of all, we return to a time when things felt so damn dramatic, and remind ourselves that we came out the other end more or less intact.

After all, those first loves, first kisses, even those tragedies, make us who we are.

 

Choose Your Publisher Carefully


I’m gonna try and make this quick… It might seem like a no-brainer but sometimes it needs to be said: Authors, think carefully before signing those publishing contracts. We put a great deal of love and care into our work, and we want very much for it to be seen, read, and appreciated. There are some fantastic publishers out there, both big and small, but you have to be patient enough to look carefully at who you are handing your work and your rights to. Please.

This article by Erica Pike outlines her particular experience with a small press that went very badly, and the warning signs she saw. I suggest your read it carefully, the warning signs in particular. Her experience is one I feel for, and one with which I can sympathize. I no longer advertise the anthology in which my very first short story appeared because beyond the initial (ten dollar) advance, I’ve never received a cent in royalties in the  two and a half years it’s been for sale. I don’t see a way in my contract to reclaim the rights, either. I wish in hindsight I’d stopped to think carefully before signing. I wish I’d examined the contract more carefully, but I was naive and excited to see my first story released.

Remember this: The first publisher to make you an offer is option A. As the saying goes, there are twenty-five other letters in the alphabet. So if the contract terms look fishy, if the publisher itself looks shaky or you’ve heard things from unhappy authors (not just the one guy with a bone to pick, but the same story across the board from many people should be a red flag), then walk away. Something I see with many small presses is a refusal to work with agents, because they refuse to negotiate their contracts. If the contract is simple and straightforward, that’s one thing. They don’t wanna raise the royalty rate? I might understand. But I’ve learned the hard way that some contract clauses can legitimately impede an author’s ability to earn a living (non-compete clauses for example), and that’s a different matter.  So proceed with caution.

Bottom line: If your story is your baby, then don’t just leave it with someone you found on Craigslist who doesn’t have references. Find a good, reputable caretaker.

OutWrite DC – Women Write Gay Erotica (or Romance)


ellis-guysrgb-color.jpg

Custom drawing by Reese Dante. ReeseDante.com

If you’re in the Washington DC area this coming weekend, I strongly encourage you to hit up the OutWrite book festival. It’s not as huge as some of the other LGBT reading events I’ve been to–nothing quite compares to the
Rainbow Book Fair in NYC–but it’s growing every year. This one looks like it’s gonna be interesting and fun. :)

This year I’m intrigued and excited to be a panel member of the Women Write Gay Erotica event (Friday night, August 2nd, 6:30 – be there!). I classify what I write more as romance than erotica (we can debate the differences if you want but that’s really a whole other post), but there are some blurred lines I suppose, and either way I’m always happy to be involved in a conversation about writing the stories I love.

The topic of women who love to write about men who love other men seems to be an ongoing source of fascination in particular. Perhaps because it’s slippery and tough to pin down, because the bottom line is that the reasons we women love to write gay romance (or erotica) are as many and varied as the women who write the subject matter. Multiplied by a factor of the characters we write.

But I’m rambling. Come join us this weekend, if you’re within traveling distance of U-street. It’s gonna be fun. There will be readings. And shenanigans. Plus, I know a really great bar down the street. 

This. So Much This.


I know, you’ve probably seen this video by now. I’m always so busy living in a cave that by the time I discover something it’s gone viral and people are all “stop showing it to me already.” But still, it’s beautiful. Honest and raw, and it connects me to a place I’d almost forgotten existed inside of me. That first crush I was afraid to give voice to. We pretty much all have one of those. I always swore I never wanted to write YA, but I have to tell you this video kind of makes me want to try.

Something to put on the list, I suppose.

What Happened to Boxer Falls?


BF-banner-400pxI’ve been asked a lot lately about Boxer Falls, and whether or not there will be a season 2. As of now, it has been decided that the answer is no. Boxer Falls was the big idea of Damon Suede and I was both thrilled and honored to be one of the drivers behind the series who helped map out the core characters and their bios, the town itself, not to mention having written 4 episodes of the series. I learned so much and made friends with many amazing authors I might not have gotten to know otherwise.

On the flip side, the whole endeavor of writing, editing, and coordinating guest authors every week was a bigger challenge than we anticipated. Once in awhile, seeing a character you loved taken in a new direction by a guest writer was a little (okay, a lot) heartbreaking. It was for me, anyway.

So after much debating and taking a temporary break the temporary break became permanent. We announced this in the newsletter and on the Boxer Falls web page, but I’m announcing it here as well in case some of you haven’t yet gotten the memo. If you haven’t gotten to read all the episodes and still want to, everything is available online at BoxerFalls.com/Reruns.

More soon!

Love, Ellis

Isn’t it romantic?


I have a secret confession: I love to watch wedding videos. Mine, my friends… Even people I don’t know. I love to go to the web sites of wedding videographers and watch their demo videos, because well made wedding videos capture the essence of the day, and the love shared between a couple so beautifully and perfectly. Being a witness to that bright, shiny, “nothing can shake it” kind of love makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I guess it’s no wonder I write romance. Even on my angriest, most cynical day, something like this can still reduce me to tears:

No clue who these guys are, but I absolutely adore them, and I adore the way their videographer captured the nuances of them together so beautifully. The guy fiddling with his ring and realizing the symbolism behind that day. It’s all so gorgeous. Love.

This video, by the way, was part of an awesomesauce Buzzfeed link making the rounds about the 50 most romantic moments of all time. You can check it out here. And I gotta tell you, if you get to the bottom of this thing without crying, your will is stronger than mine. :)

A few awesome things happened, too


The day of the Sandy Hook School shooting, I fell apart just like a lot of people. I cried, of course, over the shock and the horror of the children who died. For the parents who wouldn’t get to bring their babies home. And also, with the guilty relief that my children were still healthy and safe.

So for me at least, going into this holiday season has been bittersweet and very emotional. I just wanted to take a minute to think about a few good, happy things that I knew had taken place in the world as I knew it, that were worth focusing on. Because we all need the good:

  • OneRepublic is raising money for Sandy Hook: Sometimes the only good thing we can say about a tragedy is that it shows us the best parts of humanity. Rock band OneRepublic started a fundraiser to help the families who need money for funerals, therapy bills, and missed time from work get back on their feet. They also started the fund by kicking in $20,000 of their own money. I decided that instead of rushing around to buy last-minute Xmas gifts this year, I would donate money in honor of each person I hadn’t yet bought a gift for. If you’d like to donate you can do so here.
  • A USMC captain proposed to his partner at the white house. I started following Matthew Phelps on twitter shortly after DADT was repealed, I think someone re-tweeted his triumphant declaration about how he could finally serve openly and I happened to spot it in my timeline. I congratulated him, he said thanks. So I started following his blog, etc… Captain Phelps writes a lot on his personal blog about his personal experiences both serving under DADT and what has happened after, and his stories have been really eye-opening and informative for me as a civilian. The personal experiences he’s shared changed not only gave me a clearer understanding of DADT but gave me a higher degree of respect for those who serve in the military. So even though I never had the chance to meet him personally, the information he shared was important to me personally, and obviously important on a grander scale. I appreciate his hard work and his service, and wish him and his partner a lifetime of happiness.
  • A man celebrates a homeless woman’s birthday with her. People who usually are forgotten enjoy celebrating birthdays too and I’d wager most of never think twice about this sort of thing. The video is in Spanish and mine is rusty but seeing her excitement is still beautiful.
  • The Bridegroom and Fearless Projects both got their funding on KickStarter. The nasty little secret about Kickstarter is that if you set a funding goal and don’t reach it, you don’t get any money. Bummer. So I’m a little biased because I contributed to both projects and helped campaign to raise funds for them, but I am really encouraged that both of these projects got fully funded this year: The Bridegroom project was another hopeful light that came out of tragedy. A young man who lost his partner and plans to tell their story to help further the cause of marriage equality. Fearless is a decade-long photo documentary project about brave “out” LGBT athletes in high school and college. Both of these projects, I hope, will have positive social reach. I believed very strongly in their message and the people trying to accomplish them.
  • Husbands–I’ve been pimping this all over, because it’s funny as hell. And it’s the kind of funny you have to think about for just a second, which I utterly adore. Plus, the funny is now also in comic book form. Times like these, you need a good laugh. I’ve watched and re-watched (and read, and re-read) the husbands videos and comics a multitude of times and it’s never stopped being funny to me. Or making me go “awww.” Not many things you can say that about. You can check out the review I did of the Husbands comics at I Smell Sheep, here.
  • Boxer Falls – Boxer Falls was a joint collaboration thought up by Damon Suede, and coordinated by me, him, Poppy Dennison, and Brita Adams. The idea was to create a serial story set in the gay-friendly Berkshires and have a soap-opera theme that would allow for all sorts of fun and off the wall shenanigans to take place. We had some amazing guest writers from Mary Calmes and Amy Lane to Eden Winters and Ally Blue, Edmond Manning, Jacob Flores and Geoff Knight, Alix Bekins, etc. The list goes on. An amazing roster of guests who took readers on a roller coaster of break-ups, makeups, murders, kidnappings, and even wedding proposals. The interaction with the readers, getting to work side by side with the guest authors, stretching my editing muscles, getting to play with the challenge of working with characters who weren’t “mine…” was all very exciting. There were ups and downs, and sometimes Boxer Falls was a huge challenge, but sometimes it was huge fun, and more than anything I am grateful for the experience.

I could probably make this an even longer post, but I’m gonna end here. It’s Christmas eve and I’m gonna cuddle in bed with a book and be grateful that I can while I dream of Santa bringing me something amazing, like peace on earth, or gay porn.

I hope you have a beautiful holiday.

Love,

Ellis

…and then hilarity ensued.


So it’s National Coming Out Day. And I guess its like a lot of folks say, you come out over and over.  I can confess now that it took awhile to be absolutely sure I had a firm sense of who I was where I fit in the world. Still, I was out to friends, teachers, etc in high school. I wasn’t shy about expressing who I am. The job where I met my husband, I had brought female friends with me to office picnics and Xmas parties rather than come alone. I’m certain  that some folks assumed these these ladies were romantic partners, which didn’t bother me.

The one significant place in my life where I hadn’t been open? My parents.

I’d had the perfect opening at sixteen. My mother confronted me about the true nature of my relationship with my then girlfriend. I didn’t have the proverbial balls. I knew that I’d be in trouble for having sex at that age, my mother didn’t like my girlfriend much even just as someone I was friends with. I was embarrassed because the relationship was abusive and it wasn’t something I was ready to fess up to. I didn’t know what to do or say about any of that. Add to that, my father was (still is) a devout Christian and goodness knows he might have put in a call to his church so they could all pray the gay away. Gratefully, I didn’t fear for getting kicked out of home or anything. Still, I am tremendously in awe of the kids who are brave enough to come out at that age, because I’ll say it without reservation: I was not.

The thing is, eventually I broke up with that first girlfriend. Then I started dating a boy. Then I left for college, and my not so close relationship with my parents grew even more distant.There were lots of things I didn’t tell my parents. Lots. I once hit heavy turbulence over the ocean on my way to London, and thought to myself that perhaps I ought to have told someone in my family I where was going just in case the worst occurred. My family just isn’t close-knit and I rarely discussed any of my relationships save the two guys I ended up marrying. I look back on that and wonder if it was a cop-out, and maybe it was, but I also truly never had a long-term relationship with another woman that rated mentioning to Mom. Nothing crossed a holiday where we might visit family. No chance for “Oh, you like that? My girlfriend gave it to me,” even. Nada.

I finally came out to my parents a little over a month ago for an odd reason. I’m working on a project (they know I write gay romance) that has a military theme, and of course with that comes the subject matter of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. My father actually responded somewhat positively at first about the book, wanted to hear about the research I’d been doing. He’s former Army, so it was nice to have something to talk to him about. We have so little in common. A month later though, he called me back demanding to know why did I insist on writing this story?? (It was a story I’d been asked to write, but the thing is I was insisting because I loved the premise, and very much liked the person who asked me to write it. If you’re an author, you know you can’t do a book you’re not passionate about. There’s too much time and effort involved to do otherwise.)

So. There I am in the cat food aisle at the grocery store. My battery is about to die. It was 8am on a Saturday. I had to get home and make breakfast for my kids, and I’m confronted by my father wanting this explanation. He proceeded to spit out a bunch of  stuff about why he thought DADT shouldn’t have been repealed. How he’d prayed about the idea of homosexuals serving in the military. Fear-based, ignorance driven stuff, stemming from the horrifying notion that 30 years ago, he could have been camping out in a pup tent and the guy he was smished into that tent with might have reached out and grabbed him in an inappropriate way. I tried to stay calm, because I knew he was speaking from the same place of just not getting it that so many folks are, but wow. It was like how a pot all of a sudden boils over. Fast and furious anger.  I interrupted him so I could rebut his argument, and that was when my phone gave the beep and died.

“FUCK!” *queue a funny look from the lady nearby in greeting cards*

So there I was, in the pet food aisle at the grocery store, with a dead phone and anger rising and no place to put it. I wound up having to go home, charge my phone, play with my kids, talk to my husband (explain why yes, at 34 I do think I need to tell my parents I’m bisexual, because if I’m gonna have an argument with my dad about DADT, doing it as a member of the LGBT community is different than doing it as a straight ally, blah, blah…), and wait until the next day before I called my father again, which I did from the front seat of my car while I nervously chugged a giant cup of Starbux. I don’t remember exactly what I said. I laid out a bunch of reasons why I was so passionate about DADT. That I felt it destroyed lives, that it wasn’t executed in a fair manner, that people were singled out. That it forced people to lie and that said lying potentially damaged unit cohesiveness (that’s my opinion as a civilian, I also read similar opinions in interviews with people who had been deployed). The final shoe? I reminded him that when I was in college he’d tried to get me to consider joining the military and that because I’ve had relationships with women, that law would have applied to me.

Silence…stammering…

Eventually he got to the part where he told me I’d given him some things to think about and he still loved me. I was ready to pull out individual examples and if necessary, get into the biblical throwdown, but it didn’t come to that.

Granted, my father hasn’t spoken to me in about a month since. This is kind of significant since he used to make a point of touching base me every week. I’m doing my best to let it go.

My mom? She was pissed to find out that I actually HAD considered joining the military (I decided to save that argument for another time). I’m not sure she was as okay with the rest of it as she tried to pretend–she made an awkward joke about not wanting me to “go gay” toward the end of the conversation, but hell. Coulda been worse.

Eventually, the whole thing really was funny. At least to me. I couldn’t have anticipated that Saturday morning at the grocery store would have up-ended things as it did. It was an unexpected opportunity for honesty, and honesty is good. I don’t know how things will pan out with my dad, but I’m going to let that be his issue, not mine.

 The thing is, I do know that there was relatively little risk for me. I may have lost my relationship with my dad. That wasn’t so great to begin with, so while that hurts I know I’ll deal. I have a home, a network, and all that. I’m good. I’m grateful.

If, however, you happen to be a young person who is wrestling with coming out, or who bravely has, and you’re having a hard time with things, I’m gonna go ahead and plunk down the Trevor Project number and whatnot below. And for my part? Know you’re loved. You’re perfect the way you are, and it SO does get better. Trust me, if it didn’t I’d still be lying naked on my bed, weeping copiously and listening to Nirvana in the dark. *shudder* Eventually time takes the sting away and we all manage to make friends. Most of the assholes grow up. Mostly. :)

  • The Trevor Project website: Toll free: 1-866-488 7386

Things that make you go “awwww!”


 

Only FOUR DAYS left to pledge a donation to The Fearless Project! This is an amazing photo project that supports openly gay teen athletes. They are so close to their goal. Please help by contributing (it’s tax-deductible) or getting the word out! 

This week’s episode of Boxer Falls. a gaytime drama, was written by Edmond Manning. Edmond was left with a tough cliffhanger. Phil Boxer’s in the morgue–now what? He did a fabulous job with it. My favorite part though, was the scene with everyone’s favorite “it” couple, Quinn and Oz. Made me go “Aww!” like I was looking at a box of cute baby bunnies.

I stumbled across Edmond’s novel, King Perry, awhile back. It’s not your
traditional romance. More like what I’d call “with romantic elements.” The ending is positive but not a happily ever after. Still, there’s a love story in there, the plot and the writing are strong, and he has what I found to be a really fresh and unique voice. The tale itself was really moving and had an etheral, almost otherworldly quality to it which appealed to me as a paranormal author, even though the novel was a contemporary. So we were really thrilled that he was willing to take time from his busy schedule to contribute to Boxer Falls for us.

Speaking of gay soaps, I have been TOTALLY digging on the internet soap Husbands. Starring Brad Bell and Sean Hemeon as a famous power couple who gets drunk-Vegas married and has to stay that way for the sake of good PR, it is hilarious and sexy and extremely intelligent. And holy effing cow, the last episode of season two was sooo sweet! I got a little sniffly. (Baby bunnies again. AWWW!) You MUST watch if you haven’t already. You can find all the past episodes on YouTube, and their web site is here.

 

Fearless Project: Support Out and Proud LGBT Athletes


Photo by Jeff Sheng – FearlessProject.org

I nearly flunked high school gym class. No joke. My mother thought I was incredibly lazy. In truth, I put a great deal of effort into not participating. I was in a lesbian relationship for the first half of high school. I didn’t broadcast, but people knew. I was never seriously hurt, but there were shoves and threats, and that was just walking down the hall. Heaven forbid someone thought I looked at them funny in the locker room or touched them inappropriately while holding their legs for sit-ups or Lord knew what. Gym class made me anxious as hell. Participating in any kind of sport was never even an option as far as I was concerned. I really wanted to be a cheerleader. I convinced myself I wouldn’t have been any good anyway.

So I have a huge amount of respect and awe for any LGBT athlete who comes out at any point in their career, especially in their teen years when there is so much at stake. Kids can be cruel. Parents and teachers sometimes can be, as well.

My admiration extends to Jeff Sheng as well, whose photography work I find so inspirational. He’s done phenomenal photo exhibits covering subject matter like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the fence where Matthew Shepard lay dying. And for roughly the last decade, he’s also been working on a photo collection of hundreds of openly gay athletes which has gotta be as rewarding as it is exhausting. The Fearless Project is something personal for him–he was an athlete in high school, and quit because he thought he couldn’t be a gay in sports.

Even more, however, I really believe that this is a project that can bring an amazing amount of hope and awareness. The string of bullying reports and teen suicides isn’t so far back in our rear-view. The country is at a crossroads. Minds are changing and still more need to be changed, one hopes for the better. These kids, their bravery should be honored.

And the more this work gets out in the world, the more good it can do. I really believe that. Sheng has mostly been footing the bill on his own dime until now, and including the travel to all of the student athletes he visits. He’s got a little over a week to drum up a few grand more to complete the project or he forfeits everything that has been pledged. He’s self-publishing the project because no photography book publisher has been interested in publishing it. This is totally doable. Please help by supporting his Kickstarter project.

The big gay week in review (the big gay books, blog, movies, and soap!)…


(this started out as a short post, I swear) It’s back to school time. I lack organizational skills. I’m running low on Kona coffee. It’s Thursday when I thought it was Friday, yet again. *headdesk*I’ve got 2 books in-progress and another one plotted, and GAH! I don’t know when any of them will be done yet (and ogawd you guys, I so appreciate all of you who keep asking, I swear I’m working on it, I’ll have something for you soon. Hopefully now that the kids are in preschool I’ll have more time to work. I need an assistant. A babysitter. A brain transplant. Moar COFFEE!). *ahems* But hey! It’s all good, because as I look back on the week there have actually been some pretty interesting goings on:

  • Big Gay Blog Week – I participated in “Big Gay Blog Week” over at Lela Gwenn’s Full Frontal Fantasy blog, and wrote an article on why I see romance as a positive thing for the LGBT community.
  •  Big Gay Books - Steamroller is out, by Mary Calmes. I love Mary’s books on a lot of levels. The dialogue and the subject matter is always intelligent, there’s (and I admit I’m stealing this description from a friend) a certain witty tartness to her stories, and a perfect balance of sweet and sexy. Some are more emotional, some are darker, but you always can expect a quality story and that’s nice to have in an author. Steamroller was on the light side, and I liked that. A shorter read, about a not so often found scenario wherein a jock has a longstanding crush on a nerdy guy, and when they finally come together it’s like fireworks. I read it in an afternoon at the end of a stressful day, and it was just the thing to take the edge off. Really wonderful, and highly recommended. Also recently released was Four Corners by Kate McMurray which was another very sweet and slightly angsty story about how these four guys used to be buddies and play baseball together, but then one guy took off because he couldn’t quite come to grips with his sexuality. There’s a lot of pain and leftover anger from the friends who were left behind, one of whom has been in love with his buddy since their childhood. Very delightful and worth reading. And Then there was The British Devil by Greg Hogben which is a witty and eye-opening (semi-autobiographical) tale of an international love affair between two men and the many obstacles they face along the way. It’s a very enjoyable and relatable story. God, I just realized it’s a good thing my husband doesn’t read this blog. Uh, no, honey…I didn’t buy any of these books. All loaners, I swear. He DID see the title of the post, and made a point of telling me that I’m really bad at titles. Thanks, honey.
  • Big Gay Movies – Used to be, I would nod and lament along with my fellow authors and romance readers that it was hard to find satisfying ending in gay movies. I felt like so much of it was depressing, angsty, or just downright WTF? And don’t get me wrong, I love angst. I love a good mindfuck! I *know* that being gay/etc can be painful. But give me a hand up after you drop me, so *I* don’t slit my wrists like the movie hero just did, huh? I was thrilled to run across both Private Romeo (gay retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in an all boys military school) and A Marine Story (about a lesbian Marine officer discharged under DADT). I’ve been on a military kick lately, and you can’t have gay military movies without talking either directly or indirectly about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Private Romeo doesn’t address the topic directly. It’s more of a symbolic thing with the setting and whatnot. A Marine Story is much more direct, and gives an example of one of the many potential ways that DADT  impacted lives and careers. Even with the repeal of DADT, I see this subject matter as important. For someone like me who grew up largely in the civilian world (my dad was in the Army but my memory of that is mostly blurry and mostly negative) and who was actually raised with something of an anti-military/ anti-war outlook, it’s hard to understand the impact of DADT. It’s harder still to understand why serving in  the military was important for those who had to hide who they were and were treated unfairly. So I’ve become fascinated by the subject, and the more I learn abut the impact of DADT and the lingering effects after its repeal, the more interested I become.  So what was interesting, was that both of these movies did have positive endings. This was cool, because I think that, too, is a big important thing in gay media. I think it’s extremely important that we acknowledge and remember, but just as important that we have hope.
  • Big Gay Soap! – Welcome to Boxer Falls! If you haven’t caught up on the soapy homo romance yet, please come and join us! This past week Geoff Knight shook things up with his episode over at the GoodReads M/M Romance Group! You won’t want to miss it. Tomorrow’s episode is written by Jacob Z Flores, and I enjoyed it so much that I am now chomping at the bit to buy his book(the perk, of course, of being one of the head writers is getting to see the episodes early). I’ve actually discovered a lot of writers I love thanks to Boxer Falls. Next week will be Edmond Manning. I read his book, King Perry, and he’s definitely another really great new voice in the genre. We’ve been so lucky and SO grateful to have so many talented authors participate. Do stop by. :)

Attention Hot Hero Fans, and Local DC/NoVA/Maryland Folks, and do-gooders everywhere!


Hate violence? Want to help a stranger and feel good? Need some karma points? Like yoga? Washington DC yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall was attacked with his boyfriend a couple of weeks ago in a suspected hate crime, and wound up in the hospital needing facial reconstruction surgery without insurance. He also lost his home in a fire a couple of months ago. I know it’s not possible to help every single time this sort of thing happens, but as a yogi, DC-area resident, and human being, I do like to try and help when I can. If you’d like to do so as well, Michael’s friends have set up a collection fund through paypal, and you can find it here.  For more information about Michael’s story, check out this Huffington Post Article, or his friend and fellow yoga instructor’s web site. IF you are in the DC area there are a couple of charity fundraising yoga classes being held: one at Meridian Hill Park in Washington DC on Augst 5th at 5pm, and one at 3pm on August 12th at Happy Soul Yoga, 25 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg, VA.

Still jonesing for a NOH8 picture of your very own? This Sunday from 2-5pm, NOH8 will be having an open photo shoot at the HRC Headquarters, so if you’re in the area you should definitely come down. Find out more, here. Wear some comfy pants, so you can stay in the city for the Michael Joel Hall charity yoga class at Meridian Hill Park when you’re all done. :)

And on the literary/romance front, the OutWrite book fair is going on this weekend in Northwest DC. Friday night there will be some cool exhibitors and authors from Dreamspinner Press (through which I’ve published a romantic short story, Feeling Neighborly), and Rainbow ebooks, David Pratt will be there with his Bob the Book (a personal favorite of mine) and his new short story collection, and on Saturday there will be some really awesome readings. This will all be going on at 1318 U St NW, and you can find out more, here.

And finally, the All Romance eBooks Hottest Hero Contest! There’s a mix of big names and lesser known authors, here, some male/female romance, some male/male,  go and vote for your favorites! Tara Lain’s Hunter Fallon is up, and so is Mary Calmes’s Malic Sunden. The winning author gets some cool prizes, and you’ll be entered to win ARe bucks just for voting!

All right…I’m spent…Weekend’s coming, right? Hope you’ve all got awesome plans.