Loving Kindness…


Thanks for joining me on the Hop Against Homophobia! Leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered to win a copy of my contemporary short story “Feeling Neighborly” as well as a never before released vampire/werewolf short story called “Under the Full Moon.” Contest open to adult readers 18+ only.

I wrote and re-wrote this post several times. I wrote sad posts and angry posts, posts about religion and politics and personal opinions. I erased it all, because I truly believe that at the bottom line is that anger and fear are destructive and I didn’t want to write a destructive post.

I am many things. Mostly these days I’m an author and a mom. I don’t sleep very much, and I frequent the local Starbucks like they’re gonna put my name on a table. I get stressed. Through all of that my life revolves around love. Falling in love is what I write about. As an at-home parent, teaching, guiding, and loving my kids is what I DO. My job as a parent is to make it so that they can go out into the world someday and be good, kind, functional citizens who don’t need me any more.  My fondest wish is for them to grow up healthy and happy–and that they someday fall in love.

Period. If my boys are lucky enough to find someone who loves and respects them half as much as I, their extremely biased mother, thinks they deserve? I’ll be thrilled, regardless of who that person is, so long as they’re good to my kid.

When they look at me over their chocolate chip waffles in the morning and thank me for taking care of them, I can’t imagine wanting anything else.

I used to do a daily yoga and meditation practice. It’s a little more sporadic these days due to business, but I find when I make it back to the mat that the foundations are still with me. One of the things I learned, was a loving-kindness meditation: The gist is, you start out by offering loving-kindness to yourself, and then to someone you respect, someone you love, someone you feel neutral about…then someone you hate (for more info on this, you can go here). The idea, I think, is to help you keep an open heart. In the face of a thing like homophobia, I admit that can be difficult to do.

So that’s what I want to offer here today, on this International Day Against Homophobia. Loving kindness. To myself, to those of you who are friends, and those I don’t know. To those of you whose minds I hope with all my heart will soon be changed for the better. More than anything, to all the innocent babies, children, and young people out there who will someday need help and support in navigating your way through the confusion and questions you may have about your sexual orientation–I pray you will have the support that you need, and that you will always know you’re perfect just the way you are. That you deserve love and respect.

Love is love. It’s something everyone deserves.

(There are over 250 authors and bloggers participating today in the hop against homophobia, lots of really good thoughts on the subject and lots of prizes being given away. You can find the full list, here. Also, for a chance to win my latest vampire novella, Immortal Valentine, or another chance to win the free vampire/shifter short story, check out the HAH post over at Books Make Me Happy.)

Bits and Pieces and Naughtiness, oh, my!


Just a few quick catchup status update thingies: It’s been a busy winter at Chez Carrington, and I’m (still) busily drafting a contemporary novel. It’s quite different, I think, from what I typically write so I’m not sure how it’ll come out yet or where it’ll fit. And, yanno, life keeps happening and slowing me down. I have a good feeling about it though, so fingers crossed.

The latest episode of our free gay soap opera serial Boxer Falls is up, written by MJ O’Shea! It’s naughty, hot and angsty! Two of the young Boxer Falls residents put themselves on the wrong side of the law in the name of helping their friends. Geoffrey Knight is up next, and you are NOT going to want to miss out. We also have a newly updated BoxerFalls.com web site with all sorts of additional info. We hope to be posting back episodes in the near future but for now you can get caught up on the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

This came out in January, but I missed it before now: My favorite bearish book reviewer, Tom Webb at A Bear on Books, published his list of 25 favorite M/M books of 2011 and I was super psyched to see my Mayan Mythology novella, Amor Prohibido, was #5 on the list! Thanks, Tom. 🙂

And for those of you who still prefer good old fashioned books to e-readers, and happen to be looking for a football-themed manlove anthology, The Touchdowns Anthology is now out in paperback and available at Amazon. This Ravenous Romance anthology features my first contemporary short story, After Party.

Today’s Quickie: Unconventional Love Quote


To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.
— Woody Allen

One Giant Leap for Gay Romance Kind…


For those who may not have heard, Damon Suede’s Hot Head has been nominated by Goodreads as one of only a handful of candidates for Best Romance of 2011. His is the only LGBT romance nomination, the only romance written by a male, and the only one of two not published by NYC powerhouse publishers. And he’s up against mainstream mavens such as Nora Roberts and J.R. Ward, who I LOVE and admire greatly–but wouldn’t be an amazing leap for our genre, if Hot Head were to win? Please consider supporting Hot Head in particular and/or gay romance in general, by voting here (voting ends 11/30/2011!): http://www.goodreads.com/award/choice/#56966-Best-Romance

Today’s Quickie: Inspirational Love Quote


Love is an irresistible desire to be
irresistibly desired….Robert Frost.

They say that for some, that being desired is almost as good as an orgasm. The thrill of being pursued certainly does do wonderful things to one’s ego, one’s libido, and even to one’s heart, I would imagine. Knowing a person wants you enough to pursue you to the ends of the earth? Hell yeah. Thoughts? Opinions?

Today’s Quickie: Inspirational Quote on Love


“Love is like a friendship caught on fire: In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”
~Bruce Lee~

This is probably why I have had so many romances grow out of friendships. Hard not to fall in love with a person when you’ve grown to know them so well and care for them so deeply.

Boys Do It, Girls Do It…


(Just a little note here: I know folks have strong opinions on this topic, but I wrote this article in a lighthearted spirit and I hope readers will take it as such.)

So I’m thinking today about penises. Okay, fine, you over there snickering in the peanut gallery–I write erotic romance, so I actually think about them quite a lot. What to do with them, cute names for them, clinical names, sexy names, synonyms for the stuff that comes out of them and the places you put them. Whether or not said schlong belongs on a supernatural being and as such whether or not I need to glove the love. Is that supernatural being circumcised? And so on. But I’m getting so, so off track here, as I tend to do…

The question is, does not having one help or hinder my ability to write M/M??

So awhile back I wrote an article about why women love to read and write M/M. I had no idea this was still such a topic of interest but it managed to score head and shoulders above any other article I’ve ever, ever posted in terms of hits, comments, and retweets so I guess it’s still a topic of some interest. And hey, why not? As one very good friend of mine recently pointed out, there’s inherently nothing for women in a relationship between to men, so why would they be so into that? I get that it’s a little confusing. But hey, it is what it is.

And the problem that I run into sometimes as a woman who writes M/M, is that there are people (mostly men) who don’t feel that women should write in the genre. That many of us are doing it badly or are doing it for the wrong reasons. Oddly, I was reminded the other day that there’s a funny little flip-side to this argument: many folks (mostly women) do not believe that men should write M/M, either.

What’s that, you say? Well if you’re nodding along with that statement then you’re one of those women and I don’t need to explain. For those of us who don’t quite get it, here’s what I think it boils down to: emotion. I guess the idea is that M/M is supposed to be emotionally driven and that women are inherently more emotional than men, and hence better suited to write the genre (which of course we know, statistically, IS female dominated) because we all know that men are emotionally unavailable. 😛 Hmm.

So this got me thinking…if I take apart the various points of view a little…

M/M is all about emotion? So this gets into that whole topic of gay romance vs. M/M romance, and I have to be honest, I don’t always feel like I’m smart enough to know the difference. I’ve read a lot of varying definitions of what M/M vs “gay” means in fiction and I’m still confused. However, I’ve known plenty of men who are emotional. My husband’s best friend gives a speech? Everyone in the room starts crying including him, and he’s the biggest, most masculine Spanish guy I’ve ever known. Conversely, plenty of women (including, I’ll admit, yours truly) have difficulty accessing their emotions and those of their characters. My critique partner has hassled me in the past for not getting deep enough into the emotional connection between my characters. And he’s an actual, card-carrying gay man. Yes, I’ve checked. 😉

Then there’s the question of realism and accuracy…well, I think the bottom-line always is that we’re reading fiction. I’ve seen women use unrealistic sexual positions and scenarios in M/M, but I’ve seen men do it too, and I think to a degree that’s become accepted as standard in the genre.  Also there is a wide, wide variety of people in this world. My husband, for example, is extremely romantic. Extremely emotional. Yes, I’m a lucky girl. But if I were to write him into an M/M novel, I’m betting I’d get a finger or two wagged at me for committing the deadly “chicks with dicks” sin, because he falls outside the “norm” of male emotional behavior.

I’ve read M/M that I thought was well and poorly-written by both male and female authors. I do admit, I shy away from judging the relationship dynamics in M/M written by guys. I figure, I’ve never dated a gay man AS a man, so who am I to judge? Maybe they’re writing from personal experience. I can think the relationship doesn’t make for a very interesting story, but that’s a little bit different.

So who’s right? Damned if I know. Everyone? No one? All of the above? I mean, not me, that’s for sure–to this day I’m amazed that someone saw it fit to give me a college degree for crying out loud. My favorite authors in the genre are both male and female, I know that much.

Personally, it’s all about preference. With reading, just like with sex, it’s all about what gets you off. You, and nobody else.