Monthly Archives: July 2013

Burnt out Wednesday Thursday…and who am I reccing today?

You know, some days I have a really hard time figuring out what to write about here. I want to be interesting and relevant. I want to make you laugh or make you cry or make you so pissed off you want to punch something…or someone.

But mostly I’m just kind of boring and ordinary. I run my dayhome during the week with some admittedly hilarious little boys and on the weekends I work at a drug store. I live in a small town and I love it most of the time. I like being at the store and seeing the same people coming in. You get to know your regulars and I like the fact that when I greet them by name and tease them, they have a tendency to light up and smile.

We get a lot of senior citizens coming through. There is an assisted living building just down the street from the store and they like that they can walk up on their own and spend some time around people. I’ve seen some folks spend hours walking around the store, stopping to talk to people they know and it makes me smile to be a part of it.

But sometimes I miss living in the city. I don’t drive at all and trust me, there’s a good reason for that. It’s bad enough that I would be taking my own life into my hands but the thought that I could hurt others by doing someone stupid behind the wheel paralyzes me with fear. In the city, though, I could hop on a bus and get where I needed to go on my own. I hate having to ask for rides to do things that need to be done but I don’t have a choice.

I miss being able to go to the movies without help or attend an art or music festival. I miss being able to walk down White Ave, a street that contains a bunch of eclectic shops and interesting restaurants. In August they have a theater festival there called the Fringe and I used to love to walk around and see the different booths that were set up and the “interesting” people who walked around. You could see anyone from Goths sweating it out in all black to executives in suits to families with three kids walking side by side, smiling and chatting with each other in the celebratory atmosphere.

In downtown Edmonton in July you get the Street Performers Festival and the Taste of Edmonton. And of course, there’s K-Days going on now, a week-long exhibition of music, games, rides and cultural events.

Not being able to just hop on a bus and get to where I want to go is frustrating, and some days I wonder if the safety and security of my small town is worth everything I had to give up.

Mostly it is. My daughter is starting grade 7 with the same kids she went to preschool with and she’s never had to deal with being “the new kid” like I did pretty much every year I went to school until I started high school. I can let her get on her bike and ride to the park or go to the pool by herself without worrying too much. I’d never be able to do that in the city.

I like going to the grocery store or the local diner and being greeted by people I know. Walking into the pizza place, I usually see at least one teenager who I’ve known since they were small because they were friends with my nieces or nephew who also grew up here.

I know my neighbor on both sides and I’m at least on nodding basis with most of the people on my street. The neighbor across the alley is the local hero because he likes to play with his snow blower in the winter and usually does the sidewalk all around the block. He’s also made friends with my husband and so usually does our driveway as well.

So, yeah, I’m kind of torn about where I live. I guess the upside is that the city is only 20 minutes away and if I really need to get there for something, someone will give me a ride. My whole family lives here and so I’m kind of lucky that way.

However, I sometimes worry that my writing career could negatively impact my daughter because I live in such a small town. I’ve been lucky so far. Everyone I’ve told about my m/m romance stories has been pretty positive although some are kind of confused. I don’t hide what I do and I proudly display my own name on my books. I know there are very good reasons that a lot of people use pen-names but I wanted to be able to show people my books and say “SEE!!! That really is me!”

But gossip in small towns runs rampant and I know that sooner or later I’m going to meet “that” person. The one who thinks I’m disgusting and a horrible pervert for writing about two men in love. I really don’t care for my own sake. Those people can kiss my ass for all I care, but I do worry for my girl. She’s a lot like me. She is passionate and independent and sometimes a big pain in the ass. But she also has a huge heart and when people are cruel to her, it hits her hard.

I know that the first person who makes her feel bad because they think her mom is a freak is going to break her heart…and knowing her, she might break their nose. And I’d be proud while I was scolding her and explaining it to the police. (one of whom lives down the street from me).

My family is very supportive of me, even though they don’t understand why I do it and why things like the equal rights movement is so important to me. It’s not like they are against anything I believe in, but like most people, it’s not personal for them so they don’t really think about it.

My mom is my biggest supporter. She’s convinced I’m going to be the Danielle Steele of gay romance novels, just like she was convinced when I was younger that I was going to be the next Tammy Wynette or Barbara Mandrell (if you don’t know who they are, Google them. The all-time queens of country music). Her faith is unshakable and I love her for it. I only wish I had as much faith in myself…and I’d settle for being Andrew Grey or Mary Calmes (you can Google them too).

Okay, so once again I’ve rambled on way too long, but I’m claiming editing fatigue. The latest WIP is no longer a WIP and has been edited within an inch of its life and sent off to the publisher for consideration. Excuse me while I’m hyperventilating because this waiting stuff never gets easier. I know rationally that I will probably have at least one manuscript rejected by my publisher at sometime…and I know it’s going to knock my world off it’s axis when it does. Every writer feels that way. We put so much of ourselves into what we put down on the page that our story being rejected feels like I’m being told that Cindy Sutherland as a person isn’t good enough. It’s like someone telling me that my child is ugly.

Okay, so for my fic rec. I’ve recommended Mary Calmes as a writer but I specifically want to mention this story. Frog is about Weber Yates, a broken-down rodeo cowboy…at least that’s how he sees himself. In reality he is kind and understanding. He just naturally takes care of what needs taking care of…except himself of course. When he goes to see his sometimes lover, Cyrus Benning, he finds himself in the middle of a family crisis and gets caught up in down what’s right. He slowly comes to realize that the things he thought were important about himself are not the amazing things other see. All I’m going to say is that we could all use a Weber Yates in our lives.

Get it here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2892

And here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frog-ebook/dp/B007XAFECY/ref=sr_1_15?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374775550&sr=1-15

And of course, you can already check out my stuff at both places. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

One final note. As I’m writing this, I have on MuchMoreMusic, one of the Canadian music video channels. Macklemore’s Same Love just came on and it’s sitting at number 14 and climbing. It makes me smile. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

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Filed under Hump Day, Things I'm Thankful For, Things that bug me.

Some rambling Tuesday thoughts with the usual fic rec.

Someone kick me in the ass and make me finishing editing my story for submission. I’m not sure why I’m having such a hard time with this one. It’s not because I think it’s bad. I love it and think it’s one of my best…and maybe that’s the problem. When you submit something there is always the chance that the publisher will say no.

In fact, I always assume they will say no and every acceptance has me floored. It’s the whole “hope for the best but assume the worst” way of thinking that I use to fool myself into believing that if they do say no, I won’t keel over and die of a broke heart. I am really good at self-delusion.

I’m one chapter away from finishing my Nuke Bigbang story and as it’s due Saturday, that’s a good thing. My last two BB stories were published but this one isn’t going that way. It’s nothing but pure fanfiction that I love writing for its own sake. I have a sinking feeling that it might be the last Nuke BB so I wanted to send it out in style.

I quickly want to express my sadness over the death of Cory Monteith. I loved his voice and his sweetness seemed to be a genuine thing. Another young artist who found fame and addiction to be a deadly combination. I thoughts are with his family and friends. Glee will certainly have a different landscape this upcoming season.

I also wanted to express my disbelief over the whole George Zimmerman trial but as every time I think about it I start to growl and wanna punch someone in the face, I will leave it alone.

As for ideas for my next novel, I have a few thoughts but I’m unsure where to go with them. I’ve been getting off to a fantastic start a lot these days only to fizzle out after the first chapter. I’m finding it very frustrating.

So the summer is almost half over and don’t tell anyone, but I can’t wait for fall. It’s my favorite time of year. Especially after the first frost…when the bugs are gone. I am suffering from an ant problem that is starting to drive me batty and yes…I have tried every home remedy and store-bought solution there is. I’m looking at hiring a professional once my royalty check comes in. I don’t want an exterminator I want an ant TERMINATOR!

At this point I’d rather be dealing with a mosquito invasion and for those of you who know me, you understand how big of a statement that is for me. But at least the mosquitos stay where they are meant to be…outside!

Now, about that fic rec.

Lace by Jaime Samms is the story of Caleb, a young man on a journey to find himself with the help of his boyfriend Levi. It takes patience from the people he loves and meeting a kindred spirit to make Caleb realize that it’s okay to let people in and to show who you really are. It’s one of those stories that makes you want to smack the main character as often as you want to hug and protect him.

Available here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lace-ebook/dp/B00AHFHYUW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373984800&sr=8-1&keywords=Lace+Jaime+Samms

Of course, my stuff is available here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

And here, at my wonderful publisher: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454

They are having a 30% off sale today, so check it out before its over!

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Filed under Things I'm Thankful For, Things that bug me., Writing and thinking.

Monday after the weekend before….with a fic rec

So, this weekend we celebrated my dad’s 65th birthday. It was wonderful. I spent the day running around, helping my mom and brother and sister organize barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs with all the sides….for 85 people.

It’s always a curious mix at these functions. Family, old family friends and some of the new friends my parents have made while spending every summer camped out in their trailer at the local campground.

I love getting to see family that I haven’t seen in way too long. It always takes a bit for everyone to feel comfortable with each other, but once the awkwardness wears off, it’s so much fun.

Several people asked about my writing and of course, that always makes me smile and one wonderful cousin made sure to tell me how much she enjoys my blog. I really need to update it more often.

It’s kind of funny though. Every time I post my blog to my FB page, I worry a little about what my family might think of what it is I write about. I know that not everyone is comfortable with the fact that I write gay romance novels and I keep waiting for that one person who starts in on a homophobic rant at me.

I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when it happens, but I hope my first reaction is to get mad instead of running away. I’m not good at confrontation and try to avoid it when possible.

I have been pleasantly surprised though. Some of the people I was concerned about have had nothing but positive reactions and it makes me so happy that these people really are as wonderful as I have always believed them to be.

Of course, there was one cousin who felt the need to inform me that I should be proud of his self-restraint for not commenting negative things on all the “gay shit” on my FB. He said “I would make you look bad.” I looked at him and said “You would make YOU look bad, not me. The people I know and love would know that your comments were a reflection on you, not me.”

He dropped it after that. His attitude didn’t surprise me. I’ve known him for over thirty years now and know his ideas and attitudes. He’s mostly a good man and I love him dearly, but he’s not perfect. I was a little disappointed though.

One the bright side, I had a couple of people ask me to explain about the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings from the Supreme Court in the US to them and I enjoyed telling them about it. One person chuckled and said “this is really important to you, isn’t it? You’re certainly enthusiastic about it.”

Anyway, the day went beautifully, except for the part where I had to make a little speech and started crying 4 words into it. I can stand and sing in front of 500 strangers, but stand me in front of a group of friends and family and ask me to say a few words and I’m a blubbering mess. Crazy, isn’t it?

I remember when I was a kid and we’d have a family get together and I’d look around thinking that I had such a huge family and that I always would. Of course, now I know better. So many people are gone now and so many others have responsibilities that keep them away from these parties. I’ve learned to appreciate the time I do get to spend with these people because we never know how much time we have them for.

For my dad, this was the best present we could have given him. Being surrounded by family and friends means more to him than any gift that money could buy. He has a habit at holidays and big family functions of sitting down at the table to eat and then looking around at everyone. His eyes will get all teary and he’ll say “I wonder what the poor people are doing?” It never fails to bring tears to the eyes of all us kids. Things weren’t always this good for us and sometimes things were pretty harsh, but at that moment, for him, he was the richest man in the world because he had a good meal to eat with the people most important to him.

When mom turns 65, I think we will just have a small family only dinner and us kids can take turns taking her to the casino. She doesn’t like being the center of attention and we have been threatened with bodily harm if we try something like this for her. Trust me, we will heed her wishes.

Of course, that was just Saturday. Sunday was spent with just us…mom and dad, my sister and brother and their families and us. And one Aunt and Uncle with whom we didn’t get to spend enough time. It’s what we usually do after big gatherings we host. Get together, have leftovers for dinner and decompress. It’s always a good way to relax.

That was my weekend…cleaning, cooking and having a good time with people who matter to me. All in all, there’s worst ways to spend a couple of days.

And now on to my fic rec.

I’m going to rec a series today. The Shifter series by M.D. Grimm is a wonderful example of supernatural stories done right. All her characters are engaging and the hero’s are so lovable…even when they have to do not so nice things. I haven’t read the latest in the series but you can bet I will. If you want to get lost in another world for a while, give The Shifters a chance. Here’s the link on Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=579

and here’s the link the M.D. Grimm on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=M.D.%20Grimm&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

Of course, while you’re there, you can check out my stories at Dreamspinner as well. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

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Filed under Monday Rants, Things I'm Thankful For

Baby it’s hot outside! And a fic rec…of course.

So, it’s gonna be a hot one out there today. Seems like a good day to write and I will, later…while hiding in my basement.

But first I’m going to ramble a little.

So, June was Pride month and I learn some things. First, I learned why June is Pride month, at least in North America. I looked it up and learned about some of the horrible things that led up to the Stonewall riots that took place on June 28th, 1969.

I also read about the Upstairs Fire, a horrible act of arson and murder that killed 32 people at a gay club in New Orleans in 1973. You can read about it here yourself but be warned, the picture that accompanies the article will haunt you. The article calls it a massacre and I completely agree. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/24/1218532/-Remembering-LGBT-History-The-New-Orleans-UpStairs-Fire-the-Largest-Gay-Massacre-in-U-S-History

I don’t know enough about LGBT issues and I admit that. As someone who writes gay romance novels, I sort of feel like it’s my responsibility to know as much about the people I write about as I can. That means the good and the bad and I’m really trying.

The good things that last month brought? I attended my first Pride celebration and fully intend to make it an annual event.

And I watched with breathless anticipation as the Supreme Court of the United States brought down two rulings that offered hope to millions of people who want nothing more than to be treated just like everyone else.

I was in tears as I watched the people standing on the steps of that courthouse when they read the first ruling striking down DOMA. Happiness warred with disbelief in so many faces, like they were afraid to believe it was really true. I saw pictures of Edie Windsor and she looked elated…but I bet in her heart she was wishing her beloved Thea Spyer could have witness that day.

Then the Prop 8 ruling came down and it was amazing. I would like to know how many marriage proposals those words prompted.

So yes, June was a big month and there was so much to be happy about…but there is still a long way to go.

There are still mountains to climb and oceans to cross. As my friend Ryan pointed out, those rulings were wonderful, but in the state he lives in, it doesn’t mean much. He still can’t get married where he lives and there are so many other states were the LGTB community is in the same boat. So enjoy your victories because you deserve it. You are all fighting so hard every day and you need to take the time to rejoice in the good so that you can find the strength to keep on going. But unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of time to rest.

I’m going to do what I can. I will keep promoting and donating. I’ll continue to talk about the issues with anyone who will listen (and even those who don’t want to listen). And I will celebrate with everyone in the LGTB community every time there is another victory.

And then there will be days that I’ll be sad and feel slightly guilty because all those things you’re fighting for come to me without a thought because I am a straight woman and I know it isn’t fair in the least.

I know, I know…life isn’t fair. In fact, a lot of the time it sucks. People who deserve so much more are constantly denied it and those who have way too much don’t appreciate it enough. I know it’s the way things are but I don’t have to like it.

My mom always told me I was too idealistic.

I keep seeing this quote all over my FB. “Gay Pride was not born out of a need to celebrate being gay, but instead our right to exist without prosecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride month or movement, straight people should be thankful they don’t need one.”

I am thankful. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it much be to feel like I’m not welcome to be a member of the society I live in.

But as you look around my dear friends, I hope you see all the people who are there for you. People like me, a middle-aged straight woman from Canada that believes that everyone should be treated with equality and dignity and respect. (you can thank my parents for that) I see you all and acknowledge what you’ve been through and hope you know I stand beside you, humble and thankful that I can do what little bit I’m able to make things better for you.

I also live for the day that Gay Pride becomes something else. I would like to see it become Human Pride because at that time, we all stand as equals in every way.

That would be something to have Pride in.

Okay, enough of my rambling. How about something to read?

I recommend Purpose by Andrew Q Gordon. It’s a little different, kind of on the supernatural/sci-fi scale but I love the evolution of both main characters as they sort of meet in the middle and figure out how to live and love with each other. Ryan makes Will more human while Will makes Ryan stronger. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Find it here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3902

And here: http://www.amazon.com/Purpose-ebook/dp/B00DIRNV2Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372779878&sr=8-1&keywords=Purpose+Andrew+Q+Gordon

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Filed under Things I'm Thankful For, Things that bug me., Writing and thinking.