Category Archives: Hump Day

I’m an author behaving badly…

So, I have a couple of things to talk about today and let’s start with the less controversial one.

The death of actor/comedian Robin Williams hit me pretty hard. I’m one of those old enough to remember him on Mork and Mindy and he made me smile so many times over the years…only slightly more times than he made me cry.

The World According to Garp was a strange and wonderful movie that came out in 1982 and I realize now that I was probably too young the first time I watched it to appreciate everything it was about. Robin Williams performance as T.S. Garp was inspiring. I remember being horrified by all the ways life made things difficult for him but it wasn’t until I had dealt with a few of my own life issues that I understood a lot of went on in the movie. John Lithgow’s excellent portrayl of transexual Roberta Muldoon was my first introduction to a community of people who have become so important to me 30 years later.

Robin Williams movies kept everyone laughing and thinking and there’s no doubt that some of his characters, like Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams and Armand Goldman (The Birdcage) are iconic and will never be forgotten. In fact, almost every role he played was unforgettable.

But after his death, the one role that jolted me, the reminder that brought me to tears, was when I remembered that he was Genie in Aladdin. I’m not sure why the first picture of Genie and Aladdin hugging was the one that broke my heart but I think it might be because it was one I enjoyed so often with the kids in my life. I watched it with my nieces and nephew, with all the children I’ve cared for over the years and of course, with my daughter and I’m still have a hard time reconciling that the man who brought Genie to life left this world by his own hand.

I’d heard all the stories of course. His troubles were always splashed across the newspapers and TV screens but when it’s not someone you know…someone who’s a part of your life on a daily basis, it’s had to grasp exactly what they’re going through. But I’ve often thought that it seems like people who are the most talented are also some of the most tormented.

I hope he’s at peace now.

And now on to the more inflammatory part of my blog.

Yesterday a story broke about a young girl in Arizona, nine years old, who accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor while being taught to use an automatic weapon.

Now, anyone who knows me even a little knows how I feel about guns. If anti-gun talk pisses you off and will cause you to write long vitriolic emails to me, you’d best stop reading now.

In what situation is it necessary for a 9-year-old to use an Uzi? Are we in the middle of the Zombie apocalypse? Or is this the “hunting” weapon of choice in Arizona? Seriously…this little girl now has to live with the consequences of the extreme stupidity of the adults in her life and in fact, unless she gets some pretty amazing help, this one accident had probably ended the life she might have had as effectively as the bullets ended the life of the man trying to teach her.

I hate guns with a passion. There is nothing redeeming about guns. They were created with one purpose and one purpose only. To take someones life. They are inanimate objects that are often in the hands of the worst people and that is the problem. People…we are not perfect by any means. Even the best of us. Some people suggest that lack of training is the reason for so many innocent people dying at the hands of those with a gun. I don’t care how much training you’ve had, it doesn’t stop you from snapping one day and doing something stupid that you can’t take back. Ask the dad in the movie theater who was shot by the ex-cop for texting his babysitter.

I have also heard “the only way to stop bad people with guns is with good people with guns”. I’m sorry, but when did we regress to the wild west? I have no desire to live in the middle of The Gunfight at the OK Corral. In Aurora, Colorado some folks suggested that if someone else would have had a gun, they could have stopped the lunatic who was shooting people. Or, more innocent people could have died caught in the crossfire between the good and the bad.

And that’s how it feels, like we are caught in the crossfire. I know that guns will never go away, but what bothers me is the attitude of those who insist that someone’s dead child doesn’t trump their right to own a gun because it’s this attitude that’s getting innocent people killed.

I don’t have a solution to this problem and I probably never will, but it doesn’t stop me from being outraged over the damage done to this child and so many others.

So bring it on gun lovers. Tell me how I’m wrong to feel the way I do. Hate me for thinking that my child’s right to not be gunned down in the street is way more important than your right to walk around with a gun in your hand. You will never change my mind and all you will do is prove in my mind that I’m right.

Okay, I’m stepping down off my soapbox now and get back to doing what any author should be doing…writing or you know, looking for ways to avoid it.

And to distract you from my ranting, have a beautiful picture by my photographer friend, Anthony Aceto.

tywallpaper32

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Hump Day, Things that bug me.

Panic attack coming up! Plus, a little Olympic talk…and a fic rec

The closer I get to a release, the closer I get to losing my mind. All those little voices in my head (yes, there’s more than one, got a problem with that?) start to overwhelm me a bit.

The loudest one always says No one’s gonna like it!!!

Yes, I know it’s bullshit. No story of mine ever goes to the publisher without a couple of opinions at least and so I know they are very likable stories.

But with two coming so close together, I think the insecurity gods are working overtime to try and drive me nuttier (Yes, nuttier. I am well aware of my level of insanity and I’m completely comfortable with it.)

Meanwhile, I’m still working on my cover release for Wrapped Up in Chains and I think that will come at the beginning of February. I love it so much and can’t wait to share it with you.

Also coming in February is my Valentine short story Breaking Cupid’s Curse. It’s part of the Torquere Press anthology Conversation Hearts and I hope you all love Charlie and Beau as much as I do.

Also on my mind? The Olympics. They start February 6th in Sochi, Russia and I will be keeping one eye on the news. Have I suddenly become a sports fanatic? Nope! I do wish all the athletes well and hope they all have a stellar Olympic experience, but I have to admit I’m a little concerned. About what? There’s two things really.

The first is security. There have been some people who seem very determined to do as much damage as they can as close to the venues as possible and I’m worried about the safety of all the people who will be attending, athletes and spectators alike. I guess all we can do is hope that the Russian security forces can pull away from their persecution of the LGBT community long enough to keep everyone safe.

And therein lies my second concern. I’m curious as to what effect having the eyes of the world on them will have on those who are so bent on punishing anyone who even mentions the word rainbow.

The way I see it, it could go a couple of ways. They could decide to let up on the hatred and the public beatings…or it could have the opposite effect. The childish “I can do whatever I want and you can’t stop me” kind of attitude. It could make things a whole lot worse for a lot of innocent people.

I’m also curious to see what the people attending will do. I’m not sure how I feel about someone taking a stand in the middle of the Olympic stadium. I’d hate for anything to steal the spotlight from the athletes who have trained so long and hard and deserve every bit of attention and accolades they should be receiving.

On the other hand, is there a better time to make a statement than when the eyes of the entire world are focused on one place? The thought of letting the rainbow flag fly in any way shape or form in support of not only the Russian LGBT community but also the LGBT community in general has a little part of me hoping for something to happen.

Whatever happens, I hope that everyone has an amazing time and that everyone makes it home safe. Oh and “GO CANADA!!!

And now for my fic rec.

I read and reviewed Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford and it was a marvelous story. I love a good haunting and mix in funny, hot and sweet men and I’m hooked. Tristan and Wolf are adorable together and throw in family drama and a ghost dog and you have a fantastic story that will run you through ever emotion there is!

Get it here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4522 or

Here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Ghosts-Rhys-Ford-ebook/dp/B00HLME45W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390403632&sr=1-1&keywords=fish+and+ghosts

And please check out my books here at Amazon: 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 Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

Also, I’m still dreaming about being someplace warmer and a lot less slippery! Take a look at this gorgeous sunset taken by my friend Anthony.

tywallpaper

Leave a comment

Filed under Hump Day, I'm so excited!

Children lost….a Thanksgiving thought…

Yeah so, first thing is, I’m a bad, bad writer and blogger. Imagine, I’m so busy writing I forget to blog and time runs away from me so I hope you can all accept my heartfelt apology.

Second thing? I’m not American. I’m one of those crazy Canuks who celebrated our version of Thanksgiving around my birthday in October. We love our little holiday but America has turned Thanksgiving into an art! I will have my half-frozen ass parked in front of my television tomorrow morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade like I have for the past 30 years or so. It ranks right up there with watching Pops goes the Fourth in July, another holiday you guys do amazingly well.

But here’s what I’m thinking about today. I’m thinking about kids and how many of them are celebrating the holiday tomorrow…and every holiday…without their family. Not because they ran away or because some horrible tragedy has befallen the family, but because their family has thrown them away.

I look at my daughter and I can’t imagine anything that she might do that would cause me to throw her out of my house and choose to never see her again. I can’t ever fathom saying “you don’t live up to the ideals I have for you in my head and in my heart so you are no longer my child.” I’m pretty sure she could commit murder and I’d be the first one at her side, figuring out the best way to help her.

But the thing that absolutely leaves me stunned with anger and grief are parents who abandon their children because of who they love. How can love ever be something bad? I have a lot of friends who are a part of the LGBT community and I know some are going to be somewhere other than home tomorrow because they aren’t welcome in their familie’s homes and it makes me wish I could bring them into my family and give them the acceptance and love they deserve to be basking in.

And it’s not just them who a left alone.

There are parents who don’t approve of their child’s job, who don’t like some aspect of their children’s lifestyle so much that they just give them the ultimatum…be who I want you to be or get out. The ones who give in end up almost more alone and miserable than they were before because they are forced to give up some basic part of themselves to made everyone around them happy.

And the ones who don’t? They are my hero’s! They gather their strength and realize that they can’t make anyone truly happy if the aren’t be true to themselves first. And maybe it’s not their job to make the people around them happy anyway.

As a parent, I didn’t give birth to my daughter so that she could live out all my dreams that I couldn’t make come true. I didn’t want a child so that I would have someone to take care of me when I’m old and can’t do it for myself. When she was born I didn’t put conditions or labels on her and decide to love her only if she lived up to them. The day she came into my world I was already in love with her and my only ambition was to raise her to the best of my ability and hope that after I gave her the best childhood I could, that she would make the choices she needed to make herself happy.

Children don’t choose to be born. Regardless of how you got pregnant and any circumstances around it, once you made that choice to have that child then you are responsible for giving them everything they NEED in life to make it the best you can.

Now that doesn’t mean Playstations and i-phones. This means love and acceptance for who they are, not who you want them to be.

I have other friends who are estranged from their families for other reasons and they know who they are and I hope that you have friends to spend the day with (and maybe family that you choose instead of that you were born with). I hope everyone who’s celebrating tomorrow has a wonderful day and please, if you’re traveling, be careful on the crazy roads.

To those who are going to be alone…I wish I could gather you in my arms like you are in my heart and give you all the love and hugs your deserve. And to those families who have thrown their children away, I hope you come to your senses one day and realize that there’s a very limited amount of time to make amends with those children before it’s too late and someone is left with more regrets than they can handle. There are too many parent’s out there who would give anything to have the chance to spend one more holiday with their child.

I was going to rec a story about children who have been thrown out but realized I’ve already recced them all. So instead, I’m going to rec a story about courage and two young men who have to be braver than they’ve every been to be together.

“A Face in the Window” by Cheryl Headford is a fantastic story about two young men who’ve work hard to overcome their past on their way to their future. It will make you cry but you will smile in the end. Find it here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Face-Window-Cheryl-Headford-ebook/dp/B00GKR1OF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1385588725&sr=1-1&keywords=a+face+in+the+window

And as always you can find me 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: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

Leave a comment

Filed under Hump Day, This is important.

I’m about to do something incredibly stupid….

So I went to the chiropractor yesterday and he and I got into this big discussion. It happens ever since he found out I’m a writer and he told me that he was an English major. He likes to tell me that he is very conservative money wise but that he’s a Libertarian at heart. This should have set off the warning bells right there.

What started out as a discussion about equal rights for everyone (which he is in full support of) ended up in a heated discussion about guns.

Now anyone who knows me is aware fully aware of my feelings on the subject, but because I consider myself to be an open-minded person, I tried very hard to see things from his point of view but I really couldn’t.

I know this is opening up a can of worms because feelings on this subject run deep on both sides and it is one of those topics that shouldn’t be brought up in polite conversation…like politics and religion…because its like treading a mine field.

But after a long night of trying to go figure out how to explain myself to him the next time I see him I realized something.

I don’t have to explain myself to him and it’s a useless effort anyway. Nothing I say to him will ever change his mind and nothing he says will change mine. I hate guns…with a passion. The only redeeming quality a gun has is that it can fire itself. It is an object created by man with no purpose but to end life. That’s all it can do. Whenever someone picks up a gun of any kind, their sole purpose is to hurt or kill something.

People who own guns and believe that it is their right have all sorts of arguments as to why it’s necessary and they will always feel this way. The NRA believes so deeply in their right to have a gun in their hands that to them, any innocent person killed by one is a sad remind as to why they need one.

I’ve heard arguments about that horrible day in Aurora, Colorado when a madman started shooting up a theater. “If someone else in there had a gun, maybe so many people wouldn’t have died.” Or maybe more would have because they would have ended up in the middle of a firefight, trapped between two (or more) people with guns.

“The only way to stop bad people with guns is good people with guns.” I heard that a lot too after Sandyhook and all those children who would never go home to their parents again. The people who said it were not the parents who said their final goodbye to their children that morning on their way to school.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Absolutely true and therein lies the problem. Guns are inanimate objects that don’t have any feelings while people are made up of nothing but feelings. Human beings are never going to be perfect. They are flawed and make many mistakes. When someone is despondent and suicidal, having a gun around is a ticking time bomb. It’s an instant, permanent solution to what maybe very well be a temporary problem. But once they pull the trigger, there’s no going back or changing your mind.

Anyway, I could sit here and list my reasons for my feelings all day long and it still wouldn’t change anyone’s mind. And I’m sure gun advocates have a list of their own and it won’t change my mind either. In the end, for me, my right to not be shot by anyone trumps your right to have a gun every time and that is how I will always feel.

So, my final point of this little rant is this. There are things that I think I can help change…like my helping to fight for equal rights, and things that I know I can’t…like people’s views on gun control. I don’t have to justify my feelings to anyone. I can explain things to people and hope they can see where I’m coming from and maybe gain a little understanding, but in the end, they will believe what they want because it’s their choice.

As for my chiropractor, well, he’s a nice guy for the most part and I guess on this particular subject, we are going to have to agree to disagree.

I look forward to hearing any opinions you might want to share with me, but please, do it kindly?

Now, I do have a fic rec. Out of the Fire by Ariel Tachna was a story that broke my heart before putting it back together again. Evan and Rhys are the best of friends. When Evan gets a call for help from Rhys, there’s really no question. He will help if he can. Evan is a Dom, one of the best and Rhys asks him to help rehabilitate a broken sub. Evan goes to do his best and along the way, as he watches his friend and the sub fall in love, he figures things out about himself. Self-truths aren’t always easy to come by, but sometimes they’re just what you need.

You can find this amazing story here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1650 and here: http://www.amazon.com/Out-of-the-Fire-ebook/dp/B003TLMIKW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1383140649&sr=1-1&keywords=out+of+the+fire+Ariel+Tachna

And as always, I’m 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: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

4 Comments

Filed under Hump Day

Some thoughts, a give away and a fic rec (of course)

So, I’m writing something and I’m not sure if I’m going on the right direction with it, but I like the idea so I will keep going. My inspiration is not a fandom this time, but a person and an idea. Maybe I will tell you who and what sometime.

I haven’t heard from Dreamspinner about the submission I made, but at the moment I’m going with no news is good news. I will keep hoping.

I went to the local library the other day. I used spend a lot of time there, but with all the writing I’m doing and the fact that I read mostly ebooks on my computer, I have been remiss in saying hi to my friends there. While there, I went to the card catalogue and looked myself up…I’m not there yet. But, I looked up Dreamspinner and was gratified to see several pages of books listed there and so I have hope for the future.

The librarian, a wonderful lady I’ve known for years, came to chat with me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was looking myself up in the card catalogue (as I blushed like crazy) and she asked why so I told her about my stories. She asked me why they didn’t have any copies of my books and I said “because they are gay romance novels”. She looked at me like I was nuts and I was getting ready to defend myself when she said “So? We’d love to have them.”

Huh…I wonder how one goes about donating an ebook to the local library?

Also, the more I hear coming out of Russia and from the IOC, the more I think any gay athletes and their supporters should just stay home. I know you have a point to make, I know you’ve trained so hard and so long for your chance to be there, but it’s not worth your safety. And as the IOC has threatened to ban anyone who attempts to make a stand, you would be there without any backup. I know you will probably go and I understand. I’ll be the person sitting at home not watching the Olympics and hoping desperately that you will all return home safe and sound.

Meanwhile, I’m watching as state after state and country after country are coming to terms with equality and while I know there is a long way to go, these steps that are being taken in the right direction almost every day give me hope that one day everyone I care about will be treated with respect and dignity.

So, I’m feeling a little nostalgic so I’ve decided to do a giveaway. Comment here or at my FB author’s page and I will pick a winner in a couple of days. Any of my stories, the winner picks the one they want. Here is the link to me at Dreamspinner so you can read the blurbs and pick one. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

The link for my FB authors page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Sutherland-Dreamspinner-Author/313915495374744

Sorry for the shortness of today’s blog, but RL is definitely busy this week. 5 small children under 6 is enough to keep anyone busy, so I don’t feel too bad for feeling like a Mack truck ran over me at the end of the day.

But, I do have a fic rec for you. Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson is a wonderful story about two soldiers who’ve loved each other for years and then end of DADT means changes for them. They are good changes but still hard for men who’ve lived the military life of rules and routine. I loved watching as they figured out how to be with each other the way they always wanted to be. Do yourself a favor and read this story that’s sure to make you smile. Here is the Dreamspinner link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4097&cPath=55_424 and here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Duty-ebook/dp/B00EAE7HQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376486815&sr=1-1&keywords=beyond+duty

And as always, you can find me at the Dreamspinner link above or at Amazon as well: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

6 Comments

Filed under Giveaway!, Hump Day, Writing and thinking.

Russia is out of step with the rest of the world

So, it seems to me that some people and some countries are always out of step with the rest of the world and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it’s really not. Sometimes it just ends up make you look like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

Or in the case of Russia, like you are taking a giant step backwards in your evolutionary process.

The recently adopted draconian laws against the LGBTQ community harkens back to the days of iron-fisted Tsars and it terrifies me. Watching on the news as people are arrested and beaten for nothing more than declaring who they love makes me wonder what kind of Hitler-like aspirations Valdimir Putin has.

It seems kind of telling to me that these laws have been brought into action mere months before the opening of the Sochi Olympics. I’m hoping that if the laws had been in place earlier that the Olympic committee would not have decided to award them to Russia.

So now the countries and athletes who are supposed to be participating come February are left with a difficult choice…or at least I hope it’s difficult. Do they go to the Olympics or not?

And I get it, I really do. Years and years of training for the chance to show the rest of the world what you can do and make your country proud. It’s the ultimate aspiration for the best athletes in the world. But the 2010 Winter Olympics will forever be tainted because of the country they are being held in and the man who decided to put these laws into place.

For the members of the LGBTQ community the choice is doubly hard. Do they go and spend the whole time in fear of discovery and prosecution? Putin has assured the world that the laws will not be enforced against athletes and others connected to the Olympics but other members of his own government have stated that the laws will indeed be in effect.

So, what to do? Do you go and participate and use the fact that the eyes of the world will be on Sochi to make a statement? Or do you boycott the Olympics and make the statement the kind of persecution going on in Russia is unacceptable?

I am torn on this subject. On one hand, I like the idea of making a statement. I’d love to see someone unfurl a rainbow flag during a medal ceremony! But on the other hand I’m terrified that in their zeal to make a point, someone might end up hurt or imprisoned and I don’t think that Russia cares enough about world opinion to be counted upon for leniency.

I don’t know what the solution is. Part of me want’s to say “Stand proud and let your rainbow flag fly high!” but another, more cautious part of me wants to tell all the people associated with the LGBTQ community to stay home and stay safe because sometimes when you walk into the lion’s den you slay the beast, but sometimes you get mauled to death.

Then there is this whole business of the dumping of the Russian vodka in the streets. While I understand the need to make some kind of protest, I’m not sure that there is anything that the makers of Stolichnaya Vodka can do anything to change government policies they have publicly stated they despise. From what I can see, Stoli has long been associated with the LGBTQ community and they seem to be very proud of it. And the fact that they have made a statement against their government at all is something I consider to be very brave, all things being considered.

So, what can we do, those of us who support equality for everyone? Make your feelings known in the way you feel is right for you and show your support the best way you know how. Contact your government or the Olympic committee and tell them how you feel. Use social media to your advantage as I am. It’s a great way for the average person to get their message out there.

A little personal story for you. I had to go to the chiropractor last week and we were half-way through my treatment when he suddenly asks me “what’s with all the rainbows?” I regularly wear a Pride bracelet and a little rainbow pin that a friend in England sent me and I love when they make people ask questions.

So, I told him that I was a big supporter of equal rights and that I wrote gay romance novels. He looked at me for a second and said “but you’re not gay, are you?” He knows my husband. I told him no and that the books I wrote were actually m/m not f/f. He stopped and looked at me in shock and says “Really….REALLY? Wow, how does that work?” I burst out laughing and we spent the next 20 minutes in a discussion about equal rights and my association with the LGBTQ community. He told me that he never would have guessed that I was so “badassed” His words, not mine, but it did make me giggle.

I do so love an opportunity to have a spirited discussion on a subject that is so dear to me and if I get the chance to educate someone while doing it? All the better.

Okay, the fic rec. Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell is a wonderful story about a man who is so broken by his circumstances that he is certain that he can’t ever be fixed. When Joshua Chastain’s mom suggests spending some time at his Uncle’s farm where he loved to be as a child, he goes just to make things easier for her. There he meets Eli Kelly, a man who just might be up to the task of helping Joshua heal his broken spirit. This story made me cry and broke my heart as I watched Joshua’s spiral into hopelessness before he finally finds his way to break free of it with Eli’s help.

Here’s the Dreamspinner link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3970
And here is the Amazon link. http://www.amazon.com/Love-Like-Water-ebook/dp/B00DUQ5ABK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1375797059&sr=1-1&keywords=love+like+water

And as always, here’s me! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454 and at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

Leave a comment

Filed under Hump Day, Writing and thinking.

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

4 Comments

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