Category Archives: Things I’m Thankful For

Love Aggression has a wonderful home!

Long time no blog huh?

Yeah, there’s a lot going on that’s keeping me distracted so here’s a little catch-up!

I wanted to talk a little about Love Aggression. I’ve been working on this story for far too long and it’s been a lot of ups and downs but it finally has a home at a wonderful new publishing family, Purple Horn Press. I’m very proud to be a part of this new venture. It’s being run by two amazing men. Ashavan Doyon and his husband Ron Desroches.

Ash is a brilliant writer whose wonderful stories always wring my heart to peices before putting it back together again. They are raw and real and there’s always little bit of my friend Ash that I recognize in every story, because they all come from the heart. He had to deal with the fallout of Torquere and All Romance Ebooks closing and became determined to provide a better place for authors.

Ron is a businessman who will be making sure that everything is being run the way a proper publishing family should be and I know that between the two of them, they will make sure that every author that publishes with them is treated with decency and respect, something that seems to have been lacking as of late with some publishers and promoters.

So, if you have a story you’d like to get out there and would like all the help that a publishing family has to offer, give Purple Horn Press a chance. They are accepting submissions and the guidelines can be found here.

So, Love Aggression…it’s kind of a strange name but it has a story behind it. In fact, the whole book was written around it.

I was talking with a friend one day. They had adopted a Pitbull from a rescue shelter and after having him home for a little while they realised that there was a bit of a food issue with the dog. It all came to a head one day when they were feeding both the rescue dog and the other dog they’d had for years and the rescue attacked their other dog. Of course, my friend intervened and ended up getting bitten in the process. After everything had calmed down, my friend had gone back over the info they’d been given from the shelter and realised that in their enthusiasm, they’d missed the part about the dog being starved almost to death in its former home and it suffered from food aggression.

It was understandable. After living so long with not enough food the dog was very protective over not only its own food but any food in his area. The solution was simple really, they just had to feed the dogs in separate rooms and after that things ran a lot more smoothly.

That got us talking however. About how when you’d been denied something so important your whole life and how it would make it even more precious to you. And this idea came into my head…what if you’d never been loved? Your parents didn’t care about you, made you feel unworthy of love and because of that you’d never trusted anyone to really love you? Then what if you found yourself with a child? Someone who loved you just for being you? And then you found a lover, someone who fit everything you never admitted to wanting and who made you feel like you deserved to be loved for the first time in your life?

And then imagine what you would do if someone tried to take them away from you? And what if you weren’t completely human and that the animal that lived under your skin fought and howled to be let out to protect the most important people to you when they were under attack?

That’s where this story came from. Ty is a father and a lover whose whole life is wrapped up in protecting his son Jesse and his boyfriend Kelan from the men who killed Jesse’s mother. The fact that he’s a wolf shifter just means that he has one more fight going on, but this one is inside of himself, against the wolf who is a part of him but almost has a mind of its own at the same time.

I can’t wait to share this story with all of you. It took so long to get it out of my head and heart and into my book but I’m very happy with how it all turned out and I hope you will be too.

If you are looking to catch up with some of my other books, you can find them at Amazon.

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.

Where in the hell have I been???? And yes, I have a book rec!

So, life has been a little busy. To say the very least.

I quit my dayhome after 12 years and took a job as a cashier at a local grocery store and after 6 months, some foolish person made me the Front End Manager (sorry boss, you’re awesome) and it feels like I’ve been running in circles ever since.

However, today I sat down and wrote 2000 words for the first time in forever and it felt damn good. My shifter WIP is finally going again and I can’t wait to get it done. I’m so proud of it and I hope you guys are all gonna like it.

And so much has happened in the world of equality.

In the United States, everyone is entitled to get married to the person they love. And isn’t that just the grandest thing?

The law says so, no matter what small-minded county clerks in Kentucky think and by the way, Kim Davis you should be ashamed of yourself. You are not someone who should be trying to represent “marital purity”  with your background and it’s sad that they didn’t just fire you for not doing your damn job. This circus you’ve created to grab your 15 minutes of fame is shameful and unnecessary and I’m betting that there are a lot of Christians out there who are ashamed of your bigotry.

Okay, there’s my rant for the day. I refuse to give this woman one more minute of attention.

So, what else is new? My girl is starting grade 9 this week and I keep looking at her and wondering how in the hell that happened. She’s so smart and funny and sarcastic and beautiful and every single time I look at her, I’m so proud to be her mother. I mean, she’s 14 years old and is taking World History as one of her optional classes! She could be taking foods, or woodworking or something but no, she’s basically taking Social Studies on purpose! God I love her!

My sister got married to the man of her dreams and it was a beautiful wedding. It was about as country as you can get and everyone had a blast and I’m so happy for her and her kids and the new family she’s building with this amazing man who makes her smile.

On the writing side of things, I’m waiting for the release of my first audiobook. That’s right, Wrapped Up in Chains is coming soon as an audiobook and I admit that I might have squealed a little when I heard about it.

I also have an idea for a sequel to Wrapped but I refuse to start anything until Love Aggression is finished. I am done being distracted away from this story.

So yeah, that’s a pretty boring update I guess. I’ve been working so damn much that there really hasn’t been time for much of anything else, but I promise that I’m going to try to do better with these blog updates, okay Aunty LeAnn?

I do have a rec for you as well. The College Rose Romances by Ashavan Doyon are a perfect set of stories for those of you who like their stories to feel a little more real. Loving Aidan, Steven’s Heart and Andrew’s Prayer are not fluffy. There is pain and angst and so much heart in this wonderful series and I encourage you all to check them out. You can find Ashavan on Amazon here.

And of course, you can find me on Amazon as well here.

And for your viewing pleasure, a gorgeous photograph by Anthony Aceto. He’s amazing with a camera.

tywallpaper86

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.

I Took My Girl to Pride and this is what I learned….

gay-flag-canada1

So, I’m sitting here in the middle of Pride Week, at least here in Edmonton and I realized I had some things to say and if you know me at all, you know I say what’s on my mind, lol.

Saturday was the Pride parade in Edmonton and we all got up early in the morning and made our way into the city. Hubby went with my nephew to some sports thing while my daughter and I hopped on the LRT (our subway of sorts) and rode to Churchill Square, just outside City Hall.

It was a beautiful day and people were just starting to arrive and we took advantage of the lack of crowds to walk around and look at every booth. At the biggest booth selling Pride merchandise, her eyes got wide and happy and I knew I was about to spend some money. The girl ended up covered in rainbows and she was so enthusiastic and silly that all the people working loved her and I couldn’t blame them in the least.

At 13 this amazing young lady is the center of my world and her father’s. She’s not perfect and we don’t expect her to be. She’s got the teenage attitude thing going on and boys are starting to take notice and some days I want to lock her in Rapunzel’s tower to keep her safe.

But she’s fierce and independent and way smarter than I could ever hope to be and watching her on Saturday was a revelation that took my breath away.

When I went to Pride for the first time last year I was blown away by it all. The joy and feeling of freedom that everyone was sharing was almost overwhelming for me and I found myself close to tears several times at how wonderful it all was and at how much I wished it could be like that every day. I never heard one cruel word the whole time I was there and so many people stopped to talk to me and asked if I was having a good time and wish me a Happy Pride. I was alone but I’m glad of it because I met some amazing people and I think the experience would have been different if I would have had people with me.

But as I watch my girl on Saturday I kept waiting for her to show some kind of big emotion. I waited for questions that never came and at first I was concerned that she was missing something, but then as I listened to her chat with the people around us, I realized that for her, this was just how it was. Everyone was the same in her eyes, from the adorable young gay couple standing on one side of us to the mom and dad and their three kids on the other side and the grandparents who had complimented her on something a few minutes before.

In her eyes, everyone is equal because that’s what I’ve taught her.

For her, the party was great and the people were fun, but she wasn’t quite getting the big deal because for her this is how it’s supposed to be.

I grew up in a different world than she did in so many ways. Some of the things are worse now. She will never leave the house in the morning and not come home until dark in the summer without checking in because it’s not safe and that’s why she has a phone. Things are scarier now in lots of ways but there are issues that are a good kind of different too.

She knows that the LGBTQ community is still fighting for equality in so many ways but in her mind, it’s a forgone conclusion. Equality is coming and it will happen and she just doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long.

People from my generation (if they thought about it at all) hoped for a brighter future for the LGBTQ community but weren’t sure it would ever happen. When I think about how I was her age when I first started hearing about AIDS and HIV and that was probably my first introduction to the gay community. And even back then, I knew that the horrible things that I was hearing on TV weren’t right and it was then that I started to realize how much injustice had been done to a whole community of people. I’m floored at how far we’ve come…and how far there still is to go.

But watching my girl dance and smile as the parade went by, I figured out that she was the biggest and best thing I had ever done to fight against that injustice and that she is going to be one of the reasons that equality for everyone will happen.

I took her to Pride because I wanted her to see that I didn’t just say I believed in equality, but that I actually meant it and would do my part to support it. I wanted her to learn something and I suppose she did, but in the end, it turns out that I learned even more.

equality

ally

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Filed under Things I'm Thankful For, This is important.

Merry Christmas Baby!

Merry Christmas Baby

So, here it is, two days before Christmas and while my old Christmas fever isn’t quite what it used to be, I’m a little better than I have been in the last few years.

I finished going through the first edit of Wrapped Up in Chains and it actually kind of made me happy. I can see the mistakes I’m NOT making like I used to and the re-writes I had to do were minimal. And I also liked the fact that Brian, the editor, made comments about the things he liked instead of just pointing out my stupidity. (trust me, I know where I fall on that scale most days.)

Now I’m just waiting for the first edit for Breaking Cupid’s Curse. Good thing it’s shorter and won’t take as long to go through.

My WIP is coming along nicely, although it’s taking longer than I hoped. I think I need some more free time and I’m also thinking that after Christmas it might be time to consider giving up job #2. My house is a disaster and this 7 days a week thing is starting to wear me down. If I take on one more kid in my dayhome, that covers the money aspect and although I’ll miss getting out of the house on the weekends, I think that I need the break. We’ll see…

So, is everyone ready for the big day? My gifts are all bought. And some are even wrapped! I best get to the rest of them or I will find myself wrapping like crazy tomorrow night after we get home from my brothers. Hmmm, we are going there Christmas Day too…in our PJs. I wonder if he knows I’m expecting some sort of breakfast with bacon??? No, not really. With the big turkey dinner Christmas day, I’ll be happy with toast and lots of coffee.

I wonder if my almost-teen-age daughter will be up early on Christmas morning or if her hormones will have her trying to sleep till noon? I think I’ll enjoying getting her ass our of bed about 7am…just to bug her. I’m sure all her presents will make up for the indignity of having her blankets pulled off and the bells ringing in her ear!

And now comes my little reminder(steps up onto soapbox):

If you can, please remember the less fortunate this holiday season. There are so many people out there who have no one to spend their holiday with for whatever reason. If you know someone who’s going to be alone, why not set one more place at your table?

And there are many charitable organizations who can put any donation you make to good use. Of course, being me, I encourage you to donate to equality-friendly charities that recognize that EVERYONE who is in need deserves our help. I like to donate gifts for older kids because everyone what’s to give a child a toy, but some people forget that you don’t stop wanting presents just because you turned twelve.

And helping out someone in need is a gift you are giving yourself for Christmas. There is nothing that warms your heart and soul like giving someone a smile during the holidays.

(steps down off soapbox)

To all of my family, you know I love you more than anything. To my friends, old and new, I’m blessed to have you in my life. You are all on the top of my list of things I need to be happy in my life. Merry Christmas.

Now, I do have a fic rec of sorts. First of all, if you get a chance, pick up the Dreamspinner Christmas anthology for this year. The assortment of stories is an amazing collection of short story smiles. You can get it here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=62_981

Christmas Wish by BG Thomas is a story about getting what you didn’t know you wanted to for Christmas. Sometimes, the thing you want the most turns out to be a big disappointment and the gift you love the most is the one you never knew you wanted. This story is smart and funny and sexy and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a cure for the holiday blues.

Get it here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2101&cPath=56_65

And here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wish-B-G-Thomas-ebook/dp/B004GEARTK/ref=sr_1_15?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1387816595&sr=1-15&keywords=Christmas+Wish

And of course, 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

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have the best possible holiday.

Cindy

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Filed under Monday Rants, Things I'm Thankful For

I am a bad, bad blogger….

I haven’t posted since my birthday and I keep meaning to but then I starting thinking about what I want to talk about and I get stuck. Anyone who knows me knows that I am never at a loss for words…until I have to write something witty and charming and generally not look like an idiot. Not my best subject.

My writing is coming slowly and I’m a little disappointed about how hard it’s being. I thought that once I got the acceptance from Dreamspinner my nerves would go away and I would write like the wind.

Yah, not so much. I have a very specific place I want this story to go and you’d think that would make it easier but it really doesn’t. This is the first thing I’ve written for publishing that isn’t fandom related in some way and I think therein lies the problem. When you write something fannish, you have a definite idea of your characters in your head and how they should act and what they should look like. They have a world that they live in and all I have to do is write them in that world.

This one doesn’t have that set of rules. I have to make it up as I go along and that’s a lot harder. You would think that not having rules would make it easier, but it doesn’t.

Plus the fact that this store is a shifter story makes it more difficult. The genre does come with rules that have to be addressed and I’m worried about not getting that part right.

That being said, however, I can’t imagine it as anything else. The picture I saw that gave me the inspiration just won’t let me go and to me it says wolf-shifter.

I am aware that there are several people who are waiting for me to finish this and are more than willing to kick my ass to do it. My brother, my mother and my Aunt have all been cajoling me to get this finished and I have to say, that make’s me so happy.

I am still working on my getting healthy thing, although that would be a whole lot easier without this cold I’ve developed. I’m hoping it won’t last long because it’s very difficult to walk very far when you’re coughing up a lung.

And I’m hoping that my Dr’s appointment on Tuesday can shed some light on why I’m so freakin tired all the time. I suspect I’m low on iron (again) and my blood sugar could be a little elevated. Also, maybe my body is just getting tired of carrying around all this extra weight and the diet and exercise are the only things that can help with that.

Deanna and Ty are some newer friends of mine who have been so instrumental in helping me stay motivated and I thank them so much for not giving up. My family are all cautiously optimistic that I’m going to be able to keep this up and my husband has gotten on board and been helpful too. My daughter is not really thrilled about the whole healthy eating thing, but hey, it’s for her own good so she can suck it up.

Friday night I attended my niece’s 18th birthday party and when I stand back and look at her I’m so damned proud and amazed by her. She’s grown into the beautiful, kindhearted, smart, funny woman and I know that she is going to go far in life. I’m so glad I get to watch that happen. I think it’s kind of funny that she celebrated in the same dive bar I first drank and so did her mom. It’s like passing on a legacy, lol.

Over on FB my dearest friend Mike just celebrated his 62nd birthday. Now I wouldn’t normally announce his age but he had serious heart surgery a few years back and until he got it, we weren’t sure he was going to make it to his next birthday. I can only hope that I get to celebrate a lot more with him now. If you ask him, he has two birthdays…the day of his birth in October and the day of his re-birth in July. I love to celebrate both days.

Oh, and congrats to New Jersey for becoming the 14 state in the union to recognize same-sex marriage. One day this will be an issue that isn’t one anymore. Until then, I will celebrate every new stride that’s taken in the right direction.

Of course, to get me through this terrible drought with my writing, I have been reading. And of course, I have to share. I know some folks wonder why I recommend books that aren’t mine. I’ve been told that all I’m doing is creating more competition for myself.

The truth is, I love to read. I’ve mentioned that before. It takes me away to places I’ve never been and will probably never get to. And when I read a story that makes me smile, or cry, or get angry or all three, I have to share it with someone. I want every writer who’s trying hard to get the recognition they deserve.

Also, I’m hoping for (but not counting on) good karma. I keep hoping that if I’m kind to others they will be kind to me. After all, isn’t the Golden Rule really how we should live our lives? I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. I’m not always successful, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

On that note, I have a fic rec for you. My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister is a heartwarming story set on a ranch. Tanner is lost and broken and needs help desperately. He’s willing to work hard to get it. Mason is a man who gave up the life he made in the city to come home and help out at home…the home his father kicked him out of when he found out his son was gay.

Coming back to take care of the man who despises you tends to drain the life out of your heart but then Mason finds Tanner. Tanner is sweet, caring and everything Mason ever dreamed of but he’d not sure how to mesh the two lives he’s living together.

This story had me hoping and cheering for these two men who needed each other so desperately and I will be looking for more from this author.

Find it here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4239

And here: http://www.amazon.com/My-Only-Sunshine-Rowan-McAllister-ebook/dp/B00FMJYE6A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382411159&sr=1-1&keywords=my+only+sunshine

And as always, you can find my stuff 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

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Filed under Monday Rants, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.

Hey, its my birthday!!!

Today I turn 44 and I’m not sure how the hell that happened. I don’t feel 44 most of the time. I don’t think I look 44 (most of the time) and I’m still waiting to feel like a grownup and I’m starting to have a sneaking suspicion that may never happen. Honestly? I hope not.

There are still so many things I’ve never done that I am still figuring out how to do. Like travel. The place I want to go are varied and all of them reflect a part of my personality. Ireland…I think I lived there in another life. I’ve only seen it in pictures and on TV but it looks like home to me. Italy…especially the Tuscany region. I want to sit on a beach and drink Lemoncello and watch all the beautiful Italians go by. New Orleans, the Netherlands, England, Memphis and Maryland and South Carolina and Atlanta…all places I want to go that contain people I want to meet. And of course California and Seattle, where I’ve made some new and supportive friends.

And New York! Broadway, Time’s Square and Central Park. And FAO Schwarz, the worlds biggest toy store. Skating and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre. I could spend months exploring NY and never get bored.

I still want to be a best-selling author. I want to write a story that gets everyone’s attention and I want to do it with two men as the main characters.

I want to learn to cook things I’ve only ever heard about and I’d like to learn to sew. I’d like to get my driver’s license (maybe) and buy and old car and cruise around in the summer with the windows down and tunes cranking out of the radio. My daughter says we need a ’67 Impala like Sam and Dean Winchester. If you don’t know who they are, I feel sorry for you, lol. Google them and find out.

My daughter asked me some questions for school today. She wanted to know some “life lessons” I’ve learned. I struggled for a few minutes but then came up with this.

First of all, family, whether you’re born into it or find it along the way is the thing that makes life worth living. I’m including friends in there as well because they are as much a part of your family as the people who are related by blood.

Second of all, never just assume it’s too late to learn something new. Take the chance when it comes because as the saying goes, you can’t win if you don’t play. Take advantage of every opportunity you can because it may never come along again in your lifetime.

And thirdly (and hardest of all to do) don’t let fear control your life. Being afraid is normal but it shouldn’t stop you from trying. Whether it’s fear of what people might think (I’ve almost completely let that one go in the last few years) or fear of failure, it won’t do anything but stop you from achieving the things you want most in life. A friend of mine has a bracelet that says “the only thing standing in my way is me” and I think that’s true for most of us. I’m doing my best to work through that one too. I might need more practice, but I’m gonna keep trying.

So this is some of the stuff I’ve learned in my 44 years. It might not mean anything to anyone but me, but in this case, I’m the most important person.

Also coming up for me is Thanksgiving. Us crazy Canadians. We’re rebellious that way and celebrate in October just to be different. I can’t wait to be sitting around the picnic table down at the campground, surrounded by family and my sister and I will be waiting for my dad to look around the table and see all the food and love ones and get a little misty eyed. Then he will say “I wonder what the poor people are doing” and we’ll all pretend we don’t have tears in our eyes, but my sister or I might sob just a little. It’s as much a part of our family tradition as the turkey itself. For my dad, having everyone there makes him a rich man. He’s a smart guy. We should all be a little more like him.

I’m still working on my exercise and healthy eating. I haven’t had a Coke Zero in almost three weeks and let me tell you, for a Coke addict like me, that’s a miracle. Hubby might be getting tired of salads and stir-fries for lunch but until I can figure out some new recipes, this is the best way for me to get all the veggies in I need. Well, that and the awesome fat-free smoothies I’ve been making for myself.

The walking is getting easier and I’m pretty sure that means that it’s almost time to kick things up a notch. I’ll have to go looking for more hills to climb to make the workouts harder. I am also going to be looking for a second-hand treadmill so I can continue to walk when the snow makes things…difficult. I’m sure my ever-supportive workout friends will think of some other things I can do to get some exercise, even as they keep poking and prodding me along.

And of course, we have the fic rec. I’m gonna do two today because it’s my birthday and that’s just what I feel like doing.

The first one is The Stand by Stephen King. It is still one of my all-time favorite novels and I love reading it when I get a chance. It’s your basic good versus evil story with an apocalypse thrown in for good measure. Mother Abigail is the leader of the good guys and she will make you smile even when she’s making you crazy. And then there’s Randall Flagg, the dark man. He’s an incarnation of evil that has walked his way through numerous King novels and he’s unabashedly heartless. It was also turned into my favorite mini-series of all time and if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and see if it’s on Netflix. It’s an adventure worth taking. Find the novel at your local library or here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Stand-Stephen-King/dp/0307947300/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381211670&sr=8-1&keywords=the+stand+stephen+king

And I’m also going to rec Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton. It’s a sweet love story about two men who fall for each other and then have to figure out how to make it work. It made me smile and left me wanting to know more about their lives. Find it here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4232

Or here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Puzzle-Me-This-ebook/dp/B00FKNQF92/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381212153&sr=8-1&keywords=Puzzle+me+this

And as always, find me 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

Or here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

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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.