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