Tag Archives: things I’m thankful for

Ignorance has me sitting here shaking my head….

You know, I’ve heard some ridiculous things in my life and there’s no doubt I’ll hear more, but once in a while, I hear something that leaves me speechless…and not in a good way.

I was just talking to a friend and he was telling me a story that I’ve heard before. He’s a writer who spins amazing tales that leave me heartbroken before he picks up the pieces and puts it all back together again. I believe his books are so wonderful because he’s writing m/m stories from the point of view of a gay man who has lived what he’s writing about. There’s so much of him in his stories that I recognise from what I know about his life. The details might not be the same but he and his husband of many years are still in love and that’s something to be admired.

And that’s not to say that the ladies in this genre don’t write some breathtaking stories, because there’s some out there who make me crave every story they write because they are just that talented and fantastic. I feel lucky as a reader to have more and more stories to choose from in this field and I’m grateful to all the writers who grace us with their musings.

The thing my friend and I were talking about? The issue that’s put a burr under my saddle so to speak? He’s been told by women writers, to his face, that gay men should not be participating in m/m romance because it was “invented by women, for women”.

I have to admit, the top of my head just about blew off. And just to be clear here, I am a straight, female who is proud to be a part of this amazing family of writers but I cannot believe the gall of someone telling a GAY man that he shouldn’t be writing GAY romance stories because it’s not about him…

Excuse me? As far as I’m concerned, I am grateful beyond belief to all the gay men who have supported my writing over the years. This is them and their lives that I’m writing about and I do my damnedest to make sure I get it as right as I can. In fact some of my friends roll their eyes when I ask them questions because they’ve been asked “is this right?” so many time and they think I’m being a little ridiculous.

But as the writing community has found out in the last week, words hurt. Maybe most people don’t mean them with that intent, but if it is pointed out to you by people you are supposed to be supporting that what you’ve said has offended and hurt them then there is one proper course of action.

Apologize sincerely and learn from your mistake. Then move on. Don’t bluster and try to make light of it. Don’t accuse them of being too sensitive and don’t belittle their feelings. Be a grownup.

I don’t believe the gender of the writer is important in most cases. What’s important is the story and the feelings it invokes in the reader. But telling someone they shouldn’t be writing about their own lives is preposterous and if it wasn’t so ignorant it would almost be funny.

So I want to say thank you to all the men out there who have read my stories and sent me messages thanking me for them. I love hearing about how something I wrote has touched someone in some way. It’s what I dreamed of as a writer.

And I want to thank all the men who have supported me as I’ve dragged a story kicking a screaming out of my brain. The ones who told me when I got something right and the ones who told me when I got it all wrong. Both have helped me grow as a writer and I appreciate it more than I can ever express.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. My friend’s hurt was something I couldn’t ignore because it wasn’t something he deserved and I hope that the men in the genre realize that most of the women around here don’t feel that way and that we are happy to stand alongside you as we all try to live out our dreams.

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Filed under Things that bug me., This is important., Writing and thinking.

A change is as good as a rest….and an author rec

So. I’ve made a big decision and I’m changing jobs. I’ve run a dayhome in my small town for the last 12 years and while I’ve loved the kids and had a lot of fun, I think it’s time for something different. I love that it made it possible for me to stay home and care for my daughter, even if she didn’t always appreciate it (Mom, I wanna go to the cool dayhome Mercedes goes to) but I think I need to get out and remember how to interact with people older than 6.

There’s also the whole issue with kids coming and going and never knowing how much my paycheck is going to be at the end of the month, plus the fact that I’m considered to be self-employed and the pains that causes me. When people can just pull their kids and leave a serious 650 dollar hole in your paycheck, it leaves your feeling scared and unsettled.

So, I’ve given my noticed and started training at my new job and while I know that it will hold its own challenges, I’m hoping it will rejuvenate me and help other areas of my life as well.

Like my writing. It is so affected by the rest of my life. When I’m worried and unsettled, focusing on my story is difficult at best and some days, it’s downright impossible. When you can’t figure out if you can pay your bills, it’s hard to concentrate on romance between two hot and growly shifters and I really, really want to get this book finished.

My daughter is old enough now, that spending some time alone at home isn’t too much of a hardship for her. In fact, she will probably enjoy the freedom that comes with it (of course, living in a small town populated with so many family members sort of limits that freedom a little naturally). But, it was gratifying to have her tell me that it would be weird not having me around and that it would take some getting used to. I think it helps that I will be working at a store that’s a 10 minute walk from our house and she always knows where to find me.

On the writing front, well it’s much the same. The French Translation of my second novel “All the Things I Didn’t See” is out today from my publisher and I’m finding that very exciting.  It’s the fourth language for that book and it makes me smile to think that people in other parts of the world are enjoying it.

The shifter story is coming along, slowly but surely and I’d like to say I’ll have it done by the end of March but I’m too chicken to make that kind of commitment. Anything could happen and I would feel even worse if I failed. But I have a lot of great supporters behind me, that are rooting me on and poking me in the back with a pencil when I let myself get too lost. They know who they are and thanks guys.

So, yeah, that’s it for the catching up portion of this post so now on to the part that I enjoy the most, the fic rec. Only, it’s not just a fic, it’s an author.

Rhys Ford is one of those authors that just lets me get lost in a story, so when I emerge from it, blinking in the light, I feel like I’ve been on a journey of epic proportions.

Her Sinners Gin series is my favorite. Big Irish men with huge families who inevitably find men who are a little bent, but definitely not broken. With a memorable dog as my favorite side character. These stories have made me laugh….and cry and want to throw things and I’ve never regretted letting myself get invested in the lives of the people she’s bringing to life.

I haven’t read her Cole McGinnis series yet, it’s next on my list, but her Hellsinger series is amazing.

My new favorite is Black Dog Blues. The first book in her new Kai Gracen series, it’s a roller coaster of a fantasy novel that twists and turns its way through the pages and I am dying for book two to come out.

Check her out at Amazon as well as at Dreamspinner Press and other places.

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

And just because I love his work, here’s another gorgeous photograph from my friend Anthony Aceto

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Filed under I'm so excited!

It’s a new year (almost) and here’s some observations…and a fic rec!

So, it’s December 29th and the new year is almost upon us. This isn’t where I was hoping to be at this time last year.

I was hoping to have at least one more novel submitted (and hopefully accepted) and maybe a couple of short stories for anthologies but I’m still plugging away at the same WIP although I seem to have broken the dam (knock on wood) and it’s coming along and growing into something I think I’ll be proud of.

I found out this morning that my novel Wrapped Up in Chains is going to be made into an audio book and man, I thought going through edits of my work felt strange, but listening to someone read my words out loud is really amazing and really freaky at the same time. It’s a little overwhelming actually but I’m so happy to have this opportunity. I think audio books are really important and not just to the blind.

My dad is a truck driver and he spends a lot of long, boring, lonely nights on the road, a lot of times in places with no radio access and the goes through a ton of audio books. They’ve probably saved his sanity on more than one occasion. But don’t listen to mine dad…just…don’t, lol.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I spend a lot of time thinking way too damn much and this time of year has me reflecting on what has happened over the past year…the good and the bad.

I had a book that went to number one in its genre and categories on Amazon. I never, ever expected that and I am so grateful to everyone who supported me through the craziness that came with getting that book published and promoted.

Thank you especially to my friends on twitter who passed the word along. I asked and you answered with enthusiastic yeses and I know that if it wasn’t for your support, I wouldn’t have gotten that far.

I took my daughter to her first Pride and had an epiphany. The reactions I was waiting for that never happened because she’s being raised in a different world than I grew up in and no one could have been prouder of their child. She’s smart, good-hearted and doesn’t put up with intolerance or bigotry of any kind. She doesn’t understand the fight for equality because for her, there should be no fight. She’s still young enough to believe that what’s right is what should be and as she gets older, I look forward to seeing the kind of woman she’s going to become. I just know she’s gonna be fierce.

I’ve met people who amaze the hell out of me. People who make me smile on a daily basis and even though I’ve never laid eyes on them (and probably never will) they’ve become the kind of friends I’ve always dreamed of having.

It’s not all been great. My sister moved away to make her life better and while I understood it, I still missed her terribly and no one is happier than me that she’s moving back in a few weeks, with her fiancé in tow. I can’t wait to just hang out with her again

My husband and I got to take Meghan to the Calgary Zoo on what I’m pretty sure was the hottest day of the year but it was still awe-inspiring. We also got to take her to Banff and show her what is probably my most favorite place in the world.

So, what am I looking forward to this year?

Getting this damned book done, and maybe another one I have started but put to the side concentrate on the shifter story. Other than that? I have no idea where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. I only know that I keep chugging along, trying to never give up and hope for the brightest possible future for my beautiful daughter.

So Happy New Year folks. I hope it brings you lots of love, happiness and success!

And now for the fic rec.

I read the most amazing series last month. It’s called the Free Men Series by Kate Aaron and consists of three stories called The Slave, The Soldier and The Master. They are about three men who find their way together and each book is told from a different point of view. The three stories run consecutively and are really just one tale broken into three parts. I highly recommend these novels that I can only describe as a sort of historical fantasy mashup. Tam, Kai and Lysander will draw you in and keep you intrigued. They will steal your heart and make you cry before making everything better with a hopeful ending.

You can find this series and all her books here on Amazon.

And of course you can find me here on Amazon

Or here at Dreamspinner.

And because I love his photographs, here’s another one from my photographer friend Anthony Aceto

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Filed under Monday Raves