FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt: ALTERED PARTS
I have a new release out this week titled, Altered Parts, and I wanted to post an excerpt. I posted the blurb yesterday.
There are links below. It will be available in paperback very soon. It takes a while to get that part of the process moving along.
You can check out the excerpt below this post. It’s a period piece set back in 1940, that’s a PG rated gay romance with a happy ending.
Are You Promoting Racism on Grindr?
Here’s an article about Grindr and what’s now being referred as “sexual racism.”
“Sexual racism is a larger problem within our community and impacts all dating apps, not just Grindr,” he told the Advocate. Grindr, he added, does “prohibit the use of offensive or racist language and encourage our community to report offending profiles through our app’s built-in system.”
You can check that out here. There are comments, and one guy in the comments wants to know if it’s sexist if gay men state they are not sexually attracted to women. It’s a valid question, considering what we’re dealing with here.
Frankly, I can understand not using racist language. That I get, and I despise racist language. But if you’re not into a certain “type” sexually, there’s not much anyone can do about that. If there were something we could do about THAT there would be a lot less single people in the world and we’d all live happily ever after.
Do We Need Gay Bathhouses Nowadays?
I guess they’re trying to bring gay bathhouses back to Minneapolis, and here’s how one PC gay reader responded to an article about it.
All of my gay friends seem pretty set on getting rid of these stereotypes and images, or at least not having them define the LGBT community. Religion and all that aside, it demonstrated as a matter of both mental health and physical health that people are healthier if sex is not separated from love, affection, commitment.
It’s interesting because it’s almost as though we’ve entered a new gay PC version of the Victorian Era, where sex was frowned upon and everyone wound up doing it discreetly so no one would find out. I’ve read the entire quote and think this person is naive if they think that people who live heteronormative lives don’t have their fair share of sex just for the sake of sexual gratification. Not to mention the fact that not all gay men have the luxury of coming out, not even nowadays. So places like gay bathhouses provide them with an outlet, both socially and sexually. Whenever I see comments like this I always get the feeling the person isn’t very experienced, in general.
I’ve never been to a gay bathhouse, but, I never thought gay bathhouses defined the gay community either. They’re just a part of gay culture. And gay culture is highly diverse.
You can check that out here. As you would imagine, this link has a lot of comments. And from what I’ve seen at a glance, bathhouses still have a place in some parts of the gay community.
FREE Gay Excerpt: Altered Parts
When we reached the clearing at the end of the path where the house became visible, he grabbed my overalls and wrestled me to the ground. He pinned my back to the grass and climbed on top of me. As he sat on my chest he held my wrists back over my head and said, “When are you going to learn. I’m stronger than you are, Joe Buddy.” At first I wasn’t sure if he was making fun of my name by emphasizing Joe. A lot of people from other parts made fun of the way country people did things and I’d heard all the exaggerated stereotypes before.
Then he started laughing with me, not at me, and that’s when I knew he wasn’t serious. “You might be stronger, but I’m faster. And don’t you forget that, Clay Totten.”
He released my wrists and we rolled around on the grass again until I heard Aunt Ted call my name from the front porch. She must have noticed us wrestling because she walked to the gate and said, “Who’s with you, Joe Buddy? Honestly. Why on earth are you rolling around on the ground that way right before supper in such a crude, uncivilized manner? I thought I taught you better.”
We stopped wrestling and both stood up fast. I led the way over to the gate and said, “We were just fooling around. This is my new friend, Clay Totten. He’s from Wyoming and he’s on his way to Florida where he has kin. I asked him to stay for supper if that’s okay. He doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Can he stay? Please?”
Aunt Ted looked him up and down and said, “Of course it’s okay. We have plenty of food.” Then she walked even closer and shook her head. “You poor thing, you look like you need a decent meal. I’m Joe Buddy’s Aunt Ted. You just follow me into the house while Joe buddy puts on shoes and socks and I’ll make sure you get something decent to eat for a change.”
As Aunt Ted turned and headed back to the front porch, Clay sent me a look as if he was waiting for me to explain Aunt Ted. I just shrugged and said, “I think she likes you, and that doesn’t happen often. Pay her some compliments. Tell her she’s pretty. She likes that.”
Clay smiled. “Well, I think I like her, too. And that doesn’t happen very often either.”
If he noticed…or if he was even curious…that Aunt Ted had once been a man, he never said word. The only question he did ask when we reached the front door was, “Is your Aunt Ted from England?”
I laughed and said, “No. She’s born and raised here and never been off Buddy’s Mountain for longer than a day or two. She just talks that way like people in the movies. It drives my Aunt Matilda right up the side of the house sometimes. She’ll look at Aunt Ted with pinched lips and say, ‘Come down from your high horse again, Ted, you’re not in London, you’re on Buddy’s Mountain.’ But Aunt Ted doesn’t care. She keeps right on talking like Katherine Hepburn. She thinks it’s more sophisticated. She even has a name for it: transatlantic. We’re all used to it around here.”
“Well, she’s a tall one, but she seems nice enough.”
“Let’s go inside so I can put on my shoes and socks before supper,” I said. “Then I’ll introduce you to Aunt Matilda. They’re sisters, but they’re nothing alike.”
When he met Aunt Matilda he seemed a little relieved. Unfortunately, Aunt Matilda didn’t seem as relieved. While Aunt Ted showed Clay into the formal dining room, which is where we had supper every night at Aunt Ted’s insistence, Aunt Matilda pulled me into the kitchen and asked, “What’s his story? Where’s he from? I’m not sure about bringing drifters into the house, especially cowboys.”
I told her everything I knew about him, which I’m sure wasn’t enough to calm her worries. Then I said, “He’s a nice guy and I don’t think he has a place to stay. Can I keep him here tonight? Please, can I keep him?” I did not want to let that cowboy go, and I was ready to do anything to keep him around. After all, it wasn’t every day a person found a man like Clay Totten wandering around Buddy’s Mountain in tight jeans and cowboy boots.
Aunt Matilda had always been the more cautious one in the family, but she trusted me and she had a kind heart. She’d also always encouraged me to have friends being that I’d grown up as an only child. The times were different back then, too. People, in general, trusted other people a lot more. It was nothing to pick up a hitch hiker on the side of the road, or to offer assistance to someone in need. She raised an eyebrow and said, “I suppose it can’t hurt, but you keep an eye on him. There have been strange things going on around here with my tomatoes and that hay in the barn, and I don’t want any trouble.”
“I won’t let him out of my sight,” I said. That was the total truth. I couldn’t stop looking at him or his cowboy boots.
After we sat down to supper, Aunt Ted threw her right arm out and bent her wrist, a flamboyant move even for her. “We’re so glad you could join us for supper. I hope you like Boeuf Bourguignon, haricot vert, and fingerlings with raclette, Clay.”
I looked down and smiled. I was used to her.
And Aunt Matilda shook her head and said, “Don’t pay any attention to her, Clay. It’s beef stew, green beans, and potatoes with melted cheese.” She sent Aunt Ted a glance and said, “My sister has a tendency to embellish everything. You’ll get used to it, or not.”
Aunt Ted waved her off and said, “And my sister has a tendency to be common.”
Before Aunt Matilda could reply I spoke up. I didn’t want them to quarrel in front of Clay. “This looks wonderful. I’m starved. Could you please pass the bread, Aunt Ted?”
Aunt Ted reached for the bread but she looked at Aunt Matilda and smiled. “Here you go, dear. It’s a fresh baguette right from the oven.” It really was nothing more than white bread my Aunt Matilda had baked earlier that morning, but Aunt Ted seemed to take pleasure in emphasizing the word baguette.
Aunt Matilda just rolled her eyes and sighed.
During supper, Aunt Matilda tried to ask Clay a few questions about his past and where he came from, but Aunt Ted kept bringing up the women’s church meeting and throwing everyone off track. She wanted a new organ and not a picnic area and she wasn’t going to let that topic go for anything. As curious as Aunt Matilda was about Clay, she was more interested in getting the new picnic area. So while they bickered about whether it was more important to have good music or good picnic benches, Clay had three helpings of beef stew and more potatoes with melted cheese than I’d ever seen anyone eat. And I had a feeling this had been his first decent meal in a long time.
We had pound cake for dessert, and then after that I took Clay outside to see the car I was working on. I’d never won any awards in school, I was average at sports, but that car was the one thing in this world that filled me with a sense of pride.
He looked it over and said, “It’s great. Let’s go for a ride.”
I hesitated. “I haven’t taken it out yet. I’m still working on a few things.”
“Does it run?”
I shrugged. “Well, yeah I guess it runs. I just wanted to adjust a few things before I start driving it regularly.”
He opened the passenger door and climbed inside. I think if it had been a convertible he would have been the type of guy who’d jump over the door and into the seat like in the movies. He leaned over and looked at me through the driver’s window and said, “Stop being so cautious. We don’t have to go far. We’ll just drive it around a little.”
“I guess it couldn’t hurt,” I said. “I did fill it with gas yesterday. I just don’t want to go too far, just in case we wind up walking back home.” The only reason why I hadn’t driven it much yet was because there was still a knock when it idled, and I was afraid to take it out alone. As long as Clay was there I didn’t feel that fear anymore. I felt as if I could do anything as long as he was around.
It took a moment or two to start the old car, but once the motor turned over we cheered and he punched me in the arm. I knew it was his way of showing affection without actually being affectionate and I said nothing. I turned the wheel, headed down the dirt drive, and toward a road that would lead us up to the highest point on Buddy’s Mountain.
I hadn’t been up to the top of the mountain in about a year. We used to go up there all the time when I was younger and my aunts had more energy. Back when my grandfather had still been alive every single family holiday and summer event had been held up there. We’d gather in a gazebo my grandfather had built years earlier, for long picnics that often lasted well into the evening hours.
As we climbed to the top in the old car that day, I’d forgotten how intimidating the old dirt road could be. It wrapped around the edge of the mountain, without a fence or guardrail, and one wrong move on my part would have sent us both plunging thousands of feet to our deaths. I gripped the steering wheel tighter and leaned forward a little. And while I never took my eyes off the road for longer than a second, Clay stared out through the passenger window gaping at the view.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said. “It’s fantastic. Everything is so green.”
I smiled. I kept my eyes focused on the road and said, “The height doesn’t bother you at all?”
“Hell, no,” he said. “The higher the better. I love looking down. It gives me a thrill up my leg. Does it bother you?”
I gulped. “Let’s just say I’m always glad when we reach the top of the mountain and I’m on solid ground. I just don’t like being this close to the edge.”
“You’re doing just fine. Stop worrying so much. The road is wide enough for a huge truck, it’s very smooth, and you’re just thinking about it in an exaggerated way. Trust me, you’re okay.”
“That’s easy for you to say. You weren’t raised by two spinster aunts who wanted to prepare you for all the terrible, awful things that can happen in life. Trust me, they left nothing out.”
This time he looked away from the view and frowned. “At least you have them. You’re lucky. It’s a lot more than I had.”
After he said that, I wanted to find out more about his upbringing, but we had just reached the top of the mountain and he kept looking around with such wide eyes I figured I would save the deep conversation for a later date.
The moment I pulled up next to a large rock that wasn’t too far from the family gazebo, even before I turned off the motor, he jumped out of the car and ran to the edge of the cliff. I watched as he stood there with his hands on his hips and his long legs spread apart. I climbed out of the car and started toward him, noticing he looked as good from the back as he did from the front. His expression appeared so animated and thrilled with excitement I enjoyed watching his impressions of the mountain more than I enjoyed the mountain itself. I’d grown up there. I knew every inch of that mountain, including the views. It’s not that I didn’t love it, but seeing it all through Clay’s eyes made me feel as though I was seeing for the first time as well.