Elisa Rolle

"Days of Love" Library of Congress Event; Another Brokeback Mountain; Straight Men Caught on Grindr; Free Gay Excerpt: Meadows Are Not Forever

Days of Love Library of Congress Event

2014 will go down as an “interesting” year for me for many reasons. After 22 years of being with the same person and living as if we were married, Tony and I were finally allowed to legally wed last January…in Vermont, and by a Vermont Supreme Court Justice, Beth Robinson. To add to the romance of being in Montgomeryville Center, VT, we were also part of a Hollywood documentary, The State of Marriage. I’ve posted about all that here a few times. 

Also in 2014, Tony and I had several intense family health related issues we had to deal with. I rarely post things that private in public when they first happen. I usually do eventually, but in the beginning I think it’s important to protect certain aspects of our private lives…all of us who are online, not just me.

While Tony and I were going through all this Elisa Rolle, whom I’ve met in person, was e-mailing me about a book titled Days of Love that would focus on gay couples, gay marriage, and long term gay relationships. There was so much going on at the time with family I almost didn’t participate. However, something told me this would be a book to remember someday. From a historical POV, this book would be something people could look back and reflect upon during the days when we were still fighting for legalized same sex marriage all over the world. So I put together everything Elisa asked for, I submitted it, and went back to dealing with life.

When I saw this in my inbox today I felt a sense of gratification, and it was a surprise I hadn’t expected. 
   
Just in case any of you are in Washington on that date!

This talk will encompass LOC’s acquisitions of Sylvester & Orphanos Publication Archives, of Stathis’s Christopher Isherwood Collection and his photographs. And Stathis told me Days of Love, which proudly display some of those photographs, will be featured as well.

It’s a great book that I believe will be around for a long time. And to be honored this way, in a book, for everyone who participated, as well as Elisa Rolle who put it together, it is a proud humble moment, indeed.

Another Brokeback Mountain

Apparently, one Brokeback Mountain in a lifetime wasn’t enough so now there’s going to be another type of film just like BM, with a dark storyline that exploits all the most depressing aspects of gay culture. This is the blurb that was released:

The project is based upon the true story of Oregonian father-and-son Joe and Jadin Bell. Jadin, a fifteen-year-old openly gay sophomore, took his own life after being both bullied at high school and struggling for acceptance from the people closest to him. In the wake of Jadin’s suicide, Joe is plunged into a sea of remorse and regret. Attempting to work through his grief, Joe sets out on a walk across America, hoping to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice to anyone he encounters along the way.

So far the details are sketchy. The article I’m linking to only mentions the writers and the producer of the original BM…all people coming from a place of privilege. However, the people who commented on this news made some interesting statements. It’s a gay press; I’m assuming they come from gay people.

One said:

Brokeback Mountain was absolute rubbish!

Another said this:

These films are marketed towards straight people, I’m tired of ambiguous endings, HIV and death at the end. Gay films almost never have a happy ending.

And when I posted about this on social media last night one gay male author commented about why gay fiction written by gay people is never treated as seriously as films like BM.

I have no comment at all until I know more details about it, but I’d be willing to bet there won’t be a happy ending 🙂  You can read the rest here. 

Straight Men Caught on Grindr

This is about what happens when straight men get caught on Grindr…well sort of.

Gaybriel, dressed in a flamboyant pink shirt and sunglasses, and two bikini-clad beauties teamed up to trick the guys. The ladies would go down the beach and flirt with the gents, collecting as much information about them as possible before radioing it back to Gaybriel, who was waiting up the beach. When the guys eventually passed by, he would rush over pretending to recognize them from Grindr. Hilarity (and some awkwardness) ensued.

There’s more here, with a video. For those of you who think this is in bad taste, tricking the straight guys that way. Too damn bad. Get over yourselves. When I first started going out to gay bars in college, I pulled into the parking lot of a gay club one night and there were straight frat guys standing around a guy with a blindfold over his eyes. They’d brought the guy there to trick him into going to a gay bar. These “dudes” and “bros” thought it was hilarious, a gay bar and laughing at gays. And now I think this shit is just as hilarious.
 
Free Gay Except: Meadows Are Not Forever

(There is a happy ending to this story, a VERY happy ending) 

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            When they called his name, Cade was one of ten people left in the room. They’d collected the information sheets at the back of the room first and those up front wound up waiting all day. It was late and Cade’s feet were killing him; he had a sharp pain in the middle of his forehead. The pain was partly caused by his mother. He’d had to call her and let her know he’d be home later than he’d expected. He felt like he’d jumped right back into high school, when he’d had to call in and let his mother know everything he was doing. But he had her car; he had to let her know where he was. He could have lived without her harping about traffic, wearing his seat belt, and not talking to strangers. He was twenty-five, he’d been on his own supporting himself in Los Angeles for seven years, and she still treated him as though he were ten years old. If he’d been under less pressure he might have enjoyed the attention. It had been a long time since anyone had cared that much about him. But after what had happened in the men’s room, all he wanted to do was get this audition over with as fast as possible.


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                 He crossed into a smaller room and sat down on a folding chair that faced a long narrow table. The two guys in saggy pants he’d seen earlier that day were sitting on the ends of the table. Anderson Randolph sat between them. They didn’t look up when Cade entered. They were huddled together, conferring about something in hushed voices. At this angle, with the light hitting Anderson’s profile from the side, Cade couldn’t help notice how attractive he was. His short brown hair was shiny and a little messy on top. His tanned skin took on a slightly bronze appeal in this light. Cade guessed he was between thirty and forty; it was hard to tell nowadays because so many gay men didn’t seem to age until the last minute. (Cade had an older friend who’d once said, “I’d know them for years and they’d look exactly the same. Then one day they’d show up at my door and they’d be old men.”)
            Anderson’s body wasn’t bulky and outrageous, but there were definite signs of muscle definition showing through his tight black V-neck shirt. Although he wasn’t the rough, athletic type that usually made Cade’s mouth water, he had an aggressive, understated masculine appeal that made Cade stop and wonder what he might be like in the sack.
            When the three of them finally looked up at Cade, they each asked him a round of basic questions almost as if this was an interview for a regular job, not an audition for a reality show. They wanted to know where he lived full time, if he’d be available for travel at a moment’s notice, and if he really was single. The guy on the right with curly brown hair said they didn’t want any fakes…guys with boyfriends who were pretending to be single just to get on to the show. He also stated that if Cade was selected they would do in-depth background checks. So if there were any surprises in Cade’s past, it was best to be honest now. 

               The guy on the left asked, “Have you ever modeled or been filmed in the nude? Have you done anything professionally in the adult entertainment industry?”
            Cade gulped. He couldn’t lie. He squared his back and said, “I’ve never modeled in the nude and I’ve never done any porn films professionally. But I do work for a web site in the valley that’s considered all male entertainment. It’s called straightguycondo.com, and I’m the production assistant.” He was surprised at how good he felt after he told them the truth. Cade didn’t have anything to hide. He didn’t count the scene he’d done with the guys because he knew his face would never be shown in public. He worked hard and did a good job for an honest day’s pay. And if they didn’t like what he did, and they judged what he did, he decided he wouldn’t want to work with them either. 

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              After he told them this, the two guys on the end leaned in toward Anderson and they whispered to each other for a few seconds. They glanced back and forth at Cade a few times; they remained expressionless.
            Then the guy on the right asked, “Have you ever actually performed for this web site?”
            Cade couldn’t lie about that either. “Once,” he said. “But no one saw my face. The only shots the camera took were rear lower body shots, no head shots. I only filled in for an actor who didn’t bother to show up for work that day. My job has always been behind the scenes, not in front of the camera. And I’ve never used my real name. In other words, if you did a search for me on the internet, you’d come up with nothing.” 

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            They started whispering again, sending him quick glances, looking him up and down. Cade sat back and exhaled. He even smiled and extended his right leg. Anderson Randolph hadn’t asked him many questions: he seemed to be sitting back and evaluating with his tongue pressed to his cheek. Evidently, Anderson didn’t remember Cade or the cupcake incident from the airport. If he had, Cade figured he would have said something right away. For the first time that day, Cade felt so relaxed he fought the urge to yawn. All that worrying about being recognized had been for nothing.

             When they stopped whispering and turned to face him, there was a knock on the door. The guy on the right said, “Come in,” and a young woman entered the room carrying a small tray of large chocolate cupcakes. There must have been a mound of rich fudge frosting on top about three inches deep, set in perfect ridged swirls to form peaks. And each one had been topped with an expensive truffle.
            Unfortunately, the young woman didn’t notice that Cade had become so relaxed he’d stretched out his right leg. And when she entered the room with the tray of chocolate cupcakes, she tripped over his right foot. She caught her balance just in time and didn’t fall down. But the cupcake tray jerked and a half dozen chocolate cupcakes went sailing across the room toward the three men at the long table. 

             The guys on the end saw them coming and ducted just in time. But Anderson Randolph had been looking down at a stack of papers on the table he he’d missed the fall. Three cupcakes landed on the floor; two upside down on the table. And one lone cupcake flew across the table and landed right between Anderson Randolph’s legs.
            The two guys started laughing.
            The young woman apologized and bent over to retrieve the ruined cupcakes on the floor.
            Cade sat up straight and held his palm to his throat as Anderson reached down between his legs and slowly lifted the upside down cupcake from his crotch. 

            Anderson held the cupcake up and stopped moving for a second. His eyebrows furrowed as if deep in thought and he tilted his head sideways. A minute later, he flung a glance in Cade’s direction. His eyes opened wide; his lips parted. He pointed at Cade and said, “You’re the cell phone guy from the airport. I knew I’d seen you before somewhere.”


      

RRW Will Partner With Elisa Rolle In This Year’s Rainbow Awards

There are going to be a few changes with this year’s Rainbow Awards, and one of them will be that Elisa Rolle has partnered with RRW (Rainbow Romance Writers). RRW is a chapter of RWA, Romance Writers of America.

From my inbox:

The 2013 Elisa Rolle Rainbow Awards are an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons. For this the contest’s fifth year, some new rules have been instigated, and a new partner has emerged to assist Elisa. The Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, will partner with Elisa in the management and coordination of this contest. Despite RRW’s status as a chapter for romance writers, their participation in no way changes the Rainbow Awards and do not make them exclusively a romance contest. One need not be a member of RRW or RWA to participate in this contest.

For those who don’t know, Elisa Rolle began the Rainbow Awards alone, and has been running everything  alone while the event has been growing and moving forward all this time. I’ve been a juror since the first year, and I plan to be one this year as well…and to support the event because I think it’s important for LGBT authors.

As a side note, I’d like to mention that I think it’s interesting to see this partnership with RRW. And this is for specific reasons. Almost one year ago today, I posted about a debacle involving another chapter of RWA, RWI (Romance Writers Ink). RWI was having a contest called More than Magic and they decided to ban LGBT fiction…”no same-sex entries.” The fact that RWI actually used a hyphen in same sex made me shudder for a moment.

In any event, I wrote a very strong post about this mess last year, you can read here. 

While I’m not a member of RWA or RRW, and honestly don’t know much about them, I still plan to be part of the jury for The Rainbow Awards in spite of what happened last year with RWI and the More than Magic contest where gay people were discriminated against in one of the most blatant ways I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve calmed down a little since then (time does heal). RWA is a large organization with many chapters and I don’t think one particular chapter represents the entire organization. And, I’ve always been a supporter of the way RWA holds true to its goal in order to maintain certain standards with romance as a genre. 

I’m not sure I fully understand why (or how) RRW is involved in The Rainbow Awards, being that The Rainbow Awards are not specifically centered on romance (there are all kinds of LGBT sub-genres in this award). RWA is very strict about holding true to romance as a genre and doesn’t like to mix things up, as I stated in this earlier post about changes RWA made with the RITA awards. And RRW, from what I gather, is a chapter of RWA and I would assume they have to follow certain rules. But I could be wrong about that. And as you can read above, there won’t be any changes to the sub-genre submissions for The Rainbow Awards, and it’s not exclusive to romance.

I’ll post more about this year’s Rainbow Awards as I see things unfold.

Updated:

PARTICIPATION OF RAINBOW ROMANCE WRITERS

 

For the first time in the history of the Rainbow Awards, the Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, will help curate the awards and provide assistance to Elisa. The following language clarifies RRW’s role in this process.

RRW will:

– help in the organization of entries, collect payments (using the website shopping cart)
– assist in the finding and organization of judges
– advise and consult with Elisa on issues that arise within the awards at her discretion
– use the resources and talents of RRW and RWA as is deemed appropriate by the RRW board
– focus on the romance-centered elements as per their bylaws
– yield to Elisa’s decisions as owner and founder of the contest
– help ordering winner certificates and sending them
– begin a committee/pool of volunteers and helpers for Elisa

RRW will not:

– own the contest
– take over Elisa’s role as the head of the contest
– get overly involved in the non-romance categories
– engage in any act/promise which goes against its or RWA’s bylaws

2012 Fav Christmas Card From Elisa Rolle…

I’m posting this because it really was my favorite Christmas card this year, and because I sent Elisa a card the week before Christmas and I’m not sure it arrived on time. I’m bad that way. I can get books to publishers weeks before deadlines. If you ask me to do an interview or blog post, I’ll deliver early. I even pay bills ten days in advance.

But ask me to write a Christmas card…or any kind of card…and I become completely kerfuffled.

2012 Rainbow Award Guidelines


I noticed that Elisa Rolle posted the guidelines for the upcoming 2012 Rainbow Awards. Here’s the link, which will show you how to enter and what to do.

I’ve already volunteered to be a juror again and I’m looking forward to this even more than I did last year. One reason is because Elisa has started what I’d hope would become a tradition. It seems to be working that way as more an more authors participate. And what I like most is that it’s not just for m/m romance. There are categories and all LGBTQ books and authors are welcome to submit…including digital books. In fact, out of the six books I read last year, all were digital except for one.

So please take the time to check out the guidelines. Though I didn’t enter anything last year, I’m thinking of entering this year myself with one book in particular.

Release: The Virgin Billionaire’s Little Angel


In this final book in The Virgin Billionaire series, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S LITTLE ANGEL, one of the things I wanted to do most was tie up the storyline in subtle ways with the first book in the series. In fact, I wanted to end the last book with the first line of the first book. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

But I did bring back an integral character that was mentioned in the first book, is mentioned in all the books, and yet never actually appears in any of the books. The character is a woman named Elena. She has a fictional web site in France where she writes about and posts photos of gay men in very tasteful, elegant, and artist ways. It’s no secret now that I loosely based this unseen character on Elisa Rolle, who runs a m/m romance book review blog at livejournal from Italy. At the time, I had no idea this book would become a series. I met Elisa a few years ago in person. She came to my home, we had lunch, and our friendship grew after we met in person.

I also tend to think about the future sometimes. I do believe, without a doubt, what Elisa has been doing with her web site will become part of LGBT history. She will be looked upon as one of the pioneers of LGBT literature and digital publishing one day years from now when I’m long gone. And I wanted to put something wonderful about her in writing because she’s done so many wonderful things for LGBT authors and books.

Here’s an excerpt, without spoilers, from a section of this book where Luis is reading Elena’s web site:

After he walked for about fifteen minutes, he decided to sit down on a park bench and relax. This was something he rarely did in the park. He crossed his legs, swerved to the right, and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He turned the phone on and checked his messages. There was nothing of importance that couldn’t wait until later. Then he went to the website where he wrote guest blog posts, Elena’s Romantic Treasures and Tidbits, to see what Elena’s latest blog post was about. He preferred to read Elena’s posts instead of his own, after all these years, because they still made him feel warm and safe in a way nothing else could. This one thing in his life remained his own private secret treasure no one could alter.

2011 Rainbow Awards…


The results are in, and the 2011 Rainbow Awards have been released.

Please check them out here, at Elisa Rolle’s livejournal.

There are more details here.

Here’s the main link, where you can scroll down and get all the details.

I’d also like to thank Elisa for taking the time to do this once again. I think it’s something the entire LGBT literary community looks forward to and I know it’s a lot of work.

As a judge/juror, I know it takes time to read the assigned books. And I take it very seriously. It takes even longer to decide ratings because the books are so good. So I can’t even imagine how much times it takes for Elisa Rolle to organize and execute an event like this, especially while working full time as a professional in a very demanding position.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards.

Elisa Rolle’s Rainbow Awards…2011

I know it seems as though The Rainbow Awards just ended. But as usual, time passes much too quickly.

I just read an e-mail from Elisa Rolle, which she sent out to all the judges from the 2010 Rainbow Awards to let them know she’s already starting to plan for 2011.

I’m looking forward to judging once again. I love this award and I wouldn’t miss participating in it for anything. The main reason I love this award is because everyone is allowed to participate: there are no restrictions at all. There are no limitations and no hidden political agendas.

Another reason I love this award is because Elisa allows authors to submit e-books, which is not only current, it’s a fair thing to do. When I consider my own reading habits in the past few years, I haven’t bought or read more than two or three print books since 2008. And I don’t intend to start buying more, now or ever again. I have, however, purchased more e-books than I can count. My new reading device of choice is the Kobo e-reader. And I find it interesting that any publishing award nowadays would not allow e-books.

It costs nothing to enter a book (or books) in The Rainbow Awards. And compared to a few other awards, this is a great relief to the authors. The last time I entered an award, which will remain nameless, for gay fiction that wasn’t the Rainbow Awards, it cost me over one hundred dollars when I was finished adding up the cost of snail mail, buying the print books (publishers don’t give them out for free), and sending in an entry check.

I’ll post more about Rainbow Awards: 2011 in upcoming posts. But start thinking about it now, and start following Elisa’s blog to see what she posts so you’ll know ahead of time.

And, best of all, I’ve always thought Elisa was making publishing history with this award. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that?