Category: eric arvin

T.J. Klune Anthology; Oxford Comma? Penis on Denver TV;

T.J. Klune Anthology

I’ve posted about the gathering of authors and readers coming together to support authors, T.J. Klune and Eric Arvin, since last December…Christmastime, here in several places. Arvin went through a very serious medical crisis and people associated with the m/m genre literally ran to their sides to support them in all kinds of ways that just rocked. Even people who didn’t know them very well offered some kind of support. Klune and Arvin’s devastating circumstances hit me hard because it reminded me so closely of a very serious health crisis I went through with my husband, Tony, in 2007. As a result, I think more friendships were formed and it reminded us all that there are so many important things in this life we often take for granted.

And now, as Arvin is beginning to recuperate and Klune is finally seeing the light at the end of that proverbial tunnel, the support still continues. E-publisher, Dreamspinner Press, just launched an anthology where all the proceeds will go to Klune and Arvin to help offset medical expenses and all things related to a major medical crisis. My husband, Tony, had excellent medical insurance at the time of his health crisis in 2007. He was hospitalized on May 4th of that year and was not discharged until Labor Day weekend, 2007. That four month stay in the hospital left a hospital bill that reached two million dollars. I am not exaggerating this. So medical expenses alone can be devastating, not to mention other related expenses people don’t always take into consideration.

A group of authors banned together and created the anthology, Grand Adventures. Here’s more about that from the Dreamspinner web site.

 On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.

You can get there from here to check it out.

Oxford Comma?

This is one of those writing “things” that’s always been debatable, at least since I can recall. The Oxford Comma, also known as the “Serial Comma,” is a comma used before a conjunction when there’s a list of three or more things…I went tot he store to buy eggs, butter, and milk.

I’ve always followed the Chicago Manual which supports the Oxford Comma and I’ve always used it…in books with publishers and in my indie books. I even use it in blog posts, e-mails, and anything I write.

As I said, there has always been an ongoing debate and some prefer not to use it. And this article talks about it and gives a link to a quiz.

Do you regularly use the oxford comma in your writing? The animated video embedded above features a three-minute TED-Ed lesson called “Grammar’s Great Divide: The Oxford Comma.”

This linguistics lesson focuses on the debate between those for and against what is “perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time.” Back in 2011, the University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide noted that use of the serial comma should be generally avoided.

From everything I’ve ever heard this is all a matter of opinion and you can’t go wrong either way. It’s personal style and taste…as long as you keep it consistent. In other words, if you’re going to use the Oxford Comma in a piece, keep it consistent throughout. Same goes for if you choose not to use it.

You can read more here about the Oxford Comma.

Penis on Denver TV;

This story really is the best example I’ve ever seen when it comes to checking your digital photos are carefully as you can…and why you should never trust a photo stream unless you’ve glanced through it first. It could get embarrassing.

KDVR-TV’s “Good Day” program scrolled live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the KOMO-TV news helicopter crash scene, until the next images included Edward Scissorhands, a plate of food, and then a penis poking through a man’s zipper.

“That’s Edward Scissorhands, so we’ll just … just ignore that,” anchor Kirk Yuhnke said on air as the image flashed on screen.

The other anchors covered their mouths astonished to what they just saw, as the other broadcasters continued with the report.

You can see a youtube clip of the actual scene as it happened on the air and how the anchors reacted, as well as the penis everyone’s talking about. That poor woman on the far right almost fell off her chair.

And this happened to be a very serious news item about the helicopter crash in Seattle. Not good. And I have to wonder if it’s a good thing that we’ve all become so trusting. I would have checked those photos out first before I allowed them to be aired…or I wouldn’t have aired them at all. I once went to a party where a guy was showing photos of his container garden and right between a photo of his over-sized geraniums and impatiens was a photo of his over-sized penis. He wasn’t too thrilled about that either.

There’s a reason why they have a way to delete photos like this.

Eric Arvin Video; Amazon Prime Price Raise? Big Penis Stories

Eric Arvin Video

I know a lot of people in the M/M genre have been following the health crisis with M/M author, Eric Arvin, through facebook updates by Arvin’s fiancée, T.J. Klune. For the first time that I can recall a large, diverse group from all over the world has felt the emotion through an online connection that rivals anything I’ve seen before. Most recently, Klune posted a video of Arvin’s recovery process on facebook and I wanted to share it with those who might not have seen it.

I think the important thing to keep in mind is that the video shows how well Arvin is progressing, and how determined he is to get better. And anyone who has ever witnessed a loved one go through a health crisis, from cancer to AIDS, knows what I’m talking about. It’s hard to watch another human being go through something this difficult and not feel the emotion, and at the same time feel thrilled when they start making progress.

You can watch the video here on Facebook.

Amazon Prime Price Raise?

Nothing is definite yet, but Amazon might raise the price of an Amazon Prime membership to between 20 and 40 dollars more. As it stands, the Prime Membership is 79 dollars.

Tom Szkutak, Amazon’s CFO, said that Amazon was “considering” a price increase, but didn’t give a timeline as to when it would go in effect. He also declined to answer an analyst’s question about how the price increase would be implemented, so it’s unclear if existing Prime members would be grandfathered in at $79.

I’m not totally against price increases in a general sense, as long as they are fair. Ten dollars a year wouldn’t bother me. Twenty dollars a year might piss me off but I’d still join. Anything over that and I fold.

You can read more here.

Big Penis Stories

This next link is exactly what the title states: it’s about people with stories to tell about big penises. It’s one of those web sites where people share anonymously, which tends to help create more honesty in cases like this.

I love ’em big, hon, but I think even I would have to pass up on an encounter with you,’cause I don’t think I want anything that big moving around inside me!!! lol But I seriously doubt you have that much,,,why don’t you measure again just to be sure, and then get back to us with a realistic size?

Some stories sound sincere and written with good intentions…to inform people. Others tend to devolve into the ridiculous, but in the same respect can be very amusing.

You can check them out here. Most are written by women.

Our Vermont Wedding; T. J. Klune Post; Free Gay Excerpt

Our Vermont Wedding

When I mentioned that Tony and I were engaged to be married last December, I also told people we hadn’t officially made any plans because our goal, after twenty-one years together, and after sharing the first half of our lives together, was to keep the wedding very simple and quiet. But then a few unplanned events started to unfold, one thing lead to another, and there are now a few significant details about our wedding I’ve been waiting to share for the right time that include a movie, a supreme court justice, and a very gracious woman at Phineas Swann Inn.

We started making plans to get married at Phineas Swann, an Inn in Vermont, earlier this month. We did this because we’ve been all over New England but never Vermont, it’s pet friendly and we’re bringing both dogs, and also because of so much that has happened with gay marriage took place in Vermont. That last part was planned, and we did want that historical touch because that’s important to us both. But the rest was a big surprise to both of us. A couple of weeks ago we received a call from the owner of Phineas Swann and she informed us that an indie filmmaker, Jeff Kaufman, from Los Angeles was doing a documentary called The State of Marriage on same sex marriage and he was interested in filming our wedding. And then she told us that Beth Robinson, Vermont Supreme Court Justice, would be there and she would actually be performing the ceremony for us. Of course the owner of Phineas Swann was very gracious and she wanted to make sure this was all okay with us, and that it wouldn’t interfere with our original plans. And it was her graciousness, and our strong feelings about legal same sex marriage, that helped us make the decision to agree to do everything they were asking.

So that’s about it for now. We’re heading to Vermont early next week and the ceremony will take place at eleven o’clock on Tuesday at Phineas Swann Inn. I wish I knew how to do those streaming feeds so family, readers, and online friends could watch it live, but I’m just not good enough at those things to pull it off. But I will post photos and other things I think people and blog readers might enjoy, here on the blog and on social media. I’ll have tablets and iPhones with me the entire time and I’m not planning to go blank next week. In fact, we originally planned to keep this all so simple we’re heading back the next day because of work obligations.

I’ll also keep updating about the film, The State of Marriage, in the coming months. I have no idea what part of the film we’ll be in, or how we’ll come off. But Kaufman has a good reputation for doing what he does, and we’re both looking forward to meeting him.

Side note: the only regret will be returning to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where we live and pay taxes, and where gay marriage still is not considered legal.

T. J. Klune Post

I have to admit that it takes a lot to gut me sometimes. But I’ve become very emotionally involved in what’s been happening with M/M authors, TJ Klune and Eric Arvin. The post I’m linking to now, written by Klune, will explain everything to those who don’t know what I’m talking about right now.

I know we all go through serious times in life, and everyone gets his or her own share of pain and sorrow. But the health crisis with Klune and Arvin hit so close to home for me, and for what I experienced with Tony’s health crisis in 2007, I actually do feel gutted each time I read something else. I also feel a strong sense of pride when I see how so many have supported Klune and Arvin during this time. I don’t think of this as fandom. I think this goes deeper and shows how strong online relationships can be, and how they continue to evolve and grow.

Here’s an excerpt from TJ Klune’s most recent post.

As I write this, I am sitting in a waiting room of a respiratory hospital in Richmond, Virginia.  It’s 11 in the morning on a rainy Friday.  It’s cold outside.  We’re supposed to get snow later.  I forgot to grab my heavy coat when I packed my bag this time. I accidentally left my gloves at the hotel. Forgetting little things is normal for me these days, as are the purple lines under my eyes from lack of sleep that don’t ever go away.  Normal is the leaner face I see in the mirror from the weight I’ve lost. Normal is the Kleenex I keep in my pocket to wipe away the tears that too come easy so he doesn’t see them when I sit beside his bed.

You can read more here.

Free Gay Excerpt

I know this isn’t the longest excerpt I’ve ever posted, but it’s my latest novel in the Glendora Hill series and I often do these things for selfish reasons. I like seeing how they look on the blog, and in these raw versions (this is unedited) I often find a lot of inspiration that’s very hard to explain.

It’s so new I’m only about 25,000 words into it. I don’t even have a title, or a blurb. But I will say this: I see a lot of Christians slamming gays all the time and never taking into consideration that there are gay Christians. I wanted to put that in a book and show them.

When Kelly Barrett mapped out the route he would take from Buffalo, Wyoming to Glendora Hill, Texas, he chose one that would take him through Arizona so he could see the Grand Canyon. He planned this without fanfare or misguided expectations. He’d always dreamed of going there and knew he might not get the opportunity again for a long time.

            Kelly had taken a new position as ranch manager for a small ranch in a town set deep in Texas Hill Country called Glendora Hill. Although he’d loved working as a ranch manager in Buffalo, Wyoming, Kelly’s partner of five years, Dudley Long, had accepted the position as Pastor of a new church between Glendora Hill and Austin, Texas, and Kelly couldn’t hold him back. For a gay minister it was the opportunity of a lifetime. This new church was one of the most progressive in the country and they welcomed LGBTI people with wide open arms to the point where they’d specifically gone searching for a gay pastor.  

            The job offer came fast and Dudley couldn’t refuse because the church in Wyoming where he’d been pastor had closed six months earlier for lack of funds. When Dudley heard mention a gay couple in Glendora Hill, Texas were looking for a new ranch manager, it sounded too good to be true. The ranch in Texas was only twenty miles from the church where Dudley would be working. It was such a poor congregation there were no funds for housing and Kelly and Dudley would have to find a home of their own at their own expense. So when Kelly discovered the ranch manager position in Glendora Hill came with a great salary, full benefits, and included housing at the ranch, he aggressively went after the job without thinking twice. It was one of the few times in Kelly’s life when things actually fell into place without having to struggle too hard.

            As he pulled out of a gas station not far from the Grand Canyon, he frowned when he glanced into the rear view mirror and saw a guy on a motorcycle tailgating his truck. He was wearing a lime green and black helmet and Kelly couldn’t see his face. It was eight in the morning and there weren’t many cars on the road. Kelly glanced at the speedometer and frowned again when he saw he was doing the posted speed limit. He also wondered what was going through the guy on the motorcycle’s mind, and how he could take so much for granted. The guy seemed to trust that Kelly would not stop short or make any sudden moves, which made no sense at all for anyone who knew the basic principles of defensive driving. The motorcycle resembled a toy compared to the huge black pick-up truck Kelly was driving.

            The guy on the motorcycle followed him to the entrance of the Grand Canyon and then disappeared when Kelly pulled up to pay the admission fee. When he entered the park and spent the day walking and taking photos, he forgot all about the guy on the motorcycle. But as he pulled out of the park around five o’clock that afternoon he took a deep breath and sighed when he saw another motorcycle not far behind.

            He knew it was the same motorcycle from earlier that day because he spotted the lime green and black helmet again. But just to be certain he pulled over to the shoulder and made a phone call to Dudley in Texas to let him know where he was. As he pulled his phone out of his pocket the motorcycle passed him without fanfare, he got a closer look at the helmet, and he took another deep breath and sighed aloud. Then he dialed Dudley’s number and waited for him to answer.

            “Hey,” Dudley said, on the fourth ring. “Where are you?”
            “I’m just leaving the Grand Canyon now,” Kelly said. “It was spectacular. I wish I could have spent a few days here. I wish you could have been here. You would have loved it.”

            “We’ll make that a plan,” Dudley said. “As soon as we get settled here, that will be our first vacation.”

            “I’d like that,” Kelly said. “You’d be amazed at how many private little trails I saw. We can have so much fun behind a rock.”

            Dudley laughed and said, “I’ll bet we could.”

            Kelly smiled because Dudley’s reaction sounded fake, which meant he probably wasn’t alone. “Who’s there with you?”

            “Ah, well,” Dudley said. “I’m here with one of the church women and we’re discussing a new youth committee.”

            Kelly laughed. “I see. I guess you can’t talk about having hot sex with me in trails now, or about how I want you to pull my pants down behind a rock.”

            “I think you’re right about that,” Dudley said, pretending to laugh a little too loudly.

            Sometimes it bothered Kelly that he couldn’t act and react like other gay men he knew. It was bad enough that he was a cowboy and he had to deal with certain restrictions of his own, let alone the restrictions he faced all the time being married to a minister. As the husband of a minister he was expected to be prim and proper. He couldn’t tell dirty jokes, or swear in public. He couldn’t make campy gestures, allow his wrist to go limp, or talk about gay culture in depth. Even though Dudley’s church was highly progressive, it was still a church and people expected the pastor and his partner to behave a certain way. But he was used to it and he didn’t let it bother him often.

            “I’ll let you go then,” Kelly said. “I can see you’re busy. I’m driving through Arizona tonight and I’m not stopping until I reach New Mexico. I’ll call you in the morning.”

            “Be safe,” Dudley said. “Love you.”

            “Love you, too,” Kelly said.

            He stopped for something to eat at a fast food drive through about an hour later. He wanted to reach Silver City, New Mexico before midnight without wasting a moment. He’d planned ahead and made a reservation at a motel earlier that morning. Now that he’d seen the Grand Canyon and he’d gotten that out of his system the long road trip had lost a good deal of its excitement and all he wanted to do now was get to Texas, start his new job, and be with his husband.

            Though he’d planned for seven hours on the road, he pulled into the motel in Silver City around one in the morning and yawned when he noticed the front office was open twenty-four hours. The motel complex was a low-slung one story affair designed in an L-shape, with beige stucco exterior walls, a roof with missing Terra Cotta tiles, and a vacancy sign at the entrance that hung slightly to the right from old rusty chains. He noticed a swimming pool in the center of the complex, with plastic tables and chairs he’d seen in low-end discount stores. The pool area was surrounded by a rusted chain link fence that reminded him of an old junkyard back in Wyoming. And the only landscaping he noticed between brown weeds and thorny grey shrubs were those stereotypical cactus plants that didn’t even look real.

            He yawned again and pulled up to the front office to check in for the night. It wasn’t the kind of place he would have stayed in if he’d been traveling with Dudley. But he figured because he was alone he might as well save money, sleep in the cheapest places possible, and save up for a few new things he wanted to buy in Glendora Hill. The ranch manager’s cottage on the ranch where he would be working came furnished, and Dudley was already living there and he said he loved the way it looked. But Kelly had always been picky and he had very specific tastes. He knew, without even seeing the cottage, he would want to make changes there and those changes would cost money.

            The clerk in the main office reminded Kelly of a character in an old film, but not just one specific character. She was more of a combination of several. This woman had to be in her seventies, with long straight blond hair, parted dead center with a long chunky braid that trailed down her back. She wore too much pancake make-up in the most garish pale shade just shy of clown white, dark red lipstick, and two heavy dots of blue eye shadow. He dress was a flouncy cotton deal, with tiny pink roses and vines of ivy, a matching belt at the waist she’d cinched to the point of discomfort, and a lace collar. If she hadn’t been so deadpan in tone and lackluster in expression Kelly would have thought he’d run into the reincarnation of Baby Jane Hudson from the old Bette Davis classic, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. But when she refused to even look up and make direct eye contact with him once, she reminded him more of Norman Bates in Psycho.

Beyonce’s Top; M/M Support for Authors; Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

Beyoncé’s Top

After handing out more than thirty five thousand dollars in gift cards a few days ago to Wal-Mart customers, Beyoncé has done it again with a new video that surfaced and proven she cares about her fans deeply and that she’s at the top of her game. This time Beyonce made a dying teen’s wish come true at a concert.

Taylon, whose last name and age have not been released, is suffering from inoperable brain cancer and her dying wish was to dance with the mega-star.

After learning of her wish, The Philanthropy Program Partnerships made it happen and organised for the youngster to meet and dance with her idol.

You can read more here. You can watch the video there, too. In this case, you can tell when someone really cares. It’s just all over both of their expressions.

M/M Support for Authors

Here’s an update on M/M author, Eric Arvin, who is going through a serious health crisis right now, and at this moment (I think) undergoing brain surgery. I only have an overview of the medical issues and I don’t want to post anything inaccurate, so I won’t go into detail about them now. But his health issues are serious and I’ve been amazed to see how readers and other authors continue to support Arvin, and his partner, T.J. Klune.

I think most of us have gone through fairly serious health issues with family members, so we know. I’ve been through my share with Tony. And reading and seeing all the emotion and support for both Arvin and Klune has left me speechless more than once. It’s just mind blowing how people in this genre have reacted with so much love. And it really hits home for me because I know what Klune is going through right now. I’ve been there and it’s a strange place to be. To watch someone else go through it isn’t easy. You act and react on instinct and raw nerves. It’s like being in a long term state of shock and you focus on the most important things at hand and everything else seems to diminish. All of this is happening on social media. There’s also a fund set up to help offset medical costs, and all kinds of other things that happen during times like this.

It’s also a little strange for me to watch all this unfold because I don’t know Klune or Arvin very well. I’ve only noticed things on social media and how T.J. Klune seems to have an interesting way with people most authors don’t have. But in my recent release for a book I wrote months ago, Cowboy Christmas Miracle, one of the main characters in the story goes through a serious health crisis in fiction that’s a lot like what Arvin is going through right now in real life. I’d never done anything like that before in a book because I don’t like to go that deep with emotions too often. It’s not only draining to write about, but also tends to darken a romance if it’s not done with care. I gave my characters a happy ending, and I’m hoping the very same for Arvin and Klune.

And, another author I know, Jill Elaine Hughes, spent the holidays in the hospital with her infant. Jill is a seasoned writer who has been around for a long time and she’s written M/M romance and recently a few new adult novels. She’s also a great mom who balances a full time writing career and a family, and I think all moms will agree there’s probably nothing worse than seeing your child hospitalized. And I just wanted to mention her and offer some support, too.

Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

This is interesting because I’ve seen this discussion over and over again…all my life. Even when something isn’t deemed adult content and is rated G, there are people who think ALL gay content is unsafe and harmful just because it is gay content. In other words, a web site could write and post about LGBT people who are deeply religious, and that content would still be considered not suitable for children.

And now Dell and other companies are feeding into that mindset:

Leading computer companies are helping anti-LGBTI people to block public access to ‘gay and lesbian’ websites – including vital services. The policy, including at Dell, has been condemned as ‘incredibly poor business sense’ and dangerous for vulnerable people.

But more interesting than that, two companies are known to support LGBT people in public and yet they are also supporting a product designed to filter out gay content altogether.

You can read the details here.

I have to think about this one for a while. If I could block and filter the Bristol Palin types of the world I wouldn’t mind them blocking and filtering me.

But that’s not how things work. The bigger picture here is that ALL LGBT content is considered porn in some places, by some people and no one’s blocking the Bristol Palin types. I’ve seen it with books and the way books are sold and categorized. A perfectly harmless little love story with no sex at all could be classified as porn just because of gay content.

FMLA & Gay Couples; PA Gay Minister Fired

FMLA & Gay Couples

This was something I learned this morning and never knew because it never directly affected me. By the time Tony was hospitalized in 2007 I’d already been in business for myself for years and working as a freelance writer. So I basically had to contact editors, let them know what was happening, and tell them I had to take an extended break from work and couldn’t meet all my deadlines. It was summer and things were slower. All the editors I worked with at the time offered me their support and told me I had nothing to worry about. But that’s not the case with all gay couples who don’t have the protection of legal same sex marriage. And unlike couples who are legally married and do fall under the guidelines of FMLA, many still have no protection whatsoever when a partner is taken ill for an extended period of time.

FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act. It covers spouses and family members. Here’s an overview from the .gov website.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

I learned about this earlier today while reading through an update on social media from author, T.J. Klune. He’d been informed by his place of employment that because same sex marriage is not legal in his state he wouldn’t qualify for FMLA while is partner, Eric Arvin, is in the hospital. Fortunately for Klune, his employer was gracious enough to tell him it didn’t matter and that he/she would work with him each step of the way and that his job was not in jeopardy. But not all employers are as kind and it could have made a serious situation even more difficult to deal with.

So this is yet another reason why it’s so important for same sex couples to have legalized marriage on a federal level throughout the US. Right now, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where I live, I wonder how many gay couples are dealing with issues like FMLA with nowhere to turn. It’s one of the smaller things we don’t see mentioned all the time in the fight for equality, but can be vital to those who are affected by it. And that has to change soon, because now it’s even more unfair to see that same sex couples in some states are protected and those unfortunate enough to live in other states aren’t. It’s actually gone beyond LGBT discrimination and now it’s become discrimination based on where you live.

You can read more here at the .gov web site.

PA Gay Minister Fired

I posted about the Pennsylvania minister who has recently come under fire for performing a marriage ceremony for his gay son and partner. And he didn’t even do this in PA. He did it in Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal and recognized on a federal level.

According to church officials, their “Book of Discipline” condemns Schaefer’s behavior, and he was told to resign by Thursday if he could not respect the rules.

Jurors who convicted him in a church trial told Schaefer he should take the month to decide if he agreed with the church’s belief that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Of course I think this is unfortunate, I’m not a fan of organized religion of any kind, and I know how these things work. The problem with this situation is that as horrible as it is and as much as these things are always a reflection on the so-called good Christian values to think that a church would deny a minister something like this, I do believe in the complete separation of church and state. Right down to the bottom line.

You can read more here.

Gathering in the M/M Community; $1 Million on Romance Study

Gathering in the M/M Community

In the past ten years or so while I’ve been working online I’ve run across different situations that made me stop and think. I remember following one publishing blog about five years ago where the same people read the posts and commented daily as their routine. Blog readers established an online community, and eventually the entire comment thread became what almost resembled an open seminar in a college. At one point, one of the regulars in the online community went through a bad time and his home burned down. When that happened all the people who had been frequenting this particular blog banned together, formed a support group, and started a small foundation to provide him and his family shelter, clothing, and other things they’d lost in the fire. It was a remarkable thing to watch so much love. And it’s not something I see often. In fact I haven’t seen anything like this since the recent health crisis with T.J. Klune and Eric Arvin.

And this time instead of a small online community formed around a blog, it’s much larger and far more emotional. The M/M Romance community has banned together to not only offer emotional support to Klune and Arvin, but also financial support. When I posted about this here on the blog last Saturday I think they had raised about six thousand dollars and the original goal was ten thousand. You can now check out this link to the web site where they are having the fundraiser and see that it’s reached thirty-one thousand. And I have to admit this is the first time I’ve ever seen this huge show of support and such and outpouring of emotion in any part of the publishing community.

I have to admit that for me it’s sometimes difficult to follow because I went through something very similar to what Klune and Arvin are going through right now when Tony was hospitalized in 2007. I’ve always considered myself a strong person who can take a lot, but each time I see something on social media I get so emotional and so many memories return from 2007, I can’t stay there for long at any one given time. And in the same respect, I try to stay and read all the comments and updates. I get just as emotional in a more positive way watching so many people from all over the world offer support on so many levels. So I’ve been following and offering as much support from a distance as I can. And if this is any indication of how caring the M/M romance community can be I think it speaks very loudly for the people who publish, read, and write M/M romance.   

$1 Million on Romance Study

This isn’t a web site I normally go to for info or even pleasure reading, but when I did a simple search I couldn’t find anything about the topic which means the mainstream media is going blank on it for one reason or another and they want it to disappear. In any event, it seems the federal government spent about one million dollars on a study focused on romance novels.

The federal government has spent nearly $1 million studying romance in popular culture, according to a new report that targets government waste.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $914,000 to help fund The Popular Romance Project since 2010, an ongoing study that explores “the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction.”

The fact is people who don’t read romance don’t get romance. They never have and never will. Of course they are calling this government waste because these types often slam romance. If it had been a study on mainstream fiction about a long dull bestseller that people use on coffee tables to impress other others I doubt they’d be calling it government waste. And when you think about it one million dollars may be a great deal of money to most Americans but it’s virtually nothing compared to what the government really wastes money on. Frankly, I’d like to see a government study done on pop culture with political pundits who try to pass themselves off as journalists…on both sides of the political spectrum from ultra conservative Sean Hannity to left wing liberal Rachel Maddow. They’re the ones we should really be studying because they’re making millions manipulating good people on both sides.

You can read more here.

Eric Arvin/T.J. Klune Support; Facebook Celebrates Gay Rights

Eric Arvin/T.J. Klune Support

I don’t normally post many personal things here, but for those who read and write gay romance, and follow a lot of what happens on social media within the community, you probably already know about the serious health situation with Eric Arvin. So far, from what I’ve read, Arvin has been intubated (placed on a ventilator) and they are talking about surgery. I don’t know more than that, other than this is very serious. I know from personal experience with Tony they don’t intubate you and put you in ICU unless it’s serious. There’s really no way to describe what it’s like when you’re going through something like this with a spouse or life partner. And when you’re younger it’s even harder, trust me.

Klune did a youtube video thanking people for their support. And when I watched this it was like going back to 2007 when Tony was intubated, almost died, and spent four months in ICU in Doylestown Hospital with a deadly strain of pneumonia. I posted about this before, but the impact of seeing someone else go through something similar is strong. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this since 2007 when I went through it. Things like this change you forever. And when I saw the video Klune made I think I know what I must have looked like back then. Shock. You also find out fast who your friends are. You’d be amazed at how many people do a disappearing act. The week Tony was admitted to the hospital New Hope was having a gay pride event. We found out fast how many “friends” were more interested in gay pride than they were in whether or not Tony lived or died. Those who supported us emotionally will be friends until we die. Those who disappeared were weeded from our lives.

In any event, there’s a support fund for Arvin and Klune to help offset medical expenses here. So far the fund has raised 22,000 dollars. Tony and I were lucky enough to have health insurance that covered his entire hospitalization. This was a huge fear of mine at the time. But to give you an example of how expensive it is to go through a serious illness these days Tony’s final expense was two million dollars. That figure still blows me away.

Facebook Celebrates Gay Rights

It’s nice to see something positive happening around the world with regard to the LGBTI community for a change. For the past few weeks most of what’s been happening seems to involve hate and discrimination in one form or another.

But for Facebook, it’s time to celebrate the many good things that have happened to the LGBTI community this year. Looking back in the 2013 in review video, they remember the most amazing and memorable events that have happened this year.

You can read more here.