Update: links to new release, below, Small Town Romance Writer….
Here I’ll add more links as I get them.
Bob Frey on Sodomy
A Minnesota Republican candidate, Bob Frey, is allegedly campaigning for office on an anti-gay platform that’s based on misinformation about science and health. According to this source he’s obsessed with sodomy, and at the same time knows nothing about how certain things actually work. This is some serious WTF-ery.
‘…It’s not about the gay agenda but about the science and the financial impact of that agenda,’ Frey said to MinnPost. ‘It’s more about sodomy than about pigeonholing a lifestyle.’
He added a scientifically illiterate definition of AIDS.
‘When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg,’ Frey explained. ‘The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.’
There’s more here. The part about sodomy and fiscal responsibility would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.
Gay Kissing in Cabs
A gay Iraq Vet claims he was kicked out of a taxi for kissing his boyfriend. From what I’ve read about this in several places, they weren’t going at it hot an heavy. It was nothing more than a show of affection that any straight couple might exchange in a public place without being questioned.
“That’s when the cabby started to get really hostile with us,” Williams, who served two tours in Iraq, said. “He pulled off the road and told us to get out of the car, he wasn’t going to serve us. … It happened to the wrong person because I’m not going to stay silent.”
The driver claims it was more than a quick kiss and it’s being investigated.
According to this article, this is not the first time this has happened with a cab driver.
You can read more here.
Hasselback v. O’Donnell
Evidently, when Elizabeth Hasselback found out that Rosie O’Donnell was returning to host The View, she wasn’t too thrilled. For those who don’t know, both women worked as co-hosts of The View and a dispute between them is what led O’Donnell to leave the show.
“What could ruin a vacation more than to hear news like this?” Hasselbeck said. “Here comes to ‘The View’ the very woman who spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network, and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there.”
Frankly, I’m not fond of either one. Both are overpaid tools. Hasselbeck is right where she belongs, and I doubt she’ll ever win a Pulitzer. And O’Donnell’s big mouth might help draw viewers to a tired show in a dying medium, but she’s about as interesting and funny as a hemorrhoid.
There’s more here.
Gay Emmy Year
I’ll admit I don’t follow Emmy awards, and I find I’m watching less TV as each year passes thanks to other alternatives. But this year I will also admit that it looks interesting because of so many openly gay names attached to TV shows. I think all of the openly gay names I’ve posted about in the past year or two have been nominated for something. From Matt Bomer to Nathan Lane, this promises to be something of a rainbow event.
Already a three-time Emmy winner for The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons received two nominations – another for Bang Theory and one for the HBO miniseries The Normal Heart.
In the supporting actor in a TV movie or miniseries category, among Parsons competition are fellow out actors and co-stars Matt Bomer and Joe Mantello.
You can read more about it here. I think the Emmy Awards air on August 25th.
FREE Gay Excerpt: Small Town Romance Writer
Here’s a raw excerpt from my newest release, Small Town Romance Writer. I’ll post links as soon as I get them.
It’s a m/m romance, it’s 113,000 words, and it follows the lives of two gay authors over the course of about twenty years. One is a highly successful commercial writer who writes m/m romance and the other is a highly acclaimed gay literary writer who has more awards than money. The dynamics between the two very different authors are interesting.
Keep in mind, once again, this is the raw version before edits because I hate posting PDF in HTML, and I will post more over the weekend with another excerpt.
When former male stripper, Ethan Holmes, gained admission to The Iowa Writers’ Workshop he had the best of intentions. While he often bragged to people it was one of the oldest and most celebrated writers’ workshops in the country, and he never failed to mention how difficult it was to get accepted, he often wondered in private how he would suffer through the intense academic two year residency requirement without losing his mind.
By the end of his first year in the program the only two things that kept him in Iowa were his best friend, Travis Lane, and a guy he’d met over the summer, Lance Mannington.
Ethan had met Travis Lane the day he’d started the program. At the time, Ethan hadn’t planned ahead for housing and he’d spent his first night in Iowa in a dumpy hotel off-campus, not far from the bus stop. He was from a small town on Florida’s Gulf Coast and he’d always been able to find affordable housing as an undergrad student there. No one had mentioned affordable on-campus housing at the University of Iowa was so scarce in September. He thought he’d show up the day he arrived, sign a lease, and everything would fall into place for him the way it usually did. He’d always been charmed that way, and he knew it. Evidently, all these people had planned ahead.
On the first day of class, the other grad students all looked and sounded so aggressive and competitive Ethan wanted to hide behind a door. It didn’t take him long to realize this wasn’t small town Florida where he could get away with anything by flashing a seductive smile, opening his shirt a little, and moving his hips just the right way. When he overheard the female students discussing feminism and rape culture, he knew casual flirting with them wouldn’t get him anywhere. When he overheard the male students talking about gender politics in fiction he groaned aloud and turned in the other direction.
Then Ethan spotted a young man standing in the corner leaning against the wall, glancing down at a thick book. He seemed to want to remain separate from the others. There was a green canvas backpack at his feet stuffed with books, and he seemed oblivious to his surroundings in a forced way no one would have noticed if they weren’t paying attention to him. While he looked at the book, his eyes kept darting up at the other students waiting to go into class, which Ethan found interesting. The guy wasn’t even reading the book; it could have been upside down. He was only pretending to read the book.
This unusual guy stood about six feet tall, had a slim, lanky body, and his short, straight hair reminded Ethan of the wheat fields he’d seen on the bus driving through Iowa. He wore a crisp white button down shirt that day, and flat front khaki slacks that bunched up at the hem around his brown oxfords. When his eyes went up and he noticed Ethan staring at him, he looked down at the book so fast Ethan didn’t even get a chance to send him a smile.
So Ethan walked over to him, with his hands in his pockets and his head held high. He’d worn his tightest jeans that day, the ones that made his crotch bulge. He hadn’t brought any books or materials to class because he hadn’t unpacked any of his things yet. He leaned back against the wall next to the nervous young man, and said, “Hey, man. I’m Ethan.” He extended his right hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
The young man hesitated for a moment, and then he shook Ethan’s hand and said, “I’m Travis Lane.” He spoke with a soft, cautious tone, as if he’d lost his voice.
But Travis didn’t hesitate to look into Ethan’s eyes, which made Ethan feel more at ease. At least there didn’t seem to be anything fundamentally wrong with him. “I was wondering if you could loan me a notebook and a pen, buddy,” Ethan said. “I just got here last night and I haven’t had time to unpack my shit yet. You should see the shithole hotel where I’m staying. I still don’t even know where I’m going to live yet.” He laughed and scratched the back of his head. “I guess I should have thought about that a while ago.”
Travis sent him a look. His head jerked back a little and he asked, “You didn’t secure housing beforehand?”
Ethan shrugged and smiled. “You know how it is, man. I figured I’d worry about it when I got here. I’m from a small town in Florida and it’s pretty easy to find digs where I come from.”
Travis bent down and pulled a notebook and a pen from his overflowing backpack. He handed it to Ethan and said, “I waited a year to get my apartment in Hawkeye Court. Around here you really have to plan ahead for these things. Didn’t anyone tell you?”
Ethan laughed. “I probably didn’t pay attention to them. You know how it is, man.”
“Well you’re going to have a tough time now,” Travis said.
“Clearly,” Ethan said, taking the notebook and pen. “Thanks for letting me borrow these, bro. I appreciate it. I probably shouldn’t even be here in this program, but I figured I’d give it a shot since they admitted me.”
“I don’t understand,” Travis said. “I worked hard to get accepted. I killed myself.”
“Where are you from?” Ethan asked. He could see they’d come from two different worlds, but he wanted to make a point.
“Connecticut,” Travis said. “I went to Yale and I’ve been planning to come here for the past four years. It was my only goal all through undergrad school. My mom and dad are both attorneys and they wanted me to be a lawyer but all I ever wanted to do was write. I had to get into this workshop; otherwise they would have made me go to law school. I wouldn’t have had a choice.” He shrugged and smiled. “And I’m not mean enough to be an attorney.”
Ethan looked at him and smiled. “I’m from a small town on the Gulf coast of Florida. My mom’s a waitress and my dad’s a trucker, and neither one of them graduated from high school. I worked my way through undergrad school as a male stripper in both gay and straight strip clubs all over Florida. And I still don’t know how I got into this workshop. I heard about it one day last year and I figured I would apply and see what happened. I’m still shocked they let me in.”
“Well you must be good,” Travis said. “They don’t just let anyone into this program.”
“I guess they liked something I did,” Ethan said. He’d always been able to write and he’d never had to work hard at it.
Although Travis didn’t seem stunned, he did tilt his head sideways and ask, “Do you want to be a writer?”
Ethan shrugged. “I want to make a lot of money.”
Travis laughed and said, “Well you can do that stripping. You don’t need The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. If I had your looks and your body, I might not be standing here right now myself.”
That was when Ethan knew they were going to be friends. Though Travis looked like a tight-ass at a glance, he was far from it. Ethan looked him up and down and said, “You could strip with that ass. You wouldn’t starve to death. They love it when the smart looking guys pull down their pants. And you’re cute as fuck.” He made that bold remark about Travis being cute to see if he was gay. All of Ethan’s instincts told him Travis was gay but he wanted to be certain.
Travis didn’t seem offended about the cute remark. His face turned a pale shade of pink and he said, “Well, thanks for the compliment, I think. But I think I’d better stick to writing. As it is, I still might starve to death doing that. At least that’s what my parents think will happen.” Then he stopped and hesitated for a second. He rubbed his jaw and thought as if he was choosing his words with caution. “I’m curious,” he said. “Are you gay? I am; just so you know.”
Ethan didn’t mind the bluntness of that question, and he had come to terms with being gay when he was in high school. But he liked to play games, especially with someone who asked such a direct question without knowing anything about him. He shrugged and said, “What if I said I don’t like labels?”
Travis lifted his eyebrows and said, “Then I would think you are mostly likely gay and you’re not ready to admit it aloud, or you are still lying to yourself. Your type is always like that.”
“My type?” Ethan laughed at his innocence.
“The rough-looking, straight dude who can pass whenever he wants to pass as straight,” Travis said. “Your type likes to hold out for a while.”
“Well you would be wrong,” Ethan said. “As it happens, I’m into dudes and I have no problem admitting it aloud to anyone. If anything, my problem is I’m into dudes a little too much. I can’t stop thinking about anything but men.” He glanced at a young woman in the hall with long flat, dark hair parted in the middle and he frowned. She wore a gray plaid skirt and black ballerina slippers. She didn’t have ankles, and her legs reminded Ethan of tree trunks. There were so many flawed people in the world he found it exasperating sometimes. “From the way it looks, all I’m going to be doing is thinking about men, because I haven’t seen a single man or woman yet that’s even halfway hot enough to actually fuck.”
Travis blinked. “Well thanks.”
Ethan patted him on the back. “Present company excluded,” he said. “I should have said you’re the onlycute guy I’ve seen since I got off the bus in Iowa.”
“You’re full of shit,” Travis said.
“Sometimes,” Ethan said. “But you are hot.”
“What about beauty from within?” Travis asked. “Doesn’t that count for something? I like to think it does.”
“That’s what yourtype always says,” Ethan said.
“The good-hearted elitist who cares about issues and all of humanity,” Ethan said. “You’re only fooling yourselves, and you’re the first ones to jump into the sack with the first hot piece that comes along.”
Before Travis had a chance to reply, the other students began filing into the classroom and Ethan turned to join them. Travis followed him, and Ethan and Travis sat next to each other that first day. After class they went out for coffee, where Ethan made sure he pulled Travis’s chair out on purpose. Even though they came from completely different worlds, they balanced each other in a natural way and finding things to talk about never seemed to be an issue. Ethan couldn’t believe his luck once again, so on the way out of the coffee shop he asked if he could see where Travis lived and Travis brought him to the small on-campus apartment he’d rented.
It wasn’t much of an apartment, but the moment he walked inside Ethan knew it was better than the shabby hotel room where he’d spent the night. There was an open floor plan that had a living, dining, and kitchen area. In the back, there was one medium sized bedroom with a double bed, a closet large enough for two people, and a basic bathroom with a shower and a tub. Although nothing was elaborate, and the gray carpets and old white bathroom tiles had been around since the disco era, Ethan didn’t want to let this opportunity slip away without doing something about it.