New Release: Going for Gold

Today marks the release by MLR Press of EM Lynley’s Olympic-themed M/M anthology Going for Gold, which also means that my latest short story, “Hot Shots,” is at last available for consumption.  One of eight in the collection, “Hot Shots” is the story of Beau, a young Olympic hopeful who kinda sucks at sports, and Marcel, a dashing European shooting champion who undertakes to make an Olympian out of him.  Beau surprises them both by showing some real talent on the range, but his wandering eye could make it hard for him to hit the target when it’s Marcel’s heart.

Read a quick excerpt here, then buy the E-Book here!

(Also available on Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle.)

When I say that I had always yearned to be an Olympian, what I of course mean is that I am ass-over-teakettle nuts about jocks, and my life’s primary ambition has long been to fuck as many Olympic athletes as possible.  The first time I ever clapped eyes on Michael Phelps’ extraordinary body in nothing but a Speedo, I knew that world-class athletes were my sexual destiny, and I set my sights on the Olympics at an early age.  The shortest distance between two points being a straight line, I figured bunking up in a dorm full of them would provide me the easiest possible access to the Hottest Guys in the World. Continue reading

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Matthew Mitcham, His Ukulele, and Other Suggested Remedies for Olympics Withdrawal

The London Olympics are over.  The Rio Olympics are four years away, with only unglamorous Russia to distract in between.  It’s kinda like that downer point I hit on every international trip, where I’ve had loads of fun eating and shopping and carrying on, but now I’ve checked out of the hotel room — the Fun is over, and there’s still a 10-, 12-, or 14-hour flight between me and my bed.  Boo.

Luckily, Gold-Medal Cutie Patootie Matthew Mitcham doesn’t seem to feel any such post-London depression.  As you see, he has taken his trusty ukulele and galavanted off to Rome, from which hot spot he does us the twin favors of taking off most of his clothes and reinterpreting my very favorite B-52s ditty.

If it’s the sudden dearth of half-naked hot guys that has you missing the Olympics, then, take heart: not only have we apparently not seen the last of Matthew Mitcham (which is already something for which to be plenty grateful), but this Friday, August 31st, we will herald the release of the new anthology, Going for Gold (which you can buy here),a collection of Olympic-themed M/M romantic shorts curated by EM Lynley.  “In this collection of stories,” says Lynley’s blog, “you’ll find there’s a lot more to competing at Olympic level than being the best in one’s field. Expectations and pressures from family, friends, coaches and country add up, and sometimes it’s only the love of the right man who can make the effort worth it. And sometimes, love is more important than going for gold.”

My story in Going for Gold isn’t about diving (don’t fret, Nico Jaye’s is), and it certainly isn’t about Matthew Mitcham, but it is about a hotty named Beau and his life’s ambition to compete in the Olympics.  Not because he’s the World’s Greatest Athlete, you understand, but because he’s “ass-over-teakettle nuts about jocks” and longs to use the Olympic Village as the world’s largest Man Buffet.  In short, he is convinced that the Olympics would be a great place to be gay, and if Matthew Mitcham doesn’t make being a gay Olympian look like a blast, then nothing will.

So if you’ve been going through Olympics withdrawal, pining over Chad Le Clos and Danell Leyva on an endless YouTube loop, stay tuned.  I’ll post all the pertinent info on where and how to get your very own copy of Going for Gold when it is released on Friday, and you’ll feel like you’re right back in London.  And it’ll be way better than the TV coverage was; you’ll get all the drama, you’ll get all the poignant backstory, and we didn’t edit out any of the sexy parts!

“What does writing GLBTQ literature mean to me?”

The Follow the Rainbow Blog Hop was a good bit of fun, and is now over.  Many thanks to all the readers who hopped and left thoughtful comments, and Congratulations! to madisonparklove, the Winner of the $20 Amazon gift card.  If you missed the Blog Hop, I hope you will still enjoy learning a little about what I write and why I write it, and maybe start a Big Gay Bookshelf of your very own.  Welcome.

I’ve known I was gay my entire life.  Since way before I had the words to describe it, I knew I was “different,” and I knew it was OK.  But growing up in America is a funny process; all along our educational road, we have two things drilled into our heads with equal fervor.  1. You are an individual.  You are special.  There is no one else like you, and you can grow up to be whatever in the world you want to be.  And 2.  As long as you march straight down this incredibly narrow path of heteronormative behavior to your wedding day, your children, and an eventual gray-haired retirement that you will have no way to pay for.  For a society that stresses individuality and exceptionalism from Sesame Street, we judge our members against a very rigid criteria and forgive few missteps.  So yeah, even though the Universe and I had reached an understanding early on, coming out in Cow Town, Colorado during college was something of a process.  I was surrounded by cowboys, many of them large (and delicious, which isn’t the point), and it was unclear if the Universe had let them in on our little arrangement.  Now, as you know and I know, the real key to Coming Out is to reach the understanding that it doesn’t matter whether those cowboys are in on the deal or not; it has nothing to do with them.  Well, at least not with the ones that don’t fool around at frat parties.  I would have reached that understanding eventually, of course, but the GLBTQ fiction from which I was unable to tear myself away in those days cleared the path.  A gay guy’s life was peppered with glitz.  Or with mystery and intrigue.  Or with hilarity and madcap hijinks, depending on the particular book I was reading.  Few of the books I chose related specifically to coming out or to any drama around it.  The guys in these stories just were gay.  They didn’t have angst around it, they weren’t looking for anyone’s permission or approval, they just ran around solving mysteries or planning elaborate sham weddings to fleece wealthy relatives out of gifts, kissing boys and cavorting with straight-gal sidekicks, quoting show tunes and quaffing Veuve Clicquot and generally getting on with the business of being gay.  But the deluge of gay stories about gay characters written by gay guys did more than just make being gay look like a whole lot of fun.  Gay fiction was my window onto a larger world than the one I inhabited, and the gay writers I read in my teens and twenties showed me that I could indeed live my life, and eventually tell my own stories, my way.  They helped me realize that coming out — that living my life openly and honestly, for better or for worse (come what may, all that) — was the only possible life I’d even be able to consider. Continue reading

City Code Snapshot: DSM

So, look who’s psychic:  In the Lima edition of “City Code Snapshots,” I predicted I’d have a lot to say about Iowa here in this space, and where did I go on my very next trip?  That state’s own capital city, Des Moines.  Land of the Big Blond Bumpkin, and home of the Tastiest Hotel Cheeseburger in the U.S.A.  The State Fair was on when we were there, which would ordinarily easily be able to provide me with a day’s entertainment — I love a good corn dog — but I never know where my next downtown Des Moines layover is coming from, and I was on a lunchtime mission.

A couple of months ago, I flew with this Chicago-based girl I’d never met before, and we fell into a conversation about food; specifically, about our favorite places to eat on layovers.  And she blew my mind telling about this place in Des Moines, Iowa, of all far-flung locales, where she had stumbled upon a crab rangoon pizza.  I am a mad fan of all things crab/cheese wonton, and sometimes order whole Chinese dinners just to have an excuse to summon them to my door, and I am also a huge fan of all things pizza, and sometimes order whole pizzas just to have an excuse to, well… eat them.  Knowing that there was a place that these two worlds collide and then they let you eat the results was more than I could resist.  It’s not like we don’t have State Fairs in Colorado.  (And in fact it starts on Friday.) Continue reading

City Code Snapshot: LIM

There are many compelling reasons to visit Peru, famed for its sky high ruins, ancient cultural traditions, and for bringing the world the potato, but our 25-hour Lima layover leaves scant opportunity to venture beyond the teeming seaside capital.  Mind you, with 43 distinct districts and a population of 7.6 million, and a history stretching back to the sixteenth century, there’s still plenty to see and do in the world’s 40th-largest city.  All of which any guide book from your local library can fill you in on.  If it’s info on sights, tours, and local currency that you seek, get thee to Lonely Planet.com. 

When I’m at work, cities where people live, work, and frolic on vacation are reduced to a series of three-letter codes in the computer that are paired up to tell us where we’re going, what time we’re supposed to get there, and nothing else.  And often that’s all we care about — Tokyo and Toronto are strikingly similar cities when seen from inside an airport hotel room.  Here, in a new Mister Stewardess Feature, City Code Snapshots will occasionally give you a quick glimpse of what stands out to me as the highlight of a given destination when seen through the eyes of working crew, just passing through with little time and even less money.  And since I hardly ever fly international any more, and will probably talk a lot about Iowa in this space, we’ll start big with last week’s trip to Lima. Continue reading