The Year in Review, Things to Do

Happy 2013!2012, we hardly knew ye.  Actually, 2012 was kind of a loudmouth year, and one that many people will be happy to leave behind, but before we send it packing, there are a couple of loose ends to tie up around here.

I don’t do New Years “Resolutions.”  Partly because I feel like the word “resolution” is used by our culture in this context as a synonym for “setting yourself up for failure,” after which point you will presumably be called upon to punish yourself for not getting skinny enough or not running enough marathons or for drinking too much coffee.  My skinny days are behind me, there’s no such thing as “too much coffee,” and one marathon — New York City,  1993 — was plenty, thank you.  I’m not a big fan of self-flagellation (odd for someone brought up in the Catholic tradition, I know), but I’m a firm believer both in setting intentions and in positive reinforcement, and when I meet goals, there’s always a minute of Yay, Me!, and often champagne.  (And maybe a big dinner out, which is why “Get Skinny” is no longer on my list of Things To Do.) Continue reading

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Christmas Comes to Kiss Me, Straight

XMAS KMSInto every life a little Christmas must fall, and Our Hero Todd is no exception to this rule.  What with being a hopeless romantic and a little bit of a drama queen, he finds himself with some feelings to sort through, and he drags himself home to his childhood home in Ogallala, Nebraska to sort through them.  OK, well, maybe to use the chaos of Christmas with his brothers and nieces and nephews as an excuse not to sort through them, but give the boy time; it’s a process, as Todd will go on to appreciate.

You won’t be needing excuses, though: just in time to brighten your own holidays (or those of the queer fiction fans on your Holiday Shopping list), JMS Books is having a sale!  ALL eBooks on the site are 30% off, which means Kiss Me, Straight can overflow from your digital stocking for only $5.59!  The print version is also on sale if you’re looking to get a few snapshots of the book under your own tree. You can snag a copy on Amazon, and it’s not too late to enter to WIN a copy on Goodreads (although it will be too late on January 1).

Christmas preparations here continue apace; Jared is baking loaf after loaf of yummy pumpkin bread, I’ve bought my Rudolph-themed wrapping paper at the Dollar Tree, as you see, and had my Xmas pedicure (oh yes, I am that fancy), and Chris Isaak and Stevie Nicks assure me that Santa Claus is coming to town.  Will he make it to Ogallala?  Scoot back off the edge of your seat and find out in the Kiss Me, Straight Christmas Excerpt: Continue reading

Best. November. Ever.

tumbler2Last weekend, we cashed in the Groupon that I gave my boyfriend for his birthday (in April) and spent the morning in a surprisingly awesome glass blowing workshop at a local studio.  While the only actual “blowing” I did was in the form of Breathing Through My Fear that what I hoped would become my New Favorite Glass (seen here) would break before it ever had a chance to decant so much as a drop of wine, we did get to pick out our own colors, and “help” as a small cadre of experienced glass artists coaxed vessels and vases from glowing blobs of molten orange nothing with pointy tools, spinning poles, and ever-helpful gravity, a great friend to the glass blower.

Except for when he is her enemy.  Before we got to jump in and play with solid fire on a stick, the artist who opens her studio to us neighborhood rubes gave a brief and flashy demo to help establish expectations and give us an idea of what we were in for.  While she blew and spun and swirled and fancily attached and detached various appendages to the Demo Goblet, she talked about Glass.  About the science that makes it predictable enough to work with, and about the petulant personality of the medium and the thousand and one variables in the process that make the outcome of every piece unique and surprising.  Tapping the finished project off of the pipe on the end of which she’d been spinning and shaping it, she broke it, then tossed it I-don’t-remember-where with a casual Oh, well.  You win some, you lose some, she had illustrated, possibly on purpose, and she explained that part of the appeal of working with glass was that even if she sets out with a very specific plan, she never knows exactly where it will take her. Continue reading