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The Corporatorium: I Am Prometheus (Episode One)

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I am Prometheus. Prometheus. Say it slowly, roll the letters around in your mouth. Prometheus. It is not my real name but it is name most fitting for me. Prometheus, the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, chained to a rock, his liver eaten daily by an eagle, in eternal damnation for stealing fire and gifting it to mankind. Yes, there are definite similarities between us.
I am Prometheus, and this is my story. Except it’s not my story. I wish it was, but I am not unique or special. This is the story of untold millions of hapless chaps and chicklets caught up in the grinding gears of the corporate machine.
This is a faux memoir told episodically. You will be inclined, at times, to laugh at us, and cry for us. Do not hold back either impulse. That is the point of sharing this story—to remind us that life is nothing but a series of small comedies and tragedies. What is important is what we take away from each occurrence, what we learn from each calamity and joy.
What will be…

The Eagle Has Left the Nest (Carrying a Book)

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This morning at 2 am EST, after eight months, 61,000 words and eighty-three drafts, I sent my newest book to my editor at Beaten Track Publishing. I’m romantically inclined to say writing this book was a labor of love, but the practical me says it was just labor. Eight months is pretty good for me. Usually it takes me a year to write a book, though Unbroken only took nine months.
I am amazed I wrote 30,000 words in the last three months so essentially half the book was written in three months. Reading it though a last time this week before submitting it, I realized once again that the story I tell isn’t the story I sat down to write back in August. And months into the writing of it, I realized I had to restructure it because the way I envisioned telling the story—in flashback, starting at the end and working forward—just didn’t work for the story.
At first the idea of writing a different book and structuring it differently to my first idea, scared me, but this is my fifth book; I h…

Chiseling Out a New Book

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I had one of the most productive writing weekends in recent memory. 2,772 words between Friday and Sunday. Friday night, around midnight, I sat down to write. My husband had gone to bed, and Riley with him. Toby stayed with me in my office on the third floor. He never leaves my side. When I stopped writing, it was 1:30 a.m.
Saturday, the dogs needed walks, and I had errands to run and laundry to do. By the time I sat down to write it was after 4 p.m. The dogs, tired from our afternoon hike, fell asleep as I sat down at my desk. Everything fell away as I typed. The dogs woke and started whining. It was then that I realized I’d been “in the zone” for two hours and I’d missed their dinner time.
I’m not a very disciplined writer. My writing process is...chaotic. But it works for me. I don’t outline or create character bibles. My stories are more organic. I’ve heard sculptors say they didn’t create the sculpture, they simply freed what was already inside the stone. That’s how I feel about …

Celebrating Love: Remembering a Beloved Aunt

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Friday, January 20, 2017 was a dark day for many in our nation. For me it was even darker. Our beloved Aunt died last Friday. So while for many it was “The Inauguration of the Nation’s 45th President,” for me it will always be the day Aunt Terpe died.
Beloved aunt. Those words beggar description. She was so much more than that. She was a force of nature; she was unconditional love; she was a staunch advocate for those lucky enough to be loved by her.
Euterpe Cleopha Richardson was one-of a kind, as unique as her name.
Though, I never formally came out to her, she always knew; she was the first person in my family to implicitly acknowledge and support my gayness. She made me feel it was ok to be myself. She gave me advice, “Never move in with a man; he can move in with you, or you can move someplace together but never move into his place; that way he can never tell you to leave.” And this,” Never give a man a second chance; if he hurt you once, he will hurt you again.”
Whenever I sho…

A Writer’s Holiday

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Because of the way Christmas and New Year’s fell this year, I found myself the beneficiary of a nearly two week holiday from my day job. And I needed it, too. Between my commute, the job itself and the people I work with, I was seriously burned out. But because I am not good at being idle. I decided to make my time off a “writer’s holiday.” I’m seriously behind on writing my new book, so a holiday during which I could just write made sense. Of course, I can never just write—we had friends coming for Christmas, so cooking needed to be done, and the house needed to be cleaned. And of course, the dogs needed to be walked—and spending time with them was a priority since we both work all week, leaving them on their own a good bit.
I realized for this writer’s holiday to work I would have to be disciplined—something I am not naturally.  I set two goals for myself: 1) write at least one hour each day, and 2) write 1,000 words each day. Modest goals I know, but no sense it setting goals I co…

A Thanksgiving to Remember

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Once again, inevitably, Thanksgiving is upon us. Now, I know common wisdom has it that Thanksgiving is a day to bond with family, and express thankfulness for the past year’s bounty. But to be fair, Thanksgiving isn’t without its pitfalls. Relatives for one (c’mon now, I know you’ve at least once looked at your family members and asked yourself, “How can I possibly be related to these people?”); politics for another. And let’s not forget football, which doesn’t even promise the relief of a half-time show!
We don’t do a full family thanksgiving anymore—the reasons for which are a whole other blog post; another time maybe. So, it’ll just be us, the dogs, my brother and his wife and their son, our good friends who used to live across the driveway from us, and my old, old, old friend Daniel. It’ll be nice. It always is. And for that, I am grateful.
Let’s face it Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday—especially if you’re LGBT. So, to honor the day and the difficulty of family, I am sharing…

The Reluctant Puppetmaster

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Yo, yo little brother, what you out here trying to discover
I’m working on my new book and as I was driving and thinking through a particularly difficult plot line, this song, “Yo Little Brother,” from the mid 80s came on the radio. (1984 to be exact and it hit #57 on the Billboard Hot 100.) It caught my attention—of course I remember when it came out. Now it resonated perhaps because at that moment, listening to that song, I was that little brother, out here trying to discover…what?
I suppose the short answer is I am trying to discover my characters—what their thoughts are, their passions, what drives them to behave as they do. What secrets do they hold, and keep from me? And I wondered, what, as I do with each book, writing this one, I would discover about myself.
I checked every place I thought he might of gone Until I came across a house with something going on I looked in the window there was brother and his crew And he was doing everything a little brother shouldn’t do
My characters…

A Gay Son's Musings About His Dad

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I love my Dad.
That’s probably not an unusual statement. But when it’s a gay son talking, there is often some history and work that went into making that a true statement.
I love my dad. I saw him two weeks ago when I drove up to visit. I hadn’t seen him in about a year and I realized how much I missed him.
When I was younger, my relationship with my dad was…strained. I think part of it was my own resistance to him, thinking he didn’t like the idea that I was gay. So for some years in there, I kept my distance. That changed one rainy Saturday morning in 1988 when I was racing to work outside of Washington, D.C. I was doing 80 when a car merged onto the highway in front of me. I would guess it was going about 40 miles an hour. I slammed on the brakes. I was going so fast and the other car was going so slow, it actually looked like the other car was moving backwards towards me. I’d decreased speed to about 60 at the moment of impact. My car started spinning and as it started to flip an…