week, I'm very excited to turn my blog over to my friend and fellow writer,
Andrew Q. Gordon, whose book, Purpose, I
absolutely loved. I can't wait to read the new one. Andrew's new book, A Closed Door, is set to release today (October 8) by Wayward Publishing. Blurb
thirteen, Orin Merritt left home after high school hoping to escape
the hell his life had become. Ten years later when a tornado destroys his
childhood home and kills his parents, Orin finds himself in an entirely
new nightmare. One he can't run away from.
himself for failing the two people who always loved and supported him, he
returns home and confronts his past in the person of his one-time best friend,
Thomas Kennett. Thomas not only rejected him when Orin came out, he led
the group that tormented Orin into leaving.
As he struggles
to deal with his grief, Orin also labors to fulfill the pledge he made to his
parents before their death. In the process, Orin learns that
sometimes when you go away to find yourself, you leave the answers you're
looking for behind.
Cover Artist: Lily Velden and Jay Aheer
"Orin, I won't."
Thomas stood a bit straighter and his eyes lost the sad, pleading shine.
"I won't hurt you again."
"You can't promise
that. Things happen." Orin watched as his words dragged Thomas back from
the brink of hope.
"If you truly believe
that, then there's nothing I can do. You have to believe there's a chance or
else I can't prove it."
"That's not what I'm
telling you." He locked his gaze on Thomas's. "If I say yes, I'll
have to take down the walls I surrounded my heart with to keep it safe. Once
it's gone, I won't be able bring it back if I get hurt. Not now.
"So what I'm saying
is, think about what you’re asking me to risk. If you really love me, ask
yourself if are you willing to risk
what will happen to me if you can't keep your promise."
He knew how unfair he'd
been, but self-preservation had been a skill he'd honed over the past fifteen
years. He needed Thomas to know just how serious the repercussion could be for
"Orin, I . . . I . . .
how . . .?" Their faces were inches apart, and Thomas moved in for another
This felt different than
the first—less urgent, but no less intense. Orin trembled at the leap he was
about to take. When they stepped back, Thomas rubbed his thumb across Orin's
"I do love you, Orin.
More than I can say. So much, that I'm not willing to risk what will happen if
I fail you again. I don't have that right."
Thomas's lips quivered and
the tears welled at the bottom of his eyes. He kissed Orin's forehead gently.
Please be happy." Without looking back, Thomas walked to the front door,
opened it, and walked away.
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when
yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable
typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his
MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. 'insiders,' Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball, and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.
Recently, a friend of mine called me“bougie.” In case you’ve never heard the term, Urban
Dictionary defines bougie,a hacked
truncation of the word Bourgeoisie, which refers to the middle-class in Europe,
as “aspiring to be a higher class than one is.”
Now, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been called bougie. And
generally, being called bougie doesn’t offend me because it calls me out for
daring to dream, for striving to accomplish something. I have, after all been called other, worse things. And I don’t
particularly care much what other people think of me. But being called bougie does
rather irritate me because it
inherently asserts that I have no right to dream, to achieve, that who I was at
birth is who I should be at death.
The word bougie seems to stem from a screwed-up thought
process that defines a place for everyone, a place they must always remain. I
remember as a kid, when I talked back, I would be told I was “out of place.”
And that was often a punishable offense. The idea t…
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…
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