Showing posts from September, 2014

Is An Open Heart the Route to Happiness?

We lost our beloved Lhasa Apso, Coco , last September. She’d had a heart condition, so her loss wasn’t entirely unexpected but it was devastating nonetheless. Her slow decline was heartbreaking and painful to watch. After taking a cue from her and consulting with her primary vet and her cardiologist we decided it was time to let her go. My husband met us at the vet at the appointed hour. I remember him sitting on the bench in the exam room crying as I held her. “I thought I was ready,” he said between sobs, “But I’m not. I’m not.” My heart broke for all of us: for Coco, for him, for myself. She’d been a great dog, stubborn and regal and difficult, but utterly herself and a fighter to the end. We still had Toby, our silky terrier. He seemed fine, we assured ourselves. He enjoys being an only dog finally and getting our undivided attention, we said. We weren’t ready for another dog, couldn’t face the devastation that would come with another loss. We’d lost two dogs already and I w

Happy One Year Anniversary Unbroken: What a Year it's Been

Today marks one year since Beaten Track Publishing  released of my third book, the gay coming-of-age/romance novel, Unbroken   . And what a year it has been. Unbroken was both a 2014 IPPY (Independent Publishers) Gold medalist and a Lambda Literary Award finalist in the Gay Romance category.   That led to the opportunity to join other finalists at readings in New York   and Philadelphia .   But perhaps most significantly, the publication of Unbroken allowed me to reconnect me with my childhood crush, Jose, who is the real life basis for the character of Jose, Lincoln de Chabert’s lifelong love in Unbroken.   Getting to know him as an adult, confessing that long ago first crush has been both cathartic and illuminating. Now seems like a good time to thank reviewers who read the book and wrote reviews, as well as the readers who not only spent their hard earned cash to buy the book but who also took the time to read the book and post a review on Goodreads  or Amazon , or drop

On Being a Misfit...and Loving It

I have a commute to work which, if not, soul killing, is at least soul numbing , but my car has a premium sound system with 10 speakers. Music is my sanity. I happen to love songs that tell a story, that contain a message. So many top 10 hits and pop songs don’t tell a story or tell a story that makes no sense, so MeghanTrainor’s “All About That Bass” really caught my attention. It spoke to the misfit I am, have always been . Before I go any further, let me say I have always embraced my inner (and outer) misfit. I was fortunate enough never to suffer from the need to fit in, which was a good thing because I neither fit in, nor blend; blending to me equals death. Skinny, sissified, I never had any hope of “passing;” I didn’t have the desire either. I wouldn’t try to pass for straight (even if I could) any more than I would try to pass for white (if I could). “I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble.” As I understand it she’s referring to her size (“I ain’t no si

Love is…Michael & SusieQ

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…-- Corinthians 13:4-13   Photo courtesy of Steven Tutein, Total Focus Studios My older brother, Michael , married Susie Q Wong this weekend and in a surprising turn of events I ended up being his best man. As a romance writer, I love weddings and this one was no exception. What is posted here is essentially a transcript of my best man’s speech and toast. The accompanying photos are courtesy of our cousin, Steve Tutein, a gifted photographer with Total Focus Studios .   Love does not boast, love is not proud.   In the last year or so, Michael and I started talking regularly—well that is to say, I talked; he mostly made snarky remarks in