Books, Broads, Beach

I had so much fun at the Rehoboth Beach 2018 Women’s Fest, an event sponsored by Camp Rehoboth.  Deoul-Jacobs Stefani posterMy writer/friends Stephanie Deoul, and Fay Jacobs (and fabulous broads) were on hand to promote their books which were recently honored by the Delaware Press Association. Fay is also a Camp Rehoboth Board member.

They, like me, are Bywater Books authors.  We were joined by fellow authors, Marianne K. Martin, Ann McMan and Lisa Gitlin as well as our publishers, Salem West and Kelly Smith.

All the authors did readings (I read from my upcoming book), sponsored by GCLS, the premier supporter of lesbian-themed literature. We met readers and signed books, and I made it to the beach. Yaaaayyyy!!!

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Wake Me When It’s Over will be available May 15, 2008 and can be purchased as an ebook at Bywater Books. Thanks for purchasing, reading, and reviewing my books.

Book small version

…and He Couldn’t Be Killed

Long Live the King

(Detroit, 1968)

Black boy (2)

She saw it on television.  The King was dead, and mama was crying.  “He was a good man,” she told me.  She held onto me so tight I could hardly breathe.

I got to eat breakfast in my pajamas the next day, and watch cartoons, because school was cancelled. Wile E. Coyote was trying to eat the Road Runner, but he couldn’t catch him.  Coyote fell off a cliff and got smashed flat as a pancake.  Daddy was home, so he watched TV with me for a while.  I laughed every time Road Runner said “beep-beep” and took off down the road, but daddy didn’t laugh.  When he changed the channel, we saw a whole lot of buildings on fire.  There was a lot of smoke, and people were throwing rocks, and running back and forth, just like the coyote.  Daddy took a handkerchief from his back pocket and blew his nose.

Unca Butch came to our house, and he brought a refrigerator, and a bunch of meat. Mama told him to get the refrigerator out of her house, but daddy said we was keeping the meat.  Mama sat down at the kitchen table and folded her arms. “Sam, you know that meat is looted. It doesn’t belong to us. I’m not going to cook it or eat it.”

The vein on daddy’s neck jumped like it did when he paid bills. Me and Unca Butch watched to see what was going to happen next. “Woman, we are not going to turn down good food,” daddy yelled. “Money don’t grow on trees.”

Daddy said that a lot. About trees. But, he was right. All last summer, me and Kenny shot marbles under that big oak in his yard, and we didn’t see even one penny.

Daddy got mama’s biggest pot out of the cupboard and poured water in it. He put a ham in the pot and turned the fire on the stove way up.  He told Unca Butch he would make him a ham sandwich. Unca Butch and I played catch, watched The Three Stooges, and then he gave me a piggy-back ride. Daddy said the ham was almost ready, but Unca Butch said he couldn’t wait anymore, and carried the refrigerator to his truck.

Mama made spaghetti for dinner. She made our plates, but daddy said he was going to eat a ham sandwich.  He offered me a piece, and I took it. “How is it, Casey?” mama asked me.  She gave daddy the evil eye.

I didn’t tell her it tasted like a rubber band, but it did.  I know, because one time me and Kenny ate a rubber band. Daddy chewed and chewed. Finally, he swallowed hard, and took a drink of water.

“You’re too stubborn to eat crow,” mama said, and shook her head. Daddy took another big bite of his sandwich and chewed some more.  I never ate crow, but I think it must taste better than looted ham.

At night time, we sat on the sofa and saw a TV show about the King.  Mama started crying again, and daddy put his arms around both of us. “They shot him, but they can never kill him,” he told mama.

When I said my prayers, mama got on her knees next to me, MLK,JRand then she tucked me into bed. When I was falling asleep, I was thinking about how the King must be a lot like Road Runner, because he couldn’t be killed either.

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Grateful to Dru’s Musings & Michigan Chronicle: Wake Me When It’s Over

Award-winning mystery web blogger Dru Ann Love, was kind enough to post my book cover reveal for Wake Me When It’s Over, the second book in the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series.    Drus-Book-Musings-web-site2

 

 

MC logoAlso a love shout out to the Michigan Chronicle of Detroit who posted a blurb about WMWIO in the city and lifestyle section of their online newspaper.

You can find the Michigan Chronicle post  Here.  Thank you Michigan Chronicle.

WMWIO

Available where you buy your books on May 15, 2018

….and Dru’s Musing post Here.  Thank you Dru Ann!!

Writing Life: New Orleans Style

hotel-monteleone-new-orleans-hotel-exterior1-623x416Wow. What a time at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.  In association with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, this New Orleans gumbo of LGBTQ writers, Saints and Sinners imagepublishers, publicists, teachers, and book sellers included craft panels, author readings, poetry events, awards, presentations, master classes, Saints and Sinners paneland book signings.

And, of course, steps from the fabulous Hotel Monteleone where most of the activities were held was music, food,red fish grill street strolls, bands, dancing…and cocktails. One of my favorite stops was the Red Fish Inn where I overindulged in white wine, gumbo, jalapeno cornbread, and chocolate bread pudding.

I was a panelist for a discussion about  the mystery genre with the fabulous New Orleans crime/mystery writers, Greg Herren and Jean M. Redmann; as well as award-winning authors, Ali Vali and Jeffrey Round.

Saints and Sinners panel

I also discussed historical fiction writing with Judith Katz, Vanda, Jeff Mann and Matthew Griffin. I was honored to be in the company of all these good writers of LGBTQ themes.  Judith and I both happened to wear turquoise that day.

Of course,I also indulged in meeting new friends and old, and that was the best seasoning of this amazing literary event.   Saints and Sinners, hope to see you in 2019!!

Florida in March: Family Affairs

I had a whirlwind trip to Florida for writing events, and family visits.  My 90-year old mother and two brothers live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and I can’t really travel to the Sunshine State without time to feel the warmth of family.

florida-tampa-city-view-and-cloudsThe primary purpose for my Florida long weekend was to attend, and participate in, the celebration of writing education that is the annual Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference.  This year held in Tampa.  This 5-day gathering of 12,000 writing students, teachers, lovers of books and writing, and writing luminaries is an immersive experience.

The panel I participated in: “Nothing Happens Nowhere” was a Friday afternoon discussion about setting and the Siren’s call to home in LGBTQ writing. Moderated by author/teacher: Paula Martinac (The Ada Decades) and including panelists/teachers Serkan Gorkemli, Amy Hoffman, and Carter Sickels.

It was an interesting conversation about the intersectionality of themes when LGBTQ AWP caucus logofocusing on the craft of setting in LGBTQ writing.

I also attended the LGBTQ Writers Caucus, and the room was abuzz with energy and good ideas for increasing the presence of LGBTQ-themed panels for the 2019 AWP conference.

On Sunday in St. Pete, I joined five other lesbian writers to read from our varied works at the fabulous Queen’s Head restaurant/bar.  The other authors were Stefani Deoul, Gale Massey, Elizabeth Sims, Alison Soloman, and Rachel Spangler. The event, hosted and moderated by Tiffany Razzano of Wordier Than Thou, a Florida super supporter of all thiWordier Than Thoungs book related,  was well attended by a group of attentive readers on the Queen’s Head patio and was a laugh-filled, collegial gathering of old friends and new.  Fellow Bywater Books author, Stefani Deoul worked with Tiffany to organize our time together.

The two reading events were the perfect writer’s life bookends to the dynamics of family.

Come to think of it, I’m very grateful to both my biological and writing families.

 

What Golf Has Taught Me About Writing

I have always been a golfer even when I wasn’t.  My father played golf and he often watched the tournaments on television; I watched him watch golf, and play golf, and perhaps that is where my affinity for the game comes.  Golf is a sport filled with beauty, imagination and precision.   When one steps to the tee and looks onto an immaculately manicured, 300-yard fairway, it is an awe-inspiring view of soaring possibilities.   When one approaches the close-shaven turf of a green it is a challenge to succeed measured in inches. Continue reading

The Big Apple, Good Books, and the Holidays!

It’s always a pleasure to visit New York City in December. I do it almost every year. NYC feels like the backdrop of so many of my childhood Christmas memories, starting with my wide-eyed viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and movies like Miracle on 34th Street.

I’m heading to NYC again this year, and I’ll take in the sights of the decorated department store windows, the ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza, the light displays on Fifth Avenue, and the hustle and bustle of Holiday shoppers.

But the main reason for this December visit to the Big Apple is to support a handful of fine writers who will be reading from their works in the anthology: our-happy-hours-graphic-small Our Happy Hours. 

This book, published by Flashpoint Publications, and with cover art by Ann McMan offers the reminiscences, essays, poetry, and short fiction of 40+ gay and lesbian authors (I’m one of them) about the impact of the bar scene on our lives.  The book’s curators: Lee Lynch and S. Renée Bess were inspired to launch this project after the horrific hate crime at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016.

Happy Hours book cover

Proceeds from the sale of the anthology will benefit the LGBTQ youth programs at the Ali Forney Center in New York City, and the Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia.

I hope you have safe, joyful, fun-filled Holidays. And don’t forget, books make wonderful Holiday gifts for family and friends!

GCLS-We are Vegas Bound!

In case you didn’t know.what

There is an organization dedicated to the recognition, support and education of writers and readers of lesbian literature.
The non-profit, Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS), has amazing resources for emerging and established writers, Writing Academyincluding a Writing Academy with master teachers, mentors and one-on-one consultations.

Additionally, the GCLS Conference…known affectionately as the Con.. is an amazing annual event, held in various locations across the U.S., where lesbian writers, readers, publishers and reviewers gather for workshops, panels, socializing and Madcappery.

You’ll get to meet all your favorite LesFic writers up close, buy books, get books signed, flex your reading or writing muscles, and join your fellow fangirls.

Next year’s Con (July 4-8, 2018) will be held in, wait for it….Las Vegas!!!

GCLS Vegas

Keynote speaker will be award-winning author, Lucy Jane Bledsoe (Bio); and Special Guest speaker, award-winning, young adult fiction author, Rachel Gold (Bio)

To register for the Con, or to get more information, try here.

Come join us. Because, you know, what happens in Lez Vegas doesn’t necessarily have to stay in Lez Vegas.

Provincetown Women’s Week

Wow. Did I have  a good time in Provincetown this year.

I spent a lot of time with my Bywater Books family–they are ALL talented, fun ladies.  I got to hang out with my new editor Elizabeth Andersen, who is a former editor for the nationally syndicated Doonesbury, and Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.WomensWeekLogo

How lucky am I?

I also met other amazing authors who I have admired from afar. I did readings with some of them. I read from Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, Bury Me When I’m Dead, and from a short-story in the Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices From the Gay Bars anthology whose sales will support the youth services of two LGBTQ agencies, one in Philadelphia, another in NYC. Our Happy Hours

The readers I met.  Amazing.  Discerning, supportive, wonderful people with interesting lives which include loving books.

I played Wiffle ball (look out knees, don’t fail me now).  I saw the amazing Suede, who was in a particularly sentimental mood. So was I. I met film director, Donna Deitch who screened her iconic Desert Hearts.  We all remember the first time we saw that film’s love scene.

A few pictures.20171014_113939
Panelwiffle ball team

 

PCW

Shout out to the People Called Women Bookstore in Toledo, OH

…and owner Gina!

                                        It’s Ohio’s Only Feminist Bookstore!!!

                                             They have a mystery book club, too.

PeopleCalledWomen                                     http://www.peoplecalledwomen.com/