The End of the Year and the Beginning of the New One

We will be celebrating the Year of the Rat in 2020, a good year for fortune and prosperity. And it’s a good year to look at where you are in life and where you are going.

We are also saying goodbye to a year of turmoil and strife as well. Hopefully going forward, this will subside but really sometimes in order to do this, we must take action.

Like voting for people who will represent us well as well as promoting those who support us, even in times of need. Or rather especially in times of need. I am very close to severing a long-held friendship over what’s been happening this year and have already distanced myself from people who have chosen to not support me. It’s sad in so many ways because I’ve stood by and supported them through some sticky things but often, in times of strife, people are tested and well, we all make choices we want to live with.

I do want to say thank you to all of the readers who have reached out and sent me encouragements and support this year. You guys rock and honestly, make the world a better place. In reality, when everything is all said and done, I’m here to write books. And to entertain someone reading it. That’s my focus. And that’s where I’m going to put my energies.

As well as heavily supporting the people and sites who support me. It’s a symbiotic relationship because while I never ever want to influence a review (that should be sacrosant) I do want to be able to provide a blog site’s visitors with a good reason to visit and continue to visit. Because well, the best (and worst) part about writing books is sometimes doing a blog tour.

Because blog tours are hard to create! They are! But oh, I have plans….

The first book up this year is Back in Black (DSP, Amazon).  With the return of Cole and Jae, I jumped forward a few years and well, it was necessary to do so. When I first started writing the McGinnis/Kim series, marriage was still denied to anyone not in a het relationship and we were just beginning to explore the edges of alternative sexualities’ language. By the end of the series, Bobby and Ichi were married and the world was a very different place.

I needed to capture that change in the books going forward in the McGinnis Investigation series and that meant jumping to the now. But in doing so, that meant I was going to end up skipping writing about an important event in Cole and Jae’s lives… their wedding.  I haven’t decided on the tone of the wedding… if it’s going to be a typical Cole day or just something sweet. I mean, doesn’t Jae deserve something sweet for his wedding day? A day without shotgun blasts or car chases?

I’ll be doing a few posts and I’m hopefully going to get it done in time for Greg to narrate the pieces for each blog spot. There will also be a big giveaway at each stop, kind of like a wedding present, to celebrate Jae finally getting to the altar and hopefully with Cole in one piece.

Let me know what you think. A typical Cole day? Or a sweet romantic wedding?

The Wrong Kind of… Attention. Or Sidestepping a Wankfest.

There is such a thing as social sadism.
 
You all have seen it. Probably experienced it.
 
It’s when someone acid-vomits stuff all over you and when you call them out on it, they go all innocent and act the victim.
 
Then shout out loudly that you’re abusing them and won’t OTHER people come save them from you.
 
It’s become very common lately.
 
But here’s the thing… you don’t owe anyone anything. Not even your time. Not even your typing.
 
It might hurt. Especially if you’d considered them your friend or if you’ve reached out to them in the past to help them when they’re down or broke.
 
That won’t matter to them. All that matters is the “rush” they feel when they’re trying to hurt you and get other people to cheer them on while doing it.
 
It’s hard. I know. Ignoring someone you once thought of as a friend is… painful. But if they’re stabbing at you just to see you bleed, then they never were your friend. Simple a tick that hadn’t yet sunk its teeth into your flesh.
 
Spend today remembering to be the best person you can be. Be the person you want to be. Be the person you’d want to know.
 
Give yourself a compliment. Find something you like about yourself. And remember, you don’t have to walk into someone else’s social kink parlour simply because they left the door open.

Time to check your neighbour’s rice bowl to see if they have enough to eat…

I want to talk to you all about a woman in the Phillipines who works to feed the kids in her area EVERY Sunday. I’ve sent her money in the past for the meals. I’ve become a patreon for her efforts. I would like to ask for you all to consider donating to her cause if you are contemplating making a charitable donation this year or want to a patreon to follow.
 
She’s posted an update on IMGUR of today’s meal and as you can see, she’s working to better the area…and conditions of those around her.
 
Her name is Jenny Remiendo and the area she is working in actually is near where Scarlet from the McGinnis series comes from.
 
A dollar a month will go a long way where she lives and I look forward to helping her provide another 80 Sundays worth of meals to the kids in her area.
 

Coffee…and Memories

One of the earliest memories I have of my Grandpa is of how he smelled. He would come home after working the fields and smell of rich soil, unfiltered cigarettes and coffee. He was swarthy, having spent endless days out in the sun and he probably was dead tired from working but always spent a bit of time with me before everyone went to bed.

I don’t know if he was a complicated man. I think he was a smart man and looked towards the future and planned for a good retirement, one he wasn’t able to enjoy because a brain tumor took him just as he was winding down his time on the fields. I was ten-ish when this happened and had already experienced more than one death in the family. I knew what it meant to lose someone I loved dearly and while I didn’t know the man he was…not as an adult and not in the way you would know a person… I did know him as my grandfather.

And to me, he was not only a good grandfather but also a good man.

He wasn’t perfect. None of us are. He infuriated my grandmother and spoiled the hell out of me and my youngest aunt (according to my slightly older uncles. that youngest aunt is only a few years older than I am). He was grumpy and anti-social to people at times, earning himself the nickname of Mr. Adams after Adam’s Sour Apple Gum. Mostly they called him Primo because that’s the beer he drank but people did seem to like him. You could count on him. He was a solid man.

There were parties in the pavilion at the park right outside of their house and they would go late into the night. I learned how to do the chicken dance watching my grandparents. I remember my grandmother waving her arms and my grandfather laughing. I think the music came from the radio. I’m not sure. It wasn’t live. There weren’t musicians. And now I wish I’d had the awareness to soak it all in because sometimes I feel like I’ve got the only memory anchoring them in place which is silly because I know other people remember them. Probably better than I have because when it’s all said and done, I am looking at them through a child’s eyes.

My grandmother survived my grandfather by decades and I got to know her as a person. That’s something I am grateful for. I wasn’t happy with who I was at the time and was still struggling to find my path when she passed but we were always honest with one another and it was no hardship to take her down into town if she needed it or for me to bring her romance novels I bought by the box at garage sales. She lived in a large house meant to be for her and my grandfather… built when he was just getting sick… and sometimes I wondered how she felt living there mostly alone…. with her sister, Mary living across the street and within shouting distance. I know my grandmother wasn’t alone but I worried. And I hoped she was happy.

We only talked about my grandfather in passing. Same with my mom and honestly, I should probably talk to her more about him. To learn who he was as a person. To fill in what I have and flesh out the man who meant so much to me and gave me a solid base on what it meant to be human and while not perfect, at least trying to do the best I can. I have no doubts that I was loved. None whatsoever. That’s a gift I don’t think I appreciate enough. Or at least I do when I still the world around me and look for some peace. Hopefully I can do right by the men who shaped my earliest memories (my other grandfather was a huge part of my life as well). For now, I still smile when I hear the chicken dance and sometimes, when I’m having coffee with sweetened condensed milk, I feel like I’m sharing a cup with him in the damned cold kitchen in that house on Kaiwiki Road. And that’s honestly not a bad thing to do on some mornings.

Brain Zipper

Just wrote a long post then said, dude… too fucking much. So in a nutshell….
 
What I’ve noticed in all of this is that I’m getting grumpier and more bitey. So, since that’s really not someplace I want to live, I’m going to make a few final decisions regarding how to deal with others around me and well, how I go forward.
 
What I need to do is get some happy again. Because that’s been stolen from me. Or rather I’ve let other people steal it from me and continue to do so.
 
So going forward, I’m going to be reaching for a bit more happy and focus on wording more. Possibly with a bit more chocolate and whiskey. Definitely with more ice cream. I will continue to share things I find interesting and most of all, share authors I find and enjoy reading.
 
Because that’s another part of being an AUTHOR, it’s discovering stories that enchant and entertain and making sure the people around you know about them!
 
I’m that one friend with their Brain Zipper that’s down. 😀