Cole Riann was nice enough to take some time to read and review my fresh-off-the-presses novel, Beyond the Edge. He intelligently details his impressions in a thoughtful and considerate review. It turns out he's not fond of love triangles and was a little disappointed that the three men didn't get together in the end. But I assured him that the forthcoming sequel brings all three men back together to explore their dynamic and see if there is a future for all three of them.
I just read an article by a presumably overweight woman, who used to be overweight as a child, criticizing some recent adds aimed at targeting overweight parents and their overweight children. Although I don't really have issues with the adds, and feel like they target unhealthy eating more than they target fat people (although, yes, the parents and most of the kids in the adds are visibly overweight), she has some good points about criticizing an entire group of people who happen to be fat for various reasons, be it heredity, inactivity, disability, or overeating. She also brings up the fact that the food production system in America is intrinsically flawed anyway and should receive more criticism than the overweight people it assists in producing.
"The truth is that we live in a country where the system of food production is colossally fucked. There is a systematic campaign to trick people into eating garbage because garbage is cheap to produce. There are whole communities who either can't afford or physically can't access fresh, healthy ingredients. The "obesity epidemic" is not a "fat kids love Cheetos epidemic." No fat people are up in arms when you criticize Kellogg's for claiming that Frosted Flakes are "part of a nutritious breakfast." No fat people get defensive when you make fun of that LUDICROUS Nutella commercial where the mom says she feeds her kids candy-spread for breakfast because it's "wholesome nuts with a hint of cocoa" or whatever. Because those things? They are what's known as ACTUAL PROBLEMS.
And you know what? Even if we managed to fix our insane food production and distribution system, there will still be fat people and that will be just fine. There have always been fat people. There are fat people like me, who hardly ever eat any processed foods. There are fat people with glandular issues. There are disabled fat people who would love to exercise but can't. There are healthy fat people. And sure, there are fat people who—fuck it—just really really like Cheetos. Guess what? Those people are allowed to exist too! There are a million different kinds of fat people in the world because FAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. And kids are people. And if your solution to this "problem" is telling already vulnerable fat kids that they're an epidemic that's ruining the world, then fuck you. Try harder."
I believe she is right in pointing out that fat people will always exist, for a number of reasons, and should be regarded as valuable, contributing members of society.
I recently read one of the old Hardy Boys mysteries to my eight year-old daughter, and found it refreshing to notice that the boys' friend (can't remember his name) was openly referred to as plump or fat, because it simply was not an insult. It was simply a fact, the same way you'd refer to someone's red hair or freckles. He was a valuable friend who assisted in their crime solving, who happened to be chubby and liked to eat.
...will be titled 'Varieties of Religious Experience', referencing a book by psychologist/philosopher William James in which he examines the various ways that people experience profound spiritual states.
Here is the blurb:
Tate and Sebastian discover that enjoying a traditional relationship takes alot of work. When a chance encounter with James leads Tate to stray, Sebastian does what he can to get his boyfriend back in line. But Tate has a different idea, and one that tests the boundaries of Sebastian's loyalty. ~ Liz
On Friday, my BDSM novel, Beyond the Edge, was finally released by MLR Press. The culmination of a year of hard work and vision and the ongoing struggle to balance family responsibilities with writing-related activities.
Instead of an actual book launch (see previous post) I decided to simply hold a celebratory dinner at Johnny Farina, a downtown Ottawa restaurant featured in both Exposure and The Crush. I was expecting perhaps ten to fifteen people to join me. I was so amazed by the response I received on Facebook for the event, and ended up making a reservation for thirty people!
I've spent the past year becoming acquainted with so many wonderful people in Ottawa's GBLT kink community. As you've no doubt read on the blog, these people are so amazing, talented and compassionate. They also really know how to have fun and celebrate life. They've been so welcoming to me, answering the questions I had about various aspects of gay male sexuality and kink, and really letting me in to their close-knit family. I was so honored to have so many of them come out to celebrate with me on Friday evening. There were even people whom I'd not yet met who came out to share a meal with me and give me their support.
So, a HUGE thank you needs to go out to the following people: Karl Couture, Jordan Thomas, Marcel Forget, Guy MacLean, Frank G, Mike Tattersall, Kira Morganne, Daniel Parenteau, Martin Beecroft, Martin Guay, Andrew Larche, Robyn Shaw, Martine Kle Chu, Jean Plomondon, Lance Hermes and his Princess, and all the Bears (I don't remember all your names but I am so pleased that you came out!!!)
AND of course, my slightly more vanilla friends: Paul Thompson, Hedra Marlene Pink, Morgan Barnes, Richard Corneau, Don, and Jennifer. I was also so pleased to see our good family friends, Terry and Peggy West brave a much younger/kinkier crowd to show their support for me. You two are so awesome!!! Terry West has published three books of his own and you can visit his website here: Terrence Rundle West.
And my husband, Greg Lister, who braved the crowd to come out and show his support for me. You are amazing and wonderful and you work so hard for me and our family. I wouldn't be an author without you. You always encouraged me to get back to my writing and I finally listened. I love you so much!
I'd also like to thank the staff of Johnny Farina restaurant on Elgin Street in Ottawa. You handled a very large reservation with speed and grace and even added another table and chairs later on when more people showed up. And we didn't get kicked out when things got a bit raunchy and noisy near the end ;) I think you gained some new customers who were very impressed with the food, ambience and service.
And a huge thanks to Richard Corneau for taking so many photos and for instigating so many interesting pairings/poses, and to Jennifer for being up for "anything" while her husband was away ;)
If I've forgotten anyone I'm so sorry - it was a crazy, exciting and fun-filled night - one that I will always remember.
I am so lucky to have such a large support network in my home town! Thank you all!!! Photos coming soon...
I've been stressing quite a bit lately. Over getting the kids back to school, a big family wedding coming up on the 15th that entails a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner two days before and a luncheon the day following, plus the actual ceremony and reception. And my book launch party.
The last item is something I've badly wanted to have since my first e-book was published. But it's kind of hard to have a book launch party for an e-book. Believe me, I tried to come up with something, but to no avail. Now that I actually have a print book coming out, I thought, well of course, now I can have my book launch party - yippee, fun, fun, fun! Three problems. I'd have to pay for the books and the shipping of a big box of books out of pocket when we currently live essentially on my husband's income with two young children. I'd have to find a venue that I could have for free, since paying for it would essentially ruin any idea of a profit I could hope to achieve. And third, since I have to order the books from the USA and they have to come through customs, I have no idea when they would actually arrive, making it really difficult to select a date for the party.
So I recently gave up on my book launch party dream. It simply doesn't make sense from a logistics/financial standpoint. So I've told my friends who were planning to come to the party and buy my book there, that they'll have to order it from Amazon themselves when it becomes available and I will sign it whenever they receive it.
I've also decided to organize a purely celebratory gathering at one of my favourite restaurants and one I used as a setting in both Exposure and The Crush, which is Johnny Farina on Elgin Street. Most appropriate, able to accommodate a large group, and the food is delicious. My publisher has confirmed the release date of September 21st for Beyond the Edge, so I've organized a dinner on that very evening.
So, although I was really hoping to finally be able to have an actual book launch/signing party, I'm extremely relieved now that I don't have the stress of planning one with all those variables. I'm still giving a seminar at Mister Leather Ottawa in November and will promote my books at a table in the vendor fair. If anyone has managed to obtain a print copy by then, I'll be most willing to sign it for them. And I'm anticipating meeting people on a one-on-one basis for coffee or tea or dessert in order to sign their copies when they get them.
Think of it as a months long, personal book signing experience ;)
My BDSM novel Beyond the Edge is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 21st. For those of you anxiously waiting, here is another sneak peek into the world of Tate, Sebastian and James:
From Chapter Nine - Transport:
In the shower, Sebastian and I cleaned each other carefully, wordlessly respectful of what each of us had been through, and feeling closer than ever after our weekend together in James' loft.
Afterward, we toweled off and dressed. When I glanced at Sebastian I caught him watching me, looking sad all of a sudden.
“So, this is it, then.”
I stared at him. “What do you mean?”
“I may never see you again.”
I raised my eyebrows because, really, he was being ridiculous, but it was pretty sweet. “Sebastian, you have my email address and my phone number. Call me whenever you want. I'd love to see you outside of this place.”
His eyes completely lit up, as if he hadn't thought we could have any kind of connection in the real world. Hell, James didn't own us. He'd had us for a weekend, that's all, and now we were our own masters. Or soon would be.
“You really surprised me, y'know,” I said to him as he finished dressing.
“Yeah. I didn't think there was the least bit of dominance in you. But you flogged my ass like a pro yesterday. It pissed me right off at first but you had me by the end. I fucking loved it.”
I nodded. “And it's so refreshing when people surprise me. Keeps life interesting.”
Downstairs we found the coffee on and two mugs, so helped ourselves, chatting quietly until James came downstairs.
He wore a pair of faded jeans and a sweater, with bare feet. Greeting us with a friendly smile, he acted as though he hadn't just had his nasty way with us both for the entire weekend.
“It's a Hawaiian roast, and very good.” We nodded as he poured himself a cup. “Here, come into the livingroom, please.”
We followed him into the livingroom and sat down on the sofa while he sat in the armchair. “Listen, we're done here, so please speak freely. I have something I want to ask you.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Sure,” Sebastian muttered, cradling his coffee cup in his hands like he needed to warm them.
“I'm a very experienced and popular Dom here in Ottawa, as you know.”We nodded.“I really have my pick of play-partners and a lengthy waiting list for my services.”
I met Sebastian's gaze, wondering what this was all about.
“But, honestly, this weekend surpassed all of my expectations. From the moment you boys arrived on Friday it's been a pleasure, an absolute delight, to have you here.”
We both grinned and blushed at this acknowledgement.
“Thank you,” I said. “It's been wonderful. Perfect.”
“Yeah,” Sebastian echoed. “Perfect.”
James looked at me, folding his hands in front of him. “Tate, I know you have quite a bit of experience, and except for that little slip up on Friday night you have performed in an exemplary manner.”
“And Sebastian, for someone who is so very new to this sort of thing, may I just say that you have adapted to whatever I've thrown your way and given me so much enjoyment.” He smiled.
“Thanks,” Sebastian muttered, blushing.
“So, on that note, I'd like to ask you both a question. Would you be interested in coming back here in three weeks?”
Holy hell. What?
“But…the waiting list…” I stammered.
“Fuck the waiting list.”
“I—I guess…” I really didn't know what to say.
“I want to,” Sebastian said, placing his mug on the coffee table and regarding us both intently. “I want to come back.”
I stared at him for a moment, then turned to James. They waited for me to say something. And, really, who the fuck was I kidding?