Monday, October 24, 2011


Just wanted to announce that I've got some interesting things lined up for my blog in the near future.  I will be starting a series of interviews with some of the models from Terry Cyr's The Naked Man Project.  Get to know the men behind the erotic images on Terry's new website (soon to launch!).  It's sure to be fascinating reading!

Also, I've just lined up an interview with Michael Tattersall, Mr. Leather Ottawa 2010.  Get to know this gorgeous and interesting man, a leader in the Ottawa Leather Community, and find out what kinky secrets lurk beneath the exterior of this outwardly conservative government town.  No doubt he will reveal what delights await us at the MLO Leather/Fetish event, Technokink.

On November 15th, I will be interviewing the renowned Xavier Axelson.  I'm sure this Los Angeles, California author of The Incident and a new release, The Birches, will have lots to say on a variety of subjects.  He may even share an excerpt or two...

And, on October 31st, I will be guest blogging at Lisa Worral's delicious blog Lisa's Ramblings.  Come on over for a visit :)  There will be at least one free copy of my latest ebook up for grabs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Y'know, I was only gonna give away two copies, but since there are only three comments, YOU ALL WIN!  Fernando, I have your email.  Busymommy and Verena, you will need to email me at with your email addresses.

Congrats!  And thanks so much for the great feedback :)

Win a Copy of my Just-Released Ebook!

I'm raffling off some copies of my new ebook, The Crush!  Just leave a comment below and keep your eye on my blog.  I will announce two winners by the end of today.  

If I announce you as a winner, simply email me at with your email address (so you don't have to post it here) and I will send your free copy.  Good luck, everyone!

Jack Claridge's sister, Amy, has a big crush on her English professor, Michael Donovan.  When Jack agrees to accompany her on an outing with the object of her affection, the last thing he expects is the professor's reaction to him.  One surreptitious hand-job later and Michael is hooked.  But will Jack 'use him and lose him' or does Jack care for the professor more than he thinks?  And what will he tell Amy?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Beach House - Free Short Story

It’s tough playing soccer with a boner. 

You have to keep moving, and finding excuses to hold your arm in front of your crotch when you’re not moving.  I don’t really know why I got myself into this situation.  Well, yes I do – a bunch of good-looking guys running around together?  And Darrin Peters asked me to play. 

I’m pretty much Darrin’s bitch.  Only he doesn’t really know it yet.

Darrin Peters was nineteen – a year older than most of us, since he’d been kept back a year.  He worked at his Dad’s construction company during the summers.  All that physical labor – well, let’s just say, it showed.  He had blue eyes, black hair and freckles – a deadly combination.

By the time the friendly pick-up game ended, I had a raging hard on.  Watching Darrin Peters and his friend, Sam Harris, run around the field in their shorts, all sweaty, laughing and hollering, was better than looking at the muscle mags I had at home.

After the game, we shook hands and most of the boys dispersed.  When Darrin wiped a sexy forearm across his sweaty forehead and asked if I wanted to join him for a swim, what was I supposed to say?  The twinkle in his blue eyes made me sure this was an invitation to something a little more intimate than a friendly dip.  And it was an invitation for which I’d been waiting a rather long time.

But Sam joined us on the rocky path through the bracken.  My heart fell and my cock deflated.  Maybe this was just a friendly swim.  Or it was an invitation to watch the ‘Darrin and Sam Show’.   A flicker of hope had flared briefly that perhaps Darrin was made of the same stuff as me.  That he wanted me the way I wanted him.  Why do I keep torturing myself?

The beach beyond the hidden trail was not the nicest.  It was small and rocky; the water full of weeds and who knows what else.  I had been a couple of times before, with other guys.  It was a great place to steal a kiss or a grope (or more), without worrying about tourists or little kids catching you at it.

I hung back, disappointed, as Sam grabbed Darrin’s hand.  “Come on, Marco!” Darrin yelled back at me, then turned and followed Sam into the waves, shirt, shorts, shoes and all.

Figures.  This just figures.  I’m always the third darn wheel.  Always have been.  Always will be.

I sat despondently on the sand and watched the two of them cavort and frolic in the cool surf.  They were perfect - both of them.  Shorter and slighter than Darrin, Sam was just as toned, tanned and physically fine a specimen.  In fact, his body was almost more my type than Darrin’s.  But it was Darrin who had that charisma, that devil-may-care attitude, that attracted me, and made my dick immediately hard when he was around.  Sam was quiet, and really, if not for Darrin, I’d never have noticed him.

It was our final summer before college.  High School had ended, thank God, and now we were on the cusp of becoming adults.  It was scary and exciting at once.  I knew Darrin had been accepted at a campus on the West Coast.  I think Sam was staying in town, like me.  I wasn’t really sure, nor did I care.

I watched as Sam pulled Darrin beneath the waves in a headlock.  Darrin came back up quickly, sputtering and laughing.  He grabbed Sam around the waist and pulled him close.  Sam struggled in his grasp and I expected him to twist away.   I’d seen other guys play this way many times.  It was innocent and friendly, with no sexual undertones.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get off on watching.

Suddenly, Darrin glanced my way, as if to make sure I was watching.  He said something to Sam and Sam looked over.  He waved to me.  I sat up straighter and gave a hesitant wave in return.  In a moment that would stay with me for a long time, I saw Darrin move his hands up to Sam’s face.  He leaned in and pressed his lips tenderly to his friends’, kissing him slowly and deeply as I watched with eyes wide and cock swelling.

What the …

They liked boys too?  Like I did?  Were they a couple?  Or just screwing around?  I didn’t even care as I watched the kiss go from tender and sweet to desperate and hungry.

My cock twitched happily.  But I remained disappointed.  I was still the third wheel, even more so now.  I rubbed my hand over my tented shorts.  I couldn’t help a quiet, sad moan escaping.  

I should just go.  Why sit here and torture myself?

I stood up from the wet sand and dusted off my legs.  When I looked up, the two of them were moving through the water toward me.

“Marco.  Where are you going?” Darrin asked.

I shrugged.  “Nowhere.  But it looks like you two need some privacy.”  I felt shy and awkward.  I couldn’t look at them.

“Don’t go, Marco,” Sam entreated.  “We want to show you our beach house.”

I looked at him then.  Beach house?  “Huh?”

Darrin laughed.  “It’s not actually ours.  It’s been abandoned.  It’s a wreck.”

“But we’ve been using it,” Sam said, excitement in his eyes.  I’m pretty sure he saw my dick tenting my shorts.  His eyes widened.  He flashed me a grin.  “Come on!”

He grabbed my hand before I could protest and pulled me along.


The abandoned beach house turned out to be more of a beach hut.  But it was pretty neat.  Nicer than any clubhouse I’d had as a kid.  I still wasn’t sure what was going on when I followed Sam into the broken down house.  He moved aside some overhanging branches to let me through.  Darrin followed closely.

“So?  What do you think?” Darrin asked, his hand on my shoulder, squeezing it affectionately.  I gazed around the large room.  It was tidy and appeared fairly clean, to my surprise.  The painted floorboards were chipped and broken in places but a woven matt had been put down.  A battered old sofa stood against one wall, beneath a boarded up window.  I could see the rolling surf in the distance through an old glass window on the other wall.  Sam cranked it open.  The tattered grey curtains billowed in the ocean breeze.  In the middle of the floor lay a large futon mattress, covered in fresh, new white sheets.  Nearby, variously sized pillar candles stood at intervals along the floor.

“What the heck goes on here, séances?” I asked, confused and impressed at the same time.  For an abandoned seaside cottage, it looked pretty … cozy.

“No séances,” Darrin said.  “Although I think I’ve seen the face of God a few times.”  He looked at Sam, who gave him a wink and started peeling off his clothes.  I glanced back and forth between them.

“What’s … um … What exactly is happening here?” I asked breathlessly, although I was beginning to comprehend.  Of course, that meant that all the blood rushed from my brain to my cock, so I was a little behind.  Perhaps I wasn’t the third wheel after all.  They seemed to want me here.

Darrin grinned as he stepped out of his wet shoes, socks and shorts.  His big cock, hard and intimidating, stood forth, pointing right at me as he straightened up.  I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

“Here.”  Sam shoved an open bottle of coke at me as he guzzled one of his own.  Then he passed his to Darrin, who finished it off.  I drank mine down as fast as I could and watched Sam take his wet clothes off.

“What do you want to happen, Marco?” Darrin asked.   I tore my eyes away from Sam.  Darrin locked eyes with me as he threw his empty bottle into the corner. 

I felt Sam’s hands slide around my waist.  I gasped as he moved his lithe, naked body up against me.  His erection pressed, insistent, against my buttocks.

I dropped the empty coke bottle.  It made a loud clank as it hit the floorboards and rolled away.  I couldn’t help a moan escaping me.  Hail Mary full of grace.  My brain spun, my emotions scattered all over the place, and my body eagerly adjusted to the situation.

My eyes drifted to Darrin’s cock again as he slowly approached.  I watched as his finger slipped under the waistband of my shorts and boxers.  He pulled the elastics toward him and peeked in.  He made a little noise in his throat.  Sam moaned in my ear and pressed his dick more firmly against me.

“I knew it,” Darrin murmured.  Our eyes met as a blush crept up my cheeks.

“Kn – knew what?”  I breathed.

“Shhh,” he said.  He pulled my shorts and underwear down and knelt before me.  The breath caught in my throat as his warm hand wrapped around my cock.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  My brain short-circuited but my body screamed a silent hallelujah as Darrin engulfed my cock in his warm mouth.

I moaned.  My head fell back on Sam’s shoulder.  Sam’s hand came around and splayed across my throat, over my Adam’s apple, as he placed wet kisses along my ear and the side of my neck.  I’d gone from third wheel to the main attraction.  It was glorious and so unexpected.  I was so surprised and excited my balls began to tighten.  I knew I wouldn’t last long.  I shuddered and tried to pull away, but they held me tight.

“Let go, Marco.  It’s okay.  We’ve got all night.” Sam said in my ear.  Darrin wrapped his free arm around me, holding me still and sucking my cock with consummate skill and unparalleled enthusiasm.

I cried out and came, my hips jerking, my mouth opening and sounds issuing forth into the relative silence of the cottage.  When my own cries quieted, I heard heavy breathing and the distant noises of surf breaking and seagulls shrieking.

My very happy dick slid out of Darrin’s mouth as he released me and stood up.  He took my face in my hands and kissed me, his tongue finding my own and teasing it, tasting it.  I felt Sam back away.  He said,  “Darrin,” with desperation in his voice.  Darrin moaned into my mouth and reluctantly pulled away.  I opened my eyes and stared into his blue gaze.

“Sam needs me,” he said.  “Don’t go anywhere.”  I nodded mutely.  I turned to see Sam lying in the middle of the futon mattress, stroking his cock and watching us.  I took the rest of my clothes off.

Darrin walked over to where Sam lay.  He stood over him.  Sam stretched out on his back, stroking his cock and staring up at Darrin, completely submissive to whatever Darrin had planned.  My dick twitched and started to harden as I watched them.  Darrin’s hand wrapped around his own dick and stroked slowly.  Sam moaned and muttered, “Jeeze.”  His eyes flew between Darrin and me as he pulled at his swollen cock.

“That looks so good, Sam,” Darrin murmured.  He glanced at me, then turned back to Sam.  “Jerk yourself, just like that.  Show Marco how far you can shoot.”

Sam looked at me again.  Our eyes met.  His hand moved faster.  His cock stood red and stiff as I watched.  A drop of moisture gathered at the tip and slid down, oh so slowly, toward his moving hand.

I gasped.  I wrapped my hand around my own cock and started stroking in time with Sam’s movements. 

His body, stretched out on the mattress, still wet from his swim, glistened with youth and vitality.  My eyes traveled over Darrin’s muscular back and toned ass.  He stroked his own cock in a leisurely rhythm as he watched Sam.  He spoke in a husky voice.  “Oh, yeah.  Make yourself come, kiddo.”

Sam moaned and closed his eyes.  He arched his back and neck and gave himself up to the pleasure of his own hand and the excitement of being watched.  It was the hottest, most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

“Oh, yeah.  So beautiful … you are such a gorgeous boy,” Darrin murmured.  Sam’s hand moved faster.  More moisture slid from the tip of his cock.  He was close.  He panted and moaned as Darrin kept up a stream of encouraging words.  “Jeeze, yeah … we’re watching you … you look so darn good, Sam.”

I moaned.  They both glanced at me.  I met Sam’s hooded gaze as he stroked faster and faster.  Suddenly, he half sat up, then stretched back, groaning, as a stream of creamy white liquid shot across his perfect abs, followed by another and another.  Darrin and I watched, transfixed, as Sam’s body convulsed in release.  We listened to his drawn-out groan and watched his hand milk the last drops of jizz from his beautiful, sated cock.

“Roll over,” Darrin said gruffly.  Sam opened his eyes and immediately obeyed, spreading his legs and offering himself to the other man.  I emitted another involuntary moan as Darrin walked over to a wooden table.  He took something out of a small tin and a picked up a jar of KY Jelly from beside it.  He turned to me.  “Get me ready?”

I nodded.  He grinned.  I held out the hand that wasn’t wrapped around my dick.

He put a safe in my hand.  I looked at him with a question in my gaze.  “We always use them.  You should too.” 

I chuckled nervously.  “I’m not gonna get pregnant.”  I said.  I’d never used one before. 

“No, but you might get something else you don’t want.” 

I glanced over at Sam as I relinquished my cock.  He watched us over his shoulder and waited so patiently.  I smiled at him and he grinned back.  I was starting to relax now and having so much fun. 

I held the rubber between my fingers as I knelt down before Darrin and took his big hard cock in my mouth.  He moaned.  Our eyes met.  My own cock pulsed and twitched as I felt his stiffen to granite under my tongue.  He put his hand on my head as I sucked and stroked him.  I pulled off and started to put the condom on him, but I really didn’t know how.  He took it from me and put it on his huge cock with obvious skill.  I grinned and carefully coated his cock with the KY.  Darrin groaned and swore as I rubbed it onto him.  I took my time slicking him up and enjoyed the feel of him under my hands.

“Now get Sam ready,” Darrin said to me when I was done. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  I crawled over to Sam.  He watched me with hooded eyes, as I scooped more KY into my hand.  Before I started preparing him I had to kiss those perfect cheeks.  He really was beautiful.  It’s funny.  I’d been so focused on Darrin the past few weeks I’d barely noticed Sam, except to be irritated when he took Darrin’s attention off me.  Now I fully appreciated why Darrin was so hung up on him.  He was beautiful and sweet and fun and so obedient.

He moaned as I pressed gentle licks and kisses to his ass cheeks.  I smoothed the jelly over him.  I felt him tremble beneath my touch.  My breath caught in my throat at the softness.  Could I?  Should I?  I glanced at Darrin.  He nodded.  He had told me to prepare him, after all.

I rubbed him gently a few times and then slowly pushed a finger in as far as I could.  Sam gasped and murmured a curse.  Then he whimpered, “More …” so I added a second finger.  He was so warm and so tight.  Now I wanted to fuck him.

As if reading my thoughts, Darrin took my wrist and guided my hand away from his boy.  “You’ll get your turn.  I’m gonna come so darn fast.  Then you can take over, okay?”

I nodded as Sam groaned.  Darrin moved in behind the other boy.  He ran his hand along Sam’s muscular thigh as he lined himself up and pushed in.   Sam groaned again and whimpered as Darrin’s cock slowly skewered him to the hilt.  Darrin groaned deeply as well.  

“Oh … dammit.” I couldn’t help saying as I watched them move together.  This was better than anything I’d ever imagined when I jerked off in my lonely room.

Darrin grabbed Sam’s hips and started moving faster.  His breathing sped up and he moaned every time he buried his dick in Sam’s willing ass.  Yeah, he wasn’t gonna last long.  Sam’s cock was hard again but there was no way he would come before Darrin.  It would be my job to get Sam off.  I could hardly wait.

I didn’t have to wait long.  After about ten minutes of fucking that perfect ass, Darrin let out a groan and a curse.  His hips jerked erratically and I could tell that was it.  Sam moaned in sympathy and took it, pushing back against his friend and meeting my gaze with a triumphant grin.  I winked and saw Sam’s eyes drift to my cock.  Soon, baby, soon.  I actually couldn’t wait to fuck him.

Darrin pulled out with a grunt and disposed of the used safe.  “You’re turn.” He said to me.  He slapped Sam’s ass and shook his head.  “He likes it rough and hard.”

I grabbed a rubber from the tin and managed to get it on me fairly quickly.  I coated myself with KY.  In a moment I had moved into position and was finally pushing my eager dick into Sam’s lovely ass.  I groaned as I was engulfed in heat.  When I heard Sam’s loud cry of “Marco!” I froze, thinking I’d hurt him.

“What?” I said breathlessly.  He groaned and dropped down to his elbows, rocking back against me and taking me fully inside.  “Finally … so good … shit …”

A wave of pleasure swept over me at his words.  I didn’t know what to say, but I knew what to do.  I grasped his hips and pumped slowly in and out, my eyelids fluttering and my abs clenching at the overwhelming pleasure of it.  I knew how to screw a guy – I’d done it before.  But I’d never felt anything like this.  Sam’s body seemed to know me.  He thrust back against me, over and over, saying my name.

What is happening here?  He hadn’t said Darrin’s name once when Darrin was fucking him.  His reactions to me seemed more genuine – more intense – maybe because it was new?  It was sure new to me and so damn good.  I glanced over to see Darrin sitting on the sofa, watching us intently.  But his eyes looked tired, maybe even a little sad.

I heard Sam cry out beneath me.  I’d found the spot.  I pushed in again and again, deliberately hitting it.  He yelped and groaned, cursing and muttering unintelligibly now.  I held him tighter with my left hand and slid my right down across his belly to his arching cock.  Pre-cum had dribbled down its length.  I gathered it with my hand and stroked him quickly as I slammed against his sweet spot again and again.

“Shit!  Marco!  Fuck!  Ahhh!” he yelled and erupted in my grasp.  His whole body tightened and released again and again.  It was too much.  My own cock pulsed and squirted inside him as I let out an unearthly cry. 

We collapsed in a sticky and spent heap, still breathing hard and quivering with aftershocks.  

Soon, Darrin joined us on the mattress, pushing between us and cuddling up to Sam.  I cleaned myself up with an edge of the sheet and disposed of the safe.  Then I threw my arm over Darrin and sighed contentedly.
The sound of the waves lapping at the rocks outside and the screaming of the gulls lulled us to sleep.


When I woke, it was to darkness.  Then I noticed the flicker of a candle.  By its dim light I ascertained that only Darrin and I remained on the mattress.  Someone had covered us with a soft blanket. 

Where was Sam?

I looked up and made out his naked form sprawled on the couch beneath another blanket.  He was smoking a cigarette.

“Hey,” he said when he noticed I was awake.  He smiled shyly and held up his hand.  “You wanna smoke?”

I nodded.  I carefully moved off the mattress to avoid waking Darrin.  Sam sat up to make room for me.  He held up the blanket so I could slide in beside him.  He watched me as I did so, his gaze guarded.  It seemed like he was asking me a silent question.

“What?” I said as I nestled under the blanket beside him.  It seemed strangely natural to be so close to him.  But it felt more intimate in a way than when I’d had my cock inside him.

He didn’t say anything, just held the cigarette out to me.  I took it and inhaled a long soothing drag.  We sat together silently for awhile, taking turns with the cigarette.

“You have a crush on him, don’t you?” he said finally, nodding toward the mattress where Darrin lay sprawled in a deep sleep.

I looked at Sam, shrugging my shoulders.  “I guess so.  He’s hot.”  My feelings for Darrin Peters had lost some of their intensity.

Sam nodded, looking away.  “Yeah.”

There was something I needed to know.  “How long have you guys … you know?”  I asked carefully.

Sam snorted quietly.  “How long have we been screwing each other, you mean?”


“Um, it’s been a few months.  Why?”

“Are you in love with him?”

Sam seemed surprised at my question.  “What?  No.  We just like to have fun together.  We found this place.  We come here whenever we need to let off steam.  Or if we just need a friend.  Or a fuck.”

I nodded.  “That’s cool.”

“It’s all right.”

We sat in silence again.  The breeze coming through the open window brought the cool sea air and the smell of saltwater.  I snuggled closer to Sam.

“I asked him to bring you here,” he said finally, in a voice so quiet I barely heard him.

I stared at his profile, trying to figure out what he meant.  He turned, and his brown eyes delved into mine.

“Why?” was all I could manage to say.  My breath caught in my throat.  Something in his gaze caused a strong reaction inside me.  It was like he knew me inside out already.  But we’d never spoken two words before this night.

He didn’t say anything. 

He didn’t need to. 

I knew. 

His eyes told me everything.  They widened and stayed locked on mine as our faces moved closer of their own volition.  His hand came up behind my neck and he guided me the last few millimeters to his waiting lips.

The kiss began tentatively, as we both tried to figure out if there was something here, between us.  Very soon, that something reared up like a flame.  Our mouths hungrily consumed it.  Sam whimpered and opened his mouth to my eager tongue.  My cock, already semi-erect from our close contact, rose hard against his thigh as I gasped into his mouth.  I clasped his face in my hands and plundered his willing mouth with my tongue as waves of pleasure coursed through me.  I’d been so focused on Darrin, and all along it had been Sam who was waiting for me, wanting me.  I’d been a fool not to see.

I forced myself to pull away and catch my breath.  I stared into his intelligent brown eyes and said.  “It’s you.”


I nodded and smiled.  “It’s you I want.”

He pulled my mouth to his again and whispered, “I’m yours, Marco,” against my lips.  “I’ve always been yours.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Crush

My second e-book with MLR Press was released today!!!

You can read the first chapter and/or buy it here.  I'm so excited!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Bed of Red Flowers

I just finished this eye-opening book by Nelofir Pazira, an autobiography of her life growing up in Soviet occupied, and then civil war embroiled, Afghanistan.  She is the star of the movie Kandahar, a movie based on her actual return to Afghanistan to find her friend, Dyana.

When I finished the book, an image from an old National Geographic Magazine cover came to mind - one that had always haunted me with its beauty:

Photo by Steve McCurry
I typed 'afghan girl national geographic' into Google and found the photo in an article about the photographer and his search for the subject of this image years afterwards.  He did find her.  Her name is Sharbat Gula and her story is very similar to Ms. Pazira's, as she was also a teenager during this turbulent period of Afghanistan's history.  However, Ms. Gula remained in Afghanistan while Ms. Pazira and her family were able to emigrate to New Brunswick, Canada.

A Bed of Red Flowers is a brutally honest representation of one Afghan girl's experiences and her thoughts on politics, religion, and the plight of a desperate country.  It should be recommended reading in all high schools, if only to instil an appreciation of the freedoms and peace that we take for granted here in Canada and the United States.  I admire Ms. Pazira tremendously for her courage, and commitment to bringing the reality of the Afghan people - their struggles, hopes and dreams, and perseverance amid desperate and violent circumstances - to light.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Homage To...

... Rupert Graves as Alec Scudder in Merchant Ivory's movie, Maurice.

My good friend, Terry, blogged yesterday about one of the models in his Naked Man Project reminding him of the essence of this character.

I had totally forgotten about this movie and the impact that this character had on me!

When I first watched it, one evening when my parents were out, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I must have been about seventeen or eighteen.  The build up of Alec's attraction to the somewhat oblivious Maurice, the unstated sexual tension of the performance, was unbelievable.

When Alec noticed the ladder leaning against the house one evening, right near the window of the guest room where Maurice was staying, of course I was thinking, he's going to climb into Maurice's room - oh my god!  I had not read the book so really didn't know if it would happen or was it just my horny mind wanting it to happen?  And, really, I didn't expect it to happen because I'd never seen anything like that in a film before.  So when Alec walks through the darkness and actually does climb the ladder to the other man's room, I almost couldn't believe it was happening.  I remember staring at the screen saying, "Oh yes!  Go Alec!  Get him!"  Too funny, but it was like, finally, I get to see an actual fulfillment of my unstated fantasies on film.  Seeing two hot men together, especially the woodsy/sexy gamekeeper seducing the gentleman who is craving this kind of attachment so badly but is held back by circumstance and propriety.

I was also surprised and very pleased when Maurice ultimately decided to abandon his place in polite society to be with Alec.  Their passionate, desperate kiss at the end holds all the promise of a full life together, no matter what they have to do to be able to achieve it.  In retrospect, this movie was seminal to  my current career as a writer of gay erotic romance.

It is really a gay version of Lady Chatterley's Lover, another of my favorite books.  What is it about gameskeepers?  Perhaps because they were so connected to the animal world, D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster figured they would understand better the primal desires that consume us.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MLR Christmas Short Story Release Schedule

For your reading pleasure, my publisher, MLR Press, will be releasing a short story a day from November 20th until December 31st.  My story, Holiday Matinée, is officially scheduled for release on Saturday, December 3rd!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Maximus - My Hero

Okay, so you're probably thinking, gladiator, right?  Well, no.  Labrador Retriever actually.

There is a dog in my neighborhood; a beautiful golden lab, like the one in the above photo.  His name is Maximus.

I remember, just after we moved into this house nine years ago, his owner playing with him when he was a just a puppy.  He grew quickly, and she bought one of those plastic ball launchers to make throwing easier for her and more challenging for him.  She would throw the ball for him and he would take off after it, his body a flurry of muscles and tendons and eager puppy energy.

Then there was a period of time that I didn't see him.  I didn't really wonder that much about it.  I figured perhaps they had moved or were on vacation or something.  Until, one day, when I was walking in the area, I saw the owner, along with a group of neighbors, maneuvering a very weak and seemingly paralyzed yellow lab into a framed sling, so that his body was supported and his legs hung down.  I stopped and watched very briefly as I didn't want to be a gawker.  Then I moved on.  Could that be the same dog?  I wasn't sure.  But the more often I saw this paralyzed dog as its owner and the neighbors attempted to rehabilitate it, and didn't see the Maximus that I had been familiar with, the more I was convinced that it was him.  What had happened???  I was too shy to ask at first.  I simply watched as, over weeks and months, this lovely dog, with the diligent encouragement of a group of dedicated people, regained the use of his legs and body.  He will never be what he once was, but he is able to get along with a crazy list and a lazy leg or two.  He looks, when he moves, as if he'd had too much to drink.  I did eventually find out that it was a stroke that caused the paralysis.  His owner went on to bring two other dogs into her home, as companions/motivators for Max and pets for herself.  She trains her dogs well and obviously gives them lots of love and attention.

Then I found myself struggling with my own issues of disability, as I suffered through some mysterious symptoms and was subsequently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I often think about Maximus, who does not care a whit what other animals or people think about the strange movements he is forced to make as he pulls his injured body along.  He is friendly to everyone, an angel with the children, and makes the best of the life he has.  No self pity.  Just determination to enjoy everything that life still has to offer - like a sunny day with a gentle breeze, a group of laughing children coming over to pet him, or a short walk with his doggy 'brothers' and committed owner.

I hope that, no matter what I have to face in the future in regard to my state of health, I will convey the same dignity and carefree attitude that is expressed daily by this beautiful creature.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh! You Pretty Things... David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor

The photos in yesterday's post got me thinking about androgyny.  I've always been fascinated by men and women who do not fit into an obviously defined masculine/feminine schema.

I believe I was in my late teens when I discovered my older brother's David Bowie albums that he'd left behind when he moved out of the family home.  David Bowie rocked the world with his avant garde appearance and music in the 1970s.  One of his earliest albums, The Man Who Sold The World, features him with long hair wearing a dress on the cover:

I've always loved this image.  I think he looks gorgeous and sexy and in your face original.  His early music was that way too.  Space Oddity, Hunky Dory, and The Man Who Sold The World are my favorites.  Once he hit the eighties, his music and look became much more mainstream and, to me, boring.

Iggy Pop, a punk icon, in his early days brought a dangerous and sexy energy to the music scene:

The movie, Velvet Goldmine, was written to portray the early careers of David Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Written by Todd Haynes and James Lyons, starring the beautiful and talented Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor (as well as Toni Colette, Eddie Izzard and Christian Bale), it is a lyrical exploration of the rise of glam rock and more permissive attitudes toward homosexuality and bisexuality among 70's youth.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers is outstanding as Brian Slade (Bowie) and Ewan McGregor displays a raw, explosive energy as the unstable Curt Wilde (Pop).

Together, they evince a tender and sensual attraction to each other amidst the excitement of emerging pop careers.  When things go downhill and reality intrudes, the bittersweet endings are portrayed with a genuine regret and confusion. This is paralleled by the more conservative commercialism that came into play during the eighties and wiped out the boundary-pushing experimentation pervasive in the seventies.

For anyone who enjoyed the glam rock explosion or who gets a charge out of seeing two gorgeous and gifted actors portray androgynous bisexual lovers, this movie is a must see.  Overblown, lyrical and romantic, it is not to everyone's tastes.  But it remains one of my favourite movies.  The soundtrack alone lifts it above the ordinary and features the voices of the actors themselves on many tracks.  I highly recommend it as well.

Here is a link to Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Brian Slade (David Bowie) channeling his stage persona, Maxwell Demon (Ziggy Stardust), to perform The Ballad of Maxwell Demon.  It is both an homage to, and a satire of, glam rock in all its psychedelic insanity and sexual ambiguity.  And for something quite different, here is Ewan McGregor as Curt Wilde (Iggy Pop), performing TV Eye.