Jump

Sunday morning and the end of Daylight Savings Time. I woke up at the usual time, reset the clock to the correct time, and stayed in bed for another hour…but still got up early. It’s fine, I don’t mind, and I am actually awake rather than groggy. I need to get groceries–a minor run for some staples and a few things I need for dinner tonight–and I also need to get to the gym today. (I did not, in fact, go yesterday as planned.) I also managed to destroy my ancient iPod Nano. I took it out of my car (where it’s my music source) and put it in my jeans pocket Friday so I could take it with me to the gym, forgot about it, and yes, put it through both washer and dryer. Sigh. Now the screen is dead–the memory in it still works, if I connect it to my computer–but the controls don’t work, and they don’t make Nanos anymore, which totally sucks. I had that damned thing for almost seven years…so I guess I’ll have to use my iPod Touch, which is nine years old, for the gym instead until I can swing getting a new one, I suppose. So annoying. Then again, if it costs less than a new iPod Touch, it might be worth seeing if it can be fixed.

I suppose I could just use my phone, I suppose, but I hate how the music cuts off if you get an email or a text or something. It’s jarring.

First world problems, I know.

I am reading an advance copy of Laura Lippman’s Sunburn, and it’s really quite exceptional. It’s very different than anything she’s done before, and I have to say, it’s quite the ballsy move. It’s very easy to just write the same style and the same type of book over and over again, but Lippman has really stretched herself and grown in her stand alone novels; this, coming after the sublime Wilde Lake, is yet another gamble that is paying off big time. And as I said yesterday, reading amazing work by amazing writers is inspirational; I actually sat down at the computer yesterday and made myself write two thousand words; and they were good words. They took me longer to write than usual–my attention span is so shortened because of social media and everything else these days; I need to remember that the best thing for me to do when I get stuck is to get up and do something away from the computer; even if it is something as simple as rearranging a cabinet shelf; putting things in order and organizing, for some reason, always works as a writing trigger for me. But it’s more than I’ve written in a long time, and I am kind of excited about it, to be honest. I still have an essay to write, and there’s a short story I need to write, but I want to get some more of this Scotty done before I sidetrack myself again.

And on that note, ’tis back to the spice mines. Here’s a Sunday hunk for you, Constant Reader:

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Say Say Say

I’ve started reading Alison Gaylin’s If I Die Tonight this week; I have an advance copy and OH MY GOD IT IS SO GOOD. I also have advance copies of some other new books by some amazing women writers that I can’t wait to start reading as well. Huzzah!

This week has felt a bit off; which probably has to do with Halloween being on a Tuesday. Yesterday felt more like a Monday than a Wednesday, and today feels sort of Tuesday-ish. I’ve been off my game since Bouchercon, frankly, and am hoping to use this weekend to right the ship and get everything going again. I have managed to get most of my to-do list (the short one, not the over-all one) finished this week already, but I haven’t done much editing or writing or revising. That must change. I also intend to get to the gym again this weekend, but this time I mean it. I overdid it making groceries last weekend, so I don’t have to do that this weekend–and really, running the errands is what always ends any attempt at getting to the gym for me.

I am also very aware that’s an excuse, thank you very much, and I don’t need any reminding.

But the gym–and my writing–have been put off for far too long. I’m starting to come out of the malaise I’ve been in for quite some time, as well. I was looking at Chapter Two of the new Scotty yesterday and while yes, it needs revision and rewriting, how to do it actually started coming into my mind. Those muscles are there, just rusty…like my actual muscles. Cardio, better eating habits, and some weight lifting are the ticket. And I’m sleeping better as well.

Stop making excuses, Gregalicious!

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines with me. Here’s a Throwback Thursday hunk for you:

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Breaking Us in Two

Sunday. It’s one degree warmer than yesterday morning–wow, right? But you will undoubtedly be thrilled to know that I get everything on my list done yesterday other than go to the gym; and after spending two hours in the storage unit moving boxes of books around, I was pretty damned exhausted physically, and then braved Costco on a Saturday afternoon (it wasn’t bad at all, other than stupid people, which is every day). I also came across some books in the storage that I thought hey, these need to be reread and so I took them out. One of them was Richard Matheson’s Hell House, which seemed, at least to me, to be the proper reread after The Haunting of Hill House, in that they’re very similar; one could even go so far as to say Matheson basically took Jackson’s story structure and turned the dial up a notch. I am enjoying the reread very much; although I’m not very far into it thus far. I also found my copy of Michael Rowe’s groundbreaking anthology Queer Fear, which I reviewed in the Lambda Book Report many years ago when I worked there, and was to be my first encounter with Mr. Rowe; I remember he came up to me at the Lambda Awards the next year, introduced himself, and thanked me for the lovely review. We’ve crossed paths a few times since, and have become friends over the years. I do remember loving Queer Fear, and look forward to delving into it and rereading its short stories again.

I also found my high school scrapbook and my diaries from the 1990’s. I used to buy blank books and carry them around with me everywhere, so I could jot down story and/or book ideas, or write diary entries whenever I wanted to. I am always hesitant to reread my old diaries; I often wince from my immaturity and my over-dramatization of events in my life. Yet at the same time, the diaries also served as a very vital source of self-reflection and self-examination; I suppose this blog has served that purpose since I started it on Livejournal back in 2004 (the idea that I have been consistently blogging for thirteen years rather staggers the mind, doesn’t it? But I’ve been writing in a diary of some sort, off and on, since I was a teenager; this seems to be a natural continuation of that process).

I also found the three ring binder where I kept everything from the Virginia situation of 2005 and 2006; including the ACLU letter to the school board. I’d always intended to write a non-fiction book about it all, called Gay Porn Writer, in which I examined what happened to me in the context, not only of the times but extrapolating it out further into what was going on in publishing and the culture. My memory lies to me now, of course, so I am not certain that I’ll ever write such a book–I don’t know that I would remember things correctly, and even then, what is colored by my perceptions of things. I’ve since moved on, of course–I mentioned the incident in passing on my panel at Bouchercon and had to explain it a little, which was kind of crazy. It was so long ago, and I used to get invited to speak about it all the time. The memories are now hazy and unclear, but I am definitely going to keep all this information.

You never know.

I think I am probably just going to scan everything in the scrapbook, in order to preserve it electronically, and then throw it away. I don’t really need to keep programs from my high school football games, or from choir concerts, and scanning them will better preserve them anyway.

I have one errand to run today, and I also want to go to the gym for a little bit, start dipping my feet back into the water of working out regularly, and despite the cold, I am going to give that a try.

And hopefully, I’ll get some writing done, or at least something done that will move all projects forward.

Here’s a Sunday hunk for you:

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Tonight, I Celebrate My Love

Thursday. The weekend is nigh, and Paul and I are considering going to see It at long last, as there is no LSU game on Saturday. I also am going to Costco, and want to make it to the gym to do some detestable cardio. But I will also do some stretching, so there’s that. I really need to start getting into a regular habit of going again. I always feels so much better after I work out…you’d think that would be enough motivation to go, you know?

But you would be wrong.

I also am looking forward to getting back into my reread of The Haunting of Hill House, which blows me away on every reread. October is almost over, and so my concentration on just reading horror will come to an end with October 31st; I will go on to End of Watch by Stephen King when I finish this reread, and then I’m going to dig into all the ARCs and advance copies I got at Bouchercon, which is terribly exciting. Laura Lippman, Alison Gaylin, Ivy Pochoda, and Adam Sternburgh! My new Donna Andrews, The Finch Who Stole Christmas, also arrived yesterday, which is terribly exciting. I have a lot of great reading in store.

I worked on revising the new Scotty a bit yesterday, and was terribly pleased to discover that what I’d already written wasn’t, in fact, a steaming pile of crap like I thought it was. Distance does, in fact, help. So I am going to try to get those initial chapters all revised by Sunday before putting it aside again and diving back into the WIP, for it’s last tweaks. I’m feeling a lot better about all of this, to be honest…not sure where this burst of out of nowhere self-confidence has come from, but there you are.

And on that note, ’tis back to the spice mines.

For Throwback Thursday, here’s one of my sluttier Halloween costumes, Gay Beach Volleyball Player.

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Pass the Dutchie

Bouchercon next year will be in St. Petersburg, Florida. It will be hot and sticky, but there will be lovely gulf breezes and a sun shower every afternoon right around three o’clock.

Last night we watched LSU beat Ole Miss 40-24; we’re on a three game win streak now and bowl eligible. There’s a bye next week, and then LSU has to play at Alabama. Heavy sigh. I don’t know if I’ll even watch that game…I know I will, but it’s going to be hard to watch. LSU hasn’t beaten Alabama since 2011, and it’s not very likely they will this year. The fan in me is hopeful; the realist in me isn’t.

I did manage to finish reading Anna Dressed in Blood yesterday. I’m not going to review it, though–it was okay; I can see why it appeals to tweens and young teens, but it doesn’t really work on an adult level. I think maybe if I hadn’t watched all eleven or twelve or however many seasons of Supernatural there are, I might have enjoyed it more; but it was too reminiscent of the show for me. The main character’s name is even Cas…and of course, there’s a Cas on Supernatural. Apparently the author, Kendare Blake, has turned it into a series, and that’s terrific. I doubt I’ll read another. I only knew of the book because a tween reviewer raved about my own Sara and compared the two to each other favorably; she also compared it to Pretty Little Liars, which I also appreciated. I started my reread of The Haunting of Hill House last night as well, and also finished reading Craig Pittman’s Oh, Florida!, which I also enjoyed. It reminded me a lot of childhood summers spent in Florida, and even inspired me to drag out an old short story set in the Panhandle, “Cold Beer No Flies,” which I’ve been sort of working on since getting back from Toronto. I do recommend the book highly; while it doesn’t fully explain the weirdness that is Florida, it is very informative, at times funny, and I enjoyed it tremendously.

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It’s even got me thinking about writing a new series set in Florida, if you can believe that. But that’s how my mind works. I’ve been toying with a couple of ideas for noir novels set in Florida for a long time–I also have an idea for a funny noir style novel set there as well–and the lovely thing about having this book on my shelf is I can always take it down and reread a section to get my inspiration jump-started.

I also need to get that damned copy edit of Jackson Square Jazz finished this week. That’s my goal; get the copy edit done, start the final revision of the WIP, and do two chapters of the new Scotty this week while writing some short stories. It’s lofty, but I think I can get it all done.

And on that note, t’is off to the spice mines.

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Another good night’s sleep. I barely know what to do with myself. Today is my Sunday, since i have to work tomorrow, but that’s fine. I have to run a couple of errands but intend to spend the day cleaning, watching football, maybe doing some editing, and trying to finish reading Anna Dressed in Blood. October is winding down, and I still need to reread The Haunting of Hill House and I want to read Stephen King’s End of Watch by the end of the month. Then I am going to get back to crime reading–I have the ARCS of the new novels by Laura Lippman (Sunburn), Alafair Burke (The Wife), Alison Gaylin (If I Die Tonight) and Ivy Pochoda (Wonder Valley). Such a plethora of riches…and I also have a lot of other wonderful books waiting in the TBR pile.

The house is a disaster area, quite literally, and if I don’t get something done about it today I may just lose my mind. I had lunch with my friend Laura yesterday, and after getting back from yesterday’s errands I had literally no energy left. I don’t know what has happened to my energy levels, but I definitely think I need to start going back to the gym regularly. I haven’t since August, and I think my body is sending me an SOS. I hate when that happens. I am thinking about going to the gym later today before the LSU game and doing a light, get back into the groove work out. I also was thinking of doing just that tomorrow night after work as well.

We’ll see, as I always seem to say.

But yes, I have to stop feeling tired and using that as an excuse for not getting things done. I am way behind on everything, did nothing on the to-do list I finally put together last week, and this shall not stand. I have way too much to do–of course, maybe I am allowing the amount of things I have to do overwhelm me which creates the self-fulfilling prophecy of getting nothing done–but today I am determined. I am not feeling tired the way I usually have when I’ve woken up this week from my good night’s sleep, and so I am going to try to get caffeinated and get moving on everything,

And on that note, I am off to the spice mines.

Here’s a hunk for you.

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