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  • 08 - 30, 2011
    Get your crayons out, your pencils sharpened, and your keyboards warmed up – whatever it takes to enter your story in the  Venus Magazine Short Fiction Contest.  Follow the link for rules and what not. Come on. You know you have a story in  you. Give it a go. What the hell, the worst that can happen is you won’t win, but you’ll sure have fun trying. Go here –  http://kissedbyvenus.ca/?p=3414

    08 - 26, 2011

    Check out my 5-star review of Culpepper’s River Walker at http://kissedbyvenus.ca/?p=3186

    08 - 17, 2011


    Go to Salem West’s The Rainbow Reader site for my review of Catherine M. Wilson’s superlative When Women Were Warriors (http://rainbowreader.blogspot.com/2011/08/when-women-were-warriors-by-catherine-m.html)

    Note: I have since been corrected and deeply regret calling the novel fantasy. It is historical fiction. This illustrates my ignorance of both genres, but if all historical fiction is as good as When Women Were Warriors I am soon to be a keen fan. The setting explanation provided at Shield Maiden Press (http://www.shieldmaidenpress.com/time-and-place.html) makes When Women Were Warriors that much richer in that suddenly it is positioned well within the realm of possibility. See? I wasn’t just dreaming. This really could have happened….


    08 - 16, 2011

    While a satisfying romance, I kept waiting for Ghosts of Winter to turn into a good, old-fashioned ghost story. Ros inherits a rundown English mansion (see, spooky right there!) and sets about restoring it while she also restores her broken heart, both with the help of cool but comely architect Anna. In short chapters Buck gives us glimpses of Winter Manor’s prior occupants but she never develops their relationship with the present occupants. Given Ros’ penchant for crystals and sage smudging, she’d have been a natural for the spirits of Winter Manor to have a supernatural relationship with. Alas, that never develops beyond Ros thinking about the prior inhabitants, who I found the more interesting characters in the story. Nonetheless, Buck’s writing is solid, and if you want a good, old-fashioned lesbian romance, Ghosts of Winter is for you.  

    08 - 16, 2011

    Went to Florida Keys for a couple days and unplugged. Very disorienting. Like withdrawing from a drug. But ah, after the initial withdrawal, comes peace. Little waves breaking on the beach, lapping at the dock. Palm fronds gabbing with the breeze. The Gulf air  as warm and insular as a second skin, its water womb-like – especially if you’re a hyena. The female carries multiple young in her womb and the strongest, in utero, will eat it’s siblings. That’s what it felt like as I did laps waiting for a shark to devour me. Think I’ve seen Jaws too many times. It’s ruined ocean swimming for me. Or lake swimming (there are fresh water sharks, you know.) Even swimming pools at night. Those fresh water sharks, again.

    But I swam anyway. The gods have a plan for me and if getting ravaged by a tiger shark is on their list, then so be it. May as well get it over with because then I could relax (if I didn’t die) and swim without fear, for what are the odds of getting attacked again? Don’t answer that. But trusty guard dog Baxter, and beloved brother-in-law John, kept me under their watchful eyes. Like Hemingway’s Thomas Hudson, in Islands in the Stream, watching over his sons diving, with his .256 Mannlicher Schoenauer in one hand and an ice-dripping Green Issac’s Special in the other:

    Thomas Hudson put the drink down in the shade and stood up. 

    “Jesus Christ,” Eddy said. “There it comes.”

    Out across the blue water, showing like a brown dinghy sail and slicing through the water with heavy, tail-propelled, lunging thrusts, the high triangular fin was coming in toward the hole at the edge of the reef where the boy with the mask on his face held his fish up out of the water.

    “Oh Jesus,'” Eddy said. “What a son of a bitching hammerhead. Jesus. Tom. Oh Jesus.”

    Okay. In addition to Jaws, maybe I’ve read a little too much Papa.

    (I love what a dedicated alcoholic he was – his son’s about to be devoured by a hammerhead but Tom takes care to put his icy drink down in the shade. My hero…)


    08 - 01, 2011
    “Survived By…”

    One of the joys about being my own publisher is I can do ANYTHING I WANT with my earnings. During 4th of July weekend they went to the Wounded Warrior Project. Half of last month I joined a Smashwords promotion and gave the book away free, free, free! This month, throughout August, I’m giving all “River Within” proceeds to an indie film I whole-heartedly believe in. Check out the link. http://survivedbyfilm.com/www.sbf.com/Home.html

    You may be seeing a curiously patriotic streak here. I love my country, hate the wars we get into, and am always terribly moved by the men and women we send out to fight them. “Survived By…” tells how our military deals with those fallen heroes when they happen to be gay or lesbian.

    This is a film that must be made. Help make it. Buy a copy of “River”. Tell your friends to buy a copy. Your family, too. The soldiers that fight and die for us will thank you.