This will be my very first lesbian writers conference!
Monday, July 6, 2015
This will be my very first lesbian writers conference!
Friday, June 26, 2015
This photo of New Orleans is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Just 26 days until the Golden Crown Literary Conference in New Orleans. I'm very excited about going to my first lesbian writing conference. There will be a lot of great authors there, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of the lovely ladies that I've become friends with on Facebook. I'm also looking forward to meeting fans. I'll be bringing copies of all my books, but probably just a few of each. If you are going to the conference and have a specific book you would like to get from me there, please email me and let me know at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've never been to New Orleans, and I'll be traveling with my family. It is going to be quite an adventure!
As many of you know, I've had a rough couple of months. We lost my partner's mother in April and my beloved Aunt Vonnie a few weeks ago. I've had all 6 of my grandkids for several days over the past two months (my brain may never be the same), and that has slowed my writing and editing projects down. But, I'm working as much as I can on getting Suddenly edited again. I knew there were a lot of mistakes, but wow, it's been a huge project getting it fixed. But, I'm so glad my publisher for that book has allowed me the opportunity to make it a better book.
I'm also working on the re-writing of Standing Her Ground, my new adult lesbian romance/drama that I hope to have out in the fall. It's about a young lesbian who gets raped and had a child as a result. She chooses to keep her son and move on with her life, but her parents suddenly decide that a lesbian should not raise her son.
I think this story will resonate with a lot of young women, gay or straight, who've had to deal with this kind of challenge and chose to stand their ground against their adversaries.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
The funeral itself was small, with maybe twenty to twenty-five people there. I only knew about six of the people there, who were mostly aunts of dead uncles and a couple of cousins, including Aunt Vonnie's son, Brad. It made me realize how little I knew about these people and their lives, but that is not going to change. Although they seemed genuinely glad to see me, I didn't get a warm feeling from any of them. In fact, I felt like a complete outsider and ended up leaving before the official ceremony.
Before the funeral, when I was getting ready to go, I had an idea for a story. It is going to be about a woman going to her aunt's funeral and meeting her cousin's new girlfriend. (This family was much closer than mine.) This woman and her cousin used to be close as kids but only get to see each other occasionally as adults. The cousin is dating this woman because his mother and sister fixed him up with her. They think she's perfect for him, but he still wants to play the field. He challenges his cousin to try to win his girlfriend's attention, and she warns him that he doesn't want her to do that. But, when she finally meets her cousin's girlfriend, all bets are off because she feels an instant connection and bond to this beautiful woman.
After the funeral, I was distraught and exhausted. We have driven five hours the night before to get to Indianapolis so we could be there for the funeral and only got a few hours sleep before having to get up and go to the funeral. It was hot and muggy, and our van doesn't have air. We were all hot and tired so we decided to go out to Turkey Run State Park to camp. I've always heard what a great park this was, but I'd never been there. Well, I still haven't seen it. The campgrounds were full, and they were charging $7 just to go into the park. At that point, we were not interested in seeing the park. We just wanted to find a campground, get out of funeral clothes and get showers.
We had almost decided to head back to Kentucky when I saw the sign for Raccoon Lake State Park. I had been there several times as a kid and knew they had a beach area where we could swim in the lake. A dip in some cold lake water sounded really good.
The park had spots available, and we set up camp. Well, things didn't get any better. I've never seen a state park with this many gnats and mosquitoes around the campgrounds. It was hot, but we had to build a fire to try to run off the bugs. We finally got the camp set up and headed down to the lake. That was the highlight of the trip. We spent about two hours there cooling off before getting ready to bed down for the night. It was still hot and buggy.
We woke the next morning and put on an optimistic face. I made a trip to Walmart to get fans. I stopped and visited with one of my cousins that I hadn't seen in several years, and we talked for about an hour about life. It was a good visit and another highlight of my trip. I was supposed to hook up with a girlfriend from high school, but that didn't work out. By the time I got back to the camp, we had kid drama going on with my two oldest grandkids fighting and the baby hot and tired.
The baby went down for a nap. The kids went to play at the park, and we sat at the camp talking. Suddenly, I noticed two young women playing with each other. They were in their teens, probably sixteen or seventeen. One girl was so gay it wasn't funny. She may not know it yet, but I think she does. She was squirting water on her friend in a very playful, flirty way. The girl was tall, and I'm guessing a basketball player. She had on long, baggy shorts, a loose t-shirt, tennis shoes, and a ball cap, and she oozed dyke energy all the way across the campsite. Her friend was more feminine and seemed to be enjoying the attention of the young dyke. Obviously, this gave me a story idea. It's still formulating in my head, but I can feel a summer romance coming on.
The day got hot and buggy again. Even after a shower, it felt like I'd walked right back into a sauna and was nasty again. The kids came back from the park, and that's when we realized how red my grandson's back was. He had not had enough sunblock, and his back was extra crispy. He was miserable and feeling sick. We were hot and tired and decided to pack it up and go home. I was worried my grandson had gotten sun poisoning and wanted to get him out of the heat and close to his doctor.
Before we left the park, I was at the restroom, and there were two little girls, one with long chocolate hair that had ringlets along the edges and another girl with red hair. The dark haired girl walked up the redhead and said, "So what are you doing?" The way they looked at each other and talked gave me another story idea.
So despite the funeral, the heat, the bugs, and the overall gloominess of the weekend, I've got three, possibly four, new stories to put together.