Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Competition and "Two for Hooking"

Roman Festivals – IV. The Epiphany – Ottorino Resphighi
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Vasily Petrenko, conductor

This piece is awesome.  I’m speaking of the whole piece Roman Festivals.  This is just the fourth movement (of four) and in my opinion the most exciting.  Now I’ll admit this performance isn’t the cleanest or well executed (and it’s a little “too fast” in some peoples opinion.... not mine), but it’s freaking fast and energetic.  It has an unbridled passion and drive that I feel only young orchestras can really manage.

So.... my story.

Two for Hooking was actually written this summer while I was attending the Brevard Summer Music Festival.  I was staying in an internet-less cabin so naturally, writing was easy considering the lack of distractions.

I did a thing....  I made a really crappy cover because I didn't want to work on a thesis paper.
(That's only kinda what Jake looks like... but I was using free royalty free images... so sue me*)
*Please don't sue me

I knew I’d write about a hockey player, because it's one of my crazy obsessions.  So I set out to create my own hockey league.  I didn’t want to use the existing NHL teams in an effort to avoid any awkward legal problems or to suggest anything too fan fiction-y (not that there’s anything wrong with fan fiction, I’d just like my characters to seem new rather than pre-existing in the reader’s head).  So I actually created a 24-team hockey league.  I made up where each team is located, their names (after researching each city to find a related team mascot), and their coaches, players, etc.  It seemed like a lot of work for a short story, so I’ve actually continued to write in this universe with the manuscript I’m working on now.

The title Two for Hooking is taken from a penalty in hockey.  One possible punishment for hooking is two minutes in the penalty box.  Voila.  It wasn’t all my doing however, a good friend named Justin was the one to suggest that it was a better title than my working title, The Light Fantastic.  The working title was way too haughty compared to what I'd written, and so it had to be dumped.

A huge thank you to Elyse, Wendy, RJ, Val, Nicki, and Justin for helping me through various parts of the story, editing, and all together making this story readable and this opportunity possible...

I hope you all enjoy Two for Hooking (available here for FREE).

Now for the reason you’re here.  Comment below to be entered in the running for a $5 gift certificate to Amazon (it's not much but it'll get you a free ebook in most cases!!).  Just make sure I can get to you somehow when you comment (i.e. e-mail, Facebook, Google Plus).  Competition for this gift certificate ends on 12-10-2013, 12:00AM Arizona Time (MST).


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Day for a Different Kind of Stuffing

Spiegel Im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt
Benjamin Hudson, viola
Jürgen Kruse, piano

Absolutely beautiful piece of music.  Pärt composes some of the most chillingly beautiful music in my humble opinion.  (Some may recognize this as the trailer music for the 2013 film Gravity.)

I am so sorry for the title of this blog post... blame placed later.

Moving on.... There are too many people in my life to thank every single one in a single blog post.   So I thought I’d just tell a story.

On a regular trip to the mall with friends, I found myself at the Gay and Lesbian section of the Barnes and Nobles.  To clarify, when I say section I mean the single shelf holding about twenty different titles, ten of which were Gerri Hill novels.

I found a couple m/m titles and I was intrigued, but far too afraid to actually buy one.  Of course mall trips were frequent and so unsurprisingly I found myself in the section again.  After probably the fifth or sixth time visiting the section I finally got the nerve to grab the book.  It was Riddle of the Sands by Geoffrey Knight (so you can see why I was nervous with a cover like that!!).

However my nerves didn’t hold and I told my friend I wasn’t going buy it.  That was when she took the book (and my cash) with an exasperated smile and purchased the book for me.  Christina did more for me that day then I think I’ve realized until recently.  I went from reading those books hidden with larger textbooks – to proudly telling friends and family that not only do I read the genre, I write in it.  I am so utterly thankful to Christina for being there for me.

Now I have the opportunity to take this further.  With a short story coming out soon (appearing in the Christmas Delights Anthology,available for download on December 1st) and a full-length manuscript being put together choppy sentence by choppy sentence, I’ve really spread my fabulous wings.  So I’m also so very thankful for RJ Scott who’s given me this opportunity, helping to open these doors and give me a chance to really pursue this avenue.

Then of course there’s Tony (the person you can blame for approving the title of this post).  Tony (like Christina and others) will likely be mentioned on this blog regularly, so get used to them.  We talk nearly every day despite the 2,264 miles between us.  Sometimes we just trade stupid stories and laugh or we’ll recount entire episodes of shows that the other doesn’t watch (most recently him recounting American Horror Story and me various hockey games).  It doesn’t really matter.  His voice is something that’s gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life (including just a few months ago).  I can usually trace a turn from darkness to light to a phone call with him.  He puts up with me chattering about the novels I read and write, and he only sometimes teases me when I get a little too cheesy.

Finally I am eternally grateful for my wonderful family.  Though it’s not the first time, I am saddened that I can’t be with them this holiday, but I will be soon!  J  My ever-supportive parents have pushed me further than I ever thought I could go.  I can’t even imagine where I’d be without them.  My brothers are my lifelines, the two guys that have been with me through every move, four continents and twenty-four years.  And now with their lovely wives (my new sisters) and their children I am so blessed to be in the company of wonderful people who help my dreams come true just by being there and supporting me.



Sunday, November 24, 2013


Feel free to listen to the above clip of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ballet Suite No. 4.  I wouldn’t typically include a YouTube source that doesn’t name the performing orchestra, but this recording was by far the best I could find on YouTube so kudos to whoever performed this.

This is my favorite piece of all time.  I’ve always assumed that I’d change my mind, but after a decade at the top of my list it’s yet to be dethroned.

On to the actual post...

How intimidating to be writing the first post on my blog dedicated to my writings of the m/m romance persuasion!  I’d like to just write a short post introducing myself, my writing, my blog, and to drop as many shameless plugs for the Christmas Delights Anthology, available for download on December 1st, which will include my short story Two for Hooking.

A little about me:

Currently I am pursuing a doctorate of musical arts in music composition at Arizona State University.  Writing music is my greatest love and passion.  It seems fitting that writing fiction would be my second.  Generally my music tells a story even if sometimes quite abstractly.  So really it’s not so big of a leap to go from symphonies to stories.

My third passion (it’s a tight race) would be hockey.  So it’s not surprising that I’d have multiple musical compositions about the sport.  Likewise my short story Two For Hooking (appearing in the Christmas Delights Anthology, available for download on December 1st) tells the tale of a hockey player and a prostitute spending an evening together desperately trying to have sex.  But the world keeps getting in the way.

A little about the blog:

This blog is fresh, so I can’t really be sure what it’ll encompass.  I plan to post random things, daily if possible.  I was thinking book, movie, and music reviews, mostly centered around LGBT things.  I’d like to include a piece of music with each post, so that you can have something nice to listen to while you read, maybe I’ll even include a blurb so I can show off that I read about the piece on Wikipedia at some point during my education.

I will write stories no matter what.  This is something I’ve come to terms with.  Even without an excuse I find myself writing, from fanfiction, to original stories, to opera libretti, I just can’t shut up about my men.  So when the opportunity to submit a story for RJ Scott’s Anthology (Christmas Delights, available for download on December 1st) presented itself, I thought this is it. 

Who knows what will happen?  I could fall flat on my face.  I’d be used to it... I am a music major after all, it’s like majoring in rejection.  But I figured it’s something I love to do.  And maybe somewhere out there is an avid reader of m/m romance obsessed with hockey stories of sexy men falling in love and finding their happily-ever-afters (usually with a few gaps in their happily-ever-after smiles).

Keep an eye out for future news and posts on this blog! 

With love and sexy body checks,