Monday, August 31, 2015

The WORDS are there and you're NOT going anywhere. Take a DEEP breath.

There have been plenty of times I’ve needed to hear that. Plenty of times where those simple instructions seemed the hardest thing in the world. What’s a deep breath gonna do? When things are a mess, when it all goes to hell, why tell me to do what I gotta do anyway?

Well, because sometimes it’s the only thing you CAN do. It won’t make anything easier, but when you’re rushing around trying to fix everything, you end up breathing hard and fast and not in a good way. While you scramble around struggling to make the world make sense, you’re usually gasping for air.

Today’s post is a response to seeing a lot of people stressing out. For good reasons, but at time the negativity can really drag you under. Believe me, I know.

Rather than depress myself talking about HOW I know, I figured I’d address one of the issues I’ve seen coming up a lot lately, and that’s authors feeling the need to write enough to stay relevant.

Seeing this breaks my heart because, the way I see it, after you’ve put a book out there, after you’ve shared the artistry of your words and your stories, there’s no way you can become irrelevant. You’ve accomplished a certain immortality that few ever manage. Your words will live on forever.

Maybe that sounds like poetic nonsense, but for me, there’s something soothing about it. I could freak about pushing back deadlines and not writing enough. Gods know I get my share of hatemail over both. As I posted recently, I’ve had my moments where I could honestly say getting a job asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’ would be preferable to knowing I’m disappointing so many people because there’s no machine to make what I do go faster.

But that’s what makes art so precious. We hear again and again that our books aren’t our babies. That they’re a product and we have to learn to let them go and not take offense when critics tear them apart. Which is good advice, if only for our sanity.

For our creativity? For the words that never seem good enough? For the fragile muse who can be shut down by the most cruel critic?

And the cruelest critic, as we all know, is the artist themselves. If a hundred readers write angry letters about how long a book is taking, you can guarantee the author’s told themselves the same thing a thousand times. And wasn’t as polite as the most ignorant troll.

So what I suggest is this. Take a step back if you need to. Yes, this is still a job, and for those like me who live off our work, we can’t retreat too far. But we can get enough distance to make it just us and the words, if only a little while. To fall back in love with reading and writing and the passion that got us this far.

Enough distance to take a deep breath. And keep going.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

There Are No Gay Players In The NHL Series-The Strain on Gay Collegiate/Pro Hockey Players by V.L. Locey

Is there anything more crushing to the human spirit then to have to deny who you truly are? Imagine being an artist living in a culture where your peers frowned upon painting. Or, perhaps you love to write but society hated and scorned authors. Maybe you love floral arranging but your family detests flowers. Or, just maybe, you collect dolls but your church is vocally against doll collecting.

I suppose some of you will scoff at the comparisons above by saying that collecting porcelain dolls is very different from having sex with someone of the same gender. True, it is, but the hatred against those who are different is the same. Being ridiculed and ostracized because of whom you love is part of a debilitating cult of masculinity that so many athletes in this country are forced to deal with. It`s hard for adult gay and lesbian athletes. Try to picture the strain of being a young adult and having to face this kind of abuse.

It is a well-known fact that gay teens are three times more likely to
have suicidal thoughts and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Now, add in the burden of being part of a team playing a sport you love but being terrified of someone finding out that you're gay. There have been countless reports of hate crimes committed against LGBT youth by people their own age. Gay teens grow into gay men. It is time to stop letting homophobia rule the locker room. There is so much more that needs done. We can't stop pushing for acceptance now that marriage equality is the law of the land.

We need to start raising young boys with a new set of rules. We, the parents and coaches of the future NHL players, need to teach boys that being open-minded, tolerant, and loving is what really makes a man. Teaching love and acceptance starts young. Maybe someday, if we do a good job now, future players won't have to worry about coming out and the aftermath of shame and scorn that announcement will bring. Maybe, just maybe, future hockey players will be able to show up and just play.

Wouldn`t that be awesome?

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey

Long Change

Collegiate superstar goalie Boone Crockett seems to have the world at his feet. He’s rich, handsome, attends an elite college and is a hot prospect for the pros. Pity all that is a front for a deeply closeted and troubled young man.
All Boone’s life plans are shattered when flamboyant ex-figure skater Preston Gordon, an orange-haired twink, shows up to audition for the team’s mascot position wearing sequins, scarves and toe picks. His moves on the ice send Boone into his own pirouette of frustrated and reluctant desire.
As senior year progresses Boone slides deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression, Preston’s sensual strength the only thing he has to hold on to. If Boone can’t keep from plunging through the thin ice he’s skating on, it could take a twink to make the big save.

Two Man Advantage

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.
Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.
But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.