LGBTQ History Lesson

I gave myself one, a few weeks ago ūüôā

I stumbled across a¬†post about Bayard Rustin¬†and it shocked me. First, I had never heard of this person. Apparently, he was a major player in the civil rights movement, but I certainly never¬†learned his name in school. Which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me. We only ever hear a handful of names, briefly focusing on only the most dramatic stories of what in reality was a long and multi-faceted movement.

652px-bayardrustinaug1963-libraryofcongress_cropSo, I spent an afternoon reading, doing research on Bayard Rustin. I learned he was openly gay (in the 1950’s!!), a pacifist, and a lifelong advocate for worker’s rights. The level of bravery and strength of spirit his accomplishments represent is amazing. It deserves remembrance.

I read a lot of negative material about Mr. Rustin, as well. His sexuality was a major point of contention in the civil rights movement. Black pastors and church leaders did not want to support him, and many feared he weakened the movement. His pacifism was another sticking point. Leaders like Malcom X insisted violence was a tool that should not be ignored, and thought Rustin was a fool for his nonviolent methods. Rustin was romantically linked to white men, which led to even more backlash.

Now, looking back on history, I think his contributions are clear. Though some¬†might not agree with his non-violent methods, many more applaud him for just that. His work for and with labor unions is certainly notable, as is his LGBT activism. But to me, what was most impressive was the fact he dedicated his life to activism on behalf of all people, knowing he faced opposition from so many sides. To fight alongside people who you know don’t fully support you requires an inner strength I cannot imagine.

At the Women’s march this past weekend, I know many women did something similar. Trans women marched alongside cis women who wore shirts and signs equating vaginas with womanhood. Black women walked beside white women whose feminism often excludes or simply ignores POC. I think they probably did it for the same reason Rustin did: the cause was bigger than their individual needs at the time.

I am grateful for what I’ve learned about Bayard Rustin. I’m going to use it as a starting point to learn more about LGBT history!¬†Hoping to post one each month here.

How about you? Do you know of¬†any “forgotten heroes” of LGBT history? I’d love to hear about it!


Adventures in meal subscription boxes

Okay, I know¬†I haven’t shared any “Sunday Dinner” posts for a while. What can I say, life is hectic! So hectic, I decided to try one of those food crate subscription things. After looking through¬†some¬†sites and talking to some people, I settled on Marley Spoon as a first try.

I went for the “family” plan, which is intended to serve two adults¬†and¬†two kids under 12. So far we’ve done three meals (one week) and here, dear readers, are my findings!

The ingredients for meal #1: skillet beef & rice
My kids LOVED this!

First, the negatives:

  1. Small serving sizes. Now, I have spoken to other people who say they have plenty of leftovers, but those people are on the “2 adults” plan, not the family one. Maybe my family are just big eaters? I don’t know. All I know is, there haven’t been any leftovers and I kind of like leftovers. Also, it’s only been one adult and 2 kids eating these and there still were no leftovers, so I’m not sure the servings are “full meal” size. At least not for us.
  2. A bit pricey. I could definitely go to the store and get the same ingredients for significantly less money.
  3. Not a ton of vegetarian options.¬†Possibly other services have more though. My kids and husband eat meat, and combined with the fact the servings are small¬†so it really only serves the three of them¬†it works out. But I’d like more veggie choices.
Meal #2 prep: tomato & feta bake. One ciabatta roll for 4 people??? I added another one from my own stash, and it was still a small casserole.
This looks kind of gross but it was fabulous. I will absolutely make this again.

The positives:

  1. New ideas. I don’t know about you, but I cook the same dozen things over and over and over. This subscription has given me some new ideas and pushed me to try some new techniques.
  2. Fun¬†family activity. I decided if we were going to splurge on this it was going to be a family activity. So I’ve pretty much been having my kids cook these meals, with me as supervision. They’ve been loving it! And because they’ve¬†made it, they are more willing to try these new foods, which is pretty awesome.wp-1466718186141.jpg
  3. Easy and fast to prepare. Nothing has taken more than 35 minutes to make, and everything is super easy to do. My 9 & 11 year old have been cooking this stuff, if that tells you anything.¬†Clear step-by-step directions and everything is pre-measured, with just enough prep to make you feel like you’re actually cooking.
  4. No “what’s for dinner” stress. This is possibly the biggest “pro” of these things. God, I hate having to figure out what to make every night!! This takes a few of those decisions away and eases the stress a lot.
Meal #3: sausage & beans with greens
This definitely didn’t come out as good looking as the recipe card photo. But everyone seemed to enjoy it.

So overall, I think I will keep this subscription¬†for a few months, and maybe try another company, too. It’s not something I’ll do forever, but for now I’m enjoying it.

How about you? Have you tried any of these? Blue Apron? Hello Fresh? What did you think?

Rainbow Book Fair

I did it! I had a great time, too ūüôāIMG_4875

Behind me you can see the tables full of vintage gay porn, which I had to resist buying ūüôā The man selling that stuff was really sweet and I loved looking through it all.¬†I sold some books. Not a ton, but a decent amount, especially considering this was not a romance event. I got to¬†talk with a lot of interesting people and that made the day pretty great. I wish I had walked around more! I only made one circle of the room and I said hello to a few people I knew from facebook, but I didn’t chat as much as I’d have liked.

I managed to keep my feelings of maybe not belonging there in check. I did get several passers-by who commented their surprise that there were “so many women who write gay stories!” but when I talked with them they seemed more amazed than upset, and a few even bought my books so that was cool.

I saw this guy wearing a super fun t-shirt, and doing something with his phone. This is the shirt:¬†frontand what he was doing with his phone was live-casting from the fair for a group called PrideCasters. I spoke with him a few minutes and he explained what “periscope” is (It’s a video app.¬†I had no idea lol) and he told me all about pridecasters. You can follow them on twitter @pridecasters and see what they do. He was trying to get people to join as casters, it seems a relatively new channel. I love the idea and I hope they are very successful. You can see my video here (I’m on with my awesome table-mate Renee at around 3 minutes in) and it also gives a great taste of what the fair was like.

After¬†the fair¬†I went to dinner with some very nice authors, and had a fun evening¬†talking with them. Socializing was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.¬†I will likely be going to the fair again next year! It was a great time and had a wonderful, positive vibe. Everyone seemed happy to be there ‚̧ and I am glad I was there, too.


World Poetry Day

Today is world poetry day! I’m not a poet, or really a big poetry fan. I like it well enough, I just don’t feel at all qualified to talk about it in any meaningful way.

There is a poem that has stuck in my head for years. I read it once, way before I had kids, and I never forgot it. I looked it up today (it took no time at all thanks to google. what a time to be alive! lol) so I thought it would be a good one to share.

Today it is snowing (first day of spring! ha!) and my little boy is outside. I’ve been spending entirely too much time on the computer lately, so I’m going out to play. Happy poetry day everyone!

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,

I didn’t make the bed,

I took his hand and followed

Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,

My little son and I…

Exploring all the great outdoors

Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,

We wandered through a wood…

My kitchen wasn’t swept today

But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade

And now my small son knows

How Mother Bunny hides her nest,

Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,

We climbed a sunlit hill…

Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,

We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,

That I didn’t brush the stairs,

In twenty years, no one on earth

Will know, or even care.

But that I’ve helped my little boy

To noble manhood grow,

In twenty years, the whole wide world

May look and see and know.

Doing a freebie because I can

Just for fun, just to brighten up my winter and sprinkle¬†a little freebie-spice on my sales chart, I’m running a few freebies this weekend!
I don’t think I’ve¬†done any¬†free promos since my book “Bound” went¬†permanently free, and that was a while ago. So this weekend I¬†put my m/m/m story “Uncharted Hearts” and my m/m/f menage collection “Wynn’s Charm Shop”¬†on a free promotion.

Download them if you’re interested! They’ll both be free through the 31st (Sunday). And if you enjoy them, please consider leaving a review. Reviews help soooo much!

casual man acting as a fortune teller

kindle_cover_smHappy weekend ūüôā

Survey for m/m romance readers

Surveys are fun, right? Sure they are! Everybody loves a survey.

I made a short survey about gender pairing preferences and series books, and I sent it out to my newsletter subscribers. Thank you if you received one and responded!! I appreciate it so much ūüôā

I thought I might share it here, too, and hopefully collect a few more responses. So if you read m/m even just occasionally, and you have a spare 5 minutes, would you take my survey? It will really help me make decisions (something I am getting worse at the older I get) as I formulate my next project. Click HERE to take the survey.

I’m working on drafting a short (either 3 or 5 books, not sure yet) series and I’m not sure if I should make it all m/m, or throw some m/f relationships in there. I can use all the decision-making help I can get ūüôā

Thanks again!

Happy Winter!

Even though where I am it feels strangely spring-like outside. But I’m not complaining!! It’s way nicer to travel, run errands, and walk the dog when it is 50 degrees. Not to mention the fantastically low gas bill! ¬†But I’m used to cold and at least the possibility of snow this time of year.

I’m trying to get into the Christmas mood with baking. Lots of cookies coming out of my oven today! And I just did one last baste on my fruitcakes and packaged them up, all ready to give to those few souls who share my love of fruitcake.

A few years ago I posted a little bit about my feelings for fruitcakes. Click here to read that post if you want. Meanwhile, I’m going back to the kitchen: gingerbread is next ūüôā

Happy holidays, and a joyful winter to you! ‚̧ԳŹ