Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deep Dish in PDF

I'm pleased to announce that, after months of procrastinating followed by hours of editing and revision, Deep Dish is now available for download in PDF format. It contains the prologue originally known as the "Jack Charles smuttake" from Over the Top, the story and epilogue, outtake and some illustrations.

To view and/or download, please visit this link. :) Enjoy!

The "Was That 'My Kid'?" post

Do you know how seldom I actually cry at something on the internet? Television, more often; and when I was listening to my HP audiobook yesterday I got teary (it was the end of Half-Blood Prince and, well, you know).

But this blog made me cry. You must read it. That's all I can say.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Harry Potter: A Late Bloomer's Point of View

I've recently started on the Harry Potter books for the first time. I resisted for a decade and a half only because I was told too many times that I "had" to read them - best way to get me to not watch a movie or read a book is to tell me I have to. Anyway, I was never terribly interested in it and didn't think I'd enjoy it.

At the beginning of the summer, my good friend Lisa was bemoaning the fact that, with all the things she and I have in common, she wished HP was one of them. She also promised me that a whole new world of derivative slash fic awaited me if I would just give it a shot.

It obviously meant a lot to her, so after some hemming and hawing, I told her that because she mentioned it so nicely, I would give it a shot. I promised nothing more than that I would read the first book.

With life being as busy as it is, and still trying to keep a regular writing schedule, I decided the audiobook would be a good compromise. I have a 25-minute drive to work; I could listen to it in the car and get through it that way.

As I made my way through the first book, I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The narrator, Stephen Fry, is at least 50% responsible for that - the way he reads, how he inhabits the characters and their accents. I couldn't imagine anyone else narrating it. I also like the characters a lot, the friendship Ron and Harry have with each other and with Hermione. Fred and George are a riot. I adore Hagrid and I love that he was the first person Harry met from the magical world - he was an awesome person to introduce Harry to that world. It's also been really nice learning the meaning of all these words I've heard for years and years - like Gryffindor, quidditch and Dumbledore.

So, having enjoyed it much more than I expected, I've gotten through Books 1 and 2, and right now I'm early in the going on Prisoner of Azkaban. It's all good.

But - and I realize I could be taking my life into my hands here - I'm having trouble with picturing Alan Rickman as Professor Snape. From the instant he was introduced in the first book, I've pictured Jason Isaacs as Snape. Maybe Stephen Fry has something to do with that, but I close my eyes and picture him talking, and there's no one else it can be. Alan Rickman is great...he's just not my Snape.

But now I find out that Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy! ::horror:: I'd have to go back and find it, but I was certain Lucius was blond and pale just like Draco.

And that's why I can never, ever watch the Harry Potter movies. They will simply have to exist on audiobook for me. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Planning ahead: NaNoWriMo

I entered the writing world in February, 2009, and for the last two years I've watched as my fellow amateur writers participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In point of fact, it's an international event, but that's neither here nor there.

Any rate, NaNoWriMo participants sign up and pledge to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30th. I've never participated as I've had other obligations in that month and didn't want to set myself up for failure.

This year I've decided to plan ahead and join the challenge. I've already told my husband I'm going to sign up, and I shall plan my obligations accordingly - that is to say, I'm not going anywhere or doing anything that month. LOL

If you plan to participate as well, please add me as a writing buddy on the NaNo website. My profile is here. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Chicago

We've never met. I've seen pictures, of course, and I've talked to people who know you intimately. Despite that we've never met, I think I've gotten to know you well enough to admit that I'm a little in love with you.

It's this feeling that makes me wish I could be with you today when you celebrate the brave and vibrant gay community who live and work in you. How I would love to be there, to show my support and be part of that atmosphere.

I can't be with you today; but in September, you and I have a date. I'll be with you the meantime, please give my love to the thousands who will be celebrating there today. Keep them safe and let them know they are loved and supported.

xoxo Katie Starfish

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just Marriage

"I know many people are concerned about the destruction of the sanctity of marriage, as well, and they view this as a threat. But let me as you something, ladies and gentlemen, what are we really protecting when you look at the divorce rate in our society?

Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on their way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. You can watch “The Batchelor,” where 30 desperate women will compete to marry a 40-year-old man who has never been able to maintain a decent relationship in his life. We have “The Bacholorette,” in reverse. And my favorite show, which thank God only ran one season because it was truly distasteful, was “The Littlest Groom,” where 30 desperate women competed to marry a dwarf.

That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit. They don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife. People stand up there before God and man — even in Senator Diaz’s church — they swear to love, honor, and obey; they don’t mean a word of it.

So if there’s anything wrong, any threat to the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right, and we have abused it for decades."

--NY Senator Diane Savino

Friday, June 17, 2011

Deep Dish

Chapters 20, 21, 22, 23.

They happened this weekend. I wasn't going to mention it. Except...I'm kinda bumming hard about it and I'm going to shamelessly beg for some virtual hugs - group hugs, even. Let's get tipsy and wail together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If your true love was halfway around the world

...and you'd been separated for 33 years, what would you give to be reunited with them?

I am the Water, You are the Sea

In 1977, a young Peace Corps volunteer named Alex stared out the dusty back window of a silver BMW. As the car pulled away, his lover, Ali, stood in the middle of the street, waving goodbye. The car picked up speed, turned a corner, and Ali disappeared from sight. Alex turned around, blinked, and stared at his hands. The hands which had just moments before embraced the love of his life as they said goodbye. When would their hands touch again? Would they ever? Through tears, he stared out the window, watching the city of Tehran speed by. The Iranian revolution was drawing near, and he had no choice but to leave. To leave the only man who had ever truly loved him. His heart was breaking.

Directed by Malachi Leopold, I Am the Water, You Are the Sea tells the true story of two lovers: Alex, an American Peace Corps volunteer; and Ali, an Iranian Muslim. The two have been separated for more than 33 years. In 1967, while Alex was working with the Peace Corps in Iran, the two met, fell in love, and kept their relationship secret for 10 years. With political unrest escalating, and the Iranian revolution fast approaching, Alex was forced to leave Iran – and Ali – in 1977. The two haven’t seen each other since.

But now, for the first time in 33 years, they are going to be reunited. I Am the Water, You Are the Sea will document their reunion, in addition to telling the incredible true story of their forbidden love in Iran in the 60’s and 70’s.

We invite you to help us tell their incredible story, and inspire people around the world to believe that there is nothing that can keep us apart – not distance, not time, religion, politics, war, fear – nothing that can stand in the way of being who we truly are. Nothing that can stand in the way of loving who, what, when, where and how we want.

This is a special appeal to my readers to help provide financial support for the making of this movie. I have already made my own financial pledge toward the goal of $25,000. The goal must be reached by July 1, 2011, in order for the project to be funded. This story has touched me on so many levels and I already feel invested in witnessing the future happiness of Alex and Ali. I invite you to follow the links to pledge your monetary support for Malachi to tell their story.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Any takers?

I have a video on YouTube. Well, I have several, but this is about a particular video, one that has 300K views. It's not a long video, but it's a good one. I think it's the first I ever posted. It's a short clip of Queer as Folk, and it depicts the first time viewers see Justin top Brian.

The video has 280 likes, 14 dislikes, and 160 comments. Most comments are along the lines of, "I LOVED IT WHEN THIS HAPPENED," or "OMG, why did they stop it there??" Today I got a comment - and yes, it was directed to me personally - that, despite being nearly incoherent, managed to convey that the person is entirely homophobic and thinks I support the LGVT community because I'm afraid to speak out against them.

I read the comment today when I was at work (it was emailed to me) and spent part of the afternoon thinking about my response. I intended to reply when I got home this evening. Then when I was driving home, I saw a rainbow. Really. And I decided, fuck it. Nothing I could say would persuade him, and I don't need persuading (I had this conversation with myself long ago, and I couldn't agree with myself more).

However, I invite my readers to have at him/her/it. Here's the link: and the user who posted the comment in question is Getoverhere.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

From This Moment

When I was a youngster, one of my best friends was a shy (but wickedly funny) little blonde girl named Melissa. When I first met Melissa's family, around age 10, she was the youngest of four in a newly-blended family: her mom, her and her sister had moved in with her new step-dad, step-sister and step-brother.

After a few years a little bundle came along to join the family, and that little bundle was named Kevin. Melissa and I were 13 when Kevin was born, and he was our little doll. He was adorable and bright, and always cracked us up. When he was about two I remember him having trouble pronouncing "tr" - he substituted an "f" instead. We got him to say "truck" over and over...LOL.

When I was 18 I left the religion where both our families worshipped, and lost touch with Melissa, Kevin and the rest of her family. A few years ago, thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with Kevin - who informed me he, too, had left the religion of our birth, and was making a new, independent life...and he told me he was gay.

Understand that our former religion is in no way supportive of homosexuality, and so it was both a surprise and a source of inspiration to me to realize what Kevin had gone through as he realized his sexuality. He was fortunate, however, in that he had someone to love and support him: his boyfriend Andrew.

Today Kevin and Andrew got married - legally, of course, as we live in Canada. I am a little choked up thinking back to little Kevin, who is now a brave man who has refused to settle for anything less than brilliant happiness. So this blog post is dedicated with much love and support to Kevin and Andrew. May you share a lifetime of love. xoxo

Friday, April 29, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Nine

A Song From Your Childhood

"Daniel", by Elton John (yes, that's me as a little tyke)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Eight

A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

"Beautiful Goodbye", by Amanda Marshall

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Seven

A Song You Wish You Could Play

"Wonder (Acoustic)", Natalie Merchant

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Six

A Song You Can Play on an Instrument

"Moonlight Sonata", by Beethoven

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Five

A Song that Makes You Laugh

"Trapped in the Drive-Thru", by Weird Al Yankovic

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Four

A Song You Want Played at Your Funeral

"The Long Day is Over", by Norah Jones

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Three

A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding

"Always With Me, Always With You", by Joe Satriani, which was played at my wedding in October, 1994

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-Two

A Song You Listen to When You're Sad

"River", by Joni Mitchell

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty-One

A Song You Listen to When You're Happy

"Go", by Moby

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twenty

A Song You Listen to When You're Angry

I don't. I couldn't think of anything and then realized that when I'm truly PO'd, music only irritates me. So this doesn't have an answer, which I thought was a better answer than making something up.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Nineteen

A Song From Your Favourite Album

"Old Friends", by Simon & Garfunkel

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Eighteen

A Song You Wish You Heard on the Radio

"Wonder", by Natalie Merchant (acoustic version)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Seventeen

A Song You Hear Often on the Radio

"Down by the Water", by the Decemberists

Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Sixteen

A Song You Used to Love But Now Hate

"Baby Don't Forget My Number", by Milli Vanilli

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Fifteen

A Song That Describes You

"Hard Road", by Sam Roberts

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Fourteen

A Song No One Would Expect You to Love

"Love Story", by Taylor Swift

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Thirteen

A Song That's a Guilty Pleasure

"You Should be Dancing", by the Bee Gees

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Twelve

A Song from a Band You Hate

"If Everyone Cared", by Nickelback

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Eleven

A Song by Your Favourite Band

"Nicotina", by Big Sugar

Movie Monday: Bedrooms and Hallways

We're back to Movie Monday after a week's hiatus. Today's movie Bedrooms and Hallways was recommended to me by a twitter friend, Lisa, who told me it was a cute, British gay movie - three of my favourite things. :)

Leo, an out gay man on the cusp of his 30th birthday, develops feelings for Brendan, a straight man in his men's therapy group. It leads to an affair between the two men, which is later complicated by the fact that Brendan still lives and works with his ex-girlfriend...who turns out to have been Leo's best friend when they were in high school.

Leo is played by Kevin McKidd, which was more than enough to get me to check it out - I'm a huge fan. As the movie went on, though, I saw more familiar faces - James Purefoy, Simon Callow (who is, by law, in every movie made in England since, like, 1985), Tom Hollander who is an absolute scream in every role I've seen, Jennifer Ehle, and Hugo Weaving who was in a couple little movie franchises, sort of obscure, The Matrix and Lord of the Rings.

Some of the moments are completely hysterical - the men's therapy group in particular, which is woven throughout the movie, had me laughing out loud. Other parts are a little sexy and touching, and some were less impressive. I have mixed feelings about the end - I didn't feel Leo's eventual actions were in keeping with what his character had seemed to be throughout the movie. However, it has lots in its favour, and I give it a 7/10.

Could not find a trailer on YouTube...instead I found the whole darn movie, broken up into sections. Here's Part 1.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Ten

A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

"The Long Day is Over", by Norah Jones

(Illustration by Anubis Admirer)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Nine

A Song You Can Dance To

"Home for a Rest", by Spirit of the West

Friday, April 8, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Eight

A Song You Know All the Words To

"There! Right There!", from Legally Blonde: The Musical

Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Seven

A Song that Reminds You of a Certain Event

"Under the Bridge", by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Embedding disabled - click to view

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Six

A Song that Reminds You of Somewhere

"Ahead by a Century", by The Tragically Hip

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Five

A Song That Reminds You of Someone

"Moon River, by Henry Mancini, His Orchestra and Chorus"

Monday, April 4, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Four

A Song That Makes You Sad

When She Loved Me, by Sarah McLachlan

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Three

A Song That Makes You Happy

Starry Eyed Surprise, by Paul Oakenfold ft. Shifty Shellshock

Saturday, April 2, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day Two

Your Least Favourite Song

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, by Meatloaf

Friday, April 1, 2011

30 Days of Music: Day One

Your Favourite Song

Take Me to the Riot, by Stars

30 Days of Music

I'm beginning a new meme I found on FB - my cousin's son was working on this during the month of March. Despite his deplorable taste in music - his favourite band is Nickelback - I liked the idea. :) This will fill the month of April. First post to follow shortly.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Movie Monday: Milk

This week's Movie Monday is Milk, the 2008 winner for best screenplay (Dustin Lance Black), based on the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Using flashbacks from a statement recorded late in life and archival footage for atmosphere, this film traces Harvey Milk's career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs.

As Anita Bryant was crusading to force homosexuals back into the closet and strip them of basic rights, Harvey Milk was galvanizing the community to fight to reclaim the rights to which they were entitled.

Sean Penn isn't a favourite actor of mine, but I think he played this role very well. Josh Brolin is consistently underrated as an actor, in my opinion, and he did a great job here as Dan White. I have read that the movie glosses over Harvey's promiscuity, and perhaps that's true, but I don't believe its intent was to illustrate every aspect of his life. It was about his impact on the movement and how tirelessly he worked for his community.

For those of us who are too young to remember when these events were actually taking place (being born in 1975, that includes me, too) Milk captures an vital piece of the history of the gay rights movement in the US in the 1970s. It's a solid, well-crafted movie. I give it 9/10.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Movie Monday: Maurice

This week's Movie Monday is a Merchant Ivory film from 1987, called Maurice. It features a young Hugh Grant and James Wilby, and several other faces you may recognize.

Two male English school chums find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. To regain his place in society, Clive gives up his forbidden love, Maurice and marries. Written from personal pain, it's E.M. Forster's story of coming to terms with sexuality in the Edwardian age.

I've never read the novel, but broke my rule to watch the movie a couple of months ago. Once it began and I realized it was a Merchant Ivory film, I knew to expect beautiful detail in the lush settings and surroundings.

The story itself is a bit of a roller coaster. The two young men pursue their relationship throughout school and into the early part of their careers. Their mothers become friends as do their sisters. Clive has political aspirations, though, and decides he needs to grow up and act as a man "should", according to Edwardian morals. The end of the relationship is abrupt and violent; as Maurice sobs, "What an ending!" As time goes by and he learns to be around Clive and his new wife, he meets Alec, an enigmatic young man who works as groundskeeper at Clive's family home. Alec is obviously smitten with Maurice. The question comes down to whether Maurice can allow himself to overcome his disdain for someone who is not of his own social class.

The movie was quite good. The pacing was typical of a Merchant Ivory film, that is to say, I found it a bit lagging in places, but it was well-written and well acted. I loved Rupert Graves as Alec (and totally didn't recognize him, he was practically a baby!). Watching it made me realize I should perhaps look into reading some E.M. Forster. Overall, I recommend seeing it. I give it 7.5/10.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie Monday: Philadelphia

Today's movie review is one that I hope most supporters of gay rights have seen. However, because it's approaching the 20-year-old mark, I have a feeling that some of the 'youngsters' may not have. It is the landmark 1993 film, Philadelphia:

Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, is fired from his conservative law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller. During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him.

Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of Andrew Beckett. As well, a very new-to-English-movies Antonio Banderas played Beckett's long-time partner Miguel - a career choice that to me, an absolute outsider to the world of film, has always seemed courageous and perhaps risky. But let's leave that aside for now - I want to talk about what this film has meant to me.

When the movie was released, I was 18, and had just emerged from an upbringing in a very conservative Christian household, where gay and right didn't belong in the same sentence - my parents were overtly disgusted by homosexuality. Even after I left, I had a hell of a lot of stuff to figure out for myself - my own life and beliefs. For a number of years, giving serious consideration to gay rights wasn't high on my list.

Flashforward to, say, 1997 or so, when I was really unshackled from the guilt and fear that had been instilled in me for so many years. I had a good friend who volunteered at a local AIDS support project, and I really credit her with beginning to truly challenge me around homosexuality. I had parroted my parents' words on this for so long, even while questioning the other teachings of my youth - why hadn't I challenged these teachings as well? I didn't have a good answer.

I watched Philadelphia. I am so grateful for the way the movie was made, that it didn't shy away from showing even one of the protagonists, Joe Miller, struggling with his feelings about gays and lesbians, because it illustrated myself to me. I was a Joe Miller. I'd had minimal exposure to gay and lesbian individuals - at least that I knew of. Ignorance led to fear, and fear to...if not hatred, then certainly disgust.

I know the big revelatory event for the theatre elite and the GLBT community and AIDS activists in the 1990s was Angels in America. Well, I didn't have access to AiA. Philadelphia was accessible to me . This was pivotal, and important, and real. I heard the message and I took it to heart.

For Philadelphia, then, an unqualified 10/10.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

True LGBT Stories - I'm From Orange, VA

I saw this video on Towleroad today and was so moved by this gentleman - he's so intelligent and well-spoken, he totally impressed me. :)

Quoting from Towleroad:
Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee just finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD.

Earl has lived within 10 miles of Orange, Virginia, his entire life. His family has been there for generations and he built his house by himself. He's been surrounded by tradition and the same religous beliefs forever which makes it all the more impressive that he broke out of the mold and developed his own belief system all while keeping his religous faith. A lot of people we met on the Tour struggled with balancing their faith and sexuality and Earl seemed to have mastered it with dignity and respect.

Here's a bit of info on the Driftwood project from YouTube: is a compilation of true stories by gay people from all over in an attempt to help LGBTQ teens feel not so alone. Please pass the link along to anyone who might benefit from, contribute to, or simply enjoy the site, stories and videos. Thanks!

I have to say that when I first read the story on Towleroad, before I watched the video I wondered if this was the story he was referring to - I love what he says about reading it with an open mind. Inspiring!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Movie Monday: Imagine Me and You

This week, we switch gears just a bit and look at a movie that I stumbled upon a bit randomly last week. I found it because it stars the lovely Matthew Goode (previously mentioned in my review for A Single Man). What makes this movie different from others I've reviewed is that it's about girl love. :)

From IMDB:
Rachel and Heck, long time friends and lovers, finally tie the knot, and during the celebration, Rachel starts a friendship with their florist, Luce. And while Rachel originally intended to match her new friend, Luce, up with her husband's friend, Cooper, she soon finds out that Luce is a lesbian. During the course of their friendship, Rachel starts to question her own sexuality. And though she comes to realize she may have feelings for her new friend, Rachel must decide who she will ultimately find the most happiness with: Heck, her new husband who is also adored by her family, or Luce, who has turned her life and everything she thought she new about love upside down.

I found lots to love about this movie, from the fact that it's Britcom to the lovely surprise of American Piper Perabo doing a very good job of playing a Londoner. The relationship that develops between Rachel and Luce is sweet, but their chance at happiness is offset by the increasing discontent between Rachel and her husband Heck, sympathetically played by Matthew Goode.

The heartbreak for me was knowing how deeply she was loved by her husband - it would have been easier to feel supportive of her getting out of a loveless relationship or a bad situation. On the other hand, this is probably more realistic, to figure yourself out a bit too late and unfortunately hurt someone you love.

The peripheral characters are pretty good - Heck's friend Coop could be easily written off at first, but surprised me in the end. Rachel's little sister H ("They tell me it's short for Henrietta, but it's not. It's actually for Jesus H Christ, which is what my mum said when she found out she was pregnant with me") is awesome and has an adorable hero-worship thing going on with both Luce and Heck.

The movie's not quite perfect, but very enjoyable. I give it 7.5/10.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

ABC Meme

A. Age: 35

B. Bed size: Queen, and DH says I take 7/8ths of it. I would kill a kitten for a king size.

C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathrooms. Hate it.

D. Dogs: I have two. The one I've had longest is a 5yo lab/border collie mix named Zoe. The other I've only had a year and a half, but adopted him as a senior dog because a friend of a friend had to get rid of him after her marriage broke up. He's a 13yo golden retriever named Atticus - we call him Atti.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee. It is a non-negotiable.

F. Favorite colour: Aqua.

G. Gold or silver: They both have their place. My rings are gold, my other jewellery is all silver.

H. Height: 5'6", and the shortest all the kids in my family. The tallest is 12.5" taller than me. ::grumble::

I. Instruments I play: Piano

J. Job title: Records Management Coordinator, which is a fancy name for file clerk. I left a career in the insurance industry two years ago and ended up with a job in municipal government. It doesn't place a great mental demand upon me, and the result is that when I sit down to write at the end of the day, I'm not mentally drained. It's worth mentioning that after spending fourteen years in insurance, I started writing within five weeks after leaving that job. That's not a coincidence.

K. Kids: I have two, and most days I don't regret that. Occasionally I contemplate offering them free to a good home.

L. Live: In a house in the woods, the same house my DH grew up in.

M. Mom’s name: Remember Hyde on That 70s Show? Our moms have the same name.

N. Nickname: Katiegirl and, unfathomably, Katie Starfish ;)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only two overnight visits, when Thing 1 and Thing 2 were born.

P. Pet peeve: Quirky and numerous.

Q. Quote from a movie: There are so many - I'm going to go with the movie we watch most often these days. "Pirannah gun - oh yeah! Fires live pirannahs, ever seen one before? No you haven't, I invented it." -Vector, Despicable Me

R. Right or left handed: Left

S. Siblings: Two older brothers and a younger sister

T. Time you wake up: On a workday, my alarm goes off at 6:45. My alarm is CBC Radio, though, so I listen to that for a good half hour before I actually get outta bed.

U. Underwear: I am generally supportive of underwear.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Cauliflower and brussels sprouts

W. What makes you run late: When one of the kids is acting up before I leave for work and I stick around a bit longer to provide backup. It doesn't happen often but that's usually why.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: I had a bad run of ankle sprains in my late teens and early twenties. Had lots of ankle x-rays. Also had a chest x-ray once when I had walking pneymonia. Aaaaaand my teeth, of course.

Y. Yummy food you make: I rock lasagna, and mushroom risotto, and baked cheesecake. There are lots of others but those are my personal favourites.

Z. Zoo: I've only been to one - the Metro Toronto Zoo, when I was a lot younger. I have mixed feelings on zoos. I don't really like the thought of animals being taken so far from their natural habitat for the entertainment of humans. On the other hand, it's a good experience for kids to see animals that they wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to see.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Movie Monday: Were the World Mine

I've been a bit disappointed in several of the movies I've seen recently, which is why I was absolutely thrilled to find this little gem of a movie from 2008.

Summary courtesy of IMDb:

If you had a love-potion, who would you make fall madly in love with you? Timothy, prone to escaping his dismal high school reality through dazzling musical daydreams, gets to answer that question in a very real way. After his eccentric teacher casts him as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he stumbles upon a recipe hidden within the script to create the play's magical, purple love-pansy. Armed with the pansy, Timothy's fading spirit soars as he puckishly imposes a new reality by turning much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby-jock of his dreams. Ensnaring family, friends and enemies in this chaos, Timothy forces them to walk a mile in his musical shoes. The course of true love never did run smooth; it's a bumpy ride.

So, the premise is a little fantastic - a magic potion to make someone fall in love. I think its uniqueness, and the fact that this premise exists in a movie that has a contemporary setting, is part of what I enjoyed about it. The dialogue isn't quite seamless, but the entire cast are well-suited to their roles. Tanner Cohen is sweetly hopeful as Timothy. The slightly-batty drama teacher is perfect, as is the gym teacher.

The movie carries on the grand tradition of so many tales that warn us to be careful what we wish for, and does it with music and Shakespeare and a little bit of fairytale. I give it 7/10.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Uncle's Wedding

My Uncle's Wedding is a children's book about Andy, a little boy who is getting ready to participate a happy occasion - his Uncle Mike's wedding to Steve. Click the link above for a reading, and for information on how to purchase.

Girls Walks Into a Bar

This movie featuring ZQ and others will be released March 11 online.

Anyone else wonder when ZQ finds time to sleep?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Monday: Redwoods

Yes, I'm still in my self-imposed exile from the web. Thanks to the miracle of scheduled posting, however, I can still bring you this week's Movie Monday review, 2009's Redwoods.

From IMDB:

An unfulfilled gay man in a stagnant relationship finds his life changed forever when he meets a struggling writer visiting the Redwoods Country.

I really, really hesitated before reviewing this story. Before I could review it I had to ask myself whether I wanted to use this forum only to highlight decent movies, or whether I should give my honest opinion on the stinkers, too.

My decision on that point should be readily apparent when I recommend you pretend you've never heard of this movie. Really, the only halfway decent thing about it is the scenery, and there isn't nearly enough of that to justify sitting through this. The dialogue is terrible. Brendan Bradley, who plays the unfaithful partner, is wooden and stilted throughout the movie. He and Matthew Montgomery have zero chemistry. Bradley's character, Everett, has a son with his partner. The son, Billy, has what appears to be a sensory integration disorder, such as autism or Asperger's. The relationship Everett has with Billy could have been explored more deeply, could have been one thing that actually gave Everett's character some life and realism, or made him even vaguely sympathetic. Instead, it fell completely flat.

And after all that, there isn't even a satisfying ending. On the subject of star-crossed lovers, I'm a great believer that a happily-ever-after isn't an absolute necessity - IF your story is strong and the acting is stellar. However, others have portrayed this idea to a far greater degree of success: Brokeback Mountain is evidence that an ending need not be happy, to have tremendous impact or to cap off a truly great movie.

This? Is not Brokeback Mountain. My rating is, "Well, there's two hours of my life I'll never get back".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speak your truth quietly and clearly

Thank you to Jean Dennehy Argus for this thoughtful and passionate video.

An Anniversary

Two years ago today, on February 15, 2009, I posted the first chapter of the first thing I'd ever written - a little QAF-inspired story called Over The Top. Never could I have imagined that two years later I'd have written and posted over half a million words (520,408 according to, including their bloat and author's notes). That day was the beginning of the most creative period of my life, and if I'm never paid for a single word of my writing, I'm grateful for the outlet writing gives me.

I'm also glad for the connections and friendships I've made as a result of my little hobby - so many lovely people I'd never have known if not for the world of derivative fiction. Thank you to everyone who has supported and reviewed my stories, and sent me PMs and emails. And happy anniversary! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Movie Monday: A Single Man

This week's movie is Tom Ford's directorial debut, 2010's A Single Man.

Paraphrased from IMDb:
It's November 30, 1962. Expatriate Brit George Falconer, an English professor at a Los Angeles area college, is finding it difficult to cope with life. Jim, his partner of sixteen years, died in a car accident eight months earlier when he was visiting with family. Jim's family were not going to tell George of the death or accident let alone allow him to attend the funeral. This day, George has decided to get his affairs in order before he will commit suicide that evening. As he routinely and fastidiously prepares for the suicide and post suicide, George reminisces about his life with Jim. But George spends this day with various people, who see a man sadder than usual and who affect his own thoughts about what he is going to do. Those people include Carlos, a Spanish immigrant/aspiring actor/hustler recently arrived in Los Angeles; Charley, his best friend who he knew from England, a drama queen of a woman who romantically desires her best friend despite his sexual orientation; and Kenny Potter, one of his students, who seems to be curious about his professor beyond English class.

My review: A Single Man stars Colin Firth, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult and Julianne Moore. It's a movie that changes you and stays with you for days afterward, ruminating over the people and relationships George moves through in the course of a day in his life. Charlotte - who was a mystery even to Jim, as we see in one of the several flashback scenes - is a bit pathetic, holding on to decades-old hope that George might reciprocate the feelings she has for him. George's students are surprised, but mostly unmoved, by the intensity he shows when talking about society's perceptions of minorities.

Tom Ford takes a light hand, employing subtlety in many scenes rather than playing them out or spoonfeeding viewers every detail. For instance, when George gets the call from Jim's cousin about the accident that has taken Jim's life, it's not necessary that we see every second of his grief in the days following. It's enough to watch George attempt to take in the news in the first seconds after the call ends, then briefly follow his frantic, stumbling journey to Charlotte's house a block or two away. We don't need to hear George tell her what's happened - the brief look wordless anguish on his face and the horror on hers is enough before briefly cutting back to the present day. George doesn't need to say that he now hates answering the phone.

I think it's the subtleties, the things left unsaid, that have stayed with me in the numerous times I've watched it. Little details like moving from the usual faintly sepia-toned scene to several seconds of saturated colour when something truly makes contact with George's consciousness - it's a very illusive change, almost imperceptible, but when you realize it's happening it's so profound. Finally, my favourite parts of the movie are the flashbacks to George's life with Jim. Some cover pivotal events like the night they met; some reflect on moments of commonplace domesticity - spending an evening reading quietly together and bickering about whose turn it is to change the record when the music ends.

I can't say enough about this movie, perhaps with the exception of Julianne Moore. While she played Charlotte well - the ennui and longing for what her life could have been - she was an unconvincing Brit. It would have been quite a bit more seamless if the character was American. Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Kortajarena and especially Matthew Goode are superb. Jim - cheerful, wry and confident in himself and his love for George - is unquestionably my favourite character and Matthew Goode plays him beautifully.

A Single Man gets 9.5/10 from me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Army & Navy, by Amanda Warrington

If you're a fan of Spork fiction, chances are you've heard of Amanda Warrington, who has been around the Trek fandom forever. Last night she wrote a comment-on-a-comment-fic that was simply awesome.

Here's how it happened: The Kirk/Spock Valentine is in progress, with several posts being made by various authors and artists each day. DeliciousNY, who is a very talented author and has made some of my favourite K/S art, contributed a lovely piece based on a WWII-era Valentine card. Her artwork depicts WWII American Army Spock and American Navy Jim gazing adoringly at each other.

Among the comments following her piece was one mentioning how much the commenter would love to see a fic based on that artwork. Amanda promptly filled the request with a lovely story called Army & Navy - first as a comment fic, and then when she'd "buffed and polished it", on her own blog.

And who was the commenter whose prompt led to this beautiful little story? Hmm, who was it...oh, that's right, IT WAS ME. :D I was completely thrilled to have the prompt filled - it wasn't even intended as a prompt, just an offhand comment, really - and the fact that it was Amanda Warrington who did so is awesome.

Click here for DeliciousNY's piece
Click here for Amanda's LJ

Thank you both! :)

New Jacey Elthalion video

a;lfkaes;lfajw;sel fiavlfva;lewk rj;f ajwaslkefra;we lrka[wepofiams'd bork bork bork!!

In other words...GAH.

Someone posted a comment on my "Jacey Elthalion is Flawless" post with the above video - they must have deleted it shortly afterward but it was enough to send me the email with the link. Thank you so much! This is SO spank bank-worthy. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Movie Monday: Big Eden

It's time for a brand new feature on the blog - Movie Monday! Each week I'll recap and review a LGBT-themed movie. Some you may have already seen, others you may not. I'm also open to suggestions for future reviews and recommendations on movies you've enjoyed - always looking to expand my gay movie catalogue.

The inaugural review goes to a movie I found a couple of months ago, a gem from 2000 called Big Eden.

Here is the synopsis from the movie's listing on IMDB:

Big Eden is a tiny fictional town in northwestern Montana, as Preston Sturges or Frank Capra might have envisioned it. Timber and Cowboy country. This is the story of Henry Hart, a successful New York Artist, who returns to the town of his childhood to care for the ailing grandfather who raised him. Back in Big Eden, Henry must come to terms with his relationship to Dean Stewart, his best friend from high School, as well as the object of his unrequited love. All these years Henry has been pining for a dream image of Dean from back then. This is also the story of Pike Dexter, the shy, unassuming Native American owner of the town's general store, who is as surprised as anyone to find himself falling in love with Henry. The people of Big Eden conspire and attempt to bring Henry and Pike together.

My review: Henry's relationship with his grandfather Sam, whom he calls Sampa, is lovely and sweet. I loved the moment when Henry first arrives at Sam's cabin, drops his bag and coat on the ground and runs and jumps off the long dock, simply for the sheer joy of being back at the place he was raised. The character of Pike is both sad and heartwarming; he's so unsure when he's around Henry, yet during the times he's with his friends at the store, he has a dry wit that cracks me up.

Speaking of his friends at the store, they are surprisingly keen to help Pike woo the male object of his affection, as are all the others in this tiny Montana town (did you hear that, Montana??). The Widow Thayer, who at first parades a string of women in front of the single Henry, is an equal-opportunity meddler as she immediately changes tactics to present him to a series of men once she finds out he's gay.

I loved the movie, and it's got the best, most satisfying final scene I could have hoped for. There are a lot of faces you'll recognize here, and I was most excited to realize that Pike was played by Canadian Eric Schweig. I've had a little thing for him since he played Uncas in Last of the Mohicans.

I give Big Eden 9/10 - darn near perfect.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

Watching this made me weep, in the best possible way. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jacey Elthalion is Flawless

So...I have a whole lot of Jacey photos and decided that as long as I was procrastinating from working on my novel, I would do something productive. So I made this. Hope you enjoy. I can't seem to stop watching it. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it. - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine

Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it. - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine

I'm so scandalized by this. I had no idea I'd been doing it wrong all this time. I mean, considering I learned to type in 1989, when the class was no longer called typing, but keyboarding (because we were using computers, not typewriters), should I not have been taught the correct style right off the bat?

Now it's 22 years later and I'm an old dog being told I have to learn a new trick. ::flail::

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jacey for Louis Sayn

Aww, such an innocuous title, isn't it? But when you flesh it out a little, say, "Jacey for Louis Sayn Underwear", get this:

Thank you to mycrookedsmile for tweeting me this pic! Sooooo delicious. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Deep Dish - Epilogue

The epilogue is now posted on FFn. As promised, here are some tidbits from the epilogue. :)


West Loop Studio
Elysian Hotel
Seascape Villas, Belize

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You are cordially invited... view the final photo teasers for the Deep Dish epilogue. The epilogue will be posted on Friday evening!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Is

I made something. It was made as a gift for my lovely friend Melissa (melooza), but I wanted to share it here too because, well, I'm pretty proud of it and there's so much pretty and love in it. :)