So, the silence means I’m busy, right?

I know, despite good intentions to the otherwise, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m not going to linger here tonight, either.

The short version: we weathered hurricane Sandy just fine here, being on the outskirts of the storm and missing any major damage. My heart goes out to the people who weren’t so lucky. I can’t imagine the devastation and destruction this hurricane wreaked on people’s lives–I can only hope that those affected can find the means and the will to stand up from the ruins and rebuild their lives.

I can’t begin to convey the relief I felt when President Obama not only won his re-election bid, but did so handily. I can only think that the people who blamed hurricane Sandy on Romney ‘losing his momentum’ and called the hurricane a judgment on the area of the country hit for supporting marriage equality could not possibly have known anyone personally affected by such a terrible storm, nor fully engaged their brains before running their mouths. Regardless, I am relieved to be able to lay my outrage (over some of the policies the GOP seemed to be promoting) down for a while, and move on to other topics of importance to me.

In the upcoming weeks, I’m going to be hosting various authors as they discuss their upcoming releases and allow me to interrogate them! We’ll be hearing from Claire Russett, Nessa L. Warrin, and Lex Valentine, among others. I’m also going to be doing some guest spots myself, as well as participating in some blog hops. More on all of these events as they approach!

I’m still working feverishly on expanding my Sport Horse story, Lightning in a Bottle (part of the Olympic themed M/M anthology Going for Gold, now out with MLR Press) into a full length novel. Hold the Reins takes the story beyond Jake’s qualification for the Olympics all the way to Greenwich Park, where he must overcome personal challenges to both his renewed relationship with Rich, as well as a threat to his ability to compete at all. I’m excited about this story, and frustrated that my day job is keeping me from wallowing in hours of Olympic footage while I clicketedy-clack to my heart’s content on my laptop. The story is starting to move along now, however, and I hope to have it finished before the end of the year. I’m glad that work is rolling in, don’t get me wrong! But I miss the days when I had hours at a stretch to indulge in my passion for writing.

For an excerpt of Lightning in a Bottle, check out this link to QMO Magazine!

Speaking of which, I should get back to it. I’ve got a scene that’s begging to be written and a chunk of time to do it in! Stay tuned, though, for more posts and giveaways to come!

My last political statement of the campaign…

Because you’re all tired of it, right? The hype, the rhetoric, the ‘distortion of the truth’ (heck, they can’t even come right out and say the word “lies”).

Everyone has pretty much made up their minds anyway. The level of frustration in this nation is high–believe me, I sympathize. Here I sit on a glorious autumn morning, waiting to meet a client instead of going out and doing the things I enjoy on my one day off. I’m not out walking the dog among the fall foliage when it is at the height of its color. I’m not working on my story-on-a-deadline that I will probably miss.

No, I’m working on my day off because that’s par for the course right now. That’s okay. I’m glad for the increase in work. After the last five years of not knowing how I was going to make ends meet, after borrowing money from my mother to make my health insurance premiums (why yes, Mr. Romney, borrowing from your elderly parent is indeed a perfectly acceptable way of paying your bills, thank you for suggesting that as a permanent solution to my economic woes), and even seriously considering dropping my health insurance altogether in favor of paying the mortgage instead, I’ve seen things pick up dramatically in the last year.

I work in what is essentially a luxury industry. I don’t think of it that way myself–I think pets are vital to the health and happiness of many people, and my pets are members of my family. But like dentists and eye doctors, business falls off when times get tough in favor of paying bills for things that you simply can’t function without, like a working car or the well pump in your house. Sure, eyes, teeth, and pets are important, but they are things people will let slide for more pressing debts and concerns. So I feel my profession is a sensitive indicator of economic recovery–and I’m telling you, business is booming. After a long dry spell, people are coming in again. They are still picking and choosing services, they still have to defer expensive, non-lifethreatening procedures. But the day is packed with appointments, and I am meeting clients at night after work and on my days off to get everyone seen. Why? Because after five very lean years, I can’t afford to turn away ANY business right now. I’m so deep in the hole that I don’t know I’ll ever get out. And yes, I write smutty stories on the side because a) I enjoy writing them and b) the royalty check from them usually pays the mortgage.

But right now, I am so swamped, so over-extended that I come home too tired to write, too exhausted and drained to walk the energetic dog, too apathetic to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, etc. etc.

So why am I supporting President Obama’s re-election? Because the upsurge in my work is proof positive to me that his gradual reconstruction of the American economy is working after the eight years that the Bush administration had to run it into the ground. You can’t build on a crappy foundation. When the basic foundation is rotten, you have to tear down the existing framework, dig out the rot and decay. and lay new footers on solid ground. That takes time, people.

But I’m writing now because I’m angry with the President. I’m angry because we have more at stake than we’ve ever had before and I’m sick with fear that he will lose the re-election. As I drove to my appointment this morning, once again, I noticed the placement of political yard signs–more this year than I can ever recall seeing before.  I’m sad to say I live in a red state and that the overwhelming number of signs have been for Romney. (I’m sorry, but my brain sees that wavy R on the white background and auto-corrects his name to R-MONEY.)

The signs aren’t just flat out supportive of their candidate either–they are also ugly, anti-Obama signs with a level of meanness that I’ve never seen in a campaign before. In fact, when I went looking for a photo of the newest Obama yard sign to post in this blog, I found more hateful anti-Obama signs than pro-Obama signs. NOBAMA seems to be the most common one, but I’ve also seen in blaze orange (from the sportsmen, presumably) DEFEAT OBAMA and more recently, a stylized figure of a star spangled woman on the new, light blue background: Sluts for Obama.  Seriously?

So why am I angry with the President? I’m mad because he needs to fire his campaign designers and re-draft his message at the eleventh hour. The pale blue sign with “obama for president” in tiny letters comes across as anemic and self-deprecating. You can barely read it from the roadside–it makes it seem as though the people posting the sign are ashamed to support President Obama. I can see the yard signs for the opposing side 50 feet away as I approach them–their names are emblazoned on my retinas by the time I pass the house displaying said sign.

Fire your marketing guy, Mr. President. Seriously.

Oh, yeah, and while you’re at it–you’re not mean enough. You’re too educated, diplomatic, and erudite. Sure, these are qualities we value in a President, but not in a Presidential candidate. Your pauses to carefully respond to the outrageous rhetoric of Mr. Romney make it look like you are uncertain of how to respond. You need to take a page out his book and ignore questions you don’t want to answer by bulldozing over them with the main message you want to hammer home. Heck, it’s like subliminal advertising without being subliminal about it.  I know that you are more polite and respectful in general, but if it is woman reporter, try bulldozing your way over her speech, like Mr. Romney here:

Take a page out of Mr. Romney’s binder, Mr. President. You can go back to being diplomatic and a responsible, effective, thinking leader of this country after you are re-elected. After all, apparently a good portion of this country has no problem with backing a candidate who will not state clearly what his policies are, only what he intends to do.  Well, I intend to be an international best-seller of outrageously sexy romances, but without, you know, a plan, then I am just hand-waving and bullhorning.

Sure, that’s what CEO’s of companies do. Mr. President, you would do well to take note. Company CEO’s are the masters of misstating the facts in such a way that put them in the best light. Of keeping the truth about the safety and efficacy of products from the consumer. Of outsourcing to China so that the overall bottom line of the company looks good on paper, but the employees are looking for another job. I think it is telling that Massachusetts is a blue state, don’t you?  The state that Romney governed isn’t supporting him.

Mr. President, I wish you would state more strongly what’s at stake here. I wish you would tell Mr. Romney that Back to the Future called and they want their DeLorean back: because we will not willingly go back into the 1950s. I wish that you would tell seniors like my mother straight up what Mr. Romney’s intent to abolish the health care reform act will do to people like her–and me, for that matter. She’s voting for Mr. Romney because her church has been telling her that only a Man of God can restore this nation to the greatness that it once was, by abolishing Godless organizations such as Planned Parenthood, and reversing Roe v. Wade, and by demonizing homosexuals.

When she tells me these things, I counter with the fact that Mr. Romney still defends putting his Irish Setter in a crate on the top of his car for a 12 hour drive during a family vacation. God verses Dog is a tough one in her house, so it is usually the winning argument for me. Sad that this is what the election is coming down to. Not the fact that trickle down economics doesn’t work, or that Mr. Romney is so out of touch with his constituents that he thinks windows should open on airplanes (I’m guessing he hasn’t flown commercial in a very long time, else he’d be getting those ‘pressurized cabin’ speeches from the airlines).

Lest you think that a print article can be skewed to favor the liberal left, try interpreting this video in any other fashion that what it is–a blatant lack of empathy for a living creature they profess to love.

My mother thinks a vote for Romney is a vote for Religion, America, True Believers, the Righteous, and Patriots. Mr. President, I am deeply distressed that the Democrats have let the far Right co-opt these terms as their very own, with the implication that if you don’t follow their side, you are none of these things. I’m sure the Sanhedrin felt the same way about their place in politics. Funny how they saw Jesus as a threat to their political base, eh?

Mr. President, I wish you would tell the young people of this country, those whose apathy has them deciding not to vote this election, how very much is at stake here. The undermining of the entire civil rights movement. The ability of young women to have access to birth control.The implication that women should either be married and producing babies or not having sex at all. The education system that allows people to rise up out of their backgrounds and succeed despite the odds being against them. The declaration to cut funding to Public Television is not just a talking point to make fun of Romney attacking Big Bird–there are children everywhere who learned to READ because of Sesame Street. Romney’s goals are nothing short of keeping the poor ignorant and hamstrung, incapable of changing their lives or fighting as a group to demand a better system. Romney’s goals are to keep the wealth among the upper 1 %, his supporters among the 48% of his choice, and the other 47% can go hang.

Or borrow money from their parents to pay their bills.

Right. Enough said. As soon as my appointment is over, I’m going to take my dog out for a nice, long walk. Oh, and look, Mr. Romney: his crate is in my car.