I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a wreck this past week.
I guess we all have to find joy where we can, but sometimes I need to confront what is troublesome in order to remember what is wonderful. It’s been a hellish week with all the political bullshit bombarding my psyche. Today, though, I woke up feeling a bit more optimistic and inclined to focus a bit more on the bright side, but I need to get a few things off my chest first.
This week, I’ve become terrified that my rights for which my good friends at GLAD have fought for so long are under siege to such an unimaginably great extent. I’ll even confess to wondering, in my darkest moments, whether there will be barbarians at the gates before too long. Here in the sanctuary of Provincetown, it can be all too easy to overlook what it’s like for people in rural areas where Trump has set loose such vitriol, granting permission to act on every ill-informed notion ever given utterance. As a counter to that, I’d like to offer this stunning takedown of Trump by the talented former star of “Hamilton,” Daveed Diggs. Pass this link along to anyone you know who is still thinking of voting for Trump. It will either change their vote or drive them crazy. No matter the outcome, it’s a win!
This past summer has been one of unfortunate convergence between my writing efforts and national travesties. I delayed publicity on A Book of Revelations because it was launched hours before the Orlando Massacre. I’ll always associate that book with that horrible day. With all the attacks from the right, I find myself thinking constantly of The HomePort Journals. I’ve felt my notions of “the family we create” or, as Armistead Maupin puts it, “the logical family” have been under siege by the Trump campaign. Women, LGBT folks, Muslim, African-American, the disabled; all those comprising that very kind of family are being pushed out of his big, white tent. It makes me sick. I find myself wondering whether his Brownshirts will soon be burning my book. And just yesterday, I went from reading a glowing review of my M/M Romance, “Last Chance” to a quote from Trump saying he’d repeal gay marriage to “heal the nation.”
Aside from these jarring coincidences, there have been personal conflicts that have sickened me to the core of my being. A (supposed) friend of decades’ standing announced he, “didn’t care” when I spoke of the number of suicides linked to gender dysphoria. And when my partner stressed the impact of this election on the Supreme Court to that same man, he turned to his wife and said, “I told you I thought it was the gay thing.” This from a self-proclaimed, liberal, Bernie supporter. How can I make sense of such contradictions? I’m so sickened by the revelation that this entitled white male has no consideration for my rights, I’ve found myself unable to communicate with him since. And perhaps I never shall. What’s happened to the fundamental respect for humanity that was once implicit in our social interactions? There’s no doubt we’re all awash in a storm of negativity, manipulated by self-interest and a media that has lost any sense of public service, but how can anyone who claims to have half a brain say such things with no understanding of the threat to his alleged friend? With any luck, we’ll wake up Wednesday to a better world . . . I hope. But I’m not sure if I can recover from such ignorance.
So that’s what’s been going through my mind this awful week. But I did promise some good news, didn’t I? Now that I’ve got things off my chest, here it is:
If they are going to burn The HomePort Journals in the town square, they’ll be burning the book that just won the Grand Prize in the 2016 Authors Talk About It Award Contest.
And here’s what Book Viral said about “Last Chance.” (It’s an e-book, so I don’t have to worry about this one being burned.)
“Seductive, twisted, and highly engrossing, Last Chance might be a quick read but it certainly packs a punch with Burch quickly getting into the psychology of his characters. Containing all the expected elements of the genre, but in a tightly clipped, more economical style; his story is refreshingly free of clichés, existing not just for itself but to provide an arena for the personalities at play. When it comes to the dialogue he has a fine ear for nuance, delivering far more than the typical semi-parody of life found in most fiction. He makes us feel that these are the words of real people trying to reveal or conceal themselves in extraordinary circumstances. There’s timely misdirection which is slickly handled but when all of the threads are pulled together you have to appreciate the way in which it all makes sense. Perhaps a longer novel would have introduced an unnecessary level of complexity, but here Burch achieves just the right balance whilst equally as important Beston proves a strong and original character to carry a series forward.
Brief but never the less highly enjoyable, Last Chance proves an enticing series debut and one which should leave its readers eager for more. It is strongly recommended.”
And finally, in the spirit of true democracy, I urge you to vote—twice; once for Hillary and once for “Last Chance”.
The Crimson Quill Award is a reader-based award offered by Book Viral. Click here to vote in their competition.
So that was my week, folks. I’ll talk to you again on the other side of all this unless I’m packing to move to New Zealand. If that’s the case, it could be a while.
Photo © 2015 Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo
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