My Short Stories

The Perfect Two

When I set out to write Analog to Digital, I wanted to accomplish three things with the story. First, I wanted to write a feel-good short/novella that would leave smiles on readers’ faces. It needed to be sweet. I tend to infuse most of my stories with some degree of angst, but this was intended to be fluff and sweetness.

Second, I wanted to write about an established couple so obviously in love, but who still need to work out their existence beyond their initial HEA. I love writing established couples! I was a couples therapist, after all. I love the genuine struggle they have to navigate in the real world.

The third thing was very hard for me. I wanted the story to not be a surprise or to have those unexpected moments I’m known for. I started writing because I wanted unpredictable stories that yanked my emotions around, but I know a lot of romance readers flock to this genre because of their many unexpected, real-life entanglements. They crave a book that feels like a warm blanket or a hot cup of tea or coffee. So there’s not going to be a huge moment of shock in Analog to Digital. At least not for readers. For Ethan, yes!

analogtoditalcoverfEthan and Toby belong together. They have a deep relationship and I think it’s easy to see they’ll grow old together, but marriage is off the table. Not long after they got serious about each other, Toby made a statement about never marrying no matter what. As I was writing this, I was thinking about some of the gay and bi men in my life who, after Prop 8, were so hopeless about marriage equality ever being a reality, they rebuffed the entire institution. I didn’t get into all that in the book, but that’s where Toby’s head was when he said he’d never marry. So Ethan has been going on that assumption for years, even if he desperately wants to be married to Toby.

I begged the teen in my house to find me the perfect song for Ethan and Toby that would show off their adorkableness and that communicated how they belonged together. She suggested Auburn’s “Perfect Two” and played it for me.

I cried when I first heard it. I still cry when I hear it. I love the sentiment, even if it’s a little syrupy for my usual musical tastes, but it fit for this story, for Ethan and Toby. So it became their song, even if they both refused to sing the line “You’re the one I want to marry.”

I wanted to share the song with you, in all it’s sweet, adorkable glory.

PSA, Social Issues, Toolbox Tuesday

Toolbox Tuesday – Your Voice

One thing I love about MM Romance and LGBTQ fiction is reading about people who have different world experiences than I do. I love that, by reading these stories, I’m allowing voices previously stifled to finally be heard, understood, and empathized with.

Until MM Romance came along, most LGBTQ fiction, especially those books and movies with gay characters, ended in tragedy. Happily ever afters? No, that didn’t happen. Most ended in a tragic death, loneliness, despair, or self-loathing.

Everything changed when MM Romance came on the scene. People who had never considered reading about men falling in love with men were clambering for more books, more varied stories so they could better understand a segment of the population they may have known very little about prior to that. Minds and hearts were opened. And LGBTQ people were finally able to read about a hopeful future and see parts of themselves reflected in characters, something many straight people have always taken for granted when reading or watching movies and TV.

Despite being on the rainbow spectrum myself, my experience as a bisexual woman was different than the men I read and eventually wrote about. Part of that is that I’m married to a man, so very few people even know I’m bi. I have the luxury of not coming out to people every time I introduce them to my husband, unlike a gay man does when he brings his husband or boyfriend to an office party.

In fiction I read about struggles I could barely fathom and had been completely naïve to prior to picking up MM Romance. And I got pissed. I was pissed that people, in this time of supposed enlightenment, were getting fired from jobs on Monday because they married the person they love the previous Saturday. I was pissed that kids were being force against their will into reparative or conversion “therapy.” That’s not therapy. That’s fricking torture and mental abuse.

I’ve been reading MM Romance nearly a decade ago now and writing it for six years, and many of the grotesque violations my LGBTQ friends have endured for years have become public. People are talking, which of course means people are hating. Marriage equality is the law of the land in the US as well as many other countries around the world because people supported their friends and family, stood up, and did what was right. Despite that, Marriage equality seems to have given fuel to the haters.

Reparative therapy is now illegal in several US states. It could soon be illegal in the entire USA. Yet, in many states, people can still get fired for marrying the person they love or get kicked out of their homes or denied lodging or any other number of things, no matter if same-sex marriage is legal or not.

But Americans have a voice they can use: their vote.

I know many readers of MM Romance who need to keep their reading habits a secret. They’re silenced. They don’t have anyone they can talk to about the thoughts these books bring to mind. Some have found social media connections—often using pseudonyms—to reach out to like-minded people. Voting is a way for those people to use their voices to say, “No! Discrimination is not what I want for my country.”

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A new home! Jude moves to a sexually-free commune to combat his stifling past. Buy Farm Fresh today.

About two-thirds of eligible voters in America don’t vote because they believe their voice won’t matter. With an estimated 3.5% of the population identifying as LGBTQ, we need you! We need your voices to stand up and say, “Love is love. Equality is for everyone.”

No one needs to know who you voted for. No one needs to know why you voted for the person you did. But this is a way to make your voice heard, to do something to help men and women like the characters you’ve fallen in love with in all those books lead happier, more fulfilled lives.

So, I’ll be going out on this Super Tuesday and caucusing. I’ll be voting for a candidate who will support all LGBTQ people rather than for one who wants to go back to the days when happily ever afters were not even a dream. I won’t be silenced.

How about you?

Equality, Me Being Me, Social Issues

Get Out of the Kitchen

The whole “let’s quit performing all weddings at courthouses because a few clerks don’t want to perform same-sex weddings” debacle in Florida is crazy to me. It’s adults having temper tantrums because they’re being asked to perform a duty for their job.

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I certainly have moral dilemmas in my own job, but I still have to perform the duties I’ve been hired to do. For instance, I think No Child Left Behind is doing far more harm than good in our country. Teachers are being judged based on how their students perform. That would be fine and dandy if kids all started off on a level playing field: had the same IQ, spoke the same language, had super supportive parents, and were all sheltered, fed, and well-rested when they arrived at school each day. That’s not reality.

In my local school district, for instance, there are 80+ languages spoken. People are moving here, enrolling their children in school without them knowing a lick of English, and then teacher performance is being judge on a one shot assessment near the end of the year. These kids just learned English, and a teacher’s job is on the line if they don’t pass.

That’s wrong, and it certainly brings up a moral dilemma for me. Does that mean teachers can simply sit down on the job, cross their arms over their chest, pout, and refuse to give their student’s the assessments?

Hell no. They give the tests, they lobby to get better laws passed, and they do everything they can to help their students. If that doesn’t work and the moral dilemma gets to be too much, they quit their jobs and go into different fields.

There are no administrators or judges going to bat for these teachers or pandering to them, telling them they don’t have to give the tests that are a skewed, out-of-focus snapshot of what their student’s can really do.

But that’s exactly what happened to these clerks in Florida. “There there, baby. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want.”

Puke! My twelve-year-old already knows this lesson better than they do.

These people need to grow up! If they have such a moral dilemma performing same-sex marriages, find another job. That’s the only good thing I can say about Sweet Cakes by Melissa; the woman refused to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, so she closed her doors. Granted, the lawsuit helped in that, but she still went out of business.wedding cake

I face moral dilemmas all the time but adapt and make changes. I don’t shop at certain stores. I carry trash home so I can recycle it if no recycling bins are available. I homeschool my child rather than allowing her to get lost and fall behind in the social and educational fray of her old school.

I take responsibility for what I have control over. It’s time for all these anti-gay workers and businesses to realize they are there to serve the public, and if they are morally opposed to serving all people, they have no business being in the public sector. Time to get the hell out of the way. There are a lot of people who would love to have their jobs, who wouldn’t complain once when Jason and Brad come in to get married.

GLBT, Interviews & Reviews, LGBT, Thanks, Writing Process

Vote Today for the Finalists!!!

This might look like yesterday’s post, but it’s so different. Yesterday the voting at Mrs. Condit Reads was preliminary voting. This time around it is the Author of the Month Finalist!!!! So thank you for tugging Posy Robert’s fusion into the new poll. XOXO

So, if you have a few moments to grab your devices, whichever ones you fancy, would you be so kind as to vote for Posy Robert’s Fusion or any other book that jumps up and grabs you. Winners will be announced Jan 9th.

❤ Thank you!

Author-of-the-Month-Finalist

GLBT

It’s Real!

The impact of the DOMA’s demise is having real effects on people’s lives. Binational married couples are now able to apply and be granted a green card for their foreign born spouse so repeated goodbyes like these seen in the video below will no longer have to happen.

Parents will have a much easier time providing for their children, both legally and financially, without having to file stacks and stacks of paperwork. Two medical insurance plans can now become one. Social Security benefits. Military benefits, which include housing and so much more. Married LGBT couples will be able to file taxes and check the box that says Married, Filing Jointly. There are so many more benefits now available because of this decision by the Supreme Court.

Beyond that, and just as significant, is the right to say “My husband” and “My wife” and to no longer feel like a second-class citizen. I remember how happy I was to say my husband when I talked about him after first getting married. Somehow, it meant so much more than boyfriend or fiancé, and I’m overjoyed that so many more people get to feel that.

Congratulations!

Thoughts, Where am I?, Writing Process

Mental Distraction

I finished my rainbow nesting bowls today while I listened to the British House of Lords discuss marriage equality. Sorta fitting, don’t you think?

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Crocheting also kept my mind occupied since I’m super frustrating with myself for not having enough concentration to write at the moment. I hate these moments. I know I’ll eventually get my mojo back, but right now, writing feels like pulling teeth. I hate this feeling, so I’m better off concentrating on other things. I sure hope this block doesn’t last nearly as long as the last one did.

Equality, GLBT, LGBT

Parenting an LGBT Savvy Kid


On May 14, 2013 I signed my fifth grade daughter out of school and drove to St. Paul, Minnesota so she could be part of history. Governor Mark Dayton signed the Marriage Equality bill into law. I met a friend there as well. She brought her six-year-old son for the same reason. This was history in the making and we wanted our kids to be there for this moment. This was big. We cheered and smiled and sat out in the super hot sun with sweat dripping down our backs, because this was important. Then we went downtown and celebrated. People were so happy.

I’ve made very conscious choices about talking to my child about the LGBT community and the unique struggles they face. We talked a lot about marriage equality this last year. I even had some friends confused as to why I was so passionate about this issue. I’m bisexual and I married a man, but if something ever happened to my husband, I would still want the right to marry someone if I fell in love again. That could easily be a woman. My daughter and I have talked a lot about the rights denied same-sex couples because of DOMA, and she even knows I write stories about men who fall in love with men. She knows some of my closest friends who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual. She knows what all that means. It’s not big deal to her. When she meets someone new, she asks if they have a boyfriend or a girlfriend rather than just assuming.

There has been a lot said about how same-sex relationships confuse children. They don’t. They really don’t if we just expose this reality to kids and then answer their questions. What confuses children is having the once-unwavering love of their parents suddenly pulled away from them because they love someone of the same gender. When my daughter heard that people did that, she was utterly shocked. Kids are also confused when their parents hate because of bigotry. That goes against most of what we teach our kids when they are young.

Much is made about parents needing to answer uncomfortable questions about LGBT couples. Guess what? That’s what we signed up for when we became a parent, and whether marriage equality had passed or not, children will still have those questions. It’s our job as parents to educate our children about the world, and one of the realities in this world is that LGBT people live here. Are gay men more likely to kiss out in public now than in the 1970s when I was a kid? Probably. Are lesbian women going to hold hands and hug each other where kids can see them? Yep. And I say good! I want my child to see this. I want my child to see that love comes in many different packages, and I want her to know she can talk to me about anything that she’s curious about. Anything!

What I find most offensive are the people who say marriage=procreation. As an adopted kid, I have just been devalued by that entire argument. My parents have been too. I don’t count in their eyes, but if I were to say that to these folks, they’d deny their argument applied to me because my parents weren’t a same-sex couple. Hypocrisy at its finest, I guess. And when hypocrisy is that blatant and that easily identified, you know the argument is false and drummed up rhetoric.

I don’t want my daughter to live in a cookie cutter world. I want her to be able to experience the entire rainbow because she will be a better person for it. She already is.

Equality, GLBT, Social Issues

A Dozen

Minnesota Senate Approves Marriage Equality | Advocate.com.

My beloved state did it. We passed marriage equality. WE DID IT!

I remember feeling something similar to this, but it pales in comparison to how I feel right this second. In 1991 the Minnesota Twins won the World Series. I was in college and not paying much attention to the series at all until there was a dull roar that grew and grew to such a racket that I looked out my dorm room, abandoning my studies. The 3000+ students that went to my small college had poured out of their dorms and were running down the streets cheering and smiling and jumping around like fools. It was contagious. I remember joining in even though I wasn’t a huge baseball fan, but it was infectious.

NOW I have a reason. I feel so overjoyed. I’m swept up in this euphoria, and wish I could be in downtown St. Paul right this moment to celebrate. I want to be with my teammates. I want to hug random strangers and say ridiculous things like, “We did it! We did it!”

Since I can’t be there celebrating, I’ll do it right from my office. I’ll tweet and Facebook and blog and text and call people. I’ve hugged my daughter silly, until she begged me to stop so she could breathe again. And now I’ll go to work where I have to pretend to not care. But I care so much. I care all the way to the rainbow and back.

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Social Issues

Tweeting and Connecting

Watching a live event while tweeting can be super fun. I did that during the presidential debates last fall, on last Thursday I did it when the MN House debated marriage equality, and right now I’m tweeting about the same debate in the MN Senate.

I’m connecting with people who are just as passionate about this issue as me. I’m “chatting” with locals and people who aren’t local who still give just as much of a damn about this as I do.

That’s just plain cool! I love technology.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, come on!  (https://twitter.com/PosyRoberts)