THE SHAPE OF THE EARTH

March 22, 2018 Announcement: New Title from Gary Garth McCann

Bold Strokes Books is pleased to announce the acquisition of Gary Garth McCann’s new work of gay erotic fiction, The Shape of the Earth, scheduled for release in 2019 from Bold Strokes Books.

After appearing in Best Gay Love Stories, Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, Q Review, and Off the Rocks, Lenny and his partner Dave return in a hotbed of manhood and jealousy.

Lenny is managing a failing bookstore and struggling to keep his promise of fidelity to Dave. He flirts relentlessly with grad student Ian until he discovers that Ian’s ambivalence masks something far more personal and devastating—it’s not Lenny Ian wants, but Dave. Caught up in a whirlwind of sex and lies, Lenny and Dave’s relationship spins out of control. Lenny clings to Dave’s unassuming strength in hopes of keeping himself grounded, but when another hot, handsome stranger becomes too tempting to resist, Lenny and Dave face the ultimate challenge.

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Wherever you go, there it is: home town, U.S.A.

“This was a world of vast parking lots connected to one another by roads that, due to congestion, often looked like vast parking lots. Every motel, restaurant, pet shop, and cinema was part of a national chain, giving the whole area a surreal atmosphere of being everywhere in general and nowhere in particular.” –Stephen McCauley, writing in his hunorous novel The Man of the House.

The cartoon gif above appears on Behind You, the facinating tumblr of illustrationist Brian Coldrick. 

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“Where else but in America would our beastly relatives have had the freedom to behave as abominably as they did?”

Last night I heard this line on the 1960s Dobie Gillis show and immediately thought of the present day and of a certain person whose descendants might need it.

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“When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves.”

In writing a 2/20/18 column for Late Last Night Books online magazine, I included the quote, above and below, from Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. In his momentary thinking, a young man is trying to free himself from what he sees as parental expectations for him.

As a preface, I want to say that my own life experience was quite different from that of Warren’s narrator. I felt my parents wished me the best, but I never felt they cared whether I did one thing or another, as long as they thought whatever I did made me happy or would make me happy. Warren’s narrator had a completely different parental experience, but he expresses himself so well that I want to share his words here:

“When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a hame trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can’t get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can. And the good old family reunion, with picnic dinner under the maples, is very much like diving into the octopus tank at the aquarium. Anyway, that is what I would have said back then, that evening.”

The high schooler in the photo above is me.

You can put another candle on my birthday cake this month, if you can find the room. Be careful not to burn yourself trying to light them all.

Care to join me and Judy Collins in wondering Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day in Annapolis signals the approach of Spring, often with daffodils already up. It’s a day for a manhattan and a chocolate eclair.

It can also be a day of comedy, as Niles Crane proves while getting ready for his Valentine’s Day date.

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BREAKFAST AT IGUAZU FALLS: WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO BE TIRED

I entered the dining room of the lodge on the Brazilian side of the falls, Hotel Das Cataratas, where we were staying, and found a long table set with a breakfast buffet and my laughing sister sitting alone at a clean table for four. I sat down across from her. “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” she said and kept laughing.

Only her silverware, rolled in napkin, lay in front of her. She’d been waiting for me and for Todd, who’d be along in a moment.

She laughed till tears rolled down her cheeks. I started laughing too. “What are we laughing at?” I asked.

“I’m just tired,” she gasped in her laughter. “When I’m tired, I laugh.”

We lived on opposite coasts of the U.S. but usually talked every week. I notice the absence of the phone calls, yet it seems to me that she’s still in her Southern California apartment. Only at Christmastime, which Todd and I usually spent with her, does the fact that she isn’t there seem real to me.

This Christmas I chanced to hear the song Rainy Day People, by Gordon Lightfoot, which always brings to mind hearing that song on a sunny, winter afternoon in the company of my sister and Todd at a restaurant with a light wood floor in a remodeled shopfront that might have been in Georgetown but was in fact in Colonia, Uruguay.

For the few minutes the song played, we were there again.

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HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE WINTER SOLSTICE!

The grounds at Wood’s Landing, where Todd and I live in Annapolis.

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