My Life

The Writing Academy Author Spotlight

Writing academy

The Writing Academy blog will feature spotlights on the talented writers to come out of this program. Next week, we are featuring the brilliantly talented Tammy Bird.

Tammy stunned us with a live reading from her upcoming novel during the in-class readings, and she continued to impress us with her dedication and commitment to writing throughout the program.

Join us next week to learn more about Tammy and her excellent novel. And stay tuned next month for another author spotlight from the GCLS Writing Academy.

View original post

My Life

Beth Burnett is the hottest woman on the GCLS Board of Directors

I mean – she’s not wrong.

Now that I have your attention…

If you’ve seen other posts on this site, then you know that I am an avid reader of lesbian-themed literature. After all, I am a lesbian. So it makes sense that I want to read books that have others like myself as the protagonists. Genre doesn’t much matter. I mean, it does. I have my favorite genres. But I read pretty widely. Admittedly, romances are high on my list, but they don’t have to be contemporary. Historical romances, sci-fi romances, young adult romances…they all have spaces on my bookshelf. As do a number that have nothing to do with romance at all. Again, I ready pretty widely

I’m fortunate to know a lot of the authors who have written the books I’ve read and continue to read. Some of them have even become my friends. A few have become good friends. You know, the…

View original post 964 more words

My Life

Grief and Legacy

Grief is weird, isn’t it? Sometimes it hides and you go days or weeks feeling great. Then it jumps out at you at the strangest times.

A few years ago, I went to the LCLC literary conference held by Sapphire Books. There, I met Amanda Kyle Williams, a lovely, brilliant, introverted author. She gave an incredible keynote speech and later, volunteered to speak to the writing academy students twice.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, my mother knit her a blanket which was promptly taken over by the pets in her home.

I have a few fun and funny memories of Amanda, but my favorite was when I tried to teach her a song to sing to Spike, the neighbor cat.

(To the tune of Let’s All go to the Lobby)

I like singing to kitties,

Cuz kitties like my singing

And humans don’t like my singing

But kitties like it a lot.

There’s another verse, but you get the idea. We sang it together a couple times, then I told her she could sing it as she went to feed all the neighborhood cats. Her response – “Right, because the neighborhood doesn’t already think I’m insane, wandering down the street in pajamas and rain boots with a wagon full of pet food and a herd of animals following me.”

This is only relevant because years later, for some reason, this morning I woke up with that song in my head. And as I was singing it, I was swept with such a huge wave of grief for this lovely woman who fought long and hard and ultimately lost her battle with cancer.

I was thinking about grief and how it attacks when you least expect it when I logged on to my email this morning and saw this blog post by my friend, Carleen. She was reviewing an excellent book by Anna Burke – and in the post, she referenced Sandra Moran, an author who also died way too young because of cancer.

Thinking of Sandra, reading about one of the authors who is succeeding because of her, lifted my grief. These women left a legacy – that of using their talent and their voices to help other writers find ways to bring their own voices to light.

And that’s the legacy I hope to leave. Through my work with the writing academy, through my beta reading for my students, through teaching everything from freshman comp to advanced studies in literature, I am using my voice to help other writers find theirs. Just like Amanda. Just like Sandra.

That’s why I devote so much time to the GCLS Writing Academy. And it’s why I spend time helping my students really understand the concepts we’re addressing in class. It’s important to me and if it’s important to them, I want to be there to give them every chance to succeed, just as others have done for me.

That’s the true circle of life – supporting others so they can go on to do the same.