Monthly Archives: October 2016

Seven Facts About my LGBT Book

I’ve been working on this book for a while now; the first draft was finished back in 2008 and I’m ashamed at what a mess it is of me throwing shit in there and hoping it makes sense. Eight years later though I’ve made an outline, thought and even prayed a little over what needs to be in it and what shouldn’t be in it. Here it is, seven facts about my own LGBT book that I intend to finish by November next year.

  1. There will be no “coming out” portion of the book; as I’ve said before I’ve read alot of coming out stories and I feel that they’re becoming the main gimmick of lgbt media, plus my main protagonist is already dealing with enough anxiety, hiding his sexuality and gayngst will drive the poor boy nuts.
  2. There will be God and a bit of Catholic stuff in there;  I had debated on keeping this from the first draft of the story out of fear of alienating those who are religious or members of the lgbt community who aren’t comfortable with the topic of God and Christianity. I have decided that it should be in there, for personal reasons and in hope that if someone needs it, they will find it and it will help them.
  3. There will be angels and demons; I gotta make the story interesting if there’s no antagonist via “coming out to the family”.
  4. There will be music; from light christian music to some of the hardest metal ever made.
  5. There is no “chosen one”; seriously that’s kind of over done at this point too.
  6. It was originally fanfiction; To Dead Like Me!
  7. It needs a name! I had a name for it in highschool, I don’t mind it, but I don’t think it applies to where it’s going now.

There we are, seven facts about my LGBT book, I’m really hoping what started as a personal project out of boredom when I was seventeen will see the light of the YA book area of Target one day.

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Star Wars Ahsoka Review

20161017_170720I haven’t kept it a secret that Ahsoka Tano is my favorite character from the Star Wars universe going from annoying token kid character inserted into Clone Wars to appeal to kids, to broken hero, to rebel alliance merger, and beyond. I was excited to discover that my favorite character would be getting her own YA novel this year and was ecstatic to discover I’d have the opportunity to meet the author at Texas Teen Book Festival earlier this month.

I made E.K. Johnston fangirl over a drawing I did of Ahsoka Tano that day and in a complete surprise of kindness she gave me a custom name tag and signed it to me for when I purchased my own copy of the Ahsoka YA book (we both went into bigger fan mode when she told me Ashley Eckstein would be joining her on tour with book signings for the Ahsoka book).

Spoilers from this point on, no I can’t Jedi Mind trick these out of your head.

Ahsoka takes place exactly one year after the events of Order 66 and Empire Day with Ahsoka laying low and trying to live her life as a civilian as opposed to a soldier or Jedi she once was. The aftershock from the betrayal of her friend Barriss Offee still close to Ahsoka’s heart despite Ahsoka participation in the the liberation of Mandalore (for more info on that click here).

The book focuses on Ahsoka’s attempts at helping people fight the empire while addressing her own mixed feelings about being a child soldier in the Clone Wars and having the knowledge that nearly all of her loved ones are dead.

Ahsoka spends a good portion of the book trying to put an end to the military mindset she had during the Clone Wars and trying to remember what was taught to her before the war started. I thought this was an interesting approach brought up in the book since it was a conversation Ahsoka and Barriss had in the early days of the war where Ahsoka wasn’t sure what her life would be like post war and Barriss was under the impression the Jedi would return to a life of peace and meditation.

The book also shows just how Ahsoka got her position as Fulcrum in the rebellion and where she got her white lightsabers. I won’t spoil where she found the kyber crystals and what led to their creation, but I feel it’s very fitting for this portion of Ahsoka’s character arc and life. I was also very pleased to see the topic of Barriss Offee addressed and that it didn’t take up the entire book. It was a topic that I had wondered about for a while and glad to see how Ahsoka recovered from it and became stronger because of the events that caused her to leave the Jedi order.

I think many fans of Ahsoka Tano and Star Wars will enjoy this book very much, E.K. Johnston did a great job of tying the bridge between the Clone Wars tv series and the current Star Wars Rebels series and did justice to such a beloved character.

I give Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston five white lightsabers out of five.

Remember When I Said I Painted?

I just remembered I had mentioned when I first started this little blog that I love painting and saw that I haven’t posted any paintings since then! Lol, I don’t have anything recent today, but I have a little lesson concerning quality of paint.

When I started painting I was literally using a watercolor pallet from a beginner art set my dad bought at a farmer’s market back in 2010. I used the water colors because they were the only thing from the beginner set that were decent quality to actually use since the color pencils and oil pastels were crap and the acrylic paint that came with the set were nearly dried out.
Throughout my life I always had the personal belief that “it’s not how much you spend on something, but it’s what you make out of what you have,” and I still stand by that belief. I created some lovely pictures I’m happy with using paint that would make one of my closest friends strangle me for ever purchasing.
I used these cheap paints very happily because I didn’t know any better, there were issues that I had with them though; I got frustrated with color shift on a regular basis and sometimes I felt some areas of a painting were too dull for me while other parts were alive and full of life (I inherited some of my acrylic paint from a brother who gave up on traditional art).

Then I met my friend Ben who I presume wanted to buy a plane ticket to Texas and strangle me after eating tacos for using Liquitex Basics and Apple Barrel acrylic paint. He told me about color shift, and how some of the paintings i was making wouldn’t last as time went on because of the acrylic paint quality. When hearing this i felt a little sad inside because I had started taking in commissions from close friends of mine and even gave paintings away as birthday/christmas presents and hearing that they didn’t have much time put a downer on me. So I gave away all my liquitex basic paints to a friend of mine and started fresh with Golden Paints I got super cheap with a Michael’s coupon.
The first thing that caught my attention was that there was no color shift at all! I had spent thirty minutes waiting for the color to darken and discovering that there is something to paying a little more for higher quality.The paintings I’ve made since then are also more alive since as my friend (and people who actually know a thing or two about paints) would say it’s because there’s more pigment than filling in the paint.
I also finally realized what people mean by ‘this acrylic paint is so watery’ after assuming that they were referring to the viscosity of the paint rather than the quality of the paint since there are soft body acrylics with low levels of viscosity gooiness and there are some paints nice and gooey.

There’s my little two cents for the day, I still have nothing against people who have cheaper paint (just try and come yell at me in person Ben! lol), I have seen people create really nice paintings with cheap paints from the brands I mentioned above, but I also know the disadvantages of them and probably will never use them again.

Coming Out Again and Again

“God if You’re real, and You love me like everyone says You do, please let my dad still love me.”

These were the thoughts in my head before I told my dad I was gay almost nine years ago. This moment cemented many things in my life; it cemented my belief in God, it cemented to me that my parents did love me, and it cemented that I knew there was a future for myself (gotta love those horrible thoughts we have as teenagers!)

I had thought that it would be the only time I would every have to come out as gay. As I’ve said before I’m a private person, I won’t deny what I am if asked, but I look forward to the day where I don’t need to come out as gay to people I meet or loved ones. Unfortunately I have to confirm that I’m gay when I’m suggested by friends to go on dates with a girl, and I’ve had to confirm that I’m gay to my doctor concerning medical conditions (no I don’t have an STD, I’m an aging male).

I feel that when I come out even though I’m still the same person I’ve always been I’m seen in a different light. Some will see me as great, others will see me as confused in many ways, and some will see that I’m not worth the effort. It doesn’t bother me like when I was younger, but the thoughts are still there.

From my personal experience I saw that coming out doesn’t always result in sad endings, but I know my own story (the very small amount I’ve chosen to reveal) is not applicable to others and in the past other members of lgbtq have gone through worse.

To end this, here’s a meme I saw earlier today.

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Thoughts on The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren

Last weekend my friend invited me to go to the Texas Teen Book Festival, at first I was reluctant to go because I had heard book con was more of a marketing type of event and that it applied to all book related conventions. My attitude changed when I saw that the author of the soon to be released Ahsoka book by E.K. Johnston would be there and I became giddy discovering Mindy Kaling would be there as well. Sadly I did not get an autograph from Mindy Kaling or to even ask my question and give her a drawing I did of her high fiving her animated counterpart Disgust from the movie Inside Out. On a side note, I got E.K. Johnston to fangirl with a drawing of Ahsoka Tano and in return she gave me a sticker to place on my copy of the Ahsoka book coming out October Eleventh. I’m buying each edition.

This isn’t about meeting super famous celebrities or making authors fangirl though; today I’m reviewing the lgbt book The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren by Cody Wagner. I encountered this book partially by chance and partially by a failed attempt at flirting. I discovered the book when I saw a man wearing a tshirt with a pikachu cosplaying as Harry Potter and I thought That is such a cute shirt, holy crap someone taller than me! I must take a photo with him! Upon approaching Cody Wagner he was very sweet and we had a small quick conversation and he told me about his book The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren.

I knew I had to have it because 1. I am a member of the lgbt community and 2. it sounded like the type of story I felt was missing from lgbt stories. Also there were lots of hugs between us (like seriously none of you have no idea what it’s like to be taller than most of your friends and meet someone taller than you).

Possible Spoilers concerning The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren, I will try to provide as few spoilers as possible.

I will admit I didn’t like the start of the book because it is a coming out story gone horribly wrong. I have nothing against coming out stories, I’ve just read and seen alot of them. As soon as our protagonist Blaize gets to Sanctuary Preparatory Academy the story actually takes off. I was also happy to see that only the start of the book had gayngst.

Much to mine and the character’s surprises the boarding school is far from the ‘pray the gay away’ type of story I was expecting, and most of the mental complaints I had about the characters made sense by the end of the book (these ARE teenagers after all..)

I was actually very happy to see how the story played out and how both sexuality and the main antagonist was more background noise than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, homosexuality is a big deal in the book, but aside from the beginning none of the characters make a big deal about being gay. They are normal teenagers who do normal teenage things and deal with normal teenage issues like peer pressure and bullying.

I was actually very happy the topic of bullying was approached in the book and that sadly no matter what school you are going to it is there and sadly kids and teens don’t take it as seriously as they should. However I do like how the protagonists handle this issue and rather than approaching said bullies in a confrontational way they take the higher road and are the better person.

Also to my relief and shock the topic of romance doesn’t come up too often and things I expected didn’t happen, to which I am very pleased. Cody Wagner did a very good job of keeping surprises as subtle as possible.

I highly encourage reading The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren, you can buy it Here. Do it, right now!

I give the Gay Teen’s Guide Guide to Defeating a Siren five Healing Hamburgers out of five.