But one of the most outstanding sites is Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. Not only did I enjoy expansive praise-filled reviews for both Every Time I Think of You and its sequel Message of Love; I was also honored with a guest author spotlight, where I rambled on about why I decided to write the sequel. Every Time I Think of You was also among those chosen as one of the Best Books of 2014!
So it was without hesitation that I decided to help promote Melanie M.'s latest endeavor, a January special all about Australian authors!
|Anne Barwell, one of the featured authors|
Christian Baines, N.R. Walker, Anne Barwell, Nic Starr, Meredith Shayne, Renae Kaye, John Wiltshire, John Terry Moore, Lily Veldon, Barry Rowe, L. J. LaBarthe, Beany Sparks, Jack Burnes, Nicki J. Markus, Michelle Rae, A. B. Gayle, Lisa Harris and Isabelle Rowan.
My love for the Land Down Under extends beyond this fun promotion. Back in 2002, I had the thrill of attending the sixth quadrennial Gay Games. Since I didn't compete that time, I had the freedom to travel to nearly every sporting event, from the rugby fields near downtown, to the Olympic stadiums for track and field, and across the campus to the volleyball and aquatics centers, or centres, as they spell it.
With more than 100 interviews conducted (including a few funny stilted ones in my limited French and Italian) on old-fashioned cassette tapes, and about 40 rolls of film - yes, film, my last pre-digital project- I put together dozens of articles about every sport, and the ceremonies and spectacles as well. You can enjoy the archived articles on my Sports Complex website. But please forgive the dated HTML formatting. I haven't been there in a while.
|figure skating rocked!|
But I also participated in a reading at an art gallery, and Graeme at Bookshop Darlinghurst bought some copies of my first novel, PINS. That later led to a nice consignment deal with an Australian wholesaler. It all gave me a fun thrill to know that more than 100 folks got print copies of that novel, without the middleman of Amazon.com (or Amazon.au).
|Aussie and Samoan ruggers|
But the pleasures of Australia were often more subtle than a blockbuster movie. The wildlife was just different enough to beguile. Odd geese with long bills puttered about in downtown public parks, and by night, across from my scenic guest room balcony, the brightly lit spires of a skyscraper were surrounded by a massive flock of bats. My host told me the bats scooped up thousands of moths attracted to the lights.
|Montreal ice hockey|
|Los Angeles water polo team|
- frolicking in the kids' rec pool with two water polo teams at the official Olympic aquatics centre,
- hoisting beers in a large gay bar with three softball teams while singing along to an ABBA medley,
- getting directions to the ice hockey arena from a friendly shopkeeper in the far off suburbs, who asked, as easy as "Bob's your uncle," "Oh, you here for the Gay Games?"
|Sydney volleyball team|