Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Homofun, and Ho Ho Hos

Ah, the holidays. They're almost over, but I feel the need to share the fun as the year winds down to the last few days. Among my new favorites are Christmas book trees, and the guilty pleasure of cheesy straight Hallmark TV movies that always have a happy ending, but require a subsequent dose of 'gay apparel' as a tonic.

First up; alternative trees made of books. They stack nicely, inspire more book gift-giving, and are catastrophe-proof if you've got cats.

My own recent tree proved amusingly autobiographical. You can tell a lot about a person by what they read. Actually, I chose books for their colorful topics and shape and size.

You can see hundreds of tree book pictures online, mostly as libraries. The trick to keep large ones from collapsing is to stack them carefully, in a circular pattern, obviously, but with a large object inside to build the books around it. 

More tips are HERE. Of course, decorated trees precede the Christian holiday, but they've been good at appropriating pagan rites for centuries. Today, (December 21) is Winter Solstice, the original reason for the seasonal festivity.

But let's not get into a theological debate. What of holiday themes in books? Certainly some classics endure, from Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" to Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."

And for your guilty pleasure, the bafflingly long list of Hallmark holiday TV movies can be depended on for a cinematic consistency: vaguely Canadian accents, a charmingly trite story line, a hunky male lead, and somewhat hunky male nemesis, and a clear thematic repetition of the viewpoint that life in the big city will damage a very white gal's appreciation of the holidays, and only a visit (or being trapped in) a quaint Thomas Kinkaide-esque village or cabin will revive her sense of giving and love, resulting in true romance via a quaint blizzard.

Friday, December 1, 2017

AIDS Literature and its Continued Importance

Does anyone still read AIDS fiction, and what stories remain relevant today? Of course my answers are "Yes," and "All of them." But given the state of things these days, with greater crises upstaging the epidemic, which is still a major health concern worldwide, the need for new stories remains in question for some.

While ruminating on this as a form of commemoration on World AIDS Day, I'll link lists of some of the great works of AIDS fiction, and borrow from other published lists. 

Why? Because while three of my novels include aspects of the AIDS crisis, I'm working on another novel that focuses on its effect on gay men facing AIDS in a different setting. It's too large a life experience to wrap up in just one novel.

Most early and bestselling fiction works about AIDS focus on urban gay men in the 1980s and afterward. It's understandable, given the time and number of cases in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (book links are for reference; do buy from independent bookstores whenever possible!)