Tag Archives: LGBT

Proud to be an American

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So overall I had a nice 4th of July weekend, spent mostly with family and friends. There’s been a lot of personal stuff going on in my life lately (some of which I may or may not blog about at some point), so I haven’t really had a chance to digest some of the big national headlines. Many of my friends have been celebrating one of the big one, the Supreme Court decision that upholds gay marriage.

This sort of headline makes me proud to be an American. The United States of America was founded on the idea that all men (and women) are created equal, and should have equal rights under the law. It’s taken a very long time to encompass all of the country’s population, first starting with landowning white men, to all white men, to races of all color, to women, and now finally to homosexual and transgender men and women. Why should one couple who stay together for more than ten years be allowed tax breaks, hospital visitation, and medical decisions while another couple may not? Let religions decide if it is morally right or wrong, just as they do such things as eating pork, confessing sins to a priest, or working on the Sabbath or Sunday (take your pick).

Sadly, last week also had the terrible news about the church burning by a man professing to hate all blacks. So on the one hand we have a landmark decision taking us into the future. And at the same time, I see more and more polarization in the racial debates, both from this sad individual who thought it was a good idea to kill African Americans, as well as all the fury lately with white cops and black suspects getting shot or accidentally killed, sometimes with possibly good reason, and sometimes with no reason at all.

And don’t get me started on the Age of Entitlement, instant gratification, and the Fast Food Nation. Or the Kardashians. Please.

So there are times when I’m frankly rather embarrassed to be an American. This happens especially when I’m in a foreign country, attempting to communicate in another language without mangling it too badly, and I hear some rude comment in a loud American accept behind me. Or when I try to explain certain things to Europeans like the U.S. healthcare system.

But overall? Yeah, I’m still proud to be an American. Sure we’re loud, and we’re divisive at times, and even downright rude. But I appreciate the fact we have such diversity, and even when we complain about it, we’re allowed to be diverse. I think that’s probably the most important thing of all.

That and the right to be equal under law.

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Free on Amazon! The Wish: A Paranormal Kindle Short Read

Free today through Monday, August 25! You can grab my short story two pack, “The Wish” on Amazon. The Wish: A Paranormal Short Story Two Pack

the wish cover 350

Blurb:  Jodi is hopelessly in love with her best friend. It seems like a harmless thing to make a wish on a Japanese tablet. But it isn’t. Especially when Uzume, Japanese Goddess of Joy and Happiness is listening. Sometimes the price for joy can be too much.

Excerpt:

Outside a cool breeze blew through the trees, but my skin felt hot to the touch. I kept trying to come up with an excuse—he probably didn’t realize just how offensive his comments were. But nothing could take away from the fact that he wasn’t right for her. Roger didn’t understand me, and he didn’t understand his fiancée either.

I clenched my fists until my short nails dug into my skin. The pain was a welcome distraction.

The sound of paper rustling caught my attention, and I turned to look at a massive Japanese maple tree with a dozen or two little white papers dangling from its branches. The prayer notes, I thought, recalling Tanya’s excitement about the tradition. I wondered if the little papers were from others attending her wedding, or if they were remnants of another ceremony or wedding. It didn’t really matter. Each little rustle, each little scrap swaying in the wind was a plea to a higher power, asking for help.

I found myself walking over to the little wooden table where pens and paper were neatly laid out and held down by smooth river rocks. The guests would probably do them while they waited for the ceremony to begin, but I would be busy tomorrow, helping Tanya into her wedding gown. So what if I filled out my prayer a day early? My need was urgent. If I got my wish, this wedding wouldn’t even be happening.

I took one of the small squares of paper and a thick felt pen—the type for writing calligraphy or kanji, I realized. My handwriting was never going to do this justice. What did I want, exactly? What was my wish?

I took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. I knew what I wanted. The truth was I was afraid to ask for it. My hand shook a little as I wrote: “I wish my best friend would love me the way that I love her.” A simple wish. I wasn’t even wishing for something bad to happen to a certain lughead.

I held the scrap of paper gently, blowing on it to dry the ink. It was a silly wish. Why even bother to hang it up? And yet I found myself reaching for the red ribbon, pulling it through the punched hole in the paper and tying the knot. A gust of wind blew through the temple courtyard behind me, and I heard the rustling of leaves, and of the other wishes. They were almost done with the rehearsal. I needed to hurry.

I approached the tree, trying to decide whether to hang my wish among the branches already holding several dangling papers, or pick my own branch. It seemed like it would be better camouflage to group it with the others. What if Tanya started reading some of them? It wasn’t signed, but I worried she might recognize my handwriting.

I compromised by picking my own branch just to the side of where the other wishes were hung. I felt silly as I tied the knot, leaving my paper wish dangling. Fog rolled into the coastline and the air grew chilly. The little paper spun round and round in the breeze, words flashing at me, love … love …

New cover for an upcoming short story pack!

It’s summer, and things are slow. So it’s a great time to work on shorter projects and new covers!

I have two short stories that will be coming out in a few months in another short story pack. The first story is near novella length and is about a woman with a crush on her best friend, and the Japanese goddess of love. The second story is about a Chinese American interior decorator and a client with an unusual problem–her house is rearranging itself!  “The Wish” and “Reflections of Chi” should be out this fall.

Meanwhile, I just purchased the cover for it:

the wish cover 350

Blurb:

Jodi is in love. The problem is that she’s in love with her best friend, a girl. And her best friend is in love with someone else, and getting married. As her friend prepares for a big wedding combining her Japanese and American traditions, Jodi finds herself praying to a long lost Japanese goddess for help.

When the goddess answers, Jodi is faced with a terrible choice. She can either have passion and heartache, or she can have friendship and loneliness.

Wishes always come with strings attached.

Bonus short story: Reflections of Chi

Geneva Lin runs a respectable interior decorating business. Her orderly world turns to chaos when a woman barges in, insisting that her house is rearranging itself. She hopes a little Feng Shui will solve the problem.

The question is, what do you do with a house that seems to want to kill you?

 

In other news, I’ll also be working on new covers yet again on my Cathy Pembroke series (“A Troll Under Golden Gate Bridge,” and “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf”) as I prepare to publish the next story, “Ogres At Alcatraz Isle.”