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Amazon supports marriage equality

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Can you believe it's been over 3 years since the AmazonFail incident where my very own blog was ground zero? Amazon was not anti-gay then and certainly not now as CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has generously donated 2.5 million dollars to the Washington United for Marriage campaign to pass referendum 74 which will legalize same sex marriage in Washington. A big thank you to Jeff and his wife MacKenzie!

Movies to celebrate Father's Day

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Some of my favorite movies about dads:


To Kill a Mockingbird - Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch


Kramer vs. Kramer - Dustin Hoffman as Ted Kramer


Mrs. Doubtfire - Robin Williams as Daniel Hillard


Ordinary People - Donald Sutherland as Calvin Jarrett


The Sum of Us - Jack Thompson as Harry Mitchell


The Descendants - George Clooney as Matt King

I started another blog

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So I decided to delve into a whole new blog. However this new one will have nothing to do with writing or publishing. In it I will talk about my other passion: Western movies. I will try to update it each week with an entry about one of my favorite Westerns. First up is John Ford's masterpiece, The Searchers, complete with pictures and a trailer. Do let me know what you think!
Classic Westerns and TV Shows Blog

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With my apologies to Will Shakespeare

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I just watched the 1936 version of Romeo and Juliet with a 33 year old Juliet (Norma Shearer) and a 42(!) year old Romeo (Leslie Howard). Here’s an idea for an alternate ending. Romeo, in the tomb kneeling beside his beloved Juliette, holds up the vial of poison preparing to join her in death. Just as he raises it to his lips, she murmurs, “Romeo.” He winces and says, “My sweet Juliet, it’s as though I could still hear thy tender voice.”  A little louder, she says, “Romeo? Wherefore art thou?” (good lines are worth repeating) He looks down, sees her stirring, drops the vial and it shatters on the tomb floor. He flings himself upon her and smothers her with kisses. “How be this miracle possible?” he asks. The friar enters and warns them that the watch is approaching and they must make haste and escape. They quietly slip out as the friar heads off the watch. After all, this is a Romance, right? A happy ending is REQUIRED! Have I just committed sacrilege on Shakespeare?

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Teen bullying Youtube video goes viral

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Three months ago, 14-year-old Jonah Mowry posted a video on Youtube. He just wanted to express to the world how much pain he was in over being bullied, but that he wasn’t going to let it get the best of him. Last night the stars lined up and the video went viral. I watched as tens of thousands of comments were posted, most in support, but many against him, some saying that the video was a big fake. In response he posted a follow-up video thanking everyone and addressing the video’s authenticity.



His twitter account also went crazy with tweets, many from celebrities, and Perez Hilton even invited Jonah to his birthday party.

There are other videos on his Youtube channel of him just goofing around and being a kid that would suggest he’s probably going to be a creative artist when he grows up.

I’ve offered to send Jonah Cheyenne Publishing’s entire catalog of young adult books, though he’s probably so inundated with messages that he may never see the offer.

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What I've been reading for fun

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Well I did something that I almost never do. DNF. That stands for "did not finish" and yes halfway through, I gave up on the book I was reading. No, I won't reveal the title because I've no desire to sabotage sales for this self-published book. Needless to say, it seemed obvious that the author didn't bother with having it edited as sentence structure and technique were all over the place. It was written by a gay man but read more like a housewife's fantasy of gay porn. Furthermore the description and the cover were very misleading, with the insinuation that this was a story about a homophobic father dealing with his gay son. Not so. The father only serves the story to kick his son to the curb and then is never seen again. Meanwhile the son ends up in New Orleans where he is taken in by a rich kid and the two of them spend chapter after chapter after chapter of explicitly-described sex all the way through Hurricane Katrina. Just horrible. I've probably just given away enough clues to lead a savvy person right to the book.

Oh well, now I'm going to read something that I've heard people raving about for years: Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. Can't go wrong there.

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What a cool idea.

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Now this is the kind of moviemaking that really gets me excited with anticipation. A brand new movie shot it black and white...and...wait for it...SILENT! Most people of my generation have never even bothered to sit through a silent movie, but I've watched a lot of them: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Greta Garbo, Douglas Fairbanks and so on. I like movies that try to emulate the style of vintage moviemaking, such as Far From Heaven which perfectly captured the 1950s melodramatic style of director Douglas Sirk, and The Good German which was filmed to look like a 1940s film noir in glorious black & white. My own novel The Filly was a meager attempt to pay tribute to the Hollywood Western of yesteryear, so I think you can see where I'm coming from. 

And if that's not exciting enough, Wings, the movie to win the first Best Picture Academy Award (and the only silent movie ever to win) is finally coming out on DVD and Blu-ray in January!

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'Scuse me while I brag...

CheyennePublishing

As a publisher, let me say this is one of which I’m really proud to be associated. Junction X is remarkable in its honesty of showing the inner battles of a human being yearning for happiness but unable to have it because he is trapped by what society demands of him. Unflinching and harrowing in its portrayal, and inspired by true events, Junction X really is a moving story. There is a revelation at the end of the book I won’t spoil that will make you rethink everything you have read up to that point. While all of Erastes’ books are good, this one is different than anything she has ever done, and I truly hope people will give it a chance even though it is outside the bounds of traditional romance.

Now available in Print:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
TLA

and eBook:

Kindle
Kindle UK
OmniLit


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The 1960s are "in"

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Just watched the movie An Education. I know it's a couple of years old; I had always planned on seeing it from the time it was nominated for all those Oscars but I'm just now getting around to it. I love period British drama (not to mention the very handsome Peter Sarsgaard and one of my favorite British actresses, Emma Thompson) and this one is quite well done. I didn't expect the ending at all and am glad that none of the previews spoiled it. It's set in 1961 which is just about the same period and setting as a book that Cheyenne Publishing has coming out next month, Junction X.



And speaking of the 1960s, thanks to Mad Men, TV shows set in the sixties have become very chic. Is anybody watching Pan Am? It's a fun show, perhaps a bit fluffy but mostly historically accurate except for the fact that the producers decided to allow one small historical inaccuracy and depict the era as a nearly smoke-free environment. I guess I can forgive them for that.

Pride Pack series is finished!

CheyennePublishing
Pride Pack #1  Pride Pack #2  Pride Pack #3
The Pride Pack series is finally finished and put to bed. It was a lot of hard work and I really appreciate the contributions of all involved: Wayne Gunn, Jordan Taylor, Josh Aterovis, Lori Lake and Steve Berman. And of course my thanks to Ruth without whom none of this would be possible, and let me also say how very gracious it is of her to donate her author royalties from the series to The Trevor Project.
 
The books will be available shortly in print and in the eBook format.
For full synopsis of each book, click the book covers above.

Hurrah!