Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairytale.
Between working full-time and a toddler, I've been fortunate enough to squeeze in 30-60 minutes of writing most nights. That time has been split between editing my thriller Safe Word, preparing my contemporary erotic Spar for publication in October, reviewing a manuscript for another author and getting pieces ready for my writing groups. It's been a busy time and progress has been slow but consistent.
In a few months, we will be welcoming another little being into our house. Lil Mr. Peanut expected arrival in November has motivated me to get as much writing done as I can. I know what those first few months after birth are like. The first time around the only time I found to write was editing while pumping at 2AM. This time around, I'll be lucky to get a few minutes of writing time every week.
As my daughter grows, I know there will come a time when she will be able to stay up passed 7PM. Because I work full-time, I value the time I have at home with my family. Given the choice between spending time with them and spending time in front of a computer screen, I'd rather the former even though the later would be better for developing my writing skills.
Heading into a pause in writing, I feel a sense of morning. I often worry that walking away from a story dooms it to the trunk. Although Spar was resurrected from the trunk after several years. I fear that Safe Word will never be ready for submission. In addition to some fact checking errors that will require revising whole scenes and a character, my new writing group has pointed out some deficiencies that are globally present throughout the work. I know there's a lot of work to be done.
Worst of all, I fear that taking a break means I am giving up on my dream of being an author who publishes regularly. I've taken breaks before in college or when my life got too complicated or when I was at a loss as to what to write. Through it all the one thing that keeps me coming back to writing is the need to tell stories. That doesn't go away. But the form that need expresses itself by changes.
So the clock ticks down on this last season of writing before parenthood requires my full attention. If posts on this blog get more sporadic, that is why. In the coming months, I'll also be gearing up for Spar's release October 14. I love this gay romantic erotica set in a martial arts dojo. It was the inspiration for Josh's character from Wolf Creek. I just handed in the cover art request and hope to share an amazing cover soon.
When my husband first suggested we go camping with our 18 month old, I was a little tentative. When he books 6 nights at the headquarter campground in Fundy National Park, I was petrified. Something about being a mother means I worry about logistics more than ever. How would she sleep? Would she eat? What about poison ivy? Bug bites? Sun burns?
Planning a trip with a toddler is a little different than planning without one. There were naps to consider - she took none of them. There was her early bedtime - she didn't pass out until the sun had set. There was picky toddler food considerations - toddlers can survive on applesauce, milk and cheese. There was her limited attention span and little legs but busy body to plan for - there's an amazing playground a short walk from the headquarter campground.
We arrived on Satuday afternoon at Alma NB after an enjoyable 5.5 hr drive. I'd never driven out the Airline road from Ellsworth. It's pretty middle of no where country. We stopped in St. John to get stock up on food for the week, which was a good thing. While there are markets in Alma and restaurants, the nearest groceries stores are an hour away.
I didn't expect the Bean to nap much. Usually she takes a two hour nap everyday after lunch. That was a no go camping. She would either fall asleep in the car or the pack. Otherwise she ran around the campsite like a crazy toddler from shortly after sunrise until a half an hour after sunset.
Our first two nights we spent in the tent at the Headquarter campground. It was a little chilly and damp. So we moved to the temporary cabins (Otentiks). With bunks, propane heat and a table, the Otentik was fantastic. I didn't have to worry about Bean getting cold. Coaxing her into her sleeping bag was as challenging as getting her to fall asleep.
We opted for a relaxed vacation schedule. We visited some of the major landmarks like Hopewell Rocks and Cape Enrage (high recommend on their lobster poutine - pricy but worth it). For hiking we stuck to nearby short, easy trails like Shiphhaven , Caribou Plains, Dickson Falls and short walks for the parking lot to the beach. We did get on the bikes and took a 45 min spin on the Black Horse trail. The ability to hike and bike on the same trails was great. There are plenty of boardwalks, waterfalls and ocean views to take in.
Having a toddler around made for both a more stressful and more relaxing vacation. We couldn't do any long or strenuous hikes and spent a lot of time hanging around the campsite trying to convince Bean to sleep. With a toddler, you are always on the go - just not very far distances.
The geological formations of the area and tides were amazing. May was foggy, cool and buggy with a few breaks of sun and high temperatures. However, visiting at the beginning of the season meant there were no crowds or traffic to fight.
On the way home we stopped by the chocolate museum in St. Stephen. The samples more than made up for the admission cost and Bean went home with a new friend (Casey the teddy bear).
The other day I was grocery shopping with my 19 month old daughter. It was near the end of the trip and she was refusing to get in the cart. I had just convinced her to let go of the mini mouse toy she had rescued from the baby section - who think toy displays at toddler height in the baby section is a good idea? As I finished off the dairy section, I overheard two women restocking the shelves talking.
They didn't usethe word transgendered, but I knew right away what they were talking about. Words like unnatural, worried for the safety of my daughter, not worried about my son or myself, not right, bathroom and changing room, told me immediately what they were talking about and their opinion.
There I was with my little girl and I had to say something. I calmly informed them that as a mother of a young daughter I had no problem or worry about the safety of my daughter in using a bathroom accessible to a transperson. I also added that someone intent on doing harm isn't going to be restricted to a transperson.
They were cordial in acknowledging and half-heartedly agreeing with my last comment.
In my 39 years on this planet, I've only knowingly had two conversations with transgendered individuals. I've seen a handful more mid-transition - that's got to be the worst - from across the street. At less than 1% of the population, it's no surprise that most people have not knowingly spoken with a transgendered individual. And those that have so fully transitioned they have spoken too, they would never question their gender.
So why do people equate transgendered people with pedophiles and violent criminals when most trandsgendered people are the victims not perpetrators of crimes?
There has been a long standing Hollywood tradition of making the villain some kind of sexual deviant. From the cross-dressing Norman Bates to the woman suit-making Ted Levine in Silence of the Lambs. LGBT villains have horrified and titillate movie-goers for years. Unfortunately, they've also contributed to the stereotypes that LGBT individuals are disturbed, violent monsters. But they are people, no more good or evil than cis-gendered, heterosexual people.
The last thing a transgendered person wants to do is stand out because they are different. Hell, no one wants to stand out because they are different.
So no, I'm not worried about my daughter using a bathroom or changing room accessed by a transgendered person. I'm more worried about the 'normal' people like my coworker who collected and distributed child pornography without anyone suspecting. The world is full of dangerous people and the most dangerous often are the ones we already know and trust.
The first time John killed his wife, it was murder. The second time, it was self-defense.
I forgot to mention that my story about a man haunted by the wife he thought he'd killed was published in The Body anthology (Thirteen O'Clock press) back in April.