My dog is tearing her stuffed elephant to smithereens while I try to write this post. She wants to play, so I get up to throw her toy, and then she promptly loses all interest. Until I sit back down at the computer. She’s such a cute jerk.
The next thing I’m going to say has nothing to do with the first thing, which is usually how it goes with me. One Little Word is on sale for 99 cents this week, so I’m posting about it like a sensible author.
The story is about two guys who must “date” For Reasons. As compelling as that summary is, I’m going to include an excerpt that may or may not actually be in the book. So it could be a sneak peek or it could be a deleted scene. Maybe a little of both? How mysterious and exciting.
Okay, Luke is a dumb jock who gets in trouble and thinks saying he’s gay will solve problems instead of creating new ones. And now he’s talking to the principal and a teacher about all this.
“Gay?” Principal Simmons frowned. “But you’re the captain of the baseball team!”
I nearly laughed. “Are you serious?”
The guidance counselor gave us a speech last year about “diverging sexuality,” something she claimed they did every year, but it happened shortly after Ryan Miller came out. There was a whole part about how there was no one way to be gay, just as no two people were exactly the same.
Yet the principal appeared skeptical about my confession. That was totally unfair.
I looked at Mrs. Sharp after the Principal still seemed confused.
She sighed. “What he means,” she tried, “is that this seems a little… convenient.”
“Yes, that’s a good point,” he agreed. “Personally, I had no idea your people could play sports.” He chuckled to himself. “Well, see, I’m already learning.”
“Do I really need any other ‘proof’ of why I’m not out yet?” I gestured to him.
While not exactly conceding the point, Mrs. Sharp also supplied no defense for his remarks. “Mr. Chambers,” she spoke evenly. “Why don’t you explain—”
“You can’t force a student to tell you about his sexuality,” Simmons interrupted. “I know that much.”
“Mr. Chambers,” she repeated, authority clear in her tone, making the principal shut up. “I’m not asking you to reveal anything too personal. Simply help us understand. Let’s see.” She straightened in her seat, a neutral expression on her face.
Trap, this was a trap, but one I couldn’t avoid.
“Perhaps you could share your perceptions of LGBTQIA culture?” she asked. “Or give us a general idea about the challenges a gay teenager may face in a small town?” The corners of her lips twitched, like she was laughing at me internally. “Who are your favorite queer icons?”
“Yes, wonderful!” Simmons sounded delighted. “Another learning experience.” He nodded at me. “Go on, son.”
–One Little Word is on sale now for 99 cents!