The marshmallow that’s holding together this rice crispy treat.

I’m not sure I have this blogging thing down yet, but they say to write what you know, right? Don’t ask me who they are, but I know pop culture and enjoy the gayer side of things, so. I’m starting a list of my favorite gay characters, mainly based on what I’m watching/reading at the time.

Because I was bingeing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend when I decided to do this, I’m starting with Darryl Whitefeather.

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Darryl Whitefeather is 1/8 Native American and his overemphasis of this minor part of his heritage would probably be annoying if he wasn’t adorably earnest about everything. His care factor is always at an 11, which I can relate to, and he’s an unabashed giant softie who loves his female friends, tries way too hard, and gets very invested in everything he does.

 

 

 

Darryl’s storylines involve his divorce and his daughter Madison, owning and later co-owning the law firm where most of the characters work, and discovering his bisexuality later in his life. I can safely say he’s my favorite bothsexual because no one uses that term but him.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Darryl & White Josh

His main love interest in the show is White Josh (because there’s already a regular Josh who is Filipino) I love WhiJo because his name is White Josh, he’s snarky, and he balances out Darryl’s love for everything with his contempt for most things.

This is the best thing in the world:

 

Darryl explores coming out on the show and I’m really just talking about this so I can talk about how much I love cxgf for their normalization of gay relationships. We got a coming out story from Darryl and another character, a female, starts dating a woman with literally no fanfare. Its possible we skipped her own realizations with a time jump or its possible she was queer all along. (Also cxgf has spoiled me terribly because my two faves are both queer.)

P.S.  For a brief occasion, Darryl is played by a broom on a stand.

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A (Not) Christmas (Not) Miracle

Hi, how are you? Did you say cold? I’m going to assume you said cold. Me too! Yes, there are places that don’t get freezing and snowy this time of year, but I don’t want to think about that since I’m not in one of those places.

This is just a quick post to say that exciting things will be happening soon. Starting next week, there will be sales on F.N. Manning books lasting throughout the month. Every book will on sale at one point except for Entirely Too Gay.

Why isn’t ETG on sale? Because it’s already free and you can get it here.

Breaking Rule 17

I have several ideas for the tattoos I one day am totally going to get. One of which is the phrase “Never knowingly be serious,” which I want above my ass, because where else would you get a tattoo like that?

I have so many mixed feelings about most of Doctor Who (except for Martha, Martha is my girl) but I love that quote and River is my other girl. They’re the best, fight me.

The exchange I’m reference goes something like this:

River Song: Are you serious?
Doctor: Never knowingly. Never knowingly be serious! Rule 27.

This is a fairly long-winded way of saying I’m about to share some for reals stuff, so look away if you are so inclined. I am a very small time writer so while I’m almost positive no one noticed my almost three week absence, I still feel the need to talk about it anyway.

Life has been kind of wild. Americans and weather buffs might have heard about a Hurricane Florence hitting the southern states of North Carolina and South Carolina recently? I guess by the time it actually got to land it was a tropical storm or something, which I guess is normally how it goes.

I’m fairly new to the coast, but hurricane season happens every year and locals never really leave and the impending disaster is rarely as big a deal as the weather people say. So of course for my second hurricane season, the storm had to be kinda a big deal instead. Even though it was downgraded to a tropical storm, it was slow as hell and gigantic and it rained for a million years like directly over one spot the whole time.

Yeah, my location happened to be in that one spot.

Being relatively new to the area and never experiencing a major storm before, I got the hell out. I was kinda hoping I still wouldn’t experience a major storm and that I’d just spend a few days working and chilling into a hotel before it was safe to go back… but that was not what happened.

At the time of writing this, I’ve been back for two days. I came back the day we no longer had to boil water before using it, hooray. Getting back in is part of what took the most time but fortunately there was minimal lasting damage where I live.  I’m fine, my dog is fine, our house is fine.

The other part of all this is that the natural disaster was coupled with a family emergency. Back in the Midwest, my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t completely sudden in that he was 88 but also wasn’t really expected in that he was planning to have his knee replaced the next week and he bought and slept in a brand new bed for a grand total of one night.

So, with me and my one bag, my dog and her one bag, and my parents who live in the same area and their one bag each, we all went back to the Midwest for the funeral. I thankfully had one nice outfit, because I thought ‘I’m not going to need this at all but I’ll take it anyway.’ Though my mom, who didn’t bring appropriate clothes, bought a ton of new outfits because she had to look nice for church and she had to have options, so who really was the smart one there?

And for my dog, this was the vacation of a lifetime. She got to run around with my nephews and she met all kinds of people who loved giving her human food.

Basically, I have been all over the place for what I am told was a time span of nearly three weeks. I had been living in hotel rooms and was barely at my computer and wasn’t on any kind of regular schedule, so I have lost all semblance of time. I haven’t been answering emails or anything, so I apologize for that.

Very long story short, I’m back now.

 

Sale!

For today’s random aside, which was inspired by the picture I chose, did anyone watch the short-lived show Downward Dog? My guess is probably not because it was short-lived for a reason, but it was a show about a dog whose thoughts we heard. I think he was supposed to be like Zen and stuff, but he came off as kinda depressed, which is another reason it didn’t last very long. Still, it was really cute.

On to more relevant matters, there is still a sale going on for many F.N. Manning novels. (BTW, my name is F.N. Manning now. As in effin’ awesome or something. Just go with it.) One Little WordBeach Bum, and Then There’s You are still on sale today and tomorrow!

For another random aside, the new season of Orange Is The New Black dropped recently and I decided I had to watch all the seasons first, so that’s what I’ve been bingeing. As soon as I used the word relevant, I thought of this moment where Taystee says “hella revelant” and as soon as I do that I get confused for a moment about which way is the right way to say that word.

BTW, I’m really enjoying s6 of OITNB. It’s high quality drama but it’s also terrible because I love all of them and just want them to be happy.

Podcasts. I’m so good at titles.

I did a lot of traveling in July, including a quasi-road trip. There was definitely a trip and I was on the road for it, but it wasn’t what I think of as a road trip. A road trip is a car full of friends, fun, and good music. This was a long journey to the Midwest to visit my family. I was thrilled about the seeing family part, less thrilled about the two day drive.

When I hit the road, I like listening to podcasts. I should listen to podcasts all the time but then I think what if I don’t have anything to listen to next time I travel? Here’s some of my favorite podcasts. Because I am that person who is literally incapable of not making everything gay, most of them feature queer characters.

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Official Synopsis: WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

My thoughts: Yes, everyone already knows about WTNV and loves it. I’m saying it anyway. It’s the first podcast I ever listened to and it spoiled me by being delightful and weird.

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Within the WiresOfficial Synopsis: Season One takes the form of an audio course on full body relaxation issued by The Institute to you, (the listener) a nameless medical inmate. Who is this narrator? Is she relaying something more than just relaxation techniques, and is she to be trusted? And are there subliminal messages hidden within the music? As listeners move through the relaxation curriculum a deeper and more personal story unravels.
My thoughts: This is one of the Night Vale Presents podcasts that’s made by some of the same people. I was really bummed when I couldn’t get into Alice isn’t Dead, horror is just really not my thing, but my lack of interest in that one is made up by the intense affection I have for WTW. It’s beautiful and there’s lesbians. I mean, what else do you need? Nothing. Well, a lot more of it, but otherwise nothing.

bsOfficial Synopsis: The Bright Sessions is a science fiction podcast that follows a group of therapy patients. But these are not your typical patients – each has a unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright.

 

My thoughts: It’s a solid plot and interesting world and it gets better as it goes. There’s supernatural stuff, cute gay teens, and an asexual character, so it’s all right up my alley. This one is finished (mostly), but there’s bonus episodes and upcoming books and maybe even a TV show.

site-banner.pngOfficial Synopsis: ars PARADOXICA is a love letter to physics, fiction, and the future. It’s a disorienting journey through spacetime and the Cold War. It’s a tome of secret history you stumbled across in a library in the dead of night.

When an experiment in a time much like our own goes horribly awry, Dr. Sally Grissom finds herself stranded in the past and entrenched in the activities of a clandestine branch of the US government. Grissom and her team quickly learn that there’s no safety net when toying with the fundamental logic of the universe.

My Thoughts: I have no idea what’s happening in this one at any time ever as the science stuff pretty much goes completely over my head but it’s compelling and a great mystery. This is the only podcast on the list that isn’t gay as far as I know, but to be fair, it could be gay and I just haven’t gotten to that part yet.

These are my favorite podcasts. What are yours?

Blast From the Past

father-2770301_960_720My absent father wanted to speak to me, maybe meet up, and I… I could barely stand to think about reconnecting or whatever.

“I can’t deal with a nightmare from my past right now” I told my mother.

She laughed at me. “You’re so dramatic. That’s a bright side, huh? You won’t even have to come out to your dad, just say that.”

“Ugh,” I groaned. “Shut up.”  Drinking and denial were better than drudging up the past. This conversation was proof. Shit.

“I’m just asking,” she said gently. “It’s your decision.” She was using a weird kind tone I didn’t like. Mom typically took the tough love approach with me these days. Her parenting advice normally involved stern words and phrases like ‘stop being a dumbass’ and ‘make smart decisions because I’m not paying for bail.’

“What would we even talk about?” Dad and I hadn’t had anything in common, something he worried about often. I wasn’t a ‘normal boy’ who’d liked sports and bugs and whatever normal boys were supposed to like. “Maybe dad and I will just hug and go play catch?” I quipped. Oh god, what if he really did want to play catch? He didn’t hide his disappointment at my inability to play sports very well when I was younger, but I was stronger now.

Mom thought about it. “Maybe you could guilt him into buying you beer.”

I laughed. “Tempting.”

She walked to stand in front of me. “I’ve got to go to work.” She bent down and kissed my forehead. I scowled as she smiled back at me. “Make good decisions, dumbass.”

Excerpt from What Love Means

Daily Prompt: Guilty

My Next Book

Were you wondering what projects I’m working on? For the purposes of this post, I’m going to pretend you are. “Hi, Finn, good to see you!” I imagine you said. “You’re looking great today!” Stop, you’re too kind. “I’ve been dying to know about the new book you’re writing,” you fake said.

onelwYour enthusiasm is touching, so I’d be happy to share with you. I’m working on the sequel for One Little Word right now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share a few excerpts soon. The first one involves a fake relationship between the two main characters. The sequel, One Little Lie, also deals with a fake relationship.

It also continues to explore Ryan and Luke’s relationship. In the first one, there’s fake dating, a little kissing, huge amounts of hand holding, and the boys heading towards actual dating. The second one greatly improves upon the amount of real dating and kissing.

Oh gosh, I guess I was being self-centered before. You were so kind asking about me and I didn’t even find out how you were. Can you ever forgive me? Of course you can, because I’m imagining that you’re very accommodating and agreeable. How are you? How’s your life? I can come up with some fake answers or you can let me know in the comments. Either way, tell me about yourself.

No Quick Fixes

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I wanted it to happen quickly. No one wants the devastation to last. With my heart ripped in two by you, I hoped to start over. To rise from the ashes of our messy breakup like a phoenix, confident and stable and ready to find someone new.

It doesn’t work like that. For me, there’s not you one day and someone else the next. There’s defeat, there’s heartache. Evenings spent crying into my pillow and wishing for what we had. Getting over you takes work. Time.

But it happens. Slowly. Day by day. No abrupt reversal of fortunes but something steady that happens in inches instead of miles.

That’s okay. Because now when I say I’m over you, I mean it.

via Daily Prompt: Abrupt

Vocab

book-3259352_960_720Do you own a dictionary? I’m not sure I do. The internet takes care of that for me. The only problem is that you can’t flip to a random page of an internet dictionary and start looking for challenging words. You need an idea of what you want to look up. Typing in “hard words” just gives you the definition for ‘hard’ or ‘words’.

This was my super serious predicament when writing What Love Means where spelling bees serve as a backdrop for the action. Luckily, vocabulary.com was around to help me out. That might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever said and I have a few seasons of Star Trek on DVD.

Apparently, the site does more than help authors find challenging spelling bee words.  I think you’ll be happy to know that at least one queer book is popular/important enough to have a vocab list on the site.

Way to go, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You’re official. You can see the vocab here or here.  It’s split into chapters and includes the word, definition, and sentence the word was used in during the book.

In the spirit of list, I made my own little vocab list for What Love Means.

Dumbass
A super stupid person, usually Max.

Her parenting advice normally involved stern words and phrases like ‘stop being a dumbass’ and ‘make smart decisions because I’m not paying for bail.’

Yuppie
Cal Winthrop-Scott. That’s all. That’s the whole definition.

Cal looked preppy and chipper in the afternoon light. He’d look like a perfectly modern yuppie tool if he had a sweater tied around his neck to complete the picture.

Marijuana
An illicit drug.

What would it be like to kiss Max after he smoked? Would I get a contact high from probing my tongue into his mouth? Maybe I should buy some pot and smoke with him. Oh god, I was addicted. All it took was one puff. Marijuana really was a gateway drug!

Flirting
What Cal and Max can’t help doing with each other.

I wasn’t entirely comfortable with him hitting on me here in the light of day while I was stone sober and at my old prep school, until he closed off for a second and left me bereft. I apparently didn’t like him not flirting with me either.

Frustration
dissatisfaction due to an unresolved problem.

I wanted to throw my body on him and bruise him, get all my frustrations out with my lips and teeth and have him do the same to me.

Feelings
Max’s  biggest foe.

I shouldn’t lose my cool again and act all… emotional like a person with feelings, a guy with a heart just waiting to get it broken.

Nerd
What everyone but Max is. Usually, this is a bad thing. Usually.

Cal was so cute when he was being an uptight nerd, and it was fun to get him to loosen up. Shit, I had it bad.

This has been your vocab lesson for the day. I’m sure you’re much smarter now. You’re welcome.

Get to Know Max

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I found some questions online about relationships. These are answered in the point of view of Max from my story What Love Means.

Have you ever been in love?
Ew. Why bother?

Have you ever had your heart broken?
I’m more of a heart breaker than the heart broken.

What does a successful relationship look like to you?
Finding a private spot to hook up, hooking up, and then both people go their separate ways.

What happened in your last relationship?
I’d have to have had a relationship to have a last relationship.

Are you friends with your former boyfriends or girlfriends?
I’d sound like a dick if I wondered what the point of that was, wouldn’t I? Well, it’s a good thing I don’t have any former boyfriends or girlfriends to be friends with.

What was your parents’ relationship like?
Oh fuck no.

 

If you could go on a date with a celebrity, who would it be and why?
Uh, Ryan Reynolds is pretty hot. Maybe Chris Pine… but my honest answer is absolutely Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s humorous, intelligent, and he removed a planet from the solar system; that’s pretty badass.