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.

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.’

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Simon Says

51wewihfnjlSimon vs the Homo Sapiens is a book I haven’t put on any of my rec lists. It’s not time for an unpopular opinion like GOD I REALLY HATE THAT BOOK. But maybe you will see those words I put in capital letters and be tempted to read. Is that clickbait? Hey, lots of websites do it, why can’t this little blog join in? Anyway, Simon is one book I’m confident people already love or will find anyway when looking for gay teen fiction.

But with the movie coming out, I wanted to talk about the Simon franchise a bit. I read one Love, Simon appreciation article from GLAAD that I enjoyed:

Love, Simon should not be held to a higher standard than any of its heterosexual contemporaries. When discussing any film from the litany of teenage rom-coms, no one is ever going to ask, “But do straight teens really need Teen Beach 2?” In my opinion, it comes down to this: If straight teens are allowed to happy-ending rom-coms, queer teens deserve at least the same. The good news for us is Love, Simon delivers that and more.

I have to give some love to the book and the movie Love, because I am all for the lighter side of queer representation, especially when targeted towards youth. We deserve lots of happy gay rom-coms and I hope this is only the first of many. That reminds me of a tumblr post I saw once asking for a Grease remake with Taylor Swift as Sandy and Kristen Stewart as Danny. Who do I pay/threaten to make that happen?