Anything That Moves Me

Help is not a dirty word

November 14, 2016

Tags: help, disability, people with disabilities, social animals, society, socialism

Last year, explaining to a coworker why I didn't want to volunteer at the children's Halloween party, I said what I thought was obvious: "I don't feel like having the 'What happened to your hands' conversation a gazillion times."

She apologized, saying, "People just don't see it after a while."

That's nice for people. Because itís the deformities they stop seeing, not the disabilities. (more…)

Two Best Books I Read This Year--or Ever!

November 12, 2016

Tags: novels, writing, literary fiction, David Mitchell, Hanya Yanagihara

I'm a reluctant member of Goodreads and other amateur book reviewing and rating sites, including Amazon. Maybe it's my age, although I think it's more about temperament. One of the best things about graduating from college (English major) was never having to write a research paper again, or a "book report." And that's what these sites feel like to me: a class assignment. (more…)

Advice Too Good to Ignore

August 14, 2016

Tags: advice, biseuxal, Jen Bonardi, Tiggy Upland

Advice from a Wild DeuceAdvice from a Wild Deuce by Tiggy Upland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What's the best part of any newspaper or magazine? The advice column, of course. And what's the best kind of advice column? A sex advice column. If you're tired of Dan Savage's biphobia (I know, he got better, but still) and if you'd like something more real than Penthouse Forum, Jen Bonardi's Advice From a Wild Deuce : the Best of Tiggy Upland might be what you're looking for.

(more…)

Economics 101

August 13, 2016

Tags: ACA, affordable care act, affordable, cost, economics, healthcare, health insurance, insurance

The hardest course I encountered in my four years of college was Economics 101. In high school I had been one of those annoying students who was good at everything, and I assumed that, even if I didn't find basic economics thrilling, I would be able to get a decent grade and satisfy the distribution requirements (still in force in the 1970s), allowing me to pursue the history, literature, and the gods help me, philosophy, courses I preferred. Instead, from the get-go, it felt as if I had walked onto a friendly neighbor's freshly-mowed lawn and fallen into a cesspit of crazy. (more…)

Barbarism, Decadence, and Bisexuality

August 1, 2016

Tags: bisexuality, erasure, bi erasure, A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

There is a disparaging quotation about Russia (more often now applied to the USA), claiming that it went directly from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization. I thought of this after reading Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, last year's multiple-award nominated novel, only in this case it's bisexuality that has been skipped over. Not to equate bisexuality with civilization but .... it sometimes feels as if our society has moved within the span of a human life from homophobia and persecution to (in some places) acceptance of sexual and gender fluidity--without ever acknowledging bisexuality. (more…)

Furies on the Shuttle

February 8, 2016

Tags: Furies, disability, naming, anger, truth, empowerment, writing

In Greek mythology, the Erinyes (Furies) are "the angry ones." They are chthonic (underworld) deities whose purpose is to punish crimes against the ancient "natural order": young against old; child against parent; host against guest. The furies are so terrifying that they are seldom called by name. The title of Euripides' play The Eumenides is a euphemism: "the kindly ones."

In my Christmas letter, I included a link to a video of me performing my latest work, "What is the Matter?" Apart from any question of poor judgment (guilty!) what has troubled me in some peoples' responses is what I would call a one- dimensional way of thinking about the subject of the piece: two points (terminals) linked by a shuttle. There is no place in the middle, much less a second or third dimension.
(more…)

Recommended Novel: Louisa Meets Bear

July 10, 2015

Tags: Lisa Gornick, Louisa Meets Bear, novels, short stories, fiction

Louisa Meets Bear: Linked StoriesLouisa Meets Bear: Linked Stories by Lisa Gornick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Generous, Compassionate, Beautifully-Written Novel of Linked Stories

Lisa Gornick's third published novel, Louisa Meets Bear, is that trickiest of formats: a collection of "short" stories (some novella-length) that are linked through connections between some of the characters. (more…)

In Praise of Boredom

April 20, 2015

Tags: boredom, creativity, reading, writing, imagination, poetry, fiction

A friend, one of those rare, almost mythical beings who reads fiction but has no desire to write it, once asked me if was true that a writer needs to have a boring life.

I said yes.
(more…)

Original Romantic Adventure Story

December 1, 2014

Tags: T.T. Thomas, Boer War, Lesbian Romance, Young Adult fiction, adventure fiction, speculative fiction, steampunk

The Girl With 2 HeartsThe Girl With 2 Hearts by T.T. Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Honestly, I didn't expect to love this novel, just to like it. But T. T. Thomas is that kind of versatile writer: capable of producing subtle New Yorker-worthy short stories as in her series Sex on a Regular Basis; sophisticated comedies like Two Weeks at Gay Banana Hot Springs; beautifully-written historical romances like her last novel, A Delicate Refusal--and now this, a jaunty Young Adult adventure. (more…)

Review of Nora Olsen's Maxine Wore Black

November 29, 2014

Tags: Nora Olsen, YA LGTBQ fiction, transgender fiction, Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier, 20th century gothic fiction

Maxine Wore BlackMaxine Wore Black by Nora Olsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


It takes a gifted writer like Nora Olsen to pull off a mash-up like this. From the reviews so far, it appears that Daphne du Maurier's timeless classic Rebecca (1938) has reached its sell-by date. Too bad, because if you haven't read it (or even heard of it) and are unfamiliar with its iconic gothic plot, you're not going to get Maxine. (more…)

Selected Works

Fantasy, Women's Fiction (e-books)
Book Six in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Five in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Four in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Three in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Two in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book One in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Short Story
A queered version of the Cinderella story in the 4th Gay City anthology, "At Second Glance."
Newsletter article
Describes the typical upbringing of middle- and upper-class children in Austen's time.
Romantic Comedy, M/M/F Menage
A breezy tale of love, lust and secrets set against the backdrop of Regency England.