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The Circle of Time

I was 14 years-old when the sitcom Barney Miller first aired. I loved that show. I thought it was hilarious. My favorite character was Officer Levitt. Remember him? He was the short cop with the big booming laugh, played by the actor Ron Carey.

Ron Carey

Here’s how freaky time is…

After I graduated college, I moved to Hollywood. Like a million other young women, I had dreams of being an actress. I was in several plays before I found my home theatre. It was Celebration Theatre, the LGBT theatre in Hollywood. I auditioned for the play, The Well Of Horniness. Yep, its title is an irreverent nudge to Radclyffe Hall’s book, The Well of Loneliness.

Radclyffe Hall

radclyffe hall

(Does anyone else think Radclyffe Hall looks like Oscar Wilde? Separated at birth, maybe? I love this picture! Mainly, for the cute Chinese pug she’s holding.)

The Well of Horniness was originally written as a radio play. It was written by Holly Hughes. She won an NEA grant for writing it. Then the grant was taken away from her because of its lesbian content. You may remember Holly Hughes as one of the NEA Four who made national headlines for being denied a grant. The artist Robert Mapplethorpe was another of the NEA Four.

I auditioned for and got the lead in the play. It’s a slapstick adventure about a naive straight woman who is introduced to the lesbian lifestyle. The play was a smash success, running past its originally scheduled four weeks. It ran to sold-out audiences for over a year and was nominated for a score of awards.

One of my favorite memories was being onstage and hearing a loud, booming laugh that brayed above the rest of the audience’s laughter. I recognized that laugh, but for the life of me couldn’t figure out from where.

Backstage, during intermission, the director told the cast that Ron Carey was in the audience and was laughing his ass off.

It struck me then that just a mere 15 years ago I had been laughing at Ron Carey’s performance in Barney Miller and now he was laughing at my performance.

Funny how life moves in circles like that.

Ron Carey came backstage after the show to meet me. From that moment on, I became friends with him and his wife, Sharon. They came and saw me in several other plays I was in. Some of my favorite Los Angeles experiences were when I met them for gelato at their favorite Italian hangout on Robertson, Al Gelato. It was there that Ron introduced me to several other artists I greatly admired: Joe Bologna (he passed away only a month ago) and his wife, the fabulous actress and writer, Renee Taylor. In fact, Renee was inspirational in getting me to start my own writing career.

joe and renee

I was living back in Oklahoma when I heard that Ron passed away. That was a sad day. I truly hated to think of a world without him in it. But, I swear, every time I think about Ron I can hear his loud booming laughter. It’s enough to make me smile. Every single time.

Have you read books 1 and 2 of the True Heart series? Book 3, Change of Heart, is coming soon!


Time in a Bottle

Yesterday, Saxon and I were listening to a Jim Croce album. Yep, you heard that right. An album. A vinyl album.

Anyway, Saxon looked at me and said, “Why did rock stars and musicians stop dying in airplane crashes?”

“What d’ya mean?” I asked.

“You know, musicians used to die in plane crashes a lot. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Patsy Cline, Jim Croce, Ricky Nelson—

“Wait! Back up. What? Jim Croce?”

“Yeah, he died in a plane crash. He was maybe 30,” Saxon said.

I buried my face in my hands. I began to weep. Openly weep.

“You okay?” Saxon asked.

I shook my head and sobbed. “No, I am not okay. I didn’t know Jim Croce was dead.”

Saxon said, “He died like forty years ago. You’re crying now?”

“I didn’t know he was dead!” I blubbered. “To me, it’s like it just happened!”

I continued to sob while we listened to the album. I cried all the way through Operator, Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown, and Time in a Bottle.

Now I understand how my daughter felt when she was younger. At the tender age of five, Emma developed a crush on Elvis. She loved Elvis so much it was all she would talk about. She had posters of Elvis, Elvis bobble heads, Elvis CDs, she even dressed up for Halloween as Elvis. She loved him so much that I was beginning to worry that maybe she was a reincarnation of a teenager from the 1950s or something.

Her Elvis stage was something I hoped she’d grow out of in time. Until that day, I decided to humor her. It was easier.

One day we went to the library and Emma found a book on Elvis. It had a lot of photos in it and she went nuts over it. So, I checked it out. She couldn’t wait to get home and read all about Elvis.

Later that night, I heard screaming coming from her bedroom. I ran into the room. “What’s happening? Are you hurt? What’s wrong?”

Emma was splayed across her bed, ugly crying, big time. She yelled, “Elvis is dead!” She threw the library book at me.

“Yes, honey. He died a long time ago. Like 1978 or something,” I said, sitting on the bed beside her.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked through tears.

“I thought you knew. I thought everyone knew that.”

“Well, I didn’t!”

Yep, now I know how Emma felt when she found out about Elvis. I couldn’t believe I had spent the past forty years thinking I was living in a world with Jim Croce in it. The world that was once warm and cuddly, now seemed cold and barren.

Saxon handed me a tissue and sat down on the couch beside me. “Honey?” she says.

“Uh huh.”

“I have some more bad news.”


She hands me the whole box of tissues and says, “It’s about John Denver.”


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In the Closet

Saxon and I recently went back in the closet. Wait, it’s not what you think! We have never been in the closet in that way. I meant that we are literally in our closet.

Why are we in our closet? Because it’s our new sound studio. Our publishing company, Square Pegs Ink, has branched out to audiobooks! (pause for applause)

After months of study, Saxon and I bought everything we needed to produce our own audiobooks. From the mike to the shockmount to the mastering program… All that moolah adds up. We didn’t have enough of a budget left over to construct a soundproof studio space. So, we made do with the next best thing: our closet. (And actually, the sound we get from our closet is as good as, if not better, than an expensive studio.)

To be fair, the closet is a really nice one. It’s a walk-in so there’s ample space. And by ample, I mean that we have to mount the mike on the ironing board and sit near my pile of shoes. But hey, Stephen King started out by writing in his cramped laundry room.

The worst part is that the closet gets really hot in the summer. Streams of sweat run off our bodies as we narrate and master. It takes us at least an hour of work to get 10 minutes of narration. And it’s like we are in a sauna the entire time. We peel off clothes as we go. By the time we’re done for the day, neither one of us is wearing pants!

Losing weight would be a great side effect of producing audiobooks, but that hasn’t happened yet. Oh, well…We all suffer for our art, right? The good news is that Big Love is now an audiobook and Tats is in production and will be released within the next month. Next will be Tats Too followed by Love Over Moon Street.

After that, who knows? Maybe we will build an actual studio!

Or not…


Now an audiobook at Audible!

Movies That Changed My Life

We can start with the iconic movie Jaws. The hype was huge that summer. I was 14 when I stood in a line that wrapped around the block just to get a ticket. Halfway through the movie, I ran to the ladies’ room and vomited. Then I went back to my seat, cowered, and watched the whole thing peeking between my fingers. I haven’t put a foot in the ocean since.


I also don’t swim in a lake or a river for the same reason. You never know… a shark might swim up into the Gulf of Mexico, into the Mississippi, and end up in the Illinois river. You can’t argue with me about this logic. It’s an emotional decision. And sharks scare the poop out of me!

The Rose starring Bette Midler put me on my current path. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the magnificent acting of the Divine Miss M. That scene in the phone booth? Damn. It still makes me tear up just thinking about it. After that movie I said out loud for the first time: I want to go into theatre. I want to do that. Okay, so I changed from acting to writing, but still… I want to write a scene that good.


All That Jazz. I think it was Jessica Lange’s second movie? I dunno. I’m not going to look it up because I’m too lazy. That movie merged the best of two worlds for me: Broadway and movies. I decided to move to Los Angeles one day and work in movies so I could be a part of something that wonderful. Which I did. Move to L.A., I mean. I still haven’t written anything near as wonderful as All That Jazz. Plus, Bob Fosse was a god.


The Deer Hunter. The movie didn’t immediately affect me. What happened was I picked up extra work as a Personal Aid to the man, Louis Garfinkle, who created the story and co-wrote the screenplay. This was a decade and a half after The Deer Hunter was released. Lou was stricken with Parkinson’s. The horrible sickness and shaking that went with the disease prohibited him from writing. He couldn’t hold a pencil or sit at a computer. But that couldn’t keep him from what he loved to do. I spent a summer sitting by his bed while he dictated a new screenplay to me. I simply wrote it down for him, word for word. It was a crash course in screenwriting. I got to see a master at work. I learned so much on so many levels: how not to give up, the mechanics of screenwriting, what makes a good story… All the while I was sitting beside the shelf that held his Oscar.

Harold and Maude. You don’t get any better than this movie. It is black humor at its finest. I began to try to weave black humor into all my work. And that scene where Ruth Gordon throws the ring into the lake? It makes me cry every time. The movie is a wonderful lesson: comedy can still have heart.


Victor Victoria and Personal Best. I saw these two movies as a double feature. Only in Tulsa would they put these two movies together. I guess they thought they both had a gay theme, so… I walked out of the theatre and sat in my car, thinking, for an hour before driving home. It was the moment that everything crystallized for me. Thank you, Mariel Hemingway, for introducing to my big, bad lesbian self.


Desert Hearts. I don’t really need to explain this one, do I? One of my favorite lines: “I’m keeping my robe on.”

“Well, everyone has their limits.”

That’s probably not verbatim, but once again, I’m too lazy to look it up. It’s that way in my head and I’m too stubborn to change it.


These days I don’t have to look too far to find inspiration. Now that Amazon and Netflix are producing their own movies, old rules have flown out the window and there are scores of creative, mind-expanding movies.

What are some of my newest favorites? La La Land. Wonder Woman. Anything with Melissa McCarthy. Anything done by Christopher Guest. What a genius that man is! Plus, he has Jamie Leigh Curtis as his wife, proving that comedy is sexy AF.

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite movies are and how they changed your life or way of thinking.

*This book will change your life.

Old paper (primer)

*not true

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Reasons Trump Won

I’ve spent a lot of time since Nov. 8th depressed. I have tried to figure out why a moron would be elected our president. I have read several books on the subject, watched all of Robert Reich’s videos, and talked to people who voted for him. Here are the reasons (not in any order) that I believe we now have an idiot as our Commander in Chief:

1) Many Republicans vote for their party regardless. They do it because their mammy and pappy did it. They’re too lazy to think, so they always vote Republican.

2) Racism. We are suffering blowback because a black man was just president. Think of politics as a pendulum. It swings one way, then the other. We got a black president, and marriage equality. Now, we are suffering the blowback. Racism also applies to every Other – that is not white.

3) Misogyny. No way do men (who are still in charge of almost all things) want a woman president. It’s another blowback. See above.

4) Money. They are under the mistaken impression that they won’t have to pay so much in taxes with a Republican president. They’re wrong, but they don’t know that. Yet.

5) Money. They think Don the Con will bring their jobs back. Again, they’re wrong, but they don’t know that.

6) Abortion. We are still suffering blowback from a law that’s 43-years-old. They think they can change this law. They can’t. They lost that battle a long time ago. But it’s a GOP war cry, and they still believe it.

7) Donald Trump is a reality TV star (note the present tense). And as the old saying in Hollywood goes: “All publicity is good publicity.” And he got plenty of publicity. They think it was all good fun to elect him to the highest office in the land. They really think he’s going to point his tiny finger at somebody and say “You’re fired.” It’s not unusual for the general population to elect a celebrity to an office they are totally unqualified for. (Remember Reagan?) They saw his face weekly on their boob tube and liked his show. His name drew ratings. He was elected because he was familiar and funny to watch.

The media was responsible for a large portion of this.

The only thing this new reality show, “President Apprentice,” is lacking is a laugh track.

8) The Russians did it. I firmly believe Trump would not have won without help from the Russians. And it goes deep. Way deep. Past Don the Con, past Pence and Ryan. We’re going to find out that Putin is pulling the strings on most Republicans. And it’s been happening for a long time.

9) Republicans cornered the Christian market. People now equate Republicans with Christianity. They think Democrats are godless. This belief has been fifty years in the making.

What conservative Christians don’t seem to realize is that they always lose. Throughout history, they have always lost. In the long run. They lost over the abortion issue, over putting the ten commandments inside public school buildings, over allowing women in the military, over marriage equality… Yes, we have a long way to go before winning entirely. But we will get there.

But first, we need to understand the mind of the Republican. The don’t want healthcare for the masses. Or food stamps. Or a living wage. They want the Wild West times. Vigilante justice and every man for himself. Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. If you are an Other, handicapped, sick, or a woman, you are dispensable. Sad!

The only way to get  through to these people is to hit their pocketbooks. Then we could turn enough people win this war.

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SFTH cover3



Kathy Griffin’s Head on a Platter

I’m going to say it right up front. The photo with Kathy Griffin holding up a fake decapitated head of Trump did not offend me. I will admit that I can totally see how it would offend somebody else. Somebody who, say, hasn’t seen all the blood and gore on TV lately, or seen a movie in the past twenty years, or is blind and hasn’t seen any print media since the 50s.


I don’t think KG should have apologized. She’s an artist. She had a right to to put out there whatever message she wanted even if most people didn’t like it. That’s what comedians do. Think about Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. They went to jail over some of the stuff they said. People hated them, booed them, protested them. Why? Because they dared to speak the truth.


“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, little Catholic school children would be wearing electric chairs on chains around their necks instead of crosses.” ~Lenny Bruce


And that’s exactly what KG did. She spoke the unvarnished truth. To me, the severed head represented my feelings about Trump. It was like she reached into my heart and pulled out the feelings I now have for Trump, the Republicans, and the so-called christians. Then she held up my blob of hate for all the world to see. She forced me to look at what was living inside me, and you know what? I didn’t like what I saw.

KG made me think. And I am grateful for that.

A lot of people on social media lambasted her for that photo. Especially the right. Then the left came back saying, Hey! What about all those lynching photos you showed of Obama? And all those effigies you burned?

Let me make this straight: A photo of lynching a black man is not equal to a photo of a white man’s decapitated head. Why? Because lynchings are reality. They have happened and are still happening. Black men are still afraid that it could happen to them—and for a very good reason. I don’t know of a single instance where a white man was decapitated by a small, white woman. The threat is extremely farfetched.

There is something else I want people to examine: KG is not the first celebrity to get in trouble for “going too far.” Remember the Dixie Chicks? At one of their concerts they said they didn’t support Bush and the backlash was immediate. How about Sinead O’Connor? She tore up a photo of the Pope and was hung out to dry. Amy Schumer? She has said that she doesn’t think the mentally ill should be allowed to own guns. That’s it. The mentally ill should not own guns. People walked out of her concerts for her saying that. The reason she said this is because a mentally ill man walked into a theatre that was showing her movie Trainwreck and killed two random, innocent women.


“All we were fighting for was for people who have been convicted of domestic violence or if they are severely mentally ill, like, I don’t think you should be able to get a gun. … What a lot of people hear is: ‘You want to take all our guns!’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god, no, you seem great. You should get more guns.’ I’m just talking about the severely mentally ill — ‘You’re taking all our Amendments. What’s next — you’re going to fuck animals?’ And I’m like, ‘I’ve been fucking animals for my whole life, sir.’”


What do these recent celebrities have in common? Yes, they’re all liberals, but there’s something else. They are women. Our society does not let women speak their mind. Especially if they are of a liberal bent.

Need further proof? Here it is. Ted Nugent mimed looking down the scope of a rifle, said he’s going to blow Hillary away, and nothing happened to him. In fact, he was invited to the White House to meet Trump.


Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued, “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” (Quoted from Rolling Stone magazine)


I am not asking you to say or think what Kathy Griffin did was okay. I am, however, asking you to not to jump on the Republican bandwagon. She has the right to perform her art. She is an artist, a comedian, and that’s what they do. They bravely wade through all the muck that others won’t. They have the courage to hold that mirror up to society and make us look at it.

The conservative Republicans are behind this liberal outcry over KG’s photo. You know how a pack of dogs can turn on itself? That’s what they have made us do—turn on ourselves. As women, we can’t afford to do that.


Book Two is here!

SFTH cover3

Available by clicking here!

Why Lesfic?

The single most asked question I get as a writer is “Why don’t you write mainstream fiction?” In other words, why don’t I write about straight people?  Let me begin by saying that most of the askers have good intentions. They are under the impression that mainstream fiction is somehow better than lesbian fiction. They think I would make more money, or that I would gain more recognition writing mainstream. Both of those assumptions are false.


The reason I write lesfic is because I am a lesbian. It has been said, “Write what you know.” It makes me wonder if a black person is ever asked “Why don’t you write about white people?” Did James Baldwin or Toni Morrison ever get asked that?

Was Amy Tan ever thought of as lesser because she wrote about her culture?

I am a lesbian. I write about lesbian lives, romances, dramas, and comedies because that is where my heart is. It’s what I know. I don’t understand straight people. I don’t understand a single freakin’ thing about their relationships. It’s like entering a foreign land where I don’t speak the language.

There’s just something about seeing myself on the page that excites me. It validates me. It makes me feel so not alone. I would rather read or write about lesbians any day over straight people.

Reason number two why I write lesfic: because that is where I am needed most. Mainstream fiction doesn’t need nor want me. I can make a mark in lesfic. I feel needed and appreciated there. I know with the advent of self-publishing we have a lot of lesfic writers. Some say too many. I say not enough. We need more lesbian writers. We need more lesbian readers. There is never too much of a good thing. Fifteen years ago, there was only Naiad. I’m ever glad they were there, but it was a monopoly. That meant whatever Naiad wanted, that’s all we had. Now that lesbians are self-publishing the stories are more varied than ever. Envelopes are being pushed. I love that! Homogenization is going away!

I love being the mirror that is held up before the eyes of lesbians. It makes me proud. I am so blessed that my work has a home. A home where I feel useful and wanted.

To all my readers out there—I don’t care if you’re lesbian, gay, straight, male or female, trans, genderqueer, bi, non-binary, or whatever—thank you for making me proud to be a lesfic writer.

Here’s my newest book!

Book Two of the True Heart series

SFTH cover3

Available by clicking here

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