Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month. Today, Oct 15th, is the day especially set aside for remembrance.

When I first started researching Summer Symphony I found little to help men deal with the pain of losing an unborn child. At the very end, when nearly all the final edits were done, one of my beta readers came across Grieving Dads. It is one of the only online places we could find where men were able to connect and share over the devastating losses they suffered. I asked the host of that forum, Kelly Farley,  to stop by and share a little insight with us.

To My Knees

farley52I was lucky enough to live 35 years without having to deal with any adversity in my life.  Yes, there were the normal bumps in the road that most people go through, but nothing that brought me to my knees.

In 2004 and right before my 36th birthday, my luck had run out when I lost my first child and daughter Katie.  The death of my daughter dealt a blow that was staggering.  However, due to my upbringing and how I thought I was supposed to respond as a man, I refused to allow myself to feel the impact that had been inflicted upon on me.  Instead, I stood back up as quickly as possible before someone saw me in a moment of weakness.
[Read more…]

Stonewall Veterans Kickoff Compassion Relay

Erica Kay-Webster and David Bermudez, veterans of the Stonewall rebellion in NYC, kick off a Global Compassion Relay from Cape Cod, Massachusetts and pass it on to AIDS/LifeCycle riders in San Francisco, to Los Angeles, Tanzania, Botswana and around the world to reach the opening of the 2014 Compassion Games on September 11, 2014.

To learn more about the activities planned in your city visit CompassionGames.org

 

 

LGBT Music Monday – Father Christmas Knows

Love this new song about a homeless kid at Christmas. Listen to the words. December proceeds from this song are donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust to aid homeless LGBT youth.  Happy Holidays!

Music Monday – Neil Cribbs

Neil CribbsMusician Neil Cribbs was playing at  the Atlanta Pride Fest a few weeks ago, and I didn’t get a chance to go. So I did the next best thing, I went over to Youtube to see what the man was about. I wasn’t disappointed, and I will make it a point to see him the next time I have a free moment. If you like blues and soul as much as I do, you’ll likely love his sound. Check him out below. You can find more on his website or connect with him on Twitter. I would also like to make note of the fact that Neil does extensive volunteer work at the local children’s hospitals, bringing music and smiles whenever he enters.

Disclaimer: I usually feature LGBT artists on this blog, but I don’t know Neil’s orientation, and frankly I don’t care. I like his music.

 

Because Life – An Update

To those who have come to expect more frequent postings from me, I apologize for failing to post anything of substance lately. Simply put, it’s been one of those hectic periods in which the demands of life have left little time for blogging, writing, or simply keeping fans updated.

So here we go, an update to keep you updated because I have no time to update regularly.

Book 2 of the Cold series, Heart of Timber is in its final stages.

Heart of Timber - Brandon ShireWithin the next few weeks I’ll be sending it to the beta readers, editor, and cross-checking facts with my consultants. I expect the novel to come out mid-October, but we may hold it until after GRL.

GayRomLit 2013 in Atlanta.

I won’t be there. In fact I won’t be in town at all. I had planned to meet many of the authors I talk with regularly and several fans that asked about having coffee/lunch.  This will not be possible. Pride is also a nonevent for me.

10,000 Books Sold

We are just shy of having sold 10k books. As an indie writer with no time, no Facebook page, and no marketing budget, I think this is phenomenal. Each one of those sales is directly due to the encouragement and persistence of my fans.  They have helped spread the word and have aided us in raising awareness (and $$$) for homeless LGBT kids. Thank you so much.

Works in Progress

Readers have asked me about putting a special page up for WIPs. If you’d be interested in seeing this, let me know.  The main reason I don’t have one now is that I have many WIPs in various stages. I do not know when (or if) they will come to market. Both the muse and the demands of life dictate on what gets worked on and when.

However, next year I plan to have at least one of the LGBT Sci-fi series novels available. I will be backing off on the MM Romance for a while, but the muse really wants me to work on a romance story based in Croatia. (She usually gets what she wants first.)

Fundraising for Homeless LGBT Youth

LGBT Fundraising MM RomanceTo date, fans have helped raise over $3000 for homeless kids through various programs related to my writing/books. We also have a new fundraiser going on through Razoo with a long term goal of $25K. Some have said this is an unrealistic, I don’t believe that. There are too many people who still don’t know about the plight of homeless lgbt and the fundraiser is just as much about educating them as it is about raising money. Currently, we’re just $146 short of our short-term goal of $1000. Donate.

Maybe A New Publisher?

I have discussed submitting future work to an established publisher with J. Time currently spent on other aspects of self-publishing could be better spent actually writing, and working with a publisher would free up a lot more time for me. J and I are still looking into it.

Have Questions?

If you have questions or comments the best place to ask is in our Goodreads group. If I’m not around, my  fans are always happy to engage. [Caution: They’re a feisty bunch. 🙂 ]

 

The hardest lessons

“You can’t save everyone.” 

These were the hardest four words I ever heard in my life and they were given to me by a spiritual mentor who picked me up from the floor and held me after I heard the news of the suicide of a very close personal friend. I have never gotten over the death of my friend, but her death prompted change in my own life and in the lives of others that were touched by her presence. 

This month, Lost-n-Found was informed of the death of a young man who approached them for help, and then left the program because he didn’t think he could stop doing drugs. I don’t work directly with the LnF board, or any of the volunteers. I’m just one of those spreading the news about the work they do. But I know personally how something like this hits you. Hard and below the belt.  [Read more…]

LGBT Youth Prostituting for Survival

From the Front Line: A weekly post about what Lost-n-Found, a Homeless LGBT Youth organization in Atlanta, deals with on a daily basis. Names are changed or removed to protect the youth. 

lgbt youth nonprofitFrom the Hotline for Homeless LGBT Youth:

Often when we talk about LGBT kids prostituting themselves for survival, people automatically think of some kid standing on a street-corner waiting for a john to cruise by and pick them up. And while that does happen, too often there’s a more insidious form of prostitution going on behind the guise of a safe place to stay. [Read more…]

Teacher Shares Closely Guarded Dirty Secret

secretInstinctively, I knew it was bad. Yet, until September of 2012, I had no idea how bad. Ignorant. I was ignorant. Plain, simple, and completely inexcusable.

What didn’t I know? 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

Why was it shocking that I did NOT know this stat? This past academic year was my twentieth year teaching mathematics; more than half of my career has been spent teaching at the college level in Boston.  Shouldn’t this be something I knew??? Sadly, the depth of my ignorance gets worse. By September of 2012, I was already actively supporting a wonderful young person discarded by family due to sexual orientation. I knew and loved a LGBT homeless teen. I thought it was an anomaly. As I spent that September night combing the university’s research holdings on the plight of LGBT youth, I had two main thoughts. [Read more…]

Locked in a Basement for Being Gay

A weekly post about what Lost-n-Found, a Homeless LGBT Youth organization in Atlanta, deals with on a daily basis. Names are removed to protect the youth. 

lgbt youth nonprofitFrom the Hotline for Homeless LGBT Youth:

2:37 PM: The Hotline gets a phone call from a gay youth who states that his mother has locked him in a basement because he’s gay. She left him his phone and a pop-tart.

Further investigation reveals that this 17-year-old has already been to the police. His situation at home was so bad that he ran away. (He is an African American youth and his family is Muslim and will not tolerate his sexuality.) [Read more…]

Deaf, Gay, and Left Homeless By His Parents

lgbt youth nonprofitFrom the Hotline for Homeless LGBT Youth:

We hear a lot of youths’ stories on the HOTLINE and most would simply wretch your heart. This cry for help started out that way, but quickly turned to a positive. 

 

We got a call from a gentleman that had run into a young man that he thought we could help. We asked that he give the youth our number and to have him contact us so that we could verify his story.

The youth could not call but could text because he is deaf. His mother had him declared mentally unstable and got him onto disability, so she could control the money. [Read more…]