What am I up to right now?

I thought it was about time I did an update on what’s going on in my life right now. You might not give a fig (LOL) but it’s nice to get it out there anyway. I’m told authors need to keep their profile fresh and ‘vibey’ so maybe this will help rekindle the love for my books and make me that million I’ve always wanted.

First on my list of bucket things to do was my recent trip to LA to meet my publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, and writing partner, actor Nicholas Downs. I’m not going to say too much about it here because you can read all about here

https://www.divinemagazine.biz/my-la-experience-the-trip-of-a-lifetime/

Suffice it to say it was the best trip of my life and I intend having more of them. Hence the need to make that million.

I came away from that adventure with contracts for six books from now until the end of 2018. I hope to get back to publishing a new book every 3-4 months. I’ve slacked off with writing due to other pressures I’d had but now’s the time to pull up my big girl pants, stope eating and sleeping, forget I have a family and a day job, and get those words written.

Those books are the ninth Men of London book, ‘Survival Games’ featuring Kyle Tripper, Vegas croupier and nightclub manager, and Eric Kirby, paramedic, from Hard Climate. It’s the story of two survivors -one of spousal abuse, the other of losing a lover he couldn’t save.

Then there’s the eagerly anticipated ‘Living on Air’ (oh, is that just me? Right then…) This is a stand -alone novel depicting a psychotic paedophile priest (try saying that three times quickly), an abused youth turned man who finds solace in self-harming, and hides away as an aerialist in a circus, and a world-weary war photographer who wants to find the beauty in life again instead of cruelty and death. Bring these last two together and it’s a little like the witches’ boiling pot in Macbeth-

‘Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ Sparks will fly, blood will spill, emotions will run at fever point – oh and did I mention there’s clowns? Sorry to all you coulrophobics out there. I can give you some solace though -it isn’t IT.

Lastly for now, I’m writing a new spin off series from the Men of London book, ‘Feat of Clay’ featuring Clay Mortimer, former SAS operative, and Tate Williams, undercover DEA cop. Personally, I think this was one of my most under rated books. I adore this cover out of all my MOL covers, and the fact this was a story based on an existing relationship made it special to me. The chaps are coming back in a new series called Fetish Alley. It’s going to be sassy, funny, tongue in cheek madness with a mystery spin and of course, two hot men and their relationship. And yes, the word ‘fetish’ is exactly what it means. But you’ll have to stick around to find exactly what it’s all about. Tate’s education in weird is about to get very intense.

I’m also toying with the idea of a short Leslie and Oliver story, if I can stop breathing long enough to write it. (My take on this is that I’ve given up everything else and this is all I have left.) I want to write about Leslie and his new corset range with Debussy Fashion and how he makes Oliver his muse and model. Imagine Oliver in a corset and high heels. Teamed with the feisty Leslie, this would be one spectacular sight.

I’ve also been extremely busy with Divine Magazine well. Being Editorial Manager is a lot of hard work. I can say though that I‘ve been privileged to meet, speak to and interview some wonderful people like David Booher, whom I had the pleasure of having dinner with in LA,  and Scott McGlynn, who has the most lovely Welsh accent. I’m also talking to Guillaume Sanchez who’s a fascinating character. All of these interviews will be featured soon.

As for The Being Me Campaign, of which I’m a Board Trustee, we’ve been busy behind the scenes building up what’s needed for 2017. I’m co-ordinating a wonderful charity anthology with Louis Harris from CoolDudes Publishing where sales of this book will benefit the charity. My story, ‘Strawberry Kisses’ has been submitted. I’d like to thank all the authors who are working with us on this for contributing their time and effort to help out the charity.

Jack L Pyke                          Heather C Leigh

Duncan Swallow                 Melissa Costa

J P Bilbao                             Amelia Faulkner

Louisa Mae                          Jennifer Slusher

Valynda King                      Violet Joicey-Cowan

Susan Mac Nicol                Rhys Christoper Ethan

Melissa Costa                     Alex Jane

Sherri Jordan Asble         Lane Swift

Heather C Leigh                Dilo Keith

On a non-writing note, I’m off to South Africa with my husband and daughter to see family from 1-14th May. I’ll be in Cape Town and the West Cape so it’s going to be epic. Sun, sea, sand, wine, beer and family.

I’m at shiMMer in July, Brighton Pride in August, going to Dublin with a friend in September and hopefully then the travelling stops for a bit.

And I think I’ve said enough. I will leave you with this picture……I’m sure you’ll fit right in.

 

Sight Unseen Release Day is here !!

Release Blitz, Sight Unseen by International Bestselling Author Susan Mac Nicol with L.A. producer and Hollywood Actor Nicholas Downs

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Sometimes we don’t see love coming

Based on an idea from L.A. producer and actor, Nicholas Downs, Susan and Nicholas have developed a story straight from the heart.

In a gripping tale of lovers fighting against the odds

comes a story of universal appeal about rejection and acceptance

and finally finding what is real and true.

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BLURB

Tragedy brings together a reserved but brilliant sculptor and an outgoing gallery owner, friends whose love was sidetracked but was always meant to be deeper.

BLINDSIDED

SoCal natives, Nate and Cody have been friends since childhood. Both knew they were different—and the same. At seventeen, a stolen weekend in the Florida Keys drove their connection deeper and hotter than either could imagine. They were meant to be together. Then, for reasons only Nate knows, suddenly they weren’t.

They’re still friends. Best friends. But they’ve moved on and found other partners. The yearning remains, however, despite the long-ago secret that drove them apart, when tragedy strikes, both men find themselves in the dark. They must grope their way back to who and what they are…which they will find in each other’s arms. Sometimes, losing one’s sight can open one’s eyes—and heart.

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BOOK LINKS

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2gONa4B

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXPNOA5

iTunes http://bit.ly/SightUnseen2gJNrtj

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/SightUnseen2gblQO9

Kobo http://bit.ly/SightUnseen2gYnYwq

Boroughs http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/sight-unseen

GOODREADS

Click I want to read and add to your TBR shelf

http://bit.ly/SightUnseenGoodreads

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BOOK TRAILER

SIGNING NEWS

Author Susan Mac Nicol is going to the States.

Would you love to meet International Bestselling Author Susan Mac Nicol & L.A. producer and Hollywood Actor Nicholas Downs? Now’s your chance!!

It’s a dream come true for Sue and she’s honoured to be signing Sight Unseen with Boroughs Publishing Group and actor Nicholas Downs at this conference from 25-26th March.

If you’re interested in attending this signing, either as an author or a reader, here is the link.

https://caldreaminwriters.com/

The 2017 conference will be at : Embassy Suites in Brea, California.

Address: 900 E Birch St, Brea, CA 92821

There will also be a very special signing event at The Abbey, an iconic gay club in West Hollywood. Nicholas and Sue will be there to enjoy the evening, meet fans of both their genres in film and publishing and be available to sign books, chat and have some fun. If you’re in the area, please pop down and see them, they’d no doubt love to see you.

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This is the room they’ll be signing in, isn’t it fabulous. It’s the Cabana Bar.

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CONNECT WITH SUSAN & NICHOLAS

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Twitter: @SightUnseenPR

Instagram: @sightunseenla

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Sight-Unseen-The-Project-1547502492221078/

Susan

www.susanmacnicol.net

Nicholas

www.nicholasdowns.com

Susan Mac Nicol Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/authorsusanmacnicol/

Nicholas Downs Fan Page
https://www.facebook.com/Nicholas-Downs-97159977384/

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Hey 2017!! I’m over here.

So the New Year has arrived with a shy kiss and a gentle caress. It’s the start of something fresh, new beginnings that let us plan and decide how our future may look. I for one have a lot planned this year and I mean to make the most of it. Top of my list though (no, not a New Year’s Resolution, as I don’t believe in those, this is more my To Do list) is getting back into writing. You may not have known this, but the last year to eighteen months has been tough for me.  There’s been an insecure demon sitting on my shoulder who has led me down a dark path and made me doubt myself and my abilities to bring stories into the world.

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And I still don’t know why. I simply lost my passion for my craft and that in itself triggered a huge backlash, a sense of failure which fed on my own insecurities. 2017 is my chance to get back that writing passion and try and immerse myself once again in words.

And boy, 2017 is looking like a great year for me.  So without further ado, let me tell you a bit about it.

Firstly, Sight Unseen comes out for release on January 26th. This book is the result of a partnership between me and my wonderful friend and collaborator, the amazing Nicholas Downs. In life, we are meant to meet people who come to mean something to us. I had no idea when I first interviewed Nicholas for Divine Magazine (at the bequest of the Divine CEO who thought Nicholas was hot and sexy and wanted to feature him) that it would form a lasting relationship that led to us to this point. I mean, you can see why he thought this, right? This is Nicholas. Sigh. The man looks so good in a suit. And a cowboy hat. And a plaid shirt…nicholas_suit_128_web_only

Bottom line, we had respect for each others’ talents – me for writing and Nicholas for acting – and decided we’d create a medium to bring both of these to bear in that of a potential film creation.

Nicholas provided the story line in the screen play he’d already written, I developed it into a novel and together we’re writing the screen play to potentially bring it to the screen. It’s been an amazing journey for both of us, learning about each other’s industries and melding them together to where we are today. And not only are we doing this but -SQUEEE! I get to travel to LA in March next year to attend a conference with my publisher, Boroughs and do a series of book signings with Nicholas, even get to stay with him and his husband Nick for a couple of nights. I am so damned excited. And not only do I get to hob-nob with Nicholas and Nick, I get to meet my publisher for the first time.

Boroughs are quite simply, amazing. They have treated me with absolute respect, compassion on the bad days, and LOVE. Yes, it’s tough to say this about someone you’ve never met but the CEO, Michelle Klayman, has been a rock for me. Not only is she a fantastic editor, making my stories flow better and offering advice and support, but she’s also there when I need to vent or talk to someone. She’s like a big sister, only tougher. Smarter lol. Boroughs’ faith in me when I have floundered myself and had doubts has been heartening and welcome. I am so looking forward to giving Michelle the hug she deserves when I arrive to stay with her at her home with her husband Miguel. Bless him, he even asked her whether he was expected to make me Bubble and Squeak! I told her an emphatic No, I’m in his country now so anything other English food is what I want. Mexican sounds good…

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I’ll be at the California Dreamin’ Conference and at various other locations in Los Angeles with Nicholas and Michelle but more to follow on the itinerary once we get it all confirmed. And another SQUEE! I’m hoping to catch up with the supremely talented voice over artist and actor Jason Frazier ( we owe each other a drink at Chateau Marmont, it’s a long story…) and *sigh* hoping to finally meet the most awesome and fabulous of writers Cody Kennedy. This particular coming together of souls has been a long time coming.

I’ll be back from the US at the end of the March then jetting off again to Cape Town, RSA to visit family at the beginning of May. The wonderful thing about this holiday is that my whole family is going over, my husband, my kids, and my daughter in law. It’s going to be wonderful seeing my mum and sister again and touching base with my brothers in law.

I’m signing at the fabulous event in Birmingham in July, the ShiMMer Author Event, which promise to be a great day out seeing old friends and readers. If you haven’t already made a plan to attend this, you should. It’s going to be awesome.

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In August I’m at Brighton Pride with friends and in September, my best pal and author friend John Trevillian and I are off to Dublin for a creative few days, writing, gaining inspiration and drinking wine no doubt.

Oh and did I mention I’m also a trustee for the Being Me Campaign which I’m hoping will see a busy and fruitful year, as well as taking back my old position as Editorial Manager for Divine Magazine, because I really missed this. This particular role has bought with it many opportunities, not least of which was meeting Nicholas.

Heh. Luckily I have a very understanding boss at the day job who simply rolls his eyes and says ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, Sue. You do what you need to do.’ I’m blessed to be where I am with such lovely people who really care about my ‘other life’ and encourage me. Eunisure, you rock !!

So busy, busy, busy…oops, sorry in all the excitement I forget to tell you about the writing plans. *Facepalms* In between all this I’m co-writing a screenplay, have to finish writing Living on Air, (my ‘circus’ book) and possibly carry on writing the ninth Men of London book as well, Survival Game which is Kyle and Eric’s story from Hard Climate. I have so many other books planned, and some truly exciting ideas and I need to get cracking if I want to bring them all to life. I need lots of coffee and mince pies and a healthy dose of ‘slap me silly when I lose focus’.

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So that’s me for this year and no doubt there’ll be a lot more happening and I’ll let you know as it does.  To those people who helped and encouraged me over the past years and no doubt will continue to do so because that’s the kind of people they are-  Joanne Swinney, Val Degeorge, Kirsty Bicknell, JP Bilbao, Rita R, Janice Birnie, Petra Andrea, Karen Jones, Anders Rodskar, Isa Jones, Ann Alaskan and myriad of others (forgive me if I haven’t mentioned you specifically but you are legion lol)  who kept me sane and also indulged my girlish passion for Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Lambert – thank you. You are all the spokes in my wheel without which, there would be no turning and moving forward.

To the bloggers who’ve ever allowed me space on their blogs to promote or share something, you are truly the other wheels of this industry that keep it turning. And to my fellow authors who give so much of themselves in many ways without expecting anything in return- you have my eternal gratitude and appreciation.

May 2017 be everything you want, need and deserve and if I can help you in any way to reach your own goals and dreams, all you have to do is shine this bat signal and I’ll be there.

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SYNERGY IS BETTER THAN YOUR WAY OR MY WAY. IT’S OUR WAY.

Stephen Covey

 

What’s going on in my life…

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I’ve been somewhat of a busy bee lately, trying to get my head around the fact it’s already the 1st April 2016 and there’s so much going on. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong..I just need a plan. So now I’m back to focusing on the writing side of my creativity, I’m hoping to move things along and making all those things I’ve had simmering in the back ground a reality.

piZap_1459197487914Damaged Goods (book 7 Men of London) will be released on 28th April, so I’m gearing up for the release blitz, getting the ARC prepared and myriad other bits and pieces so I’m ready.

Jax and Dare will be with us soon and I’m hoping you’ll love their story. It’s a sweet, coming of age, first love tale with some bitter sweet moments.

 

piZap_1459197591408Hard Climate (book 8 Men of London) – this is finished and back from beta readers. It will be a potential July release. I left this story open for a potential book 9 or perhaps 10 as well…

Meet Ryan (the sexy diva in pink) and Mango -hard nosed eco-warrior. Again, a story with some laughs, some tears and a lot of fun.

 

20151012_155302_resized2Then I’m writing what I call my ‘circus’ book. I started writing Living on Air a while ago but it’s coming along nicely, seeing that I decided to change what I’d written from third person to first in alternating POV’s of the two MC’s. It flows much better this way and I love writing first person. I’m really getting into this story. Beware- it’s very dark, gritty and emotional and will definitely need trigger and content warnings. Oh and there are clowns too because it’s set in a circus. Sorry coulrophobics…This will not an easy bedtime read. I’m even scaring myself.

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I’m also working on a stand alone M/M story based on my original M/F Starlight series. This one is set in the world of film and theatre and is the story of Dylan and Alec, who we meet in Cassandra by Starlight and Together in Starlight. This was always planned as a 3 book series to finish off the tale, but I don’t want to write another M/F story. So Dylan and Alec get their own book , and happy ending. I’ve written it, but it needs some work though to make me happy with it before it goes anywhere else. I expect this to be released sometime towards the end of this year if all goes well.

I’ve started my own business too helping other authors. We may even have our first client.  I’m also working on a bespoke software development with a friend, that I hope will again make an author’s life easier. Soon all will be fully revealed. If you can’t wait, then check out http://www.theravencrestagency.com. I’m not actively marketing this yet but enquiries are welcome.

I’m also working on a project that may or not take off, but it’s an exciting one, and one I hope gets off the ground. If it works out, it will be a lot of fun. I don’t want to say too much on this yet because there are still things to be ironed out. Sorry to keep you hanging-not …

So all in all I think I’ll be kept busy for a while. Keep me filled with coffee, muffins and good music -Adam Lambert, Troye Sivan, The Killers, Sneaker Pimps and Imagine Dragons- and I’ll be alright. Inspired even….

 

Fly-boy meets Gaming Geek – Flying Solo Release

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It’s always exciting when an author has a new release. All those weeks or months of slogging away writing, doing edits, getting beta reader feedback and finally deciding what you have is good enough to be published-that’s a thrill and a half.

I have a new book releasing 28th January. It’s called Flying Solo and its book six in the Men of London series. You also can find the full book series on my website here.

Don’t you love this cover? A guy with a cheeky butt, a sexy scorpion tattoo…what’s not to love.

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This is what it’s all about…

Flight attendant Maxwell Lewis has spent years cultivating a bon vivant image only to find he finally wants something more—and that something more includes the never-does-repeats game designer Gibson Henry.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

Maxwell Lewis is proud of the life he’s made. Having turned tragedy into triumph, he’s now a beloved member of a Target Airlines cabin crew with more than his fair share of attention both in the air and on the ground. But lately he’s wanted something more than the occasional hook-up or sometime sex buddy—particularly after meeting game designer and passenger Gibson Henry.

Talented and driven, Gibson has built a company ready to be the next big thing in gaming. Devoted to his work, he takes one-time pleasures where he finds them and never does repeats…which is what he tells handsome, sexy Maxwell Lewis after a little mile-high flight attendance. But a chance encounter in a London club is about to change things forever. Two men, one who’s flown solo and another who’s only ever played alone, are about to find that at some point all games come to end, it’s time to bare your heart and try for love.

Character Inspiration

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The character of Maxwell is based on someone I know. My friend Warren Allen is sassy, a bit of a diva, loves to wind me up with the things he says, but to me, he’s also strong and dependable and so Maxwell.

And no, that’s not his butt on the cover although we both wish it was. You can actually read a bit more about Warren here. It was my first meeting with him and our friend Jakub, and boy, was it a night to remember…

I hope you enjoy this story and take Maxwell and Gibson into your hearts, as you’ve done with all the other Men of London. It’s a fun and wonderful series to write and there are still another two to come, plus a potential spin off series. More about that soon!

 

Suit Yourself Cover Reveal

The third book in the Men Of London series is here….and it’s pretty steamy.

You can watch the book trailer here

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Scarred both physically and emotionally after a motorcycle accident, twenty-five year old ex fashion model and porn star Oliver Brown is about to be stripped bare by flamboyant twink Leslie Scott—and they’ll rebuild love from the bottom up.

BARING THE BEAST

Twenty-five year old Oliver Brown is addicted. Two years ago, he was at the height of his career as “Nicky Starr,” fashion model, porn actor, partier without peer. Then came the accident. Hiding his scars, both emotional and physical, he’s gone into hiding. But fine clothing is some solace. A new suit by Debussy? Better even than a ride on his motorcycle Hulk or all the things he used to give and take on camera.

Enter Leslie Scott, the flamboyant, dark-haired, heel-and-tiny-short-wearing twink sent to deliver Oliver’s newest fix. A firecracker, Leslie is dapper, generous, in touch with his feminine side but all man, and as gorgeous as any garment ever made. He makes Oliver dream of ending his reclusion, of recapturing a future forever denied him. But for that to happen, Leslie would have to strip him to the bone. Only then will they rebuild life from the bottom up.

Want to find out more about the book and the characters?

Head down to www.nickystarr.co.uk  to visit his website and have a truly visual sexperience. Meet Nicky in all his glory and see what he has to say about the porn industry, love, and life in general. This is a website intended for over eighteens only and if you are easily offended, we suggest you stay away…

GOODREADS 

BOROUGHS PUBLISHING GROUP

 

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Excerpt- Suit Yourself
“Fuck, you look so hot,” Oliver said as he leapt onto the bed and straddled Leslie’s calves. “You have the perfect arse, you know that? Tight and just waiting for me.”
Leslie shivered, those words causing goose bumps to form on his over sensitive skin. “It could be the heel-wearing,” he mused. “I like to exercise my butt muscles when I wear them and dance. They say it’s a good way to tone up.” A hot body covered his and he closed his eyes in bliss.
“You wear heels?” Oliver’s tongue licked at his ear. “That is fucking sexy. I love that image.” His voice was husky, full of desire. “Will you wear them for me one day? Let me fuck you in them?”
Leslie’s heart filled with joy. He had a picture of himself on his phone in a corset, hat and heels. He’d have to show it to Oliver one day and get his engine even more revved up.
“Oh, God yes,” he exclaimed as Oliver’s tongue trailed down his shoulder blades and back. He gripped the bed sheets tighter at the sensation. “I have this pair of red ones you’ll like, and…oh, hell yes…” His voice tailed off in pure pleasure as Oliver parted his arse cheeks and lapped at his hole. Then the bliss of having fingers inside him, opening him wide, rendered him speechless. He gyrated and made little mewling kitten noises as Oliver proceeded to probe his hole, pushing his tongue inside him with wet, sloppy sounds that made Leslie’s cock throb.
He lost himself in the feeling of being explored, dominated and well and truly prepped. When he felt the cool dribble of lube at his hole and between his cheeks he sighed in relief and pushed his backside toward the man currently taking him to such pleasurable heights. When his hips were pulled up and Oliver’s cock nudged his entrance, Leslie pushed back and groaned as it sank deep inside him.

 

SY Fiona

 

Pre-order/Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Amazon France

Amazon Italy

True love and Hummingbirds

I came across a gentleman called Ted Hayes recently. We are both friends of Kindle Alexander and Ted mentioned he had read Stripped Bare and enjoyed it and was about to read Worth Keeping. Ted discovered M/M Romance novels shortly after the death of his long time partner Jack. The picture below is Ted and Jack- Ted is on the left.

Ted and JackWe talked and I found out that Ted has a remarkable story to tell, a really beautiful tale of love between two truly deserving men which I believed needed to be shared. There are some heartfelt wishes expressed in Ted’s missive at the end, which perhaps everyone in the world could sit up and take notice of. If they did, no doubt the world would be a much better place.  Ted tells me that Charlie Cochrane, Jake Wells and Ilene Cutler have been incredibly supportive about Ted telling his story because of its unique nature and tenderness so I thought I would do my bit for Ted too.

All about Ted and Jack

Ted is the oldest founding member of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Centre in Kingston, NY, which is arguably the largest rural Centre of its kind in the US.  This organisation began in 2005 with an exploratory group of 28.  At the close of 2013 it had a membership of over 1,800. Ted was also part of the Harvesting a Lifetime Project where teens and seniors met and recorded interviews- keepsake interviews in the effort of preserving stories and learning from their “elders.”

Hudson ValleyBefore Ted’s retirement in early 1995 he had a varied work life.  He was a chemist, minister, college professor and human resources counsellor.  Yet in all this time he says he did not come out until he was 47 years old—celibate all the years before. His Jack was his only partner.

Jack lived in New York and was coming back into the world after a 4-year period of mourning the death of his first partner, with whom he had 39 years of togetherness.  Ted was living nearly 2,000 miles away in Santa Fe and coming into the world after 52 years—47 in the closet—with the help of two long time friends.  Jack had placed an ad in the personals in a national gay newspaper, The Advocate, and when they still ran personals, and it caught Ted’s eye (along with 199 other men—Jack chose four with whom to carry on further correspondence) since Ted was planning on relocating to New York where there was a greater possibility of him finding a job calling for his training and skills.  They “courted” for about 6 months by letter and by telephone and with the exchange of photos.  They knew they loved each other before they met face to face.  I find this such a romantic story, it brings out the softy in me. Like a romance film…

man-i-love-trailer-titleTed says that those 199 other men have no idea what they missed and still marvels that Jack chose him but in doing so, it meant that Ted was privileged to be his primary caregiver the last year of his life—the most intimate of their time together. Sadly, Jack passed away at the age of 95 on May 2nd 2009 leaving a void in Ted’s life that will remain with him.

Ted shared this lovely story with us – I agree with him. There are things far stranger in life that we can sometimes dream about in fiction.

hummingbird When my Jack and I relocated to the Kingston, NY area in 1995, two of our friends owned and operated a delightful business—The Bird Watchers’ Country Store—in High Falls. Not too long afterward they got us hooked on hummingbirds and we always placed a feeder with nectar outside our screened-in back porch in early May. Our friends encouraged us to put it out the first week in May. We followed their advice even though we never saw hummingbirds at our feeder prior to the second week in May. Never!

On May 1, 2009, less than 24 hours before Jack died he “reminded” me to get the feeder ready. At first, I suggested that we wait until the following week because of our record with the little ones. But he insisted and, of course, I could not say no to him. So I set it up so he could know we were ready.

During the night Jack died. Early morning on May 2, 2009, as two friends and I sat out on that porch putting the finishing touches on his obituary, not one, not two, but three hummingbirds came to taste that year’s “crop” of nectar. The next year, and each one since, I prepared the feeder on the first of May. Since that day in 2009 no hummingbirds have appeared at the feeder prior to the second week in May. 

Try to convince me that the ones that visited that morning in 2009 weren’t there simply to pay their respects.

Ted was privileged to officiate at the wedding of the two long time friends—mentioned above—on December 14, of 2013, four months AFTER they had celebrated their 40th year together as a couple.   They knew and loved Jack since they had travelled together on a couple of occasions and they wanted to come to New York from Tennessee to be married in the room at the Centre which was named after Jack and Ted.

What a wonderful emotional moment that must have been.

This is something Ted wrote about Jack which I wanted to share with you as I think it encapsulates a tenderness and understanding that perhaps sometimes get lost in the fast pace of the world we know today.

The love of my life has died at the age of 95.  You probably didn’t know him.  Truly, truly that was your loss.  He was the kindest, gentlest, most loving person I have ever known.  All who knew him loved and respected him for who and what he was.   As for me, my life is a thing of greater beauty and purpose simply because he was a part of it.  In all our years together I was truly able to say every day, “I love him more today than I did yesterday.”

 He was one of that rapidly diminishing group of veterans of World War II.  He served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Fortunately, he never had to kill anyone.  He was a great lover of all life.  And, oh, how he loved animals. And he generously supported those organizations whose purpose was their protection.

 He supported the community in many ways both culturally and socially.  He supported organizations that were developed to advocate for the disenfranchised, the minority, and the poor.  He never was in trouble with the law and never shunned his responsibility as a tax-paying citizen nor did he ever shirk any other responsibility expected of the citizens of our country.  

 A truly model citizen you might say?  Indeed!  Yet, many who never met him nor ever came in contact with him – mostly people who identified as Christian — demanded that he be both condemned socially and be denied equality of citizenship.  Some even clamored for his death!  Why?  It was simply because he was gay.   

He was not raised in a home where he was exposed to any religion.  But I will tell you one thing: I saw in him a person much more like Jesus than many, many of those who sought to condemn him in the name of Jesus.

 We were life partners for decades and there is a great void in my life because he is gone.  Although known as a loving person, I never knew I could either love or be loved as deeply and completely as I experienced with him.  As we prepared for his death, we talked about many things.  One that broke his heart more than any other was the “Christian” attitude toward us.  He never hurt one of them — ever!.  So he could not understand why those “godly” people so despised us and demanded that we be relegated to no better than second-class status in the country of our births.  He never could grasp how our being married would have harmed another’s marriage in the slightest, especially since many of those who condemned us experienced three or more spouses during the time we were a loving, monogamous couple.  And so we were separated without our loving relationship ever having been recognized legally as a family.

 A democracy is defined as the “practice or principles of social equality.”  That he, who loved, was loyal to and served his country — allegedly a democracy — was not granted equality during his lifetime, is an indictment against that claim.  I will never forgive my country for that.

Ted campaignTed was awarded the Founders Award from the LGBTQ Centre in 2012 where he’d worked so tirelessly to support others. This is the video from the event and thanks to Ilene Cutler for allowing me to share this here with you today.

http://vimeo.com/45855546

Thanks so much to Ted, Irene, Charlie and Jake for their contributions to this post and I hope that some of Jack and Ted’s words and views might give you an insight on the world from their perspective.