1) If you wrote an autobiography, what would its title be and why?
Stumbling into Beauty, I think. Like everyone else’s, my story is full of drama — orphaned at age five, childhood sexual abuse, minister in a church that had no room for my true sexuality, taking my private pilot’s license, conducting a community orchestra, trying to live as straight, breakdown, divorce and bankruptcy, starting over, getting sober, surviving dances with cancer. The list goes on. Everyone’s list does.
I’ve been lucky, though. Over and over through my particular journey I’ve inadvertently discovered beauty as a gift inside seeming hardship, some glimmer that has always led me to claim some undiscovered fragment of myself I hadn’t known I was missing.
The result is I have more sense of wonder at life and the world in general now than I did as a boy. I’m happier than I’ve ever been before, and sharing my stories is a big part of why. Being married to a wonderful man doesn’t hurt, either!
2) What has your writing/ blogging journey been like from the start until now?
It’s been an odd journey. I mostly wrote poetry before I came out, even published two books of it. Since then I’ve written mostly long fiction. For the first few years, none of it got finished, let alone published.
I’d never spent a night in a hospital before my first cancer surgery a few years after I got sober. As I lay in bed floating on a morphine cloud, a voice told me very firmly that since I’d always wanted to write stories, I’d better get on with it because I was now on bonus time.
So I’ve been tenaciously disciplined about my writing ever since, a direct gift of that crisis in 2003. I’m very grateful. I’m not prolific, but I do work at writing (or its demanding ancillary activities) every day.
Sadly, my blogging journey has been less disciplined, but I’m working on it. I’m not big on sharing recipes, or pet pictures (no pet at the moment) and humor has never been my long suit. Can’t talk about politics, which is a good thing, I guess. I just get too angry, and that’s no good to anyone.
In blogging and my writing, my central interest is exploring the spiritual or metaphysical aspects of same-sex attraction. Those metaphysical components are a huge part of my tribe’s gift to the world. I’d love to be part of finding good ways to give that gift, and good ways for the world at large to receive it with more understanding.
3) What do you hope to get from UK Meet that’s different from other conferences?
I’m hoping to find a different reception among readers in the UK and Europe, where the tastes and expectations in gay fiction seem slightly different, maybe even more adventurous; at least my experience to date suggests that!
All speculation aside, I’m just looking forward to the experience as an adventure. It will be my first writing-related event outside North America, and I’m excited about that.