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#LGBT Push Back Giveway and more!

 

I’m rarely serious in my blog, but today’s post is very serious, indeed.

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Read the full post here

LGBT people make up less than 10% of the overall population, yet 40% of homeless kids in the U.S. identify as LGBT. Of them, 68% cited family rejection for the reason they were on the streets. Studies have repeatedly shown that homeless LGBT kids are more at risk of being attacked, robbed, and raped than their heterosexual counterparts, more likely to engage in prostitution or survival sex, more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, and more likely to attempt or commit suicide. Despite this, less than 25% of homeless shelters cater for or specifically target LGBT kids, leaving them at the mercy of individual organizations who can pick and choose who they help and who they abandon on the streets. Laws such as Indiana’s SB 101 enshrine the legality of refusing service—including such basic assistance as food and shelter—to people specifically because they’re LGBT.

This isn’t about pizza. This is about creating a climate in which LGBT individuals feel isolated from and rejected by the rest of society. It’s about creating a climate in which parents feel justified for kicking their kids out on the street. It’s about cutting off any and all support networks which might otherwise be available to prevent kids from ending up on life’s scrapheap because of how they were born.

Want to read a happier ending?

Changing laws and attitudes takes time, and right now there are LGBT people in need who can’t afford to wait. The sooner we can help them, the better, and the more resources we have, the more help we can offer.

That’s why 224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.

Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.

Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.

Thank you.

50 Shades of Making Someone Feel Special

Gina's GameI had my family over for a BBQ yesterday. It’s always great to get together, especially with Meredith is home from London across the pond.

My middle niece, Gillian, (mother of 1.75 grandnieces) surprised me with this amazing gift to celebrate my recent writing success. She’d made me a game—a trivia game about me!

It contained 25 hand-written recipe cards (or as we writers like to call them, scene cards) with trivia questions on them. About me.

Now I talk all the time—if you’ve ever met me in person, you’ll know that. I’m a “think out loud” kind of person and sometimes don’t even need to have anyone there. I’ve solved several problems by writing emails to friends and by the time I get to the part where I’d hit send to solicit their advice, I had achieved my answer so I hit delete instead. 😉

But I never figured anyone was really listening. Even if we talked about something, I never thought they’d add it to long term storage. I was blown away by the amount Gillian knew about me to create these questions, and how much my family knew about my writing.

The family was divided into two teams, based on generation. My husband and sister and her partner as one team, while my other two nieces, Meredith and Gwendolyn, comprised the second team. Every time a team got a question right, grandniece Audrey toddled over and presented the winner with the penny (after being promised she’d get them back.)

It was close: 19 to 16 (Audrey might have been a bit generous with the pennies.) The younger generation won!

And here was me, thinking nobody really listened. In future, I’d better be more careful what I say!

Sample questions:
Name two books Gina has written.
Name one writer’s group Gina’s a member of.
Finish the name of this sub-genre: “Steam_ _ _ _”

I have the best family ever!

This is a great idea. If you ever want someone to feel special, for the price of a package of recipe cards and a little imagination, you can win someone’s heart forever.

Duck!

At the dog park. I’m still sick but the dogs still need their walkies.

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Last day in Mexico

We leave tomorrow. I’m still awfully sick and I hear I missed a wonderful concert and dinner. Instead I listed to the BBC radio play of Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”. It was very good. Benedict Cumberbatch played an angel.

I’ll carry on posting pict052 (640x427)ures of Mexico for a few more days.

If you know me, you know I love shopping, so here’s the Tuesday Market, a massive tent city that springs up one day a week out by the highway. You can get anything there, from electronics (I bought a laptop cooling pad for US$10.00 last year and  it works better than the $40.00 one I bought at Future Shop) to live chickens. Dinner anyone?

They have tables and tables piled with clothing. If you root through it, you can find some nice designer bargains. I got a wonderful long sleeve T-shirt for 50 pesos (about $4.50) and a sparkly little top that I wore to a fancy dinner for 20 pesos (about $1.50).

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I’m sick in Mexico (but not sick of Mexico)

004 (427x640)I’ve got, not La Tou020 (427x640)rista as expected (in fact, I’ve never had a “tummy bug” while traveling, touch virtual wood), but a bad cold. My throat is swollen and I’m feeling pretty crappy. So because I’m in bad shape, I give you more fun pictures of Mexico.

Here’s Random Couple Dancing in the Main Square (the Jardin, pronounced by Gringos as “Hard Dean” which conjures up all sorts of fun fannish thoughts. But I digress.

And on the right, a nice shot of a random street.

I’m all about the random this morning, apparently.

Mexico in pictures!

044 (427x640)When I had a day job, I looked forward to vacations and days off (even surgery!) as time to write. So for the first time in ages, I’m on vacation and I’m not writing. In fact, I’ve hardly been writing emails and I have only written one blog post.

This morning I off-loaded our pictures from the camera and so now I will share with you a couple a day.

1) Here’s a shot of Jean from Minnesota (left) and me outside St. Paul’s Episcopalian Church.

2) And this is the tennis court where Mr. Grumpy played three times a week.

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More tomorrow!

Down Mexico Way…

We arrived a couple of days ago without major incident. So far we’ve reconnected with old friends and had many good meals. Sunday night we attended a rather unusual concert–a string quartet + pianist played live, an original “soundtrack” for two old silent films: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Sherlock Jr.” starring Buster Keaton.

The Cabinet had been a real ground-breaker in its day. It was the first horror film ever made; the first surreal film with odd angles and strange backdrops; and it was also the first “framed” film ever made–framed meaning it began and ended with a different story so it was a “story within a story”. It was pretty hard to follow, though, even though the conductor/composer/pianist outlined the entire plot in advance.

This morning I attended a Tai Chi class. Completely different than what I do at home, but in some ways, better. My knee no longer hurts.

Here are a few pictures I took. We traded this (taken Toronto, Feb 28, 2013)

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For this, taken March 11, 2013, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

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Ice Pipes

Every year it amazes me that the water shooting out of these pipes is able to freeze. It’s pretty, in its own frigid way.

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Storm Watch

Stormy wistfulWe are expecting bad weather, but I’m posting about our new old dog, Storm. We’ve now had him about four months–that’s as long as he was in the dog pound.

He’s fitting in well, with the tiny, unimportant, miniscule downside that he still pees in the house when left alone.

But we loves him, so he stays. Here he is looking particularly wistful:

“If only I could have another treat.” ::sigh::

Christmas Tree, before and after snow

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Each year, some wonderful soul selects a little pine tree in the dog park and decorates it. I’m a little leery of their choice to use glass ornaments in a park frequented by many dogs and home to much wildlife, but that’s hardly the point.

Here’s the tree last week, and again this morning after last night’s snowfall. We may have had a green Christmas, but Toronto had a white boxing day!

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