Sunday, March 29, 2020

His Straight Dude Friends Want to Have Sex with Him; Coronavirus Reading: "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown; Ryan Field Books

His Straight Dude Friends Want to Have Sex with Him

Slate has a column titled, "How to do it," that's for sex advice. On Thursdays they respond to bonus questions in chat form.  So we should be looking at this from a sex POV.

I am wanting to know if it is “socially” OK to have casual sex with your straight friends wondering if you would have to consider yourself gay if you did.

Here's a link to more. Things like this always remind me of those times when straight people get together and think they know what it's like to be gay. But it's not totally bad and there are parts where they redeem themselves. And overall, it's an interesting read about sex and sexuality. 

Coronavirus Reading: "Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Instead of hocking my own books, for a change I thought I'd mention an LGBTQ classic. This one is titled, Rubyfruit Jungle, it was written by Rita Mae Brown, and published in 1973. It's probably one of my all time favorite LGBTQ classics. I've read it more than once. It's just an amazing book. You have to trust me on this. And Rita Mae Brown is an amazing author. 

A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.
 
Here's the link to Amazon. Read the sample, especially the first chapter. 








"A wonderful story that I loved. The characters were well developed, and strong. Gus: A sweet young man. Doing something for all the wrong reasons. Craig: his boyfriend, he'll go along with anything Gus say. Henry: Gus father a no nonsense man, who's husband died last year. I enjoyed this story."

Uncertainty by [Field, Ryan]

What readers said about "Altered Parts"
"Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina."



Altered Parts by [Field, Ryan]


While the book is easily readable, it also addresses emotions stereotypes and relationships. I would have preferred it be 3 times as long and tragically most guys don't find happy endings as depicted.. but in a short book, it provides food for thought, clarity and insight.. far more and better expressed than 99% of gay fiction . I don't think it could have been done better.


Kendle's Fire by Ryan Field

Saturday, March 28, 2020

FREE Excerpt: Altered Parts by Ryan Field

Altered Parts by [Field, Ryan]FREE Excerpt: Altered Parts by Ryan Field


The self-quarantine and social distancing continues, so I'm putting up another FREE excerpt. This time it's from my book, Altered Parts

Here are chapters 1, 2, and 3. And here's a review: 

This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina. A sequel is in order and a film as well. Bravo Field

On Buddy’s Mountain, we didn't feel the early stages of the Second World War until around 1940, and even then it wasn't as intense as the rest of the world. Those of us who were too young to remember the First World War listened closely to the radio for updates on the most recent German invasions, while those who were old enough to remember looked the other way and frowned. I had no idea in the summer of 1940 I was about to lose more innocence than I ever knew I had.
1940 was also the year I graduated from high school and started working longer hours in my family's general store. On Buddy's Mountain, Buddy's Mercantile was the only retail establishment at that time where locals could shop for anything from basic food staples to hammers. Women could buy fabric for curtains or homemade dresses and men could fill their gas tanks and buy fishing gear. Children would stop in for penny candies on the way home from school. Almost everyone on the mountain stopped in to use our telephone, which hung on a wall in the back near a large round pickle barrel and a shelf filled with canned goods. We were the kind of old time family owned and operated general store that was beginning to vanish as each year passed, and my family, though limited in number as we were, wanted to hold on to it for as long as we could.
There was something coming that summer I hadn't anticipated, something I never could have predicted in my wildest clich├ęd dreams. When my Aunt Matilda appeared from the main house behind the mercantile one warm afternoon in late July and said, "Joe Buddy, I can't find the tomatoes I left on the back porch last night," I had no way to predict the magnitude of it all.
I was on my way to the barn to work on an old car I'd recently purchased with my graduation money. I turned fast and said, "I haven't seen them. You know I don't eat tomatoes." Everyone called me Joe Buddy back then and I embraced it. It was short for Joseph Buddy Barnes. Buddy…my legal middle name…was actually my mother's maiden name. I never knew her, though. I never knew my father either. I was raised on Buddy's Mountain by my mother's two siblings, Aunt Matilda and Aunt Ted. They were both Buddys, too, and neither of them ever married.
I used to wonder sometimes why Aunt Matilda never married. She knew the meaning of discretion and spoke with a genteel southern accent, not a country drawl. She wasn't a bad looking woman either, with thick red hair, a medium frame, and an eye for simple, conservative fashion trends. She could cook and keep house better than anyone I'd ever known. She'd even gone away to college and she'd had a steady boyfriend for a while, whom she spoke about often later in life.
I could, however, understand why Aunt Ted had never married. Times were different and Aunt Ted was considered "peculiar" in those days. Although she had a slim body and a soft delicate voice, she had broad shoulders, size 12 feet, long legs, and she shaved every morning. If she hadn't decided to start wearing exaggerated, flamboyant women's clothing when she was in her early 20s, she would have been my Uncle Ted. Aunt Ted rarely ventured off the mountain and we all understood why. In her own isolated world on Buddy's Mountain no one questioned or threatened her. Everyone considered her a harmless soul and treated her with a sense of respect she wouldn't have found anywhere else at the time.
"Well if you see anything unusual, Joe Buddy, let me know," Aunt Matilda said. "It's the strangest thing. As I live and breathe, I know I set those tomatoes out on the back porch last night for today's lunch. Your Aunt Ted is not going to like this. She was planning on stuffed tomatoes for lunch today and you know how she gets when things don't go just right. And what's even stranger is I went into the barn early this morning and found a huge pile of messed up hay as if someone had been sleeping there. I don't know what's been going on around here. I'm starting to think this place is haunted."
I sent her a backhanded wave and continued toward the barn. "Okay, if I see anything I'll let you know." I really wasn't too concerned about tomatoes or messed up hay that day, and Aunt Ted could eat a cheese sandwich for lunch for all I cared. I'd recently purchased a 1930 Plymouth coupe and I wanted to get it running perfectly that summer. It had been kept in a barn at a neighboring farm for years and the blue exterior paint looked almost new. The beige interior wasn't bad either. It's just that after years of not being driven at all the engine needed work, and I wasn't totally sure about what I was doing.
"Can you take care of the store this afternoon?" Aunt Matilda asked. "Your Aunt Ted and I have a meeting with the church women today. We can't miss it, and Aunt Ted made herself a brand new dress just for the occasion, white lace and a hat with long white feathers to match. I'm afraid it's quite awful just like most of her clothes, but she likes it and that's all that matters."
"Sure, no problem," I said. "Just let me know when you're leaving. I'll be right here working on the car." I knew Aunt Ted was working in the store that morning. She usually worked most of the hours, without complaint. I couldn't refuse the request. I still hadn't decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and my aunts weren't pushing me to do anything yet. They told me that as long as I continued to help out at the store and take care of things around the house I didn't have to rush into anything.
Of course I knew it was their way of letting me know they wanted me to take over the mercantile eventually. And I wasn't sure I didn't want to do that. At the time, it was all I had ever known, and in our small world on Buddy's Mountain it gave our family a certain amount of prestige I never would have had anywhere else. I'd never been the book leaning type, and I had to use all of my appendages to count change in the store. I knew how to run the store because it's all I'd ever known, I knew how to work on cars and machines without trying too hard, and I knew I could turn a head or two with a smile and a wink just walking down the street in town. Aunt Ted used to tell me if I didn't study in school good looks wouldn't get me too far in life, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go that far in life.


I worked on the old car for about an hour and a half and finally reached a point where it almost started to run smoothly when I tried turning over the engine a few times. I knew I was close to getting that knock in the engine out. It wasn't something I could explain or describe in words, but it was something I knew in my gut. Even though it was the first time I'd ever worked on a car, I had put together bicycles, and whenever Aunt Matilda's washing machine needed fixing she called me first.
There's a rhyme and reason to fixing machines that always follows a pattern that's hard to describe. One part fits into another, and then another, and when all of those parts are moving correctly at the same time the machines work the way they're supposed to work. Sometimes parts go missing, or they can’t be fixed, and in order for the machine to continue running smoothly something has to be rigged. If you understand how to alter certain parts, there is always a way to make it work. As I grew older I realized life's a lot like that, too, but back then the only thing I knew about life was getting that car running to perfection.
So I made a face and sighed the moment I heard Aunt Ted caroling from the other side of the mercantile. "Yoo-hoo, Joe Buddy, we're leaving for the church meeting now. We need you in the store this instant, sweetie."
I set down my wrench and wiped my grease-stained hands on an old rag and said, "I'll be right there, Aunt Ted." I'd lost track of time and didn't even realize where the last hour and a half had gone. It felt as if I'd just started working. When you're doing something you love, time can run away fast.
Before I headed out, I walked to a corner of the barn and took a good long pee. I thought I heard something rustle, but I figured it was a mouse. I smiled the whole time I peed because I knew Aunt Ted would have had a conniption fit if she'd seen my peeing in the barn. As far as I knew, even though I'd never actually asked outright, Aunt Ted had been born a man until she decided to be a woman, and the ironic twist was that she always seemed to frown upon the things men did.
After I shook myself off, I headed toward the main house where I knew my aunts were waiting for me at the front gate. Even though our general store was a quaint, white Edwardian era clapboard and typical of most general stores of that era, our main house was a lot grander than any other house on the mountain. My maternal grandfather must have been a lot like Aunt Ted in the sense that he preferred a more formal ostentatious look. No home spun white pickets fences for him.
The main house was set off to the side of the general store, surrounded by a tall black iron fence with scrolls and curls. The huge three story brick manor house with black shutters had impressive white columns, a wide porch, floor to ceiling windows, and a set of wide double doors made out of pure black walnut that had been imported from somewhere exotic. I never paid much attention to those things, though. I'd never known any other front doors or lived anywhere else and they were simply the front doors of the house to me.
Evidently, I'd forgotten to do something after I peed in the barn. Aunt Ted took one look at me and nearly fainted dead way. "Oh, Joe Buddy, please turn around and fix yourself. There are ladies present." Then she turned to Aunt Matilda and shook her head. "I don't know what gets into that boy sometimes. Of all things."
Aunt Matilda just laughed and said, "If you don't fix things, Joe Buddy, the pony's going to get out of the barn."
That's when I knew I'd forgotten to pull up my zipper. I guess I must have been rushing to finish. As I turned and pulled up my zipper, I heard Aunt Ted say, "Please don't encourage him, Matilda. He's a good boy from a fine southern family and I want him to know his place in life."
"Yes, dear," Aunt Matilda said. She rarely went up against Aunt Ted on any matter. I think that's because it was usually just easier to agree with Aunt Ted than to challenge her. I'd seen her win arguments just by deflection alone. Aunt Ted had that down to an art and a science.
As soon as I turned around Aunt Ted asked, "How do I look, Joe Buddy? You haven't said a word about my new dress?"
I sent her a long glance and said, "You look downright fantastic, Aunt Ted. You've never looked better. I think that's the nicest dress I've ever seen you wear. And the hat's even nicer. You could win a contest." Then I looked at Aunt Matilda and winked. We both knew that when you were paying Aunt Ted a compliment the most ordinary responses wouldn't suffice. If you didn't head things off from the start and exaggerate she'd continue fishing for more compliments until you did.
Aunt Ted smiled so wide I saw her back teeth. She swooped down, almost a curtsy, and said, "Well thank you, dear boy. I'm embarrassed now. I hope the other women won't be too jealous of me. I copied this dress from a New York fashion magazine. It's the latest thing in New York, don’t you know."
I didn't think she had anything to worry about in that department. No one would be jealous. The outrageous dress was made out of white lace and satin, and tailored perfectly to fit her extremely thin body. The white hat was made out of the same lace and satin, but shaped kind of like a round box with long, curved white feathers sticking out at the top. She wore white patent leather high heels to match, and as usual it looked as though she'd applied her pancake make-up with a putty knife. Even her false eyelashes and red lipstick seemed more exaggerated that day. However, I just exchanged a glance with Aunt Matilda and said, "You look really good in it, Aunt Ted. Like a real high style lady."
Before Aunt Ted had a chance to curtsy again, Aunt Matilda brought her back to reality and said, "Okay, let's get the lead out of it, Ted. I don't want to be late again. We can all tell you how wonderful you look later tonight at supper. Right now I'd like to get this show on the road."
Aunt Ted blinked. "Well. Honestly. You don't have to be rude, Matilda. Father brought us up better than that."
She'd picked up the word, honestly, from a movie she'd seen in town earlier that year and whenever someone challenged her or said something she found shocking she repeated it. But Aunt Matilda had no time for that sort of thing. She headed toward the garage and said, "We should be home before suppertime, Joe buddy. If you could sort the afternoon mail I'd appreciate it."
"Sure thing, Aunt Matilda," I said, as I watched them cross toward the garage next to the barn. Buddy's Mercantile was also the only post office on the mountain and Aunt Matilda was in charge of all things postal related because Aunt Ted said she didn't like getting ink on her fingers. She claimed it ruined her manicure.
They bickered about whether to take the truck or "father's Cadillac." The truck was a fairly new 1938 green Ford pick-up with signs on each door that advertised the mercantile. The Cadillac was a ten year old jet black relic that had been one of my grandfather's last big purchases in life, and it didn't even fit totally in the garage. Aunt Ted argued that the Cadillac went well with her new dress and hat, while Aunt Matilda claimed the truck used less gas and she preferred driving it on the back roads. Of course I didn't have to think about that one twice. And I wasn't shocked in the least when I saw Aunt Matilda maneuvering the big old Cadillac out of the garage and down the lane a few minutes later. Aunt Ted rarely lost a battle in life.

 The mercantile turned out to be busier that afternoon than I would have predicted. You never knew what things would be like on any given day of the week. Sometimes you could sit there all day waiting for one person to stroll in and buy a banana, and other times you didn't know which direction to run first. On that afternoon, I filled Betty Ann Rumson's old Buick with gas, I handed out the mail to what seemed like half the people on the mountain, I got a package ready to send out for the Reverend Marcum, and I wound up helping Josie Jessup pick out buttons for her new jacket. Then Fern Hadley stopped in for a few baking staples, George Flax needed nails for his front porch, and Hester May Johnson needed white paint for her fence. By the time I took my first break since my aunts had left for the meeting, I realized it was almost 4 o'clock in the afternoon and they would be returning soon. Although, I didn't mind being busy at all because it helped pass the time and it got my mind off working on my car.
I knew things would slow down. 4 o'clock seemed to be the time of day on the mountain when everyone started getting ready for supper. Although Aunt Ted claimed she preferred to eat later in the evening because it was more sophisticated, everyone else on the mountain ate supper around 5 in the afternoon. In fact, I used to be embarrassed to admit that we ate our supper at 6 o'clock thanks to Aunt Ted. And even that had been a compromise between Aunt Matilda and Aunt Ted. They'd only settled on 6 o'clock because Aunt Ted had insisted on 7 o'clock and Aunt Matilda wouldn't hear of it. Aunt Matilda claimed it was bad for the digestion to eat supper that late, and that's how they settled on 6 o'clock. As long as I didn't have to cook it, I didn't care what time we had supper.
I grabbed a coke and headed outside to lean against the rail in front of the store. It had grown warmer outside and I caught a breath of that flowery scent that only came around that time of year. Aunt Ted used to wait for that flower to bloom every year but I couldn't even remember the name of it. I didn't have much concern for flowers or anything related to gardening, but I have to admit I did like the way it smelled. It wasn't sweet and strong like most other flowers. This particular plant smelled more like the bleach Aunt Matilda used for the bathroom on cleaning day. The distinct scent also reminded me of the way my own sperm smelled when I touched myself. And since I hadn't touched myself in a few days, I leaned back against the rail and slid my hand into my pocket.
Even though I knew no one was around, I thought I caught a glimpse of something red rush by out of the corner of my eye. I figured it was one of Aunt Ted's sneaky cats and I continued touching myself. Those cats were all over the place and you could never tell what they were up to. If Aunt Matilda hadn't been deathly allergic to cat fur, they all would have been inside the house, too. However, Aunt Matilda couldn't even stand within a few feet of a cat without her face swelling up like a watermelon, so Aunt Ted kept them as outdoor pets.
A moment later, I spotted the Cadillac down the road and I pulled my hand out of my pants. I adjusted myself and leaned over a little so my aunts wouldn't see how hard I was. I had just reached the edge when I'd seen their car and now I wouldn't get a chance to finish until later that day. I didn't even realize how late it was until I heard the mantle clock in the mercantile chime 5 times.
We usually closed the mercantile at 5 o'clock. There wasn't much steady business after that on Buddy's Mountain and if there was everyone knew they could just knock on our door and we'd open the store so they could get what they needed. While Aunt Matilda and Aunt Ted pulled the Cadillac into the garage, I went into the store so I could put the cash in the safe and lock the doors for the night.
By the time I finished, I met Aunt Matilda and Aunt Ted at the front gate. "That must have been a long meeting," I said.
Aunt Matilda shot Aunt Ted a sour glance and said, "Well if your Aunt Ted hadn't started in with buying a new organ for the church we would have been home a lot sooner."
"We need a new organ," Aunt Ted said. "Don't criticize me for being honest. I’m only concerned with what’s best for everyone."
Aunt Matilda glanced at me and said, "You should have seen those women argue. They don't want a new organ; they want a new pavilion for church picnics. I never thought I'd get out of there."
"They're all wrong," Aunt Ted said. "Music is culture, it's refined, and that old organ sounds horrible, and it's an eyesore. You can only have picnics in the warmer months, but you can have organ music all year round. Honestly, you should know these things."
Aunt Matilda shook her head and started toward the front door. "I truly don't care one way or the other, Ted. All I know is I have to start supper right now. As it is we're not going to sit down until 7 o'clock tonight."
Aunt Ted followed her and said, "There's nothing wrong with having a nice civilized meal at 7. People in New York don't have supper until 9 or 10."
"Well you're not in New York, Ted," Aunt Matilda said. "You're on Buddy's Mountain and we eat supper around here at 5."
As they continued bickering all the way to the front door, I smiled and said, "I think I'll go down to the creek and have a swim. It's getting hotter and we had a busy afternoon at the store. I've been thinking about that creek all afternoon." I really wanted to go down to the creek, take off all my clothes, and finish what I'd started in my pants a few minutes earlier.
"I'll ring the bell when supper's ready, Joe Buddy," Aunt Matilda said. Then she sent Aunt Ted a sharp look and continued, "Plan on 7 o'clock…if we're lucky."
 I didn't wait around to hear them quarrel a second longer about what time we would have supper. I turned toward the barn and jogged down a narrow path that would lead me into the woods and down to the creek. I had needs to take care of…urges that were stronger than my willpower. I hadn't pleasured myself in three days. The creek was about as private a place as any on our property. I'm not sure how far away the creek was from the main house and the store exactly, but I knew for a fact my aunts would never venture down there, and no one else on the mountain would be bold enough to use our private property. People had honor and a sense of respect for each other in those days. If anyone did want to use that creek for anything, I knew they would have asked for permission first.
Even though it was warm out that day I knew the creek would be cold. When I reached a large rock near the edge of the creek I stripped out of my overalls and shirt as fast as I could. I wasn't wearing shoes that day. In the warmer months on Buddy's Mountain most kids and younger guys went barefoot. I thought about leaving my baggy white boxer shorts on, but then looked around fast and decided to remove them, too.
There's only one way to tackle an icy cold creek on a hot summer day: hold your nose and jump right in. The instant I hit the water I felt my balls shrivel and my penis shrink. But I also knew that wouldn't last for long because once I got used to the temperature of the water I'd be hard like that big old rock where I'd left my overalls and underwear.
I waded out to a section of the creek where the water came up to my chest. Then I crouched down a little until the water was up to my neck and reached down to touch myself. I grew hard almost instantly. I closed my eyes and began stroking. And then all of a sudden I heard something in the woods beyond the big rock at the edge of the creek. When I glanced up, I saw something move and I squared my shoulders.
I pointed and said, "Who's there?" I didn't want to get caught doing that in the creek.
I saw something move again, but no one replied. I thought it might be a wild animal and was hoping it wasn't a bear. We had plenty of wild animals on Buddy's Mountain.
I pointed again and spoke with a deeper more authoritative tone. "Who's there and what do you want?"
A second or two later a young guy about my age stepped out of the woods and gaped at me with such a forlorn, innocent expression I tilted my head to the side and sent him a smile. "Why are you hiding in the woods like that?" I'd never seen him on the mountain before that day. He had dark hair…almost jet black…dark eyes, a lean body, olive skin, and stood an inch or two taller than me. I knew for certain I'd never seen him before because he was one of the best looking young men I'd ever seen on Buddy's Mountain, or anywhere else for that matter.
He frowned and said, "I'm not hiding. I'm just walking. It's so hot out today I thought I'd cool off in the creek. I didn't mean to disturb you. I didn't think anyone was here."
He was wearing tight blue jeans, a red plaid shirt, and the kind of cowboy boots and cowboy hat I'd seen in the movies. I had a feeling he was that flash of red I'd seen out of the corner of my eye earlier, but I couldn't be totally sure about that.
"You're not disturbing me," I said. Aside from the fact that he was good looking and dressed like a cowboy, he had a nice even expression that suggested he'd never harmed anyone in his life. "You can come in and cool off. I don't mind. Just leave your clothes on the rock next to mine."
"Take off my clothes?" he asked, staring down at the clothes I'd left on the rock.
"Well you can't very well jump into a creek in your clothes," I said. "That wouldn't make no sense at all."
"Yeah, I think I know that, wise guy. I'm just worried about how safe it is here."
"No one else is coming. I promise. This is my property."


These Gay Bottoms Hate Anal Sex; Michael Chabon on Star Trek Picard Being Gay Enough; Ryan Field Books

These Gay Bottoms Hate Anal Sex

This is one of those things that most people might find hard to understand.

“I find anal sex more painful than enjoyable,” Chris, 23, says. “I know it’s only supposed to hurt for a bit, but even when it starts to feel good it’s still not satisfying. I find myself thinking: Okay, hurry up and finish so this can end.

Here's the link to read more. Frankly, I think they need to practice more. They're not doing it right. Or they are putting too much psychological pressure on themselves. Just because you happen to be submissive doesn't mean you have to love anal sex. It's really not for everyone. This is why being gay is not just about sex or sexuality.


Michael Chabon on Star Trek Picard Being Gay Enough

Michael Chabon has quite a few impressive literary credits, but he's also been working on the new Star Trek series Picard. I'm dying to see this, and I think that CBS is actually streaming it for free this month. But I don't know about those details offhand.

In any event, here's an interview with Chabon. They get into a lot of interesting topics. 

One of the things I see looking around at people who are in their teens and 20s, is people exploring their identities and trying to figure out who they are in terms of their gender and sexual identity.

Here's the link to read more.








"A wonderful story that I loved. The characters were well developed, and strong. Gus: A sweet young man. Doing something for all the wrong reasons. Craig: his boyfriend, he'll go along with anything Gus say. Henry: Gus father a no nonsense man, who's husband died last year. I enjoyed this story."

Uncertainty by [Field, Ryan]

What readers said about "Altered Parts"
"Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina."



Altered Parts by [Field, Ryan]


While the book is easily readable, it also addresses emotions stereotypes and relationships. I would have preferred it be 3 times as long and tragically most guys don't find happy endings as depicted.. but in a short book, it provides food for thought, clarity and insight.. far more and better expressed than 99% of gay fiction . I don't think it could have been done better.


Kendle's Fire by Ryan Field










Friday, March 27, 2020

FREE Gay Fiction Exceprt: Once Upon a Castle by Ryan Field; Ellen's Employees Call Her Secretly Mean; Ryan Field Books

FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt: Once Upon a Castle by Ryan Field 

Here's a free sample of my newest release, Once Upon a Castle. At the bottom of this post you'll find a purchase link. It's available in print or digital. 

This particular excerpt is Chapter 8. I don't think there are any serious spoilers with this. This chapter is really an introduction to one of the more important characters at the end of the story, a guy named Dusty Rhodes.  


It had been raining in Southern Louisiana for 3 days in a row and Dusty Rhodes was just about fed up with it. He'd been cleaning and painting and preparing Magnolia Castle for the guests who would be renting it for the month of May and he'd been told by his bossy brother in New York to make everything as perfect as possible this time. The only thing Dusty hated more than taking orders from his brother was having his brother criticize him for not doing a good job. So he'd worked even harder than usual to make the old place look good, and he knew they needed the money from these guests.
Dusty and his mother…Big Mamma…lived there alone now and they never would have been able to maintain Magnolia Castle without leasing it out to guests. Dusty’s brother in New York who was in charge of family financial affairs had made it clear he wasn't going to pay for any upkeep out of the family money. His brother agreeing to let them turn the property into a business and rent it out to guests had taken a good deal of convincing and Dusty did not want to listen to his brother tell him it had been a bad idea in the first place. So far, they'd made enough money to pay all the bills, pay the staff, and keep the house running, with a nice little profit.
As far as Dusty was concerned, there were certain days his brother could have sold the place and he wouldn't have cared. It was a real dilemma sometimes. Dusty was already in his mid-30s and he'd begun to realize his life had been slipping away all this time and he'd never realized it. If it hadn't been for Big Mamma, Dusty probably would have left home years ago, but he'd promised their father he would take care of Big Mamma for as long as she lived. And no matter how frustrating it was, Dusty intended to keep that promise. Even though he was over 30 and a closeted gay man who had never had sex, he remained devoted to Big Mamma.
It certainly wasn't easy at times, especially that night. "Big Mamma, I have to get ready to leave now. Your feet will just have to wait." It was a Monday night and he always gave Big Mamma a foot massage on Monday nights to sooth her bunions. He'd spent the day scrubbing all the hardwood floors in the mansion and he had to go meet those two guys from New York at the train station. They had maids to do general cleaning, but Dusty knew only he could get it perfect with a good old fashioned deep cleaning.
"Well that's just silly, Dusty," Big Mamma said. She was beached on her lounge chair in front of the TV, with a big bag of chips to her right and a great big bottle of sugary soda to her left. All 250 pounds of her seemed to be settled in for the night. "Them other people got here okay on their own. Why in the name of God do you have to go pick up these other two now? Can't they find their way here alone?" She spoke with a thick southern country accent and when she said words like "can't" it sounded like, "Kay'nt."
This is when he would just agree with Big Mamma. It was far easier than starting an argument. The woman loved to argue and he wasn't in the mood. The two women from New York had each arrived separately at around 6 o'clock that evening, and they'd gone directly to their rooms for the rest of the night. He scratched the back of his head and said, "Beats the hell out of me. Maybe these two really can't find their way around alone." He sometimes spoke with a thick southern accent, too, but he only did that because he knew the guests expected it.  
"Well I guess you're right, Dusty," said Big Mamma. "We do need the money. What're them two women like?"
Dusty grabbed his jacket and keys and shrugged. "They're good lookin' and they dress nice. One is older and one is younger, but that's all I know. They both said they were tired and they both went to their rooms. I’m sure I’ll find out more tomorrow."
"Which rooms did you give them?"
"I wasn't sure which rooms to give them so I let them choose. The older one picked the big room that used to be granddaddy’s and the younger girl picked the smaller room that overlooks the rose garden."
"Well I hope the other two don't mind the rooms that are left," she said. Dusty and Big Mamma never used the second floor bedrooms anymore. First, Big Mamma couldn't get up and down the grand staircase because she was too old and too big, and second, they didn't want to mingle with the guests. They kept to themselves in a smaller wing of the main house that was located right off the kitchen. It was actually an add-on to the back of the house Dusty's granddaddy had built in the 1980s for himself so Dusty's parents could take over the main part of the house themselves. It was very spacious and Dusty didn't mind at all. They each had a large bedroom, their own private kitchen, a living room and dining area, and two separate bathrooms.
Dusty just shrugged and headed toward the back door. "Well, I guess that's their problem now. No one told me to reserve special rooms for anyone. I'll see you later, Big Mamma. I don't want to show up late getting them."
"You drive safe now, hear," Big Mamma said. Then she dipped her plump little fingers into the bag of chips and glanced at the game show she'd been watching on TV.
 The train station wasn't far from the house and it only took Dusty 10 minutes to get there. Although the two women who had already arrived had rented their own cars, there was a reason why the two guys took the train. It wasn't odd for guests to take the train from the airport. It was advertised that whenever people rented Magnolia Castle they got the use of either a vintage 1965 Cadillac Coup de Ville, or the classic 1959 Lincoln Continental. The guests all thought the old cars had been in the family for years and they were part of the package, but that wasn't the case at all. Dusty's brother bought them because he thought it would be a draw to lease the place out for more money. And it worked, too, especially with the New Yorkers. They couldn't wait to drive the old cars the minute they arrived.
Dusty just wished it would stop raining. It had only been raining lightly when he left the house, and now it was coming down the devil and pitchforks. This would make it hard for him to see them if they weren't waiting out on the front steps of the train station. It was small town, and the train station was a red brick building that wasn't any bigger than the general store on Main Street. He was driving the Cadillac that night, a periwinkle blue Coupe de Ville with blue leather interior. The car ran as if it were brand new, except the horn didn't work. He'd been meaning to get that fixed but he kept forgetting about it. He would rather have picked them up in his brand new Dodge Ram, but his brother in New York always said he should pick them up in one of the old cars so they would get the experience of true southern charm the moment they arrived. Dusty thought that was hogwash, but he did what he was told because he didn't want anything negative getting back to Rusty in New York.
He arrived at the station at 8 o'clock sharp, which was the exact time he'd been told to arrive. They were already sitting outside under the porch, glancing back and forth, so he pulled right up to the steps as close as he could get and lowered the passenger window. He leaned sideways and asked, "Ya'll here for Magnolia Castle?"
They were both wearing black leather jackets in different designs and one of them leaned toward the window and said, "Yes. Are you Dusty Rhodes? We were told to meet a man named Dusty Rhodes."
Dusty smiled and nodded. "That's me. Good old Dusty Rhodes." They looked to be about his age and they were both lean and had similar haircuts. The one wearing the longer black leather coat looked a little more delicate than the other and he had steel blue eyes that looked as if they were made out of crystal.
Dusty jumped out of the car so he could put their luggage in the trunk and said, "Ya'll get inside the car and wait for me. I'll take care of this. These old cars are nice but they don't have none of them electronic buttons to pop the trunk. But this here is a real smooth ride."
 When Dusty climbed into the car again he found the one with the longer jacket up front, and the one with the shorter jacket in the backseat. He turned and extended his hand. "I'm Dusty Rhodes and it’s nice to meet ya'll. I hope you had a nice trip."
The one with the short jacket in the back spoke first. At a second glance, his hair was lighter. "Well I'm Shawn Davidson and this is Barry Nelson. It's nice to meet you, Dusty. It was a long trip, but uneventful."
Dusty smiled. He loved when the New York types used big words like uneventful. He would have just said it was boring. "Well that's good to hear." He reached back and shook Shawn's hand first, and then he turned and shook Barry's. For such a refined looking guy, that Barry had a nice firm handshake and he sure was cute. He had a feeling Barry had a nice firm, butt, too. Dusty had been so horny lately he was ready to jump on a tree and play leap frog. He'd never had sex with a man and all he had was internet porn. It wasn't easy to have gay sex where he lived, he was still in the closet, and he lived with a powerful force like Big Mamma. It was staring to get to him.
When they were back on the road heading toward Magnolia Castle, Barry said, "I sure hope the weather gets better."
"Oh, it will," Dusty said. "No need to fret about it none."
The guy in the back, Shawn, laughed and said, "I promise. I won't fret."
Dusty knew Shawn was making fun of his southern accent and his words, but Dusty didn't care. He was only speaking this way because he knew these New Yorkers found it amusing. It was easier, and more profitable, to let them think he was just a dumb country boy. Besides, he didn't care much about Shawn. He was more interested in Barry. When he spoke he didn't sound different than any other man. It was hard to tell if he was gay or not, so Dusty decided to do a little harmless inquiry.
"So are you guys a couple?" Dusty asked. He figured it was easier to be up front, and to be slightly obtuse. "We love the homosexuals here in these parts." He pronounced homosexuals as homo-sect-shuls on purpose.
This time Barry laughed, but he seemed to be laughing with him instead of at him, as if he knew Dusty might be playing with them. "No, Dusty. We're not a couple. We're best friends. Shawn is married to a woman and he's straight. I'm married to a guy named Mike, and I'm gay."
"I see," Dusty said. "So ya'll just decided to take a break from your husband and wife and come down here for a month. That's nice. Time away is always nice."
Barry smiled. "Getting away in general is nice. New York is a great place to live, but sometimes it's important to get away for some peace and quiet."
"How about you, Dusty," Shawn asked. "Are you married? Or do ya'll prefer to be single?"
Dusty laughed. He would have to watch out for this Shawn dude. He was smarter than he looked. "Ah well," Dusty said. "I guess you could say I just haven't met the right one yet, is all. But I'm still lookin'." He turned and sent Barry a smile.
Barry returned the smile and said, "Well I'm sure a big strong good looking man like you won't have any trouble finding someone when you're ready. I'll bet the girls are lined up at your door."
Dusty laughed again. "Well I don't know about that, but I do my best."
Barry just smiled, but Shawn said, "Oh, I'll bet you do," in a flat deadpan tone.
When they pulled up to the long narrow road that would lead them right to the front door of Magnolia Castle, Dusty slowed down and said, "I'm afraid you'll have to wait until tomorrow to meet Big Mamma. She's just dyin' to meet ya'll, but it's past her bedtime. Big Mamma needs her rest."
"Big Mamma?" Shawn asked. "This is like a Tennessee Williams play."
"That's what everyone calls her around here," Dusty said. "They've been calling her Big Mamma since God was a boy."
Dusty noticed Barry look back at Shawn and frown, as if he didn't like Shawn's attitude either. Then Barry turned to Dusty and spoke with a softer, friendlier voice. "I can't wait to meet her, Dusty. I'm sure she's lovely."
"I'm not so sure about lovely," Dusty said, trying not to laugh because Big Mamma was anything but lovely. "But she's honest and you'll know where you stand with her. I think she'll really like you, Barry. She can spot good people a mile away." He didn't mention Shawn on purpose, knowing Shawn would get the hint.
Shawn didn't reply, but Barry said, "Well thank you, Dusty. You're sweet for such a big strong man."
Shawn mumbled something that sounded like, "Oh brother," but he said it under his breath and it was hard to make out. "Did you say something, Shawn?" Dusty asked. "I couldn't quite make it out."
"Oh no," Shawn said, with a fake smile. "I was just admiring the trees."
They came to a full stop right outside the front door and Dusty climbed out of the car first to get their bags from the trunk. Barry came around back to help him because it was raining so hard, and Shawn with the smart mouth walked up to the front door with his hands in his pockets. There was no way Dusty was going to allow Barry to help; this was his job. "Now you go up there and wait with Shawn," he said. "I don't want you getting all wet and messy. You've had a long trip today. I can handle this for you."
"Well that's just too bad," Barry said. "I insist on helping you, Dusty."
He was so damn cute Dusty couldn't resist anything about him, so he handed him two suitcases from the trunk and then he picked up the rest. They each had two bags, one large and one small, and neither one was too heavy for Dusty. Besides, he was so excited at that moment just looking at Barry he could have picked Barry up and carried him up to his bedroom without breaking a sweat.
When they entered the house both Barry and Shawn glanced around and complimented everything they saw. Dusty admitted he wasn't responsible for the way the house had been renovated and staged for guests. His brother in New York had hired professionals to do all this to make the old house marketable for guests. Before the renovations, the house hadn't looked terrible, and he'd kept up with things as best he could with Big Mamma, but it wasn't as homey and comfortable anymore. All the old wallpaper was gone and now all the walls were white with high glossy trim. The hardwoods floors had all been sanded and now they resembled the color of honey. Some of the original pieces of furniture were still in the house for effect, however, the majority had been replaced with newer traditional pieces and all were reproductions. Instead of the heavy velvet draperies that had once hung from the tall windows, there were white linen pinch pleat panels hung from new rods with brass rings.
"Everything is beautiful," Barry said, as he glanced around the entrance hall. "And that stairway is like something from an old English manor home."
The grand stairway had always been the main focal point of the house. "Well thank you," Dusty said. "We try to maintain things to be as original as possible. My brother in New York usually handles all that and if he can't he hires someone who can."
Even Shawn had softened by then. He glanced around and said, "It's fantastic. It's ten times better than the photos on the Internet."
"I'm glad you like it," Dusty said. "And there is a lot of history here. We have a good deal of information in the library about Magnolia Castle's past with regard to the anti-slavery society. Magnolia Castle, though, never really was a working farm like other southern plantations. So if you're looking for that kind of glorified history you won't find it here. My ancestors were all English gentlemen, all were against slavery, and they were never farmers. They had plenty of money and they didn't need to work the land here. There were never slaves on this property either. This is also the reason why the house was named Magnolia Castle instead of Magnolia Plantation. My ancestors wanted to make that distinction clear, even back then."
"Yes," Shawn said. "Your brother explained a few things to us in New York."
"Good," Dusty said. "I hope you check out the library."
"Well I'll definitely check that out," Shawn said.
"I think you'll find it interesting," Dusty said. He always made these historical facts clear to the guests because he wanted them to know his ancestors had not been slave owners.
Barry yawned. "I'm sorry," he said. "It's late and I'm exhausted. Can you take us to our rooms now?"
"Are you hungry?" Dusty asked. They provided the guests with two meals a day: breakfast and dinner. A cook prepared all the meals but Dusty could take them to the kitchen to make sandwiches or something else. The refrigerator was always stocked by one of the people who cleaned.
"I'm not hungry," Shawn said.
"I'm not either," said Barry. "We had something to eat earlier. I'm just tired now."
"I'll take you upstairs and you can each pick a room," Dusty said. "There are only six bedrooms available now. But I'm sure you'll like them all."
"I don't understand," Shawn asked. "Why are there only six rooms left?"
"Those two women you're sharing the place with arrived earlier and they chose their two rooms already," Dusty said.
Shawn and Barry exchanged a glance and both spoke at the same time. "Two women?"
Dusty nodded. "Yes, one of them is older, but very attractive, and the other looks very young. Probably in her early 20s."
Barry yawned again and said, "Let's figure it out tomorrow, Shawn. Maybe June brought someone with her. I'm tired and I want to just go to bed now."
Shawn seemed confused about something and Dusty had no idea what it was, but he could see Barry was exhausted and he decided to just take control himself. "I'm sure you'll both like the rooms that are left. I'll put Shawn in the room overlooking the pond, and I'll put you, Barry, in the room with the white marble fireplace. I think it's the most comfortable room in the house. It’s my favorite."
Barry smiled at Dusty and picked up a suitcase. "Oh Dusty, I totally trust your judgment. You lead the way."
"Well I guess it's okay for tonight," Shawn said, finally reaching down to pick up his suitcase. "But tomorrow I'm going to have a talk with these two women and I want to see their rooms. We're the ones who told June about this house and we should get first choice of rooms. It's only fair."
Barry winked at Dusty. "C'mon, Shawn. We'll deal with it in the morning. Dusty has been very kind and we don't want to get him involved in this. I’m sure every room in the house is excellent."
Shawn just grumbled something under his breath Dusty couldn't make out, and it took all of Dusty's self-control not to laugh out loud. Shawn certainly was grumpy, and he seemed to resent that Barry was so kind and complimentary. For the first time in a long time Dusty had a feeling he was going to enjoy the month of May. He hadn't met anyone as sweet and adorable as Barry in a long time, and he was going to make sure he made Barry feel right at home.
After he showed them their rooms, he left them alone and headed toward the back staircase so he could check in on Big Mamma to see if she was okay. She was probably in bed by then, flat on her back snoring like a buzz saw. As he stepped down, he heard Shawn and Barry talking about something. He couldn't make out exactly what they were saying but Shawn seemed to be mocking the way Barry had been talking to Dusty. At one point Shawn's voice went up and he said, "I thought you were going to ask him to sleep in your room tonight." Barry replied with, "Don't be silly. He's a sweet guy and I'm not here to have sex with anyone. I'm here to relax." Shawn didn't agree, and he said, "Well he was definitely trying to get into your pants tonight." Barry just laughed and said, "That's ridiculous. I don't even think he's gay." Shawn spoke even louder. "I'm just saying that you should watch out." Then Barry said something softer Dusty couldn't make out, and they said good night and Shawn returned to his room. As Dusty turned to head downstairs, he smiled and spoke in a stage whisper aloud. "This is too damn good to be true."


Ellen's Employees Call Her Secretly Mean

Apparently, people who  work closely with Ellen DeGeneres claim she can be mean. One's even saying that she's "the meanest person alive." 

People are also saying she polices what other people eat. I guess she's one of those vegan peoples who find meat disgusting. 

Ellen hasn't really responded to any of this, but she did post this to social media. 

“This was my show staff’s planned spring break week,” she wrote. “I’ve asked them all to continue to stay home with their loved ones, and disconnect for a week. And I wish I hadn’t. I miss them. But I’ll be posting lots more next week when they’re back. Until then, enjoy today’s Safer-at-Home Spring Break 2020. Day 1.”

Here's a link to read more. 












"A wonderful story that I loved. The characters were well developed, and strong. Gus: A sweet young man. Doing something for all the wrong reasons. Craig: his boyfriend, he'll go along with anything Gus say. Henry: Gus father a no nonsense man, who's husband died last year. I enjoyed this story."

Uncertainty by [Field, Ryan]

What readers said about "Altered Parts"
"Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina."



Altered Parts by [Field, Ryan]


While the book is easily readable, it also addresses emotions stereotypes and relationships. I would have preferred it be 3 times as long and tragically most guys don't find happy endings as depicted.. but in a short book, it provides food for thought, clarity and insight.. far more and better expressed than 99% of gay fiction . I don't think it could have been done better.


Kendle's Fire by Ryan Field