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Author Archives: Lloyd Meeker

Thanks to the startling generosity of complete strangers, I have my mandolin back! Here’s the story. It’s a story well worth telling, if you ask me. Which you didn’t, but I’m telling it anyway. I have to, because this chain of miracles needs to be celebrated by more than Bob and me.

On October 17th we flew into Málaga with a year’s worth of luggage — one large suitcase, a smaller suitcase, and a backpack each. Plus my mandolin.

At the taxi rank we got a driver whose car could carry everything, and we loaded up. I showed the driver the address of our AirBnB apartment, and off we went. In the flurry of paying the driver (in cash at his insistence) I didn’t check to make sure we had everything. My mandolin was still in the taxi, and he was gone before I realized it.

So we were met …

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Every year, Queer Sci Fi runs a one-word theme contest for 300 word flash fiction stories, and the judges choose 120 of them for an annual anthology. I've entered the contest before, and have had my entry included in the anthology, but this year I had the good fortune to win first prize!

 

From the anthology foreword:
 
It's hard to tell a story in just 300 words, so it’s only fair that I limit this foreword to exactly 300 words, too.

This year, 312 writers took the challenge, with stories across the queer spectrum. The contest rules are simple. Submit a complete, well-written Clarity-themed 300 word sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror story with LGBTQ+ characters.

 

For our ninth year and eighth anthology, we chose the theme “Clarity.” The interpretations run from an “Aha!” moment to the bubbling laughter of water to a private, life-changing realization. There are …

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Thank you all for subscribing to my website! Today Shaky Shergill in the UK won the scholarship to the August 18-21 First Ten Pages Bootcamp through a random draw supervised by my husband. It feels really good to support another author this way. Onward!

Writers Digest

 

I’m offering a full scholarship to a Writers Digest workshop.

I’ve just signed with a literary agent — again. First time around was pretty disappointing. This time, though, signing with Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary, it already feels very much like entering the dynamic, collaborative business relationship it’s supposed to be. We’re taking action, and I’m elated at the possibilities ahead.

I first made contact with Amy in March through a four-day workshop put on by Writers Digest University, called “First 10 Pages Bootcamp”, where she was one of the instructors.

The workshop, which costs $200 US, seemed to be the next step in my seemingly endless agent querying efforts — after all, if I’d queried dozens and dozens and dozens of agents with my first pages and no one had shown real interest, I had to find out if there was something in those pages …

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A week ago I returned from a trip to Argentina. I’d never traveled to South America before, and since it was the only continent (not counting Antarctica) I had yet to visit, I was excited. Even though I know South America has far more to see and experience, Iguazú Falls will remain the highlight of my trip — a profound spiritual experience.

On landing in Buenos Aires we took a shuttle to the other airport and flew directly to Iguazú. In planning the trip we’d learned there was a moonrise trek every full moon to the Devil’s Throat, the most dramatic section of the falls, and we managed to get tickets our party of ten. After a briefing by a park ranger we took a little train to the beginning of the walkway across branches of the river. The moon rose, and after a kilometer or so we came to …

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It’s been a strange couple of years for all of us since I last posted: not just because of COVID, but more importantly, the profoundly destabilizing, disorienting force the pandemic has been in our culture.

What do I have to show for my two-year silence?

Well, without going into all the detail: life-threatening diagnoses, two life-changing surgeries for me and one for my hubby, writing a 120k word fantasy, traumatic estrangement from a beloved family member, finding a literary agent, parting ways from said agent, pulling my books from a dishonest publisher, getting said books ready for indie release, querying agents until I saw Query Tracker in my sleep, selling our house and moving, music lessons, radiation therapy, and diving into a new writing project that I’ve carried in my heart for years, and falling more deeply in love with my wonderful husband as we approach the 20-year mark in …

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Letter to a new Generation of Gate Keepers

I’m writing this letter to you in the fervent hope that you will come to believe something. If you don’t believe it now because it seems too crazy or impractical, I ask that you put the idea aside gently, making room for the possibility of believing it at some time in the future. This idea is the single most important thing that I can give you. When you do believe it, you will see with new eyes and new heart as the world offers unexpected possibilities to you—possibilities invisible to most.

You have been given a great and sacred gift—you are gay. Some peoples called us “Two-Spirited,” and held an honorable place for us in daily life. You might be surprised how many cultures viewed men like us with respect. That, as you well know, has not been the historical experience in …

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While all of us love a good romance, I’ve come to the conclusion that we read them for different reasons. One reason is no better than another, but I’m going to suggest that it’s important for an author to be aware of what basic reason they seek to serve when setting out to write a romance. Through that authorial choice, we extend an invitation to a reader as to how we expect them to enter our story.

I’m not claiming to be encyclopedic about this, (so let’s assume my list is incomplete) but I’ve identified three primary emotional invitations to a romance reader—that is, three distinctly different reasons why a reader might want to read a romance starring two men. I’ll be brief about the first two, because I want to spend more time on the third.

  1. Reader as Stand-in. 

The first is the most obvious—the traditional romance invitation, inherited …

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Okay—you have a brand-new book by a new-to-you author, and you’ve been itching to dive into it. Finally you have enough peace and quiet to start. The strong writing draws you into the story world right away. As we expected to, we learn that Brad, the hero, is a good guy. We like him. We’ve learned his dog shelter is in deep financial trouble, and we’ve seen his devoted kindness to the rescue dogs. He hasn’t taken a salary for three months in order to pay his assistant. He’s got unpaid bills, and the mortgage payment is due in two weeks.

Besides that, though, Really Bad Things have happened to Brad. He’s sleeping on the shelter’s reception area couch, because a week ago he came home unexpectedly to find his partner in bed with their hunky neighbor, whereupon the partner announced that he’s moving in with hunky neighbor. Brad can’t …

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I’ve been writing winter solstice poems for close to fifty years. Not every year, but this profound solar event seems to present itself to me over and over as a moment to take seriously, in reverence. It’s become my year-end, and the morning after my new year’s day.

I haven’t written a solstice poem for a few years, and with all the discordant forces at work in our world it seemed a good time to ask if there was one this year, to close out a year that has been filled with creativity, growth, pain, loss and disillusionment. This poem pretty much wrote itself in a few hours.

Winter Solstice 2016

Time to strip naked again,
be empty and innocent.
Pile actions, belief, hope, vision
onto the Solstice fire.

Trusting the furnace is hard.

Burning the wreckage
of insufficient dreams is easy,
pieces of broken furniture
not worth mending, discovered

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