Who says hobbies can’t be functional? Actually, I think many are. Exercising and sports help keep people fit and healthy. Meditation and reading may reduce stress. Painting and knitting may strengthen fine motor movement while pets provide joy on too many levels to count.
With 2022 scheduled to swing daily life to more “normal,” many people are venturing out and checking off items on their bucket lists. If the last two years have taught us anything, it is to take nothing for granted and that situations can change overnight. I fully hope to enjoy the return to fewer social restrictions. However, while some things are returning to the way they were, some things will not. Businesses have closed with no plan to reopen. Friends have moved away. The cost of daily living has risen tremendously, and some resources are limited.
Since summer is right around the corner but with a busy schedule, I found myself in a bit of a predicament. First, scheduling self-care and me-time can be an issue. Like many others, I work full-time, and by the time my work day ends, many retail businesses are closed or closing. That leaves only the weekend which would be fine if I didn’t have to cram in all of the things (e.g., grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, errands, etc.) that I didn’t complete earlier in the week. Thus, the best leisure activities for me are ones that I can perform…well, at my leisure. What I mean is finding activities that I do not have to depend on anyone else to be able to do and that aren’t dependent upon the weather. I also enjoy inexpensive activities because I’m cheap.
However, I’m also a person who needs to use my weekends and free time productively. Just because I clock out of a nine-to-five does not mean I stop working. I have plenty that I need to do. This requires me to be organized and efficient. Yet, I don’t want to neglect myself. So, I found a way to do both. It is decorative journaling/planner.
I’ve always used planners. But wait. Aren’t I a self-professed pantser? Yes, I am. Very much so. I use my planners not so much to outline my day but as long lists of reminders. See, my planners function in two ways. First, it allows me to know what I need to get done and when. It lists my deadlines and appointments and important events. Second. It is my reference log. I use it to remember when I mailed or received packages, tracking numbers, submission dates, and anything that I may need to remember days, months, and even years later. In this technology age, I could do it digitally, and often do. However, I remind people that I live in an area where power outages aren’t uncommon. It’s convenient to be able to locate information without booting up. But not only that, it’s fun and relaxing.
Years ago, I tried my hand at decorative planning. At the time, I didn’t know that was what it was called. I owned a bullet journal and decorated with colored pencils and markers. Having a limited artistic ability, it wasn’t always pretty. I gave it up because the bullet journal wasn’t functional for me. Again, I didn’t realize this was the problem because I had very little understanding of what I was wanting at the time. In fact, I wasn’t even including the information that I should have been.
I moved on to an organizer with a dated calendar. At the time, my life was simpler, and I didn’t have much to write in it in the way of appointments and such. It didn’t dawn on me to use it also as a tracker—not that I had much to track, either. I used colored ink to spruce up the appearance and occasionally plopped in a sticker—mostly birthday reminders. While this served its purpose, it wasn’t something that brought me a lot of joy. Again, I wasn’t thinking along those lines.
Eventually, I drifted away from this and stuck reminders in my cell phone calendar. The issue here came when I had to replace phones and the data didn’t transfer as promised. I lost lots of photos, dates, videos, and music that way. Even with the best backup plans, not everything is saved.
Then, last year, I was introduced—or rather, reintroduced—to deco journaling via YouTube. I found an entire community that has turned planning into pure art. Not only does the outcome allow me to be more productive, but creating spreads allows me time to relax and tap into my creativity. I can do it whenever I have free time and at my convenience.
I will say I found there to be a learning curve. First, I had to find a planner layout that meets my needs. There are all kinds of planners out there, and I enjoy the disc system in a classic size with a vertical layout. However, in all fairness, a horizontal layout probably would work better for me, but there are enough elements about that type of layout that I don’t like that have prevented me from switching. I admit, I’m still finding my footing, as I’m not one hundred percent satisfied with the functionality of my planner, but that’s not the point of this post.
During this process, I created a writing journal/planner. While I would have liked to have kept everything in one place, that wasn’t happening. On the other hand, it did allow me to eliminate some of the notebooks I used to jot down research notes and references. The beauty of a disc planning system is that I can add, remove, or rearrange pages as I choose. I can add dividers or pocket holders, or change covers and designs. I’m able to have sections for story ideas, reference pages, tracking, marketing, analytics, and more. I have a monthly calendar overview where I jot down when events occur and then use the weekly sheets to document the details. And because I spend time decorating the pages, using it doesn’t feel like a chore. My spirits are lifted when I see what I’ve created. Believe it or not, it makes my to-do list look less overwhelming.
Decorative journaling is a great hobby for anyone wanting to stay in or unable to go out. It does not require strenuous activity for anyone physically limitations or those who are too fatigued for much movement. If planning your week or listing things to be done is stressful, visually seeing how those chores can be divided to make them more manageable can be achieved. Plus, there are weekly online challenges that can add more fun. The best part about deco planning is it is up to you how you create it. Some people work with stickers while others use stamps or inks. Some people opt for large planners while others elect to use a mini. The pages can be dated or undated, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Layouts come in dashboard, horizontal, vertical, teacher, dot-grid, and more. The options are endless. Some people use their journals/planners daily while others less frequently. Some people have built Frankenplanners. (I tried this, and it didn’t work for me but only because I set it up wrong and didn’t realize it. Again… learning curve.) Some people use their planners the way I use mine while others use them for journaling, as part of a fitness/health or weight loss journey, for spiritual gratitude, for school or work, or as a creative outlet.
So, if you’re looking for a way to relax, consider decorative planning.
That’s this for this post. Do you agree or disagree? What is your take on the subject? Did you find these tips helpful or informative? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.
Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person of interest in a double homicide and recently was traded to a losing team that is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.
Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?
The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
I’ve participated in several charity anthologies before, but they’ve always been when I sought out the project. For this anthology, I was contacted by Xio Axelrod and offered the opportunity to join. I’d seen previous volumes in this series and when she messaged me, I thought huh??? She can’t possibly mean me. She must be mistaken. I’m a newer author in the gay romance genre. At the time, I’d published four novellas, a short story, and one novel. I kept thinking, there must be some mistake. That being said, I sent back my agreement right away and started writing a novella. I figured if I gave it to them, they’d have to include it, right? (Assuming the story was good enough, of course.)
I wrote my heart out and Page Against the Machine is the result. I’m happy with my novella, and I’m hoping readers will enjoy it as they gobble up the other stories in the anthology. The two organizations we’re giving the money to are near and dear to me. Of course, I know the Matthew Shepard story, and with all that is going on in Texas right now, I’m happy to lend my support to Equality Texas. In fact, as I look around, I realize how blessed I am to live in Canada. We’re not perfect, but we don’t actively have people trying to take away our rights. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I found stepping up even more important.
I hope you’ll buy the anthology. I hope you’ll enjoy all the stories. We, as authors, pour our hearts into these stories. We do it out of love. Inclusive love. Abiding love.
And, I wouldn’t be a good guest (thank you so much Delilah), if I didn’t offer a prize. For a $5 Amazon GC, drop a note. Have you read an inclusive story of some kind that moved you? (Doesn’t have to be a gay romance.) Good luck!
Love is All
The fifth edition of Love Is All features nine brand new stories from bestselling and award-winning authors, including BL Maxwell, Chantal Mer & Susan Scott Shelley, Connor Peterson, Gabbi Grey, Nic Starr, R.L. Merrill, Sean Michael, Sophia Soames, and Xio Axelrod. They celebrate the universal human right that is to love and be loved.
All proceeds from the anthology will go to two organizations that support and defend LGBTQIA+ rights: the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Equality Texas.
The anthology will only be available for a limited time.
Xio Axelrod Xio Axelrod is a USA Today bestselling author of different flavours of contemporary romance. She also writes what she likes to call strange, twisted tales. Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, no-so-secret name). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and several part-time cats.
Chantal Mer Chantal Mer is an author and optimist. Her stories explore relationships and what it means to be family. When she’s not writing about strong women, strong men, and strong love, she can be found walking her adorable dog, volunteering at her kids’ school (in the library, of course), teaching at the local university, and reading.
Chantal lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, kids, Toffee the Wonder Dog, and vicious cat, Gracie.
Susan Scott Shelley USA Today bestselling author Susan Scott Shelley writes stories with heat and heart, where love always wins. Her romances give readers lighthearted and emotionally satisfying escapes into happily ever after. In addition to crafting stories, she is also a professional voiceover artist and enjoys lending her voice to a wide range of projects.
She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and is an avid fan of her hometown sports teams. Her favorite things include running (honestly, it’s more like jogging), sports (especially hockey), hard rock (but will listen to anything from heavy metal to show tunes), and writing about people from all walks of life finding their special someone.
R.L. Merrill R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing contemporary, paranormal, or supernatural, she loves to give readers a shiver with compelling stories that will stay with you long after. You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, writing horror-infused music reviews for HorrorAddicts.net, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.
Rochelle Merrill brings you Fun, Fresh Fiction with Feeling. If R.L. Merrill is your local hard rock/metal radio station, Rochelle is her Adult Contemporary alter ego. Spinning feel-good stories to make you laugh and swoon, Ro writes romance for grown-ups who use their words (mostly) and take care of business. She’s a mom and wife who’s on hiatus from a career in education while she explores the new terrain of mid-life adventures. You can catch her walking and gardening in her neighborhood by the Bay, spoiling her rescue pets, and dreaming of attending concerts and theaters again someday. Stay Tuned for more hits coming your way…
Sean Michael Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”
A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.
Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.
Sophia Soames Sophia Soames is a Scandinavian, UK based, Author of contemporary MM romance. She writes stories of everyday people with kids and families living real life fairytales.
Nic Starr Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!
When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.
Connor Peterson Connor Peterson is a USA Today bestselling author of LGBTQ+ urban fantasy and dark, paranormal romance, local to the Philadelphia, PA area. The madman behind Deathspell and Temptation in Neon, Connor has also contributed to the story cycle Red Phone Box – published by Ghostwoods Books – and the anthology Nocturnal Embers – published by Crimson Melodies Publishing. He is also an active participant in the Philadelphia writing community, and volunteers as a municipal liaison for National Novel Writing Month.
BL Maxwell BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked.
Many years later, she decided to take the plunge and write down some of the stories that seem to run through her head late at night when she’s trying to sleep.
Gabbi Grey USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.
Thank you so much for letting me visit you so I can share my news with your loyal readers.
Pretty cool, eh?
So the deets—I’m launching an indie series in the fall. I’ve written a bunch of books for the serie,s and it’s time I put them out in the world. I’ve titled the series Mission City. Pretty simple, eh? (I’m Canadian…I just had to throw that in.) Anyway, in writing those books, I developed a number of secondary characters whose stories I couldn’t wait to tell. Ace’s Placeand Marcus’s Cadence are two of them. Characters from both stories have already appeared in several books published under the pen names Gabbi Grey and Gabbi Black. Although each story I write is a standalone, I like to interweave characters into the stories. I think it brings a richness and, to those who read across my genres, an opportunity to see old friends.
Today I’m letting your readers know about the two short stories—available on all platforms for free—and offering a contest. What is your favorite trope? What type of stories do you return to again and again? I’m a big fan of second chances. I’ve written age-gap. And many of my stories have a touch of angst (although not these two). Share your thoughts for a chance to win an audiobook of either Ace’s Place or Marcus’s Cadence—coming soon and narrated by the amazing Michael Dean. If you don’t listen to audiobooks, I’ll be happy to give you any book from my back catalog—Gabbi Grey or Gabbi Black.
Thanks for hosting me, Delilah. I love sharing my good news with your lovely readers!
Derek Murphy has come to the godforsaken small town of Merritt, British Columbia in search of a new beginning. The man is tired, jaded, and resigned to never having sex again. Until Friday night at the local sports bar changes everything.
Harold Graham, hometown boy made good, has lived in Merritt his entire life. When he meets the new guy in town, he’s compelled to reach out the hand of friendship. And maybe more.
But secrets and omissions cloud what could be the beginning of something special. Can they take a chance on being vulnerable enough to fall in love?
What happens when your biggest crush turns up on your doorstep after twelve years?
Cadence Crawford has a good thing going. He’s making waves as a realtor in Mission City, British Columbia. Yes, he’s recently suffered a personal loss, but he’s moving on, and his path forward includes selling the only true home he’s ever known.
Marcus Brannigan is doing fine. He has his physiotherapy practice, he watches over his younger twin sisters, and he’s happy. When he unexpectedly runs into Cadence, who is selling the home he’s always coveted, he’s prepared to do some negotiating.
Neither knew they were seriously crushing on each other. Now they’ve admitted the truth, is happily ever after in the cards?
Marcus’s Cadence is a 7k second-chance gay romance, instalove short story with a very happy ending and a malti-poo named Kiki.
Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.
Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m so excited to share the news of my new release.
Stanley’s Christmas Redemption has been quite a journey for me. Last year, I joined a charity anthology. I had mere days to write a novella, and mere hours to plan it out. I dove into a world I’ve created and tried to find a character whose story I could tell. My lumberjack-ginger-Scrooge-hero in Ginger Snapping All the Way had a jerk of an ex-boyfriend who left him while he was in the hospital dealing with a devastating injury. My mind whirled. What if that ass of an ex had a story? What if he had what he thought was a good reason for leaving? What would he have to do to redeem himself in the eyes of his former friends and, more importantly, in the eyes of his ex-boyfriend?
From that seed of an idea came a novella. But readers wanted more. They felt the length didn’t do the story justice. They wanted more of Stanley. (By the way, always be careful of the name you choose for throwaway characters—I don’t know if I would’ve chosen Stanley if I’d know the man was going to get his own book—that being said, the name has grown on me.) As I sat down to tell Stanley’s story, more came to me. My sweet spot for writing novels in 72k to 85k words. Stanley topped out at 85k, yet I don’t feel any of it was padding. I needed that space to tell the story of a selfish man, a caring counselor, and an orphan boy desperately in need of a loving home. Yes, the book is a love story—the happily ever after was guaranteed. The real question was—could Stanley be redeemed? I invite readers to check out the book and see for themselves.
In honor of my visit today, I would love to give out a $5 GC to one of your devoted followers.
Tell me, as a reader, do you believe a villain in one book can be a hero/heroine in the next? Can you think of another story where that’s happened? If that question doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about audiobooks? Do you listen to them? Is there one that stands out in your mind as one you would recommend to other listeners?
Again, thank you for hosting me, Delilah. I always love visiting you and sharing news with your followers.
Stanley’s Christmas Redemption
I have life figured out—a good job, a nice car, and an ex-boyfriend whose heart I broke. But then my half-brother dies unexpectedly, and I go back to our hometown to settle his affairs. A quick trip before Christmas. Instead, I get the shock of my life. Do I face this new challenge or do what I’ve always done—run? Or will I stay and get to know the most amazing man I’ve ever met and take on a responsibility I’ve never dreamed of facing? This will be a holiday season like no other.
I’m a therapist who helps people deal with grief. My life is fulfilling. So what if I’ve been single for years? I have the kids I counsel and co-workers I adore. Maybe I’m tired of going home to an empty house and not looking forward to another Christmas alone. But I’m not going to be taken in by some slick city guy who can’t wait to leave town. I’m not going to upend my life just because I’ve met the man of my dreams. Right?
This is an 85k opposites-attract instalove mid-angst gay romance novel. Previously published in the charity anthology Secret Santa: A Romance Collection, the story has quadrupled in size with more love, laughs, and a touch of Christmas magic.
Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.
Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me today. You’re very kind.
I’ll admit a secret – I didn’t think the current war would happen. I follow politics and world events, and I couldn’t conceive of this happening. From the beginning—from the first bombs falling—my worldview changed. I felt powerless and, as atrocities continue, my heart breaks a little more each day.
So, what could I do? I can’t influence politicians. I can’t solve the crisis. And asking for world peace, although laudable, isn’t realistic. I donated to a worthy cause. I reached out to my Ukrainian friends to offer unconditional support. But I continued to feel powerless.
Then a friend told me Dakota Willink was putting together an anthology to benefit Ukraine. I’d seen several before, but this one provided me an opportunity to sign up. I immediately threw my name into the ring. I’d written a novella previously for another charity anthology, so I knew I was capable of writing a 10k word story in a short period of time. And I have a world to set that story in, so that was easy.
Still, I wanted to do more. I have another pen name, under which I write very different books. I asked them if I could write a second story, and they agreed. In fact, I’m not the only author who’s done that. With my task at hand, I sat down at the keyboard.
To be clear, none of these stories are about the conflict. We recognize that it’s far too painful for many readers to tackle at this point. But love? Our readers are always up for reading about love. The stories span broad categories such as contemporary, paranormal, and dark, and delve a little deeper into gay or BDSM or other subgenres. There’s something in here for everyone.
My first story is The Lightkeeper’s Love Affair. From my description, it’s a 10k lighthearted gay romance with forced proximity, a loner, a future schoolteacher, and Buddy, the adorable beagle. So, a little something for everyone. The story takes place in a fictional world I’ve created in British Columbia, Canada, and has some familiar sights to those from here. If you’re not, I invite you to immerse yourself. This book is under my pen name Gabbi Grey.
My second story, Toronto Tryst, is also, clearly, based in Canada. I’m showing my roots. Again, from the description, this is a 5k word BDSM-light romance short story with a surprise that will delight. My dark erotic BDSM series, under the pen name Gabbi Black, is, frankly, very dark. It touches on black places but always with a happy ending. That series takes place in Vancouver. The final book in the trilogy is coming out early next year, so I didn’t want to disrupt the series. Yet I wanted to write the story for the anthology. My solution? Pull someone from the BDSM club on the west coast and transport them to Toronto for a nice evening of fun. Don’t be afraid of the BDSM—this is definitely a fluffy read. A nice sampler for those who are new to the subgenre, and a amusing story for those who are more familiar with it.
Obviously, I’d love if everyone purchases a copy of the anthology. It contains hundreds of thousands of words—all written by authors who just want to do their part. 100% of the proceeds go to United Help Ukraine.
Thank you again, Delilah, for giving me a place to share my great news. I would love to give a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commentator.
Let me know your favorite romance trope! Mine turn out to be instalove and forced proximity. And a dog (or cat). I know pets aren’t a trope, but I just always have to throw one in. Share your thoughts for a chance to win!
Seeds of Love: A Romance Charity Anthology to Benefit Ukraine Synopsis
You can help us make a difference.
SEEDS OF LOVE is a romance anthology to benefit Ukraine. This collection of short romance stories is not available anywhere else. 100% of the royalties will be donated to United Help Ukraine, a charitable organization dedicated to helping the Ukrainian people affected by Russia’s invasion. They are a grassroots, entirely volunteer-based organization that provides aid to wounded Ukrainian warriors, assistance to their families, and support to internally displaced people.
This anthology features 48 authors. The stories include various sub-genres of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, dark romance, and romantic comedy.
SEEDS OF LOVE is only available for a limited time! Stand with the people of Ukraine and get your copy today!
Hello all! My name is Jaiyde Thomas, and I am an indie author of mm romance. I love books with lots of angst, a character-driven plot, and of course, lots and lots of sex or BDSM scenes. My favorite romance tropes are hurt/comfort and first-time gay, and I’m a sucker for happily-ever-afters. What I wish to see more in fiction, whether it be TV or books, are disabled characters.
I have been blind since birth. I was told that because I was born premature (1lb. 6oz.), I was placed into an incubator to help with my growth and development. Too much oxygen to my brain led to my cause of blindness, retinopathy of prematurity, which is an eye disease that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina in premature babies. I was in the hospital for two months before my mother was allowed to take me home. At some point, I was also diagnosed with glaucoma, which is increased pressure in the eyeball that causes vision loss.
Being blind had its challenges and its advantages. As a young child, I had moments of doubt because of my disability, and I felt I was different when I was around sighted peers or family. I had many passions as a young girl that kept me feeling normal, and one of them was reading. The Library for the Blind would send me stacks of books, and I would sit on the floor and devour all that I could. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even take off my shoes after school, or I’d be late for dinner, my Granny having to call me multiple times before I understood: stop reading and come eat. Then, I was allowed one day to bring a Braillewriter home from school, and that started my writing journey.
I won’t bore you with my entire life story, but I started writing songs and short stories at around age nine. Then, in seventh grade, I decided to write my first story about a teenage pregnancy. When I became bored with that, I wrote a seven-story series based off my own experiences in high school. In one of them, the main character is blind for a few months, but regains her sight soon after. I wanted her to deal with what I was in real life.
In 2020, under my other pen name, Kelanie Black, I created The Red Lair book series. The focus for this was to show that disabled people, such as the blind, could explore BDSM just like sighted people. Each book had one or two blind characters, each dealing with their exploration of the lifestyle and disability in a different way. After the series was completed, I had decided to try my hand at a new genre: mm romance.
A question online made me push forward writing disabled characters. I will address it below:
Why do you always write about blind people?
Firstly, I don’t believe that we as disabled persons get enough recognition. In TV shows and movies, there are some, but they only have a small role where they are seen and forgotten about, or the disabilities are portrayed inaccurately. I haven’t read a book that includes sex and disabled characters, but I’m sure they’re out there.
Secondly, BDSM is stigmatized just like blind people having sex. People think that because we are blind that someone has to help us all the time and watch over us 24/7. That’s far from the truth! I know many blind people who enjoy sex and BDSM and don’t have a sighted person with them to guide them. We are just normal people, we just do things a bit differently, and we may need accommodations to do them, but we still get things done.
Finally, I write about blind people exploring the BDSM lifestyle so that I can educate others. If you aren’t blind, you wouldn’t know what the day-to-day experience of a disabled person is like. I encourage questions, comments, and even feedback regarding blindness, BDSM, accessibility, because how will you learn if you don’t ask?
Thank you so much for having me! I will post my socials below, and please feel free to follow, friend, and PM me with anything of interest that catches your eye from this post or questions.
When I started writing The Fourth State of Matter, I intended for it to be a poly relationship between a human and two alien characters. However, as I was coming up with the characters I ran into a problem. I couldn’t decide how to design the aliens.
My writing process is usually to start by drawing the characters first. If I can draw them that means I can envision them clearly enough to write about them. I went through several different designs for the aliens, and eventually whittled it down to three different ones.
Then, as I was debating which of the three designs to discard, a thought occurred to me. Why do I have to choose at all?
And so, my ménage à trois became a ménage à quatre.
The Fourth State of Matter is a story that explores the intricacies of an atypical relationship. These characters proudly rebel against the norm, but that doesn’t mean they are free from conflict. There is plenty of drama to be found, both internally and externally. From personal conflicts of self-worth to government agents trying to split our main characters apart, this story features a little of everything.
Between these pages you’ll also find a great sci-fi story, steamy foursome sex scenes between a human and his three alien lovers, and a psychological exploration of what it means to be human. If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, then check out The Fourth State of Matter.
The Fourth State of Matter
Earth is dead. Humanity survives by selling the only resource available—themselves. 2689 has signed away his rights as a living being and become décor, living artwork that rich aliens use to decorate their homes. It’s a stable existence but a boring one. Until one day his owner plays host to three unexpected guests. Large, loud, and more potent than anything 2689 has ever experienced, this trio of ship-dwellers from the wrong side of the universe awakens a desire he can’t ignore.
However, blissful days of sex and companionship with Brog, Desmodian, and Xavis come to an end when 2689 discovers a plot that could land the trio in jail…or worse. 2689 will have to make a choice—stay silent and allow three innocent lives to be ruined or give up his stable life to protect the ones he loves.