Countdown to Election Day with Rep. Angie Antonelli: T Minus 3 – The Right To Vote Is At Stake

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Congresswoman Angie Antonelli, the main character of my new book, Love Is Enough, asked to post a series of daily posts on this blog leading up to Election Day in the US on Tuesday, November 4.   And, really, how could I refuse her?

Cindy_Book2Cover

Hi, it’s Angie here to talk to you again about the importance of the upcoming election in the US this Tuesday, November 4, and urge you to get out and vote.

Let’s discuss voting.  This country has a shameful legacy when it comes to the right to vote, beginning with the earliest days of our history.  Did you know that for the first 60 years of our republic only white male landowners had the right to vote?  And then in the mid-1800s, once all white males gained the right, states adopted literacy tests designed to deter European immigrants from voting.  After Black males were granted the vote, Southern states enacted poll taxes in addition to literacy tests in order to keep them away from the polls.  Women couldn’t vote until 1920 and Native Americans until 1924.  Finally, in 1965, the Voting Rights Act put an end to race-based voting restrictions, an achievement that I thought, until recently, closed the door on our disgraceful past.

But I’m afraid I spoke too soon, because now, as the country’s citizens of color, new immigrants, and younger voters favor more progressive stands on the issues of the day, conservatives have once again raised barriers, this time by imposing onerous identification requirements aimed, they say, at eliminating so-called voter fraud.  But this is a solution in search of a problem, since there’s very scant evidence of voter fraud.  What we have real evidence of is impossibly long lines at the polls in neighborhoods where a majority of African Americans live.  What we have are ID rules that will confound our transgender brothers and sisters, including people like my friend Hadley Chambers, from exercising their right to vote.  And what we have is a US Supreme Court decision that took the enforcement teeth out of the Voting Rights Act, paving the way for more of these restrictions that Attorney General Eric Holder says, “cause a greater burden on African Americans, Latinos, and younger voters.”

So what can you do?  First educate yourself by reading about the issue on the websites of civil rights and LGBT equality organizations, like the NAACP and the National Center for Transgender Equality.  And help your family members and friends who may be encountering ID restrictions.  But most important, get out and vote on Tuesday for the people who will restore everyone’s right to unobstructed access the polls.

To learn more about Angie Antonelli and the ups and downs of her love life, read Love Is Enough, available here and here.

 

 

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Countdown to Election Day with Rep. Angie Antonelli: T Minus 4

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Congresswoman Angie Antonelli, the main character of my new book, Love Is Enough, asked to post a series of daily posts on this blog leading up to Election Day in the US on Tuesday, November 4.   And, really, how could I refuse her?

Cindy_Book2Cover

Thanks so much, Cindy.  I’m Congresswoman Angie Antonelli.  Please call me Angie.  Everybody does!  I’m doing the best I can over the next few days to get the word out about the importance of this election.  I know it can feel insignificant because we’re not electing a president, but there’s a lot at stake if we’re going to preserve some of the successes we’ve achieved and prevent some really horrible new things from happening.

Over the next couple of days leading up to November 4th, I’m going to talk about two critical issues that are at stake and tell you about a few of the candidates who deserve your support.  As you know, I come from a family that believes strongly in public service and I’ve always known that politics would be my own path to achieving change.  And while my re-election to a fourth term in Congress seems relatively safe (you can read about the really difficult time I had being re-elected to a second term in 2010 in Love Is Enough), the same is not true for a number of my colleagues and for some of the new candidates we desperately need to vote into office.

So watch this space.  I’m going to talk about voting rights and the new strategy of the right wing to deny women and gays equality.  You’ll learn more about why you need to get yourself, your friends and families to the polls on Tuesday.

I’m doing my part.  I’ve been traveling around the country—visiting Colorado, Texas, Maine, and even my own state of Massachusetts—getting the word out about how important it is to elect people who will protect our wins and not set us back.

It hasn’t been easy trying to get anything done in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  But at least with a Democratic Senate, while we haven’t been able to move a lot forward, my colleagues in the other chamber have been a bulwark against insane measures like repeal of the Affordable Care Act and more tax breaks for big corporations.  But if we are to believe a lot of the polls out there, all that could change.  The Senate is in danger of turning over, which means we’d have Republicans in charge of the entire Congress and only President Obama’s veto pen to defend equality and economic justice for working families, including the many small businesses I fight for every day.

So join with me in this important effort.  Tell your friends and families to vote and make sure you get out there yourself on Tuesday.  And when you turn your clocks back this weekend, remember, you want to make sure our country doesn’t turn the clock back on your rights.

To learn more about Angie Antonelli and the ups and downs of her love life, read Love Is Enough, available here and here.

Check Out This New Interview with Me by Author AJ Adaire

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AJ interviewed me and we actually had a very nice conversation about our books and writing. There’s a lot of info in here about my new book, Love Is Enough. Here’s the link: http://www.ajadaire.com/AJ_INTERVIEWS_AUTHORS.php

When You Use Your Identity As A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Nail

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There’s been a lot of discussion this week in my little world of lesfic-land about identity.  Folks have dragged out tired old tropes about who’s a real lesbian and have defended the concept of “womyn born womyn,” an anti-transgender relic of the past now masquerading as a gender identity.  Some have lashed out, some have been hurt and other ones of us have rushed in to raise the flag of inclusion.  As the week winds down, I have to ask: do we really need to use our identities as a kind of cudgel with which to beat others into silence and segregation?

I’m 58 years old. I came out 1974.  After college, I threw myself head first into what was then the thriving lesbian feminist culture of Boston.  I proudly sang the Alix Dobkin anthem, “Lesbian, lesbian, every woman can be a lesbian,” more likely believing then that every woman should be a lesbian.  I read the early second wave feminist tracts that asserted that “feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.”  I flirted with separatism and the rejection of “male energy” though I never turned my back on my father and I worked in the movement with a number of gay men.  I defended woman-only space, a concept I haven’t completely rejected but am willing to re-examine.  I attended the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival once, in the early 1980s, and the New England Women’s Music Retreat twice.  I liked the ability to walk around at night in complete safety but I never liked the food and I hated camping, so my festival days were few.  I was much more at home in Boston attending large women’s music concerts and historic events like the Varied Voices of Black Women and the well-attended reading of the classic anthology, Nice Jewish Girls.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.  Those of us who were out political lesbian feminists back then were relatively few in number, and we were despised and dismissed by the larger society.  So we created our own bubble of a world and we enforced sets of rules, codes and expectations upon one another.  We thought we were doing this in service of The Revolution.  We thought we were doing this so we could build a women’s utopia.  We thought we were an army of lovers that could not fail.  But what we were doing was deeply flawed.

 I could go on and on critiquing that time, but it’s easier to just compare it with today, the era that I and others find ourselves in now. 

  • I still dress in jeans and t-shirts like I did then, but I no longer expect everyone else to. I respect the fact that other lesbians like dresses, make-up and heels.  Oh heck, I don’t just respect it, I adore it.…but that’s another story. 
  • I have learned to use the word “queer.” I won’t lie, it didn’t come naturally at first.   But I got there and I’ve found that it is a useful umbrella term to speak inclusively about all kinds of people.  Just this week I came across and posted to Facebook an article from TheAtlantic.com called “The Quiet Crisis Among Queer Women,” which shared some disturbing data about health disparities and other issues.  I believe the use of the term “queer women” instead of “lesbians” was deliberate and was meant to include women of various sexual orientations and gender identities as well as transgender women.  That made sense to me. 
  • I don’t just focus on my sexual orientation anymore, I also think about my gender identity. I’m female, true, but I’m also butch-identified, which means I need more space in which to express who I am in terms of clothing, hair style, etc.  And I can’t help but note that the space I have to do so is largely due to the work of my transgender and gender non-conforming brothers and sisters who have been on the frontlines pushing back against the gender binary.  In fact, I’m always a bit stumped at the complaint of many lesbians that “all the butches are becoming men.”  No one knows that for sure, first of all.  And what’s more important is that lesbians and trans folks benefit so much more from being in alliance than we do from enforcing lines of separation.  I am reminded of this each time I put on a tie.
  • I have finally unlearned a whole lot of what I thought I knew about bisexuality. I have my wife, Jennifer, to thank for this.  She is way more evolved than I am and I’ve learned to check myself when I say something and she rolls her eyes at me.  I don’t know why this one took me so long.  I’ve always believed in the zero to six continuum of the famous Kinsey Scale of sexual orientation, and further, I’ve believed that people can shift around on that scale at different times in their lives.   But I grew up at a time when a woman who’d been a lesbian and then became involved with a man was assumed to be doing so to take advantage of “heterosexual privilege” and not because she was open to intimate relationships with people of any gender.  But now, as the wider society has become more accepting, we can no longer lean on the explanation of “privilege” and must accept that bisexuality is real and not a way station to either being gay or being straight. I now recognize that biphobia is not just a real evil, but one that needs to be actively opposed by allies like me so that everyone has room to live, to breathe and to be their authentic selves.

I guess that’s the point in this whole messy situation:  authenticity.   People need to have the room to be themselves, without shame, without feeling like they have to hide because they’re bisexual and they write books about lesbians, and without fear that if they are discovered no one will like them or buy their books.  We’ve got to be better than that and I think we can be.

The values and the community norms that might have made sense in the 1970s no longer serve us well.  It’s time to let go of the need to build walls and use our lesbian identity as a hammer.  Our comrades are no longer just the members of tiny lesbian feminist communities we forged so many years ago.  Now we are multitudes, proud and queer and walking through walls.  This is truly an army of lovers that cannot fail.

COVER and BLURB REVEAL for LOVE IS ENOUGH by Cindy Rizzo

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Cindy_Book2CoverComing this month in e-book and paperback–

Angie Antonelli has the life she’s always wanted—a promising political career, a supportive family, and great friends. The one thing missing is what she hoped she’d have by now, a committed relationship with the woman of her dreams.

Jan Clifford has been taking a break from dating while she figures out how to create a life that is more fulfilling than the country club society of her parents and her job in the family’s investment firm.

When Angie and Jan are set up on a blind date to go sailing, the chemistry is immediate and the attraction undeniable, but each wonders if she can really fit into the other’s world. Can the politician who fights for the little guy make things work with the financier who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth?

Before it has time to get very far, this new relationship is put to the test. First, Angie must decide how she really feels when the woman who broke her heart many years ago suddenly comes back into her life. And then the worlds of politics and finance collide when Jan refuses to walk away from a business deal that threatens Angie’s re-election to a second term in Congress.

Can the intense connection they feel keep Angie and Jan together? Only hopeless romantics believe that love is enough. Or is it?

From the author of the award-winning debut novel, Exception to the Rule, Cindy Rizzo once again delivers a riveting story that blends romance with the important issues of our time.

Coming Soon: LOVE IS ENOUGH

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I’ve been working hard to get my second novel ready for release in September and it’s looking like I’m going to make that happen.  Right now the manuscript is with my second editor who will do the final once over and format it for e-book and print.  While this is happening my fabulous cover artist will be working his magic as I finalize the all important blurb.

Here’s a look at the blurb in progress:

Love Is Enough – draft blurb

Angie Antonelli has the life she’s always wanted—a promising political career, a supportive family, and great friends.  The one thing missing is what she hoped she’d have by now, a committed relationship with the woman of her dreams.

Jan Clifford is taking a break from dating while she figures out how to create a life that is more fulfilling than the country club society of her parents and her job in the family’s investment firm.

When Angie and Jan are set up on a blind date, the chemistry is immediate and the attraction undeniable, but each wonders if she can really fit into the other’s world.  Can the politician who fights for the little guy make things work with the financier who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth?

Before it has time to get very far, this new relationship is put to the test.   First, Angie must decide how she really feels when the woman who broke her heart many years ago suddenly comes back into her life.  And then the worlds of politics and finance collide when Jan refuses to walk away from a business deal that threatens Angie’s re-election to a second term in Congress. 

Can the intense connection they feel keep Angie and Jan together? Only hopeless romantics believe that love is enough. 

From the author of the award-winning debut novel, Exception to the Rule, Cindy Rizzo once again delivers a riveting story that blends romance with the important issues of our time. 

***** 

Yes, that’s the same Angie Antonelli from Exception to the Rule, now in her 30s and finishing her first term in Congress.  But Love Is Enough is not a sequel.  Think of it more like part of series, with each book standing on its own.

This is a story with its share of twists and turns.  Oh, and plus, you’ll have a front row seat as Angie’s friends make Jan take the mysterious Galileo Test.  Would your new girlfriend be able pass it?  You’ll know very soon when Love Is Enough is released in September.  Watch this space!

My Activist Fantasy

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DemoJune2014I posted this photo on Facebook recently after attending a rally in support of a national campaign to end LGBTQ youth homelessness.  It was a great demo with impressive speakers like Edie Windsor (pictured above with my synagogue’s contingent).  Windsor and others, so important to the fight for marriage equality, are actively encouraging the community not to declare victory and go home but instead to turn its attention to issues of poverty and economic justice, chief among them the plight of our homeless kids.  

My friends RoseAnn and George Hermann helped put this event together.  You won’t find more tireless and dedicated advocates than those two.  The parents of gay and lesbian kids, they are active in so many LGBT struggles (more than most gay people I know!), that I have no idea how they have any time to work and enjoy their grandkids.  They are exceptional, unsung heroes of our movement and I would go anywhere and do anything they ask of me, the least of which is attending a rally on an issue I care deeply about to begin with.

I don’t know exactly who attended this rally, though I saw a lot of youth who may be or may have been at one time homeless.  Among the adults were people like me who came to the park directly from our work places.  So as the bright sun began to descend over Washington Square Park, I listened to the many speakers and was once again inspired as I’m sure the scores of people around me were.  

But inspired to do what?  Care, for sure.  We wouldn’t have been standing there if we didn’t care.  But what else should we be doing?  

Unfortunately no one asked us to do anything.  So as I stood there listening to so many well-spoken words, I began to fantasize about filling that gap.  And my thoughts turned to my main characters, Robin Greene and Tracy Patterson, from Exception to the Rule.  If you’ve read the book, you know that Robin spent her teenage years hanging out in the West Village with a group of homeless queer kids and, as an aspiring writer, she refashioned the stories she’d heard from those kids into her first book of short fiction called The Streets and The Pier.  That book catapulted her career and soon she became nationally known both as a writer and as an advocate.

So what would Robin and her girlfriend Tracy have done at a demonstration in Washington Square Park on a beautiful June evening?  Likely it would go something like this….

*******

Robin was excited to have been asked to speak.  She’d thought long and hard about what she would say, especially since she would be the final speaker following movement legends like Edie Windsor and David Mixner as well as a young poet who’d written eloquently about his own experience as a homeless youth and an impressive gay preacher from Washington Heights who’d begun his own House as part of the vibrant Ball culture in New York.  What could she add that wouldn’t have already been said?

She didn’t want to read her work.  It would dilute the impact of the poet.  Plus why showcase a fictional story–as realistic as she tried to make it–when there would be so many real stories standing right in front of her.  No, her time on the stage needed to be about action not words.  And then it hit her.  It had to be her job to get the people to do something.  But what?

As she and Tracy sat over dinner a week before the rally, a plan took shape.  And now, as they stood to the side of the makeshift stage waiting for Robin to be called up to speak, they watched as two young people they knew went through the crowd distributing half-sheets of paper to the adults.  She heard one of the kids tell a guy as she handed him the paper, “Hold onto this.  Robin will tell you what to do with it.”

She smiled and bent over to ask Tracy if she’d heard the kid.  A nod of the blonde head next to her and a reassuring hand on her shoulder helped bolster her courage.  She could do this.

At last she was introduced and she bounded up to the stage to speak.  

“Great to see you all here tonight. I know you’re here because you already understand how important this issue is and how important these kids are to our community and our future.  You’ve heard amazing words from amazing people tonight.  So now I hope you’re ready to be asked to do something to help.  

“Many of you are holding a piece of paper that looks like this.”  She raised her arm showing the crowd the paper that had been distributed.

“So you already know that we want you to give money.  But here’s what you don’t know.  My partner Tracy and I have already started things off by donating $5,000 to this campaign.”

There was applause.

“And we will donate up to another $5,000 if you will match it dollar for dollar.”  More applause.

“That’s $15,000 toward the day when no young person will have to sleep on the street or be at the mercy of someone who will provide a couch or a bed in exchange for exploitation.  So here’s what you folks with the papers need to do.  Write your names, contact info and payment info on the paper and I’ll be on the side of the stage waiting for you.  I have pens if you need them.  I know some of you came here right from your jobs because I see the ties and the skirts.”  There was a bit of laughter.

“So you’ve got jobs and you can stretch a bit and make it so one day soon these kids will have jobs.  Good jobs that pay well.  That let you afford to pay your rent and feed yourself and go on a date.  Just like you all get to do.  So start filling those papers out.

“And while you’re doing that, I’ll talk to the youth who are here.  You guys, you see the cute blonde on the side of the stage?”  Robin pointed and Tracy looked up and smiled at the same time rolling her eyes and pointing back to Robin.  

“That’s my girl, Tracy, and she’s got something for you.  Metrocards good for 10 rides on the bus and subway.  That’s 10 rides where you don’t have to stand at the turnstile wondering if anyone will see you jump it.  10 rides to get to a shelter or a job interview or a class.  10 rides to meet a friend at the pier or the drop-in center.  I know it’s not enough and it’ll be gone before you know it, but you can at least take a breath and relax the next 10 times you have to get somewhere.  So line up and get yours.  I think there’s enough for everyone here.

“And as for the rest of you, your job is raise $5,000 because five’ll get you fifteen.”

****

Yeah, that’s exactly what they would have done.  Now it’s up to the rest of us.

The Child With Five Grandmothers

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So happy to be included as part of this wonderful tradition begun by Dana Rudolph of Mombian, a fabulous site of news and resources for LGBT families.

In less than ten days my wife and I will become grandmothers.  If I’m having trouble getting used to using the word “wife,” you can imagine how difficult it’s going to be to get used to the word “grandma.”  But actually, I’m going to be “Grandma Cindy,” because in addition to Jenny and me, this child will have three other grandmothers—my ex and her wife, and my daughter-in-law’s mother—plus one grandfather.  That’s a lot of people slipping the kid a five-dollar bill when the parents aren’t looking.  Talk about a windfall.

The imminent birth of a little girl has me thinking about a lot of things.  Of course, many of them have to do with presents and babysitting and guarding against sexism while still indulging a child who could very well present herself as a “girly girl.”

But it’s also got me thinking about the family that my granddaughter will be inheriting and about all the families we are creating. 

Which brings me to the question of the impact of marriage equality on the LGBT family.  You might not have seen that coming, so let me explain.

I’m both happily married and happy to be married.  And yet, at the same time, as someone who came of age in the heady, radical era of 1970s lesbian feminism, I sit with some discomfort. 

Most gay and lesbian couples will tell you that no matter how long they’ve been together, it all feels different once you are married.  Heck, even Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer said that after 40 years!  So it’s safe to conclude that marriage changes things for same-sex couples.  But, the question I really wonder about is whether same-sex couples will change marriage. 

So much of the discussion around equality has been about making sure straight people understand how much we are like them.  In the heat of the various marriage fights, advocates have been able to get many straight people to testify that “the nice male couple down the street” mowed their lawn or shoveled their snow, or some such normal, neighborly thing.  No orgies, no offensive activities, just regular folks.  In other words, just like us.

 And of course that is true in many ways.  But what interests me, and where my hopes and dreams lie, is to identify the places where we are not just like them.  Where our experiences as outsiders, as people who made the choice to live openly as true to ourselves sets us apart.

What can we do to change marriage and change The Family?  How can the influx of out and proud queer families make things better.  Or, is it really true?  Are we just like them?  Are we no better?

I’ve been obsessing over these questions since last summer when I saw the film Concussion, a story about a lesbian couple and their kids who live in the suburbs.  After one of the moms gets hit in the head by accident and suffers a concussion, she makes some changes in her boring life and winds up as a prostitute for high-paying female clients.  After her wife finds out, she gives it all up and goes back to her suburban spin classes, pedaling furiously among the straight housewives whose husbands are gone all day to jobs in the city.  In other words, nothing changes.  She is re-assimilated.

You have no idea how that movie depressed me.  I walked out of the theater wondering, “Is this what we fought for, the right to live in suburbia and take spin classes next to other housewives?”  Does our ability to get married and have kids just buy us a ticket into the same moribund life?  Do we give up our Queer Card when we leave the city limits?

I really hope not.  Because I want my granddaughter—the baby with five grandmothers—to grow up in a world that is about more than mere equality.  I want her to know that that she can be different, and she can revel in and be adored for that difference.  I want her to know that there is more to life than the kind of equality that means you can just fit in and be absorbed into the mainstream.

I know even now that she will be a gift to her five grandmas and her grandpa.  And I want her queer grandmas to give her their own gift by showing her a world that holds an abundance of possibilities.

Grabbing the Baton…

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…from my friend, author Sandra Moran, who’s tagged me to contribute a blog post on My Writing Process as part of the blog tour aptly called #mywritingprocess.  If you don’t know Sandra’s books, you should.  She’s the author of the acclaimed novel, Letters Never Sent, and her newest book, Nudge.  Finish reading this post and then go buy them!

So what I’ve been tasked to do is to answer four questions.  Here we go—

1.  What am I working on?

Two things.  First, I just finished the initial draft of my latest novel, Love Is Enough.  This is the second book in the series that began with Exception to the RuleLove Is Enough takes place in 2010 and focuses on the story of Angie Antonelli as she begins a new relationship just when she is facing a difficult and perplexing campaign for her second term in Congress.  Right now the book is with beta readers, so I’m anxiously (and eagerly) awaiting the first round of feedback.  My plan is to have the book out this summer.

While the beta readers do their thing with Love Is Enough, I am working on a short story that will be submitted for inclusion in an anthology about holiday (Christmas/Chanukah) stories begin published by Ylva Publishing.  The story, as yet untitled, will be about two ultra-Orthodox Jewish teenage girls who fall in love.  When one of them runs away from their community north of New York City, the other one, who is the narrator of the story, goes in search of her.  I’ve been doing a lot of research in preparation for the actual writing in order to make sure I get a number of details correct.  Right now I’m reading a fascinating book called Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels, about Hasidic men and women who have, for various reasons, become disillusioned with their lives.

 2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre?

In some ways it doesn’t.  Before I wrote my first book I read dozens of contemporary lesfic romances, trying to get a clear sense of the genre and its boundaries.  I also read what I call “adjacent genres” (erotic romance, young adult romance, paranormal and historical romance) in order to see how those differ from the contemporary kind.  That was all extremely helpful.

Where I think I might differ, though not entirely from other authors, is that I try to explore social justice issues in my books.  So in Exception, there’s the issue of homeless LGBTQ youth woven throughout, and in Love Is Enough, I’ve got a transgender character (he’s the best friend of my main character, Jan Clifford) who encounters some anti-trans attitudes during the course of the book.

 3. Why do I write what I do?

I guess I’m a romantic at heart and I’ve always loved love stories, particularly the girl-meets-girl variety.  Plus, I really think fiction is a great way to explore social issues in a manner that can educate without being too heavy-hitting.  Even in political work, social movements have learned that stories about real people are one of the best vehicles for changing hearts and minds.

4.  How does my writing process work?

I think mine is evolving as I become more experienced and clearer about what works for me.

I start out with the characters living in my head.  I think about them constantly and let them develop.  This is before even a word gets written.  The movement of the plot comes to me this way as well.  If I need to know more, I’ll do research, but the basics of the characters and what happens to them becomes part of my iterative thought process.

To actually write, I started using Scrivener software, which enables you to write each chapter and its component scenes as separate documents that can be moved around if you decide that you need to do things like start the story at a different place.  This happened to me with Exception.  I had some important early feedback about the beginning and used Scrivener to reorder scenes and chapters.

I can also dump all my research into Scrivener, so it’s available to me when I need it.  For example, I had to find out some things about campaign finance laws for Love Is Enough.  I found this great graphic from a newspaper website that summarized a lot of what I needed to know, and I was able to easily grab hold of it when I needed it.

I have been fortunate to find really good beta readers, some of whom are experienced writers and others of whom have what I’d call subject matter expertise about various aspects of the book.  So with Love Is Enough, I have a friend who knows sailing quite well which was important because my characters meet on a blind date that takes place on a sailboat.  I also have someone who works as a lobbyist looking at how I’ve written about politics and Congress.

After I revise based on beta reader feedback, I give the book to an editor, revise again and then give it to a final editor who will also format it and get it ready for release.  I’m really lucky to get to work with wonderful people.

 

I hope this has been at least a little informative.  I’m thrilled to be able to tag as next two wonderful author friends.

Heather Blackmore, a San Francisco-based writer, published her debut novel, Like Jazz, with Bold Strokes Books.  It’s a well-written and heartfelt romance featuring a main character who, like me, works at a foundation, but who, unlike me, is much of a snazzier dresser.

AJ Adaire, from nearby New Jersey, writes for Desert Palm Press and already has four books out, all part of her Friends Series.  All of her books have been bestsellers and in only a short time, she’s become one of the most popular lesfic writers around.

….Passing the Baton

Cover and Blurb Reveal: Exception to the Rule by Cindy Rizzo

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Thanks to Jan Wandrag for this wonderful cover.

Thanks to Jan Wandrag for this wonderful cover.

Available this week in e-book format on Amazon and Smashwords!  Print book to follow.

Blurb:

What will keep you safe—and sane—when you find yourself in a new and unfamiliar place convinced you’ll never find anyone like you?

For Robin and Tracy, it’s the rules they set for themselves as they begin their first semester at Adams University near Boston.

Robin is determined to hide in her room writing until she can get back to her homeless gay friends in New York City, whose easy exchange of sex and friendship inspires her creativity.  She’s sworn off perfect princesses like Tracy Patterson, no matter how attractive she finds the mysterious Southerner on her hall with the long blonde hair and tight jeans.

And Tracy has no interest in cynical, smart-mouthed Northerners like Robin. She has her own set of rules—fine-tuned back home in North Carolina where she had a fake boyfriend and an uncomplicated string of older female lovers, including her mother’s best friend. Here at college, she already has her first conquest planned, and it’s certainly not Robin Greene.

This is a love story about two young women who can only find their true selves by finding one another. But are Robin and Tracy willing to give up all they think they know in order to find happiness?

Sometimes in life, the person who will matter most is the one who’s an exception to the rule.

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In the Chair

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The Whole Megillah

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Bryan Alexander

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A Lesbian Reads

My reviews on Lesbian Fiction and sometimes a few others tossed in.

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A Lesbian Reads

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Clare Ashton

award-winning sapphic romances and mysteries

Frivolous Views

Sometimes insightful. Sometimes silly. Always me.