Queer Eye on Parenthood

Many (many) summers ago, I was camping with friends at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park when a group of astronomy buffs showed up at the Visitor Center and invited visitors to view the stars through their assortment of high-powered telescopes. I’ll never forget the amazement I felt as I peered through one particularly impressive scope and focused in on Saturn, its rings clearly visible. I wasn’t looking at a photo or video or otherwise mediated image of the iconic planet. No, I was LOOKING AT SATURN.

Photo of Saturn

SATURN!!

That long ago weekend stands out for other reasons, too: a particularly beautiful, remote hike that required a tense drive along a one-lane logging road edged by miles of 2,000-foot drops; nights spent camping under massive Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars with the scent of evergreen needles on the breeze; and an early morning ferry ride back to Seattle that featured a pod of Orcas trailing us across Puget Sound. So many lovely things happened that it felt afterward like I had spent a long weekend inside a Mary Oliver poem. But Saturn’s rings? Wow. Just, wow.

Fast forward to earlier this month when a Facebook invitation popped up from a local organization to come to a park not far from our house and stargaze through our regional astronomy club’s scopes. I told Kris and the girls about it immediately, envisioning a memorable few hours when the far reaches of our solar system would be revealed. The event started at 6:30 p.m. on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, which to my mind meant it might be the perfect family outing. The girls were up for the adventure, especially when they learned we might be able to see planets as well as stars.

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Posted in LGBTQ+, Non-Biological Motherhood, Parenting | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Little Disguised: Queering the Canon, One Classic at a Time

Note: This post discusses my upcoming series “Queering the Canon” from Second Growth Books. If you’re interested in helping crowdfund the series, please visit my Patreon profile.

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Recently, a reader who has become a friend and regular correspondent about books, ideas, and life mentioned that as a Jane Austen fan, he had been somewhat worried about my P&P adaptation, Gay Pride and Prejudice, in which I added roughly 10,000 words to Austen’s novel in order to shift the classic love story from supposedly heteronormative to distinctly homo. Not everyone in Gay P&P is queer, you understand, but enough characters are switch hitters (or, as it was apparently known in the eighteenth century, practitioners of “the game of flats”) to tilt the novel’s central romance off-center—a revisionist choice that more than one reader has disliked. Intensely.

This wasn’t the first time someone who generally likes my writing confessed their doubts about my goal of queering Austen’s best-known novel. Prior to writing and publishing Gay P&P, in fact, I very much shared those concerns. I hesitated for more than a year to attempt an LGBT rewrite of P&P because, well, JANE AUSTEN. But at last, I grew tired of waiting for the novel I’d always longed to read, and went ahead and adapted the mother of all romance novels to make it queer.

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Posted in #QueeringTheCanon, Queer books, Second Growth Books, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Homophones, Synonyms, and Queer Folk, Oh My

A couple of nights ago at dinner, Kris was telling us about a book she’d just finished: My Squirrel Days, a collection of personal essays written by actor Ellie Kemper from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. At one point, Kris explained, Kemper envisions herself on her death bed surrounded by her future children and grandchildren. One of her granddaughters is named Cabinet, Kemper writes, and the other Morph, short for Metamorphosis, because “popular girl names don’t get any less weird in the future.”

“Cabinet?” Sydney echoed.

“Metamorphosis?” Alex repeated, her eyes narrowing doubtfully.

I mean, really, how do you explain a concept like metamorphosis to elementary schoolchildren?

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Posted in Education, Family, LGBTQ+, Parenting | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

So about that GoS book #4 cover…

**2/22/19 UPDATE: The pre-order had to be canceled due to a glitch–okay, a GAFFE on my part. Anyway, I reuploaded the book, and the good news is that you can order and read it TODAY (Friday) instead of having to wait until Monday! I am changing links fastly and furiously. Here you go: NEW ORDER PAGE ON AMAZON**

Happy Valentine’s Day from snowy Western Washington, where my children are currently on their sixth snow day! Over the past week, we’ve had a grand total of–trumpets, please16 inches. That’s right, folks, six days of no school because a little more than a foot of snow decided to land on our neck of the woods. Have you seen that meme that compares the local reaction to different snowfall amounts in varying parts of the country? Probably the only thing King County has in common with the south is that with a foot of snow, we declare a state of emergency. The Seattle Snowpocalypse is real, y’all.Road-to-Canada-kindle

Anyway, on to book news. You know how I always say I reserve the right to change the cover before publication? Well, book #4 of the Girls of Summer series now has a new cover–and a new title: The Road to Canada. I’ve said before that Jamie and Emma have minds of their own, so it might not come as a surprise to some of you that they’ve once again hijacked the story. Girls of Summer will now be book #5, though it keeps the (slightly tweaked) cover with the flag. Good thing, too–Kris, my wife, loves that cover.

So why the change? In short, Girls of Summer was either going to have to be considerably longer than the other books in the series or I would have had to limit the story that Jamie and Emma keep insisting they want to tell. Instead of grappling alone with this decision, I created a SurveyMonkey that I shared with a focus group. The survey asked the readers to choose an option: one super-long novel that wouldn’t be available for several months OR two shorter novels, one of which was almost complete. The results: Books #4 and 5 will be published separately, but I will also make them available as a box-set for those who would prefer to read them together as one super-long book.

For now, though, The Road to Canada (book 4) is available for pre-order on Amazon. Publication is set for February 25. I’m still planning to wrap up Jamie and Emma’s current storyline in Girls of Summer (book 5), due out in May, but obviously #Blakewell may have different ideas about that… I (and J & E) will keep you posted. Oh, and I added a box set of Girls of Summer books 1 to 3 on Amazon for anyone who needs to catch up. Pass it on if you get a chance!

In the meantime, Happy V-Day, and happy reading. And if you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, happy sledding…

snow-day-sm

Me and the girls in our normally snow-free forest

Posted in Lesbian Fiction, Queer books, Soccer, USWNT | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Girls of Summer cover reveal + giveaway

So. Election day is over–sort of, if you don’t count Georgia and Florida. Despite the “Big Win” a certain tweeting madman immediately claimed, the Democrats managed to flip the House of Representatives, which is allowing most of us in the LGBTQ+ community as well as other minority groups to breathe a bit easier. There’s still the looming constitutional crisis that accelerated yesterday with the firing of Sessions, the specter of a conservative Supreme Court for decades to come, and serious questions regarding the hackability of our electronic voting infrastructure, but hey. At least we’ll be able to subpoena the crazy dude’s taxes, am I right?

Sigh… I know, it’s always darkest before the light. I’m just afraid we haven’t gotten truly dark enough yet to qualify.

GoS-kindleAnyway, on to writing news, specifically regarding the upcoming fourth book in my USWNT soccer series, the Girls of Summer. Honestly, submerging myself in fictional 2014-15 America–when Obama was still president and gay marriage was about to be legalized across the entire nation!–has been a wonderful balm to my anxiety-ridden 2016-18 self. I hope my books might offer the same sort of refuge for some of you, as well.

As I mentioned in a message to my mailing list last week, the fourth (and possibly not final) book in my soccer series, Girls of Summer, is due to be released in December or January. The new cover is at right, though of course, I reserve the right to change it (as per usual) before publication. I’ll be giving away 2 copies of Girls of Summer one week before the novel is available for download. To qualify for the drawings, read on!

I’ve released three titles in the past few months:

To be entered in the first drawing for a free, early copy of Girls of Summer, you need only have purchased a copy of one of the three books listed above. To be entered in the second drawing, pen a review on Amazon or Goodreads for one of the three books listed above. Once you’ve purchased one of these books or written a review, send a note to kate (at) katejchristie.com, and I’ll add your email address to the giveaway(s). The deadline to sign up is December 1, so that gives you some time. On December 2, I’ll draw the winners and notify them by email.

I’m relying on the honor system, so no proof of purchase or review is necessary. But please do consider writing a review if you haven’t already done so. Word of mouth helps books find readers, especially in a smaller niche like lesbian fiction.

In the meantime, happy reading and keep resisting. Also, best wishes to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a speedy recovery! And I mean, speedy…

 

Posted in Giveaways, Lesbian Fiction, LGBTQ+, Queer books, Women's soccer | Tagged , , | 6 Comments