All right, only a few more days until Homodramatica: Family of Five releases! In the meantime, I’ve posted the Official Excerpt on my website and thought I would include the Introduction here. Happy reading!
For those who may not know me, I’m a writer of lesbian fiction, a gay-married resident of the Pacific Northwest, the mother of three awesome daughters (including fraternal twins), and a ginormous soccer fan. In fact, I intended to publish this book before the 2018 Men’s World Cup started, but alas, I missed my self-imposed deadline. So here we are a bit late. If the US men had made the World Cup, this book would probably be even later. But that’s a whole other story.
Homodramatica: Family of Five is a collection of essays that started out as random posts on my blog Homodramatica and eventually coalesced into a quasi-coherent story of our family’s beginning. Each chapter presents a text-based snapshot of daily life for my wife, three young daughters, and myself at a particular moment in time. Woven through this writerly scrapbook, as I’ve come to think of the collection, is the theme of gay marriage in the United States. What are the flashpoints in the cultural conversation about same-sex marriage? How does the debate impact parenting in general? And how does the political climate impact the life of our gay-married, same-sex parented family in particular?
As the saying goes, the personal is political. For our queer family, caught up in the culture wars of the early 21st century, the two have often been inextricable.
Homodramatica the blog wasn’t actually my idea. In 2009, after nearly three decades of dreaming of becoming a “real” writer, I signed a contract with Bella Books to publish my first novel. Solstice came out in early 2010, followed by Leaving LA and Beautiful Game in 2011. Somewhere during that pre-parenting gold rush of novels, my editor suggested I start a blog, one of the easiest marketing tools for a writer to manage. At the time, my wife Kris was eight months pregnant with our first child. Not only would a blog help me connect with readers and other writers, I decided, but it would also be a place where I could jot down my thoughts about “lesbian fiction and life,” as the tagline says on Homodramatica, with a spotlight—or dare I say focus—on the family.
Seven years later, my kids are now old enough to understand that Mimi is a writer of grown-up novels that they won’t be allowed to read until, you know, never, if I have my way. They also know that I occasionally write about our family, and they seem intrigued by the idea of appearing as central characters in one of my books. For my part, I’m glad I recorded so much about their early years because after 88 consecutive months of disordered sleep, my memories of past events are a bit blurry, to be honest. My wife, Kris, agrees.
For the purposes of the story this book attempts to tell, I have fleshed out the original pieces from the blog and added several previously unpublished and/or significantly altered essays, marked in the table of contents by an asterisk. It turns out that while I have rarely lacked for blogging topics, I have often lacked the follow-through to post that content online. Like many would-be chroniclers of daily life, my intentions were good when I started the blog. However, I’ve grown less efficient at posting in recent years as my family, day job, and fiction writing have been higher on the priority list. As a result, my goal of a thousand words a day—the minimum daily word count Ray Bradbury recommends in Zen in the Art of Writing—has tended to be reserved for fiction.
Still, I’m glad I started the blog, even if the guilt at not posting has sometimes taken up more room in my psyche than it probably should. But thanks to the demands of self-promotion, my kids now have a book they can hold in their hands and say, “This is the story of our family. This is how we came to be.”
So read on, and I hope you enjoy this prose scrapbook of the early years of our family of five.
To read more of the excerpt, including the first two never-before-published essays in the collection, visit the book page on my website and click Official Excerpt.