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Monday, November 5, 2012

Picking up strays could be a good thing.

A Road Not Taken, by Jennifer Thorne

Taking the road less travelled may lead you home.

Eco-house builder Jascha doesn’t think twice about taking in stray animals. Stray people? This would be a first. But there’s something about the stranded young man—who’s carrying nothing in his car but a hidden gun—that warns Jascha not to leave him alone.

Stuck in a soul-sucking bank job, Peter has given up on finding meaning in his life. Long ago he cut himself off from his creative side, unable to get over the feeling that everything about himself is wrong. He thinks there’s only one thing left to do—until the pushy, charismatic Jascha happens along what was supposed to be a deserted road, and Peter lets himself be bullied into following him home.

In the days that follow, Peter gets more of a crash course in the hippie lifestyle—natural food, meditation, yoga—than he can handle. But every time he begins to relax around his new friend, their spark of attraction twists him back into a ball of nerves.

Jascha tells himself it’s a mistake to get involved with a man whose gaydar is seriously broken. In spite of everything, love happens. The only question is if love is enough to save both their lonely souls.

This story came about because of three things- a love of Earthship houses, a fascination with dreadlocks (even though I’ve never had any), and the harrowing news in the last couple of years about young men committing suicide because they felt like there was nothing to live for. I guess this is my version of the ‘it gets better’ video.

There are a number of very personal issues in this book, which made it hard to write, but I also think that it made for a better story.

I wasn’t very thankful about being different growing up, no matter what some of my favourite teachers said. Being queer and having difficulty relating to others (that I didn’t know was a learning disability until much later) made it easy for me to believe what others said about me- both my peers and many of the adults around me. To them I wasn’t just ‘different’, I was stupid, lazy, and possibly insane. I fought back against the first two, but living with how my brain worked, I was mortally afraid that the last was true. If I was so smart, why was I having so much trouble… with everything!

It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s that I was diagnosed with a Non-verbal learning disability (NLD). The psychologist assured me that I wasn’t crazy. It took a couple of years to sink in. But, I’m incredibly thankful to her. I started writing again, after 15 years of hiding, because I began to believe that what I saw and felt was of value. I began to believe that I mattered. I stopped hiding.

Being different doesn’t mean that you can’t find community. You might just have to look in more nooks and crannies. You’re going to have a more interesting life and meet more interesting people for all of that. It’s an adventure.

It does get better.

This story is coming out with Samhain Publishing on September 4th. You can find where to buy this story and more at the GLBT bookshelf-

If you’d like to keep up on my latest obsessions and ramblings you can find me online here:  (You can’t comment there because of the evil spambots)  (This is the mirror of my website where you CAN comment if you like)  (Where you’ll find me more often)

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