Saturday, June 7, 2014

Understanding gay attraction

Gay attraction

So, for those of you who don't know, my son is gay.  As he says, "I'm the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end."  He came out to his mother and I when he was 14, an act that took courage.  His mother said, "And . . ."  I said, "Who wants coffee?" knowing he loves coffee and it would be awesome for him to have some while we talked about it.

In the time since then (He's 17 in a couple of weeks), he's flourished and truly come into himself.  All that aside, he's just an awesome person in general.  He's caring and giving and he has a sharp sense of humor that delights and occasionally startles.  I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to call him my son, simply for the person he is.

Me and Joe

But anyway, the reason for this blog post is because of something he posted on Facebook recently.  It's about knowing how he is attracted to the same sex.  I thought his response to the question is perfect and I believe it should be shared with others.

Joe's words:

"So, for a long time I have been asked a question that I consider rather silly when I tell people I'm gay. I tend to get the question, "Have you ever been with a woman?" and when I answer no I get a follow up question,"Well then how do you know that you're gay." 

For a long time I haven't come up with an answer to this question because I feel it is silly for me to humor a question that can be answered with, "How do you know your straight if you've never been with a man?" and that I feel questions my confidence in who I am as a person, but I think it is finally time for me to humor so here it goes. 

I know that I am attracted to men and not to women because in my life I have never felt romantic feelings for a woman. Before you go saying, "That's not a valid answer!" let me explain. When I have talked to women it has never led me to get the light-hearted tingly feeling that is associated with love, even with all the things I've discussed with them. However, when I've talked to SOME guys I have experienced this feeling. Along with that, I also gain a sense of security when talking to a guy (whom I'm attracted to) that I have never experienced with a woman. 

Furthermore, there is a sexual aspect that most of society can't get over. When people talk about this, they usually ask about the genitalia, and I can assure you that this is of no interest to me, but it's more then just the genitalia. When I find someone attractive it is usually because they have deeper set eyes, more predominate cheek bones, and broader body build, traits that women don't have. Now I'm not saying that I can't see what makes a woman attractive in today's society or admire them, I'm just saying that overall: their physical traits, mental characteristics, and yes their genitalia combine to make them romantically and sexually unattractive to me while a man's does. 

So I think this should put a silly end to a silly question."


I hope this post helps people to understand.  I'm also thrilled to share how awesome my son is.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rain Glade, My favorite story

Rain Glade

My emo bunnies recently asked me what my favorite story is that I wrote.  After some consideration, I realized that it would have to be Rain Glade.  It's a novella set in the world of Ryallon where the Willden, Dralin, Wyvern and Crazed Trilogies are set.

Out of all of my books, it's not just my favorite, but I believe it's the best work I've done.  The emo bunnies proceeded to interview me about it.  Then they hijacked my blog to post it.  You can give them carrots and hay if you like it.  They're pretty sure you won't though.  Nobody ever does.


The Kingdom of Paruth is a country torn by centuries of civil war. All young men are conscripted into military service by the king or the lords of provinces. Women are left to care for children and trade on their own for the most part.

In an insignificant village, in a forgotten corner of the kingdom, lives a simple peasant girl by the name of Rain. She wonders what the future holds for her, or if the future even cares about her fate.

Rain’s friend Verna has taught her to dance through the forest in the moonlight. The colorful woman finds pleasure in nature and life.

Jacob is a young man conscripted into Lord Greffen’s militia. He discovers Rain injured one day and seeks to aid her.

The world of Ryallon holds many places filled with magic and mystery. How will one such glade change their lives?

Why is Rain Glade the best?

For a few reasons.  The biggest is that it's my highest quality writing.  Another is that the story is perfect.  It's a tragedy, unusual for me, but it came out even better than I expected.  The next reason is that the characters came out even more vivid and interesting than I expected, especially Verna.  Finally, the descriptions of everything came out wonderfully.

Will you nuzzle our cheeks please?

Ummmm sure . . . *nuzzle*

Thank you. Now, what do you mean it's your highest quality story?

It's actually very difficult to get thousands of words all in the correct places.  In my novels, I get most of them in correctly, but sometimes the words stray, get wasted, or just aren't interesting.  In Rain Glade, I believe each word, sentence and paragraph accomplished a lot in telling the story.  There was little waste in the 25,000 words I used to tell it.

Why would you write a tragedy?  What inspired it?  And do you have any spinach leaves to feed us?

Sure, here's some spinach leaves. 

I was inspired while listening to a song; "Travelling Soldier" by the Dixie Chicks.  It's a song about a young woman who falls in love with a soldier who goes to war and doesn't come back.  It made me consider what a similar circumstance would be in a fantasy world with magic and sword carrying soldiers. Since I was driving at the time, I had my wife write down notes for the story as I came up with them.

As far as why it's a tragedy, well, the song was a tragedy.  More importantly, I believe that war in general is a tragedy.  It's a waste of life when we should all be working together to ensure the prosperity and health of humanity.  Telling a story of love when death may take one of the lovers is the sort of thing that tears at heart strings.

Hearts don't actually have strings.

Whatever.  *sigh*

You said the characters are more vivid and interesting than you expected.  What do you mean?

Rain, the lead character who the book is named after, came out much deeper in personality than I originally expected.  She had such low self-esteem, yet was generous to those around her.  There was potential in her, and if she had lived under different circumstances, perhaps she would have been great.

More than anyone, Verna fascinated me though.  She is a Druid and Rain's best friend.  There is such life and vitality in the character.  I didn't expect her.  It was as though Verna popped off the page and said hello to me.  It's odd, but I've had characters that were aware that I waswriting about them, but no one ever like Verna.  I fascinate her just as much as she fascinates me.

That's not just odd, it's borderline crazy.

Whatever, get on with the questions.

When you say the descriptions of everything came out better than you expected, you're talking about things like the sky, buildings and stuff like that?

Yes.  I took the time to concentrate on showing the scenery, from Rain's loft to the forest path into the town and especially Rain Glade.  Verna's cottage is detailed and musical.  The people jump out from the page (not literally thankfully)

Since this is a novella rather than a novel with 100,000 words to work with, I focused on creating these scenes with a minimum of words.  I'm happy with the effect.

You seem to be very happy about everything in this book.

I really am.  It's one of the best stories of Ryallon in my opinion.

We don't like happy.

Well, it's a bit of a sad book.

We like sad.

Yes I know.

Can we have more cheek nuzzles now?

*sigh*  I suppose so.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm All Out of Soap

Perhaps this is too much information, but I stepped into the shower this morning and realized I hadn't gotten a new bar of soap.  I thought to myself, "I'm all out of soap".  Then Air Supply started up in the back of my mind and I sang, "I'm all out of soap."  When I was done in the shower, I got on my computer and wrote this parody song. . . . Yes, this is my life.  *sigh*

I'm All Out of Soap
Sung to the tune of Air Supply's, "All out of Love"

I'm standing alone with my head under water
Thinking of all the dirt
I need to get clean but what else can I do
I'm filthy and oh so wet

I wish I had soap to wash myself with
For times when the grime feels so ick
It would make me believe that tomorrow would bring a brand new bar of soap, 
brand new bar of soap

I'm all out of soap, I'm so lost without it
I need it so bad, believe me I need it
I'm all out of soap, I'm dirty without it
I can't be too clean, I've now got to go to work

Perhaps I can use some of my wife's shampoo
Or maybe her sweet body wash
I'm reaching for it, am I smelling it too?
does the feeling seem oh, so right?

And what would she say if I used her loofah now
And used it to wash myself?
There's no easy way, I bet my skin would say
Please wash me or be filthy, be filthy


Ooh, what is this loofah for
What is this loofah for
What is this loofah for
What is this loofah for

I hope you enjoyed this little parody.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Do it yourself Valentine's Day love poem

I posted this poem last year, but it applies any year, so I'm reposting it for all you tongue-tied lovers.


I like writing poems, even though I’m not all that great at it.  It’s a curse. *sigh* This particular poem is something I wrote as a do-it-yourself project where it could apply to anyone.  It’s not great, but it’ll do in a pinch for anyone who just can’t weave words.  I hereby give you permission to use it in any way that doesn’t include making money from it.

This love poem can be used any time of the year, but is especially useful on Valentine’s Day.  The language is such that it can apply to man or woman of any orientation.

Everything in italics is a customizable option.  Choose one, delete the others, un-italicize it.

 *** section *** marks the 6 different sections of the poem.  In most cases, there are options where the entire verses can be personalized.  Delete the parts that don’t apply.

Seriously: delete the extra parts and get rid of the italics once you choose the word you like, otherwise it’s going to look very lame when you give it to your significant other.  ;)
A Poem of Love

*** section 1 ***

My darling wife, husband, fiancé, lover, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend.
Thank you for being in my life.
You mean so very much to me.
I don’t always tell you how much I love, adore, admire, worship, care about you, think you’re totally awesome. 

You brighten my days with your light.
You make my nights bearable with your warmth.
Your presence brings joy to my heart.
Your kiss, hug, embrace, touch makes life wonderful.

*** section 2 ***

Option 1: For a new relationship, this:

Meeting you has been the best experience in my life.
It feels like I’m walking on air when I’m with you.
The clouds are smiling as we pass them by.
Stars twinkle in approval when we soar through the atmosphere.

The touch of your hand thrills me.
The sound of your voice brings me joy.
The sight of your smile makes my knees weak.
The gaze of your eyes fulfills me.

Option 2: For a long relationship, this:

Our lives together have been the grandest adventure of all.
We have seen and done so many things together.
Our journey has been filled with good times and difficult ones.
And there is much more to be explored.

The touch of your hand still thrills me.
The sound of your voice still brings me joy.
The sight of your smile still makes my knees weak.
The gaze of your eyes still fulfills me.

*** section 3 ***

Option 1: If life has been hard, this:

There have been so many challenges for us to face lately.
Every time we move forward, we get pushed back.
Just getting through to the next day seems impossible.
The universe seems determined to see our failure.

You keep me going.
You make those challenges bearable.
You help me to take each impossible step.
You are my success.

Option 2: If life has been good, this:

We have met every challenge presented to us.
We step forward whenever life would push us back.
Every day is brighter when I’m with you.
The universe basks in our triumph.

You keep me going.
You make every challenge bearable.
You help me to take each wonderful step.
You are my success.

*** section 4 ***

Option 1: If the target person has had hard times, this:

Lately it seems like the world has been out to get you.
I’ve seen you suffer at the treatment of others.
Your confidence has been shattered.
It hurts me to see you in so much pain.

You are the most amazing person I have met in my life.
Others do not see your potential as I do.
You don’t always see your own abilities.
Look and see how wonderful you are in the reflection of my eyes.

Option 2: If the target person has been successful, this:

The world is in awe of your ability.
Others look to you for inspiration.
You are poised and self-assured.
You are a leader in all that you do.

You are the most amazing person I have met in my life.
You have the potential to change the world.
I am better for knowing you.
Look and see how wonderful you are in the reflection of my eyes.

*** section 5 ***

Add if the person has children, delete if not.

When I look at our children, it fills me with wonder.
There is so much hope in their eyes.
The world around them frightens us.
But we give them love, compassion and the tools to succeed.

*** section 6 ***

When I’m not with you, it hurts.
When I’m not with you, there is an emptiness within.
When I’m not with you, sorrow fills me.
When I’m not with you, the smile disappears from my face.

I give you this poem.
To tell you how magnificent you are.
To let you know how beautiful, handsome you are.
I am the luckiest man, woman, person in the world for having you by my side.

I hope this is helpful to all you lovebirds out there.

All my best,

John H. Carroll