Hot guy and a mirror; anthologies are selling well in Canada …

Hi, friends and readers:

It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Berlin, sunny and cool, about 75 degrees F. I’ve got the French doors open to my balcony and the windows are open in every room. On Sundays, all the shops and most cafes in Berlin are closed for business and vehicular traffic is minimal. It’s as quiet as a tomb in my neighborhood. The only sounds I hear are birds chirping.

The concert I attended last night at Berlin’s O2 Arena was excellent. The band, an American group from Tennessee called “The Kings of Leon”, was talented and they drew a huge crowd. About 17,000 people paid thirty-eight Euros apiece (about $45 U. S.) to see them. The music reminded me a bit of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Kings played a long set, then returned for an encore of four more songs, and the crowd clearly adored them. Apparently The Kings have a large following throughout Europe and the United States. If you get a chance to see them, do so. You won’t regret it.

I never made it to Nollendorfplatz, too tired. I left Jens and Daniel at Warschauerstrasse and took the S-1 back to the Zoologischergaerten, then grabbed a bus home. Spoke with Jens this afternoon: He and Daniel went to a club after the concert and were nearly denied admission because Daniel was too drunk  (Like I said, Daniel’s a goof …) and they did not get home until three this morning. Aye-yi-yi.

On another subject, one of my editors sent me an e-mail yesterday, attaching an article from the Toronto Globe & Mail that reported Canadian sales figures for various categories of books. In the “Gay Fiction” category, three anthologies I  appear in made the top ten bestseller list: Boy Crazy from Cleis Press was number three; Surfer Boys from Cleis Press was number nine; and Daddies from Cleis Press was number ten. Here’s a link to the Globe & Mail list:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/bestsellers/

I’ve discussed all three anthologies in earlier posts on this blog. If you have not read them, I hope you will. Both Boy Crazy and Daddies  were edited by Richard LaBonte’, who knows good fiction when he sees it. His story selection and editing are always deft, and the same is true for Neil Plakcy, who edited the Surfer Boys anthology. Neil’s a fine writer himself and he teaches creative writing at a college in southeast Florida.

I like each of my stories included in these anthologies, but I must confess my favorite of the three is Daddy Lover in the Daddies anthology. I like the main character, Bradley, very much because he’s an unabashed lover of daddies who is out to get what he needs in life and won’t let anything get in his way. There’s a lot of humor in Daddy Lover, too. Even in matters of passion, I think it’s important to laugh. Don’t you agree?

Concert time in Berlin this evening …

Hi, friends and readers:

After three days of overcast and damp weather, the sky has cleared and it’s a sunny afternoon in Berlin. I took my friends, Marcus and Sarah, for a late lunch at a nice Italian trattoria just a few blocks from my building. The food was excellent and the atmosphere lovely.

Tonight I’ll attend a rock concert with two friends, Jens and Daniel (that’s Daniel at left, a total goof and, no, he’s not gay), at the O2 Arena here in Berlin. The name of the group is The Kings of Leon. I’d never heard of them, but Jens played me one of their CDs and I really liked it, so I decided to go. Jens and Daniel are university students in their mid-twenties and I think it’s sweet of them to let an old guy like me tag along for the evening. As I mentioned before, German young people do not practice “ageism”; they are perfectly comfortable with persons far older than themselves, which I think is very cool.

After the concert, perhaps I’ll visit Nollendorfplatz and patronize a couple of bars there. With the nice weather, the crowds should be large and maybe I’ll make a friend.

Update on 11.05.2009: Daniel’s pic has been hijacked by several gay sites. He’s everywhere. Sorry, Daniel.

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

Gloomy day in Berlin …

Hi, friends and readers:

It’s an overcast, damp and gloomy Thursday in Berlin, but here’s a photo that should brighten anyone’s day.  Nice, huh?

Lethe Press has put out a call for submissions seeking short stories with erotic themes involving black gay men, something I’ve never written about before. So, I thought I’d get adventurous and submit a story. I started one yesterday. It takes place in a small island community called Man-O-War Cay in a part of The Bahamas known as The Abacos.

I have rented vacation homes in Man-O-War Cay several times, and also in nearby Elbow Cay. Both islands are beautiful, with white sand beaches, coral reefs, coconut palms and a large variety of flowering shrubs and trees. The snorkeling is great and the fishing’s pretty good, too. It’s a perfect setting, I think, for a sexy and, I hope, emotionally-moving story.

Another photo from Berlin …

Berlin kleinesgaerten for blog #3Hi friends and readers:

Here’s another photo I thought you would enjoy. I took this from my balcony a couple of days ago, just as the sun set.

It’s hard to describe how beautiful this place is. I’ve never seen a large city with so many trees, so much greenspace, and such peaceful, leafy neighborhoods.

The architecture here appeals. Most of the city was built between 1870 – 1940. A typical Berlin apartment building is four stories tall. All are built of brick and covered with decorative facades: neo-classical and neo-Renaissance are the most common. Roofs are red clay tile.

It’s a beautiful evening here in Berlin: sunny, with a temperature around 75 F.  I think I’ll take a walk later on and enjoy the balmy air.

A visit to the “kleingaerten”

Berlin kleinesgaerten for blogHi, friends and readers:

Today I took a long walk with my camera, photographing buildings in my neighborhood, then I visited the kleingaerten I’ve talked about in earlier posts. It’s where I take my five kilometer runs four days a week. This is a plot of land probably ten acres in size, divided into small lots that are leased to individuals. Each renter builds a small cottage on his/her lot, then grows a garden of flowers and vegetables there during the warm months of the year. Some of the cottages are quite elaborate, as are the gardens, and all are carefully maintained. It’s a beautiful place, a quiet oasis within the big city. There are strict rules against making too much noise, and no vehicular traffic is permitted, just bicycles. There’s a beer garden and recreational area.

Berlin kleinesgaerten for blog #2

Some people live in their cottages on the weekends, some for longer periods of time. I often see a school bus dropping off kids at the kleingaerten, so I presume families are permitted to live there full-time.

Last night I visited Tom’s Bar for the two-for-one Beck’s beer special. The place was crowded, despite the fact it was a Monday evening. People are getting excited about the CSD parade which will take place this coming Saturday afternoon. All of the bars and night clubs are sponsoring parties.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these pictures from the kleingaerten. I took about twenty photos there today and I’ll try to post some more in the days ahead.

“Angel Gabriel” story complete and submitted …

Hi, friends and readers:

Well, it’s a happy day for me. I finished the final draft of Angel Gabriel, an 11,000-word novella about an angel who lives on Earth, works at WalMart and falls in love with his co-worker, a good-looking Puerto Rican guy named Hector who lives in a trailer park .

I submitted the story this morning to a publishing house and editor I haven’t worked with before, which is always a challenge. Once a house gets to know an author they’ll tend to buy his/her fiction without much hesitation. But I like spreading my work around. Every house has its own stable of readers who might not see work from other houses, so it’s always good exposure for me when I sell a story to a house for the first time.

It was nice in Berlin this morning — sunny and cool. I hit the gym this afternoon (Boy, I love swimming laps in that pool.) and rain was sprinkling when I left, but nothing bad. The rain’s quit now and it should be a nice evening here.

As I mentioned in my last post, Tom’s Bar here in Berlin has drink specials on Monday night, among them a two-for-one deal on bottled Beck’s beer. There’s always an interesting crowd, so I think I may pay a visit around ten-thirty tonight.

Hot boy with a belt …

People keep sending me photos …

Does anyone know who this boy is and who took his picture?

We had a beautiful day here in Berlin — warm and sunny, but the weather here changes quickly. I’m hearing thunder now, and I am seeing lightning. Yikes!

I spent most of my day polishing Angel Gabriel. It’s almost ready for submission to the publisher. Woot!

Okay, ten bucks via PayPal to the viewer who can accurately identify the model and photographer in this post. My contributor did not have a clue, nor do I.

Tomorrow I’ll craft the final version of Angel Gabriel, then it’s gone and I’ll hit the gym. Monday night is zwei fur einz at Tom’s Bar, so I guess you know where I will be tomorrow evening.

Berlin’s gay/lesbian street festival

Hi, friends and readers:

My friends, Tim and Jessica, took me out for dinner last night, but beforehand we visited the gay/lesbian street festival, an annual event that takes place one week before the Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin. The festival was a mob scene — thousands of gay men and lesbian couples.

I suppose the good weather was responsible for producing such a major turnout. Tents on both sides of the street sold beer,  cocktails, wine, sausages and (yes) hamburgers.

People  from all over Europe — Spain especially — attended the festival.  Men held hands and kissed in the street and it was awfully sexy.

After dinner, I returned to Nollendorfplatz. The crowd was even bigger than before. I stopped by Tom’s Bar, normally one of my favorite nightspots in the Nollendorfplatz neighborhood, but it was so crowded and stuffy that I left after two beers, preferring the fresh air of the street.

Around two A.M. I grabbed the night bus home, and now here I am at three in the morning, wide awake. (Oh, the wages of sin …)

I hope everyone has a nice Sunday. I plan to sleep late myself.

Inspiration for another surfer story …

Hi, friends and readers:

It’s been a busy day for me: supermarket, beer/wine store, a trip to the city’s center to purchase train tickets, then a five kilometer run through the kleinesgaerten (the highlight of the day, what a beautiful place).

If you’ve followed this blog a while, you know that I surf on Florida’s east coast. (I’m not a great surfer, but what the heck. I enjoy it.)  You also know that I have written a few male/male erotica pieces involving surfers: Me and Shea in the Best Gay Love Stories 2009 anthology; Sebastian Inlet in the Cleis Press anthology titled Surfer Boys; and Maui, a novella that’ll be published in November 2009 by Torquere Press.

A friend sent me the photo at left today. He suggested I use it as inspiration for yet another m/m piece with characters who surf. And I must admit, the photo is quite … inspiring. I’m almost certain it was taken in Hawaii because you can see a mountain in the background, but the young man’s clearly in a tropical environment. So … when I finish my present project — the Angel Gabriel piece — perhaps I’ll pen another surfer story. I always enjoy writing about guys who ride swell.

*** 27.08.2009 update. I don’t believe it. This photo has been swiped by a half dozen porno sites since I posted it. My apologies to the guy in the pic.

Have a great Saturday night.

Beautiful saturday in berlin

Hi, friends and readers:

It’s a perfect day here in Berlin. At 10:30 A.M. the sun is shining and the temperature’s around 75 F. I’ve got my windows open and the birds chirp and  flowers on my balcony are in bloom.

In Berlin, all the shops close on Sunday, so it’s necessary that today I stock the kitchen with food, beer and wine so I don’t run out of something I need on Sunday evening. This means two trips with the “Grandma Cart”: one to the supermarket, one to the beer/wine/liquor market.

Friends are taking me out to dinner tonight — a nice treat. Afterward, I will likely visit the Nollendorfplatz area to take part in the anuual gay/lesbian pride festival and patronize a night spot or two. It’s always busy there on Saturday nights and with the nice weather and the festival the crowds will likely be huge. There’s an outdoor bar named Hafen where men gather around ten P .M.  I’ll find a stool and savor the sights and maybe I’ll get lucky and meet someone special. (I wonder if the young man in this drawing will be at the festival …?)

Here is the view from my balcony this morning.  Aren’t my flowers eye-catching? (Geraniums and impatiens.)  I’m on the fourth floor of my building and my balcony faces east so it receives the morning sunshine. Despite the fact that I am Berlin balcony 005surrounded by the apartment buildings you see in this photo, it is virtually silent here, even with the doors and windows open. Berliners enjoy their quietude, much as they enjoy their flowers, trees and shrubs. It is the greenest large city I have ever visited.

Okay, last night I had two friends for dinner — Jens and Julian — and I was just too lazy to wash the dishes after they left around midnight, so now I must get busy and clean my kitchen.

Best regards to all of you. I hope your Saturday is as beautiful as mine. Take an hour off from your chores and errands. Settle down with a cup of coffee and a good book  (preferably one mentioned on this blog) and remember: reading is therapeutic.