bed clothes with someone hidden underneath

Reading Romance to Escape – From What? To What?

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 0 Comments

Remember when Hallmark aired a commercial with a lesbian kiss, and some of their viewers lost their minds, and temporarily Hallmark caved and said they wouldn’t do that again? Seems like a decade ago, but it was only November of last year.

The lesbian smooch was too controversial and they wanted their viewers to count on Hallmark to help them escape.

Escape From What?

These viewers pleaded for escape. Romantic, happy-ending stories is escape. They begged for it, and were screaming-loud-livid that anyone would take it away from them.

You see it, right? These enraged viewers wanted to escape from us. The mere sight of us in an ad ruined everything. We don’t belong in their visions of happy, cheerful, funny, gooey, lovey-dovey places.

We’re “heavy issues, hard stuff, distracting controversy,” and it really sucks that at first Hallmark totally agreed with them. Like a lot of people I called them out for it. In doing so I saw that Hallmark rom-coms didn’t only provide escape from gay people, it also allowed viewers to escape from black, brown, and indigenous people. Their programming for the 2019 Holiday Season was almost exclusively white. Read More

kids running and leaping on hillside

We’re Not Children Anymore, Right?

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 3 Comments

My mother brought little gifts and small books for toddlers at birthday parties, because little kids sometimes don’t get that the day is about someone else. Older kids, including hers, should know better.

Imagine being a completely grown up person who insists every party be about them and, if they aren’t, then birthday parties are unfair. Read More

four people spell love with their hands

It’s Unexpectable! Audio and Virtual Events and Stuff and Things

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So, Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen, Unforgettable 0 Comments

You have probably heard that there’s a pandemic going on. All of us are learning new ways to stay in touch and share our lives and work. I can certainly say that I’ve done more audio and video events in the last month than in perhaps the last five years. And there’s more on the way. Thank goodness for YouTubers with tips on everything from camera management to make-up! I may have watched more than a few.

(FYI, you can click here to see all posts in the “Events and Appearances” category. Interviews and podcasts are here. Readings are here.)

Bella Books Author Corner: High School Reunions

Bella Books is hosting a YouTube Authors’ Corner with lots of delicious video readings from a diverse collection of lesbian fiction. (You should subscribe to the channel so you’ll know when new ones are put up!) My contribution is now online – a reading from late in Unforgettable when Rett Jamison and Angel Martinetta might finally get past the past they never had. Read More

sleeping baby in pink fuzzy

The New Normal Includes Sleep Loss – Resources that Might Help

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE, Resources 0 Comments

Are you having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep right now? The issue is being commonly mentioned by friends. I’ve had trouble sleeping for most of my life, but for many of my friends, this is a first. They can’t fall asleep. Or they can’t stay asleep. Or they find their 8 hours is now at best two 3-hour sets.

I went looking for helpful, reliable advice to share, but what I found didn’t address what we’re all going through with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Usual Solutions for Sleep Loss

It’s easy to find reputable articles online that deal with occasional and intermittent sleep issues, travel time zone changes, or the off-kilter adjustment period after daylight savings. Here’s a quick set of resources with the “usual” sorts of advice. I’ve left the URLs exposed so you can see where the link will take you. All links will open in a new browser tab. Read More

lesbian review banner review because I said so a perfect ending

The Kitchen Table, Mahjong, and an Audiobook Giveaway

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So 25 Comments

The comment period for the giveaway is now closed. All winners have been chosen – see my 02/10/2020 comment.

We Must Eat to Live – and Maybe to Love

Have you ever noticed how many of life’s dramatic moments – at least in romantic stories – happen over a meal? I think it’s one way love stories reflect the real world. As Poet Laureate Joy Harjo wrote,

The World Begins at a Kitchen Table
No matter what, we must eat to live.1

We laugh, mourn, celebrate, and weep at the kitchen table. Devastation and revelations are served up between the meat and the pudding. Hook ups begin at tiny bistro tables, and break ups in breakfast nooks. Read More

rows of high speed computing connections

Why, How, and When to Use the New Off-Facebook Activity Privacy Tool

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 2 Comments

This tool was rolled out in batches to users. It ought to appear for everyone now.

You should know this up front: It’s impossible to completely protect your privacy online. This new tool from Facebook, however, gives you the power to sever the silent connections between your use of Facebook, and everything else you do with apps and sites on your devices.

ICYMI, a Brief History of Facebook’s Data Abuse

Facebook has been caught collecting, using, and sharing data without user consent. They also continue to say it would be somehow unethical to limit known lies shared on their site by groups who pay Facebook to help target you with their lies.

In response to getting caught, Facebook promised they’d help users take control. This new “Off-Facebook Activity Tool” is the result. Read More


Chocolate Nut Candy in the Crock Pot – Recipe, Variations, and Tips

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations 2 Comments

The Love Affair Began on Facebook

Gleaming chocolate nut candy bites and the words “so simple!” alongside. I was immediately smitten. After all, I like chocolate. I also like nuts. And I’m always looking for simple recipes that consistently please and always turn out.

So I looked at the various recipes for Christmas Crack in the Crock Pot. After scrolling multiple screens past short paragraphs interspersed with a lot of ads to finally find the ingredients and methodology, my reaction was, “It does seem easy. And great result for the labor involved. But YIKES! That’s way, way, way too sweet.”

I gave it a try – already ramping back on the ultimate sweetness level by cutting out some of the white chocolate – and it was indeed simple, and the result very addictive. Even so, I found it still too sweet. Nevertheless, the first batch disappeared quickly, mostly because my brother-in-law’s lizard brain said “oh look nuts, nuts are healthy” and he was eating it for breakfast. Read More

Zola ad snapshot lesbian kiss

Hallmark Uncaves, Says All the Right Things

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 6 Comments

It was a Busy Weekend

My gay agenda for the weekend was full: an audiobook drawing, holiday shopping, candy-making (cut my thumb, ouch!) and dueling Community Days for my Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite fixations. Still no shiny Ralts. Drats.

Oh, and Hallmark banned an ad with two women kissing at their wedding, then unbanned it and issued an apology. Maybe you heard?

I’m mostly going to repeat what I posted on Facebook over the course of the weekend because not only did I vent my shock at Hallmark’s gutless caving to a fringe group of homophobes, I learned something that I should have already known: Hallmark’s holiday programming is nearly 100% white. In 2019.

I’ve read the apology and it says all the right things. They’ve got hiring practices and LGBTQ cards, and are partnering with a prominent LGBTQ organization to broaden their perspective. That’s all good. But my concern about their other commitments to diversity, namely racial diversity, remains. Such a stunning lack (see below) – is inexcusable at this point.

So no, they can’t buy my LGBTQ eyeballs with only LGBTQ representation. I want comprehensive representation or my eyeballs will go elsewhere, permanently. There are plenty of other places to aim them while I wait and see.

In case you missed it on Facebook, here’s the whole rundown of events from my perspective.

The “Controversial” Ad from Zola Airs

It’s super cute! Read More