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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

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 4 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

joy candles reflection

What’s Your Comfort and Joy?

Karin Kallmaker Comfort and Joy 20 Comments

Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winners announced in the most recent comment. Short version: Everybody won!

Two women in uniform meet in a cemetery on Christmas Eve. The uniforms aren’t subtle: one is a soldier, the other a pastor. The attraction is immediate, but dimmed by the reality of their professions. On the surface, at least, they seem incompatible.

Faith is a tricky subject. For example, along with politics and sports, religion is a topic forbidden from posh dinner parties. We certainly are living in times where discussing some subjects feels about as safe as playing softball with a hand grenade.

Keep Calm and Love On Poster

I can’t find the quote to attribute it correctly, but I tend to agree with my memory of this one: “So much of the conflict in the world comes from the idea that someone has to be right about religion.” For what it’s worth, that leads me to one of my personal philosophies: “I have nothing against guns and the Bible. I just don’t like them pointed at people.”

So how will Milla and Tyna bridge the distance between their first impressions and a surprising, unexpected physical attraction?

That’s the gist of Comfort and Joy, a short novella I wrote a few years ago in an inspired frenzy. The opening scene came to me in a single “download” from the creative heavens, so to speak, as did several others. It’s funny, heartfelt, and sensual, in keeping with the season. And yes, they talk about faith. Read More

window cleaners berlin post war NYPL digital archives

Okay Lesbian Boomer – Diaspora and Other Rewards

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 5 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about diaspora, a word I didn’t hear until I went to college. It’s very useful because there’s a whole lot of diaspora going on. It very generally means the dispersion of people into a new culture. It originally described the Jews out of their Israel homeland to new countries and cultures all over the world. The massive diaspora of Filipinos largely to the western US, for example, was one reason I was drawn to create Kesa Sapiro.

Diaspora has a long, persistent ripple effect. A smaller group of people emerge in a new place. The generations successively adapt into the new culture, which is itself changed by their presence. I think it describes the lesbian community and the gay rights movement too.

We Left Our Closet Homeland

Once I thought of the closet as a kind of homeland for many of us, the inevitable cycles of diaspora seemed more clear to me. The Lesbian Generation that moved from shadows to dyke march in a few short years immigrated from the-love-that-cannot-speak-its-name to multi-color rainbow visibility. They became the targets of all the usual suspects (many of whom are still with us today), but were also shunned by natural allies. Read More

harvest table favorite time of year

It’s Thanksgiving Month – Win an Audiobook for the Holiday

Karin Kallmaker Painted Moon 25th Anniversary Edition

Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winner announced in the most recent comment.

Anyone who knows me knows that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Quite literally, EVERYONE is there for the food. Sure, sure – family, gratitude, friendship, good times, whatever, I’m totally on board for that too, and pass the gravy.

But it’s indisputable that this is my patronus:

winnie the pooh ready to relish dinner

I celebrated my love of the Thanksgiving feast in the early chapters of my fifth novel, Painted Moon. So this is the perfect time of year for the 25th Anniversary Edition to be released. Piling on to this celebration is the first-ever audiobook production, and it features the excellent narration of actor Abby Craden.

The audiobook, in my nakedly biased opinion, would make a great accompaniment to that plane, train or automobile journey you may have, or your commute, or in the kitchen with you as you prep for your own way of celebrating National Feast Day Thanksgiving.

Painted Moon 25th Anniversary Edition audio cover

To enter to win an audio download code, all you have to do is Read More

woman hiding all but her eyes

I Think I Thought I’d Remember

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Painted Moon 25th Anniversary Edition

Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winner announced in the most recent comment.

25 years ago there was a lot of life I didn’t know was going to happen. I didn’t know I’d have two fully grown kids, that the Rolling Stones would still be touring, or that dot-com was going to be an economy. I didn’t know same sex couples would be able to get married everywhere, though I sure hoped so.

I also didn’t know the meaning … of … restraint … when it came to ellipses. And I sure didn’t know that I’d deeply regret not starting and maintaining a spreadsheet to keep track of names of characters, their careers, where they lived, what time of year the story took place, and physical characteristics of my leads.

I don’t even remember if I simply thought I’d remember, and there’s irony for you.

And Then I HAD to Remember

When releasing a 25th Anniversary edition of Painted Moon became a thing, I was thrilled because Jackie Frakes and Leah Beck are two of my favorite people. We were great friends all those years ago, though we’ve only spoken briefly in the twenty-five years since, when I wrote “Smudges” for Frosting on the Cake Volume 1 (This short story is now added Read More