Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 Month by Month--A Look Back in Photos

2015 is quickly coming this way--19 hours and counting in this time zone--so here is a short peek back at 2014 as it was in my world.


I kicked off the New Year working hard on multiple writing projects. Winter is always a productive time of year for me, writing-wise. Also took a last-minute, surprise family trip to Oahu and lolled around on the beach.

I was also surprised to have my picture in the RWA magazine I got that month...twice!! :)


I turned 40-something and basically watched the Winter Olympics all month. :)

Speaking of which, I also finished and had a book come out with TA Chase, our Canada, curler/hockey player, International Men of Sports book, Burning Up the Ice.


Decided to drive south on spring break to So Cal seeking warmth, and enjoyed the beach, Disneyland and spending time with the girls. <3

In time for Carnivale down in Rio, we released Serving Love in Carnival, our Brazil book about a carnival dancer and a pro beach volleyball player.


I got to show off my city to the Dreamspinner gang when they held their annual authors retreat here in Portland. Had a fab time seeing everyone,  though it was a bit weird going from checking on the kids to people from my "other life" each day. :) Spent quality time with a lot of people I rarely see, including Paul Richmond.


Of course, May is RT month and this year it was in New Orleans! I went down a bit early and did some sightseeing with TA before the conference.


In May, we lost a friend and fellow dance mom to breast cancer, and it hit me harder than I ever imagined. She left behind two young teenaged girls. Not much to say on that except:


School's out for summer! Which means my whole month getting to that point is taken up with end-of-the-year activity after activity. It's amazing I get anything done. But thanks to the organizational efforts of Anne Tenino, I went to my first Pride and shared a booth with other gay romance authors in the region.

TA and I had a release in time for the Formula One race in Monaco, A Grand Prix Romance.

It was after Pride that I decided to cut off my hair again and donate it to charity, in honor of Karen's memory. This was my fifth time donating hair: over the course of fifteen years I've donated my height in hair--63"!!



Road trip! I always take the girls back to the Midwest to see extended family in July, and we always drive from Oregon. It's over 1600 miles each way to our destinations of SD and NE, so it's a true road trip and a time that I really get to focus on the girls. :)


We've really enjoyed putting out the GRL Unconventional anthologies, and this year we took a slightly different approach, setting our stories in an alternate reality Chicago where mobs rule the city.


Back to school and September is also my treat to myself--a trip to Seattle to spend time with Rick and Bruce (and Lily) while I go to GRNW. Love them!


GRL month! Before that, though--literally a day before--I got in a car accident that tried to put a damper on my trip, but I wouldn't let it! Always so great to spend time with the tribe, especially TA and Jared.

We also had a release that week, our tennis story, An Ace in the Tiebreak. 


In October, we ended up adopting the kitty we'd found and sheltered for a few days last fall. Ron turned out to belong to neighbors down the street, but he obviously liked us because he'd come back and hang out here. Finally, they offered him to us since he seemed happier here, and we were happy to accept. :)


I always come back from GRL renewed and ready to write. This year, in addition to that fire, while I was at GRL, I met with my bosses and they offered me a new job, which I was thrilled to take on. So, most of November was transitioning between jobs and getting to know my new roles.

I had a lot to be thankful for this year. <3

The holidays are always fun with the girls, and this year was no exception.


So as the year winds to a close, I thought I'd take one thoughtful look back before focusing on 2015. It was a meaningful exercise for me to look back over 2014, and I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of it from my point of view.

See you in 2015!! Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Interview With One of the Mockettes from The Twelve Gays of Christmas video

Here I'm reprising my annual interview with Brad and The Twelve Gays of Christmas video, aka the  Mockettes! (**I did this interview two years ago and it's unedited as originally given, so references to time are two years out of date. :) )

You've seen it, you love it! It's become a holiday icon. And today, I'm actually interviewing one of the flexible men making your holiday merry!

If you been a follower of my blog, you've seen my annual Twelve Gays of Christmas post, or maybe you've watched it elsewhere around the internet. This year, I wanted to do something a bit different, so I'm very excited to share that I have my very dear friend, Brad--one of the original Mockettes!--here on my blog with me today!

Hi, Brad. Kiss-kiss. So glad to have you!

Thanks, Devon, for asking me to be a part of your blog!

Thanks for indulging me! :) Can you tell us a little bit about how this routine came to happen?

I can't believe it was 6 years ago that the chorus boys of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular performed 12 gays of Christmas.

It all came about one day when we were nearing the end of our run of the show. That year the Rockettes had learned a new number called 12 Days of Christmas. It felt like it went on for 12 days. So that year the girls would comment on how hard the dance was, but loved performing it. The chorus boys would be backstage getting ready for the next number watching them and, of course, trying to do the dance moves. I'm sure the last thing the Rockettes wanted was a bunch of dancing boys backstage doing a kickline:)

Anyways, one day one of the boys decided we should surprise the girls with our version of the 12 Days of Christmas. We would present it to them on our last show day. So, in between shows, we would go up to the rehearsal hall at Radio City and put together 12 Gays of Christmas.

I must've watched this video about 100 times, and I smile every time I do. Describe for the nice people what your outfit is like so they can gawk at you when they watch it. ;)

I was in a white t shirt and blue pants [note from Dev: and a long scarf]. I'm the guy on the left in the beginning.

Who did the choreography?

Drew Franklin did the choreography and staging.

It was fabulous! What was it like being a part of the Rockettes show?

Being a part of  the Radio City Christmas show is an amazing experience. It  is one of the hardest productions I have ever been apart of. We would have 2 to 4 shows in a day. Every move had to be perfect and performed like it was opening night. We had dance captains and directors watching every show letting you know if you didn't hit your mark. 

There is nothing like being on that stage having the orchestra playing the overture and up goes the curtain. The energy is amazing and I will never forget it.

One of my favorite memories is when my family came to NY to see the show. Now, I have been performing and in the business for a long time and my family always came out to support the shows that I was in. However, I came out to meet my family and here is my dad who grew up in a small town in Oregon (kinda a country boy) sitting there in the theatre with a tear in his eye giving me a big hug and saying congrats.

I don't know why that memory sticks with me but I love it!!

That's so sweet. No wonder that stick with you. And two to four shows a day! Wow! Can you describe a typical day during the run of the show?

Oh a typical day. Well, we would get there about an hour before the show. Go to the dressing room to check in. Then go up to the green room and warm up, watch some TV and, of course, gossip about drama with in the cast. :) Just kidding--we always got along. :) Then we would have notes at half hour, start to put on makeup and get into our first costume. We would always push it to last second to get our costumes on. Our wardrobe dresser would get so anxious with the boys. "You better not be late." Then we would run to the stage hit our mark and up goes the curtain.

During the show we would be focused...however I was kinda known for putting on a side performances in between numbers.

After the show, we would be tired so we would get food and rest to start it all up again. 

That doesn't surprise me in the least that you'd be making a side-show of yourself. :)

Okay, so there are Twelve Gays. What number is yours and why? LOL!

My favorite number would be 2. I don't know why. I love the number 2!

What was your favorite move? Most difficult?
Well, the most difficult would be the jump splits. I think I'm still recovering 6 years later! My favorite move would have to be the Fosse walk, with our arms swaying from side to side while we walk.

Back to the serious questions. Tell the truth: Did you date anyone in the show? And were they cute, hot, fun, or sweet? 

Cute, hot, fun AND sweet--yes!!!! There nothing like being a chorus dancer and being gay. :)
Did I date anyone? Well, let's just say I think he is the one I let get away.

Aww. :( So, are you still in touch with any of the cast members?
I'm still in touch with the cast. Some of them are my very close friends. It is hard because we all have moved on. Some still performing in the show others, like myself, retired and started something new.
There had been talk about getting the boys back together for a reunion for the Gypsy Awards in NY. We couldn't get our schedules together. I think we are hoping for next year.

What do you think about this being a viral video so many years later?
I love it that it became something that people enjoy. I didn't even know it went viral until you mentioned it to me a few years ago. :)

You had an amazing career in New York! Tell us about what you moved on to after this show wrapped.
After the show was done, I had decided to make a change in my life. I was ready to slow down and move closer to family. I had a couple of projects to be apart of, but once I finished those, I moved back to Portland. I now direct a dance academy in Oregon.

Are you single?

Yes, single. :(

Hear that? What's wrong with you guys? Okay, Brad, so indulge us and describe your dream date for us. :)

LOL, my dream date? Well, a guy who has a passion for something, who isn't afraid to do a heel kick once and a while:)

Look at that blush! Okay, I'll let you off the hook for now. Thank you so much for coming on and making this video that much more enjoyable for us!! *air kisses*

And to all my readers, thank you for stopping by! If you have any follow-up questions for Brad, just leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to get them answered for you!