Tath Matherhorse and the Gentle Kiss of the Wind

Horror of horrors, I just came across the original version of my fantasy novel, penned when I was around fifteen. Sadly, my fifteen-year-old self thought that good writing meant cramming as many adjectives as possible into a single sentence, and likewise thought it was a brilliant idea to name a character “Tath Matherhorse.”

Actual lines from the story:

A soothing darkness had fallen over the camp, and Nicholas lay on his back in the grass, staring up into the thickening night sky through the breaks in the trees. The gentle kiss of the night wind brushed against his face, tickling the new growth of facial hair that was sprouting on his chin even as it brushed the hair back from his forehead.

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What’s more, Nicholas and Kaine are hilariously heterosexual in this version, and (SPOILER) Kaine dies at the end – but not before randomly siring a child so his legacy may live on! (Seriously, he shows up at some woman’s door, says the gods sent him, and they immediately proceed to make a baby. That’s how it works, right?)

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I do have to give my younger self credit for actually sticking with the story long enough to finish it, and for including some not entirely awful plot points and action scenes.

But yes, advice to young writers:  The wind should not be gently kissing anyone’s stubble. Just something to keep in mind. It’s this kind of thing that invariably leads us to sparkling vampires.

Red Lobster > Gay People?

Forgive me, WordPress, for I have sinned. It’s been three weeks since my last blog post. In my defense, I’ve been using my time away from you to write! 

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(And to watch videos on Hulu and add to my gif collection. But mostly to write.)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been hard at work on Chosen, which some may remember as my Gay Fantasy Epic (TM). It’s up to around 52,000 words at the moment, though it’s very much Under Construction, with lots of gaps and missing scenes and various places where I’ve inserted [put more here]  or a [make this not awful later].

Additionally, because I have the attention span of a 3-year-old, I’ve also spent some time in which I should’ve been writing doing things like…

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Making a poster for the imaginary movie of my unfinished book!

Yes. An excellent use of my time.

Seen above is Benedict Cumberbatch as Mr. Defrin, Colin Morgan as Kaine, and Hunter Parrish as Mr. Defrin’s son, Nicholas. And together, their cheekbones could RULE THE WORLD.

But yes, Chosen is clipping along nicely, and I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration for it in recent events. Not only is there the general awful homophobic mess of Russia, but there’s also a nasty bit of legislation that’s just been passed in Arizona that allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers in the name of “religious freedom.”

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(Just pretend “religious freedom” is one word, which it kinda is if you say it fast. Religiousfreedom. See? Perfect.)

So, yes, I’m very much inspired to work on Chosen, as its primary purpose has always been to point out the ridiculousness of discriminating against and hating a group of people based on a few lines in an ancient book. An ancient book which has, by the way, been translated and rewritten six gajillion times (citation needed), and also warns of the evils of divorce, shellfish, and mixed fabrics.

Red Lobster = fine.
Cotton/Polyester blend = fine.
Gay people = EEEEEEEVVVVVVIIILLLLL!

But I digress.

The point is: Writing is going well, and while my forehead may be a bit raw from all the face-palming I’ve been doing re: this new legislation, I at least feel confident that said legislation will be thrown out soon enough.

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Any minute now.

News and Benedict Cumberbatch

So, as you may have noticed from the deafening silence over the last few weeks, this business of updating my blog regularly is not going quite as well as expected. After a long day of teaching, I tend to want to spend my evening melting into a comfy chair and either watching Benedict Cumberbatch videos random videos starring no one in particular or stalking tumblr. The idea of using my brain for anything beyond deciding what to have for dinner is less than appealing, and thus, no new entries have appeared.

So, yes, score 1 for breaking New Year’s resolutions in record time.

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Today is Saturday, however, and as Chicago is in the midst of yet another snowstorm of doom, I have a moment to turn my attention to blogging.

So! Onto some actual news:

1. First off, I now have an official Facebook page on, funnily enough, Facebook:

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T.J. Baer: Official Facebook Page

Head on over and give it a like so I may look more popular than I actually am. <3

2. Second, my short story, Not A Love Story, now has its own page over on Goodreads:

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Goodreads | Not A Love Story by T.J. Baer

As it’s only just been added, it’s sadly without rating or review, so if anyone would like to go give it a bit of love, that would be greatly appreciated. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can pick up a copy (though not literally, as it’s an ebook and thus very difficult to get a grip on) on Amazon.

3. And…I don’t actually have any other news, but it seems wrong to only have two points, so here is a third one. Enjoy.


I’m hoping to get some writing done on Chosen today (more on that story here if you missed it), though that will probably only happen if I unplug my modem and ignore the existence of the internet for a few hours.

benedict-mrdefrinRe: Chosen, I had a minor epiphany moment the other day when I noticed that I was unconsciously reading one character’s lines in Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice – and this made me realize that, in the imaginary casting for the imaginary movie of my as-of-yet-unfinished novel, he would be pretty much perfect for the role of Mr. Defrin, the kind, dry-witted mentor/father figure of the main character.

(He would actually be perfect for nearly ALL the roles in the story, as he can play just about any role convincingly, but never mind that.)

I used to have all the main characters cast, actually (James Marsters as sarcastic, cheekboney Kaine, Jamie Bamber as nice-guy Nicholas, and Ioan Gruffudd as Darek, the prissiest priss who ever prissed), but as that was about ten years ago, they’re all a bit too old now. Damn.

So, I suppose I’d better get cracking on this story before another era of actors get too old for it.  (Because clearly the only obstacle to having my little fantasy novel turned into a Hollywood blockbuster is aging actors.)

And on that note, I’ll be on my way. I have a very important decision to make now, namely whether to have ramen or leftover pizza for lunch.

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