Thursday, May 5, 2016

Help Me Raise Funds for the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal

Cross-posted from Donuts and Desires:

Whether or not you live in Canada, you've probably heard about the destruction fire has caused in Fort McMurray. The Canadian Red Cross has launched an appeal for donations. I want to help, but I need your support.

Read on...

I commonly donate royalties from my books to organizations doing important work.  On this occasions, I've decided to donate 100% of the royalties I earn this week on my book Sweet Lesbian Love Stories to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.

Why did I choose Sweet Lesbian Love Stories?

Mainly because it's one of my few books with no erotic content. I want to raise funds quickly, and I'm trying to appeal to a broad range of readers. Also I want readers to feel comfortable sharing this book on social media.

Even if you can't purchase a copy, tell people about this appeal. Spread the word.

If you'd prefer your impact to be greater and more immediate, donate directly to: https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?_ga=1.203478229.457009016.1462401518&ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=50639

You can purchase this book in print from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or direct from CreateSpace (which will earn me, and hence the Red Cross, the highest royalty percentage): https://www.createspace.com/5668386

Or purchase the ebook from one of the following vendors:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q?tag=dondes-20
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q
Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q
Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122504279
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1029456705

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sweetlesbianlovestories-1872222-166.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/sweet-lesbian-love-stories

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/569207

Do it now. I'll be making a donation on Monday.

The federal government has announced it will match Red Cross donations, so consider your effort doubled.

Make a purchase. Tweet about it. Tell your Facebook following.

Thank you and big hugs,
Giselle

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Afterword

So you made it to the end, did you? Congratulations, and thanks for reading. I appreciate that you’ve allowed me to share this sliver of my life with you.

It really is strange, to look back on the person I was fifteen years ago. As I read through this journal, I experienced a few sparks of recognition, but for the most part I rolled my eyes. Particularly when, in the very last entry (the one you’ve just read), I caught myself in a lie.

Did you notice that line that “He fantasises about our wedding”? Yeah? That stood out like a sore thumb? Well, it should have, because it isn’t true.

What Lawrence really said that day was that he fantasises about attending MY wedding (not OURS) as a guest—not as the groom. He told me he had this happy idea in his head that one day I would meet a nice young man and we’d get married, and Lawrence would see me in my white dress, smiling and oh-so-happy, and he’d be over the moon with delight.

But that’s not what I wrote in my diary.

I specifically remember that lie, because I told it to my friend Christie, too, as some pre-emptive measure of saving face. And that’s only the lie I remember! I can’t help wondering how much more of this material was fabricated by a 19-year-old me, in an attempt to assuage my own fears that he didn’t love me like I wanted him to. I guess I knew, deep down, that I was investing far too much energy in a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.

Now I’m wondering if you’re wondering what happened after July 2nd of the year 2000. If you don’t want to know, then stop reading now.

You can’t stop, can you?

Maybe you’ll be bored to discover that Lawrence and I waited out the Ontario government’s legislation. What I didn’t know at the time was that this “legislation,” as I refer to it in the diary, was a document released in April 2000, called Protecting Our Students: A Review to Identify and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in Ontario Schools. To this day I’ve never read it (the behemoth is listed on Google Books as being 569 pages long), so I can’t verify there’s really a rule dictating that a student and teacher must wait a full year after the student graduates before beginning a sexual relationship. I still couldn’t tell you whether this is law or Ontario College of Teachers best practices or complete hearsay.

At any rate, by the end of Summer 2000, Lawrence had confided in me that being in contact was too much temptation. We had a “tearful goodbye” day at the end of August and managed to stay out of touch for… oh, about three weeks. I started university, fell into a terrible depression, tried and failed to extract myself from the relationship/non-relationship, and that contact/non-contact continued for two full years before we ever went to bed together.

I still have the hotel receipt. The hotel itself has since been torn down.

The first time we had sex, I remember thinking, “I hope I never have to do this again.”

But we did. Again and again. I fictionalized that portion of the relationship in an erotic series called Audrey & Lawrence, which highlights the wild emotions, spanning from jealousy to schadenfreude, that a mistress experiences during an affair with a married man. The stories are fictional, but the emotions are real.

My relationship with Lawrence came to an end eight years ago, when I fell in love with a woman who, strangely enough, shared his birthday. My 18-year-old self would have found that tidbit deeply intriguing. Anyway, Lawrence didn’t take the split well and we haven’t kept in contact, though he still sends me a Christmas card every year.

So, do I regret the affair? Probably less than he does. Lawrence always had such a guilty, shame-filled spirit. I have no idea whether he’s still teaching, as he’s well beyond retirement age, but I wish him well whatever he’s up to. I remember him often saying he was worried he would ruin my life.

He didn’t. Only I hold that power.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

07/02/2000

Shall I start at the very beginning?

I barely slept. How could I? I went to bed in the black bra and thong I bought especially for today, just in case Lawrence surrendered to temptation and took me to a hotel. Wore the short grey dress my mom always says is too see-through to leave the house in. The grey dress, no pantyhose, and my black platform sandals.

Left early, took the bus to the subway. When the driver didn’t pull into the station, I started to panic. I asked him what was going on. Turns out the subway doesn’t run until 9 on Sunday mornings. How did I go 19 years without ever knowing that?

I asked the driver how on earth I was supposed to get to my destination when the subway wasn’t running, but he didn’t have much to say. “You’ll have to take a bus, I guess. Or walk.”

Walk? Walk 7 kilometers before 8 in the morning?

He gave me a transfer and I managed to catch a bus along Eglinton, but my second bus wasn’t scheduled to come for another 45 minutes! How could I possibly wait that long? It would be almost 9 before I got to the station.

So I walked. Raced. Ran, until my sandals cut between my toes and my feet bled. Then I had to slow my pace, which was worrying for three main reasons:

1) Even on a Sunday morning, the area was sketchy as hell;
2) Some of my dad’s family lives nearby and they were the last people I wanted to see wearing a see-through dress;
3) It was already after 8 and who knows if Lawrence was still waiting? Maybe he’d left…

I was hobbling by the time I got close to the golf course, and that’s when I spotted something in the street.

A fox.

A dead fox, crushed by cars, lying in the road with its guts hanging out of its belly.

For the first time during this whole race to the station, I stopped. I stopped and stared and I had a terrible, ominous feeling. I identify strongly with foxes, for obvious reasons. The fox was me, and just look at it. Dead.

When I got to the little parking lot outside the subway station, Lawrence’s awful little shitbox of a car was waiting for me, and he was inside reading the paper. I told him what had happened and how afraid I was that he would leave.

He said, “I was going to. I was sure you’d changed your mind.”

But I would never do that. Never.

Lawrence gave me bandages for my toes, and I put them on as we drove, retracing the steps I’d just run. He asked where we were going and I said, “To a hotel?”

He just laughed.

Wouldn’t you think he’d have something planned, after all that time thinking about it? But he didn’t have any plans at all, so we drove to Edward’s Gardens.

I always hate it when people breed in public places; I guess I got my chance to repay some karmic debt. He fantasises about our wedding—that’s what he told me. What can I say? It’s not something I’ve ever caught myself doing, but to each his own.

Our first kiss was strange. Maybe I just wasn’t expecting it when he tried to pry my teeth open with his tongue and ended up licking my gums instead. I guess I got used to it quickly enough, though, because we didn’t stop making out even when other people walked by our park bench.

Just kisses. Just mouths. No hands, even. We were in public, after all. It actually surprised me that he’d kiss me with other people around. What if Victoria’s friends saw us together? Or Kennedy’s, or Bess’s? Wasn’t he worried about things like that? He just couldn’t help himself, I suppose. I could hear his passion in every breath he took, like he wanted to throw me down and take me right there in the park, and it took every bit of effort imaginable just to keep his clothes on.

As for me? After so much wishing and waiting, the physical affection made me feel sort of… weird. Different than what I expected. It’s hard to describe. Good or bad? I’m not really sure yet.

After Edward’s Garden, we drove downtown until I wasn’t exactly sure where we were. He took me to a restaurant and we ate on the patio. I felt like people were staring, and not in a good way.

I didn’t have much to say, I suppose, because he kept telling me, “You’ve gone silent again.”

Contemplative.

So no hotel after all. Not that I was surprised. That’s one rule Lawrence would never break.

He dropped me back at the subway, which was running by then, so I came straight home. The whole family was out. I went to my room, got out a pack of crayons, and drew pictures of apples.

Lawrence feels that it’s wrong of him to be in Love with me, but I can’t help thinking of that line from The Grapes of Wrath: “Maybe there ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue; there’s just stuff people do. And some things folks do is nice and some things ain’t so nice, but that’s as much as any man got a right to say.”

Giselle

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

07/01/2000

Dream: Damned Precognition

-it’s about 7:30 in the morning and I’m at the Town Centre
-I take my watch to a clock store to get it put into a box or something
-time to spare, so I head toward a Dairy Queen. I see some people from school and spend time with them, but then I realize it’s 7:51 and I’m supposed to be at Vic Park subway in 9 minutes
-get to the RT and—uh oh!—the subways/RTs aren’t running! Great! Panic!

Monday, March 21, 2016

06/28/2000

Here’s a world I haven’t visited in some time. Introspection sometimes escapes one when it is most needed.

So what is my ultimate concern? That I will lose my Self. That all the lessons I worked so hard to integrate into my life will escape me. That I will feel trapped, or that his mind is too changeable for me to ever feel secure with. I’ve been placed out on the windowsill to cool. He can’t expect me to stay hot. I am warm, at best.

I feel like I’ve lost so much already, and I am now struggling to put everything back in place.

The longer I am made to wait, the more I doubt myself. Maybe this isn’t what I want after all. The trouble is, I just don’t know anymore. I’m tired of being so unsure about everything.

When will I truly learn to Love?

Giselle

Sunday, March 20, 2016

06/24/2000

Dream: Helplessness

-subway travel
-I’m trying to find Lawrence but I have to leave the TTC system first
-he’s in school with Kennedy. Kennedy is holding a $20 bill and asks me to dinner. I accept
-later, Lawrence and I go out but he says he’ll drive the car around the block, so I walk around the block to meet him
-a man starts yelling at me then runs out and picks me up by the neck
-I scream for help, but only one woman tries and no one else notices
-I escape the man and run to Lawrence, but he isn’t in the car at first
-he comes back and I tell him to drive but he doesn’t and a woman we know is looking at him and saying hello
-later, we’re at a buffet and the family is all there. The buffet is gourmet and we are performing A Man For All Seasons, in which I am playing the wife
-Lawrence has to return books and videos that cost $238.38 to rent
-he bought a different car and is with an East Indian man. They’re going on a trip
-the bathrooms at the restaurant are very open. Toilets with no stalls

Saturday, March 19, 2016

06/22/2000

Dream: Minako

-I’m harbouring a “felon” although I don’t feel that’s what she is. She’s a beautiful Hispanic woman and she clings to my arm as we stand at the front door
-there’s a man with a gun outside, but I’m not afraid. He’s after her, not me
-my only concern is for her. I need to keep her safe from harm

What does he tell me? He can’t do July 1st. Yes, I know he cancelled and I cancelled and we both cancelled at some point or another, but after waiting so long wouldn’t you think he’d keep the date open?

Kennedy’s doing some sort of summer exchange overseas. His plane leaves on the 1st and Lawrence is committed to being at the airport to see him off. I know I shouldn’t be angry, because it’s a decent enough excuse, but I am angry. Enraged, more like. Because, once again, I come in last place.

Victoria matters. Kennedy matters. Bess matters. I don’t matter.

But he did propose an alternative: July 2nd. I suppose I should be pleased, but part of me wonders if I should have stayed away. In fact, part of me knows quite certainly I should have stayed away. I couldn’t, of course.

July 2nd it is.

We’re meeting at Vic Park subway station at eight in the morning. I’m not exactly pleased with the early start time, but he’ll be telling his wife that he’s playing golf with Mr. York, and apparently people play golf early in the morning, so I don’t really have a say.

I don’t know what kind of excuse I can come up with that’ll get me out of the house so early.

Giselle