Orchid Thoughts By Erzabet Bishop

11660325_516972471785876_102299341_oOrchid Thoughts
By Erzabet Bishop

A few months ago I attended a wedding. The venue was lovely and the couple was a dream. As I sat amidst the orchids, silver napkins and white twinkle lights I couldn’t help but think about so many of the women I know who want nothing more than to follow the same path down that rose strewn aisle. The impetus for my short story “Orchid Rain” in Ladylit’s Summer Love anthology was born even though I didn’t realize it at the time. What would it be like to walk down the bridal path with the person of your choosing-not society’s? Could it ever happen? As I sat there watching my family friend marry the woman of his choice, I knew I had to write something that looked toward a future where that dream could become reality. I also started another book about a humorous honeymoon that takes love into some strange places. It’s in the works. What can I say? I’m a busy girl.

11655170_516972251785898_1277137999_nAs many of you are aware, I am not a lesbian. I am an author whose characters more often than not happen to be. I’ve been married to the same man for more than twenty years and I love him with every breath in my body. Going down this path of authorship has brought some interesting reactions from family and friends, but it is a part of me. It has brought me laughter and sometimes tears. I wouldn’t trade any of it. I’ve learned to be a writer-sometimes with success and sometimes with failure. But you get up and you dust off your scrapes and get back on that horse. If you really want it that is… These characters burn bright and often don’t let up until the book is done. In learning about them, I understand more about the true nature of love and sacrifice for the people you care about and those you choose to call family.

There is no room in my life for hate. I choose love and acceptance and more often than not have found it within the lesbian community. Today the Supreme Court came back with a verdict that can and will make same sex marriage real for many men and women across the United States and it made my heart happy. Love is love. Period.

I am undertaking my first historical novel and I have Liz McMullen to thank for the inspiration. What started out as a short story grew way out of bounds to qualify for her anthology, but more than fills the scope of my imagination. Historical is tough. For me at least. But this one is speaking to me and won’t let up. Café Vida is the story of two women who want nothing more than to be together during WWII during t11639236_516972881785835_1100159333_ohe occupation of Paris. Not only did the government disprove of anyone different, they took women away if they didn’t conform or resisted the status quo. The more I read and do research on that time, the more I can appreciate the era we live in.

In the book, a daughter finds out just what lengths her mother goes to save her from a fate at the hands of the Nazi’s in a concentration camp. This story made me weep on more than one occasion and I write and research with the hope of being able to share it with you very soon.

My heart is full of joy as I turn toward the future. There are so many books to write and so many new people to meet. I wish I could journey to GCLS this summer and meet all of you but my hectic life keeps me under wraps. With my newly blind little pup, my family, full time job slinging books as a bookstore manager and writing under two names I don’t get out much. Heck, finding the vacuum and doing the laundry are feats of great accomplishment some days.

11653471_516972485119208_737951542_nIn closing I wish you peace and never let anyone tell you you are less for who you are. There is beauty in the curve of a well-rounded hip, a smile (whether covered in lipstick or not) and the bright gaze of an intelligent woman looking out for her future.

P-people
R-real
I-informed
D-determined
E-everlasting

Peace,
Erzabet Bishop

Pride Blog by Justine Saracen

10392242_100129316675984_3272067_nLiz has asked me to write something political, and I expect she meant something about advances in gay rights in the last decade. Certainly they are a joy to acknowledge. As a lesbian ‘d’un certain age’ I have witnessed a sea-change in the recognition of gays in the west. Where we once were pariahs and treated with disgust, derision, electroshock, prison time and occasionally murder, we now have the right to serve in the armed forces, to marry and to adopt, and to star in television and movies. And the wrath (and lunacy) we elicit in the fundamentalist community is a sure sign we are emerging into the light. I rejoice in this victory. However, with apologies to Liz, other political issues spring to my mind.
Having long researched and then published The Witch of Stalingrad, a war romance abut female Soviet fighter pilots, I could not help but compare the Soviet Union with the United States. Of course there is a huge difference between Soviet life of the 1940s and the US of today. For one, the Soviet state was dictatorship organized militarily in an all-out war for survival. The US…well…is not.

And yet, we should not swagger about our rights and freedoms. To save myself a lot of paraphrasing, let me shamelessly quote John Feffer:
“We have more people in prison — in total and by percentage of population — than any developed country on Earth. Our political system has been taken over by a club of the rich with corruption so embedded that no one dares call it by that name. The deterioration of public infrastructure has, as in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, turned the country into an embarrassment of falling bridges, exploding gas lines, bursting pipelines, backward railroads, unsecured power plants, and potential ecological catastrophes. Add in spreading governmental surveillance and secrecy, unsustainable military spending, and a disastrously interventionist, military-first foreign policy and the United States is looking a lot like the old Soviet Union.” (“Why the world is becoming the un-Sweden” Tomdispatch.com).

The Witch of Stalingrad 300 DPIWe do not live in a dictatorship, but the National Security Act not only allows all our electronic communication to be monitored, but also permits the executive – if he says the magic word “terrorism” – to indefinitely detain and even execute an American citizen without trial – IN SECRET. Our government practiced and — it is widely believed — still practices torture, extraordinary rendition, and drone assassinations, and supports and finances Israel’s military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians – in the name of national security. It fights wars (Iraq) or threatens war (Syria, Iran) against countries that are no threat to us. And I haven’t even mentioned global climate change, the militarization of our police forces, gun madness, the funnelling of money upward to the rich 1%, , and our inability to change any of those things. Have we focused on the freedom to marry at the cost of other, greater freedoms?

I am convinced that LGBT people are in general above the national average in imagination, talent, liberalism, compassion, and political awareness. We’ve been outsiders to the American Dream so long, we see it with detachment and are not taken in by its blandishments. And when, as seems likely, the Supreme Court hands down its decision guaranteeing marriage equality in the US, we will party hearty for one day and then regain our scepticism. I hope so. I hope we will be wary of “pink-washing” political candidates who advocate for us but also show every sign of maintaining the political status quo regarding the rest of our rights.

KittenThat’s all I have to say to all of my LGBT friends as, nationwide, we celebrate our annual parades. Let us sing out joyously, not only to our friends in the streets, but to our government and its agents.

We’re here, we’re queer, we think you’re full of shit.

And just so you don’t think I’m a grumpy old dyke, here’s a picture of a kitten.