Category Archives: Sexual Orientation


On the lake the winds are calm
enough to tell one breeze from the other
and the water lies as still as two lovers’ eyes
holding one another in the space before a kiss,
like sea desiring sky in a privacy before the dawn.

The earth stops turning
long enough to feel that we’ve arrived,
that a wish has just come true
and the only prayer remaining
is a thank you whispered to the trees,
attention to the hummingbirds and cranes.

There are times a lover’s arm around your waist,
his breathing in the night,
will take you home
and other times the memory
of his calling out your name
is all the joy you get to keep.

In the morning
dreams will drop you at your door
and drive away, leaving you to wonder
where they go, and what they came to say,
leaving you alone, awake,
and aching to go back to sleep.

(From Tricky Serum: An Elixir of Poems by Dan Stone, Lethe Press, 2011)


Musings on Inspiration: Author Rick Reed

An idea is salvation by imagination.
—Frank Lloyd Wright

This week’s “Musing on Inspiration” features popular and exceedingly prolific author Rick Reed.  In their October 2006 issue, Unzipped magazine said: “You could call him the Stephen King of gay horror.”  And Dark Scribe magazine said: “Reed is an established brand — perhaps the most reliable contemporary author for thrillers that cross over between the gay fiction market and speculative fiction.”

To date, Reed has 12 published novels to his credit, and his short fiction has appeared in more than 20 anthologies. His novel, ORIENTATION, won the EPPIE Award for best LGBT novel of 2008. He lives in Seattle, WA. Visit him on the web at or visit his blog

TSC: How do you define ‘inspiration’ for yourself?

RR: Good art, whether it be literary, visual, or musical, inspires me. So do dreams; they have been a wellspring of inspiration for me, probably because inspiration and the subconscious, I believe, are closely linked.

TSC: What do you think first inspired you to become a writer/artist?  Can you identify a moment or experience or influence that turned you in that direction?

RR: Like many other artists I have known, I think that initial inspiration often comes from pain. Most true artists I have known have had unhappy/traumatic experiences growing up and I wonder if those experiences caused them to see creativity as a refuge. It has been for me. But I don’t often consciously think that way.

TSC: Describe the ‘inspired’ you.  What does he/she look or feel like?

RR: A rat terrier.

TSC: What is your most ‘inspired’ work?  Why?

RR: DEADLY VISION because it’s one of the few books I’ve set in my own home town, a little pottery town on the Ohio River. And because, at its core, it’s about the connection shared between mothers and children.

TSC: Who or what or where is your muse?  How do you invoke your muse?  Rituals?

RR: Discipline. Showing up at my computer to write. It’s really that mundane. A big part of creating is craft, or work. I have no rituals, other than sitting down, reading what I wrote the day before, and trying to let go of my conscious self and to lose myself in the world I create with each work.

TSC: List a few tools or practices or methods that work reliably for you to get you in the mood to create.  How do you shift into your ‘zone’?

RR: It’s nothing mysterious. I sit down to work. I have a goal to reach each day. The magic happens when my characters take over and lead me along the way.

TSC:. What are you currently feeling inspired to do?

RR: Rest!

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