By Jeff Walsh
Easier With Practice is one of those movies that is impossible to review on a gay site, especially for someone as spoiler-adverse as me.
Because the distributor sent me this with another title, and I didn't even bother to read about it in advance, I just converted it so that I could watch it on my iPad and review it on the plane to or from Hawaii. And, for 90 percent of the movie, my thought was "Why did they send me an interesting, albeit seemingly heterosexual movie?"
In the back of my mind, of course, I thought, "The only way this would be a gay movie is if..." and, of course, that is what ends up being the case. So, we have a gay movie that is sort of a twist gay movie, except to review it on a gay website almost requires you to tell people the twist, so that it actually seems like a gay story.
The question I have, of course, is... if you watch this movie based on knowing it will eventually be a gay movie, even though it doesn't seem like it for most of the film and, because of that knowledge, figure things out in advance that you otherwise wouldn't or shouldn't, is it still a satisfying movie?
And I don't know the answer to that question.
"Strings Attached" by Nick Nolan is a great story of how a closeted teen's life changes and he becomes a man (see review below).
We have three copies of this book to give away. One grand prize winner will get a signed copy, and two others will win copies of the book, as well.
To enter, send me a private message with a subject line of Strings, before July 6, and you're entered. Only one entry per member. And, of course, if you enter, you have to be Ok receiving a gay book in the mail, obviously.
By Jeff Walsh
Nick Nolan's "Strings Attached" is a fun beach read of a book. I can safely say that, as I read it on a beach all day today. But seriously, this novel starts out like your typical gay young adult novel, but then adds a lot of additional layers and metaphors to make it an even more compelling read.
When the book starts, Jeremy has to call 911 for his drunk mother, who almost died... again. He ends up living with his aunt, with whom his mother had a falling out after the death of Jeremy's father. This aunt is incredibly rich, with butlers and a huge mansion overlooking the ocean. In short order, Jeremy goes from poverty to posh.
As you know is a gay young adult novel, you start lining up all the things that will likely happen, and most of them don't. Or few things happen as you initially suspect. If anything, I'd go as far as to say Jeremy's awakening about being gay, while integral to the story, is less dramatic than the family drama around which it is set.
We've had another spat over high school. I want to take Italian and move back to Italy to home school, and spend my days wandering those deliciously silent streets of Venice. But Mom purses her lips and says that she won't "narrow my horizons" like that, that I'll get a better degree if I stay here. She says I have to see the "light at the end of the tunnel." I can see a light alright, but I might have to walk into it before the four years are up. She keeps talking about rights of passage and persevering. I just don't know if I can survive this.
*I've been reading Judy Shepard's book "The Meaning of Matthew" about her son who was murdered in 1998. I wanted to write a poem about who Matthew was as a person, not just the headline story. The title was taken from Lady Gaga's cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.*
The state melted into a pool
of cerulean in your eyes,
Wyoming tinted your hair
a cowboy prairie blond and
stained your boyish lips
with a wanderlust grin.
Matthew, you've grown
older by now but some
things never change like how
the Curious Unknown
still sparkles in your dreams,
the sticker lights of Laramie.
A few days ago I went with my father to pick up some speakers he had bought, and I fell asleep in the car on the way home. When I went to get out the door I saw a crane fly right next to where my face was, at most a couple of inches away. The next day I was walking my dog and the same crane fly flew right in front of me. The day after that (yesterday) it was in my room, flying around me. And just now it was outside my window, trying to get in my room. What the fuck is this?
This month has been mostly a hell, the first week of it I was really depressed and my parents made things worse, I tried to kill myself twice, I made more cuts and my birthday really sucked, I spent all day holding tears at school, faking smiles and lying to my parents saying to them that I had a good day and that I was really tired, I actually cried all night at home and thought a lot of suicide and why I had failed last time (2 days before); some times I get some little euphoric or maniac episodes and after they're gone I feel worse.
I am officially done with high school as of tomorrow. It's honestly kinda hard to wrap my head around that fact. But it's over now. I survived what many consider to be the most socially awkward, horrifically embarrassing phase of human life.
So I have these two friends and the both of them are like really good friends of mine.
Friend K is my trusted friend who I trust above everyone else. We don't get to hangout very often but I know that I can call her whenever I need to for advise or anything else. She was the first person I came out to in college and she took me clothes shopping in the women's section for the first time, and I just feel like she'll always be there for me if I need support.
Well, a couple of days ago I was hanging out with my friend Robert, the only person who knows I'm bi. This girl, Trisha, was with us. She's not really a friend of mine, more of a friend of a friend. Anyways, Robert made some joke or comment that I responded to. It wasn't offensive, but my response indicated to my queerness. Anyways, Trisha got nosy and started asking what Robert told me. I couldn't tell her what he said though, because then I would have to come out.