As I sit here, and think about everything that has happened over the past year, I've come to realize things can be quite scary out there.
A year ago today, I was participating in my first ever author signing event, "Sexy in the City - Toronto 2015." At the time, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb: a male author, new to the world of the romance writing genre, sitting in a ballroom with 25+ other romance authors; all of them female. While one would believe I would feel out of place, these fellow authors made me feel welcome, and included me within their fold. In the months since, I have attended a second author signing, moved to Florida, gotten married, and at the current juncture, active in the job hunt while trying to plug away on my latest Gary Celdom book -- which will more than likely be a novella -- and, plotting a new adventure in the saga, starring Gary's best friend, Phil Bennett, for my July Camp NaNoWriMo attempt.
However, as I reflect back on the year that was, I can't help but think of the tragedy which occurred this past Saturday night at a nightclub in Orlando. Many things have been said in traditional and social media about the bloodshed in central Florida; some of them political regarding gun ownership, prejudices against sexual orientation, and misconceptions about international terrorism. While it is difficult to shy away from these things in my new home, I'm attempting to try my best to ignore it; however, it is not easy to do so, believe me.
It does not help matters when the upcoming race for my new nation's political leader has resorted to the traditional American tactics of grandstanding, mudslinging, and fear-mongering. While I was exposed to some of those tactics by the Stephen Harper Conservative government in Ottawa, things are ratcheted up down here with all of the publicity between Trump and Clinton. (Yes, I know there are still some Bernie Sanders supporters down here, and he's not officially out of the race yet, but still...) I want to try to tune out all of the political rhetoric, but alas, I'm stuck with it until November. Then again, I worry it might last longer than that. (Remember, I'm in Florida: "Home of the Dangling Chad".)
Regardless, I'll be the first to admit one of the things I feared since moving down here is all of the gun play. (Says the guy who lived in the eastern Toronto suburb of Toronto for 37 years where a gang was based a mere couple miles away.) While I know Orlando is a few hours drive away from where I am, there is still that concern about "it could happen here". Perhaps, I should take a page out of my wife's book, and become an introvert. Yes, I would go out for work, and my usual daytime weekend activities, but instead, I'll cower by the laptop and/or under the covers.