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A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Urine and Thou – Jeff Baker

Writers have day jobs. It’s a plain fact of economics, writing doesn’t pay that much unless the writer is very lucky. We supplant our creative careers with a nine-to-five (or six to three, or some such.) A lot of writers have been teachers. Stephen King taught high school English. Jeffrey Marks juggles teaching and editing, the British ghost story writer M. R. James was a Provost of King’s College, Cambridge and Eaton. Some writers, like Steve Berman, have worked in publishing. And others, like me, have jobs that have nothing to do with writing at all. For the last 25 … Read more

Jeff Baker—Boogieman In Lavender: “Remembering Dennis Etchison.”

                       Remembering Dennis Etchison                                                  By Jeff Baker             A fine writer I know, well-versed in the field of horror, had never heard of Dennis Etchison. This seems to have been a problem for Etchison who was continually being referred to as a “new discovery,” even though he began publishing fiction when he was in school in the early 60s. Etchison published horror stories in the girlie magazines (then a thriving market) about the same time Stephen King was breaking in to print. Etchison passed away at the end of May. I never met him or even spoke … Read more

“How I Do It” – Boogieman In Lavender

writing tools - typewriter - pixabay

                          By Jeff Baker                                                Not every writer writes short-stories. The form has been described as “difficult” and “challenging.” Some fiction writers don’t write short-stories. I write almost nothing but short-stories. I haven’t discussed the process very often, and I don’t always do it the same way, but this is more or less how I do it. (Sometimes.) First, there’s the idea. Ideas are easy. Everybody gets them. It’s what we do with them that counts. About four years ago we had a storm here and the power went out. It was Friday evening, we had no place to be the next … Read more

When Dark Shadows Got Graphic – Boogieman In Lavender

“The fools! Of course there is no book! It is but a shabby lie to hide the truth; that I sleep with the dead during the day and spend my nights prowling for blood!”—-Barnabas Collins, Dark Shadows, issue # 35. I’ve written here before about “Dark Shadows,” the Gothic T.V. soap opera with supernatural themes and a large following in the LGBT community. Those who were around in the early 1970s may remember that there was a comic book version as well. Produced by Gold Key Comics the comic book (we’d call them “Graphic Novels” now) lasted an amazing 35 … Read more

Ray Bradbury Revisited: jeff Baker, Boogieman in Lavender

Pumpkin - Jeff Baker

            I haven’t read every story by Ray Bradbury, but Graham George Barber may have. Barber contacted me to point out that Ray Bradbury did write at least two more stories with Queer characters, after my writing about Bradbury’s story “The Better Part of Wisdom “ (Boogieman In Lavender, July 11, 2016.) None of the stories are science fiction or fantasy, and they all speak of attitudes toward the LGBT community that a straight writer would have had back in the 1950s, but they are Bradbury. By the very nature of this exposition, this review will contain spoilers. In “Long … Read more

Thorne Smith and “Turnabout.” – Boogieman In Lavender

Jeff Baker

  Thorne Smith’s Turnabout                                   By Jeff Baker             The slumber of (this) happily married couple was troubled that night by strangely realistic dreams…Tim got the impression that his body was being critically inspected. Sally later admitted that she had experienced the same feeling. And through all those dreams and dim imaginings the figure of Mr. Ram was inextricably woven…  ——from “Turnabout,” by Thorne Smith             LGBT writers, that is, writers who deal with LGBT characters and themes find themselves addressing issues of gender roles and gender identities frequently. Almost a century ago, a very heterosexual writer wrote a comic novel … Read more

Boogieman In Lavender: How I Became a Bisexual Author – Jeff Baker

Jeff Baker

Notice that it is not “How I Became a Bisexual Author.” That part is easy. As a Bisexual, I would be a Bisexual author whether I was writing about spaceships or hog futures. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about “Bisexual erasure,” Quite often, a Bisexual who is involved with someone of the same gender will be assumed to be Gay. Likewise, a Bisexual involved with an opposite gender partner is assumed to be straight. And often the Bisexual in question will just let the assumption slide by uncorrected. (A friend of mine said he had to come out … Read more

Jeff Baker: Boogieman in Lavender – Sleator and Selden; of Genies and Singularities

Jeff Baker

We are out there. We are not always obvious. In the days before the 21st Century’s sometimes grudging acceptance of LGBT YA authors, such authors labored largely in the closet, their works publicly known while their orientation was not. Two authors whose works have recently crossed my desk again are William Sleator and George Selden. Both names are probably jogging a bygone memory or two. Both had at least one familiar hit; Sleator with “Interstellar Pig,” and Selden with “The Cricket in Times Square.” And both men had definite LGBT connections. I’ll start with Sleator (pronounced “Slater.”) I first encountered … Read more