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Mar 19

Guest Author Wednesday ♥ Jonathan Treadway

I’m thrilled to have Author Jonathan Treadway with me today. Please say hi and leave Jon a comment or two below.

Jonathan Treadway is the pseudonym of Jennifer Swanson, who lives with her husband in northern Massachusetts and has a daughter in college. Jen has a professional job doing market analysis (and commuting, it seems like) during the day, and writes in the evenings and on weekends. Her stories focus on the romance and relationship between two men, and all the trials gay men have to survive in order to have a healthy, happily-ever-after (or for now) relationship. To her there’s nothing sexier than two men exploring each other physically and emotionally as they fall in love. When Jen’s not writing or reading the embarrassingly large number of ebooks she buys every month to support her Kindle habit, she’s quilting, dancing at gay bars, or playing with her bunny Annabelle.

Visit her website at http://www.jontreadway.com and her blog at http://jontreadway.wordpress.com. You can email Jon at jontreadway@comcast.net.  

Five Rules of Commuting

I’ve been commuting for the majority of my work career, which is 30+ years, mostly into Boston/ Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since I’m almost forty miles from work, you can imagine how long it takes (like 1.5 to two hours in the a.m.). That’s why I’m a Kindle aficionado, because it will read my gay romances to me while I sit there and sip my tea. Yup, the picture above is pretty much me without my Kindle. Scary, huh?

I know, I know, I should get up before the crack of dawn and drive in at five o’clock to beat traffic. Sorry, babe, that ain’t gonna happen. I am most definitely not a morning person. I’d rather sleep until 10:37, leave at eleven, and get to work around noon. Leaving at eight or nine at night is perfectly fine! Unfortunately, that ain’t happenin’ either, since I need to be in around nine (it’s actually eight, but they’ve given up on me).

I’ve found that my patience has pretty much ended with anyone who shares the road. I’m not talking road rage; thank goodness I’m not at that point (yet). It’s the inconsiderate ! )$(*)($*%)&^ idiots who don’t understand the five basic rules of commuting. So I’m very happy to explain them to you. If you know someone who does any of these, feel free to forward along to them.

1. Sun Delays? Really? The sun comes up every morning and sets every evening without fail. It may be raining, cloudy, snowy, but the sun is always there, just hidden. So it should not come as a surprise when you drive into the bright sun that it shines into your eyes. If you’re old enough to commute, you’re old enough to plan ahead. Pull down the visor, put on sunglasses if needed, but DO NOT slam on your brake when the sun hits you. If you’re commuting, you’re on the road every day and you should know when it’s going to happen. Really, it’s not hard.

2. Weaving in and out of traffic does not work. Trust me, I know; I used to do it myself. All you’re really doing is just pissing everyone off. I found that I’d always end up in the same (far left) lane, and usually about five to ten cars behind where I started because I got stuck behind someone in another lane. Meanwhile, I’d be watching my previous lane move along ahead of me. Yeah, okay, there’s the very rare occasion where you timed it right and you can get by someone slowing traffic down, but that’s called passing, and as I said, it’s rare. I’ve watched traffic jams over the years, and every lane is pretty much creeping along at the same rate because there’s nowhere to go when it’s that heavy. So just stay in your lane and enjoy your Kindle or talk to your passengers. If you’re doing it because you’re late, tough patooties. You’re not going anywhere faster than anyone else, believe me.

3. Jumping into the exit lane at the last minute to get off is just rude. There is often a long line of cars waiting to get off onto another highway in MA. I’m sure it’s the same everywhere. I’m pretty good these days about getting into line when there’s a large gap between cars or realizing in time that the line ends over there and I need to get into it. Blazing past everyone in line, who are waiting patiently for their turn to exit, then whipping over at the last minute and expecting the cars to let you in, is just being obnoxious. In MA, I’ve noticed that cars are moving closer together and not letting the asshat anywhere near them, much less in front of them. That’s fine with me! Well, except when I’m the asshat.

I’m a fast driver? Says who?

4. Don’t slow down when you’re in the left lane to discourage the person on your ass. If you’re driving too slowly in the far left lane, which is traditionally for faster or passing drivers, you’re tying up traffic (see #5). It is polite to acknowledge that you’re blocking the car behind you by turning on your blinker and moving over as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean to speed up when the car is trying to pass you, either. Slowing down just makes me—I mean, the person behind you—that much angrier and pull even closer to you. Maybe even put on high beams. So just stop daydreaming, or chatting on the phone, or putting on mascara, and move over. Oh, and if there are multiple cars passing you on the right, then whipping in front of you and accelerating, GET A CLUE.

5. The left lane is for fast(er) traffic. Period. This is the most important rule of all. Nothing makes me madder than to be behind a car going 65 or 70 mph in the left lane with a long, clear path in front of them (like a half mile or longer) and many cars right on its behind trying to give it a hint that it’s blocking traffic. The New Hampshire state motto, Live Free or Die, means that I have the right to go faster than you and even hurt myself if I want. You don’t get to prevent that, cause then I’m not living free… get it? (Whoops, sorry about that rant, but I’ve noticed that the majority of time it’s NH drivers doing this.) My many years’ experience driving has shown that most (polite, reasonable) people driving slower than the left lane traffic fill in the right and middle lanes, allowing faster cars to pass them. (Just so you know, even I think 90 mph is too fast. I’m mum on what I don’t think is too fast. But at least I move over for them). When the idiot in the left lane is going the same speed as the other two lanes, that’s when traffic starts backing up and slowing down, eventually beginning to slinky (stop and start because there’s nowhere for the faster drivers to go. If you look in your rearview mirror and there’s a long line of cars behind you, all spaced close together and right on your ass, and ahead of you is clear sailing, THAT’S YOU! Move over NOW, please!

Yup, that pretty much says it all! LOL I gotta have one of those signs.

Geez, maybe I need to start taking the train. Nah. What fun would that be?

In case enquiring minds want to know what I’m listening to when I’m driving, I love contemporary gay stories the most and they are the first ones I buy. With my Kindle habit, I buy lots of books, believe me. I’ve always been an avid reader and have over six thousand ebooks, according to Calibre. Stories about doctors, first response personnel, soldiers, and cowboys are my absolute favorites. But I’m also into werewolves and sometimes vampires. I find I’m happier writing contemporary stories too, although I am trying a werewolf/vampire story. We’ll see.

Thanks, Tempeste, for letting me vent. LOL This was fun…

Arriba Aruba!

Jilted at the altar when his best man ran off with his fiancée, Craydon “Cray” Wright trades in his Mexico honeymoon for a vacation in Aruba. When godlike Stone Ferris walks onto the plane, sits next to Cray, and makes his interest known, Cray decides to act on desires he’s felt since high school but ignored.

He agrees to let Stone show him the island, but what starts as fun-filled and casual turns earth-shattering for Cray. When his time in Aruba ends, Cray realizes his feelings for Stone have grown beyond fun, but he worries that it might not translate to real life in LA. Can he convince himself and Stone their love can be paradise at home?

Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt

THE organ stopped playing, and Craydon Wright wrenched his eyes away from the back of the church, where there still was no lineup of bridesmaids with ushers, or even a bride ready to walk down the aisle with her father. Cray could see the bridesmaids and ushers clustered in gossiping groups, looking pretty confused as well. Where the hell was Maria? And where the fuck was Tony, his best man? He glanced at his watch and noticed that it was now fourteen minutes after the hour. The church was full of the 150-plus guests rustling around and leaning over to whisper to each other, no doubt wondering the same thing. Dread was building up in his stomach, as well as a faint feeling of nausea. Oh shit no, please. Don’t let this be another fiasco. I thought the rehearsal dinner was bad enough; I don’t know if I can take any more. If it’s going to end, let it be fast, please God!

Cray closed his eyes as he heard his father’s voice in the quiet, and realized he was talking to the organist as Cray heard her murmur a reply. His father, Michael, obviously finished his message, although Cray couldn’t hear what was being said, because a Bach fugue started playing softly. It was not the processional. The rest of the church went silent as his father walked up behind him and touched his arm. Cray looked up reluctantly to his father’s face, knowing immediately that it was the worst possible news. He was being jilted, in front of 150 people, by his fucking fiancée and best man.

His father tugged his arm and Cray followed him out of the church, ignoring the rising waves of talk he could hear behind him. Cray felt as if he were in a dream, or rather a nightmare, as he found himself and his dad in the hall just outside the nave, where the choir usually lined up before processing in for a service. He knew the area well, having sung here with both Tony and Maria since grade school. Cray couldn’t bring himself to look around to see if anyone else was there to watch his humiliation.

“I’m so sorry, son. Maria just called her mother and told her that she and Tony are in Las Vegas. They eloped and got married early this morning.”

“Oh my God. What the fuck am I going to do with all those people? Especially with the story from last night no doubt going around?” He swiped his hand down his face in despair. “Dad, tell me what to do.” He dreaded going back out there, certain everyone knew how humiliated he already was because of the stunt Tony had pulled last night. Why would Tony grab Maria to dance and then kiss her right there, in the middle of the dance floor, in front of everyone? It wasn’t a friendly peck, either. Oh, no. It was a long, passionate kiss, and Maria hadn’t pulled away until her mother started walking over there, yelling her name and asking Tony what he thought he was doing. The night before his and Maria’s wedding? Cray hadn’t been able to move, he was so stunned. The rest of the evening was a blur, although the extra wine didn’t help, probably. Staying up most of the night had at least allowed him to sober up so that he wasn’t hungover today.

Maybe he should have guessed Tony would talk Maria into doing something like this, but frankly, he was surprised Tony had it in him. It had been quite unlike Tony to be so public with his affections; maybe it was his last-gasp move on Maria before she made what Tony would consider to be the mistake of her life.

Michael Wright pulled Cray into his arms in a sudden hug.

“Don’t worry about it, Cray. Here are the keys to my car; just get home and into the house before everyone starts leaving here. Your brother and sister can give your mom and me a ride home after I tell the guests what’s going on. I’m to send them on to the hotel. Your mom and Heidi are already calling the caterers and telling them what happened, so they’ll be ready to serve appetizers and then dinner when everyone gets there, rather than waiting for the bride and groom. Well, your mom is calling; Heidi is so fucking angry right now that I’m not even sure she can speak. Not to mention Derrick. Both of them are so furious at Maria and Tony that I’m not surprised Maria escaped to somewhere far away before calling. Her parents are going to kill her.”

Cray took in his father’s words, glad his face was hidden in his shoulder. He couldn’t stop the tears from coming, although he wasn’t sure it was from hurt or humiliation or just plain relief.



Picture credit of lady in car: http://czechmatediary.com/2009/01/22/michaels-story-travels-in-czech-michaluv-denicek-cestovani-po-cechach/
Picture credit of poor dog: http://www.sodahead.com/living/did-you-ever-get-a-speeding-ticket/question-3138287/?page=2&postId=92488251#post_92488251&link=ibaf&q=&esrc=s
Picture credit of moron in left lane: http://www.chicagonow.com/lists-that-actually-matter/2011/02/top-5-habits-of-the-annoying-driver/#image/1

About the author

TempeO

Tempeste O’Riley grew up in the deep south and escaped her conservative, oppressive roots as soon as she could. Tempe is an out and proud omnisexual/bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t – defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life but writing has always drawn her back – no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life.

1 comment

  1. JoAnne Myers

    Hello Jonathon, this is a great piece to write. I am sure it will help others as it did me. Good luck with everything you do.

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