Who Would Have Thought?
I got a little surprise the other day. A friend that I have recently connected with, who was a friend over twenty-five years ago, sent me a picture. Of me. Over twenty-five years ago. We were at Disneyland and I met Gates McFadden that day and I had bleached hair.
And a mullet.
Or at least it looks a lot like one. I look at that picture and I think, whoa, that Ben had his whole life ahead of him. He had no idea what was coming….
One was that I didn’t get with the guy who sent me the picture. He was a really nice guy, and quite attractive, but for some reason we didn’t click. I think on the day that picture was taken I was thinking that we might get together…. I know I was happy. The day before he and two of his closest friends got me on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I got to be on Ten Forward. I stood on a transporter platform! I kissed my friend in the elevator. I met Will Wheaton wearing about the tiniest shorts made by man and nothing more. I met Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett and then sat around his office and watched dailies. I had dreams about being a Star Trek writer. Sadly, I never became one. I didn’t have anything rejected. But of course I never submitted anything. I was too afraid to try.
A few months later I met He Who Shall Not Be Named. I fell madly in love. We were together for ten years. I thought it was going to be forever. Five years of it was grand. Five years was crawling into Mordor pursed by the worst nightmares. I stayed with HWSNBN way past when I should have. Why? I was afraid. Better the devil you know than the ones you don’t I guess…. I also didn’t submit any novels, although I did get about a dozen “adult” stories published in such magazines as First Hand, Bear, Bunkhouse, Torso and a few others! I was reaching. But in the long run I was too afraid to reach for the stars.
Then I met R, the man I would marry both through a spiritual ceremony and then over ten years later, legally. It’s a much better fit even if he does spend way way way too much time in his mancave. And I am finally published. With my husband’s support I reached and my hands were grabbed and I began to gets stories published.
Now I look at myself in the mirror and sometimes I think, who is that old guy in the mirror. He’s certainly not that smiling boy/man with the bleached hair and the mullet. Nope. I am not as naïve or innocent. I’ve made lots of mistakes. I’ve been through terrible hell including being cheated on, losing jobs I loved, losing many friends through cancer and AIDS and aneurisms and heart attacks. I somehow dodged the bullet and didn’t get HIV myself. But I’ve had the joy of having a daughter, and being able to legally marry and to not only write things, but to touch lives with my storytelling. Not bad. Not bad at all.
I haven’t written a New York Times bestselling novel yet. But I could! Maybe I will be the first NYT bestselling author with an MM lover story. Why not? It could happen. I haven’t written an episode of Star Trek. But I could. They’re reviving ST and we will see if it is any good. (crosses fingers) I’m not yet supporting myself through my writing. But it could happen. I dare say I will.
But there are two things that I really love about my life. More even than my beloved husband and my joyful dogs.
One is that anything can happen. I can’t let anything get me down. If I want something bad enough, I can get it.
And two, it really does get better. It’s not a cliché. It gets better. I have lived long enough that I can look back at my life and see the falls and the rises. And I know that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. It’s not a platitude. It’s not something to say to try and get people to feel better. Well it is, but it is also true! I look back and I see no matter how bad it has been at certain times—and finding out the man you loved once cheated and became HIV+ and tried to infect you is pretty bad—it always, always gets better. I have recently had a pretty rough year. One year all I wrote was a novel and a novella—and I was helped on the latter. This is shaping to be an amazing year with several reissues that are expanded into the stories I always wanted—one of which, The Real Thing, was book of the week and book of the month right here at Love Bytes. I will have a minimum of two novels published. And there’s more. I have met online friend in person and I have no doubt that something powerful has been forged there.
So here is all is in a nut shell. 1) It get’s better, always always, always, no matter how bad things get. 2) Stop being afraid and pursue your dreams. It is never too late! Never! Go for it!
Love and Namaste,
BG “Ben” Thomas
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.
In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”
In 2015 he made and entry every day in his blog “365 Days of Silver,” where he found something every day to be grateful for. You can find it right here: https://365daysofsilver.wordpress.com/
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”