Hi guys, we have John Goode stopping by today with his upcoming release What About Everything? we have a brilliant guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
What About Everything?
No matter how fast you run, the past has a way of catching up with you.
When an accident ruins Matt’s parents’ anniversary party, Tyler and Matt decide a vacation is in order, and they book a gay Disney cruise with Robbie and Sebastian. It’ll be the perfect place to relax and do some much-needed soul-searching. A couple of years have passed since they met, but Tyler and Matt are no closer to getting married. They must take a long, hard look at their relationship and decide if they’re happy with the way things are, or if they want more—and if they can find the courage to take the next step. A difficult choice is made even harder when two people they thought they’d left behind show up to complicate the issue and turn the whole cruise upside down.
I grew up in the era of ‘live your dreams’.
It was a seventies thing and the last breath of the dying hippie lifestyle. In a few years these people would cut their hair and buy BMW’s and talk about how music used to be much better when they were young, but for those few years, they told me I could live my dreams.
My dreams were very specific.
In a paper I wrote in second grade my dreams were in this order.
First, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer.
Yeah, I know it sounds stupid but I did know that would when I was seven years old so it wasn’t as silly as it sounds.
I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer because I wanted to make spaceships. I had just seen Star Wars and I was pretty sure that spaceships were the thing of the future. Literally. So someone was going to have to design those ships and as my extensive work in Legos proved, I had the chops. Now, my mom, who was that dying hippie, told me that I should live those dreams. I could could build spaceships if I wanted, the sky was the limit.
I drew a picture of a spaceship, I assumed it would be worth mega bucks later once I got big in the spaceship game. And for most kids, that would have been enough, but not me.
Under that I wrote.
“And if that doesn’t work out I can always open a sandwich shop.”
Even at seven I had an exit strategy.
See the world was telling me to live my dreams and I was sitting there thinking, but don’t you wake up from dreams and wonder what the hell just happened? I didn’t think my dreams were possible because that wasn’t how the world worked. All of my dreams has been shattered over the course of time, some because my life sucked, some because of bad luck, most because I had a wild imagination and the things I were dreaming could never come to pass in a universe that was bound by Newtonian laws.
My grandfather never graduated fourth grade. He had worked since he was a child and never once held a job that paid anything above minimum wage. However, he gave me some wisdom when I turned fourteen and it has stuck with me ever since.
See, I had landed my first job at Jack in the Box, and my grandfather was thrilled. Not that he wanted to score some free food but because I was ready to learn a work ethic and figure out how to survive in the world. I worked there two days. On the first day I was trained and hated it. On the second day some friends came in and said they were going to a movie, which sounded better than making fries so I left.
My grandfather was not happy.
Not because we needed the money but because I failed the lesson. The lesson being if you worked hard, you could survive no matter what. There was always money for people willing to work, end of story. I told him I hated the job and he said he hated his too. He said he hated nearly all his jobs but he hated living on the streets more and that not liking a job wasn’t a reason for quitting.
Nothing was a reason for quitting.
So I took these ideals to heart and tried to put my dreams away. I was never going to be a writer, I was never going to make money at it. It was a waste of time so just stop before I start. So instead I ole played with friends and learned to tell stories another way and held a series of pretty meaningless jobs.
This was my entire life until one day I got sick of it and needed to write something.
So I found Livejournal, made an account and just started writing. A lot. Anything. Fan fiction. Comedy bits. And then pivoted into a story, an actual story. It was my story, growing up, high school, my first love, all of it. One chapter a week, didn’t care who read. Just wrote.
And slowly people started reading.
Not all at once and not a lot but some. And they wrote and they liked it and they asked,
What happens next?
So I kept writing.
This went on until Sue Brown, a lovely lady, read my stuff and contacted me and said, in the nicest way, I was wasting my time on Livejournal. She told me my stuff was good enough to publish and I would be a fool not to. It was a nice message but all I heard was my mother telling me to live my dreams and my grandfather telling me that you worked to make money to survive. End of story.
So I told her ‘thanks, but no thanks’. But she would not stop.
Finally I wrote a short story for a Dreamspinner anthology and they bought it.
And that kind of floored me because I assumed they’d reject it. In fact I wrote it to be rejected. I purposely used characters that I had role played in high school and did a cute little love story told through the lens of my mind. And the publisher said, what happens next?
And now we’re here, the ninth novel written in the Tales from Foster High series.
Oh, what a ride it has been!
No past version of me ever existed who would believe you if you told him about the future. No previous me would nod and accept as fact that I write for a living. He would scoff, roll his eyes, and might look at you angrily because you’d said things that were just mean.
Nothing in my life prepared me for the fact that, one day, my dream would come true.
So here is my to you.
And then do everything in your power to live that dream. Never give up, never back down and never let someone tell you it can’t be done Ever. Not everyone is going to have a Sue Brown to tell you to submit the damn story or she is going to submit it for you. You need to submit it, you need to believe it.
If you’re wondering, if the books don’t work out, I am still eyeing that Subway franchise across the street. You know, just in case.
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
PERSONALLY I blame Elsbeth Roo.
She was the girl who, in the second grade, declared I was her boyfriend, so there. I tried to tell Elsbeth—not Elizabeth, by the way—that girls were icky and fatal carriers of cooties, but she would not relent. She grabbed my hand and pulled me around the schoolyard telling every single person she ran into that we were going steady and she thought they should know.
With the longing, woeful stare of a golden retriever being denied a swim, I kept looking over my shoulder at the Nerf football being tossed back and forth by the other boys….
Well, this being second grade and the long-standing conflict between boys and girls well documented, it was just a matter of time before it started. The song. That song. That fucking song.
“Lizzie and Tyler sitting in a tree.”
When twenty girls and one boy started, Elsbeth smiled. I noticed she had no problem then with people messing her name up.
Now that was a boldfaced lie. We never K-I-S-S-E-D or S-M-O-O-C-H-E-D or even H-U-G-G-E-D. So far the extent of our relationship had been her keeping my hand in a steel-trap grip as she advised everyone of our new relationship status. See, this was before Facebook, so instead of one button click, she had to drag me person to person to let them know.
“First comes love.”
No, first comes being hijacked by an overly strong girl; that much I had figured out.
“Next comes marriage.”
And I was done.
I yanked my hand away, half expecting my flesh still to be in her grip, which would have left me with a hella cool skeletal hand that would have been the shit at Halloween….
Hold on, where was I?
Right, so I pulled my hand back and said very loudly, “No way! I am never marrying a stupid girl!”
My bold declaration—or loud shout—happened decades before my burgeoning sexuality. I like to think that seven-year-old boy had it going on and knew where he was going in life, but we both know he didn’t. Elsbeth looked at me like I had slapped her, began crying like I had slapped her twice, and then took off running like I was going to do it again.
And that began my loathing of marriage.
I mean, what’s marriage for? So what, you’re married. Who cares? What’s the difference between living with someone and being married, other than the fact if you get divorced, the other person can take half your shit? See, and that’s my point. Marriage isn’t about marriage; it’s about consequences when a marriage ends. Yeah, I know, if someone’s not married, they don’t get the cool tax break, but if that person stops being married, they lose half their stuff. Who needs that?
That being said, I will admit there is something about a perfect fall day that makes me think about marriage in a different light.
Maybe it’s the last sunshine before a long winter that makes you want to lie down with someone for the warmth of more than just the body. Maybe the falling leaves are a reminder that nothing is forever and time has no mercy, even when it comes to love. And maybe it’s the way Foster truly comes alive for the school year with bake sales and back-to-school specials that reminds you that maybe, just maybe, you should think about settling down and having a kid or two for yourself.
I mean, who knows?
“What the fuck are you doing?”
I shook myself out of my reverie and glanced over at my laptop, which contained a Skype picture of Robbie looking pretty pissed. “What? We were talking.”
Robbie glared at me. “No, you were talking, I was listening to you go on about… whatever you were babbling about and was wishing I could will myself into an aneurysm.”
“I was giving you some perspective,” I countered, scrambling to remember what we’d been saying as I took a drink of my Coke.
“On what? Are you trying to tell me you and Matt are getting married?”
“What?” I exclaimed, spitting out a mouthful of soft drink. “No! No, no, no. Not even a little. I didn’t say that! I was just talking about the marrying thing ’cause Matt’s parents are renewing their vows, and that got me thinking.” I gave a scoffing little laugh. “Me and Matt getting married? That’s insane, stupid.” I looked across the street and began to think. “I mean, who would…?” I looked back at the laptop, a thought occurring to me. “Did Matt say anything to you?”
“Oh, dear God,” he replied before taking a sip from his Wonder Woman coffee mug. “Get a grip, Parker! You’re about to start crying.”
He was right, and I took a deep breath to steady myself. “But seriously, he didn’t say anything, right?”
“One, I do not converse with your moose; that is Sebastian’s job. Two, I would like to think Matt is smart enough to talk to you, not me, about all that marriage business. Because I’m not marrying his ass.”
Sebastian and Matt had become fast friends since they met last year, talking at least once a week over Skype. I’d be jealous, but I know Matt loves me too much, and Sebastian fears Robbie like a little kid fears the thing under his bed.
“Well, ask Sebastian—”
“Nope. Not doing this,” he snapped, cutting me off. “Look, Tyler, whatever Shakespearean drama you have whipped up in your head is yours, and I refuse to buy a ticket to it. Or in other words, not my circus, not my monkeys.”
I paused. Robbie was right, and I was winding myself up over nothing.
John Goode is a member of the class of ’88 from Hogwarts school of wizardry, specializing in incantations and spoken spells. At the age of 14 he proudly represented District 13 in the 65th Panem games where he was disqualified for crying uncontrollably before the competition began. After that he moved to Forks, Washington where, against all odds, dated the hot, incredibly approachable werewolf instead of the stuck up jerk of a vampire but was crushed when he found out the werewolf was actually gayer than he was. After that he turned down the mandatory operation everyone must receive at 16 to become pretty citing that everyone pretty were just too stupid to live before moving away for greener pastures. After falling down an oddly large rabbit hole he became huge when his love for cakes combined with his inability to resist what sparsely worded notes commanded and was finally kicked out when he began playing solitaire with the Red Queen’s 4th armored division. By 18 he had found the land in the back of his wardrobe but decided that thinly veiled religious allegories where not the neighbors he desired. When last seen he had become obsessed with growing a pair of wings after becoming obsessed with Fang’s blog and hasn’t been seen since.
Or he is this guy who lives in this place and writes stuff he hopes you read.