FURRY FRIDAY ~~ I Like Big Beards and I Tell No Lies!

So I admit that I like big beards (and I tell no lies). I wish that each week when I have voting that the guy who almost always wins isn’t the guy with the real trim beard, looks 21, and has no tattoos. Not that I don’t like those guys, I do. But the big beards, that are getting very popular and very cool with top fashion models, gets me every time. So this week? All I present is big beards. I guess this time the post is for me!

HUGS
BG “Ben” Thomas

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Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

FURRY FRIDAY ~~ Shirtless Style

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer…. *sigh* I love summer and hot weather and I really dislike winter and cold weather. And one of the things I especially dislike are all those winter clothes covering up those wonderful bodies. Thank God for summer and shirtless days. Today, that is what I celebrate. What do you think?

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Midwest Men’s Festival 2017 at LoveBytes


Hey, all! I am over at LoveBytes today. Check it out…!

Midwest Men’s Festival 2017


So, I am home from this year’s enchanting Midwest Men’s Festival with a sore butt and I had a wonderful time….

My long-term readers will know that each year I head off to an event called Midwest Men’s Festival. Begun in 1982, it is attended primarily by gay men, many of whom are involved in earth-centered spirituality, men of varied cultural or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, or spiritual beliefs are invited and encouraged to attend. Interestingly enough, at the same time Trump announced that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, we changed our mission statement saying people who identify as male are welcome.

And that is just part of what Men’s Festival is about. We are a group of men come together once a year in love and magick and wonder. We decorate of camp sites like nothing most people have ever seen and we have a amazing time. We dare to see the world in beauty, balance and delight.

Ever see that episode of Queer as Folk called Stand Up for Ourselves where Emmett and Michael go to camp? By the end of the episode, they’ve picked their faerie names (Michael chooses Dumpling and Emmet sees his is Clear Day) and Emmet says that faeries have the ability to create beauty out of ugliness and joy out of pain. Well that’s a lot what Men’s Festival is all about.

And this year was a good Men’s Festival. It was hot and I ran around in sarongs the whole time and the food—all vegetarian—was good, sometimes really good, and there was lots of catching up to do and new friendships made. I drank far less than in years past and that was good. I didn’t need it! It was a year of not doing things as well as doing things, and that is pretty important too. Knowing when and when not. When to leave things be and when to go for them.

This year was a little more laid back than usual. A number of people, for various reasons, got there a little later than they usually do and had to leave a little earlier—business, death in the family, a honeymoon Alaskan cruise, and more—but as usual everything was as it should have been. No MMF is like any other.

It was still good and I got in a lot of the relaxation that I so desperately needed. Not much writing! I slept in late almost every day, sometimes almost noon! And there is no real tan this year because I burned the first day and then peeled like a snake, but I look good. I got lots of real quality time with my husband (I still thrill using that word after three years of legal weddome) which we needed.

MMF is a symbol of why I feel so blessed to be gay. I was pushed out a lot of my life, cast out really. And with this family of men I have found a place that is so wondrous and fantastic and beautiful it is hard to describe. A family of man.

I decided to write about it a few years ago. In a novel called Summer Lover. I was very pleased to find out that men who go to MMF—when trying to figure out how to explain what Festival is like or about—tell possible newcomers to read my novel. Wow…. Now that is a compliment.

My last day of Festival it rained all day. Made it hard to pack. Made me happy I had a cabin instead of a tent. Although I did slip in the moss at the bottom of the steps leading from the cabin down to the car. Landed hard on my butt and it hurts as I sit here and write this.

But in the end—no pun intended—it’s a good thing. It reminds me that there is good and bad. And I can look back and think about what didn’t happen…or I can reflect on all the good that did.

For instance, I was best man at a lovely queer wedding. A legal one. It was wonderful and I was so honored to be a part of it. The guy I was best man for had am open back tux with tails that drug the floor. Because we’re Faeries, and that’s what we do. We make the world beautiful.

I no longer am mad that I am left out and people like Trump hate me. I revel in it. And I am so happy I have found a family of people—not just gay, but everything else under the rainbow—who like me just the way I am.

That’s pretty wonderful.

I’m holding out my hand. Join me on the other side of the rainbow!

Namasté,
BG “Ben” Thomas

PS: Find the actual LoveBytes post by clicking RIGHT HERE!

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SUMMER LOVER
Book Two of the Seasons of Love Series

Scott Aberdeen doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God. Or love—at least, he knows no one will ever love him. After all, he has carried a torch for his best friend Sloan for a decade, hoping his feelings will be returned one day. But when Sloan finds springtime love with another man, Scott’s fantasies are crushed and his skepticism confirmed.

Cedar Carrington, raised by rock star parents, leads a free-spirited, nomadic life, never staying in one place for long. Due to a dark past he refuses to share or even think about, he is willing to let men into his bed for sex, but never for the night.

When Scott finds himself camping in the middle of nowhere with over a hundred men who all believe in love—and faeries and a magickal gay brotherhood—he’s pretty sure he’s in the wrong place. And when Cedar connects with cynical, critical Scott, he wonders how he could be falling in for this man of all men. But hearts and lives have been transformed at the Heartland Men’s Festival before, and it might be just the place where two very different men can release their pain and find true love at last.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner!!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

One Day Until Midwest Men’s Festival!

Except it’s not.

1) Because it doesn’t really start until Tuesday, we just usually set up on Sunday and l go ahead and start my vacation early.

2) And they let me leave way early from work! At 7:30 in the morning. Went home with my short list and ready to head to camp before it gets too blazing hot!

HUZZAH!

It’s time to go to Festival!!!
BG “Ben” Thomas

PS: And to shamelessly promote myself one more time…. For those of you who wonder what my festival is like…it is sort of like my book Summer Lover except I don’t do the mushrooms! Not in a long, long, long time! LOL! Peace out!


SUMMER LOVER
Book Two of the Seasons of Love Series

Scott Aberdeen doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God. Or love—at least, he knows no one will ever love him. After all, he has carried a torch for his best friend Sloan for a decade, hoping his feelings will be returned one day. But when Sloan finds springtime love with another man, Scott’s fantasies are crushed and his skepticism confirmed.

Cedar Carrington, raised by rock star parents, leads a free-spirited, nomadic life, never staying in one place for long. Due to a dark past he refuses to share or even think about, he is willing to let men into his bed for sex, but never for the night.

When Scott finds himself camping in the middle of nowhere with over a hundred men who all believe in love—and faeries and a magickal gay brotherhood—he’s pretty sure he’s in the wrong place. And when Cedar connects with cynical, critical Scott, he wonders how he could be falling in for this man of all men. But hearts and lives have been transformed at the Heartland Men’s Festival before, and it might be just the place where two very different men can release their pain and find true love at last.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner!!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

Three Days Until Midwest Men’s Festival

I was laying in bed this morning wondering if l should get up and gather stuff for Festival or go back to sleep. Stressful couple of weeks. Gosh l can’t wait to be wearing anything but a sarong, hanging out with my faerie brothers, skinny dipping, staying up way way late talking and drinking cocktails, telling cock tales. And getting up when l feel like it. Bird song. Lovely paths through the woods. Cairns. True communing with nature. Quality time with my lover/husband. Wow….

Furry Friday: Bring on the Bad Guys

What makes a hero shine better than a awesome villain? Especially a sexy villain? And most especially a sexy bearded villain? From Snidely Whiplash-types to Yosuke Kubozuka as Kichijiro in Silence and Patrick Stewart as Darcy in The Green Room, bad guys are the ones we love to hate!

So here are some sexy bad guys. Who have I forgotten? Let me know!

Peace Out!
BG “Ben” Thomas


Alan Rickman, Hans Gruber, Die Hard


Leonardo DiCaprio, Calvin Candie, Django Unchained


Liam Neeson, Ra’s al Ghul, Batman Begins


Liev Schreiber, Sabretooth—Victor Creed, X-Men Origins Wolverine


Max von Sydow, Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon


Michael Shannon, General Zod, Man Of Steel


Wes Bentley, Seneca Crane, The Hunger Games


Colin Farrell, Bullseye, Daredevil

Four Days Until Midwest Men’s Festival

And after all that’s gone with my mom and her operation and her husband’s horrible abusive family and the trips to Arkansas and exhaustive quarter-end overtime and Sarah Jane’s health scare, I’ve not been this emotionally and spiritually ready for MMF in years. And because every minute of my time for weeks has been filled, no I’m not packed at all. But that’s okay. I just got a surprising day off, plus after 15 years of going to MMF–well, R and I’ve got this! As soon as they let me leave work on Sunday, I’m hitting the road! HUZZAH!

Life is ultimately good—if you look with the right eyes.
Namaste
BG “Ben” Thomas