Shephard Summers


Ten Things That Election Results Won’t Change

1.  The next four years of good times with friends/family.
2.  How much you love your spouse and friends.
3.  How much they love you.
4.  Your ability to make healthy/positive choices for yourself/others.
5.  The fact that everything is temporary.
6.  Your ability to feel grateful for your life and your health.
7.  Your ability to speak and act with compassion.
8.  What goes around, comes around.
9. Your ability to see the big picture and what matters most.
10. Pudding.

We have, can and will endure whatever life throws at us, because there have been millions before us who have done just that. 

And if the big picture includes a compassionate, smart, protective, respectful and humane president, well that’ll be the icing on the cake. 

If not: 
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”  ~Gandhi


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Four and Twenty-Five

Everyone’s anniversary is worthy of celebration and congratulations. Especially in light of  today’s quick-fix-grass-is-always-greener-give-up-too-easily generation. 
But our anniversary is different. 
The fact that it’s legal. 
In spite of the Mormons and Knights of Columbus and all those who spent millions of dollars to help Prop 8 pass, our marriage, along with 18,000 other couples in the state of California, is grandfathered and protected. 
So, even tho B & I have been together 25 years (we met when we were 18), today is our 4-year wedding anniversary.   

I got Go-Diva chocolates and the above drawing from my husband. 🙂
He’s one of the kindest, most loving and supportive people I’ve ever known, and it goes without saying that I’m lucky. . . but maybe for many different reasons than you think. 

I’m lucky that in spite of this society showering us with negative messages about our relationship, we made it through the early years, and knew we could make it want we wanted to. 

I’m lucky that somewhere in my childhood I had a good example who told me to believe in my own values.

I’m lucky I had 4 older siblings who showed me exactly how not to go about a relationship.  Their spectacular examples were beacons in the night.  Fear of their failures was a guiding light on occasion.

I’m lucky that selfish parents were not able to tear us apart.  

I’m lucky that, in a community like ours, where fidelity isn’t a high priority, the two of us protected our values and recognized what we really had. 

I’m lucky that we didn’t fall prey to the “Fool’s Gold”  of the gay community whose very nature advocates keeping one eye on the door in case something better comes along. 

I’m lucky that I found such a loving, funny, good soul for a husband. 
That alone protected us from so very much that snags so many relationships. 

And while future generations will undoubtedly suffer much less bigotry and second-class citizenship than B and I and our generation, I’m so very fortunate for those who came before me, paving the way, fighting the fight, and making that tiny 4-month window of legal marriage in California possible.  If you’re reading this, and you helped, thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Getting married was a learning experience.

We learned what it felt like to have everyone in our lives celebrate and validate our relationship, and wish us well.  I will always remember what that unique experience felt like. And while some argue that a marriage license isn’t important for gay people, I would say that the experience itself can be profoundly important. 

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart. 


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Ripples and Bonfires

What we do every day . . .  
matters to the people in our lives, 
and we will probably never fully grasp the broad, ripple effect it has on our world. 
Maybe we’re not meant to.  Maybe if we knew, we wouldn’t try as much.

I was once told that lighting candles is every bit as lasting and noble as lighting bonfires. And over the years, I’ve seen the proof.  

If I help 5 people a week, making a positive difference, that’s more than 260 people a year.  In ten years, 2,600 people.  And while that seems modest, if everyone did it, it would be (and is) huge.  Does it matter if those 5 people are the same 5 people every week?  No, because they go out into the world with every influence they experience in their lives, and they share.  

These are the uncounted, unseen ripples. 

What seem like ripples to us …may be huge to someone else. 
And we may never know.



There are so many ways in which what we say and do spread.
For example, if you tell a gay person you’re voting for Obama, you just gave them hope that our country won’t always be divided by bigotry, tho you may not realize you had this effect on them.  If you tell someone how nice they look, or thank them for their kindness to you,  or what a good job they did, you help them believe in themselves, in continued effort, and they put that back into their world.   The very beliefs we live by, put into action, affect everyone we come into contact with each day, spreading whatever it is we choose as our way of seeing life and the world.

Sometimes we are so busy looking for the splashing waves, that we miss the quiet ripples. 
Take the metaphor further… you want to set off Tsunamis that won’t be forgotten, that’s a noble focus, but if you don’t achieve that momentum, it simply means you can’t SEE what affect you have in a grand way. It doesn’t mean your efforts aren’t felt in a grand way.  

If your focus is making a difference… you are.

The story I had published is an example for me.  
I was invited to submit a story, but it felt like it wasn’t putting something positive into the world, so I didn’t bother ….until I got an idea four days before the deadline for a story that would make people feel better about who they are.  In a gay vampire story, no less.  I wrote it, and assumed it would be lost amongst the more overtly sexual. But it was chosen and published in the anthology.  I have no idea how many people read it or responded positively to the message, but it’s out there because I chose to try to make what seemed like a small difference to me.   

I write to be read.  So yes, it’s important to me that I get my novels published.  And I won’t stop trying.   But I will continue to look for candles to light.  Making a difference is why I share, it’s why I write, it’s why I blog.  It’s why ripples are just as important as Tsunamis, why candles are just as important as bonfires.  

We don’t have angels ala It’s a Wonderful Life  to show us the difference our presence in this life makes, but the message of that movie is pretty clear: one individual can have a huge effect without even realizing it.    


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