Archive for the ‘BOOKS’ Category

The world’s worst cook?   4 comments

I know one shouldn’t talk bad about one’s mother or disrespect a parent or say anything against the dead but there is no getting around the fact that my mother had to be one of the worse cooks anywhere!
Whether it was eggs or steaks she burnt everything or she would boil something until there was no taste left!
I know as soon as I left home I wanted rare steaks, soft boiled eggs and good looking and tasting food so I started to live in the kitchen experimenting with things I never heard of and using spices which was so rare in any thing I had had as a kid.
I must confess my ‘bible’ became the “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer and I still have my original copy. Over the years I believe I have made every recipe in that book and followed every bit of advice offered when it came to preparing to cook and the actual cooking.
One thing I learned and have never let go was the love of kitchen gadgets. Now I don’t go crazy either buying or using them and I certainly don’t spend a lot of money on them.
The items in the picture are ones I bought at The Dollar Tree store.
I really love the peeler as it fits on your finger and I couldn’t list all the items I have peeled with it from cucumbers to potatoes to carrots among other things.
The onion slicer is easy to use and since I am a big onion user it saves a lot of time, not to mention finger cuts.
Being a believer in ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ (though it really doesn’t work) I have an apple every day and that corer makes things easier plus can, and is, used for other food items.
Lately I have been stacking up on microwave gadgets for cooking and am–just thinking–of getting rid of pots and pans that I have had for years.
Should I ever have to choose between a gadget or a slice of carrot cake I would have to give it a lot of thought! 


Posted September 15, 2018 by greatmartin in BOOKS, FOOD

For Jane Austen fans!   Leave a comment

Gene and I have been friends for 51 years and I think she has been involved with the Jane Austen Society longer than that. She is responsible for me READING Jane Austen books!

Posted January 14, 2018 by greatmartin in BOOKS, COLLECTIONS, FRIENDS

Question for author Ricardo G. Williams and other items   Leave a comment

Ricardo Williams Book received April 7 2017 (1)

I received a copy of the new book by Ricardo G. Williams titled “Unchained Mind: Powerful life changing thoughts on peace, love and success” and am faced with a dilemma. Do I read it as I would normally read a book or do I approach it from other angles such as section by section or page by page. I am sort of leaning to the latter as I think reading one thought a day and incorporating it into my day might just be the best way. Some of the thoughts are already ingrained within me but reviewing them might not be a bad thing.

So, do I read a page every morning with my coffee or do I take the book down to the pool and take the time to reflect on what he is saying surrounded by Mother Nature? (I was going to say the beach but for the next two weeks the beach is off limits–Spring Break in full swing!

Or should I read it at night, in bed, just before going to sleep so the brain can absorb what Author Williams want for me to hear?

For those of you who read it let me know what you think or if Mr. Williams can take the time to let me know what he would prefer that would be great!

In case you haven’t gotten it yet


On another note I was informed yesterday, after 7 months of going back and forth, that my insurance has denied the prosthetic finger for my right hand after having a mold taken of it. The reason given was that it was more cosmetic than medical which I and my  doctor(s) disagree with so it looks like I will dispute their findings which will probably take another 7 months.


Allen went into the hospital yesterday for a series of tests as he is in pretty bad shape and it seems they can’t find out the reason why.


Ending on a positive note it is a beautiful day here with clear skies, bright sun, temperatures in the high 70s–a perfect day to take a book down to the pool and read for awhile along with watching the boats come and go, paddlers, canoes, kayaks and speedboats enjoying the bay!

The Point 2 April 23 2016 (1)

Posted April 8, 2017 by greatmartin in BOOKS, LIFE, Uncategorized



To my family and friends, my new book is out and available to everyone. You can click on the ink below to purchase.
I want to thank you all for your love and support in this project.
Some of your names are written in the thank you section of the book.
My goal in this book was to explore solutions to achieve peace, love, and success.

Posted March 19, 2017 by greatmartin in BOOKS, Uncategorized, WRITING

“Life Story”   Leave a comment

In 1956 I bought a book of poems by Tennessee Williams called “In the Winter of Cities” and have had it with me now for 61 years. When I sold the over 500 books I had in my collection this one stayed with me.

I was 30 years old when I bought that book and was on the edge of hitting bottom. In the book was a poem titled “Life Story” and it immediately stuck in my head and has ever since then.

Go ahead amateur psychologists—give it a shot! :O)


Poems by Tennessee Williams

Life Story – Poem by Tennessee Williams

After you’ve been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what’s your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
like a pair of rag dolls a bored child dropped on a bed.

You tell them your story, or as much of your story
as time or a fair degree of prudence allows, and they say,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, until the oh
is just an audible breath, and then of course

there’s some interruption. Slow room service comes up
with a bowl of melting ice cubes, or one of you rises to pee
and gaze at himself with the mild astonishment in the bathroom mirror.
And then, the first thing you know, before you’ve had time
to pick up where you left off with your enthralling life story,
they’re telling you their life story, exactly as they’d intended to all along,

and you’re saying, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, the vowel at last becoming
no more than an audible sigh,
as the elevator, halfway down the corridor and a turn to the left,
draws one last, long, deep breath of exhaustion
and stops breathing forever. Then?

Well, one of you falls asleep
and the other one does likewise with a lighted cigarette in his mouth,
and that’s how people burn to death in hotel rooms.

Tennessee Williams


Posted March 16, 2017 by greatmartin in BOOKS, Uncategorized

WRITING A BOOK   Leave a comment


Writing a book is exhausting but satisfactory way to accomplish what you feel you need to accomplish.

In the mid 1980s I met, was interviewed and eventually quoted quite a bit in an excellent book by George Chauncey called “Gay New York 1890-1940” and which I always recommend to anyone who knows very little about gay life or those who think they know a lot about gay life.

I consider myself an expert in 3 fields: one being MY life, another about weight problems of all sorts and gay life through all my experiences in it for over 65 years. I have observed, seen and participated in gay life in New York, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee—well 49 out of 50 States plus Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Caribbean, Canada, etc.

In the past two weeks I have read comments by two people who think they know it all but know nothing. One based her comments on knowing, maybe, 4 gay men, while another who thinks she is an expert on everything really knows very little about gay men, what they think, know and want. Oh yes there is also the one who lives in my complex who is married to a self hating gay alcoholic who enables them to justify why they are together when she doesn’t have a clue.

I have had 8 books published of which 3 dealt with my ‘fat’ before and after and after story (yes, two afters!), 2 which dealt with my 4 live in relationships, one which was a series of essays before I learned what blogs were and the other were books dealing with motivation and/or cookbooks. All were a labor of love and my last two were polished by the great and late LadyeSparks, an editor only a writer can dream of and, justifiably, used her red pen on me!

I, also, wrote and had a play produced which was a big failure and a screenplay of that play which was made and disappeared after the week it opened.

After reading the comments referred to above I decided to write about the gay life I have lived and observed since I came out in 1948 and up to the present day and my involvement physically, mentally, emotionally, politically and what I see are the main differences between the gay youth (anyone under 50!) of today to the gay youth of yesterday, which includes gay ‘marriage’ which I am against the model it is based on and don’t see as the end all, be all, of the gay equal rights fight. I’ll write about gay couples who follow the failing template of nongay marriages and will wind up becoming statistics of failure like they have.

I’ll respond to women who think they know how men—gay or nongay—think about sex, sexuality and women. I’ll write about what it means to be gay in 1948 and in 2017 and how similar it still is and the few, very few, differences that have taken place.

Writing a book is a very disciplined exercise for me including a certain amount of time doing research plus a certain amount of time actually writing and then the, for me, dreaded, rewriting.

There is also the legal aspect because ‘name dropping’ might be involved if I want to be honest, which I do, and I have, in 2 cases, promised not to name names though they and most of their relatives have died—ah, one of the advantages of being old.

Right now the aim is to write a 350-400 page book and, after a little ‘sweet talking’, signing my life away but most of all pleading, to get Nina Pettis of Nina Proofs to take that dreaded red pencil to my pages!

I have given myself a deadline of December 2017 to finish writing the first draft!

Posted February 20, 2017 by greatmartin in BOOKS, WRITING

Who do you write for?   1 comment

My last two published books
I have 6 manuscripts sitting on my desk–one is a play, 2 are nonfiction and the other 3 are fiction. All in all I have 8 books published and I self published my last two. I wrote them all without any audience in mind–the one and only book I ever wrote with readers in mind was the last one published called “Letting It All Hang Out”. I mainly wrote to clear my head of ideas that have been there for awhile. Even the non-fiction books which were motivational for people who wanted to lose weight were my thoughts on my battle with fat.
Of the ones mentioned in the first paragraph the 3 I called fiction (and the play) are actually nonfiction (I don’t remember the term Truman Capote used regarding “In Cold Blood”)–though the characters are fictionalized (law suits, you know) the events, places, etc. are real.
The one completely fictionalized is “…And The Oscar Goes to…” where I was trying to put my mind in a actresses point of view.
“The Free Prisoner” –This was published in 2005 and, I think, my best book–it is about a gay boy in the Bronx ‘coming out’ in the 40s and 50s.
“Five Sided View Of A Man” –a two act play–1 set–6 characters–a man at 60 looks back on his life one decade at a time
“The Gay Pariahs” ) Gay life from the 1940s to the 1990s seen through the eyes of the main character and his friends, lovers, etc.
“For What We Had” A true love story from the meeting of the 2 main characters through a newspaper ad and what leads to the breakup and the aftermath–told through letters, notes, cards, diaries, etc.
“The Looks Of Love” 2 Gay, Jewish, Yankees move to the deep South in the 70s–though the relationship is a financial success it is a very destructive one.
When you write who are you writing for?

Posted March 16, 2016 by greatmartin in BOOKS, Uncategorized, WRITING

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