A wonderful thing happened to me in the midst of an unexpected and very abrupt life change. In the middle of the trauma and turmoil of readjustment, I met a young man, just nineteen years old, who made me do something I hadn’t done in a long while–smile. And laugh. He’s a prankster, a thinker, a minor whirlwind when he enters a room, but always a refreshing breeze afterwards. His name is Dirk. He began apprenticing with me to learn photography. He became my friend and confidante. And then, without warning, something even more delightful. An honest-to-goodness muse.
Without thinking, I made notes of what we were doing on my various social media, Facebook and Twitter. And something even more remarkable happened. Our tiny little stories of the day, sometimes only a few sentences long, made other people smile. Neither one of us thought anything about it because we’d developed to a point in our relationship that we were used to each other’s idiosyncrasies. He was younger and always had a wisecrack to counter anything I said that he thought was too serious. If it amused me, I posted it. There was no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it was simply the only thing I had to talk about from my day.
The notes I began to get from people took me completely by surprise. If they were having a bad day, they came looking for our posts to find a smile. People began thanking us for being “A bright spot in the day.” This had never happened to either one of us before. But we decided if anything humorous was exchanged between us, we’d share it. As Dirk said, if nothing else goes right in the day except we made someone smile, that was right enough for him.
More people came every day looking for a little peek into the lives of two ordinary people who shared a friendship. Neither one of us could have predicted what would happen. The mail I was getting were the most precious and beautiful things I’d ever read. We didn’t think we were doing much of anything at all by sharing these little anecdotes, but the response told a different story. People love to hear about the funny things friends do.
“You should write a book,” everyone was saying. I didn’t think that was possible, because to me, books have a beginning, middle and end. Books have a plot. We were just living our lives day to day. That was, until one day Dirk’s mom, while listening to the two of us banter, interjected with, “I don’t know which to watch. An episode of Seinfeld or you two. You’re like a couple of mismatched comedians. You… and that… that…,” she pointed at her son, “That Darn Muse of yours…!”
Dirk looked at me and I at him. And we both knew exactly what would be fun to do. Make people smile.
That Darn Muse Volume I
He’s a middle-aged, newly single, gay photographer starting life over. Along comes a freshly out nineteen-year-old, irreverent free spirit who wants to be his apprentice. Mismatched by more than a generation, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! And it’s AWESOME!
Dirk’s First Time. Every gay boy has his first experience. Usually it’s a memorable, exciting personal time of discovery and intimacy between two young people. But two comic book characters? Is it horseplay or Cosplay?
The Boy At The Gym. First impressions can be deceiving. Sometimes that boy in the baggy clothes, talking to himself in the gym isn’t as shy as he appears. Sometimes there’s a deviant imp lurking beneath that freckled mask of innocence. Beware the Trojan Nerd!
We were provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
First I would like to congratulate Dan on the release of this book. It is the first installment in what I hope to be a long series of misadventures.
Dan and I spoke often while I was working on this review. When he first mentioned it to me, I knew that, once again, Dan had stumbled upon something epic that would stay with me (and I’m sure you readers as well), long after I’ve read it. I was so honored to have the chance to read, see the beautiful cover and review this first installment for you all.
He talks about this project with his muse, Dirk, with a mixture of pride in Dirk and his amazing family, to some mild apprehension because in the end, he truly wants you readers to love this too. This is a unique take on what is normally published in this community. It’s not a Rom-Com, though much of it is decidedly quick witted, quirky and off the wall funny and it has a touch of romance to it as well. Even if the romance is mostly us readers romanticizing some of the parts that we read (and I think that’s a lost art that Dan Skinner captures for us and we should hold on to with both hands), but there are some sexy bits told in this book. No, what it is, is a look into an amazing relationship.
In this Vol 1 we get to see the beginning. The “I’m getting to know you” dance and the “How much of the real me can I be in front of this person?” learning experience. This relationship that has grown and developed over time, and now encompasses extended family and friends, as they banter with and try desperately to stay one step ahead of their beautiful, fierce and intelligent Dirk. This is how they embrace “Doc” into their fold and how amazing, funny “misadventures” happen ALL THE TIME.
I believe that Dirk is one of those brilliant forces of nature and I’m grateful to be able to read about him and get to know him in a small way. I can’t wait to see what he’s doing in the Vol. 2.
Dan…I’ve watched Dan make people happy for some time now. You just feel like a better person after chatting with him.
Reading their stories had me smiling, laughing. Also longing and yearning for the next misadventures.
ABOUT DAN SKINNER
I’m a single gay man living in the Midwest. I write because I consider myself to be an old-fashioned storyteller. I’ve been a photographer for half my life, specializing in male romance cover art. My dream is to one day live on the beach with my dog and continue to tell tales that inspire and entertain.
Comment on this post for the chance to win an e-copy of ‘The Misadventures of Doc and Dirk Volume 1’ by Dan Skinner
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This giveaway will end on August 21st, 2016 at 11:59 PM CDT.