Thankful / Reconnaissant

I do my best to keep this awesome quote by Oprah in mind everyday. With so much going on in the world, I find taking the time to simply reflect on how incredibly fortunate I am brings a clarity like nothing else. Indeed, I have a wonderful family who I love and who love me in return, fantastic friends (both the ‘real life’ and ‘cyber’ varieties), and this newfound m/m world that I’m so totally grateful to be a part of.

To briefly expound on that last point, today I awoke to find the French translation of Grif’s Toy (Le Jouet de Grif (and why is the title so much sexier in French? LOL)) had went live.

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Your response was…overwhelming, to say the least. I’m…yeah, wow…completely blown away and nearly speechless by your support! And, I couldn’t be more thankful nor more humbled.

To each of you, I wish all the love, all the support, and all the happiness this holiday season holds.


GRL 2015 And New Friends


*wistful sigh* My first GRL has come and gone…and the experience couldn’t have been better!

Those who know me in real life will vouch for my insane introvertedness. Thus, attending a convention with hundreds of other people was enough to have me barring the condo door, turning out the lights, and hiding away. Indeed, the only comfort I took was the knowledge that I’d have a wingman (or wingwoman, in this case (love you bunches, Beth)) at my side the entire time. But, when serious family issues arose for Beth, I was left alone…and just a hair away from breaking out the two-by-fours, the hammer, and the nails. Then, luck struck: I got a nasty cold which turned into bronchitis. Yes! *fist pump* Now I had a reason not to attend!

For those outgoing folks (I’m looking at you, Hubz), I get that it’s difficult to understand folks like me. Folks who feel much more comfortable on the sidelines taking it all in…watching the extroverts laugh, and dance, and drink without a seeming care in the world. Those folks who’ve never met a stranger. This. Is. Not. Me. Not that I’m not pleasant enough to be around – once I get to know you. Hell, some folks, perplexedly enough, even enjoy my company, LOL!

Added to my own innate shyness was the whole JLT factor of GRL. People were actually wanting to meet me…to meet Joseph Lance Tonlet. As my new friend Katie would say, “What. The. Fuck?” Yeah, that had me wiggin’ the hell out and about ready to pick up the phone and inquire about Home Depot’s lumber delivery service. (I’ve said it in other posts, so I won’t rehash it here, but I’m forever grateful (and completely dumbfounded) by the support and success of Grif’s Toy and Brothers LaFon. C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E-L-Y! Again, each of you have my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude.)

So, take all of the above, mix together, and I’d nearly talked myself out of attending. Then Katie, who’d I’d met in a Facebook group for the Netflix show Sense8, and I started chatting via messenger. She graciously ended up inviting me to hang out with her and her friends – some of whom I’d met online as well. That single, kind gesture changed not only my GRL experience, but gained me an entire group of new, amazing, real life friends. Katie, Jen B, Jen G, Karrie, Tracy, Lin, Luna, and Mary, I can’t thank you enough for your company, for your willingness to welcome a complete stranger into your group, and for our new friendships. You turned something I was fearing into an absolutely unforgettable experience and I love each of your for it!

#pleasurethroughdenial #grl2015 #grl2016 #newfriends #newexperiences #steppingoutofthebox #thankful

The Important Things!

Photo May 24, 10 22 25 AM

Yesterday I was chatting with my BFF about the whole USA Today thing (see post below). We were talking about how cray, cray it all is. Well, I was saying it was crazy, she was spouting off nonsense about how well-deserved it is. Yeah, she’s a bit crazy herself, LOL! *wink*

Anywho, it reminded me of a conversation I had nearly a year ago with another incredibly supportive friend, Jen, about my aspirations for the then unreleased Grif’s Toy. I vividly remember saying to her, “If just one person reads it and likes it then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.” What Grif’s Toy would eventually go on to do…well, it was unimaginable to me at the time. Indeed, the number of people it’s touched is nothing short of astonishing. Something I’m completely and totally thankful for and humbled about.

So, as cool as the USA Today thing is—and make no mistake, it’s completely fucking cool—what touches me the most is feedback like this:

[Note: I addressed some formatting with the below—formatting can be a downright pain in the ass—while attempting to faithfully maintain the content/feel of the writer’s message.]

Ok, I’m still marinating in the after glow of what this book did to me.

What struck me about this book was the BDSM relationships. The humiliation was very strong, but it was done so well by the writer that it affected me in a very profound way. I can’t stop thinking that there can be relationships like this. To let oneself feel all of our “hang-ups” and be in the presence of a partner who allows us the medium to feel and grow from the biggest humiliation our life. What a gift that would be. Especially if it’s done—and only if it’s done—with love. The unconditional love shown in this story was staggering; it moved me beyond words.

I feel like a have a treasure in my hands and I have no way to unlock it. A lot of food for thought here.

I can only say this book has opened up something within me that I did not even know It was there.

Amazing writing can move me, but I’ve never experienced this depth of introspection.

So BRAVO to this writer, this was a tidal wave to my spirit.

This! This moved me beyond words. This was my sole desire for Grif’s Toy. Indeed, the one and only desire I had was to write a story (one that’s profoundly personal to me, by the way) that would touch a reader in some way…induce new feelings by the reader. And, perhaps, if I was incredibly lucky, have a reader pause for a moment and consider this particular BDSM kink with a fresh set of eyes.

So, to the author of the above note, you have my most sincere thanks! There’s no way I can convey the importance of the gift you’ve given me, nor the value it holds for me!


P.S. Thanks, Amanda, for the awesome pic…it’s perfect!

Dreams Do Come True

Yesterday was one of those days that’ll stick with me for a long, long time. You know the type — where something amazing happens and you hope to yourself that you’ll remember it always? Yeah, that was yesterday; I became a published author!

I sat down at my MacBook nearly eighteen months ago and thought to myself, “I’m gonna just do it. I’m gonna write a book.” And I did. Less than four weeks later, I had written a 120,000 word novel — I’d written Grif’s Toy.

Little did I know then that it’d be another seventeen months before it was published. I never could have imagined the ups and downs that were ahead of me; the amazing beta readers, the lengthy editing process, the learning of the ‘business side’ of being a writer…the font choices, the cover photo choices, the finding a cover artist, the Amazon process, the Smashwords process, the…well, you get the idea, there’s a shit-fuck-load of stuff that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know.

But, all of it — every damn bit of it — was forgotten yesterday when I saw my first book up for pre-order! It was AMAZING! I sat with my iPad in my lap, staring at the Amazon page, and yeah, I got a little misty-eyed. MY fucking book is there for anyone who wants to read it. MY book! Yeah, it still seems totally unreal!

So how did I celebrate yesterday’s event? Well, the book’s first chapter is set in this amazing restaurant here in San Diego called Bertrand at Mister A’s. It’s the main characters’ favorite dining spot, and it boasts stunning views of downtown and the bay. And, just by happenstance, I had made plans to meet a good friend there for happy hour long before I knew yesterday would be the day Grif’s Toy went public. I’d only been to the place once before — it’s pricy menu is well above this writer’s means — but spending last evening there was…just…apropos; perfect in every way!

This evening, twenty-four hours later, I’m still exhilarated, still dazed, still unable to comprehend a dream has actually come true. But, fuck if I did it on my own. There are so many people who’ve supported me. Hell, not just supported, but gone out of their way — spent time and put in a lot of hard work — in helping me succeed. All just because…well, to be honest, I don’t know why. I’m constantly amazed — fucking dumbfounded — by the caliber of friends I’ve managed to fall in with:

Preston Hultz
Ann Wright
JustJen Reviews
Beth Bellanca
Bey Deckard
Rhys Ford
Louis Stevens
Amanda Eisenthal
Twitter #posse

..and, God, literally countless others.

Yeah, tonight, a full day later, I’m still stupefied — but oh so happy and grateful!

Til later…