Pages

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sexsational City: Power Play

Sexsational City: Power Play: By Sara York Michael reached over his head, arching up and stretching, his back coming off the silk sheets as his thoughts danc...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Summer's Dawn by Sue Brown


Summer's Dawn has to be one of the sweetest stories I've ever read. Sue Brown's story is featured in the Hot Summer Fun Anthology. Pick up Hot Summer Fun at Amazon or ARe

Summer’s Dawn

Sue Brown

Three years ago

Surrounded by the excited chatter of my friends, and grateful to be released from the shackles of school for another year, I lean against the railing, tilting my head back to get the sunshine on my face. We do it every year, escaping down to the seafront to get away from the parents’ list of chores. I’m surrounded by my friends, mainly the girls, who have one aim–to watch the high school boys. The other guys in our group haven’t gotten out of bed yet. They’ll join us eventually, clutching their Frappuccino’s and complaining at the early hour. Can two in the afternoon be considered early?

“Here they come!” Ginnie whispers loud enough for the group to hear.

The girls giggle and point excitedly at the group of boys making their way toward us. Ginny forgets herself and squeals loudly. The others all tsk and nudge her. They don’t want the boys to think they’re not cool. Surreptitiously, lip gloss is reapplied and stray bangs are fingered back into place. Everyone wants to look their best for the high school boys, in the hope that they might glance over and notice them. As the lone male in the group, I look down and smile into my slushie. If the other guys were here we’d be catcalling and teasing the girls. As it is, I’m not gonna ruin their little fantasy. We’re fifteen. Still kids in their eyes. My girls don’t stand a chance because a few feet from us are a different bunch of groupies; the high school girls. They’re here to watch too, in their short shorts and tops that barely cover their breasts. They primp and preen for the boys who love the attention, flexing their muscles as the high school girls sigh.

Jeez, it’s like a mating ritual. The lions and the lionesses display for each other. Or is it the baboons? I can’t remember. I’ve stopped listening as Miss Ritter blushes her way through sex ed every year.

I’m here because my girl friends don’t want to look as if they’re watching the boys, even though they are, and everyone knows it. Heck, they all watch the boys. My friends tell me I’m there to watch the girls.

“You can stare at Cassandra’s breasts,” Ginny bounces her own meager bust as we meander down to the promenade, our flip-flops loud against the sidewalk.

Cassandra is on the cheerleading squad. She’s real popular with the guys.

I’m more than happy to be there but it isn’t to watch Cassandra bounce her tits at the football captain. I don’t tell anyone because I’m not dumb and I like my face just as it is, but I’m happy to watch the eye candy, only it isn’t the girls with too much makeup and not enough clothes. I’m there to watch the boys. I lean against the notice about picking up dog shit and will my body not to spring another boner as the boys strip off their T-shirts. Most of them eighteen and the start of a summer tan on their whippet-lean bodies, I can see the promise of the men they will become. A few are older, college kids back home for the summer, lording their freedom over the others.

My body reacts instinctively. Give me a break. I’m fifteen. I see a guy in just his board shorts, of course I’m going to pop a boner. I’m trying to play it cool but at this point I can’t turn around, so I concentrate on my icy drink and will my erection away.

“Look at Suzie.” Millie nudges my elbow.

I nearly end up with the slushie down my front. At least that would have tamed my stupid dick. I look over to whether the older girls are leaning over the railing. Suzie is pushing so far forward her tits are almost out of her top.

“She’s such a skank,” Millie said scathingly.

I know better than to smile. Millie is wearing exactly the same outfit. She just needs a couple more years to wear it as well.

“She’s just your type,” Millie adds.

I manage to turn a snort into a cough. Just my type? She has got to be kidding. Suzie is nothing like my type. If Millie only knew that the boy she mooned over for the past two years is exactly my type; tall and dark with puppy dog eyes and a smile that made my knees go weak.

A few of the boys start knocking the ball over the net. There’s a collective sigh from the girls as they watch them play. I can tell the boys are playing to their audience; they laugh, they curse, calling each other names that would make their mommas cuff their ears. It’s all too loud, fake, look-at-me.

“Look at Joel. No don’t look!” Ginny hisses as I turn to look. “He’s watching me.”

Joel? The captain of the football team, Joel? Joel Summer is six foot of pure sex with close-cropped black hair, dark tanned skin, and a smooth, broad chest with just a thin trail of dark hair disappearing under the waistband of his blue shorts. He plays football, baseball, runs track, and still managed to get good enough grades to get into an Ivy League college. He was the Prom King who claimed the prettiest girl in school. He’s everything I want to be. The high school girls gasp and wet their panties every time he so much as smiles in their direction, so what’s he doing looking at a fifteen-year-old kid?

I sneak a peek in his direction, watch him as he hits the ball and that’s when I notice his eyes flitting our way. Our gazes lock. It’s a thunderbolt and lightening moment. An epiphany that shocks every nerve-ending in my body. Ginny is mistaken. Joel is definitely looking our way but he’s not looking at her. Joel Summer isn’t looking at Ginny. He is looking at me. As I stare at him in shock, Joel catches me looking at him and even from here I see the fear when he catches me watching. He looks away, narrowly missing a ball in the chest. The other boys jeer at him and he flushes a deep red.

“He was looking at me.” Ginny sounds awed.

Well fuck. I want to disagree with her, to tell her she’s wrong. I want to claim him. Instead I snort into my drink and hug that moment to myself.

 Joel Summer is gay, and because of that split-second of eye contact he knows I am too. It’s almost scary how excited that makes me.
Purchase Hot Summer Fun at Amazon or ARe

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gay and In Love - Will and Paul's Story


Will was kind enough to share his story with me. Romance, no matter the gender is special. Take a moment and read Will and Paul's story.

Back before there was in Internet there were computer bulletin board systems (BBS’s). They were the central hub of online meetings. You’d call from your computer and get connected to them via your telephone line. It was all pretty primitive, and yet that’s where our story began.

I had gotten my first computer, a Commodore 64. I was enthralled with it and found out about gay bulletin boards from a paper I picked up at a store and they just seemed to fit so well together. I went to my first one and was asked to chat by “Electronic Kid”. It was my very first online chat and I couldn’t wait.

Oh what a mistake. This Electronic Kid typed so…freaking…slow. I politely excused myself and logged off. A few days later I found another BBS called “DYM-492” (Dial Your Match). I went there, did my registration and within seconds I got pulled into chat by the system operator (Sysop), who typed so…freaking…slow.

He said he was wondering when I would get there. Turns out that it was his BBS. He introduced himself as Paul Parkinson. I told him my name was Will Bowden. We chatted for a brief time until I got to the point where I wanted to just finish his sentences because of how slow he typed. I gave him my phone number and asked him to call instead.

This was how I met Paul. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours. He was fun, fascinating, and had a great laugh. I liked him. We made plans to have dinner that weekend, the only time we could get together as he worked 3rd shift and I was on 1st. We still talked every day, though. And I was smitten.

When he got to my house I’ll admit he wasn’t what I was expecting. He wasn’t traditionally good looking, but he was so genuine and had the prettiest blue eyes that just made his entire face smile. We went to eat at a local pizza place, had a really nice time. We got into his car so he could take me home, he put it into gear and drove forward. Over the parking pylons. All you heard was BUMP “shit” BUMP “shit” followed by laughter. It was then that I decided I was head over heels in love.

We’d been together for about six months when I asked him to marry me. He said no. I was heartbroken, but refused to give up. A few months later I asked him again, explaining to him logically why he should say yes.  This time he did. We had a private commitment ceremony on April 1st in a room in Chicago, just the two of us promising to love each other. Why April 1st? Because friends told us that within six months we’d be looking for other people. We chose that day because every year that passed would just make them bigger fools.

Almost two years ago I again asked Paul to marry me. This time legally. We made plans to go to Vermont. We stayed at the Moosemeadow Lodge, where the owner also was the Justice of the Peace. We planned our wedding day to be April 1st (because Paul is terrible with dates and I figure it was easier for him to remember one that we’d already gone through for years).

That day it was just the two of us and the two owners of the lodge out on the deck, the beautiful mountains in the background. It was a cool, misty morning. Paul looked dashing in his suit. He took my hands and repeated the vows that he was given, then I did the same. When they pronounced us married it was the happiest day of my life, one that I seriously doubted would ever occur in my lifetime.

We’ve been together twenty-five years now. Every day has brought something new to make me grateful for. No matter what else, I will always look to him for love and guidance. He’s my rock and I want to be his.  Forever.

This is our second in the mini-series of Gay and In Love. Do you have a story to tell. We would love to hear it. 

Are you in love and in a relationship? In Love is a set of stories, showing that love, no matter the gender, is love. If you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear it. Stories of how you met, funny stories about your life together, something that has kept you together and made your life better or an obstacle you've overcome. Tell us how long you've been together in the relationship, giving inspiration to others.

Submit your story of love to Sara York sara@sarayork.com or Seymour James seymourjames@hotmail.com.au  Submissions from 500 words up to 5000 words in English only. Submission due February 1, 2013. Names can be changed to protect your privacy. We are looking for gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, and straight stories of love and relationships that work to give inspiration to others and to show that love is love.

All proceeds will go to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project operates three core program areas in order to provide life-saving and life-affirming resources for LGBTQ youth and to create safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


Friday, December 7, 2012

First Part of Miami Sizzle


My first comedy Miami Sizzle is out now. I hope you enjoy the story and say a special thanks to Chuckie Pinch for the inspiration, without Chuckie this story would never have come to pass. Purchase Miami Sizzle at Amazon, ARe, and TEB


Miami Sizzle

Chapter One



Chuck Pinkerton pulled his legs up and turned on the seat, stuck out his legs then stepped out of the low-slung orange Lamborghini Aventador. He took two steps and fell flat on his face, twisting his arm and bloodying his nose. Pain ricocheted around his body, making him angry that he’d fallen over again.

“Seriously?” he groaned aloud. He couldn’t even look cool driving the hottest car known to man. Supporting his weight on his uninjured right arm, he crawled to his knees, then to his feet, wiping his hands down the front of his jacket. Crap, dog shit?

“Hey, Chuckie, thanks for washing my— Damn, what’s that smell?” David Wright the Third—or Trip, as he liked to be called—asked as he slid into his car. Trip looked him up and down, his lips curled into a snarl and he waved his hands in front of his face. “Hell, that’s three times this week you’ve ended up on your ass. Did some voodoo lady put a curse on you?” Trip rolled his eyes and slammed the door shut. He zoomed off, spraying gravel against Chuck’s legs.

The world wasn’t fair. Why the hell did Trip get the car, the job, the great clothes and all the fame? The only thing Trip had that Chuck didn’t want was… Hell, Trip had everything and Chuck had nothing—except for a possible curse.

He shivered over the memory of the woman at the bus stop last week. He’d run into her, knocking her bag of apples to the ground. He’d tried to help her pick them up but he’d had a hard time grasping the fruit because they’d been wet from the rain. He’d almost knocked her other grocery bag out of her hand as he’d moved around her. Then her eyes had gone round and she’d started yelling in some language he hadn’t understood—not Spanish either, because he knew what Spanish sounded like and this hadn’t been it. She’d pulled a dead chicken from a plastic grocery bag and held it up as he’d gathered the apples, dropping a few of them over and over again. She’d shaken the bird at him, waving the bags in her other hand—it only could have been worse if the chicken had been dripping blood, but it hadn’t been. Still, he’d cringed away from the scary chicken hanging from her hands and tripped, falling on his ass in a puddle of muddy water, ruining his cell phone—his new cell phone. She’d cackled and chanted more words above him, giving him the evil eye and scaring the shit out of him.

That was when all the bad luck had started. Okay, so he’d had some bad luck before then, but his life had gone downhill fast after he’d met the strange chicken lady.

When he’d arrived at Trip’s after that, the man had railed at him for twenty minutes. He’d been so embarrassed, wishing he could hide. Of course, he’d lusted after Trip in the beginning but episodes like this, when Trip made fun of him, had caused that lust to dry up to the point where there was very little attraction left. Maybe if Trip apologised and treated him to a nice dinner… But who was he kidding? He wasn’t Trip’s type.

Six months ago, when the bastard had hired him as a personal assistant, he would have done anything for Tripp. At first, he’d thought the job would be cool. Of course, this wasn’t the dream job he’d thought it would be when he’d first moved to Miami. No, being Trip’s errand boy sucked.

Miami was amazing and Chuck had had high hopes before he’d moved here. Hell, who couldn’t win in the city with the freaking hottest beach in the world? Of course, he knew the answer to that question—it was none other than himself, Chuckie Pinkerton. That was who.

The beaches were overflowing with hot men. The gyms and restaurants were teeming with the beautiful people of South Beach, but none of them gave a damn about good ol’ Chuckie.

He’d grown up in Fenton, Missouri, just miles away from his favourite baseball team, sneaking down to the park every chance he got to watch. Of course, he’d dreamt of being a player, but he had two left feet and that was on his lucky days. The Cardinals were his team, his heroes, and he would have done anything to watch them. Too bad he hadn’t been able to get a decent job in Missouri. He’d tried, but the job market had sucked, and he’d wanted to be more than a fry cook. He’d wanted a good job where people would respect him.

Chuck sighed as he took off his sports jacket. Trip certainly didn’t respect him and neither did any of the people Trip dealt with. Living in Missouri had been good. He’d dated a few guys back home, but guys from Miami weren’t impressed with his down home looks or his manners. He’d been spat on twice when he’d tried to pick up one of the cute boys down by the beach. The gay scene was rough and after a week of trying he’d given it all up for sipping gin in his crap apartment while watching game shows and reality TV.

The heat was the worst. Sweat beaded on his body every time he went outside, leaving his clothes damp and his balls wet—and not the type of wet he wanted.

Chuck looked at the mess of his jacket and turned it in on itself, hiding the smear of crap on the front. No way would he be attracting any hot guys today. There was work to be done and most of it was back at Trip’s house. The guy was a slob and he had a maid, but Chuck had to go in and tidy away the business papers before the maid came in to clean.

It was September and the Cardinals were in the playoffs. The last thing he wanted to be doing was cleaning up Trip’s place while the game was on. A cold beer and a Totino’s pizza had his name on them. Of course, he would lie to his mom about what he was eating next time she called—not because she would worry, but because she would make fun of his food choices. Chuck’s moving to Miami had pissed his mama off. She’d told him he’d never make it in the big city and everything she’d warned him would happen had come to pass.

Chuck warily made his way to the bus stop to catch a bus that would take him near Trip’s house. He glanced around nervously, searching for any old ladies carrying dead chickens. Of course, Trip hadn’t cared that Chuck would be left without a ride in downtown Miami in the middle of the day. He hadn’t given a shit that Chuck still had two hours of clean-up to do at Trip’s house before he could go home for the evening. Trip had made a mess of his office, pulling all of the files out and spreading them throughout the room before informing Chuck that the maid had taken a few personal days and he would need to clean the kitchen too. Hell, Trip only cared about himself, and it showed by the way he lived and the cars he drove. An Aventador? He could have bought four homes in Fenton for the cost of that car—nice homes, too.

Chuck stumbled off the bus and rushed the almost two miles to Trip’s house. The place was messier than usual, like he’d purposely pulled out crap to make Chuck’s life hell and screw him over. By the time Chuck made it home, the seventh inning stretch was winding down. He tossed his clothes to the floor, happy to be able to watch the game in the nude. His mom would throw a fit if she saw him now—that was exactly why he hadn’t gone running home. His life in Miami might suck a bit, but living at home was worse. He pulled a beer out of the fridge and popped the pizza into the oven. The Marlins were winning, which totally sucked. Matched his life right now, which didn’t surprise him.

Everybody down here was Marlins crazy, except him. He’d tried to get a ticket to the game since the Cardinals were playing, but with no luck. He was stuck watching on his little TV. Hell, Trip would have kept him from having any fun anyway. The jerk was always making him stay late.

After he’d guzzled five beers and eaten the whole pizza, sleep pulled Chuck under, leading him into wild dreams where sports cars chased him and dogs shat on his head. Chuck woke to the sound of someone pounding on his door. He sat up and scrubbed one of his hands across his face, groaning and popping his neck, trying like hell to remember what he was doing in the den. The knocking grew louder and the shouting came next. He pulled on his undies and went to look through the peephole.

A fireman, decked out in his gear, mask, hat, everything, stood close to the rail, then stepped forward and started banging again. Chuck imagined the guy was sexy, with ripped muscles and a killer smile. Of course, all firemen were hot and sexy in the porn he watched—not that he watched much, no more than the next guy—but still, firemen were hot. Chuck looked again and ripped open the door, wondering what the hell was going on that the guy had to bang on his door at this time in the morning.

“What?” Chuck snapped. He didn’t like the way his voice slurred with exhaustion and anger, but here, again, was another potentially hot guy who wouldn’t want anything to do with him. Just like always, guys only wanted him for their whipping boy and not for fun.

“Thank God you answered. Get out now.” The fireman reached forward and pulled Chuck out of his apartment.

“Wait.” Chuck jerked back, pulling the fireman up against his mostly naked body. Chuck swallowed over the lump in his throat. This was the first man he’d had this close in a long time, and he planned on enjoying the nearness. The scent of smoke was thick in the air but he assumed it must be from the fireman himself. Then again, he was exhausted, and his mind usually played tricks on him when he was tired.

“Fire! You have to get out.” The fireman pulled his mask off and his beautiful mouth tilted in a frown.

Chuck gulped in air and coughed as smoke filled his lungs. He looked down at his exposed skin. “I have no clothes on.”

The fireman stepped back and raked his eyes over Chuck’s body, stopping at his crotch. The guy’s face turned pink as he swallowed hard, causing his Adam’s apple to bob.

Chuck shook off the guy’s hold and raced back into his apartment, grabbing his jeans, shirt, socks and shoes. He was just starting to pull on his pants when the fireman grabbed his arm again and pulled him towards the door.

Thick black smoke belched above, choking Chuck. He stumbled and took the fireman down with him. They were a mess of arms and legs, nothing sexy about him falling like he’d learned earlier. Fuck, he hoped he hadn’t fallen in dog poop again. It took a few seconds for him to register the heat burning his ass. Chuck pushed the fireman and scrambled to his knees, dragging his jeans along as the fireman pulled at his arm. How long has this bitch been burning?

“Hurry, the ceiling is on fire.”

Chuck followed the fireman, holding his clothes close to his chest like a protective shield. They made it out of the apartment’s front door and Chuck looked back, surprised to see flames licking at the walls. He giggled as he stood, nervousness and fear clawing through him.

He looked down at his body, ashamed that he was mostly naked. Normally he didn’t give a shit who saw him in the buff, but the fireman pulling him along was a dream and already Chuck had made a horrendous impression. His apartment was dirty. Hell, he lived in a shithole—the armpit of Miami, really. What type of guy lived in a dump like this? Why couldn’t he have met this man somewhere nice where his lack wasn’t so obvious?

The fireman pulled him forward, protecting Chuck’s skin by draping his coat over him. The iron steps were hot on Chuck’s bare feet as they raced down the stairs. Chuck looked over his shoulder and saw the flames spewing from his apartment. He hesitated, wondering if he should go back for anything. The fireman grabbed his hand and tugged Chuck down the rest of the steps.

“You don’t have time to save anything. I’m just glad we got you out,” the guy said over his shoulder as he led the way.

As they reached the parking lot, a rock dug into Chuck’s foot and he cursed, then started limping.

“You okay?” the fireman asked.

“Yeah, stupid rock. I’m fine.”

“You were the last one out. I wouldn’t have kept banging, except I heard the TV on. That was a close call, dude.”

“Yeah, so you say.” Chuck dropped his shoes and shirt, concentrating on pulling on his pants.

He got both legs in but wobbled a bit. The fireman placed a steadying hand on his shoulder, helping him to stand upright. Their gazes locked and Chuck swore he saw the heat of lust burning in the man’s eyes. Hell, it could just be from the excitement of the fire. A guy like him wouldn’t like me.

“Let me help you with that.” He slid Chuck’s pants up over his hips and gripped the zipper, biting his lower lip.

Chuck felt a quick hard-on sprouting and thought of someone kicking him in the nuts to try to squelch his desire. It didn’t work. The guy’s fingers brushed against his belly as he slid the button through the hole on his jeans.

Mister Sexy looked up, probably not realising he’d stepped so close to Chuck. Their lips were only inches apart. Chuck wanted to reach out and touch him, but the noise of the other firefighters broke through.

“Move, move,” another fireman yelled.

The magic was broken, the moment lost as Chuck stumbled across the parking lot after grabbing the rest of his clothes. His fireman ran off into the night without leaving his name. Chuck watched the crap apartment building that was his home burn and fall in on itself, with all of his belongings inside. He didn’t have that many possessions, but he was sure insurance would replace some of them.

Panic turned his stomach as he reached into his pocket and found his keys. Thank God he had his car keys. Since he’d arrived home late, his car was parked at the end of the parking lot, avoiding the heat of the fire and the damage from falling debris. It gave him some pleasure that he’d saved his car from damage. At least one thing had gone right in his life. Maybe things were looking up for him.

Part of the roof in the middle of the complex crumbled down and fell onto a car. Oh, thank God mine is safe.

Chuck bit his lip, searching for the fireman who’d helped him. It was all a blur. With everyone in the same uniform, he couldn’t tell one from another. He’d just sat on the kerb to pull on his shoes and socks when an explosion rocked the building. He dropped his shoe to the ground beside the other one, scrambling back a few feet. In horror, he watched an oven shoot out of the apartment at the far end of the building, arc over the blacktop lot…and land squarely on the hood of his car.

His shoulders slumped forward, his head hung low and tears stung his eyes. How the hell had that happened? But Chuck knew how. He was cursed. That woman with the chicken popped into his mind and he choked back a sob.

It was almost too much trouble to pull on his shirt or put on his shoes. Instead, he watched the firemen move around in the eerie light of the fire as they pulled out hoses, squirting water on the charred remains of the building.

Purchase Miami Sizzle at AmazonARe, and TEB

Authors - Run your business like a business - Business post #1

If you are writing for money, earn a royalty check, get paid by Amazon Digital Services, Smashwords, or Pubit, then this subject is for you. I took two posts I wrote on FB and placed them here. Please send your author friends who are new to the business to look. Read over it, ask questions. This is your business folks, don't be afraid to run it as such.

Post #1
I know this isn't a popular subject or maybe it is right now depending on where you are sitting. If you are a full time author you need to diversify. You can not depend on any one publisher to be your meal ticket. And you actually shouldn't depend on any one genre to be your meal ticket.

I know it's not a popular choice for MM writers to write in MF too. Many authors see that as a slam against the genre, talking bad and spreading rumors about the authors who diversify, claiming that they are just trying to grab a piece of the pie, or that they are hacks and trying to take advantage of the genre. I can't say that there aren't authors who do this, only write MM because they want money, not because they care about the very real future of gays, lesbians and transgenders. Really, no one knows the real reason someone writes in a particular genre, and before you start throwing stones, you should ask.

But back to my original point. If you are an author, your future payments aren't guaranteed from the publisher. Publishers fail. Mystic failed this week. Trisklion failed a few years ago. Dorchester shut it's doors and many authors lost a lot. If you are self published, many of the storefronts have fiscal lack that they might pass on to you and defer payments to you by a month.

Then there is the IRS and how much of your money are you setting aside for taxes? You need to think like a small business person. Build up a 6 month money for a nest egg. Yes, that's difficult, but if this is your primary source of income then please, help yourself and put yourself in a position where you can cover one or two months if a publisher has difficulties.

Should the publisher pay you on time? YES! Should you find a good attorney to help you if your publisher doesn't? Most likely.

I know all new authors are excited when they get their first contract, then you move on to your second and soon you think you can quit your job and write full time. It's a difficult path and it will come with pain. Find a way to take care of yourself. You may love your publisher and the people you work with there, but at the end of the day any publisher, no matter how great they are, isn't on your side. They are a business and they will not take care of you. If they fail, they will not make sure you have enough money to survive. Remember, you need to put yourself first, not your publisher. If you are an established author, when you submit to a publisher, you are doing them a favor, not the other way around. Submit based on what will further your career, not because you feel indebted to the publisher because they took your first book or because you like them.

You are a business, find some resources and use them. Learn how to run a business. Best of luck."



Post #2
Attention all authors. If you are not looking at your royalty statement and checking for errors every month/quarter you need to. Personally, I transfer all of my numbers to a spreadsheet and calculate which titles are the most profitable. It takes me one morning a month to enter all the data.

This is a business folks and you need to make sure you are running your business properly. If a publisher over pays you, they have the right to ask for that money back. If they are underpaying you, you need to ask for your money. If you don't feel confident with numbers, then get your SO/spouse/partner or a trusted relative to help you out. If you have any questions, please send me a PM. Numbers are not something to be afraid of.