Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Rick Reed Stuffs My Box!

Welcome to day one of the 12 Days of Poppy Birthday Bash! I’m really excited about my birthday this year because it falls on December 12th…which is 12/12/12 this year! Pretty cool, yeah? In honor the coolness of the date, I decided to gather a few of my friends for a blog party. 

Today’s post is a gift list from one of the loveliest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, Rick. R. Reed. Rick and I met last year in New Orleans and again this year during a trip I took to his hometown of Seattle. I also got to see him at the GRL Retreat in Albuquerque. He’s an amazing man, and such a talented writer that I find myself in awe of him. I’m very proud to call him friend, and can’t wait to see what gifts he has in store for me!

For Poppy’s big birthday, these are a few of my favorite things, so I thought I’d stuff them in your birthday box. Each item has special meaning for me, some serious, some not so much. Hope you enjoy these things as much as I do.

1. Best Book Ever–What writer’s box would be complete without this? For me, it’s John Kennedy Toole’s A CONFEDERACYOF DUNCES.

Poppy: I hate to admit that i haven’t read this, Rick! It’s going on my amazon list right now! Happy Birthday to Me. 

2. Best M/M Book Ever–James Purdy was writing strange, lyrical gay love stories long before anyone even thought of the term, “m/m” and his books still resonate as not only the very finest in gay literature, but the finest in literature period. For Poppy, I pick what I think may be his best, IN A SHALLOW GRAVE.

Poppy: Another one I haven’t read! Gosh, I know what I’m going to be doing over the next couple weeks. Reading some great books. 

3. Best Junk Food Treat–I’d like to shove a Ding-Dong in your box (RIP Hostess!)

Poppy: Now you’re speaking my language, sweetheart! I must admit though that when you say you want to shove a Ding-Dong in my box…well….

4. Best Epicurean Treat–I’d bring you back one of my most delicious finds on my trips to Italy: anchovy-stuffed olives from Peck’s Gourmet Food store in Milan.

Poppy: Anchovy stuffed olives? I’m going to have to trust you on this one, Rick! Now I know that you have great taste….how about on my next trip to Seattle you hook me up with one of these bad boys? *g*

5. A Pair of shoes–But not just any shoes…and what girl doesn’t want a pair of birthday pumps (we’re talking shoes here, dear) on her special day? For you, I offer Kate Middleton’s classic beige pumps.

Poppy: Shoes! Wee!! Gotta love shoes, and these are fantastic. Believe it or not, I don’t own a pair of beige pumps! You’re a great gift giver, Mr. Reed! 

6. A Fling–With Bradley Cooper, one night only and I get to get in the middle.

Poppy: Okay, hold on here a second…one night with you AND Bradley Cooper? Cause…yeah…wow….I’ve got some mental images going on here buddy! I think I’m going to have to write down this plot bunny right this very second. Oh my. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? 

7. A Long Weekend–In the San Juan Islands. We’ll take the ferry over from Anacortes, WA to Orcas Island and spend the weekend relaxing in a cabin and soaking in the clothing-optional outdoor hot tubs with gorgeous views of the bay.
Poppy: Please? Pretty please with sugar on top and a picture of Bradley Cooper? I am planning a couple trips to Seattle this year and…yeah…*whimpers*…I think this is your best box stuffer yet! 

8. A melon baller–Because everyone needs one.

Poppy: A melon baller? Really? Okay, this one made me giggle like a loon! And yet another thing that I don’t own! Did you sneak into my house and take a look around? 

9. A puppy! We’ll head down to the pound together and rescue one of the neediest cases and you will never feel so loved and appreciated.

Poppy: I’d love nothing more than a puppy of my own to love as much as you love your Lily! 

10. A pajama party–with all your favorite people selected from the cast of characters assembled at this year’s GRL.

Poppy: Oh how fun! Now I want to go pajama shopping! Rick, your birthday list is going to be very bad for my wallet! Can you imagine all of us hanging out in our cute pjs and partying like…well…like us! Cause rock stars don’t have anything on us! 

11. A pack of smokes–it’s your birthday…indulge yourself.

Poppy: *blushes* You know me too well. But I haven’t forgotten our little talk in Albuquerque! 

12. Love, love, and more love–because we can never have enough.

Poppy: And this is the best gift of all. Thank you, Rick. And I wish you all the love in the world as well.

As a bonus, my sneaky friends agreed to do these posts only if they got to ask me any three questions in return. Since I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment, I agreed. Here are the questions Rick wanted to ask me:

1. Now that you’ve reached this age, what’s the single most important thing you’ve learned?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to love me for me. I’m not perfect–Lord, am I so far from perfect–but every thing about me is just the way it’s meant to be. I love that I can embrace the things about myself that make me happy and work on the things that don’t. It’s a gift that I give myself and wish the same for everyone else.

2. Name the three most unusual things in your refrigerator right now.
Unusual? Hmm. That’s a bit tricky as the fridge is a bit bare at the moment. *goes to look*
Oh wow. I just found a science experiment in the veggie bin that used to be some sort of green vegetable. I’m going to guess asparagus, but I can’t be sure. *shivers* It’s now in the trash. I’ve also got a jar of Devon cream that I picked up to go with some scones I plan on baking next week. Scones and clotted cream are one of my favorites treats, and you just can’t get them here like I could over in England. And the third is a jar of apple butter that one of my neighbors made for me. Homemade! Yum!

3. Just who do you think you are?
I’m proud to say that I’m an author! Not much more than a year ago, that title seemed to be an impossible dream, but now I’m living the life I’ve wanted to since I first put my first story to paper.

Rick R. Reed BiographyRick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his partner and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.” 

Visit Rick’s website at http://www.rickrreed.com or follow his blog at http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. You can also like Rick on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rickrreed.


  1. Awesome!!! Happy day 1 of the 12 days of Poppy Birthday Bash!!


  2. I love it, you all crack me up. Are you going to share the Ding Dongs with your favorite assistant by chance?

  3. I will definitely fix you up with some anchovy-stuffed olives when you're next in town. You're my kind of woman because you're willing to try them. And we should plan a trip up to the San Juan Islands next time you're in town, even if it's only for a day…

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