Queen Elizabeth will make history today when she signs a charter that fights discrimination and offers equal rights to billions in 54 countries that are part of the British Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Charter states opposition to "all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds."
Many believe this is the Queen's silent way of taking a stand on LGBT equal rights. And what's most significant is that in 61 years this is the first time she's taken a stand like this. While it's not going to change things overnight because homosexuality is still illegal in many countries that are part of the British Commonwealth it does look as if the Queen is moving forward with changing times in a way no one could have predicted. It also looks as if the important part here is "other grounds." I would imagine that includes LGBT equal rights without actually stating it.
So, as slow as it's moving, and as much as I find it insulting that LGBT equal rights can't be mentioned openly and without shame, I do respect the Queen for doing this. In doing something like this she's helping to break down the shame associated with homosexuality that has existed for so long.
"The queen has to remain politically neutral," Arbiter said. "While we won't hear her personal views on this, the fact that she is endorsing it publicly in front of television cameras, it really does speak volumes."
Most articles I've read have suggested this is the Queen's way of beginning the transition of the shift of power that will come soon within the British monarchy. But I also find it extremely timely because of what's happening in Rome right now. The Catholic Church has lost billions of devoted followers in recent years, and partly (but not only) because of their stand on LGBT issues and equal rights. And I hope they are paying attention to what the Queen is doing today. If the new Pope can't find a way to move the church forward, I see even more Catholics leaving, and not just LGBT Catholics. I think women are getting tired of being discriminated against, and divorced people, too.
Colleen Hoover on Self-publishing Stigma
I'm linking to a post right now that was written by best-selling self-pubbed author, Colleen Hoover. I'm doing this because it's a well written article on her journey into publishing, and how she used self-publishing as a vehicle to reach bestseller lists and get those big books we all dream of getting one day. I'm also doing this because I've self-pubbed a few books myself, I've had a moderate amount of success that's thrilled me, and I've had tons of fun doing this at the same time. In fact, if I had to actually state what I've loved most in the twenty year span I've been getting published it would have to be the first time I released my own self-pubbed book last year.
And frankly, I'm also tired of other authors knocking all self-publishing and perpetuating the stigma that all self-pubbed books are bad, that all self-pubbed authors can't get publishers, and that all self-pubbed books lack in quality. I see this more often than not in small e-press circles, as if they are trying to put down all self-pubbed authors. These are usually authors who have become big fish in small ponds, as they say. And the fact remains that if you're working with a small start up e-press you're only one a step away from self-publishing. In fact, I find most small start up e-presses these days aren't even being run by people with publishing experience. There's nothing wrong with that, but don't be so grand. Frankly, I find myself putting off requests these days from small publishers in order to focus on my next self-pubbed release later this spring. I did it twice this month. I never thought I'd be doing anything like that, but in doing this I can have total control over content, and I can price those books cheaper for readers. And what do readers love most other than a good story?
For many years, self-publishing has been viewed as a tool for authors who couldn’t sell their work to traditional publishers for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps the work wasn’t good enough or the genre they wrote in was a hard genre for a publisher to sell. For whatever reason, self-publishing was a last-ditch effort made by those who wanted to see their work in print but couldn’t get through the traditional publishing obstacles.
With the advent of the e-reader and the competitive royalty rates provided by companies such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many others, self-publishing has changed the publishing world. Some may not say for the better, but others would beg to differ.
I came into self-publishing merely by accident. Call me ignorant, but at the time I finished my first book in December of 2011, I didn’t even know what a query was. I had no idea you needed an agent before you could get a publisher. I didn’t even know people could upload their work to e-reader platforms and actually sell them. I didn’t know, because I never actually thought I’d write a book.
This is only a small part of an excellent post written by a bright woman, and I suggest reading it in full. For those who are not familiar with Hoover, self-publishing has opened doors for her that would have been closed ten or fifteen years ago.
Bad Boy Billionaire Free Excerpt
This excerpt is from The Silicon Valley novel in the Bad Boy Billionaire series. It's still without a formal title. And I'm still working on the book right now and I've enjoyed writing about places like Cupertino and San Francisco. I think the last time I set a novel in SF was "Sleepless in San Francisco," which is probably about four years ago now. I've always maintained that if I had to choose one other place to live and I had to leave this part of the country, I would go to that part of California. The climate is perfect and there's something about the SF area that has always been so romantic to me. I'm actually at the end of the book right now and I'm getting that "I don't want to leave" feeling once again.
In this particular scene, the billionaire, Shannon, has a few sockpuppet accounts on his own web site.
After a meeting with the new attorney on Monday morning, Karla and Justin returned to their desks and Shannon logged in to his fake account on lovemetender.com to see if he’d missed anything. He hadn’t checked out this account in a while and he wanted to see how many new requests he had, if there were any personal messages, or if anyone interesting had left any comments on anything he’d posted to his main profile page. Until he’d met Terry, he’d always considered himself a "lurker."
This time spent on the web site usually turned out to be something that made him smile. He’d learned more about his business this way, first hand, and he’d found that most of the members he came into contact with at lovemetender.com were good, decent people who had nothing but good intentions. He often thought they were too good. They were all interested in having a little fun and meeting other decent people. It always reminded him of something his grandmother had once told him. “No one’s going to remember your name, your clothes, or the kind of car you drive. They won’t remember your phone number or where you live. They might not even remember what you look like. But they’ll always remember the way you treated them and how you made them feel. And if you make them feel good, you did something right.”
His grandmother wasn’t the most prolific woman, nor was she the wisest he’d ever met. But on occasion she came up with words of wisdom. Unfortunately, he hadn’t always listened.