Friday, March 27, 2015

Aaron Schock Leaves Office; Jane Litte Writing as Jen Frederick; Where Looking Went Wrong

Aaron Schock Leaves Office

Although I'm not political, I do get why so many LGBT people find the GOP a threat, and why they tend to attack anyone even remotely associated with the GOP. And this article I'm linking to now is a good example of how vicious and petty things can get.

Aaron Schock left office today and he said this:

“I leave here with sadness and humility,” he said. “For those whom I’ve let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you.” Then the other shoe dropped, as Schock compared the questions he’s faced over his lavish spending to the hardships faced by the nation’s 16th president.

“I also know that every person faces adversity in life,” Schock revealed. “Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress in one term. But few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did. “His continual perseverance in the face of these trials — never giving up — is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.”

The rest is here, with a video. I don't know much about Schock, so it's hard for me to comment. I'm not all that thrilled with any politicians these days.

Jane Litte Writing As Jen Frederick

In short, the founder of the DearAuthor Romance Review blog, Jane Litte, recently disclosed she's been writing NA romance secretly with the pen name, Jen Frederick. I'm not getting into all the details here, but you can read more at the link below. Jane/Jen seems to be taking all kinds of criticism, especially in the comments.

Here's something from the post:

Imagine my surprise, then, to realize that Jane is on more than one of these loops with me as Jen Frederick. I find myself…not okay with that. Not because I’m ashamed by anything I’ve said, but because I even have to sit here and worry about it. And I’m feeling even sicker for the authors who thought they were in a place that was safe to share certain things and did so who would NOT have done so had they known Jane was present. Do I believe Jane would or has intentionally retaliated against these authors if they said something negatively about her site, her books, her writing partner, or the EC case or any myriad of things? No. But that doesn’t change the fact that it feels like a violation. And the thing that readers of this post need to realize is that JANE KNOWS THAT.

You can read the rest here. It's very long, and complicated. And I don't want to sound as if I'm being glib in this post. I'm not sure where I stand at this point. I do think the biggest mistake Jane/Jen may have made was in underestimating her power and influence as a blogger.

I made the decision a long time ago to work hard at keeping every single thing I put out there about me as an author as real as I can get it without losing too much privacy. It's been hard because I can't use social media like other people and interact with my family or my personal friends. For me, that would be too complicated. I can't find the balance. So I keep it all work and book related. That's partly because I don't want certain things about my life disclosed, like when a close family member passes away, or I had to put my fifteen year old dog down on this New Year's Eve unexpectedly. It's not that I'm unwilling to share this. It's that it would make my grief twice as difficult to have to deal with condolences from readers and other people I work with. I'd rather grieve in private, on my own terms, and process my losses alone.  There are some things in life that gut you to the point of not wanting to speak about them in public.

There are also advantages to keeping it real, for the most part, and I think most readers appreciate that. I hope readers know that when I post about something personal in my life I'm not just making it up. In the same respect, I don't want to sound holier than thou right now. In the course of a single day I come across harmless tweets, updates, and blog posts from celebrities, from authors, and from bloggers that I know are embellishing everything about their private lives. I understand this and I never hold it against them because in doing this they are creating a larger than life persona, which is also something I think people want/crave. Do you really find self-published boring author, Betty June Johnson, who posts updates about her ugly buck-toothed kids interesting? Do you care what good old bad selfie queen Betty June Johnson had for dinner? Was that gray burger she ate "yummy?" Does that really make you want to read her books...or even care about her boring ass? In many cases, I think keeping it too real is the biggest mistake an author can make when trying to promote a brand. Because boring is not a brand. And this is something with which I've wrestled since I started getting published over twenty years ago.

In any event, Jane/Jen Litte/Frederick kept her pen name a secret and continued to blog at the same time without telling anyone except for a few close friends. But more than that, her books turned out to be successful. And while it's not something I would have done, I can't help but think this might be the most ingenious marketing plan I have ever seen to date. For a long time I thought Jane Litte was holier than thou, to the point where I thought she was a little creepy (those pencil skirts?). Now that I know she's not any better than any other author out there promoting a brand, I can't help but find her more interesting. So I'm still on the fence about the whole thing and it's going to take a long time for me to process it.  

Where Looking Went Wrong

Frankly, I'm not too sure Looking went all that wrong. I liked it and I would have continued to watch. But this article is interesting anyway, because it basically agrees with me and it leaves everything up to the people commenting to offer suggestions about why Looking went wrong...and you should see all the free speech there.

As one of the few series on television that was created by a gay man (Michael Lannan), written by a predominantly gay staff and that starred many out actors (Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Daniel Franzese, Russell Tovey), it’s a shame there wasn’t more support from LGBT viewers, who criticized the series even before it had premiered for not representing every facet of the queer community.

And that is a shame. We don't support each other the same way other minorities do, not in TV, not in films, and certainly not in publishing and in books.

Here's one comment.

I refused to watch based in the trailers alone that showed us “Pretty White Gay Guys With Problems.” As if a bunch of pretty white (oh wait, there was allegedly one Latino guy) guys allegedly unable to find love is real. I think the bigger problem is that the guys who actually look like all of these model-actors in this series are never looking for love – they’re only looking for instant gratification for their narcissism.

There are more comments that are mixed. 

I'm not sure how I would comment. I liked the show. I liked Patrick, I thought it was well written, and it needed more time to develop. But there were flaws. I will admit that. And as usual, those flaws were mostly due to self-indulgence. In other words, it might have been too real.


The Way We ALMOST Were


A Gay Parody  












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