In the past year I became friendly with another author by sheer coincidence. I read one of her books, she read one of mine, and we hit it off. It doesn't happen often but when it does it's nice. There was no nonsense in the background and we didn't become pen pals where we exchanged all of our information. It was strictly a professional, online, friendship through social media where we talked about books, things we liked, and indie publishing.
In January this author posted something about having a slight stomach issue and I didn't give it a second thought. However, since that post she completely disappeared from the Interwebs and I've been wondering what happened to her. So have other people. She's a nice person; we like her. We're genuinely concerned about her. The problem is she was known by a pen name and no one knows how to contact her privately in order to see if she's okay.
I know that's part of the territory when it comes to meeting people...and working with people...online. You get to know them, you like them, and sometimes they just vanish never to be heard from again. In most cases, they want it that way and you respect that. However, in this case, I just have this feeling the author I'm talking about wouldn't want it that way. She loves her books, she loves indie publishing, she loves her publishers, and she works hard to promote herself online. So for her to just vanish doesn't make sense.
And all I can assume is that she didn't have a contact, just in case something happened. I'm talking about someone in her private life who can make a general announcement on social media explaining where she is and what happened to her. People have emergency surgery, they slip and fall, and people can be out of commission for a while in real life and we all know what happens to them. But when it's someone online, especially an author with a fairly public profile, we don't always know what happens. And that's a shame. I think it's a good idea, just in case, to have someone in your life who knows you and knows what you do so some kind of an announcement can be made if you wind up out of commission for whatever reason.
I have Tony, just in case something happens to me. I would hope that he would make some kind of announcement to readers, my publishers, and to anyone who might be interested either through this blog or through social media. I also know enough people online by now, who also know Tony, who would most likely contact him to find out if something was wrong...if I went missing. But I'm not the typical case. Not everyone uses their real name...for valid reasons...like I do and not everyone discloses as much as I do about my life. And they do have reasons for that. However, I think most people...and authors...would want some kind an announcement made just to let everyone know what's going on.
So if you aren't prepared just in case something happens to you, you might want to think about having some kind of author contact who can make some kind of announcement on social media, just in case you can't do it yourself.
Russia Fines Gay Activist
I'm no free speech expert, but I do know that in the US the government can't penalize you for exercising your right to free speech. I don't personally have to listen to you, or care about what you say. But the government is a different story.
In Russia a gay activist was fined by the government for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media because he allegedly violated the "gay propaganda" law that made headlines not too long ago.
In one, he was trying to combat the myth that to be gay meant being evil, or wrong, or disgusting.
‘Children! To be gay means to be a person who is brave, strong and confident in themselves. A gay person has a sense of dignity and self-respect. A gay person loves someone of the same gender, and there is nothing wrong in that.’
You can read the rest here. They also closed down his group.
Russian Lawmaker Wants Gays To Leave
The anti-gay lawmaker in Russia who actually designed the "gay propaganda" laws now claims he wants a gay activist to leave the country.
Vitaly Milonov, the author of the ‘gay propaganda’ law, said he will pay out of his own expense a plane ticket to Switzerland for gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev.
Alekseev has several complaints lodged with the European Court of Human Rights over the banning of Pride and other public events for LGBTI people across Russia.
He believes banning these events contradicts the constitution’s guarantee of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
‘Get out of Russia,’ Milonov said on Russian News Service. ‘We do not need you in the country complaining.’
Here's the rest. I hate to comment on these things so I try to remain neutral. But Russia!!
Gus Kenworthy On Coming Out
Of course I think Gus Kenworthy can do no wrong, ever...on this planet or any other in the universe...however, this is really a great piece of advice. I hope that someday it's a reality, too.
The 24-year-old, who won silver at the 2014 Winter Games, revealed that he was gay on the cover of ESPN magazine in October last year.
‘Someone coming out as gay shouldn’t be newsworthy. It shouldn’t be warranting a magazine cover or anything like that, which I had as my story for coming out,’ he told CNN.
‘I think down the line, it will make it so that it isn’t news. It doesn’t matter, so it doesn’t have to be something that’s a big announcement; just something that is what it is.’
You can read the rest here.
He's really very bright.
The only problem is trying to explain this to LGBT people who have been in the closet for so long and who just don't see a way out. And there are many. Unfortunately.
A Guy With Two Penises
This book had me with the title; it must be one of the most bizarre to be found on the Kindle marketplace. I must admit, the title didn't really prepare me for the quality of the writing. I was expecting a bit of a comedy, and thought the quality of writing would be pretty average, but it was actually fast-paced, punchy, slick and insightful.I also loved the tongue-in-cheek comedy that appears throughout the book; the main character is called Proctor Gamble (I love it!).
You can check that out here.
You can check that out here.