Today is a writing day. Just finished working on a review of my friend Susan’s new book (which will be posted tomorrow) and I have recently been getting back to working on a long-stalled pseudonym that I am kind of thinking may be the best thing I ever write. I’ve been toying with the idea in my mind for years and I did finally set up a blog and made an all to brief start. And then I cycled down or the moon changed or whatever it is compels me. And then the other day I got notice that it was time to renew the domain. And I went back and took a long critical look at the writing I had done on that project.
It seems to me that I have achieved some success on social media and with my blogs. On Facebook and on my blogs and such I use my wallet name and am happy to chat about almost anything, occasionally excepting religion and politics and never ever talking about my sex life. I have been so much happier since I changed my primary focus from my book review blog to this personal essay site. Unlike Susan, I don’t believe I will ever be great novelist. But I do believe I can aspire to becoming a great essayist. I hope those long time friends and fans who’ve been following along, however erratically, since my first blog post have come to see real improvement in my writing and presentation. This blog is almost ideal for me. Except of course that sometimes what I most want to write about is my sex life. And now that I have finally realized that what I really need to do on my “sex” site is to write with the same kind of directness and intimacy I’ve tried so hard to achieve on this site, on that site. Whether the topic is Poking Straight Guys On Facebook or….oh….no….I don’t even want to hint at one of my sex post titles here.
The point is the blog really is a great medium for me as a writer. And all of those book reviews and all of these essays really have been a kind of warming up for the writing that I most want to do. And so my pen name has been busy gadding about the countryside, living it up so that I can come home and write it down. All of this activity under a pen name I don’t ever plan to share with anyone who reads me under this name, really has taken a lot away from the time I used to spend on Facebook and Empire Avenue. I continue to hang out with the folks I think of as my social media guru friends, in their top secret hideaway I’d have to kill you if I told you about it. Oops. I will try hard to keep up with my Monday and Thursday schedule over here, especially after a very long weekend of play leaves me not wanting to get up off this couch today.
I believe with all of my heart that I am luckiest man alive. I have all my basic needs met. I have family and friends who love me and take care of me. And I get to spend my days doing what I what to do and then when I am feeling done I come home and write about it and try to create something that maybe some day may be considered art out of nothing more than my crazy ideas and a vocabulary that is actually bigger than my err wick. I’m now re-reading on my tablet Jack Fritscher’s iconic Some Dance To Remember. I sometimes wish I had the camera skills of protagonist Ryan Stephen O’Hara. Most times I think I’m going to be able to persuade my best friend to do the graphics to make the site ready for prime time. Here’s hoping it’s as good a Thursday in your world as it is in mine.
Here is wishing a Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hoping your holiday is filled with light, laughter and love. I will be back with a new post on Thursday.
Ron tells me that I have cycled up again. I started a new project, was talking mile a minute and stayed up for about thirty hours. During those hours of heavy activity, a friend and I talked about feeling as though we had taken a bit of felix felicitas, the complex potion that Harry Potter takes in order to accomplish his goal in one of his adventures. I genuinely believe my new project has a great deal of promise.
This blog is connected to my wallet name. I have in hundreds of places linked “Libdrone Books” to “Alan Jobe”. While I have tried very hard to be candid in these posts, I have also tried hard to be honest without be hurtful, and to seriously consider any other points of view offered through readers’ comments. I have also tried hard to be discrete. While I have made a point of introducing Ron and have at times written about gay rights and those sorts of things, I have never once in this space said even a single word about my sex life. My sex life if mostly under a handle. It’s not one most of my wallet-name friends would ever be aware of. My new project is a very targeted niche publication and I do not plan to ever reveal to my wallet name friends my nom du’porn. In a way, with this new project what I am setting myself up to try is to create a social and fan following for a fictious social persona, a character/narrator in my own personal play.
What really pisses me off so bad about Google’s new ‘you must use your wallet name here’ policy is that it completely ignores the reality that the fictitious character that talks Very frankly about his busy sex life (complete with photos). I am reaching out to relevant people in my circle for help with this new project, which I am hoping will prove to be a money-making thing for me. Not that I’m every going to get rich. But there really are a lot of stories to my life that I know I will NEVER share on this blog. And I am very excited to have an outlet to talk freely and frankly about subjects my wallet name is never ever ever going to Mention in public.
When I think about it, I realize I’ve always been a sort of outlaw. I remember as a teenager in the early 1980’s learning about sodomy laws (boy that’s a term you don’t hear much anymore) and being outraged and horrified to discover that sex between consenting adults could be illegal. While I was certainly glad when the Supreme Court in 2003 struck down all of the remaining sodomy laws, including in my native Louisiana, I have to say that I never let the fact that it was illegal stop me from having sex in any way I preferred.
I’ve mentioned before that Ron and I don’t want to get married, even
if when gay marriage becomes legal here in Washingon state, either in June or after the November election if those who are opposed to my civil rights succeed in forcing a ballot question. I have not previously answered, when asked why we don’t want to get married. While I fully support marriage equality and would fight for the rights of any two consenting adults to enjoy the full benefits of marriage, the fact is that for over forty years now I’ve gotten accustomed to being a sexual outlaw. I’m glad I’m not illegal anymore but I have no desire whatsoever to participate in a social form which I do not believe would confer any real benefit upon me or my huzband, given our particular circumstances. (Ron and I are both on social security disability. Were we a heterosexual couple, we would be foolish to marry since doing so would significantly lower the amount we receive each month.) And I know in my heart that no piece of paper could make our relationship any stronger than it is. I also don’t believe we could possibly love or cherish each other any more than we do, regardless of whatever some politicians may think of us or our relationship.
I am grateful to live in an era when young queer folk (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gender-ed) continuously hear the message “it gets better”. But frankly, having been an outlaw all my life. I have zero interest in joining the ranks of the respectably wed.
That the lower case ‘n’ and the lower case ‘h’ can look almost the same, to a not quite awake proof-reader’s not fully open eyes can be a curse or a blessing. The thing is, it was intended as a joke. The fact that I mis-spelled Holly Jahangiri‘s name in the tweet I got 20 folks on an Empire Avenue mission to tweet, in the opinion of some just made it funnier. I set out to see how many of the Empire Avenue folks who took my 1,000 eaves would send out this tweet for me:
@HollyJanangiri I DO believe in #prunebutt. (@libdrone made me say it!)
Those who know Holly may recognize that Prunebutt is a character on her blog, sort of in the way I am trying to make Mr. Everything (and still to come Ms. Efficiency) characters on this blog. Folks like my friend Liz (get that Hello World post down so I can link to your blog, Liz!) who know what they are doing on Twitter quickly realized that with her name mis-spelled @HollyJanangiri is not a real Twitter handle. For some folks, like my buddy Hank, the fact of the typo (which I publicly admitted as soon as Liz pointed it out to me) made the joke even funnier.
As with most everything I do, there really is a lesson here for folks who are trying to promote their B (blog, business, bullshit, buns, whatever). And the lesson is of course, humor sells. I set up this mission so that in order to fulfill it folks had to actually copy and paste what I wrote; the click through went to My twitter profile where some of the folks who clicked it followed me. I gave away 1,000 eaves to 26 users and fully 19 of them posted that exact tweet. A twentieth user modified the tweet to use Holly’s actual name and handle. And one of the first 19 posted a follow up tweet with the name and handle corrected. Given that it required more action that just clicking, that I got a completion rate of almost 77% seems fantastic to me. That folks will probably Still be laughing over this little episode after this post is published is a bonus.
So if you are trying to promote something (such as yourself) in the world of social media, try to always remember you could do a lot worse than going for a laugh.
The really bad thing about knowing too many quotes is that after a time you can continue to spout quote after quote, but you haven’t a clue where they have come from. If only that were the secret to original writing. “And sometimes there’s God….so quickly.”
I find myself thinking today that Biljana is actually a very wise woman. On the one hand, I am thrilled. I have been given license to publish and promote this incredibly wonderful book, written by a woman who seems smart enough to keep her clever publisher at arm’s length. Which means that she probably is Not going to want to have endless discussions about the promotions. I have her snail mail, we’ve agreed on terms. I’ll certainly be sending her checks as I sell her books. But I do not have to clear everything with a temperamental artiste who is also a friend. I seem to have pretty free reign to decide and do it My Way.
I find myself wishing I knew just a bit more about the stories of some other incredibly great writers making a life-changing agreement with her first publisher. Cause I’m pretty sure that the work I am about to introduce to you is as significant as any that global literary society has seen in a long time. So the fact that I have landed this book is actually HUGE. Although of course it will take 10 years of hard work to turn it into “an overnight success”. But if you have any appreciation for the art and craft of fiction, I know you will want to read this book. And if you read my blog regularly, you’ll soon find out that I will even let you read Black And White for free.
So this Thursday finds me a happy bear. My Empire Avenue stock is up to a share price of 105 and while I do have some back sliding days I am still (knock wood) above 105 today. I invest some in newbies recommended by DES Daughter and invest back in people who have recently invested in me. I do try to max out to 600 hundred shares in all of my investments, but if your div ratio is not great it may take me a Very long time. And if you sell off all of the shares you hold in me I will block you on Empire Avenue in order to be sure I do not again invest in someone who didn’t think enough of me to buy even a single share.
Now that I have Timeline I am going to try directing the FB post promoting this blog post Only to those on my Empire Avenue list. It is possible I may have tagged a person or two incorrectly but I believe that all of the folks on these lists connected with me First through Empire Avenue or have been active on one or more Empire Avenue related discussions. As I’ve mentioned before, I was Not blown away by Google Plus and deleted my account on that service not too terribly long after starting it. Honestly, at this point Facebook allows me to meet and get to know and keep up with an ever expanding circle of virtual friends.
Since my main purpose in social networking is to meet and get to know other people, and any business that results from these relationships is for me, simply an extra benefit. While I do promote my book regularly, I try very hard not be one note about it and I talk with lots of different people about lots of different things in lots of different threads on lots of different web sites. For me, online socializing is very much a time consuming hands-on more or less full time activity. But I try never ever to forget that it’s All about building real relationships with other real people.
(And I am a very happy bear this morning because I just got back from a great visit with my cub friend and I am maybe even Joyous Bear today ;)_