Judy Blume/Lena Dunham; No E-books for 70%?Gay Fired Catholic

Judy Blume/Lena Dunham


This looks fascinating. There’s a “mini” book coming out that focuses on a personal conversation with Judy Blume and Lena Dunham. (Dunham is the star of TV show “Girls” and I’ve posted about her here a few times. For the first time, gay characers are portrayed well on her show.)

Here’s more about the book: “What does surprise, though, in this 80-page book chronicling the pair’s first meeting and a conversation that touches on writing, celebrity, sex, censorship, and favorite breakfasts, is just how naturally the two get along. The generation gap doesn’t stand a chance—perhaps because Dunham and Blume have reading in common.”

From Galleycat.

I think the book is supposed to be about 8,000 words, but it’s only coming out in a limited run. I’m not certain if it will be launched in digital format (I really hope it is, and that the publisher “gets” digital). If it is, I’m buying it.

No E-books for 70%?

Speaking of digital format, this is one of those articles I just find hard to believe. And the main reason is that e-books sales rise in some articles, and then fall in others, and no one knows WTF to believe anymore. There’s been a long running small scale poll over at Nathan Bransford’s blog since (I think) 2007 where he polls his blog readers about whether or not they’ll switch to e-books. I’ve followed it each year, and each year the numbers reading e-books seem to rise. You can check that out here. He does a follow up post with links to other years. What’s been amazing to see is how some who stated they would NEVER switch to e-books have changed since 2007. I would consider his readership a mix of elite and mainstream. And with Bransford’s poll, there’s no hidden agenda, so I tend to believe it more than other things I read.

In any event:

The main reasons for preferring print are that these consumers like the look and feel of a real book, they don’t have to strain their eyes to read print and they like putting books on the bookshelf.

“The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” report also revealed that college students prefer print textbooks to digital textbooks, for reasons of concentration. According to the report, respondents reported that a digital display is too distracting.

Interesting. I have bad eyes, from years of working on a computer. I only read e-books because I can adjust the size of the print. Last study I heard in September many college students, in order to offset the cost of rising tuition and student loans, aren’t just reading e-books, they are downloading from sharing sites in digital in questionable ways.

From my post in September:

This morning on a local Philadelphia news channel, the morning anchor, Sheinelle Jones, mentioned the rising cost of a college text book, which she said is about $200.00. Then she started talking about social media messages she’d received on the topic from college students headed back to school this month, and carefully discussed how some students are getting around this by finding digital books in places where it’s not allowed.

So just by judging from what I see around me, and from what I see younger people doing, I find it hard to believe 70% absolutely refuse to read e-books. They even went so far as to say most e-books downloaded aren’t read. I think there’s a way for companies like Amazon to track that, and I find that statement hard to believe, too.

So take all information like this with that proverbial grain of salt. I only read e-books, and so do most of the people I know. And the ones I know who don’t are the types who can even figure out how to use the TV remote control.

You can read more here, because it’s interesting.

Gay Fired Catholic

I saw this on my local Philadelphia news earlier this past weekend, and Tony and I looked at each other in shock. A young (gay) Catholic school teacher in Philadelphia was fired because he filed for a marriage license in New Jersey. According to what I saw on TV, the teacher phoned in, said he would be late, and also said he was filing for a marriage license. The principal and some other priest in charge, called him into the office when he arrived for work and fired him on the spot. The underlying message seems to be you can be gay, but you can’t get married or let anyone know you’re gay.

Michael Griffin worked at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years teaching French and Italian. He said that although administrators, including the principal, knew he was gay, he never had any major conflict with the Catholic administrators until Friday.

Griffin said he was fired on Friday after he had emailed administrators to tell them he was going to file for a marriage license and would be slightly late to work.
From what I’ve also heard, the teacher allegedly went to this same school himself.
Tony and I live in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia in New Hope where there are gay bars and restaurants. One night we were at a gay bar with friends and a group of priests from a school just like the one mentioned in the article above came into the gay bar, in street clothes, and they had a blast. And I’m going to be writing a long personal post in the near future about two gay priests Tony and I both knew very well for many years. We celebrated holidays with them, and birthdays. But in all the years we knew them we had no idea they were living double lives as Catholic priests. We didn’t have a clue. And that’s not hearsay or third party information. It happened and I was there. It creeped me out for a long time. But I don’t mind posting about this after I read things like the piece about the school teacher above.
The Catholic church needs to look deeper into its own gay roots. (Side note: I went to 12 years of Catholic school and I’m more than familiar with the practices.)

Another Free Book; Photo of Tony; New M/M Romance Publisher; Male Nude Scenes in "Girls"

Update: Having tech issues with the free promo for Jonah Sweet. I will post more when we get this figured out. And it will be offered for free within the next few weeks.

I will write a new post about this free read sometime this week, but wanted to mention it now so I don’t forget all about it. This blog is often like my big “to do” list, where I can reference a lot of things I might forget when things get busy.

In any event, my last free book at ARe is coming down (or it is down now) and I decided to do another free read with ARe with another indie published book, “Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street.” It takes time to get these free reads organized, trust me, when you’re doing it alone. But it will be sometime this week.

Now, I’ve had a lot of people ask about seeing a photos of Tony, my partner of 20 years. He’s usually very private and he doesn’t even like the things I post about us on facebook half the time. But I’ve been bugging him about giving me a photo to put up somewhere on the blog, and he’s finally granted me permission to use the one above. It’s a nice photo that was taken about four years ago at the Jersey shore…I think that’s where it was…in Brigantine.

I actually understand his reasons about privacy, and I try to post things that don’t cross the line when it comes to privacy issues. But, in the same respect, I also think that if I’m an author with published works out there, and I post about my partner of twenty years all the time, I should be able to at least post one simple photo of him. I have to admit, as a reader, I get a little frustrated (I want the right word here) when I can’t see photos of bloggers or authors…ever. I’m not talking about posting the family photo album, but it can be annoying when you read about someone for years and don’t see a face with the words…ever.

New M/M Romance Publisher on the Scene

According to a blog post I read over the weekend, m/m romance authors, Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day will be starting a new publishing venture this year.

But does the world of gay publishing really need another press? I believe whole-heartedly that the answer is ‘Yes’. Gay Romance has been growing at a rapid rate over the last two years, and I firmly believe that 2013 will be the year that Gay Romance comes into its own. No longer will it be considered the poor queer cousin of straight romance, and its quickly-growing legion of fans (the vast majority of whom are women) will need quality content to feed their almost insatiable appetite for Gay Romance.

However, when Ethan and I decided to jump into the fray, we were very conscious that many writers of Gay Romance enjoy writing more than just romantic tales, including ourselves. Sometimes a story belongs within the bounds and definitions of romance; but sometimes as a writer you want to break the rules. And so we made the decision to publish both traditional Gay Romance, but also publish other genres. We wanted to create a press that builds a bridge between Gay Romance and all other forms of Gay Lit, and to create a hub where fans of all quality gay tales could come and explore and potentially delve into genres they haven’t tried before.
I wish them all the best. I like breaking the rules as often as I can. From my own personal experience in indie publishing I know it’s not a simple venture. We just figured out how to do formatting an easier way with Smashwords one year later, and it’s all about the formatting with digital publishing. HTML is a language in itself.
I’d also like to add that I hope others in the m/m romance community will support them in this new endeavor. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are those on the Internet who like to critique and slam new publishers before the new publishers even get started. It’s a left-handed bully tactic that I think is changing now because people like me aren’t afraid to challenge these highly opinionated bloggers anymore who sneak around and conspire in the dark corners of the Internet.
And when someone is beginning a new venture, especially in gay fiction, I believe in offering them support.  And though I know nothing about either Ethan Day or Geoffrey Knight, from what I’ve read this venture looks interesting to me.
Male Nude Scenes in “Girls”
I’m a huge fan of the TV show “Girls.” Unfortunately, Tony isn’t so I have to DVR it and watch the shows in tandem sometimes late at night when he’s sleeping. I love that show so much, and the new adult reality factor it has brought to TV, I can’t get enough of it. In fact, Lena Dunham does such a great job, and makes what she’s doing look so easy, I’m hoping this show sticks around for a long time.
Here’s more about the show from one almost/kind of snarky reviewer. But, it’s actually a good review overall. You can read more here.  
Last season, Hannah had a dead-end relationship with never-working “actor” Adam (Adam Driver), with whom she had painful, afternoon anal sex. It was ugly to watch and uglier to remember that it always took place in his ugly, dirty apartment on sheets that look like they were last changed during the Clinton administration. She should have put paper down before she got down!
I think the reason the review was written the way it was is because this show seems to challenge a lot of the fakery of TV and it hits real issues that real people can identify with in an entertaining way. They also handle gay issues, and gay characters, in a different way than what I normally see. I like the way it’s done and I don’t have any complaints this time. And I think that’s because it is so real. Even the setting: they live in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. If you are not familiar with New York at all, you might not get this. Manhattan is now such an expensive place to live it’s virtually impossible for anyone just starting out to actually be there. In old TV, like “Sex in the City,” they would have made it possible by creating a fake storyline.
There is also some male (and female) nudity in this show that’s done appropriately with each scene so that it adds more dimension to the scene. In other words, it’s not about the sex in most cases. Unlike the squeaky clean reviewer above, I personally don’t think it’s dirty either. It’s mostly about the underlying issues behind the sex, and what led to that point. I haven’t seen any male full frontal, though. But the one male nude scene I saw in a recent episode was definitely worth hitting the rewind button on DVR. 
I also think this type of entertainment is going to be a new trend that’s going to change a lot of things. One of my best friends is a straight guy in his early thirties and I gather a lot of great material from him on various topics, like how men like him think about sex, or how straight men his age think about gay men. It really is, in a way, breaking the ultimate stereotypes and incorporating gay into the mainstream. 
There’s not much on the web about the male nude scenes in the show, or much to link to…yet. But I have a feeling there will be more to come if Lena Dunham has her way.   

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