russia anti-gay laws

Cher on Russia; Russia Scorns Gay Parents; Village People Cowboy Marries

Cher on Russia

With so many disillusioning things happening in PA this week regarding same sex marriage, when I read this piece about Cher turning down an invitation to perform at the Russian Olympics I had to admit that it felt nice to see that some people are still willing to challenge unfair laws…on principle, not black and white laws. She also clearly knows hate from personal experience.

“I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show,” she told Canadian newsmagazine Maclean’s. “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there.

He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”
In the wide-ranging interview, she discussed how the treatment she and former husband Sonny Bono received made her empathize with other outsiders, and she also noted her support for her transgender son, Chaz Bono.

“People hated Sonny and I in the early days because we looked and acted so different,” she said. “Sonny was always getting into fights — people would called him ‘fag’ and he’d get his nose broken — only because we were dressing different. And these were our street clothes!”

You can read more here. 

Russia Scorns Gay Parents

Speaking of Russia, now there’s a Russian lawmaker who wants to take away children from LGBT parents for some of the most ridiculous reasons I think I have ever heard.

Last week, Russian lawmaker and nationalist party leader Alexei Zhuravlev proposed legislation that would allow the government to remove all children from all LGBT parents and from same-sex couples. In his bill, State Duma Deputy Zhuravlev compared homosexuality to child abuse, drug abuse, and alcoholism. Zhuravlev this week shared with Russian reporter Olga Pavlikova his stunning views on gay people and on “allowing” them to raise children.

This article only devolves into something much worse than what’s above. If this is the mind set that President Obama has to deal with during foreign affairs, God bless the President for having the patience to deal with them. I wouldn’t be able to do that. You can read more here.

Village People Cowboy Marries

In much lighter news, Randy Jones who was the cowboy in the Village People from 1970’s disco fame is marrying his longtime partner. I was only a child at the time, but I recall being fascinated with the cowboy and the construction worker.

This is not going to be just any old event either.

Day one will reportedly include “a public proposal” with Randy “[popping] the question in front of friends and family in Columbus Circle.” Day two will feature the wedding ceremony at New York City Hall “in front of their mothers.” Directly after, there will be a party at a “trendy rooftop bar” with “special guest host Warrington Gillette — who the couple credits as “Jason” from ‘Friday the 13th Part 2.'” Finally, on day three, there will be a “post-wedding banquet” in Little Italy.

You can read more here.


Ryan Field Press; Steve Jobs Video; Russian Sports Minister Wants Calm

Ryan Field Press

I’ve been seeing chatter all over the Internet about how authors are starting their own publishing houses…and when I use the term publishing house it is for lack of a better term…and it’s created a lot of questions and curiosity, which is perfectly normal. So I thought I would explain what I’m doing with Ryan Field Press, and what my immediate goals are at this point in time.

To back track, I ventured into indie publishing almost two years ago with the Chase of a Lifetime series because I was curious about it and because I wanted to see what it would be like to have complete control over my work. I also have over twenty years experience. However, I didn’t predict this situation. This past spring I posted about one of my e-publishers shuttering its doors, which left me with over thirty orphaned back listed titles. Fiction I had worked hard to write and edit, some were historicals that had taken a great deal of research. I could have shopped them to other small e-presses, but after the experience of one small e-press closing with only on month’s notice I decided to take advantage of my experience in publishing with Ryan Field Press and re-release the back listed titles on my own. And although I had not predicted I would ever be re-releasing these back listed books alone, it is what it is and small e-presses are not always run the way I would like to see them being run.

In other words, when you submit your work to a publisher…any publisher, large or small…you don’t expect your work to disappear a few years after the books have been released, and after all that hard work. Especially with e-books, because they just disappear into cyberspace. But it happens. In my case the publisher got sick, but hadn’t thought ahead and hadn’t set up a business plan in case of illness. And sometimes that’s just called life and you do what you have to do. This time I chose to indie publish the back listed titles alone. I know that I can trust myself without a doubt. If I get sick, I have people I can trust to continue what I’ve been doing. That’s called running a business and having a business plan.

In spite of my frustrations, many positive things came from this experience. For those who follow this blog I’ve written a post as each book has been re-released. Best of all for readers, I was able to price these books at .99 instead of 2.99 or higher, which is what they had been priced with the publisher. I even left the original covers, in spite of wanting to change them, so readers would not get confused and think it was something new in case they’d already purchased it and read it. I had issues with contests I’ve run because readers have already read the books offered in the contests and I’ve had to go back and forth with them until we found a book they hadn’t read. And most people remember book covers…I hope.

This hasn’t been simple, mainly because the books were already pubbed and re-pubbing is harder than pubbing something original in a tech sense. Logos have to be removed; permission has to be granted from Amazon; proof has to be provided and triple checked that I’m the author and I own the rights because the book is already in the data base. But it’s also been worth the effort because now I know these books will always be around and I’ll always hold the rights. No one can ever come to me again and tell me, “that’s it, your books won’t be for sale anymore next month because I got sick.” At least not in this case, or with my indie pubbed novels I’ve released in the past two years. I can’t predict the future of other small e-presses, but I have learned to expect anything in life. And I wanted to be prepared this time with my back list.

I’ve also been posting about a new release I have this month, an anthology titled, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. This book will be pubbed with Ryan Field Press, and I will maintain control over this book…which ultimately means I won’t be going out of business and the book will be around as long as I’m around, and my heirs are around. The same thing goes for past Ryan Field Press releases, and all future Ryan Field Press releases. In the same respect, the authors who contributed to The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance will retain their own rights at all times. This means they are free, according to the contract, to shop and sell their stories, or self-publish their stories, as stand alones whenever they want.

At this particular time, I have no intention of acting as a small publishing house with Ryan Field Press, or as a small e-publisher. If this changes in the future, I’ll announce it. But right now Ryan Field Press is a business vehicle that I’m using to indie publish my own back listed books, a few new releases, and the occasional anthology. In the future, I might get into e-publishing *services* because I think there’s a need for affordable e-publishing services that aren’t scams. I will be doing this with one of the authors that contributed to The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, and this author will retain all rights and I will not be acting as the publisher. I’ll be the e-publishing service; the author will maintain all control. I also think we’ll be seeing more authors do things like this in the future, because having that basic sense of security is extremely important.

And, my advice to anyone signing with any small e-press right now would be to find out about the future and where you will stand in case something happens. In other words, make sure they have a long term business plan in case of illness or death or run out of funds (or get bored), and if they don’t make sure all rights revert back to you if they shutter and fold. You want your books to be around for a long time, not just a few years.

Steve Jobs Video

Last night a friend sent me this Youtube link to a Steve Jobs video that was supposedly put together by Apple. It’s really very nice, and one of the few tributes I’ve seen to Jobs that says it all in a short amount of time.

You can get there from here  I didn’t see a share for blogger.

Russian Sports Minister Wants Calm

In what sounds like it could be hidden concern that the LGBT community just might gain enough support to actually boycott the Olympics thanks to Russia’s laws that highly discriminate against LGBT people, the Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, wants us to all calm down.

Mutko said “the athletes can come and compete” and the chase for medals should be their primary concern.

“This is a sports forum,” he said. “This is a sports festival and we have to talk only about it.”

I don’t know what he’s missing about why gays are so passionate about these anti-gay laws in Russia, but he’d better come up with something better than that, because this is about a lot more than a sports festival. And when Russia passes a law that states they can lock LGBT people up just for being gay, we’re getting into quality of life human rights issues and I think that trumps a sports festival. And if this were any other minority I wouldn’t even be discussing this now. Can you imagine if Russia decided to treat people of African descent, or Jews, the same way they are treating gays?

“I don’t have the feeling there is a problem whatsoever,” IAAF President Lamine Diack said. “There is a law that exists. The law has to be respected. Some things have to be respected. We are here for the world championships.”

No. We don’t have to respect that law. And I’m taking this to mean screw everything else, even human rights, because world championships are more important. There are some people who just shouldn’t say anything at all. This is the sort of thing that can get worse in time if we don’t do something about it now. The world ignored Hitler for far too long, and millions of Jews were locked up and killed as a result. Shame on us all if we ever let anything like that happen to anyone ever again.