Nothing is impossible!

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a talk at a Seattle Town Hall session by Diana Nyad.

Don’t know of Diana? She’s a marathon swimmer who–at age 64–completed something that had been deemed impossible. She swam without a shark cage (but with a team responsible for navigation, nutrition, shark repellent, and keeping her motivated) from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. It was something she’d attempted four previous times over many years, but it wasn’t to be.

Until it was.

Her story is inspirational, humorous, and full of humility.

After the talk, the line to speak with Diana was lengthy, and I almost didn’t wait. But, after some forceful insistence from my friends (“when will you get this opportunity again?!”), I took my copy of her new book and got in line for my brief moment of 1:1 time. And I’m so glad I did. Diana was humble and kind, and somehow left the perfect inscription in my book: “Onward.”

Onward.

How many problems could we solve if we simply didn’t give up? How many dreams could we accomplish with relentless forward progress?

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with this thought: No matter what you’re going through right now, no matter how impossible your dreams may seem, you’re going to get through it. The human spirit is limitless and nothing is impossible with enough determination. And the best way forward is . . . forward.

One Day at a Time

Do you remember that old TV show, “One Day at a Time?”

I intended to blog today about how I’ve started writing the third book in the “Learning to Love Again” series, but it’s coming fairly slowly. If I feel like writing, I write. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m taking it one day at a time.

And thus, I have the “One Day at a Time” theme song on repeat in my head.

“This is it
This is life, the one you get,
So go and have a ball . . .”

Funnily, that theme song has some good advice in it. I hope you’re having a ball, no matter how you have to (or if you’re lucky . . . choose to) spend your day!

<3,

A.K.

 

Thought of the day . . .

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I haven’t done a thought of the day in a while. In fact, I haven’t done a blog post in a while. So today, it’s a double-whammy: A blog post with a thought of the day!

No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you. 
Althea Gibson

This is so true! None of us is capable of performing, creating, or achieving in a vacuum.

-A.K.

Exciting News!

It’s true that I’m in the middle of a small writing hiatus. But, I’ve never been one to just sit around. Even though I’m not writing (much) right now, I have been working on book-related items.

Today, I want to share a couple of exciting things that are happening in the land of A. K. Rose.

First, I’m taking the leap into paperback!

I resisted. A lot. But I’ve heard the message so many times now–people do indeed still read physical books. So, I spent the last month or so figuring out how to get my books into print. We’re close. We’re SO close. There are a couple of tiny little things I need to fix, and then it’s off to the presses.

In fact, here’s proof–the proofs!

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The funny thing is I didn’t think I would be all that excited about this.

I was completely wrong!

Excited doesn’t even begin to explain it, for a lot of reasons. First of all, I designed the covers and the interior of the books myself. Secondly, it is very, very cool to hold a book in your hand that you’ve written.

Okay, moving on. This one is a little more specific, but still fun.

I’ve been asked to join a panel of writers at the Gay Romance Writers NW Conference in Seattle in September. We’re going to be talking about sex scenes–specifically, our processes for writing them, hang-ups we might have, and any other nuances that come with the territory when it comes to writing intimate scenes. If you’re in the PNW, it’s free, and you can join us by signing up here.

A.K.

Seattle Pride

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Friends, it was a Pride-ful weekend in Seattle, and we had absolutely gorgeous weather. I thought I’d share a few photos from the parade, which has evolved quite a lot over the past 20 years. It used to be a relatively small event in the Capitol Hill neighborhood–um, gayborhood–and has turned into quite a production in downtown. This year’s parade took about three hours to play out!

You can just barely see a rainbow flag flying on top of the Space Needle. This was before the parade route filled up with spectators.

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This is Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who, in case you’re not up on Seattle politics, is openly gay.

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A color guard kicked off the parade.

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Then it was the Dykes on Bikes. (My, I think that is a rude name, but it’s what they’re called!) Look closely in the photo below to see a pup in the sidecar of the scooter. There were tons of fancy, loud, expensive bikes, but this woman and her dog stole the show!

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Pretty much every local first responder agency, non-profit, and for-profit organization marched in the parade, so it took ages. Lots of love, support, and remembering of the Orlando shooting victims also took place. This was the Starbucks group.

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Of course it’s not a parade without Danny Bonaduce, right? Right.

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This last one I can’t explain. But it was quite a sight!

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There were so many more photos from the event, but I won’t bore you with the internet equivalent of, “here, look at my vacation photos.”

No matter where you are, or what you did this past weekend, I hope you did it with Pride.

A.K.

On Negative Reviews . . .

Any writer will tell you, you’re not legit until you’ve been absolutely flamed by a review (or many). Fact is, it’s impossible to write something that every single person will love. Just. Not. Possible.

I’ve been relatively lucky by the fact that the negative reviews I’ve received for my work have been relatively benign.

Until this week.

This week, I received a very harsh, hateful review on one of my titles. It felt a bit like a personal attack, but thankfully, I’ve been a writer a long time. I may not have been a fiction writer all that long–about nine months to be exact–but I’ve been a professional writer for almost 20 years. I’m used to criticism. I’m comfortable with rejection. And I know I can’t be everything to everyone or write the perfect story for every person. See note above: Just. Not. Possible.

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In other words, negativity comes with the territory. When we choose to live a creative life, we put ourselves out there for judgment. Failure in our own eyes (or in others’) can be a really good thing, though. Failure is an opportunity for future success. Failure, by in large, means you took a risk, and a huge part of living a full life is taking risks.

So, am I bothered by the flame review I received? Honestly, a little bit. I am, after all, a human being with feelings. Is it going to stop me from writing? Oh hell no! We live in a free society where everyone gets to choose what they do or don’t read. I’m fairly certain my hateful reviewer won’t think about A.K. Rose ever again, and that’s fine by me. I’ll be busy writing for the women who do enjoy my stories–YOU!

A.K.

Thank you!

I’ve been dark for a couple weeks on purpose, recovering from publishing my second novel. It’s been a glorious two weeks, and I’m starting to get the writing mojo back. It’s not quite there, but it’s lingering in the crevices ready to show its face again soon. Which is good, because I have a lot of ideas on tap!

Today, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has read Learning to Love Again 2, and an extra thanks to those who have taken the time to write a review on Amazon. It means the world to me, and I appreciate your effort very much! Amazon reviews help immensely with sales, so every review matters and I read them all.

The book has been doing well in the genre, maintaining its place around #6-8 for a couple of weeks, and that makes me both happy and proud. Being an indie author means doing everything yourself–and I admittedly haven’t done a great job in the marketing department–so the book’s success is based on word of mouth and your reviews. (This is a bit ironic because my day job is . . . marketing).

Before I go today, I’m curious about something. If given two options about what my next work could be, would you prefer: 1) A third–and final–book in the Learning to Love series or 2) Something different entirely? (I have ideas for both). Please let me know in the comments. I value your input and your feedback will help me decide what to start writing next.

A.K.