That’s not true, but I needed to say that so I could post this:
The first retweet was by Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Can you blame her? Who can resist a Billy Dee Williams reference?
I first stumbled across Timothy Kurek on a LinkedIn group about book marketing. It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that a realized that he was the same guy I had been reading about, the former Conservative Southern Christian who went underground in Nashville’s small but vibrant gay community, effectively going into the closet as a straight guy and coming out a year later with his outlook profoundly changed. The book that resulted has earned the author an appearance on The View, been dissected on Huffington Post, and received glowing praise from no less a figure than Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Too often, issues surrounding our gay and lesbian neighbors get clouded by superficial discussions of sexual morality and abstract arguments about legal equality. Kurek’s book cuts through that and performs the not-inconsequential feat of bridging two communities who seem irreconcilably at odds, and opening a channel for communication, for those who choose to use it.
In the following interview, Kurek says his lack of a college degree was one factor which contributed to his early reluctance to go ahead with a book. I suspect he learned more about life in that year than a lot of college graduates managed to absorb in four.
I believe there are a few among us have, under the spell of curiosity, alcohol, or some really good weed, “experimented” with a member of their own gender, but that never goes beyond the surface and past the moment. Kurek “experimented” with every aspect except the sexual for an entire year, immersing himself in the humanity behind the endless discussions, and the result should be illuminating for anyone willing to hold their own bias, about gays or Christians, up to the light he’s shining on the issue.
Upon reading the book, I thought I needed to have a talk with the author. He was gracious enough to agree.
Continue reading “An Interview with Timothy Kurek”
As a general rule, I’m not out to hurt anyone with what I write (unless you’re a small-minded, bigoted, moron). So when I posted a story about newly minted British writer named Abigail Gibbs who, at the ripe old age of 18, received a six-figure advance for her first novel, The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. I had no intent beyond poking a bit of fun when I posted the story to Facebook, when a snarky comment to the effect that it was wrong that someone so young be so successful so quickly.
At least I thought it was in good fun, but when the story got duplicated over to Twitter, I got an unexpected reply from the author herself. Continue reading “You’re Right, Abigail, It’s Not Easy”
In 1984, I took the second of about five creative writing classes during my college career. The instructor was an author named James P. Blaylock. If you haven’t heard the name, then you’re not a fan of Steampunk fiction. What is Steampunk, you ask?
Steampunk stories tank place during Victorian times, often but not necessarily in London, and features technology that are advanced, steam-powered equivalents of modern devices. That’s it: Victorian society, semi-modern steam-powered tech. Within those parameters, it’s a pretty big sand box.
So this Blaylock character writes Steampunk, right? Is that all? Oh, no. It’s better than that.
Continue reading “Who Would Have Thought?”
Christopher Hitchens was an angry man, no doubt about. Even though, cosmologically speaking, he and I agree more than we disagree, even I could say “come on, now!”
But he was, above all, a brutally honest man. Agree with him or hate him, he never told you anything but what he really felt. That’s a rare quality. He will be and should be missed. The world is poorer tonight.