Friday, February 22, 2013

Unremembering AIDS

As the Academy Awards approach, I'm betting on How to Survive a Plague to win Best Documentary, not only because it's the front runner, but because I'm in it.

Well, not exactly. I'm probably in the background of a wide shot or two at some of the LGBT Community Center meetings, and a protest or three. I think I saw myself. But I was, in a very small way, part of the movement, albeit only in what I like to call Decorations Committee. Making banners and posters was certainly not as essential as the work of the more intellectual affinity groups like TAG, whose determination led to so many achievements in drug treatment approval.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tragedy Tomorrow

"Why are you so cruel?" asked a young writer in my most recent online interview. It's a good question. Why bring misfortune and tragedy upon one's fictional characters?

Telling a compelling story inevitably must involve some sort of conflict, otherwise it's a fairy tale. And even fairy tales often have a level of gruesome tragedy. But what is it about consciously bringing unfortunate events into fictional characters' lives that's such an onerous task?

I like my characters. Heck, in Every Time I Think of You, like many readers, I fell in love with them. So why make them unhappy?

Oscar Pistorius in court
Who could make up a story like that of Oscar Pistorius? Only months ago, I was posting about his amazing victories at the Olympics and the Paralympics. Pistorius was a sexy role model and a hero to millions. 

Then, on Valentine's Day, he allegedly shot his girlfriend four times before crushing her skull with a cricket bat. The owner of numerous guns, Pistorius was allegedly paranoid about home break-ins, and also had prior violent outbursts. Who could make up such a horrid story? Who would want to?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sinking the Pirates

One of the great things about having popular books is that they get read by a lot of people.

Not to get all Napster vs. Metallica again, but there comes a time when you have to stand up for yourself and your fellow artists when you see their and your stuff getting shared for free, without your consent.

And when it’s in the hundreds, we’re talking about rent money you’re losing.

So, when, in the midst of a title search, I added pdf and/or epub, mobi or ebook, I found web sites that do not sell my ebooks, but trade them, in the hundreds. If you're an author with a few ebooks out, you're probably getting bootlegged, too.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dark Days

The man who "served" as mayor of New York City during its worst health panic in a century is dead.

The dreaded unavoidable posthumous confrontation with this inept crank is upon us.
I lost count of the number of times I had protested outside, and sometimes inside, buildings where Koch appeared. Those days were dark, horrible and yet energizing for those who fought. And he was The Foe for New Yorkers dying of AIDS.
For an astute summation of the relevance, read Ed Koch and the AIDS Crisis: His greatest Failure. by David France, in New York. Here is my own fictionalized variation on an encounter with hizzonor: