Of Love Beads and Novels

Hi! This month has been even busier than usual. Endings, beginnings, recuperation, it’s all been part of this month. There’s a tradition that says you should start the year as you mean to go on. Eat the foods you love, do the things you love, be with the people you love to show the new year what you want from it. If it’s true, this is going to be an interesting year.

Excerpt on Kindle Scout — free to read!

The beginning… our book, Based On A True Story: Really (Almost) True Story, was selected for Amazon’s Kindle Scout program! This means an excerpt is available on the Kindle Scout website, and you can vote for it to be published. It’s free to participate, and if the books you vote for are selected, you get a free online copy!  You do need to sign up for an Amazon account (free) if you don’t already have one, then you can log in and become a Kindle Scout, helping new authors and getting free book! The link is: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2ZS8M8QUBB0QC

The ending… the Love Bead Safe Harbor Pin Project is now officially over (for us — anyone can make pins and give them away). For the project, we made and gave away 2,000 hand-beaded Safe Harbor pins, promoting the idea that all human beings deserve to be treated with basic dignity and respect. In three cities, we talked to people from many countries, economic levels and cultural backgrounds about that idea. One thousand people stood up in a public place and confirmed their belief in that principle. We got to talk to so many great people, parents who used the pins to talk about respect with their kids, friends and families who chatted with us, often told us their personal stories.  In every distribution, at least one person would hug me. Some cried as they talked about the challenges they deal with.  There are stories on the website and on our Facebook page. Here are some from the Women’s March in Sacramento, CA:

* The little boy who, after his mom accepted a set of pins, said he wanted a set as well and asked about the meanings of the various color patterns. When he saw the green “environment supporter” pin with a gear on it (for science), he got excited and shouted, “That’s it! That’s my pin!”  Later, as his family passed me, he looked back and said, “Thank you for the pins!”

* The young women from a Feminism Club (I didn’t catch which school), who accepted pins with big smiles and talked about their Women’s Studies class.

* The parents from Arkansas who traveled to California to march with their daughter and her family.

* The young woman who accepted the last set of pins and received a set of three additional pins, including a set of crystal rainbow LGBTQI pins, who smiled like the rising sun and was still beaming when I looked back.

Other people stand out from the course of the project, the tourists from France who asked wonderful questions and really engaged with the project as art; the young man who told me about how his gay friends were getting harassed and threatened and felt alone – but he would tell them there were people they didn’t even know who wished them well and believed in them; the young woman with dreadlocks who hugged me and got teary, saying, “You don’t know how bad it is out there — I was having a really bad day. It’s nice to know there are people who care;” the group of skaters under the tree in Mission Dolores Park who got excited about the project and even told other people who joined us about it, including the young man who yelled, “Fuck yeah! I’m for respect for everyone!”  So many people, so many memories, and we’re so grateful to all of you. May you be blessed.

We also were in two art shows that ended this month. Now it’s time to regroup and create.

The recuperation has been from a bout of flu (yes, we got the shot, and it did seem to keep the flu from being as bad as it’s been before).

We’re spending time with friends, working on other books, and letting ourselves pause now and then to experience and enjoy the gratitude we feel towards everyone who’s voted for our book, or talked to us at a pin distribution. Thank you! May the new year to come treat us all as friends.

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