THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
I have been avoiding social media, when I can.
Oh, I know—I don't really watch the news, so how else do I expect to know what's going on? It's a conundrum. One I don't have great answers for. My own health requires that I limit my exposure to the negativity, and yet, to remain a good, involved citizen, I need to know what's going on.
But every time I look and find out, I wish I hadn't. It feels like I turn on the TV, or look on Facebook, or Twitter, and then it begins...
The thing about the spiral—it isn't just about news. It's about the drama that seems to endlessly infect the gay romance community. It's about the little bits of hatred people are willing to spew that even a year or two ago they would have been horrified to have come out of their mouths or to put into type on a screen. It's about the people you thought you knew, friends and family and colleagues, who have galvanized into a only one way is the right way.
Suddenly the only way to fight Trump is to jump into the skin of their particular brand of liberalism, whether that's fighting for the poor, medicare for all, environmental concerns, or veganism. And if you fail, at all, you're as bad as Trump.
Meanwhile, there's friends and family who were maybe a wee bit conservative, suddenly buying into the propaganda machine that is telling them things about immigration, lying about the human rights debacle being perpetrated on children at the border, pretending taking rights hard fought away is somehow defending religious freedom. And to watch family, especially, buy into that is so hard. It feels like you can't get them back.
And then there's me. And I'm not pure enough for the liberals. I eat meat. I think we police words too much, and I think that gets dangerous really fast. I think a lot of the time a very real liberal elite pretty much screw over a significant portion of the just-hanging-on-but-probably-still-middle-class, if barely. I'm not so attached to any one candidate that I'm afraid to vote blue come November.
To me, it's as simple as this: There can be no more judicial deconstruction of the rights I've spent a lifetime fighting for. And if Trump wins again, I honestly believe I'm looking at a short life in a death camp.
And circling... and circling...
And this is why I avoid the news. And social media is a toss up, because I need it, especially right now, to maintain connections, but it is soooo hard.
I write love stories. Angsty, to be sure. And people sometimes ask me why.
Sometimes when we're hurt, when we're injured, when we're full of angst. That's when we most need to know that people like us can find love. That happy endings exist.
So maybe, just maybe, we can escape the black hole.
And maybe, just maybe, that escape will be powerful, and beautiful, and not alone.
I'm not going to belabor what has been going on at Dreamspinner Press. For eight years, they've been partners in this writing adventure, and for the majority of that time, they were the shining gem of partners in this genre. I hope Dreamspinner can pull themselves back from their current predicament, and do the right thing for their authors. In fact, I am confident that they are making every effort to do so. As an author who has lost contracts to failing magazines, and struggled to regain rights to books when I waited too long to request the rights back from publishers, I couldn't take the risk this time. The books at risk included Gerry’s Lion—of all my writing, it is my husband's favorite. Also at risk was my cherished Chessmaster Chronicles collection, including my very first published work, The King’s Mate.
My books were at the end of their contract cycles. This made the decision to request the rights back both easy, and difficult. In the end, I made the request. Despite reports that I've heard to the contrary, I can speak only to my experience here, and the rights were promptly released, and the books promptly taken down (at least as far as I can tell so far).
As a result, there are a number of missing covers, and some missing purchase links, on my website today. I will be working to get these reformatted, and at least some of them will be re-released through Purple Horn Press. I'm so sorry that for now none of you will know the joy that Gerry felt, bringing Leo with him to the Easter egg hunt. But maybe by the Fourth of July, you can experience a different joy with him...
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.