This blog pays tribute to beautiful covers and I am honored that The Winter Loon was featured in August. It is a tribute to Chris Mole’ at http://www.booksavvystudio.com who created the cover based on my vision. I was amazed that the first proof took only a couple of tweaks to get to the final version.
I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.
The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen
Published May 16th 2017 by Cougar Creek Books
Amazon Kindle Price $1.99
In the shadow of the Great Depression, long before historical changes leading toward LGBTQ advocacy and equality, unpretentious eighteen-year-old Ruth Thompson defies expectations to marry her sweetheart, Duke. Impulsively deciding to join a rodeo circuit with her cousin in order to earn money for college, Ruth comes of age in the rough and tumble male-dominated culture of rodeo competition.
Ruth returns home to Minnesota a prize-winning competitor and resumes her familiar relationship with Duke. Once at college she grows increasingly restless in her role as a sorority girl with Duke as her escort for all…
View original post 271 more words
In a scene from THE WINTER LOON Gisela says to Ruth:
“Sticking together, you mean like what’s happening in Europe? No one over here seems to care, but my father lives in Paris and writes that despite street violence in Germany against the SA Storm Troopers, newspapers sympathetic to Nazi influence continue to wage a propaganda campaign blaming Jews for Germany’s economic and social problems. It’s unbelievable how the general public there often turns a blind eye to the SA thugs trying to intimidate customers from entering Jewish shops.”
“It’s so complicated,” Ruth answers.
“And in this country so many folks who can’t find work, living in hobo villages. Why? Where are all the good Christians who claim to be their brother’s keeper? It doesn’t matter what problems we’re talking about. People are too afraid of consequences of losing what they have. Jesus said, ‘Turn the other cheek,’ not ‘Look the other way.'”
The scene is set in Minneapolis in 1932.
In January 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. He watched in triumph from the Chancellory balcony while thousands of torch bearing Nazis celebrated his victory. Nineteen months later he achieved absolute power.
A mix of KKK members, Nazi sympathizers and White Nationalists carried torches through the University of Virginia campus last week, menacing people of all races, creed, and religion.
Candidate Trump held the Pride flag upside down, pledging his support for the LGBTQ community and a few months later as president called for a ban of transgender people serving in the military.
We can’t afford to turn a blind eye to what is happening right now in America. We can’t be bystanders. We must stand up against hate and bigotry.
In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.
Marianne Williamson –
I loved reading this story today from the Huffington Post. I can only imagine how many people Gloria Carter’s story will touch, giving them the courage to also step out of the shadow. I admit I’m more jazz than hip-hop and more Gloria Carter’s generation than Jay-Z’s, but I admire him for giving his mother a platform to tell a part of her story.
Noah Michelson is the Editorial Director of HuffPost Voices
Gloria Carter, Jay-Z’s mother, came out as lesbian in a new track featured on the rapper’s just-released “4:44” album.
The song, “Smile,” features both Jay-Z and his mother discussing her sexuality. It is the first time that either of them has publicly addressed her sexual identity.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” Jay-Z raps in the song, which contains a sample of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today.”
“Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take,” he adds before asserting, “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Carter herself shows up on track to deliver a spoken word outro.
“Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?” she asks on the close-to-five-minute track. “In the shadows people see you as happy and free / Because that’s what you want them to see,” she continues. “The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me… Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me / But life is short, and it’s time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
In 1970 Pride was a political movement to voice demands for LGBT equal rights and protections. As Pride is now celebrated worldwide, itis important toremember that June was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots which occurred the end of June 1969 in Manhattan. The month of June is a time to celebrate and honor people from the LGBTQ+ community. It is a time to reflect and continue to fight against discrimination that still occurs and threatens the hard-earned right to marry, to live and work where one choses and shop without the risk of prejudice.
It is pure serendipity that my book The Winter Loon debuts during Pride Month. I missed several self-imposed deadlines for publication and finally in mid-June this year my book is on Amazon available for purchase.
THE WINTER LOON is inspired by my mother, who died when I was nine and who had divulged very little information about her life, refusing even to answer any questions about my biological father. Estranged from her family, she moved across the country from the Midwest to California, ending up in a remote area of the Mojave Desert far from the nearest town. From my earliest memories, the two of us lived as a family with her woman companion until shortly before her death. Some of the things she left behind were a few photos, a newspaper clipping of her as a rodeo competitor, and her master’s degree certificate from the 1930s.
When I started writing, my purpose of embarking on a healing journey gradually transformed into this novel about a young woman who struggles to define herself in a world where she does not seem to fit. As I envisioned how my mother’s life might have been if she was able to live her authentic truth, I realized how much, and how little, has changed for the LGBTQ+ community. It is my hope that this story about the healing power of love will positively influence anyone who reads it.
I’ve been up to my eyeballs editing with Deborah Mokma. We’re working on the final edit and proofreading of The Winter Loon. Some writers hate this phase, but not me. I love to dig in and examine every word and phrase. The drawback is that this process is soaking up all my time and energy, and I’ve been neglecting my blog.
I’m excited to have an accomplished and artistic team helping me to self-publish my novel, The Winter Loon: Deborah Mokma, editor; Chris Mole’, cover designer, and Maggie McLaughlin, book designer. I’ll write more on these talented women and the self-publishing process as it unfolds.
In the The Winter Loon, the protagonist, Ruth Thompson, struggles with committing to the woman she loves. She faces this challenge in the 1930s before advocacy, before the terror of the McCarthy era and before the historical change in America that has led to gay rights and equality. I want to get it right because even though so much has changed over the years, there is still a long way to go. Young people still wrestle with feeling different and confiding in family and friends. Bullying hasn’t stopped and in some areas of the United States, the simple joy of choosing the flavor of a wedding cake is threatened.
I’ve been a bit depressed lately, carrying around a sense of dread with all that is going on in the world and here in the U.S. One thing lifts me up when I get down and that is music. I’ve been listening to Bob Marley songs, full volume. Who can help but move their body to the Reggae beat and his voice? He has a legacy all over the world for his music and philosophy. In Serbia there is a statue of him with the inscription that reads:
Bob Marley Fighter for Freedom Armed with a Guitar
Turn up the volume and dance to one of my Bob Marley favorites:
One more to share:
Israel ‘IZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW/WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
What songs lift you up when you’re feeling down?
These are the words of Eddie Justice to his best friend Demetrice Naulings during the terror in Orlando. Now we are left with the grieving, the rage, the fear and–each other. It is a time to hold on to friends and loved ones. A time to remember those who lost their lives
Edward Sotomayor Jr. (34), Stanley Almodovar III (23), Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo (20), Juan Ramon Guerrero (22), Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera (36), Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz (22), Luis S. Vielma (22), Kimberly Morris (37), Eddie Jamoldroy Justice (30), Darryl Roman Burt II (29), Deonka Deidra Drayton (32), Alejandro Barrios Martinez (21), Anthony Luis Laureano Disla (25), Jean Carlos Mendez Perez (35), Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez (50), Amanda Alvear (25), Martin Benitez (33), Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon (37), Mercedes Marisol Flores (26), Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado (35), Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez (25), Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez (31), Oscar A. Aracena-Montero (26), Enrique L. Rios, Jr. (25), Miguel Angel Honorato (30), Javier Jorge-Reyes (40), Joel Rayon Paniagua (32), Jason Benjamin Josaphat (19), Cory James Connell (21), Juan P. Rivera Velazquez (37), Luis Daniel Conde (39), Shane Evan Tomlinson (33), Juan Chevez- Martinez (25), Jerald Arthur Wright (31), Leroy Valentin Fernandez (25), Tevin Eugene Crosby (25), Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega (24), Jean C. Nives Rodriguez (27), Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala (33), Brenda Lee Marquez McCool (49), Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan (24), Christopher Andrew Leinonen (32), Angel L. Candelaria-Padro (28), Frank Hernandez (27), Paul Terrell Henry (41), Antonio Davon Brown (29), Christopher Joseph Sanfelciz (24), Akira Monet Murray (18), Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez (25).
As I typed the names of the shooting victims, I tried to picture each one of them as a newborn welcomed into this world as they were given their meaningful names. I thought of each of them as children with life spread before them. Each and every one was someone’s son or daughter, lover, spouse, sister, brother, aunt, uncle or friend. I pray their lives gave them joy along with the inevitable trials. I pray that their souls find peace in the afterlife and that they are never forgotten.
A few of the survivors are still critical at this time, and I pray for their recovery and all those who were injured. Everyone involved–from those who almost went dancing that night, but decided for one reason or another to stay home to those who witnessed the shootings and those who were wounded and survived will carry the scars for life. We have all been touched by this tragedy.
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Scott Wilbanks, author of The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster speaks much better than I can to hate and love, the Orlando Massacre and the LGBT community :
I just learned about this movement/organization and want to share it.
RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adopting to meet the needs of the 400,000 children in the foster care system. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. For information about how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, please visit www.RaiseAChild.US.
As you know, if you read this blog, I spent most of my childhood in foster care because my lesbian mother died estranged from her family ties. I was blown away when I read the story of Adam Reisman and his husband, Ryan:
and then learned that it is part of a series being written by the Huffington Post that highlights LGBT families.
I knew I had to share their story when I read that Adam and Ryan along with their two children live by these rules in their home:
RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adoption to meet the needs of the 415,000 children in the foster care system of the United States. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. Take the Next Step to Parenthood at http://www.RaiseAChild.US or call us at (323) 417-1440.
Greetings on Memorial Day.
The red poppy, symbol of remembrance and hope, not a symbol of death and war has a beautiful and sad history:
When will we learn?