Love Our Lurkers 9: A call for authenticity

Love Our Lurkers is a tradition in the spanking community started by the inimitable Bonnie Burns. Once a year, bloggers gather to show appreciation for our silent readers. For many reasons, people visit blogs and don’t leave a comment. I’ve had the good fortune to participate in the previous two Love Our Lurkers days, and this year Hermione has taken on the tradition. Thank you for keeping it alive, Hermione.

Instead of reading old information that can be found in my previous posts, I thought I’d update on the past year.

Love Our Lurkers 2013

Love Our Lurkers 2012

Since Love Our Lurkers 2013, I’ve doubled my publication count (from seven to fifteen), attended two author conferences, continued the three-year tradition of Spank or Treat, Ana’s Advent Calendar, Love Spanks, and a new tradition of Sci Spanks, learned to engrave wooden spoons, written my first story without spanking, and signed contracts for three more books. I met online friends in person, appeared for the second year on KT Grant’s Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event, joined two more publishers (Decadent and Less Than Three), and have launched the ridiculously time-intensive but rewarding charitable organization, Something Good.

Within two weeks, Something Good raised $2,000 to purchase 18 Kindles for Lost-N-Found Youth, a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia that serves homeless LGBT youth. I’ve received in-kind donations from Vagabondia Creations (20 pairs of earphones) and countless books from publishers such as:

  • Less Than Three Press
  • Witty Bard Press
  • Decadent Publishing
  • Harmony Ink (Dreamspinner Press’s YA imprint)
  • Ylva Publishing
  • Carina Press
  • JMS Books
  • Torquere Press

A tiny seed of an idea transformed into an international event overnight, and I’m working overtime to make good use of everyone’s donations.

The biggest difference of 2014 has been my increasing lack of apologies for who I am and what I write. The blogger community welcomed me from the beginning, make no mistake, but I always felt that I had to downplay my F/F-ness. I wasn’t married to a man who spanked me, and for that reason I always felt somewhat on the outskirts. Since my entry into blogging three years ago, we have seen that this image of DD can be a false ideal. Some have told untruths in an effort to belong, and this has caused ripples of hurt that spread far and wide.

Many of us don’t have an ideal life that we feel would grant us access to a community. Maybe we feelΒ  that we are not rich/thin/attractive/smart/popular/successful/loved/worthy enough to have the life we crave.

Today, for Love Our Lurkers day I’d like to issue a call for authenticity. It’s a message I wrote in Taliasman, and it’s one I’ve written to the youth at Lost-N-Found. Whatever your identity and life story, I hope you find the courage to be you.

The following is a note I will enclose with the Kindles. I hope you will take it to heart, too.

Hi, I’m Ana. I hope you like this Kindle and the books to read.

When I was growing up in an extremely religious family in a conservative community, I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t like boys. I went through a lot of difficulties because of this, and I didn’t like myself. I never felt accepted by my family, and I never felt that I could tell people the truth about me.

I didn’t have many friends as a child, but I loved to read. Reading didn’t cost very much money (none at all, if I got my books from a public library), and I didn’t have to be good at anything. I couldn’t run fast or hit balls like the athletic kids in my school, I wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t have a rich family. Instead, I could read and write stories that allowed me to be whatever I wanted.

Now that I’m an adult, I still read and write stories that let me be what I want. What I hate, though, is that stories never seem to look like me. I never find anyone like me in books, so I started to write my own.

I hope you’ll find a book on this Kindle that will look like you. Maybe you’ll find a funny story, or a thriller, or a sweet romance. I tried hard to make sure there were books about all different kinds of people. If you love a story, please drop me an email. I’ll try to find more books like it and send to you. If you hate a book, feel free to delete it. You can email to tell me that, too.

Oh, yes. You can also use this Kindle to go on Facebook, send email, listen to music, search the internet, and watch videos on Youtube. I hope you do all of that, but I also hope you’ll look at the books. All of us who wrote the books were once just like you. We wrote these stories because we couldn’t find any that made us feel like we belonged.

Sending you all of my love and hope that you will have a wonderful life. You are important, and your life matters.

Anastasia Vitsky

You are important, and your life matters.

If you are a lurker, please say hello! Even if you’re not a lurker, I’d love to hear from you. I was you, once. I thought no one cared about my comments. I promise you, though, that I do. We all do.

 

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25 thoughts on “Love Our Lurkers 9: A call for authenticity

  1. Sophie Kisker says:

    I for one am so grateful that you have joined the community of spanking authors! It was seeing you there that made me feel like there were people reading this fiction who would not be turned off by the F/F scenes in my books – only a couple of them so far – and have given me the courage to write more of them and include more varieties of relationships as I grow in my understanding of my own sexuality.
    There’s a lot more that I could say, but I’ll leave it to a huge thank you for showing this new author that I am not limited to imagining a more narrow view of what relationships should be when I sit down to write.

    Like

  2. mrenn2014 says:

    Hi Ana. I first came out of the shadows during your Advent blog last year. I found myself welcomed and I participated! I also became more open in my reading choices. I have always strived to be accepting of anyone. I discovered that I was not practicing what I preached. I had never read a m/m or f/f book. Yes, I had read menage, but only ones that were still focused on m/f. I didn’t like that discovery, so I bought one of your books and I liked it, a lot. I started reading a blog that was m/m, enjoyed that as well. So, thank you Ana, for expanding my horizons!

    Like

  3. abby says:

    Oh Ana reading here is always so uplifting. What a beautiful message you are sending…to those who need it most…altho we all need to hear it. Thank you for all you do…
    hugs abby

    Like

  4. awesomesub says:

    Hi Ana, happy LOL Day. Congratulations on being so successful with Something Good. I still think this is a wonderful project. I love the welcome note you wrote for the kindle, as it is very encouraging and positive.

    hugs

    Nina

    Like

  5. ameliahfaith says:

    Thank you so very much Ana, once again you have touched my heart. I am in such awe and have so much respect for you. You never give up and just keep trying no matter what. To have taken on Something Good is just like you, always wanting to do more, to reassure and let others know they are not alone. Thank you so much.

    Like

  6. Ami says:

    This certainly is a beautiful message, Ana. You idea for the Kindles is such a good one and one which will bring pleasure to so many young people. Kindles and Kindness share the first four letters – I think perhaps I might alter that to say “Kindles Ana Kindness”.

    Happy LOL Day!

    Hugs
    Ami

    Like

  7. catrouble says:

    Happy LOL Days Ana…thank you for sharing such a lovely post. I am definitely not a lurker but sometimes when Iife gets busy, I don’t get a chance to comment. Your note for the kindles is absolutely awesome!

    Hugs and Blessings…
    Cat

    Like

  8. kaelahrsp says:

    Happy LOL Day, Ana! I don’t manage to comment a lot these days, but I still pop over from time to time and enjoy your writing. I absolutely agree with you on authenticity. If we can’t be who we are, life will surely be miserable. If we don’t have to pretend to be someone else and if we can love and accept ourselves as we are, life can be great.

    Like

  9. Downunderdon says:

    Hi Anna,
    I don’t comment on your blog as it always seems that a male commenting on a primarily F/F site will be misinterpreted. But I do love your Quilting Grannies stories and your dedication to helping others not as fortunate as ourselves.
    Bless you and may this LOL day generate a few more Kindles

    Like

  10. chickie says:

    Ana, thank you for all you do and for just being you! You have made me laugh so hard and really make people think hard too. I don’t always have something to say that would make sense, though I suppose I rarely do… really glad you’re here!

    PS – i love the spoons πŸ˜‰

    Like

  11. Julie says:

    Hi Ana!

    I’m not exactly a lurker, of course, but I don’t comment as often as I could or should.

    I wasn’t here at the beginning, but not that long after. I started commenting by tentatively injecting myself into lively discussions of the adventures of an awesome Kat and an evil πŸ™‚ Natalie, and was surprised to be enthusiastically welcomed not only by other commenters, but by the author who’d written those complex, beautiful stories. Then I watched as those stories grew into a book, and another book, and — well, it’s been so much fun watching your passion turn into a career, and so inspiring to watch as you invest so much time and energy in helping others and building community.

    You always say you’re glad we’re here, but also know that *we’re* glad *you’re* here. You’ve built a community that provides so much to those of us who visit, and we don’t always appreciate it with our comments like we should. I’m going to make every effort to lurk less and write more next year – don’t tell Natalie; she might consider it a commitment 😦 – and I hope others will do the same.

    Happy LOL Day!

    And thank you.

    Like

  12. Rogue says:

    Wow, Ana, you’ve had a very busy year! πŸ™‚ Reading your words brought back memories of …. when I thought I was….

    Not to be cryptic, but discovery itself is an incredible journey, yes? Happy LOL Day, my friend!

    Like

  13. Roz Harrison says:

    Happy LoL Day Ana. I always enjoy visiting here. You are such a loving and caring person and we are so blessed you are part of this community. What a beautiful message. Thank you for all you do, for this community and for those in need.

    Hugs
    Roz

    Like

  14. Mona Lisa says:

    What a wonderful post Ana. I have smile on my face and tears in my eyes ..
    Not feeling fit really anywhere not even here .. I know all about it, believe me.
    And I love your charity. I will send you emial later. I want know more about it.

    What a wonderful year you’ve had. Congratulations.
    I think you must have had a particular strong “B-angel” who looks after you so that you managed to do all this.
    And I think that “B-angel” is incredibly proud of you and just smile now …

    Happy LOL day, Ana.

    Hugs,
    Mona Lisa

    Like

  15. Katie says:

    Happy LOL Day to you, Ana! πŸ™‚ I have lots to catch up on, but it looks like you are doing so many wonderful things for those in need, as well as for others around the community! You sound busy and happy! I’m glad! πŸ™‚

    I LOVE your Kindle message, and the idea is such a great one! You touch a lot of people. Wonderful!

    Great post! I always enjoy reading here when I can get to reading. Many hugs,

    ❀ Katie

    Like

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