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.
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 feel 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.
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.