Movie Review: This Is What Love In Action Looks Like

This is a short but well paced documentary that looks at the ex-gay group Love In Action that has an in house program for teenagers called Refuge. When a young, gay teen is sent there against his will by his parents, he blogs about it and what happens next is nothing short of outstanding. Considering the time period, social media was really just taking off. The boy, Zach, found that his friends spread the word about what was happening to him and very soon a group of people stood outside the Refuge for the entire 8 weeks he was there, trying to be “converted” to a straight teen.

The documentary focuses not just on Zach and his story, but the story of other men who went through this experience and came out with serious after effects that took years to resolve. It shows just how dangerous it can be when others take your life into their hands.

One of the people interviewed surprised me. It was the man who was a director of the Refuge, and because of the protesting, he had a change of heart. By the time the Refuge was shut down, he changed gears and began to welcome gay members into his church. This change of heart just shows how much of an impact one person can have. Because of Zach a light was shined on the Refuge and what they were doing, and as a result, lives were changed and possibly saved.

I highly recommend this documentary. It can opens viewers eyes to the damage done to teenagers who undergo this kind of “treatment,” often at the consent of their parents.

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

I thought I would do a little reflection post on what 2011 was like for me, and what I hope 2012 will be. There are a lot of things both good and bad, and I’ll try not to focus on the bad. 🙂

(None of this is in order because all things are relative to the situation and that point in time.)

Goodbye 2011

  • Andy Squared was picked up for publication by Bold Strokes Books after multiple agent rejections.
  • I was in an amazing relationship for almost half a year, but after that time he decided I was not the one for him, even though I felt he was the one for me. It’s like that Adam Lambert song, “Sleepwalker.”
  • I started teaching seventh grade along with my eighth grade students. Fun times!
  • I picked up the new, fun hobby of letterboxing. It’s been a while since I’ve gone out, but hey! It’s colder.
  • I read 105 books!
  • I lost my job at Borders when they closed ): but I worked there for a wonderful 6 years.
  • I made some new friends, lost some old ones, but in the end I’d say it’s fairly balanced.

Hello 2012

  • Andy Squared will be published by Bold Strokes Books under their Soliloquy YA line!
  • I get to work with an amazing editor and talk to awesome authors.
  • I will be moving to a new school at the end of the year because my school is closing. Where I’ll be going, though, I have no idea.
  • I hope to move out of my parents house and find my own home, be it an apartment, condo, or house.
  • Did I mention Andy Squared will be published?

What are you looking forward to in 2012? What are you happy to say goodbye to from 2011? Let’s all stay safe, happy and healthy this new year! I’m starting it off cleaning out my old junk and organizing myself.

 

First Snow!!

It’s October 29, 2011, and we have snow. Pictures to come soon. Right now as I write this I look out my window and see it coming down hard. It feels like it should be December! I can’t even remember the last time we had snow this early!

The other day we got a dusting, but I won’t count that as first snow because it was mostly gone by the morning. This storm is said to accumulate quite a bit. In Litchfield County there’s rumor of 10+ inches. For me, 6+ and while I love snow, I’m not ready to shovel! I don’t even know where my winter jacket is!

However, winter is my favorite season. Actually, the time between fall and winter is. I love the cool, crisp air and the smell of approaching snow, but the leaves are still changing colors on the trees. The scent of fires going, and apple or pumpkin pies baking… mmm…

What’s your favorite time of year?

NaNoWriMo 2011 Edition

I’m doing it again. After a year off, I decided to do NaNoWriMo again. (For those not in the know, that strange word stands for National Novel Writing Month.) I decided to challenge my students, and so far have about 21 signed up to participate. They have chosen word counts ranging from 3,000 to the full 50,000 like me. I have an idea so do they. We have plans! We have inspiration! We are… INSANE!

This will be my sixth year participating out of the last seven. I’ve only “won” twice by completing the word count goal of 50,000. My 2008 win was Andy Squared, the novel that is due out next year through Bold Strokes Books. I had completely rewritten the novel and finished it during that month. Of course that doesn’t take into account all the editing in the following years, but at least the story was finally fully out. No pun intended.

My novel this year will be centered on Aaron. He is disfigured from a dog attack when he was nine years old. Now sixteen, he decides he wants to overcome his fear of dogs by volunteering at an animal shelter. Like my other books, Aaron is gay, but his being gay is not at the center of the story. Yes there will likely be a small romance, but it is not the focus. The focus is overcoming his fear of dogs and living a full, carefree life like he had before the attack. I think too many YA LGBT books that are out there focus on the process of coming out and the reactions from peers and family. While that does happen with Andy in my first novel, I didn’t want a repeat in this new, as yet untitled work.

That aside, is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? If you want to check it out, head over to www.nanowrimo.org for more information. I’ll be only participating on the Young Writer’s Program site: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org