2014 Year End Review

Radia Noora, the Princess of Aenya

Well, folks, this is it, another year gone at the Writer’s Disease. I would like to say this was the year that my dreams came true, that I found a publisher for my work and sold millions, but alas, Fate has yet to smile on me. Like Frodo Baggins, I continue to ascend Mount Apathy, surrounded by naysayers, and worse, friends and family who pretend I have no writing ambitions, that I am, like them, resigned to being less than special. Worse still are those who fawn over Game of Thrones or Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling or the current fad author of the day, never considering that someone in their midst may someday be fawned over in the same way. But I remain hopeful, adamant even, because like Frodo I have my own Samwise Gamgee in David Pasco. I also have Lady Galadriel to lift me from my darkest moments, my wife, Hynde. Lastly, I’d like to thank my beta readers, my Merry and Pippin, Devon Aursland and a teacher from Germany whose name belongs in Middle Earth, Tobias Tholken.

Twenty-fourteen, it seems, was the year of the memoir. I reached out to Felicity Jones and Jordan Blum, founders of Young Naturists America, who premiered my five-part series Least Likely to Become a Nudist, a memoir about my discovering and growing up naturist. This was also the year of the Role Playing Game, with 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons being released, which gave rise to my 3-part series on RPGs and how they’ve inspired over the decades. Most importantly, I started my most ambitious and, I believe, most important literary work, The Princess of Aenya. My beta readers want me to write faster, and my most ardent critic, my wife, even suggested she work for me so I can spend more time on it. So without further ado, I present the best of the Writer’s Disease 2014:

The Princess of Aenya: Check out the first three chapters of my latest Aenya novel.

Altruism, Cracked.com, and the Dangers of Pop Philosophy: Are people essentially selfish? Is every action we take for our own well-being, and conversely, do we only value people for what they can do for us? The writers at Cracked.com seem to think so, but I believe in a little something called, altruism, and here’s why.

Definition: Obliviate: To describe this new world of social media, we need to update our vocabulary. I offer my suggestions for new words that we need, like obliviate, which means to disregard someone or something as if those people or things do not exist.

Least Likely to Become a Nudist: Part one of my five part memoir, about my early childhood, growing up in a strict household and strict Baptist school, and how I was once too embarrassed to shower with other boys my age after P.E. class.

Marrying Sci-Fi and Fantasy: What defines the Sci-Fi genre and how does one separate it from fantasy? To my mind, there can be no fantasy without science. Magic cannot supplant the fundamental laws of physics. Borrowing heavily from Clarke’s Law, part of my goal as a writer is to marry these two genres, which differ only in how the characters in the story understand and perceive the world around them.

Is “Tarzan” Racist?: What started out as a review of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic novel turned into a critique of its titular hero, and of the uglier, and often shocking parts of the story that Disney would have us forget.

Dungeons & Dragons: A Memoir: Part 1 of my 3 part series dedicated to D&D, telling how my fundamentalist Greek Orthodox teacher convinced my mother that my friends and I were worshiping Satan.

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8 thoughts on “2014 Year End Review

  1. Dude. You'll never find a publisher. NEVER. Not in a million years. Just accept it.

    Your stuff has a lot of focus on nudity. That's your poison pill right there (and it also happens to be the main “difference” of your stuff of course). You aren't Edgar Rice Burroughs, and I think if Burroughs had to find a publisher these days he'd die broke… LOL… On one hand you have the conventional morality that, if anything, reinforced the nudity taboo in the recent years; on the other, progressives and feminazis screaming that female nudity is degrading and exploitative. Plus, you are trying to get published in AMUUURRIIICA, where nudism is dead and has been dead for ages, and no number of “Felicity Joneses” is going to save it (if “she” is even real).

    Hell, nudism is mostly dead even in Europe, at least in the traditional sense. I mean yeah, girls still go topless occasionally in, say, Spain but in most places “nudism” means a bunch of swingers getting together and getting it on. Nothing necessarily wrong with it (I heard Cap d'Agde is a blast, never been though) but it's not something you'd announce to the world. Nudism is a dirty word these days no matter where you go, and it won't change even in your children's lifetime.

    Your only option IMO is to self-publish or try selling e-books, but you ain't gonna make millions off it. Your writing is good (I've read what you've splashed out on DA and here, and it's not a bad read at all, your world is fun and in most cases “naked-naked-nakkedy-naked” theme doesn't get too obnoxious), but you have to have god's own luck to strike it rich and a massive target audience.

    Good luck tho.

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  2. Well, thanks for the comment (I think), but you are grossly misinformed. Nudism isn't dead or dying, but in fact is growing. It is the fastest growing vacation option, with new resorts being built around the world. There is also a huge nudist/naturist online community. As for Felicity Jones, I know she is real, as I've met many people just like her. In fact, this may come as a surprise to you, but nudism is mostly what drives traffic to this blog. I only commission art pieces about Thelana because she is a great marketing tool. Nudism is a niche that helps me to stand out (why you're here, I'm guessing) but I am in no way limited by that subject. You might make the case that Ages of Aenya will never get published, based on the fact that the heroes are naked (and again, given the popularity of shows like Naked & Afraid, I doubt this is a problem), but I do have, in fact, many non-naturist books. For the past year, I have been working on just such a book, which I mentioned in this post, which you would have seen, if you bothered to read past the first paragraph. There's even a picture of the main character, Radia, who is (shocking) wearing clothes! Did you really not notice that or not care to? Before you waste your time with these negative comments, I suggest you do your homework!

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  3. Keep in mind man, you're trailblazing here. That means by definition that you're not going to have an easy path. It doesn't for a second however, mean that it's not worth doing.

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  4. Whoa, someone got a little hot under the collar. Chill out brotato, I said I like your stuff, but it's hard to argue with reality. Shows like “naked and afraid” and “dating naked” are all strategically pixelated (in Amurica at least), and it ain't going to change. And I don't know what places YOU go to, I've been to CO beaches all around the country and to a few abroad… I'm sorry to say you're deluded… it goes like this: a pile of gay dudes in this corner, a pile of old fogeys in the opposite corner trying to relive the sixties, a mixture of both in the middle with some single dudes mixed in looking disappointed because there aren't hot single babes lying around naked everywhere.

    It sucks, but it ain't the sixties or the seventies… Smartphones are partway to blame for it, young women don't want to end up naked on some tumblr full of jack-off material… it'll only get worse.

    As for “Felicity Jones”, sorry… I'm too old to believe fairytales… allegedly a cute young girl who loves being naked in public and wants other people to go naked and is public about it? Ha… no way dude… ,more likely she's a sock puppet and a marketing tool just like your Thelana. There isn't even any photographic evidence of her that is more or less clear. I'm sure there are people “like her” but they are in their fourth decades at least 🙂

    It's all sad of course, I don't mind the idea of nudism at all, but seeing as what it's become in the last ten years sometimes I think it would be better if the whole concept just died.

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  5. LOL, you're funny. Where did I say “resorts”? I believe I said “CO beaches” (for someone who whines about “YOU JUST DON'T READ MY STUFF” so much, you sure don't read very well yourself). Last I checked, beaches don't cost much and are publicly accessible (aside from the parking fees perhaps). As to where I've been, four examples off top of my head: Cape Cod, San Francisco, Austin, Miami. It all looks the same everywhere (though the one in Austin was positively post-apocalyptic in terms of environment). And yes, I would be quite content to be sharing the space with people born roughly in the same decade as myself regardless of looks, rather than feel like I'm invading a senior citizens' gathering.

    I'd tell you why I think 50 Shades is so popular, but you might pop a vessel. Oh, what the fuck: I will tell you. It's because despite whatever feminazis may scream, submission to a powerful man is a subject that tickles the average desperate housewife in SO many right places. Shit, with the right promotion I think the Gorean cycle (John Norman) could be republished and would sell like hotcakes.

    What am I on about? Ah yes, how does your writing and nudism interconnect. You see, people tend to read stuff they can get interested in and relate to. When the subject is an exciting taboo (like S&M in 50 Shades) it's one thing; when it's considered something dirty and creepy, it's quite another.

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  6. Now here is a reality check. When I was in the Greek islands I met a nudist girl from Norway; I was around 20 at the time and she was close to my age. Together we played volleyball and went for coffee. When I was in college, I met another young nudist girl at Paradise Lakes (she actually grew up at the resort); her name was Britney. We enjoyed playing ping pong, tennis and volleyball. Finally, I dated a girl who I met at the resort (again my age) named Nicole. I have also introduced a girl into nudism and we spent time at the resorts and beaches. In Ages of Aenya, Thelana has five sisters and six brothers. Three of her sisters are named after naturists I have personally known. Now about Felicity Jones, while that is a pseudonym, she does, in fact, exist. She has been interviewed numerous times by news agencies, including the Huffington Post, and she has taken part in a number of naturist art exhibits with Andy Galub in New York City. You can find her public photos online. She even has her own Wikipedia page: see Felicity Jones naturist. Finally, there are other prominent female naturists around the world, including the very vocal Lady God1va, who has made public appearances in the nude. and also takes part in and organizes the World Naked Bike Ride in London (hard to say she does not exist when she is surrounded by hundreds of people). Also, I suggest you look up FEMEN, the radical feminist group that uses nudity for feminist causes. Though I do not agree with much of what they do, I admire Egyptian born Aliaa Magda Elmahdi, who posed nude on her blog to protest Sharia Law.

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  7. Based on your comments, it appears that you really don't understand nudism/naturism. One of the reasons the resorts you (may) have visited do not feature a bevy of giggling Playboy bunnies or “Girls Gone Wild” alumni is because such people only represent 1% of the population. But if you're looking for young people in general, they don't hang out at resorts as much for several reasons, but it mostly has to do with driving distance and money. You are under the false impression that resorts = nudism, but most nudists prefer avoiding the exorbitant fees and run down facilities, enjoying their pools, backyards, and secluded woods instead. I myself have not been to a resort in years. A lot of nudists, myself included, find the very idea of resorts antithetical to the nudist movement. More than anything, nudists want the naked taboo to go away, and that is precisely what has been happening globally. Since 1992, it has been legal for a woman to go topless in New York City. Other states have passed laws permitting women to breast feed in public. Shows like 'Naked and Afraid' would have been unthinkable in the 80's. I remember they used to cover up the Jeanie's bellybutton in “I Dream of Jeannie;” now you can see bare butts on TV! Very soon the world will not need nudist resorts at all. But again, you are wrong about the kind of people who attend such venues. I have met plenty of young people, even single girls in their 20s, at the places I visited. While I have never met Felicity in person, I know many people who have, and like I said I have known female naturists just like her. If you don't believe me, I suggest you join “Young Naturists America,” they have a great website and Facebook group.

    Lastly, what does anything you have to say about nudism reflect my writing? Are you familiar with the most successful book in recent history? It's “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Do you know what it's about? S&M and bondage. Do you suppose there are millions of S&M fetishists out there, or do you think there's the possibility that people READ to step into the shoes (or in this case leather pants) of another person? This is the whole point about fiction you seem to miss. You don't have to BE a nudist to enjoy watching a show or reading a book about nudists, or naked heroes. You might argue it's just SEX, but “50 Shades” didn't turn anybody off because of it's bondage theme, and you may also be surprised to discover that, indeed, Thelana is a human being, and she fucks like the rest of us. What sets her apart is that her nudity represents MORE than sex; there is a feminist and environmental message in there also, which you'd know if you read my work, and believe it or not, there are readers looking for more than just sex, and I aim to cater to them, whether they are traditional card-carrying nudists or just open minded individuals looking for a new perspective.

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  8. Nude beaches are quite rare; there is only one “near” me, and it's a 5 hour drive. So gas + hotel room actually costs a lot more than a resort stay. Nude beaches are free only if you live next to one. As for 50 Shades, you are actually suggesting that tying a woman up and simulating rape is a common enough fantasy to warrant millions of sales, but simple innocent nudity is weird and creepy? Like I said before, the nudism in my work is what keeps this blog going. It's won me many fans both male and female. The nude portrait of Xandr and Thelana by Frans Mensink garnered a thousand likes on DeviantArt and over a hundred positive comments, without so much as a single negative comment. My book even sold out at Caliente Resort where I had a book signing. In my business, you need a niche, something that helps you to stand out. It doesn't matter what the niche is. It could be necrophilia and you'd find an audience. What matters is connecting to that audience. Nudists aren't gone; they're everywhere. Ask ten people whether they believe the human body is shameful. It's just like the “hippie” movement. We don't need Free Love signs because people are freely loving all over the place. It's that way with nudism. It's reflected in our more relaxed attitudes, which allows for more liberal shows on TV like “Naked and Afraid” and “Game of Thrones.” Now I've wasted enough time on this. Go troll somebody else. I will be deleting all further comments.

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