The Power of Positive Energy; my thoughts on supporting TJ and Eric today

Like many of you, I am thinking of TJ Klune and Eric Arvin today, as it is the day of Eric’s surgery. Seeing our M/M Romance community come together in support of these two amazing men has led me to focus in on some of my personal beliefs about prayer and religion and the power of love that I want to share.

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I was raised Catholic, and very strictly so, but I am a black-and-white person, a rule-follower, and I could not stand the fact that I could not live up to the rules and standards of the Catholic church, no matter how I tried. For a period of time in junior high, I was so concerned over sin, that I asked my mother to take me to confession almost weekly because I could not stand knowing that a sin was on my soul. This is a difficult way in which to live. I could not continue.

I also grew to realize that I did not agree with many of the inflexible laws of the church, especially in regards to sexuality and birth control, so part of me felt hypocritical trying to believe what my inner self, my conscience, truly knew was incorrect. I gradually came to embrace the belief that loving and accepting and sacrificing for one another, even when it was hard to do, and even when I could not manage to do it as well as I wanted to, was my true religion.

That is not to say that I do not believe in God, or in Jesus, or in the Bible. I just happen to believe very firmly in a quotation I heard a long time ago, that goes something like this: If you were a father and it was your birthday, would you want to receive the exact same gift from each of your children? No, you would want to receive different gifts from each of your different children, gifts that reflect the individual child’s personal feelings of love for you, and so God likes to receive worship in all different forms, from all different religions, to celebrate the love he feels for his very different children around the world. All of the religions of the world, in my opinion, celebrate God in different and beautiful ways, and that no one “gift” is the only correct gift of praise.

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But I also believe in goodness. We all possess the inner voice of conscience, which tells us when we are being “good” by being selfless and loving and honest, as well as when we are being selfish, when we are behaving unkindly, and when we are placing value on the wrong types of things in life. We may try to ignore this inner voice, we may try to rationalize why we are not listening to it, but it is there and we hear it.

So how does all of this tie into my beliefs about TJ and Eric and what they are enduring? I suppose their situation has inspired me to ask myself, how can I help these two incredible men in their struggle? Of course, there is the financial assistance that is vital. But that is actually the easy part. I wondered, should I pray, although I am not a church-goer? Does prayer actually do any good? How can I help when I cannot sit beside them at the hospital, or be the one to feed their cat, or actually “be there” for them in any real way?

That quandary led me to research, as my mind seeks the concrete quality of the written word, and I found this quotation:

“I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.”

Harvey Fierstein (a playwright and actor and gay civil rights activist)

I share Harvey Fierstein’s conviction in the power of positive energy and that the community can help by sending this energy to the people who need it. It is all we have to offer TJ and Eric today, but it is “real” and it is a lot. Positive energy is powerful. It can make a difference. As we unite in prayer, in positive energy, in putting our good thoughts out into the world, we are taking care of TJ and Eric, and each other, as best we can. As God, however you think of him, would want. Or as the universe, if you are not one to identify a formal “God”, expects.

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So today as we unite in all manners of hopeful energy, we are helping in the best way we can. And I believe that we are a force to reckon with as we unite in support of TJ and Eric in this way. We are powerful; our positive energy makes a difference for these two men whose love has so captivated and inspired us.

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All of my prayers and positive energy are being sent to you, TJ Klune and Eric Arvin. I know I am not alone in sending this energy out into the universe, and I know that you two are not alone in your struggle.

Mia

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Meowy Christmas and HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2013!!!!!

Hello everybody and Happy Holidays 2013!!

This has been a wonderful life-changing year as I finally started to participate in social media! Thanks to many of you I have a whole new circle of friends!Image

Those are my four cats being tortured, or rather, being “dressed up” for the holidays by my daughters!

Thank you all for reading my books and my posts and being an important part of my new year!!

Love,

Mia

Playing With My Novels…using song lyrics, art, photography, quotations…

I love to create little advertising campaigns for my upcoming releases. I didn’t do it for Beggars and Choosers or Unfinished Business, as I was completely social-media-deficient at that point. I started with A Package Deal, and had fun with the concept that “it is not that kind of package.”Image

 

I realized that the “package” expected by the readers would be a totally different type of “package” than what Robby got, which was a “package” of people. Along with the man he loves, Robby gets his best friend, or someone he considers to be his new sister, Savannah.  And you all got a lot of “package puns”.

After A Package Deal I got to experiment with musical concepts when I promoted Intervention. Lyrics of songs, along with certain types of voices, and acoustic guitar or piano have always spoken straight to my heart. I can remember in fifth grade going to see a local summer stock play of Beauty and the Beast, and falling in love with the Beast as he sang his sad song. (I’ve also long been into tortured souls.) I still remember his raspy voice, his pleading eyes, the soft accompaniment of the piano.

Here are some lyrics from Snow Patrol that I used in Intervention called Chasing Cars:

We’ll do it all
Everything
On our own

We don’t need
Anything
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don’t quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They’re not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I can almost hear it as I type. Music affects me and, as romance readers, I think it affects many of you. And it was the only way that Kai could speak to Jamie for a long time, because it affected both of them, too.

Not Broken, Just Bent was a lot of fun to play with, based on its title. I named the book after the song by Pink, and Nate Ruess, Just Give Me a Reason, as the song cut through to my soul every time I heard it. I got captivated by it, and I listened to it over and over. The story came first, but the song just fit with it because Timmy and Ben’s love certainly gets bent, but ultimately it is strong enough to remain unbroken. I had fun with the lyrics:

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
We’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

But I also used pictures to promote my novel. Not broken…

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just bent…

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My upcoming release is called Out of Hiding. Thanks to a painful childhood experience, Philippe Bergeron is an introverted former commercial fisherman who, because he is injured, has been pressured by his older brother into being a summer chaperone for his teenage niece, Sophie, as she tours the prominent dance colleges and dance education programs in NYC. (Very long sentence but this is MY BLOG, so I can.) There he meets the dancer, Dario Pereira, who refuses to look away when Philippe tries to hide from him. The two men fall in love, which is not a smooth path, as Philippe must find a new comfort zone.

In pictures, I have dealt with the subject of ways Philippe tries to hide:

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and speak no evil…

I have quoted song lyrics; this one is Adele, Hiding My Heart Away:

I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I’ve ever known
You’ll disappear one day
So I’ll spend my whole life hiding my heart away

And I have lots more themes and pictures and songs and quotations involving Out of Hiding to share with you. So consider yourselves warned!

My mind brims over with ideas about all kinds of things, day and night. Does yours? I have a notepad and a Sharpie (waterproof) on my bathroom counter because I get SO MANY IDEAS in the shower. I keep paper and markers (they are easy to write with in the pitch black of night) on my bedside table, as I find that drifting off to sleep engenders great brilliance! Driving was getting hazardous until I got a tiny tape recorder to speak my thoughts aloud. So I am thankful to Facebook and now my website/blog thing because it provides me with another outlet for my overactive imagination!

I’d LOVE to hear from you!

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This is Mia again. Just checking to see if this works… fingers crossed

My Journey into the Unknown

My Journey into the Unknown: An Author Joins Facebook at 49 Years of Age
Mia Kerick

I had absolutely no social media presence. None…as in zero, unless you consider an online account at American Eagle Outfitters where I could rate the jeans under “product reviews”, as social. I comforted myself by thinking, No worries, Mia. After all, you’ve mastered the art of the email and the text message. What else could you possibly need to get by in the 21st century?

As it turns out, when you are an author, and you are ready to release your third, fourth, fifth, and sixth novels in as many months, the time has come to take the step. To join the hipsters, the cool (or at a minimum, the merely up-to-date) portion of the public, in the world of virtual conversation. So I took the step.

I will spare you the agonizing details but on the day after my forty-ninth birthday in September, my seventeen-year-old daughter and I set up a Facebook account under my pen name Mia Kerick. (“Mia”, however, has become more than a simple pseudonym for me; I find myself signing checks and birthday cards with the name of my alter ego.) My daughter only cried once during this painstaking process, and I only spooked the cats by bellowing “is this **** really necessary?” twice. Okay, maybe three times. In any case, no thanks to my own technical or creative skills, the ****ing thing got set up. Showtime, Mia!

All four of my children contributed to the…uh…the success of my transition into social media. Urgently placed, and patiently replied to, phone calls and texts to my sophomore daughter at Georgetown University, my daughter who is a dancer in NYC, my high school sophomore on her lunch breaks, my eighth grade son halfway through his after school basketball games, were all instrumental to my initiation into this new world. And I must not neglect to mention my fellow Facebook-ers who taught me how to make smiley faces and hearts, how to copy and paste links, how to send private messages. And who clued me in to what ROTFLMAO means. (Don’t you wish rolling around on the floor, completely consumed with laughter, actually worked to rid you of a portion of your ass?) But, to make a long, and at times, laborious, story short, within a few weeks I had mastered the basic skills necessary to communicate on Facebook with other authors, readers, and reviewers.

I started out by simply posting my feelings and impressions. “I can’t think of anything important enough to say that any of you would want to read… I mean, I’ve got absolutely nothing…” was how I started. But soon I began enjoying the clever repartee, and I’ll admit, it wasn’t long before what I refer to as a “mild addiction” to Facebook commenced, and from what I hear, I’m not the only one suffering. The people I met were just so cool, so fun, so honest…with me, a “virtual” stranger (LOL). But there were harder lessons in store, like the ones that I’d struggled to absorb back in kindergarten: just because Mia likes person X’s photo of a kitten, doesn’t mean person X is gonna like Mia’s photo of an equally adorable kitten. And I relearned my Middle School lessons, as well: there are cool kids and there are smart kids and there are artsy kids and there are kids who let you in and there are kids who keep you out. Mia, I had to remind myself pretty much hourly, remember your purpose. You are here to meet readers and authors and to promote your books, so stop with the “I’m not cool enough to interact on the worldwide web” lamentations, and get back to it.

So, I shifted into gear by posting my awesome cover pictures as well as the Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink blurbs for my books, which somehow made me feel technically accomplished. Then I moved into the “shameless boasting phase” where I constantly posted my Amazon Rankings, my DSP Bestselling Rank, and my most glowing reviews and…well, yeah, the list goes on and on. (Forgive me, but I often find myself slipping back into this mode. In my defense, I feel that I am more truly celebrating Brett and Cory’s, Kai and Jamie’s, Robby and Tristan’s, and Timmy and Ben’s popularity, than my own.) At my one-month point on Facebook, I had managed to connect with the most witty and clever and interesting and, at times, snarky, people imaginable, and I’ll put it to you plainly: these people were quite distracting. My first month on Facebook was my least productive, in terms of my written word count, since I started penning stories.

When the Boston Red Sox made it into the World Series, I lost every last bit of self- restraint on Facebook. I celebrated and ranted and partied, virtually, of course, with fellow New Englanders, displaced New Englanders, and others with the basic good sense to be Red Sox fans. Yeah, Sox-tober was a HUGE, red-Speedo-clad distraction for Mia Kerick.

But I got my nose back to the grindstone as soon as my heart stopped pounding from the thrilling Red Sox win, and I focused on how to best use Facebook as a tool for me as an author, and not simply as an overly social middle-aged woman. So I looked at what other authors were doing with their statuses and timelines, and I saw art and photos of nature, lots of adorable animals, references to music, reviews of other authors’ books, and inspirational quotes. And there was commentary on life, in general…lots of that. I decided that I would continue to play on Facebook (because it is fun) but I would play with purpose, if you catch my meaning.

At the moment, I am in a good place with Facebook. I’ve started to promote my books in creative ways that I have a lot of fun with. I’ve made friends—real friends—in fact I met some for lunch in Boston. Others I call on the phone and still others have sent me holiday cards. I also feel less isolated as an author, but the best part is I’ve met readers. The people for whom I write the books and with whom I intended to connect when I joined Facebook.

So, I encourage you to friend me on Facebook. I would be more than happy to virtually meet you. We can chat and play, and you can like my further attempts at publicizing my novels. Or not… your choice.
Just don’t Tweet me. I’m not there yet.
HOWEVER, I now have a website/blog http://www.miakerick.com thanks to Author Assistant Agency!!!

Patience requested

Be patient with me while I figure out how to use my blog.