Monday, December 7, 2020

The November/December 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter: Chaos and its antidote, an author update, book recommendation, and more!

click here or above to watch the video 


Hi Community! I'm Lee Wind. It's December 2020, and this is the November/December 2020 Newsletter. It's been quite a few months, and I think what I've realized is that there are certain people that thrive on creating chaos, including the current occupant of the White House.

And I've also realized that I don't thrive on chaos. I thrive on being grounded, and breathing. Like in meditation or in yoga, when you have a solid foundation, then you can stretch and grow and expand. Like roots of a tree and reaching up to the sky.

It's been a very, very challenging time, and I just want to acknowledge that. And I hope that you and yours are well and safe and are finding moments of being grounded so you can thrive, too.

So it's the video newsletter. I have a few updates. The first, about author stuff...

I'm very honored to be one of 50 authors participating in "Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep" which is an amazing compilation of essays, an anthology of essays, orchestrated and edited by Melissa Stewart, who has so many amazing nonfiction books for kids that are out there. And she wants to let people know that nonfiction comes from a place of passion, too. It isn't just facts and dates. 

Which I love, because I really believe, so strongly, that history to me was taught as medicine, and I think it should be like chocolate, and that's really the whole idea behind my new book coming out, "No Way, They Were Gay? Hidden Lives and Secret Loves."

So I was really excited to be part of that and it's available for preorder now! So that's really cool and exciting.

I want to tell you about a book I read recently that I really loved. "You Brought Me The Ocean" - which is a graphic novel. It's sort of the origin story of Aqualad. Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroah. Julie is the creator of "Blue is the Warmest Color," which was amazing, and Alex of course has done "Rainbow Boys," and "The God Box," and so many other powerful Queer teen novels. I'm very excited to tell you that this book was amazing. I savored it! It was so beautifully drawn, and the story was so exciting. They're young Queer kids of color and Oh, yes! You must read it. It was so great!

Inspiration! So this month - these two months - the words I'm finding really inspiring, that are helping me stay grounded, are the words of Bayard Rustin. Actually, so inspirational that it is the opening spread of the chapter on Bayard Rustin in my upcoming nonfiction book.

This is - what is this, you ask? - this is a printout of an early version of a draft of the book - of the ARC - which is very exciting. You can see that it's very dynamic and exciting. It won't be in oranges, I don't know, my printer ink went wonky. It is black and grays. The quote from Bayard Rustin is right here, it's sort of a pull quote from later in the chapter, and it says:

"...If we want to do away with the injustice to gays it will not be done because we get rid of the injustice to gays. It will be done because we are forwarding the effort for the elimination of injustice to all." —Bayard Rustin, in a 1986 interview

I love that. Right? We can't each just be for ourselves. We have to stand up for everyone that is disenfrancished, for everyone who is left out, for everyone who is not getting their voices heard, and stand up together and then we will eliminate injustice for everyone at the same time. I love that vision. I love that that was 1986, and it feels like it could  have been said today. So, Bayard Rustin, an amazing forefather of our modern Gay rights movement, and a real big player in the Civil Rights movement. He was the guy who organized the big march on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. made that amazing "I have a dream" speech. You'll find out lots more about Bayard in the book, but that really inspires me.

The final thing I wanted to share is gratitude. That I've very grateful that you're part of my community and I'm part of your community. Because truly, community is the antidote to chaos. And so, I invite you to take a deep breath with me. (inhale...  exhale) 

And I want to thank you, and I want to tell you that the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.

Happy holidays, stay safe. Bye.