Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hugs Aplenty! #HuganAuthorDay 2013

Many of my friends have written books. It's a remarkable feat in and of itself: in the cracks of an already full and busy life, they toiled at odd hours or on rare and costly retreats, drafting and redrafting the best possible ways to say a million different things about an idea that'd been burning a hole in their soul.

They worked up the courage to share that idea with loved ones, friends, an editor or two or three hundred.

They faced the hard realities of the publishing industry--increasingly demanding of an author's time for ultimately not a lot of money.

They committed themselves passionately to their work, all the while striving to not lose their humanity while they built their brand and platform and invited the world to treat them like nothing more than the words on their pages or the concepts in their chapter titles.

They dealt with the indignities of being misunderstood by reviewers, interviewers, readers, audiences, even their publishers.

They sweated their Amazon ranking, loitered in the subject-specific aisle of their local Barnes and Noble, cyberstalked GoodReads, bookmarked the Library of Congress.

Lots of people in the world need and have earned a hug, not the least of whom are the authors among us. So today is Hug an Author Day. Not all of us have direct access to an author, but in a virtual age, all of us have myriad ways of hugging them:

* Write them a letter or email, or comment on their website. Trust me, their publisher has made them get a website.

* Write a five-star review of a book you loved reading somewhere where people will see it; make sure to remind your readers that behind the book is an author in flesh and blood.

* Pin your favorite books on Pinterest. (That's how that works, right?)

* Invite some friends to read and discuss a book you've had on your mind. (Not Fifty Shades of Gray--that would be creepy.)

* Or you could, you know, buy a book. Or two.

I'd love to hear how you celebrate Hug an Author Day. You can let me know in one of two ways:

1. Post a comment on this post. (On the off chance you don't have anywhere to write a five-star review of a book you loved reading, feel free to do so in the comments here.)

2. Add the hashtag #HuganAuthorDay to your review or your pins(?) or your comments or whatever. That way I and others can track your contribution down.

I see no reason why we couldn't have other similar celebrations--Hug a Firefighter Day, for example, or Hug a Transportation Security Administration Employee Day (although those folks might return the favor with Invasive Pat-Down Day, so maybe not). But today is for the authors. Let them know you love them.

2 comments:

markingtime4now said...

Okay, so I did it.
On Hug an Author Day, I physically hugged actual flesh-and-blood author #FredNelson, author of #SpiritualSurvivalGuideforPrisonandBeyond [ http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Survival-Guide-Prison-Beyond/dp/1467524298 ] --edited by D. Zimmerman, five-star review forthcoming shortly.

And I digitally hugged screenwriter and friend #NickPullia, writer of #DeathandTaxis [ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0218140/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1 ]. And he (Nick), digitally hugged author/screenwriter #JohnIrving (his one-time acquaintance), but only quietly on facebook.

And I gave a shout-out to songwriter and #wildgoosefestival friend #GeorgeMcMillian, aka Kirantana Khalsa, aka Clear Blue Lou [ https://www.facebook.com/kir.a.tana] , whose album "Salvation" [ http://salvationthealbum.squarespace.com/ ] continues to be in heavy rotation on my cd player.

And lastly, I prepped a blog-post review and reflection (to be posted today) on the work of #Pastrix author #NadiaBolz-Weber, and her recent interview at #ONBEING for #NPR, with #KristaTippett.

Not even half of all the author/creatives hugs I intended to give, but its a start. And huggin' you now, #DavidZimmerman, author of #ComicBookCharacter and #DeliverUsFromMe-Ville ... so there's one more, better late than never.

Dis feels good. Imma keep doin' it...

Anonymous said...

Super hugs go out to David Zimmerman for his accomplishments as an author, an editor and a son.