Hello, and thank you for stopping by.
It’s nothing new that I’m all about ideas of community. I grew up in a bygone era in working-class neighborhoods where people knew each other and took care of each other because despite all of our differences, we shared the rhythms, toils, and hardships of our lives. It was the right way to be. My last two years of college, I was in my forties and living on a reservation not mine by tribal affiliation. I wrote an essay about community, about how living among others—sharing experiences, interacting, avoiding, reacting, responding—all of it is like weaving a web of belonging.
I still believe that, and when I look around at the community of queer-spectrum readers and writers, I see thousands of threads connecting us in a weave so complex we have become a tapestry, and we are beautiful. To thrive, any community must know itself as such—must recognize that it is an interdependent weaving. Each thread must hold up its neighbors. But a tapestry has two types of thread—the warp and the weft. A weakness in the weft isn’t good, but it is probably not catastrophic. But if the warp is pulled away, the whole thing falls apart.
In this community of people who love queer books, some people have volunteered to be the warp threads. I’m talking about those among us who always uphold others, who go out of their way to provide small supports as well as avenues for others to thrive. I want to celebrate these people.
In 2018, I’m trying to breathe new life into my old blog, sylvre.com. A few years ago, I regularly featured authors and their books with interviews, excerpts, and guest posts. It was fun, and blog readers seemed to enjoy it, because the views and clicks steadily climbed. After life threw me some curve balls, my blog became mostly neglected. But I like blogging, I like reaching out to people with ideas and sharing common interests—such as people in the community and their achievements. So, I’ve decided to start doing features again.
But wait. Wasn’t I talking about community?
Exactly! This year, ‘community’ is my personal watchword, so I’m planning a series of features on sylvre.com to celebrate those wonderful warp threads in our spectrum-friendly book community. I’ll be doing one per month (for now), and it’s already started! In January, I featured Grace R. Duncan and the Resist and Triumph charity anthology she and Tucker McCallahan worked hard to pull together. On February 20, I’ve lined up J. Scott Coatsworth—who works hard maintaining community spaces around queer romance and queer science-fiction and fantasy. In March, Sharita Lira, who, along with some others, has started the Queer in Color website; and in April, Dani Elle Maas, whom we all know and love from right here on Love Bytes!
Know someone you believe is a warp thread in our community tapestry? If so, let me know who and why in the comments, and I’ll add them to my list of possibles. Keep in mind the person might be a writer, reader, blogger, artist, editor, publisher, or someone who works behind the scenes in any capacity. In order to encourage you to let me mine your ideas for this, I’m offering a $10 Amazon gift certificate for anyone who comments with substance on this article. If you visit sylvre.com, click the follow button or subscribe (register), you’ll get a second entry.
Thanks for reading! See you here next month, if not before.
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
~~Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey