I will not stay silent…

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I have seen some pretty good memes on Facebook over the years, and a lot of them have related to my situation, but I never really talk about how they related to me because honestly, who cares right? But this one relates to me in many ways throughout my entire life. Let me explain.

When I came out of the closet, all I heard from people was “Why do people have to know you are gay? Why can’t you just stay in the closet? Why do you have to have a boyfriend? Why can’t you just pretend you are straight and get married to a woman and just shut up about being gay?” It was this and so much more.

Why should I lie to everyone and cheat myself out of a happy normal life just because you are uncomfortable? For someone to say those things to me, you really are showing me how you really feel about me as a person, not just a gay person, but as a person in general. And if you think that your level of comfortable is more important than my own personal happiness, then I hate to tell you this pumpkin, but you are not that special. If you think I should live the life that YOU think I should live, then perhaps this friendship should end.

The other way this particular meme related to me is because I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd and my sister sent her friend to Goodreads and to Amazon to attack me. Not write a negative review of my book, but to attack my character, then she herself created an account with the McDonald last name to attack my character. So I’m not going to stay silent just because you aren’t comfortable with the truth. And girl, it’s not even about you, get over yourself. Gurl bye!

Anyway, so this meme really related to me.

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YouTube Channel

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I’ve had a YouTube channel for years under the name Xanapus, and I wanted to start vlogging because I want to advertise my book a bit more than just with Twitter and Facebook. YouTube would give me another audience. I created a second YouTube channel from my Diary of a Gay Nerd Google+ account, and I was surprised the name was even available. Good thing I didn’t wait too long.

My life partner is so paranoid that his conservative Republican born again Christian family members might find out I wrote a book, then actually read it. When I published my book, I was going to advertise it with my other blog on my Xanapus.com website, and he begged me not to, which is why I ended up buying DiaryofaGayNerd.com and started the blogging all over. I also had to create a page on Facebook for my book because God forbid they see my book advertised on my personal Facebook profile. I swear that boy (he’s 21 years older than me by the way lol) is going to have a stroke or a heart attack one of these days from the stress if his family ever found out about my book. I’m sure they’d be fine with it and probably wouldn’t even care, but he’s so private, and he just doesn’t want them to read it because the less they know about my life, the better. I think more importantly he thinks I wrote a lot about our life together, and that’s what he’s afraid they will read. I was very vague about our relationship in my book, as per his request, so even if they did read my book, they wouldn’t get that much more information than they already have.

So as you can tell from the screenshot (above) I have an icon and a banner. I have a DVD camcorder that my partner bought for me a little over a decade ago, and it works fine. Not great, just fine. Like I said, it’s old. It would be awesome if I had a DVR camera so I can record to a hard drive in the camera, then I can upload the videos with ease. It took me an hour just to do a sound and video check. I uploaded the video to my computer using a program that came with my camcorder called Image Mixer 3, and after 5 failed attempts, I figured out it’s not the camera, it’s not Image Mixer 3, but it’s Windows Movie Maker. I add or import the video and it renders it, but all I get is sound, no image. I watched the video and it played just fine on the media player, it just refused to show me the images in Movie Maker.

Another problem for me is lighting and sound. I added a wired mic that I can put under my shirt and just clip it to my collar, and I added a camcorder light and software to a wish list called YouTube on Amazon. I would love to start vlogging sooner than later, and I can buy the mic and light soon, but those don’t do me any good if I don’t have the software to edit the video. Perhaps I can use the editor on the YouTube website, but I don’t know how that works since I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I’ll just record something, then upload it and mark it as private, then see if I can edit it through the website.

My next problem is my face lol. Here’s the thing. I know people see me when I’m outside, and I don’t have a problem with them looking at me, mainly because I don’t see myself outside, I only see them, so it doesn’t bother me. But when I can see my face on the screen while I’m filming, it freaks me out and I start getting nervous about recording. Obviously I have to be able to see myself to make sure I’m in frame, but I just don’t want to see myself lol. I wish I could just record myself without actually having to see myself, but then when I go to edit, I have to look at myself… again lol. And my voice! UGH! I hear myself every time I talk, but the voice I hear when I talk is a different voice I hear on recordings. It’s way different. I think I’m more ok with my voice than I am my face, and I know I have to get over that if I want to record video.

The final problem I have is being on video alone. I live with someone who also hates being on video. Heck, he hates having his picture taken. I’m surprisingly ok with having my picture taken lol. I think that if I were to record a video of myself with someone else in the video, then perhaps I won’t stutter and stammer so much. I talk on the phone with people with no problems, so you would think if I can chat on the phone with no problem, then I can chat in a video with someone with no problem.

I am ready and willing to start vlogging, I just need the mic and the light. If I can edit within YouTube, then I will worry about the software another time, but if YouTube editing doesn’t work out, then I will need to get something affordable. I want to get this thing started because the sooner I start vlogging, the sooner I will get over my fears and then I can start advertising and reading excerpts of my book on YouTube.

Of course I would appreciate any advice anyone can give to me. The camera I have is a Hitachi DVD Cam GX3100A. I am using a DVD Ram disc to record video, then I have to use ImageMixer 3 to upload the video files to my computer. My computer specs:

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I am also looking into getting a animated intro. I might have to go to Fiver for that, but if you can help me, please let me know. Any advice would be awesome. I’m poor, so I can’t get started if I can’t afford to buy the things I need.

UPDATE: I have a pair of headphones with a mic attached to it, so I thought I wonder… I didn’t use my DVD Camcorder, instead I used my phone to do a sound check with the headset, and unfortunately that didn’t work out. I could barely hear my voice with my mic a decent length from my mouth. When I had the mic practically next to my mouth, I could hear, but it wasn’t loud enough. You know, when I watch YouTube, which is every day on my TV using my PS4, if I come across a video where I have to turn the volume all the way up to 100 and I can still barely hear their voice, I move on to the next video. So I just want to make sure people can hear me without having to turn the volume all the way up. If they can’t hear me, why in the world would they care what I have to say? The lighting issue is one thing, I can vlog in the morning when the sun comes up and I can go in the back yard to do it. No problem, but if they can’t hear me, then there really isn’t a point in doing it.

Never be bullied into silence

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Never be bullied into silence pillow

I saw this image on Facebook yesterday, and it was a powerful message for me, not just as a gay man who has been told many times by people to just stay in the closet because people like to keep thinking we don’t exist, but also as a child abuse survivor who was basically told I’m not allowed to tell my story.

My sister had some guy write a review of my book on Amazon, but it wasn’t just a review, it was an attack on me personally. He said that I am lying to my readers about an abuse that never occurred. How does he know? He wasn’t even there. But he told me in his review to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it’s all lies.

I will never be bullied into silence. I’m not going to remove my book from Amazon, which by the way you can read for free with Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. I’m not going to change the genre of my book to fiction because it’s not fiction. Every story in my book is true, and I honestly don’t care if anyone doesn’t believe me because I know it’s true.

When I saw this image, I knew I wanted to make it into a pillow. Sure, I could put it in a frame and hang it somewhere, but I’d rather make it into a pillow so it has some function other than just something to look at. It’s not going to be a square pillow, it’s going to be the shape you see in the picture.

I asked the person who shared it if there was a pattern, but they shared it from another source, and honestly, how many sources has this been shared from? So I decided I’m not even going to bother finding the original source, I’m just going to copy it into my program Plastic Canvas Design Studio. It does stitches like / but it also does \ so I just used both stitches so I could get an X. And here it is. You may take the image and turn it into your own pillow, or if you would rather just make it and frame it, it’s your choice. But please don’t sell the image for profit.

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Tiny Houses for the Homeless

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Last year I blogged about Homeless Shelters. There is a huge problem in Bakersfield with the Homeless shelter, they don’t have enough room for all the homeless people. I’ve spoken with several homeless people about going to the homeless shelter and they have all told me that they’ve tried, and that it’s always full. How can a city not have enough room for all the homeless?

I’ve been going to physical therapy because I broke my leg in December. A few weeks ago we left PT and decided to go to John’s Burgers for lunch, and we saw a homeless man who was camped out across the street with a lawn chair, and he had a shopping cart towering above him. My partner decided that he was going to buy him 2 burgers, fries and a drink. So we left the drive-thru and drove across the street and he parked the car in the parking lot. He got out of the car to give him his food and I stayed in the car because I was still using crutches and the wheelchair.

He came back to the car and told me that the homeless man had all of the belongings that he was able to take with him when he became homeless. He also had several bags of cans and bottles for recycling. But what was most surprising is that he said to my partner “You mean to tell me that you saw me and you thought enough about me to buy me food?” He was practically in tears. We’ve fed many homeless people who seemed ungrateful for the food because they wanted money instead. It was refreshing to actually have someone feel surprised and say thank you.

In my previous blog post about homeless shelters, I said that I wish I had the money to build a shelter with those Japanese hotel containers that are stackable with twin beds in them. But, I’ve been watching several shows where people build tiny houses for themselves. They’re like trailers and RV’s, but they are the shape of an actual house with an upstairs loft for their bed. There’s also another upstairs loft on the opposite side for storage, or some people have built an upstairs loft for their entertainment with a couch and TV along with their video collection. I even saw one that was their kids bedroom.

There have been many articles about cities building tiny house communities specifically for homeless people, like the image above. They are about the size of a shed, but they are big enough for 1 person to live in. I mean think about it, if you were homeless, where would you feel most safe? Sleeping on a lawn chair on the sidewalk, or sleeping in one of these shed sized houses? At least in a tiny house you know your stuff is safe because it’s under lock and key, and I’m sure a tiny house community has a community bathroom similar to a trailer park bathroom with showers so they can stay clean.

I’ve had a fantasy that my book sold so many copies that I became rich, but instead of buying a huge mansion for myself like most rich people do, I would stay in the house we live in now, and spend that money on building a tiny house park specifically for homeless people with that trailer park bathroom. The park would have an actual address and each tiny house would have a number, sort of like an apartment number so they can fill out an application so they can get a job and get back on their feet. Once they have enough money saved up in the bank, they can get an apartment and they can get back to a normal life again.

My tiny houses wouldn’t just be a shed sized tiny house, it would have electricity powered by solar panels so they could keep their cell phones charged. You can get a free phone now with unlimited talk and text and 250mb of data per month. It’s probably a cheap flip phone, but it’s a phone that homeless people can use. My tiny houses would also have an actual bed in there so they don’t have to sleep on the floor, and a tv mounted on the wall with the very basic cable, and of course the park would have free Wi-fi for all. Oh and a small fridge and a microwave, and I would also build like a store with a food bank for them, and a laundry mat, and they would all get 3 meals per day. I was actually thinking that I could build a restaurant that they could work in and they could eat for free 3 times a day, and there would be actual paying customers who would donate money on top of their meals to help me so I don’t go from rich to rags and end in living there myself lol.

But… it’s all just a dream since I am not rich.

I was homeless and I lived in the Salvation Army homeless shelter for half a year when I was 17 years old. It wasn’t fun, but they gave me an address and phone number so that I could fill out applications to get a job. When their homeless shelter program ended in May, they helped me rent a room in someone’s house. That’s what I would like to do for the homeless people who cannot get in the shelter.

It’s really unfair to live in a world filled with empty houses and empty apartments, and you can’t live there because you got fired from your job and lost everything, or your parents kicked you out of their house because you were gay. It’s difficult for a homeless person to get a job when they don’t have an address and phone number, or they don’t have the means to take a shower and their clothes are filthy, or they don’t even own a pair of shoes. I’ve seen a homeless guy who didn’t even have any shoes, and I gave him my own shoes.

We live in a tough world, and someone has to make a difference. I can’t do it because I don’t have the money. I could do it if people bought my book. Heck, you don’t even have to buy my book if you have a Kindle with Amazon Prime because it’s free to read for Prime and Kindle Unlimited users. Kindle’s are so cheap now, you can buy a 7″ Kindle Fire with 8GB for only $49.99 and if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get it fast with free 2 day shipping. So help me help the homeless, buy my book, or read it for free on a Kindle.

Moving DiaryofaGayNerd.com to WordPress.com

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When I published my book Diary of a Gay Nerd on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I bought a website and added the domain to the book. My reason for wanting a website was so that I could blog about child abuse issues, issues of LGBT discrimination and book excerpts. Unfortunately I didn’t do as much of that as I had hoped I would. I tried, but it just didn’t work out.

My problem now is that it is almost 4 years since I published my book, and I have been paying for hosting for a website that I hardly ever blog with, and a website that no one hardly ever visits. I actually don’t even know if anyone visits my website.

The solution is simple. I have another website at http://www.xanapus.com and I decided to get rid of my hosting and import all of my blog posts on WordPress.com and map my domain to that blog, so I will do the same with this one.

I have already imported everything, that includes all posts, pages, media and comments to diaryofagaynerd.wordpress.com, so all that’s left is to get rid of my hosting and map my domain. Oh and of course I also have to decorate this new blog so it looks awesome. I would also like to dedicate more time to blogging.

When the domain has been mapped to this new blog, I will blog about it.

Read My Book for Free

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Diary of a Gay Nerd on AmazonDo you have Amazon Prime and a Kindle? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you are eligible to read my book for FREE! Amazon Prime is this awesome membership that allows you to get free 2-day shipping on everything you buy, unlimited music, movies, TV shows and books among many other features all for just $99 a year after your 30 day trial.

When I first published my book in 2012, I wanted to publish it for the Nook, the Kindle and Rainbow eBooks as well as have the paperback version available on Amazon. Kindle has this option for authors who are self publishing to make more money, but only if you sell your digital copy through them. I didn’t want to give people one choice because I don’t believe in the monopoly. Well, after a few years I’ve decided to just go ahead with the deal. This is a great deal for you and me, it’s literally a win/win situation

This is your chance to finally read my book if you haven’t already. You can also tell your friends and family to read it for free if they also have a Kindle with Amazon Prime.

Of course if you do want to own my book, you still have the option of buying the paperback or Kindle copy. You won’t be able to buy the Nook copy, for now. It will be back eventually, I’m sure, but for now, read it on your Kindle.

I am told this does not work on the Kindle app for phones or tablets, it only works if you have a Kindle. Luckily the Kindle is cheaper than ever. You can buy a Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers for only $79. It’s a great price, and it’s an awesome new Kindle.

So start your one month free trial of Amazon Prime (One Year Membership) so you can start reading my book Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life after Child Abuse, It Gets Better! What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?

My WriteItNow 4 Plan

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I have planned on buying this software called WriteItNow 4 on Amazon for $69.95 along with 2 books. One of the books was called Making The Most of WriteItNow 4 but the Demo of the program seems to be self explanatory, and I really can’t afford to spend $15 on a book with only 112 pages. I would much rather spend that money on books that will help me learn to write fiction instead.

One of the books I was going to buy from Amazon for $9.85 is called Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish, but I found that on the Nook store for $10.49. It’s a bit more expensive, but I will get it instantly and not have to pay a shipping fee, so I don’t mind paying an extra .64 cents.

I found some other books that are also available on the Nook store that I will find useful. They are in the Write Great Fiction Series. I won’t be able to buy them all at once, but I will be able to buy them gradually. I can’t afford to go to school for this, but I can afford to buy a few books that will probably teach me everything I need to know in my own time. I am basically home schooling myself lol.

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I have saved up $32.84 in my PayPal account with a $20 transfer in progress from my Etsy sales. I have an automatic $20 transfer every month which will bring my balance up to $72.84 which will be more than enough to buy the WriteItNow 4 software which is $69.95 with free shipping and no taxes. I was expecting to spend $100 with the 2 books so I’m going to focus that money on these Nook ebooks.

For now, I started reading Writing Fiction for Dummies which I bought a few years ago to help me learn to write, but I never got past Chapter 1 because it was too frustrating to keep reading about publishing. I don’t care about publishing because I am a self publisher, I just want to learn to write a book. I wrote my memoir without this book, but I need help to write fiction so I started reading it again today and Chapter 2 has actually started helping me. I’ve already made 22 highlights and written 2 notes. I’m going to continue reading that to teach me all that it can teach me before I buy the other 5 books.

I have waited so many years for this and it’s finally going to happen and I can’t be more excited. My dreams are finally coming true. I don’t expect to be popular or to have the best novel in the world, I don’t even expect anyone to buy or even like my books. All I want is the chance to write them to make my childhood dreams come true. Once I do that, then I will be happy.