Thursday, January 5, 2017

Press Release Regarding UltraVioletLove Publishing

Press Release:
I am officially changing the name of Ultravioletlove Publishing to Rainbow's End. It better represents where I am going now in publishing. will still exist in its original capacity, but the publishing aspect is going to be more distinct from and diverse than its birth mother. will remain primarily lesbian while Rainbow's End will cast a wider net to include all the colors of the rainbow.
Sappho's Corner will remain its own imprint under the umbrella of Rainbow's End now rather than Ultravioletlove. A revised version of the logo below will remain with Rainbow's End while will revert back to just the face logo my niece created from the clip art face that originally represented

Monday, February 18, 2013

UltraVioletLove Publishing's Catalog Expanded Edition

Welcome to the UltraVioletLove Publishing Catalog 
Expanded Edition

Long before there was or UltraVioletLove Publishing, there was If you are at all like me, then you may enjoy finding out the story behind the stories. In the case of this website, you not only get the background origins of novels, fiction and poetry series, memoirs, music, and journals, but you'll also get the (her)story behind the creation of a publishing empire (as I fondly refer to UltraVioletLove Publishing), and the evolution of, since its humble beginnings back in 2002, when the first version of the website came into being. If you’re not like me and are not interested in back story, then ignore the rest of the verbiage on this page and started clicking on the tabs above to check out what UltraVioletLove Publishing has to offer.

If you were aware of the original UltraVioletLove website, then you’ll know that it was all about “Making Lesbian Love Visible” in cyberspace, by showcasing the creativity of online lesbians. There were links (or lynx, as they are now called) to lesbian-friendly websites and businesses around the world—chiefly in the US and Canada back then. There were posts about lesbian news and announcements of lesbian-friendly events. There were some reviews and many attempts at making an online network for the lesbian community to enjoy and use for self and community promotion.

After a couple of years of struggling with the existing technology available to a company that was mostly a dream still, the whole thing ground to a halt while I waited for affordable technology to catch up to my vision. With no budget to speak of, I had to move and operate at a pace I could afford both physically and fiscally. In the interim, I continued to work at my day job of managing Waldenbooks stores. While I loved my job and learned a great deal there, I knew that it was a stop along the way and not a permanent career. Good thing since Waldenbooks is now extinct. Although I hadn’t grown up knowing it, I had known for most of my adult life that my path lay along the highways of writing, music, and all things creative.

By 2002, I already had two novels published by a small independent press (now largely defunct). Driftwood and Artemisian Artist (the first book in the Goddess Series) had been published in 2000 and 2002 respectively. I had another novel in process (Higher Love), while The Diary of Allie Katz, written in 1990 when I was in graduate school in North Carolina, continued to languish in the wings because of its controversial themes and journal format. My music CD, Driftwood: The Music, had been created and released, but it wasn’t really finding its way to the masses. It wasn’t being promoted or distributed noticeably. was one of the attempts I was making to promote the CD and my works of fiction, which were being sold chiefly in mainstream America’s malls, via the various Waldenbooks stores where I worked in the Seattle area during a fifteen-year period. While my books were well received there, it was a slow process, hand selling my books, partly because the product wasn’t of a very high quality appearance wise, and partly because I still had to focus on my job as a bookstore manager or assistant manager. My primary concern was my job, not my avocation as a novelist, singer/songwriter, editor, and, later on down the road, publisher.

For a brief time, after the release of my music CD (also in 2002), I attempted to get back in the swing of performing publicly by taking a couple of gigs at the Olympia Farmers’ Market (near Seattle) on Saturdays. While that got me some exposure, and probably would have led to other gigs around the Puget Sound area if I’d continued with it, the main thing it taught me was that having an injured back (from working in book stores) made that aspect of my life more challenging. More importantly, I was reminded of why I’m not overly fond of really large public venues. Unless you’re a major headlining act, you’re going to be treated more like a radio playing in the background, as people chat and go about their business.  

Given how much I give from the bottom of my heart when I sing the songs I write, treating my music casually is not really an option for me. As a character in one of my novels wrote, speaking on my behalf at this point, “I don’t think everything is sexual.  I think everything is spiritual, including sex.  My sexual side is part of my spiritual side, and it’s also very much part of my musical side.” The character is Beth, a lesbian singer/songwriter and guitar player, who is one of the main characters in Driftwood, my first published novel. A character, by the way, for whom I’ve caught some flack for naming her after myself. I see it more as self protective. I usually know a character’s name when I first encounter her/him, but in the case of this lesbian guitar player, who is first encountered sitting on the Oregon coast singing to the wind and the waves, I was clueless. I gave her my first name, figuring that when her real name came to me, I’d simply use the “Find and Replace” feature to affix her proper moniker  When she starting singing songs I had written years earlier, she sealed her fate. If she was going to be singing my songs in this book, I decided then that she was keeping my name. If you have read Driftwood, then you’ll know that this guitar player never does get a last name, and that is for the same reason. She's not me, but since she sings my songs, she doesn't get to be "not me" at the same time. Make sense? I hope so, because there is no deeper significance to it.    

Many people think this character is autobiographical, and while we do share some background details and perspectives, she is still not me. She might be a more singularly focused and younger version of myself, but she is way too focused on one aspect of creativity to be me. Our spiritual perspectives, while similar in places, also diverge greatly. Again, she could be a more scaled back version of an earlier me. I have way too many things going on at once to be able to live a lifestyle like hers, although I recently had cause to take to the road for a while, which made me smile with the irony of it. But even then, my nomadic travels of 2010 and 2012 were complicated by the presence of my feline children and the lack of a bona fide self-sufficient camper to use in my travels. Suffice it to say that while the resemblance might be noticeable, anyone who knows me for very long will realize that my life is a lot more complicated than the Beth of Driftwood. We do, however, share the perspective of experiencing our music as a profoundly spiritual and intimate experience that is harmed by apathetic audiences. If I’m going to expose my soul in music, then I need for my audience to be polite enough to listen raptly. I wouldn’t give a public reading of my poetry while people chatted over me or around me either. I would simply get up and walk off the stage. So my stint giving public performances in my forties ended almost as soon as it began. I'm much better suited for the coffee house setting or even the church audiences I sang to during my twenties than I am for noisier venues. As an artist, I am very much in favor of respect--me for my audience, as well as my audience for me. It goes both ways. 

Back in 2002, became one of the ways in which I could not only promote myself and my work, but I wanted also to open it up to promoting other lesbians who were trying to make a name for themselves as well. Among others, I wanted to help the authors I was working with during the time I was an editor for my first publisher. Plus I wanted to help artists and musicians I encountered along the way. has always been about providing a personal AND communal spotlight for lesbian creators. It continues to be that way today. As I have time (and interest from others), I introduce, promote, and shine the spotlight on authors and artists of various genres. 

Over the years, has changed layouts and formats, but the face that represents it hasn't changed. The logo for it is one I got from a free clipart site in 2002 when I was just starting to build the site with the somewhat clunky (and oft-crashing) Publisher 98 software. As far as I know, no one else adopted that image for anything. I recently got P.R. Lambros' help in putting the violet background as a backdrop for this somewhat feminine, but not too feminine, face who seems to be emerging from a rock into the light of day. At the time, she seemed to me to represent the state of lesbians in the public eye. With the coming out of many key celebrities over the years, the advent of the L-Word, and LGBT-friendly legislation, lesbians have gained greater visibility. We are still not there yet, but we have come a long way.

From this place of increasing visibility have come stories about lesbians that are more unique than the coming out stories that dominated early lesbian fiction and nonfiction. While there's nothing wrong with coming out stories (we are all still coming out every day in some ways), it's good to see that writers can take plot lines elsewhere too. We can discuss not only different issues that impact our community, but we can also write about things other than issues. Our lesbian characters don't have to attempt to represent all lesbians everywhere. They never did, by the way, but it seemed to be an unwritten request of lesbian readership and/or viewership for visual arts that we do so. 

The creators of written and visual arts, while interested in telling their coming out stories, are also interested in having a voice about other more individual experiences and issues. You may argue that we have a responsibility to represent our community, but we shouldn't be expected to use our talent solely for that purpose. Not only is that impossible but it's every bit as ridiculous to ask that of a lesbian writer as it is to ask it of a writer from an ethnic and/or racial group. I, as one lesbian, will not be able to represent the entire intergalactic lesbian empire any more than one African-American or Asian-American writer will be able to represent successfully, an entire mass of people with similar ethnic or racial roots. We are not only lesbian, we are also mothers and sisters and aunts and political figures and survivors of rape, incest, cancer, etc. Our lesbian characters don't all have to be the same any more than we as individuals are the same. Nor do they or we have to be superhuman and infallible. As any writer knows, a flawed character (and writer) is much more memorable and usually more likable than one with absolutely no chink in their armor. We all have a story to tell, and we can benefit from listening to the stories behind the stories. Sometimes they are as interesting as the stories themselves.