Category Archives: How I Became a Lesbian

My Book Is In Limbo

Unless some unforeseen miracle occurs, I must put How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories) on hold.

The only way to get hold of a poorly printed copy is to order one from Amazon. Until I finish unpacking in Grand Junction (Colorado), my mind is focused on immediate priorities.

I must decide whatever memories from my 81 years of life, clothes and personal necessities can fit in the 2010 Ford Escape that sits in my garage. Alice bought it for us in Doylestown.

This is serious downsizing, because I am moving in with a woman from Hialeah, Florida, my boyhood hometown. There’s more to the story, but so far it’s incomplete. Let it be said that she is saving space in her ground-floor condo for a wayfaring writer.

Visitors to my website have been here for over 10 years. You deserve to know what’s going on. Wish me well.

The Way Ahead

Two days ago, all monies paid Amazon Publications by me were returned, marking its admission the printing quality of How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories) cannot be upgraded. I promptly phoned James Dean at the newly renamed E-book Publications for his explanation.

Dean tersely explained, “Because you filed a dispute for marketing.”

Indeed, I did exactly that.

Once Cousin Margaret Johnston warned me about flaws in the book’s printing, I put a stop to Amazon Publications’ $2,000 charge for marketing, disputing it with my credit card company. As of Monday, June 3, 2024, Amazon consents to my outrage, and, in addition to its three-month marketing charge, has returned ALL payments I gave in anticipation of publishing the story of my life.

Why did I stand up for quality? I grew up in Hialeah and Miami, Fla., surrounded by literary ghosts. My mother was an esteemed English teacher whose library was filled with classics. I never would hawk a flawed book, not even mine.

Therefore, I advise you to look on the bright side: The book has been published, with a fuzzy typeface that makes it a challenging read, though another avenue doesn’t share such a handicap: Kindle. That is the only way left to comfortably consume my work of a lifetime.

I have become skeptical that we will see improvements to the book’s flaws anytime soon. But, to continue making lemonades out of lemons, rejoice in knowing I escaped a pool of carnivorous sharks who feed upon their prey in the deep seas of Marketing.

The book, with fuzzy typeface and all, and its Kindle companion remain available on amazon.com.

Aftermath From My Book Launch

If you ordered a print copy of How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories), feel free to return it to Amazon and get a refund. The typography is horrendous.

No one has complained yet about its appearance on Kindle, but, then again, the book is newly published. My ears are highly sensitive to feedback. Until confidence is restored, marketing of the book has been discontinued.

Any decisions regarding the book’s future must be postponed until after I move 1400 miles east – from the Pacific Northwest to the western side of the Rocky Mountains – known as Grand Junction, Colorado.

My time here on the West Coast has come to an end.

Early Reports of Flawed Printing

Uh-oh. Earlier this Mother’s Day, I received an alarming report. One of my literate readers wrote me with a sad review of How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories).

The printing is awful,” she wrote. “It looks like a scan, fuzzy, out of focus and printed very lightly. I’m contacting Amazon to see if it is eligible for re-printing or return.”

Later she added, “I went ahead and downloaded the Kindle version so I can more easily read. Struggling with fonts is not my thing.”

I contacted another reader, who confirmed a similar state of her printed book. Apparently, Amazon couldn’t have done a better job of discrediting its print capabilities than by distributing my books. Therefore, I caution my friends and supporters to forget about obtaining a printed copy until Amazon cleans up its act.

The Kindle price is $6.99, and it’s available NOW.

And Now It’s On Kindle

Saturday morning, I heard from Kindle, and it’s official. Anyone waiting to read How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories) who can’t afford a printed copy can now find it on Kindle.

My book is unlike anything I have read, and its organization was up to me (and Alice, who is working hand in hand with my late mother) to lead me through the process. There is sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll galore, because that’s what you find on the Internet.

Nothing is presented salaciously; everything is told how it really happened. I use a practiced journalist’s approach, always being wary of not tooting my horn. I leave that to you, my dear readers.

Now I wait for the reaction, because 432 pages are a lot for a memoir, but it’s also a love story. The Kindle price is $6.99, and it’s available NOW.

It’s Happened, It’s Live

Several times over the last 96 hours, my overactive brain found multiple reasons for failure in this book venture. Then Wednesday afternoon (3:37 pm Pacific Time), less than an hour before my ritual 420 observance, Amazon Corporation’s word came down:

IT’S LIVE.

My thanks go to many people. Feelings of gratitude are filling my soul.

When you order my book, make sure you see my name. Plus I’m the only author with “and other stories” in the title.

One more thing: The Kindle version is not available yet. Once that changes, I will post an update here. But don’t be shy. You can order a print copy today for $29.41.

10 more days to launch

Amazon has revised my book release date. It is now May 6.

Today actually was the deadline for pre-publication work, not the book release date. I apologize for letting impatience get the best of me; I know you are impatient too.

Although I’m embarrassed about confusing the book’s availability, I’m still excited. To use a military term, here’s the “straight skinny.”

How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories) is set for release on Monday, May 6. The memoir/love story consists of 432 pages with 32 color photographs. The softcover sale price will be set at $29.99, and Amazon reserves the right to increase the asking price 30 days after launch. For those who prefer Kindle, the book will be available the same day — on May 6th — for $6.99.

After three years and six months writing this beast, with 18 challenging chapters and an epilogue describing how indeed I became a lesbian, I took a deep breath. But only for a couple days. Then followed three intense months of initial edits followed by another four months to oversee Amazon’s publication process, all with proofreading galore.

Whew! None of my 15 years as a photojournalist can compare, especially since a next-door neighbor unintentionally set a smoldering fire to my townhouse with all my work inside. Fortunately, I arrived home in time to call the fire department and have them put it out.

I’ve written and/or edited two other books, but those were for other people. This book is mine, all mine, and was inspired by love for Alice.

So don’t get your panties in a bunch. The book is almost ready! I’ll keep you posted as events warrant. And the photo above — which is NOT in the book — was taken 12 years ago when Alice proudly escorted me to Cape May, New Jersey. Those were fine times.

On the Precipice of Publication

The wait is almost over. Then perhaps I can have my teeth whitened.

For six months last year, I pitched New York literary agents with book proposals for 74,000 words, 38 photos and four clippings, all connected to “How I Became A Lesbian (and other stories)”. The agents referred me to websites upon which to put my work, but I found myself waiting around for broken promises. Realizing I’m not getting any younger, I asked a sophisticate in our neighborhood for advice.

He suggested that I partner with Amazon.

As a former deejay on K-POT – an L.A. pirate radio station – at first, I was amused. But I checked out Amazon Publications, and invading literary society kept appealing to my non-conformist mindset.

Consequently, it’s appropriate now to announce that Amazon and I are working together. Amazon is a publisher well-connected to the Internet, and its commitment to the environment is apparent, because it creates print-on-demand books.

Amazon is currently making final touches to the heart-rending product of our journey. And Alice approves. After all, she danced on [American] Bandstand.

Keep tuned.

It’s Coming

 “How I Became A Lesbian (and other stories)” is a captivating journey spanning the gamut of human experience. It blends autobiography into romance — and poetry, too –  that caresses the reader’s mind. From a powerful opening depicting resilience in the face of adversity to the realization of love in one’s twilight years, each chapter feels like attending one’s own symphony.

A vivid depiction of success at Carnegie Hall Annex, a command piano performance for Louis Armstrong, and the Hollywood fast lane as a deejay at K-POT – L.A.’s pirate radio station – provide readers with a backstage pass to a life filled with triumphs and challenges. Loika’s storytelling prowess transports us to these significant moments, allowing us to remember each of our own encounters.

Poetic interludes throughout the memoir/love story add a layer of introspection and artistry. These reflective pauses create a rhythm, turning it into a meditation on the human experience.

Most importantly, it serves as an original departure from conventional narratives in the exploration of romance in the twilight years. An honest and tender portrayal challenges societal norms and celebrates the enduring power of love at every stage of life.

It’s at the publishers. Stay tuned!

Merry Christmas!

To my friends and supporters, I salute you. Accordingly, I have something nice to share this Christmas. It’s as nice as reaching out to a stranger and giving him a toke.

That particular gesture was part and parcel of a South Florida Pink Floyd concert, which is chronicled in my book currently under review at a well-regarded publishing company. The book’s title is How I Became a Lesbian (and other stories), and it’s dedicated to Alice. After she passed, she guided my quest.

Alice and I believed in the power of cannabis; that’s why we went West. I felt intimidated whenever gendarmes appeared in my rear-view mirror back East, Not anymore out here! Paranoid behavior went out the window.

Speaking of cannabis, what were its effects? Rather than inhibit our talents, it enhanced them. Here’s proof.

I finished editing my full-length book, filled with the kind of writing that used to appear in the Bucks County Herald. The entire work now is being reviewed by an enthusiastic, well-known book publisher. Even though Alice was my inspiration, readers on this website convinced me I wasn’t tilting at windmills.

In appreciation, I present a photo taken from an Oregon greenhouse in 2021.

It’s legal to grow your own in Oregon.

The taller plants are known as “sativa,” and the smaller ones, “indica.”

“Sativa” promotes activity and can distract you. It’s great for artists pursuing creative outlets but only when combined with self-discipline.

“Indica” is used for slowing you down, meditating or even sleeping.

“Hybrid” marijuana combines the two kinds above — in different proportions and strengths. Everything else is mumbo-jumbo to confuse the consumer.

A relevant caveat No cannabis or CBD products are known to cure the body; they only serve as an adjunct to medically prescribed practice.

So there you are: A quick primer on cannabis.

Merry Christmas!