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Inside The Octagon
By Ryan Kelly
Friday, January 14, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
To most, the Octagon is nothing more than an eight-sided shape, and of course, what they say is true . However, to me, the Octagon has become iconic by its ability to describe the very nature of my life. It’s most visible attribute, being multisided, would of itself be enough to make the similarities match. As I share my vision of the octagon with you there will be other attributes that fit, but let’s start at the beginning.
When I first sat down to write my memoirs, I understood that my writing would take me onto the Internet. As an avid Internet surfer, I also knew that the Internet was a very large community where most everything has been overexposed and overused, and where finding an identity is a difficult task. It was paramount that I find an icon that would be unique. Since my second love, closely trailing writing, was website design, I was aware that I would end up creating several websites.
Not too far into the writing of the first book, I realized that my memoirs could not be written in a single book. I made the decision to split my writing into three books, and immediately adopted the name ‘The Octagon Anthologies’. Currently the first two books have been published, ‘Octagon The Early Years’ and Octagon In The Middle’. It was during the writing of ‘Octagon The Early Years’ that I chose Octagon as my icon.
Quite honestly, the multi-sided aspect is what grabbed my attention. My life was about as multi-sided as one can be. Those sides included growing up in a broken dysfunctional home, dealing with alcoholism, becoming a foster child, juvenile delinquency, and on top of all that, the realization that I was gay. Beyond being multi-sided, the octagon’s other attributes began to match as I wrote. An enclosure comprised of straight lines mirrored the closeted life I was forced to live and my need to live as a straight person.
The fact that the octagon has eight sides did not initially fit into any ideology, but as I conceptualize the octagon now, it may have more meaning. It appears there is no end to the number of websites, which I intend to create, as part of my Internet endeavors. There are currently eight (The octagon of websites). Perhaps I should give it a rest. However, each website is really an expression of my diversified interests and I see them forming together as sides of the octagon. So in essence, they have become a family of websites encompassing my compassions and presenting my dreams.
Let me take you through a tour of the octagon web I have weaved on the net. The first website, Ryan Kelly Publishing, was designed originally to share resources that I came across as I was learning about eBooks. In addition, I included other resources one might need to be successful online. Since the main program that I was suggesting to others was the FreeToSell eBook program, I used the URL of http://ebooksfreetosell.netfirms.com
The website is still there, and I update it from time to time, but now it is used as a resource center for the next website I created.
GbookEbook is my answer to the lack of websites that sell gay or lesbian eBooks. The website is setup to allow a gay or lesbian writer to have their writing converted to an eBook (pdf and lit) format, and then marketed in a secure shopping cart. This website is not living up to my expectations at this time and I may change the format to allow any writer to use the website. Traffic has been excellent, and I wonder what’s missing that a gay writer would not jump on the opportunity offered there. GbookEbook is at: http://gbookebook.netfirms.com
The next website is an offshoot from the GbookEbook website. It is a book project that I started, Q&A, New Voices. While gay adversaries believe money and power can lead them to victory, they fail to realize that gays have the two strongest weapons in the battle, words and the truth. Q&A New Voices embodies the use of both of those powerful tools. Q&A New Voices is an anthology of gay voices, telling the truth, with the power of their words. Participants in this project provided their personal answers to a group of questions, and often added their own questions and answers, that cover many of the current issues facing our society today. The result: Great reading for gay readers and unbelievably candid and truthful answers for the straight reader. If you are gay, or have a gay friend, please visit the website and participate. The website is at:
Another offshoot from the GbookEbook Website is a gay ezine, NoSidesMag. While much of the content is gay oriented, I also include articles and information that anyone might be interested in, especially those that are supportive of gay and lesbian issues. Again, I offer visitors the opportunity to submit their articles, and a forum to discuss the articles and current issues. You will find this website at: http://gbookebook.netfirms.com/nosides/nosides.html
Looking for a method to my madness, I created the Gay Insight Blog at Blogspot. The blog allows me to publish the articles and then link to them from other locations, including NoSidesMag. It is located at:
Moving right along, I don’t know, but I believe it was the re-election of G Wrong Bush that caused me to create the next website. Well, the Christian zealots relationship with G Wrong was the icing on the cake of fed up ness. I could see that liberals really needed to regroup and insure America a safe and free country. Therefore, I started a grassroots movement, where liberals can keep informed on what’s going on. This website is drawing excellent traffic, and folks are signing up, so within a short time I will be guiding the group in forming smaller groups to accomplish some of the tasks that lie before us. I named the group The Equality Alliance Mission. (TEAM) This website is at:
Again, I created a blog to handle the articles for TEAM and it can be read at:
Bored, LOL, I decided I needed to have some playtime. Therefore, I created an account at AuthorsDen where I could publish some of my poetry and other writings. I guess you could say AuthorsDen pulled it all together for me. From AuthorsDen one should be able to visit any and all of the websites I have just mentioned. You can visit me at AuthorsDen at:
But wait a minute, there’s more. The feedback, in the way of reviews of my poetry, from AuthorsDen, prompted me to send some of my poetry to my editor. He told me to drop everything and write a book of poetry. I have decided to share that poetry as I write, and therefore created another blog, which I named, Ryan’s Poetic Plunge. You may read my poetry at:
Now nearing the end of this website tour, I came across a website named Useless Knowledge. After submitting a few articles, I decided to start a website designed on the same concept. So the last website on the tour is the newest and the one that has the potential to be the most fun. You can check out Needless News at:
I hope I have provided you with an inside look at Internet Addiction. LOL. However, to be truthful, I love each one of these websites and enjoy updating them and keeping them fresh. I’m hoping that somewhere down the line I will find some good people that would like to take over the daily operation of a few of the websites. I’d like to see that they are maintained and kept fresh and alive. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and will become a regular visitor at one of the websites in the family of octagon websites.
If you’ve read this far, I’m amazed. You know, they say folks don’t like to read on the net, can you believe that? I don’t believe it since I personally do a lot of my reading on the net. Nevertheless, since you’ve made it this far, I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you about the two books I’ve published. Both of these books can be easily purchased at some of the websites above. Let me first say that these book, while containing gay oriented stories, are written for everyone, straight or gay. The stories are entertaining and dare I mention, educational.
They are educational only in the sense that the reader gets a front row seat. It’s an opportunity to look at the life of a young man growing up gay, from the child and the adult viewpoint. I must warn you that the first book, ‘Octagon The Early Years’, contains some graphic sexual language. At the time, I felt the need to be graphically explicit to draw the reader into the world that existed for me at that age. In the second book,’ Octagon In The Middle’, there was less need for that, and therefore graphic sexual language was seldom used.
In emails that I received from readers, the words sad, shocking, and unbelievable were often used. However, the most rewarding comments came from those that said the book changed their opinion about gay people. It made them realize, finally, that the hardship was not being gay, but instead surviving in a world of hate and intolerance. Knowing that I touched a few lives, changed their heart, gave my writing purpose. For that I am thankful.
I encourage you to read ‘The Octagon Anthologies.
Site: Needless News
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|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Ryan, when I first saw that you had divided your memoirs into three books, I thought how old is this guy and what could he possibly have done to need three books to tell it? I have no questions now. I'm very impressed with this overview, with your depth, and your purpose. I hope to read your Anthologies soon. Thanks for sharing the message, and trying to open eyes and hearts. I'm very glad I read to the end, because the power lines were at the end: the hardship was not being gay, but instead surviving in a world of hate and intolerance. Knowing that I touched a few lives, changed their heart, gave my writing purpose. For that I am thankful. Great job!|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|an interesting, eye opening read. Well done! :)|
|Reviewed by Judy Lloyd
|Can I say something one reason I left that other column was because of hate mail and I left. My brother is gay and I know he has been attacked and other things. But he knows that I always knew and did not condemn him for his views. So if you see where everything I wrote was deleted it is because my husband laid down the law to Matt. However now that you are here I can write freely so I will check out your site. I do not judge people.|