In Memory of Lou

author lou silvestri
This is the photo Lou provided for his IU Anthology bio.

Normally, we don’t post things like this on Indies Unlimited, because, sadly, we lose so many friends over the years, and  their families know best how to share their memory and their legacy. In this case, however, as best as I can tell, Indies Unlimited was Lou Silvestri’s family.

There isn’t a lot of information about Lou out there. We’re not certain where he was born – New York City is a good guess, though. We have learned that he passed away in December at the age of 90, in Phoenix, Arizona.

What we do know about Lou is that he was a sweet, wonderful, thoughtful, funny man who, even at age 90, was competing in our weekly Flash Fiction Challenges – and he was having fun doing it. As I went back through our many emails to find quotes or anything I could use in this post, it brought me great happiness. He was always so grateful to IU for giving him the platform to write, and even made friends with some of the other flash fiction contestants who also encouraged him to publish his stories in books. And that he did – in 2017 he self-published two collections. So if you hear someone say “I’m too old to self-publish,” Lou proved them wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

If there was a week when Lou didn’t post a story, the IU staff would notice. Nearly all his stories had some element of humor in them, and many times he won Editors’ Choice honors and was included in the Anthology at year’s end. And in his honor, the 2020 Anthology will be dedicated to him.

Lou was so sweet. He sent us his very first royalty check. Here’s a snippet from that email:

Received a check for $5.76 (Yippee!!!)  from On Demand Publishing (Amazon???) for  4 “royalties”??? dating back to February 12, 2017 from the only two books I ever (self) published. Get a load of me, a very first time PAID author.  Dose that finally make me a professional???  🙂  Hey, I’m gonna be 90 next Thursday, 3/28.

I couldn’t bring myself to cash it, and I still have it to this day as a memento.

Lou, you will be greatly missed. We already miss your presence during the flash fiction challenge. Please know you are in our thoughts, and our hearts.

One of many lovely holiday greetings made by Lou for IU staff and the other Flash Fiction contestants.

Technical Issues

Hey All,

WordPress made a major update last night, and now the admin end of the website here doesn’t work. We’ve got calls into Tech Support, but….

In any case, hang in there, we’re working on it.

– The Frazzled Management

(We’d add a funny photo of a stressed out person here, but sadly, we can’t…)

Writing to Cope or Whatever Works

IU Exec Director KS Brooks eats too much whipped cream
Whipped cream is delicious.

I hope each and every one of you is home safe, and that you and your families are healthy.

This is a troubling time, with the future uncertain. Many have lost their jobs, and most of those who haven’t are now working from home. Many of them have their children home as well. None of these scenarios are exactly the greatest ambiance for writing.

Yet writing (and eating lots of chocolate or whipped cream) is a great coping mechanism. Even simply jotting down what you saw and felt in an attempt to document the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 can provide some relief, and it won’t make you fat.

As the notes come out, it’s not a far reach to imagine using them in a post-apocalyptic novel or a science fiction book. Of course, you could just use them in an actual memoir. Or, you could not use them at all, or file them in a drawer. Then, there are some of us who use humor to cope – and will end up writing a spoof or comedy. Maybe you just want to have something documented to share with your grandchildren. None of these ways is wrong. Whatever helps you cope is the right thing to do.

Those of you who have been working on projects may feel a little lost and unable to focus. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. These are times the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Feeling a little funky is to be expected. I’ve had a huge list of things to get done forever and now I’m at a loss for what those are. If looking at memes on Facebook was on the list, I’d be an overachiever. In any case, give yourself time to deal with things.

I think a lot of people feel helpless right now, but the reality of it is – staying home is doing something. It’s pulling dominoes out of the line and hopefully preventing something even more catastrophic.

An activity that might help could be playing a writing game with your kids. Ask them to write down how they feel about being home right now. Maybe you want to ask them to write what they would be doing if they could do anything. They could also write about what worries them. This will give you insight into what they’re going through and be an easy way to open up discussion and help them overcome their fears. Just don’t forget to write your own assignment at the same time. If they’re too young to write, have them draw.

Many authors are making their books free so people (and kids!) can have something to read to pass the time. Reading is such a great escape. Smashwords is having a big sale right now and many of those books are free.

If it moves you, take advantage of those free books. Take advantage of the new time you may have. Read, write – do what helps you find your balance. If it’s neither, that’s fine, too. Find something that works for you, and don’t feel guilty about it!

Keep safe and healthy. Whatever the “new normal” ends up being, we’ll get there together.

All the best from me and the IU staff,

Kat

Thankful Today and Every Day

thank-you-515514_640This Thanksgiving, we here at Indies Unlimited have a whole lot to be grateful for.

On October 31 of this year, we created a GoFundMe to help cover our web hosting expenses. Within five days, we exceeded the goal of that fundraiser. That’s not something I ever expected, and it is deeply moving that our community values us so highly. Thank you so very, very much.

We appreciate each and every one of you, and are very grateful that you appreciate us. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the minions for their continued support over the years, too. I’m grateful for their generosity. We wouldn’t be “we” without them.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a holiday season full of love and happiness. Thank you again for being a part of the Indies Unlimited family.

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