Article mentioning me in William and Mary News in 2014

Swem Library at William and Mary, 2011-10

In October 2011 I did go down to Williamsburg for a weekend to participate in a weekend for William and Mary GALA. which was founded in the 1980s.

Wren Building Interior 2011-10

This article by Paul Brockwell JR (2007) appeared in the Alumni magazine and is on the WM site in 2014, here, titled “Pride and prejudice: LGBTQ history at W&M”. The article mentions my 1961 Thanksgiving weekend expulsion except the person I told directly (and who called my parents, themselves on a road trip visiting friends in Charlotte, out of the blue, with my permission) was Dean of Men Carson Barnes, not Dean of Students Lambert (whom I remember). I was told that the president of the college David Paschall (do I remember the name right?) was contacted. On a certain level, given the norms of the time, they felt confronted with the idea that a “non-male” person was living in the men’s dorm (which is completely wrong by today’s understanding and is totally different from trans-gender or non-binary). It’s also notable that William and Mary did not have as many female students as male, which made male students feel more uncomfortable about finding dates and proving themselves socially.

Indeed, college dorms in those days of “in loco parentis” had sign-in curfews for women but not men, to “protect” the women from the men, an odd irony in that I was not a conceivable “threat” in that sense.

The article also mentions the story of author Tom Baker, a couple years later than mine. I’ve read his novel “The Sound of One Horse Dancing” from iUniverse (as are the first two of my three DADT books). Kirkus Reviews gives a good summary of the plot of his book.

(Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 11 PM EST by John W. Boushka)

Publishing under a pen name: Pros and cons

birth papers 1943

I’ve explained elsewhere that my legal name is John William Boushka, and that my parents gave me the nickname “Bill” when I was born, and that was how I was always known colloquially.

“Bill” sounds secular (based on a simplification of my very English middle name), whereas “John” is the name of at least two important apostles or disciples in the New Testament and sounds more somber.

My father was, in fact, “John Joseph Boushka” (b. 1903 in New Virginia, Iowa) and was often known as “Jack”, again secular, especially as a young man before marriage to my mother in 1940.

Amazon is quite OK with people publishing books under pen names, and there can be specific situations where (in many countries) it may be “dangerous” for your exact identity to be known. In my case, in the 1990s, I wanted to keep some “double-life” separation between income producing work and self-publishing for self-expressive purposes. (That turns out to be a somewhat eventful narrative that I have covered elsewhere.)

One big disadvantage can be that it can be much harder to make a book sell under a pen name unless you are already well-established, and there may be a notion that a pen-name should be a separate business.

Here is an article (March 31, 2021) by Daniel Rosehill on Medium, under a subject called Freelance Writing, “Reasons To Use A Pen Name For Your Amazon Self-Publishing — And Why Not To”.

Robert Brewer also discusses this for Writer’s Digest.

(Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 11:30 PM EST by John W. Boushka)