Love: Something Infinite began as a cathartic exercise for me, a young urban African American male, raised with traditional Christian values, diagnosed with clinical depression that also happens to be gay. In time, being HIV positive was added to that list. It, like almost everything I have ever written without the motivation of my academic or professional careers, is pretty much house cleaning for my mind, emptying the mind of an excess of thought, and imagination. Every now and again this mostly emotional, un-targeted action seemingly takes on a life of its own, developing consciousness and the need for a function, continuously evolving to serve numerous purposes in my life and those around me. The process yields an intelligent message with a variety of purposes: entertainment, inspiration, motivation, and so on.
My life was severely conflicted, similar to many others of the same demographic. I was psychologically and emotionally unbalanced and a walking contradiction. Perhaps the most constant and sustaining elements of my life have been writing and literature. This fact was evident in writing the first few pages of this work which initially provided a safe place to explore my feelings, past, aspirations, and my future. Since that time I understand the importance of adding my literary voice to the conversations about my immediate community as well as the global discussion on the human condition.
As previously stated, LOVE: Something Infinite's initial purpose was an attempt at personal release and introspection. The 40-page story served as my fiction portfolio in the pursuit of a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and ultimately the 120-plus page novella became my thesis. It graduated to an academic function, but neither it nor my purposes were completely fulfilled. I began to think about my pains and narrow escapes in light of two suicide attempts and a new function for the work was conceptualized. I was reminded of the countless others wrestling with similar struggles. LOVE: Something Infinite is a novel inspired by actual events and the characters depicted within are a mixture of composites and archetypes I have been blessed to encounter. While the situations and personalities have been fictionalized, it is my hope that Something Infinite still retains the true-to-life emotions I and many others have experienced, connecting us all on some level.
This leads me to the three primary objectives I intend for Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC to meet:
Objective 1 - Promoting Healing and Encouraging Discourse
Despite my unique personal story, I desire to present the reader with a universal narrative that can tell every person's story. To illustrate a plot beginning with a conflict familiar to most any person, the occasional or lifelong lack of self-acceptance, ending with a universally necessary resolution, the initiation of real self-actualization. This is a storyline we can all live out, a narrative for us all. These are the attributes which I feel make this story somewhat unique. I have been primarily influenced by the works and reputations of literary greats such as E. Lynn Harris, James Earl Hardy, and James Baldwin to name a few. These are authors who taught me not only to hear the voices of the marginalized, the underserved and underrepresented but to also see the commonalities between their stories and that of the majority. Something Infinite is a novel which seeks to reconcile the two. Finally and perhaps most importantly this novel adds to the voices of the HIV/AIDs infected and affected for the purposes of further informing the public about the emotional implications involved in this epidemic and dispelling the common mis-conception that such a diagnosis is a "death sentence."
Objective 2 - Long-Term Investment of Resources
I have decided to devote my writing talents, newly acquired professional associations, my position as a self-published author and all related resources to continue facilitating the crucial conversations detailed above. I was recently divinely inspired to move to the next stage, leaving the 9-5 world.
This financial backing provided through purchases and donations in the form of financial contributions and services would allow me to complete new projects with similar, ultimate aims including; interjecting my voice to promote LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS awareness and advocacy, to connect with the emotionally and mentally compromised, to combat stereotypes and misconceptions, to project positive images and to help others define their own lives and establish their own sense of self-acceptance. I have been fortunate to make numerous connections with individuals and organizations across the country with similar aims and mission statements. I have a number of tentative travel plans to attend various LGBTQ Pride events, literary and art showcases, writing and publishing conferences, and to support the initiatives of organizations promoting literacy, LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS awareness and advocacy all of which I am actively pursuing in the city of Chicago, IL and the global community through the usage of social media and the world wide web.
Most importantly, objective number two includes efficiently investing resources in a manner that will have long-term benefits for my business and the public it will positively impact. The vast majority of any funding would serve as capital to continuously create new revenue streams for my company. This would include publishing more of my literary titles as well as those of other authors and artists, making sound investments in mutual funds, stocks, and bonds with the hope of generating more revenue. As a financially solvent business, Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC will serve to encourage the growth of many other small businesses and the education of many individuals within underserved populations and depressed communities.
Objective 3 - Promoting Professional and Economic Growth
While writing has been a constant in my life, the idea of pursuing it as a career has often been abandoned due to the rigorous competition we new authors face in a publishing industry which is continuously shrinking. Fortunately, I have many sources of emotional support as well as the professional mentoring and the opportunity at an educational career which all enabled me to pursue my dream. Still, a number of obstacles have to be surmounted; securing agreements with retailers, media outlets and making significant working relationships with notable and affluent professionals in my field. Despite these difficulties, I have been fortunate to achieve more than most who share my aspirations in a very short period. I have determined that my success must and will breed success for others.
I am in the process of developing an internship program based on a requirement for my MFA in Creative Writing which would provide practical experience to the next generation of writers and publishers and offer a stipend for the participants. This would assist the students with their educational expenses as well as provide a notable experience for their resume and future employment opportunities within the profession.
There have been numerous inquiries regarding Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC producing and representing the work of other lesser-known authors such as myself. Rather than see so many more talented individuals approach traditional publishing houses in vain and, possibly deterred from producing a novel that many may need to read only because of a lack of notoriety on the part of the new author I would hope to help them establish themselves in this rigorous and highly competitive field. A significant component of
this objective includes revising a long-standing dream of producing a literary magazine to showcase previously unpublished literary, poetic, and visual talents for the ultimate purpose of helping to acquire that first critical publishing credit, an opportunity granted in 2009 with 95Notes Literary Magazine. That first small accomplishment to this day continues to motivate me, and I want to cultivate that drive in as many others as possible.
As stated before literacy has proven invaluable in my life. That coupled with my belief in the need for equal opportunities in education are the primary reasons I have been employed as an academic advisor with the federally funded TRiO programs for fourteen years and teaching online with Rasmussen College for seven years. My immediate community and many similar collectives across the globe suffer due to an imbalance (intentional or otherwise) of opportunities to adequately educate oneself. Countless individuals seeking to improve their station in life don't have the resources or proper advisement. Mentally my passion for education and love of writing, and literature are inseparable and one day that marriage will manifest in the establishment of a book retail shop that would also provide services to the community. In the case of the former, it would offer an initial retail opportunity for new authors and supplement educational resources for the latter.
Finally, for the purposes of the third objective Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC will continue to employ new and small business owners similar to the editors, writers, photographers, digital artists, caterers, printers, accountants, lawyers, models, actors, and cinematographers who have lent their services, products and expertise in the productivity, marketing, the promotion and the establishment of Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC as a thriving, legal and financial entity.
As detailed above my plans, in general, are extensive, and the resources your purchases and investments provide would be beyond beneficial to these philanthropic, entrepreneurial, and, altruistic aims. I would most desire to impress upon you my earnest intentions to be the best possible steward of any investment (be it short-term in the form of a purchase or long-term in the sense of contributing to the soon-to-come investment opportunities). You are investing in an organization that in turn plans to add to the general welfare of as many individuals as Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC can positively and reasonably impact. Maximizing the gift of your contribution and perpetuating an ideal expressed by Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim. "to add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding" (Guggenheim, Letter of Gift, 1925). Thank you for your interest in Rainbow Room Publishing, LLC.
Eddie S. Pierce Jr.