Why I Share the LOVE

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This past week, I ran into an individual I hadn’t seen in a coon’s age. We’d worked together years ago and since, we’d lost contact. It was wonderful to see her again. We caught up on the details of our lives since we’d last seen one another. She asked about the rumor she’d heard I’d been ill several years earlier. I told her I had been diagnosed with AIDS.

Her response took me by surprise. “Well, thank goodness you’re cured.”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

My friend thought because she’d not heard of AIDS on the TV or read about it in the papers, the virus was cured. She’d heard about a once-a-day pill people took to prevent contracting AIDS, and she assumed that was a cure-all for AIDS.

Out of sight – out of mind. Because the media doesn’t report on HIV/AIDS as they once did, the general population believes HIV/AIDS must not exist any longer. Also, too many people have assumed that HIV/AIDS was cured since introducing Truvada (the little blue pill) which prevents an individual from acquiring HIV.

My friend brought up the fact I didn’t look sick, therefore, I couldn’t have AIDS. It hadn’t occurred to her that over the years major strides have occurred in HIV medications. Today a person can live with HIV/AIDS without exhibiting physical manifestations, that is if they have access to proper medical services, take expensive medications, and care for themselves.

The visit with my friend was educational. I was aware of the need to educate on HIV/AIDS prevention, but there is also a need to educate the general population of the broader picture of where HIV/AIDS research is today.

For 43 years, HIV/AIDS had been a cloud over my life. In the early 80’s the media had convinced me that because I was a gay male, I would die of HIV/AIDS. I believed that was my fate until AIDS became a reality for me. After my diagnosis, my fight was on to beat this virus. Since then I’ve been actively involved to battle the stigma of living with the virus and to do what I can to encourage research, education, and to assist others struggling with the day-to-day challenges of living with HIV/AIDS.

That is why I’m passionate about supporting the central Texas AIDS Service Organizations to continue doing the fabulous work they do. For them to continue to provide the greatly needed services to assist central Texans affected with HIV/AIDS.

This past October was a wake-up call for the HIV/AIDS community when one of the 10 central Texas AIDS service organizations permanently closed their doors. For 26 years, this organization had provided non-medical support to central Texans living with HIV/AIDS. I was one of their many clients. The organization’s board cited “funding challenges” as their reason for closing. This can not be the future for the remaining 9 agencies. The reality is that without funding, the AIDS Service organizations cannot continue to provide low or no-cost services to the HIV/AIDS community that depends on them.

Next Saturday the 19th annual Hill Country Ride for AIDS will occur. HCRA is the largest AIDS fundraising event in central Texas, benefiting 9 central Texas AIDS service organizations. I’m not physically able to ride a bicycle, but that’s not stopped me from participating as a VIRTUAL RIDER to help raise awareness that new HIV/AIDS infections are still on the rise AND to ask YOU to help me reach my goal of $1000 for Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Please share the LOVE and donate to assist central Texans affected by HIV/AIDS.

Share the LOVE  NOW by donating here:
https://hillcountryride.greatfeats.com/dale-thele

#HCRA2018  #DaleThele  #Author #Novelist

 

Escape from demons and such

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“Dale, who has been diagnosed with AIDS,
is one of Travis County’s most well-known AIDS activist”
Central Health Austin

Like many writers, I write to work through my own personal challenges. Some of those challenges may include physical limitations, some are mental, some are emotional. Other writers work through the nightmares of their own personal demons. I write to temporarily escape my own challenges, to create something that hopefully will take the reader outside of themselves.

There was a time, in 2012 when I first received my HIV-Stage 3 (AIDS) diagnosis when I desperately needed an escape from my reality. That initial year, my hospital expenses exceeded a half million dollars and my medications totaled over $75,000. On top of being too ill to care for myself, I had the added burden of how would I pay for the life-saving treatment I was receiving. My reality was crushing down on me.

This is not uncommon for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Many, like myself, face homelessness, hunger, lack of transportation, inability to pay for medications and doctors. That’s where the AIDS Service Organizations in Austin come to the rescue to help persons living with HIV to navigate the life-saving services they need. Nine AIDS Service Organizations serve individuals living in and around Austin, TX. But they can not help those in need without funding.

April 28 is the 19th annual Hill Country Ride for AIDS, the largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event in central Texas. Hundreds of bicycle riders take to the trails to raise funds which directly benefit NINE local AIDS/HIV Service Organizations. The very organizations which have helped me and thousands of central Texans affected with HIV/AIDS.

I’m physically unable to participate in the ride as a bike rider, but I am committed to helping raise funds so the NINE AIDS Service organizations can continue to provide life-saving services to assist all of us living with HIV/AIDS.

I’m asking for YOUR help — to make a contribution to the HILL COUNTRY RIDE FOR AIDS.

Fact: without these service organizations, I would not be here today. Please, join me by showing your appreciation for the awesome work they do, by making a generous contribution. You can make a donation safely online through this link: https://hillcountryride.greatfeats.com/dale-thele

Thank YOU for sharing the LOVE!!!❤❤❤

#HCRA2018

“Despite occasional health challenges of living with AIDS, Dale finds strength and unending energy in the countless opportunities he creates to help others. Dale is a force for good guided by unrelenting principles, thankfulness, and a tireless drive to make a difference in the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS.” – Prentiss Douthit, Ride Director, Hill Country Ride for AIDS

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist

Free Short Story to Download!

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Harvest Moon

Just released a quick read short story originally written six years ago. The story was filed away and never saw the light of day, until now.

It’s a free download for a limited time. You don’t want to miss it! Download now to get your copy.

If you have friends who have not read my stories, this is a fantastic opportunity to introduce them.

“Unexpected encounters during a pre-dawn walk,
while under the spell of a Harvest Moon.“

Don’t have a digital ebook reader? No sweat, you can download the free Kindle app from Amazon for a laptop, computer, or mobile phone. This story is available worldwide in English.

Download your copy of HARVEST MOON at Smashwords.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist

NEW Release: ROADHOUSE FRIDAY (short story)

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An unidentified individual lets his imagination roam as he weaves detailed fictional stories based on his observations of ordinary folks he encounters during a Friday evening at the Roadhouse Diner.

I was thumbing through archived documents and came across two complete rough drafts of a short story I drafted in 2012. I “married” the two renditions into what developed into ROADHOUSE FRIDAY. The story emerged from observing people at a local Austin restaurant while having supper.

“WOW!” I said to myself, while dining, “there’s a story to be told.”

I wrote the rough draft and then I misplaced it, so I scribbled another draft. I filed the draft away. Recently, I rediscovered both completed drafts. I combined favorite passages from each draft into one story. That’s how ROADHOUSE FRIDAY came to be. You never know where a story idea might pop up.

ROADHOUSE FRIDAY is available for free download at Smashwords.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist

MAKE a CHANGE for the BETTER

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Five years ago, I learned just how precious life truly is. Until that pivotal moment in my existence, I’d taken life for granted. I’d thought there would be endless tomorrows and innumerable new memories to make. But, on that crucial day, I realized life wasn’t a given, it was a gift – a gift to be treasured. That very day, I received an AIDS diagnoses. Weak and delirious with fever in a hospital bed, I had to make a conscious choice: to live or give up. Part of me wanted to just surrender. I was too sick to carry on, yet a small voice from somewhere inside told me to fight. That was when I realized life was worth fighting for. I chose to make a change for the better — to live. Never once have I regretted the decision I made five years ago.

The fight hasn’t been easy, but believe me, it’s been worth it. LIFE is fantastic. I no longer take each day for granted. I have a burning desire to experience all life has to offer. I live and embrace each second of the precious gift I was given — LIFE.

My fight to live wasn’t fought alone, I had the help of local AIDS Service Organizations. Without their help, my fight would have been daunting and I well may have given up. I was fortunate to have received support and encouragement from those amazing organizations. Each of those organizations assisted me when I had no means of paying. I had no income and was too ill to work. My inability to pay didn’t stop these AIDS Service Organizations from encouraging and supporting me along the path to self-sufficiency.

Five years later, I’m passionate to help those extraordinary AIDS Service Organizations to continue doing the fabulous work they do. For them to continue providing the desperately needed services to help central Texans affected with HIV/AIDS, they require funds to keep their doors open.

In a few weeks, the 19th annual Hill Country Ride for AIDS will occur. HCRA is the largest AIDS fundraising event in central Texas. I’m not physically able to ride a bicycle, but that’s not stopped me from taking part as a VIRTUAL RIDER to help raise awareness that new HIV/AIDS infections are still on the rise AND to ask YOU to help me raise $1000 for Hill Country Ride for AIDS. This is THE MOMENT for YOU to MAKE A CHANGE for the better. Please donate to make a change for the better for Central Texans affected by HIV/AIDS.

Share the LOVE: https://hillcountryride.greatfeats.com/dale-thele

#HCRA2018  #DaleThele  #Author #Novelist

Grey Expanse Between Fact and Fiction

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There’s an old saying “write what you know” a popular expression among writers. So what happens when you write a story of “what you know” but you don’t have all the factors to conclude the story?

Over four decades ago, when I was a high school student, there were some unconventional incidents that took place in my teens. Years later, I considered writing an autobiography which would have revealed a real and intimate part of my life, but I was missing a key component, the “why did those events take place?” Without answers to that question, an autobiographical account was out of the question. Who’d want to read a book with no conclusion? Those events were real, and they changed not only my life but the lives of others. Yet I didn’t have the details to wrap up the story all tidy and neat.

On a personal note, I had struggled with the “why?” for years. I had kept that part of my life private because I worried to tell my story due to possible retaliation. For years, I wanted to put those memories behind me. I craved and needed closure.

Finally, the solution came to me. Couldn’t I write the “what I know” part and fill in the unknown “why” with fictional content? I wrote the rough draft and everything fell into place. The completed draft was a blend of fact and fiction. It answered every one of the unknown factors which eluded me for years. I had a complete story. And most of all, I found the closure I so desperately desired.

The result was a coming of age story composed in the grey expanse between established facts and pure made up fiction. No loose ends, no unanswered questions, a story wrapped up with a big shiny bow. I entitled it CLIPPED WINGS.

I completed the epic length rough draft in four months. Handwritten with fountain pens and liquid bottled ink in eight cheap college-ruled composition notebooks. An additional three months to transpose the manuscript into digital format along with considerable first round editing. There are several further rounds of self-editing to do. Then, I will release the manuscript to hungry beta readers. At which time, they will rip and shred my manuscript apart with their scathing remarks. From the beta readers comments, I’ll have a plethora of editing options before me. However, I will have the last word as I wrap up the final edit before the manuscript goes to a third-party editor to polish the final manuscript for publishing.

CLIPPED WINGS may be a southern coming of age novel to its readers, but for me, I found closure to a dark part of my earlier life. The question remains, is the book fact or fiction? You and I know the actual answer, the story takes shape in that grey expanse which exists between fact and fiction, yet inspired by actual events.

Read more about CLIPPED WINGS. I invite you to subscribe to the SCUTTLEBUTT, my online newsletter, with monthly updates on CLIPPED WINGS, as well as background facts and behind the scenes news about the book.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT

Conversation with an Author: Dale Thele

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Had an amazing afternoon with A Dude Abikes. A budding new author to watch for. Take a look at his blog and make sure you LIKE his posts and don’t forget to Follow A Dude Abikes. He’s an awesome dude.

A Dude Abikes

img_20180326_132441756-1483595608.jpg Dale with his coffee cup, black moustache protector, business card, and writer cap.

Dale Thele is an author.  If there’s one thing I took away from the very generous amount of time we spent together at a coffee shop today, is that to think of oneself as an author (or writer, if you prefer), is important.  No, it does not make you good, or increase your chances of publication.

But, thinking of oneself that way is one key to behaving that way.  Writers write, right?  (Do authors auth?)  Luckily, I took away alot more than that one thing, and as Dale was happy to share them with me, he’s happy for me to share them with all 168 of my followers and any new visitors.

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