July Updates!

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Jul 172013
 

It’s SUMMER and things have been pretty busy around here lately with projects and events. I hope to get back into the routine of regular blogging  (though some of that has been taking place on other forums – see below).    Roundup of all the things I’ve been up to (in no particular order):

* I’m still thinking and processing through how incredible the Lambda Literary Awards were and the Saints & Sinners Conference, and I’m sure thoughts from both will continue to percolate in my brain and make their way into future blogs- If by chance you missed my initial ruminations on those events they are linked above.

*Did you know that since April I’ve been writing a monthly Little’s column at Leatherati? It’s called A Little This/A Little That.  I was so thrilled that the site was interested in giving more of a space to littles and taking on writing this column has been an exciting challenge for me as I continue to explore how I feel about being more and more out about my life. Most exciting, has been the response from littles in the community!  I’m thrilled that so many litltes have commented to one of the blogs, or privately messaged me talking about how connected they feel to what I’m writing and how it’s resonating in their own lives! My big goal with this column was to increase the visibility of littles community and I’m THRILLED that seems to be happening!

*I’ve Just starting writing a weekly column with the fun folks over at Dogster!  This is a really exciting opportunity for me to have an outlet to talk about all things dog, and also to share some of the great adventures that my canine pack and I have here in Brooklyn!  If you’re a dog lover definitely check it out!

* Kicked Out just got an AMAZING review at State of Formation. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3.5 years since the anthology released.  There’s always been something special about that book, and most of all the family of contributors that made it possible.  For me as an editor, there’s nothing more exciting than to know that still, years after its release this book is continuing to do the work that I dreamed it would, that it continues to touch the lives of people who need its stories.  Check out the review pt. 1  and pt. 2

* It’s hard to believe that Roving Pack released 10 months ago! This novel has changed me as a writer in so many ways both in terms of the work that I feel drawn to do, but also the ways in which I work and how I feel connected to communities.  It’s been, and continues to be an incredible ride with this novel. I don’t think a week ahs gone by that I haven’t heard from someone in the community about how this novel has connected with them.  Knowing that my work is reaching readers, especially marginalized queer readers and helping people to feel connected is the greatest honor. It’s also thrilling how many people have continued to buy directly from me. You can order signed copies and ebook copies at www.RovingPack.com when someone buys via amazon I only make $1 per book #WritersLife buying direct means that you are helping to invest in my future artistic projects!

* I haven’t talked as much as I should about my newest baby Leather Ever After; it’s such a FUN anthology and has only been out in the world since the winter. It’s been getting great reviews and it’s been exciting to have such a FUN and different book to bring out into the world—it’s been especially fun for me to feel as though I have finally found my home within BDSM/Leather communities as a whole, and to know that this anthology has been a big part of that. Check out this FANTASTIC recent review of the anthology! 

*I’m working on learning to take breaks. Two books being released in the last year has been an incredible dream come true, but also EXHAUSTING. I’m working on pacing myself, knowing how much I can reasonably take on and incorporating that into all the work that I do. This weekend Kestryl and I are taking off to P-Town for a whole week with the dogs!  It’s going to be the first vacation of that length that I’ve ever taken as an adult! I’m hoping to get some writing done when the inspiration strikes (as it has often lately) but  mostly spend time napping, reading (I have a HUGE stack of books I plan to work my way through) and just playing around at the beach with my family! If you don’t already, follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see TONS of pictures of the dogs playing at the beach!

*The current youth at SMYRC the queer youth center I grew up at has been reading Roving Pack this summer as part of their writing/book group!  We’re working out the exact details but I’ll be joining them via SKYPE sometime next month to talk about the book! This is one of the most exciting book related events I’ve had the opportunity to do in a really long time! Super nervous and can’t wait to hear what kind of questions they have!

*In the past couple of months I’ve been making huge progress on my new novel ‘Lost Boi’ which is a punk, queer and leather focused retelling of the Peter Pan story. I hope to write more soon about what the writing process has looked and felt like, especially the ways in which it has been quite different process wise from my work on Roving Pack.  I’m well over 33,500 words on the first-draft of the novel and finding myself continually inspired to keep working not only on this draft, but also formulating ideas about how I want to rework sections that have already been written.

* In NYC?  On August 2nd join me for a special reading celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Laura Antoniou’s Marketplace series! I’m a contributor to her Marketplace fan fiction anthology, “No Safewords” and several of us will be reading! As of right now this is the only reading I’m doing in NYC the rest of the summer! Hope to see you there!.

 

 

Jul 012013
 

Pride has a special place in my heart- always has, and despite all the “bad” things about how corporate it has become, and how aspects of it promote assimilation.  I never want to forget what a privledge it is to critique “how” we celebrate Pride. I want to always remember that people are beaten, jailed, and killed trying to have pride marches, for simply trying to live out LGBTQ lives.  Have you been following everything happening in Russia?  You need to be.  Everyone who marched in St. Petersburg Pride this year has been beaten and jailed. 

This year was particularly special because I had received an invitation from NYC’s Heritage of Pride to be part of the annual Pride Kickoff Rally! Now, if you would have told the 17 year old baby-dyke who was sleeping on someone’s borrowed couch after being kicked out, or the 19 year old trans-guy living in a basement that flooded with sewage that someday I would be speaking fromt eh stage of NYC’s Pride Rally, three days after DOMA fell…. I would NEVER have believed you.

So I was scheduled to perform at the Pride Rally and as I was backstage on the pier getting ready to go on, the rumor began circulating that there was to be a surprise performance from LADY GAGA!!! Now I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Gaga fan (my musical tastes are pretty solidly in the lesbian folk category) but there’s no denying how powerful she’s been as an artist within our community.  As the security backstage increased it became clear that the rumor was real, and then suddenly there she was!  Gaga talked about how the LGBTQ community has saved her – and then she sang the national anthem!

I was backstage waiting to go on stage. The whole thing was pretty surreal, I mean what are the odds I would get to say that Lady GaGa has opened for me :P It was also funny to watch the intense amount of security that sprung up the minute she arrived onto the Pier, and then of course there was the moment after she sang where she was backstage smoking a cigarette leaning against a port-a-potty, and then later smoking inside the port-a-potty!!!

Because the programming had run long the Heritage of Pride volunteers asked me to shorten my set if possible. I had to decide between the two pieces I planed to perform that night. I ended up deciding on “A Prayer For The Runaways” but I wanted to share both that piece, and “Hard Won Home” my piece about PRIDE here with all of you:

Hard Won Home:

You stand at Christopher

Camera’d eyes  hidden behind the shutter

Shudder

Tears pulled loose by what this cost us

We storm the streets

Spilling out from subway tunnels

Clown car piled fire escapes

Sequins and glitter

Glinting

Like that first thrown bottle

Smashed

Like the shards that barely missed me last week

You the week before

The streetlights cast shadows

Haunting

Of the

Hirstories

we should carry

Strapped next to our hearts into our boots

But are instead too often

Rusted glitter buried in sidewalk cracks

We’re starved for this

Body slams body

Circuit parties

Festival sidelines

Desperate to feel

To connect

To believe

We’re not

Alone

On Monday

We emerge from the rainbow haze

Hung-over

On the memory of

Belonging

On the feeling of

Connecting

It’s never enough

And also everything we spent lifetimes

Not daring to dream of

Tell me about your first pride

And I’ll show you mine

The stumble for breath

Backwards falling into buildings

The sunrise walk over the bridge

To watch the festival bloom

Dilated pupils taking in

More than dreams could conjure

Floats

Glitter

The roar of Dykes and

 bikes

That day I did not wear three pieces of women’s clothes

Boots

Jeans

Ace bandage

Boxers

Button-down

I did not know

Not long ago

This would have mattered

The plague has never ended

Cocktails are not cures

And I know more positive than not

Last month in Union Square park

A girl died with a needle

Her devoted dog was pulled from her body

We hug when we meet

Chest to chest full body hugs

Pressing our hearts towards one another

Their fists were in the air that night

Heels and bottles gripped tight

Queens

Butches

Queer kids

Homeless

We never learned this in school

Taught ourselves in youth center back rooms

On library floors

Newsprint riot photo documented eyes

From the mouths of our lovers

Now we talk of it daily

I tattoo it into my skin

We want them to know

The hirstory they walk upon

The scars carried

Lives lost

For this moment to come to pass

The heart is the size of a fist

We’re built to love and fight with the same ferocity

Always have been

We bring our love to the streets

And kiss away the road rash in hard won homes 

 

A Prayer for the Runaways:

This is for the runaways

In memory of the kids I grew up with

For the gender radicals who were lost to broken beer bottles in fist fights

For those who disappeared.

For the dykes behind bars, and the ones who swallowed pills to make everything end.

For the kid with eyes glazed over with stories trapped inside by the needle in his arm.

For the genderqueers buried under headstones with their names carved wrong.

This is for the runaways

This is for the ones who walked out the door the final time

And the ones stuck sweaty hand slipping off the doorknob

Ears tuned into the sounds of sleeping parents upstairs

To aunts cooking in the kitchen

For the ones that know no one is listening For that final slam

I’m praying that you don’t hit that squeaky stair in the middle of the night

That the battery on your cell phone lasts long enough that you can call a friend

That you remembered to empty your piggy bank

That you remember you’re not alone

I’m praying to gods and goddesses I’m never even sure that I believe in

That you have the strength to walk out that door

To stay gone

Because they don’t deserve you

And they never did

Welcome Home