April!

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Apr 302017
 

I can’t believe that April is already over! It was a quick month for me – that of course included Easter – one of my favorite holidays. It was the first holiday my family spent in our new house, and contrary to my worries, the Easter Bunny had no problem finding us! 17952925_10211556445282896_7586546313444033969_n

This month I wrote my regular column at Curve Magazine, a story about giant dogs for Dogester and then a featured piece on Huffington Post about being a Queer Little! I was anxious about that story- and it did generate a fair amount of hateful comments, including some trolls coming to visit my twitter account. THAT SAID writing this little piece felt really important to me to help raise awareness and dispel myths about littles and Big/little Caregiver/little BDSM/leather dynamics. Trolls aside I’ve gotten wonderful sweet letters/messages/comments from littles who felt embarrassed about their identities,  or who are closeted – hearing that my article helped them to feel a little less alone made all the hateful comments worth it!

SassafrasThis month I found my dress for the Lambda Literary Awards in June. I’m super excited that A Little Queermas Carol is a Finalist. Of all my books, this is probably the least read one it’s such a niche of a niche of a niche book – but I love the way that i’ve been able to connect to a very special core readership for me.  I’m obviously excited to see how this book will do in the awards, but I”m also really trying to  focus on writing this new novel. I just finished a draft of chapter 23, I’ve got another 11 go go. I”m writing about a chapter a week at this point – and have been for a couple of months now. I’m enjoying this novel a lot, and in

april I feel like I really hit my stride with the book where Im really connecting to the characters, and they are connecting to me.18121440_10211626217307153_6774510955749098295_o

A lot of my time in April has been wrapped up in socializing and training and loving on our new giant puppy Sirius. She’s now 4 months old, graduated from puppy school, learned a whole collection of tricks, and just having a great time learning and growing – oh boy is she growing!!! I love how she has fit into our pack, and how much fun she and Charlotte have together every day! April’s weather has started warming up here in Brooklyn, and that’s meant a lot of time in our backyard – i’m pretty convinced all i want to do this summer is finish writing my new novel while hanging out in a sundress, in my backyard with my dogs in our baby pool, eating my partner’s awesome veggie fake meat BBQ! 

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Favorite thing i watched this month: Steven Universe – I’m newly obsessed, completely obsessed. Have you watched it yet??? It’s ridiculously queer and so many important lessons and engaging stories. I also was excited that season 7 of My Little Pony started!

Favorite thing I read this month: I’m still keeping up with my book a week reading schedule – and two of the books this month were AMAZING.  “Love Is Love: a comic book anthology to benefit the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting” edited by Marc Andreyko and “The Sunlight Pilgrims” by Jenni Fagan were not only the best books I read this year, but also the best books I’ve read this year so far. Friend me on goodreads so you can follow along with what i’m reading – and so you can see what i’m reading!

May!
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May is my birthday! I’ll be turning 33 which is exciting and strange and amazing all at once. I’ll be reading at the NYC Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading on May 4th (this Thursday!) if you’re local to NYC I hope you’ll come out to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art to celebrate the local NYC finalists!  https://www.facebook.com/events/600696180065455/ I also have some staycations planned from my muggle job- I’m looking forward to adventures with my partner and our dogs, little projects around the house, and hopefully a lot of writing!

Apr 012017
 

Whoa! Busy busy month! Biggest news of all which if you follow my social media pages you’ve been inundated with — my partner and I brought home a new baby-a Newfoundland puppy named Sirius! The whole family is smitten with her, and she’s definitely been keeping us BUSY this month as we adjust to new (puppy) parent life. Sleep? What’s that?!

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I did jokingly say in an email with my publisher that the new (reduced) sleep schedule is giving me lots of time to write! I got quite a lot of writing done this month. A couple of different articles for Dogster, an article for the bark, and my curve magazine column. I also managed a short story submission to an anthology, and have been holding steady with my writing goals on the new novel. My writing goal is to finish a (draft) chapter a week- which if I stay on target will mean i’ll easily finish this early draft of the novel before the end of the year!

I read several books in march which I chronicled on goodreads as usual and as you’ll see I didn’t LOVE any of them. At least with reading a book a week there are always more books to read, and even books I don’t love, or even like, there is usually something that I can take with me from the book.

This month I also officials made the difficult decision that Leather Ever After will at this time remain out of print. When its publisher Ravenous Romance decided to drop the title (without notice) back in December I immediately started talking to other erotica publishers to see who might be interested in acquiring the title. The amazing news was that there WAS interest, the challenge for me was having to really examine how much attention I was going to be able to give to this project. The anthology is amazing, and contains some of my favorite writers in the kink/leather world — yet the thought of putting in the work necessary to get the book back into print which would mean a full editorial overhaul because of editing issues the first time the book was published was daunting for me. As a full-time writer, with a full-time stressful muggle job, a family, and only 24 hours in the day  a not insignificant significant number of which I need to spend sleeping there just didn’t feel like a reasonable way to make this book happen. The hardest part was telling the contributors, all writers whose work I love that I was going to shelve the book. Leather Ever After has in many ways always been a little “unloved” amongst my books, if I’m being honest I never promoted it well, and I was dreading the reality of needing to start prioritizing it. This has NOTHING to do with the amazing writers who shared their passions, kinks, and talent in its pages. Something interesting for me in this process that really became clear is that you can’t make yourself love a book-as much as you might feel a responsibility to it.

The real issue for me came down to that (and I feel like such a bad leather queer saying this) I don’t really like erotica. I don’t read it, and I don’t enjoy writing it. It’s not that I’m a prude, and it isn’t even (I don’t think — and i’ve spent a lot of time examining this) about my being asexual-ish identified. I think when I said on social media that my literary passions just didn’t include erotica people were concerned I was changing what I was writing more broadly which just isn’t the case at all. I’m deeply committed to writing queer fiction with solidly leather themes – I just don’t want to write about sex or erotica. I’m interested in writing about queer families, queer relationships and dynamics and less about the sexual application that may or may not be taking place, or if I’m going to write a sex scene in a novel or story then I want it to be intentionally a part of the plot, as apposed to sex for the sake of arousing the reader (not that there is anything wrong with that-, just not what i’m interested in doing!) Does any of this make sense? I hope so. Sometimes I feel the more I write, the more I understand my own literary style the more of a niche niche niche writer I feel – but so long as readers tell me they like what I’m doing, and as long as I love the stories I’m writing I’m going to assume that I’m on the right track

Speaking of…. The BIG literary news in March for me was that A Little Queermas Carol was named a 17308809_10211240860993486_2174869918662583801_nLambda Literary Award FINALIST! The novella is up in the category of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror – it’s a big category with some really incredible books – including my good friend Michael Thomas Ford’s “Lilly.”  I wrote A little Queermas Carol very much with the mindset that this novella was that it was a book I was writing for a very specific niche of my readers-not for publishers, not for judges. This is a book that is in and of itself a niche within a niche within a niche. It’s a novella, a christmas book, a queer book, a leather book, and a book centering ageplayers/littles. When the list of Lambda Finalists were announced, I was SHOCKED to see this book on the list. I actually think it’s one of the strongest things I’ve ever written, but I didn’t know if folks outside of this little niche community would read it – I AM SO EXCITED THAT I WAS WRONG!

The Lammy’s (this year: June 12th in NYC) are one of my favorite times of the year — it’s a whole exciting event that is organized around celebrating the best of queer books!!! What more could I want?!  I just ordered my dress, and regardless of what book wins, being a finalist is  TREMENDOUS honor and I can’t wait to go celebrate all the books!

April is going to bring a lot more puppy adventures for my family, and hopefully a lot of writing. I’ve been updating my weekly writing progress on Facebook every Sunday which is a fun way to help hold myself accountable to keeping up with the writing that I want to be doing, especially now that I’m serious about trying to finish this new novel.