sassafras

Dec 312017
 

I can’t believe the year is nearly over!  2017 has been a year where I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities to refocus, plan. I spent much of the second half of 2017 waiting on big news about a few different projects, one didn’t work out, and one did – and I think the universe works in mysterious ways because as I sit here on new  years eve I’m so relieved to not be working on the project that didn’t come together, and I learned an important lesson about how I divide my time, and that at this point I only want to devote myself to projects that I’m passionately in love with. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s been a new lesson for me. The project that did come together? Ohhh I can’t wait to tell you about it — 2018 is going to be GAYMAZING!

In December I did a lot of  writing about everything from barking dogs, why dogs have tails, and experimental cancer treatments for dogs on Dogster.com I also wrote about how to keep your puppy safe during Christmas for PawCulture. I also had the opportunity to write a new article for INTO Magazine (are you reading them? They are doing awesome things for LGBTQ publishing) “On “Coco,” “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” and Chosen Family At The Holidays”  + a gay pet holiday gift guide for Curve!

My puppy Sirius turned 1 year old! I can’t believe this little baby bear is so big! 2017 has definitely been a year for continuing to explore new dog sports. This year Charlotte earned her Advanced Trick Dog Title, and her L1 Parkour Title, and Sirius earned her Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced Trick dog titles with DMWYD and Advanced Trick title with the AKC, as well as her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) which is a beginning obedience title, that has been a goal of mine to earn with a dog since I was a teenager. We’ve also been training in babay-safe Agility, and in Rally Obedience!

In 2017 I wrote a lot on big projects and articles, and experimental things (much of which I documented in my ‘weekly writing updates’ on social media). I read 65 books (which I reviewed on goodreads), and made a lot of really exciting plans for the kind of literary work I want to be doing moving forward. In 2017 I connected with amazing readers all over the world,  I got the chance to meet with students from Georgetown on an alternative spring break to NYC exploring issues of LGBTQ youth homelessness, share Lost Boi with students at Utica College, speak on a panel at AWP’s annual conference in DC, and delivered the Keynote at the EDGY conference in Los Angeles this fall.  Want to hear why I say you shouldn’t trust anyone over 30? Even me?  Check out the full keynote here:

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost here – I’m going to start the year with going back to school for the first time in a decade. I start my MFA program the first week of January  with a 10 day residency. I’m excited and terrified, and I’m sure I’ll be posting all about my journey on facebook/twitter! friend me to follow along!

17 of my Favorite things/ things i’m most proud of  from 2017
1. baby Sirius joining our family
2. a Little Queermas Carol being a LAMMY finalist (even though i lost)
3. applying to Grad school and getting accepted!!
4. earning 6 titles with Charlotte & Sirius in a few different dog sports

5. all the fun adventures Daddy and I have been on
6. swimming in Ptown with Mercury in his float & Sirus & Charlotte in the water
7. BLF (Best Little Friend) day at Disneyland in October
8. big secret plan hatching (that I can’t talk about yet)
9. reading lots of great books (65 this year beating my goodreads goal of 50 but down from last year’s 95)
10. writing loads and loads of articles
11. writing a book – even though I decided I didn’t like it in the end & shelved it
12. Presenting at AWP about queer zines
13. giving the Keynote at EDGY
14. all the firsts we’ve had at Whimsy Hall & all the work we’ve done on the house
15. growing our very own magical wild flower garden  & so many tomatoes
16. local beach adventures

17. a really big exciting thing coming together for 2018 that I can’t talk about yet

+ an extra thing from 2017 – getting my ‘my little pony’ tattoo!

Dec 142017
 

In October I had the opportunity to go to LA and give the keynote address at the EDGY conference! I just learned that the my talk is up online as a video!

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Nov 102017
 

I was interviewed on this week’s episode of This Show Is So Gay! It was loads of fun talking about queer books, writing! Click here to listen to the episode online or be directed to download options  xoxoxo

 

October!

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Nov 032017
 

October came and went – I can’t believe it’s already November! October was a really busy month for me – I traveled to Utica New York to read from Lost Boi and to talk about writing with students on the Utica College campus. I had a really great time and it was a fun way to get back into touring (I haven’t done much book traveling since touring with Lost Boi when it released in 2014) and to remember that while I don’t love being away from home, I do really adore the opportunity to connect with readers and writers out in the world

Autumn  is one of my favorite times of year – and thankfully the weather in brooklyn has started to cool down. October was a busy month of seasonal outings: apple picking, and pumpkin patch, and corn maze, and to an exhibit of 5000 carved pumpkins in the shapes of dinosaurs, and I even got to go to Disneyland in California and see all the amazing halloween decorations! I dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, and the dogs dressed up as cute Brooklyn wildlife! I also have been receiving awesome pictures of readers cosplaying as Pan for Halloween!!!! If you follow me on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter you’ve already seen a lot of those pictures — please friend me!

I was in California last week giving a keynote at the EDGY conference for LGBTQ youth and families in LA. I had never been to the EDGY conference before and had an absolutely amazing time. My keynote “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30 (even me): LGBTQ Youth Homelessness and Programs that Work) talked about being a runaway, what queer culture and community has meant to me, the first representations I saw of runaways, and a little bit of what I’ve learned over the years about nonprofits and LGBTQ homeless youth. I had an incredible time at the conference, my keynote was very well received and most fun of all were the conversations  I got to have with so many queer runaways (both current youth, and staff of various service provider organizations). The theme of this years conference was “Embracing Identities” and I feel so privileged  that I got to spend the day with so many awesome LGBTQ folks!

 

Silly Updates:

I have been waiting for the release of the My Little Pony movie for basically a year – I got to go and see it opening weekend, but was SUPER disappointed in the movie. I felt like it just didn’t capture anything about what is so fun and magical about those little ponies!  I did however read the newly released chapter book “Ponyville Mysteries: Riddle of the Rusty Horseshoe” which where we see a little bit about Scootaloo’s ( my favorites of the youngest ponies) family life – she lives with her lesbian aunts! Queer content in official pony canon!

 

Reading:

I’m still keeping up with my GoodReads goal of reading a book a week! I read 5 books in the month of October and the best book I read this month has to be Sherman Alexie’s new memoir “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”  this book was heartbreaking and gorgeous and really just the book that I need to read this month on so many levels. If you haven’t read it yet I definitely recommend it. I also read the first book in the ‘Ever After High’ series and am newly obsessed! As you probably know I love basically all things fairy tales and this series has surprised me by how clever it is in the retellings! Really looking forward to reading more of these books!

Writing:

I did a lot of writing this month – articles on Dogster about everything from: canine flu, crate training, and kennel cough, to my monthly pet column at Curve magazine with my favorite ideas for feminist dog costumes!


I’m still waiting on news about the future of my next novel ‘Foam’ but also got really inspired to get to work on a big new nonfiction book – thanks to a really exciting meeting with a publisher here in NYC. Hopefully I’ll have more news about that, and the re-release of ‘Leather Ever After’ soon!

Now that Halloween is over Christmas is really just right around the corner! If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for a special someone, your roommate, or that cutie you keep flirting with on instagram consider the gift of books, queer books!  Last year I released my first holiday novella ‘A Little Queermas Carol’  – this story is a retelling was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist – I hope you’ll like it! You can order signed print copies & ebooks here

xoxo

Sassafras

Sep 292017
 
After a summer of not being the best at keeping my blog updated i’m hoping ot get back to my monthly blog post! As usual I’m best at keeping things updated on my social media pages: facebook/twitter/tumblr/instagram but I will try to keep things more active here!
September went by so quickly! Idid a lot of writing, and a lot of playing. Kestryl and I took the dogs on our annual  gaycation to Ptown! Ptown is one of my favorite places in the entire world, and being there for a week with my family is one of the highlights of my year. It was extra fun this year because it was baby Sirius’ first time traveling and her first visit to Ptown! She did great and we all had an amazing time!
 
I’ve finished the manuscript for my next novel ‘Foam’ and have my ::fingers crossed:: for some news about its fate later this fall! In the meantime I briefly toyed wtih the idea of challenging myself to do a 90 day novel writing challenge – but I decided that wasn’t a very realistic goal with everything else on my plate righ tnow.
I’ve been doing lots of writing for Dogster and my monthly Curve column – follow me on social media for updates and links to all the articles I’m working on!
Sassafras On Tour!
I will be doing a couple of trips this fall, actualy both in October!
Utica College:
Wednesday October 4th I will be at Utica College in Utica, New York. I’ll be featured at The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series reading from ‘Lost Boi’ and talking with students!
EDGY National Conference
Friday, October 27th I’m giong to be in Los Angeles giving the keynote at this year’s EDGY conference speaking to youth workers and social ervice providers about “embracing identities” and working with LGBTQ youth! In the LA area? registration is still open!
AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program:
 
This autumn I’m keeping busy as one of the Mentors in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program! It’s a really fun, dynamic  program and I’m super thrilled/honored to be part of it alongside such incredible mentors! My mentee is Chelsea Catherine . We are already having a great time talking about queer writing, goal setting, publishing goals, and that’s just our first module!! She and I will be working closely together in this AWP program for the next three months!
What I’m Reading: 
Still trign to keep up with my book a week reading goals! Follow me on goodreads for an updated list of what I’ve been reading but my favorite books I read this month is probably a tie between “Brown Girl Dreaming” (I have no idea how it took me so long to read this book #embarassing) and “The Enchanted” which was nothing like I expected but pretty incredible.
Dogs!
I’m keeping busy with all things dogs as much as I can! Beyond writing a number of dog lifestyle, health adn trainign focused pieces for pet publications I’m keeping busy wtih my own dogs.  Charlotte earned her Advanced Trick Dog Title over the summer, and Sirius earned her Intermediate Trick Dog Title.   Sirius and I are continuing to train in the sport of Rally obedience and are having lots of fun being back at our weekly class.  I’m also back to assisting at Agility classes!
 
pssssssssst i’m going back to school! 
 
Soooooo I’ve been keeping a secret – a kinda big one. I’ve applied to Grad School and been accepted! Beginning in January I”m going to be entering the Goddard College MFA program  focusing on Fiction.  I’ve said a lot of critical things about MFA programs over the years, and I defintiely don’t think that you need an MFA to be a successful writer, my literary career is certainly proof of that. BUT there are some doors that having a terminal degree can open for me – and I’m ready and excited to step through those doors and start this new chapter that I hope will let me fulfill some goals  of mine.  The program is low residency so I have to go to “bording school ” a week out of every semester. I haven’t been in school in ten years! I’m super nervous, and super excited!
October!
October is the start of one of my most favorite times of year the season of seasons! I’m counting down the days until I can cover our house in Halloween decorations!!!! I can’t wait for all things halloween – especially pumpkins! We have a house for the first time this year so we’re going to get to CARVE actual pumpkins! I cannot wait! I’m also sneaking a quick one day trip to Disneyland while i’m in LA! I’ve never seen Disney do Halloween but i’ve heard it’s super cute!
Also the My Little Pony movie releases this month! So excited to see the ponies on the big screen!
Hopefully somewhere in between all the holiday fun, touring I’ll do some writing. I knwo for sure I’ll have some more dog articles coming your way, and I’m thinking about trying to do some moer short story writing while I’m between big projects.

.Rainbow Awards! ‘A Little Queermas Carol’ is nominated for a Rainbow Award! That means it’s also entered for the cover art contest too! Please vote for the amazing art by KD Diamond!  it’s waaaaaaaaay far down on the voting page of covers you MUST MUST MUST vote for three different covers to make your vote count VOTE!
BIG REVEAL!!! LEATHER EVER AFTER COMING BACK IN PRINT!!!!!! 
I am beyond thrilled to be able to announce that my anthology Leather Ever After is coming BACK INTO PRINT! this time Leather Ever After will be published by the one and only Circlet Press! Circlet publishes some of the best books in BDSM fiction and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with them to not only bring Leather Ever After back into print, but to fix all the layout, typo, and design problems that the first publisher created.
Circlet is currently running a kickstarter to fund their 2018 titles, including Leather Ever After! Please help them to get this book back in print! 
 xoxo

Updates!

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Sep 062017
 

I’ve gotten behind on my posting this summer, but I haven’t been slacking in the writing department! I’ve finished revisions on  my next novel Foam and have started to query it. I’ve also been writing a lot of articles, and thinking a lot about my future writing goals, and sustainability of the kind of writing I want to do.

I’ve been selected to be a mentor in the AWP writer to writer program this fall so expect updates about that! Next month i’ll be on the road to Utica College in upstate New York, and then to Los Angeles to give the Keynote at the EDGY conference for providers working with LGBTQ youth!

I’ve been keeping up with my book a week reading – check out what I’ve been reading by friending me on Goodreads.com

I have of course still been actively posting micro-blogs and updates daily on my social media: facebook/twitter/tumblr/instagram! follow me there (you’ll also get to see lots of pictures of my adorable dogs)!

Jul 072017
 

It’s no secret I love social media – and defying all logic, my favorite of the social media platforms has always been facebook.  I had been seeing friends post about new policies where Facebook was blocking people or pulling content that used the word “dyke” as reclaimed and empowering identity language. I continued posting on my facebook like normal, and woke up this morning to discover that not only had a post I’d made yesterday sharing the newest Dykes To Watch Out For classic lesbian comic had been pulled for “violating community standards” but my profile had also been put on a 24 hour hold, and I’ve been reminded/threatened that repeat “offenses” could get my profile deleted.

Because there has been doubt that this is happening, I took screenshots:

 

 


Jun 062017
 

Yikes ! It’s already June! May was a very busy month for me! If you follow me on social media you know that I have been writing a new novel for the better part of the last year. I had mapped out a writing schedule that would have me finish my first draft in mid September. Things were going really well with that writing schedule, they went so well that I actually blew past all my deadlines and finished my first complete draft in may! The novel’s (working) title is “Foam” and it’s all about: starting over, failure, loss, mermaids, systems, queerness, and discovery. I’m really excited with how it’s coming together. When i  finish a first draft there is huge weight that lifts off my shoulders, there is one beautiful moment where i can hold onto the idea of what that. Ok will become and everything feels quite real….. though now comes the hard work of rewriting! I hope to finish that by mid-Summer!

Started the month reading at the NYC finalist reading with ‘A Little Queermas Carol.’  I’m so thrilled this novella is a FINALIST, and it was so much fun to get the chance to read alongside so many fantastic local authors whose books are finalists this year as well. 

In May I turned 33 (don’t worry, I’m also still  just a big 5 year old)! I had a Steven universe themed birthday party in the middle of a huge rainstorm! Are you watching Steven universe? I had a few friends over, and we did party crafts and ate an awesome multi-layer cake my partner baked! I also made a permanent commitment to my love of my little pony- with this tattoo !

photo right after the artist finished - so it's super raw and swollen

photo right after the artist finished – so it’s super raw and swollen

I had articles appear this month in

BlogPaws

the Bark

Dogster

Curve

Cosmonauts Avenue

In May I got the chance to have dinner with the scoring author Jenni Fagan who was visiting NYC! She’s doing a lot of work right now exploring truth telling, and we had some great conversations over plates of vegetarian food in the west village. We’ve known each other on Twitter and have read each other’s novels, it was such a treat to connect with another gritt lit author.

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My puppy Sirius is getting huge. She’s learning lots of things- going on lots of adventure and at 19 weeks old earned her novice trick dog title! Training dogs is my oldest passions I’m not brilliant at it but I love it. Looking forward to talking more classes with her.

I did pretty well on my book a week reading goal in May. My favorite book that I read last month was “the Education Of Will” – it’s a great memoir of a dog trainer whose work I’ve really admired for years. Friend me on goodreads! I’m always looking for new books to read https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/7295681

After some medical scares with my special little old man, the whole pack is doing really well, and my youngest baby dog  at just 19 weeks old earned her Novice Trick Dog Title! I”m really looking forward to lots of adventures with my pups! 18425244_10211833367565780_6063886484864933653_n

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Looking Ahead to June:

Hoping to have more articles published, and have been throwing a lot of literary spaghetti at metaphorical walls! I’m  booking some out of town/touring events for the fall/for next year. I intentionally  haven’t toured on the last couple of years, but I’m opening up again to it which feels good

The Lambda Literary Awards are only a week away!!!! These awards really are one of the highlights of my year! I adore the ceremony and the chance to be in a room that is all together to celebrate queer books!!!! 

p.s. I LOVE connecting with readers, and I now have a PO Box! Reader letters are one of the highlights of my week! I got a lot of amazing letters in the month of may! What to write me?  Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 8.50.11 PM

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!