January Updates!

my back to school outfit! just a little pink dinosaur!

January! It’s the first month of the year and I can’t believe it’s already over! This has been a super super busy month for me !!! Want to know what I’ve been up to? 

MFA – I started grad school! I’ve got the hoodie and everything!  I went to Vermont (where it was -20 degrees F!!! ) for my first MFA residency. It was 10 days long, and I survived! I was really worried about going and being away from home that long. I made friends! I wrote stuff! I read aloud! I love my advisor for this semester! I hiked through the narnia woods to the library! I made a semester plan I feel good about! I’m a grad student and studying queer fairy tales!!!! Since getting home I’ve been studying/writing my little <3 out! 

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I QUIT MY MUGGLE JOB!!!!! This is going to be my highlight not just for the month, but also for my year, and honestly probably for my life! As many of you know my muggle job has been breaking my spirit for years and I’ve been trying to balance a lot – writing all my books on the subways and on lunch breaks at the bubble tea shop and….. I just can’t do it anymore.  Kestryl and I made the decision that it was the chance to make a HUGE life transition not just for me, but for our whole family. I’m going to be writing full time, and doing the grad school thing! Definitely making some big dreams come true – looking forward to being able to write TONS for all of you!

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BOOK DEAL! This has been in the works for a few months but I was finally able to make the public announcement that I’m writing a new nonfiction book! The book  I’m writing is titled “Left Out: How Marriage Equality Abandoned Homeless LGBTQ Youth” I am so excited about writing this book that is deeply rooted in conversations that I’ve been having for the last decade! I’m really excited about working in nonfiction again, and with such a fantastic publisher!

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Dogs! It was super hard to be away from my pups for 10 days while I was at my MFA residency, even though I knew they were home with their Daddy and their kitties having a great time.  Since getting home I’ve definitely made up for lost time and have been having lots of fun winter beach adventures in outer Brooklyn. Baby Sirius is also getting to get back into Rally Obedience and has been taking an Advanced Rally class and we’ve been having a really great time – this is a sport that is so perfect for a still – developing puppy, and one that I’ve always wanted to have a chance to play more with.

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YouTube – I started making more regular YouTube videos specifically for my littles community! I’m not exactly sure what I think of it yet  – but i’m trying to keep it cute/simple and am having a surprising amount of fun with it and have been getting sweet feedback from viewers (it’s weird to not say readers) about the content. So much of the ageplay /littles community is on tumblr and youtube I just felt a little inspired after a conversation I had on my social media channels where I had conversations with different folks about how we didn’t feel represented in a lot of littles content Check them out here

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Reading! I’ve been reading a bunch because see above: graduate student! I’ve been pushing through a book a week! My most favorite book I read in January absolutely is “Beneath The Sugar Sky” the third book in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series (which i’m super obsessed with). I was WAITING for this book, and it came out while I was at my residency and I of course ordered it, and it was at home waiting for me. Also I got to read it FOR my MFA program which made it even better!

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Lambda Writers In School – I’m so thrilled that Lost Boi and I are part of the Lambda Writers In Schools program this year which is locally in partnership with the NYC Department Of Education!   This spring I’ll be visiting several high schools with Lost Boi (that’s right with Lost Boi!!!! How much do I wish i got to read super queer books in school when I was a high school student???) anyway the very first of my high school visits with Lost Boi was this month and I had SUCH. A. GREAT. TIME!!! I got to visit with the students at Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. The students were so engaged, and thoughtful and had really interesting questions about writing, publishing, and of course the book!

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I dyed my hair a reddish color! I like it!

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Things I wrote that were published this month: include my monthly column at Curve Magazine which you can read here , and a story at Dogster about dog friendly workplaces 

(I intentionally didn’t do a lot of writing this month to give myself a chance to adjust to graduate student life + for these few weeks while i’m doing the full time student thing + the full time muggle thing + the writing thing ++++++++  but have no fear, lots more writing coming very soon!!!!

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I think that’s pretty much all for January! 2018 is definitely off to a very busy and  exciting start for me! February is going to be my first month without this muggle job and I’m so excited! As always I post lots and lots on my facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr so please friend me if you want to see all the updates about projects I’m working on, cute dog pictures, etc. etc. etc <3

xoxo

 

Lost Boi – w/ Lambda Writers in Schools

 I’m so thrilled that Lost Boi and I are part of the Lambda Writers In Schools program this year which is locally in partnership with the NYC Department Of Education! This spring I’ll be visiting several high schools with Lost Boi (that’s right with Lost Boi!!!! How much do I wish i got to read super queer books in school when I was a high school student???) anyway the very first of my high school visits with Lost Boi was this weekand I had SUCH. A. GREAT. TIME!!!

I got to visit with the students at Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. The students were so engaged, and thoughtful and had really interesting questions about writing, publishing, and of course the book! Click here to learn more about the Lambda Writers In Schools program at Lambda Literary 

Merry Merry Happy Happy bye bye 2017!

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!

October!

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

September in review + some big announcements!

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!

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)!