On maybe NOT using “woman/women” with Jax Meyer (plus GIVEAWAY!)

Value the spectrum of identity presentation. Excellent post on being female.

Women and Words

Greetings, friends! So after my blog last week on using “woman” instead of “girl”, I had a discussion with fellow author Jax Meyer on the Twitterz about that, and Jax brought up a whole other layer that I realized needed to be addressed and I asked Jax if she would be willing to do that. And BOOM, she was.

So without further ado, here’s Jax.

Giveaway: 1 copy of Dal Segno for Kindle (or a pdf copy if the winner doesn’t use kindle format).
Y’all know how this works. Leave a comment below and we’ll hook a winner up next Friday, 21 September by 9 PM EDT US time.

When I read Andi Marquette’s post about the use of girl for grown women, it reminded me of another way in which internalized misogyny shows up in my life, and that’s with the word woman. That word is so loaded…

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Fangirl Friday: They’re WOMEN, not girls

So much truth from the mind of the ever-brilliant (and a little odd) Andi Marquette

Women and Words

Well, HI THERE!

Welcome to another edition of Andi’s ramblings because her brain is full of weird-ass crap that she sometimes indulges Fangirl Friday!

So a couple weeks ago I read a book by a dude author who I’ve read in the past and really enjoyed. He writes suspense/thrillers, and generally tells a good story. Normally, his protagonists are also dudes (generally cis, het, and white), but he has an okay range of secondary and tertiary characters, including womenfolk.

But a few years back he decided to write a different series with a lady protagonist, also cis, het, and white. I gave it a chance because I like this author but jfc within thirty pages I was smdh. By halfway, it was pretty painful but I decided to finish it — i.e. skim the rest — and then I tossed it onto a pile of other books that I like…

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More gifts for readers

Great blog post on gifts for writers/readers from Women and Words

Women and Words

As promised (months ago, sure, but still…), here are a few more gift ideas for the reader in your life.

Books are uniquely portable magic

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Need I say more?

Buy it here.


By party I mean read books…

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Dear universe, please bring me one of these for Christmas.

Buy it here.


Can’t get up

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This happens to me all the time.

Buy it here.


Cereal killer

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For the mystery lover.

Buy it here.

That’s it for my recs this time. What about the rest of y’all? Got any tips to share with the rest of us?

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Cooperation, Unexpected Turn-ons, and One Night Stand.

 

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I’ve recently been thinking a lot about cooperation and connection. I’ve long been a proponent of cooperation in the lesfic community. I often share book links and blogs for other lesbian writers. I believe that the only way we can thrive as a community is for us all to help each other, rather than taking a me and mine attitude. I support women and I try to surround myself with women who support me.

With that in mind, it’s been fun lately to spread that spirit of connection and cooperation beyond the lesfic community. When my friend Elizabeth Anderson insisted I go to the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, I was blessed to meet some incredible male authors. I have a reading event with one of them next weekend.

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And today, I’m featuring the blog of the bitingly brilliant, sarcastically witty, charmingly sexy Lewis DeSimone. His book, Channeling Morgan, can be found here.  (My wife sat on the couch and chortled while reading this book.)

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the musings of Lewis DeSimone:

 

A Nightstand I Never Expected to Be On

By Lewis DeSimone

 

Novelists are like parents: once you send your baby out into the world, you never know where it’s going to end up.

A lesbian couple I knew kept a copy of my first novel, Chemistry, in their guest room, with a bookmark stuck in the middle of the hottest sex scene. They claimed that their guests—mostly other lesbians—loved it. I’ve heard that straight women are often into gay romance, and even gay porn—as a means, I suppose, of enjoying male sexuality without the danger and complications that often come with straight men.

But lesbians? I wondered. Why would they want to read about sex between men? One of my first lesbian friends told me that lesbians have hot sex for one night and herbal tea for nine years. With numbers like that, why on earth would they want to waste an ounce of sexual energy on men?

Before the knives come out, this is all tongue in cheek (so to speak). I long ago learned that lesbian bed death is a myth. A couple of episodes of The L Word were enough to shatter that stereotype.

On the other hand, I won’t deny that Chemistry plays right into stereotypes of my own community. To put it bluntly, my first novel is riddled with sex. But that’s kind of the point. It’s the story of a sexual awakening, focused on a character who heals a broken heart by opening himself up sexually. Sex is one of the ways he discovers who he is, so I wasn’t about to be coy with it and end scenes with a description of waves crashing to shore. Instead, I freely showed bodies crashing into each other.

My subsequent work isn’t all that sexy. I like to joke that my latest novel, Channeling Morgan, is the only one in which nobody dies. But it’s also the only one in which there’s no cameo appearance by a penis.

You could say I’ve matured. Or that my testosterone level—even in fiction—isn’t quite what it used to be.

But maybe it’s just that some books need sex and others don’t.

Sex is messy and confusing and, above all, unpredictable. I googled this question, don’t you worry. But, like a lot sex, none of the hypotheses I found was fully satisfying. There is no unifying theory of everything when it comes to sexuality. Maybe, when it comes right down to it, sex is sex. And, just as you can’t really predict who you’re going to be attracted to, you can’t always be sure which depictions of sex will turn you on, either. That’s why there are so many subgenres of porn: one gay site I know of has dozens of categories, from “Amateurs” to “Voyeur.”

So who knows why a lesbian would get turned on my book? Who knows why I got turned on by seeing Blue Is the Warmest Color? Who knows why I love asparagus but hate artichokes? (I mean that literally, by the way. It wasn’t until I’d already typed out the sentence that I realized the sexual imagery. See what I mean? Sex is everywhere and nowhere at once.)

And that woman with the herbal tea? I met her at an AIDS service organization in Boston in the late 1980s. When I was just coming out, into a community with two kinds of people: the dying and the terrified. And lesbians, with only minimal threat from the epidemic, were at the forefront in fighting it.

In the end, it’s love that turns you on.

 

 

Lewis’ website

(Just in case you want to buy the sex-filled book.) Chemistry 

 

At Long Last

My life seems to be steam-rolling into a long-awaited success these days. Did you ever feel that you just worked your ass off on something for years and years and sometimes, it seemed as if nothing was happening and just when you started to think you were on the wrong path, one little thing falls into place and then, so does everything else?

I’ve been pounding away at school and writing for years, almost a decade now for writing, and seven years for school. Being an adult learner has its challenges and I won’t try to pretend it was easy. I can’t count how many times I had to drag my computer and books along to a writer’s conference because assignments don’t wait for real life stuff.

After I got my first master’s, I assumed I would have a teaching job within a couple of months. I was so wrong about that. I was conferred on November 1, 2016. It is now August of 2018 and I am just starting to teach my first classes. And it never rains but it pours. I was hired last spring to start teaching for the MFA program for Southern New Hampshire University starting in October of 2018. In the meantime, Johnston Community College, under the direction of the brilliant Doctor Tammy Bird, hired me to teach a couple of comp classes online.

My sixth book came out on August 1. On August 6th, I was notified that a short piece of mine was accepted into a mainstream literary journal. Today, August 10th, as I sit here laboring over learning how to use the back end of the online teaching platform, I received notification that the first fifteen minutes of the audio version of Coyote Ate the Stars was finished.

I know it seems as if I’m bragging, but the knot of anxiety that has lived with me off and on for years finally has a little bit of ease. Struggling to pay the bills, not sure whether I will be able to keep the electric on, being sure that nothing I wrote was worth anything, wondering whether I would ever get a job in my field – all of this was such a weight and now, despite feeling desperately busy, I feel so light. Like, my goals and dreams are finally coming to fruition.

I think the moral of the story is that if you know you want it, keep reaching for it, even when it seems as if it’s never going to come. Over the years, my dreams evolved, my career plans changed a bit. I used to want to be a full-time professor, but now, teaching online is really working for me. I still have time for my writing, I don’t have to put on pants when I don’t feel like it, and my wife and I might really be able to fulfill another dream of one day chucking all (most) of our possessions and living/travelling in a motor home.

I’m just saying, if you want it, work for it. As long as you’re doing one thing every day to work toward your dream, whatever it is, you can never give up. One thing. Ten minutes of writing. One resume to a dream job. One guitar lesson. One more first date – whatever your dream is, figure out your steps and just start working them.

And if you get discouraged, message me. I’ll either cry with you or cheer you on. ❤

 

 

 

******* Next week, I’m taking a break from blogging and inviting Lewis DeSimone, a hilariously witty writer, to take over my blog for me. Stay tuned!

 

Ten Things About Me

  1. I just released my sixth book, Coming Around Again, through Sapphire Books Publishing.
  2. I have an old man dog named Brutus. He has diabetes and I give him a shot twice a day to keep him healthy and happy. brutie and gordo
  3. Gordo is the cat. He rules the house. In the mornings, he reminds me to open the blinds by yanking the slats apart with his paw. I have broken blinds, but I don’t sit in darkness all day.
  4. I have depression. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to affect my life at all. Sometimes, it means I spend the whole day on the verge of tears, trying not to cry, even though there is nothing sad happening at that moment. Sometimes it means my chest hurts and I have anxiety that seems to fill my entire body and I can’t get rid of it no matter what I do.
  5. I married my soulmate. It’s the kind of relationship we’ve both always dreamed of but didn’t think it was possible to have. She never thought she was worth it and I didn’t think it existed. She is and it does.
  6. I’m naturally lazy and completely unmotivated. I am also a grad student getting my second Master’s, an adjunct instructor with three classes, an online instructor of craft of writing for a non-profit writing academy, the Director of Education for Golden Crown Literary Society, an author, and one of three admins of a 15,000 member women’s networking group in Lansing, MI. I could happily sit on my ass all day and do nothing. Instead, I make detailed to-do lists in half-hour blocks and weekly and monthly to-do lists with deadlines, assignments, student grading blocks, answering emails, etc. I even schedule time to clean the kitchen and make meals. I think I’m happier when I’m doing things. (FYI – my lists are ambitious and I rarely finish all of them.)
  7. I have a Patreon page. So far, I have 14 patrons. Some are fans of my work – others are just fans of me. It isn’t a charity thing, though. It’s exchange for exchange. Some of my supporters pay a mere 2 dollars a month and get access to short stories no one else will see, sneak previews of works in progress, rejected book cover ideas, videos of readings, and general writing process stuff. You can look at it here. 
  8. I don’t know how or when, but I really want to get my PhD.
  9. I just started doing P90X3, the workout program and my butt hurts right now.
  10. I believe in community and connection and I think we thrive when we have it. I value the groups to which I belong, especially the Golden Crown Literary Society for helping me to foster those relationships.

Written Dreams

An excellent blog from author, teacher, and mentor Jody Klaire.

Jody Klaire .com

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It’s something that I will always look at and feel an immense sense of pride and joy.

I was lucky to be a part of the first GCLS Writing Academy. It was a course which introduced new friends who I will always enjoy cheering on and saw me work, once more, with my dear friend Sandra on La Vie en Bleu.

Cheryl accepted an award on her behalf at the GCLS awards night and said, “go out and buy yourself the brightest set of sneakers and raise that bar.”

What better way to celebrate a friendship than to get involved with the GCLS Writing Academy and mentoring program. In theory, it was a great idea, but in reality? I knew I had plenty to share from all the wonderful teachers I’ve learned from but I didn’t think the GCLS would:

  1. a) Think someone with my amount of disabilities was…

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Coming Around Again: Guest Blog with Beth Burnett plus GIVEAWAY

Women and Words

Okay, I’m about to get a little heavy here so to make it up to you for wading through the darkness with me, I’m giving away three e-copies of Coming Around Again. Leave a comment and the happy heathens at Women and Words will randomly pick the winners.

Andi note: And those happy heathens will do the drawing Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 9 PM EDT US!

One weekend last summer, I had a bunch of women visiting. We were hanging out on the back porch in front of the fire pit, drinking cocktails, and processing our trauma – you know, like you do. We talked about how so many of us have felt broken and how we’ve been told that if we can’t love ourselves, we can’t expect someone else to love us.

That’s unfair. Self-love is an on-going process and we live under the weight of a society whose…

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