Quick update

I’ve put up three new writing pages, since it’s been awhile since I actually focused on the writing part of this blog. There is one on receiving Rejection letters, one on Critiquing and Editing and one showing you how to write a cover letter.

In the next few weeks I’ll put up some more about writing a synopsis and how to go about submitting a ms.

And so it ends

Putting on an event is scary.

Will people come? Did I do enough marketing? What will people eat? How do I keep everyone together?

Someone asked me why I bother. (In a nice, curious way. Not a ‘I dont want to be here’ kind of way).

My answer: Because I believe. I believe in lesbian literature, in stories we can read that reflect our own desires and lives. I believe in women who have the courage to put their words down and send them out into the universe for other people to read. I believe their words should be given a place to come out into the world in their own voices.

And how much fun is it to have all these lesbian writers come together to laugh, talk about writing, stories and readers?

So. Much. Fun.

It was a raging success. In its second year we doubled the amount of people attending. I learned a ton, met new authors, and although still fat, felt better about myself than I have in a while, which was nice too.

Now it’s back to real life. Waking up with migraines, working on a PhD proposal, moving toward doing the writing I want to do forever.

Here are a few pics. There are tons more on our facebook page: facebook/boldstrokesuk

On with life.

Bring it on

So.

The Nottingham BSB UK Author Panel

I didn’t sleep for two nights before the event.

Did I forget anything? Is everyone going to show up? What if someone gets sick? What if I look like the fat chick at the front of the room again? What if the book store burns down? What if no one shows up and it’s eight authors reading to me in an empty room?

Everyone showed up.

The book store did not burn down. (and everyone had books there who was supposed to have books there)

I did forget something, but it was quickly and swiftly remedied without fuss or fanfare.

And although I’m still bigger than I’m happy with, and my hair had some weird wave thing going on, I didn’t look as bad as I was worried I would.

And to my utter delight, the room was nearly full.

Day one down. Day two in sight.

Today is the How to Get Published panel, and should be fairly informal. Fingers crossed…

Song:Could Have Been You by Joss Stone

Book: Cool Side of the Pillow by Gill McKnight

Crossing all body parts

Nottingham Council House

Image via Wikipedia

Thursdays are not my favourite days. And I’m so glad my last treatment session is next week.

Truly.

Saturday is the big BSB UK event in Nottingham. People start flowing in Saturday morning, and will continue to do so until the event begins. They will stay, at our house and at a variety of hotels, until the event ends on Sunday afternoon.

It begins on Saturday: all authors will do two panels, discussing their novels, reading from them, and taking questions. Then they’ll sign books and we’ll head to the pub for a meet and greet. On Sunday, sponsored by Starbucks, we have the How to Get Published panel, where we take questions from folks about the process and listen to the author’s experience. And editors talk about the process and what you need to do to get in the door. Followed by lunch at another pub.

People are coming from other countries and from all over England, evidently. I’ll believe it when I see it, I think.

Because I really, really hope they do come. I desperately want this event to go well. It’s amazing how important it is to me to put on an event to be proud of. To be able to say, “I did that.”

Fingers crossed. And toes. And anything else dextrous enough to cross one over the other.

Tonight I am recovering from my three hours in the hospital. The house is basically clean, although laundry needs to be put away and beds need to be made and carpet needs to be vacuumed…

But a good thing? I will be twenty-one pounds lighter on camera than I was at the event last year.

I like that. I like that a lot. I’m still far bigger than I want to be, but it’s a good start.

And once this is over, I start working on my PhD proposal, and then we go away for two weeks to a Spanish island. Sunshine. It’s a’comin’.

Book: Cool Side of the Pillow by Gill McKnight

Song: Dare by Gorillaz

 

Aside: American Femme Pushiness

Aside

Aside: on the tram today, I saw two punky-type dykes get on. Full of tats and piercings, one with a mohawk. Being the middle-aged, dumpy, invisible femme I am, they didn’t take a second glance at me. I scrounged in my bag for an event leaflet, but of course didn’t have any. So instead, I wrote the lesbian literature event details on my business card, and plopped myself down next to them. “I’m guessing here, but are you gay?” Affirmative. “Great. We’re having an event the weekend before Pride at Waterstones, and I’m trying to get the word out.” Nods of understanding, accompanied by ironically demure responses.

Bottom line: I’m only invisible if I allow it. Yeah, I may have to be a bit more pushy to get noticed, but so what? Maybe they’ll show up, maybe not. But they’ll remember the femme that accosted them on the tram.

And I’m okay with that.

Warning: Connections in Progress

Utter destruction takes place right behind me, the high-pitched shattering of tiles and groaning splintering of wood the background music to my day.

Be that as it may, life must go on around, above, through it all.

So.

My MA thesis was on the rhizome–the concept that all things are connected somehow, and the moment an idea starts it spreads exponentially, so much so that eventually it’s almost impossible to trace the web back to its origin.

Such is my life right now.

I met an editor five years ago in California, and asked her how to go about getting work as an editor. She explained to me, in her gentle, Kiwi accent, that it’s a Devil Wears Prada kind of thing, where you have to beg your way in the door, and then scrape your way up.

Five years later, I’m putting on a conference for that same publishing house in England, enjoying editing and meeting some amazing authors.

And lately I’ve been making contacts I never would have thought of, and suddenly my worlds are colliding (my worlds, as well as S’s, which is interesting). We hang out with women who write, and also happen to play football, and who also happen to go to the university I want to do my PhD at, who also happen to work with the professor whom I want to work with, who also happen to know the writing folks at Left Lion, who also happen to know some writing groups I might be interested in….and so forth.

This is also having a totally unexpected and delightful benefit: community. I’ve not been a part of one since I was a child, growing up among my mother’s lesbian friends. Now, we’re being invited to various social gatherings, lesbian, football and writing, and that’s just so cool. Now we just have to find the energy and time to enjoy this new fruitfulness.

And I’m thinking that when you’re on the right path, the Universe throws so many good things in your way, you cant help but know you’re heading in the right direction. The signs are there, if you only watch for them and don’t exist on autopilot.

Hello, gift-horse. I will be avoiding your mouth, thank you very much.

Book: Santa Olivia by Jaqueline Carey

Song: Realize by Colbie Caillat

A quick entertainment rant

A quick rant:

When I go to a concert, I want to hear the singer sing. I want to hear the music I like so much of theirs on my ipod coming from them live.

Enrique Iglesias is one of my favorite artists. I love Latin music, and I love his voice.

But in concert the other night, he didn’t sing.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. He sang a line or two out of every song, before urging the crowd to keep singing so he could run around the stage touching people’s hands and such.

Not once did he sing an entire song, or even, really, half of one, all the way through.

Not. Once.

I so didn’t want to hear a crowd singing. I wanted to hear his beautiful voice, listen to the songs I so enjoy. For the people who got to touch and talk to him, I’m sure it was fabulous. But for the rest of us, waiting to hear the singer we came to hear sing, it was extremely disappointing.

At what point does an entertainer think it’s okay to require £65.00 per ticket and then not bother to sing?

Okay, rant over.

Tomorrow I attend the Gaza Monologues, and I’m hoping for an entirely different experience.

My birthday is coming up, although I keep forgetting. Does anyone know if you can have books other than Amazon books on a Kindle?

I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got at the moment. I’m so glad to be getting folks writing to say they’re coming to the BSB UK event–it’s looking more and more amazing all the time.

Happy weekend, folks.

Song: Don’t let me down by Exhilarate

Book: When Dreams Tremble by Radclyffe

Rainbow Robin Hood

Good tired is still tired.

Shortly, I have to get ready for my three-hour treatment at the hospital this afternoon, and when that is finished, I will come home and crash to the couch, and not move again for a very long time.

But, before that:

The conversation on Trans folk and community is rolling along, and there’s some really great views. I’ve learned so much. Have a look and join in, if you feel so inclined.

We went to the theater on Monday night (very good), I went to the theater Tues night (not so good) and to the Nottinghamshire Pride Gala last night, as a kind of break-in to Pride season.

I wonder if Robin Hood ever thought he’d be standing on a gay flag?

We met some lovely people, laughed a lot, drank a bit, and headed home. While it would have been nice to have more time talking to people and networking, with perhaps a bit less time spent watching performers, it was still a fun night, and one I hope to attend next year.

I was also able to leave our postcards for the BSB UK Event in July on the tables, so hopefully we’ll get some interest.

I remarked to my partner how rare it was to see a young (very young, probably not of drinking age in the states) butch woman in the UK. We see lots and lots of visibly androgynous women, but few femmes/butches here. When I introduced myself to the young woman later, all became clear:

She’s from Arizona. American, not British.

Culture representations of gender fascinate me.

And I’ll blog a lot more on that, because it just struck me as something I want to talk about.

But for now, I’m off to hospital. (I need to come up with some kind of good moniker I can use for these treatments. Ideas?)

Book: Actually, I’m reading lots of Writing magazines right now, as I’m on a writing kick.

Song: The Cup of Life, Ricky Martin

Brain Rot

A day of couch wastage, brought on by a wee hour migraine, complete with nausea and

Instructions

light sensitivity.

But my toenails got some needed attention, so there was a silver lining, of sorts. And I got to catch up on my Bones episodes, so brain rot was complete.

While washing the mountain of dishes, I pondered some random things:

>If we don’t recycle, and really we’re only just making headway in that area, where does all our trash go? I mean, is it just heaping up to the sky, so large it has its own zip code?

>I really hate doing dishes. My fingernails are so thin you can see through them and bend them back or forward without me feeling it, and washing dishes makes it worse. I think that’s a good reason not to do them. Ever again.

> Weeding seems like a bad thing, in a way. I mean, all plants belong to Nature, so ripping them from the ground, killing them with poison, etc, seems rather cruel in order to keep a nice lawn/border.

> I wish I could rescind my submission to a recent anthology. It’s rubbish, and I know it’s rubbish. Damn it.

> Sheds are expensive but quite necessary, as I want the lawn mower out of the conservatory.

> I make wickedly good enchiladas. I think I could run a really good Mexican restaurant. I don’t want to, I just could.

> Health issues have really nailed me since the beginning of the year, and that has somewhat scuppered my plans for education/writing/working out, etc. And while I continue to work toward these things, it does feel as though they are quite slow in happening, due solely to my own issues.

> I have updated the flyers for the BSB UK event. If you want copies, or information, or whatever, please shout and I’ll get them over to you. This is such an important event–the large bookstores no longer carry LGBTQ literature, so the fact that they are willing to order in books and give us the venue for free is frigging awesome, and we need all the support and turnout we can get in order to show them it is worth working with us.

Tonight is a relax on the couch with decaf kind of night. Tomorrow, assuming all is well in the AM, I will be editing, processing, working on document after document.

It’s all good.

Book: Ghosts of Winter by Rebecca S Buck

Song: Gasoline by Miranda Lambert

 

Girls Who Bite–The Cover is Out!

 

Girls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica

Whoo Hoo! The newest book cover for my latest publication is out: Girls Who Bite is available for pre-order from Amazon, and will be available Sept 2011.