LGBTQ Book Festival, This Weekend!

This weekend is the 6th Annual Bold Strokes Book Festival in Nottingham.

It’s a weekend to celebrate queer fiction, get to know the authors, see what new books are out, have a laugh and a chat. There are lots of prizes to be won, giveaways, after parties and general lunacy.

We’d love you to join us.

More information can be found here:

https://boldstrokesauthorfestuk.wordpress.com/2015-event/

Events and things

You know those days when you speed through the day, flop onto the couch in the evening, and think…what the hell did I do today?

I’ve been having a few of those weeks. I know I’m doing…things…but I don’t seem to be getting anything actually done.

That said, I’ve been editing my tail off, and for once I’m just slightly ahead of the game. I’ve also been running workshops with some amazing folks, and that is soon coming to fruition.

And there’s this: The 6th Annual Bold Strokes Book Festival, coming up on June 6th-7th, in Nottingham. It’s at Waterstones, on the fourth floor, and it’s going to be awesome. It always is. Lots of fun, silliness, great books, interesting authors, food, drinks, and did I mention great books?

I also hear pitches from aspiring authors there. If you want to pitch, give me a shout and I’ll give you a time slot.

That’s it from me for now, because I’m still in my pjs and I should’ve been at work about fifteen minutes ago.

See you soon.Program_2015_inside

6th Annual Bold Strokes Book Festival, UK: Are You Ready?!

LGBTQ Book Festival at Waterstones, Nottingham

June 5th-7th, Sillitoe Room, 4th Floor

 
Join 13 authors for a weekend of LGBTQ fiction and fun. 
Hear readings from current and upcoming works, chat with the authors, join us at two after-parties,
and enjoy a lambda literary weekend! 
 
We’ll also be hearing pitches for novels on Sunday, so get in touch for a slot if you want to pitch your novel to BSB!
 
Contact: bsbediting@gmail.com Website: Bold Strokes Book Festival, UK
To book for the workshops, contact: 0115 9470069,  nottingham@waterstones.com

Calls for Submissions

Victoria Villasenor:

An excellent list of new Calls for Submissions

Originally posted on Women and Words:

Good morning (or afternoon, really)! A few more calls for submissions came in over the past few days. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!


Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance and Erotica
Editors: R.G. Emanuelle and Andi Marquette
Publisher: Ylva
Word count: 3,500-5,000 words.
Payment: USD $50, plus two contributor’s copies
Deadline: August 1
Publication date: November 2015
Rights: None-exclusive First English Anthology Rights for a period of five years, plus First World Anthology Rights
Format: Times New Roman or Arial, 12 pt, single-spaced, saved as a Word or RTF file. Number your pages.

In the body of your e-mail AND on first page of your story, include story title, author name, pseudonym, address, phone, e-mail address, and word count.

E-mail submissions and questions to: ayce2@ylva-publishing.com

Chef R.G. and sous chef Andi have fired up the burners again and are looking for more cooks for the kitchen!…

View original 2,556 more words

Towers

Guilt-vs.-Shame1

This morning I was listening to a program about the nature of shame overall, and shame versus guilt. The experts were all people who had written books about these subjects, but with different contexts. One was about using shame to shape corporate responsibility, one discussed Judas and the nature of shame and guilt in relation to Jesus’s betrayal, and one referenced an author I wasn’t familiar with.

This got me thinking about the role shame and guilt play in my own life, and the way I see them working on me even today. The nature of regret and betrayal were also elements of discussion.

Last year, my life changed dramatically. I did things that today, thinking about it, make me feel ashamed. Guilt is gone, because there’s no longer anything to be guilty about (I see guilt as a present tense thing, a current emotional state related to a behavior, rather than a long term one. I see shame as the long term effect, because that’s when other people’s perceptions come into play and influence my feelings about myself. The differences are subtle, but there.)

How does one move beyond shame and develop a sense of forgiveness? How does one let go of the past, of the shame, and determine to allow the experience to make them a better person? Learn from the mistakes of the past, if you’ll excuse the cliche.

As I take the time to try and understand my behaviors and where they come from, I’m desperately trying to be a better person. While I can’t undo the shame of the past, or undo the damage caused by my life-long demons (which have built shame-towers that reach higher than the clouds and deeper than the earth’s core), I can use the experience to grow, to not make the same mistakes again, and to be a better person. One I’m not ashamed of, one who doesn’t live with fear, with regrets, with crippling self-doubt.

It’s going to be a long road. My therapist ‘broke-up’ with me because I need far more intensive, and longer-term, help than she can give me. This kind of dismantling and rebuilding is going to be soul crushing, at times. But I’m tired of beating myself up. I want to move forward without the weight of my past pushing down on my shoulders like an angry leopard waiting to pounce. Living in the present is helping–when these things start to weigh me down I try and concentrate on the here and now rather than the days I can’t change. I try and focus, and find myself laughing and smiling beyond the self-doubt and self-recriminations.

So, along those lines: I have decided to move to a different blog site. This will still be here in some form, but I will no longer be adding words to it. If you’d like to keep following me, and I really hope you do, I’ll be posting the link to the new blog in the next few days (once I figure out how to do it.)

I hope you are all well and being gentle with yourselves.

~v

 

Old Ground, New Pavement

RoadLessTraveled-StevanNoronha

 

A seemingly innocuous day.

Friday, January 16th, 2015.

But for me, it was looming large well before it arrived.

That was the day I’d chosen, in the autumn of 2014, as the day I was going to leave this existence.

It was far enough from birthdays, anniversary’s and holidays so as not to impact the future celebration of such events.

As it came closer, I started to sweat. My life had changed, irrevocably, unquestionably. So what was I going to do? Was I still going to make my exit? A quiet, graceful thing, with as little fuss as I could manage? Would those letters I’d written get sent after all? Would it disappoint those in my life who knew I’d reached that point, if I didn’t do it? Would it mean they’d suffered through my illness for nothing, if I stuck around?

Or, would I choose instead to move forward? Would I allow the day to come and go? Would I choose possibility, a future, love, instead of the darkness that has threatened to take me to its abscessed bosom for so long?

The weekend before, I admitted that it was weighing heavy on me. That I was struggling. And I was held, and cried with. I was understood, and I wasn’t alone. I was shown love and gentleness. When the day came, I was taken away, out of town, to a hotel. A place I hadn’t been, to shop, and relax, and think of other things. At one point in the day, I was asked if, at that moment, had things been different, I would already have been gone.

Yes. I would have.

It was strange to consider. Had I made a different choice, had I kept my plans and thoughts to myself, I wouldn’t have been there, about to have coffee and play arcade games. Someone would be home, wondering, waiting, for a phone call. In a parallel universe, was I already gone?

The following morning, with the critical choice day behind me, it felt…new. Like I’d passed some kind of test, some kind of marker that said, “right. Now that you’re here, now, you get to start again.”

It’s not that easy, obviously. And, of course, there’s no reason I can’t still decide another time. And yet, it’s like that one moment you have to declare your undying love in a romantic movie–miss it, and it’s gone. Like that, I had the option, and I didn’t take it. Now I get to head down roads less traveled, and decide on the future I want.. Not the one dictated by my past, or by guilt, or by survival, but because it’s something I want.

It’s difficult to swallow, that I was so very, very close. One different decision, and I’d no longer be here. I doubt it’s an anniversary I’ll forget for a long time.

So, now I have some decisions to make. Who do I want to be now? What do I want to be when I grow up? Where do I want to take my business? How do I learn to think I’m worthy? What is the meaning of life (my life)?

Thank you for reading. Thanks for sticking around, and thanks for all the support. At some point, these blogs will once again become blogs about writing, about philosophical questions, about the nature of gender and existence. Bear with me, and always…

be gentle with yourselves.

V