New Year Reflections

Confession: we are spending the holiday's crocheting cat hats. Cat Hat Pattern courtesy of Spindles and Spices Blogspot

I do something a little corny before the New Year – I compile a list of accomplishments so I can look back over the year and feel a since of pride.

The holidays are a little funny. They tend to make people more agitated, anxious and depressed then filled with holiday cheer. I am so sick of Christmas Carols, I could puke. I’m not super religious and once I realized Santa Claus wasn’t real (it still pains my childhood heart to say it), Christmas sort of lost its appeal. Even so, I love holiday parties and spending the holidays seeing people I haven’t had time to see all year. Most of all, I love spending down time with my lady.

So I am reflecting on our crazy exploits since January. It is unfathomable that a whole year has almost passed and I cannot believe how much I have accomplished. This year marked a series of amazing events:

BROWN GIRL LOVE

This year I started Brown Girl Love (BGL), an online writing project featuring a female identified writer of color a month. The project has been amazing – it has been a pleasure to publish the writing of woman of color and read their words month after month. Thank you to the fantastic BGL Board for all there efforts throughout the first 7 months of the project. This year we featured Radhiyah Ayobami, Becca D., Ciara Miller, Pearl Quick, J.P Howard, South African poet, Toni Stuart and the list goes on. We ended this year with Mahogony Browne, host and curator of Friday Night Slam at the famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe and an Internationally known author and Slam Poet.

In 2012, BGL will hold a reading in April to celebrate our one year anniversary where I will launch my first printed chapbook “Brown Girl Love” by your’s truly!

PERVERTS OF COLOR ANTHOLOGY

Sara and I are interviewed in “Perverts of Color Anthology” a collection of interviews and non-fiction essays by people of color involved in the kink, poly and swinger community. Co-editors Jackie and Katie will publish the collection in 2012. We were also featured in the first issue of Salacious, a queer feminist sex magazine spearheaded by the amazing Katie Diamond, International Ms. Bootblack 2011.

INTERNATIONAL MS. LEATHER 2011

My Lady, partner and best friend, Sara Vibes won International Leather 2011. In six weeks, we prepared for the biggest competition of our little queer lifetimes! This year Sara has traveled to over 22 events across the United States, teaching, judging and volunteering throughout the leatherdyke, poly and kinky communities – and I have not been far from her side. I earned my first leathers this year as my Lady’s handler and Sash Widow and learned to bootblack, which makes me much hotter then I ever expected. I was formally introduced to leather culture, learning the ways of service and leather protocol, thus enhancing the Dominate/submission dynamic Sara and I are growing into. This year I become my Lady’s leather girl and I became a Leather Women.

And the adventure is not over yet! Sara steps down in April this year and we still have several more events to go to, including Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather, Fetish Flea Market, North Carolina Leather Weekend and Kinkfest.

LAMBDA LITERARY WRITERS RETREAT

This past summer, I was selected as a 2011 Lambda Literary Fellow in Non-fiction and spent a week at the University of California, Los Angeles learning with the fabulous Ellery Washington. This was such an honor and a stepping stone in establishing a career as a queer writer. I attended the Lambda Foundation’s Holiday Party this year and was reminded of the way the organization pulls for it’s Emerging writers. Since the workshop, my non-fiction work has excelled and I feel lucky to have the opportunity. Thank you to everyone who got me there.

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT, RAVENOUS ROMANCE

I started work as an Editorial Assistant this year. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lori Perkins, Founder of the Lori Perkin’s Agency and Editorial Director at Ravenous Romance, an ebook press that publishes multiple genres of erotica, including historical, paranormal and kinky, edgy romance. It’s been a blast! I’ve been learning the ends and outs of the publishing world from the agent and editor prospective and the challenges they face dealing with writers.

The biggest challenge Lori and her  agents have with their authors is the writer’s resistance to finish their novels. As a writer, it’s hard to complete a body of work. For the agents and editors that believe in the writers talents, it’s just as hard to watch writers resist the full potential of their work. I’m learning that I have to write. I have to devote myself to my work long term and finish the books I have always dreamed of writing.

What has been even more re-assuring is cutting checks for writers as part of my editorial duties! I remember always being told that being a writer would make me very little money. But as I continue to send out royalties each week, I see that there is an income to be earned from writing and if I am going to continue to write, I might as well make a profit! I’ve learned so much and have done a lot of networking, which is so necessary in this industry. Lori Perkins is a lifelong feminist publishing smut for years and it’s been an awesome experience working with her.

I will be learning how to copy edit next year and will be compiling my first anthology under Ravenous Romance – Lycon Dreams: A Gay/Lesbian Werewolf Anthology. Stay tuned for a call for submission in the New Year.

RENOVATIONS

Between traveling, working and writing, some how Sara and I have managed to find time to renovate our apartment. We have been living sublet to sublet as Sara’s childhood apartment is fully restored and modernized for chicks in their 20’s. We are pleased to announce that we are finally at the stage of picking out furniture and we will be back in at the end of February. We will have a place to establish our life long partnership and our cats, Sarge, Charlie, Fiona and CJ, could not be happier! We hope to host queer brunches in our multiple communities and will be throwing a house warming party a few months after we are settled.

Lastly, this year I have really stepped up my writing. The holiday break has given me time to work on an erotica novella about my adventures in California – working title The Indigo Diaries. I’ll be featuring an excerpt here on my blog, a steamy afternoon with a West Coast friend and lover. Check out my smut section and be highly stimulated! I hope to release the novella in late 2012/2013.

I will also be writing for Good Vibes Magazine & Sex Blog and reviewing toys for My Evolved in the New Year.

I’ll be posting throughout the holidays, so stay tuned for blog updates!

Happy Holidays to All!

Sex, Peace and Prosperity

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