Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Oh, Yeah, the Blog!

One of MANY gorgeous photos by
Nick Holmes Photo 
While the writing goals I had at the beginning of 2015 kinda went by the wayside, as did my blog here, I had so much to celebrate. Here's something I shared on FaceBook.

2015 was the BEST year of my life. Why?

I was taking care of myself:
--- Did yoga and got in cardio on my bike (when I could budge the cat off it).
--- Had lumpectomy and got radiation for breast cancer (in full remission, yay me!), though I'm not yet a fan of Tamoxifen.
--- Got best possible results on genetic screening for cancer recurrence - NADA.
--- Got regular massages via the magic hands of Ketty Rugh-Seligsohn.
--- Learned to check in with myself and say NO more often, in large part because of boundary coaching from Sex-Positive World.
Tivvy (Creativity) thinks its HER bike

I was brave:
--- I gave my first onlne workshop
--- I tried shrimp after years of being too scared. Turns out, I"m allergic to it - but I TRIED it.
--- I dated men who were shorter, younger, or otherwise outside my usual "type."
--- I got onstage and told a story at Bawdy Storytelling.
--- I filmed some ridiculous but fun video book and music reviews.
--- I entrusted myself to the professional talents of amazing photographer Nick Holmes Photo and am still blown away by how beautiful I look in his pictures.
--- I "outed" myself as polyamorous and HSV+. (…/1344309723…/beverly-diehl)

I lost my shit:
--- Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally; I locked my keys inside my car, lost my checkbook, my iPod, and often, my mind.
--- I lost a dearly beloved boss and friend, Barry G. Norton
--- I still mourn the loss of my dear friend Sidney Patrick, and my brother-in-love, Jim Edwards.

Me & my boyfriend at Paramount Studios
I was entertained:
--- At Avenue Q with dear friend Morgan S.
--- At the Magic Castle
--- At Center Stage Opera (CA)
--- At Paramount Studios
--- By the enchanting guitar of Daveed Fernando Alvarado
--- At book signings with Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, where I was Furiously Happy (if only for a moment, then I had to give up my raccoon fan).
--- By my teenage kittens, Motivation & Creativity, always!

I was rejected:
--- After slogging through a year-long writing fugue to polish a story for an anthology... it was rejected. BUT, I wrote another one.
--- A long time friend decided she didn't want to rekindle our friendship. Ouch!
--- I was rejected by prospective lovers (and rejected others).
--- Some shorter-term lovers and I decided to end our "thing."
Finished Radiation Treatment #29
Rocking my Tiara Like a Boss

I learned:
--- About interesting approaches to sexytimes with Charlie Glickman
--- About the Zen flow of Bondage and Meditation with Orpheus Black.
--- About Big Beautiful Sex with Elle Chase, Sex Educator
--- About Orgasmic Yoga with Victoria Leigh Reuveni.
--- About writing and writing attitudes with the California Dreamin' Writers Conference,
--- About various kinds of kink with SPW's Sexplore Workshop, and about boundaries and consent.

Swallowing, not spitting
I was loved and supported:
--- By my family: Bobbie, Beth, Heather, Becky, Justin, and Lindsey, and cousins and nephews and extended family.
--- By SOOOO many friends: Karen G, Kathy G, Robin W, Jerilyn B, Carmen, Cassie B, Mina H, Joyce D, and so many more.
--- By my Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) Board and clan, but especially Maggie Marr, Maria Seager, and Rebekah R. Ganiere.
--- By my crit group: Lynne M, Bruce B, Tony F, Vance G, and Jae whose last name I can't spell.
--- By my lovers and FWB and partners in naughty flirtation. You know who you are/were.
--- By my Writing Wenches.
--- By my Adventuristas and my SPLA tribe.
--- By my work family/tribe at BNG Accountancy Corporation
--- By the Board and volunteers for children's literacy program Words on Wheels, Inc.
--- And by YOU, if you're reading this.

Mojo (Motivation) thinks this is HIS gratitude jar.
My gratitude jar OVERFLOWED in 2015, and it's already begun to fill back up for 2016. My life has been awesome, and I'm happily wrapping my arms around the future (with my back up against the past). ‪#‎sexpositive‬‪#‎lifepositive‬ ‪#‎gratitude‬ ‪#‎happy‬

SO much to be grateful for in 2015, and 2016 is already getting off to an excellent start.

My intentions for 2016 are to live life juicily and joyfully, but also to acknowledge ALL the feels, even the uncomfortable ones. (Like my sadness about so many of my favorite artists and musicians passing this month. What's up with that?)

To get a few more stories written (and a few more blog posts!), to be a good friend, lover, sister, and be grateful for the ABUNDANCE (my chosen word for the year) of excellent people and experiences I have in my life.

Your thoughts?
How's 2016 going for you? 
How was your 2015?

Monday, November 30, 2015

How To Repair A Broken Tiara

1) Assemble pieces, put on granny glasses, plug in soldering iron.
2) Grab soldering iron off kitchen towel just before kitchen towel ignites.
3) Note to self: Next time, use handle to grab soldering iron. Next time, no soldering iron.
4) Apply ice to burned fingertips.
5) Unplug soldering iron and get out gorilla glue.

6) Apply gorilla glue to broken ends of tiara. Attempt to hold in place.
7) Realize glue is not sticking to anything but burned fingertips.

8) Many swears while looking for runaway cap for gorilla glue.
9) Decide tiara looks fucking awesome, just as it is.
10) Raise glass of champagne to toast and celebrate the broken, imperfect, but still gorgeous things.

Despite burned fingertips and several project failures, including trying to adjust the font on this post, I had fun last weekend. And I got some writing done.

How was your weekend?
Got a good project failure story?

Monday, November 2, 2015

I've Been AWOL #cancer #momswithcancer

I am now 2/3 of the way through my breast cancer journey.

Surgery, done!
Radiation, done!

Yay, me!

Tamoxifen... coming right up. It may seem awful that I am more concerned about the potential side affects on my sex life, than on the stuff about blood clots and stroke, but honestly, yes I am.

My medical oncologist said I could take it whenever I felt recovered enough from radiation, which ended a month ago. And I did experience ongoing tiredness longer than I thought I would, undoubtedly exacerbated by another super busy fall at the day job, plus grief. For my brother in love, for my boss who passed in August (his birthday was yesterday, ouch!, and the deathversary on October 22 of my dear friend Sidney Patrick.

So, as this posts, I'm taking it, today.

I have occasionally thought about blogging, these past few months, but could not summon the physical or emotional energy, and decided, you know what, that's okay. It's all part of the journey, which I am, well, journaling.  (I'm hoping to turn my stories into an actual book, because it's not everyone who fights breast cancer with sex positivity, Bondage Classes, and Orgasmic Magic. Not to mention figuring out that the radiation machine sounded like a coffee grinder trying to mate with an adding machine.)

Overall, although sometimes I am a little tired, or a little sad, I am happy, and joyous, and feel well.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so many loving and supportive friends, and to have so much good news coming my way. I'm also getting to hear about the cancer journey others are taking, which makes my Cancer Lite seem like a day at the spa.

While I am fretting that Tamoxifen might dry up my vajayjay, oh, dear, I might have to use lube! #firstworldproblems, another friend had cervical cancer. Her treatment closed her up, permanently. and she lost her breasts at the same time, because, BRCA1. (She's got a dynamite-looking pair of reconstructed breasts, though, and a hot young boyfriend.)

And while I miss my boss, I'm pretty sure that his wife, who's on her own breast cancer journey, still in chemotherapy, probably misses him more than I can begin to imagine.

Another friend has been hospitalized for issues with her chemotherapy, but battles on with courage and good humor, with her radiation to begin in the new year.

And then there's bright, beautiful Augusta Fleming. Augusta and I have not yet met in person; she's in Tennessee, and I'm in California. We met in a FaceBook support group for people who've experienced pregnancy/stillbirth/miscarriage loss, me of my almost-grandbaby, hers of an angel baby.

She's gorgeous on the outside, but she has an even lovelier spirit, warm and funny and generous. I was so delighted for her that she had two "rainbow babies," girls now aged one and three.

And this summer, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Below is a picture she shared on FaceBook, of the last latch-on of her younger daughter. Augusta had to wean her cold-turkey at eight months, because the radiation in the diagnostic scans she had to take would have poisoned the baby.

*I* think this photo is lovely and poignant, but you will or will not be surprised to hear that some uptight troll reported this picture as obscene and FaceBook removed it.

I. Can't. Even.

So many of you have been so supportive of me. I'd like to pay it forward, and ask, if your funds allow, please consider donating to Augusta's fund, because diapers, food, gas, and out of pocket medical... I have been chipping in what I can; her husband has been working as much as possible. But with her spending an entire month in the hospital this summer, and no end of treatment in sight, it has been rough for them financially, as well as horrific, emotionally.

I will continue to gratefully accept healing vibes, prayers, rituals, good thoughts, and anything else you care to send me. I "get" that we all have many important places our money could go, but if you can spare anything, I know Augusta's family could truly use it.

Or if you don't have funds, consider simply sending Augusta a message of healing and hope.  Hug your own babies, or grandbabies, or nephews and nieces and consider what a blessing it is that we have our health (mostly), and wonderful people we love in this crazy world.

Be kind. The next time some jerk cuts you off in traffic, consider the possibility that they may be rushing to the bedside of a very sick loved one. If you have a surly teenager in your classroom, consider that she may be in trouble, rather than a troublemaker.

Sending love and blessing to you - and if you can, leave a comment and let me know what you are doing in your life, these days, I have missed interacting with you all.

Your thoughts?