Monday, October 23, 2017

Busting Virginities All Over the Place #BevsBoobs

Ready for my book signing in my pretty
Jenette's Bras bra.
While I've read my work in public before, it's never been at an actual book signing. And never in an actual bra store.

Jenette's supplied an amazing location, helpful staff, delicious and adorable cupcakes with pink ribbons on them from Dot's and pink champagne. Which I swore I took a picture of, but cannot find on my phone. 😢

I did put on a shirt before I left the apartment. And kept it on through the reading.  And then... unleash the boobs!

I was blessed and honored to have so many wonderful friends come out to support me for this event. But then, that's the way my whole journey has been, filled with incredible people and a whole network of love.

Of course, like always, I am missing some pictures of some very important people. But here's a few of them.
Monika and I have been friends online for years, and she drove
all the way from Ventura to meet and support me.
As noted in the memoir, hot men in tiaras, yum!
Bruce is one of my writing crit group.

Hot men with fans, also sexy. Work it, Bobby!
ZaNyaa Lee is my fabulous Arbonne consultant..
and friend.

Tina rocked the tiara AND a fan, because she's multi-talented.

Kady Ambrose, another good friend, and hell of a writer.

Paula Johnson, creative consultant extraordinaire.
She designed my bookmarks and is revamping my website.

My darling Clarissa popped off her top so
we could double the bra boobage.
You're welcome.

So I signed books - with a pink pen, of course! and chatted and enjoyed the yummies. And then I read a selection from the first chapter.

My dear friend Cassie who couldn't attend, suggested I Facebook live it. One more thing I'd never done before - why not?

I didn't have something to hold the phone/camera up, so Jenette's staff came to the rescue - again. However, I am going to learn how to do the thing, so the audio is better next time.

Then on the very next night, I joined in a Facebook author party with my friends and collaborators, the Speakeasy Scribes. Again, super nervous, totally a virgin - but I think I did okay. I got new newsletter subscribers anyway (have you signed up? top right of this page) and I actually sent out a newsletter this month. I might even do another one, sometimes before the end of the year.

With my scribes, I was promoting this holidayish anthology.

You can preorder it here.
And you can now get a paperback of Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N Roll, and a Tiara: How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer's Ass via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and e-books (which are better, IMO) just about everywhere.

So, this author thing. When do I get to go back to writing stories? Soon, grasshopper, soon.

Have you done anything new and terrifying lately?
Would you read your book in a bra (and nothing else on top)?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sometimes We Get What We Didn't Pay For #Giveaway

Me and Ericka Hart. Shitty picture, but she's a ball of fire;
I'm lucky I got even a blurry one.
Over the weekend I went to see an exhibit about dick pics (as one does), and to hear a panel talking about that, and feminism.

One of the speakers I especially wanted to see and meet was sex educator Ericka Hart, also a breast cancer sur-thriver and all around amazing woman.

And one of the things she mentioned that struck me as hugely important, is how, if we value something, we need to PAY for it. Like newspapers/magazines. I am now paying subscriptions to news organizations that I usually read only a small portion of, because I value the reporting in these tumultuous times. Reporters gotta eat, too.

Also, Teen Vogue has been kicking ass with their articles in the past year.

Ericka and most of my friends who are sex educators, generally don't make a boatload of money. We need them, we need their work in our communities, we need their articles on EveryDayFeminism and Medium and other outlets, but as far as paying for it? Ugh. People expect things should be free.

The only sex educators I personally know making bank are those who are ALSO sex workers of some type. And while yay for sex workers, that's important work too, much akin to that of massage therapists, we need to recognize the unpaid labor of the women, men, and non-binary folx who perform sex education out of love, simply because they see a need.

We need to find ways to pay them, whether it's via Patreon (I currently subscribe to Kimchi Cuddles and PolyRoleModels) or by hiring them for speaking engagements and events, or by buying their books.

I'm currently reading this one, just released:

"Tamara Pincus and Rebecca Hiles fuse personal experience and community research to break down the various incarnations of polyamorous relationship structures, the intersections of polyamory with race and gender, and the seemingly esoteric jargon of the lifestyle."

Polyamory might not be your lifestyle, but you just might want to read about people who are practicing it, because there are probably polyamorous families whose kids go to school with your kids, or grandkids.

I've pre-ordered this one:

"Love's Not Color Blind puts forward the framework—through research, anecdotal testimony, and analogy—for understanding, identifying, and ultimately confronting the manifestations of racism within polyamorous communities. Whether you’re a community leader or you just like to date a lot, this is an invaluable tool for creating a more inclusive polyamory."

Okay, but you're REALLY not into polyamory or open relationships? Not to fret, pet.

This terrific book by Walker Thornton works regardless of your relationship configuration, whether you're in a monogamous marriage, an open relationship or currently single. We ALL deserve pleasure. At every age.

"Using a 30-day format, each day focuses on a topic, using writings, images, and exercises to help women experience pleasure. You’ll explore self-care, sexual health, learning to ask for what you want, and more. Inviting Desire teaches you to enhance awareness of your body and embrace your sexuality."

This book, by Elle Chase, is soooo good. Wonderful text, descriptions, ILLUSTRATIONS and photographs. They work for every body, not just those who are big - for people with bad backs, or problem shoulders...

"Sex educator Elle Chase covers sex positions from basic to advanced, specific challenges faced as plus-sized lovers, and precise, body positive tips, tricks and techniques that cater to your big, beautiful body."

People keep trying to borrow my copy, but I won't let it out of my big beautiful hands.

I highly recommend ALL the above books. But the one I am giving away is another favorite, Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are.

"Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never be the answer—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.

Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the context surrounding a woman’s arousal, desire, and orgasm."

I really love Come As You Are, which is why I'm happy to send a paperback copy to someone in the USA (Foreign postage kills me, but you know what, if you're overseas, we'll work out a gift certificate or something.) If you'd like to be considered for it, just leave me a comment (if you're creating an account via Google to do so, make sure it has your email address in the background, or check back here to see if you won).

You don't have to buy my book, though I'm over the moon if you choose to do so - especially if you review it.  You don't have to sign up for my badass newsletter, though I'm totally stoked if you do - and I promise not to send you 8 bazillion mailings a year. Or Fan my Facebook Page, or Follow Me on Twitter, or any of those hoops some bloggers make you jump through to enter a giveaway.

Just leave a comment. A remark about one of these books, another sexy book recommendation, or a picture of your cat.

(I do not, actually, know how to leave a photo of a cat on a comment, but wouldn't it be awesome if we could?)

Note: If you're creating a new account via Google to leave your comment, please make sure in the background when you sign up it lists your eddress, so I can let you know you've won. Or check back here after Friday the 27th, when I'll be drawing the lucky winner.  Thanks!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Release Day vs. Technical Difficulties vs. Life

So yesterday, my Kicking Cancer's Ass memoir released! On all available sites.  Okay, on Amazon. Kindle version and Paperback. It's also available on Kobo.

Have you added it to your TBR list on Goodreads yet?
Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, and a Tiara (How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer's Ass)

Plan A was to also have it available on iBooks, B & N, and Smashwords, but... life got in the way.

It'll get there soon, and that's good enough.

I've gotten a little sidetracked from blogging and the finishing touches, by friends who needed time and attention, including one who began her own breast cancer journey in June, and is now trying to wrap her mind around a body disfigured by a missing breast, and then two weeks ago, a face disfigured by the removal of a "small" bit of basal cell carcinoma that turned out to be more extensive than they thought. So I've been supporting her as much as I can, with phone calls and visits.

The T-shirt I desperately need from CatalogueFavorites
I've also spent priceless, delicious time with friends, family, lovers. And that's kind of the point of this cancer journey of mine, that life is short, and people are the most important thing. There will always be time to struggle with the technical difficulties that come with trying to format a book for different e-versions and print.

FWIW, WordPerfect is still out there and still a MUCH better program than stupid Microsoft Word, especially if one wants to have different odd and even page headers, but to suppress the headers on the pages where chapters begin.

Except that when you convert a .doc to WordPerfect, Word will corrupt the file during the conversion process, as a final "Up yours!" Asshole.

I got it done (I think) and paperbacks are ordered for my upcoming books signing on October 15 at Jenette Bras in Old Pasadena.

Here's something else that got in the way... Mah toof hab an owwie.

This was BEFORE the dental work. 
Yes, although I take very good care of my teeth, including thrice yearly cleaning and I JUST HAD dental work to replace an aging crown in July, another tooth decided to blow up on me. Pretty much within a 24-hour period.

It's hard to concentrate not just when your jaw hurts like a mo-fo, but infection in da face also impacts da brain. They kinda hang out together, you know?

Luckily, one emergency root canal later, it's about taken care of now (thank you, antibiotics!). Like my breast cancer journey itself, just one more unexpected detour.

But in honor of my dental distraction, here's a short excerpt from the chapter titled, appropriately, Bring On the Metal Hook!

EVERY TIME I HAD A DENTAL APPOINTMENT, I started off with high hopes. First, that I would get there on time (almost never). I am traffic-math challenged, and in L.A., traffic seems to grow worse every trip. Second, I hoped that Pat, my dental hygienist, would be impressed. I worked so hard at polishing the parts that were not-so-good the last visit. I tried to use dental picks and floss to get the gunk out of the crevices, polish well… 
And every time, Pat would find spots I’d missed, places I’d neglected. One would think, that for as long as I’d been conscientiously working on it, my teeth would be flawless. But no.
One would also think that my writing, which I’d also been working on for decades years, would be flawless. And at every critique group meeting, somebody would get out the metal hook and start poking and fire up the drill to root out the rotten parts.... 

If you write, does your editing process feel like a root canal? I can't give you painkillers over the Interwebs, but here's the music I picked for that chapter:

What songs would you choose to illustrate time with your dentist - and critique group? Leave a comment and tell me about your suggestion, or your recent life detours.