Trans*date 07.11.2016: My New Name is Two Years Old

Two years ago on 7/11/2014, I rechristened myself with a new legal name.  A month before that, I’d started taking testosterone. At the urging of some friends, I’m going to share some of what I’ve learned about myself, about transition, and about being transgender during the past two years.

1. The excitement of Whisker Watch wears off.  I don’t remember when it happened, but I do remember how eagerly I inspected my face every day, and how much I celebrated each new evidence of growth. And then I noticed that I had a bunch of new hairs that I hadn’t noticed while they were growing.  The obsession was over.  Also, about shaving: the first few times, shaving was an exciting adventure and a bit intimidating and now it’s something I have to remind myself to do – or get reminded about, as in, “Mommy, your face is too scratchy!” or Red noticing that I missed a patch on my neck.  When I do shave, I enjoy it, especially since I got a shaving kit from Red and can make luscious foam to put on my face.  I do my best to just shave the cheeks and leave my sideburns, chin strap and goatee in place - I’m not planning to shave it all off the way I did last November… sheesh, my chin does not look right bare naked like that.

2. Knowing ahead of time that you will probably lose your hair does not make it easier to clean out the shower drain every morning. The whorl at the back of my head is getting more and more bare, and the top is thinning in an alarming way.  I noticed that my dad at mid 20s had a hairline like mine and I know what happened to his hair.  Yikes.  The fact that I have hair on my chest, belly, shoulders and upper back in abundance does not really help me feel better about a future where my head bare.

3. I sometimes miss my old face. I have a ton of pictures from the past 8 years, so I have plenty to compare to.  Before testosterone, I’d look at my face and see all the feminine markers, the large eyes, the soft edges, the full lips.  I would sometimes see the handsome masculine side and I would cherish those momentary glimpses while wishing they would last longer.  Now my face hardly ever shows its feminine side.  Every morning, I look in the mirror and say hello to a man in his middle age.  Sure, he’s got a rather fleshy chest, but the hairline, the beard, the shape of his face is unmistakably masculine.  I’m told it’s a handsome face and yet, sometimes, I feel a bit of longing for my old face.  I can look at it now and see more of the masculine, more of the handsome.  I sometimes wish testosterone had simply planted hair on that face without changing the shape.  I also sometimes look at pictures of myself when I was much younger and have a similar longing, wishful thinking that I had appreciated what I had, when I had it.

4. I often miss my old voice. I used to open my throat in song with utter, unabashed confidence and joy. I could do it without thinking and know I’d hit the notes.  Now I’m hesitant.  I don’t know my instrument any more.  It cracks and shifts at unexpected places.  I haven’t done karaoke in over two years – I used to jump on stage with a mic whenever I had the chance.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my T influenced speaking voice and there are times when I sing and feel that deeper vibration and enjoy myself.  However, I have lost a lot with regard to singing.  I can’t soar in multiple octaves any more or hit those amazing rock and roll notes of Robert Plant and Ann Wilson at full volume.  I am not confident yet in my new singing voice.  And I wish I had more recordings of myself before. That’s a bonafide regret.

5. Neither of those previous 3 items add up to overall regret about my choices.  I don’t regret my choice to take testosterone.  I don’t think it was a mistake.  I acknowledge that the changes I’ve undergone as a result of my choices has resulted in some losses, and I embrace those feelings along with the feelings of joy and self-acceptance.

6. I am not comfortable with my newly garnered male privilege.  Yes, it greases the wheels in a way that makes my life easier. I can now man-ditto and be validated, even though I’m just repeating something someone else said.  I immediately have more authority just by the virtue of being perceived male.  It’s gross.  I am sometimes not as aware of it as I’d like to be.  The advantages are still unexpected and I don’t always catch it when it happens. I spent most of my life not having that advantage and I don’t particularly want it now.  I can’t relate to it, it’s alien and unwarranted. And because I automatically get respect based on maleness, it feels artificial and less satisfying – it’s not a respect based on things I’m actually doing.  I have (a lot) more to say on that in another post in the near future.

7. I don’t cringe when I see my old name any more. I used to wince, and cringe and curse when mail came with my old name on it.  It was a phase, apparently.  I don’t want to be addressed using that name by people who know better, that’s still going to result in a glare and maybe a curse word.  But that’s not about hating my old name or wanting to erase it.  I haven’t changed my diplomas or my birth certificate, or that of my children.  I don’t want to pretend I never had a different name.  I’m not ashamed to have had that name, it just doesn’t fit me any more.  Like the clothing I’ve purged from my closet and the pronouns I lived with for the first 50 years of my life.  That name is just much me as my new name is – it holds space for a huge chunk of my life experience and is a kind of time machine for when I want to go back and revisit the past.

8. I want brotherhood without misogyny.  Here’s where a lot of my current struggle is.  I am recognized as male everywhere now.  There are occasional weird moments with people who knew me before and after who slip up with my name or my pronouns but those are the rare exceptions.  Everywhere I go I am ‘sirred’, ‘Mistered’ and treated with that little extra respect our society still reserves for men.  I love it and I hate it at the same time.  I don’t trust it and I understand it to be evidence of my male privilege – something that wasn’t on my list of reasons for transitioning.  Whether I wanted it or not, I have it now and I feel guilty about that.  I want and crave the camaraderie of other masculine people.  And I cringe and feel offended at the casual misogyny that gets thrown around in conversation among men. I know that I’m expected to wink and nod back.  But I don’t.  And I feel distinctly like an outsider when I don’t play along.  What I think that means is I need to keep being selective about where I seek that brotherhood, so I can find like minded men.

9. I feel more myself than I have for most of my life. Even though my voice still doesn’t feel entirely mine yet, and my face catches me by surprise sometimes and I have a whole lot of new privilege I didn’t ask for – I still feel more *me* than ever.  I am not someone else’s definition of man or woman, I am my own creation – at least in my head.  From the outside, well, we can’t control how we’re perceived.  That’s frustrating and unfair. And I’m still figuring out how to articulate my insides to the outside world.  That’s probably going to be a lifelong project.  If I had it all to do over again, there are a very few things I’d have done differently, but I would still have started taking testosterone and changed my name.

My name feels very me, it fits and I love the sound of it when people use it.  Pronouns sometimes catch me by surprise.  Not that ‘she’ would ever work at this point, but ‘he’ sometimes sounds odd too. Maybe I won’t ever feel completely at home with pronouns.

Two years ago, when I started down this fork in the road, I was excited, nervous and afraid.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t like all of the changes that were coming.  Well, as it turns out, there are some things I don’t care for.  And it turns out that I’m OK.  Even with the hair loss and having my singing voice change so much and not being sure about my face all the time.  I’m OK and I like myself and I like where my life is leading.  Which is a good lesson to remember the next time I’m fearful of change.


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Video Tour of the Home Office

Tour of my home office, playing with a loaner camera from Red.  Next test will be with a tripod and will feature my face.

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Handy Sheet for Responding to I1515 Transphobia

 Quick fact sheet for opposing I1515  (PDF)

Our state anti-discrimination law, known as the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), clearly prohibits discrimination because of “gender expression or identity.”. The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is charged with enforcing that law.  In December 2015, the HRC published a ruling clarifying the law with regard to ‘facilities segregated by gender – public restrooms and locker rooms.

Transgender people have been protected under this law since 2006, 10 years ago.

I1515 – Lies, Big Fat Lies, Ugly Hateful Lies and the Lying Liars to tell them… 

I1515 was filed by the same people who tried to get multiple bills through the Washington State House and Senate earlier this year.  They use fear-mongering and outright lies to scare people into supporting this initiative.  The deadline is July 9th for them to get 246,000 signatures and get this heinous pile of transphobia on the ballot.

I hope you will join me in speaking up when you hear someone repeating the lies told by I1515 supporters and be on the watch for petitions in work places, businesses and public gatherings.

I1515 seeks to repeal protections for trans people under WLAD, specifically with regard to ‘gender segregated facilities’, i.e., bathrooms and locker rooms.

I1515 supporters say the initiative is about safety and preventing men from coming into bathrooms and locker rooms to commit crimes.

FACT: the activities supporters say they will prevent are already against the law.

I1515 supporters: But isn’t it illegal to ask someone if they are transgender or in the wrong bathroom?
I1515 supporters like Breitbart and the Family Institute of Washington are saying just that and it’s not true.
FACT: individuals and business can still question an individual who appears to be using the wrong gender segregated facility. If a person is in a gender segregated facility for nefarious purposes, and is challenged, they will not likely pursue a civil rights complaint. If they did, that complaint would be investigated by the HRC and dismiss as invalid.

I1515 stance: This ruling allows men to go into the women’s room and ogle women and children and no one can do anything about it!
FACT: the HRC ruling and WLAD clarify that women of all kinds are allowed to use women’s facilities and men of all kinds are allowed to use men’s facilities – where those facilities are gender segregated. It is still illegal for a man to use the women’s room.

ANOTHER FACT: transgender women are not men and transgender men are not women.  If a man comes into the women’s room, he’s breaking the law.

What about that guy who went into the bathroom claiming he was allowed to under the law?
FACT: if you’re talking about the guy who entered a Seattle area women’s locker room in order to make a point about the HRC’s ruling, no, that was an illegal act. As reported in an article linked below, the man never identified himself as a transgender woman.”

ANOTHER FACT: you’ve been sharing bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender people for years without knowing it.

But what about the children? (and women), (The Safety argument)
FACT: there are no cases of assault, sexual or otherwise, perpetrated by trans people in gender segregated facilities.  AND ALSO, transgender people are by far more likely to be assaulted, sexually or otherwise, or murdered than any other demographic.  Especially transgender women.  Even more especially, transgender women of color. So clearly, I1515 supporters are not interested in everyone’s safety.

FURTHER FACT: the demographic who is statistically more likely to commit sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, etc. are white heterosexual, non-transgender men. So if you’d like to keep people safe from such violence, focus on that group of people.

But what about the privacy angle?
FACT: Discomfort is not the same as danger. If someone with an atypical body is in the restroom or locker room with you, you and your children might be uncomfortable. However, neither you nor your children is in danger. And maybe you should look at that as an opportunity to teach your kids tolerance and respect, rather than fear.  (And you know what?  I’m betting most of the trans people using your locker room want privacy too, many of them are using a bathroom stall to change in so you don’t freak out and make their lives miserable.  It’s just body parts people, grow up!)

But, but, but… transgenders are wierd and confused and icky!

Suggested response: You’re a jerk, I got nothing more to say to you.

Other resources:

Washingon Won’t Discriminate – great fact sheets and information

ACLU Summary of Transgender rights in Washington State

Article with statement from HRC on the guy who went into the locker room…

 Link to a pdf of this document

( Feel free to share this, copy, paste, print it off… )

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Blog Tour for Me and My Boi

me and my boi second coverThere’s a new Cleis Press Erotica Anthology out and it’s making a tour of blogs via the editor and many of the writers.  At the bottom of this post, I’ve added the full blog tour list, as well as how to win a copy of Me and My Boi for yourself.  To buy a copy, try Amazon paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon UK, and Nook.

This anthology has already been around for over two years, being delayed due to changes in leadership at Cleis.  I wrote the story, What I’m Made Of, back in 2012 to submit to Best Lesbian Erotica 2013.  Kathleen Warnock chose the story as a finalist but I did not make the ultimate cut for that collection.

In 2013, Sacchi Green put out the call for Me and My Boi came out and I went back to WIMO to see how I felt about submitting it again.  I’d had some time to gain perspective and knew it could be improved.  I enlisted some copy editing help from a friend, Sage, and through her efforts and mine, the story improved a lot.  By the time I submitted it to Sacchi Green for this collection, I was sure it was a great story and well written.  What I didn’t know was if it would fit Green’s vision for the anthology.

When I got the word it had been selected as a finalist, I was guardedly optimistic.  The experience with BLE 2013 was still pretty fresh.  Sacchi continued to be optimistic about the piece and we were very close to getting into the final stages when Cliess’s ownership changed.  Then we were all back to not square one, but awaiting an unknown publishing date and without the final word on whether the publisher would accept Sacchi’s list.  The publishing date changed several times and I put it out of my mind.

When Sacchi contacted us in January of this year with the fantastic news that we had a real publishing date, it was a really awesome late holiday present.   June 14th, 2016, right in the middle of Pride month.

There are elements of my lived experience in this story, but it’s not a story about something that happened in my life.  I did work in a sandwich shop in a mall in my early 20s, though I didn’t have crushes on any co-workers.  I have had a good amount of sex in the various vehicles and it was fun to write a story where I could use that experience.

Not surprisingly, the narrator is a lot like me, with a similar outlook and a similar awkwardness when it comes to talking to people I’m attracted to.  The other character, the other side of the sexual dynamic duo in this story, is an amalgamation of several people in my life.  It’s no surprise to people who know me that I have always been attracted to take-charge women, the strong feminine type who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to grab me and get it.

And now that you’ve read a bit of the ‘behind the story’ story, here’s a little tease from What I’m Made Of….

She wrapped one arm around my shoulder and brought my face close to hers. I almost lost my limited cool right there, looking into her eyes, her lips open and moist. Fortunately, even in a situation of extreme nervousness with a gorgeous woman, I can manage a kiss. And damn, damn, damn…  I’ll never forget her lips, full and firm but giving in at just the right moments. Her tongue teasing and tormenting mine until it followed hers. I have no idea how much time we spent just making out, but it was glorious and I was in no hurry to get to the next base.

She was a bit more motivated, judging by the way she broke our lip-lock, pressed me back against the seat and straddled my lap. We were still fully clothed but I could feel the heat of her mound as it pressed against mine. I reached around, grabbing her ass, pulling her more firmly against me. She sucked on my neck and ears as we rocked against each other, occasionally visiting my mouth for deep, searing kisses. When she wasn’t pressing her lips against mine, or moaning, there was a steady stream of dirty words coming out of her mouth that both impressed and encouraged me.  I lifted my pelvis a little more, grabbed her ass and held her tightly against me. She gasped, rubbing even faster, pressing against my clit and bringing me to the brink of orgasm in seconds. I groaned from deep in my belly, a counterpoint to her higher cry of pleasure.


There is a bucket list item I hope to cross off my list soon and that is to walk into a book store and see this anthology (or Order Up, published earlier this month) on the shelf and to be able to open it and see my name in the table of contents.  It’s a game I’ve played with copies of BLE or other erotic anthologies – looking to see how many writers I know. And now I’m one of the names that people are going to see when they open either of these two books.

The next stop on the tour is tomorrow, June 27th at Gigi Frost‘s Facebook page.



Anyone who comments on any of the posts in the Me and My Boi blog tour will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.

To read more insider dish on the making of this anthology and to increase your chances of winning a copy of the book, visit and comment on the rest of the stops on the tour:

June 12—Sacchi Green – Reaching Out

June 13—Annabeth Leong – Robot Lovers Prey on the Lonely

June 14—Anna Watson  – on Sacchi Green

June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith – on Sugarbutch Chronicles

June 16—Jove Belle

June 17—Tamsin Flowers – Superotica

June 18—Victoria Villasenor— BreyWillows (also a writer on the Order Up anthology)

June 19—J. Caladine – on Sacchi Green

June 20—Victoria Janssen

June 21—Dena Hankins

June 22—D. Orchid – on Sacchi Green

June 23—Pavini Moray – Emancipating Sexuality

June 24—Melissa Mayhew – on Sacchi Green

June 25—Jen Cross – on Sacchi Green

June 26— ME! on Butchtastic

June 27—Gigi Frost on Facebook

June 28—Aimee Hermann – on Sacchi Green

June 29—Sommer Marsden – on Sacchi Green

June 30—Axa Lee – on Sacchi Green

July 1— Kathleen Bradean  – on Sacchi Green

 For an interview with Sacchi Green, check out this on Ever After Romance.






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VideoPost: What’s for Dinner? and other Compelling Information

Video shot in my back yard, no editing.

Hey, I really mean it:  send me questions to answer in my videos!  I’ve only received one question so far.



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Cracking Open

From my post to social media:

June 17, 2016

Sometimes I think I’ll just crack wide open from the weight of it all. All of it. The well of pain and grief that swallowed me whole this weekend. It’s heavy and exhausting. I feel tight from the pressure of holding it all together. I’m strung tight. I know this because of how quickly I snap, how quickly my anger flared all week. Over nothing. The driver who crowded me or the one that went too slow. The co-worker who asked questions (the audacity). I’m strung tight and prone to tears at a moments notice: music surging to crescendo, queer bodies dancing. the sudden beauty of laughter, the power behind the owl’s hoot in the darkening woods, the catch in my heart when I imagine my loves not coming home, ever again.
There is so much for all of us to carry and the responsibility to witness and carry on and … to make things right. Somehow. It’s exhausting and heavy and even with the crushing blow of a mass murder we are determined to carry on. To get on with our queer lives. And even here, giving myself some care and acknowledgement, I have an inner voice that says “but you weren’t even there, you don’t know anyone, it didn’t happen to you, you should be over it by now, center the people who it happened to.” Yeah, that inner voice has a point and yet…
No, I didn’t dodge bullets that night. I wasn’t waiting desperately for word about a loved one or friend in the hours and days after. And yet, I watched as the nation and world reacted. I saw the way politicians did what the usual “We’ll pray for you” out of one side of their mouths and “fuck you queers, we aren’t going to protect you legally, are you kidding?” out of the other. I saw the way the rest of the world went on like it was a normal Sunday. I heard the silence from too many. Maybe they didn’t know what to say, maybe they didn’t realize we needed to hear something. Maybe they were distracted by accusations of terrorism or mental illness. Or maybe, not being queer or trans, they really, really don’t have any idea how dangerous a poison internalize hatred is. We know, we’ve felt it, we’ve been bullied by it, murdered by it, killed ourselves because of it. But if you don’t know what that feels like, well, maybe it’s too hard to imagine.
And all of this is very much what we’ve been hearing from people of color all along: the world is set up for people other than us. Straight people don’t get it because it’s not about them. And yeah, some do and thank you if you’re one of them. But too many people will just share some posts and click ‘like’ and feel good about themselves and then move on. In a few days or a week, there will be something else grabbing everyone’s attention and the stories about Pulse will be fewer and fewer. And next month, some new horrific thing will happen and the politicians will offer prayers and wring their hands and accept donations from the NRA. Business as usual.
I feel like the weight of it will crack me open. The weight of the kind of change that has to happen to make a difference. The sheer grotesque inertia of Business As Usual. And yes, my POC friends have been saying this all along and even when I got it, I didn’t get it enough. I’m getting it now friends, and I feel desperately unqualified to derail the white male supremacy machine that is crushing us all. But that’s what we have to do.
But not this moment. This moment I’m giving to self-care, to anticipating Pride gatherings and hugs from friends I only see once a year. I’m going to keep learning about the queer Latinx people we lost last weekend and watching charming funny videos of queer people. And being fiercely proud of queer and trans people for fighting back, again and again. And I will keep loving the people I can, while I can, because we never know when Business As Usual is going to take them from us.
‪#‎whoalongpost‬ ‪#‎loveforpulse‬ ‪#‎loveforqueertrans‬ ‪#‎loveforPOC‬

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Blog Tour for Order Up

Order Up Cover 525 x 800

Order Up, an anthology of lesbian romance and erotica, is on a blog tour involving editors and authors of the book, including myself.  My story, Daddy’s Hot Appetizer, is included in the ‘Dessert’ section of the menu, where the hottest stories await readers who clean their plates.

The editors, R.G Emanuelle and Andi Marquette, have asked us to tell the story behind the stories we wrote for the collection.  I started writing about a couple distractedly preparing for a dinner party while taking Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s class on erotic writing called Between the Sheets through Litreactor.  Though I’ve been writing erotica for almost 8 years now, I know there’s plenty I can learn from successful writers and editors, so I jumped at the chance to take a class from RKB – editor of many erotic fiction anthologies, a writer, speaker, educator and event organizer.  We worked through several homework assignments, one of which was to have food and food prep be a main theme in the piece.  That was my story’s birthplace, as a homework assignment.  In the final week, when we were to get one of our stories ready for submission, I chose the story I called ‘Sexing the Cook’, in part because Rachel had posted a link to the Order Up call for submissions in her feedback.

So how’d I come up with this story?  I was thinking about food, of course, and Red, also of course.  I was thinking about a dinner party we’d had with NeighborFemme and her boy.  And one thing led to another and I envisioned a themed dinner party and the prep time before and how there might be sexy times along with dinner prep.

My narrator is a lot like me and I modeled the character of Maureen after Red.  This is not an uncommon starting point for me in writing erotica – using known characters as a starting point.  From there I embellish and have fun with the story.  And I definitely had a lot of fun writing Daddy’s Little Appetizer. I knew it was pretty good because it turned me on to write it, and read it and reread it and edit it.  Each successive edit honed and refined the characters and the action.  I probably could have gone on and on, but eventually I had to let go of my baby and send her off to the editors.  When I did, I was pleasantly surprised that they accepted the story and found only a few additional edits to make – in large part because of the feedback I received in class and the editing tips received. Thanks again to Rachel and fellow classmates.

Here’s a juicy tidbit from the story to wet your appetite:

“Can you do the potatoes at the table?” she asked. “I don’t have much room in here.” She’d begun working on the dessert, pineapple upside-down cake. I took the cutting board, peeler and knife to the table and returned for the bag of potatoes, making sure to brush against her nipple with my elbow. A sharp intake of breath told me I’d gotten to her.

I pulled the garbage can over and began peeling. I barely avoided peeling my fingers a couple of times, since I was watching her more than I was watching what I was doing. Her boxers were large on her and had drooped down in the back, revealing a tantalizing bit of ass cleavage. My mouth watered as I remembered bending her over the night before and licking that very spot.

“Babe, I’m thirsty, do I still have some beers in the fridge?”

“Mm-hmm.” She remained focused on measuring the dry ingredients.

I got up and stepped past her to the fridge, reaching around the plate of deviled eggs to get a bottle from the back. As luck would have it, she was standing in front of the drawer with the bottle opener. I leaned lightly against her back and slid my arm around her waist, reaching for the drawer pull. She reacted by stiffening her spine and giving me a sharp glance.

“Just need something from the drawer, babe.” I responded with a grin.

She pulled away from the drawer, pressing into me with a sigh. I angled my hips up and she pushed her ass back. I momentarily forgot there was another reason to be there and enjoyed the feeling of her warmth against me, as I nuzzled her neck.

She reached into the drawer and handed me the opener over her shoulder. Brows drawn together in concentration, she cracked eggs into her bowl. I flipped the bottle cap off and took a sip, then put the bottle, lid, and opener on the counter behind me. I leaned lightly against her back and watched over her shoulder as she folded more ingredients into the batter. She turned and threatened me with a spatula covered in goo. I kissed her neck, picked up my beer and returned to my task.


The rules for submission were pretty straight forward – the story needed to have food as a central theme, not just a backdrop and the story had to be about romance and/or erotica involving lesbian characters.  No sweat, right?  Well, actually, I was a bit challenged by the first rule.  It was easy to envision a sexy scene involving food prep, I’ve been in sexy scenes in the kitchen before.  However, I didn’t just want the food to be somewhere vaguely in the area of the two characters.  I wanted the menu to be real, the steps and timing in preparation to be accurate.  I wanted the reader to be able to imagine the dinner on the table, the setting and music and characters to come alive.  Speaking of which, I could have spent a little more time on the table setting perhaps… noting for next time.

I love eating and I love preparing food with friends and loved-ones.  Some of my favorite memories are set in kitchens and around tables laden with food and surrounded by the smiling faces of people I love.  ‘Food is love’ as we say in my family and sharing food is an excellent way to show you care and to nurture relationships.  Preparing food with a partner or lover can be an interesting experience.  I’ve heard that going on a rode trip can be a great indicator of how well a relationship will prosper.  I think preparing food with someone can also reveal a lot about communication styles, ability to collaborate and views on food.  For me preparing, sharing and consuming food are central themes in my relationships and funneling that into an erotic story felt natural.

Though I’ve had a couple of stories published before, this anthology is the first large market book I’ve landed in, which is pretty exciting. Also exciting is getting paid by a publisher for my work – also a first.  Order Up is a very tasty, multi-course meal of sexiness and I hope you’ll add it to your erotic library.

To get your copy of Order Up, go to one of these sites:

Ylva (the publisher’s site)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia
Amazon Germany

Collect them all… 

Here’s the full blog tour schedule (go back and check the previous ones if you missed them). Yesterday the tour stopped for a post from Cheri Crystal, blogging at Andi Marquette’s site. Next up is Liz McMullen, blogging at her site tomorrow (6/15).  Read the whole series for the inside scoop on each story.

June 6: Andi Marquette, blogging at her site (The Situation Room).
June 7: Jove Belle, blogging at her site.
June 8: Cheyenne Blue, blogging at her site.
June 9: Brey Willows, blogging at her site.
June 10: Lea Daley, blogging at R.G. Emanuelle’s site.

June 13: Cheri Crystal, blogging at Andi Marquette’s site.
June 14: ME!, blogging at
June 15: Liz McMullen, blogging at her site.
June 16: Marie Sterling, blogging at R.G. Emanuelle‘s site.
June 17: Rebekah Weatherspoon, blogging at her site.

June 20: Jaye Markham, blogging at Andi Marquette‘s site.
June 21: Emma Weimann, at Andi Marquette‘s site
June 22: N.R. Dunham, blogging at her site.
June 23: Pascal Scott, at R.G. Emanuelle‘s site.
June 24: R.G. Emanuelle, blogging at her site.


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Reading Tonight at Creative Colloquy

For any locals who are interested, I’ll be reading an original story tonight at Creative Colloquy at Traditions in Olympia.  The event starts at 7 with featured readers; I’ll be reading during the second part, open mic.

FYI: this is not an erotic reading event, the story I’m writing is a little spicy but not erotic.

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Me and My Boi: Queer Erotic Stories Available for Pre-order

me and my boi second coverMe and My Boi, edited by Sacchi Green, is available for pre-order at Amazon.  This book features stories by Sinclair Sexsmith, Victoria Oldham, Tamsin Flowers and others, including me.  My story ‘What I’m Made Of’ was written about three years ago and has been a part of this collection for over two – and finally is getting it’s moment to shine.

I believe these will be available for sale on June 14th or so.  Pre-order and have it sent to your home.

I’m really excited to see this book in print and even more to find it on bookstore shelves… and maybe on yours! If you buy a copy of this book, please email me a selfie of you and the book or the book on your shelf or wherever you keep your hot and sexy books.

This is so exciting!

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Learning to Say ‘No’

I have once again come to a place where I realize that I’m trying to do too much.  I’m over committing myself in excess of my resources of time and energy.  I’m fucking exhausted many days, mostly work days.  I’m trying to do all the things at 100% capacity and that’s not possible.  Not even if I want to really bad.

In thinking about this, and in conversations with loved ones and friends over the past weeks and months, some things have become more visible in the mud of my too-busy life:

1) I hate to disappoint people.  I will do my utmost to fulfill any obligations I have committed to, even in situations that are toxic and the other people in the vicinity are not living up to theirs. I sometimes take this to extremes and work past my limits and deplete my reserves in order to make sure things happen to the best of my ability.  This means I’m great to have on teams.  It also means I run out of energy often and that’s not awesome if you’re my loved one and you depend on me being able to cope with normal life.  What happens if I disappoint someone?  I feel like shit and a gaping hole opens up inside me and I fall in and can’t see light for some period of time.  That gaping hole was created when I was a kid at home living with a parent with undiagnosed mental issues.  I guess today we’d say she was neuroatypical.  So no, the world doesn’t end and disappointment doesn’t always cause someone to leave me and my life to turn into shit, but I have a hard time pulling out of that dive because the path is so well worn.

2) I want to be someone who can be depended on.  This doesn’t have to be an extreme sport, but I tend to make it that way.  Besides, I’m a creature of habit.  I like to find a groove and stick with it.  That’s awesome when it works and rough when I’ve built up an expectation with myself and/or someone else and then I have to fail that expectation because something comes up.  And unexpected shit is always coming up. This one is definitely related to number 1.  Being dependable was cause for praise when I was growing up.  Being a disappointment was one of the worst things I could do – and easy because the standards were so exacting and strict.

3) I tend to be conflict avoiding in my personal relationships.  I used to criticize my sister for this, but I’m not much better.  I think this is another artifact of my childhood that has been reinforced through the years.  I am quicker to give-in and compromise to keep the peace than I am to push and hold my boundaries.  That said, I have much improved in this area over the years.  It still comes up and gets in my way too much, though.

4) I’m not getting enough time to myself. I remember during one round of couples therapy my wife and I did that we created a list of the things we’d love to do if there was nothing to stop us – no obligations, no schedules, no one waiting for us to get done, etc.  My list was almost entirely solitary activities – reading a book, writing, working in the garden, going for a bike ride, watching the clouds, etc.  I do have the capacity to get lonely, but it takes a while.  I think it might take an entire day of not seeing anyone to get me to the point where I really need human companionship, or at least to be somewhere other people are.  Because of my problem with over committing and feeling responsible for doing all the things, I do not make enough time for myself.  This lack of self-care causes increased anxiety, increases memory problems, reduces my creativity, increases depression and dis-ease in my mind and body.

5) Apparently I should go back to therapy with this list.

6) Doing all the things.  For large chunks of my life, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to. That I was smart enough, clever enough and capable enough that if I just put the time and effort in, I could learn how to do anything.  I know, towering ego, eh?  Well, parts of this have stuck even though I realized as I grew through life that there are somethings that I am organically not as inclined to be successful at.  Like high jumping or watchmaking or being a lawyer.  The parts of this thinking that stuck are related to the idea that if I set my mind to something, stick with it, push myself to the limit if necessary – I can do the thing.  I can do the thing and be a great team member and people will like me and want me to be involved.  Which of course fuels the over commitment thing.  But, hey, all these things are related.

7) I am really bad at saying ‘no’.  This is related to some of the above.  I want to be the kind of person who helps, who is dependable and doesn’t disappoint.  I don’t like saying ‘no’ to reasonable requests, it makes me feel like shit.  And by reasonable, I mean reasonable from the context of the person who is asking.  And if the request is reasonable, but I’m feeling that twinge in my gut that says ‘no’, I feel like I need to have a good justification for saying it.  And I am not always down with the idea that ‘because I need down time by myself’ or ‘that scheduling requires some heroics and I don’t have the energy today’ or …. are valid reasons.  I almost said ‘excuses’.  Reasons, I can have reasons and they can be reasonable reasons and not excuses.  But I don’t always get there.  I say ‘yes’ because going back to number 6, I really think I can do all the things, until I can’t.  Which sometimes looks like me dragging my zombie self through the day or getting sick.  I need to learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty and feeling shitty about it.

I’m not currently seeing my therapist, and this is not a substitute for therapy and it still feels good to confess these things.  Onward.  Work sucks and my heroics are not enough to win the game much anymore.  Multiple concurrent relationships are complicated already and made more so by all the things we each bring to them.  I’m trying my best and not always succeeding the way I want to.  I’m working hard not to see that as failure.  And I’m committed to learning to say ‘no’ enough to keep myself out of this place of overwhelm and underhealth.  I basically feel like I’m juggling 10 balls or maybe plates, maybe both… doing that while keeping myself from falling into a chasm by holding on to the edges with my finger and toenails.  Granted, not every day or every moment feels that way, but enough do that I know I’ve reached the rupture point.

*inspiration for this post comes from Red, who encouraged me to start saying ‘no’ and helped me by leading me through an exercise yesterday evening during our date.  Thank you, love.  I’m working on it.

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