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Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Have you ever wondered what the numbers in the diary title refer to?  Unless you’re terribly unobservant you’ve probably realized that each week’s number is the same as the Links column which follows it; that’s because they both refer to the week rather than the number of entries in that category (which for both is somewhat below 500).  In other words, this is the five hundredth week of this blog.  Every day for the last 500 weeks I’ve published a new column, and even though many are now news columns, link collections, or adaptations of Twitter threads, that’s still an awful lot of essays (over 3500 now, altogether).  I’ve never been paid for any of it, nor have I paywalled or intrusively-monetized the site, and I don’t intend to; however, I think it’s time I got at least some compensation for an awful lot of time, effort and brainpower.  That’s why I’ve started gathering my best work into collections; The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I came out last week, and you can buy it on Amazon; if you prefer a signed copy, I just got a box in yesterday and I’ll be adding it to my store today.  I’d appreciate it if those of you who appreciate my writing would both buy it and review it, because that’s how things get marketed on Amazon.  And now that I’ve figured out how to turn preparing these collections into a routine, I should (with any luck) be able to turn them out on a regular basis.  I’m already almost halfway through with the primary edit for Volume II, and Shannon Reeves & I have already planned the next cover; I don’t foresee any difficulty in getting it out in April as planned.  Then I’ll start compiling my next project, Ask Maggie, a two-volume collection of my advice columns, followed by a compilation of all my harlotographies and, if there’s sufficient demand, a third volume of The Essential Maggie McNeill, collecting my best essays from 2016-2019.  With any luck I can start making an appreciable income on books every month; if even one breaks out into general notice, the rest will follow.  And the more income I can be sure of every month, the more energy I can put into writing and speaking.

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At the end of February, I’ll be heading down to Florida to participate in an event for SWOP Behind Bars, on the 27th to 29th.  Originally, there was also supposed to be a companion event in Orlando on the 13th-15th, but that was cancelled; however, I still plan to travel there a week or so in advance to visit friends in New Orleans and see a few clients.  My schedule isn’t certain yet, but if you’re in or near Orlando, Tampa or New Orleans (or you want to book a long enough session to justify my traveling to you from one of those places), please contact me as soon as possible; once I start arranging my schedule I’m not going to be able to rearrange it at will, so the sooner you let me know the better!  Given the cancellation of the first event and the fact that Mardi Gras falls on February 25th (which means packed flights & hotels), I may even start in Florida and then go to New Orleans for the first week of March.  But one way or another, I plan to lock in my schedule by no later than the 17th or so; if you want to see me in the South, you’ll need to speak up before then!

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Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably noticed that I started tweeting awfully early Saturday morning, and awfully late on Sunday afternoon.  That’s because I flew out on Saturday for an overnight with one of my favorite gentlemen, and was too busy enjoying my visit to tweet until I got to the airport to come home on Sunday.  And it was such a lovely and memorable visit that I managed to stay completely calm on the way back even when it looked like I was going to be pushed off of my flight due to what I believe to have been a mass invasion of conventioneers or some such.  But apparently Hermes is happy with me right now, because I got on both legs of my return trip despite that.  Even better: it looks like I’m going to be seeing a lot more of this particular gent than I have in the past, and that makes me very happy for all the reasons you might expect (and a couple more I won’t mention).  On top of that:  As I mentioned yesterday, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I is out!  If you want an autographed copy, I’m going to be adding that to my store very soon (likely tomorrow, because I have a Who night with Lorelei tonight).  I’m not going to jinx things by dwelling too long on how well things are going for me right now, but I had to at least share the highlights with y’all, and hope I have plenty more like them this year!

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It’s kinda nice when I can keep things moving along for a change.  We’ve got the trim for the bookcases; I’m waiting for the proof of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I; I’ve made my travel arrangements for this weekend; and I’m starting to figure out my schedule for February (about which I’ll say more later).  And in addition to all that I managed to read a novel and listen to a rather strange but very entertaining radio serial from 1972 named The Fourth Tower of Inverness, which Chekhov gave me for Christmas (he also gave me the sequel, Moon Over Morocco).  Normally it would be difficult for me to sit and listen to such a long series, but I’ve driven to or from Sunset five times since receiving it, and the car has a CD player, so ta-da!  If you’ve ever heard the series you’ll understand when I tell you I kinda wish I had listened to at least some of it stoned, but I’ll have a chance with the sequel (which I’m told is not dissimilar).  Learning to relax and let go of stuff that stresses me out has been a long, slow, laborious process, but I’m getting there, and it’s lovely when people give me gifts that help.

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I drove back from Sunset last Thursday to find a couple of gifts waiting for me; one was a book named A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, sent to me by Jeremy Dunn.  I had a rather quiet weekend (except for going to a special Doctor Who screening on Sunday with Lorelei); aside from writing and getting stoned (because I believe in keeping Christmas going for the full twelve days if at all possible), I did a bit of planning for an upcoming overnight with one of my favorite gentlemen, and I finally got the cover art for The Essential Maggie McNeil, Volume I completed!  I originally planned to use a photo, because I wanted a different style of cover for my non-fiction books.  But we just couldn’t get any photos to work, so Shannon Reeves (who did the art for The War on Whores) did a sketch based on one of my photos instead.  I think it came out very well, and as soon as I’m finished examining the proof the book will at long last be ready for sale!  So I should be announcing that soon.  Because, as I mentioned last week, Grace has been in poor health, I decided to run back to Sunset for one night earlier this week so she wouldn’t have to be alone for such a long stretch; while I was there we did two more bookcase units, which completes the main work for that set of shelves.  Chekhov will be back tomorrow, so they’ll start on the finish work and staining, and before much longer I’ll have a real library again!  We want to do a few more sets of shelves for DVDs and CDs, then after that Chekhov is going to put new flooring down (the existing flooring is 90 years old and quite worn), and then Jae will do the rest of the decorating; by spring we’ll finally have the main room finished.  And after 25 years of waiting to have a nice place of my own again, that’s going to feel so wonderful I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to react to it.

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Diary #496

During the holidays I was seized with a powerful urge to nest, which took the form of redoing the kitchen cupboards (they’ve never been properly done, in other words done by me, since we moved in) and then launching into the bookcase project.  By Wednesday we had all this done; there are three full units on the right and space for two more on the other wall (you can see the backboard already on the wall).  I did most of the physical labor because Grace is in poor health and is easily exhausted these days, but she did the brain work like design and engineering.  When Chekhov comes back next week he and Grace can finish the two remaining, then there’s the top facade and some nice trim, then staining, and the next time I come out I may be able to act out my nesting impulses on getting my library into proper order for the first time in 17 years.

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Diary #495

On Monday I drove out to Sunset, and the past few days have been lovely.  I’ve managed not to stress about anything this week, even when I was preparing our small feast (5 of us altogether) on Wednesday.  Oh, I had the usual low-level anxiety which is inevitable when trying to get several dishes prepared at the same time, but beyond that nothing.  Even the drive out on Monday wasn’t bad; I threaded the traffic in Tacoma pretty well, and got here in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.  And Christmas Eve…well, look at the picture and judge for youself.  And I’ve got almost another week here!  Sometime in the next few days I’m going to try to listen to the latest episode of the Trek Profiles podcast, featuring me; since most of the podcasts I do focus on heavy topics like human rights and police violence, it was rather nice just to talk about Star Trek for once.  If you’re a fan, give it a listen!

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