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Thanks in part to my foresight in getting ahead in my writing before I left for the UK, it wasn’t difficult to catch back up when I returned; I’ve made similar (though lesser) preparations for my trip to Los Angeles this weekend (leaving Seattle on Thursday & returning Sunday).  And that’s good news not only for my stress levels, but for my off-blog writing as well; it looks as though I’ll finally be in the right headspace to start compiling The Essential Maggie McNeill, which I’ve been promising y’all for about three years now.  Even better news:  once I get in the swing of doing that work, I should be able to get out about three volumes of that in reasonably-rapid succession.  I’ve also got another story in mind, and I’ll probably write it before the end of the summer.  But back to the short term:  at 10 AM PDT Thursday (17:00 UTC) I’ll be taking part in an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit organized by Liara Roux.  More accurately, the AMA starts at that time; there are over 25 of us participating, so though it’s very unlikely you’ll see me there very early, I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can while at the airport and on the plane to LA, so roughly 4 – 8 PM PDT.  Which reminds me:  my venerable rolly-bag carry-on, which I’ve had since the mid-90s or thereabouts, seems close to giving up the ghost; one of her zippers is now broken and the other lost its pull-tab quite a while back.  So I’ve put a new one I’d like on my Amazon wishlist, along with a lot of other nifty things I’d like; if you’re in a mood to give me a present, there’s your chance!  Amazon arranges the list by order things were put on, so don’t be afraid to scroll down and get me something from further down the list if you’re so inclined.  And anyone who does gets a copy of “Bird of Prey” if they haven’t got one already.

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Diary #415

After two weeks of wandering around Great Britain, I returned home and hit the ground running; though my body clock took longer to reset than I’d have liked, that didn’t stop me from having a busy week of work.  I spent a lot of it where you see me in this picture, and I don’t mean sleeping; that’s a good thing, because my bills aren’t going to pay themselves.  But I also spent some time working on catching up on my blogging and engaging in some activism stuff which I can’t tell you about yet, but which I think will be big; the only hint I’ll give is that I spent some considerable time emailing and talking on the phone with a person who’s been in the news quite a bit over the past few years, and whose work you’ve often seen mentioned in this blog.  Yes, I’m a terrible tease, but you knew that; don’t worry, it should only be a few weeks before I can say anything.  Speaking of a few weeks, I’ll be in Los Angeles from the 21st to the 24th, but that’s on activism business rather than harlotry business; I don’t really plan to see any clients, but if you’re absolutely desperate to see me I might be able to squeeze you in somewhere (see what I did there?) before I fly back to Seattle.  Anyway, that’s about all I have to say for now, except yes, I really do have red sheets on my bed (except when they’re purple); if you’d like to see ’em in person, you know what to do.

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On Thursday, I returned to Seattle from London; the two halves of the trip couldn’t have been much more different.  The transatlantic leg saw me assigned a business-class seat very early, attended to by a sweet and maternal air hostess, and comfortably sleeping through the first five hours of a smooth, quiet flight in my roomy full-recline seat with a soft pillow and snuggly blanket.  But for the transcontinental leg, I was placed at the last minute in the usual bolt-upright bus seat which barely has room for my rather petite self, much less enough room for either of the people I was stuck between.  After pulling away from the gate we were forced to sit on the runway for two hours, increasing the total time I was stuck in that seat to about eight hours and increasing the amount of Valium needed to stay calm by double; on top of that the ride was bumpy most of the way, even on the approach to Seattle.  By the time I got home it was nearly 11 PM and I hadn’t had any solid food for roughly 25 hours, so after an egg sandwich and some Vegemite toast it was straight to bed for me, and I only woke up two hours early the next morning.  I’m still not quite back to normal; as I type this it’s only 9:30 PM but I’m already fighting off sleep, despite having retired and arisen at my normal times.  Ah, well, in a few more days I hope to be rested up and back to what passes for normal in my world.  In the meantime, you might be interested in this article I wrote for the current print edition of Reason; I’d also point you in the direction of Tina Dupuy’s radio show on Sirius from last Friday, but it was live and I don’t think there’s a way to listen to it now.  But for the time being, I should probably get a strong cup of tea before I fall asleep and crash my head into this keyboard.

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As those of you who saw Friday’s picture column were probably already aware, Brooke Magnanti and I spent last week in Scotland, largely doing the sorts of things I like to do on such trips: talking to people and sampling the local foods and ways (including haggis, which I absolutely loved).  Then starting Friday afternoon, in 24 hours we used basically every common sort of vehicle (boat, self-driven car, airplane, bus, train and chauffeured car) to get from where we were in the West Highlands down to Hay-on-Wye in Wales for a large literary & philosophical festival at which Brooke spoke & participated in panel discussions.  It was quite rainy on Sunday, as this picture demonstrates, and I’m currently typing this using the festival’s wi-fi while waiting to see a panel on sex robots which I will try VERY hard not to disrupt.  By the time you read this, we’ll be on a train back to London; Brooke’s flying back to the US tomorrow, and I’ll be returning on Thursday.  I’ve very much enjoyed this trip, and I’ll have more thoughts about it on Thursday and more pictures on Friday; for now, it will suffice to say that I’ll be back to the UK in the not-terribly-distant future, with any luck sooner rather than later.

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Back Issue: May 2015

Charity does indeed begin at home, but the ripples spread out to affect the whole world.  –  “Monkey See, Monkey Do

I think another change of format for this column will be necessary soon; the number of individual columns requiring description has grown too small.  After the holiday column (May Day), the guest columnist (Ayna), the fictional interlude (“Split Focus“), the harlotography (“Barbara Payton“), and the Q&A columns (“In Charge of the Henhouse“, “Unwanted Strings“, “Monkey See, Monkey Do“, and “Genteel Indolence“), the only four left are one on Hawaii’s persecution of whores (“The Aloha State“), one on what prohibitionist fantasies tell us about them (“Very Like a Whale“), and two on my personal & professional life (“Back in the Saddle” and “A Night To Forget“). 

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After a lovely visit with my friend Claudia and an equally-lovely evening and morning with Ghost Rider, I boarded a plane in Chicago on Wednesday and arrived at Heathrow early next morning.  Brooke Magnanti arrived not long after I made it through the horrendous passport control line (aggravated, we discovered, by the royal wedding neither of us had realized was going on), and she gave me the lightning tour of the city.  Next day we were interviewed by Miranda Kane for her podcast, then in the evening we took the sleeper train up to Inverness.  On Sunday we spent the afternoon & evening in a pub (as those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed), then yesterday we visited some Bronze Age cairns & Cawdor Castle; tomorrow we’re heading over to the Isle of Skye and on Saturday down to Wales for the Hay festival.  Speaking of Twitter, those who follow me there may have noticed I’ve been conspicuously absent lately; that’s mostly because the internet in the Highlands isn’t all that great (I’m typing this in a pub).  Anyhow, keep your eyes peeled for a bunch of photos on Friday, and I’ll be back in the US on the 31st.  If you’re in London, I’ll have time for one more date on the evening of Wednesday the 30th, so let me know (but don’t be anxious if I take a day or so to get back to you).

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Diary #411

Today I’m en route to Chicago, where I’ll meet my friend Claudia for dinner before heading over to the hotel where I’ll be spending the night with Ghost Rider; tomorrow he’ll take me back to the airport, and early Thursday morning I’ll be landing in London to spend two lovely weeks ranging up and down the island with Brooke Magnanti.  On Friday we’ll board a train for Scotland, then on the weekend of the 26th we’ll be at the Hay Festival in Wales before returning to London on the 29th; I’m going to take a quick trip across the channel on the 30th and fly home from Paris on the 31st.  If you’d like to see me while I’m there, please let me know ASAP; otherwise you’ll have to wait for my next trip over, whenever that is.  Keep your eyes open for photo columns on May 25th and June 1st, and on Monday there will be a special feature…my first short story in over a year!  If you’re a subscriber, you should’ve already received your copy; if you didn’t, let me know and I’ll get you one as soon as I return to the US.  And if you aren’t a subscriber, keep your eyes open Monday for instructions on how to get a copy for yourself!  In the meantime, I’m going to be traveling a lot until the weekend, so Twitter fans may not see me on as much; even after that, I’m probably going to be on at weird times.  But never fear; all my work (except for diaries & photo columns) is already queued up until the 2nd, because OCD.  Most days, you probably won’t even know I’m a third of the way around the world from my usual haunts.

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