Last week was definitely an improvement over the one before. Besides a meeting between several activists (including myself) and a potential ally who could prove very important, and the lovely couple call I enjoyed very much (Hi y’all! Looking forward to seeing y’all again soon!), after which this selfie was taken, it was the beginning of autumn, and as long-time readers know that always improves my mood. I’m an autumnal sort of gal; I like the days short and chilly, the leaves a riot of color and the nights filled with warm beverages and savory scents. Long, bright, warm days take a toll on my highly-strung nervous system and tend to make me tense and anxious, but when the external sky and landscape match the gloomy October Country inside my skull and my soul, I feel at home and at peace. People have often remarked that I seem to come alive more in the autumn; maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s just because I match the scenery better then. But whatever the explanation, there’s no doubt that it’s my natural habitat, and the season in which my natural aura is at its most powerful and intense. I’m no longer at a place in life where I can dance through the dry leaves under a harvest moon as I did in my youth, but I like to think that the autumn steps in the dance of my life are still among the most graceful and beautiful.
Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
Since I’m back to actually writing my columns a few days in advance, I wrote last week’s before a weekend which actually turned out to be very lovely. I spent the evening of Saturday the 10th with Abby May, who’s been busy with life the past few months; it was so wonderful to hang out with her, catch up, relax and just enjoy that special energy that exists only between close friends. And I really needed it; that week had been just plain yucchy, so an evening with someone dear to me was just what the doctor ordered. And as it turned out, Abby wasn’t my only medicine for melancholy that weekend; when I took this picture on the afternoon of Sunday the 11th (still a teensy bit hung over, thank you very much) I was only a few hours away from dinner with the beautiful and fascinating Lorelei Rivers, followed by watching musicals on her sofa (last time we got together I shared Jesus Christ Superstar with her, and this time it was her turn to introduce me to Hamilton). The week that followed in the wake of those two joyful, relaxing evenings wasn’t really much better than the one that preceded it, but my head was in a completely different space going into it. And that made all the difference in the world.
Most of you probably know what a “special” is in escort parlance; it’s the same thing as the term would mean in any other business. For a limited time, an escort may offer a discount on her price, or extra time, or some other bonus as a way of drumming up business, testing the effectiveness of a new advertising medium or the like. Well, for a while now I’ve been noticing that I’m getting a lot more clients from this blog and from Twitter than I used to, but I’ve never really made a formal effort to figure out just how many (i.e., what fraction of my business). Also, I’ve been trying to think of ways to reward my subscribers and patrons, something I could give them to really demonstrate my gratitude in a real and concrete fashion. And I think I’ve come up with something on both fronts! So from today until Thanksgiving Day (November 24th), I’m running a double special; I’m not going to spell out the particulars because I’m still much too paranoid about directly using this space to advertise, and frankly I don’t think it’s very ladylike (no smartass comments from the Peanut Gallery, y’all). But if you read this and you’re actually serious (not simply curious, please) about seeing me, please email me at this address and I’ll give you a special discount from my usual rates. And yes, that even applies if I have to travel to see you, though the particulars are a bit different in that case. Furthermore, if you’re a subscriber or patron (i.e. a person who doesn’t actually subscribe but has given me large and/or frequent gifts), I’ll give you an even BETTER discount than the other one. No fair subscribing just to get the special; this only applies to people who were already subscribers or patrons when I went to bed last night. However, I am seriously considering a permanent subscriber discount, so subscribing now could help you if and when I implement that (which would probably be in the new year). Now, I’m aware that many of you won’t be interested, or don’t want to spend this kind of money, or simply can’t take advantage due to logistical impediments. So to reward you for reading anyhow, here’s a selfie I took two weeks ago; if you follow me on Twitter you’ve already seen it, but I sincerely doubt any on you is going to complain.
Last week was much quieter than usual; it was as though everyone was sort of stunned into silence by the end of the Dog Days, and just decided to lay low. So I used the time to catch up on my writing (I’m back to five days ahead) and finally finish decorating my apartment. Jae did most of it for me last year, but there was still one wall of the bedroom unfinished when she left on her ill-starred motorcycle trip, and obviously she’s had bigger things on her mind since then. So I decided to just follow her pattern and finish it; she looked it over and declared my job “adequate”, but that’s a lot better than it was before. Also, I got to hang a picture of Aphrodite that Sol and Abby gave me for my birthday last year, and a large print of an artwork named “A Garden for Darwin’s Daughter” that I bought from Abby when she moved a few months ago. The place still needs a few little touches, but for the most part it’s done and I’m rather pleased with myself. I’m also rather pleased at the rush of traffic I got when Dan Savage quoted me in this week’s “Savage Love” column, but actually neither of those is the reason I look so…relaxed? in this picture; that, dear readers, is what I look like a few hours after the peak of an endorphin high, and y’all will simply have to figure out for yourselves what got me there. Yes, I’m teasing you again; it really is awful of me, I know.
Last Tuesday I alluded again to the howling things shut up in boxes under my mental stairs; what I didn’t tell you (though you may have guessed) is that they tend to be a lot more restless when I’m asleep, and every so often one of them actually gets loose and it’s all the knights of the Sacred Order of Sanity Defense can do to get it jammed back into its crate by morning. And that, dear readers, is why I do not sleep well unless sedated; if there isn’t something (diazepam, diphenhydramine, cannabinoids, etc) keeping me asleep, I tend to wake up after about three hours or so and can’t go back down. I’m not a classic insomniac; I never have any trouble getting to sleep. The problem is staying asleep after the critters start their nightly racket. C’est la vie. But as I’m sure you can imagine, this makes awakening a slow process. The lingering effects of the meds require movement and caffeine to clear away, and my dreams may require processing; I also find that my noisy mind tends to be much quieter first thing in the morning unless I had an actual nightmare, and I really enjoy having that time alone…having my breakfast, reminding myself of whatever I have planned for the day, checking my emails and Twitter. I absolutely won’t see clients before noon, and even noon is a bit of a push; I try to schedule my earliest appointments (work and other kinds) for about 1 PM. No description I could easily pen would truly capture how much I loathe waking up to an emergency, bad news or bullshit; in fact, presenting me with any of those can ruin my whole day, and doing so is thus a very effective way to get on my shit list.
On the other hand, discovering nice things in my mailbox (electronic or physical) has the opposite effect; reminders that I’m loved and admired help to dispel any gloom my nocturnal intruders have left behind, and put me in a good mood that can last all day. So I really like it when friends from time zones east of mine (i.e. most of them) send me lovely messages, or guys start their work day by sending appointment requests for me to find a couple of hours later. And one of the loveliest things I like seeing while my tea is brewing is an email (or multiple emails) from PayPal letting me know that a payment has come in from one of my subscribers. There’s something very comforting and flattering about getting those regular emails month after month; they say to me in no uncertain terms, this person admires you and cares about your work. So if you can spare a bit of change every day, would you consider subscribing to this blog? As you can see in the right-hand column there, you can sign up for as little as 10¢ a day, and it really does mean a lot to me. You might think that I need it less now that I’ve returned to work full-time, but that isn’t true; the support Matt sends me, though very generous, is a good bit less than the roughly half of his paycheck which was at my disposal when we were married, plus I have a lot more financial obligations than I did when I first posted those subscription buttons. And that’s not even counting the extra expenses from living in Seattle (not one of America’s more economical cities, I’m afraid). So yes, I really do value those small but very regular payments, not just because they help pay my bills and remind me that people put a high value on my writing, but also for the reasons I’ve described today. And if that’s something you’d like to do for me, I’ll be very, very grateful.
As I told you last week, I had a duo with Lorelei Rivers on Saturday; actually, it was a cam duo for a gentleman watching the proceedings from the comfort of his own home. And oh, was it lovely and memorable! And yes, dear readers, you too can book a similar show just as he did; if interested, email me at this address instead of the regular one. Incidentally, that’s the same address you should use if you want to book me while I’m in New York City; it looks as though may be busy on Thursday the 15th, but you can still book me on Saturday the 17th or Sunday the 18th. Fortunately, I’ve continued to be quite busy work-wise lately; that does mean I don’t have as much time as I usually do for writing and activism. But I promise I won’t neglect those! I have more help these days with some other obligations, so I can use the time I save there for the activities that don’t make me as much money as escorting. It’s really good for me to stay busy and focused on things outside of myself; as I’ve written before, “when unoccupied by work, reading or conversation my brain is wont to start dwelling upon things best left shut up in mysterious boxes under my mental stairs…” And for many reasons I wouldn’t want to go into in public even if I thought it was wise to (which I don’t), the things in those crates have been much noisier than usual for the past two years, and I’ve had to take even more drastic steps than usual to quiet them lest my friends say, “What the HELL is that infernal din echoing out of your ears, Maggie?” Which is just my rather bizarre and roundabout way of saying it’s really good that I’m busy, on more levels than one. And of promising that I won’t let up on my writing and activism this side of the grave because, quite frankly, I can no more choose to do that than I can choose to stop breathing.
Apparently, every last anonymous prohibitionist on the internet believes that I just lie about all day, looking at myself in the mirror and eating bonbons while my staff writes my blog. – “Spoiled Children”
Though it would still be another 16 months before I increased to two news columns a week, the improvement in my ability to gather items was already resulting in the occasional overload to the weekly columns, and so posts like “Extra Edition” began to appear from time to time. Another foreshadowing: in “Race to the Bottom” I wrote about “sex trafficking” hysteria in Washington state a year and a half before moving here. August isn’t exactly flush with holidays; Lammas is the only one, though of course there were the regular monthly features: “Lais of Corinth” was the harlotography, Kevin Wilson the guest columnist and “X Factor” the fictional interlude. The weekly Cliterati reprints were Q&A columns were “Back and Forth“, “Be Careful Who You Rape“, “Spoiled Children” and “Opting Out“, and the Q&A columns “I Spy“, “Seeking Sappho” and “Surprise!“; furthermore, in “Agony Aunt” I found myself forced to explain how advice columns work in the first place. In “Lexicon” I explained the meanings of words and phrases I have coined or adapted, in “The Privilege Paradigm” I explain my antipathy for that much-overused word, an in “Better Left Alone” I explained why I did not discuss a news item that many thought for sure I’d comment on. The remaining columns that month were “Cuckoo Advertising“, in which I lecture lazy reporters about publishing ads disguised as stories; “Mumbo Jumbo“, in which I ridicule “sex trafficking” hysteria’s descent into rhetoric about magic & mystic powers; “The Free Speech Mafia“, in which I praise First Amendment lawyers and their struggle against censorship; and “Policing for Profit“, in which I excoriate cops for robbing citizens under color of “law enforcement”.