Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that last week was a painful one for those of us in the sex worker rights movement; journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant, who has long danced on the boundary between the “straight” world and the demimonde, apparently decided she wanted a total divorce from us (and not an amicable one, either). And so she published an article acting much like a prohibitionist; she centered her own voice above that of a very troubled and disadvantaged sex worker, outed aspects of the woman’s life that she did not want revealed in such a manner, and even quoted an exploitative anti-whore asshole with a record of publicly threatening sex workers. Mistress Matisse is a lot more closely involved with the story than I am, which is why on Tuesday I shared her account of what happened. One thing I am going to say is that although I was angry to the point of nausea at Melissa’s exploitation of a very vulnerable sex worker, not to mention her attempt to throw mud on one of my closest friends, there is a part of me that’s relieved I no longer need to remain silent about a person who has offended and/or pissed off more sex worker activists than I can count on both hands. She’s had me blocked me on Twitter (a move most people reserve for enemies and offensive trolls) and bad-mouthed me in private for years, but as long as she was doing good work for the movement, I kept my mouth shut and even promoted her work. But now that she’s burning her bridges in earnest, I see no reason to keep my mouth shut any longer (because as most of you know, I’m not exactly good at that anyway). The kid gloves are now off, and the only reason I’m not saying anything more right now is that, unlike Melissa, I’m not going to make something that isn’t about me, about me. I’m going to let the wronged parties set the pace, and my rightful role in this is to support them.
However, I’m not so upset I’m going to forget my manners; I got some lovely gifts I would like to acknowledge. Reader Daz sent me a DVD that’s been on my wishlist for a while, and another gentleman purchased a phone visit from me, gave me another donation over and above the cost for the visit itself, and also sent me the lovely leggings you see here. Yes, I do indeed do phone visits; I’ll let y’all consider the possibilities. And until then, you can just enjoy the picture. And please, please consider donating to Heather’s fundraiser; in killing Neal Falls she no doubt saved many of our sisters from a horrible death, and now she needs our help to get her own life back in order.
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I have to admit that it still really tickles me to be mentioned in other people’s books. Last week I received my copy of Brooke Magnanti’s new one, The Turning Tide, and when I started reading I discovered that I’m kindly named in the acknowledgements. Then this past week my copy of Chester Brown’s latest, Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, arrived, and there was my blurb anchoring the back cover. Yes, I already knew it was going to be there; besides the fact that I was told it would be, I already had an advance copy. But there’s just something extra-nice about holding the actual finished thing in one’s hand. And it reminded me of what I consider to be the best and coolest part of (relative) celebrity: getting to meet, know and become friends with other cool, awesome, creative people. It opens the door to being able to help others, too; my network of connections has on many occasions allowed me to make a phone call or shot out an email to get specialized help for someone who needs it, or to connect two cool, awesome people who haven’t yet met to each other (thereby magnifying the level of coolness and awesomeness in the world). The internet being what it is, I’m friends with a number of people I’ve never met in person, but I’m always excited to have the opportunity to meet them later; Brooke and I are already discussing the possibility of meeting on her next trip to the States, and I have a firm date for my first in-person meeting with Chester: he will be speaking and signing books at 7 PM on Saturday, April 16th, at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave in Seattle. And I’ve been invited to introduce him to the audience! Besides that, I was able to help his publisher find other people to introduce him in several other cities; see how those connections work? So if you would like to hear Chester speak and get a signed copy of the book, but you’re not in Seattle, consult this tour schedule; he’s appearing in Berkeley, San Francisco & Los Angeles before the 16th, and Toronto, New York City, Washington DC, Winnipeg, Montreal and Chicago after it. And don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten my promise to get working on my own books, and I think I can wedge a few short tours into my schedule once they’re out.
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Unfortunately, the unpleasant things I alluded to last week did not let up as the week continued; if anything, they got even worse, and I’m still not really at liberty to discuss them. Plus, the necessity of discussing taxes with my CPA reared its ugly head, and since it seems they’ve assigned a new girl to the account, I’m going to have to hurt her feelings pretty soon by telling her I’m a whore. On the bright side, I did have a couple of especially-enjoyable sessions, made a new friend, added a few new things to my Amazon wishlist, received my copy of my friend Brooke Magnanti’s new book, and saw the release of a podcast I did a few weeks ago with attorney Mirriam Seddiq. Mirriam was a lot of fun to work with, and though I haven’t listened to the recording yet, I’m told that fun comes through to the listener. That’s really all I have to share for now, but don’t worry; as those who’ve been reading this blog for a while know, things absolutely never stay quiet for long.
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The week after a big event like SASS is always hectic, mostly due to playing catch-up and taking care of business resulting from the big event. On the day the last diary posted, for example, I drove Savannah Sly to the airport and enjoyed a lovely dinner with the gentleman who won the fundraising auction for a date with me. Those were the pleasant things; I also had a number of less-pleasant (catching up on writing with deadlines looming mere hours in the future) and unpleasant (about which the less said, the better) obligations which would’ve made the week a wash if not for the arrival of several subscriptions, a CD I’ve wanted for 35 years (from Daz) and a very large donation. And let me tell you, there’s nothing that brightens my week more than tangible signs of appreciation! Whenever I appear at some public event, people tell me how much they appreciate all I do for the movement, and that validation and praise is extremely important to me; it’s what keeps me going under conditions that are often grueling and extremely disheartening. But I’m a pragmatic person, and only human; the validation is even more rewarding, and the praise more uplifting, when it’s accompanied by some concrete contribution. What I’m trying to say is, your gifts, subscriptions and donations are not only important from a practical point of view, in that they help me to pay my bills; they’re also important to me emotionally. I smile when I see the subscription notifications in my morning email, and getting a check, gift or PayPal donation can lift my spirits when I’m feeling blue or having a hard day (which, as regular readers know, is the majority of them). I’m about to start working on a special gift for my patrons; I’m hoping to have it ready sometime this summer. I know y’all don’t support me to get something specific back (those who want that can simply book a session!), but I think tangible support deserves a tangible thank-you.
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Posted in Diary, tagged blogging, holidays, Presents on November 4, 2015 |
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Slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things in Seattle. Last week I attended a lovely party at which I got to meet quite a few inhabitants and habitués of the Seattle demimonde, and to catch up with some friends and fans I hadn’t seen in a while. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for my birthday; in a few days I’m going to be marking the occasion by getting together with a small group of friends, but I still wanted to do something on Halloween and Jae goes to sleep quite early these days. She doesn’t like horror movies anyway, and since that’s my usual Halloween entertainment I was at a bit of a loss. But Abby May came through for me by taking me out to Guillermo del Toro’s new release, Crimson Peak; it was a treat to see a Gothic on the big screen again, and since it’s been years since I’ve been to a theater at all that was already a treat in itself. Late in the (rainy, spooky) afternoon I got a lovely flower arrangement from Grace, along with a card that had me crying like a baby. And Jae displayed her knack for clever gifts by presenting me with the lady in the picture, who now occupies a place of honor atop my desk; if you don’t understand why this gift is appropriate, I call your attention to my book cover and several stories I published almost a year ago. And if you know me in person, you might want to pay attention to a certain recurring theme in my wardrobe.
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So here we are in “scramble” mode; I’m leaving two weeks from tomorrow and as I’ll bet you can guess, I still haven’t even thought about what to pack yet. I did make one decision about that; I’m only going to take my favorite winter clothes and buy some more up there, because I honestly don’t have very much in the way of nice-looking winter clothes. Those of you who have seen me in person may find that surprising because I have many lovely spring, summer and autumn outfits, such as this awesome new bathing suit I received from Daz late last week. But since it never gets all that cold in New Orleans it’s hard to find really pretty winter outfits there, and as a result most of my winter stuff is, well, a bit on the utilitarian side. But I’ll bet in Seattle I can find some slinky, sweatery long-sleeved dresses, or just heavy skirts to wear with some of the flattering sweaters I already have. Ooh, maybe some gothy thing with heavy brocade! And some new boots; new boots are always a winner. And a motorcycle helmet, but that’s not quite in the same category as the other stuff.
Anyhow, you’ll be glad to hear the book is well underway; I made all my selections last week and I’m finishing up with the transfers today, and then I can start the intensive work of proofreading, turning links into endnotes and rewriting some parts that wouldn’t pass muster by my current standards. As I’ve stated before, this book is really intended to allow new readers to catch up on my first two years of blogging more easily, without having to slog through so much old stuff about no-longer-current events. But I still feel it would be a bit lazy on my part just to slap 100 essays in there and call it good. Incidentally, the last six are important things I’ve published elsewhere, including my research paper “Mind-Witness Testimony“, so die-hard completists won’t feel quite so much as if they’re just shelling out cash for a lot of stuff they’ve already read. Of course, you could buy it to give it to someone you feel would enjoy my writing, but doesn’t like blogs. Just sayin’. I’m not going to do a full-blown book tour this year because I’ll be very busy writing an all-new book in hopes of getting a mainstream deal; however, I will be leaving Seattle at least three times, and in the first (in April-May) I’ll be going down through California and then across on I-40 to New Orleans by way of Oklahoma, so if you’d like me to speak somewhere please let me know in the next 60 days. One last thing: I’m now offering my highest sponsorship premium, namely dinner with me, to anyone who wishes to sponsor my work in general (in other words, even when I’m not on tour). If you’re interested, use this link to email me for details.
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Posted in Diary, tagged blogging, holidays, Presents on December 30, 2014 |
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What a wonderful Christmas this has been! I picked up Jae from the airport last Tuesday, and she and Grace got along famously; as I tweeted on Boxing Day, it’s a good thing I had cooking to do because once they started talking about motorcycles it was essentially a foreign language to me. Everything for the Christmas feast came out perfectly, and I received such lovely presents, including two vintage nightgowns and a vintage vibrator (yes, whores really do give each other presents like that, at least sometimes) and from Gumdeo, a copy of The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (thank you!) As those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably already noticed, I’ve been as good as my word about taking more time off; I stayed offline for most of Wednesday & Thursday, and even after that I haven’t been working nearly as hard as usual. I really am trying to lighten up and enjoy myself more; you may call that a New Year’s resolution if you like, but since I first made the shift in November I hardly think it counts. That’s probably for the best, though; New Year’s resolutions rarely survive January, and I hope this shift in my life is a permanent one.
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