I’m currently in the proofreading stage of preparing The Forms of Things Unknown; the foreword and all the story introductions are done except for the introduction to the first story, for the simple reason that I haven’t written it yet. I simply haven’t had an idea that has gelled into a tale, and I want to do an original to open this collection (as a bookend to the final tale, which I wrote in ’93 but have never shared with y’all). But don’t worry; as y’all probably know I’m a very fast writer, so once the story forms in my mind it will be typed out, placed, edited and introduced within 24 hours. Chester Brown is working on the cover art (and his preliminary sketches are very exciting!) so I’m hoping to have both content and art ready by the end of the year, and to be compiling and checking the proofs (first digital, then physical) by the beginning of the year. Fingers crossed! Speaking of books, last week I received a gift from long-time reader Korhomme: The Story of Sex, which combines one of my favorite topics with one of my favorite media. Thank you!
Posts Tagged ‘Presents’
Last week was full of lovely distractions, mostly Halloween and birthday-related. And I conveniently had a day of rest between each one to recover before the next! On Thursday there was a fairly large costume party for the sex worker community; my costume consisted of a steampunk leather corset that Jae found for me at Goodwill (she has rather a knack for that) and a faux-suede skirt, with my snakeskin boots. I declared that I was a time traveler; what I was thinking of is the way that Time Lords and Ladies in Doctor Who always seem to dress a bit out of synch, with clothes that don’t quite fit any particular time period. On Saturday, the party came to me; I don’t think I ventured out of my door the whole day, but several friends dropped by to celebrate my birthday with me, bearing cake, candy and intoxicants. It was just so lovely; the love and acceptance in the room was like a living force, and you may get some idea of what it was like by looking at this tweet thread. And my hangover the next day wasn’t even that bad! On my birthday, a portable DVD player arrived via post for me, courtesy of regular reader Ivan Dragomiloff; that’s going to come in handy considering I didn’t have any way to play the DVDs other readers and clients have given me lately! I then spent the evening with the lovely Lorelei Rivers, who cooked dinner for me and indulged me by watching a couple of my favorite horror movies, The Black Cat and The Haunting. Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Oklahoma City to speak at a one-day event on anarchism; if you would like to see me there, you need to let me know today (the only times I’ll have available are Friday and Sunday afternoons). Since I’ll be so close to home, I’m having Grace pick me up for a one-day visit Sunday, then I’ll be flying back to Seattle on Monday. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of my work: remember, my readers-only special expires three weeks from today, so if you want to take advantage of that you need to act soon!
An awful lot of stuff happened last week, but unfortunately I can’t tell you about most of it yet. There was a conference call I can’t tell you about yet, and I was consulted about an unpleasantness I can’t tell you about yet, and there were some developments in a project I can’t tell you about yet, and of course I can’t tell you about anything that happened with clients (though there were several notable developments, most of them good). Then there were some other things I could tell you about but would rather not, and a couple of others I might like to tell you about, but you wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t care. So even though I was so busy last week I barely had time to breathe, there’s very little to report in this column. I’m going to dinner tonight with a young sex worker who flatters me by listening to my war stories, and I’m getting yet another beauty treatment on Thursday. Last week I did receive a very early birthday present from Jeremy Dunn, the book you see me holding here (which was the most recent addition to my Amazon wishlist), and on Sunday my book became available on Walmart’s website, which I’m hoping generates a lot of sales! But I’m afraid that’s pretty much it for this time, except for announcing that I’m going to be in New York City from September 14th to 19th, so if you’d like to see me in that time you’ve got less than a month to let me know!
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.
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.
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.
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.