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Posts Tagged ‘The Essential Maggie McNeill’

Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  This year, I’m doing it differently because so many people are doing the social distancing thing.  From now until Friday, December 11th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any TWO of my books (your choice), autographed!  If you want a copy of The War on Whores as one of your selections, that’s fine as well!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of many people’s income, and some have lost their jobs or businesses entirely, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Seven years ago I published “Catching Up“, in which I gave a new reader advice of how to get started reading my blog.  At the time, I compared the strategy of starting at the beginning and trying to read every post with “hacking your way across the Amazon Basin with a machete,” and since there are now roughly 3.5 times as many posts as there were then, that is barely even hyperbole any more.  Some of the advice is still good, such as the following:

…subscribe to the blog and read the new columns as they come out; most of them contain links to older columns, which you could then read as they come up…[twice a week] I publish a news column…made up of…short subsections; each item has its own title, and the vast majority of those titles refer back to older posts (each containing a link to the referenced post).  This will lead you to a lot of older columns every week, assuming you have the time!  Also, every Sunday I publish a “Links” column, and the bottom section, “From the Archives”, contains links to the posts from that same week for the past two years; you could click on and read any that sound interesting.  You can also follow me on Twitter, where I share lots of interesting links…and also remind readers of my columns from that same day one, two and…three years in the past…

But now that I’ve been publishing for over a decade, the best way to start is to simply buy my “best of” collections, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I and Volume II; they’re available in both paperback and Kindle editions, and each contains 52 hand-picked, revised and edited essays from the first six years of the blog.  Then watch this space for future “best of” collections, including Ask Maggie, Volume I (a collection of 80 answers to reader questions, which should be available later this week) and Volume II (same, should be available in October).  In addition to presenting what I think are my most important essays in a more accessible and easier-to-browse format, these volumes give you the chance to support my work in a tangible way, which is especially important in these difficult times; it’s a perfect example of a win-win situation!

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Since so many people are bored at home right now, I want to offer y’all a special deal.  From now until June 2nd (Whores’ Day), I’m offering all four of my books, autographed, as a set, for only $80; that’s a savings of $24, kinda like getting them signed for only $4 each!  If you live in Canada, it’s only $100 US, and anywhere else in the world, $120 US.  If you live in either the US or Canada, I’ll also throw in the DVD of The War on Whores for only $10 US more (click here for Canada).  Prefer kindle editions?  I’ve put all four books on sale on Amazon for only 99¢ each.  If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy autographed copies (or any copies, for that matter), there you are!

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As promised, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II is here!  Now that I’ve figured out how to fit working on the books into my schedule, I should be able to keep up the pace and put one out every three months for about another year.  My next project, Ask Maggie, Volume I, will contain about 80 of my answers to reader questions; I’ve already made the selections and plan to start editing them as soon as I go back to Seattle after Easter.  So barring unforseen developments, it will be out in July.  If necessary, I could do most of the work here, but it’s harder to write here because I don’t have the quiet and privacy my brain needs for focus (not to mention distractions like building bookshelves).  Anyhow, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they should be available in my bookstore in the next day or two.  Thank you for reading!

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Since all of my travel and appointments collapsed due to the virus panic, I saw no particular reason to remain in Seattle over the weekend.  So I went out to Sunset for a few days to tend to my chickens, which included repairing and cleaning out the henhouse and expanding the chicken yard.  The henhouse is now entirely contained within the expanded yard, which should prevent any fences from being destroyed by a certain pony scratching herself on it, and keep a certain pig from pushing the door open and eating all the chicken feed.  We’re also in the process of staining the bookcases, and watched a couple of movies while stoned.  Our usual practice is to pick a movie with a light or very familiar plot, bright colors, and lots of music; this time our selections were The Wizard of Oz and Earth Girls Are Easy; I had completely forgotten just how Eighties the latter was (and despite owning the DVD, I’m not sure I’ve actually seen it since I did in the theater 32 years ago; I don’t usually like romantic comedies but I had kind of a thing for Julie Brown).  That’s about all I have to tell, except that the proof for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II has arrived, and I’ll be reading it this week before going out to Sunset again to wait for all the politicians to stop turning an epidemic into a pissing contest.

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This is only the third leap year since I’ve started the blog; since it doesn’t come around often, I don’t really have any set pattern for what it should look like.  But when I looked back at the last one, I found some guidance:

Where will I be on February 29th, 2020?  Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat?  How many new books will I have written?  Will I still be living in Seattle?  What will my income be like?  What new experiences will I have had?  How well-known will I be?  Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day?  Will I even be alive?  There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.

There’s been a lot of change since then, but fortunately not as much as over the four years before (though I’m traveling more than ever).  Obviously I’m still posting every day, but aside from news columns the average length is shorter and Fridays are sometimes quite short. My fourth book will be out soon, and I have plans for two more this year and three next year, including a third collection of short stories; I also have a documentary, The War on Whores, that was still in the talking-about stages last leap day.  I’m still spending most of my time in Seattle, though of course now I have my farm, Sunset; on the last leap day I hadn’t even decided to relocate yet (that didn’t happen until December of that year).  I’m making about the same as I did four years ago, but expending a lot less effort to do so; in fact, I don’t do traditional escort advertising any more except for my personal website and free ad sites, and I plan to mostly stop taking new clients at the end of this year unless they have impeccable references.  I’m still alive, but unfortunately so is “sex trafficking” hysteria; however, it has backfired on its creators and promoters in a way I didn’t quite predict, with over half of Americans now supporting decriminalization (many of them because of the hysteria rather than in spite of it), and strong pro-decriminalization momentum in a number of US states.  And as I head toward the tenth anniversary of this blog, I’m seeing a slow shift in the way I live my life (for the better, I think).  Will I be around to answer these same questions on February 29th, 2024?  Only time will tell.  But as I look at all I’ve done over the past decade, I can say that I’m reasonably satisfied with my life and accomplishments.  And as that’s not something I’ve ever really been able to say at the end of any prior decade, I think it’s enough.

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By the time you read this I’ll be in Orlando, Florida visiting with Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; there are some things she is much better at than I am, and she kindly offered to help me with them so I wouldn’t either procrastinate in the forlorn hope that they go away, or else have an anxiety attack when I force myself to do them anyhow.  Of course, travel itself gives me anxiety, and modern airline travel even more so; though I finally broke down and got TSA Precheck, the airlines themselves have discovered so many ways to make the experience awful that the Precheck is at best a harm reduction strategy.  I mean, take Tuesday for example; overfull airplanes stress me out, but airlines also have a tendency to cancel flights that aren’t very close to full, so I spent three days dealing with low-level anxiety over that because I managed to find a flight that had a wonderfully large number of empty seats.  And since Seattle was unusually sunny last week, my pineal gland was screaming that IT ISN’T SPRING YET DAMMIT SO WHY IS EVERYTHING SO BRIGHT AND NOISY?  As it turned out, the travel itself was relatively uneventful, and I got to celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday with one of my favorite gents before going on to Florida, where I hope to relax and drink too much in addition to getting done with the stuff I came to do.  And though I was a bit on edge over the weekend, I also got to see a new musical with Lorelei and go to Lady Vi’s “house cooling” on Saturday, plus I’ve sent the necessary materials to Shannon Reeves so she can start on the cover for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II.   Geek Downrange send me a router from my Amazon wishlist (thank you!), and I got the very good news that the young man who’s going to help us wth the floor-repair project went under the house and discovered that the problem is actually less severe than we had initially believed.  It looks like they’re going to start working on it this week, in fact, and I’ll be going out there a week from today (maybe even as early as Wednesday) to help.  So all in all, it has been quite a good week despite my brain carrying on as though there really were something to carry on about.

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Though last week was very busy (with work, other appointments, etc), I still managed to get everything done that I wanted to do, including preparing my tax stuff for the CPA, uploading the interior of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II, setting up my other forthcoming book projects, and solidifying my travel plans for this month and next.  On top of all that, I managed to make time for another Star Trek podcast, this one called Enterprising Individuals; it’s been a lot of fun dipping into that audience, and I wouldn’t mind other fancasts contacting me!  On the travel front, I’ll be leaving for Orlando next week, then I’ll be in Austin for two days in March; it’s unlikely I’ll have much extra time to see anyone in either location, but if you are in either of those places and want to try, let me know and I’ll see what we can do.  I will certainly have availability when I visit New Orleans in May, and possibly when I go back to DC in March, so speak up if you want to see me either of those places as well!  I’ve got a lot of energy right now, and though I don’t really know why I think it might simply be that I’m in a good headspace and have a lot of confidence in my life strategies at the moment; one sign that this is the case is that two new stories popped into my head, and I got one of them written up over the weekend for inclusion in Lost Angels early next year.  Anyhow, I think that’s all for now; next week at this time I’ll be winging my way across to the other side of the continent.

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Now that I’ve got a number of different products for sale, I had to rearrange my bookshelves in The Den (that’s what I call my city lair) to accomodate them all (and yes, I ordered another box of The Forms of Things Unknown when I realized I was down to one).  I’ve also added The War on Whores DVD to my store, which is the only way you can get a physical DVD (autographed, natch).  Furthermore, I’ve finished the primary edit of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II, and now I’m working on the foreword, front matter, and all that stuff; once I get that uploaded I can get the cover template to my artist Shannon Reeves, and we’ll be on course for publication in April!  That’s good because I’ll be headed to an exclusive event in New Orleans in late May, and I want to have those with me.  I’ve also heard that I may be making a short visit to Austin in March; neither of the things I’m attending are public events, but if you’re in either of those cities and would like to see me while I’m there, please let me know ASAP so we can fit you into my schedules (Austin will probably be tight; New Orleans will be looser because I’ll be visiting friends while I’m down there).  Remember, this is probably my last year of taking new clients without very strong references, so if you want to be in the club it would be better not to wait!

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Last week was one in which a number of things fell quietly into place.  I was able to get all my courtesy copies (and several autographed sale copies) of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I sent out, and got it added to my store as well; I also got most of the editing done for Volume II, and this week I plan to add The War on Whores DVD to the store.  I made backup plans for Florida should the Tampa event fall through, got out to Sunset to celebrate Imbolc by making a big pot of gumbo, and helped Grace do a lot of the trim for my bookcases.  Also, she had a good discussion last week with a young man who’s going to be doing a lot of the actual crawling-under-the-house part of the floor leveling project, and they’re both ready to start that as soon as the ground is drier (we recently had several weeks of really heavy rain out there).  Readers who’ve been following that saga know it’s been put off several times over the past two years, so it’s nice that it’ll be happening at last.  Then the day before I left for Sunset last week, I received another book in the Shaver Mystery set from a reader whom I believe prefers to remain anonymous.  I was already familiar with a lot of the Amazing Stories Shaver covers because I enjoy that sort of thing, but was rather pleased to see this reproduction of one I’ve never seen before on the back cover (because one can never have too many Snake Mama pictures).  Oh, and I have a new article in the current issue of Reason.  Is that everything worthy of public note?  I think so, but if not I can always mention it next week.

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