Monday, May 18, 2015

The End of an Era

I don't normally share publisher-related news, but this one breaks my heart:

Everyone in Cleis Press resigned, which means that a whole lot of authors (my friends), are left having no clue what's going on in regards to their current and future releases, contracts, and so forth, and Start (who bought Cleis) has yet to reach out to them. Rightfully so, a lot of people are freaking out, upset, and just in shock. I've been a fan of Cleis Press for YEARS and was a contributor to one of their Best Lesbian Erotica anthologies, and of course, I've reviewed tons of their books over the years as well. It's just so sad seeing a once thriving and respected independent LGBT press now crumbling into pieces. My heart's with everyone--Brenda, staff, authors, and editors---this is tough. 

More details about this news here and here.

This is officially the end of an era. No matter which new staff comes in to replace all that left, Cleis can't possibly be the same after this. Thanks for everything, Cleis Press, you Outwriter. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015


This is going to be one of those rare posts. I don't normally publicly share my views and opinions on the injustices of the world that are happening to my people out there, this time, in Baltimore. I don't like the drama that usually always happens when you put to light the ugly truths of this country - the racism, be it passive or extrovert, police brutality, and how, in general, history is repeating itself, how 2015 is the new 1960. I don't like to feed into it or create it, not in real life, and especially not online. And y'all know that I'm not the shouty type. Bless those that are, because in times like this, the country and the world NEEDS the loud and proud shouters who are thinkers and rebels. It's not my style, but just because I'm quiet doesn't mean that I'm not reading, listening, and learning, and naturally, of course, it doesn't mean that I'm not as angry, upset, disappointed, and hurt. In times like Baltimore, it's images and songs like this that just...get me thinking, and that better support my thoughts and feelings than my own words could:

"Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Just to live"

"Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today, eheh."

"Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, aggravation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Bang bang, shot dead
Everybody's gone mad

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us."
 I hope that ultimately, justice will be served. I know many have different opinions on the situation, and much talk is being put on blast about "white privilege" and how times like this bring out the "passive racism" in people, especially on Facebook, all in which is true, and should never be ignored or just swept under the rug for other people's comfort, because that is equally wrong and irresponsible. The only message I will send about that is this, as a friendly reminder:

Despite all of our differences, we should all never forget that we are only in this world together for a short time, and that it's just so important that we COMMUNICATE, not judge, hate, and feed so much into negativity when positivity is there, even if it's not broadcast nationally.

None of us should be misunderstood.

"Baby you understand me now
If sometimes you see that I'm mad
Doncha know no one alive can always be an angel?
When everything goes wrong, you see some bad

But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood."
Naturally, it's human to be angry, because we all have the right to be, especially when it seems like America is just...crazy...

"Democracy, liberty, and justice were revolutionary code names
That preceded, the bubblin' bubblin' bubblin' bubblin' bubblin'
In the mother country's crotch
What does Webster say about soul?
"All I want is a good home and a wife
And a children, and some food to feed them every night"
After all is said and done, build a new route to China if they'll have you
Of course violence isn't the answer, but it's always important to remember that windows, buildings, and such can always be rebuilt, whereas human lives cannot. Once dead, they're gone forever.

I just hope that things will get better, and be equal, and that black lives will matter not only when unarmed black men are shot by police. This country's not perfect, but it's better and more capable of change, if we let ourselves do it, and remember to respect, love, care, live, and give to every woman and man. I may be jaded but I still have hope. I still believe. As heart-hardened I am, I still love.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one."