You can choose to be childless

Hi, friends. Some thoughts.

Women and Words

Hi, all–

Just putting in some thoughts even as Women and Words winds down to its hiatus (which begins June 1, ICYMI).

I read an essay today on Feminist Giant by Mona Eltahawy titled Essay: Unmothering.” Eltahawy is a feminist author and speaker.

It starts thus:

I am childfree by choice.

My maternal grandmother had 11 children. My mother is the eldest of those children and she has three children of her own. I am the eldest of those children and I am glad to have none of my own.

It is still a taboo to say that.

She continues, discussing her realization that she didn’t want kids and that she never wanted them. And I think about all the ciswomen out there who have been pressured or felt pressured to reproduce. Eltahawy did marry a guy, but divorced a couple years later:

If marrying him was the biggest…

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Online promo tips for your book!

Hi, all–

If you’re working on a first manuscript, you need to start thinking about how to publicize your book. Whether you’re indie or working with a publishing house, the brunt of getting the word out fall on YOU, the author.

If you’re an already published author, then you’re always trying to find new ways to get the word out about your book, and we’ve all had to adjust in this pandemic era.

To that end, I ran across this great post by historian Lindsay Chervinsky who writes nonfiction, but she has some awesome tips about publicizing your book online. She posted these tips over at Medium, so


Some good ideas, there, and a lot of them dovetail with some of the things I’ve posted here over the years. You can’t not promote, anymore. But there are ways to do it without being tedious. Think outside the box. Think about themes. Think about cool stuff for a newsletter. Think about doing podcasts (that is, being a guest on one). No venue is too small if you’re passionate about what you’re writing.

And don’t just stick to finding out what fiction writers are doing, if that’s your gig. Have a look at promotion of nonfiction, too. Chervinsky is focused primarily on nonfiction, but you can adjust these tips to your own use and figure out creative ways to approach your own material. Don’t feel you’re limited to just listening to other fiction authors. Branch out. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a fab day.

Yeah…about that whole Pride thing…

Hi, friends. Thought I’d share this post I did over at Women and Words, my other hangout. Take care of each other.

Women and Words

Hi, Queerfolx.

Especially white queerfolx.

Okay, relax. If it makes it any easier, white peeps, I’m white, too. So maybe you’ll be more comfortable with a white person telling you to think about some things.

Let’s talk a bit about a galvanizing reason behind these protests. And as I write this, US military forces are literally being deployed to possibly enact lethal force on their fellow Americans — in response to peaceful protests of thousands of POC and their allies.

Please think about that, too, as you read this. About the United States military being sent to possibly employ lethal force against American citizens.

Primarily, think about police brutality, because that’s a major driver of the current protests.

I wanted to bring this up today because June is Pride month, and it’s important to remember that the modern LGBTQ rights movement was launched in the early morning hours of June…

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Get your Boots and Hat! Audiobook now available! AND GIVEAWAY OMG


Women and Words

Hi, friends!

So, I’ve had this thing going on for the past few months. I’ve kept it under my hat (see what I did there) because I’ve been nervous about it and I’m kinda superstitious about some things, so I keep ’em under wraps until I feel like it’s time to talk about them.

It’s time.

I’ve been working with Audible to make two of my books available in audiobook.

And Audible just notified me that my novella, From the Boots Up and the sequel novel, From the Hat Down, are now available AS AN AUDIOBOOK! WOOO!

I AM SO STOKED! I totes did a happy dance (and I’ll probably do a few more) and now, I’m passing this info on to you.

They’re a twofer, y’all. That means you buy it and you get both. Or, if you’re an Audible subscriber, you’re gonna get both of these…

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Tales from an aging fangirl

Been thinking about this, on World AIDS Day.

Women and Words

Greetings, fellow travelers!

I’ve been thinking about some things. As you’ll see.

I’ll start my train of thought by telling you that I’m a fangirl, and I have been pretty much my entire life. Those of us who participate in fandoms — especially if we’re from marginalized groups — find our tribes in them. We find inspiration, support, creativity, friends, lovers, partners, spouses.

I’ve found support in fandoms. And for those of us who are queer, fandoms have offered us safe haven from the shit all around, where we could tell our stories and offer each other queer rep when nobody else was doing it.

I find many vibrant, amazing, eclectic people in my communities and fandoms, many of them younger than I am, but I am so goddamn proud of the young people who are stepping up to continue the fight, who want to make things even better for…

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In Memoriam: Sarah Dreher

I just heard of the death of Sarah Dreher via one of my Twitter-mates. I suppose Twitter can be useful in that sense, though bad news is bad news regardless of the medium through which you receive it.

Dreher was a playwright and author, and also a practicing psychologist. She died April 2 of this year, a week after celebrating her 75th birthday. You can find an obituary for her here. She was a Lambda Literary Award winner, as well as an Alice B. Readers’ medalist.

I remember her best for her Stoner McTavish mystery series. I read the first one soon after I finished Radclyffe Hall’s Well of Loneliness, and it was a breath of fresh air after the sadness and tragedy embedded in Hall’s work. In Dreher’s work, I found a lesbian character who didn’t die in the end and who managed to get into a realistic relationship. Dreher’s McTavish series was probably the first genre lesbian fiction I read, and in a way, it was revolutionary and showed me what was possible in terms of writing LGBT characters and, more importantly, writing human characters.

Dreher never let a reader off easy, but her gentle humor and empathy for her characters — all of them, whether damaged, suffering, or searching — created nuanced and layered mysteries that were as much an exploration of the human condition as they were about lesbian and women’s identity against a variety of backdrops. Life is complicated. People are complicated. And Dreher knew that and gracefully wove it into her stories.

In 1997, she published Solitaire and Brahms, a novel about being a lesbian in the 1950s, and the ever-present tensions between public and private lives, a theme that seems to echo in some of her other work.

She contributed essays and writings to a number of projects, including Off the Rag: Lesbians Writing about Menopause, ed. by Lee Lynch and Akia Woods. “Waiting for Stonewall” appears in Sexual Practice/Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural Criticism, ed. by Susan J. Wolfe and Julia Penelope. You’ll also find a contributed chapter to They Wrote the Book: Thirteen Women Mystery Writers Tell All, ed. by Helen Windrath.

You can find a collection of her plays here (published 1988), for a sense of how she brought her characters from page to stage and into the hearts and minds of audiences.

Dreher was busy in her non-writing life, as well. She was the co-founder (and, for the past seven years, president and clinical director) of Sunrise Amanacer, Inc., a non-profit organization concerned with the mental and physical health of underserved and non-English-speaking people. I like to think that the different facets of her life fed her creative mind, and allowed us a glimpse of who she may have been and the many possibilities there are for seeing each other and for those we don’t know. The prism of shared humanity offers many different views. I think Dreher’s was wide, encompassing, and always compassionate.

You can find her mysteries, plays, and novel at New Victoria Publishers here.

If you’d like to leave a comment in her memorial register, go here.
NOTE: you may have to cut and paste the link. Here it is:
If that doesn’t work, go to and type Dreher into their search function, upper right. My apologies; the site may require that you clear your cache or refresh your browser to get to her page.

I love action movies, tropes n’ all

Hey, kids–

I’ll just own it right now. I want to see the movie Lockout (which opened today). Here’s the trailer:


I saw it advertised on the ol’ boob tube and the generic male voiceover called it a cross between Bladerunner (one of my faves) and Die Hard. The basic premise of Lockout is that there’s a seriously hardcore prison orbiting Earth, where the scariest criminals are housed.

OH, yeah. Those are a couple of good ingredients for a major action, butt-kicking, big ol’ American blockbuster hootenanny.

Let’s see how many action movie tropes we can pick out in the trailer alone.

Join me for some trope-hunting…

Here’s what I came up with:
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Fall-ish and it’s CHILE TIME

Hi, kids–

I know. Usually I do zombie Saturday, but today I thought I’d digress a bit from that and talk a little about some other interesting (hopefully) things.

First, I’ve got an interview with fab author Lori Lake posted over at Women and Words. If you’re not familiar with her work, I highly recommend you check it out. She’s an awesome craftswoman in terms of structure, and her plots and characters are always strong, and always a slice of life.

All right. With regard to fall, this is my fave season, no matter where I am. I’m from New Mexico and though I’m not currently living there (not yet!) at the moment, one of the best things about fall in that stateis that the chile harvest comes in and local vendors and grocery stores put roasters out front. So you go get yourself a big-ass bag of chile (like, a big gunny sack full) for around $20-$30 and the vendor/grocery store employee roasts it for you.

source: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Hungry for more? Read on!

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