new book: raising a little hell

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Get ready for some excitement…

First, I hope you’re all having a beautiful autumn.

I’ve been enjoying the normal, most relaxing weather we’ve been having lately very much indeed. Apart from a few days of extreme heat at the beginning of September, the weather has been blissfully familiar. Quiet. It’s cooler, the sunlight is golden, the rain we’re getting now and then is soothing…

All right. News.

I’m taking a Krav Maga self-defense for women class. It ends at the beginning of December, but I already know how to break a man’s jaw with my head after maneuvering a knife away from my throat. This class has been phenomenal PTSD therapy. One of the most important aspects of Krav Maga is to be angry and aggressive. This has been very good for me. I’ve had no problem being angry and aggressive and dispatching would-be attackers with as much brutal ferocity as I can dish out.

Sometimes, you must be ferocious.

I’m standing my ground as I never have before. In this vein, I’ll have a new book out soon, and I’m happier with this project than anything I’ve done so far.

Here are a few excepts from this book:

“To reclaim yourself: this is excellent greed.”

“It’s quite possible not to forgive and to move on.”

“Happiness often requires a great deal of effrontery.”

“Love yourself enough that it’s too much for those who would drain you. Be a scandal.”

Here’s another:

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This book is about living your life your way, unapologetically. Celebrating your life, loves, needs, desires. Tossing garbage out.

And here it is:

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I finished the first edit yesterday. Today, I’ll be making all the corrections and adjustments to the text, then it’s on to the second edit. The book is a little over sixty pages, and extols the liberating power of so-called vices.

Last night, I took a few portraits to express how cathartic this book has been to me.

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I love my life now.

As soon as the book is available, I’ll be letting you all know.

Rascal distracted me from my small monthly project (see the first book in that series, The Corner Store Epiphany), but anyhoo. I’m thinking that I’ll put a booklet out when I’m not already working on something else.

Deep gratitude to everyone who continues to support my work.

Apart from this, I’ve been taking excellent care and spending a lot of time by myself. I’ve been reading quietly, watching movies (like “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Neon Demon”), scribbling while ensconced in the couch, eating comfort food… It’s good.

Say cheese.

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quiet season

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

September is settling in beautifully. The quiet days, the plethora of school supplies…

The first issue of my monthly rambles is now available on Amazon.

Allow me to share the blurb for this series again:

Logospilgrim, prolific writer and disco tomboy, has embarked upon a series of short books that will be released on a monthly basis. She shares candid, maverick thoughts about the small joys of life, being who you are, personal freedom, and much more in her unique, unapologetic stay home vagabond poet style. These books are the written equivalent of instant photographs. Join her on the road to nowhere and everywhere.

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Many thanks to all who are buying a copy.

This past week, I’ve been dealing with a (recurring, sadly) ear problem that culminated in a sleepless night and weeping early this week. There’s nothing like feeling,  for days on end, as though half of your head is about to implode. This comes with the territory when you have twisted ear canals, but it had been a while since it’d been this bad. Fortunately, the situation has improved drastically and I’ve stopped wishing I could pour acid down my left ear.

I am exhausted, however, and this is going to be a mighty quiet month. Season.

Yesterday, because I’d been so miserable, I treated myself to a copy of Crimson Peak on DVD. I can’t see that film often enough… It’s gorgeous, captivating. Along with the film, this:

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She’s my dream girl. And since the Funko Pop figure came in that ethereal nightgown of hers and with her flowing, wavy blonde tresses, well, I had to have it. She’s even holding the golden candlestick.

Otherwise, things are good. I’m keeping to myself a lot because I’m especially in need of it these days—this year.

Say cheese.

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new project

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

So, it’s almost the end of August. Which is great. I’m really looking forward to autumn… Spring and summer this year: exhausting as fuck, mostly because of the loony weather. It’s nice and cool today, and this feels fantastic.

Hit the Road: I’m not anywhere near having finished this book, BUT I will have a new book out soon.

I’ve begun a new project, and I’m quite excited about it.

It involves a series of short books, 36 pages in length, one per month. It’s like a kind of literary magazine or something.

Here’s the blurb:

Logospilgrim, prolific writer and disco tomboy, has embarked upon a series of short books that will be released on a monthly basis. She shares candid, maverick thoughts about the small joys of life, being who you are, personal freedom, and much more in her unique, unapologetic stay home vagabond poet style. These books are the written equivalent of instant photographs. Join her on the road to nowhere and everywhere.

And here’s the cover of the first issue, titled The Corner Store Epiphany:

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I went for a simple, 70s-inspired look. I’m thinking that the front cover colors, and the back cover photograph, will change each year. Haha, I’m already hopeful this project will endure for years… I think it just might, though. This is the first time I’ve written exactly what I wanted to write, and it felt wonderful working on this short book. I’m already looking forward to the next one. Same cover, different title.

The August 2017 issue is available on lulu, and will be available on Amazon as well in a few weeks. It’s only available in print form, in keeping with the spirit of this series.

Allow me to reiterate how good I feel about this project. As usual, I’m unsure whether it’s crap or not, but whatever. Doing it anyway. Doing it my way.

My writing in a nutshell:

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I’m still pretty worn out re: this whole year. Fortunately, I’m much, much better at taking care of myself.

My record collection keeps expanding. I’ve got Heaven 17 on the way, more disco, more New Wave. Vinyl rules so hard. Every time I go to one of the local record stores, there’s more vinyl, new and old. This thrills me to no end.

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Digital can be useful, but it can’t be everything. I think the hawkers of digital (“enjoy your convenient nothing”) are realizing it can’t be everything. For the most part, digital can blow me, to be perfectly blunt.

I’ve rediscovered the absolute joy of portable radios. That wondrous “tinny” sound transports me right back to days when songs like Born to Be Alive were new. Last night, I was working on something or other, and Funkytown came on a fave local station: my heart skipped a beat. Streaming simply does not compare.

My small Sony AM FM portable radio will be joined by a Panasonic AM FM radio (that I’ll be able to plug in), and a pocket Philips AM FM radio that’ll go in my Fjallraven backpack.

Bags are happiness.

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And check out these sweet vintage Snoopy plates… Snoopy is everything.

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I am still working on a photocopied zine too. Thinking it might be a bi-monthly or quarterly thing, because they take more time to produce…

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Which reminds of another recent old love: instant photography. My Instax 9 fills me with pure ecstasy. Every time a small semi-fuzzy photograph emerges from the top of the camera, I want to do a little dance.

Here’s a photo I took the other day. 80s tomboy, baby.

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Speaking of the 80s, I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing of beauty:

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Gaston forever. Agendas are my happy place.

So, all in all, everything’s good. I’m creating, resting, taking a fatigue/stress tonic, enjoying my life and my home. Not putting up with bullshit. Doing what I need to do to live with PTSD: setting limits, reinforcing my barriers, giving priority to all that is helpful to me, gives me relief, and allows me to cope with life in general. I’m more and more aware of what I want and don’t want, what’s good for me and what harms me. I know that when I’m confronted with situations that are even remotely similar to original traumas, the “off” switch to sky-high stress reactions just doesn’t work. You could even say that it’s not there; it doesn’t exist. I calm myself by avoiding such situations as much as possible, by going into hyper-arousal mode when they occur (“bug out bag” syndrome), and by requiring extensive periods of recovery afterwards. That’s how it is.

Sometimes, by going numb. This does still happen, though it’s not as severe as when I was a teenager.

Oh, and by writing. Especially by writing. As a friend recently put it, self-expression is self-preservation.

I’ve been giving myself permission to say “no” to shit that is particularly damaging to me.

As a result, I feel good. I can function. I can be happy.

I am finally living life on my own terms.

Say cheese.

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one word: spectacular

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Things are good. Things are very good.

First of all, and most importantly, things have been tranquil. Relaxing. I’m starting to sense August in the air. It’s one of my favorite months: softly chirping insects all day long, slow days, a golden hue that announces imminent autumnal delights… Slow days, hushed days.

I’d been needing this badly.

I’m at work on Hit the Road, which will be completed by the end of August.

As far as the news and ongoing world nuttiness are concerned, my motto is Adam Savage’s: I reject your reality and substitute my own. The planet can get back to me once it’s gotten its shit together again.

I’ve had enough difficulties coping with this year as it is. I can only buy so many bottles of Jack Daniel’s over here.

But as I’ve already mentioned, my stress levels have been decreasing, more or less. There’s been a return to normalcy that’s helped tremendously. And in many ways, life has never, ever been better.

In August, we’ll be celebrating the sixth month anniversary of a Most Glorious Event.

The other day, I received my vintage 1977 Play-Doh Burger and Malt Shop, and it’s now displayed next to my work desk. The sight of it fills me with continuous bliss, like a cascading joy fountain.

My burger and fries Num Noms are perfect companions for this treasure.

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I have other treasures on the way. A vintage Fisher Price A-Frame house (the fireplace! The yellow kitchen! The sliding transparent doors!), and vintage Fisher Price school house (I plan to store small journals and notebooks in it).

I got a vintage item as a gift for a cherished loved one too.

When it’s not toys, it’s disco and New Wave records.

As I’ve said before, I’ve been on a rescue operation, retrieving my happy moments from my past like a scavenger on a mission. I’m taking back what was stolen from me and cutting away the horrors that nearly swallowed me up whole.

I’m saying, this is MY life, and I’m taking what’s rightfully MINE. I’m reclaiming all my joys, whatever form they took.

It’s like, you know, if you once lived in a dark place, a dangerous, threatening place. On the outside, it looked like a perfect dream, like a gingerbread house covered with bright candy and soft icing, right? That was a facade, something for those outside to marvel at, something whose purpose was to create the illusion of benevolence and devotion. But its architect was a demented ogre, and you and your loved ones were confined in it, prisoners, hiding as best you could in the shadows, in the corners, trying to fashion your own small sanctuaries to the extent it was possible, trying to hang on, knowing there were booby traps concealed in the hallways and main areas—anywhere, in actuality.

Over and over again, you’d hear how “ungrateful” you were for not appreciating your prison and its “generous” tyrant.

Well I’ve been salvaging everything precious to me, everything I can still have, from that place, however I can.

I’ve been taking my childhood and adolescence back. I’ve been purging them of the slime that choked them.

I’ve escaped from the blob.

Whatever made me happy, whatever helped me survive, I’ve been taking it all back. Everything I can find. Tokens, objects, moments, reasonable facsimiles. And my memories focus upon who and what made me smile.

I’m living my life, my way. I’m reliving it my way.

I’m rewriting it, erasing whole paragraphs from it. Chapters even. I’m erasing them and yet not removing them.

This is very empowering.

I proclaim that my life is mine and I am mine. I’m not a possession. I’m not a puppet with strings. I have cut the strings and thrown them in the garbage: I am a real, live person, with my own thoughts and desires and voice. My power.

My thoughts and desires and voice, my person, my self, are real and they matter.

I am not invisible.

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Another thing I got my hands on this week is a 1975 Eaton’s holiday catalog.

This is from a 1973 Sears Wish Book.

In the 70s, you could buy a combination fake fireplace and stereo system. Yet another reason I adore this decade.

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One word: spectacular.

You want to visit WishbookWeb, trust me.

Or how about decorating your bar or office or van with empty soda cans? I love this idea. 1977:

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In other news, I’ve been watching all the episodes of Married with Children oh most gleefully. It was such a subversive show. I have no end of admiration for all the people on this show, who were willing to do the most ridiculous shit and who did so with such gusto. It was good ridiculous shit. Cathartic ridiculous shit.

And on this fine note, back to work on my book.

Say cheese.

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living what I love

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Well, I’m officially back to work on Hit the Road and Be Who You Are, and it’s going great. This is a fun, liberating book to write. Very liberating.

I want it finished by the end of August. Thankfully, everything is pretty mellow around here these days. Whew. July is shaping up to be a wonderful month weather-wise.

The Internet has changed a lot these past few years. So have I. And I’ve decided that as far as blogging goes, I’m going to focus on this one. This is my main website, and it’ll be the hub of my blogging activity. There’s just no use spreading myself thin with other blogs, especially since it seems most people don’t read many blogs online nowadays. I’ve tried having several thematic blogs, but it winds up being just more stuff to juggle, more stress really, for no good reason. So I’ll be concentrating my efforts and creativity on logospilgrim.com.

If you want the latest news, my thoughts about this and that, this is the place to visit.

Patreon is an option I’m keeping in the back of my mind.

The Internet has become extremely visual. Therefore, apart from sharing updates and writing about life things, projects, my books, and so on over here, I’ll be posting more self-portraits and photos.

Expect more polyester shirts, bling, and lipstick. Genderfluid disco sessions. And suits, of course. Suits and ties, always. Let’s not forget the silver bling Snape coat session, and that champagne disco dress. Oh, that’s going to be a blast.

I took these yesterday night. I was wearing a “bronze coin” L’Oréal lipstick.

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There’s some Rimmel lipstick in my future. And photos of me wearing three-piece suits with ties and lipstick.

My priorities are putting out more books—short books—and posting artistic self-portraits, and yes, there’s those photocopied booklets, it will happen, because real things in the mail is beautiful. I’ll be firing up that Instamax camera of mine soon as well; those instant “Polaroid” type pictures are so earthy and fabulous. I’ve seen a number of those online lately, and they enchant me.

Twitter and Instagram are two other places where I’m quite active online. I use Twitter on a daily basis, and Instagram fairly often.

More macramé will happen too. If not this summer, then in the fall. Autumn is the perfect season for knot-making.

I’ve gotten much better at prioritizing, you know? At deciding what I want to devote my time and energy to, what matters most to me, what gives me the most joy and satisfaction and tranquility.

I’m not the least of my concerns anymore. Thank fuck.

Speaking of tranquility, one place I’ve been enjoying online is Pintarest. I love collecting images there. It’s fun and relaxing. I share photos there as well.

This week, I added more excellent vinyl to my collection. There’s disco, and New Wave. My 1976 Looney Tunes album arrived, and it sounds like I could have bought it yesterday. Amazing. The other day, I got my hands on this record, another childhood favorite, on Discogs:

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This is pure, unadulterated happiness right there.

And then there’s this magical bit of happiness:

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Thank you eBay! A vintage Burger and Malt Shop Play-Doh set, one of my favorite childhood toys. With the box even, and all the parts. Seven bucks, my friends.

Toy altars are the only altars I want.

I know what I love about life. I’m living what I love.

Say cheese.

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I’m a gambler

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard now has forty-three reviews—one step closer to fifty…

I’m busy with a Thing this weekend. I’ve been somewhat stressed out because of it, but everything turned out well and I’m very relieved. I am extremely protective of the person the Thing involved (this is one Thing among a number of Things that have been taking place since the beginning of the year), and am caring for this loved one in every manner that’s possible.

We don’t see eye to eye as far as a few matters go, but it’s absolutely inconsequential. No one agrees about everything. In this instance, what we agree about is greater than our differing points of view. Our bond is greater and more important.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are a lot of people who understand next to nothing about the mechanisms of domestic violence. About psychological captivity. Why do you stay in a prison without walls?

There is one who dangles the keys in front of your face, there is one who’s locked the invisible door, there is one who has you trapped and who conditions you with every subtle, identity-crushing method imaginable until you’re unable to move a muscle, until you doubt yourself utterly and are in a permanent state of fear and eventually don’t even realize you’re constrained because you’ve been terrorized into believing that whatever happens is “your” doing: the perpetrator.

The perpetrator alone is to blame. The type of individual who says, “You made me do it. It’s because of you, what you are, what you aren’t, what you do or don’t do, what you think or don’t think—and all you are and should be and should do is subject to change without notice depending upon my psychopathology.”

Life can be complicated. And relations with people you love always have specific challenges. As the song goes, you have to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em.

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep

I certainly know what I’m throwing away and what I’m keeping.

There is a coping device that helped my loved one hold it together in the midst of absolute fucking shit, a device I myself thought would help me, but it didn’t. At all. Sure. Like I said, life isn’t a straight-forward affair.

The coping device in question is one I’ve personally found almost entirely and inherently problematic. I believe this device is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and harms those it claims to assist.

I do, however, know one thing. The coping device is a separate issue. Our misery had its origin in one source, and one source only: the perpetrator, an individual who regularly blamed his targets for his behavior and the anguish it caused. An individual who knew where their vulnerabilities lay and how to use it against them, who trained them to blame themselves, who made sure they were helpless, who cut their wings and said “You’re worthless because you can’t fly.” That is where the responsibility lies.

I’ve known this since I was old enough to think.

This individual can basically rot for all I care.

And that’s all I’m going to say. If you’ve read my work, I imagine you can figure it out. Don’t understand a situation like the one I’ve described? Move on.

There are “causes” that would grind up the purported objects of their solicitude.

Causes often have a way of doing that.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve always been and will always be an outsider.

I don’t skate the edge; I am the edge.

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On that note, it’s a lovely summer’s day, and I’ll be doing happy stuff today. Quiet, tranquil stuff. And carefully watching over a beloved somebody. We’ll be celebrating a Sixth Month Anniversary soon.

I updated my personal blog Apostate Island yesterday, and today too:

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Take a peek. New polyester shirts and vinyl records.

Time to clean up the house a bit. I got some chillout playing, I got my oil diffuser making the air fragrant.

Say cheese.

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Atheist Tiki Hour

Kris really zeroes in on what the book is all about, what I hoped it would convey. I’m very grateful for his kind review.

The Gravy Age

Atheist Tiki Hour is the new book from Logospilgrim, an author whose previous book, There’s A Hula Girl On My Dashboard, I wrote about (here). Pour yourself a drink, and follow me past the jump, and let’s kick back for a few.

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unconventional voice

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Summer is very slowly beginning over here. Very slowly. At least I’m not freezing all the time anymore, so there’s that.

I changed my mind about this whole Wattpad thing. It just doesn’t work for me; I’m not feeling it at all. So The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy will be as I originally planned, a book with a series of personal essays, written the way I feel most comfortable writing.

I’m only one review away from forty reviews for There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life, and increased Amazon visibility. It would really mean a lot to me if I reached this goal in time for my birthday in a couple of weeks… Even one or two lines on amazon.com would make a phenomenal difference. My first book with forty Amazon reviews: it’ll be the most wonderful thing that’s happened to me since I began writing and publishing books.

Reviews really matter, especially when you’re an independent writer. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who’s taken the time to do this and helped me come closer to this vital goal. No two ways about it… Caring is reviewing. There are even people who resubmitted their review more than once because of Amazon bugs: I have no words.

Wait! I just found out that yet another caring reader who enjoyed the book will be reviewing it. I can’t emphasize enough how much this means to me, how important it is. Reviews put the book out there; shared enthusiasm is a book’s life-blood. And the more, the better.

This is how non-mainstream voices come to be heard—and in an era of monolithic corporations and homogeneity, such voices are more essential than ever.

Although in the coming two or three weeks my attention will be focused upon a “real life” matter (nothing bad), I am getting back to work on this cherished project (which I began at the end of last year, if I remember correctly):

Cafe Sign and Old Car on Route 66

Last week, I took a series of self-portraits featuring one of my treasured vintage polyester shirts and King’s Road jacket. And ultra cheap but awesome gold bling.

Because I’m gold and I’m celebrating it. I’m recognizing it. I’m affirming it.

I’ll be creating a gallery for these 70s flavored shots soon, but in the meantime, here are a few of them:

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One of these photos will be on the back of Hit the Road and Be Who You Are.

I’ll be doing a session for the photo that will be on the back of Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human soon. I’m looking forward to that one. It’s basically going to be a “me wearing a vintage shirt (green!), silver mirrored sunglasses, a crapload of silver bling, and my Snape coat and pants” self-portrait. That book will be about things I experienced during my Professor Snape years and shaped me as a person. From “Orthodoxy” to atheism, baby. The smashed jar of cockroaches will be a central theme. It’s going to be another very personal, raw, joyful book.

I want to finish Hit the Road before the summer is over; Art of Being Human will be my autumn project.

And I’ve definitely not given up on my photocopied booklets project. This another reason I’m not doing the Wattpad thing. No matter how much I try (and I’ve tried), I just can’t spread myself beyond a certain limit. That’s just how it is. And I’m finally okay with this.

Also, you know, macramé. I have these fabulous 70s wooden beads I want to use for a few wall-hangings…

My limits are fine. My yes to this, no to that is fine.

I want to share my happiness, the joy and liberation I’ve come to know, and so I’ll continue writing my small books (because independently published books are expensive, but they’re cheaper if you keep them short!). But there’s another thing: I’ve come to believe that hey, it’s fine to write short books. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn’t make me any less of a writer.

Eight hours later: there are forty reviews for Hula Girl on Amazon, but the total count still shows up as “39”. I’m exhausted as fuck, drunk, discouraged. Does Amazon have a problem with the reviews the book has gotten? Is something fucking up somehow? I’m used to having shit I want being yanked away from me, to seeing it mere inches from my reach, so near yet so far. I’ve worked and waited over two years for this moment.

Also, peri-menopause, and everything that’s been going on since the beginning of the year, is wiping the floor with me right now. Sometimes, stuff catches up with you. On the plus side, guess what fucking holiday I won’t have to acknowledge this weekend (or ever again).

This morning: when Mr P saw me last night, he could immediately tell that I wasn’t feeling especially well. I don’t feel down often at this point in my life, but last night I was as low as I’d been in a while. I slept a lot last night; I still look pretty terrible.

But.

I’m much better. Vastly much.

I am buying cake today, to go with the candles shaped like a 4 and a 0 that I bought yesterday afternoon (when I was holding out against hope), and the little Tiki drink paper umbrellas. There will be cake today. And there will be celebration.

I will take a picture of this cake.

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I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the forty-two people who reviewed the book and who have given me this tremendously important moment in my writing career (well, you know, I’m not sure career is the word… My writing whatever maybe, because I hardly know what it is I’m doing).

Thank you for doing this. For reading the book and writing a few words about it. Thank you for increasing my Amazon visibility for the first time in a decade of writing. This is the best gift I’ve ever been given (my birthday is in ten days).

Thank you for helping me feel that my writing is worthwhile. Thank you for putting the book out there.

C.A. Allen
Cindy A. Salgado
The Thoughtful Sehlat
Ceraia
nickybaseball
Amazon Customer
Amanda Hickerson
Mara Tesler Stein
A. Spielman
Amazon Customer
Chad Jay
CathyGrace
Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos
fallconsmate
Puma
Book Lady
Liz Hamilton
Iron Lynx
Dan Gillespie
Dani
Alice
Trish
Kristoffer Peterson
Carl D. Smith
Amazon Customer
Courtney Heard
M.S. Cook
Victoria
Nicole M.
Autumn Sky
Roger Griffiths
Marie
Salino
April thrailkille
Lorrie Kim
Brittany
Dan D.
Stéfan Lévesque
BloatedCarcass
Dave Beirnes
Jim Resident
Amazon Customer

I would also like to thank the bloggers, podcasters, authors, and journalists who contributed the first editorial reviews I ever got:

Sean McGuire, Share a Slice with Sean (My Secret Atheist Podcast)
Joshua Kelly, O Your god! The Evil Idea That Is Religion
Stephen Knight, The Godless Spellchecker Podcast
Godless Mom, blogger
Mikki Gorman, Frank Magazine
The Atheist Pig, cartoonist

I would like to thank the following podcasters, who interviewed me about the book as well:

The Intellectual Saviors
The Free Thought Prophet

And I would like to thank The Positive Atheist, organizer of The Non-Conference. I signed more copies of a book of mine (in this case, it was Hula Girl) at his event than at any other.

I would also like to thank The Centre for Inquiry for giving me the opportunity to speak about the book.

Next stop: fifty reviews. If you enjoyed the book and would like to join in the party, please do so.

Today I’m going to relax. I’m going to have a Mama Burger tonight, and cake, and I’m going to use my Sage diffuser, and play soothing chillout and spa music, and treat myself excellently all day.

Again, deep gratitude to everyone who made this milestone possible.

Tomorrow, I’ll get to work on chapter two of Hit the Road and Be Who You Are.

Say cheese.

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