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.
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):
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:
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 going to be 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.
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.
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.
Cindy A. Salgado
The Thoughtful Sehlat
Mara Tesler Stein
Carl D. Smith
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:
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.
Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.
It’s a warm day here, the sun is shining, and life has been slowing down, all of which is excellent.
And at the moment, there’s the sweet smell of cut grass in the air…
Allow me to share the latest.
I am now on Wattpad. I’ve decided to turn The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy into an ongoing Wattpad project. My goal is to update it twice a week. You can read the first bit here. My thoughts flowing, basically.
I recently acquired a few things I’ll be using for my independently published photocopied booklets.
The first is this:
I’ll put a few Instax photos on the cover of my booklets.
Second, there’s this:
This will appear at the bottom of my booklet covers.
I want these publications to be very, you know, physical. Hence the instant film camera, and stamp and ink pad. And the whole booklet being handwritten and photocopied.
I’ve also decided that the booklets will be the size of regular sheets of lined paper, so 8.5 X 11 inches. A nice, large size.
They’ll be available on my Renouveau 70 website. They’ll probably be around five dollars each, plus shipping (which won’t be much), and payment will be through Paypal, and/or Square, and I’ll accept money orders too. So I’ll be getting a P.O. Box soon.
In other news, I recently got a whole bunch of cheap bling for photo sessions. These sessions will be very genderfluid. I even plan on doing what I’m calling a Disco Drag shoot which will feature a champagne dress with a plunging neckline.
A couple of weeks ago, I experimented with my smart phone camera, gold bling, big sunglasses, my 70stastic gold jacket, and lipstick.
Have I mentioned how much I love the 70s?
Last week, I had dinner with a friend, and wore some green velvet with one of my treasured vintage polyester shirts. And gold chains, naturally.
I got lots of silver bling, too. That’s going to be for the kickass “Logospilgrim wearing her Professor Snape coat and pants with a 70s polyester shirt” (probably the shirt above) author picture that’ll be on the back cover of Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. I’m pouring myself into that book.
Unfortunately, Imzy is going bye bye. I was quite saddened when I heard the news. So I’ll be blogging here, and on Apostate Island, more often. I also got a Pinterest account for some reason. I’m not sure how much I’m going to use it, but anyway. My most active social networking accounts remain Twitter and Instagram.
I continue to shut out most of what’s going on in the world these days. I am so sick of it all. I’ll hear a snippet here and there, and it’s like, holy fuck. I’m just going to be over here, preserving my sanity as best I can until rainbows prevail over shit storms.
For instance, I’m listening to “Wish You Were Here” right now. The window is open, and I’m thinking about macramé, self-portraits, and my booklets, and increasing my vinyl collection, and summer joys.
Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.
It’s been a nerve-wracking few weeks over here. I’m happy and relieved to report that my home didn’t get flooded re: historic floods in Quebec. The water stopped about two blocks away from the house, and we don’t live that close to the river. The floods have been mind-blowing to say the least. Mr P’s workplace was closed for almost a week because part of the building was affected, and the power had to be shut down.
So, all of this peril and uncertainty was exhausting. When you already have PTSD and something like this is going on, you’re already at a strong disadvantage. Last Tuesday, when they said we might be getting more heavy rains this weekend—we aren’t, thank fuck—I couldn’t take it anymore and grabbed my bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
Life was already intense because of the Event (a good, long overdue Event, but also difficult in some ways, and still ongoing) that happened almost three months ago now (more details eventually). So yeah. I’m at full capacity over here.
With things slowly going back to normal, I’ll finish what I began a couple of weeks ago, namely, cleaning and clearing out the basement (a task I’d been meaning to do for some time), and turning my attention, once again, to Hit the Road and Be Who You Are and Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. And then, The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy.
I got myself a new work bag this week.
If you follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts, you know that I’ve been doing a fair bit of cleaning and clearing and beautifying this spring, which helped me deal with the chaos. The 70s are a never-ending source of delight and inspiration to me. I’ve been adding a bunch of books about the 70s to my library.
It’s a positive headspace for me.
There is so much about which I no longer give a single fuck and boy, what a liberation this has been. I’m finally living my life.
The last macramé wall-hanging I made was around the middle of February, because of the Event I mentioned above and everything that ensued from it (PTSD, rage and exhilaration, covert operations, many many activities and yada yada), and then spring went to shit because of the weather, oh and right before that, splendid ink… This photo was taken right after the session, and she’s healed beautifully. Love my hula girl.
So anyway, more macramé wall-hangings soon because I fucking love macramé wall-hangings.
And more portrait sessions soon as well. Yesterday I did a bunch of stuff and was too tired for much more than a quick sample shot of my vintage King’s Road leisure jacket, but holy crap it’s going to be fun when I get down to taking real photos. This jacket is the bomb. So suave, so greasy, so pure. I love that.
The 70s, they speak to me. They’re after my own heart.
Stuff I’m looking forward to this summer:
- more macramé wall-hangings
- fulfilling self-portrait sessions featuring genderqueer/vintage/groovy clothes and, with any luck, seedy and scenic locales
- spending time with loved ones especially close to my heart
- junk food at cabanes—gimme dem hot dogs and good as fuck fries
- publishing new books
- maybe celebrating, at long last, forty reviews for Hula Girl on my Dashboard and Amazon boosting the damn thing after I’ve worked so hard for so many years
- being home
- warm fucking weather
- visiting the local farm market and buying fresh vegetables and fruit
- doing my thing
- listening to the gorgeous sound of gorgeous vinyl records
- not giving a shit about what I “should” be interested in
It’s a more or less comprehensive list.
Oh yeah, and I’ll be wrapping up my first zine soon too.
Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.
So here’s my blogging/online situation these days.
I post general news items here, on my main site (stuff about my books and various projects etc), and some personal thoughts.
I’ve been reblogging posts from my two other blogs here, but I won’t be doing so anymore. I think it’s redundant. If you find said blogs interesting, go right ahead and follow them. I plan to blog there more regularly than I do here.
Apostate Island is my personal blog. Sort of my new Livejournal.
Renouveau 70 is the blog where I sing the praises of the 70s, and where I share photos of my macramé art. My zine will be available there for purchase too (eventually).
Other than that, you can find me (in order of how often I use these platforms) here:
That’s how I do the internet now. It works for me.
My new ink is healing well, as usual, and I adore my hula girl.
Yesterday, I had to get some milk and assorted food items, just a few things. Before I did this, I decided to go to the small local mall and walk around a bit.
I’m so glad I felt like wandering, because I found a mind-blowingly funktastic gold jacket. The fact that it was also seventy percent off, and thus cost a little over sixteen dollars, sealed the deal. This is about as 70s as it gets.
I’ll be taking more elaborate self-portraits with this coat in the near future.
Adding gold and polyester to my wardrobe is something I’ve been enjoying immensely. It’s one of the ways I’ve been celebrating life in general, and my life in particular.
Make yourselves at home, shag carpet lovers.
I decided to turn this blog into the place where I ramble about the 70s as well as share photos of my macramé art. So, funkadelic times ahead.
Let’s dare, shall we?
Earlier today, I saw a picture on Twitter, courtesy of 70s Dinner Party, that delighted me to very core of my being.
The next time I have a couple of friends over, I’m going to have to make something like this. Because it is magnificent.
This is, officially, one of my favorite 70s food ads of all time. Now that I think about it, my other favorite 70s food ad is also a Hellmann’s mayonnaise ad (again courtesy of 70s Dinner Party. You need to buy the book now, by the way).
I will never tire of gazing at this glorious aspic aquarium. Ever.
And remember that polyester is…
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What’s shakin’, bongo players.
Once again, it’s been a while. Life and all that shit.
I’ve been taking care of a lot of stuff. Things that needed to be done, such as clearing out the basement (not finished yet, but I at least got the long overdue project started), and assorted bits big and small—this, that, and the other.
Now, if the weather could start warming up and drying up longer than three days in a row, that would be most revitalizing.
A couple of days ago, I got some new ink. The hula girl I’d been wanting for some time; I had a space left for her on my right forearm. Loving my girl. And she’s sitting on a Tiki. I have this image on a flask. The moment I saw her, I knew she was the one.
I’m still kind of tired, but it’s all good.
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Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.
Well, I’ve been busy doing a bunch of things these past few weeks. I spent more than one evening too exhausted to do anything but lie down on the couch.
So I haven’t made any more macramé lately, but I’ll be getting back to it soon because I enjoy it and find it wondrously relaxing. And I love gazing at macramé wall-hangings. I decided not to list my pieces on Etsy, but they will be available via my website Renouveau 70. I’ll accept funds through Paypal and possibly Square as well, and money orders (old school right there).
The first issue of my journal-style zine if half finished.
I started doodling again, something I used to do constantly when I was a kid. There’s probably going to be some doodling and stuff in the zine too.
This spring (the weather is finally showing signs of spring-like changes), I’m doing something I’ve had on my list for a few years: cleaning, sorting, and re-organizing the basement. I’ll be calling a junk company to cart away the dead furniture, dead electronics, and assorted crap very soon. The space will be in tip-top shape when I’m done.
I’ve done a book cull, too. Spring clearing.
The garden is another place I’ll devote more attention to this year; last year, it’s safe to say I ignored it altogether. I was too tired. But this year, I’m getting a small electric mower and I’ll do at least basic maintenance, nothing too elaborate. I’ll put the chairs out and sit back there again. Relax.
Basically, home life is my priority these days. I want to be home. I’m happy when I’m home. And that’s where I’ll be. Writing books. Twanging my ukulele again.
I’m hoping the peri-menopause shit will be over soon. I’m feeling better, it’s not as intense, but it’s still draining.
The 70s remain my mindset of choice. This is what I’m listening to right now:
As I said before, I find the twenty-first century useful insofar as it facilitates my 70s lifestyle.
I got a fancier turntable and speakers a month or so ago, and holy fuck does it ever delight me. None of my records skip on that turntable. Little by little, I add more records to my collection. I love listening to vinyl. I still buy CDs (some music is easier to get on CD), but vinyl is pure love. Watching the needle slowly drop on the record, seeing the record spin: indescribable satisfaction. Streaming simply can’t compare.
And there’s something increasingly subversive about “owning” music, when a growing number of corporations want to sell streaming subscriptions and charge a monthly fee for, essentially, nothing. Next to nothing is what many (most?) artists are getting in return for their participation in this so-called great opportunity.
I’m really sick to death of this kind of shit.
In a similar vein, my upcoming books will be available in print form only. I’m aware that one of the popular trends these days is to offer free e-Books (especially true as far as independent publishing goes), but I refuse to do this.
I believe my work and I are worth something.
Remember the days when you’d order whatever in a catalogue, and you had to wait for the items to arrive, and then you opened the package they came in, and it was awesome? Even now, nobody orders virtual clothing. You order a shirt, you get a shirt, you put it on. Why should it be different for books? Why it is that literature, and movies and music, for that matter, have had to become entirely “convenient” and disposable to be “marketable”?
Anyway, that’s how I feel. When the fantastic magazine Car Toons was revived not long ago, I got a real subscription immediately. I wanted a real fucking magazine.
And speaking of shirts, my collection of vintage polyester shirts is expanding. This fills me with glee.
There will be photos at some point soon.
See how joyous they look in my wardrobe:
Yesterday, I got my hands on this beauty. It’s pale green, and has a darker green and peach bamboo plaid pattern. Classic.
Then I got this phantasmagoric vintage King’s Road western style leisure jacket, because it was an extra small men’s size thirty-four, and what a glorious damn thing it is, I mean look at it.
So yes, more photos on the horizon.
Tomorrow, I’ll be getting a little ink. It’s been a while. There will be a small hula girl in the empty spot on my right forearm. This is going to be excellent.
And speaking of hula girls, if you’ve read my book There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard, I’d be grateful if you wrote a short review on amazon.com. Even one or two lines would make a tremendous difference. I only need four more reviews, just four more, to reach forty reviews, at which point Amazon will start boosting my book (however that works). I’m hoping against hope that I can reach this number, you know, sometime before the year is over… This would be such a huge step forward for me. It’ll be the first time a book of mine gets forty reviews.
In other news, I can’t stop watching The Nice Guys.
I’ve begun writing both Hit the Road and Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. These are the books that will be published at some point in the coming months.
Other than all this, I’m taking care and living my life.