the scent of 2019 is in the air

There are a number of things on my 2019 list. Priorities, projects.

The first project: a daily writing journal. I’ve already been writing a page a day in my “daily activities” agenda (next year will be the fifth year I’ve been doing this), so the daily writing journal will be natural and smooth, a non-stressful, non-draining, steady way of working on various writing projects.

I got this journal yesterday at the local dollar store.

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I’ll be sharing much of what this journal will contain with my Patreon members. Which brings me to the 2019 list: Patreon will be one of my main priorities. I update this website blog around once or twice a month, but I write Patreon posts much more often. In 2019, Patreon topics will include my books (obviously), living with PTSD, genderqueerness, creativity, introversion and solitude, the 70s, self-care and self-respect, toys, music, Mozart, violin playing, the art of indulging oneself, living one’s best life… just to name a few.

Apart from cannabis (see “living with PTSD” above), Patreon is one of the top things that have had a beneficial impact on my existence this year. The material/emotional support I get from members who believe in my work and enjoy it, their enthusiasm, contributions, participation, and encouragement—it’s all absolutely priceless to me on many levels.

I have a limited amount of time and energy. Patreon members will enjoy the bulk of my creative efforts and endeavors. A number of my upcoming books (such as Reveries of an Improper Solitudinarian) will only be available to members.

I’ll continue using Twitter to share links to website updates, Patreon posts, and the very occasional tweet and RT. I’m more present on Instagram (although it’s now, alas, owned by the loathsome FB, Instagram was wisely left alone—so far, anyway—which is one of the reasons I still use IG).

Facebunk: my opinion of it remains the same. Dreadful platform. I want nothing to do with it. I won’t bow to it. I’m proud to live my life without it. Oh, and apparently said platform, which is terribly shocked by naughty bits, now also targets “vague suggestive statements” and the mere hint of sexy talk as against its policies or whatever.

“First Tumblr bans NSFW imagery, now Facebook bans NSFW *words*!!” tweeted one user on Wednesday.

Imagine if something like this had happened on Livejournal during its heydays. The furor! Won’t somebody think of the fanfic?? I remember people leaving LJ in protest against less blatant puritan pearl-clutching and “investor-friendly” sanitization/normalization. Now, FB devotees simply swallow the pill and comply.

The “normal” Sunday School nanny Internet: what smashing fun it is. But at least you can keep up with distant relatives you haven’t seen in thirty years, and that kid from Elmsdale Elementary (what’s his name again?), and the intelligence-challenged prom queen who harassed you back at good ol’ Suckballs High. And advertisers know everything about you: convenient! Thank you, O Almighty Facebunk. Peuple, à genoux, attends ta délivraaaaance

Seriously, I have lost touch with friends because I’m not on FB, and more people might know about my work if I were there… but I’m willing to pay the price not to be on that platform. Because I think FB is terrible.

Anyhow.

Rascal: A Manifesto is the foundation of all my upcoming books. No other work of mine means more to me than that one. I’m grateful to everyone who has acquired a copy, read it, shared their impressions of it, recommended it.

Rascal with a new, rapscallion like-minded friend:

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Speaking of naughty things and fabulous books, here’s a lovely tome devilish types will want to add to their library immediately:

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Fred is one of the most delightful fellows you could meet. Buy his book here: Homo Satanis

In other news, tomorrow will be five months since I had the monthly crud. Yep, the whole fertility garbage I never had any use for is well on the way out.

I’m still enjoying my 70s Holiday Extravaganza in a fierce, fierce way. I got a Barbie Townhouse (damn you, Barbie!). It’s wrapped and under the tree: a glorious sight if there ever was one. I will be playing with it.

ETA: well, apparently something might actually be taking place after all these months re: reproductive crud. No wonder I’ve been feeling so lousy and drained these past couple of weeks (it wasn’t only because I had to have my damn right ear irrigated at the clinic again). We’ll see tomorrow but even if there is something, if it’s anything like last time it won’t be much…

And on that charming note, I think it’s time to call it a night a get some rest.

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70s Festive Holiday Extravaganza, tarot, life improvement

Although the past couple of weeks have been a bit tough (many appointments, severe shoulder pain and the anxiety attack that went with it, furnace problem and the PTSD spike that went with it, early snow), my 70s Holiday Bubble has been even more glorious this year than it was last year.

I began right at the start of November. And I’m so glad I did. One month wouldn’t suffice to enjoy the bliss of the Festive 70s environment I created in my cozy home.

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I’ve filled the house with delicious scents and sparkling joy. I’ve gotten boxes of Pot of Gold chocolates, Black Magic, After Eights.

Classic holiday albums have been playing on my turntable, my 1975 Eaton’s Holiday catalogue is on the coffee table. Total Environment delights. Presents are wrapped in cheerful paper and displayed beneath the tree. One of these gifts from me to me (“It’s just what I wanted!”) is something I hadn’t had since I was a kid: a Barbie doll. But not any old Barbie: a stunning, 70s-tastic 2018 Holiday Barbie.

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It’s the perfect touch to my 70s imbued Festive Season.

I love sitting in the living room, with the fireplace station on the television, while gazing at the happiest tree I’ve ever had. The beautiful, glittering, colorful but much smaller tree I had there last year is now in my lair, because this year, one tree simply wasn’t enough.

All of this has been so sweet to me… It’s sumptuous.

In other news, because I’ll be focused on Masterful for the next two or three months, my Stay Home Vagabond zine has been temporarily put on hold (producing it is more time consuming than I’d anticipated, especially since I expanded it); during this book writing and publishing period, my second and third tier Patreon members will receive Quiet Times newsletters and Mini Poster Prints.

As part of my most recent life improvement strategies, one thing I’ll be doing much less effective immediately is social media, specifically Twitter and Instagram. Twitter has become a maelstrom of negativity and downright lunacy, and whatever one shares there is almost immediately swallowed up by the tsunami of input that is Twitter (of course, that’s the idea: it’s so you keep tweeting and trying to stay on top of the endless barrage of tweets, a virtually impossible “task”). I’m exhausted by this. Utterly. I’m sick to death of it. And Instagram is… meh. It’s very app oriented, and I dislike using my smart phone. On top of that, Instagram actively limits the number of followers who actually see one’s posts (unsurprising: the loathsome FB platform acquired IG).

I’m just… I’m so fed up with it all. It’s life draining. It sucks your energy dry. And for what? I’m rather over this internet Sisyphus deal. I’m not interested in trying other platforms (I’ve already done that ad nauseam).

The world of Twitter and the real world, the material world, are two vastly different things, and I much prefer the latter.

Yesterday and the day before, I was in full recuperation mode due to the stress of the last two weeks. I jotted down notes, enjoyed delicious food, watched movies, relaxed. I barely touched social media, and I felt, well, happier in general. I’ve been ambivalent about social media, social networks, for so long, and increasingly so these past few years… From now on, I’ll be using Twitter mostly to share links to my latest Patreon and WordPress (logospilgrim.com) posts. When I do photo sessions with my phone, I’ll share the results on Instagram.

My online activity will center around Patreon and this website. If you like what I do, if you’re interested in my books and art and photography, please follow this website (via WordPress or email) and/or my Patreon account (some of my Patreon posts are accessible to non-members).

When I want to let my thoughts wander and look at happy things online, I’ll be on Pinterest.

My preferred way of staying in touch with friends is by subscribing to their blogs (via email), or becoming a member of or following their Patreon accounts. Note: I don’t do the YouTube thing much.

So, there it is. I’m going to focus on what works for me.

I’ve been getting back to tarot, to reading it professionally (which I did many years ago). This has been a source of immense pleasure to me. Once I picked up the tarot again, I realized how much I’d missed it.

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I created a tarot page here on my website (still under construction), but I will be giving precedence to live readings. I’ll have a limited number of reading appointments per week.

More Masterful news soon. And eventually more Mozart story news as well.

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Masterful: Severus and me

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Summer’s been hot, but I can sense the faint beginning of autumn in the air, and oh yes, I’m more than ready.

I’ve plunged headfirst into my next writing project, which has been long in the making. This book is even more outrageous than Rascal. It’s a continuation of Rascal: A Manifesto, in a way.

This book will be published late this fall (I’m aiming for November). Apart from my Patreon activity, it’s the focus of my attention at the moment. I’ll also continue working (at a slower pace) on Wolfgang, Booklet Two in September.

Here’s what I recently wrote on Patreon about the author photograph I took for Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me.

I wanted this photograph to celebrate my humanity, freedom, vulnerability, and power. For many years, I was Orthodox when I cosplayed Snape, and the costume had monastic connotations to me. This is definitely no longer the case. So I wanted to demonstrate this in the portrait. One of the things I’m going to discuss in the book, which will be mostly about my life experiences in relation to Professor Snape, is how my understanding of him has evolved and helped me in my personal development and emancipation. His strength of character, his ability to stand tall, to stand alone, his abiding mystery… All of this is what’s most appealing to me about him.

Doing this shoot was exhilarating. I took quite a few shots, as usual, because I know that in most cases, minor variations will strike a photograph from the list; this or that isn’t right…

The photo I selected had all the elements I wanted the portrait to have. I wanted it to be fairly androgynous, ultimately I wanted a half coat, half flesh situation, with at least a portion of my Snape ink visible, and with, well, the kind of expression I have in the photo I chose.

I didn’t touch the original shots much. That one, I barely even had to crop, I’m trying to remember! I added a touch of contrast and made the green colors pop more. Because I’m so darn pale, the silver makeup on my eyes, and the glitter on my face and neck, chest, and upper left arm basically look like a shimmering glow in the photo. On the actual cover, I think that some of the glitter will be more visible. I’m happy I picked the silver background, because it looks great in the shot. Throughout the session, the light kept changing because I was using natural light.

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Are you ready for this ride? It’s going to be a wild ride, I tell you.

In other news, I have a Build A Bear named William and it makes me tremendously happy. Working in my 70s lair is a source of continual joy and pleasure to me.

Say cheese.

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saucy and snazzy

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

So I’ve had a lot going on.

Dealt with an ear problem (after weeks of misery, I made an appointment to see my doctor). The combination of narrow, twisted ear canals and eczema is no joke. But the situation is much better now.

I did celebrate my 49th birthday splendidly, though. And took self-portraits to mark the occasion. I wore the disco dress.

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Genderqueer, baby.

I’ve been very busy with my Patreon. Membership is steadily growing, which makes me intensely happy. Patreon has contributed to my life like nothing else since I began writing and independently publishing my work. I’m profoundly grateful to my Patreon members who make me feel like a million bucks and fill my creative tank to overflowing.

I’m creating zines and drawing again (messy drawings, which is new for me, but it feels good); if you’d like access to my zines, exclusive blog posts, and special editions of my books, become a member.

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(detail of the photograph included in issue #1 of my zine, Stay Home Vagabond, in which I magnify and revel in my humanity)

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I was also interviewed by the fabulous and lovely Lauren Hippenstiel; the interview is available on her blog, iamasatanistand.com. You can read it here, and while you’re at it, take a look at her fantastic review of Rascal: A Manifesto (buy your copy today and review it on amazon.com).

Right now, I’m working on Wolfgang Booklet Two, and Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me. I’ll be doing a photo session for the author portrait that’ll go on the back cover of the latter very soon. Watch out! It’s going to sizzle.

Masterful is a phenomenally cathartic book. Writing it is so satisfying.

Here’s a “speak your mind” tea cup and saucer crafted by Miss Havisham’s Curiosities that captures the spirit of said book:

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No, I don’t put up with crap anymore. It’s healthy; I recommend it.

A couple of months ago or so, I had fun taking more Mozart portraits. I got a red velvet coat and snapped away (at some point in the coming months, I’ll be doing this with the red 18h century style Mozart costume).

Note: my Wolfgang story is going to be so wild. And semi-autobiographical in a totally fantastic sense.

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Mozart upon waking, velvet coat in strategic disarray. I’m cheeky these days. I’m sure Wolfgang would appreciate. Leck mich im Arsch, rawr.

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Let me tell you, life is good right now. I’m so much happier than I’ve ever been. And I’m taking excellent care of myself.

I’m really enjoying my violin classes, by the way. I’m currently learning (or should I say re-learning) Bach’s Minuet No. 2.

More photos soon! Green polyester shirt, opened Snape coat, a mass of silver bling.

Say cheese.

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new lair

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Well, after weeks of planning, shopping expeditions, and work, I now have a brand-new lair and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m all set for a grand year of writing and creating.

After the tumult and mayhem and exhaustion of the past year and a half, this feels like a blissful breath of fresh air.

Mr P and I are now utilizing the bedroom half of the house to its full advantage. We’re ecstatic about the improvements we’ve made; we just spent three days celebrating with delicious food, cake, and wine, and a lot of recuperation and basking in what we’ve done in our home.

I shared photos of my new space on my Patreon first, and now I’m going to share a few of those photographs with you.

I’d drawn rough plans of what the room would look like with the furniture in it and so on, but I underestimated just how spacious it would be once everything was arranged and set up in here.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

My work area is no longer a cramped corner. I can move freely about the room. It’s amazing.

I’ve been very selective about what I wanted to put on the walls as far as pictures go. I chose some of my very favorite images, some of my most cherished mementos. I put a few of my frames in the hallway, but about 90% of what was on the walls in my old lair will end up in albums, or be given away.

Because one of the walls is taken up by windows, and another by closets in the new lair, when it came to wall space I gave priority to toys, vintage images and items, and a few photographic treasures. There’s one picture of me dressed as Professor Snape, another as Charlie Chaplin, and a third as Pee-wee Herman. I’ll probably end up putting a fourth costume portrait somewhere—when I do Mozart.

Yesterday, I ordered a small vintage Holly Hobbie plate for the new lair… It delights me for reasons that will, I imagine, be self-explanatory:

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There are also some vintage Ziggy collectibles on the way. Such as this small porcelain box:

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As I said, I’m giving precedence to things that give me joy, and 70s collectibles are high up the list.

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The 70s rule.

Without further ado, scenes from my new lair.

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As you can see, much more space. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love it.

I also love sitting next to a window like that. A smorgasbord of writing and treats in store for my Patreon patrons this year. Books, special editions, macramé wall-hangings, cosplay photos, self-portraits, newsletters, doodles…

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Third tier patrons will get all the books, newsletters, original photographs, macramé, reproductions of artwork, original artwork. Second tier patrons will get newsletters, original photographs, access to all the special editions, reproductions of artwork. First tier patrons will have access to all my Patreon blog posts (as do the second and third tier patrons), and access to all the special editions.

I want to write more volumes like The Corner Store Epiphany, which will only be available to patrons.

Speaking of books, here are more positive words about my pride and joy, Rascal: A Manifesto.

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And a review by The Free Thought Prophet:

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So, all in all, it’s an excellent damn start to the spring over here.

I’m writing, I’m drawing again, I’m relaxing, I’m giving total precedence to what is most important and vital to me: creating, loved ones, quiet times, solitude, familiar places, my home and well-being.

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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the state of me

Kind readers,

what a world, eh? Apparently, many are embracing a feverish “let’s give fascism a chance” mindset; good luck with that.

I’d like to hope that we’re witnessing the rancid and apoplectic death throes of conservatism everywhere. They’re displaying the nastiest they have to offer for all the world to see, without a doubt. And I’ve certainly never abhorred evangelical christianity (and religion in general) more than I do now, which is saying something.

Fuck, this shit is exhausting, though. I doubt I’ll be watching the news much over the next four years, because on the rare occasions I’ve done so this past week, I felt ill and wound up thinking things like “If all else fails, there’s always a bottle of pills.” So yeah. PTSD hell for sure. It’s been a while since I had thoughts like that. I’ll be taking care of myself (I’m through treating myself like a damn second thought), and doing the one thing I CAN do, which is writing. This is how I fight. And stay alive.

If anyone has a problem with this, my response is, tell me again how I should live my life.

A lot of books ahead.

Also, the pile of Festivus toys and gifts I’m currently amassing will make last year’s pile look like a little bump.

If you’d like to know how Quietus went, take a look here. In a nutshell: it was magical.

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I’m really not sure I’ll be doing this again. It was wonderful, but it took a whole lot out of me. Maybe in a couple of years, I’ll change my mind, but… I don’t know that I will. As it is, I’m definitely not going to MISTI. Not only am I tired, but I have no intention of visiting a country run by a sociopathic demagogue. Also, the big fandom conventions and all that… I’m at a point in my life where I’m moving on from this. I’ve been to Convention Alley twice, to Witching Hour, to Lumos, Prophecy, Infinitus, Aeternitas, Ascendio, to MISTI twice… Only three times did I not go to an event I’d planned to attend: Phoenix Rising, Leviosa (I was supposed to speak, and let them know six months in advance I wouldn’t be going), and now MISTI 2017.

I’m done. It’s enough. I was so drained during MISTI 2015, I think I was coming to the realization that a chapter of my life was ending.

My final HP fandom contribution, if I may call it that way, will be my book Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. It won’t be so much a fandom thing, or an analysis of Professor Snape, but more like the story of how he helped me get through many changes and upheavals, right up to my secular present. It’s going to be a celebration of being human.

My enjoyment of Harry Potter is more a personal thing than a fandom thing these days. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the “Fantastic Beasts” trailers fail to rouse my interest; if anything, I find them tedious and boring. “How many more billions can we squeeze out of this thing?”

I’d much rather add to my toy collection, read about Tiki culture and 70s kitsch, and write more books.

I’ve also moved on from Livejournal.

You can find me here, on Twitter, Instagram, and Imzy. I’ll be writing personal posts on Apostate Island.

Here’s a Twitter friend, Kaxas11, with her copies of my latest books:

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Supportive photos like these are always phenomenally appreciated.

Right now, I’ll be focusing on Hit the Road and Be Who You Are and My Merry Secular Holiday.

Another thing: is peri-menopause a bucket of fun, or what. I was a month late this month; so, skipped a month for the first time ever, and it’s hit me like a fucking sledgehammer, let me tell you. I need more pain medication even as I write this. And a nap. Lately, when I have to do an errand or whatever, I’ll just pull on a fresh pair of trunks, throw on some jeans, get my grubby hoodied self over to the store, grab what I need, and rush back home. I just don’ts care. Ya knows?

So anyway, thank you for playing! And remember, Elvis loves you.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

e-Book edition of Atheist Tiki Hour now available

Kind readers,

although the PR and festivities will only really kick off once the print edition of Atheist Tiki Hour becomes available in a few days, the e-Book version went live last night, and I thought I’d share this with you.

Here is the first page (courtesy of a Twitter friend who loved the book), with the glorious Atheist Republic logo above my name. This does something to me that I can’t quite put into words. I am incredibly grateful to Armin and Casper for believing in my work and publishing my book.

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If you’d like a copy of the e-Book, please click on the cover below:

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If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon—even a line or two would be extremely helpful, and profoundly appreciated.

When the book hits 50 reviews, Amazon will greatly increase its visibility. This would truly be one of the most fantastic things that have ever happened to me. It would encourage me more than I can express.

Also, your kindness will support not only me, but the important organization that is Atheist Republic as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my book and telling others about it.

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I’m going to have to rest this afternoon. Fortunately, there are excellent horror films all month on Turner Classic Movies 🙂

As soon as the print edition is available, I will be letting you know!

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor