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Join Me at Rainbow Conference 2015 (RainbowCon)!

April 20, 2015

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It’s time for RainbowCon again! This is the second year, and we’re at the Holiday Inn Westshore, right by Tampa International Airport. Registration is open, and it’s very affordable at $75 for the whole event (minus the field trip and evening events). The room block is also great. They gave us a discounted rate of $109/night, which is awesome being so close to the airport.

Check out the website and our schedule… and then register! :D You know you wanna come!

Turning Adolescent Nightmares into Erotic Fiction

April 19, 2015

Bit of a random blog post here, but I thought I’d follow a whim for once and post something silly and off the cuff. :)

So, when most people are going through adolescence, we have a series of nightmares I think we carry with us. Usually, I think these center around things like social humiliation and the like. I know mine did. All those tales of people dreaming they showed up to school naked and were laughed at… that sort of stuff.

One I randomly remembered and thought I’d foist onto you unsuspecting blog follwers was a little nightmare/fear that I held once I got into high school. Let me set the scene (I’m an author, after all):

Chemistry class. Goggles and aprons. Bunsen burners, glass titration flutes running down into flasks, mystery chemicals just waiting for the right catalyst to start that reaction everyone’s been aiming for. But some students are better at chemistry experiments than others, and suddenly your lab partner–or worse yet, you yourself–fumbles with some aqueous chemical. You panic as it splashes you, and some of the powder you were measuring (in moles, of course) joins the fluid on your skin. Apparently, the two should not mix, and suddenly your skin is on fire, the chemicals burning even through your clothing. You shout, alarmed, and a teacher rushes over, but there’s nothing to be done but to shove you over to the shower.

That’s right. The shower. Remember those safety showers that were kept in the corners of the chemistry rooms? They had two purposes: flushing eyes out through little eye-cup fountains… and full-out dousing the fuck out of a student. But hey, you’re covered in burning, remember? So someone pulls the tab and yanks the switch, and you’re immediately soaking wet and told to strip off every single article of clothing that the chemicals might have touched.

Completely naked. In front of your classmates. And you just know that class has your high school nemesis and their cronies in it, and they’re stifling back laughter as you’re forced into that vulnerable, terrifying position. But what’s worse is the person you’ve secretly admired, the one you carry a hidden flame for… they’re also there, seeing more of you than you were ready for.

Terrifying.

And I feared being in that position in high school. It wasn’t debilitating–I didn’t freak out in Chem class whenever we were working experiments that had a little risk to them–but I definitely remember how horrible it sounded to have to strip completely in front of your classmates and be doused from head to toe.

But that’s the sort of stuff I draw on when I write. I remember things like that and twist them around into fodder for my erotic fiction. Because as embarrassing as it would have been, what if it served as an erotic catalyst to a relationship forming? I don’t typically write YA, so I’m not necessarily talking about high school kids, but what about a Teachers Aide or Graduate Assistant in college getting into that situation and being exposed to their students? If there’s an existing flame between them, something being denied, maybe that incident would spur them into action.

Well… That’s assuming no lasting harm was done by the chemicals. But then, even taking a bad situation to worse like that could still work in my twisted mind.

So! Any of you have childhood or adolescent nightmares? Share some in the comments!

Support Us on Patreon!

April 17, 2015
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S.L. and I are gearing up to begin working on two new novels! Both are gay fiction with erotic and romantic elements. We’ve already added a PDF for patrons for the novel Scars of the Deep, though it does contain spoiler elements as it was a brainstorming session between S.L. and me. If you want to be able to read that, you’ll need to become one of our patrons!

The first novel is part of the Other Side of Night series. It’s the second book (long awaited!) and follows two new characters into the world of vampires, ghouls, and hunters. This time, we meet Noah, a young man entering his freshman year at Cornell, running into his ex-boyfriend Grey—his brother’s best friend who simply disappeared one day, leaving Noah a note breaking things off. Noah is drawn into a world his brother had tried to protect him from, and his very humanity is at stake.

The second novel, Scars of the Deep, follows a wealthy philanthropist named Thane Vail who meets Adam Leor, a man who sits on the Board of Advisors for the conservation charity Deep Waters Foundation, and is instantly drawn to him. Thane doesn’t know why, but Adam pulls at him, and he begins an intense, erotic relationship with Adam. Adam, despite the rumors he’s heard about Thane and the warning his friends and colleagues offer, lets himself become swept up in Thane’s world of reckless excess and lavish drama. Thane tempts the Fates as he tries to learn about Adam’s past, determined to understand the attraction that runs deeper than anything he’s felt in his very, very long life.

S.L. put together a temporary cover for Scars of the Deep so we had something to put at the front of any material we release on Patreon for it. While it is gay fiction, the cover has a female on it. She is a central character, just not the main characters. She’s a dryad named Elpis who is tasked with watching over Adam.
 
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Patrons of ours over at Patreon get some fun perks aside from just getting to read the stories as we write them. Here are just the four tiers:

Pledge $1.00 or more per Chapter
A chance to vote in a poll for what log scene S.L. and K. will do next for live session in Google Drive. Plus, weekly invitation to watch a Google Drive of S.L. and K. writing a log scene. These could be erotic in nature or completely innocent. We will let you know when we send out the invitation.
 
Pledge $5.00 or more per Chapter
Receive eBook bundle (PDF/MOBI/ePub/Lit) of any titles we complete and release while you are our patron, plus any previous reward levels.
 
Pledge $10.00 or more per Chapter
A custom 100-200 word drabble based on either an original concept or within our realm of fanfiction preferences each month you’re our patron, plus any previous reward levels.
 
Pledge $20.00 or more per Chapter
Receive a print book (shipped free in the US) of any title we release while you are our patron, plus any previous reward levels.

#tdov Happy Trans* Day of Visibility 2015!

March 31, 2015


 
I wanted to make a post on my blog (rare thing lately, I know) especially for International Trans* Day of Visibility. This obviously takes precedence over my birthday, which was a few days ago and went unremarked on here. ;)
 
It’s such an important thing to be visible sometimes, and there are a lot of things that work against that when you identify in the trans* spectrum. Heck, sometimes even within the trans* spectrum, you find individuals (not usually entire groups, thank goodness) who don’t understand or don’t accept where you are in your various parts of the spectrum. A lot of the things that trans* people go through are linked to the visibility of trans* people in our society and in our media. It’s freaking awesome that trans* individuals are slowly making their way into more popular media, but it doesn’t hurt to help it along the way. Now, I’m not demanding everyone who identifies trans* suddenly come out proudly and wave banners all around–for some, that’s simply not safe, and I don’t want anyone getting hurt–but if you’re out and feel safe, today has been one of those days I hope you took advantage of to just let someone know that you exist and your identity is real and valid.
 
First step? Knowing and understanding yourself. And boy oh boy is that a tall order right off the bat! It sometimes takes years of self-discovery for some of us to figure out where we fit in the spectrum of gender identity, gender expression, and our levels of attraction (be it sexual or emotional/intellectual) to various people of equally diverse identities and expressions.
 

 
My personal experience was rather drawn out, but I’ll try to sum it up:
 
I thought I was cis-gender (though I didn’t have a term for it back then; I was just “normal”) and straight right up until about 8th grade, when I started having romantic feelings for my best friend (female, though with a couple masculine qualities in her expression). From 8th grade to 10th grade, I figured that attraction meant I was a lesbian… and then I discovered what bisexuality was and thought that was a better fit. So, when I finished high school, I thought I was cis-gender (still didn’t know there was another option) and bisexual. I hit my second year of college and discovered gender! Yay! It was then I started exploring my identity and expression (20-21 years old). I didn’t verbally tell anyone the details of how I felt until around college graduation (2009, making me 23 years old), when I was involved with a boy and was honest with him from the get-go. Even then, my identity and expression were still new, though, and it’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve fully accepted that I’m genderqueer (though more male leaning) in my identity. I still outwardly present as female, though I’d like to be more toward neutral over time, and eventually, I think I might like to have top surgery, but I don’t intend on fully transitioning (taking testosterone or getting sexual reassignment surgery). And I don’t need to. It doesn’t change that I’m trans*, doesn’t change my identity. While I’d love to have a penis, I’d rather wait until technology can give me one that is both aesthetically pleasing and fully functional (including nerve endings that would make physical intimacy pleasurable). Until then, I’d be happy just passing more neutral.
 
All in all, I’m happy with how far I’ve come in my own understanding of my identity. I haven’t had a physical relationship since the one I mentioned near my college graduation, so I haven’t dated or anything since coming to that deeper understanding, but when the time is right, I’d love to have a man or two who would welcome me as a lover and partner and view me as male regardless of my physical appearance. Those closest to me right now call me a boi, and I love it. Even if I were physically and biologically male, I would have been a certain level of genderqueer, my identity a little left of center and my expression ranging from quite femme/fabulous to more masculine/butch. So, I’m here. I’m queer. And I don’t mind anyone knowing it.
 
I’m also open to questions, so if anyone has questions for me about my identity, expression, or experiences, feel free to comment and ask. I just did a guest lecture for a teacher friend, speaking to his GSA kids about gender, so I’m primed and ready for questions! *laughs* I hope everyone has a great International Trans* Day of Visibility!
 
(I also wrote a rather emotional personal post at one point the last couple months that was all about my insecurities as a trans individual, so I might go back through that and share it with you guys. I have my days where I feel completely isolated, too, so maybe someone else will see that and can relate. ^_^)

Happy New Year – 2015!

January 2, 2015

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Happy New Year, everyone! I wanted to finally update my blog. 2014 was definitely a tough year full of trials and tribulations, but I’m eager for this new year and hope it’ll be a year of finding equilibrium again. This post will recap some of the bad, some of the good, and some of what I look forward to. I hope everyone has an amazing year!
 


 
2014 – The Bad Stuff
 
I feel it puts the good into perspective to acknowledge the negative things that I’ve gone through with the attitude that I’ve worked past them. :)
 
Last year was a tough one, and it began quite early on in the year. In January, we lost our 20-month-old kitten, Dorian to Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It put all of us into a bit of a tailspin, and it was a struggle to get ourselves together again. Unfortunately, that was the first of a total of three cat deaths for 2014. The other two were Little Boy at the end of April and Mama Kitty at the beginning of December. Both of them died of old age. It’s been a very difficult year with our pets, many of whom are just getting up there on years, so nature is just catching up with them. We also had a scare right before Christmas with our 3-year-old black cat, Victor. He’s the one we took in around the same time last year when Dorian was sick. He needed emergency care to clear up his urethra, which had gotten blocked. He’s all right now, but the expensive care right before Christmas was a difficult monetary blow to the household. We love our Victor-kitty, though! It was definitely worth saving him.
 

R.I.P. Dorian R.I.P. Little Boy R.I.P. Mama Kitty

 
My writing really suffered this year as everything else became more important (or, if not more important, then at least more pressing). I was poked into co-writing the trans* short story “The Best Thing on Eight Wheels” by the wonderful Kathleen Tudor. Without her prompting, I never would have finished the piece for the Sweethearts & Seduction anthology, but it was an amazing experience and my first trans* story. I then acted more as muse than co-author when S.L. Armstrong and I wrote “Of the Flesh” for the gay vampire anthology, Blood Embrace. And… that’s been it this year. It’s rather pathetic, I know, but I’ll be making more of an effort this coming year.
 

 
2014 was also a year of making a very difficult decision. With S.L. Armstrong’s (Saundra’s) health on the decline, we had to choose between keeping Storm Moon Press running strong and continuing our efforts with RainbowCon. In the end, RainbowCon won that proverbial battle, and we’ve decided to close SMP down to outside submissions, merely keeping the press around for existing books to see out their contracts. I’ve been making contact with all our authors since the decision was made, though, to make sure everyone who would rather have their rights back to shop the stories around to other presses or self-publish them has an opportunity to do just that. It isn’t their fault that we’re shutting the press down to a minimal operations level, so I’ve been doing what I can to get everyone where they’d like to be with their works. It’s been particularly stressful for me, since I’m the one at the press who’s in contact with all the authors individually, but I really want every author to get that one-on-one so they know every single work with us is important.
 
 
2014 – The Good Stuff
 
On the flip side of the coin, there were a few awesome things that went down last year, and those deserve to be celebrated!
 
The largest triumph of the year was RainbowCon. Saundra, Roger, and I created RainbowCon to be a time and place people could gather together to celebrate everything about QUILTBAG media. Our first ever conference was in April 2014, and while there were still some kinks to iron out (first time jitters ^_-), the event went on without any major hitches, and most of the attendees had a great time! That’s all you can ever really hope for as a con organizer, so we were all exhausted but incredibly gratified by the process. We’re already planning 2015’s event, and unlike 2014, where the conference was centered only around fiction, RainbowCon will expand to include comics, webcomics, television, movies, and more.
 
Three Kittens in WindowFollowing RainbowCon last year, we also adopted three kittens (two immediately: Joshua & Gray; one a month later: Daniel). In the wake of losing Dorian, they were such a comfort to us all, and they’re the sweetest things.
 
I’ve also had the good fortune to work on some amazing pieces of fiction this year, despite SMP cutting back so drastically at the tail end of the year. I was Saundra’s cheerleader through the process of her finishing Human Rights, which has gone on to be an amazing bestseller on all our third party vendors! I took a large part in putting out our Devout anthology, which showcases gay priest-kink (a personal kink I really enjoy reading), and it was a joy working with the authors involved, several of which are long-time favorites of mine. You know it’s going to be an awesome anthology when the team consists of Kathleen Tudor (aka D.K. Jernigan), Annabeth Leong, Ann Anderson, Angelia Sparrow, and the incomparable Cari Z. I’d definitely check out that anthology if you can! I’m also mid-proofread on Ren Thompson’s Dead Heat, and while post-apocalyptic zombie lesbian horror isn’t anywhere close to my usual fare, that book is worth looking out for the next few weeks as well. ;)
 

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Lastly, a tiny little triumph of mine was actually reading not just one book all the way through, but three. I read The Hunger Games. I was skeptical of them at first but actually greatly enjoyed them. But it’s the first time in at least a year, if not two, that I’ve actually read a book cover to cover. That it was an entire trilogy just makes it even sweeter.
 
 
2015 – Looking Forward
 
So, there are several things I’m really looking forward to this coming year. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, challengers and triumphs, and unexpected events, but there are a few things I know I’ll get to enjoy, so here’s a little list!
 

  1. First Cruise Ever – My bosses at my day job (massage therapy) gifted me a two-night cruise to the Bahamas for two. So, in 2015, I’ll get to take my first ever cruise! I’ll be wisking Saundra away for a little vacation filled with awesome food, plenty of relaxation, and an afternoon spent in the Bahamas (hopefully NOT during hurricane season). What a wonderful treat that’ll be, especially now that Saundra and I have determined that our anniversary date is December 16th. We might have a unique asexual relationship that’s emotionally and intellectually deep, but it really works for us, and we’ll be able to celebrate together.
  2. Kittens Kittens Everywhere! – I mentioned Joshua, Gray, and Daniel earlier, but we believe Joshua is pregnant! Joshua and Gray were both supposed to be boy kittens, but when we picked them up, they were girls, so we keep using male pronouns and always say they’re our genderqueer kitties who deserve to have their life choices respected. XD Joshua should be giving birth to his kittens in January! Joshua is a black/white tuxedo kitty, and Daniel (who knocked him up) is orange and white, so we might get any combination of colors, too, which is super exciting!
  3. Visiting my Family – In February, I’ll be taking a trip back to my hometown, Flagstaff, Arizona. This’ll be my first trip back since my parents’ divorce, which’ll be a little weird, but I’ll get to see my mom’s new digs, spend some quality time with her, and then it’s off to California to spend time with extended family, including my two grandmas. It’ll also include spending my mom’s birthday at Disneyland. Bonus!
  4. RainbowCon 2015 – In July, we’ll be holding our second Rainbow Conference, and I’m already stoked. We have Alex Woolfson and Adam DeKraker as our guests of honor, and they’re the creator and illustrator of The Young Protectors, a web-comic featuring a gay protagonist and antagonist. It’s an awesome comic, and I can’t wait to have them and everyone else in Tampa for more panels, workshops, community, and fun! Now, if only I can get NOH8 to show up for a photoshoot. Fingers crossed! I’m working on it! I’ll also be talking to a bunch of local GSAs at the high school and college level to spread the word about the conference and also promote QUILTBAG awareness and get people to celebrate artistic diversity in their own circles!

 

 
It’s going to be a packed year at this rate, and the fun has only just begun. I apologize to everyone following the blog, since I totally fall off the wagon again and again. When you’re the marketing director of a press that is currently trying to close its doors, everything becomes much more important than your personal blog, y’know? Nevertheless, I’ll be making an effort to post a bit more often and perhaps write a little fanfiction or freebie flash fiction to keep my writerly juices flowing this year. It’s time to get back into writing after such a long hiatus. Saundra and I have more than enough ideas, just little oomph to get them down onto paper. Here’s to getting to a place during 2015 where that isn’t the case!
 
I hope you all will join me on along the way. Thanks for being here thus far. <3

Memo Mondays: R.I.P. Robin Williams

August 11, 2014
Rest in peace, Pan the Man.

Rest in peace, Pan the Man.

Memo Monday: Stop Gendering Shoe Colors!

July 28, 2014

Memo Monday - 2014-07-28
 

(For those interested, read this article about ‘When Girls Started Wearing Pink’. Thanks, Smithsonian. ^_^)
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