Taking Questions about Polyamory and Kink

As you may have heard, my next book Polyamory and Kink will  be out July 31st. (Or there-about for the paperback, because Amazon is annoying like that.) Anyway, for the first time in a long while, I’ve managed to actually do some marketing  for a book.

(Hey, look at that! Practically a real author, nu?)

Trying to keep going with a good thing — I’m going to do a bit of Q&A.

First, I’m inviting questions about the book on Twitter and Fedi from when this post goes like until 7pm ET.

Second, I’m inviting questions on polyamory and kink generally on Quora. I’ll have my A2As open for polyamory and kink until tomorrow morning.

(It may take me some time to reply to folks —  spooniess+kids+family shit going down [in a good way]. But I’ll get to everyone as quick as I can!)

 

Polyamory and Kink LAM Interview

The next Polyamory on Purpose guide, Polyamory and Kink will be out July 31st. A couple weeks ago I had a chance to sit down and chat with Daniel Cardoso about the book, my writing process, and a bit more. The London Alternative Market was good enough to feature that discussion in the June LAM Live. LAM is a market for kink vendors with some educations events attached, and they stream their monthly events. Or at least they do since COVID — not entirely clear on that.

Unfortunately, a ball got dropped somewhere and I didn’t get the link for the livestream. However, Daniel was able to share with me the youtube video LAM made of the June livestream.

Available for pre-order on Amazon and other etailers. Publication scheduled for July 31, 2020.

If I have the spoons (unlikely at the moment) I’ll sit down at some point and transcribe the interview. In the mean time, you can listen to it here.

LAM had some other interesting discussions going, so if you have time, check them out as well!

Like it says on the front, this is a book about polyamory and kink. More specifically, this is a book about adding kink to your polyamorous relationships.

Whether you are curious about kink yourself or have a partner who is entering a kink relationship and you want to know what to expect, this book will cover the bases. Including

 — what is kink

 — healthy vs unhealthy kink

 — how kink will impact other relationships in the polycule

 — how to find and connect with kinksters

 — polyam and kink culture clash (and how to avoid it)

Donation Pledge: Supporting The Okra Project

The world is pretty fucked up. Some of us are just realizing how fucked up it is, but some have been trying to survive the fuck up for a long time now. Black trans folks are among those hit hardest by the FUBAR that is our world.

For that reason, for the next 3 months I will be donating 10% of my book profits & Patreon pledges to The Okra Project.

The Okra Project

The Okra Project is working to bring food — specifically “free, delicious, and nutritious meals” to black trans folks who are food insecure.

You can read the details on the website. They have several different initiatives going, and they are all pretty cool.

But why not donate to…?

There are literally hundreds of organizations I could donate to right now, all doing amazing and necessary work. I picked the Okra Project partly because they really are doing good work that should be supported. But partly in the spirit of tzedakah.

Tzedakah is a Jewish term that is usually translated as ‘charity’, but would be better translated as ‘responsibility’. We all have a responsibility to our communities. We need to give b ack to our communities. And the highest spirit of tzedakah is to give without knowing, without judging, give to the first person you see because you don’t know who needs most and it isn’t your place to judge.

My family tries to give tzedakah each month. We give to the first person who asks, whether it’s a go fund me drive or a personal plea or whatever.

I had to idea to do this pledge, but didn’t know who to give to. I was spinning myself into a meltdown trying to Google this, and remember that… when a call for donations to The Okra Project came across my feed.

So, tzedakah.

Going Forward

I’m not sure what I’ll do after 3 months. I’m leaning towards finding another org to donate to for the next 3 months. There are, as I said, so many orgs doing so much good work.

In the mean time, Polyamory and Kink is up for pre-order on Amazon and a couple other etailers. Now’s a good time to check it out.

Some Fun Short Reads

Last week was a really bad week for many folks, for many reasons. I want to give all of us a chance to relax a bit. So I’m diving into my mason jar file and sharing some fun and interesting shorts. I’m putting these 5 snippets into public domain, so if you are a creator, feel free to have fun with them.

These were all written as part of ‘writing sprints’ where we were given a word and 15 minutes to write.

I hope you enjoy.

Airship — steampunk
Expelled — original world fantasy
Perplexed — contemporary fiction
Space junk — space fantasy
Spark — urban fantasy

 

Airship

Captain Haru Nagatsumi stood in the bows of his airship and enjoyed the feel of the wind in his face for the first time in 10 years. He’d first gone to England with one their cultural exposés, then found himself falling into the employ of the Count of Ambrey. Then he fell into the Count’s bed. With the Countess’ full approval. The affair, if he could call it that, had lasted three years, and every day of those three years he’d known it would someday end. Until three weeks ago.

Three weeks ago, Cherville had actually put down the newspaper at breakfast and out of nowhere said, “Look, old chap, you have to know by now that if it weren’t for the damnable law, I’d ask you to marry me. Since I can’t, the least you can do is take me home to meet your parents.”

Emelie was coming in from the kitchen with a plate of scones. Putting one on his plate she added, “Take us home, you mean.”

“Of course, dear.”

Haru fell out of his chair.

Remembering the scene, he smiled and muttered under his breath, “Damn all Englishmen and their stiff upper lip!” It turned out that Cherville had already bought a large airship for the trip, which brought Hoku back to the present moment.

“Cap’n!” a call came from the crows nest, “Ship a-port!”

Expelled —  original world fantasy

“Out.” That was all they said, and suddenly Danne found himself ejected from the only home he had anymore. He had gone to the headmaster, hoping to plead for another chance. But the door refused to admit him.

He hadn’t meant to blow up the alchemy classroom. It just…happened. Just like he hadn’t meant to frighten all the pegasi when it was his turn to groom them. Or turn all the food rancid while helping make dinner. And he definitely hadn’t meant to put invisibility powder in the laundry instead of soap. Who leaves invisibility powder sitting around the academy laundry room anyway?

It didn’t make any difference. After three years and fives of mishaps, they were done with him.

With nothing else to do, Danne wandered down the dirt road that ran past the academy. Sooner or later he’d come to a town—though he seemed to remember it had been a long way from the last town to the academy when he came here. NMIMY– No Mages In My Yard—was te popular sentiment in Carolia. And given his own mishaps, Danne couldn’t exactly blame them. But he’d need somewhere to sleep for the night…

“Are you done wallowing yet?” A voice squeaked in his ear.

“I’m not wallowing!” The little fire demon had started following hi around his first week at the academy—and for some reason never left.

“Sure, sure. Cheer up. I didn’t think we’d make it out of there alive. It’s a good day.”

Danne flicked the creature off his shoulder. A moment later the scent of scorched hair told him it had reappeared on his head.

“Yup, clear sailing from here. Gotta say, I’m impressed you stuck it out that long. Most cadets don’t last six months after management decides to get rid of them.”

Perplexed — contemporary

Marie’s eyes narrowed as she saw Paul and a strange woman laughing and holding hands outside the movie theater. She stormed up to them and slapped him. Hard.

“What the hell!” Hand to his face, he growled at her, “Marie, what is your fucking problem.”

“Fuck you,” she said, “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. My sister is marrying you next week and you have the fucking balls to be out at the movies making kissy noises with someone else?”

The woman beside him suddenly started laughing. After a moment, Paul joined her.

“What’s so funny,” Marie demanded.

“Ah…” Paul’s laughing trailed off, “You know, I was sure this was gonna bite me in the ass, but I’m not allowed to tell you.” He shrugged a bit uncomfortably, “Call your sister and she’ll explain.”

And they just started walking off. Marie stared after them in shock.

After a moment she pulled out her cellphone, speed dialed her sister, “Sis, I’m really, really sorry, but I gotta tell you. I think you need to call of the wedding. Paul is cheating on you… Yeah, yeah I’m sure. I saw him coming out of the movie theater making kissy face with some stranger… you mean you knew about her?… I… yeah, I guess we can talk later… I int erupted your DATE- but Paul was just… your boyfriend… BUT YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!”

Space junk — space fantasy

The aging satellite had circled the small green and white planet for millennium. It observed the rise of a dominant species, evolving for primitives bands to stone cities. The domestication of animals, the beginning of organized war.

Its masters, presumably, received the reports it beamed back, but no response ever came. It circled on, becoming erratic and unreliable. Micro pitting damaged its processors, batteries ran down and, as the solar cells lost alignment did not recharge.

More years passed, the civilization below continued to evolve. Finally the satellite stopped working entirely. It floated in space, an unusable collection of circuits and metal. Without rockets to stabilize its flight, its orbit degraded—a long, slow fall to the planet below.

Berchad was plowing his field, getting ready to plant the mage-touched rhubarb seeds. He ignored the flash of fire high above. The High Mage and Regus-the-Bastard had been fighting for a week already. He figured they’d still be going at it come harvest time.

If he’d looked up, he might have had some warning of the pile of molten metal which was about to crash into his just-planted turnips.

Spark — urban fantasy

Sometimes the most important things are small. Like the spark that lights a wildfire, the world is rewritten by the smallest chance.

“John, come take a look at this,” Sarah called from across the room. I took off my VR headset and leaned over to see her workstation without standing up. Rows of blotches on a dark background covered the screen.

“DNA from some of the stiffs?” She was frowning at the image and jabbing at keys.

“Do you have to call them that?”

Honestly, I wasn’t paying much attention. She’d interrupted my game. “So what’s the big deal?”

“Get off your butt and see for yourself. And stop calling them stiffs.”

I sighed and humored her. “Why not, they ar– What they hell?”

If you don’t know DNA, you wouldn’t have seen anything. Just blobs like some freaky modern art piece. Unfortunately, I knew DNA. I ran my finger down the screen, mostly to give myself something to focus on. “No way. No way this comes from the stiffs.”

She hit me. “Its logged. The samples are good, no contamination, clear chain of custody. These are the DOAs brought in this morning.”

“Look, Sarah, we’re supposed to be looking for what killed them, make sure it isn’t a new ebola or what not, maybe a virus got mixed in?”

She shook her head, and tapped her nail on the damning stat from sample 6. “A virus with 10,000 base pairs more than human DNA? This isn’t contamination, John.”

I stared at her, she couldn’t be saying…. “It has to be contamination, otherwise this stiff–”

“Isn’t human.”

Ah fuck. I knew, right then, I was screwed. The WereKing was so going to blame me for this.

Queer Twelfth Night and My Writing Process

You may have seen the poll I through up on social media a couple weeks ago. I was curious to see what interest, if any, there would be on my three ‘back burnered’ fiction projects.

It turns out, way more than I expected. And as I alluded to in the poll, I’ve now picked my next fiction project.

Queer Twelfth Night

A novelization of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (or What You Will) where Viola/Cesario is a trans man and realizes it while disguised as a man and hiding in the court of Duke Orsino. From there very little changes in the actual story. I swear, if Shakespeare had been INTENDING to write a secret gay romance that he could stage in Elizabethan England, he couldn’t have done a better job. Given the evidence that Shakespeare was gay or bi, he might have done just that.

The poll wasn’t the deciding factor (in fact, the poll still hasn’t finished as I write this). The poll was actually meant to help me eliminate options — if there was one option that no one was really interested in, I wouldn’t write it this year.

What decided me was mainly that I’m expecting this to be a novella instead of full novel. I just have a feeling that by the time I start making What You Will (Shakespeare was practically inviting folks to apply their own headcanon with that one!) I’ll be ready for a lighter project.

Oh. Duh! In a month or two I’m going to make Abuse in Polyamory my big focus.

Yeah, my instincts were right on that one. After writing (and while editing!) that one I’m REALLY going to want something light and a bit silly.

Anyway, yeah. That’s the upcoming.

My Writing Process

It seems like a good time to explain how my process works, and why I’m worried now about a book I won’t start writing until next winter.

This is actually a process I’ve been working towards for over five years, but only managed to get working in the past year. Well see how long I can keep it going, yah?

Anyway, I try to have three projects going at once — one in research/outline phase. One in writing phase. One in editing phase.

Right now, Polyam and Kink is in editing. Okay, technically editing is over. For this purpose, ‘editing’ is an umbrella term for editing, design, and publication. It’s scheduled to be published July 31st.

Planting Life is in writing. I’m behind schedule, but since I finished the actual editing on Polyam and Kink early, I have time to catch up.

And Abuse in Polyam is in research and drafting. I’ve actually got about 3,000 words written on it. Sometimes I’ll be working on the outline and the words just grab me and I end up with one or two sections of the outline written.

Rotate!

After Polyam and Kink publishes (and if I finish writing on schedule), Planting Life will move to editing phase and get sent out to beta readers. I’ll start actively writing Abuse in Polyamory.

And I’ll need a new project to start outlining and otherwise prepping for.

That project will be What You Will.

Long Term

If I can keep this going, I can reliably put out 2 books a year. Right now I’m trying for 1 1/2 hours a day writing. Trying, because my writing time isn’t AT ALL reliable — like, I didn’t really get started on Polyam and Kink until mid September last year. And frequently need to miss single days or weeks due to kids, mental health, etc etc.

But the fact that I’ve had so many missed writing days this past year and still kept on target is WHY I think I’ll be able to keep this going for the next while.

I have tentative (very tentative!) plans to get up to four writing hours a day. If I can do that, I can bump my books to three a year and have time for writing short stories again. Which would be nice. Or maybe that book about being autistic I’ve been toying with on and off for a couple of years. Or… hell, lots of options. Including just upping my output to 4 books a year. I’ll be more than doubling my writing time, so why not double my books?

But that is for the future. At least several months in the future, possible several years, depending on how things play out.

Publishing Schedule For 2021

With Polyamory and Kink almost ready for it’s July 31 release, I figure it’s time to look ahead. Such as setting a (tentative) publishing schedule for 2021.

Planting Life in a Dying City

This is the iffy part of the schedule. I’m confident of my ability to stay on track with the Polyam on Purpose books (barring major life craziness). But the fiction… well, we’ll see.

Anyway, I’m on track to finish WRITING Planting Life by July 31, and hope to be releasing it July 31 of 2021.

Planting Life in a Dying City is a bronze age original world fantasy (very light fantasy, tbh). You can read a draft of the first chapter here.

Abuse in Polyamory

Abuse in Polyamory will be out July 31, 2021. Yes, you may be seeing a pattern here. Yes, that is intentional. Fingers crossed I can hold to it.

After my experience with Polymory and Kink this past year I’m confident that as long as my writing schedule doesn’t get disrupted for multiple months in a row I can get this one out on time.

As usual with my Polyam on Purpose books, the title kind of says it all.

Cheat the Schedule

If you want, you can cheat the schedule by becoming a Patron. $1 Patrons get to read my two active projects as I write them, higher level patrons get access to more.

Time to Round Up Beta Readers…

It looks like I’m on track to finish drafting Planting Life by the end of July. Possibly/probably earlier. Which means I will soon need to be sending it out to beta readers.

Unlike some authors, I don’t have a dedicated group of beta readers. I’d like to, but when my books range across so many subjects… well, not everyone is going to be interested in everything I write. In fact, MOST people aren’t going to be interested in everything I write. And that’s okay, but it does leave me scrambling for beta readers.

However, it looks like I’ll be able to release two books a year for the next few years. Which means it would be really helpful to have folks I can reliably call on for beta reads, ya know?

So I’m putting out a cattle call, as it were. I’d like to get two groups of beta readers, 5-8 people each. One group for my fiction work, one for Polyam on Purpose books.

If you might be interested in being a beta reader, keep reading.

 What Do Beta Readers Do?

A beta reader is usually someone who reads over a finished manuscript for an author and critiques it so the author knows what to be fixed. (You might be asking, since there are beta readers, are there alpha readers? Yes, but mostly an ‘alpha reader’ is someone’s spouse, close friend, etc, who reads bits and pieces of the book as it’s being written.)

When a book is finished, I send it out to my beta readers to read and get back to me. I’ll usually ask for a one and a half month turn-around. That is — read the book, critique it, and get back to me within a month and a half (~45 days).

Fiction Beta Readers

Ideally, fiction beta readers for my work will enjoy a variety of types of spec fic, not be squicked by kinky stuff (not in all my work, but can be pretty heavy when present), and like character-focused stories. Expect queer themes, aromance ‘romance’ plots, autistic and mentally ill characters, and polyam relationships.

Fiction beta reads will go out over the summer (ideally end of July).

Polyamory on Purpose Beta Readers

Should be polyamorous and interested in a variety of relationship topics. My PoP books have been all over the place. Previous topics included: pregnancy, home life, sex, and kink. Upcoming topics include abuse, raising kids, and mental health. At some point I’m taking a stab at mono/poly, might do something specific on autism and polyamory, polyamory while poor. Oh, and polyamory etiquette….

Like I said, all over the place.

PoP beta reads will go out over the winter (ideally end of December).

 

If you think you’d be interested in being a beta reader, drop a comment below or email me.

New Kinky Sword and Sorcery Project

In the course of editing and updating Polyamory and Kink, I hit a bit of inspiration in the section on Gor. Like a lot of folks, I see the appeal of Gor. It’s a fun kinky sword-and-sorcery idea. And for those of us in the Scene it offers a pre-built 24/7 TPE dynamic where you don’t need to come up with everything for yourself. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a dynamic that you can share with other people. An actual subculture, with all the awesomeness of finding a subculture where everyone shares your interests. Plus kink.

But Gor is, well, Gor. It’s a misogynistic bunch of not-particularly-good writing. In addition to the misogyny, it’s got a solid dose of racism and ableism as well. And the male supremacy, and gender binary-only schtick aren’t exactly subtle. As many folks who see the appeal of Gor, there are probably just as many who are turned off by that bullshit.

Anyway, I got to thinking that it would be awesome if someone wrote something like a queer, feminist version of Gor. And I got to thinking some more, and I got to thinking some more.

And eventually I thought

Mor

Mor is a collaborative writing project to create a world of kinky sword-and-sorcery, a queer, feminist kinky sword-and-sorcery. A website where a variety of authors will share their stories, all set in the same world.

For now, the site will have one new story a month. If enough authors submit enough stories, it will update more often. Eventually, I’d like to offer one new story a week.

Mor is an experiment. If there is enough reader support to start paying authors for their stories, it’ll be an ongoing thing. Ideally, I’d like to reach a point of having a forum or chat or something on the site for people to discuss the world, create their own characters, and generally have fun with it.

But start small, right?

The first story, Trevali’s Contract, is a safe-for-work introduction to the world. Other authors are invited to use it as a jumping off point for their own stories or create their own thing.

Readers are invited to come get a take, check out the Patreon, and subscribe, either to the posts feed or as a Patron.

I don’t have a lot of time and energy to put into this project right now. I want it to succeed, or I wouldn’t be doing it. But I can’t spend a lot of time time promoting it or rounding up authors and stuff. Whether or not it keeps going is up to you.

Like Gor but Mor: More Inclusive, More Accessible, More Ethical

Brief Updates on Lots of Stuff

It’s been a overwhelming month. Lots of stuff, both good and bad. Here’s the round up of what’s been going on with my various life goals.

My Bookshelf: I’ve started getting back responses from beta readers for Polyamory and Kink. As usual, the folks doing beta reads have some great comments and suggestions and pin pointed some areas I missed.

Old ‘Woman’: I’ve made some real progress in reliable self care. The 99 Coping Skills list is an awesome you should check out if you need self care ideas. I’m also doing better at staying in touch with family and friends and making progress on compiling my to-read list instead of just having a pile of books in various places. Also… last week was the anniversary of my mother’s death. Lots of thoughts, probably make a blog post next week.

Generational Home: There may be some very big news on this in the next few months. Dilip Numetor Amelia Chetana Waller, Michael and I will be going on a trip the end of February, and if all goes well our plans for living together will jump ahead several years.

The Farm: See above paragraph. If the February trip goes well, I’ll share some details when we get back. My indoor gardening is on hold until we know for sure what’s happening.

Cuil Press: Once Upon a Green Rose is out on Amazon, and for the first time we enroleld a book in Kindle Unlimited. We really don’t like the whole walled-garden thing Amazon has going, but we also want to make our books accessible and, you know, at least break even. So we’re experimenting. Green Rose will be in KU for 2 enrollment periods, then we’ll pull it and put it up on other booksellers.

As always, drafts of my books are available on Patreon.

So if you want to read Polyamory and Kink before next summer, become a Patron.