First, BUY MY BOOK. Er, Story.
Y’all don’t know how long I’ve been dying to be the one to say that. If I had a dollar, for all the Tweets and blog posts and FB ads I’ve read… But let’s turn the page on that, shall we?
My short story, The Dog Days of Summer, will be included in the upcoming anthology Summer Sizzle. Hopefully on sale July 1, if the idiots in charge of it get it together.
Idiots in charge of it being, primarily, ME. *hangs head in shame*
It’s been something of a journey, learning how to self-pub an anthology – and FWIW, I will not be making any actual money off this one. All stories have been donated to benefit LARA, the Los Angeles Romance Authors Chapter of RWA, a non-for-profit organization that has given me and many other writers a big boost and support in our writing careers.
I enjoyed writing Dog Days, I threw some things in it that aren’t typically found in many romance stories, like a hero who’s shorter than the heroine, a ridiculously ugly and bad-mannered dog, and discussion of a common STI.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, and the other stories, which are amazing. (Maybe even leaving us a review? Pretty please with sugar on it?)
Second, I’m Giving an Online Workshop
August 2016: The Business of Writing 101
INSTRUCTOR: Beverly Diehl
DATES: August 8 – 21 (2 weeks)
COST: $30 (LARA members: $20)
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Most writers would rather enjoy a root canal than talk about business. And yet, sometimes both are necessary (and with a little humor, both can be made less painful).In this six-part, two & a half week online workshop, participants will learn the essentials of running their writing business successfully:
- A Douchebag By Any Other Name (why/how to choose a pen name)
- To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate (overview of different organization structures & the pros & cons of each)
- Poindexter, Your New BFF (Accountants – what they do that writers need, how to choose a good one)
- Avoiding the Death of a Thousand Paper Cuts (What forms need to be filed)
- Separate Ways (Basic principles of business record-keeping)
- It’s Never As Easy As It Looks On TV (How to choose an accounting software package)
- And more!
INSTRUCTOR BIO: Beverly Diehl has been supplementing her passion for writing romance and smutty women’s fiction with day jobs in the bookkeeping and accounting field for decades more years than she likes to admit. Since 2005 she’s been working in business management for a mid-size accounting firm in the San Fernando Valley, and serving as a QuickBooks Proadvisor©. She knows where the mistakes are made, since, lucky her, she gets to find and fix them. She’s also past Treasurer for the non-profit Words on Wheels (a children’s literacy program) and volunteers for the LARA Chapter of RWA.
I gave this class last year, and people really enjoyed it. I am refreshing and updating it, and look forward to sharing what I know about the business end that so many writers need to know.
Thirdly, I’m moderating two panels at this thing:
CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk about and treat sexuality. It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity.
Each panel I’m moderating and participating in includes medical doctors, psychologists/sexological body workers, and other sur-thrivers.
1) Beyond Surviving: Enjoying a Vibrant and Joyous Sex Life After Rape
They say that at least one in four women, and one in six men, either already has been, or will be, raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Yet talking about rape often seems taboo, even in sex positive communities, – who likes the “victim” label? In association with Sex Positive World, we’ll explore creating a safe space so that sexual assault can be talked about like other unpleasant, but certainly not “life-ruining” experiences. How intentional communities can help with shame or guilt. What are the kinds of things that a rape sur-thriver wants to hear from their therapist, families and loved ones?
We’ll discuss that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to rape and sexual assault. Those terms cover a very broad spectrum of experiences, from ongoing childhood sexual molestation, to longer term abusive relationships, to date rape and stranger rape, and each may need different approaches for healing. We’ll talk about making space to discuss rape or coercion of transpeople, of men by women, women by women, men by men, and to support those sur-thrivers. We’ll talk about the pain, guilt and frustration experienced by partners, and how we can support them through the experience.
We’ll share ideas, tools, and tips for reframing the experience to reclaim the genitals as beautiful and sexy and fun, including masturbation, self-compassion, therapy, BDSM, and reclaiming/rewriting the experience through rape reenactment.
2) Sex After (or During) Cancer Treatment? Hell, Yes!
While (too many!) people are still dying of cancer, more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer and LIVING. According to cancer.gov, almost 40% of American men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes, and the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached almost 14.5 million in 2014.
In association with Sex Positive World, this session looks to embrace enjoying a healthy, vibrant, and satisfying sex life, despite the bodily changes and challenges of a cancer diagnosis. We’ll debunk the myth that sex has to mean PIV (Penis-in-Vagina) or PIA (Penis-in-Anus), and explore the MANY ways to have very satisfying sex that don’t require an erection or penetration. We’ll touch on the role and benefits of masturbation for self-compassion, body-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. We’ll discuss toys, cushions, slings, lube, and sexual work-arounds. We’ll talk about the important role of loving partner(s) and friends, both during the initial crisis, and afterward, in helping to reclaim body image and sexual satisfaction. We’ll explore the role of humor, music, sexy photography, and other tips and tricks for being joyful before, during, or after treatment. We’ll also talk about the role of BDSM for sexual satisfaction.
“Surviving” cancer isn’t good enough. We want to thrive and enjoy our bodies, including sexually!
If you’re in or can get to Los Angeles in September for Catalyst, I would love to see you there. Early bird registration ends June 30.
And the last thing I’m doing…
Besides the day job, and girlfriend dates, and boyfriend dates, and trying to keep the cats from falling out windows, is I’m working on my cancer memoir. I’ve decided on the title:
Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll and a Tiara: How I Celebrated Life While Kicking Cancer’s Ass
I’ve outlined most of it and written some of it, and plan to use this photo, modified and cropped a bit, for the cover.
On June 15 I celebrated my one-year lumpectomy anniversary. I am feeling fabulous, happy, strong, healthy, and sexy, and so far, all my medical check-ups back that up.
People look at me like I’m a little insane when I tell them the year of having cancer has been the BEST of my life. But it’s true. My therapist tells me she has never seen anyone go through a cancer journey with a better attitude than me, so I decided to write it all out, and share it with the world, in the hopes that maybe there are a few nuggets or tips that will make someone else’s cancer journey a little easier. Even though sometimes I have doubts about “Who the hell do you think you are, anyway?” Or that I think it’s not that much to be proud of, since I only had Cancer Lite.
To that end, I am doing The Thing That All Authors Are Supposed To Do: I am starting signups for a newsletter. Click here to subscribe. You will notice and appreciate, I hope, that I did NOT subject you to one of those thrice-cursed pop-up subscribe boxes that never fricken go AWAY even after you’ve subscribed to the bloody thing.
After I get Summer Sizzle out, and get through the online class, and the memoir, and the Catalyst panels, I have a whole slew of sexy stories niggling at the corners of my brain. I can’t wait to flesh them out and share them with you.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog and want to read and review a .pdf of Summer Sizzle, please leave a comment.