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Lambda Awards Report: Still a Bridesmaid

Well, I lost again. I hadn’t intended on going to the Lambda Awards this year but at the last minute I got this idea for an acceptance speech so I made the trip happen on a whirlwind tour through NYC. I had a fun time putting together my look for the ceremony but I didn’t get to make my speech, which is a shame. As was the case with the last time I attended the awards, neither of the winning authors in the gay & lesbian erotica categories showed up to accept them. I’m like C’mon, Lambda: not only did I look fabulous, I had good things to say. I wanted to acknowledge the particular ability of porn writers, which is to make people cum through words. It’s a power I’m awfully proud of and which I take quite seriously. But it’s back to life, back to reality, and I’m glad about that. Awards are cute and all (even cuter when you win, I’d expect) but just doing the work is the real goal and its own reward. 

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I Moved to a Commune

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I moved to a commune a few months ago. I don’t know how much more I want to say about it. I’ve always been reticent when it comes to broadcasting details about my life online (that’s one way I show my age) and the place I’ve moved to also avoids media exposure. It’s a special place, for sure, but in another way it’s just like any other: people living with each other and trying to get along. My daily life varies but usually it’s some variety of writing, art-making and helping out with various tasks. I’m learning a ton. I’m also very much out of my element, which is a gift and a challenge.

I first came to this place five years ago and had the novel experience of feeling like I’d found “my people.” I’d never identified with a community before – not even the gay community, really – and it was intoxicating. I’ve come back several times over the years, and about three years ago I decided I wanted to live here.

It was not an easy decision. I’d lived in Pittsburgh since I was eighteen. I have deep friendships there, a support network, a family. I had to get rid of most of my stuff and move out of my beloved apartment. I had to quit the job I worked at for the last nine years. That wasn’t so difficult – I was pretty burnt out on it – but it did thrust me into the great financial unknown. The hardest part was rehoming my cats. I found a really nice guy on Craigslist who lived just a few blocks away from me and adopted both of them. It wrenched my heart out but I know I did right by them.

To complicate matters I fell in love about two years ago. I told him my plans from the outset so it wasn’t a shock when my time to leave came around, but it still wasn’t easy. We’re hundreds of miles apart but we talk almost every day, and the freedom and trust he’s given me to follow this dream only strengthens my love for him. I don’t know what’s going to happen – does anybody? – but I ain’t skeered.

I’m where I’m supposed to be. I grew up in a small town and I’ve always wanted to get away from the city again. I get to explore the connection I have with this community and learn some valuable life skills. I get to wake up every morning and do what I was born to do – write – and I’ll be able to do that until I need to make money again.

What I’ll do then is anybody’s guess. More than anything this experience has been a lesson in living life one moment at a time. For most of the past three months I’ve been living out of a tent. I never wanted that, but it was an opportunity – to fall asleep at night to the owls hooting, to wake up to the birds singing. I’ve tiled a bathhouse, shoveled shit out of composting toilet and helped build a staircase. I’ve also written. Nothing too significant, mostly cleaning up old projects that I hope to have out in the world soon.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

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Rainbow Book Fair

rbffinalicon_whitetext1I’ll be selling books and zines and other undefinable things at the Rainbow Book Fair this Saturday! I’ll be tabling with the fabulous writer and fellow Go Deeper Press author Dario Dalla Lasta. I love this event, it’s always a good time so if you’re in the New York City area come out and say HAYYY.

The Eighth Annual Rainbow Book Fair
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W. 59th Street (just west of 10th Avenue)
Saturday, April 09, 2016
12:00pm – 6:00pm

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New Ebook Alert!

serviceoriented_coverI put together an ebook with two brand-new stories. It’s called Service-Oriented and it’s out now.

Natty Soltesz, incomparable author of hot ‘n porny gay erotic fiction including the 2016 Lambda Literary Award nominated story collection College Dive Bar, 1 AM, presents two stories of sexual service:

Taking it for the Team: Coach will do whatever it takes to keep his team’s heads in the game. Including giving them head.

A Stepfather’s Responsibility: When life’s pressures bear down, where’s a young man to turn for some relief? No one ever said raising a stepson was easy…

Because I’m living in a place that’s not well connected, internet-ally-speaking, it’s hard for me to get the word out as good as I can about this one. But I think the stories are both pretty good and I hope you’ll be willing to plunk down five bucks to check it out. The unfortunate thing is one of them is an incest story, but to satisfy the market I’ve had to change that to a “stepfather” story. I hope to get a non-censored version of that story out in the world sometime soon.

I just quit my job to live on a commune! Buy my new ebook! On Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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Life Update

LammySeal-actualsize_2013-e1377558848107Okay, so, about two weeks ago I rehomed my cats, moved out of my apartment, quit my job and moved to a community in rural Tennessee. That’s a lot! To compound things, this community has no internet access and spotty cell service (no data connection). So. I am on some type of journey, which doesn’t involve a lot of connection to the outside world. But I will do my best to update things and share things as I can.

Like this – my most recent story collection, College Dive Bar, 1AM, was recently announced as a Lambda Literary Award finalist! That’s awesome. I like a little validation.

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New Story Alert!

pizzaguyHow many pizza guy stories have I written? Maybe only this one? I honestly don’t have a clue, but it seems like I should have written at least a few by this point in my life. At any rate, check out Meat Lovers, which was originally published in the Bruno Gmunder anthology Hired Hands.

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Favorite Movies in 2015

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I think the word that ties the following four movies together is “insidious.” (Incidentally, there was an “Insidious 3” that came out this year, but I didn’t see it (the first one sucked)). They get under your skin and feel like they could be, in time, deemed cult classics if not outright classics.

The Nightmare‘ – Seriously, fuck this movie. It has changed my life in negative ways. The whole reason I’m writing this list, on January 7, 2016, is because I had my first legitimate experience with sleep paralysis last night. The reason I had that experience is I couldn’t sleep, and I started thinking about this fucking movie. I willed it to happen. The whole movie is about the fact that it can will horrible nightmares into existence, and for that it has my utmost respect.

Crimson Peak‘ – Severely underrated and will get its due as a classic, in time (he says with authority). I saw this on an IMAX screen and man, what texture, what costumes, what color! Watched it a second time on a TV and the story held up – I really don’t understand the criticism saying the narrative is frayed or all over the place. I think it’s gripping and airtight. Also a lot of fun and most of all, fucking gorgeous.

Inside Out‘ – Will this movie influence the way an entire generation perceive themselves? That’d be pretty crazy. It definitely rearranged my brain for at least the couple of days after I saw it.

It Follows‘ – Saw this one twice and could not get it out of my head. Loved the dreaminess of it more than anything, the out-of-time, out-of-place retro styling. Great score. Just an altogether original movie with a premise that didn’t make any sense to me when I read about it. It hits on a specific, post 9/11 type of anxiety: that no matter how much you relax and tell yourself that everything’s fine, there’s always something new and horrible coming around the corner.

Honorable mention: ‘Marfa Girl‘ – I’ve written about this one before. I’m a little iffy about putting it on the same tier as the previous four movies, but I want to give it some love cause it’s underrated, batshit insane, and totally worth watching.

Dug em: ‘Amy’, ‘The Martian’, ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’, ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’, ‘Welcome to Me’, ‘Magic Mike XXL’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Nasty Baby’, ‘Iris’

Haven’t seen but my camp-value hopes are high: ‘By the Sea’, ‘We Are Your Friends’, ‘Jem and the Holograms’, ‘Stonewall’

Want to see: ‘Carol’, ‘Spotlight’, ‘Anomalisa’, ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’, ‘The Forbidden Room’, ‘Ex Machina’, ‘The Gift’, ‘Maps to the Stars’, ‘The Visit’, ‘Love’

Hopelessly cynical sentence I refrained from tweeting about ‘Star Wars’ on its opening weekend: “Enjoy your market-tested and approved movie-product, nostalgia whores.”

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