A Post Not About Books

DISCLAIMER: If you know me in real life, I’d appreciate you not sharing this post with anyone. 

2 weeks ago I had my first doctor’s appointment in entirely too long.

Between my anxiety, ADD, depression, and autism making appointments basically sucks. I’m not going to sugar coat it. There’s very few resources where I am for agender people, the only clinic specifically for trans people in my area has a waiting list that’s roughly 3 months long, which is a huge trans healthcare fail.

I finally got fed up with the whole scene, and called the doctor that was on the back of my never-actually-used-it health insurance card. I asked them if they did informed consent HRT for trans patients, and to my surprise they said yes. I had a walk-in appointment roughly 45 minutes after the first clinic told me about their wait list.

The paperwork was generic, and after that was done I was taken into another room to check my height [or lack thereof, I am 5’3″ on a good day while wearing shoes.] weight, and blood pressure. I was surprised to see that my blood pressure has gone down by more than a few points, though I suppose losing 50 lbs will do that.

The EKG made me kind of nervous, though it turned out all right. After that, I had to take a personality test to get through the “Yes, you do have ADD.” gatekeeping. That was simple enough, though I did botch a few questions due to the iPad I was taking the quiz on timing out. I could tell they were also screening me for bipolar, BPD, and anxiety with some of the questions. In the end, it told me nothing I didn’t know. I have anxiety, PTSD, depression, and ADD. Yep. Thanks, iPad test.

When my doctor finally arrived, I was pretty surprised. I didn’t know what to expect, but he was really friendly and respectful of my pronouns. When I said I wanted to take HRT gradually, he agreed readily–without pressuring me into another option.

After all of that, I basically gave him the rundown that I had already done my research on HRT–given that I’d been on it before. The clinic is informed consent, which meant that I vouched that I knew the risks associated with HRT, and legally consented to getting a prescription.

I got a ton of blood taken from a great phlebotomist, which was awesome. In the end, the doctor ended up prescribing me testosterone cream at a 200mg/ml concentration, estrogen blockers, and my ADD medication. He said that he’d like to see how my depression reacts to HRT, So far, I’m not feeling any different in regards to that, though this is probably more from stress then it is anything else.

As someone that’s agender, it’s hard to find doctors that aren’t terrible. Doubly so for someone that’s overweight. I wasn’t ever fat-shamed, and all of my bloodwork checked out amazingly, for what it’s worth. Also a good thing, I have to make a follow-up appointment in regards to testosterone pellets, or something to last for a few months until I get settled in New Zealand. Hopefully that will happen sometime next week or the week after.


Cover Reveal: The Mark of Noba – GL Tomas

I’m going to start this off by saying that I absolutely adore both Guinevere and Libertad. Seriously. When I heard they had written a book, I was thrilled. I actually was so stoked to announce this cover that I thought it was last week. Whoops. If I achieve time travel, though, it would be to bring you this awesome cover. For real. This is it.

Anyway, enough from me. On to the cover!!

The Mark of Noba Cover
The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series #1)
by GL Tomas
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 25 August, 2015

Blurb:
Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.

You can find The Mark of Noba on Goodreads

You can pre-order The Mark of Noba here:
Amazon

GL Tomas Author picAbout the Author:
Guinevere and Libertad go by many superhero aliases. Whether you know them by G.L. Tomas, the Twinjas, or the Rebellious Valkyries, their mission is always the same: spreading awareness of diversity in books. Oh, and trying to figure out the use for pocketless pants! They host other allies and champions of diversity in their secret lair in Connecticut.

You can find and contact with GL Tomas here:
Website
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Facebook book blog
Twitter account Libertad
Twitter account Guinevere
Twitter account YA book blog
Twitter account NA, romance and adult books
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Why is this a Thing Wednesday: RWA & THAT book

I have recently become twitter friends with the awesome Katherine Locke, a fellow q*eer author I really respect in this industry. As marginalized authors, we’ve got to listen to one another’s voices. I urge all of you to go check out Katherine’s twitter feed, along with that of the amazing Dahlia Adler for more insight as to why RWA is recently in some hot water with more than a few authors.

I’m not Jewish. I’m agnostic, even. Not my place to talk about this.

What I can talk about is why I’m no longer participating in #1LineWed. I looked forward to Wednesdays for a good long while now. That being said, I can’t, in good conscience, continue to tweet that hashtag knowing it’s supported by RWA. I love KoD. I love the people I’ve met from #1LineWed. I do. But if I stay silent and continue to partake in something that I know RWA runs, that’s not okay.

RWA has done some awful, nasty stuff with nominating this book and it’s not okay. To keep partaking in 1LineWed for me would effectively saying that it doesn’t bother me. That it’s okay for people to write terrible romance arcs about things that should, plainly–never, ever be romanticized. It does bother me. I have a lot of Jewish friends. Some of them are authors. Some of them aren’t. I can’t wrap my head around why RWA thought this book deserved to be nominated for anything.

I don’t know if RWA has released any sort of statement on this, redacted it, or anything like that. I’m not sure anything they say would make me feel comfortable enough to post #1LineWed again, knowing the anguish and horror this book has inflicted upon people in this industry that I respect and who are doing wonderful things for diverse literature. (UNDER THE LIGHTS is by far my most anticipated book of 2015) I can’t turn a blind eye when people you know are hurting. Not when other people are praised for creating things that hurt people I respect. That hurt authors that are already marginalized, still trying to make it in this industry with books that people already tell us, “Won’t sell.” because they have queer ladies in them.

(That’s a rant for another day, though.)

I urge you to reconsider participating in 1LineWed until RWA makes a statement about this that isn’t something like, “Welllll we know it sucks buttttttt….” and a lot of hand-wringing.

Please go read Katherine and Dahlia’s twitter feeds. Amplify the voices of those that are outraged about this book. They have more than enough reasons to be.

That Huge Announcement Post!!

There’s so much I want to say in this post, and I don’t really know how to say any of it. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Throughout high school, my poor friends (bless their souls) had to put up with me writing some of the strangest fanfiction known to humankind, while my parents had to deal with me writing on anything that was blank since I figured out how to write–which in and of itself was a feat, as I have dyspraxia and fine/gross motor issues that make my handwriting a disaster that violently slants away from the margins as if they were on fire. (+1 to me for a fire pun while having written a book called EMBERS.) Construction paper, their grocery lists, anything, really. My little brother put up with me writing him elaborate scripts we could act out, even. It’s a miracle I’m still alive with everything I put my family through while I honed my writing.

As the years went on, I kept writing fic, and I still do on occasion. I never thought I could write a book, though I’d written novel-length fic for years. The first few scenes of EMBERS weren’t even the beginning of the book, they’re somewhere in the middle. I had no idea where I was going to go with it, until I posted a tumblr post that people actually liked. That was confirmation for me that this was a good idea, that my idea for a book actually had merit. It got about 130 notes, but hey–it was enough. It was enough to inspire me to start outlining the entire story. To all of those 130 people and the GayYA tumblr for the awesome memes of excitement about EMBERS, thank you.

I started writing EMBERS in August, and I had a 50K rough draft done a month later. I would not be writing this today if not for the tireless efforts of my CPs, logline and chapter 1-5 editor Naomi Hughes (hire her please) and beta readers that also happen to be some of my best friends (that I didn’t even know before I started writing EMBERS, so I am blessed to have met Amelia and Dani on so many levels.), Amelia Lindsay, Dani, Rebecca, and my fiancee Elizabeth whose gorgeous illustration of Celosia and Ianthe never fails to make my day every time I look at it.

Seriously. Look at it. It's amazing.
Seriously. Look at it. It’s amazing.

Their feedback helped to shape EMBERS into the story it ended up being over the winter of 2014. I finally called it ‘comfortably edited’ in January, and began querying to smaller independent publishers that were specifically looking for NA fantasy with LGBTQ lit as a focus. For my first time out of the gate, I participated in PitchMas and had amazing success there. I sent queries to a few publishers, and got a few R&R requests. In the end, EMBERS didn’t find a home for the holidays, but that was okay.

I did a bit more work on EMBERS in February, and that’s when I started participating in CG’s #diversesff chats. As a gray asexual lesbian, I talked about a lot of things happening in LGBTQ lit that people tended to gloss over. I met a lot of amazing people in that hashtag, and CG has been a wonderful friend over the last 6 months, always encouraging and cheerful. Later in February, I got a few Twitter favs from a new publisher called Oktopus Ink that was specifically looking for NA fantasy featuring happy lesbians.

Let that sink in. Happy. Lesbians.

So much of QUILTBAG lit is M/M cisgender able bodied men written by cisgender women for their pleasure. This was discussed at length at HavenCon by panelist Stacia Seaman, and remains one of my top memories of 2015–that it was actually acknowledged that this is an overwhelming occurrence. Not to mention that she said most lesbians in fantasy end up dead. Which, again, true.

I want to make #NoFridgedLesbians a thing. It might already be one, though. Celosia, the main protagonist of EMBERS–is a lesbian. Her partner Ianthe is pandemisexual. As someone that is engaged to a woman on the asexual spectrum and a gray asexual myself, this was important to me. I haven’t seen very many happy lesbians in SFF lit, and I hope EMBERS will change that. Even less so lesbians struggling with PTSD. I have PTSD, and I found writing Celosia’s struggles to be very important, showcasing that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days–and that self-care looks different to everyone.

I hit it off right away with Emi London, the publisher and editor-in-chief at OI. She loved my query letter, and asked to see the first 5 chapters of EMBERS. After a bit of a wait, I got a full MS request, and sent EMBERS off in March. As April rolled around and I turned 30, Emi and I kept in touch. She told me that she was taking EMBERS to the Oktopus Ink acquisitions meeting at the end of March, and the rest, as they say–is history.

As of May 12th, I signed EMBERS to be published with Oktopus Ink as their first title. This is a huge honor, and I’m thrilled that I’ve found such an amazing group of people to work with. Emi, Sally, Feliza, and Monica are all just as excited about EMBERS as I am, and that means the world to me. With any luck, EMBERS will release in Spring of 2016. I’m so happy to work with such an awesome publishing team.

giphy

 

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I’ll have pre-order information for EMBERS up Soon(™), I promise.

soon owl

I wouldn’t be here without everyone’s support, at all. Thank you for all the #1LineWed retweets, the discussion in #diversesff, everything. I am beyond hyped to get this book into your hands, and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Learn How to Buy a Decent Laptop

laptop facing right with screen on
Laptops. Get one that’s not awful.

Buying a computer can often be difficult. There’s nothing worse than getting a laptop and finding it won’t do everything that you want it to do. When considering which laptop to purchase, be mindful of the tasks that you want your laptop to help you complete. A user that is editing video will have very different needs in terms of processing power, graphics, and RAM then someone who is just browsing the internet and writing email. Since I work in the ‘sell computers’ industry, I figured I’d offer some tips for those that might be less tech-savvy.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a laptop:

1. RAM matters. 6-8 GB of RAM will ensure that you have enough power to handle multi-tasking and having many applications open at once. The more, the better. Some laptops have up to 16 GB of RAM.

2. If you want to game, don’t cheap out. Graphics cards are important. If you don’t want to die from lag, consider a dedicated, rather than an integrated graphics card.

3. Do you need an optical drive? Many computers don’t come with one these days. External optical drives are around $35, and easy to pick up online.

4. Touch screens. A lot of laptops are 2-in-1 these days. If you think that’d be something you would use, definitely check them out.

Minor Update

Lots of good news on the horizon, hopefully. Working on SALT AND STEEL still, and outlining COMBUST. I turn 30 tomorrow, so I figure I might as well get as much accomplished as I can this year!

I recently realized that I am gray asexual and nonbinary (a change from IDing as bigender.) I still consider myself trans, as I experience severe physical and social dysphoria and have been on HRT before. There’s a lot going on in general, and I’m working through a lot of things.

Hopefully, my 30s are good to me.