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Reading at East City Bookshop for OutWrite’s “The Future is Queer”

OutWrite Presents “The Future is Queer”: An evening of queer speculative fiction. Readings from Sarah Pinsker, Craig L. Gidney, Day Al-Mohamed and Sunny Moraine. Moderated by Marianne Kirby.

I love love loved this entire event. The friendly outreach, the reminders, the fact that the bookshop took care to get in copies of our books, a well prepared moderator, awesome co-readers, and an AMAZING audience. This goes down as one of my most favorite author events ever. If OutWrite or East City Books ever asks for my support for anything, in a heartbeat, I’ll be there.

Just a few quick images from the evening. For anyone interested in reading the short piece I contributed to the evening, you can find it published at Fireside Fiction.

But the best and coolest thing of all….I’ve been memed!!!

 

 

Cool Firsts – Writer of the Week (and I learn about a couple of awesome poets – Katie Condon and John Brandon)

Okay, okay, let me take a moment and humble-brag…wait, it’s not a humble-brag, it’s just a brag. Actually, it is a cool “first” and not necessarily one that I would ever have expected but I’m someone’s “Writer of the Week.” That someone is Maudlin House. But more than that it was also an introduction to a press and some writers who I didn’t know and who, frankly, are amazing.

Maudlin House is a Chicago-based literary press which has the pretty cool tagline “times are hard but we can still write weird”. And in addition to their website, they’ve got a pretty active Facebook and Twitter page.

I’m pretty excited to be included with the awesomeness that is Katie Condon, a wicked cool poet whose work focuses on the intersection between family, religion, and sex—particularly the ways conservative religious ideologies obscure and manipulate the ways we understand ourselves as sexual beings. You don’t get much more subversive than that, right? If you get a chance, click over and read her poem, Praying Naked. It is one of those quietly disturbing pieces that is all the more powerful for the truth it imparts, a truth that is real for far too many young women in our society

And John Brandon, who is from just up the way in Baltimore. Almost in contrast, his poetry reflects his Christian beliefs, but is definitely  filled with imagery of the Romanticists, and as he says of himself, he “likes writing a lot of floral imagery into his work and has been known to stack nature-scented metaphors atop each other like skyscrapers.” That is very much in evidence in his piece Of Dog and Flower.

You can find out more about them (and me) at the Writer of the Week post. I’m still kind of squee about that. I made someone’s Writer of the Week! Squeeeee!

And if after all of that you’re interested in reading a bit more, one of my favorite pieces up at Maudlin House is from February, Five Different Ways of Doing Monday Morning. It is a fun story that is really more of an old “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

Special thanks to Benjamin Lee for inviting me and giving such a lovely write-up. 🙂 You rock.

 

New York Comic Con Panel: Where are all the Wheelchairs?

I know, I’m terrible about updating. It’s on my list for New Year Resolutions. Here’s hoping it sticks. 😉  In the mean time, below is just a collection of my random tweets, thoughts, excitement, and aftermath of speaking at New York Comic Con!

October 6 – On the road to New York Comic Con with my pass and a favorite action figure. Extra points if you can name both her identities. 😉

One of the things I began doing when I speak at conferences and conventions about disability and comics and publishing and media was start taking pictures. Why? Because I’d hear murmurs every so often of “Why do we need a “disability” panel?” or “Who would bother to go to that?”  If the audience was willing, I’d snap a quick pic and post it. Over the years, this has added up: Balticon, AwesomeCon, NYCC…and I anticipate it continuing. At least until I quit hearing the BS that people don’t want to hear about disability.

 

October 7 – For those wondering about the interest in #disability and #media at #NYCC let me show you THIS amazing audience. #DisabilityRepresent

 

October 7 – This is us speaking on the panel: Where Are All The Wheelchairs? 

Why are disabled roles so often played by non-disabled actors? Are certain disabilities not welcome in media? What can be done to give viewers a more accurate portrayal of people with disabilities? Join us as we answer these questions and more in an attempt to understand why the world’s largest minority is the media’s least represented. 

It’s a pretty awesome group: Jillian Mercado, model and activist; Maysoon Zayid, actress and comedian; Dominick Evans, filmmaker and activist (via Skype); Steve Way, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker; and me. 🙂 (And in case you’re wondering I was the “author and disability advocate.”  PS, I’m on the far left of this pic.

Afterwards, we continued the discussion in a nearby bar. 😉 That IS what you do at a Con, right? But one of the coolest things to come out of this panel, other than an awesome audience who had some great questions, was that it was written up in BuzzFeed! It’s kind of a rush to see your panel listed as “…one of the most throught-provoking panels at NYCC…”

 

October 12 – BuzzFeed article: People With Disabilities Say What They Want To See In Comics

Will Varner knocked it out of the park. Rather than just summarizing the panel or making assumptions BuzzFeed simply asked people with disabilities, “What do you want to see in comics?” And there were plenty of people with disabilities willing to tell them. Now if industry would be just as willing to listen.

PS BuzzFeed also took what is probably one of my favorite photos me. I never like how I look in pictures.