- My debut novel, COTTONMOUTHS, will be published in Spring 2017 by Skyhorse. WHAT?!? What a crazy and fantastic week. Got lots of book love from various friends both online and off, and that was amazing and wonderful. Feeling grateful. Very grateful. And also gif-stormy. My girlfriend and I celebrated in the way we know how: by eating. Cornbread, pimiento cheese, ribs, collard greens, mashed potatoes, chocolate bourbon pecan pie, and Malbec (because classy).
- Attended my dear friend Jennie Wood‘s opening night party of her Flutter art exhibit at the Aviary Gallery in JP. I had the opportunity to meet her colorist (graphic novel, not hair), Chris, and he is cool and from Alabama. We compared notes. As usual, my southern youth is not like anyone else’s southern youth — the closest is Jennie and that is why we are hella tight.
- Also at the gallery, we had our bi-annual Novel Incubator party, where all 6 (!!) years came together to mingle and catch up. Beyond thrilled for a Year 5 Incubee, who announced that he has signed with an agent who LOVES his manuscript. And I was able to tell an incoming Incubee from Year 6 that she can use my southern LGBTQ book as a comp for her novel — because adult southern LGBTQ comps are hard to come by. Also told her to come over for dinner and eat Mississippi roast and skillet cornbread because we take care of our own and she’s probably all, “whooooooa, lady, slow your roll.” But I have a tendency to want to adopt cats and young gay writers, especially if they’re southern.
- I’m reading We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge and I fucking love it. She was also a presenter at this year’s Muse and the Marketplace conference (which I have yet to blog about, but it was a fantastic experience). I wanted to meet her, but never had the opportunity. At the Grub Gone Drag event, she read from her novel in a short, grey skirt with the word “Babe” written all over it. Amazing.
- Hair trauma. Story of my life. But at least it’s not as devastating as when I was younger. My life changed when I learned about gel — and one of the main reasons I wanted to get a job at 16: to buy as many bottles as possible. I had no idea my hair was naturally curly. I even got a perm a couple of times because I thought I had waves — crunchy, straw-like waves. Not so much. Just needed gel. But it remains a challenge, even when you go to a hairdresser (even those who specialize in Deva cuts; they don’t understand). Once, I had to get my hair done for an event and the hairdresser told me my hair was dry as the desert. Then he proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t do anything with my hair other than straighten it because WHY DID I RUIN HIS ENTIRE DAY WITH MY CURLS? What an asshole. I wanted to cry like I’ve done in the past before, during, and after going to the salon, but it was my friend’s big day, so I decided to be a big girl. Felt like shit the whole day (confidence is 90% hair for me). So yeah, hair trauma. But I’m sitting here with mayo on my head under a Rizzo-style cherry shower cap to soothe my tresses and writing a blog post after having announced the publication of my debut novel, so screw that guy.
- Sunday runs are hard af. I run three days a week. The other days are more like a nice jog. Sundays are when my girlfriend kicks us into high gear and tries to make us performance athletes. I am so not an athlete. But I do okay as long as there’s no one around to hear me literally wail as I reach the end of our run. Running is like writing, which reminds me I need to read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I have no natural talents other than patience and tenacity. Like finally publishing my debut novel after many years at the grind, I assume that if I stick with running for another 10 years, I might be able to make it to the end of my run with quiet whimpering vs. wailing.
- I also woke up last night biting my tongue, which had grown numb. There must be some sort of psychological meaning behind this.