Those Are My People

Last night, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival sponsored a screening of Love Between the Covers, a documentary about the romance novel industry. After, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel of local romance authors answered questions about the genre, our work, and the business of writing.

Although excited to see the film, I went into the evening with my focus on the panel. Public speaking and all.

But the screening was first, so I settled in with my Diet Coke and  let myself enjoy the ride. The film was great. It was fun to laugh at the cliches of book covers, to feel a resonance with wonderfully talented women who are confident and successful, but still forced to defend their work on a daily basis.

And then…

Then Radclyffe was on the screen talking about a time when there were no romance stories for lesbians, about working to create that space in the genre. Seeing her included was exciting and empowering. Knowing the premise of the film, knowing she’d be in it, it was exactly what I expected.

But then…

Then there were shots of the Bold Strokes Books headquarters. There was footage of the BSB writers’ retreat and the Lonestar Lesfic Festival. I saw Carsen Taite, VK Powell, Ruth Sternglantz, and so many of the amazing writers I’ve gotten to know. People I respct and admire and call friends. 

My heart swelled in my chest, overwhelmed with a mixture of pride and affection. I liken it to that feeling when a member of your family accomplishes something extraordinary. In that moment, it struck me: These are my people.

It feels a little silly to say that, having attended GCLS and Women’s Week. I’ve spent time with these women, interact with them online almost daily. I already know that they’re my people. But this was something more.

Maybe it’s the big screen. Maybe it was being able to introduce myself as one of them in a setting detached from the cocoon of lesbian literary events. I’m not sure. There was something about it, though, and the warm and fuzzies are still with me. 

Countdown to Provincetown

In ten days, A and I will be en route to Provincetown for Women’s Week. General excitement has given way to complete giddiness. Why, you ask? Let me count the ways…

1) I adore Provincetown. It might be my single most favorite place in the world.

2) In anticipation of Women’s Week, we did not do our annual week in P-town this summer. I’m seriously overdue for ocean air and more gayness than I know what to do with.

3) Women’s Week is like the largest assemblage of lesbians anywhere.

4) I get to see a lot of the friends I made at GCLS this summer in New Orleans.

5) Rachel Spangler’s annual wiffle ball game. 

6) Getting to meet Radclyffe and the legendary Sandra Lowe. 

7) Catching up with our friends who will be celebrating their wedding anniversary on the Cape. (One of said friends is the proprietor of stonewall pottery. If you haven’t checked out the awesome handmade queerness, you should.)

All good reasons, right? Totally. But let’s be honest. It’s all about the book. Winter’s Harbor, which isn’t officially out until November, will be available for exclusive pre-sale through Bold Strokes Books. I get to read from it. I get to sign actual copies of it. At least a few people will buy it. 

This would be plenty great on its own, but it feels especially special given that Winter’s Harbor is set in Provincetown in the winter. Lia and Alex came to life in my memories of days at Herring Cove, romantic dinners at Ciro & Sal’s, and evening meanderings down Commercial Street. Getting to celebrate that story in Provincetown, in the company of so many readers and writers of lesbian fiction, is more than I could have ever imagined when I started writing it. Doing it with my partner–the woman who introduced me to Provincetown in the first place–officially makes it a dream come true.

If you’re going to be in P-town next week, I hope I see you. Here’s where you can find me:

Thursday: GCLS Reading and Author Chat at Sage Inn, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Thursday: BSB Author Meet & Greet at the Harbor Lounge, 5-7 p.m.

Saturday: BSB Reading at the Library, 1-2 p.m. and Signing at Recovering Hearts, 3:15 p.m.