I’ve met so many fantastic people, heard incredible stories…people, doing what we do. I don’t even know if I should presume to say this, but if you liked my book and you yourself have a book or any other creation within you that you have always wanted to complete, please consider putting it on the front burner! Don’t wait for someone to give you permission.
Writing a book was a lifelong dream, but it only happened when I sold the concept to AJ. It seemed presumptuous and egotistical and stuck up and improper to pitch myself that way, but in the end, AJ didn’t see that—he says he only saw commitment and determination. And Seasonal Velocities has changed my life. It has freed me from an enormous sense of doubt and inadequacy. I feel emancipated.
I wish and hope and pray that whatever unrealized project or secret goal you have bound up inside of you, that you whisper to it, give it a gentle nudge, and say, “I’m here to free you. Everything is going to be fine!” *HUG*
Peace, love, and revolution,
Last year, AJ and I decided to publish Seasonal Velocities. I wanted to put a book together that, frankly, was not the most familiar or definable work. It was mixed genre. There were speeches in it. One act plays. Poems. But AJ trusted me. I wasn’t doing this to be contrary; I was doing this because it was the best way to capture what I wanted to say. I had something very special I wanted to create; and there it was. I didn’t want to compromise my vision.
In the meantime, AJ was not in LA. Or in San Francisco. Or in New York. He was in Granite City, Illinois, a satellite town of St. Louis. He was taking care of his child and his very ill mother, and working with a busted computer and a part-time job. But he wanted to be a publisher, of work he felt could change the world. So his dream and my dream found each other.
It’s been rough; we’ve had to teach each other this publishing thing from ground-up. Bar codes, layouts, copyrights, the Library of Congress, dealing with Amazon…now onto Kindle. We finished the book before we realized most places wanted review copies in advance. We felt stupid many, many times. But here we are.
I am so grateful to be working with AJ and Trans-Genre Press. Sometimes it might be missing a bell or whistle. Sometimes there may be a glitch in distribution, or a bookstore might get impatient. But the press is honest. Real. There is passion and hope, and honesty and a lot of plain old labor behind this press, and Seasonal Velocities. If you know AJ well, you may know what he’s been going through. Otherwise, he’s not going tell; that’s not his style.
But next time you see AJ, or hear from him, seriously, tell him thanks. With all that he does, he always looked out for me, looked out for the community, and has treated our goals as his own.
This little press has come so far, and there is more to come. Thanks, AJ, for all the work you and Trans-Genre Press have done!
Wonderful news! Seasonal Velocities is a Lambda Award Finalist! It’s so rewarding; a lot of love went into this book. Thank you to everyone who has supported the press. If you haven’t already, please suggest Seasonal Velocities to your friends! :) Thank you, Trans-Genre Press!
FYI, it’s a beautiful selection of nominees. Too many names to mention. The Collection from Topside is there, Bear Bergman’s book is there, the dearly missed Cheryl B’s book, A. Finn Enke’s Transfeminist Perspectives are just a few. And gosh—I’m in there, too! Yay! Thank you again! Ryka
Gosh, writing and presenting Seasonal Velocities has been such an affirming and rewarding experience. Thank you, everyone who has supported me. Getting this all out wasn’t easy. I needed encouragement, and strength, and love. The existence of this book is a testifies that I have a wonderful community, full of giving.
In writing this book, the challenge was not just to get to the emotions, but to make sure the emotions didn’t just run away with the narrative—I want to give the reader my truth, but I also want to give my best craft and care. I learned some good things from my experiences, and I want to share them with my reader—not simply present my raw emotions, but to create something nurturing with them.
However, there have been some difficult spots…places where I feel misunderstood. Some of the stories may not seem to be about trans experience, or digressive. However, sometimes truth is not explicit, and that trans experience may not follow the most obvious social topography. I am trans, my experience is trans experience. But that experience can appear in unexpected ways—I hope this makes the book more reflective of my world.
More importantly, I have new respect for the power and responsibility of an author. Although everything I have written about has been done with a commitment to honesty, just because I wrote the book does not mean there are not other perspectives and viewpoints on the issues. I’m lucky I can write, and that itself can be unfair privilege. Also, the blend of writing as art and writing as journalism in this book is subtle. The book compresses and stretches my time and life, spans different relationships with different people—in retrospect, I would have done well to make that more clear, so people close to me aren’t hurt, or blamed for things they did not do. I vow to be more careful in the future.
All’s to say, I am growing and learning, and amazed and thankful that people have invested part of their lives in reading Seasonal Velocities. Since the book has come out, I have heard some wonderful reactions and read beautiful reviews. People have wanted to give me hugs, to share their stories. Some have cried on my shoulder. Some have come out. Some have told me that they will be writing, too. Thank you so much for letting my words into your lives. This is why I write. This is why I live.
Thank you, everyone who has stuck with me and this book. :D And thank you to TT Jax and Lambda Literary for their consideration and this review.
Thank you for recommending Seasonal Velocities as we all move forward from this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance. This year, here’s to finding not just good allies, but dear friends.
Thank you so much, everyone who has read, recommended, spoken about, supported, and encouraged Seasonal Velocities. It has been an amazing release cycle, and we owe this all to you. I am so grateful to you!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The more I tour, clearer that two things become—First, as a writer, I have more impact upon people and readers than I thought possible. It takes a stretch to understand that in the small press world, the people who encounter you are often a self-selecting readership, and are so grateful when they connect with a story, poem or book. It’s humbling to get feedback from across the country. I am so grateful. Thank you.
The second truth that has become more evident is even more important. One reader. Seriously—ONE reader who blogs or posts, or spreads the word to others about a book impacts an entire press. Small press world is not like Random House, where readers are thought of statistically. I track myself. AJ at Trans-Genre tracks everything. Tom Leger at Topside, ditto. If you like something and tell people about it, it matters.
I think that this is one of the less-publicized, but extremely important functions of small presses. They not only give power to writers. They also give power to readers. Say a book sells 500 copies. Seriously—that’s not a bad run at all. If one person blogs about it, and 8 people buy it for a reading group, or a teacher orders 25 copies for a class, that is a major major impact. As for that blogger—of course sie will be noticed, and perhaps sie may even get a review copy of the next book later.
Active readers, active writers, active publishers and editors all involved and engaged and enthusiastic. Darned good world, dontcha think?