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New eBooks, New Covers – Strange Flesh Press

These are the first ebooks that Strange Flesh Press (SFP) will be publishing. I hope these covers and the downloads (coming soon) will serve as guides for what SFP is looking for and how we can develop authors’ works.

These first stories are my works, most published previously in print anthologies. For these ebook versions, I’ve revised and re-edited. With their inclusion in print anthologies, I was usually constrained is some way I didn’t like. Now, I can do it my way!

Look for these works to be available for download soon. Next step is working out the kinks with ebook conversions and download vendor software.

Strange Flesh Press

summer

Do You Know What I Did This Summer?

Summer is half gone. What do you have to show for it? A lot? Nothing? If you’ve gotten nothing done, I applaud you. That’s what summer is for.

I don’t think of summer as a productive time usually. In fact, I don’t want it to be productive. I usually look forward to hanging out, tanning, swimming, playing with my kids. But my summer looks like this:

  • a digital press nearly ready to accept submissions
  • enough personal training clients to keep me working every day
  • a 90-day diet program tested
  • my first Health Fair for my personal training studio
  • new swag designed and ordered for my studio
  • new workout routines with Crossfit and GRIT
  • not missed my networking and writers group meetings
  • finished another book of intermediate piano
  • edited two stories for publication
  • wrote 10 or so posts
  • got a bit of a tan
  • lost 5 pounds

Yes, I’m seeing lots of productivity this summer so far. But I miss my kids. We hang together every day doing our own things, but we still have crafts planned and Iowa fairs to attend!

I’m an all-or-nothing sort of person.  I often plan to do something once or for a little while, and find it’s my new career. I need to remember this inability to limit myself when I say, “Sure, I’ll do that thing you want” or “Sure, I’ve got a few hours on Sunday with no plans, so let’s start a digital press.”

In my networking group (a weekly lunch meeting with other entrepreneurial  women), we were discussing how we have learned to say “no”. Most of us confessed we haven’t. But those boundaries are important!

Thing is, I rarely say yes because I feel I must or feel guilty if I don’t. I just like to DO stuff. New things, new people, new ideas. I’m pretty sure this is the expression my mid-life crisis is taking. I was kinda hoping for an illicit affair with a woman half my age, but no such luck.

Saying “no” will be my new project for the summer. I’m sure if I put it on my agenda, it will get done.

old-man-in-chair

Watching the Street

There’s this old man at the end of our block.

He sits in a lawn chair in his open garage and watches the street for hours during the day. Then at night he walks around the neighborhood. Every time I see him, I think, Jesus Christ, do something, Man! Aren’t you bored?

But he’s probably not.

Sometimes, I wish I weren’t so excited about creating stuff.

In the last ten years, I’ve written nearly a hundred short stories. Some I submitted for publication. Some of those were accepted. Some of those were published. That leaves a lot of fiction laying around my computer.

Even those stories that were contracted and edited weren’t all published due to the unfortunate demise of a few presses.

Today, I reread one of those stories I vaguely remembered and was excited by it. It’s lovely to read something you don’t remember, especially when you can’t put it down and think to yourself, “Wow, I wrote that.”

I’m trying to prioritize at this point. I have so many irons in the fire–so many things I want to do and creative projects in process. Just this morning it occurred to me if I weren’t so busy with so many creative projects, I’d be having more sex with more people. Is this what it’s come to?!

So, maybe when my creative life and sex life fade away, I’ll find hours to sit and watch the street like that old man.

Maybe then I’ll want to.

showdown

Which Would You Rather Eat?

Burn out from code this weekend, so I created this fun showdown over at Strange Flesh Press. I pulled a few dozen lesbian characters and desserts and matched them randomly. You decide, Which Would You Rather Eat?

Lesbian-Showdown

 

Showdown is a cool plug in for Wordpess. A few issues with the count resetting by itself (seems random), although I’ve set to keep counts forever.

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Birth of a Press Redux – The Catch 22

Yes, I lost that last post that was up here for a few days. It happened because I had to go through a database restore and my last backup was four days ago. Anyways…the post was about publishing with Smashwords, which I like a lot. I have two stories over there now from the Darklaw series. But that’s not what I wanted to chat about today.

I’m in the midst of creating a digital press. In case you didn’t know, it’s called Strange Flesh Press. The design and business end of things are proceeding smoothly, if slowly. A lot of decisions there. A lot of design and sharing of my SSN and EIN. A lot of decisions about ebook formats and shopping carts and credit card services. But that’s not a problem. That’s just the process. Here’s my problem:

So, if you start a press, you need to request submissions. How do you request submissions without first having books to show what kind of writing you’re looking for?

I’ve seen other presses do this primarily by publishing the owner/editor’s work. Many digital presses appear to be started by authors. I’ve not had good experiences overall with small presses. (I’ve written about that elsewhere.) I attributed that to the fact that authors don’t often make good business owners or editors. I’m already a business owner, and I have already done way too much editing in my life. I’ll be happy to hand off that work as we get more staff on board. Currently, we have a staff of 2!

In my opinion, it’s a conflict of interest for a press to publish their staff’s work. Many presses do this, but pseudonyms hide that fact. Because we need to start somewhere, I’ll publish a few of my stories that fit the venue, and you’ll know they’re mine. This will be a place to start.

So having made that decision, I was over here at this website poking around the back end with some of my stories and deleted things. Hence, the restore.

Fortunately, in addition to the 8 other jobs you may know I already have, I spent about 15 years as a web designer & database developer.

By the way, go fill out the survey I created for readers of lesbian erotica!

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A Survey For Readers of Lesbian Erotica

Do you read lesbian (F/F) romance, erotica, or erotic romance? Share your experience and opinions and you could win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. You can take the quiz here on my blog or at this link: Lesbian Erotica Reader Survey

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

bored-teresa-wymore

If You’re Bored, You’re Also Boring

This week in Teresa was so damn busy, I had to pause and try to remember what “boredom” looks like. Because I saw some posts today from people who said they’re bored. Yes, bored.

You may not be able to do the 8-5 job you prefer, but you can make the rest of your time your own. And if there is one thing I discovered during tax season this year (I helped out a friend who is an accountant), it’s that EVERYONE has a second or third job. Sometimes they are just hobbies and sometimes they have grown into more. But you won’t know if the fire will burn until you light that match.

In any case, do stuff. Really. Just do stuff.

If you wonder why you’re bored it’s because you’re a passive watcher of other people doing stuff. For example, if television is your nightly habit and your daily conversation is what happened on last night’s episodes, you are BORING. 

Volunteer to help at a school–recess, reading, holiday party. Join one of your church’s lay ministries. Start a new hobby–find a painting studio, piano or a guitar teacher. Start blogging–free sites at WordPress.com and ideas at klout.com among a zillion other places. Start a side business–find an MLM that sells a product you’re knowledgeable about like jewelry, cleaning, beauty products, health food. Best of all: join a gym…and use it!

I’ve done all of those things over the last five years (yes, even running a lay ministry). Besides my #1 favorite full-time job of mom, I work for the school system and I’m a certified personal trainer. Occasionally, I design and sell my own t-shirts, design logos and websites, and write and sell short fiction. Recently, I opened my own digital press (which may become the most demanding of all those things so far).

Five years ago, I was fat and angry. Today, I’m healthy, filled with excitement, and fun-loving. Becoming active was a step-by-step process because I was unhealthy,  had two babies, and am a natural introvert. And I also dropped some people from my life who had once been important but who were, I came to see, emotional parasites invested in keeping me as unhappy as they were.

Life is Big.

Now, the more things I try (and sometimes fail at or leave behind) and the more people I meet (some I click with and some I don’t)–the more I realize how much there is out there.

And I wonder, how can anyone be bored?

Crossfit-Camille-Leblanc-Bazinet

Why Do You Hate Crossfit?

So I came out of the closet yesterday. You know I tend to be TMI. Well, now you know not only my bedroom habits but my exercise habits.

I’ve been reading and talking to true believers about Crossfit (CF) for a few years–almost since the day I went Paleo. It was through Paleo that I discovered the CF world. But as a personal trainer, I was skeptical. The CF world is populated with slogans about pain and excess and Youtube videos showing Jackass-type challenges and dangerous technique.

But I have my own mind.

So I’ve read and watched and talked to people about their experiences. Besides, I know full well I shouldn’t judge a theory by what its stupidest adherents do. Else I wouldn’t be a Christian.

I read a lot and try new exercises with myself all the time. If they work and are safe and fun, I try them with my clients. In my fitness & training journey, what I’ve discovered is that I’ve been naturally moving toward CF style workouts.

My favorite parts of CF so far:

1) Focus on mobility/flexibility. You don’t hear about this part of CF because you see only the intensity and competition. But fundamentals start with spine, hip, and shoulder mobility that will give power to all your lifts.

2) Core is developed as part of all the compound movements, not in isolated abs exercises like crunches and sit ups. This is part of my point about how my workouts have organically progressed toward CF: real strength, flexibility, and metabolic enhancement come from compound, functional exercises.

3) Workouts are about what will make you strong not pretty.

Paradigms Are Shifting

To see what I mean, just consider the world of nutrition.

Paleo came on as a grassroots movement that bucked the established guidelines, took a lot of criticism, and has helped demonstrate that the “science” of nutrition was corrupted by politics. Now, clinical research is supporting our anecdotal evidence (admittedly, no long-range studies yet). CF is doing this for fitness in the same way: functional, full body, intense workouts are replacing isolated, machine-based, moderate cardio workouts. CF has helped drive this.

Here is a summary of CF from one of its founders, Greg Glassman, at crossfit.com:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.

Glassman also explains how he arrived at the CF philosophy:

CrossFit is in large part derived from several simple observations garnered through hanging out with athletes for thirty years and willingness, if not eagerness, to experiment coupled with a total disregard for conventional wisdom. Let me share some of the more formative of these observations:

1. Gymnasts learn new sports faster than other athletes.
2. Olympic lifters can apply more useful power to more activities than other athletes.
3. Powerlifters are stronger than other athletes.
4. Sprinters can match the cardiovascular performance of endurance athletes  even at extended efforts.
5. Endurance athletes are woefully lacking in total physical capacity.
6. With high carb diets you either get fat or weak.
7. Bodybuilders can’t punch, jump, run, or throw like athletes can.
8. Segmenting training efforts delivers a segmented capacity.
9. Optimizing physical capacity requires training at unsustainable intensities.
10. The world’s most successful athletes and coaches rely on exercise science the way deer hunters rely on the accordion.

Now, I’ve seen the criticism of this explanation. No, it’s not scientific, nor a defensible argument of logic. It’s not meant to be. It’s about personal experience and judgments that have led  step-by-step to engaging more people in better exercise.

Why do you hate CF?

Because you are looking at the stupid people. And you are listening to people you consider experts without a good measure of skepticism at their motives.

Find a gym (box) near you and take the fundamentals course. Ease into the workout of the day (WOD) sessions at the box. Find a trainer who can watch your technique before you increase your load or speed. Find a box where there are not too many people for the trainers to watch, where they watch you (and not work out themselves), and where the trainers are knowledgeable.

You should probably realize that a personal trainer can get certification through an online test and never step into a gym nor do an exercise themselves. A Crossfit instructor must a least take one hands-on workshop. Of course, neither guarantees you a knowledgeable or safe trainer.

As always, my advice is think for yourself.

lesbian-test-teresa-wymore

Fascist Lesbians – Keep Your Insecurity Off My Identity

I’ve seen some discussions about who has the right to use the label “lesbian.” I think at the core of this is that old “my oppression is worse than yours” shit. But maybe not. 

So women who sleep with men must identify as bisexual, huh? I get the concern. It’s about protecting the label “lesbian” from being broadened out of existence, about giving greater prominence to “bisexual,” which has never achieved a true independence, and about status. Yes, a desire to stand apart, above, exclusive. Damnit–you were lesbian before it became hip! You’re real, not a pretender. You’re a Pepper. Be a Pepper.

But this demand for a label change is problematic because sexual and affectional identity are not just about action. They’re about internal states of being, about aspiration and risk. But even if they were simply about action, action can change over time. For example:

    1. How long must a woman be cock-free before she qualifies as lesbian? Forever? A year? A month? Must she not think about cocks, as well?
    2. If a woman in a hetero relationship fantasizes only about women, is she lesbian? If you call her “bisexual,” then if a woman not in any sexual relationship fantasizes only about women, is she lesbian or is she really asexual? What’s the default? What’s the tipping point?

The reasons we self-identify are complex and intimate and the reasons rarely clear to others. That’s the reason I accept anyone’s self-identification. To do otherwise is quite simply fascist.

On the other hand, if all this anger is because some women find their partners are sleeping with men and not telling them, then shit yes, I agree that sucks.

And welcome to the world of relationships.

Lying about a man, lying about a woman, who cares? Maybe the problem is not that she needs to “admit to being bisexual” but that she’s, you know, a fucking LIAR.

I eat sacred cows