Sunday Snipets

I am so fucking psyched for the Christmas holiday season this year!  Finally a year where I feel so damned good and things are really looking positive in my life.  I’ve got the world by the proverbial balls right now.  My family is great, the dogs are doing well, my house is in order and I have a new woman in my life. What more can a Butch ask for ?  Sure, I still have my share of hard stuff to deal with, bills and the such, but overall life is sailing along swimmingly!!!

I ordered Ivan Coyote’s new book, A Tomboy Survival Guide, and the Barnes and Noble bookstore emailed and said it’s ready for pick up!  I cannot wait to get it and begin reading the latest works of Ivan. I have all of Ivan’s other books, as a matter of fact I just loaned one to my best friend here.  I’ll have to ask her if she’s reading it yet.

I am looking for more good lesbian books to read and review here and on my YouTube channel.  If you have a recommendation or if you are a writer and want me to read and review your book, please contact me at mainelybutch@yahoo.com  Direct email is the best way to reach me.  I tried to email someone who wanted me to read and review a book and I evidently have the wrong email because when I sent it to the email she indicated in her comment it bounced back as undeliverable.  I WISH that WordPress would add an email account to our pages, that way a reader would not even have to leave the page to email a writer directly.  I do know if I would upgrade to a full website for my blog, which is hosted by WordPress too, that I would have that in the webpage package….so perhaps I will soon do that.  I need to register my web name and invest a few dollars into it I guess.  Perhaps I will seriously consider doing this, it only makes sense.

On the note of doing reviews, I am particularly fond of books about the Butch-femme dichotomy and lifestyle.  Since I am Butch and I tend to date femmes this only makes sense.  But I am also interested in books dealing with sexual identity, Butch and Trans issues and stories.  I blur the gender lines so much that I am often asked if I identify as Trans.  I do identify as Trans-masculine, but not as Trans-gender.  I’ve struggled with my identity for most of my life, and there was a time when I may have questioned my gender, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I am fine being female bodied, as long as I can do it in a masculine way!  I’m definitely the definition of Butch, by stereotype, and that just fits me perfectly.

As far as me writing a book, as I have been told I need to do by so many people, that’s a thought that is definitely in my head. I would love to write a book of short stories of my life experiences and adventures.  I just need to get lined up with a good editor who can push me in the right direction.  I have the stories, some even already on paper or in the computer, but I don’t know how to write a book, or how to put one together for publication.  All things that a good editor would know and would be able to guide me to do.  I suppose I should start looking around and querying as to who I should contact and with which publishing company I should be trying to work with to do a book.  Hmm….2017 is going to be a very big year I think!

Alrighty then, I am off to work on another blog.  What have you read that you think I would like to read?  I’m seriously looking for suggestions!!!  Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

Great Books

I went to the local Barnes & Noble bookstore tonight to order Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan E. Coyote and had the luck that the bookstore had been overrun by a local kids band that was playing Christmas carols on the platform of the magazine section. They had the place completely mobbed.  I did, however, manage to get the book ordered and should be getting a call from the store in a few days when it’s in for me to pick it up.  I’m looking forward to reading this new book by Ivan.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the other books written by Ivan and can’t say enough about them.

Most recently I read Stilettos & Steel by Jeri Estes, which was one of my all time favorite books!  It’s a Butch/femme romance and action book.  Set in the 60’s in San Franscisco complete with mob influence and seedy nightlife.  I found it to be a very easy and quick read.  Although it could have had a bit more sex, still it was really good and kept me quite interested from beginning to end.  The book is based on a true story and Jeri Estes really brings it!

I am always on the lookout for new books to read, especially about the LGBT culture and stories of living in our community.  I feel like they are becoming harder and harder to find as the internet takes over our visual fields and minds.  When was the last time you read a good book?  I mean really sat down and read it from front to back?  I know that before Stilettos & Steel it had been quite a while for me.  I pick up my daily reading now from my laptop, like most other people today.  I tend to look to people like Cleis Publishing – who publish a wide variety of  books from LGBT authors – for most of my reading list.

What is on your reading list?  Have you read any good books that you can recommend?

 

 

 

Inspirational Butch Authors: My Heroes

I’ve been doing a lot of great reading today and tonight specifically around Butch-Femme lifestyle and dynamics.  I read one article about Butch “peacocking” and that got me thinking, and it lead me to other links to other writings by some awesome other Butch writers.  Yeah, we seem to always be the “others” even in our own community.  Or as one blogger (Butch Jaxon) put it so eloquently, the “other-than’s”.  It’s amazing that I can still read and get so much out of reading anything good about the journey’s of my Butch counterparts.  It always comes to the “I can relate” thus it makes the reading/writing particularly interesting to me.  Personally I choose to write much about my experiences as a Butch so that others out there will know that they are NOT alone, there are many of us; we are legion.  We just have to find better, safer and more accepting places to bond.  Butch bonding is a real experience, and one that every Butch, young and old, needs in their lives.

Recently we lost Leslie Feinberg.  I wrote a short piece about them soon after their passing.  Still, I think about how much Leslie contributed to the Butch / Trans community over the years of their life.  That one book, Stone Butch Blues, had such a wide and deep impact on so very many of us.  Every good Butch has read it, has seen themselves in the pages, in Jesse and in Leslie’s experience.  Every one of us is a good Butch!  If you are Butch, or Trans*, or LGBT you should read this book if you have not already done so at least twice in your life.  It is a piece of literature that changed or at least enhanced and recognized a rather large, unknown number of lives; that made us unafraid, that gave us the power and confidence to be Butch without shame.  If you are Butch and you don’t “see” yourself in the pages of Stone Butch Blues it would be astonishing because just about every Butch I know holds this book out as the virtual “Bible” of Butch.

Here is what Sinclair Sexsmith, author, activist and self-identified Butch, said in one of her recent posts entitled “Long Live the Butch:  Leslie Feinberg and the Trans Day of Remembrance“:

“For me, Leslie’s book Stone Butch Blues invented butch identity. If I had the word before the book, it was only as a slur, only as something nobody should want to be. If I had the word before Jess’s story and her tortured restraint of passionate love, it was only used to describe ugly women, unattractive and unwanted. It wasn’t until I read Stone Butch Blues that I realized it described me.”  Nov. 20, 2014

This book, followed by S. Bear Bergman’s “Butch is a Noun” and Ivan E. Coyote’s “One in Every Crowd” all combined, personally gave me eye-opening and deep inspiration to always be my authentic self, to be comfortable and happy with my own Butch identity, and to share my own experiences in my writing and vlogging.  The three of them, Leslie, Bear, and Ivan have had huge influence on my own writing and I am honored to have had the chance to have met Leslie personally once at a conference.  Bear and Ivan, I still wish to meet and hear them speak in person one day in the near future.

All three are well known, and held in highest regard in the Butch community.  What I would give to be so gifted as to be able to write like they do, and be published as they all have been.  …sigh…  Ah, to dream that big!

So, my last post was about inspiring blogs here on WordPress.com.  That is what got me into reading tonight, and into thinking about my inspirations outside of WP, thus the evolution of this post you are reading.  It is the courage, bravery, and authenticity with which each of them write that so inspires me to strive to be as good a writer as I possibly can be myself, and to more comfortably be my authentic self.  I would like to see more books by both Bear and Ivan, and whenever one comes out I will be right there in line waiting on my own hard copy, believe me.  And I do follow them all on line at their various sites and venues, where both often blog about the current events and their own life happenings.

So, there you have it.  MainelyButch’s inspirational heroes of 2014.  One day I hope to have a book on my shelf written by me, and sitting right next to any one of the above authors’ books.  Dream big.  Rock on.   ~MB~

LGBT Books in My Collection…

There’s an entire world of publishing dedicated to LGBT issues, many, many authors, books and resources. I was giving a list of books to someone special and it made me think about lesbian publishing and books that many of us read. Of course there are copious lists of hundreds of books by Cleis Press, Columbia, Random House, Vintage, Harrington, and Seal…just to name a few publishing houses…as well as many released privately and now with self publishing you can read even more authors. I will talk about a few of my personal favorites here.

Every lesbian I have known has always either read or had a copy of Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. It was the epitomy of the Butch lesbian cultural writing for many years. Then along came more recently written works like Butch is a Noun by S. Bear Bergman, and One in Every Crowd, Persistence, and Missed Her by Ivan E. Coyote just to name a couple of my favorite authors. Ivan’s latest with Rae Spoon as co-author is Gender Failure…a very striking compilation of Butch to Trans writings. Ivan walks that line so thinly and I can really relate to their writings. I know my own personal reading selection is skewed by the fact that I am Butch, so I am more apt to read Butch centric writings and musings, as well as write from that same angle myself.

There are all of the erotica books. Some compiled and edited by Tristan Toarmino – which are generally my favorites. I like Tristan’s choice of stories in her compilations such as “Take Me There” Ooolala hottt trans and genderqueer erotica for sure. The Harder She Comes by DL King is a great compilation of Butch/Femme erotica and equally as hot.

There are more informational books like Nobody Passes, by Mattilda or Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein, as well as The Lives of Transgender People by Genny Beemyn and Susan Rankin. And I could list a dozen others on the topics of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender studies.

Personally I love to read. I read online, I read printed books, I read magazines, and newspapers. Anything I can get my hands on that interests me I will read. I think my love of reading (and writing) comes from childhood and being taught to love books by my mother, grandmother and various teachers and mentors throughout my upbringing. I’ve always treasured the printed book. While I have pared down my own collection of hard copy books over the last few years, generally related to having to move them when I would move, I have kept and maintain quite a nice collection of LGBT literature and I often will recommend or loan out books of this type.

When I first came stronger into my Butch identity I read as many of these books as I could consume. I would take what made sense to me and leave the rest. It was enpowering to read about strong Butch women like myself; women who felt like me and looked like me. It was also reassuring to know there are women who love women like me…that worried me for a while at first. I had heard the old “…why not date a guy..?” statement one too many times when people would refer to Butch identified people like myself. So of course as I was truly coming into who I am it concerned me that it may be more difficult to find a partner who enjoys female masculinity as I represent it. I now know this was a pretty dumb thought, but hey, it did occur to me that I may remain single forever.

It’s not always easy to be Butch in this world. And growing up Butch wasn’t easy either, there were few books or role models when I was growing up in the 70’s…the early 80’s when I hit adulthood and discovered sex, the only reading you had were Forum magazine and various porn that was lesbian friendly. I laugh at how much of that trash we would read back then. Being Butch in today’s world is a little easier but still difficult. It’s sometimes a daily thing to be given weird looks when I am in public places, to get those looks of wonder – where they are wondering my gender identity.

It can be uncomfortable at times, but I have also found that the more relaxed I am and the more confident I am with people that the more comfortable I can make them, thus the more relaxed I am in general. I understand that my presentation probably fascinates some people, and they just can’t help themselves in giving me that look…either way, I am comfortable with myself, thus all is good in my world. I just am who I am and as long as my comfort level is secure in my own being Butch then those around me appear to be much more accepting.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US and I am off to eat turkey dinner with my family. I hope everyone has a great day! Looking forward to watching parades on TV, football, Mimosas and great food, fun, and people! ~Peace~ MB

#CBR4 Review #18: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

#CBR4 Review #18: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.

Enjoyed this book review and wanted to repost it for my followers enjoyment.  I have often referred to my own life as being lived in “chapters”; because I feel that I have lived several “kinds” of lives in the 50 years I’ve been here.  I have been different people at different times, just carrying the history of one.  And it has always been those “defining moments” that seem to occur in life that have brought me to sudden realizations of things; whether it be the need for a change or the realization that something great has been added to my life.  I have vlogged on this specific topic “Defining Moments” and believe I shall again take the topic up for renewed thought – as a result of this book review!  Hmm…could this be one of the minor “moments” when something is brought to my attention due to stirrings in the latest chapter of the bigger picture?  I pause for reflection.