Saturday morning in the Lost Apartment.
The ZOOM thing I had to do yesterday went well; I am always self-conscious about these things. But I got to read from #shedeservedit, which I hadn’t done before, and it was lovely to be able to say that it was nominated for both Agatha and Anthony Awards. As Constant Reader is obviously aware, I don’t really boast or brag or broadcast about good things that happen to me, but damn it, I’m going to for just a goddamned minute. I can’t say for sure that #shedeservedit was the first queer book to get an Agatha nomination, but I can say for sure it’s one of the few that ever have–and I feel very confident in saying it was definitely the first time a book from a queer press has been nominated. Bury Me in Shadows might not have been the first queer book nominated for an Anthony, but it was certainly the first queer one to be nominated in two different categories. Last year’s Best Paperback Original category for the Anthonys was the first time two queer books by two queer writers from two different queer presses were nominated (shout out to the amazing Cheryl Head, who shared the honor with me!). I am also one of the few authors to be nominated in two different categories at the Anthonys in the same year; this year saw me become of the few authors ever nominated in three different categories in the same year.
When I actually take the time to stop and think about it, it’s actually pretty fucking amazing and groundbreaking. I certainly never saw any of that in my crystal ball, or would have ever dared to dream about that happening. I’ve also been nominated for a Macavity, a Shirley Jackson, a Lefty, an Agatha, and a total of seven nominations from the Anthonys (I did win the first time I was nominated, for Best Anthology for Blood on the Bayou), which is a pretty nice resume, really; I’d be super-impressed by those credentials if they belonged to someone else, so why am I so reluctant, cautious, scared to take pride in my own accomplishments? It’s one thing to be self-deprecatory about your writing and your career, but awards are something you have no control over, so why not take pride in them? If the mentality I was raised with was “be humble and let other people acknowledge your work” why can’t I be proud of myself when other people are acknowledging my work?
Heavy heaving sigh.
I slept well again last night. Paul got home late and I spent most of the evening reading nonfiction. I was very tired most of the day yesterday, but got chores done around the work-at-home duties and thus the apartment isn’t a complete and utter disaster area this morning. I do have a load of dishes to put away and have some more things in the sink that need to go into the dishwasher, but overall the kitchen/office is in pretty good shape this morning (the living room is an entirely different story, of course). Today is Gay Pride, and Saints and Sinners has a booth, so Paul will be gone most of the day. Yes, I am not going to Pride again this year, because i have to stay home and get all of this work done, or at least progressed a bit further. It’s going to be hot as hell out there, but I have the entire apartment to myself for almost the entire day, which never happens, so I need to take full advantage of this opportunity. I’d like to get caught up with several chapters revised today; have to look over another manuscript, and I want to get some reading done today. I am probably also going to take some time to answer some emails and try to get the inbox emptied out. I also need to write another Pride post–but I don’t want to write about anything negative, so maybe I’ll go finish one of my “wistful memories about the past” posts; I’ve started several of these and it would be kind of fun to finish them; at least fun for me; I never know if any of my Constant Readers find these entries fun. In a way, it’s kind of like working on my memoirs, and just remembering things the way I remember them–whether I remember correctly or not–is okay for a blog post, methinks. Posts about gay joy are a lot more fun than the ones about what it’s like to be oppressed.
And maybe later I can get caught up on Superman and Lois, which I forgot that I was watching. Whoops! Not sure why this season didn’t grab me the way the previous ones did; the Jonathon Kent recasting kind of threw me off a bit, but that’s really not fair to the replacement actor now, is it? No, not really. And I should spend some time with the book I’m reading today as well, so I can finish it because really great books (the one I am reading is also great, make no mistake) but this is what I have on deck now: Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott; All the Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby; The Hunt by Kelly J. Ford; Everybody Knows by Jordan Harper; and Ozark Dogs by Eli Cranor (lots of Southern Gothic there, which is delightful, to say the least) and there’s also these old anthologies I ordered from eBay. I need to write a lot today; I’ll probably did into the next chapter as soon as I finish this and do some filing to clear my mind and get it ready to write fiction.
Writing about my award short-lists had me thinking once again about what to do with my papers. The thought of having to catalogue them myself is unpleasant and means it would never get done (why is there no ebook of Jackson Square Jazz, Greg?), and I had pretty much come around to the point of view that I could easily just throw it all away but thinking about the award recognition made me question that decision all over again. But…while the blog itself only shines a light on a very carefully curated (right?) segment of my life, I also talk about writing and so forth on here, so future scholars (should my post turn of the century career be of any interest to any such future scholars) can always just come here and read to learn about me. My papers are just manuscripts, anyway; marked up and revised and scribbled all over–and I have most of that as a digital record, anyway. So, yes, that makes the most sense, and the project for this summer will be getting rid of all this paper hanging around here and up in the attic and over in the storage place. Besides, I’m not that interesting, really. I don’t think I am an influential voice in queer crime writing, either, and probably within a few years of my mandated-by-will cremation, will be most likely forgotten. I am actually fine with that, to be honest; very few writers from every generation are remembered–probably less than ten percent from every period, really; and whether or not I helped raise the bar for queer crime writers isn’t for me to say.
And besides, the thing I am most likely going to be remembered for is longevity, anyway, and I am fine with that.
Which sounds like a lovely place to segue into the spice mines. Have a lovely Saturday, Constant Reader, and I will be back at some point.