My Summer of Boi

My hair’s growing out a little, getting thick and wavy. My warm winter layers have been washed and stowed in the compartment under the forepeak berth.

As my body comes out from hiding from the cold, I go through a metamorphosis. My female marked body begins to lead me toward sexy, fitted clothing that makes me look like the people I’m attracted to, while my agender core bucks against letting people think they know me by my tits and ass.

The result? This year, it seems, will be the summer of boi.

Tank tops over sports bras. Hairy legs under swimming trunks. Messy hair, sweat, and sunscreen.

Some of it is queer signaling (hello? do you see me?), but mostly I realize what I’ve done after the fact, with reflection from the people around me and the swiftly moving reflections in shop windows.

And the timing is perfect. My story, Teamwork, in Sacchi Green’s excellent book, Me and My Boi, features college sailors, prepping for the racing season. Their genders are touch-and-feel, want-and-wonder, see-and-be-seen.

Here’s hoping you find them as endearing as I do now, several years after I wrote them.

Sun baked the concrete pier and heat seeped into the boat shed, abandoned and echoing on Labor Day.  Tilly shifted the wide straps of her sports bra.  They cut into the muscle she’d put on for the racing season.

“Come on, Tilly, don’t just stand there.”  Spin stood next to her, legs spread.

“Yeah, yeah.  Hold your horses.  We’re supposed to stretch between sets.”

“You weren’t stretching.  You were playing with your bra.”  Spin nudged Tilly with a sweaty elbow.

Tilly rolled her eyes and set up for the two-person rope pull.  She leaned back against Spin’s pull, letting the rope out slowly, and watched Spin’s triceps flex at each push backward.  She increased the resistance to make Spin work harder and sighed at the shifting muscles in Spin’s arms.  Envy and desire, and nothing to do about either one.

When Tilly reached the end of the rope, they switched jobs.  Tilly pulled against Spin’s resistance and her upper lip rose in a sneer of effort.  The forward arm had the easy job.  It was the push backward that fucked her up every time.  Sweated ran down her temples and her shirt clung to her back.  Her stroke shortened and Spin barked, “All the way back.”  Tilly pushed harder and her sneer turned into grunts of effort.  After ten sets each, with a different arm forward each time, Spin pulled the rope free with a flourish.  She walked to the ceiling beam with as much swagger as ever, but Tilly was gratified to see that her shirt was soaked in sweat.

Tilly hooked her fingers on the pillar and stretched out her chest, watching Spin toss the line over the ceiling beam and pull into her own stretch.  Arms flung wide and eyes closed, Spin leaned forward, pulling both arms back.  Tilly’s mouth went dry at the sight of her bunched shoulders, lean arms, and the slight curve under the front of her shirt.  When Spin twisted her hips to stretch her back and sides and belly, Tilly’s mouth was the only dry part of her body.

Here’s the list of links to all the posts in this Blog Tour, and details on how to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Me and My Boi Blog Tour Links

June 12—Sacchi Green— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 13—Annabeth Leong– http://annabethleong.blogspot.com/2016/06/me-and-my-boi-not-just-hair.html

June 14—Anna Watson— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith– www.sugarbutch.net

June 16—Jove Belle– https://jovebelle.com/

June 17—Tamsin Flowers– www.tamsinflowers.com

June 18—Victoria Villasenor— https://breywillows.com

June 19—J, Caladine— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com 

June 20—Victoria Janssen– http://victoriajanssen.com

June 21—Dena Hankins–  http://denahankins.net/my-summer-of-boi/

June 22—D. Orchid— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 23—Pavini Moray– https://emancipatingsexuality.com/

June 24—Melissa Mayhew—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 25—Jen Cross— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 26—Kyle Jones– www.butchtastic.net

June 27—Gigi Frost–www.facebook.com/gigifrost

June 28—Aimee Hermann— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 29—Sommer Marsden— http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com

June 30—Axa Lee— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

July 1— Kathleen Bradean— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com 

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.

Lysistrata Cove: First Draft Finished

I just finished a first draft in 11 days.

And I’m not even exhausted!

The complete first draft of Lysistrata Cove represents a change in my understanding of novel-writing. After two books that took me years to write and edit, I know now that I’m, first and foremost, telling a story, and that I work best when I know what the story is, how it got started and how it ends. I tried to leave things open, so that I could do what authors talk about all the time and learn from my characters, but it just left me floundering eventually, hunting and pecking for the impetus to throw them over the cliff or the strength they’ll need to figure out they have wings and can fly.

James and I developed a story, capable of being told in a handful of paragraphs. Then I mapped the story to the dramatic arc, the three-act play, Campbell’s hero cycle, Hauge’s six stage plot structure, using all to some degree and some quite carefully. Using Scrivener, I broke the story into sections (folders): Enemies, Softening, The Fall, Point of No Return, Major Setback, Dark Night of the Soul, and Epiphany and HEA (Happily Ever After). I wrote a synopsis for each scene (individual documents), with 4-6 scenes in each section.

Only at that point, when I had exported all that into MS Word and had a detailed, 10-page synopsis, did I go back and start doing character sketches.

Then I sat down, after several months of thinking over all that, getting to know these people in my head, and started writing. In writing, I didn’t linger on setting descriptions. Lots of scenes take place in amorphous surroundings, which I’m fleshing out in the second draft. But I got the thrust of it down. It’s tight, spare, and plain, but it drives.

Now I’ll go back and add some lushness. I’ll bring the sensual aspects into flower and consider where (not whether) to add more sex. After all, all the best reviews of my work praise the erotic bits.

Blue Water Dreams

First word to completed first draft: 1 year

First word to publication: 9 years, 3 months

Heart of the Lilikoi

First word to completed first draft: 6 years, 2 months

First word to publication: 6 years, 11 months

Lysistrata Cove

First word to completed first draft: 11 days

First word to projected publication: 10 months

Sailing Life

It’s no coincidence that my first book was about a woman who wants to sail away.

I bought my first boat at 23 years old and left Seattle the next year. Starting in 1999 my life became one of traveling until I couldn’t anymore and then working until I could travel again.

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A few years back, I got my captain’s license, a 50 ton Master license to be precise, with the idea that it would make me more employable in new ports. Instead of getting me work as a captain, it has garnered me a new amount of respect in other ways.

I’ve done electrical work on other people’s boats and sold marine hardware. I much prefer the first.

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Without a home base, I do upkeep on my own boat wherever I am. Instead of sailing away for a vacation, I’m living my life at sea.

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My boat is better than 50 years old, so there’s always something to be done.

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Not all jobs are painless. Hauling myself down the anchor rode so I could remove it from the rudder entailed using the barnacled hull as a lever.

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Mildly keelhauled.

But even that work is a joy compared to stultifying in a port, wishing I was sailing.

This is the life for me.

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“Quite Inventive Sexually” ALA Reviews Blue Water Dreams

I always go for the sexual references.  Not that this is news to me or anyone who’s been friends with/followed/slept with me over the years.

The American Library Association has a sub-group called the GLBT Round Table, which has published a review of Blue Water Dreams.  Its tone reminds me strongly of the librarian in Moses Lake, where I went to high school.  She took her job seriously and gauged each book almost dispassionately.  The same tone is clear in the review, even with multiple references to sexy-times.

The reviewer finds it “refreshing to read a love story where there is no jealous triangle” and notes that Lania and Oly are both “fairly free of hang-ups” (which made me smile).

The wrap-up has the tone that I referenced above.  It’s so wonderfully librarianish that I’m going to quote the whole last paragraph.

Blue Water Dreams falls well within the expectations of the romance genre, albeit with an atypical male lead. It may appeal to romance readers who are willing to try something a little different. It may also find a readership among trans men for the ways it affirms their sexuality and desirability.

The Art of Loving – Sex on the Sidewalk

The Art of Loving draws you in with warm colors and the warm scent of Nag Champa.  Unless, that is, you’re scent sensitive, as were two of the attendees of my reading!

The owner and worker swept into action, first trying to clear the space of scent, then setting up chairs and a table out on the sidewalk.  What a wonderful couple people – flexible, kind, and fun.

A small group formed, with two friends of mine anchoring the crowd.  A couple sat opposite them – a sailor and a lady ready to be entertained.  In the middle span were several people who had seen the listing and thought it sounded fun.

I was ready to provide!

After my abbreviated reading for GASS, I was looking forward to having a full 90 minutes for reading and discussion.  To use that time well, I asked everyone what sorts of interests they had and gave them an overview of some themes from the book.  I’d filled a three-ring binder with possible readings – everything from the “getting to know you” through “labor stories” and into my favorite “sex scene”.  This group welcomed a few introductory and warm up scenes, then I made sure they hadn’t fallen asleep by reading some sex.

Whoo-boy – it worked on them!  It also worked on some random people who walked by as I was reading…steps slowing as my words penetrated their busy thoughts.

After all that heat, I went back and read two sailing scenes.  Turns out, the folks listening were struck by how sensuous my descriptions of sailing are.  What a pleasure to know that I was really able to bring people into the moment with sailing.  I frequently find myself speechless when I try to explain why I love to sail, but it seems I did far better in writing.

Wonderful.

On the drive back down south (I rented a car for this part of the tour), I stopped in Blaine.  James and I wintered there 2000/2001, and he’s famous.

Blaine

San Francisco welcomes book tour at Good Vibrations

Dena Hankins will be at Good Vibrations, in the Antique Vibrator Museum, for a group reading September 29th and an erotica reading workshop September 30th.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly says this about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

Good Vibrations Polk, 1620 Polk St, San Francisco, CA
http://www.goodvibes.com/content.jhtml?id=New-Polk-Good-Vibes-Events

9/29/14, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Queer Prism: Readings by Eric Andrews-Katz, Dale Chase, Dena Hankins, Clifford Henderson, Kathleen Knowles, and Felice Picano
Smut, humor, memoir, romance, intrigue, and outlaws—queer fiction runs the gamut.  This tasting menu of characters will make you laugh, cry, and squirm in the most delicious ways.

9/30/14, 6:30pm-8:30pm
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/845246
Open Windows: Look Inside with Erotica—Fantasy or exactly what you did last night, words add power and excitement to sex. Erotica and romance writer Dena Hankins will ask which words turn you on, and whether you want to try what you just read about. Let’s talk hot language, exploring new ideas, and sharing stories with your lovers.

Good Vibrations has been creating a buzz since 1977.  They’ve been trusted for over three decades to provide high quality products, education, and information that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment. Having invented the concept of the clean, well-lighted vibrator store, they’re proud to provide a safe and welcoming environment where customers can shop for sex toys, books, movies, and attend workshops.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, and the In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Portland, OR, stop for book tour at In Other Words Feminist Community Center

Dena Hankins will lead a workshop on reading erotica at the In Other Words Feminist Community Center on September 23rd, 2014.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 23, 2014, 6pm-8pm
In Other Words Feminist Community Center, 14 NE Killingsworth Street, Portland, OR
http://inotherwords.org/events
https://www.facebook.com/events/710153919056947

Open Windows: Look Inside with Erotica—Fantasy or exactly what you did last night, words add power and excitement to sex. Erotica and romance writer Dena Hankins will ask which words turn you on, and whether you want to try what you just read about. Let’s talk hot language, exploring new ideas, and sharing stories with your lovers.

In Other Words is a non-profit, volunteer-run, feminist community center in Portland, Oregon. Their mission is to support, enrich, and empower the feminist community through literature, art, and educational and cultural events. They have a storefront that serves as a book store, a lending library, and a venue for feminist events.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Olympia, WA, Stop for Book Tour – Orca Books

Dena Hankins will visit Orca Books for a reading with Eric Andrews-Katz, David Holly, and Jeffrey Ricker.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 21, 2014, 3pm-5pm
Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA
http://www.orcabooks.com/event/bold-strokes-lgbtq-fiction
https://www.facebook.com/events/448702635270216

Orca Books is the largest independent bookstore in Olympia, Washington, located in the heart of downtown’s vibrant shopping district. They stock new and used books, cards, and journals, and are proud to carry many locally-produced items by Olympia artists and craftspeople. They also offer coffee and tea from Olympia Roasting Company.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Seattle, WA Book Tour Stop – Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up

Dena Hankins will be a panelist on writing diverse characters at the Gay Romance Northwest conference for readers and writers of queer books.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her new queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, her debut novel, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

 Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 20, 2014, 10am
Gay Romance Northwest
Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/669883
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/268040953400205/

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up 2014 will consist of a full day of activities on September 20, 2014, including an afternoon conference with panel discussions and Q&As, writing workshops, pitch sessions with attending publishers, and a reader meet-up in the morning, a post-conference book fest with author signings and bookselling, and a fun after party following all the festivities featuring more short readings and time to mingle with attendees.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Book Tour for Blue Water Dreams,
a Queer/Trans* Romance Debut Novel,
Hits Seattle on September 20th

 

Contact: Dena Hankins, Author of Blue Water Dreams
Email: dena@denahankins.net
Phone: (509) 793-6411

www.denahankins.net

SEATTLE, WA, August 12, 2014—Dena Hankins will be a panelist on writing diverse characters at the Gay Romance Northwest conference for readers and writers of queer books.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her new queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, her debut novel, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies. 

 

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 20, 2014, 10am

Gay Romance Northwest

Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/669883

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/268040953400205/

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up 2014 will consist of a full day of activities on September 20, 2014, including an afternoon conference with panel discussions and Q&As, writing workshops, pitch sessions with attending publishers, and a reader meet-up in the morning, a post-conference book fest with author signings and bookselling, and a fun after party following all the festivities featuring more short readings and time to mingle with attendees.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Vancouver, BC, Welcomes Book Tour September 15th

Dena Hankins will visit The Art of Loving for a reading and discussion of her new queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her debut novel, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 15, 2014, 7:30pm-9:30pm
The Art of Loving Hosts Dena Hankins
The Art of Loving, 1819 W 5th Ave, Vancouver, BC

The Art of Loving is a sex toy shop with a mission: enhance the sex life of their customers, promote sex-positive culture, and help society become more tolerant of sexual expression.  They bring these into being through quality products, knowledgeable staff, customer education, and community involvement.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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