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DWP: And Even Though It All Went Wrong

Title: And Even Though It All Went Wrong
Author: Mary Griggs
Fandom: DWP
Pairing: Miranda/Andy
Rating: G
Word Count: 1660
Summary: Miranda comes home to find Andy in meltdown.

Author’s Notes: Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox are the owners; I'm just letting the ladies play in my sandbox for a while.

The title of this work is from a lyric in the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” On Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon’s rendition as Hillary Clinton brought tears to my eyes – https://youtu.be/BG-_ZDrypec . After finishing the song, she turned to the audience and said, “I’m not giving up. And neither should you.”

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Title: Pantsuits, Glass Ceilings and Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Author: Mary Griggs
Fandom: DWP
Pairing: Miranda/Andy
Rating: G
Word Count: 1500
Summary: Miranda spends some time on Facebook the night before the US Presidential election and wakes Andy up.

Author’s Notes: Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox are the owners; I'm just letting the ladies play in my sandbox for a while.

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Golden Crown Literary Conference 2016

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I'm very excited that I will be hopping on a train at the end of next week to take me to Washington, DC and the 2016 Golden Crown Literary Society Annual Conference.

While there, I will be catching the 4th of July fireworks, seeing the White House and getting a tour of the Library of Congress. However, I'm most looking forward to the horde of literary lesbians who will be descending on our nation's capital.

I've waxed lyrical before on what the GCLS means to me; suffice to say I can't wait to catch up with all those readers and authors and publishers whom I'm honored to call friends. And buying books. Lots and lots of books!

If you want to catch me at the conference, I'll be doing the following:

I will be moderating a panel discussion on Sci-fi and Social Justice on Thursday, July 7th from 9:30am to 10:20am. My panelists include: Jewelle Gomez, Elizabeth Hodge, Lise MacTague, MB Panichi, and Tiffany Shamaly. Since speculative fiction allows a reimagining of the universe, we'll be looking at just what is the writer's responsibility for creating diverse, inclusive, and just worlds as well as discussing how we as readers and writers use science fiction to organize for social change.

I will be moderating the Author Spotlight on Thursday from 4:40 to 5:30pm with the following authors: Julie Blair, Jessie Chandler, Bev Prescott, MJ Williamz, and Sheryl Wright

On Friday morning at 8:30am, I will on the panel titled Blood and Gore I. The moderator is Justine Saracen and my fellow panelists are Ann Aptaker, JD Glass, Elizabeth Parmer and Allison Solomon. This panel will focus on violence in the setting of the lesbian novel.

At 9:30am, I will be participating in the Author Spotlight alongside these great authors: Lynn Ames, Marie Castle, Fay Jacobs, Susan X Meagher and moderated by the marvelous Melissa Brayden. I will be reading from my latest novel, Bitter Heart.

I will be signing my books (and anything else a person could want signed) during the author autograph session at 4:30 on Friday afternoon. This session is open to the public so come on down!

Rise early and join me at 8:30 on Saturday morning for Blood and Gore II. Moderated by Alison Solomon, my fellow panelists are: J.L. Gaynor, Laydin Michaels and Justine Saracen. This panel will focus on violence with the protagonist or in the relationship of the lesbian novel.

I'm also looking forward to the always funny and insightful Fay Jacobs who will be delivering the Keynote Address at 10:40 on Saturday morning. Later that night, we'll all get dressed in our finery for the GCLS Awards Ceremony.

I can't wait to see y'all there!

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Saints and Sinners 2016

The 2016 Saints and Sinners Festival is scheduled for Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3 in New Orleans.

The Festival was founded in 2003 as an innovative way to disseminate HIV/AIDS prevention messages via the writers, thinkers and spokes-people of the LGBT community as well as to bring the LGBT literary community together in celebration.

I will be giving a reading from my new book, Bitter Heart, and will be on a panel. Info for my appearances is below:

Saturday, April 2 @11:30 AM
SAINTS AND SINNERS READING SERIES: WRITERS READ
Authors Rich Barnett, Jameson Currier, Jewelle Gomez, Mary Griggs, J.D. Horn, and Gregg Shapiro share their latest works in our annual reading series. Enjoy a mix of Festival favorites and promising new voices.
Hotel Monteleone, Cabildo Room
Sponsored by The John Burton Harter Charitable Trust.

Saturday, April 2 @1 PM
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
If writers are supposed to “write what you know”—how do you create supernatural beings like vampires and werewolves and witches, oh my? Can you make up your own rules, or do you have to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before? Join us as we talk about redefining the field of paranormal fiction, and the difficulties LGBTQ writers face as they work to get their voices heard.
Panelists: N.S. Beranek, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Mary Griggs,
Jerry Rabushka, and Jeffrey Ricker.
Moderator: Candice Huber.
Hotel Monteleone, Royal Salon C

The book fair for both Saints and Sinners and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is located on the mezzanine level of the Hotel Monteleone. Tubby & Coo’s Book Shop is the 2016 Saints and Sinners book seller.

I hope to see you there!

Women in Sports Anthology

I've got a story in the Women in Sports Anthology coming out soon!

Hot. Sweaty. Tight shorts. Sports bras. Six-pack abs. What sparks your imagination? Muscular legs? Hands that are strong and sure? Baseball, soccer, hockey, track and field...does it really matter? She's sexy, she's incredible and she’s all yours. Sit back, relax and enjoy some wonderful tales from this group of talented authors. Women in sports--does it get any better than that?
This amazing collection of romance and erotica includes stories from: Lee Lynch, Jessie Chandler, Mary Griggs, MB Panichi, Tonie Chacon, Kate McLachlan, A.L. Duncan, Jeanine Hoffman, Erica Lawson, Sharon G. Clark, Nann Dunne, Pat Cronin and Verda Foster.

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Bitter Heart has a release date in January!

I'm proud to report that I've gone through the edits and author proof for the January 18, 2016 publication of my next novel -- Bitter Heart.

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Pretty, isn't it? Thanks to Judy Fellows for the cover art!

What is it about you ask?

When her home planet is invaded by the Babwe, royal daughter Julian escapes aboard a trade ship. She must get to the Unity planet and persuade the system government to intervene before all of her people are slaughtered or enslaved. Julian discovers more allies than she expected but her choices have deadly consequences back home. With the fate of her people in the balance, can Julian work fast enough to save them?


You can pre-order it from Bella Books, your local bookseller or, even, from Amazon.

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#Katrina10 and how GCLS helped me recover

Turning on the television or radio these past few days has meant an inundation of media coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There are memorial services, art shows, documentaries, public speeches, political theater and lots and lots of pictures. Pictures of suffering and loss, of courage and quiet dignity, of humor and protest, of life and death. I don't know about the rest of you but it is triggering my PTSD.

I'm not ungrateful that the world has not forgotten the result of the post-hurricane levee breaks that devastated New Orleans -- 1,800 dead, 1 million people displaced, 1 million homes damaged, 250,000 homes destroyed, and a cost of over $150 billion. It is the almost pageantry of the events surrounding this anniversary that raises my hackles and sinks me further into depression.

I'm going to do my mourning in private and use this blog post to talk about books and how their loss (and what I gained) led to my recovery.

Just a couple of months before the storm, I attended the inaugural Golden Crown Literary Society conference, held at the Renaissance Hotel along Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. It was amazing to sit in the same room as many of the authors who not only had entertained and enlightened me but whose books helped me come out.

That might have been all it was except then came the storm.

I evacuated ahead of landfall, expecting to be back in my house in a few days. As it was, it took a month before my neighborhood opened for me to make a trip over there to see for myself what the floodwaters had wrought.

My house is raised up three feet off the ground, so I only had a few feet of water inside. It was enough to wreak havoc on my books, though. You can see in the first picture the water level in this area of the house was recorded in the wood of the bookcase itself.

Den 5

As the books soaked up the water, the pressure pushed on the sides of the case, dropping shelves of books that were above the waterline into the water (as seen on the left of this picture).
Bkcase Den Center of Wall

Mold covered the books that escaped the waters or the falling. Paperbacks were the hardest hit, with some of the mass market paperbacks almost melting away.

Back Hall BedroomI couldn't help the tears. And, let me tell you, crying in air mask is not recommended by the manufacturer or fun for the wearer.

There was a citywide curfew, so my Dad and I took only pictures and left only footprints before closing up my home and making the three-hour trip back to their house to regroup.

Sitting in what would be my temporary home for the next ten months, I saw that someone from GCLS had forwarded me an announcement from the board. It read in part:

In light of the truly devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, the board of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) has established a special GCLS Relief Fund. This fund, to be administered by the GCLS Advisory Board, will take donations from the public on behalf of all those authors, publishers, and supporters in our community who have been affected by the storm.


I found out later that in less than 48 hours of the relief fund being set up, they raised $7000. I don't know the final numbers of monies dispersed but I was a grateful recipient. I want to thank all who donated because those funds were crucial to my rebuilding.

But that wasn't the end of it.

I missed the next conference as I was across the country, in California. When I made it to the 2007 conference, many of the friends I made the first year remembered me and remembered New Orleans.

Some of those folks went beyond simple hugs (although those were nice, too). Lee Lynch and her then partner (now wife) Elaine Mulligan donated books from their private library to help me rebuild mine.

I cried when I opened the box and saw books that I hadn't been able to find because they were out of print or the publisher no longer existed. Even in the San Francisco Bay Area, lesbian novels aren't easily found in used bookstores. I had despaired finding many of the books which marked milestones in my life. I have always been a voracious reader and much of my development from questioning teenager, to baby dyke, to fully fledged lesbian activist can be attributed to the possibilities I first glimpsed between those pages.

Lee and Lainie weren't the only ones who opened their hearts (and, sometimes, their libraries) for me. I received other boxes but, even more importantly, I gained the great gift of friendship from so many of the participants and attendees at that conference and every subsequent one since then.

I was so pleased to be able to be a part of bringing the 2015 conference back to New Orleans. I hope those who came caught a glimpse of the mystique of New Orleans which endures despite the tragedy of the post Katrina levee breaks.

It is the spirit of a city and its people that makes a city what it is. A disaster cannot kill the creative spirit, the zest for life, or the abundance of hospitality that makes me proud to call this city my home.

And it is that love and spirit that embodies so many of the members of the Golden Crown Literary Society. It is why I am proud to be a member and why I would encourage anyone who cares about lesbian literature to become a member and to attend the conference as you are able.

I hope to see you next year in Washington, DC from July 6 to July 10, 2016. Until then, don't be a stranger!

Originally published on my blog - https://marygriggs.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/katrina10-and-how-gcls-helped-me-recover/

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Post GCLS Con Report

gcls_crownI really love the Golden Crown Literary Society's Annual Literary Conference. I attended my first one in 2005 (also their first one) and have only missed one since (the first Atlanta conference when I was still homeless after the post-Katrina levee flooding destroyed my city).

It was like finding my tribe when I first walked into one of the conferences and the feeling has just gotten stronger for each subsequent one. I do a lot of political work and I get to hang out with lots of passionate queer folk and that is amazing. It is something else, though, to be surrounded by these literary lesbians. To be able to talk for hours about lesbian fiction; to discuss reading and writing with other book lovers is like a balm to my thirsty soul.
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This year's conference came back to New Orleans (the first one was also held here). I was on the ground committee and I worked with the GCLS Executive Director, Liz Gibson, and the event coordinator, Judy Comella, to make this one of the best conferences ever.

While I was still on the GCLS board, we were able to secure Dorothy Allison as the keynote speaker. I'm so very glad we did. She exceeded every possible expectation. She is irreverent, charming, poignant, funny, profane and I am in awe. I was in the room when she read from Bastard Out of Carolina and had chills. I was in tears during her speech and the standing ovation she received lasted for more than five minutes. I was also beyond lucky to get to have lunch with her and the recipient of the this year's Lee Lynch Classic Award, Rita Mae Brown, the author of Rubyfruit Jungle.

I helped the Bella Books crew get the many boxes of books up from the loading dock to the conference. The hotel was trying to charge $2 per box, so we liberated a pallet jack and moved them ourselves. The freight elevator did smell like it had been transporting dead bodies but we made it up in one piece. At the vendor room, a number of folks then helped bring them the rest of the way. It was great to see so many people step up to do what needed doing but that is pretty typical for GCLS.

While I wasn't able to attend every panel or reading I wanted, I enjoyed being on the Dystopian panel moderated by SY Thompson with fellow panelists Linda Kay Silva, Jane Fletcher and Liz Hodge (who later won a Goldie for her poetry). We talked about hope and fears and the importance of writing the books you want to read. The special speaker this year was Ali Vali and she gave a funny (and scary) talk on her writing process. She knows she's on the right track when her wife walks away muttering, "What is wrong with you?" Not my process but funny to hear hers.

I was also honored to receive a volunteer recognition award at the annual membership meeting. The meeting is live streamed here, if you want to watch it. You will not see me, as I unfortunately had to run to Baton Rouge for work and missed it!
volunteer award
The awards ceremony was hilariously MC'd by Lynn Ames and Ann McMan. I have already posted a list of the winners (here) but I want to congratulate all the finalists and winners. I also want to thank all those whose hard work made it possible - the awards committee, the judges, the presenters and the behind the scene tech folk that kept it all moving smoothly. The night was magical - many people were dressed to the nines and the energy was high and the enthusiasm that greeted each announced winner was gratifying to hear.

Marie Castle, winner for her paranormal novel, The Devil You Know and I at the Goldies. (Picture by RJ Layer)
Marie Castle, winner for her paranormal novel, The Devil You Know and I at the Goldies. (Picture by RJ Layer)

Speaking of thanking folks - the GCLS board puts in many, many hours throughout the year for not only the conference but also to make the organization itself successful and sustainable. This is an all volunteer organization and they do it all for love not money. I'm very proud of the job they do.

I'm very much looking forward to next year's conference in DC (actually Alexandria, VA) from July 6 to 10th, 2016. I can't wait to reconnect with old friends, make some new ones and recharge amongst other readers and writers. Please consider joining us!

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The schedule is out for the GCLS Annual Conference in New Orleans from July 22 to 26, 2015.

The special speaker this year is Ali Vali and the Keynote speaker is the incomparable, Dorothy Allison!

I will be on a panel at 9am on Thursday called Dystopian Novels - Who Writes Them, Who Loves Them, Why Are They So Popular?
The moderator is S.Y. Thompson and the other panelists include Linda Crist, Elizabeth Hodge and Linda Kay Silva. Here is the description: Dystopian novels are filling the shelves faster than ever before. Why are these dark thrillers so popular? Are they a precursor to a new genre or a flash in the plan? Hear some of the best discuss their approaches to writing the great dystopian novel!

On Friday at 10:40am, I will be reading from my forthcoming book, Bitter Heart. Other authors in my time slot include Melissa Price, Elizabeth Hodge, Baxter Clare Trautman, Andi Marquette and Anastasia Vitsky

Come and see me at the Author Autograph session on Friday from 4:30 to 6. This is open to the public, so for all you fans of lesbian literature, even if you can't come for the conference, come for the signings!

I will also be hanging out a lot in the vendor space and around the Bella Books and Distribution table (they are the official bookseller of the conference).

You can pre-order books for pickup at the conference. Here is my author page at Bella Books.

Can't wait to see you there!

Oh, and keep up the Golden Crown Literary Society on Facebook by liking their page!

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Saints and Sinners Literary Fesitival 2015

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Saints and Sinners Literary Festival is beginning this weekend and I'm very excited.

Not only is it fun to have the city of New Orleans play host to so many talented LGBT authors but I'm getting to hang out with old friends, make new ones and generally talk about books and writing and food for several days running!

This year, I'm participating in a panel and reading from one of my books.

Saturday, March 28
10 AM
SAINTS AND SINNERS READING SERIES: WRITERS READ
Festival authors debut their latest works in our annual reading series. Expect to be entertained, engaged and thrilled by the written word read out loud by authors Marie Castle, Joel Gomez-Dossi, Russ Gregory, Mary Griggs, Richard Natale, and Ken O'Neill.
Hotel Monteleone, Cabildo Room

Saturday, March 28
11:30 AM
A FINE ROMANCE: ROOM FOR LOVE TODAY?
In the era before legalized gay marriage and mainstream LGBT pop culture icons, gay romance was taboo. LGBT novels (€”literary and popular) €”provided a literary refuge. Now that it's (mostly) normal for us to have white picket fences and baby carriages, is there still a need and place for the gay romance novel? If so, who's reading them, and who's writing them? Join this panel for a chat on the state of intimacy and relationships in the contemporary LGBT romance novel.
Panelists: Lewis DeSimone, Felice Picano, Cindy Rizzo, and Mary Griggs.
Moderator: Jerry L. Wheeler
Hotel Monteleone, Royal Salon D

Check out their web site at www.sasfest.org for a complete listing of all events and speakers for this fabulous event.

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