Posts Tagged ‘Ask Maggie’

Fan Mail

This reader was inspired by last week’s column to send me a fan letter, and it made me feel so good I just had to share it with y’all:

I have never emailed to ask a question, but I wanted to let you know that you have helped me in multiple ways.  I found your website through Scott Greenfield a number of years ago, and have been a reader ever since.  My wife and I regularly discuss your blog posts and Twitter comments, and more than a few discussions have been started based on “what would Maggie say?”  Our daughter is now 14, and she states that she is clearly somewhere on the LGBT spectrum (she just isn’t sure where yet); the perspective you bring has helped us deal not with our own feelings (we love her to death for who she is), but with how we deal with how others treat her.  You and Scott are my first two clicks every morning, allowing me to ground my day with two anchors that help guide my thinking, and have greatly shaped the way I view the world around me.

Oh, and I LOVE the woodworking.

Thanks for everything!

After all the time and effort I’ve put into this blog for the past eleven years, letters like this really give me the inspiration that helps me to keep it up.

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Ordering author copies is a much slower, more cumbersome process than it formerly was; now the system treats it like any other Amazon order, albeit slower.  I ordered a box of Ask Maggie, Volume II almost a week before I announced the book was available, and it was finally delivered last week, so now I’m offering autographed copies in my store; if you’d like one (or an autographed copy of any of my other books), please visit my store by clicking on the picture at the top of the right-hand column.  I’d also like to ask a favor; once you buy and read the book (whether from me or directly from Amazon), would you please take the time to review it?  Since I now have a number of products available there (six books, two short stories and a documentary), I only lack a sufficient number of reviews to trigger Amazon’s algorthms to start suggesting it to browsers in the greater Amazon ecosystem (though they’ve sent me an advertising offer I’ll probably try out).  And given how economically difficult last year was, that would be a great help to me.

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At last, Ask Maggie, Volume II is available for purchase!  I was finished with the text back in October, and even uploaded it and assigned a release date; however, I then sort of ran out of steam with regard to commissioning the cover and other finishing details.  I started to get back into the swing of it around Christmas, but not quickly, so it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I ordered my proof and put the Kindle edition together.  But now it’s all done, and you can buy it on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle form!  If you prefer an autographed copy, you shouldn’t have long to wait; I’ve already ordered a box, and as soon as it arrives I’ll add this book to my store along with all the others.  If you’re wondering what’s next, I think I’m leaning toward a third fiction collection, which will bear the title Lost Angels; I want to write several original stories for it to go with the usual reprints, and I’m hoping Chester Brown will agree to do a cover so the three volumes match.  It will probably be out in the autumn, but I’m not going to commit myself to a specific time frame; though I was able to pull off four new collections last year (counting this one, which was officially published in October), it was tough and a bit stressful, and a bit too much by the end.  So I’d rather not do that again.  As usual, if you buy and read this one, please review it; I’m not sure how Amazon’s algorithms work, but I know good reviews help.

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Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  This year, I’m doing it differently because so many people are doing the social distancing thing.  From now until Friday, December 11th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any TWO of my books (your choice), autographed!  If you want a copy of The War on Whores as one of your selections, that’s fine as well!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of many people’s income, and some have lost their jobs or businesses entirely, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #541

It’s been lovely to get back to all the cooking I used to do in Oklahoma. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been making all manner of old favorites and trying new recipes, and last week I did another of my traditional canning tasks: cooking down my Halloween pumpkin.  It went well, and I got ten and a half pints in all; I’ve already used two, one for pumpkin pie and another for cream of pumpkin soup.  This week, I’ll probably do pumpkin bread, but I’ll likely wait for the weekend because I’m heading back to Seattle tomorrow and returning Friday (with all the birthday presents that arrived while I was gone).  Scheduling my appointments together is working out well; I’m able to spend most of my time out at Sunset, and that makes me happy.  I’ve kinda slacked off on finishing Ask Maggie, Volume II, but don’t worry; it’s on the way and should be available before Christmas.

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In the Store

It used to be that when I ordered a box of my own books, it arrived just as quickly as anything else I purchased from Amazon.  But the pandemic seems to have dramatically slowed the process; it now takes weeks after ordering for the books to show up.  I ordered a box of Ask Maggie, Volume I almost a week before I announced the book was available, and it was finally delivered on Saturday!  Since I didn’t want to have to sit on a number of orders until the books arrived, I didn’t start offering autographed copies until that date was at least closer.  But now I believe and hope it’s close enough; if you’d like an autographed copy of it or any of my other books, please visit my store by clicking on the picture at the top of the right-hand column.  I’d also like to ask a favor; once you buy and read the book (whether from me or directly from Amazon), would you please take the time to review it?  Since I now have a number of products available there (five books, two short stories and a documentary), I only lack a sufficient number of reviews to trigger Amazon’s algorthms to start suggesting it to browsers in the greater Amazon ecosystem.  And given how economically difficult this year has been, that would be a great help to me.

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Despite delays and obstructions, Ask Maggie, Volume I is here!  It contains 80 of my answers to reader questions, and volume II (currently planned for October) will feature another 80.  I’m really pleased to have been able to keep up the pace I set for myself by publishing one book every three months this year; I’m hoping I can maintain that for the three books I want to publish next year, starting in January.  As usual, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they’ll be available in my bookstore as soon as the box of my own copies arrives (last time they took much longer than expected).  Thank you for reading, and please consider helping me out by reviewing it on Amazon!

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Diary #529

As regular readers have noticed, I’m not spending a lot of time in Seattle lately, so I try to schedule my dates with clients in close proximity to beauty or doctor appointments.  Accordingly, I arrived in Seattle on Thursday, got my hair done and had a meeting on Friday, then over the weekend I started editing Ask Maggie, Volume II (Volume I hit a few formatting snags, but should be available this week).  Today I’m spending the afternoon with a dear friend I haven’t seen in a few months, then tomorrow I’ll be getting my nails done before returning to Sunset for the rest of the month.  It may seem strange to some of y’all that I can maintain my nails while doing construction work, but as some of you know from personal contact my hands are very soft; accordingly, since I was in my 20s I have scrupulously worn gloves to do any kind of physical labor.  And this month is full of such labor; if you’ve been following the progress on my bathhouse annex you already know I’ll be working on the foundation for the second guest cottage this week, and next week we’ll be assembling the actual cottage.  I’m starting to look forward to doing the roof (not because I like doing rooves, but because it will pave the way for getting rid of a couple of eyesores), and I’m beginning to have hope that I’ll actually get to spend some time with one of my favorite gentlemen soon after several attempts have fallen through in the past several months.  Even with everything going on in the world, the Dog Days have been less stressful for me than usual this year; let’s hope that signals a trend.

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Seven years ago I published “Catching Up“, in which I gave a new reader advice of how to get started reading my blog.  At the time, I compared the strategy of starting at the beginning and trying to read every post with “hacking your way across the Amazon Basin with a machete,” and since there are now roughly 3.5 times as many posts as there were then, that is barely even hyperbole any more.  Some of the advice is still good, such as the following:

…subscribe to the blog and read the new columns as they come out; most of them contain links to older columns, which you could then read as they come up…[twice a week] I publish a news column…made up of…short subsections; each item has its own title, and the vast majority of those titles refer back to older posts (each containing a link to the referenced post).  This will lead you to a lot of older columns every week, assuming you have the time!  Also, every Sunday I publish a “Links” column, and the bottom section, “From the Archives”, contains links to the posts from that same week for the past two years; you could click on and read any that sound interesting.  You can also follow me on Twitter, where I share lots of interesting links…and also remind readers of my columns from that same day one, two and…three years in the past…

But now that I’ve been publishing for over a decade, the best way to start is to simply buy my “best of” collections, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I and Volume II; they’re available in both paperback and Kindle editions, and each contains 52 hand-picked, revised and edited essays from the first six years of the blog.  Then watch this space for future “best of” collections, including Ask Maggie, Volume I (a collection of 80 answers to reader questions, which should be available later this week) and Volume II (same, should be available in October).  In addition to presenting what I think are my most important essays in a more accessible and easier-to-browse format, these volumes give you the chance to support my work in a tangible way, which is especially important in these difficult times; it’s a perfect example of a win-win situation!

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Diary #525

A year or two ago, Jae bought me this rose bush as a thank-you gift for taking her on a bunch of errands; at the time it was a wee thing planted in a demitasse cup.  But I transferred it to this pot, and since then it has lived on the windowsill of my incall.  But as you can see it has grown too large for the pot, and since I’m spending most of my time at Sunset now, I brought it out here when I returned from Seattle early last week.  In a few days I’ll pick a good place for it and transfer it to the ground.  But it’s not the only thing that has moved out here due to my increased presence; on my previous trip back to town I moved the old desktop computer I use for my emails and book publishing, so that I could finish Ask Maggie, Volume I (uploaded to the publishing site yesterday).  I’ve transferred my default mailing address for several things to the farm, and yesterday was also my first appointment with my new doctor; Grace recommended her, and I was pretty tired of being blown off and overcharged by the doctor I was previously seeing at one of those big corporate clinics in Seattle.  So I guess you might say the rose bush isn’t the only thing being transplanted from Seattle out to the coast, and may we both thrive out here.

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