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Why the Y? Or, Good in Spite of the Bad and Ugly

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, LIFE + STYLE, Readers and Libraries, Sisters of the Pen

Life has been so busy these last few weeks that I haven’t been sure what to blog about. Should I stay with the strictly personal, discuss the flu that’s run through our household that I may yet still not entirely escape? There’s wrestling meets twice a week and tournaments on Saturdays, and the general joys of raising children. The past tense in the statement, “My partner used to work for a really big bank” and the adjustment to her being home every day and the basic reality of dealing with this economy and the trials it is placing on all the people we know.

There’s the good news, that two of my books from last year have been nominated for Lambda Literary Awards.

I’m having another birthday, which my daughter points out is the square of a prime number. It’s not a big milestone, this birthday, but the last I’ll have before one of the biggies — a number that has no “4” in it.

Blogs Aren’t Like Books, But Still…

All in all, though all the blogosphere advice says “post every thought every day and sooner or later someone will think some part is interesting,” I don’t see why anyone would care much about any of those topics. I don’t write my books that way, hoping readers will find some part interesting and just skip the rest, and I just can’t seem to bring myself to do that here.

So I think I’ll write about something that I think is refreshing amidst all the good, bad and ugly. It’s called the Y Tour, an idea hatched by KG MacGregor. See, since I’m having that 7-squared birthday I’m a little on the young side to be an old-school feminist, but with each passing year I find myself more old, so why not more feminist?

When did the “Y” go out of “womyn”? To me, that Y stood for communitY. In times like these, community is not what we fall back on, but what we try to support so others have a place to fall. My spellchecker doesn’t even include womyn. (Now it does, but I’m just sayin’.)

Since I have kids I think about the world they’re inheriting. It’s not the homosexuals or the godless or even the fascists that have brought us to point of mortgaging my children’s children’s future. It’s Greed, Avarice, one of the seven deadlies. Plain and simple: People got filthy rich playing games with our money. It makes me wish karma didn’t take a lifetime.

The Y Tour is a name suggested by our organizer of the event, KG’s amazing webmistress. A lot of women who will receive announcements about the events won’t know that the Y in womYn is something old we’re hoping to make new again. It’s kind of like when you suggest everyone make a dish and bring it to the meeting so we can talk and eat at the same time. Blank stares…what do you call that, again? But I digress.

Y Tour Details

On June 4-7, in Denver, a group of Bella Books and Spinsters Ink authors will connect with two large women’s social networks in the area. At each event we’re raising money for a local charity.

The largest event is the First Friday Dance put on by Babes Around Denver. The dance itself, which can attract up to 1500 women, is benefiting a local women’s shelter (near and dear to my heart given the setting for part of The Kiss that Counted), and a portion of our sales will benefit Metro Denver’s Habitat for Humanity.

On Sunday, we’ll be doing a group program at the Belmar Public Library in Lakewood (just west of the main part of Denver). The library system has had a few gay-related events in the past, but we’ll be the biggest group of lesbian—let alone queer—writers they’ve agreed to allow use of their public space. After a series of “not interested” responses from local booksellers, the public library seemed a natural. The system carries our books, and publicizing their availability in the safe, secure, nobody-cares-what-you-read library makes us less scary to those people who still fear us. It also makes us “normal” to the youth out there who are still raised in auras of shame.

Habitat for Humanity

My favorite event, however, is on Saturday. Readings and signings, chatting with readers old and new are some of the things that authors do. What they don’t typically do is don hard hats and pound nails so that someone else can have a place to live. The build with Habitat is putting our muscle where are mouths are doing something very much out of our proverbial box. The grrls from Tomboy Tools will also be joining us. More womYn!

If you live in within driving distance of any of the events, we hope you’ll stop in and support the events, charities and, yes, the writers. Unlike taxes, this is support that you see going to the places you want. A complete calendar and other information about the Tour will shortly be available on a web site all its own. Meanwhile, the information that’s so far confirmed will be posted where you don’t have to register to read it, so don’t let that stop you from visiting to find out more.

I guess I did end up talking about kids, jobs, the economy and good news. All that’s left is the flu and birthdays. Still not sure that I’ve escaped it, but a good dose of pizza, cake and ice cream as an early birthday celebration with friends I’m sure has helped stave it off. That’s my favorite thing about birthdays as I get older — they can last all month if I work it right. So now I’ve given my philosophy about birthdays, and that leaves the flu.

I think I’ll just leave it there.

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