journal entries

A Bullet-Point Decade

Inspired by Maggie Stiefvater, who has quickly become one of my favorite authors after reading the Raven Cycle series, here is a bullet-pointed list of what I’ve done this decade.

  • Published Say Please, Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, the novella series, Erotix, and Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 4 (2020) … basically, all of the books that I’ve published came out this decade
  • Published stories in 20+ books, not even sure I can count them all
  • Wrote a column on Autostraddle for a year and a half
  • Met & fell in love with rife … had countless adventures, had a collaring ceremony, received a cover from him in front of the monthly leather group we’ve attended for six years, threw the most incredible 5-day party/destination travel wedding in my hometown
  • Moved from Brooklyn to Oakland, in part to be with the boy and in part because I’ve always wanted to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I felt complete with New York City
  • Ran for and won a leather title with rife (this is a tiny entry in this list but it is a really huge accomplishment)
  • Traveled to 34 states, 5 provinces in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico
  • Finally figured out what was at the root of some of my health problems: got diagnosed with a systemic candida infection and spent two years (mostly successfully) trying to clear it from my system
  • Got top surgery / a breast reduction surgery that has greatly improved my body
  • Applied for 25+ jobs, 4 grad schools, 2 writing residencies, 5 writing awards that I did not receive
  • Received alumni of the year from my gender studies department at my undergrad college
  • Received three awards from the National Leather Association for my writing
  • Judged three different literary contests — National Leather Association, Lambda Literary Awards, and Publishing Triangle Awards — multiple times
  • Judged the International Ms Leather contest
  • Taught dozens of classes at dozens of venues across the US & Canada
  • Was completely rearranged by the sudden, unexpected death of my dad in 2012
  • Learned brush lettering, rekindled my love for tarot cards, stepped up my journal game with bullet journal techniques (though I was doing something similar to that before the craze started! #beforeitwascool)
  • Dug deep into my own mental health, eventually landing on a diagnosis of c-PTSD, which has been a huge relief slash one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced
  • Witnessed the spiraling out of control death of my ego in 2018 that rearranged me even more than the death and change of 2012 did
  • Committed myself to the spiritual practice of buddhism & kashmir shivism (with a good heap of pagan witchiness thrown in there too)
  • Became a teacher in a lineage in which I’ve studied since 1999 (through Body Trust); founded an erotic embodiment company with three beloveds!
  • Got the root canal in my front tooth rebuilt, which was needed for a long time and was probably a low-level infection in my body for ~ten years
  • Ran a queer reading series in New York City with Cheryl B, which enabled us to host and support incredible queer writers from all over
  • Spent time on the board of the BUTCH Voices conference, running their media team
  • Launched a Patreon for Sugarbutch, which has completely changed my life and finally, finally, finally enabled me to feel like people really do want me to keep writing and publishing here
  • Spent time doing yoga, running (3x 5k races), boxing, and weightlifting, and continue to practice finding the pleasure in moving my body
  • Completed a sacred intimate year-long training, which has been one of the biggest things I’ve ever done for spiritual growth in my life
  • Moved to an apartment in Oakland which is my favorite home I’ve ever lived in, aside from my childhood home … maybe even including that
  • Continue to live with a cat who is now an old lady who is only slightly grumpy and very very cuddly
  • Maintained & grew Sugarbutch! Posting around 5-7x a month for the last thirteen years, since 2006
  • Went back into the workforce after losing my job in 2009, worked at a wine store, a hyperbaric chamber spa, a gender & sexuality research center, and a queer speakers bureau
  • Am beginning the career change into tech by taking classes and learning the lingo, trying to figure out what I’m doing
  • Learned to ride a motorcycle & got a license
  • Had one flying lesson and flew an airplane, just for a minute!

I could probably keep going. Maggie’s list is far more precise and interesting, but “had two #1 NYT bestsellers” wasn’t on my list this decade — perhaps for the next one.

So many of these accomplishments are about teaching & writing, which makes sense, as they’re where I spend the majority of my time. I’m noticing there’s a lot about travel, spirituality, health, and relationships, too. I think I’d like more bucket list items on there, more exciting moments of interest, more hobbies.

It’d be interesting to write a 2030 (!!) decade in review list and vision some of the things I’d like to do in the next ten years. That feels a little too tender and vulnerable to share here, but perhaps I’ll make some notes in my notebook.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert.

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