The Difference Between Speaking Out Against Injustice and Becoming Part of It.

In the last few days, several things have happened, and while I was not the specific target of the hatred and lies, I was very much affected. And I’m likely going to be affected for the foreseeable future.

Apparently at a recent romance writers’ conference, an attending author (a successful author, with multiple books published through multiple publishing houses) met members of my publisher, Clean Reads.

Before I go on, here are a few facts:

  1. I identify as a member of the LGBT community (genderqueer/aromantic). If you’re surprised to hear that, it’s because my sexual orientation and status is not something I often talk about publicly. I’m an introvert and I have social anxiety. On top of that, in this day and age, those willing to do so, will use anything they can against you to further themselves and their own causes. As happened here.
  2. My book Catskin (just released through Clean Reads) was turned down by multiple agents and publishing houses because (and I’m paraphrasing here) it did not have enough sex to be ‘realistic’ for modern teenagers. It wasn’t eligible to be published with a LGBT publisher because it only had a secondary character who was a lesbian. (So I was told by mainstream publishers to ‘sex up the book’ and to turn my main character into a gay guy by LGBT publishers).
  3. Clean Reads does not publish books that contain premarital sex (unless there is some sort of consequence which is discussed in the book) open-door sex, cursing, graphic violence, or which focus solely on LGBT characters/LGBT themes. They also don’t publish erotica, BDSM, Screenplays, Non-fiction, Poetry, Fan Fiction. All of this is stated on their submission page, just as every publisher posts what they are, and are not seeking in submissions.
  4. Clean Reads was formerly Astraea Press. The name was changed, in part, due to suggestions that we select a name that better represented the fact that we publish books ‘clean’ of cursing/graphic violence/open-door sex/etc. This is also where our tagline ‘All Story. No Guilt.’ came from, as well as the fact that anyone who reads romance novels is very familiar with the term ‘guilty pleasure’ because so many romance novels in the market leave nothing to the imagination in them. (And that’s okay.)

Remember these facts as you read on.

The author was who met Clean Reads at the romance conference was, at first, taken with us, our books, our members. He very much liked us. Then he read (he claims entirely) our website. And he still liked us. Then he got to the submission page. And he saw that we don’t accept books with homosexual main characters.

According to this author, he felt discriminated against, and offended, hurt, and as if an injustice had been done to him. I am still currently trying to wrap my head around how a successful author who writes a type of book, which isn’t repped by one small press within a world of presses, can be so personally devastated by that fact. But this author insists that he was.

Now, when someone sees injustice, it’s reasonable for them to speak out about it. However, there is a difference between speaking out against injustice, and creating injustice. This author did not speak to my publisher about her submission policy and his perceived injustice in regard to it. He did not speak to anyone at Clean Reads about how he felt.

Instead, he wrote a blog post about my publisher, stating in the title of the post that we were a “Publishing House that Deems #LGBT “dirty” and he published the blog, shared it on his personal Facebook page, as well as his professional Author Facebook page, tweeted a link to it on Twitter, and urged his readers to share it. He also tweeted about Clean Reads before he’d done more than see them at the romance convention–claiming incorrectly in the tweet that we don’t allow any gay characters. Within the blog post he eventually wrote, this author copy and pasted parts of our actual website, but then inserted an anti-gay symbol in the middle of the genuine portions of our page as if that were how it appeared on our site. He also utilized a photo at the top of the post with a ball cap embroidered with “No Gays Allowed”. It was a short post, which closed with a sentence telling us that we should be shamed for portraying gays as being “dirty” and unfit for our canon of “clean” literature, and that we were–simply because we don’t publish LGBT stories–perpetuating the mindset that the gay community deserves to be discriminated against.

His readers were all too excited to join in on the publisher-bashing.

The character of Clean Reads’ owner was attacked, we authors with the house have been called bigots, and gay haters. Some of the commenters stated that everything in our name and motto was code for “anti-gay”. That our company was “sending the wrong message”. We were accused of “duping” our readers. They stated that the fact that we published books that didn’t portray sex, we were intentionally and subversively “shaming” those who do have sex. We were told that simply because we do not publish LGBT we were implying that it was “dirty”.

Some of us, when we rebutted these accusations, were openly made fun of. When I stated my own identity as genderqueer and aromantic, and said that my own book had gay characters in it, and that I’d always felt welcome at Clean Reads, those facts were completely overlooked (aside for one person who made fun of me for pointing out that I had a minority main character, and a lesbian in my story, telling me that “no one gets ally cookies for that”) In short, the commenters could care less that I was actually one of them or that all of us were real human beings. They treated us with the same acidic hatred that true bigots have treated minorities with for centuries.

Even when researchable facts disproving the author’s claims that Clean Reads does not allow gay characters in their books (namely the presence MY gay character) were offered, he refused to acknowledge these facts, or in any way alter his assertions that we decry all LGBT to be “dirty” and that we were anti-LGBT.

The commenters on this author’s blog (and both Facebook pages) justified their actions by saying we had brought it on ourselves by choosing to not include LGBT stories in our roster. Most telling, was how the author of the article, who carefully titled his own post specifically so as to gain the most attention, and then carefully, and intentionally, copied a section of our website, divided it, and inserted an anti-gay symbol which is NOT on the Clean Reads website, did nothing to assuage the hatred. He allowed his followers to treat a group of people, whom they did not know, as dirt to be stepped on and walked over. He essentially avoided any meaningful discussion aside from magnanimously saying he’d “agree to disagree”. There was no exchange of ideas or position. Rather, the author permitted numerous negative comments–including ones which blatantly made fun of anyone attempting to defend Clean Reads. Then he closed his comment sections making a final statement about how he had “researched” Clean Reads and had “kept an open mind” as he did so, and then had spoken out against us only when he felt he had to.

Only he didn’t “speak out”. He intentionally accused an institute and group of bigotry and anti-gay rhetoric and turned what should have been a discussion into a publicity stunt. A successful gay romance author publicly attacked a small sweet romance press, erroneously stating that we have no gay characters in our books (we have lots of gay characters, and we have gay writers) and that we treat gay people as “dirty” and not worthy of being published, and then he incited his readers and followers to spread the word about us and how we deem LGBT to be “dirty”.  The author of the post, and some of his commenters, insisted at one point that it wasn’t that we didn’t publish LGBT books that distressed him, but that it was how we said we didn’t publish them.

Basically, he didn’t like the wording on our website. So he wrote a blog post with a fabricated anti-gay symbol being attributed to our website, and called us bigots.

This is not fighting injustice, it’s creating injustice. My debut was just published through Clean Reads. Other authors have multiple books published here. We depend on Clean Reads and its owner for our careers. I would not be published without Clean Reads. My future as an author is tied to Clean Reads. And I love Clean Reads, and the community of writers I’ve met through it. I am the face of LGBT writers, and I’ve been nothing but welcomed by Clean Reads, its owner, and its writers.

But this offended author just threw our entire publishing house on the public sacrificial table because he didn’t like the wording on our submissions page. There is zero accountability for his actions, accusations and outright lies. He’s closed his comments and will probably move right on with his successful life, having kicked around a small press which competes directly with his own books. Why he did any of this remains a mystery to me, when every publishing house has a list of what they are not looking for posted clearly on their website.

There are numerous publishing houses that do not accept books with LGBT characters and storylines. In fact, whitewashing is still a major issue among larger publishing houses. Yet, this author did not single out any of the big houses. Of course, he would be less likely to have an impact on the function of a large publishing house, while it’s all too possible for him to damage and affect a small press which also conveniently provides a niche market for romance, which is one of the genres he writes.

If the author had issues with the precise wording of our own submission guidelines, publicly attacking, and libeling us was not the mature and socially forward-thinking way to approach the subject. This author has potentially damaged dozens of lives and careers–some of them belonging to members of the LGBT community he insisted he was protecting–and he firmly and openly believes it to be his right to do so, while also handily netting himself a little publicity in the process.

That, my friends, is the epitome of injustice.

My Personal Issues Are Not Your Soapbox

So, I’ve debated on writing this post for a few weeks. Where all of this took place is not important, and if I’ve ever had a conversation with anyone who reads this that involved kids or having children, this post has nothing to do with you. This all took place between a complete and utter stranger whom I’d never seen before, and will be absolutely fine with never seeing again. 

*TMI warning, I talk about periods and uteruses*

The stranger-conversation went something like this:

Her *chasing an adorable toddler who nearly escapes her*

Me: *snags runaway baby* *hands her to Mom*

Her: “Thanks! You’d think she was covered in butter the way she can escape me.”

Me: “She’s beautiful!” *Making googoo faces at the toddler* “And smart! I see you plotting another escape.”

Her: “You have kids?”

Me: “Nope. And probably won’t ever have them. I’m just too selfish with my time, but I love all of my friends’ kids like they’re mine.”

Her: “You never know, you might change your mind one day. I never thought I’d be a mom, but now that I am, it’s the best choice I ever made.”

Me: “Yeah, well, aside from the whole ‘I’d be a sucky mom’ part, I’ve got adenomyosis, which makes it hard to get pregnant, and then has a higher chance for miscarriage. And I don’t think I could stand that.”

Her: “Medical technology has come a long way, there have been breakthroughs in fertility treatments, and all pregnancies carry a certain risk for miscarriage, but there are high risk OBGYNs who specialize in difficult pregnancies. Every first time mom is terrified that something will go wrong, but the vast majority of births go without a hitch.”

Me: “Uh, that’s true. However, I also have a clotting disorder that means just carrying the baby could cause me life-threatening clots, and the disorder could also cause me to have a miscarriage, and then if I did happen to have a miscarriage, I could bleed to death before I even got to the hospital.”

Her: “Well, there’s always surrogacy to think about. Nothing’s impossible if you want it bad enough, and you’ll never know if you don’t try!”

Not knowing what else to say, I just shrugged and nodded in agreement and we went our separate ways.

But the conversation stuck with me. For weeks. I’m still thinking about it. And having just spent the weekend with my best friend and her son, one of THE CUTEST MOST AMAZING KIDS EVER,


I finally decided to go on a rant about that conversation with an anonymous stranger.

Normally, I’m a ‘That’s nice, but it’s my life, not your life, so fuck off now.’ kind of girl if you push me on something. The kid thing, though, really hit me, in more ways than one.

This woman took several factors of my personal life that affect me very deeply and turned them into a simple assertion that they didn’t matter if I wanted to overcome them. In an exchange that took only a few moments, she brushed aside issues that I’ve been dealing with for years, she basically told me that if I wanted a kid, I could have one, and that if I never have one, it’s my choice, and nothing more. Here’s the thing, though. These factors do affect me, they have affected me all of my life, and they will affect me for the rest of my life and they really could kill me. And even though I was not really “set” on being a birth mom, now the chance to ever be one has been taken away from me through no fault of my own. And I have to deal with that loss. I’m still dealing with it.

Every month that I’ve had a period for the last twenty years (I didn’t get my period until I was almost 15) has damaged my uterus. Every period. And that includes the times in just the last five years when I maybe bled heavily for an entire month. Even now that some of the symptoms are controlled, the damage is still being done. The tissue is being destroyed a little more each month.

Adenomyosis is similar endometriosis. The difference is that in endometriosis extra tissue grows in strange places within your abdominal cavity, on your other organs, etc. When you cycle, these patches of misplaced tissue react to your hormones and cause pain and all sorts of problems. With adenomyosis, the misplaced tissue develops inside the walls of your uterus, and when you cycle, it can’t go anywhere, so your uterus basically tries to eject itself from your body. It’s like first and second stage labor, only you don’t get a baby out of it. All you get is a lot of pain. And in my case I get to lose a lot of blood. And I mean a lot of blood. Those 36 count pads? (yeah, no tampons, they don’t work and they make the pain worse) I could go through an entire package of those in a few days. No, I’m not being dramatic, there was that much blood. I won’t even describe the clots.

So, that was my life for 15 years. It got even worse the last five. I ended up on birth control to try and alleviate the symptoms. I hadn’t even been diagnosed with the adenomyosis yet. The birth control worked for a short time. Then they stopped making that high hormone one. A second one didn’t work. Third one did. And it also gave me a blood clot in my leg.

After the blood clot (I won’t go into detail here but treatment for the clot was a long drawn out process) and numerous blood tests and two intravaginal ultrasounds (just as uncomfortable as it sounds) we discovered that I have both adenomyosis and Factor II Deficiency. Within the span of a few weeks, I had to acclimate to the understanding that my uterus would probably never be able to carry a child to term, and if it failed to do so, I faced the real possibility of bleeding to death from the miscarriage, or a ruptured uterus.

Factor II Deficiency is extremely rare (there are currently just 100 cases of inherited Factor II Deficiency documented in the world) There are different levels of Factor II mild, to severe. I fall into the moderate category, meaning that I don’t have to worry about bleeding to death from a nose bleed. I do, however, have to worry about falling, surgery, clots, and hemorrhaging internally, and intracranially if I have an accident.

The Factor II has exacerbated my adenomyosis exponentially, and made the bleeding worse all these years. The clotting problems caused by the Factor II can also cause miscarriages. And in studies regarding adenomyosis, the clinical pregnancy rate (22.2% versus 47.2%) and ongoing pregnancy rate (11.1% versus 45.9%) were significantly lower in women with adenomyosis and the miscarriage rate (50.0% versus 2.8%) was significantly higher in women with adenomyosis than in women with normal uteruses.

If I did manage to get pregnant, I’d have to go on blood thinners for my entire pregnancy, which only increases my risk for hemorrhaging in the event of a miscarriage, a risk that would be grossly increased due to the adenomyosis. So it comes down to being willing to get pregnant and risk my life–multiple times, since the miscarriage rate is so high I’ll likely have to lose a few pregnancies before I ever get to term, if my uterus doesn’t rupture before then–just to have a child by birth. And I’m not willing to risk my life for it.

But that doesn’t mean that having the chance to give birth taken away from me doesn’t hurt me deeply. I watch friends having babies, my twin sister (who didn’t inherit the Factor II Deficiency, thankfully) having kids, and I know that I can’t do the same thing. Just because I don’t have kids, and hadn’t planned on having them, doesn’t mean that I might never want to. And I’m still dealing with that.

Anyway, the entire point of this rant was over the fact that someone who didn’t know me, also didn’t listen to me. When I told her I was too selfish to be a mom (totally true) she said I might change my mind. When I said I also had a condition that would make carrying a child difficult, and that I didn’t want to face losing one to miscarriage, she told me that there were high risk OBGYNs that could help me (as if watching your own body abort your child wouldn’t be traumatic in and of itself) And when I told her I also had a bleeding disorder that could kill me, she suggested an out-of-pocket process that costs on average $150,000.00 dollars and told me that I’d ‘never know if I didn’t try’. This woman, instead of saying “That’s fine, not everyone is cut out to be a mom” (which would have been totally appropriate) persisted until I laid out my entire medical history to justify why having a child wasn’t for me, and then insisted that I’d never know for sure if I didn’t try, negating my position to one of ‘Choosing to sit on the sidelines’ when in her opinion all I need to do it ‘Stop complaining and give it a shot.’

It’s going to take me a while to shake that conversation. It’ll take me even longer to stop regretting the fact that I didn’t lose my shit in public and tell her to stop using my personal issues has a soapbox for pro-motherhood and to go fuck herself. I’m still glad that I didn’t react that way to her, but I also still regret my restraint because I think I’d probably feel better about the interaction now.

Rant over. I’m going to go eat cheese and chocolate now.



Catskin Cover and Blurb


Back Cover Blurb:

Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to go missing…

Shy, eighteen-year-old albino, Ansel, thought that letting the runaway girl with the injured ankle sleep in his parents’ shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any average guy would have called the cops but average isn’t Ansel’s style.

When she refuses to tell him her real name, Ansel nicknames the girl Catskin, after one of his favorite fairytale characters, and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few awkward conversations later, one thing is clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is, she just doesn’t think she can change. Ansel knows from his own experiences that seeing the world around you differently doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, something he intends to teach Catskin.

While the details of her past remain elusive, Catskin creates a new place for herself with Ansel and his family, and develops her own brand of normalcy. Then a terrible accident leaves her hovering near death, and Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. But there are secrets hidden in the life Catskin left behind. Dark secrets that chased her all the way to Healy, Alaska and Ansel’s actions unknowingly provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel.

Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel prepares to go to war with Catskin’s father. But in the end, Catskin might be the only one who can save herself.

Catskin Release Date and Cover Reveal!!!

The time has come! I can officially announce that my debut contemporary young adult, Catskin, will be released March 17th 2016!!!

Here is my cover, designed by the amazingly talented Erin Kelso. I was immensely blessed to be allowed by my publisher Clean Reads, and Stephanie Taylor, to work with Erin in capturing the likeness of Ansel, and Catskin herself. There truly aren’t words to describe how it feels to be able not only to see your book set free in the world, but also to see your characters given life.


So please, mark your calendars! Catskin is coming March 17, 2016. It will be released digitally first, and then as a paperback within a couple of months.

Anniversaries And New Beginnings

Today, March 1st, and the wee morning hours of tomorrow, March 2nd will mark three years since my fat black mare, Di, was stolen away from me by Lord Death. Yes, stolen. I don’t normally view Death as a stealer of life, so much as an escort to the next realm. But He stole Di away, by choice, or by force of station, and I hold Him a grudge for it.

Every year on the anniversary of losing her, I post a poem written in her memory. They aren’t necessarily the most perfect poems, but they’re the only way I have of telling her that I still love her. That I still remember the width of her broad back between my knees and the burnished glow of her earthen eyes. I still remember the unity that we shared.

Di was a focal point of my somewhat questionable poetry even before she died, and the very first poem she inspired eerily foretold of the loss I would suffer just three years later. Perhaps, somehow, the fates were warning me the only way they could, through the ethereal brushes of inspiration. That poem is titled Astray. I didn’t know then that I would eventually be writing a book by the same title, but the two of them complement each other in many ways.


My little pony has gone away
I don’t know why she chose to stray
Her bridle waits on a rusted hook
Her manger guarded by a hoary rook
I walk the empty pasture lane
But I shall not see her again


Di’s bridle still hangs in my bedroom, vestiges of dried grass clinging to the crevasses of the bit from the last time we went riding together. It waits for her eternally. I’ve got a collection of six poems directly inspired by, or in memory of, Di, thus far. I’ll just keep collecting them for all the years in my future. This year it was harder to write one than it was the first two years. Possibly because there is so much excitement going on with the upcoming release of Catskin, so many new beginnings. Excitement and new beginnings that I should be sharing with Di on long afternoon jaunts through the forest. Instead all I can do is sit in the expanse of the back lot and burrow my fingers and toes into the earth, willing Di’s bones, where they rest deep below me, to feel my presence.

Here is the poem for this year:


Up in the high places and down in the coves
Through the old pohickeries, clustered in their groves

A black shadow moves, an imprint of the past
A being that once lived, my love for whom still lasts

We shared life’s path for but the briefest turn of time
Until Lord Death stole you off to some unworldly clime

And left me here subsisting on in lonely mortal sway
Until I cross the veil to meet again on some unknown day.

March 2016

Oh, How Society Cherishes the Normal and Torments the Strange

With the news greedily gobbling up Bill Cosby’s recent arrest and subsequent charges of sexual assault I can’t help but climb up on a soapbox, if only for one post, in the name of a celebrity I’ve loved since I can remember. Nearly a decade after his death, Michael Jackson’s name still provokes strong reactions, most of them, generally, split right down the center between ‘Best guy ever’ and ‘Disgusting and twisted pedophile who deserves to burn in hell’.


I’m sure that Michael was not a perfect person, and anyone with a background in psychology would agree (I dare to say) that Michael thought of himself – at least in some ways – as possibly the most imperfect person on the planet, hence his obsessive efforts to change his own appearance. But one thing that cannot be said of Michael, is that he did not care about those around him. Bill Cosby, on the other hand, despite donating to charities throughout his career, seems to have cared more about using those around him than he did about benefiting them. My vehement defense of Michael comes largely from the fact that he remains one of the most ostracized celebrities of all time, despite the lack of evidence that he actually every did anything besides be different, and give back to the public. Meanwhile, Bill Cosby has left a decades-long trail of battered and assaulted women, all of whom were repeatedly dismissed, or intimidated into silence, their claims brushed aside by the shiny, personable, normal, and subsequently unimpeachable vision of ‘everyone’s favorite doctor’.
The Guinness Book of World Records lists Michael as ‘Supporter of the Most Charities’. I’ll copy and paste them below. In addition, in his Will, he allotted (according to Forbes) 20% of his estate – forever – to be donated to various charities. As of six years out from his death, his estate had grossed 2 billion dollars, and it has only grown since, and will only continue to grow, and 20% of it will always go to various charities, supporting them in perpetuity. The only thing perpetually growing for Bill Cosby is the list of women he assaulted and then silenced with his celebrity clout.

Michael Jackson’s charitable acts and donations as listed by Guinness in 2009. This does not include any monetary donations made by his estate since then:
January 10, 1984: Michael visits the unit for burn victims at Brotman-Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.

April 9, 1984: David Smithee, a 14-year-old boy who suffers from cystic fibroses is invited to Michael’s home. It was David’s last wish to meet Michael. He dies 7 weeks later.

April 14, 1984: Michael equips a 19-bed-unit at Mount Senai New York Medical Center. This center is part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research.

July 5, 1984: During the Jackson’s press conference at Tavern On The Green, Michael announces that his part of the earnings from the Victory Tour will be donated to three charitable organizations: The United Negro College Fund, Camp Good Times, and the T.J. Martell-Foundation.

July 14, 1984: After the first concert of the Victory Tour, Michael meets 8 terminally ill children backstage.

December 13, 1984: Michael visits the Brotman Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated when he was burned very badly during the producing of a Pepsi commercial. He donates all the money he receives from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children.

January 28, 1985: Michael and 44 other artists meet to record “We Are The World”, written by Michael and Lionel Ritchie. The proceeds of this record are donated to the starving people in Africa.

1986: Michael set up the “Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund”. This $1.5 million fund is aimed towards students majoring in performance art and communications, with money given each year to students attending a UNCF member college or university.

February 28, 1986: After having had a heart-transplant, 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California gets a call from Michael Jackson. He had heard that she is a big fan of his. Michael invites her to his home as soon as she is feeling better. This visit takes place on March 8th. Donna stays for dinner and watches a movie together with Michael.

September 13, 1987: Michael supports a campaign against racism. He supports efforts of the NAACP, to fight prejudices against black artists.

October 1987: At the end of his Bad Tour, Michael donates some personal items to the UNESCO for a charitable auction. The proceeds will be for the education of children in developing countries.

February 1, 1988: The Song “Man In the Mirror” enters the charts. The proceeds from the sales of this record goes to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a camp for children who suffer from cancer.

March 1, 1988: At a press conference held by his sponsor Pepsi, Michael presents a $600,000 check to the United Negro College Fund.

April 1988: Free tickets are given away for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the Make A Wish Foundation.

May 22, 1988: Michael visits children who suffer from cancer in the Bambini-Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome. He signs autographs and gives away sweets and records to the little patients. He promises a check of 100,000 pounds to the hospital.

July 16, 1988: Before a concert at Wembley Stadium Michael meets the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana. He hands over a check of 150,000 pounds for the Prince’s Trust, and a check of 100,000 pounds for the children’s hospital at Great Ormond Street.

July 20, 1988: Michael visits terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At a unit for less critical patients he stays a little bit longer and tells a story.

August 29, 1988: At his 30th birthday Michael performs a concert in Leeds, England for the English charity-organization “Give For Life”. The goal of this organization is the immunization of children. Michael presents a check for 65,000 pounds.

December 1988: Michael visits 12-year-old David Rothenburg. His father had 5 years earlier burned him very badly in an act of revenge against his former wife.

January 1989: The proceeds of one of Michael’s shows in Los Angeles are donated to Childhelp USA, the biggest charity-organization against child-abuse. In appreciation of the contributions of Michael, Childhelp of Southern California is founding the “Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse”.

January 10, 1989: The Bad Tour comes to an end. Under-privileged children are donated tickets for each concert and Michael donates money to hospitals, orphanages and charity-organizations.

February 7, 1989: Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. Some weeks earlier a 25-year-old man had fired at the school’s playground. 5 children had been killed and 39 had been wounded.

March 5, 1989: Michael invites 200 deprived children of the St. Vincent Institute for handicapped children and of the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. After this event he invites them to his ranch to introduce his private zoo at his Neverland Ranch to them.

November 13, 1989: The organization “Wishes Granted” helps 4-year-old Darian Pagan, who suffers from leukemia to meet Michael. Michael invites the little boy to a performance of Canadian acrobats.

December 28, 1989: Young Ryan White, who suffers from hemophilia, spends his holidays on Michael’s ranch. Ryan had been infected with AIDS by contaminated blood transfusions in 1984. After he was excluded from his school in Kokomo, Ryan fought against the discrimination of AIDS victims.

January 6, 1990: Michael invites 82 abused and neglected children through Childhelp to his Neverland Ranch. There are games, a Barbeque and a movie show provided for them.

July 1990: 45 children from the Project Dream Street, Los Angeles, for children with life-threatening illness are invited to Neverland Valley.

August 18, 1990: Michael invites 130 children of the YMCA summer program of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to his Neverland Ranch.

May 6, 1991: Michael is invited to the Jane Goodall Charity event. Michael supports her, an advocate of behavioral research concerning chimpanzees in Gombe, Nigeria for more than 30 years.

July 26, 1991: Michael pays a visit to the Youth Sports & Art Foundation in Los Angeles. This Foundation supports families of gang members, and helps dealing with drug-abuse. Michael talks to the kids and presents them with a wide-screen TV set and a financial gift.

December 1991: Michael’s office MJJ Productions treats needy families in Los Angeles with more than 200 turkey dinners.

February 1992: Within 11 days Michael covers 30,000 miles in Africa, to visit hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches, and institutions for mentally handicapped children.

February 3, 1992: At a press conference at the New York Radio City Music Hall, Michael announces that he is planning a new world tour, to raise funds for his new “Heal The World” Foundation. This Foundation will support the fight against AIDS, Juvenile Diabetes and will support the Camp Ronald McDonald and the Make A Wish Foundation.

May 6, 1992: Michael defrays the funeral-expenses for Ramon Sanchez, who was killed during the Los Angeles riots.

June 23, 1992: At a press conference in London, Michael makes an announcement about his Heal The World Foundation.

June 26, 1992: Michael presents the Mayor of Munich, Mr. Kronawitter, with a 40,000 DM-check for the needy people of the city.

June 29, 1992: Michael visits the Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam and presents a check for 100,000 pounds.

July 1992: Michael donated L. 821,477,296 to La Partita del Cuore (The Heart Match) in Rome and donated 120,000 DM to children’s charities in Estonia and Latvia.

July 25, 1992: On the occasion of a concert in Dublin, Ireland, Michael announces that he will give 400,000 pounds of the tour earnings to various charities.

July 29, 1992: Michael visits the Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital in London. To the surprise the children, he brings Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Euro-Disney to the hospital.

July 31, 1992: On the Eve of his second concert at Wembley Stadium, Michael presents Prince Charles with a check of 200,000 pounds for the Prince’s Trust.

August 16, 1992: 6 year old Nicholas Killen, who lost his eyesight caused by a life aiding cancer surgery, meets Michael backstage in Leeds, England.

September 1992: Michael donated 1 million pesetas to charity headed by the Queen of Spain.

September 30, 1992: President Iliescu of Romania inaugurates a playground for 500 orphans which Michael has financed. Michael discusses his Heal The World Foundation.

October 1, 1992: Michael chooses a concert in Bucharest, Romania for worldwide television broadcast. Bucharest is a logical choice due to the numerous orphanages the country is known for.

November 24, 1992: At Kennedy Airport in New York, Michael supervises the loading of 43 tons of medication, blankets, and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo. The Heal The World Foundation collaborates with AmeriCares to bring resources totaling $2.1 million to Sarajevo. They will be allocated under the supervision of the United Nations.

December 10, 1992: During a press conference at the American Ambassy in Tokyo Michael is presented with a check for $100,000 for the Heal The World Foundation by Tour Sponsor Pepsi.

December 26, 1992: During a broadcast request for donations to the United Negro College Fund, Michael declares: “Black Colleges and Universities are breeding some of the leading personalities of our time. They are on top in business, justice, science and technologies, politics and religion. I am proud, that the Michael Jackson Scholarship Program enabled more than 200 young men and women to get a qualified education.”

January 19, 1993: Michael is one of the stars to perform at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Before he sings “Gone Too Soon” he draws the attention to the plights of the victims of AIDS and mentions his friend Ryan White.



January 26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, Michael is presented with a $200,000 donation from the National Football League and the Sponsors of the Super Bowl. He gets another $500,000 from the BEST Foundation for his Heal The World Foundation. At this occasion the foundation of “Heal L.A.” is officially announced.

February 1993: In association with Sega, launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and equipment to children’s hospitals, children’s homes, and children’s charities throughout the U.K.

March 1993: The foundation of an independent film company is announced. They will produce family-oriented movies. A part of the earnings will go to the Heal The World Foundation.

March 27, 1993: At a meeting at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Michael gives a 5-minute speech to 1200 teachers and politicians.

April 26, 1993: Within his “Heal LA” tour, Michael visits the Watta Health Foundation, and two schools in Los Angeles South Central.

May 5, 1993: Former President Jimmy Carter and Michael, who are chairmen of the “Heal Our Children/Heal The World” initiative, are in Atlanta to promote their “Atlanta Project Immunization Drive”.

June 1993: Michael has announced that he will donate $1.25 million for children who have suffered from the riots in Los Angeles.

June 1993: 100 children from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club visit Neverland.

June 10, 1993: Michael promotes the new DARE-program. The purpose of the program is to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse.

June 18, 1993: Michael pays a visit to a hospital in Washington. He spends several hours with the young patients and plays chess with some of them.

August 1993: With Pepsi-Cola Thailand, donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s charity, the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.

August 1993: In conjunction with Pepsi-Cola International, donated new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children in Moscow, Russia and the Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

October 1993: Donated $100,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.

October 22, 1993: Michael visits a hospital in Santiago.

October 28, 1993: Michael makes it possible for 5000 underprivileged children to visit the Reino Aventura Park, where the whale Keiko (”Free Willy”) is living.

November 5, 1993: Michael is guest at a children’s party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City.

December 1993: With the Gorbachev Foundation, airlifted 60,000 doses of children’s vaccines to Tblisi, Georgia.

December 16, 1993: The Heal The World Foundation UK supports “Operation Christmas Child” delivering toys, sweets, gifts and food to children in former Yugoslavia.

1994: Michael donates $500,000 to Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS Foundation.
January 7, 1994: On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Michael gives a party for more than 100 underprivileged children at his Neverland Ranch.

February 22, 1994: “The Jackson Family Honors” is televised. The earnings of the show are given to their own newly formed charity, “Family Caring for Families”.

August 6, 1994: Michael and his wife Lisa Marie are visiting two children’s hospitals in Budapest. They distribute toys to the ill children.

January 1995: Michael wants to free dolphins who have been locked up for years. He believes there should be legal guidelines about the way dolphins have to live in zoos and parks.

March 1995: Little Bela Farkas received a new liver. Michael and Lisa Marie met this 4-year-old boy during their trip to Hungary in 1994. Michael did everything to help Bela, whose only chance to live was getting a new liver. The Heal The World Foundation covered the surgery and the cost for caring.


June 21, 1996: Michael donated a four-times platinum disc of “HIStory” in aid of the Dunblane appeal at the Royal Oak Hotel, Sevenoaks in England.

July 18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael is laying down a wreath of flowers for youngsters who have been killed during the fights involving Apartheid.

September 1996: The first Sports Festival “Hope” was held for orphans and disadvantaged children. 3000 children and 600 volunteers took part in the Sports Festival and Michael Jackson was a special guest.

September 6, 1996: Michael visits the children’s unit of a hospital in Prague.

October 1996: Michael visited a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and offered 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance in Kaoshiung.


October 1, 1996: Michael donated the proceeds of his Tunisia concert to “The National Solidarity Fund”, a charity dedicated to fighting poverty.

October 3, 1996: Michael visits a children’s hospital and brings small gifts for the patients during a HIStory tour visit in Amsterdam. A room in the hospital (for parents who want to be with their children) is named after Michael.

November 1, 1996: Michael donates most of the earnings from a HIStory concert in Bombay, India to the poor people of the country.

November 7, 1996: Before his first concert in Auckland, New Zealand, Michael fulfills the wish of little Emely Smith, who is suffering from cancer, who wants to meet Michael.

November 25, 1996: Michael visited the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, delivering toys, signing autographs, and visiting with children.

December 9, 1996: During a HIStory tour visit in Manila, Michael visits a children’s hospital. He announces that a part of his concert earnings will be donated to the renovation of the hospital.

January 25, 1997: Michael waved his personal fee for his Bombay appearance and donated $1.1 million to a local charity helping to educate children living in slums.

April 4, 1997: British magazine “OK!” is publishing exclusive photos of Michael’s son Prince. The magazine pays about 1 million pounds for the photos. Michael donates the money to charity.

June 18, 1997: Michael signed the “Children in Need” book auctioned by the charity UNESCO.

September 1998: Michael meets 5 year old Aza Woods, who suffers from cancer, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. Michael introduces Aza to the attraction “Star Trek: The Experience” and spends the rest of the afternoon with the little boy. Finally Michael invites Aza to spend some time with him at his Neverland Ranch.

November 16, 1998: Michael arrives in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a member of the American Delegation invited by the Minister of Defense. The delegation thanks the government of Zimbabwe for helping to keep the peace in this area.

September 4, 1999: Michael presented Nelson Mandela with a check for 1,000,000 South African rand for the “Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.”
January 22, 2000: During Christmas last year a violent storm ravaged the park of the Chateau de Versailles and destroyed 10,000 trees in the park. The estimated cost for rebuilding the park is around $20 million. Some celebrities are supporting the restoration of the park. French officials are reporting that Michael Jackson is one of them. He was one of the first people to donate money to this cause.

October 28, 2000:Michael painted a plate to be auctioned for the “Carousel of Hope Ball” benefiting childhood diabetes research.

March 6, 2001: Michael donated a black hat, a birthday phone-call and a jacket worn at the Monaco Music Awards in 2000 to the Movie Action for Children auction, an event being given by UNICEF with all proceeds will going to UNICEF’s efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa.

March 26, 2001: Michael handed out books to young people at a Newark, NJ theater. The event, which helped to launch the Michael Jackson International Book Club, part of his new Heal the Kids charity, aims to promote childhood reading and encourage parents to return to reading bedtime stories.

September 15, 2002: Michael donated 16 exclusively autographed items consisting of CD’s, videos and 2 cotton napkins to aid in the support of the victims of a severe flood in Germany. These items were auctioned off for charity and managed to raise 3935 Euro (US$ 3,814).

October 12, 2002: Michael Jackson invited more than 200 Team Vandenberg members, who recently returned from overseas deployments, and their families to his Neverland Ranch. This was to show his appreciation for the sacrifices the military in his community make.

November 19-29, 2002: Michael donated an autographed teddy bear dressed in his likeness to Siegfried & Roy’s celebrity teddy bear auction. This auction benefits Opportunity Village which is a non-profit organization based in Las Vegas (USA) that enhances the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Michael’s autographed teddy bear raised $5,000 for the charity.

November 21, 2002: Michael donated a jacket to the The Bambi Charity Event in Berlin which raised $16,000.

April 25, 2002: Michael Jackson performed at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Apollo Theater in Harlem helping to raise nearly $3 million dollars towards voter registration.

June 2003: The Wolf family, who experienced serious damages to their belongings during the flood in Saxony, Germany last August, was invited to Berlin by Michael Jackson when he was at the Bambi Awards. On that occasion Michael invited them to Neverland. In June, they spent three days at Neverland, meeting Michael and his children.


Charity Awards:
May 14, 1984: At a ceremony in the White House President Reagan presents Michael an award for special efforts; he is honored for his participation in a national ad campaign against drunk driving.
January 1989: The “Say Yes To A Youngsters Future” program honors Michael in recognition of his efforts to encourage children to natural sciences and award him with the “National Urban Coalition Artist/Humanitarian Of The Year Award”.

March 1989: At the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, Michael receives the Black Radio Special Award for his humanitarian efforts.

September 22, 1989: The Capital Children’s Museum awards Michael with the Best Of Washington 1989 Humanitarian Award in recognition of his efforts to raise money for the museum, and for his never-ending support of children.

February 3, 1990: From Japan Michael receives a Role Model Award.

April 5, 1990: During a ceremony, where Michael is awarded as “Entertainer Of The Decade”, Michael meets President George Bush, who honors him with the “Point Of Light” award. Michael receives this award for his philanthropic activities. President Bush explains Michael’s humanitarian commitments to the press.

September 14, 1990: The Council of the American Scouts honors Michael with the first “Good Scout Humanitarian Award”. Michael receives this award for his humanitarian activities by supporting the Make A Wish Foundation, the Prince’s Trust, the United Negro College Fund and Childhelp USA.

October 23, 1990: Michael Jackson and Elton John will be the first recipients of the award in memory of Ryan White, which will be handed over in 1991.

May 1, 1992: President George Bush presents Michael with the “Point of Light” award for his continuing support of deprived children. During his stay, Michael visits little Raynal Pope, who had been injured very badly by dogs.

June 3, 1992: The organization “One To One”, who is caring for better living conditions of young people, honors Michael with an award for his commitment to deprived youngsters.

July 1993: The American Friends of Hebrew University honors Michael with the Scopus Award 1993.

August 1993: The Jack The Rapper Awards are presented and Michael is honored with the “Our Children, Our Hope Of Tomorrow” award.
November 17, 1993: Michael rejects the Scopus Award. He was nominated for this award, which was planned to be given him on January 29th, 1994.

April 12, 1994: On occasion of the 2nd Children’s Choice Award ceremony at Cit Center in New York, Michael is presented with the “Caring For Kids” award. This award is to honor celebrities, who take time for young people. 100,000 children and young people from 8 to 18 years old gave Michael their vote of confidence. The Children’s Choice Awards are sponsored by Body Sculpt, a charity organization, that offers drug-prevention programs for young people.

November 2, 1995: Michael receives the award “Diamont of Africa”.

March, 30, 1996: The Ark Trust-Foundation, who wants to draw the attention of the public eye on animal’s problems, presents the 10th Genesis Award. Michael is presented with the 1995 Doris Day Award. He gets this award for the “Earth Song” video, which draws attention to the plight of the animals.

May 1, 1999: At the Bollywood awards in New York, Michael is presented with an award for his humanitarian activities. The award is signed: “Though he comes from the young American tradition, Michael is the embodiment of an old indian soul. His actions are an expression of the philosophy of Weda, which asked to work for the people – not for one’s own interests.”

The Millennium-Issue of the “Guinness Book Of Records” names Michael as the Pop Star who supports the most charity organizations. The following projects are supported by Michael Jackson:
AIDS Project L.A.
American Cancer Society
Angel Food
Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
BMI Foundation
Brotherhood Crusade
Brothman Burn Center
Camp Ronald McDonald
Childhelp U.S.A.
Children’s Institute International
Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
Congressional Black Caucus
Dakar Foundation
Dreamstreet Kids
Dreams Come True Charity
Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
Heal The World Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Love Match
Make A Wish Foundation
Minority Aids Project
Motown Museum
National Rainbow Coalition
Rotary Club of Australia
Society of Singers
Starlight Foundation
The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
United Negro College Fund
United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
Volunteers of America
Watts Summer Festival
Wish Granting
YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America
This is the oldest mentoring organization serving youth in the USA.
BBBSA has provided one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers and children at risk since 1904. BBBSA currently serves over 100,000 children and youth in more than 500 agencies throughout all of the United States.

BMI Foundation
From jazz to musical theater, from music education for gifted youngsters to support for the work of accomplished concert music composers, the BMI Foundation seeks out the best and most promising of today’s and tomorrow’s musical creators and offers a platform of support that fosters their growth and ensures the continuation of the heritage of American musical ingenuity for generations to come.

Childhelp USA
Childhelp USA is dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational, und spiritual needs of abused and neglected children focusing efforts and resources upon treatment, prevention.

Children’s Institute International
This is a private, non-profit organization specializing in the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Over the past 90 years, CII has evolved from a shelter for single mothers and their babies to an internationally recognized model of comprehensive care and assistance for at-risk children and their families. CII assistance includes child and family assessment supported by 24-hour emergency residential shelter care, family treatment services, therapeutic day care, child health clinic, long-term foster family care, and substance abuse treatment and prevention services.

Make A Wish Foundation fulfills the favorite wish of any child between the age of 2 ½ and 18 who has a diagnosed life-threatening illness.
Camp Ronald McDonald
Camp for children with cancer.
With 750+ Million Records Sold Michael Jackson Has Given More Than $300+ Million to Charities.


In contrast, here is the current timeline of the recent events dealing with accusations of sexual abuse or rape by Bill Cosby. Keep in mind, all of these dates are recent, while the actual attacks occurred decades in the past, but went ignored, even when reported:
November 2002
Andrea Constand, director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, allegedly met with Bill Cosby. Constand claims that Cosby, who had been a member of Temple’s track and field and football teams, assumed a role as her mentor.

January 2004
According to Constand, she visited Cosby at his Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, home to discuss career advice, and after allegedly (according to a civil lawsuit she would later file) giving her “herbal” pills to ease her anxiety, Cosby “touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated” her.

January 13, 2005
Constand, who had since moved near Toronto to study massage therapy, accuses Cosby of “inappropriate touching” — groping her breasts and placing her hand on his genitals — to Canadian authorities. Cosby’s lawyer calls her allegation “utterly preposterous” and “plainly bizarre.”

January 27, 2005
ABC News reports that the interaction between Constand and Cosby — who is at this point cooperating with the investigation — might have been consensual.

February 10, 2005
Tamara Green, a California lawyer, appears on the Today show and alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. Green tells Matt Lauer that Cosby, who had given her pills to combat a fever, drove her to her apartment and began “… groping me and kissing me and touching me and handling me and … taking off my clothes.” According to Green, Cosby left two $100 bills on her coffee table afterwards. Cosby’s lawyer issues a statement: “Miss Green’s allegations are absolutely false. Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Green or Tamara Lucier [her maiden name], and the incident she describes did not happen. The fact that she may have repeated this story to others is not corroboration.”

February 17, 2005
Citing a lack of evidence, the investigating district attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, announces he will not act on Constand’s accusation and bring criminal charges against Cosby.

March 8, 2005
Constand files a civil complaint against Cosby. The five-count lawsuit charges Cosby with battery and assault, and asks for at least $150,000 in damages. Thirteen women who allege similar experiences as Constand and Green are mentioned in court papers as Jane Doe witnesses.

May 2005
In Constand’s civil lawsuit, she alleges the comedian gave her three blue pills, which he said was herbal medication. Cosby’s lawyers, however, issue a court filing and attempt to clarify that the comedian merely gave Constand one and a half tablets of Benadryl.

June 2005
Jane Doe 5 goes public. Beth Ferrier claims she was in a relationship with Cosby in the mid-1980s, one that ended when he allegedly drugged her coffee and Ferrier woke in a car. “My clothes were a mess. My bra was undone. My top was untucked. And I’m sitting there going, ‘Oh my God. Where am I?’ What’s going on? I was so out of it. It was just awful.”

February 2006
While in the midst of her civil suit, Constand sues one of Cosby’s lawyers — and the National Enquirer — for defamation. Cosby had spoken to the tabloid the year before, and Constand claimed the interview defamed her as it “[intended] to or knowing it would injure” her.

June 2006*
Philadelphia magazine interviews another witness in Constand’s lawsuit, Barbara Bowman. “Cosby threw me on the bed and braced his forearm against my neck and attempted to disrobe me and himself,” she said in another Philadelphia interview later that year. “I can still remember him messing with his belt. And I was screaming and crying and yelling and begging him to stop.”

November 2006
Cosby settles with Constand. Terms are not disclosed, and none of the 13 other women testify.

December 2006
The following month, People magazine publishes Bowman’s account of several assaults: “It was in a hotel in Reno, claims Bowman, that Cosby assaulted her one night in 1986. ‘He took my hand and his hand over it, and he masturbated with his hand over my hand,’ says Bowman, who, although terrified, kept quiet about the incident and continued as Cosby’s protégé because, she says, ‘Who’s gonna believe this? He was a powerful man. He was like the president.’ Before long she was alone with Cosby again in his Manhattan townhouse; she was given a glass of red wine, and “the next thing I know, I’m sick and I’m nauseous and I’m delusional and I’m limp and … I can’t think straight…. And I just came to, and I’m wearing a [men’s] T-shirt that wasn’t mine, and he was in a white robe.'”

That same People article reports that three of the Jane Does from the March 2005 case accepted cash from Cosby for years, and two others began consensual sexual relationships with Cosby.

February 2014
Katie Baker of Newsweek — Whitaker’s former employer — interviews both Green and Bowman about the alleged assaults. Bowman tells Baker she was disappointed in the settlement, and Green recounts running into and accosting Cosby in Las Vegas, yelling, “Rapist! Liar! Asshole!” While Cosby doesn’t issue a statement regarding Bowman’s claims, his publicist responds to Green, “This is a 10-year-old, discredited accusation that proved to be nothing at the time, and is still nothing.”

October 16, 2014
Comedian Hannibal Buress does an extended bit about the rape charges in Cosby’s home town of Philadelphia. “Bill Cosby has the fucking smuggest old black man public persona that I hate,” Buress says. “Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom. Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches.” A clip of the set goes viral after being posted in Philadelphia magazine.

November 10,2014
To battle the bad press, Cosby’s PR team launches an online meme generator. Twitter is immediately inundated with references to the rape claims.

November 13, 2014
Inspired by the reactions to Buress’s bit, Bowman pens an op-ed in the Washington Post, titled “Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?” She notes that “only after a man … called Bill Cosby a rapist in a comedy act last month did the public outcry begin in earnest.”

November 15, 2014
Cosby is asked about the various charges on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” but stays silent. His lawyer later posts a statement saying Cosby “won’t dignify these allegations with any response.”

November 16, 2014
A new accuser, Joan Tarshis, alleges that Cosby drugged and assaulted her on two occasions in 1969. “As more and more of his rape victims have come forward, all telling similar stories,” Tarshis says, “the time is right to join them.”

November 17, 2014
Linda Joy Traitz, a former waitress at Cosby’s Café Figaro, writes a lengthy Facebook post accusing the actor of trying to drug her in the early ’70s. She says the incident occurred when Cosby drove her home one night: “He drove out to the beach and opened a briefcase filled with assorted drugs and kept offering me pills ‘to relax,’ which I declined. He began to get sexually aggressive and wouldn’t take ‘No’ for an answer. I freaked out and demanded to be taken home.”

November 18, 2014
On Entertainment Tonight, supermodel Janice Dickinson becomes the next woman to accuse Cosby of sexual abuse, saying the comedian drugged and raped her in 1982. She recalls Cosby giving her wine and a pill, which he told her were for menstrual cramps: “Before I woke up in the morning, the last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. And I remember a lot of pain. The next morning I remember waking up with my pajamas off and there was semen in between my legs.” Dickinson alluded to the event in her 2002 memoir, and later told Howard Stern she was asked to change the text to show Cosby in a better light.

Netflix indefinitely shelves the Bill Cosby stand-up special that was set to air Thanksgiving week.

November 19, 2014
Nearly all remnants of Cosby vanish from the airwaves as TV Land pulls all Cosby Show reruns from its schedule and NBC scraps the sitcom it was developing with him.

The Associated Press releases video of a November 6 interview in which Cosby tells an AP interviewer to “scuttle” footage of him refusing to comment on the charges. “If you want to consider yourself to be serious,” he says, “it will not appear anywhere.” Cosby later says he “thought AP had the integrity to not ask.”

November 20, 2014
A hoax website publishes a story saying Raven-Symoné was abused by Cosby as a child. Symoné disputes the rumor on Instagram: “I was NOT taking [sic] advantage of by Mr. Cosby when I was on the Cosby Show! I was practically a baby on that show and this is truly a disgusting rumor that I want no part of! Everyone on that show treated me with nothing but kindness. Now keep me out of this!”

Three additional women accuse Cosby of sexual assault: Carla Ferrigno, wife and manager of Incredible Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno, says Cosby “attacked” her when she was a teenager, grabbing and kissing her at a 1967 party; Love, American Style actress Louisa Moritz tells TMZ that Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him in a Tonight Show green-room in 1971; and nurse Theresa Serignese claims Cosby drugged and raped her in 1976. Serignese was one of 13 Jane Does in the 2005 court case, while Ferrigno and Moritz provide new allegations.

In another statement, Cosby’s lawyer condemns the “media-driven feeding frenzy” and calls the latest round of allegations “utter nonsense.” As he writes, “People are trying to come up with these wild stories in order to justify why they have waited 40 to 50 years to disclose these ridiculous accusations.”

November 21, 2014
Three more accusers step forward. All tell similar stories: Kristina Ruehli says Cosby spiked her bourbon and tried to force her to perform oral sex in 1965; Picture Pages actress Renita Chaney Hill alleges Cosby drugged and assaulted her multiple times when she was a teenager; and model Angela Leslie contends that Cosby invited her to his Las Vegas hotel room in 1992, got naked, then forced her to masturbate him.

Multiple theaters cancel upcoming appearances by Cosby, including the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and the Virginia Theater in Illinois.

November 22, 2014
The Washington Post publishes the results of a long investigation into the allegations, including an interview with a new accuser: former Playmate Victoria Valentino, who says Cosby drugged and assaulted her and a friend in 1970. “He came over to me and sat down on the love seat and opened his fly and grabbed my head and pushed my head down,” Valentino tells the Post. “And then he turned me over. It was like a waking nightmare.”

November 23, 2014
Former Cosby Show employee Frank Scotti says he was in charge of delivering payoffs to eight different women. In his words, “It was a coverup.” Scotti also claims that he stood guard outside Cosby’s dressing room while the comedian conducted “interviews” with young models, all supplied by an agency he had an “arrangement” with.

November 24, 2014
Model Jewel Allison accuses Cosby of drugging and assaulting her in the late ’80s. She recalls accepting a dinner invitation to Cosby’s home, where he poured her a glass of wine. Allison says now she thinks the wine was drugged. “I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t look good,” she tells the New York Daily News. “My eyes were all over the place.” She remembers Cosby placing her hand on his penis, kissing her, then calling a cab. “There’s no such thing as Cliff Huxtable,” she says. “There’s just a man named Bill Cosby. He’s a very sick sociopath.”

Mark Whitaker, author of the recent Cosby biography, apologizes on Twitter for not including the sexual assault allegations in his book.

November 26, 2014
Another Jane Doe comes forward, as former waitress Donna Motsinger accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s. Motsinger was working as a waitress in the Bay Area when, she says, Cosby asked her to attend one of his shows with him. They shared a drink in a limousine on the way there, after which, she claims, “I didn’t feel right.” Motsinger says she woke up in her bed the next morning wearing only her underwear and knew immediately that she’d been assaulted. “These women are not lying,” she tells ABC7 News. “I’m not lying. It’s God’s honest truth.”

December 1, 2014
Cosby resigns from his position on Temple’s board of trustees.

December 2, 2014
Judy Huth accuses Cosby of assaulting her when she was 15. Huth claims that she and a friend met Cosby when they wandered onto a movie set in 1974. A week later, she says, the comedian took them to a party at the Playboy Mansion. There, Huth claims Cosby told her to lie about her age; then, when the two were alone, Cosby stuck his hand down her pants and forced her to masturbate him. Huth is the first accuser in nearly a decade to get the legal system involved: She’s suing Cosby for damages based on the “psychological damage and mental anguish” she says she received. Huth cannot file criminal charges against the star, as the alleged incident took place before 1988.

On Twitter, Cosby thanks celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott for standing by him.

December 3, 2014
At a press conference called by Gloria Allred, Beth Ferrier joins two new accusers: Helen Hayes says Cosby stalked her “like a predator” in 1973 before coming up behind her and grabbing her breast; a woman known only as “Chelan” claims Cosby drugged and assaulted her in a hotel room in 1986. Allred calls for Cosby to either waive the statute of limitations for the allegations against him, or else donate $100 million to fund settlements for the accusers.

December 4, 2014
Cosby files his own lawsuit against Huth, saying she used the threat of a sexual-assault claim to try to extort him. The lawsuit calls Huth’s accusations “meritless and unsupported,” and claims she went public only “after Mr. Cosby rejected plaintiff’s outrageous demand for money.” Cosby and his lawyer also say Huth broke the law by naming him in her lawsuit. They are seeking $33,000 in damages.
Meanwhile, a New York theater cancels two upcoming Cosby performances and the Navy strips Cosby of his honorary chief petty officer designation. In Los Angeles, an unknown vandal scrawls “rapist” on Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
December 11, 2014
Model Beverly Johnson accuses Cosby of drugging her in the mid-’80s. Johnson tells Vanity Fair the comedian insisted she try a cappuccino from his home espresso machine; after two sips, she knew it was drugged. Before passing out, she remembers calling Cosby “a motherfucker,” which annoyed him so much he dragged her out of his house and hailed her a cab.
December 13, 2014
In his most direct response to the accusations yet, Cosby tells “Page Six” he expects “the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism [and] go in with a neutral mind.”
December 15, 2014
Model Chloe Goins accuses Cosby of drugging and assaulting her in 2008, the most recent alleged abuse yet. Goins claims she was attending a party at the Playboy Mansion when Cosby handed her a drink that made her black out. When she came to, she says, she found Cosby licking her toes and touching himself.
Spelman College drops its endowed professor position named after Cosby. The comedian and his wife had previously donated $20 million to the historically black college.
Camille Cosby herself speaks out for the first time. “The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work,” she says in a statement. “A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know.” Cosby also writes that she wishes the media would spend more time vetting her husband’s accusers, comparing his case to the Rolling Stone UVA rape scandal.
December 16, 2014
Cosby’s daughter Evin releases her own statement, which mirrors her mother’s: “He is the father you thought you knew,” she writes, adding that to her family, The Cosby Show was like a “reality show.”
December 17, 2014
The L.A. County district attorney declines to charge Cosby in Judy Huth’s case, as the statute of limitations has passed. Huth’s civil suit against Cosby is unaffected.
December 19, 2014
A new accuser known only as “Lisa” accuses Cosby of drugging her in 1988. Lisa tells Dr. Phil that Cosby had invited her up to his hotel room for a “mentoring session.” While there, she says, he gave her a drugged drink, then started stroking her hair; she woke up two days later with no memory of what had happened to her.
In a separate statement to USA Today, Cosby’s lawyer disputes the coverage of Cosby’s “black media” quote, saying that “Mr. Cosby did not ask for special treatment from the African-American media. To the contrary, he asked that they adhere to journalistic standards and approach the story in a neutral manner.”
December 22, 2014
Actress Kathy McKee accuses Cosby of raping her in the early 1970s. McKee says that at the time of the alleged assault, she had known Cosby eight years, and she tells the Daily News she considered him a “buddy.” McKee says she stopped by the comedian’s hotel room one night to bring him some ribs before a party, only to find that he was “like a different person,” immediately ripping her clothes off and raping her. McKee says she never spoke out about the incident, not even to her boyfriend, Sammy Davis Jr.: “I just figured, If I don’t think about it, it won’t bother me.”
January 4, 2015
In an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, former Cosby Show actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is “fired” for refusing to asking Cosby for money as part of a business challenge. The episode was shot months before the sexual-assault story returned to the news, and airs without any reference to the scandal. After her dismissal, Pulliam defends her TV father: “Unfortunately, in the court of public opinion everyone has formed their opinion, but we’re still in America and you’re innocent until proven guilty of any crimes.”
January 6, 2015
Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad joins the ranks of Cosby defenders, saying the accusations are part of a coordinated attack on the comedian. “Forget these women,” she tells reporter Roger Friedman. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s [about] the legacy.”
January 7, 2015
Gloria Allred calls another press conference, with three new Cosby accusers: Linda Kirkpatrick says she accepted a drink from Cosby at a party in the 1980s, only to wake up with the comedian on top of her; Lynn Neal says that Cosby “built [her] trust by pretending to be a friend,” then drugged and raped her; and a woman known only as “Kacey” claims that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1996, when she was working as an assistant for his agent.
After Allred criticizes her at the press conference, Phylicia Rashad says her “Forget these women” remark was misquoted. “I am a woman,” she tells ABC World News Tonight. “I would never say that.” In the interview, Rashad also reiterates her theory that the accusations are part of a deliberate campaign of character assassination against Cosby.
January 11, 2015
At the Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do a Cosby bit during their monologue. Reaction in the room, and online, is mixed.
January 14, 2015
The LAPD announces that it will investigate Chloe Goins’s claim that Cosby assaulted her in 2008. Her accusation is the first to fall within California’s statute of limitations.
January 26, 2015
Film executive Cindra Ladd accuses Cosby of drugging and assaulting her in 1969. In an essay for the Huffington Post, Ladd claims that the comedian invited her to see a movie, then gave her a pill he said was for headaches. She says she woke up the next morning naked in a strange bed, while Cosby lounged in a bathrobe: “It was obvious to me that he had had sex with me.”
February 8, 2015
Former Cosby Show actress Helen Gumpel accuses Cobsy of sexually harassing her in the late 1980s. Gumpel claims the comedian invited her on set after her first appearance; when she arrived, she found Cosby waiting in his dressing room, where he gave her a drink, forced her to sit on a couch, and then stood with his crotch uncomfortably close to her face. She refused him, and paid a price: “My career was a victim,” she said.
February 12, 2015
Two more women accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them. The stories of Linda Brown and Lise-Lotte Lublin are separated by two decades, but they follow a similar spine: Both women say the comedian invited them up to his hotel room, gave them a drink that made them black out, and then assaulted them. “He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and if you trust him then he has fooled you as well,” Brown tells a press conference.
February 19, 2015
After Norm Macdonald reveals that Eddie Murphy refused to play Cosby in SNL 40’s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, Cosby publicly thanks Murphy for his restraint. “I am very appreciative of Eddie,” Cosby says through a spokesperson, “and I applaud his actions.”
February 24, 2015
Another accuser steps forward. Heidi Thomas claims she met Cosby in 1984, when the comedian flew her out her to Reno, ostensibly for a mentoring session. When she arrived, she claims Cosby instructed her to act drunk, gave her a glass of wine that made her memory “foggy,” and then assaulted her. Now she tells CNN she wants to look the comedian in the eyes and ask him, “Do you remember me?”
March 3, 2015
One of the Jane Does from Andrea Constand’s 2005 civil lawsuit comes forward. Patricia, whose last name remains undisclosed, tells BuzzFeed that Cosby drugged and raped her twice. In 1978, Patricia says she “blacked out” and woke up naked in Cosby’s guest bedroom in Massachusetts after he made her “pretend to be an elegant queen with oatmeal dripping all over her face.” In 1980, she says she woke up feeling “very sick and knew that someone had penetrated me” after another night with Cosby.
March 27, 2015
In another press conference called by Gloria Allred, two more Cosby accusers come forward with stories of how the comedian drugged and assaulted them. Sunni Welles was 17 years old when met Cosby in the 1960s; her mother worked at Paramount and considered Cosby a family friend. With her mother’s blessing, Welles went to a jazz club with Cosby. After drinking a Coke, she claims things got “blurry,” and she woke up the next morning sure she’d been assaulted. Margie Shapiro says she met Cosby while she was working at a doughnut shop in 1975. She says he took her to a “game house,” where he challenged her to a game of pinball — the loser had to take a pill. She took it, and claims she woke up the next morning naked, with Cosby inside of her. At the press conference, she produced a box of matches that she said she had taken from Cosby’s house earlier that evening.
April 23, 2015
Three more accusers come forward with Allred. Janice Baker-Kinney says she met Cosby in the early ’80s, at a pizza party thrown by the casino where she worked. She claims he gave her two pills, after which she woke up naked, with the comedian touching her. Before she left, she says, Cosby told her, “This is between you and me.” Marcella Tate was a model who visited the Playboy Mansion with Cosby in 1975. After accepting a drink from him, she says her memories got “cloudy,” and she, too, woke up naked next to Cosby in a strange bed. Autumn Burns, a model and casino employee in the early ’70s, says Cosby approached her at work and told her he could mentor her. He allegedly invited her up to his room, where he gave her a drink that made her feel “woozy,” then assaulted her.
May 1, 2015
Allred calls a new press conference, where two more accusers tell their stories. Writer Sammie Mays claims she met Cosby at a conference in the mid-’80s. She says she came over for a drink in his hotel room and soon after felt “discombobulated.” When she woke up the next morning, she says, her clothes were in disarray. Actress Lili Bernard says Cosby invited her over in the early ’90s for what he claimed was a “mentoring session.” She claims the comedian “won [her] complete trust and adoration,” then drugged and raped her. Bernard’s alleged assault took place in New Jersey, which has no statute of limitations for sexual assault; Allred claims she and Bernard reported the incident to police the day before.
July 6, 2015
After a request from the Associated Press, court documents from Constand’s 2005 lawsuit are released. In Cosby’s testimony, he confirms one accuser’s account that he had sex with her after giving her quaaludes, though he avoided the question of whether he gave her the drugs without her knowledge. Elsewhere in the documents, Cosby admits to offering money to accusers for their “education,” and says he gave The National Enquirer an exclusive interview in exchange for the tabloid not running an interview with Beth Ferrier.
July 18, 2015
The Times releases excerpts from the full transcript of Cosby’s 2005 deposition. In his testimony, Cosby details his process for getting women to sleep with him, which involved approaching women who were professionally or emotionally vulnerable and playing the role of an eperienced mentor. Cosby also admits to giving women quaaludes before sex but denies anything unconsensual, telling the court, “I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things.”
July 21, 2015
Cosby’s lawyers criticize the media for their coverage of Cosby’s admissions. “Reading the media accounts, one would conclude that defendant has admitted to rape,” attorneys Patrick O’Connor and George Gowen write in a filing to keep the rest of the court records sealed. “And yet defendant admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s.” Cosby’s team later asks for sanctions against Andrea Constand for violating the confidentiality agreement she signed after her 2006 settlement.
July 27, 2015
Thirty-five of Cosby’s accusers appear on New York Magazine’s cover, telling their stories of the alleged assaults, the aftermath, and their decisions to come forward. Many of the women say the experience has forged a bond between them — in the words of Joan Tarshis, they now form a “sorrowful sisterhood.
August 12, 2015
Allred calls another press conference with three new accusers. Actress Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer claims Cosby pulled her into a room on a film set and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Former flight attendant Colleen Harris says Cosby took her up to his hotel room, then gave her a glass of Champagne that made her pass out; she woke up covered in semen. Actress Eden Tirl says she was sexually harassed on the set of The Cosby Show, when the comedian pulled her into a tight embrace and told her he was going to “make love” to her.
September 24, 2015
Marquette and Fordham strip Cosby of his honorary degrees.
September 30, 2015
Three more women tell their stories in another press conference called by Gloria Allred. Waitress Sharon Van Ert says she passed out when Cosby gave her a ride home after work one night in 1976. The last thing she remembers is Cosby rubbing her legs; when she awoke, her underwear was gone. Model Pamela Abeyta claims she met Cosby while trying to network with him in 1979. After he allegedly invited her to stay with him in his hotel suite, they had dinner — after dinner, she blacked out. She remembers waking up in Cosby’s hotel bed, not her own. Model Lisa Christie says Cosby spent years mentoring her, then came on to her in a hotel room. When she refused, he allegedly told her, “You’re never going to make it in this business unless you sleep with me.”
October 11, 2015
Cosby testifies under oath in a depositon for Judy Huth’s lawsuit. According to judge Craig Karlan, the contents of Cosby’s testimony will be sealed until December.
October 15, 2015
Tufts and Goucher revoke Cosby’s honorary degrees.
October 19, 2015
Amherst rescinds Cosby’s honorary doctorate, the first time the school has revoked an honorary degree.
October 21, 2015
Cosby fires his longtime lawyer, Marty Singer, who had been one of his most vocal defenders in the press. In response, Huth’s lawyer Gloria Allred says she wants to question Cosby a second time.
October 23, 2015
Two more women accuse Cosby of sexual misdeeds. An actress who identifies herself only as Dottye claims Cosby invited her to his house to audition for the Cosby Show in 1984. While she was there, she says, Cosby gave her a drink, which made her get “foggy — after that, she remembers him taking off her clothes, making her take a shower, and raping her. Donna Barrett says the comedian assaulted her at a track meet at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, grabbing her from behind and forcing his “private parts” on her.
December 30, 2015
Prosecutors in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County charge Cosby with three counts of sexual assault in the Andrea Constand case, the first criminal charges Cosby has faced since the allegations surfaced. The statute of limitations in the alleged 2004 assault, which Constand says took place at Cosby’s house in the Philadelphia suburbs, reportedly runs out in January 2016.
So far, nearly 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault.

The In-Between Time

It’s that strange time between Christmas and New Years when it doesn’t feel quite like a holiday, and yet, the new year hasn’t officially started, so you’re just kind of wafting around wondering what to do and how to act. It was a great, albeit strange holiday for me. Ari (aka LionCat) is doing well right now, but because of the severity of his heart failure, that could change at any time. I cherish every moment I have with him and do my best not to stress over it. With the Adenomyosis, I’ve been experiencing panic attacks and anxiety, something I never had to deal with when my hormones were normal. My OBGYN was kind enough to prescribe me some Xanax, so that’s helped considerably, but it’s still been a rough go of it in spots.


A good chunk of the ‘rough go’ part also has to do with not getting any writing or writing work done. It’s a vicious cycle of ‘worry, exhausted from being worried, then recovering from worrying’ wherein writing work gets set aside, then stared at, then fallen asleep on, only to wake up and realize that nothing functional got done. This includes everything from writing new stuff, to working on things I have for a critique partner. Then I have to temper my frustrations and remind myself that I’m dealing with a dying cat whom I love dearly, and most of this pertains to him and just enjoying what time I have with him.


But we had a wonderful Christmas, and I firmly believe this will be the start of a great New Year!

Overdue… as Usual

Things have gotten crazy, as they tend to do, so not only am I very behind in writing blog posts, but I’m also behind in actually writing anything at all. Since I’m what I would term an ’emotional writer’ meaning that I exact immense pleasure from creating stories, and go at it from a passionate perspective, rather than an analytical ‘I will write 2,000 words today on these sections of plot’ sort of writer, I can be greatly influenced by whatever is going on in my life. If it’s not good stuff, my writing can suffer.

Recently, the ‘not good’ has had to do with my beloved LionCat, Ari. Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook will know this already, as I’ve been posting updates on his condition. *For now* he *seems* to be responding positively to current treatment. I remain paranoid and dubious of celebrating overly, as his condition is quite serious, but I do embrace and cherish every moment I have with him. Hence the overabundance of photos and updates on Facebook. With LionCat comfortable, and happy for the time being, I was able to crack open a WIP last night, and write a whole 5 sentences before Old Lady Cat demanded I hold her. When a cat that’s somewhere between 17-19 years old tells you to hold her, you freaking hold her. But still, I got about 5 sentences written, which is more than I’ve written in the last five weeks. So I’ll take it!

I’m writing this at work, and have just been handed a new inventory sheet to go count, so I’ll leave off for now. But I’ll leave you with yet one more photo of my dearest LionCat! 10888580_822774041111343_8231584626364553956_n

Two Questions And An Excerpt

It’s NaNoWrimo again, and predictably, I’ve put up a novel with the intention of pounding out words, and instead I’ve started a new WIP, and ended up working on a novel from last year, and a prequel to Catskin, in addition to working on the one for this year.

I’m a multi-WIP girl, and I usually have at least two of them going at the same time. Whether they end up finished depends on the individual project. Sometimes, I just write until another WIP takes over the lion’s share of my brain pan. Other times, I finish a project entirely. The good part, though, is that nine times out of ten, when I go at a WIP this way, even if I don’t finish it, I’ve also cobbled together an outline (sometimes purely just so I can keep track of my own characters and their goals) and I’ve gotten immersed in the story enough that I can easily go back and pick up writing on it later. So even though these WIPs aren’t *finished* I don’t consider them to be toss-asides, either. They’re just ideas waiting in the wings. This also allows me to dabble in whatever genre or style the story requires. For example, my NaNo novel for this year, Grimalkin, is an adult fantasy, with cursing and sex. The one I’m working on from last year, Pohickery Girl, is a paranormal YA, clean read, and the new WIP is a magical realism/fantasy set in reality YA, which I *think* will be a clean read, but I’m not into the characters enough to be sure of that, yet. The prequel to Catskin is, of course, a contemporary YA, clean read.

So, writers, are you a single-WIP-at-a-time writer? Or do you just line up your ideas and attack them at will?

This leads me into question number 2, and that is, do you sit down and decide ‘I have a story idea, and it will be a ‘clean read’ or it will contain cursing and/or sex/sexual situations’? Or do you start outlining (or writing) and only decide the tone AFTER you’re into the book and characters? I, myself, don’t ever give much thought to cursing or sexual content, I just write the book. The only exceptions would be like the prequel to Catskin, which I’ve titled Astray. Obviously, I knew that if I wanted to write something to be published with Clean Reads, it needed to be, duh, a clean read, so naturally, it is. And anything I write with the idea of submitting to Clean Reads in the future (and I’d LOVE to keep publishing with them forever, even if I also publish elsewhere) will also be written clean. But what I changed within Catskin didn’t take away from the story. I didn’t settle with Catskin, the book naturally fell into a clean category. Or clean enough that all I needed to do was crop out a few curse words or references and it fit. I didn’t compromise any characters or personalities by changing them. This is one of the things I have always sworn, and will continue to swear, that I would never/will never do. If I have to change the fundamental nature of a character or book to fit, then I won’t publish it through that venue. Anyway, my point is, I don’t plot books, as a rule, to either be clean or contain stuff.

Do you intentionally plot your books to either be ‘clean’ or contain cursing and/or sexual situations? Or do you write them as they come out of you, and categorize them after the fact?


I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from my new WIP, Blooded. It’s contemporary, but with magical elements, and contains subjects I’ve long adored. Namely, faeries, and the Wild Hunt. Also, it was inspired by a Victorian era Opal ring I found in the trash. Here are the first three pages. Because I have numerous poems on the subject, I thought it would be fun to have them as chapter headers for this book, so each chapter hosts a short poem that hints as to the contents of that chapter.


The Veil

Hoarfrost gilds the feral land
Crystals cast with an artist’s hand

Cryptic rooks in place of gemstones be
Feathered clots of ebony

Perched high above in treetop crowns
Fluttering over the heaths wild gown

A world of frigid beauty of ageless mystic grey
A world beyond our reckoning held in faery sway

The dirt of a place can lodge itself inside your blood and bones just as surely as it can pack beneath your fingernails and settle into the cracks of your skin. That’s the way it was from the first moment I set foot on Veil Mac Tíre. I was only six, but I still understood, maybe better than any adult could have, that I belonged to that land. At the time, I didn’t even know I was standing on Veil Mac Tíre. My insides, though, they recognized it like a homecoming.
We had just moved into a little stone cottage that was tucked up into the curving northern edge of the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts. Though it wasn’t far south of Boston, and all the little townships and cities seemed smushed together in a never-ending riot of civilization, our cottage and the bit of land it was on, abutted the three thousand untamed acres of Veil Mac Tíre. The estate, in turn, ran along – and was indiscernible from – the some six thousand acres of the Blue Hill Reservation. For a child who was terrified of crowds, and strangers, and cities of any size, moving into that secluded cottage was a life-saving change for me.
Now, almost twelve years later, crowds and cities are still enough to bring me into a full panic attack, but I always have Veil Mac Tíre to come home to. And once I’m finished the last two classes I’m required to do into order to graduate high school, I’ll never leave the Veil again.
Ma is in the sunroom when I come downstairs. She’s always up as early as I am. You’d never know she wasn’t raised on a farm, and that she loves the roar of downtown Boston. If it wasn’t for me, we’d probably be living there right now. Just the thought of it is enough to make me shudder. It’s a sin, I’m sure, to be so glad that we have Toad Cottage, seeing as how my uncle died in order for us to get it, but I’m glad, just the same.
“Di, will you bring the pot down here and refill me?” Ma calls from down the hall.
“No, I can’t,” I call back. “Both my hands have just fallen off.”
Ma’s replying cackle of laughter echoes off the hardwood floors. I cross from the stairs into the kitchen. It’s not a large room, but it’s my favorite, with a wide hearth designed for cooking two hundred years ago, and a hug porcelain farm sink, stone counters, and an ancient wood cookstove which was wired for electricity long before it was the popular thing to do. The coffee pot sits on one counter, still mostly full. Daddy was on duty last night, so he’s not home yet. There’s always more work than there are firefighters.