Tag Archives: Everett Maroon

Questions Answered About My Writing

Cooper Lee Bombardier tagged me in some author chain mail thing, and normally I’d avoid a meme but first, he’s a really nice fella, and second, it’s about writing, so heck, I could bloviate about that all day. Here are my answers to four questions he posed:

1)     What are you working on?
I’ve got several projects right now; in all honestly, probably too many. But here they are—a novel about four different gender non-conforming people from different eras in the United States, who by chance come together to build a high school for queer and trans youth. I’m trying to look at LGBT generationality, invisible history, the fracture lines across our communities, as well as more general themes of redemption, struggle, the fallibility of memory, and what indebtedness we have to each other.
I’m also in the middle of revisions to my followup memoir, Bumbling into Baby, which as it sounds, is about Susanne and my attempts to start a family. It’s told in the same tone as Bumbling into Body Hair, so it’s a humorous story, even as it makes some criticisms of the medical system, reproductive politics, and ideas about family.
And then I’m working on a non-genre short story about a trans man with Alzheimer’s who forgets he’s trans. This is a story I’ve wanted to work on for a long time, and I’m writing it in reverse chronology (apologies to Chip Delany, who loathes structures like this). I’m not sure which market will work for it, but right now I’m just focused on the story and the writing.

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Short Excerpt from The Unintentional Time Traveler

The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon coverShort excerpt from the final revision of the young adult novel I have coming out this fall, The Unintentional Time Traveler. This section is from Chapter 18.

Closing my eyes made the experience feel more familiar, even if I knew I was sitting back on Jeannine’s rich friend’s couch and not in a lab. Dr. Dorfman’s voice was strangely comforting even with all of the guilt because of everything I’d put him through. Without seizures anymore, he wasn’t sure if this would work. Sitting still made me almost miss all the years of pills and needles and brain scans, but not really. Maybe I should have been more nervous about the hand-built EEG machine than my own capacity for out of control neuron activity, but I didn’t think the doctor would have subjected me to anything that could hurt me. Even as revenge.

We’d had a long discussion about trying to send me somewhere. Dorfpoodle wanted to have witnesses present who agreed that time travel was at least a possibility. I wanted to see if I could time jump without my own seizures, and I was desperate to see Lucas again. Alive. I prayed to nobody in particular. Please give me time to fix what was so screwed up back there.

“Relax, Jack,” he said. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why he cared to do all of this for us. Was he interested in inventing a time machine? Wanting to prove himself correct? Was he actually delusional? Why were these questions only now just popping into my head?

I considered ripping off the wires, held to my scalp with some kind of hair product instead of the medical putty I was used to. This was crazy. What was I thinking? I should get out of here, explain to my parents that I’ve been stupid and desperate. They’ll have to get over it at some point. Maybe I’ll super enjoy juvenile detention. Read More…

On the Road for an Unknown Writer’s Book Tour

The book tour is an endangered species, part of the soon-to-be archaic practice of publishers in getting publicity for top- and mid-list authors when their latest books hit the market. I remember book tours from the bookstore perspective, because I was once a book buyer and I coordinated readings up in Syracuse, New York. Stephen King, impeccably nice. Oliver Stone, not so nice. Mollie Katzen had lots of culinary tips, William Bennet was reserved, and Donna Shalala had a great booming laugh. For each of these events we ordered 30, 40, 75 copies of their tomes, and the lines stretched out of the store and into the student life building atrium. We’d put extra people on shift and listen to the cash registers ring with sales. It was something of an assembly line: customers waiting, picking up books, paying for books, getting books signed, out the door. A signing could last one or two hours before the interest petered out. We tried not to frown when people arrived with their own books or with books that had been released years earlier, because the authors were sure glad to see everyone. Some of the authors had requests up front or in their contracts that we had to fulfill, things like having sparkling water, or having a rival’s books tucked out of sight, and of course, of course, we were more than happy to oblige them.

When I do a reading, I count it as lucky if the store remembers I’m showing up that night. One reading had me and a few friends standing nervously on the sidewalk, the store dark and empty of staff, while I called my publicist. We were saved from reading on the street or walking away in sorrow when a random car with three store employees drove by us, wheeled around, and opened up the building. By the time I started reading in the quickly rearranged room, 15 people had shown up. Read More…

DC Trans Pride 2012 Keynote Address

Humor and Civil Rights

Keynote Address to 2012 DC Trans Pride

Everett Maroon

Two great tastes that go great together –Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups marketing staff.

Folks who teach about public speaking often say that you need to relay your main message to the audience three times—you tell them what you’re going to tell them, you tell them, and then you tell them what you told them. This ties in nicely to comedy writing, because threes are often the standard set up for jokes. Creative writing instructors, on the other hand, insist on a minimum of telling and a maximum of showing, usually through dialogue and character interaction. Perhaps a keynote address isn’t exactly creative writing, but old habits die hard, so I’ll try to do my telling via showing, and I’ll do it at least three times so I keep all of the public speaker people I know happy. You don’t want to piss off the Toastmasters, trust me.

So I’m going to talk about humor and civil rights in our movement. I will, after this introduction, explain what every thing in that sentence means. Well, let me define humor, civil rights, and our, right now.  By “humor,” I mean something that makes us laugh. By “our,” I mean the transsexual/transgender/trans-asterisk/genderqueer/gender non-conforming bunch of us. And by “civil rights,” I mean all the stuff that we deserve and don’t currently have, and yes, after this intro—this is still the introduction—I’ll list out what those things are, but I probably won’t exhaust everything that should be on the list because as we’ll see, I have but one perspective to bring to the movement, and as you’ll see by way of some lovely anecdotes, we need as many voices as we can scrabble together. Along the way I’ll read a few stories to satisfy the minimal showing requirement of this talk, and then I’ll finish with a self-deprecating comment to tell you what I told you. You’ll applaud, possibly because the words I strung together today were helpful and/or amusing, but more likely because I traveled more than 3,000 miles to get here and you feel pity for me that this is all I came up with in the way of a keynote. But let me thank you in advance for your excellent manners. Read More…

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