We’re on the same side, but have different approaches to election angst

typewriter with the words “ELECTIONS 2020” typed in block letters on a piece of paper
typewriter with the words “ELECTIONS 2020” typed in block letters on a piece of paper
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Even though my boyfriend, D., and I are both horrified by the rampant greed, narcissism and ineptitude of President Trump, the election is still causing strife in our household. Unlike in 2016, our discord isn’t because he won’t tell me who he’s voting for. I know he’s just as disgusted as I am by this administration’s utter disregard for anyone not in Trump’s inner circle and deliberate mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. We filled out and dropped off our ballots together.

But just because we both voted for…


An illustration of a woman looking perfectly content, while being buried in a ton of letters.
An illustration of a woman looking perfectly content, while being buried in a ton of letters.
Illustration: Andrea Chronopoulos

You vs. Your Inbox

You can be a productive person without ever aiming for inbox zero

I first realized my inbox was becoming a problem when I missed an acceptance from an editor I’d never worked with before. It was pretty embarrassing to send a groveling apology six weeks after the fact, explaining that her message had gotten lost amid thousands of other unread emails.

Not for the first time, I considered declaring email bankruptcy: mass-deleting all the newsletters, marketing promos, Google news alerts, and notes from friends, family, and work contacts that accumulated over the years. …


Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

I had just stepped out the door to head to the bus from Atlantic City to New York when my cousin texted me that her father had passed away that morning. He was on hospice at his home in Greenwich Village; I’d been heading in to see him for a final visit.

I put down my bags, entered my house, told my boyfriend, and cried in his arms, before calling my cousin. I smiled through my tears because she had told me and my mom in the text that he loved us both, which I knew. I would have been…


Whether you’re a traditionally published or self-published author, you don’t have to wait for someone else to ask you to give a reading or host a talk or panel at a bookstore. You can do it yourself! Many independent bookstores are open to events booked directly with authors, which allows you to greater flexibility in planning book events.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

Proposing a book event

Your first step should be exploring a bookstore’s website and seeing if they have instructions posted about event outreach. Before contacting the store, gather the relevant information about your title, including the publisher and distributor, publicist contact (if…


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

This morning, I proudly voted for Tanzie Youngblood for Congress. I less proudly identify as a member of the Democratic Party, after seeing them choose a candidate in my district for their Red to Blue strategy who’s proved himself lackluster at best on gun control, pro-gun at worst.

As a resident of New Jersey Congressional district 2, where there’s a heated campaign for the Democratic primary wrapping up, I want to help illuminate why, as a Democrat, I’m appalled by the Party’s choice to back Jeff Van Drew at the top of the ticket in all eight counties of the…


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

On Friday, news broke on Twitter that the archives for the website The Frisky had been wiped from the internet (for the moment, you can read some tributes on the site’s official Twitter feed). I was a columnist there briefly, as well as a freelance writer, largely chronicling my sex and dating misadventures in my thirties, along with occasionally writing about books by Kardashians and others.

The essays that stand out most in my mind about going on less than stellar date with a Top Chef contestant (spoiler alert: he brought his assistant and I brought him back to my…


A few weeks ago, I put out my first self-published anthology, Candy Lovers; Sugar Erotica. Why, after over a decade and 60 anthologies with traditional publishers, did I decide to take this major step?

Before I tell you why, I want to be clear about why I didn’t. I didn’t decide to self-publish because I’m unhappy with my current publisher, the wonderful New Jersey-based independent Cleis Press, who publish the annual Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series I edit, which is my pride and joy and the biggest honor of my career, along with other titles. I earn more…


Photo via Kim Kardashian West Instagram account

News of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West’s visit to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump about prison reform and the case of Alice Marie Johnson, who’s served 21 years on a life sentence without parole for a nonviolent drug offense, have been met with incredulous reactions. The shock makes sense considering that five years ago, both were known more for their prowess at self-promotion than their political opinions.

However, it’s now 2018, and politics has changed. While many have thoughtfully criticized the mere idea, let alone the reality, of Trump taking a meeting with Kardashian West…


Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash

Today is the first day of Book Expo America, the book publishing trade show more commonly known as BEA. This means it’s also the time of year where if you’re an author or any way related to books professionally, you’ll hear the common question, “Are you going to BEA?”

BEA was a bookish wonderland when I first attended

This was a question I used to answer with a resounding yes, planning my schedule around this bookish wonderland and even flying to attend when it was held far from where I lived. I couldn’t get enough of being surrounded on books upon books upon books, often turned into fascinating displays…


Cover of YouTube star Franchesca Ramsey’s memoir Well, That Escalated Quickly

Lately reading a single book has taken me several weeks, or longer, which is a frustrating amount of time for someone who considers herself a book nerd. Due to a busy schedule and an increasingly shortened attention span, I’m constantly on the hunt for books that will engross me from page one right to the end.

So I was thrilled when I scored a free copy of Franchesca Ramsey’s debut book, Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist (thanks, Amazon Vine!) and found myself flipping the pages so fast I was done in three days. There’s…

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Writer on books, culture, and sex. Editor of Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series. Written for New York Times, Salon, CNN and more. rachelkramerbussel.com

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