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Thursday, March 30, 2006


Hello everyone! This is my latest story Backstage to be submitted tomorrow for the "Drag King" anthology. I am not going to have time to put it in the Fish Tank, so any advice you can offer would be great.

Copyright ©2005 by Crystal Barela

This story contains sexually explicit scenes! If you are offended by FF sex or sex using toys, stop reading now!

Comb lines through my pomade slickened hair always made me smile. I looked like my father. The same dark eyes framed by thick lashes and brows. The square jaw and thin lips held a startling resemblance even before I added the facial hair.

Lightly, I tapped the spirit gum on my upper lip to check for tackiness then picked up the mustache the same color as my dark hair. I tightened the skin beneath my nose and pressed the bit of hair firmly in place.

I wasn’t about glitter. Smoke and lights were more my style. I took a drag of my cigarette and stared at Bambi’s reflection through the smoke. She was practicing her presentation poses. One long leg sheathed in fishnet turned out showing a lean inner thigh. Her arms pointed toward an imaginary object.

Bambi wasn’t her real name, but it suited her for the role she played on stage with me. A magician’s assistant should draw the eye. In her silver sequined leotard she sparkled under the stage lights. The shiny fabric held her breasts in a way my fingers remembered, but now framed her cleavage to gain audience attention. Tonight she wore a feathered headdress that butted her rouged cheeks and swayed hypnotically when she moved.

“Bee, you have that one down,” I said, putting out the cigarette in the ashtray on the make-up table. Bambi had been my partner on stage for more than two years. “You could do this in your sleep.”

We hadn’t slept together in eight months, since she’d met Carla.

“I know,” she said, again lifting her arms in a graceful wave. “But the heels are new.”
Bambi was balancing on her ‘fuck me’ heels--four inches of clear plastic that gave her leg an extra sexy curve. They were sling backsz with no straps. I raised a brow. “The last time you had slip-ons—“

“I know. I nearly fell into the laps in the front row.” She came up behind me and placed her manicured nails on my shoulders. Warm heat passed from my shoulders straight to my sex.
How long could we do this?

“Not that they would have objected,” I said instead. Bambi blushed prettily and I took her hand in mine and brought it to my lips.

Casual. Friendly.

“I’ve been wearing these around the apartment for two days.”

“What’s Carla think of that?”

“Says they make my ass look younger and higher.” She glanced over her shoulder at her rear. “I think I’ll start wearing them full time.”

My smile was more of a sneer, but Bambi didn’t seem to notice. I leaned closer to the mirror and tapped the mustache with my finger. The bit of hair was itchy.

“You nearly ready?” Bambi asked.

“One more cigarette and I’ll be out.”

Bambi kissed my forehead before leaving me. (If you would like to read further, story finished in Comments)

"Dusty Rose" to be Published!

Hello my adoring fans! I am flying high because my story The Dusty Rose has been accepted for publication by Alyson Books for their anthology "Travelrotica for Lesbians." Of course I am totally psyched! Alyson is the publishing house who is also publishing Magdalin for their "Vampirotica" book.

The Dusty Rose is my story loosely based on "Carlee's Place," a bar in Borrego Springs Shawn and I used to hang out at. It's about a busker finding fun on her travels with an older woman, and owner of the bar. I really liked my characters in this story and worked hard to bring them to life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lambda Literary FoundationAnnounces Finalists For 18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

March 3, 2006, New York, NY- The Lambda Literary Foundation announced the finalists for the 18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating achievements in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) literature for books published in 2005.

Launched in 1989, the Lambda Literary Awards is the nation's most celebrated and comprehensive collection of awards for LGBT writing. Spanning twenty categories, the 100 finalists reflect a diverse range of distinguished voices from the LGBT community and highlight the full range of achievement in LGBT literature.

The finalists are selected based on a two-part process. In the fall of 2005, readers, authors, and publishers formally nominated books, with the nomination period closing on December 31. A finalist selection committee of reviewers and booksellers chose the finalists by first voting on their top choices and then, in conference calls, discussing the top titles in each category.

"This is a remarkable list of finalists," observed Charles Flowers, executive director of Lambda Literary Foundation. "From small press to university press to New York mainstream houses, LGBT publishing is vibrant and vigorous, with new voices like Tennessee Jones and Michelle Embree joining established favorites like Jeanette Winterson and Dennis Cooper. We are most proud of our debut fiction awards, which allow Lambda to recognize the emerging talent in our community that these publishers are investing in and introducing to the world."

Seventy-two judges, representing a broad cross-section of the gay and lesbian literary community, will select a single book in each category to win the prestigious Lambda Literary Award, considered to be the highest accolade for a book from the LGBT community. The recipients will be announced at a gala ceremony in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 18, 2006, on the eve of the BookExpo America Convention. Information about the awards ceremony will be announced at a later date, or can be requested at

Finalists for the 2005 Lambda Literary Awards (alphabetical by category)

Red Light: Superheroes, Saints, & Sluts, ed. Anna Camilleri (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels, 1950-1955, ed. Katherine Forrest (Cleis)
Freedom in This Village: 25 Years of Black Gay Men's Writing, ed. E. Lynn Harris (Carroll & Graf)
Everything I Have Is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men, ed. Wendell Ricketts (Suspect Thoughts)
Bullets and Butterflies: Queer Spoken Word Poetry, ed. Emanuel Xavier (Suspect Thoughts)

Belles Lettres
Quicksands: A Memoir by Sybille Bedford (Counterpoint Press)
Tab Hunter Confidential by Tab Hunter, with Eddie Muller (Algonquin)
My One Night Stand with Cancer by Tania Katan (Alyson Books)
The Tricky Part by Martin Moran (Beacon Press)
When I Knew, edited by Robert Trachtenberg, illustrated by Tom Bachtell (Regan Books)

The Fabulous Sylvester by Joshua Gamson (Henry Holt)
Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin by John Geiger (The Disinformation Company)
Beyond Recall by Mary Meigs and Lise Weil (Talonbooks)
Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, & Art by Diana Souhami (St. Martins)
February House by Sherrill Tippins (Houghton Mifflin)

Children's/Young Adult
Antonio's Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio by Rigoberto Gonzalez (Children's Book Press)
Totally Joe by James Howe (Simon & Schuster)
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson (Simon & Schuster)
Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster)
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai (Tundra Books)

Rode Hard Put Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica edited by Sacchi Green & Rakelle Valencia (Suspect Thoughts)
Best Lesbian Erotica 2006, ed. by Eileen Myles and Tristan Taormino (Cleis)
Stolen Moments: Erotic Interludes 2, edited by Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)
Best Gay Erotica 2006, ed. by Matt Bernstein Sycamore and Richard Labonte (Cleis)
Close Contact by Sean Wolfe (Kensington)

Gay Men's Debut Fiction
Setting the Lawn on Fire by Mack Friedman (Wisconsin)
Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann (Pantheon)
The First Verse by Barry McCrea (Carroll & Graf)
You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre (Carroll & Graf)
Bilal's Bread by Sulyman X (Alyson)

Gay Men's Fiction
The Sluts by Dennis Cooper (Carroll & Graf)
German Officer's Boy by Harlan Greene (Wisconsin)
Faith for Beginners by Aaron Hamburger (Random House)
What We Do is Secret by Kief Hillsbery (Villard)
Acqua Calda by Keith McDermott (Carroll & Graf)

Gay Men's Mystery
The Actor's Guide to Greed by Rick Copp (Kensington)
White Tiger by Michael Allen Dymmoch (St. Martins Minotaur)
The Paper Mirror by Dorien Grey (GLB Publishers)
Cajun Snuff by W. Randy Haynes (Publish America)
One of These Things is Not Like the Others by D. Travers Scott (Suspect Thoughts)

Gay Men's Poetry
School of the Arts by Mark Doty (HarperCollins)
For Dust Thou Art by Timothy Lui (Southern Illinois)
Sugar by Martin Pousson (Suspect Thoughts)
Crush by Richard Siken (Yale)
Blue on Blue Ground by Aaron Smith (Pittsburgh)

Invasion of Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel (Alyson Books)
Juicy Mother by Jennifer Camper (Soft Skull Press)
What the L ? by Kate Clinton (Carroll & Graf)
Revenge of the Paste Eaters by Cheryl Peck (5 Spot, Warner Books)
Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff (Doubleday)

Lesbian Debut Fiction
In Too Deep by Ronica Black (Bold Strokes)
Manstealing for Fat Girls by Michelle Embree (Soft Skull Press)
The Beautifully Worthless by Ali Liebegott (Suspect Thoughts)
Crashing America by Katia Noyes (Alyson)
Bliss by Fiona Zane (Kensington)

Lesbian Fiction
Babyji by Abha Dawesar (Anchor Books)
Wild Dogs by Helen Humphrys (W. W. Norton)
With or Without You by Lauren Sanders (Akashic)
Five Books of Moses Lapinsky by Karen Tulchinsky (Raincoast Books)
Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson (Harcourt)

Lesbian Mystery
Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar De Alba (Arte Publico)
Women of Mystery edited by Katherine Forrest (Haworth)
The Iron Girl by Ellen Hart (St. Martins Minotaur)
Darkness Descending by Penny Mickelbury (Kings Crossing)
Justice Served by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Lesbian Poetry
Where the Apple Falls by Samiya Bashir (redbone press)
Directed by Desire: Collected Poems by June Jordan (Copper Canyon)
Life Mask by Jackie Kay (Bloodaxe Books)
New and Selected Poems, Volume II by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press)
Eye of Water by Amber Flora Thomas (Pittsburgh)

LGBT Studies
When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David by Susan Ackerman (Columbia)
Zest for Life: Lesbians' Experience of Menopause by Jennifer Kelly (Spinifex)
Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch by Dwight A. McBride (NYU Press)
Lesbian Communities Festivals, Rvs And the Internet, edited by Esther D. Rothblum and Penny Sablove (Harrington Park Press)
Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West by Ruth Vanita (Palgrave Macmillan)

Gore Vidal's America by Dennis Altman (Polity Press)
Beyond the Down Low by Keith Boykin (Carroll & Graf)
Raising Boys without Men by Peggy Drexler (Rodale)
Words to Our Now by Thomas Glave (Minnesota)
Women Together/Women Apart by Tirza True Latimer (Rutgers)

Walt Loves the Bearcat by Randy Boyd (West Beach Books)
Artist's Dream by Gerri Hill (Bella Books)
Just Like That by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
The Price of Temptation by M. J. Pearson (Seventh Window)
Distant Shores, Silent Thunder by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Fledgling by Octavia Butler (Seven Stories)
Shapers of Darkness by David B. Coe (Tor)
Daughters of an Emerald Dusk by Katherine Forrest (Alyson Books)
Temple Landfall by Jane Fletcher (Bold Strokes)
No Sister of Mine by Jeanne G'Fellers (Bella Books)

The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades by Munya Andrews (Spinifex)
Qu(e)ering Evangelicalism by Cheri DiNovo (Pilgrim Press)
The Path of the Green Man by Michael Thomas Ford (Citadel Press)
I Am the One Walking Beside Me by Daniel Gebhardt (Pilgrim Press)
Fumbling Toward Divinity by Craig Hickman (Annabessacook Farm)

QueerChoir Boy by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press)
In a Queer Time and Place by Judith Halberstam (NYU Press)
Deliver Me from Nowhere by Tennessee Jones (Soft Skull Press)
Just Add Hormones by Matt Kailey (Beacon Press)
The Riddle of Gender by Deborah Rudacille (Pantheon)

Lambda Literary Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit dedicated to the celebration and advocacy of LGBTQ literature in all its dimensions. The Lambda Literary Awards, the most visible _expression of the foundation's mission, recognize annually the most significant books published in more than fifteen categories, from fiction to poetry to spiritual writing to best debut novel. In addition, the foundation publishes a quarterly review of lesbian and gay literature, Lambda Book Report.

Find out more Lambda and its programs at

Lambda Literary Foundation
16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10E
New York, NY 10001
fax 212-239-6576