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Rape Kits, Heavy Metal and Baroness Golden Tickets

I've written several new articles that I'm very proud of, including an investigative feature revealing that San Francisco still has untested rape kits from up to 30 years ago -- despite saying its backlog is cleared. I also published my first piece with Bitch, about heavy metal's racism and sexism problem, and a fun piece about Baroness' upcoming show in San Francisco (and the band's plan to hide a pair of free tickets somewhere in the city the day of the show). 


Springtime writing updates

Spring has sprung in San Francisco, which really just means alternating heat waves, drizzly days, and hay fever noses. I've been busily writing here and there (okay, not HERE so much). I wanted to take a moment to share a couple of my favorite recent articles. 

In early March I published a piece in the SF Weekly about a major screw-up the San Francisco transit agency made when making a key intersection more pedestrian-friendly. Their mistake made it difficult or impossible for buses to make the corner, and required them to tear up and redo a bunch of the work.

A couple of weeks ago I had my first piece in VICE, about "The Last Unicorn" author Peter S. Beagle's ugly legal fight against his former manager, who he accuses of fraud and elder abuse. 


Lots of news!

I recently started as a senior editor at Wear Your Voice, a publication that focuses on intersectional feminism, social justice and body positivity. On top of editing, I also contributed a recent piece encouraging compassion for San Francisco's homeless residents, who've had a particularly bad time of it lately. 

I also wrote a story about Oakland doom band Lycus for the SF Weekly, and posted two pieces on Medium. One of them is about some of the surprising things I learned covering the courts for three years. The other is a quick guide for music writers who are working on articles about allegations of sexual misconduct. 

And I'm joining the San Francisco Writers' Grotto in March!


Video From Grimposium Panel

Early last month I participated in a panel discussion at aQuarius Records called "Sexual Violence & Misogyny in Literary & Lyrical Frameworks," moderated by Decibel Magazine writer Justin M. Norton and including panelists Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf of Vastum, feminist scholar Brad Nelson and psychoanalyst Jason Wallin. The panel was part of Concordia scholar Vivek Venkatesh's Grimposium series. It was a lively, interesting conversation, and you can now see the whole thing on video below:

West Side Gory panel discussion at aQuarius recOrds from Grimposium on Vimeo.




Happy holidays and a little news

I hope everyone has had a good holiday season and is ready for a new year that will hopefully be full ofoptimism, opportunities and positive change for everyone. 

2015 came to a close with some sad news about a remarkable, unique San Francisco writer, Justin Chin, who died just before Christmas after suffering a massive stroke a week earlier. I wrote about the heartbreaking news for the SF Weekly as his family made the decision to take him off life support. I got to know Justin's work after seeing him perform at Writers With Drinks, where he was asked to compose a story that combined horror and erotica. His resulting story was gross, funny and even a little bit sexy -- just like his poems and prose. There won't be another like him. 

Just after the new year, I will be part of a panel at aQuarius Records Jan. 6 called "Sexual Violence & Misogyny in Literary & Lyrical Frameworks," moderated by Decibel Magazine editor Justin M. Norton and including panelists Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf of Vastum, feminist scholar Brad Nelson, psychoanalyst Jason Wallin and Vivek Venkatesh, a social psychologist from Concordia University. It promises to be interesting and intense. To find out more, check out the event information on Facebook




How Ellen Pao lost her job but survived Reddit's swamp of trolls

Last month, I had the opportunity to write a piece looking back at former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao's past year -- her trial against Kleiner Perkins, her leadership at Reddit, and her decision to step down. You can read it here, at the Guardian

On a more personal note, I also write about my ongoing struggles with makeup, which was published this week at Wear Your Voice magazine. If you don't already know about WYV, you should -- it's a beauty and fashion site deeply rooted in feminism and encouraging women of all shapes and colors to find their individual expression. 


My Life As A Female Online

Inspired by John Oliver's recent episode of Last Week Tonight devoted to online harassment and revenge porn, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post describing some of my own experiences, and how I dealt with them. I was lucky, in many cases, to have enough information about my harassers to be able to report them or take other actions that ended the behavior. Most women who experience this aren't so lucky. 

I also recently shared a piece on Medium musing about the offerings at the average press conference -- and why there's almost nothing I can eat. 


Meta-Pao, Apocalyptica and Metalfest

Sorry it's been quiet around here! I've had a couple of pieces published recently that I want to share with you, including a look at the impressive number of women journalists who covered Ellen Pao's sex-discrimination trial against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. I also reviewed Apocalyptica's new album, "Shadowmaker," which I thought was a real disappointment. 

This October, I will be appearing at the Legion of Steel Metalfest & Conference in Berkeley, California. To find out more about the festival and the other bands and authors scheduled to appear, visit the website


Happy 2015! And some news

I wanted to update with one recent article as well as a couple of quick announcements. First, I published a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle last month looking at UCSF's ongoing research into kids and adults with sensory processing disorder. It was once thought to be part of autism, but is now being recognized as a separate neurological condition. 

I also recently posted over at my blog, Backward Messages, about why I'm not planning any updates there, at least for a while. 

This fall, I'm planning to appear as a vendor at the first annual Legion of Steel Metalfest & Conference in Berkeley, California. Keep an eye on the conference's Facebook page for more details. 


Court fees, house concerts, HIV and more

I've had a few new articles published over the past handful of months that I'd love to tell you about, starting with this one -- my first for the East Bay Express -- about new court document access fees that could pose constitutional problems, particularly for indigent litigants. I also wrote something I've been wanting to work on for a long time, a feature on San Francisco homeowner Mike Finn, who has turned his gorgeous Hayes Valley mansion into a music and theater venue. 

This piece, on new options for serodiscordant couples (one has HIV, one doesn't) who want to have children, was also great to put together. And a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to rant back at restaurant folks who are frustrated by people asking for gluten-free food. Enjoy!