by Giselle Renarde
At one point in my teens, I told my family I wanted to be an actress. My grandma was dead set against it. She was concerned I'd be "taken advantage of." And you know what? She was probably right.
Strangely enough, when I decided to make a career out of writing erotica in 2006, my grandma was the only person in my life who actually supported me. By then I guess I was damaged goods anyway, so it didn't much matter if I wrote about sex all day.
My grandmother's been in hospital for the past couple weeks. When she was admitted, delirious and dealing with multiple infections, I was pretty sure the hospital was her last stop. But that's just me. I see death at every turn. My grandmother is 86, after all. My girlfriend's father died a couple days ago, so death seems to be looming.
With my grandma in hospital, the time is nigh. I've put together a collection of ten stories I wrote way back when, and that collection is called Classic Giselle: Queer and Quirky Erotica.
Thing is, I've also been reflecting on how much I appreciate my readers. With Valentine's Day coming up, I figured this book would make a nice thank you gift. So, from now until February 14 2018, the ebook is absolutely free at stores like Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and eXcitica.
After Valentine's Day, Classic Giselle will cost money. But, in honour of my grandmother, I'll be donating all the royalties I earn from Classic Giselle throughout 2018 to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
When my grandma's vision began to decrease due to macular degeneration, the CNIB was there for her every step of the way. And when I say they were there, I mean RIGHT THERE. In her house. People came in to teach her how to adapt to her changing vision.
My grandmother is now legally blind. She's always been a gadget geek, and the CNIB introduced her to accessibility technologies that have proven invaluable in navigating the world. And even tricks like how to pour yourself a glass of water when you can't see the water. Or the glass. They've done so much for her, and this is my way of acknowledging their help and care.
Classic Giselle is a double-whammy thank you. No, I'm wrong. It's a triple threat thank you. It's a thank you to readers for actually, you know, reading my words. It's a thank you to my grandma for believing in me. And it's a thank you to the CNIB for helping my grandma over the years.