Category Archives: Links/Articles/Quotes

Meeting Open-Hearted People via Local Groups

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People — Part 2: Local Groups

This is part 2 of the series “5 Ways to Meet Poly/Open People.” In this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about “outside the box” relationships (e.g., polyamory, open-relationships, or other forms of ethical non-monogamy), and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things.  With some luck, you might even meet someone/s who want to date you! To recap, the 5 ways I’ll discuss are:

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings
2) Ongoing Local Meetings — discussion groups, potlucks, dinners, game nights and more
3) Primarily on-line discussion groups — e.g., Facebook groups, Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups, Meetup, e-mail lists
4) Dating and Social Sites — e.g., Polymatchmaker, OK Cupid, Ko-Tango
5) Crossover Interests — e.g., tantra, swinging, naturists, kink/BDSM

Meeting Open-Hearted People at Ongoing Local Groups

Since the invention of the Internet and before, ongoing local meetings have been a staple way to meet polyamorous, open, or otherwise open-hearted people.  Whether it’s a potluck dinner, a discussion group, a hike, a board-game night, or a gathering at a local watering hole, these ongoing meetings provide a variety of locations, price-points, shared interests, and emotional support levels. These days, there’s something for everyone!

Local Meetings offer a number of positive benefits for meeting others,  including:

Continue reading

Morning Glory Zell

Remembering Morning Glory Zell, 1948 – 2014

I’d intended to continue my series of 5 Ways to Meet Poly/Open People today.  But life, as they say, is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  Instead, today I’m taking the time to commemorate Tuesday’s passing of Morning Glory Zell, Pagan Priestess, author, and (co-)originator of the word “polyamorous.”  Many others will tell her story more fully, and with more historical references. I’ll be telling the ways in which she affected me personally, and how she intersected with my experiences of both Paganism and Polyamory.

Meeting Morning Glory

Morning Glory had an impact on my life long before I knew it. I first met her in the late 80’s or early 90’s, up at Annwfn, the Church of All Worlds retreat center outside of Ukiah, CA. Continue reading

Photo of Poly Living Attendees

Meeting Open-Hearted People at Conferences

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People — Part 1: Conferences

As I mentioned in yesterday’s introduction, in this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about “outside the box” relationships, and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things … and might even want to date you! To recap, the 5 ways I’ll discuss are:

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings

2) Ongoing Local Meetings — discussion groups, potlucks, dinners, game nights and more

3) Primarily on-line discussion groups — e.g., Facebook groups, Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups, Meetup, e-mail lists

4) Dating and Social Sites — e.g., Polymatchmaker, OK Cupid, Ko-Tango

5) Crossover Interests — e.g., tantra, swinging, naturists, kink/BDSM

Meeting Open-Hearted People at Conferences

Conferences are a popular place to meet polyamorous, open, or otherwise open-hearted people.  There are conferences in many parts of the world, and for many flavors and subgroups of the open-hearted culture.  From Open-Cons in the UK and Spain, to hotel conferences in Atlanta and Philadelphia, to clothing-optional retreats in California and New York, the wide variety of conferences available offer the opportunity to connect with like-minded people at all times of the year, and in many parts of the world.

Conferences offer a number of positive benefits for meeting others,  including:

Continue reading

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People

Ever wonder how to meet other polyamorous, open, or ethically non-monogamous people?  Feel like you must be the only “weirdo” in the country?  Wish there were a way to connect with people in person… or conversely do you wish there were a way to find out more about this “new” lifestyle without leaving your living room?  Well, congratulations, you’re in luck!

As a person with access to the Internet (which you must be if you’re reading these words), you have access to some of the most powerful tools there are to connect with other people, and learn about this collection of lifestyles that can loosely be grouped under the heading of “ethical non-monogamy,” “open-relationships,” and/or “polyamory.” (Not sure what these words mean? Check out this past article on my blog, where I discuss some of the differences, and what it means — in MY opinion, anyway! — to be “polyamorous.“) The Internet has had a truly profound effect on our culture, as it has allowed a way for people to fairly easily locate other people of like-mind.

5 Ways to Meet Polyamorous/Open People

In this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about these sorts of relationships, and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things … and might even want to date you!

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings
[BONUS! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for info on the upcoming Atlanta Poly Weekend Conference] Continue reading

Poly Pi Flag

Pi Day! — Fly Your Poly Pride Flag High!

Friday 3/14 is a day beloved of geeks everywhere.  It’s “pi” Day!  The date when — at least in the United States — the calendar is an approximation of “pi”, a mathematical constant: 3/14, or 3.14:

π (pronounced pie, written as pi) is a constant. Its approximate value is 3.14159, or 22/7.
r is the radius of the circle. It is equal to half the diameter.
πr² means pi times the square of the radius of the circle, which equals the area of the circle.

Pi day has in recent years morphed into “Pie Day,” when geeks revel in eating many kinds of pie… sometimes while reciting pi to ridiculous numbers of decimal points.  (If that’s your style, you can find 10,000 digits of pi on this web page.)  It’s also the day when MIT college applicants receive their admission letters.

But what has all of this got to do with polyamory?  I’m glad you asked!  It’s because one of the polyamory symbols is the “Poly Pride Flag”:

The poly pride flag consists of three equal horizontal colored stripes with a symbol in the center of the flag. The colors of the stripes, from top to bottom, are as follows:

  • Blue – The openness and honesty among all partners.
  • Red – Love and passion.
  • Black – Solidarity with those who must hide their relationships due to social pressures.

The symbol in the center of the flag is a gold Greek lowercase letter “pi” (π), as the first letter of “polyamory”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory, retrieved 3/13/14

So in a manner of speaking, “pi” day is also a day for polyamorous people everywhere!  Wear your pi symbols with pride, and eat pie with gusto, sharing them liberally with your polyamorous family and communities.  Because we’re all about the sharing, dontcha know. 😉

Make pi(e), not war!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Don’t have anything with the polyamory pi flag on it (but want some)?  Head on over to my Zazzle store — http://www.zazzle.com/LoveOutsideTheBox* —  and you’ll find a wide variety of pi-flag themed items for sale, as well as a few other things with my own “Love Outside the Box” logo. (Tip: Get 17% off everything in honor of next Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day using code STPATDAY2014 at checkout.)

 

PPS;  And because I can’t resist, here’s a silly pi joke. One day in math class, the teacher asked “what is the formula for determining the area of a circle?”  One enterprising girl’s hand shot up, and she replied, “pi r squared!” From the back of the room, another voice said, with scorn, “that’s stupid!  Everyone knows pie aren’t square!  Pie are ROUND!”

[Guess which kid passed geometry?]

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

Updated Polyamory Resources

Hi folks!  In preparation for the recent workshops I gave in San Jose and in Berkeley, I updated my Polyamory Resources Handout.  Below I’ve copied the new version for your pleasure and information.  This was designed to fit on 2 sides of a single sheet of paper, so it doesn’t have anywhere near all of the resources I have listed elsewhere, … let alone all there are these days!  However, this list should provide a good place to start or continue your explorations into “outside the box relationships.”

I’ve pasted the content below my signature, for ease of access.

I’ve also got a pdf version available.  Drop me a line at loveotb@gmail.com if you’d like to get a copy!

Because no matter who or how many you love… Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Are you local to the San Francisco East Bay area?  If so, you may want to check out this new class that I’m co-creating with Francesca Gentille!

 Sat. April 26th, 12:3A Race With Mermaids and Tritons -- Smithers-Collier0 – 6pm: Afternoon Delights on the WILDER SHORES OF LOVE:  Relationships Outside the Box

Class ~ Take-home Information ~ Participatory Experience ~ Connection Salon & Tea ~

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SOME RESOURCES FOR POLYAMORY
(and Other Relationships)

© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson of Love Outside the Box

Websites

http://lovemore.com/ – Loving More® Non-profit home page, including newly updated FAQ and local resource links, discussion list, and NEW interactive personals.

http://www.morethantwo.com/– Polyamory: What? Why? How?: An EXCELLENT “primer” on polyamory.

http://www.polyamory.org – home page for the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory, this page also has a lot of information about other internet resources, including FAQs, mailing lists, books, movies, etc.

http://www.modernpoly.com/ – Lively presentation, social networking tools, and open-source approach.

http://solopoly.net/ – “Life, relationships, and dating as a free agent” Information, posts, and support for “poly singles” and others interested in or practicing polyamory, open relationships, etc. in a “non-dyadic,” “solo,” egalitarian, or not-couple-centric way.

http://www.blog.loveoutsidethebox.com – “Guidance and Tools For Open-Hearted People — Because Love is always OK!” Resources, links, free downloads and more from Dawn Davidson, counselor, coach & presenter on polyamory and other alternative relationship styles.

A Few of the Many Books

(alphabetically by author; see Amazon Recommendations list below to purchase!)

Anapol, Deborah M. – Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, IntiNet Resource Center 1997

Block, Jenny – Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, Seal Press, 2008

Chapman, Gary – The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Northfield Publishing, 1992

Chapman, Mim – What Does Polyamory Look Like? Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships, iUniverse.com, 2010

Davidson, Dawn – KISSable Agreements (and Other Secrets to Negotiating in Polyamorous Partnerships), 2013 Available as a pdf download

Easton, Dossie and Liszt, Catherine – The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships& Other Adventures, 2nd Edition, Celestial Arts Press, 2009

Gottman, John M. and Silver, Nan – The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, Three Rivers Press, 2000

Kramer, Matt – Conversations before a Marriage, InfoBooks, 1999

Labriola, Kathy – Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice On Open Relationships, Greenery Press, 2010

Labriola, Kathy –  The Jealousy Workbook, Greenery Press, 2013

McGarey, Robert – Poly Communication Survival Kit: The Essential Tools for Building and Enhancing Relationships, The Human Potential Center, 2001

Rosenberg, Marshall – Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, PuddleDancer Press, 1999

Taormino, Tristan – Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, Cleis Press, 2008

Taylor, Patricia Huntington – The Enchantment of Opposites: How to Create Great Relationships, Traveling Artists, 1997

West, Celeste – Lesbian Polyfidelity, Booklegger Publishing, 1996

Groups and Lists

http://www.polyamory.org/SF/mail-lists.html – SF Bay Area Local discussion and event lists.

http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Poly-Collective/ – Bay Area Polyamory Collective: A collection of Meetup Groups and other listings for Bay Area people interested in polyamory, open relationships, and more. Includes meetups for “Newcomers” in East Bay and SF.

Loving More’s “Love List” email discussion group (moderated) — https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LovingMore_lovelist/info

groups.yahoo.com/group/ExpansiveLoving/– “Expansive Loving,” a discussion list and online meeting place for spiritual and “new thought” polyamorists.

Where to meet potential poly partners (in the SF East Bay) — a brainstormed list of places to meet “likeminded” people. Not necessarily poly-specific, and focused on the SF East Bay, but you may find some good ideas even if you’re from elsewhere in the world. 🙂
http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/where-to-meet-potential-poly-partners-sf-east-bay-focus/

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/eastbaypolypotluck/info  – SF East Bay Area Local discussion/potluck, once/month or so at rotating East Bay homes.

SF Bay Area Calendars of interest to polyamorous/non-monogamous people. http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/maps-charts-resources-for-relationships/sf-bay-polynon-monogamy-event-calendars/

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy: https://sites.google.com/site/ipachome/ — with Academic & non-academic tracks – February 21-23 2014

Agreements and Safer Sex

http://www.sfsi.org/ – San Francisco Sex Information. Clearing house for safer sex information and training. Check here for other good links, too.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org – Click on Find a Center under Health Services to find a location for testing.

More Relationship and Safer Sex Agreements Examples and Info: http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/resources-more-relationship-safer-agreements-info/

Our Open Agreement – an online open-agreement-making tool by Cat Maness, MFTi http://www.ouropenagreement.com/

Aggregation sites related to polyamory

Poly-Friendly Professionals: http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/main.php
Poly Conferences: http://polyevents.blogspot.com/
Polyamory In The News: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/
Poly Movies: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymovies.html
Poly Music: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymusic.html
Poly Books: http://www.theinbetween.net/polybooks.html
Poly clothing & jewelry: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2010/04/poly-jewelry-clothing-and-other.html

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

Solo Poly

One of the concepts that crossed my desk a while back was that of “Solo Polyamory.” As I sat unexpectedly alone on Christmas eve, and was reading some discussion on one of the polyamory lists I’m on, I realized that this is the style of polyamory that I’m apparently now practicing.

Many people feel that “solo poly” is an oxymoron.  After all, how can you be single and “love more than one”?  Seems incompatible, at least from the monogamous/couple paradigm. So what the heck IS it?

On one of the lists, one person had this to say about solo poly, in response to another writer in the forum:

First, solo poly is not about single people only. It is a way of approaching poly that claims to be valid for singles, as equally for each individual in a couple, triple, quadruple, or any tuple you care to think of.

Solo poly, which is not my own take on poly, and which I only know from a single presentation followed by a group discussion, shares with yourself a strong critique of couple privilege and of couple-oriented thinking.

[…]

Solo poly is saying remember you are at the centre of your life, not some other person who you label a primary partner.

It is reminding you that when partners ALL let you down, your truly primary resource is yourself (whether it is expenses, housework, or any of the other rhythms you list).

It is reminding you that all your relationships (no doubt to varying extents) only augment the care that ultimately is your care is your self.

For more information on solo poly, you might want to check out this article by researcher Elisabeth Sheff:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-polyamorists-next-door/201310/solo-polyamory-singleish-single-poly

Another great resource for ideas and posts about solo poly is the blog at http://solopoly.net.

As my own relationship map changes and shifts in this new year (the only constant is change!), I find myself resonating even more with this concept of solo poly. Four years ago I wrote a list of Agreements/affirmations for myself. And I’ve been thinking it might be time to revisit them.

What do you think about this concept?  Does “solo poly” make sense to you? Resonate? Seem ok, but only for someone else?  Seem like a contradiction, or nonsensical?

As always, feel free to comment here, or in Facebook, or to write me privately. I’m always happy to discuss these things more!

Wishing you happiness and all the love you could want in this new-ish year!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  I’m still running my “winter specials” — reduced prices on coaching packages.  Get ’em while they’re hot!

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

‘Why Knot’ and HuffPost Link

For any of you that might have missed Friday’s HuffingtonPostLive segment on Holiday Survival, Polyamorous Style, you can still catch the recorded show on their website:

Holiday Survival Guide: Polyamorous Edition

Featuring Robyn Trask of Loving More, Billy Holder of Atlanta Poly Weekend, and Rachel Klechevsky, a therapist from New York, the segment addresses some questions regarding the special challenges are faced by polyamorous people during the holidays.

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You may also want to consider donating to the Indiegogo campaign of this independent film, WHY KNOT – Breaking the Silence on Monogamy

According to the campaign website:

[The Director’s] search takes us beyond his bedroom and into the biology of sex, the history of patriarchy and the politics of monogamy where his girlfriend, scientists, polyamorists, Dhruv’s loved one’s, and even tapeworms become a part of this self-reflexive narrative. WHYKNOT is an intellectual and emotional journey through the landscape of monogamy, questioning what it means to be human and to confront this conflict between our instincts and our morals.

The campaign ends on December 27th at midnight, so hop over to the site soon if you wish to contribute to this interesting project that aims to “break the silence on monogamy.”

And remember, even if you experience challenges from family, friends or co-workers this Holiday season…

Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Looking for some help in figuring out how to handle your own sticky poly/open situations this holiday season? I’m running some great Winter Specials on my individual and group coaching. Get up to 50% off time with me! But act soon… the extra low package deals end when the ball drops for the new year!

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

TODAY 12/20: HuffPostLive on Polyamory + Other Poly Media

A last-minute heads-up that there will be a segment about Polyamory and the Holidays on HuffingtonPostLive today, Friday 12/20, at 1:40pm Pacific/4:40pm Eastern.  It hasn’t been fully confirmed, but it seems likely that I’ll be one of the speakers on the show, so check it out! The recorded show will be available on the site later, as well.

The topic of the show is what special challenges are faced by polyamorous people during the holidays. For instance, how and when should one come out to family and friends? Before the event? During dinner? What do you do about “plus 1” invitations when you have “plus 2” … or more? How do you handle presents, kids, relatives, and competing invitations? If you spend Christmas with one lover… are you obligated to spend New Years with another?

My contention, while answering pre-show questions was (and is) that in many situations, polyamorous relationships are similar to other sorts of “blended family” relationships. They can have similar challenges and may benefit from similar approaches, such as splitting time between households on various days, or negotiating which partners and family will be at which celebrations, to minimize drama. And of course, talking about things in advance, and making some Agreements is almost always a good idea!

Again, it starts at 1:40pm Pacific time, and is scheduled to run for about 25 minutes. Tune in, and join the conversation!

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sisterwivesIn other news, the decision regarding the Utah Kody Brown (aka “Sister-Wives”) Polygamy case has finally been handed down.  Similarly to the Canadian case two years ago, it looks like the judge has decided that it isn’t illegal to have more than one relationship… just so long as you don’t go seeking any legal recognition for it.

So on the up side, the Browns won’t be prosecuted for their religious marriages, so long as they don’t seek legal any recognition beyond the one existing marriage. That decision should provide some protection — and some precedent — for polyamorous as well as polygamous people in the US.

On the down side however,  in my opinion, is the fact that people in multiple-partner relationships are still being forced into a “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” model of sorts. It seems likely to me that not only adults, but also some children are likely to suffer, since some still may not be able to access needed benefits, falling through the cracks in our rather faulty system of health care, etc. And of course there is still no protection against discrimination against multiple-partner relationships in matters of employment, housing, etc. It’s progress, but we still have a long way to go, clearly.

Still, the ruling shows some progress in acknowledging the existence of multiple-partner households. And the increasing presence of poly topics on fora such as HuffPostLive also demonstrate an increasing awareness of ethically non-monogamous options among the general public. While perhaps not exactly the holiday gifts of our dreams, both are certainly better than a lump of coal in our collective poly stockings. 🙂

Here’s hoping your holidays — whatever form they might take, however many people are present, whatever the religious framework or lack thereof — are as full of warmth and love as you could possibly wish!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Looking for some help in figuring out how to handle your own sticky poly/open situations this holiday season? I’m running some great Winter Specials on my individual and group coaching. Get up to 50% off time with me! But act soon… the extra low package deals end when the ball drops for the new year!

love_outside_the_box_white_on_dark_t_shirts-r734308d7aa2c48a6a7a731d0498738ca_8nfnu_216

PPS: Still looking for that special something as a gift for lovers, friends… or yourself? 😉 Check out the selection of t-shirts, mugs, and other goodies in my Love OTB Zazzle store. Use code BE4CHRISTMAS for 50% off express shipping! (ends Sunday)

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Polyamorists Next Door — December 15th!

Elisabeth-SheffDr. Elisabeth Sheff, premier researcher on polyamory and other “alternative” relationship styles has a new book out. It’s called The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Families and Relationships.  Based on personal interviews over nearly a decade, her research sheds new light on polyamorous people in the United States. Right now it’s available as either an e-book or a hardcover book from publisher Rowman and Littlefield.  In order to attract interest from other publishers to do a paperback release, she’s asking that anyone who’s interested in purchasing this book please do so ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 15th, which will hopefully propel the book to the bestseller list on that day.

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=unchlove-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=1442222956

Here’s what Dr. Sheff has to say:

If everyone who is interested buys a copy on December 15 then it has a good chance of being rated as the top seller in that category on that day.  Being a best seller is important because it can help get the book published in paperback, which is a lot less expensive to purchase and more likely to be in mainstream bookstores. Rowman and Littlefield only publish hardbacks and ebooks, and if the book is a “best seller” then it will be easier for me to get a different publisher interested in doing another run in paperback.

If your group or organization is interested in learning more about sexual and gender minorities in general or polyamorous families with children in specific, I am available to speak to groups large and small, and willing to travel to do so.  For more information contact me at drelisheff@gmail.com or see my website at http://elisabethsheff.com.

Please help me make this book more affordable to everyone by purchasing it on December 15.

Thanks! I wish you a lovely holiday season.

All the best, Elisabeth

“Eli” Sheff, PhD
Expert witness, educator, speaker, and consultant CEO, Sheff Consulting Group (SCG) http://elisabethsheff.com http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-polyamorists-next-door

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sheff on several occasions, and I can say that she’s not only a fabulous and dedicated researcher, but also a kind and warm-hearted person. Helping her out in this way will also help get her important research into the hands of a wider audience, and (hopefully) pave the way for greater understanding and acceptance of polyamorous people everywhere.

Thanks, Eli, for your excellent research, and I hope that your book sells well on 12/15 and thereafter!

Because Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

love_outside_the_box_white_on_dark_t_shirts-r734308d7aa2c48a6a7a731d0498738ca_8nfnu_216PS: Want to declare that you Love Outside the Box? Hop on over to my Love Outside the Box Zazzle store by end of day tomorrow (12/6), and get 50% off all T-shirts, and 20% off everything else!  Use code 48HOURSDEALS at checkout to get your discount. Great for Holiday gifts, too!

 

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]