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Watch me read and some other stuff.

So hey that is the fantastic Anna March introducing me at HEAT.

This part of AWP I was actually way better with. I want to get more practice reading and it was a good time.

I read one unpublished from a long suffering chapbook labor of love project. The second piece is the one from Solarcide’s Sinthology.

I think I might try to add some more video readings to my little youtube channel. The webcam on my chromebook is actually not bad.

I also want to do more in person readings. Folks have told me I am good at them.

I have a slight bit of a cold but I’m over my AWP mega freak out.

After talking to a few people I decided I am going to try again but I’m going to not try to be miss solo adventurer. I got some protips including getting myself into a group of people and volunteering.

So maybe next year?

Also I am going to figure out how to do more in person readings and shit.

Now that I’m done with AWP stuff time to get back on the grind. Work on my novella, do some other shit. Gotta get those rejections coming back in.

Okay that’s all for right now dayjob beckons.


AWP it happened.

So AWP holy fucking shit.

Let me say first of all that even though I missed out on a lot what I did do was great.

Also let me say I may never go again.

I completely underestimated the depths of my anxiety. I was nervous but determined. First day of panels I got there a bit late and was in a jam packed panel.

I’m not really clausterphobic but I did start to panic a little. I went in the hall to listen and sat down to catch my breath.

After I stood in line with some other folks to say hello to Roxane Gay. Holy shit. I managed not to just start yelling HI I LOVE YOU SO MUCH and she was very nice to me and then I had to run off.

Headed for my second panel and got lost. I had that sudden new kid at school oh shit I’m late and everyone is gonna hate me.

So I ducked into a panel with CLMP, tin House and some other folks. That was cool I learned some stuff.

Now, I should confess here that when I panic I am very good at hiding it. I hate crying so it all goes inside (which is bad of course) and I was bottling a bit and freaked out.

Wandered into the book fair which was a mistake. It was so huge and a few people recognized me by name and said nice things about my work at which point I started freaking out more. By then I was sweating anxiety panic sweat and my bowels were rumbling ominously.

I saw Roxane again and fondled Pank Merchandise. I stood next to Kyle Minor for a minute at the Pank booth but was too shy to say hello.

I met some folks who have published me, some really nice presses and did some fun things including writing a postcard for another author.

And then I tried to go to another panel and got lost again and BOOM panic attack. Mine have the feature where I get glassy eyed and feel like I am going to shit my pants and I had to go home.

I went for a long walk, trying to walk off my belly cramps so I could go to the Yes, yes reading/party.

No go I went home and pretty much went right to bed.

Friday was my reading with HEAT. The morning started off with more anxiety shits, late getting out the door. We made it and I finally got to meet Anna March and I got to hug my friends Dena and Milcah. I think I spotted Antonia Crane and some other amazing folks.

We couldn’t stay because the chairs were giving us both major back spasms.

The reading part was the easiest. I was nervous and felt a bit out of place with all these other authors with books out and important things. I did get a nice compliment outside.

I had to miss another reading/party because I was supposed to be interviewed for a column writer position at an as yet unlaunched site but she left town so I dunno.

Overall I was just really not ready.

If I go again I will be properly medicated or go with someone I know who can lead me around when I freak out. My guts still hurt but I guess I sort of succeeded. I hope I didn’t look as insane as I felt. In didn’t say anything embarrassing in front of people I admire. AND I got hugged by a very adorable South East Asian writer because YAY POC.

I may or may not do it again. I’d like to give it another shot and really experience more of it. I’m on the fence.

So there you have it. Shannon went, freaked, pooped and read.


AWP bound.

So I paid and can I tell you how salty I am about paying so much money to go to this thing?

Granted I am super stoked about the book fair but yeah. For the price of admission I could have gotten new Doc Martens, most of a new spring/summer wardrobe, bills etc.

I have some panels I want to go to. I have a reading I’m doing and some other stuff. I got invited to some parties and I am kind of an anxious wreck.

I really need a tote bag with a zipper because it is rainy here in Seattle and I will be commuting home by bus daily. I have a tight budget so I’ll be very careful about my book, swag and zine buying. I also still have busted teeth so I’m not excited about that in particular.

That said here’s something else exciting. That post I made about reading and writing while Black got picked up by Media Diversified and you can find it here. I’m pretty excited about that. It was awesome.

I think that’s about it for the moment y’all.

If any of you are gonna be at AWP drop me a note here so if we see each other we can either stare at each other awkwardly or we can say hello. Or if you have any protips on panels I have to see or anything say so.

Also I will probably do a bit of live blogging type stuff from AWP if my poor old phone can handle it so be ready for pictures and rando squeeing.


Refuse, Resist. And shit.

The first half of the title is in reference to a Sepultura song. If metal freaks you out don’t listen to that.

I have been busy. Working, writing shit.

I got one of my top ten rejections of all time and I squealed about it to my best friend for about a half hour. Honestly a great rejection like that can be a huge deal to me. In fact my second (I think) ever piece of published non fiction was about a rejection I got from Tony DuShane a long time ago and how it kept me writing and learning to be serious.

I have started what I think might be my first serious novella. I want to weave in certain things, make it a very distinct narrative. I don’t know. Mainly it is about hustling, taking care of your chosen family, sex work, drugs and survival.

Writing a serious business novella makes me very nervous so I’ve been yelling at myself in my head. My inner drill sergeant screaming every time I open my word processing goes as follows:

DS: GO GO GO GO STOP THAT BITCH ASSNESS AND WRITE THAT SHIT YOU MAJESTIC PIECE OF SHIT!

Ahem.

We can assume I’m kind of an odd person, this is comforting.

So I get my playlist going and write.

I’ll probably share said playlist with y’all when it is big enough.

Now how about some stuff to read?

Via my darling Dena, go read her most recent Monomania post with Intisar Abioto and her project photographing Black People in Portland. Also doesn’t she have the most lovely name?

At ADP you can not only buy Kat Dixon’s coming book (I REALLY fucking want it) but you can check out some of their free PDFS. I am very into those. As of today I have all of the.

Over at The Rumpus Jerry Stahl has a new OG Dad up. These are pretty great. He’s great, I love him in a creepy way, y’all know.

If you’ve ever been curious about people of color in Medieval times, you need to check out this website. Learn some shit. Also there have been Black and Brown people everywhere forever.

In case you didn’t see Fuck Fiction is back with some good shit.

Go read this column in LitReactor. I’ll talk about it later but it did give me some ideas.

I think that’s all for right now.

OH wait no.

So I put a new story in my Etsy shop.  A little tale of sex work, lesbian love and sometimes what it’s like to love an addict. And a bonus little bit of feederism. Click here to check it out. Per usual even if you can’t buy, please feel free to share it on your social media and stuff. I really appreciate it.

Later taters. Time to work.


Shit is gettin nerdy.

I’ve had a very strange week.

I don’t feel well so let’s get nerdy about books shall we?

To start with I’m just about done re reading The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1 I wanted to read it again because it’s been something like 25 years since I last read it, I love spies and I wanted to see how it held up both against memory and against the film. (Sorry in advance I’m using amazon affiliate links, baby needs shoes).

So okay short version is this book is pretty great. There is a real emotional depth to our main character the amnesiac Jason Bourne that you don’t get in the movie. There is enough real deep pain there to make him seem at least to my eyes, more believable. Also the other main character Marie was awful in the movie. Manic pixie hippy dream girl and I didn’t like her. In the books she is formidable. She is brilliant. In the books at times she is Bourne’s only anchor to the present and she’s a rock but not so hard she doesn’t cry. So really the book did not dissappoint. I still love it as much as I did when I was 12-13 and read it.

Now we have to talk books that are coming out because I have a problem.

I want so many.

First okay if you’ve been around for a hot minute you know I love me some Antonia Crane, I was so excited when I heard that her memoir Spent got picked up AND now I found out it is coming out from one of my favorite publishers. I really love her work and I am so looking forward to reading it.

Also I don’t mean to brag or nothing but we’re reading at the same event at AWP. So I’m by association kind of a big deal.

Next Roxane Gay..omg. So this is undignified but I legitimately squealed when I saw this. I mean there was some nerding because I also really fucking love her. An Untamed State Just look at it. I want it right now.

So then I saw that Richard Thomas had this article out at buzzfeed and bam, there are Antonia and Roxane as they should be. But then I was scrolling and holy shit.

Craig Davidson has a new book coming out. Years ago someone gave me a copy of his book Rust and Bone: Stories. That book knocked me out. For real.

I went on to read his other books and as happens to me more often than I like to say, I forgot his goddamn name and did not have any of his books around my house. I kept thinking about Rust and Bone but could not for the life of me suss out who wrote it. Then boom, right there on buzzfeed it clicked and he has a new book coming out? Fuck to the yes.

This year in books looks fucking awesome.

My only real problem is budgeting in a sensible fashion.

I have been known to spend bus fare and lunch money on books.

I got a kindle for Christmas and am still getting the hang of the whole ereader thing. I have been hoarding free ebooks, mostly random genre stuff and cookbooks.

I bought a few as well. Last night between games of pinball (I find playing pinball on the kindle terribly relaxing) I finally got a copy of Bad Sex on Speed by Jerry Stahl. And we know I love him too so I’ll probably grab a hardcopy as well.

Okay that’s enough for now. I am going to continue to prepare myself for AWP. And really settle into this whole write a fucking novella thing.

Who knows maybe this time next year I’ll be one of those books coming out.

OH before I forget do any of you use a cloud/internets word type program/app that is better than google docs. I’ve been having nothing but problems and I still just have my lil chromebook and I do not want to be emailing myself giant copies of my novella in progress. Any suggestions would be mighty helpful.


Wow I wind myself up like the Windup Bird.

While I have been plugging away in fits and starts at some unfinished work I keep thinking I need to do a thing this year.

What thing?

I am thinking I would like to write a novella. I’ve had an idea/some characters knocking around in my head and I want to get it down on paper.

The part I get stuck on is what do I do with it once it is done?

Here is where I let out some of my neurosis.

I am afraid of a few things.

If I focus on said novella, which will naturally make my time devoted to short stories and non fiction lessen, will the little (to me huge but whatever) success I’ve had in the past couple of years go away?

If nobody cares/knows who the fuck I am what do I do with this novella?

I am not a big deal in any sense of the word. I’ve been published a bit, not hugely. I’m trying to be a bit practical but my gut says fuck being read and write the shit.

So I guess I will try to produce some small works, make sure I put my Duotrope subscription to good use (that is a whole other thing) and write the shit.

I think I am going to try and schedule novella time and other shit time.

I think most of my hand wringing about this is misdirected anxiety.

I have made some changes in my financial/everything else life that are good but nerve wracking.

I’ve wound myself up.

I do in fact know what to do. I need to calm down and do what I do.

Write that shit.

Rewrite that shit.

Write like a mother fucker.

If you’ve read me for a minute you know I’m a really nervous person by nature and tend to wind myself up sometimes. I’m trying to yanno not do that and failing a bit.

Time to rally.

Also if you’re coming to AWP and wanna see me read/talk to me/possibly have my aggressive berserker hug attack unleashed on you drop me a note. I will also be posting information about my reading soon and hopefully if things work out there could be video of me reading.

Okay so that’s all for right now. I think I just had to get that out and now I can go do what I need to do.

Later this week I’m going to do a big ole geeky review of a book I really love and then I will probably make another nerdy fangirl I want to read these books post.

AH shit before I forget you can read one mroe new poem by me over at The Camel Salooon.


Something happened, and another thing.

This year has started off pretty fucking good outside of insomnia to the point of hallucination (YAY ME) and I’ve already fallen down once.

First up my friend Dena interviewed me for Luna Luna Magazine and you can get it here.

Also I got my first poetry acceptance in forever. I am pretty stoked about that.

I am three rejections deep into the new year. One stung like a son of a bitch and two were super complimentary.

The shit balances out.

Uh other than that nothing super new is going down.

I have been writing some flash. I tried some noirish gangster flash. It’s not particularly a story-story but I like it.

I need to get to going with submissions and shit. I feel like I need to rearrange my writing time. Do I want to wait until I get home where I want to just go the fuck to bed or do I bring Bloop (my computer) with me and write somewhere for an hour at night and thus make my day outside of home go up to 14 hours?

Probably the former. My partner got me an adorable lap desk and I will get myself one of those bed recliner pillow things.

I will be updating my website here soon and please don’t forget. Women writers, if you know wo


2014 A List of Demands.

I don’t make resolutions because I think the whole idea/culture of them is damaging and mean. I decided this year in terms of writing I am making a list of demands.

  1. No more fear. As fearless as I think I am at times, there are still things I am afraid to let people other than my bestie see that I’ve written. Most of it is non fiction, subject matter that is really terrible and stuff that I don’t see a lot of other people (especially POC) talk about in public. I feel in my gut that it’s stuff that needs to be said and heard about but it’s my pain and blood and actual lived history and it’s fucking terrifying.
  2. No more freaking out about the fact that people I don’t know like my work. Sometimes I get very freaked out and anxious when people like what I write. I don’t know why but I need to not.
  3. More swing for the fences submissions. Even to places where I know/have spoken to on the internets the staff and/or editors.
  4. Learn how to twerk properly so I can FINALLY finish this fucking essay about the joys of twerking and pussy popping.
  5. More adventures and the author at play. I am going to try and spread my chicken wings more and write in genres/ways that make me uncomfortable.
  6. I will do more literary world related things. Readings? Another trip to Portland? Try to make my own event? I dunno.
  7. Write Like A Mother Fucker.
  8. Finish (again the fear thing) a novel or novella and not throw it away. Edit it and do the things with it.
  9. More dancing at home by myself in my underwear and sports bra. I need to resume bellydancing.

The other thing I demand from 2014 is more.

The last few years, every year at this time it occurs to me that writing things and life in general has gotten more awesome. Pushcart nominations, amazing feedback for stories I did not think would ever find a home, other writers (especially those whom I admire greatly) talking to me and liking my shit in a peer to peer kind of way, me being invited to read (I am officially reading at AWP, more on that later), amazing help when I have needed it, strangers on the internet who believe in my voice and my work and my mission so much they (you know who you are) bought me a computer when mine was dying so I could keep working, they have helped me on my way to get my teeth fixed, bought me christmas presents, sent me notes of love and support, offered services, just told me hey, I like you and you’re cool, strangers (HEY I SEE YOU) have subscribed to and read this here little blog, everything.

I want more and I want to thank my readers. And the run by visits here. And everyone.

Thank you for helping me have a pretty awesome writing year.

Here is to another.

On a personal note, 2013 can suck my dick. I’m real done with it.

Happy New Year folks I’ll see you round the bend.


Costs, Shit I need to do and wow.

So it is the time of year that I tally up the costs of the coming year in terms of writing.

Normally this time of year I have about five minutes of fantasizing about half days of day job, days to write and go to literary events and travel to conferences and shit.

And then I remember I have bills to pay.

I fantasize more so this year because the day job has been fairly soul sucking for a few months and that means it has been far more difficult to write things that don’t come out as just FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Also the unfortunate fact that right now I make about as much money as people (who aren’t stingy assholes) think minimum wage is supposed to be and realizing just how not totally liveable it is when one wants to do things other than work.

I had my ten minutes of mourning over shit I’m not really in a position to change and got back to work.

So I do what I do.

A little hustling, some grinding and I will make it work.

Heads up, coming here in the next couple of days I will be posting an (always ready to grow) list of female writers. I am focusing mostly on people who I know, indie writers, small press etc. I’ll post it when I’m ready.

What else?

Oh in order to help ease the burden on my household money if you are so inclined please visit my etsy shop and if you don’t want those stories, feel free to share with friends. I will be adding some new reprints soon. Also hopefully I will get some crocheted items up as well.

So that’s all for right now. I have stuff to edit and whatnot.

Happy New Years folks if I don’t come back to post my year end navel gazey feelings laden year end post.

 


Dr. Sleep a nerdy fangirl review.

So prepare yourselves. My review of Dr. Sleep is going down.

First remember I have been a King lover since I was in the third grade when I read Fire Starter.

I have read 90% of his work and I’m about to get real nerdy real quick. I’ll try to keep any serious spoilers to a minimum.

Ahem.

Short version I really enjoyed the book and felt it is a fitting end to the story that started with The Shining.

Long Version.

We start out with Dan Torrence all grown up. He is in rough shape when we meet up with him. First we find out the fall out from what happened at the Overlook. When I re-read the Shining as an adult these were things I wondered about because we don’t get to know these things in most horror novels.

Life for Danny is real bad. Logically if we follow the thread from the trauma at the Overlook, the trauma of life with his dad and everything else we can’t be surprised.

In the first part of the book the exposition of what is going on with Danny is beautiful and painful. It is so sad, and King as usual features the tension between the rational and the irrational so well. It’s a fine line to tread when you’re dealing with regular people who have extraordinary gifts. Too little of the rational and shit gets old, too much and you ,miss the supernatural elements.

Further in we start to see Dan get his life unfucked. The book is a bit heavy on AA aphorisms and culture, that’s okay.  If you don’t have addiction issues or are unfamiliar with the culture some of the book may pass you by a little bit but, it’s not insurmountable.

When Dan settles down we start finding out about the antagonists. The True knot. I love how King handles them, the leader Rose in particular with her tusk. The imagery of this beautiful ultimately awful inhuman creature is pretty great.

Let’s get nerdy. As far as horror goes, my favorite horror gets to the gristle of what makes humans cringe. Shit, the smell of death, the idea that someone could and will destroy everything you are by barely lifting a finger. This is one of my favorite things about King’s work overall. Way back when it was free I read an essay about writing by Chuck Palahniuk that talked about writing on the body. See a bit of that here at Litreactor.

This is something I feel like a lot of modern horror lacks. The real touch as it were. Some of the horror I’ve read in the past few years relied very heavily on the gross out. Ew fat people, ew the ghetto, ew periods. Being that I’m old enough to have seen quarts and quarts of blood coming out of my vagina and don’t ascribe to the ew fat people are gross mania that tends to be lost on me.

From a writing standpoint I believe in the body. Whether it is horror or not there are things that happen in the body tht when we write about them, we give our readers a bit of sure knowledge. I feel like it is empowering and gives writing serious urgency.

Back to Dr. Sleep.

Overall the first portion of the book drew me in very efficiently.

However.

Dude, Mr King. Come ON man.

The one trope King hits like a hammer came up but not in a huge way. The Magical Negro. We get to see Dick Halloran again and much as he was necessary it did remind me that I need for the Black folks in his books to not always be the kind of Old Magical Blues Man trope.

I do like that he tries to include Black characters in many of his books and has done so for a long time.

I don’t like that they are not just folks, or just magical folks without hitting those magical negro tropes so hard. The major Black characters are Magical Old Negroes full of wisdom who guide the White kids towards something.

Really?

Do we still have to do that?

The other thing is that there is always some hint at AAVE without t being full on AAVE. There is always some patois that feels to me like a yappy little dog jumping up and down while some human yells BUT LOOK THE ARE BLACK! LOOK HERE’S THE BLACK PERSON! LOOK LOOK.

It takes me out of the story.

Pro tip for White writers.

You can just say a character is Black and mention it periodically in a longer work, and that’s all you have to do. You don’t have to make them into the Magical Negro or change their speech pattern.

So through the book including a minor female character there were those moments that made me stop reading to roll my eyes.

Beyond that, I do love where Dan’s life starts to go. This is going to be vague but um…shit okay.

So remember Tony? His little voice. He comes back and I was afraid would be overused but actually King used that voice very effectively.

Next we meet the next iteration of a kid with the shining Abra, is a nice kid who has mega power. I like how he wrote her from birth.

I am awful at reviewing without spoilers.

I will point to the way Abra as an infant totally loses her baby shit because she knows something awful is gonna happen. It does put me in mind of infants I have cared for who seemingly totally lost it to the point of me panicking. For parents it’ll be a moment you know and probably remember with dread.

Can we talk about the villains?

The True Knot is a nightmare. If you don’t shine you’re not really in danger unless they rook you but they are fucking scary. It is way scarier to me to think of evil beings who look and seem like average Americans.

So basically it is pretty good. I think the end went a bit long for my taste.  There are also a few spots where I felt like the pacing was a bit dodgy. But if you want to know the end of the story started in The Shining read it.

Now okay, under this I’m gettin real nerdy. Spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading


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