On Feels, decisions and shit I find questionable.

I have a little stash of micro/flash fiction sitting around and as I am thinking about submitting it I keep running into things.

For one, when I write flash fiction apparently something I like to do is to play with conflict that is outside of the Western literary idea of what plot is.  I didn’t even really realize it until I read this.

The problem is that 90% of the rejections I have gotten for these stories (especially the ones that are completely outside of Whiteness in an explicit way) is that they are not understood, that the readers don’t “feel” anything, that some of my references to Black culture both past and present are not understood. Etc.

The other problem is that as far as magazines for POC go, I feel out of place because a lot of my writing is dark as fuck and a lot of those magazines strive for uplift. I understand that philosophically but, personally I feel like the odd kid out.

As I get older I keep finding myself in this position with the shit I like to write. Too much that is too sexually explicit or says fuck too much for the literary minded, but that is not quite erotica.

Drugs, whores, badly behaved queers, POC narratives that are not pain porn but are also not racially uplifting, hood life that is not the scare all the white people or eventual escape from the hood stories.

I dunno.

I have a cache of things that are just not really what I see in the market. And even though sometimes editors really like them, they just don’t fit anywhere.

That being what it is I’m still really hesitant about writing a novella, or putting together a proper chapbook, or really digging into the horror stories I have been working on.

Granted I could self publish everything but honestly I just don’t have the energy to really devote to that level of I don’t give a fuck.

On one hand I feel like when I was told to write the stories I want to read I took that and am running with it. I am marathoning the fuck out of that.

On the other hand, while I’m running with it I’m seeing fewer and fewer promising leads on being published. I like being published. I like people other than the people I know seeing my work.

I don’t know how to feel or what to do with myself and my shit.

What really trips me out is that my non fiction, not essays but article type things are finding homes and shit. People like them and I like that. I like helping people and it feels really good but that isn’t all I want to do.

Is this some kind of writer leveling up shit?

I don’t know or understand how to navigate my own feelings about it. I keep alternating between sad and rage.

Okay here is what I know:

  • I am not going to purposefully censor myself or what I’m writing.
  • I am working on not tying my sense of identity as a writer to the publishing industry at large.
  • I am not one story. I am multitudes. (See here for reference).
  • I may not know what the fuck I am doing but I am doing it.

Okay I feel a little better and I have a fuckload of writing to do.

/end bleating.


New Things

So my first article at XOjane went live over the weekend and you can read that here.

I also have a kink essay to finish, a new article for Luna Luna to get ready and more for XOjane.

Now while I am really into these non fictional someone likes me (OH MY FUCK YOU LIKE ME) things happening something else has happened that I’m not so about.

So I’ve written about it, meditated about it, steamed about it.

I feel like this is a level up moment.

The thing is I am really fucking angry but beyond being angry I just-

okay I just don’t understand WHY the need to make shit personal about me when I didn’t make it personal about you.

Fuck.

These are the kind of mother fuckers I can’t fuck with. if you can’t be grown enough to say, I don’t like you and then hear, well I don’t like you either and we go our separate ways. I am not the droids you are looking for.

I have shit to do that does not involve trying to negotiate feeling victimized and then consequently really angry every fucking day.

As a dear dear friend guided me a couple of years ago, when my guts are churning I’m going in the right direction.

So with my new non fiction I’m putting my head down and coming through like a tweaked out train.

I am not here for other people’s bullshit.

Okay I had to get that out.

Later this week I have some other announcements. AND really if y’all could swing through the etsy store and maybe drop a few bucks I’d be delighted. I’m trying desperately to save up enough via my writing to buy a new phone because mine is failing and I do not feel safe commuting without my phone.

Thank you.

OH and before I go here how about some stuff to read that I am really excited about right now.

First, Tannarive Due has a new story at Lightspeed and I freaked out. GO read it or listen to it right now.

This piece by Rebecca Carroll at XO is hella relevant to my life right now and I want you to read it.

My dear friend Anna March wrote this piece in Salon. It is about the Pope and save your sanity stay out of the comments.

Another love of my Dena Rash Guzman wrote this about monoculture in farming at Stir.  Read it.

Actually here, that whole Lightspeed issue is fucking great so you should read or listen to all of it.

Literary Orphans got a good nod in Poets and Writers so check that out here.

Solarcide is expanding and has a new release out. Go check them out I’m pretty into it.

And you should check out the new issue of Flapperhouse.  I have it and I am into it.

Okay now I have a lot of work to do and should eat food because I’m a grown up.


A Love Letter to Antonia Crane

So we know I adore Antonia but this will be a combo review and love letter.

I’m having a very emotional week for a lot of reasons and I just finished reading Spent: A Memoir.

Wow.

Okay first of all the hardback is really physically beautiful. For my fellow tactile book nerds, the cover has this beautiful artwork and is glossy. It feels nice under the finger tips and the little half dust cover is gorgeous.

And then you open it and start reading.

As soon as you start reading, you realize that this memoir is not tidy. It is not full of sunshine and flowers. It is not a story of a woman who dabbled in the dark and ran from it. While I was reading I was thinking of Antonia’s big beautiful smile and the prior readings of her words and I fucking got it.

You can see in her work that there is a sparkle in her eye and a knowing that you’re going for a ride.

In this book Antonia does not pretend.  She is naked in a way that is so important to me when I read memoir by other women especially sex workers and others who have been through it.

I personally cannot connect to women’s writing that sticks to the sunny and immediately redemptive. I can’t connect emotionally or (in my case) want to sit down and talk to a person who peers into the dark and skips away unscathed.

Antonia got scathed.

She wrote that shit like her life depended on it and even though I don’t know her super well, I’m going to assume her life did depend on it.

Now, I have been waiting for this book since the first time I saw her writing way back on The Rumpus. She had no book deal and I (sorry Antonia if I got creepy) followed her around the internet to get sips of her words. Even from the bits and bobs I read, I knew here is one of my people.

There is a power for me in coming across women who however they do it just take my heart. How they talk to and about other women. Certain styles of sex work writing. There are let’s call them (forgive my woowooness) vibes I get that make my say yes.

Now let’s talk about sex work memoir as a genre.

Back when sex bloggers/workers were the it thing in publishing and I was a semi sex blogger myself, there was a big explosion of shiny books written by madams, hookers, strippers etc.

For me during that time up through now the genre itself was lacking. I read them in a fairly greedy manner and after two or three I realized that the predominant narrative was fairly standard.

A lot of those stories were either handjobs to redemption and ‘saving’ from a illicit life. The heavy handed I AM FEMINIST THEREFORE I DO WHAT I WANT, the pretty White girl going to college and venturing into stripping to boost her self esteem etc.

The tragic was covered, the Red Shoe Diary salacious type semi stroke material.

What was missing to me was the grit. I have known and loved many sex workers in the last (I’m gonna round it out) 15 years give or take. From a beloved crack whore who taught me incredibly valuable life lessons, to peep show workers, strippers, high cost escorts and in talking to a lot of them and living some of it myself when I did a bit of sex work back in the day, the struggle in those stories was missing.

There was often the struggle to reconcile religious or feminist beliefs with sex work but not the how the fuck am I gonna pay my rent, how the fuck do I get out, where do I go from here type narrative.

A lot of sex work memoirs are designed more to give the reader a sense of satisfaction at the end that while sex work is glamorous and full of money and presents, it’s way better to retire gracefully into wifedom or something.

That doesn’t do it for me as a reader or as someone who has not really seen that happen.

Antonia’s book is full of the grit. Her writing is silky and funny, it is rough and gut wrenching but it is not glossy. There is terror. The way she writes about her Mother’s illness and death is going to haunt me.

That is why I love her and her work. I honestly cannot stand writing that seems too shiny. When people write about terrible things but there is a everything turns out in the end gloss. I have a thing about that.

This is not a Red Shoe Diary stroke memoir.

It is sexy but not fap material.

This is real and raw.

Antonia’s work is naked and glorious.

Spent is the kind of book I will return to because writing that is so full of power and beauty moves me. It makes me feel at home. It makes me feel a sense of community when I feel like I’m drowning in suburban bundt cakey blandness.

I am so deeply terribly thankful that I found Antonia’s work.

So before I start blubbering.

This book is fucking fantastic and I absolutely recommend it.

I fucking love Antonia Crane.

If you get a chance to see her read or take a class with her do it and tell her I sent you.


Random Writing Angst.

I’m full of angst today.

Writing angst.

I have been jotting down little bits of fiction. I am worried that the time I took to finish V2.0 did something averse to my fiction. This particular angst fueled by the fact that nobody likes my flash fiction but me.

Add in a lot of good rejections, the ones that say good writing/powerful writing but not for us.

I’m having not good enough feels.

These angsts are also fucking with my sleepy ambition to finish my novella. I have many notes and about 2000 words of it written. And then I stop. I think about what if I lose what little momentum/being known I have, will I have to start the fuck over?

I’ve been reading some really great chapbooks and novellas.

Who the fuck would buy mine?

As new writing opportunities come in,I get scared that the editors who believe in me will be disappointed.

I’m feeling stuck in a little fear bubble.

What if the last two years were as good as I get?

But really the thing that freezes my fingers is the idea that I won’t be able to live up to my own expectations of my work.

I work so hard I don’t want to disappoint myself.

My ambitions have moved from being publication based to craft based. I want to make my ideas live and sometimes I am very disappointed that I can’t do it the way I want it.

I hope my feels are hormonal and I will stop being so angsty.

I keep hearing Lil Jon yelling in my head,

YOU SCARED

YOU SCARED

YOU SCARED MOTHA FUCKA YOU SCARED

From one of my favorite Ice Cube Songs Go To Church.

Maybe I’m feeling a bit too tender to get gangster with myself as I usually do.

Maybe I should calm my shit down for a minute. Write some writer business emails and then hide in a bubble of background noise and just fucking write.

Write like a mother fucker.

Write the stories.

Stop feeling some type of way self. Make a pot of tea, eat your sushi and fucking write.

Take a deep breath.

Okay.

Also before I forget my new piece is up at Luna Luna. The second part of my series addressing White Ladies.

 


On E Readers and technological panic.

I was reading around (I lost the link) and came upon yet another article hand wringing about ereaders and ebooks being the death of the paper book.

When I see these arguments almost invariably it comes down to, this is not what I want to do and NOBODY SHOULD.

Since I got a kindle for Christmas it occurs to me that people are really freaking out over nothing.

Rarely do I see any of the panicking ebook freakouts acknowledge how much more accessible a lot of books are for a lot of people.

Let’s talk cost first of all.

I have a metric ton of .99 cent and free books on my kindle. Some of them I got for shits and giggles, some were on sale and others on a whim. Frankly I do not make enough money to read everything I want. And at this point libraries don’t fully serve my needs.

Also it has meant that when I can’t afford the hardcover or first print of a paperback I have other options which is great.

And unfortunately a lot of the critique of ebooks/readers is pretty ableist.

What about people who can’t see well? Elderly people? What about the other functions so many ereaders can do?

I was talking about this with someone who is severely dyslexic and they have an app that reads to them. Hell yeah that means they now have access to ALL the books rather than a few.

Why would that ever be bad?

Then there’s the whole question of “quality”.

I hate that question.

Who cares really if someone wants to read Sasquatch porn on their ereader. It’s not my cup of tea but if someone wants to read it, awesome they are reading.

A lot of it seems like empty fapping while moaning about how awful something one personally might not be into is.

It reminds me of when writers thought that the ease of indie publishing and blogging etc would let in the dirty heathens without publishing deals.

I was recently reminded of this by one of those hand wringing articles about how awful literature is where the deeply coded language basically said OH NO WHERE ARE THE WHITE MEN.

I just kind of shake my head.

I am really can’t get behind such panicked signs of change. The lit world can’t be only those who are let in forever.

It is so vast, I do actually believe it is big enough for everyone.

I always just want to pat people and tell them to calm down. Literature is gonna be okay. It might not be the literary canon you are used to but that’s good for folks.

Oh also soon I have lots of writing news, AND a round up of books and stuff that I am really excited about.

To that end if y’all have stuff you want me to read or want promoted drop the link here.


Changes, making room and freaking out.

It has been a weird month already.

A lot of things are happening good and bad.

The good.

I will now be writing for two different websites on the regular. More news when I get some shit done.

I’m doing some grown up freelance writing things that I’ve not done before and it scares the poop out of me.

Also okay so I’ve gotten some really nice feedback and things and I am freaking out.

I’ve mentioned it before but sometimes when good things happen I panic real hard.

Right now I’m almost vibrating with anxiety and I can’t settle down.

The other day I was vibrating with anger (I’ll talk about it in one of the aforementioned mags.) over some really bullshit things that have been said to and about me because of my Luna Luna piece.  Beyond the anger my fucking feelings were trampled on. There will be more about that but it’s sitting on me and it’s real heavy.

While I am feeling overwhelmed and happy but freaked out here are some links.

Obligatory self promo here. The new Self Care book is selling and people are learning ALL THE THINGS. You can too.

Okay I am pretty much out of go so I’m going to go make some tea, calm the fuck down and try to get some more work put in.

 


A Meditation on Why my Work is “Exclusionary”

So last night some dude went through a lot of this wee blog and then a lot of my work.

Brought in by searching a porny term.

So Dudebro was upset by my work and after a long time (also a note, I use stat counters and I know how to examine my logs) he sent me a lengthy hand spank of a note to explain to me that my work is Exclusionary.

Ahem.

And because said Dudebro was not Dude enough to use a valid email address here is my response.

After reading a bunch of my posts here and referencing things I have said about Whiteness and Dude Whiteness he said:

 

You will never be successful if you continue to exclude people like me based on race. You are note practicing what you preach and should examine your motives.

Short answer is fuck you, fuck your mother, fuck your dog and fuck your cow.

Long answer.

Given that Dudebro demonstrated a superficial understanding of social justice flavored terminology let me break it down for you real simple like.

Everything in the fucking world is geared for you hetero White Dudebro.

Literary canon, SF/F, TV, Advertising everything.

In case you missed it either on my Author page or any number of things you read, I am not a White person.

That being what it is, I have made a serious conscious decision not to write to cater to you.

You can kiss the entirety of my fat Black ass with your condescension and racist sexist shit. Take your “discomfort” and jam it far enough up your ass to tickle your prostate. If my “success” (I can only read that as meaning having Dudebros like yourself buying my work) depends on you, I’ll take epic spectacular flaming failure.

You do not own everything. I realize that the state of affairs in the world might lead you to think otherwise. I understand that everything up until you found my little corner of the internet whilst looking for some porn with tiny asses, reinforces the notion that you are entitled to have everything cater to you.

My bit of work is not for you.

If you can’t enjoy something that is not made specifically for someone like you or outside of your own experience I am not for you.

There are forty seven billion other people you could read.

There are millions of other people you could spend hours running down and bothering.

Get the fuck out of my yard with that bullshit.

So everybody else.

This is why it can be hard to get a hold of me on the internet. I am fairly certain that because I am not internet or otherwise famous, and am clearly just one indie author toiling away in relative obscurity I make a good target.

I am in as far as publishing goes a bit of a vulnerable position.

I appear to be in the place where if I wanted to really be accepted by Whiteness and Dudebros like this, I would really need to watch what I say and take in this type of “criticism”.

I’m not.

I don’t give a hot fuck.

I am 37 goddamn years old.

I have dealt with a lot of shit.

I have no real fear from random assholes who are so brave to battle the evil SJW who has the audacity to tell Whiteness and men no. I did not freak out when the dude a few weeks ago threatened to dox me and “ruin my writing career”. I did not freak out and backtrack because this Dudebro felt hurt that my work does not reflect his idea of what the world is.

So can we make it official.

I don’t give a fuck if anybody really believes that the way I survive in the literary world means I am not trying to impress every Dudebro that searches for fap material on the internet.

I don’t give a fuck if every Dudebro ever is hurt because my worlds, my work, does not reflect their world.

I do not give a fuck if after said fapping, the Dudebro feels weird because the story was kinda gay.

I do not give a fuck if this means that the publishing world decides it doesn’t want me.

Seriously.

I keep saying it.

So officially.

Dox me, show up at my fucking house and I will call you an ambulance.

Call my employer and tell them what a big ole nasty freak I am and I’m sure our lawyers will have a talk with your local PD about harassment.

Do not come for me because I don’t write for you. If you don’t like it, shut this shit down and move the fuck on.

Do not come for me because it gives you a woody to tell off the SJW.

Do not come for me because you have a weird kinda gay boner.

Do not come for me asking for free fap material. This epussy is too expensive for you.

Leave me alone.

It’s not that hard.

Further communication from this Dudebro or any others who don’t like all my Blackness, Queerness or not here for your shitness will be ignored and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.


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