Along with my spreadsheet of rejections, I have kept track of certain stories.
I was going to try and be delicate about this but fuck it.
So some of my stories are distinctly hood stories. Some of them I’m sure (at least from some initial readers) make White people uncomfortable because they aren’t the tragic hood narrative, there are no white people and there is no Whiteness as a cultural ruler.
This is not recent information to me. This has been something I’ve kept informal track of for let’s round it out to 15 years.
It doesn’t matter what genre, erotica, general lit, horror, etc.
Here is where you can imagine me heaving a long sigh.
This is one of those moments when Double Consciousness is not only a Mother Fucker but also a son of a bitch.
The fact is while for some of these stories I’ve gotten effusive oh how we love you type rejections, the stories are never “right”.
Today is one of those days when my last three rejections were for these type stories and I got those type rejections and I feel pretty beat up. Not about the rejections, rejection happens and blablabla but, I am beat up because what else can I do with these stories?
A lot of editors give a lot of lip service to what they think is diversity.
Diversity is more than having some women writers or some POC writers, diversity does also mean that some narrative don’t need to take place in the world Whiteness is comfortable in. This is the reality of not being famous already.
So now what do I do with these stories that at least for one no less than five editors said was real and well written blablabla?
I don’t honestly have the stamina to do all indie all the time. I have 12-14 hour day job work days, go home and put in another couple of hours of work. I am doing this all by myself (save for my partner and bestie but I’ll get to that), I am not good at a lot of the aspects of indie publishing that one needs to be in order to make it financially feasible in terms of time put in and money spent and all that.
I just want to write my fucking stories and sometimes get them read.
I’m in a mood.
I am going to sit in it and get back to work.
When it comes to work style I am a grinder. I write, or edit or submit unti I can’t see. I take what passes for sleep and do it all over again. Writing is my non paying job. And that means I need to get to work.
Before I go though I’ve seen/read some wonderful things and I want to share.
Via one of my personal Muses Remittance Girl, she and some other authors (also authors I really like) have gotten together and formed a new press. Burning Book Press is happening. Read about it at RG’s blog , or check out the website for the press. As a reader I am very into what they are doing and will be buying things from them like whoa.
Speaking of people I adore. Go read Antonia’s latest entry it is just lovely. She is a joy.
Celebrate banned books with City Lights. if nothing else listen to John Waters reading from Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
If you don’t already listen to the New Yorker fiction podcast you really should. The episode with Sherman Alexie reading Jessamyn West is a great one. I actually like his reading so much I’ve listened to it twice.
Lastly go watch Edgar Oliver at a PEN event. I am completely enamored of this man. I want him to come to my house and read me bedtime stories forever.
Go forth. Venture. Read and listen to some shit.