I just sent off my first submission to a spec-fic magazine.
I’ve been watching them for about three years and buying when I can. I feel quite accomplished given how shitty I feel today.
I have a tension headache that is making my skull feel like clockworks that are fighting with each other.
Fight Club in Shannon’s Skull.
The first rule of headache fight club is, see if you can make her puke or cry or shit her pants.
I am prepping another piece to go out. The unloved in print but loved (holy shit by strangers) when I read in Portland.
OH I already told Roxane (yes that Roxane) about this but I want to talk about it because I’m excited.
A few weeks ago I re-read her little book Ayti. On the heels of that reading I spoke to a lady from Haiti on the bus and- wait bear with me. Sometimes my head works in weird ways.
I had asked this lady if she was from Haiti and I heard her say Ayti. It is the accent. So her voice has been knocking around my head. That led me to this video about Haitian Creole pronunciation and memories of the Haitian ladies I knew as a wee kid.
Those things were rattling around in my head, and then something happened.
If you’ve been around for a while you know I have a bit of a fetish for mixing cultural mythologies together in odd ways. One of the stories I am writing right now (as kicked off in my head by Roxane’s book) is a story about Hati the Norse Warg, a little Haitian refugee girl named Bernie and some epic misunderstanding and some horror elements.
I’m calling it the Ayti/Hati/Haiti story.
This is not really classic horror as far as those things go. For me (at least inwardly) it is more the horror of childhood and being picked on and the fantasy of having something Bigger and Badder to back you up. And not being sorry.
Looking at the few finished horror pieces I have that is a common theme for me. Not being sorry.
In a broader sense, in my erotica in my noir stories, in my regular literary fiction I play a lot with No Regrets. With being or doing fucked up things and not being sorry to be that way but sometimes being sorry that things don’t turn out. When it comes to the people in my stories, I like them being fine with being fucked up to a degree. I am not great at your traditional redemption tales, I’m super lousy at Inspiration Porn because I just don’t like it.
I feel like that is maybe the closest I come to putting myself into things. There are a lot of things I am supposed to be sorry for to the world. For being a fat woman, for being queer, for being weird, for being Black blablabla.
I’m just not.
I’m not interested.
If I think back further to what I was writing 20 years ago, I was trying to get to the point of writing the bad girls gone good and the dopey asshole heroes who turn out to be super nice guys.
I wish I could call 16 year old me and tell her not to try that so hard. To go ahead and keep reading and loving literary assholes who were probably racists and sexists and all those things. But then again, I’m sure that developmentally these things were important to me getting here.
I am tickled to be this age right now and still writing. Looking back at some of the things I wrote when I was a little confused baby queer, the few angst ridden love poems written to older women. Remembering reading a poem written about this older woman whom I was trying desperately to seduce and being heartbroken when not only was she 20 years older than me but had been happily involved with the same woman for about 10 years.
I remember trying to imitate Miller and Nin, Anne Rice, Alice Walker.
I tried so hard. And now I can look back and giggle a little because come on, it was adorable.
I think that’s all for right now. I had something else in mind but I have the mother fucker of all tension headaches and it’s making me want to either rock back and forth in the corner or run face first into a car repeatedly until something happens. Oh under the fold a tidbit of the story.
Her throat made wordless noises made of fear, pain and frustration. Her heart howled the same cry it always had, urgent as a lost pup. Ayti, Ayti, Ayti.
Hati heard again. That thin pitiful yelping from the Earth. As he gamboled after the moon on the other side of the Earth, his thoughts turned to his brother.
Skoll didn’t answer, busy chasing the sun.
“Skoll. I need you.”
The answer came hot and slow.