First up some really awesome news that I’m really stoked about.
My story “My Hood” that was published in Animal: A Beast of A Literary Magazine got Pushcart nominated.
I am so excited and thankful that they loved that story as much as I do. I had submitted it to a few straight up horror/(supposedly) experimental horror and no go. Their submission guidelines were floating around in my head after I’d read it from I believe either Duotrope or a link on facebook. I am so pleased.
So even if I don’t get a spot I’m still pretty stoked. It is really nice to have work that is special to you acknowledged.
You want to hear a funny story?
So a few years ago I wrote an essay and sat on it for a while before Junk: A Literary Magazine picked it up. Now at the time when it was published I was really happy about a lot of the feedback I was getting. I was really just trying out non fiction, seeing how CNF might fit in with me. And then the editor Tim Elhajj who is himself a writer I like and a great editor to work with sent me an email about something called A (the? some? fuck) Pushcart.
I had no earthly idea what that was, if it was good or what. I went and bought a very old very used copy of one of the collections and was pretty impressed.
So that is pretty awesome and feels kind of intense.
I should confess here that sometimes when people I really respect are enthusiastic about my work in any capacity I get really nervous and feel like I might crap my pants. I don’t know why but it both thrills and terrifies me.
More so when I realize that people I don’t even know sometimes really like my stories. Holy shit?
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
So back to this story.
I remember tinkering with My Hood for about two months before I figured out how to tell it. I knew I wanted to push the focus (coming at it from a genre horror perspective) away from white kids in the suburbs and into a place where there are shapeshifters and in this neighborhood they are people of color. So our little heroine is a serpent. A Child of Apep who is the Egyptian serpent god. I wanted to take things out of a more European werewolf mythos to a this is just what we are type mythos.
There was also a Child of Sekhmet (lioness), the Crow the Coyote.
There is something deeply meaningful on a personal/spiritual level to me to write outside of the normative White horror creature thing.
That being what it is let me talk about my nanowrimo novella for a moment.
I did not win Nano this year. But what I did do was start something I believe will come out fantastic.
This world I have created in the setting of Seattle, South America, Mexico City, Texas, New Orleans and some of the characters are just being met who are from New York- this world exists outside of European White magics; this is completely outside of that.
Not only is it outside of that world, I have built in to this world the fact that these people of color are purposefully outside of that world. They are not involved with it by choice.
That is pretty intense.
I am also doing some fun things with it. In the beginning I use tight first person present tense POV. Each character narrating their moments. Between those I use the Chorus as a nod to Greek tragedy and as a way of explaining certain things to the audience. My overarching goal with that is to have the reader know so much more than the characters. I want the reader to want to feel like the characters are about to get in a head on collision and want to warn them.
I want people yelling at the story NO NO DON’T STOOOOOOOOOP the way I do at the TV sometimes.
In the second part of the book I switch to a broader third person. The switch might be a mistake but I want there to be a clear demarcation between getting to know you and holy shit this is happening.
I”ll keep y’all updated. I decided I will release it I’m just not sure via what channel yet.
So that’s all for right now outside of the fact that I have a shitload of writing to do.
Off to write like a mother fucker.