I’ve been writing a lot of magical Black folks this week. Not just in the Daiyuverse but, another mermaid story, a high fantasy story about a cat woman and her female King lover.
I always have a soundtrack. I don’t write well without music. When I’m working on these particular stories, I feel both weight and lightness. I feel the weight of representation and the constancy of the fight to be visible in the lit world.
I feel the weight of navigating this world as both a reader and a creator. I hear shit from people like this, (seriously read that hashtag), I watch known abusers and rapists get airtime and still have to deal with shit like:
Me: writes story with magical negroes all in and through it. Them: UM ISN’T THAT A MAGICAL NEGRO TROPE #WhatWoCWritersHear
— Shannon (@Weebeasty) April 18, 2017
So, I detach and try to immerse myself in Magical Blackness because there, I don’t have to deal with this shit. I can write what I want to write and be magical as fuck and it feels okay. It feels comfortable. I don’t have to think about the pitches gone unanswered, the unpaid predatory “opportunities” extended to me, the attempts to exploit my emotional labor all of the things that make the industry part of writing hell for me.
So I escape.
I create worlds where me and my ilk don’t have to fight. Well we do but it’s not the sort that takes food off of our tables and out of our children’s mouths.
This is the world we POC and especially multiply marginalized folks navigate. And sometimes, I really just gotta get away from it.
when noncrip ww sell essays on disabilities but my circulating essays go unopened by ww editors pic.twitter.com/9kV3s2MdNF
— Noemi Martinez (@hermanaresist) April 14, 2017
I go to this place of safety even though I know I probably won’t sell a single bit of it.
I know and I go anyway because if I don’t, I’ll just be angry and my stomach will hurt and nothing will ever feel better.
So I keep doing it. I go back to this place and write in it and read in it. I daydream about living a fantasy Artist life and then I go pay bills and juggle and struggle.
So I’ll keep my soundtracks going and go back to my magical words because I have to.
She looked down at the purring cat in her arms and smiled.
“I love him so much. What is his name?”
Before Dr. Emryss could speak the cat opened his eyes, yawned and spoke.
“My name, my dear beauty is Bastien Chevalier DuPuis. I do love you too, you are so brown and big and warm. I never want to leave your arms my love.”
Her eyes widened and she tried to say something like, nice to meet you but nothing came out. She’d seen and heard of shapeshifters resting in animal shapes, heard of those with an understanding of animals but never, one that spoke.
“Bastien, bad cat. I told you not to speak to her. I was going to introduce you two eventually.”
“Forgive me old friend but, she’s just she’s so soft. And so tall. Why didn’t you tell me you had a giantess coming for tea?”
The cat put one of his huge paws on her cheek, when he met her gaze he rubbed his face across her nose and nibbled her cheek.
“Forgive me being forward dear Linda. I can’t help myself. I’m a fool for someone like you.”
I have my little escapes and days like today when I watch the perks of Whiteness elevate the work of a rapist and abuser, and watch folks use their privilege to make money off of shit that they don’t even experience- I need to escape.
I do what I have to in order to be able to write what the fuck I wanna write.
It’s not lucrative, it sure as fuck won’t make me famous but, it still feels damn good.
I’ll end with this. And please do enjoy my soundtrack.