Puppies, Hugos and Good Lordt.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m referencing here have a look.

Looking at a lot of conversations in blogs etc about this whole shitshow y’all, if I’m going to be honest, it really makes me even more hesitant to enter the arena.

A lot of what I’ve seen said by whatever flavor of puppies is automatically booting work that I do out of hand because “message’ which I generally read to mean about anything but White straight men.

For me a lot of my fiction is escape. My non-fiction tends to draw the uh, day to day version of pupppies of one sort or another. The White men who email me to tell me how “loud” and “terrible SJW” I am because I write about my life and that often includes my Blackness. The same type who, when I was just a little online journal writing type, would first ask to see my tits or to meet up and when I said no would call me a nigger bitch.

These are the same type of dudes who will correct me about any number of dumb things usually ending with, well YOU’RE THE RACIST.

And I’ve been following this since it started.

Thing is, the fact that this is still a fucking problem that I watch a lot of authors I respect both personally and professionally either be very stressed out about this or show their racist ass.

I watch and read all the commentary and links. I read a lot of the books in question.

At this point, all this whole situation does is show me more reasons I don’t even want to fuck with the industry.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love getting paid for my genre work, reaching a wider audience and all that shit. I just don’t want it ruined. I don’t want yet another part of my literary life to be speckled with this flavor of bullshit.

Not too long ago I had a pretty good sized list of mags and whatnot that would help me in getting SFWA membership. I had stories ready to shiny up and fling out into the nerdverse. Now, nah.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got the same amount of side eye for the horror areas as well. Especially given some professional organization fuckery that occurred right after getting a pretty warm sell on joining up and getting back into the horror genre in a larger fashion.

I keep telling myself things like the following:

Posi Brain: No, it’ll totally be fine. You’re being paranoid not everything is awful.

Non Posi Brain: Bitch whet? You saw that last note, we got right? You’re being a dipshit. Nothing is fine. Everything is awful.

Remix- repeat.

All this said, I don’t think I’m gonna be fuckin with it. I am stressed out enough. I hear enough about ALL the reasons why anything I say ever whether fictional or not are, somehow the end of White men everywhere.

My audience isn’t huge nor are they throwing big dollars but, I feel like we get each other and that feels good.

That’s how I feel about it for the couple of people who’ve asked me. Basically, I see it and I don’t like it so I ain’t fuckin with it.

Now, speaking to my audience, oh hey you.

Rewrites on The Daiyu Saga have begun and if you want to see the second draft of my first urban fantasy novel as it goes along, all it takes is like 2$ a month and BOOM access to every chapter and love letter that goes along with it. Head over here to check it out.

In other news, I will have some new lit in the etsy shop soon and you can still get this bad bitch right here, for a few dollars. Come get all your life.

 

mfcover

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Baby tries Fantasy. Ft Fancasting

Under the read more you’ll find the whole first page of my second try at fantasy. I tried it before with these characters and tried again. Actually I’ll show you the whole thing I have so far. In FACT I’ll include my fancast for it. Because that is a thing I do often. Also pardon if my train of thought wanders at times I haven’t really slept in two days.

My idea for this is this as follows:

  • Gender markers being fucked with. Our King is a woman named Nailah. Her wizard wears dresses because he likes them. King Nailah is a war king. She is a bad ass with a bad reputation and she likes to seduce everyone and hang out with her fellow warriors. Think Gina Torres would play her in a movie after beefing up a bit. Okay a lot of bit, like Linda Hamilton in T2. See here but picture her with locs and with some facial scars and tattoos.

king

 

  • Her Queen to be, is a literal cat person. So I spent some time studying feline social behaviors, etc. and came up with the assholest cat to be a cat person. Her name is Makatza and she’s somewhat of a mystical figure in this fantasy land. I thought a lot about how to incorporate some really specific cat behaviors into a human sized being. The tail swish, one turned ear, being a demanding but totally loveable little butthole. Imagine she’s furry, her middle body is beigy brown and as her fur goes around her body it turns black. But her fur isn’t like tiger fur, think more downy softy fur. Her ears are black, her tail is black and quite long. She isn’t a shape shifter, she is a cat person. Think a body type like Countess Vaughn here, but a bit less busty.
countess
Imagine her as a cat.
  • Our next important character is called Nazar and he is the King’s bestie, former lover and war wizard. He is also very shy and anxious. In this part of this story (there are longer versions and notes)he’s still a bit young and has a bit of puppy fat yet. But yes this face both the younger and the older are what I imagine when I think of Nazar. He’s very loyal, very good at his craft and is a bit confused as to what role he is to play with the King.
nazar
Nazar the Catalyst as a baby wizard.
  • So far we also get a peek at First Regent Bilale who is like the captain of the gaurd, confidant, tactical expert and potentially the man who will teach our King to be a husband. I haven’t decided yet. Picture this gorgeous gent a bit older and scarred up. Like he’s been swinging axes and shit.
bilale.jpg
I just..well. Yeah look at him.

So far those are most of the major players I imagine in my head. There are some others I can’t totally see yet.

But we see why this could be an issue don’t we?

I’m sure somebody will be asking themselves, but where are the White people Shannon?

Well………

Nope.

This magical land is full of black and brown folks (there is a char I picture as Margaret Cho with her shaved head, but that’ll happen later) but yeah. Naw.

What’s interesting is that one person I floated this idea to give me a little bit of the “but that’s not believable” I almost automatically spat out that Junot Diaz quote about motherfuckers reading shit in Elvish and inquired about how many places in medievil Europe were rocking dragons and shit?

I’m not sure how much of this world, I will create but so far I’m pretty into it. I’m working on word-building, like a whole world that is Earthy but not Earth. I’m working on creating some language, some cultural stuff and so far I haven’t gone off the deep nerd end.

Yet.

So here you go folks. It is my birthday and my present to you is a bit of Cat Rules Queen, a fantasy WIP by yours truly. OH also this is entirely unedited exactly as it came out of my brain. No rewrites/correction so don’t trip.

Enjoy.

 

Continue reading “Baby tries Fantasy. Ft Fancasting”

Further on Racial Uplift and Space.

As promised on facebooks I want to follow up this post .

I want to talk first about the feelings of conflict I still have. On one hand, I am still thirsty and desperate for solidarity with other Black people. A large part of that is trauma based in the fact that I had zero Black folks community growing up. Yes, I had family but most of my Black family I didn’t see often.

I spent time in my early 20s venturing into the POC neighborhoods and looking for that solidarity. I went to some community meetings, I went to see some speakers. Unfortunately, I did not really get to talk to folks. I showed up, gothy self in full effect. Loudly out Queer, concerned with the undesirables talking about drug addicts, sex workers, etc. And that did not fit the prescribed narrative of who deserved help and solidarity.

One time sticks out in my brain. I showed up to a talk about various peer to peer community help type thing. I spoke to one of the head dudes about the sex ed curriculum I was developing for young people with a focus on high school age kids, street kids and sex workers. I was so hype for the chance to get some help producing printed materials or getting space.

Now, even though the meeting was in a church I did not realize it was essentially a church approved. I talked passionately about the diaspora and all the dude said was, “you pronounced diaspora wrong” and walked away.

That describes in spirit a lot of my early interactions with the larger Black community. I was pretty bitter about it for a long time and for a minute decided well fuck Black folks.

I stopped that thought, but it was really terrible for me.

Those experiences are what seeded my thoughts about racial uplift.

I had to untangle the why of it and the how of it. The reality is that in a culture that absolutely devalues everything Black until White culture absorbs it until they are tired of it, racial uplift is important.

Everybody wants to be a nigga..etc see Paul Mooney talk about that here.

America loves Blackness until it is attached to an actual Black person.

When I realized that, I realized that while it hurt(s) my heart it is a direct result of White supremacy, racism and the very human need for hope.

For many Black folks, there is so little representation that we scramble and grab at whatever we get. Inside of that action, we start to find the gold. The Uplift. The Maya Angelou’s (but we can’t talk about her history as a sex worker). We buy into the idea that if we can just be better Negroes, if we only hold up our icons who have their pants pulled up and don’t use AAVE, who don’t look thuggish- that is the path to our salvation.

And there we see the failure of respectability politics and where a narrow idea of Racial Uplift falls apart.

This model by showing the shiny White Approved- no, not approved let’s be real tolerated (until they aren’t) icons fails because we’re human and humans are flawed and multifaceted.

Now we come to how I’ve healed myself in regard to that feeling of rejection from my own community.

My hope is wider.

My hope is that as we steam into the future, racial uplift can be expanded to those of us who aren’t “positive”, who aren’t putting on a good face for Whiteness, who are Queer, who are not religious, who are hood as fuck, who are poor, who are trans, who produce art that is disturbing and strange.

Blackness is so hugely beautifully diverse in how we express it, live it, make art in it and about it.

Blackness is so precious because even though not all skinfolk are kinfolk, we don’t have to be kinfolk.

Blackness built an American culture in ways that a lot of people might heavily mourn if it weren’t for us.

Blackness has taught America how to protest.

Blackness is my life. And there is space in the diaspora, in the creative diaspora for me and for you.

At this age and point in my creative life I’m at peace with this. It doesn’t burn my heart when a Black folks thing doesn’t necessarily need my flavor of art but they appreciate it.

I do think that we have a lot of work to do in terms of how we as a people start dismantling racial uplift in the context of putting on that Good Negro dance for Whiteness.  That said, I also believe that we can change that part of our culture and get beyond it.

So there you have it.