Before I get to the darkness, some light. My first fiction publication of the year has gone live at the new magazine Rigorous. Read my cowboy/mermaid myth here. I’ll nerd about it later because I worked on it for months and the original inspiration might make y’all giggle.
I’ll nerd about the origin story for that piece later this week.
Per usual, when things are pretty much non-stop bullshit, I turn to the darker end of lit for comfort. Let’s talk about what I’ve been reading/listening to.
House of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, the Cleveland Strangler. (Amazon affiliate links ahoy y’all.)This book is pretty dingdang good. I actually followed this case with a lot of interest because really we don’t get to see/read about a lot of non-white serial killers. This book was missing the racial analysis I was craving, something more in depth than poverty and shit. BUT, that said a lot of the early history and behaviors of this killer cut across racial lines to intersect with other serial killers. Pretty good read.
I also reread Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Y’all if you’ve never read this book please read it. This one is a hard one for me to read. Every time I read it, the sameness of many of the struggles I have as a Black person are devastating. On the other hand, I also am soothed by the rhythm of this book and the familiarity. Read the thing.
I have a habit of dipping back into the darkness as y’all know.
May I also suggest some of my fave noir?
I really loved this piece in Out of the Gutter, The Flash Fiction Offensive. Initiation by Brendan Bakala.
For some other noir reading, may I suggest back issues of Thuglit. Like issue #5 (I’m in this one) I also suggest reading stuff by the publisher of Thuglit Todd Robinson. He’s good people and his writing is fucking tight. Read The Hard Bounce. I really fell in love with his characters Boo and Junior. His work is vivid and has a beating heart. Get into it.
Lamentation by my homie Joe Clifford, another one that I love. Y’all, like get on that. It is a series and it’s good.
Want something lighter?
Battle Hill Bolero (Bone Street Rumba) by my dude Daniel Jose Older. If I’m not mistaken, this is the last in the Bone Street Rumba series (noooooooooooooooo) and it is so fucking good. It’s just, god damn it. I love this world so much I never want it to end for purely selfish reasons. Just…start at the beginning and read them all.
For an intense but not totally heart breaking read, start up the Broken Earth books by N.K. Jemisin. Start with The Fifth Season. If you like your fantasy with some literary bent and really detailed and showcasing some major, major researching skills, get it. These books are gorgeous.
If you need to get really sucked in deep into a whole other world, read The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. I liked this book, it wasn’t totally what I needed but it is very very good and goes deep into world building and the language is beautiful.
Thing is, right now we all need some fucking space that isn’t littered with the actual fire that is burning up America right now and fixing to light up the rest of the world.
Don’t feel bad if you need to get away because we all need some of that lately.
What have I been doing?
Well I’ve been writing poems and SCLAB and a few stories. Trying to hang on to my sanity.
Before I go, how about a look at a bite of a hood noir story I started. Another one with a brother and sister duo, I’ve got a thing for that.
Tyrell heard his sister yelling from the front hall all the way into his office and cringed.
“Rusty ass. No account ass. Trifling ass. Shitty ass mother fucker.”
He heard her stomp past his door, steady talking shit.
“One more fuckin’ time I gotta do some nasty shit like that, you gonna take a dick for the team. Chicken ass, scary ass, useless looking bullshitting ass, but you’re better at this Tye Tye, lying ass-“
Her voice muted as the bathroom door slammed. Tyrell heaved a sigh and made a gesture at the other man in his office.
OH one more thing.
My birthday is in March and per request here is my wishlist.