I feel like purging.

Some things I loathe about myself.

So here goes.

I am insanely jealous (to the point of seething and roiling guts) of writers who can go to amazing looking retreats, conferences, workshops etc.

As often as I see them offered and beloved friends talking about go to them, I find myself sitting here with fucking stink face because I can’t.

I can’t afford to travel. I can’t afford to take weeks off.  I can’t even really afford online workshops.

Poor person rage.

Not that I want to do regular workshopping type things but I would like the um, option I guess.

Here I am plotting fixing my teeth (because of some unexpected bills I’m back to needing to save another 350, shit), AWP, Duotrope and a few other odds and ends.

New clothes, books, writing shit, hair.

I feel like one of those thirsty mother fuckers on instagram alternately praising half naked hotties then when they get ignored or no play turn to calling them whores. Suddenly I partly understand.

So in the interest of distracting myself from my hate spiral I have shit I need to do.

  1. I really need to fix up my writing schedule. I am thinking I’m going to try harder to start getting up an hour early to head downtown so I can sit in a starbucks (yes so cliche) drink coffee and work before my dayjob. I half hope that will relax me so said dayjob doesn’t sap my energy so much. Writing after work has become almost impossible because work completely drains me of most of my will to live muchless to write.
  2. I also don’t really have an area to work with my little chromebook comfortably.
  3. I need to decide about AWP. I do kind of want to try fully joining for a year and see if/what it does for me. But then again money.

Those are the big things on my mind right now. I’ve been working and writing like a mother fucker but I only have a couple of things submission ready.

I have decided to put out another self care book. This one mainly for Femme Identified people. I’m also (given what’s going on with Kobo/amazon etc) going t try keeping my erotica off of the sites where it will get pulled. Not that I sell/write enough of it at present for this to be a big deal but you know. Fuck outlets that are on their high horse about smut.

The other big thing on my mind as ever is figuring out my extra hustles. Given my very finite amounts of energy day to day this has been a struggle.

Nothing like financial stress to fuck with the creative process.

Oh well.

Time to work.

Feeling out of place.

At least yearly this thing happens where everything I write is out of place.

Being that I’m really bad at writing to specs when I’m interested in something, I just write things. I write a bunch of stuff, fix it up and start submitting it.

Lately I’m hitting a nowhere I like to read is printing things like I write type of thing going on. Also apparently my ideas about SF/F/H (Sci fi/fantasy/horror) are pretty skewed.

Also a lot of guidelines I read talk a lot about telling them about your degrees and workshops and conferences. What about those of us who don’t have those?

Now don’t get me wrong being rejected isn’t necessarily the problem. Rejection I am ready for.

I guess I’m having one of those edged out because of reasons feelings.

If I submit a place where they mention specifically that one should talk about degrees, conferences, workshops etc one is involved in what am I supposed to say? Hi I took a few IT college classes, can’t afford to go to conferences and have done two workshops but don’t like them?

So I don’t submit to those markets.

Also maybe I’m overreaching.  Trying to get published beyond my capabilities. That of course is an option.

It is entirely possible I’m going beyond my talents. I dunno.

So it’s that time to sit back, reassess what I’m doing and try to figure out where I am going wrong.

Maybe I will save up some money and take some of those classes and learn how to write a short story.  Try to learn to write so I can workshop things efficiently. Figure out when to take time off for all this?

So righty right.

Other writing business.

I’m 9 rejections away from posting my list of 100.

I have 4 pieces out right now. I’m thinking I’m going to let go of two as they are outliers and for one of them my query has gone unanswered. Also honestly editors even a fuck you stop talking to me is way better than nothing. For real.  So one of those is getting withdrawn today. I always feel so awkward sending those without having gotten an answer to a query weeks before.

I may or may not try to finish what I -think- is a fantasy novella. Given my bad aim lately I may be entirely wrong about what it is. (Said with a bit of bitter amusement) I don’t now.

I also really need to do some studying about self promotion. If at some point I have to go all indie with my shit, I should know what I’m doing right?

And let me say that a lot of my rejections lately have been really lovely. Editors who have said they really like my work but not for their publications. Is it just me or do those make for a bit more author butthurt than a form rejection?  Maybe it’s just me but I’ve always felt that way.

Well whatever else happens I will go back to the drawing board, write and whatnot.

That’s all for now. Probably tomorrow I’ll post my attempt at a sf story and talk about where it went off the rails.


Undone by my own non fictions.


Please pardon this entry. I’m trying to work through some things and I have a situation.

So I have this bunch of essays,  I forget how many but I have them. I crowd sourced money to have them edited/get me help with them from someone I trust implicitly.

She thinks they are great. She asked the right questions.

Now here is the problem.

They are raw bleeding cheese grater on my nerves bloody.

I know I’m not afraid to be bloody, I’m not afraid to tell embarrassing stories that make me look like a dick. These are about me mainly, stuff I feel, my hurt feefees etc etc but, I cannot get them rewritten.

I start, I read the rewrites I’ve done, I rage,  I want to throw up.

Rationally I love them. They are the sort of thing I like to read. Some of them are about fairly hellish things, awful things no one really wants to hear but that I believe some people need to hear. Lost loves, my undying creepy desire for Courtney Love.

But they upset me.

I have these bodily reactions I can’t chase down to alleviate (except when they make me have to pee, true story, sometimes they just make me have to pee) and I don’t entirely know how to power through.

The pain and the stupid feelings tell me I’m on the right track. Some shit needs to hurt. For instance. When one of my best friends Od’d when I was a youngster, I went and got multi strike branded.

It was awful, my boob smelled like bacon and I was hungry,  I wanted to shit my pants and get fucked all at the same time.

That being what it is, I fully believe that it had to hurt. Otherwise what would have been the point?

So why can’t I do it?

I don’t want to barf on my keyboard (I don’t have one of those fold up washable ones), I don’t know.

I am taking it slow. The least panic inducing piece is the Courtney Love one and I have been diddling it off and on.

I’ve consulted some friends and this uh…what? Metaphorical and spiritual retiring to my fainting couch, is a sign I’m doing something right.

I want to believe that if I keep being gentle (I fucking hate that) that, the right thing will happen and I will get them done. I might even put together the chapbook I’d intended them to be.

Along the same lines, just lately I can’t seem to finish the few pieces about different painful aspects of Blackness.

Too much emotion.

Too many things that come out to translate roughtly as RAGE RAGE FUCK RAGE FUCK FUCK RAGE DIE.

So righty right.

The solution is (as the solution to all things author related) write like a mother fucker.

It hurts.

I bleed.

Keep writing.

It sucks.

I’m mad.

Keep writing.

Write it ugly, write it bloody and covered with snot and tears because that’s the only way I really know how to work.




Quickly or not so much.

Until it reaches the bottom of the page and falls away you can find my poem Freedom over at mad swirl.

Tomorrow I believe there will be two more poems of mine published for you to read. I’ll come back with links.

I’ve been kind of immersed in the costs of my writing lately.

I do a lot of poverty math, I’m not in the kind of abject poverty I was once upon a time but, the math still hits me.

In case you’re totally confused here is my thought process when it comes to any purchase over 20$.

If it is an event, I add into the costs things like, do I have an outfit, do I have to take a cab, will I have to try and leave work early (I work a swing shift so I don’t get off until 10), etc.

This is why I tell people (I talked about this recently) that conferences and whatnot are just too expensive for me.

Expense as in time off from work, cab rides, appropriate clothing if there is an evening type event, etc etc. I have to factor in if I want to use sick/vacation hours I might need later on.

So here are expenses I am thinking about right now.

Chromebook, about 300$. Now I had planned on getting a tattoo for my birthday (BIG ass Death Head moth on my chest with some Bukowski lines) but, of course my old desk top computer would cost more than that to rebuild and I’ve already lost work. The idea of the cloud computing/shit being hooked to my google account pleases me.

Second expense I am considering.

Joining AWP.  I am on the fence about that honestly. It costs 65$ which if we’re playing brings my year total writing expenses (not including any postage/reading fees) including Duotrope and upcoming Chromebook purchase at 415$ and it’s not even halfway through the year.

I don’t know how I feel about that.

Duotrope is paid, my self care book did that.

I don’t have a lot of faith in making enough money from writing to cover the rest.

I have never been in a professional organization but okay here’s the thing.

Looking at what they do, are these things I actually need?

I am not college educated, not looking for an internship or teaching position so I don’t need career help.

There’s their magazine, discounts on classes.

I am not in their town, I don’t go to writing conferences, I don’t normally have the time or ability to go to local literary happenings because I work.

So as much as I think it would be cool to join up, I probably won’t.

So we see me worrying at something until I work it out. Per usual.

In other writing business.

I have some lingering submissions out that I need to query but haven’t simply because of laziness and I actually hate doing that.

What else?

I am thinking I’m going to stop mentioning Oshun in stories. I have two active stories both with different mentions of Oshun but from the things some editors have said in rejectins, I think because Oshun is not your standard Euro woowoo goddess,  people don’t understand.

I’m disappointed in this.

Actually let me have a bitter nobody likes me moment.

I am very uh, let’s say tired of myself.

My proverbial aim continues to be way off.

I will say though that of the non form rejections I’ve gotten, some of the things editors have said have been quite lovely. Makes the rejection sting that much more or is that just me?


I don’t know.

I sort of feel like a lot of things I’ve written lately are not really palatable to people other than me. So per usual I worry about that. On one hand fuck it, on the other fuck I wanna get published more.

I need to work through it.

To that end I will inflict more of my yes this is nice but not for our fine magazine things on more poor editors.

One acceptance and one rejection this weekend brought my current overall acceptance rate according to Duotrope to 35.3%*.

I am going to specifically look for somewhere to place my little body image essay with the pictures.

I have no idea who might want that.

So there.

I have work to do. No more nobody loves me style pouting.



I am really cranky right now because some dudebro trying to holler at me on my way home ruined my alone/reading time.

I told a grown ass man to google no like a big boy.


That said, my reading right now is actually pretty fine.

I”m reading two books, one horror one noir. I like having a buffet of things to be reading at any one time.

Being that it is a new year I have seen lots of best of and must read book lists around.

I must confess that being that 95% of these lists are made by White people, I kind of cringe/sigh/what have you when I see the usual Black authors. Lots of pain porn by people of color and really I wonder how/why those are the only stories by and about POC (Junot Diaz not withstanding right now) that White audiences seem to ever hold up as good or will say they enjoy.

I’m not doing anybody’s research for them, but come on. There is more to being a person of color than slave narratives and rip your guts out stories of pain.

On a superficial level it is plain lazy reading. It’s very easy to glance at the few authors of color generally taught and agree that X book is of course among the best.

On a deep deep painful level, I do wonder if the people who never seem to find or see any of the more joyful or other plethora of experiences can believe even in a fictional narrative that people of color are complex diverse actual human beings and not just a collection of sassy sayings and teachable moments.

Being that MLK day has just passed and Black history month (or as I lovingly call it The Most Racist Time of the year, sung to the tune of that Christmas song the most wonderful time of the year, try it) is about to start I’m half trying to gird my loins and half trying to work through the thoughts that plague me when Whiteness as a thing is crushing my poor brain.

I do wonder though.

I wonder if outside of a hood/ghetto narrative, can people accept a story?

If the fans of popular fiction and sometimes the authors of popular fiction are to be believed no.

I hate thinking about these things sometimes.

Now I will invoke Mr. Diaz because this quote of his honestly expresses all of it in such a simple and beautiful way because it is just so fucking true:

“Motherfuckers will read a book that’s one third elvish, but put two sentences in spanish and they [white people] think we’re taking over.”

That is everything.

So yeah.

I don’t know what else I was going to say.

Instead, let me say that as shit pants cranky as I get about these things, once I get it off my chest I feel better. Well not better exactly but it doesn’t hurt as much. I feel a little less congested I guess. Sometimes as much as I may want to let the cumulative colorblind racism roll off my back, I just can’t.

However I am not reading anymore of those lists.

I will continue giving major side eye to people who say/write things I find questionable.

I will read more good things.

I will try to take a deep breath and remind myself that sometimes shit is just gonna be fucked up and it’s okay for me to feel fucked up about it and talk about it.

Now I have logged my first rejection of the year. I’m going to get ready to get that story back out into the world. I did something with the tense that could be a problem for folks who are sticklers about how that is supposed to work. I will laugh at myself because the story is kind of a little bit of a pain porn Black folks story, but about something that doesn’t get talked about enough in Black folks circles.

According to my spreadsheet that was #60 and that means just 40 more before I post the whole list.

What else?

OH I entered my first contest (credible one) in forever. Just a flash thing.

I made an optometrist appointment and I am so excited. I have very very bad vision that is getting worse as I get older and I look forward to being able to work without a headache.

Tomorrow I’m going to try and remember to review J. Bradley. And I want to talk about my issues getting my edited by my friend Sarah essays reworked.

Okay I”m calm now. I’m going to go lay my fat ass in the tub, think about the body image (WITH bonus terrifying pictures of my fatness) essay and what I want to do with it and read.

On the right path to rejection.

Regardless of my mad dash nanowrimo writing, I have made some submissions this month.

Two have been rejected thus far. Both personal rejections. One was actually a spot on rejection and I was butthurt for five minutes and then realized that, that particular story is just going to be told that way and some folks aren’t gonna be into it.

So I do what I do.

Antonia posted this thingy from The Millions on FB today. This bit is especially fine to me:

10. Celebrate rejection. I’m not kidding. Each rejection is a chance you gave your story to live in the minds of readers; each, an opportunity to toughen your writerly skin. Mark milestone rejections by subscribing to the journal that didn’t take you. I did this when I received my 200th rejection – and in so doing, I owned the rejection, instead of letting it own me. Now, each month when One Story arrives, I’m reminded of my triumph.

I think that’s a wonderful idea. It’s a hard one to believe but I do think it is important to celebrate because getting rejected means you’re working right?

I’m still charting my way to 100 rejections since 09-2012. I just logged numbers 55 and 56.

I also still indulge in Uncle Steve’s advice to allow myself to have hurt feelings and sometimes a bit of a snit when I get rejected. I limit myself to about five to ten minutes and then move along.

So I pouted a bit earlier.

Then I got to work and have been doing some more market research. Read, read, rinse repeat.

I saw this via Poets and Writers and like it. Go read it.

What else?

As is tradition with me towards the end of the year I get navel gazey along with everyone else.

I am settling on writing related goals and whatnot for next year.

What about this year?

I think I’ve done pretty well. I’m submitting more often, writing more, getting rejected more. I went to an event I was invited to and read my work in front of strangers. Some of whom hugged me and told me they loved the story (note to self pull the fucking video already and put it up).

I still haven’t purchased a lap top. I have some issues with spending that much money on something that is pretty much going to be only for writing business. It feels like some kind of big fail filled leap.

Similarly I am probably going to join both AWP and PEN. Investments?

These things make me nervous.  I have always had a lot of issues investing in myself. Investing actual dollars I worked hard for in things that aren’t necessary for survival. I’m working on that and whatnot but sometimes, especially when it’s writing related I get real nervous.

I’m nervous right now.

Now I’m stalling. I have shit to do. More things to send out into the wild to be rejected.

I should take my cold drugs first. Christ this cold has just kicked my ass real hard and I’m real done with being sick. I’m over it, I’d like to be able to think clearly and not cough everytime I chuckle.

Fuck sake body get with the program.

Okay, bye for now.

An interesting question.

Someone I sort of know via social media/other people asked me about  this story that just got published in Linguistic Erosion.

So this male acquaintance sent me a note about that story and what caught my attention was that he expressed being incredibly uncomfortable with our narrator.  He said he was deeply unsettled and therefore could not believe that this narrator was female because she expressed this deep desire and lust to commit violent acts.

He actually went on about it enough that I am annoyed.

This is a person I consider at least somewhat worldly and given his tastes (much like my own when it comes to reading) somehow amongst some of the guts n gore that we have both read, this character was the unsettling one.

I pointed out to him in our email exchange that this is a flavor or sexism I don’t care for.  The idea that if one is female or read as female then one is magically more loving/awesome.

This is something I’ve run into on occasion. At some point I’ve had more than one man explain to me that whatever female character I’ve written is unbelievable on the basis of what are perceived as male behavior. I call bullshit.

If one can read about gangsters who never ever get caught, about dragons, talking cats, boys named Harry Potter who are the most magical little wonders ever and suspend disbelief why not believe for a moment that a woman is not the sort of woman you are comfortable with and just go with it?

Women in this view are never supposed to want to commit a violent act just to commit a violent act or fulfill a desire. Women are not supposed to be aroused by being the aggressor rather than playing the victim, women are not supposed to have the urge to fight just to start a fight, unless of course it is a cat fight with lots of clothes coming off right?

Women are supposed to pine away for lovers rather than fuck anyone they please. Women must have the happy ending where they get the boyfriend.

Women are supposed to be miserable if they are fat, or at least be the fat funny friend or the fat miersable friend. Fat women aren’t supposed to be desired outside of a talk show freaks episode context.

You see where I’m going with this.

And I should say that I said all of this to said acquaintance who no longer wants to talk to me about my work because as he put it, “you’re just too confrontational and angry”.


Here’s the thing I pointed out to him originally.

If the only standard of believability is one made up of and by White men, where does that leave room for the Other, in this case this aggressive female or in my case a woman of color? What White man in this entire world should I ever trust to validate my experiences or writing about women like me?

It’s a passive way of upholding a white supremacist way of thinking that is also deeply terribly sexist.

Maybe baby 20 year old Shannon may have gone for that but 35 year old Shannon will not.

Thus I will probably never be a super famous author and that’s just fine.

This is the sort of thing I honestly believe ruined a lot of my early experiences in the literary world. From the writing class I saved for six months to take which culminated in the teacher telling me to “write more like a woman”, to being told that my porn story was too “special interest” because it wasn’t about heterosexual white people.

It took me a very long time to learn to doubt the tenets of the literary canon of white men.

As of right now, I honestly give not one fuck if men like him find my characters to be unbelievable because they are uncomfortable reading my work.

Sir, my work is not for you.

If your only lens is the White Male Literary gaze, keep it moving.

I think that’s all for now. Later this week I’ll make an emo nanowrimo post with some of the things I’m learning this year and a tidbit of my novella in progress. I will say I’m writing a supernatural thriller, creating my own werewolf type lore, and there are Black werewolves so I’m happy.