Hustlin updates and stuffs.

So I know it has seemed bleak but, here’s the thing. When I figure out how to work, I fuckin work.

The method I’ve adopted for now is write like a mother fucker, accept some freelance, submit to literary shits, get rejected rinse repeat.

My other hustle is my Patreon. Let’s talk about that a little bit. I don’t make much at Patreon, a couple of hundred bucks that pays for some bills. It is one of my favorite things. Some of y’all are new so let’s talk bout what I’m doing there. I’m writing an ongoing urban fantasy very queer Black n brown ongoing story. I’m calling each novella length chunk a Cycle and my goal is to just write in this world (a magical Seattle and currently a few other spots) and play.

When I talk about the Daiyuverse this is what I’m talking about. It is where I go to play. I am creating a large magical system, I am connecting POC cultural and diasporic spiritual magics. This is not vaguely European fairyland. It is absolutely Queer and not a White centered world and I just love it. Part of what makes it fun for me is that the curtain is pulled all the way back. We’re into cycle 2 and I’ve left in my own editorial remarks, mistakes, do overs.

This is a naked first draft. This is (to paraphrase Jerry Stahl again) me naked and fucked up at 4 in the morning writing and it is wonderful. I don’t ask for a lot, I don’t do tiered anything. Regardless of how much you are in for, you get usually a little letter and about 3k words of the verse. Sometimes I toss in extras, WIPs, essays or whatever. Once life is settled I’m thinking about doing some Patron only videos about writing or stuff.

It is great.

Now let’s talk freelance. I’ve just made my re-entry into freelance and I am so proud of the piece. You can read it here at Wear Your Voice. CW for racism and some hard shit. One of the reasons freelancing can be the shits for me is that, writing easy stuff is not really my lane. My fluff gets deep regardless of subject matter. I want to write about fuckin eyeliner, I talk about Western Beauty standard bullshit.

As emotionally taxing as my non fiction can be for me to do, it is just who I am as a writer and human. It me. I fought it but, it is just who I am. The same day the above piece went live, I wrote this lil thingy on Medium because some folks were bothering me. I spat it out and kept it pushing which is how I work.

I toss little jokes in with my seriousness because I’m a goofy mother fucker.

One of the things that all the marketing advice for writers in the world won’t give you is that sweetness of connecting with your audience. I know who y’all are and I fucking love the shit out of you. Yes, I do talk about how/when/why my audience doesn’t give a shit but, I know a lot of you do and that’s deeply meaningful to me.

WHen stuff like this column by a fave magical being I know named Misha went live, I read it and got teary eyed at the bus stop because when people tell me that something I said touched them, the fucked up hustling isn’t so fucked up. I’m still poor and not in the best of health but fuck y’all, I do feel the love.

While there has been a pattern of fuckery in my literary world, there is a bigger pattern of when my words do what I want them to and work themselves into another persons heart, that makes it better. When (this happened a while back) a shy young Queer person on the bus, whispers did you write at XOJane about self care to me and when I say yes they light up and say thank you, that is the realest shit. When I get dms saying, yo that poem was fucking fire.

I think a lot of my life has lead me to this point. I’ve made the decision not to play the recommended game. Fuck that game. I’m not going to compromise, I’m not going to shut up, I’m not going to filter myself so I can make money.

I will still freak out about money because I’m poor. I will sometimes write lengthy shit about how much I just want to sell some fuckin stickers or whatever. That said, I can hold that and hold space for doing what the fuck I want to do and writing what the fuck I want to write, because that is who I am.

It me y’all.

My dreams may not be lucrative and won’t buy me new make up but, I believe they will fulfill my soul and that my friends is what I want.

That’s all for now. I love y’all.

OH yeah new loveletter later today about trusting your process and taking a leap. Come sign up. No spams. All love for your hams.

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A Peek into the Daiyuverse

Hello darlings.

Here I present you with part of a more difficult part of the Daiyuverse Cycle 2. Writing and introducing this character was really hard for me. In this section we meet Daiyu’s first ex wife Nanita. In this cycle Daiyu and folks in her world are youngish, not quite total adults yet.

Here’s the chunk and after we’ll talk some about Nanita and her magic.

She winced when she felt the cold bony fingers of her mother’s shade pinch her ear. 

“Girl, don’t you sass me. Now, you know what you need to do. Get to work, she ain’t ready and things are comin’ on.” 

She smiled at the reflection of her Mother. 

“Yes ma’am.” 

Later after Nanita’s baby had been fed, settled in a warm place and was asleep they sat on the back porch. The air was warm and pleasant, the night gently noisy.  

“Did you have a nice conversation with your Daddy?” 

Nanita tipped her head back and closed her eyes, listening to the chatter of bugs and the soft lap of the water. 

“Yeah. He said he’s about done for the month and is coming home. Y’all gonna try again?” 

Her cautious tone hurt. Her Mama sighed heavily. 

“It’s not that we gotta try honey. Your Daddy and I love each other very much we just, can’t live together. I won’t bullshit you, sometimes loving each other ain’t enough. It is better for all of us if he and I don’t live together.” 

Nanita nodded, frowning.  

“So, can I ask you something?” 

“Mmhmm go ahead.” 

“You can do that? Like, you don’t have to get a divorce or something?” 

Mama shrugged. 

“I don’t see what good that would do. Neither of us wants to be dating other people. Since we worked out how to get along, things have been good. We don’t fight no more, we make good decisions about you. When we do spend time together it’s good. I think things are just fine.” 

“But how can you be married but like, not together?” 

“Because we grown. Our marriage is what it is and it works for us. Nobody gets to tell us how to be married.” 

“But there’s rules and shit isn’t there?” 

Mama shrugged, made a dismissive gesture. 

“I mean people can say there are rules but, they ain’t my rules so I don’t care. You want to hear the best advice I ever got in my life?” 

Nanita sat up and nodded. She really loved it when her Mama decided to dispense her lessons. 

“If they ain’t fuckin you, paying your fuckin’ bills, or otherwise in a position of power over you, fuck ’em.” 

Nanita clapped a hand over her mouth, eyes wide. Her Mother did not habitually curse, muchless drop the F Bomb in conversation at least not in front of her.  

“Wha- who said that to you?” 

Mama smiled. 

“Your grand mother, my Mama. Mama Jay. First time I came home cryin, because a bunch of light skint fake voodoo queens made fun of me at a gathering. I didn’t have fancy cards or crystals or nothin. I was so hurt and upset. Mama Jay let me cry a while then she made me some coffee and sat me down for one of her come to Mama conversations.” 

Mama smiled as she remembered and as she looked at her daughter’s bright face she saw her own Mother’s eyes. 

“So, we sat just like this, and she looked me dead in my eye and said, fuck those bitches. Then she spat, you remember Mama Jay chewed somethin’ terrible, she spat over the railing and said it again and clapped her hands real hard.” 

Nanita was bug eyed but nodding. She didn’t have many memories of Mama Jay but enough to be able to picture the conversation. It made her smile. 

“She taught me that our magic, don’t come in a pretty package. All the expensive shit in the world is no substitute for what’s real. So, fuck em.” 

Now in my magical system I have Nanita labeled thusly:

Sorceress, mastery over water, unknown

For my purposes, sorcery and witchery are two very different things. For my world here, sorcery is where magic starts to go beyond the known edges of the worlds. In this world sorcery and magic are related like adding and theoretical physics are. They are both math but one is in my brain, way way out on the edge of the universe and the other is right here in my hand.

In my magical system, there is space for the theoretical and the every day practical and that is what as we travel through this verse, will keep us all in the same world. I personally find the idea of incorporating these various magics in a way that gives voice to things that resemble Hoodoo and things that are more like the mythos of various cultures. I want witches who run the gamut and as I imagine it, will represent magic on a very grand scale.

Let’s talk Nanita herself.

So, Nanita started out in my original material as a whole other woman and as Daiyu’s bestie from Brazil. I decided against that because I really want Cycle 2 to be a bit of a coming of age AND some romance and other young adult shit that is hard WITH the magic and stuff.

Now Nanita could have been a very cookie cutter light skint voluptuous Voodoo queen but, I really didn’t want that. I was inspired by hearing her in my head. I’ve talked about this before but a good number of my characters speak in my brain and I was hearing a very broad, slightly slurry Louisana back country accent. It’s a very particular sound and I was thinking of her as a young adult, awkward. Very different from Daiyu in both her upbringing and how she learns her magic.

The upbringing of Nanita and how I want to illustrate her relationship with her parents was really hard for me to figure out. Nanita is very sensitive, (OKAY here is another bite) this tidbit will be one I hope folks think of later on in the verse:

Nanita must have been out there for an hour, she came in, tears gone and cradling a tiny alligator. 

“Mama this one is sick. I gotta see if I can get her to eat. She wouldn’t take the marshmallows, we got any of that fish wet catfood?” 

Her Mama frowned at her from where she stood at the stove dispensing dirty rice onto plates. 

“Don’t tell me you want to bring that gator into the house.” 

Nanita’s plump light brown face sagged, her chin started to quiver and her huge black eyes filled with impending tears. 

“But Mama, Hubie is just a little baby and Delicious can’t take care of him. I can’t just let him die.” 

Before her Mom could respond, Nanita was blubbering and holding the little alligator to her cheek, she keened about how it was so defenseless and just a sharp little baby bunny and how she just had to rescue it. Had to. The dramatics weren’t really necessary but she was her Father’s child. Mama rolled her eyes. 

Writing that level and type of sensitivity with some humour and gentleness. I want you the reader to feel the sort of amused love, a firm support system for Nanita to be a weepy baby sorceress. I really want to set her up to explain and illustrate how her magic works later on and as a counter point to Daiyu emotionally speaking.

Daiyu will have to be a tragic magical Black girl for a while because she needs to learn.

I’ve been experimenting with Nanita for a while and you can read some standalone adventures with her. I’m using some standalone stuff that links to/is adjacant to the Daiyuverse. I mainly use these are exercises and character sketches.

If you want to know more, you too can get monthly Daiyuverse served up hot for as little as a buck a month. A DOLLAR for about three thousand Daiyuverse words and now, a featured essay or extra thing per month so that’s like around five thousand words.

Check it out here.