Category Archives: go cry emo kid

Updates, financial stuff and whatnot.

In the past couple of weeks the Lit world and by association a lot of people I thought were allies have been showing their ass and okay, Imma be real.

When it comes to art and lit, yes, I too like a lot of problematic things.

But right now my problem is that whether or not the art happening (no I’m not linking I can’t look at any more of that after the research I did) is that White people who are making a good chunk of cash, and who are sitting in positions of power (AWP) and who are teaching, are using what I feel is literary Blackface for shits and giggles and career advancement.

What burns my ass most about this, is not that I’m a poor struggling writer.  It burns me that (I here being used loosely/plural) can’t write my experience as a Black person in any old way and have the same doors open to me.

It burns my ass that, another White person wants to play with reclaiming “nigger” and racist imagery from America’s past without any responsibility and dead silence.

And because I refuse to remain silent about why I find this harmful and disgusting. I’m told that well they have the right, Jeeze Y SO SENSITIVE NEGRESS? I’m told that because I have a strong and loud opinion on this and these people being lauded, coddled and generally held to no accountability for their actions I am a problem.

Just this morning some woman I don’t know did “research” on me and decided nothing I have to say about it is worth anything because I am “aggressive” and “threatening”.

Layers of racism aside, in what universe does someone like me (and there are a shitload of us) have enough pull in the lit world to be threatening to the careers and wallets of these people?

So rather than doing what allies are SUPPOSED to do when POC say, hey this shit is fucking racist. Again, people who have held on to their ally badges tightly are telling me I’m the problem. Again.

To be honest. I had nightmares all week. Most of them revolved around an issue I already had combined with me running into racist, but totally not racist people in the lit world and having them ruin shit for me. That is the shit I have nightmares about because many of the people I’m annoyed with right now are people I’ve considered friends.

This is something that is causing me a level of struggle I just don’t know what to do with.

I’m just heartbroken. I keep feeling like I have all this faith in people whom I KNOW understand intersectionality and power. But, again, when it comes to POC or two Black people specifically all I hear is crickets and it hurts. The gentrification of the experiences and history of POC and specifically Black people just wrecks me.

This is not what I wanted to talk about, but out it comes. Fuck.

Shit, okay.

Now back to what I actually wanted to talk about.

In light of our rent increase and some other extra expenses I’ve redone my writing things (what I call stuff related to my writing) budget. I’ve cut out a couple of things.

I am thinking that I need to raise my Patreon monthly goal to about 125$. I’d really like to move a few of my personal household expenses to my writing related budget. Mainly small things, pens, notebooks. I’d also like to put more away for my laptop fund. Not having one I can work on at home is just painful. I also include stuff like the occasional celebratory pastry, coffee for work and big cups of ice for work as well in that budget.

Even without a fully functional tech situation, I do feel good about my output so far. The things I’m writing are what I really want to write and what feels important to me.

Longer term say between now and next March, I also have some handmade zine type things I want to create but I need to buy supplies. I want to hand make some wee stories to sell in my etsy shop. I’ve been kicking around the idea of also doing heavy card stock “art” poem cards. Hand colored (but not written because my handwriting is shit) pretty little art cards. But again, the capital thing.

I’m in a better emotional place right now than I was the other day. I’ve calmed down and I can see the way through the financial anxiety, but, I just have to wait a bit and do some balancing.

I’m also looking into doing something serialized maybe available via Amazon? I have to do some research.

What else is going on?

I’ve started what I hope to grow into a series of essays about healing myself of poverty brain and figuring out how to navigate my feelings without panic or undue stress. Shit is so hard and after talking to some friends I really believe this is an important thing for me to do. Not as something aspirational, or inspiration porn but more as an open hey, this is shit I go through and if you’re going through it too, you’re not alone.

The importance of visibility and acknowledgement has been something that a lot of my readers have talked to me about and it feels deeply fulfilling to be that for some folks.

Blablabla.

That’s going on. I have a post coming up about writing that I’ve been sitting on. A young (HI BB) writer asked me a couple of important questions and I want to give good answers. I also want to talk about navigating Double COnsciousness since a lot of non Black folks are discovering it and don’t know what to do.

So that’s all the news. I’m trying to learn a new way to hustle that won’t destroy my heart.

What are y’all up to?

Also I should do a whole hustle tag.

 

 


To Revisit the Care and Feeding of the Author.

Welcome back Caretakers,

We hope that you who have braved the care and feeding of your own personal author are feeling fine. It has come to our attention that there are still a few foibles, habits and needs that must be attended to in order to keep The Author functioning properly.

Let us begin.

  1. Please remember, do not touch The Author’s favorite pen. It probably has drool, tea or who knows what. Authors may bite or howl when their pens are touched or used without explicit permission.
  2. From this point going forward, please remember to stay out of flailing range. The Author may flail for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: being itchy, having to pee but is on a roll so The Author will not get up, The Author is reading something terrible or excellent, The Author is warm and comfortable. Do not pressure The Author, being startled could result in urine leakage either by accident or malicious urination.
  3. Caretakers should also take care when removing objects within flailing range. Should The Author flail and spill tea, coffee, bourbon or other liquids on their keyboards, notebooks etc the possibility of a disco meltdown is heightened. Ease spillable items away from the edge of desks or tables, but do not remove them without first warning The Author.
  4. For the safety of the Caretaker, all inquiries as to what The Author is actually doing right now- please submit them in writing via the mail. Email queries will be returned unread or with expletives as the response.
  5. On occasion the Caretaker may find the playing of the book, You Have to Fucking Eat may be deployed when The Author is too Hangry to eat or do anything else.
  6. See also Go The Fuck To Sleep.  If The Author will not sleep, try Morgan Freeman. Even the most cantankerous of authors will have a hard time arguing with Mr. Freeman.
  7. Should The Author be both Hangry and Sleepy, run dear Caretaker. Throw snacks and a blanket and run for your very life.
  8. Should The Author begin a low pitched revving noise followed by escalating wails- oh Dear Caretaker. This noise is Defcon Orange. Should said wailing be accompanied by flailing, throwing of the body on the floor or tears things have gone too far. For such emergencies, the Caretaker should have a variety of snacks and other offerings. Offer the sacrifices, then dart away. Offer, dart, offer, dart. The Caretaker should take every precaution against being caught by The Author who may cling like a sloth while ugly crying, or going boneless like an angry cat and sliding to the floor.

Dearest Caretakers. If things progress beyond your control a few tips on extricating yourselves from the situation until backup arrives or The Author has passed out from their fit of temper:

  • Favorite movies or audiobooks.
  • Very adorable animals.
  • Favorite blankets.

If the emergency measures listed above don’t work, we pray for you Caretakers.

God Speed and Good Luck.


Shit I Worry about.

While I am getting back to the rhythm of writing whatever I want to and not worrying so much about making money with it, I have unearthed some new writer uh.. let’s be cool and call them neurosis that I seem to still possess.

  1. Sometimes I fully believe that after having so much nonfiction published nobody will ever want my fiction again. This is bullshit because I just got a fiction acceptance a couple of weeks ago after not submitting any for months.
  2. I will/have forgotten how to write fiction. That is just dumb.
  3. But what if I want to write more nonfiction? What if I forget how to do that too?
  4. Am I too lispy to do a reading ever again? What if nobody asks me to read again?
  5. What if when I tell other authors that I am their fangirl I am just being annoying?
  6. WHAT IF I CAN’T?

Rinse, repeat.

This is related to something I read that Warren Ellis said. I saw this on his blog and it had the ring of truthy truthiness.

I’m re-reading Samuel Beckett plays because there is no sun and no spring and permanent winter is permanent. And also I have to re-read Beckett every few years to remind myself that I am a talentless worm humping across a barren landscape and leaving nothing but a thin stream of yellow faeces on the dirt behind me while people on the other side of the horizon are building palaces. I mean, it’s like reading Cormac McCarthy’s prose, or WG Sebald. You just want to eat every painkiller in the house and wash it down with toilet cleaner.

I’ve been doing some poking my toes in SF/F/H and I’m feeling like the aforementioned yellow poop. I’m having the feelings that I should leave the genre stuff because I’m not supposed to write whatever I want. I’m supposed to pick a thing and do the thing.

Now I know rationally that is fucking bullshit and I can and should write as promiscuously as I read. I have never ascribed to the idea that once you write X things that is the only thing you can do well or should do.

Emotionally letting myself just do the shit I know how to do is proving a little difficult. It’s not insurmountable and I have been writing like the proverbial motherfucker for weeks now. My output is not only back to a volume I’m comfortable with but not so much of it is outright trash.

I am also having some trouble not pressuring myself about freelancing and money. Patreon is going wonderfully. Truly. See here (also I’m doing patron/donor exclusive content now you) and it’s all good, but I still have 300$ of a huge bill to pay off and I find myself just not quite desperate but feeling the echo of the pressure to grind it out and make that money.

Fuck my ethics and artistic desires. Make that fuckin money.

If I’m going to keep it 100, I feel like I did my last month stripping in Seattle. Like, fuck everything else I feel like I need to grabby hands all the money in case I never make money again.

This is poverty brain as it interacts with my artistic wants.

I’m writing about that, you’ll see it soonish.

The thing I’m banging my head against is that morally on a personal level, it is more important to me to get into creating the representation I want to see. As that great writing advice I saw somewhere went, write the stories only you know how. That is something I carry with me every time I write something. It is what I use for fuel. Nobody can write the exact thing I am writing.

The problem is that my Asshole Poverty Brain is like, bitch please no. You write whatever pap someone will shove money at you for and be grateful. You don’t deserve to be arty.

I’m working through it, but y’all some days it is so damn hard.

Talking about it and writing about it helps.

Also I feel like it’s important to me to be open about it because this is what I wanted to know when I was a kidlet writer. This is real shit y’all.

Next week I’m going to add a new page for my writing bucket list. I’ll get to talking about Jerry Stahl, more nerdery about myth and retelling myths through various lenses, erotica and some other stuff.

Speaking of erotica you can get yourself some brand spankin (pun intended) erotica over in my shop. Get some hot lesbian lovin’ here is a tidbit:

She took a breath and erupted into noisy joyful sobs. Amidst her tears she was laughing. Bellowing gut wrenching laughter, her eyes screwed shut, her hair a bird’s nest, her face glowing with sweat and satisfaction.

I laughed with her. Her tears did something to me whether they were tears of fear or tears of joy. Seeing this beautiful, calm, prim woman unhinged with her own orgasmic power undid me.


On changes and the finances.

Okay so since I’ve decided to alter how I finance this shit show of a thing I want to talk about how it is going.

I’ve given up trying to freelance regularly. I will still occasionally when I am able to write for XoJane or other spots but, the constant hustle of trying to do it weekly was not working for me at all.

Now as far as what I’m paying for month to month it’s pretty simple. My cell phone, my renter’s insurance. Hopefully if things go well premium Spotify.

Currently I’m in the black and my cell phone and insurance are both covered for this month and next. I’ve also been able to set aside 10$ in my little savings account to go into my new laptop fund.

If Patreon keeps going well I will be able to reup my Duotrope subscription at the end of next month. And in July rejoin AWP.

So far none of my new methods are profitable. I’m not super worried about that just yet.

So what else am I doing?

I am writing things like my old school blog posts for my Patrons and Paypal donors. After a few weeks I will likely make these as quick n easy downloads in my etsy shop as well.

With help from Milcah I’m using Smartypig to help me save for my laptop. One of the things I love about this is that when I panic or have poverty brain meltdown I can’t touch this money. Many of my wise friends have suggested something like this and I’m into it.

http://www.smartypig.com/widget/SmartyPigWidgetMultiGoal.swf?ServiceUri=http%3a%2f%2fwww.smartypig.com%2fWidget.asmx%2fGetWidgetInfo%3fwidgetId%3d&WidgetId=d4683a07-ae3d-4262-9daa-8dd8b9e8defd UH so wordpress won’t let me use the widget but if you click this long ass link you can see how I’m doing, you can join up and use it for your own goals or if you want throw some pennies in the piggy bank.

So far I feel okay and like things are going to where I need them to be in order to produce my best work.

This is already paying off in that I was able to settle down, finish up some fiction, submit some and get one acceptance.

Overall, while this is nerve wracking for me and I really don’t like that I can’t operate in a more profitable way and still write great things, this is slowly working out.

I’m still trying to settle in to a new methodology with my writing. I have some further plans that require the lighter travel worthy laptop and some sleep.

Now I gotta get some work done.

Next week I’m going to talk about Lovecraft some more because I’m almost done rereading the Necronomicon, I have a bit to say about the Hugo situation and Sad Puppies. I might even get excited and talk about fandom stuff and how way back when I was pretty much turned off to it forever.

Also listen to this Rihanna song, it is kinda my theme music for the week.


Other Ways to Support my Work

Since launching my Patreon campaign (which is doing really well THANK YOU) I’ve had a number of folks who aren’t into the monthly thing ask what else they can do.

Financial stuff-

Buy some fiction or non fiction over in my Etsy shop. I’ve got some horror, some erotica, experimental SF. The most expensive thing is five bucks. I know you can get whole novels on amazon for a dollar but, that story is pretty special to me and I worked on it for about 8 months. There are other things from 1$ on up. I even have a coupon available til the end of the month, enter WARG95 at checkout for 25% off a two dollar purchase.

Click on over here and check out my links on the right. You can buy stuff I’ve hand picked in my Amazon A store. I’ll be adding more stuff, books, mainly later.

You can try out Audible for a month and get yourself a free audiobook and me a lil pocket change.

At the suggestion of a friend I’m also adding an Amazon wishlist of stuff I would like that is writing related. Books, notebooks, my favorite pens and whatnot.

For transparency Amazon is my slowest and least lucrative thing. Frankly, I use it to shore up my orders when I buy self care supplies and whatnot.

The other always open option is a tip in my paypal tipjar. You can navigate over there to the right and hit the button. Anything is always appreciated.

Here’s what my financial stuff is going towards currently:

  • I need a very lightweight non netbook laptop so I can use my time better and get some writing done that is not dependant on an internet connection and not using my chunky butt old dell.
  • A few under 100$ software upgrades to make my life easier.
  • Saving up for AWP16. I am going and I want to make sure I can afford it. Everything that is non essential is going into my Get Me to AWP fund.

The most important thing this is getting me is some breathing room. So when I try hard to do the freelance it just destroys me. I am not good at it and it stresses me out to the point where I have a lot of trouble just writing because I want the freelance thing to go well so badly.

It is a terrible cycle that impedes my ability to just write the shit I want to write.

I just can’t operate in a great way when I’m under so much pressure.

Now non monetary things you can do to support my work.

A lot of us are broke right now and that’s totally okay. You are always free to share links to my blog here, my work, my everything.

Come like my Facebook writer page and share it with your people.

So that’s all.

Right now I’m working on some stuff I’m super excited about INCLUDING some sf, an essay about butt selfies and my ass and some other things.

Thanks for rolling through.

 


E Tu Horror Markets?

I spent a good portion of the day getting into some horror markets.

Uh.

Y’all, yes I’ve been away from the horror markets for a long ass time. I have some issues.

First one.

Manuscript format.

While yes, I understand why people stick to it, what I don’t really like is that that format does not fit how I write. I use paragraph breaks and other things both for effect and for aesthetics. It’s just how I work and as I learned with Bernie, trying to jam that into manuscript format just changes the reading experience in a way that I feel detracts from my work as a whole.

That is something I’ve tried to change. It just doesn’t work for me and I don’t really know of a good reason to make it a genre thing. By comparison the literary submissions I’ve made aren’t nearly so precious about sticking to that one format as being the only acceptable format.

This leads into another point I’ll get to later.

The next thing is the snail mail submissions.

I mean, can we please PLEASE be in the future here? Back in the day when emailed submissions were few and far between I saw a lot of editors wax poetic about how very serious someone who submits via mail must be and how they took those submissions more seriously.

Can we not?

Additionally to go along with that while I’ve been researching I’ve seen some of the ugliest websites with awful navigation, updates that don’t match (buy the new issue but our news section hasn’t been updated since 2008) type stuff.

Even with big deal pro mags, I keep seeing this and it makes me feel uncomfortable submitting. If I am as a potential submitter am supposed to be professional enough to adhere to modified or stringent manuscript formats, how to phrase the cover letter yadda yadda, I do expect some of the same. Update your goddamn website. Or at the very least say, we’re not updating this anymore catch us on facebook or whatever.

Work it out. As a reader I don’t even want to buy a new issue if things look abandoned on the website front.

Next thing is a little controversial but what the hell.

As I was reading through various submission things and reading stories that I’ve had bookmarked for a while, I keep seeing some disturbing patterns.

I will also touch on this next week because I have one HELL of a deep review for y’all.

The amount of what I find to be weird conservatism around certain things bothers me deeply.

I have seen a lot of no bad words, or only justified bad words (the fuck does that even mean).

Side by side, I find horror markets far more constrictive and uh, stuck on the idea that if you use a lot of profanity or if a story is very violent it is just not good enough because obviously those things are bad.

My view is this.

Horror in general is not a nice place. It is a wide place, a huge place where stories can have not one fuck uttered and not a drop of blood spilt and still be amazing.

Stories can also have a lot of profanity and oceans of blood and be amazing. I don’t see or understand why there has to be such a chasm between the two.

I also don’t see why the former seems to be the correct aesthetic.

Who are these readers who are seeking horror but can’t handle someone saying fuck?

Can we not have all of these things?

As a reader it feels squeamish and very narrow.

For me as both a reader of, lover of and writer of horror I want to have the space to get into shit that is very uncomfortable.

For instance.

When I was submitting this story around prior to it getting picked up a lot of the feedback was about changing it to make the narrator genderless.

Mainly because, of course the me I was working with were uncomfortable with the gratuitous violence as fantasized about by a woman.

I’m not saying that is exactly what’s going on in the industry, but it has shades of it.

I want horror that gives me something to be haunted by. I want to not be wondering how many naughty words or bloody bits got taken out.

This leads me to also think about that whole clean app bullshit. No Clean Reader. My dear friend wrote about it, read that here.

Okay indulge me for a minute.

If I am a writer and I say fuck. We the reader can believe easily that after the work has passed through varying sets of hands, the word fuck was meant.

Writing doesn’t happen by magic.

I believe in both intentional writing  and intentional reading.

I am so beyond done with the idea that readers are innocent flowers who get smacked in the face by evil. I try to read reviews when I book shop and I wind up so angry.

This book had SEX IN IT OMG. You bought an erotica book.

This book IS VIOLENT. THIS HAS TOO MANY BAD WORDS. etc.

If something is adult oriented, I feel like it should be expected that there might be some adult oriented shit in it. That might be violence, it might be bad words, it might be eroticized violence, it might be a Yeti butt fucking the ever loving shit out of a prince.

I am just nerd ranting now. I’ve gotten off topic.

Shocking right?

Okay so back to horror and my work.

I feel like the industry is not really for me right now. The things I like to play with and discover and explore are not curse, violence or sex free enough for most of the publications I’ve seen.

The other problem is that this stuff is not literary enough for lit mags. It is horror. Proudly horror with demons, ghosts, paranormal shit happening.

I don’t know.

I guess I just don’t understand how it is I could read upwards of 25-30 horror magazines in recent history and find so much of the same stuff.

A lot of it was beautifully written. Lovely great stories. Some excited me quite a bit.

But things were kind of homogenous.

The same gross outs- periods, fat women, etc.

Carefully non profane language.

Well done but I am missing the edge. The fear. The thing that makes me love horror.

That being what it is, I will probably continue to keep mine in my little etsy shop. I posted a few etsy links up there and I have a new story available in the shop right now.

Experimental horror involving drug use, disbelief, demons and change. Content warning.

This is grown folks lit.

There are bad words, pretty wicked dude, demons, desperation and metamorphasis. Filtered through the lens of a former drug addict. Here is a taste:

Once upon a time I had a golden arm. For a while my entire life revolved around the acquisition and shooting of as fine a grade of heroin as I could afford.

Speaking from that experience, I am what us professionals call alpha sad dog junkie. I lived it for a long time. Among some of the other junkies I knew at the time I was king sucks dick for horse type.

I know need.

I’ll talk about that story next week and how it came to be. Get it here and use coupon code WARG95 for 25% off your whole purchase in the shop.

Next week I have a huge announcement to make, a big ass squee filled book review, more Yeah Write and some other really awesome stuff.  So come back.

 


The View From the Bottom. I did the math.

In an attempt to soothe away some of the anxiety I’m having right now I made a list and did the math to figure out what would keep my writing sustainable.

When I say sustainable I’m talking about things like memberships, software, and hosting. I’m not talking about making any profit at this point.

I’m not going to detail the specifics but here’s how it breaks down:

  • Yearly not counting any hardware (computers) +/- 10$ is 287.16
  • Monthly that is 23.93

That seems pretty cheap no?

What that doesn’t provide for is when my computer(s) break, no travel or time off from work for readings, no writing conferences or other educational/networking events.

This year I elected to skip more than half of the things in my budget. Mainly because we’ve had some family expenses that have eaten up a lot of our savings. There is no room in this budget to enter my work into any competitions, submission fees, books of the educational variety.

Given that in my life outside of writing shit is difficult economically speaking, trying to do these things as well has proven to be stressful and depressing.

Now we know I hustle. When I can there is XOjane but that is not all that regular. I don’t have the time for something with a heavier commitment. This is why I opened my Etsy store but frankly that is not all that successful. If I make 5$ a month with that it’s pretty cool.

That being what it is I’ve thought about maybe trying out Patreon.

I feel like if I could lift some of the financial stress I could improve my output and free up enough brain space to write more of the shit I want to write.

Enter writerly self doubt.

I am not famous. I’m not sure I even know enough people with a few dollars to spare a month to do this. Real talk I feel like a lot of folks like my work but not enough to support it in that manner.

I had another idea of doing monthly dispatches (kinda like the Rumpus letters in the mail but via email) for a flat few bucks a month type deal.

Again, I have to factor in the likelihood of enough people being interested in order to make the work involved worth it.

I hate thinking about that part, I want to be one of those I DO IT FOR THE ART types but that is not my life.

My thought process also involves things like:

  • Going to/performing at readings both locally and far away as Portland. I would need to be able to take the time off of work, have travel options. Things like if the reading is in the Capital Hill neighborhood here in Seattle, there is the cost of buses (from my home that is about a 2 hour bus journey, and if my partner is coming maybe more to cut down walk time), taxis (from my house to the middle of downtown is 35$) etc.
  • Enough spare money in the budget for books. Not pleasure reading but things more craft related.
  • Money for maybe a local small conference or workshop. I’ve never been to one I got the most out of but I’d like to try.

Also maybe enough little bit of profit to buy a pair of shoes or get my nose pierced. Enough to save up for next years AWP, enough to maybe buy a brand new totally up to date real laptop.

And most importantly I want to keep the more necessary things out of the household budget. It just stresses me out too much to be taking from that when I know my partner needs medication, to re up his bus pass, new shoes, new cane tips. We need a new shower head, our electric bill is fucking ridiculous right now etc.

I don’t need or want to be rolling in cash.

I really just want a little freedom. A little less stress. A little more space to do more with my work because I feel like my writing is going really good places. But I can’t go those places if I’m so stressed out I’m having nightmares and the fiery shits.

I’m not usually so open about this stuff. On an emotional level it just destroys me that basic sustainability is so close but not close enough. I’ve already sacrificed my entertainment and other for me for fun things, I don’t have new shoes, I don’t have clothes for Spring.

Shit just fucks me up.

So I’m going to keep considering patreon and just try to get through it without giving myself an ulcer.

That’s all for now.


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