Category Archives: indie adventures

My Book is about to be born.

Do you hear that noise?

The rumbling in the distance is the sound of my guts churning because my book is almost born.

Now you may be wondering, “but Shannon I’m a fucking adult what more do I need to know?”

Well, in Self Care Like A Boss we talk about a lot of stuff. For instance, we talk about disability and thinking about it when we’re able bodied. I give some able bodied to able bodied folks some advice. As in, if someone doesn’t ask you, don’t mess with their wheelchairs or other things.

We talk about what to do when you’re sick and nobody is there to take care of you, dealing with gender and pronouns, pooping, beauty for everyone of whatever gender.

This is not just adulting, we’re talking about thriving and basic survival in a society where a lot of us get the not so subtle message that it doesn’t matter how we live.

We talk about bodies and moving.

SO darlings.

My homies.

Now here is where I’m looking for your help.

If you are willing, here’s how you can help:

  1. Help me get the word out. Tweet, fb, share on various social media the link to my book.
  2. Have a blog? Feel free to snag the image and/or link to put up.
  3. Have a book coming out too? Drop me a link and I’ll post it up.
  4. Have questions? Ask away in the comments.

Now here is the cover:

SELFCARECOVER

Here is the link.

Link to my newsletter.

 

 


Self Promotion Post of all the posts.

august 2015

Portland, on Weds I’m going to be all up in you reading with this group of amazing WOC. Come on out, we might bite and we’re going to light up the night.

Now hopefully I’ll be able to get good video. I’m gonna try to work with my technology to make it work.

Next up, right before Self Care Like A Boss is unleashed on the world, I’ll be reading at Left Bank Books here in Seattle on the 29th. I don’t have all the details yet so stay tuned for that.

Speaking of Self Care Like a Boss our first tee shirt campaign was a success! YEAH. Now if y’all missed it and still want a shirt here’s the deal. We need to snag 10 orders of each style to go to print with them. If you want one, please for real go here and click the I still want one button and share widely.

As we’re running up on the release of the E-book here’s how to keep up. If you tweeter, follow my publisher here. For info on how to pre-order head right here and contact Milcah.

If you are more interested in my fiction, good news. If you have a couple of bucks you can head over to my Etsy store here and get some fiction! When I get home from Portland I’ll be adding some extra goodies for y’all.

Want to do more? I am currently 6$ away from a monthly goal at Patreon of having an extra 9$ a month to tuck into my savings account. Want info? Head over here.

Here’s the thing.

If you’re poor, you can help me out too. I am all in for signal boosts, spread the link to this entry or any of the others listed above. Put my name all over social media if you are so inclined.

Y’all have been so great and I’m so excited about what I’m doing. I cannot wait to have even more good news to share.

Now the author must feed herself before she has a toddler level meltdown.

Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate all of you who’ve been reading and coming along with me for the ride.


It Just Hurts So Bad.

So yesterday I talked about the inherent hypocrisy of White feminists who demand my time and energy, who are also very into #givewomenyourmoney except when it comes to WOC. Read that here.

Today I want to talk the emotional impact of this behavior.

Some of y’all might not know, but I started out blogging and learning to write non fiction by being a Fat Acceptance/body politics blogger. See my archive here. There is an adult content warning, but that was due to me saying fuck a lot and having fat hating trolls.

I promise I’ll talk about blogging to teach yourself non fiction writing some other time.

Now, I was very into doing this. I have studied body politics and fat acceptance since I was about 20.

During the years I spent blogging there, once I reached a certain threshold of audience size I started finding my words and my work lifted. I found it in other blogs, quoted, etc never with attribution. I chalked that up to writing on the internet, but then in the last say 3-4 years of me blogging there, I saw some folks getting book deals (remember when that was the thing?) and I didn’t want that so I ignored it.

Until I started finding my work used in books that people got paid to write, without proper attribution. I found more than one book both academic and not where a bunch of fatty bloggers were named and attributed, except me. The ONE Black writer/blogger quoted (quite heavily in some instances) without my name. No one asked my permission. No one paid me.

During this time was when I started to see and understand the depth and breadth of this type of intellectual felony theft. I saw it go down with big name White feminists who not only made money off the backs of Black women bloggers, but who then gaslight them, and turned their fans on them etc.

At the time all I could do was talk about it and witness.

Now fast forward to me being a kinda established writer.

Well established enough that people I don’t know to this day will send me notes about seeing my work used, my voice co-opted etc.

People get angry on my behalf. My best friend gets more angry when this happens then I see her over most anything.

And frankly most days I can’t even get mad anymore because I KNOW damn well that the people who think it’s okay to use my work to help sell their body image workshops, or to bolster their whatever don’t give a fuck.

They ALL identify as staunch feminists.

However, not when it comes to one Black woman.

My voice is good enough to be used, cited and stolen, but not good enough to say my name.

Now real talk.

This above all other things, I’m talking being trolled, being threatened, being told how much I suck and how fun it is to hate read my work, how terrible of a person I am etc doesn’t even touch how this theft makes me feel.

It is a toxic mix of powerlessness and just desperate sadness.

I am not famous. I’m not wealthy and most of the time all I want to know is WHY am I good enough to be used but not granted solidarity? How is my work good enough to merit, academic reference, but not my name?

Like it just hurts so bad in a way that I can’t even identify completely.

It hurts me on a level that most of the time I’m afraid to even go near because it burns.

Every time it happens all I can think about are the times when I’ve not had lunch money, I’ve not been able to pay for my partner’s medication. I think about the fact that my non winter weight coat is fleece and falling apart, but I’m afraid to spend the money for a new one.

I think of the fact that only two pairs of my pants fit and Fall is coming.

The worst is this.

Beyond the money that someone might as well have taken out of my purse, I think about this.

I have a book coming out this month.

It is the first book from MotherBlazing and a huge leap of faith in me and my voice and my work.

……

Shit, I hate to even admit this but here we go.

I’m afraid nobody (except for a few beloved long time readers) will buy my book because, well, my work is good enough to steal but not good enough to pay for.

I feel that way often, but the continual theft makes it worse.

It makes it worse that when I act on the boundaries I set for me and my work (something I had to fight for) I get bothered. I get White women telling me I’m a racist, that I personally am responsible for racism. That I am fucking up feminism.

And it never matters what I say or how I say it so keep the respectability politics in your own yard.

I can say hey, can you please not do this thing?

I can say, hey fuck you don’t do the fucking thing.

And it fucks me up.

It fucks me up bad enough that sometimes I feel frozen in place. I have SO much to say, but I’m hesitant because what if I have to get Google alerts to tell me it’s stolen? Do I want to keep feeling like I’m not even worth a fucking THANK YOU?

Rationally, I know I am worth it. My work is pretty fucking good. I do what I need to do.

But it’s in there.

And I hate it.

So this is why I stopped blogging other than here. This is why I do not like engaging with or generally dealing with White feminists at all.

I am not a big crying person.

But this, this whole thing all of it is what makes me cry.

This is what puts fear into my writing.

This is what I feel like fetters me in ways I am not entirely equipped to say.

SO next time you want to tell a WOC that we’re the problem, maybe think of me. I know for a fact that I am not the only one to have this happen time and time again.

I will continue to try and not let this hold me down.

I have a wonderful book coming out and working with my publisher has been amazing.

I am fucking reading at a Big. Fucking. Deal events because people enjoy my work.

I had my first uh, writing related business meeting in person and it was fucking awesome.

That’s all I can do right now.

I hope it’s enough to get me through.


On #giveyourmoneytowomen and hypocrisy.

I’m not using names because I don’t roll that way, but here’s what spurred this post.

Last week I had several White women decide that I owed it to them to provide a 101 anti racism education. Specifically, here are some of the things they did not understand:

  • The acronyms WOC and POC
  • No
  • Google this phrase “what does WOC mean”
  • No
  • Please stop talking to me.
  • I don’t want to deal with you right now.

Rather than posting their questions in the discussion out in the open, they took it to pm’s on facebook and spent a good hour trying to make me “teach” them.

Now I have done a bit of snooping and both of these women were all over the hashtag #giveyourmoneytowomen. Essentially, this hashtag was about women getting paid for their labor, including their emotional labor etc. Great thing. It’s important.

Now my experience with these two demanding ladies, TDL for the rest of this entry is something that happens 99% of the time when I engage with White women and race comes up.

Like most of these conversations, my “using esoteric terms” (anything in quotes is direct from what was said to me) was considered to be “aggressive, condescending and exclusionary”.

First things first.

If you are American and claim any level of social justice cred and you don’t know what WOC or POC means, you are not doing your job. If you claim anti-racism, but doesn’t know that WOC and POC are actual things, you’re a liar.

Second thing.

The real problem is not the proclamations of innocent ignorance and inability to look up an acronym on google. Those are just symptoms of a larger issue I have in mainly feminist type spaces.

The presumption that the White woman’s proclaimed innocent ignorance is pitted against the Angry Black Woman’s (me) refusal to teach and do the emotional heavy lifting for White women because presumably the White woman is too fragile, too busy fighting the patriarchy to either learn for herself because it’s just too hard to do, or to actually listen to the Angry Black Woman when she’s speaking. The presumption is that the White woman is too important to do the work by herself.

In any other instance, if I told any feminist that she’s too delicate, too ignorant to learn something for herself things would go real bad real quick. The very notion that any woman is incapable of learning or doing for herself is poisonous to feminist leanings.

Unless of course it means doing the real hard work not to be racist.

These women are the latest in a decades long list of White women who decide that their time and energy are too precious to do even the basics to learn about how to not be a racist.

Now when I say no I don’t have time to do this the respectful thing to do would be to say, hey, if you get time can you shoot me some links please? Or, okay do you have time to suggest some stuff? Or just shut the fuck up and leave me alone and go use the internet to learn a thing.

It is the epitome of disrespect and anti-intersectional feminism to me that this keeps happening.

What I’ve learned is that regardless of why (I’m exhausted, I’m busy at work, I have writing to do or I just don’t feel like it) if I the Angry Black Woman (make no mistake, it doesn’t matter what I say or how I say it, I am the Angry Scary Black Lady) say no in any form, it’s a problem

In the context of White women who are so into the idea of women getting paid for their work, unless it is a Black woman who has the nerve to speak in/on a public thing, it’s a problem.

The attitudes that ALL women of color must make time and space to gently lead White women by the hand into the promised land of not being racists anymore, is antithetical to #giveyourmoneytowomen.

It is typical of this sort of movement to on the front end have women raising their fists and getting excited. Until it means that they have to make room for WOC or 1 on 1 decide that no, it’s unreasonable for the Angry Black Woman to give a rate for private instruction.

The private instruction thing is my canned response to demands that do the work of pulling resources, putting together readings lists and talking White women through their knee jerk I’M NOT A RACIST YOU’RE A RACIST to OMG I HAVE PRIVILEGE BUT I CAN’T HAVE PRIVILEGE OMG NO YOU’RE A RACIST WHY ARE YOU SO SCARY BLACK LADY HOW DARE YOU TELL ME NO-type meltdowns.

WELL I GUESS I’LL READ WHAT YOU WROTE BUT I’M GOING TO ARGUE WITH YOU BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE HOW YOU PHRASED A TEN WORD SENTANCE OUT OF 1500 WORS.

YOU ARE SO ANGRY AND AGGRESSIVE I CAN’T DEAL WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU TRIGGER ME SO YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.

All based on shit actually said to me when I’ve tried to do the 101 education for free.

For years I gritted my teeth and waded in. I fully believed that if I just withstood the initial bullshit, I could in fact lead White women to the promised land where we’d hold hands and sing Old Negro Spirituals together and then BOOM we’d have solidarity etc.

Many experiences, especially in groups where I have been one of few WOC speaking have taught me differently.

I have learned to value my own time and my own sanity and peace of mind. I have learned that my voice has value.

Do y’all have any idea how hard of a thing that was to realize?

So now, I have my own shit to do.

I have a book coming out at the end of the month.

I have readings to get ready for.

I have food to eat.

What I don’t have are the spoons to be anybody’s gentle Mammy on demand.

To that end, here is what I quote.

25$ will net you links to my own work about racism, some commentary and some basic definitions. No conversation.

50$ You get the above, plus five minutes of conversation on the internet.

80$ You get the above and can ask me ten questions.

That’s it.

Now, shockingly, once I’ve quoted my prices I get told things like:

  • You’re anti woman.
  • You’re anti white.
  • You’re the problem.
  • You’re selfish.
  • You’re why racism still exists.
  • You’re a racist.

Blablabla add in some random ad hominem attacks, some being shaded in comments on other things and there you have the magical reasons why I will not engage whenever White women demand it.

Years of trying to do everything to help women like this got me headaches and zero thanks. It got my work stolen from. It has meant I watch the women who demand my time, emotional and literary labor for free, put quotes like that one about be nice because you don’t know what type of day someone is having, they quote Audre Lorde, bell hooks and Angela Davis but this is how they treat me.

So here’s the thing.

Officially if you do this, I see you. I understand what you’re doing and why and I know that your feminism and your #giveyourmoneytowomen is fucking bullshit.

The only thing I have left to say is this.

Check yourself and your fucking attitude before you come for me.

Now in related news.

My book is coming and we’re working hard on some promotion. You have TEN DAYS to get your awesome paws on one of our Self Care Like A Boss shirts. Check em out here!

Next thing HEY Portland lovers. Check this out. I’m reading with a SUPER BAD ASS group of women for Unchaste. No seriously look!

august 2015

Click the photo to look at the facebooks page.

Now I’m off to go write stuff.

Tomorrow, I’m gonna talk more about the new book and do some more promoting.

 


Some more how I work questions answered.

More questions. The same person asking and they really want to stay anonymous so I might get a bit vague.

One of the things this person and I have talked about is my less than stellar experience with writing groups and other writer spaces, both in meat space and on the internets.

Frankly, my experiences with writer spaces haven’t been great, honestly. My first experiences were so overwhelmingly White and cis male I did not feel comfortable sharing any of my work for the most part. And for a few years had an issue with men “finding out” that I wrote erotica and harassing me.

Later on, as I started to think more about my own identity as a human, and what I was writing and how, as I got to read more critically in terms of sexuality and the political I found a lot of writer spaces were just not for me.

I remember pointing out the inherent sexism in a story I read on a writer’s list, it was honestly coming from a deeply misogynistic place and I will say that I was fairly gentleish about it and after that, the man who wrote it was fairly short/had an attitude with me.

In meat space things haven’t been a whole lot better.

I was invited once to a meat space writing group for ladies. I went and immediately things were just not awesome for me. Things were okay for about ten minutes until I read my piece and it was kinda crickets and a lot of uncomfortable shifting. If I remember right, it was some of my first tries at crime fiction and it was just a terrible fit.

Then in modern times I was a member of that big infamous container full of women.

It was fucking awful.

My experiences there and the things said to me were the epitome of #solidarityisforwhitewomen. It was so incredibly awful that I rage quit and then cried about it because it could have been a great source of solidarity and resources and whatnot, but the racism from the color blind, to the level of swinging privilege like a bat and having women playing pinata with every WOC there was just too much. I felt so deeply disrespected by those women, I couldn’t hack it.

So honestly, I think I’ve just been burned too many times.

I think that my exposure ruined me for a lot of that experience. So I learned to write without it.

That said, from what I hear the right workshop can do wonders for folks.

For me I’ve really changed how I work in general and most of the time it doesn’t mesh well with a formalized workshop/writing group generally speaking.

That said, I study writing.

I read a lot of great books. I follow authors I’m really into on social media. I work on it. I play with it. I use things like prompts, and interview questions etc as ways to try new things and stretch my voice.

It’s why I love doing Yeah, Write so much.

So to answer the other question this person asked, no you don’t have to do shit.

The only thing you have to do as an artist is figure out what works for you.

Also in terms of access, those of us who are poor and working and have families blablabla, like we can’t always spend 485$ to learn how to submit or learn how to write a story or whatever. For folks who can, don’t stop get it get it.

A lot of us can’t and that information is out there.

What’s most important to my own growth as an author is that I learn how to express what I mean to express however I can. Be it poems, non fiction, whatever. For me that is super gratifying and having an audience is like having the tastiest most awesome you wouldn’t scrape it off frosting.

Work that shit out and write like a mother fucker.

I mean I’ve not done the conventional thing. And I’m very happy with where I’m at right now.

I mean look I have a book coming out from a brand new indie publisher who is my fucking dream.

OH shit that reminds me.

This is our shirts for SCLAB. We’re doing ONE more week of these then different stuff later.

But here’s the thing. No I’m not as famous as Roxane or a bunch of other WOC writers I admire.

But I’m doing this shit the way I need and want to and that is amazing.

So my friend, write like a mother fucker.

Work out what works.

Do the damn thing.

Tomorrow another Billy remix for yeah write.

YAY!


Rattling around.

I’m still in the throes of an insomnia cycle that has been whooping my ass but good for what two, three months now?

So, given that I seem to have expended all of my cognitive abilities and am stuggling to stay awake right now I’ll just blabber for a bit.

First thing on my mind. Yesterday, while I was struggling to stay awake at work, I made a wee zip file. Inside this zip file you’ll find a very basic submission tracking spreadsheet along with a txt doc to tell you how to use it and give you some ideas for customization. Right click and save as here.  Feel free to share that with anybody you think might need it.

That was on my mind because I’ve been doing some submitting here and there. I got a very fast rejection from Strange Horizons for a story myself and a friend thought would be great for them. I’ve submitted to them three times over the years and I think I’m putting them on my list of not again. They are just not into me.

I’m finding SF/F/H hard to break into.

Someone else looked at the aforementioned show and their, uh, feedback was just “This is too literary”. No clarification though I asked and I do recall a SF writer (cannot remember who right now) said on a podcast that sometimes people dislike their use of literary stuff in their SF/F.

But really?

I feel pretty out of place in those waters. I don’t see a lot of things written in the way I write. I do things that aren’t, uh, I dunno done there a lot. At least not that I see. I feel like some of my recent work is probably too SF/Fish for most lit mags (see also my years of writing too erotic/sexy for a lot of lit mags) but not done as Sf/F is done so not for those magazines either.

I don’t know. I have a tendency like a lot of writers to get angsty about things. More so when I feel like maybe what I’m doing with these genres is not real so I’m unwise in submitting to those markets and annoying editors. I don’t want to be that person.

That said, I am disappointed. Not because just because rejection, but more that, if SO many of the things in SF/F are so fantastical, why can’t the writing get out of the comfortable realm too?

Most of my favorite SF/F is quite literary. And I hate that I need to acknowledge that. Like why do people have the idea that if something is X genre it cannot be literary and vice versa?

I just don’t understand why that particular line has to be drawn and adhered to.

This is why I’ve put these type stories out on my own in general.

I don’t know.

I will submit to other places but fact is I write how I write.

These are things I think about. And because the submission process is what it is, I have no way to verify any of my feelings. I mean I could say that stories are just not good. But when the feedback I’ve gotten from other folks is OMG YES and the industry is Oh yeah no, it makes me feel stuff.

Especially as tired as I am. I’ll probably chew on this for a while.

What else?

OH yeah, I do keep a list of publications that are just not into me. There are a few that I’ve submitted multiple things to and while some have been like, we love you send more and others have been standard after a while I do realize no you don’t want it. I do have a process. I will go back and check rejections to see if they are form or have something else. What the rejection wiki calls a higher tier type.

There are also a few that have done things that I don’t like or do things I don’t like that I will read but not submit to.

And a note to editors, it really sucks when you heap praise and say how much you love our submissions but never publish us. Like, it makes things feel awkward and at least I feel weird.

I did get an acceptance. LOL it is for a SF experimental flash thing that had been rejected for reasons. So I sent it to a regular flash site (links on the day it goes live) and voila boom accepted after not even 24 hours.

What else?

Can I share a fear?

This is a situation that happens to me a lot.

A person reads one of my pieces at Medium or XOJane and comes to tell me they love me. That is a total win and serious yay.

But then, they find out I write random other stuff and sometimes it is not nice stuff.

I have gotten into more fucking arguments with people because they want me to only be nice Self-care Shannon or Rageful Negress Shannon and it just makes me tired. I was telling my bestie that sometimes it feels like I have to vet people I talk to about my work and that fucking sucks. I hate it.

I am not a particular kind of writer. I’m not a journalist. I just write.

I write what’s in my head and it’s pretty noisy in there.

I don’t want people to be completely unable to accept that. I feel like it loses me audience or something.

And this is on my mind because as my dear publisher reminded me recently, we’re having a book baby in a scant few months.

Like, it is a thing that is happening.

IT IS HAPPENING.

And honestly, I’m pretty fucking scared. The writing part, I got that. That I know I can do. I can fucking write.

But then I think of other stuff.

What if nobody buys it? I don’t want to have wasted my publishers time and money and effort if it’s wah wah.

What if, what if… Everybody hates me blablabla.

Also, I’m just terrified. I have feelings I’m not sure how to navigate.

So I guess I’ll just dive in.

Last thing.

At home we’re finally just about out from under the three months of gigantic bills.

To put it into perspective I spent pretty much most of my money that wasn’t my rent on just these bills. Even with our rental increase, some super expensive doc appointments for my partner Uniballer and some other bullshit we’re almost there.

I’m pretty close to being able to save more which is great.

If you want to help and you want some stuff to read now would be a great time to shop in my Etsy store. I’m not in panic mode anymore but we’re kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit and I need some stuff.

What stuff? Honestly foundation and face powder and I really -really- need a new hoody to wear home at night. Next month if no further shit happens I’ll be avle to put most of my Patreon money into my Smarty Pig account for my laptop.

AND those two donors from the past few weeks, y’all don’t even know you really saved my bacon. Thank you so much.

Okay, that’s it. I’m gonna go home, have a phone date with Milcah tomorrow and hopefully sleep.

 


Why I am Still Going to AWP Next Year.

First, I encourage y’all to do some googling because I cannot rehash a lot of stuff, but I’ll give you one link to get started. Start here and I warn you there is a lot of ugly art involved.

While I was waiting for AWP to make the linked decision I started thinking very hard about boycotting along with a lot of other folks.

I calculated how expensive it will be, travel, hotel, books etc. And it is a lot of money. I will probably spend almost a month of my dayjob pay.

That money could do a lot of things.  New tech for my partner and I, it could go into a moving fund, it could do a lot of things.

I was very close to not going. Very, very close.

And then I saw this:

AWP must protect the efficacy of the conference subcommittee’s work. The group’s work must focus on the adjudication of the 1,800 submitted proposals, not upon the management of a controversy that has stirred strong objections and much ill-will toward AWP and the subcommittee. Perpetuating the controversy would not be fair to the many writers who have submitted the proposals.

These disrespectful mother fuckers.

As if those of us who weren’t acting out of “ill-will” but justifiable concern that someone who engages in and profits from playing with racism and using literary Blackface would be in that kind of position of power.  I will not pay to have anything to do with that person.

I got angrier.

I’m going.

I am going because I want the people in charge to see that in spite of their anti-Blackness I am still there. I will have things to sell. I will meet other authors.

I will read as much as I can.

In spite of how nervous the crowds and everything make me I will be known. I will be seen. I will not be shuttled into the shadows because AWP values freedom of speech, but not protecting their POC members who also pay to be members from racists.

I also have an idea that I might want to do some guerilla reading. I will tweet my wee heart out. I will make as much of my presence known as I can because I want them, and the writer in question to know that their actions have not scared me away.

I want to make people I KNOW have not supported or even shown a little bit of willingness to do the work of anti-racism that their lack of action hasn’t made me docile.

As I said to MCAG on twitter last week, I’ve got a heart full of gasoline and a book of matches. My boots are on this ground.

Not just because of Vanessa Place. Fuck, Vanessa Place and her ilk.

Because this is my life.

This- literature and writing means more to me than everything.

I am not a concept.

I refuse to hand over my life, my history, my pain to Whiteness, so that it can be regurgitated and fed back to Whiteness.

If I have to go to mother fucking AWP and stand in the middle of the book fair sobbing because of all this it will happen.

If I have to read EVERY single poem I’ve written about how this shit make me feel I will.

I will be seen.

I will be heard.

So fair warning.

AWP I am coming.

I will not be cowed.

I will not be silenced.

I will also probably do some dedicated fundraising to help with costs. In the meantime scroll down to your right for my new masterpost on supporting my work.

 


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