Nerdhole Yammerings.

First y’all. Brought to me by my fave Murder Bear and my Comrade Scott Nicolay, read this essay. 

Imma get nerdy because y’all..okay before nerdery let me tell u a thing. You know how I’ve been sick as fuck for like 2 months? Turns out I have epic infections in my faceholes. Sinus, ear, near teeth involvement and my face ballooned up on Monday and I wound up in the ER for a few hours.

Upshot is I’m on a fuckload of major antibiotics, painkillers and shit to deal with the bodily fuckery caused by said antibiotics. This is probably why I’ve felt so terrible for so long and it is fucking awful. And I gotta work so here we are.

So yeah.

Shit is fucked up. Money is fucked up. I feel fucked up.

So let’s nerd.

I have a strange sort of poky relationship with weird fiction. A lot of the weird fiction I’ve read hasn’t resonated with me as a reader for lots of reasons. A lot of the time the strangeness and sense of danger I crave in what I consider weird is missing.

I’ve thought a lot about that and I think it comes from being a Black person in the world. My feelings about horror a lot of the time are similar. I can appreciate weird and prettily written. I dig it but I don’t really -feel- it. For me weird fiction needs to unsettle me at a deep level to hold my attention.

Horror and Weird *HW for the duration* is just so conservative underneath. and I’m not talking industry fuckery. I mean, for fuck sake we’re still arguing about whether or not Lovecraft’s racism is important soo…

Anyway.

Lately some authors I’ve loved from afar for a long time and whom I sorta know personally have put out things that disturb me on that special level and inspired me to get back into creating HW.

Meeting and reading these authors has given me a new level of faith in what creeps me out. That is a place that in my work I feel is somewhat sacrosanct. I can’t take it being sullied by bullshit.

HW is my sacred place where I can reach back into my baby potato writerhood and use my adult brain to explore and play with form and texture in a way that other types of writing. Even within the Daiyuverse I’ve set myself some boundaries and constraints even though I am making up the magical system and whatnot but I am trying to keep a certain flavor to the work and keep a type of cohesion going.

I think that the disconnect for me as a reader is the same as it is often with Bizarro fiction. On one hand I appreciate it but I tend not to feel it and I don’t like that.

So that said I’ve been dipping back into The World. As last seen during yeah write. For me I want to revisit the world and explore more ways of digging into it. The overall thematic arc is weird to me. That basically the world is not the world for reasons that if you find them out as an Innocent, you won’t be okay. I play with the chosen one idea, my chosen ones aren’t pure pretty blond valley girls.

They are hoes and strippers, scrappy lesbians, folks with Sankofa knowledge, some who are cut off from their cultures and jobs. Addicts. I take those factors and I want to weave them into the narratives not as morality points but as backdrops for the weirdness. The stories in the world are really the opposite of what most HW I’ve found is.

They are generally fairly concrete in ways, they take place in the hood but not in the suburban kids go to the hood to buy drugs (the basis for a popular horror author’s book that I hated, not to be named just because I don’t want his stans coming up in here again, if you search the blog hard you’ll find it) and wind up in a haunted/creep house. Nah.

What I’m playing with isn’t classic Horror or Weird.

It isn’t the pastoral delights of Rural Maine where the magical shuck n jive negroes roam.

I don’t want to hide eroticism when it happens, or separate cosmic flavored horror. I want this thing that I might be doing to be weird as I feel like these things would be weird in the world I live in.

I stopped working on this last year because of more run ins with just shitty shitty stuff in the business that made me feel like my playspace was ruined. I had some more of these flash stories tucked away but my zeal was tarnished.

That said, y’all know I’ve reached fuck it and well fuck it.

I’m not as fast at doing fiction as I used to be but, this is a thing going on behind the scenes. Eventually I will probably offer this as a little ebook on Amazon or something for funsies.

We’ll see.

At the end, it might not turn out to be weird fiction at all. I dunno. We’ll go for the ride together.

I’ll probably do a few more warm up Yeah, Writes. And let me say again how great Yeah, Write is for honing your skills y’all. Get on that.

I think that’s all. I’m very tired and my guts are abubblin.

I love y’all.

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Tools and Whatnots.

Let’s talk tools. (There will be affiliate links)

In 2016 I bought a little used RCA windows tablet. I bought it mainly to write on. It was small enough to be portable for me and not so expensive I’d freak out in public if someone touched it.

Well, lil buddy is pretty much only good for games now. It served well and the keyboard took my beastlike pounding pretty well.

So now, I am on the hunt for a new thing.

Folks keep recommending things like the Lenovo Yoga tablet. Or of course a Windows Surface. Both sexy little things that give me a nerd boner. Words like ultraportable make me feel a lil something in the pants.

But, if I go that route I’m going to have to wait until at least next May and I’d rather not do that.

The thing with the RCA tablet is that even at peak, it just wasn’t quite powerful enough for my needs. I need to be able to run my word processing, probably have an internet window or four open for other research and not have it lag out or crap out. I am honestly too paranoid to carry my big ass laptop so, new tablet it is.

I’m thinking I will probably get a Kindle 10. Multiuse gives me wood although most of the cases with keyboards I’ve found have looked a little wee tiny for me to get used to.

I do wish that Kindle, Android and microsoft would stop pissing on each other so a body could use shit they pay for like Office365 across more devices without bullshit. I am a little leery that I won’t be able to use word online the way I like with a kindle 10.

If I get the kindle 10, I’m going to have to do a work around.

What I really want is laptop capability, with real windows 10 and tablet size.

Most of the office related apps I’ve tried are shit for working on and Google Docs has dry fucked me one too many times.

This little thing here is about as close to ideal as I think I’m going to get.

Presuming I can sell two or four more essays I can probably get one in Decemberish.

I don’t want to be reliant on apps. Microsoft apps just don’t work in a way that makes them very usable for me. And you can’t use online Word with mobile devices. I am also really reluctant to depend on wifi as well.

Sometimes trying to get tech shit figured out as it intersects with economic shit is bullshit.

Other than that, things are fairly okay. Laptop at home is working nicely.

Ahem.

As things stand right now. Here is what my side hustle/patreon money budget looks like.

bills

Bear in mind these are my personal bills currently. This doesn’t count family budget. Not rent and shit. Being that Sept-October have both been financially crazed and I’m trying to save up from my side hustle money to move…well.

In a perfect world, this budget would leave me about 85$ to use to tuck into my moving savings. I make a tiny bit over 200$ a month on Patreon but I account for folks lowering pledges and declines.

Logically/rationally I will not buy any new tech/anything that costs more than 10$ for a while. My entertainment budget is pretty much 0$. After this week I’m giving up my morning coffee/calm/poetry time. I’m taking a slightly later bus so I can walk to the transit center so I don’t have to walk around downtown for an hour before work, neither is great but the later bus is the slightly safer option.

This morning I tweeted a little about my current situation and two people kindly checked in and a couple sent me emails to lecture me about how to budget.

I hate doing this.

But y’all ready for the poor people dance?

HERE IT GO.

I work a full time actual real job. It is almost barely enough to cover household bills. I’m talking my partner’s care/medications, rent, lights, phone/internets. Our household entertainment budget is 15$.

So the house budget is pretty much on lock and every red fucking cent I make in my day  job is just for staying alive.

So as I’ve talked about fucking constantly, writing money and patreon are for literally everything else.

After the last couple of months shit has been rough.

SO okay per usual. You can find my various tip jars in the side bar, check out my Patreon or donate to my Gofundme.

Real Results- When Folks Show Up Edition.

HI y’all. I really wanted to update/talk about what happened after my last post talking about how much help I need.

I want to tell y’all what happens when you give immediate support to someone like me.

First thing that happened:

  • I was able to redo my budget.
  • Bought 150$ worth of pantry items/food to be delivered tomorrow.
  • Got partner some new drawers and socks.
  • Got both of us some new immune system stuff.
  • Got partner extra medication for pain management/gut problems.
  • Dropped some cash into my moving savings fund.
  • Donated a few bucks to a couple of other Black Femmes in need.
  • I have a bit of a firm plan/budget to supply myself with personal care items to last through Christmas.

Effects:

  • I slept without stress/anxiety induced night terrors for the first time in three weeks.
  • I bought myself some chapstick.
  • I was able to poop (after being stress induced constipated for days)

What else?

I was able to calm down enough to get some writing done.

The most important thing is this.

When I see folks wringing their hands about oh what do I do, this is what you do.

For folks like me, material, concrete and yes financial support means we can make our art, do the shit we need to and survive.

Most of us who ask, hate it. Every day I have a few friends I talk to about it because we hate it. We cry and worry about how we are perceived. We have folks, even folks who love us disrespect us and our work because if we “just worked harder” or whatever, of course we’d be fine right?

We go through a lot. We often see folks post/contribute to shit like, help some white guy make potato salad, folks make thousands in days and we’re literally begging for meal money and then worried that after a while of promoting the stuff we sell that no one buys (as we’re always told to do) and posting our fundraisers and paypals and venmos nobody will pay attention and what will we do?

Real talk?

In my wide circle of Black femmes in particular, many of whom don’t know each other. Almost every day I see the effect of the way Black femmes don’t get funding grind down the resolve of even the hardest hustlers I know. I see fb statuses and there are private mesages and we’re all crying and all of us are feeling like maybe we’re not really worth shit.

THis is the raw truth. We can only hear how great and powerful we are so much. We can only provide so much education/things for a community at large that won’t throw us a bone. Don’t give a shit if we starve. Folks might not mean us to feel that way but that’s where so many of us end up.

It is why there’s a group of us I know and we literally pass 5$ around to each other whenever one of us sells something or whatever because nobody else will and that’s fucked up.

And yes we ALL know about the devestation around the world right now.

That said, this is what we always live with. For most of us right now we struggle to even get people to boost our links. I mean, why tell us how amazing we are if you can’t be bothered to share when we are in need?

That’s why I say, support living artists.

That’s why I say, tip often and tip well. You don’t have to have a lot of money.  Literally if half of the folks who read our work in general *for most of us* on blogs, medium or whatever each dropped us a dollar- lives changed.

But that’s not what happens and a lot of us, especially those of us who write a lot and pointedly about racism, gender, etc wind up feeling like shit, not being able to have sustainable art lives and whatnot.

I’m pretty sure this is not what I’m supposed to say but y’all know I gotta be real about shit and this is how it is.

Thank you for your support folks. It really does mean the world and for my little family in particular, that we survive.

Unprofessional Confessional

Hi.

I’m in a weird mood, feeling very confessional and like I need to just blab shit until my head clears.

So…here we go.

Confession #1) One of the main reasons I returned to some freelance, real talk is to fund my want to do my wardrobe over. I have very particular tastes, the size of my ass is currently stable so I want to dress how I want to dress. Right now, a portion of all my freelance income (not much) is going into a savings fund for these boots.

#2) I should probably not be telling folks this but, I very literally have a list of publications/editors/writers I will not be associated with. My writing shitlist is made up of folks acting shitty in public, editors who are on some bullshit, writers I can’t stand. I check it when I’m researching submissions because I am shit with names.

#3) I have basically given up the idea that any large big house publisher or other non indie presses will ever fuck with me. I say this because (have I talked about this?) back in the day when blogger book deals were just the hottest shit, I was approached a good number of times.  This also goes for agents etc, every interaction started with how much admiration and love the people had for me, how much they valued my voice and then progressed to the talk. The Talk was always gentle and sorta kind, and every time the punchline was, we think you are magnificent buuuuuuut please calm down about X thing. One person told me that if it wasn’t for my “militant” anti racism (and y’all, like it wasn’t even like that back in the day, I WAS being gentle) they’d be able to make me a best seller. I am not fucking Charlie Brown and fuck your football. Frankly, I just can’t allow the desire to really gain traction in my heart because I’ve been disappointed every goddamn time.

#4) I am just fine being a writer. I write things. Sometimes I get paid for those things, sometimes people don’t want to publish them and I do it myself…this is fine. I’m happy with this.

#5) 90% of the time, I write like what I am writing will never been seen by anyone ever. That is how I keep my work authentic.

#6) I am still working on making some writing classes that are low cost, available for download and accessible to folks.

#7) Genre still doesn’t really mean shit to me.

#8) Sometimes I wish I had stayed in my horror and smut lanes and sort of faded into obscurity. I had to deal with so much less bullshit on a personal level related to my writing back then.

#9) Writing openly and personally and doing essay work etc is really fucking amazing and even with the bullshit, writing about race etc is fantastic.

#10) Being a writer in general is terrible. Being a writer is wonderful. Being a writer is fuckin weird.

Thing is, this whole thing is infuriating and wonderful and fucking hard. I don’t know who I would be without it.

That said-

shit is mother fucking hard right now.

But……

giphy

Further Fuckitlist things and comforts.

Comforts first.

I really love audiobooks and stories. I have some faves y’all should know about.

First one right now I’m listening to one of my favorite voice talents read a story I have been into since it came out. Buried Eyes by Lavie Tidhar.  That swords n sorcery n guns n shit stuff is pretty awesome. You should buy all of Lavie Tidhar’s work cause it is really friggin good. The reader is Graeme Dunlop who has a lovely voice and is very emotive and really good.

Actually just dive in at the linked podcast site and find stuff.

Another fave is this story called Gig Marks from Pseudopod. Y’all it is so damn good I think of it all the time. I love a great ghost story and it is perfect.

In my backpack I have copies of Narrow River, Wide Sky: A Memoir by my beloved friend Jenny Forrester. Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life by Kim Addonizio.

All nice things I am enjoying.

What am I writing? I started a weird bird person story here’s a bite:

Mr. Peach White likes to walk with his wing just around my shoulders. He forgets how short my legs are compared to his and I must always adopt a rolling bird waddle to keep up with him. He speaks a mile a minute, informing me about the children, trouble in the local rookery, the gossip from the cranes who fly the river and return with mail and messages. He snorts and shakes his crest when we pass a seabird colony full of the howling of the gulls and cormorants.

“So you see, Mary of Brown skin, it must be quite impossible to make peace with these strange creatures. These odd drab birds that fly with misery from the north. What need of them, have we? Our city is a place of-” He stops talking, distracted by something or other and I catch my breath a bit. I would never deliberately slow him down, he is one of my regular customers, but I do appreciate it when something catches his eye. “Mary, Miss Mary of Brown Skin, look there.”

He points one white wing and I have to stand on tiptoe to follow the direction of his pointing. “Um, can you lower your wing a little bit please?” I sound like a mouse but, Mr. Peach White burbles an apology and lowers his wing so I can see over it. Across the river there was a dust cloud full of ruckus of some sort. Squawking, rough shouts from working laboror human humans. Mr. Peach White is notoriously and insatiably nosy, he gathers me under one wing and hustles me to the nearest weaverbird.

What the fuck is this? I don’t even know. Except that the end is gonna be kinda gory but romantic? I like the idea but why bird people? I find the idea so terrifying I can’t stand myself.

What else?

I’m working on this literary, memoir related, observational thing and I CANNOT for the life of me figure out how I want to write it and I’m getting on my own nerves. My first attempt started out way too academic, the second was closer ish but not there yet. My head is SO FUCKING FULL and I just….

I mean what if I could just reach in, give the ole brain sponge a squeezy squeeze and Voila essay falls out of my nose. Shit, at this point I’d take it if it dribbled out of my butt.

At least I feel like I’d be deeper into this fucking thing than I am. Can y’all tell I’ve about run out of patience?

I’ve mentioned my impatient studiousness but for fuck sake I JUST WANT TO WRITE THE SHIT ALREADY.

But I also kinda don’t because I’m not ready.

OH let us talk of shit I’ve kicked off my Fuckit List.

I wrote this review for ROAR. I feel very good about it. Read it.

I also sent a few like major swing for the fences pitches last week. Baby needs shoes and bylines.

I’m having one of those weeks when part of my fuckit list involves a big ass project that just seems like too much. I’d need:

  • Start up funding (I could likely contribute a bit but I’d need to crowdfund the rest and well…that doesn’t work for me)
  • To stop writing other projects/things for at least 3-4 months.
  • Help with reach from folks who haven’t shown up for me in the past.
  • Opportunity to work on this thing without worrying about how much it is costing me.

Today, I feel like these seemingly few things are never going to all align. I’m frustrated. I don’t -want- to have to make a whole business. I don’t want to work that as an extra full time job because, I’m not in a position to just leap and assume everything will be fine. I’m responsible for another human being staying clothed, housed and fed.

Also honestly, as I’m researching I’m just- I don’t want to. I don’t. I just want to make enough money in life to maybe not be triggered to fuck on payday, or be able to buy vegetables whenever I want some and maybe, MAYBE buy some fucking underwear without feeling guilty or otherwise fucking up my budget.

And no it isn’t that I don’t work. I work hard at maintaining the quality of life I have.

The super extra frustrating thing is I already fucking know that the path above, isn’t the one I goddamn want. I don’t want to try and run a business and write and live. I’m super extra tired of wanting to or needing to feel like I HAVE to try doing this in order to live and maybe come up a tiny bit.

I am not looking for some rags to riches come up thing.

I just want a bit less stress and maybe a nice place to live.

And maybe do some good and make a little coin.

But nah.

This post also brought to you by someone who thought it was helpful to tell me how much I don’t believe in myself or want a better life because I won’t not work my regular job for 6 months to MAYBE find a better position…like.

What the fuck good would coding or other certs do me if I lost my place to live or am unable to provide for my family?

When I asked if she’d like to pay my expenses she got angry and just kept giving me that be your own boss schtick like it is gospel and it pissed me off.

Okay I’m frustrated and upset and I’m gonna not do that for a while.

Artsy Bucketlist and books and things-sort of

Well oh hi hello.

Before I get emo about stuff n things a few announcements.

Y’all might have read this piece I had published in Wear Your voice Magazine.  Along with some really nice thanks, a lot of White people said a lot of shit. So I wrote this piece as a follow up.

What else?

I’m working on my arty bucketlist. I’ve been digging, no let me be as hyperbolic as I feel, I’ve been blood letting and working on some of these and fuck y’all shit is so hard. Sometimes after such joy working on the Daiyuverse or writing new poems (new poems up here) and then I sit down (currently the best way for me to work is a pillow/lap desk situation because of my lower half) and I work on these bucketlist shits and I just gut myself.

I’m doing a lot that is that sort of confessional, narrow, all in my tin orbit type of writing and then I’m also writing about how, even when that was like the shit a lot of POC especially Black women couldn’t/can’t get that published. It’s a very particular type of writing, it is often expository and deeply naked and emotional but doesn’t necessarily need to engage with the big bad world.

What else?

My first paid review is up over at Roar. Y’all, that book just is everything. Please read and share.

It has been an awful day. A terrible weekend and I’m so angry I can’t do anything except be mad.

So I think that’s all from this corner of the world.

Thank you.

HI folks.

Y’all.

Your support from my please help post really floored me. With your support this is what is happening right now:

  • I ordered almost 110$ (AFTER COUPONS Y’ALL) worth of groceries for the house. I got a lot of staple items, huge jars of peanut butter etc. They will arrive tonight.
  • I got a new pair of shoes that won’t hurt my feet.
  • I bought about a week and a half worth of work food which means I didn’t have to lug from home to work.
  • I was able to pay off two bills early which means that my check that pays my rent for next month won’t be quite so destroyed.

The effects:

I’ve been able to take some time to relax. I don’t have that ball of stress in my gut. I got a little bit of sleep.

I’ve also been able to have that jump start/reboot. I have a good solid doable plan that means that I can provide for my lil family, we have some breathing room and shit.

OKAY so my groceries came last night and I cried a little. I haven’t had that much food in my house at one time in a long time.

What else?

Mainly, I feel like I can breathe.

What am I actually up to artistically?

Patreon is going amazingly well.

I’m dabbling in a bit of freelance. 

I’ve got a poetry book coming out this fall.

My passion project SCLAB has been chugging along at the Self-care blog.

I started and mostly completed another poetry book.

I’m not super invested in getting published right now.

I’m getting my shit in order so I can level the fuck up as an artist. I’m stacking my bravery because I have some more bucketlist level stuff to do.

Okay now, I got work to do. Shit to make. Tea to drink.

Thank y’all again so much.