Category Archives: writing life

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.

The Sexy Part of the Bible, Hustling and I’m back from my vacay.

I turned 38 last week and took a real vacation wherein I did zero work. This is the first time I’ve done that as an adult and while it was nice it did cause me a great deal of anxiety. I will likely at least write if I take another vacation. I found it pretty stressful not to be working on things. I feel like that is mostly due to Poverty Brain because we spent a good deal of money and that freaks me out.

I did however do some reading. Check out stuff I finished up over on Goodreads. Short version. I tried to read the last book in the Vampire Chronicles and just no.

I was really just reminded of how problamtic her vampire ‘verse is and I kept looking back to baby me and seeing how damaging that was to my baby writer brain. The whiteness, the subtle shade towards Ancient Brown folks of varying sorts while Ancient White folks knew everything. Just…gross.

I’ve also been reading the Sexy Part of the Bible by Kola Boof. I’ve had the book on my radar since I saw the announcement from Akashic but didn’t pick it up until last month.  I’ve been aware of Kola Boof for a long time, I’ve read some really racist shit about her and a lot of hateful stuff by men.

The thing I find interesting is like a lot of other Black women I like, she is just not here for it.

Now this book is weird, weird in a lush fleshy good way. Her prose is very juicy and I imagine for folks who are very into a linear type narrative. It is linear but not strictly so. It meanders a bit in the beginning in a way I find really interesting.

This is one of those books where the prose is so juicy and delicious I’m reading the book really slowly. I can’t totally pin down what slows me down about her work but I will report back in when I’m done with it. I want to savor it like a dessert.

What else?

I am about to start on a super seekrit project that I am super excited and terrified of. I’m trying to find some more ways to support my writing with extra income since hardcore freelancing is just not my thing.

What else?

OH this episode of Dear, Sugar is great.

I haven’t been crocheting enough lately so I’m going to make this for myself.

I think that’s all for right now. More later this week.


Every Day I’m Hustlin

For reference this is the song that inspired the title.

The salient bit if you don’t like hip hop is the first line of the verse:

Who the fuck you think you fuckin’ with, I’m the fuckin’ boss

I am trying to embody this. Hustlin.

So some shit has gone down y’all.

I wrote most of a rant on my phone after a woman tried to give me some bullshit fashion advice. I posted it on Medium because I say a few bad words and I wasn’t sure where to pitch it.

Check it out here.

I posted it on facebook and a few other places as is my habit, forgot about it and went on to work on some other shit.


In the top 20 most recommended on Medium. Holy...shit.

In the top 20 most recommended on Medium. Holy…shit.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT TOP 20. A lot of people have read it. A lot of people have expressed thanks and gratitude and appreciation and shit.

And I had a panic attack.

I should confess that on the rare occasion I write something that garners a whole lot of positive feedback from people I don’t know, I freak out. I did not have a complete meltdown. I am feeling overwhelmed and super anxious. Growing pains but I did declare to my best friend that I didn’t throw up nor did I get the shits so semi win?

I have been listening to the Feelin Myself track from the Nicki Minaj Pink Print album a lot. Gotta cheer myself on you know.

So the next thing to happen was that I pitched for the first time. Like an adult. And it got accepted. Over at Witty Bitches (a new and rad site) I wrote a piece about race and feminism. Not for free and It feels pretty damn good. Lookit here:

This is a battle cry.

For my fellow nerds, this is me calling the horde.

These people, who wouldn’t know intersectional feminism if it farted in their faces, are ruining it for all of us.

As I saw on a t-shirt, they look like just enough XP for us to level up.

Read it here. 

That piece also began on my phone as a rant started on Oscar night.

So things are going very nicely right now.

I’m also getting back into the swing of submitting fiction and navigating it without Duotrope. It is interesting. So far I have two pieces out and will probably send around a couple more.

I put up a new Queen poem at Ink Node.

I’m trying not to freak out further. Anxiety is a mother fucker. I’m not here for it frankly.

All that said I have more new stuff in my pocket.

That’s all for now. I’m going to go try and adult writer without freaking out or otherwise having a meltdown.



Musings on Flash Fiction.

First I have to confess something.

When I started participating in Yeah, Write it was mostly for my own lols. One of the methods I use to keep writing is that I pick a thing and play with it as I mentioned way back here.

Now with flash fiction I add the layer of the word count restriction. And another confession I write 90% of my flash on my phone while I wait for or am on buses.

Normally I start out with a voice or a setting. My last Yeah, Write  entry Driver was inspired by a few things. I like to have shows playing in the background at work and one day I was watching ghost hunter shoes along with having watched a terrible movie with an unhinged psychic. Something we never see are psychics in their off time.

What happens?

Who do they want to talk to?

Voila Driver was born.

I wrote that piece like a year and a half ago. I submitted it a few places. Got soundly rejected. I changed it a tiny bit, did another round of submissions and all form thanks but no thanks rejections.

Most of the pieces I’ve used for my Yeah Write entries have been often rejected that way. I have thought for the past two years that maybe the way I write them is as I was told once just wrong.

Another confession. I find the stridency of the mantra that flash must be a story-story kind of boring. I think the idea that a story is only a real story if it follows the Western plot arc is just..boring.

I like ambiguous endings. I like the conflict not being all in your face. I like not being certain while I read a story what is what.

I feel like flash is my way of learning to really make people feel something in a tight space. One of my Yeah Write pieces got the worst rejection ever of, we just didn’t feel anything (insert poor author whimpering here) and yeah. That one cut to the bone and set me back on my heels.

For quite a while I treated my flash like I treated my poetry. Just as little scribbly shits I did in order to get to more important shit. Honestly y’all I really was feeling like okay maybe I don’t know what I’m doing so I should just put these away.

And then Yeah, Write happened.

I really enjoy the diversity that can happen inside of flash fiction as a thing. I really feel like one of the purposes of literature as an art form is to expose readers to new worlds and different people. I write a lot of people, some of them are the sorts I’ve run into in my life and you might have never come across.

Then a look into a world, a room if you will that you do not belong in and that is awesome to me.

I love having the option as a reader to just have a taste of something new. I don’t always need a whole mouthful or a whole thing. Just a bite. An appetizer.

I love being left wanting more.

More story, more of a particular voice or just more of an author. I feel like flash is a super awesome way to get that.

As a writer I feel like Flash is such a rich place to play. Dip your toes in genre fiction or narrators you might not be able to tolerate for a long period of time. Work out a voice.

I am so glad someone peer pressured me into trying Yeah,Write. It has been so much fun.

Next week I might give the non fiction grid a shot. WHO KNOWS.

Now I have a hellacious head cold. My drugs are wearing off and I’m very tired. So here, check out the piece I put up at Medium about aging and fashion. LOOK I can write non fiction that isn’t rip my heart out stuff. Whoa.

Color me Amused

So a bit back KT Bradford had the nerve to suggest people try reading folks other than CIS white dudes for a year.

I’m not linking I can’t find it. But predicatably White folks lost their collective shit.

Here’s the thing in a nutshell. If you read simply by grabbing books most likely your reading list is real white and real cis white dude heavy.



All she was really saying is try reading outside of the dominant voices in ilterature.



Okay that is honestly the Whitest most heterosexual thing ever.

Most people who are the dangerous and mysterious other generally say so pretty up front. As an experiment, I went and read the bios of about four dozen authors of color whom I don’t know personally. About 95% of them stated inside the first two sentences of their bios their ethnicity and for those who are neurodivergent or queer also said that.


So I can only really shake my head. It must be so hard to get angry about the idea that someone might challenge your tastes.

I mean, if you look at your bookshelf AND you’re honest especially if one is a lover of genre fiction, it’s gonna be pretty White and CiS dude heavy.

Calm down.

There are literally eleventy forty seven free resources spanning all sort of lit where one can step away from the White guy for a book or two.

Jeebus calm the fuck down.

Now some self promotion. Check it out here, my latest at XOjane and I am particularly proud of this one.

I am also super excited to announce that I have returned to writing about feminism and race. AND I am gettin paid and I pitched the idea to someone I only sort of know.

That is like a trifecta of windom. It means a lot. Details when it is time.

I cannot talk about Leonard Nimoy without sobbing. I’ll post a photo at the bottom.

I have a nerdy craft post about how I feel about writing flash and small fiction and how great it makes me feel that so many of my Yeah, Write cohorts like what I’m putting down.

Um yeah.

So I have a lot of writing to do. I’m on a roll lately and all in my feelings so yeah.

Later taters.

On that Grind.


Seriously I am on that grind this week. I’ve been writing like hell.

I’m trying really hard to figure out how to balance all the things I want to do and make a little bit of cash in the process.

Shit is fuckin hard y’all.

In other news I am plowing my way through a superb reading list. I’ll have some new reviews up soon.

Um whoa so this happened. Aside from being in excellent company it really touches me that my sort of off the cuff I want to write something today post made sense.

Over the years I’ve come from skipping meals to buy Poets & Writers or to buy “good” quality typing paper and renting time on ancient PCs at Kinko’s and shit to sometimes making a little money, learning how to unsubscribe from the fancy monied author mythos.

I have had to do a lot of stuff that has been hard. Figuring out how to balance my ethics with my need to eat. For instance when I opened my etsy store I had a rash of weird White dudes wanting 3$ Cuckold interracial porn. I’m talking dudes wanting like 10K words with these shortass turnarounds.

Once upon a time I would have done it. Enough 3 buck porns could someday buy me lunch or shoes.

I had to sit with it and do what other authors I’ve seen do. I had to set some rules and after a lot of self flagellation (How DARE YOU turn down actual income) and struggle I did this:

If you are looking for custom erotica here are the rules.

1.) My rate is firm at 25$ a page. This includes a first draft, final edit. Put together with a plain cover and available as a pdf/doc/docx file.
2.) I am not heterosexual. I will write hetero but it is not my forte.
3.) Do NOT send/offer to send me photos of your genitals I will ban you.
4.) No, I will not barter.
5.) No incest, underage, bestiality will be considered.
6.) If I am not into the idea I will not take the commission.
7.) If you want a sample of my work, buy one.

Currently I am not looking for/accepting custom work. When I am I will post a special listing.

Honestly y’all. Do you now how hard that was for me to do? To really put down in words that I will not suffer foolishness and that my porn is worth professional rates?

That started me on a path to wanting to Free myself with freelance work. I started grinding out research and things and realized that some parts of a freelance career are just not things I do well. Aside from that, I just don’t want to write for some pulications who would probably take me.

Pump the mother fuckin breaks.

I honestly had weeks of arguing with myself about it because as we know, there is a lot of pressure for especially WOC to go be in ALL the things and break through the whiteness of certain markets and everything.

I have been just, fighting with my desire to earn that money and those thoughts. The what right do have to not want those opportunities?

What kind of nerve do I have when I need money for shit like shoes and underwear, to not want to take the full leap?


And then I keep thinking about things my publisher Milcah has said to me. I keep thinking about what we’re doing with the book at Self Care Like A Boss. I think about what my best friend has been saying for almost 20 years. About when my partner is just like YES DO THAT SHIT.

I think about the authors I love the most and how many of them joke about low book sales and write shit that moves me.

I am the writer who write really fucking terrible copy for really fucking terrible heteronormative sex toy anon/affiliate websites because I wanted to save up for shoes.

I am also the writer who has turned down some amazing opportunities because they would make me feel bad in my heart.

I am book pregnant with the best book baby daddy Milcah. 

Way back when I was about 14 and dreaming about being an infamous writer, I dreamed about a life of liesure paid for by literary patrons.

I thought that was how I wanted it.

Looking back I realize that I would not be a bad ass writer right now without the struggle. If I had no struggle, if I didn’t have to write out all these fuckin feelings, if I hadn’t spent SO much time poring over literary magazines I couldn’t afford and low er high key learning how to absorb everything I need from as many sources as I can find that are free.

I would not cherish the lessons I learn from the books I buy.

If I wasn’t struggling with shit a lot, I don’t honestly think I would be so comfortable with how I am figuring out what my work is worth and who I want to work with.

One thing that goes through my bones is that easy doesn’t teach me well. It never has. If I didn’t have to work shit out I would not work it out.

I am on that grind.

I AM ON THAT MOTHER FUCKING GRIND and unlike when I was a baby writer, I value it. I love it. I am here for it.

Being ass deep in the struggle means I have found the path to my people. And I love my people. My people love me.

And that is pretty valuable.

OH okay a few more things.

I put up a story that is so close to my heart I can’t even. It is a slipstream story involving a wee Haitian girl and Hati and his brother. There is magic, the beginning of my need to explore how cultures can intersect, collide combine and exist together without throwing the brown folks under the bus. It is a bit more expensive than other stuff because of the sheer amount of work it took for me to get it done.

Here is a big ole taste:

“Mama was hurt, Papa was dead. She gave me water in a bottle and papers in my bag. Then she told me to run. She said I was too small and that they would hurt me. She said, Bernadette, you run you hide girl. Hide, hide hide.”

She trailed off, the counselor waited her out.

“I ran. Like a woof-”

The counselor arched an eyebrow.

“A woof? You mean a dog?”

Bernie glowered at her.

“No, woof, you know woof they howl like this at the moon.”

Bernie tipped her head back and let out a full throated mournful howl.

“Ah, wolf.”

“That is what I say. And then I found a place under concrete it was dry.”

[redacted, go buy for more]


It was a drawing from a Norse myth, the librarian smiled at her and nodded.

“Would you like to read about Hati?”

Bernie nodded, her eyes lit up.

In her heart, she chanted to the Universe, Ayti, Ayti Ayti. In her heart Bernie was mourning Haiti, the way her Maternal Grandmother had taught her. To think and feel the name of a thing or a person so as not to forget. She could not bring herself to sing the names of her parents, that hurt too much. But, when she spoke Ayti, Ayti, Ayti in the secret voice of her heart, it sufficed.

Next week I will get into how this story came about, that it was inspired by Roxane Gay and a woman I met on the bus.

Okay this  is way too long I need to calm all the way down and go do some editing.

Get Bernie’s Warg here. 

OH also per usual this is not kid or ya lit. This is grown folks business.

A New thing and some other things.

First thing my last  comment on my now infamous Paris Review Post is up as the featured essay in Literary Orphans.

The title is a nod to 2pac. This song in case you don’t know it.

What else?

I’m working on some new non fiction. An attempt at humor about sex work. My failed career as a foot fetish ho. Also in the pipeline some queer flash fiction, some more non fiction this time about my relationship with Western Beauty Ideals and how I came to reject them outright.

Shit even some poetry.

Speaking of poetry I have a new one up at Ink Node. 

I’m still working on my freelance shit. Y’all.

I find the whole process so intimidating. I have a collection of resources and some basic how to shit and I know I just have to fucking write the shit.

OH I will have some book reviews coming up as well. I’ve read some good stuff and I will probably dedicate an entry to the Sherman Alexie book I’m reading because several of my favorite of his short works are in it. It is just so damn good.

How about some more stuff to read?

Check out this interview at The Rumpus with poet Danez Smith.  Ugh yes. Fuck yes. Yes.

My Muse and beloved dear friend writer Remittance Girl posted this the other day about Bad Men.

This bit:

Do you ever get the sneaking suspicion life would be a lot easier if we shut up about our erotic fantasies? I do.

Just read it.

I am going to talk about this at greater length later but a lot of my work is rife with various evils. Some of them erotic, some not. It is what moves me and I want to go in about it because I find it really important to talk about. For now go read that.

OH y’all. So I am obsessed with podcasts and I gotta shoutout Mick Betancourt. A.) He’s a funny mother fucker. B.) he’s posted some tidbits of his memoir in progress. Just go look. Listen.

Also this is an old episode but another of my favorite authors Craig Davidson was on the LA Review of Books. Check it out. 

Tood Robinson from Thuglit posted a cool little Q&A type video on facebook. If you like your lit dark and grimy you for real need to read Thuglit. I’m serious and I’m not just saying that because I was in it once. Just do it.

Now a bit of self promotion.

As ever (I am getting better about keeping it updated) you can come like my official author page on Facebook here.

You can follow me on twitter @weebeasty but I warn you I ain’t shit. I livetweet things like my period and when I get street harassed. So yeah. That.

Read ALL the XOjane Self care articles here.

Milcah and I are working like hell on Self Care Like a Boss ahead of us birthing the book. Follow along here.

Keep your eye on the etsy shop. I have some new smut to add soon. I’m talking gender bending, Daddy/Girl/, Literary fetish deep dicking type shit. Until then a current favorite from readers is Bite An Erotic Tale. Remember this is grown folks lit.

Here is a taste:

He starts to speak and I lay my hand over his mouth and shake my head.

“Oh no. Not tonight. Shhh.”

I tilt my head forward and use my other hand to yank the collar of his shirt down to expose a patch of his fuzzy skin. I have to stand on tiptoe and use the hand on his mouth for leverage to get myself to the right height and angle, when I’m satisfied I lean in and bite.

OKAY enough. I have work to do.

What are y’all up to?


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