Get to Know the Writer.

The writer at work.

The writer at work.

In case you haven’t seen me before there I am.

How about a list of some random shit about yours truly?

  • My two favorite types of tea are genmaicha brewed extra strong and pu-erh.
  • My absolute favorite coffee in the ENTIRE fucking world is Death Wish.
  • I am extremely persnickety about what ink pens I use. I only write in purple ink and these are my favorite pens. Pentel R.S.V.P. Ballpoint Pen, 0.7mm Fine Tip, Violet Ink. YES sorry amazon affiliate link.
  • My favorite Yankee Candle scent is Midsummer’s Night. I hardly ever buy it because it’s fuckin expensive but I love it.
  • I am an aging Goth. I am totally unashamed of this fact.
  • I have trashbag taste in TV but at the same time am extremely picky about what I watch.
  • I LOVE perfume oils. Generally indie. A gift of some BPAL started it all like 12 years ago. My favorite notes are: smoke, leather, tobacco, dark vanilla, honey, clove, cardamom, chocolate, roses, dirt, musk, dragons blood. I am so good at buying unsmelled that 99% of the time if a scent doesn’t work on my body, it works on my partner. My tastes tend to run to spicy/more masculine.
  • I can talk about things like makeup, skin care, body care, bath fancies, perfumes etc FOREVER.
  • I really love creepy things. Bones, teeth, taxidermied animal parts all as jewelry.
  • I am a compulsive reader. If I get desperate I read shampoo and body wash bottles while I poop.
  • I have an undying love of the original Castlevania (OG Nintendo) because it was the first video game I ever finished by myself.

There was an actual purpose to this.

I’m teaching myself to write more autobiographically without relying on issues. For me, it’s easier to write about how racism or sexism or whatever thing hits me personally and make it a lesson. I think those are my activist roots showing.

So I’m working on writing about who I am as a human and how I got to be this human.

Behold what some of us lovingly call The Stabby, or The Establishment. This is woman funded, woman founded media.

Holy fucking shit.

These are the folks I met with in person months ago and had my first writer/editors in person dinner meeting.

What I pitched to them at dinner was the piece I will link in a minute. I had been wanting to write about being a big nerd and some of my trials and tribulations in my life. Now, initially my notes for this were very rigid and I am a dork and nerd culture makes me upset type thing.


I decided to try something new.

I showed my tender little nerd underbelly and talked about who I am in real life. I talked about some crap that happened and getting through it.

You can read my piece here.

Y’all that was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written. I battled and sweated. I had to fight myself, like knock down drag out fight myself to not rescind my pitch and not to try so hard to be a Strong Black Woman Who Don’t NEed Nobody.

And you know what?

It went live during their launch week and people like it. I got messages from other Black nerds my age who experienced some of what I did. I got fist pumps. I had baby Black nerds telling me YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

That kind of freaked me out if I’m gonna be real about it. It was such a departure from my rage pieces where people are angry along with me.

I don’t know how to put it, but it just felt different and gave me some deep pause.

It feels alien (and yes, I know this is my anxiety and shit talking) that people like it because it’s me. Like the actual MeatWorld Shannon, who often flails and twitches and flaps and squeals.

That me.


Most of what I say here is me. Like pretty close to actually talking to me though, I am nicer on the internet. But it still feels weird that someone gave me money to write about how much of a potsie nerd I am.

Okay that’s all.



Oh y’all. Go get yourself some coffee and then come back because I have MANY things to show you. Per usual any Amazon links will be affiliate links.

Some of this stuff I bookmarked for this other stuff I asked for. All of it is awesome. Hand curated stuff to look at, read, buy and otherwise enjoy.


First up, my fave Milcah has announced they are relaunching their blog with a WHOLE NEW THING. I’m very excited about it and you can go read about it here.

Next, my friend s. j. bagley turned me onto a new project he got involved with called Thinking Horror. The blurb from Amazon:

THINKING HORROR: a Journal of Horror Philosophy is a nonfiction journal devoted to modern and contemporary horror literature consisting of essays, editorials, and in-depth interviews. The journal will be focused on the contexts and concepts of horror fiction.

I am SO FUCKING INTO IT HOLY SHIT. I just yeah. No for real go check it out at Amazon. I’ve been waiting since he announced it forever ago.

Next a new thing by someone I admire greatly. My friend Aaminah Shakur writing about art and watching you watch art. Y’all, their writing about art even when I don’t understand it just floors me. GO LOOK.

Now how about some poetry? My friend Noemi Martinez has a new piece up that I just love. Check that out here. Also check out Hermana Resist here. Fucking awesome.

My friend Lily has launched something really amazing. I can’t even…I mean. Okay, just go here to facebook (and like her page while you’re there) and look at her message pills. Buy some for someone because it’s a fantastic, loving idea. Lily is fucking magical.

This essay by Sarah Boyle at Gorgon Poetics, YASSSSSS. BURN IT DOWN! Um..that is how I express my love of this sort of thing. BURN IT BURN IT BURN IT!

How about more poetry? Hear my homie Kenzie Allen read her poetry and read the rest of this mag there is a lot of loveliness to be had. AND audio…I swooned.

A writer I adore is doing tiny letter. HOLY CRAP. GO GO GO and get letters from Mo Daviau. It will be great I promise.

WOW. Just going back and LOOKING at all these things is just making me do a little happy wriggle in my chair. I legit know the most talented amazing people in the whole world.

Ready okay let’s continue.

Next up I read this book by Ki Russell a while back and it just stayed with me. How to Become Baba Yaga by Ki is just. It’s so beautiful and mystic. I love it so fucking much. Read it.

I came across this piece via my FB feed and it is really great. I am a black woman in the American south. And I’m not leaving by
Latria Graham. It just, yeah it gave me a lot of feels.

MORE POEMS. This time by the delectable Sonya Vatomsky. Their poetry is just…just buy the book.  Their book Salt is for Curing is just..yeah. Go. 

LOOK at how lovely Sarah Khan’s official website is.  Check the photos tab. The b/w shot of the stem and leaf is just..totally my aesthetic and I would put that on my wall.

You want to see some more stuff to check out? My homie Sara Habien does Notes from Elsewhere over at WordRiot and real talk I totally stole the format from there. Go check out more things.

Lynn B. Johnson has the Oldest Blog Alive. And I am so delighted by that. HOW can you not love that?

We have a shy poet in the house too. Bronwyn Petry  has a website and writes and edits and has one of my favorite names. I know that’s a weird thing to say but I think Bronwyn is just a really lovely name okay. Go show some love.

Let’s take a reading break and how about some art? I stumbled across Hal Rotting Graphics on Tumblr forever ago and I just..unf. I want ALL of the things and am probably going to snag a sticker pack for my laptop here soon.

Next up, nerds pay attention. Go like the page for American Witch comics. I AM SO HYPE ABOUT THIS!

Are you Canadian? In or around Toronto and into film? My homie Trista DeVries has somethin for you! Pretty cool magazine on the film scene.

Are you writing things? I have some stuff for my writing friends.

First up read and then submit to Dead Housekeeping. It’s just, heartbreaking and so good. I cherish it while I read it. AND if you’ve been here a while you’ve heard me say it time and again, COME JOIN US AT YEAH, WRITE.  No for real do it do it do it do it.

Need translation? Some bad ass poems? Non fiction? You need to meet Shabnam Nadiya. All the yes.

And we all need more amazing non binary trans-masculine types in our lives right? NO seriously, you do. Meet AJ Ripley and well, you’re welcome.

Listen to Gyda Arber talk about her new really cool project.  It is a podcast AND one you can download and listen to on the go. Fuck to the yes.

Now meet Stephanie Georgopulos. Freelance writer and she runs Human Parts. Awww, yiss.

Speaking of Human Parts, my friend Laurence Dumortier did this really great piece over there. Go read it. 

More stuff to listen to! Katie Klabusich hosts a podcast I really enjoy called The Katie Speak Show. I’m SO here for it. Bookmark, listen love.

More stuff? How about some real good nerd stuff? Via my homie  Alisha Karabinus and her academic team, ALL THE THINGS GAMING! Podcasts, videos awesomeness. If you are trying to get your nerd on in the context of amazing stuff like race and gaming, get it.

I also want you to meet Jen Selk writer and editor of awesome. Reviews, journalism, checkout her statement at the bottom of the page. TROLL BE GONE!

NOW okay this is pretty cool. Via Hanna Brooks Olson and Sarah Anne Lloyd, SEATTLISH. I didn’t realize I KNEW THEM. And that’s pretty fucking cool.

WOW this was a beast. Are you still here? Thanks for hanging out. I’ve been squirreling links away for weeks and I just get so excited about sharing my community with y’all. AND I don’t want you starved for great stuff to read and look at.

What about yours truly?

Well, actually naw. Check out the sidebar for my stuff. We’ll do me another day.

Except to say that I’ve been crocheting again after not doing it for a while and it feels great. I’m working really hard to work up the courage to sell some of my wares. Until then look at this beauty I’m working on now. I will be adding some gorgeous deep, vibrant teal and he’ll be done.

Thanks for reading and as always, if you have stuff you want to share with everybody, LEAVE THEM LINKS BOO!


We Shadow


Shannon Barber

We are Shadow.

We move like breeze from our home in The World to look upon the Innocent in our home the world.

We are there in the back alleys and in the depths of the night.

Yes, dear Innocent we are with you even now. We see your tears and feed upon your strife

When in the night you start awake in your sweet bed and your succulent body is paralyzed, your hot breath enters a cold darker than dark night air, we are with you. We feel you.

We know you. We see you in your most secret moments. And you in turn know us. Even you Innocent, you know us. You feel us even at midday when you stand in a shaft of bright sun and shiver.

Your eyes glide away from us as it is in your nature to do. We know. We love the micro expressions that flutter across your hot flesh as you see us in the dark. Fear, disgust, atavistic disorientation that urges you to avert your eyes is delicious.

We know you all. Innocent and Scrivener. Warrior and Professori. Beholder and Generist. We could lie and say we love you. That we only creep and lurk to be closer to your light.

We cannot. A lie is breath wasted. The truth shall set us free.

We Shadow, we are no lovesick things pining for humanity and heat.

We are as we were made in The World and the world.

We are those who live between and inside The World and the world.

We are of both and beyond both.

We are Shadow.

And we see you, yes we see you.


Continue reading

Of Budgets and Monetary Mayhem.

I just finished doing up my budget for Writin’Monies through December.

I have my regular expenses, like renter’s insurance, grammar/spellcheck software (I will write about it another time it is the bomb), and my Premium Spotify account which I might give up because I am not using it as often as I used to now that our household entertainment (music, movies everything) computer has been rebuilt.

Holy crap some great news. My GofundMe is over 100$!!!

What else?

I’ve budgeted out about 50$ for one of those um, little table tray things to use my laptop with at home so I can write comfortably.

I have some freelance things I am pretty sure I can do without undue stress. So I will have the table thing by the end of the month.

What else?

I have a side hustling I’m working on that I’m super excited about.

But yeah, things are going kinda okay. At least okay enough that I’m not at defcon neon pink trying to find another full time job or selling my organs.

The struggle is real but it’s not breakin my back.

Tomorrow brand new flash. Wedsnesday some promotion of ALL THE THINGS.

And the rest of the week?

Who knows.


A Few Words on my Finances posts and whatnot.

I got a lengthy note from someone who “was a fan” and “was rooting” for me who has flounced from reading this Lil blog, and anything else I might write because they are uncomfortable with how I talk about some of the less shiny aspects of my writing and creative life.

Namely, my last finances post as well as my ongoing fundraiser to get to AWP16 drove them away. From what this reader said essentially the way I talk about the financial and other difficult things that impact my creative life made them feel guilty and bad.

So here’s the thing folks.

First thing is I am done putting up a front. On so many levels in my life. I spent a lot of years feeling shame for being human. There are a lot of things behind that, but the fact is, I just do not want to do that anymore. I’m too good at compartmentalizing things. I can smile and look pretty while I feel like I want to die, I am good at that. I am good at appearing to be A Strong Black Woman that don’t need nobody.

Fact is I’m not.

Because I have started to really invest in my own humanity through my work, how I live etc part of that is not gonna be pretty.

And I will not hide it or not write about it because it makes some folks uncomfortable.

That brings me to the second thing. When you know, either personally or as a voyeur watching things happen in blogland here, someone like me who leads a not shiny perfect life, you’re gonna be uncomfortable. There are lots of reasons why this can be, these are intersectional type things.

The third thing is that I am not opening up about these things to elicit sympathy or squeeze money out of folks. Yes, I am fundraising because I do need the help to attend something I feel is important to me. Yes, I take donations.  Yes, I do have conflicting feelings about these things because, like a lot of poor folks I have had trouble shedding the idea that I just don’t work hard enough to deserve stuff.

Part of how I work through this stuff is by being open about it and finding out that I’m not alone. Solidarity is like that. It is also pretty important to me that I can maybe impact someone who needs that solidarity.

Here’s the thing.

Knowing or watching a life that isn’t yours and that is wildly different from yours is valuable. For folks who are like me, me talking about this stuff is valuable.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable.

It’s fine if you don’t have/can’t/don’t want to give me money.

What’s not okay is trying to shame me because you are uncomfortable.

By the way person who sent the message I do see that you’re still subscribed. Pro tip: don’t send people passive aggressive notes threatening to unfollow and just GTFO.

Other thing before I go.

I am fully aware that my work and who I am as a person is not for everybody. I know. It’s fine. A lot of folks hate every word that comes out of my mouth and there is nothing I can really do about that beyond not speaking or writing or changing who I am and that ain’t happening.

It is fine not to dig me.

Not fine to bother me about it.

You, do you Booboo, Imma do me and everything is gonna be okay.

Now this week on Weds. I’m posting a new promo post so if you have things to promote, no matter what it is leave a link in the comments and you’re in. Boom. Have a friend with a thing? Show me the thing. Proud of a picture you took? Show me the thing.



Yeah Write Entry# 237- The Eskrimadora of the Bautista Blood

The Eskrimadora of the Bautista Blood


Shannon Barber

The first time she was 10. Her Mother held her hand as they moved through a door to The World. They paused there, her breath rasped in her throat hot and dry.

“What are we?”

Her mother’s small calloused hand squeezed. The little girl answered.

“We are the Eskrimadora of the Bautista blood. We are The protectors of the Innocent. We are the light in the dark.”

Her little voiced got stronger with every word. She let go of her Mother’s hand and drew her sticks. She trusted her strong little body and hard hands.

The door closed behind them and the heat and noise of Manila faded to nothing.

She knew the fight would come to them, the wet, decaying underbrush to their right moved and they turned as one.

“They come.”

She answered with the taste of the blood of her enemies on her tongue.

“Let them come to see their death and love us.”

Fueled by the blood of generations of Warrior women they braced themselves. Reptile like creatures with huge eyes half mad with their mission came at them.

Their sticks flashed and struck at the soft spots on the creature’s throats, they ululated as the blood showered upon them, they howled curses in Tagalog when the creatures caught them with tooth or claw.

The Darkness closed in as the creatures fell, the little girl snatched at her Mother’s hand and they ran back towards the door and the light. The lesson was learned, it was time to go home. Her Mother pulled her talisman from around her neck and called.

“Open the door.”

Ahead of them a crack of light, then the silhouette of The Doorman loomed.

“Good eve ladies. Your talisman if you please.”

Her mother held it up and the Darkness behind them recoiled from the light the talisman gathered to itself and shone on its champions.

“Welcome back to the world. Take care and leave your rage at the door.”

The little girl always remembered how it felt when the light of the hot Manila night touched her skin. Bloody and ebullient the two warriors slipped into the night to find their healer.

Now the little girl is a woman. Her hair is cut short, she is a rusty voiced Butchy purply lipped brick house of a Warrior. She stands alone this time, waiting for the Darkness to close in and for the fight to come to her. A long skinny manlike thing steps from a shadow and spoke in a high reedy voice.

“What are you Warrior?”

She smiles at it.

“I am the Eskrimadora of the Bautista blood. I am The protectors of the Innocent. I am the light in the dark. I am your death. Come love me.”


Writer Financials

How about a wee update?

All in this year I’ve spent about 450$$ give or take on getting my tech updated, software etc in order for me to write properly.

I sold an essay to The Establishment and it was a huge first on a lot of levels for me. I also really need y’all to follow The Establishment because it’s ALL WOMAN FUCKING RUN and that is so amazing to me. Even if I wasn’t in it, I’d be into it.

Milcah and I put out SCLAB (and currently it is not available, look for the new version in 2016, follow us at the blog here) and that process has been eye opening, hard and weird. Ultimately very rewarding and I made a lil bit of coinage.

I’ve been doing readings, got paid for one.

I am still rocking with my Patreon.

AND last week I sat down to rearrange my finances.

SO officially with my Patreon right now (going by what I got in last month) this is how things are shaking out. I’m busting open my books, someone make me stop watching Bar Rescue.


71.26- Patreon- Incoming


=20 bucks not spoken for.

Now my current hosting is all taken care of until next year. I did wind up spending a bit more than I am normally comfortable with out of my writing money for an outfit for Litcrawl (I’ll post about that tomorrow), a few beauty items. But this is how my budget looks without any extra spending. I do sometimes spend 8-10$ a month on boxes of nice tea or fancy candy also celebratory Capone’s or whatever.

This is all money from Patreon/other writing stuff and I’m still really invested in not taking from the household budget for some things.

Looking forward I’m concentrating on a couple of things. Saving up for AWP is #1 and to that end I started a Gofundme.

I have a goal of raising 2K because with however much I save up that will just make the trip and everything WAY easier. I don’t feel great about it, but closed mouths don’t get fed.

I have a couple of side hustles that net me a few extra bucks a month in giftcards.

Now, aside from AWP I am saving up to do some stuff. I’ve recently started to believe in actually investing in my own work so here’s some stuff I’m working on budgeting out.

  • Grown up writer business cards.
  • Supplies for zine making.
  • Money set aside for short distance travel/more readings.
  • Budget for a new website venture.
  • Etsy shop fees.
  • New other venture.

Included in some of these are factors like:

  • Time off from the day job and wages/vacation hours lost.
  • How much time I need to work on a thing that is not writing a thing.

This is the hustle I’m on. Granted, my budget right now is a pretty tight ass. I’ve not budgeted for any self-care related stuff or beauty stuff. I haven’t cut into the budget for hobbies or books. This is pretty bare bones and that’s kind of okay with me. I’m really trying to avoid Poor Kid Panic and do what I know I can do.

In order to avoid Poor Kid Panic and feelings I’ve set some rules for myself.

  1. If looking into Freelance work starts causing panic stop.
  2. Not selling “well” (a WHOLE other post) is not reason for a shame/self hate spiral.
  3. Do not get angry at self for asking for help/support.
  4. Do not stress, self to the point of being unable to write.

So that’s what’s up. This is part of what it looks like to be me and how I operate.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of my side hustle things I have planned going.

What else?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how/where I submit because that decision has just gotten so much more difficult for me. I’ll talk about that at another time.

So there we go.

I’ll do another update maybe on towards Christmas when I’ve got some of my new hustles up and running.



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