Plans Of The Writer

For those who aren’t supporting me on Patreon, I’ve announced over there that I’ve started rewrites on my urban fantasy novelette in progress working titled The Daiyu Saga and those chapters will be the new Patron only stuff.

That done, I will likely list a bunch of my source material on Etsy along with some other stuff.

I’ve also been thinking about what to do with The World  (go back to last Sept to read them all) I still have a deep interest in putting them together in a collection of linked stories. I’m thinking I could do that as a kindle book, try it for KDP select and that way a LOT of folks could read them for free/I wouldn’t need to manage the way I do my Etsy stuff.

I’m also working on SCLAB stuff and essays.

My output right now is pretty consistent and I’m pleased with it. I put a new piece up at Medium about marginalized writers and risk.

While I’m very happy with what I’ve been writing lately, what I’m not as happy with is that I’m again finding myself in a pressurized position because economically, not one of these things is really viable for me in a way that helps me life my actual non writing life.

Intellectually I know that even as things are, my partner and I still have our little apartment. He’s got the medication he needs. We have food.

Emotionally speaking, if my non writing life is the toy I am these birds. Inside my brain there are cats, hamsters, puppies a carnival wheel and a class full of first graders hopped up on Mt. Dew all losing their collective shit at top volume pretty much all the time.

My Poverty Brain has kicked in full speed with anxiety kicker.

I will say that unlike previous years, the shit fuckery in my head isn’t causing me to be unable to write so there’s that.

That said, I’m stuck at that point of making some of this shit profitable while battling a whole host of other feelings. Those are feelings I will likely keep to myself and a few friends because reasons.

So that’s what’s going on.

I might schedule up some posts here because I have ANOTHER thing. In a few short days, I’ll make my triumphant return to personal blogging.

Come and check it out, subscribe and hold on to your butt.

auntieheader
Aww YISS!!

Now I’m going to dayjob and work on shit.

Grind grind grind grind.

Try to make them extra coins.

And stay calm.

Yeah Write Entry #263- Down Home

Down Home

by

Shannon Barber

Mama said I’d know when the time was right. She skipped all the magical menses bullshit and woowoo sparkly nonsense. She sat me down and told me straight.

“I can’t tell you one way or the other if you got the gift or not. If The World wants you and you got what it want, it’ll call. Stop worrying about it and go do them dishes.”

I waited until I was thirty goddamn years old. I had accepted it. I would not be like other women in my family that way. I did not have the magic.

Two weeks after I turned thirty I felt it. I saw the Shadows gathered in the corner of my living room and I felt the heartbeat of The World. I felt the pull, I felt the need deep in my belly. Lower than lust, deeper than need, it pulled at the marrow in my bones.

The World did not call me home as I thought it would. Not my real home at any rate. It called me home to a swamp full of dank nightmares and thin places. When the air touched my skin, that is when it all really happened.

“Sss, errr, esss, ood. Mmmmm.”

The first voice came on the first current of hot wet air, the rest joined it in a susurrus of hissy, sibilance that I felt on my arms. I felt the little silky summer dress lifting away from my body, I felt them as silken paws of sensation.

“Stop.”

I signed desperately. The World, may have been speaking, but it did not listen. These were not things of the world and my body wanted them. I wasn’t speaking to them, I was talking to me.

My body opened to the voice of The World as it had never opened to any lover. My skin craved subvocalalizations that thrummed against me as if my skin was nothing more than the thinnest thing between air and something full of liquid and fit to burst. I was broken. Naked and brown in a hot swamp thousands of miles away from my Mother and on my knees.

I heard none of it. I felt it in the waters of my body, I felt fricatives devouring my cunt and the plosives I yearned for exploding against my eyelids and the tender flesh at the nape of my neck.

The World took me more completely than any lover and touched me deeper than any God. It called me to touch me with fingers made of language I will never hear.

I don’t know what it means. This was not my Mother’s calling.

I am the living secret of The World. I am deaf to the world and my body feels the true voice of The World and I don’t mind. I’m no Mage or Warrior, no Beholder or Scrivener. I am only a Secret.

The World wants me and it will have me.

###

Hustlin’ Hustlin

So.

I am on that hustle because frankly I want to buy some summer clothes that fit my ass and my aesthetic. Also baby got bills to pay.

I also decided to do a digital version of my poetry chapbook The Motherfuckess Manifesta And Other Poems. The print version will be handmade and not the exact same book. I am taking my time with that because I’m terrible at book building.

 

You can go check that out here. I also relisted my Lovecrafty Story Doe Mouse. Deer Mouse. Rabbit and Bunny.  I even added a tiny bonus Crawling Chaos story.

What else?

You can also read more flash by me over at Catapult. 

I think that’s all the news for now. I’ll be starting to deliver some brand new stuff to folks who support me via Patreon. Shit is getting exciting up in there.

What else is happening?

Essentially, I’m struggling to settle into my new/current experience of poverty. Those first couple of months of the increased cost of living haven’t been gentle. I have stress rashes, I’ve had panic attack shits and I’ve choked myself out creatively speaking. Shit is so hard.

BUT, I’m trying really hard not to completely freak out.

I’ve got some freelance paychecks coming in later this month and next month.

I’m sort of on target with writing new stuff ish.

I’m trying.

But shit is fucking hard y’all.

That’s it for now. We may or may not step into The World tomorrow. I have a thing for that, but it’s not quite what I want. I’m on that heavy experimentation tip again so we’ll see if I can pull it off.

 

Goodnight Sweet Prince

1985 I am seven years old and obsessed with Prince. I daydreamed about marrying him, Freddie Mercury, Darcel Wynne and moving us all to a castle to live together, raise kids and animals a la Josephine Baker and live happily ever after. Raspberry Beret  made me dance and all I wanted for Christmas was a real raspberry beret.

Prince was, to my mind everything boygirl beautiful, glamorous and part of the image of the person I wanted to be when I grew up.

Christmas came and inside one box it was there. A bright Fuschia raspberry beret.

I found out later, that no, in fact, you could not find a raspberry beret in a second hand store at the time but there it was. I remember the label said Liz Claiborn and when I put it on my head, I felt like the most glamorous sophisticated wonderful girlboygirl, everything was okay.

Recently I wrote about my genders, see it here. As I was working on that memories revolving around Prince were in my head. Including the raspberry beret.

After a week of frequent wear, I developed a terrible rash across my forehead. I have always been a human with particularly persnickety skin, random things give me hives, I’ve always been prone to rashy discomfort on one level or another, but that time, the reality of my newly realized allergy to wool brought heartbreak.

Prince has figured in my life at so many moments of discomfort, prurient joy and everything in between. Prince was there when I danced alone in my room as sexy as I could in my underwear. Prince was there when I illicitly dyed my hair the first time, when I figured out what masturbation was, when I wanted to feel both masculine and pretty-he was there.

Prince has been in my ear for so long, I know even though he’s not here, he’s here.

Goodbye my Mother.

My Father.

My sister.

My lover.

I’ll see you when I come home.

prince

Yeah Write #262- A Sweetness and A Light

A Sweetness and a Light

by

Shannon Barber

She looks too small and fat to be what she is. In a film she would be lithe and lean but busty and wearing a torn crop top to expose an expanse of taut belly. She would be sexy and sweating just enough to make her clavicles glisten.

She is not.

He sees her in Kevlar and in a wide stance, holding two swords. There is an instant of pure dark silence before her body becomes a whirling howling declaration of death. Her hair is in cornrows, her feet in steel cap boots and he can spot the snake of wires coming from her earbuds, she is one of those girls.

She is magnificence in movement. Her foes, slithering gibberig things that aren’t even spitting distance of humanlike fall screaming and bleeding. He could help. He is a Mage and could conjure like his Mama taught him to, call fire and earth to help.

He won’t.

He has seen the others like her. They fight like nothing matters and go into battle with theme music and fingernails strengthened with acrylic and silk and filed to lethal points. He’s even seen them in their red bottoms and cocktail dresses, he’s seen them carry their broken and dead sisters out of The World.

She stands in the middle of a muddy puddle of ichorous blood and strange spongy body parts, her face is spattered with blood and when she looks up, her burning eyes find him where he hides.

“Who the fuck are you?”

Before he can declare himself, she hits that stance again, leading with the sword in her right hand, her upper lip curled. He’s terrified and aroused, he can feel his face flush as he raises his hands and steps out of the shadows.

“I’m not your enemy. I was only waiting to see if you needed help. I’m a-“

Her swagger makes his cock stir, she is on him examining him before he can go on.

“Mage. I’ve never seen one of you up close. Shouldn’t you like, glow or radiate light or some shit?”

Up close he can see that her eyeliner is still flawless.

“I can but don’t most of the time. Sidus like to eat us, but if we’re dim they can’t see us properly. You are amazing. I um, you-“

He stammers and when she grins, one deep dimple pops her round cheek and he can see that her light doesn’t just manifest as a reaction to The World, it comes from inside her. He sees that there is fresh red blood on her arms and her kevlar looks battered. Behind them, a door opens into a night he does not know. The Doorman stands, smiling at them.

“Best get on through children. Show me your talisman.”

She pulls a gleaming Susan B. out of her pocket and The Doorman stands aside, his door thrown open onto a tropical night so dark the Mage almost loses the track of things inside his own vertigo. She takes his hand.

“Come on Mage. I’ll show you something great.”

Hand in hand, they emerge next to a dirt track someplace warm and dark, she stops in a pool of moonlight and pulls him close.

“You ever fuck a Warrior?”

Poor Mage, with all the power in his blood, the power of seduction eluded him. Yet, there she is, the beautiful bloody Warrior grinning at him. This his Mother and her Mother’s didn’t prepare him for but his Daddy had.

“Not yet.”

 Someplace in the jungle, she stands before him stripped of her Kevlar and clothed only in her battle scars and dimple and those glowing eyes.

She is small and fat. Her brown body marked with stretch marks and scars and scratchy tattoos, she stands straight and proud and so beautiful he wants to die. The person who was bright, beautiful death and untouchable reaches for his hands and puts them on her hips.

Here, she is bright, beautiful life. She is the Mage and he is, what is he now?

What is he now?

###

On The Writer’s Mind

How about a wee update?

With AWP over I have space to get on with some other things.

The first thing on my mind is conquering doing my little chapbook/zine thing. I’ve discovered that I’m actually not great at this process and trying to figure out the printing alone made me lose all of my shit.Less than 12 hours before leaving what I thought would be simple times, print staple put in bag turned into crying and a self hate-tey shame spiral about being terrible at everything.

I’m starting over with it. Currently the Motherfuckess Manifesta and Other Poems is in limbo. I stripped out my bad formatting and will turn it into a PDF today. I might skip printing it for now and just do the downloadable PDF over at Etsy.

If I sell some of those I’ll redo the print run of signed/numbered editions for folks who want them.

Now on to some maths. Updates from this post.

I went ahead and bought the chair. I spent about 63$ and even though some other financial shit went sideways it was a worthy investment.

This month I still need to pay my phone bill, some repayment for some lingering AWP stuff and as of the first I believe some new etsy fees from relisting some lit stuff.

Other stuff I’m going to need to start saving for:

  • Teeth stuff. I’ll need to save up about 950$
  • New phone. I’m looking in the range of 200-300$ or so ish. Hopefully I can get the glass fixed on this phone and rock it until at least January.
  • A pair of backup glasses

So yeah. I’m trying really hard not to fall down a HUSTLE ALL THE TIME hole which is never good but it’s hard. I’ve been trying really hard to adjust to my new higher cost of living and y’all, there has also been fuckery with my landlord and it just pushes every trauma button I have.

My partner and I were at a point financially where shit wasn’t all just plain survival and I feel like a big nasty failure because stuff changed and I’m no longer able to provide in a way that means we can have some fun outside the house sometimes.

I’m also trying to balance taking care of my health in here. I’ve been finding myself falling back into the stress, anxiety, depression, deep as fuck hole and I’m paddling like mad to stay out of the undertow.

I have successfully managed not to let myself try to get a part time job in retail or something. I know my health will not stand for that and I would not be able to write. Acknowledging that even while I work on a project that will likely not net me any cash has been really fucking hard.

While I’m being all vulnerable and shit.

At this point in my writing life, I’ve finally come to an uneasy peace with the things I’m not great at. Newsy, time important stuff is not my stuff.

That’s okay.

Most of what I write is not going to make me money. That part has been more difficult to get through, especially as the financial stuff tightens up.

I feel like a lot of the peace I had with that is slowly spider webbing and is going to shatter. Trying to process the deeply seeded guilt I feel about doing arty shit and not bringing in commensurate income is just there, right now it feels like all the time and I feel trapped and alone and panicky.

On one hand, I feel like I don’t want a lot. I want to pay my rent and bills, maybe get some tattoos, cute clothes and to take my partner out to nice dinners and drinks sometimes.

I don’t know right now.

All I can do is get my head down and work because that’s the only way I know of that will let me deal with these things without drowning in them.

So that said, I’ll have a special announcement soon.

That’s all y’all. Back on that grind time.

 

Midnight Taxi Tango- The Big Ole Review

Midnight-Taxi-Tango-Hi-Res-635x1024
Yes this is a big ass image. But LOOK AT THIS FUCKING COVER.

This is my review of Daniel Jose Older’s Midnight Taxi Tango. First, I recommend going back here and reading my review of the first novel in this series Half-Resurrection Blues: A Bone Street Rumba Novel

Ahem.

The short version goes like this. I devoured about half the novel when it came in the mail, threw it on the floor and just sat muttering, “this motherfucker right here…” it is an excellent follow up to Half-Resurrection Blues. If grown folks urban fantasy and magic is what you like, this shit right here is what you want.

Okay, so I’m going to put a read more cause thar b spoilers and it’s about to get nerdy as hell up in here.

No, seriously, I’m about to dork out on a whole other level and if you want to not witness my nerd meltdown.

Y’all been warned.

Continue reading “Midnight Taxi Tango- The Big Ole Review”